Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve Storms

Well, 2010 is certainly ending with a bang here in St. Louis.

This morning, we had storms that resulted in a fast moving, powerful tornado. Matt was looking out the back door when it came through. He heard it coming and wrangled everyone into the basement. We are so thankful that our home was spared. Although our house & cars are covered with little bits of insulation from someone's house.  we sustained no damage.  But many homes all around ours did not escape unharmed. Even as I write this, I can hear emergency sirens all around our home.

This house is just 100 yards from our house.
The siding was ripped off, many of the roof shingles are missing, and a second story window even blew out the front of their home and onto the driveway:

About 300 yards from our home is a major intersection. There are some restaurants, businesses and churches.
This car was parked in a McDonald's parking lot:
This is St. Paul's church and school: The church sustained roof damage:
And the building where the priests live is pretty much missing the roof and one wall.

Light posts were knocked over:
And this truck just blew over onto its side.
I took this picture while standing on what was left of a retaining wall, looking over the edge.
Half the town was shut down.
This is right up the road I drive to take Riley to day care.
This church is right up the road from our home. They sustained serious damage.

A few miles away, in Sunset Hills, MO, we found even more damage.
I know the family that lives here; please pray for them.
Approximately six homes were completely destroyed.

Look closely at this photo. You can see a small black car that was blown off the the parking lot and onto its side on the grass:

Debris was everywhere, and we had to be very careful as we walked around. We found broken glass and boards almost a quarter mile away from the heaviest damage.

The best thing about this whole ordeal is that there are no serious injuries and no fatalities in either of these locations. People were in the homes that were destroyed, but they took cover and the Lord protected them.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter is for Knitting

Okay, well, thr truth is that as far as I'm concerned, every season is for knitting.

But winter is especially good for knitting because your hands don't sweat on the fiber.

And knitted items make great Christmas gifts.

And somebody always gives me a gift certificate for my favorite local yarn store.

And everybody knows that yarn store gift certificates will certainly burn a hole in the pocket or bag in which they are stored if left there too long. So they have to be used quickly.

I did, actually use one of my certificates today, but that's a post for another day. Today, I'm sharing pictures of the slippers I made for Riley (age 2).

I call them the Tweet-Tweet Slippers:
I knitted them with a strand of Splash and a strand of Encore worsted. The splash makes a great effect for a kid-project, but it was not very fun to knit with. It's hard to see the stitches, and Lord help you if you have to rip it back for some reason.

Now I'm working on some blue dog slippers for Tyson. I had hoped to finish them this year, but the knitting is slow with the novelty yarn, and I'm quite certain that I couldn't finish them by Friday night... even if I did absolutely nothing bu knit between now and then.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More than a Tree

 It really is much more than a skinny, lopsided Christmas tree...

 This is a hand made snowflake my great grandmother made. 
It is the first on the tree & the last off the tree. 
This tree is a reminder of those who have passed.

A star made by my grandma. 
It's one of many she has made over the years.
This tree is a reminder of those who are far away.

 Matt gave me this ornament for my birthday many years ago.
We walked along the historic streets of an old, old town.
We found a little shop & I found this ornament.
This tree is a reminder of good times gone by.

 My aunt gave us Mickey. He is holding a clock that says 1999.
We chuckle when we see it.
This tree is a reminder to laugh.

 This is our Snow Monster, from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
It has always been one of my favorite Christmas specials.
This tree is a reminder to see the world through a child's eyes.

But most importantly, this tree is a reminder to rejoice... honor...

...and to remember the Reason for the season.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


It snowed.
 It was a powdery, dry snow...
 ...that blew and drifted between the houses.
 It tried to cover the Christmas lights, but they were having none of that.
 It covered up the last of autumn...
 ...the last of summer.

 It blanketed the garden...
 ...left the sunflower stranded in white...
 ...drifted up against the fence.
 But the sun came out.
 And the trees bent in the wind and collected snow between their branches.
 And someone forgot to tell this little green leaf that it's time was over weeks ago.
 The snow blew up onto the porch...
 ...and covered the hillside.
 And a small feathered friend waited patiently for me to go inside so he could have a bit of seed.
Happy winter.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

That Was a Humdinger!

So, you know how God made kids so that they tend to be inquisitive, curious creatures? And you know how they are forever asking interesting questions & making really fascinating comments?

 I think this is one of the ways that God sort of shares is sense of humor with us. I mean, really... sometimes these comments make you question whether you are fit for parenthood, and sometimes these questions just make you wonder what planet your kid is really from. They are almost always good for getting a chuckle.

Well, I have to admit that our oldest is not so much a curious person. He has always sort of just accepted his world as it is & doesn't really question it. Every now & then, he'll ask a question or make a comment that makes me think to myself, "Phew! That was a humdinger!" It maybe happens four or five times a year in our house.

Well, Tyson was on quite a roll today, because he hit me with THREE!

1. This morning (before his eyes were even completely open) he says to me, "Mom." I thought he was going to ask me something easy, like "what's for breakfast," or "if time travel could be possible would it really rip a hole in the space-time continuum if you met yourself?" Nope. Nothing so simple as that. He asked, "Did you know that a girl can get married to a girl and a boy can get married to a boy?"
Oh boy. He's seven. I honestly naively thought we had a couple more years. I blame it on public school. Anyway, in the moment, when we were rushed to get to said institution on time, I told him that wasn't exactly true & that we would discuss it later. (Then I practically ran straight to Husband in a slight panic & sought advice before revisiting this topic later this evening...)

2. Later this morning, as Tyson was eating breakfast & I was packing his lunch, he hits me with, "Mom, how did Daddy grow all that hair under his armpits?" Ugh. Really? Do we have to have the whole "someday your body will change" conversation over breakfast? I told him that at some point, when a boy is a teenager, he starts to grow hair in strange places on his body, like his arms, legs, and ~yes~ armpits. He said, "Hmmm. Pappy and Popi are pretty old, so they must have a LOT of hair growing out of their armpits!!!"  To which I replied that it doesn't keep growing like the hair on your head; God put the underarm hair on a timer. It only grows to be so long, then it stops. He appeared relieved and then his eyes got wide & he said, "Uh, Mom? When I grow up will I start growing hair... you know...? And on my... you know... [whispers] backside?"  Really, son? It's 7:15 in the morning.

3. Tonight, as I was cleaning out his ears (by the way, why are boys' ears so icky?) I mentioned that his brain must have been working overtime this week. He asked why & I said because when his brain works really hard, it pumps extra wax out his ears, like exhaust out of a car. He said, "Mom, that's SO not true. You're teasing me." Yes, I said, I was. Then he said - are you ready for this? Brace yourself.

"Anyway, ear wax tastes really gross."

And that, Ladies & Gentlemen, is why I call these HUMDINGERS.

This Humdinger has been brought to you today by God's Awesome Sense of Humor.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh, the Irony...

My boys are getting to be two independent thinkers. Well, the Elder has been for a while, but the Younger is really growing into his independence lately.

So, what do you get when you put my two boys in the same room, then walk away to do something trivial (like cook dinner, change the laundry or - Heaven forbid - use the bathroom)? Well, lately you get quite a bit of fighting.

And with the fighting comes yelling (& the occasional blood-curdling scream).

Have you ever had that out-of-body-mom-experience where you hear yourself saying something at the same time your kids hear you saying it & you can't believe you're saying that? (This situation is often - but not always- accompanied by that sudden realization that you sound exactly like one of your parents & you cringe & wonder when & how THAT happened.)

Well, I heard myself tonight:

"I can't stand the yelling. You guys are constantly yelling at each other & I can't take all the noise. You're both bright kids; I'm quite certain that you can work out your differences with calm & quiet voices. The yelling has got to stop. I can't think when you two carry on like that, so for the love of all things purple will you please stop the yelling?"

I know. This doesn't sound so bad, right? I was beginning to congratulate myself on my awesome parenting skills when I was hit full in the face with the irony.


Which might explain why my kids were looking at me as though I had just grown a daffodil out of my ear.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What's Wrong with this Picture?

I used to love those brain-puzzles where you have to find all the things that are wrong with the picture. It was always silly stuff, like a picture of a mom, hard at work in her daily routine. Only she's have a banana propped between her ear & shoulder instead of a phone... and she's be ironing with a toy firetruck instead of her iron.

Well, this is a photo I took of a flier that Tyson brought home from school the other day. It's advertising a couple of days when the local middle school's indoor swimming pool will be open for district families.

See if you can spot What's Wrong with this Picture.

Can you see it?

I know, at first I thought it must be the fact that a middle school has an indoor pool (in a district that is asking for a raise in taxes today). I mean, sheesh, my high school didn't have any kind of swimming pool at all! Unless you count that massive sink hole pothole out in front of the band room that used to fill up when it rained.

But, no. That's not it! Remember, this flier is advertising a fun-filled experience of family togetherness. Here's a hint:
See it now? That swimmer is not having a fun-filled evening of swimming. That swimmer is clearly in distress!

And he's not alone! There are a bunch of other swimmers-in-distress on the back of the flier!

It made me think that maybe we should skip this school activity in favor of more safe activities.
                 You know, like juggling swords.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween

Thank you to the friends, both real life & online, who have offered prayers & words of encouragement. I love you all.

Since I am still not back on top the life, I shall heretofore attempt to brighten up the blog by distracting me (an you) with images of fall and fun. And a lot of cuteness.


Happy Halloween!