Wednesday, November 17, 2010

another bad hair day for buddy

Buddy had another bad hair day yesterday. 

As in, he has none.

I knew it was coming.  After all, we had been unwise and let him get super shaggy (which, of course, is just the way we like him).  I had hoped that the doggy hairdresser (we found ourselves a newer, nicer version) could work a miracle, but had a hunch about the way things would turn out.  So when I received a phone call about an hour or so after dropping him off, I wasn't too surprised.  Tried everything, they did.  Shampoo, comb, brush. . .all the doggy tricks they could come up with, but to no avail.  He kindly assured me that because Buddy is so good natured it hadn't been a problem at all and then told me that I was welcome to have someone else give it a whirl if I thought they might have better success. 

It only took me about one second to think of our "someone else" options before I made a decision.

"Go for it," I said.  Which meant that Buddy would step out of the beauty parlor looking just a shadow of his former self.

Was it as bad as I had imagined?  Worse.  Buddy is now only half the man he once was.

I picked him up on the way to get the girls from school and readied myself for the drama that I knew would quickly unfold before my very eyes.  Tears- and lots of 'em, I was afraid.  And poor buddy?  Well, lets just say he wasn't hanging out the window to greet them.

This time, however?  A different reaction.  No tears.  No wailing.  For Buddy, I'm afraid it's even worse. 
The girls have responded with Denial.  Denial with a capital D.

Ryenne climbed in and took a good, hard look at her dog.

And then?

"That's not buddy."   She turned around in her seat, looked straight ahead out the window, and from that moment on, refuses to even look at him.  No hugs of consolation for the poor guy.  No, "don't worry, it will grow back" assurances.  Oh, no.  No compassion whatsoever for his misfortune.

In her mind, buddy no longer exists. 

Kate is in the same camp.  "He looks like a girl," is all she will say.

Talk about being in the doghouse.  In typical boy-like fashion, Courtney laughs and calls him a 'rat' every time he sees him.  Claire teases him, following him around pulling the pom-pom on his tail (designed, I suppose, in a misguided effort to help him preserve some kind of dignity).  And the three oldest girls?  Normally the first thing they do following his haircuts is remove the handkerchief carefully tied around his neck.  I must say I agree - they look ridiculous.  Now, almost 24 hours later, he's still wearing his silly get-up.  The poor guy might as well be invisible.

I tell you what.  Around these parts, bad hair days are nothing to joke about.   In a house full of women, grown-up or otherwise, things of such magnitude are not to be taken lightly.

P.S.  Poor Courtney learned that lesson a long time ago.   The hard way, of course.

Monday, November 8, 2010

falling-down time of the year

Falling-Down Time of the Year

The Fall of the year,
The Fall of the year,
 It's really a very good name, it's clear. 
For leaves fall down
all over town.
They fall on their feet,
and they fall on their crown,
they fall from the trees
til the lawns are brown.
When Summer is over
and Fall is here
in the falling down time of the year.
Aileen Fisher


Sunday, November 7, 2010

more halloween fun

The school's costume parade. . .
 Kate's classroom party. . .

Here we are on the big night, ready to bring in the sugar. 

 Our spooktacular little bat. . . .

 . . .and beautiful indian princess.
My knight in shining armor, Mr. Mad Scientist.
 Miss Minnie Mouse
 We didn't get any pictures at Grandma & Grandpa J's party, but we had a great time.  After getting our fill of supper, we all piled into the family room to watch "Wait Until Dark".  We all about went through the roof at the end, and then had a good laugh at ourselves.

The next night was my family's annual Halloween Party.  Here's a look at the best duds. . .

 Aunt Nan dressed up as Grandpa Bop and Ronnie dressed as Nan!

 What Halloween party would be complete without the mummy game?

All in all, a fabulous Halloween! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

i'm lucky to be alive

The other day I saw a snake.

In my house. 

Shawn saved my life by coming and uhhhh. . .disposing of it.  (Did you know snakes are protected in the this state?)

It took me 24 hours before I could go into the room again. 

I told Shawn that if I see another one, I'm moving in. 

Actually, all six of us.

He looked scared.

He should be.

Courtney is currently outside, uhhhh.  . .disposing of every sneaky little critter he finds.

He has a really good plan, but I can't tell you.  Just in case you like 'em.

If it doesn't work, I am moving. 


In the off-chance Shawn locks his door, do I have any takers? 

I have a mean chocolate cookie recipe, and I'll make them every day.

Every.  Single.  Day.

With the exception of the cookies, you won't even notice us.

Whatdya think?

The End.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

our little ol' pumpkin-walk-ditching-halloween-party

Once upon a time, there was a good little elementary school that held lots of fun little traditions.  Lots and lots, in fact.  One fine day a little family sent their first child to this friendly little school.  Ahhh, kindergarten.  Mommy and Daddy were so happy with the school, and although a little sad to send their first child off to school, they were so happy it was a nice little school with nice teachers and nice little traditions. 

One such tradition was the annual pumpkin walk, at which each class picks a theme and the children decorate their pumpkin according to the theme.  So fun, and not too much work.  You see, one little child with one little pumpkin to decorate is not so difficult.  Soon, however, Mommy and Daddy sent daughter number two off to the nice school and the pumpkin walk became a little trickier.  After all, children wanted a "class pumpkin" and a carved pumpkin.  One pumpkin would not do. 

One day as Mommy was contemplating the multitude of pumpkin chores that lay before her, she had an epiphany.  The pumpkin walk was not vital to daughters wellbeing!  In fact, it was highly likely that they would survive without it!  On the other hand, with Daddy out of town, the likelihood of mommy (and therefore the children) surviving extensive pumpkin decorating was not good.   

Mommy hatched a plan.  A party plan that no one could refuse!  "We will skip the pumpkin walk!,"  she offered.  Instead?  A family party of monstrously simple proportions:  autumn food, pin the nose on the pumpkin, and donut-on-the-string. 

And so it was, a family tradition was born. . .

This year, Claire was not so happy about sharing her donuts.  Each time Emmy came close to getting a bite, Claire got upset and pushed her away.  After all, she had been eyeing up those donuts all. day. long.  When it came to sharing?  She was really naughty.

Like any good parents would do, we just laughed. 

Pumpkin-walk party #4. . .a smashing success!

daddy daughter fun

 The girls had their first daddy-daughter date last week.  They were sooo excited and Daddy made a point to be home that night so he could take them on their first "hot date".   They helped him come up with a costume idea, the mad scientist.  (He has the perfect hair, it looks just like this in the morning! . . . Handsome, I mean.)

The best story of this night is that a few guys were coming to deliver a new washer and dryer.  I had been making costumes all week and the house was a wreck.  Wreck with a capital W.  We had been living without a washer for about 2 weeks and so you can imagine the dirty laundry piled everywhere.  And dishes. . .and toys. . .although I don't really have an excuse for those. 

Anyway, the doorbell rang just as Courtney and the girls were getting ready to head out on their date.  I went to tell the delivery men which door to come to.  Pretty soon, Courtney arrived behind me to tell them a little something about the electrical work.  I could see their eyes grow a little big as they looked at him.  Crazy hair, bow tie. . . Courtney didn't even bat an eye.  He just brought them through the house (I'm sure it just added to their view of this being one of "those houses").   They watched without saying much as he showed them around the laundry room.  Finally, he shrugged and said, "Sorry.  It's a costume party." 

The two college-ish aged guys chuckled nervously and then the one answered, "Yeaaah right.  You should see what I dress up like on my days off."

The girls, of course, had a terrific time on their date.  And their Daddy? 

You betcha.  He's mad about girls, too. 

the reason i laughed at least once today

Monday, November 1, 2010

changing me

A big "thank you!" to those of you who stepped in with some great advice for my parenting woes. It's funny how I get in a slump every so often.  Although I know the answer deep down, it almost always takes some stumbling around to find the source of the problem. 

Let's be honest here.  The source is always me.

Last week I learned it yet one more time.  Sadly, I know it is a lesson I will have to relearn over and over.  When my kids are "naughty", it's almost always signals something I need to change in myself.

Am I praising more than I am reprimanding?

Am I taking the time to enjoy them?  Am I being present for those little moments that happen throughout our busy day?  Am I laughing with them?

Am I kind in my response? 

Do I treat them the way I would wish to be treated?  Even when I am tired, busy, or just plain grouchy?

Because, you see.   If I am not doing these things, why will they? 

When I do remember, I see things change.  It never takes long. . .and I can sense the transformation almost instantaneously.  A miracle, almost- right before my very eyes.  Never perfection, mind you.  (That would be silly of me to expect.)  But a change for the better, nonetheless. 

"The values of the world wrongly teach that "it's all about me."  That corrupting attitude produces no change and no growth.  It is contrary to eternal progress toward the destiny God has identified in His great plan for his children.  The plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ lifts us above our selfish desires and teaches us that life is all about what we can become.

A great example of unselfish service is the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta. . .She taught that "one thing will always secure heaven for us- the acts of charity and kindness with with we have filled our lives."  "We can do no great things," Mother Teresa maintained, "only small things with great love."  Dallin H. Oaks, May 2009.  (read more here.)
As a mother, I am learning that the direction of my family often depends upon the course of my own life.  So often it is the seemingly insignificant, daily interactions that make the biggest difference.  A big responsibility, yes.  The little things, such as the way I speak to my children, can do much to alter the feeling that we have in our home.  I know that in the scheme of things, I am only one person, doing a "small thing".  However, I can do this with greater love.  I can be kinder and more unselfish as I serve the people who I care about so much.

Because this small thing that I find myself in the midst of?  It happens to be the most important thing I will ever do.  One really good guy and four sweet girls.  They are my whole world.

And as such, they are worth changing for.