Saturday, March 30, 2013


Small Fry: Dere's a booger wright hewre. [Points to upper left placket of her pajamas.]

Hubby: So get it off thereand throw it away.

Small: I can't. I don't have anyfing to wipe it off with.

Hubby: Use your finger.

Small: Ew!

Hubby: Didn't you use your finger to pick it out of your nose and wipe it on your jammies?

Small [nods]: But I can't touch it!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Holy Thursday

First of all, there's this story.  Watching Pope Francis is going to be interesting, if he's already doing stuff like this.  I absolutely loved this.  No, I will not spoil it for you.  Go read it yourself.  I'm not Catholic, but this man gives me hope.

Second, Large came home from school with a "Peeps S'mores" kit: two graham cracker halves, a small Hershey bar, and a yellow Peeps bunny.  She gave me the Peeps bunny.  "I know you like them.  I want you to have it," she told me.  Cue melting heart.

Third, PSC had a Holy Thursday service this year.  Last year, we didn't, since we were hosting the community Good Friday service the following night.  This being our second Easter at PSC, there were a few traditions we were unaware the fact that there would be a completely voluntary foot-washing ceremony during the service.

I had kind of opted not to do that, on the one hand because I would be trying to corral my kids, and on the other because it's been cold and damp and both my right wrist and right ankle have been growling at me today.  Plus, I managed to forget my cane.

Large Fry was mad because we'd caught her in a lie before we left the house and she knew it, so she grumped into the church and slouched into the end of the last pew.  Medium wanted to sit with a couple of older girls (by older, I mean about 9), and Small went to go sit with PeeJay's wife.  Large continued to sulk at the other end of my pew.  About five minutes from the end of PeeJay's short message, Medium left her friends and came to sit with me.

She was dubious about the whole foot-washing thing as PeeJay described what would happen...but her innate curiosity got the better of her as people filed out to the respective rooms where the foot-washing would happen (we divide up with the men in one room, the ladies in another).

Okay then.  She was curious enough that she wanted to go see what was up.  By now, so did Large, whose mood radically altered over the next ten minutes.  Small saw us from the front, and scooted on over to join us.  We went back to the library to join the other ladies.  I explained that we would just watch, unless they wanted to participate.  As soon as the first ladies began washing each other's feet, the twins decided they wanted to wash feet, as well.  I said I would wash theirs and they could wash mine.  They whipped off their socks and shoes and rolled their pants all the way up to their knees.

By the time the basin made its way back to us, Large wanted to wash my feet as well.  I'd promised Medium I would wash her feet first, then Small's, and then Large's.  As I knelt down on the floor and picked up Medium's left foot, I thought about all the times I'd bathed them as babies and toddlers, the times I've supervised baths now that they're older, and my heart lodged firmly in my throat.  No matter how old they get, no matter how long they are with us, they will always be my children.  I cupped water in my hands and spilled it gently over Medium's feet, then dried them while Medium giggled (she's ticklish).  Motherhood is often the epitome of selfless servanthood, something especially exemplified in Christ's behavior at the last supper (can you imagine what it would be like to wash feet covered only by open-toed sandals, if at all, over dirt roads with a lot of animal traffic?), putting your children's needs so far above your own that sometimes you have to be browbeaten into taking care of yourself.  Small's feet in my hands are still small, but not as tiny as they were almost five years ago.  I blinked back the moisture in my eyes as I dribbled water on Small's feet and gently caressed them.  She gave me an impish grin as I dried her feet.  Large scooted near so that I could wash her feet, too.  My big many times had I done for her what she couldn't do for herself?  As humbling as it is to wash another's feet, the emotions are even more complex when you bathe the feet of your children, even as you know they don't understand why we're doing this.

I sat back in my chair and watched Medium hop down from hers.  She wiggled her fingers in the warm water  before gently splashing it over my feet.  She pulled the towel over to dry them, and then Small stuck her hands in the water, playing with it and my foot, patting me, dripping it on me, rubbing it on me.  She managed to get one end of the towel in the basin while trying to get my right foot dry.  Large wanted to conduct her washing of my feet all by herself, so I had to insist that her sisters back off and quit "helping."

I hope that my girls will always have such loving and caring and compassionate hearts.

And I thought, I almost missed out on this huge blessing.

When we all got back to the sanctuary, we formed a circle up front for celebrating communion (something new and different this year), and we'd share the elements the way that the disciples would have in the Upper Room, during what became Jesus's Last Supper (although, we dipped our bread into the juice rather than communally drinking from the cup).  I was going to have the girls stay back in the pew; the twins especially don't understand the purpose of communion.  (Small said to me, "But I'm firsty and hungwry!"  Yep, not ready.)

Then I changed my mind.  Let them come up with me and watch, I thought.  It'll be good for them to see.  So we trooped up and joined the circle.  After PeeJay had served Hubby, and Hubby had served the parishioner to his left, he indicated that I should send Large Fry over to him.  PeeJay's grin went from ear to ear as she skipped over to Hubby.  They sat on the platform steps and had a very quiet conversation for several minutes.  Her grin was almost as wide as PeeJay's when she came back and whispered, "Daddy says I can have communion."  I hugged her and kissed her forehead; she glommed onto me.  "Daddy says the bread is for the body, and the juice is for the blood."  "You're right," I whispered back.

First communion in our United Brethren in Christ church may not be a big deal with a lot of pomp, circumstance, cameras, pretty dresses and suits, and proudly-watching family and friends.  But I can tell you, in my heart, this was a huge deal.  For the second time during that church service, I found myself on the verge of tears as I turned to Large, holding the glass chalice and the tray with the bread, whispering to Large Fry to go ahead and tear off a piece of bread.  "The body of Christ," I murmured as she did so.  She dipped her tiny piece of bread in the grape juice.  "The blood of Christ," I said.  I held the elements and whispered the same for the parishioner on the other side of Large Fry, and then passed the elements to him.

Large nearly strangled my waist as she hugged the stuffing out of me.

I was so proud of her.

She had been respectful and appropriately somber, and I knew she understood as well as possible, at age 7, why she was participating.

"Next time," she whispered in my ear, "can I have the bread and the juice again?"

"Yes," I told her.  "The next time we have communion while you're in the church service, you can."

At bedtime tonight, she told me that she wants the three of us—Daddy, me, and her—to wash her sisters' feet in the morning.

And then have communion again.

I decided to let Daddy handle that one.

Medium the Great

The Fries just looooove Disney Junior.

Which is fine with me, even if I want to smack Izzy and tell her that not every situation is actually as emergent as she claims, when she starts flinging pixie dust around on Jake and the Never-Land Pirates.  It beats the heck out of the PBS Sprout channel.

They love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  They love Minnie's Bow-Tique.  They really love Doc McStuffins, which isn't surprising since the character of Doc is a little girl about 9 who is darker-skinned like them and has curly hair.

They also really love Sofia the First.

The lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Jess Harnell, provides a number of voices for Doc McStuffins and voices Cedric, the palace sorcerer (who's a hilariously inept bad guy), in Sofia.

Any time we watch Disney Junior for any length of time, we see sound bites and blurbs from all of these shows, including one very brief encounter between Cedric and Sofia, who has just told a frustrated Cedric that she couldn't possibly take off the pretty amulet she's wearing, since she promised her new stepdad, the king, that she would never take it off.  Cedric grits his teeth and mumbles as Sofia gives him a cheery smile and walks away.  (To get an idea of Cedric's voice, watch here. The first 30 seconds or so will suffice.)

Now, I told you all of that to tell you this story.

Hubby went out tonight to pick up a prescription that I really hoped had been called in today by my doc's office (not so much, as it turns out).  I was having one of my meltdown moments (thank you, menopause), couldn't stop crying, and so he ran the errand for me, telling Medium Fry—who was the first one ready for bed—to help me out.

Medium Fry: Why awre cats more scawredewr than giwrls?

Me: What?

Medium: Why awre cats more scawredewr than giwrls?

Me [trying to figure out where this came from and giving up almost immediately—Rule #2]: Well, they're not.  They're just different.

Medium: Gwrownups noses' awren't like cat's noses.  How come they'wre not like cats' noses?

(This type of conversational hop-scotching isn't uncommon when talking with Medium.)

Me [not even batting an eye]: Because grownups' noses are just big versions of little people's noses, not cats' noses.

Medium: An' they don't have whiskewrs.

Me: And they don't have whiskers.

Medium: How irritatingly charming.

I could not stop the giggle.  Could. Not.

Because those three words right there are the words Cedric mutters, sotto voce, after Sophia tells Cedric she won't remove the amulet.

And Medium said them with the right inflection and almost the right accent as Cedric does.

Medium [somewhat indignant]: What?

Me: That was just cute, what you said.

Medium [sort of frowning at my continued amusement]: Well, I always say that now.


Friday, March 22, 2013

The "IE" Conspiracy

I was in the downstairs bathroom when I overheard the twins competing against each other as to who could say the pledge of allegiance loudest.

Twins [mostly together]: I pwedge allegiance to da flag of da United States of Amewwica, an' to da wrepublic, fowr which it stands...

Medium: nation, undewr God...

Small: nation, undewr Goddie...

Medium: That's not how it goes!

Small: It's how I say it! [slightly louder] One nation, undewr Goddie, innivisible...

Twins [mostly together]: Wif libewrty an' justice fo' all.

And you can pretty much repeat the entire conversation again, verbatim.

The debate continued over whether our nation is under "God" or under "Goddie."

God has enough of a sense of humor that I'm pretty sure he was amused by Small's insistence on referring to him as "Goddie."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake

Wednesday night is youth group night, and there's always some kind of snack.  Tonight, it was leftover chocolate sheetcake...and the leftovers came home with Hubby and the Fries.

Goodies like chocolate cake and Oreos tend to disappear fast in our house, mostly because of the lack of willpower among certain adults.  Ahem.

While still at the youth house tonight and on the short ride home...

Medium Fry: Did you haff cake wiffout us?

Hubby: Well, no, not a lot of people had cake tonight.

Medium: So can we haff cake?

Hubby: Not tonight, but maybe tomorrow.  I'm bringing it home with us.

Small Fry: Can we haff it for dessewrt aftewr dinnewr?

Hubby: Yes, if you finish all your dinner.

Small: An' you'll save us a piece?

Hubby: Yes, I'll save you a piece.

Medium [indignantly]: Not just one piece. Fwree pieces!

Smart kid. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Allow me to warn you.

I cannot be sure this link will work, and if it doesn't, please comment and I'll just copy and paste the story into a new post.

Because it's so worth it.

Don't click yet!

Because, while it's worth it, it's also worth a few warnings:

  • Do not be snacking whilst reading.
  • Do not attempt to drink anything.
  • I highly recommend not having a full bladder.

And, by all means, inflict it on your friends.  It's what good friends do.

My diaphragm muscle still aches from reading it out loud to Hubby, who knew far more than the writer of this tale, to the point that he was predicting what would happen next.

Go forth, read, and laugh!

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Medium Fry [as we're getting ready to leave my folks' tonight]: Daddy, what's up wif your beawrd? It's getting vewry long.

Hubby: It's okay.

Large Fry: Yeah, it's getting long!

Medium: You heawrd da man. It's fine!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Icky-Wickies

We were running ahead of schedule this morning. Really ahead of schedule. So Hubby sent Large Fry upstairs to brush her teeth.

A couple minutes later, he sent Medium Fry up to do the same thing.

There was immediate giggling and talking.

I've been battling a stubborn headache for the last day or so. It's not severely painful, but it's irritating and draining and all I want to do is sleep. I was going to head back to bed anyway, so I started that way as Hubby shouted up to Large.

Hubby: Large, you've had more than enough time to brush your teeth! You'd better not be bothering your sister.

On the last set of steps upstairs, I was able to see into the bathroom.

Me: Out, Large!

She scampered out and passed me on the stairs.

Large: I had some icky-wickies!

Me: Icky-wickies?

That's a new one.

Large [disappearing into the kitchen]: Some buggies in my nose.

It took me a minute.


She had some boogers in her nose.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Snow Day: A Photo Essay

At the top of the hill!

Medium heads down first.

We joined Hubby's youth group kids.

Love the hair.

PeeJay's youngest son.

Double decker. This will end well.

Told you.

I love Large's face here.

Off to wreak mischief!

Involuntary train....


Large decided she wanted to make a snowman.

Mitten adjustment.

I've got a snowball!

*happy shrieks*

Tab braves the hill on a saucer.

Those darn saucers. They never go straight.

Big boys.

They're just little boys who stretched.

Two-D and Small make a snowman.

Fixing the track, not bashing in Medium.

PeeJay's oldest son and Medium.

They didn't quite make it down the hill together.

Although they did go farther than I thought.


Go, Hubby!

Snowman ruminations.

Yep, backwards!

Go, Tab!


*drumroll with flair*  WIPEOUT!

Another snowman...

Large at the bottom!

Medium of the Flushed Cheeks

Lovely hat, isn't it?

Snowball fight!

Large joins in.

Didn't quite capture the way the sun was breaking
 through the clouds, but it was close.

Cocoa break!

Small is on the sled in front of just can't see her.

Small didn't want my help bringing the sled back up.

Finally braved the hill herself.

Oh, this will work...


This 3-person pileup was only supposed to be two...

It disintegrated rapidly.


Two-D helps Small set up for another run.

Just chillin'.

Two-D was not expecting to go down the hill.

I think she had fun anyway.

Piggyback sledding!

Hoo hoo hoo hoo!

I love this picture, even though Medium looks a bit
like she's going to chomp on D's neck.

Got this great shot of Tab quite by accident.

Waiting for her buddy to come give her a push....


Yes, she went down the hill like this.  The whole way.


I did it, Mommy!

Tab and D had a collision...and it exploded.

And the chase is on!


Tab gives D a piggyback ride.  I think they weigh about the same...

Piggyback ending.

Hi, Mommy!

Big kids on the playground! 


Here's the pitch!

Swing and a miss!

Next pitch...


A and the twins, who love him lots.

Love Small's face.

Love A's face here, too.

Impromptu service project! We found that a couple of the playground
slides had been spraypainted earlier in the day.

It was still wet, so the snow cleaned it right off.

We've got such good kids.

Watch me, Mommy!

Orange snow.  Don't eat it.

We're awesome!

Medium, making snow angels.

Snow-pile seat.

Small making snow angels.

You can kinda see the snow angel Small made.