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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why My Dogs Hate Halloween...

Good thing looks can't kill.

Happy Halloween(ie)!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Something to Talk About

"So did you stay out of trouble today?", I asked Dracen when I picked him up yesterday afternoon. 

"Yes", he said. 

"So no silent lunch or laps today?", I replied back.

"Umm...well, I did get silent lunch." 


me: "Why did you get silent lunch? Talking again?" 

Dracen: "Yeah, but I wasn't actually talking to anybody this time."

me: "Who were you talking to then, yourself?!"

Dracen: "Well yes, I was. I was talking to myself. Actually I was mumbling...I just mumbled about this assignment and how it was...{and then I didn't catch exactly what he said here because he was sort of mumbling}and then the teacher said, 'SILENT LUNCH for you', just like that!... when my-self."

I looked over at Devin who was in the passenger seat trying so hard not to bust out laughing and then I couldn't hold my own laughter back because who-the-heck-gets-in-trouble-for-talking-to-himself? I recovered quickly though by slapping my serious mom hat back on and giving him a stern little talking-to.

But then I cracked up again when I told Charlie about it later. He said, "This is like my life as a kid being replayed all over again". (because he was/is a talker as well)

It's all difficult for me to comprehend since I have never been the talker type.  I was (am) so much of a non-talker that I find it all sort of baffling and downright fascinating to be honest, which is why I also find it so incredibly difficult to lecture him on it. It is foreign to me. 

I was always secretly amused by the kids who were completely comfortable talking out of hand in class because I could not even fathom what it must be like to possess that level of carefree social comfort. Social situations have gotten easier with time, age and wisdom but I'm mostly still just as socially awkward as I ever was (at least on the inside)...

So what did God do? He gave me a chatterbox to raise. Oh yes, His sense of humor is alive and well, my friends...alive and well. 

Laughing through it,

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Just a Little Happy List

Well the week was far from over when I wrote that post Friday morning. I can't go into the details here so you'll just have to trust me when I say that it was not the best of days. Oh don't get me wrong, I've certainly experienced far worse days in my life. But was not a good day.

Rather than wallow in it, however, I thought I'd do just the opposite by making a list of some things/moments that made me smile last week.

Because there is always some happy mixed in...

1. Holding my best friend's newborn baby at the hospital on Wednesday morning. We've been friends since the second day of tenth grade (way back in 1986) and have experienced many a life milestone together. I'm so thrilled for her and her family on their newest addition (baby girl number 3). Congratulations, Michelle!

2. Playing one of my all-time favorite hymns, Just As I Am, on the piano. I've still only had the one lesson so far (since things keep coming up) and I have a long way to go and a whole lot left to learn but I have been practicing and feel like I am finally on my way to accomplishing this thing I've been saying I'm going to do for years and it feels good.

3. Dracen making a 106 on his science test. Granted, he did have a note in his agenda on the same day about his constant talking in math class which we did not blow off. But he is somehow managing to keep his grades up in spite of his endless chatter so amen for that.

4. This. 

5. Charlie's son, Ryan, and daughter, Shana, turning 24 and 20 yesterday! I've always thought it was so awesomely coincidental how they were born on the same day, four years apart and Devin and Dracen were almost born on the same day (17th and 18th of July),four years apart. But 20 and 24?! Where has the time gone? It just keeps speeding up on me.

6. This. 

 7. Wearing my winter hats. And scarves. And boots. I don't get the opportunity to wear them all that often around here but Dracen's baseball games Friday night and Saturday morning prompted me to dust them off and put them on because hello-where-did-fall-go? It got down below 30. In October! Charlie thought my boots were new. I had to remind him that I bought them four years ago but normally only wear them in the snow and well, we haven't seen much of that around here in quite the long time. I'm thinking this may be the year. Although its is back to a high of 70 this week so who really knows what the winter holds.

8. This Cross My Heart Pullover Sweater by Free People. I just recently bought it and while it was a bit of a splurge, I have no doubt that I will get my full money's worth because I cannot stop wearing it. It is the best, most comfortable sweater I have ever owned. 
(It comes in two other colors)

I was wearing it in the photos I posted of our little mountain drive last week.

9. The baseball pictures I took Saturday morning. I finally remembered to take my camera when they were all wearing thermal underwear and hoodies. And of course Dray wouldn't wear the black hoodie that matched because well, he is Dracen. One more game left, tonight. I'm going to try to get some better ones so fingers crossed that it will at least be warm enough to shed the hoodie.

10. This daily devotional book by Sarah Young. It always seems to give me the guidance I need, just when I need it most.

Peace in His Presence,

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Is this week over yet?

Well I am still somewhat congested and having the occasional coughing fit but I did rejoin the land of the living this week. Why do the bugs Dracen brings home always seem to hit me ten times harder than they do him? I suppose it is due to that whole resilience thing kids have working for them.

In other news, we had our first parent/teacher conference with one of Dracen's teachers this week. It seems he is doing well as far as grades go. His only problem (which was no news) is his inability to stop talking incessantly. He gets a lot of "silent lunches" and laps at recess and doesn't hesitate to tell me all about each incident (which usually involves some tattling by a girl) as soon as he gets in the car in the afternoons. Giving Dracen laps to run is more of a reward than a punishment but I guess it at least stops him from talking for a few seconds.

Data notebooks came home for the first time yesterday and inside was his behavior chart for October where all his laps and silent lunches were listed along with some questions he had written answers to. When asked why he didn't meet his behavior goal, he wrote "because I was talking a very, very, very lot!" Did this child get even one of my genes?  Because seriously, I NEVER TALKED in elementary school. Seriously. I think some of the kids (and maybe teachers too) thought I was a mute.

And then there's his brother...the one who looks like me and even has my introverted nature yet has somehow managed to get himself labeled as the class clown.  I had such high hopes for high school, thinking we were leaving these problems behind us with middle school. Turns out, I was wrong because while I was grocery shopping Monday afternoon Charlie received a call from his math teacher. Her words were "I need some help." Apparently he threw a piece of paper and then proceeded to hum while she was trying to teach the class. So she put him on the phone in order for Charlie to give him a good talking to. 

Oh yes, we've been having us quite the fun time around here this week what with the teacher phone call, the coughing fits (Charlie got hit with it this week) my lecture to Dracen on "girl drama" and why he should be trying to steer clear of it at all costs, the Devin lectures, and the fact that Dracen seems to have forgotten that one should be wearing shoes in order to attend school and to leave the house in general. The child forgot his shoes twice for school this week and once while going to Popaw's in the afternoon. One day we were already late leaving so the turning around after we were almost out of the neighborhood landed him a tardy. 

Also, it has turned COLD. Way too cold for baseball which has continued to carry on this week. I may be sporting my bibs and snow boots to Dracen's game tonight. It was 34 degrees on the car thermometer this morning and yet Devin (for reasons way beyond my level of comprehension) refused to put on a hoodie over his short-sleeved t-shirt. So while I was fussing at him, he was rolling his eyes over the backseat at Dracen..."Who forgets to wear SHOES?!" 

Thank the good Lord it is Friday! 

We did manage to make our yearly trip up the mountain last Sunday to see the changing leaves. I usually always forget until the leaves are past their peak but for whatever reason this year (maybe it was all that record-breaking rain over the summer?) they have decided to take their time about changing since many of them were still green. But some spots were absolutely breathtaking and we got a few good photos....


Happy Friday,

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The end of time, energy after sickness, and base no particular order

So it seems I have caught the little bug that kept Dracen out of school one day last week. The one that came back on Saturday afternoon and had him sounding like he was coughing up both lungs. Luckily, after a 13 hour sleeping marathon Saturday night, he was feeling much better. Me? Not so much. I sound a bit like I've been chain smoking for the past twenty years.

But I have definitely had worse and am not expecting myself to check out any time in the immediate future although (unless I saw it incorrectly) when I glanced over at the town's digital sign while on our way to the high school this morning I read that time will be ending for all of us here soon and very soon.

Because I am quite certain it read, "Time Ends 11/3/2013".

By the time Devin looked over it had changed to something else. Hmm...good thing I am not the superstitious sort. I'm guessing that maybe it had scrolled out "Daylight Savings" before that but all I got was the part about the end of time. Listen. I'm no digital sign expert or anything but surely we could get all those words to fit on there at once. It's a fairly big sign and there are certain folk who can get sort of crazy over mention of such things as the end of time as we know it. 

I  once worked with one of them.

He actually told me, when I was expecting Devin (this was 1999 and the whole Y2K madness was looming) that he felt sorry for me because I was about to have a baby right there at the beginning of the Apocalypse.  He was certifiable, that one. I could write an entire series of posts on him. 

But right now I want to talk more about the adventures of that youngest boy, Dracen...

Before his baseball game last night he was practically bouncing off.the.walls. He claimed it was because he had been sick and he always gets this way after he's been sick which was why he got called down for talking in science class (he always tells me when he gets reprimanded at school, most unlike his brother) but as he so manically explained, he just couldn't help it! He just couldn't help it! I think it had more to do with the weekend sleeping marathon than anything else but whatever the reason, the boy was running on a full tank.

Which is why I suspected he was going to pull something crazy at his game.

And I was right. 

He got walked his first bat but his second time to the plate, knocked the bajeebies out of the ball (like I have never seen him do), soaring it way out into the outfield and then took off running the bases like a bat out of h-e double l. The outfielders got the ball in as he was rounding second but did he care or even notice? Nope. Kept on booking it to third.
Apparently though, it was Forrest Gump's lucky day because the next thing I heard (over my own "NOOOO") was, "Heee's....SAFE!" 

Then on his next bat he hit it way up into the air and it came down right  into the first baseman's glove. Only he dropped it. Forrest was safe again. I don't think he's come down yet. And he claims this energy comes from getting over a sickness? Maybe I'll get a little touch of that once my smoker's cough passes.

Here's to hoping,

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's All Good

Last week I finally did something I've been saying I'm going to do for years. I took my very first piano lesson from my longtime friend, Dana, who just so happens to be a piano and guitar teacher. I have not attempted to play an instrument since my band days (I played clarinet 6th thru 12th grades) which was just about too many years ago to count. 

She assured me I was doing good and I was sure she was lying through her teeth because I seriously felt like an old dog trying to learn a brand new trick. It was downright painful. But I came home and practiced. And practiced. And practiced some more. (the boys were thrilled...muahaha). I can now play Row Row Row Your Boat and all the other songs in the kiddie book she had on hand. 

My favorite though has to be The Donkey Song...Hee-haw, Hee-haw, Hee-haw, Hee-haw. I have been thoroughly entertaining myself with that one. The most rewarding time to play it is just after both boys get home from school and turn on the t.v. Paybacks are oh so very sweet. 

I was not able to get my second lesson this Wednesday, however, because Dray had a sick day. He went back to school yesterday but had nearly lost his voice when he got in the car yesterday afternoon. Gruffly, he explained how he had kinda started feeling bad earlier in the day but wanted to stay because he didn't want to miss p.e. Well, that makes perfect sense (Not). The boy (obviously) likes him some p.e.  

And some iPhone. 

We had made a deal with both boys at the beginning of last school year (it was mainly an attempt to motivate Devin) that we would break down and get them iPhones if they made really good grades all year long. Well Dracen did. And he did not let us forget that deal. He got his phone over the summer which has actually worked out well for all of us because if he doesn't do right? He loses his phone until he does. 

Charlie gave it back to him at the beginning of this week, after he had lost it for a few days. He was told that if he did not cooperate in the mornings he would lose it for a minimum of one week each time. And do you know he has been setting his alarm, getting up before anyone else in the house and taking a shower on.his.own? All week?!  Hallejuah, Amen. My prayers have been answered because let me tell you, that boy WAS A STRAIGHT UP TYRANT IN THE MORNINGS. 


And since I'm anything but a morning person, love and love alone is the only thing that saved him. 

That same love had me sleeping on an old flatter-than-a-fritter-pillow I dug out of the closet at bedtime last night. I went to get into bed only to notice that my special pillow was nowhere to be found. The first thought that came to my mind was of course, Dracen. I popped my head in his room to find him sound asleep on his own pillow though and after a quick search around his room, nothing. 

So I began whining and frantically searching the house for my pillow. Charlie checked upstairs in the bonus room because he automatically assumed as well that this had D-r-a-c-e-n written all up over it but came back down empty-handed. A couple of seconds later, after opening Dracen's door again, he came back in the bedroom and said, "He's hugging it." 

I went to see for myself and sure enough, there was my little sleeping angel hugged up with my special pillow underneath his covers. So I did what any good mother would do...opened up the linen closet, dug out an old ratty pillow, put a pillow case on it and carried it on to bed. And Charlie just stood there smiling as he said, "I knew there was no way you were taking that pillow".

He knows me well.

Happy Friday, Y'all!

I leave you with a few of my favorite links and whatnot from around the web this week...

"You're a stay-at-home mom? What do you DO all day?"  LOVED this. The best part is, it was written my a man (Matt Walsh).

21 Really Annoying Facebook Friends We All Have. I laughed so hard.

Wonder Woman Walking a Dachshund print. Etsy This is just all sorts of awesomeness. The only thing that would make it better for me is if the Dachshund had long hair.

And this... Well this just cracked me up. 

this canvas art print...etsy. A-men.

This perfect fall nail polish I bought last week....Chinchilly by Essie.

Romans 8:28:  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 

In other words...

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Brother 1 and Brother 2

Last night at Dracen's game (he's playing fall baseball) he got a base hit and was on first already thinking of stealing second when Charlie overheard the first base coach telling him to wait for his instruction. After he had already taken off and stolen second, the coach then turned to a spectator on the other side of the fence and said, "You gotta watch that one."  Charlie was laughing when he told me what he'd just heard because you have no idea, brother... no i-dea! 

Before we left for the game he came out of his room in his Orioles uniform (black with orange accents) and clomped into the living room with his cleats on, knowing full well he is not supposed to have the cleats on in the house. When Charlie reminded him, what did he do? Jumped up on the door frame, one cleat-ed foot on each side of it. As if that was somehow better than having the cleats on the floor.

He then went outside for all of 30 seconds before bursting back through the door shouting, "THIS IS SALMON! THIS IS SALMON!" And no, not the fish. The color. He was referring to the spandex-ish long-sleeved shirt I'd found at Old Navy last week for him to wear underneath his uniform on chilly nights. And it It was the exact color orange that's in his shirt, belt and socks though he swore to me it looked salmon outside in the sunlight. 

"So take it off then!", I shouted back. And that he did. 

Sweet mercy, that child of mine  is "spirited". 

But although that spirit wears me slap out on most any given day, I love that he is the way he is.  Unlike his brother and me, you rarely have to wonder what is going on in that head of his because he will not hesitate to fill you right in on whatever happens to be eating at him. 

Devin, though he is not quite the extreme introvert as I, is mostly just the opposite. 

Normally when I pick him up at school, he has very little (if anything at all) to say before popping in his earbuds. But today he had something he deemed important enough to get off his chest... "I'm not going to be able to get my license until way late!" 

"Come again?", I replied. 

He went on with his attempt to explain how he is not allowed to take drivers ed until he's 14 and a half and so he can't get his permit until....and yeah,, yeah, it'll be like halfway through junior year before he can get his license what with that July birthday and all. 

(The nerve of me to give him a summer birthday. Gah!) 

I was so completely lost and not understanding a word he was throwing at me. While I think he's confused, I must confess that, if he isn't, delaying this whole parent-of-a-teenage-boy-driving thing does not sound like an entirely bad deal to me. 

I'm just saying,

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