Friday, September 28, 2007

Ding Dong...

...the mouse is dead. La La La La La.
I know that sounds a little harsh but really, I can't go on having a mouse living in my house. I can't. Even if it IS cute and small and looks a little like Stuart Little. Even if my kids had fantasies of matchbox beds and little cars for him, it's wrong, wrong, wrong. Mice and people cannot coexist in a home. I think there's actually a law somewhere that says there can only be so many things that poop living under one roof. If there's not, there should be and we would definitely be over that limit.
The live traps (totally useless) said use peanut butter so we did.
Nothing.
You can't say we didn't try.
Max our cat even got a shot at the little guy. One night he caught him, carried him around the house intermittently letting him go, chasing him and catching him again in every room in our house. Trey and are were holding the front and back doors open yelling at Max to carry the mouse outside but instead, he played "cat and mouse" one too many times and got cocky. The mouse scurried away under the dishwasher again and Max was left looking dazed and confused under our disgusted glare.
If they can't catch mice, what in the world are cats good for?
Finally, Trey brought in the big guns. Good old traditional mouse traps that are a little, um, more permanent.
"It's all about the bait, baby."
And it was.
Apparently, 'Tom and Jerry' was wrong. A mouse cannot carefully take the cheese off of the trap and run into it's little mouse hole laughing and enjoy his bounty. For all those mice out there thinking they wanna be like Jerry, let go of the fantasy.
In one fail snap, our mouse problem was solved.
Now, how to tell Quincy?
Maybe the fact that he has a new pet will ease the blow. A new pet you ask? Yes, of course he does.
It's a cat.
He named it Money.
Of course he did.
Trey thought it was for sure someone else's cat because "it has a collar". No Trey, that's a piece of shoelace Quincy stapled together with about 25 staples to make a collar. If you look close, there's no mistaking who's cat it is. It's got the mark of Quincy all over it.
Perhaps I need to get to know this cat, odds are it'll be living here before we know it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A little peace and quiet

I got a little time to myself yesterday and it was sweet as pie. I got a nasty flat tire on a sketchy road near my house. Ok, really, any road near my house technically qualifies as sketchy but this one is an extra special kind of sketchy. I had all my kiddos in the car so my darling husband drives over to give me a hand.
"Hey, baby, let me change that tire for you."
"No, it's ok, I've already called roadside assistance and they're on their way."
"Well, this is probably not the safest place to be so why don't you take the kids home in my car and I'll wait for the guy to come." This is huge because I know it might kill his manly pride to be sitting there when another dude came to change his tire.
"Um, no, um, you know what? You go ahead and take the kids home and I'll lock the doors and wait for him."
So he did, and I did. Total silence. Total silence sitting on a road with 5 stray dogs, one homeless guy, an old mattress, and not one person stopping to help. I think that was a good thing, actually. I may have seen one drug deal.
It was my little oasis of peace and quiet; locked in my car with a flat and a cold diet coke. Ahhh.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Dinner's at 6:00

Almost daily, today being no exception, we have a throng of children trickle into our house after school. We have our regulars, Quincy, Tony, Kim, Boy, and then we have the not so regulars. These are usually boys who know my husband (so they call me Mrs. Trey), and come because they hear the noise from all the other children that are in my home. There's a kickball game in the front and "crack the egg" on the trampoline in the back. Although it sounds as though we would, we've never had an injury serious enough to have to call in reinforcements.
What has taken me far too long to realize is that these children have learned something else about my home. Dinner's at 6:00.
Our afternoon usually starts very benignly. "Mrs. Trey, can we jump?" They just want to jump on the trampoline in back, right? No strings, no mess, nothing.
"Mrs. Trey, can I have some water?" Here we go.
"Can I have an apple?" I keep a ton of apples on hand for them so they know they're always welcome. I save the hot cheetos for myself.
"Are you cooking dinner? Can I help?"
And that's about all it takes. Come 5:45, I'm praying over the dinner I've planned asking the Lord to stretch it. "I need loaves and fishes, Lord, loaves and fishes."
And at 6:00 we sit down to eat. Pulling up chairs from all over the house and breaking bread with these precious kiddos.
Sometimes it's grilled fish, sometimes it's grilled cheese sandwiches, and sometimes, Trey supplements with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Despite the chaos, it's become one of my favorite parts of living where we do.

A while back, before I knew the code, we got a knock on our door right at 6:00. It was a rare night where it was just our family. At the door were 2 brothers and their little sister. Trey opened the door and said "Hey guys!"
"Can we jump?"
"We're just now sitting down to dinner but ya'll are welcome to come jump tomorrow." The next day, he found out their mother was severly depressed and they had no food in the house. They had come because they were hungry. As we see the Lord continue to make extra where there is none, our prayer is that a child will never leave our house hungry again. Even if I have to share the hot cheetos.
Thank you Lord, that you promise not only to use us, but to make us useful.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mom

Eight years ago today I lost my mom to cancer. She was so beautiful inside and out and just an all around great mom. The Lord called her home before she had a chance to know her grandchildren. They ask a lot of questions about her but my descriptions rarely do her justice.
I do know she would have delighted in their funny little personality quirks and loved how they are each so wonderfully made.
Would she have helped me to see through the craziness with a perspective that knew you don't get any do overs? Would she have reminded me to have patience, they're so little? Would she encourage me to treat every day as the precious gift that it is? I like to think she would have.
I miss you mama. You are still so dearly loved.
Thank you Lord that your love is better than life...and she knows it.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Redemption

Tee, my Ebay-er (see post below), had his first flag football game of the season and scored a TOUCHDOWN!!! He was running around making all kinds of plays! We're very proud of him!
My dad is coming to visit tomorrow afternoon. Time to flip the couch cushions over to the clean side.
The mouse is still at large.

What happens when the lights go out.


These are my school children. They have been in school a little over a week and we were just settling into a great routine where 3 times a week, I just have ONE CHILD AT HOME. It's amazing how much I can get done. How, if someone screams, I can get to the source pretty quickly. How, if she gets a lollipop, it's not orange (the least favorite color of my other children) and does not have dog hair on it. It's pretty blissful.
On Wednesday morning, we got a call from our school that the electricity was out and we would not be having school today. WHAT?!? Are you kidding me? What about flashlights? What about generators? What about the great history lessons that could be had about all our predecessors who went to school without electricity and walked uphill both ways in the snow?
Ok, Ok, I can do this. I did it ALL summer. Melissa, put your cruise director hat on and get ready for question numero uno that was coming as soon as school cancellation was announced..."Can we have friends over to play?!?"
So, at about 7:45, plans were being made to get together with friends and enjoy yet another day of summer vacation...
Here's how it went.
1. My boys and their friends tried to light a bonfire in the garage of a friends house for warmth. It was 97 degrees outside. They were also trying to sacrifice worms in the fire. Sick.
2. We went to lunch at Chick Fil A. Very nutritious. Well, we have 3rd graders and they ran as fast as they could straight for the play area (reserved for children 24 inches and below). The look of shock and awe on the faces of the other mothers was priceless. But not so priceless that we didn't eat as fast as we could and get the heck out of there before a mob of these mothers formed and chased us and our 7 unusually ill behaved children out of Chick Fil A forever. There is no shame like that of a mother who other mothers think has ill behaved children.
3. Tip, when a child says "Mom, smell my finger." NEVER do it.
4. Legos, Legos, Legos.
5. Dress up, Dress up, Dress up.
6. Snack, Snack, Snack.
7. Make Chocolate Chip Cookies.
8. Clean Bathrooms. (Ok, Wednesday is the day I clean my bathrooms so the little girls helped me get them all sparkely and shiny. Smelling great and disinfected.)
9. Meanwhile, the boys wanted to get on Ebay and see what lego action figures were selling for. Ok, I said. They have been warned about deviating from the appropriate websites on the internet or typing anything in at random. We also have a killer blocker, I can barely go to Nordstrom.com. Legos on Ebay seemed pretty harmless.
"Mom, I typed in a bad word on Ebay Express." Said with face downtrodden but the corners of the mouth twitching and curving slightly upward.
"WHAT DID YOU TYPE IN?" ( I felt like I was going to vomit because of what my precious son might of seen and the idea of having to tell my friend what her son might have seen on my watch.)
"penis"
"WHAT?!?" Tee, why did you do that?"
"Sin mom, I am a sinner saved by grace. Total depravity. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whoever believes in him and should type in a bad word on the computer should not perish but have eternal life."
"What did you see?"
"Penis enlargement pills. We didn't even scroll down." (I checked this out and it was true, maybe a pump for penis enlargement (gross) was on the first page as well but that was it.)
10. The talk, the prayer, the discipline, and the consequences.
11. The conversation with my friend explaining why my bathrooms were clean but her son's mind a little dirtier. Ugh.
12. Goodbys, dinners, baths, more prayers, goodnights.
13. The phone call from the school that the lights were still out and we would not be having school again tomorrow.
14. Thank you Lord, that your mercies are new every morning and though our sins were as scarlet, You have made them white as snow.