Archive for March, 2013

The English Language JUST Got Better

March 29th, 2013 at 9:26 pm » Comments (4)

Seth-7yr does not normally launch into teaching mode. Ethan-12yr does. And Caden-9yr does. And I do. But Seth-7yr? Almost never will he do this.

I’m so very glad he made an exception.

We were in the car when he began his lecture on Compound Words.  ”Compound words are made up of two OTHER words and they make one new word when they are put together.”

His brothers agreed with his definition. I was impressed.

He continued, authoritatively,  ”Buttocks is a compound word.”

Caden-9yr said, “WHAT? What are you talking about? NO IT ISN’T, DON’T SAY THAT?! WHAT?”

Seth-7yr repeated himself because apparently he had not gotten his message across and we needed a review. “Compound words are made up of two OTHER words and they make a new word when the are put together. SUCH AS BUTTOCKS.”

“NO? THOSE AREN’T TWO WORDS, WHAT?” Caden-9yr was all worked up. 

“Yes. That is a COMPOUND WORD. Buttocks is made up of two words. The first word is BUTT and the second word is OX, like the animal. BUTT-OX. Compound word. BUTT-OX. BUTT-OX.” He repeated his new compound word for us with different inflections, as if this would help us.

It did not.

My mouth was hanging open. Ethan-12yr will usually jump fast into any conversation that involves an animal of any kind, but he was speechless. For once, he failed to conjure up three real or not factoids about the random ox. And Caden-7yr was too frustrated to continue telling him that ButtOx is not the same thing as buttocks and is clearly not a compound word. He resorted to muttering, “stop SAYING that” over and over.

Seth-7yr was immensely pleased with his stellar example of a compound word, his controversial lecture, and the drama he incidentally provoked, which is always a welcome result.

I think this is a fantastic new, compound word. it’s my new FAVORITE word. I had the occasion to converse with a few buttoxes today. Wait, what’s the plural form of this?

Buttoxes? Buttoxen? I don’t know. I don’t care. Earlier I saw someone I knew and muttered, “What a total BUTT-OX,” and then giggled until I snorted.

OH, the English language needed this addition. Thank you, thank you, Seth-7yr!



MARCH. And we did.

March 27th, 2013 at 9:40 pm » Comments (2)

It’s been a busy month. For y’all too…?


There was the divorce thing and the name changing thing (YAY)

and then there was spring break and a little trip

and baseball started

and we had our “It’s not a Make-up Christmas Event, because Christmas isn’t about presents, but this is the day Mom finally gives you the gifts wrapped in christmas paper that she wanted to give you in December but she couldn’t because we were destitute” day

And we finally picked our family song….. Get Back up by tobyMac (there was commentary comparing some of the lyrics to the survivors of 9/11. And you know….? that was probably really interesting. But some days by the time we get to devotional, i do NOT have it in me to stay present and tuned in to every last weird thing the kids say and I admit I tuned that one out. I mean… WHAT? No. Nevermind. Not what. Ssshhhh sweet boy and I hope you go to sleep fast, mama is tired and cannot handle discussions about terrorists tonight.)

and tonight we celebrated Easter early in a purely secular and pastel fashion and made cupcakes. Because i didn’t want to dye eggs. The boys wanted orange frosting. Ew. But okay. I have a secret soft spot for various sorts of sprinkles. So I got out the collection. There must be 12 different kinds of sprinkles and sparkles and different colors and shapes of small sugary stuff you put on desserts that we never use but they make me happy to look at. We made the kind of chocolate cupcakes you pipe full of gooey white frosting.

Yes. I have a date with the gym tomorrow. It’s at 930.  I’ve reorganized my closet and my ‘cannot fit my butt into THAT’ pile has grown quite a bit. directly in relation to my butt. I suppose.

I’ve been hiding out, depressed and big eyed and largely (and I do mean largely) stationary. But the urgency is returning to get back into shape so that the circling, ever threatening vultures might be discouraged. I could still kick butt if needed. But i’d be TIRED afterwards. And that’s not good enough.

Time to toughen up again.

There’s still a few days left in this month. I’ll get right on that.



March 25th, 2013 at 8:12 am » Comments (0)

My eye is twitching. Just below my left eye, there is a persistent twitch thing going on. It’s been there for two days. I’m pretty sure I know why.

My mouth has been painfully exfoliated by 60 mph dirt-carrying winds during a Saturday baseball game. All the baseball parents and players were ferociously sandblasted and my mouth is still killing me two days later. It was worth it. Caden-9yr and Seth-7yr are on great teams this year. OH it’s about time!

But despite the twitchy eye and the raw mouth – it looks as if i had some sort of expensive spa treatment on it and it went badly – i have to say…. escape is looking good on me.

Sure, i’m out of shape and always behind on my to do list and my laundry. But. My facial muscles are getting really conditioned to withstand all the smiling that divorce has brought.

The constable who just left my house seemed a bit taken aback by it as well. He was here, AGAIN, looking for someone who is not me. He had all the correct contact information for the person he sought, but he was apparently not getting any response. Yes. Well. That’s how it is, frustrating if you choose to let it be, and do you have THIS phone number and THIS address and I just want to help you so you can stop coming around here and scaring my neighbors that something bad has happened to me, and really,  GOOD LUCK, I SHALL PRAY FOR YOUR SUCCESS IN ALL THAT YOU DO.  Smile, smile, smile.

Okay, I can see how that was creepy. Especially with the twitchy eye and the weird, skinless mouth.



Secrets from the Roads

March 19th, 2013 at 1:22 pm » Comments (3)

I went to see my dad and stepmom’s  for a few days. SO rushed was I to get out the door that I didn’t even write a “I”M NOT PACKING” post. Although… I thought about it. But two boys were arguing and it was an unusually harsh disagreement and it rattled me. I sent them to the backyard so that they could finish it out there while i loaded the car with the “look, i am being the GOOD child” child. (they take turns in that role. no one can stand it for long.)

The problem with this was that we could HEAR the arguing and awfulness and screaming at each other from the front of the house. So I knew they were okay. I knew it was a worse than usual confrontation I was refusing to mediate and they were trying some new, uh, communication techniques. Worthwhile. Then they made each other cry and then got into a serious acorn fight until they were REALLY hurt (hey, acorns are pointy) and I was so rattled by all of it I forgot to load several key items needed for the trip.

Like, my shoes.

I wasn’t thrilled to be leaving for a long road trip with this beginning. So I made them sit in the back together and say kind things to each other and work it out until they were okay. I turned up the radio so I couldn’t hear any of it. I’d already heard too much. And it made me mad. At both of them. Screaming little acorn hurlers.

Because God made them BOYS, they did as requested. They sat back there and talked kindly and apologized and laughed and forgave and made up. And then – because God did NOT make me a boy – I sat up front and SEETHED for 200 miles about crap that had nothing to do with me. Crap they’d forgiven and  forgotten.

What snapped me out of it was a convoy of monster trucks outside a town known for boots. Big fun monster trucks – not street legal at all – way bigger than that, being transported to some event I didn’t know about. I got all excited and tried to get the boys to care – but they didn’t – and so I alone waved and drooled and smiled and pointed and  mouthed my compliments and generally just freaked out as I sped up and passed each one.  The monster truck drivers seemed as entertained by me as I was with their trucks.  Maybe they don’t get that reaction often and everyone else just plays it cool and doesn’t flip on out like that? I don’t know . It was by far the most fascinating thing I’d seen in hundreds of miles.

My dad has a saying. What happens at LNP stays at LNP. that’s just so I don’t go and blog about him. (the NP stands for National Park. Not that it really is. But that’s my dad.) But I will say I’m especially glad for our visit. There was one tractor revelation, even though I hardly spent any time mowing.  (best time for alone time, thinking/praying/sorting is on a tractor. if you need some of that, i highly recommend it.) And great food and baby frogs and filthy kids and gorgeous weather.

Then the kids decided they’d just go ahead and clear some brush in the woods without waiting for my dad and took off with machetes on their own. MACHETES. Real ones. No supervision. Sharpened the day before by my dad. He spaces them out in the woods – SO NO ONE MACHETES OFF ANOTHER KID’S HEAD OR ANYTHING – and they clear brush as a team. But without him… well. It gets a whole lot more dangerous. I rounded them up, took away their long shiny blades and sat them down and gave them a SERIOUS talk. Then I put them in the car and we left a few hours earlier than we’d planned.


All three of them knew better. All three of them could have been chopped to pieces completely on accident if someone just sneezed unexpectedly. GRRRRrrr.

I put them all in the back of the car without any form of entertainment. Unless you count the big eyed glares they got from me in the rearview mirror. And they did not.

When I stopped being quite so mad, I let them watch movies. And nap. And nap some more. And read. And it was a loooooong drive home.

It was longer than usual, actually. Between my house and my dad and stepmom’s there is pretty much a flat line across half of Texas. If you follow it. However. I created my own line that jagged up and down sharply. Like the paper readout of a seismograph after a really bad earthquake. Unintentionally of course.

You know all those monster trucks I’d seen? WELL. Whatever event they had gone to was over and it was REALLY muddy somewhere and wasn’t just for monster trucks. There were four wheelers and trucks and all sorts of extremely happy looking muddy motorized things being hauled home on all the various roads of Texas on Sunday.

I got distracted.

I missed every turn I should have taken and took a lot of turns I should not have taken. I went as far north as to leave Texas entirely and accidentally hang out in Oklahoma before realizing it. U turn. Then I went as far south as Abilene, for no good reason except that I was drooling over the mud chunks on some ATVs and just forgot what I was doing and then I couldn’t find a turn headed west to save my life, so I just kept going.

It took FOREVER to get home. it took an extra TANK OF GAS to get home.

If the kids asked why it was taking so long, I just agreed. I wasn’t about to own up to my own stuff right then. I will. I always do. But not then.

I got home and sent my ‘home’ text to the people who request such things. I was relieved when no one asked why it took me so long. Sometimes I forget to send that until hours later and maybe they just thought it was that. Maybe no one noticed. Maybe I didn’t have to tell anyone for a few days.

Maybe I just tell y’all that stuff.

Maybe the stuff that happens on the WAY to and FROM LNP should be the road’s secret.

Eh. Nevermind. That’s no fun.


Maybe the strangest thing i saw was a very elderly lady crossing a highway with a plastic bag in her hand. She wore a dress and heels and I figured she was probably on her way home from church when she had struck and killed a coyote. She risked her life to cross the highway amid traffic averaging 80 mph and stand over it and debate whether she should move it. Or if it was really dead. Or what to do. The plastic bag in her hand seemed a bit… small for the job. She had her trunk open and waiting just in case, though.

Or maybe she didn’t kill it at all and thought it was just some good lookin roadkill. I don’t know. I prayed for her safety and then forgot all about her until I typed that title.

I kinda wonder what she had for lunch that day.

JUST DIVORCED! (imagine that in white shoe polish all over my car)

March 8th, 2013 at 9:24 am » Comments (8)

i have to get out the door riiiiiiight now for work.




I got divorced.

And I changed my name.

And today my face REALLY hurts from smiling.


tell ya more later. LOVE YOU, THANK Y’ALL for hanging in there with me this last year. It meant a great deal to me. YOU mean a great deal to me. you didn’t have to. But you did. EEeeeeeeEEeeeeeEEEEE!

Happy. Shy. Completely Inappropriate and Not Caring.

March 7th, 2013 at 11:37 pm » Comments (4)

When Caden-9yr was a Caden-2yr or a Caden-3yr… he broke his nose. And we took him to the doctor and he violently ‘set’ it back in place. Before that though, he was x-rayed. Even though the doctor said it was broken just by looking at him across the waiting room as soon as we walked in.

During the x-ray, the nurse explained the procedure and said it was an important picture, so sit still and smile.

He did.

Caden smiled for all he was worth, broken nose and all. I was the one crying. He was smiling. I thought I’d just DIE when his nose got snapped back into place. But he didn’t mind it nearly as much as I did. He was joking with the doctor while I held him and I was flinching and he was ignoring.

Sometimes your emotional reactions at the time just don’t seem to fit the moment. But it doesn’t matter. They’re yours. Real. 


I’m blogging because I cannot sleep. My face is hurting because it isn’t quite used to this much SMILING. I’m alone. Cleaning, taking a hot bath to try to relax, petting dogs. But I can’t stop smiling, and it’s really starting to ache. 

I need to be at the courthouse first thing in the morning. I think I’m pretty much getting divorced and it’s like, FINALLY really and truly happening, but I’m afraid really even to think that for sure because… well. There have been so many delays and setbacks… I won’t really believe it until it’s done.

But I can’t sleep anyway.

I wish I could at least get my face to relax. That would be an excellent start.


The Original Ramblin’ Man (UPDATED)

March 5th, 2013 at 9:13 pm » Comments (4)

I just tucked boys into bed. Meaning, we just had our usual devotional time and it’s still making me laugh so I had to tell you.


Remember when I said we were going to pick a Family Song? Well. We are still in that process. So tonight for devotional we listened to three of our 9 nominated songs and then each boy discussed the meaning of the song and the lyrics and how it does or does not fit our family and where we are in our life and faith at the moment.

We picked tonight’s three at random.  Keep in mind that there were NO prerequisites for a song making the nomination list. If one of us picked it, it made our initial list.

Dead Man by Jars of Clay

Seth: I do not think that this fits us. We are not dead men on the carpet. We are not men. Not yet. We are living boys. We do not have carpet.

We agreed it was a great song but perhaps not OUR family song for this year.

I’m For You by tobyMac

This one had possibilities. Certain lyrics were meaningful and appropriate for us, as pointed out by children in surprisingly eloquent and insightful ways.

Me and My Gang by Rascall Flatts

And here is where it got SERIOUSLY interesting. This was one of Caden-9yr’s picks.  (Taking full advantage of the No Prerequisites Rule.)

We listened. We sang. We acted silly. And then… we discussed.

Ethan-12yr tactfully said that it was a fun song, but maybe not really ‘us’ since we don’t drink a lot of beer or sit around bonfires. Also, it seems to be about people who “travel to remarkable places” and we do not do that.

Caden-9yr said it was actually about “how much those people are like God. You know, the line about ‘Lord I was born a ramblin’ man?’  Well that was about God on this earth. He traveled. He was always going. He just WENT.”


Caden-9yr: Yes. Well. Also we do like ipods.

Me: That ramblin man thing was a reference to an old Allman Brothers song that had NOTHING to do with Jesus, OH GOD FORGIVE HIM NOW PLEASE, AS SOON AS YOU ARE THROUGH LAUGHING.

Ethan-12yr: Actually, he does have a point. It reminds me of Matthew 8:20 which says ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’

Caden-9yr: Why do you know THAT verse, anyway?!

Then an argument ensued about whether Ethan-12yr is only interested in scriptures that have to do with animals (he is, mostly) and why he won’t admit that (he won’t, mostly) and if it’s okay (I figure it’s a God given thing about him and I love it, so I just laughed and let this go on WAY too long).

It cracked me up that one kid was trying to make that beer and party song about Jesus and backing it up with the Ramblin Man argument and then THAT being backed up with scripture…. WOW. I love how their minds work.

In the end, we rejected this song as well. But I do not regret that it was nominated because I LOVE the conversation that it inspired. i had to write about it immediately before i could forget any of it.

Oh, boys. You are so precious. And weird. Very, very weird.




OKAY IT WAS HANK. Got it. I couldn’t sleep.  It was JUST beyond my consciousness that something was very very wrong here and THAT was it. Hank Williams. The first one. AND I JUST STEPPED IN CAT PUKE because I ran out of pepcid for the ulcer-y cat.

Good morning, y’all.

All Introspective and Stuff.

March 4th, 2013 at 10:06 pm » Comments (0)

I may have gone to bed prettier than a fugitive murderer lady in Texas, but I woke up UGLY with a bloody scratch stretching across my nose.

I was immediately impressed with how well I must have slept, that i had no memory of how or when that had occurred. No jagged fingernails. No sharp objects in bed. No angry cats. Weird.

When you can sleep through something that looks like THAT in the morning… you definitely reached all the deep sleep levels. And, okay,  maybe a nightmare level or two, but not so disturbing that you had to wake up afraid.

I have lost count on how many additional Sunday church services are devoted to the topic of marriage. I’m hanging in there. This week I was sitting at the very back and watching some pretty boy type who was WAY too un-self-conscious about digging in his ear and examining the contents.  I figured it was a good a statement about marriage as any. (And fine, I have a bias against pretty men.)

At almost the end of the sermon, my also divorcing friend and I sat up straight, alarmed and big eyed and looking at each other. Just on the other side of the wall there was a loud FLUSHING sound and we realized all of those prior noises were the sounds of a man in a restroom. And THAT seemed just a good a statement on marriage as any, ALSO.

We will perhaps not sit there again. I came in late due to unforeseen scheduling complications (and FINE, my subconscious’ chafing at another marriage sermon) and had the choice between that particular seat or the one next to the old guy who leers and holds my hand too long during the meet and greet time and gets generally way too friendly with his body language.  So. Good choice, with the selection of the seat with the sound effects and everything. But still.

Marriage. It’s a rather hostile topic with me. Legal developments and setbacks are abundant here today.

Still. Life is good. I’m reminded of that every time someone comes into the store and I help them pick out jewelry for dead people. I’m NEW at this job and it’s already happened twice. They’re grieving and sad and need help thinking through what someone I never met would like to be wearing for ETERNITY, no pressure new girl, so when you get to heaven don’t even worry about all the old ladies who are going to be waiting for you at the gates saying, “WHAT?! YOU PICKED THIS FOR ME TO WEAR ETERNALLY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!”

Ugh. I cry with the relatives (you would, too) and talk about what they were like and what they liked to wear and didn’t like to wear. Then we usually go for something timeless and ageless and elegant and plastic and made in china. It’s the best I can do, and maybe those ladies will understand.

Precious sweet dead ladies need clip-on earrings. Just in case you need to know. And do not ask me why. Really.  (And I think dangly is inappropriate for death. For life, oh yes, chandelier earrings should be well adored. But not in death. Maybe it’s just me. But hey, I’m the one they’re asking, for some reason, and so there ya go, that is my official professional stance on discount death jewelry: No danglies.)

I’m honored I get this life. Of all the possible lives that are lived in this world… of all the eras and places and situations… God gave me THIS gorgeous life with these three amazing boys and it absolutely takes my breath away how blessed I am. I think that  when i meet the families of these women who have so recently died.

I wonder if they felt the same way about their lives, and I sincerely hope that they did.

And now I’m going to bed. I kinda hope I do not tear my face off while I sleep.



March 3rd, 2013 at 11:24 pm » Comments (3)

(if that thing is still going on where the title doesn’t show up…. yeah. sorry. i’m trying to fix it and it’s not working out yet.)

Caden-9yr has found a new way to liven up his existence. He stands at the back door, commands a brother to LET EM IN, and then when the excited dogs come running in the house, caden-9yr runs in front of them, arms flailing and screaming and leading the dogs through the house on a crazy weird takeoff of the Running of the Bulls.

I don’t know why he does it. It grates on my nerves. But I don’t think that’s why.

One of the problems with this idea is that the necessary energy and child faux hysteria actually causes the dogs to run like wild and crazy bulls and knock down all mom types and anything else in their way. They play their part well, these dogs. It’s GOT to stop.

Just had a weird text conversation with my dad and stepmom. Daddy said that some lady in the news who may be a murderer is probably someone I went to school with. I looked up the black and white image from a store’s video surveillance and then wrote back and said, No… she’s younger.

daddy said, “probably older. not as pretty.”

SHUT UP BUT THAT’S SO SWEEEEEET? When was the last time your Daddy complimented you in comparison to a would be murderer’s video surveillance image? OH MY GOSH, melted my heart, it really did. Kinda made my night, right there.

I didn’t recognize her. But then again, that’s not really my secret talent. And, as long as we’re discussing what secret talents we do NOT have, I think I should probably always avoid Pamplona.

I’d be so dead.