Thursday, April 29, 2010
Miss M came to me yesterday with a very serious look on her face and told me she had a question about the wedding we are going to this weekend; "How will I know which one is our second cousin, the bride?"
I told her not to fear as the bride normally wears a white dress so she's the easiest one to spot. It gets more confusing with the groom as all men look alike in Tuxes.
She was so relieved.
Miss A and I were talking in the car the other day about school next year and whether she's going to miss me being gone all day. Obviously not concerned about hurting my feelings, she said that I "was rather boring so she's not going to miss me much." Plus, she said, "I'll see you at night and on the weekends." Now, she's really going to miss shopping with mom, lunch out with Nana, and pajama days, but "mom" are you kidding.
Mr C has been invited to join the Order of the Arrow for Boy Scouts. Last Saturday night, they had a small ceremony at a Camp nearby and C was scheduled to attend with his troop. Granted, it had been a long day and C was tired, but when I asked him to please go change into his Class A Uniform he refused. He said that it wasn't necessary and he really did not want to go. I told him it was not negotiable. He asked if there would be snacks.
Seriously, is that the only reason my children go to any event?
I told him no, go change. We then texted my husband who was out of town to ask if Mr. C did indeed need to wear Class A uniform. He texted back yes! C then proceeded to put on just the shirt.
I texted "doesn't he need to wear khaki pants or shorts with the class A top?" Quick response from Dad, "Yes"
Let's just say it was a long evening getting ready. But I'm proud to say the boy left my house in khaki pants and a Class A uniform!
When C returned later that evening, I asked about the event and what he thought of the ceremony. His response, "What a waste of an evening, there weren't any snacks at all."
Maybe next time, I will share the actual text "conversation" between my husband and son.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A few years ago, I took my son to an baseball complex for batting practice. He needed a little time behind the plate to overcome his fear of the ball. He loved playing baseball, but was not the top hitter or best pitcher on the team. However, he had the mental part of the game down pat as he knew how to read the pitcher, where the play should be, etc. Maybe, that is what makes him a pretty decent umpire.
In talking to another parent waiting for his son, I commented that we needed to leave soon as Mr C had a soccer game to get to that night. He commented that in second grade it was probably time for him to "specialize" in a sport. Not thinking I had heard him right, I asked for explanation. "You know, he needs to pick his sport. Is he going to play soccer or baseball when he grows up?"
Guess I was thinking that at 8 years old he still had a few good years ahead of him to decide where his interest and talents lay. However, if we were looking for a star athlete, Mr. C was already behind the curve ball (no pun intended). He hadn't played fall baseball that year, but only Spring. He wasn't competing in an indoor league through the winter and he didn't take conditioning classes all year to improve his stance, his glove work, and perfect his swing.
Since that day, Mr C has tried his hand at basketball, golf and continues to play baseball. He dropped soccer years ago due to the conflict with baseball, but more importantly because it involved too much running. Today, C still plays baseball, loves to play golf and is trying his hand at Track and Field. He didn't "specialize" and did not go select in anything. He really like trying it all out to see what works. He's not the best on the team, but he cheers them on to victory. He helps his friends with their putting. He's thrilled to be in the dugout and on the field.
Track and Field has been a whole new adventure. He's not the fastest on the track nor has he mastered clearing the high jump bar with his feet, but he hasn't given up. He's gone to practice every day and given it his best. He stayed with it even when it appeared he wasn't going to qualify for any event at the meet. He's showed determination, commitment, and tenacity in the face of better athletes, faster runners, and better jumpers and he has stuck it out because he wanted to give it his best.
I held back wanting to call the coach and beg for him to be allowed to compete in something, anything at at least one track meet this year. I'm so glad I did because Mr. C got in on his own. The coach selected him to compete last week in the high jump and the "fat man relay" as he affectionately called it. The relay is for those who compete in non-running events such as the shot putters and discus throwers. They race a 4 by 400 meter race, once around the track with each runner taking 100 meters. Mr. C is in no stretch a "fat man," but because he's not running in hurdles or splints and is competing in just the high jump he qualifies.
His relay team came in second place last week. Second place behind a team of 8th graders that were bigger and faster. C was thrilled. He gave it his best and was thrilled with the results. Tomorrow, they are running again at another Track Meet, his second, more than I ever dreamed of for him. I'm so glad we didn't force C to specialize and pick his favorite sport and leave all dreams behind.
My son will never be the fastest runner on the track and he'll never make the A Team in High School sports, but I know the lessons he's learning by being on the team will serve him well the rest of his life. He doesn't need to excel on the sports field, he's excelling in life. He's learning, perseverance, determination, courage, strength and teamwork.
He's a great sport. He loves the "game" and gives it all he has every time. That's all I've ever wanted from him on the field and off.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Living in the Midwest you get accustomed to preparing for storms. With the potential for large amounts of snow, winter storms require planning so that you have plenty of food, milk ,and of course, Reddi Whip ready for hot cocoa emergencies. Spring Storms mean you need to have a tornado basket ready with flashlights, batteries for a radio, and blankets for protection and comfort.
Having survived a tornado as a child, I don't really mess around with Watches, Warnings or Weather Threats. I've seen close up what a tornado can do. It destroyed my house while my mother and I were at a Girl Scout Meeting at the Elementary School a few blocks from our house and my father and brother were huddled up under a chair in our basement.
I was a 2nd Grade Brownie Girl Scout and my mother was the Leader. It was right after school on a clear May afternoon. There was no time to think about what to do. My father, in an attempt to come to the school to bring us home, had seen our neighbors roof fly off their house and he quickly decided to stay home.
My mother, the ever prepared GS Leader, happened to have a flashlight in her purse and huddled all of us girls in the school hallway between two huge steel doors. I don't remember being scared or nervous; just confident she could handle it. After the storm, the Principal took my mother outside to survey the damage. The neighborhood was destroyed. Many homes were leveled. Amazingly, all the parents arrived to pick up their girls that day. No one had been harmed.
Once everyone had gone "home," my mom and I walked the few blocks to our house. Everywhere, there were houses with roofs gone, windows gone, and debris littered the streets (thus why we walked). We had no idea what we would discover once we got home. My mother prayed that we'd find our house OK, but most of all she prayed that my brother and dad had been spared harm and that we'd find them alive and well. I remember being scared.
When we finally saw our house ahead and my dad and brother standing in our driveway, I'm sure my mother and I both cried. God had protected them and, while our house was "destroyed," our family was intact. Really that was all that mattered.
Since that day in 1975, I've taken Storms seriously. I heed the warnings and take precautions when there is the potential of a storm. I've seen what it can do and, while I'm not afraid, I believe in being prepared. I've been known to grab sleeping babies out of their cribs when the sirens go off. I've told baseball umpires to call games when I've seen dark clouds, strong winds, and lightening nearby. Lastly, I'm training my children to listen for sirens and head downstairs right away. I know the lessons have been heard when last summer, when I was at the store, the sirens went off and Mr C. gathered his sisters and went to the basement,
Last night, we were prepared for the worst. We had our shoes ready at the basement door. I had my purse and my keys to the car sitting there with the camera as I had pictures I'd yet to download. The batteries were in place and we had Mr C's trusty Camp Lantern all ready. The kids had even picked up the basement. It was waiting for us in case we needed it.
Thankfully, it was just a false alarm. The storm passed us by to the North and we didn't even get any rain. I was thankful. Thankful that we were prepared and that we didn't need to put our storm plan into action.
However this morning when I realized that the "no storm" meant no rain outs for our concert, softball, baseball, and soccer games I might have felt a little unprepared to leave. All things considered, I'll take a calm night weather wise even if it means a jammed packed morning.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
A few months ago he took the ACT exam as a 7rh grader. It was part of a program to encourage young "minds" to take the ACT or SAT exam and then see how they did in comparison to other thinkers around the country. C studied a little bit and took a few practice tests, but realized in the end that there was going to be a lot of material on the exam that was over his head. Especially in the math and science areas.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Yep, that bad.
I pick up the oh so heavy bowling ball, lift up my back leg and drop the ball in the middle of the lane, yet somehow, within seconds, it's in the gutter. Almost every time. When the ball does miraculously make it down the entire lane, it hits maybe 2 or 3 pins total. Let's just say strike and spare are not in my vocabulary. Gutter Ball, however, is.
On Thursday afternoon, two five year olds, my niece and sister in law whooped up on me . However, I'm not bitter or anything. Miss A had a fabulous time. She loved it. Best day of Spring Break Hands Down! Bowling, Best Friend, Fabulous Cousin plus French Fries. You can't go bowling without some sort of greasy snack.
Bowling taught me a fabulous lesson and is one that every mother should remember. It's not about how good I bowl or how cute I look throwing the ball down the lane or even how willing I am to shell out money for games and snacks, it's all about enjoying the moment and really being in the moment with my sweet little friends.
Miss A and her friend giggled all the way home about beating up on me during the bowling. How fun it is to win. Even better when you beat an adult and your mother at that! They laughed about the fact that "mom" came in last place behind Cousin N and Aunt J and both of them. Last place. How silly of mom.
You know the humiliation was worth it all. It was a fun memory. The day will come when Mom is no longer invited to come and bowl, I'll just be used for the ride to the bowling alley and for the money to pay. I'm going to enjoy all these fleeting moments right now.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
We have already accomplished a few things on her Spring Break Check List.
- Went shopping at the Mall with her cousin on Good Friday. Of course, the trip also included lunch at Burger King, but it was the shopping at the Mall that was a must do.
- Played lots and lots of time in her room with American Girl Dolls, Barbies and the like. She's tried each day after school to get her sister involved in the fun, too.
- We've cleaned her room as well and, yes, she was in her Jammies as I promised she could be. OK, maybe this wasn't on Miss A's list to do, but the Jammie part was all her idea.
- Had lunch out and went to the library. In fact, we hit the Library twice and once even included Story Time.
- Started her gymnastics class at the Community Center. She was so excited for this new adventure. In fact, she even has a potential husband in the class.
No kidding. One little boy ran up to his mother in the middle of tumbling and told her that he is going to "marry that girl in the pink leotard." When asked if he knew her name, he said "not yet, but I plan to once she grows up a little and puts her glasses and flip flops back on."
Lets just say he's a little too young for her, but it's nice to have a proposal in our back pocket before Kindergarten.
- Finally, today, we are going Bowling with a friend and our cousin and her friend. Yes, you must say it in this precise order as this is how Miss A keeps saying it over and over again.
"On Thursday I'm going Bowling with T and Miss N and Miss N's Friend, It's Going to Be Great." Thursday is the day after Wednesday and the day before Friday. At least that's what she keeps telling me over and over again.
Just in case you don't think Miss A is a planner, here are Miss A's plans for her future.
- At 12: Play Soccer for the Jr High School;
- At 13: Get a Cell Phone;
- At 14: Play in the band-or form her own band like Francesca Battistelli
- At 15: Become a Cheerleader.
- At 16 DRIVE A CAR. (in caps because that's how she speaks.)
- At 18: Go to College and Play Volleyball for the University.
- At 22: Become a Nurse at Children's Hospital.
At this point her plans get fuzzy. She and Miss M are still planning on working together as Nurses and having a pink convertible for the summer, but the "city" is still open for negotiation. Finally, she's going to be a stay at home mom like me, but with less laundry and more trips to Disneyland because that's what her children will like the most.
She's got a few more years to plan, but it's nice to see someone with "Real" Goals. To think, her brother just wants to be an aeronautical engineer and survive running those hundreds of miles each day at Track Practice!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Good Friday, we were able to worship at our old church with Nana and Papa. They re-enact the crucifixion and it is graphic, real, and powerful. C was really soaking it all in. Thankfully, they had kids' church for Miss M and Miss A where they had the story told to them at their level.
Saturday morning was busy with the both softball and baseball practice, so the neighborhood egg hunt involved just mom and Miss A. It was quick and profitable for the little egg gatherer. She even found a "golden egg" with a TCBY coupon inside. When the eggs were all found, all of 2 minutes after the bell rung Miss A said, "well that sure was quick."
Saturday found the kitchen all a buzz with making Pioneer Women's Cinnamon Rolls for the Youth Group Bake Sale, Resurrection Buns for Easter Morning, Blueberry Muffins for Easter Brunch with the family and .of course. the obligatory Easter Egg Coloring Experience.
Never have I spent so much time in the kitchen in my life and with so little to show for it afterwards, nothing stayed around our own house. The PW rolls were pre-sold for the bake sale and, foolishly, we didn't think to order one pan for ourselves. All the eggs thrown away as we all despise Hard Boiled, (OK, I despise eggs in any form) and the muffins all left with Papa. Miss A was even surprised to find that the marshmallow she painstakingly "laid" in the resurrection rolls was "gone" on Sunday Morning when we ate them! Love this hands on lesson of the real meaning of Easter! Perfect for the five year old's heart and mind.
Easter Morning was glorious. Great Songs at church. Egg Hunting in the backyard (the bunny came while we were at church, how did he do that?), then brunch, and finally, another egg hunt at Nana and Papa's with all the cousins.
New Dresses, Fresh Flowers blooming in the yard, and a Resurrected Savior. What more could you ask for.
He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed. Hallelujah!
Friday, April 2, 2010
Mr C is trying out for the track team at his school. This is the same child who quit soccer in 2nd grade because it "involves too much running up and down the field." At that time, he chose Baseball as his favorite sport as it had little running except in short distances along with golf which involves no running at all. However, Papa does say he needs to pick up the speed on the course a little bit.
More power to him though. Literally. According to C, he's hoping to not do a lot of running at track as he's more interested in the jumping. He, of course, would be willing to do short distances. He says he has lightening speed if it's not far to go. Maybe the relay race.
If nothing else, he thinks it will mean more speed for base hits and more power behind his driver and 5 iron. I'm all for anything that gets us moving and shaking. The added laundry I could do without.
Miss M's Girl Scout troop had lesson #2 in Knitting this week. Thankfully, Nana and Nana's friend came along to help out! There are 5 girls who are really "getting it." They are liking it, have stitches to show for their work, and are anxious about learning. They asked if we could have a knitting club this summer at my house. Lemonade on the deck and knitting needles in hand. I said, "Yes!"
M's response to other girls about why her project looks so good; "I have good genes!" I'm not kidding! She told them she has a grandmother who knits and sews and a grandmother who knits and quilts and a mother who knits and does laundry. Well, I added the laundry part. I don't know how to quilt or sew. I've tried sewing, I might try again. Quilting looks like it involves math and you know I hate anything with math!
Miss M also informed me this week that we need to get her a "slew of flip flops and summer shoes now" as I guess you need flip flops for every outfit. I bought her brown ones.-a neutral that goes with everything. Task accomplished though not nearly as exciting as a "slew."
Miss A's preschool is on Spring Break starting Good Friday through the next week. She's been busy planning her social calendar. Shopping, lunch with Nana, Bowling with Tess, Park Play dates with friends, maybe some more shopping, and bike ridding with sister.
I was under the impression you rested during a break. She not so much. What does this mean for our summer I wonder. Maybe we should look into hiring a "cruise director" or a "social secretary." I'd hate for our summer to be wasted away with relaxing, reading and laying by the pool. Heaven forbid, we'd go to the lake, sit by the water and watch the fish jump.
Miss A is also very interested in when we are going to start having baseball/softball/soccer games. According to her that means lots of good snacks. Between the Snack Shack at the Field and the Snacks on the sidelines at games, it means a bounty of goodies. Glad to know she's in it for the physical activity too!
Last week, the neighbors grandchildren were in town for a few days and M and A entertained them for a few hours on Sunday afternoon. There was running and skipping and playing on the jungle gym and, of course, snacks.
Monday afternoon before they left, the little boy told Miss A how excited he was to be going home to Minnesota the next day. He missed his house. But he'd miss A too when he was gone. Miss A's response "we are going to Minnesota in May for a Wedding, give me your address and I'll stop by." What! Exchanging addresses so soon. Guess I can be thankful she doesn't have a phone, she would have promised to text him too!
Like I said, the laughter never ends around here!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
We had our traditional Norwegian Meatballs the first night for dinner, but we "spiced" things up a bit with lunch the next day at a family owned Mexican Restaurant followed by shopping for Mexican Pottery. Lets just say Miss A and I will be going back to the Hispanic Neighborhood soon with an empty trunk so we can bring some some great new outdoor pots for our **flourishing gardens**. (Remember I'm still taking suggestions on what to plant-feel free to jump in)
There was also plenty of time for knitting lessons with Bestemor, playing Guess Who with Bestefar, and swimming at the hotel pool. Mr C. got to celebrate his birthday one more time because once or twice is never enough when you are 13. We had time for afternoon coffee/hot chocolate and loved giving Bestemor her new Garden Scooter. We expect her to become very hip around her neighborhood. (while resting her hips)
Mr. C then had a weekend trip planned to Church Camp. He loved it. It was hilarious to hear him comment on the difference between Church Camp and camping with the Boy Scouts. I think he believes that Christians are use to amenities and, as he said, "luxury accommodations." He had a great time and, while he was sad to miss out on the grands visit, it was a great weekend for him and his faith journey.