Monday, July 29, 2013

Silly Me

We've lived in this house for a year now, and Kerry still can't remember where the light switches are.  This is one of the hazards of moving so often - sometimes you can't remember which house you are in and where things are positioned.

I clearly remember waking up in Hawaii while it was still dark and trying to head to the kitchen for a drink.  As I stepped into the dining room I stood still for a minute in the dark trying to remember which wall had the light switch so I could turn it on.  In many houses, I have walked around in the dark feeling walls, trying to find the switch so I could see.

So, I was teasing Kerry this morning because as he passed through, he flipped the switch that turned on the light over the dining room table instead of the laundry room.

I pointed to the small light that is situated directly over the kitchen sink.  "I'll bet you don't know how to turn on that light."

He pointed to a light switch on the wall which (as far as I have been able to determine) is not connected to any light or outlet in the house.

"Nope," I grinned.  I pointed to the double switch in the kitchen.  "Those switches are for the disposal and that light over the sink."

"What on earth is the purpose of that light over the sink," he asked.  "When would you ever use it?"

"Well, if you want to wash dishes but use less electricity, you could just turn on that little light and not use the big, overhead light," I responded.

"Silly woman," he grinned at me.  "I don't wash dishes." 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mud Pit

 Our church dug a big mud pit for the youth group to play in.
 Katie jumped right in.

She said it was a lot of fun.  She wants to make sure that I emphasize
 - it was A LOT OF FUN!

 Her hair was slimy.

 She had to be hosed off.  

Then she had to be hosed off again.

Then she had to come home and shower off.

Then I had to get dirt out of her eye.

I think we may be finding dirt on her for quite a while.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


We have not had the best of luck with camping lately.  I don't know why.  Kerry and Ben are seasoned campers, and while the girls and I are not as experienced as the guys in our family, we have done our share of camping as well.

Our last campout wound up being in the middle of a flash flood.  We had a pavilion at that campground, so we were able to still interact with our friends who were with us.

This past weekend, we went on our first campout since we left Hawaii.  We went to Missouri with six families from church.  

There was no pavilion.

Three of the six families packed it in and went home after the first night.

I wanted to go home too, but Kerry wanted to stay, so we decided to stay.  We actually had a pretty good time.  Kerry's marvelous dutch oven cooking was the highlight of the trip.  Because of the rain and the cold, his hot breakfasts, dinners, and deserts were especially welcome.  It has been very hot all summer and we didn't take sweatshirts or jackets with us.  The rain caused the temperature to drop into the 60's, which isn't bad, unless you are wet, which we mostly were.  I'm here to tell you, if we had planned to have cereal and sandwiches on the trip, it would have been a totally different experience.  I wish I had pictures of the food, but it was too rainy to pull out the camera.

My fingers and feet were pruney for hours after we left the campsite.  There is nothing in this world to make you appreciate a hot shower, your own bed, and dry clothes like camping in the rain.

You should try it.  It will make just being home feel like a vacation spa.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Demon Pigeon Attacks Terrified Girl, Ruins Dinner

Hello, readers of my mother's blog! Emily here. I've been having some really amazing experiences this summer, so of course the first thing I actually write about is this:

I love Teddy's Bigger Burgers. It's one of my favorite restaurants.  They have these amazing teriyaki burgers that I absolutely adore. I've been planning to get one, and today I finally had my chance. My friend Gaby and I had just finished teaching our last 5-Day Club for the day and went to hang out at a local strip mall to get some smoothies. And while we were there... Lo and behold..... a Teddy's! I went inside while Gabby went to get a smoothie, and she came back right around the time my teri-burger was finished.

 It was probably the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.

I took it outside to eat at one of the tables. Gabby was reading and I was just enjoying my burger when out of nowhere a pigeon just dive-bombed me. It whacked me in the head with one of its wings and sat on my burger. I shrieked (in a very dignified way), and the little demon flew away, flipping my burger over onto the table. The pigeon landed on the ground less than two feet away and gave me a look. I did the only reasonable thing I think of - I threw my tray at it, which finally banished it back to whence it came.
I looked back at my beloved teri-burger. The top half of the bun had been cruelly ripped away from the rest of the burger, and I had no choice but to throw it away. Gabby tried to convince me to finish it anyway, since there were only three bites left, but the memory of the stupid little pigeon from the twisting nether regions kept me from following her advice.

So, long story short: I didn't get to finish my dinner, and I hate pigeons.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Shrek The Musical

We were very excited recently to go check out The Muny. 

The Muny - short for Municiple Theater Association of St Louis - is an outdoor amphitheater.  We've heard a lot about it but hadn't had a chance to go.

Fortunately, Shrek the Musical was playing  and we decided that would be an excellent opportunity to take Katie and experience a little musical culture.

I'd never heard of Shrek the Musical but now I will never get some of the songs out of my head.  We enjoyed it enormously!

We had decided to drive over early - we live on military time and we have learned the hard way that the first time we go somewhere we should plan to be lost, have a flat tire, possibly hit traffic, or lose our tickets.  We don't like to be late, not by one minute, and we tend to be very, very early on a first outing in order to resolve all obstacles which somehow always seem to be out to get us.

We found it with no issue, and saw two cars parked on the curb.  We debated whether or not we were allowed to park on the curb as not many other people seemed to be doing it.  We finally agreed that the curb wasn't painted yellow, and there were no signs saying you couldn't park there, so we would go ahead and park.

We were almost two hours early, and within thirty minutes of our arrival, there was not one parking spot left on that curb.  Yay for being early.  

The Muny is in a large park which also contains the Zoo, the Art Museum, a glass greenhouse in which a wedding was taking place and a really large park.  So we wandered about for a while just enjoying the scenery.

As we finally got close to The Muny, we saw an insanely long line of people standing in line and we wondered what it was for.  These people had come with chairs, books, and picnics.  Whatever they were waiting for, they had come prepared for a long wait.

I approached one of the ladies in line and asked her what the line was for.

"The free seats for Shrek," she responded.

Apparently, they reserve the entire back section and give those seats away for free, first come, first served.  Which is awfully nice of them.  Take binoculars with you.
 We had paid for our seats and this is how far away from the stage we were.
We could see fairly well, but in order to get a good close-up view, we did actually use binoculars.

Then we could see quite well.

The show was a riot!  It is a great mix of some of the best parts from the movie as well as some new bits to keep it fresh.  And let me tell you, fireflies were flitting around us during the show which just added to the awesome fairy tale atmosphere.

I will say this though.  We were early.  We like to be early, we plan to be early, we are early people.

Do you have any idea how many people do not arrive early?  Can you even guess how many people were trying to find their seats after the show had freakin' started?  Do you know how much of the action on stage we could not see as we had dozens of tardy people worming their way down the rows in front of us trying to get to their seats?

A lot.

And I hated them all with the white hot passion of a thousand suns.

AND, (just this one thing and then I'll be done) at the front of our Muny program, which they hand out for free as you enter the theater (late people shouldn't get them or should have to pay- just saying) they have a section on theater etiquette.  It says:

"Many of you will be bringing children to the theatre for their first theatrical performance. Good theatre manners cannot begin too young, and to this end The Muny would like to outline some of the basic principles of Theatre Etiquette.  As a courtesy to other patrons around you, please remember:

  • Curtain time at The Muny is always 8:15 p.m. Try to arrive early. If you cannot avoid arriving late, wait for a pause in the action to find your seat.
  • Please turn off pagers and cell phones, and please do not text message during performances. Extra sounds and lights are distracting.
  • Be considerate of the people around you.  Will your whispering prevent other people from hearing the show? Also, be careful not to rattle your program or candy wrappers during the show.
  • When you sit on your mother's lap are you taller than she is? The person behind you may not be able to see over your head.
  • Intermission is the time to get a soda, a pretzel and to use the restroom. If you must leave during the show, please be quiet as you leave and don't talk or run in the aisles.
  • Please do not sing along with the show.
  • Please remember...the show is not over until after the actors have taken their curtain calls. They have all worked very hard to entertain you and it is very rude to leave before they have made their final exit. It is also irritating to other theatre-goers."
People should have to sign that baby before they are allowed to take their seats.  

Not only that, Pinocchio himself announced before the show began that anyone who used a cell phone to text, talk, or as a flashlight would be eaten by a dragon.

Not only was every single rule on that list broken within spitting distance of where we were sitting (the kids in front of us played musical chairs during the entire show but I never said anything until one of the boys threw popcorn into his sister's hair and when she turned her head it fell into my drink of which I then did not partake for the rest of the evening), but the cell phone one is apparently incredibly difficult to enforce.  Cell phone addicts abound in this country and they are not the least bit apologetic.  The two teen girls in the row in front of us checked their emails and texts constantly through the entire second half of the show.  Two other folks near us used their phones as flashlights to read their programs.  

I prayed for Jehovah's Witnesses to visit them all on a regular basis, forever.

Anyway, since we are not allowed to film a live show, which is as it should be, I snagged these bits of Shrek the Musical off of YouTube to share with you here.

Check out Lord Farquad.  The actor has to run around on his knees the entire show, with little legs strapped to his thighs to make him look really short.

This is Fiona as a young girl, a teenager, and a grown-up singing about her life in the tower.

This is the bit where Shrek and Fiona start off disliking each other and trying to see who had the worst life growing up, but by the end of the song, they've found they have a lot in common.  This song is guaranteed to make every kids in the audience laugh hysterically.


Monday, July 15, 2013


Yep, that's Katie's finger.  No, it's not magic marker.  She whacked it between two eight balls at church yesterday.  She said she could feel her heartbeat in it for quite a while.

This reminds me of when Fred Flintstone would hit his thumb and it would swell up and throb.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Feeling A Little Pretty

Apparently Ben has gotten in touch with his feminine side while he's been in Hawaii.

That boy is impossible to embarrass.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Remember when I said Ben's girlfriend was in Argentina petting lions and tigers and bears?

I was kidding.

There were no bears.

At least, there are no pictures of bears.

But there is definitely a picture of a lion cub.

And a camel.

And an elephant.  Have I ever mentioned that elephants are my favorite land animal?  

They are.  

I love elephants.  I think they are so cool.  I've always wanted a coffee table book about elephants.  I love to watch specials on TV about elephants.  Elephants are cooler than bow ties and fez's.

When we go to the zoo, they always have a couple of fences between us and the elephants so no one can get close enough to touch the elephant and possibly get injured.

Apparently zoos in Argentina are different.

Very different.

Very, very, very different.

Can you imagine being allowed in the cage with a lion or a tiger in America?  That would never happen because of the possibility of a lawsuit.  No one worries about the possibility of death or dismemberment, but a lawsuit is something to be feared.

Notice how they have a pile of meat in front of that tiger.

Hopefully if he gets peckish, he'll eat that first, giving everyone else time to escape.

Ben's girlfriend (I'm not using her name, because it just occurred to me she might not want me telling a bunch of strangers on the internet who she is although Ben assured me that she wouldn't mind if I used pictures of her) is in Argentina speaking Spanish and helping people and being totally awesome.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


 My kids have got to be some of the most blessed kids on the planet.

Not only did Ben and Emily get to go to Oahu for the summer, but guess who got picked to work on Maui for a week?
 Ben.  That's who.

This is his fifth year working with CEF in Hawaii and he's always hoped to get picked to go to one of the other islands and it finally happened.

 CEF picked three students and two adults to fly to Maui and teach kids about Jesus.

Freakin' Maui, ya'll.

 Of course, I haven't really heard anything about it from Ben, but one of the adults posted pictures of their trip, and I can surmise from those photos what they did.

Apparently, Ben taught a Bible story while wearing a yellow shirt.

On Maui.

  On another day, he taught a story while wearing a red shirt.

 On Maui.

Another day, he....sang a song....while wearing a gray shirt, with a little girl who looks remarkably like his sister, Katie.  Clearly, he missed his sister since he picked her doppelganger out of the crowd to point out that he should sing higher.

 On Maui.

 They got to teach and play with the kids right by the ocean.

I actually know both the female students who went as well so it was great to see pictures of them too.

Neither of these girls is Ben's girlfriend BTW.  She's in Argentina petting lions and tigers.
I'm not kidding.

He also tried to sit on a pocket chair, but someone apparently snatched it away just as he sat.

 They like to play little jokes like that on Maui.

He also learned to levitate.  I'm quite impressed with the fact that they were all able to pick it up.  I can't wait to see him in person so he can show me.  Maybe I'll be able to get a video.

 I know he did not visit a barbershop while he was on Maui.
And apparently lost his razor.

 Down time was spent goofing around.

On freakin' Maui.

 Think he knows how lucky he is?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sweet Sixteen

My first baby girl has turned sixteen.

I just can't believe it.

She was our first girl, and the first female grandchild.

I've seen her through her "princess warrior" phase.

Her ballerina phase.
The years when she wasn't allergic to dogs.

A basketball tom-boy stage.

 Short hair, glasses, braces, we've done it all.

And wound up blessed with a gloriously beautiful, brilliant sixteen year old.

Happy Birthday, Emily!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Curly Hair and Dangly Earrings

Katie is growing up......
This week, she wanted to try curly hair.
So we coiled her hair up all over her head for a few hours.

When we took it down, it was like rope all over her head.
Or snakes.

But when we combed it out, she had these soft. beautiful waves.

Isn't that gorgeous??

She also put on her first pair of earrings that came below the earlobe.

Ah well, she's almost a teenager.  Come September, I will be the mother of three teens and no babies.

Man, that's weird.