Visions of Sugar Plums

I tend to look at things a little idealistically, I think. And reality never quite matches up.

Case in point: Days off of school.

The girls have been out of school now for, oh, four hours or so. They don't go back again until next Wednesday.

Sugar Plums
What a precious time this will be. It will be so nice to have Ella home, since it seems like she's gone all the time. They'll play together and have special sister bonding time. Maybe we'll find some fun things to do. What a nice break this will be.

They have already destroyed the house. I have stepped into no less than four yelling matches. The kitchen floor is covered in construction paper, crayons, glue sticks and tape.

This I know for sure: we are going out for dinner.


The lost has been partially found.

Ella is a free spirit.

A couple of weeks ago she lost her library books from school. At school. They never even made it into her backpack. Two of them got returned by someone else, and I found the last one this morning when I stopped in to deliver the class party Valentine cookies. It was on the shelf by the lockers, but nowhere near her own locker.

I'd gone in to drop off said cookies, and try to track down her lunchbox. Ella recently decided she likes getting hot lunch, even though she eats PB&J almost every day instead of getting the intended lunch. But yesterday she didn't want to consider it so she had me pack her a lunch. Which she never ate and forgot somewhere at school. I did find it, down on the other end from the library book. I think it got pretty kicked around, but hey, her lunch from yesterday was still there.

Still missing: her warmest hat and her mittens. Lost on separate occasions.

In other news, I'm starting to keep an eye out for Stacy & Clinton. I know what I'm supposed to be doing. But lately in the morning it's all I can do to get the kids out the door. I hate to admit that today I went inside Ella's school AND to Target (where I scored some major deals) before I'd managed a shower. Worse yet, I didn't even brush my hair first. I did manage some jeans and my sporty mommy-on-the-go shoes, but who was looking at that with the rat's nest in the back of my head? I was hoping it was coming off as "touseled" but in reality I think it was more "Mommy needs a shower."

Is it Spring yet?


If I had a hammer

I made an important decision today. It came in a moment of clarity that I've been searching for for years.

The album I will never record would be a folk album.

Here's the bunny trail. I keep listening to that Matt Morris song "Bloodlines." That led me to his performance with Justin Timberlake for the Haiti benefit. They sang Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," in a version closer to Jeff Buckley's. So then I started listening to some Leonard Cohen. By now I was in iTunes, and it was offering suggestions. So I listened to some Pete Seeger. Some Peter, Paul & Mary. Some Arlo and Pete. A little James Taylor. And then I went back to Peter, Paul & Mary. That's when "Leaving on a Jet Plane" got stuck in my head and my heart. I'd forgotten how much I love that song.

I'm fairly certain only two cassettes worked in our cars while I was growing up. Arlo Guthrie & Pete Seeger's "Precious Friend" and Peter, Paul & Mary's "10 Years Together." That's it. I don't remember that we listened to anything else. Driving in the car? Put in one of those tapes. We sang along. In harmony of course.

Sara Groves said something at her concert in December that totally threw me. Something along the lines of, "I didn't realize that not every family starts singing the moment they get in the car." Huh. Sounds totally normal to me.

Captain America has asked me for years what I would sing if I was really a singer. I haven't been sure. Until today. Because I think my musical heart is folk. I'm not sure if I'm a pseudo-hippie or what. I think part of it is the conviction and passion most folk singers have.

I guess another thing I love about folk music is that it can inspire change in people. You can bring people to your cause or remind people why they believe in it. And I'm such a softy a good folk song can easily bring me to tears.

So on my never-to-be-recorded album I would have the following:
1. Where Have All the Flowers Gone
2. Kisses Sweeter than Wine
3. Leaving on a Jet Plane
4. How Can I Keep from Singing
5. Amazing Grace
6. Lemon Tree
7. Early Morning Rain
8. 500 Miles
9. 75 Septembers
10. Blood and Fire
11. Midnight Train to Georgia

I'm not really sure how those songs would work together, but I guess it doesn't really matter. What with not recording it and all.

What would your album be? Not what you like to listen to most, but what would you want to represent you?


Where have you been?

Or where have I been? In case you're still checking Ye Olde Blog on occasion. Some lowlights and highlights for you:

• Why are my children so sickly? Natalie had a cold, then Ella got some strange stomach bug, and now Natalie has a cold again. In less than two weeks. And I got sick somewhere in there. (Sub-lowlight: bunkbeds + sick kid on top bunk = not cool)
• Turns out we didn't move THAT far south. It's still very wintry and snowy.

• Sometimes my children are lovely to each other when they're sick. They find each other's favorite toys and things.
• There was melting today!
• My parents came to visit us. It was fun to show them around our new city, and we took advantage of them by making them look at houses with us.
• We bought a house. Closing at the end of March if all goes well.

So the other night Captain America was praying with the girls before bed, and they talked about how they didn't like being sick. "I wish we never had to be sick." So he told them that we'll never be sick when we're in heaven. The rest went something like this:
Ella: "Yes. Someone was sick in heaven."
CA: "No, I don't think so."
Ella: "Yes. It's in my Bible."
CA: "No, I don't think it is."
Ella: "Get my Bible. It's on the shelf."

So that's how it's been here. Plenty of excitement on the horizon, that's for sure. So what have you been up to?