Finally Healthy
Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Jonathan said that when Ryan went back to school today, all his friends ran over, gave him a hug, and told him how glad they are he's back. Sometimes Kindergarten kids can be so sweet. Sometimes.

Putting his writing skills to use
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ryan posted a KEEP OUT sign on his bedroom door today. This is his sixth day to be stuck at home with a fever and I think he's tiring of us a bit.

Too bad that Dylan and Lauryn can't read, and would have totally disregarded his sign even if they could.

The Benefactor
Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Whatcha doing with those three pennies Dylan?"

"Oh...I'm just looking for one of those...ummm.....What's that thing? That thing you put in a mailbox?"

"An envelope?"

"Yeah, an envelope. I need that."

"Okay...why do you need an envelope?"

"Because I'm mailing these three pennies to Mo [his grandma]."

"You think Mo needs three cents?"

"Yep. She goes to Wal-Mart and buys things."

How very generous.

Into Thin Air
Saturday, January 26, 2008

As a general rule I don't have dreams at night. I'm asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow...sleep hard all night...and wake when a wee one is at my bedside in the morning. No dreaming involved.

Until I read this book. This book is so compelling and heart-wrenching, that for the last three nights I have had seriously vivid dreams (nightmares?) that I'm on Mt. Everest.

I typically struggle through non-fiction books, but on the recommendation of my husband I decided to tackle this one. I read it every chance I could get and finished it in three days.

Do I shelter my kids? You bet I do.

I just read a compelling, somewhat sarcastic, and inspiring post about "sheltering" kids. Check it out.

Holding On
Friday, January 25, 2008

I've found myself dragging out Lauryn's bedtime routine lately. Rocking her a bit longer...singing a few more nite-nite a few more kisses and hugs. She's changing and growing up so quickly. I feel like I try to memorize the face of my "baby" every night, because every morning she's a whole day older.

Winter Event
Thursday, January 24, 2008

For a few minutes this afternoon, we had quarter size snowflakes falling at our house. Dylan was super excited.

Ryan, poor guy, just briefly looked out the window at Dylan's beckoning then went right back to bed. Hopefully he'll feel better soon. Lauryn was napping and missed the action altogether.

He's looking at his reflection in the back door, watching the
snowflakes accumulate on his hat and coat.

Can you see the snowflakes in his eyelashes? So fun!

Bunk Beds are a Great Idea

Until your five year old is feeling sick and all he wants in the whole wide world is for you to "please, please, please" just lay down with him. Making my way up the ladder at 3:15am I started to question the bunk bed decision.

So Ryan and I were both awake much of the night as he was running a fever. He is still running a little fever today and he's home from school.

Lauryn is so excited that her other big brother is at home instead of at school. She doesn't understand that Ryan's not feeling well, and she won't leave the poor guy alone!

Update: She's stopped pestering him and settled for imitating him. Which seems to annoy him much less.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

There is a heart rate chart kind of like this one on the treadmills at my gym.

As I walk/jog I periodically check my heart rate, to make sure that I'm not really going to die like I sometimes feel I might.

I will be 30 years old in TWO SHORT MONTHS, but for some reason when I consult the graph, I have been looking at the line for a 25 year old. Why would I do this? I have no idea. It was a totally subconscious decision. My eye just automatically went there. When I was checking my heart rate tonight I just suddenly realized it and thought, "Why in the world aren't I following the line for a 30 year old?"

Then, after this bit of self-discovery regarding my subconscious denial of my age.....I noticed that almost all the TV's in the room were tuned to MTV. Except mine. I was enjoying HGTV. Cracked me up.

Makes Me Smile

"Listen, O Daughter, Consider and give ear...
The king is enthralled with your beauty;
honor him for he is your lord."
Psalm 45: 10-11

enthralled: (adjective) beguiled, captivated, charmed, delighted, filled with wonder and delight

Mom's Night Out
Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'"

C.S. Lewis

Friday night I shared dessert and coffee and laughs with three friends. We have all moved to Lubbock within the last two years. God's timing makes me smile! We spent over three hours talking about nothing and everything, and consuming inordinate amounts of calories. (Stella's in Lubbock - great food, great atmosphere.)

And regarding the C.S. Lewis quote's nice to know that I'm not the only mother who has ever thrown the bed covers off a little too hard, sighed loudly, and stomped through the house when having to get up with a crying child in the middle of night. Then been awash with guilt when my stomping, brooding presence is enough to calm the cries and uplift the countenance of that same child.

What a gift to have friends who can accept me and my brooding, stomping ways (and have been there themselves), but still love me enough to remind me that the gentleness of Christ really
can flow through me at all times. Even at 2:00am when I'm sleep deprived and just want to bury my head under the pillow.


Potato Porcupines (who comes up with this stuff?)
Friday, January 18, 2008

Ryan saw this craft idea in one of his coloring books, and has been asking me to buy some potatoes for weeks. I finally remembered this week. I forgot the wiggly eyes, so we used a Sharpie.

Meet Fred and Roger. I was told they are best friends.

Ryan's creation

Dylan's creation

Sadly, Roger has a condition in which quills grow
directly out of his eyeballs.


For Some Reason I Just Don't Believe Him

"Dylan! Stop! Don't run in the parking lot!"

As he continues to run he turns and says, "Sorry Mom! I can't hear you saying 'Stop!' when I'm running so fast!"

Apparently we need to work on logic as well as obedience. He also routinely tells us that Lauryn has her eyes open during prayer time. Then just looks away sheepishly when we ask him how he knows, unless he had his eyes open too!

The Goose that lays the Golden Egg?
Thursday, January 17, 2008

I found a bright shiny nickel in the bottom of the fish tank today. Do I have a magical money making fish in my home?

I think I just have a two year old that figured out she can drop things in the slots on top of the tank. It could also be the four year old. Haven't fully sniffed out the culprit yet.

Poor fish. I hope he dodged that nickel okay.

For my fellow Jane Austen Lovers
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

From the PBS website: "For the first time on US television, Masterpiece presents adaptations of all the Jane Austen novels and a new biopic of her life."

ALL the Jane Austen novels?? Presented on Masterpiece Theater!?! A somewhat bookish, slight nerdy girl's dream come true.

Persuasion is one of my favorite Jane Austen books; it aired on Sunday night and we watched it yesterday. "We" meaning my husband and I. When he offered to watch it with me, I thought it was a sweet gesture. He made it through with only a few snickers and eye rolls, but he has mocked it more than a few times today. Still a nice gesture though. In spite of the mocking.

In his defense, there was a wee bit too much of the main character looking forlorn with watery eyes and sighing directly into the camera. In my defense, the most stirring part of Persuasion is a long awaited love letter. I don't think it translated to the screen very well. So maybe I'll get Jonathan to read the book and then he'll appreciate it's beauty as I do. KIDDING.

Can you watch someones cholesterol rise before your eyes?
Monday, January 14, 2008

After Jonathan had a breakfast meeting at IHOP:

"What'd you get for breakfast Jonathan?"

"The Breakfast Sampler. Two pieces of bacon, two sausage links, two ham strips, hashbrowns and pancakes."

"Are you telling me you had six servings of pork?"

"Yep. Three different kinds. The pig is an incredible animal."

Oh my. Luckily he doesn't eat that way very often.

A Polite Warning Before I Attack You
Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ryan was finishing up a puzzle and Lauryn had taken the last few pieces.

Ryan: [using a super sweet, super polite voice throughout this entire conversation] Lauryn, may I please have my last puzzle pieces?

Lauryn: No.

Ryan: Lauryn, I need to finish my puzzle. Please give me the pieces.

Lauryn: No.

Ryan: Lauryn, if you don't give them to me I will have to take them from you. So do you want to just give them to me?

Lauryn: Umm....Nope.

Ryan: [still super sweet] Okay, I warned you.

Screams and crashes and crying. And then Ryan finished his puzzle.

I realize I could have stepped in and helped resolve the situation. But I sort of thought Lauryn had it coming.

Deal of the Week

I always wander down the shoe aisles at Target, because occasionally I see a really great deal for one of the kids. This week I found a bargain for Lauryn.

They were out of size 7; since these are half a size too big I'll have to hide them from her for a while. Her love of shoes is quite fierce. I'm not sure she would understand having to wait to wear new shoes. That would be torture indeed.

While Watching The Andy Griffith Show with Ryan
Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Mom, something's wrong with the TV."

" looks fine."

"NO Mom! LOOK at it! It's all GRAY! You can't even see any of the colors!"

Sleeping Arrangements

Lauryn has completely forsaken her bed. Every night for a month she has been moving her pillow and blanket to the floor. I suppose it's not that big of a deal, except for 1.) Her bed is a much cleaner environment, as I wash her sheets way more often than I shampoo the carpets, and 2.) it's become a battle of wills between Lauryn and her parents. I'm half convinced that the reason she wants to sleep in the floor is because we want her to sleep in her bed.

Last night she took it up a notch. Instead of just sleeping on the floor in her room, I found her this morning in the hall right outside her brothers' door. With shoes on. One brown, one pink.

Lauryn: 1
Parents: 0

Symbol of Love
Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I was playing with the kids tonight using some flash cards. The cards, which were pictures of various objects (different types of foods, clothings, toys, etc.) were spread out all over the floor. I was asking Dylan and Lauryn to bring me the cards by asking them questions like "Can you show me all the things we eat...all the things we wear....?"

Ryan wanted to play so I thought I would make it a little tougher for him. I knew somewhere in the pile of cards there was a picture of a ring, so I said, "Okay Ryan, bring me the picture of what you would give to someone that you REALLY love and want to spend your WHOLE life with." He looked through the pile and then with all the sincerity in the world said, "Oh, that's too easy." Then he brought me a picture of carrots.

If Jonathan had proposed and then presented me with some nice fresh carrots, I probably would have still said yes. Probably. But I'm glad I got a ring instead.

What is it with this movie?
Monday, January 7, 2008

My five year old and four year old son are both very "boy-ish" little guys. They like to watch sports with their daddy...they like to wrestle....they enjoy getting dirty...they have been known to throw punches at each other if sufficiently irritated.

All that is to say how STUNNED I am that they will both stop down and go into a semi-hypnotic trance to watch High School Musical. Huh? Baffling. I'm shocked that they are interested in a movie involving High School kids doing singing and dancing numbers. I never would have guessed. We just happened to record it one day when it was on the Disney channel. A lot of the kids in the children's ministry at the church are really into these movies, so I wanted to see what they were all about. I never would have guess the boys' would get so into it.

Today at the grocery store, Dylan saw a box of cereal with an image of the characters on it, and starts yelling "High School Musical! High School Musical! Mom, can we get it? Please??" This from the kid who generally only wants Spiderman or Batman related products. Cracked me up.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

On Saturday we had a fairly nice day, with a break from the bitter ever-present West Texas wind. It was still breezy, but the wind wasn't quite as biting as it has been the last few weeks. So we took the kids to the park. They were so happy to be out and running around, burning off some energy! Being cooped up in the house is hard when you're 5, 4, or 2. Or when you're a parent of a 5, 4, and 2 year old.

We played at the park, and fed bread to the Canadian Geese that migrate to Lubbock in the winter.

If you decide to feed bread to geese, be forewarned:
Geese poo is remarkably similar to dog poo.
And there were a
lot of geese in that field.
We did a lot of poo dodging.

Safety Reminder
Saturday, January 5, 2008

A reminder I needed: Talk to your kids about not trying to replicate things they see on television.

A good friend of mine here in Lubbock found her four year old son with the mini-blind cord wrapped around his neck; he was purple and struggling to breathe. (It was not the old "loop style" cord; he had wrapped the cord around his neck and tied it on his own.) Disaster was averted because she found him in time, but if a few more minutes had passed it could have been tragic. The little boy told his parents he was trying to "rescue some animals and go down the zip-line like Diego" [of the cartoon Go, Diego, Go]. My friend read of a little girl in Britain who was strangled recently; the family of the girl feels she was attempting to imitate the same thing.

I feel like such a world traveler


My mom called to tell me to watch of episode of "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" on the Travel Channel, because he was sampling foods in Japan. She wanted to know if I had eaten any of the foods on the show while I was Japan last year for my friend Lisa's birthday. A few pics of the trip are here.

I am happy to report that I ate a couple of the foods showcased by Mr. Bourdain. Sushi (duh), and also takoyaki, described on the show as an "octopus dumpling." (It's a much different texture and taste than eating calamari.)

A word to the wise: if you ever travel to Japan, enjoy takoyaki in finer restaurants. But then after enjoying them at a restaurant as I did, don't then later order them at a gas station/fast food location. Trust me. I was trying to be big and brave and order on my own, and Lisa didn't get to me in time to stop me. Gas station takoyaki is all kinds of nasty. Just typing that sentence I see that I should have anticipated as much, but I was working on very little sleep at the time.

According to this article, we all may soon be snacking on takoyaki like they are french fries. While they are indeed tasty, I have my doubts about them being embraced by Americans.

Imagination at Work
Thursday, January 3, 2008

A new species created by Ryan:

"GiraffeDog." Interesting. It also looks like a striking snake to me, but the artist rejected that interpretation.

Lost in Laundry for 1 year

This is not my laundry room. But a girl can dream.

One year ago today I started this blog, "Lost in Laundry."

Over the year, I have manged to get a little better handle on my laundry situation. This is mostly due to people (hi mom!) being completely incredulous that doing my laundry is such a struggle. Apparently shame is a good motivator for me. Ha! Also a few helpful hints from friends have helped me get some good routines in place. I also try and remind myself it wasn't all that many years ago women didn't have the luxury of washing machines. And even fewer years ago, I lived in an upstairs apartment with two children and NO washer and dryer. So I really have no excuse, other than laziness, to not have clean clothes in the closets. I still fall off the wagon often enough that my blog name is in no danger of needing a change!

Thanks to family and friends who keep checking in on the exploits of the Cliff family. If you are a faithful reader and have never commented, leave a comment today in honor of the "one year anniversary" so I know you're out there.

Some of my friends have started blogs in the last year. If you haven't already checked them out, you should:

Cash Clan Japan
Teach and Tickle
Sipping Chardonnay

Overheard as I passed by the boys' room
Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"So Dylan, how long are you planning to stay in Alaska?"

"17 days."

I sure will miss him.

Inspiring Lyrics for the New Year
Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ever hear an old song all over again for the first time? Sometimes I sing along mindlessly with songs for years before I ever really listen to the words. Finally tuned in to this song yesterday, and it became my prayer for the New Year.

Artist: Watermark
Song: Friend for Life

Wash over me
Till I can't be seen

Living Water swallow me
Deepest river wash me clean

Jesus, Savior more of thee
Jesus, more of thee

Come and ruin me with Your love
So no other is enough

Come and leave Your mark on me
Jesus, more of thee

Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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