Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Winterness of 2014

Dear WI/MN Drivers,
Accelerate as you whip around corners. Slam on your brakes at icy four way stops. Honk at me when I don't pull out in front of a semi. Get mad that I want to spare my life and the lives of my children.  Pass me going 80 on the highway. Flip me off. Instead of looking around the ginormous snow banks for me JUST GO! Drive so close behind me that I can't see your headlights but can feel you kicking the back of my chair.

Take chances! Risk it all! 

You make winter driving EXCITING!!

Yours truly,
Carla

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!!


Stream's Christmas Letter 2013



Here we are.  This is us. Ready to bring you our 2013 family form letter chock full of Christmas sarcasm.

We added two additions to the Stream Team this year.  No, Carla was not pregnant with twins!!  As if.
Two gerbils were given to us by a family friend and named Nibbles(Tim) and Ricky.(Nathan)They are adorable! We love our little fur babies! One time Tim pulled some of Nibble's tail fur off and then the critter ate the dried up tail.  Less work for me.

Griffen seems thinner. And crankier. Meowing loudly for food, hissing when I walk by.  He is aging but I have been assured by well meaning friends that he could live to be 22.  Thanks.

Joshua has his permit!!! It is so hard to put my life in his hands. Scary yet necessary. He also works as a dishwasher at one of the best Italian restaurants around. Mama Maria's.  He tells me that although he is soaked from head to toe at the end of the night he is handed huge dishes of pasta during his shifts which he consumes with his hands. Mmmmmmmm. Joshua is cruising to 17 and I am in denial about that.

Sarah officially entered teenagedom this year.  I say officially as she has been drama with a capital D since the age of three.  She adores children and has been babysitting and volunteering in the church nursery.  She gets upset when I use the words deets, digits and totes adorbs.  I care not. Embarrassing her is one of my favorite hobbies. She went out for basketball this year.  Played on the B team and she told me honestly that they were not very good.  And after watching a game or two, I agreed. She still has her heart set on being in the National Guard.

Nathan has taken an interest in grooming.  How wonderful!! He was elated when I purchased a dress shirt with a clip on tie and he wore it proudly.  Quite dapper.  He LOVES school and his teacher and that is such a blessing. I love hearing his thoughts and watching him conquer math and science!! Nathan has found a passion for inline skating.  Daddy is thrilled!!

Timmers keeps us all on high alert as we constantly wonder what his boy brain will think up.  He has been working hard at school after being identified with short term memory issues. We have watched him learn to read and write and spell!! He also proudly identifies as a Christian and tells his friends about Jesus at school. No phone calls from the principal. Yet. We have noticed that Tim seems to be musically inclined and of course he wants to start with a drum set.

Patrick has been pursuing his passion for others. My husband has been working hard to bring Biblical Counseling to our church and it has come to pass!! Patrick and I counsel together and I can't even describe what a blessing it has been! He is working toward becoming a certified Biblical Counselor.  So many inline races this past summer, so little time! Wow did Patrick tear it up!! He met his goals and was asked to join a team!! SK8HRD! He won a $100 gift card in a race and gave it to his wife. awwwwww

Carla. Carla. Carla.  Doing life. She has been a substitute teacher for the 2nd year.  So far she has had wonderful classes and sweet students!! There are times she is the only recess monitor with no whistle, no walkie talkie and 65+ kiddoes to watch. Insanity on a stick. She seems to be more introverted as the days move on.  She adores Mondays at 8:30 when all Streams are in their Indoctrination Stations.  What a blessing and a privilege to be on the Prayer Team at church, Biblical Counseling team and studying the book of Philippians with her sisterfriends. She still yaps her head off in the prolife movement about the devastation of abortion. Don't get her started.  She just received confirmation that she will be appointed as an Election Inspector for 2014!!

Is that it?  Is that all?  We do indeed have the best and the brightest kids and the most amazing life ever.  We are living the dream and this letter only confirms that our lives are perfect.  Perfectly perfect.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Happy 10th Birthday Nathan!!

His birthday was November 16th.  But I still can't find the cord to download my birthday boy's photos. I am so on the ball.

I love you Nate Dog!!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

A Daughter's Life

Sarah and I had a conversation in the van on the way to school yesterday.  I asked her questions rapid fire and she answered.

Mom "Sarah do you ever cry yourself to sleep?"
Sarah "No."
Mom "Do you ever feel really lonely?"
Sarah "No."
Mom "Do you hate yourself?"
Sarah "No."
Mom "Do you hate your parents?"
Sarah "NO!"
Mom "Do you hate your brothers?"
Sarah "NO!"
Mom "Do you ever wish you were someone else?"
Sarah "No."
Mom "Do you ever consider harming yourself?"
Sarah "No."

Mom "Sarah, I felt all of those things when I was 13 and I will be thanking God all day that you don't."

Thursday, June 06, 2013

One Stop Shop

Nathan is in baseball and Sarah is in softball and the parentals are forced to be in the concession stand and volunteer their services twice.  Patrick and I did just that the other night.  We schlepped snacks to hungry sports fans.  It was actually pretty fun.  I pretended I owned the place and made the best popcorn in the world.

When we got home Joshua asked, "How was the confession stand?"
Which led to a conversation about what a confession/concession stand would actually be like.

"Hi.  I lied to my boss yesterday. Can I get a hotdog and a Coke please?"

"Um.  I gossiped about my neighbor. Nachos and a pretzel should do it."

"Hey. I entertained a bad thought this morning. Let's see. What do I want? A popcorn and Gatorade please."


Saturday, June 01, 2013

The View

Not that view.  Ish.

Timmers has wanted glasses for a long time.  4 out of 6 Streams have them and who wants to be left out of that brand of fun?

I received a note from school that Tim was complaining of things being "fuzzy" and that his eyes were all "blurry."  I made an eye appt. because we have money to burn I guess.

We waited patiently for the eye doc.  I know there is some big name that he is officially called but that hinders my writing. Eye doc he shall be.  He quickly came out and asked me, "Does Timothy really WANT glasses?"  Indeed he does. Apparently Tim was trying to snow the eye doc into thinking he really had some eye issues and needed glasses immediately.  I was invited to sit in on the antics of my son which is what I live for at this juncture in my mothering career.

Timothy was pretending to have trouble with seeing the letters and reading the next smallest line and the jig was up little man!

Eye doc "Mom, this is window glass. Tim which is clearer number 1 or number 2?"
Tim "Um. Number 1."
Eye doc "Still window glass.  Now which is clearer.  1 or 2?"
Tim "2."
Eye doc "Still using window glass and which side is clearer the red side or the green side?"
Tim "Red."

After Tim tried on 20 pairs of glasses that he was never going to get we headed home and I broke the news to him that his vision is perfect and all is well.

Optometrist.

Monday, May 06, 2013

The Talk

Tim was asking so many questions last week on a particular topic that I decided to sit him down and have a discussion.  It was about time I gave him the facts.

Tim "So who is Willie's brother?"
Mom "Jase and Jep are Willie's brothers."
Tim "He has two brothers?"
Mom "Yes."
Tim "But who is Si?"
Mom "Si is Phil's brother and uncle to Jase, Jep and Willie."
Tim "Who is Miss Kay?"
Mom "Miss Kay is married to Phil and is Jase, Jep and Willie's mom."
Tim "Married to Phil?  Is he a dad?"
Mom "Phil is Jase, Jep and Willie's dad."
Tim "Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhh."
Tim "Who are Godwin and Martin?"
Mom "They are family friends."

I think we covered all the bases pretty well.
That should hold him for a bit.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Special Education

Ah Tim.  My Tim.

He has struggled in school to get those sounds and letters to make sense and put it all together to speak words and write words and read words.  1st grade is hard.  He has had all of the interventions with reading and math help and the school asked permission to test him.  Permission granted. The results are in.  He has a real issue with his short term memory.  It is hindering his learning.  He will be put into a setting and working hard on that short term memory and he will be successful because that little boy does not give up.  Day after day he heads to school and tries his very best and concentrates and comes home exhausted.

Now my youngest makes sense to me.  When I have told him to make his bed, get dressed and brush his teeth and 20 minutes later he is wandering around naked with an action figure and asks to make popcorn....my directions just might not have registered.  I get it now.

Mommy will slow down.  Mommy will look you in the eye and give you one direction and ask you to repeat it.  Mommy will praise you for your diligence and stay the course and work hard with you and pray for your brain.  And I will be proud of what you accomplish and live everyday to see those dimples.

I love you Timothy.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I'm Skaaaaaaaaaating!

Since last summer I have been working at inline skating.  Took a fall on a hill and learned the wonders of road rash.  Now I skate at RollerDome in Minneapolis.  Getting ready to do my first 1/2 marathon with my daughter Sarah.  The thing I have not yet gotten the hang of is braking.  It seems so simple. Bend your knees and put your right heel down.  It doesn't happen that way for me. I have the right form but whenever I need to stop I just run into a metal waste receptacle.  It does the trick.  I showed Pat my brake and asked if something was wrong with it.   Indeed there was.  It was worn down to nothing.  When my new brake comes in the mail this week I should be able to slow and stop without the use of a trash can.  So excited!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Student Led Conference

Timmers got to take the reins of his conference last week.  He grabbed his binder and led mom and dad to a place on the carpet.  It went something like this....
"Here's me.  I drew this.  I wrote that. I made this.  Here's another one I drew.  See?  Here's me. This. And this. And this. Oh and that." He flipped through the pages with lightening speed and then we got our picture taken.

The 10 second conference.  Amazing. And just so darn informative.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Who Was That Kind Stranger?

Joshua loves a good tshirt.  The snarkier the better.  I picked one out for him for Valentine's Day.  It had the Superman logo on it.
Last Friday he told me that he was cruising to Pre Chem and a young lady ahead of him dropped her pencil case.  Pencils scattered everywhere.  Joshua unzipped his sweatshirt to reveal the superman tshirt underneath.  He helped her pick up every last pencil, zipped up and ran to Pre Chem.  The crowd that had gathered laughed and cheered.

Monday, February 18, 2013

BAM!

Tim wasn't feeling well last week.  He stayed home with me for two days and then headed off to Awana  where he ran to the bathroom to throw up.  After dropping ALL Streamers off I usually crank the tunes, sing at the top of my lungs in my empty car and drive home to my empty house.  I looked at my phone while in the garage.  9 missed calls.  5 missed texts from Pat.  4 missed texts from Josh.  I returned to church. I pulled up.
This was the conversation that Josh had with Tim.
Tim "Is that mom?"
I hit the curb with the car.
Josh "Yeah. That's mom."

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Maybe They Do Listen

When I make supper there are usually 4 out of 6 that like it.  The moans and groans from the other two are met with my usual lecture. "There are children in this world that didn't eat yesterday.  They didn't eat today and they won't be eating tomorrow.  They have no food to eat. When they ask their mommies for food they will be told they don't have any food to give them.  How heartbreaking. We need to be grateful for what we have."

Yeah we know.  Blah blah blah.  Whatever mom.

This morning Griffen was doing his usual.  Meowing that there wasn't enough food or water and threatening to tip both bowls over if someone didn't meet his demands.  I asked Nathan to check on Griff.  I heard him say, "Griffen there is food right here see? (shaking of bowl)  And this bowl is full of water!  See Griff?  You have enough food and water.  You need to be grateful for what you have."

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Christmas Form Letter

Oh my.  Already time to put my thinking cap on and try to remember all of the things I was supposed to remember to tell you about my family. I will start with the cat.

Griffen is 13 years old.  He is actually lazier than he was last year.  He has to take naps after he gets done napping.  But since people keep telling me cats can live to be 20 I am feeling much more encouraged about him.7 more years of feline bliss. We helped him don his Christmas sweater this year complete with a santa hat and white beard. He loved it.  I could tell.

Tim. timtimtim.  He is becoming a big boy. I think.  Still working hard in 1st grade with numbers and letters. Trying to keep up with his older siblings and begging his parents for a dog. He gave mommy head lice for Christmas. If it weren't for Timothy my life would not be the same. He keeps us marching on.

Nathan is a thinker. A talker. A dreamer. A builder. All good and fun things.  He stumps mom on a regular basis with the questions he has.  Since his love language is physical touch we hug it out everyday. He has no choice. He had a benign lump removed from his forehead this year and has a small scar which is better than a benign lump.

Sarah loves middle school and all the socialization that entails.  She is focused on school work and straight A's. And inline skating with Daddy. 10 miles has been accomplished. She lost her hamster Lumpy in the last year.  The service was beautiful. Mascara is now allowed. She is growing up and mom and dad are completely against that. She says two words consistently. One Direction.

Joshua has transitioned to the life of a highschool freshman.  His shoulders and back ache with the 30 pounds of books that he carries.  He loves all of his teachers and enjoys telling upperclassmen that he is a junior. In the spring he will drive.  That's a very real threat. He volunteers with the 3rd grade boys Awana group.  He tells me that all they do is sit on each other's heads between verse recitations.

Carla began substitute teaching this fall. Wow. It is nice to get those brain cells working again in the classroom. She makes at least one child cry whenever she subs.  Wiped out describes her pretty well when she gets home.  She now sidewalk counsels outside of the 3rd largest abortion mill in the nation.  Planned Parenthood in St. Paul, MN.  Heart wrenching.  She still finds time for herself at Walmart and Aldi.  Her only goal at 47 years old is napping. With Griffen.

Patrick lost 63 pounds in the last year and inline skates like a pro.  He has met and exceeded many of his goals!! He works hard for the money and is also still involved with many things at Faith Community Church.  He puts up with so much from his wife it is a wonder they are heading into 19 years of marriage. Patience is a virtue.  So grateful to God for such a loving husband and daddy!

There you have it.  We are perfect. Our kids are smart, beautiful, accomplished and so much better than yours. We continue to do this life like nobody's business.  Yeah.  The Streams have it alllllllllllll figured out.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

An Extra Syllable

My Sarah has added two letters to the end of certain words.  I am doing my informal observations at home.  Trying my best to understand the appropriate usage.  I'll keep you posted but in the meantime her utterances sound like this.

"MommmmmUH!!!!"

"I don't knooooooowUH!!"

"That's not fairrrrrrrrrrUH!!"

"Why can't I UH??!!"

"NooooooooooUH!!"


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Things We Do For Love

Mornings.  Mornings here in the Stream house.  Oy.
Round One.
The Bigs are up by 6:15am.  After breakfast is frantic lunchmaking, hair straightening, back pack packing and hugs for Daddy.  I grab my coffee with cream and we are out the door by 6:50am. Josh to high school. Check. Sarah to middle school. Check.  Me in the car alone, sipping coffee and listening to talk radio.  Check. Check. Check.
Round Two.  The Littles are harder to rouse.  Nathan gets dressed and gets cozy in our bed to do his 20 min of silent reading. Basically they eat and talk, brush teeth and talk, get their gear on and talk. Tim can't find his pants, his shirt, a sock, his favorite car, his corn cob pipe or his button nose.  Last week he had a TIM SIZED meltdown but only because the night before my husband and I had talked about how he hadn't melted down for awhile.  Totally our fault.
This morning he couldn't find his ninja dude. It was in a pair of pants he tried on yesterday.  They were 3 inches too short and ripped in both knees and the orphan look isn't in this winter.  I threw them away. Piled them under drippy, oily, grungy things.  His ninja dude was in the pocket. It is 8:25am. We need to leave at 8:30am. The boy was beginning to freak.  I reassured him I TOTALLY KNEW WHERE THIS DUDE WAS!! I went outside, dug into the disgustingness and pulled out the pants. Side pocket? Nope. Side pocket? Nope. I prayed, "Dear Lord, I need this dude."  I was thrilled to discover a back pocket holding the ninja that I raised over my head in victory!! YES!


getinthecarhaveagooddayatschoolloveyouseeyousoonbye

Monday, December 17, 2012

Playing

I never had an opinion on school buses.  I am glad they bring two of my children home through the fog of yelling and swearing and carrying on but I don't give them another thought.

On the first couple of days of highschool for Josh I gave him a ride.  I parked in front and prayed over him and wished him a good day.  A school bus pulled in front of me and a school bus pulled in back of me and honked.  Constantly.  Neither bus left room for this mom to get out either.  What to do?  What to do?
I waited and listened to the honking. And made my move when the buses did.  Lesson learned.  I now avoid them as best I can and drop off the eldest somewhere else.  Joshua would like to devise some kind of video game that shows me avoiding school buses.  Driving this way and that while they all try to devour me.  Or maybe a game like Frogger.  I drive while they hit my van.  Either way it would need a name. Busser.  Mommer.  Leave the Bus Alone Carla!


Saturday, December 08, 2012

Here It Is Again


The Repost I Post Every Year

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 06, 2008

PSA: Helpful Christmas Decorating Tips

There are a few guidelines we follow around here when it comes to decorating for Christmas. The first and most obvious to us is Christmas-Keep Out of Reach of Children. Joshua and Sarah are at the perfect age to stand in awe of the Tannenbaum, but I can send them to your house to do that. There are Littles to think about. So here are the Stream Family Decorating Guidelines.

1. When dragging out the fake Tannenbaum make sure the calendar reads December 23rd.

2. Find a small corner in the living room and jam the tree in.

3. Using heavy wire, nail that baby to the wall.

4. Use lights sparingly. Remember last year? Nathan ate a red bulb like candy.

5. Decorations are fine, but why spread them all over the tree? They eventually migrate to the top anyway. Start at the top.

6. If concerned about the lack of presents, make some decoys. Otherwise the real loot does not belong under the tree until the calendar reads December 23rd.

7. If the loot does make it under there early due to a fatal case of "Christmas Spirit" stand guard at all times with a roll of wrapping paper, scissors and scotch tape. Rewrap swiftly and consistently.

8. All other decorations are put on hold.

9. Except the manger scene. And the Santa cookie jar. And the wreath. And a paper chain. Maybe stockings.

10. Hang stockings from the ceiling.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Trying

I give fitness a minimal effort. I don't want to do it for weeks at a time and then I decide to step it up a bit.  It's cyclical.  I asked for and received ankle weights for my birthday. I figured doing some knee lifts would count as cardio and resistance training. Two birds.
While making tacos last night I strapped those bad boys on, cranked some music and did a little workout.  Step. Lunge. Hop. Flex those abs. Grapevine and a kick ball change, turn around and stir that hamburger.  I did my best. I was being active! I was multi tasking! I was already working off the calories in the tacos I was about to consume!

Tim rained on my parade by saying "Mom what are you doing?? You can't do that! You are too old for that!"