Sunday, August 30, 2009

Birthday parties galore!

Steve celebrated his 32nd birthday last Wednesday. Since it was also the day his parents were coming in for a visit, we had a party for him that night. The boys were so excited that they made their dad presents and cards before he got home. Evan game him some play-dough and erasers because, "they're mine but I don't want them." Joel gave him (part of) a snake craft he had made the day before at storytime. (It was only part of the snake because it kept getting torn.) It was sweet to see them getting so excited about the presents and making cards for their dad. Of course, they were even more excited when he got home, opened the presents, and we got to have the birthday dessert - homemade apple pie.

Steve's mom is having a "milestone" birthday in early September so we had a party for her while they were here. Steve's dad wanted to surprise her with this party, and we pulled it off! I decorated while they were all with the boys at the pool on Saturday. We had cake and ice cream and opened the presents when they got home, and then Steve and I made a special dinner. She is good at figuring stuff out, so we were excited that we were able to keep this a surprise. (The boys knew about it, but I think Joel had forgotten. Evan almost let a clue slip once Saturday morning when out of the blue he told Grandma not to go in my room. He knew it was a secret and was trying really hard to keep her finding the "stuff" in my room.)

So, that brings us to Sunday afternoon - today. We just polished off the birthday cake and now I am ready for a little rest. I can only hope the rest of the family takes a rest with me.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

News after the first day of school

I didn't get much out of Evan about his first day, but he came out all smiles! He told me that his teacher did an experiment, but he couldn't tell me anything else about it. He also told me that his music teacher is going to have a baby in 1-1/2 weeks and then she will be gone for 5 weeks. This was after he originally told me that he didn't go to any "extra" classes. Apparently it's just too much to remember and process at one time. So, I just have to piece it together as it comes out.

After we picked him up from school, we went to get new school shoes for Joel, who starts next week. After that, we went to Braum's for a special after-school snack. I was going to make cookies, but then I decided to do something a little more special. Needless to say, it was a big hit! The only complaint was that Evan's cone wasn't big enough. I told him it was too close to dinner to get a big one, and he was satisfied.

He has now been delivered to the school for day 2 and all seems to be going well. His teacher told me this morning that he did well yesterday. So, good news all the way around so far! Now if only we could get rid of this humidity so that our 5 minute walk to school didn't feel like a sauna, we would be set! (At least until Joel starts next week.)
Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of First Grade!

Here is my excited first-grader! He LOVES school, and he's already told me that he likes his teacher (after the open house). I'll post more after he comes home to tell me about how his day went.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Your mama doesn't work here!

But even if she did, you really should pick up after yourself!! I am not talking about my own house, but about the Ballpark in Arlington. Evan and I went to a game on Sunday afternoon. After every Sunday home game, they let anyone who would like take the field and run the bases. This was our first Sunday game, so made the trek so Evan could run the bases. They have to set up the cones so that no one steps on the grass, and this also gives most of the crowd time to leave the stadium. So, we were walking through the empty stands on our way to the field and I saw trash EVERYWHERE! I'm talking empty bottles, cups, wrappers, napkins, etc., but also half-eaten food just left on the ground. Granted many of the people who left these items were drunk (judging by the number of beer bottles grouped around seats), but can't we throw our own trash away? At least most of it?!? Seriously, people, pick up after yourselves!

Okay, so off of the soapbox and back to the game. It was so much fun! Evan seemed to be enjoying it so much that he didn't ask very many questions. He was following what was going on, too. We saw 2 Rangers homeruns and 1 Red Sox homer (that ball was caught and then thrown back to the field since it was hit by Ortiz). We also saw some to-the-fence doubles. There were a couple of really cool catches, too. Oh, and there was an amazing foul snag by a kid in the crowd. He got a huge round of applause and even a standing "o" from some of the crowd.

It was $1 ice cream day, so we enjoyed some of that, along with peanuts and Cracker Jacks that we brought from home. We also took some waters and Big Red, which we really needed. We were able to see the field well, but we were sitting in full sun in 100 degree heat. Talk about getting sweaty! I had to get a shower as soon as we got home. I found it kind of sad that despite all the water (and little bit of soda) that I drank I didn't have to go to the bathroom once during the game. It all just sweated out.

Anyway, Evan and I had fun and he is looking forward to going back on Wednesday night with Aunt Jenn and her friend (and me). He is excited that Wednesday will be $1 hot dog night, too.

Running the bases

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What we did for 10.5 hours today

We were on the set of a movie! We got to be (unpaid) extras for a Christian film that is being made in the area. Today we were part of the crowd at several basketball games. There was a LOT of waiting, but it was also a memorable experience. I couldn't take pictures on the set, but I did get a few interesting shots of our day.

The boys started out tired and grumpy - before we even left the house. After we checked in at the movie set, we had a while to wait before being called to the set. This was not the boys' favorite part.

After our first scene we went back to the cafeteria (a.k.a. holding room) to get ready for the next scene. This involved changing clothes since it would be a different scene on a different day in the movie. We weren't used for the next scene so we had even longer to wait around. We used this time to eat our snacks. The boys also ate the snacks of the other people sitting at the table with us. They were a very nice mom and son who freely offered their snacks to the boys after we quickly depleted what I had brought.

We were used in the third scene, and then we broke for lunch. We were fed a hot dog, chips, and cookies for lunch. The boys thought it was great! Not sure why Evan is giving Joel that look. Joel is just eating his own food.

If you look closely in the background of the picture of Evan you will notice a man's hand autographing some pictures. At least one of the actors in this movie has some renown. I didn't realize it, but he is from this area and actually attended the high school we were using for filming. Any ideas on who he is?

After lunch we went back to the gym for more filming. This seemed to be where things got really slow, at least to me. We were on the set for a long time, but there were big breaks while they were resetting cameras, rehearsing the scene, etc. We did seem to be in "good" locations for some of those shots, so we might actually be in the film. The boys even got into cheering for the hometeam by the afternoon. We also found a nice long hallway that they could play in during some of the breaks. That was very helpful! Plus they got to practice their acting skills. (They were playing football with no ball.)

Eventually at 6:30pm I decided to leave, even though they were still shooting. (We had arrived at 8am this morning). The boys (and I) were exhausted and just couldn't last any longer. In fact, Joel fell asleep on the way home. He assured me that he was faking, but he wasn't. Instead of coming home, we met Steve for a pizza buffet. Evan showed me a "great" way to wake Joel up.

Yep, he lifted up Joel's eyelid. It didn't really work. But Joel did wake up when I unbuckled him and when he finally realized where we were got super-excited. After pizza, soda, and desserts they are now in bed, playing crazily. I have a feeling that I might regret this crazy day in the morning. ;)

Overall though, I do think it was worthwhile. They boys got to learn about making a movie and we got to have some good discussions about what is real and what is not. Evan kept getting confused by the "games". We were only seeing 1-3 plays per game, although we saw some of them over and over and over. He kept trying to figure out the score and how long they had been playing. So we talked about what is real and what is not, but I don't think he understands it all yet. I told him that we would be sure to get the movie when it comes out, and hopefully seeing the finished movie will help him make more sense of what we did today. (He also thought a couple of the men working on the movie looked like Uncle Craig. That was funny, because I had a similar thought before he said that.)

Plus, we might go back for another day of filming. This day would be for a church service. They are wanting kids Evan's age for a Sunday School scene. We'll have to see how the schedule works out, but it shouldn't be as long of a day as today was. I don't think there's any way we could do that again!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Insights from Evan

Today Evan realized that he has another semi-loose tooth. We were discussing if they might come out at the same time. He told me that if they did come out at the same time that he would put them under his pillow on different nights. I asked him why because that would make more work for the tooth fairy, having to come two nights in a row. He said that if she got both teeth in one night she would leave the same amount of money as she does for just one tooth. So, there you have it - maximizing his profits.

Later today he and Joel were playing outside and messed up one of the branches on the fig tree. After Steve had been home for a few minutes he called both of them to him. When they were both there, before Steve started the conversation, Evan asked, "Dad, is this about the fig tree?" Hmmm, guilty conscience or amazing perception?

But this one is my favorite!
Evan likes to watch Sid the Science Kid on PBS. (If you are familiar with the show you can skip to the next paragraph.) Each episode starts out with Sid at home getting up, having breakfast and getting ready for school. At some point in those first few minutes, Sid wonders about something. Usually his mom and dad have an answer or look one up, but he wants to know more so when he gets to school he asks Teacher Susie. She says that it's a great question and they learn a little more about it, do an experiment, and then write their observations in their journal.

So, out of the blue, Evan said, "How does Susie know what is going on at Sid's house?" After some confusion on my part and some clarifying questions from me, my own scientist made this observation, "It's like she knows what's going on at Sid's house because she's already bought the supplies to do the experiment."

I know that I am biased, but I'm thinkin' that's not too shabby for a 6-year-old!
Monday, August 10, 2009

Not Me! Monday

I did not stay in bed a "little" longer this morning even though I knew the boys were up. We won't even talk about what they didn't do while I was not still in bed. (But everyone was safe.)

I did not develop a repetitive use injury to my right wrist and forearm this past week and it certainly wasn't from playing games on facebook too much.

I did not look for games that involved the keyboard instead of the mouse on facebook. (But I have significantly cut back on my game-playing.)

I did not take a bunch of pictures of my kids and my friend's kids with my camera on the wrong setting. I would always check that before taking a gazillion pictures to ensure that they would be usable.

Whew, that's enough for me today. Any more confessions and I might get depressed! ;)
Friday, August 7, 2009


There are times I wish I had a tape recorder with me and today was definitely filled with those times. The boys and I had some real interesting conversations, and they had some doozies between just the two of them. I remember laughing at them as we were driving, but I can't remember all of the conversations.

The first conversation that I was in with involved some Bible history (from the Old Testament stories of Moses, Noah, and Elijah to the pentecost and persecution of the early church), some doctrine (salvation, the reusrrection, the Trinity), mummies, deserts, and a few other things probably. Everything did flow together in the conversation, but looking back on all of the topics that we covered on the drive to get my allergy shot it looks pretty funny - at least to me.

On the way home from running errands the boys were talking more to each other than to me. I only remember a small part of the conversation as we got closer to home. Evan said that he wanted to be a scientist like Sid (of Sid the Science Kid on PBS). Then he decided that he already was a scientist because he's always learning new things. I was telling this to Steve tonight at dinner, so we had another fun conversation about what it means to be a scientist - complete with a brief introduction to the scientific method.

Evan and Joel are both always full of questions, and we love that they come to us with them. Sometimes it gets a little tiring for me, or stressful when I am trying to drive, but I love their curiosity. I also love that they come to us with their questions. I know that as they get older that will likely change. For now, I will just try to enjoy the questions and even laugh when I can - like when I am in the other room and they keep interrupting their dad to ask questions about The Incredibles as they watch it. It's better than watching tv myself!
Monday, August 3, 2009

A few thoughts from the last couple of days

As I mentioned yesterday, we went to a Freedom Concert last night. It was a really great night and I am thankful to Al and Sherry for giving us the tickets. I had never heard of this before and didn't really investigate it much before we went. There were some speakers (Sean Hannity, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Rick Perry, Sam Johnson, and Oliver North) and some musical guests (Lee Greenwood, The Charlie Daniels Band, Michael W. Smith, and Billy Ray Cyrus). Rick Perry got the crowd fired up talking about states' rights, The Charlie Daniels Band rocked the house, and then Michael W. Smith led the crowd in some moving worship. It was quite an interesting mix! The highlight was hearing some of the stories of America's true heroes - our men and women serving in the armed forces. There were even two (wounded but recovering) members of the military who stood on the stage while Billy Ray Cyrus sang "All Gave Some, Some Gave All." Their wounds were visible and it was a poignant reminder of the price paid for the freedoms that we all too often take for granted. The night was inspiring, and I wish I could put all that I have been thinking into words. Maybe I will be able to do that in time. For now, I am trying to remember to pray more earnestly and more regularly for those serving in our military and the families who are waiting and praying for them to come home safely.

On a much lighter note, the boys and I took a trip to Arlington and Fort Worth today. We visited my good friend Jenn, had lunch with her, and then took a tour of the Ballpark at Arlington with her. The boys seemed to have a good time, but it definitely tired Joel out. He even took a little nap on the ride home. Here are just a few of my favorite pictures from today.

One of those days

For some reason today was one of those days that there seemed to be reminders of Mom all day long. It started at church when I read a prayer request for a woman whose mother was recently diagnosed with cancer. Then the sermon centered around Philippians 1:21 in which Paul says, "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." The sermon ended with a video of a man from the church who has been given a few months to live. He has several tumors in his chest cavity and there's no treatment for them. (Mom had several tumors, including some in her abdominal cavity.) Then the worship team came back up on the stage and sang the MercyMe song "I Can Only Imagine". This song describing a person's response upon encountering Jesus in Heaven was everywhere when Mom died. I think about her every time I hear it. After church I had a break from the reminders, until we went to the Freedom Concert tonight. It was an amazing experience, and deserves it's own post, but the first entertainer was Lee Greenwood. Mom loved Lee Greenwood, and all during his performance I was thinking about how much she would have enjoyed seeing him tonight.

In the past, days like this would have gotten me really depressed. And there are still times that I get down when I think about how much I miss her. But I also see that days like this don't affect me as negatively as they once did. I know that there will always be pain from missing her, but I am so grateful that God has healed much of this pain. I feel that a large part of this healing has come from choosing to focus (or being able to focus) on the future hope that I have instead of the past regrets. I had longed to spend more time with her as an adult. I was looking forward to watching her grandparent my future children. I am saddened that we didn't have more meaningful conversations in the weeks before she died. While I regret that those things didn't happen, I am grateful that I do have the hope of seeing her again in Heaven. I am so grateful that I have the assurance (based on her testimony) that she is in a perfect place now where there is no more pain for her. I am most grateful that I have a Savior who not only saves me, but who loves me, comforts me, and heals me. I am grateful that today was more than a reminder of Mom, but that it was also a reminder of Him.
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