Love, Laughter, and Laundry

Welcome to an inside peek into the life of our family. I hope that as you get to know me through this blog, you will get to know the Reason for the hope and the joy that I have in me:
Jesus Christ

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The List

This weekend, I had to referee an argument between my 8 year old and 6 year old girls. The final blow, however, came when the 8 year old proclaimed vehemently to her younger sister that she was "the worst sister ever!" I had a long talk with my 8 year old about how hurtful her words had been to her sister, and then I gave her a punishment that was worse than any spanking: Write 10 things that you like about your sister...and then read them out loud to her. I thought you might enjoy "The List."

1. She is good at games
2. She is nice sometimes (...I 'm pretty sure she was still mad at this point)
3. She's good at stories
4. She's good at telling the truth
5. She's good at hair stuff
6. She's funny (I hope that was meant as a compliment)
7. She has a great sense of humor (...isn't that the same as #6? Oh well, I let it slide)
8. I would be lonely without her (I think she's starting to "get it")
9. She's good at prettyness
10. She's good at golf (we may be stretching things here, but it's hard to come up with 10 nice things when you're mad!)

The reading of the list worked, and things ended happily...they even piled into the same bed last night to watch a movie.

Lord, help me guard my words this week! Help me to remember to tell the people I love why I love them.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places

My daughter and I had a bizarre experience at Walmart this weekend. Normally, because we have a long list and two baskets full of groceries to buy each week, my daughter and I split the list to try to get done a little faster. Well, she had gone to pick up some cokes, but she very quickly found me again and said, "Mom, some guy kept trying to find out my name! I'm staying with you for the rest of the trip." Well, we laughed about it, and went on our way. A few minutes later, I remembered that I wanted to pick up a booster seat for my baby while I was there. Now this is in a totally different area of the store. I didn't think for a minute that a single guy looking for a date would be hanging out in the baby section amongst the car seats and potty training devices, so I talked her into going to see if she could find what I needed. She hadn't been gone but a few minutes when my cell phone started ringing. It was my daughter. "Mom, he's over here! He tried again to talk to me, but I picked up my phone and called you. I'm coming back to you right now!" Now, this was getting a little eerie. This guy was REALLY trying hard. She got back to me pretty quickly, and we both agreed she needed to stick with me for the rest of the shopping trip. As we got back to our groceries, she whispered under her breath, "There he is again!" Sure enough, across the aisle was a young Mexican man with a blue jean shirt and a bright orange cap pretending he was looking for something, but all the while stealing furtive glances at my daughter. We moved along to the next aisle, and again, here came the orange cap. We tried skipping an aisle. He skipped an aisle. No matter where we moved, he moved along with us. I couldn't believe it. We were being stalked! This went on for the entire grocery trip. He didn't have a basket; he never bought a thing, but wherever we went from the dairy products to the kitty litter, he was right down the aisle from us. Finally, he got more bold. Instead of staying across the aisle, he began to walk along behind us on the same aisle. He would always carefully inspect the items on the shelves, but never pick up anything to buy. When we moved along, he would too. Looking back, we should have gone to the feminine products. That might have been humorous to see him checking out the sale price of tampons! My husband called me about this point, and I told him what was going on. He suggested that I call a security guard. At this point, I hated to do that, because he really hadn't done anything to us... he just had an affinity for whatever items were on the aisle we happened to be shopping on. I was afraid I would sound silly saying, "He's looking at us!" Well, to make a long story short, we wrapped things up quickly and headed straight for the check out line. I called my husband to let him know we were finally getting out of there, when who should appear right behind me in line (with nothing in his hands to buy, I might add) but Mr. Orange Cap himself. He waited as long as he could as I chatted to my husband, but finally he could stand it no longer. "Excuse me, ma'am, what is her name?" he asked, pointing at my daughter. I explained to him that I would not give him her name, and even though he asked a second time, I told him in no uncertain terms that she was not available. He looked at her and said, "She is so beautiful! Please tell her I think she is beautiful!" I guess he realized at this point that Momma Bear wasn't going to let him speak with her cub, so he finally gave up and went on his way. We got out of there as quickly as we could, scouring the parking lot for orange caps, and drove away. After several evasive maneuvers on the way home to make sure we weren't being followed, we were thankful to arrive home safe and sound. I think the whole thing rattled both of us, but the more we thought about it, the funnier it got. What was going on in his mind? Did he really think that this episode was going to have a happy ending? Was he really going to find love at Walmart?

Orange Cap: "Pssst, excuse me, what is your name?"
My Daughter: "Sally"* (*name is changed to protect the innocent!)
OC: "You are beautiful! Will you go out with me?"
MD: "Why sure, my parents would have no problem with me giving my phone number to a complete stranger who barely speaks English that I met at Walmart!"
OC: "I know we will be happy together. You know, I am only here for a short while on a work visa."
MD: "Oh, that's alright! I've always wanted to live in another country!"

OR...maybe he noticed that he was rebuffed TWICE by this beautiful young lady, but he thought if he could just win over the mother...he would gain the daughter's affections...

OC: "Excuse me, Ma'am, what is your daughter's name?"
Me: "Well, I know you are a complete stranger, and my daughter is only 16...and you look about 20, but we have always hoped she would find a mature man to marry, so what the heck....her name is Sally*"
OC: "You're daughter is very beautiful, please tell her I said she is beautiful"
( this point, my daughter looks at him with a tear glistening on her cheek:)
MD: "He thinks I'm beautiful, Mom! Imagine what he would think of me if I had my makeup on and I was wearing something other than the tee shirt and shorts that I slept in last night!"
Me: "I agree, honey, he's a keeper!"
OC: "By the way, Ma'am, I am here for only a short time on a work visa"
MD: "Oh, that's okay! Her Dad will be just THRILLED when I tell him that we gave her name and number to a complete stranger at Walmart, and on top of that...he may take her off to Mexico with him to live happily ever after!"

Funny, huh? Okay, so I guess the moral of this story is "don't look for love in a discount store...because you'll probably get what you paid for."

Thursday, September 13, 2007


My 4 year old "princess" trying to help me find her dad's shirts at the cleaners...

I gave several different versions of his name because I wasn't sure how they had filed them; she told a shocked looking laundry lady that, "We also call him Prince Eric!" (She wasn't kidding! Her playful dad would often play prince to her princess in whatever the current Disney movie was at the time. It just so happened that she was "The Little Mermaid" and he was indeed "Prince Eric" around the house at that point in time.)

My 2 year old knocking over the Christmas tree TWICE in one Christmas season...

For the grand finale he bit into a string of plugged in Christmas lights...sparks flew from his mouth (and later, his bottom). Lucky for him, Santa thought he was too darn cute to be put on the naughty list,and he ended up getting his presents anyway. Lucky for us, he has turned out to be a great kid despite his rocky beginning.

Another "Little Princess" (are you beginning to see a pattern here?) in a very, very stinky public restroom... declared loudly with fingers pinching her nose shut that "Princesses should NOT have to smell poo-poo."

Sitting in the drive thru lane of our school among Cadillacs, BMW's, and Convertibles with a tube sock on the windshield wiper of my minivan...I was out running errands in the pouring rain when the rubber part of my wiper flew completely off the car. It was almost time to pick up the kids, but I simply could not endure the screeching metal sound against my windshield. It was worse than fingernails on a blackboard! So, inspiration hit! I dashed home, grabbed one of my husband's tube socks, fit it nicely over the wiper blade, and "wa-la": a smooth, silent wiper. I was so proud of my ingenuity...until I was sitting there in the parking lot watching my husband's tube sock slosh ninety to nothing across my windshield, thinking: "Boy, I am one classy gal!"

Another great invention: men's underwear on my dog...No one told me when I got my golden retriever that female dogs have periods too. She is an "inside dog," and therefore dripping spots of blood around my house was not good. Hence, my great idea: I grabbed an old pair of men's underwear and put it on her. The hole in the front was perfect for her tail to poke through, and it kept my carpet clean. Of course, the folks who came to my door that week were a little disconcerted to see a dog wearing underwear...but, hey, it worked!

The realization that children do not digest rubber bands...another little one came to me crying one day because she had gone to the restroom, but was not able to get herself entirely clean. I told her to lay down on the floor, and I got some baby wipes and proceeded to clean her. There was one particular long, stringy bit of poop hanging on. I got a wad of wipes and attempted to extricate it, but to my surprise it slipped out of the wipe and hit her bottom with a "BOING." I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I tried again. "BOING!" Finally, it hit me..."Honey, did you eat a rubber band?"

Report Cards

My oldest daughter is in the Honor Society at school. She told me last week that she was required to turn in a copy of her last year's report card or she would receive demerits. Well...this was a problem, because I didn't keep it. No one told us we would need to turn it in the following year, so I had thrown it away this summer in an attempt to conquer the clutter. I wasn't worried though, I just told her to get a copy from the guidance counselor. Well, when she attempted to do that she was informed that the Honor Society sponsors had told him he couldn't give out copies of report cards to Honor Society members, because they were trying to teach the kids responsibility. So, I emailed her sponsor and I'm waiting on a reply...but in the meantime I started feeling guilty. Am I being irresponsible by not keeping my kids' report cards? Am I a terrible mom? I look at them and discuss them with my kids when they come in...but, should I be preserving them for posterity's sake? This was really bothering me. I mean, my mom has every report card I ever received. I think she even has my dad's!

But then I started doing the math...okay, I have 8 kids...if I kept every report card for every kid from kindergarten to twelfth grade, that would be 416 report cards!!! No wonder I started tossing them! But, you may say..."You don't have to keep all of them, just keep the final ones," however, my trusty calculator helped me figure out that even if I just keep the final report card of the year for each of my kids from kindergarten to 12th grade, I would still have to find a place for 104 report cards! We barely have room for all of us and the junk that we use everyday, much less items that we'll probably never look at again!

Okay, so I'm feeling better about my decision. I'm thinking it would have been irresponsible to keep them all. And as for my daughter, if she hasn't shown responsibility by maintaining over a 4.0 grade point average while carrying a load of 4 honors courses at a college preparatory high school, and participating in student government, drama, golf, and well as helping take care of her 7 younger siblings....then I don't know what responsible is!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Love, Laughter, and Laundry

My house is messy; the noise level is high
We can destroy a house and not even try.

Neither my nails nor my lawn are manicured,
And many a sleepless night have I endured.

"Mount Needs to be Washed" is in my laundry room,
And my kitchen floor really needs a date with a broom.

It seems someone always wants to be in my lap;
I live for my daily afternoon nap.

Trying to go anywhere requires a well thought out plan;
My dream car is my new 15 passenger van.

Tho' sometimes it's hard not to be a little depressed,
Because my home isn't perfect, or I'm not fashionably dressed...

When I think of all the things that having a large family entails,
I can't help but feel that this thought prevails:

There is no greater joy that I have in my life,
Than being a mother and being a wife.

Receiving kisses and hugs and cuddling up together,
Believe me, my friend, there just "ain't nothing better!"

God has blessed some folks with money and houses,
And other types of success that our world espouses.

But I feel that He's given me riches untold
With nine precious children to love and to hold.