Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Thin #601 Being a mom means sticking your nose in your child's throat to smell their breath.

Or holding their little diapered bottom up to your nose to see if "they've been busy."

Or scratching their teeth with your fingernail to see if they really brushed.

Or making them bend over to see if they really wiped.

Or prodding their little nose with your finger to get that nasty booger that's been camping out way up in there all week long.

Add your own to the list, please.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Being a Mom #422

With Mother's Day fast approaching (May 11th), I thought I'd put in some more quotes from my little book, 1001 Things It Means To Be a Mom.

Being a mom means making sure breakfast gets eaten every morning. Even if it comes out of a cereal box.

Here's our typical breakfast, and please don't send emails about the horrors of it. Breakfast for me is more like a buffet bar. Nobody eats the same thing, and I'm really okay with that.

Frozen waffles, eggs (fried, poached, scrambled), cereal (I have about 40 different choices; okay really only 20), granola bars. I, myself, eat Plain Kefir with Super Seed fiber mixed in, followed by a 1/2 glass of low-sodium V8. Every day.

I've always wanted them to eat a breakfast of oatmeal with flax seed and raisins OR large bowls of granola with low-fat yogurt with blueberries on top because we all know that blue and red fruits are the best for us. It just hasn't happened yet, and, yes, I take responsibility for it as the mom. Oh, the guilt. Oh, the shame. I started out great when I only had 1-2 children. I used to puree sweet potatoes myself instead of buying jarred baby food. Then I had that unfortunate incident of forgetting to put the lid on the blender and scraping sweet potatoes off the ceiling afterwards. Did you know sweet potatoes stain?

Anyway, moving on. Tell me what you feed yourself and kids for breakfast.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

my camera

I had intended to start this little theme of Before and After photos of our house. But...I dropped my camera last week when I was taking pics for the DIY network. And it doesn't work anymore. I let Matt briefly blame the kids for not taking good care of our camera before I admitted it might have possibly been my fault. Maybe. It's possible that a 4-foot drop from my hand to the pavement did absolutely no damage.

Anyway, I'm bummed that I can't just run out and take a pic and then post it. We had better win that DIY Front Yard Makeover considering the loss of my camera is directly related to the DIY people themselves. It's their fault my camera broke.

When I Grow Up

I asked the kids this morning at breakfast what they want to be when they grow up.

Jacob 8 - "I wanna be a preacher."
Clive 7 - "I wanna mine for precious gems."
Nia 8 - "I wanna sew and braid hair and play soccer."
Hudson 5 - "I wanna hike and eat puffy Cheetos. And if I see a snake I'll shoot it."
Isabel 4 - "I wanna be a baseball player and eat puffy Cheetos when I'm tired."
Eva 3 - "I wanna be a princess."

Me, too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Being a Mom

My brother just gave me this little book called "1001 Things It Means To Be a Mom."

Thing #579. Being a mom means hiding candy bars in the back of your closet and eating them after the kids go to bed.

YES! In an ancient house long ago when our kids bedrooms were upstairs, Matt and I used to make chocolate chip cookies and eat them after the kids went to bed. You know, those bake-and-break kind? Admit it.


Sunday, April 20, 2008


Matt and I went to a Family Life Weekend to Remember this past weekend. It's a marriage conference that Family Life does all over the country. We first went when we had been married one year. Ten years and 6 kids later, we went again.

We both kinda entered the weekend thinking it was stuff we already knew. It was, but it was stuff that was fresh to hear again. It put wind in our sails. It reminded us of areas we need to work on. Life is so much different now than 10 years ago. Bad habits form before we even realize it. I highly recommend this retreat to everyone. Go to for more info.

Meanwhile, Jacob has told us that he thinks God wants him to be a preacher when he grows up. He started leading little family devotions last week to his siblings. My soul sings. He even led devotion last Wednesday night at some friend's house. "Turn in your bibles to..." Clive's job is to read the scripture out loud. Then we talk. Then Jacob said, "Mom will you lead us in prayer and I'll close?" He's 8. "Yes, son, I will." Again, my heart sings.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Friends, I am sad to say that our back yard was not bad enough for HGTV's Summer Showdown. And I can't WAIT to see who has a worse yard than us. It had better be disgusting, like the kind of yard that you need to cover your children's eyes and you almost feel like you're about to wretch. But I'm not bitter.

And so I move forward with DIY and my pics for them even though they are only concerned about my front yard. Outward appearances only, please. Nothing too personal like a back yard. I wish I could find a junker car to put on cinderblocks in the front yard. Or some dwarf yard ornaments. Or a refrigerator on my front porch. Sorry if I'm stepping on anyone's toes, but come on, face reality if you have any of these things in your yard. I'm only telling you what your friends have always wanted to say but were too afraid.

Moving on, Nia was close to falling back into old habits this morning over sharing some toys. She went silent, did the stare thing, and wouldn't answer my questions. Fortunately, she recovered and started making good choices that didn't throw the whole family into a tantrum tizzy. Thank God.

Academically, she's starting to make some strides. Reading is making sense to her now. Math is still some unsolvable mystery to her...."dat don't make no sense." She's just not used to thinking and using her brain. But I know she's smart.

She scored 2 goals last week at soccer. Jacob scored 1 goal. I knew we had a chance of winning when the girls on the other team were skipping down the field and doing pirouettes. Sure enough, we won 5-2. I was jumping up and down on the sidelines with each goal scored by a Pregont, and nearly wet myself in the process. I'm officially a soccer mom. Who knew?

Monday, April 14, 2008


I applied to the DIY network for a front yard makeover and was asked by them to submit more pics and a short video. So, I'm trying to get that done in my spare time. Right. I'm laughing, too.

I'm still on the planet, just pre-occupied.


Monday, April 07, 2008


Here's the first room you walk into in our house. No real entryway here, just "tada! I'm here!" See the lovely paneling? And can't you just feel the ceiling looming over your head? Remember the masks that people in China wore during that chicken or bird flu epidemic? You'd want one for this room.

That fireplace? Um, well, um, I don't really know except that it used to be for coal, so the flue is too narrow for wood-burning. Bummer. Major Bummer.

Here's the same room now. Paneling is gone. Ceiling torn out to reveal the original 10-ft ceiling. The fireplace bricks were uncovered after we took off the paneling and the white bricks around that stove-thing. There was all manner of dust and soot cascading out the mouth of the open fireplace. So, Matt covered the hole of the original fireplace with plywood that he stained to match a mantel that we found on Craigslist. That's some kind of green marble at the base of the "fireplace." Those wood floors are orignal, which makes them about 108 years old now. They were under that hideous, rank, infested carpet. Yes, folks, we have vision. "Vision" is not what our family called it when we bought the house, and we've doubted it ourselves more than once in the past year-and-a-half. But now that we're halfway done with this whole venture (to date, the 2nd floor is still unlivable), we're pretty sure we have Vision. Most of the time.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The First Game

Jacob and Nia had their first soccer game yesterday. They play for the Salvation Army team in our neighborhood. This league is not quite like your local Y or Rec Center. Sometimes teams just don't show up. Sometimes your own team doesn't show up. Our team and our opponents showed up, thank goodness. Those little opposing Laotians clobbered our team (I don't even know the name of our team). Final score: 5-0.

Other things that are different in our neighborhood compared to most is that I was the only team mom present. I was hoping to connect with some other moms in the 'hood, but they just weren't there.

Yesterday was the first time I've ever said to someone (a Laotian mom), "That's my boy out there. The white kid." More about why we moved to the inner city in future posts. Same bat channel, same bat time.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Our House

This was our house when we bought it, circa fall 2006. At that time it was 107 years old. It had been divided into four apartments, technically a Quadplex, for at least 40 years prior. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a Quadplex until then. The walls were paneled and the ceiling had been lowered to just above your head. It was very cave-like. Even musty.

This is what we've done with it so far. We finally got that new front door after living here for several months with a front door that didn't even latch, much less lock. Whenever we left the house, we would pull out some keys and act like we were locking the door just in case someone was "casing our joint." Then when we'd come home we'd stand there with keys and do the same motion like we were unlocking the old homestead. Sometimes the kids would blow our cover and bust on in. I was glad to get the new front door.
One that locked and all.

Anyway, we hired a guy who came with a great recommendation to paint our house RED. I just love RED. We should've had cause for concern when he was painting in the rain. But, no, we decided to keep giving him our money. It wasn't until after he painted over 2 windows that we finally got smart. Apparently, he thought it would cause a beautiful pink glow inside when the sun hit those 2 red windows. I'm sure he was right. Only thing is, we didn't want our windows painted. After chalking it up to him being off his meds, we canned him.

So, the house still needs a paint job. Painting in the rain leaves nasty runs and stuff, FYI.

I just love RED.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

So Close.

These are some of the family shoes. Those red and blue buckets are supposed to be holding the family shoes. You can see that my Come To Jesus talk last week put the fear of God in my family. So close. The shoes are so close to being in the right place, didn't quite make it all the way.

Reminds me of a friend's plant she told me about. Her mom sat the plant beside a water feature in the house, but never watered the plant itself. It died. Once again, so close but not close enough. Can you imagine that little plant hearing the water gurgle by? Seeing the water? Smelling the water? But not getting any water?

I'm sure there's some spiritual analysis here. I'll leave that up to you.

So, I've been Missing In Action for the past week. Just haven't had anything to say, I guess. Been kinda dreary 'round here. Lots of rain. Lots of mud (remember my back yard?).