Tag Archives: Holidays

Germs, Poo and Resurrection

My daughter is a germaphobe freak.   Actually, two of my three kids are germ freaks. My second born (and middle child) is the only one who has a cavalier attitude toward microbes.  He was fed enough spiders from his loving older sister at a tender young age before resisting her was possible.  Initially he would furrow his brows and smack at the object while wearing a mixed look of curiously disgusted.  Occasionally Most times I caught feeding time and performed the perfected parental finger swipe retrieving the object.  I’m convinced it was this constant diet of nasty that lowered his freaking-out threshold. 

My germ loving son NEVER gets sick.  That child has a nazi immune system.  And it seems he has been rewarded for enduring all of the meals provided by older sis because nothing in nature, of nature, around nature, or containing nature touches him.  He is the nature whisperer!

Older sis?  Not so much.  She attracts nature just by breathing.  Payback?  Maybe, but we often attract that which we fear or place our focus on.  Whatever we place before our eyes and elevate in our lives, we empower.  It’s like the child who fears becoming like a parent and declares “I will never be like my parent!” They focus so much on the behavior of the parent that often times they become the very behavior they despised.  

Think about it…Have you noticed that there could be a group of people gathered outside but it is always the people who fear bees or are allergic to them that get stung?  The people who fear dogs attract them like Cesar Millan (minus the “ssssttttt” of course).  The people who are afraid of water usually are the first to fall off the boat.  And the people who fear heights too frequently find themselves in nosebleed situations. 

Could it be that the bee people proclaim “I know I’m going to get stung!”  The dog people utter “Dogs are always after me.”  The aqua people respond “I’m going to end up in the water…I just know it.”  And the height people confess “I’m afraid of heights and I know this lift is going to stop!”  All of these people share two things – fear and belief.  Fear of a situation and the belief that IT WILL HAPPEN.

Fear is a powerful emotion.  It is the opposite of faith (some say fear is faith in the wrong kingdom) so it should come as no surprise that fear works.  Hebrews 11:1 tells us in the new living translation that “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”  Now doesn’t the fearful statment of “I just know….[insert feared expectation]” sound very similiar to the faith principal?

I came across this quote a few years  ago and I found it enlightening:

“Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable and, most of all, fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in its God.”

So what of my daughter who breaths and nature responds?  What could be the worst for a clean-freak germaphobe to experience while taking a leisurely walk through heavily populated Central Park?  Take a look:

It's a direct hit - Bird Poo fresh from Bird Butt!

 Heavily populated Central Park and the bird chose her for this special gift.  I was right beside her…shoulder to shoulder…a few cm and I would’ve been blessed with the gift.  I felt the wind from the falling “load” brush past me but it was not until I heard her wails of disgust that I fully understood what had occurred.

We laughed as we washed off her boots and she said “I’ll never look at these boots the same again….I can still see where the spots are!” 

As we celebrate Easter this weekend I am faithfully thankful for a Savior who has not only [permanently-residue free] washed away my sin and spots, but also is blinded to my sin and never looks at me the same again [I am new]!! 

I am a new creation in Christ. Old things have passed away and all things have become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Hot and Stupid

A video tribute to Valentine’s Day

Sorry to disappoint but this post is not about a blonde, bombshell Barbie who fails to score above 500 on her SATs.

True, she does have a full body of lustrous locks.  And yes, she isn’t exactly the reincarnation of Einstein but that’s where the similarities between bombshell Barbie and ignoramus Angel end.

Angel?

Angel is our faithful, dim-witted, family canine who seeks out human companionship like Jersey Shore’s “The Situation” preys upon female flesh.

She is intense.  Her pursuit of love and affection is never-ending even if it means placing herself in less than ideal situations.  Angel will wait.  Patiently.  And then wait a little more for that brief moment of bliss when a random human finally acknowledges her panting, smelly presence and offers her an obligatory scratch.

Why do we have her?

Because seven years ago our daughter, at the ripe age of 7, demanded her and we caved pretended it was our idea.  Chalk it up to hormones, sleep deprivation and insanity on my part…I had a newborn attached to my body 24/7 sucking my life source.  Clearly, I was not in a stable frame of mind.

And many times I question Angel’s mental stability.  I think she got the short end of the cranial material.  Either that or she is truly LOVE starved.  Although, I consider dental checks, brushing, ear cleaning, toe nail clipping and hog-tying-bath-time the apex of sacrificial LOVE.  BUUT  She must desire more agape as evidenced today when she attempted to cook herself just to be by my side.

We were alone.  I was cold so I pulled up a comfy chair and cranked on the gas fireplace.  The kids were in school and she was in her chronic emotional state of neediness.  She refused to part from my presence even though the creature was obviously tormented by the heat.  Because of video size limits, you will only see a clip of her torment below….but it is more than enough.

What you do not get to visually appreciate is the constant discomfort and position changes, the Semi Truck panting, the moistening of the parched lips and the pathetic looks in my direction begging me to move away from the inferno flames.  I did not move.  I chose to remain tush planted and film my intellectually challenged subject.

Eventually compassion moved me.  Well, NO actually I feared she would succumb to hyperthermia induced brain damage and she requires as many actively firing brain cells as possible! 

So Angel, as we come upon the holiday of LOOOOVE…this post is for you…our Hot and Stupid one!

Falling on your butt happens.

In life we fall down. It happens. We all have crashed at some point. Some of us more than others.  Well this New Year’s Day the boys learned this fact literally. We made the most of this beautiful, unusually warm day and headed out to explore the sights, the sounds and the ICE.

But before the ice let’s look at the exhibits….

He LOVED the gingerbread masterpiece creations.  He was pointing out Sponge Bob’s house.

 

You must be joking.  I am not, I repeat NOT getting on the ICE…no way! I am bred for the tropics.

 

I see the hubby’s reflection

 

Rows of Gingerbread homes

 

Jumps of excitement over the house creations

 

A form of Art.  Now when can we eat them?  We are 100% recovered.                                           
                                                   
an indoor exhibit of houses galore                                                                                                                                          
               
Santa ornament camouflaged in the tree                                                                
                                                                             
And not so camouflaged.                                                                                                                                                         

 

Santa’s from around the world                                                                                                                                             

 

How the Italians do it…a bit troubling indeed.                                                                                                                             

 

La Befana                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

Now this is a frightening sight for anyone especially a child! She looks like she requires the Heimlich maneuver.                                                                                                                                                                         

 

 The hubby’s favorite.  Reindeer butt.   Disturbing.                                                                                                                                                                

 

Looking up                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

and up                                                                                                                                                                                            

 

and under                                                                                                                                                                                      

 

Getting ready to hit the ice

                 

 

Whoa, this is harder than it looks – getting their skate legs
                                                                                         

 

I can’t let go!!!
                                                                                                                                                                              

 

I must hold on!  I have a death grip on this rail.
                                                                                                                     
I am getting tired.  This is hard!
                                                                                                                                          

 

Older bro is gaining momentum but I keep falling!
                                                                                                      

 

I got this!  No problem! And it’s so hot that I can take off my coat!  Mom somehow failed to capture all of the butt falling moments but there were several and I saw stars.
                                                                 
                                                      
A hard fall will make you see things like lights around trees…
                                                                              
                                                                                            

I was taking the pictures but are you wondering about the rest of the family? Just in case you are….

                                                                                                                                                                                  

                         
Monitoring things from the sidelines…the safe way to be.
                                                                                                            

 

But wait, Texting???
                                                                                                                                                                               
 

 

And Drinking??
                                                                                                                                                                                      
 

 

She must have found a STARBUCKS!!!


 

Back outside to the beauty for a short while before it is over.
                                                                                               
Good-bye for another year…and we welcome 2011!!!
                                                                                                                  

From our family to yours....

Happy New Year!!

Seeing the light

We kicked the influenza just in time for the Holidays.  We may have been weak and battered but we were determined to rock the seasonal celebration(s).  Now the problem with puking your guts out for a few days is that your stomach shrinks and becomes sensitive for awhile.  Well, this was NOT going to work.  I mean there are soooo many goodies that only come around once a year. Once a year!  Annual!  The cookies, the pasta dishes, the soups, the side dishes, the gingerbread, the food, food, food and did I mention the desserts???  Mouth watering. 

It was proving to be difficult to enjoy all of these treats.  We were pale and our foreheads glistened with sweat brought on by minimal exertion (think chewing).  Not to mention how our stomachs churned with each mouth watering bite.  However, there is just something about food when it calls your name that is absolutely irresistible and we were able to forge on.

We made it through the festivities without revisiting the bathroom from over consumption.  But given the fact that we were on the verge of losing consciousness, and seeing more lights than Christmas offered, I was not able to capture any photos of the heavenly spread…or many photos of Christmas for that matter.  But I did realize more than ever this year just how important the family unit is during these seasons.  Immediate family, extended family, whatever and whomever your family is and however you make it work – THAT is what matters the most.

I see THE light!!
                                                                                                                                                                                       

And now it’s hard to believe that another Christmas has come and gone. Here are a few of the photos I was able to capture……until next year!

Christmas Eve.  The youngest is trying hard to hold back on the face making.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
                                                                    
Christmas brings out the magic of sibling love.  Yes, it does exist.
                                                                                            
                                                                                                             
The Christmas morning JIG – He got THE game!!
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                       
Even dad gets into the excitement when he finds his gift under the tree!
                                                                                   
                                                                                                               
The little guy by the Christmas tree art.
                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                              
Keeping things in perspective

Eat me is not to be used as an excuse….

Since I am incubating my muffin top (click to see previous post) I decided to do it up right!  I decided to indulge in so many extra calories that I will drip sugar sweat all over my elliptical. 

Today I fired up the oven and cranked out the baked goods like some non-human conveyor belt.  Equally as rapid was the taste testing and oh, was I reminded of how sick one can become after mass amounts of sugar consumption!  I operated like a well oiled machine.  Some on the tray, some in my mouth…Some on the tray, some in my mouth.  I felt like Laverne and Shirley working on their brewery assembly line job, only I remained in my kitchen bathed in flour and dehydrated from sugar overload. 

 Yes, muffin top you have great possibilities this season. 

Laverne and Shirley on the assembly line

 As I was assembling and cooling my goods I happened to notice something.  Let’s see if you can identify the common denominator in these photos…ready?

Photo #1

I spy with my little eye...something....

 
Photo #2 

I still spy with my little eye…

 

 See it or should I say her?  Yes, my biggest baking fan and supporter.  She is patient.  She is crafty.  She will wait and attack with perfected table surfing skills which would earn her a 10.0 should she be scored.           
                                                                                                   
 She is none other than my faithful food driven Lab.  She will sample my creations with or without permission regardless of the final outcome.  Burnt, dry, doughy, or divine it doesn’t matter to her.  Agility and air assault are combined with one big inhalation and the goodies are gone.  Not even a single crumb is left behind as a reminder of what was.  The plate is licked clean and if one would feel inspired to take a closer look (like say, the baker whose goods are suddenly GONE), the streaks of dried canine saliva are evident.                                                                 
 
The kids, when being piggish, have actually tried to use the table surfing dog as an excuse for vanished product.   However, if these above mentioned canine spit streaks are absent then the dog is pardoned and the kids are judged guilty.  The chocolate stains on their little mouth(s) also helps to excuse the dog from certain doom.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                   

After the rage passes and a few deep breaths are taken, I must admit that her effectiveness is rather impressive.  She can clear a table faster than anyone or anything I’ve ever seen…and I’ve been to many all-you-can eat buffets and have experienced (up close and personal) the “folk” who frequent these joints.  I think the XXXL adult bibs with personalized food stains troubled me the most. 

Shiver, back to my food stealing lab…..

Eat me!

My children, who have turned into food stealing lab defense attorneys, have launched their case as “Mommy, it’s almost as if the food is beggin’  for her to “eat me.”  And she does. 

 

 

Some views are better than others

The Holiday season is [crashing] upon us.  Tis the time of year when we get together with family and friends to enjoy a little bit of laughter, socializing, and drinking.  But wait, there’s one more element….the bonding glue of every social event….(key the heavenly choir)…FOOD!

What do you mean ONE per person?!?

I am continuously amazed at my ability to shovel more calories into the hole underneath  my nose during this time of year than the entire calendar year combined!  So it should come as no surprise when my Ann Taylors begin to get snuggish (one of my many made up words) around the waist.  But I am always shocked to feel my newly formed Holiday muffin top.   “Hmm, now how did that get there?” is the question I find myself asking in total surprise each year.  Initially, I suck it (as in the buldge) in until sucking it in no longer works.  Then I resort to bed gymnastics, contortions and daring physical feats all aimed at maneuvering my flesh mound into the desired outfit.  If I can mold myself into the clothing without passing out or popping off a button, then it is deemed a success.  Who cares if I have to walk like a robot all day, laugh gently and sit gingerly with extreme care…It Was A Success!!! My Ann Taylors Are ON MY Body! 

My Holiday muffin top

 
Eventually, an intervention must occur and it usually comes months later in the form of physical torture.  It only makes sense that after months of shoving unlimited amounts of  food in, it is going to take some sweat and massive physical pain to burn it off.  Darn you late 30’s metabolism! 
 
Enter the gym.
 
I’m sure all of us have been to the gym at some point in our lives right?  We’ve all see the sights…the people and their bodies in various forms of aerobic splendor -some of which are more visually [blinding] traumatic than others.  The smells.  I’ll let the period be a period at the end of the smells.  The grunts, gasps, groans, convulsions, spasms and general gym noise. Ahhhh, now this is the atmosphere of burning calories. 
 
And yes, while there is nothing quite like the gym experience, I have chosen to eradicate my muffin top in my home with my precious elliptical gym.  You see, home is where I can sweat, stink, become a partial exhibitionist, grunt and groan in my private nirvana.                                                                                                                               
Well, semi-private because of the kids and their tendency to get grossed out easily.  Not that I am concerned with my candid ability to cause their stomachs to churn but I am bothered by the fact that they will repeat the incident to every stranger within ear shot for days, months and years to come.  AND usually at the most inopportune time like when I am meeting the parents of their school friends.  It is during this crucial time of introduction(s) that my darlings will belt “This is my mom and she drips sweat from her belly button!”  Nice.  Just what these parents wanted to know about me and my belly button.   But even given the situation of my privacy being held hostage by kids with diarrhea of the mouth, I am still opting for my home gym.
 
And besides, where else do you get a view of those suffering along side you quite. like. this???  Taken while I was moving out on my elliptical hence, the blur.
I’m suffering so why are you taking my picture? You sick, sick sadist!
 
AHAHHHAA!  Let the home gym experience begin, yet again!  Ann Taylor: be prepared to fit beautifully on my bod.

All on the Fourth of July

What did you all do on this independance weekend?  We enjoyed our freedom and did a little of this….

Festival time in the heat of the day 
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                        
 
Where we stopped to smell the finer things in life….                                                                                                                                                                   
 
…and appreciate the talent of others                                                                                                                                                                                                     
 
Holding on to those we love….        
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                            
…as we weave through life                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
 
taking time out to slow down…                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
 
 
…and cool off                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
 
 
spending time with the wise, who have been married for 60+ years and are still laughing – there’s hope for us all!!                
 
 
and those faithful non-humans among us who happened to get attacked by a savage beast (another dog) – note the oozing puncture wounds                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
 
 
ahhh, the smell of children running around with hot dogs.  It almost makes me forget the pain and trauma of the attack but shhh don’t tell anyone that I already ate more than I should’ve cuz I’m milking this for all it’s worth!!                                                                              
Learning from the canine and focusing on the pleasant memories like hot dogs!  Happy Fourth of July everyone!!!