Thursday, September 28, 2006

My kids a poet

** This is a poem my 8th grade daughter has written for her English assignment. Since I have a photo illustration and am bursting with pride, I thought I would share it. Don't tell! P.S. I get to go see her read it aloud at school today. :)

I am in the Pacific Ocean
Alone with my quiet thoughts
Ankle deep, I stand in the foamy, cool ocean water
The waves roll in and I see the sun dip into the ocean
The mighty waves crash onto the sandy beach
I breath in the refreshing ocean air
I taste the salt of the sea on my lips
The cool breeze blows my hair, the sun warms my face, and I feel the churning ocean water tugging at my feet
My soul is at peace
I am on the sandy beach

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bits from our trip home this summer

Taken from the top of the Space Needle.

Long Beach, WA

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

How do you like my tat?

Kathryn from Daring Young Mom sent out bloggy tattoos that she got from her trip to Blogher. Here's mine. It says 'Blog This'. I'm feeling so tough!

I had to include the flip-flop photo, though, because just a few short weeks ago I had a pedicure with flowers painted on the toes and my feet looked oh, so cute. They were summer feet.

Summer is over. Please don't look too closely! Usually, I just stop painting my toes and by the time summer rolls around again I chip off the remnants of last years polish and start over again. This year, I actually took the polish off so my feet will be able to breathe comfortably all winter long, under their socks, slippers and boots.

My feet are the only part of my body that will miss summer. The rest of me is ready for fall and winter. I like sweaters and jeans and to be covered from head to ankles. My feet will continue to be as free as possible until they are too chilly to bare. Blackbird had some very cute Mary Janes posted that I may be interested in.

Pop on over to visit Kathryn. She will have a bunch of tattooed mommas on her site shortly. Meanwhile, my kids have informed me that I am not a 'tattoo person' and have recommended that I find the baby oil. Party poopers.

Chickens and such

Before I had kids, if you asked me "Guess what?", my answer would've been... Chicken Butt!

I loved saying that. I guess 14 years ago it was unique and funny and clever and witty and not as stupid as it sounds now?? Maybe?

Then I had a sweet, little ball of pink fluff who, in no time flat, became repeat to my 'peat'. When your toddler says chicken butt a hundred times a day it ceases to become amusing. When they say it to every stranger and teach it to every kid in the nursery it becomes downright embarrassing.

Not as embarrassing as my old neighbor, whose son would scream the 'sh' version of chicken manure any time a pre-school worker would try to change his diaper or in any way try to rein him in. Then, my little problem just became amusing again. Misery loves company.

Anyway, knowing how stupid I used to sound, and how much trouble those two little words caused in my world, why do I want to purchase this absurd shirt?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The joys and trials of small town life

I love my little, rural town. I really do. And sometimes I just want to go somewhere big, traffic and all, and be anonymous again.

I love that I can let my older kids walk a few blocks and go to the library by themselves. I can send them to the store for milk, or bread or whatever, and know that they'll be back inside of seven minutes.

On the up-side, other moms know my kids. I feel like my kids are watched over and cared for when I'm not being the over-proctective hawk that big town living has bred into me.

On the down-side, other moms know my kids. We are new here. We don't always 'get' the strange ways of this town. We buck the system a little bit, and ruffle feathers. Not that we didn't do that before, it's just that here, we are noticed.

We run into people we know everywhere. It's a good thing. I love seeing a friend at the grocery store and having a chat. If you want someone to hang out with, you just show up on a door step. Or someone shows up at yours. It's nice.

Of course, there are the times when you see someone you sort of recognize, can't quite place, and realize it's the doctor who just did your pelvic exam. I miss the days when I didn't run into the person who sees my inner most parts on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. Yes, I know. Doctors are people, too.

Same goes for teachers. I love seeing my little girls' teachers out and about. However, when you see the teacher you've had a problem with, the one you had to have a 'discussion' with, all over town and can see on teachers face that they think you are a terrible parent and should have never questioned their judgment... well, I could go on and on. I don't like it.

I don't like that I can smell cows. I REALLY don't like when the wind changes and I smell hogs instead. Gag.

I can run all my errands in under a half an hour, leaving me time to see a matinee if our little theater would realize that moms like movies too and start having a 1:00 show. Is that too much to ask??

I was wrong in thinking that we could talk to a parent about how their son was treating ours. I regret that day, as we made our son's life much, much harder.

I cannot tell you how much I adore our community swimming pool and all the friends we have made there.

I love my church and my pastor who knows us and seems to like us. He is accessible and because we see him all over the place, we know that he is who he is. He is the same guy at the pulpit that we see at the football games. My kids love him.

Quality of life here is high. You don't have to fight 30 minutes of traffic to get anywhere. Although I do have to drive 45 minutes to the nearest Target. A crime! There are parks, outdoor walking trails, indoor rec centers, festivals, music in the park, organized sports, unorganized sports, white Christmases, neighbors who bake for one another, and lots more.

I guess I am still getting used to a more transparent life. People see me, know me, put up with me and accept me. I used to get to choose who got to do that, but here, we are all piled up within a two mile radius and the lack of elbow space creates more 'cozy' living. Whether we want it or not.

There are still those smile and nod, everything-is-fine type of people. But now I have people who call me out, ask me why I say I'm fine when my eyes are saying something else. It's messy and not always comfortable, but very, very good.

It's not always the smooth, idealic, sailing that I once thought it would be, but it is definitely less trials, more joy.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Knitting and new friends

Today I joined a bi-lingual knitting class at my church. The lovely lady in charge spoke both English and Spanish fluently. Everyone else spoke Spanish.

Except me.

It is weird to sit in a room understand less than 5% of what is going on. I got 'verde'. I got 'muy'. I got 'something, something, something, Amy, no habla Espanol.' About five times. It is humbling to have your name connected with... here she is but she doesn't know a word your saying. Hopefully I'll be semi-conversational in a short amount of time.

Good thing I already know how to knit!

I think everyone should sit in a room and not be able to understand for awhile. It gives an appreciation to what new people to our country have to deal with. I can't imagine living with a language barrier for most of my day. A good reminder to be nice to strangers. A smile goes a long way.

Even though I was new to the group, these women were very gracious to me. They looked over my project (stupid scarf) and I looked over theirs (christening gowns with matching blankets. Hmmph). One lady worked my project for awhile. Big challenge there. They didn't laugh when I had to rip out fifteen minutes worth of work and they all asked where I bought my cool chenille yarn.

I didn't exactly fit in right away, but I think I might. They did already know each other and of course, they already had the language thing going on, but it was comfortable after the first few minutes. Some of them had brought along the most common denominator for moms.... babies! One can always ooh and aah over a toddler, no matter what the language.

Hasta later, amigas. (See! I'm getting it!)