Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fwow Up

Parental Warning: The following post has been rated PG for subtle references to bodily functions. Individuals must practice personal discernment and responsibility when reading the following post.

Parenting 101- Every family passes through "normal" developmental stages. First, there's the "baby" stage, with lots of diapers and slobber. Nursing mothers must not only deal with the bodily functions of their babies, but also are faced with their own set of "uncontrollable" and maniacal bodily issues. Next, there's the toddler stage. Parents must be especially vigilant at this stage, for fear that their delusional children who are incapable of distinguishing reality from fiction may "act-out" their fantasies by "being" superman. In my experience, there is a lot of blood at this stage. And then there is the "Child" stage. Communication is easy, but indoctrination into appropriate social more's and teaching acceptable reactions to crisis is not. The best part of this stage is that all bodily functions can be cared for by the child. Drinking, eating, going to the bathroom, putting on band-aids, and vomiting are all tasks that the well-trained child can manage on their own. Next is the teenage stage, but that's for another post.

I am happy to report that ALL FOUR of my children are enrolled in the child stage. Which brings me to my point. Last night, Mr. Man (five years old) said his "stummy hewt." This prompted dad to assume a dose of Pept0-Dismal would help, but Mr. Man immediately declined the offer and ran to the bathroom to do his thing. Fine. It happens, we've all been there.

The amazing thing to me, was that after he "fwowed up," Mr. Man said: "Mommy, can we pray about dis?" Of course! He summed it up just right, "Deaw Lowd, I fwowed up. I didn't like it. Pwease help me to get bettew, and not fwow up no more, Lowd. Thank you dat I know, it's bettew to get wisdom than gowld."

Hey, if fwowing up makes you seek wisdom, we should all pray for the bug.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pigs. 86 the Blanket.

Don't expect to see me walking around in "shoes" in the wintertime. I wear three types of shoes: Sandals (any variation), Boots (to make me look tall), and Sneakers (for running).

Sometimes in the winter, I simply do not want to wear my boots (because I most likely have no socks folded and I don't feel like digging through the clean sock basket). I simply cannot wear my sneakers with black slacks or a dress; therefore, I might gallivant about in flip flops.

FYI, this does NOT concern me. Even though it may be 12 degrees outside, and my arms are cold, I can assure you that my feet are NOT COLD. I am stupefied at the number of people who are concerned for the welfare of my feet. I can understand their need to satisfy their curiosity, but perhaps a more poignant question than "Aren't your feet cold?" could be concocted. Isn't the real question: "Are you an idiot? It's 12 degrees outside!" To which I could reply: "REALLY???? I did NOT notice. So THAAAATTTTSSS why my feet are cold! I have been getting frost- bite, and I couldn't figure out WHY! THANK YOU SOO SOOOO much for pointing that out to me. NOW I know that someone really cares about me."

I'm astounded by the number of people-friends and strangers- who enjoy pointing this out to me. A few months ago, at the GAS STATION, a man pointed out to me my lack of appropriate footwear. For some reason, I responded: "Yes, I realize that, but I'm just so HOT all of the time." I didn't realize that was opening a door for him to respond with a "pick-up line." I won't tell you exactly what he said, but my daughter was in the car and we laughed for about an hour after that.

Point is, I got SMOKIN HOT feet, O.K.? My little piggies DON't Need NO Blanket. They're Extra Spicy Cajun Jalepeno with a side of Tobasco.

And hey, I might wear a coat, I might not. I try to keep life simple and coats are just another thing to remember. Not wearing a coat is a small price to pay for not forgetting the coat that you don't own.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Today...

Wake up. Brush teeth. Pack Lunches. Drive. Make Coffee at Work. Hold Student in Crisis. Ambulance. Pray. Thank God.

Freak -Out a Little.
Pray.

Eat 7 Pieces of Candy. Skip Workout.

Read. Sleep.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Food Service PTSD

Something funny happens to a person in the aftermath of personal disaster. PTSD, a.k.a. Post-Traumatic-Serve the people Food-Disorder, is DANGEROUS. I used to LOVE to cook. It was a pleasure and a challenge to cook for the ones I love. I no longer have the gift of hospitality. The well is plum dried up. If you visit me at my house, you will most likely be served frozen pizza, and if you're lucky, I might pop some popcorn.

This tragic twist of fate is no great loss to my friends, due to my constant state of CHAOS (those of you who are fly-lady aficionados know what I'm talking about), you will most likely never be invited over to taste said popcorn. However, there are four little fishies and a big fish who need a crazy thing called nourishment. I'm remiss in my responsibilities of putting on my apron and pearls to cook. Instead, due to a never ending schedule of basketball, ballet and choir, I have subjected restaurant owners to the hazards of PTSD. The victim has become the aggressor. The cycle continues.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

....My Eyes!! My EYES!!!! AAAAAAHHHH!!!

May, I LOVE you.

I post this not to brag, or even humiliate myself for my stupidity, but because I think it is funny. Nine months ago, I started teaching Lit. Here is the list of books, plays, and poetry I've read (and/or re-read) since I started teaching. I'm not really sure this is all of them. I'm not kidding...

Pride and Prejudice
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Hiding Place
Pilgrims Regress
Gulliver's Travels
A Brave New World
The Tragic History of Doctor Faustus
The Faerie Queen, Book 1
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
The Prince
A Tale of Two Cities
Frankenstein
Beowulf
Don Quixote (522 page abridged)
The Iliad
The Odyssey
The Orestia, Aeschylus
The Bacchae
Hippolytus
The Aeneid
As You Like It
The Tempest
Everyman
The Epic of Gilgamesh
A Christmas Carole
Renaissance Poetry
The Jew of Malta
Paradise Lost
The Scarlet Letter
The Mousetrap

That's 30, right?

Now, I'll be reading these this semester:

Confessions, by Augustine
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Great Expectations
Ivanhoe
The Grapes of Wrath
Romeo and Juliet
Hamlet
Metamorphoses, Ovid-portions
The Best Things in Life
Henry V
Julius Caesar
The Screwtape Letters
The Bronze Bow
Lives of the Caesars
Plutarch's Lives
The Complete Grimms Fairy Tales
The Last Days of Socrates
Prometheus Bound,
Oedipus the King
The Song of Roland
Piers Plowman

After this year, all the passages I want to zone in on will be highlighted, all of the tests will be written, the lesson plans will be written.... I vote for a big party in May to celebrate.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

TeenBeef

When we were kids, my parents sent my four older brothers and I on road trips together on a couple of occasions. A little girl with four teenage brothers...long trips through Kansas and Colorado. There was rarely anything to see in Kansas, but the plethora of feed-lots gave us plenty to smell. Between the odors from the feed lots and the odors from... the boys... my brothers' active imaginations concocted the idea of a magazine for kids who grew up around cattle- "TeenBeef." This magazine would deal with "normal" teenage issues, but would be marketed specifically to kids who lived within smelling distance of cattle that would soon show up on dinner plates everywhere.

There were hours of enjoyment planning this satirical magazine. Little did I know that I would grow up to marry someone who grew up in the cattle industry. I found out something AMAZING. People who grow up smelling animals have the same problems and issues as people who grow up smelling the latest fragrance by Estee Lauder!

Fast forward from Beefy 1978 to Tofu 2008. The issues that are facing teens today may be different than the issues that we faced growing up, but this doesn't mean that we can't be accessible to teeny-boppers. We've all learned that the real problem lies with our hearts and tongues ...the real decision makers in our lives. How many of us look back at our teenage years and say, "If only I didn't walk down THAT road." I'm SO glad that God has given me an opportnity to be a mentor to teens today. If you care to say a prayer for me, let it be that I would be a positive influence in their lives that could change their outlook from "sloppy-joe's" to "fillet mignon." I hope we all get a chance to tell a piece of our story.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Preachers, Prayer, and Lunacy

Christian Radio preachers fascinate me. I like them, because when they are preaching, I'm free to interrupt them as much as I want to. My children frequently roll their eyes when we listen to preachers on the radio... not because of what the preachers are saying, but because of what I am saying. Sometimes my responses are negative: "Oh...no... you did NOT just say that." "Where did you come up with that?" A majority of the time, however, I'm inspired. Therefore, I'm free to express myself verbally and physically in ways that would otherwise be socially unacceptable: "Okay, now we're talkin..." "OKAY then, you preach it brother!!!" "YES! That's what I'm talkin about!!!"

Last week, I was especially stirred by a sermon on the radio. After interjecting my "Amens," "Preach to the People!" shouts, arm waves, and steering-wheel thumps, I was SO absorbed in thought that I was stunned into silence and quiet contemplation. I was moved to prayer.

With my kids in the car, I unexpectedly and suddenly began a fervent prayer, exclaiming, "JESUS!" Flabbergasted and mortified, Kirsten grabbed the arms of her seat and jerked her body to face me. "MOM!!!!" Assuming that I was SWEARING, tears filled her eyes in a nano-second. Through peals of laughter, hyperventilation, and tears of joy, I explained to her I WAS calling upon Jesus , therefore saying his name was APPROPRIATE. What a thrill, however, to know that should I actually BECOME a lunatic (instead of just appearing to be one), I have someone watching out for me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sign Me Up for a 12-Step Program....

I'm addicted to Webkinz. I'm not making this up. I LOVE Cash Cow. Don't even try to talk me out of it. It's irrational, therefore your logic holds now power over me. In exchange for allowing my daughter to use my laptop, I am entitled to play at least one game at the arcade.

However, I'm considering a new line of virtual pets. These would be "Web-Me." Instead of actually doing my "real" dishes, my fantasy alter-ego , "Web-Me" would do them for me. I could re-decorate my virtual house however I wanted. All I'd have to do would be to earn "Mom Kash." I'm not sure how this would work, but perhaps I would be married, and I would have to send my "Virtual Husband" to work every day to "bring home the bacon." Or, maybe my "Web-Me" could work out at the gym, or be paid to be a personal trainer. The possibilities are endless. Domestic goddesses, I seek to understand you, to imitate you, to be mentored by you; but I fear I am hopeless.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fishers UNITE!

What? This isn't NORMAL? Doesn't every family have a secret saying that actually means, "If you don't come at this instant, you will be in SERIOUS trouble, and I don't mean 'you can't have a cookie trouble.' COME NOW OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES."

This is called a CODE. By the way, as Fishers, we live by a CODE, which is embodied in our Family CHEER. You heard me.


FISHERS UNITE!
Fishers Unite! We're number ONE!
When. It. Comes. To. Ha-VING FUN!

Fisher's Unite! We're the BEST!
We. Will. Al-ways. Stand. The. Test!

Fisher's Unite! It is TRUE!
You. Love. Me, and I- Love-You!

The elementary students at my school are fascinated by this. I have frequently been forced to perform this cheer to private audiences. What? This EMBARASSES MY CHILDREN???? NOOOOOO! Easy problem to solve. Keep to the code, and I won't do the cheer people.

There's a Reason They're Called MOMENTS

Monday--Psychoville @ the Fishie House. Yet, in moments of chaos and insanity, inspiration and creativity has been known to arise. Case in point- Four Fishies, four personalities, four moments. Big Bub smiles in the back seat anticipating the "away" game tomorrow as we drive to basketball practice. Next to him, Pretty grasps her Choir book anxiously awaiting 5:30, when rehearsals resume for the season. Mr. Man sits enthralled with his science book, and Big Sis stares out the window, daydreaming about ballet practice today, when she will learn her role in "Cinderella." Serenity-WOW. Mom chats on the phone with a friend, and all is well in the Fishbowl, if only for a Moment.

HERassment

Twice now, I have almost gotten beat up by someone wanting the treadmill at Fit for Her. Tonight, I got the evil eye from a lady who really wanted to work out. I had been on the treadmill for a total of seven minutes when the HERassment started. She stood behind me.... giving me the "eyeball." Unfortunately, I had worn a "FINISHER" T-shirt tonight, and I think that made her angry. She moved to the side and stared me down. I asked her in my sweet Okieness,"You waitin' for a treadmill?" She had her response, but I didn't budge. I'm sorry... ten minutes into a workout is like eating the tip off a large piece of pizza. Honey, there was a lot more damage to be done. Finally, seeing I wasn't going to give in an iota, she HERassed my daughter, "How long you gonna be on that?" Sweet baby girl got right off for her. It's a good thing, too... because this gal must have worked out an entire 5-10 minutes before she went to sit in the massage chair. Good heavens. Park further out at Wal-Mart. No need to join a gym for that kind of effort.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Gramm-duh

Me likes teachn gramr 2 studnts. Its fun 2 breenging thu englich langadge 2 life for mme kids; because then they can talk and write real good. Sumtimes, me students dont git whii i thunnked that they had to be learnin it, but I kept assurin them it importunt. if they cant be writin and readin good, peoples gunna think they dumb or sumpin. Anyways, likee I's sayin...it be really importunt. I knowed of people in the past who aint got the job they wanted or contract they be after cuz in the interview or on that application thing, they aint got no writin abilities. Whatt was I talkin bout? Oh ya, like I said. It's important. rite now I gots some students who aint so fond of my teachin it, but I guess they'll be fixin to be learned bout it.

Monday, January 7, 2008

DRUGS!

I really think that a myriad of problems in this world would be solved if we were resolute in our determination to inject REAL drugs into our system....aka Endorphins gained working out.

I've had a couple of struggles lately, and a good workout has been the equivalent of a good night of sleep or an anti-depressant. I agree with Elle Woods: "People who workout are happy."

Hey...if you haven't tried this drug, the time is now. There's a pretty great Guy who created it. I'm very thankful for the time we share when I'm enjoying this drug. He and I run miles and miles together, and we're pretty good friends. Sometimes He tells me I'm being a jerk, and sometimes He tells me everything is going to be okay. Once in a while, He uses these exercises of the body to metaphorically teach me about exercising my faith. He tells me to hold on, to keep enduring, or to be resolute. Sometimes I'm challenged to take chances. I'm always "High" after I take this drug. I'm not gonna lie, I like pushing this drug.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Literary Blogging...Literally.

Well heeeers the deal-ee-o....

Because I feel strongly that my contemplations about literature would bore anyone who might happen upon this "goofball-spring" (it's a kenning, look it up), I've created an alternative blog re: my lit reading. I'm warning you, if you like to read only for "fun" DO NOT VISIT THE SITE (you know who you are). I take it as a challenge to find a message for my students in our reading. Trust me, this is NOT hard to do, because as Man was made to glorify God, even secular authors often weave a tale of metaphorical salvation throughout their stories. At times, the stark absence of morality and respect for the Divine is a lesson in itself.

You see... this is why I've established anther blog. This often nonsensical and meaningless blog will remain intact to provide an outlet for my quite unimportant observations.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Plug in the Organ and Gather the Choir!

It actually. Happened.

If you want to experience cash register mastery at it's finest, go to Mazzio's. My faith in the competence of cash register clerks has been revived. I paid with a $100 bill there tonight, and I was delighted when the lady played the "count the change game." People, this was simply amazing.

My heart was singing. "Hey Grandma, plug in the organ and play me some o' dat old time gospel music. I can hear the choir singing now!"

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Insanity Checklist

Store pitcher of O.J. in the cabinet....CHECK
Start a grease fire attempting to pop popcorn...CHECK
Agree to a "slumber party" with a 5 and 7 y/o. Sleeping on Living Room floor...CHECK
Attempt to teach the Iliad, Beowulf, and Don Quixote simultaneously...CHECK
Commit to a half marathon in 6 weeks while currently fat...CHECK
Leftover cookies from Christmas still in the back of car...CHECK
Laundry basket overflowing with mismatched socks...CHECK

Score Yourself:
6/6-- We can't be friends. The world couldn't take the chaos.
4-5 /6---Seek help from a loved one.
1-3 /6---Pull yourself together!
0/6---Who are you people?