Wednesday, July 30, 2008

two little things

The family/friends that want CDs of any of the pictures from the previous post, just drop me a line. I will happily burn one for you.

I keep inadvertently signing my emails as "Assie." Doesn't make me feel better about the few extra pounds I'm carrying. Maybe it's my subconscious being a bitch. To myself. Life can be so hard.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

first step of many

Here are some pictures of the fun we've been having. The first is our Fourth of July and the swim party Becca threw. I loved going through this set because it started with lots of spectacular fireworks pics, which are great colors on a black background...then moved to the candy-colored fun of a swim party with children coating almost every surface (for about eight women there, we had something like twenty kiddos).

Unfortunately, I had too many photos to use Flickr, so I'm sticking with my old standby of Snapfish...which requires that you log in to see the pics. Use the account I set up for my friends who didn't care to sign up themselves: email is adelemorstad at hotmail dot com (for those of you non-web-savvy folks, I typed my email like that to avoid getting an inordinate amount of spam from web spiders who search for email addresses...and I almost never use that account anymore) and the password is friends.

The second album is of Lane and Bing's wedding on Sunday evening. I got the entire ceremony on video, but I'm not sure yet how best to share that. What that means is that I do not have any photos of the ceremony itself (yet)...but pics of the day before, the "rehearsal" dinner, and the post-party. I captioned most of the pics, so check them out and read up. More to follow, but I need to sit on the couch and sip decaf. It's after 10:00 pm.

Oh, and please tell me if that link or log-in stuff doesn't work. I'll do...something.

Monday, July 28, 2008

oh yeah

Aubyn (Laubster) is totally the author of the excellent ode in praise of my blueberry jam...she's so good to me.

i'm getting there...

Here's some of the rundown that I plan to post about more descriptively later:
  • Lane & Bing got married! It was a super-small, intimate wedding at my folks' house, and it couldn't have been lovelier. I got the whole thing on video, there were tons of cameras, and better stories and photos to follow. Those of you concerned for MY heart did a good job praying, because MY heart wasn't an issue at all. I couldn't be happier for my sweet sister and the good man that she wed.
  • My car got hailed on last week. Big time - I lost a piece of trim and the hood looks like someone took a ball-peen hammer to it.
  • I am (over) insured with a low deductible, which took a lot of the sting out of having my car all dinged up.
  • Blake loves to swim.
  • I had to cancel a much-anticipated camping trip with my folks.
  • I have my dress fitting tomorrow morning for the alterations to my wedding gown.
  • Gooseberries are bitter no matter what you add to them.
  • The women in my family are exceptionally fertile. Seriously, don't stand too close, or we'll have you in for child support for the next eighteen years.
  • Molly really likes corn.
  • Blake is almost completely potty-trained.
Heard at my home tonight:
"What would you like for dinner, because we're going to the park for a picnic...and you need to put your clothes back on."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

until i have more time

I had a very erratic day, full of ups and downs...but until I can compose a post about it and a response to the crying jag post, here's a little something that delighted me and made me giggle this morning:

Ode to Addie's Blueberry Jam

Oh, Blueberry jam, how delicious you are.
Simple, but bursting with flavor

your jelly goodness greatly improves my toast,
my english muffin, my bagel.

How do blueberries taste like sunshine?
How did you jar the flavor that is cool berries?

They must have given themselves up to you
in appreciation of the jam they were to be

much better to be Addie's
then in some silly pie

The End

(Can you guess the author?)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

sounds like heaven

Last night, I cleaned my floors. I keep these suckers pretty well-swept (I hate grit under my bare feet), but I have dark laminate, so spills and dirt don't really show much. So I almost never mop, because I hate it, and I've yet to find a babysitter that's willing to moonlight as a cleaning lady for twice the babysitting rate.

Oh well.

It's quite literally been months since I last mopped. I honestly cannot remember the last time, other than once in February? Maybe? I think I did it once since then.

My floors are now so clean that my feet squeak when I walk across them. Laminate never really LOOKS clean (in the right light, you can see all the smudges and stuff on the surface), but boy howdy, it sure sounds clean.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

the comedian

"I was just jokin' Mom. That was a really funny joke."
-This almost never follows a 'really funny joke,' but often follows something for which he's about to be disciplined. See also: cheesin'.

"Watch this. This is going to be so funny!"
"Wasn't that so funny?"
-He definitely needs to hone his comic timing. However, the look on his face as he's saying both of these things (smile as wide as mine, eyes disappearing as mine do when I smile big), melts my heart.

"I just cheesin'"
-I'm sure he's gotten this from pre-school, as I do not ever tell him I'm teasing...I'm a 'kidder,' myself.

having a good cry

I got to talk to a friend's mom today and was reminded of what a sweet spirit she possesses. Of course, the conversation made me cry, but because she was saying encouraging things, not bitchy things. I honestly don't think "bitchy" could ever, EVER be used to describe this dear woman.

Me, well...that's another story.

She did not marry until she was twenty-nine, and she was telling me of some of the events that caused this "delay." Her encouragement was to take my joy in the Lord and pray that He would teach me EVERYTHING I needed during this time of waiting. She also told me, very lovingly, about how an older Christmas photo of me and little Blake was still on her fridge, and that she was still praying for us, and that she would pray especially for my Friday nights.

Two nights ago, I sat doing a puzzle, watching a movie, with a sleeping child in the next room. I finished the movie and reflected that my phone had not rung in over ten hours...and remembered that the majority of my friends were also at home on a Friday night with a sleeping child in the next room...but that they got to be so with their husband or wife. I wistfully reflected on that and was hit with a wave of loneliness so powerful that all I could do was shove it aside in my preparations for bed. I hate hate HATE crying myself to sleep. I get all stuffed up and wake up looking my eyes are two pee-holes in a snowbank.

But there it is. I am very very lonely. Blake is lonely for a dad, and he's expressing it in ways that are not just buttons he pushes when trying to drum up sympathy to avoid discipline. He's honestly missing his father.

I'm not sure how to end this post. Please pray for our loneliness, that God would teach us EVERYTHING we need to be better prepared for a man to come into our lives and be the husband and father that we both miss. Please spend time with my son or encourage your husbands to do so. I think he needs to wrestle and play catch, or maybe go on a hike. Please pray that God would give me the wisdom to keep doing the job that gets progressively harder and harder, and that I would do it in a way that glorifies Him, not me. And please try not to feel TOO sorry for us. That just stings.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

for future reference

I've deleted this post because it contained content I would not have been comfortable (yet) telling the person whom it was about. Because I genuinely want to be friends with this person, it's wildly unfair of me to use a blog to journal about them...especially when I would be HORRIFIED should they ever come across it.

Which is good for you readers to know. I won't blog something about YOU that I wouldn't be comfortable telling you face to face.

Those pants make your butt look big.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

outwitting the dinosaur

I had my good friends Jon & Michele over for dinner not too long ago (okay, it's been at least a month), and Michele in particular is a bit smitten with Blake. She will tell you that she's not really a kid person, but she just cannot get enough of the little man B.

He was done with dinner, and we were not quite, but he was playing with Michele, handing her his "trumpet" (think a very thick version of a paper towel tube) and asking her to make animal noises. He got stuck on dinosaur, and Michele obligingly roared into the tube like a dinosaur many times (dinosaurs sound like aggressive elephants). Finally, because something loses its cuteness in the unending repetition forced upon you by toddlers, I told Blake to ask for a different animal.

A: "Honey, you need to choose a different animal for Michele. You can still make dinosaur noises, but it needs to be in your room."
B: "Okay. (turning to Michele) Can you please make a din- (cutting a look at me) you want to come play in my room?"

dentist appointment

So, Dr. Leslie Hayes must be reeling from all the good things I say about her. I tried to get a dentist appointment earlier this week (though it can be a laugh with braces, you do need help making sure everything is kept clean), and they told me the earliest she could see me was August 26th.

August 26th. That's a month and a half away!


I can get in to see my chiropractor within a day and a half, and mine is the limiting schedule there. I imagine a dentist would have a hard time filling the chairs, but nope, business is good. I'm definitely going to stop recommending her though...and if you are trying to get your teeth cleaned in Bozeman, get in line.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

to be a better mother...

...these are some of the things I'm working on right now (all taken from Don't Make Me Count to Three):

We (as parents) are to help them (our children) obey God by requiring them to obey Mom and Dad. If we fail to require obedience from our children, we become a stumbling block for them. Luke 17:2 explains that it would be better for us to drown in the sea with a millstone around our necks than to cause a child to stumble. We are robbing our children of the blessings that God intends for them when we fail to require obedience. Ephesians 6:1-3 says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and your mother' - which is the first commandment with a promise - 'that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.'"

Addie here: I love that this passage shows that our child's disobedience isn't our fault. Sin and folly are bound up in the heart of a child. Sinning comes very naturally to them - they do not need to be taught it. However, failing to require obedience...that's all on me, the mother.

You can't expect to teach them how to apply a biblical principle and then expect them to automatically have it. Just like many things, it takes practice. You may think that it sounds like a lot of time and work, and you are absolutely right! Training our children is a process. Keep on sowing and remember the law of the harvest. You will reap what you sow.

I am reminded not to frustrate Blake by having unreasonable expectations of him. Patience is something I am working on in myself, though I actually caught myself praying "Dear God, I know that I asked for patience, but, well, can you hurry it up?" I stopped when I realized what I was saying and laughed out loud, then thanked God for being wiser than I. Also, I made a mental note to be more careful what I pray for.

J. C. Ryles says, "Train with this thought continually before your eyes: The soul of your child is the first thing to be considered. In every step that you take about them, in every plan and scheme and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that mighty question, 'How will this affect their souls?'" Our ultimate goal in everything should be to point them to Christ.

Ultimate goal - what a great way to put it. My goal thus far has been teaching Blake to be pleasant to be around, which doesn't cut it when it comes to eternal matters.

Now don't expect your five-year-old to rise up and call you blessed. It's probably not going to happen. But be patient: you reap what you sow, you reap later than you sow, and you reap more than you sow.

I'm pretty sure this is true, if my gardening is any indicator...which means that this law of the harvest is dear to my heart.
There are so many other great teachings in this book - which is why I'm rereading it and making note of the new areas in which Blake and I get to spend lots of time (arguing with me, whining, general manipulation). I love how practical it is, and how the author continually encourages readers to search out the truths from Scripture for themselves. I'm getting there. Until then, I have crib notes so I don't forget what to say when I'm helping Blake put off sin and put on the right heart response.

Lord have mercy. What a job...and I appreciate my folks (my mother in particular) more than ever. Guess I'm looking at a harvest about twenty-five years after the planting...which does foster patience, I GUESS.


Getting my bank statement on the same day as I got the bulk of my big Boden clothing order was wretched.

I dutifully opened the bank statement first to see at a glance that there's been a drop of several thousand dollars in my accounts. My heart heavy, I opened the Boden boxes to find the clothing that I'd bought on sale was as cute as I thought.

The good news? The clothes all look great on, and I don't have to send any of this batch back (though I was wise enough to send back HALF the last order).
The bad news? Where the heck did all my money go? I don't live so large that thousands of dollars are expendable like that.

I looked harder and was mollified to see that the cash hemorrhaging was due to the current market doldrums, and only truly affected my long-term investments (think retirement accounts and Blake's college fund). Since I'm not planning to make withdrawals from those ANY time soon, they can fluctuate wildly now, since I know they will still grow over the long run. It was a relief to see that the loss was not due to identity theft or profligate spending on my part.

I do have some self control. And now I have an amazing bag (to save the planet and cut down on plastic grocery bags), nicely flattering tops (trying to dress like a grown-up), and shoes I plan to wear until leather espadrilles are no longer in style. The better news? Everything was AT LEAST 40% off. Self control is always better when accompanied by great fashion, don't you think?

Monday, July 14, 2008

from the mouth of blake

Momma, I want a haircut. I need a haircut TONIGHT. I wanna be Spiderman.
A: "What do you want to say about the gummi worms?" (which he got for doing a great job during the haircut and nail trimming)
B: "I don't know. Um, what are you clicking? I say, 'Thank you, gummi worms!' Can I say that word? I think that was funny. Hey Mom? I want to watch a bideo. Mom, I want to watch a bideo."
A: "Do you want to say anything to the people who read my blog?"
B: "Thank you, people! People! People! Thank you, people! I Spiderman! Mom, I want to watch a bideo. Mom, I want to watch a bideo. Mom, I want to watch a bideo. Mom, I want to watch a bideo."
(a long explanation ensues as to a statement vs. a question and what requires an answer from me)
B: "Maybe I can say that word. Mom, may I please watch a bideo?"
A: "Yes, thank you for asking. Just one moment."
B: "I say that all right. That was a good word."
(kisses follow)
B: "Mom, I ree so love you....Mom, I thirsty."
A: "That's a statement. If you want me to answer, you need to ask me a question."
B: "Okay. Mom, can I please go open the fridge and get my milk so that I can drink it?"
A: "Yes, thank you for asking."

Miracles do happen. Not only did my son submit to haircut with an amazing lack of screaming and/or wrestling, but he ASKED for one. After ice cream, so he knew he wasn't getting any more of that. It was crazy and wonderful, so I let him pee in the yard and then run around it naked, him saying, "I nekky boy!"

We are a class act. I love shocking the neighbors. If they only knew his wide vocabulary skills, they'd be shocked all the more.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

starting friday off right

A text from my dear cousin, Aubyn:

Chuck Norris destroyed the Periodic Table because he only recognizes the element of surprise.

Also, I've been unable to log onto my blog for over a day now, and only got in via a weird route - so for those who cannot even SEE if I've updated, I'm sorry. I'm not sure what the deal is.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

here i am

Blake's been gone a little over a day, and with my car in the shop, I've been largely stuck at home, hanging pictures (normally it'd be a wrestling match for the hammer), washing sheets (normally he'd be napping in them), working for both BPL and the HOA of which I'm the president (normally I'd be interrupted ad nauseum), hosing out my garage (see previous about the hammer), and other general puttering.

It's been very, very good.

Also, I went on a semi-sorta-date tonight. It was in a group, which was good, and the fellow was pleasant though quiet (been there before!), and the girls we were with programmed my number into his phone. I may be hearing from him again. I may not. Either way, I had a fun time, though the disappointing news is that Plonk's food has gone downhill dramatically.

And my aunt sent me this. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen, and I want to be on that welcoming committee. My sign would read "Fearful of man and insecure > In awe of God and set free."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

wall*e & the fourth

We get to go to a movie tomorrow! It's supposed to get to be near a hundred degrees, so I've preemptively bought tickets to the earliest matinee (reminding me why I do not go to the movies often - it's almost as expensive as just buying the movie when it comes out on video!). We'll lunch on popcorn and soda, and I'll sneak in some raisins or something. Blake's loved WALL*E since the first commercial/preview caught his view, and we've spent a good deal of time online, hunting for previews, trailers, clips, whatever. He even figured out how to move the mouse to click on the next thumbnail for a video. Freaky.

Anyway, I'm excited and a little nervous. The only other time I have taken him to a theater was when he was a few weeks old (maybe months - I'm not sure). Aunt Gail took us to see Monster-in-Law, wisely knowing I'd need a break, and wisely planning to use the fussy time for uninterrupted loving on a wee man. Thanks Gail!

I haven't tried since, though my mom may have attempted a cartoon last summer. Given my son's love of the one-eyed babysitter, I think it will be an easy hour and a half. Plus, I love Pixar movies.

Last night, I took my friends' son, Chase, and Blake out to a fireworks stand. We did the Fourth with the Jordan family last year (it was great fun), and they invited me over again this year. Last year, Chase and Blake lit up at the first cracker or sparkler, and the rest of the evening, late into the night, Blake would breathlessly say "I get some more," after each shower of sparks was over. I have to admit, it was great fun to watch his esteem for me grow visibly. Well, this year should be no different. I'm thinking of picking up a butane torch so that I don't have to fiddle with a punk, matches, or a lighter.

I'm a pyro. I get it from my dad. My son looks to be on the right track to be one as well.

We got a little bucket assortment, sparklers, black cats, smoke bombs, rockets, fountains, and artillery shells (my personal favorite). I might go back tomorrow for more sparklers - can you EVER have enough? - to keep throughout the year and pull out for a fun treat. I'll definitely go back to get a package of artillery shells to save until New Year's. It's fun to pop a few off in the wintry chill.

After paying the nice lady behind the counter, she paused and said, "You know, it's really nice to see a woman come up and love this and know exactly what she wants." I looked at her incredulously and said, "Hell yeah!"

I have fond memories of driving to Wyoming with my dad, sisters, and the Hagstrom family to buy the bottle rockets that are illegal in Montana. We'd get hundreds, all different sizes, and shoot them out of our hands, out of the requisite bottle, and out of the PVC/5 gallon bucket combo my dad had put together for just such an occasion (those were the big ones - 2 or 3 feet long). The Myers girls had control of the torch (I didn't come up with that idea myself), and we'd light off the $200+ of fireworks that we'd all amassed between the two families and two states. Neighbors would come out on their porches for the show and contribute their own booty. We'd have a bunch of friends over, coolers full of good things to eat and drink, and we'd start the evening throwing snaps at each other.

I'm sad to say that the manufacturers put less gunpowder in the snaps than they used to. The ones I have now will barely pop when thrown hard, so Blake can't even get one going without dropping it on the ground and stomping it. The noise is sad and faint.
We, on the other hand, would leave circles of char on one another's clothing, with the very occasional hole. It was awesome.

Hopefully, Blake will be a good little pyro, not like my cousin Wes, who would build bombs out of pop cans and gasoline and occasionally have to count his fingers to make sure they were all there. He and his friend moved up to milk jugs and gasoline, but that's a story for another time...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

ups and downs

I used to judge mothers whom I'd overhear mentioning they could use a break from their kids.

"How can they say that?" I'd think. "Being a mother - the world to one or more souls, their everything - what a gift! What an honor! Yes, it's work, but shame on them for wanting a break."

What a bitch.

I now find myself up to my ears in running a home, working JUST enough to squeak by with health insurance, and parenting an energetic three-year-old. Alone. I don't get to go out with friends for an occasional drink or movie (at least, not without some planning ahead). I don't get to just run a few short errands while Blake's napping on weekends as my husband mows the grass (thank the good Lord that I don't have to mow too!).

I had a hard night last night, talking to big Blake and praying and crying and not being able to sleep, so it just lasted longer than it probably should have. While little Blake and I are doing well and generally happy, I am also lonely and tired and frazzled by everything I have to do in a day. I barely have time to eat ice cream, which I love, so it's no wonder that I rarely find time to exercise, which I do not like...because I'm so busy doing everything else that MUST be done - and the list is endless and I won't bore you with it.

So I called my mother tonight to ask her if she could find time to take Blake for a few days. "Mom, I need a break," I sniffled. "I'm lonely and tired, and he's entering a whiny phase that's unbearable, and we're just squabbling constantly. Can you please help?"

Mom was, naturally, eager to accommodate and bless me, which blesses me all the more. I, however, had to keep from hating myself as soon as the words "I need a break," left my mouth. Ah, the perils of being quick to judge and slow in compassion. My hypocrisy knows no bounds.

I love my little buddy so much that I'm willing to send him away from me, so that I can love him BETTER, and discipline him more WISELY, and give myself the much-needed respite that is so hard to admit that I need. I'm going to putter around the house and hopefully knock out a few mini-projects, review my copy of Don't Make Me Count to Three (my favorite parenting book for this age BAR NONE), and hopefully get more rest (by going to bed early, not sleeping in - that ability has been destroyed beyond repair!). And maybe a puzzle. I would love to do a puzzle that has all the pieces. Or scrapbook. Or go on a hike.

I'm also going to try to admit my weakness more to myself. What I am doing is hard. While I think that I'm doing a good job (it's only by the grace of God), I'm also painfully aware of many of the areas in which I fall woefully short. If you think of me in your prayers, please pray for wisdom, courage, and strength, and for grace to remain single for this time...then more grace for the day a fellow comes along that's worth a second look (I have no illusions that a husband will make all my troubles disappear - if anything, I'll just have a bunch of different things to work through...sharing the garage and closet, for example.).

Also, you Bozeman friends...I'm going to have a bit more freedom from Monday to Thursday this next week. Can I come hang out with you?