Wednesday, October 28, 2009
What's good about this is that it happened when he was in 1st grade and probably no one will ever remember it. Because goodness knows I sure don't vividly remember the day Timmy Dixon had an accident in our combined 1st and 2nd grade class. And for sure that unfortunate incident has never come up in conversation in the 31 years since.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
My little DIY project was looking quite promising. Confidently, I went inside to get a glass of water and wait for the color to dry. A few minutes later, the professional painters power washing the outside of our house asked me to close the garage door so they could work in that area. Ever accommodating, and apparently very high on paint fumes, I enthusiastically hit the button which both closed the garage and sent my "new" chandelier crashing to the ground below. And that, my friends, is why I am not crafty.
The story continues. I left the drop cloth on the floor for a couple of days - mainly because after trashing the chandelier, I was out of time and had to race out to go pick up Carter from school. When I got back home with three tired and hungry kids, the drop cloth was kind of the last thing on my mind. Needless to say, I drove the van back into the garage over the sheet and parked on top of it. Since then we've been going in and out of the garage always on top of the sheet. Today, after dropping Carter off at school (far, far away), and Griffin and Peyton off at preschool (close, close to home), I had to drive back up to Mooresville which is even further away than Carter's school for a meeting. I got there, had my meeting, and walked back out to the van only to find that somehow the sheet had attached itself to the right back wheel. I had been dragging it like a flag all over town.This is what it looked like when I finally got home - which was about half the length of what it was when I discovered it in Mooresville 20 miles earlier.
You can see that it is completely wound up in the wheel well.
Jeff unwinding miles of fabric from our car.
Rest assured, I am not going to try to repurpose it.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Griffin in patriotic attire...patriotic attire with distinctly Asian overtones. (To the right of Griffin, you'll notice the hand of a child stealithly trying to filch the lighter. I'll let you all take a guess as to which child that is.)
An overexposed picture of the successful thief. I had to crop it kind of tight because while Griffin was paying homage to the Japanese, Carter was rocking the Union Jack. (Just kidding, Dori.)
Great balls of fire!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Needless to say, it was quite a ground-breaking moment when it was announced in my 8th grade class that the girls would begin doing aerobics in PE. To say I was excited about this radical new addition to the usual mundane PE curriculum would be an understatement.
Not surprisingly, it was aerobics set to Christian music.
Exercise for Life by Stormie Omartian, if I remember correctly, and taught by a none other than a member of our own supporting church in CA. (Have you any idea how rare that is on the mission field? I mean sometimes in a blue moon you’ll find someone in the same country that went to your home church in the US, but never upon never do you find someone from your home church working right alongside you.)
But as conservative as RVA was, the BJU alumni* responsible for raising me were nothing short of rigid when it came to the perceived evils of dancing. Though my Dad had never actually witnessed aerobics in action, the mere concept of physical movement set to music seemed entirely too much like dancing to him. How could it be anything BUT sexually suggestive? To my horror, I was promptly banned from doing aerobics with my class. Instead, I retired to the library for 50 minutes alone while the rest of my girl friends jogged to an early 80’s techno mix of “Crown Him With Many Crowns”, and did risqué donkey kicks to “This is the Day That the Lord Had Made”.
My exclusion from this exercise only served to cause me to seek out the opportunity to do it. I desperately wanted to be a cheerleader, not for the cheering so much, but for the awesome routine they got to choreograph and perform at homecoming. Alas, I was never cute enough, or thin enough, or talented enough, or coordinated enough…or perhaps the coach didn’t want to tangle with my Notorious D.A.D.
After graduating from RVA, I attended Taylor University, yet another environment that was wholeheartedly anti-dance, and that pretty much sealed my fate. While dancing often called my name, it was never going to be something I did regularly…or when I did do it, felt confident about my ability to do it. (Insert some violins playing some awfully sorrowful music here. This is a sad story, isn’t it?)
Jumping ahead 20 years. This summer our church is running a sports-themed VBS, which involves bringing in professional athletes like Rodney Monroe to run sports clinics interspersed with large group and small group sessions. We’re expecting 600 kids and oh, hey, I’m on the committee, can you tell?
I knew that we were having a bit of trouble confirming someone to lead the dance sessions, but because our church has an entire praise-dance division, I was kind of tuning those conversations out. Also, I was a little concerned with how I was going to manage my own area of responsibility, that being overseeing the multitude of small group coaches/assistants we need, and was busy mentally trying to figure out if I could sell the idea well enough to entice the Sr. Saints to come get run over for a week! So you can imagine my surprise, and ensuing delirium, when the children’s pastor I teach under emailed me last week to ask if I would teach the dance sessions at VBS this year – and not just any old dance…but hip hop.
It’s a genre I am well-versed in, not because I have ever done it per se, but because I watch a lot of So You Think You Can Dance, and America’s Best Dance Crew. In my mind, I consider myself an expert…if expert is defined as 9 times out of 10 you can guess who is going to win the competition.
As you can imagine, my impressive street cred, coupled with years of repression in both high school and college, prompted me to jump at the chance to trade responsibilities, and thus FINALLY be able to live out my dream of being a fabulous hip-hop artist. Except that I am seriously way past my prime so there is really no way this is going to be anything but a HUGE PUBLIC SPECTACLE culminating in a nightmare. But one I’ll be awake for and after which we’ll probably have to move out of the state because I’ll never be able to live down the humiliation. My dear husband actually took a look at me trying to decipher some moves last night and said, “I can see a lot of humor coming out of this.” And then he cringed and left the room. It bodes well, doesn’t it?
I would like to end this post by listing for you here a few observations related to my most recent practice session in hopes that this experience will benefit someone else on the downhill slide to 40 that may be tempted to allow their fantasy life to guide them a step too far:
1. The trendy shag carpet that works so well in the play room has not proven to be the optimal dance surface. Also, I have never been so tempted to rip out a ceiling fan with my bare hands. Apparently, when I jump, I am 7 feet tall.
2. Speaking of jumping, while this is both inexpensive and readily accessible, I can say with great authority that it is not intended for high impact “sports”.
3. I have asthma. How this debilitating medical condition has gone undiagnosed for 38 years, I’ll never know, but unless our insurance company approves my request for an oxygen tank immediately, I do not expect to live through our first clinic on July 13th.
4. It is my opinion that the hip hop genre is best suited for waifs rocking a size 2 wardrobe, which means I have approximately 12 more days to lose 45 pounds. Make that 46 pounds since I just ate a huge brownie. I’m carbo-loading in hopes that it will help me to build up some stamina…or at least some energy reserves.
5. Like kegels, core muscles are something I’ve never really given much thought to. Until I needed them in order to teach something that looks like this….and subsequently discovered they weren’t there.
And now if you'll excuse me, I really must go get a massage.
* I would be remiss if I did not add somewhere here that my parents have loosened up ever so slightly over the years. My youngest brother tore up the dance floor at his wedding, and my sister served adult beverages at hers. At neither event was anyone struck by lighting. Both were nights to remember in the history of Bustrumdom if for that reason alone.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
1/4 cup granulated sugar (about 1 3/4 ounces)
2 cups packed dark brown sugar (14 ounces)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (about 10 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large (18 by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. In shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between fingers, until well combined; set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl; set aside.
3. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.
4. Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 tablespoons, rolling between hands into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, toss balls in reserved sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart, 12 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but it will take 3 batches.)
5. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone; see photo below), 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Do not overbake.
6. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Mick Dundee at work. Incidentally, Mick claimed afterwards that the snake was around 5-feet long. But I'll let you all be the judge of that. I'm just here to report the events of the evening in my unbiased and objective way.
Time of death: 9:00pm. Which explains why I spent so much of the evening nagging our children. They should have been in bed.
Alas, if only parenting were this easy.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Please be patient while I try on different themes...where "try on" equals my husband hated the springy green stripes, try to embrace the whimsical giraffe, I'm not replacing my widgets (gadgets? plug-ins?) until I actually decide on something. Which might take a while since, again, the identity crisis is not solely restricted to this blog.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Because right at this moment there are exactly three blooms on the darn thing...
And as you can see below, they make quite an impact.
Fortunately, I think I have figured out the problem. Lilacs like loamy soil. Four years ago, I had no idea what loam was. Now I do. I don't have loam. I have clay. And while I am fairly certain I can turn clay into loam, I'm not so sure the other plants around the lilac would appreciate the effort. So I am admitting defeat and giving this round to the naysayers.
But I'm keeping the lilac. Because if a lilac can adapt to clay soil, I can probably adapt to the south. Maybe we both just needed that 5th year.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Jeff: You can have the mommy makeover you've been talking about if I can have one of these.
Mel: Fine...as long as yours comes with the accent.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
A position that was confirmed when at 7:00pm it was still light enough to take this picture of my husband tooling around our neighborhood on a Bratz bike. As you can see, he was thoroughly enjoying his purple velvet banana seat ride. I know it goes without saying that it is precious moments like these that remind me why I married him in the first place.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
We'll try not to maul you at the airport tonight with our excess love, but I'm not making any promises.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Pacemaker Technician Carol: Do you work out?
Me (laughing): Why do you ask?
Pacemaker Technician Carol: Well your pacemaker recorded a total of 4 elevated heart rate episodes in the last three months. All were between 9:30-10:30am.
Me: Considering I know that is when Dr. Phil is on, I think we can safely say, yes. Yes, I do work out. As you can tell, I'm a real gym rat.
(You know that conversation totally got back to my cardiologist.)Appropriately, A Little Less of Me Tip #3 is this: Conclude the exercise sabattical.
Every year I take an exercise break from November through January
However, after my broken heart shamelessly betrayed me last week, I decided the time had come to
The next morning all was going according to plan...until about 8:15am when I happened upon a horrific stench coming from Peyton's room. She was swimming in vomit and other revolting bodily fluids. Let your imagination run wild. I assure you that you cannot possibly conjure up anything close to what we experienced together, my Sweet P. and I. (And later the Grandparent Reserves who were called in to join the FUN!)
My week slid briskly downhill from there...until Friday afternoon when she began to slowly climb out of the viral pit. Suffice it to say, between trips to the emergency room, the pediatrician, and our own laundry room, my target heart rate was not in the zone at any point during the week.
(As a positive aside, I will say I have never been more delirious to have this setting on my washing machine. Truly. In the presence of hazardous waste, it makes me very, very happy.)
During this awfully wet and malodorous time at Chez Freshour, I am proud to report that I did manage to take my vitamins regularly. And my birth control pill which is perhaps the most important vitamin of all. This concludes the exhaustive listing of everything even remotely health related I accomplished last week.
Which brings us to this week. Tomorrow, around 9:30am, you will find me and Dr. Phil here.
I can only hope my heart won't explode from the sudden exertion.
(Photo by Molly. Because, surprisingly, I didn't bring my camera on any of the four trips to the gym I've made since October.)
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Hi. My name is Jeff. I try to fix our appliances after my wife has called the real appliance repair man and we've been thoroughly fleeced.
Anyone want to try to decipher the secret message from the stove? No?
How about the wall behind the stove? Would anyone like to volunteer to clean that? I'll bake you a smoky cake.
Then he unscrewed some important bits in the front of the unit.
And then he totally mooned me.And while I would love more than anything to show you that picture, I cannot. Because I have to sleep with that same moon tonight. Also, I was laughing so hard that it's not really in focus.
Anyway, after Jeff had retrieved his pants, he determined that we needed part #32 (See it there in the middle of the page?) and he ordered it. From California. So in about 10 days I'll be able to use my oven again. Isn't that exciting? And the biggest victory of all is that we'll have only spent about 5 times what the oven is actually worth.
Assuming he ordered the right part.
(To be continued...)