Archive for June, 2008

Teaching moment

Okay, so the Jehovah’s Witnesses have come to our door three times in the past half hour.  The girls and I are hiding.  This has made for some awkward but pretty frank conversation (in whispers, of course):

Me (whisper shouting): Don’t answer the door!

#6 (whisper shouting back): Why not?

Me: Because there are Jehovah’s Witnesses at our door.

#6: What are those?  Are they bad?

Me: No, they’re not bad.  They’re just misguided.

#6: Huh?

#5 (comes down the stairs at this point, while her sister and I are huddled in the front hall, staying away from the windows): Why are you hiding and whispering?

#6: Because there are bad people at the door.

Me: No, they’re not bad people.  Just misguided.

We then moved to the back of the house, where we could speak freely.  I felt like we were in a clandestine meeting of an underground church in China.

The discussion that followed was actually a pretty good one.  We discussed how there are different religions and how people don’t know or choose not to believe that Jesus is God’s Son and that He is the only way to be saved.  I explained that there are some religions that even think that they are Christians but that they have either added to the Bible (which is a no-no) or have taken part of the Bible out of context and thus feel chained to certain rules.  These rules make them believe things like that they have to go door to door and share their religion.

When they asked why we couldn’t just answer the door and tell them about Jesus, I told them that these people won’t listen.  I told them it’s a good idea to pray for them.

I know, I totally weenied out.  My grandma actually wrote her own “How to respond to Jehovah’s Witnesses” booklet.  She was a little warrior for Jesus, I tell you.  Pity the hapless Jehovah’s Witness who knocked on her door!

My girls announced a few minutes ago that they’re going to live in the basement all afternoon “in case those people come back looking for them.”  I have some damage control to do.

How do you respond to these door-knockers?


June 30, 2008 at 12:14 pm 1 comment

Special Olympics – State Meet

In a previous post, we covered how #3 had won his 100 Meter heat in the Special Olympics regional finals.  This meant he qualified for the state meet.  Special Olympics is an amazing organization – check it out when you have a few minutes…

So, #3 was pretty pumped about the state meet.  He talked about it a lot – the location, the date, the hotel, the interstates we were going to take, how long it took to get there, the hotel, the date, the location, where we might stop for food, etc…

When the date arrived, we piled numbers 3 thru 6 into the car and you can bet we hit all of the previously discussed interstates, stopped for food, talked a lot about when we would get there and finally, we arrived at our hotel.  Whew!  We settled in for a bit and then went to Opening Ceremonies that evening.

Opening Ceremonies was very cool – just like the Olympics – parades of athletes, comments from important officials no one knows, frisbee catching dogs, torch lighting and FIREWORKS!!!

Fireworks?  We were sort of all asking ourselves the question “why fireworks?”.  Most special needs kids we know absolutely hate fireworks – they are too loud, etc…  Fireworks are ranked about 2 on #3’s Top 10 List of “Things I Hate That Other People Love” – right there behind 4th of July fire engines.  Fortunately, the announcer gave the 3,000 athletes and their families about 30 seconds warning to leave the stadium before the fireworks started – you know, for those who don’t like them (like everyone there).

#3 started to panic a bit and made a bee line for the exit with his hands over his ears.  As I chased him, numbers 4 thru 6 all hastily jog-walked backwards along with mom – torn between #3’s need to leave and actually watching the fireworks – which the rest of us enjoy.  We finally made it out of there – #3 could have used a beer, but he’s only 15 – I on the other hand…

The next day we arrived at the stadium for #3’s big event – the state finals of the 100 Meter dash.  It was a festive atmosphere with athletes participating and families cheering – a beautiful day.  We all bopped around for a bit waiting for his heat and the moment finally arrived.

I set up to film the race at about the 50 meter point of the track.  As I peered thru the camera at the starting line I noticed that #3 was dwarfed by large manlike fellas lining up next to him.  BANG!  Off they go.  He got off to a good start (holding his ears), but something wasn’t right.  He wasn’t really running – at least, not fluidly like he normally does.  He was more waddle running – it was strange – I have never seen it before.  As mom greeted him at the end of the race she said “Wow!  Those guys were really fast”.  To which #3 responded “Yeah, I REALLY have to take a dump.”  Doh!

#3 got his 7th place ribbon and picture with Miss Teen Illinois and we headed home.  As we reflected and encouraged him on the way home, we again commented on how fast the other guys were in his race.  He said “Yeah, but we all hugged at the end, so it doesn’t matter”.  And that, all other things aside, is the magic of Special Olympics – community for those who crave it most.

June 28, 2008 at 1:16 pm 1 comment

“This one goes to eleven” and other misc.

(BTW, the title is a line from one of my all-time favorite movies, This is Spinal Tap.)

#6: “Mommy, guess where I keep my emergency underwear?”

Me: “I don’t know… where?”

#6: “In my shirt drawer.  That way, if I run out of underwear in my top drawer, I can use my emergency underwear.”

Me: “Why don’t you just move that up to your top drawer so that you can have more underwear in that drawer?”

#6: “Because then I won’t have emergency underwear!”

Silly me.


I spent the entire day cleaning the bedroom currently occupied by numbers 3 and 4.  Yikes!  I found some interesting things, among them: 2 bags of pretzels under the bed, some very dramatic love notes (not that I read them) written to #1 by his girlfriend a couple years ago, a few county fair prizes (some of which I tossed, but I knew I’d get busted if I pitched the giant green basketball-playing alien), one expensive and long-lost Nike soccer cleat, a marginal report card, a pair of tuxedo pants from Prom 2007 (must’ve been expensive, but I didn’t have to pay for them), and a pack of “Just Like Dad” candy cigarettes.


#5 (who knows all) shouted upstairs earlier, “Mom, how do I get on your blog?”  I told her but didn’t think much of it.  A few minutes ago she said, “How come you don’t talk about me on your blog?”  I’m hoping that this will suffice.

June 27, 2008 at 6:19 pm 1 comment

Special Olympics

Okay, I haven’t written about this yet because I’ve wanted to take the time to do it justice.  But I gotta tell you about one of my favorite things in life.  And I am not exaggerating.

#3 has been running track for our local Special Olympics team for the past three seasons.  The season is short and the weekly commitment minimal.  This keeps kids like #3 interested.  My friend Linda started our local group and has worked her magic to find funding for very cool team track suits, which also keeps kids like #3 interested.

Special Olympics track meets are like one big goose bump.  It is an absolute joy to see teams made up of people of all ages and all abilities gather to compete and to cheer each other on.  Yes, those stories you hear are true: the athletes actually cheer each other on.  I commented to my husband at an earlier meet that I didn’t notice any screaming coaches or athletes throwing tantrums. Rather, it was common to see the athletes hugging each other after the races.

And how could you not love to watch events like the tennis ball throw and the 100M walk?  If you are even alive enough to breathe, you’d get just the tiniest bit teary watching a Special Olympics meet.

Here’s a picture of #3 after he won his 100M race.

Yep, he won. =)  We were so proud.  It meant that he qualified for State.  We’ll post about that later.

June 26, 2008 at 9:23 am 2 comments

Tooth Fairy Woes

The tooth fairy in our house has a horrible track record – so bad, that it has become a joke.

The first offense happened with #1 long, long ago…  He walked into our room the morning after yanking one of his first few teeth and said “Guess what the tooth fairy gave me?”  And then, as he held his little tooth out in his hand he exclaimed “Nothin!”  It was hilarious to me – but he was pretty hacked off about the whole thing.

Over a decade later, things have not gotten any better.  In fact, our tooth fairy is so bad, that the kids don’t bother anymore with the whole tooth under the pillow act – they just turn the tooth in to mom for some cash.

Today topped all tooth fairy incidents to date.  #6 spent several days working on a tooth and then finally tore it out yesterday.  Without our knowledge she hand crafted a combination tooth pouch and tooth fairy note made with lined paper and staples.  She placed the tooth in the pouch and went to sleep.

This morning, she and #5 stood over me – hands on hips, narrow eyed, basically fuming as I was staring at my computer.  I knew I was in trouble, but I had no clue as to why.  #6 held out her tooth and said “Recognize this?”  #5 said “He should, he is the tooth fairy you know…”

Busted.  I forgot again.  I made some lame excuse about how this happens when the tooth fairy can’t find the tooth, blah, blah, blah.  #6 said “Well, I don’t know how you could have missed the note”.  I told her we’d work it out.

They popped on the TV and I went to work looking for some spare cash.  I had nothing in my wallet, so I scanned the counter tops and things for a few bucks.  A ha!  2 crumpled up dollars.  Bingo.

I went up and found the note/pouch combo that #6 had prepared for me the night before.  It read, verbatim:

to: tooth fairy
from: #6

I really want a fish but you have to take my tooth because last time you didn’t take my tooth.

sinsearly #6

tooth in here (printed on the stabled pouch)

A fish?  Anyway, I stuck the 2 bucks into the pouch and disposed of the tooth and made up a story about how the tooth fairy indeed could not find the note last night, but recently found it and sure enough there was some money waiting!

#6 ran upstairs and then came back down, disgusted.  “Dad, those were my own 2 dollars you stuck in there”

The tooth fairy – aka – loser.

June 25, 2008 at 10:43 am 1 comment

Because I miss blogging…

Here’s what’s going on at my house. (We do this for ourselves, not because we think anyone else really cares.)

  • My husband and #2 child just left for the visitation of a 19-year-old girl from church who passed away unexpectedly.  Megan lived joyously and courageously.  She finally has a new body and a voice.
  • The Walking Party (#4) left for camp yesterday.  It is unbelievably less chaotic here.  The peace is palpable.  Gosh, I miss him.
  • With one less in the mix this week, my girls are enjoying having the back yard to themselves.  They’ve camped out in the gazebo today with their American Girl dolls and tea sets.  Lord, please keep them busy!
  • I found out at midnight last night that my firstborn isn’t returning to his 4-year, 4-hours-away college in the fall.  I have mixed feelings, first among them being, Where the heck am I going to house all these people? I know – it’s not as if we didn’t have 8 people in this house before, but, well… we sort of filled up the space rather quickly when he left.  At any rate, I’m proud of him for making this difficult decision, and for all the right reasons.
  • I bought a life changing book a couple months ago.  It’s called Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? by that guy from “Clean Sweep.”  I cleaned out the garage.  I have gained 2 pounds.  I’m not giving up.
  • I have a love-hate relationship with Disney Channel.  It is on 24/7 during the summer.  I’m beginning to identify with Carrie from “Suite Life of Zack and Cody,” at the same time seeing the phoniness of actors from “Camp Rock.”  I mean, what’s up with that?
  • Is anyone as excited for the “Kit” movie as I am?  I’m thinking of getting my hair cut like hers.  Too much?

June 24, 2008 at 12:47 am Leave a comment

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