Friday, July 1, 2011

Almost three years later...

Wow! I totally forgot I even had this blog. Funny how this thing called "life" happens and rearranges one's priorities!
So much has happened since November 2008, it's not really worth the attempt to catch up on it all, so I'll just comment on this and that.
April 2009...Grandpa passed away.
May 2009...I received an Advanced Bionics Cochlear Implant in my right ear...success! I LOVE IT!!!
July 2009...I received a CI in my left ear. Doesn't work as well as that in my right, and it took 9 months to hear the tiniest hint of sound, but I am still praising the Lord for this little miracle.
September 2009...Jeff (hubby) received a CI in his right ear...took him a while to decide if he liked it or not (it's different than a hearing aid). He loves it now and wants to go bilateral as soon as things work out.
August 2009...I returned to college. (Yeah, I'm nuts that way!)
February 2010...I pulled Matthew out of public school...long story, but they're just not up to par educationally.
March 2010...Matthew entered private school...he loves it, and it's a year ahead of the public school system! Momma's happy! No more dumbed-down education for my kids!
December 2010...I received my AA degree in Speech Communications.
March 2011...I got a part-time job working for Guide By Your Side, under Hands & Voices. We offer neutral, unbiased support to hearing parents with deaf children. I love it!
June 2011...David graduated from high school. Two down...two to go!!!
June 2011...I flew to Maine for the National Hands & Voices Conference (part of my training for GBYS). Jeff joined me when conference was over and we had a little mini getaway, just the two of us to celebrate 22 years together a week late!
July 2011...I remembered I had a blog somewhere and searched for it (and found it, obviously!)
Now that things are caught up a bit, I'm taking another break...maybe I'll remember to return and post again before 2 1/2 years pass by!! ;)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Almost 6 months later!!

WOW! Almost six months have passed since I have posted anything. I apologize to those who have been wanting to read more from me. Things kind of took off and kept me occupied, as they normally do.
Let's see, since May, quite a lot has happened. Stephen graduated from High School in June. That was bittersweet. I went to the graduation ceremony fully prepared to cry and brought a purse full of kleenex, but the program was so lighthearted I could do nothing but laugh. I was so grateful for the humor to take the edge off what could have been a sad (but a proud-sad) 2 hours! Summer started immediately after that and we didn't really go anywhere. Jeff was in an air-cast boot following a work-related injury and that limited a lot of events. That was fine with us, however, as we welcomed the opportunity to stick close to home. David had the privilege of attending Nike Golf camp and he loved it. There were Vacation Bible School weeks, Youth Camp at the beach, Sports camps, College orientation, etc. That pretty much took up the entire summer and before we knew it, summer football practice started.
In August, Stephen headed to college. He seems to be liking it so far. He's doing ok. There were some challenges not uncommon for a Freshman, but he's doing well. Matthew started Kindergarten. He's doing well in that area as well. He received recognition for good character and has more "green" (i.e., good) days than anything else.
David sat out half of the football season. In October, he received what's called a SMO brace. This is a remarkable piece of plastic formed to his foot and fitted snugly around his ankle. The minute he had that contraption on, he walked straighter, taller, and with less of a limp. He also was virtually pain-free. Immediately that week after getting the brace, he was on the football field actually doing drills. He was so thrilled! He's not back at 100% yet, but he at least got to play a few plays for the remainder of the season so we feel by next year he'll be that much better. YAY! This was a looonnnnggg time coming for him! I'm so proud!
Jennifer is in 5th grade this year. She's dancing one class a week at Head To Toe (where she used to be on Company), playing soccer, signed up for basketball that starts soon, dancing for the Christmas program at church (that requires a LOT of time), and has participated in one choir event with another coming up next weekend. She's also a student leader at her school. Her grades are very good. Momma is proud!
Jeff had tendon-repair surgery in September and was home for 6 weeks. He is healing nicely and jumping the gun a bit trying to do a bunch of things he isn't supposed to but in my opinion, that's a typical man for you. We had some issues with the Workers' Compensation checks and a misunderstanding about his work supplemental benefits, but after 6 weeks of arguing back and forth, this incredible man was able to spell everything out in clear, concise description. Where in the world was this man 6 weeks prior???
So, that's where things are right now. Tons of things happened in between what I've posted. David got his braces off, he got released from Physical Therapy. Jeff started Physical Therapy. There is uncertainty as to whether Jeff will have a job every single day he heads to the office. Stephen was able to perform in some band events (he has a small band made up of 4 guys), he also marched with the Texas State University band. Dookie became huge (I'll have to post pictures. He's our Catahoula mix canine.). Jennifer got a black cat in June from her friend and he's going to be neutered this month. We didn't do any halloween parties or trick-or-treating, but we did carve pumpkins and roast the seeds. The pumpkins miraculously disappeared overnight the first night we put them outside (when they started to grow mold!).
I'll try to make the time to post more often. I have pictures to put up, so be checking back and I'll do whatever I can whenever I get some free time!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mighty Texas Dog Walk

Jeff, Jennifer, and I participated in the Mighty Texas Dog Walk. It's a fundraiser for a service dog training center that is in our town. There's some rivalry between this and a British dog walk for the Guinesses Book of World Records. We didn't break the record this year, but we still had fun. Our puppy was on the evening news today for just a second. That was pretty cool.
I have one complaint about the dog walk this year. There were 3 water stations set up along the course, but the problem was that there was a run of some kind that happened before the dog walk and used the same route and the runners depleted the water supply so by the time we got to any of those 3 tables for water, there was absolutely nothing left. I think they should have warned us before we started the walk that water would be unavailable. After 3 miles, we were parched!!!
Other than that, it was fun. Hot, but fun! :)
Here's a link to the TV program...not sure if it works...
Mighty Texas Dog Walk
In the video, about halfway through, two men will talk, then right after them is a woman and right after that woman is our puppy, Duke.
I'll post more pictures later. I'm kind of tuckered out right now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mother's Day Musings

Mother's Day...This year, it falls on Sunday, May 11. Actually, if you ask me, every day is Mother's Day. Think about it. Is there ONE day in the year when a Mom doesn't hear, "MOM!!!"??? Is there one day in the year when someone doesn't need, want, think about, love, cherish, or thank their mom??
I can't tell how many times "Let your mother do it for you" or "I'm telling Mom!" has been voiced in my household. Therefore, every day must be Mother's day if Mom has to do it all...
So, what, really, is the purpose of setting aside one day in the year to honor these hard-working, self-sacrificing icons we call "Mom"?? Overpriced flowers, more paper in our landfills (think, homemade and store-bought cards and the 2 year old's drawings), boom in restaurant business, extra opportunities for people to go to church, to name a few.
But Motherhood...if I were to sum it consists of many emotions. Here's a recent story:

I took Matthew (now 5) with me to run errands. The night before, his daddy had been complaining his foot was cramping up. I don't recall Matthew being in the room at the time when Daddy was whining. (Bear with me...this has something to do with the story) I was at 4 different stores and a fast-food place and every place I went, Matthew would be limping and people would look at me with utter SHOCK on their face, or disgust. I guess you could call them disgustingly shocked. I have no idea what Matthew was saying, I tried to get him to tell me but I couldn't understand him myself. So this goes on all day. People look at me and I smile one of those smiles only a proud mother could have for her child. You know the type, right?? That brought even more horror to the faces of these passers-by. I started to worry a little bit, but wouldn't let it show in my face. That evening, we get home and I finally find out from Jennifer what Matthew had been saying all day..."My feet are crapping!! My feet are CRAPPING!!!" ::Groan:: (Picture me with a huge ear-to-ear grin as he yelled that!!! No wonder people were disgusted with this Mom!!)
Apparently, Matthew wanted to be like daddy. He also wanted to be like David...he managed to sneak David's old heel gel thingie, oversized and all, into his shoe!

But it is moments like that, and like the time Matthew insisted his foot broke (because his toenail needed a trim after breaking), the time Matthew asked me if I dreamed (the story is in an earlier blog), the joy of watching a child receive an award, score a goal, make a basket, successfully finish an instrumental piece, discover something scientific, misunderstand something that ends up being humorous, make it through surgery -- twice -- and go on to play football, get an academic honor, graduate from high school (sniff, sniff) and adamantly tell you that it is NOT ok for you to attend the same college as he does, THOSE are the things that help shape motherhood. The rewards are in the relationships themselves that last long after the kids leave home. When the kids are little, the rewards are in the neverending hugs and kisses and scribbled papers with "I :heart: Mom". When the kids enter the teen years, the reward is in maintaining communication when so many other kids are cutting it off.

I've been blessed. It's been a roller-coaster ride with all the highs, lows, loop-de-loops, twists, and upside down hangs, and there have been times where the car got stuck upside down at the top of the highest loop and all I could do was scream. Then there were times the car got stuck right side up at the bottom and all I could do was hold my children, sigh, and enjoy the quiet. The ride is far from over. I have at least one child at home until the year 2021 and I'm not pushing it.

For Mother's day, check this out:
Mother's Day Giveaways

And Happy Mother's Day (even though I still insist every day is Mother's Day) to all you other Moms!!!

Mother's Day Giveaway

I'm coming in on this late in the game, but I still wanted to throw it out there...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Texas Shows and Poodle Skirts

My daughter is in 4th grade. Her music teacher decided to make Texas the theme for the 4th grade music program this Spring. I think the kids only had like 2 weeks to work on the show, and when you only have music 1-2 times a week, that isn't much! The first time I heard about the show was when I got a notification that the program date had changed. Changed? Ummm....I didn't even know there was A show!! In this notification, attire was only mentioned with the sentence, "I would like for the kids to not wear shorts and t-shirts" then it was mentioned girls in another teacher's class could wear prairie skirts. I asked Jennifer what she was supposed to wear, all excited that I could make a prairie skirt (they're super-easy!!). She said she was supposed to wear a poodle skirt, according to her teacher. I scratched my head for a really long time, and not because I had lice or fleas either! What in the world do poodle skirts have to do with a music program about Texas??? Jennifer said her class was doing the song "Wooly Bully". Ok, now I'm REALLY confused!!! What in the world does "Wooly Bully" have to do with Texas???? Isn't that a 1950's sock-hop song? Ah HA! THAT'S where the "poodle skirt" fits in, but still...this is TEXAS!!!
So I oblige. I couldn't get ahold of the teacher, so I end up going to the store, seeing some polka dot fabric on sale, and purchased blue with white polka dots. I purchased some lime green felt rick-rack and a few iron-on rhinestones. I had white fabric and white chenille at home. Oh yeah, I purchased some tiny check lime green gingham and some lime green tulle. My daughter is obsessed with lime green and blue these days. I worked hard making her a full-circle poodle skirt, complete with white poodle decked out in chenille and the leash/collar were made of the lime-green rick-rack and the rhinestones decorated the collar portion. If I say so, it came out really cute. To add fullness, the gingham was used to make the petticoat and the lime green tulle was sewn on the bottom of that so it barely peeked out under the blue poodle skirt. To complete the look, Jennifer had some lime green and blue beaded bracelets, a pair of white sunglasses, and wore her hair in a high ponytail. She had tulle for a belt, hair ribbon, and a neck scarf. She looked really...umm..."Californiaish".
So after neglecting ALL my other responsibilities for the 2 days it took me to make all that, we show up at the program, still not quite done, but done enough we hope nobody else notices. As it turns out, Jennifer was the ONLY student dressed like that. ALL the other 80+ kids were in blue jeans, bandanas, cowboy hats, prairie skirts, boots, etc. ALL western wear!! Umm....oops!!! But in my defense, Jennifer insisted her music teacher specifically said, "Poodle Skirt"!!! See, that's just proof that us moms should ALWAYS listen to our gut!! When you have that urge to scratch your head in confusion, that generally means, "DON'T!" ;)
I think I covered well...when I got those quizzical looks from other parents there about Jennifer's attire, I just nicely replied, "Oh, She's playing the part of a Hollywood Queen who just relocated to Texas and doesn't quite fit in yet!"
I still say she was cute. They DID do "Wooly Bully" and basically, she was the only one dressed to match the song...all the other kids were out of place. hehehe
Here's some pictures:
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Monday, April 21, 2008

Amazing Boldness

I had two specific conversations with Matthew recently. One was the day before his fifth birthday. It went as follows:

Matthew: Mom, can I have a cookie please??
Me: No.
Matthew: But why?
Me: Because you've already eaten a lot and you need to wait for dinner.
Matthew: (shrugs, mutters under his breath and walks off)

A few minutes later I see Matthew pulling a chair over to the cabinets where I keep the cookies.

Me: Matthew, what are you doing??
Matthew: I'm getting a cookie.
Me: Did I say you could have a cookie??
Matthew: No, but you will.

Ok, tell me how 4 year olds about to turn five can be so bold??? FYI, no, he did not get the cookie. I put my foot down and it stayed down!!

Then, the following morning, he wakes up and comes running to me...

Matthew: MOM!!!! Do I go to school today???
Me: No, you don't start school until after summer and when football starts.
Matthew: But I'm five!
Me: I know you're five. Happy Birthday!! But you have to wait until a new school year starts before you go and that won't happen for 4 more months.
Matthew: How many hours is that??
Me: Lots of hours!
Matthew: (shrugs and runs over to the computer)

A few minutes later:

Matthew: MOM!!! You LIED to me!!!!
Me: What? What did I lie to you about?
Matthew: You said I'm five today. But I'm not. When I'm five I can reach, but I can't reach, so I'm still four, I'm not five, you lied!
Me: Oh, Matthew, turning five doesn't mean you miraculously shoot upward and catch up with Daddy in height. You only grow about this much (holding fingers to show about an inch) every year, so it will be a few years before you can reach that high.
Matthew: Well, I still say you lied to me, I'm five and I can't drive either!

I love having conversations with kids at this age. It's so funny how their mind works!