Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday Psalm 139:17 & 18

Psalm 139:17-18 How precious to me are your thoughts, oh God! How vast is the sum of them. If I were to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake I am still with you.

God's thoughts are concerning US at all times. He thinks about us during the day and all through the night. His love for us never ceases. That should make you feel better about who's watching your back. He is WITH you!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Series of Embarassing Events

In my BB days, (that's Before Blog - well, THIS blog) I posted an event on my OTHER blog (that some of you may or may not have seen, but if you didn't then it's too late now). Ok, here's a snippet...

On 7/07/07 at 7:00 a.m. I broke my finger walking the dog. Don't laugh. It wasn't funny. I laughed though; I couldn't do anything else BUT laugh.

It has been two and a half months since then. I spent the first seven weeks in a splint. It was not fun, but it was necessary. I realized that during that time I could not properly:
Tie my own shoes
Brush my own hair
Cook dinner
Make the bed
Fold clothes
Give my kids a bath
Drive without hurting myself
Eat with a fork
Play the piano
Type (gasp!)
And the list goes on… and some of it is quite personal.

When it was ok for me to remove the splint, I was overjoyed to be (somewhat) normal again. I had very limited mobility and strength at first, of course, but it appeared as if the bone didn't heal quite right. Whenever I bent my fingers into a fist, my fourth digit took off to the right. It made a right turn. Great, at least I have my own traffic signal!
After few more weeks later, after physical therapy, I was healed. Actually that is a lie. I like to say I was healed, but it pretty much did nothing because no matter how hard you try, you can't move a misplaced bone without breaking it again.

So I promised a funny story from the first day our new dog, Chase, and I got to spend together. Trust me, it's funny, just like having a hernia is hilarious. Also, hernia's take a long time to get over, and so does this blog post.

My day started out like usual. The only difference, was when I walked out of my bedroom, I was greeted by a happy, furry face on the other side of the sliding glass door. How fun! Since it was a Saturday, I quickly ignored the need to fix my family some breakfast got my shoes on and grabbed a leash. I had only met this dog the night before, and after the horrors my other dog had committed, I still had very little trust for anything that barked and had four legs. I decided to give him a tour of the farm to see how he reacted to our various inhabitants.

Flashbacks of that July morning began to flood my brain: the campout, the sick dog who had too much people food, the miserable "walks" outside every two hours all night long for his urgent bathroom breaks, the early morning raccoon, the tugging on the leash to separate the two dueling beasts, the huge yank as the dog lunged at the 'coon, and then the image of my right ring finger at a 90 degree angle. Sorry to gross you out there for a minute. Back to Saturday morning cartoons.

I got Chase hooked up to the leash and made special precautions to hold the leash just the way my sister-in-law had instructed me to do AFTER I broke my finger last summer. (She had pit bulls, I trust her judgement on leash holding). Then, we proceeded to make the rounds. First, we stopped to visit the rabbits in their cages. NO! Those are not rabbit foot treats!! I had to call him off, although he was still obviously interested in licking them.

We stopped and visited Jessie, and the two of them gave hugs and kisses. Or, whatever dogs do that resembles affection (gag). Then it was off to do the real test. How would he act around my chickens? His whole body wiggled from dog-citement. I was anxious. He is VERY strong. His neck muscles are bigger than all the muscles in my body combined. I kept telling him NO, those are MY chickens. Be nice! Every time he tried to rush the fence I would keep a firm hold and just repeat myself. No! He backed down every time, so I was pleased. He listens better than your average 5 year old. Ideally, I preferred that he would have just ignored them (like my 5 year old does to me), but my chickens have been dog-ditioned (another recently made-up word that resembles "conditioned") to respond to dogs by making the biggest, loudest noise possible and moving away quickly. Very quickly. Any dog, even a blind, deaf one would freak out at that instinct provoking action.

Maybe the chickens need to be calm for him to not make a big deal out of them? I thought I was super brilliant to get the big feed scoop, and fill it full of corn. Ta da! This will do the trick. The chickens are chick-ditioned (haha!) to respond to me with a bucket of corn. They come running from all four corners of the universe and become my instant best friends. All over again. Every day.

Unfortunately, today was different. They saw me with "the enemy" and they stayed far away. Chickens, no matter what people say, are smart.

I tossed corn, and a few chickens (the few mentally impaired ones) came out from hiding and would peck at the corn if we moved far enough away. Hmmm... this was going to take a lot of work. Not only did I have to train a dog, but apparently I had to train 50 chickens as well. *sigh* Forget it, this wasn't going to happen in one morning.

I was tiring of the constant pulling on my permanently sore right shoulder, so I decided on a little visit to the goats, and then we were done. We headed out towards the back field, and since our goats are also smart, they come running... sprinting... whenever they hear the feed bucket. This is where my moment of brilliance became an obvious lack of judgement.

I was mid "HEEL!" and placing my left hand over the top of the leash to bring Chase in closer to me when the goat-ditioned goats began their mad dash for the fenceline. He bolted. Quick and to the left. Or maybe it was the right. It was somewhat forward at the same time. Ok, so I don't recall exactly, but it was lightning fast and then it was over. He realized he wasn't in any danger, but it spooked him at first. Chase, chill out man! It's just a goat. Drat, he broke off my fingernail! Wow, my other finger hurts too. (squeeze, smush, feel, poke - I think it's ok) Oh GREAT... if I even THINK about going inside and telling my husband that my finger hurts he is going to give me that look... and then he'll laugh and say something smart like, "Didn't you learn anything the first time?"

I tried not to make a big deal out of it. It wasn't the dog's fault. He looked guilty, but probably because I gave out such a loud yelp and he thought he was in trouble for being afraid of our freakish flying goats.

Back to the house we went. Dog found his rug. Treat got passed out. Door got closed. Hands got washed. Then I went to the bedroom where I had left my husband in bed previously. (He's tired ok?) He was still there, only now he was on MY pillow. He's so predictable. I chit chatted a bit since he wasn't sleeping, just sniffing my pillow. I didn't have the nerve to tell him what had just happened. Ugh! I had an icky feeling in my tummy.

It took me a little bit to realize the icky tummy feeling was partially coming from the icky finger feeling. It really hurt. Not only that, but when I tried to bend it, the "hurt" turned to excruciating. Great. It was swelling quickly.

I spent the next five minutes looking for the phone number for urgent care. I knew what I had to do, just wasn't sure how I was going to break the news. I was so embarassed. I was also embarassed that apperently I had forgotten how to use a phone book. Either that, or the largest clinic in the area now had an unlisted number.

My brilliant-flash machine kicked in and I vaguely recalled having put the number in my speed dial on my cell phone. Now that says something right there doesn't it? Why I have URGENT CARE on my SPEED DIAL?? By then, Mr Nice Guy realized something was going on, and he asked. Oh no... he asked! Well, I'm a pathetic liar, so I told the truth. I said... "I sorta hurt myself." I had to count to three before I could look him in the face, because I really needed to avoid the dramatic eye-rolling that I knew was taking place. It's always and adventure at our house because you never know which doctors office you'll be visiting on any given day.

I spilled the WHOLE truth, and then after reminding me that he knew I'd do anything to get out of wood cutting day, he decided to be concerned. Especially since I went to the trouble of an ice pack. Now, usually my husband goes along for the ride when I hurt myself. I think he believes the doctors need a witness. In case there's ever an investigation or something? In this case, we were due to have a log splitter delivered to our home any minute and someone had to watch the boys (no girl sized babysitters home that weekend) so he sent me with a most hilarious replacement. She showed up within the hour and took me to the Urgent Care clinic.

Now if you've ever met my really good friend Pam, you know that the reason we hang out together is to see who can go through the most pairs of underpants in one day. It's THAT funny. But really, you just have to be there. The urgent care office was REALLY packed when we arrived, and they'd only been open for 10 minutes. My - this could take awhile. So, instead of sitting with all the grouchy sick people, we opted to move nearby to the pediatric waiting room and play with toys. The magnetic jungle was a blast. Or so everyone else thought when they heard Pam playing with it. Wheeeeee!!! HAHAHAH!! THAT'S FUN!! Yeah, she's like that. And, I was embarassed. Not sure why, but maybe it's because people couldn't see her from where we were sitting, just me, and it sounded as if I had brought my ADHD child in because of an emergency hyperactivity issue.

It surprised me how quickly I got shown to an exam room. Maybe the front desk people pushed my chart to the top to get rid of the noise faster? The nice EMT guy jotted some notes, took my blood pressure (do they ever give it back?) and promised that the doctor would be in to see me right away.

I am a hopeful person. I'm also trusting (except of dogs?). When I hear right away, I think they mean right away. As in quickly. As in before a half hour has passed. Before lunch time.

So I fidgeted. I wiggled. I wished I had brought a book. I noticed how my finger was now warming up the ice pack. I looked over the chart on bones. I learned something about asthma. I inspected a small diagram of the male reproductive system. What the heck? I never knew the prostate was that close to the... ok well then, I tried to relax and just wait. I crossed my legs at the ankles in front of me and that's when I noticed it.

Oh. My. Gosh. I was sitting in an urgent care clinic with a huge, fresh lump of chicken poop squeezing out from the side of my shoe! I couldn't even breathe for a minute. Not from the smell, because there really wasn't any, but just from embarassment! How many people noticed the poo on my shoe? Where did I track it? Did I leave footprints everywhere I'd been? Pam's CAR?? If I still had this much left on my shoe, it must be everywhere. Oh no. I died for a minute.

I realized that chances were pretty high the doctor would notice. He'd have to sit right next to me (did the EMT guy notice? Is that why he was so "happy"? Was he trying to keep from laughing?) I had to do something. Now. Oh sheesh, I actually hoped the doctor was NOT in a hurry at this point.

I grabbed about four tissues from the box, and tried my best but it wasn't working as I'd hoped. Someone brilliant (me!) thought that really rugged soles on her Nike's would be good for all the hiking she does (which is none). That stuff was stuck in nooks and crannies, and short of whipping out a scalpel and scraping it out, I was doomed to sit with poo on my shoe for quite some time it appeared.

I quickly threw the poopy tissues in the garbage and limped back to my seat as quickly as I could before I got caught. I purposely chose the biohazard can. I prayed that nobody checked it and wondered if I'd had an accident while I was waiting. It was the only piece of trash in there. There would be no other explanation. They would write it on my chart for next time I was just SURE. Oh the dread!

I heard the doctor in the hallway. The blood was rushing to my head. He knocked and then entered the room next door. Whew! What a relief! I took a big breath. It's then that I noticed the smell. Oh! The SMELL! I had evidently removed the protective coating in my efforts to bury the evidence, because it did not smell like this before!

Thinking quickly, I dove into my purse and pulled out the strongest smelling mint gum ever known to man. I shoved it in my mouth and chewed with a vengeance. I didn't keep my mouth closed either. I was now the self appointed human room deoderizer. Chew, chew, blowwwww. Chew, chew, blowwww. I thought it was getting better. All I could smell was mint. Fantastic! I am so McGyverish I could just hug myself.

My jaw hurt by the time the doctor came in. I shuffled my feet under my chair. He examined me, smiled a lot, and sympathized with me as a fellow keyboard player. He said it really didn't matter whether I broke it or just tore ligaments, because I wasn't going to be using my finger for three weeks. GREAT NEWS DOC, now you can leave before you breathe too deeply. (Is that mint scented chicken poop I smell?) On to the x-ray! I hurried off with my notes for the x-ray technician.

Like the guy before, the x-ray tech took an unusually long period of time to get his work done. Three quick pictures - why take your time? He stood right next to me, I chewed my gum faster. He said I looked really familiar. He was curious why. I didn't know - but I did know that my jaws were starting to feel numb, and the mint was burning my tastebuds off. He went in the other room, took the x-rays, and then came back to discuss why I seemed familiar to him. Maybe it's because I have this place on my speed dial? I offered.

I finally left and hustled back towards the exam rooms as fast as I could go with my weird side-of-the-shoe limp. I thought it would be nice to let Pam know what was taking so long, so on my way past the waiting room I waved at her. She wasn't looking. So I called out. She didn't hear me. She was doing this weird head-bob thing and reading a magazine and... singing? Hellooo? I waved again and called out her name. She was the only one in the room, and all the sick grouchy folks in the adjoining room were looking at me like I was a monkey doing a math problem. I didn't dare take my chicken pooped foot any closer than necessary, so I hollered her name, and she looked up and pulled a headphone from her right ear. *sigh* I could feel the stares as I yelled at an invisible person. OH HI! She shouted, yelling over the noise in her one ear. I gave her an update and then was shuffled off to the exam room to wait again. "He'll be right here," I was told. Yeah right.

About this time, I really felt a need to spit out my gum. My mouth was now raw and I didn't care anymore about the smell. Maybe the after-smell of my gum would help until I could leave this place. Wait, what was that yellow spot on the floor? Did I do that? I nudged at it with my clean shoe. It didn't budge.

I was just limping back to my seat from spitting out my gum when the doctor walked in. He didn't waste any time telling me that I didn't have a break (good news!) but that I still needed to treat it pretty much the same way for three weeks anyway. He also curiously asked if anything else had been hurt that morning. "No," I honestly answered, except for my pride and my Nike's.

He wrote me a prescription for pain meds, and sent me on my way with 2 matching splints. How thoughtful, I thought, he must know that I have a history of dropping my splint in the toilet, and will need time for one to dry out from the disinfectant while I wear the other one.

(As if I needed to admit anything ELSE embarassing today)

My handsome brown eyed blonde

My handsome brown eyed blonde and I started our relationship with a bang. It was truly love at first sight. I was a little hesitant at first, to share my heart with him because I had been broken before. I was hurting from past pain. Thankfully, he was calm and understanding about that. He was eager to prove that he could win my heart and prove his trustworthiness. I, ever the hopeful sort, gave in easily after I realized just how gentle and protective he was. Of me, and especially my kids.
He kept an eye on them, often counting heads to make sure everyone was accounted for before he would even think of coming to sit by my side and just relax. I loved that about him. As he sat by my side, we didn't have many words to say, but our eyes spoke our feelings for us. His eyes melted me from the start. He looked adoringly at me, and I would talk sweet things in his ear. Backrubs and snuggles, car rides and long walks. These were things my heart had always longed for. It was an easy fit. There was no doubt in my mind we were in this for the long haul.

Now... I know what you're thinking. You're probably thinking bad thoughts about me at this point and I'm sorry it has to come to this. Secrets aren't fun for most people.

You're probably thinking things like, "What? But your husband does not have blonde hair! Who are you talking about lady?" Because more than likely you actually paid attention to stuff like that.

Am I right? What? You don't pay attention to stuff like that? Well fine... I'll just keep my little secret to myself then.

Ok. Nevermind. I can't hold in news like this.

Not when it could change our family forever.

His name is Chase. He is so incredibly handsome, and just such a looker. I just can't help myself.
Please forgive me. My husband already has.

Here's what he looks like...

See? I TOLD you. I am smitten. There is nothing you can do or say to get me to give him up. I'm wrapped around his pinky toe. Hopefully he didn't step in anything.

The odd thing is, he appears to be camera shy. He won't look at me.

Again, he'd rather look over there, than at me. But that's ok, he's a beauty.

I'll be! He did it again, only this time it was more obvious. Look at me boy!

Chase and Jessie are doing the alpha dog challenge. It was a very easy test. Chase is twice the size. He's telling Jessie that if he catches him with another chicken, he's going to show him who's boss.
GOT YA! And I got him smiling too. He grins a lot. It's part of why I think he's adorable.

He doesn't always smile though. Here he is frowning from the other side of the sliding glass door. He wants to come in and snuggle, but dogs at our house live outside. They have jobs to do all night since they take so many naps during the day. Next, I'll share a funny story about our first day together. Believe it or not, we've only been together for 2 nights now. How quick love blooms!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

He Never Gets What He Wants. Ever.

My Momma doesn't love me. I am such a sad, sad boy.

See my face? See the way I wear my hat a little cockeyed?
That's the hat of a boy who's never been loved by his Momma.

That's right. I'm miserable sad.
I have stopped hoping.
All is lost.
I'm so unloved that all I can do is look away to hide my tears.

I have SUCH a sad face. Why does nobody love me?

But wait.
What's that you say?
I CAN go fishing??

Are you makin' stuff up?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday Amos 5:24

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the WORD through a photo and a verse.

Amos 5:24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream.

I'm on a righteousness kick this month. Not sure why, but I'm not arguing with where I get my inspiration so we're just going to have to live with it. This photo was taken this past weekend, as we were scouting my husband's secret favorite fishing spot. We didn't hear good reports about the salmon run, but we did get some beautiful photos of the Yaquina River. Sit here with me for a minute and take in the scenery and take in this verse. Who reads Amos? Well I did - and it's got some good stuff!

Thanks for joining me today... for more inspiring posts, please visit:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Caption Contest Winner!

Here it is folks! The day you've all been waiting for!
We have a WINNER to announce!

Yes, that's right a winner. A winner has been chosen by one of the best voting methods ever known to man. Don't pay attention to the critics.

Here's the photo that needed a caption...

And here's our NOT random winning entry. Miriam said...

"The timer went off! It's MY TURN now!"

Miriam won because she caused laughter that could only come from a family that has actually HEARD this being said before. It was so fitting. We had a hard time though judging these entries, especially after reading through words like UVULA and SEED not WEED and where did Sandy Patti come in? (That was my Dad people, he came out of hiding to contribute!) It was a fun time had by all.

Congratulations Miriam!

I hope you enjoy showing off your award all over town. Or at least on your very delightful blog. (I put the link there so all you people will run over and take a look at her blog... so get to it!)

Come back soon for our next contest! I had way too much fun giggling at all your replies. Thanks for participating!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday Isaiah 32:17

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the WORD through photo and a verse. I hope you enjoy this and come back soon!

Isaiah 32:17 The fruit of righteousness is peace. The effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.

This photo of my pygora goat is one of my favorites. She's a momma goat, her name is Grace! (Sorry Farm Suite kid... but it's a good name for a goat too) Grace is a wonderful goat, she is patient and more often than not she's quiet. The day I took this photo, she was standing in the sunshine just soaking it all in. She even closed her eyes. Sometimes I feel like doing this. Just closing my eyes, and soaking in all the warmth of God and letting myself get overcome with peace. My prayer is you will have this peace that comes from righteousness. Because where things are right, there is peace. And where there is peace, there is quietness and confidence.

Thanks for joining me today... for more inspiring posts, please visit:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Caption Contest [Closed]

Contest is closed - come see our winner!

Here it is folks, the moment you've all been waiting for! (I say that a lot)
This week, to keep me entertained instead of doing housework or farmish type chores, you're going to help me find a caption for this photo! This is the first time I've done this, but I couldn't seem to find just the right thing to say for this picture. I love it. It says something, I just don't know what it is... help me out!

The winner will be chosen from a panel of qualified judges (this is not a random drawing).
If chosen you will receive the following:
An award to post on your blog (if you are a blogger)
MAJOR bragging rights
and possibly even a pat on the back if you live close enough.
Come out and delurk yourselves. You know you have something to say.
Contest ends October 17th at midnight. Limit one entry every hour or so.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday Proverbs 14:23

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the WORD through a photo and a verse.

Wow, what a week. After last week's post, I had several people email me to ask WHERE were the pictures of the "harvest"?! Well, my husband went out to the garden one day and this is what he came back with. I was blown away! All that work we did - produced something! We certainly aren't profiting from it financially, but we are in different ways.

Our garden hasn't even been in the front of our minds this week, as we have been going through a rough time. The past four blogs were my way of helping myself and my kids go through some healing after the tragedy they witnessed this past Thursday. The obituary of the man named Ed, who died right near our home, shows that hard work brings about many things - but certainly not poverty. Ed was blessed with several children and an amazing wife. His hard work and determination in life meant he profited in many ways - and now his family can go on knowing that his hard work paved the way for them. This brings me joy.

Thanks for joining me today... for more inspiring posts, please visit:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


From The Corvallis Gazette Times

Ed Bomber
Nov. 12, 1959 — Oct. 2, 2008

Edward Paul Bomber of Corvallis died Thursday, Oct. 2. He was 48.
Ed lived a life of high energy, passion and commitment. He distinguished himself early in life by graduating from Central Catholic High School in Portland. His academic and athletic achievements landed him a scholarship to Notre Dame University, where he competed on the cross country and track teams. A true Oregonian and lifelong Beaver, he completed his engineering studies and continued running at Oregon State University.

After a brief career in the mining industry, Ed began a long tenure in engineering and marketing with Hewlett-Packard Co. in the San Francisco Bay Area, Germany, Vancouver, Wash., and Corvallis. He maintained a high level of fitness, competing at a national level in running races from the mile to the marathon.

He met Kay Zupan and together they have raised a family of four active and happy children: Paul, Gavin, Joanna and Allyson. As a family they have been involved in the Catholic Church, from teaching children’s education to serving coffee and donuts and singing at retirement homes. They have also been involved in supporting the education in their children’s schools: Philomath Montessori, Adams Elementary, Ashbrook Independent School and Linus Pauling Middle School.

Ed’s passion for sport and community spirit resulted in the recent opening of Northwest MultiSports, a triathlon store he envisioned as a resource for anyone involved in improving their fitness. In recent years, he was a top age group finisher in many triathlons including the Idaho and Canada lronman races. Family trips often focused on participation in triathlons, hikes and long bike rides with Kay and Ed as each other’s biggest fans. He was a competitor, a mentor, and an inspiration to the many athletes he befriended.

Ed and Kay remained close with their many family members with events in the Portland area and annual family gathering throughout the Western United States.

Ed was preceded in death by his father, Francis. He is survived by his loving wife, Kay; children Paul, Gavin, Joanna and Allyson; mother Marian; and siblings Robert, Andrew, Stephen, Ann, Cathy and Dorothy.

A funeral Mass will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Corvallis. Father John Henderson will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Girls on the Run, c/o KidSpirit, 125 Langton Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331. Arrangements were made with DeMoss-Durdan Funeral Home and Crematory.

God bless you Bomber family!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Serious Note Part 3

Read Part 1 first
Read Part 2 second
Now, you can read this part...

Mr Nice Guy hung up the phone and turned to me with moist eyes. "The sheriff's department is sending someone over. They'll be over in half an hour." My husband is a sensitive guy. Not in that sort of way you think of sensitive, like, my husband gets a manicure with me and does a better job decorating than I do. He's sensitive in that he can feel someone else's pain, and he shows it. I love that about him. It's one of the main reasons I was attracted to him from the get go, and it draws me closer now than ever before. Just having to tell the sheriff's dispatcher what he had heard the girls say, made him hurt for them, and for all the people involved. Especially the family of the man who had died. My goodness... what a devastating day for a lot of people. Now it bothered him that he knew our girls were going to have to go through some uncomfortable stuff in the very near future.

I sat there with my oldest daughter and began to try to explain what was going to occur within the next hour or so. Then for some reason, and she turned to me with an especially sad look on her face and said, "Mom, he waved at us on his way past."

*BAM* It was just like someone kicked me in the gut. How could I not just break down and cry when the burdens of my children were so great that I could hardly stand to hold myself up, let alone them? Hold on Momma hen, your chickies need you to to be strong. Keep it together woman! In half an hour, we'd have people here - people who were concerned enough to put us on the "rush" list. We could let go after that. Just hold on. Matter of fact, 30 minutes was not very long at all.

Thirty minutes?? WHY didn't I clean house today like I wanted to?? Oh yeah, I was feeling like garbage, and then got this news and then... "KIDS!!" I hollered, as I choked down the need to weep, "Get in here and lets all clean up some of your stuff!!" Mr Nice Guy calls it The Flight of the Bumblebee whenever we have to do a quick dash and stash. It's not like the neighbor was coming over and we had to clear off a spot on the couch. It was a sheriff's deputy! We couldn't appear negligent - like, too many crayons or coloring books on the table or the dishes not all cleaned up or whatever. Hey, they probably took notes on whether or not there was laundry on the couch. Either way, it took up ALL of our nervous energy, so looking back it was a good thing. We got the couch presentable, we wiped down the table and I think someone even used a broom *who knew?*

"They are HERE!" Someone shouted from the bedroom. So, I nonchalantly meandered towards the door, picking up odd objects as I went along, and scooting the dried piece of macaroni under the fridge with my foot. I opened the door to concerned faces and outstretched hands. I shook each one and tried to remember the names that were said. One, two... then three strange faces in all. I saw the two cars outside and wondered what all the fuss was about. Mr Nice Guy escorted two of the men into the dining room and the third man turned and walked back outside where Princess D was playing. My oldest daughter was already seated in the dining room and they jumped right into introductions and explanations.

I sort of shook my head, and tried to figure out where I fit into all this, but it didn't make sense at first. The dining room appeared to have enough people in it, so I followed strange face number three outside. He was already leaning up against the railing in our carport with Princess D, my youngest. She was facing him, twirling her hair nervously between two fingers. She stepped from one foot to the other, and chewed on her lip. Obviously, I was needed here.

I pulled up a "chicken observation chair", which is code word for a camp chair that got left in the carport because we spend so many hours watching the baby chicks that it just makes sense. I practically pushed Princess D into the chair so she would sit down and she instantly began to relax. I kept one hand on her while strange face number three, whose name badge said "Lieutenant" and somewhere in the introduction was the word "commander" explained what was going to happen. He was going to ask her a series of questions and he wanted her to describe in vivid detail everything that she remembered from the morning. He told her that her older sister was doing the same thing, with the other gentlemen in the house, and that there were no wrong answers, but that it was really important that if she wasn't sure about something or didn't remember something, to just be honest about it.

Fortunately, our Lieutenant friend had no problems getting information out of our girl. Although still a bit nervous, she gave a specific recount of everything as she had seen it from the morning, and occasionally he would stop, his eyebrows would suddenly raise, and he'd have her repeat things so he could jot down important notes. Every question he asked was followed by a confidant answer from her. She would look up and off to the side when trying to recall things such as sounds and length of time between sounds and people coming and going and all sorts of stuff. Even I was stumped at how someone could remember all that, but then it wasn't me that had seen it.

Princess D recalled seeing a cyclist pedal by the house while they were on their way to the school bus. The kids noticed him probably as soon as he was visible to them, because they typically face to the south to watch for the bus. As kids do, they watched him pass by, and evidently he lifted his hand and waved a cheery hello. My kids got to smile at him, and he smiled at them. "What a cool guy," they thought, "some of the bike riders around here are kinda rude, and they don't pay attention to us kids, but this guy - he is nice." *Gulp* Pirate Boy recalled that he forgot his sack lunch at that moment. I'm not sure what made him realize that he had forgotten his lunch, but maybe it was the nice man waving to him. The man reminded him of his Momma, and his Momma is nice like that and waves at other kids too, and his Momma makes him lunch every day, and... oh my goodness he forgot his lunch! He took off running for the house.

As soon as the bike rider had passed the kids, he lifted an arm to signal that he was turning. He signalled. He did it with purpose, and it was clearly to keep himself out of harm, and to let others on the road know WELL ahead of time what his intentions were. This man, who we have come to know as "Ed", was a triathlete. He wasn't just an early morning enthusiast, he was a professional. He loved exercise, he loved riding his bike, and he dressed for the part. He had full bike gear, helmet, reflectors, the works. And, he knew how to signal.

Ed's arm signal was showing in plenty of time for the corner he was about to approach. Matter of fact, at one point his arm came down to grasp the handlebars, but only for a moment, and then went back UP again just as he was about to take the curve. From the opposite direction, a log truck approached the same intersection. The log truck, as my children have both stated, slowed down when coming to the intersection. Both of my daughters recall the sound of the "jake" brakes. Then, suddenly, the truck sped up - the sounds of the engine accelerating and the motion of the truck appeared to be speeding up to push itself through the corner, but at that same time, Ed was rounding the corner from the opposite direction.

It is at this point that Princess D states that she saw the bike round the corner, but she felt compelled to turn away quickly. She knew something bad was going to happen. She heard squealing noises like that of brakes. She couldn't watch.

My oldest daughter's story lines up almost perfectly with that of Princess D. Keep in mind they had very little time to corroborate their versions of what they saw, and it's almost eerie how they spoke about the same sounds and images, but with different descriptions. My older daughter, being a more experienced bike rider (she takes that same exact route to school - or should I say she DID) and she recognized the squealing as the brakes of a bicycle being applied with a lot of force.

The most fortunate thing, I believe, is the amount of vegetation at the corner of this intersection. Just as the bike and the truck turned the corner simultaneously - the shrubbery and trees blocked my childrens' view from where they were standing out by the road. Now if my son had been coming out of the carport at that time, he would have seen something horrendous. But for some reason *see part one* he had turned back to hug his mother. He and I had a bit of a rough morning. But for some reason, he was at the door hugging me, and forgiving me, and being spared the view of a man losing his life. Why God did that for us I'll never know, but I will be eternally grateful.

My daughters, who didn't actually see the point of impact (thank you Jesus) were left with an imaginary scene to paint in their minds. They saw the bike and the truck enter an area that was only fit for one at a time. My daughter thinks she may have seen the bike slip when she saw him braking, but she didn't see anything else. They did, however, hear it.

The squealing of the brakes or the metal on the road or who knows what went on for several seconds. The girls both described additional noises they heard, which quite honestly I can't even write in this space for fear of giving you the same nightmares they are having. Then, the really crazy part happened. The log truck disappeared out of sight. Cars began to pull over to the side of the road from both directions. The younger brother shows back up at the bus stop. A minute or so passes, and I have no idea what the girls were doing during that minute or two, except I do know that when I checked on them they were staring down the road in the wrong direction. The bus was coming from the other way.

When the brakes on the school bus give a sigh, the kids, now on autopilot, gathered themselves and crossed the road to get on the bus. Not knowing exactly what they had just seen, they began to worry about what they would see momentarily. The noises, the images, the worry... they sat quietly as the engine on the bus revved up and pulled forward.

Someone blocked the road, and directed the bus to continue going North, instead of turning East towards the schools. Of course, the bus slowed down, the driver was assuming she would be taking the path that the bike had just taken. This meant that all the kids on board had a slow motion recording take place in their minds as they passed the scene of the accident. My kids were no exception.

The blue towel, draped over the upper portion of the man's body just a moment before, hid features, but it did not hide the fact that the person under it was lifeless. His body was a few yards down the road, and as my son described in all his eight years of wisdom, "He was dead. We knew he was, because he was." My daughters captured more pieces of visual imagery that added to the ones already seared into their brains just minutes before. The overwhelming emotion on the bus was thick. The driver went into hysterics. She sobbed while at the same time trying to get the children to safety. This, I'm sure, didn't help the kids much. But, she did manage to drop them off, although in reverse order, at the appropriate schools.

The children were all greeted by teachers and staff, who by this time had already heard of the accident. As best they could, the staff took their kids inside and talked to them about the incident, while still worrying about whether or not their own family and friends had made it to their destinations that morning or if they were on that fateful bike ride. Nobody quite caught on that our kids had actually been there. They got several comments and pats on the head by teachers who knew they had been on the bus, but they still didn't quite get it.

The men in the dining room finished talking to my oldest, and meanwhile the Lieutenant and I were now shooting the breeze about "brands" of chickens that he'd like to raise. I'm sure we had put Princess D completely at ease by then, because she started getting a little silly. The Lieutenant and Man Number One, who was actually the Deputy Sheriff went for a walk to have a powwow. My daughter and I went inside and sat down with the rest of the family along with Man Number Two, who we shall now refer to as "Chaplain".

I did not know, until now, why a chaplain is so important during times of crisis and tragedy. Unless you've gone through it, I suppose it's hard to explain. Basically, he is there to let you know that whatever you're feeling after something traumatic happens, is normal. It may be one of 10 different reactions, but they are all normal. He helped us be able to recognize when the girls may be having problems coping, and what to do. He told us what to tell the teachers and he gave us tools to stop nightmares from recurring. He instructed us to give as many hugs as we could muster, and to give the kids ice cream for dinner if they wanted it. I was so thankful he was there. I know one of the reasons they all showed up that evening was for our kids' emotional health. I have tears of gratitude every time I think of how they hustled their little team together just to come make sure our family would be ok. Sure, they needed to know information from "witnesses" but they treated our kids like pure gold.

The chaplain must have had a really hard day too. Just a few hours before, he was standing at Ed's home, telling his wife that she had just lost her husband. Telling his four children, ages 6 to 12 that their Dad wouldn't be coming home from work that day. This made my heart ache tremendously - and to know the chaplain was giving the same care and consideration to our kids made it that much nicer to know that we'd be ok. We were all still here, no matter what we saw, or what kind of crappy day we had, it was nothing compared to what Ed's family was going through right at that moment.

We are continuing to see good things come from this. God is good. I'm also keeping an eye on the online newspapers, and read just today that Ed's wife went through with her plans to run in a marathon yesterday. She knew her husband would be watching and cheering her on. He knew the Lord, and in that, we find great peace.

I'll be posting Ed's Obituary.
Because this is healing for me too.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Serious Note Part 2

NOTE: You must Read Part I first before going on.
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"Could you tell us what you saw this morning?" the nice man with the red hair said.

What, I thought, is this man talking about?
"What?" I said, hoping he hadn't actually heard the rest of my thought.

"There was an accident..." he started to say. I interrupted, "Oh, yes! I did notice the sheriff's pickup and the cones, and... and I just didn't want to be nosy so I didn't go down there to take a closer look, and I don't even know what happened but I saw a couple neighbors out there and then things were gone when I actually felt like going over and..." I love to blurt out things when I'm nervous. It apparently makes people look at me and open their eyes wider.

"Yes," he stated, "the sheriff was there. There was a bicyclist that got hit."
My brain froze momentarily as it flashed to all the people we regularly see riding by, waving, and laughing at how we herd chickens. "It was a fatality." He said, looking a bit concerned about what my response would be.

Slump. In my chair. That's what I wanted to do. But I'm helpful, so I took a deep breath and said, "I feel really bad, but I honestly had no clue what happened until you just told me."

Awkward silence.

"So," he said, apparently directing my thoughts in one direction, "do people drive too fast out here?" Well that got me going. Of course they drive too fast. The speed limit sign says END SPEED LIMIT and people take it literally. Sometimes the leather-skinned old farmers on their antique tractors rumble past in slow motion, and then two minutes later that dangblasted motorcyclist comes by so fast that all you can see are the tracers from where his skin particles left a dust trail. Kind of like a comet. I want to throw nails on the road when I hear him coming, but then I'd go to prison and the children would be ashamed of me. To be quite honest, I've never even gotten a glimpse of the guy because he comes and goes so fast I don't have time to even get OUT there. He's fast. And obnoxiously loud. He wakes us up at night sometimes. Of course I didn't actually SAY all of that, but I thought it.

I went on to tell him that our school has been implementing a Walk & Ride program. But our kids can't participate and they live closer than a lot of kids do to the school. So, they are resigned to taking the bus, risking their lives by walking or riding alone, or begging me to drive them - but with the price of fuel, I'd rather they hitched a ride. I'm also painfully paranoid about them getting hit while riding a bike. This is log truck country and the shoulder of the particular road they have to use is pathetically small and log trucks are insanely big.

We talked for awhile about traffic, the close calls we've had out here on the road, and about my neighbors who he hadn't spoken with yet. I asked him to please not quote what I said about the neighbors, and he chuckled at me. I also politely refused to have a photo taken. I know, how uncitizenly of me! I was truly not looking even close to decent. I'm not a vain woman, but I didn't want people getting confused when reading the story and thinking I was the accident.

The reporters eventually took off on foot down the road towards their car and I flipped open my cell phone. Oh my gosh. A fatality. Was someone speeding? Seems possible, but at the corner? What did I just say to that reporter? The words kept bumping around in my brain. I wanted to talk to someone. I didn't want silence anymore. I tried to call my husband at work. But voicemail wasn't my idea of a conversation so I shut my phone and went back inside.

Google. God's gift to stay at home mothers who don't get a newspaper or watch the news on TV. Unfortunately, even Google failed me. There was nothing on the wires. Not yet. After all, the reporter was still standing down the road taking pictures of the school buses rounding the deadly corner. School bus?! Ack! The kids would be showing up right NOW and probably had all sorts of things to say about what they heard at school. I slipped my feet into some shoes and hurried outside as the bus pulled up and heaved its familiar sigh.

My pirate boy bounded off the bus and gave me a happy little high five on his way past. The bright yellow paper he flung my direction read something like this:

Sadly, just before school this morning there was an accident on the corner of such and such streets...

Now wait a gosh darned second. Before school? My ruffled feathers nearly popped out of my skin.

...involving a log truck and an adult bicyclist.

Oh my gosh. A LOG truck. Ugh. Well, it was an adult. It wasn't one of my kids' friends. *sigh of relief* Oh no! *takes back sigh of relief* It might have been someone we know... or one of the kids' Dads! But wait a minute, it says that nobody at the school knew the outcome of the accident. Oh dear, I have to tell my kids the outcome. I have to tell them the outcome and it happened BEFORE school!

"MOM!" my younger daughter exclaimed as she rushed at me with a warm greeting. Our younger son took no notice of his mother, but headed straight for the swingset. The doors to the school bus slammed closed. And it started to depart. My eyes strained to see where my oldest daughter was, because she did NOT get off the bus. Was the bus going to slam on its brakes and let her off? Was she being silly and forgetting to get off at the right stop? Nope, the bus kept going. "WHERE is your sister?" I said. "WHERE IS SHE??"

Don't ask me why I was suddenly so acutely aware of the need to be surrounded by more than just 3 quarters of my offspring. Still, nobody knew where my eldest child was. Nobody cared either, except me and I went into some sort of a strange mini-panic. In the meanwhile I tried to have some semblance of a normal-ish conversation with my younger daughter. "Honey I'm really sorry to hear about the accident today, I bet people had a rough day at school huh?"

In the flurry of rushing to grab my car keys, I heard my daughter say something that I couldn't quite grasp. I whirled around and asked her to repeat herself.

"Mom, we saw it happen."

"What?" I said, in somewhat of a fog. I knew it wasn't the pain meds clogging my brain, they were only over the counter stuff. "What did you see? What are you talking about? Where's your sister?" I felt like I was saying what an awful lot today.

"I don't know where she is Mom, she probably walked home today. But I'm trying to tell you that we saw the guy on the bike. And we saw the log truck before they hit each other."


"Yeah, Mom, we were waiting for the bus. Mom, he rode by on his bike and we watched him and we saw the log truck come around at the same time and..." I couldn't tell what else she was trying to say, and truthfully my heart was just starting to crack in three places so I just hugged her close. It muffled her words, and then she just gave me that look. The one that says a little piece of me is injured Mommy and I don't know quite how to deal with it so I'm trusting you to help me out here!

Doing some sort of mental triage, I assessed my situation. One parent and three kids at home. One other parent was who knows where, and one more kid in the same place. Just not in the same town. I told my daughter I needed to talk to her a LOT more and as soon as I found her sister we'd discuss things. I promised.

I jumped into the Suburban, and took off out of the driveway and headed towards the middle school. I barely turned the corner when I saw my child meandering down the road. She appeared really sullen and was looking down at the pavement right where the accident apparently occurred. I glanced back to make sure nobody was coming behind me and I pulled to a stop. She looked shocked to see me, and got right into the passengers seat. "What are you DOING Mom?" she said in a typical tween fashion, as we headed back to the house.

"I was coming to get you. I was worried when you didn't get off the bus and I know you guys must have had a rough day." She seemed relieved. "What were you doing walking home instead of taking the bus?"

"I wanted to see where he got hit Mom. I can't explain it, I just had to come by here."
My heart make another cracking sound. Then she gave me her account of what she saw, and the sickness creeping into my gut made me wish I could drive my kids to school the rest of their lives.

We got home, tried to act normal about things, but continued to talk while doing our routines. The girls had each given me a story that was very similar. They had spent no time to talking to each other about it yet, so I knew they weren't fabricating anything.

I flipped open my cell phone again, pressed the number 5, and my husband finally answered on the other end. I asked him if he'd heard anything about the accident. "What accident?" he said. Ah, so I wasn't the only clueless one. I gave him the quick run down. I could see his face in my mind as he winced when I told him it was a fatality. Then I heard him go into his authoritative action mode when I revealed that the girls had witnessed most of it. He gave me a quick good-bye and headed straight home.

Mr Nice Guy came into the house slowly. He had probably been driving along for the last half hour praying and thinking of all the things he might say, or how he might react if the kids were really upset, and what he would tell the people who asked questions. Our family had a small huddle, and talked about some details and passed out hugs and then my husband looked at me and I knew he felt the same way I was feeling. We had to call the Sheriff's department. They needed to know what our kids had seen. The man's family needed to know a few things too.

Mr Nice Guy picked up the phone. "Uh yeah, hello, about that bicycle fatality today...?"

To be continued... Part 3

On a more serious note

Who knew that only a few minutes after I wrote my silly post yesterday about my wonderful children, that within a few minutes their lives would be ever-so-slightly altered.
For life.

While my afternoon kindergartener slept soundly in his bed, his three older siblings were waiting by the road for the school bus. As is common for them, they smile and wave at whoever smiles and waves at them. Traffic is pretty heavy on school mornings. It mostly consists of tired out parents bringing their kids into town from miles down the road. Millworkers driving their bruised pickup trucks to the mill. Educators and staff commuting to work at Oregon State University in nice SUV's or shiny little hybrids. Wrinkled up old dump truck drivers with wrinkled up old dump trucks from the gravel company chugging along. And bicyclists. Lots of them.

The area in which we live is a bike riders paradise. The surrounding hills have beautiful and peaceful views. Mountains, rivers and lush farming countryside sqeeze up against the curved roads. The hilly terrain is "most excellent" for training to ride in bicycling events and races. This attracts all sorts of people. From the young college student, who's passion is getting on a bike and riding around to see the world, to the serious triathlete training with his buddies on a Sunday morning. They all ride by at some point.

Yesterday was no exception. I sent my kids off to wait for the bus as they usually do. Excitement was high as my son was going on a field trip to the coast that day. The kids didn't even pay attention to my obviously bleary mood. The aquarium is one of my son's favorite places, so of course he left the house in a big hurry. I shut the door, took a deep breath and went to snuggle into my recliner to get over the nagging feeling I had that I was going to have a bad day.

A few minutes passed, and my school bus radar hadn't even gone off yet, when the back door opened again. I jumped up, knowing that if I hadn't heard the school bus stop, that someone was about to miss getting on it because they were coming in the back door instead. It was my son, breathless. He had forgotten his lunch. I hastily grabbed the paper bag off the counter, yanked his backpack open and stuffed it in there as delicately as I could. Zipped up and ready to go he took off out the door again like a bullet. For some uncharacteristic reason, he screeched to a stop just outside the door, turned around, pushed the door open wide and gave me a huge hug. I'm not sure what that was all about, as we'd just had a pretty bad morning, but maybe he needed it. I know I sure did.

I watched him out the window for a moment, to make sure he got back to the bus stop. I was in a big hurry to sit back down. I was not feeling good. And, I did not notice his sisters staring off down the road towards the north. They usually watch for the bus to arrive, and it comes from the south.

A minute later, I heard the brakes on the school bus give a sigh, then I listened, as I always do for loud noises or anything unusual. Then, I heard the engine rev up, and knew they were safely tucked away in their seats, but I did not know that the new images and thoughts being permanently imbedded into their minds were the farthest thing from being safe at that moment.
All through the morning I heard sounds. Unfamiliar sounds. I couldn't place them, but I didn't feel like moving. The pain relievers were kicking in and I didn't want to think about anything. I don't like being home alone. Sounds bother me and I needed some noise. Luckily my 5 year old heard my silent pleas and he got out of bed. A couple times I looked out towards the north end of the road, and noticed that the Sheriff department had a vehicle posted at the end of the crossroad that is across from our field. There were orange cones, apparently blocking traffic from turning. No worries, if I had to go to town I'd just go around. I wonder what happened? I noticed the guy in the full body yellow rain slicker walking around. I bet someone slid off the road and they are trying to get his vehicle out of the ditch. The roads looked wet, and it gets slippery sometimes.

Now typically, I'm one of those types of people that are referred to as an "ambulance chaser". I don't actually chase ambulances, but I'm always very curious about what's happening, who's involved and where those emergency vehicles are going off to. I will see flashing lights while I'm out driving and will choose to go that direction just to see what's going on. I briefly thought about walking over to the intersection to get a better look. No, I thought, that would be nosy of me. Plus, I don't even feel like walking that far today and it's just a sheriff's truck. There was no ambulance. No fire truck. No tow truck either, I reasoned against myself, as my brow furrowed into worry lines. Well then I'll just go out to the shop, and flip on the scanner. My father-in-law was the fire chief back in the day, and his old emergency scanner is still out there. Sometimes when the police whiz by on a call, I'll turn it on to eavesdrop. But not this time. It didn't look like there was any flurry of activity, and I had no energy to stand outside and listen in today.

I sunk back into my chair, content to snuggle with my son and our new copy of Skippy John Jones and hope someone would make us something to eat.

Shortly before noon, I started feeling good enough to dress myself, feed my son and get him out the door for kindergarten. We waited for his school bus. And waited. We smiled at all the people who drove by. We waved back at whoever waved at us. We talked about why it's not safe to be facing the road with your eyes wide open when the big log trucks barrel past in the rain and fling mud and rocks from their tires. I briefly considered hooking him up with safety goggles. Sheesh, who was I kidding? You can't keep them safe from everything! We did some dancing. We twirled around and got the giggles. We talked about not waving at little old ladies, because it causes them to drive off the side of the road right towards us (this really happened once). We kicked rocks back towards the driveway. Eventually, with only three minutes left until the noon hour, I went back inside to get my keys to drive him to school. It was really annoying how unreliable his bus was. It bugged me. The other thing that bugged me was that I noticed the road was normal. There were no extra vehicles parked down by the cross street anymore, no orange cones. Good, I thought to myself, I can get him straight to his school without going the long way around. Where the heck is the bus?

As I drove down that same cross street towards the primary school, I looked for small details on the road that showed something had recently happened. Were there marks where someone went off the road? Trees or shrubbery out of place? Not that I could tell. The road looked scuffed up, but other than that it appeared mostly normal. I swung into the school parking lot, and since we were late I reasoned with my son that he could walk himself to the door. He had pretty much refused that offer previously, but today he didn't argue. So I swung the Suburban around the driveway and let him out at the curb where he scampered off towards the door of his modern looking school building. I noticed a few parents in a huddle, talking about who knows what. I momentarily wished I'd walked him inside, I liked talking to the other parents. We found out things that way. We encouraged each other. But today, I was ready to get right back home.

I took a detour getting home. I talked to no one. I usually stop somewhere and chat about the weather or school or newsy stuff, but today was different. I was craving the quiet. But I also hated it. So I made a last second decision to pick up a movie and let it fill the next couple hours with mindless noise. It worked. And, I still didn't have to talk to anyone. Thank goodness for Redbox.

Later in the afternoon, I received a phone call from a friend. It was a welcome break from my self-imposed silence. We chatted for awhile, and then an abrupt knock came at the door. "I gotta go," I said, "someone's at the door." And they mean business! I thought to myself.

I was not pleased with myself. WHY hadn't I taken more time to make myself presentable? I opened the door, with my frazzled looking hair, sporting my farmer jeans and a t-shirt that says FINALLY FREE! I had planned on cleaning house sometime today, not hosting company. I was embarassed, but still I knew I couldn't avoid this pair of visitors. One was a shorter man, with nice red hair and a smiling, but sincere look on his face. The other darker haired man avoided my eye but carried a HUGE camera that I instantly became envious of.

To be continued... Part 2

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I'm saving up for therapy

This is one of those days where this mother who has four kids at home really FEELS it. You know what I'm talking abou - you HAVE FOUR KIDS. And EVERYTHING shows it!

The wrinkles forming on my face that people say are from all the smiling are actually, in fact, a direct result of grimacing and growling at my kids to get their chores done before they turn eighty seven. The pain in my belly from the used up uterus is tired from carrying children, and even more tired from PMS. Who needs PMS if you're done having kids? HEY - just STOP already! Can't we pause this thing indefinitely without fear of cancer or some other death by not-being-natural method? What about my home life? I don't even wanna go there. But I will. Because I'm going ever so slowly insane and I want people to know why.

I pick up trash. I throw away trash. I ask someone to take the trash out. The trash piles up. Determined to be teacher of life lessons and not an enabler of bad habits, I leave the trash as a visual "example" of what happens when you do not follow directions. I ask that the trash be taken out. I pick up more trash. I shove trash down in the can so more will fit. Other people try. They fail. Trash falls on the floor. I pick up trash. I balance more trash on top of pile of trash. I ask that the trash be taken out. I go to my room. I scream and pull out clumps of hair. I pick up hair. I place it ever so delicately on the wavering pile of trash. I ask that the trash be taken out. A large booming voice comes from within me, along with a grimace and a growl that I do not recognize. The growl puts fear in a child and the trash is taken out. Most of the trash, that is. The trash that was balanced delicately on top is now on the floor. A hair clump is missing.

I ask someone to sweep the floor. I pick up crumbs with my fingertips. I throw crumbs away. I ask someone to PLEASE sweep. Dirty shoes walk through unnoticed. Dirt gets noticed. I ask someone to sweep one more time before I crack a blood vessel in my brain. A week passes by. I now walk with my head up so I can't see the floor, but I break a toe when it gets tied up in someone's backpack. Tired of shoving dirt and crumbs and trash to the side with my feet, I growl and grimace so much I give birth to a new wrinkle. Someone in a huff gets a broom. The sweeping and whining begin. The broom gets put away after about 33 seconds. The dustpan forgot to show up. I ask someone to sweep again. The whining nearly makes me punch myself in the head. I growl a ferocious growl. The broom AND dustpan decide to join the party. Sweeping makes a repeat performance. Then screaming is heard. There is something alive under the fridge. I must intervene. This is not a learning opportunity now, this is a real problem. I take the broom to the underside of the fridge. Big strokes. The "live" thing comes out attached to the broom. The kids shriek. It is only the missing hair clump wearing spagetti noodle pieces and a week old fruit loop.

Life goes on.

But just to clarify, I didn't actually break my toe on a backpack. I do, however, have three very bruised toes that were nearly ripped from my body as I was attempting to get out of the shower and simultaneously maneuver a pile of laundry that my child was to have taken to the laundry room two days before. They may be broken. We'll never know. I don't have time to get 'em looked at because I'm trying to get the dishes done this month.

God bless my children. If they ever live to adulthood.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Word Filled Wednesday Genesis 1:22

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the WORD through a photo and a verse.

And the Lord blessed them indeedy! Today as I look out at our growing flock of chickens, I realize just how much we've been blessed! I'm sure we've been blessed with a heap more little roosters than hens, but that's ok because they were a gift! It wasn't something we asked for, but those little birds just did what God told them to do long, long ago. They increased in numbers!
Happy Word Filled Wednesday!

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