Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Helllllooooooo Mooooommmmmm!?!?

Hi, it's me Molly Joy. I betcha you didn't recognize me cause I don't sound like a little kid anymore. See, I'm turning 5 soon and I've been working real hard on sayin stuff right. My mom's kinda sad about that. She says I sound kinda like a big kid now and not much like a preschooler anymore. I say woo hooooo to that cause all of my whole entire life I've been trying to get big like the big kids. I ask mom to measure me all the time just to remind her how very fast I'm coming along with this growing up thing.

Mom dosen't measure me much these days because she's busy. B.U.S.Y.

I'm busy too. I spend lots of time leaning out the door to the porch talking to my mom who seems to have taken up residence out there with her stack of books and her cups of coffee and of course, her camera. How else is she gonna be able to remember how little I once was if she doesn't take 42 pictures of me every day? 

Mom's just finished a couple of books that she had a difficult time putting down even to cook us dinner!
There's this one...

...I think it must have been really good. I heard Mom say that while she was reading one particular part about the characters being in a boat in the jungle, she was so nervous that her feet sweat...eeeewwwww! The lady who wrote this book is a very good author, Mom says. She also wrote a book called Bel Canto that Mom loved.

Another book that has been getting between me and my Mom was orange...

...she says she likes the relaxed style of the essays in this one. It's about being a Christian and being a writer and some other stuff too, I think. 

Sometimes when I pop my head out of this door I see her reading this one...

...and I kinda start thinking, "If we are going to have a meal with Jesus, somebody ought to put her book down and get in here and clean the kitchen and cook something!!"

Just sayin'.

When Mom reads this one, she's usually got a pen in her hand underlining lots of sentences. She says she's trying to learn more about how to do her job better. I wonder if there's a chapter in there about fixing lunch for your kids? 

That's me heading outside because Mom is reading that funny book that makes her smile and giggle...

She read a chapter of that book to my Grandma the other day and they laughed until the tears rolled down their cheeks. My Grandma ordered two copies of the book the next day. One for her and one to share. Mom read a chapter to us kids an boy oh boy did we laugh. She says that not every part is the kind of funny that makes you laugh out loud and makes you need to um...change clothes, but that every chapter celebrates family in such a charming way that she looks forward every day to reading it and is going to be sad when she's finished with it. 

When I see her reading THAT book (I LOVE the flowers on the cover!), I climb up on her lap and she reads it to me. I don't always get whats going on, but it's fun to be with Mom when she's laughing. Plus, as the saying goes...if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

It's also fun to be with Mom when she's fixing lunch, but I've just about given up on that for the summer. Oh well, ya know what ELSE they say...

"If you want a job done right, you have to do it yourself!" 

Around here, if you want it done AT ALL, you'd better do it yourself...
...or hide all of the books!

Thanks for visiting with me!
Molly Joy

“When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story's voice makes everything its own.” 
― John Berger

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Barefoot Days

One of my favorite vacations as a kid was spent almost entirely in a creek in Kentucky. My family had traveled there to visit some relations on my Dad's side and though I'm sure we did a bit more than play in a creek, that's chiefly what I remember doing.

I've many other memories of creek playing, sloshing along, water up to my shins, turning over rocks to reveal crawl-dads and other slimy creatures, trying--usually unsuccessfully--not to fall off of slippery rocks and land on my backside.

My Man has many similar childhood memories. Our children, however, and for no really good reason at all, don't have much creek-walkin' logged as yet in their lives. Recently though, Molly experienced her first creek and has been talking about going back ever since...

In the morning, very early,
              That's the time I love to go
Barefoot where the fern grows curly
                          And grass is cool between each toe,
On a summer morning - O
On a summer morning

~from Barefoot Days~
by Rachel Field

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

In which Kate learns about Botox...

"Hey mom, YOU need that!" Kate commented looking away from the tv.  

"Need what?" I asked.

"That Botox stuff they're advertising."

"Why do you think I need that" I said, fishing.

"To get rid of your headaches.  Isn't that what it's for?"

"No," I answered, relieved,"it's to help get rid of wrinkles in your face."

"Oh," she said and leaning in a little closer added, 
"I guess you really COULD use that stuff then."

“Laugh a lot, and when you're older, all your wrinkles will be in the right places!”

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What I've Learned at Summer Camp

I am happy to report that I have broken my old fourth grade record by making it past Tuesday at youth camp this week!! It has been a great week at camp. I have enjoyed this week far more than I thought I would (and I think my friend across the hall would maybe say the same thing). I love it here at camp. I have thoroughly enjoyed being among my kids and their peers at camp and I have learned SO SO MUCH! 

Here's what I know...

1. In the college dorm where we are staying the bathroom is exactly 45 steps from my room. This is a handy piece of information to have at 3 am.

2. An orange Creamsicle can fix just about anything. Camps should have them in limitless supply at meal times because sometimes THEY RUN OUT and that can be a bad thing if you've planned your entire day's happiness around a Creamsicle. 

3. You really shouldn't plan your whole entire day's happiness around a Creamsicle, because your fellow campers might think you are shallow and the whole point of youth camp is to gain depth. So you can enjoy that those cool refreshing orange Creamsicle(s) that get ever so slightly soft as you eat them, but do not hang the hopes of your day there. 

4.Teenagers are slaves to fashion and will wear toboggans when it is 85 degrees...this will hurt your feelings on a deep level.

5. When you find yourself at youth camp when it is 85 degrees and 198% humidity, you should move as slowly as possible to avoid excessive exhaustion AND you should stay far away from the kids with toboggans as you will find it difficult to treat them with very much compassion.
{Please note that the FEELS like temp pictured above was 94˚}

6.  Salt... I am convinced that the cafeteria is against it, and also, I've discovered a much bigger reliance on the stuff than I thought. This is a problem. I'm just saying that if someone offered to hook me up with a few paper envelopes full under a tree at the edge of campus sometime after sunset, I'd make that deal in a flat minute. 

7. The group of girls I am with this week has been assigned a men's dorm on campus. I now know that men's dorms have an odd, lingering smell, HOWEVER the young ladies on our floor seem up to the task of fixing the problem with all manner of perfumes and lotions and hairsprays. When the men return this fall they are also likely to think that there is an odd lingering odor.

8. When, at forty years old, you find yourself lined up next to a bevy of beautiful, fresh-faced, energy-filled teenaged girls early in the morning in the bathroom,

 ...you have an important choice to make. You can either begin humming the Sesame Street song…

...OR you can watch and learn and leave the bathroom/staging area with a plethora of the latest hair and make-up tips.

9. After one full day of camp, it takes at least two full cups of coffee to get revved up enough  for quiet time...

Perhaps I should have shared a cup with my gal?

10. Finally, when you are growing weary and those sneaky thoughts of home begin nipping at your heels, I learned that the sight of your sister-in-law and your nephew (who are also here this week leading a group of campers from their church) standing in the coffee shop during free time is the perfect remedy! 

Tomorrow we pack up our damp, stinky, sweaty clothes and our deeper knowledge of our fellow campers and our hearts full of Truths-taught and head on home from camp. I'm excited to have "exceeded the expectations" and have made it to this point in the week and there's but one night left so I think just maybe I'll make it. Woot! 

But just in case, I've tucked a Bible verse in my heart that I'll use on the final night here...It's Acts 27:29... and it tells the story of Paul's shipwreck.
At this rate they were afraid we would soon be up against the rocks along the shore, so they threw out four anchors from the back of the ship and prayed for daylight.
So if things get rocky tonight I'm gonna be throwing out anchors (clothes into my bags) and praying for daylight!

Till then, dear reader!
(I've also learned that Photo-Bombing (as the young people say) is an art form!)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

31 years later...I'm back

Once upon a time I went to summer youth camp when I was in fourth grade. Once being the operative word. I was probably 10 years old. My youth group went to camp on a Sunday afternoon and I came home on Tuesday without the rest of my group. My parents had to come and get me because I simply was not a happy camper. I never went back to camp and I didn't, until college, travel far from without one parent or another in tow.

I'm all grown up now but I still don't like leaving home.

Today through some twists and turns and circumstances well beyond anyone's control (not the least of which MINE), I find myself once more at church youth camp. When I dropped my little girls with my parents yesterday, my Dad, driver of my rescue car 31 years ago, looked at me with a wink and said, "Try and stay past Tuesday...break your old record!"

I'm at camp with my big kids and a little more than a dozen of their friends and I've survived day one in pretty good condition. Across the hall from my room is a young girl whose mom told me as her daughter climbed into the church van, "She even got homesick on vacation in Disney World." I told her I'd had the same experience many times even while among my entire family at the beach when I was a young girl and then again last year.

I'm keeping an eye on my young friend, watching for those old familiar signs that creep into the joy of adventure and try to talk you out of your fun. She seems to be doing so well tonight and I am too. I told her she was wise to kick that old homesick monster out of her life and that I wish I had done the same thing when I was her age.

Now, though, I am my age and here I am...again. Stay tuned...

You are welcome to follow our adventures on Twitter by following the hashtag #studentlifeCU or by clicking on The Wright Place Instagram feed here .

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Monkeys in the Laundry

Sometimes there are monkeys in the laundry basket.

On two separate occasions this week it was reported to me that two individuals to whom I am related, hadn't, for a brief amount of time, been wearing any underwear as there were none clean to be found in our home. Since I'm a glass-is-half-full kinda gal, I chose, at that moment, rather in those moments, to count their --- condition as a plus, relieved that my less-than-totally-dressed family hadn't instead chosen to don a pair of dirty underwear, as surely it is more hygienic to be without. 

It's been a busy week juggling Bible school and softball practices and I could rest my dignity right there except that I had no official VBS responsibilities this year and had only to drive to softball practice once. The washing machine churns and spins even as I type, but I've discovered that I'm down to what is probably two loads worth of laundry detergent, three if I balance the detergent jug upside down for an hour or so to catch the last dribbles which line the bottom. Those dribbles, I tell myself, though piddling in amount are certainly more potent than the detergent higher up in the jug, having gained cleaning power as time has passed, sitting there on top of the dryer day after day concentrating.

Regardless, I'll be running out of detergent way before all of the laundry is clean and I'm not relishing a trip to the grocery in the middle of a lazy summer day just to get detergent. The obvious solution, therefore, is laundry triage which calls for the laundry lady to attempt to prioritize just which clothes her family members will need before the dreaded trip to purchase more detergent is accomplished. Underwear sits at the top of the list but then comes the quandary because summertime's wardrobe rules are simply non-existent. 

On any given summer morning ...

...you will find the adults and children of this residence clad in all manner of finery, 

from prairie skirts for playing hopscotch,

... to princess and knight attire for capturing the castle.

From swim suites on the front lawn for a damp day of water games to bleary-eyed early-risers taking to the side porch for breakfast in PJs. 

There are also the regular shorts and tank tops which find themselves in high wardrobe rotation.

Not to be forgotten is the load of "work out" attire ...

and softball uniforms...

which, left in the laundry pile long enough, will take more than one cycle through the washer to achieve complete freshness. 

It was out of this particular laundry pile that I discovered a string of red plastic monkeys making what appeared to be a daring escape.

Molly had been here before me, it seemed, and apparently she and her little red monkey friends had decided to do what I had been doing all week...running from the laundry. 

When you are four years old, leaving the scene of a stinky mess and abandoning your monkeys in the laundry basket is quite understandable. When you are forty, doing the same thing is less excusable. In both cases however, result is the same...

...lots of monkeys with no underwear to speak of.

I'm off now to help those poor red fellas back into their barrel and to put a load of you-know-whats into the washer! Wishing you a happy summer week packed with full jugs of laundry detergent and empty baskets of laundry...with or without the monkeys!

“I've buried a lot of my laundry in the back yard.” 
― Phyllis Diller

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