Friday, August 27, 2010

That One Kid

I just enrolled Matthew in public middle school part time. It will be his first time in a public school setting. He'll have to check into the office and out again. He'll also try the school lunch. He was only going to take Spanish, Industrial Tech, and Gym during that third period (rotating days) but the counsellor told me that it wasn't next to lunch (the only "class" he was REALLY interested in haha) so I signed him up for science and math too! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! THAT'll show him! I told him it's not it's all cracked up to be, but he's a boy and might actually enjoy it...lunch, that is.

He and Wade were in the backseat the other day, talking about how he'll act at school, since he's the only one in that school who will have that weird schedule. I told him that he could invent an identity for every class. We came up with cool states he could possibly have come from or some kind of secret spy identity. I told them both about what the witness protection plan is all about and how he could say that "Matthew N." is just his cover name and his real name has to be kept a secret or some nefarious group would find him. I told him he could really achieve the status of "The Most Interesting Man in 8th Grade", if he played his cards right.

No matter what his secret identity story, or how shy he decides to act, I know he'll make a lot of new friends and the teachers will really enjoy teaching him. I've already got the office staff excited about a new student. I think that they are jazzed about proving to a home educated child that public school is not bad and can be a good thing (we already know that, but I'm okay with the teachers/staff going that extra mile to try to prove it heh heh heh!).

Matthew just turned 13 and though I've been trying not to highlight the older kids, out of respect for their privacy, I have to say how proud I am of the man he's becoming. He just finished firearm safety training and I watched to see how he responds to someone else teaching him. He sat at attention, took notes, followed along, all with a cool if he's been public schooled his whole life. He didn't offer any know-it-all answers (even though he DID know everything they were talking about), but I know he's taking it all in and he even studied when he came home.

I know that doesn't sound like any big deal, but since he mostly hangs around public schoolers, he's under the impression lately that he's a freakazoid because he homeschools and that homeschoolers are anti-social weirdos who regularly wear capes and pretend to joust well into their twenties.

I set him straight and show him how he knows all kinds of different weirdos from all walks of life, but then he points out to me how I'm married because I went to public school.


So, since I won't let him go ALL day and get institutionalized and zombiefied by "The Man", and since he wishes to experience life outside this pukey, poopy, chaotic, baby crying, "I can't concentrate when people make NOISE!", no I didn't yes you did no I didn't yes you did infinity...household, we compromised with this modified schedule for the school day. I think it's just perfect! Wouldn't you just LOVE to go to school at 10am and then head home after lunch around 1:30ish?

I don't usually like to predict what my children's vocations will be, but I can see that kid in the military. He is obedient, hard working, dedicated, strong, smart, handsome, and makes friends very easily.

He's also a total goofball with a smart-a sense of humor.
I think he was switched at birth with some other baby because no one else in this house is like THAT.

By the way, doesn't it bug you that NO spell checks recognize the word "homeschool"??? That's always kind of bothered me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Something Different For A Change Of Pace Myself And I Have A Dream A Little Dream

There once was a man from Siam
Who ate lots of beans and Spam
Al Gore came to scold
the neighbor, he told
He forgot to recycle the can

I only re-wrote it twice. Oh yeah, I'm just that good.

Here's another one, just off the cuff:

(Jennie's twins: A Haiku)

Plural pals, sleep now
Mama waits to snuggle you
two more cute Herbst-es

But, what I started with was this:

Jennie hears two hearts
"I'll be as big as a HOUSE!"
Little stinkers laugh

I need to slow down and just get things done around here. I was hoping this weekend would be my "get the school stuff organized" weekend, but the humidity is up and the A/C is DOWN. Yikes.

Okay, going down the wrong path now so it's time to screw around again:

Doris the cat went to jail
for getting caught out in the hail
"I didn't expect
that I'd get so wet
and now, I'm hairless and pale."

Got hail-pelted cats on my mind, I guess.
Oh, here's another one for Mike:

Beer: A Haiku

(I love the title, it's so contradictory in that it's so earthy and sophisticated, all at the same time, don't you think?)

It's called a "Beer Club"
A whole bunch of microbrews
One giant headache

Of course, how could I not end this fabulous post-etry without a tribute to my beloved:

Butch was a husband I had
the kids and I called for him, "DAD?"
We looked and we looked,
could not find where he booked...
he was in the garage being bad.

Okay, that one was kind of for Mike, too.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I've got so much to be thankful for. I could list it all but I'm sure it would be a boring thing and too long of a list to read. I have the list in my heart, and that's good enough.

I also have much to regret and be embarrassed about. I've made so many mistakes this year, it's crushing me and my family under a mountain of worry and all of these "running away" feelings are just my coping mechanisms taking over and it's not good.

When the people around me lose hope, I usually fight back with tons of optimism and fixits galore, but I'm getting very tired and not really finding those reserves that I need to help prop everyone up. I HATE. I have a lot of anger and hate in my heart for the things around me that seem to be pulling me down into that sin of hopelessness and useless regret.

Debbiedowner is back again, full force. As much as I love the season of fall, it always happens this time of year. I think I kind of know why. It's because it's the time of year that I feel most accountable to "the Man". School starts, activities for the kids rev up, we have to be certain places at certain times, winter is coming and so are the bills that come with colder weather, the holidays, and school books, kids are not used to the "buckling down" and get more anxious and their fighting starts to make me feel like a failure. I can't keep up.

I really can't keep up. I've been fooling myself for 2 years that things FOR SURE have to get better and that the economy will turn around soon and that there will be more work for Butch and I can make "extra" by doing something at's all a total farce. Work is NOT coming for Butch and, in reality, his income will have been cut nearly in half by the end of the year (with the bits and pieces taken off in such a slow, menacing way, it was hard to see at the time:lay offs, injury, half days here and there, etc.). The sick irony of it is that his job was always "recession proof" in the past. Every time he'd come home and say "Things are going to slow down! They hinted at it in the office!", I'd just laugh and say "Yeah, right!" because it never did...BEFORE. Now that it's a reality, it has me stumped. How do we move forward when we can't even pay for the here and now? How do people live like this?

We've always been stretched, and suffered hard times early in our lives together...but this is bad. We have each other and we have a great family, but everyone in it is suffering similar worries. What happens when we can no longer lean on each other for support, for fear of pushing the other person over the edge?

It's going to be a tough rest of the year. We are going to have to make some hefty decisions and I really don't know what to do. I hate being a slave to debt and insecurity.

There are a lot of "I"s in this stressed out rant. Depression is a very selfish thing.

Hopehopehopehopehopehopehopehopehopehopehopehope has to be the mantra/prayer. I just can't find it right now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


We were just wrapping up the day and Trina and Matty were working on new voicemail greetings on their phones. It was a pretty noisy environment (when is it NOT???) but I heard Mari repeating, in her teeny voice, an odd sound.

She often does repeating sounds or sings little songs to just herself. It's usually very funny but this one took the cake.

The kids have been watching The Fantastic Mr. Fox all week (which reminds me, I gotta bring that thing back to the video store). It's a VERY weird movie but in one part, the cool cousin that comes to live with Mr. Fox tries to calm himself with some Yoga that he presumably learned in his somewhat Bohemian upbringing. It's a way that the author illustrates how kind of naturally cool he is.

I saw Mari, earlier, playing with this mat thing that has bamboo across it. I think Anna used it to decorate in her dorm and the girls inherited it. I thought I had thrown them away but good thing I didn't because then, Mari wouldn't have been able to turn it into the PERFECT "yoga mat". I grabbed the camera before she had a chance to realize what I was doing:

Then I tried to get a better picture by using the flash and she did this:

...and told me "Mom! That noise is ruining 'my thing'!"

Yoga girl with pizza face should know she will NEVER achieve total peace and tranquility as long as she lives in THIS family. I think that she will still try, though. She's a very persistent little mouse.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Counting My Curses

Did you ever just feel like a dang dog some days? Not a nice, fluffy, pampered richie dog but a street dog with matted hair and a mangy attitude? "Poor Me" has been my attitude for most of this summer. Every day I try to stick to the schedule and live and appreciate the moment but, all along, the underlying worries fill the back of my mind and come creeping out at night. I don't get any sleep most nights.

Just when I think we can maybe see the light of day, some family thing blows up or Butch's elbow blows up (which was the case last week...he's better now but the damage is done with one whole week of no income) and I'm ready to slink into the gutter or snatch up the whole family and move to some Amish community in Canada and hide out for the rest of our lives.

Of course, if we lived incognito and separated ourselves from society, I couldn't share things like this with you:

And we would lose contact with the friends, family, and really awesome neighbors and I don't think I can survive without them.

I'm really tired of trying to arrange the days to keep everyone happy and healthy. I'm tired of not being able to keep up with the repairs, messes, and maintenance that this life requires. I hate living in "bare minimum" mode and I feel like I'm failing to make this house a home. Having a new baby is always stressful (and joyful, don't get me wrong!) but it's particularly stressful in the summer months when the older kids really want to go and DO things but I really need them to help out around the house and I have trouble finding friends for them to hang out with that aren't already occupied with their own family fun.

Now, I have to get into "school mode" and that is terrifying to me, as I don't know how I'm going to pay just bills, much less a whole bunch of school materials costs.

I know, it's a huge debbiedowner (whonk whonk whonk whooooooonk) post, but I DID put the blissfully unaware, happy baby video in there, right?
Don't worry, I know how much WORSE things can be. I know of a lot of sick/dying people and of miserable problems that so many people around me are suffering. It sure doesn't make me feel any better. It really just makes me feel a lot worse about the state of humanity and the point of all of this.

Maybe I'll feel better by the next post...but probably not.