Friday, February 26, 2010

Repeat???? Please!!!!

We had our first victory Monday night on the city-league basketball team that I am coaching.  My son, Studly, and his 8 teammates finally pulled out a win!  They had lost their previous five games, not because they are terrible ball players, but because they had not learned how to function corporately; to succeed self must first die.

Several of the boys on the team were good (not NBA good, 11 year old good), but they were lacking in the  'know-how' or development of the concept of team.

I had shared with my husband and friends that all I hoped to accomplish this season (my first coaching season) was to teach the boys to play as a team and have fun doing it.  Lie!  Lie!  Lie!  Lie!  Lie!

It sounded really good, but I must confess I am way too competitive to go an entire season without a single 'W'.   In noncompetitive sport talk... that means a WIN!   I am sincere when I say that I want the boys to have fun, but who wants to lose all of the time?  Not me!

After A LOT of coaching, teaching, stressing and hair pulling (my own, not the boys) they are finally grasping the concept of team rather than individualism.  They are beginning to cheer each other on and celebrate each other's victories.  They are joking with each other prior to the games and high-fiving each other after.  I am blessed to be on this journey with them.  They are an amazing group of boys!

Tonight, we seek our second victory.  (Did you really think I would be ok with just one?)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dinner and a Memory

My daughter was begging me to spend some time with her yesterday.  Just the two of us.   Sounds simple enough and sad.    I am home with my kids everyday now, since quitting work and home-schooling this year, but my daughter is still having to ask for time with me.  We spend 8 or 9 hours a day together doing school work, but that is me being teacher not mom.  We spend time relaxing with family and friends, but it's not the same as having me all to herself.

She had worked hard on a list of things we could do, ranging from going out of town to a mall all the way to just going out for ice cream.  I would have gone for the ice cream bit, but it was cold, cloudy and wet outside and it sucked all desire for ice cream right out of me.  We had dinner plans already, so going out of town was out of the question.

We (truth be told, I) decided we would go to the store and get the items we needed for dinner and then she and I would prepare it together.  All other persons would be banned from the kitchen with penalty of no dinner if they entered.   She was not fond of this plan of action, and felt dejected that I had not chosen one of her ideas.  

On the drive home from the store I explained the reasons why we were not doing the other stuff and tried to help her to see how much fun we could have making dinner together.  I thought she understood until I looked over and saw her quietly wiping tears away from her sad eyes.  I asked her what was wrong and she told me that she wanted to be away from the house.  I did not understand why being home made a difference to her until she explained that at home she would have to share me with dad, Studly and any household chores I decided to become distracted with.  Talk about a gut punch!

I lost my mom five years ago in a car accident.  I still have moments where I break down because I can't call her to let her know what progress her grandchildren are making.  I tear up at holidays and birthdays because she isn't here to watch the kids grow and me become a more developed mom.  I have moments where I want to ask her what she would do or did do in certain situations with us kids when we were young, but I no longer have the opportunity.  I miss dinners at home.  I miss the feeling of being taken care of by my mom.   I miss laying my head on her lap and letting her comb her fingers through my hair.  Here I am struggling with these thoughts and my own daughter feels the need to beg me to spend time with her.   Another gut punch.

We arrived at the house and unloaded the groceries.  We were making meatloaf, homemade mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.   She and I sat down at the kitchen table and, for the first time ever, peeled potatoes  together.  We talked some and I praised her for her hard work.  She was able to get two potatoes peeled, chopped up and placed in the pan with the others.  Not bad for a first timer.   When she finished the potatoes she moved on to the green bean casserole and successfully assembled it with only verbal directions from me.

It was a wonderful evening!  I was able to spend time with my daughter making memories that she and I will cherish always.  She also placed her request to be my new 'expert' potato peeler.  I enthusiastically accepted her offer and trumped her offer with one of my own:  I requested that she be my new assistant in the kitchen.   She answered me with a smile and a big bear hug (as wide as her nine year old arms could reach).  

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sleepless in the Midwest

Have you ever been so desperate for something that your body would literally ache?  You would wake in the middle of the night unable to sleep, unable to clear your mind, unable to focus on anything but the object of your desperation.

I am entering this 'area'.  I (along with my husband) have a desire for something more in our lives and it is becoming a constant ache in my bones, a tightness in my chest, a thought that never goes away.  (No, I do not want another child.  : )  Not that the idea is taboo to me; it's just something I never think about. )

I am curious as to what would cause you to become desperate?  There is no right or wrong answer that I am searching for here... just curiosity as to what others think.  Take a moment and comment.  I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

From Twilight to Breaking Dawn

I have to brag on myself for just a minute.  I accomplished something in the last 5 days that was not an easy task.  I read all four books in the Twilight series in five days!  The first book has 498 pages and the last book has 754 pages.  The other two books have page amounts between that margin.  (A grand total of 2,444 pages altogether.)  

I understand that I am way behind on the wholeTwilight hysteria that has been sweeping our nation.  Let me just clarify that I am not on that bandwagon, which is precisely the reason it has taken me so long to even want to read the books.  I enjoy a well written story, so much so, that I can become immersed in the characters and drama and lose all desire for food, sleep or human interaction (my husband will agree wholeheartedly with me on that statement).  That is, until I know the final outcome for the characters in the story.

I decided to read the books when my sister-in-law generously offered to let me borrow hers and mail them back to her.  She enjoys the books and movies immensely and has even read the books to my brother.  To my complete surprise, he enjoyed the books and has even gone to see the first two movies with her.  

I had seen the first two movies as well (prior to reading the books) and enjoyed the story line enough to know that the books would be far better (books always are).  My sister-in-law felt in her opinion that the third book, Eclipse, was the most fascinating.  I agreed, until I read the fourth book, Breaking Dawn, yesterday and was mesmerized by a few key things.  

Part of my hesitation to read the books, besides the obvious of not wanting to be a bandwagon member, was the focus that I knew it would require of me.  You may laugh at that statement, but I did mention a moment ago that if a story is written well enough I will become immersed in it.  If the hype surrounding these books lived up to half the stories I had heard, I knew that it would consume me until the final outcome was revealed.  (This had already taken place with books such as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion.  Not to mention, many many others.)  

I have many other things going on in my life right now that require so much of my attention, and I was unwilling to share any of it with fictional characters that did not depend upon my point of view of them to survive.  But with the generosity of my sister-in-law, I gave in and spent five days pouring over page after page after page until the satisfaction of knowing what was to be for them was revealed.  I did not want to merely be entertained, but desired to learn something from what I had read (as I do with all books). 

I was surprised when the moment finally came.  It hit me 3/4 of the way through the fourth book.  What I had been searching for.  What made these books make sense for me.  Why I had given up precious time to gain something from them.  

I have posted my revelation on my blog Being A Bride.  This is not a cheap ploy to get you to visit my other blog (or is it), I just felt the explanation was better deserved upon those pages then upon these.  

Monday, February 8, 2010

We're Coming Home

We are heading home!!!  All is fixed and in working order at the homestead!  I have enjoyed the time with family in the north, but I am greatly anticipating being reunited with my husband!!!  I miss you dearly and will be home soon!

Thank you so much to my brother and sister-in-law for their hospitality and kindness.  You opened up the doors to your home without hesitation and made the kids and I feel welcomed.  You are loved so very much!  I just wish we didn't live so far apart.

Thank you to my sister-in-law's parents as well!  You fed us and made the kids and I feel 'at home' in your home!  Thank you for supporting my 'football habit' and allowing me to watch the Super Bowl with you.  I consider you family and love and admire you both!

This has been a great adventure and one we will remember with fond memories always, because of the love and support of family and friends!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Escape from the 2010 Ice Age

In light of our circumstances (no electricity, no heat except for what a gas stove provided, no internet to do school work, and not knowing when things would be getting better) the kids and I departed from our home and ironically headed north to escape the effects of the winter ice storm.  My dear husband stayed behind to keep an eye on the home-front and make sure all needed repairs and 'fixes' were accomplished.

We set up 'homeschooling camp' in my brother's dining room and enjoyed the luxury of electricity once more.

Baby Girl started catching up on her reading...

...and helping her cousin play with toys.

My brother was able to prove that he is still taller and wiser than his nephew of 12.

Studly felt he needed to educate his 'old' uncle on the current happenings in the music industry... 

...and spend a little time hanging out with his cool and 'with it' aunt.

My niece had just spent a long hard day at school and swimming lessons and was re-energizing with some dinner I had prepared.  

My nephew and I spent some quality time bonding (he was playing with my zipper, NOT the other that you were thinking.) 

And of course, we round out the night with some high quality sword fighting (just for good measure.) 

All in all, the ice has been somewhat of a blessing.  We have spent more time with family and writing our own stories instead of watching them on tv.  Our adventure up north will continue until we resolve all ice storm issues back at the homestead.  

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ice Age 2010

We traveled back in time this past week to a place where electricity ceases, heat is but a flame away and electronics are unheard of.  A winter storm blew into town, literally, and left a covering of ice on everything it touched.  Thankfully, we had a roof over our heads, a gas stove and a gas water heater.  Generators have been a blessing to many in these parts.  Slowly technology is making its way back into our town and into our homes.  Many are still without power and will continue to be for some time.  For the most part people have kept their spirits high, but there have been moments when they reached as low as the temperatures we have been experiencing.   

As the saying goes, 'A picture is worth a thousand words.'    

We made a campground out of our living room and huddled together. 
A dry erase board to replace the tv.
Our fierce leader 'under cover' of course.
In his own words:  "Daddy made fire!" and mom was able to make tacos.  (Dad was checking the progress of lunch in this pic.)
Making rounds and checking on family.
Chandler's thoughts:  "I ain't getting blamed for this one!"
Queen Jazz's thoughts: "I'm not sharing any of my food with the dog or new kitten."
Big Mike: "I'm doing whatever it takes to stay warm."
Putting aside differences.

The weight of the ice was extreme.
One way to thaw meat in an ice storm.
I got bundled up and braved the cold-er air outside to snap a few pics. 

Stay tuned for more pictures of the 2010 Ice Age.