Friday, October 29, 2004


I hate these hoax warnings as much as anyone, but this one is important!

Pass this warning along to EVERYONE you know!

If someone comes to your front door saying they are conducting a survey on deer ticks and asks you to take your clothes off, do not do it! IT IS A SCAM -- they only want to see you naked.

I wish I'd gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid and cheap now...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Quotable Quote:

You can lead a kid to the potty,
But you can't make him poop.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Potty News Network.

All Potty, All The Time.

(PNN press) Yesterday war was declared on two unsuspecting terrorists, Izzy Bin Peein and Doodles Bin Poopin. The terrorists had been going about their business unencumbered for 4.5 and 3 years, respectively. Their crime: The Only Two Children in Preschool Still in Diapers. President Mami Bin Changin, learned of their crime and decided to take matters into her own hands. "This means war!" she declared to the crowd that had assembled to hear her speech over the weekend.

Mami Bin Changin took the first strike in the cold brightness of Monday morning, when she told Bin Peein and Bin Poopin that they had to do time on the potty before they would be allowed to go on the bus to school. While they sat she told them of their crime, and let them know that war had been declared and would not end until they changed their messy ways.

Bin Poopin fought back with a double retaliatory strike, soiling two pair of underwear in less than 20 minutes. Bin Peein took the opposite approach by keeping his underwear dry, agreeing to do time on the pot, but saving his soiling for the diaper that he was changed into before preschool.

Later on Monday Mami Bin Changin began to stockpile weapons:
Potty Posters
Potty Stickers
Potty Prizes
and other Potty Paraphernalia

Mami Bin Changin's Military Advisor Daddi Bin Feddup suggested new underwear, but only if it could be purchased in the color brown. Mami Bin Changin decided against taking this advice and instead purchased fresh Spongebob and Scooby underwear. Her strategy? "I'm going to do all I can to break down the walls of terrorism! If it takes candy or prizes or cartoon undergarments, I'll follow this thing through!"

Attenders of her speech were amazed at the steadfast resolution that Mami Bin Changin displayed. "I've never seen her so determined!" "All those prizes and stickers....Bin Peein and Bin Poopin don't stand a chance." "She's a strong leader. When she puts her mind to something, there's no stopping her. It won't take long for Bin Peein and Bin Poopin to change their ways."

Mami Bin Changin declared that the war would be relentless until won, even if it takes months or years. "It will cost the taxpayers money, time, resources, and energy, but we will press on. The victory that we will win shall ensure peace and prosperity in our society. We cannot back down!"

PNN correspondents will be on the scene 24 hours a day until the conflict is resolved. PNN: The leader in potty news.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


I was just looking through the headlines at the New York Times and this one caught my eye:
Study Suggests Design Flaws Didn't Doom Towers
Yes, indeed. There was a *paid* *study* to decide if it was the fault of the architects that the Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (blink, blink...rubbing my eyes....trying to wake up and see if this nonsense is real.....) What is UP with stuff like this?? WHY OH WHY do we need studies for such things? Studies to see if people died because of the fault of
the firemen
the police
the architects
the airport

PEOPLE DIED BECAUSE OF TERRORISTS!!!!! Why should more money be spent on this? And if you want to get me even MORE angry, WHY ALL THE FINGER-POINTING AT THE FIRE DEPARTMENT????? You wanna get me going? You should feel my blood pressure right now.

My husband is a professional firefighter and has been fighting fires for 12 years now. I know the kind of man he is and I know the kind of men he works with. These are men who are willing to risk their lives and their health EVERY DAY to protect people and their property! The firefighters that showed up to the Twin Towers on 9/11 largely knew they were probably walking into the last building they ever would. They knew they were spending their time getting people out, while they themselves were running out of time. There were firefighters asking for last rites from their chaplain before they ran into those buildings. They knew. They knew. And still they went! They went in quickly and they went in bravely and they did what they could do to save as many as possible. And people want to spend government money to criticize THE FIREMEN????? Talk about a kick in the teeth to every husbandless wife, every fatherless child, every childless parent who lost as brave, selfless loved one from the fire department.....

Somebody remind me why it is that my husband voluntarily took on a job to save people who will turn around and criticize how it should have been done better?!??! Sometimes I just know in my gut that the job he does is not worth it, because someday he or somebody we care about on his department will be killed or injured while doing their job, and NOBODY WILL CARE. NOBODY WILL REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

Actually, that has already happened. A few months ago my husband had taken a personal day off of his shift, but that night his men responded to a fire at a storage facility, and one of his men was terribly injured. We received a phone call in the middle of the night, letting us know that while his men were trying to save people's STUFF (not even a life! Just STUFF!) that one of his long-time firefighters had his ladder fall, and his legs were injured such that he needed surgery and it was unclear if he would ever walk again. My husband went to the hospital immediately and stayed by the side of the family and other firefighters while they waited to see how their fallen man was doing. Months have gone by and this firefighter has had trouble from workman's comp such that they have suffered financially, the city government hasn't stepped up and done what they could to smooth the way so that this family wouldn't have more to worry about than they already did. Even the local newspaper, when reporting on the fire, mentioned this man's injuries as little more than a side note, and then proceeded to give much more space to the tragedy of the people whose STUFF was lost in the fire, and even gave out a phone number for people to call if they wanted to help THE PEOPLE THAT LOST THEIR STUFF!!! Was there any mention of a way to help the MAN WHO GOT INJURED TRYING TO SAVE THE STUFF? Nothing.

So, it happens in small ways, and it happens on the federal level. Except of course on the federal level they not only disrespect those that have done nothing wrong, but they spend a boatload of money on it as well.

The truth about 9/11 is this: There was no way to know. No way to know what was going to happen that day. No way for architects to design against specific terrorist attacks. No way for fire departments to prepare for something so unexpected and so unlikely. Sure, if we had the ability to see into the future, it could have been prevented. But, that's not real life. Real life is that bad guys look for ways that they can do bad things. I don't think it's possible for us to seal up all the holes. We're always vulnerable to some extent. So when the worst happens, what should our reaction be? Surely we can look at the situation and try to make sure the same thing won't happen again, but it'll never be good enough. While we learn how to build tall building that can somehow withstand having a jet being flown directly into it, the next attack could be 2 or 3 jets. Will we then have to build buildings to withstand that? Or while we spend our money figuring out how to make buildings that can withstand having jets flown into them, our enemies will laugh and move on to a new plan that has nothing to do with jets and tall buildings. It'll be the thing nobody is looking at.

9/11 and the waves and ripples that came from it is the darkest day in contemporary history for Americans. Do we have to sully it up further with studies and finger-pointing and stupidity?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

25 Fun Facts about the Hubby

Mom to the Screaming Masses started this one recently, so I thought I'd go ahead and do the same. We'll call today Hubby Appreciation Day, ok?

1. My husband is a hard worker. He would work anywhere, anytime, if we needed him to.

2. My husband was up for having 6 kids!

3. He's a great father. He loves to wrestle and play with the kids, takes them outside to kick around a ball, or build them homemade guns or bows and arrows or tree forts and other great stuff like that.

4. When he first saw me he knew he'd have to make me his.

5. He's generous to all.

6. He's a friend to others, even those who don't deserve it.

7. He caught 2 of our babies when they were born.

8. He was by my side when one of our babies was born before our midwife arrived. (actually, we hadn't even gotten a chance to call her!)

9. He still likes to take me out on dates.

10. He'll watch chick flicks with me, and even likes a lot of them! (Sleepless in Seattle is one of his favorites)

11. He says that if I ever die he won't be able to marry again. I tell him he has to.

12. He's strong.

13. He's brave. (he's a professional firefighter and EMT)

14. He knows how to do a zillion helpful things like fixing and building and designing, most of which he learned by watching and doing.

15. He has warm, smiley eyes that I love.

16. He thinks I'm a hottie and tells me so, even though I am out of shape and have a belly that has been pregnant 6 times.

17. He's been married to me for 13 years.

18. He likes Butter Pecan ice cream. (ick)

19. He wears dark blue almost every day of his life.

20. He's an artist. He went to college for an art ed. degree and ended up a professional firefighter. Huh. He can draw, paint, sculpt, and lots more. Unfortunately, he doesn't get to do any of those very often.

21. He doesn't complain about things like the house being messy or meals being boring. He's great about realizing that it's hard for me to always (or ever) be on top of all the chores.

22. He likes to go deer hunting (bow, rifle, and black powder) and we usually process all the meat ourselves. (just did some of that yesterday and more of it waiting to be done today...)

23. In his youth he did the scary hair and make up and black clothes like The Cure. He turned out normal, though.

24. He's losing his hair but manages to get sexier by the day. (woo hoo!)

25. He still makes butterflies appear in my stomach. :)

Monday, October 18, 2004

The Constipation is Spreading!!!!

If you've been keeping up on my dissatisfaction with my local area Freecycle groups, you know that I also started my own Non-Constipated Freecycling egroup for those who don't want to be drowned in the rulemogering that goes on amongst freecyclers in these here parts.

Well, the constipation is spreading, I discovered today. I found out that the city where my husband works has started a community bulletin board. It's not for freecycling, it's more a hodgepodge of things. You know--yard sales, announcing events, discussing issues, helping people who are new to the area, and so on. So, I decided to join the group, and I promptly get two emails from the group owner, the first of which is a listing of group guidelines. Once again I found myself puzzled as to why these rules are needed. Here are a few puzzlers:

9. DO NOT list your personal information to the list. Do not give out your home address or phone number in ANY post to the entire group. Such posts will be deleted by a moderator. (The one exception is when you provide directions to a garage sale in connection with a post here on this list.)

Now, sure, I can appreciate that I would not want to publicize my address and phone number in general, but here's the thing: Shouldn't that be MY decision? Do I really need the moderator hanging over my head telling me No No about this? Also, since most people's real names are attached to their emails, it is going to be extremely easy for people to find contact information for you. This is an egroup for a small city. it would probably take less than 3 minutes at or with the teeny local telephone book to find out someone's phone number and address. Give me a break!

13. COUPONS: trading, selling or giving of coupons is strictly prohibited on this list.

Somebody PLEASE explain to me WHY, oh WHY is this an issue? Sure, I can understand that we don't relish the thought of obsessive-compulsive coupon clippers to be posting every few hours with offers like, "I've got a great coupon for $1 off Crest toothpaste! Drop by my house to pick up!" Sure, ok. But, in the case of the free tanning certificates that I wanted to give away a few weeks ago, now I would be prohibited from giving these away on *this* board as well?? WHY?? How does this make sense? What would it possibly hurt for me to do such a thing? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!!!

Well, I understood all too well when I got to the bottom of the 16 rules for this community group: It's ruled with an iron fist by the SAME PERSON that runs the freecycle group for that area. I guess that she has nothing better to do than keep her whole entire community in line! Wow.

So, what do you think? Is she.....a control freak? Her own life is out of control, so she makes up egroups that she can control instead? Hmmmm... There has to be some pathology to this....

And all of this reminded me that the outlook that these freecyclers have ("It is up to me to protect all of you from your own selves because you can't be trusted to make your own choices and live with the consequences.") is diabolically opposed to my own outlook, which is more like, "I think we all are responsible enough to make our own decisions and live with the consequences and I am not interested in trying to be your conscience. Let freedom ring!" Guess this is why libertarian ideas are so appealing to me.....

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Welcome Blog Explosion!

Hey kids--it's the new thing that all the cool bloggers are doing: Blog Explosion! Basically, it's a way for others to discover your awesome blog and for you to find lots of new favorites as well. I'm wringing my hands in worry---I haven't written any great posts lately. Nothing really funny or insightful on this first page at all! And the Blog Explosion folks are going to be coming by for 30 seconds or so, and I've got NOTHIN' cool for them! Yikes!

So, I'm wracking my brains...what have I got? What have I got?? SURELY I've got SOMETHING funny to tell about! (Beuler?....Beuler?....)

The hubby has been away this weekend for a hunting trip (tis the season....) and so I've been here hanging out with the homefries. I was remembering how when I used to homeschool, other parents who did not would kind of widen their eyes and make comments like, "I don't know how you can stand it" and other stuff related to the fact that basically they could not fathom enjoying a life where their kids were around every single day, all day long. Back in those days I wondered why that was and thought that maybe I just liked my kids more than everybody else. Now that my homeschooling days have been set aside and I am living the life of luxury with 5 of my 6 kids in school for at least part of most days of the week, I can understand a whole lot better. It's all about raising (or lowering) your tolerance level, folks. Now that my kids are happily tucked away at school, I am used to doing things differently. I'm used to more quiet, more privacy, more sane conversation with my husband, more naps without the pre-nap struggle..... SO when the weekends roll around and there is no second parent to share the burden with, it is rather tricky at times. This morning I actually found myself hollering right back at my temper-tantruming 3 year old. I guess I was going for shock value or something. Way to go, Mom! ugh. How long til the school bus arrives??

Friday, October 08, 2004

Fat face? What was I worried about? Check out my bod!!

You are Betty Grable!
I'm Betty Grable! What a relief. And here all this time I was thinking that I was a woman who mainly inspired small boys to shout NO and refuse to pick up their toys. Huh....who woulda thunk it....

What Classic Pin-Up Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I've Been Granted a Reprieve

Well, when the hubby came home for lunch today he said that he really had too much going on today to take time out to shlepp the whole fam off to the Big City again for another photo shoot. So, I got to call and reschedule for waaaaaaay at the end of the month. Boy was I glad, because all the clothes the kids wore yesterday were dirty, and frankly, I just didn't want to go back there and take fat face pictures all over again.

So, now I have 3 weeks to try to reduce the fat in my face. What would be the best way to do this, do you suppose? A 21 say fast? Facial exercise? Cosmetic surgery?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Wacky Wednesday

Well, the highlight for today was trekking to the Big City which is about 45 minutes from our small town. We went to get a family picture taken. For those of you who have ever taken small kids to get pictures taken, you know that just the picking out of outfits, getting there, filling out forms, and then trying to get the kids to cooperate is *quite* an ordeal. So, multiply that for 6 kids, a long drive, and no a/c in the van, and you've got the idea.

The photographer decided that what we most needed was a FUN pose, which meant that hubby was kind of laying on his side, I was laying in front of him to the opposite angle, and kids were packed in all around and upon us laying this way and that sort of like the JCPenney Portrait Studio version of Twister. She wasted 5 of our photos trying to get a good one of us in this terrible predicament. Then we got a few individuals, another family shot (this one a normal pose), and a pose of just me and the hubby since we haven't had one of those taken in over 13 years.

Sadly, when we got to see the shots, the Twister pictures just looked messy and seemed to always feature at least one person looking grumpy or looking away (amazingly I did not look pained despite the terrible position I was trying to maintain--I just looked FAT). The normal pose family picture was GREAT *except* for the one kid who was looking off to the side in a weird way. Hubby had been very excited about getting these pictures done since it's been 4 years and 2 kids ago since we have a family photo done. So, sadly, we were not happy with any of the family photos, so tomorrow we get to GO BACK AGAIN and do it all over again. Happy happy joy joy!

After seeing my FAT face in the pictures I am feeling quite FAT. I proposed that we just settle for a nice picture of the kids and leave us big folks (emphasis on Big) out of it. I don't really want to give out pictures of us to all our relatives that rarely see us and have me and my fat face on display for all their visitors to see. Hubby's having none of it, though, and told me to act my age. I told him that women of all ages are concerned about their appearance, but that didn't seem to help my case at all.

So do you know of any ways to make my face look less fat by tomorrow at 3 pm???

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Summary Du Jour

Since I know all of you are waiting up late, just aching for closure here, You Got It!

Sure enough, the kids got home from the Bible quiz thing saying that they hated it, it was terrible, and they never want to go again. I think they were feeling pretty invested in that opinion, so the thing probably didn't get a fair shake. But, hey--a deal's a deal. They don't have to go any more if they don't wanna.

We did go to the family dance and I got to find out that I am not the only person in the world who has poor turnout for events. These poor people! They come up with the idea to do a benefit for the police dept., publicize it, plan it, and put it all together.......and there were 11 people there aside from the 8 in our family. Yowee, that hurts. It looked so pitiful from the street that we almost decided not to go in, but then I remembered the door prizes and told the kids we had excellent chances of winning loot, so in we went.

It's a little hard to get into dancing when there are something like 5 craggy old folks dully observing the dance floor, and then me and the hubby and the various kids. Oh yeah. Eventually we all cut loose and pretended that we were in our own living room with the shades down, which is where we get into a lot of fabulous dance parties around here. :) Our oldest son, Sullen, is 12 and he went to this thing thinking it would be somewhat cool, like the school dances. Needless to say, this was not nearly as cool as he had hoped. At one point he showed me two quarters that he was doing tricks with between his fingers and said, "If it wasn't for these too quarters, I'd be bored out of my mind." Things got significantly better when the people running the show decided to make all the cookies and drinks FREE. Don't have to tell us twice! The kids ran right over and started sampling the goods, of course.

We cleaned up with the door prizes, all right. We got quite a few gift certificates to eat out at various places, some junk that I don't know what I'm going to do with (like a plaque that says something like, "You may be my stepmother, but you'll always be mom to me." Kind of hard to regift that one, eh?), and a 2 week membership to a women's only work out place. Hmmmm....I wonder if I can lose all the weight I need to drop in the two free weeks....? What I was really hoping to win was a night at the Holiday Inn but we left before they picked the winner, so I'm hoping they'll call me tomorrow to say I got it. I think after taking 6 kids to that thing the least they can do is give me a night away. ;) Right?

Seriously, though, I was pretty appauled that there was NOBODY from the police dept. that even showed up! NOBODY! What is WRONG with people? I like to think that if they did something like that for the fire dept. that the guys who weren't working would be there with their families, and that relatives and friends would have come too. Actually, the guys on duty would show up also, even if they couldn't stay for long.

Well, all the little sweeties are asleep now and I am about to join them. Ready for beddy, I always say....

This must be the binge and purge method of blogging.....

Some days you get 4 or more posts, other days you get none. Huh.

Well, I'm not so sure I have anything truly worthy of blogging about today, but I feel bad for you lovely people who come on over here to see what's going on and find no new posts for several days. So I'm trying to crank something out here. It beats cleaning the kitchen, anyhow....

Well, the kids had their first day off from school yesterday for their fall break. It was SURE nice to not have to get up before the crack of dawn and put kids on the bus in the dark. Yukk! We had a fun day here just hanging out, playing outside, and watching the final disc of Survivor All-Stars.

Plenty of you are probably wondering why I'm watching Survivor via DVD rather than on TV. We don't "do" TV here, believe it or not. We had a TV for a few years and what we found is that we were way too easily sucked into watching stuff (even stuff that we didn't enjoy!) and just couldn't get a handle on it. For several years we had no TV OR VCR, but broke down on the movies back when I was on bed rest with my 4th pregnancy and had to have some way to entertain the kiddos. So now we have 2 TVs that don't actually get any channels. We have videos and DVDs and a PS2, and those are what we watch if we watch anything. We love our Netflix, as I've mentioned before, and are able to get the fam plenty of good things to watch, but leave lots of time for non-TV living.

There are lots of TV shows we can borrow from Netflix. Little House, Arthur, Blue Planet, Crocodile hunter, Friends, Survivor, and lots of other stuff I don't watch or don't even know what it is. Eventually I may find out!

We're on a hunt for a van. We've got a tried and true 14 year old, nearing-200,000 miles van that we drive right now, but, alas, it's days are numbered. I've been looking on ebay and locally. it's not easy to find something for 8 or more passengers. Having Squiggy Magoo along for the ride through life is well worth the extra effort required to find a suitable vehicle, though. :) To make matters somewhat more complicated, the hubby really doesn't want a full size fan. Although he's a champ at driving fire trucks, he doesn't want to feel like he's driving one every day of his life. The kids and I suggested a limo as a possible solution to our need. At the age our kids are now, they think this is an awesome idea. Riding around town with people turning their heads, thinking there must be somebody rich and famous inside. And of course, the idea of having a TV in the car is a Big Plus for kids. Having a limo could truly be a hilarious family memory. But, I'm not sure that we want to be "those people with all the kids that drive a limo" around our modest little town of 4000 people. Picking up kids at school in a limo. Going to get groceries in a limo. And at what age do you suppose that kids would start to think that the whole limo thing is terminally embarrassing rather that super cool? What do you think? Limo for us, or what?

There are a few 8 passenger mini vans on the market right now. We're checking into the Pontiac Montana. Anybody got one or anything useful to tell us about it? I read what consumer reports had to say, but the reality is the there is nothing that can fit my family that CR thinks is a great thing to buy, so I'm going to have to get past that. Eh?

Today Sullen, Booboo, and Jake the Great have been forced to participate in a kid's thing for church. It's a Bible quiz team that they have sort of been a part of and sort of not. When we started going to this church they went to the practices, but then didn't like it and stopped going, and recently got back into going. So today is a tournament for this thing and none of them wanted to go. They have never been to one of these events so they didn't have any idea if it would be fun or not. When it came down to it we told them that we wanted them to go (this is the first tournament of the season) and see if they like it. If they don't like it and don't want to go back, they don't have to.

There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth both last night and especially this morning when they had to get up at 7am to get ready for this thing. Believe me, it wasn't my idea of a good time to have to drag them out of bed this morning either, particularly with all the declarations of being deathly ill and not wanting to go and begging me to reconsider. Hubby was gone to work so I was on my own to stand strong against the tide of indignation. I just love it when the kids look at you with those big eyes and say stuff like, "So, let me get this straight. You are forcing me to go to this thing against my will. Right?" Right. Sue me, kid.

So, at about 2pm I can look forward to them coming home, probably to tell me how stupid and terrible it was and how it would have been so much better if they could have just stayed at home and zoned out in front of the playstation. Too bad, so sad.

Tonite there is a fundraiser for the police dept. and it is a family dance. I guess what this means is that kids are encouraged to come along, and there will be all kinds of music to dance to. Hubby is working, but the event is happening in the city where he works, so I think he would be able to come over there and dance on duty for a little while. So, crazy me, I'm actually considering taking 6 kids out to dance tonite. Do you think I'm certifiably bonkers, or just a really fun mom? Or just really desperate to get out of the house and do something? Possibly a little of both.

I did not achieve my goal of getting my bedroom totally spiffed up this week. I did make progress on it, though. I'm just going to keep at it until it's done and I can move on to some other lucky room.

That's the news til now, faithful readers. Thanks for tuning in!