Sunday, June 19, 2011

Some Answers and Some Zoo

Since it's Sunday night but feels like it should be last Thursday, we're going to switch things up a bit, in honor of the chaos that is currently my life.

Listen closely! Put your thinking caps on! It could get ugly.

And it's for sure going to get confusing.

What you are about to witness is the recap of our fateful zoo trip from last Tuesday, with answers to your questions interspersed.

Let's do it, yo.

You might not know the following about me: I love lions. Well no, that's not really true. I don't just "love" them...I don't love them when they're being lazy (almost all the time) and I don't especially love them when they spray out of their behinds, but I LOVE it when they roar. There's nothing spooky-cooler. I always imagine how terrifying it would be to hear that out in the wild. (I have a habit of trying to imagine very awful things. I haven't completely ruled out therapy.) I was worried that they were going to be totally lame, but just as we were about to walk away, they put on a boomin' show.

My excitement was only slightly overshadowed by the nagging headache creeping over me on account of the blasted blackbird attack that happened only moments earlier, immediately following the feeding of the fish.

What do you for discipline when the kids misbehave? - Julie F.
Well, we do time-outs for Siley and send the bigger kids to their rooms for a bit. We spank when necessary. We enlist manual labor for Calvin. We are also big fans of finding out what the particular kid really wants and then holding it over his/her (mostly his) head. For example, from the ages of 2-4, Calvin was obsessed with wearing sports clothing. When extended family saw him in a shirt with no number, they knew he was in trouble. We also like logical consequences, i.e, Calvin has been giving us trouble for the past few nights at bedtime. Tonight, he had to go to bed early, before anyone else.

When did you become a Christian? What's the coolest thing God's done for you? - Laura
I became a Christian when I was four, although I learn more about what it means to live my life for Christ, to remember that it's not my own, every single day. My faith has grown as I have seen Christ alive and at work in me. He rescued my marriage from the brink of utter destruction about 10 years ago. He gave us first-row seats to the outpouring of his love (delivered by the hands of others) during Calvin's health crisis 5 years ago. He rescued me (rescues me again and again) from my selfish nature and unkind heart. He held our hand through our extremely difficult first year with Silas. And yesterday, when I was having the sorriest birthday in the history of birthdays, he covered me up ten times over with goose-bumps when the kids and I screamed this song on a 6 minute van ride. He's just always here. Always beside me. And he makes sure I know it. That's the coolest thing.

My nephew Colin, pretending to be swimming underwater with the wildlife.

We totally rock the "Daycare Field Trip" look when we're all together.

My SIL Jamie dressed her boys alike so she could keep a closer eye on them.

I unknowingly dressed Silas in their dress code.


Calvin took this shot of us.
(Nana, Mommy, Aunt Jamie and Aunt Lindsey.)

Of course, it started a whole "thing" and every one had to have a turn.

Q: cats or dogs? - Janie
Neither. Can we still be friends?
If it helps, we have four outside cats: Ralphie, Ed, Helen, and Fred.
I make sure they are well cared for.
But I never hold them.
Just being honest here.

I would like to see more of your pressed tin backsplash. Is it real tin or the panels from Lowe's or other home improvement store? - Lorilee
It's the fake stuff from Lowes! We love it and people comment on it ALL the time. It looks like the real deal and adds tons of character to our farmhousey kitchen. And it's fairly inexpensive. And easy to install!

If you could visit ANYONE'S home, who would that person be? - Tina Turner
Oh, these questions give me the jitters, because what if I answer and then I think of someone better later?? It's not easy, being a control freak. At this very moment, I do believe I would say that it's a tie between Silas's birth mom and Calvin's birth mom. I would love to see them, see their world, how they live, etc... I would love to squeeze them!

At what age did you begin using your "Old Timey" words? Teens? Twenties?
- Tina Turner
I was raised on old-timey words, but they are experiencing a revival in my life as of the past 5-ish years. I should start keeping a little list of the things my mom and dad and extended family say. You'll crack. up. And then you'll start to say the same things for fun, because it's positively irresistible.

Who was the first woman you looked at and thought "She's smart, amazing and cool and I'd like to be like her when I'm older." Can't be your mom or your granny.

When I was in elementary school, I idolized my older cousin, Diane. So much so, in fact, that I carried her Senior picture in the back pocket of my jeans and I wore her hand-me-down t-shirt with "Diane" airbrushed across the front. I believe it had lavender 3/4 sleeves. Dang, I wish I still had that shirt...

How many good friends have you made from blogging? Don't you call them "Crossovers"? When I first read that, I thought your Coop Friend had passed on!
- Tina Turner
My, aren't we chatty, Tina!
Well, thank Heavens, Coopy has not up and passed on. Perish the thought. I have made so many friends via blogging. Many kindred spirits who think like I do and and many who challenge my brain and heart to stretch. To date, I think I have spent in-person time with 5 or 6. I'm always a nervous wreck before I meet one in person, because you know, what if?? Mostly I fear that they'll realize how boring I am in real life and how truly claw-like my hands are. One of my happiest, most unexpected blog friendships is with this gal, who attended college with me and lived right next door to me, but with whom I never shared a single meaningful word. Now? I kick myself over time wasted and hug her whenever I get the chance.

Oh my dear. These three.
Calvin is trying to look like Toby Mac here. I'm thinking he totally pulls it off.
I love them to bursting.

Hi Macy! You are the cutest, happiest baby girl ever! You have magical powers which transform Silas into a sweet, charming, cooperative, gentle lamb. Do you babysit?

Hi, massive crocodile. I do not like you.

What denomination are you? I keep thinking you're Mennonite.... - Jennifer Jo
I have attended many denominations in my 35 years. I've run the gamut. Right now, I'm First Brethren. I love my church.

what were your favorite shows from those model loving days? - Nancy
Oh man, what was that show about the teenage girls who were somehow rescued by that very wealthy older man and became models? And why does that sound so creepy now?? OK, wait...Rags to Riches! Loved it. And apparently they were singers and not models, but still. I also liked the ill-fated Models, Inc.

Do you have a favorite memory from your visit to Korea? {Besides meeting Silas, of course} Looking back I try to pinpoint a favorite, but it's all a beautiful blur of breathing in the places and details and people that swept me off my feet and left me wanting more. My heart found a home there. Do you feel the same? - Rachel
I totally wish I could say the same. I remember mostly being cold-cold-cold. I was not properly attired. I definitely think back our visit with fondness, but we had a tough time communicating because we were alone - completely alone, on our own. Even our visits with Silas's foster family were difficult because there was such a great language barrier. Despite those things, I loved attempting to see the city and the people through the eyes of my boys, who came from a world away, from a culture so different from mine.
I would love to go back one day when it was warmer and when we were more able to communicate with the people.

After the snakes and the spiders and potty breaks for everyone, we had ourselves a fine lunch at the park.

And then my nephew Evan puked.

And I hauled all three kids across town to Vinnie's, where Silas snacked on his shoe and I snagged 7 plates for $10 on behalf of Jamie, who was unable to join us due to the aforementioned puking child.

We browsed around for nearly an hour and they did amazingly well.

The check-out lady was so sweet.

And they all fell asleep on the drive home.

I. Heart. Summer.


  1. it's so odd that i never even noticed your claws when we met.

  2. This, sounds exactly like life....a bit scattered, a bit harried, and most definitely worthwhile.

  3. 1. For a millisecond I thought about stopping reading your blog because you do not like dogs. But then I realized our last dog didn't last very long due to fur and jumping and chewed couch. So maybe I don't like dogs as much as I thought I did.
    2. Carrying with the animal theme - your zoo pictures turned out great. We went to do the zoo yesterday for the first time with our young'ins - I have a lot of pictures of Bubby's head looking at the animals who were lazy and hiding and not roaring.
    3. I like that you have "run the gamut" in terms of church. I call myself multidenominational. I hope that phrase catches on someday soon so I can say I coined it.
    Sorry your birthday started out so sorry. I am enjoying getting to know you through these questions. (That looks slightly creepy - online-datingish when typed out, but you know what I mean, I hope.)

  4. i love lions, too! did you see the 'african cats' movie from disney this spring? oh! and 'born free', love that lion story.
    and, i love crocodiles. is that weird?
    your kiddos look like they had a blast! love the pic of toby mac trying to look like calvin-that is toby mac, right?

    great answers. what a cute, old-timey soul you are.
    i love ya.

  5. Any day that ends with a trip to Vinnie's is a good day.

    And I do believe I have not seen a cuter piece of clothing made from that Heather Bailey fabric. I wanted to reach into the screen and borrow it to wear tomorrow. :)

  6. LOL, the numbers on the shirt! You kill me.

    And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that enlists the help of a spank when necessary... or bribery!

  7. I always have crappy birthdays. Dec 30th baby.
    Also, when Tina Turner asked who you would like to meet or whatever, at first I thought you were saying "tina turner" and I thought, wow, that is so random. Maybe the hair? Then it all made sense.

  8. First thing:

    Thank YOU for answering a lot of my questions. I can be chatty. It can be challenging. My best friend continues to refer to me as "the question lady" and gets annoyed when people (generally people we know)don't answer. She'll say "Will you PLEASE just answer it? She's just going to keep asking in different ways until she gets an answer." So A) Thank YOU! It was fun and super interesting to read! and B) Sorry!

    After I asked my questions, I realized if I were you (or anyone who was asked the questions)that I would have El Jitters myself and it might take me awhile to craft a response. You rock. I love your answers.

    I'm still not sure what my answers to my own questions are! Ha! It changes year to year, which is somewhat good, I think.

    I sincerely hope your bday took a fab right turn to wonderful. did it? I find myself wondering if instead of a cake or something sweet, you had candles in/on/near your salsa and chips? Which just leads to another question..mild, medium or hot salsa?

    LOVE your Zoo skirt and the fact that you paired it with a t-shirt like you did. I think it says "I don't care all that much, but look how SUPER cute I look!" as well as "I haven't tried this combination before!" <---older post of yours that made me LOL.

    Finally...When I got to the part where you mention the puking child, all I could see was the picture of the top of your head (you're all in the mirror at the store) and for just a second..I thought "surely she doesn't have that moment recorded! Does she?"

    Nice cliffhanger, kid. I honestly didn't know where you were headed there for a sec.

    As per usual, your family is heartbreakingly adorable.

    Thanks for such a great post!!



  9. : ) You fascinate me.
    LOVE your skirt and shirt combo on your zoo trip. You really are the cooliest ; )

  10. I thought the same thing as "ostriches", that your answer was Tina Turner. :)
    Anyway, just want to say your blog is all can be telling a story of a horrible, no good, very bad day, and you still make me smile because of the way the love and beauty is there in the middle of it all.

  11. ugh! every time i hear that someone puked, i think i'm going to puke too. or one of my kids are going to. i have a bit of a phobia of barf. ugh!
    besides that last bit about the puke, i love learning more about you! i feel a lot like you with the animals...not really my dealeo.
    hope your knot on your head from killer bird is better :)

  12. The cutest all time ever green skirt. Are those pom poms? Oh my...

  13. I have to say that I don't think I'll ever be able to go to the zoo again without your bird story entering my brain. I had to laugh when I saw your nephews' matching shirts because I just hit publish on a post about matching shirts for the summer. It is uncharted territory for me and I never thought I'd do it. I'm trying to have a sense of humor about it. : )

  14. I was waiting like a kid at Christmas for my phone to load when I saw that you had a post up. & as always HO! HO! HO! You delivered! That sounded bad...I am sorry! (s)Not! ;).

  15. wait. are you telling me you know RAGS TO RICHES???? Do you know that I recently looked it up on youtube just to see if it was there? (It was, someone videotaped their TV playing it, but STILL. My favorite was "wait oh yeah, wait a minute mr. foley..." especially when they said "And that includes your darling Carlotta." AND. Do you remember Richard Greico from 21Jump Street?? He was on that show!

    Oh, my, we'll have SO much to talk about in September.

  16. Wow, what a day. Comedy interspersed with reality. It was nice to get to 'know' you a little better through the questions. I also love the lion photo :)

    This Good Life

  17. Happy belated birthday Shannan...even if it was a sorry one. Those sneak in there now and again, don't they? Pesky things...

  18. Those first two pictures are brilliant!!! Love them. And the one of your three in the window... love that one too! Great pics. I felt like I was right there with you!

    Lovin' being back to read your blog regularly!

  19. Happy Belated Birthday! Love the song you mentioned answering Laura's question. Made my day!

  20. I can't decide which I love more, your prose or your beautiful pics of those huggable kidlets.
    I. Heart. Your. Blog.


  21. Rags to Riches was my favorite show eveh!

    Yakkety-Yak, don't talk back!

    You and I were surely separated at birth.


    I think what Siley is trying to tell you is that he needs a baby sister. I may can hook you up there.



  22. Happy birthday Shannan! That was a mighty fun post.

  23. I will be meeting you soon! I am counting on it.And how cool is it to have a name like Tina Turner!

  24. i have that backsplash...we rULe!

    calvin totally pulled off that toby mac look.

    so glad to call myself a crossover;)

    i feel like summer hasn't come yet. i'll just live vicariously through you.

  25. Oh and after reading the Anne of Green Gables series I am spouting words like bespoke, bestow, partook and behoove. It is so much fun. My 4th grade vocabulary is looking up!
    I have the backsplash too, only in copper.

  26. Wait. One. Second. Were you at the Vinnie's by my house. Like the one literally within walking distance? Say it ain't so....

  27. You should totally come to Northern Indiana to a place called Black Pine Animal Park. They are a rescue and you get to see tigers and lions SUPER close up! It is fabulous! If you do, you must tell me so we can meet. And bring Jayme with you! :)

  28. ahh, the zoo :) the pictures are great. loved the one of you and the girls.

    and i love all of the amazingly cool things god had done in your doing, and will do!

  29. You and your kids are just so adorable! I definitely idolized my older cousin too, but sadly I couldn't fit in any of her clothes because she was always a lot taller than me! I'm 5'2" and she's almost 6 feet. But if I could have worn her clothes, I would have!

  30. Yay. You named a cat after me! :)

    And I'm still lol'ing about the lion spraying out the behind.

  31. I've been reading your blog for the past few months--love it! :) We have three little people--and our youngest--who turns one this week!--has been with us for just three months (from Ethiopia). :)

    Anyway, just wanted to say that the red-winged black bird story cracks me up! Those birds are crazy! We have "theme weeks" at our house to keep everyone busy and happy, and right now it's "Bird Week." We've been feeding lots of them on our deck--and our red-winged blackbirds are quite well fed.

    But today, I was hosing off the deck (as birds have no concept of potty space), and a bluejay knocked me in the back! Thankfully he didn't leave a bump (I would imagine that would definitely hurt to be bonked on the head)--he only left phantom scratches of his claws on my shirt. :) Crazy birds!

    Hope you have a wonderful day! :)

  32. omg...Rags to Riches...I swear it (in my memory) was my favorite show ever! and I can still hear the theme song, kinda.

    Did your agency not translate your interview with the foster parents? That would be hard. I too would like to go to Korea when warm, in dec. and mar. it was the same (cold) temperature! :)


  33. I'm not a birthday kinda gal. I'd rather skip them.
    We are moving to Korea in a couple weeks. Not looking forward to the hot, and then the cold. (We are moving from Hawaii)

  34. Sadly i do not recall Rags to Riches..but does anyone remember "Paper Dolls"? It was short lived but I LOVED it!

  35. I SO enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing :) You da bomb diggity..


  36. 1. Your skirt is fab-ulous.
    2. I spy a Seoul shirt! So happy that Calvin has one now!
    3. We traveled to SoKo in mid/late September. GORGEOUS weather. Not too hot, not a bit cold. Go back then, my friend. And enjoy!
    4. Silas snackin' on his shoe?! Ha! More power to him.