This is what Carver came home from school with the other day. The Boy Scouts made a presentation and passed out these little handbooks. Anyone besides me see the complete irony of handing a bunch of 12 year old boys a free pass to arson?


 I'm Not Making This Stuff Up.
My children are so funny. This is how I found them the other night while
they were practicing their instruments.
Why he's wearing the ninja scarf while drumming, I don't know. Don't ask me
such difficult questions. Too bad his extra large Ethiopian forehead prevents
him from really seeing out of the eye hole. It's a little awkward.

Why are they so weird? Carver practicing in his snowboard
boots. He was excited because they're new and he
didn't want to take them off.


Happy Birthday, David. You are a rock star!


I double-dog dare you... no, wait. I triple-dog dare you to read this book and not cry. Go for it.


I have this huge, gigantic, ranting, pleading, political, religious post in my head that I've written 50 different times and just need to get it out there, but then I think, "Really?" Who would it make feel better? Uh... me. And would it help society in any way? Um, probably not. It ranks right up there with other stupid ideas I've had like growing my hair out. November 2 can't come soon enough, because I'm tired of the hate and the whining and the bickering and the bull and the polarizing and the same 3 issues (being gay, abortion, and taxes) being hashed out over and over and over again. Really, people? We haven't moved forward at all? Look, I'm a Christian. I'll come out and say it after years of beating around the bush. But don't put me in a box and don't assume you'll know what I think on every issue. How would Jesus vote? To be honest, Jesus probably wouldn't make it to the polls in time because He'd be too busy working in a soup kitchen. I just want to wake up on November 3rd, read the results in the paper--good and bad--and get on with life. And then keep working in my own village on the issues that are important to me (cough... public school, equality, adoption... cough). Therefore, I will spare you my brain ga-ga and give you a photo of cutie Z on hay bales. Happy? Of course you are.

PS--This is not to say that I take for granted my right to vote. Oh no. Not at all. I'm just worn out with the campaigning.
5:15 Wake up and run.
6:15 Shower, drink coffee, and pretend like I'm excited to be up that early.
6:30-7:35 Make pancakes, make lunches, make kids happy, sign papers, grab sweatshirts, bite my tongue about what my oldest is wearing, try not to forget anything as we walk out the door.
7:50 Kiss Lily and Zinabu good bye and drop them off at school.
8:15 Kiss Carver good bye and drop him off at school.
8:15:01 Turn on the radio and listen to NPR to catch the news.
8:20 Stop at the park and play fetch with the dog.
8:40 Drop off dog at house, check on Mom, attempt to tidy things a little but finally admit it's a losing battle. Throw dinner together and stick it in the fridge with instructions of when to bake it.
9:00 At Ali's house. Go in her car with her and talk non-stop. We have a rare morning of getting together with Shannon and the three of us grab coffee, buy birthday presents, and look for Halloween costumes.
11:30 Realize I forgot lunch. Start getting hungry. On my way to Lily and Zinabu's school.
11:40 Sign in at school for the day. Stop by the cafeteria to say hi to my babies. Learn that youngest baby traded all his grapes for BBQ potato chips. Try not to wring youngest baby's neck.
11:45 Start my volunteer work at the library. Spend 2.5 hours helping shelve books, talking to sweet kiddos about what they want to read, and blatantly push my favorite authors on unsuspecting minors.
2:30 Find Lily and Zianbu and start driving home.
2:45 Drop off Lily, who is excited because it's cooking day for her with one of our neighbors. She goes over there to bake. Grab some snacks. Grab drum sticks and music books. Leave for drum lessons.
3:00-3:30 Spend a blissful 30 minutes finishing a fantastic book while Zinabu pounds away on the drums with his drum instructor.
3:45 Take Z home and dash off to Carver's school to pick him up and take him to a wrestling meet. Find out that 3 other kids need a ride to the wrestling meet, so I quickly grab them as well.
3:48 Listen to one of my passengers tell me he has to have a window seat or he'll get sick. Make sure that kid sits by the window.
4:15-6:15 Watch a middle school wrestling meet. This is my second. I spend the entire time cringing and holding my breath. There are no words to describe it. David stops by and we share a quick visit. I make sure he knows to get dinner ready.
6:30 We're home. Eat dinner with family. Pretend to be listening as Lily asks for the ten thousandth time for a horse. Notice Zinabu sounds stuffy and probably is getting another cold.
7:00 Clean up and start homework.
7:30 Help Lily and Carver with their instrument practice.
8:00 Put Zinabu to bed.
8:30 Put Lily to bed.
8:45 Put Carver to bed.
8:46 Stare at a blank wall.


Move over, Cullens


Recently Overheard
Lily and Zinabu were playing with Play-Doh yesterday. They were giggling and having an absolute ball. I was making muffins, and we were all together in the kitchen enjoying the afternoon. The giggles were growing, and then turned into all-out laughter. I asked them what was so funny, and Lily said, "We're making giardia!"* Nothing like science experiments concocting parasites.

My kids. They're beyond me.

*Only families with children from Ethiopia know how this is such a fun part of our lives.


Yesterday was Zinabu's last soccer game of the fall season. I guess he felt inspired to try something new. After his game he told me he was not wearing underwear because he wanted to feel "free." I wondered why he had his hands in his pockets most of the game.


Tesi, bless her heart, wants to know the answers to the following questions. So I will oblige her. I am way behind on my blogging and it's nice to not have to come up with a topic all by myself. It might also be because I have photos on the camera waiting to be uploaded and the camera is in the car because we went to Carver's orchestra concert last night and I am too attached to my cup of coffee to walk the 20 paces to the door and go out and find the camera so I can post photos of Zinabu's field trip yesterday.

It might be.

1. What is your biggest pet peeve? Oh golly. Way to get to my inner dark side right off the bat. I recall saying in the last year that as I get older, the more pet peeves I acquire. It's not good. I have some strange ones, but I think the one that gets me most often is people standing too close to me in line. It always happens at the grocery store. The person behind me has their cart pushed up right against my thighs. As I'm paying, the next customer in line is right there next to me waiting for their items to be scanned. I HATE it. LOATHE it. First of all, people just need to be a little more patient in store lines. Second, respect my personal space. Just respect it.

2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? London, London, London, and London. Growing up we moved a lot, and I've had the opportunity to live in and near many major cities: New York City, Washington D. C., Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Denver. My favorites are the Twin Cities. They're hard to top, and we still miss living there so much. At this point in my life, I'd be happy to get out of the United States for a bit, and London is just so.... London! I told David if Sarah Palin was ever elected President, we would buy one-way tickets to England and get the heck out of here.

3. Have you ever been searched by the cops? As in actually frisked? No. My car? Yes. Our yard? Yes. Interviewed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Absolutely. But my mom reads this blog and I don't want to frighten her.

4. What is the one thing on your mind right now? If I said world peace, would you believe me? I hate this question because I have 6,982 things on my mind right now. Like paperwork, emails, errands, laundry, cleaning, groceries, David working too much, running, trying to be in 4 places at once, getting my kids to follow through, and where to put the rabbits. And that's just in the last 5 minutes. I guess what's been on my mind the most this week is weather. It's been a gorgeous fall here in Colorado, but cold is right around the corner and I'm not happy about it. I'm signed up for a half-marathon in January in Phoenix, and I have to get to somehow keep running early in the morning in snow, ice, and freezing temps. How do people do that?

5. Favorite song right now? The only time I really get to listen to music is when I'm running, so the songs on my ipod are "running inspired." I currently love Pink's So What and All These Things That I've Done by The Killers. It's all about motivation.

6. What talent do you wish you had? Tesi said "singing" and Rebekah said "running faster." They really should have checked with me before they answered that question because those are MY answers. Thieves! If I had to pick something different, I would say the ability to be comfortable around large groups of people, making small talk, etc. I am introverted, and I envy you extroverts who walk into any room and feel not a drop of apprehension. My family wishes I was more talented at cooking.

7. Favorite drink? Hmmmmm. Decaf coffee or V8 tomato juice. And tea. I drink only decaf these days. I was having some heartburn issues, and giving up caffeine and carbonated drinks cleared it right up. I am so geeky to love V8 tomato juice. But I do. Every day for a snack I have an apple and a V8. Yum.

8. In one word how would you describe yourself. Non-confrontational. I like a quiet life, know what I mean? I think it comes from being more introverted, but I detest getting into any kind of disagreement with anyone. I would not describe myself as a pushover, though. I don't like confrontation, but that doesn't mean I can't get into it with someone if it's necessary. Raising three children who have brown skin means I chose a path that includes a fair share of confrontation. It's a part of my life, but I'm not ever going to be comfortable with it.

And how about you? I'd love to know how you would answer these questions. Email me or write it on your own blog!


I Get To Run

I woke up this morning to fierce wind, overcast skies, and freezing rain. Not exactly the ideal running weather. So I waited until this afternoon and headed to the Y to run on the treadmill. I am not a fan of the treadmill. It's mind-numbing and artificial, and there's usually some big buy next to me snorting and sweating profusely, completely ruining the zen atmosphere. As I was 30 minutes into feeling like a gerbil on a wheel, I saw a man in a wheelchair using the weights. I immediately thought of this article. And instead of saying, "I have to run on the treadmill" I switched to "I get to run on the treadmill." Because I need to be more grateful for what I have. Like legs that work.

A few less "have to's" and a lot more "get to's" make me a better person.


Monday, Monday, Monday... Why Do You Hate Me So?

Bronchitis, stomach flu, and bitter disappointment cloud this day. There is a silver lining. I am not one who is sick. I am the cleaner-upper of the vomit, though. It's so amazing to see a child's breakfast going down, then coming back up again in almost perfect form an hour later. Oh, is this too graphic for you? Sorry. It's just routine for me.

I was supposed to be painting the trim around our windows and putting away the patio chairs and sandbox toys for the winter. Instead, I am doing laundry and wiping a brow and listening to my mom try to cough her lungs into submission. But I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I wouldn't have it any other way.

The bitter disappointment I speak of is about the new bunny. Lily bought Carver a rabbit for his birthday--cause that's how we roll around here. I was really pushing for the name Mr. Darcy. Hard. I even suggested Harry Potter. But he went ahead and named the bunny Fred.


Cause that's how he rolls, I guess.


I Dare You Not To Laugh

Couldn't do it? Neither could I.

The photo is a little blurry because I could not stop giggling. Carver decided to join the wrestling squad at school. Carver, who weighs (fully dressed and soaking wet) a feathery 70 pounds. Carver, who is so ticklish all you have to do is say you're going to touch him and he dissolves into giggles. Carver, who is the smallest kid on the squad and has had to wrestle girls. They gave him and extra small uniform, and it's still baggy. It just doesn't get any funnier.

But I'll give him props for his attitude. He is happy and loving it. Despite David and I "suggesting" he try something else. He doesn't care about his size. He doesn't care about his ability. He doesn't care if it isn't the most popular sport. He just wants to get out there and have fun. He's just so amazing at this thing called life.

He could give me a few lessons.


Directions For Wednesday

1. Sit at computer.
2. Stick a bowl under your chin.
3. Go here.
4. Commence drooling.


Forgive me. I've been recovering from a bunch of middle school boys who slept over on Friday night. We (ok, not really me--but Carver) had a fantastic time. A little laser tag, some pizza and cupcakes, and staying up late with Uno and Yo-Yos. Yes. You read that right. Yo-yos are back in vogue.

The best part of the weekend was getting to meet Lyndon. Lyndon is Carver's new best friend. They met the first week of school and are pretty much inseparable. What's funny is that Lyndon is just a white version of Carver. They are so similar it's freaky. And Lyndon is so sweet and such a crack-up. Middle school was when I met two of my dearest friends ever. It was such a delightful season in my life. I'm hoping Carver and Lyndon are going to have the same experience.

Lily had a volleyball game this weekend, and I got to cheer her on in my sleep-deprived-only-ate-pizza-for-breakfast-what-was-I-thinking kind of stupor.

This week has started rough. David is sick, Zinabu was sick, and I'm just flying by the seat of my pants. Can you relate?


Happy Birthday, Carver!