Friday, July 11, 2008

All the World's a Stage

It was a big day today. This morning we had the finale of Theater Camp at the library. The girls went every morning this week, and today they did a program (of sorts) showing some of the stuff they did during class this week. Here is a painful truth about these programs. Only two people care about these things—parents and pedophiles. No one on earth wants to go see other people’s kids on stage. Not even precocious ones. Of course, I adore watching my own Shorties on stage because it’s like being in on a private joke. But if we were really honest, we’d say the rest of the program suffering through all of the other precious angels is painful. Sitting through one of these things is like having my brain sucked out through my eye socket.

I sat next to a woman who had twins in the program also, which is always a good conversation starter. She said that her girls didn’t ever want to be separated, and they had to go in the same class. I said that mine insisted on being in different classes because they fight all of the time. At this exact moment, literally as I am speaking these words, in the program on stage, while belting out a tone deaf version of The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music, Elise and Elaina stood ramrod straight, facing forward, but flicking their wrists to hit each other back and forth in perfect time, until Elise leaned over mid-song to the kid on her other side and hissed, “Do you wanna switch places?” Ahhh…the powerful bond of sisterhood.

As if that weren’t enough time on stage, tonight was our sister church’s VBS Family Night. This is where the kids get up and perform some of the songs they learned during the week. (Far more entertaining, probably because I know who these kids are and feel comfortable laughing at them too.)

The surprise of the evening was when Elaina tore it up during her song performance. The song they performed was called “Get Up!” which involved lots of jumping straight up and down during the chorus. But the highlight was when the guitar solo came on, and she and the other three kids on stage did the air guitar with the music.

Well, I should say that the other three kids stood there and played a ‘ukulele’ and Elaina tore it up like Kirk Hammett or Eddie Van Halen jumping all over the place, banging her head, and throwing it down like she really meant it. Everyone busted out laughing out of sheer joy—it was wonderful. And then the entire congregation turned around and looked at me (for what reason I can’t imagine. How could this possibly be my fault? Humph.)

At the snack time, Lily got to see her little boyfriend, Nate. I’m pretty sure that they are going to get married eventually. Think I’m making it up? I never joke about love or chocolate. Here you go…

And the entertainment just kept on coming…on the ride home, there was heat lightning in the sky, and the girls wanted to know why heat lightning happened without thunder and rain. The Husband, being the Grand Master of Making Stuff Up that he is, began to give a technical explanation about atmospheric pressure refraction and spaces of volume when Elise said pointedly in a way that you could visualize the eye roll without actually seeing it from the back seat, “Earth to Dad! Earth to Dad! Come back from Dork Land and explain it in Earth Talk.”

And that about sums it up.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Her Royal Goofiness

Are you kidding me? The baby doesn't sleepwalk, she purposefully goes into the living room, gets a pillow, pushes the chair from the dinnette up to the counter and makes a bed on the kitchen counter. Oh, and gets her some Chips Ahoy to take the edge off. (I have no idea where she gets it from.)

Having kids is the ultimate adventure. You never know what you are going to wake up to. Or who is going to wake up on top of you.

And as if that's not weird enough later we play pretend that we are Missy the Dog...

So, let's review...the child sleeps on the kitchen counter and hangs out in a dog crate. By choice. For fun. Where's THAT in the manual?

Enjoying our Freedom

We survived the Fourth of July intact. Nothing spectacular happened (thank you GOD). It was just a nice time together. We hung out at the house most of the day, and then we enjoyed visiting the American Village and that entire experience. It's a really neat place. Basically, they have recreated some of the most important locations in our country's history and have an interactive learning experience with actors playing the roles of our founders.
American Village
We caught up with Memaw and Pawpaw and the whole crew up there. Memaw, Lily, and Carter
It's not every day you see Patrick Henry deliver a speech and stand in the oval office.They've done an outstanding job of bringing a slice of history to life. The grounds are beautiful and the information is interesting. I highly recommend it--especially when they are having special events.

And the sparklers went off without a hitch. No one caught fire or caught anything else on fire, so that's a full measure of success in Johnsonville. But more than the fireworks or the buildings or the entertainment, we enjoyed family, and there is no greater tribute to freedom than that.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Excuse Me, Do You Have Any Fireworks Without the 'Fire' Part?

Happy Birthday America!

We're celebrating The Fourth along with every other typical American family by eating BBQ and going to see some fireworks tonight. Naturally, I picked up ribs from Full Moon BBQ (it's not a holiday if I'm outside in 95 degree heat over a FIRE grilling stuff). Seriously, who decided that was a good combo?

And the second big celebration part of the holiday is the fireworks. We are afraid of fireworks at our house (among many other things). Okay, okay, I am afraid of fireworks. Truth be known, most of you are afraid of things like "fire" and "gunpowder" and of shooting flaming rockets through the air that might put your kids' eyes out, but this is the one time in the year we hand a three-year-old a 2,000 degree flaming torch (otherwise known as a sparkler) and call it "fun".

All Mother Bears worth their salt have some sort of weird irrational fear that blossomed out of a real fear. My particular nutso fear centers around the kids being burned. It's so bad that if I even look at a Fry Daddy on the shelf at Wal-Mart I get a shiver down my spine and push the buggie just a little bit faster. And if someone even mentions frying a turkey in a deep fryer outside, I need to take deep breaths not to pass out.

How bad is it, you ask? I don't cook on the front two eyes of my stove.

I'll let you pause to digest that little gem.

I do not use the front two eyes on my stove because someone might touch the burner or touch a pan or pull a pan over on his/her head or pull a pan of hot oil on his/her head or throw a ball that causes a chain reaction knocking the pan of hot oil on someone else's head...I'm starting to hyperventilate as I type. (breathe, breathe, breathe)

Incidentally, I can feed up to 45 people at my house cooking on only the two back burners (proving that I am in fact Super Mom). If the number goes above 45 people, I do have to use the front two burners, but all of the kids have to wait outside while I cook. You think I'm kidding, but I won't even open the oven until I've screamed out a warning to anyone in the general vicinity. The kids think that some thing's about to blow every time I get out the arm-length pot holder mitts on up to my elbows and scream like a general barking in combat, "Back away from the stove! I'm removing a pan of biscuits!"

We moved into a new house last year, and it had a pass through from the kitchen to the dining room with one major issue--the opening extended right over the stove, so the Shorties could reach up and touch the eyes on the stove from either the kitchen or the dining room. This presents a problem for a chick who only cooks on two eyes of the stove to avoid that very problem. We'll be having none of that, thank you very much. I had to put furniture blocking the hole until they finally took mercy on me and closed the handy-dandy pass through permanently. (Hey, I never said I wasn't a complete freak.)

So you can probably guess my feelings on the entire fireworks situation.

This year we are going to try to conquer that fear and allow the kids to have some sparklers (breathe, breathe). Really it's more like I am going to try to stay conscious and not pass out from sheer terror while the kids play with sparklers. I brought a box of sparklers in the house, and Carter asked me in all manner of seriousness what sparklers actually do. (I wasn't joking about that fear thing--the kids are so weird now that they don't even know what a sparkler looks like or does. It's bad enough being the preacher's kids without being the only kids who have never seen a sparkler too. It puts you into an entirely different category of weird.) So, not wanting my kids to be freaks too, we're firing up the sparklers.

Then I got the brilliant idea that I'd go on youtube and find a video of some kids playing with sparklers to show my kids. There my worst fears were confirmed when I found all of these idiots who'd wound together massive amounts of sparklers to create a sort of atomic blast sparkler fire thing. Carter watching the computer screen over my shoulder, his eyes wide, whispered "cool". (I feel dizzy. Maybe if I put my head between my legs for a second...)

Say a little prayer for me and the kids. If someone gets burned tonight, you'll probably see the stove and oven and maybe even the hot water heater and iron and curling iron and hair dryer (hey, those things get hot on the end) all sitting out by the road with a 'free to good home' sign on them.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Twice

Happy Birthday to the Twins!

We had a big time swimming and eating at Grandbear's house for the twins' eighth birthday (sigh). My, my how times flies. These cakes were so cool--they are cupcakes put together to make the face and pigtails. Cute.


My family went to the Landmark Park in Dothan for the dairy festival. The park there is sort of an agricultural museum with old buildings set up like they would have been (think Little House on the Prairie) with an old-fashioned drug store, doctor’s office, houses, outhouses and barns with livestock.And I think ironing NOW is a nightmare--I can't imagine doing it this way.
Carter churning butter.
Posing an outhouse. They probably would have skipped that if they knew what the word "outhouse" meant.

They had a set up with a cow milking demonstration then a play area for the kids to milk a “cow” thing. Leave it to the City Folk of Dothan to have a cow-milking demonstration. Free ice cream was the biggest hit though.