Monthly Archives: October 2009

Hairy Tales

If you hair is down to your ankle
and your eyebrows can’t be found.
If your curls and locks really rankle
and bad hair days are common ground….

Have we got a do for you!

Hairy tales, hairy tales,
Hairy tales, Hairy tales…..

Just kidding! We don’t really want to torture you with ALL the strange renditions of Veggie Tales that we come up with. So, no more torture, here is the post:

Paul has been promising Jacob and James haircuts for a while. (Poor guy is swamped with work, school, church, family) The other day Jacob came running into our bedroom just after Paul had left for work.

“Dad! Dad?”

I though the distressed call was because he had forgotten that dad gave him kisses while he was still climbing out of bed. “Daddy left already. He gave you kisses, remember?”

“But he needs to give me a haircut.”

I smiled and tousled his hair which was beginning to curl and poke out in little wings above his ears. “He will when he has time, son.”

“But mom,” his tone was now exasperated and he reached up to tug on his hair, “I’m starting to look like Emily!”

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Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob, Music, Things Kids Say

Veggie Wars

For days on end, possibly even weeks my husband and I have had the theme song to Veggie Tales stuck in our heads – to the extant that we have both memorized the entire song. We can’t seem to go anywhere without spontaneously breaking into song. On the rare moment I might acutally be thinking of something else one of the children inevitably starts singing the catchy little tune.

It’s hummable, it’s singable, it’s cute and quirky and about fun-loving vegetables, but after the four thousandth, five hundreth, and seventy third time something has got to be done.

And do it we did.

We re-wrote it.

This is the parent’s version. The version where all parent’s relate because we know what would really happen if we turned our children loose (especially the boys) in the produce aisle.

I give you:

Veggie Wars

If you like to squash ripe tomatoes
And can throw them half a mile
If green beans can become fiery missiles
Launched at people in the produce aisle.

Then have we got a show for you.

Veggie wars, veggie wars,
Veggie wars, veggie wars
Veggie wars, veggie wars,
Veggie wars – veggie wars.

Potato Bombs
Thrown at moms
Give no qualms
Veggie wars

Bazooka beans
In camo greens
Go unseen
Veggie wars

Cauliflower
With Ninja power
Makes you cower
Veggie wars

There’s never ever ever ever ever
Been a war like veggie wars
There’s never ever ever ever ever
Been a war like veggie wars

It’s time for veggie Wa-a-a-a-a-rs!

(please feel free to sing, and if you aren’t sure of the tune, click on the link above – it will take you to the real theme song so you can practice 😉 )

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Filed under Every Day Life, Humor, Music, Writing

Silver Lake Writer’s Retreat 2009

Last Thursday I woke in a panic as the doorbell sounded at 6:00 in the morning. I cursed my alarm (which I checked twice the night before to make sure it was set right – evil thing) and dove into the shower while my husband answered the door to let my friend, Christine, know that I would by ready in a few minutes. While they loaded my stuff, I sped through the shower, dressed and jammed a hat on my head. Not exactly the way I wanted to make my first impression on the writing retreat – I was just praying I didn’t have to do my presentation until Friday or Saturday. 😀 (At least I remembered my camera, unlike last year)

After an enjoyable 6-7 (with stops) hour drive (it really was enjoyable – there were no screaming kids, we didn’t have to stop every hour for the nearest bathroom, and I didn’t have to dodge missiles even once – I just enjoyed adult conversation for the whole time – woot!) we arrived at beautiful Silver Lake rec area in Whatcom County, Washington (practically in Canada). With relief I found out I didn’t have to present until Friday (yay – no hat head) and I was able to relax for a while, do some exploring, and settle into our cabin (we had the one with the bathroom – so no showering in the freezing cold bath house with quarter fed hot water – woot!)

Oh! And true to my name, I had my one goofy moment. Luckily, no one was around to witness it :-D. (I just have the painful bruises on my knees and left leg as evidence.)

Retreat 2009-001

In this collage (going from left to right, top to bottom):

1. This is the view of the lake from our cabin.
2. The Main lodge. Down below you can see some canoes and boats – Upstairs you can see the glass windows – that was the day lodge where all our presentations took place.
3. Row Boats – we had one canoe and one rowboat rented. I took the rowboat out with Wendy, and we had a blast rowing about the lake. 😀
4. I LOVE Cattails and I haven’t seen one in a really long time – I was positively giddy to see so many around this lake – it made me happy 🙂
5. Silver Lake
6. This is the beautiful little bridge we walked over every morning and evening to get back and forth from our cabin to the main lodge. I think I took a zillion pictures of it.

Retreat 2009-002

1. I made friends with this Canadian Goose. Really. I did. Well, I suppose if you ask Christine, SHE will say I was chasing it, but really I wasn’t – I was just following it around with a camera. It did hiss at me though, I thinking it was having relationship issues 😉
2. My Bridge, my bridge, I love my bridge
3. While the leaves were just starting to turn (it had been warmer than last year, so we didn’t have as much color), the reflection in the lake was astounding.
4. My in front of the cabin – cabin 7
5. The complaint department – I just died laughing when I saw this. 🙂
6. There was this beautiful leave floating on top of the water right by the bridge. We also were spying on several crawdads, but I couldn’t get very good pictures of them.

Aside from exploring and soaking up the gorgeous scenery around us, we had plenty of time to write, visit, and write some more. There were some great presentations. We learned everything from time management with Marsha Ward, to Internet savyness with Liz Adair, and Writing Humor with Kersten Campbell. It was so fun chatting with all the other ladies and hearing about their projects and making new friends.

Retreat 2009-003

Everyone was so wonderful and amazing – and talented – it was a pleasure to hang out with them for a weekend.

Now, I know I haven’t said much about my presentation as I was preparing it, but now the time has come. I did Ninja Writing: Enhancing your writing through using your environment (including the 5 senses in your writing), the element of surprise (humor), and setting traps (foreshadowing – what it is and how to do it). I felt really good about how the whole thing went and, after much encouragement, I think I might send in a book proposal for it. I even had cool ninja masks for everyone! (and I wore my goofy slippers)

Retreat 2009-004
(Thanks to Wendy who took the awesome Ninja Photos!)

Saturday almost came too quickly and I can’t wait for next year. I arrived home to find everyone not only alive, but happy – and the house was even clean! I have the most amazing husband ever. Oh, and 911 was only called once! (more on that in the next post…)

P.S – This morning I got my first rejection for The Heart of the Castle – Woot! 😀

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Filed under Nature, Photography, Writing

Limes Float

Dorothy had decided Monday that for our special family night treat we would have lime sherbet floats, but she wanted to keep it a secret. We were seated at the table for dinner when one of the children asked if they could have a cookie for desert. Paul started to say yes when I gave him a swift kick. Under my breath I hissed at him, “Lime floats.”

Children always have a keen sense of hearing when you DON’T want them to hear (just not when you DO want them to hear, heh). Elizabeth pipes up. “Lime Floats!” With a very please-with-herself grin.

I shot Paul a mischievous grin and turned to Elizabeth. “Really? Limes float?”

“That’s not what-” she began when I cut her off and turned to Paul.

“You know that is a great idea. It would be a fun experiment. I happen to have a lime in the fridge because I didn’t get the pico made the other day.”

Catching on quick he smiled and rose from the table. He filled a pitcher with water, extracted the lime from the fridge and plunked it inside with a soft splash.

“Well?” I asked.

He walked over to the table and plunked the pitcher in the middle. “There’s your lime float Liz.”

There were many giggles as each of the children peaked in the picture to see the lime floating serenely in the pitcher. After everyone had taken a peak he snagged Liz’s cup and pored some water in her cup. “There you go. Lime float!”

She laughed and then said his name, using the two-tone approach. “Da-ad.”

“She right! You forgot something,” I proclaimed. I reached into the pitcher and pluck the lime from the water, then proceeded to drop it into her cup. “Now you have an honest to goodness lime float.”

Finally after we were all finished laughing, Elizabeth pipes up. “I meant a float with lime ice-cream.”

Paul looks her in the eye. “I can honestly tell you we have no lime ice-cream whatsoever.”

Faces fell and Dorothy tried to smother a smirk, though her eyes sparkled merrily. Finally it was time for desert and we plunked a carton of lime sherbet and a bottle of Squirt on the table.

Elizabeth eyed the sherbet dubiously. “Da-ad, you said we didn’t have any lime ice-cream.”

I smiled at her and answered for my husband. “We don’t. This is sherbet. Ice-cream and sherbet are two completely different things. They don’t make lime ice-cream.”

She rolled her eyes at me and excepted her cup with a grin. I must say everyone seemed to enjoy their lime SHERBET floats amidst much laughter.

(Did I ever mention that we love to play with our kids minds? hee hee hee)

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Filed under Children, Dot, Humor, Lizy, Parenting

Maybe that is how they got so long

In my family growing up we always joked about ape arms. We were notorious for long limbs – my brother’s “wing span” is longer than his height. Yesterday I had a few errands to run and I decided to bring Dorothy with me for some mommy-daughter time.

We arrived home and Dorothy, eager to help, gathered up all the grocery bags. While they weren’t hugely heavy we had a few bottles of pop because she wanted to have lime sherbet floats for desert. She struggled up to the door and turned towards me, her arms hanging at her sides, the weight pulling on them.

“Mom,” she asks in all sincerity, “if you carry heavy things all the time, will it stretch your arms out?”

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Filed under Dot, Humor, Things Kids Say

Fall (the season, silly – what were you thinking?)

Autumn

Trees don their burnt orange frocks
Before midnight winter   stealthily   steels   in.
Leaves dance
                      dizz-
                    ily
                      down-
                    ward;
A crisp crinkly crunch                 my feet.
                                  beneath

Apples polished to a shiny rosy red.
Enameled teeth
        sink
into white flesh
With an audible cool crunch and juice,
Dribbling
delectably,
descends
my chin.

Pointy
pencils scrape paper;
Inhale the scent of wooded lead
And the dusky pulpy
Pages of books barely opened.

The wind, now bold and brisk,
Bites my cheeks and teases my hair
Into a frenzied flurry of chaos, chasing clouds across the sky.

-J.H. Schmidt

I love fall. I love the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and wet earth as the rain sets in. I love the grins on kids faces as they return to school, and the feeling of slightly more time to get things done.

Back to School-001

Back to School-002

I love the sound of laughter as leaves are raked and piles jumped into. I love pumpkins bright and orange and bouncing behind the tractor on a hay ride. I love the cheering and flushed faces as the kids kick the soccer ball down the field.

Soccer-002

Soccer-003

Soccer-001

Soccer-004

This time of year is SO much fun! I can’t wait to go to the pumpkin patch with the kids and rake the leaves. I feel positively giddy! 😀

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Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Jacob, Lizy, Nature, Poetry, Sports, Writing

I Think I’ll Pat Myself On The Back Now

I am pleased. Though I started the month out procrastinating horribly, I still managed to meet all the goals I had set for myself for September. I have done my final edit of The Heart of the Castle (AKA Forbidden Fairytale), written the query letter, re-vamped the synopsis, and have a list of 21 agents to start sending it to – I’ll send them out in groups of 7 over the next few weeks. I have my 90 minute presentation for the writing retreat (which is next weekend) completely prepared all the way down to the visual aids and hand outs. Now I just have to not be horribly nervous and terrified while talking to a bunch of women (some of which are published and fabulous authors) about writing. I’m excited… I think 😀 I read through one of my friend’s books too.

There is just something about accomplishing the goals you set that is hugely satisfactory. It makes me grin. 😀

This year we have also decided to have a homemade Christmas. Well, as homemade as possible anyway. Things are tight, we are trying to figure out what we are doing with buying a house soon (my parents get home from their mission next spring), and Paul is starting to look for better employment. We have no idea what will be happening in the next 6 months, so we figure we should save as much as we can. As a result I am going to be doing a bunch of sewing and creating over the next little while. The biggest project I am diving into is making a quilt for each of the girls. Their comforters are shot and they desperately need new ones. I had a bunch of old jeans (I think some were even mine) that was sitting around waiting to be turned into quilts anyway, so I decided it was time to do something about it.

Solid denim quilts tend to get very heavy so I went to the fabric store in August and got a bunch of cheap clearenced girly prints. They are just block quilts – nothing fancy, but they are going to be so cute! I got one quilt top done Tuesday (except for borders) and another yesterday. Today I am working on the last quilt top. Then I just need to cut borders and work on putting them together. I want to do quilts for the boys too at some point – but their comforters are still fairly new and in excellent condition – It would seem a shame to replace them so soon, but I am sorely tempted…

We are going simple for Halloween -I don’t have time for fancy creative costumes this year. We had talked about doing superheros, but I wasn’t sure about it until I was at the fabric store a week ago and hit the jackpot. I was there to get some stuff for my writer’s retreat presentation (I tell you more about it after I give it) and was thrilled to see it on sale. Then I headed over to the clearance section. I managed to get enough material to make each kid a cape – I didn’t spend more than $3 a yard for any of it (some of it was even only $1 a yard)! So, they are going to be super heros after all – but of their own making. They can name themselves and decide what they are heroes of.

So my October goals will be surviving the Writer’s Retreat, finishing the quilts and costumes and starting on some of the other Christmas ideas I had. I need to re-vamp my query for Belinda and the Beastly Neighbor and start to get an agent list together for that one too – it’s in contest right now, but I should know how it fared by the end of October and it will be free to start sending out again then. I am also working on a new book and I would love to make progress on that too. Hopefully October will be even more productive than September. Oh, and of course to send in my queries for The Heart of the Castle to the agents on my list. Wish me luck!!

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Filed under Hobby, Writing