Friday, July 31, 2009
Kate, a'twitter with anticipation, has had her clothes laid out to be packed for 3 days! After two days of begging me to get out her suitcase, I relented and she's already to go. Honestly, she needed no help except a reminder to take her swimsuit and her toothbrush. Everything else, including 4 pairs of shoes - no problem. Babydoll Ethel is packed and waiting with her own bags as is a backpack full of books "to entertain me on the way." Cole's entire week's worth of clothing, etc. was packed in one single backpack and Meg took one small suitcase! Viva, la difference.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
"Mom," she exclaimed as I stepped onto the porch, "I just saw one of those things we see out here all the time!"
"What thing?" I asked. "A fly?"
"No. One of those big things. An ele--" she stopped short, something in her knowing that what she had seen was not an elephant in our yard.
"A deer?" guessed I.
"Oh, I was thinking it was a giraffe are you sure it was a deer?"
(Note to teacher: please review animals in preschool, we seem to be having trouble with animal identification in this particular zoo!)
Our first born is in basketball camp this week. Yesterday, when he left, most of his morning chores had been neglected. As a result, this morning I was going over the list of chores and tasks to be accomplished before leaving for camp.
"Did you make your bed?"
"Are your teeth brushed?"
"All of them?"
"Do you have socks on?" Somehow, yesterday he didn't realize socks would be necessary until he was on his way to the car.
"Yes." (I discovered on the way to camp that they were in fact, yesterday's socks. Recycling gone amuck! Note to self: don't be anywhere close to him when he takes his shoes off this afternoon!)
"Have you combed your hair?"
"I don't need to comb my hair."
"Why not?" I asked, very interested in his answer.
"Because, I combed it yesterday."
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The 2009 Collection...
After denying my little fashionista her kicks, I suggested that she find something else that would bring her joy. Grinning, she took me to the sunglasses display. "Good idea!" I thought, "something you don't have 38 pairs of..."
Upon returning home I discovered that....
...perhaps I was mistaken.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
After receiving many estimates, we chose the tree service that gave us a great bid and that came very highly recommended by a friend in the lumber business. This job would prove to be a bit complicated we learned, when the "tree cutter guy" told us that the electric to our home AND our neighbor's home would have to be turned off for the better part of the BIG day.
On the BIG day, the man from the power company appeared at 7:30 am (Not a typo, really seven thirty in the morning--waaaayyy before my curling iron is awake). Kate met the electrician at the door and attached herself to him until Darrin could escort him to the backyard where the "unhooking" would begin. After a rather...well...colorful conversation (on the electric guy's half anyway) Darrin yelled into the house to see if we were ready to be without power.
"Sure," I lied sweetly. Really, who is ever ready to be without power? Without air conditioning, without Fox & Friends, without THE COFFEEMAKER? Power off, the man from the power company with the colorful vocabulary told us good bye and then adds over his shoulder while casting a glance at Kate, "She never shuts up does she?" I wasn't sure what to do with that one. I couldn't argue with him on the merits of his statement, I could have given him a verse of "if you can't say anything nice...", instead I decided to tamper with his ladder when he returned to turn the electric back on. (After he'd restored the power of course.)
As the electrician exited, the tree guys arrived and worked quickly and diligently until an ugly storm unloaded and halted work for the day. Approximately one-third of the tree had been felled (tree talk- for cut down) and a second BIG day was scheduled and rescheduled for the next month. The electric guy returned and restored power, and I was so grateful that I decided not to bother his ladder.
BIG day number two dawned without the threat of rain for which we were grateful to God and a different electric guy appeared this time, for which we were grateful to the power company.
Did I mention that BIG day number two happened to be on the same day as day number FIVE of vacation bible school? Oh, and speaking of five, did I also mention that I had five kiddos in my care on this electric-less day?
My niece Sophie is a regular at the Wright Place for VBS every year. It is a cherished tradition for us and, so I hear, for Sophie. I have yet to understand what the draw is for her as each year, some sort of catastrophe befalls us and I end up being the Wicked Witch of the Stressed Out North and the children suffer, even the borrowed ones! Last year had been just awful being 11 months pregnant, having electrical issues, plumbing issues, and air conditioning issues--you get the picture. This year was a welcomed change, what a smooth week it had been. Hakuna matata as it were. So really, what was a little lull in power to me--it was for a good cause and all. . .
"Gretch, you ready for the power to go off?" yelled my Man.
"Sure," I lied though less sweetly this time.
Off went the power on went the chain saws, and down the street went a minivan filled to capacity to drop Cole at the bus stop for day camp. After running a few more errands the remaining children and I decided to stop back by the house to gather library books and videos to return. Leaving the children parked out front, I ran into the house to retrieve the overdue DVD from the DVD player. As I reached the front door Darrin called to me,
"Don't go into our bedroom. They've broken the window and there's glass all over the place."
"Super," I thought, "that ancient window needs replacing anyway." I continued my trek into the house and was just about to press the "open" button on the DVD player when my Man called to me again.
"Gretchen! Grab the first aid kit. One of the tree guys fell and has messed his arm up a bit. It probably needs some peroxide and a bandage."
As work continued on the tree, I thought I'd make another run at the DVD player. I reached it without incident and hit the open button only to realize that I was powerless for the day, that the DVD was captive, and that library fines were inevitable. Forgetting the library trip for the day, I unloaded the kids from the van and checked on the injured tree guy who was struggling with the ice on his neck. I took him a bag of frozen corn, hoping he wouldn't think I was crazy.
"Just like my mom," he said, causing me to age no less than 15 years. After leaving the porch, I stopped by the bathroom, applied some make-up and did the math. I was not quite old enough to be his mom, but it was way close.
When I stepped outside to see what Darrin wanted me to do about lunch, I heard a limb hit the ground, however the sound was different than the thump that we were getting used to hearing. What I heard turned out to be the sound of a large limb taking out Cole's basketball goal in its entirety. Looking up the hill to my Man, I saw that he, like me was grinning. You just had to feel bad for the "tree boss" who was all of 23 years old but, as you would imagine, was aging quickly. Along with the basketball goal, the same branch also split a small bit of fence that separated our yard from our neighbor's.
On the lunch break the "tree boss" shared with us that this had indeed been one of "those days" which had begun with a lost debit card and would now include an injured worker, a broken window, a downed basketball goal, and a broken fence. "In my six years at this, the worst I've ever done was to bend a metal fence a little," he said in disbelief, "and today....today all this."
Poor guy. Finally, tree conquered, they loaded their tired selves into their trucks, promising to return in two days to load all the wood and finish the clean up. We loaded up our crew as well and headed to the final episode of VBS. At the end of the evening many inquiries were made of us about our day because, during prayer request time in their classes, our four wide-eyed little witnesses had asked for prayer for the injured tree guy who had gotten hurt at our home today.
The young man who had the bad fall is reported to have recovered and is doing well. The aging tree boss will be doing better soon I'm sure. I read a phrase in a book the other day that made me think of the poor guy. A character in the book had fallen and said that she was all right except for her "injured dignity". Injured dignity--that's what the poor tree boss was experiencing, but fear not, he'll be better soon because Kate has prayed for him every night for the last six nights and doesn't seem to be preparing to stop any time soon.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
What a gorgeous hair day for my blondie! Molly was going with a low-maintenance do for the day, so I began again to style my own coif.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
One of our family goals is to instill a love of reading into the four little hearts under our influence and under our roof. Early each summer my Man announces the "Reading Incentive" for the summer. The announcement comes this year after a great deal of thought and an even greater deal of figuring. Last summer a monetary award was offered for each chapter completed by our eager readers. One of the readers, however, came very close to breaking the bank by completing over 700 chapters. While our bank account took a larger hit than expected, our hearts were warmed as it appeared that another Wright had succumbed to a love of books and reading. Well worth the cost.
This summer the deal is as follows: readers will collect 1 cent per page read AND $1 upon completion of an entire book. Thus far, our big reader has raked in over $15 and isn't slowing down.
Why the great focus? Why the cost? Why the effort? I grew up reading and am all the richer for it. I desire that for my little ones. I love to read as an adult and am all the wiser for it. Abraham Lincoln said, "The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read."
There are books written that can teach you how to accomplish anything. I found over ten different books about how to do laundry properly--who would've thought. I've read books about how to feed the kids, how to feed the adults, how to clean my home and more specifically my kitchen sink, how to teach a child to play golf (no, I don't play), how to make the perfect pancake, how to pack a nutritious lunch, and you can bet I've got a book about blogging on a to-be-read stack somewhere. If you wanna know how to do it, some helpful soul has, in all likelihood, written a book to teach you.
Did you know that there are even books written about books? One of my favorites is called Honey for a Woman's Heart by Gladys Hunt. True bliss! I even caught my Man reading a blog post about reading! Crazy right? (Actually, that's what you're doing right now-it's ok, I'll not tell...)
Aside from reading to learn, I also want my children to know that reading is also a wonderful way to relax. Oh that they would know the pleasure of loosing themselves in wonderful stories, of curling up with a book that will captivate the imagination and stir the emotions and of making friends for life with the characters that greet them between the pages.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles Eliot
Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier. ~Kathleen Norris
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
...served pizza for dinner
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Friends from NC delivered two beautiful, fat, shiny, green tomatoes a few weeks ago when they visited. What promise these tomatoes held as I sat them on the counter waiting, just waiting for them to turn from their bright firm green, to a less firm pink, and finally yesterday to bright red sandwich ready spheres.
After each child was tucked safely into bed, I made my move. I tiptoed to the kitchen, grabbed a serrated knife, and began cutting fat slices of tomato as juice and seeds streamed down my forearms. Surveying my bread selection, I decided with a sigh that store bought bread would be better than none at all, and slid two slices from the bag. Making a quick decision, I plucked the "full-tilt" mayonnaise from the fridge--no low fat stuff tonight, I reasoned, this sandwich deserves the best. Assembled and seasoned, my creation was complete and I, with gusto, partook. I was thrilled to discover that this summer's tomato sandwich was every bit as satisfying as last summer's. Giving the remaining tomato a parting gaze that held plans for morning, I set off to bed.
As I attempted to repeat the whole sneaky sandwich assembly and consumption drill this morning, however, I was busted! Just as I was polishing off the first half of my pre-lunchtime creation, in walked Kate.
"Mom! What is that?"
"A tomato sandwich." I answered, pulling it closer to me.
"It must be very good. Is it?" she queried, eyebrows raised.
Sighing, I offered her a bite.
Taking the proffered bite, "Oh...mmmmm...can I have one just like yours?"
Today I learned that a yummy summer tomato sandwich, much like a good cup of coffee, is even better when shared with someone special.