Thursday, October 30, 2008

Slow Down... I Need to Get OFF

Hello my poor, neglected friends.

Can someone please tell my why this time of year is so ridiculously busy? Honestly, it's cramping my lazy, computer-loving nature. I am so deeply unnerved that I've scarcely had 2 minutes to blog, twitter, email, comment, and IM over the last few weeks, that I think I've developed a nervous twitch.

PLUS, I have had so many blogworthy things happen (i.e. an unapologetic farting lady who sat directly behind me during a conference?!....yeah.), but I haven't had time to write it all out in such a way that wouldn't make you look at me like a confused dog. By the way, if a dog ever gives that look in my presence, there is simply NO containing myself.

Today, I am about to finish up school with the kids, and then pack for a weekend-o-fun at my girl, Leisl's house. Incidentally, she lives only about a half hour away from the most beautious beach around, and since I didn't get my desperately needed beach trip this year, I'm a little over the top with JOY! Well that, and the fact that we love the heck out of them. ;)

Anyway, hope y'all have a great (and hopefully not busy) weekend...AARG!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What the....

I have to concur that there is something psychologically WRONG with me when I wake up singing the Hee-Haw theme song.

Monday, October 20, 2008


7:30 a.m.

Me: Jake?

Jake: Yes ma'am?

Me: I need you to wear your good pants to school today.

Jake: Why?

Me: Because it's pretty cold outside and all of your long pants are still packed away.

Jake (who's not into looking "fancy"): Awwwwww, maaaaaaan. Do I...

Me: YES.

~ Exit Jake to change out of his p.j.'s into the dreaded "good" pants. ~

8:00 a.m. (heading out the door)

Me: Jake?

Jake: Yes ma'am?

Me: Don't play football after school today.

Jake: Why?

Me: Because you have your good pants on and I don't want you to get them grass-stained.

Jake: But Moooooom, I promise, I won't get them sta...

Me: NO. No football today.

Jake: Awwwww maaaaaaan.

1:30 p.m. (home from school)

Me: JAKE! What the heck happened to your pants?!

Jake: I dunno.

Me: What do you mean you don't know? Were you playing football?

Jake: Yes (staring at me CONFUSED)?

Me: But I TOLD you NOT to DO that!!

Jake: When?

3:53 p.m.

Jake is almost finished cleaning his room (I suppose he got desperate during his imprisonment). Mama needs a sure-fire way to get out grass stains. Anyone?

Love my boys (even though they are going to be the death of me),

Saturday, October 18, 2008

For the Love of Chocolate

Moving right along...Do you remember when I said several posts back that during the Fall I get certain cravings for carb/sugar loaded heavenly goodness? Well. I am about to give you a beautiful example of such.

As I type, my man and 2 of my male offspring are surviving deep in the woods on a camping trip with the Cub Scouts. I am usually right there with them, but because I couldn't teach my Sunday School class last week, since I was in the hospital with my Grandma, I needed to be there this week. So, I am just coming and going. You know, getting all the benefits of the campfire experience, yet sleeping in my nice warm bed at night, and getting my nice warm PRIVATE shower in the morning.

BUT, because I love my family and my awesome friends who are out there, and because I had better come bearing gifts after I made the above statement about beds and showers, I am going to bless them with some freshly baked, warm chocolatey love.

Introducing the yummiest Mississippi Mud Cake you will ever put in your mouth.

It doesn't look as pretty as the Mother of all Southern Cooking's version and that's partly because of this:

Jet Puffed make my cake look ugly. Can you see how they were all sticky and squished together into one big marshmallow mess? What up, Jet? It wasn't just my bag-o-minis either. Caroline tried to open up her regular sized ones last night and they were like that. I'm feeling a bit of animosity here, Jet, and I don't want to feel that way. So get it together before campers everywhere revolt.

Alright, I'm off, but before I go I must implore you to make this cake. I promise you, if you run to the store rightthissecond and get the ingredients to make this, your weekend will be better than it already is.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Soapbox it is...

Let me go ahead and say right out of the gate that I am going to be as discreet as possible about the situation that has really burrowed it's way under my skin. Because the bottom line is not about this incident, as much as it is that there is a BIG ole lesson to take away from it.

So the Reader's Digest version is this: Yesterday I was having a conversation with one of my friends when a lady, who I barely know, walked up who fosters and adopts children. We chatted pleasantly for a few minutes about hair (because that's what womenfolk do) when my friend said to the woman that she didn't know how she did it with 15 kids. At that point, I asked her how many children were hers biologically (none of the kids were around).

Let's just pause for a moment so that I can say that I honestly didn't realize that this was an offensive question. I just didn't. Sort of like an American going to Australia and giving one of the locals a thumbs up (don't do that by the way). It's rude, but most of us wouldn't realize that unless we had researched Australian culture. Similarly, I have had no dealings with adoption, so it never-ever crossed my mind that it might be unmannerly.

Now I can see how someone might feel that it undermines their family, as it's explained here, but that's not something that the Average Joe just immediately "gets". I am definitely one who can accept gentle instruction, and I will be more careful from now on because I have been made aware. Please read the link if you are, like I was, going "what's the big deal".

How-ev-er. What I CAN'T handle is when someone freaks out and absolutely goes on the attack when it's completely obvious that the person asking isn't doing so to be mean, or should I say "stupid". Yes she did. Indeed, I was admiring her ministry.

Perhaps you will think poorly of me because I was so insanely mad when she went off like she did, that I wanted to take her head off, but maybe that can be remedied with the fact that I got up and walked away despite every instinct in me. My poor friend was so stunned that she quickly changed the subject with the woman.

So the lesson here is this, and I have thought long and hard about it for 24 hours now: Most of us have something that we feel misunderstood about. And there are probably alot of us that get sick and tired of having to go over it again and again with different people. It stinks, and I know that because feeling misunderstood can fall into just about anyplace that we feel insecure, and I can assure you that I have a second home in Insecureville, people (we won't even get into how pride plays into that).

BUT the answer is not to go slap off on people just because you are sick of dealing with it. I don't think that there's a number large enough to tell how many times I've had someone ask if my older two boys are twins because they look so much alike AND they are about the same size despite an almost 2 year age difference. Does it sting? YES. Do I go berserk? Heck no. I answer them kindly and if they decide to go on and comment about my son's small stature, I usually just come back with how he rocks gymnastics and that he couldn't do it if he were gargantuan. Most people aren't trying to be rude. And even if they are, what good is being hateful in return going to do?

I can also tell you this, when I came home and had a conversation with my friend Caroline about what had occurred, she remembered reading a blog post (linked above) about this very thing, so she forwarded it to me. It wasn't until reading THAT, that I was able to understand. It made sense to me after it was put kindly. I couldn't even begin to sympathize with her because I was so blinded by her hateful words.

The Bible tells us that, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1) and I am here to tell you that I experienced this full tilt yesterday.

Now, I will step down again and hopefully let this trusty old box gather up a thick layer of dust. I hope I haven't made any of you mad and, lawsie mercy, if this is your first time here, Puh-lease know that I am usually not usually aggressive and preachy. Because if you do walk away thinking that about me, I will feel misunderstood and I might just snap your head off when I find out about it. Just kidding. ;)

Alrighty, I'm outta here. Have a good day, and for those of you that voted for favorite is raspberry.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

You know I hate to go all serious don't you? But things have been pretty serious 'round here lately. Over the weekend, my Grandma was in the hospital in bad shape (she's doing better now but she is still, and has been, a very sick lady). Anyway, I was with her the whole time because things were so unpredictable.

I wouldn't trade that for anything, but sadly, I missed my Julianna's birthday because of it. When I finally did make it home, I wasn't worth a flip because I'd only grabbed about 4 hours of sleep over the whole weekend.

Since that point I have been wracking my brain over something to blog about, however, my attempts have all turned out frighteningly lacking. I mean seriously, who really wants to hear about the fact that I've lost about 16 things in the last 4 days, and that losing things make me 700 kinds of crazy? Or that some random lady at my co-op flat told me off because I asked her how many of her FIFTEEN children were hers biologically?!

Do you really want to hear about that? Because, let me tell you, those are the things pummelling my brain right now, dying to get out. So you see, inside my head? It's not always nice in there. And I'm kinda dying to blow the dust off of, and get on up on ye old soapbox.

It's either that or a Meme. I know. I sure do hate to make things so rough on y'all. So you decide, Soapbox OR My Favorite Flavor of Jello.

Love ya tons,

Thursday, October 9, 2008

On Home Remedies

Here's some unsolicited advice: If your grandmother/mom/aunt/veritable stranger on the street, has ever told you to gargle with vinegar should you ever find yourself with a sore-ish throat, and if you are even slightly prone to any kind of mishap, DON'T DO IT.

My dear, sweet, precious Grama always whipped out this vinegar and salt concoction each time any of acted like our throat was even a bit tender. I would usually just let it sit there waiting for Kingdom Come because there was NO WAY I was putting that stuff in my mouth.

Fast forward to the day before yesterday. I thought to myself that plenty of my elders' wisdom (which I had formerly discounted) has indeed turned out to be beautifully accurate. So, I walked confidently into my pantry, grabbed the apple cider vinegar bottle, and took it straight up. All was good until somehow, somewhere, someway, my body decided that it needed to inhale. While gargling.

So, to recap: I, Gayle, inhaled and ingested the apple cider vinegar.

You know, there just aren't words to describe how one feels in the immediate aftermath of vinegar inhalation/ingestion. I can tell you that my older boys, while very concerned that I couldn't breathe, were making the case alot stronger within their minds that their Mama is certifiable.

Once my shocked lungs decided to participate with me in the act of breathing again, I coughed so hard and so long that I saw those little silvery stars right before I did That Which I Swore I'd Never Do In My Sink. You know, the word that rhymes with "comet"? Oh the fun never ends!! I still have broken blood vessels around my eyes.

Now, while I must resume this crazy-busy schedule that we have going on, I will tell you, dear friends, to stick to the cough drops.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Food, Travel and Getting Your Limbs Cut Off (just kidding)

You know what I just realized? I had you ask me questions for my video, and I completely forgot about it. Let that be a testament to you about how scatterbrained I truly am.

It was Monday night when it hit me that I still needed to make my video, so I pulled out my trusty camera (which you may recall, resides in my purse) and began filming. So much for planning, but isn't that the story of my life as it were? Why yes. Yes it is.

So here ya go:

Robyn, no, we didn't go to the Melting Pot. I had so many folks mention that they were extremely pricey and that the food wasn't really worth it, so we chose the Fish Market....YUM!!

Distybug, yours was a toughie because I could take up 16 posts on the subject of my homeschooling experience. When did I know that I was supposed to homeschool? Oh, I'd say about 3 years into it. :)

I love homeschooling for my family, but I am not someone who thinks that it is the "be all that ends all" across the board. I've seen far too many families flourish in other educational avenues to believe that it's the cookie-cutter will of God for everyone, but, with that being said, it's been right for mine up to this point.

Also, you asked what the best and worst parts of homeschooling are. I will do my best to be brief, which is no easy feat for this loquacious gal (don'tcha just LOVE vocabulary words?!).

Anyway, the very best part of homeschooling is that I get to spend so much time with my kids, forming, shaping and teaching them during this fleeting season of life called parenting. I love to be with my kids (most days...sorry, just keepin' it real), and I love the flexibility that it affords.

The very worst part of homeschooling is that I get to spend so much time with my kids, forming, shaping and teaching them during this fleeting season of life called parenting. ;) Bottom line: I am a flawed human being and those flaws (or shall we say sin?) that I have struggled with for most of my life become excruciating when I see them manifested in my children because of my very powerful influence over them.

God has used homeschooling far above any other thing in my life to prune and teach me. To say that that part has been hard, would be a monumental understatement. Yet, while the process of being pruned has been difficult, I know it's been ordained for me and that it's worth it. AND I believe that since God has used it so heavily in my life, that He won't let my kids be messed up too bad because of it.

Heh-heh. Poor Disty, you probably were meaning for me to simply stick with things like having to cook extra meals or something... :) That'll teach you to ask me a question, huh?

Ok, moving right along, Caroline you asked where I would go if I won an all expenses paid vacay...and the answer is: Europe for like a year (you never gave restrictions!). Why? Well because it would be insanely awesome...oh yeah, and educational.

And the lovely Maria asked what my fave part of Gatlinburg was. Hmmmm....I will have to say our cabin. I really loved that place that was all nestled snugly in the woods. Oh! And I loved our time in the park. Even after all the attractions, the park was my favorite just because it's so incredibly beautiful. When can you expect my return? As soon as possible, my friend, as SOON as possible!!

Well, now that the rest of you are bored to tears, I will take my leave. I have got to go get some odds and ends at the grocery store today. I hate grocery shopping, but I have a great affection for eating so I must deal.

Have a super fantabulous weekend, folks!