Friday, February 27, 2009

Created To Be His Help Meet

I've just finished reading "Created To Be His Help Meet" by Debi Pearl. The gist of her book is, "Do you want to have a fabulous marriage? Do you want your husband to treat you like a queen? Then you have to treat him like a king, and here's what the Bible says about how to do that." I'd love to go into great and fascinating detail, but I'm sure I'd botch it up (I think I already have at least once) since some of the topics could be a bit controversial, especially in our rather feminist society. So here's my little plug for it -- check it out, read it, and then let me know what you think.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Potty Training Mission (almost) Complete

Poor Elijah has such a mean mommy. I know he knows how to go potty all by himself, and so I am trying (with slowly increasing success) to get him to go by himself (particularly if I am in the midst of something not easily set aside, like a spelling test perhaps). But he is SO SURE he needs help that he will stand there doing the potty dance and begging until he pees his pants in front of me! Argggg!

When I do accompany him to the bathroom, my duty consists of saying, "Pull down your pants. Now sit on the toilet." Job done. He can handle it from there. So why is it so critical that I be there? Seriously? Can someone explain this to me? I know, three-year-olds aren't rational. That may just be all there is to it.

Thankfully he is getting better at going alone, especially if I make him a deal like, "you go potty while I make your snack," or "you do it yourself while I get a video ready for you." He doesn't really buy "you go potty while I give your brother his spelling test" though. Hrmpf.

All that said, I am very grateful to be past the diaper stage -- VERY GLAD INDEED!

Monday, February 23, 2009

It was a dark and starry night...

Since I failed to mention this earlier, most of you probably missed this, although I think it's still visible for a few more nights -- just not quite as stunning as tonight. Saturn and Comet Lulin are racing across the sky together this month, and tonight Lulin was at it speak brightness. We could see both of them with the naked eye, but of course got out the telescope for a better view. If you want to see them for yourself, look for them below the constellation Leo in the eastern sky from dusk until about 10 p.m. and more in the southern sky between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. The picture below can help you out.

Lulin was discovered in 2007 and scientists suspect it is a virgin comet (this is its first swing through our solar system). For more details, check out these two sites:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Never a dull... breakfast

8:00 a.m. some weekday morning

Levi: "Mom, I'm hungry. Can I have a snack?"
Me: "We're going to have breakfast in just a few minutes. Why don't you pick out the cereal you want and put it on the table."
Levi: "Okay."

Sounds straighforward enough, right? Nothing is straighforward with Levi. Here is what I encounter on the dining room table five minutes later: every box of cereal we had in the cupboard, a jug of milk, spoons, a plate (but no bowls) at each place with one strawberry on each plate except mine, and a half-empty can of olives from the fridge ("cuz there weren't enough strawberries for you to have one, so you can have olives instead"). Even breakfast is an adventure with this boy!

* The above picture is not from breakfast -- it's just a random picture of a typical day with Levi. Here he illustrated his skeleton.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our Budding Song Writer

On Sunday we attended church with Dad and Mom Howard in Bismarck. It has a large sanctuary with screens on either side of the stage. During one of the songs, a spacey background with stars, planets and galaxies rolled behind the lyrics. Isaac was enthralled. After we arrived home he set to work at his desk and wrote these lyrics with accompanying graphics...

For those who have trouble deciphering first grade English (me too -- I had to ask him what it said in a few places) here is a translation.

"Oh Lord, I love you more than a toy. You can reach out of the Milky Way. You are "foller" (huh?) than the solar system. You're bigger than the universe."
"The Lord is greater than anything, not even legos."
"Nothing can stop God."

I had a few reactions, the first being, "Thank-you Lord for wooing Isaac's heart to you! This is an answer to my most earnest prayers!"

The second was, "Apparently Legos rank right up there with the universe and God."

The third was, "Good grief. Our daily spelling lessons are having no effect whatsoever on his phonetically driven writing." Oh well, he's got a few more grades to get it figured out. I'm just glad he enjoys writing!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Clothes!

For Valentine's Day, Wade got me "the one gift guaranteed to make her take her clothes off" -- pajamas! No, I'm not talking about skimpy lingerie. I'm talking about full-coverage, warm and cozy, pink flannel pajamas.

The first night I wore these I woke up feeling so good! I'm not sure whether it had more to do with the fact that I actually got to bed on time the night before, or the fact that I was warm and cozy when I woke up. Usually I wake up slightly cool and NOT wanting to get up and expose myself to more coldness. With these guys on I woke up super-warm and ready to hop out of bed without fear of goosebumps. It was fabulous!

Also on the new clothes front, I bought a new pair of jeans this weekend. As much as I love stretch jeans, I think they wear out faster than traditional denim. The spandex starts to give out in places and I end up with little ripple lines in my pants. Still worth it though for the fit and comfort.

Anywho, back to the shopping experience. Wade is such a good husband and sport. He willingly takes me to Kohls while we're in Bismarck and waits patiently in the clothing department while I try on various pairs of jeans. I am typically a very content and optimistic person, but when trying on jeans I can become cynical, nit-picky, particular, complainy and even ocassionaly whiny. As much as I love spending time with Wade (and we did have a fabulous time shopping together for other things this weekend), I feel bad for him while clothing shopping. He deserves a prize for not making me go alone.

What this whole thing reminded me of, however, is how very much I miss my sister. For us, jeans shopping is a quest, an adventure, a daunting yet thrilling escapade from which we will return victorious. Alone (well, not ALONE, but without another female in the dressing room with me), it's not nearly so much fun and can even be intimidating. Sometimes us not-so-very fashion-savvy gals need a little moral support and honest advice. But alas, driving or flying 1,000 miles just to go jeans shopping is a little unrealistic for me and Kris. Bummer.

So this Valentine's Day I thank God for Wade -- giver of flannel pjs and good jeans shopping sport. I love you Babe!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Nice try, but no cookie

Elijah, picking at his lunch very pokily, was left alone at the table with instructions to finish his last few bites before helping himself to a cookie. A few minutes later he comes running to me in another room to report: "I all done! Now I have cookie?"
Me: "Put your dishes in the dishwasher, then you may get a cookie."
Elijah: "Okay! I put dishes in dishwasher and food in garbage and get cookie!"
Me: "Um, you said you ate all your food. Is there still some on your plate?"
Elijah: "Um...."
Trapped in his own little lie of helpfulness. Nice try buddy, but no cookie yet.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Denver Grass and other colors

We are finally so almost done with the guest bedroom. It's been quite the learning experience for me (and quite the test of patience for poor Wade who had me as his assistant!). The carpet is being installed this week, and then we'll put on the trim and move the bed in!

The highlight for me was choosing a color for the accent wall. I wanted some shade of green (seeing as it's in the basement and has no windows, it needed an outsideish color). So I've got a nice little collection of green paint swatch thingies here, most with food names -- herb garden, mint jelly, olive oil, water cress, slice of cucumber, split pea soup, lime peal. Who names these things? Oh wait, I know -- people like Sharylann! I recall traveling with her and my mom and an aunt one day and she was naming colors -- "Oh look, there's moss-on-the-barn-roof-green!"

After much deliberation (well, actually only like 5 minutes) I settled on Denver grass (grass skirt came in a close second -- do you sense a theme?). Does anybody know for certain whether the grass in Denver is a distinctively different shade than the grass in, say, Tallahassee? I can say for certain the the grass in the Midwest is different than the grass in the Northwest, but Denver must be special for it to have it's very own color.

Now y'all just come on out and visit and we'll put you up in the nice new guestroom -- no more sleeping in the uncarpeted dark recesses of the basement with only the privacy of cubicle walls!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Happy Holiday!

My Random Holiday Cactus and I would like to wish everyone a happy February 6, also known as National Frozen Yogurt Day, Massachusettes Day, National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Lame Duck Day, African-American Coaches Day, Mid-Winter's Day, Police Brutality Day and Carrot Festival. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Practice, Practice, Practice, Blog, Practice

This week Pastor Brad gave me Sunday's list of songs on Monday morning because he was headed out of town for most of the week -- and it's a good thing he did, because he picked some doozies! One hymn with four sharps (which I'll play in three flats -- I just don't do four or more "off" notes), an unfamiliar one, another in three sharps and then this, All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name (second tune). It's familiar and in a decent key, but it's hard!

If anyone isn't familiar with the "second tune" you're missing out because it is hands-down the BEST tune to that particular song, even if I am getting hand cramps trying to master it. It's one of those tunes I'm sure the angels sing regularly. Here's a snippet for those of you who may want to hear what is, in my opinion, one of the grandest pieces of music ever written (although definitely not played as well as it deserves -- oh well, I'm still practicing).

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

They Come in All Types

And we've got one from each end of the spectrum at our house.

One on extreme is Mr. Isaac Practical. For quite some time (years already, and he's only 7) he's wanted to be a train driver. Then along came a fascination with maps and the desire to be a map-maker. This caused great angst for our man-on-a-one-way mission. In fact, it even brought him to tears one night. "I'm going to be a train driver but I want to be a map-maker too and I just don't know what to do!"

In stark contrast is Levi, who changes his mind about what he want to be almost weekly. I'm fine with his indisicion (he is only 5, after all), but the fantastic nature of his choices does make me hope he grows up a little before he really settles on a career! A few he's mentioned in the past couple months include a dinosaur, a volcano, a robot, a snowman, a dragon, Daddy (not just a daddy, but Daddy Himself), a famer (with a corn field) and a fisherman.