They Blinded Us With Science

Well, this past week I’ve been working on a post filled with much seriousness and intrigue entitled, “The Not So Mysterious Will of God”.  I am convinced we make this process much harder than God ever intended.  The epicness of the content is debatable but the length is not. Because this topic had come up in a teaching I did recently and also in three separate conversations with people I love I felt somewhat compelled to just write the thing out for whomever may find some biblical principals and thoughts on discerning God’s plan for our lives needful.

The writing was about 3/4’s complete when Luke (not at all aware of the teaching or the conversations or the typing)  announced to me in the bathroom a couple of mornings ago that he had been leaning toward teaching on the subject one Sunday morning sooner than later. So, dang.  Because we share the same brain, 24 years of marriage, and 98% of our theology I’ve decided to put that post on the backburner so I won’t steal his sermon thunder when it arrives at a theater near you.  I’m anxious to hear what he has to say and then perhaps present a McKay Mashup for all who will be perched on seat’s edge and biting your nails to the quick in anticipation.

So  instead of discerning the will of God I will tell you about Sydney’s science project a.k.a. which kid’s parent can bring the best Pinterest experiment to life and somehow convince the teacher the kid actually had something to do with said creation.

This is where I give props to great friends. By virtue of having so many children we don’t know what to do, Luke and I are often at the mercy of other loving adults to somehow help us get them raised.  Such is the case with Syd’s friend Abby whose parents, Todd and Amy, are life-long friends of ours from Georgia who ended up moving to our same tiny town.  They either a) missed us so much they followed along or b) found a great deal on a farm.  Either way, I am so grateful they remain in our dailiness and don’t seem to mind being surrogates for Syd.

With that said, Abby and Syd decided they wanted to be submit a joint project for the Science Fair.  I signed the permission form with the condition that this would be HER responsibility and not another Mom Competition like the solar system or Colonial houses of the past.  She agreed and told me she and Abby already knew exactly what they were going to do.  I was optimistic until she explained their idea had something to do with giving Abby’s horse various feed to see which made it healthier.

Maybe I’m skeptical, but the science on that one seemed a little subjective if they were counting on the shininess of the horse’s coat to be the main indicator.  And if we wanted to get objective, well, horse poop would be involved to which I say, nay. There are some things in this life that I just will not be manipulated to do. The Facebook Coldwater Challenge would be one of those.  Digging is horse dung for some evidence of vigor and vitality would be the other.

So the girls regrouped and decided on nice, predictable self-inflating balloons.  Todd and Amy took Syd home with them so they could get the experiment done and documented. Unfortunately, it was a beautiful day and I’m pretty confident the girls weren’t exactly as focused on the task at hand as they were the Call of the Wild.  Amy texted me about her love of science projects and of the diligence our children were showing in getting the job done.  I texted her back that I was perfectly fine with her applying her love to my child’s backside if she needed a little motivator to finish.  All was rainbows and unicorns again when the girls were turned loose to ride horses and roam pastures.

Then came my turn for the next work party to put the presentation together.  The girls would have been perfectly happy to slap the white paper on the board and call it a day.  For the love.  Where did I get a girl with no appreciation for coordinated scrapbook papers?  Where did I get a girl who is content to cut paper with a straight line when we have all manner of decorative-edged scissors to give it extra pizazz?  I presented all the fabulous options to the girls and do you want to know what they said?  “Flowers, stripes, and polka dots have no place in Science.”  Clearly, they have been blinded by it.

Since there was no compromise in sight I pointed my scalloped scissors at them both and ordered them to cut and tape each piece exactly as directed.  Being a dictator is exhausting but it completed the work.  I opened the door, set the captives free, and texted Amy a picture of the masterpiece:

science project 2014

She replied with this:

amytext copy

So the project is safely submitted and the Fair is Monday night.  That is when I get to stroll the aisles and compare my parenting skills to the other moms who took time to cover their white presentation boards with colored paper or –  the ultimate – used glitter which may have no place in science but certainly has one deep in my heart.  The pressure is just too much.

To reiterate the wisdom of Amy, I really will think twice before agreeing to a project next year.

It doesn’t take rocket science to discern that is God’s Will for me.

Living on the Edge

I didn’t plan on having goals this week but that was only wishful thinking.  Turns out I have a couple: 1.  Because I procrastinated in getting a hair appointment before we left home my roots are full blown noticeable and bordering skanky which will require some home coloring this week if I can ever decipher the difference between medium golden brown, medium chestnut brown, medium ash brown, or darkest lightest caramel, and 2. I wore a swimsuit that tied around the neck and have the awkward tan line to prove it.  So from hair to neck I am striped.  All I need are some glitter tattoo stars from the henna shop where Sydney had her hair wrapped and I would look like a perfect 4th of July patriot. Rather, it appears I will have to perform some strategic sunscreen placement magic to try to even out.  My goals are high and lofty.

Speaking of the henna shop, it wasn’t nearly as shady as I thought it would be.  At least on the inside.  Two darlin’ teenage/early 20 girls were working and I enjoyed them so much.  They gave me the low down on the owner’s son who liked to hang outside the place with his boys every night and hit on the freshly-tattooed girls.  I couldn’t help but laugh when the girl working on Syd yelled at the dumb boys and told them, “Leave now! Y’all are so unprofessional!”  What amused me more was the fact the boy looked exactly like Merry on Lord of the Rings who also happens to be the same actor as Charlie on LOST.  He was a morph of the two in appearance and action.  The shop girl assured me the mom would die if she knew he were handing out his number to the customers.  Were he mine, he would be the one dying. (Not Penny’s ship!)  But truly, Syd’s hair turned out cute as a bug.  And striped.  Just not the same kind striped as her mom’s.

I can’t say enough how thoroughly we are enjoying our kids by simply being together after what have been two ridiculously hectic months.  Every night we have gone for a treat and driven through the village/pier area for fun.  Tonight we rode to the soundtrack of Elijah’s musical stylings on his new ukelele.  Who among you can say that you cruise through town with your teenage boy playing Don Ho on his Mahalo?  This morning Elijah was making fun of Sam because he was watching ‘Say Yes to the Dress’.  That from the boy who is playing a purple uke.  My family delights me.  

I’ve also just learned I have one more goal for the list that I wasn’t planning on accomplishing until we returned:  taking Sawyer to the Traveler’s Clinic to get a yellow fever shot for his upcoming trip to Bolivia. (More on that later. Momma doesn’t feel like freaking toda.) Yes, we should have done this a long time ago but what fun would it be if we didn’t dance on the edge of deadline?  Turns out you have to have all your shots a certain period of time before departure and hello?  Do these people not understand that I am a deal-with-number-next kind of girl and even though he is leaving on July 9th it is not Number Next until July 8th? 

One day I will do better.  It just won’t be this day.

Today I have to color my hair.

The Birth Month

I’m not altogether certain when a birth day morphed in to a birth month but my girl started celebrating three weeks ago and we still aren’t completely done with the festivities until this Friday. What I can promise you is this: if my birthday may be used as an example, at some point this phenomena reverses itself so one barely gets a birth hour instead of a birth day. But I’m not bitter. There’s nothing appealing to me at all about someone kissing me awake, baking cupcakes for me and 14 of my closest friends, taking me on a weekend retreat/shopping trip, and closing it down with a good ‘ole fashioned sleep over. The older I get, the more content I am with receiving random glitter text messages with a heartfelt song from a furry animal and a dinner of fine Mexican cuisine.

The joy of celebrations at this season of life is watching your kids being totally invested in all the things that define The Day. I offered to buy some adorable cupcakes from Walmart for the class party but Miss Thang insisted we should bake and decorate them ourselves. It really wasn’t that hard. Amazing how something so simple can make a little one feel so special.

(Side note:  The bandage on her eye is from her brother accidentally whacking her with a piece of pipe he found behind the church.  Want to know how we are certain it was an accident?  Because he left a mark.  If it were intentional he would have operated with much more stealth.)

In the birthday chair while the class sang to her. She doesn’t like all eyes on her at one time. She gets that from her daddy.

So happy the singing and glaring attention are over:

I taught a retreat this weekend in Pigeon Forge for my MIL and SIL’s churches as well as some other friends who came along for the fun. I took my little daughter with me because I wanted to have some girl time with her and I knew she would get petted to death. We went shopping in our down time and just look at this obnoxious journal she bought with her cash. My heart was undone:  First that she loves journals so much and second that there wasn’t one with an ‘L’ on front.

(Want to know the first thing she wrote in it? A “To Do” List which consisted of 1. Go to dumb school. 2. Eat dumb lunch 3. Get killed in dumb dodge ball in dumb P.E. I think she wrote this before she’d had her coffee.)

And now a moment of silence for my hair in this random photo taken by my camera stealing daughter.  IT IS ON FIRE. Where did this color come from because I know that wasn’t what it looked like on the box?  We’ll be working on that this week.

A small representation of the group from this weekend. I can’t even tell you how much I love retreat studies and having time to really connect with women you’d only get to see in passing otherwise. I got to spend time with some friends from high school and laugh my head off during a game of ‘Get to Know You’. Only confident women should participate or else our insecurities will rage when people guess your name from a clue such as “can’t water ski”. “What, you think I look like I wouldn’t be able to water ski? What makes you think that? Is it because you think I’m fat?” Y’all get the drill and you know how we are. But thankfully, only secure women played in our cabin. Right, girls?

Okay, so I really need to jump off the computer. This house won’t clean itself before the Sleepover Extravaganza of 2010 this Friday night. (On a totally different note, why do we bother cleaning house for 8 year olds? Is it because we are afraid they will tell their mothers we are slobs?  Should this be a Get to Know You fact?) Y’all wish me luck that we’ll make it until September 30th.

Because Boy Three’s 11th birthday is in October and we get to do it all over again.

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