Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

Catching Up While I Can

1.  Why There Haven't Been Any New Posts Here Lately
As you might guess, we're still pretty busy around here after the move.  There is a lot of unpacking yet to do/Tons of things yet to go through /A world of new places to explore/And a constant trail of little muddy footprints tracking across our expansive great room floor...  But, I have to tell you -- and it's the truth -- that, even though there's been so much on my to do list, I would normally have been happily popping in to make little updates here.  This is my stress-free zone, you see, and I miss my visits with everyone.  But there have been two hitches in the git-along for my blogging and visiting time. 

First of all, my camera charger disappeared in the move and has yet to turn up.  Bother. No photos to share.   Second (and worst) of all, our internet provider, a certain highly-touted satelite company, which just might be known by something like "hewsnet," is a total bust.  I can't believe there are people out there in hard-to-service areas that know nothing but this absolutely terrible, horrible, abominable internet connection.  Oh. my. word.  We get a few minutes every day -- maybe a half hour (and I'm not exaggerating) to get on the web, which time is incredibly slow and irritating -- and then we are informed that we have "exceeded our "quota" on the system and are kicked off until 2 p.m. the following day ( or somesuch time...)  ERG! 

But thank heavens, we found out that a hither-to-assumed inaccessible DSL link really is available to us, and -- WAHOO! -- we are supposed to be hooked up to it on Thursday.  At which time I can resume my regular babbling without interruption. Makes me happy, anyway.  I miss y'all.

2. That They Didn't Drive Off The Mountain
So, explanations of my absence out of the way...  ;o) I have to send up a public thanks to St. Christopher and St. Thomas Aquinas to whom I entrusted the safety of my family traveling over the mountains yet again this week.  Dan, Dominic, and Michelle headed over the Rockies Monday afternoon in son-Paul's huge Ford F350 dually pickup to fetch the 5th wheel which has been pining away all by its lonesome waiting for us to come get it in the church parking lot near Denver.  (Remember how our old truck pooped out and couldn't get it over the mountains about a week ago?) 

We had gotten good reports on the big truck, because Paul had done a lot of work on it before he left for VA in order to sell it, but, when Dan and co. got to town, the truck started sounding really bad, so they took it in to the shop and the mechanics told Dan that he was lucky to have gotten down out of the mountains alive in that truck. 


Luck nothin'.  It was totally heavenly intercession.  The angels, under the supervision of Saints Joseph and Thomas, held the truck together just long enough for my family to get to Denver.  No question about it. 

For anyone that this means anything to....  Dan says the ball joints on both front tires were bad and about to "go out" and there was a hemorrhage of steering fluid that had been temporarily patched, but which flooded out near the end of the trip Monday.    AND the hitch kit hadn't been properly installed.  So, even if the truck hadn't fallen apart in every other respect, it wouldn't have been safe to haul the trailer with on the return trip.  But, all of this was discovered when Dan and the kids were safely in Denver.  The truck had just enough life to drive it to the mechanic.  ==shewee==  Thank-you, Heavenly Helpers! 

3.  Corn, Corn, and More Corn
We had the big annual corn festival here at our little town last weekend -- just a couple miles from our house.  It's a big, big deal around these parts.  And for good reason: the corn they grow around here is THE best anywhere.  If you ever get a chance to sample some Olathe Sweet Sweet corn, you'll see what I mean.  We're going up the road to the farm stand to pick some up for dinner tonight.  Can't WAIT!  I think we'll roast it on our new steamer grill.  (Got it on sale at Wmart the other day, as our other grill got shaken to pieces on the move over.)

4. Disc Golf, Phones, Lakes: A Bad Mix?
We are practically incomunicado these days.   Aside from having no internet (most of the time), no TV (because we opted out of a television feed), and no radio because I still haven't found the box our little traveling radio is packed in, we also won't get our land-line phone until the guys come to hook up our DSL this week. So, we've been dependent on our cell phones.  Imagine my -- um... How shall we say? -- annoyance when Dominic left to play frisbee golf with my phone in his pocket a couple days ago.  I was gone when he left with it, or I'd have discouraged the idea, mind you.  But, since I wasn't around to say anything, out went my phone to play frisbee with Dominic and Fr. G.  And, so when Father's frisbee went into the lake, so did Dominic.  And so did my phone. 


So, Dan and I went down to the phone store to see if our warranty would cover it.  But, go figure (and isn't it always the way it works?), it cost more to use the warranty to replace the phone than it did to get a new one.  So  I came home with a new phone.  And Dominic got my old phone with a new line to use during the school year away in Omaha.  The deal was that he gets to use my old phone if he can resuscitate it -- or else he has to raise funds to get a new phone of his own.  He's telling me that a couple of days in a bowl of rice is giving the old phone new life, though...  So, looks like we both made out on the deal.  I guess that's how it should work, considering the phone almost made the ultimate sacrifice to save Father's frisbee...  Or something.

5.  The Mystery Music Game
Been listening to a lot of music on the computer, though, these incommunicado-days as we have an extensive music library saved in this thing.  Much of our collection consists of  play lists made by various children over the years. It's a lot of fun going through our different musical phases.  And it's interesting to see what music the children lean toward in their mixes.  

One of the trips that Dan and I made over to Denver recently, we had three or four burned playlists that were unlabeled except to say "Mom's Mix" or "Dad's Summer Mix."  It had been a while since we'd come across these CDs, so we had no idea who put them together for us.  But, let me tell you, we had a ball trying to figure it out.  If the selections were weighted toward Enya, we knew (or thought we knew) that it had to be a Jon CD; if it had a lot of selections from the Emma soundtrack, we knew (or thought we knew) it had to be Kevin's.  The fun thing was that we had to figure out what they thought we would like on a mix.  We still have to get Jon and Kevvy here to see if we guessed right.  *:o)  But I highly recommend this as a fun exercise to play with older children.  We're taking it a step further, by purposely  asking all the children to make up mixes for us and burn them so we'll have several to listen to on the next trip Dan and I make together.  We told them to keep it a secret so we can guess whose is whose.  Can't wait to see what they all come up with!

6.  If You Think Five is Too Many, Mister, I Have News For Ya
We went to the Salvation Army yesterday to get a couple more bikes for the girls who don't have one.  This is how we do things: Reuse, Recycle, Replace at the thrift store. And I love me a good jog around a thrift store, solo or with "helpers."  It's always interesting traveling around with five stairstep children trailing along behind me, but we have it down to a science.  There are rules, you see: 
1) No loud talking or shenanigans in the stores;
2) No fighting, whining,  or pestering to buy things;
3) No dancing; 
4) No touching anything;
 5) Walk in single file behind Mommy, youngest child in basket or holding Mommy's hand, oldest child bringing up the rear and supervising stragglers...
 6) Do what Mommy says immediately
7) Etcetera. 

We've been doing this for a while, so when only the five Littles are with me, it's pretty easy to keep order.  It's a little harder when the teenagers are along (which is seldom, any more, actually), bcause they want to go do their own thing with the promise that they'll meet up with me somewhere somehow.  Yeah right.  They make everything very challenging, trying to debate with me all the time.  The little ones don't try to debate with me.  Bless them.  They just bicker and and ask the same questions over and over again.

But, anyway... Yesterday, we went to the thrift store and, as sometimes happens with large groups of people traveling in packs, we caused a bit of a bottleneck getting in the door.  No big deal.  Se la vie.  Just a tiny knot in the day, easily untied.  But, a little old man with a long white beard  and a bad attitude was very put-out to have to wait an extra thirty seconds to get out the door while we tried to get in.  He looked at me, lowered his eyebrows, quickly sized up my little gang of children as he sidewinded past us,  and in an angry voice said:  "Why don't you just have five more children?!"

AHAHAHA!  I'm sorry, folks.  I laughed out loud.  And then I said:  "I do have five more children!  These are just the youngest five! " And I laughed again.  I couldn't help it.  It struck me as funny.  But the little old guy didn't get the joke.  (No surprise.) But he didn't  answer, or even look at me; he just stomped off, the hair on the back of his neck loudly bristling and shooting sparks of indignation in our general direction.  A girl standing nearby stared at us open-mouthed and muttered "Holy Cow..."  I smiled and waved at her, and ushered the children into the store.  Where they behaved perfectly, keeping their single-file line behind me, quietly discussing the half-head mannequins, not touching anything.  As a couple little boys hooted and hollared as they whizzed by us on skateboards lifted from the toy department -- and their mother ignored them.

=sigh=  What a world. It is to laugh.

Except.  The one thing that really bothered me about this exchange (since I'm pretty used to these things by now) was the difficulty in explaining to the children why the old man seemed mad at us and what it had to do with their numbers.

It's sad to have to explain to five innocent wide-eyed faces that there are many people in the world that hate them for what they stand for -- and that, no, indeed: they don't know us -- or want to know us.

 It's hard to explain the weirdness of someone hating you because you just might represent their own bad choices.  

It's hard to explain to their wondering faces why some people think our family, with its twelve laughing members, is considered a "drain on the planet," when these "drains" are probably more careful than most with the earth's resources because they know that God holds us responsible for them.

 It's hard to put into words how there are many people in this world who don't understand that children are the greatest resource we have, that people raised with good hearts and large souls are more precious than gold. 

And it's especially hard for children to understand on a beautiful, sunny summer day, full of hope and fun and new bikes, that some people are just simply full of hate and anger.  There are sad, angry people who don't  want to turn and look down at the five sweet smiling faces they've tried to insult because it'll shame their bitterness. 

Poor, sad people.  Look what they're missing.

7.  And, Oh, By the Way
Special hugs to Paul, Nicole and our grandbaby, GAVIN JAMES -- almost five months in his Mommy's tummy -- and four months to come out and meet everybody and get lots and lots of lovin'.  We found out last Saturday that he's a boy and we're shopping in blue here now!


GrandmaK said...

Well, I have to say you have been most busy!!! We've been cleaning the garage...This it most traumatic for Ron as he has to part with STUFF!!! Pray for us!!! I'm praying for you!

suzy said...

Praying you settle well in your new home Lisa. Sorry to hear about the bumpy start.
I laughed out loud at your exchange with the little old man with the white beard and the bristling bristles :)
Actually I'm still giggling over it!!!
Though how sad it is that some people are offended by the site of a large family.
The thing I don't understand is how anyone couldn't be utterly charmed by your beautiful children!

Oh, before I forget :) I have an award for you over at my place :)

Anne said...

Tpeaches..They just dont compare...he peaches...oh, the peaches..We ruined Terrie on those

MightyMom said...

Oh please get the connection fixed!! I've tried my best to be patient while you move..,,,,,,,,really I've tried!!
I don't know how much longer I can hold out!