Archives for February 2006

So Confused

My 3 year old has just learned that red means stop and green means go. The other day as we were waiting at a stoplight, she noticed that two lights in the row were green and one was red.

“This light is all mixed up, mommy!” she said.

I guess I hadn’t explained turn signals yet.

Time Saving Tips

Say a gal was really dumb on a Sunday morning and instead of being sensible and grownup and going to take a shower at 8 am, she decided to play with blog templates. For a really long time. Then all of a sudden she realizes its 45 minutes til time to leave for church and she isn’t dressed and the baby isn’t dressed and the three year old is standing in front of her in only her underwear.

Said woman would be interested in time-saving techniques. Am I right? Well, let me tell you what does not work. After getting both little ones dressed (17 minutes elapsed), move on to hairdos for the little ones. Do NOT choose an elaborate braided style for the 3 year old. During the time it takes to complete said hairstyle, 15 more minutes will have elapsed and the teenagers will have to cut short their own breakfast to do the one year old’s hair– wisely in a decidedly LESS complicated style.

At this point, look at watch and realize there are only 12 minutes to shower and dress and get makeup on and be ready to get out the door. Bring baby along to the bathroom, since a sure motivator for a uberfast shower is a baby standing just outside the tub, crying and repeatedly pulling back the shower curtain. This also ensures that the front of baby’s dress is wet when exiting to the frigid outdoors only moments from now.

Out of the shower, dress quickly in the outfit still draped neatly over the edge of the tub from last Sunday. (Pitiful, I know.) Decide that something else can be done concurrent with blow-drying hair. Note: please do not choose to apply heavy-moisture face cream bought in the vain hope of staving off late-30’s wrinkling. The wind from the blow-dryer will blow the hair onto the face. When hair touches the face it will stick to heavy-moisture face cream, necessitating turning off the blow dryer to unstick hair from face, blotting it with a dry cloth, and hoping said person will not look like an utter greaseball if she ever manages to actually get to church. Try not to say bad words. It is Sunday morning after all.

Look at watch and see that 2 minutes now remains before time to leave. Holler to kids to get coats on. Hair still needs blow-drying. At this point, please do NOT try to apply eyebrow pencil while finishing blow-drying hair. True, eye pencil is not moist. It does, however, require a steady hand, which said person apparently does not possess while wielding a blow dryer in other hand. Turn off blow dryer. Frantically scrub at clown-eyebrow.

Try not to say bad words at kid who comes in saying baby’s coat is missing. Remind kid through clenched teeth that baby owns 3 coats, any of which will suffice in this state of emergency.

Hastily comb mostly dry hair. Try not to say bad words at kid who comes in with a 4th, terribly ratty coat for the baby that you forgot she even owned. Holler for a bigger kid to conduct the coat search. Hastily apply rest of makeup, thanking the stars you’re not a high-maintainance kind of gal and your makeup can be slapped on in 4 minutes.

Look at watch on way out of bathroom and discover it is 5 minutes past time to leave. Conduct a 2 second search in closet finding the baby’s coat. Herd all children out to car. Grab a banana and hop in yourself. Thank heaven for your hubby who, blessedly, is ready to go and has even put your full coffee mug in the car. Sip coffee and try to make nice with everyone you’ve growled at in the past 20 minutes, hoping your heart rate will subside by the time you get to church and have to smile more convincingly.

Remind self to stay far from computer on Sunday mornings after 8 am.

Last Day For Share The Love!!

Go vote!

The Golden Keyboard Award!

I had a great time reading your thoughtful responses to Opinion Saturday. Y’all made it very tough to choose. Since there were two questions this time around, I decided to choose a winner for each.

1.) Flu vaccine question– Shannon from Rocks In My Dryer
2.) China adoption question– Jenny from Bombadee’s Garden

These 2 gals will be featured in my sidebar all week, and I’ll give them a code to show off the award on their own sidebar if they want. Thanks to EVERYONE for their very thoughtful comments, and come back and play again next Saturday, OK?


Tonight’s Dinner

I made this tonight when I was wanting to do something vaguely Korean that used up some fresh spinach before I forgot about it. The meal turned out so bright and pretty (better than the pix) that I thought I’d share the recipe.

Beef with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach
Serves 8-10 Time to prepare: 20 minutes
2 lbs lean ground beef (or round steak)
4 garlic cloves, or to taste
2 sweet potatoes, in small cubes
1 T. sesame seeds
1 lb fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 T. cornstarch
1 cup water
Cooked rice, about 8 cups
Cook rice. (I always use a rice cooker– SOOO easy!) Start hamburger and minced garlic cooking on medium-high in a large skillet. Peel and cube sweet potatoes. When hamburger is half cooked, drain off accumulated grease and add in sweet potatoes and sesame seeds to cook along with hamburger. Rinse and coarsely chop spinach. When hamburger is well browned and sweet potato cubes are starting to soften, sprinkle in the cornstarch and add water and soy sauce. Cook til bubbly. Just before serving, add spinach in with the hamburger mixture and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring once or twice. Serve over rice.
Note: I garnished with slices of ‘daikon’ (pickled Korean radish) and sheets of ‘kim’ (roasted seaweed). My kids like to put a few bites of rice mixture into the ‘kim’, roll it like sushi, and eat.
And a question: I have been playing with my template– I think it is working ok for internet explorer…. But if you have firefox for a browser, can you let me know if this page comes up ok for you?

Opinion Saturday

On Saturdays I tend to linger longer over the news, which I usually read online at the BBC News Online and The New York Times. Both of these are free services you can register for. They’ll send you headlines via email each morning that you can read in more depth at the website if you’re interested.

Anyway, I was thinking about the weekly ‘things’ a lot of people have at their sites: Crib Ceiling: What’s for Dinner Wednesday, From Her Majesty’s Throne: Tuesday “Guess It”!—and wondering what might be fun and interactive to do here.

I think I’m going to try ‘Opinion Saturday’. I’ll share a couple of the days headlines, and ask your opinion on an aspect of it. You can read the article online (remember, you’ll need to register) or you can just give your opinion after reading my synopsis.

Maybe I’ll even give a Golden Keyboard Award (thinking as I type here) to one person each week who best states the reasoning behind their opinion– pick a winner on Sunday evening and put them up on my sidebar all week. I know that we won’t all agree– that’s fine. The idea is to state your own opinion eloquently.

So let’s give it a whirl here, OK?

Headline #1: Influenza Vaccine for Children – New York Times
Folks in charge of the US immunization program are recommending that kids in the 2 to 5 year old age group get immunized against influenza. Assuming this is a recommendation, not a requirement, would you get your child immunized? Why or why not?

Headline #2: BBC NEWS Jail for Chinese baby traffickers
If you knew that some of the babies available for adoption in China had been trafficked– ie, stolen from their parents and sold to orphanages– would you still adopt from China? Why or why not? I am not talking about folks who are already deeply financially invested with paperwork already in China. Rather, imagine you were just in the beginning stages of trying to decide what country to adopt from. (Oh, and just so you know, China takes this problem extremely seriously and are doing their best to end it: China executes baby smuggler )

So– give me your opinion on one or both of these issues. Civil discourse, of course! We’ll try the news slant this week, but if that’s not fun I’ll pick a lighter opinion topic next week.

A Meme From Jenna

Jenna tagged me for this meme. Please feel free to skip this if after reading my 100 yesterday you happen to be sick of hearing me talk about myself! (smile)

10 years ago….I had 4 kids ages 8 and under, including a 1 year old. I was working part-time as an RN delivering babies, and I was in my second year of homeschooling.

5 years ago…. I had 6 kids, including two 2 yr olds. I had been a stay at home mom for two years.

1 year ago….we had just started the adoption process for our 8th child. Four months later we had her home!

Yesterday…I had 4 kids under age 8 including a 1 year old, plus 3 teens and an 11 year old. I went with my oldest to get her senior pictures, posted my 100th blog, made a fabulous curry with chicken, sweet potatoes, and white potatoes for dinner, and afterwards watched the Olympics with my family…

Tomorrow…is Saturday, so no school and it’s cartoon day too. Veg-out time.

5 snacks I enjoy:
Choco-Choco-Chip Cookies
sardines and taco chips(yes, together)
Potato Chips (I refuse to have them in the house, I like them so much!)

5 things I’d do with $100,000,000:
–Build a new bigger house with plenty of room to adopt a few more kids.
–Adopt a few more kids.
–Establish a foundation to help families who couldn’t afford to adopt but would like to.
— Travel the US for 6 months with all the kids
— Volunteer in Ethiopia with my family, setting a foundation up that would provide long-term funding for new wells, better schools, teacher salaries, and school tuition for needy families.
–See more of the world and take my whole family along.
— Invest for retirement and college/house down payments for our kids.

5 places I’d like to run away to visit for awhile:
— Hawaii
— Ethiopia
— Korea
— The ocean
— the mountains

5 bad habits I have:
–Being too hard on myself
–Being impatient
–Waiting til the last minute to get ready to leave someplace
–Leaving my shoes all over the house
–Talking about myself too much (see, there I go again!)

5 things I like doing:
–Hang out with my family
–Go on a date with my hubby
–Go to the bookstore

5 TV shows I like:
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Grey’s Anatomy
The news
Hmmm….. that’s all the TV I watch

5 Movies I Like:
Rogers and Hammerstein Cinderella (with Brandi and Whitney)
Father of the Bride 2
You’ve Got Mail
The Sound Of Music
Meet Me In St. Louis

5 biggest joys at the moment:
God, always.
My husband, always.
My kids, always.
A warm sunny day.
The first crocus of spring, found in my yard this afternoon.

Where’s The Sheep?

Here’s my 1 year old playing outside today in what my 3 year old calls her ‘shepherd’ coat. Can you guess what she really meant to say?

If you guessed leopard, you win! Rocks In My Dryer is asking for cute sayings along those lines too– go help her make a list!

My Hundredth Post!!!

OK, I’m a little embarrassed at how quickly I made it to my hundredth post, but in time-honored blogger tradition, here are

(In no particular order)
1. I grew up the oldest of 8 kids.
2. I grew up a preacher’s kid.
3. My elementary school (K-8) consisted of about 20 pupils and was taught by my dad.
4. I can speed read.
5. I type with 2 fingers on each hand and I‘m good at it.
6. I have 5 younger sisters.
7. Both my brothers make their livings as computer gurus.
8. I was 17 when I met my hubby in Precalculus class.
9. I’ve been married half my life.
10. I spent one month of my life as a pregnant (married) teenager.
11. I’m left-handed.
12. Two of my children are left handed too, included one of my adopted kids.
13. I read the entire Tolkien series at least 5 times as a teenager.
14. Two months after I got my license, I drove my parent’s van cross-country pulling a travel trailer.
15. One year as a kid I went snow-skiing 17 times.
16. I am ridiculously fond of getting the mail.
17. I fight with my daughters for the privilege.
18. Maybe we should get out of the house more.
19. I love sushi, lasagna, and sardines.
20. I’ve been to Disneyland and Disneyworld.
21. I’ve been to the top of the St. Louis Arch.
22. I’ve seen the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.
23. I’ve seen Cape Canaveral.
24. I’ve been to Ethiopia twice.
25. I’ve been to Korea twice.
26. I’ve been to London, Cairo, Jordan, and Frankfurt–at the airport, anyway.
27. I attended the 2002 Winter Olympics in SLC with hubby and 6 kids. It was awesome!
28. I love yard-saling
29. I worked in OB as a registered nurse for 10 years.
30. I have delivered about 30 babies by myself (pokey doctors/speedy mamas!)
31. My mom and my sister are nurses too.
32. I knew I’d be a nurse even at age 5 when I founded a doll’s ‘Poke-Eye Hospital’ named after a sadly-injured doll.
33. I like to prune trees. Very much to my husband’s dismay.
34. I have a plate and 5 screws in my left arm from falling off a horse and breaking my arm 5 years ago.
35. I do not beep due to the metal when going through airport security.
36. I broke my wrist the next year.
37. I was very cranky about it.
38. I was maid-of-honor twice during the same pregnancy
39. I have an BAD book-buying obsession.
40. So much so that my hubby is currently building me more bookshelves.
41. I learned to drive stick-shift on a green 1959 Chevy pickup named “Hiyahowa”
42. My first car was a white AMC Hornet
43. My current car is a black 15 passenger van.
44. Each of our 3 vehicles has a stroller stashed in the back of it.
45. I have been fingerprinted 8 times (for adoptions!)
46. I still have my manger scene up. Actually, two. Yes, from Christmas.
47. I used to tease my mom for doing the same thing.
48. I’ve had 3 computers since 1996.
49. There are 4 working computers in our home right now (knock on wood.)
50. My favorite candy bar is either Butterfingers or Mounds.
51. Or Reeses.
52.I was in a Junior Miss Pageant when I was 17.
53. I read “The Silver Chair” by CS Lewis 7 times when I was a kid.
54. I once worked at McDonalds but quit when the boss tried to pinch me where he shouldn’t have.
55. I worked at a car wash one summer and learned the names of all the cars.
56. I worked at a fabric store but spent my paycheck on fabric as fast as I made it.
57. I still love to sew when I get the chance.
58. I once owned a gift basket business.
59. I love to cook as long as I don’t have to clean up.
60. I cook most of our food from scratch.
61. I’ve bought about a dozen Happy Meals in my whole life. Yeah, weird mom, deprived kids. Get over it.
62. I can cook Ethiopian and Korean food along with most ordinary US cuisine.
63. I spend about $600-$700 a month for groceries
64. I had Merry Maids come to my house once.
65. I wish I could get them to come back without having to fork over the dough.
66. I get my frugal gene from my German grandma who is in heaven now.
67. I am typing at this moment with two kids on my lap.
68. Usually I only have one kid on my lap while typing.
69. Almost all my computer time happens while my baby naps in my arms or after she’s asleep for the night.
70. My baby is showing signs that she may soon be going from two naps to one nap in a day.
71. This saddens me.
72. I love self-help books and quizzes.
73. My ‘love language’ is Acts of Service.
74. I’m an INTJ, (I think)
75. I’ve homeschooled my kids for 11 years.
76. When I got my new ring last week, I almost got in a car wreck while admiring it.
77. I love garlic and hot peppers.
78. I have a story published in a “Chicken Soup” book.
79. Early on in my writing career, I wrote a murder mystery.
80. It was rejected by all the finest publishers.
81. My mom, however, swore it was wonderful. (Thanks, mom!)
82. I survived natural childbirth FOUR times!! (Thanks partly to my mom!)
83. I was in labor for 34 hours with my first baby.
84. My first child was born three months before I got out of nursing school.
85. I brought her to lectures and sat in the back of class nursing her and taking notes.
86. I was able to breastfeed all my bio kids and some of my adopted kids.
87. It’s OK if you think that’s weird. My babies and I did not.
88. I studied German for 3 years and completed the entire 2-CD course of Rosetta Stone Korean.
89. Last summer I spent 27 (non-consecutive) days camping with 8 kids, a hubby and a dog (travel trailer, toilet, shower, microwave–don’t feel too sorry for me.).
90. I have at least one scrapbook for each of my 8 children.
91. I take at least a hundred pictures of my kids each month.
92. My favorite book on adoption is “Attaching In Adoption” by Deborah Gray.
93. One of my favorite parenting books is, “Hold On To Your Kids” by Gordon Neufeld.
94. My kids say you’ll think I’m weird after you read this, but say they’re used to me.
95. My son says too many of these sentences begin with ‘I” (But isn’t that what this list is all about?)
96. I saved the best stuff about me till last.
97. I am blessed with 8 beautiful children.
98. I would love more children if finances and my hubby are favorable at the same time someday.
99. I have the best hubby in the world.
100. I’m only a sinner saved by God’s grace.