It's the most benign things that send us into hysterics.
Saturday, January 31, 2009

My mom and I have something wrong with our wiring.

We laugh at stupid things.

We are no longer allowed to go to Sonic together. For some inexplicable and frustrating reason, the minute one of us pushes that little red order button, we start laughing. Uncontrollably. AT NOTHING.

Something about the fact that we know we need to be NOT laughing so that we can place our order makes us get the giggles. We usually eek out a "Sorry!" with tears streaming down our face. Then we sit for a few minutes trying to compose ourselves before pushing the red button and starting all over again. We sometimes manage to place our order through bouts of unexplained hilarity. The kind of laughing where you can't breathe, let alone talk. It's so stupid.

I'm really surprised that the Sonic employees have never called the police to report intoxicated drivers.

We also just about pee our pants watching America's Funniest Home Videos; the montages of old ladies falling down is too much for us to handle. Mom once laughed IN REAL LIFE at an old lady falling down her stairs, but that's a story for another day. (She and I share the disease of laughing when we're nervous and don't know what else to do. It's a sickness. We're really not bad people.)

Mom was here visiting this past week, and she helped Dylan dress up one of his Teddy Bears. For some reason Mom and I thought it was hysterical.


There is something wrong with us. That bear? Cute? Yes. Kinda funny? Sure. Hysterical? Uhh...nope.

To a somewhat lesser degree, I think Ryan may have inherited our laughing disease. He's a little more mature than we are in that he doesn't laugh at people who have hurt themselves. So far.

Here's a little piece of video evidence from a year ago.









I was kind of a weird little kid.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009



A rare occasion - I'm home alone today.

So I'm watching Funny Girl. Jonathan puts up with a lot from me, but he absolutley will not tolerate Barbara Streisand. I have to indulge in her movies when I get the chance.

Watching it, I'm remembering that I loved, loved, loved Barbara when I was a kid. That big ol' voice and over the top acting seriously inspired me. When I was nine.

I seemed to have a fascination with larger than life actresses and singers. When my family went to Hollywood when I was ten, whose star did I search out on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Bette Midler. Huh? That was the year I was constantly singing songs from the soundtrack of Beach's. I have a very tolerant family.

My mom has a picture of me sitting on the sidewalk beside Bette's star with a huge smile plastered on my face. No doubt I was dreaming of when I would have my own star, hopefully somewhere near Bette's.

My little brother wanted his picture taken beside Michael Jackson's star; my five-year-old little brother was cooler than me.

My other big inspriation was Carol Burnett.

I'm surprised I had any friends at all.









My cold heart is slowly melting.
Saturday, January 24, 2009

I am not an animal person.

There, I said it.

My feelings toward dogs are best described as neutral. I don't love them...don't hate them...but I am quite content to live a dog-free existence. (No dog hair on my clothes and furniture, no dog hair to vacuum up, no vet bills, and no dog poo in my back yard – all huge positives in my thinking.) My feelings toward cats are stronger. I strongly dislike them. Every cat I encounter seems to instantly know I don't take well to their kind, and they immediately come and weave their creepy bodies in and out of my ankles. Shudder.

My husband, on the other hand, is what is known as a "dog person." Loves the critters. Never met a dog he doesn't like. He likes cats too, but luckily he's highly allergic. Whew.

Now that we're good and settled into our new house with a big, fenced back yard, I have accepted that the time is coming when I will have to relent and agree to get a pooping machine dog.

Several things have happened in the past month that lead me to believe the universe is conspiring to prepare me for imminent dog-ownership.

  1. I read, and was totally emotionally invested in, the book Marley and Me.
  2. I have become obsessed with the show Dog Whisperer. Intriguing. The National Geographic Channel seems to be constantly airing that program and I watch it all the time.
  3. My father in law emailed this heart-wrenching dog ownership story last week and it actually made me a little teary-eyed.

Add to all that, that I am coming around to Jonathan’s belief that the kids need a dog to grow up with. (Dylan is already a little dog lover; his favorite part of visiting some of our friends houses is playing with their dogs.)

I’m sure our loved ones will start crying “NOT IT! NOT IT!” as soon as we get a dog, as we have somewhat of a tract record of giving away our pets to gullible willing family members. My grandma adopted poodle Gracie when we went to Bible school (no dogs allowed), and my sister in law took mutt Zach when we moved to Lubbock and planned to live in an apartment. I vow that when and if we do get a new pet, we will strive to be more faithful, long-term dog owners.

Many decisions are yet to be made, (big? little? what kind of breed? puppy? full-grown?) so I have a bit longer to fully embrace the idea of dealing with dog hair loving a dog. The only solid fact that has surfaced is that Lauryn wants a dog she can name Princess. Not gonna happen.

Anyone reformed readers out there, who were once dog-neutral and are now dog-lovers? Any hope for me?








Mo. With an M.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When he was little, Ryan somehow christened his paternal grandmother as "Mo". A weird name, but somehow it stuck. (Side note: I apologize to all of my current and future nieces and nephews that the oldest grandchild came up with this name. You are under no obligation to call your grandmother Mo. The end.)

Mo is kind of an odd name for a grandma, yes, but it kind of grew on us after a while. She was just Mo and we never gave it a second though.

Until Lauryn started talking. And had a speech delay. And for some reason, had an "h" for "m" sound substitution when she said Mo.

Oh my.



That video was taken a few months ago.

This week, with the help of the positive reinforcement (bribe) of M&M's, Lauryn can finally say Mo. With an M. Mo no longer has to worry about her reputation being sullied by her three old granddaughter.

I'm really glad Lauryn can correctly say Mo. I'm also really glad I have that video, because it's pretty darn funny.

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Turkey Sandwich. And Dallas.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009


In the neighborhood where I visit patients for work, there aren't too many restaurant choices. So last week I decided I would check out the Amigos grocery store with their fresh made tortillas and full service 'carneceria'.

I ended up just buying a turkey sandwich - it had a ton of meat and lots of veggies, a bargain at $2.49. (And it came with a side of jalapeno.) I also bought some fresh guacamole that I will be having for lunch again in the near future. Good stuff.

Anyway - the whole point of this post is that being in that grocery store made me a bit homesick for Dallas! Specifically, I miss my bilingual Spanish-speaking friends! I had a sudden craving for the fajitas they used to make with marinated meat from the Hispanic grocery store. So yummy.

I love it in Lubbock, but still occasionally get a little heartsick for Dallas!








Tricky Tricksters
Monday, January 19, 2009

I have been bested by a generic deodorant company.

I am a faithful purchaser of Secret Deodorant. My grandma uses it. My mom uses it. Except for a few wayward years of wearing Teen Spirit in Jr. High, I have always used it. I come from a long line of Secret-wearing women.

This week, Jonathan saw my deodorant sitting on the bathroom counter and asked "Why did you buy the cheap stuff?"

HUH?? Secret is the good stuff! Whatever could he mean, "cheap stuff"?

Well...upon closer inspection...it seems that the marketing geniuses who work for Suave pulled one over on me with their crafty packaging.

I am now that consumer that did not look carefully enough (shopping with three kids will do that), and the trademark baby blue color had me quickly throwing the stick in my basket without careful inspection. Tricky tricksters those Suave people.




I have the excuse of three kids distracting me in the store.

I'm still working on why I never noticed it was Suave and not Secret when I got it home and used it for a couple weeks.








Puzzle Night
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's puzzling why I thought a puzzle night would be a good idea.

Problem 1: Neither Jonathan nor I are all that crazy about puzzles.

Problem 2: My kids are each at vastly different skill levels/patience levels when it comes to puzzle assembly.

At any rate, a puzzle night it was! It had it's fun moments (mainly when the blasted puzzles were finally finished), but I would say this was kind of a dud of a family night. Better luck next time.

Here are the details anyway, in case your family is more affectionate toward puzzlin' than I am!

I started out by taking the kids to Dollar Tree (we love that place!) and letting them each buy a new puzzle.

Lauryn fell in love with a Disney Princess puzzle (shocker, I know) that was way above her skill level. 63 pieces, for ages 5 and up. But she was totally enamored with it, so I let her buy it anyway. I would come to regret that later as I was trying to help her assemble it (she disassembled it as fast as I could hand her pieces; it was more important to hold and admire the face of each princess, than to attach the puzzle piece to the rest of the body).


When we got home from our Dollar Tree trip, the kids used markers to make their own puzzle by coloring and cutting out a puzzle template I printed out for them.




For dinner I made quesadillas, then cut puzzle pieces out of them so the kids could put them back into a circle shape. (Sorry for the poor picture quality; the camera was left at the church this week, so I was left with just my cell phone.)



After dinner we assembled the new puzzles (imagine some crying, whining, and complaining here from me and Jonathan), then I let the kids use save-a-puzzle to glue them together. The puzzle glue was fun for them to use. Messy always equals fun, right? They also thought it was pretty fun to be able to pick up the puzzles they made and carry them around once the glue dried. Yes, they are easy to please.


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Pronoun confusion.
Sunday, January 11, 2009



After an afternoon of princess-pretending, I told Lauryn as I tucked her in,

"Goodnight sweet princess."

She laughingly replied,

"No! I'm not your princess! Daddy is my princess!"

I'm pretty sure she meant to say "I'm Daddy's princess," but it gave me a good chuckle the other way.








It's a ritual at ponds, lakes, rivers, and the zoo.
Saturday, January 10, 2009


At each of those locations, Jonathan pretends like he's going to throw the boys in the water. Or the animal cages if we're at the zoo.

The boys barely flinch now, knowing the obligatory routine. (Although Ryan's not quite sure what Jonathan might really do, since he dunked the tip-top of his head at the playa lake at the park one day.)

Lauryn still squeals with half terror/half delight if Jonathan even so much as hints he might pick her up near any of the said locations. Notice her backing away in the above picture? Funny girl.








I feared she was about to exact her revenge.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009


"Mommy, can we play pretend?"

"Sure."

"I'm the mommy. It's time to brush your hair."

"Okay."

She climbs up on the couch behinds me with a brush, and says menacingly,

"This might hurt a little."








Thoughtful
Tuesday, January 6, 2009



Wrapped up with the Alice in Wonderland book Jonathan gave me for Christmas was a bag of black licorice.

I love opening up gifts that are bought specifically with me in mind. Lewis Carroll and licorice isn't a combo you could throw in a gift bag and give to just anyone, ya know?

One year he wrapped Ferrerro Rocher candy with The Mamas and The Papas Greatest Hits CD. Perfect combo of listening enjoyment and snacking satisfaction.

Go ahead and comment and tell me about a thoughtful gift you've been given. I want some of that "ahhh....that's so sweet" feeling happening at Lost in Laundry land today. School is back in session today...life is back to the normal routine...and I need something to distract me from the piles of dirty clothes waiting to be dealt with.








Symbolism never came this easy in HS English class.
Monday, January 5, 2009

Jonathan gets me a "classic" book every year for Christmas. This year, it was Alice in Wonderland.

I gotta say, that is one whacked out story. Lewis Carroll was a kooky dude. The hookah smoking caterpillar shows up in chapter 4, and it's just gets weirder from there.

The book wasn't all that compelling for me, and I trudged through it mostly because I felt like it was a classic that I should read sometime in my lifetime. I'm snobby that way.

There was one poem in the book, however, that really struck a chord with me. I was obviously feeling overly contemplative when I read it, but as soon as I read the words "Won't you join the dance?", I began drawing all kinds of analogies with my walk with God thus far.

The Mock Turtle's Song

"Will you walk a little faster?" said a whiting

to a snail,

"There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's

treading on my tail.

See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles
all
advance!
They are waiting on the shingle -will you come

and join the dance?

Will you, wo'n't you, will you, wo'n't you,

will you join the dance?

Will you, wo'n't you, will you, wo'n't you,

won't you join the dance?


"You can really have no notion how delightful

it will be

When they take us up and throw us, with the

lobsters, out to sea!"
But the snail replied, "Too far, too far!" and
gave a look askance -

Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he

would not join the dance.

Would not, could not, would not, could not,
would not join the dance.
Would not, could not, would not, would not,

could not join the dance.


"What matters it how far we go?" his scaly
friend replied.
"There is another shore, you know, upon the
other side.

The further off from England the nearer is to
France -
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and

join the dance.
Will you, wo'n't you, will you, wo'n't you,
will you join the dance?

Will you, wo'n't you, will you, wo'n't you,

won't you join the dance?"




I remember being the timid snail, too afraid to leave my peaceful shore.


My shore was inhabited with charming, intelligent people, who anyone would be blessed to call friends.
His shore might be full of people who are emotionally spent and needy; people who aren't easy to love.

My shore....my shore was like a beach vacation most days. Time for rest and relaxation and wastefulness.
His shore might have work to be done. Hard work, that could only be accomplished with much faith and humility, and by His power alone.

On my shore I had everyone's admiration.
On his shore I could face rejection.

My shore was nice and clean, and it was safe.
His shore could be messy and dangerous.

But I finally got bored with my safe, comfortable shore. For all it's comforts, it was also unsatisfying and left me unfulfilled. I wanted to truly serve Him. Even if it was scary. Or embarrassing. Or put me in the midst of flawed, needy people.

As I've allowed Him to fling me out into an ocean of faith, I have found the joy in leaving my comfortable shore and getting closer to His; for His is a shore of adventure, and real life. "What matters it how far we go? There is another shore, you know, upon the other side."

I'm thankful that even in my timidness and selfishness, in my place of leisure and ease, as I said "Too far, too far!", I could hear Him whispering,

"Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance. Will you, wo'n't you, will you, wo'n't you, will you join the dance?"

He was faithful to keep asking me to dance. I'm so glad I said yes. The times in my life that have required me to overcome fear, and to have nothing to rely on but faith, have been the very best times. Being flung out to sea, so to speak, really is quite "delightful".

Now, once again, I hear Him calling me deeper into the sea, farther away from comfortable shores.

I have a restless feeling in my soul, and a stirring in my heart to serve Him in greater ways. That might mean giving more sacrificially. It might mean speaking of Him in a bolder way. It could mean loving someone who is difficult to love. Maybe I'll be the one to have faith in someone everyone else has given up on. Whatever else it means, I know I want to love my husband and kids more fiercely, and pray for them more fervently.

Will you, wo'n't you, will you, wo'n't you, will you join the dance?









Eeyore's cousin?


When Dylan saw this little donkey at the Amarillo zoo, he immediately said, "Awww....he's sad."

Then Lauryn walked over a bit later and said, "Oh no...he's so sad. Maybe he can't find his mommy."

Are my children that in touch with animal behavior to be able perceive that he was sad?

Or, is it just the burden of all donkey's everywhere that they look perpetually sad, no matter their mood?

Most likely, my children are heavily influenced by Disney, and Eeyore has conditioned them to think all donkey's are sad.








A whole new world. Filled with princess stuff.
Sunday, January 4, 2009

For Christmas, we got Lauryn a CD player for her room: Made by Disney. Looks like a carriage. Also doubles as a jewelry box. Has images of all the Disney princesses on it. Has a huge pink jewel as a handle.

It's extremely classy. If you are three years old.

Anyway...along with the CD player, she also got a new CD. "Disney Princess: The Ultimate Song Collection CD."

I confess to you here and now, that I am in love with this music. Lauryn is free to play it as loud and often as she wants. For several reasons:

1. I can seriously belt out these songs. Much to the dismay of my family, I quite enjoy singing them at the top of my lungs. I had a lot of practice in 6th grade busting out Ariel's version of "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. It all came back to me quickly.

2. All those princess songs get stuck in your head, there's just no avoiding it. It brings me great joy to hear Jonathan stroll through the house, subconsciously singing "A Whole New World", getting all the words correct.

3. Upon her request, the boys can sometimes be persuaded to dance with Lauryn (maybe the CD really is magical!), and it's beyond cute. Check out Ryan, dipping his little sister. Where did he learn those moves? Seriously?











I like it when my kids get their clothes dirty.
Saturday, January 3, 2009

Well, I like it in the right situation.

I don't much like it if they get dirty when we're headed to church. Or school. Or out to eat.

But given the right situation, I like to see them get downright covered in dirt. It means my little city dwellers are exploring nature as God intended.

Yesterday provided plenty of opportunity for getting themselves appropriately filthy.

We spent the afternoon at Palo Duro Canyon. It was our second visit since we've lived in Lubbock. Faithful readers may remember this post from soon after we moved here.

Climbing the canyon walls was the highlight of the day.

Here go the boys, following dutifully behind their Dad:

Lauryn and I were passive observers most of the day. We provided excited waving and cheering when appropriate.

Here they go up yet another, slightly steeper, canyon wall. Dad's providing Dylan with a little upward heave ho this go around:


Here they are nearing a cave entrance that the boys feared might house hibernating bears:



Lauryn ventured up a small hill and hung out under a rock while her brothers scurried to the top. It took all my self-control to not point out to her that under the rock seemed like a much scarier place to be than the top of the rock, due to snakes and spiders that could be cooling off in the shade. I resisted giving her that information, and instead thoroughly examined the place she wanted to sit by poking around with long sticks. Trying not to pass on my irrational phobias.



This morning at breakfast, Ryan said, "Yesterday was the best day of my life! Well....at least my six year old life."


As we were leaving the canyon we ambushed an unassuming couple enjoying the scenery and imposed upon them to take our picture. The first miracle of 2009 - all five of us simultaneously looking at the camera on the first shot. I take it as a sign of good things to come.








Let's hope they have kids!

On New Year's Eve we woke up to the sounds of a loud garbage truck.

A garbage truck perpetually dumping it's trash into the dumpster, over and over again.

Eventually we figured out it must not be a garbage truck because it wasn't going away.

It was actually the sounds of construction going on in the empty lot across the street. Yay! The lot across the street from us has been a weed-filled eyesore since we moved in. I'm excited a house is finally being built there.



The better news - the house has a basement! The boys have been entertained watching the backhoe at work, displacing huge piles of dirt. I'm excited because I'm hoping a house with a basement will bring a family with wee ones. And since their house has a basement, it would only make sense I would send my kids to their house to play, right? (Yeah, right. I'm all talk on that one; I'm still a protective mama bear reluctant to let my kids out of my sight except with a few trusted friends.)

New neighbors for 2009. I'll keep hoping for a young family with young kids; but I'll try to be civil to a family with teenagers as well, should my hopes be dashed. Potential babysitter perhaps???










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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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