Monday, June 29, 2015

The Bean Bag Chair Dilemma

If you've seen a photo of me any time recently, you probably have noticed that I am in the best shape of my life, if you are one of those strange people who think a bean bag chair is a shape. Yes, I have gotten a little gooshy around my midsection since the Wife and I got married, which is not something I am real proud of, but it's true so I might as well admit it.

People, like me, who are the shape of a bean bag chair, generally aren't that nimble, and nimbleness is a desired quality when playing sports such as softball, which I am prone to do. I, along with all of my softball teammates, and all of our fans, and pretty much anyone who might have been walking by while I have been on the field, have noticed my lack of nimbleness this year, which has shown itself every time the ball gets hit towards me. My inability to bend over and field the ball in my glove is a dead giveaway. I suppose, being bean-bag-chair-like, I should probably just plop myself on the ground and let the softball get absorbed by my gooshiness. We'll see how that works...

What I should do instead is take up some kind of physical, mental, and spiritual practice to help me get into the proper shape. Hey, I just so happen to have a great friend who teaches Holy Yoga. Her name is Adrienne, and lo and behold, she just started advertising on the ol' blog. Check out her ad over on the right side of this page, and give it a click if you are interested in taking one of her classes. You don't have to be bean-bag-chair-shaped to benefit from the whole Holy Yoga experience. Holy Yoga is good for everyone! Do it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wedding Food Review, Kansas Edition

I seem to have gotten a bit of a reputation within my family. Seems like some of my family members have gotten a little bit wary of me and the ol' blog. We (the family, not just me and my blog) were at a fun family function over the weekend. It was the super-fun wedding of my cousin, let's call her Anna since that's her name, and her fiance Martin (also his real name). The wedding itself was really fun, and not just because the Girl and the Little One were both flower girls. It was a lovely ceremony, there were no major catastrophes, and we got home safe and sound, so I would call it a success. Several times, though, just as something fun was about to happen, somebody would say something to the effect of "Uh-oh, Scott's gonna blog about this!" It's almost like they think I blog about every little thing that happens in my life. That's just crazy! There's lots of stuff I leave out of the blog, like the, that one, whatever.

So it was a really fun wedding weekend in Wichita, and there were gobs of delicious food being eaten all weekend, so I might as well write about it, huh? Actually, all the meals we had were home-cooked, either by family members or friends of family members. First, on Thursday, we had some delicious salmon on the grill at my cousins house. Throw in some yummy asparagus and what turned out to be the world's best bread, which I ate 6 or 7 slices of, and I would say it was a great meal.

The next night was the rehearsal dinner, which consisted of pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, some baked beans, an interesting corn-and-cream-cheese concoction, and a salad or two. If I can generalize, I love both pulled pork and brisket, so I was in hog heaven. I ate 4 sandwiches, along with a nice pile of just the meat. I felt satisfactorily gross afterward, which is always a sign of a good meal.

After the wedding on Saturday, a select bunch of us family and friends were invited to a private party at a friend's house, where the largest platter of chicken I have ever seen was presented before us. I don't know how many hundreds of chickens gave their lives for this platter, but I would like to personally thank all of them. They were delicious! I am not sure what kind of marinade or sauce was on them, but it was really good. If you want, I can try to get the recipe for you.

The only restaurant that was part of the weekend was a locally owned roast beef fast food joint named Barn'rds that is next door to the church. I'm not really sure what's up with the name of the place - is it short for "Barnyards"? Maybe "Barnards"? Who knows... What I do know is that on more than one occasion those of us who were not actually in the wedding found ourselves sitting around in the church with nothing to do, so of course one of us would hightail it over to Barn'rds and get either one of their delicious roast beef sandwiches, or a huge pile of their amazing garlic-infused french fries. Oh my goodness, these have to be some of the best french fries I've ever tasted. If you're ever in Wichita, for any reason, head over to Barn'rds and load up on some fries.

So, it was a lovely wedding weekend. Anna and Martin make a wonderful couple, and we at Chaotic Kids & Clutter couldn't be happier for them. And the food was all delicious, so our hats go off to all the cooks.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Scofflaw

I recently realized that in my nearly 41 full years of life here on God's Green Earth, I had never once set foot in a police station. Oh sure, I may have taken a ride in the backseat of a squad car once or twice back in my rebellious youth, when I was young, dumb, and full of enthusiasm, but those rides just took me back to my parents' house, never to the precinct, as I like to call it. I guess I've just had a boring life, and looking back on it, I'm OK with that.

Everything changed a few days ago, though. My boring life became quite interesting, at least for a while. Not only did I enter my first police station, but it was in a weird, foreign place where the normal rules don't apply. I was lucky to get out of it alive.

In my head I always pictured police stations as being similar to those you see in television shows, and the one I was in did not disappoint. It was like I had somehow walked into my TV and joined the set of a tense and gritty crime drama. It was part NYPD Blue, part Hill Street Blues, part Law & Order, part Dexter, and part Cop Rock. I don't think I've ever been more frightened!

Thankfully, the police didn't detain us for too long. To be honest, I wasn't the one who the cops wanted to talk to, I was only there to support the alleged scofflaw, a person who shall remain nameless to protect her identity. The whole thing was quite the harrowing experience, though, and it taught me several lessons. I've forgotten most of those lessons already, but the one that is foremost in my mind is to never get into a minor traffic accident in a town like Wichita, Kansas! What a crazy, foreign place that is!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Lament of the Blubberer

Every so often my wonderful sister-in-law, let's call her the One Who Lives in Minnesota, wrangles up all of our kids and takes them all to Oklahoma for a week or more at a time. The first time she did this we only had the Girl, who was just about to turn 1. I can still picture the two of them driving away on the chilly March morning. The Wife, who was about 6 months pregnant with the Boy, was as stoic and steely-eyed as I had ever seen her. I, on the other hand, was blubbering like a fool as my dear sweet baby rode off into the distance without us for the first time in her short life. If I recall correctly, I blubbered like that for most of that day, and woke up blubbering slightly the next day, as well. Gradually I got over being ultra-emotional that week, and was able to rejoin society in a somewhat normal way, even becoming fairly productive as we attempted to get our honey-do list down to just a few pages.

Since that first time, the One Who Lives in Minnesota has taken our kids on these kinds of road trips often, at least two or three times every year, and each time my blubbering has diminished considerably. In fact, they all headed off on a trip in the wee hours of this past Sunday morning, and instead of blubbering as they drove off, I gave a short wave and then stumbled back to bed, where I had no problem falling asleep even before my head hit the pillow. It was nice!

So, I apparently have gotten over the problem of blubbering like a baby when the kids leave, but the Wife and I still haven't entirely figured out how to maximize our free time while they're gone. This time our honey-do list was Old Testament-like, and it seems as though we are only going to be able to cross off a few verses from Genesis. We weren't delusional enough to think we'd get all the way through the end of Malachi, but we had hoped we'd at least get through Proverbs or maybe even Song of Solomon. A week without kids is quickly filled with lamentations, I tell you what.

So, our week at home without kids is quickly coming to an end, but our honey-do list is not. Maybe one of these years the One Who Lives in Minnesota will take them all to Oklahoma for the entire summer, so the Wife and I can actually get some stuff accomplished. Although an entire summer is a long time to be without the kids, and it would be difficult to get much done when I'm busy blubbering...

Sunday, June 7, 2015

1, 2, 3, 4, I Declare a Baby War...

If there's one thing I've learned in the past 6-and-a-half years of being a parent, it's that thinking and talking about my getting fixed accomplishes nothing... Yes, I am exasperated to announce that we here at Chaotic Kids & Clutter are expecting even more chaos, more clutter, and one more kid. Actually, it's just the Wife who is expecting to have the kid, but we both are expecting sleepless nights, lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth, and copious amounts of kicking and screaming. And then in a few months the baby will be born!

If you haven't already figured it out, the Wife and I were not overly excited to find out we were having another baby. For one thing, our kids have all been out of diapers for at least several months, and we have gotten used to not carrying around a diaper bag anymore. For another thing, we already gave all of our newborn, 0-6 month, 6-9 month, 9-12 month, and 12-18 month girl clothes to our niece who just had a baby a couple of months ago. If our baby is a girl, either we will have to go out and buy all new clothes for her, or sneak into our niece's house and steal all of our old clothes back, which is by far the more likely scenario. And for the last reason we were not all that excited to be having another baby now is that the Wife and I are WAY TOO OLD TO HAVE ANOTHER BABY!! We will both be well over 41 when the baby arrives, and a quick check of the history books will show that we will be the oldest parents of a newborn in the history of the world! We aren't ready for that kind of notoriety.

But despite all of these reasons, God apparently had different plans for us, and we are indeed having another baby, in lieu of our advanced geriatric ages. Our current kids, the Girl, the Boy, and the Little One, are all very excited, so that's fun. Almost everyone else we've told is quite excited too. I guess, if you ask us at the right time, we are starting to get a little excited, as well. I probably should be ecstatic, since just the other day I was thinking about how I haven't had many good ideas for blog subjects lately. Well, buckle up people! There's gonna be a slew of blog posts in the next few years! Just what you've always wanted...

Well, I guess it's obvious that this is our baby...I can't wait to find out if it's a girl or a boy!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Back In My Day...

Back in my day, a kid who had made it to the age of 17 or 18, or in some cases 25, and had fought his or her way through 13 years of misery known as school graduated but once, on the last day of his or her 13th year of school. We didn't have a kindergarten graduation. We didn't have an elementary school graduation. We didn't have a junior high graduation. We had one graduation, on the last day of our last year of 12th grade. We liked it that way. It gave us something to strive for as we slogged through our 13 years of misery. It was the way it was supposed to be. Period.

Nowadays it seems as though kids have a graduation ceremony every other week. They graduate from kindergarten. They graduate from 5th grade. They graduate from 8th grade. Some kids graduate from preschool. I've even heard of schools that have a graduation ceremony for every grade, every year! What is this world coming to?!?!
Might as well slap a mortarboard on them as soon as they come out of the womb...

I am writing about the good ol' days because we, as a family, are having our first of what will seem like hundreds of graduations tomorrow. The Girl is graduating from kindergarten. There will be a graduation ceremony. I am sure there will be pomp and circumstance. All the kindergarteners will be wearing robes and mortarboards. I think tassles will be involved. Parents will be pushing and shoving each other out of the way to snap yet another photo of their beloved hoodlum, I mean graduate. It will be pure chaos. And I will be there, thinking about the good ol' days and rolling my eyes. Oh, I'll also be hooting and hollering for my sweet little girl, and pushing and shoving my way into prime photo-taking territory. Is it difficult to take good photos while your eyes are rolling? I guess we'll find out tomorrow.