Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bad Dreams

This is my worst nightmare. Soooooo not a cat person.

Just reading it made me itchy.

But, it's an awfully cute blog, though.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What I learned from the fruit flies

Due to an unforeseen rotten onion, we got a plague of fruit flies. (Unforseen: in a pot, bottom of the shelf. No clue the onion turned on me.)

All last week, I declared war on those dang flies. Everything food related went into the fridge. All dishes were immediately washed. As soon as the food was gone, the table was instantly wiped down. Are you sensing the urgency?

And I was seriously annoyed the whole time, because sometimes I don't like to do the dishes right away, you know? I even remember asking myself, WHY in the world did God make fruit flies? They are just a HUGE pain in the you-know-what. What purpose do these silly little things serve?

Well, I still have no clue what their biological/eternal purpose is, but because of those flies, I learned that our home runs much more smoothly when I finish one thing before I start the next.

My mother has been trying to teach that for years. As has my husband.

But give the fruit flies one week...and presto! New woman. Ha.

This is a big deal because I tend to live by feeling...if I don't feel like doing the dishes, I don't, until I absolutely have to. And then of course, the stress amps up because I have created a disaster through my inaction. You know who pays for that? The kids and Chet.

So at the end of the day, I am thankful for those fruit flies and more importantly, for the God who created them and gave them to me for the week. Now that I can see the blessings that come with being responsible, my prayer is that I can keep it up.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Early Birthday

My birthday always falls smack-dab in the middle of finals, and last year when I turned 25 we did diddly-squat to celebrate. So my hubs preempted the iminent birthday disaster and planned an early celebration date for us.

Dinner was amazing. It was like my dream meal...Espresso Rubbed Beef Filet Medallions with blue cheese cream, buttermilk mashed potatoes, fresh asparagus, and crisped onion straws. Thank you, Groupon.

Somehow we forgot to get a picture together, but at least we took pictures of each other.

We got to the symphony and Chet started heading for the front row. Chet is kinda sneaky and would totally do something like sneaking up to the front row even if our tickets were for somewhere else, so I was nervous. Turns out, that's actually where our tickets were - right at the edge of the first row.

We were so excited at our seats and couldn't understand how they were still available when Chet bought the tickets. We could literally touch the stage. (They were student tickets, he just got to pick where we sat.)

(Clearly the symphony is not our usual scene, however much we love it.)

The first piece was great - we were so close! Not too many musicians and we could see everything really well. But then, as more of the orchestra came out, we understood why no one wanted those seats.

Butts! Backsides! Rear ends! All we could see were the tushies of the string section. (Insert inappropriate g-string joke here.)

We were cracking up. Pun totally intended.

So we high-tailed it Chet-style to some open seats in the upper level, just in time for Tchaichovsky's 5th Symphony.

Crafty Schmafty

We made Paper Bag People.

(Note: Star Wars t-shirt, aka Star "Words." The favorite of the moment. Not that he has a clue what it is. Deeds always asks, "Who dat guy?" And when I tell him, he says, "Yes, Dawth Baduh.")

I thought it was going to be so fun, making these Paper Bag People, and they'd run around and chase each other and LOVE it.

Not so much. Really, they wore them for the picture and then cried until I helped them tear them off.

(Can't understand why. They look super comfortable. Or as Deeds says, "Super compy.")

Next time I'm calling them Paper Bag Robots and I'll tell the boys that their arms are supposed to jut out at impossible angles because that's just how robots are. Take that, Paper Bag Peeps.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sticks and stones

Since Chet has class two nights each week, I've been trying to use the time to get the boys in the woods, or at the very least outside somewhere where it doesn't feel like the city.

Don't get me wrong, I love the convenience of the city and the way it feels so full of life (especially when you live so close to your neighbors that you can see into their dining room from yours.)

But the older the boys get, the more I want them outside, digging in the mud and building forts and picking up bugs.

I learned some things on our first "hike."

1)Deeds walks slowly.
2) Deeds walks slowly because he is examining every single rock and stick he sees.
3)Deeds will try to pick up and carry every rock and stick he sees which makes him walk even more slowly.

Note to self: next time, take a stroller.

The thing is, Deedo's slowpoke rambling made me realize how often I hurry the boys along. I had to consciously tell myself that we weren't going anywhere in particular, that the whole point was to simply be outside, exploring and enjoying all that God has created. So it ended up being good for me too.


Sorry I've been absent from this little blog here. My computer is really old and I have to jump through an awful lot of hoops just to blog (old browser and suchlikes. I tried to upgrade but it made my computer soooo sloooooow that it just wasn't worth it.)

Plus we've had sickness and strep make the rounds: Sharks got croup, Chet got strep, then I got it, Deeds got an ear infection, Finn got some weird rash that after visiting the doc three times finally was diagnosed as strep, then Deeds got the same rash, and now, a month after it all started, we are on the mend.

I feel like I have months to update. I guess I will just get started.

For now, here's a pic of Hutchinlove, J.D. (taken for his job applications.) I am quite partial to the lovely chalk drawings on our front door. Hopefully those who interviewed Chet will take that into consideration when reviewing his application.

Every time I see this picture, I really want him to say, "I'll see you in court." And throw in some legal gobbledygook like lex rex or a certiorari, or prima facie. Cause that's how you tell a real lawyer from a fake one.

Monday, October 4, 2010

September Reading List

Ok, folks, I have found that some of the best books I have read have come from recommendations from people I know. So I'd love to hear what YOU are reading! I know more of you read than the two people that commented last time, so if you'd be so kind, leave a comment with a book you have read and enjoyed. Please, pretty please? Help a reader out!

One book I would recommend is The Brothers K by David James Duncan . I read this last winter and I saw it at the library again today and got teary just seeing the cover, that's how much I liked it. From Publishers Weekly: "It is a stunning work: a complex tapestry of family tensions, baseball, politics and religion, by turns hilariously funny and agonizingly sad...The book portrays the extraordinary differences that can exist among siblings...and how family members can redeem one another in the face of adversity." (For the record, this is not the same as The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky, though the allusion is there for a reason.)

(Here's last month's list, if you missed it.)


Unwind by Neal Shusterman: A young adult novel, recommended by a friend. There was a second civil war, Pro-life vs. Pro-choice. To end the war, they came up with a compromise: no life can be taken until the age of 13, when parents can choose to "unwind" their children as long as no part of the child technically "dies," thanks to organ donation. The story is about a kid who tries to escape being unwound. It was a quick read, overly dramatic, and utterly unrealistic - but like I said, it's TEEN fiction.

War Child by Emmanuel Jal : Another memoir of a Lost Boy of Sudan. Of the ones I read, this one was the most graphic and challenging, and left images in my head that I will never forget. This is partly because Jal was a child soldier, and his experiences tended to be quite violent. But to see God's hand on him through it all is a powerful thing. Here is a link to a TED talk he gave. It is worth watching.

Giada's Kitchen, and Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis: I love Giada. Everything I have made from her cookbooks has been wonderful. Chet mocks the Giada obsession, but seriously. I love carbs and chocolate, and Giada is very good at making both. What's not to love! Plus I have learned her secrets for making anything "Italian" - take a basic cupcake recipe, throw in some mascarpone or ree-COTT-a, and you've got yourself some Italian cupcakes.

Kitchen Express by Mark Bittman: And my obsession with cookbooks from the library continues. I also really like Mark Bittman. No nonsense, simple recipes that are still delicious. I used this cookbook all summer long. Each recipe took only 20 minutes to prepare and cook, and I could always find something to make with the ingredients in my kitchen.

The Dayuma Story by Ethel Emily Wallis: This book is about the first Auca Christian, Dayuma, and Rachel Saint's relationship with her in leading her to Christ. (I have been trying to read missionary biographies on Sundays. Because it is a day set apart, I am trying to orient my thoughts towards the Lord, so I am excited about the big pile of missionary bio's I borrowed from my in-laws.)

Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman: A very practical book about getting to the heart of your children through training and discipline. One of the things that has stuck with me the most is to view every act of disobedience as an opportunity to point your kids towards their need for Jesus. This book has been very helpful, particularly because our kids are so close together. (I also really like her Wise Words for Moms.)

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: The third and final book in The Hunger Games series. Can you say, "Mocking-lame"? Ok, not that bad. It was an expectation thing. I loved the other two books, but this one fell a bit flat for me.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami: Because I have no idea how to describe this book, here is a summary from Amazon - "15-year-old Kafka Tamura runs away from home, both to escape his father's oedipal prophecy and to find his long-lost mother and sister. As Kafka flees, so too does Nakata, an elderly simpleton whose quiet life has been upset by a gruesome murder...What follows is a kind of double odyssey, as Kafka and Nakata are drawn inexorably along their separate but somehow linked paths, groping to understand the roles fate has in store for them." There were some very beautiful moments right alongside some very disturbing moments.