30 May 2009

Buckle up!

'Tis the season of finals prep and music recitals.

I feel like

and a little like

Heads are

Brains are

Lots of

to the point of

and even more of

to the point of

But it's almost

Then we're going to


Then we'll hop a plane to

for the Mehaber

As soon as we get back Marg & Ricker head off for a two week mission trip to

and then two weeks of summer camp at


And finally, this mama's gonna catch her breath and

and the papa's gonna

but not yet. For now, it's

22 May 2009

Smells Weird

The other night I crawled into bed exhausted, fluffed my pillow and was just getting into my comfy position when I slid a hand under the pillow...

and discovered that there was something wet & slimy already there. It felt like what was (hopefully) a large, flat wad of damp, oily paper. ACK!

"Oh my goodness, what on earth?.... I don't even want to know what this is!"

Now, here's the difference between men and women. I wanted to get rid of the nasty, pillow-defiling offender as fast as possible before I figured out that it was something more disgusting than wet paper. Michael, however wanted me to hand it to him and then he stuck his nose up to it!

"Here, give it to me. What is it? (sniff sniff)... Smells weird."

After he turned the light on, it turned out to be a slightly damp cheese quesadilla.


Under my pillow.

That's what happens when you've got five kids and two dogs under one roof. Ya gotta just roll with it.

Que(sadilla) sera sera!

19 May 2009

Top Five

Michael and I decided that we needed a Top Five list of special things that express love to each other. Top Five things to help us keep our heads above water when life is challenging. Top Five ways to show we've got each other's backs. Top Five gifts of love.

Michael's Top Five for Me to Do For Him:
1. Verbal affirmation.
2. Lower the air conditioning before I get home so I don't come home to a hot house.
3. Spoil me by stocking up on my favorite soap (L'Occitane Lemon Verbena).
4. Set the coffee to brew before I get out of bed, especially on my early days.
5. Hugs and kisses. And LOTS of both.

My Top Five for Michael to Do For Me:
1. Do all of the things that I like.
2. Don't do any of the things that I don't like.
3. Say nice things.
4. Don't talk too much about things that I don't care about or too little about the things I do care about.
5. That's all. Just four. I'm easy.

And, ya know what, I'm a little bit mad that he didn't know my list by heart already! Yeesh!

18 May 2009

Happy 9th Birthday, Jack!

Happy birthday to our beautiful boy! What a gift he is to us in so many ways. We are so proud of our Jackie.

He's the most strong-willed and determined kid imaginable and also the biggest helper around. He's very responsible, very polite, very "very" about most things one way or the other. Jack doesn't do anything half-heartedly. He's a boy who wouldn't know the middle of the spectrum if it bit him on the hand!

He's an animal on the basketball court comfortably playing with the high school and college age guys' pickup games at the gym. It's cool to go out for ice cream together and run into a bunch of older boys who greet him like he's just one of the guys. "Hey, Jack-o! J-man, what up? See ya, J!" That's 9-year-old heaven!

He's absolutely fearless on his bike racing down hills and risking his life on jumps and ramps. And, as you've already learned, our little Jeff Corwin loves reptiles enough to abandon all common sense and bike around holding a rattlesnake. That's our boy. Someday, (if we survive raising him!) I know we'll be amazed at what wonderful plan the Lord has for his unique gifts and talents.

We love you, Jackie! Happy birthday, big boy!

We're off to DISNEYLAND!

17 May 2009

Blog Plug

Check out Taking the Yoke by our dear friend, Ray Hollenbach, pastor of the Vineyard in Campbellsville, KY.

15 May 2009

Jackie & the Veep

The best part of our big field trip week, by far, was the chance encounter we had at the Hotel Del Coronado.

Early on, Jackie (who has some kind of built in radar for military and police) pointed out a guy standing at a ballroom door who he was sure was undercover law enforcement. Then, when we were just about to leave, Michael happened to see a large gathering of people and ran over to see what was going on. He learned that the Vice President of the United States was just about to exit the hotel. Jackie's instict was right on. Cool! Now, the fact that we saw a tricked-out-Counter-Terrorist-Unit-type Homeland Security van driving down the 5 freeway a couple of days earlier made a lot more sense.

Anyway, we waited around for about 15 minutes when suddenly there he was. Vice President Biden smiled for the crowd,

and then pointed at someone special.

Lo and behold, he made a bee-line straight for Jackie,

shook his hand and tussled his hair, and made a joke about it being full of sand,

and then pointed out that at least Jackie still has hair

which got a big laugh from everyone.

And then he was whisked off followed by black Secret Service suburbans, helicopters, emergency trucks, and those ├╝ber-cool Homeland Security vehicles.

Even though we're not exactly fans of Joe Biden, the politician, we have enormous respect for the office he holds, so it was a HUGE thrill (especially for Jackie) to personally meet and greet Joe Biden, the Vice President!

What a fun and exciting way to end Field Trip week!

13 May 2009

San Diego Bound!

Off to San Diego! Home schooling ROCKS!

11 May 2009

Sacramento Field Trip

Hooray for 4th grade! The Sacramento field trip is one of the best parts of studying our state's history. Jackie (our 4th grader) is looking forward to visiting the Capitol building again, walking through historic Sacramento, panning for gold, Schoolhouse Museum, California State Railroad Museum, Sutter's Fort,

...and maybe even a glimpse of "Ahnold"!


10 May 2009

For the Maternal Person

Just because she'll love it!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to the best Mother/Nana/Friend known to mankind. We are so thankful for you, for your influence in our lives, for your example, your wit, your humor, your joy, your friendship. We love you!

08 May 2009

Notice to Appear Without Appeal

This is what I got in the mail yesterday that scared the pants off me. Uh oh, something from Superior Court.

I recently got my first ticket in almost 19 years. I got pulled over for speeding, if you must know, which really stinks because I'm normally such a Grandma Driver. I had all six of my people in the car so, believe me, I got a LOT of gas over it. Maybe that's because I possibly had mentioned my pristine driving record of almost 19 years once or twice before. Could be. So, getting ticketed not only destroyed my spotless record but also my ability to gloat. Darn! Anyway, I was sure this was the bill for my most recent felonious act (which I learned is called a "Bail Notice" by the way. Talk about Guilt Trip!)

WHAT? A Notice to Appear?

Claim against me? Additional penalties? NO APPEAL?!? What on earth???

Apparently the Plaintiff(s) (Michaels Sr. & Jr., Margot, Jackie, Evangeline & Elianna Ray) have sought judgment against me and require that I take time off from any and all "MOTHERING" duties... without discussion and/or argument!

That means two whole days at the beach all by myself! YAHOO!!!

If you can read the teeny tiny print, you'll probably agree with me that this whole thing is a complete riot! It was the attention to detail (like the certified mail sticker on front and back) and the confounding legal jargon (If "Is Not" is circled above, plaintiff(s) has/have received additional judgment from a judge or controlling legal authority to dispense with appellate process in this matter.) that got me. Michael must have thought and thought about various ways that he could surprise me with a minivacation for me... and he came up with...

"Hmmm... I know! I scare the whoowee out of her with legal papers! It's PERFECT!"

Have I told you lately how much I love this man?

And besides being wonderful he's really cute, too!

I'm outa here! As in Buh-BYE!

07 May 2009

National Day of Prayer & World AIDS Orphans Day

Today is the 58th annual NDP. What a blessing to live in a country where we are free to pray privately, congregationally, publically, corporately, and nationally! And, what a disappointment that President Obama decided not to honor this important day! I hope he gets enough heat from people that he reconsiders hosting an event in the White House next year!

Today is also World AIDS Orphans Day.

"Over 15 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents to AIDS – equivalent to the number of people living in New York, Paris, and Bangkok combined. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, over 12 million children have been orphaned by the pandemic. Experts believe that millions more orphans remain unaccounted for in India, China and Russia.

By 2010, the number of AIDS orphans worldwide is expected to reach at least 20 million."

I think it's fantastic that both are being commemorated on the same day!

05 May 2009

Blog Union '08 Video

THANK YOU, Drew & Carey! We can hardly wait for Blog Union '09! Chicago, here we come!

04 May 2009

Ethiopian Heritage Camp

Porter posted last year about her experience at Ethiopian Heritage Camp (hosted by African Cradle) which sounded completely wonderful. This year the dates are

July 30-Aug 2
at Mission Springs Conference Center (near Santa Cruz)

"Join with other families touched by Ethiopian adoption as we explore the richness of the Horn of Africa. Expect to make lifelong friends and meet amazing individuals as we explore the diversity of Ethiopian culture."

Traditional Ethiopian music and games
Dance instruction
Art projects
Cooking lessons
Ethiopian coffee ceremonies
Ethiopian Merkato
Traditional Ethiopian banquet and party (bring your Ethiopian clothes to wear!)
and much more!

01 May 2009

RIP Illuminations

My husband, Michael, knows me. He knows that I am a candle nut. I am a fuh-reak for smelly candles and my sweetie is just that kind of sensitive guy to know that after all these years of buying my beloved scented candles at Illuminations, my heart broke when they closed their doors. And then (Sit down now because this is really, really bad.), they referred me to Yankee Candle. Yankee Candle! A saaaaad substitute to sate my nasty habit for delicious, aromatic, delightful, all-day-long make-the-house-smell-so-nice candles!

Agh! So, I was sad. Privately sad. I barely said a word about it. Nary a word. And yet, yesterday Michael came home with two lovely bags from this amazing little store on Balboa Island called CandlEssence.

It's really a shame that computer screens don't come with a scratch-and-sniff option because then you could smell Fig Biscotti, Merlot, Yucca Tumbleweed, Jasmine, Black Ginger & Bamboo, Garden Lily, Nag Champa, Sandalwood, Wisteria, Chocolate, Passion Fruit, or my absolute favorite Ocean Breeze. Yummy! I'm not kidding... your nose would thank Intel if they would just get on the ball with the scratch-and-sniff dealy-o. I'm onto somethin' here!

Anywho, Michael included this sweet poem (yes, he writes me poetry) which I thought you might appreciate:

Death of a favorite store
Is sure a sad, sad thing
"Oh, where to find good candles?"
Our poor soul now must sing.
We must make do with less,
That is our goal in brief.
I hope that these will help you
Conquer your deep grief!

Thanks, babe... I'm doing OK, thanks to your thoughfulness.

RIP, Illuminations! I will miss you!