Saturday, December 31, 2005

"Angela Needs"

My dear friend did this and had fun results, so I had to do it, too. I typed in "Angela needs" on google. The results were so hilariously true I nearly fell off my chair laughing. Not only were they right on, I think they were of a divine nature.

The first result was, literally, "Angela needs a vacation." After a few of those matches, the next result was "Angela needs prayers." Ha!

Definitely divinely inspired. Hilarious. So, if anyone wants to volunteer to watch our kiddos for a week and pay for a cruise, I'll take that much needed vacation. Otherwise, I covet your prayers. =^)

Happy New Year! Nate's at work and I have to be up early, so I'll be ringing it in asleep. Maybe next year we'll join you partying people.
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Friday, December 30, 2005

Unrated

Some would say I'm getting older, so my sensitivities are raising. I would say the culture's insensitivity is increasing exponentially, and they try to tell me I'm just too much of a prude. Or maybe being a parent simply makes me more aware of things previously out of my radar.

All that to say, I can't stand unrated movies. They put a movie in theaters, and upon video release they add some "extra fun" scenes and call it unrated. This ruins the movie!

Case in point: Saving Silverman. This movie is a classic for Nate and I. We first saw the rated version, and when we went to watch it again we unknowingly rented the unrated version. Having the extra language and skin just made it not funny to us! When I went to buy it as a gift for him it took me literally a couple YEARS to find the rated one!!! Come on, movie honchos, at least put both versions on the same disk so you can choose which one to watch.

Blockbuster always has the unrated movies. Hollywood Video always the rated. It was more convenient last night to stop at Blockbuster. We had a gift card. We didn't think it would matter too much. But once again, my DVD enjoyment has been hampered by "additional scenes."

Never again.

The less skin and offensive language the better.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Nostalgia

We bought a new computer last week. A gorgeous iMac. Nate has been having fun loading all of our cds into iTunes so we can store them away in a box. Our old computer didn't have enough memory to do this, and we never pulled out the cds just to listen to a few songs, so they mostly went unused over the past few years. Now that we have all those songs just a click away, what memories they bring back! They're all soundracks to different parts of our lives. Country was and remains such a big slice of who I am. For years I've not listened to that time in my life history. The soundtrack has become Disney music, veggietales on cd, Superchick and Relient K that the whole family can rock out to. But my country roots will always be strong.

The memories Garth brings back: riding around in Jason's old truck, out to Calapooia, Triangle Lake rockslides, late nights after swim meets just looking up at the stars.

The Judds and Randy Travis are what Nate and I fell in love to.

Paul Overstreet's lyrical truths helped save me from a steep slide years ago.

At the moment "The River" is flowing out of our speakers. Oh, those high school dances...


Technology doesn't only move us forward, it takes us back, too.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Wimps (WARNING: UNPLEASANT CONTENT)

I generally consider myself one. A wimp, that is. I can't handle pain very well. I had epidurals with all four pregnancies, which was wonderful, but avoidance of any pain nonetheless. When I'm sick it's the end of the world. I have a horrible gag reflex, and can hardly even clean up my own child's vomit without doing so myself. Changing diapers has become a balancing act between holding the scented wipe to my nose and cleaning up the dirty deed. I can't watch surgery shows on tv, let alone think too long of my sister (she's a surgeon) actually operating on someone. In all reality, I am a wimp.
But, motherhood is not for wimps.
This realization hit me suddenly yesterday as I was scrubbing excrement out of the bathtub. (WARNING!) You see, Ian had somehow completely melted a Christmas chocolate I didnt know he even had, then proceeded to eat it. But it was melted. So, instead of going into his mouth, it dripped all over his body AND the couch.
"AAAAGGGHHH!" came my alarmed response. I whisked him up to the tub. No sooner was the tub filled and water off when I noticed a floating brown substance. "Ian, I thought I got all the chocolate off you already."
He just looked at me with a big grin.

It wasn't chocolate.

"AAAAGGGHHH!" came my alarmed response. So, I lifted him up out of the tub by the armpits, naked body dangling in the air, only to find his chubby little buns had been concealing much more of the "brown substance" than originally estimated. I sat him in the sink, which made him laugh, while my mind raced to find the best course of action. The "substance" was now not only in the tub, but dripped accross the bath mat, the floor, the counter, and now fermenting in the porcelain bowl where my jolly son sat.

Jump to 45 minutes later.

As I'm scrubbing out the tub as hard as my arms will manage, the realization hits me: I must not be a wimp, because motherhood is not for wimps! But, I am a wimp. And I am so often. I guess I will continue to live in these parallel universes, where I am and am not a person who can handle difficult and often disgusting circumstances.

Jump to 20 minutes later. I find Ian squealing with delight as he rolls peanut M&M's down the arm of a chair, watching as they flip off the end and fall with a bounce on the carpet. I walk around the chair and discover a very large pile of M&M's on the floor.

Jump to 25 minutes later. Ian is trying to be very helpful and carry his soup bowl to the counter. Never mind that it's not empty yet. (All mothers know right now what I spent the next ten minutes doing.) I was able to maintain my peace of mind and, rather than get upset with him for making a very big mess, thank him for being so helpful. He smiled, hugged me, and said, "Yur welcome."

Motherhood is not for wimps.
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Monday, December 26, 2005

What did YOU get?

I always LOVE hearing what everyone received for Christmas! So, I'll tell you mine, if you'll tell me yours, eh?
Some of the highlights:
* a Taylor guitar t-shirt I've been coveting
* the Narnia sountrack
* Angela Thomas' "When Wallflowers Dance"
* a subscription to US Weekly... yipee!
* a pink suede jacket
* a black faux fur neck wrap with matching gloves
* the extreme joy of watching my kiddos' excitement at opening "just what they wanted."
* Oh, and I gave the kids all of the Chronicles of Narnia on audio cd (the ones from Focus on the Family). But, that was also a gift for me, since I can hardly wait to listen to them!!!

Okay, your turn!

P.S.
Nate LOVED the "More Cowbell" t-shirt I gave him. Total surprise. And it's perfect. I think I'll get a matching one and we can wear them on dates. (I'm such a nerd!)
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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

And in the final minutes of such a glorious celebration I'm logging on to wish everyone a wonderfully merry Christmas! Ours was perfect, and I hope yours was as well. (As perfect as perfect can be with four sleep deprived, sugar filled, overly-excited children.) How amazing that Jesus was just a baby, like any other little baby boy. This thought always crosses my mind a lot during this season. I look at my boys and wonder what must have gone through Mary's mind, knowing she would have to give up her son one day in such a horrible but necessary way. Could I give up my boys? Could I even bear living with that thought?
But she did.
And he died.
And I won't have to give up my boys because she already did.

Merry Christmas.
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Friday, December 23, 2005

Good Tidings We Bring...

I never did get the gingerbread men formed. The speaker wires were still hanging funny in the family room. The coffee wasn't made yet when the first guests came through the door. In fact, I was still getting ready upstairs. I didn't have any fun activities planned, besides the White Elephant. And even though I only made the phone calls this last week, those that could come had fun.
Every time we have people over I worry about the stuff that no one ever notices. Or, if they do notice the food on the kitchen wall that I couldn't get off, they certainly don't care. And when they accidentally spill Salsa or their drink on the floor, they don't have to feel so awful. Hey, the carpet is already disgusting! What's one more color added to the mix?
In the end it's fun, fellowship, and good friends made better friends. Isn't that what life is all about anyway?
So, here's looking forward to next year's get together. Maybe the Thong Santa Suit will make an encore White Elephant appearance. =^)
(Thorntons, we wish you could have been here. We're sure you're having fun with family! People asked about you. Maybe next year?)
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Going Out

I really don't want to face the last minute rush that is gaining in momentum just outside my cozy abode. The cars, the people, the craziness. I really don't. But we need decorations for the gingerbread men! Because they are so much more fun with the little silver ball buttons. I must be brave.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Why I never finish anything

I'm putting the wet clothes from the washer into the dryer. The phone rings. I go to answer it. My wonderful hubby is calling to say hi from work. Brit, who's supposed to be in bed asleep, is in the upstairs bathroom and yelling for "assistance." I go to "help," still on the phone. She's now back in bed, I close her door, and am asked to hold for a minute while Nate deals with "work." In this instant I see into my open bedroom, and the clutter that has collected. I'm on hold, so I go tidy a bit while waiting. I put some laundry away, which brings me to the stark realization my closet is in worse shape than my bedroom. I start tending to it instead. Nate comes back on the line. My closet's a little nicer, but I need to throw these bags away before continuing. I head back downstairs. I notice I never finished putting the dinner dishes in the dishwasher. Still on the phone I get a few thing cleaned, then say goodbye to the one whom I miss so much when he works nights. I need a new dishtowel, so I fold a bit of laundry on the couch while I'm digging to find one I like. (Every homemaker has dishtowels she doesn't like but hangs onto because she feels guilty throwing them away.) I find it, and go to wipe up the counter, only to find the bags I was throwing away. I head to the garage to put them in the trash can. As I walk through the laundry room I am reminded of what I was originally doing before the phone rang: switching laundry. I finish putting the wet clothes in the dryer, and quickly put a fresh load in the washer before I forget what I'm doing.

I push the clean laundry aside on the couch and flop down to finally (at 9:45) have my dinner while trying to finish the Christmas cards that never got sent out LAST YEAR!
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Monday, December 19, 2005

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

The Christmas cards have yet to make their trek down to the mailbox. I forgot to include our Disneyland trip in the "yearly update" and the envelopes aren't sealing for some reason. The gingerbread men are still in the egg carton/sugar bag/vanilla bottle until I form them. The christmas cookies are in the same state. The calls still need to be made to invite friends over Friday night. Ian's stocking is still the cheesey Santa one that used to be Grams', and not the nice handmade one that everyone else has. The presents aren't wrapped yet. I'm not quite done with shopping. (Am I ever?) I still haven't taken the kids to the nursing home to visit the elderly like I wanted. I've given up on having Christmas lights this year, even though this house is perfect for it. I haven't learned the songs for the Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services yet, and there's a lot of them. The house is still a mess from spending so much time putting up the tree, which is leaning more and more sideways by the hour.

And Christmas is less than a week away.

It is generally this time of year that I start to stress and panic over all the things that aren't done. As the days go by I turn into a tornado, whirling around trying to tie up all the loose ends so a picture perfect Christmas can be had by all. But...

this year I'm trying something new. I fully acknowledge all that is not yet accomplished, and will tend to things as I have time. But I will take an afternoon to play games with the kids. I will wear my Santa hat and Reindeer antlers, complete with blinking nose, throughout my activities... even to the Post Office. I will invite friends over, even if they have to witness the dust on the shelves and spilt milk in the kitchen corner. I will stop to give my hubby some lovin'. I will not beat myself up over the things that didn't get done by Christmas Eve morning. I will slow down and remember the reason I am doing all these things in the first place:

Jesus. He came to bring peace and life to us. I want to bring peace and life back into my Christmas.
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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Hark!

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.
Please to put a penny in the old man's hat,
Please to put a penny in the old man's hat.

If you have no penny, a hay penny will do.
If you have no hay penny then God bless you,
If you have no hay penny then God bless you.

I remember learning this Christmas carol in the fourth grade, and I've never forgotten it. (A fact my husband detests every December.) I think half the fourth grade sang it and the other half played it on their recorders. I remember Good King Wenceslas following it, too.

Good King Wenceslas looked down on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and thick and even...

Now I'm trying to teach my kids all the carols I know. So many have funny words or don't seem to make any sense. And often I can't help but make up my own meaning.

"Mom, what's a hay penny?"
"A hay penny is made out of hay that's been pressed together really tight. It was cheaper to make them that way a long time ago during wars when they needed to use all the metal to make chains for the prisoners."

But I can never keep a straight face, hence the truth is always given away.

So, if any of you who happen by this blog ever need any help with your Mental Carol Catalogue, I would be glad to assist! I know quite a few, and I'm a bit mental.
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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Manolo's, Steve Madden, Target...

The point is I love shoes. It doesn't quite matter where they're from or how much they cost. As long as they make a high pitched "eeee" involuntarily well up in my thoat they are akin to euphoric drugs. I would love to own a pair of Manolo's, Jimmy Choos, or even Prada. That will most likely never happen, unless I win some or a very giving wealthy woman decides to bestow on me her closet. (It could happen.) Or maybe designers will start sending them to me to give feedback. I'm a great critic!

But I will always grace the Steve Madden sale rack, as well as buy their less expensive ones at Ross. And I will keep on hunting for stylish AND comfortable ones at Target. But I will tend to err on the side of style, giving up comfort for the sake of looking cute.

All that to say, I was at the mall today with a friend for four hours and did not get a pair of shoes. This is so out of character. I got a cute sweater and some great VS undies, but no shoes. It kind of creates a fever in me that wants to go back as soon as possible and hunt for some that will bring on the "eeee." (That only happens when they are superb AND affordable.)


Maybe I'll win the Manolo's from the USA Weekend contest. Eh?
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I win

I win

My body is covered in bruises and bloody scrapes. My hands are constantly stinging from little pine needle pricks. I am physically worn out and yet strangely satisfied. The tree is up! Not only is it up, it is adorned with lights. And I did not simply wrap the lights around in big circles. NO! I followed the White House tradition of wrapping each branch individually. It looks much better, even if it takes four times as long. Having had no help whatsoever, I can say I feel rather smug at the moment... even if it took half the day yesterday and all day today. And even if I yelled a few times at the kids to get out of the living room if they valued their lives.
My house is a wreck, but the tree is up.

I win.

However, this experience has led me to greatly consider Sears' After Christmas Sale, at which artificial trees will be 90% off. I swore I wouldn't ever do it. But, I do not relish the thought of taking the lights back OFF the tree now that they are so intricately woven IN the tree. As with giving birth, time takes away the bad memories and only leaves you with the good. We'll see if three weeks is enough time to talk my bloody hands out of buying that fake tree at Sears.

SO! I HAVE:
*Put up my own 12 foot Christmas tree.

*gone skydiving.

*Met Matthew McConaughey.

What have YOU done? It would be nice to get a better resonse than yesterday. (Thanks, Susie!)
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I've never... (an addendum)

Okay, an addendum to today's previous blog post. A friend had a good idea, and I couldn't wait 'til tomorrow to post it.

I've never gone snorkeling.

I've never watched the Brady Bunch.

I've never been to New York.


Now it's your turn! What have you never done???
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Wrestling trees...

Coming from Oregon, I am used to paying next to nothing for a fabulous tree. For me, $40 for a 10 footer is a rip off. However, this is Colorado and the rules have changed. This may explain why last night around 7pm I became extremely giddy when a "tree guy" said he'd sell me a beautiful 12 footer for $68. I clapped my hands together and exclaimed, "really? That tree? We'll take it!" In three weeks I will basically be setting $70 by the curb so the garbage man can throw it in the dump.

Now I have a gorgeous 12 foot tree laying on the side of my house waiting for me to wrestle it inside and put it up... by myself. Nate's out of town until Friday, and since Christmas season in our home doesn't officially begin until the tree is up, I am going to win this wrestling match. Today. In just a few minutes. I was able to get it off the roof of the Suburban last night, so I'm pumped that I can do this.

I will make the fresh cut with the saw all by myself.

I will hoist it into position all by myself. (I will put on the stand while it's still laying down so I have better odds.)

I will string the lights carefully around each branch so they are evenly distributed and glowing gloriously... all by myself.

This is going to work! Ha! I will win and the Christmas season will officially be here at the White House in Denver! (Listen, please don't pop my bubble right now. It's all I have.)
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Monday, December 12, 2005

Runny nose, itchy eyes, aching throat and other various body parts

What I'm not clear on is if I have a cold or if I'm just crashing after having two very busy, very taxing long weekends in a row, with a tough week sandwiched inbetween. I guess these symptoms can go either way. So, I will cling to my Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet Tea and hunker down in my flannel jingle bell pajamas. I'm still in operation mode, mind you. There's too many tasks screaming for my attention to go dormant. But, at least I will feel cozy and comforted... even if my eyes can hardly remain open.
I'm tough. I can hang on 'til nap time. OR I could put on a movie for the kids and go crawl in bed for a bit now. Hmmmm...
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Friday, December 9, 2005

Surviving...

If I survive motherhood... Well, of course I'll survive. I just don't know if I'll be sane or not by the time the kids are grown. I don't want to be one of those sixty year old women who goes from young mom to young mom warning of the perils of raising children. I've encountered too many of those!

Taylor and I got into it again this morning. It started with him yelling at his brother and just escalated from there. I almost lost it, but locked myself in the bathroom for a few minutes instead and pleaded for wisdom. "Jesus help me. Jesus help me. Jesus help me." It was about like that. He did, and I was able to remain calm and deal with things the right way.

One thing's for sure: Taylor will either grow up to become a successful man of great genius and wisdom, or a bitter and angry man who tries to control the world around him to no avail. There will be no middle ground for this boy.

All this and he's only nine! What are we going to do when, Heaven forbid, he's sixteen???????

Jesus help me. Jesus help me. Jesus help me.
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Thursday, December 8, 2005

30 Compressions to every 1 Breath

Did you know that? They changed the CPR guidelines recently. Check for breathing/pulse. If none, give two big breaths, and then 30 compressions. One breath. 30 compressions. Repeat. That's right. It used to be fifteen. "They" found that chest compressions are the most important thing in keeping the person alive. And don't worry about re-assesing them, just keep going until the paramedics arrive. Keeping the blood flowing is more important than getting maximum air to the lungs. Good to know. Good to know.
This was brought to my mind Tuesday. My Handsome Hubby and I were driving to Boulder in the snow and ice. Suddenly a Jeep Liberty two cars up started to fishtail, veered into the inside lane, spun around so it was facing the wrong way, skidded toward the ditch, and then flipped twice. Very high flips, I might add. Nate was on the cell when it first started fishtailing, and as it was skidding for the ditch I was saying, "Honey, get off the phone. We're going to have to call 911." He was so brave and amazing. As I talked to the 911 dispatcher (first time ever calling them, thank goodness) he jumped out and ran to help. The other cars that had been around us just drove on past!!! A few others behind did stop, though.
Nate pulled a very shaken 18 year old college student out of the car. Thankfully she was fine, just in shock. No telling what would have happened, though, had her seatbelt not been on! We put her in our Suburban, with the blessed heated seat, and then sat there with her for the next 20 minutes as the paramedics checked her out and then the State Patrol came.
But in the midst of those first few intense moments the thing that kept running through my mind was, "They just changed the guidelins. 30 Compressions. 30 Compressions." It was nice to know that in the heat of the moment I haven't forgotten how to try and save a life.
Now I know what it's like to call 911.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Too late

As in "I'm up too late." Why do I do this? Nate's out of town. I stay up too late. Now tomorrow I'll be the grumpy mama bear. Phooey. I think it must have something to do with the not wanting to climb into an empty bed. Or maybe it's the "this is my chance to get *insert project* done!" feeling I have every time he's gone for a few days.

Or it could just be that I'm lazy and procrastinate to the point that I even put off going to bed. You know, my memory is bad enough that maybe I've forgotten HOW to go to bed. At least how to go to bed on time. I better start remembering because I don't like being the grumpy mama bear any more than the kids like dealing with one.

Dear Lord, help me have more self discipline!!!
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Saturday, December 3, 2005

Want vs. Need

Now if this was an issue of shoes, the answer would be clear. I don't need any new shoes, I just want them. Well, kind of. I personally think I need knee-high brown skinny heeled boots, as well as a couple more pairs of casual flats... but I don't NEED them.
The issue is a dog. I desperately want one. My desperation has grown more and more intense as my husband shows no signs of waning on his no-dog stance. I understand he may be bitter, as our last two died. I understand he wants to keep our family's freedom of being able to leave whenever without having to worry about who's going to feed and water the one left at home.
However, I get quite frustrated because I grew up with animals. (So did he.) I want my children to have the same experience. Playing in the backyard. Camping trips with their clever canine. True, unbending friendship. But, do we NEED one? Probably not. Do I NEED one when my hubby's at work at night, the kids are in bed, and I'm alone and just a little scared? That's when I yearn for the sound of a tail wagging against the furniture, padded feet trotting over the kitchen floor. It's when I long to run my fingers through fur and snuggle with a dog on the couch. This is what I mean by NEED.
So, as once again he says we're not getting one anytime soon, the tears play at the corners of my eyes and I try to stiffle my yearning. It's not that I don't understand, because I do. Freedom is nice... but companionship is nicer.
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Friday, December 2, 2005

The Beauty of it All

One little look, just a few words from his mouth, and everything is put into perspective. It's amazing the power a 2 2/1 year old can have. He can stop the whole world. Everything else around him pauses and there is only our eye contact. A brief second, then I sweep him up in my arms and we both burst with laughter.
I can be tired, frustrated, grumpy, devestated, any myriad of emotions that seem so prevelant with me. But he comes running in anyway! "Ur yoo okayy?" or, "Mom, mom, I'm Bob Mato singin!" or, crackers bursting from his mouth with each syllable, "Yur Santa!"
Suddenly it's just him and me, with all else faded into the background. What I was feeling or thinking previously is no longer of any importance anywhere in the world. All that matters is how fast I can scoop up this little squirming bundle of arms and legs, how tight I can squeeze him, and how many kisses I can get in before he inevitable screeches, "Mommm, put me down!"
And everything is beautiful again.
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Thursday, December 1, 2005

Wild Goose Chase

My hubby calls me a Narnia Nerd. So be it! I'm not all crazy into Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings, but I have always been a Narnian at heart. So, after seeing an add in the paper, I throw the kids in the car and race like a madwoman over to try and get my greasy little hands on advance screening tickets... only to come away empty handed. I missed them by mere minutes. Why do I even try? Why do I even try? I should just sit at home and wait until the rest of the nation to witness a miracle on the silver screen.

But I did hear of a contest... maybe...
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