Friday, April 18, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Volume 273)

We're leaving the grocery store, when I ask Princess Dawdle to grab the bags. I'm surprised when I turn back to make sure she got them.

Me: Two bags? All that stuff fit into two bags?

Princess Dawdle: Yeah, Mom, we're thugging it up.

Does anyone have any idea what that means?!

Toilet paper.

Does anyone else have a terrible time getting their family to change the stupid toilet paper roll? I can't tell you the number of times there's an empty cardboard on the toilet paper holder and another roll sitting on the back of the toilet. I've demonstrated OFTEN (and always with the most sunshiny attitude, of course), yet the art of changing the roll escapes my children.

Me: No one ever changes the toilet paper at our house.

Princess Dawdle: Not true. I change it sometimes.

Me: Really? I don't believe that. Every time I sit down on a toilet in this house, there's an empty roll.

Princess Dawdle: I have, Mom. It's my humungous humility that just didn't talk about the two times I changed the toilet paper roll. I didn't want to make anyone else feel bad.

Oh brother.

The whole exchange reminded me of my teaching years. I had a kid who rarely turned in an assignment. One time he actually got it done on time and wanted me to praise him for it. When I didn't oblige him, reminding him even the kids who turned in homework every day didn't get any happy clappy from me, he took the time to write out the whole parable of the prodigal son (time that would have been better spent doing the next day's homework, ahem!). I taught at a Christian school, so he was appealing to my spirituality, I guess. He added a little message at the end meant to chide me for my spiritual immaturity (GRRRRRR!). Poor guy didn't know I always felt sorry for the older brother in that story. Plus, I didn't appreciate some smart aleck teenager trying to tell me I was being unspiritual for accepting his rare piece of homework without fanfare.

I don't know where that kid is today, but I'd still like to smack him.

If you're at all squeamish, skip over this Quick Take. Really. This picture's a little sick.

Ladies Man got some new shoes and said his toe was bothering him at the end of the day. When he took off his sock he found this.

You know what had to be done, right? I am a picker extraordinaire. I had to get a poke at that thing! I didn't want it to pop completely and make it really sore, so I made a pinhole with a safety pin and squeezed some of the blood out of that puppy. It was a little anticlimactic as not much stuff came out. Boo.

Some of you are still completely grossed out by the picture, aren't you? I assure you the smell of his feet was the worst part!

They say you know you live in Nebraska when the weather changes dramatically. Last Saturday the temperature was nearly 80 degrees and on Sunday there was a snowstorm that snowed me in at a friend's house in the southwestern part of the state. On APRIL 13th! Their school even had a late start on Monday! As it snowed I kept saying, "Oh, I'm not worried, it never sticks this time of year" but then it started sticking to the grass, and then it started collecting on the deck, and the wind blew and the roads were icky and everything got cancelled.

Is the greenhouse effect really a concern?!

It's been a sad week. A dear aunt of mine died on Sunday. We spent so much time at her house growing up it almost felt like losing my grandma all over again. She was 85 and had cancer and people kept saying, "It's a blessing."

I know it should be. My head understands the suffering is over. It is a blessing for the person who gets to move on to heaven, but for those left behind . . .

It doesn't seem like a blessing. For those left behind it's a hole. A great big hole that never really gets filled. There's an empty place at the table. That laugh and those silly phrases will never be heard again. The world will go on, but we will miss her. And things won't seem quite right without her, but we're all supposed to go on as if they are. Sigh. Death is hard.

I love you, Aunt Jeannie. And will miss you so much.

Praise be to God, though, that He provided a way for us to be united in heaven! I can celebrate Easter this weekend knowing He has defeated death. I can be joined again with those who've beat me to heaven. Jesus' death and resurrection gives me hope.

Because He lives I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

Sing loud and long this weekend, friends. KNOW you can have victory in every situation. This life is not all there is! Praise the Lord!

I pray you grasp this amazing gift this Easter Sunday, friends. I don't know how I'd do life without it. Enjoy your weekend and read more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Friday, April 11, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Volume 272)

I dedicate this week's Quick Takes to Ladies Man's girlfriend who told me last week the first thing she does on Friday mornings is read the Quick Takes. Indulge me as I have a moment with her.

Good morning!
Thanks for giving this old lady a boost in the arm, girl.
Drink a cup of tea for me.
I hope you have a super Friday and terrific weekend.

A week and a half ago I ran into a man at the gym I've known for years. His grandson was a good friend of my son's and our paths have crossed often at school and musical events in our little town.  He and his wife are regulars at our local YMCA and I probably seem them a few times every week there. On this particular day he was coming as I was going.

Gym Friend: Done?

Me: At least for today.

I put on my coat and he got a horrified look on his face.

Gym Friend: What's all over your coat?

Me: What? Where?

Gym Friend: There's something all over the back of your coat.

He just stared at it like it was toxic or something.

Me: Do I need to take it off?

Nothing. Just solemn stares.

I took the coat off and turned it around and all I saw was a few lint balls. I looked back to him, still staring intently. At this point I got worried about him. Was he hallucinating? Was something wrong with him? Did I need to get some help? Finally he spoke.

Gym Friend: April Fool's! You're my second catch today.

Yep. Got me all right. Wow. Didn't see that one coming.

Ladies Man went to Prom last weekend. He and his friend have been dreaming all through high school about reenacting the guys from the movie Dumb and Dumber. They finally pulled it off. Look at this silliness.

This poor girl has put up with these guys and their gooniness for so many years she should get a prize.

I wore a new outfit to church a couple weeks ago. My kids hadn't seen it until they got to church that day, but when I told Princess Dawdle about it earlier in the week she seemed less than impressed. I chocked it up to being a fuddy duddy mother and was thankful I wouldn't have my new clothes stolen by my girls. But after singing worship songs that Sunday morning, I sat down and felt my phone buzz. It was a text from Princess Dawdle.

Princess Dawdle's text: So ur outfit . . . SCORE MOM SCORE!

Later she informed me she was "totally gonna steal those pants sometime." Mmmm hmm. And Drama Queen already took a turn with the shoes and jewelry.


Halfway through church last Sunday I told Kevin we should text Drummer Boy and have him meet us for lunch. Since he moved into his own apartment and drum line is over, we don't see him as much as we like. And we miss him. Apparently the whole FAMILY misses him as after church both Drama Queen and Ladies Man said they had texted him that morning too. Drummer Boy must have "felt the love" as he did drive down to eat and spend a few hours with us.

It made my heart happy to see my kids interacting and enjoying one another, although we did have one scary weird event. As we were leaving the restaurant, Drama Queen and her boyfriend left in one car. Ladies Man and his girlfriend in another, and Drummer Boy and Princess Dawdle in a third car. Of course they were going to race to the next destination. Drama Queen's boyfriend got out first and Ladies Man would not be overtaken by Drummer Boy so he actually squealed out of the parking lot and pulled out in front of a truck. It wasn't so close that there was danger of an accident, but the driver of the truck was plenty annoyed, layed on his horn BIG TIME and got right on Ladies Man's tail. We witnessed the whole event, but thought that was the end of it until a few minutes later when Drama Queen called to say the truck was following them. They tried taking all kinds of turns to lose him, but he kept with them. The three cars with my kids all stayed together, but Ladies Man got super freaked out. Just about the time Drama Queen's boyfriend, who was leading the whole caravan, decided to drive to the police station, the guy gave up the chase.

Poor Ladies Man was a nervous wreck and looked like he was going to throw up for about half an hour. I have to admit I was pretty relieved to see them all arrive in one piece. And you'll be happy to know I was the good mom who didn't say a thing about him learning his lesson. Wasn't necessary.

I got my MAN on yesterday, meaning I got handy and tough and took down a plaster wall in my laundry room all by myself. RAWR!

I decided to commemorate my success by snapchatting my children. Yes, I know, the woman who criticized the whole snapchat thing played along. I sent them this picture with the caption, "Your mother is a beast."

I take advantage of every opportunity to remind them I am no pushover.

(Please, my darling children, let me have some fantasies.)

Also, you should know that Kevin and I are finding more uses for snapchat. Take this doozy we sent Ladies Man and Princess Dawdle when they were sending us stupid videos from upstairs.

Princess Dawdle has left her Miss Innocent One years WAY behind her. She can banter with the best of us now and not skip a beat. Last week she told me she was going to clean her room and it was high time! I was glad it was her idea and I didn't have to be crabbyhead-stop-nagging-me Mom. But when I happened to walk by her room later, she had very little done and was laying on her bed messing with her ipod.

Me (summoning my best sarcastic tone): Wow, you're really getting your room clean.

Princess Dawdle (giving it right back): Yeah, Mom, I'm going places.

Oh my.

I hope you're going places too, people. Enjoy your weekend and read more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary

Friday, March 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Volume 271)

You ever wonder what your brain is doing or rehashing when you dream?

I had a dream this week that the pope was coming to my house. For some reason I wasn't too stressed about the event as I was lackadaisically cleaning things up here and there without any real urgency. Kevin invited our church choir to come over and meet the pope too and ladies were traipsing in the back door. At one point I noticed the Popemobile drive through our alley, obviously having a hard time finding the place, and instead of flagging them down, I let them wander a little longer in hopes of getting my dishwasher loaded before they arrived.

Now tell me. What was that all about?! I haven't read or heard any news about the pope lately. I've never had any great desire to meet the pope. I have been to the Vatican many years ago, but didn't see the pope while I was there. I'm not even Catholic, for crying out loud. The only thing I can decipher is that the state of my house has been driving me crazy lately, but I don't have the motivation to do anything about it. Apparently my attitude is really bad because even the pope coming could not get me in enough of a frenzy to get my house cleaned!

The Heartland Winter Arts Association drumline championships were last weekend. Princess Dawdle enjoyed participating this year for the first time. I think it was even more fun for her to have her brother and sister as instructors.

Here she is in action. Don't let the face fool you. She's doing the traditional drumline don't-mess-with-me face.

Sadly, our kids didn't place as high as they'd like, but they felt good about their performance. And I gotta brag about our snare players (one of which is near and dear to us as he's Drama Queen's boyfriend and the other has been a family friend his entire life). They were awesome! I know I'm biased, but I'd say they were some of the best snare players there that day. The highlight of their performance is a split part where each of them uses one hand to play as if they are one player. It's kind of like playing a drum roll (although not quite as fast) with each of them using only one hand.

I think the look on The Boyfriend's face proves they totally nailed it. Nice job, guys!

Here's a picture of the whole line.

At the end of the competition they do kind of a cool ceremony called the "Retreat." They line up all the color guards and drumlines and announce scores. Our kids changed out of their costumes for the retreat, but if you look closely, you can see some of the costumes of the other groups. Many of the shows were dark in nature--zombies, fear, nightmares. One show was based on Dante's inferno and their kids were drumming in the depths of hell. Ick.

I was glad we were one of few who didn't look gruesome. Our theme was "Reflections." Here's a shout out to Drama Queen and Drummer Boy for choosing something more enjoyable and less creepy to watch.

Do families ever grow out of bathroom humor?

We were clearing the table from dinner when I heard a commotion in the dining room.

Ladies Man: Dad, Princess Dawdle farted. Ground her.

Kevin: If I grounded somebody every time someone farted, no one would ever leave this house.

The kids thought he was hysterical and immediately raced to see who could tweet his words the fastest.

I don't get it. Shouldn't they be old enough to find fart stories as uneventful as we do?

Princess Dawdle had her first tennis meet this week. To be honest I was not looking forward to it as the school marquee said it was 38 degrees when I picked her up that day. But I bundled up and brought blankets and the sun was out so it didn't seem that cold. She was super nervous and lost her match, but got in some good shots and I think she will really improve over the course of the season. I'm just so proud of her for trying something completely new and different. And I love seeing this new competitiveness emerging in her. She came home from the meet fired up and ready to take on another opponent, wishing the next meet were sooner.

I did find one negative about tennis meets though. It's impossible to get a good picture through the fence!

Ladies Man was super excited about his outfit yesterday morning. He wore a pair of colored skinny jeans and t-shirt that his girlfriend bought him and topped it off with a collared shirt that brought the whole ensemble together in an awesome way.

Ladies Man: I look like a pop star today. Even the shoes totally work.

I admit he did look good. But for me the best part was that he was wearing Kevin's shirt! Yes, the shirt that made the outfit sing belonged to his dad. That's right, my husband's got the goods, baby. He knows style.

Come to think of it, maybe I do too because Princess Dawdle wore my sweater the same day!

As my kids would say, "BOOM!"

I really don't understand the whole snapchat phenomenon. It's just a bunch of people taking selfies all the time. I mean, how many times can you send a friend a picture of you with your tongue hanging out or at your smiling best or pulling your hair out? I bet Princess Dawdle has sent 1000 of virtually the same picture to her buddies. I dont' get it, but I've humored my kids lately. The other night I caught Princess Dawdle snapchatting one of her friends at 1:AM and we took a picture together with me shaking my finger and looking mean to tell the friend she'd been busted.

And then there was this impromptu pic when Ladies Man said, "Mom, take a selfie with us."

I think you can tell I am less than enthusiastic. I guess it's fun to have a few silly pics together but you can't even save them with snapchat.

Wait, I'm sounding like a fuddy duddy, huh? Okay, 'nough said.

Now that drumline and show choir seasons are over, we'll get our weekends back, except I'm spending tomorrow in the metropolis of Fairbury, Nebraska, speaking at a women's retreat. I'm excited to spend time with some quality women, though (including my mom and aunt--yay!) and talk about how God works. What better way is there to spend a Saturday? Sunday I'm planning to see some old friends (friends I've known for a long time, not friends that are old, okay? I know what you were thinking!). Should be good even if the sun doesn't shine. At least it won't involve cleaning the house for the pope.

I hope your weekend is relaxing or exciting or boring or whatever you wish for, friends. Enjoy it in the way you do and find time to read more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Friday, March 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Volume 270)

The other day as I was getting into my van after working out, I detected a familiar aroma. I couldn't figure out what it was. I checked the gauges on the van and everything was normal. There was no spill or dead animal on the road. It was just a weird odor I knew I had smelled before. Finally it dawned on me. It was corn dogs. Something smelled like corn dogs in my van. I looked around for any trash the kids may have left in the back seats and then it hit me.

It was my sweaty self!

So I guess the moral of the story is if you want to work out with me you'll have to decide if you can stand the smell of corn dogs.

Is this why I have an aversion to exercise?

The seniors in Ladies Man's class took surveys, things like "Who is most likely to become a politician?" or "Person who knows the most people," stuff like that. Ladies Man was voted "Guy with the Best Hair." Do you think he could have won that title a few years ago with this do?

And obviously they were not privy to his early years when this look was the norm.

Nonetheless, I am a proud Mama, I guess. Nice work, Ladies Man. Way to evolve in the grooming department.

And now it's time for a little bragging on my husband. Have I told you lately how I adore the man? Well I do, because he is wonderful. And cute. And sensitive. And can hold down a conversation better than anyone I know. And life is just better with him in it. Anyway, I am super proud of him. He has several choral anthems published with Lorenz Publishing, but last fall broke into Hope Publishing. Recently we received his complimentary copies in the mail.

Is he a stud or what? We thought the banner at the top which reads "The R. Kevin Boesiger Choral Series" was pretty funny as this is the only piece in the "series." I'm applying wishful thinking and hoping it means they expect to publish more of his work in the future.

Congratulations, babe! I'm proud of you.

Another studly thing my husband accomplished this week was putting together a Beatrice Regional Orchestra concert featuring three high school choirs. There were 177 voices on stage! It was a cool night.

His orchestra keeps getting better and better too. That guy knows what he's doing.

Princess Dawdle has apparently been listening intently to her brother's advice about experiencing everything she can in high school. Though she's never had any formal training or experience, she joined the tennis team this Spring. So far she's loving the camaraderie of the team and the patience and helpfulness of the upperclassmen and coach. She's catching on pretty well too, I think. The biggest surprise for me is it's bringing out a competitiveness I've never seen in her before. She's my easy-going whatever girl, but she came home all fired up from practice the other day because she got cheated out of a game she was winning at the end of practice even though she was way behind in the match. I saw a look in her eyes I've never seen before, an I'm-gonna-get-em kind of glare. I think a tiger may be lurking in my little kitty girl.

Here's fun picture I haven't posted yet. Drama Queen's brothers helped her celebrate her birthday with some friends. Their favorite thing to do is what they call the sister sandwich.

She seems to be enjoying the older version better than this younger version.

I've enjoyed a few days away this week. Is it bad that on my kids' Spring Break I ran away for my own break? What is that adage, something about to be a good mommy you have to take care of the mommy? Yeah. That's what I did. It's supposed to be good for them in the long run, right?

This is where you're supposed to yell, "Yes! You are absolutely right, Tami!"

Really. Go ahead and affirm me. I won't mind.

That's all for this Friday, friends. Enjoy your weekend and visit Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes.

Friday, March 07, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Volume 269)

Last weekend was lively. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Lloyd Larson and watch him in action at the Homestead Choral Festival. He did a marvelous job communicating with our musicians and participating in worship. It was a good shot in the arm for my husband. Lloyd has been Kevin's editor at Lorenz Publishing for a few years now, but they had never met so it was a real treat. I was surprised how alike he and Kevin were. Not only did Lloyd tell the choir the same kinds of things Kevin does, but they even wore the same shoes! Weird.

After dropping Lloyd off at the airport, we helped Drummer Boy move into a new apartment in Lincoln. It was great to see his good judgment in choosing a place that is secure, a perfect size, in his price range and close to work. As an added treat, if you cock your head just right when looking out his bedroom window, you get a great view of the state capitol.

I don't care how many times these kids of mine move in and out of my house, it still gets to me. Proof I am a super wuss. Good grief. He was moving less than an hour away and I moped around the house for a week before Drummer Boy left. My kids kept telling me I was acting "emo." How is it they get into your psyche like that? I'm choosing to focus on the positives of him having his own place. There are no cracker remnants and boxes left in the living room after late night video game sessions. And I don't have to find things like this in his room!

That is a cup of something that sat so long in his room, the mold petrified. It was hard as a rock!

Ew, Drummer Boy. EW!

Because of the Homestead Choral Festival, Kevin and I missed one of our kids' show choir competitions. When Kevin planned the event over a year ago, he purposely stayed away from the last Saturday in February because this particular competition always takes place then. Wouldn't you know they changed it this year?! ARG!!!!

It was especially sad to miss because our junior varsity group got second place and our varsity group took runner-up honors overall. Way to go guys! Thank you to the good parents who post pics on Facebook.

We have some wonderful friends who live across the street from us and our kids have basically grown up together. Summer time brought walks together as families to McDonald's for ice cream. Weekends were spent making videos at each other's houses or kids playing video games while the adults talked until the wee hours. We've spent a lot of time together over the years and I guess we got a little nostalgic at a school concert the other night when we realized all the kids were together again. It doesn't happen that often anymore.

I don't know why I got sentimental about it. Some things never change. They'll never grow up.

Wednesday night youth group was themed "Winter Olympics Night." Kids were supposed to come dressed to fit the theme. Ladies Man put together this ensemble. Can you guess who he is?

He was Bob Costas with pink eye! Sadly the middle school kids didn't get it. We thought it was hysterical.

Ladies Man and Drummer Boy came to church at different times last week but ended up looking quite a bit alike. Ladies Man calls this pic Twinnin Bros.

I could just scream right now. How hard is it to take a nice picture, boys?! Really?! GRRRRRRR!!!!!

This weekend looks to be a little less hectic. We'll attend the last show choir competition in Lincoln on Saturday which means not so much driving time involved. We may actually be home Saturday evening. Bonus! Tonight we're meeting some "kids" for dinner who used to be in our college Bible study years ago. I say "kids" because they're all grown adults with children of their own now.

Ugh. We're old.

(Note to my children: Zip it!)

Let the weekend begin! I hope yours is fabulous, friends. Start it off by reading more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Friday, February 28, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Volume 268)

All of my boys, their father included, have what we affectionately call the Boesiger curse. Women, especially OLDER women, find them charming. Both of my sons find it easy to sweet talk teachers or women in authority and get their way. I've been chiding Ladies Man about it all semester, telling him college will NOT be that easy.

Me: You are going to have to study LOTS harder than you do now if you expect to get through college.

There is no need to record his response. You can imagine the eye roll and grunt, right? ANYWAY, you ever have one of those times when your parenting inconsistencies smack you in the face, when you wonder how your kids ever grew up without huge emotional and mental scars? I had a doozy when Ladies Man was choosing an outfit for scholarship auditions.

Me: I wouldn't wear jeans.

Ladies Man: I have to dress up for the whole day?!

Me: It won't kill you.

Ladies Man: Do I need to wear a tie?

Me: Yeah. That'd be nice.

Ladies Man: Should I wear a suit?

Me: It might not hurt, especially if there are any women doing the judging.

Ladies Man: I thought you said I couldn't charm my way through college.

Me: Maybe not for grades . . .

Ladies Man: But for money?! Mom! I feel like a prostitute!

Yet another reason I won't win Mother of the Year.

We celebrated Drama Queen's 21st birthday this week. 21! Can it be? I decided she was probably a little old to write "Happy Birthday" on her cake, so instead I did something to fit Drama Queen's personality.

Love you, babe. Happy Birthday!

Princess Dawdle had her first drum line competition Saturday. She seems to like having Drama Queen and Drummer Boy as her instructors. My mom got a great pic with all three of them in action.

Princess Dawdle is standing in front of the vibes on the left, Drama Queen is wearing the red jacket pulling on the mat, and Drummer Boy is in the plaid shirt messing with the sound system in the front. Who would've thought with eight years between them that Princess Dawdle and Drummer Boy would ever be involved in the same activity? Cool. Princess Dawdles was definitely NOT cool to her mother though. Here's her don't-do-it face I ignored.

We have proof graphic design is a good field for Ladies Man. He did this on the back of his trig project.

Did you catch the pun? I loved it.

It was a week for school projects. Princess Dawdle had to construct a cell city. She went for creativity in designing a little Indian village. Don't ask me to explain what each one represents. She knew. I thought the little Indians she made out of clay were adorable.

Have you noticed whenever your kids do something they think they're awesome, but if you try to do it, they think you're completely out of your head? Drummer Boy and Ladies Man wanted to take a picture with Drama Queen's cake and I jumped in at the last minute saying, "I'm gonna creep on your picture."

They thought it was so funny I announced my creeping. Here's the "our stupid mother" pic right after.

I guess I'm entertaining. I gotta get points for something, right?

If you're looking for something different to do this weekend, head on over to Christ Community Church in good old Beatrice, Nebraska to hear a good concert at the Homestead Choral Festival. Concert starts Saturday night at 7.

And with that the Quick Takes are done for another week. Enjoy your weekend, friends, and read more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Friday, February 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Volume 267)

Have you been watching the Olympics? We watch when we can. We're not even huge sports fans, but there's something special about the Olympics, isn't there? The other night Drama Queen was home while we were watching. She hadn't seen much of it and asked a perfectly logical question.

Drama Queen: Who's winning?

Not wanting to admit we hadn't watched enough to know, Kevin and I just looked at each other in silence and then he gave the most hysterical answer.

Kevin: Susan . . .

We burst into uncontrollable laughter, but our kids just laughed at US and how funny we thought the lame joke was. Who's winning the Olympics? SUSAN, of course! Ha!

We had a very long day last Saturday at a show choir contest. Poor Princess Dawdle got up at 2:30 AM to curl her hair for the competition. By the evening her tiredness was showing. On the way home, she and Ladies Man were discussing a friend's hairdo and Kevin made what I guess was an unsatisfactory comment. 

Princess Dawdle: Hey Dad, don't be hatin' his swag with a capital dolla sign.


Through all my years of blogging, I think we've established the fact that I fail in the photography of my children category. I try, but the cameras I invest in always develop some weird problem or I'm forgetting cameras or arriving with batteries that are completely drained. I was so proud I thought ahead last weekend, getting the battery all charged up the night before the big show choir competition. Though we left the house before dawn, I remembered to pack the camera in my purse. I was feeling all supermom-ish until I took it out for the first picture. For some reason it wouldn't turn on. "What is the deal now," I thought, "how could I have another busted camera?!" And then it hit me. I KNEW I charged the battery, but . . . I opened the flap on the bottom of the case and confirmed my suspicion. I did charge the battery, but I LEFT IT AT HOME! ARG!!!!!

Sunday we attended my nephew's birthday party.  I was feeling especially sentimental as the cake was cut and suddenly all my children made their way toward me in the kitchen.

Me: Would you look at this?! My kids are drawn to me. They can't help but swarm me. They're flocking to their mother.

Drummer Boy: Mom, you're standing in front of the forks.


Our kids are at an age where they are already evaluating their childhood experiences with their inept parents. This week Ladies Man and Princess Dawdle were trying to one-up each other with stories about not getting enough affection.

Ladies Man: The other day I tried to tell Dad I love you and he just hollered at me to go to bed.

(Every parent on the face of the planet understands this scenario, right? You've told them to get to bed a zillion times and they pull out the "I love you" card trying to delay the inevitable. Yes, you know exactly what happened there, don't you?)

Princess Dawdle (not to be outdone): You think that's bad? The other night I told Dad, "Good night. I love you" and he just stared at his computer and said, "Ok." OK! What kind of answer is that?!

I think she won that round.

We've finally finished all our college visits with Ladies Man. Hallelujah! And what's better, I think he's made a decision! I knew he was a goner when we went through an especially wonderful art department with a room for anything you can imagine. They even have a professor who specializes in cardboard art! Ladies Man was in heaven. After seeing the metal shop, his creative juices went wild thinking of making a new musical instrument. He spent the ride home sketching it out and has been perfecting the sketch all week. It's like a melding of two trombones twisted into a funky configuration. He's already got a name for it too: the swag-a-phone.

Perhaps their friend with the capital dolla sign hairdo should do the test run.

No show choir this weekend, but Ladies Man has a speech contest and the other three have a drum line competition in Omaha. We're excited to see them for the first time. Next weekend we're blowing off all their stuff and doing our own thing. Kevin and our church is hosting a choral festival. Our clinician will be Lloyd Larsen, a prolific composer who happens to be Kevin's editor at Lorenz Publishing. Kevin's had contact with Lloyd for years, but never met him in person, so he's pretty excited. If you'd like to sing with us, just let me know and I can get you the appropriate info. If you'd rather not sing but like music, join us at the concert--7:00 p.m. at Christ Community Church in Beatrice!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, friends. Read more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.