My Journey Along the Narrow Way

Posts tagged ‘children’

Back to School…

I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss back to school.  No, not the aisles jammed with people buying supplies at Wal-Mart, or the school meetings, but the actual back-to-school.  And not even for my children, although I will admit to deriving some satisfaction from their school supplies.  What I miss every year at this time is actually going back to school.

There…my secret is out.  I was THAT kid.  I absolutely LOVED getting new school supplies.  There is something about new pencils, fresh paper, and a great Trapper Keeper that just gets my blood going.  I loved getting the textbooks for the year.  Seeing all the new stuff to read and learn.  I loved getting my desk and organizing it.  I loved meeting the new teachers, the new kids.  I loved the new routine.  It was all wonderful to me.

And every year at this time I want to go back and do it all again.

It’s funny, when my children were going back to school I was more excited about the school supplies we had to get then they were.  Bella did like to take time to look at what she wanted but Joey couldn’t have cared any less.  Just get it and go.  I don’t remember back to school shopping being quite so chaotic back in the day so that part wasn’t all that much fun with my kids.  I don’t know why everyone waits until the weekend before school to go to Wal-Mart to shop.

I was in a waiting room at a surgical center the other day and a high school girl was sitting next to me reading “The Stand” by Steven King.  I asked about it and she said it was summer reading for school.  I was so jealous.  I want some summer reading for school.

I know, now you know that I am truly a book nerd.  And even worse, I was always a teacher’s pet.  I loved to be helpful and take roll, or take stuff to the office, or even write down the names of the misbehavors while the teacher was out of the room.

I loved having my homework done every day, I loved reading out loud in class, I loved going to the chalk board (and later the white board) to do math problems in front of the class.  There is only one truly horrifyingly bad class I remember from school and that was speech which I took in the 8th grade.  It was awful giving speeches in front of the class.  There was not one thing I liked about that class.

So for the next week or so just ignore me if I get a little misty thinking about back to school.  Don’t worry, it won’t last long.  As soon as I have to go through the first school zone traffic, I’ll be over it.

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Mish mash…

ImageMy life has been in such a whirlwind that last while that I don’t think I could conherently put it in writing in a form of organization so I’m just going to just throw it up here for your reading enjoyment…

* Goodbye, Bella ~ I don’t even know where to start on this.  The last month or so has been spent gettingImage ready for the big move to Kenya and then on June 28th she was gone.  I kind of felt like, “What do I do now?” the first couple of days since everything had been so focused on all the hundreds of small details of an international move.  I actually did much better at the airport than I thought I would.  Bella got upset in the airport which probably helped me keep it together (for some reason when anyone else starts crying I go into caretaker mode and I quit crying).  Then walking back to the car I was looking at the ground the whole way because Bella’s little missionary man Joey and I had bought her had fallen off of her bookbag and I was determined to find him…which I did right next to our car!  In spite of 4 days of travel, two of which were being stuck in Brussels (poor baby), Bella finally made it to Kenya.  We were able to speak to her via Facebook chat for a good while yesterday, so that was nice.

* The Working Man ~ Joey finally started with the apprenticeship program and started working on a job site on Thursday, July 5th.  It is in Opelika so it involves an hour drive each way.  He is looking into extended stay motels, etc. to cut down on the daily driving.  This is a great opportunity for him and we are so excited for him to get on this program.  Coming out of it he should be trained in welding, pipefitting, and plumming.

* Crusing ~ Bud and I are finally getting to go on our cruise for our 25th anniversary (only 1 year and 2 months late, but who’s counting).  We are so excited and will be leaving late August from New Orleans for a 7-day adventure in the Western Caribbean!  This is something we have looked forward to doing for years and we are so excited to get to do this.

* Good times with good friends ~ Joey and Laura took Sylvia and I to Atlanta over the weekend for a funImage trip seeing The Bodies exhibit and then Collective Soul in concert.  Joey and I have been wanting to see Collective Soul for a long time, probably since I introduced him to them when he was a lot shorter =-).  We got to see them in this really cool venue called The Tabernacle in Atlanta.  It is a smaller venue which used to be an old church among other things.  It has 3 stories, hardwood floors, and the interior is painted with all this cool stuff.  Very eclectic and different.  Collective Soul played a set of one whole album from beginning to end, took a 15 minute break, and then returned to play all their hits.  It was a wonderfully entertaining show with lots of energy and fun.  It was Sylvia’s first ever rock concert and she really enjoyed it.  I definitely want to go back to The Tabernacle again.

ImageThe Bodies exhibit was also really fun and interesting.  It is in Atlanta until the end of the year so everyone should check it out.

Potpourri of Thoughts, Part 2…

So, we got Joey moved out and I did better than expected.  Aside from the fact that I was carrying stuff to the truck and crying, that is.  I think I hid it pretty well from the other guys.  The actual move out was pretty hard for me, but once they pulled off I felt much better.

He has gotten settled into his new place.  I did have a really hard time when I visited his new place and saw his furniture in a new room.  This is the furniture we bought Joey when he was two years old.  It has always been in MY house.  It just doesn’t look good in someone else’s.

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Bella had a GREAT party for her 23rd birthday.  It was a Nintendo Themed Costume Party.  She spent days decorating the house (some of which is still up).

She had a PacMan room in our Living Room:

A Donkey Kong Country Room in our Den:

Mario in our Kitchen:

Rainbow Road in our Hall:

And Star Fox in Joey’s old room:

Prizes were awarded to Alaura Cook (3rd place), Andrew Eastwold (2nd place), and Caleb Quave (1st place).

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College football kicked off tonight…WOOOOO HOOOOO…just saying.

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We are planning for a visit to California to visit my Dad and my stepmom Louava for Thanksgiving.  It will be just us two girls since the boys will both be working that week.  I’m really excited and can’t wait to see them.  I don’t get to see my Daddy and Louava near enough.  The last time we got to see them in the flesh was when Bella graduated from high school.  In case you don’t know when Bella graduated…that was back in 2005.  They were going to come and visit again when Joey graduated high school, but due to some health problems were unable to fly.  I absolutely cannot wait to put my arms around my Daddy and give him a great big hug!

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I forget between times that I write on my blog how much I enjoy it.  I definitely need to take time to do this more often.  I don’t know if anyone else really enjoys reading what I write, but it is great to get it out of my head.

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Mullets…I still don’t get them.  Business in the front, party in the back – what’s that about???  And why are people still wearing them?  What brought that up?  Just saw Billy Ray Cyrus’s video for “Acky Breaky Heart.”  Wow…

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It’s September – WHY are your Christmas lights still up?  You are either way late in taking them down or way early in putting them up.  STOP IT.

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I’m still on the South Beach Diet.  I’ve lost 16 lbs. and 18 inches.  The inches have gone down the last couple of weeks but the pounds not so much.  I know this is normal but I’m ready for some pounds to get moving.  I keep having to tell myself that I didn’t gain all this weight overnight.  It took closer to 15 years actually.  Therefore, it might take awhile to take off.  I do feel like I’ve finally gained some control in this aspect of my life.

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“For You formed my inward parts:  You knitted me together inmy mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13).

As someone who could have been aborted but was instead born and put up for adoption – I just don’t get it.  How much clearer do some people need it to be.  I’m NOT a mistake, I was NOT an unplanned pregnancy – God planned me.  God formed me and planned for the parents I was to have.

So how can people really believe that abortion is okay?  How can they say that these babies are mistakes and unplanned?  Again, I just don’t get it.

[getting down off of my soapbox now]

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Potpourri of Thoughts…

Joey is moving out tomorrow. I know that it is time and how things should be so why is my heart so heavy? I have had a lot of people ask why I’m sad he’s moving out – after all, he’ll be in town and I can see him anytime. It’s true, but still the heavy heart.

Would it feel any different if he was moving to Australia or even Wyoming? Maybe. But I think it’s not where he’s going that’s so hard. I think it is that things are changing. For 23 years of my life, I’ve had kids in my house. Things have developed into a nice rhythm and I enjoy that rhythm. Now something is changing…and I’m not READY.

I find myself wanting to go up to new parents or parents with small children and warn them. I need to tell them to enjoy every minute. No matter how tired or frustrated or busy you are to savor each and every moment. Because that part of your life is over way too soon.

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I have read the Bible through a couple of times but it’s funny how every time you read the Bible, no matter how many times you have read a certain passage, God brings something new. Here are some recent gems:

“For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord,
And He watches all his paths.
His own iniquities will capture the wicked,
And he will be held with the cords of his sin.” Proverbs 5:21-22

“The night is almost gone, and the day is here.
Therefore, let us lay aside the deeds of darkness
and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit[b]is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:

“ Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

Ephesians 5:8-14

There is also a song by Glory Revealed called “Wake Up O Sleeper” based on Eph. 5:14 that is just fantastic. You should definitely check it out.

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I’m still working hard on the South Beach Low Carb Diet. So far, I’ve lost 15 lbs. and 12.5 inches. I do really good most of the time but still struggle with my emotions dictating how I eat. I just have to keep working at it and remember that I didn’t get to this point quickly so I’m not going to lose it all quickly either. Still…frustrating.

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We are getting internet and cable back this weekend! Can I say that I have really missed Deadliest Catch, Dirty Jobs, and House?

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Our garden is still doing ok.  We never got any tomatoes to speak of (but then, neither did my FIL who usually gets a bunch) but we have gotten a bunch of peppers of all shapes and sizes, some eggplant, and we have 5 icebox watermelons currently growing.  All in all – a good experience.  We will definitely garden again next year.

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I definitely feel better when I pray and read the Bible so why don’t I do it constantly?  To paraphrase Paul – Why do I NOT do what I want to do???

Graduation…

My daughter has let me know that I’m being remiss by not blogging about her graduation. Since I blogged about the veggie garden instead, I guess that makes me a bad parent =-).

Anyhow…I did want to tell everyone about the graduation experience.

Bella graduated (kind of) on April 30th. Due to the fact that her major program changed requirements in the middle of her getting her degree and also that Bella was getting a dual major; she was not going to be finished in time to walk in the April graduation. That really wouldn’t have been much of a problem except that Faulkner has gone to one graduation ceremony a year. Bella (and several others in her class) were offered the opportunity to go ahead and walk in the ceremony, and then finish us the few classes left in the summer term.

So, Bella walked!

That morning there was the usual chaos that seems to accompany every family gathering. Bella needed to be there about an hour early so we determined that Bella, Joey, and I would go ahead early: Bella to get placed in line, and Joey and I to save seats.

I couldn’t figure out where to park when we got there so I rolled the dice and took a chance by parking at a meter right across the street from the Renaissance Hotel where the ceremony was to be held.

Joey and I found some great seats and staked them out. Bella went to do her thing. Bud was tasked with picking up his parents and bringing them. Unfortunately, they weren’t ready until 20 minutes before the ceremony. To say Bud was a little stressed would be an understatement.

The music started for the graduates to walk in and, you guessed it, no Bud. Joey was also missing as he had gone to find Bud and the grandparents to show them where we were seated.

The line of graduates walked right by us (including Bella) and she was wondering (of course) where everyone was. They were waiting at the door as they couldn’t come in until all the graduates had walked by.

Finally, everyone was seated and the graduation ceremony begin. It was your usual ceremony with Bobby Bright as the commencement speaker (don’t ask).

Finally it was time for Bella to be called! She was and they even pronounced her whole name correctly (even though they only listed one of her two majors). She even made it across without tripping!

The rest of the day was spent in rivalry and just spending time with the family.

Bella is currently taking two independent studies in Psychology and one class in Constitutional Government and will be awarded her diploma in July or August!

I’m so proud of my college graduate!!!

Buster you will be missed…

On Valentine’s Day, we had to have our beloved beagle, Buster, put to sleep. He was 13 years old and had been part of our life for so long, we couldn’t imagine our lives without him there. It’s now been almost 2 months and I finally feel like I can tell a little bit about what made Buster so special to us.

Buster was our third beagle and my children’s third dog. We initially had a little male beagle named Bubba. Then we got a girlfriend for Bubba named Dixie. Bubba was inbred (though we didn’t know it) and we ended up having to have him put to sleep because of genetic problems.

After Bubba died, both Bella and Joey wanted another dog. We looked through the Bulletin Board and found some beagles that were ready. They were way out in the country. So, we started the trek to go find another sweet boy doggie. We took Dixie along so she could help pick. For some reason, that was very important to Bella and Joey.

We had already decided on the name of Buster by the time we got there, after seeing a sign with that on it along the way.

We got to the place and got out of the car. We went around the corner to where the man selling the puppies indicated and there was a big yard with a lot of puppies and some adult dogs as well.

We immediately noticed this one puppy. He was the tubbiest little thing I had ever seen. We soon found out why…Buster was not only eating dog food, but was still nursing as well. He was so fat that his belly almost dragged on the ground. He also was really dark compared to the two beagles we had previously had. He was mostly black with brown and white thrown in. I always thought he looked like a burnt little cookie.

Well, it was love at first sight. We immediately decided he was our Buster. Dixie seemed to like him too, although I think she would much rather us to have brought home Buster’s daddy, she seemed quite taken with him.

Buster was a funny dog. He would actually smile when you rubbed him; so much so that his mouth would almost go up to the corners of his eyes. He loved to have his back scratched and his ears scratched. He was also a pretty easy going doggie until he got old and grumpy.

Buster loved Bella most of all. He got to where he was miserable when she would go on her mission trips. He wouldn’t eat and would just mope. He was also grumpy and growled at the other dogs more often as he aged.

But Buster was happy the day he died. He went out into the yard and lay in the sun and just smiled. We knew it was time for him to go…it was very clear that it was the end. We all loved on him and I know until he took his last breath he knew how much he was loved.

The Clampetts Come to Town…

In 1992, back when Bella was 5 and Joey was 2, our family moved to Fargo, North Dakota. We were like fish out of water when we arrived. Let me explain…

First of all, I was born in Colorado, but we moved when I was four years old. After that, I grew up in Southern California and Alabama (back and forth pretty much). Two nice, warm states. I remembered the cold and snow from Colorado, but vaguely. My husband was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, as were our children. So they knew nothing about snow.

The trip driving up to Fargo was an experience in itself. We discovered somewhere around Tennessee that Bella got extremely car sick on long trips. Who knew? Let me tell you, it is NOT fun to clean vomit out of the backseat of a car, out of a basket of toys, and off of a little brother’s shoe on the side of an interstate with cars whizzing by and your husband dry heaving beside you. Just saying is all…

On Day 3 we finally pull into North Dakota. It was cold and blowing snow. Did I mention it was the first of November? Everyone else pretty much had either snow tires or chains. Also, they had nice warm parkas but not us. We had little measly thin Alabama coats and we were FREEZING.

So as we pull into to town, we go to Wal-Mart. I’m sure we looked hilarious running through the blizzard, with no snow gear on, in our tennis shoes, into Wal-Mart. An hour and a couple of hundred dollars later, we are fully outfitted with parkas, boots, scarves, gloves, hats, and snowsuits for the kids. Ahhhhh…we are finally warm.

Next, it’s on to the grocery store to get some provisions. Another hour and another hundred dollars later, we are fully loaded with groceries and ready to see our new apartment. After running by the real estate office, we are finally ready to get to “Home, Sweet Home.” Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well, it wasn’t.

Here you had an Alabama boy driving the car…one who had learned to drive in the snow during the last day. And not very well, I might add. We turned onto our street and slid right on by the driveway. OK…let’s try this again. We drive around the block and promptly slide right by the driveway again. It took either three or four tries before we finally got into the driveway.

Our apartment was on the second floor so we decided not to carry all those groceries up the stairs but rather throw them up to the balcony. I bet you can guess whose brilliant idea that was. The kids and I go ahead up to the apartment and Bud unloads the car, throwing each tied bag up to me. It all went fairly well until he threw the milk. For some reason, I saw it coming and ducked. It promptly exploded as it hit the sliding glass door. I never did get all the milk off the door until the spring thaw…

Finally we were done with the groceries and the kids and I watched out of the part of the sliding glass door that wasn’t covered in ice milk as Bud parked the car and attempted to come on up to join us. I say attempted because he was walking across the parking lot and the next thing we saw was feet in the air and Bud on his back in the snow. Hilarious!

All I can say is the Clampetts came to Fargo that day!