Saturday, May 31, 2014

Let it be over

I don't really know what to write about today. The hub has been working on the bathroom, probably more than her should. I hope he won't regret it in the morning. Hopefully his back will cooperate for a bit. I have kind of been off my game today. Couldn't sleep last night and I have been a loopy mess all day. I did manage to clear out the paths going down in the woods so the kids won't be swallowed up by the weed monsters when they go to play. It was getting kind of horror movie-esque down there since we have been concentrating on tearing out and building up of a bathroom and a kitchen. We spent a torturous amount of time at the kitchen/bathroom/lighting store today. S stayed home since she still feels awful. Surgery is July 8...we just keep telling her that. The youngers went with us. They got to have fresh baked chocolate chip cookies from the luxury model kitchen out of the Viking oven that probably costs more than our house. They got to see fancy steam baths and showers that we can only hope to have in a house someday. They played with this:

It was a control panel for specialty lighting, steaming, music and television for your bathtub/shower. Bathroom video games. Whatever gets them through the day.

Hopefully the electrician will come this week and get the process started. It kills B to not get to do the work himself. He knows how, but his back cannot take it. It will make us all feel better to have the house put back together. The sooner the better!
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Friday, May 30, 2014

Working it out

Another short post from a sleepy mom. I've had lots on my mmind and not much time to sit and process it. I got to spend a couple hours with my brother. We had a beverage and a bowl of pretzels. We just sat and worked it out. What is it? Just worked all the "its" out in my current thought queue. Tomorrow will bring with it a new list of issues, but it was nice to have time with my brother. The hub was tired from his day and just wanted to watch some hockey and soccer. I am grateful for his willingness to let me escape. He's a good egg.

I am exhausted now. Time to go work out my problems over two pillows and a blanket.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Battery's Dead

Short post tonight. I have a bit of a tummy ache. It might be due in part to the fact that our house feels like 5,000 degrees. I cannot get cooled off. This has seemed to be the way of the day. I got in the car today at one of my stops to find the awful clicking sound that comes with a bad battery or alternator. As I discovered this, thunder and rain started. My friend went to locate jumper cables and we googled jumping a battery. I can do most everything else basic to emergency car repair, but I totally blanked on my father's lesson about jumper cables. The car got started and I went on my way. It seems a bit coincidental that I had an oil change yesterday and rebuffed their advances to give me a new battery. I won't accuse anybody of foul battery play, but it is one of those things that make you go "Hmmm." The hub took care of things and I transported the athletes where they needed to go. I will be very interested tomorrow to see if my windows go up faster now that we have a new battery. We may have a whole new life to this car.

Time for bed and some Tums. Let's hope for a very boring sleep tonight. Tummy calm down.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Profiling at the dog park

After torturing the children on their summer break with a trip to get an oil change, I took them on a promised trip to the dog park to wear Copper out. SInce we are not members of a pool and live in an old neighborhood without one, we have to get wet by other means...those means being sweating profusely in an unshaded dog park. There were several cars in the parking lot, so the potential for playmates was high. Once we got through the gates to enter the actual park, a stout, solid dog with a creepy growl and a very sharp and menacing collar came to express his opinion. Needless to say, I changed direction and took her to the empty small dog side to avoid a midday mauling. I'll admit, I saw the breed and the overkill collar and made a decision. Guilty of dog profiling. It paid off. We made the right choice.

After about a 70% dehydration set in, we dropped the dog off at home and ran to the bullseye store to buy a Slip and Slide. No pool means desperation on a mom's part. Nothing says fun like careening down a wet piece of plastic while the dog snaps at the little sprinklers popping up, occasionally catching a toe here and there. What I failed to realize, even after seeing that the slide was 16 feet long, was that my oldest is about 5'2" and that doesn't leave a whole lot of length to get up much speed. I told you, I'm not good at math...especially when delirious from dehydration and overexcited children. Luckily the size problem did not really bother them or the dog. She even got on the actual slide a few times. I think this was purely accidental as evidenced by the look of terror in her hazel eyes. Oh well. They were all more than adequately worn out by the time dinner hit. Worth every penny.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Strawberry meals forever

We took advantage of a nice afternoon to head on over to our local fruit and berry patch to get some strawberries. Pickings were a bit slim as this is the tail end of the season, but we were determined to find some. Dennis Fox, the owner, instructs the kids every year on how exactly to pick the berries. He makes sure they know not to pick any berries with green bellies. If they have a green belly, they are too young and will cry for their you'll have to put them on your pillow at night so they won't be scared. Mine have never forgotten that. So many times this afternoon they said, "Green belly...he'll cry for momma!". It took some work, but we got probably two and a half buckets worth. They were pretty small little guys, so it was tedious. After having a fresh fruit slushy as an afternoon snack/refresher, we went home to decide what to make with all the berries. The kids quickly lost interest in anything other than eating the berries, so I got to work:

After the berries were hulled and smashed and cooked and dosed with some stuff, they turned into this:

We are set for freezer jam for the summer. Yay! I tried to make a strawberry cake like a friend had done. It was a concoction that did not turn out as I had hoped. The kids will enjoy it as a treat. Being a jam person or simply and strawberries and Cool Whip kind of gal, the cake was for the kids anyway.

Blueberries and blackberries come in within a month. The kids are ready to get picking again. Anybody ready for some pie?
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Location:Montrose Rd,Knoxville,United States

Monday, May 26, 2014

Dirt and dust all over the place

On this Memorial Day while we should have been honoring those who lost their lives in service to our country, we were instead torturing our children at Home Depot shopping for gardening and remodeling supplies. I was thinking about the many people in my life who have served our country and fought to keep us free and safe. As I planted the new veggies and herbs in the garden, I kept humming the different theme songs of the different branches of the military. I had Billy Joel playing on the speakers, but "Wild Blue Yonder" kept going through my head. The hub has spent most of the day knocking a wall down and reframing parts of the walls in the bathroom. He also clonked his head on a piece of wood and took a chunk out of his head. After that, we took a break and went to the festival in our local park. The kids got to jump with little bungee things and cooled off with homemade ice cream.

I am grateful to my great aunt and grandfather and uncles and cousins and friends who have all served this country and allowed me the freedom and luxury to have a home and life and peace of mind. They can never be repaid for their service. I just hope to honor them as best I can.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Introducing the classics

It is a kind of damp Sunday evening here and the kids are winding down for the evening. They are all in various states of not feeling great due to the dreaded East Tennessee allergies and are really just wanting to snuggle up with us. This gives us the perfect opportunity to show them movies that are important to us for one reason or another. Tonight's offering is "O Brother Where Art Thou?". We've had to explain a few terms and expalin that a car didn't really hit a cow in the road, but they are enjoying the music. That sure pleases me.

A very early birthday present and fulfillment of a year long promise came true for G today. Now that her feet have taken a little break in growing, we purchased her some footwear she has wanted for a long time:

We realize that her pedicure needs some help, but I love her choice. Lovely color. She was quite pleased with her new acquisition. It's the little things in life.

I hope everyone has a nice and restful Memorial Day. We will be making a trip to the cemetary to put flowers out and pay our respects. So grateful for all those who have served to keep our country free.
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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Worn out footballers

I won't bore anyone with the details of every game today. The long and short of it is that G's team played in a soccer tournament today and they won. It went into a sudden death extra chunk of time play and they won. The boy played 4 games between the hours of 9am and 2:30. They came in second. We had beaten the first place team before, but they brought in ringers from another team. We were happy with an honest second. The players each took an afternoon nap and made no arguments about bedtime. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little more relaxed. G has been promised a pair of Chacos for a year and tomorrow may be her day. The beginning of summer...why not?

My brain is the consistency of oatmeal. I'm going to bed. Night all.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Sightings in the Wood of Dolly

Since the time we have with a pre-op Brian is coming to a close sooner rather than later this summer, we chose to take a day trip to Dollywood. Riding some rides, walking some miles, watching some people...what else does one do there? Well, eat, but we were there for a short visit not a "go into debt for a funnel cake" kind of visit. It was a good day. G conquered her fear and rode the newest coaster The Firechaser. I fear the poor gentleman and his son who were seated in front of us suffered severe hearing loss due to G's screams. At the conclusion of the ride(after I apologized profusely), he laughed, turned to G and said, "Wanna go ride it again?". The girls and I waited in the ride line about an hour. We got to watch and look at many interesting things. Parents half beating their children who have been pushed well beyond their physical thresholds of endurance. One mom left her child alone in the middle of a huge crowd when he lost his nerve about an attraction she wanted to ride. "I'm only SIX!!" he yelled. I have expressed to you my appreciation for the artistry and just plain coolness of some peoples' tattoos. There is some ink that is just absolutely gorgeous. And then there is some stuff that really has no description and is often discovered whilst waiting in a roller coaster line. Why would someone choose to have a huge Eddie Munster head put on your calf? Butch Patrick is kind of a jerk and Eddie was only cute for so long. On the same person there were duck footprints, flowers, a blue and a pink handprint on the back of the neck and, the most puzzling of all, a fancy wrapped gift box with a big bow on top and one muscular leg growing out of the side...just one. I don't get it. I want to, but I don't. I wanted to ask her the meaning, but she was too busy feeding her child tube after tube of that gel-like candy in a toothpaste sized tube. I kept waiting for the kid to puke a rainbow, but it was not to be.

Tomorrow is a soccer tournament. We'll hope that the activities of today do not hinder the skills of tomorrow. Until then, I will watch Hannibal and try not to be haunted by a one legged birthday present. Night all.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gardens and flocks

I am sitting here with the hub, sandwiching a storm phobic girl between the two of us as it crackles outside. She worries that the lightening is going to hurt us and hates the sound. I'm sitting here stewing that I just planted the garden and they are predicting torrential rain and hail. I think we will be okay. The rain would be nice to give the plants a good soaking.

While we were planting the garden this afternoon, little mishievious imps were at work in our front yard. This was fun planting because we had the music system outside, listening to Seu Jorge sing David Bowie's hits in Portuguese, while the two youngers helped water in plants and water fight with each other. S took advantage of a dry spot outside and painted a picture. We realized that we had some garden real estate that needed filling, so we quickly changed clothes and were about to head out to the farmer's market when G looked out our bedroom window, gasped and ran out of the room. The others looked and followed suit. I thought maybe the creepy ice cream van was outside for its one visit during summer vacation, but I was so very wrong. This is what we found:

We got flocked by the middle school cheerleaders. Someone pays to have the flock move to your yard. You have the option of leaving them there for 2-3 days until the poor little girls and their adults, heads hanging, come pick them up from your yard OR you pay money to have them removed early...and for an additional fee you can "flock it forward" and send them to someone else. It was great fun and a lovely boost to the afternoon. After the kids gave each flamingo a name, we headed to the market to find some dill, purple basil, lavender and, of course, Cruze Farm ice cream for a treat.

The herbs are in the ground and the flamingoes have safely been sent to a protected habitat. The thunder is gone and G is snuggled up right next to her daddy, I'm no longer covered with dirt, worms and veggie plant food. All is calm in the house. It is a good night.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Surgical summer break

Third time will hopefully be a charm on this post. I updated the app to fix the "crash bug", so hopefully this attempt at writing will survive. We spent the glorious beginning of summer vacation at Children's Hospital with S. Her first trip was to the giant fish decal covered white humming doughnut to have her sinuses imaged. As much as I would have liked to document the process in photograph, I didn't want to get kicked out so I refrained. I'll draw you a picture sometime if you'd like. Next venue was Dr. Little's office for a scope or, as we called it, "the spaghetti noodle camera that got shoved up her nose" procedure. The nurse snorted her up with Afrin and left her to clear out for a bit. Gave us time to be intimidated by the implements of scoping.

He needed to get up in there and take a good look. He did the scope and then brought the computer in to show us her CT doughnut pictures. Technology is an amazing and terrifying thing. To see pictures of your child's head and all the pieces parts in there is a pretty humbling experience. He showed us all of her different sinuses and how certain walls were thickening and how some were filled with air(good) or fluid(not so good). He gave us our options: continue on with medicines and more medicines OR have sinus surgery and fix some of the problems that are causing troubles. He felt she had gotten to the surgery point. Then the tears came...some from her and some from me. "When am I going to finally ever get well?". He did his best to explain to all of us exactly what would happen, gently telling us of the possible risks. S clutched my hand tightly, wide eyed and serious. Trying so hard to be brave. She may be 12, but surgery is a scary thought at any age. But after it all, she felt a bit vindicated. We had to keep her out of some activities because she couldn't breathe or would get choked and gagged on all the fluid that has no real place to escape. She was pleased to know it can be fixed and it is not all in her head.

So what do we know? The hub will be having surgery and then a week or two later S will be having surgery. It should be a summer where I become quite the expert on waiting rooms. Pray for the family. We are going to be peaches to be around. Night all.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

We are home

We have returned home to our three little heartbeats. What an excited welcome we received! The hub is going to have another surgery...we are just waiting on the two docs to agree on a time. S had her dance recital tonight. I heard it was nice. Her friends, grandparents and aunt and uncle came to watch. We missed seeing three awards days and a dance recital. Thank you, dear God in Heaven, that tomorrow is the last day of school. I don't think I could bear to miss one more event or have to go two days more. S goes back to the doc tomorrow for a CT scan and a scope of her sinuses. I am so proud of how much she has accomplished and attempted while she has been so sick. The wake of destruction left by last year's mono has continued to wreck her body. As her mother, it kills me to see. She is tough and will overcome in spite of it all. All of my children will.

It has been a rough day of appointments and travel. I desperately need some sleep in my own bed and not next to a Chuy's that has a 2am stop time on their loud music. Night all.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Boredom is a booger

The hub had his myelogram this morning. After we got through the battle ax of a receptionist who seemed a lot like Garfield(I hate Mondays), it was relatively smooth. He did get a bit woozy at first, but after they got a cold washcloth on his neck he was okay. Since we got home, he has had to be either on his side or on his back for the rest of the day. He can get up for meals and bathroom breaks, but only very briefly. Don't want him to start leaking spinal fluid and have to go back. Tomorrow we meet with two docs, so it will be a lot of hurry up and wait...just like today. One can only watch so much television, look out the window and walk the hotel before insanity sets in. Room service never answered the phone, nor did housekeeping, so we have started wondering whether or not the phones in here work. Days like today make books like The Shining plausible. Good thing I'm not writing a novel or have access to an ax. For the last couple of hours, yes hours, we have been watching episodes of Battle of the Network Stars, the December 1981 version and the November 1979 version is on there now. It is beyond question the best thing I have watched in a while. I have learned that George Brett was a complete sexist, as was Robert Conrad, Ed Asner is very hairy in short shorts and a tank top and Lorenzo Lamas' posturing was no match for Mark Harmon's natural athletic ability. Dick Van Patten is currently dunking a WKRP star in the booth.

Prayers for tomorrow that we can have productive consults with the doctors and come away with a peace about what is ahead for Brian and his back. We just want him better. He has suffered a long time.

Until that time, you will find him watching some present sport and me watching Johnny Fever get dunked. Living the dream, friends.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Wrap up of yesterday

I thank the hub for posting for me last night. I was tired and enjoying a bit of time with my brother doing a post packaging event roundtable wrap up. I have never been so moved and excited about a non-birth/wedding event before. Yesterday morning, I met my brother and sister in law and Ralph from Stop Hunger Now to start unloading the truck. When I saw how big the truck was and how little was actually in it, I was anxious to see how we would get 20,000 meals out of what was in there. Each bag contains dehydrated veggies, soy supplement pieces, a Heinz nutritional packet and rice. There is enough in the bag to provide 6 meals. The unloading took place quickly and we got to work with the setup. By the time our first shift started, we had lots of people and some skeptical looks. We said a prayer, my brother turned some loud music on and we got to work. People weren't understanding why we had music on and were yelling and cheering at them...then Ralph brought out the gong. Each time we reached 1,000 meals bagged, someone rang a gong. I will say that some of our more seasoned citizens were not thrilled with the gong. If they expressed their displeasure, well, they got to ring it next. Ha. There were scooping stations and weighing stations and sealing stations and rice refillers and runners and stackers and boxers and prayers over the outgoing boxes. The most powerful thing to me was that as we sealed the boxes, we knew that when the boxes were opened it would be by those who would be eating the food. That is a emotionally heavy thing to contemplate. From being filled by our hands to filling their tummies. Humbling to say the least. In the span of two 1.5 hours sessions, we made enough bags to feed 20,000 people. Every time that gong rang, we got a little closer to making hunger something forthe history books. We cannot wait to do it again. Plans are already in the works.

Pray for the hub tomorrow. We are going in for a myelogram(sp) tomorrow morning. This will give them better pictures and ideas about what exactly will need to be done in surgery when they schedule it. Until then, we are hanging out in a hotel room watching television. Woohoo. Pray for our family as they have to navigate two of the busiest days of the year before summer break. When we pulled out of the driveway, G lost it. Bless her little tender heart. Everything will work out as it should. Just hard to be in this place right now.

Tomorrow I will tell you of the great vegetarian vs carnivore debate we heard at dinner tonight. Made you question the future. Until then, have a pleasant evening.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014


It's the hub tonight -- your guest blogger. Well Let see... 3 soccer games and 20,000 meals packaged for Stop Hunger Now. I don't think we could have squeezed any more things into our day.

Anyhow, what's on my mind... Not much as I have have a headache most of the day. This morning I awoke with what felt like a hangover. I pretty much cut out all caffience intake after my morning coffee on Friday AM and hadn't had caffiene in almost 24 hours. The headache was a caffiene withdrawal hangover. I have a myleogram on Monday. On Thursday, I spoke with the center and they said I can't have caffiene for 24 hours... Dang it! I wish I read the instruction closer... I thought it said 6 hours no food or caffiene. It was 24 hours for caffiene and 6 hours for food. Boy, my dear wife is going to be in for a "bear" for a husband as I don't function well without food or caffiene.

THis week, I will have the myleogram on Monday and meet with two doctors about a possible fusion surgery. Please pray for a good conversation with the doctors and discernment on what to do about my back.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

What is this weather?

I have never in my life seen such weather as East Tennessee. Just got home from soccer practices and games with wind burn and frozen toes. Two other moms and I were bundled in long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes and snuggled up under a down blanket. We all took boiling hot showers and feel much better now. Tomorrow is the day in the regular soccer season and I would be lying if I didn't admit a little glee at getting my Saturdays back.

Tomorrow we have a very exciting event happening at our church: Stop Hunger Now. We plan to, in a four hour period, bag enough meals for 20,000 people. I am so excited that our community is going to be a part of ending the hunger epidemic in our world. People ages 4 to 104 can participate. I can't wait to tell you all about how it goes tomorrow.

For now, I am going to bed. It has been a heck of a week with end of the school activities and I am grateful for a warm bed and comfy pillows. Have a lovely evening!

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pitching frenzy

We are in preparations to start the kitchen/bathroom remodel very soon. In order to tear up the kitchen, we have to make a temporary kitchen somewhere else in the house. So in panic mode after finding out the cabinets are officially in(yay), we have been pitching and tossing and making piles to donate all day. It is hard to know what to pitch and what to keep in terms of childhood memories for the kids. What might the grandkids enjoy looking at and playing with when they come to visitt? As I sorted through the play food drawer, I started questioning the vision of the play food designers. Here's one example:

Um, tasty salad? Or salad thrown in the trash and then attacked by maggots? What are those little green things? And the Mercedes symbol cut cukes there. Expensive and rancid. Ew. Next:

Okay. We have Jewish relatives and love us some Challah bread, but is this for Sabbath or something I might pick up in the yard after Copper has played fetch post Purina ONE. The wormy salad went back into the play drawer. The poopy challah went to Goodwill. Sorry. We'll get it done, just tedious. Especially when I keep finding treasures from the past like Healthy Heart Man:

He won an award one year. Look at those muscles...must do CrossFit.

It is bedtime. Gotta get rested for the 4th grade party and more emotional tossing of crap out of the basement. LTD.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Check Another Thing Off

We had our Wednesday children's program tonight. The kids have worked hard all semester, singing their little hearts out and memorizing lots of music. It never fails to amaze me how I am moved by the voices of children. They are so pure and have no illusions about anything at that age. I long to have that way of thinking, that absolute certainty. My heart gets filled back up with every performance.

Things are winding down. S starts her EOC's tomorrow- finals to those out of the school age and not up on the lingo. Next week will basically be a wash, but that's okay.

I am just rambling at this point and wasting your precious free time, three gentle readers. I'm going to sleep while I can...and listn to the rain pitter patter on the roof. Night all.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Can one live in a world without interacting with, uh people?

I have officially hit my limit with people. It is the end of school and everyone is royally getting on everybody's nerves. Field Day numero dos was today. A mother of one of the boy's friends and I spent a good part sunscreening classmates, each one needing it done in a different pattern. "Spray my hands and I'll put it on my face!" or "Just spray me in the face like the police would!'. Really?!? Another mom and I had to solve some girl drama. The 87 degree heat with no shade messed with their minds a bit too much. They smelled weakness and jumped on a friend like a starved bunch of huskies. Tears came, sunscreen was sprayed, tempers were lost. Oh to be passionate and 7 again. All was forgiven when they received their purple ribbons and free water bottles. I felt the funk of 1000 layers of sunscreen, covered in sweat and pollen and baked in by the sun. Feeling that my very essence was enough to kill most mortals, I ran home and scrubbed my skin and hair, showering in what had to be record time and returned to school to await dismissal and the eventual release of my safety patrol in training. The office staff was impressed with my shower speed and turn around time. I was just glad to be clean and in a cool place. I dropped the boy off at the homestead with other grown ups, picked up the oldest and went to church for the last rehearsal before G's big night. It should be a fun show...always is. I'm ashamed to say that I am just ready for activities to be over so I can just be with my family and not have to rush. Not have to deal with people who are mean, who are grumpy, who are inconsiderate...or at least not on a consistent basis.

I need to go live in a shack with a bunch of dogs and an old percolator coffee pot plugged in near my hot plate cooking Beanie Weenies. I'll resemble an old shrunken apple headed doll who yells, "Get off my porch!". I am done with people for a while...or at least today. I just need some sleep and a new episode of The Goldbergs.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Field day concert exhaustion

Today was day one of elementary school field day, the day when parents sit and scream and get far too involved in races involving orange cones, playground balls and hula hoops. It is a day when the kids sit on beach towels and try to lure their grown ups out of their soccer chairs while they all bake in the sun. G turned out to be quite skilled in the sack race and tried her absolute best in the tug o' war. It was fun to watch all these kids she has grown up with competing and cheering each other on in fairly friendly competition. I got the obligatory teacher-student picture at field day today:

We love Mrs. S and she has been so good to our girl this year. They had a great day, came in second and no one was seriously hurt. G was a good sport and was so kind to others. I couldn't have been more proud.

This evening, we went to S's band concert. She had had a bad day with mean girls and needed to end the day on a high note. It never ceases to amaze me how much the students improve in their playing from year to year. Takes me back to my sixth grade concert when we played the theme song to "Dallas"....way after it had jumped the shark. The 7th graders had a great concert and I was really proud of them. S and her friend played a duet of "Heart and Soul" for the concert. The boy tried so hard to be still and be on his best behavior. When a boy is forced to get still, this happens:

We were awfully proud of them both. After the concert, we got a smile of relief:

Good things happened for all and it was a good day. My heart is full.
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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Because I get up so early on Sundays and am usually long gone before the rest of the family is up, the family gave me a traditional breakfast in bed on Saturday. I woke up to the smell of bacon, uh yum! They brought me a lovely breakfast, sweet gifts and precious cards. They were so excited about their efforts...and they were so appreciated. Every year I feel I don't deserve such extravangance. I am a better person because they are in my life. I just hope to be the person they think I am someday.

Last week we had a friend, Danny, come and speak to our church about showing Christ to those in the world who need him the most. He told us many stories, but one in particular stood out. They were preparing for their annual missions weekend at church and it was Friday...the day of the event. The youth were planning a potato drop for the youth to do the next day. A potato drop, done through the Society of Saint Andrew, takes the potatoes that are left after the first picking(the ones that would be plowed back under) and has them dropped at a location to be bagged and delivered to organizations to help the needy. The forecast called for rain and, due to the materials needed for the drop, a covering needed to be constructed. He and another person set out to put up a 20x40 tent under which the paper bags and potatoes and whatnot could be dropped. A man walked into the church parking lot, disheveled, beaten up and dirty. He stated he had a court date later on that afternoon and needed to have a shower and wash his hair to make a good impression. He had been in a fight and wanted to clean up before going to court. In his flurry of activity and busy-ness, Danny told the man that the showers for the church were located in the child center and according to TN Code, no strangers could be in the facility while the children were in school. Later he felt bad about his words, his quick chance to dismiss and move on, but at the time the statement bought him more time to get his chores done for the busy weekend ahead. After constructing the tent, he went into the church and asked the office staff where his work partner had gone. "We saw her walk down that way with some gentleman..." He walked down, interested to see where they had gone. As he walked, he found the bathroom door propped open and his partner washing the man's hair and cleaning him up. Showing Christ to those in need, letting no one feel less than because of their appearance or circumstance. I cried when I heard this story...wondering whether I would have been as willing to take care of someone in such circumstances and ashamed of myself for even having to think about my response. The partner, my mother, didn't think twice. She did what she knew was right. I had never heard that story before. That is what Mother's Day means to me. Being given the privilege and honor to show my children how to be just plain old decent, compassionate people. My mom is my hero and I hope to grow up to be like her someday.

Happy Mother's Day to all. Enjoy the rest of this beautiful day.

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Weathery day and soccer play

Forgive me for saying it, but I was really kind of hoping for a good thundery dwonpour kind of day today. With two kids on antibiotics, I needed them to not be playing soccer in the rain. Yes, I am the mother and could keep them out, but with now one week of play left, I couldn't do that. So instead they played in mist, light rain, medium rain, some heavy-ish rain and then nuclear hot sun. We had three games and three wins, always buoying the spirits for sure. They are all now tucked in their beds, the oldest surfing on her ipad while the others are starting to saw logs. Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a mother and watch my children play. I will never take that for granted. It is an honor that I hold high.

But for now, I will rest while they do...and I will be grateful for that.

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Where are they coming from?

We have a super busy week and a half coming up, as does everybody else. Becasue of that, I am going to need to some assistance. Some help is on the way, so I need to get our basement "apartment" as it is called ready for business. I know better, but I was cleaning without shoes on. Not that our house is a dangerous place with land mines or anything; I just think it is probably best to have footwear on whilst cleaning. Yes, I have attempted to vacuum up my toes a few times. Not the best feeling. So I was cleaning in the basement, a nicer one rather than a "something's under the stairs" creepy kind of basement, and I almost stepped on a dead wasp. And the another...and another. And they weren't in just one place. They were dotted around the place like some sort of serial killer of wasps trail of destruction. Where'd they come from? Who knows. I also found a spoon in the freezer as I was cleaning it out, a toy pot from the play kitchen full of pulverized chalk from the blackboard, about a thousand pieces of cut up red Christmas ribbon and a hidden box of Samoas. Some little elves have been busy down there. The things you find when you are cleaning. This is a Seinfeld-esque post...a post about nothing. When I started this blog, I said that I would write something every day. Some offerings are better than others. Today is a great example of a not so great day. It is all good. Soccer Saturday comes tomorrow...a world of opportunity awaits.Time to finish with the Sharks and get ready for Hannibal. Eek.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

A vat o' meds

So in the neverending saga of the Cook family and their Spring sinus issues, I took the boy back to the pediatrician today. After experiencing horrible pain in his ears and sinuses and continuing to sound like a TB patient, I had hit my limit of what I was going to allow that poor child to endure. His teacher was also concerned and glad to hear he was going back to the doc. When I picked him up after the conclusion of his lovely standardized testing, he joked that maybe he would go get kind of a status xray to see if he had ever passed the quarter he swallowed three years ago. Pessimist that I am, I told him not to get hopes up about an xray and loaded him up in the car. Well shame on me, mother with no vision or creativity. Instead of rushing to put him on a third antibiotic, they decided to xray his sinuses and see if they were impacted. He looked at me, pointed his finger, and said, "Really mom? I told you I'd get zapped today!". He did indeed. We went to Children's and went through the process to get registered. We sat in radiology and got him "zapped" in four different positions. He was uncomfortable because he was in weird positions and his head hurt so bad, but the Cookout milkshake made things a little easier to bear. Our nurse called later to say that he does indeed have impacted sinuses and is to start on a 21 day regimen of the horriblest of horrible tasting antibiotics. I almost gasped when they gave me the bottle of his meds and told me he would have to have a refill. Notice my glasses and how they compare to the bottle:

When the medicine comes with a 7 sentence paragraph warning to the pharmacy tech to urge the patient to flavor the medicine to cut the smell and taste, you flavor the medicine. I went one step further from the nurse's recommendation and gave him a spoonful of chocolate syrup to chase the meds. Just call me the awesome sister to Mary Poppins. Her spoonful of sugar has nothing on me. We just plan to yogurt and probiotic him up and keep that tummy of his happy.

All of this activity was very tiring and the boy went to sleep quickly. His sister, after an afternoon of playing comforter and nurse to her brother, conked out in a snowman down throw on top of her covers...a G-rrito:

Never dull here, friends. Never dull.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Evaluating myself

I got my self evalutation form for work today. I'll be honest, I hate those things. Oh well. Part of the job that cannot be avoided. If I evaluated myself on my dog parenting skills, I would have to rate myself a 3 out of 10 today. Every time I came up from the basement where I was working, I found that she was chewing on something not a toy. She went through two cookbooks, a trash bag, a stack of mail and a decorative bird's nest. Really? I mean, really? She was on a roll today. She is like a junkyard a residential area. If I evaluated myself today on my ability to spot dirty, wet laundry? Um, 2 out of 10. Found G's wet tennise shoes that she had bagged up last Saturday when she went on one water ride too many at Dollywood. I opened the Kroger bag to the paralyzing odor of cat pee on a 100 degree day in the dump. Stinky stanky. I'm really winning today.

Never dull around here.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I need a pop tart for the 75,000th time

I had a bad day. No need to go into it, everybody has bad days. I just had one. I have spoken of one of my favorite comic strips before, Bloom County. My brother and I loved it and had every compilation book they made of it. One of my favorite characters was "Rosebud" the basselope.

I felt that Rosebud was kind of the Eeeyore of Bloom County. One time this poor creature got stuck trying to jump over a fence. As the sun went down and the bright moon rose poor Rosebud, stuck on the fence, said, "I want a pop tart." When I have a bad day and feel stuck on the "fence" so to speak, I am often found to be saying, "I just want a pop tart." Night all.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

When I was her age...

So let me ask all three of you a wuestion: what kind of plans were you making for your summer after you graduated from the 7th grade? Me? I was deciding which camp to attend that summer, year 2 of horseback riding or rock climbing/rappelling camp. For the record, I chose the second but did not get to go as I was the only girl who signed up and they did not have a way to accomodate me. I'm not bitter. I probably was also deciding whether to work with the 3's or 4's at Bible School and if i wanted to take a model rocketry class for fun. All in all, pretty much a nothing kind of decision. My oldest is having to make heart wrenching decisions for a 12 year old. Which foreign language to take next year? Latin or French? She wants to be a doctor soshe thinks she should take Latin, but she is intrigued by French. Should she take an incredible opportunity to be a part of the high school marching band next year if it means missing out on her passion of doing mission work with those less fortunate? Interest vs practicality? Potential college scholarship track vs God? Truth be told, she was born with the seriousness of about a 47 year old. We will support her in her decisions, but require that the decisions be well researched and thought out. These are the times when I want to hold her like a little baby again and rock her and keep her in a bubble. These decisions will make her stronger...I know that. I just hate that she can't just be a kid for a little bit longer.

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

On a mission

Today was Faith Promise Sunday at our church. It is a time when we look and take a step of faith that God will provide money above and beyond to go towards missions. Both traditional and contemporary services had speakers who are currently serving in the mission field in one way or another. Our dear friend and brother, Danny Howe, spoke in our service. I have counted him as my adopted brother/uncle since I was about 12. His message was powerful and convicting. I shed some tears, though not surprising. I'm a weeper. I have been so fortunate to grow up in a family where serving others has never been an option, but more a way of life. I say that not to be haughty at all. It just was what it was. I feel the call to missions in my soul, in my very bones. Hearing Danny speak just reignited that fire. He told several stories, one which turned out to be about my mother. I'll share that another time.

On a completely different note, G got "Player of the Game" for her team at her extra game today. It is a multilayered and difficult job both for the player and the mom. Haha. See how I made it all about me? Anyhoo, I was terribly proud. Now I am terribly tired. Bedtime is coming soon.

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Dollywood or Dollywouldn't

We traveled to the Wood of Dolly, leaving the hub to convalesce after a week of craziness. A kind friend gave us some free passes and we traveled to the park for some Smoky Mountain fun and frivolity. It was a beautiful day and busier than usual even for a Saturday. It later was discovered that Dolly herself was making one of her rare appearances there in a parade and everyone wanted to see East Tennessee's darling. As much as I love and admire her, I did not have the oomph to sit and crane my neck waiting to see a glimpse of blonde flashing by on a float. So instead we waited in line for two plus hours waiting to ride the newest roller coaster. Not my brightest idea, but it was a fun ride. The boy was lost at one point, well lost to me. He was fine as he found his sister in line at a ride and went with her. I then sat down and had a minor heart attack. Good times. Good times.

I just got them all to bed and am just getting my writing done by the midnight deadline I have set for myself each day. Let's hope I collapse into a heavy slumber quickly. Tomorrow is a very busy day. Our dear friend, Danny Howe, is speaking at church tomorrow on missions. I can't wait to see him. Can't wait. Night all.

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Friday, May 2, 2014

I'm sorry, Mom

There comes a time in every mom's life when she recognizes that it is time to apologize to her mother for one thing or another. My oldest did not go to soccer practice tonight. She is still hacking and gagging and waiting for her ENT appointment. She has a game on Sunday and needed to conserve what health she has for that day. She is also growing like a weed and is in desperate need for clothes. So I took her to the mall for some much needed clothes shopping. When I was her age, I was never a big shopper. I still am not today. There were about three brands of clothing, two of shoes, that got my attention back then. Outback Red with the gorgeous red headed safari clad model was my favorite:

I saved up big time for that stuff. The next was Esprit...we all had to have that drawstring sack purse in bright colors:

And Vintage Banana Republic when the clothes were something my dreams were made of...lovely seasoned leathers, khakis and drab greens and super cool tshirts:

Wait, I see a trend here. Safari wear. Okay, I admit it. I dreamt of being clad in multi-pocketed pants, a floral Henley and a hat with one flap up whilst riding in a jeep with Bryan Brown throught the Outback...wearing a Swatch...and Converse Chuck Taylors. Fast forward to now? I still would wear that and do. Well, the Chucks and pants. So when I walked into the stores that my sweet faced first born desired to visit, I was assaulted with a cacophony of uncomfortably loud, thumping music and surgically bright lights OR the same music with such low light and strong cologne that I had to use my phone flashlight, while coughing uncontrollably, to try and see the color of tshirts. Was I in a clothing store or at a rave? It was a toss up. While the kind, and I genuinely mean that, employee helped S pick and match pieces and make outfits, I sat down and texted my mom. Me: I feel the need to apologize for all the times you had to take me clothes shopping while in a parent hostile environment. I understand your annoyance with my constant dancing and singing Duran Duran while perusing the racks of olive green pants. Mom: Oh my. Me: I am so sorry. Mom: I'll say a prayer for you. We ended up finding a cute skirt and shirt plus a few tshirts and some sandals. I had to call her down for dancing and singing to Avicii in a rack crowded store. Not bad for a mini shopping trip. I must remember to carry motrin in my purse and possibly ear plugs on any other outings.

She is now slumbering sweetly in her bed. I am watching Hannibal and am still sneezing out the smell of Hollister. Living the dream.
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Thursday, May 1, 2014

TCAPped out

My children, well two of them, got into the car today completely done. Glue for brains from filling in bubbles and being extra quiet for long periods of time. They were at each others' throats immediately, so I took them to the farmer's market to get a treat and then home to run around until they dropped. The boy is collateral damage in the crossfire of test weary sisters. Next week they will have to watch out.

Today I had lunch with the boy at his request. As I have discussed before, it always confuses me when he asks me to lunch and then won't talk to me. He and his friend T sat, making silly faces at each other, and looked at me like I had a tentacle growing out of my ear. I watched them silently eat their peanut butter sandwiches until a little girl behind me said, "Hey. Is your name Rita? You look like a Rita." After I told her I was a "Jenny", she gave me the side eye and said to her friend, "I think she's a Rita...she just is confused." Maybe. It would not be the first time for me. So for now, "Rita" is going to bed. Night.

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