Friday, May 29, 2009

Attention All Pests!

Last spring when we moved into our house, we thought it was just the four of us.   We thought wrong!  Apparently the neighborhood ants decided it looked appealing too, but I'll be darned if they're gonna set up camp in my fortress without sharing the mortgage payment.  For several weeks, in and around our home we sprayed and stomped, swept and mopped, set out traps and sprayed some more.  Finally the ants got the hint and left.
This year, there's good news and bad news.  The bad news is, the ants are back.  The good news is, they're not IN our house, but they're still taking up residence in the gardens and on the porch.  And it's NOT working for me.  Not happy Bob!  So I go to the garage and get out the industrial size container of Ortho Home Defense Max.  Yeah, it's every bit as cool as it sounds.  It comes with this attached spray gun so you can kill pests on demand.  And kill I did.
After securing the perimeter of my gardens and porch, I crouched down, sat back on my heels, loaded the gun and dared the dastardly demons to show themselves.  It was awesome. I felt like a hunter waiting for my prey.  A few brave critters made the mistake of leaving their hiding spot and they had to learn the hard way that you don't cross me when I'm armed.  Hopefully their families will follow suit and heed the eviction notice.  If not, we're calling in the big guns and letting the professionals do what they're paid to do!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Status Report

Status reports have become fairly commonplace in the world of blogging and yet, I have never actually written one, so here goes: Sitting: on my pockets when I should be folding laundry Thinking: about the millions of things I need to do this week Enjoying: Memorial weekend; had a blast with friends, and celebrated Cory's b-day Pondering: updates to the church website and adding a link so I can keep the congregation apprised of our pastor's trip to Israel Wondering: if the girls really ARE going to finish their schoolwork by the end of May Anxiously Awaiting: Cory's job change on Tuesday, VBS, Centrifuge, home school testing, Kindercamp, co-op graduation Loving: the exquisite sunshine and warm weather Excited: that we got our gardening and yard work nearly finished Wishing: that the hummingbirds would find the feeder I put out for them Thankful: that I am blessed beyond all measure and secure in my salvation

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Laughter really IS the best medicine!

I've read many church bulletin quotes (or misquotes) before, but the ones below were new to me.  I hope you find them as hilarious as I did:

-Wednesday, the Ladies Literary Society will meet. Mrs. Smith will sing "Put Me in My Little Bed" accompanied by the Pastor. -Offertory: "Jesus Paid It All" -Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community. -The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister's daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.  -A songfest was hell at the Baptist church Wednesday. -Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Baptist Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance. -Pastor is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary. -Mrs. Sanson will be entering the hospital this week for testes.

-The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge--Up Yours." I hope you all have a very sun-filled, and son-filled weekend!!! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake!

In the past few months I have attended a number of birthday gatherings; some were for family and others were for friends. Having grown up in a home where traditional birthday cake was the gold standard for celebrations, I fully expected to be served cake, but was surprised to find less traditional items like brownies, grasshopper pie, angel food cake and fruit pies. While all of these were exceptional desserts, there was just something unusual about sticking candles in a berry pie. While cake is always my first dessert choice, it definitely is my primary pick for my birthday. Yes, I like boring old white cake with white butter cream frosting. And don't try to pull that whipped frosting nonsense over on me either because I know the difference. So am I the last true cake lover who refuses to conform to the brownies and pies that are taking over the birthday world, or are there others out there who think a good old fashioned birthday cake is still the way to celebrate? Let me know in the poll to your right :) PS.....Cayla talks about her birthday year-found, but with it quickly approaching in June she's had a lot more to say about it. She and I had conversation the other day that went something like this: Cayla: Mom, when it's my birthday why do you buy me a cake instead of making me one? Mom: Because the stores do such a lovely job decorating, so I assumed that's the kind of cake you would want. Cayla: Well, I like a home-made cake. Mom: Really? Better than store bought cake? Is that what you want for your birthday this year? Cayla: Yep. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Your home-made frosting. She's definitely her mother's child. She LOVES cake! Couldn't you just eat her up?!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Madness!

There are times when I go on complete cleaning binges and sort through an entire room in about 15 minutes. After all, how long can it take to throw everything away? And while I desperately need to have a cleaning frenzy in my basement, I keep putting it off because most people don't see it. My children's rooms however are another story. Last week I invited the girls' friends over for a play-date this week. I told the girls they needed to have their rooms spotless before their friends came over. I may as well have been talking to a brick wall. Not only were their rooms not spotless as of 9:00 this morning (with their friends coming at 10:00), but it threw me into a mad, cleaning rush. You have to understand that I don't just get in the mood for these cleaning frenzies. They sort of 'come on' like a light switch that's been flipped. Generally they start when, in an attempt to HELP the children clean their rooms, I discover their faulty cleaning methods. In a child's mind, throwing everything into the nearest bin, bag or box is a perfectly acceptable way to tidy up. What's left gets shoved under the bed and voila, perfect room. WRONG!!!! It's when I discover these serious cleaning violations that I go into nuclear meltdown. We're talking PMS, World War III and the Apocalypse all rolled into one Monster Mom! No kidding, Hitler has nothing on me in these moments. I fail to understand why my children can't pick up on the fact that doll clothes go in the box marked "doll clothes" and blocks go in the box marked "blocks" and so forth and so on. Instead what I come across shoved under the bed is an assortment of mis-matched dirty socks, the mysterious missing shoe, Polly Pocket dresses, a lone Barbie brush, wadded up handfuls of Bendaroos, eight stuffed animals, a few dusty jelly beans, a pair of jeans, two pencils with the lead broken off, six markers, several checkers, hair bows, broken crayons, bits of string and a partridge in a pear tree. With the exception of the wearable items, most of it goes directly into the trash. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200 dollars. McDonald's Happy Meal toys and Dollar Store items are the worst offenders. Not only do these items add serious clutter, but they're cheap and don't match anything, so they're always the first to go. Parenting magazines are quick to advise mom's to create bins or boxes and label them so children can put their items away. Thanks, are you going to provide the maid too? Because no amount of labeling or organizing can get my kids to put things in the right place. I think it's just one of the curses of allowing kids to have things. One day they might learn to actually take pride in ownership and care for their belongings enough to put them in their proper home. For now though, they seem pretty content to tear through the house like Tasmanian devils leaving carnage in their wake. Thank goodness for television. If they're watching TV they're generally (notice I said generally) not making messes. So sure, they might be mini experts on anything relating to Dora the Explorer and Olivia, but at the very least my house is clean........sort of!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Summer Sounds

While I'm waiting for a continuous string of nice weather days, I felt compelled to share a few thoughts about sounds.  Specifically, some of my favorite summer sounds.  Any one of these going on for an extended period of time might cause me to lose my mind, but independently I love to hear each one.  (Yes, these are the kind of things I think about.  It's a curse that my mind never shuts off :)  They're in no particular order:
1) The creaky squeak of an old screen door
2) The crack of the bat when a home run is hit
3) Crickets chirping
4) My girls' shrieking laughter as they play in the cold sprinkler
5) A distant lawn mower
For those fellow bloggers who never know what to post....I'd love to read your favorites!!! 
Happy Spring!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Recovered Spendthrift

This afternoon I went out with a friend who came to town for a visit. She and I used to work together, back when I got paid in dollars and cents instead of kisses and hugs. We haven't seen each other in a couple of years and it was wonderful to catch up over coffee. Afterward, we set our minds on shopping (my all time favorite hobby). I picked up a few excellent finds for Cayla at deep discounts, while my friend paid top dollar for everything she saw. I mention this because it made me realize just how much I've changed. Change is often a gradual thing, and the one doing the changing doesn't even realize it's happening. Or so I discovered. While shopping, I guess my friend found it amusing that my mouth gaped at the $79.00 tee shirt she picked up, and my eyes were as wide as saucers as I quietly watched her try on pair after pair of $75.00++ jeans. Within a couple of hours I had witnessed her drop hundreds on a new wardrobe (a very cute, very stylish wardrobe I might add) for her upcoming vacation. Each time she turned over a price tag and caught the look in my eye she would say, "you have changed so much. You're not the Rachel I remember." And once she added, "you really are the quintessential stay-at-home mom now." And let me say, she wasn't condescending, she was genuinely sweet about it, and I found it complimentary. While I've always been somewhat frugal, there was a time when I would have thought nothing of spending several hundred dollars at one time on clothing for myself. I'd whip out my store credit card, swipe it through the machine, and smile as my treasures were bagged for me. But that was then..... .....and this is now. Not only did Cory and I spend the first 7 years of our marriage paying off serious debt that I'd accrued, but I found a new way to shop. Anymore, I think it's as much sport for me as it is shopping to find the best deals I can. In fact, whenever someone compliments something I own, I find myself compelled to tell them where I bought it, and exactly how much little I paid for it. It almost embarrasses me if someone thinks I own something extravagant, because I don't want them thinking I spent too much money on something frivolous. None the less, despite my very comfortable, fairly cute (and very inexpensive) outfit I donned for my trip to Nordstrom, I still felt like a fish out of water. What was once second nature to me, now felt like culture shock. I don't mind how much my friends spend on things. That's between them and their checkbook. But for me, I'm sticking with my 'find the lowest price tag' game! Having walked on both sides of the fence, the grass might not be as green over here, but the water bill is sure a lot lower :)