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Unicyling Uncles

I’ve been taken over by an alien from Planet SoccerMom.  Help!  January and February are completely insane, schedule-wise.  I’m still taking pics but I have no time to get them uploaded & posted lately.  So how about we take a little journey into the past?

In October of last year, my Grandma Stark died.  The four younger kids and I piled into the (fuel-efficient) little car and headed off to her memorial in southeastern Kansas.  It was the best memorial ever — we had a blast!  Isn’t that the way it should be?  I think so.  Lots of pics were taken (some of which I’ll get around to putting up after I have time to finish sorting through them) but I’m especially fond of the following ones.

Meet my Uncle David.

He’s a teacher and it shows.

My grandma was a teacher, too.  She had a voice that always seemed to me like velvet and, when she laughed, it was the sound of that velvet being juggled and tossed.  Corny, yeah, but that’s what I always thought.

My Uncle David, my dad, and my brother David all have her voice.

She had this way of talking, a teacher’s way, that could make you understand anything.

Again, the gene pool lottery blessed my Uncle David, my dad, and my brother David with that same way of talking.

I wish I had those gifts.

And, as if having one unicycling uncle is not enough, I have two!  This is my Uncle Mark, the preacher man.

I want my memorial to be exactly like Grandma’s — including my kids having two uncles riding unicycles there!  You hear that, David & John??

Polar Plunge Update!

Thanks to our donors so far!  I got an update in my email this morning.  I’ll post the interesting bits below.  (For those who stumble on this not having a clue, go here to read about it.)

Now here’s the really cool part:

As a team, they’re in the #2 spot and, as individuals, the boys are all tied in the 3rd spot.  Cool, huh?

I’ve printed the boys up sheets to hand out, explaining what they’re doing, so they can try to round up a few more sponsors now that the holidays are behind us.  Wish them luck!  (Or donate if there’s money burning a hole in your pocket.)

Think you have a rough life?

Try being G.I. Joe in a house full of Barbies!  That’s him there, in the black.  On the Pink Pony.  On Cinderella’s lap.

At least Cinderella Barbie and Snow White Barbie seem to be okay with sharing. 

(Is it is just me or does Snow White Barbie look a little too much like a cross between Rosanne Barr and Sarah Palin?)

Crazy Hair Barbie, however, seems to be a bit domineering.  She scares even me.

At long last, the Barbies all retire to the kitchen for a snack  It’s then that they remember they’re all anorexics and fall to the floor in a pile of bony self-pity.

G. I. Joe finally has some alone time to ride his Pink Pony in peace.

Oops, that didn’t last long.  Nellie is now trying an orange, sleeveless number on G. I. Joe.  A man’s work is never done.


(No, I didn’t set any of this up, you goobers.  I just sat here taking pics while the girls played Barbies.)

The Toilet Paper King

Duke had a pack meeting for Cub Scouts last night.  They learn all sorts of valuable life lessons, such as how to pelt each other with marshmallows and mummify each other in toilet paper.

That’s Duke there in middle wearing the hat & scarf.  I was tempted to shout, “Freeze!” and scurry across the floor to take a close-up pic.  But I figured Duke is already warped enough without me emotionally scarring him with over-mommying, embarrassing moments.  However, I fully reserve the right to further scar him at some point in the future.

FYI:  While the zoom camera on the iPhone is handy, it’s no match for trying to capture perpetual-motion boys across a large, dimly-lit auditorium.

The 366 Project

Have you heard of it?  Mommypotamus posted about it yesterday.  I’m in.  Even if I have nothing earth-shattering going on in our lives to post about, I still love taking random pics of the kids.  Now I have an official excuse.

Happy 2012!

The most exciting news of 2012 so far?  I organized the bookshelf!

I know, you’re thrilled to death, aren’t you?  Just ignore the pile on top, the scattered toys to the left, and the messy box of toys to the right.  Hold on to your britches cuz it’s even more exciting that way!

In other news, Steve’s been working on a back room addition.  If the wind ever dies down, he might get to sheet it before spring.  We’re having gusts up to 45-50 mph today so he’s opting to work down in the basement, cleaning and rearranging it yet again.  I’m hopeful that I’ll have my seedling area down there back by seed starting time.

What else?  Isaac and Charlie just went on a winter campout with their new Boy Scout troop.  (I really, really like these guys — both the leaders and the boys.  Not at all like the idiots at the last troop.)  It wasn’t terribly cold, maybe down to 32* or 33* but that’s still too cold for my blood.  They’ll be going on another, longer one at the end of January.

I tried snapping a pic as they were headed to the campout because, well, that’s what we moms do, right?  Charlie turned out a complete streak of blurriness.  At least Isaac was still recognizable as human-ish.  Very fluffy-headed human-ish.  He’s currently going for the handsome, hairy hippy look.

Hope you all have a great 2012!  (R.E.M. will be stuck in  my head for this entire year.)


Monkey see, monkey doodle.

The other day, I absentmindedly doodled while on the phone.  Finished with my phone call, I went on about my duties in the kitchen.  I came back several minutes later to find this.

The top two rows are mine.  (Not up to my usual doodling standards, mind you.  I kept getting interrupted and so left things lopsided and uneven and undone because, mind you, there are rules of doodling which one must obey.  Like all doodling within a single doodle must be completed within that single doodle.  You have one, uninterrupted session to perfect it.  If you blow that, you and your shamed descendents must forever live with those imperfections.  It’s a rule.  No, it’s a law.  But don’t forget about the law that requires you to quickly — and with a firm hand — box in that imperfect doodle before moving on to the next, destined-to-be-perfect doodle.  We wouldn’t want those imperfections uncontained, would we?  Why then those promiscuous little sluts would be free to roam around and infect the rest of the good doodling world with their misshapen cooties.)

Nellie had quickly swooped in, swiped my pencil, and copied my artistic genius.  Notice how she didn’t draw single lines?  She did feathered lines (another rule of doodling) just as I did.  Of course, after I took the pic, she went back in and colored it all pink.  *barf*  She apparently does not yet know the only-draw-in-monochrome rule.  I mean law.

Christmas: The Aftermath

The morning started with a clean house and family photo.  (Note the messy bookshelf on the left proves we actually read.  Or throw books at each other.)

It all went downhill from there.

Hope you all had a great Christmas!

Polar Plunge

Cody, Isaac, and Charlie have all signed up to do the Polar Plunge.

What is the Polar Plunge?  On January 28th, they will jump into the frigid Mississippi River in Hannibal, Missouri, along with several other nuts to have a delightful swim among the mini-icebergs.

Why would anyone do that?  To raise money for the Special Olympics.

Why am I telling you this?  So you can pledge money to the Special Olympics in the name of any/all of the boys.  All money pledged goes to the Special Olympics.

How do you do pledge in their name?  Go to Team SpeedKin’s page, click on one of their names, and follow the instructions to pledge.  If you’re not comfy with the online money thing, let me know and we’ll make other arrangements.  Each kid must have $50 pledged in their name in order to plunge in January but they’ve all opted to set a goal of $250 each.

What do you get out of it?  I will be there, giggling my butt off and making fun of them, supporting them and taking pictures to post back here on the blog so that you, too, can giggle your butts off and make fun of them, share in their joy in supporting the Special Olympics.

What makes it even better?  Isaac and Charlie will be doing a Klondike campout that weekend with the Boy Scouts.  They’ll be camping out Friday night in the freezing cold, waking up in the freezing cold, doing the Polar Plunge in the freezing cold, going back to the campout, and spending another two days and one night in the freezing cold.  What’s not to love?

So go pledge!!  I’ll be nagging you all again about this in case you forget.  If there’s one thing at which I excel, it’s nagging.  Just ask Steve.

First Basketball Practice

Duke & Charlie recently joined a basketball team and they had their first practice Tuesday night.  Their first game is not until January — a darn good thing since neither of them has ever played real basketball before!

I tried really, really hard to remember to take the good camera with me.  And then forgot.  So you get iPhone shots.  As we were leaving, I discovered that I had, afterall, remembered to bring the good camera and it was right in my purse.  Duh.

FYI:  Duke is in the black shirt on the left and Charlie is in the gray shirt right next to the pole.

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