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Showing posts from January, 2008


Stuart came home from work on this cold, dry evening complaining of sore lips. "It feels like my WHOLE bottom lip is a cold sore. What do you think I should do?"

After a big glass of water and glob of lip balm he was back to normal but somehow that minor event led to this discussion around the dinner table.

"Doctor, there's something horribly wrong with my lip. What do you suggest?"

"I'll write you a prescription for Avegrasil. It was just approved by the FDA. Give it a try. If it doesn't work, come back in three weeks and I'll give you some more."

Directions for taking Avegrasil:
Do not take with food or on an empty stomach. Do not lick lips.

Side effects may include but are not limited to: blisters, leprosy and spontaneous human combustion.

The discussion ended when Faith toodled. She did not offer the customary, "Excuse me" but explained herself with, "I've been taking Avegrasil.

Chapped lips anyone? Try Avegrasil. It won'…

Math Work

Charlie wants to be big. Big people doing big things tower over him and he wants to join in. He sees the girls climb on the swing and pump themselves skyward. The swing is too high for him to reach and he doesn’t know how to pump. “Lift me! Push me! Swing me!” he cries. Sometimes we do and sometimes we’re busy. When we push, he cries if we stop and when we don’t push he cries out of sheer frustration. He knows too much about how the world works because the big kids show him. But often he can’t join in just because he’s three. It’s not easy to be three when everyone else is six and seven and higher numbers than he has fingers to count.

We’ve bent a lot of rules to accommodate this youngest child. All of the other kids had to be as tall as Stuart’s waist before they could chew gum but how do you pass out six sticks of gum and say, “No, Charlie not until you’re as tall as Papa’s belt.”?

He gets to stay up late, too, because the sounds of game playing and story reading would make him cry …

The Ice Cream Parlor

The Tooth Fairy doesn’t come to our house. Not because of any deep seated anti-Tooth Fairy angst. I'm just a tradition rebel. When each child looses his first tooth, we leave the rest of the pack at home and take the newly toothless one out for ice cream. This was easily accomplished when all of the children were young and the ice cream parlor was ten minutes away.

We realized this simple tradition had become more complicated when Claire’s first tooth came out in my palm. The big guys don’t need a baby sitter. The little ones do. Kid combinations are such that we can’t leave them all home alone without outside supervision. Add in the drive time to and from the nearest soft serve establishment and we’re looking at three hours. Just for a quick trip to get ice cream! What to do?

“I know, Mama! We can drive to the grocery store and get ice cream and eat it in the car!”

“I don’t know. The thought of eating cold ice cream in the car in a hurry in January isn’t my idea of a date, Claire…

Mr. Fixit

"I hate to admit it but, I don't think this pot can be saved," I called to Stuart over the terrific racket I was making with a metal spatula. "I've soaked it all week and I'm hardly making a dent in this mess." I insist on making my own pizza sauce because it's so thick and delicious but sometimes things go awry. I filled six quart jars with steaming goodness before I discovered that the bottom inch of sauce had fossilized.

Stuart came out in the kitchen and peered over my shoulder. "You're pretty rough on your pans. Remember the sweet potatoes?" (Two inches of water is not enough to steam forgotten potatoes for sixty-something minutes.) "I hate to throw this one out. It's a good heavy pan. Maybe I can take it to work and sandblast it." He was quiet for a minute, thinking. "I know, I've got a metal grinder out in my shop. That might work." He disappeared out the back door and I walked away from the sink and w…

I'm Still Here

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve sat down with all of you for a visit. December came and went before I could catch my breath. Here’s what I’ve been doing with Stuart and the kids:

…celebrating the birthday of our very first teenager. (I just want to stop time!)
...setting phone limits for said teenager.
…celebrating the first lost tooth of child number four.
…teaching child number five to put on his own pants and underwear. He can do it. Yeah!
...teaching said half-naked child that demonstrating this new found dressing skill for the neighbors is not such a great idea. They might not cheer as vigorously for him as the six of us do.
…going on a beekeeper field trip.
…taking stuff to the Salvation Army and returning home with some great bargains.
…learning to make pasta and hanging it from hangers hung from the ceiling fan above our bed on Christmas Day.
…making coffee ice-cream, and homemade waffles with new Christmas equipment.
…researching the health benefits of kefir, parsley, lemons,…