Monday, May 31

Memorial Day Memo

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

It's Monday - that means I have thought all morning about 5 random tidbits of our lives you might find amusing.  Here goes:

1)  I have always had (minor) self-esteem issues, especially when it comes to my peers.  When I was in elementary school,  I was convinced that my parents paid some nice girls to be my friends.  Just when I was starting to pull out of this (around college), I broke up with a guy I had been seeing during my freshman year.  In disgust at having been dumped, the guy spat out, "Well, Dr. R. (our college V.P.) told me to ask you out anyway!" 

Fast forward to the next year...said V.P. told me after class one day to come to his office and he would help me find someone suitable to date.  Even though I was his secretary, I managed to avoid his office for the next 3 weeks, during which I met Tom, my husband.  When we started talking, it took me a full month to work up the courage to ask him if Dr. R. had told him to date me.  When he reassured me (like 5 times) that this was not the case, I knew he was my guy :) 

2) I have wonderful Christian parents, who, ironically, have three adorable girls.  It floors me to think that my girls view me the same way I look at my mom (except I'm like 6 inches taller).  To me, she seemed to have it all together, to know what she was talking about all the time.  I still call her at least a couple times a week for advice with the kids, cooking, or whatever. question is, am I the only mom who feels like she makes answers up on the spot?  I mean, is there a manual that has rules like, "Thou shalt not sing at the table," "Thou shalt eat 4 more bites," and "Thou shalt touch no one's bottom but thine own..."  If there is, someone please clue me in :)

3) I <3 taking pictures of everyday stuff we do.  It's so much fun!  My oldest and youngest daughters are completely photogenic and turn into little Gerber kiddos when they see a camera.  All smiles.  My middle one, though, is another story.  She is extremely expressive and scrunches up her face when she talks.  This is adorable, but the pics REALLY don't do her justice.  You'd think, "Is her face like that all the time?"  And she never sits still.  And she could care less about looking cute in a picture.  I have to take up to 15 pictures of her before I get one suitable for public viewing.  Here are a couple of outtakes:

See?  I told ya...

4)  I only have one pair of sandals left from last summer, and they're on their last leg, no pun intended.
I have been wearing them every day, including when we went to Las Vegas last week and walked several miles at midnight (posting on that later).  These sandals have, like, 4-inch chunky heels, and my back has been killing me all week.  So I finally have a good excuse to head over to the shoe store, where my tagalongs happily try on shoes as I shop to my heart's content.  *We always clean up afterwards.*  Payless Shoe Source - you could pay more, but why?

5) One of the highlights on our church calendar is the Memorial Day picnic, which I'm headed to in just a few minutes (letting the little one nap now).  Most of our church family gets together at our local park for horseshoes, softball, basketball, a bbq, and just plain fun.  Some of them invite family who would never go to church, and a few strangers who see us having a good time stop by for a visit.  I <3 small town life!  And I'm so thankful for those who have sacrificed their lives, and the families who have lived without them - so we could enjoy the freedoms we have today.  I <3 America!!

Happy Memorial Day!!

Saturday, May 29

That's My Mama

My mama cheers when I'm on top of the world...

And she helps me up when I fall down.

My mama doesn't mind cleaning faces, as long as they're smiling ones.

My mama doesn't even mind a little mess...

As long as we're all having fun.

In fact, mamas seem to like cleaning the same things over and over...

and over again.

Mamas are always there when you need them...

And even sometimes when you wish they weren't.

My mama wouldn't trade her job for anything, even though I know I'm a stinker sometimes,

Because every day, she gets to teach me the most important lesson I can ever learn -

Unconditional love.

I love you, Natalie!  I'm so glad God made me your mama!
Happy first birthday!!

Thursday, May 27

Bottoms Up

   I knew it was gonna be "one of those days" when at precisely midnight, while lying in bed with a sore back, I heard two of my three kids crying.  Getting all of us settled took until well after 1am, and when my alarm went off at 7:15 so I could "Walk Away the Pounds" with Leslie Sansone on DVD, I politely declined.  I just lay in bed for awhile, then finally I got up and (thankfully) read my Bible, and I thought about what I had taught on last night at Bible study - having a cheerful attitude when things go wrong, and that's when it started.  My husband bellowed from the girls' room that I needed to get in  There explosion of some biological sort in the crib of which I will spare you the details.
     Today was errand day, which is always long and tedious because we live about an hour from the nearest city.  Add a mom with little sleep taking three kids under 6 alone to a doctor's appointment and Wal-mart, and you've got a l-o-n-g day.  There was a big rain cloud over us as we climbed into the van, and I had a hunch it was gonna follow me all day.
     We pulled into the chiropractor's office right on time, and scrambled into the tiny room that is not meant for 4 people while the nurse muttered, "My, you have children everywhere!"  No kidding.  That's when I smelled IT: a mini-version of the crib episode that had to wait because the doctor came in just then.  Looking back, lying on the adjustment table, waiting for him to jar my bones "into alignment" was one of the most relaxing parts of my day.  And I noticed the sun was a bit brighter here than it was at home.
     On the way out, my middle daughter ran ahead and forced me to use my "mommy voice" in public, and I changed IT reluctantly in the car.  We made it to Wal-Mart, and the whining commenced. "Can I have a Dora backpack?" No.  "I'm hungry!" Too bad. "I need a Sponge-Bob plastic plate with dividers." I don't think so.  My merry heart was springing into action as we zoomed through the baby section.  I relented and let the girls pick out clearance dresses to occupy their hands while I shopped. (better than toys, right?)  Hannah's dress wound up twisted around her neck, in her mouth, over her head, on her waist, and ultimately back in the cart where it should have been.  Then the ultimate kid trick by Hannah:  "I have to go potty!  REAL BAD!"
      So we all go into the wonderfully spacious handicap stall.  I figure toting three kids under 6 has to count for some kind of handicap!   I put the baby down on the floor and quickly picked her back up before she could lick whatever it was she was picking at, making a note to wash her hands.  Experience told me this was gonna be awhile, so, baby in hand, I leaned against the door to text my husband.  All of a sudden, the latch on the door I'm leaning against gives way, sending Nattie and I sprawling into the public restroom.  I land on my rear, hard.  (Note to self on Hannah locking doors)  Muffled gasps and cries of, "Are you all right?" are heard all around me by ladies without kids.  I laugh and assure my audience I'm fine, then gingerly get up and head back into said handicap stall.  My girls are bewildered to say the least, and my back still hurts, for the record :(
     10 minutes later (just don't ask), we leave the restroom, and I know I'm gonna need coffee to make it home. I encourage the girls to hurry so we can "get ice cream" - that was my cover.  I make it to the bread aisle and let the girls stay in the first section to oogle over the Little Debbies.  "Mom!  Don't leave us!!" They freak out.  As I try to calm them down, we pass a very elegant lady in a long flowing dress.  She had 2 kids with her, elementary age, both very nicely dressed, holding calmly onto the side of her neatly organized cart, and they are looking at me.  I smile, "Shopping with kids sure changes things!"  I manage to squeak out.  She smiled wanly, "Yes, it does."  And she continues past my overflowing cart with the non-organic cereal and my children, arguing over Twinkies and DingDongs.
      As we are looking for the perfect Father's Day card for Daddy, I spot out of the corner of my eye some kids playing in the clothes rack.  My first response, "Oh good, I'm glad my kids aren't the only ones to do that!"  I then quickly realize those ARE my kids under the clothes rack.  Then at the top of her voice, my oldest yells, "It's wedgie time!!" (from a movie she watched with the babysitter the other day, she claims.)
     Exhausted and finally done, we rush into the first checkout I see.  Incidentally, it is again the handicap aisle, with a wide lane and no candy in sight.  Perfect!  I think.  Little did I know, the handicap aisle also has no conveyor belt, only an 18-inch long counter.  My cart, as you might remember, is overflowing.  The lady looked at me strangely but began ringing my purchases.  I look again to make sure there is no item limit in this aisle and proceed.  When I found Hannah's dress, I said, "Oh, no!  This dress is missing the tags. I'm sorry!"  The baby begins grunting.  Then Linsey piped up from behind me, "That's cuz Hannah tore them off when she was holding it!"  "Thanks, sweetie..could you please (be quiet) and get the bottle from my purse for your sister?" I say through gritted teeth.  Now I'm putting the bags of groceries under the cart as I am still unloading more onto the miniscule counter.  At the bottom of the cart, we find Hannah's tags.  $200 and ten minutes later, the manager comes up behind the cashier as I put the last of the items in my cart. "I need a break!" my cashier says loudly.  So do I. 
     Another 15 minutes pass, and we are finally in the car, buckled, and headed to McDonalds.  The drive-thru is perfect, no one else in sight.  I order a mocha frappe and two ice cream cones in cups, which seemed to confuse the voice I was talking to.  Remembering the empty bottle in my purse, I ask for a cup of water. "Uh, sure, ask at the next window."  So I pull up and the lady looks at me curiously.  "Did you say you want your cones in cups?"  "Yes, please, for the kids."  She nods, then turns.  "The other lady said I could get a cup of water too?"  "Sure."  I get the mocha frappe (yippee!!), followed by two cups with upside down cones.  "Thank you!" She says.  Not so fast, my mommy mind thinks.  "May I please have the water I asked for?"  Nod.  "And two spoons?"  She looks exasperated.  So am I:  I'm driving a minivan getting two ice cream cones in cups and a huge dose of caffeine, can she not figure out I have kids with me?  I don't even want to think about all the creative ways they'd get the ice cream out of the cups without spoons.

        I get the water and the spoons and almost ask for napkins, when I remember the exasperated look and the permanent box of wipes under my seat.  I say thank you and let her get back to her non-kid business.  5 minutes later..."Mom, I made a mess!  I need a napkin."  Out come wipes one and two.  I amuse myself watching my three year old in the rear view mirror, trying to put her headphones on to hear the DVD with one hand while holding her ice cream with the other hand.   5 more minutes go by, "Mo-om, I need the wipe again!"  I'm beginning to feel sick from the sugar/caffeine rush on an empty stomach, but the text I sent my husband from the floor of the bathroom said we'd all have lunch when I got home.  God, please don't let me have get sick in here, I think.  The hour-long ride home gets a little brighter as I see a man getting pulled over to my right. "See, my day could have been worse," I think.  Another wipe call from the back.  I should have asked for napkins.
   As I pull into the driveway, I notice two things:  1) The raincloud is still conspicuously over my house...ha!  I knew it was waiting for me, and 2) We have company over.  Just what every woman wants after spending 4 hours toting around 3 kids and $200 worth of groceries after a chiropractic adjustment.  "God, help me be patient," I mutter.  Said company was our youth pastor, who is staying at the church on break from college.  I bribe him to help unload groceries with offers of a sandwich.  As he is bringing in the bags, he asks innocently, "What's it like taking 3 kids with you to Wal-Mart?"  I smile weakly, "Today's not the best day to ask," I respond.  Lunch is going well, everyone eating quietly, when my 5 year old reports excitedly, "So did you know my mom fell right on the floor in the Wal-Mart bathroom?  It was SO freaky!"  Sigh.

The girls in their new dresses :)

Monday, May 24

Monday Madness

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters 
It's here again!  Miscellany Monday.  These are so much fun, I spent way too much time thinking about what I'd write during the week (and not enough time jotting them down, my mind is blank!!)  Here are a few randoms...

1.  My husband and I love used book sales.  I was at a small yard sale recently and checked out their books.  They had, like, 12 books - not a great selection.  But I did manage to score a great 50-cent copy of The Purpose Driven Life and, ironically, right next to it was The Purse-Driven Life: It Really Is All About Me, also 50 cents.  It's by a Christian comedian, and it's hilarious!!  (Guess which one I'm reading first?!?)

2.  Confession:  I've been getting back into exercising a lot lately, and I'm trying hard not to eat much sugar.  But I'm scared to go back on SlimFast, though it works well for me, because the last two times I have, I've gotten pregnant almost immediately!  I think I read somewhere that Slimfast owned by Pampers, so beware of a conspiracy...

3.  My husband has joked about banning Bible story videos from our home.  Since he's the pastor, everyone is always giving or loaning us Bible movies for our girls, but he says pastors' kids are around church so much, they need more normalcy so they don't grow up weird.  Case in point...Saturday night in the bathtub, I heard, "Hey, Hannah, let's pretend we're in Nineveh!"  Then earlier they were arguing, "No, you be Jochebed, I'll be Miriam!!"
     The funny thing is, our 5-year old overheard him telling me his idea, so she told our company last night, very seriously, "Daddy says we're not allowed to watch Bible videos at our house anymore!"  And that's how rumors get started in small towns...

4.  Yesterday was one of my "not-so-together" days.  I try to avoid having those on Sundays, but it happens. We had different company for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I was scrambling to get all those meals together while getting three little girls (nevermind me!) ready for church in the morning by myself.  Add that to a broken friendship bracelet that HAD to be fixed before church, and very little sleep the night before, and you have chaos.  I had my almost one-year old in the kitchen so I could 'keep and eye on her' while I was cooking, and here's how that turned out:

So, like a good mommy, I decided it was better to take a few pictures than lose it.  And that put me further behind.  Long story short, she wound up in the church nursery wearing tights and her sister's windbreaker, with a bit of goo still on her face - so thankful the lady who was in there is a good friend of mine!!  My daughter was clean and dressed when I picked her up after about service!!

5.  After my not-so-together Sunday, I was exhausted.  Finally, the last of our company left around 9, and I was cleaning up in the kitchen.  My husband called me into the other room and said something funny.  Without thinking, I responded, "Oh, LOL!"  He was in the middle of making a snide remark about my computer-lingo-vocabulary when our 5 year old piped up, "Ha!  T-H-E!!"

Have a great week!!

Saturday, May 22

Quiet Time at the Zoo

Contrary to what I usually post, we do have moments of peace and quiet at our house.  Usually we're all gone.  Or we're all sleeping.  But once in awhile, there will be sweet calmness, followed by something really funny that gets posted here :)

Such was the case last night.  We were all deep in thought as we played "Go Fish."  Hannah, 3, was on my team and kept falling off my lap, as she is prone to do.  Finally, we were settled and quiet as we were waiting for Linsey to take her turn.  Then, Hannah grinded her teeth and started giggling hysterically.  She finally got a breath and gasped, "My teeth made a tootie!!" (This, of course, was followed by like 5 more teeth tooties, each one losing a measure of humor.)

Then about an hour later, I came in the office and saw my husband holding Linsey on his lap and praying with her before she went to bed, her arms around his neck... "And please help our Linsey to grow up into a godly young lady, and be helpful and sweet just like her Mommy (I think he knew I was in there).  And thank you for making me her Daddy.  Amen"

My heart was butter as I continued to listen.  Sweet, tender silence.  Then Linsey spoke, "Ew, gross, Dad. You have this really long hair growing out of your neck!"

"Go to bed."

Sweet, tender moments...quiet time at the zoo...enjoy them while you can!  And, as with all wild animals, be careful where you step :)

Thursday, May 20

Family Memberies

My husband's parents and two youngest siblings just spent 11 days in our home with us.  We had such a good time!!  Being the youngest by 6 years in my family and spending WAY too much time with my imaginary friends, I love having lots of people around.  There was always someone to play a game with, to keep the kids entertained, even to do the dishes!  Here are a few highlights:

We went to a really cool mini-zoo called a Feline Conservatory, only about 45 minutes from here.  Locals, if you haven't been, click here to check it out!  Hannah especially enjoyed "roaring" at the cats up close.

We also went out to eat. A lot.  Natalie was a constant source of entertainment wherever we went, and she loved every minute of it.

Hannah seemed to be the perfect fit for Grandma's lap.  Nevermind the fact that she is still recovering from leg surgery, the two were inseparable.

We also went to a u-pick fruit farm (funny story on that later), sightseeing in Tehachapi, and we made lots of little trips to the local rock shop, the ice cream store, and fun stuff like that.  We were all exhausted by the end, and my middle monkey slept for 3 hours the day they make up for not taking any naps while they were here!!!

Finally, as we were jumping on the trampoline the night they left, our five-year old got a little nostalgic.  "I had such a good time while Grandma and Grandpa were here," she said. "This is going to make a great family member."

"What's a family member?" I asked, a bit puzzled.

She looked at me like she thought I was from Mars.  "You know, it's when you reMEMBER stuff you do with your FAMILY!"  Now, why didn't I think of that??

Tuesday, May 18

Applicious Pie

Linsey peeled her first apple for this pie! I love having help in the kitchen. This one only took about 45 minutes too. The second apple only took about 15 minutes :)

I joined a recipe hop with my friend today. I have NO luck with roll out pie crusts. Zero. Zilch. They fall apart, they don't fit, whatever. But this "No Roll Pie Crust" has become my best friend. I got the recipe for it from my husband's grandma, and it's a cinch to make. (You can use a regular crust too, if you're talented). The apple pie is so yummy, we went to a u-pick farm in Tehachapi last week, so we used those apples.

No Roll Pie Crust
1 1/2 c. flour
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c oil
3 T milk

Mix with a fork until well blended. Put in pie pan and push up sides of the pan to form a nice edge, then fill in the bottom. Prick crust. If desired, bake at 375 for 15-17 minutes before filling.

Then we made the apple pie filling:

1/3-2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c flour
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
dash of salt
8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples

Combine dry ingredients and mix with peeled apples. Top with this crumb topping:

1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. quick oats (or you can use 1 c. flour)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. firm butter

Mix this until crumbly and sprinkle over apples. Bake 40-50 minutes or until apples are bubbly. Enjoy!


Contrary to the pic above, Linsey is my thinker. She has to know what we're doing tomorrow, and the day after that, so she can think of random questions to get out of bed and ask. This drives my husband absolutely crazy. At 10 pm, after shooing her back to bed, he'll turn to me, "Why did you even tell her we're going to do that?"

She's starting to read now, so every sign, table of contents, and menu is up for scrutiny. The other day I was wearing my old college t-shirt, and she was looking at my chest very intently (no, this story does not go there!) Finally she smiled, "Mommy! Your shirt says 'west'! Did you know that?" (she thinks she's the only one that can read sometimes)

"Good job! But yes, I knew that." She immediately scrunched up her face and went back to scrutinizing. Finally she spoke, "What's a WecBec?"

"A what?" I ask, puzzled.
"A wecbec. You know, the word in the middle of your shirt. It says WCBC." all comes together (for me, not her) as I explain that I graduated from West Coast Baptist College, and what initials are. IDK, but pretty soon she's going to be the one explaining to me what things stand for in this crazy world of ours. TTYL!

Monday, May 17

Miscellany Monday

So, in honor of my random mood, I'm hopping on board with some blogger friends and writing 5 miscellaneous tidbits for Monday:

1) Mondays are totally random in our house anyway. As a pastor's wife with three little girls, it takes about 24 hours to recover from Sunday (our not-so-day-of-rest). This morning, for instance, we shipped off my in-laws back to Ohio after a 10 day visit (more on that later), I spent half an hour playing Kung Fu Barbie, Monsters and Aliens is playing in the background, and we are on our way to the library for pre-school story hour. Later we will have a t-ball game, do our nails, and jump on the trampoline.

2) My older two girls have just dismantled the bed behind me and are sliding down the mattress into the closet. Great fun. It's amazing the stuff I will let happen in order to get a few minutes to blog!!

3) I don't mind washing and drying, but I hate to fold and put away laundry. Whenever I get it all out to sort and fold, I inevitably get company. Lots of it. Every time. Recently on laundry day, 5 random people stopped by unannounced, and two of them wound up staying for a meal. I'm thinking that if we all stopped wearing clothes around the house, it might help with both the laundry problem and the unannounced visitor dilemma. :)

4) It's funny how we all see the world from our own perspectives. When drawing pictures the other day, every person in my diva 5-year old's family was wearing a tiara. My 3-year old insisted that each person in her family have curly hair. She says, "because God made my hair like this {she makes a funny face and squeezes her hair really tight}."

5) For dinner last night, we had about 20 people from church over to our house. We had lasagna, garlic bread, salad, apple pie, and cheesecake. I absolutely love to cook, but hate to clean up. So I got smart and started inviting people over who hate to cook but love to clean up. Now my kitchen is spotless and I have leftovers for tonight!!!

Saturday, May 15

Hannah B. Nana

Hannah is my monkey, no doubt about it.  She loves bananas.  Her favorite game is a monkey preschool game on the Ipad.  She is always running, climbing, or wiggling.  At least one part of her has to be moving at all times, even when she's asleep.  (I've tested this theory, it's true.)  She's fallen out of her bed on top of her aunt, who is staying with us in Hannah's room, at least 3 times this week.  Several times a day I hear, "Mom, help, I'm stuck!"  On top of the fireplace, between the wall and the bed, behind the couch.  These are normal places to look.  Twice she has fallen backwards into the tub and got tangled in the shower curtain.  Monkey also falls out of her seat at every meal.  It's just a part of mealtime at our house.  At a very nice restaurant in Lancaster the other day, instead of falling, she somehow got her legs wedged in the hole between the seat back and the place where you sit.  That was the first time the whole meal she stopped wiggling.  She just sat there and whimpered, "Help, help" until Daddy rescued her.

At least once a day I hear a loud thud or crash, followed by, 'Whoops!'  Then I follow the trail of crumbs to find Hannah looking sheepish.  "Sorry, mom," she'll say.  "It was a acsninent."  But I already posted about those :)

And, like a monkey, Hannah is our little copycat.  She remembers things people say and the repeats them ...kind of.  Earlier she was singing, "Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh.  Funny little thing with fluff..."  Then at breakfast, her grandma put some fruit salad on the table.  Hannah grabbed it so fast and grinned, "My PRECIOUS!"

I dropped something the other day, and I heard Hannah sigh and say behind me, "Oh, snaps!"  I don't even need to do my own complaining with her around.  But the best one was the other day when she got in trouble.  I lectured her, "Hannah, Mommy had to discipline you because you had a bad attitude.  Do you understand that."  (sniffles and nods)  "Is there anything you'd like to say to Mommy?"

(Hannah looks up at me with big eyes and sniffles again)  "I...forgive you!" And gives me a hug.


Monday, May 3

Nature Walk

2 posts in one day, to make up for my bloglessness lately.  Here are some pictures from our nature walk the other day.  It's been crazy windy and the girls REALLY needed to get out of the house.  So did their mother.  So we went about 2 blocks in an hour and a half - not the exercise I was hoping for, but it was so nice just to walk and not hurry them along, trying to get somewhere.  I'm guilty of that far too often! Totally amazed me to see all the neat stuff God has made, from their eyes.  Made me wonder what else I miss as I am hurrying along, that God has put in my life for me to enjoy - as my dad would say, That'll preach!  I took a ton of pics, here are a couple of cute ones:

Imagination Station

I distinctly remember having a big imagination as a child.  I could entertain myself for hours by entertaining my imaginary friends, Make-up (my sisters were teens then and I loved their make-up) and Jacob (who, in my 4 year old mind, rhymed with make-up).    I'm a good 6 years behind my sisters, so the imaginary friends kept me company more times than I'd care to admit, and for more years than...nevermind.  I also had 20+ Cabbage Patch dolls who all had first and middle names, and dozens of stuffed animals.  Every night they ALL wound up on my boat/orphanage that would save them from evil Jacob.  Not to mention the booby traps I set up in case Jacob tried to climb aboard my boat. I know these booby traps were effective, because  I shared the room with my dad's closet and desk, and he often came in to get something off the desk after I was in bed...he never knew what hit him, literally. 

Anyway, I guess it shouldn't surprise me that my daughter Linsey sees things from her own very unique perspective, and that she is very vocal about that perspective.

Example #1: Dreams
 She constantly wakes up and bounces into our room (after there's an 8, of course), telling us about her dream.  The other day she woke up and said, "You know what?  Last night, I dreamed I was jumping on the trampoline.  And I jumped and I jumped so high, I jumped right up to heaven and said, "Hi, God!"  and then I fell back down."  

Curious, I asked her, "And did God say anything to you?"  "Yes. He had this really deep voice and He said, "Hi, Linsey!" (imitating God's voice) And that was one of the more exciting ones...

Example #2:  Improvising known words and phrases
L:  "Mo-om!  I killed Hannah on the video game.  She's dead."  
Me:  "I don't like you saying you killed your sister."  
L:  "But I did!  I killed her guy."  
Me:  "I don't like you saying that."  
L:  "Okay...Mo-om, I knocked Hannah's batteries out of her and now she's dead!" 
(Truthfully, I don't know which one said that first.  Recently when they were play wrestling, Hannah sprawled on the floor and yelled to me, "Mom!  Help, I'm dead!  I need new batteries!")

Then the other day, I called her into her room to help me clean it.  Her response?  "Just a minute, Mom, I've got to text my friend!"  No more fake cell phones for this one...

Example #3:  Pretend games
She constantly makes up her own songs and wants me to accompany her on the piano as she's singing them.  This gets irritating as sometimes she corrects me and says very coolly, "Mom, that's not how it goes."  So today I corrected her very coolly, "Linsey, that's not how it goes.  God is NOT a sinner."  

Some of her games she thinks are original, but they're really not.  I'm often asked, "Mom, let's play pretend!  You can be the mom with a bunch of kids!"  or, "You be the mama, and me and Hannah will be sisters and you can tell us what to do!"  Yeah, not so original...but she's also the only one who has ever said to me, "Mom!  Let's play pretend.  You're Barbie, and I'll be your little sister!"  Not someone I'm often mistaken for, but sure, why not?

Then the other day it was a role reversal game she wanted to play.  "Please, can I be the mom for a couple of days?  I promise, no cooking for me, and no driving!"  

But really, I think she wants to be a preacher like her daddy.  After I was done telling Hannah not to call people 'dumb' (at Linsey's 'request', I might add), Linsey continued my lecture with a sermon of her own:  "And don't put your hands around someone else's neck.  AND don't smash people's faces in the floor like you did to me last night.  Those are all bad things, Hannah, and yesterday we talked about sin." 

Hannah (in a squeaky voice):  "Sin?"

Linsey (nodding solemnly): "Sin."

At which time Hannah conveniently changed the subject by breaking out into a rousing tune of "Jesus Loves the Little Children" and running out of the room... which is really too bad, because I'd have loved to hear the altar call on that one.  Maybe I'd even play the piano for it :)

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