Maybe someday she'll actually catch the ball.
Saturday, August 30, 2008

Right now I'd be happy if she would just keep her eyes open when I throw it to her.

Her lack of skill at catching a ball (or any object, really) comes by way of genetics.

It took Jonathan a few years of marriage to realize I was never going to catch anything he tossed to me. It only took hitting me in the face with a basketball for him to fully understand.

I have other skills.

It's hard to save the world when you have a pesky little sister.
Friday, August 29, 2008

"MOM!!! I'm trying to battle my invisible enemy and Lauryn won't leave me alone!!!"


My heart may have momentarily stopped beating...
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

...when I walked into my kitchen - my kitchen with white cabinets - and saw my two year old daughter holding this:

Thankfully for all involved, I must have found her right as she pulled the lid off. No permanent artwork was anywhere to be found.

This monster Sharpie was hidden away inside a drawer, but it called to her from inside that deep dark abyss and she found it.

Gotta watch this one. She's a tricky trickster.

I still make friends in much the same way.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day two of first grade:

"Mom, I have a new best buddy. First we were jump-roping and he said 'Wow! You're good!', and then after lunch he said 'Do you want to be best buddies?'"

I am going to learn from this kid's example and remember how easy it can be to make new friends. Except I'll probably compliment someone's haircut or earrings and then invite them to go get some coffee. Pretty much the same thing.


Watching a little network TV this morning.

Is The Karate Kid my most favorite movie ever?

Quite possibly, yes. (Until I catch another random 1980's flick on TV. Then it will be my new favorite.)

My whole family loved this movie. My mom and I were known to do poor imitations of Mr. Miyagi for years after the rest of the world had moved on.

We shared a favorite scene: fly-catching with chopsticks. "You beginner luck." Greatness.

I must say that when I watch it now, the unintentional comedy rating is pretty high. I don't remember laughing at the "Give him a body bad!!!" line when I was in elementary school. But it gets big laughs now.

The Cobra Kai also seem much less intimidating. I remember being in elementary school, and thinking gangs of kids who took karate at the local dojo might terrorize me once I reached high school. Oh how Hollywood shaped my young impressionable mind!

On the first day, of the first grade....
Monday, August 25, 2008

On the first day, of the first grade.*

Ryan did great. It was a little harder for mom. He's growing up so fast.

*For fans of Veggie Tales, I'm sorry if you have that song playing endlessly in your head now. Like I have for the past 2 days.

Motherly Love
Thursday, August 21, 2008

You may remember the picture I posted of me and Jonathan dunking Ryan's hair in the icy river.

Apparently I come by my parenting style naturally.

My mom only threatened to throw me in - if she would have I would have taken her right in with me!

Swimmin' and Splashin'
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The kids spent hours upon hours of our vacation playing in the incredible kiddie pool.

Since it was only about 2 feet deep, I spent my time lounging poolside.

Which was a nice change from our usual pool experience - Dylan and Lauryn both clinging desperately to my neck while I try to also somehow keep up with daredevil Ryan. Makes me tired just thinking about it. Generally 3:1 is not a good ratio for pool time.

But this place was great! Fun for kids. Relaxing for Mom. When can I go back?

Lauryn, squeezing her way past the fountain.
She spent her pool time trying to play in the water without getting wet.

Many thanks to our good friends for hooking us up with their timeshare - we couldn't have gone on this vacation without their generosity!

I'm such a conformist.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Let me just go ahead and say it. I think these shoes are ugly.

We wanted to buy the kids some new sandals while we were in Branson. This style was just about the only thing we could find. So, seeing all the other little kids running around Branson wearing ugly shoes, we decided to go ahead and buy them.

Following the crowd. Wearing ugly shoes. Ha!

We're Home
Monday, August 18, 2008

Ryan, getting dressed after his bath tonight:



"We've been gone so long that I can't remember which drawer my underwear are in!"

It may take us a while to get fully back into the swing of things.

Road Trip Quotes
Saturday, August 16, 2008

The last seven days have been a fun-filled whirlwind. From Texas to Oklahoma to Missouri to Arkansas and back to Missouri. We've been in the pool, in the river, in the lake, and at the amusement park. Whew.

Spending more than 20 hours in the van this week (with 8 more hours 'til we get back home, after a pit stop tonight in Tulsa), we've had lots of time for some good conversation.

Ryan: Mom, I'm STARVING.

: Ryan, you are not 'starving'. You don't even know what 'starving' means.

: Yes I do. It means you're hungry enough to eat your brother.

Better keep your head up Dylan.

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Lauryn, our West Texas girl, is not used to the hilly, curvy roads of the Ozark Mountains. She let out a terrified shriek down every steep hill, and yelled at her Daddy to slow down. The boys, on the other hand, had their hands up in the air like they were riding a roller coaster, yelling "Faster Daddy!"

Jonathan: Boys, please stop pointing out all the big hills coming up. You're scaring Lauryn. Tell your sister she's going to be okay.

Dylan: [in a sappy sweet voice] It's okay won't fly out the window.

Ryan: [equally sappy] Yeah's won't die.

Thanks guys. Real comforting.

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I hope to be back to my normal posting soon. In the meantime, here's one picture from the trip: Jonathan dunking Ryan's hair in the icy, bitter cold waters of the White River, while I tickle his belly. Parenting at it's finest.

703 miles. One way.
Saturday, August 9, 2008

We're headed to Branson, MO tomorrow for a one week family vacation.

A wise person would have spent this morning finishing up laundry and packing. But that doesn't sound like any fun at all.

So, I chose instead to spend my morning on the internet. I was compiling a list, complete with bullet points, detailing "Free Things to Do in Branson."

The list is pretty impressive. It includes visiting a fish hatchery. A fish hatchery!! But when Jonathan wakes up I'm sure he'll want to see that I've at least started thinking about packing.

I know! I'll start a packing list! Brilliant!

mini-van update: After a visit to the mechanic, the cruise control and window are now fully functional. We are road trip ready! (The windshield-fluid-sprayer-thingie is still broken. But bug guts are a small annoyance that can be dealt with.)

She's tired of the relentless paparazzi.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lauryn hasn't willingly had her picture taken for over a month. Once the "Look at me!" photo hog, she has suddenly become camera shy. I do have an endless supply of shots of the back of her head.

At least the boys are still willing subjects. Dylan is quickly catching up to big brother. He insists that they stand 'back-to-back' at least once a week to see if he's suddenly as tall as Ryan. I predict it will happen someday. And Ryan will not be pleased.

In other Dylan and Ryan news, Ryan gave Dylan a short theological lesson a couple nights ago, when he heard Dylan asking me to please read him the Bible story about "Magnet Man." I was pretty confused.

Then Ryan explained to Dylan that "Magnet Man" was just a superhero they had made up (first I'd heard of it - I've yet to ask for a rundown of his superpowers), and not a Bible story.

I was glad for the clarification, since I was having some trouble figuring out what Bible story he could possibly be talking about.

I've since thought about the fact that the Bible says that Jesus will draw all men to Himself....I guess I missed a teachable "Magnet Man" moment...I'll look for a chance for a re-do. :-)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I'm usually not one for conspiracy theories and such.


My much loved mini-van was paid off last month.

And within the last few months, the cruise control, driver's side window, and windshieldwiper-fluid-sprayer-thingie have each stopped functioning.

Is there some kind of programming wired into cars to make them stop working the moment they are paid off??? I am starting to wonder.

It's pretty irritating to take a road trip with no cruise control, no way to clean the bug guts off your windshield, and a window that won't roll down. Not to mention it's a little embarrassing opening your entire door at the fast food drive-thrus.

But I will not be buying a new van. I am driving this one until it will drive no longer. Maybe I can part with some money to fix some of it's woes, even though I was looking forward to spending that van payment elsewhere.

After years of faithful service, she is turning against us.

1,200 sq feet
Monday, August 4, 2008

That's the size of the Master Bedroom in a home I just saw featured on HGTV.

1,200 square feet.

That's about 200 square feet bigger than the entire square footage of the first home we owned in Dallas. Where five of us managed to squeeze in.

I've been pondering the size of that bedroom since I watched the show a couple of hours ago.

I can't wrap my mind around having a bedroom that big.

I think sleeping in a room that huge, I would constantly have dreams that I had been shrunk down to a miniature size, like in that movie "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids".

Now I've moved on from thinking about that massive bedroom. The next few hours will be spent pondering why such sophisticated movies randomly pop into my consciousness.

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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