Sunday, August 31, 2008

Brooklyn Says...

I overheard Brooklyn saying this to Lauren earlier:

"I want a baby brother, but we can't cause Mom made Dad get his tubes tied."

Sometimes she gets things a little mixed up, but I guess she was close enough.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of School

Both girls had a fabulous first day of school. Lauren loves the new band director and her new social studies teacher. Brookie adores her teacher and having her first locker.

What do I love about a new school year? Everything! I love the hugs and the smiles and the excited children. I love new packages of paper and fresh crayons. Most of all I love the clean slate and fresh start I have with my students. Anything is possible on the first day of school and we plan on reaching the stars!

Oh and I love this too...

It's six o'clock and my youngest has already passed out. I don't think it will be long before her big sister follows suit.

Bye-bye late nights. Summer is over!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Then and Now

The other night we watched a special America's Funniest Home Videos that contained all the very best clips from days gone by. Boy howdy did that bring back memories. When Dave and I were dating we had this routine that included that show. He lived hours away so when he came to see me he stayed the entire weekend. He'd sleep in my little brother's room. I'd sleep in my room. My Dad would sleep in the hall with a gun. It was all very innocent I can assure you.

Thanks Dad.

When I said we were 'dating' I was using the term loosely. He'd come down on Friday and stay until Sunday, but the only time we'd leave my house usually was to go to church. I think we saw two movies in the two years we dated and ate out...oh, maybe four times. I'm not sure why. I know he'd have taken me out if I'd asked, but we were just really very content to be together. It didn't matter where. So we spent most of our time hanging out with either my family or his.

Anyway, back to the routine. Dave is a very anal organized so he had a schedule for his visits. He would ALWAYS leave right after America's Funniest Home Videos on Sunday night. Of course I knew this so as soon as it came on I would start to cry. I didn't mean to, it just always happened. I didn't want him to leave me. This was back in the stone ages before nonstop texting and emails made long distance relationships easier. (We actually wrote letters to each other. By Hand. Gasp!) So while we watched my favorite show I'd sit laughing and crying and laughing some more. It was always a bittersweet time.

Fast forward to the present (that's about a twenty year leap for those of you playing along at home). When we were watching the show the other night it showed many of the clips that we remembered from the 'old' days. A lot has changed over the years, but one thing apparently hasn't changed. I still leak when I watch that show.

Only it's not from my eyes anymore.

I shouldn't admit this, but you know me, I have no shame. I kid you not people, when we watched that special I had to go change my panties not once, but twice. That is so ridiculous. I don't feel that much older (but apparently my bladder does). And I know I've had two babies, but seriously, TWICE? That's just not right.

Of course it was cracking Dave up that I had the laughing dribbles. I didn't find it quite so funny. I couldn't help but try to imagine how he would have reacted to that twenty years ago. I figure he'd have got in his truck and drove off without ever looking back. But now, after years of trials and celebrations, he just laughed at with me and he didn't even think about running away.

I don't think.

Of course my Daddy DID teach me how to use that gun.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Good Deed Gone Wrong

There is a slight chance that I killed a homeless person. I said SLIGHT chance. I probably didn' least I hope I didn't. Okay, here's what happened:

We had to go to Abilene today to drop off one of Lauren's 24 hour urines and to have some blood work done on her. After we finished we were at a light and saw a homeless man in a wheelchair. He had no legs and looked half blind. We felt really sorry for him so we decided to give him some money. I tried to talk Brookie into getting out and giving it to him before the light changed because he couldn't walk to my car and he was too far up for me to reach him. Lauren was appalled and said that he might grab her and run away.

I pointed out that it is incredibly hard to run away with someone when you have no legs, but after hearing Lauren's protests Brookie refused to get out. I was about to put the car in park and do it myself when the light changed to green. I had no choice but to leave, so I slowed down as I passed him and tried to put money in the hat he was holding out. Unfortunately the wind caught it and blew it out into the street behind me where it somehow stopped right in the line of traffic and sat there wiggling in the wind as if daring him to retrieve it.

I didn't see if he actually wheeled himself out into the oncoming cars, but he was rolling that direction rather quickly when I drove off and lost sight of him. The kids were all upset with me. Tre yelled out, "That was MEAN Aunt Sissy!" I told him that it was an accident and that I was just trying help. For the next few miles I fretted and fretted over the man saying, "What if he was killed? What if he didn't see the oncoming cars and rolled right in front of someone and got hit. Maybe he'll lose his arms too. Then he'll have no limbs at all and it will be all my fault!"

Finally Lauren said, "Mom the man was blind and had no legs, surely he wasn't unlucky enough to be born stupid too." Hopefully she was right because if he was unlucky enough to be blind, cripple AND stupid, he was probably unlucky enough to get hit by a car and it would have been all my fault. I'll have to watch the news tonight and see if they mention a homeless man being involved in a hit and run.

Next time I'm playing it safe and I'll throw out some food. Something heavy like a burger or a bucket of chicken...

Oh that reminds me of a quick story! When Dave was coaching at he took a group of girls to the state golf tournament two years in a row. They were a great group of kids. He really enjoyed coaching them. I'll never forget the first year he took them to Austin. We were sitting at a red light in a suburban clearly marked with our school name when one of the girls rolled down her window and they all started throwing packages of donuts and snacks at some people beside the road. Dave turned around and said, "What in the heck are you girls doing? Stop that!" The girl closest to the window turned to him and said, "What? We are just feeding the homeless people." Dave quickly corrected her by saying, "Those aren't homeless people! That's a bus stop!!"

Oh. My. Gosh.

We laughed sooo hard over that one. You should have seen the puzzled looks on the faces of the people waiting for their bus and the embarrassed look on the faces of the sheltered girls in the car with us. It was classic.

Of course I have no room to laugh now. At least they didn't murder anyone.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Faith of a Child

Recently my parents, my Aunt Sharon and Uncle Jim and my Aunt Martha bought some land to start a little ranch on. It is their retirement dream to all build houses out there together and to raise cattle. I figure we'll be inheriting land soon because they'll all kill each other within a year. Oh I kid. They will have a fabulous time and I am very, very excited for them.

Saturday they had a little cook-out on the ranch and a bunch of the family came out. I love my family. I really do. I don't know if they realize just how blessed they are to have each other. Mom decided to have this little cook-out on the spur of the moment, but still they all dropped everything and showed up. There wasn't furniture yet in the little farm house that's on the land or anything to do, but they didn't care. They were together and that's always been enough for them. It was so nice to watch them spending time together and to see how they all wanted to help out. My cousin Bubby set to work fixing a broken faucet. My uncles brought in and unloaded furniture so for them. No matter what they are always, always there for each other.

That wasn't the point of the post, just a little free nostalgia for you.

While everyone was running amuck helping out or exploring the land Lauren decided that Lasagna, Brookie's beloved cat (who had come along for a sleep over with Mumsie and Brookie) needed to go outside to potty. He had a litter box, but he hadn't used it and Lauren decided he didn't like it. Once he was outside a series of events led to him getting lost. We were surrounded by hundreds of acres of unbrushed land. It was impossible to see where he was so we just did our best and walked the land looking for him.

I drove around and hopped out to look over different areas while the girls waited in the car. We had on shorts and flip flops and I was afraid they'd get bit by a snake (not to mention the ants that were constantly covering my feet). While I looked, they yelled for the cat and it wasn't long before Brookie was crying. Lauren was crying too, because she felt sooo bad for losing the cat, but Brookie was really boohooing. It was awful. By nightfall it was obvious we weren't finding the cat and we had to call it quits for the evening.

There is nothing worse than knowing your child needs something that you can't give them. I would have done anything to make her hurt go away, yet there wasn't a thing I could do other than hug her and pray. I wasn't the only one praying. The entire time I was looking for the cat Brookie was praying. When I'd get in the car I'd see her lips moving in a silent plea to God. That made me want to find the cat even more. She was asking God for help and I really wanted to Him to come through for her. I admit that when we had to give up for the night I was a little disappointed. My problem is that I lack faith.

Luckily, Brookie doesn't. The next day there was still no sign of Lasagna and Mom took Brookie to the little church that my Grandmother used to pastor for the service, then she met me with her so I could take her on home. My cell phone rang about thirty minutes after we'd left for home and when I answered my mom asked for Brookie. I could tell that the cat had turned up by her joyful expression, but it was her loud exclamation that really grabbed me by the heart. She yelled out, with fist in the air, "yes! I knew God was listening to me pray!" She never doubted that God was listening and she gave Him immediate credit for the return of her friend.

I was very proud of her in that moment and at the same time I was disappointed in myself. I had been praying too, but even as I prayed I was filled with doubt. I didn't really think God cared about a cat and whether or not we found it. I was wrong. I should have had faith like Brookie. I should have had the faith of a child.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Not So Pretty in Pink

Those of you who know us personally know that my husband Dave is a conservative man. Actually the word conservative doesn't quite do him justice. I'm pretty sure if he'd bumped into Moses on his way down from Mount Sinai with the ten commandments he'd have told the man to shave, cut his hair, and to put on some different shoes because real men don't wear open toed sandals.

Often the girls and I have to adjust our sense of fashion to make sure we meet his strict standards. There are the obvious rules like no tattoos or body piercings (other than the ears). Then there are a few rules that seem to border on the extreme. For example, we aren't allowed to wear toe rings or ankle bracelets. Don't ask me why, because I can't really understand it myself. If I were to ask him for you, he'd just say something like, "If God wanted people to look at your feet he'd have put them where your hands are."

Last Christmas I bought both Brookie and her cousin Bailey these Hannah Montana hair coloring kits. The kits had this little device that brushed 'color' on your hair in streaks and then you wash it out. It wasn't permanent. In my mind it was just harmless fun. In his mind I'm not sure there is such a thing as harmless OR fun. It's seven months later and he still hasn't let Brookie open her kit. He absolutely refuses to let her have an 'unnatural' color to her hair and thinks I am just giving putting bad ideas into her head.

Last week the girls and I had to kill several hours while we waited for Dave to get out of a meeting. So I took Brookie to get a much needed haircut. (She got the cutest little wedge cut. I just love it on her.) When Jacie finished with Brookie's hair she showed her these hair extensions they had on sale. They were made from real hair (I didn't ask whose hair it was. I didn't want to know) and were all different colors. Well of course Brookie fell in LOVE with the bright pink hair and just had to have it. Being a loving, subservient wife that obeys her husband and respects his wishes I immediately said yes. So Jacie styled Brookies hair with the extension clipped in. She even cut the pink hair to go with her wedge. It looked so real!

In fact it looked so real that I started to get nervous. As we walked through the mall and I saw all the grandmothers giving me the 'your a terrible mother' eye, I began imagining Dave's reaction. Brookie was imagining it too, only she couldn't wait! She kept saying, 'you can't tell him it's fake. We have to trick him for a little while. Okay mom? Okay??" I agreed to go along with it unless dad got too upset, then we had to tell him.

So a few minutes later we pull up to the service center where we were supposed to meet. He was standing by the school suburban and was with a bunch of the teachers from his campus. Brookie was giddy with excitement. She kept saying over and over, "don't tell him mom! This is going to be sooo great." (The child has a little rebellious streak in her I think). We get out of our suburban and start walking towards him and his staff. My eyes are glued to his face so I see the exact moment that he notices her hair. I could see his eyes narrow and his jaw clench.

I had promised Brookie that I'd play along, but one look at his face changed my mind. Before he could say a word I blurted out, "It's fake!!!" Brookie was so annoyed with me for ruining her fun, but I couldn't help it people. I was born without her push the envelope nature. I am a pleaser. And also, I'm a big chicken!

When we got back in our car he made sure that we all knew that he doesn't her hair, fake or not and that she is not going to be wearing it back home. Brookie listens to him and then calmly informs him that as soon as she is old, like 30 (that was her idea of old?) she is going to get blue hair and there is nothing he can do about it. Of course he tells her that she won't be coming into any house of his with blue hair whether she is 30 or 80.

Can you imagine what it's going to be like when she is a teenager? I'm guessing it's not going to be fun. Of course I may not live long enough to see it. I am 35 already and apparently that's five years past OLD.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today would have been their 9th. Please hold John up in your prayers. Today will be rough for him.