mandyholbert

A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

At least lightning doesn’t strike twice…Right? July 31, 2012

It all started with a lightning strike…

Our dogs are contained by an invisible fence.  When the lightning struck, it fried the fence, so obviously, it didn’t work any more.

This meant the dogs could now get to the garden that contains the rabbit hutch, and the dogs seized the opportunity.  I barely saved the rabbits from becoming a snack, and I moved them temporarily to the garage until we could repair the fence.

The fence is finally repaired.  The dogs are back where they belong.  The rabbits are back where they belong (and are enjoying weeding the garden for me again).

However, in the meantime, one of the chickens crossed from the back yard where they are safe to the front yard where they are closely observed by very interested dogs and then to the driveway where they are in the territory of dogs who have felt unnecessarily teased by the presence of chickens just out of their reach.

A dog ate the chicken.

We learned that hamsters are nocturnal.  Ours enjoys running in its ball all night long.  Not that it keeps me awake or anything.

Meanwhile, the goats got sick.  Very sick.  They had awful diarrhea and we had to sanitize everything and nurse them back to health.  “Poop” is not a strong enough word to describe what I scrubbed from their bottoms.  I straddled them backwards while Ronnie held their heads and comforted them while I cleaned caked-on sh*t from their behinds, legs, and tummies.  It. was. disgusting.

They’re better now.

But, Sparkles, our cat, is missing.  We haven’t seen her in several days.  Kendra is out looking for her right now.

So, currently, we have two dogs, six five chickens, two rabbits (thank goodness!), two goats (that was a close one, too), four toads, a tree frog, a hamster, and a missing cat.

Why do we have animals again?

 

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Mommy is Sorry, Max July 30, 2012

Lakewood Camping Resort is like its own little city.  They have everything you could possibly need while on vacation – stores, restaurants, coffee shop, mail service, laundromat, and tons of fun things to do – pools, slides, sports, mini golf, boating, and, of course, the beach.  Once inside, you can get around by walking or riding a bicycle, but most people opt to rent a golf cart.  It makes lugging coolers and chairs to the beach much easier.  Plus, driving a golf cart around for a week is just plain fun.

2007_0801SouthCarolina0009

2007_0801SouthCarolina0009 (Photo credit: j-rod89)

We rented one for the week.  The golf carts are electric, so they don’t go too fast, and the campground has the necessary rules governing the use of them, so overall, even though there are hundreds of them driving around, it’s pretty safe.

I guess that’s why I didn’t consider the possibility of someone getting hurt.  I should have learned my lesson when we went last year, and Ronnie managed to back into my shins not once, but twice.  I’m surprised my bruised shins didn’t make more of an impression on me, but this year, I had forgotten about accidents, and I wasn’t careful at all.

Max and Kendra on the golf cart waiting to ride from our campsite to the beach.

Max and Kendra were sitting on the back seat, and I backed the golf cart out of our campsite.  I halfway noticed as I looked over my shoulder to back up that Max was lying down instead of sitting properly, so I told him to straighten up.  I didn’t, however, wait for him to sit up as I instructed, and when I put the golf cart from reverse to forward, I threw him off.  He screamed and rolled on the pavement.

I jumped off and ran to him, looking around to see who all had noticed what a bad mom I was that morning.  I checked him out, and he seemed okay, but he wouldn’t stop wailing – I think he was more mad at me than anything else.  He was making the most of this opportunity to get back at me for throwing him off.  He really made quite the scene, so I told him to go back in the camper.

Even though I was embarrassed and mad at myself, when it finally sank in that I had thrown my five-year-old son off a moving vehicle onto hot asphalt while he was wearing only swimming trunks, I started feeling really, really bad.  I couldn’t shake it off.  I apologized to him so many times.  I asked him if he was mad.  I begged him to forgive me.  I told him it was an accident.  I just couldn’t shake it off all day long.

Finally, that evening, all four of us decided to go for a golf cart ride around the campground.  Max joked a few times as we drove around and told random people how his mom threw him off the golf cart.  Funny boy.  We were laughing and having a great time, really making up for my earlier incident of bad parenting.  We even played some music and sang together.  It was really fun.

All of a sudden, Ronnie, who had his feet propped up on the dash, hit the switch with his foot and the golf cart stopped in the middle of the road.  I panicked just a little and jerked to a start without checking on the kids who were sitting on the back seat…

…well, I thought they were both sitting.  Max was actually standing up, and when I started the golf cart – yep, you guessed it – I threw him off again.  Does road rash scar?  I sure hope not…

Scène from the Police Academy Stunt Show

Scène from the Police Academy Stunt Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

2012 Summer Vacation July 29, 2012

 

Our vacation was wonderful!  We went to the beach in South Carolina, and we camped in our camper.  We did so many fun things – it would take too long to write about them all.  So, instead, here are my favorite things from our vacation:

 

1.  Kendra and Max rode the highest water slides at Myrtle Waves.  Max wanted to ride it so badly, but he was terrified to go up the stairs.  Ronnie held one hand, and I held the other, and he cried the entire way up out of sheer terror.  But, he kept going.  When he got to the top, he rode that slide, which is an intense water slide – he barely even met the height requirement to ride.  He loved it!  They both did.  As soon as it was over, they both pranced right back up the stairs to do it again.

 

Those were some high slides! I would have never gone up there if the kids didn’t want to!

 

2. One night we were there, the pools were closed because of lightning.  We went down to the beach and watched an incredible storm over the ocean.  The kids played in the sand while Ronnie and I watched the lightning show.  It was amazing.  The kids were so funny.  They were “doing the ocean dance” – Kendra’s consisted of spinning in circles and high-stepping at the edge of the water, and Max’s was his usual monkey dance while chanting “doing the ocean dance” over and over.  It was great.  Ronnie and I even joined in so all four of us just totally let loose at the edge of the ocean over which was a massive storm.  I felt so little and insignificant yet free at the same time.

 

 

 

 

3. The last morning we were there, Kendra wanted to watch the sunrise and she hoped to see dolphins.  I set an alarm and we went down to the beach before most other people were awake.  We sat side by side and watched the sun come up.  Then, we saw dolphins.  They were so close to the shore that Kendra really got a good look at them.  I think we saw about twenty of them for a period of about ten minutes.  Just as the last of the dolphins were leaving, the boys joined us, so our whole little family enjoyed the quiet of the beach at sunrise.  It was really fun.

 

myrtle beach sunrise

myrtle beach sunrise (Photo credit: rainbreaw)

 

4. Ronnie held Kendra in the ocean, and I was holding Max.  We were jumping the waves and laughing and playing.  All of a sudden, Max pulled his foot out of the water, and shrieked.  His foot was covered in wet toilet paper.  It was so disgusting, but we all started laughing.  I laughed so hard that I was completely helpless when the next wave came.  It hit Max and me and we both tumbled all the way to shore.  We were still laughing when we finally got back above water.

 

5. There was a bath house across from our campsite.  When we came in from the ocean, I told the kids to go shower the sand off before I gave them real showers in the camper.  I waited outside.  Kendra came out fully dressed like a person should be after a shower and went inside the camper.  When Max came out, he had the goofiest proud look on his face.  He was holding his trunks, and he had a beach towel wrapped around himself.  Unfortunately, the towel was twisted into more of a belt than a towel, and he was holding it right around his waist.  So, there came my proud naked son marching across the campground with a towel for a belt.  I was laughing so hard that all I could do was scoot him along before anyone else noticed.

 

6. One night, we let the kids swim until the pool closed, and Ronnie and I just sat on the edge with our feet in the water to watch them.  Almost all the kids in the pool were playing with a giant beach ball, hitting it back and forth.  Ronnie asked one of the boys if he could hold the ball for a second.  The confused boy handed it to Ronnie, and Ronnie grabbed it and took off running.  All the kids in the pool were obviously confused as to why a grown man would steal their ball.  I thought Ronnie would bring it right back, but he didn’t.  Several uncomfortable minutes passed with the kids kind of aimlessly wandering around not quite sure what to do before Ronnie brought it back and threw it back in the pool.  He’s so silly!

 

7.  We took a nap every day.  It was luxurious!

 

 

8. We rode the Sky Wheel in downtown Myrtle Beach.  Once again, Max was scared at first, but he ended up really loving it.  The views were amazing!

 

 

 

 

9. We let the kids eat ice cream for breakfast.  I know they’ll remember that forever.  When else can you eat junk food first thing in the morning?  They were so excited to be allowed to do something that is so off-limits at home.

 

 

10. Kendra and Ronnie did the “Space Walk” at Wonderworks.  Max tried, but he was too scared, so I took him back down.  He and I watched Kendra and Ronnie do the high obstacle course.  Kendra was barely big enough to reach some of the hand holds, and she was clearly scared at first, but she trusted her daddy and they did that course together.  I was so proud of her!

 

English: WonderWorks at Broadway at the Beach ...

English: WonderWorks at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was sure a great vacation!  But I’m glad to be home.

 

 

A Driving Defeat

We were camping last week at Lakewood Camping Resort near Myrtle Beach, SC.  It was a much-needed getaway, and we had a great time…with a few exceptions.

On the last full day we were there, the guys decided to charter a boat to go fishing on the ocean, so us girls agreed to take the kids to Ripley’s Aquarium.  I drove Ronnie’s truck, which is quite a big larger than the Honda Pilot I drive.  Anyway, I backed out of our campsite and then looked over my shoulder only to see that I had missed a tree by a fraction of an inch.  It was so close that it looked impossible that I could have missed hitting it.  We laughed about it, I made a joke about the truck being too big for me, and we headed to the aquarium.

If you’ve been to Broadway at the Beach, you know how crowded it is, and I was a little concerned about parking the truck.  I was psyched when I found a parking place on the end, and just to be sure I’d be able to get back out, I pulled in and jumped the curb so the driver’s side of the truck was in the parking slot and the passenger’s side was up on the grass.  I’ve seen Ronnie do it a thousand times.  A mountain parking job.

The aquarium was great, and when it was time to leave, I was so confident in my parking job that I backed right out, enthusiastically even.  Then I heard a big smack.  I stopped the truck right away, realizing that I had managed to hit a tree with Ronnie’s side-view mirror.  I jumped out, gathered up the parts of the truck that were scattered around, made an ugly face at the woman who ran over and watched me clean up while she was babbling on in a language I couldn’t understand, and made the phone call to tell Ronnie before anyone else could.

not too bad…

He handled the news very well, as I knew he would, but it was pretty embarrassing to have to ride in that truck for the rest of the trip with the mirror taped back on with electrical tape.  Oh, well!

at least the mirror itself didn’t break, so I should avoid seven years of bad luck…

I don’t think I’ll be driving the truck for a while…

I don’t always mess up, though…remember this one?  Driving Victory

 

Maxilangelo Holbert, the next great name in art July 17, 2012

Filed under: children,family,humor,Max — mandyholbert @ 5:52 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Everyone thinks her kid is the best – the smartest, the cutest, the most talented, etc.  Well, obviously, everyone’s kid is not the best – that’s not even logical.  Most kids are average (hence the word average), and there’s nothing wrong with that.  If everyone were exceptional, exceptional would become average, and that would throw everything out of whack.  So, most children are average, despite what their parents may believe, and a select few are exceptional.

Of course, my son is one of those exceptional few, as I will demonstrate by sharing his most recent artistic masterpiece.  Before I unveil the evidence of his artistic genius, however, I would like to elaborate on exactly how this particular work highlights a level of achievement far beyond his years.

Most artists take years to perfect replicating the human form.  And even then, it takes a mature artistic soul to take on a nude image.  My five-year-old prodigy not only doesn’t hesitate to tackle challenging subjects, but he also captures this subject matter with startling mastery.  He is clearly an exceptional artist.

Please ponder on the following image, and while considering the beauty of the work, remember it was produced by a mere five-year-old boy:

English: Michelangelo's David (original statue...

English: Michelangelo’s David (original statue) Deutsch: David von Michelangelo (Original aus der “Accademia” in Florenz) Nederlands: David van Michelangelo (het originele beeld) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oops!  Wrong one.  Here’s Maxwell’s equally impressive rendering of the male body:

Max handed this to us last night and said, “Here’s a random picture of me without underwear.” Very strange kid.

See?  I told you he was an exceptional child.  Don’t you wish your kid had art skills like that?

 

Happy Birthday Kendra July 13, 2012

Filed under: children,family,Kendra,parenting,Uncategorized — mandyholbert @ 5:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

Kendra’s birthday is tomorrow, and it’s a big one – her first milestone birthday.  You know, there’s 21, 18, 16, 13 – the other significant milestone birthdays that mark becoming a teenager and the privileges you gain on your way to adulthood.  But, here in North Carolina, the home of “8 or 80”, turning 8 is a big deal.  Once you hit 8 years old (or 80 pounds, whichever comes first), you are no longer required by law to ride in a booster seat in the car.  And to an almost 8-year-old who has lots of older friends, this is a really big deal.  And weighing in at 57 pounds, Kendra is lucky there’s an age requirement instead of only a weight requirement.

So, Saturday morning when we head out to the car to go out for birthday donuts, Kendra will strap on her seatbelt with her little butt planted on the actual seat of the car.  The view out her window will be much more sky and much less ground, but she will be happy as can be.  A real big kid.  She’s really growing up.  And I’m so proud of the young lady she is becoming.

Beautiful inside and out

Kendra checked out my blog for the first time yesterday, and she asked if she could “follow” me.  I told her that she’d have to wait until she was older and had an email address but that she was welcome to read whenever she wanted.  And since I know that she’ll be reading, I’m going to write her birthday card right here:

Dear Kendra,

I can barely remember what life was like before you came along.  I know Daddy and I were happy, but you have brought us so much joy that it’s impossible to imagine life without you.  You have wisdom and sensitivity way beyond your years.  You are like an old soul in the body of an energetic vibrant little girl.  It amazes me how you can be such a silly kid in one moment and show such genuine empathy in the next.  You never judge anyone.  You accept everyone for who he or she is and you see the good in everyone.  You go out of your way never to hurt anyone, no matter how he or she may have treated you (maybe with the exception of your little brother sometimes!).

I am so proud of you.  You are a friend to everyone you meet.  You are honest, loving, gentle, sensitive, and sweet.  You are artistic and creative – a true little artist.  You are a dancer and an athlete.  You are graceful and strong.  You are intelligent and curious.  You take care of me when I don’t feel well.  And when you put your hand on my shoulder when I’m having a bad day, you don’t even have to say anything because I can feel your love in that tiny little touch.  I don’t know what I would do without my little princess.  Daddy and I are so blessed to be your parents.

I hope you never lose the tender vulnerability that makes you the sweet person that you are.  I respect you.  I want to be more like you.  You can make me smile even when I don’t want to smile.  I cherish the time we spend together.  And you are such a helper!  Working in the kitchen is so much fun when you are in there with me – even if you do crack an occasional egg onto my foot!

Thank you for being you.  Daddy and I love you from the bottom of the ocean to the highest star.  I know we will go through times in life when you will get mad at us or think we’re unfair or unreasonable, so I want you to remember when that happens that we feel a tremendous burden of responsibility to have been blessed with such a precious little girl, and in every decision we make we strive to do what is best and right for you.  We pray for you.  We would do anything in the world for you.

Happy Birthday, Little Girl.

Love,

Mommy

 

Don’t prop me up beside the jukebox when I die July 8, 2012

I’m not one to dwell on death much.  But it happens to everyone, so there’s no point in never considering it.  I know everyone has unique wishes for their final departure from this world, and most cultures have traditions that preside over funerals or ceremonies.

That’s nice and all, but I don’t want anything extravagant.  In fact, if I could have what I really want, here’s what it would be:

1.  I want to stay home.  Don’t whisk my body away as soon as I croak to some stuffy funeral home.  Just leave me home for a day or two.  Let the people who love me come and say goodbye in my home.  Let my family get used to the idea that I’m gone on their own terms.  This may sound creepy nowadays, but in the old days, this is how they did it.  Granted, I don’t think it’s necessary to lay me out on the kitchen table as was commonly done in old Appalachia, but it wouldn’t hurt to put me on a cot or something in the living room.

2.  I want Ronnie to build my coffin.  And I want my coffin to be a simple pine box.  No cushions, satin, pillows, brass fixtures, varnish or anything else.  I live a simple life.  I enjoy simple things.  My middle name is Jane, for crying out loud!  Plus, building my box will give Ronnie something productive to do instead of sitting around and looking at me lying on the cot in the living room.  It’s better for him to stay busy.

3.  I do not want to be cremated or embalmed.  I want me – plain old me – chemical-free me – to be wrapped in a comfy quilt and put in my plain box and buried.  This is very environmentally responsible.  I will return to the earth and not pollute the ground with toxic carcinogens used in embalming.  Even better, plant a tree right over me.  I’d love to be part of a tree.  Maybe not a fruit tree, though.  That might be kind of weird for whoever eats from it.

English: Oak Tree

English: Oak Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4.  I don’t want a funeral.  Have a party.  I like cook-outs, not that it matters because I won’t be there either way.  Don’t have a slide show about my life.  Just eat good food, laugh, tell stories about me, and listen to good music.  It would be cool if you played my favorite songs.  Pick the playlist on my iPod that says Spirituals and the one that says Some Favorites.  Trust me, it will be the best non-funeral music ever.

5.  Don’t leave all my stuff just how I left it.  Especially since I never really have things how I want them anyway.  Feel free to clean up the things I didn’t quite get to, to finish the projects that I have started, and to organize those things that clearly need help.  And if I have something you need, you’re welcome to it – as long as it’s okay with my family.