Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Walk on the Wet Side

Today when we dropped David off for Saturday school we found that the one-on-one that was to be with him was not there. What do we do? If he doesn't successfully complete the day then he will have to be suspended instead and David doesn't perform well under pressure. We decided to leave him there, hoping that the one-on-one was just running late. We explained to the teacher he was suppose to have a teacher with him, but she hadn't shown up. We then decided to let him have the chance to succeed on his own. If he couldn't make it through the day without problems we would fight the school on Monday for no suspension since they had not upheld their end of the bargain.

Rich and I then went on our way down the hill to the community market, which had been our original plan. We love buying fresh food and flowers from the local vendors there. We always enjoy taking pictures of the happenings and people having a fun day out. We headed for the coffee shop and book store first. After Rich got his coffee fix and we found some interesting books we headed across the street to the market.

Community Market fountain

Today there was a band playing music while all around the fountain kids played and adults listened to the music. We had only been there a few minutes when a cute little two-year-old captured our attention. She was having a great time with a seven-year-old boy, who at the time we thought was her brother. Her smile as she tried to prevent him from captuing her was so cute. After a while I sat on the edge of the fountain to watch the band while Rich took more pictures. I heard a heart stopping thud and then as I was turning I heard the scream of "NO" from a mother's heart. The cute two year old had not watched her step and walked right off into the water. As I got up I saw the mother leap into the fountain and grab her daughter. Only when she pulled the little girl from the water did I notice that the mother was pregnant. As the mom turned her daughter onto her stomach to make sure any water would escape the little girl began to talk. The first words to her mom were "be careful?" The mother clung to the little girl and only then did the girl begin to cry. I went to take the daughter from her mother while Rich and another man helped the mother out of the fountain. The daughter had no injuries, while the mother was badly scraped on both knees. Rich went to get a washcloth from inside the market while I held the girl and stayed with her mother. Once the mother was clean and no longer shaken the girl gladly went back into her mother's arms. The poor mother was very upset over what could have been, but also the last words from her husband that morning were "watch her at the fountain." How was she going to tell him what had happened?

My heart goes out to this young woman as she must face her husband with the truth of the events of the day.

The little boy that had been playing with her was not her brother. But, when the little girl went into the water he didn't know what to do. When we were settled on the side of the fountain he came over to see that the girl was alright. I noticed the sides of his face were very red, when I asked about it his mother stated he felt it was his fault and had been crying. I told him about David's pet rabbit and how he had caught Roger. The boy said he has lots of rabbits that run through his yard, but his dogs always chases them away. He liked hearing about Roger's antics and slowly began to smile.

Some of our fresh market strawberries

I must have looked a sight with the front of my shirt soaking wet as I shopped.

We headed back to the school to see if the teacher had shown up—no such luck. But, David was doing well and we left again. We made a couple of trips and then explored the market again while waiting for David.

David did very well! Not so for one girl who was kicked out and given a referral. So even though the school messed up, David made it on his own, with only a few prompts from the teacher. I think the teacher gave David a little more leeway knowing he had issues and allowed him to write quietly in his journal. And David hates to write, so this was still a punishment for him.

I will address the issue with the school on Monday, since this is not the first time they have fallen down on their committments.

Friday, May 30, 2008


As you can tell from my blog it has been a very busy two weeks around our house. Rich and I go to the YMCA to work out most days during lunchtime. We are both slowly losing a little extra weight.

David came home from school this week with interim reports and his grades have gone up. Instead of the F he was getting in Math he has raised this period to a B+, while his other classes run from A+ to C. We hope this will be enough to raise his overall grades to passing.

David has had a few rough days lately, I think it's get-out-of-school fever. So, he has earned his first Saturday school tomorrow. We will take him to the school by 8am and he will attend until noon. He is not very happy about this, but we hope this will make him understand he needs to behave better in school.

We had our friends Joe and Abigail, along with her mom, over for dinner this Wednesday and had a wonderful time. They are such a sweet couple just embarking on their life together. They have just announced they are expecting a baby so they will have big changes in their lives soon.

We are planning on going to Charlottesville this weekend to meet up with some friends from Northern Virginia. It will be fun to spend time with this wonderful family.

Ladies who won the candles, I will be mailing them out on Monday. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Candy Cones

For David's party I wanted to have lots of fun and create a unique party for all the guests. So when I saw an idea to use ice cream cones to hold candy I thought it hit the spot.

I took a half a can of vanilla frosting and heated it up in the microwave for 30 seconds. I stirred the frosting, then dipped an inverted ice cream cone into the frosting. After pulling the cone out I let the excess frosting dirp off, then sprinkled sparkles around the top where the frosting was. After the frosting dried I placed small candies into the cones—Zotzs, Double Bubble gum, licorice, Pixie Sticks and other goodies.

I had purchased one can of Pillsbury frosting, but quickly found this would not be enough for 48 cones. So I asked Rich to pick up another can when he went out. It was very interesting. Both cans decorated the same amount of cones. But, the Pillsbury was very sticky after it dried and remained very white. The Betty Crocker vanilla frosting dried without being sticky, but was a more off-white shade.

I made enough for all the kids and adults at the party. But, I also made enough to take to the YMCA for David's Y-Fit class last Friday.

They were a big hit with everyone. And since the cones hold only a few pieces of candy, everyone could pick the candy they liked best, without my spending a fortune.

David's favor boxes also held Pop Rocks and Zotz for each of the kids. Most of the kids and some of the parents had never had either candy. It was so funny to watch their faces as the Zotz began to fizz in their mouths. One of our friends said they even pulled over on the way home to try the Pop Rocks.

Everyone seemed to have a good time, without us having to break the bank or to compete in one-upmanship with our friends.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

We Have A Winner

I let David pick the name for the candle giveaway and the winner is Sharon, from the Rose of Sharon. Congratulations!

I also would like to send the others who entered a small candle. I purchased extras for David's birthday and would love to share them.

So if you ladies would send your addresses to I will send out your prizes. I need addresses from:

  • Sharon
  • Rita
  • Sibyl
  • Liz
I hope this starts your week with a smile.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, David!

Friday I spent a large part of my day getting ready for David's birthday party. I saw a cute idea to make candy cones. I thought this would be fun to give the adults and kids, after all who doesn't like candy?

After I had just about finished, David asked how many I was making. I stated I was making 48. He informed me I would need to make more, since at least 50 would be coming the next day. Since at the last count we were at 28 I was a little worried that he had invited more without my knowledge. Visions of a hoard of hungry guests filled my imagination all night long. I am happy to say that no hoards invaded the party and we had enough food for all the guests.

Saturday began with a late sleeping teenager, a glimpse of things to come? We had him help us with some of the prep for the party. He was very excited that I had ordered hats and t-shirts for our family from Kennedy Space Center to lend an authentic feel to our NASA party.

The timing couldn't have been better with this weekend being Memorial Day weekend. There were lots of red, white and blue party supplies at all the stores. We decorated the backyard with space shuttles—inflated shuttles, a space shuttle piñata, space shuttle shaped cups and space shuttle favor boxes.

Stacy's amazing cake
We had friends from 5 to 90 years in age and celebrated with a backyard barbecue.

Because of the age range of the guests I decided to not have many games. The kids played on the tire swing, ran in the yard and pulled each other around the yard in David's large wagon. The kids had a great time scrambling for candy when the piñata burst open. When some of the balloons escaped and floated into the sky the kids loved just watching them. Hamburgers and hot dogs, potato salad, meatballs, beans and strawberries with chocolate sauce put everyone in a great mood.

About a month ago I went to my friend Stacy with the challenge of making the cake for the party. Stacy is a master cake maker with a willingness to create the cake or cupcakes of your dreams. When I told her the theme of the party she got the wheels in motion and we settled on a space shuttle cake made with her delicious special recipe and also two dozen cupcakes in chocolate.

We didn't let David in on the secret design until his birthday. When he laid eyes on his cake he was thrilled, declaring it the best cake ever. The cake looked just like the space shuttle, except that on the side "David 13" was written. It was the most moist and delicious cake I have ever had. Stacy will be making all our cakes in the future. To make it easier when it was time to serve the cake and ice cream I had scooped the ice cream out the night before into cupcake liners and placed into the freezer until it was time to serve.

Three young ladies we had never met that David had invited from school came to the party. We were very impressed with them, they were caring and considerate of the younger guests and made sure there were enough space shuttle cups before taking one for themselves. I had enough cups and all the kids were able to take one home to keep. They also stayed back and let the little ones get the candy from the piñata. We later told David we were thought his choice of friends showed wisdom and they were always welcome to come over. He took the good natured ribbing about the pretty girls from several guests (and his father.)

David's friends from school helping the younger kids

After David opened his gifts he wanted to spend the money he received. So he promptly thanked all his guests for coming—the not so subtle way of saying, "OK, time to go." So we explained that the guests were welcome to stay as long as they liked and they were not being asked to leave. David agreed, I think he just wanted to make sure everyone knew he was thankful for them being there and didn't realize how pushy that would sound.

David between the newlyweds
In the evening we invited newlyweds Joe and Abigail (along with Blueberry—their baby, due in December) to watch a movie and enjoy pizza we were having delivered. We watched "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and had a wonderful and relaxing evening with them. We are so happy that they have returned to the area and love being able to see this wonderful couple as they grow in the Lord and in their relationship. It will also be fun to watch baby Blueberry. After they left David said they both chose wisely when they decided to marry each other, of course I think he still has a bit of a crush on Abigail since he decided to sit between them during part of the movie.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Needed Perspective

The last two days at our home have not be very joyful! Our son has not been behaving at school or at home. It seems that each year at this time David's behavior goes into a downward spiral. This has been true whether we held a birthday party or not, so it's not the party itself that is causing these issues.

Tuesday night we made him go into the backyard and help clean up after I trimmed the bushes. We wanted to make the yard shine for his party. However, during this time he came into the house "to use the bathroom" but when he came out and said Roger had gotten out of his cage. He stated the bunny was already loose when he went inside. We didn't believe this because of the way the cage area looked. So, 45 minutes of catching the bunny left us very unhappy.

Then yesterday I had to pick David up after school due to a detention. When we arrived home a friend was outside talking with Rich so I stayed out as well. After about 20 minutes I told them "the house is too quiet I need to check up on David." I came through the door and Roger was loose again. This time David confessed he let Roger out both days—because he "likes to see him run." The living room was a mess! The litter box had been overturned in the cage with contents strewn across the floor, a blanket that spread across the sofa had been used by David to try and catch Roger (with the litter now all over the sofa) and a food container was upside down with the contents spilling all over the floor. I have to admit I felt like the Lord of Nottingham in "Robin Hood Prince of Thieves" when he yelled "cancel Christmas." If he didn't go to his room I was ready to cancel his birthday party.

Hay was all over the living room (did I mention I'm allergic to hay?), and the bunny was quivering behind a table. And no there are no pictures, since I was trying to control my urge to throttle my son. He was made to come out of his room to clean up much of the livingroom, but I had much more cleaning to do. We also made it perfectly clear this was no longer his pet, it was mom and dad's. He had lost the right to be a pet owner and it will be a long time before he can prove he is responsible enough to care for a pet.

This morning after David went off to school, with a much better attitude then he has had in a while, we saw the tragedy of the Chapman family. Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife MaryBeth have five children, three whom are adopted. Their youngest daughter, Maria Sue, was killed last night in an accident at their home. While several family members helplessly watched, she was struck in their driveway. Maria Sue was transported by LifeFlight, but died due to her injuries. The tragedy is compounded by the fact that the driver of the vehicle was Maria Sue's teenage brother. The brother just hadn't seen the little girl.

My prayers go out to the whole Chapman family, but especially to the brother. What a horrible guilt he must be feeling at this time. I pray he will accept the peace that only God can give.

This tragedy helped me to focus not on the trouble David causes, but on the joy he brings us. That is not to say he won't continue to be disciplined.

Setting A Good Example

So often we look around and wonder what has happened to manners and character in the younger people around us. I believe the fault does not lie with them but with the people responsible for setting a good example.

Last week I needed to take a refill of medicine to the school for David when I saw one of his teachers with her class outside. I stopped and when she was finished speaking with a student I spoke with her about a few issues. I then turned to head for the front door. The teacher offered to unlock the side door so I wouldn't need to go to the office. I explained that I needed to check in as a visitor. She told me it was ok—I could just slip in. I had to tell her that I needed to the follow the rules. All visitors must check in at the front office. If I couldn't follow the rules, how could I expect David to?

I can't pick and chose the rules I want to follow and the ones that aren't as convinent can't be ignored. I told her that as the adults we are to set a good example, which includes even when they are not around. I really don't think this young teacher had ever thought of it in those terms. She smiled and said that that was very true and I went on my way. I was glad that she hadn't become offended by my straightforward way of speaking.

On the other hand last year I was appalled by a simular situation, with a very different conclusion. David was still at the hospital when we visited him on a Sunday afternoon. They had very strict rules for the children and families to follow during these visits. The only problem was that the rules were not applied on a consistant basis. One rule was that there were to be no balls or other objects thrown and no running around.

This one Sunday there was a very aggressive game of tag—that ran circles around us— and there were at least another four families playing ball, all within sight of the staff. I went to speak to the man in charge since David was having a hard time paying attention to our visit. The man stated "I don't like that rule so when I am here the kids can play ball." I was appalled since he stated this right in front of David. I explained that all the children at the hospital had issues with authority and following rules. That was why they were there. He continued to say they could play as long as he was in charge.

The following morning I spoke with David's therapist, who told us that two young children had been hurt during the games. However, instead of backing up the rule and our right to question the man from the previous day he asked if we felt we were being picked on. What? No we didn't feel this way. What we felt was, how can we expect the children to understand why they won't get in trouble today for breaking this rule, but tomorrow they might. The "it's ok to break the rule as long as you don't get in trouble" idea.

I wasn't very happy with this answer either and promptly went to the head of the center. I was told that due to the incident with the injury they would be speaking to all employees to make sure they would enforce the rule. But, the issue of not all staff enforcing the rules consistantly was never answered.

This also brought to mind an incident with some relatives several years ago who without our knowledge invited friends to our home and served our food without even asking. We would never have been told if I hadn't come home early from work and caught the deception. And deception was exactly what it was and after speaking with the couple it was obvious it was their intention to deceive us. When their guests left we addressed this issue, since much of the food used was to be our dinner that evening. The husband's response was "it's better to beg forgiveness then ask permission." I was appalled!

We knew and liked the guests and would have loved to have invited them when we were there. However this was our home and it was an abuse of our hospitality, as was the raiding of our pantry for snacks and food to shove in their backpacks for the trip home. Even at the time I wondered the lesson they were teaching their young children.
If I am not willing to set the example for my son, how can I expect him to learn by my words only?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Crown Sterling

For our anniversary Saturday night we got all dressed up and headed for the finest restaurant in town, Crown Sterling. Their speciality is prime rib and ribeye steaks, meaning my kind of place! This was a place we had often driven by and deeply inhaled the wonderful aroma that surrounds the building. We had talked often about eating there, but had not yet.

My dates at the table
The atmosphere is old-world charm with the staff dressed as you would expect from a fine English manor house. We tried to talk David into trying the Escargot, but he decided against it. I will say he showed more manners then I would have at twelve if my parents had tried to talk me into eating snails. Rich chose the Ribeye with onion soup and baked potato, I chose the 10 oz. filet mignon with bernaisse sauce and baked potato, while David decided on the filet and lobster with bernaisse sauce and baked potato.

David and me
David had never had lobster before and has wanted to try it for over a year now. We didn't want him to order it as a meal and then decide he didn't like it and then complain that he was hungry. Since this a special evening we told him to go for it and his eyes almost popped out of his head when he saw the price. David ate all the filet, lobster, 3 rolls, 3 trips to the salad bar and half of Rich's ribeye and he still wasn't full yet. He did love the lobster and had them wrap up "Lacy the Lobster"s tail to show his friends at school on Monday. Then the server came with the check, but we added a Godiva Parfait dessert for Rich and David and I were to share a Volcano brownie dessert (ok I got one bite, Rich got one bite and David ate the rest.)

But good news, even after eating so much this weekend I lost 2 pounds since Friday! But I was hard at work this morning at the gym.

I'm Stuck

While eating dinner last night I heard the words "I'm stuck" spoken very softly. I looked over and saw a fearful expression on David's face. I knew exactly what had happened, David had placed his hand through the scroll work under the kitchen table and his hand had gotten stuck. We of course had told him countless times that this would happen, but of course he had to learn the hard way.

Stuck, but smiling
Instead of the horrified look David expected I began to laugh, mind you not a little giggle but a full belly laugh. This sent David into a fit of laughter also. Since Rich had not understood the softly spoken words he was at a loss about what we were in hysterics about. We explained the situation and sprang into action.

Did we butter his hand or try to free him? No we went and grabbed for a camera! Then this still stuck child smiled for the camera. David without having to be told what he did wrong said "That was stupid, I shouldn't have done that." Only after getting the picture did we free his hand. Rich sprayed his hand with cooking spray and gently turned David's wrist and he was free.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

6 Months Old

Six months ago today I began this blog. When I began it I wasn't sure I would have enough to say or if anyone would even read it. But after six months I find that as I go around in my daily life there is much to say and I have made several online friends. My real life family and friends can also keep track of the goings on at our home.

So from today until next Saturday, David's 13th birthday, anyone leaving a comment will have their name placed into a drawing for a candle from Old Virginia Candle Company. The comment doesn't have to be about anything in particular, be creative.

Leave a comment to enter the drawing

The give-away candle (pictured above) is a Virginia Candle Company exclusive 8.5 ounce tri-scented candle. The scents are "Snickerdoodle/Pear Crumble/Toffee Crunch."

Saturday, May 17, 2008

22 Years of Wedded Bliss

Today is our 22nd wedding anniversary. As I look at our wedding album I wonder where the years have gone. I look on outside shells and see many changes, but the changes and growth on the inside are far greater. As a young couple little did we know the trials that life would throw into our paths, making us grow and strengthen both ourselves and our relationship.

Rich's father was the founding pastor of the church where we were married. We had both grown up in the church and ours would be the first wedding in the church in many years. Rich's sister Shawne was engaged to be married at this same time, so the idea was brought up to have a double wedding ceremony.

Now this may sound good in theory, but our wedding styles just wouldn't have meshed. I am a traditional person (cherry wood, four poster bed, vacation at the beach, Vera Bradley purse kind of person) while Shawne is a much more free spirit person (sleeping bags, hike Mt Everest vacation, no purse kind of person.) And even as a naive bride I knew this would end in the wedding of neither bride's desires.

Shawne didn't want to have attendants, she wasn't planning on wearing a wedding dress or even shoes, no wedding cake and everyone was told to come comfortable or bring a change of clothes for a volleyball reception with both wedding and reception held outdoors at the Virginia's National Forest Park. I, as a traditional person, wanted a church wedding, several attendants, a wedding cake and I wanted it all wearing a wedding dress and in shoes.

Even though we understood the reason of expense (Rich's relatives that would need to travel in state) we just felt that since "til death do us part" this would be our only wedding and we should remember it as our day. So since our date had been set as May 17th before Shawne became engaged, we would hold our church wedding then. Shawne would hold her park wedding two weeks later, after our return from our honeymoon.

It probably was a good thing because the church was already overflowing with people and there would not have been room for any more guests. It was also nice for me, as a young bride, since I was able to really meet some of Rich's relatives. At our wedding I was so busy, like all brides, that the memories would have been a blur. I was also able to enjoy Shawne's wedding and have fond memories of this very unusual, but beautiful wedding. Shawne did eventually wear a tea length Portuguese wedding gown (with no shoes) and one lady in the church made a small wedding cake for the reception.

Looking at our album it saddens me that many of the people smiling back at us have gone through divorces, some are no longer with us (some with the Lord while others sadly not—as far as we know). I am happy to say that Shawne will celebrate her 22nd anniversary with Harold in two weeks. In some ways I don't feel any older than the young bride in the picture, while in other ways I feel that the growth and experiences we have achieved couldn't have occurred in just 22 years.

Tonight we will have a wonderful meal at the nicest restaurant in town and sleep in our bed and not at a fancy hotel, but we will sleep much better since there won't be prom kids yelling up and down the hall all night long as there were the night of our wedding. Next week we will prepare for our son's thirteenth birthday party and not be getting a sunburn on the white sandy beach in St. Thomas (OK, only Rich got sunburned).

Thank you, Babe, for 22 wonderful years of marriage. PS I'd do it all over again.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Great Escape Artist

Last night as we were preparing David for calm-down before bed he looked at Roger's cage and said "Roger's gone." My first reaction after checking that the cage door was still closed was "no way, the door is still closed." But after looking more closely sure enough Roger was out.

Roger was looking at us from behind the cage. I checked out the cage to see how it could have happened and found that Roger had bent the back bars outward and moved the flooring of the cage to make an escape route.

David and I tried in vain to catch Roger, maybe because David was laughing more than helping. I almost had Roger cornered when David moved the box that was holding him in place and Roger got away, again.

I sent David across the street to the church to get Rich, who was at worship team practice. Rich and a friend, Anthony, came over and after several more failed attemps finally captured Roger. We have placed a towel along the bottom of the cage so that he can't use this method next time.

David, Rich, and Anthony surrounding a very pleased Roger

Roger finds these escapes much fun. He will come within inches of our hands and sit there giving himself a bath, look at us and hop away quickly when we move to capture him. If we just move he will remain perfectly still—one smart bunny.

After his return to his home Roger then layed sprawled in his little house. I imagine he was tired from all the commotion he created. This escape only lasted about 45 minutes, I guess our trips to the gym are making us a little faster.
Needless to say David's calm-down time was anything but calm.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Old Virginia Candle Company

Old Virginia Candle Company holds two tent sales each year. This Saturday is the spring sale and thousands will flock to purchase wonderful candles at a very reduced price. On our first visit to one of these tent sales we thought "are these people crazy or what?" when we saw people bringing wagons and grocery carts to carry their purchases home in. It didn't take us long to fall in love with the tri-scent candles, such as the Cafe Treats triplets—a layer of Chai Latte a layer of Red Velvet Cake followed by a layer of Butterscotch Creme Brule. They also sell candle toppers, candle baskets and much more.

Old Virginia Candle Company Tent Sale

Since we had not brought a wagon it was very hard work carting the three large boxes of our purchase. But the price we paid for so many candles would have only purchased us about six large ones at a retail store. We have used these candles to give gifts for my husbands female co-workers and they have been thrilled.

One of the benefits of living where we do is that the factory has an outlet store that carries the candles at the tent sale prices.

Girls favors for David's party
So today I popped into the factory store and snapped up beautiful frosted votive candle holders for a dollar. I also purchased the votive Cafe Treats for just 25 cents each. Tying a ribbon with a charm around the votive and placing a drawstring satchet with Jordan Almonds into a tiny gift bag should make a sweet favor for the teenage girls that will attend David's party.

When David saw the favors, what was his reaction? "I bet I'll get a few kisses out of this." Hum, I wonder what he was thinking when he invited the girls?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Additional Guests

Two weeks ago I sat down with David and we made a guest list. I then ordered all the invitations and party supplies based on the guest list. Since he wanted to invite many younger kids from church we invited the parents (they are friends of ours also) and teachers and we decided to have a big barbecue. I have completed all the favors and, except for all the food, everything is ready.

Then the big surprise came for mom, "I invited another girl from school." Not all his teachers could attend so he used an invitation to invite another girl from school named Allie. OK, I can make it work. Then tonight I got a call from Jordan's mom and she can attend, I said "great, we look forward to having her over." The only problem is that there was never a Jordan on our list. So after asking David about it, I found out he had used four of his teacher invitations to invite four girls, Jordan being one of them. Jordan is certainly welcome, but now I must make some amended plans.

The favor boxes have all been assembled and filled with fun treats, but for twelve and I had only one extra box—just in case. So now I have several ideas bouncing in my head for some favor baskets for the five teen girls now invited. I think I can come up with some cute and more mature favors for them.

Of course, I did have a little talk with David about the fact that our planning session was so I knew we had all the supplies we would need. By inviting more, this has created a problem. I am very thankful this was discovered a week and a half before the party and not the day of the party. I'm also very glad that my friend Stacy is making extra cupcakes along with the cake—I think we may be in need of these.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Through The Eyes Of My King

Several years ago I saw my first Chonda Pierce video and had a great laugh and a great cry. I love her mom's-eye view on life and the Kingdom of God—I can relate. Since she is just a couple years older than I am, I like having her point out the milestones in our lives with humor.

In this video she reminds us of the King who fought for us and how He sees us. I hope you enjoy it and find the truth in it for your own life.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I wanted to wish all the women a happy Mother's day. Before the adoption of our son, this was a very painful day for me. The desire for a child along with the church message about motherhood left me aching and in pain. The talk about motherhood being the highest calling and a blessing was hard to hear since that was an unfulfilled wish of mine. The hardest part was when the Pastor would always ask all the mothers to stand and women all around me would be up, while I remained sitting. I always knew that God's plans were perfect and if His plan wasn't for me to be a mother I had accepted this. However, my heart still hurt for a child to love.

In the years after the adoption of our son, I have spoken to our Pastors and asked that they include all grown women in the celebration of Mother's Day. I am very pleased that our current church has done a wonderful job of this. I didn't even have to speak to the pastor about this and his message was geared to all the ladies in the congregation. All the ladies were presented with carnations, it didn't matter if they were mothers or not.

Our favorite Mommy/son book
Yesterday David wanted to start Mother's Day early by giving me one of his treasured books. When he was in preschool I always liked to purchase at least one book when they sent home an order form. I ordered a wonderful book called "I Love You Stinky Face." This became a wonderful book that we shared often when I read to him each night. There were just two characters in the book—one the mom and the other the son. As the mother in the story tucks her little boy into bed he asks questions to see how much she loves him such as "But, Mama, but Mama, what if I were a super smelly skunk, and I smelled so bad my name was stinky face?" Of course the mother would respond with "...I would hug you tight and whisper in your ear, I love you, Stinky Face." The ending is just as wonderful with "I love you, mama" and "I love you, my wonderful child." This was such a well-read book at our house that David would say the son's parts and I would say the mother's parts.

I think one of the reasons he chose to give me this book was to keep it safe forever. This was a special book for this mother and her son. I also received a beautiful robe, which was put to good use today since the temperature has dropped drastically today.

We went out to eat at Logan's Roadhouse and had a wonderful, but very filling meal. The waitress was busy so another server brought our food to the table. She was a little embarrassed when she went to hand out the food and got it all wrong. I ordered the prime rib, which was delivered first but the two remaining orders were roadie burgers with mac and cheese and the last meal of steak and grilled shrimp. She handed the burgers to David and the steak and shrimp to Rich. The only problem was that the twelve-year-old had ordered the medium rare steak and grilled shrimp, while his father ordered the burgers. David has always had very mature taste in food. In fact, as a three-year-old when a waitress asked him in a very childlike way if he wanted a hamburger, he responded with "Actually I would prefer a medium rare prime rib." he promptly closed the menu and layed it on the table, the menu he had been ordering from had been upside down as he "read" his order.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Special Delivery

In preparation for having a teenager in the house we made a special trip to the furniture store last week. It was time to replace David's bedding. He has slept on a single bunkie board and mattress, but we felt it was the right time to invest in a full-size mattress and box spring.

David had a great time trying out all the mattresses to find just the right one for him. I think he also liked the fact that the salesperson understood that the bed was for him and she promptly spoke to him as the buyer. She checked with us when it came to price range, but other then that he was the customer.

He really wanted the Tempur-pedic bed, but at $2,500, the price was not right. He made a very good choice in a Serta set. But it would take up to three weeks to get in. We explained that would be fine because that would make it in time for his thirteenth birthday.

Thursday morning I received a call telling me the set was in and could be delivered any day. So I set up delivery for the next day. We chose not to tell David about the delivery because we knew this might create a distraction at school. So it was a happy surprise that he received when he went into his room to change after school. He was even careful to make sure not to get his shoes on the mattress when he tried it out.

We chose to make our purchase at Grand Home Furnishings and we have been very pleased with them. When looking for a new sofa and loveseat we decided to check them out first. We were very happy with the selection, price and service. They even call the day of delivery to give you a time frame, not just am or pm but between 9 and 11. That has made our days much easier to plan. The store personal and delivery men have all been very pleasant. When going into the store they make you feel at home and not like they plan on rushing you through to making a purchase, even offering you a bottle of coke or water.

Since David's old bedding was a twin we needed to buy a new comforter and new sheets. A perfect time to go from kids room to budding teenager. His room use to be "Lego" style, primary colors and geometric shapes. We headed off to Target and we allowed him to choose what he wanted his room to look like, with a little guidance. He wanted a deep red set of sheets, but then wanted the comforter to be the same color. We told him that would be a lot of red and I steered him to a grownup black comforter. He was very excited about this so that's we all agreed would give his room a more mature feel.

David's bed with new mattress - and then with the new sheets, bedspread, pillows and curtains

He slept well his first night on the bed. In fact he really wanted to just lay in the bed and have his dad read to him this morning. We also kept his old mattress in case of company and have stored it under his bed.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Basement Dwelling

Yesterday it was a runaway bunny that altered my plans. Tonight it was something much more serious.

At 8:00 we went into David's room to read our nightly verses, then I leave Rich to read to him from another book. When I turned on the television I learned that we were under a tornado watch and warning. So I called Rich out of the room and explained the situation.

We decided to pull both laptops, our emergency lamp with radio, our cell and blankets and head down to the basement. We got David out of bed, grabbed Roger and have spent the last several hours watching cartoons and kids programs online. The laptops have allowed us to watch the changes in warnings, so we are very thankful for that.

We watched in fascination as our personal warning system (Roger) alerted us to upcoming changes in the weather. Prior to more severe winds, thunder and severe rain Roger would begin to become agitated. He would stay on the side of the cage closest to the storm and run back and forth with his ears perked up. As the storm began to calm, so did Roger.

David asked "Why does God have tornados?" I had to explain I wasn't sure but maybe it was to help us realize that He is in total control and we need to cling to Him more. These are answers only God himself can answer.

We are back upstairs now, watching as our tornando warning was removed. However, there is a possibility of another system coming up from North Carolina. So I imagine I will be checking throughout the night in case we need to head back down to the basement.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bunny On The Run

Rich has noticed that when he leaves the cage door open Roger, our bunny, sniffs all around the opening but doesn't venture out. So this morning Rich laid on the floor with the door open and talked to Roger. I had just said "I don't think it's a good idea. One day Roger is going to decide to make a bre.." I didn't even get the word break out when zoom off he went. Rich said "Don't worry we'll just throw a blanket over him."

Well, Rich was right we did capture Roger by throwing a robe over him. Only, it was after an hour of trying this tactic along with trying to guide him while keeping him from going behind the furniture. Roger was having a good old time with jumping very high and kicking his back paws to the side. He would get very close to us, then turn tail and run. I think he was having a very good time of this game. I was concerned because rabbits like to chew and I don't want my furniture destroyed or little gifts left to be cleaned up (of course, cleaned up by the person who let Roger out.) But he was very good about not doing either of these.

Roger is finally back in his cage. He is trying to get back out to play, but I think it will be a while before we try this again.

David will be very upset that he missed all the action. He would have given us some of his deep belly laughs as he watched all the antics. Only if David had been home Roger would have been caught in a matter of minutes.

Tomorrow will mark the one-month anniversary that Roger joined our family.

This is one of the reasons at the end of the day I say "I didn't finish half of what I had planned on doing today."

Bad Memories

Yesterday prosecutors received a letter from John Allen Muhammad, one of the DC snipers. The letter was a request for help stopping the legal appeals from death row. Muhammad's defense lawyers have continued to fight on his behalf, claiming evidence of brain damage.

This report brings back the terror we lived under in 2002. We lived just north of Fredericksburg, where one of the shootings occurred. From southern Maryland to just north of Richmond, Virginia, Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo made 15 attacks before their capture.

What frightened the area so much was the randomness of the attacks and the ordinary activities the victims were involved in at the time. Some were at the grocery store, at the craft store, the home improvement store or, as in the case of the one that occurred next to our house, at the gas station. The most frightening attack was made on the grounds of a middle school.

My son was in second grade and the children were not allowed to go outside at recess. Police officers were positioned outside of schools, with guns at the ready while the children where going to school and when they left school. No one was allowed to enter the school without signing in and showing ID. Several times the schools were on lock down, not allowing anyone to enter or leave the school building-including parents. One of communications from the shooter bragged, "Your children are not safe, anywhere, at any time."

The police were relentless in their pursuit of the sniper. At the beginning of the investigation the profiling had them looking for one individual, probably a white male. Then as reports continued to come the reports stated he was driving a white van. The police working in Virginia and Maryland along with the FBI did a wonderful job of teamwork. At one point a phone call from one of the shooters bragged about previous shootings and his cleverness.

Finally on October 24 police received a tip from a HVAC mechanic returning home who noticed a parked car at a rest stop in Maryland. Both Muhammad and Malvo were asleep in the car along with the weapon that would be linked to the attacks. The car had a small hole drilled out of the back of the car. The men would lay in the trunk and shoot the victims through the hole.

I hope the appeals are stopped and Muhammad receives his punishment. He and Malvo have done enough damage to the victims, their families and the people that suffered due to their actions. We as taxpayers should not have to pay for the lawyers for his appeal or the continued funding for food and shelter while he is in prison. As long as he is alive the chance that he can escape or get a release by means of mental incompetence could mean another reign of terror. He was the one who lead the then 17-year old Malvo into these attacks. Malvo even testified that the plan was to find young boys with no parents or guardians and recruit them, taking them into Canada to train them in the use of firearms. Once the training was complete they planned to send them out and coordinate mass attacks across the United States, sending the country into chaos.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Movie Time

In the last four days we have gone to the YMCA four times. We have a game plan for all of us to use the center to our best advantage. First David and I go to the pool while Rich goes to the wellness center to work out. After about an hour Rich comes to the pool and I head to the wellness center and workout. David has loved it and we are making friends already. This has been a good investment for our family. We eat a light dinner and head to the Y. All the employees and members are so friendly! When we left yesterday David said "you know the song is right—it's fun to stay at the YMCA."

Watching "Phantom of the Opera"
To make it easier to head out the door I bought a beach bag and am keeping it by the front door packed with our towels, Y cards and locks for the locker room. This will help me as everyone is heading out the door and I am trying to grab what we need.
After getting back yesterday David vegged out in front of the TV. One of his favorite movies is "Phantom of the Opera." He has loved this movie for several years. Not a typical twelve-year-old's movie, but he loves the music and drama.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Month to Celebrate

May is an extremely busy month for us, if you hadn't already noticed since my posts are not as regular. First my friend Peg's birthday is this coming Tuesday, next Sunday is Mother's Day, our anniversary and a nephew's birthday are on the 17th and Labor Day weekend is David's 13th birthday.

I have ordered all the party supplies this week for David's NASA party and made all the plans for the party. I even ordered hats and t-shirts directly from NASA for the three of us. My friend Stacy is taking on the challange of making a space shuttle cake. I got the hotdogs and hamburgers and ice cream on sale this week and threw them in the freezer. The invitations will go out this week—after we finalize the guest list, which seems to change each day. We have the gifts ordered or purchased so I think we're ahead of the game.

Our celebration foyer
Lots of opportunity for us to celebrate. I have changed our entry area table to reflect the celebrations. My favorite is the shadowbox I made that contains David's first birthday picture in front of the party supplies we used for his birthday party. We threw a Winnie the Pooh birthday and had a memorable party. I love pulling out and displaying different pictures through out the year.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Little Good News

This morning while watching the news I was impressed by a group of girls who showed hospitality. While playing a college softball game senior Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon made her first home run hit. Her joy quickly turned to pain as her knee buckled at first base. Her pain was so great that she wouldn't be able to continue her victory run. If she didn't continue around the bases she would not get credit for her home run. If her teammates touched her she would not be allowed to continued.

The situation was being discussed with the umpires and Sara's coaches to come up with a solution which would allow her to keep her home run. In steps Mallory Holtman, first base player of Central Washington—her opponent. Her solution was the offer of allowing players from her team to carry Sara around the bases, stopping at each base and having Sara touch the base.

Yes, you heard right. The umpires huddled to make sure this would be legal. After everything was checked out Mallory and shortstop Liz Wallace gently picked up Sara and carried her to each base, lowered her so that she could touch each base.

Part way through this unusual play the girls began to giggle, when they arrived at home base it was to a standing ovation. I imagine not a dry eye in the stadium either. Western Oregon won the game 4-2.

Many wanted to know why would Central Washington be willing to help their opponent. Mallory's modest reply was "She hit it over the fence. She deserved it. Anybody would have done it. I just beat them to it." She also stated that her coach Gary Frederick had instilled in the team that "winning is not everything."

So hats off to Coach Gary Frederick and his team.

Here's the news report: