Monday, December 14, 2009

A brief moment of duh...

I should be showering, but instead I'm sitting here at the computer because of what Timothy just said to me. As I was doing the breakfast dishes, he walked up to me and said, "Know what, Mama? I have an invisible friend! Do you know where he is?"

"No, Timothy," I replied, "where is he?"

There was a long pause followed by an exasperated reply. "No, I'm asking you where he is. I can't find him because he's invisible!"

I really should have seen that one coming.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas music

My music-loving kid, Timothy, has been learning some Christmas songs at school. This was a huge relief, because to tell the truth, if I have to hear "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells" just one more time...

Anyway, he was singing them in the car for me today. His favorite is "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town". Unfortunately, he doesn't have all the words exactly dead-on. He starts off with, "You'd better watch out, you better not kraut! You better not pout I'm telling you why..." I blame Chris' obsession with bratwurst and sauerkraut.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The spirit of the season?

Yesterday I sat down with the kids to try to get an idea of what their Christmas wishes might be. In their favor, neither of them has really asked for much lately. I appreciate that, but it makes Christmas shopping hard. So Gabe got out a notebook and pencil, and we sat down to write lists.

Gabe's list contained several toys and games. Fine, they were all reasonable. Then he wrote down one that wasn't. "Internet access" Um, no. His uncle, who was on the phone with Chris at the time, quipped, "Why not ask for a car, too?" Don't tempt him, Jon, don't tempt him.

Timothy's list...well, there isn't a whole lot I can do with that. He wants the following items: bug spray so he can kill bugs by himself, air freshener for his room, which he informs me smells "beige", Mozilla Firefox (I'm 100% sure he has NO idea what this is, it just sounded neat), a laptop, a game system, movies on video that we already own on dvd, and a book about Santa Clause feeding some animals. Let's just say he's not going to get much on his list. The good news is that being four, he won't remember what he asked for next week. At least, I sincerely hope he won't!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The usual delays

Well, not the usual ones. More like some new and innovative ones that have kept me from blogging in the last week. Exhibit A: Timothy fell on the playground at school and ended up with five stitches in his chin. Pictures to follow, as soon as I dump the camera card.

Exhibit B: Morning sickness. Not serious morning sickness, and hey, it waited till I was 8 weeks pregnant to start, so maybe it'll be short-lived. Meanwhile, I spend a lot of my time sitting around feeling queasy and tired.

Speaking of the baby, the kids were discussing in the car last week what we should name the baby. Gabe is in favor of deciding on a boy and a girl name right away and then we'll be ready when we find out what we're having. He suggested that John was a good name and would fit with his and Timothy's names, being from the Bible. I told him we'd consider it. Then Timothy piped up solemnly, "Yes, and if it's a daughter, then we can name it Nick."

He was quite disappointed when I told him that was not going to happen. And both kids were disappointed to hear that they don't get a vote in naming the baby. I just don't want to end up with a daughter named Nick Spike John.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


These pictures are more than two months old, but I've been meaning to post them, so why not? Since late summer, we've been enjoying the return of our dear friends, Javier and Sonia, to Tulsa. We've spent a lot of weekends with them, mostly just hanging around. And eating. There is a lot of eating when we get together. Not sure why that is. Friendship must make us hungry. Anyway, this was back in September, and the boys were goofing off outside while we were waiting for the Driller Stadium fireworks. It's a little surprising the Little Tyke car survived, because it's practically an antique. But here are all three of my boys riding it, while Nick (Javi's son) looks on, probably waiting for the whole thing to collapse.

This was just a cute picture of Timothy. No other reason for posting it.

Like any self-respecting Drillers fans, we preferred to watch the fireworks from the Lowe's parking lot, along with everyone else to poor or too uninterested in the baseball game to pay admission to the stadium. Gabe and Nick had the best seats in the house.

Ooooooooooooooo! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Chris has decided there must be one picture of me from every set. Here it is.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just another sunset

After an unseasonably cold October, we had a gorgeous beginning to November. There's nothing quite like Indian summer, and around here, it tends to result in really spectacular sunsets. I'm no photographer, and my pathetic little point-and-shoot and I have a love/hate relationship. Actually, it might be more of a hate/hate relationship. Anyway, this is the best I could do with the sunset we saw coming home from Mom and Dad's house the other night.

I really did try to get a shot with no power lines in it, but this one was probably the best picture, despite the distractions.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A new arrival...

This time it isn't a cat.

At least...I don't think it's a cat. It's pretty hard to tell at this point.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Heart attack at a glance...

I looked out the window and for a moment, I thought Boris had been injured. Nope, Timothy colored him pink with sidewalk chalk! Crisis averted!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Zombies and other killer things in my neighborhood

It's a well-known fact that the man at the end of my street is a zombie. For one thing, although he is at least 60 years old and lives alone, he feels the need to come out at odd intervals of the night throughout the year to set off fireworks. I think he's trying to cause enough confusion and chaos that no one will notice if he eats a few people. For another thing, he has a bumper sticker that says "Got Brains?". And lastly, when I lost my cool last summer and stomped down the street in my pajamas to yell at him for waking my children with fireworks yet again, there was this odd smell of rotting flesh. He tried to tell me it was because everyone had trash out on the curb, but I didn't buy it.

Anyway, it's a weird neighborhood. I mentioned earlier that poison ivy attacked me over the summer. And I think I also mentioned the tomato plant that is trying to take over. Here it is in all its glory. I'm really not sure this shows the magnitude of this tomato plant, but it's roughly ten feet in diameter, and still growing. I didn't intend to have a tomato plant in my flower bed. The plant assures me that's part of its mystery and charm.

These are some of its offspring. They are delicious. Well, except for the one that was rotten and erupted like a volcano in my kitchen when I snapped the stem off. That one was NOT delicious.

And while we're on the subject of killer plants, meet mine and Gabe's favorite tree.

One morning on the way to school, Gabe asked if I'd ever noticed that the tree appeared to be trying to strangle the light pole. I hadn't, up till then. Gabe is pretty sure the tree is tired of being kept awake by the light at night. What do you think?

Doing our civic duty...

Yesterday was the Tulsa mayoral election. Our polling place is very close to the house, and is usually pretty slow in the mid-afternoon, so I typically go after I pick Gabe up from school and take both kids with me. Gabe is getting older and is more interested in how the government runs, so he wanted to know what we were voting for on the way inside. I told him we were voting for who would be mayor, but I failed to mention that there were a couple of other things on the ballot. He stood and read over my shoulder as I filled out my ballot for mayor, city counselor and several propositions.

Fast forward to this morning. Chris is off work for Veteran's Day and he generously offered to take Gabe to school. OK, that's a lie. When the alarm went off, I "accidentally" shoved him bodily from the bed and then mumbled, "Since you're already up, wanna take Gabe for me?" At any rate, on the way to school this morning, they were listening to the news report on the election. "Daddy," said Gabe, "What prepositions did you and Mama vote for anyway?" I feel that it would be best, when he gets home from school, if I explained to him that his father's answers of "About, For and With" might not be fully accurate.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What I did over my summer vacation

There is really no fast way to catch up on months of blog neglect. Especially if you are like me and can't for the life of you figure out how to flip pictures so that blog readers don't throw out their necks turning their heads to look at the pictures. But I digress.

I decided it would be easiest just to post some random assortments of pictures. And by the way, my use of the word "vacation" might have been a little sarcastic. Moms don't get vacations. They don't get sick leave or overtime, either. I tried standing in the living room with a sign demanding fair treatment, but no one even noticed, so I gave up.

First off, I grew some things. These are peas. The best peas you'd ever hope to eat. And I grew them. If you want your kids to eat vegetables with enthusiasm, try having them help grow them. Amazing!
I also spent a lot of time cleaning bunny cages, brushing bunnies, carting bunnies outside for play time, trying to catch bunnies when they sneakily opened their cages and escaped into my kitchen, and made disgusting oooooing and aaaaahing noises over how cute they are. Knit sleeps on his back with his giant furry feet in the air, but I haven't caught it with the camera yet.

My children also spent a fair amount of time communing with Knit. They know better than to get too close to Purl. We're fairly certain she descended from the rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In other words, she's slightly evil.

Then my friend Kat, known among certain circles as "Kat the Enabler", taught me to dye yarn. It was fun. REALLY fun. Here is some sock yarn I dyed. I call it...Hubba Bubba. Am I dating myself? I loved that gum!

At some point, this creature adopted me. Her name is Maura. She weighs all of five pounds, has only three working legs, and is The Boss. When Maura meows, you listen. I find that letting her run the household saves a lot of unnecessary worry. Plus, my children obey her far better than they obey me.

As you can see, I grew some more stuff. These were my herbs somewhere mid-summer. The small tomato plant below has since made a play for domination and taken over the front yard. I should really take a picture, because I'm not kidding. One day, my house will just be the big lump covered in tomato vine. However, I'm not complaining because we've had LOTS of tomatoes.
Kat was involved in this activity as well. She taught me to spin. I've always wanted to learn, and I'd been saving for a wheel. For my birthday, Mom, Dad and Pawpaw conspired to get me my own wheel. I also need a picture of that. Because this is apparently the only part of my wheel that I photographed. Odd.
And then I grew some stuff. This is a heap of mixed greens. It was delicious. We ate pretty well this summer, considering my garden tried to kill me. (It gave me poison ivy that landed me in the ER. Twice. And no, I wasn't trying to grow poison ivy. It's a long story.)
I would like to say I grew this, but I didn't. The birds did. I have very helpful finches.
I made some pickles, using my grandma's recipe. My cucumbers didn't do very well, but my cousin donated some cucumbers to the cause. I enjoyed making them, even if the smell of the brine caused Timothy to walk around with his shirt over his face for an entire day.
So, that was my summer vacation, the highlights. Yes, I realize I turned into a hippie. I didn't mean to, if that counts for anything.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

If my cats don't hate me yet...

It's probably a miracle.

I truly don't know what possesses me sometimes. Poor Meanie.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween 2009

I truly don't mean to go months between posts. I don't. It just happens. I've had so many gentle reminders (from my two remaining readers!) in the recent past, I finally dumped the camera card and here I am. We are big fans of Where the Wild Things Are. The book more so than the movie, but we did take the kids to see the movie, too. So it came as no surprise when Timothy expressed interest in owning a wolf suit. Unfortunately, because the movie came out so close to Halloween, no wolf suits could be located. What's a mother to do? The answer is take a trip to the fabric store and beg her own mother for help! Gabe decided he would be a Wild Thing (not a big stretch for those of you who know him!) and we were set!

Mom helped me a lot with Timothy's costume, especially the hood, which was a little tricky. I managed Gabe's by myself. Both boys had knitted fun fur tails. Here they are showing them off, with Boris doing his best to roar his own terrible roar, gnash his terrible teeth, roll his terrible eyes and show his terrible claws. Or, you know, just sit there and beg for attention.

Here I am with the Wild Things.

My friend Lena goes all out for Halloween, so we had to stop by and see her house. Here are the boys, posing with her she-wolf!

This is how the evening ended. Timothy enjoyed trick-or-treating in Mom and Dad's neighborhood for about an hour, and then he was done, so I took him back to the house to hang out with the grandparents and eat some candy while Gabe and Chris went back for more. It was rather a warm evening, for Halloween, so Timothy ended up shedding his fleece once inside. I guess Chris was feeling left out...

The head sprouting from his back is NOT part of the original costume. I don't have my sister's eye for photography, clearly!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Trying to win some fabric...

My mom is having a give-away for her blogiversary, so I'm posting for an extra chance to win. If you want to see her beautiful quilts (and maybe a shot or two of my adorable-albeit-slightly-evil kids), click on the word "Mom" under blogs I read!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Five Senses

Lest this become the world's most depressing blog, I have a kidlet story. Today when I picked Timothy up from preschool, we were talking about his day as we drove to Gabe's school. I knew his class has been studying the body, so I asked if they were still talking about the five senses in group time. With a little help, I got him to name sight, hearing, touch, smell...but he was struggling on the last one. At last, he said, "Oh, I know! It's temptation!"

Trying to keep a straight face I said, "I think you might mean taste."

"No," he insisted, "it's temptation! Like, if there is a cake on the counter and you would like to eat some but you haven't had your dinner yet, you should probably wait till after dinner! That's temptation!"

You can't argue with that kind of logic!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Beautiful Weeds...

I had a dream about my granny last night, and I can't stop thinking about it today. In my dream, Granny and I were sitting at a roadside park. We were on a trip together, and we had stopped to rest. It was a perfect spring day, and although Granny was beautiful and healthy, like I remember her from my childhood, I knew in the dream that she was going to die, and that this was the last time I was going to see her. We were talking about flowers. I asked her if she remembered the blue flowers that used to grow around her house when I was a little girl. They bloomed in the morning and then closed up for the rest of the day, and I thought they were the most beautiful flowers in the world. I used to pick them and bring them inside, but they would close up and never open again. I tried to press or dry them, but they lost all their lovely cornflower blue and just shriveled up. I even tried taking pictures of them, but the pictures never showed their true color. I asked Granny in my dream why she thought it was that I could never preserve them when I was a child. She answered, "Because it's against the rules, Honey. We don't get to stop time to enjoy the beauty we find in life. We don't get to keep it forever. We're just supposed to enjoy it as much as we can while we have it because it never lasts very long."

That's what my life is: a series of lovely weeds. The things I plant don't always grow, but there are plenty of flowers anyway, just waiting for me to stumble upon them. I wish I'd had more time with my grandmas. It doesn't seem fair that they're both gone. But I have so many memories of the things they said, the things we did together and the times I spent with them. I have the most beautiful field full of wildflowers in my memory.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The makings of a memory...

It's been another sad week for my family. My grandma passed away suddenly on Saturday morning, and we've all been dealing with the grief related to losing someone so dear to us. I thought I should write about Grandma and what she meant to me. We each knew her a little differently...each relationship was unique.

Grandma was a quiet, peaceful person. When I was a kid, walking into her house was like being wrapped up in a cozy blanket. She lived in the country, and I looked forward to exploring the woods, playing with my cousin who lived down the road, and working in the garden. I guess being raised in the city meant that I never had to work in the garden long enough for it to become a chore. I remember sitting on the back steps in the evenings, snapping green beans. I remember the way scratches from the blackberry bushes stung when I rinsed them in the pump, and how good that well water tasted on a hot day. I remember Grandma and Mom in the kitchen, canning vegetables from the garden or cooking a meal. Grandma always made my birthday dinner when we were there. She would make whatever I wanted, and I think I usually asked for pork chops, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and green beans. It was always delicious.

Grandma loved animals. I remember her having several cats throughout the years, and she always fed the birds. Her yard is full of bird feeders and nest boxes, and we had a lot of conversations about what birds had visited her feeders. As an adult, I always called her with my gardening questions. We also shared a love of African violets, peonies and irises.

Needle crafts were another hobby we shared. Grandma was an excellent seamstress, and spent many evening hours stitching away on quilts, embroidery and crochet projects. Maybe that's where I get my "crafty" gene.

The day Grandma went to be with the Lord I went to a dear friend's house, and when I walked in she was pulling jars of dill pickles out of a stock pot. That about summed it up for me. Grandma was the smell of dill, the way those pickles looked in the jars, and the impatience I felt waiting the required six weeks before opening them. She was fresh spearmint from the garden in a glass of iced tea. She was quiet summer evenings and beautiful handmade quilts. She has left a big hole in the lives of all of us who knew her, but I know that when we get to heaven, she'll have a meal ready, and beds made up with beautiful quilts. I hope that she has a garden where weeds never grow and every pretty bird there is.

Friday, July 10, 2009

When kids are literal...

The other night, Chris made stuffed bell peppers for dinner. There were two green ones, a red, a yellow and an orange. He gave Gabe first choice (yes, I know, my kids are really weird and will eat stuffed peppers!) and he chose orange. Of course, Timothy then wanted orange, too, but we didn't have another orange one. I gave him a yellow one and told him, "This one has your name on it!"

Skip forward 45 minutes, and Timothy is STILL at the table. This is unusual. He normally inhales his food in under 10 minutes. So I went back to check on him and he was dejectedly clearing his empty plate. "What's wrong?" I asked. "I ate all my dinner," he replied, "but I couldn't find my name written on my pepper."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I've been away for a while...OK, a looooong while...and it's hard to get back on the blog wagon. To tell the truth, this is a blog I've been working and reworking in my mind for a while, and just can't seem to get it out. As most of you probably know, my granny passed away on June 19. I don't know how I can possibly express in one blog just how much she meant to me, but I'm going to try anyway.

Granny was beautiful, kind, and had a wicked sense of humor. She bought me my first bikini and my first miniskirt, and somehow managed to convince my dad to let me wear both. I think she enjoyed his discomfort, actually. When I was a kid, I knew her as a Story Teller, and the Keeper of Secrets. Andrea and I always thought we were pulling a fast one on her when we'd get her to tell one story after the other at bedtime. Now I realize she was well aware that we were getting to stay up late, but telling us stories was important to her, so she did it. As an adult, I saw more in her stories, and came to know her as someone who lived through some really hard times and refused to let life take away her sense of fun. She had a smile that was irresistible.

I think that most of my favorite stories will always be the ones that involve Granny, and I hope I remember them well. I'll never tell them quite like she did, but my kids will hear them. Most likely, they'll hear them until they begin to roll their eyes every time I start talking. But hopefully, someday they'll look back and remember the stories, and tell them to their own children. Who will roll their eyes. Because that's how it works.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Delana's little cupcake

It's been a while since I posted any knitting projects, so I thought I'd put this one up. Just finished it today. My friend Delana, who has four sons, is pregnant with a little girl. I wanted to make something really cute for her. This hat and mittens were just the thing.

I know it's hard to tell size on this, but it's approximately 6-12 months. The baby is due in May, so I hope it fits her next fall/winter. The hat is pretty stretchy and might be able to go for two seasons.

This was such a quick set. I made it in about a week.

Dyeing (not to be confused with dying)

Here are a few pictures of us dyeing eggs. Note that I made the kids strip down to prevent messes, yet I was the one who ended up with multi-colored fingers!

Gabe really likes to write on the eggs with a white crayon and see the magic writing appear. It should be noted that I do feed this child. If he gets much skinnier I'll have to put weights on him on windy days.

Timothy wanted to try writing on the eggs, too.

We had some random mystery dye packs from last year, and I wasn't really sure what colors they would be. Most of the colors were really cool, but then there was one that was...brown. It wasn't ugly, it just looked like a brown egg.

When it came out of the dye, there was this long silence. Gabe said, "It''s..." Timothy piped up, "Poo!"

Timothy was especially impressed at the egg dying process this year.

This was my favorite egg! The only pink dye we had was really grainy, so I overdyed with blue and got this! Now, to try it with yarn!

Our finished products!

Easter '09

OK, time for a few pictures from Easter! Here are the more formal pics. As if my sons have ever taken a formal picture in their lives! It's more like..."formal". So, we start with the whole family.

Now, my silly boys. They clean up pretty well.

Chris and me...I asked why he never smiles, and he said he WAS smiling. His smile is very...subtle.

Grandma and Grandpa were in town for the weekend. The boys had a great time playing with them. Timothy taught Grandma his version of Monopoly, which seemed to involve a lot of going to jail.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I'm trying to keep up with the blogging, but I haven't had much time to think about it. I'm hopelessly behind! However, here are pictures of the first time we used our new fire pit! Chris found a great deal on one, and we bought stuff to make s'mores and enjoyed an evening of cooking out! Timothy REALLY enjoyed the s'mores! Can you tell by his sticky cheeks?

It's been a little windy for a fire, so we had to be really careful. We've done fine with lots of daddy supervision. Let's face it, all little boys are pyromaniacs! Come to think of it, so are most big boys!

Gabe is old enough to roast his own marshmallows, and takes great joy in doing so.

I made the mistake of tossing a dropped marshmallow to Buster. I've created a monster! He's mostly polite about his begging, but I can't leave him next to Timothy because the moment I look away, he's ready to snatch Timothy's treat. He seems to feel that's what Timothy gets for being just on the level of his mouth. Oh, well, it does make for easy cleanup of sticky fingers!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


We're really enjoying the return of some warmer weather. We'll ignore the minor blizzard of last weekend when I say that March has been a pleasant month. One of the things Timothy really enjoys is going to the park to feed the ducks.

I'm not entirely sure what he's doing here, except that the ducks must have done something hilarious. Ducks, by the way, are very polite animals. Geese, on the other hand...

Are NOT!

I'm thinking seriously of blowing up this photo and having it framed!