Because it’s Wednesday and we’re one day closer to the weekend, which promises to be cozy and cold.  Because after a solid hour of fake sleeping, tiny person beside me, listening for her breathing to deepen, she is finally napping.  Because I’m leaving for Chicago soon and I have all the bags in the car and the clothes laid out for the next couple days and the million and four other things that have to happen for me to leave and the kids to follow with Nana and Papa on Friday.  Because I just washed my new sheets for the second time and was jealous of my parents for getting to sleep on them and it reminded me how much I’ve wanted to share them with you (in a totally platonic way, never fear).  Because of the sheets and the Chicago and the recipe I just tried and because I love you and want good things for you, here is a short list of things I could live without.  But would hate to have to.
*These flannel sheets from Garnet Hill.  We lay in bed and groan at night, swimming our legs from side to side to feel their soft goodness.  It’s just another reason it’s a good thing we don’t have close neighbors. I got the oatmeal for us and the deep sea blue for the boys.  They groan every night too.
*These homemade candy bars.  I made them gluten and (mostly) dairy free.  Giddy.  Up.
*This oatmeal.  Who doesn’t love oatmeal and carrot cake?
*This study on the Holy Spirit.  Every Monday morning ten women gather on my crappy red couch, actually only two or three sit on the crappy red couch, but you know what I mean, and dive into this book and when we come up for air a couple hours later I’m pretty sure we have Holy Spirit stuck to our faces from trying to lap him up like starving people.  Because we are starving for him and for discernment and for the cup-overflowing joy that comes from gathering in his name and asking him to pour out on us.  And the Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered salty almonds aren’t half bad either.
*There is no link, so you’ll just have to trust me on this, but Lucy’s new short haircut.  Think Shirley Temple meets Ransom of the Red Chief.  It’s too much.
Dogs, she’s up already and I still have to vacuum and dust my bedroom and remember not to forget the instructions for the Kevins and the ducks.  Enjoy your weekend, dear friends.  I’ll catch up with you soon.
This is me being real.  And realizing that all I need for a day and a half away from my kids is gluten free oats and the latest issue of House and Home and a few hours of whispered talks with Father and husband both.  Can’t wait.


Is animals taking over the world in Revelations as part of the end times?  Could someone with a deeper knowledge of theology weigh in on this?  Dad?  Because they are, taking over the world I mean.  And we are right in the middle of it.  I have had to do things in the last couple of weeks that I’ve never dreamed of and would vow to never speak of again if it wasn’t for you and the comfortable certainty that you’ll not hate me for it.  Things that involve maggots and mice and vomit in my mouth.  Every time I open the chicken feed bin, there is a mouse inside just nibbling away on the bounty of my stolen generosity.  It made me angry enough one time that I marched inside, grabbed a gun from the boys’ arsenal and tried to shoot that bugger into eternity.  Except that the darn thing was jammed, emitting only a poof of air that scared us both, me and the mouse, and made me scream.  This problem repeated itself enough times that eventually the mouse, after checking himself for holes, called my bluff and calmly resumed eating.  Lucy, my duplicitous pardner, stood as my second, armed with a defunct bb pistol she found in the garage and wearing undies and pink cowgirl boots.  She stood making pow pow sounds with her curly lips while I texted my nephew and asked him to come kill this varmint.  I did tell you that my nephew (and his family) now live practically next door, didn’t I?  I digress…
Last night found another mouse in my cracked corn, though luckily there were boys and weapons aplenty home that could end it.  I stood with my scoop, singing Jesus Friend of Sinners at the top of my lungs so I couldn’t hear the gory sounds of bb meeting mouse.  I might as well have saved my breath, because I needed it when I vomited in my mouth several minutes later as I bent over the grain bin to scoop food for the girls and discovered grisly bits of mouse all over my feed.  Do you even want to hear this?  It’s so wrong.  So not what I pictured life would be like on a bucolic rolling little acreage by a creek with four children, eighteen eleven chickens and a keloid scar named Steve.  Not even close.
Raccoons have gotten another six of my chickens.  Just vaporized them, leaving only a pile of feathers and whatever egg was being formed in their ovum.  Left that behind for me to clean up, thank you very much.  Yesterday there were 17 chickens.  Today 11.  Which, by my count, brings the tally up to 18 hens that have been eaten in the last six months.  The raccoons are wily and smart.  They’ve figured out how to lift the guillotine door, spring the traps, open the latch and do my taxes.  There is no keeping them out.  When I discovered the latest attack, I stomped my foot like a toddler and swore that I’m bleaching the hen house, installing curtains and giving it to the girls for a play house.  And we’re getting dogs.
We’re not getting a dog.  And I’m keeping the chickens, but only because it’s a matter of pride now.  Luckily, I have great boys who baited a live trap with a dead mouse and caught a raccoon so big you’d think he’s a part of Honey Boo Boo’s family.  He is out there right now, awaiting execution as soon as someone qualified comes home and thinking about what he’s done.  And I won’t watch because, as much as I’ve come to hate raccoons, I still hate seeing animals die even more.  So I’ll leave them to it while I meet my dear friend at Schulers on the couch in the Art section for a cuppa and some chat.  And when I get home, Dan will have put it all to rights again and there will be fresh eggs in the fridge for me to cook the littles tomorrow and all will be well.
Until then there is new washing machine on it’s way here and when I moved the furniture to allow them through I found a little nest like thing under a chair, where I’d only just vacuumed on Sunday (Father forgive me) and I have my suspicions that it might be mice.  Oh for the love.
This is me being real.  Wondering if they have pink pellet guns and where I can get my hands on one?  Cause this life is calling for being armed and ready in more ways than one.  And I’m wondering what varmints, real or imagined, you’re coming up against these days?  Do tell.


I did the really irresponsible thing and kidnapped them from school in the interest of stealing back some time with them that really should belong to me anyway.  Did it under the guise of investing in their minds, sowing an appreciation for made things in the fields of their hearts.  Did it because ArtPrize ends this weekend and we hadn’t been yet and I knew I stood the best chance of not losing someone if we went during the day.  So we played hooky, eating packed lunches in the car after signing them out, smiles all around as the long afternoon stretched out before us, nothing much more to fill it than being together and looking at art.  Had a goal of visiting all top 10 exhibits, but only made it to 8.  But it was enough.  Overmuch, really.  We couldn’t even take it all in, sun shining on the Grand as we crossed and recrossed and rerecrossed it on our way to The Chase (one of our favorites) and the fish ladder and the GRAM for The Elephant and others.  We nearly walked the treads off our shoes, stopping to lay on the grass and eat ice cream sandwiches.  And there was this bit of fun:

The boys’ looking for all the world like Han Solo when he’s frozen by Jabba and the girls holding hands together as I snapped quickfire pictures so they could see the evolution of the art they made with their bodies.  If you go to ArtPrize (and you should. seriously), go to the BOB and watch your kid do this.  And set your camera on sports action so you can replay it for them later and they can see what you saw.
If you go to ArtPrize (and you should. seriously), go during the day.  Grab your kids from school and show them that an afternoon spent appreciating art together on a lovely, sunny fall day is probably better for them than sitting in their chairs at school.  Certainly it’s better for you than the afternoon you had planned of running errands with Lucy (you do have a Lucy don’t you?  If not, you should totally get one).  Pack some bottled water and apples, buy them some crappy snacks to fill in the gaps, wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera.  Because even though you’ll be surrounded by the most breathtaking art in the world, the most beautiful thing will be the four people right in front of you.  And you’ll want to take a picture of that.
This is me being real.  Thankful for an afternoon of fun with my people.  Wondering if I owe our dear teachers an explanation.  Hoping some homemade granola and a sheepish smile will do instead.