Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where's The Middle Man?

If you look up the phrase, 'Vicious Cycle' in the dictionary, this is what you will find:

I make a list of all the food I need to buy.
I clean out the fridge in the process and throw away all the old food.
I traverse the isles of the grocery store and buy new food.
I hall all the bags of food into the house.
I replace all the old food with new food in the fridge and pantry.
The kids open the pantry and exclaim, "There is nothing to eat!"
Then the kids complain, "Why don't you ever buy Pop Tarts!? Everyone else's mom buys Pop Tarts!"
I pull all the food back out of the fridge and cook dinner.
I clean up the leftover food and the dishes it briefly touched.
I walk out of the kitchen.
I hear a child cry, "I'm hungry!"

Am I missing something here? Is there a step I've missed or a loop hole I haven't found? When I sat in the auditorium on my college graduation day, this is certainly not what I envisioned. Not even close.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Eight Is Great

When I was pregnant with Addie, my pediatrician gave me some medical wisdom. He assured me that Child #3 was ALWAYS calm, sweet and go-with-the-flow. I believed him. I had to, I was in survival mode.

You see, Child #2 made me cry. A lot. She was so, SO hard. So, the moment I found out I was pregnant with Child #3, I prayed. Hard. Every night, I poured out my heart and pleaded for the Lord to send me joy.

From the moment she arrived, Addie has been noisy. She moves too. Like, non-stop. Each year, I keep thinking that the calm, go-with-the-flow child I was promised, will somehow emerge. Now, for the 8th year in a row, I'm fairly positive that 'calm' and 'quiet' will never be words used to describe her.

This daughter of mine has pushed me to my parenting limits. I still feel lost most of the time. But, maybe that's the whole point of parenting. Each child presents a new set of discoveries to be made. Addie has many.

When she was born, I knew that everyone had finally showed up for the party. She was the one who made our family complete. She is our exclamation point. I look at her and marvel at all she is. She is joy. Just not in the shape and form I thought it would look like. Instead, I received a joy that is so much brighter than I could have imagined. One that has changed my life and my love. Her joy is mine.

Happy Birthday my Addie Bean.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


In our house, 8th birthdays are special. We celebrate big. The baby of the family hits this milestone tomorrow. So, we spent the weekend celebrating.

She decided that she didn't want a party. All she really wanted was to spend 24 hours with her mom and dad. All to herself. And a hotel sleepover thrown in for bonus (because, "Hotel pancakes taste better."). This child of mine craves one-on-one attention. She needs it as much as she needs air to breathe. Thus, her 8th birthday wish was granted.

We let her guide where we went and what we did. Build-A-Bear was a highlight. She also had her nails done at the nail salon and we ate steak for dinner. Mine kind of birthday.

It's quite fascinating to see what happens when you spend time with your child one-on-one. They seem to blossom right before your eyes. They act different. They have the chance to tell you things that never come up in daily conversation. They feel happier. There is no longer a need to compete with older siblings, and the chance to get a sister in trouble never arises. It's delightful.

Stepping away from the daily-ness of family life tends to open my eyes. I watch more closely and see more clearly. It's a shame I don't do it more often. Spending alone time with child #3 gave me a chance to soak her in. And in turn, she relished in her gift of time.

Addie's gift was one that was shared. In her 8 year old wisdom, she asked her parents to devote their time to her and her alone. In a perfect family, she wouldn't have to request that for her birthday. It would be something routine. But in a realistic, busy, crazy family, time is rare. One-on-one time is almost non-existent.

Thus, her birthday gift unfolded to be a present I received with open arms. That was something I didn't expect. But I found that those gifts which surprise and awaken us all at the same time, are the very best gifts of all.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

I like this holiday. It comes without embellishments or a lot of fanfare. Just an excessive amount of food. And what can be wrong with that?

Thanksgiving seems to encompass the real meaning of the word 'holiday'. It's a day that isn't measured by dollars spent, the perfect gift given, or the most elaborate decorations hung. It's a day of giving. A day of thanking. Simple, yet grand, all at the same time.

This day is measured by family, in all it's shapes and sizes. When I simmer my gratitude down to the finest details, family is at the core. It is at the heart of all I hold dear. So today, in between slices of pie, I give thanks for this piece of heaven I have been given.

By the way, we ate the tur-duck-hen. And guess what? It takes like turkey.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cajun Style

We are having a tur-duc-hen for Thanksgiving. I'm not kidding. It's a chicken shoved inside a duck shoved inside a turkey. Again, not kidding. And to make it even better, stuffing is at the core.

I can't even imagine how this concept came about. Who actually thinks about shoving different forms of poultry inside one another? Someone with too much time on their hands. Just in case this isn't as tasty as it looks, we are also having ham. It's not shoved inside anything. Totally boring.

The rest of the Thanksgiving prep is underway. I went against tradition and bought my rolls. From the store. They are sitting on the counter in a bag. It feels a little sacrilegious not to have homemade rolls. But then again, a tur-duc-hen is completely off the grid. Maybe I'll go totally crazy and serve enchiladas. Texas is wearing on me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


This is my 500th post. Weird, isn't it? Over the last 2 1/2 years, I've somehow managed to give life to the voice in my head 500 times. That's a whole lot of words.

I started this blog with the intent of keeping those I moved away from, updated on my life. But over time, it has evolved into something far greater than I imagined. Deeper than I planned. In the strangest of ways, I seem to have found my true self through the words I have written. So, I expose my soul and the crazy life of my family here. It is here where I have found my voice.

I continue to stumble upon people who read here. In 500 posts, I hope I've said something worthwhile. If not, at least you've been entertained. Thank you for returning. Thank you for reading. But most of all, thank you for accepting the voice I have offered.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

She Shoots

The Runner now plays basketball. Can you see her? I tried to tell her how hard it is to take a picture of her when she keeps moving. I sweetly requested that she stand still more often while she is on the court. She just stared at me funny and walked away.

She is #1. I asked her if this is because she is super good or super tiny. I still haven't gotten an answer. Oh well.
Watching her games are kinda crazy. There are so many rules and whistle blowing. And sweat. Lots of running and sweat. I'm so focused on who is wearing the cutest shoes, that I often miss the moments when the ball makes it through the hoop.

When I'm not looking at the shoes, I'm thinking about the cute hair clips I could make to match the players outfits. Several people have asked me what position she plays. I just stare at them and open my eyes real big. "Um, isn't it obvious? The one where you run and dribble the ball. Isn't that the position they all play?"

I have no idea where Sam's love of athletics comes from. Maybe it's a recessive gene passed on through her lineage. I remember being forced to play church softball. I stood as far out in the field as I could so that I wouldn't have to do anything that would get my Keds dirty.

My sister, on the other hand, has a pretty good grasp on sports. She told me that once she twisted her ankle playing church basketball. She asked to get pulled from the game, but my dad told her (in his angry voice), "You play until you die!" I stared at her with a gasp when she told me that. I definitely think you should shop until you die, but not play ball. That's nuts.

Anyhoo, I'm going to try and concentrate and learn something. For reals. I'm sure that all those hand motions the refs use actually mean something. Either that, or they secretly want to be dancers. You just wait. By the end of this season, I'm positive that I'll know what 'traveling' is. But in the meantime, I'm totally whipping up cute hair bows for Sam and her teammates. They're going to love them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Too Puffy?

Do you think that a person who doesn't drink coffee has any use for coffee filters? If she wants to make a wreath, she does.

If you stand back and squint your eyes, it looks like a tissue box exploded. In a good way.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2 Too Many

You know how I feel about pets. You just know. And now, there are two. Living in the same residence as myself. I don't like it.

These turtles are a hand-me-down. Sam inherited them. I must have dementia, because I don't ever remember agreeing to this arrangement. I'm sure this is Todd's fault.

Their names are Cheerio and Tortelini. They're the size of a paper weight. All day long, they sit in water and swim. Oh, and hide under a rock. Sam drops food in when she thinks they're hungry. Other than that, nothing happens. So remind me, what's the point?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Special", Take 2

"Makell! Why did you throw up on the carpet!?"

"Oh, I was burping and the barf started to come up. I wanted to gross the girls out, so I gagged myself. Then I barfed on the carpet. Isn't that awesome?"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Things That Make Us "Special"

I think that a majority of the time, I take for granted all that goes on around here. Everyday Foster "stuff" happens on such a regular basis, I don't find it unusual. But once I casually mention any Foster-isms to other people, they laugh so hard that tears form. It's at that point I realize that we are very far from normal. Way far.

I took this picture of Kellie in front of the temple. It's dusk, it's lovely, it's a beautiful moment. I've been saving it in hopes of writing something just as lovely and beautiful.....Totally not gonna happen.

This week, she burped for her violin teacher. Let me pause here to say, if you haven't heard Makell burp, you have NO concept for what this means. The shortest explanation-- it's phenomenal. I had to check in with the violin teacher the next day, just to make sure she was alright. In her exact words, "Never, ever, ever, in my life, have I heard anything like that. At first I thought it was an alligator. Then I realized it was a tiny, 11 yr. old girl. I laughed so hard, I started crying."

Oh, and right before Makell belched, she discovered that the violin teacher actually knows how to play the violin. She was shocked. I'm serious.

This 14 yr. old has taken up to singing the following altered Christmas carol (you know the tune): "All I want for Christmas is my 2 big boobs, my 2 big boobs, my 2 big boobs...." I've had to gingerly explain that the elves don't make those at the North Pole.

And then there is child #3. This week she told me she wants to have dinner with Justin Bieber. And somehow, she forgot to mention that she was in trouble at school for talking. "Mom, I just can't seem to ever stop talking." Oh, my dear sweet child, I know.

I could stop here and tell you all the "special" things Todd has done recently, but I don't have the time. But, he did mention this week that he fell out of the car a lot as a child. "What do you mean, you fell out?" Todd, "You know, like when the car was moving. The door came open and I flew out." He explained all this with a straight face, as if it were a normal childhood occurrence. He was stunned when I assured him it was not.

"My dad came driving around a corner, and I was opening the door, so I flew out. Oh, and I was riding on top of the sugar beet leaves in the truck, and I fell out of there too. Didn't your mom ever have to lean across the seat and grab your shirt so you didn't fall out the car door?" Um, no. And this little explanation seriously explains a whole lot.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

You Can't Pay For This Kind Of Show

There is a WalMart down and around the bend from me that I enter for only one of two reasons. One- I'm in a pinch for time and it's my ONLY option. Two- I'm depressed and I need to be amongst a group of people that make me feel like my life is a downright fairytale. Today was a combination of the two.

This particular WalMart makes me feel like I've stepped into the heart of crazy town. I honestly don't know where these people live their everyday lives, but they all congregate and shop together. This afternoon was extra special. There must have been somethin' in the air. My shopping trip lasted all of 14.8 minutes. You won't believe what I saw. I'm still stunned. My eyes stared so much at my surroundings, they started to burn.

At the customer service line, I encountered a man returning a foam mattress. Queen size. After sleeping on said mattress for a couple of weeks, he decided the middle section hadn't fluffed out enough. He simply folded it all up and strapped a bungee cord around it. He then shoved it into a shopping cart. He carried the empty box along side the cart.

I saw a Mexican cowboy. He was sporting wranglers and a real leather vest. No lie. Afterward, I did a double take at the girl wearing a tank top in order to show off her poinsettia tattoo. Who gets a poinsettia tattoo!?

I couldn't help but stare at the man wearing denim overalls with a bandanna hanging out of his back pocket. I'm not positive, but I'm fairly certain he was getting a Money Gram to cover the supplies for his moonshine.

My head was spinning a bit at this point, and I even started to get the giggles. I speedy quick grabbed the two items I needed and headed to checkout. Just as I was about to step out the doors, I heard a woman exclaim, "Man, I should have worn my elastic waist pants!" I closed my eyes and kept on walking.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Not For The Weak

The following are the 2 best quotes I've read in a long time. Avert your eyes if you have a weak stomach or your spirit is sensitive to cuss words. Mine is like tough rawhide. And to top it off, I'm posting this on a sabbath day. I'm going to be struck down. Which, when you think about it, would be a nice reprieve from life.

Awesomeness #1 (thanks Megan): Bacon Flavored Soda. Read the full story here. This is way too fantastic. My favorite quote--

"Nailing the flavor was tough. We didn't want pot roast, we didn't want pork tenderloin, we wanted bacon. The drink started out tasting more like ham than pork. But eventually we were able to get the crispiness of bacon in there without it being overpowered by porkiness."

Awesomeness #2 (courtesy of awesome Nana): Quote of the Week from LA Times columnist, Burt Prelutsky--

"Frankly, I don't know what it is about California , but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office. I'm not bragging, you understand, but no other state, including Maine , even comes close. When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington , we're number one. There's no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up on 'Macbeth'. The three of them are like jackasses who happen to possess the gift of blab. You don't know if you should condemn them for their stupidity or simply marvel at their ability to form words."

Hopefully these words have made your Sunday complete. I somehow find them warm and fuzzy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

3 of 40

1 of 40 and 2 of 40

Today I am sporting something I swore I would NEVER wear. A school bling shirt. My girl's intermediate school to be precise. I feel like my whole chest is bedazzled.

I'm not a bling kind of girl. I'm an Ann Taylor Loft lady. Last time I checked, there were no appliqued sequins anywhere to be found in Ann Taylor. I worry that I'm becoming more Texan. I bought this shirt myself. On purpose. I don't even know if someone my age can wear something this sparkly.

I'm leaving the house in 48 minutes. I'm bracing myself for strange looks and whispered giggles. Which will probably never happen. After all, when in Texas, be a Texan.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Cup

I've been thinking about two things lately: (1) Where can Grace be found in my life? (2) How can I determine when my cup is too full? These two seem to be opposites. But, I've thought about them simultaneously. I'm not sure why. It's just where my mind has lingered as of late.

I've had this overwhelming sense that my cup feels full. Actually, I think it's toppled over the edge and it now drips down the sides. I know you understand what I'm talking about. It's a universal force in women. Our cups are always full. Usually too full.

At quiet moments, I determine to bring the cup level down a notch or two. I talk my mind into full acceptance of what I need to do to get there. But then life gets noisy. The quiet disappears and my guilt starts to coat over my determination. So, my cup stays full.

Today, I went to the one House where I find refuge. I sat. I listened. And I tried to hear an answer to my overflowing cup problem. Did I find a specific answer? Not really. I think it can only be discovered within myself. But, guess what I did find? Grace. His Grace.

His is the soul-saving kind of grace. It's not the kind that empties my cup and does all the work for me. That I have to do on my own. His Grace offers peace while living with a cup too full. It softens the edges of it and makes way for love, and growth, and learning.

Today I discovered that opposites really do attract. Grace and Life somehow go hand-in-hand. In the end, they make the perfect balance. All I had to do, was step away from my cup long enough to receive it.