He Can't Help But Be Beautiful...

Beauty runs in my family. We can't help it... God just loves us more than most.

Here is a picture that Cousin Steve sent to me tonight. His wife took it while on vacation at Lake Michigan.

Go ahead... be jealous. You know you want a camouflage hat just like his. We have been trying to get him to put a shirt on for years now. Thank goodness we finally got him to stop fishing in the nude.


It All Makes Sense Now...

Oh boy, Oh boy, Oh boy... apparently Oh BIG boy!

Matthew McConaughey's father died having sex with his mom, Mama McConaughey says in her new book, "I Amaze Myself!"
“On Monday mornings, he and I often said goodbye by making love,” Kay McConaughey tells Us Weekly. “But one day, all of a sudden, it just happened. I knew that something was wrong, because I didn’t hear anything from him. Just nothing," she says. "But it was just the best way to go!”
When her husband couldn’t be revived, she made sure he was taken from the house in the nude.
“I was just so proud to show off my big old Jim McConaughey — and his gift,” she says.
Kay McConaughey also says her famous son, 38, was a happy accident. It was just after she’d married Matthew’s dad for the third time.
“I was deciding, ‘Do I want to have another baby? Do I want to have an affair? Or go back to school?’” she says. “That’s when Matthew was conceived. We had tried for 16 years and no baby. So Matthew was a big surprise!”

I love how she knew something was wrong because she didn't hear anything. I would think that her first clue would have been the dead weight on top of her. Was that too crude? I apologize. I just can't stop giggling at this though.

Just the other day I was asking myself three questions. They weren't like Mrs. McConaughey's questions, "Hmmmm, I just don't know... should I have a baby? Maybe an affair? Oh, but maybe I should go back to school." No, my three questions were, "Should I have a salad for dinner? Maybe chicken? Why not a M&M Blizzard!"

If Matthew is anything like his dad... well I am just going to keep my mouth shut because I don't want to offend any of you. Oh who am I kidding? If Matthew is anything like his dad then no wonder his baby's mama is always smiling. That is all I am going to say... I promise. Except for the fact that all I keep hearing in my head is "Thank you Sir! May I have another!"

I couldn't help myself. My husband is gone and I am ovulating... my mind is a little fuzzy right now.

It is obvious that the apple does not fall far from the tree in the McConaughey family... I just wonder if the tree is behemoth because of all of the placentas buried under it.
Thanks Joy @ southernjoy


Do You Really Need Algebra To Balance Your Checkbook?

I came to a startling realization today. As I sat at the kitchen table and looked over Hope's Algebra homework, by question 4 I had to ask her to fetch me my calculator... and quick! I used to think I was good at math-I even thought that I had inherited my Grandpa Mac's mathematician mind... but I was wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.

The one thing missing was the Teacher's Manual for Algebra.

Schools should really hand those out to parents. It would make helping your child much easier... that way your kid does not think you are math inept and can barely balance a checkbook.

Between you and me... homeschooling was much easier.

#1 I had teacher manuals that gave me all of the answers making me look like a GENIUS.

#2 We didn't have to wake up at O'dark thirty in order to get dressed, eat breakfast, drive to school, wait for 20 minutes in the drop off line, and wait 30 minutes to maneuver out of the parking lot.

#3 We could do school in our pj's.

#4 We could do school when we were sick laying on the couch under warm blankets and hot tea by our side.

#5 There was no homework.

#6 There was no homework.

#7 Did I mention that there was no homework?

But we love school... we really do. It makes life easier... it really does. You believe me right?

In other parts of my life... have you ever gone to a School Fundraiser at a restaurant? The kind where all of the families in the school go to a certain restaurant and your school gets part of the money that you spend? These are great aren't they? Especially when you go to a Catholic School where all of the families have no less than 4 kids each and they are all running around rampant at the local pizza joint. It is enough to drive a woman who is trying to remember Algebra over the edge.

Thank God pizza joints serve beer. Beer is good... by the end of dinner I was saying "Children? What children?" Oh... and I may have said "Algebra? What do you need Algebra for? You'll never use it again-I promise!"

Stupid beer at the pizza joint. At least the school will be able to buy a few new computers with my bar tab. Score!


Fist Came Printing, Then Came Cursive, Then Came The Baby In The Text...

Apparently I cannot win. Do children print, write cursive, instant message, text, do hand signs, send up smoke signals, or perform interpretive dance in order to communicate what they know? Which of these will get them a good grade in school? Please someone-ANYONE-tell me.

We all know that I have homeschooled my children for 4 years and this year they are back in school. I taught Aaron cursive writing, but I never enforced it. He printed most days and as long as he was learning I was not concerned with him not cursive writing. Well... now that he is in school his teachers insist upon cursive writing. This has stressed him out so he and I sit at the table each night and practice... practice... practice.

When Hope was a little girl we lived in England. She started her educational career in British schools. There she was taught "connected writing" or cursive writing right off the bat. They did not teach printing-only cursive. When we moved back to the states Hope was in second grade and the teacher insisted that she print and not write in cursive. That stressed her out and she and I sat at the table each night and practiced.. practiced... practiced.

Both Hope and Aaron are taking computer classes. This is where they teach the kids how to use a keyboard and a (you guessed it) computer. This is stressing my children out because I am not a big fan of kids being on the computer until they are older so they have really not been exposed to a keyboard. So now we sit at the table each night and practice... practice... practice.

Hope is in 8th grade and no longer has to write in cursive.

Aaron is in 5th grade and can only write in cursive.

What the hell ever happened to just knowing the friggen answer and being right? Good Lord above.


What Day Is It? Does It Really Matter...

Man oh man... I looked at this here blog today and realized that I had not even posted in at least a year. I am sorry... I don't know what came over me.

Oh wait, I remember... my children started school for the first time in 4 years this week. I also had a nervous breakdown. It was a long week.

Hope loves school. She thinks that organized education in a building other than her home is the most wonderful invention since the ipod. Aaron on the other hand thinks that education should be done at home, by his mother, and preferably after 9 a.m. He told me today that he had a great day because he figured out that if he doesn't raise his hand he can get through an entire day without his teacher talking to him.

This is where my nervous break down comes in.

That and the fact that we have activities out the wazoo.

When Carl and I were first married and had one measly little child that only slept, ate and pooped, we would look around at the parents with older children who lived their lives in their cars driving their children from one destination to another and say to ourselves, "We will NEVER be like that!" We were so stupid to think that we would never have to be a part of the rat race that I have come to know as "I chauffeur therefore I am."

We have numerous activities every night of the week... and Saturday mornings. I know! Crazy!

Today when Hope came home from school she found out that her riding lesson had been rescheduled so that meant that we did not have to go anywhere. I made her repeat that to me 5 times and once backwards before I believed her. It was not until she said "tonight riding no have I" did I completely relax and jump for joy. I went directly to my bedroom and took off my bra for the evening. Years ago that would have been the START of a great evening, now taking off my bra means that the puppies are hanging low so I need to lay on the couch in order to even things out.

Tomorrow the rat race commences. We have softball, baseball, a slumber party to attend and Sesame Street tickets. My life is so luxurious that sometimes I have to just pinch myself...


The Sound Of Freedom...

All of my life I have been the person with connections. I have met important people, shook hands with high rollers, partied with rock stars, schmoozed with supermodels, dined with political powerhouses, and may have even slipped my phone number to a Chicago Bear or two (Brian Urlacher if you are reading this, it's too late. I'm happily married)... so it was a little strange for me to have to rely on my little sister's connections with a few of the Thunderbird Pilots in order to get some great photos for my kid.

My sister Claire is in town. She is married to a F-16 pilot. I introduced them. They fell in love thanks to me. Anyway... the F-16 world being as small as it is, her husband is friends with a few of the Thunderbirds. Our friend Steffie is in town as well. When Steffie found out that Claire personally knew a few of the pilots she started running for the front of the line. She may have even plowed over a kid or two to get to meet these guys. I don't know why. It is not like they are good looking or anything.

I don't know what this guys name is... but does it really matter? If you know who this is please comment. I wonder if his wife reads my blog. If you are his wife and you are reading my blog please comment and tell us all about how your husband likes to take long walks along the beach and gaze into your eyes for hours by the fire.

Do you think they make their flight suits special for them? They sure do fit nicely.

I am actually taking a photo of the plane behind him... he is just in the way. See how he was laughing? I was telling him a joke. Military men like it when women are witty.
He looks a little like my husband don't you think? Only my husband is better looking... and I'm not saying that because he reads my blog because he can't read my blog while he is deployed because my blog is blocked! Can you believe that? Apparently I am too racy for some countries that shall remain nameless. Whatever. I don't know where they are getting their information because there is nothing racy about this site.

Nothing at all.


They Don't Teach You This In Sex Ed...

I had a dentist appointment today. The kids are going tomorrow. When I called to make our cleaning appointments they asked me if I wanted to just make all appointments (mine and the kids) on one day. No thank you... don't they know that 45 minutes in the dental hygienist chair is my idea of a vacation?

While there the dentist talked to me about getting a bridge in the very very back of my mouth. When I was a kid my parents did not take care of me. Seriously... they let me run around without my shirt on and never took me to the dentist. Some would say I was borderline feral. It is a miracle that I am a functioning human being and not living in a van down by the river.

Anyway... I asked the dentist about simply putting a implant on this tooth that I have been missing since my 10th birthday because my dad didn't think I needed all of the teeth in my head. "How much does it cost to fix that broken tooth? WHAT? Are you crazy? How much does it cost to pull it? 50 bucks? Pull it!" Seriously, do not listen to my mother when she comments on this blog. We didn't even have air conditioning when we were kids, and we only had 3 channels to watch on the television... and we had to get up and walk across the room to change the channel!

So, the dentist told me that I could not get an implant because the teeth surrounding the little missing tooth were not virgin teeth and they would benefit from the protection of the bridge.


I guess that means that both of those teeth have cavities-or in my case fillings. Virgin teeth do not have cavities or fillings in them.

Apparently my mouth is full of slut teeth. Damn promiscuous teeth. My mother will be so ashamed.


Warning... He Has A Brain And He's Not Afraid To Use It

Hope and Aaron are going to school this year... that is right, I am no longer homeschooling them. Part of me is sad and the other part of me is flipping thrilled! Don't get me wrong, I loved homeschooling my kids and I am still homeschooling Emma this year, but just the thought of waking up every day and not having to explain Algebra for 2 hours in the morning makes me want to do a happy dance. Yes, yes, yes, I am aware that my children will be spending the same amount of time on their homework as they did in an entire day of homeschooling but I am OK with that. I don't feel as much pressure with homework as I did with all the responsibility of educating my children being solely on my shoulders. Now I feel like I have help... help in the form of paid brilliant teachers! YEAH!

I am starting to feel a wee bit guilty about thrusting my children at poor, unsuspecting, innocent teachers. Just yesterday Aaron asked me if he will get in trouble if he were sent to the Principal's office. I told him that he would get in trouble and I would not think it was funny at all if he took after his mother and thought it was funny to torture poor Sister Rose Ellen. I don't care how many singing math equations he has to memorize.

Then I started to get curious. I asked Aaron if he really thought he could behave in a manner that would merit a trip to the Principal's office.

He said that no, he did not think he would be a bad kid... but he was worried about what would happen if he knew more than the teacher.


I asked him to explain and this is what he said, "Well Mom, say I know more about a subject than the teacher does and she is telling it to the class all wrong and then I cannot control myself and I have to correct her... right there in front of the entire class. I mean, what if she doesn't know ANYTHING? Will I be sent to the Principal's office for being smarter than my teacher?"

Oh, his poor poor teacher. Welcome to my world lady... welcome to my world.

Check It Out...


Go the "The Troops" Gallery

Click on Aug 11 4:15p.m.

These are all of the men and women that left Offutt AFB yesterday heading on deployment. When the plane does a stop-over in Maine, they are greeted by about 30 devoted Americans who cheer and applaud for every military person that walks by. How amazing is that! Americans are so fricken' cool!

The first one to find Carl wins! Like most of my contests, the prize is simply the fact that you won. Someday I will have endorsements that will allow me to send you all kinds of free prizes... but until Oprah pays me for mentioning her name so much, or until Matthew McConaughey sends me a check for all of the publicity he rakes in from my site... well we will just have to settle with the satisfaction of winning and not the prize that goes along with it.

*Advertisement paid for by no one. I am June Cleaver and I approve this message.*


Today I Started My Countdown...

Phew... what a day. I know that most of you read me in order to get a chuckle or to make your bad day at work a little more tolerable-thank you for letting me make you smile. Today I just don't have anything good to say. I have given you little outskirts of my personal life... you know I am married, that I have children, that I am Catholic and that I drink, but you don't really know the inner works of my life. That is my choice-basically because my life is really boring, so I use humor to liven it up. But today I am going to take that chance that you may want to know a little of my personal life. You may want to know what today was really like. You may really want to hear about Carl leaving and my heart feeling as if it is going to implode. So here goes...

Carl and I met in 1990. We started dating that summer and went off to different colleges in the fall. We kept in touch and knew that we really liked one another. When the next summer came around... that is when we fell in love. We spent all of our time together and made plans for a future, a future that would include children and mortgages. At the end of that summer, we were separating again-Carl going off to Arizona and me heading back to Southern Indiana. I will never forget the day that we said good-bye. He drove over to my parents house before he headed out on his 30 hour road trip back to school. We hugged, we kissed, we gazed into each other's eyes... and then he turned to leave and I thought I would no longer be able to breath without him. I watched as his car turned the corner away from me and I crumbled to my feet. 4 months later we were engaged and 18 months after that we were married.

Carl's job has always taken him away. There have been years where he was gone over 200 days. Separation became a way of life for us... it became normal. I could handle the separations simply because they were 30-45 day trips. The longest we have actually been apart was during the war and that was for 5 months. I was pregnant with Emma at the time and that proved to be a blessed distraction from my husband's absence. I had never felt the pain of the separation the way I did the first summer we fell in love. As time passed and as jobs changed, Carl leaving was no longer a focal point in our marriage. It was now normal for him to be home. When he would go away on a 2 week trip, we looked at it as a welcomed break from our regularly scheduled lives that would offer us a fabulous reunion in a short time. If my husband never had to leave my side again I would have been happy.

Last night Carl and I did not want to fall asleep because we knew the moment that we fell asleep when we woke up THIS day would be here. The day we have known about for 8 months now. The day we have been avoiding and ignoring. The day that when I would think about it I would instantly grown teary eyed and my heart would begin to race causing me to quickly shove the thought out of my mind.

I woke up and made him eggs and bacon. I took a picture of him eating breakfast. We drove to base and waited to say good-bye. We chit-chatted happily, but every once in a while he would look at me and I would look at him and the air would leave our lungs. Last night I broke down after dinner. Our last family dinner for a year. I broke down the way I did our first summer in love-with uncontrollable-ugly tears. Carl just held me. I broke down later in the evening as well and again, Carl held me. You have to know that I love him the way heroine loves her hero.

Finally the time had come to say those final good-byes. Hugs and kisses, "be good for your mom" was said, I love you's were rampant, a final plea from me to tell them he can't go... and the last time he would have to tell me that he had to go, and we watched him walk away.

We drove to the observation deck to watch his plane take off. We stood on the very tip top of the hill so that he would definitely be able to see us-to possibly be able to feel our love for him, and we waved with all of our mights as he screamed past us. I know we were all thinking the same exact thought... "Come Back!"

So that is the story of a good-bye. We are all sad in the Cleaver house and when I am sad I become a hermit. The kids are like me and I am looking forward to finishing this post and huddling under blankets on the couch with them. The enormity of the year ahead of us is too overwhelming to think about right now. Next week I will be back to normal... but today I want to cry. I want to be sad. I want my husband back.

All I see on the horizon is the day that he comes home. That is what we are working toward... to have his toothbrush making water marks on the sink again.


Plant It And It Will Grow...

I am obviously the Internet's leading expert on crazy because when this hit the news you all flooded my inbox with links, jokes, jabs, and "I can't believe you haven't reported on this yet!" So here it is!

Matthew McConaughey says the birth of his son will help bring a little joy to others in the world someday. The actor kept the placenta from the July birth of his son and plans to plant it in an orchard, he tells CNN's "House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta" in interview scheduled to air in two parts Aug. 9 and Aug 16.

McConaughey says he hopes it will fertilize the land, a ritual long followed in several cultures.
"It's going to be in the orchards and it's going to bear some wonderful fruit," he says, according to an interview transcript. "When I was in Australia, they had a placenta tree that was on the river ... and all the placentas of all that tribe, all that clan, whatever aboriginal tribe that was, all the placentas went under that one tree and it was this huge behemoth of just health and strength.

"This tree was just growing taller and stronger above the rest of Mother Nature around it. It was gorgeous."

McConaughey also says he and his girlfriend Camila Alves have enjoyed integrating their new baby, Levi Alves McConaughey, into their lives. Already they've started introducing him to the "sights and the sounds" of the world — including a John Mellencamp concert.
"You're never told in our house, 'Shh, Levi is sleeping.' No. Get used to the ambiance. Come with us. That's how I was raised," he says.

I think Matthew reads my blog and is just screwing with me now. Seriously. To be honest with you though... this was not the first time I have heard about this. When I was pregnant with Aaron, Carl and I took The Bradley Method birthing classes. It is a husband-coached, no drugs, happy sounds, good feelings, gentle way of birthing a baby. The method worked for me until I started screaming and my head spun around in circles and I vomited... but other than that, it is a GREAT way to birth a baby. (If you have used the Bradley Method and love it, do not email me and tell me I am misrepresenting it... I loved it too-but if I said rainbows shot out of my uterus during birth, well that wouldn't be honest, and I am all about honesty. Fingers-crossed I promise!) ANYWAY... the couple that was teaching the Bradley Method to us had the placenta from her previous birth IN THEIR FREEZER! Right there, next to the ground beef and Popsicles. They were going to plant it in the Spring. I think that may have been the class where Carl looked at me and said "We are never coming back."

I have also heard of some cultures eating the placenta... or is that wild animals? I can't remember... but in Matthews defense, he is just trying to be one with the earth dude. Look at all that this man does for our planet... first off, he helps it to look pretty because he is so damn hot, secondly, he lives in a tent and surfs to work and bathes in the ocean. Talk about conservation. Lastly, and most importantly, he does not use deodorant which means he is not doing anything to deplete the ozone. I think we should applaud Matthew for all of his efforts.

Two things struck me when I was reading this article. I loved how he used the word "behemoth." I was impressed with his vast vocabulary. Usually when they are so hot they are dumb (like Ashton Kutcher) but to use a word like behemoth in a sentence so easily-well that means he must have used it in a movie and read it the a script. Life imitating art... art imitating life. Very nice. For those of you who need to look up the word "behemoth" in order to know what the hell it means here it is...

Behemoth (Hebrew בהמות, behemot; Arabic بهيموث bahīmūth, or بهموت bahamūt) is a creature mentioned in the Book of Job, 40:15-24. The word is most likely a plural form of בהמה (bəhēmāh), meaning beast or large animal. It may be an example of pluralis excellentiae, a Hebrew method of expressing greatness by pluralizing a noun; it thus indicates that Behemoth is the largest and most powerful animal ever to exist. Metaphorically, the name has come to be used for any extremely large or powerful entity.

I didn't know what it meant either so don't feel bad, and if you did know what it meant before reading the above definition... well don't tell me. Braggart. I think we should all use the word "behemoth" in a sentence today.

Also, I loved where Matthew says that they do not shush friends when they come over if Levi is sleeping. "Get used to the ambiance. Come with us. That's how I was raised." I wonder if they will have that rule when #4 baby comes along and Mama just wants to get a little sleep, or maybe she wants to be able to take a shower, or possibly get a load of laundry in, or eat a sandwich, or go to the toilet, or just sit on the couch and stare into space for a moment without the baby waking up. Yeah, I bet when #4 rolls around the rule in that house will be "If you wake up the baby you are sleeping with the dogs tonight."

Although, if Mr. McConaughey is raising his boy in the same manner that he was raised, I say more power to him. 20 years from now I will be writing about crazy hot Levi, who doesn't wear deodorant and has been known to play the bongos naked.

Matthew, if you are reading this... keep it up my friend. Keep it up.

Thanks Patrick and Lori for being the very first to notify me of this Matthew sighting nano seconds after it broke... way to be on Matthew alert!


Did I Even HAVE A Great-Great-Grandma Cleaver?

Thank you for all of your kind words. They will be a help to me when I am in a ball of tears at the sight of a big spider in the bathroom at 2 a.m. and my Chief Spider-Killer is not here.

We just returned from a forced-family-fun trip to Okoboji Iowa. If you have not heard of Okoboji or have never visited Okoboji... well you must be living under a rock, because anyone who is anyone goes to Okoboji. I think I may have spotted one of the Olsen twins there... either that or it was a bag lady at the Piggly Wiggly. Not sure.

This turned out to be another trip where in the future, when I am dead or in an insane asylum, my children will look at one another and say, "Did Mom go with us to Okoboji? I can't remember seeing her there." Because I am not in one of the pictures taken because I spent my entire time following around a cranky one-year old who did not like sleeping in a hotel room with all of her family members. How dare we think that we could sleep in the same area as her! The nerve! I always say that my great-great grandchildren will not know what I looked like because there is not one picture of me around this place. They will know what great-great-granddad Carl looked like, all suntanned and beautiful, but they will not know how beautiful I was. If there are any pictures of me to be had on family vacations, I usually look pale and tired and have a pruned butt from sitting in 6 inches of water at a baby pool all week. Ahhhh... memories.

No, there was no boating for me, no skiing, no water sliding, no nothing at Okoboji. Although, I did get one spin around the lake on the inflatable tube with my friend Lori. We were laughing so hard that Lori had to jump ship because she started to pee (damn those weak birthing bladders) and my uterus is resting nicely at the bottom of Lake Okoboji. Nothing like a lake-enema to wake you up and make you walk funny.

So now we are back and Carl has requested all of his favorite meals before he leaves. Tonight it is meatloaf (ugh... leave it to a man to love a loaf of meat covered in Ketchup), tomorrow is brisket and for Sunday we have the pièce de résistance... Christmas/Thanks/Easter Turkey dinner-complete with jellied cranberry sauce.

I have decided to spend the next few days in a constant state of buzz. The liquor store down the street already told me I have purchased my limit for August. Can you believe that? A liquor store cashier cut me off. Mercy. I figure if I am buzzed everything will be funny. "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion." If you can name the movie quote I will send you a prize. I don't know what the prize will be... or if I'll really send you anything, but play anyway. You never know what I am capable of after I have been cut off by a liquor store cashier. Good Luck!


There Is No Easy Way To Do This...

We have a week left before Carl deploys to the desert. Have I mentioned that to you all? I am sure I have... yes, he is deploying for 365 days-for those who have a hard time with simple math, that equals one year.

It is always a horrible place to be in when you have a good-bye looming over your head. I want to make everything a pleasant memory, but that doesn't always work out. My heart wants bunnies and rainbows and my brain demands hand grenades and sword fights. I think it is a way of protecting myself... I am talking about the numerous fights we seem to be getting into for no apparent reason lately. Something inside of me is very messed up to think that it will be easier to say good-bye to him if I am pissed off because he left his boxer shorts on the back of the toilet tank instead of tossing them in the hamper.

Usually his little quirks blow over me like a light breeze, but the past few days have been different. I about threw his toothbrush away this morning because I don't know why he can't just put it away like a normal human being. Why does he have to leave it dripping on the sink so that I have to go back and wipe up the water spot? And then there are his tennis shoes. They are big and he leaves them at the foot of my side of the bed. Every night I trip over them when I get up to go pee. Why does he do this? Is he trying to make me insane? Don't even get me started on all of the desert gear that is strewn across the house right now because he is getting ready to pack. He has been getting ready to pack for a month now... just pack! Get the crap out of my eyesight so that my brain does not explode when I look at one more pair of military boots sitting in my formal dining room!

I know, I know, you are saying "Man June-you are not nice. Give the guy a break!" I get that... and I have been trying my hardest to give him a break, but then my heart will break even more the day he leaves.

You don't understand. My best friend is leaving for a year. Not just a week, or a month... a year. The depth of my sorrow in this matter cannot even be described on a simple blog. I want to scream "Don't Go!" but I can't. It is his job-his life. I know that all of the little things that are driving me batty right now (like the fact that when he drives my van he turns off the radio and the air conditioning so when I get in and start to drive down the street I suddenly realize that I am sweating like a pig and my favorite tune is not playing.) are just a defense mechanism for my heart-the heart that wants bunnies and rainbows but is going to get a lot of pain in a week when he goes.

What am I going to do?