While many fans, with good reason mind you, are reeling in the disappointment of Miley's decision to pose for the photos in Vanity Fair, I say, "Thank You, Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus."
Why, you ask?
First, they created an amazing, yet tragic teachable moment with Maddy.
Second, they just saved us a small fortune.
My values are clear. And if you know me, you know I am not afraid to put it out there.
I WILL NOT in good conscience support the career of a girl who talks out of both sides of her mouth.
What happen to all the publicity from the People magazine article that communicated her wholesome values and her grounded disposition? And the interviews in which Billy Ray and Miley prided themselves on the fact that she was going to steer clear of this kind of behavior? Wasn't she going to make it without selling out?
Too bad we'll never get a chance to find out!
Now, after the pictures are published and making headlines, Miley is sorry. She says she learned her lesson. That's convenient.
Well, we have a daughter to raise-a daughter that will not be taught that sex or the use of her body will be the way to success.
She will be raised with self respect and dignity. We will do all we can to insure that when she looks at herself in the mirror she will ALWAYS like what she sees. We will fight society to the death on this. When everyone else is gone and she's alone and the lights are out, Maddy will always like who she's with-herself.
Day two of the construction on the kitchen is complete. We have tile "setting up" on the counters for 24 hours. Tomorrow the wall tile and edges will be done-We might even have the hardware on the cabinets. I can't wait.
They are good kids. They love each other. There are mornings that I find them snuggling together, giggling and planning their day.
It's not uncommon to walk in on them on their knees praying for Miss Jen.
Hunter loves to read his Bible at night. Maddy loves to care for others.
Driving to school, they will hold hands while planning their recess adventures.
Today at the pool, I watched as they played together as though no one else existed.
Together they warded off the bullies who attempted to push past or drown every small child in the endless river. They were self appointed guardians. My question is where were the big kids going in such a hurry. They were in the endless river. Could it really be that important to get "ahead" of everyone else? Seriously. They were only headed to the same place-hence the term endless.
I know, I know. It sounds to good to be true. Yeah, well sometimes it is. I have left out the several examples in the last 24 hours of their selfish attitude and air of entitlement. Why? Because left to that outlook, I would probably lock myself in my room and rock back and forth for hours.
I definitely have my opinions politically speaking. But the one thing I love about our country is our freedom to have opinions. So, other peoples' views politically, in my opinion, are just as valuable as mine.
But today on the Today show, listening to Hillary, I couldn't hold back.
Tim Russert (sp?) said, "Math is not her subject. Psychology is her subject..." Then I listened to Hillary's perspective of the race.
All that I can say is Bill may not have inhaled, but Hillary apparently did.
Good for you Hillary. You keep that optimistic outlook. Keep telling yourself, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me." Not this people, but hey that's the beauty of America.
Hunter has successfully shocked Paul. He (Hunter) is actually more competitive than me. Hard to believe, but true nonetheless.
Yesterday, in the bliss of the warm spring weather, Paul and Hunter played some one-on-one soccer in the backyard. I observed in preoccupied silence while I pulled the grass that is growing everywhere but the actual lawn.
There was no blood shed, but I am convinced that Hunter would have gone for the jugular given the opportunity. Every time Paul scored or out played Hunter there was a "do over" or it didn't count because he was in a "T game".
Paul has long since stopped playing "nice" in order to build Hunter's confidence. Yeah, confidence-check.
We play to win-chess, board games, sports games you name it. We feel that Hunter could benefit from-how should I put this-a little humility. Yesterday was one such example.
I finally spoke up from my silence. Hunter was shocked I even knew what was going on.
"Good grief Hunter, you're more competitive than me. It's just a game."
His eyes blazed with rage. I was sure that his head was going to start spinning. He half yelled, half roared, "Don't tell me it's JUST a game!"
And to think, while studying fact and opinion tonight with Ms. Tricia, Maddy said that it was a fact that her brother was great. She told Ms. Tricia she could prove it. Good for you sweetie. Someone in the family has to be optimistic.
Meanwhile, Paul and I will be working through Anger Management with our 6 year old.
Wednesday I attempted to access my husband's brand new blog when much to my surprise, I was greeted by a peculiar sight.
In place of the site, I found that the page could only be accessed by the author of the blog because it was "In Violation of Terms and Conditions." Leave it to Paul.
He prides himself in going against the grain. When something he likes goes main stream, he ditches it. If something has the potential to be cool, forget it. He goes 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Follow the rules, yeah right.
Odd that we ended up together...Yeah no kidding.
I, of course, wanted to get to the bottom of it, correct it, and get the blog in compliance with the rules. So, I immediately called Paul to alert him of his situation.
His response..."What, are they gonna send the google police to the door?"
Mr. Steve came, took the measurements for the all the projects, and plans to get back to us with the final bid. Wahoo!
So, off we went today to the Home Depot to buy supplies necessary for the kitchen job. We picked Majestic Mauve granite. It is beautiful. We were thrilled with the look, and you couldn't beat the price $3.99 per box. Or so we thought.
We got to the check out counter, carts and kids in toe. Rang up all of our supplies. The clerk, with concern in her voice, said, "Who wants the grand total."
I cheerfully said, "I do," wondering why she was freaking out about approximately $275. Not cheap but no where near the cost of granite slab.
I, being the numbers geek I am, already had a pretty accurate accounting of the cost. Or, so I thought. My jaw hit the ground when she told us the grand total.
We asked to review the receipt. Huh, apparently the listed price is by the square foot not the box. Who knew? Well, probably anyone who can read.
According to Merriam Webster, the definition of preapproved is "to gain favorable opinion beforehand; the act of obtaining approval first. In my opinion this seems straight forward. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if one is preapproved, one is already accepted.
Apparently not in the lovely suburb of Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
I'm pretty well versed on the Highlands Ranch Homeowners Association "Rules". I use the word rules lightly however, as the adherence to these rules appears to the outside observer to be random at best.
According to said rules, homeowners are to paint their houses every five years. Well, we are approaching six. Time to paint.
Nevermind that there are houses in our neighborhood that have not been painted since they were constructed slightly over 10 years ago. You do the math.
Again with the lack of adherence to the "rules."
The "rules" also say that you have to get your colors approved. I'm sorry-have you seen some of the color schemes. Yeah, not a fan.
But, nevertheless, I being the "rule" follower that I am want to have my ducks in a row. So, I called the architectural department to clarify the process and determine what the procedure was. (Last time we painted, we didn't change colors, hence no need to get approved.)
This time we want to change colors. Thus, we have to go through the long drawn out approval process.
But wait...maybe not...I learned during my phone conversation that there are PREAPPROVED colors. THANK GOD...
The administrative assistant patiently and dutifully explained what I needed to do to get approved or offered the colors that were PREAPPROVED.
She did clarify that I was not limited by the PREAPPROVED colors, of course. Oh, of course. The thought that PREAPPROVED colors were available thrilled me, as available time to complete the process for approval is limited at best.
It was what she said next that caused me to pull the phone away from my ear and stare at it in utter disbelief. "If you select the PREAPPROVED colors, you need to submit an approval form for approval."
I'm sure those of you that know my ability to avoid confrontation know what happened next.
Oh yes I did.
I launched into a dissertation regarding the definition of PREAPPROVAL. Her response was timid and confused, "Well, uh, we still need to know what you're doing." Really? Huh, I don't recall moving into the twilight zone of George Orwell's 1984.
Apparently the new past time in fourth grade is passing notes. Do I smile about this? Yeah, that's a BIG no!
Maddy was relaying a story to me about her day when she nonchalantly added, "Yeah, so she passed me a note that said..." EXCUSE me. I looked at her with what I intended to be complete and utter disapproval.
Apparently, my exhaustion from the day had taken over. She took it to be a look of complete interest. She responded by saying, "I pass notes too sometimes. We all do." Wrong answer.
First off, I am sure "we" all don't pass notes. I don't. Do you? Second, sadly enough, I resorted to "If everyone was jumping off a roof, would you do it?"
I regained composure, trying not to roll my eyes at myself. I communicated on no uncertain terms would we allow Maddy to pass notes. I told her that we would support her teacher 100% if she was caught. I further informed her that she would lose TV for 2 weeks if she was caught. This was met with eyes so wide I was sure they were going to pop out.
Message received. LOUD and CLEAR.
I suggested she announce to her friends in "line up line" that she has the worst parents in the world. I told her to tell them that she can't pass anymore notes or she will lose TV privileges.
Better to make an announcement like that than pass a note about it, don't you think? She sure agreed!
And to think, it's been over a week since Hunter's last episode. Oh well, wouldn't want life to get boring!
Mr. Steve and his family arrived home from their amazing mission trip. He reports to Paul that his kids had such a great time while on the trip they didn't want to come home.
I, of course, am thankful they did. I've been counting the days. I wish I could say that I was spiritually sound all the time-that I am happy the trip was so successful. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it was. But as we have all learned from Hunter's journey, honesty is the best policy.
I'm glad they are home. I'm glad that they are safe. I'm glad that it was a success. I'm glad they were able to share God's Word.
But selfishly, I'm really glad their home because that means Mr. Steve is coming to our house Friday. Yeah, this Friday, so we can discuss the plans we have for the house and get them underway. I'm so glad God loves me just the way I am-because I can be really pathetic!
Hunter came in our room about 4 am Saturday morning to declare that he had not handled Midnight Madness (school activity) very well.
My first thought, "Great, now what did he do?"
My next didn't register so quickly. All I knew was that I was being covered in puke.
Two hours later, to the minute, Maddy was sick. Paul, being the Chef that he is, deduced that the pizza at the party had sat out too long before service, incubated, bacteria formed, blah, blah, blah.
I didn't disagree, of course. I just thanked God they hadn't chosen to sleepover. Then I thought, good Lord those poor teachers. I had visions of an infirmary-Children and teachers alike all with bags and buckets nearby.
Then I learned the new horror. My mom was getting sick, down the street at the exact time Maddy was.
Later Saturday, we confirmed with the doctor that they had food born illness-apparently that new pc way of diagnosing food poisoning. Whatever, all I know is that someone at the "home of the filth" did not wash their hands after going to the bathroom. UGH!!!
You bet the Health Department got an ear full on that! Think of it, my personality, my babies sick. Can you imagine how I handled it?
Yeah well, I couldn't get a word in edgewise. Apparently, Paul does have a dark side. Get a Chef's kid sick-Oh dear! Seriously.
OK, so it's no secret that after 35, weight control becomes a bit more of, shall I say a challenge. Those of you that know me well, know that passing up dessert is just not an option, especially if M&M's are involved. In fact, I will pass up every other meal and skip right to dessert whenever possible.
A day is not complete for me without snuggling on the couch with a cup of hot water (yeah, I know weird, anyway) and something sweet.
So you can imagine my sheer delight when, today at a local drug store, I discovered 100 calorie packs of my all time favorite-M&M's. Could life get any better? I doubt it.
Oh wait, maybe it can. After opening the box, I discovered...Fun Size packs? What? How much did I pay for this?
Paul went to the dentist. I think I can faintly hear the Hallelujah Chorus ringing in the background. Now if I could convince him to go regularly, I'm sure we could contact the Guinness Book of World Records.
I love my husband dearly. I thank God for him everyday. There are things that he does that should win him awards. He is great with the kids. He helps around the house. For obvious reasons, he is an amazing cook. Hold on to your seat, he even does laundry. Believe me, I know how good I have it. But when it comes to directions-yeah well-Lord have mercy!
I don't mean directions like-say for constructing lego sets or putting an "assembly required" item together. No-no-for those, again, he's great.
I mean directions that matter. You know like going to the dentist every 6 months or seeing your doctor for yearly physicals.
He hasn't been to the dentist for a year and half. So being the dutiful wife, I suggested (or should I say insisted) that he make an appointment to see the dentist during his spring break.
Shockingly enough he has two cavities and a chipped tooth that needs repair. He of course is surprised by the findings.
He seems to recall thinking he was, at one point, chewing on something metal like. But hey everyone does that. Right? Didn't even occur to him to investigate.
Is he scheduling an appointment to take care of these issues? Not as of yet. It's been a week. Any takers on when he will actually go? My guess 6 to 9 months from now. Shocked I'm sure.
I wish I could say that was the least of the neglect. Oh no. Yesterday he had his yearly physical. I use the word yearly loosely-very loosely. At the appointment, he learned the minor procedure he had in 2006 had revealed pre-cancerous polyps. The doctor said he must have been relieved to know that they had been removed.
Oh, I'm sure he would have been, had he known they were pre-cancerous. He missed that tidbit. Call me crazy-but it might have something to do with not scheduling the post op appointment. Hey what do I know.
It was at this same appointment he learned he has to have follow-up procedures every 3 to 5 years. Huh! That's helpful information don't you think? Again call me crazy, but he has officially lost the privilege of managing his health care.
Like I always tell him-I didn't marry him to bury him!
Wow! This year year has been a whirlwind to say the least. I am shocked we are near the half way point in February. Part of me wants to dance. If the start of the year is any indication of how it is going to go, I am happy it's flying by. I will usher in 2009 with bells and whistles.
Yet, I am humbly reminded that every day is a gift, and I need to walk in the Light. I need to let Him guide me through each day. I need to listen to His still, quiet voice...Yeah I know for me that's a stretch. I'm never still long enough to catch my breath.
As I write this, our dear neighbor of ten years is fighting stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I am awed by the faith she has in God. I am humbled by the fight she has within her to beat the demon we know as cancer. Hunter, in his six year old wisdom said to me, "Mommy, why are you sad? We are just going to pray and Jesus is going to make her better." The faith of a child and the living testimony of one who is dwelling in God's amazing grace reminds me to walk daily in the His unfailing light.
I treasure Jesus, love my family, like getting things checked off my list, and look forward to warm vacations and home projects. Shopping with Maddy, playing the Wii with Hunter, and hot tubbing with Paul are among my favorite things to do. My favorite movies include the Ocean's 11 trilogy, Chicago, and The Princess Bride. I could listen to country music all day. But there's nothing like the house open on a summer day and Van Morrison in the background.