Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to my brother

Well, my "little" brother turns 27 today. So, to commemorate, I thought I'd give him a lovely post on my little blog. Brett and I spent six years of our childhood in Wisconsin where we explored acres of forest behind our house, built igloos in the six foot snow drifts outside our front door, built the most glorious snowmen you've ever seen and played Atari in the basement. As little brother's go, Brett was a pretty good one. Sure, he was a pain in the rear end, but he was also very tolerant of me. There is the distinct possibility that I may have tortured him when he was younger. Like the time we were staying home alone and I pretended to fall down the stairs and break my leg. Or the time I sent him into the basement and screamed at the top of the lungs because I knew he was scared of monsters. I also took sick pleasure in waking him up in the mornings by standing over his bed and letting out a blood curdling scream. Cruel, I know, but if you've never done that to someone, you should try because it. is. funny. Another form of torture was to dress Brett up endlessly and make him enact all sorts of dramas and plays with me. Through all this, he never really complained - he just went along with whatever I said.
In my defense, there were some sweet times that we shared as well. Every year growing up, we would make Brett a bed on my floor on Chritstmas Eve and he and I would wake up around 3:00 am and I would read to him, usually Garfield and Ziggy cartoons, until about 4:30 when we would tear down the stairs hopped up on excitement and little sleep. We still call one another at the crack of dawn on Christmas just because it's tradition! One of my most distinct memories of our time in Wisconsin is the day that Brett and his friend Matt decided to go on a long walk through the woods. When they didn't return after a couple of hours, my mom and I began traipsing through the fields, yelling their names. Finally, my mom sent me through the neighborhood and she decided to search the trees. I remember calling his name and fearing deep down that something terrible had happened. After another hour of searching, I headed home and found Brett and Matt sitting on the front step, covered in mud. In that moment, I was immensely relieved that they were okay and at the same time I wanted to strangle both of them for putting us through that. Instead I just told them that mom was looking and she was furious. They ran inside and went to Brett's room to change clothes. Outside we could see my mom stomping back through the field, her face laced with fury and terror. I heard Brett say to Matt, "There's my mom....she looks weally mad." Come to find out they had walked a couple of miles through the woods to a friends farm! Crazy kids.
Now, my brother is a man. He is a United States Navy veteran. He is a hard worker and still one of the kindest, most tender hearted people you will ever meet. Brett would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. I've always said that if you become friends with Brett, you have a friend for life. He is a good man and I'm proud of him.
Brett is also a phenomenal writer - much better than I am - and he is wildly creative and gifted in a lot of ways. I look forward to seeing how those talents and gifts play out. I love you, Brett. Happy Birthday. I hope you have an amazing day - wish I could be there with you.
I have no excuse for the outfit I'm wearing in this picture. Wait - yes I was the 80's.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

He's still, mostly, got it

Well, I have turned my poor house upside down looking for a picture that I wanted to post. When Lee and I were first in the "getting to know you" phase of our relationship, Lee was the area director for K-Life Ministries in Waco, TX. The spring of my junior year, K-Life hosted a 4 on 4 basketball tournament and had a slam dunk contest. Lee, being the stud that he was (and still is - wink, wink) had three or four of the teenage boys squat down and he dunked over them. He was, according to the teens, the bomb!! I have a great picture of that infamous dunk hiding around here somewhere and I really wanted to post it along with these:
This is Lee, ten years later, dunking over our five year old. That's my man! Now, I'm not supposed to tell you that the basket was only nine feet instead of ten, or whatever it is in regulation basketball, so I won't divulge that information. But, you gotta admit, that's not bad for an old guy who doesn't play much anymore. It would've been cooler had I found the other shot. Oh well, you'll just have to take my word for it...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Give it up

My neighbor, Julie, and I went to the park this morning and let our kids sweat off the energy that had them tearing through the house, practically foaming at the mouth earlier. Now, my kids are all sleeping so score one for mommy! As we watched our kids zip across the playground, (Sloan, my little ladies man, was being followed by a gaggle of little girls, strutting like he was the king of the world) Julie and I had a few minutes to sit and relax - very few, but that's beside the point...As we watched our kids go from cute and all put together to sweaty, smelly and dirty, we both commented on the fact that as a parent, at some point you have to just loosen up and let them be kids. Getting dirty is one of the greatest things about being a kid. You can dress them cute and worry and fret if they get a drop of grime on them, but eventually, you just have to let it go, do a little more laundry and smile as they go out and conquer the world (or slay dragons, as Sloan and his little posse were doing. Unfortunately, at one point, he decided that Tia was the dragon and told them all to punch her down - nice...)

Some of my favorite memories as a kid were heading off with a couple of friends to explore a creek that was about a quater mile from our house. We scaled walls of solid mud and slid into this creek that was infested with all kinds of lovely critters and snakes and spent hours swimming and digging in the sludge. It was our own make-believe world where we could dream up stories of being stranded and rescued by a handsome prince. We were the heroes of our own land, and we usually came home covered in mud from head to toe and had to be hosed off before we were allowed to even think about coming near the house. Those were great times. I want my kids to have adventures like that, though the world we live in today does limit my ability to let them run off into the trees for hours without worrying that some pervert is going to come snatch them away. So sad.

Aaaaanyway, I'm totally getting off track. To go along with this post, I'm including a few pictures of the kids that I took last week. We had a weird day last Friday when it just kind of rained on and off all day long. The kids would beg and plead to go outside and as soon as they did, it started to rain again. Finally, I just tossed my hands up and told them to play in the rain (don't worry it wasn't lightening, though had we had as bad a day as we did Thursday, I may have considered sending them out in lightening...I kid - maybe). Needless to say, they had a ball running around in the rain, splashing in puddles and getting nice and dirty. I mean, that's what being a kid is all about, right?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wee little pundit

Today, the phone rang as I was trying to get the two little ones to bed. Sloan, my personal secretary, tore through the house like the Tazmanian Devil to answer the phone first. This is what I heard:
"Oh, hi! What?"
"Oh, okay."
"Well, here's my mom."

Handing me the phone he says, "Hey mom, it's Rocko Bama. He wants your bote. He won't stop talking!"

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Very, Very fun weekend

We were blessed in a lot of ways this past weekend. Friday night we had dinner with some sweet friends who have two boys a little older than Sloan and a little girl Tia's age. How fun it was to see the kids running around, playing like regular old kids. Sloan doesn't get the chance to play with boys that often. We seem to be surrounded by girls! So he had a great time running around the house, shooting "guns" and pretending to die! Good times...

Saturday, I went to a blogger's guild meeting in the early afternoon - more about that later, then we packed the kids up and went out to Six Flags where we ran into our fun neighbors and got to ride a couple of rides with them before they headed home, then off we went to explore the park. Sloan got over some of his own fears and rode a few bigger rides and even ventured down a water slide with Lee (shock!). Sunday we had a sweet morning praising the Lord at church then, after naps, met some friends at the local pool and had a jolly time frolicking about in the freezing water. Whew...busy, but a fun way to begin closing out the summer break.

On to what was an exciting meeting with the St. Louis Blogger's Guild. Several months ago, I joined this group for a variety of reasons. First, I just love writing and I have missed being around others who enjoy this passion as much as I do. So, it seemed very logical to join up with the guild. Second, meeting new people is not easy for me. I tend to be on the shy side when it comes to meeting people. Lee has helped me get over that to an extent, being the extreme extrovert that he is (and when I say extreme, I mean seriously he can speak to anyone just once and they will be friends for life - ex-treme!) But still, without him, I get tongue tied and quiet and have a hard time connecting. I am blessed with many, many sweet friends through our church and our neighborhood. But reaching out and meeting new people is a challenge so, again, this was a good way to step outside my comfort zone and the anonymity of the internet and make new friends. Finally, well, I won't lie - I would like to make a buck or two. I know, I'm a money grubber, but you know livin' ain't free and it would be fun to have an extra dollar or two (or more...). And why not get paid to do what I love? So, while there is no guarantee that being a part of the guild will bring a financial windfall, there would still be opportunity to make connections with people in the writing community. Finally, I just wanted to learn a little more about blogging. I had no idea how powerful a tool it could be! So, after the meeting on Saturday, I came home very encouraged and excited to be in the presence of people who love to write, who are more knowledgable than I am in the field of writing and blogging and who I so look forward to learning from. A good weekend it was.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


It was a long, hard day. Let's just say that by the time Lee got home, I was in tears and the kids required a little discipline. Nicole, I totally identify with you! Anyway, here is what I am about to sit down to. Is there anything more comforting than a beautiful cup of Citrus Mint tea set on a sweet little tray? I think not...


This Olympic season has not dissapointed. It's been thrilling and fun, heartbreaking and triumphant. I nearly cried last night when Lolo Jones hit the ninth hurdle and missed her Olympic gold as a result. I shouted with joy every time Nastia or Shawn hit a great routine. I smiled this morning as I saw the replay of the 21 year old who took gold in wrestling. And, of course, I was thrilled when Michael Phelps received his eighth gold medal. That was just awesome. It's just been so fun to watch all of the hard work come to fruition for these excellent athletes.

The biggest sense of pride from these games has been watching the athletes in the aftermath of success or failure. They have defined sportsmanship. To see Lolo Jones giving the Australian who took silver in the 100m hurdles a big, congratulatory hug, despite her own heartbreak made me proud. Listening to Nastia Liukin gracefully accept a silver medal when she likely deserved the gold on uneven bars made me smile. Listening to cutie-patootie Shawn Johnson remind us that no matter what, they were all wearing red, white and blue and were there to represent our country made me shout out "Amen sister!" (which, by the way - congrats to both of them for yet another one, two finish on last night's beam final. They are both phenomenal gymnasts and I had so much fun watching them!) In fact, all the athletes have been terrific, from every country - minus the wrestler who threw his bronze medal down in disgust - go home dude. We don't need you!

I'm just so proud of all our athletes for working so hard and representing so well. And there are still several days of exciting competition to come! But, I must admit, I am very glad it's almost over because I'm tired. My interest in the remaining sports is not quite as high so I should be making it to bed a little earlier from here on out. But I will still be catching the higlights and jumping for joy each time I hear our anthem.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Well...I did it!!! Phase one is complete. To really appreciate the above pictures, please take a moment to look here.

Yesterday, my mom took the kids for me because I thought that we were having our carpets cleaned in the morning. Turns out I was wrong on the date, they actually came today, so I ended up with a whole lot of time and no kids and I dove in head first! I got through all the clothes in my closet, the kids closets and the hall closet. I gave borrowed clothes that no longer fit or weren't needed back. I filled seven 30 gallon garbage bags with clothes that I am going to sell, and also with stuffed animals and toys that have not felt the love of a child in a long, long time. For the neighbors that read this blog, a garage sale is in our near future! Any of you want to join us again? I am hoping to raise enough money to buy a plane ticket to San Diego to visit my precious friends, Wanida and Wendy.
I am parting with a lot of the baby clothes, though there were a handful of things that I just could not bear to get rid of. Those will be packed away for awhile until I am more emotionally stable. I couldn't bring myself to get rid of most of the girl clothes because Lee and I are entertaining the idea and praying through the possibility of one day adopting. If the Lord does lead us down that path, I want to be prepared. So, there you have it. You all motivated me and I went after it. I feel immensely satisfed, though I still have the largest part of this project looming ahead and that is going through the 12 remaining bins of clothes in the basement. Poor Landon still has very few clothes to wear. One more day with no kids, and perhaps with a little company (Bethany?) and I should be set. And Barbara, don't worry, I'll have plenty for you to help me organize should you all come back in September. I'm saving a little for you :) Thanks for all the encouragement! I must sign off now. Lee is out of town and Landon has a terrible cold, which means he's terribly fussy, which means I'm in for a long night. Yay me!!

Friday, August 15, 2008


Goodness...I'm tired. When I get tired, I get all emotionally analytical. I take things to heart so deeply. I'm a good tired - it's not a bad tired by any means. I was so hyped by sweet Nastia's win last night that I couldn't sleep. But today, my fatigue is pressing my emotions to think more deeply of some things.

I tend to get very engrossed in the sufferings of others. It's something that I have to be aware of and in general, I have gotten better at not allowing the pain of others overly affect me. It's a hard balance to do this because part of me feels like I am so deeply blessed with so many wonderful things and I wonder, why shouldn't I take on the burden that others feel? Why should I avoid the stories of pain just because I myself don't want to experience that pain? Part of my desire to keep up with those who hurt is because I want to help carry their burden. I guess that's a good thing, but it can lead to bad emotions for me and my family. A couple of years ago, an old high school friend lost his baby girl just three months after she was born. She was a very sick little girl when born and just never recovered. They had a little boy who was just a week younger than Sloan and this little girl was born a month after Tia, so the reality of their situation hit very close to home. When I attended that precious little girl's funeral, I felt like my soul had been lit by the fires of grief. It was so painful and heart wrenching and I prayed unceasingly for that dear family. I got so engrossed in their suffering, however, that I started to fear for my own children. I worried about their safety and their health. I feared losing one of them so much that I began to lose sleep at night. I finally had to distance myself from the updates of these friends a little to gain some perspective on how to grieve with others and suffer for others.

I feel the same way when I read the blogs of Audrey Caroline and Luke Sponberg and even my sister-in-law, Becke, who is dealing with the sudden loss of her sister 6 months ago. My heart aches so desperately for these people and I find myself hoping that if I pray hard enough for them, then perhaps their pain will just melt away. But in searching out my own heart over such matters, I've finally accepted the fact that no matter how much I personally grieve for others (and I don't even know some of these people!) I cannot ease the burden that they must bear. Only God can do that, and it takes time. Because I personally have never experienced the loss of a child, I truly don't know or understand how He carries people through such grief, but I know that He does. If any of you saw or read any of the recent interviews with Steven Curtis Chapman, you'll understand what I mean. He heals and He carries and He soothes and He gives those who are suffering the strength to make it through each moment, each day. So, while I will continue to grieve and hurt for them, I do so now with the attitude that I cannot change their circumstances. I cannot take away the hurt. But I can be a part of the healing as I lift them up and I get the beautiful opportunity of seeing God's grace in the lives of others. I also know that I am not immune to such grief and pain. Though I pray, as any parent does, that I never have to endure the trial of losing one of my dearest, I know that I must cling to them with loose fingers and trust in the provision of a Holy God. I cannot live in fear and I will not live grieving over that which has not happened.
So that is my heart today. Sorry for the random post, but it's what I'm pondering as I lift up the Sponberg family this week. They will be laying their precious son to rest next Thursday. Pray for them when you think about it. Let's all, together, be a part of God's glorious mercies in their lives.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Congratulations Nastia!!!!

Nastia Liukin just won the gold medal in the all around! I'M SO PROUD OF HER AND HER DAD!!!!! Congratulations Nastia!

I'm so going to regret staying up this late tomorrow...

My first spinning class

This morning, I joined my neighbor Julie at her gym, the new and glorious Lifetime Fitness facility to take a spinning class. First of all this gym is like a Mecca for all those who love fitness. It is a world of its own and I am now putting the pressure on Lee to get a promotion so Mama can work out there! Julie told me about this class last week and I though, yeah, that'd be fun - I've never taken a spinning class and I hear it's a great workout. Mmmmhmmm...Take a few moments, would you, and enter into my brain as I suffered/endured an hour of spinning.
-Okay, this doesn't look so bad. It's kind of cold in here though.
-Man, these seats are a little uncomfortable. Maybe if I put my hand on the seat and push myself up a little it won't hurt...nope, still hurts and now my back hurts too. Not a good idea.
-Boy it's not as hard as I thought it would be. Wait, did she just say to increase resistance. 'kay that's easy. Oooohhh noooo it's not. Am I supposed to keep up with her?
-Boy, my rear end is really kind of hurting - how much longer do I have to do this? 55 minutes - great, cool - I'm gonna die.
-Why on God's green earth is the instructor smiling and joking? Weirdo.
-Geez it's hot in here. Why don't they turn the air down?
-Okay, seriously my butt hurts. Maybe if I sit on my towel it'll be better. Nope, still hurts.
-Increase resistance again? Is she nuts? My legs are supposed to be hot but not burning? Yeah, no - my legs are fine, but my butt is on fire so what do I do about that Cinderalla?
-Now I'm supposed to stand? And pedal at the same time? How much time is left - 35 minutes, dear God Almighty we're not even half way done.
-Okay I'm standing and pedaling and my legs are burning - they're not supposed to burn? How is that possible!!!
-It hurts now I want to sit. Please let us sit, please. Okay we can sit. Ow! Nope it hurts too much to sit - let's stand back up.
-10 minutes to go and I just realzied that I can no longer feel my butt. Is that a good thing? -You want me to pedal as fast as I can now? Here, how 'bout can pedal fast and I'll just sit and watch since you seem to enjoy this so much...
-5 minutes to go and my rear end is screaming at me again. I must have shifted in my seat during the fast part. It's time to cool down. When do we get off the bike? We can get off? Awesome! Whoa, my legs are a little noodle-y (it's a word).
Obviously I survived and unfortunately I don't think I worked as hard as I could have because the seats were so very uncomfortable, but according to the perky instructor it gets better the more often you take a class, which I know must be true since I seemed to be the only one in the room suffering - well, except for Julie who, comfortingly seemed to be in as much pain as I was. Oh well...maybe spinning isn't my thing, or maybe I'll try again sometime, we'll see.
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and encouragement re: the clothes situation. Bethany, I will be calling you soon to set up a time and I'll reciprocate by watching Enna sometime for you (and if you see any baby boy clothes that you like, you can take them home with you!). Barbara, I would love your help, but maybe not this trip because I want you to be able to come and enjoy time with the kids and not be working so I'll take you up on it some other time. And I will post pictures of my glorious new organization if/when it ever gets done!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why I'm Overwhelmed

I am not a sloppy person. In fact, I really enjoy order, though I am by no means a perfectionist and can turn a blind eye to most anything if I'm not in the mood to deal with it. However, there are some areas where I am just really not good at keeping order and one of those is organizing clothes, particularly the clothes that the kids have grown out of. And I've done such a poor job of it over the years that I am now completely overwhelmed and feel like I'm having a panic attack every time I look at this:

And this:
Yes, that is a pile of clothes stacked up the the nursery next to the crib and in the closet that Tia and Landon have outgrown. Only Tia and Landon - that doesn't include Sloan's clothes - I haven't really gone through his yet so his drawers are busting with clothes, as are Tia's as you can see here: Because Sloan and Landon were born in different seasons, a lot of Sloan's stuff didn't fit Landon. Now, however, he's getting to an age where things are going to start working. Here is the problem - I have about 12 Rubber Maid tubs in our basement filled with clothes, but they are not really categorized by size - they are to an extenet, then I got lazy and just started tossing stuff wherever it would fit. So, poor Landon is squeezing into smaller clothes because I don't want to buy him new clothes until I survey what I already have. But I don't know how to survey what I have without taking it all out and stacking it according to size, which would take up a massive amount of space which means I would then need to be prepared to put it all back in some sort of order which means I need about two days without any kids underfoot because I cannot possibly take on a task like that and still try to keep up with them...*gasp, wheeze, puff* I go back and forth about whether or not to have a garage sale and just get rid of most of it, which, again, would take time to organize, which leads me back into my cycle of panic. But I am not quite ready to get rid of everything yet. I'm pretty sure Lee and I aren't going to have any more children biologically but part of me fears that if I get rid of everything I'll pop up pregnant a month later, like I'll have some gigantic target on my back or something. It's also just hard to get rid of the baby stuff because it means it's over for good. I know that's silly, but I'm just not quite there yet - but I am getting there so we'll see. No matter what, though, something has to be done and I don't know how to get it done. Thus my need for a paper bag and a dark room. I just don't know where to start. Ahhhhh! Okay, now that I let that out, I'm going to take a deep breath and shove this to the back of my mind for a little while longer. Maybe if I ignore it long enough it'll all just go away...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things, Part 6 or 7

I have to commend the Ballwin police for the way they have handled my stolen wallet situation. In general, I would not think that a stolen wallet would be something that was overly important to them but they have been so thorough and helpful and I've been very impressed. Last night, the officer that took my report stopped by our house to see if everything was going okay as far as getting fraud protection. He also wanted to get the kids social security numbers to have on file in case anything came up. He could have called, but he just stopped by. That was very nice. Sloan was, of course, very fascinated with the police officer in our house. These were his exact words as we introduced him to Officer Richardson.
(Shaking the officer's hand)"Hi, my name's Sloan and I'm good to my sister. But sometimes I'm not good to my sister...are you going to put me in jail?"
We all got a good laugh out of that. Maybe that can be my new tactic when he and Tia are going at it. I'll just threaten to call Officer Richardson to take him to jail. Hmmmmm....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympic Fever

I love the Olympics. I love everything about it. I just think it's such an exciting time watching athletes who have worked their entire lives toward this goal. The Olympics makes me feel proud of my country. I feel all sorts of emotions, especially as I watch all of the back stories about how the athletes have gotten where they are. I get excited and nervous because I wish they could all realize the ultimate dream of bringing home the gold. But that's the glory of it, isn't it? Because only one can win. Only one can stand at the top of the podium with gold on their chest.

Watching the Olympics also makes me feel like a lazy slob who needs to get off the couch and do something important, or just something...But I digress...

I love both the summer and the winter games, though I do get a little more excited for the summer games, admittedly. I can't wait to watch the swimming, diving, track and field, volleyball, gymnastics, etc...I don't get overly jazzed about shooting and archery - not at all to diminish the skill and dedication of those athletes, it's just not as fun to watch - you understand...This year I will be especially attuned to the women's gymnastics. When Lee and I were first married, we lived in Dallas where I got a job part time as a gymnastics coach at WOGA, the gym where 2004 gold medalist Carly Patterson trained, and this year's Nastia Liukin. Nastia's mom and dad became very dear friends while we were there. I would meet with Anna, Nastia's mom, once a week for coffee and she would speak russian with me to help me practice. I learned so much working with them and really, truly loved that job. It was a great atmosphere to work in - very electric. Lee and I watched Nastia all those years ago as a little 11 year old and even then I knew she was destined to be great. She was so tiny but she could fly! It was exciting, and now I'm so proud of her and am rooting for her and her dad!

So, for the next two weeks, I will shamelessly be glued to the TV. In general, I try hard to keep the TV off most of the day. I don't like having it on for very long periods of time - I just can't stand the constant noise - but our TV will be on a lot over the next 17 days! Even Sloan is excited to watch the 'Lympics, though he has no idea what they are. But the bug has already bitten him. Good family fun!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My (not so) baby

Sweet Landon rarely ever gets his own post in the blog. So, today is all about him. We went to the doctor yesterday for his 6 month check up (that's occurring at 7 1/2 months). I knew the kid was big. My sore arms have been telling me that for months now, but it still surprised me when the doctor told me he's the size of an average 13 month old. He was 22.8 pounds and 28 1/4 in. long. That's a big kid. (Not as big as his brother, though. Sloan was 28 3/4in. long and 23 pounds at 6 months - the actual 6 months!) I also did not realize the poor kid had four teeth about to pop through on the top. That explains his terrible sleeping the past several weeks. Poor little baby - his mouth hurts! He got his two shots a kiss on the cheek from the doctor and off I went with my brute and the other two hooligans running madly behind me. Landon is such a joy. I know I've said that a lot, but he really is. He has pretty much stolen my heart. He just smiles and giggles all the time. Sometimes you don't even have to do anything - you just look at him and he'll snort and laugh. It's the sweetest sound on earth. He's got the cutest head of hair right now. While Sloan sported a kickin' mullet and Tia grew a mohawk, Landon is growing wispy blond hair all over his head, and no matter what I do, it always stands up straight. It's so cute. I try to plaster it down but as soon as it dries, it bounces right back up. My baby wants to crawl right now, something I'm not to crazy about but I know it's inevitable. He gets frustrated with being immobile and will eventually just start making noise until someone picks him up. He loves his voice and squeals and talks just to hear himself. All around, he's just a great kid and I can't wait to see what he's going to be like as he gets older. I get the impression that he's going to be the family clown. He's gonna be the one always looking for a laugh. He definately brings a unique joy to our family unit.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I have been violated

Yesterday, the kids and I met a friend at a local pool and enjoyed some fun in the sun. My kids were having chlorine withdrawals and desperately needed a pool fix and I was all too happy to oblige. After about an hour and a half of swimming, I had a sense that I needed to go check on my stuff. As I walked up to my bag, my stomach sank at the sight of my towels all askew. After frantically searching through the bag, I realized my wallet had been stolen. Not cool.

So, I wrapped a towel around myself and reported the theft to the front desk, who kindly called the police for me so I could file a report. The cops were very helpful, searching the whole park and looking in all the trash cans to see if maybe someone had just taken the cash (a whole 8 bucks - woohoo!) and tossed the wallet - no such luck. As I was describing to the cops the contents of my wallet, I realized that I had mine and all three kids' social security cards in it. Great - now I get to worry about identity theft! By the time they left, the pool was closing, I was annoyed and the kids were starving and water logged. So far I've already cancelled both credit cards, put a hold on the blockbuster account and called Transunion to get info on fraud protection (which is going to be a huge hassle, blah). Tomorrow, I get the grand opportunity of spending what I'm sure will be ridiculous amounts of time on the phone with the FTC to figure out how I protect my kids' identities, as well as calling several other places to give them a head's up. I will also have to try to get a new license with three kids in tow - good times.

While for the most part, I'm sure we are fairly safe from any kind of major theft or fraud, it's been annoying to have to deal with this headache. Whoever took the wallet won't get our money and likely won't get our identities (though who knows nowadys), but they have stolen a good deal of my time, and a little sanity as well since the spawn of satan himself seems to descend upon my kids every time I get on the phone. But, besides those minor hassles, it's been nice to feel relatively unphased by this turn of events. Especially when you read something like this. Reading how people are truly, deeply suffering puts my missing wallet into perspective. Will the next couple of days be difficult as I deal with all of this? Yes. In the grand scheme of life does that matter? No. I don't care about that wallet. The things I care most about are surrounding me and nothing else really matters when placed up next to them. I am grateful for the things that we have - the blessings that surround us. The rest is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Now if someone could just remind me of that around 11:00 tomorrow as I sit here with the phone pressed to my ear and the kids screaming in the background...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Oh boy... This is getting fun

I braided Tia's hair today. I'm not that great of a braider and she's got pretty fine hair, but I managed and it looks so very cute. I'm trying to grow her bangs out which is a pain in the rear end so I'm looking for things I can do to keep it out of her eyes. I have a few short years where she is going to let me play with her hair and do it up all cute and I intend to enjoy it to the fullest!
I have a question for you readers out there...all 5 of you. I have heard that there is a website where you can order movies that have been edited so that there are no bad words or questionable scenes. Sloan is getting to the age where he wants to watch more grown up movies, but it's so hard to find any that aren't filled with words that we don't allow him to say. We rented Hook last night and I had to fast forward a couple of times and mute out one section. He loved the movie but I don't want to buy it unless I can find an edited version because I'm certainly not going to sit down and police it every time he wants to watch. I think he would like ET as well, but there is some questionable language in it if I recall. Anyway, if anyone knows where I can find these, I would be very appreciative. Happy Friday to you all!
*update: I did a little research online (very little) and have found a website called Clean Flicks where you can rent edited DVD's - very cool. Also found something called the Clear Play DVD system. It's a DVD player that has a filtering system built into it. They have thousands of DVD's to choose from on their site which from what I understand have the option to be either filtered or unfiltered. The DVD player itself costs 79.99, or something like that and I don't know how much the DVD's are, but that's kind of cool. So we'll see. I like the idea of being able to control what the kids see and are exposed to without necessarily relegating them to G-Rated movies alone, some of which are not that great either. So there you have it.