Thursday, November 29, 2007


Last night after Church, The Husband was playing that game where you put your hands up and jump at someone and make the "oooohhhhh" sound to scare them. Lily thought this was the funniest thing that had ever happened. She kept trying to show us what Daddy had done that was so hilarious and put her hands up and mocked the same sound. And this is what that looked like...they say a picture is worth a thousand words and it ain't no lie...

League of Justice

So, here's the League of Justice having dinner. We had a couple of kids spend the night (as though there weren't enough action at the house already), and here we are in dress up partaking of the evening meal. At the table we have the terrifying Lady Bug Purple Spotted Warrior. A Power Ranger. Spider-Man. Pink Princess Ninja Fairy. And the two on the end are still in their alter-ego cover story as fashion models in street clothes.
Carter Big Boy Power Ranger pausing briefly from saving the universe to eat chicken and macaroni and cheese.
And as usual, Lily had multiple costume changes throughout the evening. Don't ask me--I have no idea what this is. Something like a mix of Spider-Man and Geordi LaForge off of Star Trek: The Next Generation (don't ask me how I know that either).

Monday, November 26, 2007

Black Friday

We loaded up the Loser Cruiser (aka Mini-van) and headed to the Mamaw's house for Turkey Day. It was nice to see the family again and visit with everyone. It was also nice to eat that turkey and dressing (that I didn't have to prepare). :-)

We came home and did a big bunch of nothing the rest of that day. Probably gearing up for what was coming the next day, because Black Friday rolls around and the Mild Mannered Charlotte Ann (stop laughing) is a Sister Sunshine Shopping Maniac!

I got the bug for shopping on the day after Thanksgiving two years ago when I went with Memaw Joyce, and we tore up the town, overflowing the backseat and trunk with treasures reaped at bargain basement prices. Before that day, I'd been one of the people pooh-poohing the entire day saying that I'd pay double for everything not to go and fight the crowds. That was until the day I scored that dual screen DVD player for $149.00 (which at the time was almost half what they were going for) and I got The Fever.

So, Friday morning, I dragged three friends out the bed at 4:00 in the A.M. and off we went! Summer, Joyce, Betty, and I hit the road in the pre-dawn hours to track down the savings. (Well, that was after Charlotte spent oh, like 30 minutes driving around the countryside of Randolph looking for Summer's house which she couldn't see from the road in the dark and ended up traveling all over the county on dirt roads until she stumbled upon the house with some help from The Husband on the phone. And it's shameful to admit, but her house is something like, oh, maybe 1/2 a mile from mine. Sheesh) :-)

After we secured everyone in the vehicle and prayed, we went first to the place of all things necessary...Wal-Mart. We set a time to meet back at the van and off we went into the sea of scowling faces. Now, I make it a personal policy that I AM going to behave as a Christian and I AM going to be smiling and laughing and I AM going to be nice at all times and compliment the cashiers and let others go before me and hand off my buggy to other frustrated shoppers and do all that is within me to behave myself (said committment saved several rude people from a melt down). Of course that's the prayer at 4:00 in the morning before I am coherent and actually have to put that into practice. ;-)

Seriously, it's so much more fun if you just enjoy the hunt and don't get disappointed by whatever comes your way. So, for example, when the $49.00 portable DVD players were all sold out because I made us late to the Wal-Mart, it didn't surprise me one bit when we found them available in abundance at $54.00 in the Target an hour later. Yea!

After those two major retailers, it was time for breakfast. Now, there are some of you out there who are so serious about this shopping thing that you think that the drive through is the way to go, but you are missing out on one very important point of the entire trip. You are out of the house without kids and without your husband. Think for a second. How often does this actually happen in the life of the Mother Bear? I'm not wasting that opportunity on a biscuit in any drive through, no, no, Dear Friend, not me. The best part about shopping on Black Friday is the I-Hop that just happens to be located by Divine Providence on the way to the Galleria Shopping Mega Mall. :-) Food with no Shortie hands in it. YEA!!!!!

Another topic of note, on the thirty minute ride to civilization, i.e., the shopping mall, we passed a carload of folks from our church (hello Alex, Martha, and Melanie!). We then ran into the craziest people from my last church (hello Audrey and April!). Then at the I-Hop we saw another crew (Mitzie, Nannette and their family!). Here's something to think the car with me were three of the craziest people I know. Then we drove past, shopped next to, and ate in the same place with the other people in my life who would make that list of Completely Crazy Fun People. Hmmm...something to think, if you aren't a Black Friday shopper, maybe you aren't very much fun... Ha-ha!

It was a great day for everyone in the van! We got home by 11:30 and the vehicle was so full that we almost couldn't fit ourselves in there. Success!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Griswold Christmas

As you can tell by the lack of blogging, it has been a wild and crazy week. :-).

On Wednesday we put up the Christmas decorations (which is always an adventure). This is our first Christmas in this new house, and I wanted to change themes from I-just-had-a-baby-and-didn't-have-time-to-decorate-at-all to "Griswolds". So, after I purchased the amazing gingerbread yard art at the Christmas Village, I decided that it would look really cute to decorate the whole house like a gingerbread house.

Notice the major flaw in this plan is that "I" decided, not "We" decided.

I think that a man who will hang Christmas lights for his wife must really, really, really love her. No one else is stupid enough to do it without large sums of money being exchanged.

The Husband has one Major Christmas Issue and that's with those icicle lights. He hates them with a passion--he has a valid arguement that in our neck of the woods it's common place for at least half of the trailers in the area to just leave the icicle lights hanging year round as some sort of decorative statement of laziness. As a result of this aversion, so we have always hung this single strange of very large white globes along the roof line, which really looks like some sort of stage lighting and not Christmas lights. It certainly doesn't look Gingerbread House, so when I saw the colored icicle lights on the Wal-Mart shelf, I hesitated only a fraction of a second before purchasing and bringing them home.

I also got colored strands of lights to go on the poles in the front of the house, but once I'd put them up, I then took them down to outline the picture window and front door (adding about two hours to the project). It is beyond me how people figure out the wiring for these big yard light-em-up jobs in town. I almost went insane orchestrating the extenstion cords for a string of icicles and four strings of colored lights.

Anyway, here's the end result...

I'm still working out some huge lollipops on the windows and wrapped candies on the side of the house and putting in the candy canes that line the driveway. Elaina suggested on the ride home today that what we really needed was a huge sign that says, 'Happy Birthday Jesus'. She's right; that's exactly what's missing. :-)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hazard Pay

Last night I hosted the WMU at my house. For those of you who don't speak Christian-ese of the Southern Baptist dialect, that's the Women's Missionary Union. It's basically a group of women from church who get together and pray for missionaries, organize mission projects and outreach events, and we do devotionals based on missions. Oh, and we eat. :-)

So, last night I put my kids in the basement playroom with two youth and let them at it while we conducted our group meeting upstairs. Everything went well. Taking into account of course that Lily peed on one of the babysitters. But this is exactly why we overpay anyone who babysits in the first place. If you are brave enough to care for my wild heathens, you will probably be a) thrown up on, b) have peanut butter/jelly/cheese/apple juice/pizza on some part of your body and/or clothing that wasn't there when you got to my house, c) need a band aid/cold compress/Tylenol at some point in the festivities (not just for the kids, but probably for yourself), and d) before you take the gig you need to grasp that getting peed on is a reasonable job hazard.

This is also why we over tip. The second we are seated in a restaurant I give this same speech to the server, "You have a 45-minute window of opportunity here. I can keep all four of these babies under hand and voice command for exactly 45 minutes from the second we sat in these chairs until we are paying the check. After that, it's Thunderdome, Baby, so let's go ahead and get that pen and pad out because it's Go Time and we are ready to order. Either way we are tipping well to compensate you for the noise; for the eighteen times you will have to refill milk, chocolate milk, tea, and juice; for the cracker smeg we are going to be leaving on the table and under it in such quantities that you will have to find and run a vacuum; and well, just because we are Johnsons."

If things aren't going well or the service or food or chocolate milk happens to be taking a particularly long time, I'll smile and add, "Oh Miss? In almost, oh, 17minutes I'm setting these kids free in this restaurant." That usually does the trick. People from neighboring tables start screaming, "For the Love! Give that table our food, and we'll wait for you to cook our order over again!" (Inside Joke Alert: Shout Out to Walter B. from the Land of Vandiver who will give me a rousing chorus of Amens right here. Walter wakes from his sleep cold with sweat at the mere thought that he might be seated next to us in eateries. In fact, he once suggested that we fax him our weekly dining schedule just so he would be apprised of our whereabouts.)

So, we notoriously overpay for childcare and for restaurant service. Hey, you'd want hazard pay if there is a chance someone is going to pee on you on the job too.

In another funny, we ate at I-Hop with the in laws last Saturday and my children were behaving smashingly well. At a nearby booth, there was a young couple struggling with one ornery 2-yr-old (and that's scarier than a hungry bear, my friend). So, the mother had done everything she could do and she finally turned to her husband and hissed, "Look at that table!" (gesturing wildly at us) "That woman has four kids and they are perfectly behaved and we can't keep this ONE KID in check."

On the way out I stopped at their table and said, "Don't worry, it gets easier the older they get," and smiled my best sympathetic smile. I know it's wrong to lie like that, but if I told her about the Cracker Barrel Incident of 2004 when we left prematurely because of the syrup fight and exploding diarreah diaper that covered two children and me and the booth and carpet and server, she might never procreate again.


As fate would have it, ten minutes before our family portraits were made on Wednesday night, Lillian Grace got a wad of bubble gum stuck in her hair. No, not totally true. During her nap, she must have gotten the bubble gum stuck in her hair because it was dried firm when we found it. And of course, the wad of gum was not at the bottom of the length of her hair, but about five inches up.

So, after a screaming fit about no more gum in the house ever again as long as we live (which is like the fifth time The Husband has given this same ultimatum), I struggled with the gum for about five minutes (seconds) and then got a pair of scissors and hacked away at her head. It looks like a dog chewed the child's hair off at the ends. So, I have difinitively proven yet again that we can safely scratch "hairdresser" off of my list of accomplishments. We may have to shave her head like we did Carter's after he scalped his bangs off last year...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

All the news that's fit to print.

So, I’m reading the "news" this morning, and this is an actual headline on MSN: "How to Date While Pregnant" Ummm...I’m not sure when pregnant and dating became an acceptable, newsworthy story item. (And everyone thought I was crazy when I proclaimed that the Bratz dolls were a plague on our society. No shocker there, when we have Hooker Barbies on an entire aisle of the toy store, we then aren't allowed to be shocked and mystified about birth control being passed out without parental consent in the Middle School to 11-yr-olds and MSN giving us "pregnant and dating web tips" as "news".)

(Note to self: no more caffeine after 9:00 a.m. The rants are starting earlier and earlier.)

And in other news, I’m speaking at our local County Ministerial Assistants Banquet in December and in the advertisement they listed me as: "Enjoy Bible teacher, speaker, and humorist Charlotte Johnson."

I got tickled because that is pretty good--"humorist". Usually when people ask me what I speak about or what I do in these programs I say, "Ummm...well...I sort of...hmmm...tell funny stories...not jokes...because I'm not a comedian exactly, but I tell real life stories, but they are really funny stories, and then I apply them to a greater principle...blah, blah, blah." It sounds like I have no idea what I "do" (maybe because I don't).

I think that now I’m going to steal that descriptive: I’m a Humorist. :-) Cool.

We're sort of running crazy right now at the house with so many things going on at one time (humming a few bars of It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas under my breath)

Our church is doing a new directory, and we are having our family portraits made tonight; our church also sponsors an Upward Basketball league and evaluations are ongoing this week at night; Steve is helping a family with a funeral today/tomorrow; he's also speaking at a local elementary school tomorrow afternoon; I'm hosting a women's meeting at my house tomorrow night that involves a full house cleaning and making food (thank goodness for those dip mixes I bought at the Christmas Village, whew); we're having kids sleep over at the house on Friday night; we have a youth mission project on Saturday afternoon; we've got the big Thanksgiving service coming up Sunday evening; and the youth project continues on Sunday afternoon as does the training for coaches and referees for the basketball thingy right after morning services.

And then we have a second grade field trip on Monday (which is going to require its own rant because they are asking parents to follow the bus and drive their own vehicles up there 45 miles from the school and then, oh, hey, we're real sorry, but there isn't room in the actual planetarium for you, so you'll have to wait outside with the other parents while the kids and teachers go in and see the program and parents, don't forget to bring your own lunches and pay your way in. Funny, we can't figure out why we can't get chaperone's, do-de-do-de-do...[note to self: try not to rant pre the actual rant anymore]) and then we have flu shots and I have no earthly idea when exactly am I going to put up the Christmas tree and decorations and bake and shop and wrap and, and, and...?

Wait, I can't type anymore, my left eyelid is twitching. I think I just blew a fuse or something. Speaking of that Wife Swap thing a few posts ago, anyone want to trade? Anyone? Anyone? Hello? (tap, tap, tap on screen) Is this thing on?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Various Illnesses

I've been out of pocket for a few days with a wicked stomach flu. Lovely. I was supposed to speak at a youth event on Saturday night and had to ditch them at the last minute because I couldn't stand up straight. Ugh.

To the youth at The Springs: I promise that I'll make it up to you and Ms. Marilyn and Ms. Tracy! I'll be extra special funny at the next opportunity! But rather than infect the entire youth department, perhaps it was best that I stayed home. :-)

So, I thought I'd share this brief funny and call it a night...let's play a game: I have one free-spirited twin and one very literal twin. So who did which craft? Elise or Elaina?

Elise: "Mom, she can't even get her craft right. It looks all stupid and stuff because the leaves aren't on the ends of the branches."

Elaina: "Well, duh, it's fall and they are 'falling leaves' so mine is more right than yours is. Now who is stupid and stuff?"

On Friday, Steve and I cleaned the house together ( THAT'S why I'm so sick--housework aversion). Anyway, these are photos from Saturday morning that I took for fun since I was so proud that the girls got up and made their beds...

And this is exactly 22 minutes later when they got dressed to go out and play...

I'm pretty sure what made me so sick. Now you know why I laugh at those stupid shows like "Wife Swap" cause no one could hang over here, Baby.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pumpkin Patch

I went with my son's kinder-garten class on a field trip to a pumpkin patch working farm in our area. It was really a great outing--the school and teacher were very organized and the Old Baker Farm was lovely. The kids had a ball--Carter slept the hour-long ride home and that's always a good indicator of how it went.
We got to do interesting things like pick cotton (which was only interesting because we were doing it for 'fun' and not to make a living). Mr. Baker told us that a pair of jeans has about $1.30 of cotton in it and a shirt has about $.60. Whoa.

It's not every day that you get to pet a chicken. Some observant mother made the comment that it was sort of ironic that they hauled a bunch of kids who are from the country to look at the country. Most of the kids in the class own chickens and pigs and cows and horses. (Obviously not us.)

There was a big corn maze for older kids, but we were happy going through the hay bale maze...

Picking the 'perfect' pumpkin. Carter got his home and named it Carlos Johnson. Then his sister proceeded to draw the Four Faces of Carlos on it with a Sharpie: happy, sad (crying), angry, and sleeping. Then they wrapped Carlos in a baby blanket and took him to gymnastics class and to Memaw's house for dinner. Okay then.

The Eye of the Beholder

Because I got off on such a huge tear about the Christmas Village, I forgot to tell the most important part. I mistakenly thought that the first time someone called me "ma'am" was the official marker in the sand that I'd crossed the threshold into "old". No, no, friends, it's when you buy lawn art for Christmas. I think that's the universal crossover for old and redneck alike.

So, I purchased a huge sparkly gingerbread house with "The Johnson Family" on it (naturally) and then, as though that weren't enough, I added little gingerbread people with our names on them and some glitter-covered candy canes for good measure. Have no fear, I'll be getting a photo of that disaster posted as soon as the decorations come out after Thanksgiving. (I can see how excited you all are.)

Speaking of tacky decorations...this blog is becoming all about photos of Lily because she's so...interesting. (And I mean interesting like a strange bug you just squished and are trying to identify.) She's going through this major costume phase, just bringing us bits and pieces to put on. Here is our Saturday-afternoon-because-it's-3:00-p.m.-costume.

And here is our going to Sunday night services outfit. She looks like a little old lady. Ha! And we have no clue where those tinted sunglasses came from, so if they belong to your child and she lifted them, just let me know and I'll pry them off of her head. :-)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Christmas Spirit

Okay, I've been WAY overdue for a Sister Sunshine Charlotte moment. This week, it happened at the Mother of All Craft Shows--the Christmas Village. I went with a girlfriend, and we had a very enjoyable time of it--I didn't spend too much money, we ate good food and sampled dips and fudge and soups and hot chocolates and cider all of the way through the building, and we laughed and had an all around big time. Until the woman at the muffin display that is.

I have to confess that I have a particularly nasty habit for a Christian. I wasn't saved until I was 21, so one of the icky things that I picked up as integral part of the Essence of Charlotte is an amazing ability to curse. I mean I can tear it up. I can go toe to toe with anyone, anytime, anywhere. As the First Lady at the church, you can see where this could be a problem.

I've edited the worst words out (with help from the Holy Spirit), but I still let a few choice, three-dollar-words come flying out, usually at the most inopportune times. Like for instance, the word "crap". I know it's terrible, just terrible for the preacher's wife to we walking around saying things like "crap" and "toot" and "hoochy mama", but it just falls out of my face sometimes. And it hands down beats the other words I know to fill in those blanks.

The other phrase that I am working on is "oh, my Lord"--usually screamed when a child has done a noser off of some great height, or I've burned myself on a hot pan, or I just had a near miss on the freeway. But I also use it to express great joy as I did at the Civic Center when the man passing out samples handed me a piece of pecan pie muffin that made my heart skip a full beat. I turned to my friend and said, "Oh, my Lord, that's the best muffin I think I ever put in my mouth."

Then It Happened.

This small, well dressed, petite woman in a Soccer Mom pressed linen dress had the misfortune to look me right in the face and say, "You should say 'oh, my', but not 'Lord' like that. It's offensive."

I stood stone still because first, I was trying to see if I knew that woman or if she knew me. No, no she was a total stranger. Then I looked around to see if my friend had heard it, because are you kidding me? Did a Susie Smiles A Lot stranger just correct me in the middle of the Civic Center? I swallowed hard on my muffin and said, completely thinking it without really meaning to say it, "Lady, did you just CORRECT me?"

She gave me the Well-I'm-A-Christian face and said almost as though the words tasted bad in her mouth, "You shouldn't say the Lord's name like that."

Now, she's totally right. I shouldn't. No one should. It's a terrible, terrible habit, especially for Christians. It's a huge flaw in my spiritual walk and something I am working on in my life. But she doesn't know that or know me. At all. And she doesn't know if I'm lost or saved or whatever.

So, this is when Sister Sunshine bows up and suddenly out she comes, darn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

I start laughing this tight little sarcastic laugh and let it rip.

"I'm going to tell you what, Sister. I can call him 'Lord' because He IS my Lord. And since you felt as though you could speak so frankly, I feel equally able to speak frankly. People like you are the reason that lost people die and go to Hell. They meet a 'Christian' like you who feels the need to correct behavior without correcting a heart condition first. If I'm lost then you shouldn't be shocked at anything that comes out of my mouth. You are judgemental and tacky and a complete toot for correcting a total stranger in public." (At least I hope I called her a toot, although once Sister Sunshine is on the scene it's all bets off.)

By this time, my head is bobbing and my arm has started flailing around, and I'm spitting muffin everywhere. Then this woman's friend had the misfortune to walk up and actually say, "Oh my God, what is going on?"

I laughed and pointed from the Oh-My-God Woman back to the pompous Religious Speech Police Nutcake and said, "Are you kidding me? You are running around correcting total strangers and you drove up here and are shopping with a woman who just said 'oh my g. o. d.'???"

I think the warning bell went off in this woman's head to escape, escape from the crazed muffin-tasting woman because she backed up and started away from me. It's not that easy once I turn it on, folks.

"Oh, don't you walk off now, ma'am, I'm not done. You don't give a flying squirrel about my salvation, you just wanted to be Right and superior to me. And another thing, I didn't realize that the Church of the Living Pharisee came this far West."

And then I added loudly for good measure just before I turned and went about my business, raising my hand in the air as though in praise, "Dear Lord, please help this poor woman pull the plank from her own eye before she runs into someone else's splinter in this building and feels the need to be Right instead of Righteous. Oh, and I'll take two of those Good God in Heaven-ly fine muffin mixes, please."

You all need to start praying for me now that I don't continue spreading the Christmas Spirit all over the place this year. Seriously. I may need a special prayer service that involves an exorcism of evil from my mouth. :-)

So, lessons learned from this latest meltdown: yes, it is wrong to use the Lord's name so casually. It is a bad thing. But when you are walking out in the world as a Child of the King, you need to recall that everyone isn't like you. Correcting behavior without addressing the sin problem in someone is like whiting out your name and number in the phone book at your house and then believing that it doesn't exist in space anymore. It's absolutely ridiculous. And ignorant.

Since I was a stranger to that woman, I could have easily been lost and without Jesus in my heart and then someone with the Religious High Hat on comes along and is correcting behavior at random--well, it just serves to confirm what the world thinks about us as Christians. That we are governed by a series of rules and regulations and Right behavior. That we are condemning and look down our noses at people who don't do it like we do. That we are full of ourselves and our works, when it is by GRACE that I am saved, not of my own (thank you GOD!), but in spite of what comes out of my mouth, and that's a very good thing since "oh my Lord" is probably coming out of my mouth numerous times this upcoming week.

Whew. That Sister Sunshine Chick is wearing me out. And if you happen to go to church with a woman who tomorrow in Sunday School tells you about some muffin-spitting lunatic who chased her around the Civic Center screaming out phrases like "Pharisaical pomposity", every word of it is true.

Why We Aren't Invited to More Weddings

We went to a wedding today. It was a really lovely service and reception. It's a nice reminder looking at two young people in love about why you chose and married your own spouse in the first place, and trust me, you need as many of these reminders that you can get in your marriage because a lot more of it is hard work than cake and punch. (Can I get an Amen?)

We decided to leave the baby with Nana (because she's insane--Lily not the Nana) and took the older three who were very well behaved. They couldn't resist whispering questions throughout the service, though. It's confusing business after all.

The best questions of the afternoon came from Carter Big Boy. Every two minutes he leaned over and asked, "Is it time for them to kiss yet? When are they getting to the kissing?" Finally, exasperated, rolling his eyes and throwing his hands out, "Is he ever going to kiss her?"

The groom is a Marine and was married in his uniform, which the kids hadn't ever seen before. So, Carter wanted to know "if Koby is a good guy or a bad guy?" Then he wanted to know "why doesn't he have on his tux-me-dough".

But the best statement had to be "well, I don't think that I'll wear one of those when I marry you, Mom." (He's probably right because he'll still be wearing the Batman costume.)

Being at the wedding reminded me of a couple of Funnies:

A few years ago we took the twins when they were around 4-yrs-old to a Catholic wedding. My cousin was getting married at the Catholic church, and behind the pulpit hung the biggest crucifix ever. I'm talking 15 feet of Jesus bleeding to death in living color. He was in the traditional style, bleeding from the thorny crown, side, hands and feet, at the end of His life, emaciated, wearing only the loin cloth.

Being Baptist, the girls hadn't really experienced that particular thing before (I mean dying Jesus hanging on the cross, not church services), so it was a little jarring I'm sure. It's the sort of thing you have to get used to, I suppose. So, as we settled in the pew, one girl on either side of me, a heated debate began.

Elise: Who is that guy up there on the stage, Mommy?

Elaina (over me before I could speak): Duh. That's Jesus on the cross.

Elise: No way, Elaina. Mommy, who is that?

Me: She's right, that's Jesus, now hush. No talking.

Elaina sticking out tongue and giving the Nanny-Nanny-Boo-Boo sign. Me then giving Elaina the Shut It Or Else evil eye.

Elise (loud and angry hissing now): That is NOT Jesus!

Me: Yes it is! Hush before I haul you out of this sanctuary and we have a Come to Jesus Meeting in the foyer (code for a tail warming)

Elise (almost hysterical): NO IT IS NOT!

Me: Okay, Smarty, who do you think is hanging on the cross at the front of the church? (I've got her now)

Elise: Well, I don't know but it's not Jesus because no way is He naked in church. No way.

Pause. Pause. Pause.

Elaina: Okay, maybe that's not Jesus because He's not dead anymore, He's up there (pointing at Heaven) anyway.

Elise: (to Elaina) Now who get's the duh? (And to me) Seriously, who's the naked man in church?

Okay then.

And then there was the time our niece was getting married and asked the kids to be in the wedding party. She wanted the twins to be flower girls and Carter to be the ring bearer. Well, Elise was taking on the daunting task of explaining to Carter his complex duties on the wedding day. It went something like this:

Elise: Okay, so to be the ring bearer put on a tux-me-dough and you walk slowly with a little pillow down the row there and you keep the rings safe. And you have to be careful because they throw flowers on the ground and you could slip. And you have to stand still and be quiet because everyone can see you and you don't want to be a doofus.

Carter: Nope. That's not what a Ring Bear does at all.

Elise: No, Carter, it's not a Ring Bear, it's a ring bear-ER. Not a bear.

Carter: YES IT IS!

Elise: NO IT'S NOT!!!

Carter (screaming and crying now): YES IT IS! I'm the RING BEAR! I stand at the front and yell GRRRRRRR!!!

Again, how can you argue with that logic?


My favorite blog to read is The chick who writes this, Dawn, is my age with 6 kids and I just love reading her thoughts. I told her once that she was living a mirror life in a parallel universe, she just got to have the one in the north with six kids and I got the one in the south with four kids. :-) So, I posted this as a comment to one of her posts about fighting boredom.

(And as a side note, at the bottom of each post on here, there is a section you can click called "comments" where you can leave, well, comments and notes about the post. Feel free. :-)


If the "I'm Bored" statement comes out of a mouth at my house, the No Boredom Fairy makes an appearance passing out random terrible chores until the boredom spell passes. (It's a dirty trick, but someone has to be the Mother Bear.)

So, jot down a list of Anti-Boredom chores and post it on the door of the bedroom where you want to escape for some peace and quiet. The list should be titled: Things I Will Make You Do If You Tell Me You Are Bored.

For example:

1) Identify the Species Game: Scrub out the bottoms of the bathroom trashcans and identify what you find there. (Because anyone with kids knows that the bathroom trashcan is like a safe haven for bizarre, colorful, half-chewed things that are permenently attached to the bottom surface for no known reason.)

2) Reverse Treasure Hunt: Get a broom and sweep everything out from under your bed into a pile and figure out where it goes. (Warning: this one can easily go wrong when said child leaves the pile and you have to choose to either pick it up yourself or sweep it back under the bed and erase the memory from your brain.)

3) Race to Find Your Clothes: dump those ten loads of clean but unfolded laundry on the bed and have the kids race to put their own clothes into piles. Tell them after they finish that everyone's a winner and gets to put away the socks and underwear as the grand prize.

Trust me. The No Boredom Fairy always works. Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha. :-)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Busy is as Busy Does

Lily was so tired after service last night that she fell asleep on the sofa still wearing a purple princess helmet and sunglasses. I have no idea what that was about, but she was stylin'.

I'd say that we survived another Halloween completely intact, but my house would disagree. It is suffering the consequences of the Fall Festival and Halloween. The place looks like a tornado went through sometime on Friday, and I've not moved a thing back into place yet. I should probably feel bad about that, but I've discovered if you don't look directly AT the mess it isn't nearly as hard to ignore it. :-)

The kids are exhausted too (as evidenced by that lovely photo above). Last night at the church trunk or treat thing they didn't even notice as they filled their bags up with candy, I was on a stealth mission getting the candy out on the sly. Every time one of the kids turned away or lost focus, I shoved fistfuls of candy out of their bags back into the bowl it just came from, shaking my head and hissing "shhhh" at the puzzled candy givers who had just that second put less candy into the bag than I was giving back. (Don't fuss--I can see you are all kicking yourselves for not thinking of that trick.)

I want to lose another 10-20 lbs before we go on the next big Johnson Family Vacation Adventure (which I'm sure will require it's own blog and is a surprise for the kids, so I can't tell you anything about it yet). That can't and won't happen with four bags of Halloween candy in the house. I have the complete inability to walk past chocolate candy without mindlessly cramming it in my mouth, so no dice. Sorry kids. Better luck next year.

We need to get used to the mess for another week, because it's not getting any better anytime soon. From Halloween until the middle of January everything will pass by in a blur of activity.

Today I'm working. Tomorrow I'm working until 11:00, then a girlfriend and I are going to Pilgrimage at Mecca (otherwise known as Shopping at the Christmas Village). It's a huge arts and crafts event at the civic center, and you know I'm loving that. I'm like a Christmas shopping maniac. Besides, if I don't go then I won't be able to buy all of those dip mixes I prepare and take to holiday parties, and that would be a problem since I don't cook anything more complicated than hot dogs during the time span from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Who has time for cooking when there are four Christmas parties a week to attend? Oh, but maybe I'm not off the hook since I read all of those "Cook-One-Day-A-Month" cookbooks and on my new life plan now I'm responsible for the data I ingest. (Like no more just reading cookbooks, I actually have to use a recipe out of it. No more buying and skimming craft catalogues, I actually have to make something with the kids.) Ugh. How stupid am I? (Note to self: no more informational books allowed in the house.)

Then, later Friday evening I'm meeting another group of girlfriends and going to a scrapbooking crop from 6:00 until midnight. Keep in mind that I leave my house at 5:30 in the morning. Perhaps this day wasn't thought out very well...hmmm. I will tuck my kids in the bed on Thursday night and see them again on Saturday morning. Change of mind here--I'm brilliant.

On Saturday we have registration for basketball at 10:00 and a wedding at 2:00. Sunday we have church twice and a children's musical production that night. Monday is a field trip with the Kindergarten at school. So that means that I'll blog again sometime at the beginning of December probably. ;-) It also means that I'll be able to clean my house sometime around the end of next week provided nothing comes up between now and then. (Stop laughing. It's rude.)

I told you that Full Calendar thing was a disease...but I'm out of housework for awhile, so who's the smarty now? Ha-ha!