The Trunk

You know how little kids will often jump to conclusions that are entirely wrong but perfectly logical?

We currently have the van plus 3 smaller cars: the Mustang (angels sing each time I say the word, even if it’s 2/3 owned by Deanna and Kaitlyn), the Kia, and a Trunk.  We bought the Trunk to replace the Kia because we expect it to be more reliable and gas efficient, but we had to park it until we could do some needed repairs.  In the meantime Perry drove the Kia to work most days, treating himself to the Mustang occasionally.

Every morning, little Bethany heard him refer to one of the cars: “Go get in the Kia,” or “Let’s take the Mustang today,” or “Put my bag in the trunk.”

She’s a sharp cookie.  She knew which one was the Kia and which one was the Mustang.  Therefore she deduced that the little green car on the far side of the driveway must be The Trunk.

Oh – and one more thing about the Mustang.  You should see Parker grin and do a fist pump every time he says the word, “Mustang!”  Leg room may be a little tight in the back seat, but he doesn’t mind.  His legs are only 13″ long.



What are you searching for?

Our blog has never brought in an impressive amount of search engine traffic (can anybody tell me why?) but the search terms that do bring visitors are always good for a few chuckles.

Here are a few that caught my eye when I reviewed my stats just now while working on another project:

How to fit a family of 7 in 2000 square feet – Really?  Maybe that was a typo: How to find a family of 7 in 2000 square feet, because I’m telling ya: we would be lost in that much space!

How to fit 6 people in a 3 bedroom house – I read this aloud and my kids stared blankly at me.  “Um…2 in each room? Someone really needed Google to tell them that?”

monthly grocery list for 300 – And I thought shopping once a month was a big job back when there were only 9 of us…

llama, llama red pajama activities – I’d really like to know what Google was thinking.  I’m reasonably sure I have never owned or blogged about red pajamas or llamas or any combination thereof or activities therein.

entertaining guests in small homes space – Well, acrobatics are out, but tap dancing or a mime act works well in a small space.

whyred ina shoe – whuuu?

quizno coupons – Me?  I rank for Quiznos coupons???   Thanks, Google!  click here! click here! (I get paid if you do.  How much?  Here’s a clue: if 8 or 10 of you print coupons, I’m off to Quiznos!)

labeling shelves in panrty – For starters I recommend avoiding typos, because that would drive me nuts on a label every time I lookd at it.  Also, I have to assume that I spelled pantry that way at least once since Google saw fit to send the searcher my way.

how to take out a toilet tank – would you believe that post sends me more search engine traffic than any other single post on my whole blog?  I’m in the top 10 on Google for how to remove your toilet tank, or nearly any other way of asking the question.

swelling during pregnancy indicates boy – Really?  Because my belly *always* swells.  I thought swelling during pregnancy indicated pregnancy.

swollten ankles pregnant boy or girl? – So far, every person I’ve met who experienced swollen ankles during pregnancy was a girl.

And all that was just in the last 2 days.  Who thinks I should do this more often?  What brings visitors to your blog?

The loss of a friend

Posted by Megan (13yo)

I recently lost a dear friend of mine.  I hadn’t known this friend very long but in the all too brief time we were together, we had become inseparable. When I found out about the accident, I felt a gaping hole in the middle of my heart. The washing machine, that devourer, had killed my friend. This friend was named Ipod Nano the Sixth.
” Ipod,” I sobbed.  I cradled his broken body in my hand, lifting his face to my cheek.  ” Say something to me! Anything! Even Kathy Matthea!” But no. It was not to be. My friend was gone. We held a private funeral, during which scarce an eye was dry, and laid him to rest.
I remained inconsolable for several weeks, then decided that it was time to move on. I would find another Ipod, another companion to fill the dark hours of loneliness as we drove an hour to church, or the grocery store. I found a new Ipod, but as I did, I realized no other Ipod could take the place of my dear deceased friend. I don’t dislike this Ipod. I haven’t even taken it out of the case, but having him around was just too painful.
I sincerely hope he will find a good home, among people who will understand him, instead of someone who will be constantly saying “If only…”.
If you feel that this Ipod would be a good match for your family, please contact me.  He is fluent in Jonathan Park and can recite the complete audio library from memory.  I am asking $150 to help cover the cost of adoption fees for the new Kindle that will (I hope) be joining me on my journeys to church, the grocery store, etc.
For those of you that already have friends in Ipods, please, remember, their time is limited. Try to appreciate them while they’re here. Also, try not to put them through the wash.

For sale: One sixth generation Ipod Nano. Brand new, and fully loaded with Jonathan Park.

Retail Price $199.  My Price $150.

10 Reasons you have a headache and how chocolate can help

Edited to remove something stupid and insensitive.  What was I thinking?

The following post has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that my loving husband has quit buying me chocolate ice cream because he is doing his best to be supportive of my weight-loss endeavors.  I don’t know why you would even think that.  Anyway, he knows that chocolate ice cream is low on the glycemic index and therefore very helpful in keeping my hypoglycemia under control.

10 Reasons You Have a Headache

  1. You’re dehydrated.  Drink plenty of water Starbucks style frap. Add cocoa powder to make it easier to take in the quantity of fluids you so badly need.
  2. You have low blood pressure, like I often do.  It will go up if you find a scorpion in your bed. You’ll need some chocolate afterwards.
  3. You have low blood chocolate.  The verdict is out on whether chocolate is a cause or a cure when it comes to headaches but I choose to believe that it helps mine, and we all know the power of suggestion.
  4. Your kids are too loud.  Maybe they’re bored.  Maybe you should give them some work.  Hey, where did they go?!  Quick, get the ice cream and a spoon…
  5. You are suffering from caffeine withdrawal.  Chocolate has caffeine.  It may take a lot, but you want to get rid of your headache, don’t you?
  6. Too much caffeine.  See?  You should have had chocolate instead of coffee.  Less caffeine.
  7. It’s hormonal.  That’s the price of being a woman, but there is an upside: everyone expects you to eat more chocolate.
  8. You’re short on sleep.  Duh.  You’re a mom.  Chocolate has just the right amount of sugar and caffeine to get you through a long day, plus it has proven anti-depressant properties.
  9. You’re stressed or prone to high blood pressure.  Did you know chocolate is well-established as a stress reducer?
  10. You have low blood sugar.  Dark chocolate is relatively low on the glycemic scale and gives a moderate, sustained rise.

Did you know that chocolate comes from the cocoa bean?  Beans are vegetables.  When you add milk, you have one serving each of vegetable and dairy.  It’s a lot like eating broccoli and cheese sauce.

Chocolate quotes:

I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process…. It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?

Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It’ll take the edge off your appetite, and you’ll eat less.  I’ve actually done this with a tablespoon of chocolate chips.  It works!

If I eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate, is that a balanced diet? Don’t they actually counteract each other?

Anything is good and useful if it’s made of chocolate.

more chocolate quotes here

Have you ever tried chocolate with cayenne added?  The gentle spicy kick is a perfect accent.  It’s also good with orange, toffee, coffee, peanut butter, bacon, almonds, sea salt, raisins, and raspberries.

OK, I’ve never actually tried chocolate with bacon, but I feel confident in recommending it.  Why not?

image credit: Whizzy

My days as a feminist

I didn’t vote for the McCain/Palin ticket in part because I don’t think women belong in politics. This isn’t because I take a low view of women or their ability to rule, but because political leadership is not a part of the role for which God created us. Isaiah makes it clear that one sign of God’s displeasure with a nation is when He sets women to rule over them, and I don’t think we need to go looking for that sort of trouble. We seem to find it easily enough without looking.

But I haven’t always felt that way about women holding office.

When I was a kid, we moved very frequently. In my first 5 years of formal education, I attended 6 public schools – one of them three different times. I was always the New Kid.

I was also very tall and mature for my age, and most of the kids seemed to assume that I was older than they were. This caused them to look to me as a natural leader. Though I had no real drive to lead, I didn’t mind taking on the role when it suited my purposes. I was a firstborn, after all.

One example comes readily to mind, and everything I said so far was really only a weak excuse to tell the following story.

In 5th grade, I was once again the new kid in the class. We had moved just one month into the school year, taking me away from the school where I had finished 4th grade, and now I was a month behind everyone else in the awkward process of getting to know each other. To make matters worse, this was a middle school made up of 5th-8th graders with 400 students in all. I had not just one new teacher and class to adjust to, but 8.  I had skipped a grade early in my education, and now I wasn’t just the youngest in the class; I was the youngest student in the entire school. Fortunately this wasn’t apparent to those around me.

Because of my size I was never a victim of bullying, but I was painfully shy and slow to make new friends. I hated starting at a new school, and this may have been the first time I didn’t just crumple into a sobbing heap for the entire first day. At least I was getting older. Nevertheless, I took my place at the back of the class and quietly plunged into schoolwork because I certainly wasn’t going to plunge into any social circles.

My first week there, my homeroom teacher announced that since we had all gotten to know each other over the past month, it was time to elect a class president who would represent our group for the rest of the year in the body of the student government. The class president would spend the 5th period of every day in Government Class with the presidents of all the other classes, where they would learn about, well, government.

There was a buzz of excited chatter as the bodies in the room divided and coalesced into two groups: boys on one side, girls on the other. Nobody knew who should be president, but we all wanted to elect someone of the proper gender: our own. Boys wanted to choose a boy, girls wanted to choose a girl.

I sat quietly on the sidelines, listening to the other girls discuss who should be nominated. As I sat, an idea came to my 9yo brain. The teacher had said we could nominate anyone we wanted, and we could each nominate anyone in the class but ourselves.

I spoke up. “Why don’t some of us nominate some boys, and everyone agree to nominate just one girl? Then the boys will all be voting for different people, and the girls will all vote for the same the one. Then a girl will be president.”

My idea was immediately adopted, and the rest of the girls set about deciding exactly which boys and girl to nominate. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I found myself selected as the girls’ candidate. My best guess is that my great idea and apparent maturity impressed them.

I wasn’t excited about the idea of making a speech in front of the entire class, but my supporters were convinced that I was the right one for the job. I scrabbled out a quick campaign speech and did as I was bid, and so began my last year as class president.

When I told this story to my children, they all roared in laughter and disbelief at the scheme I had pulled off. “Manipulation!” they cried. “Cheating! We can‘t believe you did it!”

I say it’s just politics.

Banana dog

PerryBoy came to me early one morning for a snack.  I wasn’t ready to get up yet so I lay in bed and told him to make himself a “banana dog.”

“Just get a hot dog bun, put some peanut butter on it, and use a banana in the middle instead of a hot dog.  It’s just like a peanut butter banana sandwich!”

He started to complain that it was too hard, then he had an idea.  “I’m going to get some paper and write the recipe!”  As a homeschool mom, I loved the idea.   He has just begun learning to read.  He knows some of the letters and their sounds, and can sound out the very simplest 3 letter words if he focuses.  This was right at his level, and it was his idea.  Perfect.

I talked him through the ingredients and helped him sound out the words hot dog bun. I explained that people often write PB instead of peanut butter.  I told him how to spell banana and we laughed over the repetition of the letters.

He headed for the kitchen with a recipe in his hand and a spring in his step, then stopped.  He turned back to me with a look of consternation.

“But I can’t read!”

They make me smile

Bethany is finally showing some interest in potty training.  In spite of the fact that she has only ever gone in the potty twice, she seems to have a good idea of how the whole potty thing works in our house: whenever she hears the bathroom close, she makes a beeline for the bathroom herself.  Then she stands outside the door, pounding frantically and begging: “Puh-weeeese hurry!  I have to go potty really bad!”

Last night Bethany stood in front of the mirror arguing with her reflection.  She knows it’s not real; she was just being silly, playing with an imaginary friend.  “You’re not Bethany!  I’m Bethany!”

One of the older girls recently spotted Perry Boy with a pen in one hand and a book in the other.  “Get that pen from him before he colors in that book!” she exclaimed. 

Perry glared at her, affronted.  “Am I the kind of boy that colors in books?  No.

Perry Boy paid me a high compliment last week. As he was getting ready to brush his teeth, he asked where the toothpaste was.  I told him it was right there on the sink, next to him.  Just to tease me, the little goofball made a big show of not seeing it, looking up at the ceiling and walls instead of the countertop six inches from his nose. 

“Where?  Where??  I don’t see it!” he insisted with mischievous glee.

I was only slightly amused.  “It’s in your nose,” I said wryly.  “Put your finger in there.  You’ll find it.”

He shot me a sideways grin and chuckled.  “Mom, you’re huh-lair-ious!  Some moms are funny and some aren’t.  You’re the kind that is!”

Did your children make you smile lately?

Why does she have fish in her hair?

And why isn’t she famous?  This Fish In My Hair lady is fun-neee! She homeschools, and her blog is clean, and she makes twice-weekly trips to Stuffmart for milk, socks and underwear.  I’ve been reading her blog for all of an hour and I feel like I know her already.  She lives in Texas, so maybe I do know her.

I’m half-tempted to send her an underwear story, because I have a few good stories in that department and it seems to be her specialty.  She has a whole category dedicated to underwear.

A few of my favorites so far:

Have fun, and if you find something even funnier over there come back to share the link!

ht to my friend Mother Hen, who sends me all the best links and influences me to spend way too much time laughing at my computer.

Kid quotes

Just a few recent quotes I shared on Facebook.  My kids make me smile.  I can’t imagine life without them.

Natalie: Mom, she’s been in the bathroom for AN HOUR!

Older daughter who would prefer to remain anonymous, emerging from the bathroom:  I wasn’t in there an hour.  She always exaggerates!

Mom:  You just exaggerated, too.

Anon: But not nearly as much as Natalie.  Everyone exaggerates, Mom!

Mom, stifling laughter: You just exaggerated again.

Anon is not amused.


27mo Bethany: Mom, can I hold Parker?
Mom: No, honey.  I’m nursing him right now.
Bethany: Can I nurse Parker on my boobies? I have milk!


Perry Boy: I like Parker when he doesn’t cry, but I don’t like him when he does. I still love him when he cries, though. I just don’t *like* him.


Perry Boy: Look! Parker has Mr. Potato Head ears!


Natalie:  Mom, I can tell when you’re driving instead of Dad because you’re a very calm driver. I mean, the engine sounds so *calm* when you drive.


Perry Boy: “Why are minutes so LONG?”


Perry Boy: “Dad bought this for me. It’s a booger that you eat, not in your nose.” He’s talking about a ham-booger.

What have your little ones said recently?

Games to play with an iron

Homemakers know how to have fun too.  Who said there was only one use for a hot iron?

  1. Telephone – A game to test your reflexes.
  2. Dodge-iron – It seemed like a good idea at the time.
  3. Limbo – How low can you go?
  4. Iron tag –  Of course “base” should be as far from an outlet as possible.
  5. Home tatoo parlor – Highly efficient, but the choices are a little limited.
  6. Tether-iron – Remember tether ball from grade school?
  7. Iron skating – safer than roller skates because they go slower.
  8. Soccer – You might want steel-toed boots for this variation on the traditional game.
  9. Create unique floor art – Not technically a game, but it bears mentioning because we’ve done this.
  10. Duck, Duck, IRON! – Just like the game you played when you were a kid, except not!

all images by 12yo Megan

Part of the Homemaking Link-Up