Sunday, March 27, 2011


From this

To this.

All in one day. Thanks to a boy with a tractor, a teenager with an eagerness to help (the opportunity to drive the tractor may have helped), a brother-in-law with a truck to haul the remains away and the sweat energy that's given out of love.

As a side note, if you are spending the day with a man and a teenage boy, refrain from using the terms "bush-free" or "yank". It sends them both into continuous fits of giggles.

Going Once!

Today, WG, Flash and I went to the youth auction after church. There are many items up for bid during a silent auction session followed by a live auction for larger items, with all proceeds going to support the youth programs at our church. After enjoying a nice spaghetti lunch, WG and I wandered through the silent auction items. The first I came to that gave me pause was a basket filled with baby items. With friends expecting later this year, I thought perhaps that might make a nice gift. I decided to pass when I realized that after bringing a new boy with me to church for the past few weeks, it probably wouldn't look good for MY name to appear on an auction list for baby items. This is how rumors start, you know. Later, during the second part of the auction, the live auction for larger items, WG leaned over and pointed at the brochure listing for a weekend getaway. Thinking it might be fun to gather up some of our friends and enjoy a fall weekend at the lake, he suggested we bid. It didn't take us long to chuckle and shake our heads. Two newly dating people at church probably shouldn't bid on the weekend getaway, either. Blasted rumors. So, we left the auction with money in our pockets - but not without winning one item from the silent auction. We thought heading home with an amazing cheesecake would keep us safe from any potential rumors. Of course, if I keep eating this amazingly decadent dessert, those pregnancy rumors might start up regardless.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Brownie Points

I think I just became a John Deere widow.
Twice over.

The Magic List

Flash: "Hey Mom, when you are at the grocery store this weekend, can you pick up two different kinds of cereal for me?"

Mom: "Hey Flash?! I have something amazing to show you!! Do you see this paper on the side of the fridge? Do you see it? This is truly remarkable so pay close attention! When you take this pen and you write something on this paper, like, let's say, "Cheerios" and "oatmeal", on Sunday afternoon, when you roll out of bed at noon - now listen closely, here's the amazing part - the Cheerios and oatmeal will be in the cabinet!! I know, it's too much to even believe! It's astounding and remarkable and very nearly magical!! Go ahead. Try it! Put a few items on this piece of paper and see if they aren't not only in the house - but where they belong when you get up on Sunday!! Even more amazing, is that sometimes, there are things that you need, but you totally forget to put them on this magical piece of paper and do you know what?! They still SHOW UP! Like toilet paper, or sandwich bread, or even things to make a decent meal for KICK'N! (ahem). It's just amazing!!"

I got the teenage eye-roll from Flash for that one. I think that's a sign that I'm hysterically entertaining. But I could be wrong.

So, About that Eve Trough...

You know you are a horrible girlfriend, and undeserving of all that this amazing man does for you when it takes you five days and even then HE has to point it out to you on Friday - that he fixed the eve trough that was dangling off the garage on Monday afternoon.


Apologies were made. Cookies shall be baked.

Monday, March 14, 2011


He cooks, he cleans, he has a Wrangler, a goatee (just for me) -
and a mischievious grin to boot.
What's not to love?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Perhaps it's because the sun is shining outside but it's still too cold to actually do anything out there. Perhaps it's because after letting go of a student yesterday, I'm feeling the need to exert control over SOMEthing. Perhaps it's just Spring Fever. Whatever the cause, I woke early this morning itching to do something. Itching to move things. Itching to change things.

I lay in bed thinking about moving this piece of furniture and that piece of furniture. I thought about the mirror that never got hung once we moved in. I thought about the plants I'd like to hang in a couple of windows and the hooks I would need in the ceiling to do so. And while I itched to do these things, I dreaded them in the same breath - I can drill in a pinch, but I'm so afraid of doing it wrong and leaving a gaping hole in the wall. I would need help moving some of the furniture around and thought maybe I could get Flash's help when he wakes around 3pm.

But then I remembered...and so I sent a text. "Would you maybe help me hang a mirror later and put a couple plant hooks in the ceiling?"

And the reply that delights my soul - "Absolutely!"

And even beyond that, he says, "And I want to fix that eve trough that's hanging off the garage."

Where has he been all my life?

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Holds me when I just need holding.

Listens when I just need to talk.

Laughs when I don't want to cry.

Winks when I need to laugh.

Smiles when the world seems to be caving in.

Loves when I feel so unloveable.

Brings me flowers just because.

Is silent when I can't take any more.

Is perfect for me.


I don't blog about school. While I am entertained every single day by my nine-year olds, I just think it's an off-limits topic to post on a blog.

But today I ache. Today I mourn. Today I'm finding it difficult to cope.

I have a boy in my class who has the roughest of lives - the ones you read about and shake your head and wonder how children in these situations survive at all. He was held back in second grade, and so despite his low academic abilities, he will keep being promoted on - he will keep being propelled forward, forever lost, and losing ground.

He is a tough child. Rough around all the edges, he has walls around him for very good reason. And yet, he is a softie. Show him your boundaries, hold him accountable and he will not only respect you but come to admire you. Show him you care and he will hold tight to you forever.

And oh how I care.

But tomorrow he will leave me. Tomorrow, he will change custody. From a mother who never should have been given him in the first place, to a father that has hardly been involved. And with the change comes a change in schools. Away from me.

And so I ache. And so I cry. And so I get angry that he is leaving.

I worry. I worry that he will become a behavior problem in his next school - full of walls, with the attitude to push everyone away, will he let another teacher help him get where he needs to be? I worry.

I worry that he will never gain ground on all that he's lost. I worry that he will get to a point where giving up is easier than fighting for knowledge. Where following in mom's footsteps is the only path he knows. The path to drugs and to jail.

I worry.

I don't know how to face tomorrow. I don't know how to say goodbye to this child. I have packed a bag full of flashcards and school supplies and every little thing I think that might help him for today. But I won't be there tomorrow.

And so I pray.

For one little boy and his messed up life. For parents that aren't sure how to do just that. And for a teacher that doesn't know just how to let go.

Monday, March 07, 2011

He Passed

Yesterday, WG braved the first Family Test. He hung out with my sister and Bear at a local home and garden show. We wandered through all the vendors, WG and I stopping at nearly every booth to ask a million questions for our million home-repair projects we both would love to do to our homes if we could just find that money tree. Jules and Bear wandered through eyeing these amazing outdoor grill -pagoda things. They have apparently FOUND the ellusive money tree.

In any case, we capped off the day with some amazing Chicago-style pizza. I am amazed at WG's charm - he must have done something right as he got my sister to PLAY CARDS. I haven't seen my sister play cards since I was 12!! (Thanks, Jules!)

Jules says he passes the sister test. WG says he wasn't scared away by my family, so I guess I can breathe a sigh of relief that neither scared the other away!

Now, let's just see if I can manage to not scare him away, either!

Her Invitation

I showed you the creative way that Flash's girlfriend invited him over. Now, it's Flash's turn to invite her. Here's his creation:

Dear Flash's Girlfriend:

WG and I spent our evening cutting out letters and words to help him put this all together. He's going to slip it in her bag tomorrow at school. I'm not sure who is more excited about Saturday now!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

He's Not My Type

I remember arguing about the song, years ago with a friend. It struck such a disonant chord with me and he was surprised by my reaction.

I like blue eyes, hers are green
Not like the woman of my dreams
And her hair's not quite as long as I had planned

Maybe it's because I've never been quite enough for the man in my life. I was far from the right "type" for my husband, and even since, some other woman has always won over me. I know I'll never be "perfect" for anyone, but I always wanted to be "perfectly suited" somehow - to truly be the thing someone has dreamt of. So this song has always bothered me.

Five foot three isn't tall
She's not the girl I pictured at all
In those paint by number fantasies I've had

My argument, that day with my friend, was that if I were the woman this song was written about, I would always be insecure- I would always think that when a woman who DID fit his dreams came along, he would leave. Ahh, Fear of Abandonment, how you rear your ugly head in my life! My friend was truly appalled. He tried, whole-heartedly to explain, to make me see the point of the song -

So it took me by complete surprise
When my heart got lost in those deep green eyes
She's not at all what I was looking for
She's more

At the time, I just shook my head and we agreed to disagree on this one. I've heard the song many times since and I've turned the station. I don't want to hear it. It rubs me very much the wrong way.

But this morning, listening to the rain fall outside my window, I had to laugh at myself.

He's not much taller than I am at all. In heels I have him beat.
He doesn't have a goatee.
He is always checking to make sure I am okay, that he hasn't offended me in any way.
It isn't his shoulders or his teeth that I find particularly sexy (what?! teeth can too be sexy!)
His grammar can make me shudder.
He's self-conscious, self-depricating (I know, Pot, meet Kettle.)
He is nice, quite nearly to a fault.

All things that don't fit my "paint by number fantasies." And yet, he's so much more. He isn't at all what I had pictured in my mind, but my heart recognizes how skewed that mental picture was. I told him last night how genuine he seems to me to be. He is real. He isn't perfect, doesn't pretend to be and doesn't expect me to be.

No, it wasn't at first sight
But the moment I looked twice
I saw the woman I was born to love
Her laughter fills my soul
And when I hold her I don't wanna let go
When it comes to her I can't get enough

He might not match what I thought my "type" of man was exactly, but he far exceeds my wildest dreams.

More than I dreamed of
More than any man deserves
I couldn't ask for more
Than a love like hers