Saturday, June 30, 2007

Running Away is Good for the Soul.

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I run away. I usually tell people before I do, and I drive not run, so I guess technically it is not running away, it is avoiding my family. There is the ugly truth, do you still love me?

Today I am avoiding my family by sitting at the library. I thought this would be a nice getaway to unwind and write and you know, have a complete thought. But I was wrong; it has just really made me worry about the state of our nation. I am sitting between the adult romance and mystery stacks, and the young adult section. OH. MY. GOODNESS! First of all the Romance section…like my grandma used to say, Well, I have never! We never knew what she had never done, she never completed her sentence, but she always said it when she saw something that defied explanation. And the covers of these books they have just sitting out for everyone to see defy explanation.

And the Mystery paperbacks are not much better. If you want to be a psycho killer you don’t really have to be very creative, you can just go to your local library’s mystery section and get all the inspiration you need.

Now let’s talk about the young adult fiction. Right in front of my eyes, there is a book called Vegan, Virgin Valentine, and another above it called The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things. Well, I never! What on earth passes for youth fiction these days? I don’t even know what to say to that.

I do have this nice panoramic view of a little lake\pond to my right and I think I’ll just try to concentrate on God’s beauty and not think about The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things.

Looking out this nice window would encourage someone to perhaps go and walk the pretty little path that goes around the lake\pond, but I’ve lived here a long time and I’ll not be fooled. I know it is 357 degrees with %157 humidity, and it has been raining so much that the mosquitoes are large and numerous enough to carry off small animals and children.

In fact this is the reason I ran away from home. At home my husband (D) has wrangled and cajoled and downright threatened our offspring into helping him finish the deck we are building behind our house, and by we I mean D and the children still young enough to fall for the ‘come help me, I’ll be fun’ ploy.

This deck has been in the works for months. Truly, we have had week after week of nice cool or even cold weather that would have been perfect for working outside in TX, but he waits until June to decide he simply cannot stand the incomplete deck any longer. I know how this works and if I am at home, he’ll find a way to rope me in.

People, it is just too darn hot to be working outside! I can happily live with an incomplete deck until October when it is cool enough to go outside again.

So here I sit, hiding at the library. And people, I don’t feel one little bit of guilt! I’m old enough to know that ‘come help me, it’ll be fun’ is just a downright lie and sometimes you have to just let your offspring learn the hard way.

Friday, June 29, 2007


All I can tell you is that I am so relived. Really, I have been waiting for this since they broke up and my world fell apart.

I hope you know me well enough by now to know that the above sentence is dripping with sarcasm. This morning I woke up early to take my son to see Dr Frankenstein, I mean the guy who wired his mouth shut, and I wanted to see if I needed my umbrella. Well, The Spice Girls were all over the news. ON EVERY CHANNEL.

If I remember correctly, America still has a war going on, on at least two fronts, gas is so high it cost me $75 every time I fill up my van, a car bomb was found and defused in London this morning, I’m pretty sure we’re about to elect a new President soon and it cost me $4 for a gallon of milk yesterday. But the smiling faces of the Spice Girls (and a lot of their skin) was staring back at me ON EVERY CHANNEL. And I’m not talking about a little blurb; I’m talking a several minute segment complete with interviews and commentaries.

At least the major news channels have their priorities straight. My day is complete now that I know The Spice Girls are back.

So, can I tell ya what I want? What I really, really want? I WANT REAL NEWS!
Here is what I read on the Fox news article about our favorite girls.

You could now call them the Spice Mums. Beckham said the tour will be designed to accommodate the band members' seven children. Bunton is pregnant with her first child.

"Our priority is going to be our families. We want to have fun," said Beckham, who has three sons with her husband, soccer star David Beckham. "That's one of the many reasons for this, for our children to see what we used to do."

If you had a “Spice Girl” past, would you really want to show it to you kids? Hummmm? I think I’d be denying it to my grave, but that’s just me.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I’ve had a mind altering experience. At least I think I have, I can’t quite remember.

My friend S and I were escaping our children, I mean, having a nice lunch out today. We were at one of my favorite places to get a good soup and salad; Olive Garden.

I’m quite fond of Olive Garden although it is not our first choice for a nice lunch out. Our first choice is a little hole-in-the-wall place that was here just long enough for us to establish a routine. It was a nice quiet place with mediocre food, good coffee, nice waitresses and a so-so atmosphere. The thing that kept us coming back was the fact that you could sit there all afternoon and they would never make you feel like you were taking up space they needed; they’d just keep bringing the coffee and smile. They also had regulars. You know the type; older people so set in their ways that they go to the same restaurant and order the same thing every time, so much so that the waitress does not really even take their order, she just says “The Usual?” to which we’d, I mean, the old regulars would reply “Yep.” and that was that.

Sadly this nice little hole-in-the-wall closed about a year ago and S and I have not been able to find a replacement, so we just wander aimlessly from restaurant to restaurant, lost and confused. We have to tell the waitresses our orders every time, and they don’t ever ask us how we are and how are our kids. It is really hard.

So back to today; we were having soup and salad at Olive Garden, having a good old time having complete sentences, and not wiping up any spilled juice, when we began to notice a tension in the air. If it had not been raining for the last 10 days I’m sure the air would have crackled.

Apparently the people at the booth across from us were not at all happy with our waitress. It is a long story I won’t bore you with (I’m nice like that) but suffice it to say, the poor waitress was about to cry. She was new and a bit slow, and she did have to be asked twice to refill my diet Coke, but because she was so sweet and apologetic, that oversight was forgivable. Apparently whatever egregious error she had committed was not a forgivable to the ladies in the booth next to us.

They bawled her out, and then complained vigorously about her to the manager. I really felt so bad for the girl, she was trying hard. Really these ladies were so rude to this poor thing that they had her scared spitless! After the ladies harangued the manager, Ester-the-waitress went meekly over to their booth to apologize, and stood ramrod straight awaiting the tongue-lashing she knew she was about to receive. I was cringing for her.

It was at this time that S and I decided we should take our leave. Because really, a girl can only take so much tension while escaping from her children, um I mean, having a nice lunch out.

On our way out we spotted some other friends and chatted with them for a few minutes, then we went to our cars and we chatted some more in the parking lot. (I just love listening to someone who does not start every sentence with “Mom can I?”)

I then hopped in my car to head back home. I started my car and put it in reverse as I watched my friend drive away. It was at this precise moment I realized we had not paid our bill. Just like that, the thought slammed through my brain. NO, surely this could not be right, we had paid. Of course we had paid. Hadn’t we? I sat in my car for a good 2 or 3 minutes trying to conjure up the memory of paying the bill. I could not retrieve it from my brain.

After I tried calling S several times with no luck, I figured I’d better go in and face the music. I had two possibilities: either I’d paid and I was about to go in and make a complete fool of myself, or I had walked out without paying, thus already making a complete fool of myself. Neither option was appealing.

I walked back into the restaurant and asked the hostess if she could get Ester for me. Ester came from the back of the restaurant looking pale and miserable. One look told me that, yes I had indeed walked out of a restaurant pretty-as-you-please, without paying the bill. She was very gracious and accepted my apology for walking out without paying and took my money and thanked me for coming back to pay. While I was there I figured I might as well go all out, and I asked the hostess if I could speak to the manager. When the manager came out I told him how I felt that poor Ester got a bum rap from those ladies and she had been a great waitress for us and I thought those other ladies had been quite rude to poor Ester. I conveniently left out the part where my friend and I left the premises without paying.

Oh my goodness gracious people, I need a keeper!

Casting Crowns Praise You In The Storm

A went to her last day of Scottish Rite for the summer today. I couldn’t be happier. It poured all the way there, and all the way home. I left 20 min early and got there 5 min late. What a day, and it’s only 11am.

It just keeps raining, and raining, and raining.

B is doing okay. He is getting used to the fact that must drink everything for the next month. We, have not told him he can’t go to camp yet, although I don’t think he’ll be surprised.

It is just too risky. I feel like it would be irresponsible parenting to let him go, but I hate that he can’t.

He goes to get his mouth tightened down even more tomorrow, poor guy.

Things have been a little stressful around here for the last month. I am trying to find humor in it and trust God in all things, but it’s getting a little hard.

It is not lost on me what my scripture is today…Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
2 Corinthians 1 : 3-4 |

I am trying to remember to praise Him no matter my (or my children’s) circumstances.

I heard this song by Casting Crowns today. It always reminds me that God is there even when I can’t feel it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Boy Is Wired!

****For those of you coming here from the FIAR boards or the Sonlight boards, you've already read this so thank you for coming, but I hate repeating myself, even in print. You've been warned, it is the same post, because, frankly I'm just too worn out to say anything else. Wow! I guess I am speechless. That's rare. :o)****

So here is the scoop.

I take back every nasty thought I had about Dr Hopkins and his staff. They were very nice and we spent at least 3 hours there today, and only about 20 min of that time were we waiting. I can see why he is perpetually behind if he spends this much time per patient.

He gave us some options as to how to best facilitate healing for B’s jaw. Surgery was one option, but the Dr felt that if B could stand it, wiring the jaw shut was the best way to go. So that is what we did.

It was really quite painful for B, and he is still in a lot of pain. He said it hurts as much or worse now as it did when he initially broke it. He will be wired shut for 4 to 6 weeks and will most likely still be wired shut during our trip to Colorado. Soccer is completely out, and camp is questionable.

By the way, when they say wired SHUT they are not kidding. Do me a favor, put your teeth together, as tight as you can, now breathe normally, eat, talk and yawn. Okay, now do that for the next 4 to 6 weeks. Yep! That is it. I think there may be just enough space to stick one of those skinny coffee straws in between his teeth.

I really thought they’d leave him some room in between his teeth to be able to shove in some applesauce or pudding or something.

He is basically going to have to be on a completely liquid diet for the next month. Poor guy.

We have to go back in on Friday am to get the wires tightened. It was too painful to fully set the bone today. They got it close, and the Dr said he’d let the bone “rest” and then he’d tighten in the rest of the way on Friday.

Thanks for praying and please keep it up. It is going to be a long 4 to 6 weeks for B.

Betweem A's anaphylactic allergy and B's liquid diet, I'm going to have to just give up and become a short order cook!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Who in the world are the Dearly's?

Time for a funny story. Because, really, every now and then you just need to laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine and I need some meds right now!

When my older sister was a teen she was often at sleepovers. You know, back then we just slept over at people’s houses willy-nilly, with no thought to child predators and safety. Well, at one friends house she overheard the father say he was going to spend the weekend at the Dearly’s.

The next weekend she was over at another friends house for a sleepover (see, willy-nilly!) and overheard that father saying that he had just returned from the Dearly’s.

She heard over the next few months, several people visiting the Dearly’s and wondered who in the world these people were, and how did everyone know them, and how had she never heard of them?

The final straw came when our very own uncle said he was going to the Dearly’s with some friends. She’d had it! Who were these people? So she asked my uncle.

After fits of laughter from everyone in the room, my uncle so kindly explained that the Dearly’s was not a family that people were visiting…it was a place. THE DEAR LEASE!!!

Heheheheheheheeh. We have yet to let her live that down, and now it’s out there in blogland for everyone to enjoy.

Broken Jaw Update...

Actually, it's not much of an update. On Friday night they were ready to send us to Parkland via ambulance. Today no one seems to be in much of a hurry to do anything.

I called the only Dr in the universe that does jaws, promptly at 8am, and was told they don't even have their computers up yet and to please call back at 9am. I wanted to tell them all they had to do was hit the little red button on the tower, but I held my sarcasm in check.

When I called back at 9 I was told that the DR could not see him until Tuesday. I explained that the Dr had said we needed to be seen today, because, you know, the broken jaw, and everything. They were not impressed. He is in surgery and must have forgotten that he had a surgery when he told us, at midnight, without the benefit if his schedule in front of him, to come in on Monday.

So I pulled out the big guns and made them talk to D (My husband, heretofore known as D). No luck. Even deep voiced, formidable sounding D could not procure an appointment for us today.

So, what was an emergency worthy of an ambulance ride on Friday, is not even registering on the squeeze-us-in radar today.

I’ll let you know on Tuesday afternoon, how it went. If they are generous enough to see us.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The WHOLE story...

Here is the story, in it’s entirety that I typed up to send out to family so they’d know what is going on and how to pray. The idea was that I would only have to tell the story once, but as soon as everyone read the email, they immediately called and I had to tell it again anyway. :o)

We go see the Oral Surgeon who specializes in jaws on Monday. It is our prayer that he can just set it, and wire it and be done. We are praying that surgery is NOT required, but we’ll know more on Monday.

So here is the story if you want to read it…

It has been a fun filled few days here at our house. Sometimes it feels like someone has hit the fast forward button and you find yourself sitting at an ER on a Friday at midnight, about to be transferred to an even bigger ER via ambulance, to get your teenager’s jaw wired shut. When did this happen? How’d I get here? I was just minding my own business, doing laundry and then zoom, here we are.

B had a motorcycle accident on Thursday afternoon. I won’t bore you with all the motocross jargon like high siding and head shake and whoop te doos. In layman’s terms, he crashed. The handlebar came up and caught him in the jaw under his helmet. He was in some pain and by the time they got home that evening he was a bit swollen, but not too bad.

The next morning he woke up and was quite swollen. Shockingly so. He was thinking maybe he had knocked one of his permanent teeth loose. I thought I’d better call his orthodontist and see if there was anything we needed to do to make sure that tooth stayed in place. Well all people who work on teeth and jaws do not work on Friday apparently. I spent the better part of the day trying to locate his ortho. When I finally did, he said to meet him at his office, he’d open up for us and have it X-rayed. He was afraid, with all that swelling, of a broken jaw. I was not worried about that. Surely he’d be in much more pain if his jaw was broken.

The ortho X-rayed him and while we were waiting for the X-ray to come out, he examined him. He said B was a classic case of a broken jaw and was certain that is what the X-ray would show. His midline was off (Yeah, I did not know what that meant either).

When the X-ray came out the ortho became more concerned. The jaw was indeed broken, but he was more concerned about something else. Apparently there is an artery that runs under the jaw and he was afraid he had nicked or broken that artery open and that all that swelling could be blood build up. YUCK! He was also concerned about some other things that showed up on his X-ray higher up in the jaw joint/skull area.

He said his X-ray did not show enough and told us we needed to go to our local ER and they would probably do a CAT scan to check for a bleed and or a brain injury. YIKES! I came in here thinking he may have knocked a permanent tooth loose!

So off we go to the ER at 7pm on a Friday night. OH JOY! Amazingly they got him in pretty fast and got him scanned. In case you were wondering, the boy does have a brain in his head, I saw it myself.

Now the waiting began, we had to wait for the radiologist to read it, then for him to relay the findings to the DR. Once this was done they decided to give B some SUPER-antibiotics because the scan showed some air pockets in his jaw near the break. This means that he did probably knock that tooth enough to let air down there. That is dangerous because that is where the infection will set in and cause all kinds of problems. However the swelling was not blood, the artery was intact, and they could find no other swelling or brain injury. It was just a broken jaw, and a lot of soft tissue swelling. (Just, don’t you love that!? Who says just a broken jaw?)

As he was getting his IV antibiotics the Dr came in and gave us the bad news. He needs to have his jaw weird shut and they only have one specialist who “does” jaws and he is not on call tonight and he cannot be located. We have to be transferred, via ambulance ($$$$$$) to PARKLAND AT MINDNIGHT ON A FRIDAY!!!! (For those of you not from around here, Parkland is the major trauma center right smack in the middle of Downtown Dallas, very far away from our house, and at that time of night was probably full of gun shot wounds and stabbing victims.) Needless to say this was NOT happy news. While my husband argued with the ER docks about the need for an ambulance transport (thank you all frivolous lawsuits that make these kinds of policies happen) B and I mentally prepared ourselves for Parkland at Midnight. (Parkland at Midnight, that should be a TV show)

As we were getting ready to go, and had made all the arrangements for someone to go to our house and keep G, E, and A because we knew it would be an all nighter, the Dr came in with some GOOD news finally.

Our little ER’s specialist had called in and after being apprised of the situation, said we could go home and did not need to go to Parkland. He said as long as B adheres to a strict liquid only diet this weekend, he can see him in his office on Mon morning. At that point he’ll decide if surgery is required before he gets it wired shut, for at least 4 weeks!

So there you have it. B is not in a lot of pain surprisingly, but he is quite unhappy at this turn of events. He might have to miss church camp which is in 2 weeks, and he will miss out on a lot of food, and I’m telling you right now, that boy lives for nothing if not to eat. And he’s skinny!

I’m hoping the next 4 weeks will fly by in fast forward like the last 2 days did.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Holy Schmoly!

The boy has to have his jaw wired shut!

He does not have a brain injury.

The artery running under his jaw is intact.

He does indeed have a brain in his head, I saw it myself on the computer image of the CAT scan.

We did not have to be transferred to a bigger hospital via ambulance, at great cost, because the specialist in our little hospital finally called in.

He must be on a strict liquid diet all weekend.

He will have his jaw wired shut on Monday.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Broken Jaw?!?!?!?!?

Well, I did manage to swallow my parenting pride and call the orthodontist and confess that my 16 year old son was indeed riding a motorcycle, and wrecked...and is now a swollen mess.

I called but no answer. Then I called my answer. I forgot that those who deal in teeth and jaws do not work on Fridays.

So I had to call my pediatrician and confess my poor parenting. The nurse said that this is the kind of thing they are referring to when they say "if you have an emergency please call...." and I needed to call. So I called.

I spoke with the ortho's wife and she gave me his cell. She was a lovely lady and not at all grumpy with me for interrupting her day. (nor did she chide me for being a bad parent)

The ortho is out of town, but can meet me at his other office about 45 min from my house, around 4:30 this afternoon. He said yes, it did need to be x-rayd today, not Monday, and with all that swelling, he quite possible has broken his jaw.

OH, MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS!!! I'm usually pretty good at coming up with the worst case senerio, I can really be a glass half empty, Eoyre kinda girl, and even I did not think about a BROKEN JAW!!!

I'll let you know...

He took one to the chin!

Well, I knew it was inevitable that at some point one of my guys was going to hurt themselves on their motorbikes. They’ve been riding them since they could walk almost, but no one has ever hurt themselves. Okay, my husband has broken some ribs, but the boys have not so much as bruised themselves.

They went riding yesterday and my oldest son came home looking like he’d been in a bar fight and took one to the jaw! He is terribly swollen on the right side of his face and has lots of scratches there. I’m not sure what happened, nether is he, something about the wheel of the bike hitting an unexpected rut in the ground and the tire turned a way he was not expecting, consequently so did the handlebars, and one of the handlebars hit him square in the jaw, under his helmet. It was at just the perfect angle to get him in the jaw, under his helmet, with great force. Poor guy. He is quite miserable. He can’t eat and he is in quite a bit of pain.

We are a bit worried about his back tooth. He thinks it’s loose. It is so swollen right now that it is hard to see, but he thinks he felt it move and it hurts when he drinks, which I think means some of the root is exposed. UGH!

I’m not sure if I should call his ortho or not. I don’t think there is anything they can do until the swelling goes down. I don’t really want to call. I know I’m going to get that disapproving look from them that by son was on a motorcycle.

Please pray with me that he does not loose his tooth and feels better soon!

Just in case you were wondering…he WAS NOT doing that!!! He is really a careful boy and this is his first major wreck ever.

BTW, does anyone know if there is anything you can do for a damaged tooth to help it decide to not come out?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Jason Bourne is my hero.

UGH! Let me tell you, yesterday was a DAY! Of course having raging PMS did not help. (I’m sorry, if you a guy and your reading this you might want to just stop now because none of it will make any sense to you)

There were all these people around me…all day…and they had, you know, needs, and voices, saying things that started with “Mommy can I…?” and “Honey, could you please…? and I thought my head was going to explode.

So I did what I had to do to survive the day, put the girls to bed early and let the boys watch more Myth Busters, because as you know it’s been playing on a continues loop in my house for a while now, and I went upstairs and SHUT THE DOOR!

My husband was working late last night on a very important shut-down, or turn-off or something, I think it was manufactured because he could see the writing on the wall and he is not a dumb guy. But back to me, I went upstairs and ate pizza and drank Coke Zero (even though I’d already had some and it was after the 4pm caffeine shut-off time) and then I ate Hagan Das ice cream. While I was doing this, I was watching all the Jason Bourne movies in preparation for the next one coming out in late July early August.

Usually, I like a good sappy chick flick, but when I have PMS nothing makes me feel better than seeing Jason Bourne beat people up and get the girl, of course they kill off the girl in the 2nd movie which SO does not happen in the books, but who reads anymore, I guess.

Okay, I seem to be rambling just a bit here. I think I need to go back upstairs and watch some more Beat ‘em up movies, then I’ll feel better. Is it exactly one month till the next Jason Bourne movie? Hummm, excellent timing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Today we’re going to continue the very important topic of TV. I’ve had some great news. When I heard it I squealed. Really, there was squealing.

Back in May, two of my favorite shows were canceled; Veronica Mars and Jericho. I was distraught. Whatever was I going to do with those two hours a week that I had been devoting to Veronica and the little town of Jericho Ks? (If you say, do more laundry like my husband did; well…just be glad I can’t hear you through the screen.)

So here is the news, prepare yourself…Jericho has been given another chance! YIPPEE, I am so glad to hear this. At the end of the first season, the town was in the midst of an all out battle for their survival with the neighboring town of New Burne. I could not believe they would just leave us hanging like that. Do they have no pity on us? Well apparently they do because they are giving it another shot. But, if more people don’t watch it this fall, it will be gone forever. If you've never seen it now is the time. Starting this summer, they'll rebroadcast the entire first season in preparation for the new shows in the fall

So, hear my plea people…WATCH JERICHO, Starting July 6th on Fridays at 9:00PM ET/PT, PLEASE PLEASE WATCH!

You’ll just have to overlook the fact that they have mountains off in the distance and anyone who knows her corn knows that there are no mountains in KS. There is barely a hill. So, while I love the show, and I am committed, let’s try for a bit more realism this time folks. Kansas is flat, with very few trees and absolutely NO mountains.

Wahoo, Toto, Jericho is not dead!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

HOV, TV, DVR; Oh how I love acronyms!


If you plan on driving 40mph, please DO NOT get on the HOV lane. The HOV lane is intended for people who desire to speed, and are serious about reaching their destination in a timely manor. You must be willing to be at or exceeding the speed limit to enjoy the benefits of the HOV lane.

I hate to keep harping on this, but really people, 40? There was a car going so slow today it was holding up the CITY BUS!

Now back to your regularly scheduled post.


Today we’re going to talk about TV, Satellite TV to be more specific. My family has finally entered the modern age of Television. We have satellite TV WITH A DVR!!! This is quite possible the coolest thing since sliced bread. I get to watch TV whenever I jolly well please. I don’t have to wait until Veronica Mars comes on at 8pm on Tuesday to watch. (a very inconvenient time for me.) I can just tell my little TiVo friend and he saves it for me. Then I can watch it at midnight if I so desire. This idea is revolutionary for me. TV on MY time, YIPPEE!

And yes, for the other 3 people out there who watch Veronica Mars, I know it has been canceled. DOGONNIT! Why oh why? The 4 of us were really enjoying that modern day Nancy Drew. But alas, all good things must come to an end. Even if they really don’t end, they just kinda stop because they did not expect to be canceled, but you know, I have a good imagination so I can conger up my own happily-ever-after scenario for our little Veronica and Logan. And just in case you were wondering, yes this is the Homeschooling on the Hilltop blog, you did not inadvertently stumble upon the blog of a 15 year old girl.

As for how this TiVo thing has changed my children’s lives…well, let me tell you. Myth Busters, Dirty Jobs, Man vs. Wild and How It’s Made seem to be playing on a loop constantly in my home. Frighteningly, I also purchased Backyard Ballistics for my boys last year, so between Myth Busters (if you haven’t seen it, it is basically grown men who act like 12 year old boys and blow things up) and the book, I am actually afraid to let my boys go outside because of all this new found knowledge of explosives. If you hear of a forest fire caused by two teen boys trying to see if you really can light a match with just the Texas sun and a magnifying glass, you’ll know who they are talking about.

The good thing is that if any of my kids do find themselves lost in…say Alaska, they know how to stay alive by eating live Salmon (one of the few fish you can eat raw, apparently) and starting a fire with a shoe string and a toothpick (oh, wait that was MacGyver)

There is an upside, all four of my children sit quietly all day staring at the black box and I have peace. HEHEHE got ya, I’m just kidding, they are not quiet even when they are staring at the black box. The upside is that all four have seen the great benefit in getting a VERY GOOD education so they can get VERY GOOD jobs and not the dirty variety that they portray on Dirty Jobs. God bless the people who are making a living cleaning up this world. We’d be neck deep in muck without ya!

You may now go about your day, I’m going to go turn on the TV and watch something that is not really being aired right now because I have that power.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

For My Dad

I don’t live near my dad, so I can’t just pop over on Father’s Day and make him lunch or bake him some cookies, instead I thought I’d give him the gift of words.

My dad was not around a lot when I was a kid. He worked a lot and then he drank a lot. I don’t remember much from those years but I’m told he was not a very nice drunk.

Fast forward to today. I still don’t see my dad enough but this time it is due to distance. My dad has not had a drop to drink in over 25 years. He does not talk about it much, but I know it’s been at least that long.

Can you imagine giving up something you love FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE??? I don’t mean to sound trite, but I can’t even give up chocolate for a month. My dad gave up alcohol, for the rest of his life, because it was the right thing to do. He’s like that. He does things because they are the right thing to do.

I don’t know much about my dad’s life before I was born. I guess that is how kids are sometimes. We find it hard to imagine the world was spinning before we were a part of it. I don’t know what kind of man my dad was before I was around. I don’t know what drove him to drinking in the first place or what kind of childhood he had; he’s never told me. He is not the kind of man who blames others for his mistakes. He takes responsibility for them.

I don’t know if I ever told my dad I’m proud of him. Really, we just live our lives and go on about our days and do what needs to be done. But what better day to say…

I’m proud of you Dad. I don’t know much about what kind of young man you were, but I know what kind of man you are now, and I’m proud of you.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Accosting People or Evangelizing?

I have been thinking about evangelism lately. I think mostly due to the death of Mrs. Ruth Bell Graham. There is a movement in the Christian community right now that I’m not sure I like. I have thought a lot about it actually, but could not really put together my thoughts until recently. I think maybe it is because I am pitting this new evangelism against Billy Graham’s style.

This new evangelism style is to hit people with their sin so they see a need for a savior. It is used mostly in street evangelism I think. I am not a huge fan of street evangelism in general. I think I’d rather chew off my own arm than walk up to a total stranger and tell them anything, much less that they are dirty, rotten, sinners. But that is just me.

I don’t necessarily have a beef with the theology, just the methods these people employ. The idea is to basically ask people questions about their sin. Can they keep the ten commandments, have the they lusted, have the coveted, do they think they’re a good person, then hit them with the condemnation verses after they’ve admitted they do indeed sin according to the rule of law in The Book.

Here is my thing. Wouldn’t this just make you defensive? When any of us are hit with our own sin or wrongdoing, or mistakes, isn’t it human nature to justify ourselves?

I am not saying this is a right response; just that it is the natural one. So if that is true, aren’t you just shooting yourself in the foot if you are hitting people with their sin then telling them to turn to God? Won’t it just make them more defensive, not less?

This is a word picture my husband came up with to describe this type of evangelism. It is like you are taking Gods amazing grace, putting it in a bag and tying it to the end of a big stick. Then you walk around hitting people with it.

“Can you keep the whole law?” WHAM!

“Have you ever lusted?” WHAM!

“Have you ever told a lie” WHACK!

“Well, me too, so here is the good part, you can accept Gods grace and go to heaven. I just happen to have it right here on the end of this big stick I have been whacking you with and it is yours for the taking!”

Not very appealing is it? I personally ascribe to the idea that you can attract more bees with honey than vinegar.

I’ll tell you right now, from experience, that when you have made a glaringly bad choice (or two or five), and you deserve punishment, and instead you get grace; from other Christians and from the Almighty God you have wronged, it is a powerful thing. Nothing will bring a person to their knees faster than NOT getting what they deserve, but getting wrapped in God’s grace instead. Believe me; I know this to be true.

Let me tell you a story to show you what I mean.

My husband works in downtown Fort Worth. It is a large city and it has lots of homeless. He is often asked for money. I’d say he is approached for money at least 3 or 4 times a month. He has a policy; he does not give out cash. If he feels led, he’ll buy them food or gas. The latest ploy is to come up to a guy pumping gas and tell them a sob story about how you just need a few dollars to put in your tank to get you home. My husband usually replies by telling that person to go ahead and fill their gas tanks and he’ll go in and pay the cashier. 9 times out of 10 the guy either drives off or only can fit a few dollars in his tank because it is not actually empty like he has said.

One time a guy approached my husband at a gas station and asked him for cash. He said he needed the money for food. My husband was in a hurry and said no. They guy kept asking and was commenting on my husbands shiny new truck (the company’s truck) and nice work clothes and surely he had some change to spare. My husband said a final no and started to get in his truck. This man started cussing him out! Truly! All manner of curse words came flying out of that man’s mouth. He rained curses down on my husband because he would not give him money. Needless to say my husband was a bit miffed!

As he drove off, incensed at the gall of that man, he felt the tug of the Holy Spirit to buy that man some food. He argued for a while, but finally relented. He went to a fast food place and bought the biggest triple hamburger deal on the menu, then drove back to the gas station. He was sure the man would be gone by now and was none to happy with God for asking him to do this.

Well the man was still there and my husband got out of his car and took him the bag of food and the drink. The man stood, dumbfounded, with his mouth hanging open, speechless.

When he finally found his voice, he asked my husband why he would bring him food after he yelled at him. My husband’s reply? “I am Christian and God tells me that I am to love my enemies, do good to those who hate me, bless those who curse me, and pray for those who mistreat me.” (Luke 6:28) He handed the man his food, smiled and said, “I’ll be praying for God to reveal himself to you” then he turned around and walked back to his truck.

My husband said the man could barley speak but managed a whispered “thank you”.

I’m telling you right now that what my husband did for that man was ever-so-much more effective in pointing him to the cross, than pointing out to him his rottenness.

I hope I haven’t offended anyone; these are just my evangelistic ramblings.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Mrs. Graham

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Proverbs 31:28 - 31

Mrs. Graham, you will be dearly missed. You have set the example. You have shown us what the Proverbs 31 woman looks like in a day where there are very few trying to live up to her example.

Right now you are hearing “Well done, good and faithful servant” and I add a hearty AMEN!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tell me I didn't just say that!

I think the purpose of this blog has become broadcasting through the entire world wide web how big of an idiot I really am.

Here is another installment of Tricia Is A Dork

They were having a bake and gift sale at Scottish Rite today, so while A was in class E and I went down to the sale. They have some great stuff because of all their retiree volunteers. I mean! The things these ladies can do with a crochet hook or knitting needles! I obviously still have a lot to learn. But back to the point, my public embarrassment.

The sale is set up with all these tables in the main lobby and it can be a little tight. Scottish Rite specializes in Orthopedic children’s issues, as well as the Dyslexia Lab, so there are many, many people and children in wheel chairs and various walkers/crutches.

Well E and I were passing one of the volunteers who happen to be an elderly lady in a wheelchair. It was the automatic kind. I knew Evelyn was looking at the tables and not where she was going and would run into this lovely lady if not warned. So I kindly, and in a quiet voice, said “Watch where you are going, Honey”.

This lovely lady then said to me in a sweet little voice. “Oh don’t you worry about me, I’ve been driving this thing around for years”.

What a nice little lady; I smiled at her and I think I said something to her about the plethora of baked goods or something equally mundane; then Evelyn and I walked on.

Truly, I did not realize until a good 5 minutes later that that sweet lady in the Wheelchair thought I was telling HER to watch where she was going!!!! I am so slow that it took a good 5 min for my brain to catch up. It was a surreal moment as the scene played itself over in my head and I realized what had happened. I wanted the ground to open up and suck me in! I frantically looked around to see if I could find that lady and apologize, but she was long gone. Just as well actually, because my apology, (AFTER 5 LONG MINUTES) would have probably been incoherent, and if possible, more insulting!


People, they should not let me out of the house!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I found something while I was at Wal-Mart yesterday. I just have to share. First a little background…I have no drinking glasses. There I said it. Martha Stewart is doubling over in pain right now.

My boys have been doing the dishes for years, and the girls are learning now. While this is great because I haven’t done the dishes in years, it has been a little hard on the dishes. When they started we had lots of pretty matching glasses and some nice big chunky green clay plates. I know, typed out like that it sounds really ugly, but trust me they were nice, impractical, but nice.

Through the years the glasses kept breaking and the plates kept chipping. I replaced the glasses with cheap ones from Wal-Mart but those seemed to spontaneously shatter upon entrance to my house. And the plates kept on chipping. Rarely did they break altogether; they just chipped…a lot.

Finally, a year ago I bought new plates. I was so excited. I was also a little worried that I was so excited about the very Correlle that my mother had, that I swore as a teen I’d never, ever own. I do have to say here that her Correlle was ugly. Mine is cute. No matter what she says, it has nothing to do with the time. Hers were and always will be ugly, while mine are and always will be, cute. Just FYI!

Okay, back to the glasses. I finally gave up. We went to cups. I bought a huge assortment of plastic cups in all sorts of summery colors, like; royal blue, puke green and Pepto Bismol Pink. Appetizing, right? Well these cups did not break; they seemed to have grown legs and walked away. Seriously, we were down to about 3 cups. Only 3 of us could drink at a time without having to break out the plastic disposable cups. How sad is that?

Back to my find at Wal-Mart…

See those pretty, chunky glasses with the enticing green ring? THEY ARE NOT GLASS!!! They are acrylic or plastic, or something. But not glass. I am so very excited about these glasses (yes I’m calling them glasses even though they are not glass because they’re to pretty to be cups!)

See how nicely they match my timelessly beautiful Correlle?

So here is a shot at my kitchen table, all set and ready to go. Martha I am not, but it‘s not bad if I do say so myself!

Lest you think I am completely hopeless in the homemaking department. That dark spot you see on one of the chairs is not actually a stain, it is from Gunnar sitting there in his swim shorts, (no matter how many times I tell him...)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Want to see what we're doing next year?

For the next two years we will be studying American History. I am very excited about it and I thought I'd tell you a little about what we are doing. I will be using Sonlight Core 3 & 4 over the next 2 years. We will be using the Sonlight core lightly, really mostly as a reading list and we will be using the History of the USA workbooks for my 4th and 6th grader to do independently. We will be using the Landmark History book rarely if at all.

But that is not what this post is about. This is what I am excited about and have been working on all weekend. Our State Study! I bought Simply Stated at the Convention this year. I have the main state history book, maps, guides, and literature, now I'm setting up the Notebook we're going to keep all our work in.

Here is what I did. First I spent HOURS going to the main tourism website for EVERY STATE IN THE UNION (for those not from around here that is 50 States!!!) and the capital city of Washington D.C. and requested a tourist guide and map. They will start arriving in 4 to 6 weeks.

This is what I am going to store all that paperwork in until we are ready for it. I'll just file them alphabetically.

Then I hit Walmart for all the needed supplies.

First up...The LARGE binder. I got a 3" but now that it is full of file folders I probably should have gotten the 5".

Then I bought a box of Manila Folders, I need enough for one for each state, Washington D.C. one for a general US history introduction page and one for the various US territories (I have learned there are several territories, we'll probably just list them all with a fact or two for each and leave it at that, so only one manila folder for all the territories).

Next I punched holes in the manila folders so they will go in the binder.

When they are open we'll have the whole inside to fill up with maps, facts, copywork, drawings, etc, about the state.

Then I took the smaller envelopes and attached them to the back of the manila folder.

I used double stick tape and stick glue. This took the most time. The envelope will be used to store the state map we get from the tourism board and any other info we can't put in the folder but want to keep with the state.

I organized the folders in chronological order of when they became states. We will study the 13 colonies first and then go chronologically from there. We will do about one state a week. We will do some out of order if we are going to visit that state or someone from out of state is visiting us, or as we see fit. We'll do Colorado first as a trial this summer in preparation for our trip there in July.

There you have it! When we are done we should have one notebook with all the pertinent info about each state, with a state map and tourism guide, included. How cool is that!

My kids will keep their own notebook (just a spiral notebook) with a page for each state. I will photo copy some stuff from each child's notebook or drawings or copywork to put in the main binder. I don't want to have 3 binders like this but I want each of my youngest three to participate in the main binder. I'll probably switch out who gets to put what information on the folder. Only their best work will be photocopied and put it the main binder. I am hoping that this will encourage them to do their best work!

I'll post some pictures of the state folders as we finish them.

This is a homeschooling blog at it's core so I thought I should share some homeschooling stuff from time to time! :o)

Friday, June 8, 2007

I am so proud of A!

Today I had one of those aaaaahhhhh moments. The kind that tell me I am doing a good job, that I am a good Mom, that maybe when I get to heaven I really will hear "Well done good and faithful servant".

I took my kids to Pump It Up for their cousins birthday party. It was great fun btw!

When I was signing them in, I had to tell them my kids birthdays. My youngest happens to be born on St. Patrick's Day. When she told the lady behind the counter that, the lady asked her if she was lucky.

Without missing a beat or being cheeky, she replied, "Nope, I'm blessed".

Wow, how cool is that?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


I was innocently putting my girls to bed last night and the doorbell rings. As soon as the door opens I hear my teen boys screech. They will not admit to screeching but I'm telling you, it was a screech. This was on the other side of the door. (Good thing I didn't answer the door, I'd have had a heart attack!)

The neighbor boys were at the door with a snake, that they found IN THEIR YARD, JUST A FEW HOUSES DOWN FROM MINE! At least this was not found in my laundry.

I have had entirely too much nature!

Needless to say, the girls did not get to bed on time.

Just so you know, the neighbor boy holding the snake is a self-proclaimed snake expert and assured me this was not a poisonous snake. It is some kind of constrictor...he thinks. HE THINKS??? He's holding the thing! You think he'd be rather FIRM in his belief that this was a non venomous creature BEFORE he picked it up! Boys!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Coke Zero, Anyone?

I have a story to share, A little self deprecation, just for you.

I was driving home from Scottish Rite today…actually, I must go back further. It really began with the coke machine. I am about to pay $1.25 for a Coke Zero. I have a whole case of Coke Zero’s at home, but I forgot to bring one. So, here I am about to pay an exorbitant price for something I already have; brilliant I know, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

I put in my money, and hit the Coke Zero button…nothing. I hit it again, several times in fact. Nothing. Okay, I’m a reasonable person. I can deal with regular Diet Coke. I hit that button…nothing. I decide to just wait till I get home for my Diet Coke fix and hit the money return button, you guessed it…nothing.

So I get a Sprite. I am not a huge fan of Sprite, but it was that or the scary orange or grape drinks. I really didn’t want the Sprite so I put it in my wheelie box and head to the lobby to do some school planning.

On my way back up to pick up the kids, I stop at the gift shop to make up for my loss of Diet Coke, and I buy myself some chocolate. It is not lost on me that it is 9:30 am and I am attempting to drink Diet Coke and eat chocolate, but that is for another post.

After walking up to the Dyslexia Lab to pick up the kids, then back through the hospital and out through the parking garage to the parking lot on the other side (my 12 passenger van is too tall for the parking garage) we finally load up and head home.

As I am entering the highway on the short entrance ramp and trying to merge with the other one billion people in Downtown Dallas, who, by the way, all drive SUV’s or Extended Cab Diesel Ford Trucks and are driving 90 mph, I decide to go ahead and take a sip of my Sprite. I need something to wash down the chocolate after-all.

This is the same bottle of Sprite that has been bouncing around in my wheelie cart for the last hour. I open the twisty lid and put the tip of the bottle to my lips, all while merging and keeping my eye on the road. I do have precious cargo in this van you know.

Because of my conscientious driving, I failed to notice that the Sprite was fizzing over the top until I felt the cold sticky substance ALL THE WAY DOWN MY SHIRT! I literally poured at least a cup of Sprite down my shirt…while merging onto the highway-from-hell.

I want you to know that I did this without swerving in the least and managing to merge gracefully onto the highway-from-hell, between all the SUV’s, Ford Super Duty’s and Semis, like a pro.

People, I’m ready for NASCAR!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Here We Go...Again!

Okay, we made it through our first day of Dyslexia Lab School at Scottish Rite Hospital; downtown Dallas.

I have a friend whose son is also going to the program and we were able to set up a carpool. So at least I only have to drive 2 mornings a week.

A was quite happy to go, and was up and dressed before the sun was up. I was not so happy to see this hour of morning. I really don’t like 6am. 6am and I are not on speaking terms. 6am is a retched, retched time to have to get up.

I think this is going to be a good thing, despite its unfortunate start time. It will be good for A and I’m sure for me too. Apparently, God thinks I need to grow more. So here we go for another 2 years and a summer.

I took a deep breath and jumped in. I can do this…again. I can. God will give me strength.

At least this time I have a REALLY BIG car. I can put those two VERY AWAKE children in the far back seat where I can barley hear their chatter over my Miranda Lambert WAKE UP, GIRL! music, and can concentrate on my coffee and driving.

And speaking of driving, what is with those people that get in the HOV lane and dive 50MPH? 50 people! It is a 65mph zone. I can understand if you feel you must drive 65 even though everyone knows it is an unwritten rule that the HOV lane is for SPEEDING! I’ll not grouse if someone thinks they must obey the speed limit exactly (legalism anyone?) But 15mph UNDER? Really? Must I deal with this while I am trying to get down my first cup of coffee of the day? It is just more than a girl should have to deal with. But, like I said, I am growing and stretching as a person…again. Growing and stretching hurt at 6am!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Thank You!

I have to admit that Memorial Day went buy in a flurry of activity (actually, truth be told, a flurry of mosquitoes!)

We were camping and barbecuing and horseshoeing and just generally having fun and being a family. I did not really take time to think about what that day is about.

My SIL sent me this video and it really touched my heart.

Wow. How do you say thank you for this kind of sacrifice?

How do you say thank you to that little boy for being away from his Daddy so I can enjoy my freedom?

God Bless all the soldiers like this man who are giving up their freedom's so I can keep mine.

My favorite thing about summer.

This is one of my favorite things about summer.

My girls will spend hours creating amazing designs with their sidewalk chalk. It is 7:45 AM and it was so quiet in the house I had to go investigate. This is where I found them.

They will probably do this for most of the morning, then all four kids will go to the neighborhood pool where all their friends are. The lifeguard is a very nice girl I knew when she was a baby (that is totally because she's young, not because I'm old!)
They will hang out there for most of the afternoon.

I love the slowness of summer. I love that my kids can just be, explore, and play.

I'm enjoying this last day before A and I have to get up early and head downtown. A is happy it's early, she'll be home by 10:30 so, as she said, she won't miss much summer. I however wish it were a bit later so I won't have to miss so much sleeping in!

I have decided to choose to Praise HIM about this Scottish Rite business. So every day, for a while, I'm going to read (and post) a praise verse.

Here's today's...
Psalm 52:9
I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.