Monday, December 29, 2008

Almost forgot....It's Movie Quote Monday!

"It's a race, it's a race! I hope I win."

Bonus quote: "We need to get her to a hospital right away." "A hospital? What is it?" "It's a big building with a lot of patients, but that's not important right now."

A Christmas Card from My Kids

This project deserves its own post; Nanny and the kids worked VERY hard on it! It was easily my favorite (material) Christmas gift.

A very crafty Christmas

This year, due largely in part to The Advent Conspiracy, we "conspired" to make as much as was feasible to give as gifts. I crocheted a shawl/wrap for Jon's mother, and though it wasn't perfect, I enjoyed making it and she liked it. Jon made a dartboard cabinet for his dad, complete with chalkboard-painted interior. I made "treasure boxes" for all my nieces and nephews, with wooden cigar boxes I got at a thrift store and decoupage. I glittered up an old flower-girl dress for Abbie to be a princess (and she's hardly taken it off since Christmas day!). I made matching dresses (my first BIG sewing project!) for Katie and her doll, Jolena. Jon made a rubber-band gun (actually, three of them) for Micah. He's had it in his hand pretty much ever since.
We go pretty easy on gifts for Christmas, anyway. We try to adhere to "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read" for the kids. It is VERY hard for me not to buy everything in sight for them. It's really hard for me not to buy in the commercialism crap of the season. But, I do have to say that this Christmas was, by far, the least stressful and most meaningful that I can remember. I spent a lot of time baking and giving baking away. I spent time doing projects with my kids for other people. We kept secrets and did a little shopping. We chose gifts with far more care than I can ever remember. Because the stress of "getting everyone the PERFECT gift" was removed. The "perfect gift" has already been given, people! His name is Jesus and He is altogether lovely. The stuff we give each other is just that...stuff. It's fun to give gifts. I love that this year, at the ripe old age of 33, I'm finally starting to "get" Christmas. (I'm a slow learner, apparently. My kids seem to already know this.) My favorite part of Christmas this year was the hour or so we spent at the nursing home, singing Christmas songs and Jesus Loves Me and the Battle Hymn of the Republic with the Alzheimer's patients. It was truly a blessing beyond every material gift I got or gave this year to see my kids and my parents and my husband giving of themselves to love other people.
(I think the residents liked it, too!)
Merry (late) Christmas and happy new year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A baby changes everything

This song was sung at my sister's church Christmas Eve service last night. It moved me so much that I had to a) share it with you - although 3/7 of my blog readers were there last night and b) prepare it for my own Christmas Eve service. Tomorrow night. I had something else picked out and practiced, but this one speaks to me much more deeply. So, pray for me, and my kids, because this is pretty much all they'll hear today.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Movie Quote Monday

"My name is Hossle and I can count to potato!"

Bonus quote: "Yes, no, no, yes, no, no, no, no, yes! no, no, yes, no, no, no, no, no, no...Wait a minute...YES!!!!"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Funny things my kids say

I'm not going to make this a "blog feature", because that would be lame. However, if I were to make it a blog feature, I could have something to write about every day. My kids are pretty much the funniest people I know.
Tonight, we were walking through Belk when Katie said something to Micah (I actually don't know what it was, because I didn't hear, but it was probably bossy, because that's how she rolls). Micah replied, very matter-of-factly, "Well, Katie, I was minding my own business, like you should be."
Then, when I was tucking the girls in and saying prayers, I was laying down with Abbie. We were being silly and I said, "OK, so I'll see week? Next year?" Abbie said, "NO, Mom, I'll see you in the MORNING!" I said, "Well, I'll see you before that because I'll see you in my dreams." Abbie said, "Yeah, and you know what I'm going to say to Micah when I see him in my dreams?" I said, "No, what?" (thinking she's going to tell him that she loves him or whatever). She said, in a very sweet, almost-singing voice, "Micah!! I had that first!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Movie Quote Monday...on Tuesday

Got missed in the whole drama yesterday of the spilled coffee. The rest of my day was taken up with a TWO HOUR eye-doctor appointment (everything's fine; just takes a long time with little kids. Side note: Micah will look so stinkin' cute in glasses.) and making twenty-seven dozen cookies. (Not exaggerating.) And 6 dozen rum balls, which I had to put in the freezer lest I eat them ALL. quotes:

"It's a beautiful duck!'s smiling!"

Bonus quote: Your MOM goes to college!

Monday, December 15, 2008

My public-service announcement for the day. Have a messy, cluttered, desk? Don't know where to start?

There's GOT to be a better way, right? The shuffling and sorting...the shredding and discarding...the saving and's all just SO HARD!
My new method is super easy, takes just microseconds, and is guaranteed to rip an obscenity from your lips in front of your young, impressionable children who will most likely repeat it in a. Sunday school b. a homeschool gathering c. carpool.
The secret? Just tip a lava-hot cup of black coffee over the whole shebang! You've never cleared a desk so fast. Ever!

Oh, dear God, let this day get better.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Seeing the beauty

A post about beauty...should NOT begin with a discussion of unibrows. (LOLcats says..."Unabrowz....I haz them".) Facial hair is an ongoing battle of grossness. (One that, thankfully, modern technology has made far easier. Also, at least I'm a girl. My nephew Josiah is SUNK. He's gonna need "manscaping" for REAL.)

Earlier this week, my girls and I went to Raleigh to see my sister and her family. On the first night we stayed there, Kate had a terrible cough that didn't seem to bother her (I mean, she slept through it), but I didn't want her to wake her sister or her cousins, so I went and got her out of the kids' room and put her on the other couch in the living room. I gave her another dose of cough medicine and a sip of water. She hardly woke through the whole thing. I was kneeling next to her, making sure she stayed asleep before I went to lay on the other couch. As I was looking at her, I thought to myself "Good grief, that kid's got some BROWS! She's going to need to slap a wax strip on there by the time she's nine! And wow...her "big teeth" are growing in a little goofy." Don't get me wrong, I think my child is beautiful, but the FIRST things I was thinking of were things that weren't.
In my heart, at they very moment, God spoke to me. I've heard Him before, but this was so clear it was unmistakable. He said, "Why aren't you seeing her beauty before her flaws? That's how I see YOU."
Whew. Praise be to the God who sees our beauty first. Awesome.

Monday, December 8, 2008

MovieQuote Monday

Quote: "I mean, these were my best friends! And they were gin boxes!"

Bonus quote: "Who's your favorite Little Rascal? Alfalfa...or is it Spanky?"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday YouTube Crack

Courtesy of Saturday Night Live!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Funny picture

Kids can be pretty creative artists (and writers...more on that later). I found this picture today and thought some of you might appreciate it:
fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Monday, December 1, 2008

New regular feature - Movie Quote Mondays

The other day, I found myself remembering a movie quote but not remembering where it came from (I was at work). It bugged me so much that I had to call Jon. It bugged HIM so much that he had to Google it.
So every Monday, I'm going to post a quote from a movie. The first person to comment on its origin wins. (Wins what? you might ask. The answer is: fame - among the fives of people that read my blog - and my undying respect.) If you'd like to submit a quote, e-mail me at

Today's quote: "I thought I had mono once for an entire year. It turns out I was just really bored."

Bonus quote: "Do you want me to send you back where you came from...unemployed in GREENLAND?"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And it starts.

This is reposted with permission from my friend Becka's blog Toasty Toes.

The count down for Christmas. Except this year I won't be party to it. I don't really care how many days there are until Christmas.

Last week I cared. But this week I don't care.

This week I am already ready for Christmas.

You see, at first I thought, "This year I will make everyone's gifts." I hoarded links, and how-to's, and tutorials. I made a mental post it note list of everyone who "needed" gifts, and what I could give them.

A Christmas checklist. Like every other year. Like every other family.

And then I had a better idea. Why spend all this time frantically trying to make gifts that will never get completed? Just like every other year, I would be forced to run to the store- buying high priced, over priced crap for everyone. Why? For what reason? Did everyone really enjoy last years dollar store lotion?

So, my new idea was just to buy the stuff now. I would shop ahead, and therefore put thought into each gift. I would think about the person, and buy gifts that they would really like. It was a good idea, right?

But, then I had a better idea, helped out by a certain video I saw on youtube.

Why not buy nothing at all? Seriously? I don't even remember what my husband got me last year, much less his Aunt so and so. The gifts I so carefully picked out for my children now sit neglected on a shelf. What is the purpose of all this gift frenzy, the money spending, the debt building, the guilt induced fear of not adding up to everyone else's generosity?

So. I am opting out. No one is getting store bought gifts from me. No one is getting handmade gifts for me. Not my mother, not my pastor, not my son's Sunday School teacher... Not my children.

And I can hear a worldwide gasp. "What about the magic and awe of Christmas for the children?"

My response, " Under Control." My children will not open a single battery operated, plastic, hair growing, gun toting, miniature sized anything.

Nothing they open will have a price tag, a return receipt, or those nasty little screws that drive parents nuts every Christmas day.

They won't make a list, and if they do, I doubt their list will coincide with what they receive.

Because Esther is NOT getting a white horse with a horn out its head.
And Weston is NOT getting the entire Star Wars Lego set. No matter how much he begs for it.
And Marcus- actually, I don't have a clue what he wants. But it probably is long and shoots bullets which he most definitely WILL NOT GET.

As I travel to Ohio to spend Christmas with my parents and siblings. With my sister-in-law Carrie, and with my brother-in-law Jesse. With my little nieces- and my mischievous nephew, I will load my van with gifts wrapped in festive paper and tied with ribbon. Just like every other year. But this year, the gifts that I add to the tree will be far different than any other year.

My Christmas revelation has not turned me into the grinch. It has, rather made me a bit more Claus like. And far more Christ like.

Throughout the day, we will unwrap these gifts. The fist one will be a rectangular one. Under the paper and ribbons, our family will find my father's old black Bible, and he will open it and read the Christmas story. I will hold Esther on my lap and Marcus and Weston will be snuggled under my arm, and together we will have anew, the awe of that very first Christmas.
The Christmas story will remind us what Christmas giving is all about.

And in that spirit, the children will grab another package. Inside the gift bag filled with confetti will be a bag of chocolate chips. Together we will make chocolate chip cookies. And Marmie will have to swat at the children's hands when they try to eat all the cookie dough.

Maybe later, they will unwrap a movie. Not a new one from the store, but an old one. A favorite. Probably Star Wars because I am the only one who hates Star Wars. And we will pop corn the old fashioned way and have a family movie time.

I will have wrapped our well worn games; the ones that we already know the rules to, and the ones that everyone loves. When they are unwrapped we will play them. Grandma too. We will even make her play Bang. If I have to watch Star Wars, she can be forced to sit through a rousing shoot em up game of Bang.

I will wrap up a pair of socks for each kid, because we will need to keep our toes warm for our Christmas day walk, and maybe someone will stay home to make us hot cocoa for re-warming our frozen noses.

This is not a new idea. It's one I learned a long time ago, but the video reminded me of it.

On Christmas day, God gave me His heart. And I plan to celebrate that gift by giving mine.

Want to join me?

As this post gets read by more people and passed around, please comment and add your ideas of what could be wrapped and placed under the tree. Together, we can make this the second best Christmas this universe has ever seen.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions

I love Thanksgiving. It is, hands-down, my favorite holiday. I love everything about it. This year, I am blessed to be hosting the "event". I am further blessed to have my parents, Jon's parents and sister, and two families of dear friends joining us for dinner. (We will be 12 adults and 7 kids, ages 3-13!)
My family has always been VERY big on traditions. Some of them have been more enduring than others, but one that has ALWAYS been present at every Thanksgiving I can remember is the corn kernel tradition. My mom said she read about it in a Little House on the Prairie book when I was little. When we set the table, we put three kernels of corn next to each plate. At dinnertime, we go around the table and say three things we are thankful for.
My mom also has a tradition of early table-setting (sometimes 2 days before!). I will be able to continue that this year, as my friend Candy has offered her time (and her teenagers' babysitting time!) to come help me make my table beautiful. Those of you that know Candy know how awesome it will look! My mom dresses a gorgeous table, also. We were having a conversation recently about how much she loves it. It then turned to a conversation about how prepared she liked to be for things, as opposed to how a person we know flies by the seat of his pants. She said, "You know me, I'm the person who puts slips of paper in the serving dishes for Thanksgiving to designate which dish goes where. Mr. X is the kind of person that goes, 'Oh, hey, it's Thanksgiving! Let's go to Food Lion to see if I can find a turkey!'"
So tell me, what are you thankful for?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.

Holy crap. This stuff is so good it's ridiculous. I ganked the recipe from a woman on a message board I frequent, who set out to duplicate the Starbucks recipe. It. is. so. delicious.
I should have taken pictures as I did it, but my camera is in the car and it's snowing (!) here, so I didn't. Sowwweee.

1. Pour boiling water into your mug to heat it, let sit while you do the rest.
2. Heat on stove (although I supposed you could do it in the microwave) 1 1/2 cups of milk, with 2 oz. of dark chocolate. Stir often, and whisk melted chocolate through milk. DON'T boil.
3. Meanwhile, whip some heavy cream with a pinch of kosher salt, about 2 tbsp. of superfine or confectioner's sugar and a dribble of vanilla.
4. When chocolate milk is hot, dump water out of mug. Spread about 1 tbsp. of caramel sauce around the inside of the mug. (If you want, now is the time to dump in a shot or so of butterscotch schnapps. Just sayin'. :) )
5. Pour hot chocolate into mug, sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
6. Drop a glob of the whipped cream on top, and another teeny pinch of salt. Drizzle w/ caramel.

So yummy!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sigh. I keep MEANING to do better.

I promise, this blog will not just trickle off to be solely comprised of my Thursday YouTube posts. I will do better this week!
But this one rocks. This video has gotten so much play at my place of employment that all the employees know the fractured Engrish lyrics by heart.

To all my fives of readers: Ken Lee. Tulibu dibu douchoo.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The previous entry was very misleading

Because I entitled it "My ElfYourself", you might be inclined to think that I've only created one. You'd be so very wrong. I've lost count. That's just my favorite one. Another incarnation included Strom and Max, my two dogs, along with Ace, my expired dog. Another one was...well, never mind. I have my mother to blame for the fact that I'm an ElfYourself geek. She's made at least a dozen so far, too.
Ah, good times, good times.

My ElfYourself

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday YouTube Two-fer

OK, again from "Enchanted" (I big puffy heart this movie). But I love that someone has turned it into a grungy girl-band song, too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sharing my "ear-worm" with you.

This song has been stuck in my head for two days. I love this movie and it's a very clever song, but FOR PETE'S SAKE (I mean, "Repeat's sake", Gwenn.)! Make it stop already! (Although, as a side note, I find it extremely cute that Abbie likes to cup her hand to her mouth and sing, "Ahhh, ahhh, ahhhhh" like Giselle calling the animals. It's like her secret signal to call her siblings.)

Veterans' Day: I am THANKFUL!

I believe that our country (as a group of people, not necessarily as a governing body) doesn't do enough to be grateful for our veterans and active-duty military. I know I don't. So I just want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to my father-in-law, to my uncles, to our Papa Jim, to all who've served for us. We are truly grateful for you and we hope to show it better. We love you!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Katie's birthday

I'm old. I have a SEVEN-YEAR-OLD child. My eldest child is such a joy. She is kind, compassionate, joyful, smart, beautiful. She loves Jesus and she loves people. She has always been the most gregarious, social child. My mom used to worry (haha what else is new?) that she'd get kidnapped because she literally does not know a stranger. She's the kid that introduces shy kids around and gently "buddies up" with the ones who don't have friends. Sometimes I can't believe she's mine!
Just wanted to share some pics of her...newborn, growing, and now.
Thanks for sharing!

About 15 minutes old
Baby feet (Grammy's finger)

Baby bath (about 3 months old)
Cheerio baby (about 9 months old)
Announcing Micah (about 13 months old)
With new brother (21 months old)
Her J-Lo "babing suit" (2 1/2)
This child has ALWAYS been able to fall asleep eating.

With baby Abbie
Pre-school graduation

Spring 2008

Mommy's birthday, 2008


Very pensive

School pictures, spring 2008

T-ball pictures, spring 2008

Soccer, fall 2008

Jack-0-lantern, 2008

Hermione Granger, Crookshanks, and Harry Potter, 2008

The Harry Potter Crew, plus Laura Ingalls and a purple dinosaur

Katie's Dr. Seuss birthday cake, by Nana

Katie's breakfast in bed

Sharing with her brother and sister

Opening her present from Grammy and Popah

My big girl!

Isn't she beautiful!?!

Pink shoes (bought with "my own money"...from Nana and Grandad).

Sunday, November 2, 2008


...I could just zoom in on the map to find out where Finland is (and I was right about its general whereabouts).
Also, someone from Turkey? (Also couldn't have located THAT on an un-labeled map.)

I have international readers!

Who ARE you people? I about passed about when I saw that someone in Finland read my blog. (I used Finland instead of one of the other countries because the other ones I could probably find on an un-labeled map. Finland, probably not so much. I know it's one of those long skinny ones, right? Like by Norway and Denmark? I suck at geography. Off to go check a globe in a minute. I DO homeschool my kids, for crying out loud. I should at least know where Finland is.)
My point being: I love that tool that lets you see where people are reading from. It's a far more useful tool than say, the hit counter. The hit counter registers when I check my blog (to see if you've commented. Comment, damn it!), so it's not very accurate. The map, however...I can't fake that. I can't fake hitting this blog from Finland. Because, as I've already told you, I don't even know where Finland is.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Daddy Daycare...Nia-style

It's really just the first 15 seconds or so you should watch....then "listen in" on this conversation w/' my 5-year-old niece, Nia:
(Keep in mind that I am NOT making fun of people w/ allergies. I totally get that it's a serious thing. Having never had them myself or dealt with them in any of my children, I wanted to make sure I was getting it right. Hence the conversation on the way to the grocery store.)

Me: OK, Nia, Nico's not allergic to anything, is he?
Nia: Yes, he's allergic to milk. He can't have milk in a cup.
Me: But if I bake a cake and it has milk in it, that's OK? Just not to drink?
Nia: Yeah, I think so.
Me: And Josiah's only allergic to eggs, yes?
Nia: Yes, just eggs. DO NOT give him ANYTHING with eggs in it. That means NO waffles and NO pancakes! And no eggs.
Me: And you're just allergic to bunnies, right?
Nia: Just bunnies. And dust mites. And amoxicillin.

I about drove off the road, I was giggling so much. I love that kid.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday YouTube Crack

This is a different type of YouTube than I usually post, but I am so in love with this movie. (Also, I just think Reese Witherspoon is tremendous, and Joaquin Phoenix was amazing in this role.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We are all sick.

Well, I am, and that means we all are. Blech. Kate seems to be the sole illness-free member of the household.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday YouTube Crack

Jon's not THIS bad when he's sick. (Not quite.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Can you run a mile - naked?

Abbie and Micah can. Last night at bedtime, I was getting them undressed in the den. I said to Abbie, "Now, before you go get your pull-up and pj's, I want you to run around the house two times!" By "running around the house", I mean the loop that goes kitchen, hallway, living room, kitchen (there are 2 kitchen doors in our house, one at each end). The "loop", we discovered later, is 56 feet long. So Abbie squealed and started running. (Naked.) Micah, of course, wanted to get into the fun (Katie was in the bath and therefore not participating. She was jealous, though.). So Micah started running. I had to be the "lap-counter" for both of them. Abbie paused for a few minutes after 9 laps, so Micah got the jump on her. Then she dove back in, and the two of them ran laps for about 12-15 minutes (I wish I had timed it!). I made them stop at 100. (Although Micah got a few in after he finished 100, because Abbie was behind him. He did 106.) So Jon and I were curious as to how far they had actually run, because although they were a bit sweaty, Micah wasn't even breathing hard. Jon got out the tape measure and did the math, and found that 100 laps is 1.060606 miles. (Micah did 1.124124124...etc.) It should also be said that both of them were pissed off that I made them stop, and both slept VERY well last night.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I don't know how this will look in my family, but

THIS is awesome. I am so moved by this video (and the story behind it).
What can WE do for Christmas this year? (This video was taken from Gwenn's blog, but just wanted to make sure it reached the maximum number of people.)

Caffeine, how I love thee!

And now I have a brand-new way to love caffeine...a few weeks ago I found an espresso machine at a thrift store for $10.
I am in love.

Obviously not my photo, but it's this exact one and it WORKS!
Sigh. I love thrift stores. And coffee. That is all.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It all started at a Thanksgiving Eve church service

I was there. Jon was there. Gwenn and Nick were (I think) there. My parents were there.
The place: Mt. Olivet Methodist Church, Manteo, NC.
The event: a community-wide Thanksgiving service.
The minister/speaker/song-leader: shall remain nameless because I don't want him to find this in a google search of his name.

I should preface this by saying that Gwenn and I have a life-long commitment to giggling in church. My mother used to have to separate us (and that didn't always work). Even when we were "grown-up" (college-age) and should know better, some less-interesting parts of church would find Gwenn and I passing scribbled notes on the bulletin, turning purple and shaking with suppressed laughter. If Mommy was near enough to smack or elbow, she'd do it, but we were pretty strategic about staying far enough away so as to avoid it.

But I digress. The "pastor" that night (and the reason I use " " is a. I like them and it reminds me of Chris Farley and b. I'm not entirely sure that this guys pastoring credentials were legit.) was a Unitarian Universalist (which I'm pretty sure boils down to "I'm OK, you're OK and there is no hell"), and his area of expertise, if you'd like to call it that, is like, the lute. (Renaissance-y era guitar with about 14 or 15 strings).

The "pastor" spoke about....I'm not sure what. I was probably passing notes with Gwenn. The notable event of the evening was the MUSIC! He led two songs - but not out of the hymnal, oh, no! He printed the words in the bulletin and attempted to teach it to the congregation. Oh, those poor Methodist and Baptist sopranos never knew what hit them. The first song was about all the things that the composer was thankful for. Some highlights of those lyrics are:

I've got a cat, he's a smelly old cat,
but I like him quite a lot, and he makes me want to say
THANK YOU! to somebody, THANK YOU!

That may not be an exact quote, but you get the picture. On the THANK YOU part, the melody line swooped precipitously upward and got REALLY loud for some reason. Also, do you like how the composer says THANK YOU to "Somebody"? Not God or Jesus or whatever, but Somebody.

The other song wasn't quite so lyrically inane, but it was written in some bizarre rhythmic meter like 15/8 or something. Also, keep in mind that we are being accompanied by a LUTE. Which is barely being picked up by the "pastor's" podium mic. The "pastor" also has a strange, reedy-sounding tenor voice that, I'm sure, is very well-suited to Renaissance music (with a hey-nonny-no, nonny-nonny-oh...or is it "nonny-no"? Gwenn?).
Anyway, the words to THAT song go something like:

We feel the wind...the winds of clear September
Waking our nerves, making us remember (I made up the second line...I remember the tune, though)
We feel the wind, clean and astringent winds of autumn blow!

I think we went through all the seasons, though.

We laughed SO hard and for SO long about those stupid songs. It is also worth noting that although the songs were pretty challenging to sing (not something that's really easy to teach to the average church-going, hymn-singing person), the "pastor" seemed to get insulted when we didn't all get it on the first try. I mean, the sentiment "You're not really even trying!" came out of his mouth in a very indignant tone. From the pulpit.

This was the first Thanksgiving Jon and I were together; we may not have even been married yet (it was either right after we got engaged or our first Thanksgiving married). But thus has begun a long-standing tradition of mis-using songs for our own personal comedy. We make up alternate lyrics to songs all. the. time. For instance, one that's had real staying power for us was the "Spiderman" theme ("spiderman, spiderman...does whatever a spider can...")...except we sing it like this "Abbie-snail, Abbie-snail, leaving a little slimy trail" homage to her incredibly drooly slime powers (which she, regrettably, has not yet outgrown. It's completely not unusual to see her drool for no apparent reason. I should perhaps not joke about it, maybe it's something wrong. But it IS funny.).
We've gotten a LOT of mileage out of the "Hey there Delilah" song that I posted a spoof of last week. Mostly because all of our kids have a two-syllable first and two-syllable last name, so we can start any song with "Hey Katie Bender/ Hey Micah Bender/ Hey Abbie Bender" and go on from there. Jon is especially good at the rhyming ones.
It is additionally worth noting that the two original songs that started this have retained their ability to completely crack us up. Also, when we get separated in a big store, Jon will whistle the first part of one of the songs, and I know where to find him. It's like our own personal Marco-Polo game.

Happy Thursday, all! I need to go school my children.

Thursday YouTube Crack

I've got two today! The first one is also posted on Gwenn's blog, but it definitely bears re-viewing. (And now it will be stuck in my head all day.):

The next one is from hulu, which is now slowly becoming my crack addiction. The SNL crew has always been the BEST at impersonations, but this one was all the more hilarious because one of the guys they're spoofing is Adam Sandler. Who started on SNL.

I promise I'll post a "real" post in a bit. (I know, I know, you're on the edge of your seats.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bill Cosby

My friend Neil does a Bill Cosby impression that about brings me to tears every. time. Who knew that talking about Pudding Pops could be so hilarious? However, I was channeling my inner Bill Cosby this morning. He does a bit where he rationalizes giving his kids chocolate cake for breakfast ("What? It's got eggs...flour....butter...") Mostly, though, what's stuck in my head is the part where his kids are chanting, "Dad is GREAT! He gives us chocolate CAKE!"
Which is what my two youngers and my niece are doing in the next room. Yes. I am THAT mom. (And my rationalization is that hey, now it's gone! I don't have to deal with it anymore!)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thursday YouTube Crack

Disclaimer: I harbor no animosity toward Sarah Palin. I actually kinda like her. But this is one of the best satirical songs I've ever heard. (Also, it spoofs a song I really like, and it's soooo easy to put your own lyrics to it - another fun activity in the Bender household (more on this later).)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Whatever will I do with myself?

Jon just took the kiddos to his folks house for the weekend (he's going, too). I have to work evenings this weekend, so I stayed home.
I don't know how to add a poll (and am too lazy to find out), but do you think I should:
a. clean out the kids' dressers, closets and toy shelves
b. surf the internet endlessly and drink wine all weekend
c. get a pedicure and go shopping


Hmm....what to do, what to do?

Why I Heart Pandora Radio

Because today while I was cleaning, I put on my station entitled "Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This" (Eurythmics) and heard Tiffany, the Bangles, Janet Jackson, Debbie Gibson, Depeche Mode, Madonna, Berlin, Culture get the point. I'm such an eighties geek. And it's FREE!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Google help!

OK all you computer whizzes out there. Last week, my internet speed was upgraded. (Well, supposedly it was. I think I might actually be paying nine dollars a month for a slightly SLOWER connection, but never mind that. That's an Embarq rant for another, far more boring post. Which I'll probably never make, because really, who wants to read about THAT?)
However, after I re-started my computer after the "upgrade", my home page automatically goes to Google FRANCE every time. Which is not THAT big of a deal, because it's just a few clicks to make it go to English, but it's annoying nevertheless. Also, since blogger is a product of Google, I have to change the preferences there every time I go to sign in, blog, or comment on someone's blogger post.
Anyone know how I can set it back to English as my default?

My favorite YouTube

I should call it "My Favorite YouTube OF THE DAY" because YouTube is my crack. (Hmmm....maybe this will be my "YouTube Crack Thursday" that way I'll at least update once a week!) But I got this idea from my sister Gwenn.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our family vacation

We had so much fun! My mom and dad rented a house on Lake Gaston, and my sisters and their husbands and babies all came, too. There were a grand total of eight adults and 7 kids (6 and under). And one dog.
The pictures:
Dancing to "Silly Songs With Grandad"

My boys

Last day boat-ride

Katie driving

My kids named this place "Fun Fort Island". Wonder why...

Our tie-dye adventure

The results! No, just kidding...that's Joy's tie-dye (

Cutie Evie and Micah

Gwenn drawing with sparklers

Jon drawing a heart

Evie and Melody

The boys caught this fish WITH A NET. 37.5 inches.

Off for our tubing adventure
Katie's the only kid who actually liked tubing.
This was the favorite activity of the week.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The soundtrack of my childhood

I so totally loved this show. It's a little trippy now, huh?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Late-breaking news! My "MOTY" award called into question!

Today was a good day. It was a semi-stormy day, which means that the OBX battened down hatches, bought a lot of beer, and waited for "Hurricane" Hana. Which never really happened, FYI. I'm certainly thankful that we were spared, but at the same time, it's really hilarious. However, we did experience some sound-side flooding, severe enough that downtown Manteo flooded deep enough to kayak on the streets. That's ALWAYS a good time. Jon received a call at home from one of the town commissioners about the flooding, and he went and made sure the roadblocks were in place. Then we had a hurricane party with the rest of the Full Moon Cafe crew.
All of our children were splashing the street, wake-boarding, kayaking, getting entirely soaking wet. (Mine, at least, were clothed.) However, at one point, an older couple waded through and saw my three children splashing around in the waterfront "garage". They immediately chastised them (although I was about 20 feet away and COMPLETELY supervising them), saying, "That's NASTY, children! There's all kinds of germs in that water!" When my kids kind of ignored them (not rudely, just not really paying attention to strangers), they said, "Well! I guess no one really gives a crap what their kids are doing!" Let me tell you, people, Mama Bear ROARED to the surface. Well, I should say, Snarky Bear. I called across the sidewalk, "Actually, we DO give a crap! We're all good, thanks for asking!"
Seriously, people. Raise your own kids. I'll raise mine (and make them shower when they've swum in sound water, thank you very much). However, I did get to see said couple a few more times during the evening, and every time was able to get a comment heard, something to the effect of, "Well, it's a good thing I'm MOTHER OF THE YEAR! AND I NEVER LET MY KIDS SWIM IN THE SOUND!"
Good times, good times.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Finally, Melody (my sister) has a blog. You should totally read it.
It's linked under my favorites at the right.

First day story

So my sister Gwenn and I often joke about our "bad mommy moments", in which we tell each other to "pass over the 'Mother of the Year' award". I had one this week, but I would like to point out that it was ENTIRELY not my fault, and I should, in fact, get an actual Mother of the Year award for pulling through as I did. (What's that you say? You say that the trophy already belongs to Sarah Palin? That I'd need to revitalize a completely corrupt state government whilst managing my five children gracefully? Well, in that case, I concede. I heart Sarah Palin.)
Anyway, due to another "MOTY" moment last winter, I forgot to fill out an application for Abbie to attend the pre-school her siblings had attended until the last minute. Of course, at that point, they were full, even though they give first priority to siblings and members of their church. I resigned myself to teaching her at home with the other kids (which would have been fine, I'm sure). However, after the school had their parent orientation in mid-August, it became apparent that there were spots opened up, and Ms. Shon offered us a spot for Abbie. I sent Katie around the corner to pick up the packet of papers I needed, glanced through them, and set them aside. One thing I DID notice was that on the top of the contract, it said, "School starts September 3, 2008." Great. September 3, 2008, is a Wednesday, and Abbie only goes Monday and Tuesday, so I figured she'd be starting a week after Labor Day, on Monday the 8th.
Guess again! Evidently, the September THIRD thing was a typo, meant to be September SECOND. It was caught by a parent in the meeting, addressed and promptly forgotten about by Ms. Shon. (Who I adore; don't get me wrong. She just forgot to tell me.) So I'd only gotten about half of the supplies on Abbie's list and NOT ironed the sweet little dress I wanted her to wear on the first day, along with cutie little side-by-side French braids. I just HAPPENED to be out on the porch asking Jon something about 8:15 Tuesday morning when I saw my friend DeAnn drive by, headed toward the pre-school. I thought, "That's odd; I wonder why she's going there TODAY?" (This thought was, of course, accompanied by a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I'd managed to screw this up.) I immediately called her on her cell, and said, "Pre-school starts NEXT week, right?" She said, "No, it's today!" I muttered an expletive that I won't write here, and ran in the house, digging through the pile of papers that was sitting, inexplicably, on top of my dryer. (I say "inexplicably" because it's completely ridiculous that that's where most papers end up in my house.) I found the paper in question, saw the bold and black type that proclaimed, "School starts SEPTEMBER THIRD" and called her back, wailing, "I've got the paper RIGHT HERE! IT SAYS TOMORROW AND THEY DON'T HAVE SCHOOL TOMOOOOOROOOOW!" DeAnn (annoyed I'm sure at my whininess but also trying not to laugh at me) said, "Yeah, that's a typo...Shon told us about it at the meeting...oh yeah, you weren't there!" So at this point, Abbie is awake but not dressed, fed or brushed, I'm in my pajamas, the papers I need to fill out are un-filled-out, the supply list is not completely shopped for. It didn't even occur to me to say, "Oh, well, Abbie, you'll just have your first day next week." Even though, of course, that's what she was planning for anyway. It didn't occur to me to just skip it. No, this MOTY raced around the house like a complete madwoman, trying to find an outfit that wasn't totally wrinkled or stained (note to self: need to weed through Abbie's clothes again), stuffed a peanut-butter waffle in her face while filling out papers and our friend Krissy (who was visiting) attempted to tame her mop of hair. We then RAN out the door (oh, yes, I did get dressed, but barely) and made it to pre-school around the corner.
Total time elapsed from the time I saw DeAnn drive by to the time we got in the door of school: 21 minutes. I am a goddess.

Two days later, she started gymnastics again. What a hoot!