Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The drama continues

I was telling a friend yesterday how we were at somewhat of a lull in family drama lately.

So last night, I was wrapped up in a book and pretty much ignoring the kids. I'd called them for dinner, but they were having a good time playing outside, so I let dinner sit at the stove for a while longer so I could enjoy a moment of laziness.

In came most of the kids with a stray dog who wandered through most of the house before we finally got its flee-bitten hide back out the door. I sent Kristofer to gather everyone up for dinner, but no one came.

Next thing I knew, I took a call from a neighbor, "Konner is on his way home with my son. He hurt his knee."

When I took a look at the knee, I groaned inwardly. Stitches. Sure as it was dinnertime. Somehow, Konner had managed to take a chunk out of his knee. So I called the on-call doctor, who told me that yes, I did need to bring him in -- that a butterfly probably would not do the trick. While I was talking to Keith on the phone, the stray dog was brought into the house again.

"Mom, we're putting him in the basement!"

(I'm now talking to Keith about our medical issues) "No, you may not put the dog in the basement, and GET THAT DOG OUT OF MY ROOM!"

On the way to urgent care, while taking several cell phone calls and arranging for rides to See You at the Pole the next morning, I discovered that Konner had also hit his head during his "incident."

"Mom, my head hurts. I don't feel good."

"Mom, I'm really hungry," this from Kylie who had joined us. I figured I'd throw in a visit for her, since her coughing had gotten worse.

By the time we got to urgent care, Konner was laying pathetically across two chairs. I felt around for any lumps on his head and found a doozie at the side. I also found out that ice helps bumps for up to 24 hours, so even though it had been 1 1/2 hours since the incident, it was still a good idea to put ice on it. (Even after 16 years of "incidents", there is always something to learn.)

An hour later, we left. Konner sported five stitches on his knee with a nice bandage wrap that made him look like a war veteran. I decided to wait on Kylie until today since urgent care is $50 instead of a regular $20 doctor's visit. Kylie, who was starving by then, got a chip bag from the snack machine, and we went off to the car to go home.

Two minutes into our drive home, Konner threw up all over himself and the car. The Shermans' car. The one we're borrowing until our van is fixed. Kylie was breathing into her chip bag to keep from throwing up herself. As I kept driving, unable to even clean up the poor boy until we got home, I kept praying, "O Lord, PLEASE let Keith be home now!" so that he could clean up the car! And he was. And he did, while I stripped Konner of spaghetti macaroni clothes, spaghetti macaroni bandages around his poor knee and settled him into the recliner reserved for the sick and pathetic so that I could watch him for any other signs of concussion. Poor guy. He was so tired. I woke him up again at about 11:00 to check on him, but he was fine. So, leaving Keith in the family room with Konner dozing on the couch and Kylie in another recliner dipped in Vick's Vapor Rub, I went to bed!

Now it's Wednesday. The older kids have all made it to See You at the Pole, and I've got Konner and Kylie home with me for the day. Kylie has a doctor's appointment at 11:10, and then I'm sure we'll be on our way to get antibiotics after that. It's kind of nice, though, to have some company. Kody is deliriously happy. And they're hungry, of course, but what else is new.

I asked them this morning about school, and Konner said he really likes it. Kylie is worried that I won't get the proper permission note in for her to get back to school. And they're bored. Just like that, less than two weeks of school, and they're already acclimated to a school routine. Both Kylie and Kade talked about how they've never gotten their name on the board, and how terrible it is that Kade has gotten his name on the board TWICE. This doesn't surprise me too much, since Kade is a talker. Then they launched into stories about wayward classmates and how much trouble they had gotten into. Tisk, tisk, tisk.

They sure do grow up fast.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Morning Mist

Looking down my street
Looking up my street

The Zanies

This is what happens when someone else gets a hold of my camera . . .
And this!
And this!
Keva tries the hat on for size, too.

A typical Saturday afternoon

Keith watches football -- He's thrilled that I came to take his picture.
Commando Konner
Kade and Konner were invited to a neighbor friend's birthday party, and unbeknownst to me, Kylie snuck in, too. I'm going to call and apologize to my neighbor for the party crasher!
Kristofer at the computer playing Roller Coaster Tycoon

Home of the Braves

Kathleen on her way to a Braves game with a neighbor friend.

Blessed be Your Name

I love Dan Redman's version of this song, but I came across Rebecca St. James singing it and decided to post her version instead. Listen to the way she says "Blessed be the name of the Lord." It gives me goosebumps! The words of this song are so rich.

40 Days

Nothing yet on the job front. I need to step it up a notch.

I got a second call in as many school days from Kylie's school nurse. Yesterday, Kylie was complaining of her chest hurting. She had been complaining of a stomach ache through most of the weekend, as well, so I told the nurse that it was probably a little bit of a flu bug. The nurse had already checked her vitals and even her oxygen saturation level, and reported that everything was normal. She also told me that if I wanted to have medication for her, to just fill out a form and send the medication in its original bottle to school with Kylie so that she, the nurse, could administer it to her. Like Tums, for instance.

Personally, I think Kylie's still in shock over all of the attention she gets when she's hurt herself or has a pain. At home, I just kind of wave her off to the couch to rest, "Stop fussing at me, Kylie, and go lay down!" A natural nurse I am not.

I'm still trying to catch us all up on our laundry. Kade and Konner changed twice this morning, trying to find the perfect matching clothes to wear to school today. They think they're being so sneaky. Most people get them confused because, to others, they look so much alike. And now, because Konner has also lost his top front tooth, they look all the more alike.

Konner is getting all of his front permanent teeth in at the same time, and the baby teeth are not falling out fast enough. While I was at the Women's Retreat, Keith got out pliers. PLAYERS! Ick! I get squeamish just thinking about it. And he pulled Konner's stubborn tooth out. Konner said it didn't hurt and was very proud of his big gap. I'm just glad I wasn't around to watch it! I'm getting all wheezy tingly just thinking about it now!

Tomorrow morning, the bigger students will be attending See You at the Pole, a national prayer time at each school's flag pole. This will kick off a 40 day challenge where they will pray, each have an adult to keep them accountable, and they will give up something they enjoy in order to keep a stronger focus on God. Keri Lynn decided to give up her book writing for 40 days. She has three or four books in the works. She loves to pound a way at the keyboard in her spare time and has become quite a writer. Kristofer adores computer games and will be giving that up for the 40 days. I was really impressed with the both of them and decided that I would give up television for 40 days. Of all three of us, I think that mine is the least sacrificial since TV is such a huge time waster anyway, but it is something I LOVE to do.

Now with the TV off and the kids away, it's quieter than ever!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Job Search

I'm going to keep this short as I'm in the middle of The Job Search.

I'm pretty sure I'll get a job with the couple from church. They own a lending group right here in our city. I imagine the pay won't be great at first, but it's a great opportunity to get my foot in the door to learn the business. However, I won't know about this particular job until Monday, and in the meantime, I'm still looking at other options.

1) Hospital. There are several openings at our local hospital that fit within my time frame and would probably pay well and also offer opportunities for advancement.

2) I re-applied at the same temp agencies I'd applied at several months ago, but this time with the more realistic day-shift availability. Neither agency sounded too promising, though. So, we'll see. At least my name's back on the list again.

3) I check the employment ads daily. You gotta love technology. I don't even need to get the paper. All I have to do is go on line to see what is available.

On the home front, the kids seem to be adjusting to school pretty well. I was especially worried about Kade, because his teacher didn't seem that nice, but he says he's doing okay. He complained about doing his homework yesterday because he wanted to go out and play so badly, but it only took maybe 45 minutes to get it all done. Each night he lays out his clothes for the next day without even being told. And he's out the door the next morning for that all-important bus ride!

Once everyone's home, though, it is BUSY. Pencils are being sharpened, backpacks are getting slapped onto the table, snacks are being consumed in alarming quantity.

I try to get all of the elementary kids to finish their homework before Kathleen and Keva come home, so I can give all of my attention to Kathleen. Keva gets to sit at the TV and watch Cyber Chase while Kody runs around with his tennis ball in his mouth begging for someone to play with him. The older kids, thankfully, don't need too much of my help anymore. Kristofer doesn't have a lot of homework anyway, much to the consternation of Keri Lynn and Kathleen. However, that is going to change next semester. He's got a HUGE load. I don't think he's going to be very happy.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Mary at Owlhaven has a great post on cheap ideas for birthday parties. Check out her comments for everyone's great ideas here! I love to check in on her blog regularly.

Friday, September 14, 2007

It's a doozy!

I would truly like a boring life. I really would. But life is definitely not boring. Ever. At all.

After much discussion and weighing many factors, we decided that I need the full school day to go to work. This means that the youngest three need to go to public school along with the other four so that I can work during that time. We are financially backed into a corner.

I've been able to stay home with my kids for sixteen years. It has been an intense wonderful experience that I would not trade for anything. I count myself so blessed to not only have an opportunity to be at home with them when they were babies, but to be able to educate them as well. I would recommend by far homeschool over any other form of education, but it is not to be for us right now.

So, with great heaviness of heart, we move to another era of life. And it's a doozy!

The decision was made on Tuesday, so I called Tuesday morning to start the process. By Tuesday afternoon, I took the three prospective students to tour the school. By Tuesday night, I was completing the thousands of reams of paperwork, and by Wednesday morning, the kids were IN school. Yep. That quick.

By Wednesday night, at our usual church activities, I talked to a bunch of people about my job search and the need for a loaner car. And guess what! Someone actually had not one but two cars available for me to borrow. However, since I'm not Houdini, I opted for just one car, a 1996 Ford minivan -- quite possibly the most beautiful vehicle on the road today. It has been nearly six weeks since I've had a car to drive when Keith is not at home.

So, THANK YOU to the Shermans! Thank you! Thank you! They said I could use it for as long as we needed it.

I was so giddy about having my own car, that I drove all around town the whole rest of the day. To the Goodwill. To Burger King to meet a girlfriend. To each of the kids' schools to complete affidavits -- a requirement that everyone needs to do to prove that they live in their particular school district. And then finally home again in a deluge of rain! Then, a few hours later I was off again for a quick trip to the grocery store with Kade and Konner in tow.

And now begins the job search. I have one very promising lead from the same people who let us borrow their car. I would love to work for them. The hours are perfect -- I'd be home in time to meet the first wave of kids coming home from school at 3:00. The next wave comes at 3:45 and 3:50, and the final wave of tired teenagers at 4:25. Then, begins the marathon of homework!

Kylie, Kade and Konner were all initially thrilled to start public school. They are still happy about it, so I suppose that's a good sign. I put each of them one grade behind where they should be so that they could do well. They should be in 4th, 2nd and 1st, respectively, but instead are in 3rd, 1st and Kindergarten. The principal and I both decided this would be the best start for them. If they do well and continue to progress, then they can be easily moved up to their appropriate grades. As it stands now, they seem to be all doing fine. Kylie has already been on a field trip. Kade has reading to do every night that is hard for him now, but will get him reading well in no time. Konner is working on the letter "P" -- he needs to bring "P" things to class all next week. For all three of them, the best thing about school so far is a tie. It's either the Mayfield ice cream that they can buy for snack time or the bus ride!

I've now had three days of complete and utter stillness at home for nearly EIGHT hours. EIGHT hours! And it's the strangest thing. I'll clean up around the house and I'll come back to, say, the dishes . . . and (cue Twilight Zone music) . . . the dishes are STILL clean! I vacuum and sweep and the floors (except for the darling dog chewing on stuff) is STILL clean! I check to see if the trash needs to be taken out, but it's only halfway full. I open up the refrigerator, and leftovers are still in there!

Once I start work, then Kody will truly be destitute. I feel especially bad for him, because if I'm in shock for all the quiet right now, imagine how he must feel! He's resorted to bringing his ball to my lap in pathetic attempts at attention. He plops himself down in all of his favorite hang-out spots with the most dejected look ever seen.

Update on the washing machine: It's fixed (as of today) . . . sort of. The parts actually came in! The repair man came and put the parts in. The washing machine now does mostly what it's supposed to do, except that it still leaks. So I called back, and he'll come Monday to check it over again. In the meantime, I've joyfully done four loads of laundry already.

Kade and Konner were nearly murdered when they came in for the second time this afternoon with their clothes completely soaked from playing outside with their bikes in the rain puddles. They are each wearing their FOURTH set of clothes. They are fortunate they are still alive. I said, none to happily and none to nicely, "Do you not realize that Mommy has a lot of laundry to do already and now I have to wash more of your clothes!!!!!"

But I am truly grateful to put dirty, yucky, half-mildewed clothes into the washer and bring clean clothes back out some 56 minutes later! Oh, how I love the modern age!

So how is all of that for an update! Head spinning?

Please be praying for us as we plunge through this transitional phase! God is so good and we are so grateful for His provision.

Monday, September 10, 2007

My very own set of super heroes

Aren't they just the cutest super heroes ever?!

Long live my washing machine

Greetings from the Land of Dirty Laundry.

On Friday, I called to check on the status of the ordered parts for my washing machine, and I was told one part had come in, but the other one was BACK-ORDERED until Sept. 19. Then, the next day, I received an automated call telling me that my service repair date could be scheduled for Sept. 14, that the part was due to come in on the 13th. Go figure. I'll take the earlier date, for sure. So, now, I wait for that anxious moment. It feels a little like the 9th month of pregnancy, to be honest. I'm uncomfortable, anxious and more than ready for the event to take place!

And I'm not very giddy like the last scheduled repair. I'm holding my emotions in check, not counting my chicks before they're hatched. No, siree! I'm waiting to see that washing machine do its thing, and then I'm going to throw a party.

Never mind that I'm three birthday parties behind for my own kids. No. There is a much more important issue at stake.

I really didn't think a broken washing machine would affect me the way this has. But I came to realize that about a dozen times a day, if I'm in between projects, need to get kick-started to clean up the house or touch a few dirty dishes, that the first thing I usually do is put a load in the wash. I always try to keep it going -- at least two or three loads a day normally and when I'm getting caught up, six or seven loads. But I can't do that now. I have switched to throwing a load of clothes into my bathtub, but that's not quite the same thing!

I've also discovered that it is VERY HARD to hand wash clothes and even harder to wring water out of clothes. VERY HARD! My muscles ache from the exertion. Not to mention that now I have some bleach stains on my clothes and I'm a lot more sweaty than when I started. TMI? I'm must getting started! Then, there's the whole problem of Keva's laundry. She is not allowed to poop out of her pants or onto anything at all until we get this machine fixed. However, she has not adhered to these rules. Kody, too, has had two accidents since the break-down -- I think he senses my stress! Not to mention, the little boys are the last remaining bed-wetters. So their room reeks! And they run out of clothes five times as fast as anyone else.

I have moved all of the dirty clothes to the guest bathroom next to the laundry room in anticipation of the repair man working his magic in there. So, it's impossible to use that bathroom and it is a very good idea to keep that door closed AT ALL TIMES.

And so the saga of the broken down washing machine continues . . .

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Feeling sorry for myself

So Keri Lynn came home yesterday and I asked her about her Algebra class and the fallout from the cheating. As it turns out, people complained about the noise level coming from that class on Friday, so much so that the PRINCIPAL came to give them all a talk. After that, the teacher passed out the graded quizzes, remarking about how everyone seemed to have done better with this go around. No clue. No idea of the drama that went on. Sigh.

The washer repair guy came at 10:30 and was here for maybe 20 minutes. Is the washing machine repaired? OF COURSE NOT! Why should it be repaired? It needs a new engine that, of course, needs to be ordered. Does it matter that the error message suggested a problem with the engine? Nope. Would the repairman have a engine in his handy truck? Nope. Will it take at least two days, but more likely a week, to get this engine? Yep. Am a ready to go cry in a corner? Yep.

So, I'm feeling a little sorry for myself right now. My muscles ache from hauling around laundry to the neighbor's all day Labor Day, and now I'm going to need to do that some more. I really really really would like a car now. I'm missing it. And I missed Bible study today. There is no one to watch the kids. Because of legalities, the church would need to fund a separate room and two childcare workers. Essentially it's up to me to figure out how to get a babysitter -- I'm going to start asking around the neighborhood for anyone who might like to swap babysitting since paying for someone is out of the question right now. I don't think we're going to make it to Wednesday night stuff tonight either because the car we've been borrowing is probably going to be unavailable. This is actually going to end up relieving two of the school kids who are swamped with homework.

I need a nap.

Not just another grocery store trip

I almost lost an opportunity to be with my kid.

I was heading off to the grocery store. It's not my favorite chore, but I don't mind it too much. I like to find the best deals and plan meals that my family will enjoy. But frankly, the thing I enjoy most about getting groceries is being able to be out all by myself.

So when Konner begged me to go with him, I automatically said "NO!"

I even threatened sending him off to bed for a nap because he was carrying on so. But, as I got into the car to drive away, there he was at the end of the driveway quietly sobbing to himself. That did it. What kind of monster was I, anyway?

"Okay, Konner. Go tell Daddy you're going with me to the grocery store."

He wiped his snotty nose so that a nice streak of dirt went across his face and ran back into the house as quick as he could. Before I knew it, there he was, strapped into the seat of honor next to me. In the front. Where he could touch the air conditioning vents, window and glove compartment to his heart's content.

And these were the topics of conversation for the 15 minute ride to Kroger. (Please know that all sentences started out the same, "Mom, Mom, Mom . . . " because, being the youngest kid, I'm not always inclined to hear him the first time.)

1) The art of riding a bike without holding on to the handlebars -- and his dismay that Mac hadn't believed him!

2) That bonfires are not BOMBfires, and being treated to a series of sound effects.

3) Tanks. "Mom, Mom, Mom, when a tank blows up a hole, how BIG does the hole get?"

4) "Mom, Mom, Mom," pointing to the street lights along the road, "are they on ALL night?"

5) The marvels of solar-powered lights

And that was just GOING to the store. As we pulled in, he pointed to a grocery cart, "Mom, Mom, Mom, do you remember when I rode in one of those?"

Inwardly, I sigh, thinking, Yes, I do, Konner. Yes, I do.

"But now I'm TOO big."

"You sure are a big guy, Konner. I'm so proud of you!"

He mentioned it again in the store about missing being able to ride in a grocery cart, and I wondered where the time had gone.

He behaved very well all through the store. He only asked for a few things, only had to go to the bathroom once, and was patient as I went down each aisle.

"Wow, Mom, you've got a lot of groceries!"

(Who knew that my weekly grocery comment would come from my own son!)

We passed the make-up, "Mom, Mom, Mom, I do NOT want make-up."

"Maybe I'll get some for your birthday!"

He guffawed.

Then, came the inevitable, "Could I have a little something to take home?" Then he cocked his head just so in his most adorable stance, the one that he knows full well I can't refuse.
"Okay, Konner, but wait until we're at the check-out."

And he did. He was very patient. He got himself a 3 Musketeers bar, then traded that it for a bag of Doritos, which he crunched happily all the way home. And to think that I'd almost missed that time with him.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

CARMAN LIVE! - Halloween 3:16 - The Champion

I had a Carman cassette tape with this song on it during my high school days. LOVE this!

Dear Tooth Fairy

Dear Tooth Fairy,

Please be advised that my sweet little boy Kade has lost his tooth. He had it in his hand and then it was gone.

He is VERY upset.

So I told him that I would send you an email explaining the circumstances. Would you please excuse the need for an actual tooth under the pillow.

Thank you for your consideration.

Kade's Mom

Breakdown Central

Things are breaking down left and right around here.

Our van is still down since August 6. Keith pulled it out of the garage yesterday to take out the riding lawn mower. I waited with baited breath to see if the transmission was miraculously healed, but it was not. The engine light blared RED and smoke plumed out. So, it's definitely needing to go to the shop.

Kody, dearly beloved dog -- nearly murdered dog -- chewed up my CD Walkman. I used that thing all the time for my walks. I just got finished listening to Jane Eyre (one of my favorites), and left it at a couch table and -- WAMMO -- the dog ate it. I was lucky to pry out the CD that was still in there. Grrrrrr.

Something's going on with my laptop, too. Keith has been working on it, but before I even think about applying for that job, I better have my computer in working order. Right now it's running dead-dog slow. (Hmm. Dead dog, that's a nice thought.)

Then there's the vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaner itself is fine, but the attachments went missing last week. I had to do the ol' "no one is going to play with any friends or go outside AT ALL" until we find the attachments! They are in this house SOMEWHERE! Find them!" Of course, they didn't find attachments that day, so I was stuck with a lot of grumpy kids in the house that day. (Note to self: Choose ultimatums wisely.) But, the attachments were eventually found behind a dresser -- don't even ask -- and one of them (the one that makes the attachment go longer) was chewed on my the dear dog. They still work, but my back may go out.

But far worse than any of the above troubles, is the ultimate of all troubles. The worst of the worst. The trouble to end all troubles. The washing machine has died. Not only died, but died at its peak need.

To be honest, each day the washing machine is at peak need, but last Thursday, I loaded up the wash as usual, and then gathered up the neglected laundry around the house, sorted it all into neat piles -- darks, lights and bleach-'em-to-death piles -- when the washer beeped a warning and gave up the ghost.

Fortunately, Keith saw fit to get a warranty on our washer and dryer. So, after he looked at it that night (and I was already breaking into a cold sweat because we had nothing clean THEN), I called for repair.

"Yes, ma-am, we'll send someone out to you . . . . .Wednesday."

"Wednesday? As in FIVE days from now? No one TOMORROW? I have SEVEN kids who are going to be running around NAKED! WEDNESDAY? Are you absolutely positive there isn't an earlier time?"

You all know the answer to that one.

So yesterday, out of sheer desperation, I borrowed a neighbor's washer and dryer. They were so sweet, because I had some NASTY stuff to wash. I felt like a woman in a third-world country taking my basket back and forth all day yesterday to get four loads done. I probably LOOKED like one, too, because of my lack of clean clothes. Hopefully, those four loads will do it for us until Wednesday.

And of course, Wednesday is when I'm supposed to start Bible study. I don't have a car to get there. I don't know if someone will be able to watch my kids. I don't even have anything to wear. And now, the repair guy is supposed to come on Wednesday. Do they tell me a time? Of course not . . .

"No, ma'am, we really don't know what time on Wednesday," he says a little strained, "I told you, they'll call between 7 and 9 for your appointment."

What's your bet that they'll be happy to repair the washer between 12:30 and 4:30, when I would actually be at home? Slim to nil is my bet.

This always happens with Bible study, though. It's always hard to go, especially with a new year. There are always obstacles in the way because it is so dangerous for Christians to actually know and rely on what Scripture says. So, given that it's going to take moving mountains to get to Bible study this year, I'm REALLY EXCITED to see what's coming!

Cheaters Anonymous

The four kids are back in school, Keith is back at work and that leaves me with with the Gruesome Threesome! It's hard to believe that we've been in school for a full four weeks, but the we are somewhat getting used to our new schedule. It was hard to get up with the alarm clock this morning, though, after a long weekend.

Keri Lynn is going back to school with an interesting situation at hand.

Algebra 2 is the last of four blocks and also one of her toughest classes. She does her homework and studies diligently and has managed to keep an A average so far. However, on Friday, the class had a sub. Remember the subs of yesteryear? They're the same as today. Exactly the same. Maybe even a little worse.

A group of kids in the class talked the sub into letting them take their quiz in pairs . . . and the sub agreed! Then, while the sub sat at her desk, the kids went around the class exchanging answers for their quiz. Since they didn't want to be caught cheating, they also arranged for certain of them to get various questions wrong.

As they did this, one of the kids approached Keri Lynn, "You're not going to tell the teacher about this, are you?"

Keri Lynn said, "I won't tell unless I'm asked."

The kid was astonished, "You mean, if you're asked, you'll actually tell?!"


Then, another kid wanted to look on to HER paper, but she refused, saying it was cheating and she would just do her own work.

Another student piped up, "Well, I'm not cheating, but I'm letting people look at my paper."
So Keri Lynn explained that that was cheating, too.

(Keep in mind that the sub is in the room the ENTIRE time, sitting at her desk. Good grief!)
There was a grand discussion about the whole process of sharing answers, but Keri Lynn stood firm, completed her quiz and came home with her interesting and alarming story.

I think what alarmed us so much was that only one student stood up to wrong. Just one. I'm proud of Keri Lynn, but I'd expect that from her. We talked at great length about it and about what to do today when she returns to class. She's certain that all of the kids are going to hate her now and think of her as a "goody two-shoes." However, I told her that more than likely there will be a small percentage of the kids that will look up to her for being true to her faith.

It's all about content of character.

Then, this weekend, Kristofer went on an outing with the high school afternoon bus driver and her family and two other families. She has been so impressed with the kids and their behavior, and she was seriously upset with me for sending them to public school. We talked on the phone and she told me how she could not believe that I'd give up with only a few years to go . . . and then she looked at her own kids in elementary school. A few weeks ago, she was picking up her fifth grader from school and found the teacher yelling at him in the hallway, so she pulled them from school and is now homeschooling her kids! She's a character, if you can't tell from this little story, and -- I'm certain -- a person God put in the kids' lives for such a time as this.

As usual, there is a ton of stuff going on with life. You'd think I'd get used to the fact that life just happens that way. There's good and bad along the way and we are each faced with whether or not we'll trust God for the day's burdens. I choose "YES!"

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Ode to Kody

Kody, one year ago today we brought you home! Our first family dog! We were all SO EXCITED! We just knew you would be the best dog ever! So we inducted you into the family with the same initials as the kids: Kody Lick. And now, amazingly, a year later, we've all lived to tell the tale of our dog Kody . . .

Kody, you love to be with people. You are warm and friendly and lovable. Since you know I give the best treats, you follow Mom everywhere. In the picture above, there you are in the middle of the kitchen floor. It is UNCANNY how you pick the most obtrusive spot in the house. If I'm in the kitchen for even a second, you plop yourself down at the nearest vicinity. Who cares if it's in front of the stove where I'm trying to cook or in front of the dishwasher where I'm trying to load or in front of the refrigerator where I'm trying to clean or at the counter where I'm trying to cut something up. Who really cares as long as you're with me!

Oh, and if I'm working at the computer, I ALWAYS close the door. A few minutes later, I hear a loud thump you, Kody, plunk yourself down agaist the door. I open the door and always am careful to look down so that I step over rather than into said dog body. At night, if hallway lights aren't turned on, Keith or I are going to kill ourselves falling you, fool dog!

Here you are, Kody, hanging out at your dog bowls. But you're not interested in the food in the bowl. Oh, no! You'd much rather have the food that's in the trash can. Or, if there is no food in the trash can, then you're perfectly content chewing up the trash itself -- cracker boxes, meat wrappers, paper towels and napkins. Heaven forbid we should put one of Keva's diapers in the trash -- Oh, no! We've learned from previous experience to send that DIRECTLY (do not pass Go, do not collect $200) to the trash bin in the garage!

But we're on to you now, Kody. We finally wised up. After first trying a trash can with a lid, then trying a big bag in the trash can that would cover up the entire front, and then trying to simply pile things on top of the trash can like a really bad episode from I Love Lucy, we finally started using our heads. Or actually, Kade did . . .

Kade said, "Well, why don't we just put the trash can in the pantry like at Jack and Thomas' house."

House is silent for a minute. I think I hear crickets.

"You know, Kade, that might not be a bad idea . . . "

And now, Kody can no longer get into the trash can because it's IN THE PANTRY!

Now let's discuss Kody's love of the laundry room. I "lovingly" call this room my Inner Sanctum since I spend so much time in it. Here's the picture of it in all of its glory. Take a moment. Breath it in. It's beautiful, isn't it? Or at least Kody thinks so, and joins me there any chance he gets. Most company gets to enjoy the wonders of laundry room aromas whenever entering the house from the garage.

Anyway, I digress . . .

I will finish (for the time being) doing work in the laundry room, and I come out to . . . you guessed it! Kody! Laying across the threshhold of the laundry room . . .

But I have not begun to describe Kody's favorite part of the day. Nothing is complete until we get to go retrieve Keva from the bus. He listens carefully for that magic moment. He perks his ears . . . Yes, yes, it is the bus! Mommy, it is the bus! It's time to go get her! It's time to fly and be free! Let's go! Let's go! You are way to slow!

And Keva loves this time, too. Now she can pull Kody's ears and yank his tail and choke him with his collar! This is great fun!

Oh, and don't forget laying on him. She loves to do that, too! Big hugs for Kody!

So, Kody, this is your day. For all of the messes and being in the way and barking at every single person who deigns to ring the doorbell . . . We salute you!