Tuesday, August 31, 2010

in a wad

OK i am in a wad. my favorite thrift store: the salvation army (on the hill) in homewood is under a new "captain" for real that is what he is called....it is an army. a couple of weeks ago i noticed that the furniture prices and what they considered "fine art" had gone UP! i mean, they had a print in there that they were selling for....are you ready?....sittin' down?....$120!!!!!!! i almost tinkled right there! what is this? a typo? now, this print had been signed by some hockey players or something. for real, this is Alabama we would not know a hockey puck from a coaster.  but LISTEN CAREFULLY.......the purpose of the salvation army is to put the stuff out there and let the your LOYAL customers find the "finds". just a month ago i bought those leather chairs for a total that was less than that hockey print.
         the word is, the captain is operating out of ATLANTA. ATLANTA? this is BIRMINGHAM. we do not even have a "needless markup" here (neiman's). don't needlessly mark-up our thrift store! calm down liz. ok, trying to think clearly here. this is what needs to happen....the loyal customers of the salvation army on the hill need to band together and call the salvation army corporate office. i do not know the number BUT i know someone that does. a dude that works there tells people the number. all you have to do is stand there and loudly say "this little chair is eighty-five dollars? who is doing the pricing around here?" the informant will then appear and tell you the number. don't expect him to have a pen or pencil, you must be ready. ok? ok. are we together? no more skirts for nine bucks! no more candles for six bucks! where is our dollar ninety nine? WHO's WITH ME?
this is me "in a wad" it's NOT pretty!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

a dream come true!

you know that dream that most people have had about going to school or to work without you clothes on? but you don't realize it until you get there and it is too late! well, bert and i had a similar thing happen, but we were wearing clothes, only the wrong ones, and it was not a dream. we were invited to the "fairy tale ball" a fundraiser for childcare resources (a GREAT cause). my dad was involved in the event and we never actually saw the invitation thus not knowing for sure (but assuming) what to wear. but we knew it was a fun kids party and it was a "fairy tale" themed party. i am sure you will be surprised to know that I LOVE TO DRESS UP IN COSTUMES! so, the wheels in my head began to turn...it would STINK to go to this party and have the worst costume there! so after some brainstorming, the THREE LITTLE PIGS popped in my head. and oh wouldn't it be so cute if daddy was the BIG BAD WOLF, and i was the BRICK HOUSE?!
fast forward 3 hours
costumes on, smooshed into the van, kids a little grumpy......MOM, this pink foamy stuff itches! my nose feels funny with paint on it!....HUSH! we are going to be the best dressed family there!
fast forward 5 minutes
we drive up on the parking area and start to see people getting out of their cars for the party. all we see are beautiful people, dressed in formal and semi formal attire! their KIDS (mostly little girls) have on little ball gowns! WHAT? where are the adult costumes? uh oh (i start to sweat). i look over at bert whom i have FORCED to be a WOLF!!!! his nose is brown. he has casual clothes on and i have written in red stickers "big bad wolf" on his shirt. he has a long tail. he looks around and sees tuxedos and ties and says, "OH NO, I CAN'T DO THIS! i am dropping yall off and going to change!" ok i do NOT blame you, go ahead and drop us off but i am SURE there are adults dressed up inside!
fast forward ten minutes
we were inside (some people were staring, mainly wondering what in the heck we were dressed up as). bert calls my cell...."i am coming back, as the wolf. i am just not going to worry about it."
5 minutes
this brick house had her wolf. her wolf that would RATHER DIE than have people stare at him did NOT break up the colorful group! we were a fairy tale story again! so embarrassed. but we were together. we ended up having fun! it was a great event. i asked bert this question..."now that you have gone somewhere, dressed as a wolf, and survived! don't you think that you could do just about anything?".....long pause...."no, not really."
ok so maybe one of us learned something. check the invitation before you go to a ball, there is not always a prize for the best costume... and, i DON'T necessarily like being the center of attention (contrary to popular belief!).

before bert came back

man, i was detailed with the costumes!

the prodigal wolf came back to the brick house!

nana and butter rockin out to the band!

aunt sassy and uncle cheeto waited in line with the kids for 45 minutes for the balloon man to make their swords! (shh, don't tell them that the kid's balloons popped on the grass when we got home! did you know a wet blade of grass can pop a balloon?)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

journal entry

i am actually sitting on my porch this morning enjoying an early morning breeze that is actually cool. ahhhh, this will turn to 91 degrees by 9. yikes, can't one ever escape the alabama heat? this week, i have been too busy to blog. kids to school, all except for crunch who has been with me EVERY DAY of the summer and does not go to pre-school until after labor day. this is actually torturous for him and me alike. he is tired of me, the house, McDonald's play place, spiderman (if you can imagine that!) and is ready for some structure! i am too. i am NOT good at the full time stay at home, bake cookies, volunteer at school, clean the house, pay the bills, greet the children when they come home with the warm homemade treats, help with the homework, fix my hair in a beautiful beehive for my husband's arrival, spritz myself with chanel # 5, make sure the pot roast is just right, all sit down for dinner. oh, by the way, the kids NEVER fight, they are all squeaky from their baths, and in their matching underoos and house coats. then, because the house is immaculate, the kids are asleep at seven-thirty and my housework all finished...we retreat to the couch to catch an "everybody loves raymond" re-run. he reads the mail while i work on knitting the kids winter hats. we go to bed and what happens from there is not spoken of because we are in A BLACK AND WHITE 1950's TV SHOW!
OK, so life is NOT like this for us and i do not pretend that it is or should be. there is a big gap between our parents generation and ours. they have watched us eat on paper plates (the horror), my husband cook the meals (i hate to cook and am NO good at it), both of us help with the dishes, laundry, putting the kids to bed. both of us have been pooped on, peed on, vomited on, thus experiencing "parenthood". i am so blessed to have a husband that helps at home, in addition to "bringing home the bacon AND frying it up in a pan". i do have one thing to add, i ALSO work (although not as much as bert) i am MOM and ARTIST! my job begins about an hour or two after his job starts and really does not end until an hour or two after they go to sleep. i often think of single mothers and wonder HOW DO THEY DO IT?? there is a mom with three girls that i know, and she does it all! i am in awe of her. she is just one of the many.

my dad was odd. in a good way though. 36 years ago when i was born he was fully involved in taking care of me. the number one thing that i remember and was PRICELESS to me was the fact that he ALWAYS tucked me in bed. all of his girls (he has 4). those were PRECIOUS times. i will never forget the silly conversations we had and the giggling we would do. the secrets i would tell him. precious. i would tell every dad that i know to do this from the beginning. we have a bond and i think it started very young. some dads wait until their kids are old enough to "have a conversation" to engage in them. some never even change a diaper! bonding actually starts at the changing table, i say! eye to eye, cleaning up a nasty poop but thinking the little creature you are cleaning up is SO dependent on you for survival is... well, priceless. men that i know these days seem to participate MUCH earlier than most men our parents generation. i do not know one other dad that taught their daughters, sitting on the edge of the sink with shaving cream and a disposable razor, to shave their legs! hilarious! he also had no issues buying "feminine products" and he knew which ones to buy! hilarious. four girls can make a daddy do ANYTHING!
but, back to present day: i am tired, he is tired. we muttle through what we can. we eat, our kids are clothed, homework is done, we pass out in our beds at 9 and start all over again the next day. sound exciting? well, there are many happy times! we laugh, we play games, we go for ice cream, we love church. but life is not perfect. i never pretend it is. God gave us these three kiddo's. that is that! i just pray that we are doing a good job. but i have heard it said, "you have to give your children SOMETHING to go to counseling about!" hopefully it is nothing earth shattering! we are doing our best, we love the Lord, the kids, and each other. isn't that what it is all about?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

crunch is 5

i did not want him to get any bigger than he was when he was 5 months! but he keeps growing. today crunch is 5 and i feel a bit floofy. looking back on these years where i have treated him like a BABY! i guess i need to stop now. i guess i need to stop nursing. i am KIDDING! yikes, i only lasted 4 months with him! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LITTLE CRUNCH, MY LITTLE MOON PIE! sitting in my hospital bed waiting on Katrina to hit. then watching it hit on tv. that was SOMETHING. here are some photos of my boy....past and present. oh, speaking of presents....thank you Lord for this wonderful and indescribable gift! amen

my favorite doc! doctor banks! i caricatured his face on my belly as a surprise. BOY was he surprised during that exam!

can't beat these moments in life! (my only c-section)

baby book picture

LOVE my baby!

playing with his toys this morning

10 week fetus named banks. (before he was even formed) his was written on the palm of our Lord's hand. HORRIFYINGLY, 8-10 weeks is the most popular time to end a baby's life in the womb. it is allowed up to 14 weeks! please pray for our unborn and mothers searching for help. 

my birthday boy!

CBL Carl Banks Landgren
Chosen By the Lord

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cahaba Park Church picnic

the weather was a fabulous sunny 100 degrees with a heat index of about 111. but who noticed? NOT US CHURCH GOIN' PICNICKIN' FOLK!
first thing's first....here is our TYPICAL "church lady pastor's wife" and their youngest child. that happens to look identical to our pastor.

it's just NOT RIGHT that she is THIS fabulous!

"MURRAY, you did great today on the sermon!"

i had a GREAT idea to "pile the babies together" to photograph our youngest members

did not go so well except for baby on the left that thought the WHOLE thing was HYSTERICAL!

LOOK a our CPC children! we are full of kids at this church! what a blessing!

we heard a crash and a huge limb fell, and came about two feet from a child.

our hearts skipped a beat. LORD, thank you for the two feet that spared our little one! his daddy said to him, "that is why mommy and i pray every night for your safety".

Sunday, August 22, 2010

mater (pg)

tomato! tomato? my friend kelly's three year old daughter brought in a "tomato" from the garden. she shouted, "MOM, this tomato looks like my brovers (brothers)!" well, i will just let the pictures do the talking. i titled the post "mater" cuz i saw it fitting!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

hotstrings art show

i neglected to show yall my booth at the show. i was so proud of how it looked. my friend brook rocks at helping set up ANYTHING. we had fun untill a monsoon wind came and knocked the tent and i was clocked in the head bu a shutter display door. ouch. in fact a man ran up and started to touch my head, when he found the huge bald spot where the door hit me. he freaked and i assured him allopecia is not contaigeous! UNLESS you touch it directly with your fingers...just kidding i did not scare the guy to death. after all, he was being helpful and sweet. here is a photo or two of the booth!

i thought it looked good. new tent! good practice for the next show!

redneck lemonade stand

i woke up early this morning to help with a friend's yard sale. i came home with some goodies! i love starting a saturday with some good yard sale endorphins. the kids had a blast today with a lemonade stand in the back of bert's truck. how redneck is that? Spiderman was helpful to attract customers. they made $7.50. the dog would NOT get out of the truck so i feel sure that there was black hair in some of the lemonade cups. i know this to be true because i saw a man fishing one out of his Styrofoam cup. it was BLAZING hot but these entrepreneurs were busy at work. then they all left. as kids do. and i was left to clean up the mess. moss the dog.was no help and had to be lifted out of the car as usual. crunch saw a real weenie dog and fell in love with a non-biting dog. i thought that made a cute picture.
by the way, bess woke up in the middle of the night, decided to hold her hamster and it bit the STEW out of her finger. she screamed bloody murder and we were all awakened. today was a tired and hot day. i enjoyed a nap. ahhhh, bert took the kids to kmart and the dollar store. fun day. did i mention the heat?

SNAP TO IT! it's PATTI! a paying customer!

such a cute pic i could eat it!

crunch loving on a real weenie dog.

Friday, August 20, 2010

cowboy owl painting

"remember the owlamo"

strange but AWESOME

        i talk to EVERYONE. it just does not matter where i am, or who you are. i talk to EVERYONE. it is sometimes a problem for those around me. especially bert. he does not mind UNLESS we are trying to have quality time. then my talking to EVERYONE is a problem for him. i just LOVE meeting new people. i met a new friend with two adorable children and we ended up in conversation about birmingham (she is new to town) and then...her tatoos. i NEEDED to know what her wrist tattoos meant. i will share more about tatoos in a later post. but any the how, we talked forever.
        i noticed a beautiful african grandmother and her grandchildren. they were so dark skinned and had that look about them that i could just tell they, too, were new to the area.
it was so hot and sticky and with sweaty brows and hands...we shook to meet. i asked her if she spoke "swahili" and she lit up like a candle and began rattling off her language...."whoa", i said. i ONLY know JAMBO (hello) and a song "God is so good" in swahili. so we began to sing...in the middle of the park. (my other new friend i am sure thought i was a quack!)
with her granddaughter on my hip ( head on my shoulder)... my african friend and i began to sway to the imaginary piano playing the chords to "God is SO GOOOOOOD......."
(pardon all spelling for those who speak swahili!)
mungu yu mwema
mungu yu mwema
mungu yu mwema
yu mwema

with sweat from the HOT morning muggy sun we shared with each other that we were "sistas" and we ended our conversation with, "I will see you in heaven!" in broken english and sign language
but, when she said,
we both understood eachother perfectly.

i'm sharing with you a few paintings that i did a couple of years ago to raise money for another african friend.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

rebel is at boot camp

REBEL the mixed weenie dog is pretty bad. he bites, nips, and poops in the house. i have had him this week at "doggie day care" (won in an auction) at CREATIVE DOG TRAINING in birmingham. well, his "report card" from yesterday was not so good. it was bad really. their concern is rebel being so aggressive, so YOUNG. they asked me to consider the mini BOOT CAMP. well, this service would completely transform reb into an obedient dog. i mean, MARGARET that owns the place is like CAESAR MILAN in a dress. she is amazing. rebel would spend ALL of the 7 days with her, doing extensive training. how can i resist!!!! so, HOW MUCH IS THIS??? what? i am sorry, did you say $600? oh. ok........crap.  i mean, for real. it would work, but i can't afford it. and i am stuck with CUJO the meanie weenie dog. so, my wheels started to turn. on my way out the door to take rebel for his third third day of monitored day care, it hit me. i grabbed my portfolio and a 36x36 blank canvas.
i turned on my salesman voice as rebel, crunch, and i walked into the office holding the canvas and my impressive (i must say) portfolio of pet paintings. yes, in the office of the place where rebel is known as "king of the yard" miss MARGARET walked out and i managed to negotiate a trade! yes, a BARTER. one 36" painting of her five animals for 7 days with "my biting dog" as crunch calls him. i thought it was a SLAM DUNK and i jumped up and down and hugged her (the dog whisperer) and sent rebel off for seven days at chez creative dog training. bye you little toot head, i'll see you in 7 days!

margaret and rebel's "boot camp" chart

margaret's rebel BITE from the day before! ARGGGG!

reb does not stand a CHANCE!

miss you frannie!!
example of one of my pet paintings


my sister's beautiful children

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

a miracle!!!

peanut...without being asked...cleaned her room. i am floored. seriously, i am laying on the floor. i wish i had a "before" picture. here is the "after"!

teaching tiffany

this friend has never painted anything in her life! now she is an arteest!! she came over and we had a three hour lesson (total) and here is how it flowed.....