Sunday, August 31, 2008

Seein' the Sights

Everything seemed to come together just right (frequent flyer miles, Marriott points, help from a friend, an opening in the schedule, child care from Tom's mom)..............and Tom and I were able to schedule a long awaited trip to New York!!! As long as I've known him, Tom's always wanted to go watch the Yankees play in the "House that Ruth built!" That stadium is being torn down after this season! So, with that in mind and a chance to have some time together, we did it! Along with a game at Yankee stadium (pics of that later) we also saw many other sights on the island. Here are a few of them: Our Hotel - right on Central Park

The Brooklyn Bridge

Times Square - right by the Theatre District where we saw Jersey Boys (loved it) and Mary Poppins (a great one too)

Lady Liberty

Liberty Island looking back at Manhattan

Central Park

Lotsa Lotsa Peeps

Ground Zero

Missing Posters - these were at the Tribute Center, a very moving memorial

The view from Empire State Building

Another View with the Empire's Shadow

Yet another beautiful view

Me @ Top of the Empire State Building (Photoshopped!)

A Mural still being Painted (see the unpainted hand on the left and the crazy yet talented guys doing the painting)

R2D2 made of Legos in FAO Schwarz (I took this for Luke, my Lego boy)

Zach's Neighborhood, The West Village - It's as peaceful as it looks

You get fined $350.00 for honking in this neighborhood

Sarah Jessica Parker's flat in Sex and the City (just a couple blocks from Zach's apartment)

Lunching Brothers

My favorite Sight - (sign says WELCOME!! Home to... OKLAHOMA!!)
But here's the deal....I missed my kids something awful. I could actually feel my heart aching as we returned home today. I was so thankful to go on the trip, for what we saw there, all the excellent meals we had there, getting to eat lunch with Zach, seeing the shows, experiencing Ground Zero, riding on the Subway, walking through Central Park, exploring the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the awesome Francine Rivers' book I read (yes, Lori, the third one in the series!), the incredible, luxurioius hotel we stayed in for free(!), the street musicians and dancers we watched, for no scary things happning while we were there, and for coming back home safely to our kids today!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

All She Wanted for Her 97th Birthday...

...was for just a sliver of time to pretend she lived in her days, what we call the old days. She wanted everyone to dress up in their prairie clothes and to ride in a covered wagon. I'm sure the sweet, tiny thing didn't dream it would really happen. But in celebration of our Granny who turned 97 on August 21st, it did happen. At this point, we are just all out front hanging out in our prairie clothes. Just hangin', her not knowin' what's comin' round the bend.Here, she has just seen the horse and wagon. The first ride.Dresses and bonnets.My child, the one who always has to be different, is the only cowgirl; she's here with Ana, the beautiful prairie child. It was impossible to get a good group picture of Granny with all her Great-Grands. This one is the best one I could manage!
Luke was enjoying time with boys. Something he doesn't get too often. With them, pushing is actually cool, not a cardinal sin.
We made her pose for pictures. Is she not the cutest thing? And, seriously, does she not have the most amazing 97 year old smile you've EVER seen? EVER? Maggie loved it too. It was so cute to see 97 and 1 riding together in the front seat.
We gots lots of neighbors coming out and taking pictures. Some folks taking pics with their cell phones from their cars. It's just not everyday you see a covered wagon on the city streets. Success! She loved it.Her sense of humor is better than mine. As someone carefully helped her off the wagon at the end of the night, she looked at me and complained, "They treat me like I'm 97 years old!!" Happy Birthday, my Granny. I love you.

For more on Granny's life in the old days, click here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Don't Cry Over Spilt Milk

Well, on 2nd thought, at $3.45 cents a gallon, you can cry a little bit.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The other day, I read this darling post on one of my favorite blogs. Take a minute to read it cuz it's so sweet.

But it also points out how children are so insightful in their word creations and combinations.

Case in point: My kids eat fruit by the bushel. When I bring home a new type of fruit for them, they act like I bought them the latest and greatest new toy! I found champagne grapes at the store, and they were delighted. You would have thought I had brought home Guitar Hero. They ate the tiny and plump spheres ravenously as Luke declared with gusto, "Those grapes are so comfreshing." Comfortable and Refreshing they are. You should try 'em.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Fairy Tale?

Check this out. Could it be a true story or is it a fairy tale?

In a day and age when we micromanage our children's lives from their extracurricular activities down to their choice of socks, it is certainly the sign of "a good mom" to do some serious jockeying for position when it comes to teacher placement. Fill out your parent input form. Say a couple words to the right people. Possibly send some effectively worded and well timed emails just in case. While trying not to appear to be too pushy, still making it known what our child wants, what our child needs.

But today, I got a look in mirror, mirror on the wall. Who's the humblest of them all? Here's the story:

A sweet young mom I know had a dream-of-a-teacher for her precious, little kindergartener. It was to be a fairy tale come true. That is, until 5 days before school started when that dream of a teacher moved to a new school district. Ugh.

So, my friend's prized daughter instantly went from having a Cinderella of a teacher to having to spend a year with one of the wicked stepsisters. Brand new, surprisingly young, terribly inexperinced, and embarrassingly unassertive. Little to no classroom materials. Not a whole lot of ideas. It was a sad situation indeed.

The teacher had not a shred more than the gumption it was to take her to gut it out each and every day with 25 little kindergarteners who undoubtedly could smell the new blood in the classroom. And not their own.

Most moms in this world would sing "Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It's off the principal's office I go." They would document the reasons why their little geniuses should be moved. Yesterday. They would stew, possibly sue and certainly stir up a brew of fears for others.

But this mom is different.

Different than the world.

She didn't reach for her magic lamp.

She didn't long for the carpet ride out of there.

Well, I must admit she did consider it. She and her husband thought that their bright young child certainly deserved more, even imagining that maybe they should take this young child and move her temporarily to a private school, where she would receive the instruction she needed.

But upon reflection and with much prayer, this beautiful princess mom and her prince of a husband decided on something so different, so outlandish, so amazing... it almost seems to be something out of a fairy tale...They decided that they would take the money that they would have spent on a private education and invest it into this young teacher. They spent the weekend shopping for things that this young lady will need. It wasn't about what their child wanted, what their child needed. It wasn't about themselves. There was a bigger picture. It was and will be about serving someone else, regardless of what that person is going to do for them. So though it sounds like folklore, I must tell you that this story is true. It is real. And it's better than any fairy tale than I have ever heard. It is a blessing to me to hear it. It is a blessing to share it. And there is no doubt it will bless the lives of this young family, their children, and the young teacher for years to come.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Mother's Broken Heart

After my last post about my son and how I felt so awful about his yellow jacket stings on the 2nd day of school, my pain was paled by some devastating news about a friend from our old church.

Jan Majers' son Justin, a recent graduate from OSU, was in India doing mission work and was killed there yesterday. I know no details, and I honestly, I don't really need to know. Just pray.

(note: it could be no coincidence that the Verse of the Day that appeared on my blog site today is this: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) )

Friday, August 15, 2008


The beginning of school is always a time that teeters precariously between a feeling of blossoming excitement and a feeling of distressed unsettlement.

Tell me, how do two such opposite and intense emotions simultaneouly exist within me?

My warring thoughts:

We're starting a new year!
New friends!
New teachers!
They're growing up.
I'm going to miss him.
I can't believe he's in school full day!
I'm going to get so much done!
He might be miserable.
5th GRADE?????!!!!!
What if she's not placed in the right class?
She'll make new friends.
She'll make her way.
God will work it out.

I'm positive I'm not the only one who does this. I'm just a momma bear watching out for my children. Checking. Double checking. Hurting. Feeling Joy. Praying. Asking. Inquiring. Thinking. Conferencing. Taking note. Praying. Believing.

So, yesterday was the first day of school. Emotions were running high. But the day was great. All was well.

And then came today. Even though he is the Duke of Rough and Tough, he is also the King of High Emotions, so I went by the school at lunch to check on him.

He grabbed me with his grubby, warm hands and said in a tight voice, "momma, take me home. I need to go home with you."

Ow. I felt stung. He doesn't want to go home; he needs to go home!

But I tipped his chin with encouragement and walked away. He can do it, I told myself.

Ten minutes later, I received a call on my cell phone: the school nurse. The news? Luke was on the playground and was stung by a wasp or yellow jacket. Not once. Not twice. Not three times or four. FIVE TIMES he was stung!!!

Your son needs you. Please come and get him. Feeling stung again, I did just that. I found him in the nurse's office, red faced and puffy, a desperate look in his Rough and Tough eyes. He was scared and had big welts on his shoulder, chest, hand and thigh.

But he was OK. It's just hard for a momma bear not to be there to protect her littlest cub.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


We do the best of our parenting ability to keep our children from tearing each other to shreds. Thus, when one says something mean or spiteful to another, we immediately speak to that child and let him or her know that it is not acceptable in our family to taunt one another. It just isn't nice.

But we seem to have arrived at a new level of taunting. It is called making-fun-of-your-favorite-action-figure. And apparently, it is quite effective. I will leave out the names to protect the not so innocent.

While playing Mario Galaxy on the Wii...

Child E: Have you looked at Mario lately? Mario is fat.

Child L: What? (realizing what was said...) Whaaaaaaaaat? (loudly)

Child E: Yup. He's definitely fat. Look at that belly on him.


Child E: Yeah, lots of spaghetti and other fattening stuff. He's Italian you know. And look at those weird white gloves.

Child L: (getting madder) HE IS NOT FAT OR WEIRD!!!!

Child E: OH YES HE IS!

Child L: (furious) NO HE IS NOT. HE IS MY FAVORITE ACTION FIGURE!! (pronounced FIG-R).

Child E: Ask anyone you know. Mario is definitely weird. And he wears overalls. Those are so out of style.

Child L: (wailing) MOM!!!!!! Tell Ellie to stop!!!!! I love Mario and she is making fun of him!!!!!! (tears running down the face)

Tell me I'm not the only one who is dealing with stuff like this?! What subtle ways do your children dig at each other, or did your brothers and sisters dig at you?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Where We've Been...

Twelve Reasons We Make the Ten Hour 600 Mile Drive To Tiny Hunt, Texas Which Has No Cell Phone Reception the Week Before School Starts

1. Football on the Dock

2. The Swimmin' Hole
3. The Flume

4. The Rope Swing

5. Being Thrown Around

6. The Game Room
7. Cool Cousins that We Only See Once a Year
8. Relaxing

9. Canoeing11. Beauty12. Family