Thursday, December 28, 2006


As I infrequently do (all my blogging is infrequent, now isn't it), I will now write a list of things to catch everyone up with what's happening here at headquarters. And while I think you may find some of this interesting, some of it may also be considered very, very boring. Read on to find out!

* Alas, we did not make it to Dallas for Christmas. Buying plane tickets for Luke, Foster Kiddo, Helen and myself would have run about $3000, so we were supposed to drive. Even so, by the week prior to Christmas, there were NO highways open into or out of Wyoming. Denver Int'l was closed, and Salt Lake was only flying select flights. So driving and flying were out. And now we are thankful because a full-blown blizzard is blowing in and we are expected to have 20 inches of snow by Saturday. So, had we even made it to Texas, we probably would not have been able to get home. We celebrated a nice quiet Christmas here with my mom and dad and Foster Kiddo and the like. It was nice.

* I hope that none of you readers are unlucky enough to remember the state of Luke and I's house when we first got married. Unfortunately, I know some of you do. It was a time when throwing garbage in a garbage can just seemed like a waste of time. And taking the garbage out? NO! Well now, I have become rigidly, some may even say obsessively, the opposite. On Thanksgiving I began sweeping and swiffering the dining room floor while people were still eating at the table. Foster Kiddo pointed out that this was "manic and crazy" and everyone agreed, so I sat down. Now all this to say new Nazi Cleaning Sarah does not allow people to wear shoes in the house. I have wood floors and white carpet and it snows six months out of the year here. I think this is good sense. HOWEVER, there are a few people who just WON'T take their friggin' shoes off when they come over. And the general excuse? "I will only be here for a minute." But a minute's worth of walking around in muddy shoes is 15 minutes worth of cleaning for me. Now, Luke calls me a "Cleaning Dictator" but I think I am not being unreasonable. So, despite the "Please Remove Your Shoes"signs already ON the doors, how do I make people take their shoes off? I have considered tackling them and removing the shoes myself, but we all know how much I hate feet.

* Have I mentioned lately that fat kids make me irrationally angry? Don't get me wrong, it is not the children themselves, it is their parents. I just want to shake them and yell, "TURN OFF YOUR TV!!! PLAY WITH YOUR KIDS! COOK A MEAL AT HOME FOR ONCE!!!" Because I just don't believe that they all have a thyroid condition. I believe they all have a lazy condition brought on by their parents using video games as a baby sitter. Or because their own parents don't care enough about their own diets to pass on healthy habits to their children. Or because actually interacting with their kids in order to produce happy children who don't turn to food for affection is just too much work. It's true, I'm mad at fat kids' parents. I just can't imagine not taking care of your kids in a way that costs nothing and only sacrifices yourself. But then again, I don't really see a lot of self-sacrifice going on around me on anyone's part.

* We have officially stopped eating meat, only to be invited to a dinner party where they served big platters of chicken on the bone. Now, I have enough trouble with this new hormone injected, hybrid meat we call chicken anyway, but when it is still on the bone with those little grissly pieces holding on for dear life (well, not really life, as this bird is dead) making it impossible to even cut the meat off the bone... well, it kicks my gag reflex into gear as only meat-on-the-bone and our President can. But I am polite. I don't eat meat for taste and health reasons, not for moral ones (I say kill all the animals, whatever), and I refuse to be that person who goes to someone else's home and says "Ummm, I don't eat that." So I ate my chicken. Oh, and it made me violently sick. As only meat and our President can.

* Luke got me a big book called The Onion Ad Nauseum for Christmas and it is the funniest thing to have ever entered this house. I thank him for it and recommend it to all of you who can't pick up a copy of The Onion on a regular basis. Well, I guess anyone can read it, its online. But Marty can actually get a hard copy, and that's more what I was getting at. Okay, I understand that that is more explanation than was necessary and I apologize. Just pick up a copy of the book, okay?

* Because I am an adult who can actually get credit now, I took out a line of credit and bought Luke a ring for Christmas. And it was nice. The ring. And also the ability to buy nice things and not worry about going to debtor's prison for it. Being blessed is an important thing to remember. We often forget how much excess we have. I'm not patting myself on the back, but when we really looked at ourselves and saw how much we had, we opened our home to foster care. I suggest everyone take a nice look at what God has given them and really see what they could give away. And that's not only a financial gig, you have time and talents, too. Give 'em away people. It IS actually what we are supposed to do, and frankly, the world would be better if you did. Oh, and why am I preaching? Because I bitch about money a lot, but bought Luke an expensive ring for Christmas. I may be a hypocrite, but I am trying to be a humble one.

* I quit my job. It wasn't much of a job. I worked like two days a week. But I told them my head just wasn't in it. I wanted to be at home. Last week Philip got the flu and had to go to the ER for fluids. He's such a problem child. Really, that kid has been to the doctor more in the last year... Anyway, I just didn't want to go anymore. I wanted to be home taking care of my son. And I told them that. I said, "I'm really not doing any justice to you all either. As long as I wish I were at home, I'm going to do a half job anyway." SO they let me go without notice, and asked me to come back and work next holiday. I smiled because by next holiday I will be getting ready to do my student teaching and probably won't want to work at the mall. But thanks anyway!

Okay, that's it. Hope you all had a joyous holiday. Peace and Grace.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Edible Christmas

Christmas is a difficult time with toddlers. Conceptually, it is a difficult time for the best of adults. But trying to tie Santa Claus, a pine tree, snowmen, presents, candy and cakes and the Jesus story into one tidy little story is nearly impossible. We have told Helen that Christmas is Jesus' birthday. She gets birthdays. She wants to make Jesus a cake. And she gets presents. She is perfectly happy to get some more. Why SHE gets presents on JESUS' birthday? Well, we will cross that bridge when we get there.

In the meantime, we are doing the advent calendar. Helen calls it the Jesus Book. Actually, every night before bed, she asks to "eat the Jesus book." And last night while reviewing the information we have learned about the story of baby Jesus, Luke asked Helen, "And what was Jesus' mommy's name?" And after thinking very hard about this, Helen answers, "Chocolate." So I can't say we are making very much progress.

Helen is also scared of Santa right now. A big thanks to the people at our mall for hiring a really creepy looking guy to be Santa. So there was a lot of crying and screaming and "NO, NO, NO!!!" going. When we got home and tried to talk about it, she told us that there would be "No cookies for Santa, I don't like him." And Santa could not come down our chimney because he is "scaaaarrrry." I am over-compensating now by letting her watch the Polar Express about 3 times a day. It is changing her mind about Santa. Animated Santa with his kind, Tom Hanks voice is not nearly so bad as creepy mall Santa.

Philip on the other hand is just content right now to pull ornaments off the tree and hurl them at the cats. He also likes to take bows off the Christmas presents, stick them on his head and say "Hat!" Then he laughs a lot. He has an appreciation for the simpler things in life. But he has learned to say Jesus and when we look at the Advent calendar before bed, he shrieks "JEEEEZ!!" and claps his hands. Then he opens his mouth like a baby bird and waits for me to stick chocolate in there.

At any rate, my kids sure do like Jesus. He is about chocolate and presents and singing and joy. And that is mostly correct, even if the three wise men forgot to include chocolate for the baby Jesus. The joy and singing and a really great present part they are getting right. I'll just wait a couple of years before really telling them that the greatest present ever doesn't have a picture of Dora on it.