Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Uncle Rico?

This is exactly how Andrew sat during supper tonight.  The entire time.  Fork poised in the air just so,  serious, somewhat disgruntled look on his face, barely breathing as he pondered his fate:  Scrambled eggs.  Scrambled isn't his choice form of egg.  He prefers fried egg whites (without the slightest taint of yolk, mind you), but Mommy didn't feel like cooking 12 different kinds of eggs tonight, so everyone got scrambled.  At the end of supper, he put his fork down and happily skipped up to bed not having ingested a single calorie.  What a nut.

Scrambled isn't Elsbeth's first choice of egg, either.  She prefers boiled.  This is what she looked like about 7 seconds after I took the photo of her brother.

I used to think Andrew wasn't strong willed, but I have since realized he is simply quiet willed.   He has a will of iron, but he doesn't put on the pyrotechnic display Elsbeth does.  He simply will ... not ... BUDGE.  It's really quite impressive, truth be told. But I'm tired of the food battle and have decided I'm not catering to his every culinary whim anymore, so I'm fine as long as he'll sit with us and not complain whether he eats the food or not.  It's astonishing how quickly he'll choose no food at all over something that's he's not in the mood for, though, and I have to watch how many meals he completely skips as I've discovered after a certain number of hours with no nourishment, he gets sick.  Throws up (nothing, 'cause there's nothing in there) for hours!  But never in that time does he complain about being hungry.  Kat VonD and I do not understand this boy.

Speaking of cat flaps, I simply must direct your attention to Mr. Tumnus and his memorizing midsection.  This photo doesn't capture it at all.  It's really something you'd have to experience in person.  While the rest of his body is lean, his stomach is like this great jelly sack that just hangs there, or more impressively, swings violently from side to side when he runs.  But wait!  There's more!!!

He has the most gigantic man cat nipples in the universe!

Can you see them?  They're HUGE!*  Again, something you'd need to take in live, and probably over a period of time to really believe it.  The whole situation continues to grow, and I'm not sure what sort of apparatus I'm going to be in the market for soon.  Do they make sports bras for cats?  Something in a manly blue or steel grey?  Will I need to move on to a kind of sling?  

Well, Phil just walked in with a container of fried pickles from the 1910 Public House.  Just the thing to distract me from this terrible dilemma.  Peace out.

*I apologize for the graphic photography.  Please don't flag my blog.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hold On Spider Monkey

I turn my back on the Internets for, like, a couple of months, and now my pictures are all downloading to some strange dimension I fear I may never access, my e-mail has spontaneously arranged itself into special folders like an overly helpful secretary, and this new blogging interface feels foreign and unwholesome.  It's creepy.

So ... let me explain.  No, there is too much.  Let me sum up. The summer was great except for Phil losing his job and, as a result, Bethany making us inactive in the adoption process.  Boo.

Now on to more fun things!  (Oh, good ... I found my pictures.)

Andrew is absolutely loving second grade in Mrs. Endara's class.  She plays the guitar and teaches the kids wonderful hymns.  She does awesome things like lighting her oil lamp as she reads a story about a lighthouse.  Andrew's first big project is building a mouse-sized schooner in honor of Stuart Little.  PCS is just the sweetest, most dear little place.

The Precious also just lost his first tooth.  Most of his friends have a mouth full of adult teeth at this point, but I was still kind of sad to see that first wee tooth wiggle it's way free. But it was pretty fun and exciting, too.  Andrew's tooth fairy (Marigold) left glitter kisses on his forehead and a silver dollar and letter under his pillow. Thanks to my awesome and quirky friends who gave me fun fairy ideas.  

Fortunately my little Nibblet wasn't too sad to have another year at home with old mom, though she is eagerly awaiting her turn in Mrs. Funk's kindergarten class next year.  We learned that, long ago, children were deemed big enough to start school when they could reach around their head with their arm and touch the top of the opposite ear.  Els has been working on this and recently discovered with great joy that she has arrived.

She was content to do "Mommy School" where we colored things starting with the letter "P" and had recess doing puzzles in the living room.  After about a week, she decided studying letters was kind of lame and she's rather pretend to be a pirate all morning, and I was like, "Awesome."  Perhaps I didn't miss my calling as a home schooling mom after all.

So other than the whole "no money" thing, having Daddy home all the time is mighty fabulous.  He and Andrew have made a couple trips to hang with Nannie and Papa and watch the Gamecocks play live, and Phil just got back from a jaunt to Pawley's Island beach with Elsbeth where they swam and frolicked and ate pizza and ice cream.  Look at the amazing fish Phil sculpted!  If anyone's interested, Phil will come and personally sculpt marine life in your back yard for only one million dollars.  Or maybe a hundred.  Um, just call.  We're willing to negotiate.

We've also gone apple-picking for the first time ever.  Kind of a lot of driving for 15 minutes of actual apple picking, but it was magical none-the-less.

And Daddy has been right here to help with the no-training-wheels learning curve.  Sweet, sweet times.

It is now past my bedtime and this blasted computer just turned off out of nowhere in an amazingly effective effort to be spiteful.  It's like it knew it was sucking my withered soul out through my face the whole time I sat frozen in it's ghostly glow, and it powered down just as it leached the last traces of my humanity, it's mission complete. I shall now attempt to drag my empty shell to bed where we can all hope that my soul will return to me come the first rays of dawn. And that perhaps I will awaken in a less dramatic mood.

Monday, April 22, 2013

So Your Only Aspiration Was To Be A Gourd Who Danced!

My Sweet Nibblet has turned 4.  When I asked her how she wanted to celebrate, she asked for a rainbow cake and her old Minnie Mouse doll wrapped up in a box, the darling.  I thought the rainbow cake I made was a little on the hideous side:

I'm giving you it's best angle here.  I imagined a more whimsical swirling of rainbow colors, but the frosting didn't happen 'til rather late the night before the big day and this was all the whimsy I could muster.  It was one of the more lopsided cakes I've ever seen, but inside was rich chocolate and the frosting made of butter and sugar, so really, what's the problem?  And at least it didn't give anyone nightmares like my Easter cake from a couple years back:

We had a lovely morning at the botanical garden, a pizza lunch at Centennial Olympic Park (which was underwhelming as the playgrounds were all closed off), cake and ice cream at home, then we went bowling of all crazy things.  Andrew had gotten a coupon for our local bowling alley at school and was dying to give it a try.  The kids absolutely loved it and Andrew has probably told me a hundred times now that he just can't wait to go bowling for his birthday, too.  I think we should become a bowling family with matching league shirts and our own personal bowling balls and shoes.  Unfortunately the lighting in the bowling alley was not conducive for photos, 'cause it's was pretty cute.

So here's a little slide show of my very, very sweet girl and highlights from her fourth year.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Orange Peanut ... For Me?! I Accept You.

Introducing ... my precious beautiful new niece Candler!  Remind you of anyone??  Below is a picture of Andrew at about the same age.

We just loved getting a whole weekend with cousin Candler and her mommy without having to share (no offense, Nannie!)  She is a treat ... beautiful (obviously) and full of smiles and she SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT THE WHOLE WEEKEND.  Here she and Andrew diverge in their similarities.

Daytime sleeping wasn't her thing, but she did decide to take advantage of Roxanne's giant dog bed for a quick snooze one afternoon.

This may be my favorite photo from the visit, taken by Andrew, our budding photographer.  I'd like to say that I made that maniacal face on purpose.  I'd like to say it, but I honestly can't remember.  Maybe I walk around wearing that expression all the time and have no idea, my unrestrained inner exuberance bursting forth.

Two weeks ago we had the wonderful joy of visiting the Peabodys. The weather was perfection, the landscape pastoral, the friends beloved.  It was heavenly.  These two were inseparable during the Peabody's Atlanta years, so it was delightful to see them running off to play like they'd just seen each other the day before.  And run off they did.  I don't think I would have seen Andrew at all the whole weekend if I hadn't gone searching for him, sometimes finding him next to Holly, each deep in a pile of books, sometimes squinting to make out their shapes at the tip top of a magnolia tree.

We weren't sure if Els and June would hit it off or just hit each other, but we shouldn't have concerned ourselves.  Like their siblings before them, they became fast friends immediately.

Aren't they the cutest?!

We are grateful to be surrounded by such lovely and wonderful friends, near and far.  Closer to home, we savored one of March's more benevolent moments with Charlie and James in our own back yard.  Peppermint tea and graham crackers on a picnic blanket and hours in the sandbox made for a grand time.

And in adoption news, our profile book is out and being viewed by expectant mothers and the anticipation is wearing me out.  I'll get word that our book is being shown and I immediately turn into a glazed-over mush.  I spend the next few days wandering aimlessly about the house, planning out our life together with one baby or another, feeling like I should be frantically getting things ready but not quite sure what to.  I guess I expected things to be a little more orderly.  I envisioned getting a call about one mother and baby, having my moments of delight and panic, and by the end of the day (or at least by the end of the next day) knowing they didn't choose us so I could rest and  move on mentally to the next possibility.  But it's not like that.  For instance, right now there are FIVE expectant mothers who just might be carrying the baby that I am to hold and love for a lifetime.  Five babies of different races, genders and birthdays (actually, six babies ... there are twins in the mix!) that I continue to think of longingly and pray for and name ... no official closure on any of them yet even though some of the mothers saw our book weeks ago.  I notice that even when I'm going about my day as usual, my back will be sore by the end of it and my insides get all giggly every time the phone rings.  And I'm sweaty.  All the time sweaty.  TMI?  Sorry.

One thing I do know ... I'm going to need a new car.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's, Um, A Kind of Cake?

Ah, school projects have begun!  I'm so grateful for these days where school projects are fun and involve twigs and quality time with Daddy on the back porch.  Andrew's class has been studying Abraham Lincoln, so they were given the assignment to build a log cabin from the materials of their choosing.  Andrew, my literal and straight-laced boy, naturally chose sticks.  He cared nothing for embellishment, but enjoyed using the hot glue gun tremendously and followed the log-laying pattern precisely.  I'm trying to imagine what Elsbeth will do when it's her turn.  A Twizzler cabin with glitter marshmallow chimneys surrounded by dragon-laden forests perhaps?

The finished product. Phil noted it might be a wee bit drafty, but it was the most spacious cabin among the lot.

Here's Miss Imagination herself, very into coloring these days.  She can spend 2 hours on a coloring book, especially if you have a fresh orange marker available.

You know those days where everything seems to be going so smoothly and the children have been peaceful and happy and many chores have been accomplished and day is quietly winding down and you're contentedly fixing supper while patting yourself on the back for clearly doing something wonderful and right?  Yeah, I had one of those about a week ago. And you know what comes next.  The Lord laughs His kind, good-natured laugh. 

I can't remember everything that happened, but I know things got crazy in a big hurry beginning with Elsbeth falling apart (to do with waiting for supper, I believe) and ending with several wild crashes down the stairs that momentarily stopped my heart. Fortunately just a plant, not a child.  Andrew had decided to make a sling shot by tying one end of a stretchy exercise band to my planter on the landing and the ensuing mess was really something to behold.  Here he is preparing to help with the clean up.  Look how penitent he looks, poor lad.  I told him to look sad and sorry for the picture and he said he didn't know how. 

Confession: I am a productive procrastinator.  I'm probably the best that I know.  This means that when there are jobs to be done that I don't want to do (which is always), I find other things to do that are lovely and way more fun and often create more jobs I don't want to do.  My latest distraction is making bread.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Dinner Rolls

Biscuits ("Mama's Biscuits" from the Mitford Cookbook)

Yum.  I recently spoke to an elderly woman who lives out in the country, and she remembers her mother making biscuits three times a day, some for every meal.  I'm not quite there yet, but I'm pretty sure I could eat them three times a day with no complaint. The Fiery One prefers hers with apricot jam on top.

So presently it would not be unusual to find Andrew eating a lovely slice of fresh bread and jam for breakfast while wearing his school uniform that we dug out from the bottom of the hamper.  

And finally, big thumb-sucking news!  I think Els has nearly kicked the habit.  I wouldn't have been overly concerned about it yet to tell you the truth, but as a part of her thumb-sucking ritual she would  also rub the side of her nose until it bled.  I can't believe this didn't hurt, but it never seemed to bother her in the least, and she was never without scabs on her sweet little snoot.  I tried the nasty nail polish stuff (which she sucked off without hesitation).  So we moved to taping her thumbs with medical tape during the day, which ended up working pretty well.  But at night, she'd pull the tape off or try to suck her thumbs half asleep and end up with a loop of tape in her mouth, which didn't seem like a good idea.  We put socks on her hands, but those came off as well.  Finally, inspiration struck.  Tights!  I cut out the elastic in a pair of her tights, leaving them connected in the back, and it's worked beautifully!

You may now feel free to heap on praises for my new invention.  Still trying to think of a name. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Not To Mention the Biggest Ella Fitzgerald Ever

And ... I'm back. 

Wow, I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted.  September!  I had been writing about how summery it was, and here it is now a rainy day mid-February.  At least I have an excuse this time ... adoption paperwork!  That and adoption classes. And adoption interviews. And adoption books.  Phil and I have decided to add a third wee bairn to our family through domestic infant adoption, if the Lord sees it through, and we're pretty excited.  We should have final approval from the Bethany Christian Services chieftains any time now, which means our family profile book will soon be available for mothers in our area who have decided to make adoption plans for their baby.  Never done this before, so I'm not quite sure what to expect, but I'll keep you posted!

Other happenings since last I wrote:

Andrew decided to become a chicken.

The kids have continued to be wild over the chickens, and one day last fall Andrew just up and decided he was one.  He was absolutely determined to sleep in the coop, which entertained me greatly, so we (I mean I ... Phil was wisely against this) told him he could, assuming naturally that as the temperatures plummeted and the scent of hen poopies filled his nostrils, he would come back in.  It turns out our mild mannered boy has quite the will about him, and I think it was about 10pm when Phil and I finally had to force him out of the coop, much to his righteous anger at being lied to.

We had a lovely Halloween with Mario and an Orange & Pink Butterfly

 Elsbeth's orange wings are folded behind her, just so you know.  They were both adorable and had a blast trick-or-treating with dear friends.

Our girls started laying!

In fact, we've just started getting eggs from the younger ladies, too!  We've only got 7 hens left (more on that later), 3 of the older ones and 4 younger and we're probably averaging 2 to 3 eggs a day right now.  Once all the little ones are laying and the days lengthen out (they lay more with more daylight hours), we'll probably be getting 5 - 7 eggs a day.  Not bad!

A Merry Christmas was had by all

I never seem to get any good holiday pictures with my camera - this is the best I could find.  Christmas morning was lovely here at home with Nannie and Papa to add much joy to our festivities.  We visited the extended Mobley clan before Christmas where we got to spend time with my beautiful new niece, Candler (Sallie and David's daughter).  I can't seem to locate a picture of her, blast and wretch, but trust me ... she's pretty fabulous. 

My lovely Nana stepped to the other side of eternity

I am so grateful we all got to see her healthy and beautiful in October for her 90th birthday.  She was such a remarkable woman - so wise and funny and loving and passionate about her Lord.  We all miss her lots, and just can't wait to see her again! 

The children played in the ocean in December on Pawley's Island

We celebrated Christmas with my parents on Pawley's Island just before the New Year and took the kids to the beach to feed the birds and run along the beach.  My mom and Phil claim that the fact that both children were up to their armpits in the ocean by the end of it was entirely my fault.  Whatever.  What's important is  that they had the most tremendous fun splashing in the frigid ocean and no permanent damage was done. 


Trip of a lifetime!  In January Phil had to go to go to a conference on Oahu, poor darling, so I tagged along.  We went a few days early to Kauai and it was heaven!  Beauty as far as the eye can see.  Mountains, oceans, wild chickens, this place has it all.  I even got to swim with sea turtles and see whales (in between bouts of retching off the back of the boat. No more boats ... EVER.) 

Hawks, Horrible Hawks

Before Christmas a beastly hawk got our little Loretta.  While we were in Hawaii, another got Beatrice.  And about a week later, I ran outside to find sweet Rosemary lying lifeless under the back porch after having been dragged there by yet another evil bird of prey.  I chased that hawk away, screaming insults that I hope he never recovers from, and scooped up my girl.  She was still breathing, but I was sure she had been slashed to bits and was expecting guts and spurting holes.  I checked her over and couldn't believe there were no visible wounds, and moments later, to my delight, she opened one of her beady eyes to give  me the kind of suspiciously ticked off look only a chicken can give.  I coddled her and fed her her favorite chicken treats and she spent the night in a clothes basket on the dining room table.  The next morning during breakfast, she hopped out and took herself on a tour of the downstairs, occasionally stopping to give quite the impassioned speech about her ordeal.  She soon joined the others outside and has been fine and dandy ever since.

Enter Roxanne

So now we have Roxanne, an 87 pound Great Pyrenees with a sweet spirit and a fabulously deep bark to strike terror into the heart of any creature that dares turn a hungry eye towards my feathered babies.  Roxanne was a working dog guarding sheep (or maybe goats?) until her elderly owner got ill and turned her over to a local rescue group.  She's been Roxanne her whole life or I'd consider changing her name since we already have a Roxanna (Nannie) and a Roxie (our Barred Rock hen), but I think we'll be able to figure it out.  The kids are crazy over her and she has the patience of Job with the two of them, and Roxanne herself has fallen madly in love with Phil.  Pretty darn cute.  Shiloh had some startling language to share at their introduction and Mr. Tumnus almost flipped his gizzard when he saw her, but now the dogs just ignore each other and Mr. Tumnus rubs up against her legs and purrs.

And there you have it.  Just another 6 months at the Mobley asylum for the slightly daft and undeniably impulsive.