Stick Figure Family

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

He's back.....

Our military boy returned from Boot Camp (Ft. Benning, Georgia) on the evening of the 10th. He had already arrived when we got to the Pasco Airport to pick him up. He was tall. Wearing army fatigues. Head buzzed in a "high and tight."

The kids were there to greet him as well as some of his friends. He was obviously glad to see us. He was a bit worried, though, that his luggage wasn't appearing as quickly as he'd have liked.
He finally hugged me and asked to see my bald head. That made him laugh.

Once we were home, I asked if he was hungry. He'd been traveling since morning and here it was after 10pm. Yeah, he was. He hopped up and started for the kitchen. Then turned around: "Permission to open the fridge, Mom?" I was dumbfounded! Who was this person, anyway?

Evidently it was indeed Stephen. He'd changed somewhat. Though not nearly a Saint, he's made some leaps and bounds in the maturity department. I can get used to this politeness! I think every child should be required to go through something similar. It's great. We can only hope it continues over the next six months until he's deployed to....Afghanistan.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Driving with Mom

It's only common sense. I expect good behavior in the car when we're traveling with the kids. That can be hard for youngsters with ADD & ADHD, though. Sometimes they just have to burst out into an irritating song. Or hog a shared blanket. Wiggles get in the way. Someone "touches" someone else. Or looks at them funny. Or "smells weird."

A gentle warning that I will pull over immediately if they don't "end it!" usually does the trick. They know to listen, because I have often done just that. Especially when they were younger. I'd pull over to the side of the road and have the offending kidlets get out and do jumping jacks. 50. 100. It worked wonders. The child would be embarrassed, of course, and try to get away with 'wimpy jacks.' Nope. Not allowed. In order to be counted, they must have straight arms, slapping them above the head and at their sides, legs jumping in and out at the proper angle. This usually did the trick. Usually.

Now that they're older, though, they're too cool to do the jumping jacks. So, I pull over and ask the offending person(s) to leave the car and walk to our destination. Really. You have no idea how many times we've tried to return from Church (where we've learned how to be Christ-like) and had to leave a child on the side of the road due to his rude and unkind words.

Just ask the 15-year-old. When she repeatedly acted up and wouldn't listen on the ride back from Salt Lake to her aunt's home, I let her out. She was given instructions to do 50 jumping jacks. She got out but wouldn't jump. "I'm in a dress," she wailed. But I was just as stubborn as she was. When she wouldn't jump, I gave her directions to her aunt's and left her. We'd been there dozens of times, surely she'd remember how to get there. Unfortunately, she got her directions mixed up. Fortunately, another auntie who was driving along recognized her and picked her up. If not for this, she'd probably still be walking - probably be in Arizona or Mexico by now. (And wishing she hadn't been showing off for those cousins.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Devil Cat

The kids calls her the Devil Cat with good reason. Lucy is so amazingly full of energy and mischief! She rips up kleenex and dances with the pieces all over the room - so don't leave any out. She knocks over trash cans - repeatedly - until you give in and empty them. If you're holding a paper (newspaper, letters, reports, etc.) she races up and attacks it - determined to shred it, if possible.

She thinks she's human and has a cute trill that she uses to talk to you. Especially when she wants something she can't get. She tries to play with our older kitty - Skye - by leaping through the air and landing on her head. She delights in teasing Skye and following her around. Until recently, she couldn't access the window sills, so Skye had a few moments of peace up there. Lucy would leap through the air - crashing short of her target. Not anymore. She's grown quite a bit and uses her claws to hang on when her leaps get her - almost there.

Our Brittney Spaniel goes on point whenever he sees her. The first time he did this, he stood at attention for 20 minutes. Dad had to distract him! She's learned that the dogs are leashed up at night in our room, so she strolls back and forth just out of reach. (The brittney always on point, of course.)

If she weren't so cute, we might have to part with her. But, unfortunately, or fortunately, I'm in love with her and put up with her antics. Hope she stays cute for a long time to come!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Second childhood

Someone in our house is going through his second childhood... There is now a Kawasaki ZG1000 parked on our front porch. Fancy leather jacket, matching gloves and bright red helmet (to match the bike's trim) laying on the dresser.

The bike's justification was the high price of gas a month ago - over $4/gallon. Sigh. The purchase price of $3,600 would have bought an awful lot of gas, though. 900 gallons worth! And even more now that gasoline prices have dropped by almost a dollar.

This nameless person used to have a motorcycle. It was sold 22 years ago in order to purchase a newer one. The newer one never came our way. The money went towards the family budget instead. It's been a sore spot for him all these years. I've just been glad that he's been "safe" and not involved in something so risky.

I told him when he bought it a month ago that he couldn't whine and moan over the cell phone bill or other expenses as he's done in the past. He said he wouldn't. But he has. Last week I heard, "I'll have to get a second job to afford all this" as he ran through the bills. (The same phrase he's used for the past 29 years.)

"Oh, well, then, you could go ahead and sell the motorbike if you're afraid there isn't enough money to go around..." He hasn't responded to that one yet.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cat Tales

Lucy likes Skye's Food Better (and her water bowl and her litter box and her window sills.....)

Lucy did it!

Twice now! (Hide the toilet paper!!)

None more curious than she...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Shopping with Cinderella...

We survived. I keep pinching myself and realize that we're alive to tell about it. Our newly-minted 16-year-old can now date and was asked about a month ago to attend the Homecoming dance with Zach. We were glad for her. It sounded innocent enough. This was one of those events to be scrapbooked! (As if the date wouldn't be permanently etched on our brains... )

Actually, we found that prepping a young lady for homecoming dance is like pulling off a wedding. Or, like being a fairy godmother. Get a dress and shoes and jewelry and a garter and all the professional accouterments: hair styling, manicure, pedicure, photos... It's a major investment to transform our darling into Cinderella for an evening of fun!

Of course, the biggest fuss goes into shopping for The Dress. This takes a lot of time and effort. You must be very particular in your choice. You need to have That Look! And of course, nothing you suggest is ever good enough. Her first shopping attempt was with her sister. (Who says she's never doing that again!) Nothing was found. Nothing. It was discovered, though, that our dear is no longer a size One. Nor is she a Three. Scandalous! (And all the dresses she liked were either a size One, Three or over Fourteen - which size she isn't, either.)

The next, more serious, outing took five hours. And, to make matters more interesting, she was accompanied by none other than Dad. (Mom was down with chemo side-effects.) The poor guy swears he's "Never Shopping With That Girl Again!" She has that effect on people. I have to admit that I've said the same thing myself. She has a - ahem - hard time making up her mind..... and tends to disappear on you, only to show up 25 minutes later (totally confused as to why you're frustrated with her!)

But, the fact is that she and her fairy godfather Did find a dress. And, it was on clearance! Regularly $135 marked down to $27. Whoo Hoo! With a few alterations, a donated hairstylist and makeup artist (all courtesy of the Church ladies) borrowed shoes and her own investment in a manicure/pedicure she was ready. Though, like Cinderella, a bit late.

No fairy godparent could have pulled off a better job! Our little princess was beautiful. And, she had a great time... and has plans for ToLo, Prom... you name it, she's planning on it. (We're still in a bit of a daze, of course, wondering where we're going to find another fairy godmother since you know the rules: you can't wear the same dress twice. And no one we know is up to accompanying our little Cinderella on a shopping expedition ever again!)