Sunday, March 29, 2009

Please Make It Stop...

Okay. I'm SOOOOO sick of unsolicited phone calls. I just don't know what to do anymore. Seriously. I can't deal. The only time our home phone rings (and those of you who know me personally know that I'm talking about WHEN it rings...since it's hardly ever charged or even turned ON) is when some MACHINE dials our number. Sick, sick, sick of it. My exasperation is OBVIOUS, too! I cannot control my eyes from rolling around in my head several times nor my lungs from releasing the biggest SIGH of the century! Do y'all know what I'm talking about??

Just this past week I received calls about off-brand satellite TV offers, life insurance for seniors (huh?), lower interest rates for credit cards (again! see #6 here), a consumer survey, several calls looking for Gladys Brown (who? we've lived here a year and a half and companies are STILL searching for this lady at OUR number), and a warning (for the fifth time) that this was the "final" call I'd be receiving to remind me that the factory warranty was expiring on our vehicle (oh, the irony).

Come ONNNNN!!! Please tell me. What exactly IS the "National Do-Not Call List" anyway?? I mean, we got on the list long ago, but now they've figured out a way around it. If a computer calls you, then there's no way for you to "tell" them to stop calling you and/or report them for breaking the law. Drives me crazy (in case you couldn't tell). I guess I just don't understand WHY this is happening. And, more importantly, WHAT, if anything, I can do about it. (Saving money by not having Caller ID is backfiring on us a bit, it seems...)

And T-H-E-N, who should appear at my door Thursday but "Dwayne from Detroit," wearing a lanyard and backpack and peeking through the glass on my front doors so that I couldn't hide or pretend I wasn't home. He was loud and boisterous (I guess I can give him an "A" for enthusiasm) and...selling something. Ah, but of course. Now, mind you, this sort of thing is not supposed to be allowed in most neighborhoods, but somehow these people get around the rules (as usual). Today's can't-live-without-it product was a dilutable green apple-scented non-toxic all-purpose cleaner (whew! that's a lot of hyphens!) for--get this--36 dollars! What?! Now, yes, it was a big bottle, and yes--I gotcha--, it's dilutable. But for goodness' sake! 36 dollars??! Now, I'm all for a good deal (and $36 to make 36 spray bottles of cleaner at $1 a piece is, admittedly, a good deal), but a gal doesn't always have $36 to just "DROP" on the fly like that.

So after he did the whole "leading question" thing: "Mrs. Davidson, would you say this one bottle would be enough for your cleaning needs, or will you need some more?" and "How many bottles do you think your husband will need to clean that oil stain on the driveway?" I told the guy that I would not be able to purchase anything from him at this time. He, of COURSE, wanted to know why. I answered that it was the end of the month and we had not been paid yet (true, but only in part--I've since learned to be more straightforward).

Do you know what this guy did next? I swear, y'all would NEVER guess!! DWAYNE with the lanyard and backpack excused himself for a moment so that he could take a "look" around the neighborhood ("to get his bearings," he said)...he peered around, across and down the street, then looked back at me and asked, "Am I dreaming? Is this for real?" And THEN he proceeded to walk BACK up to my doorstep and with a snide and haughty tone said, "Now. Let me ask you again! How many bottles are you going to purchase today?" Now this flew all over me, but I very sweetly answered, "I'm sorry, but what you don't have any idea about is what OUR particular finances are like. So I can't buy any today. Thanks anyway." But do you think that ended it? Well, NO! This guy performed his funny little "act" all over again, walking out to the sidewalk and looking around (with great fanfare), but this time before he could rudely ask me once more how many bottles I'd be buying on "this beautiful day," just as he was turning around I set his product sample down on my doorstep, thanked him for coming, and promptly closed my door (and locked it). He didn't put up a fight. He was smart enough to know that he was downright RUDE and he'd better hightail it off my property. I'm thinking at the very least, he should rethink his sales tactics. Offending people prAH-buh-blee isn't the way to go about it. Ya know?

Well! I said all that to say that if I NEED some insurance, I'll call around. If I decide I'd better renew all our various factory warranties, I'll take care of it. I don't need TWO satellites on my house, that's for sure. I'm not a senior...just yet. I do not wish to share my opinion(s) with any companies, because I don't have that kind of time. Gladys Brown does NOT live here, nor has she ever! So do NOT call ME!!! And I'll be cleaning with vinegar and water around here, thank you very much.



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

I'm participating in Ultimate Blog Party '09 just for fun. So if you're HERE visiting from the Par-TAY, then you should know I'm a 34-year-old Southern homeschooling mommy of four. (See their pics on my banner?) I started blogging in October '08 for the purpose of keeping the grandparents up-to-date on our lives, but it very quickly morphed into something else entirely. The whole thing is still pretty new for me, so as a result, I haven't picked up "Wordless Wednesday," "Thursday Thirteen," or any other alliterative blogercise because for one thing, a post entitled "Wordless Wednesday" would imply that I HAVE words but am just holding them back for the sake of focusing on photos, and that is certainly not the case. I'm just not there yet; I'm still getting used to letting the words FLOW and sharing my thoughts with the wOrLD and stuff like that. And another reason is, it's sometimes difficult for me to even keep UP with exactly WHAT day it is. I'd forever be posting on the wrong day of the week...(sigh). So for the time being what you'll find here at The Davidson Den is:


  • randomness
  • attempts at cuteness
  • definite cuteness (kid photos)
  • rants I wish I could take back
  • open and honest emotions
  • a whole lot of parentheses (I happen to like them very much...see??)
  • Christian stuff (because I AM one)
  • FYI tidbits you could most likely live without
  • poorly-composed vignettes about family trips, events, issues, and activities
  • fragments and run-on sentences galore (because while I may KNOW grammar, I could care less about using it in my journals, cyber or otherwise)

Stick around with me, and you just might get a pictorial tour of our home, hear about how we came to live here, read about past and present birthday parties, perhaps get some ideas for various creative pursuits, get a peek into our typical homeschooling day, maybe even catch a "Wordless Wednesday" or two, and witness the general craziness that we Davidsons experience on a regular basis here at The Davidson Den. Now, if that doesn't scare you off, maybe we'll see you back here real soon!!

Oh! And by the way, for those of you who have been reading for a while and doing what the internet world calls "lurking," why don't you go crazy today and decide to "delurk." I know--it's hard. I, too, was once a lurker of great proportions (see comments here). But NOW I make it a point to leave comments as much as possible. You can do it, too!!! So GO FOR IT!! I'd love to hear from you, and if you have a blog of your own, I'll stop by your place for a visit. (If you don't have a blog, just comment as "Anonymous" and then you can always sign your name in the text.)

AND it is O--KAY to be a "Follower" of this blog. (I give you permission. Go ahead.) Here's what you do. Look at the first box in my LEFT sidebar (see it?); click the button that says "Follow;" then decide if you want to go "public" so I'll know you're there, or continue to "lurk" (ha!); then sit back and enjoy post updates from here (and any other blog you'd like to follow). Again, I must plug Google Reader. I keep a Firefox tab permanently on Google Reader so that I have a constantly-updated list of all the blogs I follow, providing me with plenty of reading material for when I sit down to nurse. (Man, some of you "post-a-day" people wear me out inspire me!) Thus, I'm NEVER bored. You bloggers keep me awake and entertained! Thanks!! Alright...now go to it.



Flair

And to my regular readers (I know you're out there), you can check out the party by clicking the button at the beginning of this post or the one in my sidebar. The party runs through tomorrow (Friday the 27th)...yes, I'm bringing up the rear (stop feigning surprise). IF I were to win a prize, my choices would be:


  1. #7 Ergo Baby Carrier (because my friend Devon recommended one to me a while ago and, well, I can't afford one right now)
  2. #53 Signing Time Parent Success Kit (for my 3rd child who doesn't have much to say, or who has a lot to say and simply can't)
  3. #9 Child's Crayon Apron (because I used to have one when I was a little girl. awww...)
  4. #58, #59, #65, #68, #89, #107

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chick-fil-A: Really?

Before watching this video, scroll all the way down to my Playlist at the bottom of the screen and click Pause so that you don't go insane listening to two songs at once. ugh.
______________________________________

I think I've eaten at Chick-fil-A maybe once or twice in my life, and that would have been back in my weekend mall-roaming days (aka junior high school years). I don't know why. I guess I don't typically frequent many fast food places anyway, but it DOES seem that people LOVE their Chick-fil-A. Our pastor recently recommended the following video for a good laugh (WHICH I indeed had):




Hmm...maybe I should try it sometime...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Snips, Snails & Pretty Pigtails

Noah had a HUGE milestone kind of day last week!! He's been working on tying shoes for several weeks now. We'd just do a little bit at a time--to keep frustration levels nice and low. He's known the fundamentals for a while, but putting them all together hadn't quite happened yet. Tuesday he suddenly got all motivated (on his own) and put his mind to figuring this thing out. He needed a couple of pointers during the process, but after only a short time he HAD IT!! He was SO pumped! I wish you could have seen him jumping up and down--so proud of himself.

And THEN he had his very first soccer practice of the season. Now, just so you get a clear picture here: we're talking about a newbie soccer-player-wanna-be putting on cool, baggy soccer shorts (and the anticipation of cleats very soon) to head out into the sunshiny day and the grassy field to meet seven new soccer friends/teammates and a couple of coaches and run around kicking a ball for an hour or so. He was beside himself!! Don't have to tell HIM twice to go get his shoes on...and besides, shoes with laces are WAY fun to put on now!!

It was a VERY big day. (Did you know he's just a couple of weeks away from SEVEN??!! SO hard to believe.)



Fancy Footwork


I got the biggest kick out of watching Noah's face while the coach handed out all their goodies: uniforms, water bottles, car magnets, etc.


Saylor is becoming more and more lovely each day. People (often perfect strangers) STOP us to tell us how beautiful she is. And they don't even get to see the daily stuff, like her kneeling beside Baby Atticus to stroke his head and sing "Jesus Loves Me" or "read" him a story. She does that stuff without being asked. She just has compassion for him, whether or not he is in need of attention at the moment; she's content to just go be with him because he might like the security of her company. (And he definitely does.) She's going to make a wonderful mommy some day.

The Prettiest Ballerina That Ever There Was

Gabriel is doing so great now that he's totally dairy-free! It's amazing. He's back to being the "eater" of the family. Well, every once in a while things have to come back out because the texture just didn't work in his mouth. Could this be a teething thing for him? Or is he more like Saylor than we originally thought? Hmm...time will tell, I guess. He, too, dotes on Atticus, though not quite in the same way. He is eternally aware of Atticus in "fussy-mode" and rushes to take care of things by finding him a toy or giving him his "Silkie." It's very sweet. I'm not sure if it's because he loves/cares for him or if he just thinks that's what he's supposed to do at those times...OR if he's just desperate to stop the noise. Haha!
Gabe and His OWN Beloved Silkie
Atticus is amazing. He rolled over the hard way (back to stomach) on February 17th (at about 4.5 months). He LOVES the Johnny Jump-Up where he trains each day to become a "Tigger." It's hilarious. He says "dadadadada" and "dididididi" and even if he just woke up and has "said" nothing yet, if I start saying "dada," he will repeat it. Awww. His little voice is too precious for words.

Rolling...

Rolling...


Rolling...
Last month's "Snips" are posted here.

Past Posts

I found a couple of blog posts I had drafted and never published (from back in February) because of all the trouble I was having. I had forgotten all about them. Anyway, I've now posted them according to the date on which they were originally written. You can find them here and here. OR you can just click "February" on the Archive list and find that whole month's posts.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

American Idol--Still Hooked For Whatever Reason

Sometimes I get ready to blog and it's all I can do to keep from starting with "So...". I mean, it sort of naturally rolls off my tongue (or in this case, off my fingertips), and that's because it's almost always what I feel I NEED to say. It's my brain's way of clearing through the thought clouds and pausing (with dramatic flair) just before unleashing them here for you. Most of the time I try to refrain, but not today. {grin}

So...I felt the need to weigh in on the American Idol thing, and BooMama just so happened to give me that chance. Ha! To get started, here's a quick run-down of my viewing history:

Season 1--Could care less, saw "0" episodes. Even scoffed a few times over others' obsessions with watching.
Season 2 through 6--Suddenly got involved and couldn't get enough of it--I LOVE competitions, especially singing ones.
Season 7--Not sure why, but I just ducked out of the whole AI craziness, though my mom kept trying to drag me in. I think I needed a break, and frankly, I'm glad I took it!
Season 8--Well, I'm back in. What happened?! I don't know. I'm biting at the bit each and every week to find out what's going to happen. (Right where Fox wants me...)

The irony is that while I thoroughly enjoy the competition part of it, and I LOVE to hear good singing, I do NOT get into all the "culturally relevant," "highly marketable," "but CAN he/she sell some RECORDS??" business that AI ultimately becomes about. I can't HELP it. Music for me has never been about money. I'm a "touching lyrics, haunting melody, singable, catchy tune, gorgeous tone, unique style" kind of person. Those are the things that count for me. And while I agree with Simon (yes, I said it) 98% of the time, I am definitely NOT on the same page as he with regard to WHY a particular person should stay or go because it eventually comes down to the business side of "music business" for him. I'm way too mushy for that. I guess this show is sort of confusing because they call it a "singing competition," but then they let people vote, which makes it a popularity (aka "what sells") competition. Which is why folks like Sanjaya (from Season 6) stay on longer than they should and folks like Melinda Doolittle (also Season 6) leave far too early. This used to frustrate me quite a lot because I think everyone should agree with me on what is so clearly obvious (and if you don't agree Sanjaya was TERRIBLE and Melinda was AMAZING, then I truly don't know what to do with you). Now, I've just adopted a "Who cares? That's life." attitude. I mean, past winners like Ruben and Taylor (both of whom I was a fan) didn't go on to do great things (at least not yet). That proves just how fickle the music industry is, so really who cares? It's just a dumb show. A pretty entertaining dumb show. But dumb nonetheless.

Wanna know MY true test?? ('cause I KNOW you do...) If, while listening to a singer perform, I close my eyes and my heart (yes, my heart) either smiles, melts, or breaks (or any combination of those), and I can answer "YES!" to the question "Would you be able to listen to a whole CD of THIS?" then that person's got my vote. As a result, this year I've got several favorites. Danny "Oh-MY-That-Boy's-Got-Soul" Gokey. Matt "Can-Sing-Just-About-Anything-And-Sound-Amazing" Giraud. Well, okay, I guess just two faves. I'm not totally AGAINST the others, they just aren't the ones I particularly WANT to win. I can certainly appreciate the unique vocal styling of Megan (the quirky blonde with the new dance moves), the grungy, hoarsy power of Allison (the burgundy-head), the consistency of Alexis (the petite young mother who has no business being flattered about being called "dirty"), and the wildly crazy range of Adam (the weird rocker who's an eclectic jumble of five different styles of rock at once). (And it must be said that I'm most definitely WAY too old to come anywhere CLOSE to liking Adam's "art.") Like I said, I can appreciate these things; I just can't get all excited about them. I certainly couldn't listen to entire CDs-worth of these folks. Versatility isn't just about musical style; it's also about vocal quality. And I just can't see myself listening to even TWO songs in a row by ANYone else in the competition. So far, that is.

Well, I take that back. Kris Allen is one I could listen to; I just don't think (so far) he's proven himself to have quite the musical depth of MY two faves. AND ten years ago I would probably be able to listen to Megan. I think she's interesting, even if she IS so immature that she hasn't figured out how to be "relevant" without being immodest. (I SO tire of knowing what people would look like if those scraps they call clothing weren't there.) Time will tell if she can "grow" a little and become a bit more vocally versatile (so that my poor ears won't get sick of hearing her).

Anoop did a good job tonight. He seems like a sweet kid, doesn't he? I'm glad he redeemed himself after last week's HORRENDOUS effort at an MJ song. And though I'm with Danny G. ALL. THE. WAY. he didn't "hang" with the song quite like he needed to tonight. It was, as they say, "a little too big for him." Haha! Just kidding. No, I think the verses were weak. Maybe he was nervous. Maybe he's coming down with the flu like Megan. Maybe that awful jacket the crazy stylists made him wear was compressing his diaphragm. Who knows? Randy was right, though. It was a support problem. Don't worry. He'll work it out... :)

As I started to say before though, I've come to a place in my life where I just can't get terribly worked up over shows like this. I'm amused by much of it, but it stops there. All that "this is my dream" and "chance of a lifetime" stuff is ridiculous to me. I just want to roll my eyes and mutter, "Oh, puh-lease!" Not that I think they are disingenuous. I just think they don't have any idea what life is all about or how this is all going to end up for them. As much fun as a career in the music industry could easily be, it certainly isn't the be-all and end-all. I could never have a life like that and still feel like I was even coming CLOSE to the quality time I now have with my husband and children. And that's what it's all about. Many a musician has died lonely. That's what I'M thinking. Maybe that's just me justifying to myself why I never auditioned for AI when I was still young enough. Nah. I NEVER needed that kind of drama...

Maybe the most ironic part of it all is that unless the winner puts out a Christian CD, I probably won't buy any AI albums anyway. That's just where I put my money these days. On stuff that is spiritually encouraging to me and my family. I could expound on this, but I'm going to stop now. (Too bad they don't make CD singles anymore. Remember that? Or DO they?! I wouldn't know. I don't shop in stores.)

So...{grin}...anyway that's my take. (not that you asked for it)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Are You Listening?

Do you ever pour your heart out to someone and come to find out you sort of wasted your breath? That less than 24 hours later the whole conversation is all but forgotten? No real acknowledgment whatsoever. None. I mean, it's nobody's fault, I guess. After all, you DID choose to do this huge "heart-pouring" during a televised sporting event OR while three kids are whirring by doing their daily house-circling OR sometime after midnight AND a pillow is under the person's head. How stupid can you be? Now--24 hours later--you can't help but wonder if the person is perhaps busy mulling over all the "life's biggest questions, sobbiest heartaches, wartiest worries, & freaky weirdnesses" you spouted off when you lost all control and let it all hang out, or perhaps the person thinks it was all a dream.

Well??
you are thinking. Don't you have anything to say about that?! No response. O-K-A-Y. Do you care? And finally Do you even remember HAVING the conversation? To which you can't help but think...good grief, probably not, and I sure don't have it in me to do it over again. Goodness, I don't even remember what I said exactly. You know deep down that your monologue of sorts was basically "all over the place" and honestly, the whole thing was probably just your way of "processing" through it anyway. But still. Wouldn't you like to know that something you said truly made an impact? That it was genuinely HEARD and FELT?? That someone has taken your "stuff" to heart and cares for you during your bizarre, troubled moment in life? ...

Well??

If that's ever happened to you, then you know what a relief it is when that seemingly deaf someone apologizes for not having responded yet, or sends you flowers, or offers to pray with you, or looks at you in that special knowing way--when you NOW know (just because of that little effort) that you are indeed connected. How nice it is to finally feel supported! Suddenly you know you're NOT actually spiraling out of control: that the cyclone that is your life doesn't have to spin quite so fast anymore. That you're in this together. For the long haul. And the burdens of your heart are not just your own. My hope is that YOU (Dear Reader) are living right now in this most cherished of places and that, if not, you know how to get there. (Pray, pray, pray.)

The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!
--Ruth 1:9

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Long Time, No Post

So...I apologize. I let myself get "all kind of" caught up in my link color problem. I know that sounds dorky, but seriously...BLUE??!! I've actually lost sleep over it! Well, to be clear I don't mean I lay in bed AWAKE thinking about it--because these days there's no way in heaven I could ever be lying down, nestled in my bed (or, for that matter, still and in just about ANY position) and NOT fall straight to sleep--I just mean that I've stayed up many late hours trying to figure it out. I've learned way more about html than I ever intended to learn, yet I still don't quite have things exactly the way I want them. I CAN tell you this, however. NEVER, I repeat, NEVER draft your blog posts in Microsoft Word and then cut and paste into Blogger. Never. Word adds code--unbeknownst to you--which sometimes displays itself in awful ways in your published posts.

Once I started reposting (and I mean, manually retyping) some of my older posts, I finally started getting some results. At least the blue links are gone. (Hooray!) There are still a few little glitches, so if you read this blog via RSS Feed Reader (LOVE my Google Reader) I apologize again, because you're getting post notices for OLD stuff. Nothing I can do about that, unfortunately. Just ignore me, I guess. You certainly don't need to feel obligated to come read the same old stuff again (especially my "Clutter" post--man, I went a little crazy on that one, didn't I?), but you are certainly welcome to check in with us any ol' time. And in the meantime, I'll try to get over myself and get busy posting.

Now...for the other reason I've had better things to do with my time than actually compose something on Blogger:


Click calendar to enlarge

A week later...Noah and Saylor are battling seasonal allergies (aren't we all?). Gabriel's ears are fine (praise the Lord), but he has been diagnosed as lactose intolerant (a temporary condition most likely brought on by the Stomach Bug of the Century back in January, see here). Sure enough, after two days of no dairy he is recognizably better, hungry again, enjoying mealtime again, asking for everything on the table again. This, of course, makes it crazy hard to keep the dairy away, let me tell ya--we've even resorted to hiding the milk and cheese behind the open fridge door and filing the others past to pick up their necessary meal items. But Weed the Peed (our pediatrician is Dr. Weed) has once again proven himself downright awesome.

We are feeling ever so hopeful around here...seeing light at the end of the L-O-NNNN-G tunnel that is winter. Perspective is everything, is it not? I mean, in the very midst of all the nose wiping, bottom wiping, vomit cleaning, doctor visiting, night waking, and constant baby holding there were days (many days) I truly didn't think I could possibly last one more minute. But God. Right? He sustained me (US!) and taught me that if ever there was someone worth wiping, cleaning, holding, soothing, and waking up for, it is most certainly these four.




Valentine's Day 2009
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