Friday, June 28, 2013

Moments of Summer Chunder #1

I was reminiscing on my childhood Summer memories and I decided to do a "Moments of Summer Chunder Countdown" of real things we did as kids in the Summertime. If you happen to have ten or more kids, are on a budget and are looking for things to do, I have included step by step instructions.  

#1-Homemade Otter Pops

Warning: Disappointment will occur
My mom occasionally bought the store brand of otter pops. Ten kids and hundreds of neighbor kids meant they only lasted a few days. So we kids improvised and made our own. The following is step by step instructions.

Step One: Get a no-name brand otter pop wrapper.

-Don't fret if you don't have one of these. You can usually walk in any number of backyards where there are kids present and you will find them littering the lawn. In fact, I'm feeling generous. Please feel free to get one of the twenty that is on my grass as we speak.

Step Two: If you were lucky enough to get an Otter Pop with an actual popsicle inside then good for you! Go ahead and take a minute and enjoy it, but don't throw away that wrapper.

Step Three: Fill the Otter Pop with water from your sink, making sure to leave one inch at the top.

Step Four: Get an old newspaper rubber band and wrap it around the top to "seal" the water in.

I realize that we are in the wrong decade for newspaper rubber bands, but just head on over to Grandma or Grandpa's house. They will have an entire drawer dedicated just to rubber bands. It can be found in between the paperclip drawer and the drawer filled with the pencils and pens from 1943.

Step Five: Stick it in the freezer.

Step Six: This is the hardest step . . .waiting.  

Step Seven: aaaahhhh I'm so excited. . . Get the Ice pop out of the freezer and enjoy!!

Step Eight: Finished? Don't fret. Simply repeat steps one through eight! Hope you saved your rubber band, if not, you know where to find more.

Nothing like a homemade piece of ice on a hot summer's day.

The Good Life

I got to read today. The baby is napping. The other two are playing together (quietly even) and I sat down and read.

The sun is shining and I can hear birds chirping. Life is so amazingly good.

Yes, we have a lot of debt, yes, we live in my parents house, yes, my kids fight and the house sometimes looks like I have 27 children instead of 3. No, we don't have a place of our own and no, I haven't fulfilled my dream of "making it" as a writer and I'm no Mom of the year.

But, even with all of those things something is very obvious to me; we are better off than probably 90 percent of the world. We have food, clean water, safety, shelter, schools, safe neighborhoods, friends and family. We are so lucky.

Incidentally my feelings of gratitude today probably came from reading Stephanie Nielson's book, "Heaven is Here". A great read.

Silent E

We were playing the game Catch Phrase and my six-year-old got the phrase "test-tube baby". He never wants any help from anyone and thinks he's smarter than me. His eyes lit up and he said, "Ok the first and last words are 'test' and 'baby' and the middle word is something that you find in the bathroom . . . but it has a silent E on the end of it."

We were all confused, until my nephew slowly questions, "Is it the tub?"

Cameron beamed. "YOU GOT IT!! Test tub baby!"

Silent E at the age of 6?!? He is right to act like he is smarter than me.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

What's my age again?

I was in the grocery store today and as I stood in line to check out there was a man in his late 60's talking to the checker who was about 20. This gentleman was telling the life story of each of his children. I didn't get an exact count, but it must have been about 800 kids.  He had long since checked out so I just waited patiently.

When he had finished and left, I made a comment to the checker that he was nice to visit with the man. The checker responded, "He comes in all the time and tells me the same stories."

I again said how nice it was that he took the time to listen and talk to him. The checker than looked at me straight-faced and said, "He doesn't have a wife anymore and he's old and lonely. Well, you know. You aren't that far off from that."

Wait, what?!?

So let me get this straight, if you graduated from High School two years ago and you see someone who is 12 years older than you are, you think that person is closer in age to an almost seventy-year-old than to you??

He must have seen the look on my face because he said, "No you're a long way from that. You have plenty of time."

Oh, Thank you wise and youthful grocery-store-check-out-boy for reassuring me that I still have "time".

I hope that next week (if I haven't passed on yet) he goes through my cart and asks me what in my life makes me so sad that I have to fill it up with so much sugar.

Monday, June 17, 2013


My kids never remember their shoes whenever we go somewhere, but they're always sure to bring as many random things as they can carry. At any given moment my car is filled with, a pair of my shoes (courtesy of my four-year-old daughter), random board games, utensils, articles of clothing, a billion stuffed animals, blankets (even though it's 90 degrees outside), tools and other random trinkets.

Today we didn't have the car so we went for a walk. I told my son a million times to get his shoes on. He came out of the garage a few minutes later, shoe-less, carrying a giant sized fishing inner tube.

"Cameron" I said. "What are you doing with that?"

"I want to take it." He said while struggling to lift the deflated tube off the ground.

"Are you serious bud? For what?"

"I just want to."

"Cam, we're going on a walk around the block - not to the nearest fishing hole. Do you plan on dragging that with you the entire way?"

I finally convinced my son to leave the tube, while telling him once more to get his shoes on. Meanwhile Meg emerged wearing her good Sunday shoes and dress. I decided to pick my battles and let that one slide. Cameron came out a few minutes later in an over sized pair of spider man slippers. Whatever. As we walked up the street, I wondered why the stroller was so heavy until I looked in the bottom and found the over sized inner tube.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

My son Cameron has a big heart, but he takes everything very literally. We have a sweet older lady and widow who lives in our neighborhood. Her last name is Pilkington. Sometimes we take her dinner or go for a visit. On Mother's Day my kids wanted to make sure that we didn't forget her. They adore her. They both made her cards and a treat.

The kids know that when I was little my siblings and I use to refer to her and her husband as our Grandparents and they always say how sad it is that her husband died.

The kids wanted to show me the cards they made. I noticed that Cameron had written:
"To the Pilkington's'."

A few minutes later I saw him scribbling something out on the card. I asked him what he was doing. He said he was scribbling out the "s" because "her husband is dead and there is just one Pilkington now".  I could not persuade him to change it.

Her card read, "Happy mother's day, to the Pilkington."