For us, this was normal this weekend:

*Hub stood at our bedroom window and looked out at our empty garden.  Suddenly he said, “I can’t stand it.  I have to go get some tomato plants!”  He left, came back with eight tomato plants, planted them in the garden, and erected a “wall of water” around each baby plant.  This in spite of the fact that earlier in the week Hub had announced that he wouldn’t plant anything in the garden until after the new vinyl fence was installed so that he wouldn’t have to worry about fence installers trampling on his baby plants.

I surveyed his work in the garden and said, “Well, at least you only got eight tomato plants this year instead of the fourteen you did last year.  Eight is enough.”

Hub shook his head.  “Nooooo, I plan on getting more tomato plants later.”

Sigh.  We are going to have tomatos coming out of our ears this summer.  Again.

*I didn’t fill Easter baskets this year.  I did, however, get each of the kids a few things in anticipation for our road trip to the Oregon coast in June.  One of the items each of our kids got was a cheapie squirt gun.  We’ve been stuck in construction traffic enough times over the years that I’ve learned to have items on hand that help kill the time if we get stuck in traffic.  I envisioned the kids playfully squirting each other through the windows of our vehicles as we slowly pass orange construction cones (with the size of our family, we always have to take two vehicles on road trips). 

I had thought that the squirt guns would be put aside, along with the kites and beach towels, until the trip.

Silly me.

Not with our kids.

After returning from Easter dinner at my parents’ house Squid and Shroom decided it was time to fill the squirt guns.  At first it was the poor dog who got squirted.  Then it progressed to random family members.  When Squid squirted Huh in the face as she came into the kitchen she reacted immediately by grabbing the sink sprayer and turning the water on full blast.  A full-on war broke out after that.  Bio-siblings vs. step-siblings.

Commando rolls.  Leaps behind furniture.  Creeping along walls.  We saw it all.

I slunk through the house turning out lights (to make things more interesting).  As I turned one corner Shroom got me in the face with a straight shot.  There was a slight look of panic on his face and then an apology.  What are the repercussions for shooting one’s step mom in the face?  Then he continued on his way.  I decided that I am getting too old for such things and started retreating upstairs to my bedroom.  I passed Hub on the way who said, “This is your fault.  You’re the one who got them the squirt guns.”

Guilty as charged.

*Juju insisted on eating only the hard-boiled eggs that she had colored.  Because there were forty eggs, many of them looking similar, she had to do a lot of detective work to determine which eggs were “hers.”

*Mack has been suffering from constipation.  We’ve tried prune juice, lots of fresh fruit, and laxatives.  When she finally had a bowel movement over the weekend she announced it to all who were within hearing distance.  “I pooped!”

The entire family cheered.  The kids’ friends who were present looked around in bewilderment, no doubt wondering why our family would celebrate such an announcement.

*Hoob was asked to babysit for a family in the neighborhood Saturday evening.  The kids in this particular family are known throughout the neighborhood for being “difficult.”  Hoob accepted the babysitting job because she wanted some extra spending money.

I received a call from Hoob shortly after she started babysitting.  “Mom, I’m going to kill myself!”

I laughed.  “Hang in there.  At least you only have to survive for a couple of hours.”  There was a groan from Hoob.

When I hung up and moved through the house various family members asked, “Who called?”


“What’d she want?”

“She’s going to kill herself.”

“Oh.”  And then the questioner calmly went back to what they were doing because they understood Hoob’s situation.  As I thought about it later, I realized how strange such an exchange must have sounded to any friends present who were not aware of the babysitting job. 

I promise, we really are not insensitive!

*All through the weekend, as we attended church and did our various activities, I kept trying to get in little thoughts and conversations about the real reason we celebrate Easter.  I won’t go into detail about the conversations, but the kids all insist that they know the real reason.

I hope so.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16