I'm almost embarrassed to show my face around here...
Every day that drifts by without logging onto Blogger makes it that much harder to try to attempt the next day. I have no idea why seasons come and go like they do, but I'm definitely in a season right now that has dropped blogging down a few notches on my whittling log of priorities.
It is definitely not because I don't miss the people, relationships, and bonds that I've made through this medium. In fact, that's what I miss the most. I miss "seeing" my blogeeps every day. Seeing their beautiful children, hearing their funny stories, and feeling like I am sitting on the couch having a good little chat with kindred spirits, coffee and giggles in hand. I feel detached from that world right now. Like I'm losing that neighborhood of friends. And I don't like it. Actually, those bonds are the only things that draw me back to my own site over and over....begging myself to check in and regain that luster.
It's also definitely not because I've found another way to record my family's daily history. I most certainly haven't done that. I have many a megabyte of photos that are just hibernating until a time when I'll do something with them...most likely when it's so far in the future that I will have totally forgotten everything that was going on during the moment. My boys are growing every day. They're saying witty and hilarious things. They're just looking cute. And I'm not recording any of it. And I will regret that one day...or 5 seconds from now.
It's also not because I've decided that writing isn't my thing anymore. It's still my thing. And even writing this post about not writing has made me remember that I really do like writing. Writing is therapy for me. And it relieves a lot of tension. Hmmmm......come to think of it, I'm not sure why the husband hasn't begged me to resume my regularly scheduled programming just for sanity's sake (his..not mine).
I honestly have no idea what it is. Just a season, I suppose. Because looking over this post, I can't really find one reason as to why I find it so hard to log on and do what I used to do as naturally as breathing....
One day, I'll get it back.
Because I'm not ready to say goodbye for good.
One fine bloggy day....
I'm almost embarrassed to show my face around here...
I think I was 8 or 9. Maybe 10. Whichever it was, it was the Christmas that I got my Barbi furniture. I remember because I opened my presents prostrate on the couch with my head halfway hanging in a throw-up bucket.
And it stunk.
There possibly is nothing worse than being sick on a holiday. And I'm not talking Columbus Day or Boxing Day. I'm talking the Holy Grails of Holidays. The Big 5. The Fiestas of Fun. The Big Kahunas.
1) Nothing worse than being sick on Christmas. Numero Uno Worse-o.
2) Then comes Halloween. Costumes and candy, man, c'mon.
3) Next is Thanksgiving. Because then your sister gets to eat your slice of Nanny's cherry pie...not that I'm bitter or anything.
4) Then it's Easter. More candy. And a bunch of eggs that your mom won't let you hunt for the sake of the other children's health. Bah.Hum.Bug.
5) Then to make it an even 5....Fourth of July. Because that usually involves swimming and fireworks and hot dogs, and it just stinks to be stuck in the house in the summer.
No matter how you cut the holiday ham, being sick on those certain calendar days just stinks a whole heck of a lot more than a normal sick day. It just does.
Ask this guy....
Mr. I'm Losing My Lunch While My Brothers Trick or Treat.....
If you read yesterday's post, you know that I was going to give him until 1:00 to stop with the upchuck. Then I was going to let him get duded up and let him stick his bucket out for a couple of Kit Kats then come back home.
1:00 came and went and we were looking like we were going to be suiting up. Golden.
So I dragged out all the costume pieces and the make-up bag, and we got started. Everyone was thrilled that Tate was feeling better, and
Tate was totally dressed. Chaps were in place, boots were on, hat was fixed, holster was adjusted, and handle-bar mustache was drawn on. He looked adorable. Until he looked up at me with the biggest most sad eyes and said, "Mama, I just can't do it. I can't twick or tweat." And before I could say, "but the Kit Kats...", he was stripping off the cowboy gear and climbing back on the couch.
And I might have cried. Because I'm pretty sure I've never seen anything so pathetic in all my life. And I didn't even get one picture first....
I wiped my nose on my sleeve and turned my attention to the other brothers Darrel.
And I do have to say, they looked GREAT. I was so bummed that I wasn't going to be hanging with those characters at the festival....
Here's Keaton...a.k.a..Albert Einstein. I think he looks very smarty!
And here's Sawyer....our Redneck that slipped into his character a little too easily. My fave: the chest hair. Crack.Me.Up.
|The boys with a precious member of our K-Group from church.|
|Sawyer and his BFF Hesley : Tuh-ruh-ble|
I stayed home and snuggled with Tate on the couch...not too shabby of an evening...aside from that whole holding the throw-up bucket thing.
Now....let me at that candy....
Labels: Hangin' With the Family
It's Trick or Treat day for us.
The day that I always dread, and then when it comes down to it, I get all kinds of excited because the kids are just so darn cute.
And in the days leading up to, I have especially been dreading this particular Halloween.
And then the boys got their costumes.
And now I'm excited.
Because Keaton is going as this guy.....
He thought of it all on his own, and when he found the wig, he said, "Mom! I can be one of my idols!"
Thrill this mama's heart.
Sawyer is channeling this dude.....
Labels: Being Boy Crazy
Ancient China has been our topic of study this week in school, and my lesson plan suggested that we make our own Chinese food at home. I gave myself quite a bruise when I fell out of my chair laughing at even the mere thought of that ever.happening. So, I did what any other resourceful teacher would do. I loaded the children up and took them to a Chinese Buffet. And we dove into the culture headfirst.... Well, actually, the boys only ate fried shrimp, jello, and ice cream...but still. It was the
fact that I didn't have to cook a meal at home the educational experience that matters. I did, however, come out with a fortune that filled me with a bit of anticipation....
All I found when I came home though were 14 loads of laundry that need to be washed.
We journeyed into the wide world of tackle football this fall. Sawyer was so excited to play, and though I had my reservations at first about sending my 8 year old out to be pummeled, I soon realized that at this age, tackle football is more of an exercise in bear-hugging. Not so much with the hard tackles.
Our little team wasn't the best, but they had an amazing set of coaches, and the boys learned a lot about the fundamentals of the game.
Plus...they're just cute.
Faith journeys are hard.
I do love the ones that are relatively neat and tidy. Maybe a red ribbon tied around it just for kicks. Yah..those are the good ones.
But I don't like the hard ones. The ones that are so difficult of a road to even step out on, and the process is painful and achy and just all-around a miserable experience. And those are just the ones that have an ending that my pea-sized brain can fathom. I really don't like the ones that are just hard and painful, and that leave me wallowing in a puddle of confusion.
Don't get me wrong. I love the sovereignty of our Maker. It's actually one of the things I love most about Him (if we're even allowed to "pick favorites"). I love that His plan is bigger than me and bigger than my circle of friends and bigger than my flesh and bones can comprehend. I really do. I love it.
But it drives me just a little bit crazy.
Okay...a lot crazy.
Because I'm a visual kinda gal. I gotta see it to believe it. Or to stick with it. Or to keep on keepin' on.
And God doesn't usually do things my way. Okay...God rarely does things my way.... Which usually means that I end up on the backside of crazy more days than I'm not.
And backside of crazy is where I sit today.
Because I'm walking a road right now that didn't come with GPS. And to make things even more interesting, God heaped on blinders, eye patches, ear muffs, and made me leave my seeing-eye-dog at the house. I'm blind. Totally walking blind....
And I'm ready to just quit.
To Cliff's Notes an intensely long story, I'll just tell you that for a very long time now (exactly 6 years...but who's counting?) I've felt like my family wasn't complete. I felt like someone was missing out of our picture. That there was room for somebody else. But, the husband was adamant that we were closed for business, and we took measures to close up shop....if you catch my G-rated drift. And I had to agree with him...somewhat. My cup was running over. My blessings were abounding. But yet....unsettling in my spirit remained.
Someone was missing.
I sat on my thoughts and masked them behind endless hours at ballfields, homeschooling, and just the upkeep of my sanity. My cup is running over. Three is enough.
Someone was missing.
Then the Lord decided to step in and do His thing. He used a dear precious friend of mine to shake me into reality and show me the answer for my missing someone.
It wasn't that we were to have another biological child. It wasn't even that we were to adopt.
The someone missing was actually a lot of someones.....
After falling on my face before my Jesus in sweet relief, I began the process. I studied everything I could get my hands on, talked to everyone that knew anything about the matter, and made endless phone calls to begin the process of...
Yes. This was the stirring in my soul. I knew with everything in me that I was being called to not only fill my home with that missing someone, but I was being asked by Jesus to take care of His precious children. I knew that our family could provide love and security and attention to a sweet child that didn't know it could exist. I knew that we could be Jesus' hands and feet. And I was elated.
Sure, I knew it would be hard. I would have to figure out how to homeschool and deal with a new baby or toddler. I would have to juggle 4 kids now...not just the 3 that were already causing me to prematurely gray. And, I would have to be able to handle the horrid task of letting them go when the time was up. But, I knew that I could do it. I would have the strength of the Lord behind me, and He would provide the resources that I would need, and the salve for my broken heart.
Another answer to prayer was that the husband and the kids were all for it. Everyone seemed excited to walk this journey of reaching outside of ourselves to help those in need.
And then it happened.
The rug was ripped totally and completely out from under me. I landed hard on my back, and I'm still trying to find a way to hoist myself up.
Kirk and I can't be foster parents. That's right. I said "can't."
Because we live in a 3 bedroom home and there isn't adequate square footage in one of the bedrooms to meet state regulations.
We aren't going to get the chance to love on these kids because of square footage.
I keep saying it over and over to myself because it seems so bizarre to me. Square footage.
So our process has been totally halted. Our paperwork has been shoved to the bottom pile on a desk somewhere. And we aren't becoming foster parents.
And I just want to scream.
I know that God is sovereign. I know that His picture is infinitely massive, and that mine is ridiculously minute. I get all of that. But it doesn't take away the confusion and frustration that has come.
Because I feel totally safe and secure in my relationship with Jesus, I've told Him just how frustrated I am. I've told Him that it's not fair. I've told Him that I would have rather He had never laid fostering on my heart. I've told Him that I'd rather go back to feeling the way I was feeling just a few weeks ago....like someone was missing...but that I didn't know who/how/why. I've told Him that ignorance, in this case, would have been bliss.
Is He preparing our family for the future?
Was He testing our willingness to be obedient?
Is He laying groundwork for something that is just over the horizon?
But I'm tired. And I'm hurt. And I'm confused.
And now I find myself grieving for all of those precious babies that I'm supposed to be rocking and loving on.
I love the Sovereignty of God. My God that will not be bound by regulations or contained by checklists or...
squashed by square footage.
Go on. Pick your jaw up off of the floor. I'll wait.....
I know I haven't posted in a long set of Tuesdays, but it hasn't been for lack of trying. I've opened the lid of my laptop and logged on to Blogger so many times in the past month or so, but just end up shutting the lid. Not really for lack of things to say, really. But more for lack of the heart to say them.
This has been a period of time that has sent me soaring one second and then left me reeling the next. Roller coasters are way-over-used analogies, but I can't think of anything better to describe the journey that my emotions have taken over these last few days and weeks. It's a bizarre feeling to climb up steep faith ladders the are full of anticipation and joy only to roughly have the rug ripped out from under you. But more on that another day.......
For today....a catch'em'up.
-- Having 3 boys is nutso. Having 3 boys that all play sports is nutso magnified to the 38297492th degree. For the past what-seems-like-a-million days, we have been at one ball field or another Seven.Days.A.Week. We thought we were really giving ourselves a break and exhibiting excellent parenting skills by making the boys choose TWO sports each for the fall season. Um...not so much. All 3 boys chose baseball, 2 chose soccer, and 1 chose football. And between all of those, we've had practices or games every.single.day.of.the.week. No Sabbath for the sports mongers. Needless to say...my cheerleading uniform is tired and ready for winter hibernation.
-- School is going really well. Aside from 5th grade math kicking my tail, we've really experienced rather calm seas for smooth sailing. The boys are all really happy, and though I'm still working out the kinks in our daily schedule (yes, I realize it's October), I've seen true fruits of our labor. And I still have all of my hair....
-- Every Monday and Wednesday afternoon, I sacrifice my ritual naptime to take Tate to Speech Therapy. He's getting his Fudd fixed, and though it makes me extremely weepy to see it go, I've realized that him saying, "Will you mehwy me?" one day to some gorgeous girl will.not.be.cute.in.any.way. So, Fudd-fixin' it is.
-- I've become absolutely obsessed with Razorback football this season. I've become one of those girls that discusses plays and stats with the man-child, and I actually cried real tears when I had to watch on tv the game against the Aggies in the new Cowboys Stadium. Because I should have been there. I just should.have.been.there. But I didn't have an extra spleen to sell for the price of tickets.
-- Along with my new Woo Pig Sooie! infatuation, I'm now one of those people that tweets and updates their Facebook statuses with nothing but football related verbage on gameday. I know...annoying as all get out. You're welcome.
-- I've started that Couch to 5K program, and I'm convinced that it was spawned in the bowels of Hades. But, my friends want to run a 5K, and I'm one that is prone to peer pressure....so I'm Couching my way to Raceday. But it hurts. And I'm tired. And I'm only on Day 4. Lord, help me.
-- I cleaned out my closet the other day. Seven bags to charity and one bag of trash later, my closet is refreshed and organized. Although I'm still wondering how in the world someone can have one full garbage bag of TRASH in their closet??? I guess I thought, though, that hanging on to the paint-stained Aaron Tippen concert teeshirt from 1992 would come in handy one day. You never know when the dress code might call for that kind of thing..... Ridiculous.
-- I'm thrilled that my tv has returned to Regular Scheduled Programming. Loving that my shows are all fresh and new each week, and that my DVR is fat and happy. My numero uno favorito (insert shuddering Spanish speakers here) show, gLee, is confusing me a bit with all the raunch and over-thinky-politically-correct episodes, but I'm hanging in there. Because I love Mr. Schue. And I love any show that promotes busting out in song and dance in public.
-- Halloween is this weekend, and I'm trying very hard to keep a smile on my face about it. Halloween is my least favorite holiday, and it would suit me just fine to nix and null it altogether. I wish that I had some huge conviction against the holiday, because then I could use that as a reason to fore-go the whole dress-up/candy-gorging binge. But I don't honestly see anything wrong with my kids dressing up as pirates and cowboys and getting a Snickers bar from their pediatrician. So now I'm in the dilemma of having waited till the last minute for costumes and having to fake my way through the whole Smile-Be-Happy-My-Kids-Are-Drunk-On-Sugar weekend. Halloween = Blech for me.
I'm sure there's more to discuss.
But it's time to pry myself from my chair and start the day. There are dishes to wash, and laundry to sort, and little people to teach, and 5Ks to run....
Bwahahahaha....I almost got through that last part without spitting my coffee all over my computer screen.
Have a blessed day. 5Ks and all.
EIGHT -- the number on the clock that the little hand points to when I'm sitting at the soccer field on a Saturday morning. On a Saturday morning. Wait...did you hear me? On a Saturday morning. Whoever had that brainchild must be one of those weird morning people, and they probably do other stuff before the roosters like eat dinner...or...laundry.
ONE -- the number of tattoos that my cherub-faced stinker installed on himself while I wasn't looking. Our family is all about some ink, but choosing to mimic thugists...not so much. And I'll show you the picture...as long as you promise not to say, "Aw...he's so cute." Because, y'all...he put the stinkin' thing on his neck. The thing that holds his head on. Which he obviously wasn't using when he inked himself.
NEVER -- the time in which the husband and I will finally be able to have nice things (and walls that don't get dinged up). Dadgum boys.
SEVENTY-THREE -- the number of minutes that the offspring member of the red headed persuasion stared at his language book the other day. He had to write four sentences about what he did this summer. That's it. Four. And you would have thought that I asked him to translate the Gilgamesh epic into Latin. On minute seventy-four, he caved. Score = Mom: 1, Kid: goose egg.
FORTY-ONE -- the number of Pez Dispensers in the oldest rascal's collection. He wants to make sure that I clarify that the forty-one does include one giant talking Yoda Pez Dispenser and a box set of 8 Star Trek members, which leaves 32 individual Pez Dispensers. You think I'm kidding. I'm so not kidding. I'm also not kidding about the Excel spreadsheet that is worked up on these said 41 Pez Dispensers. Because we're wild and crazy like that....
SIXTEEN -- the number of days that I've eaten nothing but junk. With the husband in and out of the country and baseball/football/soccer seven nights/afternoon a week, I've been ingesting mad amounts of fast food and frozen-food aisle edibles. My innards screamed out for vegetables the other day, and I managed to wolf down a can of cold mixed veggies before heading out to the ballfield. Go ahead...judge. I'm sixteen steps ahead of you.
TWENTY-FOUR -- the number of Words With Friends games that I have going on right now. Because I have an infinitesimal amount of spare time on my hands. What? I'm not playing with you? My user name is RascalRaiserAmb. C'mon..you know you want to feed my Scrabbalized habit.
ONE -- the number of precious husbands that I have. It looks strange to me that I just wrote the word "husbands"...plural. Speaking of plural...have you seen that new TLC show, "Sister Wives"?? Bizarro. I'll keep my one man all to my self, thank you very kindly.
ENDLESS -- the amount of blessings that I feel and have felt from the onslaught of prayers, support, and love showered on us by our friends and family. We've had some issues that have sneaked their way into the crevices of our lives and have pitched tents in some very uncertain deserts and valleys. We've dealt with confusion, misunderstanding, and the unknown. And yet, we remain remarkably at peace. Because prayer is manna in the desert. Support is manna. A "just checking on ya" email is manna. A facebooked "how ya doing?" is manna.
And manna is FOREVER, friends.
Seasons are funny.
Some seasons come in gently. Easing their way in. Changing things gradually.
Other seasons waltz in and slap you square in the jaw. Leaving no mercy in their wake.
I prefer gradual. Because I'm not a big change kinda gal. I prefer to look around one day and say, "Whoa...something's different here, but I have no earthly idea what it is." That's much better than the alternative of waking up one day and your entire world has flipped itself. Yes...Gradual is much better. And easier on the nerves.
Fall has finally shown its face here in South Arkansas, and I'm loving the open-window, fleecy pajama kinda weather. I even slept with 3 quilts on my bed last night and didn't sweat one time....it was magical.
But this post isn't really about the newfound crispness in the air.
A new season has sneaked in and rearranged all the furniture in my mind. Facets of my life have been uprooted and tossed around like nothing I've ever seen before, and other pieces have remained untouched in this bizarre twist of seasonal irony. Some parts are better. Some are devastated. Some are still whirling around. And I'm stuck somewhere in the middle trying to make sense of it all.
Priorities are shifting. Conversations are being had that I never thought would have to be. Time spent on things that used to be so important are now fleeting thoughts. Interests have moved. Definitions of words like "quality" and "contentment" are rewriting themselves.
And I'm still reeling with the shift in equilibrium.
But I suppose that's what seasons are all about. Some seasons are for deadening, so that new growth can spring forth. Some seasons are for blooming and flowering and conquering the bleakness. Some seasons are for transition. And others are for preparation.
But whatever the season......
Labels: Trying to Figure Myself Out
This has been a doozey of a week on my brain and even more so...my heart....
The entrance of fall usually holds such hope for me. It's a time that smiles can hardly be wiped from my face. It means football has started, my closet is transitioning, and the air is a little easier to breathe.
But this entrance of fall hasn't been so pleasant. And this week in particular is doing a number on my soul.
For starters, the husband has been gone all week. My only communication with him has been by email, one failed Skype attempt, and a briefer than brief phone call yesterday. And I'm growing weary. The boys and I have just about reached our limit of restraint with eachother, and we are about 5 minutes past time for a referee to run interference. Without the other member of our family that is old enough to command a vehicle, it has left me doing all ball-related duties myself. And I'm tired. Since Sunday, we've had 2 ball games and 6 practices. And all on different fields. At different times. And my baseball/football mom cute is wearing off fast.
I don't sleep well when the husband isn't home. I hear every creak and moan that the house gives off, and I sleep with one eye open and sitting halfway up in bed. Last night I swore I smelled smoke, which led me on a sniff parade for 45 minutes. The bags and circles under my eyes are causing people to spread rumors...
I'm feeling some unsettling in my spirit that I can't quite put my finger on. I've spent time in prayer and study this week, and still haven't received a clear answer. I have no idea what the Lord is trying to tell me, and, frankly, it's frustrating. But I'm trying to remember that His timing is not my timing. I just wish He'd throw me a bone this week.
My heart is aching for a precious friend. Her world was just turned upside-down this week, and there isn't anything under the sun that I can do to make it better. I'm a fixer. And I can't fix this. And it sucks.
On top of all of those big things....
I've fed my kids nothing but frozen pizza, Hot Pockets, and fish sticks for this entire week. And I haven't felt bad about it...not even once....until now. And now I'm crying about it....
I ruined an entire load of clothes by accidentally forgetting that I had added bleach to the water. And last I checked, my men aren't keen on pink splotchy pieces of apparel.
The raccoons have sneaked their way into my trash bins....again. And they never clean up after themselves.
I'm harboring bitter feelings about not getting to stay cozied up in my mama's house this week while the husband is off perusing the German countrysides. But because of our hefty sports schedule, it just wasn't possible. But I sure do wish I was there right now....
My favorite pair of flip flops broke.
And I could go on and on....
But really, I just am ready for my heart to settle. And I'm sad because I don't really remember what that feels like....so I wonder if I would even recognize it if and when it happens....
I spent the better part of the day at a family reunion.
I understand that I'm supposed to be focusing on the wonderfulness of multi-layered generations intertwining into a mangled mush of togetherness, but, really, these kinds of events leave me a little perplexed.
This particular reunion was for the "Edwards" clan. Or "Edderds" as we've strangely enough nick-named ourselves. (I haven't quite figured out why we feel the need to scrawl the word "Hillbilly" in bright black sharpie on our foreheads with such a naming, but, for reasons far beyond my realm of understanding, it's just the way things are.) The Edwards family branches me from Jim-Dad's mom's side of the family. My Nanny. Sweet adorable cute-as-pie Nola Mae Edderds.
My Nanny adored family reunions. She was one of 5 brothers and sisters that were a closer set of siblings than I have ever witnessed in my life. Each of the 5 had a smattering of kids and so on....so the Edderdses have grown to a somewhat scary multiplication of numbers. (I'm just glad I'm in the family...because I'm pretty sure that they will take over the world one day...and all you non-Edwards will be out.of.luck.)
Because Nanny loved family reunions so much is why I think that I'm left with mixed feelings about such an event. As the designated mother-figure of the entire clan, my Nanny loved nothing more than gathering her huge nest of chicks together. She knew every.single.detail. about every.single.member. of our extended family....I know...because she told me every.single.detail. about every.single.member. of our extended family. She just loved the fellowship and the togetherness of it all.
And I haven't been to a family reunion since she went home to dance with Jesus.
And it makes me kind of sad.
Because, honestly, I don't really want to be at one without her.
Oh...I understand the importance of continuing on our legacy and that our generation has a great responsibility to handle such amazing tradition of a family that truly exemplified the meaning of the word.
But it just stinks.
Because Nanny is not there for me to sidle up to and ask who someone is. She's not there to fill me in on the latest
gossip information regarding my 3rd cousin twice-removed's second wife's brother. I don't get to hear her call all 5,398 Edwardses by name...first, middle, and last. And I don't get to see the sheer joy that would envelope her face just at the mention of getting to see her family.
So....was the family reunion fun? No. Not really. But not because the people aren't fun. And not because the food wasn't amazing. And not because the weather wasn't absolutely perfect for the day.
I'm feeling rather whirly birdish today....
- I walked into Sawyer and Tate's bedroom 14 times today in a span of 6 minutes. And each time I had no idea what I was doing in there. And I make it a point to go in there as little as possible. It stinks like boy and smells even worse. Whirly Birdish.
- I brushed my teeth twice this morning. I'm sure that my dentist is thrilled with my display of extraordinary dental hygiene, but it was really because I forgot that I had already done it. Just 5 minutes earlier. Whirly Birdish.
- I had the boys copy their spelling lists this morning. From last week. The fact that they didn't notice either worries me just a bit. Everyone is Whirly Birdish.
- I announced at 8:15 this morning that we were out of milk and asked someone to remind me to get some at the store. At 8:16, I poured everyone a bowl of cereal and then was dumbfounded when I couldn't find any milk in the fridge. Whirly Birdish.
- I made coffee this morning. Without adding the coffee. Whirly Birdish. (And in need of an intervention.)
- I made an eye appointment for Keaton today, but as soon as I got off the phone, I realized that I hadn't written the date down nor did I have the foggiest idea of when I set the appointment for. I then had to call the lady back and ask her to remind me. She asked me that time if I had written it down. Yes, Ma'am, but no promises that I got it right. Whirly Birdish.
- While washing clothes, I chunked a cap of liquid detergent in the dryer and a dryer sheet in the washer. I'm sure the load needed to be rewashed. Because it probably was a bit soured anyway. Whirly Birdish.
- I watched an entire episode of iCarly today. By myself. And I found myself giggling at the jokes. Whirly Birdish. (And a possible intervention necessity.)
Can I get a second? Perhaps an Amen?
This Wednesday is adjourned.
I think everyone wants to say that their college home was/is like family. That their college experience was something spectacular. That it was the birthplace of lifelong relationships and friendships. And I'm sure that that is true to some degree. But I'm pretty sure that nothing compares to the Ouachita experience. And I'm pretty sure all my fellow Tigers would agree with me. Because we know that we have something that the rest of you don't. And for today....and maybe a little longer!...we're going to allow all of you to be envious of our story.
BETCHA DIDN'T KNOW......
* That Ouachita is not pronounced Ouch-uh-taw. Nor is it pronounced Oooo-uh-chee-tuh. Nor Watch-i-taw. Nor O-aw-chi-taw. It's Wash-i-taw. Say it with me....WASH.I.TAW. And we Wash-i-ton-ians take it very seriously. And have been known to hold linguistics lessons wherever we deem appropriate or necessary.
* That I can still remember the smell of 3rd Floor McClellan. The education floor was my home for 3 years, and I would be able to recognize that distinct mix of floor cleaner, hot laminator, and crayons anywhere.anytime.anyhow.
* That I studied for many a test on a "bridge."
* That after pulling an all-nighter on the bridge before a final one December, I went back to my room to quickly change clothes before my 8:00 test. That I must have laid down for just a second to "gather my thoughts." That the next thing I know, my phone was ringing, and it was my professor calling to wake me up and tell me that I was 45 minutes late for his final and that I needed to get across campus pronto. That only at Ouachita would a professor care enough to do that.
* That my hallmates and I "borrowed" a neighborhood dog from its front yard just to see if we could sneak it past Mom Taylor in Flippen Perrin. We succeeded. And I don't think that dog will ever be the same.
* That I never pledged a Social Club, but felt as though I was honorary member of every club on campus. I definitely did enough pledge duties for my friends to have deserved a spot.
* That I've never written so many Top Ten Lists in my life....thanks to aforementioned pledge duties.
* That my favorite professor of all time was Dr. Lavell Cole. That man could make American History come alive by just letting his voice meet its pages. I still remember the way he would walk into the room, prop himself on the edge of his desk, and just start talking. Never a note, book, or visual aide in tow. He is definitely missed.
* That I took Art in Humanities in May Term. And that that was the stupidest decision of my college career. Because it is near impossible to memorize 67 million artists and paintings in two weeks. *shudder*
* That I changed my major at least a dozen times. But still managed to graduate in 4 years. Don't ask me how I swung that small feat of That.Never.Happens.
* That I ate waffles for almost every meal. Because no matter how legendary, Walt's was gross.
* That I can still hear Minnie saying, "Hey, honey!" to every student that walked through the lines of the cafeteria.
* That I still have a problem walking on the grass on OBU's campus, because Dr. Ben Elrod's "Save-the-Grass" speeches are forever ingrained in my brain.
* That it stunk the year that my Chapel seat was on the very.front.row. of Jones. Because it is hard to skip Chapel when you are on the very.front.row.
* That is was awesome when my Chapel seat was on the very.last.row. of Jones. Because it is easy to skip Chapel when you are on the very.last.row.
* That those last two statements make it sound like I liked to skip Chapel. It wasn't that....it was just that I liked to sleep. A lot.
* That I almost failed Racquetball. Because I liked to sleep. A lot. And it was a VERY long way to walk to the gym.
* That I left my mark on OBU's campus courtesy of the Gum Tree. Nasty or not...it was necessary.
* That I know all the words to "O-U-A-C-H-I-T-A," and sing it to myself everytime I drive past the campus. (Which is a lot...since I...uh...live here.)
* That I will never forget the preciousness of my time at OBU. Like most events in life, it was definitely taken for granted at the time. But, as I reflect back, I certainly know that I was part of something special. Something huge. A piece of community and fellowship that stretches far beyond the borders of a ravine and a river. I'm part of a family that gets to call itself OBU Alumni...a brotherhood of sorts. Like we need our own secret handshake or something. Because when you find another OBU-er, it's like you just...know.
So, Happy Birthday, Ouachita!
You are loved.
And remembered well.
If you are interested in reading the other OBU stories go here. And if have your own OBU story, join us and link up!
I write today to implore you for help. Maybe not so much help, but some possible creative solutions. I'm reaching my wits' end, and, frankly, the ingenious corners of my mind are closed for business.
You see, I am struggling.
Because I've just come to the determination that parenting is hard, and I really don't like it much right now. It's all unicorns and rainbows when the precious sounds of my offspring giggling resonate through the house, but it pretty much just plain sucks when it comes time to deal with all this complicated mess.
Here's a little background: I'm the mom of 3 fine and delightful male specimens. All precious in their own right, but so incredibly different. My oldest is creative and uberly-smart and sensitive and is drawn to all things nerdy and geek-related. My youngest has the face of a Gerber baby and could melt Mt. Everest with one bat of his eye and one spoken word. And my middlest is our athlete and holds semi-rockstar status for reasons that I still haven't quite grasped.
Sounds like a fantastic melting pot of personality and talents, no?
Oh, for sure. It has been.
Because now we're entering the phases of childhood where the blinders come off, and jealousy and sensitivity rear their nasty heads. And to be honest with you, I have no earthly idea what I'm doing trying to manage it.
The oldest of our male species is especially having a hard time right now. He's 10 and super-intuitive, and it isn't rocket science for him to figure out that his little brothers are rockin' the casbah right now. Sports are a big deal in our home, and all the boys are actively involved in several organized teams, but the oldest one just can't seem to find his own way away from his rockstar brother and his way-too-cute-for-his-own-good brother. People can be so cruel without meaning to be, by continuously doting on one brother all while hanging the other brother out to dry. And it's hard as a parent to not be able to assure one of your children that is being hurt by it that it will get better.
Here's the deal, Abby. I know what the right thing to do is. It's to let him find his own way. Find his own niche. Eliminate as much competition as possible between the brothers, even though we're not purposefully breeding it at home. I know that the right thing to do is to dote on his accomplishments and achievements and to treat each of our children as individuals, never comparing them or asking them to compete against eachother for any reason.
But, realistically, we live in a small town. The opportunities aren't endless. We live in a town where everyone knows eachother, and reputations are what seem to carry a person, however wrong that might seem to be. Finding one's way is hard to do anyway here, let alone trying to claw one's way out of another's shadow.
So, my question is this: Any advice or creative ideas in helping a youngster find his own way away, but respectfully so, from his little brother?
I'm not looking for a sermon, because I preach to myself enough daily, but something tangible that really could help jumpstart some self-esteem in an already hormonal prepubescent.
About To Flush My Parenting Card Down the Toilet
Labels: Being Boy Crazy
My laptop's power cord has died. Again.
Which means I'm chained to Keaton's desktop. And chaining myself to anything makes me a little nervousy...so I've refrained from anything computer related that I can't do on my phone.
But I decided to remedy the problem in the middle of the night. At 3:04 a.m. to be exact.
Sleep was evading me, so I decided that the best use of my time was to peruse the pages of the power cord kingdoms. I ordered one from a place that sounded like it was being run out of someone's mother's 3rd cousin twice-removed uncle's basement, but I'm hoping for the best.
I've never been one to turn my back on adventure.
Unless it has to do with chains.
I don't even know myself anymore.
- I have not slept past 8:00 all week. One day, I was even up by 6:00.
- I have fed my children perfectly balanced, well-portioned lunches for the past 3 days.
- I have been actively involved in the breakfast process this week. As opposed to just hollering from my bed to open up a box of Lucky Charms.
- I have called Rascal Academy to order promptly each morning, and we have not wrapped up our day until absolutely everything is checked off in the lesson plan book.
- The absolutely everything lasted until 2:30 today....and yet, I
hanged..hung..hunged..toughdidn't stop. Even though I was already 1.5 hours past due for my nap.
- The dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer are providing a whirr of background noise as we do our lessons. (Read: I actually am keeping my house semi-clean.)
All of this is so out of character for me.
But, I suppose, there is always next week to resume slacker-related habits, should the change be too much of a shock for my system.
1) Everyone around here goes back to school tomorrow. I had a post half-composed on my feelings on the matter, but I deleted it. Because, basically, here's my feelings: Nah.Nah.Nah.Boo.Boo. But, I'm not usually one to gloat.
2) Speaking of school, our new books are trickling in box by box. The UPS man is my new BFF. Good thing we live in the country and have no close neighbors, or I'm afraid folks would start talkin'.
3) I have a new arch-nemesis. It's an app on my phone called "Angry Birds." If you have an iPhone or iTouch....tread carefully. It's highly
irritating and will make you want to pull your hair out strand by strand and then set your face on fire addictive. Dern birds.
4) My summer tv schedule is starting to wear on my nerves. I'm ready for my regular-scheduled-programming of gLee and Grey's Anatomy and...well...gLee. But, thank Florida, I still have my delightfully intriguing train wreck of Big Brother to keep me company in the time being. Oh...and then there's Wipeout....which just makes me giggle like a 12 year old pubescent boy.
5) Did I mention that Ye Olde School of Rascal does NOT start school tomorrow?!
6) I think all of my manic eBaying of late has worn off negatively on the offspring. Yesterday, I found Keaton in his room, perusing the auction pages of PEZ DISPENSERS. And somehow, after he talked fancy to me, I helped him place a bid for a package of mint-condition StarTrek Pez dispensers. Because everyone needs 20 year old candy with a dispenser shaped like Dr. Spock.
7) The menfolk went and floated the river the other day with some of their other man friends (and a few girly daughters), and apparently had a fantastic time. My children came home from the outing and declared themselves River Rats. To which I made a proclamation that as much as I found that amazing, they would be doing all River Rat activities with their father. Because this girl doesn't do river. (And I especially don't do river since they yanked a dead person out of said river just yesterday. Um...no thank you.)
8) School doesn't start for us tomorrow!!! But I'm beginning to think it's time to start thinking about starting...because I'm not sure my mind can handle one.more.episode. of SpongeBob. Mind.Numbing.
9) I made the most devine mess of Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes the other day. And I can't really remember how I made them. There is beauty in not using a recipe...until you want to make them again.
10) Guess what? We don't start school tomorrow!! But I'll think about everyone who is up tying the laces of new tennis shoes at dark'o'clock'thirty in the morning while I'm still snoozing in my bed dreaming about not starting school tomorrow! You're welcome.
It's hot. And I wanna complain about the way my makeup melts off my face and about how the 2 squirts of hairspray that I allow myself a day drips and mixes with the hanging water in the air. That then drips down in my eyes and causes my contacts to get all wonky. Which then leads me to have to take my contacts out and wear my glasses which make me claustrophobic, especially in temperatures hot enough to bake a turkey. And so we've come full circle. But I'm not going to complain. Instead I'm gonna tell you that I'm thrilled that it is still flip flop weather. And that my pedicure still looks good from 2 weeks ago.
It's the middle of August. And I wanna complain about it being time for school to start. Because I'm not ready. It means forking over lots of cash for curriculum and waking up early and actually having to put forth some effort during the day other than changing the channel on the television or lathering a little person up with sunscreen at the pool. And it means that my babies are a year older. And that I'm going to have to teach 5th grade math this year. But I'm not going to complain. Instead I'm gonna tell you that I'm excited about the new school year. Because it means new sharpened pencils. And $.25 crayons. And the sound of fresh spines on textbooks being cracked open for the first time.
I have a slight new-found obsession with eBay. I wanna complain for awhile about the folks that outbid me on an item that I need by a measly $1, which makes me then raise my max bid by a $1, just so I can be outbid again by a $1, and so on and so forth. Because I have a minor impulse control problem. And an I-Don't-Like-To-Lose problem. But I'm not going to dwell on that. Instead I'm gonna tell you that I'm actually very proud of myself. I've managed to find some amazing deals on some of our more pricey pieces of curriculum for the year and have managed to save us quite a few dead presidents. Even if it did make me want to yell bad words at those other homeschooling hussies on the other side of the computer screen who keep outbidding me.
I'm finding myself still dealing with some pent-up frustration with a situation that I should have been able to let go several months ago. I wanna vent for a long while about how I don't much feel like forgiving. And how I don't feel like being mature. And how all I really want to do is throw a huge tantrum and get my way. But instead I'm gonna tell you that I have amazing friends. Friends who are honest. And who are authentic. And who are the salve on a very nasty wound.
The husband has been working himself like a dog lately. I really wanna complain about his work hours. And how he's never home. Or how when he is home he's preoccupied with work stuff or just dead cow tired. But instead I'm gonna tell you how proud I am of him. He's so good at his job that people rely entirely too heavily on him and his knowledge that he is kept hopping. Which is pretty cool...because the alternative could be that he sucked at his job and wasn't needed. I think I'll take "busy" for $200, Alex.
We live in a college town. Actually, it's a 2 college town. And right now, I really wanna complain about the soon-to-be monsoon of students that will awaken our lazy town from its quiet summer slumber. Restaurants will be full again. I'll have to wait in line to get gas. And Walmart will be flooded with buggies full of Ramen noodles, ironing boards, and mini dorm refrigerators pushed by perky too-tanned students carrying wallets full of daddies' credit cards. But instead I'm gonna tell you that I love our town. And I really love it in the fall when the students return. Because it means the blood is pumping through the veins of our community again. Routine returns to schedules that can't help but revolve around college calendars. Our church quintuples in bodies. Local business owners sleep a little easier at night. And, maybe most importantly, it means its almost football weather!!
It's been over a month since I've stepped foot near a baseball field. I wanna tell you how blastedly glad I am for it. That I'm so sick of the washing of uniforms and running like maniacs to accommodate bizarre practice and game schedules. That if I don't step foot near a baseball field for another 6 months, I'd be perfectly content. But I can't. Instead I'm gonna tell you that I've missed it like crazy. And that I'm insanely giddy that the boys have their first practice tomorrow to start up the fall tournament season. That once again my laundry room is going to be covered in a layer of red infield clay carried in on baseball pants, and that my car is going to smell like stanky, sweaty cleats. I'm thrilled about the soon-to-be littering of baseball bags in my kitchen floor and about pouring half my grocery budget into gatorades and sunflower seeds. Ahh..tomorrow, tomorrow. I love ya, tomorrow.
It's midnight. And I've resorted to watching an infomercial about an exercise device that promises me in large print that I can lose 15 dress sizes in 6 weeks, yet assures me in small print that it's never going to happen. I really wanna turn the tv off and go to sleep. But instead I'm gonna stay up and practice my before and after poses in the mirror. You know...for when I don't lose the weight that they promise me that I will just after I lose the weight that they promise me I won't.
Chew on that for awhile....
Are you reading this is in a reader?
Get out of it now. Go to my real bloggy place. Go on...I'll wait....................
Are you here now? If so, then you are beholding a piece of bloggaliscious eye candy that was delivered by the hands of the most fabulous bloggy designer evuh.
Did I mention that she was fabulous?
Ms. Jackie from Memories by Design hooked me up once again. Fabulous. Did I mention that?
We had that family picture up there in my header taken by the also-fabulous Kelly from Kelly's Photography last Christmas, and though orange and blue aren't your most conventional picture colors, I loved this set of photos so much!
The only problem is that orange and blue don't exactly go with everything...especially not the bright yellows, reds, and blues of my last blog design. Never fear...Jackie's here! So she did her thing and made sense of all that crazy computer code and....
I also love it, because it makes me think FALL! And after the summer from the underworld with the blazing >100* temperatures, I'm ready for a little fall inspiration!
Now I'm just repeating myself...
Labels: Blog Land
100 years is a long time. A really long time.
Airplanes have flown. Men have walked on the moon. People live in Cyberspace.
So much has changed with our world in 100 years. And I can't imagine watching our world go from none of that to all of that in my lifetime.
100 years. A century.
And my Aunt Fay has seen the whole thing.
This weekend a host of family and friends came together to celebrate the woman that has outlived, out-seen, and outlasted all of the rest of us in the family.
100 years. I keep saying it over and over because I still can't hardly believe it.
My Aunt Fay is my grandfather's sister on my mother's side. She never had children of her own, but she was a second mother and grandmother to so many of us. I can remember spending long summer days at her farm house
getting in her way helping her garden and can and cook. She always wore an apron. And she had this crazy ceramic wiener dog that sat in front of her cabinet television. She loved to give us fun gifts at Christmas like toothpaste and denture cream (no joke), and you couldn't go see her at her house or her room at the nursing home without her sending you home with something or other.
She informed everyone at her party this weekend that she "wasn't having a party." She was "just visitin'." Because she "didn't want a fuss." Yes, Ma'am, Aunt Fay. Yes, Ma'am.
But we partied anyway.
Labels: Hangin' With the Family
One of my most favorite people turned 10 yesterday.
Enough of the Hallmark sentiment....
Let's get on with the agenda for the day:
1) Revenue Office. It is possible that I have been driving around for a month with expired car tags, but if you ask me about it I will deny it. I will tell you that the only reason that I stopped in the Revenue Office yesterday morning was to visit with the ever-so-friendly ladies that work in there.
2) Collected a gaggle of peeps to come with us. Praise Florida, I had reinforcements. I am forever indebted to Jen for taking on that crazy crew with me. Oy.
3) Chic-Fil-A. Where I was "My pleasure"-ed twice. Love it.
4) Tour of Various Parking Lots and Parking Garages in the Downtown Little Rock Area. Where we realized that the real entertainment for the children was in a parking garage. Why did I even plan anything else for the day?
5) Museum of Discovery. For the love of our now 10 year old science nerd.