Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Halloween Trick

This is going to have to be quick. I know, you're all very glad! And skeptical. Because quick is not in my vocabulary. I spent the entire day at work on Thursday making a poster that would only actually be used for Thursday afternoon. It turned out rather well though. The teacher I "aid" requested a poster for the parents to look at while they were waiting for their conference times on Thursday afternoon. She gave me a list of "fun facts" which she wanted interspersed with facts the parents needed to know about what the first grade is up to. I did the whole thing in pencil, wrote over it all with black sharpie, and then colored the pictures in (I did a picture for every fact.) It looked pretty good. One of the facts was about how their was no record of the name "Wendy" before Peter Pan. While I did most of the drawings freehand, I wanted Wendy to be recognizable, so I went online and found a picture of her from the Disney movie. I printed the picture out, blew it up on the copier, traced the outline and did my best to copy the lines of her hair and dress. But when it came to her face, it just didn't look like Wendy. I couldn't put her eyes in the right spot. I brought the poster back, ready to hang, and told the teacher I was going to ask my friend Sonja, who was one classroom over and is a really good artist, to draw the face for me real quick. While I was gone to get Sonja, the teacher drew the face on herself, a generic girl's face, with features much smaller than Wendy's features, facing forward instead of looking to the side as I had drawn her. I couldn't believe it! Can we say perfectionist? I am still trying to let it go.... It was my whole days' work! (not Wendy, but the poster, which looked ridiculous with the silly Wendy face) Anyway, the point is, I really make an issue out of the details of what I am doing, which may be why I can't stand big projects and even short blog posts take a good thirty minutes. For example, I have never done the thing where you buy an inexpensive piece of furniture at a yard sale, strip it, sand it, and repaint it to look fabulous. My friends do it all the time. For that matter, I have never even painted a room in any of the homes we have lived in. I helped George before we moved into our first apartment, and I think it became clear to him that I was entirely too overwhelmed and therefore somewhat sloppy. If it gets to be too much, I just have to quit caring- that, or explode. And I think that is why I don't sew anymore. I have too many patterns, too much fabric, too many girls (two is too many?), and too little time.

Which brings us to the costume. I went to Target on Thursday and bought the very last Princess Leia costume, which just happened to be in Amabel's size, for 30% off. The problem is, I was wrong about it costing $20. It cost $30. So at 30% off, it was still $20. I only bought it for insurance so that if I couldn't find the time to make it, I'd have something. It is 12:23 by my clock and we are due at friends' house at 4:30. The costume I am to make is uncut and unsewn and for some reason, I am blogging! Not only that, but I am also dressed to run on the treadmill, need a shower after that, need to give Elspeth a bath because it will be too late to get one in time for church tomorrow by the time we get home tonight, and I have to bake a cake! Yes, you read that right, I have to bake a cake! I leave you with this. It's my trick that we'll see if I can pull off. You already had your treat, it's the Yo Gabba Gabba Halloween song (and it's still awesome)! And you even got some jokes. This is kind of a joke too isn't it? Four hours, five tasks, GO! Happy Halloween!

Update: 2:40, less than two hours to go! 25 minutes on treadmill, shower, and a bath for Elspeth are all out of the way. She's napping. The cake has 20 minutes left in the oven. And sewing is about to commence...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Halloween Treat

Okay, so as I mentioned yesterday, I've been checking out lots of fall/Halloween videos from the library lately. I will admit to using the TV a lot in the afternoons for the younger two especially while we get used to the school schedule and all of the homework Amabel brings home. I have also been checking out lots of fall/Halloween books, but I am still working on a list of greats in that category- maybe next year. I actually don't have a list of "greats" as far as Halloween DVDs go. They're all fairly mediocre, really. The only great one I know of is It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! -that's about it. There is also a brand new Charlie and Lola DVD out with some fall and Halloween episodes on it.

One other video we checked out was a Nick Jr. DVD called All About Fall. There were several shows on the DVD I had never heard of before, but we gave it a try because of the Wonder Pets and Blue's Clue's episodes that were included. As I expected, the Blue's Clue's episode was one with Joe. Bummer. What I did not expect was that the entire video had almost nothing to do with fall. I was so surprised that I actually wrote a product review on Amazon. There were a few episodes with links to school, and my guess was that the idea was that going back to school is an early fall event (only the episodes weren't about going back to school!), but there were no fall leaves or pumpkins or apples or even cold weather clothing except in one episode of six. I do not recommend the DVD, the one fall-ish episode is available on another Nick Jr. DVD called Halloween.

The pertinent episode was a Halloween episode from a show I have never seen before, Yo Gabba Gabba. First let me say this: I had a negative opinion of the show without ever having seen it before simply because I have overheard St. Louis mothers making some remark or other to their children about Yo Gabba Gabba (this said in my most nasally, Northern accent- CPA alums, think Thelma Neal!). It particularly grates because it is that same vowel and consonant combo in my name. I cannot stand being called Abby with a really nasally A at the front. A in front of N or M makes a relatively nasal sound, even for non-Northerners, but A in front of B is just a flat A and should not come from the nose! George enjoys making fun of this pet peeve of mine and often says As in a British accent to make fun- Omabel, Obby, ponts, banona, Olaboma. It's fine with me, the British would say Yo Gobba Gobba too!

Getting back to the point, I was prepared to dislike Yo Gabba Gabba. And one night when George and I were sitting downstairs while the kids were watching a video up the stairs in the next room (the house is split level), we heard what sounded like very weird and discordant music. It sounded pretty awful, honestly. But it was so bad that we came up to see what it was. It was Yo Gabba Gabba. But as we watched and listened, we sort of moved to the appropriate wavelength, I guess. We started appreciating some of the music for what it was. George compared it to Sufjan Stevens, which may not be a bad comparison. When I first heard some of Sufjan Stevens' stuff, I was not a fan. It also sounded very discordant to me and in no way melodic. But it really grows on you. I can really dig some Sufjan Stevens. But I don't know if I'm ready to say I could dig some Yo Gabba Gabba. Some of the music is pretty cool. They have even had the Shins do a guest spot (and Elijah Wood, Jack Black etc.). However, some of the music sounds like it is being sung off key by monsters and robots (example), which it is obviously supposed to sound like, but it gives it a really spoof-y feeling. George compared it to an SNL skit or a Japanese gameshow. Those are pretty accurate comparisons! The monster thingys and the DJ guy are just weird. If you watch the Shins clip, you see a little bit of the DJ and his overly animated persona.

Then the other night I was washing my hair and I had this strange song in the back of my mind that I could only describe as "skating party." I had that happy childhood memory of music from the skating rink and disco balls and the dizzy feeling, even later that night, from spinning around and around in circles. I couldn't quite wrap my brain around it, but I was thinking at the same time what a great song it was and how sad I was that I wouldn't get to hear it anymore. So I started to wonder where in the world I had heard that song and how I knew I wouldn't hear it anymore. I finally somehow recognized it for the song from the video I had just returned to the library. Fortunately, while there are not many videos available for Yo Gabba Gabba, "Halloween" is on youtube; and while it likely wasn't around when I was at the skating rink circa 1984, it certainly has the feel (but you'll have to wait until about 40 seconds in before it gets awesome). That's really the point of all of this, watch the Halloween song. It rocks! And Yo Gabba Gabba is bizarre. Anyone else seen it? What do you think?

Monday, October 26, 2009

An Ethereal Event

I have been trying to make fall festive around here because I love fall anyway, but also because it has been so rainy and cold that autumn just doesn't seem very autumn-y this year, so I am trying to pump up the volume. I am not sure if I am succeeding though. We do have some mums, pumpkins, Indian corn, and orange cinnamon-y candles about inside (because besides the grey outside, Mallie ate/ripped to shreds the corn I had hanging on the door and my fall owl doormat and my backup fall leaf doormat). And I have also been trying those pumpkin recipes. But I haven't done as much as usual; I'm still not feelin' it completely. We are going to try to get out and pick apples sometime this week, and that always inspires me. It's pretty much my favorite family activity of the year (with the possible exception of picking out a tree and decorating it- wish I lived in the Carolinas where the Fraser firs grow and could combine Upick with getting the Christmas tree! I will be having none of this white and scotch pine nonsense!).

Another thing that usually inspires me is that I have these great leaf plates from Pottery Barn. But I only have four of everything so I am always looking for more. This year I found six place settings on ebay! I was so excited. I was beyond excited. I prayed over those dishes! And I was winning the auction for five days. I put my teency little bid down and was winning by a big margin. I checked the auction an hour before it was finished. I was still winning by the same margin. I went to bed. The next day I checked, and I had lost the auction! I couldn't believe it. I went back and looked and realized (and this is why I hate ebay) the winning bidder had bid with less than one minute left in the auction. I mean, really? Why do ebay auctions always come down literally to the last minute? What is even the point of the 10,079 minutes before?! I will admit that it is an excellent strategy, but I also have to say, it is really annoying. I would have gladly paid much more than the winning bid on the auction. I just had no idea that anyone else was interested and that my first bid wasn't high enough. George says I should have just put a high bid in to begin with. I always bid low at first because I don't want to bid too much without asking him. But yes, I should have upped my bid for insurance, but I just didn't even consider that I could lose. It was so so disappointing. And I haven't gotten my fall dishes out because of it. Because four is not much use to me anyway with a family of five, and I just can't handle the reminder that I lost out on six plate settings by about forty cents. I have even contemplated selling the four I have. That is in no way logical, I know.

Okay, so this took a tragic turn somewhere after apple picking... Sorry about that. The point of this whole thing has nothing to do with dishes, which really shouldn't surprise you since I rarely get to the point in less than five paragraphs. The point is that I have been checking out some fall videos for the kids from the library. And actually, I have decided to save that discussion anyway, because as I have looked out the window while writing (and while someone called and I was tied up on the phone and while I drove to pick up carpool and back home again all since I started) this post, I have noticed something absolutely lovely taking place in my yard. It doesn't appear to be taking place anywhere else in St. Louis that I can tell. But in my yard, in my woods, rather, where I am tucked in under a covering of yellow atop this lonely hill, it is snowing- not the frozen white flakes that will surely come in the next month or so, but the leaves. The leaves are fluttering down steadily and gracefully in the breeze, and it just looks like something from a storybook. It is one of those things you're sure that you knew did at times happen, but you cannot recall having seen it before- or if you have, surely it was not so splendid as this time. And it really isn't like a storybook because as storybook is still, as a picture would be. I actually tried to take a picture and it did not do the event justice. And this post does not do it justice. I really don't like writing about nature because everything has been said before- so much so, that any sort of description sounds trite and lame. On the other hand, any type of new wording, any search for the perfect word, ends in the verbal equivalent of a Thomas Kinkade painting. I am sorry to say so, but this is actually the evidence of such.

Well, just imagine it. At this rate, I think my canopy of leaves will have completely fallen in the next day or so or I'd invite everyone to come out and see it. But you know, if you're in the neighborhood, come see the show. I think I'm feelin' fall a little more now- wonder if I can convince George to light a fire when he gets home from work!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Humor (Star Wars Style)

I thought that post was sort of boring as I was writing it. For the life of me, I can't understand why you didn't all have something extremely relevant to say about what my kids have worn for Halloween for the past five years! I think the Star Wars theme is going to work out pretty well for all three kids this year, if anyone actually was interested. I found August some nice white thermal undies at Target yesterday for $12. Twelve dollars isn't free, but from what I hear, we are supposed to have a pretty cold winter, so I'm sure he will get some use out of them on snowy days or extra cold ones. And $12 is much much better than the $32 for Land's End's product that is very similar, and the only plain white I could find anywhere else! Elspeth's costume is on it's way. I got it brand new off ebay for $10. It is actually a fleece Gap bear costume, so it can be used different ways for another kid (if the Lord gives us any more) later. It looks like I will be making Amabel's costume. I think I still have a sewing machine around here somewhere....

Okay, so today I am searching for jokes for the kids to tell when they go trick-or-treating. I decided to stick with the theme. So, you guessed it, here are the best Star Wars jokes I could find. For every one of these, there are at least a dozen much much worse ones. Feel free to add yours. I mean, I know y'all all have a storehouse of Star Wars jokes for kids saved for just such an occasion as this! Okay, here they are (forgive me!):

1. Q. What do Kermit the Frog and Jabba the Hutt have in common?

A. The same middle name. (Alternatively:Q. What is Jabba the Hutt's middle name? A. The.)


2. Q. What did Obi-wan say to Luke at the Chinese restaurant?

A. Use the Forks, Luke!


3. Q. Which Star Wars character works at a restaurant?

A. Darth Waiter.


4. Q. How did Darth Vader know what Luke was getting for Christmas?

A. He felt his presents.


5. Q. What goes ha ha ha thump?

A. A droid laughing its head off.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Costume Contemplations

What is the deal with Halloween costumes being so expensive?! Every year, the scramble to get Halloween costumes is, frankly, a little bit of a pain in the butt. It always pays off, Halloween night is great family fun! But goodness sakes, couldn't we all go on vacation for what we're spending on this one day?!

I have managed to avoid the cost for years now. The first Halloween we went trick-or-treating was when Amabel was three (because before then, she didn't really eat candy). I just put her in some of her dress old up clothes. She went as a princess and was perfectly happy. August wore a monkey costume I purchased off ebay. He was adorable! The next year, we were good and broke and we put off looking for costumes for as long as we could. George and I went to Target the Saturday before Halloween and found pretty much the last two costumes in the whole store, two fleece leopard costumes in just the sizes we needed, for two or three dollars apiece. Unfortunately, everyone kept calling the children "kitties" that Halloween and August was usually referred to as one of the "kitty girls." Oops! We didn't know anyone in the neighborhood and he was only two, but we decided to be a little more organized and a lot more masculine the next year- not that ferocious beasts aren't masculine! So I ended up asking for "dress up clothes" from the grandparents for the kids' birthdays that year with the intention of having them wear their dress up clothes for Halloween (my parents are anti-Halloween so I couldn't have just told them I wanted them for Halloween). The older kids went trick-or-treating in very swanky Woody and Jessie costumes from the Disney Store that year. And newborn baby Elspeth was a sunflower in one of those bunting costumes from Babystyle (I got it on ebay). But the next year Halloween crept up on me again and George and I ended up finding costumes the weekend before again at a little consignment shop outside Chicago (randomly!). Amabel's costume was the ugliest fleece purple unicorn costume ever- yet all kids love that costume, August was a dragon, and I just put fairy wings and a tutu on Elspeth and made her a fairy. Last year the girls were fairies again. Or butterflies. It's hard to say. Amabel wore her tutu and fairy wings and we made antennae out of a headband, felt, and pipe cleaners. We were trying to match Elspeth's fleece butterfly costume that I had nabbed from Old Navy for $5! Elspeth wore her tutu too, so the girls were sort of matching, but no one seemed to be able to tell. August borrowed a Spider Man costume.

And here we are to this year. My sister purchased costumes on clearance last year after Halloween and gave them to the kids for dress up as Christmas gifts. Unfortunately, people usually underestimate how tall my kids are and get them clothes that don't fit. So the costumes they got for Christmas were all a little small to begin with, and will not fit any of them for Halloween ten months later. She went ahead and got August a Star Wars costume for his birthday last month to remedy his part of the problem, but he stepped on the plastic mask and broke it! I ordered him a new mask off ebay, but now I am realizing that he needs some sort of long underwear to go underneath the costume because it is thin and see through (and white, no less, because it's a storm trooper costume). So my cheap costume idea, pawning it off on my sister, is turning out to be not so cheap.

Amabel has no idea what she wants to be. I found an American Girl Felicity dress on ebay a couple of weeks ago and allowed Amabel to pool her own money with the maximum amount I was willing to spend, and we still lost the auction big time. I think the bidding started at $4 and ended at $40! Yikes! She knows she doesn't want to be a cheerleader, a ballerina, a fairy, Mr. Rogers, or a banana. George and I have a running joke, that she in no way appreciates, that she wants to dress up like a banana or Mr. Rogers. I wish she did want to dress up like Mr. Rogers. What an easy costume! Since August is going as a storm trooper, we have, naturally, been toying with the idea of Amabel as Princess Leia. There is a Princess Leia costume at Target right now for $20. I'm thinking that the odds of it still being there when everything goes down to half price is pretty slim. I actually found the dress without the wig (which makes it cheaper- and Amabel doesn't need a wig because I can fix her hair in two buns) in her size and then forgot to bid on it! So, you know, if you have a long plain white gown with bell sleeves, let me know!

If I somehow snag a white robe for Amabel (I wonder if Pastor Meyers would lend her his...), thus keeping with a Star Wars theme, I was thinking that Elspeth would be really cute as an Ewok. I am slightly annoyed with the inconsistency of having Amabel in the Leia costume from A New Hope and Elspeth as an Ewok in Return of the Jedi, but there is no way I'm letting my daughter wear a gold bikini, and the other Leia attire in the movie is pretty unrecognizable. George says none of this matters as long as we're not acting out a scene. I'm thinking he forgets how seriously people take Halloween around here. Do you know they make you ask them a joke before they give you any candy? Some people even want you to come in the house and show everyone in the living room your costume! And I am not talking about our neighbors from seminary housing, I mean people in George's mom's neighborhood that have no idea who we are! Anyway, I'm kidding about it bothering anyone. I just wanted to openly acknowledge it before someone else pointed it out. I figure I will get Elspeth a bear costume and drape some fabric over her head and she'll look just like Wicket.

A little bit of trivia for you, the actor who played Wicket is the same actor who played Willow (in Willow) and the same actor who plays Professor Flitwick (in the Harry Potter movies). He also plays Nikabrik in the upcoming Narnia film, Prince Caspian, and was was the walking version of Yoda in The Phantom Menace. He is also Chewbacca's stunt double. Nah, I'm kidding about that last one! But evidently, he was the lead in the Leprechaun movies as well, of which there are six. You know, because you just never know when someone will ask you, "Hey, who played the Leprechaun in the Leprechaun movies?" Also handy to know? Jennifer Anniston also starred in the first Leprechaun movie. Now aren't you glad you stopped by for this?! You're welcome.

Monday, October 19, 2009

First Fall Recipe For 2009

I made these cookies last night and took a few to church and a few to school this morning. They seemed to be a crowd pleaser, though I think part of the appeal was that they looked so festive. You just use regular acorn and leaf cutters and then score the lines for the veins of the leaf and the top of the acorn with a knife. I got the recipe from Martha Stewart Living a few years ago, but as it turns out, the recipe is still online.

Chocolate Ginger Cookies
makes 4 dozen (my recipe made even more)

2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. Dutch processed cocoa
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
12T unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 c. dark unsulfured molasses
1T grated, peeled fresh ginger
sanding sugar for sprinkling (I have no idea what "sanding sugar" is. I used the white sugar from the Wilton 6 color Christmas sprinkle mix- not that you all have that sitting around...)

- whisk together flour, cocoa, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- cream butter and sugar together on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. add egg, molasses, and ginger and mix until combined. add flour mixture and mix on low until just combined.
- halve dough and flatten into two discs, wrap in saran wrap, and refrigerate for one hour.
- roll discs out, one at time, to a quarter inch thickness. (if dough gets soft, stick it in the freezer to firm it up.) use 3 inch cutters to cut shapes, place cut dough on parchment lined baking sheets, and use a paring knife to score designs. sprinkle with sugar and place dough back in refrigerator for a few minutes to firm it back up (you may have to do this before cutting designs in if it has gotten too soft)
- bake at 325 for 11 minutes and cool on wire racks.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weekend Update

The one mile "fun run" actually was kind of fun. It is 45 degrees today, but the sun is actually showing his face for the first time in quite a while! I have not run outside in over a month and the chill in my lungs did make it harder than I anticipated. I mean, one mile- I figured I could do that even if I were sleep deprived, sick, and pregnant! And I am none of those. Anyway, two of Sonja's children came, and her seven year old did a fantastic job! Her fourteen-year-old beat me, of course, but we all had fun being outside and trying to figure out what in the world to do (not a whole lot of instruction!). We had to walk the first part because the beginning was narrow and we got behind a huge pack of walkers, but with the hills and chill, it was still a good solid workout for me by the time it was over. Short. But solid.

We ended up seeing Julie and Julia last night and it really was such a treat. I loved it, just as everyone said I would. I am sure there was no one who wouldn't love it. How could you not? I did see Nora Ephron's fingerprints all over it. I felt that I was watching Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail during most of Amy Adams' scenes. And I have heard that Julie really is more of a "bitch" (as they say in the movies) in her book and on her blog than was portrayed in the film. And really, I completely empathized with all of her frustrations in the movie. And the "big fight" seemed provoked by the husband in a lot of ways. Maybe I am just showing what a bitch I can be myself. I mean compared to Julia Child, we might all be considered fairly bitchy! Oh, but what a great story! I feel compelled to buy her cookbook! I really do. I want to debone a duck. But I'm not so much for trying any aspics, I don't think. I don't have to make every recipe anyway. That's been done! What gets me down is how much this sort of food costs. There are scads of recipes I would have tried if the ingredients weren't so expensive!

Speaking of recipes, I have been trying lots from my stash of pumpkin recipes. I am not ready to report on them yet, but I know I usually have them in the fall, and I assure you this fall will be no different :) Alright, what am I doing blogging? I have Grandma watching the kids still! Happy Saturday, y'all. And WAR EAGLE!

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Status Update"

Wow! A whopping two comments! I can tell I was really missed! Well, Rebekah and Jennifer, I thought you might want to know what I'm up to today :)

George and I are going on a date tonight. I'm not even sure where. We may finally get over to see Julie and Julia. On the other hand, Whip It is out now. Or maybe we'll do errands, because when am I supposed to get those done?

Tomorrow morning I am supposed to do some sort of running thing. It was supposed to be a 5K (in my mind), and then I found out, after I committed to it, that it is actually 4.2 miles. Is that a random race length? I thought it was. Okay, so I was working up to the 3.3 in the first place. I mean I have done 3 maybe three times since July. (I have no idea what is wrong with me, I just hate the treadmill, I think.) But four is an entirely different thing. Quite frankly, I can not run four miles at this juncture. I am sorry to say so, but I'm just not there. And so my friend Sonja and I, both in agreement that four miles is slightly more than we're up to, have downgraded to the one mile "fun run." And I'm just thinking that one mile is a waste. Do I really want to pay $25 to run a mile? I'd almost rather just see how far I can get in the four mile race and then walk- or even better, just not go. Ever since we downgraded to "fun run," I have quit running at home altogether. It just goes to show you, I will do nothing without a major incentive. That is why I am committing, here and now, to the Kirkwood Thanksgiving 5K- unless it interferes with church on Thanksgiving morning, in which case, I will run some sort of Christmas 5K. I will. So help me, I will! Anyway, about tomorrow, I will let you know how it goes. Right now, I really should go pack the kids to stay overnight at Grandma's and put something on besides my pink fuzzy robe. I do so love fall- among other things, time to break out the fuzzy pink robe again (a nod to Annie B's post about socks)!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm Back!

Okay, so I have to say, October makes me feel like blogging. A friend emailed me recently and mentioned how my blog turning orange is a part of fall for her now. How sweet is that?! And I very much appreciate that everyone understood why I quit blogging for a bit. I want to say that too. For those who didn't ask or can't remember or had no idea that I stopped for a couple of months, I will give a summary of my reason.

As you know, things in the Edema world have been more than a little rough over the last year and a half. And basically, I was really sad and disappointed and confused and exhausted. Oh, and very defensive. I really wanted understanding and encouragement and am pretty much a share-y person anyway, so I kept coming to my blog in hopes of communicating, being understood, and feeling just a little bit better. But honestly, none of that was happening. Blogs aren't really for that anyway, are they? So it just started looking like a tabloid. I was really making it a "did you hear what happened to the Edemas?!" scenario because of my vulnerability (or some might say "lack of discretion" ). So I just quit writing. And to ensure that I would not buckle under my assumed expectation of the people reading, I went ahead and "boarded it up," so to speak, with the privatized message. It was the only thing I could do to make it invisible, short of deleting the whole thing.

So here I am on October 1st (15th now!), wondering if I am brave enough and mature enough to start blogging again. You could call me a lot of things, but neither brave nor mature would make it into even the top 100 adjectives that illuminate Abby. Wouldn't that be a fun post? Maybe not 100, but like 25 adjectives that you would use to describe yourself. I wouldn't want to post it, of course, because I am not brave enough to assert 25 things about myself because I would be so afraid people would laugh and say "she thinks she's intelligent?! HA!" Or you know, insert 24 other adjectives people might laugh at. Anyway, it isn't just the bravery and maturity I have to consider, it's whether or not I will have anything worthwhile to say if I do use more discretion. Not that what I was writing before was terribly worthwhile....

Anyway, you may want to know what's going on in the Edema world these days. I've come to realize that as much as I am a fighter of Facebook, this blog is pretty much my Facebook account without the advantages of being networked the same way. This was how people kept up with me. And I think that is what was bugging me before. But not so much anymore. If I never hear from you except for the occasional comment on my blog, that's okay. If you lurk and I don 't even know you read, that's okay too. It always was, really. It just wasn't okay, in the long, lonely, late days of summer, that the only human interaction I had were the comments on my most recent post. Fifty degrees, twelve weeks, one car, two jobs, and three Christian school tuitions later, I am much better. Much better. Any one of those things is enough to have me feeling very grateful and blessed.

So "whoa, whoa, whoa!" you're thinking, "what is she talking about?!" Let me break it down for you and then we'll be all up to speed.

Fifty degrees- It was 42 degrees this morning, and that is 50 degrees less than the typical high for a July day this past summer in St. Louis (which was very mild for St. Louis)

Twelve weeks- since my last post

One car- the deacons in our church helped us purchase an inexpensive used car for George to get to work in Illinois every day!

Two jobs- one for George and one for me. George works in Illinois every day for a business owned by a man in our church. It is much better pay than he was getting anywhere else and we are very grateful. I am working from 8:30-11:30 Monday through Friday as a first grade aide. I assist the teacher in all kinds of things from making copies and decorating bulletin boards to flying solo with anywhere from twelve to sixteen of the eighteen children in the class while she teaches a smaller group reading more on their group's level. When I "fly solo," I am helping them individually with their classwork, but not actually teaching.

Three Christian school tuitions- In exchange for my work, all three children are able to go to school! August and Elspeth attend half day programs and we all get to leave together at 11:30. Amabel stays for a full day and we pick her up at 3:00.

Alright, so I think we're caught up. I am not sure how often I will be able to write with all the other I have going on, but I felt compelled to be in touch again. Also, I should mention, my cell phone has been broken for about four weeks and there is no way for me to retrieve messages. So, if you have tried to contact me, or even if you haven't and you want to pretend you have because I would really never know, sorry, I didn't get the message! You must communicate with me some other way. And I am sorry to say, I have no alternate number, save the wretched landline with the 636 area code. So for now, this may actually be the best way of contacting me- or, obviously, email. Thanks for coming back by :)

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