Tag Archives: make believe

Oh Frabjous Day!

Today’s post is brought to by “The Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carrol and by James.

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the Mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the jubjub bird and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”


He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought-
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.



And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!



One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead , and with its head
He went galumphing back.




“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.


‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the Mome raths outgrabe.



Filed under Children, James, Photography

Born to Be a Chef

I had to tell Jacob the other day that he could put the toy pots and pans on the real stove. “But I need to cook dinner,” he explained. I proceeded to let him cook on the counter beside the stove and watched as he stirred his pots of plastic fruits and vegetables.

He is fascinated by what I do in the kitchen, always wanting to “holp” and forever underfoot, but i try my best to not get impatient and find simple tasks for him to do. Some times he sneaks into the kitchen when I am not looking and interesting things result. Apparantly he had spent some time the other day unnoticed in the kitchen, because when I returned home from my quiet writing/editing time at a quaint local bookstore, my husband told me to go look at the stove.

I panicked at first. My mother has one of those glass top stoves, and I was terrified someone had managed to damage it. “No, the stove is fine, just go take a look,” he insisted.

I entered the kitchen and there, sitting tucked partway beneath our cow-shaped tea kettle was a glodenrod-yellow sheet of paper. I examined the red scribble on the paper. A simple arrow pointed to the tea kettle with the words, “Look inside” beneath it. I picked up the kettle and pulled off the lid. As I peered inside, I cascaded in laughter.

There floating in the water were various plastic fruits and vegetables. I think a certain little boy was playing a chef that day.


Filed under Children, Jacob

Puppy Dog

Jacob frequently likes to pretend to be a puppy dog.  Sometime ago we discovered that he loved to play fetch. We would toss something across the room and off he would go scampering after it, sometimes on fours, sometimes not, but he would always retrieve it with his teeth and bring it back, dropping it at our feet.

Lately he frequently turns into a puppy dog around the house, following me around on all fours, barking and speaking in his doggy voice.  It is this cute high pitch voice that begins and ends with a bark.

“Ruff. Time get Emily? Ruff”

“Yes, we need to run errands fist.”

“Ruff. I get in car? Ruff.”

“Yup, puppy dog, lets get in the car.” I buckle him in and hand him his favorite stuffed dog that is limp around the neck from being constantly held and hauled everywhere. “Now puppy dog,” I say, “You can be puppy dog at home and in the car, but in the parking lot and store you need to be Jacob.”

“Ruff. Ok. Ruff”

So, we get to the store, I park, and open the door.  I get Jacob unbuckled and help him out. “Hi there Jacob, how ya doing?”

In the brightest most normal Jacob boy voice he can muster he looks at me, grins and says, “Great Mom!”

The other night Paul caught this further development of Jacob puppy dog on camera:

Jacob Puppy Dog  2

Jacob Puppy Dog 3

Jacob Puppy Dog 1

I better not ever tell him to go sleep in the dog house (or kennel as it may be) – he would probably take me seriously!



Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob

Go Fetch!

Ok, I know most of my posts have been about Jacob lately, and I promise I am not showing favoritism – he is just doing so many hilarious things lately.

I was cooking in the kitchen yesterday and Paul was playing with the boy on the otherside of our penisula counter (not an island because it is connected on one side 😉 ).  Paul’s roar of laughter caught my attention, so I began to watch.

 Paul tossed Jacob’s stuffed doggie into the next room with a jovial, “go fetch!”

Jacob dutifully ran after it, bent down and picked it up with his teeth and ran back to Paul.

“Drop,” Paul would command and Jacob would drop it at his feet, and excitedly wait for Daddy to throw the stuffed animal again.  They did this over and over.  It was absolutely hillarious to watch my husband playing fetch with my son.

Of course Jacob’s obsession with dogs doesn’t stop there.  Lately he and Emily have taken to crawling around the house for many fun filled hours of chasing each other and barking. 

I’m just waiting for him to start lapping water out of the dog bowl. 😉


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob

Little Man in the Kitchen

(This is my second time to write this, stupid internet decided to disconnect right when I hit the publish button – grumble grumble grumble) 🙂

For some reason Jacob is inexplicably drawn to the kitchen – well, maybe not inexplicably.  It is , after all, where all the food is.  We have to keep a gate across the entrance (a very tall gate that he cannot climb) to keep him from playing with dirty and clean dishes (trying to wash them), invading the fridge, emptying the cupboards, and playing with large sharp objects.  It just figures that the first drawer he discovers is the knife drawer, which I put a very quick kabash on, and thankfully he stays away from that one now.

Even though we try our hardest to keep him out of the kitchen he is allowed in there when I am, as long as he is now causing chaos while I am trying to cook.  Yesterday he wandered in while I was working in the kitchen and spotted the thawing chicken on a plate on the counter. Intrigued he couldn’t help reaching a chubby hand up to pat its icy coldness.

“Don’t touch,” I said as I scooped him up and carried him over to the sink.  After a good hand scrubbing, I plopped him back on the floor. He scanned the kitchen, no dought searching for a towell on which to dry his dripping hands.  Of course there were none (I got the laundry done, but is it put away? Of course not, I’m not super mom you know. 🙂 That is today’s project – I hope).  He proceeds to walk over to the oven, where a towell would usually hang, and beginds to run his wet hands all along the bar and down the front of the oven door.  Satisfied that he has taken care of the worst of the drips he scampers off to his next activity leaving me to stare at the drips running down the oven door and dissolve into giggles.

Fast forward to 30 minutes or so before dinner and I am once again in the kitchen.  The meat loaf is in the oven (the chicken was for my lunch), the salad is made, and I am husking corn for our first delicious corn on the cob of the summer.  Jacob comes in dragging a chair, thump-thumping, behind him.  He finds himself an oven mitt, measuring cup, old pot, and a wooden spoon and plops them all on the counter beside me.  With a loud grating noise he scoots the chair the rest of the way up agains the counter. Up he climbs, triumphantly waving a mitted hand in the air.  He proceeds to “cook” and after a bit, growing bored, he notices the salt and pepper shakers.  He begins to empty small ammounts into his pot, and I let him because real moms don’t mind a bit of salt and pepper wasted or a tiny mess from time to time.  He stirs some more and upon sampling his goopy gloppy invisible concoction lets out a self satisfying, “AHHHH!” and then, of course I am offered a sample of the glorious cooking, which I find to be very good indeed and copy his, “AHHHH!”

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I catch him licking the top of the pepper shaker! I am not astounded at the licking part – what kid hasn’t attempted it and succeeded before, I am amazed at the fact that it was the pepper and not the salt, and that he repeated the action.  I like pepper, so at least I know he takes after me. 🙂  I have a little pepper lover on my hand – he always has been rather peppy…. ok, corny bad joke, couldn’t resist, sorry.  🙂

Don’t worry though, I will clean the shaker – that is unless I see the shiny clean top and, forgetting that I haven’t done it yet, think I have already cleaned it. So, who wants to come over for dinner tonight?  heh 🙂


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob

Rogue Crocodile

The house was filled with squeals of terror last night when a crocodile somehow managed to make it into our living room. Honestly, I didn’t even realize that crocodiles inhabbit Oregon. I mean, we have the wet down pretty well, but not the warm…especially not right now. There have been a few rare cases though of crocodiles some how getting out of their normal habitat. In the early years between 75-85 we had frequently sightings of a vicious crocodile on our little farm where grew up in Pennsylvania…maybe it liked our pond. Though from personal experience, I can say it was not that great for swimming.

Anyway, back to our rogue crocodiles, there was also a female crocodile that attacked a family here in our little town rather frequently back in my highschool days. Rather a strange phenomenon, if you ask me.

So, last night, sure enough, lumbering around our living room was a giant crocodile trying to gobble up each of our rather reluctant children. Honestly, I was a little preoccupied with dinner, and their squeals sounded so charming, I left them to the whims of the beast. I have it on good authority, however, that those kids of mine managed to wrestle that croc over on his back, and just gobbled him right up.

You go girls!…and Jacob too. 🙂

If you are so completely confused about my cryptic post, this might help clear it up.


Filed under Children, Family

of Robin Hood and the Monkey Tree

I picked up a long straight stick; it was just shorter than my shoulder and about ½ to ¾ inches round. It wasn’t yew, but it would work just the same. I pulled out my pocketknife and proceeded to whittle off the bark and the knotholes. Finally notching both ends of the stick, I drew out my piece of string and firmly wound and fastened it to one end. Then pulling the string taught I bent the wood, winding and fastening the string to the opposite end of the stick. I tested it. It didn’t quite twang, but it was pretty good for such a quick job. I scavangered for some small sticks and then whittled them too, forming a point at the end of each one.

I ran inside and scrounged for a green shirt, threw it on atop of the others and charged outside, hollering something about important, be right back, before my mother could give me a list of chores to complete. I went down the hill to the barn where my brothers were waiting, with their green shirts on. “Ready?” they asked and I gave a nod of my head.

“Then off to Sherwood!” they shouted and we began to tramp past the barn and across the pastures to our little wood. Had we been toting our swords and the shields of King Arthur’s nights we would have battled the dragon at the edge of the forest. On tree rose far higher than the rest and the top of it was curled and bent into the shape of a dragon. It was appropriately named the dragon tree and on some nights, when it was silhouetted against the red sky as the sunset, it would almost come alive. But that was not our destination this day. We were headed into the heart of the wood to a tree we had dubbed the “Monkey Tree.”

It was twisted and gnarled and charred near the top, having been struck by lightning some time in the past. It was the perfect tree for play and climbing with branches leading out in all different directions and sloping up or down. Someone had made a tree house at one point, for there was a ladder nailed to the tree. Dad had made that the stopping point. We couldn’t climb higher than the bottom slat of the ladder. We understood and didn’t mind, we still had most of the tree to swing from and climb and eat apples in its recesses.

We hushed our riotous laughter as we neared Sherwood and swung our bows from off our backs. We each knocked an arrow into place. Snap! I whirled around searching for the unseen enemy. Kimball whispered what we all knew, “Sherwood has been discovered! There is a spy among us!” Our arrows flew sure and true striking the enemy and taking many of them down. But there were too many and we found ourselves pressed back to back against the tree. “Climb! We’ve got to climb, it’s our only escape!”

We frantically began to make our way up the tree until we were well above their heads, showering arrows down upon them. We were standing on a branch. Kimball pointed to our only escape route, a branch just a ways above and in front of us. My eyes alight with fire I nodded to show I understood. I slung my bow on my back and we prepared to jump. “One! Two! THREE!” We leapt across the gap and grabbed hold of the branch, soldiers shouting below us warning of our escape. We swung once, twice . . .CRACK! The sickening sound filled our ears as we fell through time and space until we crashed to the forest floor. Kimball landing upon my head, or at least something of his colliding with my head. The world exploded into a myriad of color. Groaning I tried to sit up. “J, you dead?” I heard him mumble as Paul came running up to us laughing.

“If I’m not dead yet, I will be soon. We’re surrounded and my bow is broken.” I held up my pitiful bow the two ends hanging limply from the once taught string. My brothers shook their heads and laughed as we staggered back to the house.

Some years later our adventures were ended permanently when the tree was struck again by lightening and it went down in a blaze, scorching a good portion of our little wood along with it. Sometimes I yearn to see the places we played and imagined as children, but then I am afraid I would find it so altered by time and nature that I would only see the ghosts of memories racing through the trees.


Filed under Farm Stories, Goofs, Personal History, Writing

Billy Goats Gruff

Once there were three little kids walking along a beautiful trail. They happened upon an old bridge and needed to cross it to the field of tiny daisies.
Trip-trip, trip-trip, trip-trip, skipped the first. She reached the middle when a booming voice echoed, “Whose that tripping over my bridge!”

She stopped, her eyes wide and looked back at daddy, and then she giggled.

“I’m going to come and gobble you up!” hollered the voice as the skipping turned into fleeing footsteps almost drowned out in squeals.

Then came the second. She came along with a STOMP, STOMP, STOMP. And when she reached the middle the booming voice echoed, “Whose that stomping over my bridge!”

She stopped and then rapidly stomped her feet even harder shaking dirt from the bridge making the voice cough, “I’m going to come and gobble *cough* you up!”

“Oh, no you won’t, I’ll gobble you up!” she replied.

“Not if I gobble you first!” and with an evil laugh a hand shot up and snatched at her ankle sending her shrieking for safety.

Finally the third walked onto the bridge with a steady clomp, clomp, clomp. She knew what was coming.

“Whose that clomping over my bridge?”

“Is that you mom?”

“No, it’s a mean old troll and I’m coming up to gobble you up!”


“I’m not?”


As her footsteps disappear and I begin to dislodge myself a ferocious whomping of feet sound upon my bridge.

“Oh,my,” says the troll, somewhat surprised. “Who is that whomping on my bridge!”

“It is I, the daddy billy goat, and I eat trolls!”

So, down the trail I was chased by my hubby billy goat and his kids 3.


Filed under Dot, Em, Family, Humor, Lizy, Writing

Crocodile Hunters

By J.H. Schmidt

We are crocodile hunters
My sisters and I
We’ll hunt those crocs
Till the day we die

We try to find them
Big and green
And sometimes when we find em
They’re real mean

Em is the smallest and
Easy to disguise
But she can be distinguished
By the gleam in her eyes

But don’t be fooled
By her sweet appearance
She can catch that croc
With no interference

Up she sneaks
With a laugh and a giggle
She’ll catch him right
Around The middle

He’s no match for her
Shear delight
And before you know it he’s
Given up the fight.

Dot is next
She’s sittin’ in the middle
But she’ll have that croc
Frying on the griddle

She’s not too short
And she’s not too tall
She’ll catch that croc comin
Down the hall

She’ll stare him down with her
Dark brown eyes
There is no need for the
Element of surprise

Before you know it
And faster than you think
She’ll snag that croc
As quick as a wink

She’ll flip him around
With a great big tickle
And gobble him down
Like a huge green pickle.

I’m the oldest and the
Bravest of the team
And to catch a big croc
Is my fondest dream

I won’t sneak
Or stare with a frown
I’ll give a yell
And wrestle him down

With a tickle and a poke
A screech and bellow
That green croc
Will turn a pale yellow

I’ll find that tummy
And give it a gobble
And away that old
Croc will slowly hobble

We’ll sound our war cry
And shout hooray!
We’ll return home
The victors of the day

But don’t you worry
The game is not done
I’m sure will come a day
When the croc will have won.
-J.H. Schmidt

I wrote this last year as a tribute to my dad. Crocodile was a favorite game of ours to play with him and I play it with my kids and I am sure they will play it with theirs. Paul also plays it frequently with the children. The rules of the game are as follows:

1. Only the ‘adult’ or on some cases the teenager (I’d play it with the kids I babysat in highschool) can be the crododile.
2. The crocodile has to remain on his stomach at all times, he can not stand or crawl, he can turn in circles though.
3. The croc tries to capture the kids and gobble up their tummies, if he succeeds the child is out until the next round begins.
4. It’s about team work, if one child gets caught the rest should try to free him.
5. The object of the game for the kids is to flip the croc far enough onto his back that they can gobble up his tummy (usually only achieved through team effort…and a little help from the croc,heh).

Give it a try, and have some fun, be prepared for lots of squeals and giggles in this little mild wrestling game. 🙂


Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Family, Lizy, Memory, Poetry, Writing

The Great Escape

“There, it’s finished!” I shoved the last hay bale into place and looked up at our golden castle. “What do you think?” I asked searching my brothers’ faces for any signs of approval.

Kimball nodded and smiled, “It looks really great.”

“Yeah, ” Paul agreed. “We had better take cover before the enemy attacks.”
We dropped to our hands and knees and slithered into the secret tunnel on our stomachs. I had only gone a few feet when Paul reached out and grabbed my shoulder, “Shhh. Footsteps, do you hear them?”

I froze, straining to hear; my eyes grew wide as I nodded my head. The attackers were in the room above us. We remained motionless; afraid even to breathe for fear that they would discover our hiding place. Finally the footsteps faded and I looked at my brothers.

“Go on,” Kimball mouthed not wanting to speak in case they were within earshot. I continued to crawl through the tunnel with my companions at my heals. We came to the end of the tunnel; we were almost ready to enter the banquet hall. Paul drew his sword. Motioning for us to do the same, he waved us forward. Holding up his fingers, he silently counted to three. On three his foot lashed out connecting with the door, sending it flying. We leapt into the room with our swords raised, ready to free our castle from the enemy. We stood back to back fighting the guards and monsters off with all our might.

“There’s too many of them!” I cried. “We have to retreat!”

“We can’t, ” Paul shouted, his eyes wide. “The entrance to the tunnel is blocked, we’re trapped! ”

“Wait, we can climb up the rope by the wall over there! ” Kimball pointed across the room.

We fought through the enemy making our way to the rope. Paul got to it first and started climbing while Kimball and I fought to drive the enemy away.

“Kimball, look out! ” I screamed as a sword narrowly missed his ear. “Hurry Paul, climb faster! ”

“I’ve made it! Hurry J, start climbing,” he called.

“No. Kimball, you go first. You look like your getting tired and you’ve been wounded in the leg. I can still fight a while longer.”

Kimball started climbing up the rope as fast as he could. I gasped, as the throng pressed harder against me I found my self being pushed away from the rope and against the wall.

“Kimball, help me! ” I screamed as I felt the guards seizing my arms. My companions could only watch helplessly as they dragged me to the dungeon. The guard kicked the door open and threw me to the ground.

“I’ll be back for you later, ” he growled.

I scrambled away from him and tucked my knees up under my chin. Cold and scared, I found myself dosing when I heard voices, “J, J, look up.” Looking up, I smiled when I saw my companions grinning. Eagerly they lowered a rope. I grabbed hold of it and started climbing, but just as I reached the top the guard threw the door open.
“They’re escaping! ”

“Quick, jump! ” Paul yelled.

I grabbed the rope and jumped, swinging across the courtyard. Letting go of the rope, I fell into a large pile of hay. When I landed there was as a crack and a nauseating stench and our magical world disappeared.

My brothers started laughing, “You landed on rotten egg! ”

“Those stupid chickens,” I groaned, letting myself fall back onto the hay.

I believe I met the hose again . . .

(A little background: One of our favorite places to hang out was in the hayloft – the upper story of our barn. We would stack the bales and create grand castles and secret tunnels. Many of the bales got broken in the process, much to my father’s chagrin, though he admits now were he do it again he would let us break all the bales we wanted. The broken hay was shoved into a big pile. From the rafters we had tied ropes with footloops to swing on. We would pile up 4 or more haybales put our foot in the loop and swing away. Most often we would swing and do amazing leaps into the hay pile. Sometimes our chickens would fly the coop (I’ll do a chicken post one of these days) and lay eggs in hidden places and we always had to check the hay pile and other such places for eggs. Every once in a while we would miss the inevitable egg . . . )

p.s. Today is my one month mark, I have now been blogging for one month!! Yippee!! My posts may not be great or even very interesting to anyone else but I am having much more fun than I ever thought I would. 🙂


Filed under Farm Stories, Goofs, Personal History, Writing