Monday, October 31, 2016

The 31st Day of Our Lives

Day #31


Whew! 

I made it!

I posted 31 days straight.

Usually I end this series with photos from our family Halloween costumes.

But this year, 

my town is actually having Trick or Treating ON Halloween. 

So I don’t have any photos yet.

I’ll post those tomorrow.

Or follow me on Instagram  (@chairsfromthecurb)
and Facebook (@chairsfromthecurb) 

and you can see some sneak peeks.

Here’s a look back at a few of our past costume themes:

Wizard of Oz
Sorry for the terrible picture.


Christmas


Peter Pan

The 3 Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf

The 4 Elvis’s
Holy chest hair, Monte!


Willy Wonka

The Peanuts Gang

Fast Food Characters

Muppets

Clue

Gilligan’s Island

Super Heroes

Disney Princesses and Prince Charming

This year will be our 14th year of dressing up.

Stay tuned for photos tomorrow.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

David Pumpkins. Any Questions?

Day #30


Ok.



Maybe you haven't seen the Tom Hanks skit on SNL about David Pumpkins.

It’s a great example of how Monte approaches comedy.

Quantity over quality.

This skit just wears you down 
until you laugh.

Or maybe it’s the annoying music.

Anyhoo,

it’s Halloween Eve and due to crazy schedules, we just got around to all being 
in the same place at the same time so we could decorate our pumpkins.


None of us were feeling like carving and scooping out our pumpkins this year so we went with a painting/costume theme.

I dug through our costume prop box and decided to make one of our small pumpkins a Piggy Pumpkin.

We were The Three Little Pigs and The Big Bad Wolf one year for Halloween.


I eventually made her a girl.


We’ve had our pumpkins for a few weeks, sitting on the front steps.

Monte’s pumpkin got cracked and was starting to smell when he brought it inside to decorate.

He went to move it a little and the entire bottom, guts included, just fell out.

He didn’t handle it well.

You may have heard his gagging.

This is all that was left of Monte’s pumpkin after I scooped up the guts.
This splat still smelled unbelievably bad.
I had to light a candle.

Luckily, we had extra.

I had picked a really warty pumpkin and we decided that would make a pretty good Captain Hook.

Back to the costume box.

We were the characters from Peter Pan one year. 

It was one of my best years, as I got to be Captain Hook 
because I had the hair for it.

Monte found the pirate face he wanted online.



That’s a stick-on mustache we found in the prop box.



McDaniel decided on a patriotic theme.

No surprise.

She wanted to paint her patriotic pumpkin on the flag that she and the girl down the street painted on our driveway this summer.


But it started to rain so we had to move inside.


She wrote America Is The Best on it.





Ellie wanted a metallic pumpkin.

Luckily, I had mirror spray paint that I bought by mistake.


It covered really well.


She originally wrote Boo in glow in the dark and gold paint but it was hard to read.


So she sprayed over it decided to add polka dots instead.




It was still raining so we haven’t put them back back outside yet.


So, we are pumpkin ready for Halloween.

Any questions?


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Shameless Plug

Day #29



I’ve been out of town for three days so I’m way behind on everything.

McDaniel is doing a senior capstone project.

She chose to support an offshoot of C.R.A.C.K.HOUSE ministries 
(Christ Resurrects After Crack Kills) 
called Church Boys Boxing.


The ministry hopes to provide a building to house a gym to get the teens of the area off the streets and teach them boxing as a constructive use of their time, energy, frustrations, etc.

McDaniel is collecting boxing equipment and raising money to contribute to their building fund.

She started a Go Fund Me page and we are doing a bake sale next week.

She wrote this fundraising letter:

In order to graduate my high school has us create a capstone project where we have to show proof of learning. I have learned that I want to accomplish lot more than just sitting around learning. 

I want to go out and DO.

In this moment of in-between thinking and actual action I thought about something. There are people who live minutes away from myself who long for my bad days and wish for my good days.

Doesn’t that put things into perspective? My worst day where everything could go absolutely wrong could've been someone else's best day. This type of thinking has led me to develop a heart and interest in inner city teens.

In order to fill this claim, I have partnered with Pastor Ellison of C.R.A.C.K House Ministries which stands for Christ Resurrects After Crack Kills. Through this ministry they have branch organizations such as Church Boys Boxing. 

My project, Church Boys Boxing is an innovative program designed for the boys and teens in the Linden, OH area. Through this program, they learn training and discipline as well as skills that will help them join in the extra-curricula aspects of their schools.

My goal for this project is to be able to build Church Boys Boxing their own gym that could serve also a safe house for any circumstances. 

I have started a gofundme page which the link is right here https://www.gofundme.com/churchboysboxing

Any donation counts :) Feel free to forward the link on to anyone! 

God Bless, 

McDaniel 
If you feel so inclined, click the gofundme link https://www.gofundme.com/churchboysboxing

Thank you!


Friday, October 28, 2016

The Missing Size 10 Basketball Shoe

Day #28



I didn’t want McDaniel to feel left out with all these Ellie stories.

So I found this doozie in the Chairs From the Curb archives from 4 years ago.

Seriously.

This is just so

ridiculous

and infuriating.

But this is our life.


Once upon a time…

it came to my attention that McDaniel left a basketball shoe in our neighbor's car who we carpool with.

"A" shoe.

As in one.

Why just one?

Good question.

The answer came to me in a mumbled mess of I don't know's and something about a zipper not being completely zipped on a gym bag.

Okay,

somehow a SIZE 10 high top basketball shoe "slipped out" of her unzipped gym bag and was lying in the car of our neighbor who then gave it back to McDaniel on a day she didn't have basketball practice right after school.

So McDaniel didn't have her gym bag with her.

On that day after school, she and her friends were being picked up by a friend's dad and taken to the mall to shop for a gift for another friend who was moving away.

So this one SIZE 10 basketball shoe was loose in her friend's van.

It was too big to put into her
already stuffed backpack.

When McDaniel was dropped off in our driveway and she went to retrieve the loose SIZE 10 basketball shoe,

it wasn't there.

Anywhere.

They looked all over the van.

No shoe.

It must've fallen out in the mall parking lot and somehow been overlooked by all her friends getting out and then back into the van.

The petite, 
nearly invisible, 
presence of a 
SIZE 10 
high top basketball shoe.

Are you kidding me?!

I trip over these shoes all the time 
like they are a log in my path.

If these were her practice shoes it would be no big deal.

But these are her GAME shoes.

The ones we had to order from the special web site so they'd all match and get that discount where the extra money would go back to support the girl's basketball program.

And they weren't cheap.

So at dinner we decided that Monte would go to the mall parking lot to look for the shoe since he didn't want me to roam through the dark parking lot at night,

asking if anyone had seen just one SIZE 10 basketball shoe.

Like I was a character in some weird 
"sporty version" of Cinderella.

Monte ran into McDaniel's friend's Mom at the lost and found desk in the mall.

She was not happy with her husband.

The one driving the van that somehow managed 
to spit out a SIZE 10 basketball shoe unnoticed.

They looked everywhere.

In between cars.

Underneath cars.

In trash cans.

No size 10 basketball shoe.

And no mall security asking them why they 
looked like they were casing the parking lot.

Monte left our number with the lost and found desk.

We are pretty confident that no one would steal one size 10 basketball shoe.

Would they?!

We told McDaniel that she would have to pay for the new shoes and take care of talking with the coach to get the special web site ordering form once again.

She said that she'd just order ONE shoe.

Because apparently THAT is a thing that you can do.
When you are 14.

McDaniel doesn't have the money.

She blew her Christmas money on Sunday at one store.

All at one time.

Because apparently THAT is a thing that you can do.
When you are 14.


So the current owner of just one SIZE 10 basketball shoe is going to be getting a nice long list of chores to do around the house. 

And I don't care if that makes me the evil Step-mother in this Cinderella story.

NOTE:  We ended up borrowing a pair of game shoes from a teammate's older sister.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Get Rid of It

Day #27



I’m busy.

Sometimes I think I have so much to do that I’ll NEVER get it all done.

And then I remember I’ve been busier.

I remember that I’ve been busy ON TOP OF my house being renovated.

I found this in my drafts that I never posted.

THIS.

This is when I had a lot going on.

In the past week, I took McDaniel to the doctor for an ear infection and the weird rash on her leg that hasn’t gone away in months.

I tucked her into her bed with hammers hammering and saws sawing on our addition.

Ellie had her tongue tumor removed two days later.

I set her up in the basement to watch TV only to find that there was a worker sawing into the wall 
and completely picked up the sectional couch and moved it WITH ELLIE STILL ON IT. 

So I moved Ellie upstairs into our bedroom. 

When I came downstairs, I was greeted by the siding guy telling me he accidentally crashed into my car trying to avoid backing into the other workers’ truck.

He felt terrible and said he would take care of it. 

I told him, 
“No problem. It’s no big deal.”

Two hours later, as I was taking a bag of trash to the garage, I noticed the wrong siding was on the garage.

The same guy that hit my car now had to hear he was putting the wrong siding on my garage.

He looked so discouraged, that I almost lightened up the mood by saying,

“Well at least you didn’t crash into my car!” 

but I’m pretty sure he would’ve burst into tears.

Then I had to take the dog to the vet because he needed shots and he had a funky rash too and of course I mentioned ALL THE SHAKING he’d been doing with all the construction noises and the head banging on the French doors trying to go into a room that was no longer there.

The vet said that half of a Benadryl twice a day, along with an antibiotic, 
would clear up his rash and his nerves. 

Apparently he’s stopped giving out Xanax to dogs 
because the owners were abusing it 
and not giving it to their pets.

For the love of Pete.

So in between changing Ellie’s gauze after her tongue tumor surgery and giving her Alleve and everything soft and mushy known to the food world and giving Nigel three pills a day in peanut butter along with a spray for his tummy rash that I had to HOLD HIM DOWN FOR

and seeing how NOT RIGHT the siding looked on the garage,

and realizing we’d have to get the bumper on my car fixed,

and maybe move the side door on the addition or just completely get rid of it,

I felt my sanity pump-pump-pumping its way 
right out of my brain through my left eye.

I started to think that every decision we made on the whole addition project was bad.

Really bad.

Like, maybe we should just stop everything and take a second and see if any of this made any sense, looked right and would actually work in our everyday lives.

Or burn it all down.

Anyone who stopped by

or drove by

or even called,

was invited/dragged inside 
to get their take on the addition.

We overwhelmed them with the door placement, the random column that had to be RIGHT THERE or our upstairs bathroom would come crashing down in between the kitchen island and the family room, the counters that may or may not be enough, the pantry and the WHERE IN THE WORLD WILL THE TRASH CAN GO? issues.

Our very patient builder listened to me slowly ask if any of it made AN OUNCE of sense while I hoped he couldn’t hear the thumping of the heartbeat in my left eye.

He drew me pictures so I could study them and see how I felt.

In the mean time my girlfriend Julie got back from Guatemala and shared the VERY REAL poverty  she saw there.

Like, HOW LUCKY I AM that I have a roof with actual shingles.

And clean drinking water 
(even if it isn’t coming out filtered from my fridge but from a bottle).

And refrigeration 
(even if it is temporarily in the dining room).

I needed that perspective.

I needed that slap in my VERUCA SALT face telling me to stop with the,

"I want the world. 
I want the WHOLE WORLD" song.

Then Julie walked into our unfinished addition and pointed out the problem.

We were trying to hang onto a built-in piece of what we loved about the old kitchen and incorporate it into the new kitchen. It was causing a lot of problems because it. just. didn’t. work. 

She said, 

“Get rid of it.”

And things cleared up a little bit.

We told the builder and his face lit up. He’d been scratching his head trying to configure cabinets and counters AROUND this piece ALL THE WHILE wondering why we didn’t just get rid of it.

Apparently the electrician felt the same way.

Apparently they talk about things like this while I’m not around.

And for the love of Pete, I don’t know why they didn’t just say to me what Julie did,

“Get rid of it!”

Are they that worried about if I’d get mad or my feelings hurt? Were they afraid of my reaction? Did they actually hear the heartbeat in my left eye??

I’d like to think that I am self-aware enough to know all the things I have in my life that are potentially hindering me but here’s the thing,

I don’t.

Sometimes it’s the one thing that we love from the past that we are hanging on to for dear life even though it’s kinda messing up things for the future.

Sometimes it takes a good friend fresh from the bush in Guatemala, to walk into your house and say,

“You are lucky because you have shingles on your roof!”

and

“Get rid of it!”

Our built-in in the kitchen isn’t the only thing I need to get rid of.

It’s my bad attitude.

I need to take a deep breath and GET RID OF my feeling hemmed in that I have to cook my meals in a microwave or a hot plate or a crock pot all in a little dining room.

I need to GET RID OF my not being thrilled that there is an 
oven and a dishwasher in my living room.

As my sister-in-law pointed out, 
there could be a bathtub too.

I need to GET RID OF my not being able to get things clean or put away.

And I need to GET RID OF my bad feelings of freezing my nose off downstairs only to boil like a hot dog upstairs in the bedrooms.

It’s all temporary.

It’s all the bad that goes with the good.

And it’s worth it.

It’s amazing how soon we forget all about those struggles once they are over.

So thankful to find this post as a reminder there’s always something to “get rid of.” 

And thankful for good friends willing to point them out.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

An Election Story

Day #26



Before you click off of this story at the fear of a political rant,

this is about Ellie’s 5th grade student council election.


[I posted this four years ago.]

There were 4 different classes of 5th grade in Ellie's grade.

Two representatives were elected from each class.

There were specific rules to run:

•They had to write out their campaign "platform” 
and reasons why they wanted the position.

•They had to write a speech which they 
would give in front of their class.

•They could not "campaign" by giving out 
buttons or fliers or candy or bribes of any kind.

Ellie was excited and filled out her form with her platform with ease.

Her campaign promises included:

• Getting a microwave in the cafeteria that the students could use.

• Increasing the size of the sub sandwiches 
(this is a real hot topic with Ellie that caused her to make an appointment with the vice-principal last year. I guess the VP said she "appreciated Ellie's willingness to share her thoughts on the matter." But the sub sandwiches remained minuscule in size.)

• Bringing back the option of getting a salad for lunch.
(It became an "adult only" entree after years of allowing kids to buy it.)

Yep, Ellie's core platform issues 
were all food related.

The night before the election, she wrote out her speech on index cards and asked if she could practice in front of Monte and I.

This is the kind of stuff Monte LIVES FOR!

He LOVES politics, government and debating the issues.

About 5 index cards into her speech,

I eyed her stack and realized we probably had 15 more cards of points to listen to.

Monte stopped her and said something along the lines of:

"We love you and we are bored to tears. 
What are the kids in your class going to think?"

She received the information well 
and she and Monte began to work 
on rewrites of the speech.

The next day I picked Ellie up from school. 

I couldn't read her expression if she was a newly-elected student council member or not.

She handed me a folded up piece of paper.

When I opened it, I saw a large version of a 20-dollar bill photocopied with the face of one of her classmate's replacing Andrew Jackson's.

Handwritten on top of the paper was, 
"Vote for Will. He fits the bill."

And there was a chocolate foil wrapped coin taped in the corner.

Whoa, the campaign trail is ugly even in the 5th grade!

"I didn't win, Mom," she said softly.

As I tried to encourage her, she admitted that she voted for Will too.

What?!

"He gave us chocolate, Mom."

She said that his speech consisted of one sentence:

"Please vote for me because I told my mom I already won."

Maybe Trump and Hillary have it wrong.

Don't debate.

Or give endless speeches.

Give us chocolate.





Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Since We Were Talking About Ellie

Day #25



Since we were talking about Ellie, I thought I’d share this weird incident that happened to her as well.

God love her, she had some interesting elementary years.

And an obsession with the school nurse that I’d completely forgotten about.

I thought that phase would NEVER end.

And isn’t that just what parenting is?

One phase that you’d think would never end bleeding into another one and another one?

How soon we forget.



Monday, October 24, 2016

The Stuff We Remember

Day #24



I was in my high school freshman English class when a girl threw up all over the back of the boy sitting in front of her.

He was all leaned back into his chair 
so she got a good shot at him.

Poor sick girl got up and ran out of the class.

Poor “got sick upon” guy ran out not far behind.

The girl never returned but the guy did,

wearing a too-small gym uniform with tube socks pulled up high on his skinny long legs.

He was super tall so those short shorts 
seemed even shorter.

His hair was wet too.

We all had a good laugh.

I remember asking my fellow classmates at our 10-year high school reunion if they remembered that incident.

Some did, some didn’t.

Something very similar just happened to Ellie in her freshman English class.

I told her that she just became someone’s 
10-year high school reunion memory.

But she doesn't see it like that--yet.

I’ll be sure to let you know when I’m free to tell the full story.

In the meantime, It reminded me of Ellie’s  “puked in the head” story that happened to her in the 1st grade.



Sunday, October 23, 2016

Just For Fun

Day #22



Ok. 

There’s just been too much heaviness 
so I’m going to keep this light and breezy.

Here’s some stuff just for fun:

• Cows Frolicking

My friend Shannon sent me a video of cows frolicking in the grass after a long winter inside. She sent it to me on Facebook and I couldn’t find the exact video on YouTube but this one is close.

She and I talked about how fascinating and calming it is to watch. A cow getting pure joy out of being outside in the grass. I love it!





• Jon Crist

We saw Jon as the opening act for the comedian Tim Hawkins a few years ago. He’s funny! He puts out these funny little videos on Instagram. This is his latest one:







Be sure to check out the one about Christian music too.

• Tim Hawkins Podcast

Speaking of Tim Hawkins, he has a podcast with the people he travels on the road with and various guests along the way. Like Jon Crist and Kirk Cameron. They record the podcast after Tim’s comedy shows and they are usually tired and slap happy and soo funny!

There’s one guy who cracks me up just by laughing. 

It’s one of those wheezy laughs that gets me every time.

They have all these characters they do that pop in and out of the podcasts. The guy who criticizes the olive bar at Whole Foods is hysterical.

I usually listen when I’m cleaning the kitchen or wrapping 432 boxes.





• That time I almost lost my finger to a packing tape incident.

Speaking of boxes,

I’ve been wrapping shoeboxes for favors for our upcoming women’s retreat at church. 

I’ve been using packing tape to secure the thick kraft paper I’m using to wrap the boxes.

Packing tape is tricky.

It’s thick and super sticky.

I somehow managed to get a piece of tape wrapped around my middle finger on my right hand. I tried to yank the tape ends apart but that just tightened its hold and grip on my finger.

It instantly turned purple. 

It was like one of those Chinese finger trick things where the only way you free your fingers is to relax and not try to yank them out in a panic.

Well…

I panicked and yanked harder, 

shutting off all blood flow. 


I screamed and somehow frantically shoved scissors under the tape and cut the tape off with MY LEFT HAND.

It hurt.

There was a heat beat in my finger 
for a good two hours.

Speaking of Chinese finger tricks,

McDaniel got one of those things at a carnival when she was younger and got her two index fingers so tightly stuck that we COULD. NOT. FREE THEM.

We had to take her to a basketball game with her fingers still stuck in them.

Luckily, it wasn’t her basketball game.

Can you imagine if it was?!

She spent the first half of the game cheering on her friend with her hands hidden underneath her coat until Monte finally Googled an escape plan.

• Things that sound like Chewbacca

I saw this on Facebook Friday night and laughed really hard.

I was clearly tired.


But to my defense, the toilet did remind me of that condo
 we rented in Florida one spring break where the toilet 

• Joanna and Chip Gaines

This is great.




Saturday, October 22, 2016

We Need Our Faith Back

Day #22


There’s been a lot of crazy in this presidential election season.

The worst has been the way people are attacking one another.

Demanding tolerance yet not extending it.

Baiting and trapping with little or no facts.

And using social media to do it.

It’s sad when someone questions someone’s salvation based on who they may or may not be supporting for president.

An author of many bible studies, Beth Moore, is under such an attack.


She wrote beautifully in response to it. (click on the link to read it)

It’s long but so worth it.

She explains we need to get our focus off of two people and on to the one true God who is actually in control.

To stop acting like THEY are our only two options when HE holds the entire world in his hand.

WE NEED OUR FAITH BACK.

It’s a nice reminder.


Happy Saturday!