Escape through the window

We’ve had the privilege of having the same sweet lady take care of our kids, for the most part, for the last seven years. She’s seen about everything and knows my children almost as well as I do. She loves them and cares for them when I am away and they are alive and healthy when I return. I consider it a huge success every time I return home to find my kids, and the babysitter, sleeping like babies and in one piece. The babysitter doesn’t sleep, of course…

The other night, almost seven years after she first started taking care of our wee ones, we came home to find her a little shaken up. She went on to tell us a story. But first, I tell mine.

As we were preparing to leave on our date, The Reverend and I were doing different things on the main floor when we heard a fierce grunting and groaning coming from Ninja Boy’s bedroom. I called out “What are you doing? Putting on really tight pants or something?” We’ve been through a tremendous growth spurt with all of them which would explain me asking him about tight pants. I didn’t get an answer but I was not alarmed by all the noises. Unusual sounds are just a part of our daily lives.

Ninja came to me with a huge smile on his face. “I can get IN the window but I can’t get out.”

Say what?

“What do you mean you can get in the window?” I asked, just a little alarmed at this point.

“I can’t get out of the window. But I can get in.” He replied like I was very slow. “I put the ladder on the window and I got in!” Huge smile.

“Which ladder?” Alarm is growing in my belly.

At this point, I go and investigate.

“The ladder from the trampoline.” The trampoline ladder is  small and he is not a huge 8 yr old. It is a main floor so it’s not very far from window to ground, relatively speaking, but for a small child it is a definite drop.

Sure enough, the ladder was under his window.

Grunts and groans are now fully explained.

He had to pull himself up and over the ledge a good bit and his feet would have dangled for a while. I’m certain that the neighbors would have probably been well entertained during this time had they the opportunity to look out of their windows.

After explaining that the trampoline ladder is for the trampoline and that he will not remove his screen ever again unless there is a fire he looked at me innocently. “But what if there IS a fire? Then I definitely have to remove that screen again. What IF?”

Sigh.

Later that evening, we walk in the door to find our precious friend, and babysitter, looking a little frazzled. Nothing abnormal about that, except that she hardly EVER gets frazzled,even with our little bunch.

She went on to tell me that earlier that evening she had gone in to check Ninja. He wasn’t in his room so she went to look for him. It is his routine to have his nightly excuse to have to use the washroom for a very extended length of time. Let’s just say that he’s a guy and it seems to come naturally. Even the reading material.

He wasn’t where she looked so she asked the older kids to look for him. Her alarm grew as they searched all over the house and called outside. She thought to herself that she had finally lost one of our kids. All these years with a clean record and she’d lost one. She is a very calm personality and it takes a bit to make her frantic but frantic she was. She was calling down the road and up the road and down the stairs. Ninja was no where.

A little while, and a few grey hairs later, Ninja appeared from seemingly nowhere.

A little freaked, our dear lady asked “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?”

Perplexed by her unnatural shade of panic, he replied “In the bathroom…downstairs. The toilet is plugged and I had to use the downstairs bathroom” (see my earlier posts on low flow toilet drama)

Child found, all is right in the world.

Her heart  stopped its rapid pace and returned to normal, after a while.

I hate to say it, but I laughed a lot. At least someone else lost my child and not me…this time.

Pastor’s Kids are NORMAL

You know your Pastor’s Kids are “normal” when

1. They kick and scream on their way out of the church service

2. You have to carry them out kicking and screaming only after giving them “the Look”.

3. After having a potluck with red juice you cannot stop your kid from throwing things off the second level balcony

4. Your kid steals from the missionary kids

5. Your kid yells out “This is BORING.” or swears uncharacteristically at a bad time.

6. They have an insatiable desire to take communion because it’s food late in the service.

7. They offer to help in Nursery

8. They are willing to have company over at the blink of an eye.

9. They know all the lines to Veggie Tales songs and refuse to watch another one.

10. They feel free to run and give Daddy a hug up on stage.

 

I love being in ministry and hope to be in this with my family for many years. It has been the most crazy, rewarding, humbling and fun time ever.

 

I get my grace from my mother…

I have my parents from Manitoba visiting this week. I love when they come! They remind me of who I am and where I have come from. I feel like I fit in.  There is the “dance” around our tiny kitchen seeing how we can avoid or bump into each other preparing meals and setting the table. We usually smack into each other a few times a day. I see how much I have learned from my mom in her cooking and in her patience with my kids. I hear the corny jokes my dad repeats and find myself smiling, hoping that he keeps on telling them every year so that the tradition is not broken. My oldest Daughter loves to regale us with similar jokes and I am thrilled to have the humor torch passing down to the next generation, even if it is corny or a bit (a lot) off color. My 12 year old appreciates the bodily noises that my family is keen to make. It keeps him in no end to stitches. You know that when your 79 year old dad, The Reverend and your 12 year old have the same humor, they ALL have a 12 year old sense of humor!

I see myself in my mom during the moments when I get up from the couch at the same time as my mom, and we are BOTH all hunched over, with a creak and a groan. I realize just how much I’m aging like my mother. We waddle ourselves into the upright position with a crank or two from an imaginary lever. In the end, we both get off the couch and eventually can move like cats (HA) but we can MOVE.

There have been times that I’ve walked into walls as if they’ve stepped out in front of me. “Who put that wall there?” I have been known to mumble to myself. My dad has been known to veer off into the direction of the wall or wherever his attention has him going.  His balance has been off since his stroke a couple of years ago. I walk into a wall and I realize, wow! I’m just like my dad. With these traits I’m sure that I’m an Aging Early Bloomer. At least I am an Early Bloomer at something?

My mom and I were walking yesterday morning, in the glorious sunshine, and feeling GREAT about getting 3kms under our shoes, when WHAM! She slid on a piece of gravel the size of an egg and all of the sudden she decided that the sidewalk was not close enough, and that it should be inspected at high velocity, with a structural test of her slamming her nose and forehead into it. I was wondering what the hurry was to inspect the concrete, when I saw the blood. I looked around to see what I could do to stem the flow when I spied the brown leaf on the grass beside us. Nope, that is not going to help. I thought about taking off my shirt to stop the bleeding but I think it would have just stopped traffic. A small town rep is something to consider!  She was off that ground so quickly I had to keep up with her to make sure she was ok. When we got home, and her hands and face were covered in blood, I knew that we had to take a trip to our lovely ER. Taking four kids to the Emergency Room could be considered a Field Trip so they came along for the ride. After a warmed blanket and a soothing face cloth she felt almost as good as if she had she gone to a spa. Oh, you know I’m exaggerating! But she did look well rested…what with the black eyes and red nose and gash across her nose. They cleaned her up, took an x-ray and told her to go home. We did what we were told. We got coffee and donuts at Timmies. Isn’t that the orders the Dr gave us?

We thought all was fine, until a call from the Dr. the next day. She needed to come in for a cast. She had broken a small bone in her wrist and needed it stabilized. So now, she has a great story about that time when she came to her daughter’s place and the gravel tried to do her in. Dangerous gravel!  We should just not be such an exciting family! We’ve broken two Grandmas in the last couple of years. Our other grandma put a bike pedal through her calf that required stitches in the very same room of the hospital. Poor Grandmas…they should come with body armor.

Even if my dad doesn’t get around the way he used to, he still dares to come and stay with us. My mom will now bring face guards and shin pads, I”m sure. It’s not that we’re trying to hurt them…it’s just that we are a busy family. I have a tough momma though, and she bounced right back and did 2km with me the next day. Truth be told, with the size of the gravel in this town, I am surprised that I haven’t bitten the dust a time or two with my interval training. It is something I am very wary of. With the graceful genes that I’ve been dealt it is bound to happen. Thanks for inspecting that sidewalk for me Mom!

They are a funny pair, my parents. When I was younger and more stupid I said “I’m never going to be like them.” Hasn’t every teenager said that? Well, here I am doing just the same things. I’m glad I was taught that humor is a good response to many things…but maybe not a funeral. So, Laugh on! So far no funeral!!

 

 

Nothin’ Funny

**Disclaimer – you may find this too crude if you don’t like potty humor**

 

Don’t you find that sometimes you just can’t find anything funny about life because life has sucked the funny right out? Yah, me too.

Then my ever-lovin’ “low flow” toilet backs up again for the GA-zillionth time and there it is staring me in the face. When life gives me crap that I just can’t flush…I just laugh!

Seriously, whoever invented low flow toilets may have been thinking about the environment in the abstract but they have NOT met the bowels of my family. Any money we may have saved having the dastardly dumpsters of water, are being flushed down the toilet again and again and again…half the water and twice the flushing.

We should have thought it all through, before we bought, what we considered would be an economical and environmentally friendly toilet. Our family was not born to use low flow. We were not made to be environmentally friendly when it comes to flushing down what we got goin’ on.

that’s all.

So every time we have a “surprise”, every-other day occurrence, where the toilet is refusing the load, we laugh. We get out the tools of the trade, the disinfectant and laugh.

There may be nothin’ funny about a clogged toilet, but we’re going to laugh anyways. In fact, one of our children (who will remain nameless) has been dubbed the royal title as the “Crap Master”. Do not fear, it is taken with a great deal of pomp and circumstance. Or is it poop and circumstance? Ah well…

So when life is serious and you just can’t laugh. Just think of our chronically challenged toilet. If you think you got problems then just flush and plunge. Eventually the problem clears up.

Things could be worse. Or they could be funny. It just depends on the perspective.

 

Life is like a toilet

There are times when life just gets too serious. Way too serious.

That’s when I resort to potty humor. I’m not proud of it, but it’s what we do when times get tough around here. My parents taught me well that way, I guess. When tragedy struck, toilet humor emerged. In some ways, life is like a toilet. Crap happens.

I know some of you just don’t get why crass humor is ever right. I don’t think it’s always appropriate to talk about bodily functions but there are moments where it hits the spot.

Like last night. I had just about had enough of kids and their crazy fighting ways and was about to lose my sanity for the millionth time. Then, I joined in the mayhem. I let a joke rip. At least, I’ll call it a “joke”. They laughed, I laughed…they carried on and on and on and then I had to put my foot down and say the joke was definitely over.

I have a kid who has some obsessive behavior and one of those obsessions is the word “fart”. I don’t know why but there it is. I guess God has a sense of humor too because he placed this child into our family to teach me a lesson, I’m sure of it. There is such a thing as too much potty mouth.

I am thinking that He gets the last laugh.

Quirky family

animal_muppetI’ve known about it for a long time. I’ve known that I have a quirky family. Let’s be honest, you don’t want to know the quirks of your Spiritual Leaders do you? The Reverend and his family have quirks. Some. Yes, we have embraced our inner weird. We’ve accepted it long ago. Do you want to know and put a face to someone who cleans out their nose a certain way? No? Well, then this post is not for you.

My family will remain nameless, but extended family is welcome to take credit for some of the quirks, if they feel so bold as to do so.

I have outed some of my more mundane quirks. Today I out the Reverend’s Family and those in the extended sides. I think I’ve probably terrified a few by that little statement. Well, I couldn’t be alone now, could I? You can rebuke me later…I won’t name names if that helps.

In no particular order with no particular gender assumption I give you the weird side of the Reverend’s much-loved, mostly acceptable bunch.

1. Someone just can’t help sniffing every single candy before it is ingested. Can. NOT. Help. It.

2. Prays with a conversational voice while walking around so we never know if they are actually talking to us or Him. Scheduled events have gone unwritten on the calendar because of this inside voice. Sometimes they are talking to us.

3. Has to touch and possibly move every item in the house. If I left something in one place it likely will have moved to a place only known to one person…and that person ain’t talkin’.

4. Thinks we all chew/swallow too loud. Apparently, it is annoying.

5. Cannot watch a sports game without loud volume and then complains when we try to communicate (talk) whilst the loud crowd cheers over something.

6. Thinks her cat bowl is prey and must play with it. In her mind it is acceptable to bat it all around the kitchen and slop the water all over while she decides whether to eat it or not.155

7. Hates water on the floor, because when it gets cold, and she steps on this cold water it makes her loo loo. Crazy cakes!  Said water on the floor is thanks to the one who hunts her cat food.

8. Thinks child noise is wonderful yet feels like it’s tearing her ears out at the loudest of times.

9. Thinks smelling farts is a must. Inhale deeply to get it all.

10. Saying “Fart” is funny EVERY time. Has pet names for farts like “tart” or “park”…tries to hide the word fart in normal conversation.

11. Has to adjust themselves (you guys know what I mean) ALL the time. Do you need that much adjustment? I’m thinking new underwear.

12. Loud scraping of a knife on a plate can send one into an internal (or external) shiver and a loud “Ahhhh!!”

13. Hates it when someone is reading over his shoulder. He can’t read while someone is lurking. Can’t do it.

14. Types so loud the neighbors can hear it. I don’t know why the letters must be pounded with such enthusiasm but they are. They must be writing something terribly exciting all the time!

15. LOVES to be tickled. I think it’s crazy but what can you do? Just tickle.

16. HATES to be tickled. Tickle me and DIE. Not really, but to come out of it severely injured, is a possibility.

17. Is the most patient and loving person until you make her plan something and time is running out. Getting in the vehicle with you can be a lesson in hysteria as she lurches from one stop sign to the next. RRrrreeeev. ERCH. RRRrrrrev. ERCH. Fun times!

18. Needs to end on an even number…I don’t know why…but that would be ME.

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I love my family. I love that they love me as I am and I love them as they are. Let’s face it, we all have our “things” that people either get irritated about or get over it and accept who we are.

Around here we call some things “Doing a Marcy”.

Quirky? Not I.

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I just finished wiping the tears from my eyes because I was laughing so hard. My kids had to check on me because they thought I may be dying some horrible death. No, it was just me… laughing. That’s how delicate and graceful my laughter is. I was reading a blog post from Jen Hatmaker and the comments that followed had me in stitches. I never did get through all of the comments. First, there were so many funny responses and second, my kids kept interrupting my happy place to argue who was the most bored. After a late night, last night, and a day at home they thought it unfair that I was having so much fun in my head.

The commenters, who responded to Jen’s post, were funny and brilliant, if not insanely obsessive in the quirks they shared. Alternatively, I make Obsessive Compulsive people cry. Well, I don’t know if they cry, but I do know I must drive them nuts because I am the exact opposite of OCD. I am about to let a few skeletons out of my proverbial closet . I’m quirky in a she’s-a-weirdo sort of way.

1. I don’t have to have my house organized to a T and then keep it so. I’d rather just cram as much stuff into one possible closet/room/garbage can that I can, and have the floor clear. This causes my Reverend no end to grief. I can organize and I have been orderly, in the past. That would have been before four children. Who am I kidding? My drawers have always looked like it was done by a child. I can fold laundry and organized and then throw it efficiently into the proper drawers. If people would just see how great I am at folding they would know there is more to me than my overstuffed drawers. Who sees my drawers anyway? The appearance of neatness is all I am going for. Just don’t look in my bedroom! I used to have it neat(ish) but it seems that the same disease has overtaken this particular room.

2. My trash cans are an experiment in mass vs. volume. I don’t actually know what that means because Science class was a while ago, but I’m sure its a thing. I push the garbage down and make it as possibly thick and high as it can go so that it either comes off it’s hinges or it topples over. The Reverend probably had put up with enough when he recently assigned a child to the chore. It’s brilliant really. I thought I was teaching the children Science but he has taught them responsibility. I think he’s onto something!

3. Plants are lovely! Just don’t ask me to keep them alive for long. If they don’t cry, they don’t get watered or fed. I found out that I could keep kids alive but plants? not so much! Children can tell me they are hungry or thirsty and I am all over it! Plants don’t tell me a thing until they are dead. They are finicky. Put me in the sun, don’t put me in the sun, give me water every day, no don’t. They don’t TELL me this, they just get quietly persnickety until they are dead. Inside or out, I’ve tried. They’ve died. So we got a cat. Just so I don’t leave you hanging, she cries therefore she gets fed.

4. Flossing. I promise I do this every day. I do.  However, my neighbors would beg to differ. I have a new cereal that includes chia seeds. I LOVE it!! It’s like a cold and hot cereal mixed into healthy goodness but it’s all seeds and dried fruit. So good!! It’s my new GF find that is a snack that does my body good.

This summer, I wanted to say “Hey!” to my neighbors who had moved in just a few days before. I went over, without looking in the mirror, and had a lovely chat. For some reason, I looked in the mirror afterwards and found a little baby chia seed sticking in my front teeth space. It was embarrassing enough, but the next day I happened by their house again and chatted for a few minutes. As I was backing out of my driveway after our visit, I looked in my rear-view mirror and find another chia seed stuck in those silly teeth. Why, oh WHY did it have to be the same neighbors? I turned to my kids and asked if they had seen the food in my teeth. They shrugged and mumbled that they had.

I think I should get a little more OCD about checking my teeth. My teeth are quirky.

5.  I used to be prompt if not early to most appointments or events. I still like to be. Since having kids and needing to wait for them to do any number of things before leaving the house, I’ve learned how to (ahem) wisely use my time until  we need to scream out of the house to get to a scheduled whatever. Waiting for a child to go to the bathroom or get their blankie, or have a tantrum has taught me this skill.  These days, I’m afraid to say, I usually have all the kids out the door except for, well, me. I am doing things last-minute then remembering all the things I should have done, like find my keys or purse or go to the bathroom myself. Usually, I am at the van already before I remember that I haven’t locked the house or need my coffee mug or that it’s -40C and I should really have put on long underwear.  I usually arrive on time to a few minutes past the anointed hour.

Now that I’ve led you to believe that there isn’t an OCD bone in my body, I’ll go ahead and tell you the truth…I have a few obsessive tendencies.

Since I numbered five quirks that aren’t OCD, I’ll go ahead and give you five things I don’t laugh about. Ha!

1. I like to have things balanced. If I have five things over there, I like five things over here…see? Uneven things throw off my center of gravity and then I can’t think to save my life. Balanced decorations, furniture, schedules…they all need to be balanced and then my life goes more smoothly. Predictability is something I strive for but never really accomplish so I am fairly certain that my schedule will continue to be goofy, my wall pictures will hang crazily and life will have it’s wrecking ball (no Miley reference meant there) of unpredictable events that keep me off-balance. It’s what you love about me right…right?

2. Beards are weird. Hate me but it’s true. Santa is not off the list because he’s Santa. I remember a few times crying in the Red Man’s lap while someone tried to take pictures. Beards are in style these days. Maybe, like striped toe socks, it will wear me down but don’t count on it. I am not judging beard growers but why would God want men with hair on their faces? If he wanted them to grow it he would have balanced it out with the ability to grow hair on the top of their heads, no? I am certainly not pointing fingers at my man.

3. I can’t stand other people making me wait. I’ve been known to spaz like a teenager who has just been told she can’t wear lipstick, but just like the teenager, I couldn’t help myself. I know, that goes against everything you think I said in #5 of the previous list, but I honest-to-goodness do make it on time most places…most days…sometimes. I know I’m a hypocrite.

4. I think boys/men should be able to hit the toilet every. single. time. If you were given a device that great, then by cracky, learn how to use it!! Conversely, if you don’t know how to use it, just sit down and save yourself the embarrassment.

5. Before I can do any productive or heavy thinking task, I need my environment uncluttered. I’ve learned how to cope with this because my environment stays uncluttered for about one second these days, thanks to five other people in a small space – I just don’t get anything done. I am distracted by the littlest things. I used to clean my bedroom from top to bottom before being able to study for a test or finish a term paper back in the day. Nowadays, if I am baking or prepping for something, I try to clean my main area of work production. Again, I barely get that task accomplished before it’s undone. Could be why I am not asked to take on anything of great importance these days…or why my friends call to remind me what’s on my calendar for the week. When all else fails, or I’m expecting company, I revert to #1 on the previous list.

I have so many other quirks that have come back to haunt my mind, thanks to Jen Hatmaker, that I have found myself rocking in a corner a few times today. Quirks like fussing with my kid’s hair in public, when I’ve clearly forgotten to do it at home (or they have toque-head…it’s a thing in Canada), fidgeting with my stretchy jeans because they just don’t want to stay above the muffin top, laughing at inappropriate times, laughing in a nasally guffaw instead of anything resembling a ladylike chuckle, being a picky coffee drinker…well, the list goes on. You don’t need it all in one gulp.

Now, come on…you need to share something. I can’t be the only one (besides Jen’s commenters) that have a few odd eccentricities. You know you want to get it off your chest.