Friday, November 28, 2008

Sloan Sayings - The Thanksgiving Edition

We're in Arkansas this weekend visitng family. We had a great, relaxing Thanksgiving yesterday and today the cousins come in so the kids are giddy with excitement. Sloan has had a couple of real gems the last couple of days. I thought I'd record them for future reference.

We were driving home the other night after eating dinner out and Sloan piped up from the backseat:

S - "Dad, can we say fag?"

L (stifiling a laugh) - "No, son, that's not a word we need to say."

S - "Why? It's not a bad word. It's not f%#k. It's fag - you know- like bag. Fag."

(At this point Lee and I are having a hard time holding back the laughter. What are the odds that he would accidentally land on that word? Seriously! We went on to explain to him that that word didn't really mean anything and since it didn't mean anything he didn't need to say it. Honestly, that kid...To know the full story of how he knows the F-word, read here.)

Yesterday, we ate thanksgiving dinner at Lee's grandmother's retirement center. This is his grandmother on his dad's side. A couple of years ago, his granny on his mom's side passed away and we all miss her dearly, especially at Thanksgiving because she made such yummy pies and she just doted on the great-grandkids. As we walked down the hall to the dining room, we passed a little white haired lady walking with a cane. Sloan stopped and said hi, then proceeded to say this:
Sloan - "Hi. You look like granny. But you can't be granny because she's dead. But you look just like granny, but you're not granny because she's dead."
Lee and I walked up just as he said it a third time and tried to quickly brush it off saying, "Yeah granny passed away and we miss her, right?"
Sloan (nodding his head) - "Yeah, we miss granny but that's not granny because granny's dead."

At this point we decided that we really need to work on social graces with the boy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Just like that, I was in 7th grade again...

I went shopping today. I still have quite a bit of Christmas shopping to do, but I'm proud to say I finished most of it this afternoon. Thanks to my mom for making that possible by keeping the kids for me!

While I was at a local store, I came across a small bottle of perfume. It was the first perfume I ever owned. My grandmother, Mimi, gave it to me when I was 12. Anybody else remember! ? There was one tiny, battered little box on the table so I opened it up and sprayed a little on my wrist. With one sniff of that scent, I time warped back to 7th grade. We were still fairly new to town and I was self-concsious. I was stuck in that awful, gawky, Irish Setter stage of life, all knees, elbows and nose. I had yet to shave my legs and I wasn't allowed to wear make-up. I was in junior high, navigating my way through a whole new world of catty, petty hesaidshesaid. I had frizzy hair due to a bad perm (it was 1990 people) and oily skin thanks to the brand new hormones raging through my body.

Outwardly, I still hated the opposite sex, though I possessed secret crushes on a couple of the boys in my class. I would never admit to these crushes, though, because then I would absolutely die from humiliation. I was dramatic and silly. I was still a bit of a tomboy and got into the occasional fight with the neighbor boy. I gave him a black eye that year. Byt the next year, however, the boys had finally outgrown me and I grew smart enough to stop picking fights.

In seventh grade, I desperately wanted to fit in, but did not know how. Not being from St. Louis, I was an outsider trying to compete with people who'd known each other for years. When I began seventh grade, I was still very innocent. My parents did such a good job of protecting my brother and I that I did not know a lot of heartache or hurt. In seventh grade, however, I experienced death for the first time when my aunt died without explanation. In seventh grade, I also realized that sometimes life is tough and that there is pain that can be much deeper than the surface wounds I had always known. In seventh grae, I lost a bit of innocence due to painful and trying family circumstances that surrounded my aunt's death. But, in seventh grade, I also saw strength modeled with grace as my parents held our family together despite their own heartaches. In seventh grade, I knew true peace because it was modeled to me through my parents.

I learned a lot in seventh grade. I learned more as the years went on and innocence melted away. But nothing stands out more to me than seeing my parents lean on one another through the most disheartening of circumstances. And I am thankful for that model. It is that model that gave me the ability to say to my own husband on our wedding day that I will never, ever divorce him. Times may get tough - but I was shown that love can withstand. And that's what I learned in seventh grade.

Now I'm going to go take a shower because I still smell like that perfume and it's really not that great of a smell...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Family Advent Fun

Yesterday, Lee and I took Sloan to the Family Advent Workshop at our church. I'm so impressed at how well organized this event is. They have so many people volunteer to help and they make some really fun, unique little crafts. It's great fun for the kids and adults. Lee and I really enjoyed having the time alone with Sloan. We don't get much one on one time with him so it was fun to just walk around with him and watch him put together the little crafts. He got dangerously good with a hot glue gun. I love that kid. Here are a few of the treasures we came home with:
Sloan liked gluing stuff all over his bird house - mostly I think he enjoyed playing with the glue gun. We got to make three jars of the cookie mix so we'll be enjoying cookies for quite some time!
We came home with five or six of these little ornaments because my mom was helping out in that room and so we just kept making them. They're pretty cute though...

Sloan's favorite craft was the nativity scene. They gave everyone a little kit with all the characters in it and you glued them into the manger and added the star and sawdust. It turned out really cute. This is something we'll probably keep forever.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Pilgrims have landed! A Brief History...

When I was fifteen years old, I went on my first mission trip to the former Soviet Union. We spent two weeks in Belarus and Moscow. Part of our program was to go to different schools and show pictures of our every day lives and explain what life was like for us as American teenagers. One of my pictures was of my family celebrating Thanksgiving. The first time it was my turn to speak, I was very, very nervous. I wanted to make sure I spoke slowly enough for the students to understand me and I was afraid of leaving out important details. I should have been more worried about giving false information...

When I got to the Thanksgiving picture I was on a bit of a roll but was still dealing with my nerves. As I spoke about Thanksgiving, suddenly our leaders and interpreters in the back of the room started laughing. As I went on, I noticed them laughing more and more visibly. After the program was over, I came over to them, wondering what on earth I'd said that was so hysterical. Apparently, my explanation of Thanksgiving was this:

"This is a picture of my family celebrating Thanksgiving. In America, we celebrate Thanksgiving to remember...the...pilgrims landing, um, on earth. So we get together and have a big meal together..."

Seriously? The pilgrims landing on earth? That was my first legitimate and real blonde moment. I've only had a handful of those in my lifetime, most between the ages of 15 and 20. Needless to say, I have never lived that down. People still bring it up - namely my parents.

So here I am, much older and wiser. So to comemorate my wisdom and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, here is a brief history of Thanksgiving:

*In 1621, the colonists of Plymouth and the Wapanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest. Gathering together for a large feast, everyone pitched in to prepare the meal. Historians can't say for sure what foods were actually consumed during the feast, but they know that venison and wild fowl were on the list due to journal records. *

Gathering to give thanks for the harvest was actually a longstanding tradition with the colonists, and there are several recorded events that took place before the 1621 meeting. Nevertheless, the feast of 1621 has long been acknowledged as the first official Thanksgiving and it is this meeting that we celebrate yearly. We celebrate to thank our Maker for the blessings He has bestowed upon us, for the way that He has provided, for the bounty that we are all blessed to share. And we thank Him that the pilgrims landed on earth...


*For more information go to this website.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Beaming with Pride

On Sunday we had Landon dedicated at church. Despite our better judgement, we decided to take Sloan and Tia out of their classes and bring them up on stage with us and make it a family affair. It started out well. The pastor was giving wisdom on the importance of raising children in a home that honors and serves God. He spoke on mine and Lee's job as shepherds of our children and the church's role to come alongside the parents and support them. Shortly after our pastor began speaking, however, I got sidetracked. How, you ask?

Well, first, Tia reached over and slugged Sloan in the chest. Not to be outdone, Sloan punched her back. Lee's grasp on both of their hands tightened and his gaze upon the pastor grew much more intense. I tossed them the evil mom eye but it was quickly spiraling out of control. At our church, when babies are dedicated, they put up a picture of the baby on the monitors. When Landon's picture came up, Sloan started pointing and saying "Hey Tia, look! It's Bubba's picture. It's Landon, look Tia!" At this point the first two rows are smirking and chuckling politely. Then the Pastor asks us to join him in prayer. This was the icing on the cake.

As he began praying, Sloan dropped to his knees and bowed forward, hiding his face in his hands. Tia thought this was hilarious and did the same. Then they both peeked at each other and snickered. I'd like to say that we are so full of piety in the Stuart home that we normally pray face down, but that is not the case. There was no real good excuse for this. By this point, the first few rows are visibly laughing, their shoulders bouncing up and down as they try to control themselves. Lee and I are also trying hard not to laugh because what else are you going to do when your kids are bowed down prostrate in front of the whole church?

As soon as the pastor finished his prayer, none of which I really heard unfortunately, Lee reached down and quickly pulled the kids up. We said thank you to our pastor and made as hasty a retreat as we could out the side door. As we passed those sitting in the front they were all laughing and shaking their heads. Needless to say it wasn't one of our finest moments as a family...

Here we are at the beginning when things were still going relatively well. But, as you can see, Tia is about to get the ball of shame rolling.
This is Sloan loudly pointing out Landon's picture and laughing like it was hilarious. Note the other family up there who were also dedicating their youngest. See the kids standing quietly and sweetly?This picture is a little blurred but you can see Lee pulling Sloan up off the floor. Notice the kids in the other family once again, still standing next to their parents so well behaved...
One of the great things about blogging is that what could have been a very frustrating and embarrassing situation instead became funny to me as all I could think when leaving the sanctuary was, This is going to make a great post. Lindsey, I'm going to get back to you on what to do about fighting kids, but as you can see, we've not quite got a handle on it!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The same, but different

Last week, I quasi-chronicled my ridiculous fear of crickets and my unfortunate (for the cricket) encounter with one in my bathroom. A couple of people asked where my valient husband was that I had to massacre the cricket on my own. He was out of town, otherwise, yes, he would have come to my rescue. I'm no damsel in distress, but I do recognize my own limits as a girl and in general I let my man do the killing. It makes him feel good and it spares me a heart attack. And, let me tell you, Lee is not only good at killing crickets and spiders...

A couple of years ago, Lee and I were just laying down to go to bed. It was around 10:00 and we were exhausted. As we laid down we heard a dog barking incessantly right outside our bedroom wall. After about fifteen minutes of listening to the dog's methodical, rhythmic bark, I sat up and said, "Seriously! Are you kidding me?!" I got up and walked to the back door and flipped on the back porch light. Just behind our fence in the back is a small cluster of trees, or a tangle of weeds, however you want to look at it. In front of that cluster stood a dog I've never seen before (nor have I seen it since this fateful night) and he was barking maniacally. I opened the door and gently told it to stop barking (I think my exact words were, "For the love, SHUT UP!") But the dog was worked up. There was obviously something in that cluster of trees/weeds that he wanted. At this point Lee walked out and we both put our shoes on to go investigate.

We very cautiously tiptoed up to where the dog stood. Lee gave the pooch a kick - uh, I mean gentle nudge with his toe - and we peered into the trees. At this point I was certain some kind of monster of death was going to leap out at us so I admit I was hanging back a little farther than Lee.

"Go get me a flashlight," Lee whispered. I ran inside, retrieved the flashlight and returned to him. He flipped it on and two huge, black eyes were suddenly shining back at us. I yelped and jumped back, and if I'm being honest, Lee did too - but don't tell him I told you that. It was a possum. But it wasn't any old possum. It was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Possum. It was huge. And it was hissing at us. Did you know possums hiss? Well, they do.

We quickly figured out that if we didn't do something to get rid of this animal we would be getting no sleep that night as this random dog was freaking out. So Lee asked me to go get a shovel.

"Why?" I asked.
"Just do it," Lee said. Knowing better than to argue with a man hopped up on adrenaline, I ran to the garage and got him a shovel, then I dashed back about ten yards. Lee needed me to hold the flashlight for him so he could see, but I had no intention of being close by when that possum was knocked loose. This is why women live longer than men - common sense...

What happened next was like a scene from a very bad horror movie. Lee knocked the possum down, angering the creature. In an act of self defense, he then began hitting the possum over and over, whopping and hollering the whole time. The dog started barking and hopping around and I'm standing in the corner of the yard cringing and yelping every time I hear the shovel meet the possum. Finally, Lee stepped back, panting and puffing. I was looking at him with wide, horrified eyes and the dog was drooling over the carcas on the ground. I can't remember if we scooped up the possum and threw it away or left it for the dog. I was in a bit of a stupor after that.

As we walked in the house, Lee had a new kind of swagger about him. I immediately began giggling. He was traipsing around the house like a pioneer man who had just defended his lady and children from the evil of the wild. He walked around the living room, his shoulders swinging, a smug look on his face. He had just conquered animal. He had defended his right to a good night's sleep, he killed something with his bare hands (well, almost). I've never seen him walk around with such pride. It was hilarious.

So, now you know what kind of man I have. He will go to great lengths for his family. He will face the beast. Okay, so it was only a possum. Don't tell Lee though. In his mind it was the same as fighting off a wolf or a mountain lion. And that is why I love my man. His devotion to me does not stop at killing spiders and crickets. What a guy!

- Oh, and by the way...If there is anyone from PETA who reads this blog, don't think we're animal haters. We have a dog. She is surviving us - mostly. We're not hunters and we don't kill animals on a regular basis - although we do like a good burger, admittedly. This was an isolated act of self defense so please, don't put us on your hate list. Much obliged...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I love my kids

Right now it's 7:50 and we've already had breakfast, made beds, brushed teeth and are dressed and ready for the day. It was one of those mornings when everything just clicked. The kids are now sitting on the couch looking through photo albums of our past trips to Florida and are, generally, being very sweet to one another. It is moments like this that I will miss.

There are some days, like yesterday, when I just feel like the world has come to a halt and I'm stuck in an awful, never-ending twilight zone. And then there are days like today, when I just so cherish the time I have with these kids when they're young. I know it will go by too fast and I will long for these times back. Sometimes it's easy to lose sight of that.

Sloan is so expressive right now. He's funny and smart and in general a very sweet natured little guy. He loves to sing and be silly. He's a great athlete, but not overly competitive. He is so friendly and genuinely loves to be with people. He is navigating through the waters of respect right now and there are days when it feels like a battle all day long, but we will prevail and I know in my heart he's going to be a great young man someday.

Katya is also extremely expressive. She takes her cues from her brother, which is hilarious because she looks just like him when she imitates him. As she starts to talk more she is providing so much entertainment for all of us. She is strong willed and fiercely independent and full of spunk and zest. She is wildly competitive and is proving to be extremely athletic - her dad is thrilled with the possibilities.

Then there is my sweet Landon. I don't know if it's because he's my last baby, but I so cherish this little boy. He's so sweet natured and fun. He loves to mimic sounds right now. He giggles and laughs all the time, much more so than the other two did at this age. He is a snuggle bug and big into kisses, which are usually open mouthed and involve a lot of tongue. His dad's so proud. I treasure him very, very much.

So, there it is - a good morning for reflecting on the good things I have. My sweet, sweet children who are definately a handful, but I wouldn't trade any one of them for all the riches in the world...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Three Little Pigs like you've never seen them before...

Here is video of Sloan's russian school concert last night. He was in a bit of a mood - you know, the 5-year-old plague where one moment they're sweet and happy and the next they're sullen and forlorn. That mood...Anyway, he did well. He has become very self aware lately and had a freak out moment when we got there that people might laugh at him because he was wearing a shark shirt. I was conscious of this about him when I picked out his clothes and chose that specific shirt because he usually really likes it. (sigh) There are somedays when I just can't win.

So here is Sloan and his class at russian school performing the Three Little Pigs. Sloan was the big bad wolf. He got really into blowing their houses down, but at the end when he was supposed to scream and run away he was a little (or a lot) reserved. It's about 6 minutes long so you don't have to watch the whole thing - you'll get the idea pretty fast. This is mostly for the grandparents...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I just took care of the most disgusting thing I've ever had to do as a mom. Let me give you the circumstances: Sloan had to use the bathroom this morning - number 2. He did so, then left the bathroom without flushing or closing the toilet seat. Why did he do this? I have no words other than that he is a boy and for some reason boys are missing something in their brains that remind them to flush the toilet when done using the bathroom!! I did not know that this went on or I would have given the gentle mom reminder to flush (as in, "Don't you dare walk away from that toilet without flushing!")

Now, you're all aware that I have an 11 month old. Well, said 11 month old has really taken to splashing in open toilets lately. Gross? Yes, very much. I try and keep them closed but you know, I can't be everywhere at once. So, I walked into the bathroom to find my 11 month old covered in feces, and chewing on a piece of it! Go ahead and gag - vomit even. I'll wait...

Feel better? Does it get any more disgusting than that? This tops the time I found Sloan as a baby sucking on the toilet bowl brush (barely, but it does beat it), and the time Tia chewed on Landon's umbilical cord. Is it just me? Are my kids the only ones who are this disgusting? If any of you have kids who are gross, please share so I don't think that maybe there's something wrong with mine. Okay, I have to go now. I need to go to the store and buy Lee and new toothbrush since I used his to clean out Landon's mouth...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Is it bad? Part one

-Is it bad that my son knows every word to Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats?"

-Is it bad that I attempted to lay down in my bed the other day and take a nap even though Sloan and Tia were awake in the other room?

-Is it bad that I came out and found them polishing off a jar of pickles and a few Capri Sun's and didn't even have the energy to admonish them for digging in the fridge without permission?

-Is it bad that my daughter loves to sit and watch football while my son would prefer to play with play-doh?

-Is it bad that I work really hard to eak every penny out of diapers thereby leaving my baby in them until they are heavy and quite full?

-Is it bad that I let my daughter take such a long nap yesterday that she was up at 5:50 this morning?

-Is it bad that I'm so scared of these crickets that when one was in our bathroom the other night I threw a towel at it and started hitting the towel with a shoe, panting the whole time like I was being chased by an axe wielding mass murderer?

-Is it bad that I then left the cricket under the towel because I was too scared to pick it up and see if I actually killed it?

-Is it bad that I dreamed that night that the blugeoned cricket squeaked out a war cry and a thousand of them rushed my bed ready to pounce and chew the flesh off my body?

-Is it bad that the next morning, when I finally had the courage to pick up the towel the cricket leapt at me (I swear to God it had a samarai sword posied and ready) and I jumped back with a scream, threw the towel back on it, grabbed a shoe and began beating the towel mercilessly, yelling the whole time?

-Is it bad that my kids watched me reduce this creature to a goopy pile of mush?

-Is it bad that I felt a good deal of satisfaction for that kill?

-Is it bad that I have two loads of laundry that I've never put away and I now have three more loads to wash today? Yes, that is bad.

-Is it bad that I have come to so despise winter that I spent an hour yesterday watching the Travel Channel's 10 Best Beaches and longed to be sitting on any one of them?

Are any of those things bad?
Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

This is crazy!

Watch this video. It will freak you out. These people teach children as young as six months how to survive in water if they should fall in a pool or something similar. These people are crazy, but it's kind of amazing to watch the kids. Lee knows a guy who had this training done with his kids and he said the first day they took his toddler and just threw him in the pool to see what he would do. I think I would have to kill someone if they did that to my kid. Seriously. Anyway, watch the video - it's wild. You'll find yourself wanting to scream at the computer,
"C'mon you freaks - somebody get the kid!" Oh and the baby is super cute at the end.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

First Steps and The Letter

The other day Sloan was coloring and I asked him if he would write me a letter. This is what he wrote: The boy is nothing if not literal...

Here is some sweet video of Landon starting to try and walk. He stands pretty well and when encouraged will attempt a few steps. As you can see, he is in no need of encouragement. In fact, I believe he may be his own biggest fan. Enjoy.

I published a post over at the blogger's guild this morning. Read it here. I would love for you to leave a comment and join in on the conversation (or get it started).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


* It's decided. Barack Obama is our new President elect. It's not a surprise, but it is a disappointment. I'm disappointed that more people were not able to see through his slick, polished talk and see the true nature of who he is as a politician and who he will be as a leader. As I stated below, I have no doubt that God is still seated on His throne. He ordained Barack Obama for such a time as this. The next four years will be interesting. I'm certainly concerned, not only for myself but also for the ramifications that my children will now experience. But, I trust...I urge all believers to be on thier knees these next four years. It will take the mighty cry of a multitude pleading for God's grace, mercy and protection on us. Some of you who read this will not agree with me. That's okay. I can handle that. But for those of you who do, I implore you to be faithful to pray for our new President and for our country. Change is coming. It will not all be for the better. But God is in control.

Praise God election day has finally arrived. I know I am not alone in my utter fatigue of the campaigning process. It feels like we've been watching and dealing with this garbage for two years. Today it will be decided. Tomorrow we will wake up with a new set of issues to worry about and debate, no matter who wins.

I woke up the other night filled with anxiety over this election. I found myself repeating the verse over and over, "Be anxious in nothing, but in all things, through prayer and petition make your requests known to God." I know God is in control. I know He's on His throne. I know that He has ordained the man who will be our next President elect. And I do take comfort and peace in that knowledge. But, I pray with all my heart that it is not Barack Obama. I fear the direction our nation will head with him as our leader. I do not question the motives of Obama. I don't think he's a terrorist or the anti-Christ, or even a Muslim. But, I do believe he has some very skewed beliefs and morals and they will indeed negatively affect this country - permanently. My biggest fear with Obama in leadership is the potential for us to lose the hand of God's protection. If Obama has any intelligence, he will make sure he keeps us alligned with Israel and continues to protect that country. If he does not, we will not be in a good position. I hope he understands this.

More than Obama's socilaist economic policies (which I loathe), I worry about his stance on issues that have been pushed under the rug this election period. His stance on the right to life is so liberal it ought to be criminal. The unborn will lose any protection they have at all if Barack Obama is elected. He's been very clear on this issue. That is a very scary thought. The insitution of marriage will also be at risk. People don't seem to understand the ramifications that these policies will have on our country. We will forever be altered. People seem to think we're evolving - that it's time we evolve - well, we're evolving alright, it's just in the wrong direction.

Anyway, I will be going to the polls today with a prayerful heart. My soul cries out for protection on this day. My specific prayer is that John McCain will somehow pull out a win. But, no matter what happens, I will trust that my God is the same today as He was yesterday, and He'll be the same tomorrow and through infinity. There is peace in that.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Warning: Photo heavy post - You expected that right?

Whew - it's been a whirlwind few days. We could not have asked for better weather this weekend. It's been perfect - hot even. Halloween was a blast. The kids had so much fun and were very good. We trick or treated with our neighbors (even the adults dressed up - good times), then parked ourselves in our neighbor's drieveway and roasted hot dogs and marshmellows while the kids watched a movie on the garage. We didn't get home until 10:00, when we plopped our dirty, exhausted kids (who were now in a sugar induced coma) into bed.
Last night was more of the same when we went to a friend's birthday party where we sat around a bonfire, ate hot dogs (I don't even like hot dogs) and enjoyed the beautiful night. Here are a few - okay a lot - of the pictures from Halloween:
This first picture is from last year. This year's pumpkin carving picture is below it, plus one more kid!

Superman, Wonder Woman and Super Baby - out to smother villains with cuteness.It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman!The cutest Wonder Woman you'll ever see...Super Baby!I was originally supposed to be Wonder Woman along with Tia but I had a wardrobe malfunction (as in, the wardrobe looked ridiculous on me) and went as a Go-Go dancer instead.I told Lee he should go as my arm candy, but he chickened out. Doesn't he look good though? He's been working out.Me and Super BabyDaddy went as McDreamy instead...Our neighbors as Magnum PI and my Go-Go twinIt was a screamin' good timeOur other neighbors went as John McCain and Sarah Palin - classic. There are two reasons why this picture is blurry. The first is that we suck at taking pictures. The second is because Tia was literally tearing from house to house. She was very into the trick or treating.My neighbor, Carol, and I. Her husband (who I did not get a good picture of) was also dressed in scrubs - we'll call him McSteamy!Even Superman gets hungryMovie Time All of the cutie patootie kids (minus two who weren't there yet)