Saturday, July 30, 2011

Eyes Wide Open

Friday afternoon we went to Waco because Miles was scheduled to swim in the Games of Texas - the state swim meet. The week leading up to the meet, he overheard one of his coaches refer to this as the Texas Olympics. It turns out, that was a pretty good description. Athletes came from all over Texas to participate in many events.

Because of Miles needing to be at the pool super early Saturday morning, we chose not to participate in the parade of athletes or any of the game opening ceremonies. As we were driving back from dinner though, we saw the incredible fireworks display over the river. Wow wee!!! These folks do know how to put on a fireworks show! It was a great display that lasted a good amount of time. The kids were thrilled since we haven't seen fireworks in such a long time.

The next morning we saw a beautiful sky. Makes me wonder if we would see this every morning if we were out and driving around at 6:00am. The kids and I just could not get over the colors and the beauty.

Miles and his City of Austin teammates did very well in their medley relay. I first posted that they received 4th place overall, but the final result was 6th. In my book that is still pretty darn fantastic! All of these South Austin boys worked hard and were super proud of their accomplishment.

It is always such a cool feeling to watch your kid do something that you could never do yourself. I had such a feeling of pride watching him have fun and excel.

In less than 24 hours, I saw fireworks light up the Waco sky, a beautiful sunrise and a confident boy swim with all of his heart. I am so glad that I was able to share these things with my family.

I am thankful that I had my eyes wide open.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

When the big kids help momma during the week, we take them to Manvel and drop them off on Sunday and then head down to pick them up on Thursday.

I learned a few weeks ago that it is too hard this summer to make the trip to momma's house and back in one day. It becomes 7+ hours in the car with 3 or more kids, no air condition and 100+ temps. After trying it once, I decided that I would try my hardest not to put the kids or myself through that again. My goal was to drive down on Wednesday night and come home on Thursday morning. That would break up the driving and have us in the car during cooler parts of the day.

Early this morning I got up and loaded the three youngest kids in the car and we headed to Manvel to gather up the older two. Miles had swim practice yesterday and it was my girlfriend's birthday and I didn't want to miss out on celebrating with her - so I ended up bailing on my own goal of making the drive in two days instead of one.

By 11am this morning, we were sitting in momma's house, I was trying to cool off and I was already dreading the long drive home.

And then the phone rang.
It was Heather.
She was in the area for her grandma's funeral and her flight got canceled. She was calling to see if I was still around.
Well low and behold, one thing lead to another and she ended up in the car with me catching a ride to the Austin airport to make the 6pm flight back to stoopid Kansas!

Nothing makes a long hot drive better than having your sister friend in the car. I am not sure we stopped talking once. Somehow having your best friend with you makes it seem a little easier to deal with the three stops to pee and the one pee-pee accident. (yes, all the same kid.)

Somehow it seems that no matter how poorly I have managed to plan (or not plan), things always work out. If I had gotten to momma's Wednesday night, I would have left Manvel by 7am this morning. And I would have missed Heather.

Thank goodness I am so scattered.
I needed that girlfriend time today.

I am so thankful!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cleaning House Makes Me Cry

For the last 4 weeks, Ella and Sam have been spending 5 days a week in Manvel to help my mom. They have enjoyed hanging with her and living the slow country life.

Well, I got a wild hair yesterday and decided that I'd try to re-arrange their rooms before I pick them up tomorrow.

Around our house I have a reputation of making rooms look like a tsunami hit while in the process of cleaning.

I have stuff scattered everywhere. While pulling and piling, I don't pay much attention to what I am touching. I am just trying to get the junk outta the way so that I can move the big furniture.

So I am in Sam's room and I have begun putting things where they belong. I pick up a canvas from the pile and turn it over. I am not really sure what I am seeing at first - and then it hits me. It is me. A pencil drawing of me. A pencil drawing of me holding a baby that says Merry Christmas.

I kind of sit and look at it for a while. I am trying to figure out what the deal is. Do I tell him that I've seen it? Do I put it back under the bed? What do I do?!?!?!?!?!

Naturally, I can't let the dog lie - so I call him.

It turns out, he had paid a kid in one of his classes to draw this picture of me and Wyatt. He was going to give it to me for Christmas, but he wasn't pleased with the way that it turned out.

I try my hardest not to start bawling and squalling on the phone. I tell him thank you and that I love it. And then I hang up and sit in the room and cry for a good long while.

What a kind thing to do.
What a beautiful gesture.
What a thoughtful kid.

I really think that someday this kid is going to be a great husband to some sweet young lady.

You've Come A Long Way, Baby!

Our summer days are filled with swimming, reading, paint by number, finger knitting, a little sewing, some baking and of course, making pet rocks.

The pet rock has come a long way since we were making them in the 70's.
Wouldn't ya say?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Look of Summer

I sometimes wonder why we have such a terrible laundry problem. I know part of the reason is cause I kinda suck at doing laundry. Another part of the problem is that I kinda hate doing laundry. But there is a small part that isn't my fault.

It's cause we are in constant disguise mode in this joint. There is always at least one kid with a weeks worth of clothes on hiding from another kid who is probably mostly naked.

There is the constant pile of blankets and sheets on the living room floor. Every clothes pin, binder clip, chip clip and hair band can also be found on the living room floor. All of these items are in place (in a mess) so that forts can be built on a moments notice.

And the towels. There are towels and towels and towels...

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Call Me Crazy

Our kids have been selling lots of lemonade this summer.

They make the lemonade from Country Time powder, load their stuff in the car and I drive them down to sit on the corner for hours.

Jena loves to do it and would sell every single day if I would let her.

All of this lemonade selling kinda makes us stick out like a sore thumb in the neighborhood.
(maybe i exagerrate a bit)

Our kids are the only kids that aren't selling and donating their profits to the homeless, the animal shelter, the save the schools campaign or the school library.

They are selling lemonade because they want money.

We don't give our kids allowance.

If they want money, they need to earn it.

When did it become wrong to work for your money?

I was pretending to be a customer at the lemonade stand this afternoon.
A lady asked the girls if it was fresh squeezed (um, no) and what they were raising money for.

Jena's answer - 'summer'.

Call me crazy, but is it so wrong for kids to pony up their own money for ice cream, sno beach, chewing gum and movies? And to sweat a little in the process.

We don't have grandparents that send us loads of birthday money. You aren't getting money for doing the jobs that you are suppose to be doing to contribute to our home. You aren't getting money for grades.

I guess our kids could say they are selling lemonade to help needy children.
It wouldn't be a lie.

Monday, July 11, 2011

One giant leap for mankind

Can you even believe we will never see a Space Shuttle lift off ever ever again?

How will little boys and girls be able to dream about being astronauts if there are no America space ships taking off and heading into space?

It really bums me out.
I vividly remember watching the first Space Shuttle take off.
And now our kids will remember seeing the last Space Shuttle take off.
I just can't imagine that the American space program will now be paying the Russians to let us ride on their space ships.
I guess it is just another one of those things that we could have never dreamed possible when we were kids.