Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No Girls Allowed

For those of you who were concerned that maybe I was leaving out my little man, Mr. B, while taking Miss L to her first concert, I will ease your fears when I tell you that he was off enjoying the weekend with his daddy. I was informed on a couple occasions that "no girls were allowed."


Steven was invited to participate in a wagon train of sorts. It actually consisted of nine wagons/horses and buggy's. They met up at a semi-local church that was approximately five or six miles from our house and from there they rode together for awhile. Along the way they stopped to grill hamburgers and eat while enjoying each others company.


The remainder of their time was also spent doing "boy stuff". They hauled rocks in the loader bucket of the tractor, burned brush piles and ate "junk food".

If the amount of dirt covering my child when I arrived home on Sunday was any indication, I know that the boys enjoyed their weekend as much as we, the girls, enjoyed ours.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fearless....

Well, the weekend I had been anticipating for over two months finally arrived....and it was great!



As we left our house on Saturday, Miss L only knew that we were going to St. Louis and we were going to do something special for her birthday. Even on the ride up there she tried to break her Aunt Sissy and I down, pleading for us to tell her.

Miss L was getting tired of all the secrecy....I mean literally tired.





And Aunt Sissy and I....well, we were just giddy with excitement. Can adults be giddy? If so, we were. If not, we must not be adults.



Let me explain a little of our excitement to you. Late last summer Miss L was in the living room playing while I was watching music awards. (I am not aware of her having any previous exposure to Taylor Swift unless it was on the radio, and she if she paid anymore attention to her songs than she did any other, I didn't notice.) As Taylor starting singing "Should've Said No", Miss L literally stopped what she was doing, stood in the middle of the floor and watched her performance. After the performance was over she told me to rewind it (on our DVR) and she wanted to watch it again. And again. And again. Again. Again. Again.

We ended up recording it and she would watch it daily. Multiple times.


When coming home at night she would tell me to turn on Taylor Swift, "Should've Said No", "the one with her singing in the rain and she gets wet". Before she went to bed at night she would tell me to turn on Taylor Swift, "the one with her singing in the rain and she gets wet." At that time I am not sure why she specifically asked for "the one with her singing in the rain and she gets wet", but at that time, that is the only thing we had recorded.


Apparently the song, Taylor, and the water, made a big impact.


Since that time, any appearance, any performance, any song on the radio, any interview, anything that pertained to Taylor Swift warranted immediate attention and, of course, had to be recorded to be watched OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

She is the only thing that Miss L has ever been consumed with.


She even had me scrunch her hair so that it could be "curly like Taylor's". For Halloween, she was even, "Taylor Swift the pirate..?????"


Santa brought CD's and they were listened to over and over and over and over. She would sing songs by heart and memorized most lyrics. And if they weren't the actual lyrics, they were the lyrics as interpreted by Miss L.


It was HER excitement about Taylor Swift that created OUR excitement about Taylor Swift. And there was a lot of excitement.


***************


We had wanted to wait until we got to the concert to let her in on what was going on, but it became immediately apparent that was not going to work. As we were checking into our hotel there was a small girl in front of us carrying Taylor's Fearless CD. We knew that there would be too many things to give it away and decided to tell her once we got to the room.



Only a king suite was available and I assured the man behind the desk that it would be fine because we were sister and Miss L was ours. Yeah. Not sure where that came from. Apparently I am not giving Steven any credit and my sister is now my co-parent. After we laughed at how odd that was and how naturally it came out, we headed off to our room.



Funny that we waited until we got to the room because two adults, with camera's, capturing her reaction in the middle of a hotel lobby would just be too weird, but two adult women laughing about the fact that we were sharing a king suite because the six year old was ours, was not weird to us at all.
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Once in the room we had her sit on the bed and we told her. I took pictures and Aunt Sissy recorded her.


Of course, there was no jumping and screaming.

I didn't expect it.

It isn't her style.

Because, Miss L, for some reason, is not made like that.


When we told her she acted just exactly like I thought she would:


She smiled. A BIG SMILE.


And then, in true Miss L style, she tucked her chin, almost as if she was embarrassed that we were showering her with this news, this attention, this excitement....and not to mention the two cameras in her face.


She recovered and then leaned back on her arms, taking it all in.


She then said, "I guessed it you know...."


This statement made me start laughing. Yes, she guessed it. Right along with guessing that we were taking her to get ice cream, bowl, roller skate, fly kites.....you name it. And the best part? When she guessed it, the guess was sandwiched in between guesses about buying an animal and riding in an airplane and followed by laughter about the absurdity and impossibility of her guess.



I told her that she indeed guessed it but never believed it to be true. And with that, she agreed.


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Of course, after she recovered from the shock it became of utmost importance that we get ready and GO! Right then! The fact that it was over three hours before the concert and we were two blocks away had no relevance what so ever.



Aunt Sissy and I rounded up and Miss L changed to get ready for the concert. She was so thankful that I thought to pack her Taylor Swift t-shirt.



**************
After we convinced her that we might be jumping the gun by arriving this early, we decided to go eat at the Hard Rock Cafe because Miss L wanted to experience it.



Or maybe Miss L had NO IDEA what the Hard Rock Cafe was and could care less.



Maybe, just maybe, it was actually because her mother remembers being in high school and seeing all the t-shirts and not knowing what on the earth "Hard Rock Cafe" was and feeling left out because of it. Maybe I wanted Miss L to be privy to this important part of American Culture before she was 27 years old (unlike me).



DON'T JUDGE ME.



I may be living vicariously but I am not stupid. When they told us that the wait was 2 hours, we snapped a pic or two and headed on. American Culture or not....2 hours is 2 hours. No atmosphere is THAT good.


We grabbed a couple of slices of pizza and started making our way towards the venue.



Not knowing that we were heading towards the wrong side of the Scottstrade Center, we actually walked up on the parked tour buses (I think there were 9 of them) and the semi-trucks (I think there were 7 of them).

We waited for awhile hoping that we might catch a glimpse of Miss Swift, but we didn't.



Once inside Aunt Sissy thought that Miss L NEEDED the glow stick with Taylor's name on it.



And then, I, having quite a collection of concert tee's myself, decided that Miss L needed one to commemorate her first concert experience. Despite the fact that the line was atrocious, I put Miss L on my shoulders and forged ahead. You see, I once avoided the long line at a concert tee stand and didn't get a Bon Jovi "Lost Highway" tour shirt...I still regret that.



As a mom, I know she is too young to have to shoulder that type of regret and mental burden. Because, ya know, I am cool like that and I understand that type of anguish.


We found our seats and waited. Miss L didn't understand that the new group, Gloriana, was first and they were followed by Kellie Pickler. Then, and only then, would we see Taylor.
She was a wee bit impatient, but have I mentioned how much she loves Taylor?
I have to say that both Gloriana and Kellie Pickler were very good. I think Kellie Pickler is a sincere person and you can feel her emotion when she sings.
But Miss L, well she was closing in on her normally scheduled bed time and she really just wanted to see Taylor. Can you tell?
I think that look on her face was concern that this was possibly a farce and that Taylor really wasn't coming. It wasn't long before it became apparent that Taylor would be up soon and Miss L decided she was "feeling it" and started dancing to the music.....I mean REALLY dancing. In our row, in the aisle....she was a dancing fool. I wonder where she gets that?
*****************
And then the moment arrived. The lights dimmed, the curtain started rising, and I don't think that Miss L's eyes could have gotten any wider. And I don't think the smile on MY face could have gotten any bigger!
This is what she saw:
Taylor opened with her song, "You belong with me". She was dressed as a band majorette and was raised up out of the floor of the platform. The front of the platform was made to look like lockers and cheerleaders did flips and cheers out in front.
For those of you who are not familiar with her or her songs, I am pleased that this is who my daughter has chosen to look up to. This song is only one of many that points out that you do not have to be like everyone else. You do not have to conform.
"She wears high heels, I wear sneakers, she's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers...."
**************
Every song was theatrical and filled with passion for the music. Many were preceded by videos, some containing stars, some just containing poignant messages that everyone, not just children, need to hear and be reminded of. And some, well some were just funny and entertaining.
During one song Taylor appeared in the audience and made her way down to the center of the floor were she performed "Fifteen". It was particularly heartfelt and moving. Miss L kept saying "Let's go down there and take our picture with her. Let's go down there and talk to her. Let's go."
Come to find out, explaining to a six year old why you can't do those things is very difficult.
My sister and I were impressed early on. We liked Taylor before coming to the concert, but wondered how exactly she would be "live".
It was great and it greatly surpassed our expectations. Of course, she sealed the deal with my sister when she incorporated Justin Timberlakes' "What Goes Around" into her song, "You're Not Sorry". Because like me, Sarah probably didn't expect to see Taylor rapping while playing the piano, but was equally impressed that she did. She more than pulled it off..... In fact, I think that her song sounded like it was meant to be sung that way.
********************
Miss L had been battling a sinus infection and I had been giving her Benadryl. When combining those two circumstances with the fact that is was 2 1/2 hours after her "regularly scheduled" bedtime, she was definitely starting to bottom out. Her eyes were getting so heavy and she was struggling to stay alert.
But as Taylor explained, every little girl wants to believe in the fairy tale. When that fairy tale(and "Love Story') is being re-enacted onstage, it is hard for little girls, and big girls, not to watch.
Doesn't every girl dream of being a princess in a castle???

Miss L was so enchanted by the castle and amazed at how the stage kept transforming before her eyes.
The stage AND Taylor. One minute renaissance dress and next flowing white gown, same song....without missing a beat.
And then came the final song. The grand finale.
Much to Miss L's (ok, ok, Miss L's and Aunt Sissy's and my) delight it was indeed the song that started it all for us, "Should've Said No."
This time there were drums/barrels added into the theatrical element of the show,
Oh, yes, drums/barrels and rain. The very performance that started this all was the same performance that wrapped it up. The excitement and wonder was written all over Miss L's face.
And again, it was me who couldn't stop smiling.


Even though Miss L kept saying that this was the "best birthday present ever" I know in my heart that the gift was actually given to me. This experience is one that I will never forget.
Even though she is only six, maybe when she is say, fifteen, and mom isn't quite as cool, I hope that Miss L always remembers my love, and the love of the rest of her family, and how it was that love that was behind this weekend, and this experience.
Yeah, I hope she remembers THAT. I know I will.
"In your life you'll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team.....I didn't know it at fifteen". -Fifteen, Taylor Swift

(I apologize that blogger seems to be pushing my paragraphs together. Sorry if it is hard to read.)

Friday, April 24, 2009

I don't know who is more excited......

OK. Actually I do know.

I am.

You see, tomorrow my sister and I are taking Miss L on her birthday trip. Let me explain.....

Last summer my sister and I thought that it would be awesome to take Miss L to see Taylor Swift in concert. Because, well, Miss L LOVES Taylor Swift. LOVES. LOVES. LOVES. And because Steven would rather do about anything than go to a Taylor Swift concert, Aunt Sissy said that she would suck it up and go with me. Like I really had to twist her arm....

I looked at her tour schedule and didn't see anything remotely close.

A couple of months ago, I picked up the Taylor Swift flame and started searching for concert dates and times. And what do you know.....she actually had a show in St. Louis. On April 25th. 10 days after L's birthday. I knew that we HAD TO GO!

Did I mention that my girl LOVES Taylor Swift. She sings her songs, watches her videos, has me scrunch her hair so that it looks like "Taylor's". She has Taylor Swift barbies and because of the song, "Best Day", says that Taylor Swift is just like her.
All she knows is that we are going to St. Louis and that we are doing something special. Her guesses have ranged from going to get ice cream....roller skating....bowling......flying kites.
Last night I said, "L, I think I am more excited than you are." To which she replied, "You are....because I don't know where we are going...."

She begged me to tell her and when I said that I wanted to keep it a secret, she said, "FINE! I am not going!

I told her that was fine.....I still was.

Before the words left my mouth she exclaimed, "I'm just kidding! I am going!... But I just wish you would tell me where!"

And folks, let me tell you, I can not wait until I get to........
(Oh yeah, if anybody happens to know somebody who knows somebody....we would love backstage passes......)


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You can thank me later!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

That's what little girls/boys are made of...

When you live on a farm some things are more easily accepted because of it.

Such as death. At least death of animals.

Don't get us wrong, we love our animals and death isn't something that we look forward to, or are even calloused against, but it is accepted.

We have had cows die naturally, we have had cows die tragically, we have had cows die so we could eat them....(ahem)...... All of which the kids were understanding of.

We have also seen dogs die, cats, frogs,chickens, fish....... you name it.

However, last week I was surprised at how accepted it was.
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Our barn cats had kittens. Both of them. There were a total of ten baby kittens.

Miss L loved them. Whole-heartedly.

She talked to them, checked on them mulitiple times a day, and petted and comforted them.

Did I mention how she loved them?

However, I also found it surprising how Mr B was somewhat indifferent to the kitties. I mean, he liked to see them and he thought they were cute, but poking his head in and seeing that they were "OK" was enough for him. He didn't need to spend that much time, or energy, nuturing. Maybe that was the boy in him, just as the girl in Miss L called her to coddle them and love them.

******************

Last week I noticed that one kitten was not thriving. In fact, it was becoming quite lethargic and still, in addition to the noticible size difference. I am sure it was the runt, but it seemed to have many cards stacked against it, not just size.

I told Steven that night that I thought for sure that by the next day, the kitten wouldn't be alive any longer.

The next evening, as Miss L and I checked on the kittens, I noticed that the little one had indeed passed away.

"Miss L, the kitty has died." I said this as she was bending down to rub her hands through their fur. I didn't want her to be surprised or scared with the realization.

She looked at me and said, matter of factly, "We need to move it."

I told her that her daddy would be there shortly. She was adament that it be moved now. Groaning inwardly I picked it up and started to the door, only to realize that Steven was headed down the drive.

I laid the dead kitty down by the doorway and said, "Daddy is coming. We will let him take care of it. He will bury it for us."

Because, you know, at our house daddy is the person in charge of burying.

Before I could step out the door, Miss L picked up the kitty and said, "I will take it to him."

And she did. This six year old child of mine took the kitty out to her daddy and explained to him that we needed to bury it. Steven got a shovel and headed to what he said was the "perfect" burial site.

And by "perfect" he means easy to dig.

But before he laid the little kitty to rest, the amused daddy did have to get a shot of her standing there holding it. With his cell phone. And no, I won't subject you to that picture. At least not today. He just took the picture all the while smiling with admiration at the toughness of his little cowgirl.

After finding a stick that resembled a cross, they buried the little kitty and said a prayer, even though Miss L said she didn't even know what to pray for.

It was a kitty and it was dead.

I told her that we could ask Jesus to watch over it and take care of it in heaven. And we did.



To my surprise, it wasn't my nuturing little girl that had showered these kitties with love that was torn up over the loss, but my indifferent son, who ended up turning into his daddy's shoulder for comfort.

And this time it was me that took a picture, smiling at the sensitivity of her little boy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Somebody get me my cane...


I am old.


It is final.


If you don't believe me, ask my sister.


She informed me of this a couple of weeks ago when the words "I am watching Dancing With The Stars" came out of my mouth.


Of course, I tried to reason with my young sis....I tried to explain my predicament.


You see, normally, I am not a "Dancing With The Stars" viewer. No Siree. In fact, our family doesn't watch much tv. Period.


I have one, ok two nights, that I watch TV. Tuesday and Wednesday. If I am not home, the DVR is set to record. American Idol is my weakness and I am not ashamed to admit it.


"Hi. I am Kim and I am an American Idol addict."


Anyway, considering that my sis is too cool for American Idol, I was already teetering on the edge. But..."Dancing with the Stars".....that pushed me over.


Again, I tried to convince her that it was only because of Ty Murray competing on this show, that it had found a place on our tv screen in our living room. I mean, even Steven glances up now and again. And that is more attention than he gives almost anything on t.v.

There is something about watching someone (Ty) who is completely stiff and awkward (cowboy syndrome) try to pretend to dance. It is like a wreck. You HAVE to look.


So....I decided to embrace this old-ness and bring my kids down with me.


They have now included themselves as part of Dancing's viewing audience. AND, they even dance with the stars...right there in the living room floor. Oh...except of course, they ARE the stars.


Some nights it is more rehearsal and some nights, it is the real deal.


But I am telling you....folks, you can't even pay for this type of quality entertainment.




I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sometimes cowgirls DO cry.....


Miss L is a cowgirl.


I know this as certainly as I know that her daddy is a cowboy.




It is an attitude, a love and way of thinking.




She has all of the above.




Tonight her cowgirl status was tested. Not for the first time. Not for the last.



As Miss L saddled up and headed out wearing her boots and HIS trophy belt buckle, she and her daddy were in their element. And she couldn't have been happier.



It was 20 or so short minutes later when I looked up and saw them heading back. Miss L was chatting it up and using her very expressive hands to tell what looked like to be quite the story.


As I finished cleaning up the kitchen she hit the front door and exclaimed....."Momma...I have some bad news. Really bad news. Actually, just kinda bad!"



I said, "Tell me about it."



That is when she preceded to tell about it....

(Yes, that is Peanut....she looks innocent enough. She is in trouble here.)


She told me how Peanut got excited when Daddy and his horse started running. So....she and Peanut started running. Everyone was really excited until Peanut decided to buck. When Peanut bucked, Miss L said she did a somersault in the air, and landed on her head.


Her daddy actually said that she did indeed fall head first onto the ground and landed on her face and when her neck bent backwards she flipped, landing her ultimately on her back. Steven, who doesn't get overly excited, stated that he was just glad she moved so that he knew he "she wasn't paralyzed". He said it looked pretty bad.

Considering the ordeal, she was recovering remarkably, telling me how the incident went down.

I wanted to take a video of her recounting the story because I was so amazed that she was so animatedly telling me about it.


It was at this point that she decided that maybe she wasn't as "OK" with it as she previously seemed. She got a little teary eyed and said, "I don't want you to video me now.....I don't feel good and I kinda hurt."

Although I was disappointed that I couldn't capture the amazing attitude this brave six year old continually displays, I ushered her into the bathroom and told her that "it was ok..." I was just proud of her and how she was such a cowgirl.

She hesitated and said "But I cried a little."


I assured her that it was simply a myth that cowgirls don't cry. For she was most certainly a cowgirl and the fact that after being thrown and landing head first, this little girl, picked herself up and got right back on her horse and rode back to the house proved that. She did it all on her own and all by her own desire. It was THIS that makes a cowgirl.



And this isn't the first time she has done this or reacted in this grown up way. I am also sure that it won't be the last.



After coming to terms with it she did what any daughter of mine would do.



She wrote about it.


("horse bucked me off" is what it says and the picture is of her on the horse and her on the ground)



And then she decided to let me capture the roughed up face. Although, by this time, I don't know that you could tell much. But let me assure you that initially she was scratched, and bruised and in her words, her "lip was bleeding A LOT!"










And then she decided that she would let me record her retelling her harrowing tale. This time it wasn't nearly as animated and she wasn't nearly as excited. It was, however, her story and her words.


I wish I had just a fraction of her determination and resolve.


Oh yeah! Did I mention the fact that she said her lip was bleeding a lot?!



Monday, April 20, 2009

Voo Doo

Last night I slept for the whole night. It was great!

I haven't done this in weeks.

Between muscle spasms, numbness, tingling and muscle pain, I have been up more nights lately than I have been asleep.

Trust me, this isn't where my body wants to be! I am a "to be by 9:30 girl"....

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This week we have been busy with all the "Birthday hoop-la".

Wednesday was Miss L's birthday.... and we celebrated by sending cupcakes to school, I took her lunch and surprised her with balloons from her aunt sissy and then her mi mi picked her up early and took her shopping.

Then, that evening we all met up at the house and ate Miss L's choice for dinner.....corn dogs, macaroni and cheese, green beans and iced tea. (First time I had ever fixed corn dogs......what an experience!)

Of course, that couldn't be all the celebrating....

Friday evening we were joined by the rest of our family: great aunts and uncles, great grandma and great grandpa, cousins, and friends that were close enough to be family...

Of course, that couldn't be all of the celebrating....

Saturday afternoon we had a birthday party at a local place where they teach gymnastics. The kids ran and jumped, and swung and flipped to their little hearts desires. All while the adults just enjoyed each others company. It was really nice.......

And that...was all of the celebrating.

Due to the weather, we spent the remainder of the weekend laying on the couch trying to pretend that we hadn't eaten our weights worth of icing.

And by we, I mean me.

***********************

As a child I remember having family parties and then a friend party.

Also, my mother has anxiety... A lot of it.

Is this why we both have anxiety?

Is this the correlation between my mother's anxiety and my aforementioned muscle spasms, numbness, tingling and muscle pain? Maybe. The Birthday Party caper? Of course, I am joking. I don't really think that is the case.

What is strange is that I honestly don't feel anxious. And by feel I mean, mentally. My muscles let me know that I most certainly do feel. Pain, mostly.

It is strange that in April the last two years, I have had neurological issues. Enough at times to send me to the doctor. Every time....they say stress/anxiety. I also remember a time before I was married that I had an anxiety attack....it too was in the Lenten season.

So, this April correlation.....I wonder what prompts it? The Easter Bunny? Abstaining from meat on Fridays? Some buried traumatic experience?

I wish I knew. It is enough to continually wreak havoc on my body but leave my mind unscathed, except for the constant wondering about "what is going on with my body?"

************************

Last night....the sleep finally found me and it was luxurious! The kids and I even had time to kill before rushing out of the house to catch the bus.

Or so we thought!

Instead of at the bus stop, we met the bus in the middle of the road this morning and Miss L jumped on.

And then my fingers were numb for the rest of the trip to town.

I give up!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Six years and one day ago.....

Six years and one day ago I was unaware of my capacity to love. Completely unaware.

If someone would have told me that then, I would have been offended and indignant. I knew that I loved Steven with my whole heart. I also loved my sister with a maternal type love.....with my whole heart. It would have been impossible to have loved them more.


But six years and one day ago I did not realize that along with the new life I had helped bring into this world, I also received a new life.


Not that my life before children was bad. In fact, I rather enjoyed parts of it. But in comparison...well, to be honest, there is NO comparison. Looking back on those years I realize how I lived life feeling things as if I had emotional gloves on.


This wasn't intentional. It just was. I didn't know how to love more.


I was completely unaware of my capacity to feel the way I do now. I did not even realize this type of love existed.


I was loved.


But I had never loved like this before.


And, I would dare say, neither has anyone else that does not have children, or someone who has never put the love/welfare/wants of a child before their own.


The way my heart expanded is unbelievable to me....even six years later. It is a type of love that hurts. It makes my throat constrict and ache when I think about my children and what they mean to me.


This morning, as I raised Lakyn out of bed and carried her tiny, now six year old, body into my room to start getting her ready for the day, I quietly sang "Happy Birthday" to her. As I bent down and kissed her forehead, I felt the familiar constriction of my throat and the sting of tears in my eyes. I successfully fought both of them back.


I knew that this child of mine could not understand my feelings. Before I was a mom, I didn't understand these feelings.


*I tell her how much I love her and how there is nothing that could make me stop. We play games seeing who can say the word "more" the most times, when fighting about who loves who the most...I always win.


*We talk about the distance our love would cover...in Lakyn's mind and words: "all the way to Kansas City, California, then Mexico, then Florida and back..." is a long distance, but as a mother I know, there is no distance my love couldn't cover.


But as a mother, I now know what I didn't before, and what no amount of words could convey...to me, to her, to you. In fact, I can't even begin to try. You love more...you feel more..you cry more...you laugh more...you ARE more.


Love. One word, a multitude of feelings.


How unbelievably awesome!

 
And do you know what else is awesome? If I, an imperfect human, can love in this capacity, how much must God love us?

Happy 6th Birthday Lakyn! As my first child, you have taught me more than I could ever teach you. Thank you for being my daughter.


And I thank God that he let me be her "momma".

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Egg-cellent surprise!

One of our Easter eggs didn't contain candy.......
What a nice Easter Sunday surprise!
I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed Easter Sunday!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Boys are gross!

For those of you who do not have children.....Beware!


More specifically, those of you who do not have MALE children......Beware!


This morning while getting ready, Mr. B informed me that he needed to poop.


I told him to go ahead...and continued applying make up.


A few seconds later he said "Mom! Come here....look at this. They are little guys."


(Go ahead, groan, you can just imagine...)


Then he said, "You need to see these cute little fellas". Yes. He did.


Seriously? Somebody should have warned me.

Monday, April 06, 2009

What a weekend!

Friday night we started off the weekend with a cheer! That is right, Miss L was in cheerleading camp this week. It was really cute to see what they had learned in three days. Of course, cheerleading was just secondary to having the opportunity to hang with her friends...

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Saturday morning Miss L and I woke up early and headed to a MS walk to walk on my aunt's team. Miss L was really worried about making it 3 miles. She did great! She walked the entire way!

Her mother, however, was busy reading all the signs that were set up throughout the beginning of the walk detailing the symptoms.....and being concerned that I had experienced every one except for "problems with gait". (On the upside, that is a good one, not to have experienced.)

***************
After the race we hopped in the car and rushed back home and met Mr. B for the annual Easter egg hunt.

The kids were ready!

Miss L got in the group of 4 and 5 year old's only to be disappointed that everyone from her class at school was in the 6-7 year old group. I told her that since her birthday was less than two weeks away, she could go hunt with the 6 and 7 year old's. She initially resisted. I think that she was worried that the "egg hunt police" would come and cart her away for some age violation. Eventually she gave in and went to stand in line and wait with her friends.

Mr. B was in the 1-3 year old group and had the definite age advantage this time:

Mr B got some coaching on strategy by Aunt Sissy:

All and all, I think we ended up with a five gallon bucket's worth of tootsie rolls and about $4.50. Not too bad.

*****************

That evening we met up with my family again for part 1 of the birthday party fun. You see, Saturday was my grandpa's 90th birthday. And really, how often do you turn 90?

Exactly.

We all decided, in true family fashion, the best way to celebrate was to eat.

Miss L enjoyed the buffet.


Mr. B enjoyed showing us his muscles. (As you can tell, he was straining to make those big muscles....so much so that the picture blurred.)

Then they brought my grandpa out a birthday cinnamon roll. It was almost enough to make me wish that I was 90.
*********************

Then on Sunday we all gathered and went to church with Grandpa. (When you are 90, or my sister, you get a birthday weekend!)

That afternoon we had a birthday celebration where he was showered with cards. He loved the attention and company.




The kids enjoyed a photo op with Great-Pa:



After reining them in for a second and capturing this photo they were off again playing in the church's gym. My cousin, Bethany, was playing basketball with them. She hollered at Mr. B, "Pass it B, I am open, I'm open", to which he hollered back, "I'm closed, I'm closed!"

Anyway...

As the party was winding down, we rounded everyone up for a picture. Everyone but one uncle and two cousins were present. Of course, my kids, fresh off the basketball court, were right in front. You know, right by the focal point. Where everyone can see Mr. B's britches legs tucked into his boots (his dad is proud) and Miss L, all sweaty from the full court press.

Of course, I am sure that Grandpa couldn't care less if we came in our jammies. I wonder if he looks around and sees his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids and thinks about the lives he has helped both create and shape?

Although some of the family didn't live close by, there is a definite print, or impression, that has been left on all of us.

It may have been in the impression his love for my grandma left on us, it may have been for his kind heart in dealing with customers he had-I am sure there were times that he filled a many a farmers gas tank, knowing full well that he may not ever be paid-, it may be for the tenacity he had when driving himself around town to the different meeting places he had, to sit with friends and talk about the day and the times.

Although not everyone has sugar coated Hallmark memories of special holidays or of playing catch out in the backyard.....we all have memories. And they are good. And they have, whether we recognize it or not, have shaped us into the people we are today. Even as different as we are, we have a common history and heritage.

And like a potter shaping his clay, not every piece is alike. Some are strikingly different. But each one is shaped by the same person.


And just like God, the ultimate potter, looking back on his creation, I am sure Grandpa looks at us and this day, and saw "that it was good".

Happy 90th Grandpa!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Exactly alike and competely different

That is how I describe my sister and I.


As I have said before, there is no one who knows me like she does.


Many times we say the same things at the same times.
We have the same vocal patterns and mannerisms.


We think the same things and only have to share a glance to convey it.


We bowl and get the exact same score.


OK, maybe that one was a fluke, but I don't think so.



That's right. We rock. 122! AND WE WON! Who would've thought it?

I had a 92 and then came from behind with two strikes in the last frame! It was intense. I am awesome!

Anyway....

We are completely different as well.

I think things....she says them.

I don't know how to tell someone "no" and she doesn't know how to tell someone "yes". (I completely lied about that....she says yes all the time! I just have to joke with her!)

I am a brunette, she is a blonde.

I live in the country, she lives in town.

I love planting flowers and shrubs, she couldn't care less.

However, when you combine our similarities and differences, We think they are a good combination.

Notice the emphasis on the "We".

There are times that when we are in a group that I think that we irritate others. OK, I know we do. An aunt even said, we "wore her out".

We could conjure up many possible reasons why, but I believe it is because our communication between us is so easy for us to understand, and so hard to understand and aggravating to others. It is just on a different level.

We could see something and break into song and we would totally get it. In fact, we would probably join in.

Sometimes our husbands are even left behind.

Some people think that the 10 year age difference would be a wedge between us.

However, I disagree, I believe it is the rope that ties us together.

Do you doubt it? I dare you to compete against us at "Taboo".

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Much ado about nothing....spring break style

A few weeks ago Miss L and Mr B and I enjoyed spring break. (Actually, I just spelled "break" as "bread" and had to correct it. That is particularly funny to me because I have evidentally been partaking the aforementioned bread in mass quantities which is why you will not see any pics of me in this post. Double chin, party of one. Ahem....)

One afternoon we went to the circus with my cousin and her kids. Steven did not go because of his animal cruelty stance. I am with him on it.....yet come on, it's the circus.

However, when this horribly dressed yay-hoo made.....


.....this tiger walk on a tight rope, I really wouldn't have blamed the tiger had he mauled him. In fact, I might even root for the tiger. I am just saying.....

I love animals but was surprised about how impressed I was with the human talent showcased.


HOW do these people realize they have these talents? Do they just sit around and one day decide to put a rope around someone's neck, hold the rope in their mouth, hang upside down from a trapeze and swing back and forth?

Contortionists, balancing acts, you name it...... They were all very impressive. Oh yeah, and the trapeze artist with jaws of steel.

I especially could not believe the flexibility of this lady. She is balancing on some faux flower arrangement....on her chin. (All while rotating rings on her arms....with her rear end basically sitting on her head)
I think every man in the house was in love. I was glad Steven wasn't there to see this. I didn't want him getting any ideas.......(as if...)


Afterwards we clowned around at McDonald's:


When we got home the kids found that daddy had came home early to enjoy the rest of the day with them.


After a (somewhat) failed attempt at kite flying earlier in the week, we decided to give it another go.


By failed, I mean that there was no wind..... the kids just ran around the field trying to keep the kite up in the air. We were all wore out after that. However, my mind replaying Miss L saying, "Run like the wind, Mr. B, run like the wind", kept me laughing for days after.

This time we were much more successful. Maybe daddy was a good luck charm.


See the kites? In the air? No running required. Amazing!



What would be the opposite of having to run to keep your kite up?

That's right.....flying your kite while sitting down.



Miss L took the more conventional approach to kite flying.....

Mr. B enjoyed his kite flying experience. However, Miss L, being one to up the ante decided that next time she would like to try hang gliding.


She is so much like her father!