Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Parenting 101: Eavesdropping

I forgot to mention that my favorite part of my little trip to The Woodlands last week was when Lisa and I took Brandon, Brent, Zach, and Abby on a bike ride through the trails that I OWNED in my youth. I was very much like my dad as I made them stop to hear stories about each memorable marking-place. One interesting tid-bit that I learned, however, came when I overheard Brandon and Brent discussing girls over their ice-cream cones. I walked out of Baskin-Robbins just in time to hear Brent say, "She's h-o-t?" (I guess he thought that maybe I can't spell very well.) So of course I had to get in on the conversation and ended up giving a mini-lesson on 1 Samuel 16:7. Whew. I thought I had a few more years before we had to deal with "hot".

A friend of mine once told me that it's very, very important, in parenting, to eavesdrop whenever the opportunity arises, and I'm finding that to be true. Since the "hot" incident, I have also learned that Abby has a "boyfriend". And she thinks that the feeling is mutual because, "I think I heard him say it." Anyway, she was ok with me knowing about the boyfriend, but at the mention of it in front of Clay at dinner that night, Abby burst completely into tears. I'm not sure what a psychologist might say, but I'm pretty sure that it's good for Clay and me. Abby couldn't bear the thought that her daddy knew there was another man in her life. How long do you think that might last? I don't know either, but you can bet I'll be one of the first to know......

Happy Eavesdropping,


Monday, March 28, 2005

Cold and Wet

It seems that the part of your brain that informs the rest of your body that you're cold, wet, and miserable doesn't fully develop until sometime after the 8th grade. It was 40-something degrees on Saturday, raining, and windy. But there was no lightning in the area, so Six Flags was up and running. We thought that perhaps Brandon, Abby, and the middle schoolers who were with us might not want to endure such conditions, but we were wrong. Even the suggestion that we leave early elicited an astonished and wildly negative response from these adventurous little thrill-seekers.

So on we shivered. Thankfully, the Spongebob 4-D experience is in an indoor and heated building (I could have stayed there all day), and the Runaway Mine Train rollercoaster actually had a line...that was under cover. Aside from the aforementioned, Brandon and Abby's favorites for the day were the Texas Tornado (big giant swingset), the Antique cars (because when else can a 6 and 9 year old drive a car?), the Judge Roy Scream (Brandon loved it, Abby did NOT), and the Log Ride (yes, we did.)

Then on Sunday we enjoyed our first Easter celebration in Midlothian. I wasn't in charge of Hashbrown Casserole this year; instead, I did desserts; chocolate chip cake (delicious, if I do say so myself) and cookies that Clay said tasted like dishwashing detergent. To which I say, at least they were clean.

Tomorrow the kids are back in school and I must get back to work! I'm looking forward to this weekend's visit with the CBC girls, but will miss little Abby's first 2 softball games this Saturday. Go Midlothian Stars!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Easter Blessings

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:2-3

Before the Throne of God Above
words by Charitie Lees Bancroft

Before the throne of God above,
I have a strong and perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is "Love,"
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heav'n He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
and tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there! The risen Lamb,
My perfect, spotless Righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace!
One with Himself I cannot die,
My soul is purchased by His blood;
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

exceedingly good fun

We're having lots of fun in The Woodlands this week. Yesterday, we rode a water taxi on the new Woodlands Waterway that has been built by the mall, up to the Pavilion and by other new and interesting places. It's still in the early stages of development, but I think in a few years it could be just as neat a destination and touristy thing as the Riverwalk.

Then we (me, my mom, Lisa, Brandon, Abby, and 3 of their cousins) went to see the movie Robots at Tinseltown, which is also right there by the waterway. I thought it was cute, but the kids LOVED it. It seems to me that animators, directors, writers---whoever it is that makes such decisions--have discovered that one really long, over-the-top scene with belching or flatulence makes it a winner. For the 10 and under crowd, the rest of the movie can rot, and they leave thinking they've just seen Gone With the Wind (pardon the pun). And who can really blame them? It is pretty dern funny.

After a night of sleepovers with cousins, today we've just hung around the homestead. After getting sweaty playing at a nearby park, the 3 boys decided to brave the way-too-cold-to-be-enjoyable water and jumped in the pool for a swim. Abby and Alyssa soon joined them, because they're the kind of girls who refuse to be outdone by boys. And swimsuits are really just a convenience anyway. Tom and Huck never needed them, right? I'm pretty sure that times like these will be fond memories they'll joyfully recall for years and years to come. When I think back to my own formative years, family get-togethers, and such, what I remember most are the times when I got to do things that exceeded my usual standard of fun. Like the times we were allowed to go out to the tank at my grandparent's farm all by ourselves to catch crawdads. Or the time my cousin taught me to skip a rock across that same tank....only I skipped a dried up cow-patty by accident. It floated, by the way. Or when we got to walk down to the 7-11 from my Baw-Maw's apartment building in buy gum or candy. Or when Kendall and I got stuck in the elevator on our way back up to her apartment and screamed so loud that mom could hear us. So, you can see, I'm all about making memories.

Tonight we're going to eat at Double Dave's---I'll eat a pepperoni roll for everyone who is at this moment jealous of me...Clay, Stephanie A., La-shea and Scott, and all the Josefy's except for Sharon.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Leprachan Shart

It seems I've left you all dumbfounded with my last post since it was my first "0 comments" ever. Actually, I DID get some comments, just not on here! Last night, thanks to TB and TW, we went to the American Airlines Center for the Mavericks game. We had great seats and had lots of fun. We had more tickets than we needed given to us, so Sharon (who we'd just picked up from her trip to London and was suffering from jet lag), Lauren A., Ryan and Jessica went with us. I have a picture of Brandon and Abby at the game that I'm trying to upload, but it's not working so far. But Abby LOVED those complimentary thunder sticks, I tell you. She beat them and beat them and beat them for...well, I guess the better part of 2 and 1/2 hours. And Brandon decided to cheer for the Blazers throughout the game because he has one of their players on his fantasy basketball team. I don't know where he gets his competitive drive...

Abby brought home from school a sister yesterday. She made this cute little girl out of construction paper and told me that it's her new sister. She wrote "Leprachan shart" (Leprechaun shirt) on her sister's shirt just so she would not get pinched. She put a hair clip on her when she got home. She asked how we could buckle her in the back seat of the van on the way to the game, and even wanted to take her in to the game when we got there. I told her we didn't have a ticket for her sister. Don't you wish that you could escape into another world like that sometime? Although, come to think of it, that might be kind of weird. So never mind.

I need to give notice, a shout out, or however you want to say it to M&B whose recent presence on my blog has given it International consideration. It really is a small world, after all. Have a GREAT weekend!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

once a year is too much

I know this blog is co-ed, so I'll try to keep this comfortable for everyone involved. I don't know why, though, because the once-a-year dr. visit is anything but comfortable. Why should I be forced to keep that all bottled up inside? I thought I'd outsmarted them this time; I had made my appointment first thing in the morning. No waiting, right? Wrong. I did get to leave several jealous people in the waiting room shortly after the time of my scheduled appointment. My visit with the nurse went swimmingly. She gave me my new outfit to wear, a magazine to read, and left me to wait for the doctor. About 20 minutes later she came in and told me that he was at the hospital delivering a baby (am I the only person who schedules things like childbirth?) But I digress. I had made it through about half of Entertainment Weekly, which, by the way, I must commend for giving Winn Dixie its well-deserved kudos. My doctor arrived and introduced himself to me, not because we hadn't already met (we had), but because he was flustered and confused. I think I would be, too, if my job required that I run willy-nilly back and forth between the wonderful miracle that is childbirth and the mundane and uninspiring well-woman check-up. Anyway, about 3 minutes into our riveting conversation about my wellness issues, he was paged back over to the hospital. Apologetically, he explained that he'd probably be gone another 30 minutes if I wanted to wait. But what choice did I have, really? So I grabbed another sheet from the cabinet (Why is it always freezing cold in there?), pulled out the table extender, and settled in for the second half of my complimentary reading material.

True to his word, my doctor made it back in 30 minutes and I was out of there in a jiffy. On my way out, I was hoping to smile knowingly at the poor women who were in for the wait of their lives. But wouldn't you know it? Apparently they'd all chosen to come back another day. Well, at least it's over for me. Until next year, that is...

Monday, March 14, 2005

a day in the life

Have I mentioned how cute Abby is playing softball? Actually, I haven't even been to a real practice yet, but have watched her practicing in the front yard with Clay and have seen her sporting her very own blue helmet with sparkles. Apparently, her coach has informed her that she's his short stop...a fact that she will proudly tell anyone who asks. Games start up in April...I have to miss the first one! But don't worry, Johnnie, as soon as she puts on that uniform, I'll get some pics uploaded for you!

And then there's Brandon's team. They also start in April...on the same opening day as Abby....the same day I'll be in San Angelo getting massaged, manicured, pedicured and all the other fun stuff the CBC ladies have planned for their retreat.

Speaking of Brandon, he had a root canal today. He did great and the endodontist (never heard of that word before) said his tooth should be fine. Eventually he'll probably want a veneer or cap on it (Brandon was wondering if that would be silver or gold with a diamond in it), but for now the damage has been stopped. We'll go back in 3 months for another minor procedure that the dr. thinks will be the last. It was all good for Brandon, who was just happy to be out of school...again....and to get a milkshake when it was all over.

So next week is Spring Break. Clay is going skiing in Colorado for the FBC senior trip. He's been checking the snow reports daily and can't wait to hit the slopes. The kids and I are skipping this year's senior trip as we attempt to be frugal looking ahead to Disney World. Instead, we'll head down to The Woodlands Monday for some r&r with family, maybe a trip to the beach, and other fun stuff my very active sister-in-law cooks up. We'll head back on Friday to hear all about the slopes Clay conquered. Then on Saturday...Six Flags with the youth for a day of family friendly amusement and concerts by Mercy Me and Jeremy Camp. Brandon and Abby are REALLY looking forward to that because when we told them we'd be moving to Midlothian, we kind of used Six Flags as a selling point.

Shout outs (trying to stay hip with my usage of contemporary lingo) to:
-Shawna for meeting me and Abby in Mansfield Saturday for lunch and then enduring my tour of Midlothian
-Stephanie M. who calls about once a week and we talk for about 5 minutes before someone else clicks in and she says she'll call back but never does :-)
-Tammy C. for setting up her own blog
-Sharon...who's way far away in England this week--have a smashing good time!
-Ryan who called today to tell us about his new girlfriend, Jessica
-Kathy J. who called today to invite us up to Graham for an EARLY Easter Egg Hunt to carry on the tradition...sorry we can't do it!

and Brandon is here standing beside me encouraging me to sign-off...and by the way, he says "Hi!"

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Alias vs. 24

I had planned to work on Ladies' Retreat, Saturday morning session, that I'm doing in San Angelo in a few weeks. But last night, when Brandon flashed that smile up at me, I noticed the tooth that he chipped 3 weeks ago looked gray. So we went to the dentist today and it seems that he's got surgery in his very near future. We're going to have to go see a specialist on Monday.

Brandon was trying to process all the info. he was hearing and still appear calm, cool, and collected. He asked me if I'd ever had a nerve in a tooth die. I said, "No. I never ran in church." (liar.) He said, "I bet you did." Me: "Yes, probably so." But I was thinking, I probably didn't run with such reckless abandon. Clay pointed out that I did other reckless things... like hose a girl down with the fire extinguisher at church. Come to think of it, the emotional damage I caused back in the day might actually have cost more than the physical damage his accident is going to cost. hmmmmmmmmmm.

This is way overdue. I'm going to compare 24 and Alias. Feel free to agree or disagree. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about....for goodness sakes, get yourself on over to Blockbuster!

Male Lead
24 - Keifer Sutherland
Alias -Michael Vartan
Advantage - Alias. Jack is bad to the bone, but Vaughn is NOT ugly.

Computer Geek
24- Edgar
Alias - Marshall
Advantage - Alias. Bring back Chloe! Bring back Chloe!

Bad Guys
24 - you think you know, but you don't
Alias - Sark, Sloane (because who does he think he's fooling?), sometimes Jack, and that really mean girl who shot Nadia
Advantage - 24. they're good, but don't worry. Jack will take care of them.

24 - it all takes place in 24 hours, conveniently hitting especially tense moments at the bottom of every hour
Alias - tough girl suffering from the effects of major familial dysfunction beats up bad guys.
Advantage - 24, because whoever thought that story up is more clever than I am.

24- CTU, Counter Terrorism Unit
Alias - CIA. yawn.
Advantage - 24. And Clay wants his phone to ring like that.

24 - homeland security issues, very current
Alias - the Rimbaldi Prophecy??? Give me a break.
Advantage - again, 24.

24- recognized bad cast and brought back the old-timers.
Alias - Why is Arvin Sloane still in charge?
Advantage - 24

24- Jack and Adrianne(or whatever her name is) ; Tony and Michelle
Alias - Vaughn and Sydney
Advantage - Alias. See "Male Lead"

I could go on, but that will probably give you enough to argue about for awhile. Next week, perhaps we'll discuss the merits of Chick-fil-A verses Rosa's Cafe.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Obscure Ramblings

While you Midlanders are enjoying spring break this week, we're still trudging along with 2 more to go. I take comfort in the hope that it will be warmer by then! It is a busy week, though. Abby has her program this Thursday. She's very excited about that! Clay's parents and our friend Sharon are coming in for the event. Well, actually, Sharon (who loves for me to mention her on my blog) is coming to leave her car while she travels to London for her spring break. Then on Friday, her class (Abby's, not Sharon's) will dress up for "50's Day" since there are only 50 days of school left and kindergarteners like to celebrate such milestones. Plus, we have our first full week of practices. Abby's playing softball and Brandon's playing baseball.

Clay and I had our Friday breakfast at the Waxahachie Chick-fil-A last week (I know you're surprised by that news). Anyway, it made me a little bit sad because there were moms there with their little toddlers getting together for a play date. I miss that...sometimes. But then my thoughts turn to this October when we'll travel to Mecca (Disney World, that is) for our long-awaited, carefully planned family vacation. Abby will finally get HER picture taken with Mickey Mouse and Brandon can get back to his roots. We're going with my whole family: mom, dad, 2 bros and their families...that's 15 in all. Mom and Dad have rented a great big 7 bedroom house (with pool) in a gated community near the parks. (That cinquain was no exaggeration, I tell you.) We planned the event for October because, well, in October it's not so hot and there are no long lines. Midlothian ISD threw a little kink in our best-laid plans when they decided to not take Columbus Day off as a school holiday next year. Instead, we'll have off the following Monday. I don't know, I'm just thinking...I MIGHT have been ready for them to go back to school that day.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

A Little Poetry for Mom and Dad, per your very first comment on my blog

Cynthia's Cinquain

Awesome, incredible,
Loving, encouraging, giving,
Makin' other kids jealous,
Mom and Dad

Friday, March 04, 2005

Apparently mom and dad are a little nervous about my blogging...they sent this recently! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Sequel

I appreciate the bold honesty of Lisa and La-shea whose concern about mechanical pencils and sniffing tennis balls has caused me to look a bit deeper to examine the things that bring me sunshine. (However, you do need to know that the smell of new tennis balls was only slightly ahead of my new silicone oven mitts that are washable and withstand up to 600 degrees of "hotness", as Abby would say.) So here it is. My new and improved list of...

things that make me smile.

*When my friends post comments on my blog
* Brandon wearing eye-black while playing baseball (very cute.)
* Abby talking to her beanie babies as if they were real. (also very cute.)
* Movie and sunset in Cancun. (thanks, Lisa, for the suggestion. You're right...that's probably a really good one. Maybe I'll get to do that someday.) :-)
* Whipping my big brother in fantasy basketball since he always dominated me in the driveway. Who owes who the Hubba Bubba now????
* instead of sniffing the tennis balls...playing tennis with a friend, usually sm or sj
* Movie and sunset in Midland...I've done that one and it's actually quite nice.
* Playing cards (Hand and Foot) in the mountains of Colorado with M&CG til the wee hours of the night AND playing cards (Hand and Foot) in our kitchen in Midland with S&DP--good times!
* getting an email from an old friend--that happened today!
* watching "King of Queens" reruns with Clay practically every night right before sleepy-time. That show cracks me up.

It is what it is.

My friend, Kirk, had his surgery yesterday. It took 7 hours or so and they did it while he was awake, which is really cool (or weird, depending upon your perspective). Anyway, he did great and is fully intact. The awakeness helped them make sure of that, as they had him recite the Pledge of Allegiance numerous times during the surgery. The surgeon was confident that he got all of the tumor, and Jan will know soon specifics about that. Thanks for your prayers!