Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Girls' Group Random

Feel like answering some random questions? The click on the link and join in! After reading my answers, of course. That is why you came here, isn't it?
1. Do you believe, somewhere deep inside, that blondes do indeed have more fun? That they are "dumber" than brunettes or redheads? Be honest!
I honestly don't think dumbness is restricted to hair color.

2. Which animal would you most like to observe in its wild habitat?
Is this a new topic for reality television?

3. This week the U.N. announced that Dr. Mazlan Othman has been appointed the official "Alien Ambassador,"should any extraterrestrials contact us. Have you, or has anyone you know, ever seen a UFO?

Sure, they fly through the air at our house all the time. But after close observation the UFO's are usually identified as shoes or toys that the boys have thrown at each other. One time it was the cat, but I put a stop to that. BTW, can I just say that if I were Dr. Mazlan Othman I don't think I'd be bragging about the appointment. On the other hand, considering her name, I think she has her own set of issues.

4. Name your favorite Hitchcock film.
I don't get to watch these types of movies much at my house. Not enough characters are blown up or shot.

5. Would you rather spend time at the library, the mall, a craft store or home?
I would want to be at the library if I'm in the mood to read, the mall if I'm in the mood to shop, and the craft store if I'm in the mood to be tortured until I would welcome stabbing a pencil into my eye.

6. Which Disney princess is your favorite? (Or Disney character, if you are a guy)
I definitely identify with Cinderella. I do all the work, I can never find my other shoe, and I think my car was a pumpkin in another life.

7. What kind of art is your favorite?
The kind that actually forms an identifiable picture.

8. How do you feel about viral videos, that is, videos made by amateurs that end up on Youtube receiving thousands of hits?
I'm still working on mine.

9. Where do you buy your jeans?
I thought we were stuck with the genes we were born with. If we can buy others, I'd like some skinny genes, please.

10. Tell me about your first automobile accident.

Why would you assume that there's been more than one?

11. Have you ever been honest when you knew you would benefit more if you would be dishonest?

If I said no, would I not be being honest about being dishonest?

12. If you were appointed "Ambassador to Aliens," what would you show and tell first about life on Earth? What would be the most difficult thing to explain?

I think it would be very important to point out the locations of Walmart. After traveling that far, aliens would definitely need to restock a few necessities. And I think it would be most difficult to explain why we think we're the dominant species on earth, but we follow our dogs around all the time, picking up their poo and carrying it in little bags.

And with that sobering thought I challenge you to click on the links and join the fun. Leave a comment, and I'll come read your answers too!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Two Oops and A Wise Man

So I hopped up on the organ bench for church this morning, and almost went shooting off the other end. When someone cleans the church they should never polish the organ bench. Just sayin'.

When watching kids in the nursery, it's clear that different types of kids are experienced with different types of play. Some use toys correctly; some allow their imagination to run free and some allow their inhibitions to run free. But no matter how you play, when you start throwing toys all over the room and trying to upturn furniture, it's time someone put a stop to it. I don't care if you do it at home. You don't do it around me.

Our family sang a special for church last night. We did a fair amount of practicing this week, and while we weren't perfect, I thought we blended well for the most part. However, no one had any comment to make at all after the service was over.

No one said anything.

To any of us.



I'm thinking next time we need to practice more.

Parts were handed out for the children's Christmas pageant. Apparently the director has great faith in my boys' acting abilities because she cast Nicky as an angel (not always!) and Joel as a wise man (more like smart aleck man!)

I'm glad someone sees the potential in my children. I admit they hide it well.

So how was your weekend?

Friday, September 24, 2010

I panicked

There are some things that really scare me. Spiders. Snakes. Dark nights. Murderers jumping out of the bushes. Crafts.

That's right. I'm afraid of crafts.

There are some things that I have absolutely no knack for doing. I realize this and so I avoid doing them, knowing it's only going to end badly. I accept this. Meals brought to church fellowships fall in this category.

And then there's crafts.

The mere word sends shivers up my spine. When I taught a VBS class, we were given the option of coming up with a craft for our class. I opted to give them more time to memorize verses. It was good for them, I theorized. They would win prizes. They would hide God's Word in their hearts. Who needed crafts?

In truth, I'm petrified of trying them. The crafts, that is, not the kids. Once we get beyond pulling a page out of a coloring book and handing out crayons, I'm in over my head. There's a vast, dark emptiness inside me where craft ideas should be.

We did paper mache in art class when I was a kid. My sister ended up finishing for me because my art was falling apart. We did paper mache again when I was helping someone else with a VBS class. Looking at the glue made me so sick I ended up throwing up in the bathroom all evening. In all fairness, I was pregnant and going through morning sickness, but still ...

In our Wednesday night kids' group, we did a craft last December. It was basically punching out figures and gluing them into a Nativity scene. I panicked as I watched kids puddle glue under their figures. Surely someone who knew how to do this would keep the kids from making a mess out of their project. How could I send the kids home with white glue oozing out behind Joseph's head? And yet, that's just what happened.

Wednesday night we did another craft. The kids had to trace shapes and cut them out. Then they cut slits in the paper and weaved other strips of paper through them. The result was a decorative and colorful basket weave through a heart. Or a butterfly. Or a tree. I helped one girl hold her shape in place while she traced, but my hand kept getting in her way. Then I showed her how to weave the strips. I even figured out how to alternate the strips, but when we got to the second one, I realized I had the thing put together backward. And the ends were too long. And I was ruining it. Panic shot through me and I shoved the craft toward the woman in charge, babbling frantically about how it was too much for me, and I couldn't do it, and no one should make me. The woman calmly fixed the project while I took refuge in the next room, under pretense of preparing myself for the story I had to read.

My failure haunts me. I should be able to do this. I teach children, for pete's sake. I'm a homeschool mom. How could I not have the craft gene?

And yet, I know this is an area where I will never triumph. I've tried all varieties of crafty-type things. I even learned how to sew. I tried to make a skirt, but no matter how I laid out the pattern, the pockets kept ending up at the knees.

There is no hope for me. I've finally accepted it. My children will stick with coloring, or they will get their craft projects from their Sunday School or VBS teachers. I will shop for clothing instead of making it.

My name is Jill. And I have no craft ability.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

That Impromptu Random

After having lost the original questions she was going to use for today, Lid at 2nd Cup of Coffee came up with a dozen more on the spot. And that is why we love her!

1. Have you, or has someone close to you, ever won an award for anything? (I just came from my dad's ceremony wherein he was given a medal of honor by the French government for service in France in WWII. Pictures to follow.)
Truthfully, I can't think of anything I've ever won. Now I'm really sad. 
2. Who is the nearest relative to you who has served in the US Military?
I'm pretty sure I had relatives on both sides of the Civil War. Seriously. One relative on both sides. Never really did know whether he was a Yankee or a Rebel at heart. Since either side wanted to claim him, both sides shot him. It's the only thing Yankees and Southerners ever agreed on. (I'm making this up.)
3. Share something that stirs the patriotic spirit in you.
The dictionary defines a patriot as someone who vigorously supports his country and its way of life. With that in mind, I feel patriotic when discussing the war on terrorism. Or illegal immigration. Or a mosque at Ground Zero. Or ...
4. Where are you in the birth order in your family? Do you think your "placement" made a difference in your personality?
I am the third of six. I don't think the birth order affected my personality. If I were older, I would have still been me as a child, but with more responsibilities. If I were younger in the pecking order, I still would have been me, but I would have gotten away with a lot more.
5. Name one trait you hope you carry that was evidenced in your parents or grandparents.
I wanted to be a great cook like my Grandma. Hasn't happened yet, and I'm beginning to lose hope.
6. If female, do you prefer wearing a skirt or pants? If male, shirt and tie or polo?
I'm a female and I choose a skirt, but I also always wear a shirt. People stare otherwise.
7. Approximately how many times do you wake during the night? What do you do to go back to sleep?
It depends on what I take before I go to bed.
8. Share a favorite movie quote.
"You work on commission, right? Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now!"
9. What is your favorite Fall candle scent?
Crunching leaves. Actually, I don't think a candle comes in that scent, but I love the smell of leaves when you're scuffing through them on the way home from school. I haven't experienced that smell any time recently since I'm no longer in school. And since I live in Florida. Palm tree fronds don't crunch.
10. What is one Fall activity you're looking forward to?
Enjoying weather that is not in the 90's. Gloat all you want to, Northerners. Give it a few weeks and you'll be moaning about the cold, and I'll--well, I'll probably still be complaining that it's too hot.
11. Tell us about a pleasant surprise that happened to you recently.
My children obeyed me. When I got over the shock I was pleasantly surprised. While it lasted. Which it didn't. But still, for that moment ...
12. What was it like when you first met your in-laws-to-be?
I met my in-laws two days before our wedding. The meeting went very well which was a good thing since it was a little late to cancel everything.
So, anyone know where my movie quote came from? Tell me in the comments, and then click on the donuts to go see everyone else's answers.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dogfood and Underwear

Why is it that, no matter what I take to a church fellowship, after awhile it starts looking like dog food. I make perfectly edible food. In some cases it even tastes good. But it certainly doesn't retain it's looks over the course of the evening!

I thought I'd also leave you with random comments I heard from my boys this weekend.

"Now I have to kill someone again." (Someone turned off the xbox before he had a chance to save.)

"Where's my underwear?" (Someone made them disappear while he was in the shower.)

"He's wearing my clothes!"  Me:  "Can't you loan them to him for one night?"  He:  "They were already dirty!"

"Something about this place gives me gas." (I have no idea what inspired that comment.)

"I can't find any of my own clothes."

First Brother:  "You aren't wearing any underwear." Second Brother:  "Yes I am." (Drops his pants.) "See?"

And once again I wonder if I will ever get them to realize this is not a guys' dorm.

So how was your weekend?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Dozen Little Things

1. Do you do garage sales? If so, tell me about one great find. If not, tell me why not.
I have no problem with garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales. I can't think of any particularly great finds, but I do know there are several things you should never buy used. Electronics for one. Underwear for another.

2. Name the last thing you fixed.
I gave birth to five boys. I should never have to fix anything. And I never have to take out the garbage.

3. Name your A) Favorite item of makeup OR B) Favorite tool
I have a set of pink tools. I got them so that the males in my house wouldn't use them, and then I'd always be able to find a screwdriver when I needed one. Unfortunately, the guys are all secure enough in their masculinity that they don't care about the color on the tools, and I still don't know where my screwdriver is. Maybe if I painted daisies on the handle ...

4. Which room in your home needs organizing more than any other?
I need organizing more than my rooms do.

5. Which room could use re-decorating?
Regrettably, I need redecorating more than my rooms do.

6. Share something unique about your town.
Hmmm. We have Disney World. Yeah, I'd say that's pretty unique.

7. If you could send a one-sentence message to your great-grandchild, what would it be?
I'm not a great-grandmother so you don't exist.

8. Do you Facebook?
Facebook is not a verb. It is not an action, and therefore, it is not possible to "facebook". I am on Facebook, if that's what you're asking.

9. Describe your favorite shoes.
The ones I'm not wearing.

10. Do you listen to more talk radio or more music radio? What kind of station is it?
Mostly I listen to the boys chattering/arguing/playing when we're in the car. Or I listen to the voices in my head.

11. How far would you travel for a really good (favorite) meal?
Most of my favorite foods are way too close.

12. If you were totally honest with yourself (and us) what should you probably be doing right now instead of blogging?
Living life so that I have something to blog about.

If you enjoyed that, (and seriously, who wouldn't?) then click on the donuts at the beginning of the post and head on over to Linda's at 2nd Cup of Coffee. Why, you ask? Because I said so for one thing. But, you can also read a lot of other great answers to this questions. And you can link up with your own answers, as well.

Hey, wait a minute! Don't forget to leave a comment first!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ode to Darva

 We've had a death in the family this week. Her slide downhill was long and lingering, but then her demise was so quick at the end that I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye. And I'm in mourning.

This is Darva. Yes, I name my plants. But lest you think I'm some crazy plant lady, let me assure you that I do not consider my plants to be human. I'm not someone who is one with mother earth.

On the contrary, I have a very black thumb when it comes to growing things. (Fortunately, the thumb hasn't mattered yet when it comes to growing children.) I love the look of indoor plants, but I don't do very well at keeping them alive. I forget to water them. I don't trim them when needed. I have no idea what to do with them when they outgrow whatever pot they call home.

So a year or so ago, when Sam's Club had an incredible deal, I bought some indoor plants. Big indoor plants. Hardy indoor plants. That last was especially important. And then, because I made the investment in them, I felt the need to take their care seriously. So I named my plants. It's harder to forget to water a plant that has a name. Much to my delight, Darva and Reamie seemed to thrive under my less than expert care.

And then we got the kittens. Dex and Drizzle are very sweet kittens. Sweet, energetic kittens. And they especially loved Darva. Unfortunately, Darva does not play well with others. Dex and Drizzle took turns jumping at her and pulling down her branches, one by one. Nothing seemed to work in keeping the kitties off the poor plant. Darva lost her beautiful leaves, one at a time until she had nothing but one slim green stalk sticking up from the pot.

Still I had hope. Green means life, right? It was possible for Darva to come back. At least, it was possible until Saturday when I looked in the corner and saw that Darva was gone. Pot and all she had disappeared. I frantically questioned the boys until they admitted that they'd seen Darva in the garbage can.

I was heartbroken. I never even got to say goodbye. I was also not happy with my husband, who had pronounced Darva dead and gotten rid of her without even the dignity of a decent send off. Or at least a check of her pulse. I considered tossing something of his, so that he knows how it feels. But I don't think our marriage would survive if I threw out one of his deer mounts.

So now I'm debating what to put in the corner to replace Darva. Should I go with some corner piece of furniture (there are two windows in the corner, which is why Darva thrived so well.) Or should I try another plant and hope Dex and Drizzle will learn how to behave?

It might help your decision to know that they've now turned their attention to the fake plant I have in the living room. Poor Bob already has some broken branches. We turned them to the corner to hide them, but I'm afraid it's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Randomly Random

And we're back from the bakery with an even dozen. Or should I say, a random dozen. That's right, folks. Here's a dozen questions that you have never always wondered about me. Once you read my answers, and comment on them of course, click on the donuts to go to Lid's and read lots of other random dozen answers that are as varied as the Dunkin Donuts around the corner. Only less fattening. Enjoy!
1. Describe the best sandwich in the world, according to you.
Arby's french dip and swiss is to die for.
2. Which inspires you more: a good conversation, a song, a book or movie?
I'm inspired by the good conversation that was started because of the title song played in a movie that was based on a book.
3. What is your favorite board game?
I love Balderdash. And Outburst. Yessir, lying and shouting louder than everyone else. Two areas where I really excel.
4. As you grow older, are you more or less patient with small children?
This question would imply I once had patience with small children.
5. Name one item you never let yourself run out of.
I always have chocolate on hand in some form. It is as essential as breathing.
6. Do you agree with Tennyson's assertion, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?"
Sounds kind of like the team that says they don't care about winning--they just play for the joy of the game. You never hear the winners saying that.
7. Name one national treasure or monument that you have visited.
I've been to quite a few, but I'd like to go back and visit them again now that I've seen National Treasure. I don't think I'd be so careful to stay inside the tourist boundaries the next time.
8. Which is more painful, to be disappointed in someone else or to be disappointed in yourself?
Ask Tennyson. He seems to be the man with all the answers.
9. What makes your kitchen uniquely yours?
The mortgage payment.
10. Are you a crafty person?
I once went to a tag party for scrapbooking. Everyone was supposed to make tags to give to everyone else at the party. I used stick-ons to create my kindergarten-equivalent tags. I finished in the first fifteen minutes and then hid my tags and watched everyone else work.
11. What is your favorite traditional picnic or bbq (cookout) food?
Whatever meat was on sale that week.
12. Name one leisurely activity you enjoyed over Labor Day Weekend.
Taking the family out on the boat. Tubing was great fun until the alligator showed up!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Without Definite Aim

I know you were probably scared by the title, but don't worry. This is still the weekly Random Dozen. defines random as without definite aim. Not really sure that's accurate, because my aim is to amuse and entertain. Well, you tell me if I hit what I didn't aim at.

1. What insect are you most afraid of? Feel free to post a picture.
I am afraid of insects that are alive. I'm not real fond of ones that are dead either, but at least they're not moving.
2. What is the greenest/most organic thing about you or that you do?
As a human I am 100% organic.
3. Tell me about a recurring dream that haunts you.
I used to have nightmares about spiders when I was a child. See #1.
4. Have you ever missed a flight? What were the circumstances?
We came close to missing our flight when we were moving to Uganda as missionaries. They held us up at check in because apparently they couldn't grasp why a family of eight would have one-way tickets to Uganda. When they finally cleared us, we did a mad dash through the Atlanta airport. We had six children, four of them under the age of five. In a pre-9/11 world, we had sixteen footlockers to check, plus each of us had a carryon. Three of the kids were on kiddie leashes, the youngest was in a carrier on my back, and we had five other people racing through the airport with us, trying to help us get everyone on the plane. By the time we got to the gate, the man that held us up at check in was already there (don't ask me how he got there so fast!), telling us we needed to hurry because we were holding up the plane. Our friends kissed us goodbye and practically threw us on the airplane before it exited the gate. We were so late they'd already gone through all the emergency instructions, and other passengers had already spread out to claim our seats. There was an audible groan when our large family appeared. It was not an auspicious beginning.
5. What do you consider your best feature?
My ability to maintain my estrogen levels in a testosterone-filled world. (I live with my husband and five sons. Believe me, resisting the urge to spit or scratch in public is an every day battle.)
6. What was the last concert you went to?
Steve Green concert. Milwaukee, 1992. I don't get out much.
7. Describe the most embarrassing church moment you ever experienced.
That would be the time I tripped on the platform while the choir sang their opening number. I fell to my hands and knees with my rear end waving at the congregation. 
8. Are you a whistler, hummer or singer?
I've never been able to whistle, much to the amusement of my kids. And I'm not an SUV, although I wouldn't mind owning a hummer. So I guess I'm a singer. Some people may beg to differ.
9. George Washington Carver said, "I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in." What is God saying to you through nature today, or this very minute?
Nature is telling me that it's time to go to bed. Or to the bathroom. Maybe it's telling me it's time to go to the bathroom so I can go to bed.
10. On September, 1, 1752, the Liberty Bell arrived in Philadelphia. What memorable event will take place in your life on September 1, 2010?
My sixteen-year-old will get his driver's permit. My hair coloring will officially give up on the impossible. The second event hinges on the first.
11. Taco Bell or the Liberty Bell? (You must choose.)
I choose Liberty. (It was an easy choice. Our Taco Bell has notoriously bad service.)
12. Do you believe men and women can have purely platonic friendships?
Okay so you have a purely platonic friendship with someone of the opposite sex. You begin to relax and let your hair down like you would with any friend. It's even better if you say they're "like a brother". Then one day you wake up and realize that your friend is not, after all, related to you. You find that you're attracted to them in a way you had never imagined. And to make matters worse, you've already let your guard down to the point where they know you better than you know yourself. Sounds like a standard romcom to me!
And now comes the best part of this wonderful world of random. Leave your comment of course, and then click on the donuts at the top of the post in order to read lots of other answers to the random as well. And if you're feeling particularly adventurous, copy the questions and answer them on your own blog as well. You don't have a blog? Well what are you waiting for?!?!

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