Category Archives: Snags

All I Need is a Miracle

There’s a story in the bible about one of the many miracles that Jesus performed. With nothing but a couple of loaves of bread and a few fish, he fed a group of thousands and not only that, after they ate their fill, they were able to carry away many baskets full of leftovers.

I always more or less took that story at face value. Obviously Jesus had multiplied the little food there was into tons of food in order to feed the large hungry crowd before him. It was a miracle, simple as that, and I’d been taught by the nuns in 3rd grade not to question miracles.

My son, however, has a different take on the story. As he told me recently, “Jesus just broke the bread and fish into lots of little pieces, and that is how he fed so many people.”

So basically, he fed them crumbs.

I was shocked, to say the least. I’d never even thought of that. When I mentioned it to my husband he pretty much agreed with my son.

Crumbs. Huh. Go figure.

And now, related to that only because I’m in need of a teeny little blanket miracle, I tell you this: My son has a favorite blanket that he’s had since he was an infant. It’s a blanket his godmother made for him that has old shirt tags sewn all along the edges. There is one tag in particular that has always been his favorite. Snags calls this tag his “Night Tag”. He sticks his fingers through this tag and holds it up to his nose and sniffs it. In all honesty, after 8 years of nose rubbing and sniffing, the tag is the foulest smelling thing on earth, and no amount of Tide or OxiClean or Febreze can help it. But my son doesn’t mind, and in fact, PREFERS it when I don’t wash the blanket as he loves the smell, one so foul it makes me gag. My eyes water just thinking about it.

Thankfully, it’s a small tag on a larger blanket and unless it’s pressed to your nose as a form of torture, you won’t smell it at all. A tiny air spoiler it is, (imagine a teensy weensy skunk smashed onto a blanket), but luckily it’s so small it doesn’t usually attract attention because Snags only sniffs on this tag as he’s falling asleep at night, and nobody sees him but us and the dog.

Well, Taggie (the blanket) and the Night Tag have been through 8 hard years of sniffing and nose rubbing, and Night Tag is now worn thin at its fold. My son brought it to me in tears the other night, asking if I could fix it because it’s falling apart. I told him I could sew it back together but it would feel a little different. He’s not happy about that.

This morning he woke up more or less crying. He was crying because he said he’d prayed to God to fix his Night Tag “but he didn’t!” he cried.

“Oh.” I said. “I don’t think God works like that. He doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we think he should. He might answer your prayer about the Night Tag by helping me to sew it nicely for you, but I am pretty sure he’s not going to perform a miracle and just fix the tag overnight while you sleep (although me sewing anything nicely would be a miracle in itself!)

I mean, really, think about this. If Jesus fed the masses by chopping up the bread and fish into tiny little pieces, rather than by multiplying the little before him, why would he miraculously weave back together the frayed edges of a smelly shirt tag sewed onto a blanket? I don’t think he would. I think he’d point me toward the sewing kit in the closet and call it a day.

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Filed under Jesus, Night Tag, sewing, Snags

Now That Would Be A Torturous Vacation

This evening, as we were discussing a possible summer beach vacation, my husband announced that he would like to try parasailing.

Now, last summer, when we spent a week at the beach, the very idea of parasailing was met with much resistance and hand-wringing and whining and crying on the part of our son, Snags. He wasn’t the one who would have been doing the parasailing, mind you, but he feared for his father’s life. And so, to end the cries of certain doom and bring the fear of his father’s death down to a more respectable level, my husband chose not to go parasailing after all. This year, he just might.

I held my breath at this most recent announcement, expecting my son to start arguing against such a dangerous activity. Instead, he responded with:

“Oh yeah, I’d like to try water boarding!”

WATER BOARDING???????

WATER BOARDING!!!!!!!!!

WHA?????? (And for the record, let me just say that I have absolutely no idea where he heard the term water boarding!)

Doubled over in laughter my husband asked, “Do you mean boogie boarding?”

“No.” Snags said. “I can’t remember the name of it…”

“Water SKIING?” I suggested.

“No. That’s not it either.” Snags replied.

“WAKE boarding?” My husband offered.

“Yeah! That’s it! Wake boarding!” Snags said, all smiles.

“I don’t know if you can go wake boarding, bud, but you know, they might have a nice dolphin watching cruise you could go on.” My husband said. “Maybe you can do that.”

So, the parasailing might be in. The water boarding is definitely out. And the dolphin watching cruise is open to debate. Which, I think, is just as well.

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Filed under funny, Snags, vacation

“sss-fear”

Tap, tap, tap… tap, tap, tap…

Hey, is this thing working?  Can anybody hear me?

This little old blog of mine is like a favorite hangout of my youth, one I haven’t visited in ages.  I’ve been away so long, and now, upon my return, I find it dreadfully neglected.  It needs some dusting, perhaps some weeding, definitely needs a broom taken to it to clear out the cobwebs.

I’ll try and get on that.

Where have I been? You may wonder.  Or maybe you don’t.  As the lyrics to that Tom Petty song go, maybe you don’t come around here no more, either.  I wouldn’t blame you. I realize it’s not much fun to hang around an old place like this, one where the proprietor can’t even be bothered with its upkeep.

I’ve just been doing other things.  Nothing exciting, nothing worth writing about or believe me, you’d have heard about them. Mostly, work. And reading books (hey, I bought myself a Kindle!), and running.  Lots and lots of running.  But not with the Kindle in my hand.  It seems a little delicate.  I JUST bought it, I don’t want to drop it.

And then, well, Snags is growing up.  And growing up means there just isn’t as much to share. 

There is this, though….

The other morning at breakfast Snags was telling me about the world and how in some parts of the world, because the world is a “sss-fear” (that’s sphere but he can’t pronounce it correctly) people are walking upside down.

“Mom,” Snags asked.  “Do you know why that is? Do you know WHY they can walk upside down and not fall off the planet?”

I was happy. I felt like it was the Final Jeopardy question and guess what?  I knew the answer! (Which is totally opposite of how I feel when he quizzes me about Star Wars, by the way).

“Um… gravity?” I replied.  (You see, I added the “um” before I said gravity so I wouldn’t sound too smug.  I’m a nice mom like that).

“No!” Snags replied.

“Not gravity?” I asked, stunned.

“Nope.  It has to do with the way the earth spins around and the angle it tilts and all that.”

Folks, I was a geography major in college.  I learned a little about the earth and how it spins and its tilt and “all that”.  The kid has mixed up gravity with the seasons.

But I let it go, because here, where we live, we’re in the middle of the snowiest winter on record, and schools have been closed for over a week and the roadways are one lane wide, and snow piles hide stop signs and swallow turn lanes.  It’s pretty grave, for sure.  I can see how Snags would confuse gravity and the seasons.

Now if I can only get him to say “sphere” instead of “sss-fear”.  I’ll try and get on that too. 

And oh, yeah… I’ll be back.

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Filed under blogging, geography, kids, seasons, Snags, snow, Star Wars

Sunday School, Weenie Sabers, and The Sign of the Cross

I confess:  I miss the lazy Sunday mornings, the mornings where I could stay in bed, or if not in bed, at least in my pajamas, until almost noon, reading a book while Snags watched cartoons.  If we went to church, it was to the last mass of the day, but mostly we didn’t go at all. 

Now though, Snags is enrolled in Sunday school.  Our neighbor is his teacher. Her son is Snags’ friend. Two more of his friends from first grade are in his Sunday school class as well.  He enjoys it, and I’m glad.  Some weeks my neighbor drives him to Sunday School and my husband and I pick him up at the end and we all go to Mass together.  Other weeks we drop him off ourselves and go to mass while he’s in class.  Snags has decided we should alternate this.  One week he’ll go to church, the next he won’t.  I think he wants to ease back into it.

Most recently, Snags learned how to make the Sign of the Cross.  Last Sunday he happily reported: “Mom!  I earned a gold star for doing the Sign of the Cross right today!  I only had to do it twice to get it right!” 

“Wow,” I say in response.  “That’s great!”  I think back just a few weeks prior to this when he held up both hands and made an X with his forefingers.  “Isn’t THIS the Sign of the Cross?” he asked.  “No,” I said, “That’s more like the sign against vampires.”

Snags goes on to explain that it was difficult to make the Sign of the Cross in front of his Sunday school class because he was facing the class and because he holds the Wii nunchuck in his left hand… And no, I don’t have any idea what the Wii gaming system has to do with making the sign of the cross.  We have Wii Sports and We Ski, Star Wars the Force Unleashed, and Star Wars Legos, the Complete Saga.  Nowhere in that mix have I happened upon Wii Catholic Church, the Sign of the Cross (nunchuck required).  Go figure.

Next up in Sunday school learning, if you’re in First Grade and want to earn another gold star, is memorizing The Our Father.  “We can’t read it,” Snags informs me.  “We have to memorize it.”  I worry that he’ll mix it up with the rules of Tae Kwan Do he has to memorize.  Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, I’ll always finish what I start, sir!”

I didn’t realize that I was supposed to be teaching the rules of Tae Kwan Do to Snags.  I’d read them myself, of course, but when I got to number two, “I will always be a good brother or sister, sir!” I put the book away figuring that didn’t apply to Snags, as he’s an only child.  A week or two later his instructor corrected me, put it into perspective, and said to think about it in the biblical sense.

Which brings us back to Sunday school.  As Snags was going on about having to learn the Our Father, I thought to warn him that the Hail Mary is HAIL Mary, and not Hell Mary, as I once thought.  But before I could even form the sentence completely in my head, Snags took another breath and said, “And then we have to learn the Hell Mary!”

Hail Mary,” I said, trying to suppress a laugh.  It’s “Hail Mary.”  There isn’t a cuss word in the prayer.  Snags started to get upset, he hadn’t meant to say a bad word.  I tried to reassure him, told him how I also thought it was Hell Mary when I was a kid, but that it’s not.  The apple, they say, doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Or is it, Great Minds Think Alike?

I keep meaning to tell my neighbor, the Sunday school teacher, about the Hell Mary.  That maybe she ought to explain to the children the difference between Hail and Hell, Fire and Brimstone, whatever.  But then her son was playing in my yard the other day, playing with plastic light sabers, fighting a battle against evil.  He took the light saber, stuck it between his legs, and deemed it a Weenie Saber. 

I’d mention this to my neighbor, but then Snags has been going around and using his favorite tag blanket as a whip. We recently let him watch the first Indiana Jones movie, the one where Indie goes in search of the Ark of the Covenant, the container that held the tablets of stone that the Ten Commandments were written on.  Only Snags doesn’t call it the Ark of the Covenant, he calls it the Ten Commandments Box. 

I wonder if it’s big enough to hold a Weenie Saber?

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Filed under boys, church, humor, kids, life, parenting, Snags, Star Wars

Room Mom Woes and Wars

Let’s go back in time a bit, shall we?  Let’s go back to this time LAST YEAR, when I was the room mother for Snags’ kindergarten class, busy planning the Fall Party.  It’s the “FALL PARTY” because we cannot, in this era of political correctness, call it was it is, which is a Halloween Party.  No matter that parents send in decorations of bats and witches and mummies.  Those things, as everyone knows, are signs of AUTUMN, just as surely as the leaves changing color and the air turning crisp.  In fact, if you play your cards right (no, it’s not politically correct to admit to gambling), you just might find bats and witches and mummies hiding under that colorful pile of leaves you just finished raking.

But I digress.  The FALL PARTY.  I was the room mother.  My duties as room mother were to coordinate with the teacher and enlist parents to help donate supplies, food, crafts, and their time at the party.  I had a particular interest in this because Snags has food allergies, and without some role in the party planning, especially the food, the classroom could quickly turn from a party atmosphere to a danger zone.

And I gather, from talking to other room moms, that I was lucky.  Snags’ kindergarten teacher had a thing for SIMPLE.  One snack.  One game.  One craft. Perhaps two crafts if time allowed.  The party ran for approximately 2 hours, and all 18 children had to get a turn at the snack, the game, the craft.  Or two.

And things went well.  I survived the fall party, the holiday party (it’s really a Christmas Party, but please don’t tell anyone), the Spring Party, and the End of Year Party.  Things were simple, things were fun.

When first grade rolled around, I volunteered once again to be room mom.  I was told at first, by Snags’ first grade teacher, that another mother had “expressed interest” in being room mom.  When I explained that I’d like to be involved somehow, because of Snags’ allergies, I was told I would be THE ROOM MOM.  But that somehow morphed into being CO-ROOM MOM.  And I was okay with that.  Until…  My co-room mom called me, in SEPTEMBER, about planning the fall party.  The fall party is the day before Halloween.  So we had plenty of time, no?  And co-room mom went on about how she and ANOTHER CO-ROOM MOM (How did we get three room moms?), had been planning the craft activities and wanted to talk to me about the food situation.  And it was SEPTEMBER and OMG!  I can’t even decide what the hell to cook for dinner TONIGHT, let alone plan the snack for a party that is over 30 days away.

Eventually I agreed to meet, in person, with my co-room mom and HER co-room mom (whom I shall now call Thing One and Thing Two).  Thing Two seemed somewhat new at room mom duties and genuinely concerned about having the party be safe for my son, as well as the two other children in the class who also have food allergies.  Did I mention that food allergies are on the rise?  Note that three children out of 22 in ONE CLASS have them?  Thing One, however… Thing One.  Thing One was IN CHARGE.  She has taken it upon herself to be THE ROOM MOM.  Somehow, somewhere, and I don’t know how and don’t know where, CO-ROOM MOMS got dropped, and Thing One TOOK OVER ALL PARTY PLANNING AND PREPARATIONS THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

The Fall Party THIS YEAR?  Starts at 2:30, Ends at 3:20.  Those times are PER THE TEACHER.  So we have, if I remember first grade math, 50 minutes.  To accomplish the following activities planned by Thing One, THE ROOM MOM, with 22 children:

• Frost and decorate pumpkin shaped sugar cookies.
• Eat frosted and decorated pumpkin shaped sugar cookies.
• Eat grapes.
• Eat potato chips.
• Eat Fritos.
• Drink juice.
• Play Bingo.
• Play Bingo.
• Play Bingo.
• Hand out Bingo prizes.
• Hand out Bingo prizes.
• Hand out Bingo prizes.
• Read a Halloween Story.
• Decorate Halloween Bags.  And no, I don’t know why we are allowed to read a Halloween story or call them Halloween Bags, but Thing One and Thing Two thought the children could use the bags to collect their Trick-or-Treat candy the next day.
• Count and weigh pumpkin seeds and compare the weights for dry roasted pumpkin seeds verses wet pumpkin seeds.

Now, if ALL THAT wasn’t enough to keep 22 kids busy for 50 minutes, Thing One met THING THREE who had an idea:  Stuff popcorn into gloves and paint finger nails on the gloves to make “monster hands.”

But wait, it gets better.  Thing Three wants to bring in an air popper to the class room and let each kid pop their OWN popcorn. In the class room.  At the party.  And then the kids will take that freshly popped and burning hot popcorn and stuff a plastic glove with it.  Then they will dip the ends of the fingers of the gloves (which, if I may point out, will probably be MELTING from the hot popcorn) into paint to make finger nails.  VOILA!  MONSTER HANDS. (and no, I’m not sure if the monster hands are meant to be the melting gloves stuffed with hot popcorn or the children’s hands that now require a thick slathering of burn cream).

And OMG people!  FIFTY MINUTES.  TWENTY-TWO children.  I hope these kids are fast.  Because I just pulled out a calculator and 50 divided by 22 is 2:27 minutes.  Less than 2 ½ minutes PER child, to accomplish all of the above.  Granted, they aren’t doing things one at a time.  They won’t be standing in a long line waiting for the classmate in front of them to just move along already, you’re eating into MY 2:27 minutes of party time, but still.  Fifty minutes.  Twenty-two children.

And so I’m thinking, hey, what the hell?  Why don’t we go ahead and have the children plant the corn, grow it, harvest it, shuck it, dry it, break it off the cob into kernels, THEN pop it and stuff the hot popcorn into the plastic gloves.  We’ll have time for that, right?  We’ve got a full 50 minutes, after all.

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Filed under Fall party, Halloween, life, parenting, party planning, room moms, Snags

Wii Are Not Fit

Fifteen years into this marriage and Wii has validated what I’ve come to suspect.  We are not fit.  But at I’m fitter than my husband by some 13 years. 

Our fifteenth wedding anniversary was today.  The traditional gift for fifteen years of marriage is crystal.  But let’s be real, who has time to pull out the good crystal these days?  And with the economy like it is, what would you drink from it anyway, some Deer Park water?  Wine from a box?

The modern day gift for the fifteenth anniversary is a watch.  I love watches.  But truth be told, I have quite a few and neither one of us really needs another one.  I browsed for some fancy watches on the internet thinking I could get one for cheap for my husband from Overstock’s website, but it seems my definition of cheap, and theirs, well… let’s just say the difference was something like the Greed on Wall Street and people being tossed from their homes on Main Street.  In other words, I didn’t have the money.

This summer we spent a week in Seattle for a family reunion.  Some of the cousins had a Wii and the three of us, my husband, son, and I, had a blast playing with it.  That says a lot coming from me, because I don’t like video games.  It’s not a moral or philosophical dislike, it’s just that well, I more or less suck at playing video games.  So for years I had sworn we’d never own a Play Station, or an Xbox, or God forbid, one of those handheld games that kids can’t seem to go anywhere without these days.

But here we are.  It’s 2008 and we have an XBox which my mother-in-law bought my husband for Christmas one year.  It’s mostly kept and played with in the basement where I don’t have to look at it. And then there’s the Game Cube, which, surprisingly enough was gift given to my son from my parents and brother AT MY SUGGESTION because I wouldn’t let Snags play the Xbox, and they had a GameCube at the place he spends time after school, but the older kids hogged it, and Snags was sad about that, and I thought this would an acceptable solution even though it went against my no video games mindset. And lastly, there are the two Nintendo DS systems.  Because as Santa pointed out a year or two ago, you can’t just have one, there are games that require two players, and those players each need their own DS. Yes, I bought that one hook, line, and sinker.

But all of those game systems left me with nothing.  Okay, I did get Dance Dance Revolution for the Xbox one year for Christmas, but it seems as if the dancing gene is akin to the video game playing gene, and it skipped me. 

Then came the trip to Seattle and the playing of Wii bowling.  I LOVE THAT GAME.  Because, FINALLY, something I am good at!

When we returned from Seattle I casually mentioned to my husband that maybe we should consider buying a Wii, and before I knew it, he went and bought one.  We didn’t tell Snags, and we hid it away.  It was to be a Christmas present for the three of us.

That, of course, was before Star Wars, The Force Unleashed came out.  My husband said he’d like that for his birthday.  But his birthday comes more than a month BEFORE Christmas.  And since crystal and watches were out of my price range, and I was plum out of other ideas, I figured The Force Unleashed could make a nice anniversary present.

Snags, when I told him about our 15th wedding anniversary, simply looked at me and said “That’s Impressive.”  When my husband unwrapped his anniversary gift, Snags said, “Ummm, but Mom?  We don’t have a Wii!”

So imagine his surprise and delight when we told him that yes, actually, we did have a Wii, and it was our anniversary present to each other and that he could play with it too.  He danced, he sang, he spent the money and gift cards he got from friends and relatives for his birthday on the Wii version of Star Wars, The Complete Saga.  Because as he said, “It’s better to play it on a big screen!”

The night my husband set up the Wii, the two of us discovered the part where Wii can assess your fitness by having you punch a punching bag, play some tennis, hit some baseballs, and do some bowling.  Our scores weren’t so good.  My husband, whose 41st birthday is coming up next month, was given a Wii age of 60.  And I… well after a pretty disastrous turn at baseball and tennis, where I feared I’d be scored as dead, was saved by my tremendous bowling skills, and scored a Wii age of 47.  It could be worse, I guess.

In truth, I shouldn’t be surprised at this.  I’ve heard that as people age, their reflexes aren’t as good.  If my husband’s Wii age is really 60, then that might explain how he managed to run over his foot with the lawnmower last summer.  It might also explain how he managed to mangle some fingers with his table saw last weekend.  The lawnmower incident truly can be explained as an accident, his reflexes you see, weren’t fast enough to stop the lawnmower from rolling over his toes.  But this latest incident was totally preventable. My husband, after all, was the one who removed the blade guard from the saw blade so he could cut a small piece of wood and then his fingers.  That decision more or less backs up Wii’s assessment.  His reflexes aren’t so hot and he’s maybe got a little bit of dementia going on there.

And so to my husband I’d like to say: “Happy Anniversary, you old fart.  I’ll see you at the bowling alley!”

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Filed under anniversary, fitness, Snags, video games, Wii

What Seven Looks Like

Seven looks like a boy uncharacteristically still in bed at 6:45 in the morning.  Look closer and you’ll see he’s mostly feigning sleep, eagerly waiting for the clock to turn so he can FINALLY get up and open his birthday present.

Seven looks like a smile when a boy unwraps his gift to find the set of Star Wars LEGOs that he wanted. 

Seven looks like a boy blowing out the candles on his favorite kind of birthday cake. Cake that he insists on eating for breakfast.

Seven looks like a slice of birthday cake the size of a dinner plate. And Seven looks like a boy whose eyes are larger than his stomach.

But Seven… looks happy.  And Seven looks like it’s going to be good.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIDDO!  I LOVE YOU!

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Filed under birthday, Snags