Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Miss Being Catholic

I grew up Catholic.  I went to schools beginning with "St." until they ran out in my city (8th grade.)  I went to Mass 3 to 4 times a week for 10 years.  I was Baptized as an infant and Confirmed at age 12.  My First Communion was all about the dress.  Because if I didn't focus on the dress, I would have to focus on the fact that everyone would be looking at me while I walked up the center aisle in a church, and if you have any questions as to how I feel about that, you can read this.
The incense always made me this close to passing out because 1.  incense  2.  no air conditioning in the church 3.  locked knees.  Bad combination.  On the days we didn't go to church we had church music class where we learned & practiced the songs for Mass.  I loved, loved, loved the songs.  Morning Has Broken, Be Not Afraid, and all the Hosanna's were my favorites.  Except I can't really sing.  Like, at all.  You can ask Holly if you doubt this.  So I lip-synched my way through music class.  I was called on it once by my friend standing next to me (Hi Bridget!), I did what any good Catholic girl would do and denied it. 
I was a cheerleader for the St. Joseph's Saints (I'm in the very last row on the right, I was tall then!)  As cheerleaders, we wore sweaters and longish skirts sewn by nuns because I went to school in 1953.  Every day in 6th grade we had to play kickball at recess.  Every. Single. Day.  Somehow the girls would sneak out of this occasionally and play games in the locker room where we would try to levitate our friends with just two fingers (Light as a feather, stiff as a board.)  I'm pretty sure this would have been frowned upon had we been caught.  Another thing that was frowned upon was the field trip our 7th grade class took to the Horse Cave Theater for a performance of Othello.  On the way we stopped at the Buffalo Park in Cave City (which is now open to public and called Kentucky Down Under.)  Apparently our class broke several park rules by jumping in the buffalo pens and chasing them and each other.  We weren't aware of how serious (or dangerous) an infraction this was until midway through Othello when the owners of the park interrupted the play to drag us all out to the lobby for a stern talking to.  Then we knew we had to go back to school for a stern talking to by our principal, Sister Amelia.  I have never been so frightened in my entire life.  This wild buffalo chase did not make Sister Amelia a happy nun, people.  The things that I most remember about my early education were the amazing teachers that I had and the wonderful education that I received.  The friends that I had at that school I still have to this day.

I love the ritual of the Catholic Church; the holy water, the statuary, the vestments, Mary, Lent, Midnight Mass, the fact that I can and will always be able to recite the standard part of the Mass.  The Church is like a warm, gooey bowl of mashed potatoes for me.  Comfort.  After the attacks on Sept. 11 this is where I went to sit and think and pray;  where I went to get away from the news, the scrolling names of the dead or missing, and the constant discussions of everyone around me.

Maybe I have a unique idea of religion, because although I miss a lot of good "stuff" about the Church, I have some pretty big bones of contention with it as well.  And these are things that I just can't overlook.  Maybe someday I will be able to.  I am Catholic and will always be, so it's not like I can become another religion, or join another church.  It makes me a girl without a home.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Few Fruit Loops Sharing Froot Loops

Gracie and Hannah had a chance to get together for a short time the other day to share some cereal.  We were at a bridal shower with tons of goodies, but these two would rather share some Froot Loops.  Poor Gracie had an unfortunate fall outside and got beat up pretty bad, but it hasn't stopped her from being the sweetie that she is!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Here are my 2 very cool girls and their cool little brother.  Oh wait...that's Hannah after Christian dresses her for the day.  In case you have any doubt about exactly how cool they are here are some clues:
1.  Holly's facial expression
2.  Cassie's sign- She told me that it means "peace out, like they used to say back in the sixties"  I just hope it really isn't a sign that means "the gang war is on"
3.  Hannah's sign- We all know how cool it is to flash "4" at people.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Best Dollar Store Anywhere

Holly and I were looking for decorations and party favors for Cassie's birthday party when we found a whole display of "Ginormous Body Parts."  They were just noses and lips and other harmless ginormous body parts, but I'm thinking that in a store where things cost more than a dollar there may be other types of body parts that are for sale.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Over the River and Through the Woods

I'm not sure if you can see these clearly, but these are photos of a little girl growing up before your eyes. We live on the same street as my mother-in-law, (Grandma Lisa) who watches Hannah while I'm at work.  There are virtually no cars that come down the street except other relatives all of whom know that children are likely to pop out of the trees at any moment.  So, now that it is pretty outside Hannah wants to ride her bike to Grandma's house.  This means that we have to leave quite early in the morning because it takes a while to ride your tricycle down the street while pausing every few feet to shout something to your mommy, who is driving closely behind (but not too closely!) hanging her head out the window shouting replies and the occasional directive regarding tricycle operation.  Every time I follow her little independent self happily riding her tricycle, loudly singing songs on her way to Grandma's, my heart breaks just a little.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bunny Foo Foo

This is the bunny that we found separated from its mama.  We made him a lovely nest with a heating blanket and towels in a cardboard box.  While he was being held he squirmed away and was dropped on his head, twice.  We have since instigated a no holding policy for the poor bunny.  His name is Bunny Foo Foo (the one that got into all that trouble for bopping field mice on their head.)  I especially like the part in the following video where Cassie describes the bunny as "meat."

Update:  I'm afraid we had to let the bunny go free into the woods.  He was big enough to eat lettuce, so we thought he would be happier if he was set free.  Don't worry, there was a ceremony with lots of drama.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cassie is 8

Cassie's birthday party was a ton of fun!  About 12 girls came over and swam the afternoon away.  At one point Christian came to me and asked, "Why is it so loud in here, they aren't even talking, they are just making sounds!"  As if he doesn't have 3 sisters and already know the answer to this.  The girls had a great time climbing the rock wall, but one got all the way to the top and then got scared.  So Paul had to climb up and rescue her.  Then she did it again, and Paul rescued her again.  Then again.  Then she just started shouting, "Boddeker I'm gonna need some help over here!"  She was a little sassy, that one!
I made a slightly scary looking pool cake made of ice cream.  The dolls are sitting on gummy life savers and the beach balls are gumballs.  Added bonus, I found a good use for Polly Pockets.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Pretty, Pretty Asheville Store- Whatever, I'm Not Bitter

Last week I got to go to Asheville, North Carolina to help open the new Barnes & Noble. They relocated the old store, which was very small and dingy, to a brand spankin' new, shiny store. My job was to help with training and to ensure that the company standards were met. But mainly I just wandered around petting all the new everythings. Not that I'm jealous. I'm sure I could have a view of the mountains from my second story study area if I had a second story, or some mountains around, or room for a study area. Whatever. I don't even want escalators because I would fall down them, I'm certain. And to protect myself from falling down them I would be forced to wear clunky, orthopedic shoes instead of pretty heels. And that would be tragic.

I could have a register in my children's department if I wanted one, because I have that much pull in the company. I just don't want one, that's all. And my cash register drawers look this tidy. I just wanted to show everyone a picture since you probably never get to see this side of my store. There is no reason for you to test this. It's true, really.

I had a great drive through the mountains and didn't have to stop once during the 6 hour drive there and back to take a nap in a random parking lot.  I arrived in Asheville, checked into my hotel and took myself to dinner.  The first night in my hotel room was sheer heaven.  It's kind of nice to have ultimate control of the t.v. and to spend the evening in bed knowing that tomorrow while you are at work some nice person will sneak into your room to clean everything and make your bed.  I ate Milk Duds in bed and watched free HBO.  Just because I could.  After the first night I started missing home.  Only one night and I started to cave.  By the end of the week I rushed through my work so that I could leave a day early.

While I wasn't allowed to take any of the shiny stuff from the new store, I was allowed to take some of the crappy stuff from the old store.  So I loaded my car as full as I could and brought home some dirty, scratched up fixtures that will make my store look brand spankin' new.  Or at least dingy and old in a new way.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Conversation with Trooper Regarding Manners, etc.

Hannah and I played outside from the minute I got home from work until it was dark.  We even ate dinner outside because we didn't want to miss one bit of sunshine!  One of our favorite things to do is to feed our horse, Trooper.  Hannah was a little concerned over his lack of table manners, but I think she taught him a few useful tricks. I understand everything she is saying, but for those of you that don't, just know that she can't say her f's, so take out some of the s's and put in an f. Now do you understand?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Love/Hate Relationship with "All Dogs Go To Heaven"

In keeping with the retro child that I am rearing, Hannah has apparently been watching  everyone's favorite Burt Reynolds classic All Dogs Go To Heaven on VHS.  She goes over to Grandma Lisa's t.v., turns the power on the VCR, pops the tape in and prepares herself (and Grandma) to be mesmerized/terrified by the voices of Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Charles Nelson Reilly and Loni Anderson for the next 15 minutes (or until she gets scared.)

This movie is the story of Charlie, an escaped pound dog, who is murdered by an old friend,  Carface, an equally rough dog.  Then Charlie goes to heaven where poodles sing songs about the joys of dog heaven. Charlie returns to earth to get revenge for his death. Or so the IMDb website tells me.  All I know is that after watching this movie once, a month ago, Hannah mentions it every day.  She blames random things on it.  For instance, today she told me that her "eyelashes were pokey because of All Dogs Go To Heaven."  I'm not sure exactly what that means, but sometimes good things are explained because of the movie as well.

As with the Green Hairy Knuckles, she made Grandma Lisa hide the videotape in a cabinet which she would open several times during the day just to make sure it was still there.  She has seen the movie only once and will never watch it again (due to it's mysterious disappearance and discussions of "inappropriateness".)  I wonder how long I will continue to hear about it? This must be my punishment for not monitoring closely enough what my child watches.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Another Bad Hair Day

Before viewing these photos please warn the faint of heart and all small children.

We've all had them, but this girl has some serious rats living in her bed!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Deep Dark Secret

Hannah likes to eat liver sausage sandwiches with mustard and ketchup at her Grandma's house.  The liver sausage was purchased as a treat for Lucy, Grandma's beagle.  Hannah demanded the same treat. Thus, the answer to this horrible word problem is:  My daughter eats dog food.  Oh, and my mother-in-law makes sandwiches for her dog.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Shopping with a Twelve Year Old...

can be exhausting. Holly has definite opinions about what kind of clothes she likes. I guess most girls that age do. I didn't, at all, because I went to Catholic school and the only decision I had to make was what color tube socks to wear with my plaid jumper and white Peter Pan collar shirt. Lucky for me, Holly is pretty conservative so I rarely have to veto clothes based on their "hootchiness." We do have a difference of opinion regarding tightness, however. I said the jeans were a little too tight, Holly said they were not tight at all, not one bit. Together we developed a litmus test. If she can do the splits in the jeans she is trying on, they are not too tight. I'm sure others sharing the dressing room space were confused about what we were doing, but it worked for us!! I'm so thankful this is not a requirement for me, just trying on the clothes is torture enough!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Career Choices or Lack Thereof

Hannah told me this morning that she would like to be a hobo when she grows up.
This afternoon she changed it to dog catcher.  Is that still a job?  Regardless, it sort of lets me know where her ambitions lie.  Also, it makes me wonder if 80 year old men come over while I'm at work to teach her vocabulary words.  Today she told me that something was "simply dreadful" and when I dropped something she said "no matter, Mommy, I will pick it up."  I feel certain that soon she will be reminding me to leave the milk bottles out for the milkman to pick up.   

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ready for the Pros

Christian played his last basketball game last night.  I am so impressed by his skills!!  He goes after that ball with such intensity that it is written all over his face.  He doesn't give up.  You can tell it just kills him to have to take a break and sit out for a bit.  My camera got messed up (by little Hannah hands) and all I have is this video.  You see the boy at the end pumping his fist?  That is Christian, #3!