Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's Happened Again

I've been kidnapped. Again.

I know, right?



This is one of my captors.














Babyface (Buttsky) is long gone. This is their new leader. Cheeks.


















This is the ransom money they have demanded.













I'm scared. They carry bags of body parts around with them.















They blindfolded me and walked me down a damp, dungeon-like corridor.










They throttled me and shook me like a rag-doll and threatened to throw me into the waterfall if they weren't paid soon.











But far below I spied a boat. This was my only chance! Like Harrison Ford in The Fugitive, I did a Peter Pan right off the ledge. I landed on the boat and made my get-away.



For now......

Mother of the Year?

I was all headed to being a shoe-in for the Mom of the Year Award.

I loaded my girls into the car and headed for the Pocono mountains for a two night, three day Mother/Daughters trip.

I had all kinds of bonding and good times envisioned for us.

I had dreams of forcing them to sit through cheesy scenarios like sitting in a circle under the moonlight, holding hands and taking turns telling what traits we admire about the others.

Team-building, imparting of maternal wisdom, spirituality, growth, guiding them down the path towards womanhood with an expert hand on their shoulders and a whisper in their ears.

Was it really too much to ask?

Well, we headed down that path a couple feet maybe, but got detoured by the the distractions of malls, spas, junk food, sibling rivalry, and parent-child power struggles.

Our very first activity for our very first afternoon was a plan to go to Bushkill Falls and hike through nature and feel the power and beauty of the waterfalls. To feel the blood coursing through our veins as the water rushes through the rivers, to feel our connection with nature, our connection with each other.

Instead, we saw the Lehigh Valley Mall out our window and made the first alteration to our itinerary. Julie got an off-the-shoulder floozy crop shirt that says "Boy Crazy" in pink neon letters. Nice. Hiking the trails and marveling at nature became swiping the plastic and signing my name. But they were happy.

Do I get points for letting their retail endorphins flow?

That detour cost us some time, so we got to our hotel later than planned. Later as in the hotel restaurant was closed. Later as in the hotel's room service was closed (we're talking 9pm, but this wasn't exactly a metropolitan area). We learned there was a Friendly's only a few miles away, but I couldn't get it on Mapquest or Google Maps, nor could the Friendly's representative I got on the phone give me directions. Should I chance driving on unfamiliar mountain roads in the dark to try to find it from what I could piece together?
Banjo music sounded briefly in my head while I thought that one out.

Hmmmm....

Minutes later we were in the hotel's cubicle of a sundry shop, loading our arms up with muffins, Fritos, Snickers, iced teas and Doritos. We charged it all to the room and enjoyed our $20 worth of trans fats and corn syrup in the privacy and comfort of our room.

Where the #&%@* is Friendly's?












Next day we spent nearly the whole day at the water park and a good time (and sunburn) was had by all. They traipsed around in their swimsuits and had fun on all the rides. We took the ski lift to the top of the mountain to unwind a bit, and on the way up we passed a couple cars full of boys that flirted with my girls. That was the cause of some bickering as they fought over who the boys were eyeballing.
Note to self: do they sell chastity belts in the water park gift shop? In the hotel sundry shop?

After the park we finally found our way to Friendly's for dinner and found an awesome spa for mani-pedis.


















Last day of our journey we enjoyed the hotel's fitness center and pool, and we munched on popcorn while watching Harry Potter 7.












































We stopped for dinner at a diner on the way home and the girls got silly leaving texts and messages on each other's cell phones. We laughed at handwritten signs in the country offering for sale Quilts, Crafts and Pigeons (all on the same sign), and discused the possibility of moving to Krumtown just for the fun of it.

And before I knew it, we were home. Back with the boys.

Sigh.

Maybe I let them shop instead of taking in the beauty of nature.
Perhaps I fed them junk food instead of dinner.
And OK, I missed a few opportunities to educate them on confidence, independence, strength, and the bonds of mothers and daughters and sisters.

But on the drive home, when we rolled down the windows and screamed out the lyrics to the song on the radio, I guess I'd have to say Katy Perry taught them all I had intended to as we all sang together....

Do you know that there's still a chance for you
Cause there's a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road

Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know

You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby you're a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
You're gonna leave 'em all in awe-awe-awe"


Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through

Can't Seem to Giterdun.

Still not done building the Hen House so I can move my chickadees to the barn proper, their permenant home. They're getting cramped (read, smelly) in their Chick Shack. And they're just about fully grown. In fact, the most recent bag of feed I bought them was a layer mix, instead of the Start and Grow they've been on the last four months. My babies are getting all growed up. Sniff.

But I still have much to do before I can move them....
Build the gate,
Add three more boards to the sides,
Chicken wire over the rafters up high,
Add chicken-wire covered plywood to the back wall,
Add the bedding and the feeders and the grit hopper and their waterer and their kiddie-pool-filled-with-sand-and-DE-dustbath.

In other words, almost done.

Why is it I just can't seem to get out there and finish it all up?

Is it perhaps that I had to spend hours in the barn the other day undoing the damage Finnegan caused when he accidentally locked himself in the soon-to-be hen house and ripped out all the chicken wire separating hen house from rabbit pen and letting the bunnies loose? (Run-on sentence much?)

Is it because I have to run a kid to summer school every day and kids to various and assorted appointments roughly 40 times a week? (OK, that figure may be slightly exaggerated.)

Would it be that I had to plan and pack for a mini-vacation (girls getaway for me and m'girls) followed immediately by planning and packing for a whole-family vacation the very next day?

I know it isn't because I'm too busy taking care of the landscaping. The way the weeds are growing up around the place you'd think we were on the books somewhere for a demolition.

Hmmmm. Mayhaps it's the supervising of the summer homework my kids have been assigned, including the reading of about a dozen books, a few math packets, chapters from history books, projects for the assigned readings, etc.

Or it could be just all the other "normal" stuff in my life like making sure the kids are doing their chores, checking on the status of the wild feathered and furred critters that chance into our lives, oversight of the 40+ "domesticated" critters under our care, grocery shopping, laundry, and feeding my children now and then.

Why can't I finish this project? No clue.

Ponder, ponder, think, think.....

When I figure it out I'll let you know.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Escaped!

I broke free from my captors!

It was the most horrifying 36 hours of my life but I am free.






By day they were cute, almost innocent looking beachgoing children.
























By night .....

zombies.

















They were quick to let me know they had a shrink ray gun and would not hesitate to use it. They cruelly demonstrated their powers with a national landmark as I watched helplessly.





They showed no mercy as they read through their list of restrictions.















Or when they forced me to eat buckets of toxic gruel.








They tried to keep their identities secret.
But my bottle of sunblock was really a cleverly disguised camera and I took lots of pictures to be used as evidence against them.









This is their ring leader.
You guessed it.
Babyface.








aka Butsby.











Here he is sharing his evil plan with one of his maniacal minions.












But when they learned I was onto them, they tried to run.
Some tried to dig their way to China.









Some tried to swim back into the mist from whence they came.











Babyface tried to flee in his get-away car.















But his minion tossed him out and took the wheel.











It was my turn to laugh maniacally as they fled.

I was free.

FREE!









The End.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Independence Day

Happy 4th....





Last year we tie dyed.












































The year before that, James and Julie's first 4th with us, we took some cheesy pictures in matching t-shirts.






















We did some driveway fireworks.


















We got a little scared.










We celebrated freedom.














This year? I don't really have any plans yet.

Some cook out.
Some watermelon.
Some time in the pool.
S'mores?
Light up the leftover fireworks from last year.
Ooh.
Aah.


Enjoy our freedoms.
Be thankful we live in the best country on earth.
Be hopeful we can do better.


Praise God for the six young blessings in my life.
Thank Him for letting them be here with us.
Rejoice that they will grow up here.
In our family.
In America.




Happy Independence Day everyone......

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's All Fun and Games Till Someone Gets Pooped On







So we're sittin' around on a summer's eve.













We're playin' soccer.










We're pettin' chickens.











We're being adorable.

















When alls a sudden.....











There was poop.
Green-brown goo.
There were tears.
There was wailing.



















Summer fun over.

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