Thursday, March 31, 2011

Autism Awareness Month

You know I will do just about anything for a laugh.  (Wait until tomorrow!)  When it comes to accurate information on autism, though, I am all kinds of serious.  April is Autism Awareness month, and I hope you will take a little time this month to familiarize yourself with the signs of autism.  Not only will you be aware for the little ones in your life, but hopefully you will be more prepared to interact with the autistic kids and adults you encounter in every day life.

You can get some good basic information at Have good psychological self defense, friends and loved ones.  There is no evidence that autism is caused by vaccines and there is no cure for autism.  If you run into someone who says there is, proceed with caution.

This is what autism looks like to me, and although I am a bit biased, I think it's pretty good looking.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh, Spring Where Art Thou

Still no spring here, non-Minnesota friends and loved ones.  No sign of the sandbox.  I think we're stuck.  I've been on the lookout for Aslan or small boys eating Turkish Taffy.

Next week Big Daddy Brent and I are going to (ahem) Central Florida for a few days.  You might have to think about that for a minute.  We aren't taking any of the children, so I am purposely vague about this.  Some people might think it strange that we would go to (ahem) Central Florida without the children, but I consider myself one of these people.  Like (um) those people, I don't really want anyone to know about my habit.  But as a faithful reader, you probably already did which is further proof that I have a problem and am in denial.

Next year.  Next year we will go somewhere else.  I just feel sure of it.

Well, we'll see.  Let's not get too excited about it yet until we see the spring of this year.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Poem for Tuesday

I've been on a trip down to see my sister Cyberspace Sarah.  They have computers where she lives, but I am afraid my blog wasn't on my mind.  You see there's no snow down there.  I was blinded and bewildered.  I was confused when there wasn't anything to put my boots into.

And while you try to figure out exactly how crazy and confused I really am, here is a poem about toast.

Morning Toast
Doris I. Bateman

My toast has such a crunchable sound
As I bite my piece that's all buttered and browned.
Though my egg is pure silver and gold in my dish,
And my orange and cocoa quite all one could wish
Still, I know that at breakfast the thing I like most
Is my buttered, brown, munchable, crunchable toast!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stinkin' Minnesota Weather

Once you see the view from my front door, you will know why I have nothing to say today.

That's right.  There's no spring in Minnesota this year.  It's just perpetual snow and ice -- like Narnia before Aslan.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Poem for Tuesday

Colin has a test on Minnesota's role in the Civil War today. Just to be interesting, let's have a poem featuring the leader from Southern side.

Robert E. Lee
Clarence M Lindsay

Soul of the Old South, and her pride!
great leader of her sons,
Who fiercely fought and grimly dies
Amid the flaming guns
Of Gettysburg and red Shiloh!
Thy countrymen today
The measure of thy greatness know,
Thou deathless Man in Gray!

"Son of the Old Dominion!" True
To her at any cost!
Choosing to lead the valiant few,
Be their cause won or lost!
Thy soul still marches on! We see
Against the fadeless past
Thy knightly figure, deathless Lee,
Imperishably cast!

"Mars' Robert!" Chieftain of the host
Which wore the Southern gray!
Today thou art a nation's boast;
And shall be so, for aye!
The Stars and Bars are folded now,
In glory, not in shame!
And a united people bow
To Lee's immortal name!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Everyone is sick.

On the plus side, I think I might be recovering.  You can see how optimistic I am being here.  Allergy season is getting underway, and it's making my newly healing sinuses confused.

The positive side of allergy season is that the snow is melting.  Spring is on the way.  AND as a bonus to that, my basement is still dry which really is a bonus because -- thank you for not asking -- I have not been doing the cleaning I swore up and down I was going to get done.

On the negative side here at home, everyone else is sick.  From Big Daddy down to D, we are going through a lot of Kleenex and a lot of cough syrup.  Hacking, sneezing, lack of sleep.  It's ugly.

I managed to wrestle D down for a badly needed nap this morning.  Preschooler Parents, do you know what I am talking about?  He needed to sleep, but just would not let go.  I medicated him.  I read to him. Wiggle, wiggle, cough, cough, cough.  I ended up sort of laying on him to get him to stop long enough to fall asleep.

They don't put that sort of stuff in parenting books.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Poem for Tuesday on Wednesday

Argh.  I am now on penicillin for sinus infection.  So far, I don't feel better.  I am tired and filled with snot.  I look awful.  And it's so much worse, but because I love you, that's all I will say.  Let's enjoy a cheerful poem about St. Patrick's Day.

Erin's Isle
Beulah Sisson

There's a charmin' bit o' country
That is known as Erin's Isle,
Where merry winds make music
And the fairies dance the while.

'Tis the land of the shillalah,
Of the shamrock and hilleen,
And boys and girls show loyalty
A-wearing of the green.

Sure, "The Wearing of the Green" is sung,
Wherever there is found
A loyal son of Erin's Isle
The whole wide world around;

So although 'tis not our county,
We'll join with theirs our lay,
And sing "The Wearing of the Green"
On good St. Patrick's Day.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Choking on my own snot

Was that title too much information?  I am not feeling better, thank you for asking.  I am feeling worse, if it's possible.  I think my sinuses are infected.  I will not say how or why I suspect this.  Let's just say I am losing my sense of humor.

I have also looked up how to know when you have pneumonia.  I have a slight wheeze.  I don't think I do have pneumonia, but now we know. You can never be too careful.

My 365 photography project is suffering because I just don't really care about much.  Yesterday I had a nap and then I sat through many hours of Les Miserables on PBS.  It was a good program but with pledge break interruptions it was really, really long.  And bless the enthusiastic hearts of the pledge break hostesses, I don't think I would have made it through the entire thing if I had been feeling better.  Finally everybody died and I was able to eat some puffy pancake and get ready for bed.  It was a big afternoon.

So anyway . . . keep the faith.  The temperature is supposed to warm up to the 40s this week which means the melting snow will trigger my allergies to top all of this off. (cough, choke, wheeze)

Okay, let's have a lung joke in honor of my choking and poor sense of humor.  D and I just heard it on Sid the Science Kid.  What do lungs wear under their pants?


Friday, March 11, 2011

Writer's Block Friday

Blah, blah, blah . . .

* I've been running.  No, don't get too excited.  I'm only telling you because I know you won't hold me accountable.  You know I walk.  Well, I added a little running.  Very little running.  I even went so far as to buy running shoes.  I was thinking if it made my knees hurt, I would probably quit within the week.  Well, I've made it a whole week.  I've got four more weeks of training before I run a virtual 5K -- which I don't really understand.  How's that going to work?

But -- really -- let's not get too excited just yet.  Remember that I will be on vacation one of those weeks.  Do we really think I will go the extra mile (ha, ha) and run on vacation?  I don't know. Maybe.  Do you think Big Daddy would run with me?  Would he leave me in the dust having a panting, sweaty asthma attack?

Stay tuned.

* Conferences for Colin yesterday.  Yes, I do have a brilliant, respectful and kind student, thank you for asking. We knew this, didn't we?  Still . . . it's nice to hear it out loud from people at school and it's nice to hear it when you don't always see it at home.  It's not uncommon for him to be lethargic, disrespectful and unkind at home.

Are you like me?  Did you read EVERY baby book you could lay your hands on?  Well, I quit reading for a while and now I am reading EVERY teenager book I can lay my hands on.

Stay tuned.

* Did I tell you Preschool D sat on the potty Monday.  Sat on it successfully if you catch my drift.  I cheered and clapped and did a dance.  Yeah, then he was done.  No, I mean done.  He'd done it once.  He'd proved he could do it.  No need to do it again.

Stay tuned . . . I hope.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Way We Never Were

This is sort of a boring and serious church discussion in case you want to skip today . . .

I had coffee with a friend this morning who stayed at the large church that is the "parent" of our church plant.  We were talking about how sad we are that relations between the parent church and the church plant aren't better.  We speculated about why this is -- different personalities, feelings so hurt they can't even be made right, focus on the here and now, the reality of Ephesians 6:12 which says that the battles we wage on earth aren't even with other people but with the force that seeks our destruction.  (My friend and I call that force Satan.  I will understand if that makes you twitchy.  You may just substitute "evil" whenever I use that word if that helps.)

We speculated that Satan's number one goal in this situation is to "divide our house."  Jesus says in Matthew 12:25 that we won't have any strength if we become divided.  It's one of his best tactics.  Think of how often it works, particularly in families.  If even one person becomes separated in conflict, the whole family goes down in one way or another.  I don't think the conflict even has to be spoken.  If one person becomes separated in conflict and keeps silent about it, the whole family still goes down.

I've been wrong before.

My friend and I didn't come up with any good solutions.  We did decided that the only person we were really in charge of, the only person we could really change, the only person we could really control . . . was our own selves.  If we could even do that much, it would be a good job done.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Poem for Tuesday

Don't tempt my mother.

A Jolly Battle
Maude Wood Henry

The popcorn battle rages -- 
Hear the bullets whizzing past!
The air is filled with popping guns,
They're shooting thick and fast.

Each gallant popcorn kernel,
In snow-white uniform,
Is in the fight with all his might,
And things are getting warm.

"Pop-pop!" you hear, and "pop-pop-pop!"
Is answered without fail;
The clatter of the popping squads
Is like a rain of hail.

A jolly popcorn battle
Is a most stirring sight;
But hard to tell, as you know well,
Which side has won the fight.

And when the battle's over,
The kernels, large and small,
From great to least will make a feast,
And give a popcorn ball.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I never really did get sick.  I had a couple of days where I sucked on a cough drop.  I think it was more like sick and tired.

March can go one of two ways in Minnesota.  There's the Early Spring Thaw Month way, where we laugh and dance and get out our shorts and sandals as soon as it reaches 50 degrees.  "It's practically summer!  What a great year!  What a great spring!" we shout.With 2-3 feet of snow still on the ground, that's not the way it's going this year.  This year it's going the Dark Night of the Soul Month way.  We close our eyes, try to get out a lighter coat, stop checking the forecast.

This is where a well-timed vacation somewhere warm comes in nicely.  If you go too early, there is still a lot of winter left.  If you go too late (or aren't for whatever reason able to go at all), there's a sort of anger that really takes hold now.  It's not spring.  It's not ever going to be spring.  WHY DO WE LIVE HERE ANYWAY?!

I am one of the lucky ones.  My winter vacation was poorly timed, but it is still on the horizon.  I have dug out my shorts . . . 30 days in advance.