Thursday, October 30, 2008

How Big Is Your God?

You know, it's hard sometimes to hit those points in life where it feels like every where you look, go and see, you are surrounded by leaves. And I'm not talking about Autumn or literally as in "tree leaves" but figuratively speaking, of course. (I am waxing quite poetic here... bear with me.)

The truth is, they are actually more real and more life impacting than the maple leaves laying in my backyard tonight that should be raked and stuffed into a scare crow sometime tomorrow since the weather is supposed to be nice.

Despite trying to ignore these leaves, I feel like each one is being turned over and a new side is showing. Some turn with grief. Others with practical change. Still others with joy.

Yet in the past few months, I have been so amazed at the ways God has answered prayers. Prayers I never thought could ever have answers. It's almost as if I hope to pray about something but don't know how to really ask God or tell God or convey to God any of what I'm thinking, and then He hears my heart and then answers... as in, literally answering an impossible prayer!

Even down to the exact words. Like tonight I was thinking about a situation Toby and I are facing. "Lord, I really want to get in touch with my husband," I prayed honestly in desperation. (If you think I'm honest and open on my blog, I'm even more honest and open with God. If you don't believe me, just ask God.) Not 20 minutes later, my husband came to me and through the course of conversation said, "Honey, we just really need to get in touch again." (deja vu anyone?) And not only did he say it but he laid out a practical way to actually make that idea more than just a "oh that's a nice thing to say to your spouse" kind of thing.

The first plan of action? We set a coffee date. And coffee dates always makes us both talk, not just the one of us.

Dealing with parenting 3 toddlers and running a business that often keeps Toby gone 14 hours a day and then feeling the need to have friends and socialize on top of the effort we as a couple make to keep our marriage strong, is a juggling act more complicated than any circus act you'll see.

(Even writing that is complicated: I just spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how to word the above paragraph so it wouldn't look entirely confusing and then I'd be admitted to a mental institution because of the concern of my dear readers here that you'd have to spend the next 10 minutes trying to figure out what I meant by describing a 4 piece juggling act called 'my life.')

Okay, if that doesn't make sense, you are now qualified expected to move on to the next paragraph, please.

Knowing that the God who ordained the universe in a set motion and plan that was meant to incorporate even the craziest of my days, is an awesome comprehension... especially when your prayers are answered, your storms are ceased and your anxiety melts to peace.

And that same God who controls the universe, sees fit to lay on your husband's heart a prayer you just prayed not an hour before, all makes you wonder if you really know how big your God is.

It could all end right there and I'd still be impressed. But it's just like God to compile the most ironic bonus package when I least expect it, and He followed the prayer up by an unexpected early morning coffee date all uninfluenced by me.

No wonder I can't sleep tonight.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

She Perceiveth That Her Merchandise is Good

Part of the mid-life crisis era I'm in right now, has influenced an idea called: "Save Money." Ever heard of it? I had heard of it but I thought it was for people that were setting aside money to buy something expensive. Or people with big families and lots of mouths to feed. Or people that *liked* clipping coupons. I guess I didn't know that saving money was an option everyone should think about. And choose.

Toby had mentioned a couple times that we needed a budget. Being the wife that I'm striving to be, I agreed. "Oh yes honey, a budget is what we need." Although in the back of my mind I was thinking, what in the world is a budget for??? What is a budget???

So, as I thought about saving money, I thought it was great idea. I mean, who doesn't like to put more money in their savings account, right? But I just kept grocery shopping like the food was going out of style. The only improvement I made was I quit shopping weekly and started only grocery shopping twice a month. I also cut back on my "run to Lincoln and go shopping" sprints. But, nothing was really helping.

Until a friend mentioned in passing she was going into town to get some awesome sales at a grocery store in Lincoln. And then I remembered what "saving money" meant.

It was the last day of the sale so I quickly wrapped up everything I was going to do for the day but hadn't done yet and jumped in the van and ran into town. Thankfully it was a rain day (Toby was home) and thankfully I left at nap time so I was alone, by myself. My brain was not functioning on high that day though because I was extremely tired and the rain on my windshield was droning my thoughts. If I would've been sharper, I may have made better sale choices at the store but even with my gray-and-cloudy-thanks-to-the-rain brain, I still got some amazing deals.

Before I got married, I did most of my family's grocery shopping. The method I aimed for and actually was pretty good at keeping was 'only buy what's on sale and stock up.' Then I got married. And I didn't have much storage for food. And I was still learning what Toby's favorite dishes were. And what foods he didn't like. And I was realizing that buying for 9 people and buying for 2 was a huge difference in your budget. And then I forgot what "saving money" meant when it comes to food.

Until the other day. Finding dirt cheap prices on chicken breasts, canned foods, flour and frozen veggies amazed me. I was so excited to be buying all that stuff and not spending THAT much! I am officially addicted to sale prices now.

Not to mention the fact that on the same trip (which means I was saving fuel as well), I was able to sell a few baby items to a baby store and I made the exact amount of money on them that I had tried to make on them at my garage sale. Another amazing-money-saving-money-making-deal was that I had bought one item for $4 at Goodwill. We used it for as long as we needed to and then I sold it to this store for $8 because Goodwill had way underpriced it. The cool thing is, I didn't set the price either; the store owner looks over the merchandise and then prints up what she'll give you for each item. I was stoked.

The same friend who told me about the grocery sales is also a CVS shopper, which is something I've wanted to get into for a long time but didn't know anyone personally in my area that was doing it. The whole ECB point thing and coupon clipping made NO sense to me but I grilled my friend on what to do, where to start and what not to do. The only thing I felt guilty for when we were done talking was the fact that I had thrown out the Sunday newspaper coupons that week. (Actually, I've done that for a long time...) Seeing the way the system really is, made me realize how fun it would be to shop this way and how much it made sense.

So, I guess I'm getting into a "frugal knack" which is something I've always admired in many of the blogs I read but I didn't know where to start. I'm really aiming for the whole Proverbs 31 Woman thing and think it's amazing how God has brought people into my life that are exactly the encouragement and influence I need to have wisdom in knowing how to LIVE the P31 way. My next plan is to write up a detailed menu, stay up to date on sale flyer's and even store food in rubber maid bins in my basement if that's the only place I have to put my good deals.

Unless it's frozen or refrigerated... "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life..." Proverbs 31:11-12

Just think of how clean my fridge will have to get to be now. Nice.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Dream Come True Post

I had a dream last night that I blogged like, twice in one day. Or maybe it was two days in a row that I blogged. I can't remember for sure. Either way, I thought I'd make my dream come true and blog again today.

I really have nothing significant to say. Other than the fact that I was just supervising putting silverware away and again noticed the handy hooks I adhered to the inside of my cupboard doors in order to locate some type of convenience in my kitchen.

It also helps to have the scissors handy BUT out of the kids reach at the same time. It was definitely worth the $0.97 the scissors hook cost.

Not to mention that it pleased my husband (almost as much as it does when I scratch his back) when he saw that I hung an entire set of our measuring cups up. He likes to make pancakes and waffles with the kids every once in a while and thinks that the places I have stuff in our kitchen are so inconvenient. I always tell him that he's free to find a better place for things but when you only have one cupboard in the kitchen to put all your baking stuff in, there's really not a lot of options. He was impressed with the new hook system.

The rest of the hooks hold small nails, a handy tool, flashlight, tape, wire whisk, vegetable peeler, electric mixer beaters and another two pairs of small scissors. My favorite nail holds a darling little 2009 calender that I plan to use as a prayer calender to remind me to pray for some of my single friends. Each day of the week is allotted to a friend. I can't wait for the new year to start because it's high time these girls get married.

Speaking of supervising 'putting silverware away' (referring to the second paragraph in this post... in case you're wondering how I'm possibly following a train-of-thought), I have finally decided that in order for Janae to have something productive to do in the morning that requires minimal supervision on my part so I can blog instead so I can make breakfast instead, I must run the dishwasher the night before. That way, there is always a dishwasher to empty in the morning.

Today was a little rough for her to accept her "put silverware away" Chore Card. At first she couldn't stand up and get to the kitchen. Then she couldn't find her stool. Then she went under the rug in the dining room and said I couldn't find her. Then she said she didn't want to paint when her work was done after all so she figured she just didn't have to work now. When she finally took the card and got it done, she was on a roll. Just now I watched her remember where to put the ice cream scoop and went out of her way to put it away. It gave me a flashahead (opposite of flashback) to what she'll be capable of doing in a couple years.

Anyway, not sure how that signifies a significant blog post subject but hey, at least my dream of blogging two days in a row is finally a reality.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

On Gnat Traps, Chore Cards and a Sister-in-love

So it was one of those days that started before the night had even ended. A screaming, crying baby on the other side of the wall, brutally jerked me from dreamland and into the shaky world of just-opened-my-eyes-what's-going-on-in-here.

As I laid in my warm, soft bed next to my nice, strong husband, I listened to the baby cry. I was listening but yet I wasn't, you know. Finally, Toby made me aware of reality and said something like, "You know, I think he was sick last night when I put him to bed." Then I was awake.

And boy, was Toby right.

A 101.8 fever and a sopping wet diaper and pajamas, definitely had put this baby over the edge. A clean diaper, a cool onesie, a drop or two of ear drops in each ear (wasn't sure if he had an ear ache or not) and some Motrine, made his little world a lot better. Topped off with a cuddle from mommy and daddy and then getting some warm milk, he thought life was pretty good again. It's always nice to know you make a good difference in someone's life.

I came back to bed after putting Alex back in his and laid on my pillow and immediately noticed Toby had instinctively turned the radio on apparently when he woke up. All kinds of cool topics were being discussed and then the news came on.

I get completely distracted from being able to sleep when the radio is on. Toby turns the radio on and then goes to sleep. It's like his little signal to the whole world that he is sleeping... "I'm sleeping! Can't you hear my radio is on?!"

Tossing and turning and trying to zone out the radio, did not make it easy for me to get back to sleep. Finally, I asked my husband to turn the radio down which he did in a rather fumbling, sleepy way.

A while later, Toby got up to leave for work and Landon came in our room and informed me he would put his DRY pull-up away when he got home from work with Dad. I thought it was cute that he made a point to let me know he wasn't neglecting his work for me to do.

As I was trying to pull myself together from the sleepiness that had invaded me, thanks to the early morning interruption of the sick baby, Janae came in right after Landon. She had a bowl of left over grape fruit peels somebody had left on the counter and she wondered if she could have some.

I told her she could have a grapfruit and then I started getting up to get ready for my day as well as Janae's. She came in shortly after carrying a pint jar and she wondered if she could eat cereal in it. She said she thought it would be fun. "Oh child..." I mused in my half working head.

Slipping out of bed made me suddenly aware that something wet and cold had been spilled on my bed and on my clean sheets! It was pink in color and looked like juice but smelled like pickles.

As I investigated the kitchen, Janae and my bedroom, it all came clear.

Step 1: I had made a gnat trap with red wine vinegar and soap. I had used a banana peel as a lure into my trap which was in a bowl in the kitchen on the counter.

Step 2: Somebody saw the fermenting banana peel and decided to add to my newly acquired compost endeavors so they put their grapefruit peels in it. (like I would be making compost...?!)

Step 3: Somebody else saw the grapefruit peels and got hungry and used the bowl as an identification tool to explain to somebody else what they wanted to eat.

In the process of Step 3, the gnat trap was spilled on my bed.

And now somebody has 2 loads of laundry, thanks to all the bedding that will get washed today.

After I got Janae her breakfast, I checked on Alex and noticed Landon's pajama stuff on the living room floor. I also noticed the "dry" pull-up laying on the carpet. I picked it up: it wasn't dry. Not. at. all.

My kids have no concept of wet or dry. Seriously. They think something is wet or dry based on what you want it to be. If you send them to wash their hands and they come back with completely dry hands, they say they got their hands wet with water if you asked them if they used water. If they do use water and they come out with sopping wet hands, they say they dried them on the towel.

And if you ask them if their pull-up is dry in the morning, their answer is completely relative to what they think you want to hear.

Moving right along to post breakfast time, I looked over to a very quiet Janae and found her heavily licking the sugar shaker. Thinking I was just going to have to wash the lid, I was a little disgusted to find that she had heavily saturated some of the sugar inside. What is it with this girl? She is a sugar addict. She definitely has a sweet tooth.

So, after the 2 loads of laundry she created for me this morning and the contents of a sugar bowl wasted, I think she's ready to do her fair share of work today in order to make up for the extra work she created for me.

Which brings to something I've been wanting to post about lately...

Toby woke up one morning with a profound thought and immediately stated to his sleeping wife, "Honey, chore cards; that's what you need for the kids!" I was still dreaming of sleep and wondering what time of night it was so the topic of "chore cards" was as far away from my mind as the desire to get out of bed was.

Not Toby.

He was as ambitious and excited as Toby gets... which on a scale of 1-10 and 10 being the greatest, he was at a 2+, maybe.

After the fog cleared and my mind grasped the statement he had said to me while I was still sleeping, I set out to make these "Chore Cards."

First of all, I wrote a list of jobs my kids are capable of doing: tidy room, unload dishwasher, set the table, etc.

Then I wrote each job on a recipe card.

Next, I decorated each card with stickers that somehow correlated with the chore. I didn't have a sticker of a puppy so for the "feed and water dog" card, I used a sippy cup sticker, a cookie and a ball. It was tacky; not creative, but it worked.

Finally, I had them laminated and they are sturdy and kid-proof!

The lamination part is what made them so wonderful and easy to use and I was so glad my sister-in-love did it for me. She often uses an over-night service plan that she has for basically everyone she knows. She's the kind of person that if you need it tomorrow, she'll stay up all night and get it done for you. She's determined and stubborn and always gets the job done right. Most people know us as sister-in-'laws' but 'law' makes it sound so legalized and like we're only connected through the law. Or like some certified paper is what makes us sisters. When in reality, a sister is someone who basically shares your life with you and is in your heart at night when you go to bed and then in the morning when you wake up, they're still there. Just like your sister always was when you were a kid. Life's ups and downs, pursuits and set backs, successes and failures are all shared best with a sister. Because only a sister will stick with you through all that. Needless to say, I am very blessed to have a sister like that who even was capable of laminating my Chore Cards.

Using these cards has definitely given me a better perspective on my day. I don't have to think, "okay, what job can I give Landon to do right now?" I can just look at my stack of "Chore Cards" and give him a task. The kids immediately picked up on the "Chore Cards" idea and wouldn't do the job unless I gave them a card. That's why the lamination part is so nice because I don't have to worry about stickers getting peeled off, or cards bending or tearing. I can hand them their card and know they'll give it back in the same shape I gave it to them in.

My brain is randomly picking topics to blog about this morning and before you wonder how in the world this train wreck of thoughts was ever an official train-of-thoughts, I'll assure you that I just have a lot on my mind that I'm sorting through. I can literally be thinking of one bright and vivid revelation and suddenly, poof! it's gone and I totally forget what was just an important topic.

So, I'll close by saying my world is still a little crazy and my thoughts are still piled on a table somewhere and there are many pieces to the puzzle that I think are still missing.

I wonder if the kids took off with them just like they took off with my gnat trap?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mid-life Crisis

For the sake of the readers that haven't given up on my blog, this is an update to let you know that a blog post will be coming soon.

I have been in a whirlwind of activity life lately and have finally realized that life is just that: a whirlwind. I need to quit calling this lifestyle of activity I live anything else besides life.

At the beginning of the month, I got a phone call from my sister saying that she was bored and having a strange urge. She just felt like sitting in her car for 10 hours all by herself and thought she'd make it productive by actually driving that entire time. We both thought and thought of a location that would just happen to be all of 10 hours from where her car was sitting and ironically, just like sisters do, unanimously came up at the same time with the same idea that she should come to our house. Voila.

Seriously, she was all alone with no husband (he had to go to training in another state) and wanted to replace that loneliness with quality time with her niece and nephews. We were very happy to accommodate her plans of visiting us although we almost said no because we knew it would be sad to see her go.

We had so much fun together. I often marvel at how well siblings connect throughout childhood and before marriage but I was even more amazed at how strong that connection stays even after one or both leave home and marry far and distant men. (So if any of you are holding out on getting married for this reason, I have proof that you really don't need to worry about sibling relationships. Now, go get married.)

One day Britt and I were playing a duet on the piano that we had never played together before. It was a rather bouncy rendition of Yankee Doodle, a song I had never played until Britt was plunking it out that day and making me follow suit. As we jammed along, suddenly at the same time and just after the line about the macaroni in his hat, we both got the urge to modulate the key up a half a step. Without missing a beat (or saying a word), we both suddenly, without warning, landed on the key of D. We do stuff like that all the time. It's almost freaky.

My husband thinks it's weird too and gets uncomfortable when we do freaky things like that. I think he just wants in the loop he just wants to concentrate on the book he's reading instead of having to hear us giggling uncontrollably every time we share a look, stay speechless and bust out laughing.

So, as you can see, I have been rather distracted and unable to blog. A blog post will be coming soon though since I do have a lot on my mind.

Until this blog is updated, another reason why I haven't posted lately is because I think I am going through a mid-life crisis. Now, how's that for an excuse for not blogging? I bet you've never heard that one before. (I should really copyright that one.)

If you've gone through a mid-life crisis, you would know how complicated and complex deep thoughts in the back of a mid-life crisis brain can be. There is just so much there to be sorted out that I'm thinking about calling for a cease fire. It can get rather exhausting to have one deep thought after another fire away in your head. It's like my brain has set up a firing range with a target on one end and several cases of bullets and a loud gun on the other. I'm not quite sure what kind of gun it is so when I get that figured out, I'll let you know. Regardless of the gun's make and model, it definitely has a precise and accurate barrel because it keeps hitting the bull's eye. And it's really loud.

I am not a public speaker at all so to write my whole heart out to all of you right now, is just not anywhere in my mental capability. Especially considering how much of my brain is being taken up as a target right now. And also because I do not know all who read my blog or where they're at in life and how or if they'll understand true honesty and forthrightness.

Truth is, I may actually know them but don't know they're reading here. I have noticed that often people flee the truth and hold on to ideals and then are shocked when you finally make it clear to them what the truth really is. And I don't like to find out after the fact that what I said was just too honest and open for someone to handle.

Yesterday in Church, a part in the sermon jumped out at me in the midst of juggling two very squirmy toddlers. The preacher was reading about the armour of God. My heart latched on to the part about truth. "Loins girded about with truth." It dawned on me just then that truth must be very important since the only thing girding and protecting the loins of a soldier of Christ is, truth.

But, why do people constantly shy away from the truth and instead grasp ideals, traditions, desires and facades?

Besides publicly bearing my soul here, another option would be to sit down and talk to each one of you individually. That sounds a lot more appealing. But, since I can't do that with everyone here because I don't know everyone that reads this and it's physcially impossible to make a point to talk to someone that you don't even know exists, I'll sort my thoughts, collect my thinking and endeavor to get to the bottom of the pile of bullets yet to be shot at that target.

It seems as though what makes this a "crisis" is the fact that it's like a "at a cross roads" experience of life. Yet at the same time, I could drop the gun, walk away from the firing range and send am atom bomb in to wipe out the thoughts that seem to have created the world that is my brain. That may be an easy way out actually and it is quite tempting. But, to do that would mean I gave in and gave up. I would essentially cease to think.

And that would be a tragedy.

So, I said all that to say I plan to update my blog soon. Which I guess by saying that here on my blog right now, I am basically doing NOW what I said I would do: update my blog.

I guess this blog now has a new post.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

A Four Year Old's Email Account

The other morning shortly after Landon got up, he declared that he needed to check his email.

He was going to check his email.

He had to check his email.

He really needed to be on his email.

(Each space above identifies the part of the conversation where Landon's father explained in detail that Landon indeed did not have any email. None at all. There was no email for Landon to check. Basically, Landon had no email account.)

The younger Nelson insisted otherwise.

Later that day, I went to my computer to check it and found a whole newly designed home page.
Even my Google set up had changed.

New features.

A desktop weather program.


News feed.



Even a "How To" section about making wallets out of duct tape.

I'm thinking we need to teach our computer savvy son that actually checking your email isn't quite as much fun as what he did. Although, I am enjoying all these new found features on my computer now.

(Don't tell him I just said that.)

Friday, October 03, 2008

A House Mouse

So I was up late last night. Who cares? I mean, what's new about being up late? I do it all the time.

But this time was for reasons other than the usual.

I have a entrepreneur child. He goes to work with his dad and comes home with broken cool tools, stale sweet pop, junk food a special treat... you name it; he's got it. He's always filthy dirty and tired and not hungry. He claims he doesn't need supper because he already ate. Upon further inspection, I learn that it's lunch he's referring to when he says he "already ate."

Anyway, the point is, usually his treasures and immediate post-work-upkeep are quite minimal yet indeed exciting.

Until yesterday.

I went out to the truck to meet them. It was dark. Landon was just getting out but he was chattering and excited about his latest treasure.

"Hey mom! Look at what I have!" he held out a small plastic cup. I could see two dark shapes but didn't think they were anything more than, well, I didn't know for sure.

Then he reached inside and pulled one out.

"Look, it's a baby mouse," and the thing perched comfortably in his hand.

Either these rodents were just too tired and exhausted from their day of child's play or this thing was actually adopting Landon as it's new mommy.

I glanced at Toby. He seemed completely natural and an unaffected by the two baby mice that just rode 50 miles in his truck LOOSE all the way home.

"We need to feed them some bread," Landon said. "They're hungry."

And that's what we did. Finding a nice warm spot on the stove in a nice little empty wipes container (that I had almost thrown out that day but thought I should save it for the "just perfect" need) and a nice little piece of bread made soggy by powdered goats milk and reverse osmosis water, the little mice settled right in.

At bedtime, I wondered if the now cool stove was going to be a good place for these tiny creatures and I racked my brain thinking of a warming device that wouldn't be a fire hazard.

I thought of a lamp. But I couldn't figure out how to hang a lamp upside down without drilling a hole in the ceiling or some other obvious spot.

I thought of a heating pad. But those aren't advised for small animals.

I thought of the guinea pig. But she could get mice lice from these babies.

I thought of the oven. But it had a butter spill in it that wouldn't be good to leave exposed to heat while we sleep.

I thought of the furnace. But we hadn't turned that on yet this season and I didn't think it was technically cold enough to do so.

I thought of getting up and turning the stove on throughout the night. But I didn't really want to lose that much sleep.

And then I thought of this laptop that seems to emit as much heat out of the vent thingy on the side as the low setting on our stove does. A perfect solution.

The baby mice snuggled in warmly next to their new heat. Just before I finally fell asleep, I slipped out to check on the baby mice and make sure they weren't too hot/cold.

And then I went to sleep wondering how many of them would be dead by morning.

Thankfully, it was only one who died but Landon didn't seem too concerned...

"I'll just have to find another one, I guess."

I guess he's starting a new business. Perhaps he can figure out how to get rid of sell off the filthy mice living freely in the basement???

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Disturbing News

With pirates sailing the high seas in little row boats and taking over war ships, and the government talking about bail-outs when frankly, it's impossible to bail out of an already sunk ship, we are doing a little bit of our own survival experiments here on the home front.

Ever tell a small child to wash their hands and called after them, "Remember to use water"? I said that the other day. AFTER finding slimy soap dripping off of small hands eager to help with a kitchen project.

Have you ever opened your freezer only to have a heavy, sopping, you-got-your-money's-worth-out-that Pull up fall off the top of the fridge where a small child had obviously thrown it when you told them to throw it in the trash? Making a mental note: "Smart Intelligent Bright Genius Child, please throw your icky diaper in the garbage -- remember, the trash can is not the fridge, honey!" Maybe this is a normal thing to have happen in American homes but it was the first time that type of thing happened here.

And then as you wander around your home, aimlessly making supper, folding laundry, vacuuming, baking bread and wiping up continual messes in the bathroom, your Mother Radar Instinct kicks in and you are alerted through closed doors and tight walls that your child is in distress. Serious distress: the dog is chewing the diaper right off your baby's butt through a fence.

So, you rescue the child, send him back to his play only to notice that he intentionally makes himself available for the dog to chew his butt. It's like saving innocent people only to watch them run right back into the hands of wicked men.

Then while enjoying a nice little chat with your neighbor in her front yard, you give your whining baby a "toy" to play with: his sister's Croc. It's not like he was going to chew on it or anything; maybe just play catch or something. You notice that the shoe is wet inside. But, you chalk it up to the dew left over from the morning -- even though the ground is exceptionally dry where you're standing. When you arrive home 20 minutes later, you learn quite quickly that the sister who owns the Crocs had indeed had an 'accident' in the neighbor's front lawn. "And that's all I'm going to say about that."

But what tops it all was my inability to cope with life for two days.

For two whole days (and believe me, TWO days is a lot of time for a kid to figure a few things out about pulling strings and cutting corners on rules) I had a fever and aches in places I didn't know existed. Plus, I had a headache, leaky nose that kept me connected to a Kleenex box like a scuba diver under water is connected to his oxygen tank, fatigue as in drop-where-ever-you-are-and-sleep, and a bladder infection that made me feel like I was in a perpetual state of internal fire which basically makes one feel every bit of half dead. Topped off with the virus that made me feel half dead as well, I knew for sure I was a goner.

But the kids didn't.

They continued their lively banter through out the day, knocking the baby down so they could sit on him playing with the baby, feeding the baby raw bread dough helping me make bread, peeing everywhere but in the toilet building my character about laundry, demanding pie for breakfast teaching me to mean no when I say no and just overall being lively, energetic healthy kids.

And now that my energy is back up to normal, I think I can handle it from here quite easily... as long as no body else gets sick!