Friday, July 22, 2011

Dear Friend in My Hallway

I have filled out financial disclosure forms that have asked about our assets. After I list our house and our car, I run out of things to say. On one form recently, I listed this: our espresso machine.

It was $7.00 on Ebay. It came with no tray to steady the glass container so Eli built a Lego platform for it. It has made hundreds of espressos, lattes and just plain awesome cups of coffee. While it has performed well beyond its $7.00 price tag, it has been sending pressurized steam through the on/off switch for a good two months. The switch got crunchy sounding. The machine wouldn't turn on. The machine wouldn't turn off. The final blow: the machine wouldn't make coffee.

We run out of milk. We run out of bread. We run out of peanut butter and ice cream and cheese and fresh fruit and yogurt and syrup and pancake mix and cereal and even ideas for meals. However, I have not actually run out of espresso machines. I have 3 more from the same maker just for occasions like this.

When The Older Siblings Are Away

My parents graciously took Emma (17) and Eli (13) to Ames, Iowa to tour Iowa State University. Next year at this time, Emma will actually be going to some university, Lord willing, we just don't know where quite yet.

Gracie was never planning to go to Iowa since she just got home from a camp. Levi was planning to go until we were able to talk him out of the 4.5 hour car ride, the campus tour and the multiple interviews with admissions staff and professors. He would have gone; we were just afraid he and then everyone else, would have been sort of miserable.

Joel took over the Rescue Of Levi Mission. Something for which I am very, very grateful. Not because I could not have thought of anything to do with him, but because I could have thought for millions and millions of years about what to do and would have still not come up with this:

This is the far right corner of the box of Levi's new BB gun. A Remington Pump Action BB Gun. A Remington Pump Action BB Gun that has completely ignored all of us mothers all over the world who have allowed a son to own a BB gun with the strict, nonbending, unbreakable rule that no live thing will ever be shot with it.

Levi seems more manly already. No dead squirrels are in our yard. And maybe my friend with a "Bat Emergency" would give him his first job, if she didn't care about her roof or siding.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Who Would Have Known?

I can, for some reason, spend quite a lot of time in Target. I do not feel the same way about Walmart. But yesterday, a new and fascinating shopping experience came my way: Walgreens.

Who knew they had organic face wash, body lotion and acne scrub? 2 of them were marked down from $9.99 to $2.59. I bought them both.

I went in to find throat spray for Emma but my experience was so much more: Barbies and my favorite candy for $1.69 (licorice all-sorts) and school folders and suntan lotion and a line of beauty products which seem to be made of mostly fruit and beef sticks and pop and passport photos and greeting cards and swim goggles and fake Crocs for toddlers and baby supplies and lawn chairs. All of this was in a space Target uses for just their pharmacy.

Not saying I'm a Walgreens convert. Just saying it was refreshing. It was manageable. It had throat lozenges. And maybe even my newly moisturized hands smell sort of organic. In a good way.

July 4th Do's and Don'ts

I learned something new while celebrating the Fourth of July: there are definite do's and don'ts and some of them I didn't know until I did them.

If you have 7 kids and two of them are orphans and one of them remembers being an orphan, this may apply:

Run a race with your 9 year old. Only do the 2 mile because you might have to run back to your car when the race is done. Only do the 9 year old because the rest of the kids will beat you. (did this)

Think you can run it with a stroller. It's just not the time nor the place to subject your child to a bouncy ride down a busy road. (didn't do this, but thought about it)

Cheer for your son as he finishes. (did this)

Cheer at your son as he finishes, particularly with these words: "I will NOT let you walk across that finish line. Everyone else RAN across. You will too." When veiled threats didn't work, offering next to finish with him didn't seem all that inspiring either. (watched someone do this)

Dress your little ones in red, white and blue even though patriotism and bad taste can be next door neighbors.

Dress your whole family in red, white and blue. The Fourth of July isn't all about dignity but there's no need to leave it out completely.

Try to watch a parade if you're in the shade. (didn't do the shade part)

Make your 4 year old, who was an orphan 1 1/2 years ago, compete for candy with 9 year olds. (did this)

Make everyone stay up late to watch the fireworks, particularly if they are set to music, particularly if the song, "Proud to be an American" is played which somehow rouses patriotism in everyone even if the government is shut down.

So my Fourth of July 2012 resolutions:
1. Run
2. Encourage
3. Shade
4. Buy our own candy and throw it straight at Lizzie where there is no one else to grab it.
5. Dress everyone 5 and under in red, white and blue
6. Watch the fireworks.

Happy July, everyone.