This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 29

I am feeling better. Thanks for the prayers, yo. Day 29 wasn't pretty, but I got to read some more of my book, which is always a happy event. I joined a book club. We are reading Cutting For Stone. So far it is scandalous and very well written. Someone, someday, somewheres is going to put my book down and say, "That Shontell is sure well written." Amen.

Why I Like Mike #29

He remembers to buy me cough medicine when I forget it for myself. I know it's early, but I woke this morning, not from coughing or a cricked neck from sleeping on the couch. I woke early because I actually slept most of the night. Thanks for taking care of me babe.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 28

I came. I coughed up a lung. I bruised my diaphragm. No kidding. That's what it feels like.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 27

My head is fuzzy. I want to do something fun like scrapbook. Instead, I am sitting on my couch, sweating, then cold while Sam coughs all over his sister. My future is bleak. Ideally, my room would be clean, as I had planned this morning, and I would be ending my night reading Harry Potter the Seventh to my kids and scrapping whilst I watch a movie. It's not going to happen. Is 7:16 too early to send my kids to bed for the night even if it's a vacation day? BAH.
Ps. sorry for the grumpiness of this post. I feel miserable.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 26

We like to bake at the Christmas holiday. It's a great family pastime. My husband takes much of the lead, as I am just not very good at the baking. I help, but it's more to delegate and grab ingredients for the chefs. The following pictures offer an excellent insight into the children that are my offspring.
She cleans.
They cooperate and tackle the trickiest treats: marshmallows.
She creates the eclectic: puppy chow.
He is just weird. Enough said.
Sadly I am missing a a picture of Layla Grace. Most likely she was flittering about the kitchen encouraging good work ethic and cleaning up behind the mess makers so as to encourage order.

Day 25

Merry Christmas. Take your face out of your phone and your computer long enough to have a real conversation with someone. Take time to play a game. Take time to get back to the good old days where people interacted and laughed and shared and got to know one another, even if those people are your own children. Three year olds can carry some pretty funny conversations.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 24: The Brew Crew

People think I jest when I say, "We need our own show." Not only would I love the funds that would come from this sort of situation, but the people of this great nation would finally be able to see for themselves what I mean when I say, "My kids are a hoot. Like a funny owl." They are you know? Funny owls. May I introduce the cast?

Addison,the sweet to look at sassy to speak to, please don't be an idiot anywhere near her if you can't handle what she may have to say about it.
Samuel, the kid you want to approach, even though you can't always understand the English coming out of his mouth, and you completely love him, until you make him lose his temper. Then. He will eat your face off and storm away. Only to return if you grovel and offer sugar.
Elijah, the kid who starts the party as he walks in the door, is learning when funny and rude separate, but can make the most stoic person sing along to a happy birthday falsetto. Also, he looks smashing in a fedora and blazer. At the age of ten.
Layla Grace. Her name explains that she is retro and capable and graceful and worth knowing. All things true. She has hutzpah. Everyone she knows is changed.
Isabelle Rose, the girl who is a beauty with a voice she is still too shy to try out in public. She is growing into her own skin and working on new talents. She is a smart alexis. I like it.
Cumulatively, they make the Brew Crew, not at all unlike the Partridge Family.
Tonight, as we arrived home from checking out Nampa's Christmas lights, we were informed we were in for a treat aka a show. They performed no less than six Christmas songs, played two songs with a piano accompaniment, and reenacted the nativity scene with baby Samuel playing Jesus. Far fetched? Jesus would be flattered. The whole thing was fantastic- even the part where Addison was irate that the dress Izzy made for her was pinned and not sewn. Even the part when Elijah sang falsetto to Away in a Manger while posing as The Strong Man and playing Joseph. Multitasker.
Good times. Sorry you don't live here. Sorry we don't have our own show.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Comes Early to the Brew Crew

Tonight, the kids and I snuggled up with Nanna and watched this year's run of The Nativity. Tonight, I set out several, and then some, gifts. Tonight I made, from the scratch, cinnamon rolls.
Tomorrow, I will make the coffee maple glaze to atop them. (sing) YUM. In the morning, my kids will stay holed up in their bedrooms until The Man gets home from work. 8:15 ish. This time will come slowly for all of us.
Tomorrow, we will celebrate Jesus and his birth and, by extension, what he did for us on the cross. Sunday, we will eat his birthday cake. I am positive it's what he would want ;)

Day 23

People often ask me if I am fearful or sit around and worry over my husband because of his job. He is a fire fighter, obviously, as the photo to the right indicates. Also, he is hot, as the caption to the right indicates. I digress.

I do not, though. I do not worry about The Man being a fire fighter. He was seventeen the first time he mentioned becoming one. He did other things for a while. But, when God puts a passion in your heart to be or do something, no matter how many distractions may come up, you seem to go back to it. God has miraculously made my husband a fire fighter. Twice.
When he got laid off from the Reno Fire Department, we were heart broken. We took as many tiny steps in faith as we could muster. Packed. Placed the house on the market. Made steps to be ready. Prepared our hearts for what was next.
I dreamed that I got a call from the Nampa Fire Department. The man on the phone asked if I thought My Husband could be up to Idaho in two weeks. Then our house sold, and we decided to take the first offer for fire fighter that came The Man's way. We got many letters saying he was first on the list, second on the list, third on the list to be called. We prayed a little more and tried not to let frustration at the unknown rule.
The Man took an interim job, and the kids and I took a trip to Vegas to see friends and family before we moved further away. While I was there, I got a new tattoo and a phone call from the Nampa Fire Department asking if my husband was still interested in taking a job with them. Overwhelmed at the similarity from my dream, I asked him why he called me and not my husband. Turns out The Man accidentally typed my cell number on his resume. Funny how God works.
So, no. I am not fearful of the position that God has so precisely paced My Husband in. I feel better when I hear from him after a fire, but I know God is the author and finisher of his faith and his desires. It's where he is supposed to be.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Next Day: Cheers

I love getting posts and emails and texts saying I am a loser for slacking on my goals. Accountability is a beautiful thing. People have not nearly enough of it. I welcome it in right portions and places in my life. Like posts and emails and texts saying GET BACK ON TRACK!!
Titus 2 says much on discipleship. It gets you thinking though; are you disciplining anyone? Are you being discipled by another? How is that going? Walls? Pride? Arrogance? Or breakthrough? Encouragement? Overflow? That's what discipleship is really- being filled so you can be emptied again. That means someone fills my coffee cup and I pour my coffee into another's mug. Metaphorically speaking. (Also, if you literally have coffee to pour into my coffee mug, I will take it.)
I always pray, "God, use me." He does probably, but to the best of my ability. It's not him. It's me. He puts people around me so as to disciple me. He puts people around me to disciple. It's when I get involved that things get a little haywire.

Day, Um

You know what I like? A lot of things, but mostly I like that I don't have any vital reason to be on my computer some days. Do you ever feel we have become drones in front of our technology? I catch myself checking my phone even when I have not heard the little chime that denotes an incoming message, email, or game play. Why is that? Boredom probably.
Yesterday, I got caught up in the last quarter of my book in the series I am reading. It was well worth my time to sit, and be, and not check my phone or get on my computer. I took a break mid-day to play a board game with the kids. Disney's version of Headbanz. Good times.
I read some more, and then we headed off chockabock full of gift cards to the movies and dinner at The Olive Gardens. Then, we got home, and I finished my book. I did not play on my phone all day. I did not surf websites that deep down add up to little meaning and memories. I did not spend my day wrapped up in what was coming next. I read a good book, did a few chores, and spent time with people. Real people. In front of my face people.
Challenge thrown.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 17

Christmas movies are a must this time of year. Today, I spent a good hour or more stalking the stores in the greater Nampa area looking for a copy of The Preacher's Wife starring Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington. No go. I have owned a copy of this movie, which I recorded from the television back in the day of VHS tapes. Apparently, this movie has landed in the same abyss as my other missing favorite objects. A place I like to think of as Schenectady. I have never been there, but I am certain it now houses my bootleg movie and my beloved locket along with several other of my most favorite things. Freaking New York.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 16: aliens

Speaking of beef jerky, I don't believe in aliens. Not related topics? Well, I teach first graders all day. I was told relevance is irrelevant. Like when a teacher called me over in the middle of benchmark testing to say she ate a meatball off the staff treats table, but instead of eating it with her mouth, she rolled it down her sweatshirt. This further explained why she smelled of meatballs. I didn't smell them. I took her word for it. She is a hoot. I am so glad I was placed with her as to aide/ aid (I just can never remember) her in her classroom. It's like God knows. I need sarcasm in Costco proportions. Also, beef jerky.

Day 15

I know it isn't day 15. Yesterday was day 15. Today, you will get two posts as my schedule for yesterday went like this:
6am- wrap Addison's birthday present
6:08- wake kids to sing to the squirrel
6:11- sing to the squirrel and say she smells like one too
6:20- oversee children getting ready for school, sign papers, whatnot
6:58- convince kids to be a little lazier and allow me to drive them to school at 8
6:59-7:00- lay around the house time
7:01- laundry, straightening, calendar checking, coffee making, breakfast eating (but not me. the others ate breakfast. I forgot, which is why I ate more than my fair share of the treats at school. I am not proud.)
7:45- drove kids to school, smooched, sang the good bye song much like the Von Trapps would have done, had a six minute conversation with Samuel on burping with our mouths open
8am- drank coffee, read bible, welcomed husband home with a smooch on the cheek and a semi-clean home
The next few hours were full of work, stuffing my face with said Christmas treats, teaching children to read, write, and 'rithmetic, and communicating with teachers who are as antsy to be done with school as the kids are.
At 2, I had an interview for a job with a tutoring company.
At 3:30, I went to the grocery store to purchase Squirrel's birthday dinner selection of nachos, lemonade sprite combo, and pineapple upside down cake.
This is also the part where I was supposed call a lady at the kids' school to coordinate a meeting time with her to hand over the key to the PTO cabinet, which I right out stole from the school. She needed it last night. I remembered that I was supposed to call her as SOON as I got in the car, but I was too far away, so I waited. I remembered that I never called this morning at 6 am. sigh
On the bright side, dinner was delish, the presents were a hit, the cake was SO yum (made by The Man and The Fish), and Addison successfully turned seven. 
Now, I have to go call the PTO lady and tell her sorry she wasn't able to cut out her 600 Christmas trees because I still have the key. I am lame.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 14: Conversations with a Squirrel

Addison, our resident squirrel and I were riding in the car listening to music on my Ipod. My friend Rebekah Brown and her friend Kristopher came over the speaker singing reminders of where God has me. Her voice is beautiful, and she has more musical talent in her teeniest finger than I have in my entire being. Plus, she has great hair.
So, from the peanut gallery (where squirrels typically sit), Addison started chattering away.

Me: Squirrel, let's listen to Ms. Rebekah Brown sing to us.
Addison: That isn't Ms. Rebekah Brown.
Me: Why would I lie? It's my friend. Ms. Rebekah Brown. Let's listen to her sing to us.
Addison: That is a boy singing.
Me: Well, YES, THAT is a boy she is singing with, but the girl's voice you will hear in a second is my friend. Rebekah Brown. Listen.
Addison: That's a horn.
Me: I am telling her you said that.
Addison (laughs maniacally): NOOOO DON'T TELL HER!!! Let's just listen. :/
Me: (snicker)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Netflix: Bippity Boppity Cebu

Netflix is genius. Honestly, the whole concept reeks of Google and those nerds sitting on their bean bags inventing, and I use it nearly everyday. We are budgeters now though, and we have to take a look at some things that are weighing us down. Netflix has raised their prices to $16/ month (and the irate world went irate-ier). It's really a good price if you ask me. We get streaming movies on our Wii, and we get a movie in the mail a few days after we sent in the last one. Win, win.
What sucks is the FACT that Netflix is using magic against me. We are gung ho to ditch our debt and even cancel our subscription with these guys to put that $16/month toward a debt. I know that sounds like peanuts, but that equals almost $200 per year, which could be paying for two of my kids to play sports instead of watching television. It hurts to see it, but it's true. Anyway, the magic.
We had been tossing the idea around the ole living room, canceling our Netflix. And wouldn't you know it, our movie went missing. Missing. Since Halloween. Netflix used magic against us so we couldn't cancel.
We pulled everything out of everywhere. Don't try to picture it. It was a mess. We dumped couches. We prayed. We used flashlights. We prayed.
Then yesterday, The Man was looking in the box for our Wii beeswax and noticed a shiny little circle wedged INTO the entertainment center. Yes. INTO. Thank you thank you thank you Jesus. We will now cancel our Netflix before they can hex us any further.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 12

Mother in laws who live across the country are difficult to shop for. I don't like to guess at presents for people, especially if I don't know them super well. After all, the point of a gift is to say "I love you" not "Here. Here is a present that is vague enough to be liked, even though I don't know you, and cute enough not to be returned." Usually, if I don't have a good idea in mind, I ask. When I asked my MIL, she said she wanted to eat waffles one morning. Hmmm. Not sure how to wrap THAT.
We went to the mall and visited several stores. We left with two tiny presents and one article of clothing. Well, WE left with bellies FULL of Wetzel's Pretzels, both the salted and cinnamon flavors. Win, Win.

Sabbath Sunday: Day 11

Why Yesterday Was Great by...well I wrote this- Obviously.

No one fought before church
My favorite jeans still fit
I was able to make  semi-drab outfit cute with a ribbon
Everyone was willing to YET AGAIN try a new church
Halfway through service I cried because I felt like this place could be a good fit
God talked to me during service (he pointed out my issues, but he did it nicely, so it's all good)
A little over halfway through the service, The Man leaned over and said, "I hope the teaching is good because I really like this church so far."
The teaching was good
We decided this is our new church
God loves us and never forgets even things like what church we should go to (AND HE SPOKE, "THE CHURCHETH THAT GIVETH THE FREE COFFEE") check
Everyone in my family liked the church
We celebrated by baking endlessly and having a Christmas movie marathon
Now that's what I call a happy Sabbath

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 10: Rambles

Yesterday, I started a new book. I have actually read the first book in the series once, but now that it's been over a year and the second book has come out, I wanted a re-do. So, I am rereading Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. It's well written and just creepy enough.

Today, we went to the mall. All seven of us. It was hairy, but fun.
The kids are always trying to scrounge money to buy one another presents, so The Man came up with the brilliant idea of secret Santa. We drew names and hit Target. We split up into groups, and I think it's going to be a success. We even had a chance to do a little schooling called "stick to your budget."

Tomorrow, well. Tomorrow is Sunday. Church. Sigh. 

Friday, December 09, 2011

Day 9 Hopping

This verb, hopping- it isn't an intimidating or instantly off putting word. Plenty of words make me cringe: smear, pulp, chunky, bulbous, anyways, etc. There are plenty of times I use the word hopping, and it makes me feel kiddish and happy. Light. But when you put this unassuming word into the phrase "church hopping" I yell en guard and waggle my sword at your face. Let me be clear.


I realize how spoiled I have been my whole life. Church has seldom been a struggle. I do not know WHY I didn't realize how spoiled I was. I have heard people tell terrible stories about their experiences with churches. Maybe I assumed something was wrong with those people. Don't judge me. Something is wrong with YOU. >: /

Sorry I acted out. AnyWAY. The point is, I don't like going to other churches if I am not already rooted in my own. I realize, after four months of living here and church hopping, I do not make friends outside of church. I have acquaintances. I say hi to neighbors. I don't have friends. People I can call for coffee and encouragement. People who say, "Hi. You are pretty. Why are you being dumb? I like your hair." I need these sort of people- people willing to hold me accountable and compliment me after to make me feel a little better.

I need church. But so far, either the worship scares my curls to straighten, or the teachings are from the steps of brimstone, or the teachings consist of milk. I don't need brimstone. I don't need milk. I need church.

So, for any of you teetering on the idea of planting a solidly structured, sound teaching, humble worship, loving on my kids, and caring more about others than yourself sort of church in the greater Nampa area, shoot me a text. God is bigger than my pipe dream.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Day 8

I did it. I did it. I really, really did it. My upcoming goal of getting back to Rosalie the Guitar started early. Rather than wait until the new year, I started growing my callouses today. I used an app on my iPhone and mastered four lessons out of the eight in the beginner's stage. I can easily, knowledgeably, and confidently play A#, Em, G, C, and D. Still working on moving between all of them speedily, but it's a start. Tomorrow, I get to learn two more chords. Today I learned the names of the strings by using a mnemonic: Eddie, Ate, Dynamite; Good, Bye, Eddie- EADGBE. Thanks Eddie.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Day 7

What is in my minivan trunk you ask? Get ready.
  • a package of blueberries from my last trip to Costco
  • a handful of reusable grocery bags that I keep forgetting to bring inside the store
  • two shoes (I know what you are thinking, but no, they are two shoes from different sets. Same foot though, so that's helpful. Win, win.)
  • an opened pack of carrots that has a strange odor
  • a green ribbon
  • a grocery bag full of too small kid clothes and one of my old clothes I felt bored of. Good news though, because it has been so long since I put them in there, I sort of like them again.
  • a towel from a beach trip over the summer. There is also the sand to prove it.
  • a very furry jacket that two people I once called friends placed in my vehicle after we visited them. Drove seven hours to see them. Left family events a little earlier than we should have to spend time with them. Prayed for them and their upcoming trip. Stayed up late with them to get things in order for said trip. Looked in their eyes and saw what I thought was honesty to the question, "You didn't put that coat in my van did you?" I was wrong. They are liars to my face. Shun. (OK to be fair, we hid the very scary coat in their house last time we were there and left little clues for them to hunt in their house until they found it. I should have known it was coming.)
  • One of my kids. No, I am kidding, but sometimes they will disappear for an hour or so, and I can't help but wonder if they have been swallowed up by the pit that is my minivan trunk.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Day 6

Budget. Schmudget. Last night we got our Dave Ramsey on and created a new budget for our life in Idaho which should lead to a happier life in Idaho.
I hate feeling poor. I don't care about fancy cars or houses or clothes (well, I do love clothes, but I am a thrift store girl) or excess. I do not like budgeting food. It brings a sense of insecurity. When I was a kid we were always poor. Ambition often held priority over stability in my home, so I have grown up with a sense of panic when food supplies or money runs low. Revisiting this as an adult made me realize I am not truly trusting God for my provisions if I get sweaty pits at the thought of cutting back on grocery items. I shouldn't need to find a happy place because my pantry isn't well stocked.
God is great, God is good. I will thank him for my food.
Also, I will count on him to fill in the gaps our measly paychecks do not cover. The end.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Day 5

Oh, hello. Good to see you. I am here for a super quick minute to say although my address has changed, my love for receiving Christmas cards has not. I use them as decoration in my home, so if you, and you know who you are, have yet to mail me a card, can you do it please. Call or text for my new address. Here is a clue as to our cards:


So, if you are thinking you don't live near me or aren't sure if I want to receive your Christmas greetings because we aren't as close as we once were, you are wrong. If you send me one, I will have your address. Then I can send you one of our cards. See?
Also, if you are thinking you have received a card from us in the past, so you are a shoe in for this year, you should know my address book did not make it in the move. Nor did my to-go coffee mug, my two Camelbak water bottles, my locket from my husband, or my stash of greeting cards for various occassions. There, now you have my Christmas list as well.

Day 4

I will give you a minute:

Done yelling, blaming, accusing, laughing in my face? Good. Now let me explain.

Sunday. Sunday at our house is the Sabbath. I like it. I try not to do too much work; I try to squeeze in movies and a nap whenever possible. Yesterday, we squeezed in a visit to a new church, which went well, except that three of the seven dwellers of my home were slow going, so we had to sit in crap seats.
Then we squeezed in a few cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. Then was the running children o'er hill and dale (Those are probably actual street names here in Idaho). Cramming dinner into my face on the way out the door to retrieve those people and assigning things to the children so our house wasn't a total disaster whilst we Sabbath. All that to say, I didn't blog yesterday. I know it. You know it. But now you know why. Also, I was on the last 100 pages of my book and I chose it. over you. I AM SORRY!! Truly.

So, to all you people who made yesterday possible, thank you. The Man, for making dinner. The kids, for cooperating and loving cheesy Hallmark movies. The Pastor, for changing his teaching the night before service to speak directly to my struggling heart. Dave Ramsey, for helping us set our new Idaho budget (well, I want to like you, but frankly you always want me to sell things I love, like that well stacked pile of crap in my garage. That took years of my life that I will never get back. OK, Dave. I see what you are saying.)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Day 3

Because I failed you by forgetting to post yesterday, I will honor you with two posts in one day.
"Well, this IS a surprise, Clark. This is just a real nice surprise" ~Cousin Eddy, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Apparently, I have critics. I got a text this morning with some feedback on The Blog. It said I should change my picture because the emotion on my face from the previous picture is unsettling. So, here. I changed it to a profile so as to no longer upset people with my face.
My unsettling face and I are now going to crawl into bed, where we wanted to be half hour ago, but The Man wasn't ready. It went like this:
He finished reading his book.
I continued reading.
He got up and went into our bedroom/bathroom.
I stopped reading and started closing up house and turning off lights.
He came out and began playing Words With Friends.
I asked if he was ready for bed, and I mentioned I could keep reading, he could keep WWFing.
He mentioned no thanks, so I found something to do called catch up on my blogging.
Minutes pass, I settle into writing, and he stands and says, "Well, I am off to bed."
"What the freak just happened" (Kid History, Episode 6)

Let This Be A Lesson

So, I spent the day reading. And, as I settled in to read my night away as well, I remembered I made a goal to blog everyday. Then I realized I didn't blog yesterday. Let this be a lesson to all you ambitious folk. (And here is where I was indecisive over my choice of advice).
Here are the options:

"I'm belligerent rather than ambitious".~ Ian Hart
"Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry, and I will give you something to cry about you little bastard." (The Great White Hype)
They both seem to sum up my feelings. So, sorry I sucked yesterday. Day two. Right at the beginning. Let's pretend we are 8 and this is a game of playground four square, and I just yelled, "DO OVER!"

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Day 1

It's December. WHAT?! I may have accused one of my students of being a liar for pointing this out to me. Maybe. Then I began thinking of the coming new year and what my goals will be. For the first time in 6 years, my goals will not be education related. The battle I face is being sure all of my goals aren't self serving.
Here are some thoughts running around in my head for goals (although I may ditch some when I remember I am wimpy):
  • Prefer my husband at least once a day (no, before you ask, this is not a euphemism). It's just that I feel that I sure like that guy, and I want him to know it. At least once a day.
  • Bible learnin' needs to be key. Memorizing scripture, speaking them over my life, getting to the point that I believe every scripture in the Bible was written for me. Not you. Me. Okay maybe you. But also me. 
  • Rosalie and me, we need to be insep. I am determined to be able to say, "I play the guitar" and mean "I play guitar well." Also, Rosalie is my guitar. Just to clarify. Some Rosalies are vampires, but mine is not. Mine is a guitar.
  • Exercise. Too cliche? Well whatevers, I have to do it. It is so, so freezing during the days here, so jogging has been a little tricky. But, I just feel, if those people in prison, with their hand made shiv and only a mattress and a toilet as workout apparatus. I have those things. Mattress: check. Toilet: check. Shiv: check. While I DO really miss my treadmill, I plan to add the Dailey Method to my daily routine. Any of you who have access to a Dailey Method gym, go. You will not regret it. Best, best, best workout with such fantastically fast results. 
So, now I need to see what other short, medium, and long term goals I want to focus on that don't just benefit me. Like finishing my book or adding a random act of kindness in every week. What are your goals?