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Elliott, to me: What can I do to get people to throw money at me?

Me, to Augie: Take his foot out of your mouth. NOW.

Augie, to no one in particular: I like jelly donuts.

Ellliott, to the WORLD: Doesn’t anyone KNOCK anymore?

Charlie, to everyone: They won’t let me do ANYTHING. I can’t play basketball, throw the football, Ethan won’t even let me wear his beard.

(yes, beard. For the school play tomorrow — Rip Van Winkle, here we come!)

1351″> ?


You’re So Money Monday

1350 1350_ () 1350 1350 Do you hear that sound? The one that’s looming large in my ears? It’s either a bomb about to go off or the sound of minutes ticking away towards summer, when the last bell rings at school and my boys come bounding out of the classroom, down the walkway and into the car. Where we will all scream and cheer and wave our arms in glee. And then, two minutes later, they will turn their heads to me, their fearless leader, and say “What now!”

The thought strikes me with simultaneous fear and delight.

I’m always very excited about summer, the slower pace, my boys all being here with me. But I’ll admit that every summer, the first few weeks are a bit of a roller coaster. It takes us some time to settle into the new routine, also for me to remember we actually need a routine, that we can’t just sit around chilling out all day everyday. But I do tend to take the first few days after school gets out to do, well, very little. And then I snap to, and remember that summer must be a healthy balance of fun, adventure, structure, learning and fun.

Which brings me to today’s topic: books!

Growing up, my siblings and I had required summer reading with our mother. She would have us pick out a book (or a series of books), read them, and then do a book report which we would then present to the entire family. I’ll admit that I have not implemented this as yet in our family, but I’m thinking this summer will be the perfect time. My boys are all at ages where this concept can really fly (though Henry will only be through the first few chapters of Humanae Vitae, so his book report might be a dud).

A few weeks ago, I asked the boys to start thinking about what book series they would each like to tackle this summer. Augie already had his picked out.

“Calvin and Hobbes,” was his quick reply.

Anyway, reader Denise asked me this very question last week, so I thought the timing is perfect:
Have you found any good books or book series for your boys to read?? My oldest is almost seven and just getting ready for chapter books, but every time we go to the library I feel lost. So many of the books for boys his age look junky or scary. I don’t need him to be reading only about the saints or anything, but I don’t want to have him reading too much that is questionable or beyond his scope.

What series’ have you found that are great for boys? Put them in the comments, and I think I’ll make a link list at some point this week. I’m going to add mine this afternoon. 1350″> ? . ,


Local Yokels

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This Tuesday, May 20, I’ll be speaking on “How to Find Christ in the Most Ordinary of Days.” If you live in the area and want more info, drop me an email or just show up! Gathering is at 11:30 a.m., I speak at noon, at the coffee house in Surrey Center.

I promise I won’t bring any charts or chore lists. But I’m thinking about wearing this sweater. It goes nicely with my new highlights.



Heart Full of Gratitude, or A Cautionary Tale

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Brace yourself — this post is really, really deep.

A few months ago, I went to see my hairdresser to deal with the fact that my foils didn’t seem to offer as much coverage as they once did. He told me it was just part of my natural color getting darker, and he convinced me to do an overall color with highlights on top of that. (Those of you who are just reeling from the depths of this post, if it’s too lofty for you, I understand. I won’t be offended if you can’t stay.) So I said yes, sure, let’s do it. And I got some overall color.

I liked it okay at first, mostly because the coverage was much more, um, thorough. And to prove that point, when Paul got home from work that night, he actually *noticed* that I had gone to the salon.

“Wow,” he said, “your hair is blonde.”

Yes, I told him, yes it is.

But after a day or two, I started noticing that my hair was indeed blonde but with an unfortunate red hue. Now I’m all for redheads, don’t get me wrong. But not when you went in wanting to remain a blonde. And I wasn’t sure if my eyes deceived me, but it sure seemed that my hair had an orange glow.

Fast forward a few weeks to a recent stop at my mechanic. No, he doesn’t do hair or talk about
highlights. But as I was waiting for my flat tire to get patched, I was talking with an older lady in the waiting room. She was asking me all about my sidekick Henry, and then we got on the subject of no, he isn’t my first, he’s my fifth, they’re all boys, yes it’s an adventure, do you need some smelling salts?

Somehow, after all that, we got to talking about the other boys and how two of them are redheads — one a copper and one a bona-fide RED!

“Well, he got that from you, I guess,” she said.

“Actually,” I said, “this red is from highlights.”

And I came home from the mechanic and called my friend Bridgit, my other hair dresser. Yes, I’m one of those two-timers, who sometimes goes to one salon, sometimes to another. But I’m pretty sure all that has now changed. Because I called Bridgit, she took me in a few days later and said yes, your hair has red in it and this is how we can fix it. And fix it we did.

Ahhhh. That’s better.

So here’s to you, Bridgit! Thank you! I will never cheat on you again.

DISCLAIMER: The other guy is also a wonderful stylist. This is nothing against *him* — this is against Overall Color for Me, and how Bridgit was totally honest with me about how we needed to move away from that (for me).