File:Speed Limit 55 sign.svg

The other day, I was driving with my four children to church.  My six year old was sitting in the back where he could see the speedometer.

“Mom, can you go faster?”

I had to clarify what exactly he was asking.  Did he want me to drive faster or was the van capable of going faster?

“Oh, MOM, I know the van can go faster.  It says it will go 140″.  (He was pointing out the top speed marking on the dashboard).  “Will you drive faster, so we can get there sooner?”

Then, I began to explain that there is a law called the speed limit.  We can’t go any faster than what the law says.

“Well, there aren’t any police around, so you can!”

“Buddy!  That would be wrong.  It would break the law.  Just because you won’t get caught doesn’t mean you should do it.  It is against the law–and God’s law too–to kill people.  But do you think we should kill someone just because the police won’t catch us and put us in jail?”

At this point, all the kids let out a resounding “NOOOOOO!!!!”  That’s where the conversation ended.  Pat self on back for teaching kids important lesson.  Drive on, mom.

Five minutes later…..  “Mom, you said the word speed limit earlier.  What is that?”

“Well honey, it’s the speed that is the most you can go on a road.”

“Then why do you go faster on the way to the store than to the bank?”

“Because speed limits are different for different roads.”

“What is the speed limit for this road?”


“Then does that mean you are breaking the law?  The arrow says 60.  Are you going to go to jail?”

OUCH!  yeah.  That was bad.  (As a side note, our speedometer is off a little, but not quite that much.  I was going 58 in actuality.  My GPS lets me know that.)

I always go 3 or 4 over   was going 3 over.  Boy, did I feel convicted…of a crime.  My six year old asked “if it is the law that you can’t go faster than 55, and you are, then I was right about the “no police around” thing, right?”

Parenting conundrum.  a) Slow down and be late to prove point and relieve conscience.  b) Continue at 58 dismiss the overage as the “speedometer is off” to the kids, numb my conscience (and theirs), and make it on time.

Well, I was 10 minutes late to church that night.  And there wasn’t a cop around.  (I have actually been known to not slow down when in the presence of a cop car–because then you look suspicious.)  Will I continue to drive only up to 55 in a 55?  I don’t know.  Sometimes, I think (especially on the interstate) that it can be dangerous not to move with the flow of traffic.  Otherwise, I will probably be the slow one putt-putt-putting along on the country roads, with eight little eyes watching me.


cheese and quackers (without the cheese)

Two Fridays ago, Ben got off work early.  (At noon.)  I asked him before he left for work that morning if he would please make sure to bring home a loaf of bread so that the kids could have peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.  Well, at 2:30 he finally pulled into the driveway.  I could not, for the life of me, figure out what had taken him sooooooo long.  I asked him and he responded with, “Just get the camera and come outside.”  My first thought was: Someone hit the van.  So, there we all were running outside to see what possible could have held him up for so long.  He threw open the back hatch for me to see some bedding (supposedly for Carmel Addison)  and a mysterious bag of “Chick Starter.”

Did you bring home chickens?  No. Uh…what’s that then? You’ll see. 

And he disappeared around to the front of the van where he reached into the passenger seat to retrieve a small box.  Yeah, I have it on video.  Yeah, I tried to post it.  Yeah, I’m technologically dysfunctional.  Anywho, let’s just say “squeals of delight” would be almost sufficient.  Yup.  He brought home two baby ducklings.  The kids named them, I take no responsibility for THAT.  I wanted to go with Drake-O and HENrietta.  Buddy named the “boy” duck: Fuzzy.  Yep, he’s going to outgrow that name faster than bamboo once he starts to feather out.  Puddi named the “girl” duck: Thankful.  So there ya’ have it folks, Fuzzy and Thankful.   (We actually don’t know their genders, but the kids claimed one as a boy and one as a girl.  We’ll see if they were right.) 

On the second day we had them, I put them in the bathtub.  Fuzzy took to it “like a duck to water.”  Go figure.  Thankful wasn’t nearly as adventurous.  However, by the end of the week, she had stopped throwing a tantrum every time we stuck her in the water.

Note: baby ducks do NOT quack.  They “BEEP.”  Especially when they are not content with life.

Ducks grow at an alarming rate.  They more than doubled in size during the first week!  At the end of two weeks, they seem HUGE compared to the little fluff-balls that Ben brought out of that tiny box.   Ducks are also reallymessy.  I had no idea that two animals so little could make such a BIG mess.  After almost two weeks of indoor poultry, they have been moved to the great outdoors.  (And there was much rejoicing in the streets…. or at least in the kitchen.)

Buddy had a great idea to make the ducks a pond out of a sled.  So that’s what we did.  They seem to like it.  I like that they are OUTdoors.  And…..I’m currently looking for good recipes.  If anyone has any good Duck recipes?  The kids are actually excited about eating their new “pets.”  Puddi suggested that we “eat Carmel too!  And…. maybe get a cat and eat that, …..and a dog.”  Strange girl.

Friday again already!!!

I can’t believe it’s Friday again!  This week has just FLOWN by.  Perhaps it’s because the weather has been sooooo absolutely wonderful, and it’s been Ben’s spring break from seminary.  (That cut down on a lot of stress.)  Pair those two together and it’s been a FINE week indeed.

Here are some pictures I snapped this week while the warm of Spring was blanketing our home.

First Haircut

So, for this week’s PhotoOp, I decided to let you all in on one of our “first haircuts.  Here’s the leftovers.

That’s a lot of hair to lose, right? 

See this face?  Yeah, I don’t think he had that much hair to lose, but I couldn’t resist posting that sad little face….  Usually he’s quite happy, but I think he was wanting to play and the photographer (a.k.a. Auntie) was taking pictures instead of playing.  It’s ok.  She picked him up and he smiled IMMEDIATELY.Of course, Belle was blamed initially.  Then Puddi told me that she cut her hair because she wanted to be “like a boy” because “they can fight each other.”  OOF!  That girl.  She cut up toward the back on BOTH sides of her hair.  I  cut off part of the back so it wouldn’t be so ‘mullet-like.’  Then I attempted to make it into layers.  We’ll just have to wait and see on this one.

After seeing herself in the mirror, she became very sobered.  It hit her: “Boys aren’t PRETTY!!!!”    I assured her that she was still a girl and therefore could still be pretty.  I think she learned a lesson.  Let’s just hope it sticks.

Family Photo

Since I have a new camera and because we haven’t taken a family picture since Belle was about 4 or 5 months old (meaning Tyker isn’t in it and he’s 8 months old!!!) we decided to take a nice family photo.  I borrowed a tripod and set the whole thing up with the timer and this cool function that will snap 10 consecutive pictures so you can choose the best.  That’s what we did.  Only…..the kids didn’t exactly cooperate.  After 5 times of photo fun, we gave up and had to choose the best out of 50.  You’d think that with 50 shots there would be at least one with everyone smiling, no hitting, no crying, no goofy faces, etc.  But alas, this is it: 

 And as a bonus, Belle decided to paint her toenails with permanent blue marker (and the carpet too!).

Pretty much missed her nails, but it was a good effort.  yah?

Birthday week

I look forward to this week every year.  It starts off with my birthday (!) and then there is another birthday 3 days later and wraps up with yet another birthday on the 7th day.  Whew! Check out the math on that! 

3 birthdays * 1 week = HUGE sugar intake!!

Yup, I make a separate cake for each child.  [Mostly because I felt short-changed about having a birthday only 2 days apart from my brother and having to share parties and cakes.]  This year I even decided to forego my own cake (gasp* unheard of, I know, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  If it makes you feel any better, we DID have ice cream.)  So, we are currently trying to bring the kids down off of their sugar highs and hide the remainder of the cake so that they don’t dive into it for breakfast. (like last year)  Anyway, enough about that…’s what you’re here for:

PhotoOp Friday.


Well, I messed up again.  I noticed that I hadn’t had many views on OAF this past week with a new post and all.  Then I realized my new post was scheduled to post in Jan of 2013.  Whoops!  So, here it is.  A little late, but not as late as it could’ve been.

I learned a lesson this week.   I had a full skein of yarn.  For those to whom that phrase may be foreign…this is a skein of yarn.

Essentially, it is a LOT of string.

Our home is old.  It is also in a circle.  Puddi found this 1 lb. skein of yarn and, while she was to be tidying the living room and I was working on getting some coloring sheets for the kids off the internet upstairs, she proceeded to run the yarn around the entire “circle” about 3 or 4 times.  She was also sure to wrap it around EVERY table leg, chair leg, and doorknob in the house.  When I came down with the coloring pages, I was greeted with what looked like a GIANT spider had spun its web ALL through my ENTIRE house (living room, kitchen, dining room, laundry room, bathroom, kid’s room).  It was a-w-e-f-u-l!  So, I did what any sane mom would’ve done.  I told her to pick it all up and bring it to me.  So, along she went collecting a bigger and bigger mess of tangled yarn.  When at last she arrived with it, it was ONE. BIG. TANGLE.  

I then told her we were going to untie it together.  So we began on our LONG  journey of un-knotting the yarn.  It took forrrevvvverrrr.

I started pulling out long untangled strands just to find that the knots in the ball would seem to get smaller, but tighter.  During this process, I saw a lesson.  When we come to the Father, our lives are a tangled mess.  He begins the process of pulling the threads apart and loosening the strands.  We begin to look more and more like yarn and less like tangles.  However, our knots seem to become more concentrated, and sometimes FEEL a lot tighter (read: conviction).  It takes a lifetime to completely unravel the mess that sin has made of our lives.  But, God is patient.  He keeps working on us.  Because He LOVES us.

Well, as it turns out, I asked Puddi to keep working on the yarn while I ran to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer.  When I came back, she had found a GOOD, SHARP pair of scissors and proceeded to chop every last bit of that yarn into bits no bigger than an inch.  I guess that just goes to show how we are not as patient as our Father who loves us.  All of that yarn ended up in the burn box.  BUT, the lesson I learned will hopefully last longer than the yarn.


I’m sorting through ideas of what to post for PhotoOp Friday.  [It’s actually Thursday.  I usually do my posts ahead of time and then schedule them to show up on Friday morning because I’ve been really bad about forgetting in the past.]  It started snowing last night and has continued to snow throughout most of the morning.  Now I’m in a pickle, because I had a photo picked….but the snow, it gets me every time.  I LOVE it.  So, I have decided on a little white treat for you this week.

Ok, so why did I misspell ‘white’?  Actually, I didn’t.  You see, Bic makes corrective fluid called Wite-Out ®. It’s great for doing its intended purpose, but when used by a 3-year-old…that could spell disaster.  Let me elaborate….

One of my sweet, darling children (which shall remain nameless to protect his or her identity) thought that it would be great fun to sneak upstairs to Daddy’s office while he was in the shower and while Mommy was packing Daddy’s lunch for work.  Here’s where the problem begins.  Upstairs is not really kid-friendly.  I mean, there are some dangerous objects (like outlets and scissors)  so the kids are NOT allowed up there by themselves.  Two of the kids went up together.  alone.  When I found them Puddi looked like this.  They had painted “make-up” on her eye…and on Ben’s wallet…and on the chair…and on the desk…and on some papers…and on the rug…and…I think you get the idea.  So, I googled “how to remove witeout ” and “from toddler” actually came up.  Ha ha. but not really ha ha.  At least I knew I wasn’t alone in this mess.  Baby oil.  cotton balls.  that’s it.  As for the other objects…they are still sporting the wite-out.

P.S. the next day, Puddi tried to paint her nails and her hat and her hair and her tummy with BLUE nail polish.  Oy vey!  I think she’s a little too artsy for her own good.

Gross, but I had to.

For those of you who are weak of stomach.  This post is not for you.  I will spare you, if you think this may make you queasy.  Do not scroll down.  The following photos are pretty icky.  However, if you feel you are up for it, read away!

But, I have to share this because I am impressed.  Many of you know that I am an independent sales consultant for Norwex.  But, even then I know it isn’t magic.  There are limits to some of the things it can and cannot do.  However, I did not realize it was this good. 

See this little guy?  Well, little guys can make BIG messes.  And belive me, he did!

So, Tyker had what we like to call a MAJOR blowout….on the carpet.  YIKES!!!  (Yeah, I know, gross.  But I figured I had to take a pic to prove how gross it really was.

Then I pulled out my Norwex cloth.  I wiped up the “solids.”  This is what it looked like:Then I used just water and scrubbed a bit.  MUCH Better.  But not perfect.I sell a non-chemical carpet stain remover.  So I used a little of that….and this is what was left after a total of 9 minutes and 22 seconds.  (I used the timestamp from the camera to know the precise amount of time.) That time includes taking pictures and running upstairs to get my carpet stain remover, rinsing out my rag.  I AM impressed.  I really didn’t know if it would do that well, but it didn’t even smell afterwards.  Trust me, I braved it an did the “sniff” test.