Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Let's play calendars

Jeff and I have been playing calendars today, trying to figure out who has to be where, when, and how we're going to get them there. The fall pretty much looks like this:

5:45-8:00--Max and Weston football practice

7:00-8:30--Rotary Club for Jeff
5:45-8:00--Max and Weston football practice
6:00-8:00 (every other week)--Toastmasters for Jeff

(possible youth service at church; still awaiting details)

4:00-4:30--Ruth piano lesson/Weston guitar lesson
5:45-8:00--Max and Weston football practice
6:00-7:00 (5:00-6:00 when time changes)--Ruth riding lesson
6:30-? (once a month)--Mom's Night Out for Mandi

2:00-4:00--Ruth art class

9:00-12:00ish (in various towns)--Max and Weston football games/Ruth volleyball games

We are also going to throw volleyball practice in there either on Tuesday or Thursday evenings (which may require an adjustment to horse riding lessons), a horse trail ride on a Saturday in Burnet, a writing teacher conference for me on a Saturday in Austin, a Toastmaster's contest for Jeff on a Saturday in Austin and probably quite a few things that haven't even hit the radar yet. We certainly can't say we don't have anything to do!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Peas like a river

It was exceptionally peaceful around here today, with Ruth at her Challenge class and the big boys playing at a friend's house. My plan was to take advantage of the non-teaching, non-refereeing day to check some of the things off my never-ending to-do list. The first order of business was a project I actually started yesterday. While getting food out of the freezer for dinner yesterday afternoon, a humungous bag of peas, left over from Campmeeting, caught my eye and practically begged to be dealt with. It desperately needed to be divided into smaller, more reasonable portions. So, I pried it out of the freezer and set it out on the kitchen counter to thaw a bit so I could actually work with it. Peas apparently take a really long time to thaw out, and by bedtime, they were still so stuck together that I couldn't even begin to divvy them up. So, that was project number one for today. They still were not totally thaw this morning, but they had produced a rather large river all over the countertop. Once the peas were dealt with, my little partner and I headed upstairs to tackle the storage closet. Two minutes after we arrived, Clay found the red craft paint and spilled it all over himself. Two minutes after getting him cleaned up, he peed in his pants. And, approximately two minutes after changing him into new shorts and undies, he pooped in his pants. So, it was a super-productive day. But, I must admit, there was an abundance of peace and quiet, so I can't complain too much!

Monday, August 26, 2013

It's in the genes

Of all my children, Max carries the most DNA from my side of the family. He is almost the spitting image of my uncle, cousin and grandfather. But today, I saw myself in him more clearly than ever. It just so happened that I was on the phone, which, of course, triggered screaming from the ends of the earth. I finished up my phone conversation, but the screaming didn't subside. In fact, it grew louder and more hysterical by the minute. So, I poked my head out the front door to see if I could determine how severe the maiming was. I heard, rather than saw, poor Max, who was standing on a large rock on the front part of our property, screaming "SNAKE, SNAKE, SNAKE!" That's when I felt the hysteria start to rise inside of me as well. I kept it together long enough to get Max safely to the porch. But, as he gulped for breath and I tried to determine if he had been bitten (which, thankfully, he hadn't), I realized the snake-fearing genetics run deep.

However, I think Max recovered from the experience much more quickly than I did. And, he actually thought it was cool to look at the snake pictures online to see if we could figure out what kind it was, whereas those pictures made my skin crawl. My only consolation is that from his description, it appears not to have been a poisonous snake. At least that's what I'll be telling myself as I try to get some sleep tonight.

Some things you might like to know about homeschool in America

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Where undies doe?" And other mysteries

Did you all hear my head explode this morning when I momentarily turned into Rumpelstiltskin, when he found out the queen had tricked him? No? Good; but it's only because you weren't listening. So, here's the story:

Various kids were set in motion on various school subjects. I was helping those who needed help, as they needed it, and things were running fairly smoothly. Then, around 10:00, Clay pooped in his pants. How it's possible for him to go nearly all day dry and clean, when he's wearing a pull-up, but to poop in his undies at the first opportunity, is a mystery to me. But it happens. Every. Single. Time. So, I shooed him off to the bathroom and followed on his heels to provide the necessary assistance. The minute I stood him in the bathtub and pulled his soiled shorts and undies down, all h*ll broke loose in the school room. I left Clay standing in the tub and poked my head out the bathroom door to see what all the ruckus was about. A brief, but serious, conversation with Weston ensued, and when I turned around, Clay had climbed out of the tub, peed on the floor and further spread the filth around. I plopped him back in the tub, gave him the quickest, but most thorough, bath of his life and plunked the foul undies in the toilet for rinsing. But, the issue in the school room was not resolved, so, I left the now clean monster standing on the bathmat wrapped in a towel and called Ruth over for a conversation that turned out to be rather tense and lasted for several minutes. My brilliant parental lecture was stopped short by the whooshing sound behind me, followed immediately by the most sincere and confused question I ever heard:  "Where undies doe?" To quote Ray Stevens, "I turned around, and, a son-of-a-gun, they's gone!" That child FLUSHED his underwear. I am expecting a major septic backup sometime soon. And, I'll just say, for the record, that I have been rinsing poopy undies in the toilet for a whole lot of years, and this was a completely new experience for me. It was then, with my emotions already high, from preceding events, that I turned into Rumpelstiltskin. Which caused Ruth to chuckle and took the zip right out of my lecture. Everyone got back to work, without further incident, and it was business as usual, until lunchtime, at which point another mystery unfolded: the toddler who wouldn't touch his burger at Wendy's last night, ravenously ate his weight in stir-fried carrots and cabbage. And, then, pooped in his pants...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Paridisus Punta Cana

D.R. from the air

Punta Cana airport

Produce truck

Paridisus lobby 
Hammocks on the beach

"bus" stop

I need more of this in my life!

15 years of marital bliss

a little entertainment

Beach Beauty

Hey, Little Bo Peep, your sheep are in the bar!

Our view for most of the trip

Glider Boat

A man of many hats

Hand's free selling



There's a storm moving in


Chocolate Martini

Flamingo Friend

a little sheepish

You really can't be too serious when your sitting on a stuffed sheep

one bend of the vast pool

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Playing for real

I have always told Jeff that I am willing to go anywhere, anytime. And, as long as we've been married, we have played this game called "If you could go anywhere in the world, but you had to leave right now, with just the clothes on your back, where would you go?" My answer is almost always a vague "beach." But last night, Jeff decided it was time we stopped the hypothetical game and started playing for real. He presented me with an early anniversary card that read, "I have made arrangements for the kids, the cat and our schedules, so the question is..." And, I'm not even kidding when I tell you we did not go home but instead pointed our car toward Austin to catch the first available flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! We are enroute now, and I still can't believe it!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Back in the saddle

Today it was back to the treadmill, back to school, back to cooking dinner and back to extracurricular activities, in the form of football practice. Summer break is definitely over, but, frankly, I'm thankful for the structure.

A little Egyptian action during the Timeline song

Studious Ruth

Substitute reading teacher

Rockin' the flags

The big man

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Birthday Story

Jeff delivered Clay to Mimi's house early this morning, so the rest of us could hang at Chili's, watching the boat races. Our lakeside table was reserved for the whole morning and included a special breakfast buffet and a select lunch menu. The boats were loud and fast, and the races were pretty thrilling. There was one nasty crash, but, thankfully the driver seemed to be unharmed.

After lunch, Jeff took the kids so I could have some time to myself. I had hoped to get a pedicure, but the place I usually go was completely packed. Rather than wait around, I decided to spend the afternoon shopping. I found several cute things, many of which were on sale. It was a lovely afternoon.

I also received many phone calls, texts, emails and Facebook well-wishes throughout the day, which made me feel very special and much loved! The only phone call I didn't enjoy too much was the one from Jeff in which he informed me that he was taking Clay to the ER, following the advice of the Poison Control people, who had been called when it was suspected that Clay had ingested some prescription medication, while snooping around where he didn't belong. They stayed at the ER for a couple of hours, with Clay under observation, and the medical staff finally determined that Clay had probably not swallowed the meds, or at least didn't get enough to hurt him. He's completely fine. The little stinker! I could just thump him.

On my way home this evening, God saw fit to give me a beautiful sunset and a brilliant rainbow. And then, Jeff and I watched "Whose Line is it Anyway," and I laughed until I cried. It was a truly wonderful day! Thank you for celebrating with me.

LakeFest dates

Rev it up

Picking a favorite

Who is a mess?

Birthday sunset

Saturday, August 10, 2013

"And, I'm gonna be forty...Someday!"

But not tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will be 36. But, give yourself a star if you can name the movie that memorable quote comes from.

It's weird, because I don't feel like I should be on the back end of my thirties. In fact, in lots of ways, I feel younger now than I did in my twenties. That, of course, is some kind of crazy mind trick, because when I look closely at the woman in the mirror, the truth shows itself more clearly. It surprises me every time. But, really, I can't complain. It's been a good three and a half decades, and I'm happy with who I am and with the hand Life has dealt me.

Jeff and the kids took me out to dinner at Iron Cactus tonight and bought me a little bowl of Heaven (also known as Mexican Vanilla ice cream) at Amy's afterwards. They also presented me with a beautiful diamond tennis bracelet. (We celebrated tonight, since we'll be watching the drag boat races at LakeFest tomorrow.) It's a wonderfully blessed life, which I am supremely thankful for!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Campmeeting: A place where anything might happen

An extended family might get together for a photo

A little boy might get guitar lessons from his Grandpa

Girl cousins might unite for maximum cuteness

There might be lots of tire swinging
Sweet babies might be found napping in the arms of any relative

An overall clad boy might become King of the Hill

A 5-year-old might transform into an elephant

Shoes might be shared

Faces might get this dirty

Little boys might start turning blue

People might go through the lunch line like this

A two-year-old might get himself stuck in a funky chair

Long ears and bushy eyebrows might spring up on anyone
Breakfast might look like this

Trash bags might become high fashion

A moth and a boy might become friends

A whole ice cream cone might be shoved in someone's mouth

Dirty little boys might eventually become clean

A small person might be put into an outdoor refrigerator for the purpose of expelling cantaloupes