Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fitness Equipment AKA My Second Childhood

I'm allergic to exercise. I find it really boring, especially when I could be doing something fun like reading, eating, cooking, blogging, or sleeping. But I know I really do need to do some exercise.

So today Middle Sister and I went shopping at Five Below, where I found the perfect tools for summer exercise and fun:
a jump rope
a hula hoop
and a Skip-It!

There's a good reason, I think, why kids don't have to work to stay in shape. Their exercise is their play. So I intend to get in on the fun.

Winding Down

The school year here is winding down.

Little Brother has 2 1/2 more days of school.

The other kids have 10 days each.

I have 2 more weeks of tutoring to go.

We are all SO ready to be finished with the year. Not that it's been a bad year, but it's time to be done. I enjoy my job, and I think my kids (secretly) like school, even if it's just the "being around their friends" part!

So, in honor of that, I want you to go visit Building the Ark and read "You might be a school employee if..."

I'm a former full-time teacher, now homebound teacher. My mom and dad both are college instructors. My sister and her husband are both teachers. So it runs in the family, and we can ALL relate to just about every one of the items in that piece! Read and enjoy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

We speak different languages

We are a three-guitar (and one organ, one keyboard and one banjo) household.

Big Brother is trying hard to teach himself electric guitar by downloading tablature from the internet. Since I have a 12-string Ovation, I generally only play "by the chords" so I can't be much help to him.

Now he's thinking about playing with the choir at church. I had offered to write out a few simple bass lines for him. But he wants me to write them in tabs, not notes. I read music; he doesn't. So I don't do tabs.

I tried what I thought was a brilliant parting shot: "I bet Andres Segovia doesn't play by tabs!"

He didn't know who Andres Segovia is.

"Only the Best Guitarist Of All Time," I told him.

He disagreed.

"He is SO better than Jimi Hendrix," I said.

"But what about Jimmy Page?" he countered.

We need to get Nintendo to put some Segovia into Guitar Hero. Maybe that would convince him.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Homemade Taste--It's In There!

Little Brother is pestering negotiating for Adventure Boy to be allowed to eat dinner here.

"I'm sorry; I don't have any extra today." I told him.

I have had to go through this with all the kids, who do not seem to understand that it's not a great idea to ask your parents if your friend can eat over when:
(a) dinner is in an hour or less
(b) Mom has already started cooking
(c) your friend is right there standing next to you
(d) all of the above.

My general policy is an automatic "no" to such requests, and I have let all the kids know that. I don't occasionally mind the kids having friends over for dinner, but Adventure Boy would eat here every night of the week if I'd only set him a place at the table.

But anyway....Little Brother whined that I'm mean and that I never let Adventure Boy eat over (not true--he's here about once a week for a meal).

I replied, "I'm sorry. The meat is already out of the freezer and I don't have any extra."

Little Brother thought about that and then said, "I have an idea! Adventure Boy can eat here, and I'll eat something homemade."

Middle Sister turned around and informed him, "Everything Mom cooks is homemade. She already told you that your friend can't eat over tonight. Go play."

The ABC Meme

Rosemary tagged me for the ABC meme. The rule for this meme is that using the 26 letters of the alphabet you will express who you are, what you do, your interests, what matters to you etc….and you have to write it within 26 minutes…

A - Aprons, my domestic uniform

B - Blue, my favorite color

C - Coffee, my favorite beverage

D - Daisy, a flower I have always liked

E - Early morning, my favorite time if day if I get a chance for quiet before other people are up

F - Franciscan

G - Guitar, the instrument I play

H - Hoodies, my favorite "what-not-to-wear" clothing item

I - Irish

J - Jacks, a game I've always enjoyed and been good at playing. In grade school my knuckles were always raw from playing jacks on the concrete playground!

K - Kitchen, where you'll often find me cooking or baking

L - Lilac, my very favorite flower

M - Milky Ways, the best candy EVER

N - Notre Dame

O - Organ, the instrument I wish I could learn to play

P - Prayer

Q - Quiet (how I like it in my house)

R - Reading, which I like to do when it's quiet (but will do regardless of noise level)

S - Serenity, my virtue-to-work-on this year

T - Teacher (my alter ego)

U - Underwater, where I am afraid to be. Just call me "Timid Nonswimmer" since that's the swimming class I barely passed in college.

V - Vera Bradley--her handbags rock!

W - Water, something I should drink more of

X - X-Files, TheDad's favorite show which never fails to creep me out. I can't even be in the room when he watches it!

Y - Yellow, my favorite color during my childhood

Z - Zing! I can be sarcastic--sometimes too much so.

TAG! If you haven't played this one yet, I tag YOU! Let me know in the combox if you play.

SFO Mom Gets Crafty

This is Middle Sister's new wall color. Today when I was in there hanging the curtains, I remembered that she had purchased some palm-tree-and-sunset fabric (over a year ago) to make some project that we have both since forgotten about. And since I was going to be hanging up her brand-new, huge bulletin board anyway, I decided to hunt down that fabric and cover the cork board with the tropical scene.

It looks great with her wall color! And all I needed were scissors and a stapler. I'm not the crafty type. I'm better at getting out the level and making sure the bulletin board is hung properly. So I figured that I'm entitled to brag on my small artistic accomplishment.

I hope she likes it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Nothing's too good...

...for his sister's plant.

While her room is being painted, Little Brother has assumed the responsibility of caring for Middle Sister's palm tree (yes, she has a palm tree--I think she's going for a Tropical Paradise theme in her room). This morning he got a cup of water so he could water the plant. But he didn't get plain old bathroom water. Oh, no. His sister's plant deserves the best. He very carefully poured the water from the Brita pitcher in the kitchen, and carried it upstairs. He didn't even spill a drop.

Last night at our Secular Franciscan meeting, a certain passage from Matthew's Gospel was mentioned in our discussion. Little Brother modeled it for me today:
"Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge....So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:29,31)

Another passage, also from Matthew's Gospel, comes to mind also:
"Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:9-10)

Who knew that a little boy's simple act of carefully watering a houseplant could bring to mind the endless goodness of God?

Please Pray

My friend and sister-in-Francis, SFO Girl, contacted me late last night. Her father-in-law is beginning his final journey. His family is gathering around him; he has received the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick; Hospice workers are helping his family care for him at home.

Please pray for Jim as he journeys home, and for his family as they share the final days with him. They will have many happy memories to treasure of this faithful and funny family man. May God bless him and ease his pain.

UPDATE Tuesday May 27: Jim passed away peacefully early this morning with his wife and granddaughter, a nurse, at his side.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

Summer Reading!

I've already got one book on my summer reading list. Big Brother's school is trying a "One School, One Book" program this year. Every student, teacher, coach and administrator will be reading the same book (parents are encouraged to read it also!) and the book will be discussed across the curriculum all year long, in addition to an evaluation of the students' comprehension of it in English class. This year's selection is Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer.

This morning I was listening to Little Brother read Scrambled Eggs Super! by Dr. Seuss, and wondering how to find out the difficulty level of that book. It didn't come with a handy-dandy reading-level guide on the back cover. But I found this Book Wizard at the Scholastic site that has plenty of information! This will be helpful as I guide him in selecting books he can read this summer; he's only got 7 more school days to go. Library, here we come!

And you have less than four weeks to vote for the finalists in this year's Catholic Summer Reading program at Aquinas and More! The choices range from lighter fare right through Chesterton and even Pope Benedict XVI! If you've been thinking about expanding your spiritual-reading horizons, why not get involved in the Catholic Summer Reading program? There's even a forum site where you can discuss the books you read. I voted for my "top 3" and intend to get busy reading soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just Another Day...

Big Brother is at a friend's house playing "Rock Band" and pretending to be a drummer.

Middle Sister is packing up her entire room into some Rubbermaid totes in preparation for this weekend's repainting of her walls. (She chose "Autumn Enchantment" for the walls, "Apricot Frisee" for the trim and a turquoise color whose name I cannot remember for the doors. Not my taste, but I don't have to sleep there.) She says it feels like she's moving.

Little Brother and Adventure Boy have taken out all the Action Figures and are engaging in a good deal of bragging, including gems like this: "I'm magic! I can make missiles shoot out of my BUTT!"

Just another normal afternoon chez SFO Mom. Excuse me while I go make the spaghetti.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Why We Don't Want Little Brother to Answer the Phone

The phone rang. Little Brother grabbed it. I briefly saw the caller ID and knew it was someone from Boy Scouts. Big Brother wasn't home yet, and neither was TheDad. (Therefore, by default, all Boy Scout inquiries are fielded by me.)

"Little Brother, do I need to talk to them?"

"No, Big Brother isn't, OK....I'll tell him."

Immediately, I told Little Brother that if someone needed to leave a message, he should get someone who can write faster than he can. Then I asked who was calling and what they wanted.

"I think it was, like, I can't remember."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Laundry Help Needed!

If anyone knows how to remove Jolly Rancher Blue Raspberry Lip Balm that was accidentally in the laundry and went through the washer and dryer and smeared all over TheDad's khaki pants....I would be eternally grateful.

Dish soap as a pretreater didn't do a thing.

UPDATE: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I tried Goo Gone first, since I had some in the house. It didn't work on the first go, so I sprayed on some Shout (otherwise known around here as "Pray-N-Wash") and by the time that wash cycle was done, the pants looked clean as new.

A New One On Me

Over the years I have gotten fairly used to people's weird comments about my kids' age spread (they're 16, 12 and 6).

Not like it's any of their business, but people can't seem to help themselves but comment about these things.

Normally people insinuate that someone was, um, "unplanned" (and I'm putting that way more charitably than they usually do). And for the record, nobody was.

But today, there was a new one. I was sitting there in the dentist's chair, captive, while she waited for my mouth to get numb, and she asked how old my kids are now. So I told her.

"Oh....Are they all from the same marriage?"

"Yes, they are," I told her, and I left it at that. Fortunately, so did she.

Monday Morning "Best Of Blogs"

Check out the wonderful posts I found this morning:

I Give You My Word by ukok

Picnic with Brother Bandits by Tausign at Perfect Joy

Another Clue (Pro-Choice or Pro-Abortion?) by the Regular Guy

The Disappearance of Childhood, Part 2 by Sheila Wray Gregoire (and here's a link to Part 1 which is just as thought-provoking)

So...while I'm driving Big Brother and his large, bulky, too-unwieldy-to-fit-on-the-school-bus English project to school, volunteering in the younger kids' school library, sitting in the dentist's chair and then taking Big Brother to the orthodontist today, as well as preparing for my SFO Council meeting--here's something to keep YOU busy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Right Way to Choose

According to Little Brother, it's "eenie, meenie, miney, mo."

This morning while I was getting dressed after my shower he urgently banged on the bathroom door. "Mom, I need the bathroom!"

"Can't you use the one downstairs?" I asked him.


As I let him in, I asked him why he had to run upstairs (when he started out downstairs) to use that bathroom.

"I did eenie, meenie, miney, mo. That's fair."

"But why did you have to do that when one bathroom was already used and the other one was empty?"

"Mom, Mom, Mom," he said, in that "she just doesn't get it" tone that I didn't think he'd adopt for a few more years. "I had to do it so it would be fair."

Because, after all, the bathroom might get offended if he didn't choose fairly.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Clean Freak

Who, me?

In the past couple of days, yes! (If you know me in person, I know you will need a second to pick yourself up off the floor now.)

I've been having a couple of days of "spillover cleaning." By that I mean, I go to pick up one thing or clean off one area, and before I know it, I realize that whatever's around it needs cleaning too, and then I clean that, and so on.

Two days ago I excavated my desktop. It didn't get dusted, but I sorted all the papers that were on there, filed some, recycled some, and put things that didn't belong on my desk (Nasonex anyone?) where they do belong. And now my desk is all nice and neat.

Yesterday it was my dresser. I forget what I was looking for on the dresser, but suddenly I had taken everything off the top of it, and I had the Pledge out (and even the Windex) and the liners to my dresser-top baskets were in the washing machine. And now the top of my dresser is all neat and shiny, and not dusty anymore, and I have a whole bag of stuff that doesn't belong there that I need to put away--like arrows from Big Brother's Nerf gun, a tape measure, a Sharpie, and a bunch of buttons-in-envelopes that come on the tags of new clothes.

Today I saw a bunch of kids from Big Brother's high school standing along the highway with signs for the softball team's car wash. My car is covered in pollen (achoo!) so I figured it was worth the $5 to have the team restore my car to its original DARK green color. Then when I got home, I couldn't stand to have the inside of the car be so filthy when the outside was so clean and shiny. So I hauled out a laundry basket, trash bag, Murphy's Oil Soap, and the Shop-Vac, and now my van's interior is as clean and shiny as the outside! And I have a laundry basket full of things that don't belong in the car that need to be put away, including a can of tomato paste (how did THAT get there?)

Good thing tomorrow is Sunday (Mom's Day of Rest). I don't know if I can keep all this up.


This morning, members of my Secular Franciscan fraternity met to pray the Rosary at a nearby abortion clinic, as we regularly do, in honor of our former spiritual assistant, Father Christian, who did so every Saturday. (We're not as consistent as he was, unfortunately!)

Normally I do not bring my children along, because we have been met before by a display of noisy prolifers who bring bullhorns and very graphic photos (the size of small trucks) and yell at the people going in. My own opinion is that these tactics are sometimes counterproductive and often serve to incite the "clinic escorts," and two of my children are too young to deal with what they would see and hear in that situation. But I had to bring Little Brother along today. (SFO Girl brought two of her daughters who would have stayed in the van with Little Brother if those other protesters had been there.)

He doesn't know, yet, what abortion is. I told him that we were going to pray the Rosary (which he has learned how to do) and say special prayers for babies. He replied that at school, they had prayed for a baby who fell out of a window 2 stories up, and turned out to be OK. I figured that if he asks for more information, I would just say that we were going to pray for babies whose mommies and daddies did not love them, and leave it there.

So we had six Secular Franciscans, one Franciscan Sister, two teenagers, and Little Brother outside the clinic today. We prayed our Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet. Someone in the clinic took pictures of us (but we were on the sidewalk, so we were not trespassing). There was one other man there, with his Rosary and an armful of pamphlets with information about crisis pregnancy centers. He was quiet, greeted us, and was respectful of our prayers as he offered several young women some information about abortion alternatives.

Little Brother stuck with it, following along on his Rosary, occasionally asking me if he was on the right bead, and completed all the prayers.

Someday Little Brother will learn why we stand on a sidewalk on occasional Saturdays and pray our Rosaries. And I hope that when he does learn this, he'll want to go back even more often.

And speaking of Rosaries, visit The Loveliness of Rosaries hosted by Sarah. There's enough there to get you through a whole week!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Big Brother made me take this quiz

Then he laughed in my face. I got the worst results of everyone in the household with an age in the double digits.


OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Remember Who You Are

Father H is on a "sign of the Cross" kick again. He reminded us today that at Baptism we are claimed for Christ when the priest signs us with the sacred oil. So, he said, the sign of the Cross helps us remember who we are--and whose we are. And that's why we use this gesture often, in our liturgical and sacramental lives.

Remember who you are.

Remember whose you are.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dear Chick-Fil-A:

A couple of weeks ago I tasted that new Southern Chicken sandwich at McDonald's.

You have nothing to worry about. Yes, they're imitating you. But they don't even come close.

Not with the sandwich, not with the cleanliness of the restaurant, not with the politeness and helpfulness and friendliness of the employees, not with the quality of what they can't call "milkshakes"....

They don't come close with the kinds of causes they support either. We appreciate your family-friendly "closed on Sundays" policy and your sponsorship of sporting events and "Between the Lions," among other things. We appreciate that you do not align yourself, as does McDonald's, with the cause for same-sex marriage.

Just keep doing what you're doing, because you do it very well. And families like mine appreciate that.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dear Candidate for Town Council:

The other day I received a letter in the mail detailing why I should vote for you tomorrow.

For weeks, my husband and I have been buried under piles of mail--all those slick flyers from your campaign team as well as your competitor's.

But this letter was different. First, it was a letter, in an envelope, rather than an 8 1/2 X 11" postcard. Second, it was addressed only to me.

When I opened it up, I saw the reason for that. Your letter was on pink paper. It informed me that it was more than 15 years since a woman had been elected to town council here, and that you are the only current female candidate.

Frankly, I think that if you feel you need to depend on the fact that you are a woman to get elected, then you're selling yourself short and insulting me. I do not vote based on the gender of the candidate. I vote for the candidate who I feel will do the best job for the town I call home.

Your letter spent a little too much time on what Whitney Houston and the Phillies were doing 15 years ago, and too little time on what you plan to do for our town.

I do hope that your team wins tomorrow (after all, your sign's in my front yard). But if you do win, wouldn't you be prouder of that victory if you were sure it was won on your merits as a candidate, rather than on the fact of your gender?

[For the record, I emailed the candidate a copy of this entry.]

What Kind of Thinker Are You?

Your Thinking is Concrete and Sequential

You are precise, orderly, and realistic.

You tend to get to the point and get things done.

Difficult, detailed work is easy for you. You take things step by step.

Time limits aren't a problem for you either. You work well with deadlines.

What does drive you crazy is any sort of task that isn't precisely laid out.

You don't like anything to be ambiguous. You prefer to deal with the facts at hand.

Looks like me and Ellen are from opposite ends of the thinking spectrum!

Evidently this was a punishment

When the phone rings, and the caller ID says it's the school nurse, I figure it's not going to be good.

This time it was Middle Sister asking me if she had left her lunchbox at home. The first place I looked was the steps, where I put all the full lunchboxes so that the kids can grab them as they leave. No lunchbox there.

Then I checked the kitchen. No lunchbox there.

Finally I wandered down to the family room where I found the lunchbox bear the television. I told her that I had it, and where it was.

"How did it get there," she wondered. "I didn't put it there."

"Well, you must have," I informed her. "I'll drop it off at school for you in a little while."

"OK," she replied.

"Thanks, Mom, you're awesome," I prompted.

"Uh, yeah, thanks, Mom, bye..."

"You're awesome," I said. (Yes, I fish for compliments from my kids when I find their stuff for them).

"I know I'm awesome," she said.

"Not you, ME! I'm awesome," I informed her.

"Uh, yeah, you're awesome, Mom. Bye!" I could hear someone laughing in the background.

If it weren't for the crummy lunch policy at this school I wouldn't rescue my kids when they forget their lunches. At their old schools, there was always peanut butter and jelly available for kids who forgot. Here, they get handed a juice and a pack of crackers. They will not entertain the idea of keeping sandwich fixings around--so if one of my kids forgets, I have to make a trip out there.

I figure the least she can do is tell me I'm awesome for doing that. If she's too cool to tell me I'm awesome in front of some classmate or the school nurse, too bad.

Her alternative is a pack of crackers and a juice.

Shopping Rant

It's pretty pathetic when you can't even buy socks or underwear for your children without having to stop and count how many are in the package, because chances are at least one is missing.
This morning I was unable to find ONE package of underwear in the correct size for the child who needed them, that had all the pairs that should be in the package. I settled for a pack that was marked as "2 of 9 missing" and reduced accordingly.
Who shoplifts underwear? I'm not talking designer stuff here--these are your basic Hanes and Fruit of the Looms....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Baptism on Pentecost

This morning at Mass, Father H had the opportunity to do something he appears to really enjoy: baptizing a child. And on Pentecost, no less!

In this case, the child was none other than Adventure Boy!

Father H believes that baptisms are for the whole community--they are not just "private family celebrations" because the whole parish, the whole Catholic community, is the family of the person being baptized. He encouraged everyone to renew their Baptismal promises and really think about our commitment to help Adventure Boy as he grows in the faith.

TheDad and I are Adventure Boy's godparents. We pray that his life in the Church will be fruitful. We pray for his parents, his grandparents and his brother and sisters. And we take our responsibility seriously to help raise this child in the faith.

God bless you, Adventure Boy!

Thursday, May 08, 2008


There is a mosquito in my house that's so big it probably registers on the local airport's radar.

I am apparently known far and wide among mosquitoes as an easy target. I've been trying to catch this one since I found it in the bathroom this morning, but follows me around from room to room, just out of my reach, waiting for that special moment when it will land on me and take a bite and cause me to break out in gigantic, painful, itchy lumps.

Until now. Because I just managed to smack it down and kill it.

You can rat me out to the Franciscan Police if you want to. I am not spiritually advanced enough to extend my love of all creation to mosquitoes. They love me far too much already.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Winning Isn't Everything

"I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved his appearing" (2 Tim. 4:7-8).

Yesterday Big Brother's track team had a meet against a local rival. Big Brother told me last week, "To the captain of the team, this meet is the Super Bowl." Both teams were undefeated in the local matches, going into this meet.

But Big Brother's team was handicapped: one of the runners, the captain of the team who competes in at least 3 events per meet, was injured and would not be running. Everyone was sad for him, that he wouldn't get that last chance to prove his strength against this other team, and for the whole team.

Big Brother was asked to run the 400m hurdles (1/4 mile) even though he has never done this in practice. (He ran the hurdles during one meet earlier this season). He doesn't feel very confident about this event, since he has never had the chance to practice, but he agreed to do what was asked of him and he did the best he could.

Track & field is interesting in that it is uniquely an individual AND team sport. Each individual competes not only to defeat an opponent, but also to achieve a new "personal best." In addition, points are awarded to the whole team for first-, second- and third-place finishes.

I was really impressed with the spirit and heart the team showed. They knew they were missing one of their key runners, but the whole team was in the stands, making noise, encouraging each other, and when they competed, they all tried their hardest. They didn't win the meet but they have cause to be proud.

Can we say the same? Do we "fight the good fight" in everything that we do? Do we run our races with all our heart, all our energy, all our strength, with our eyes on the ultimate goal? And if we lost our race, can we do so with dignity, and with renewed resolve that next time we'll do just a little better than our "personal best?"

Prayer Request

In your kindness, please remember my great-aunt Anna who is undergoing a knee replacement today. She received a knee replacement about 1 1/2 years ago on her other knee and it all went fine. 2 1/2 years ago she suffered a stroke, so she does have other medical concerns. Please pray for Anna, her doctors and other caregivers, through her surgery and recovery.

UPDATE: Thank you so much for your prayers! My mom visited Anna this afternoon. She is doing well, but tired, of course.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

She's got style! She's got panache!

She can't find the clamp for her Ace bandage, OR a safety pin--so she used her sparkly puppy-dog pin to keep the wrap on her wrist.

Leave it to Middle Sister to turn a medical necessity into a fashion accessory.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

More Musings on All Things Green

From Canadian author Sheila Wray Gregoire.

It's Not Easy Being Green.

A highlight:
Green is now the “in” thing, and the rich are embracing it. But those who are really green aren’t rich. They’re just everyday folks sorting their recyclables, turning their heat down at night to save on energy bills, and camping in the summer rather than flying to Fiji.

Now go on over to her site and leave her a "love note" since she is sure this column will generate hate mail. And while you're at it, read her other posts as well. Her blog, and her books, make a lot of sense.

Thanks for having the courage to write this column, Sheila!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Middle Sister Might Get a New Nickname

...and it might be "Crash."

She spent several weeks this winter in a boot after suffering a severe ankle sprain in a gym class accident. (Some other klutz in her class fell on her foot and toppled her over.) Weeks of PT later, she was back in fine form, just in time for the very end of basketball season, most of which she missed.

Two weeks ago she fell down a short flight of stairs and put out her hand to break her fall. Two x-rays show no break, but she's still in pain. An MRI is pending.

This morning when I was sitting at The Diner Formerly Known as Burger King with Ellen, enjoying an after-breakfast cup of coffee (by the way, Ellen, don't you think that diner needs bigger coffee cups?) when my cell phone rang. The school nurse was calling to tell me that Middle Sister had fainted in the middle of First-Friday Mass. Fortunately there were lots of teachers and at least two nurses in the congregation so she had plenty of help.

This afternoon I took her and Little Brother for their well visits (how convenient was that?) and the doctor suspects that she fainted due to dehydration. He said he sees a lot of kids around her age, both genders, who have this problem. They get busy and forget to drink enough. She also had a hemoglobin test, which was a little on the low side, so in addition to chugging Gatorade (SUCH a sacrifice for her!) she will be adding a vitamin with iron to her routine.

She doesn't understand why I won't get her a trampoline.

And I need to thank her homeroom teacher, who reportedly climbed over the pew to help her out when she fainted this morning.