Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Green Chair

Luke and I went on a small field trip this morning.

I belong to our local Freecycle Group (if you don't know about Freecycle, check it out at, and the other day someone posted that he had a green recliner to give away.
Now, when I read this post for a free green recliner, two things popped into my head:

  1. "Jack's chair" in the living room has seen better days. The cushions are threadbare from so much lounging and reclining and television viewing, and we'd just been discussing that we needed to replace it (we bought it 10 years ago at an antique store for $20 and had it reupholstered. We've definitely gotten our money's worth out of it, but the style no longer matches our style, so it's time for it to find a new home!).

  2. Green! Did you say green!?

I've gotten several good items from Freecycle (the entertainment center in our downstairs family room, for starters), and I've gifted several items to other Freecyclers. However, when someone posts that they've got a green recliner, clean, good condition, pet-free, smoke-free home, they just got a new chair and this one no longer fits in their house, I thought, "Woo-hoo! My lucky day!"

So off we went to pick up our new green recliner.

Well, I've learned a valuable lesson in that everyone has his own definition of the words "clean" and "good condition."

Brandon, my 20-year old son who went with me to lift the chair into my van, at first refused to even get out of the van! Only when he saw his poor mother attempting to lift it by herself, did he grudgingly get out to help. Once it was loaded into the van, Luke began yelling and crying in the back seat to "get the chair out! Get the chair out! Get the chair out!"

Jack and Brandon both asked me why I didn't just leave it, and I said because that would be breaking the code of the Freecylers! If you say you will pick something up, you must pick it up. "No shows" are the worst! They waste your time! They require that you then repost and have to deal with another possible no-show.

So, I'll put the GREEN chair on the curb, stick a "FREE" sign on it, and it will ultimately be gifted to someone who appreciates it.

It is green (although it looks a little blue in the photo).

But it won't be coming into our house!

Outside Green Play!

It's a beautiful sunny 77 degrees with low humidity, so Luke and I took our GREEN learning outside.

We ran and played and rolled on the green, green grass.

We climbed the tree with the green leaves.

We swang on the green swing set.

Whew! I think it's nap time.


Cure for a Migraine Headache

I have discovered the cure for migraines --- GREAT KIDS!

The scientific community will be knocking on my door!l

Yesterday afternoon I had a migraine. I get them every month.

I just needed to lie down for a while, because the Imitrex makes me so sleepy.

Luke was napping, so I had a little talk with Drake, Analisa, and Quinn and explained to them that I had one of my really bad headaches and needed to rest for a while. With Drake in charge, I asked them to quietly watch the new DVD we'd picked up from the library the other day while I rested my eyes for a few minutes.

About 30 minutes later I emerged from my room to find the living room cleaned, the kitchen table washed, and a bowl of the chocolatiest concoction of my favorite things -- CHOCOLATE!

Drake had poured some Rice Krispies into a bowl, added several Whoppers candies, and then, to make it extra special, he also threw in 4 or 5 Dove chocolate candies (the kind with the caramel in the center). Sitting proudly next to the concoction was an ice cold Caffeine Free diet Coke.

Heaven in a bowl, and a refreshing drink to wash it down.

Now, while feeling slightly nauseous from my headache, I was urged to sit on the chair that the kids had covered in a blanket, and which also had a pillow sitting on it for my comfort. They had placed a fan on a nearby chair to keep me comfortable. And then the three of them watched with excitement, waiting for me to eat.

What else could I do? I'm a mom. They had cleaned the house! They were concerned about me. They were taking care of me.

Many times we have to do things that are uncomfortable (or even stomach-turning) for us for the benefit of our children.

MMMMMMMMmmmmmmm, good!


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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Green Field Trip!

Yesterday was Green Field Trip Day!

I took my camera and Luke and I strolled through the aisles of our local Super WalMart. Since it was 93 degrees outside, it was the perfect day for an inside field trip.

It's amazing how many green things there are INSIDE.

Watermelons, green beans, broccoli, Mountain Dew, apples, grapes, limes, laundry detergent, tape, slippers, shirts.

When we got home, while Luke was napping, I printed about 15 of our "green pictures" from our field trip, and put them in a clear plastic covered report cover folder (how convenient that the one I found in our office supplies had a green background!)

Luke was so excited when he woke up from his nap and I presented him with his Green Book. He proudly showed it to all of his siblings, and couldn't wait to read it to Daddy.

I had no idea how much fun I would have with this. Luke is learning, and we're spending fun time together. I love it!

I wonder what we'll do today...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My baby girl wants to join the Army

She left this morning for her preliminary physical.

I'm really struggling with this.

Just less than a year ago, our beautiful baby girl (okay, she's 17 now, but she'll always be our baby!) announced her intention to join the military after high school.

I thought it was just a passing phase, and for a while, when she fell briefly in love with a terrific young man, I began to think she would change her mind.

But she's now a senior in high school, and is determined to pursue this path.

Victoria has never been the "conventional" girl.....she stopped wearing dresses at the age of 5, has never been interested in make-up, and despises her thick, beautiful hair (that some females would KILL for!) because "it's so hot! I can't stand it on my neck!" so she pulls it up into a ponytail. Her favorite outfit is a rock band t-shirt and a pair of jeans (big baggy shorts if the weather is warm).

On the one hand, I'm so proud of her! She's never truly adapted to the whole "school thing" and has struggled academically for the past 12 years. I admire that she accepts that she needs some kind of training after high school so she will be employable, but doesn't see that training coming in the form of a college degree. So she's investigated the benefits the military offers, and has decided this is the path she wishes to take.

On the other hand....hey, I'm a mom. This is my baby girl. Can she handle the rigors of boot camp? Will she be happy with her career choice? What if she isn't? I can't rescue her from this one.

Maybe that's the hardest thing I'm dealing with....the letting go. Once she signs on the dotted line, there's no turning back, and there's nothing I can do to help her. Except pray.

She left at 1:30 this morning to drive 3 hours to have her preliminary physical. I'm so proud. I'm so scared.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Today is Green Day!

Green Day! No, not the band. And no, not the new environmental use of the word. We're talking green---the color!

Five of my 6 children returned to school this week, leaving 2-year old Luke feeling completely lost and alone.

So, in an effort to fulfill my promise (to myself, the hardest ones to keep) to spend more time playing with my children, and less time working, I designated this week "Green Week."

After my morning workout, Luke and I returned to our (finally) quiet home, and did those necessary morning chores....wipe the table and counters, load the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, vaccum the living room.

Then, the fun began!

I found a large shopping bag (the kind with handles) and announced to Lukey that we were going on a "Green Hunt!" Then I began singing a slightly altered version of "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" that my older children learned at pre-school, except I sang, "We're going on a green hunt, a green hunt, a green hunt. We're going on a green hunt, to find lots of things that are green!"

He looked at me quizzically, having no idea who this woman was, and and wondering what I had done with his mother.

I grabbed his hand, and we began marching around the house singing this silly song, and finding as many green items as we could place in the bag (I'll admit....I planted a few green toys so that he could easily spot them).

We started in the kitchen, where Lukey found green beans and green peas and green pickle relish and a couple of green drinking glasses. Then we picked a leaf off a plant in the living room. Into the bag went these items. We found a green hair brush and a couple of green tooth brushes in the bathroom.

When we strolled past the laundry room, Lukey spotted a spray bottle of Spray N Wash, and a refill bottle, too!

Then, while walking past his sisters' bedroom, he saw Analisa's big, soft, green blanket! This wouldn't fit in the bag, so I threw it over my shoulder.

Luke's bedroom was a treasure trove of green toys! Green trucks and green toys and a big green bucket!

Our bag was now full, so we marched back to the living room to admire our catch.

I spread out the green blanket, and then Luke one by one (while saying "green!" "green!" "green!") laid out each of the green items we had found.

I took his picture, printed it, and posted it prominently on the refrigerator in the kitchen (where all the important stuff goes).

What fun we had! This afternoon, before nap time, we're planning to read a couple of books. I wonder what I can do with this to make it green.....