Friday, October 31, 2008

It is Good and True

"They have three babies, " she said, "give them the goldfish crackers."

The old lady smacked the teenager's hand away from the gloriously large bowl of peanut butter cups in favor of the stupid, small orange crackers we eat almost every day.

I gasped.

But of course the candy is not supposed to be for me. Of course. But why not? After countless hours of collective childbirth & rearing, shouldn't I be able to shamelessly revel in raiding my kids' Halloween candy? I think so. Actually, I think it's only right.

I have a girlfriend who actually gets angry at her husband for swiping at the mini Milky Ways. But she's a good person who teaches Sunday School so maybe she's right and I'm wrong. It is possible.

In the meantime, I'm going hog wild on Tootsie rolls and Butterfingers. Some lady even gave out the big ones this year. No apples. No pennies. No Chick tracts. It was a good year.

Except for the part when Daddy didn't like Haven's homemade monster mask and dressed him as a pirate. There was drama.

But then the sugar coma made up for the madness.

One more thing. When my kids arrived home and dumped their booty on the floor I heard a voice boom through the living room: "Just ONE piece EACH!"

How cold and harsh. How lame and adult. How mom of a thing to say. How shocking to realize I was the one saying it. And all I can say is when did that happen? When did I go from being the one running in the cool dark night, dragging a pillow sack of candy to every house in the county to being the one who sneaks home early to wipe the kitchen table?

I don't know but am still trying to figure it out. Good thing I've got like 500 more mini candy bars to eat while I'm doing so and 3 small children who actually think mommy and daddy are supposed to eat the trick or treat stash.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Hate My Bathroom; COMPETITION ANNOUNCEMENT: Decorate My Toilet Seat and Win a Million Bucks!

At the risk of sounding completely ungrateful, I hate my bathroom. It quite certainly is the least favorite room in my house. I'll explain why in just a moment but before I do, let me tell all of you Depression era grandpa's out there who are saying: "Just be grateful you got a pooper" and "When I was a boy, we had to hike 15 miles in the snow and ice just to take a wizz in a rusty ole' hole" that YES, I am thankful for what I have. Yes, I'm thankful I've got a pooper (btw: apologies for actually writing the word "pooper." Frankly, I don't know what has gotten into me.) I'm thankful, thankful, THANKFUL!!

However, that doesn't mean I still can't HATE:

The view from my toilet of my neighbors gazebo that blew over 3 MONTHS AGO (not a good photo, but believe me it's ugly),

My light fixture that is oh so nihilistic and simple in design,

My black mold growing under the clear silicon caulk that the home improver before us put in that no matter how much you scrub remains black as black can be (and yes, that is an empty bottle of mustard that my kids have been using as a bath toy).

And finally, my wood paneling, broken toilet and linoleum that stays grey no matter how many times its bleached. I'll spare you pics of the vanity and the medicine cabinet but believe me, I hate those as well.

Now, before you move onto the next blog, there is a reason for this tirade: Note, my new white toilet seat. Gussie broke the previous one and we had to find a quick fix at WalMart cause the closest Loews is a bit of a drive.

When we were strolling the bathroom aisle, in addition to lusting over the shiny chrome wall fixtures and faucets, I had my eye on a palm tree toilet seat. Unfortunately, it didn't fit my pot. But it got me thinking that if I could decorate this white canvas of a toilet seat with something so insanely snazzy that I may possibly be able to take my hated bathroom full circle in my mind from being my most hated room because it's so ugly and strange to being my most favorite room because it's so ugly and strange (got that?).

Here's where you come in. My only ideas so far for toilet seat adornment are:

1. a painting of a coyote (so I could invite guests to sleep in the cowboy room and make use of the coyote potty); it would also be a nod to Brett's sweatshirts on Flight of the Concords

2. a desert island scene (kinda like the palm tree potty seat that first gave me the idea) -- only this one would have a cactus and a cowboy / Indian battle scene, a hula dancer and fireworks in the background

3. fuchsia, just plain fuchsia (so far this is my personal favorite)

Pete suggests a poem about the potty itself but I don't know. Whatever I do it will have to be in permanent pen or marker as it will have to withstand frequent bleaching.

But as I said earlier, here's where you come in. If you email me or write in comments about how I should decorate my potty and I choose your idea, you'll win the following rad prizes:

1. I'll use your idea, take a photo of your suggested art and give you credit for it on this here blog.

2. I'll bake and send you cookies (I mean it and that's better than a million bucks. Well, not really, I know. But hey, if I make my kids play with empty mustard bottles in the bath I obviously can't afford such a pricey reward.)

3. Full usage of your prize-winning, decorated potty any and every time you visit my ugly, but no longer hated bathroom.

So get to work. Time's running out. Competition ends a week from today. So send in your ideas and help me make my hated pooper a potty so pretty that it is no longer hated but a mecca of bathroom bliss.

You also may just win blog fame and cookies while you're at it.


Friday, October 24, 2008

If I Had a Hammer

So if you need a break from the presidential race (of course you do), rent season one of Flight of the Conchords but only if you like your humor dished out in an Ishtar (yes, I said Ishtar), Waiting for Guffman, Napoleon Dynamite kinda way.

The show is about two loser songsters from New Zealand and is completely impossible to describe other than to say it is far more interesting and hilarious than watching the polls.
Speaking of the polls. I just need to say one thing about this scary and surreal presidential election.

Has everyone forgotten that the first and foremost job of the President is to be the Commander in Chief of the US Military -- to be the buck stops here dude of the Federal Government? Somehow the job has morphed into being a conglomerate King / Messiah / bobbing head personification of everything Americans think they are, wish they were, want the world to think we are while at the same time saving us from all we're not, all we've squandered and all we'll always fail to be.

No wonder we're always disappointed in the dude. And no wonder he always does a crappy job -- because his job description has become too large. Wouldn't it make more sense if the guy could just make sure our boarders are safe and declare war if needed (OR NOT). That and veto a few bills here or there, maybe grant a pardon or two ... Why should the guy tell us how to marry, educate our kids or decide when life begins? Doesn't anyone remember that America is comprised of 50 united States, each with its own capable ruling authority able to mete out law for its people. [note: I realize I am no expert on Government but I hope you'll grasp the spirit of what I'm saying.]

If we had wanted a King, we shouldn't have all hopped on the Mayflower. If we want a Messiah, good news -- he arrived 2000 years ago and is still saving people soul by soul throughout time (but that's another story), if we want a bobbing head to personify all that America stands for then vote for an actor who at least can deliver a good speech -- oh yeah, that's been done ... But if we just want a president ... oh but that would be too simple ... so simple that perhaps our boarders would even end up secured ... vote for ...

Thank God we have a few more days to figure this one out (okay, okay, conservatives, of course I'm voting for McCain, but only reluctantly).

In the meantime, rent Flight of the Conchords, watch it, then call me to talk about how stinkin funny it is.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Welcome Caleb David


Congratulations Jesse, Anna & Piper! We are so happy about your new arrival and can't wait to meet him in person.

Much love,

Sarah, Pete, Haven, Gussie & Simeon

P.S. Caleb looks like a very small version of Jesse wrapped in a blanket. Actually, he looks like Jesse and a little red alien space monkey ... a BEAUTIFUL little, red alien space monkey!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Manchop: A Trail of Destruction & Discipline Lesson #1: A Reflection on Disfunctional Correction

Sometimes cuteness cancels out naughtiness


Spankings can even be averted

When the cuteness is so cute that it supercedes the naughtiness (note: the reflection of the offenders face in the puddle of maple syrup on the table that was poured in the split second I took to clean up the depotted plant. Seeing that I took time to photograph the event rather than tan a hide, one would successfully conclude that this would be a prime example of cuteness superceding naughtiness -- it happens; shh, don't tell Dobson).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkins and Poodles

Placing babies on pumpkins is a sure indicator that one has been raised by poodles ...

Gussie picked his pumpkin quickly with a furrowed brow and a decisive grunt ... Raised by poodles? I think not. Poor boy ...

And here's Manny again posing the baby on a pumpkin: more evidence of a happy poodle upbringing.

That is, if being raised by poodles turns a lady into the best grandmother that ever walked the face of the earth.

That's right, Manny came back for her fall visit. We picked pumpkins, walked through leaves and let the sunshine of her love warm us all weekend.

The poodles must know what they're doing. The pumpkin thing made the baby smile all afternoon. He looks a little less like a turnip now. More like Winston Churchill... no, more like the Christmas elf who stole all the candy and ate it himself ... not so much like the German tourist anymore ... but he's definitely happy. And he's definitely insanely good looking and ridiculously handsome just like his daddy ... but enough baby gushing ... and husband gushing (yikes!) ...

Haven clearly wasn't raised by poodles. Poor boy. He's displaying early signs of homeschooling. I should just stop that right now for his own good. Poodles, I tell you. Poodles ... I need to find a few ...

And here's the happy family on the glowing day in October that Manny visited.

Manny dear, thank you so much for seeing the beauty around you when so many couldn't recognize it if it smacked them upside the head.

You are sunshine. Your are magic. You sprinkle childhood with dizzying stardust, and I'm so very glad you come around to sit on my couch and read books to my children.

I'll see you at my mom's place in November and December so please come back up our way in the dead cold of February to pull us along to spring. We'll need you so badly then. We'll need you and ALL the poodles. Call them now so they pencil it in ...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

October's Eventide

Marshmallows and moonshine,
you're mine
all mine
Along with the revelers who shared you
On this October evening
Lighter fluid, lanky limbs
cool air, smoke and dust
You're still warm here in my hand
On this October evening
Autumn dear, stay longer this year
stomp off a wee bit slower
Of course you'll decline
but for now you're mine
On this October evening

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Tunnel

I read this article recently that describes the parenting stage when you have a couple kids and the oldest is not yet 5 years old as "the tunnel" -- sweet, precious but also oftentimes dark and trying.

I could immediately relate.

But then I stumbled on this picture of Gussie lounging on a sleeping Pete. My Gus -- so sweet and dependent with his thumb in his mouth. I remember those jammies; he wore them this past spring when the mornings were still cold. He's already grown so much in the few months since this picture was taken.

I look at the picture and think about the babies I have now -- Haven, Gussie and Simeon. And while the Lord may send new ones, I'll never have these ones just the way they are ever again. They're growing and changing so much everyday.

It's in these rare moments of clarity that I realize what a treasure I have here in this "tunnel." And in these moments I try to slow down ... leave the kitchen messy ... the whole house for that matter ... cause I sure am in "the tunnel," but at least when I look at this picture, I don't ever want to leave.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Walk for Life

Walk for Life
This Saturday, Oct. 4th
Lehigh Canal Park
Weisport, PA
10 a.m.

We'll be there & I hope you'll join us.

Prayer to End Abortion

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life, And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters. I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the Resurrection of Your Son. I am ready to do my part in ending abortion. Today I commit myself Never to be silent, Never to be passive, Never to be forgetful of the unborn. I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, And never to stop defending life Until all my brothers and sisters are protected, And our nation once again becomes A nation with liberty and justice Not just for some, but for all, Through Christ our Lord.


-- Priests for Life