Friday, January 17, 2014

I'm Old, But I'm Alive, TToT Week 31

I am grateful for what I am and have. 
My thanksgiving is perpetual... 
O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. 
No run on my bank can drain it 
for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.

Henry David Thoreau

My thankfuls for the week:

1.  The moon and snow have saved my life.  It's too long and boring to explain our house's floor plan.  Suffice it to say, if that moon wasn't out, and the snow wasn't there to reflect it, I would have killed myself on one of my many walks to the little boys' room or down the stairs in the pitch black of the night.

On a related note, as soon as the wind dies down and the snow stops, COW will be on a 30-ft. ladder to replace the front porch light bulbs.

2.  Buttercup and Phoenix finally have pants to wear to school.  Buttercup hasn't grown out of hers as much as she's destroyed them.  She was down to one pair that fit and didn't have a gigantic hole in them. We got to the mall and found some new ones for her pretty easily. Phoenix has completely outgrown the pants I bought him on the first day of school, to the point where even he was self-conscious about how short they were.  I was finally able to find some online at The Gap.  Let's hope these last him through the end of the year.

3.  I was able to keep my cool this week, despite severe antagonizing by my tired, grouchy children who are not the least bit happy about having to get up at 6:00 each morning after 3 weeks of not getting up at 6:00 each morning.

4.  My house is getting cleaned up and out, thanks to Lisa's post about removing distractions and working on decluttering for a mere 15 minutes each day.  It is amazing how doing little bits each day adds up to great big things over time.

5.  All five kids had great report cards.  I'm especially happy with Star's.  It seems watching his older siblings lose their minds during their 7th grade years, when they decided doing homework wasn't all that important, as long as they did well on tests, made an impression.  The boy has not lost his mind, and has even done better than he did in 6th grade.

6.  My kids really like to read.  Sure, it comes with a gigantic price tag in the form of library fines, but all of that reading is a huge contributor to those great report cards.

7.  The big kids will wrestle with the little kids.  When the big kids were the little kids and we lived in our old house, we had a big family room with not one piece of furniture in it.  Each night, that is where we spent our time, wrestling and just having fun being silly.  Now, COW and I are old.  Wrestling with us isn't what it used to be.  As I type this, I can hear Phoenix, Buttercup, Turken, and Cuckoo in the other room, giggling up a storm, wrestling and beating the tar out of each other.

8.  I am alive.  On Thursday, we had some more snow.  There wasn't much, but the roads were pretty well covered. On the drive to pick Turken up from school, I was taking my time, driving cautiously.  The light turned yellow, so I slowed down.  By the time it turned red, I should have had more than enough time to stop.  Unfortunately, the weight of the van and the slickness of the road combined to prevent me from doing so.  I slid 25 yards and right on through the intersection.   Thank God there were no cars coming.

9.  I got to spend some fun time with Bible study friends on Friday afternoon.  We always have lots of fun, many times laughing so hard we have to wipe tears away.  An odd thing about the group, though, is the age difference.  (It came up today (don't ask how) that I am the only one who is old enough to remember Luke and Laura's wedding.)  With these women, I get to share some tricks of the mom trade.  They seem to find all this weird knowledge and odd tips floating around in my head to be useful.  Today's lesson was on keeping kids' socks and underwear straight.  (Each child (and adult, now that the kids are as big as us.) has his/her own brand of white socks and his/her own brand of underwear.  Sorting is as simple as tossing each brand into its own pile and handing to the owner.)

10.  My family finally understands and follows the rules around here.  Take tonight for instance.  I was quickly putting a salad together, and jazzing it up with carrots, cucumbers and hard-boiled eggs.  There was lots of noise and commotion all around, with people setting the table and talking to me.  At one point, Giant gasped as he saw what I was doing.  There, in the salad, were the egg shells from the hard-boiled egg I was peeling.  I was dropping them right on top of the lettuce instead of the compost bucket.

Immediately, COW and 4 kids started yelling, "Blog post!  Get the camera!"  Someone grabbed me so I couldn't clean up the mess, another grabbed the camera and got the photographic evidence.

I couldn't have been more proud, even though I was the one getting called out.  Crossing my fingers they now remember to do this when COW does something dumb.

Your turn!

Have a lovely day!

OOOOHHHHH!!!!  Hold up!!  Once again, we have another announcement.  Dear Joy will no longer be able to co-host, so we are happy to have Lisa (the one from the decluttering up above) as our new co-host.

Welcome, welcome!


Ten Things of Thankful


 Your hosts

64 comments:

  1. Whee! Thanks for the double shout-out, Christine! I love that you're using the 15 minute plan along with me AND I'm so excited to be co-hosting TToT...now if I could just the html to work I'd be in good shape. I was SO ready to post hours ago but it's not working. So I'm reading and sulking.

    And oh my goodness...Thoreau? He speaks right to my heart. My absolutely favorite love. :)

    Funny that your gang grabbed evidence for the blog. Happens here, too - the Fab Hub often says "oh, that's going on the blog, isn't it?" Yup. You betcha.

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    1. The new girl seems to be excited and on the ball, getting the first comments. :)

      I saw your post, and it looks like you got the HTML thing worked out. It's happened to me a few times, and all I do is whine to Lizzi. She's good at fixing such things.

      They frequently mention something going on the blog, but they don't usually take action to make it happen. Like over the summer, when a pig got out, and COW was the only adult home. Not one of the kids thought to get a camera and take photos of him dragging a pig by its hind legs back to the barn. They're learning.

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    2. Yeah ya do...I do TRY, and most of the time the snaggles get ironed out. You have the advantage being in Blogger, because I understand that.

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  2. Great post...OK I don't feel so bad both of my kids needed pants shirts and shorts too (gym/basketball) as well...found a bunch of stuff at Old Navy under $ 5.00 seriously under $5.00 that's the only way I shop in that store from now....for mister he got three gym shorts and a few long sleeve tees for under 5.00 - and for miss I found these skinny jeans for $4.97 can't go wrong with sales...soon I will be doing the same for spring and summer clothes - I tell them stop growing all the time! - but nooo... they don't listen!
    Great things to be thankful...glad to hear that you were okay after sliding....icy roads are scary. enjoy the weekend! Marisa

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    1. Thank you! I love, love, love shopping sales. I was so good at it when the kids were young and you could predict their sizes. Now, they are growing at such odd rates, I can't predict, and they actually have opinions on what they wear. It's annoying. I was lucky enough to find Buttercup's pants on sale. Phoenix will never be able to buy a pair of pants on sale again. They don't have pants in 35 length on sale racks. Old Navy is a great place to shop for deals. For sure!
      I was surprisingly calm during the sliding thing. Probably because I could see that no one was going to slam into me. I was even more cautious after that, much to the dismay of all the cars around me.

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  3. That last one sounds so much like my house. My husband is constantly telling the kids when they or he does something that it will end up being a blog post! But seriously, glad you are ok and black ice seriously scares me and have had a few close calls over the years myself here with it. Now, I just hope you are enjoying a relaxing and quiet Saturday!! :)

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    1. Family members of bloggers really need to just know they are now considered blog fodder. :)

      The day has been quite peaceful, thank you!

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  4. cool list... glad you can live like the pioneers of old who also found their way to the bathroom by the light of the moon... and I am afraid you may be reading me wrong as I take umbrage with the title "goody two shoes." BUt hey, I still like you enough to send you some good eatin chickens!

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    1. Thanks! Hahaha! I didn't think of that. We do have an outhouse, but I'm quite grateful that we don't have to use it.

      I didn't mean to say you were a goody two shoes in your everyday life. I know better than that, when even your doctor is kind of afraid of you. I simply meant with Lizzi, you seem to be very good at responding to her work requests. :)

      How are those non-laying chickens doing?

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    2. the little dopes layed two eggs out in the yard that froze before I got to them... 16 chickens an indoor coop, and 8 nesting boxes and they have to lay eggs in the snow?! Two of them? None indoors! Heat up those fryers!

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    3. What in the world???!?!?! I do believe your chickens have lost their minds. Or are trying to tell you something.

      The kids were just asking me to make some chicken and noodles...

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  5. Cool that the kids recognize a blog post moment! You guys sure have a lot of good fun, Christine!!

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    1. They certainly do. Probably training for their own blogs, where they will rip me apart, when they are adults.

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  6. ok… where are the photos? no egg-shell-in-salad photo? (it just occurred to me that it might serve better in a standalone post!) you know, it's times like these I see how much alike we are ( lol… yeah, that was a free one)
    only in the retrospect that allows reflection (i.e. nothing bad happened in the skidding event)… amazing how the mind speeds up/time slows down in such situations!

    reading is a good thing to do

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    1. Ack! I knew someone would call me out on that! It was late, and I couldn't find the wire to connect my phone to the computer. I'll get one up sometime.

      The sliding seemed to take an eternity, but was really only a few seconds. It's humbling to be in that position, with absolutely no power to change the outcome.

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  7. Oh my! SO glad to hear about no cars coming...that is scary stuff for sure! I have trouble with my car and it's not quite the size of your van, so I can only imagine how the extra size of the vehicle would make things tricky!

    LOVE that the older kids will wrestle with the younger ones on your behalf...I am hoping this feature will present itself when we have foster kids coming through. The PBA will be all in on that, I think!

    Glad you have your children properly dressed, btw. ;) I cannot believe that Phoenix has outgrown his pants already. Fingers crossed for the next few months!

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    1. Plus, the van is rear-wheel drive. Not the ideal in snowy weather. I'm always extra cautious, and still...

      I have no doubt your boys will be more than happy to rough and tumble with a little one. All 4 of the big kids enjoy it.

      When is the last time you've seen Phoenix? Shoot, at this point, he's almost a foot taller than you! ('cause he's tall. Not that you're short.)

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  8. Okay, I got stuck at the sliding right through the intersection. That's the biggest thing to be thankful for this week in my opinion. That could have been tragic. Your angel was watching over you.

    Have a fabulous weekend. ☺

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    1. It certainly could have gone terribly wrong. Fortunately, it was at an intersection that doesn't see too, too much traffic and the light was just turning red. No one would have been going full-speed through the intersection. I was quite glad to have that angel with me.

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  9. Yeah - I'm with Clark on this - where the hell are the photos? I *love* that they're all so primed to pin you down and take their revenge for all the times you've shared photographic (or video) evidence of their goofs and foibles. Looking forward to whenever you finally decide to share this gem.

    SO glad you're alive! That sounds like a really scary experience across that intersection! Ow! So pleased it didn't end in disaster, and I *really* hope all the snow goes away for you VERYSOON! Then you can get that light fixed and stop needing the snow to see in the dark.

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    1. Ack! I knew you would be on the list of photo demanders. They can't be happier than when I mess up right in front of them and let my imperfection show.

      Remarkably, I wasn't scared when I slid. With the light just turning and being able to see for miles in all directions (we are in the country, ya know) I knew I wasn't going to get slammed. Thankfully. On another road in other circumstances, I would have been terrified.

      I would love for the snow to go away for good, but alas, I can't imagine we've seen the last of it this winter.

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    2. I've skidded on empty roads before. I wasn't scared for crashing with another car, but more for being inside a ton or so of metal which was now out of control. I'd guess your van's heavier than that, even!

      Well done for the photo. Panda shorts next (yes, long memory. deal with it ;) )

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  10. I see no photos of egg shells in the salad. What gives? Although, I feel inclined to forgive you because I happy that no cars were coming through that intersection and you are alright. Holy crow but that's scary!
    I feel you in the pants for kids department, especially my son. He is tall and thin and just when I find pants that adjust in the waist and are long enough, he grows again! It's a neverending battle.
    Good for your kiddos and the report cards! I love hearing that kind of news and that they love to read. I guess if you are going to spend money, there are worse ways than library fines because your kids love to read, right?

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    1. It was late! The only working charger was up in the bedroom next to my sleeping husband!
      It was scary when it almost happened again later that day on a much busier road. Thankfully, the van stopped right before we slid into the intersection.

      All my boys except Cuckoo have been tall or tallish and super thin. Those adjustable waists have been a lifesaver! Unfortunately, they don't make adjustable for kids who are 6 feet tall. :)

      That's what I tell myself. I consider the fines as investments in their education. But have mercy, sometimes it drives me batty.

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  11. I thought I was here -- but my comment didn't show up! xox jean great post!

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    1. Bugger. Hate it when that happens. Thanks for coming back and letting me know you were here!

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  12. I can't get over how much fun it sounds over there! You probably already remember how much I love hearing your stories about your household and your amazing 6 kids. I'm so happy that you were safe and didn't have an accident! That's awesome that all 6 are doing great in school. Looks like I have a lot to look forward to with them and the clothes situation. :)

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    1. There is definitely some fun. Some frustrations, too, but lots of fun.

      As for the clothes, it was so much easier when they were little. I used to buy all of their clothes off the clearance racks for the following year. It's a predictable growth when they are little. Eventually, they'll have to go through 3T to get to 4T. Unfortunately, big kids clothes aren't like that, and the kids have opinions. Two big monkey wrenches that cause me much anguish.

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  13. I was also wondering about the lack of photo evidence of the egg shells in the salad. Pretty sure I've done the same thing myself though.
    I'm very glad you're okay after sliding through the intersection, black ice is a scary thing.
    Kudos to the kids on the good report cards and the reading.
    We're having the same problem with Davis and pants, he's down to maybe 3 pairs of jeans that are long enough, thankfully he wears his boots pretty much every day so it disguises the fact that his pants are too short.

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    1. Sorry! The photo is up now!
      It wasn't even cold enough to be black ice. Just a bunch of slush that my tires couldn't grip through, I guess. I'm glad I'm OK, too. :)
      Thanks!

      Ah, boots. A wonderful invention. Too bad they aren't part of our school's dress code...

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  14. I also thank God you are alive! And for that quote, which just fills my heart. My kids love to read, too. They are also starting to play with each other more, and the sound of laughter from another room brings me such joy.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked the quote. It struck me when I read it, too.
      Keep that interest in reading going, even if it means some library fines! Let me know if you need any book recommendations.

      It is a wonderful sound, listening to your children simply enjoying each other's company.

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  15. Reading is definitely fun. Luckily, I have a library at work that neither charges renting fees nor late fees. Kudos to you again for decluttering; I hope I wasn't such a procrastinator! Maybe 15 minutes a day for a couple of weeks would do the trick even for our house :-) Kiddos playing with each other is always great. Glad that your older kids love to wrestle with the little ones; all of them are definitely creating wonderful memories there. Have a great weekend, Christine and gang :-)

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    1. For everyone in our family, reading is fun. Thank goodness. Oh, to have a library at our disposal! Their school library isn't the best, especially for big kids.
      I am a master procrastinator, but I'm on a mission now. You would be amazed at how much your house (and life!) will change after just a week of this 15 minute declutter. Do it!

      It always makes me smile to see and hear them enjoying time together. There should be plenty to talk about at the future Thanksgiving table to bore my grandchildren.

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  16. I gotta chime in and say I was waiting to scroll down and find the photo!!! Hmm... Too embarrassed are ya? ;)

    I host a women's group and a small group in my home, and I was JUST reflecting on our group yesterday and amazed at how we can go from Cancer to bikini waxes in one conversation. LOL Oh, how I love my bible study peeps!!!

    Great list!! Your kids- ROCK.

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    1. Once we get to know each other better, you'll know I don't embarrass easily. I was just too lazy to get the charger aaaall the way upstairs to hook my phone to the computer.

      It is fantastic the way a group of friends can hit so many topics in one short amount of time. I have two groups of friends that I get together with to have such conversations. My "old" friends in my book club, who have kids the same ages as my big kids, and my "young" friends in Bible study, who have kids the ages of my little kids. Both are the perfect groups for me.

      Thank you!

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  17. I will admit...I'm having a hard time keeping up with all things social media these days. :(

    Having said that...

    1) Waiting for the wind and snow to stop...you are a much nicer person than me. ;P
    2) I must definitely try the 15 minute decluttering...although not sure that will even make a dent in the next ummmm year?!?! *sigh*
    3) Good on your kids and their study habits/report cards! Double thumbs up. Reading with J2 was TORTURE!!! I still have nightmares. Ha!
    4) Holy-camoly!! Thank goodness there was no traffic!! :O I gasped. Really.
    5) Even though I only have 2 spawn...like you...they have their own brand of socks (all the same colour therefore no missing mates) and underwear. Easy-peasy. :)
    6) Love that your entire family gets into your blogging!!! :D


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    1. I've noticed your absence, and I've missed you terribly.

      1. I doubt that. There's just not a lot I can do to make it go away any faster.
      2. You would be amazed at the difference in just one week. It works because when you walk by and see a spot that used to be covered in crap, you'll be motivated to make another spot clean and tidy to match it. One week. Give it a try!
      3. I am very fortunate to have kids who enjoy reading. I know several families who have struggled with children who don't want to/like to read. I don't know what I'd do.
      4. Thank goodness, indeed!
      5. yes, all socks are white, or have color only on the bottoms of the socks where no one can see that they don't match.
      6. Me, too! Sometimes. :)

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  18. Hi, so funny about the eggs. Where is the picture? I wish we would get some snow here. Send some our way with prayers. Maybe your bible study group can pray that South Carolina gets some snow here too. I want to take pretty snow pictures with my new camera.

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  19. PS. read through some of the comments after I commented. Glad you are okay too and lived through the ordeal of driving in snow.

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    1. You too, asking about the photo?!? :) It's up!
      I would love to blow this snow straight to you. Truly. We've had more than our fair share already this winter.
      I will let my group know that you'd like some snow. We'll see what happens. :)
      You got a new camera! What kind?? I can't wait to get to your post!
      Thank you.

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  20. Snow............... ugh. We have had some snow, such as in enough to cover the ground and cause one day of school to be closed. . I like how you said you were thankful to be alive. We all should wake up and be thankful for that. :) I wanted you to know that your blog is inspiring to me, so I have nominated you for The Sunshine Award. Though, no obligations, because I know these awards can be tedious. Mine came from Louise at a good time. :)

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    1. That must have been fun for the kids to have the day off to play in the snow, no? I'm with you, though. snow...ugh.

      Exactly! To simply be thankful to be alive.

      Donetta, that is so sweet of you! Thank you!

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  21. Dang, I so wanted to see that photo :) Sounds like something I'd do .... oh wait I have :)

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    1. Ack! I know! I'm sorry! It's up now!

      I'm happy to know that I'm not the only distracted dinner maker in the world. :)

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  22. Getting up at 6am makes me grumpy too. I'm glad you survived! We got more snow here yesterday and overnight. Boo!

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    1. Yeah, 6am is way too early to be waking up. For anyone.

      As much snow as we get, I know you get more. I feel for you.

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  23. I'm glad the roads were free of other vehicles. Gliding through an intersection on a red light is not my preferred way to get my heart rate up!

    I used the different underwear/socks brand trick, too. That and the every kid has their own color (for towels, Easter eggs, notebooks, you-name-it) tip saved a lot of hassle when the kids were younger!

    Um, where is the salad photo? I think it should be pinned! :-)

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    1. Fortunately, being on a country road, I could see for miles in all directions, so I knew before entering the intersection that I would be ok. Until then, though, yeah, the heart took a jump.

      I remember your every kid gets a color thing. I haven't had a need for that one, but the underwear/socks? Imperative for my sanity.

      It's up! It's up! But not pinned. :)

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    2. It might be up, but I don't see it. Where is it?

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  24. I am so, so thankful that icy slide resulted only in jangled nerves and no damage to life or vehicle. It could have been so much worse! You are also blessed to have a houseful of reading kids, readers are lifelong learners. Papa Bear's daughter, her husband and daughter have a designated reading time every Sunday afternoon and it is relaxing for all of them. Nothing pleases me more than to see a tv off and people reading! I loved the eggshells in the salad, it would be just like me to do that, I have a long list of such scatter-brained moments. I once called my husband at work using the house phone, to ask him to call my cellphone so I could find it. It never occurred to me to call it from the house phone myself! I've also been known to attempt to climb into the wrong vehicle (well - it was a WHITE truck) and too many others to name. Around here the threat is always "I'll post a picture on FB", as Papa Bear already knows that everything is fair game for blog fodder, though he never really misbehaves enough to give me content. I am always impressed with how well your family works and plays together, that only happens when the parents work at it, and I applaud you, it's nice to know that it still can be done!

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    1. We were very fortunate, that is for sure.

      We dropped off our load of library books last week, and the kids have been begging me to take them to check out some more. We all like to have something to read nearby at all times. It makes me so happy to know they like it so much.

      Your cell phone story is hilarious! I'm guessing Papa Bear had quite a laugh about it, too. :) I have also gotten into the wrong car!! It took me longer than I want to admit to figure out what I had done.

      Thank you for those kind words. It can be, and still is, done by many families. I do wish there were more who worked together...

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  25. LOL! That's so funny. Isaiah always asks if I am going to blog about "this." Also I remember Luke and Laura's wedding! Are we that old?
    We too had way more snow on Friday and it took me two hours to drive home from somewhere it should have taken 26 minutes according to Siri ;-)
    I love reading your posts, I feel like I'm at home with you, and it's nice.

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    1. We are only old compared to those young whippersnappers who don't remember the wedding.

      Ugh. An hour and a half longer than expected is such a pain. My husband had that problem every day during the polar vortex. We've had enough snow for one season. I'm crying Uncle. Loudly.

      Jen, that is one of the nicest things you could have said. Thank you.

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  26. Since when has being in your early 40s considered to be old?? Or did you just feel like that at the time?

    It's good that your kids all like to read - far better than the endless computer games which most kids seem to play these days.

    Your angel must have been watching over you at that intersection, I'm glad you're okay.

    I'm now waiting for the egg-shell-in-the-salad photo! :)

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    1. It's only old when you are in the company of several people who are all at least 10 years younger than you.

      While my kids like a good video game, they are just as content to read a book. And if it's a really good one, they pick reading before anything else. I love it.

      The angel had her work cut out for her that day.

      It's up!

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  27. Too funny about the eggshells! That's exactly the kind of thing I do when distracted.
    Great list, as always.
    This slick, cold winter can end anytime now...

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    1. While I do catch myself doing odd things, this is the first time I've put something into our actual food when distracted. I hope my kids learned their lesson.

      Thank you.

      I am raising the white flag nice and high, and waving it like crazy. Enough with the snow!

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  28. I am so glad to hear your kids like to read. Especially in this electronic age!

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    1. Me, too. It always makes me smile to see one of them engrossed in a book.

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  29. My iPhone just will not let me make blog comments. I made a beautifully eloquent comment for this and *poof* gone. Trying again.
    1. You might want to think about nightlights, since that moon is not to be trusted - it gets bigger, it gets smaller, it gets bigger, it gets smaller....
    2. Tell Phoenix if he outgrows these before summer, you can just sew a ruffle along the hem of the pants.
    7. They do this and no one gets mad? I can't say that with only two kids rough-housing.
    8. I am very grateful that you are safe and sound.
    10. Now I know what you've been doing with the 18 dozen eggs in the fridge.

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    1. Stupid smartphone.

      1. I have thought about nightlights. Our house was built before electricity. There isn't a single outlet in any hallway or landing in our house. I tried putting one in the bathroom, but it isn't enough.
      2. Ha!
      7. We only have one child who has ever gotten mad during a wrestling match, and it's never when he's wrestling with the little boys. Someone gets hurt almost every time, but he just comes to me for a kiss, then hops back into the fray.
      8. Me, too.
      10. Yup. Eggs with every meal. :)

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  30. Gosh, I'm glad you were okay when your car skidded on the snow. That is scary, and definitely being alive is something to be thankful for.
    I laughed at you dropping the eggshells into the salad and everyone rushing to photograph it. (BTW where's the photo?)
    Our younger daughter used to destroy her trousers too, but she's not nearly so inclined to go skate-boarding, tree-climbing and generally rolling in mud as she used to be. I kinda miss those days! When our older daughter started school we bought her the school polo shirt in age 5-6, and she was still wearing the same one in her last year of primary school, aged 12. The shirt was big for a 5 year-old, but she was very small. She suddenly grew about 4 inches, but she'll never be a giant.

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Thank you for taking the time to tell me what you're thinking!