Tuesday, April 26, 2011

10 Lessons We Learned This Easter

1.  It's a treat to have Andrew and Rachel home for Easter.

2. Make sure to find out that your brother and wife will stay in a hotel and won't need your bedroom before you spend all afternoon cleaning it.  (I promise I didn't know this before and I would say I'm sorry Erica, but it was nice to see your carpet again.)

3.  Our cats don't like little dogs. Stubby spent most of Friday evening glaring and growling at Christina's friend's cute little Shemu Emu lapdog. The cats probably thought, "It's not a dog because dogs are big. It's our size but it's not a cat. If we glare at it long enough, it might leave."

3a. Speaking of dogs, Christina learned that if she didn't shut her bedroom door at night, Mally, the Beagle we're babysitting, likes to climb in bed with her and snores.  If she's not diligent to make sure he gets outside at the proper times, he leaves "leetle bombs" on her bedroom floor. :)

4.  You never know quite what to expect when you ask your Dad to borrow his swim trunks.

5. A great way to amuse yourself while waiting for church to start is to take pictures.

5. Walk carefully during the "Greet one Another" time in church. Erica will be glad to explain why it's important to make sure one shoe is not tangled up in the other shoe before taking a step and how to save face if you've tripped when you're sitting in the front row.

6.  Check your husband's wardrobe before he leaves the house for church. (Does your pastor wear suspenders and colorful ties?)

7.  Be sure the crockpot is turned on before you leave for church or your meatballs will be cold when you arrive home expecting to be greeted by the luscious smell of a ready Easter dinner.

8.  Understand that it takes awhile to corral the kids to take a family picture. 

(Two's a good start. Can we get the rest of you over here? )

(Could you all please simmer down?)

9.  Plan to take at least 50 pictures before you get one that works.  Stand on a little bench if your children are taller than you.

10.  Cherish the moments when you can all be together. It's a part of life for children to grow up and live their own lives, but it's really nice on occasion to have all the chicks in the nest at one time. Bye Andrew and Rachel, we'll miss you! Thanks for coming home.

Check out Oswald Cuties for more Easter Monday Mugs.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

This and That

I've got a boatload of things that need done for the Easter weekend but can't work up the energy to get going without an adrenaline rush. When it's two hours before dinner tomorrow, my body will dump massive amounts of adrenaline in my blood stream and by golly, this house will get cleaned. I'm a hearty subscriber to the "Nothing cleans like company theory."

I've been working hard on our church's first pictoral directory. We wanted an inexpensive, simple-to-make, easy-to-update way for our congregation to put names with faces. Another lady helped take pictures. What a chore! Either she took pictures or they could email a digital photo. Oy!! How hard is it to line your family up, take a picture, and email it? I should have asked the teenagers to help with this project. They take and upload pictures all the time. Keith brought home the first sample last night. Oh my. For cheap and simple it turned out nice but it won't stay current for long. An elderly lady died this week and a baby is due next week. 

Christina put the van in the ditch after youth group last night. She's had enough family teasing of late so I resisted the urge to make a whole blog post about it, but some things are too good not to give a little mention. It's usually funny when you look back on it. (Right, Christina? We're not laughing at you...)

My Mom's been in the hospital this week out in Portland, Oregon.  She has Emphysema among other things and probably only has 25 % lung capacity.  It doesn't take much to put her in the hospital. She was in ICU for a few days but is now back on the regular floor.Won't be much fun for her to spend Easter in the hospital.

Mally just walked in the back door. As in Mally, short for Malice, the middle-aged beagle that belongs to the Kathy who ran over our garbage can last week. Kathy's Mom is in the last stages of liver cancer so Mally needs somewhere to stay for awhile.

Mally is easy to have around but Andrew and Rachel, and two of Christina's friends and their dog are coming for the Easter weekend. Come tomorrow evening we'll have 12 people, four dogs, and two cats under one roof. 

Maybe I should just go to Wal-Mart and not leave until I have everything I need for the weekend. Just stand at the meat counter and ask fellow shoppers what they plan to have for dinner. Or assign each child an Easter dinner component and see what we come up with. Hot dogs anyone?

Okay, I need to be the adult here. Time to get productive. I think I can, I think I can...

Blessings on your Easter weekend. May it be a special time of faith, family, and friends.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

All's Well That Ends Well

It's a good thing I have kids so there's something to blog about. This week the girls provided another doozy.

Keith and I were five hours away at a conference. The two youngest spent the week with their brother and his wife, leaving the oldest four at home to fend for themselves.

A Facebook spot check turned up this post by Nathan, the adopted college student from my last post.

Nathan: Hey Christina Vik, how do you get a garbage can out from under a car at 1 in the morning?..... you need 3 people and a saw.

Since my kids and their friends regularly quote movies, songs, or YouTube videos and I don't understand half of what they say, I figured Nathan was referencing an inside joke. 

Then I remembered that the trash was supposed to be taken out the night before. Keith hadn't told the girls to take the garbage out before we left. What were the odds they'd remember on their own?

I commented on Nathan's Facebook post, "I'm hoping this was a hypothetical question."

Keith took it at face value, saying, "I bet someone ran over the garbage can." That made the most sense, but what about Nathan's reference to the saw?

Finally Keith called Christina and asked what happened to the garbage can. She naturally wondered how her Dad found out. When we said Facebook, she probably considered unfriending me. 

We weren't mad. I ran over the same garbage can myself two years ago and blogged about it here. But the question begs, what was the saw used for?

Turns out Polar Plunging, Motorcyle Mama Christina and her friend Kathy, of the skunk-sprayed dog fame, were watching Dave Ramsey DVD's at our house. Erica had put the garbage out earlier and Kathy backed over the garbage can when she left. 

She didn't realize what had happened and wondered what the strange noise was. Then she came back to our house to figure out the problem. They looked under the car and the can had bent in half and lodged in the undercarriage. 

They tried pushing, kicking, huffing and puffing, but nothing dislodged the garbage can. Christina called Nathan who tried pushing, kicking, huffing, and puffing with the same results. Finally he took the saw and cut the can out. Mind you a week's worth of garbage was still meshed in the tangled garbage can. 

So now we have a nice new black garbage can which is actually bigger than the old one. 

All I can say Christina, is you've gone above and beyond to do your part to provide blog fodder for awhile. You might want to let one of your siblings take a turn.


August 2009, Keith received the following email:

Dear Dad,

We, your wonderful, sweet, loving catless daugthers, submit the following:

10 Reasons Why We Should Get a Cat Now!!!

1. Potty-training a cat is easier in the summer when it's warm.

2. We're used to having cats and we love them and miss having them to play with.

3. We’ll take care of it, PROMISE. You won’t have to do a thing, except clean up an occasional hairball.

4. We win 5 to 1 in a family vote.

5. If us kids wanted to spoil the cat we could pay our own money for toys, treats, and soft food.

6. We need something to play with. You have the Wii to play with and now we need a kitty.

7. Cats aren't that much trouble. We could be asking for ferrets or a chipmunk, maybe even a raccoon.

8. The place in our hearts for loving dogs is OVERFLOWING but our place for loving kitties is EMPTY.

9. We are all old enough to be responsible and mature with this cat and take the burden off your shoulders.

10. Children normally like animals more than adults do.

Your hopeful cat-loving daughters,
Erica, Anna, Amy, and Lani

P.S. The dogs said they don’t mind

So after weeks of negotiations, Dad gave the okay.
First the girls had to pick from five kittens.

Call me crazy, but I'm a firm believer that cats are part of the whole happy childhood thing.

They chose a sweet good-natured black and white kitten.

We took a week to decide on the proper name. A family vote decided the name "Inky." The girls (and the dog) loved Inky and thoroughly enjoyed him.

Unfortunately Inky died two weeks after we brought him home. The girls were hugely disappointed so it was back to the drawing board and back to our friend's house to pick out another cat.

After losing one kitten, they didn't want to take any chances. They wanted a backup cat so this time we brought home two of the cutest kittens ever. We named them Stubby and Chubby. Stubby doesn't have a tail, hence the name. Chubby was bigger, only now Stubby is, but he's stuck with the name anyway. We've had them since they were little kittens but they're lots bigger now.

So now the pets are one big happy family.

We have two golden retrievers, one short and fat with a tail, and one tall and skinny without a tail. Now we have two black cats, one chubby with a tail, and one without a tail. Do you notice a pattern here?

I saw when I got up this morning, that they'd pulled down one of my dining room curtains. They are a bit rambunctious but we all enjoy them. Even Keith. We are satisfied customers.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pawsitively Adorable Guest Blogger

Since I've noticed this blog doesn't give all family members equal exposure, I commandeered the blog today to rectify the situation.

Allow me to introduce myself.

I joined the family three years ago and was one very cute baby, if I do say so myself.

After a LONG drawn-out, convoluted decision making process, my family named me Tucker, although some days they forget and call me other things. Seriously, who would name their dog, "Stupid," or "You Idiot?"

I LOVE the girls and live to be near them. I sleep with Amy or with guests, like Kiah's old boyfriend, Mark, when he came for Easter. Some people infer that I'm a bed hog but that can't be true.

I used to stare at the lady who feeds me until she woke up. She hated when I put my cold wet nose on her cheek when she was sleeping. Now I just climb in bed with her until she lets me out to do my business and then gives me my morning portion of Pedigree dog food. Life is good.

Sometimes the girls share their clothes with me. I prefer not to wear girl clothes, but masculine items are hard to find in this household.

Jessie and I hang out a lot together, although she doesn't like to wrestle as much as I do.

I've been told I'm too big to be a lap dog,
but can I help it I like to snuggle?

I miss living in the country and having unlimited squirrels and rabbits to chase. But town has so many more people to bark at. I love to be out on the front porch and watch the world go by.

I admit, I'll do almost anything for attention.

Sometimes we walk down to Lake Superior where the big guy has a bad habit of throwing perfectly good wood away. I run after them and bring them back, hoping he'll get tired of being wasteful.

What's really frustrating is the thanks I get for dashing into Lake Superior to save their sticks is they make me stay outside when we get home until I dry off because some people think wet dog doesn't smell good.

I might have a few annoying qualities like digging up the yard, rifling through bathroom garbage, tracking mud in the house, sniffing people's backsides, leaving dog hair everywhere, and throwing up from time to time, but I'm working on it. I've also been accused of stalking my family. I love them so much and I know they love me. I mean, with a face like this, what's not to love?

Thanks for reading my post. Stop by if you're in the neighborhood. I love having new people to bark at. Or sleep with.

Next week's theme is Winter.

Monday, April 11, 2011

How to Adopt a College Student

1. Invite a young college student over for dinner

2. Discover a mutual love for Dutch Blitz 
(A favorite conversation went like this)

Christina:  We'll have to teach Nathan how to play Dutch Blitz.
Nathan: (insert cocky tone) TEACH ME (extra emphasis) how to play Dutch Blitz?

Apparently he already knew how to play and we didn't have to teach him. Sweet!

3. Make the adoption official
(another favorite conversation)

Amy - At the other church in town, they adopt college students
Lani - Then let's adopt Nathan
Amy - We didn't adopt him, he adopted us.

4. Go to his hockey games. 

 5. After his hockey game, play six games of volleyball, eat too much raw cookie dough, and play Dutch Blitz, then have your youngest girls take advantage of the tired guy's good nature.

Start with a brown winter hat

Add sunglasses

Add American flag because he's Canadian

Switch hats and add Mom's reading glasses

Add gloves and math problem since he hates math

Top it off with rose, necklaces, and stuffed animal

6. Take his picture for the church directory

7. Make his hair look like Justin Bieber's

8. Plop babies on his lap

9. Share meals, Bible studies, prayer requests, jokes, You Tube videos, Facebook insults. Watch movies. Play lots of games. Stuff with cookies. 

10. Take him on Book Across the Bay with us and rename him "Eric."

11. After he yanked Christina's chain by telling her that Canadians club baby seals as a rite of passage. (Please know he was just kidding), post baby seal pictures on his Facebook wall.

Pretending to be a baby seal

Erica pretends to club him

Erica drags the seal home

12.  Discover you know mutual friends. His Canadian father went to college many moons ago in Southern California with people we met when we lived in Colorado. What a small world.  

13. Let him fight back

  We sincerely hope that's a different carrot
than the one he stuck up Christina's nose.

It's been a fun year.

  Thanks so much for adopting us. 

We'll miss you.