Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Highlights

What a wonderful Christmas! So fun to be with family that we haven't seen in a while. So blessed to share a small piece of life with people I love. I got to enjoy some little things this week at the farm. Cooking and washing dishes could have been a drag, but it was wonderful to be helpful and useful for others. Sharing gifts with those we love was a joy. Seeing the faces light up and the smiles take over.. people getting what they wanted with no strings attached.

So here are some pictorial highlights.. notice the small things, please.

Oma Hugs are the best!

I can't believe they took the time to pose so sweetly!

James and Julie always go great together. What a wonderful brother and sister I have!

Sisters! See the family tree behind them on the wall?? They come from a long line of sisters, but share a love so sweet!

This is a table full of food, that represents tradition and love and effort and all those fabulous family things. I am so blessed to have a family that values that. Notice, no turkey, it's roast beef with Yorkshire Pudding and other fun treats.

Every "kid" table has it's own personality. I can't pick just one for this table! These are kids who have tons of individuality and personality!

Dad likes to play tough. And he is tough. Shhh, don't tell, but he's a softie, too. Especially when it comes to his family. Love Granddaddy's Marine "fighting" ring there. By the way, he's protecting his Yorkshire Pudding!

I love stockings! Here are ours. Can you guess who gets which one?

An angel shared the news of the birth of Jesus. This one has been hanging around our house for over a decade. She's got some news to share too. Jesus is born!

Such handsome men and what a legacy!

I am truly blessed!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tell me it's over.. PLEASE

We have turned the proverbial corner. The sick one seems to be fungus, fever, and puke free. He actually ate a real meal today and played chase with his brother. Friends, that is the first time in 7 days he has done that. Despite his worn out, thin as a crack addict look, I think it is all good. The bones and dark circles will go away after a few regular meals and some good sleep. He has settled in to playing some X-Box in the horizontal position, but we are well on our way. I am definitely looking forward to a great Christmas on the farm.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Whew! I should have a medical degree.. or something

When our kid gets sick, we work hard to make them well. Along the way, I have picked up a few tricks.

Trick 1: I avoid nasal decongestants that simply thicken the snot. That leaves me with 1 or 2 options to deal with head congestion. Guaifsasen and the equate nasal spray make a wicked 1-2 punch.

Trick 2: I put myself in the mindset that sleep is optional and get some whenever I can. Having awoken to child gagging on snot for several days in a row, I am in prime condition.

Trick 3: The use of unused prescriptions should be handled carefully, but is totally an option. Remember that little used script from the summer that is floating around the medicine drawer? It could be handy if a mass of mouth fungus arrives.

Trick 4: pray pray pray..

Trick 5: When it's not working, go to the damn clinic and get some antibiotics. Don't dawdle around and wonder if you should wait until morning. Usually, sooner is better if you the little patient isn't perking up.

Trick 6: After 6 days of battling the gunk, be ok with scrapping your plans for Christmas holiday domination and settle for corn dogs, rented movies, and doing a little laundry.

Trick 7: Keep a list of when differnent medications were given. It's so hard to remember what was given when. The combinations of acetiminophen, ibuprophen, 2 decogestants, mouth fungus removal pills, and antibiotics with different dosages and time spans can get a little hard to manage when you are sleep deprived. If you don't keep track, bad things can happen.

Trick 8: Remember to thank the husband for understanding when you are too tired to cook a healthy meal. Corn dogs are substantial and will get them through until tomorrow.

So, I am off to do some laundry and check on the sick one who is finally eating more than 2 mouthfuls in a setting.  Looks like things are looking up!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dear Santa,

Dear Santa,
  I hope you and the Mrs. are doing well in the days preceeding your busy night. I truly hope and pray that the elves have kept up their productivity and the reindeer are prepared for their supporting role in the festivities of the 24th.
   The W'ham's are well and have just a few simple requests.  Mr. W'ham would like a smooth ending to his Masters' classes. See, with just one class left, set to be finished the first week of January, he's kind of waiting for the next shoe to drop. So, can you bring him peace of mind and completed paperwork? And some speakers for the entertainment center. And maybe even a new "how to build a deck" book? He seems to have lost his other ones.
   Son #1 is my manic planner and would like to become a Lego engineer. He has a life plan that, with several contingencies mapped out. He  seems to have it all under control. So, what do you get for the boy who has everything?? I don't know either. Perhaps if you could get him a love for people other than his best friends? Maybe help him to be a little more understanding of people less intense than he is? Oh yeah, and maybe a razor, because I think he might need one really soon. And some pants that are long enough would be great.
   Son #2 is insanely curious about his world and how things work. He doesn't have a favorite anything other than video games. He loves to solve those problems, as long as they aren't too hard. Then he gets frustrated, much like his Mama. He is not interested in reading, except when it involves things he shouldn't be reading. So, if you could bring him the code for how to read, that would be great. He's getting there, but could use a bit of a push. Oh, and a haircut that doesn't make his cowlick stick straight up would be grand. And some pants without holes in the knees. And socks.. matching socks.
   Now Mama W'ham's list is a bit more simple. She would like a maid to keep her house neat. If that is not possible, perhaps some initiative to help from the menfolk in her world. She would love to find a new author to read that provides a creative and fresh perspective to the literary world. And finally she would like to have a deck in her backyard, some trees removed, and a plumber on retainer. Simple, see?

  So, dear sweet Santa, Merry Christmas to you. May you be blessed and have a wonderful, safe trip. I'll see you soon with cookies and cocoa waiting.

Yours Always,
The W'ham Guardian House Elf

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Topics of Conversation

The Tactile One took me on a date tonight. He made sure to get permission from Daddy and repeated often that this was a "play" date. He has been well trained that only Daddy takes Mommy on a real date. After peeling him away from the X-Box, we had a lovely meal at Rico's Grill. It's good Mexican food. But the conversation was better.

Everyone who has ever been on a date knows that conversation is everything. And, WOW, the topics we discussed: The emotional evolution of Batman and his parent issues, the difference between a tenor and alto saxophone, the gelataneous consistencies of various cheeses, how to make fried ice cream, how to draw a good draft beer, proper and improper ways of salting chips, and why opening doors for girls is important. And that was just during dinner. Velocity of air bags, common favorite fairy tales, how 3d movies are made, why popcorn pops, what makes elevators stop working, the engineering of parking garages, and why we don't have Christmas lights outside were other highlights. Feel free to use any of these on a date if you are searching for something to say. In fact, you can bookmark this for easy retrieval if you'd like.

I'm a little worried that he is such a good date. That kid can carry a conversation and ask questions and charm anyone within 30 feet. He is a natural! Sweet smiles, funny faces, holding hands without presuming, and a desire to make sure everyone has a good time. He is a born charmer and a great kid. I am so blessed!

I hope he asks me out again. I'll wait a day or two for him to call before I get worried.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thoughts for Thursday

Things I've overheard recently that made me laugh, giggle, or groan....

"Mom, can you marry a car? Because I LOVE that one right there."

As the smell of an SBD wafts across the living room, all citizens start looking at one another and I hear, "Ewww! That one was cheesy!"

"Let's play He, She or It! You guess the gender." Yeah, that one was at the RenFest, of course.

"Ok, Finds, Kills, or Gets Killed? Which one?" We obviously watch too many crime dramas with the children.

"Oh, it's just like Diagon Ally in Harry Potter." Proclaimed by the oldest upon entering the RenFest  compound. Very astute, I thought.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fast Forward

I've been a little behind in updating life with the Willingham's. So I'll have to give you the quick version of the last 6 weeks. I hope the pictures help.

In absolutely no order (because it's more fun that way).. This weekend we met the parentals and sib at Leando Plantation for Civil War days. Here are the menfolk with the cannon. Large guns make them very happy.

My boys like to play X-box together. I guess it's like building houses or working the fields in the old days. They talk, strategize, and Dad gets to give some wonderful life lessons in the process (The lesson this day was "Don't choke your brother. He's the only one you're gonna get".)

Halloween happened on time. Here are the boys right before trick or treating. Ryan went all Cheap-O Ninja. Josh was a pirate. I hope we are maybe leaving the days of those store bought costumes that hang around forever. Josh lost his eye patch 10 minutes before it was time to leave, so I had to draw it in. We never have found it.

Here are some close ups of their pumpkin designs. Ryan did a little ghost.

Josh wanted a scary pumpkin. Are you trembling in your boots yet? I know my hand was trembling from carving out those teeth. And I won't show you what it was supposed to look like! :)

This is the Anal One sorting his Halloween Haul. It made him happy, and me too. At least I'm not the only one!

Ryan's birthday was fun. I can't believe he is 10. He is such a great guy. I can definitely say he is well on his way to being a wonderful man, even if it hurts a bit to say it out loud because I'm not ready for that life change.

Nothing brings brothers together like cake and ice cream. I enjoy every moment of harmony I can get!

And that's the fast forward of the last 6 weeks. We've been busy, and blessed in so many ways. As we head into Thanksgiving, I can't wait to see what God has in store.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What I've been up to

It's been a bit since I posted pics.. Here is what I've been doing..
This was the dessert table for Chris's 40th Birthday Party. Faith and the boys did a great job with arranging the pies and making it festive. And it tasted good too!
Here are the party people! Our good friends and family. What a blessing they are!

Then, we spent the week in sorry and grief. The death of a young friend and the ensuing support of his family. His service was on Friday. And his dad shared the eulogy! I can't imagine doing what he did. He honestly and truly share the joy that was John's life without forgetting about the hard parts. Then he boldly and sensitively share the gospel with a room full of people who don't know Jesus. And what they know of His people isn't the best.

I also got to take part in the annual Storybook Parade on Friday! A little early this year, but a total success.

If pirates were this cute, I'd surely join up! Ryan was a minion from the movie Despicable Me and I didn't get a picture. He seems ok with this. Since he really wanted to be a ninja, but gave in to pressure to join the rest of the 4th grade. And my team was...

Yep, the Wizard of Oz. My favorite character was the tornado.. see her behind the house! We laughed all through the school. Faith made my scarcrow costume and it was a winner!

So yeah, I've been rather busy. Chris is on the fall youth retreat this weekend and I'm home with the boys. We are heading to the park... Life is good and I am blessed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


You know that phone call that parents NEVER want to get? The one from the hospital saying we think we have your boy? Yeah, that call. A good friend got that call this week. His son is dead. And so the week goes.

Death of a young person is so tragic. Even more so when everyone could see it coming. I'm not speaking ill of the dead. It was common knowledge. He struggled with substance abuse, had been diagnosed with HIV, and lived life without looking toward tomorrow.  It doesn't mean we love him less. I think I loved him more. Because he was a wad of untapped potential. He had a heart of kindness and a mind that was quick. And he was desperately in need of self esteem that no one could give him. For some reason, he couldn't accept that when Jesus died for him, it was a life encompassing acceptance.  Though he had committed his life to Christ as a young teen, he didn't live as I understand life for Christ to be lived.

We all look for understanding and reasons in this time. "God took him home". "He would have wanted to go that way, without being sick." "His work on earth was done." "That's what you get when you drive erratically down the freeway." "The devil took a good one." Ehh, all those platitudes seem to fall flat for me. I don't know that they are untrue. But they don't make it hurt less. And we don't know God's reasons.

Perhaps his life can be a tale of caution and warning to young people. Perhaps some will seek Christ through his family's testimony. I guess all we can pray and hope for is that his life was not lived in vain and that good will come from this tragedy.

RIP John. You will be missed.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

LOST.. and then found

So, while tackling Mt. Laundry on the couch at the end of our bed, I uncovered some artifacts. Several nice pens from Christmas. Thank again Aunt Penney. One Day I will figure out how and why to use a fountain pen and then I can truly appreciate it. I found several belts. Mine and Chris's. They were leftovers from summer shorts we had bought. We aren't really belt people.

And then I hit the Mother Lode! It was one of those plastic storage bins full of maternity clothes and baby clothes and pre-baby clothes of an undisclosed size. Super fun and some charity's windfall! Ok, my stuff isn't that great. I don't even pretend that. But maybe someone can use it. And now I can see that the couch is green and rather comfy. Perhaps it's time for a good book.. yeah.

Monday, October 4, 2010


I just wanted to scream it really loud.. ok.... ready.... FFFAAALLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!

I don't sweat when I walk outside. The mosquitoes are smaller than oranges, finally. Squirrels hurl green acorns from treetops for their gang initiations.  Everyone who has one rides their loud rumbly stinky motorcycle everywhere I am going. I laugh at their choices of attire. btw.. tank tops and low rise jeans are not a smart choice.. two words.. road rash.. nuff said... creepy tacky halloween items abound. children whine for the costume that is nowhere to be found. and I am filled with a sense of awe and joy at the glory of our beautiful world. Thanks God, for autumn. And lots of other stuff too.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hummmphhh! Grrrrrr! and WTF was he thinking!!!!

We got some bad news last night about some actions taken by a family member, and it made me wonder why families care so deeply about a monetary inheritance from their parents. Do people really think they are owed money when their parents are gone, or even before then??? Then I got mad and wondered how in God's name professed believers of Christ could possibly put money ahead of their family.  How can they live for over 40 years with grudges and hate and smile and say that they live for Christ? Two faced, double minded thinking that revolves solely around what I want and what I think I deserve is truly a mark of our Enemy. And he is rejoicing right now. That lead me to sigh inwardly in deep sadness at how right the world is about how wrong Christians are when they forget who they are living for. And how obvious it is to those who live around them that they are not just unkind, but selfish and mean and vengeful and hatefilled. And years of prayer and sharing and life lived to show the glory of God to unbelieving family can be wiped out by the selfish act of a fellow believer. By this time my brow was furrowed and I was in royal funk about the way people treat the elderly who are the parents that raised them or their spouse! And that got me all mad again. I was in bed by 9:30 because I was tired out.

Not gonna share the details here but sometimes family sucks and I can't wait to go and shine some light and spread some compassion on family who has been wronged.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and now...

A conversation after school.....

Mom: So Josh, where is your water bottle? (he constantly leaves it at school)

Josh: Well, um, Mom, ya know the desk fairy? (She visits neat desks in 1st grade and gives little treats. She has never visited Josh and he is taking it personally. He hasn't figured out that she only visits the neat desks) Well, I figured she'd be thirsty tonight so I left it on my desk for her to get a drink.

And here I thought he was just being careless again. Nope, he really was being thoughtful and considerate to that poor desk fairy.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Boys will be boys

This afternoon has been a real treat. While I am bone weary and ready for a nice glass of wine, I have enjoyed my time with the boys.

Son 1 has his friend over for an afterschool "play date". Well, his mom is a teacher and had a Parent Info Night, so the lucky guy has become a Willingham for about 5 hours. After an extra hour and a half at the school where they managed to play on the playground, make a mess in my classroom, annoy half of my team with their Loud Boy Ways, we headed home. Once there we did homework and the fun began.

Nerf War has been eagerly anticipated. For weeks. It's been all they can talk about. So, after "setting up" for 25 minutes, they shot each other for about 30 seconds before the first gun jammed. I learned a lot about my Son 1 in this process. He is a bossy boss. He has volume control issues. He wouldn't be my friend if I was a 3rd grade girl. But none of this is news to me. His true colors just shine through! And I love him for all he is. And he does make a great son.

We then went to a pizza buffet place. Nothing like all you can eat cheap pizza to make everyone happy.

AFter that, home for some X-Box Halo. Nothing says "Dude, you are such a friend" like blowing them away during a video game.

The MOM is coming to pick up soon. Then some peace and quiet.. But maybe one more round of Nerf War where Mommy plays....

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Days at the UN

My mind is full today with mulling over my classes this year. I have 2. My morning class is the GT group. They aren't all GT, but they are all supposed to be sufficiently functional to move at an accelerated rate and test well so that i can have fun and offer lots of enrichment opportunities. They mostly fill that bill. I have 2 or 3 who I wonder how they got in this class. At least there isn't just one lone slow wit in the crew. I'm sure having friends makes it easier to exist in a world that seems to pass you by. I know it helps me. This class is ethnically diverse in so many ways. Let's see.. of 22 students I have 3 Indian, 1 Pakistani, 2 black, 1 Chinese, and 1 Korean. My favorite names are Juhui, Armin, Arman, Prerit, and Riya. They are sweet and kind and are starting to show their personalities. I hope they continue to be that way. I would hate for the UN to not function in unison.

My afternoon crew is quite different. There are 3 special ed kids (2 on the autism spectrum), 2 for writing and 1 for behavior. I have 1 child who has petit mal seizures with frightening regularity. I have 5 black children, 3 Indian, and 2 latino in addition to 12 anglos. (Just for some base understanding, my school demographic is 60% white, 5 % asian, 20% hispanic, and 15% black, roughly speaking) I also have a student who will start in this class later this coming week. He is being moved from another class because he brought a gun to school and showed it on the bus. He was turned in by a fellow classmate. While home on suspension, he got appendicitis and had to have surgery. I wonder how he will affect the class. He has a reputation. It is warranted. sigh.

 I have recently started beginning of the year testing and have 11 of 22 who will be marked for additional small group reading instruction based on low fluency. And that's without checking reading comprehension levels.  For the last 2 weeks I've spent my afternoons juggling some very large personalities and trying to establish routine with frequent interruptions. The hardest part for them seems to be sitting and waiting for me to get there. Every one of the 22 seems to have to walk up to me to ask a question. It makes for a very mobile classroom. And makes me one grumpy teacher. I do have the help of an instructional aid for the last hour and a half of class. For that I am thankful. Without her help, I think I would have lost it by now. It's been a long time since I had a group that was this low with this many learning issues. By May I feel as if I will have earned every moment of Summer 2011.

That's what I am mulling over at the moment. I am thankful for a 3 day weekend. I hope to utilize it fully. So far, I am. In fact, I'm off to do.. not much.. maybe some laundry.. maybe some cooking. All things that relax me. I wish cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming relaxed me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

He was joking, right?

I hear the best stories on the way home from school. You'd thing the best ones would come from students in class, but no. The Tales from The Day that eminate from by backseat are, by far, the best. Take today, for example.

We are pulling out of the parking lot in my spiffy Green Machine sans AC and I get asked, "Hey Mom, would you get mad if I ate a gummy bear that a friend found on the playground if it was in a bag. And it hadn't been open?"  There are a few ways to respond, and I have only moments to pick the best course of action. In the split second while I am thinking I hear a whispered, "Well did you eat it?" And whispered "uh huh, but I want to see if she's mad."

So, I say " No honey, I wouldn't be mad if you at something a friend found on the playground in an unopened bag. I'd wonder why you thought that was a good idea." "So, you aren't mad?" "No, not mad. A little disgusted, but not mad. Don't do that again. If you ever did it." "Ok, I won't"

Then the back seat dialog takes over. In hushed Mommy-can't-hear-tone "So, you really ate it?" "Yeah, it was a little hard, and I kind of ate the whole bag. But they weren't really gummy bears. They were other animal shapes." So, if I am hearing and inferring rightly, my boy ate a bag of off brand gummy animals of an unknown age and origin after lunch on the playground. About this time I slapped my palm on my forehead in the international sign for "dummy" as I shook my head in wonder. I didn't know what else to do.

Then, I heard "Dude, you shouldn't do that. You get car sick really easy and you might puke in the car." "I don't think so, I feel fine and it was a long time ago. Like after lunch." Hmmm, time to revisit the appropriate time to accept treats from "friends".

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Tale of 2 Shoes (A Summer in Review)

Here is the story of our final summer. We had cheated death for over 6 months because our boy loved us so. We were comfortable. And familiar. And he loved us.

Here we are at the Blue Bell Creamery.

Then we traveled to New Braunfels.

See, don't we look happy?
We visited Natural Bridge Caverns.

We got a little nervous and hid, but had fun still. I promise we are standing right at the base of that rock.

Then there was the final trip to Kemah. Again, I was in the shade at the bottom of the picture.

We lived a long and happy life.Here we are in our final resting state.
Blown out and run ragged. What a wonderful life we had!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quote of the day

Son 1: Man, you have hair on your back!

Son 2: Yep, it's cuz I'm MANLY! Take that!

Mom: Bwahahahaha!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Random quotes

Mom, why did God make fleas?

How do they make shoes?

Are we there yet?

And the best yet...

(Son 1 to Son 2 while waiting for The Hubby to finish talking with someone at church) Dude, ya just have to wait, it's his job to get laid by people.  (I had just mention that Daddy would be a few more minutes because he got waylaid by someone.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pasty is a color, too

Just got back from the pool with the puppies, er, kids. While there, I laughed outrageous laughs over 3 things.

First, as I walked in to pay, I find myself face to face with a former student. He is now the head lifeguard at the pool and has just graduated from High School. He didn't remember me, so I did the unthinkable and introduced myself. Poor guy turned 13 shades of red as he realized what a toot he was and was forced to make grown up conversation with a former teacher. He laughed and shook his head and just stared at me for while. Guees he's never seen a teacher in her swimsuit with no makeup and 4 rug rats in tow. Or he could be amazed that I've kept myself up so well and is wondering why I haven't aged while he has now learned to shave.

Then, it hit me again that my kids are SO WHITE! The life guards put on their sunglasses when we got there because the glare off of my kids was so bad. After I deftly covered them in SPF 9000 spray and turned them loose, they were easy to spot. I just followed the beacon of their whiteness. In fact, I'm pretty sure I could hear our northern ancesters from the great beyond, like Duncan Reamhair (all phonetic for those who don't speak gaelic), clan chieftan from the 1100s I think, wailing about letting the wee bairns play in that awful sunlight. And I'm sure that Sir Willingham of the Western English Midlands was bemoaning the parenting tactics of his offspring.

And finally, after hour number 3 at the pool, the former student-head lifeguard had the undesireable job of asking me to pull my youngest from the pool for a "rest break". See, Boy Wonder just learned to swim last week. But he showed that he could swim well enough for the deep end, so I let him enjoy it with the 3 older kids. Well, his stroke is a little rough still, so the lifeguards were really worried that he was too tired. Or maybe they were thinking that I was letting him flail until he went under for good.  All that splashing and gasping and slow seemed to bother them.  Any way, the poor guy had to ask me to give him a break per his supervisor, and he was blushing the whole time. I swear he thought I was going to make him miss recess or sit next to a girl! It was all I could do not to laugh out loud until he left.

I do love our summer pool time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MY time

Today was a rare treat. Chris took the kids to the Astros game (after asking me 250 times if I was SURE I didn't want to come as well). So I found myself with 6 hours + of time to MYSELF. Just me. No questions to be answered and no one else's problems to solve. I also realized that this doesn't happen nearly enough to suit my solitary tastes. I know that because I spent 30 minutes trying to decided what to do.

 "Hmm, do I want to clean more of the house, sort through boxes of stuff, go shopping, call a friend, take a nap, watch TV, learn to sew, bake something new and original??" So many choices with my block of free time. I think it's kind of sad that it is such a treat that I didn't know how to use it.. and felt like I had to use it well. Like there was a committee judging me on my performance. "Well Simon, she gets a 10 for productivity but a 3 for creativity."

Then I realized, hmmm, that's kind of how I view my life. So many choices. And a schedule that when altered, takes me a bit to readjust. I worry about how others will think about my choices and I hope they approve. Ok, I don't really worry about it, but I do consider it. And I don't take a lot of chances. Just not in my nature.

Now, many blogging chicks will go from here with a great insight into finding themselves and maintaining good family balance while not losing their identity. They include cute little pictures and catch phrases that make readers chuckle and nod their head. Hmm, me, not so much with the pictures and catch phrases. I am trying to maintain an identity that is mine, not related to being Wifemomfrienddaughtersisterteacher. I am unique as God intended and I embrace all those things about myself. But I also embrace the me that He created before I was any of those things. She gets a little lost and is undeveloped in many ways. But, I think that's the journey of life. At least while I'm in my mid 30's.

MY time today was spent as I wished and I have no noregrets. Except maybe that I have a lot of laundry to sort before I go to bed since it is all on my bed in a large, unfolded mound of fabrics. My kids came home and I gave each a hug and inhaled the sweat infused fragrance of  Little Boy. Not a fragrance for sale anywhere, btw. And I am glad they are back. And ate their fill at the ball game so I don't have to cook a big dinner.

And I am satisfied.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oh my! It can DRIVE!

Tomorrw, I celebrate a special day. Tomorrow, IT turns 16. Tomorrow, my marriage will have reached that age where teenagers think they are grown ups and start making those BIG life decisions, like do I use a blinker or not? How can I afford to drive if I don't have a job? and if I do have a job, I don't have time to drive anywhere. Why do I want a license?

I really hope marriages aren't like that. It's been pretty smooth sailing so far. Even when life has been hard, The Hubby and I are all about attacking the problem and not each other. And when we have issues, we eventually handle them. Neither one of us gets what we want all the time, but we don't worry about being loved or if the relationship will disintegrate or who's gonna take out the garbage. Knowing how different we were before we got married has made all the small stuff stay small. That's a total blessing.

So, I can celebrate fully and honor every day that I've had this wonderful guy by my side. Even if the day wasn't so good, I knew that I had an ally. And that's what marriage should be, I think. Having an ally as you face the day is a blessing of untold worth. I like knowing that I don't battle alone and that my partner is right there all the way.

And I really like him still. Shocking, I know. But he still makes my toes curl up and down when I see him enter a room. I still crave time with him just to talk about nothing.. or anything at all. I can't wait to hear about his day and to share mine, because I know he listens, even when he doesn't really care what I made the children for lunch. And I love that we have built a life that is ours. All ours. Like no one else's.

We have taken what we learned from our birth families, and what we have learned from other wise people, and what the Bible says, and formed something that works for us. And I like it. I love that people say my home is a safe place. I love it that my kids want to bring their friends over. I love it that I can mean it when I tell someone to come on over ANYTIME.

So, Yay for us! Happy 16th Anniversiary, Baby! I love you and I love what we have.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Optimism PRIME

Today is the first day of year 38.. I have completed 37 years and am looking at that number thinking, hell, I really am middle aged. I'm halfway there, maybe. "There" would be my eternal reward with Jesus in heaven. It could come sooner. It might come later. But I have to understand that time is merely a tool to measure how far I have come and how far I have left.

Year 37 was most definitely a Prime year. Chris was able to work at his long awaited calling, for pay! The boys have grown into B-O-Y-S! They are more aware and smart and self reliant. I am needed less and less. But that is them.

This year I have battled depression, confusion, and being somewhat unsure of what to do next. I have also found extreme joy in a new teaching position, made new friends, enjoyed my family a lot, improved my housekeeping skills (eh? ok a little, but I'm counting it), and come to understand that when a family lives in crisis for years at a time, it's hard to adjust to noncrisis living.  I'm still learning how to do that.

I see life through a different colored lens than in previous years. Not rose colored, just merely tinted with a new color I'm not familiar with. Little things don't matter. Little things are material things like stuff, being on time, what's for dinner, and getting cut off in traffic. Big things matter so much more. Big things are caring for people whether I know them or not, not being afraid to feel the emotions I've been given, living life in a way that honors God above all my understanding and earthly ties. My lens probably has an astigmatism, like my real eyes. Things are twisted  enough to prevent clear vision. That I won't get until I am perfected in Heaven. But I feel like I got new glasses this year, improving on my degenerative condition. Because of that, I am optimistic about this coming year.

So, if I finally hit my prime.... I hope it lasts for quite some time.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

We have reached the dog days of summer.. I wonder where that phrase really came from..

Anyway, the boys are finally sleeping past 7 and I am so excited about our upcoming trip to the big D to enjoy the lodge life at Great Wolf and see our friends. Not much sounds better than relaxing by the pool with no dishes to do and reading a new book that I purposely haven't read just for this time.

And of course, there is drama in the mean time. Chris is battling a random bout of gout. On Monday he woke up with his toe swollen and painful... and he's been pretty good with his diet, avoiding the shellfish and such. Unfortunately, we just never know when this will  take off. So now he has his entirely swollen foot elevated, I'm pumping cherry juice through him as fast as I can, and I'm trying not to get antsy about the coming vacation. Can I tell you how much I hate being the one who has to pack everybody and do all the prep work when I can't even ask someone for help?? And, if the attack doesn't relent, I'll be driving and all that jazz too. sigh... When will we be able to have a "go as planned without some crap happening" trip???

Well, as I was saying, it is the dog days.. summer is here and the heat is high.. I find myself with lots of little pieces of time. In between driving people here there and everywhere, I do the laundry, wash the dishes, sweep the floors, cook the meals, buy the food, pay the bills and still get to read about 3 books a week.

I do enjoy my summers. I need tomake sure to take care of my insurance signup online and complete some inservice training next week. Hopefully we'll get to use our pool passes more. We've used them a total of 1 time. First, it was overcast looking like rain. Then we have trips to take. There is the weekend at Mimi's and the drive to take The Niece back. Yep, it would be great to have a few unrainy hours to enjoy our neighborhood pools.

I am amazed at the things I haven't done, too. I have some items, ahem, dozens of boxes that need to be emptied and have their home found. I have a garage that is INSANE and desperately needs an overhaul.  The plans for working out have failed miserably. And I haven't cleaned out the pantry either. The dog needs a big visit to the vet and the boys need to see a dentist. How depressing.

But to end happily, I am enjoying the time to relax. I love the time with the boys. Not being so tired all the time is a definite wonder. And I can actually see my sink most nights. See, I am keeping up with the dishes. Finally. Yay! Small progress counts. I've started a pretty good Bible Study that is helping me get back in The Word regularly. I'll call that a Big progress. So Double Yay!

So, for the last half of the break, I hope to get done those things that are naggin on my heart and face the coming school year satisfied with my time off.

Woof woof! It's great to have time to relax and enjoy.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It is OFFICIALLY Lazy Day!

Yes, you heard it here first.. Some say it's Canada Day (??huh?) but it's my first day that I don't have to do ANYTHING that I don't want to, other than make sure the children are safe. So I am in my comfy clothes, have colored my hair, read my book, done some laundry and let the children make their own food choices. We have burned our eyeballs out with stupid television and The Little One is still in his night time undies. The Big One broke down and got dressed around 2:30. But no one but me has brushed their teeth. I'm not proud of that. I just don't intend on making them. Every moment is not a teaching moment. And some days are just for lazing around ... for rejuvenating your spirit.. for enjoying without shame the simple pleasures that our hard work brings us.

So today has been Lazy Day.And I intend to make it last until I go to bed. And that will be whenever I want. I don't have to go to work tomorrow.  Dinner will be a simple affair. It will involve someone bringing dinner to me. His name is probably Nathan and he'll drive a blue Honda with a Pizza Hut sign on top.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Waking up Tired

Ugh! It was one of those nights. The Hubby is sick with fever, congestion and sore throat. Between the fever chills, halting snoring, 4 am trip to get ibuprofen in the kitchen, and blasts of dragon breath in my face it was a night of little real sleep. Poor guy, but at least he is finally resting. Perhaps it'll be naptime this afternoon for me.

And the boys are still getting up early. I"m guessing this is driven by the Oldest. The Little One is mostly comatose on the couch when I come down. Amazing the draw of morning cartoons. I'd be worried, but  I remember getting up early to watch them when I was a kid. And the Oldest makes breakfast for them both. Today it was 7 waffles with butter. Yes, he made 7 waffles for the 2 of them. And they are all gone. I think the Little One ate 2. I am so screwed when they both hit their teeneage growth spurts. Thank you , God, for Sam's club and casseroles!

Today should have a trip to the pool and hopefully a meet up with a friend. It'll be lovely!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A little of this and a little of that

Here are some random thoughts I'm having.

1. VBS + Science Camp in the same week make for a very long week.
2. Toy Story 3 was a really cute movie.. not exceptional, but very sweet
3. My niece loves to sleep, except at night.. she stayed up all night last night and is currently sleeping on the couch waiting for her aunt to pick her up.
4. Ryan misses his school friends and was so excited for his play day with his buddy today, that he was up at 6:45 am.
5. I baked a marble cake last night because baking is therapy. And I needed some therapy.
6. I have a lot of odds and ends to take care of.. drs. appointments, dentist visits, reservations to make.
7. Organizing finances is painful and time consuming.
8. I miss my friends and would like a friend day.
9. Washing dishes is death to my soul.
10. I love a good list!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Stuff The Little People said this week
(with my answers I thought of later)

Mommy, how did God know to make eyeballs? (Um, carefully, with gusto)

Is a ferret like when a cat and a badger have a baby? (Exactly)

Dude! That's my blanket! Get off my Blue. Have you no honor? (Not really a whole lot, no)

If I eat this, this, and this, can I have dessert? Maybe 2? (Nope, not likely)

I wish I had a firepoll in my house. (Me too)

So, do babies just appear in the Mommy's tummy before they are born? Like magic? (yes, dear, it can be like magic. )

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Summer Highlights

Well, it's been a good week. Last Friday we took a road trip to Brenham.

Here we are outside of Blue Bell.The boys are looking for their next vehicle.Josh is making new friends.

Me and my boys.

The Children's Museum was lots of fun.  Josh was making things move and talk with his hands and Ryan found the legos.

Here is the picture with our friends. Why are my boys the only ones looking "tuff"? They weren't mad. I promise.

And all this summer fun leads to creative sleeping arrangements. Yeah, they both squeeze into Ryan's bed and fight for space.  When I walked in and say this, I knew there had been some battles the night before.

That's it for now... Back later with more tidbits of fun.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

DAy 3

Nothing to see here... move along

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer, dAy 2

Before we get to Day 2, here is the highlight of Day 1... Ice Cream with the boys!

Now on to Day 2:

Slept til 8 (Yay!) (And by slept, I mean I stayed in bed, really woke up around 5:30 to take the dog out and go pee, then cat napped til 6:30 when the alarm for Chris went off, closed my eyes and pretended to sleep so I wouldn't be expected to take him to work, and finally got up becuase I was doing accounting in my head at 8)

Went grocery shopping. The children were hungry. I also bought 4 herb plants and a lovely hanging petunia. I am PLANT KILLER, hear me roar! Let's see how tough they are. Mother Nature helped out with a nice rain shower to get them well on their way. Perhaps death by drowning this time instead of the usual neglect. We'll just have to wait and see.

Made the children read instead of watch TV. I am a teacher, right? They mumbled until I mentioned no TV all week. Then , they were fine with it.

Played Life, the board game with the boys. They were racing to see who could get the most kids. Ryan had 5, Josh got 1, but finished first. Figures. At the end, they didn't want to count money, so they said I won. Nice. I finally win at life with a pity win. (take that all the many ways it can be taken)

Went to lunch with Chris. That means we ran through a drive through and horked it down in his office while chatting with his 12:30 meeting since we were late getting there due to rain induced traffic and long lunch lines.

Picked up Faith at the hospital. She's doing well. Asleep now since NO ONE sleeps in hospitals. I giggled when the nurse looked at the boys and dropped her voice to nothing when giving the discharge directions of "no intercourse for 4-6 weeks". Now, I laugh out loud, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Came home to finish the game of life and find out a tree dropped on my friend's house. Poor thing. We were chatting yesterday about how that dead thing needs to come down. Total bummer.

Now, updating my blog before we go back to pick Chris up from work. Hmm, wonder what's for dinner?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Life or personal vendetta? That is the question of the day

Here's my weekend:

Sat - slept til 8am, went shopping, scored new clothes with no tears, dressed up for wedding, rushed home after call about MIL having heart trouble, settled down brave children who were in her care, praised neighbors who were awesome, passed out around midnight

Sun - up at 6 am from scratching dog, busy Sunday School with 35 teens, helped out in Kinder Sunday School next hour, lunch with husband, drop husband off at church for afternoon teaching seminar, bake cookies for nurses, pack large bag for MIL, update/email family, trip to Hospital to check in on MIL and get info from professionals, anticipating : getting hubby around 5:30, dinner then back to church to lock up around 7:30, home again to put children to bed, wash clothes, and pass out

Mon - supposed to start work out routine, get pool passes, call a few friends, and enjoy day 1 of summer. UGH! Instead will most likely be taking hubby to work and going to Conroe for MIL's heart cath procedure.

Ever felt like the best laid plans were being sabotaged?? Yeah, me too. Nasty, nasty enemy. I'm praising Jesus for all the good stuff in the meantime and accepting the change to my schedule with joy, gratefulness,  stoic acceptance of my lot in life.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

Ahhh, it is done.. School is out! I can't begin to tell you how good it is to know that I am now "on vacation". It hasn't hit yet. I still don't really feel like I am, it just seems like a Friday night. The boys got new toys at the annual Toys R Us Welcome to Summer Toy from Dad event. I got to come along. They begged, they pleaded, and even said please. So I went along. (FYI I HATE wandering aisles and then deciding what to get  watching the boys decide what to get.) It is almost physically painful for me to do that. But I did it, with a smile, and got a cool summer puzzle out of it.

Well, I know some of you are dying for all the Kinder Graduation pictures.

Josh entering with a little "ghosting". Stupid camera.

What a handsome guy he is. I am so proud of him!

Josh saying his part of the program next to his BFF Kaitlyn
Looking cute on the risers. Taken from the back of the gym. Way to go Dad!

Josh and his teacher, Mrs. Muggley. Somehow she has inherited Josh's crazy eyes. Must be the children. I hear they give you the crazy eyes after 30+ years of teaching.

What a fun day! Afterwards rumor has it that Dad and Purple took Josh to Sonic for a treat. Yummy yummy cherry cream slush.

And now, it's time to relax... And absorb the reality of summer.. We are currently discussing where to eat for dinner. No one liked my "clean out the freezer" idea... Yep, summer has arrived.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I am so NOT a prophet

In the OT when predictions made didn't come true, the prophet was stoned to death. Well, I am no prophet.

* I teared up a little at Josh's graduation, but not until his teacher gave me a hug and started to water
* I ended up with 14 kids at lunch time, had 8 at dismissal
* I am mostly ready to check out for the summer
* My gift haul was not extravagent: 1 plant, 1 bag of white chocolate, I box of chocolate, 1 card, 1 necklace with my initial, and 1 container of indian coconut rice. Sorry it's sideways. I couldn't get it to turn right.

* I was too pooped to happy dance and wasn't too sad to see them leave this afternoon
* Chris didn't head to the hospital, but did have a hyped up nerf gun draw blood on him
*I chose Chick Fil A for dinner tonight.

All in all, a great school year and I am thankful it is over. It's almost time for Summer Wife!