Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Healthy Dose of CRAZY

Last week Brandon, myself, and a bunch of high schoolers spent the week on a college campus in Carbondale, Illinois.  I'm standing in the elevator of the student center, minding my own bidness, when a man walks into the elevator.  He is middle age, with a beard, several layers of clothes on in July, and walking with a cane.  He hands me a flier and says, "We're having a picnic.  You should come."  He gets off the elevator at the next floor and I promptly shoved the random picnic flier into my bag, to be forgotten for the next couple of days.

I am going to reprint the flier for both of my readers, just in case you happen to be in southern Illinois next weekend.  You don't want to miss this:

This is an Open Invitation to all sentient beings.  And you are invited

interGalactic Friendship Picnic

Sunday, August 3 1-5 pm

Evergreen Park, Carbondale Illinois, U.S.A., Earth

Come and learn about the importance of friendship in The Galaxy, world, and Inter-Galactic Friendship Day, CELEBRATE it and share storys of your experiences during your travels, songs, and friendship throughout the galaxy, etc., share and ENJOY great cooking, adventures, fun stuff, and Friendship Day.

*BRING= POTLUCK food, beverages, own plastic eating stuff if you hate the plastic kind, friends, and fun stuff to share and enjoy.

The picnic is sponsored by the Galactic Order of Towelers.  A Toweler is anyone who knows where their towel is including interstelliar hitchhikers, galactic philosophers, towelers, Douglas Adams and sci-fi fans, mothers, and anyone else who knows where their towel is, including rainbows across inter natural boundaries of worlds.


I tell you what, I am never wearing my "Live Long and Prosper" shirt in public again.

And I am totally bringing Mars bars to that potluck.  Or maybe Moon Pies.  Starbursts?  

And I have been wanting to sit down with a real live galactic philosopher for eons now.  Perhaps this picnic would have been my golden opportunity.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Long Time No Blog

Brandon and I just got back in town after spending an eventful week with our high school youth group at Christ In Youth Move.  A great week and a GREAT group of kids.  God is doing big things with these kids.  I'm sorry.  Not kids.  Oh no no no.  High schoolers.  Practically adults if you ask them. 

Dane and Aidan spent the week in Boy Heaven.  Their week started off with 4 days of Cousin Camp with Cousin Joel, a slip-n-slide, and a trip to Chuck E. Cheese.  Then they went to Wilson's house for a couple of days, where Wilson keeps all of his big boy toys.  (Wilson is 5 and does not have a little brother.)  Here is the conversation Dane had with me:

Dane:  Wilson has all big boy toys at his house and all we have are baby toys.
Me:  What kind if big boy toys does Wilson have?
Dane:  You know, Spidermans, Superman stuff, Transformers and weapons.
Me:  I just got you Spiderman stuff, like, a couple of weeks ago.  And we have lots of weapons at our house.
Dane:  The only weapons we have are nun-chucks, Donatello stick, wooden swords, throwing stars, Leonardo sword, and our Kung Fu Panda spears.  Wilson has throwing spears.

Clearly I am depriving my child by not fully equipping him with throwing spears.

The boys finished off the week with a day with the lovely Miss Jenni, then Pappy and MoMo came to spoil them for a couple of days.  It will take another full week to get them re-acclimated to boring life with Mom and Dad.

Hope you had a great week as well!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Aidan Bo-Naidan

Aidan just handed me my TI-82 graphing calculator that I had in high school and said "I want to play Ninja Turtle game."

He's going to be so disappointed when he finds out those are for, you know, DOING MATH.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Go White Boy Go White Boy Go

The Rhythm got Dane.  And it got him good.  At the wedding last week, that child danced as long as the music played.  He and Wilson soon took off their shoes and realized that they could side around pretty far in their rented socks.  They would run and hit their knees and then slide across the dance floor on their knees.  About 30 times or so.
He comes by the dancing gene honestly:
Brandon's got him some soul.
He started to get tired towards the end, so he found a buddy to simply spin him in circles on his back until he stood up and fell over from dizziness.  Fun times.
(No, Aidan did not go to the wedding.  He had a babysitter.  I could not have handled both Aidan and the fussy ringbearer.)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's Already Been Broughten

So I'm sitting in church last Sunday thinking to myself, Man, that preacher is hot.  I mean, that guy is man-candy.  I almost can't concentrate on what he's saying because I'm too distracted by his man muscles and strong profile. 

This doesn't happen to me every Sunday.  Just the Sundays that Brandon is preaching.  

And boy howdy did he bring the noise last week.

You can listen here.  You just don't have the added benefit of seeing Mr. Man-Candy in person.  

Shoulda been there.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mother of the Ringbearer

The wedding.  

Oh, the wedding.  

Jeremi and Jenni's wedding was beautiful and perfect and sweet and it was just so good.  I will go on and on about the wedding itself later.  Today, I will tell you about the ring bearers.

The boys rehearsed several times Wednesday night how they would walk down the aisle.  They even rehearsed it with these beautiful ring pillows that Jenni had specially ordered.  They were beautiful.  Each one was 3 little ivory satin pillows stacked on top of each other, tied with an ivory satin ribbon.  Each pillow had little pearl beads on each corner, and they went with the decorations and matched the color of Jenni's dress.  Two little "fake rings" were sewn to the top of the pillows.  (It had long been decided that these children would not be trusted with actual jewelry.)

Would you trust these two??

(Please excuse my son's fake tattoo peeking out the top of his shirt.  We are a classy, classy bunch.)
At some point during the rehearsal, Dane realized that you could untie the pretty satin ribbon and tie it around your neck until it came dangerously closed to cutting off your airway.  So the ribbons were gone, never to be on the pillows again.  But it was fine.  The 3 little pillows were sewn together, and the little rings were still sewn on the top. Very cute.

Thursday arrived and the boys had to be at the place to get dressed at 4 pm (it was a 7:30 wedding.)  Dane usually goes down for a nap or "rest time" at 3:00.  So we formulated a plan:  Brandon would take all the boys (Dane, Aidan, and Wilson) out on Thursday morning and wear them out.  Swimming, or running around at the park, a long walk, playground, anything to make them so exhausted they would hopefully take a nap 2 hours earlier than usual.  Because I just could not imagine Dane behaving himself for several hours after bedtime without any kind of nap.

That was the plan.  

Brandon did his part.  He took all the boys to the park and made them walk around the lake until their little legs just would not carry them any farther.  Then they played on the playground for a while.

And Dane would not take a nap.  No amount of pleading, threatening, or bribery could get that boy to sleep.  And so he was completely exhausted and whiny before pictures even started before the wedding.  I was not looking forward to the "Dane standing still in front of people for 30 minutes" part of the ceremony.

So the time came for Dane and Wilson to line up at the back with the bridesmaids and flower girl.  Brandon was up with the groomsmen at the front, and Dane had to be at the back with the girls.  You can imagine how well this went over with my overly tired and emotional son.  A meltdown was beginning, complete with tears and whining, and crying for Daddy.  So I did what any mommy would do and dragged him crying into the bathroom for a little ring bearer pep talk.

About 10 minutes into the motivational pep talk, Jenni The Bride In All Her Wedding Dress Glory comes into the bathroom with photographer in tow.  She was waiting in the bathroom until all of her bridesmaids had walked down the aisle, so no one would see her until it was time.  Dane picks this prime moment to pick up his pillow, wipe the tears from his face, and yank the two little fake rings right off the top.  


He is desecrating the beautiful ring pillow in front of the bride who had picked out Just The Right Pillows for the occasion, mere minutes before she is walking down the aisle.
It was at this point that I warned Jenni that she might just have one ring bearer.

My mind was just about made up when Dane yanked on two of the three little pillows sewn together, ripping the pillows apart from each other. 

Right about now I was trying to figure out a way to sneak liquor into the reception.

Dane pulled himself together enough to step out of the ladies room and into the foyer where the bridesmaids and Wilson were quietly lining up.  Wilson took one look at Dane's lone bare pillow and proclaimed "I want a pillow like Dane's".

So I did  what any desperate woman would do.  I grabbed Wilson's perfect little pillows with the little rings attached and yanked it apart, handing him the plain little pillow just like Dane's.  Anything to prevent a ring bearer meltdown right before they had to walk down the aisle.

Here's what was actually carried down the aisle last night:
Dane made it down the aisle without incident, and lasted approximately 5 minutes standing at the front before being discreetly removed by Usher Matt.  (previously known as Handy Matthew).  He spent the rest of the ceremony making race car noises at the back of the room while he rolled one of the fake rings back and forth across the dessert table.  
Wilson was smart and brought his Leapster.
More on the wedding and my favorite ring bearer later.  (Hint:  The Rhythm Got Dane and there is photographic evidence.)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sum Sum Summertime

I feel like I have been a bit lax in my posting lately.  Apologies.  It has been a busy week and the brain is fried.  Our good friends Jeremi and Jenni are getting married tonight, yes tonight, and we have been scurrying around the last few days helping out with all the little last minute details that will make your eyes hurt and your blood pressure rise if you're the bride and have to do it all yourself.  Wedding planning and detail-doing is fun, as long as it's for someone else's wedding.  

Especially when you manage to get yourself invited to the Bridal Luncheon at Cheesecake Factory.  It's much easier to tie ribbons on programs when you're dining on Dulce de Leche Cheesecake.  

The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner were last night.  You know it's going to be an emotional ceremony when half of the people there were crying DURING THE REHEARSAL.  Tears flowed without even seeing the beautiful bride in her white dress.  When Jeremi proposed back in December, he wrote a song for Jenni and sang it when he was asking for her hand in marriage.  He recorded himself singing the song, and she is walking down the aisle to "Jenni's Song".  My eyes are watering just thinking about his sweet clean voice singing to his bride as she joins him in marriage.

Dane and Wilson are ring bearers, and I have to admit I am pretty nervous about that.  They are supposed to stand in the front with the groomsmen for the entire ceremony.  They each have a cute little pillow to carry, and I can just see a pillow fight ensuing on the floor while Jenni and Jeremi are taking communion.  Oh no no no.  My friend Stephany made them these cute "Ring Bearer" shirts with their names on the back, so the wedding coordinator would know who to yell at last night.

On another note, here are some completely random pictures from the last week or so.  I came from the store one day and Dane asked me if I had gotten him "his very own real watermelon."  I had not, in fact, gotten him his very own real watermelon, so I picked one up for him on my next trip to Kroger.  The boys are all about any food that they are required to eat outside without a shirt on.  Maybe we can sneak some broccoli or salads in them if we tell them they have to be eaten outside topless.

Brandon brought back soccer jerseys from Thailand, and they made quite the impression at church together.  It was pretty handy having them all dressed in fluorescent yellow shirts.  The boys were very easy to spot from far away as they ran all over the building.
And now it is time for a moment of silence.  As we walk through this valley of the shadow of death to mourn the passing of half of my Mac screen.  Mac suffered potentially fatal injuries to the right shoulder area in an unwitnessed terrorist attack by an unknown 2 year old assailant last week.  Okay, maybe not a completely unknown assailant.  Sirens blaring, I rushed Mac to the "Geniuses" (I use this term VERY loosely here) at our Apple store.  The "Geniuses" informed me that my $1200ish computer needed a new top panel, which was going to cost $855.

Now, I didn't major in math.  I sometimes have trouble with fractions and graphs and things.  I may not be a "genius", but do you really think I am going to buy that the bottom half of my computer, you know, the half with all the brains and Apple technology and superiority, only costs about $300, while the cool screen that manages to break after being in my possession for less than 6 months is worth a staggering $855??

Um, seriously??

So we have rigged my little Mac to my bulky 8 year old PC monitor that is tough enough to withstand the onslaught of Aidan.
I'm sure I will post about the wedding itself in the next couple of days, so have a great weekend!

And if anyone from Apple is reading this, I'll take off all that mean stuff I wrote about you if you can fix my screen for free :)  (Hey, it's worth a shot).

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sometimes We Blow Stuff Up

Happy Belated 4th of July!  (aka "the 6th of July")

I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July filled with good family, good food, and explosive devices.  Being oh so sentimental and patriotic, I took advantage of the opportunity to work a 12 hour shift without having to pay a babysitter.  (Time and a half?  Yes, please.)  

There's just nothing more American than that.  

I did triage a teenager who got run over by a parade float.  A 12 foot long Uncle Sam attacked him.  How ON EARTH you manage to get run over by a giant parade float moving at 2 miles per hour is beyond understanding.  (He's fine.)

We squeezed in some time in the evening for some driveway-fireworks and sparklers.  My boys are now pyros for life, and they are of the opinion that every night should include exploding tanks and bottle rockets.  I even got to take some cool sparkler pictures of the kiddos.

Happy July 6th!

Okay Last Thailand Post I Promise

They don't let you leave Thailand without riding on an elephant.  That's one of the advantages Thailand has over the United States.  Elephants.  Because how fun does this look?  I'm sure somewhere in the several thousand Thailand pictures I have in my kitchen (several CDs and even an external hard drive sit on my kitchen counter just waiting for me to pick the best 50-100 pictures that represent the trip the best), I have a picture of Brandon on an elephant, but this will have to do for now.

Because I of course have better things to do with my time than go through several thousand pictures.  Like blog.  And rewatch last night's So You Think You Can Dance.  I am a very busy woman indeed.
I was slightly disappointed that they were not riding the elephants like horses.  You know, with a little saddle and stirrups and a rope to hang on to (I'm sure there's a technical term for that rope thing.)  These chairs look pretty comfy!  I bet the ancient Thai people didn't have cute little chairs to sit atop on the elephants.  I bet they had a rope.
While out riding on their elephant-chairs, the group came upon a gigantic snake in the road and took a moment to pick it up as a collective group and pose for a picture.  Except for Morgan.  Morgan is a smart girl.  

Okay, that's not really how it happened.
At times I wonder what paradise really looks like.  Some people say that places like Hawaii are the closest thing to paradise that we have on earth.  Well, they would be wrong.  Paradise has been found.  It is a casino in Burma.

So we can stop wondering.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thailand and Greenland

I know everyone is bored out of their skull looking at yet more pictures of someone else's super cool trip, however I have decided that I can subject you to them because it was a mission trip, people.  And people will at least pretend to be interested in pictures and trip details if it was a mission trip.  

Here is Brandon standing in front of a mysterious cool thing in Paris.  

Does anyone know what this is?

Have I mentioned that Brandon REFUSES to blog about this trip, thus rendering me clueless as to what the heck this is in this picture?  That big thing.  There.  Behind Hot Brandon.
While in Paris, Morgan-the-best-babysitter-ever and Phill got engaged.  Check out the size of that ring pop. 
And I think I have figured out why the airline industry is losing money. Follow me for a minute.  The cheapest seats we could find for the group to fly to Thailand was on Air France.  They left Houston, flew to Paris, France, and then on to Bangkok.  At some point between Houston and Paris they flew over Greenland.  Greenland.  I don't have a globe.  But I have a vague recollection of world geography back in 6th grade.  And I'm pretty sure the shortest distance between Houston and Paris does not involve Greenland in any way.  (Brandon says yes it does...something about the earth being round and following the curve is the shortest distance.)

Now, I'm paying almost 4 dollars per gallon for gas to go to the Kroger.  How much cheaper would Brandon's tickets have been if they didn't have to pay for extra jet fuel to see GREENLAND??  And how much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?  

And what if it was an African swallow?

Here is Greenland as seen from Air France.  Not many cities or people in Greenland, no siree.
Don't see this every day:
It's a praying mantis.  Cool.  (Sidenote:  today I overheard Brandon talking to Dane about our garden.  Some bugs have started to eat some of the leaves, so Brandon's contemplating putting mesh around the little corner garden and putting ladybugs in there to eat the other bugs.  Because, as he explained to Dane, "Ladybugs are the Ninja Turtles of the insect world."  Makes perfect sense to me.  I'm thinking the ladybugs will only work if our garden is being attacked by aphids or moist raisins.) 

Here is a really pretty garden in northern Thailand somewhere.  Not an aphid in sight.  
I promise only one more post about Thailand, and several more really cool pictures.