Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tag I'm it-Random things about me

I'm NO super mom tagged me. So, here are several random things about me.

1. When I was in seventh grade, I climbed out of a station wagon traveling at a good clip on a mountain highway. I was trying to dump out melted red jello blocks that were beginning to spill in the back seat.

2. I backpacked through Europe for 2 and a half months, traveling in 9 countries and sleeping on trains and in youth hostiles.

3. I once flew on a plane with Ray Charles.

4. I performed at the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics. My mom found me on the field by searching for my hair.

5. My great grandparents came to America from Italy. They started a business in 1904 or 1906 that is still in business today and the building is a historic landmark in San Jose, CA.

6. My husband and I were apart for 8 months during our second year of marriage while he completed culinary school in Hyde Park, New York at the Culinary Institute of America. We didn't see each other once.

7. When I was five years old, I helped stop the bleeding from my mom's broken nose with paper while all the other adults were freaking out.

8. I had the same second grade teacher that my mom had.

Now I tag Hey Chef PW, Mama CEO, Valinda, AaronandApril, Along Schaefer Road, Moseley's Musings, Teaching Tuck and Ty, Ramblings of Robin, My Mama Days, and life on prescott avenue.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Our Day at Anderson Farm

We ended Fall break with a trip to Anderson Farm. We had a great time picking pumpkins, riding the barrel trains and being together.

I hope you enjoy the photos half as much as we enjoyed the day.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Does anyone speak Tween?

OK, so for those of you who know me, you know I was not an overly sappy baby mom.

Yes, I adored my babies. I treasured all of their stages. But, no I did not cry when the highchair went to the basement for storage. Nor did I mourn the transformation of the baby room to the big girl/big boy room.

If I am truly honest, I did the happy dance every time a baby toy was outgrown.

I know sounds terrible, but really, I taught middle school/high school for 10 years for a reason.

There was a standing joke in our family. My sister, the amazingly gifted KINDERGARTEN teacher, would raise the kids until they were twelve, then I would take over.

Well, forget it. Apparently, it was easy for me to relate to OTHER PEOPLE'S tweens!

I need a manual for my own child.

Example...I give a direction like, "Could you please fill Koda's bowl with food and water and put him in the 'apartment'."

I descend the stairs to see, Hunter's shoes on the kitchen table and Maddy sorting out coats from the closet.

I admit, I was puzzled.

So, foolishly I ask..."What are you doing?"

"I'm coordinating jackets and shoes for everyone." was the reply I received.

I think, wow, above and beyond what I asked of her. Maybe I do have the hang of this parenting thing.

Yeah, not so much.

I come further into the kitchen to see that my direction, in its entirety, was ignored. Now, I have an added mountain of coats to assist with hanging up, a dog who is still NOT confined to the apartment, and kids who are not ready to walk out the door.

Disappointed...a little...the first 5 times...

Now, I'm my mom. "Why won't you follow the direction I gave you? Don't do more. Don't do less. Just do the direction I gave you."

The common reply, "Well, I figured you didn't know we needed to do the other stuff so I was helping."

I'm not know we needed to do the other stuff...I don't think so.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why I Love Fall

Look at the color of the tree. Don't you think it's amazing! I decided to post it so that I could come back and look at it whenever I wanted.

The middle of Winter will be here before you know it. Those of you who know this California girl know that the death of Winter is VERY hard for me.

If we had a light blanket of snow layering the ground all Winter, I would be fine. But the death and brown is hard to swallow. In the middle of Winter, I miss the lush green of California. But what I don't miss about California is so long of a list that I don't know where to start. Thus. I will grit my teeth and bear the barren trees, bushes, and grass. I will miss the flowers of spring and summer and the color of Fall. When the snow comes I will cozy in and LOVE IT! When the emptiness over takes me I will read this blog and remember it will be green again!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thank you Major League Baseball

First off, know that it is NOT my intention to offend anyone with what you are about to read.

But, on the parenting level, I admit Paul and I found this too good to pass up. Those of you yet to reach the tween years or near tween years may not appreciate it as much as those of us smack dab in the middle of the horror.

Last night, Hunter and Paul were watching the Tampa Bay/Boston playoff game.

Innocent enough.

Maddy and I were occupied with other things.

I realized we were out of training pads for Koda.

I announced that I was going to PetSmart. Paul, being the handsome prince that he is, said he wanted me to stay home and he would go. (I LOVE THAT MAN!)

So, off he went.

Never occurred to me that there was a procedure for watching sporting events on TV.

SO, mom's of boys, listen up, apparently there is-at least in our house.

Not being a huge Tampa or Boston fan, I did not join Hunter to watch the game. I was within ear shot however.

The next thing I know Hunter is in hysterical laughter. Laughter reserved for embarrassment or bodily noises that boys find hilarious and will remain unmentioned.

I then hear the words that bring me to a cold sweat.

"Maddy, did you hear that?"

I cautiously asked, "Hear what, Hunter?"

"That commericial."

"What did it say?"

"Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough for sex." was the reply he gave.

Now, thanks to the world around us, we had to have "the talk" with Maddy last year-IN FOURTH GRADE. It went well, but early in our minds none the less.

Maddy's eyes popped out of her head. She looked at me in horror as if to say "YOU ARE NOT GOING TO TELL HIM ARE YOU?!?"

I was NOT about to have the conversation-without Paul-during a Playoff game. But, much to my chagrin, I also knew I could not let it go.

"Do you know what sex is Hunter?"

"I think so."

Gulp! "What is it?"

Suffice it to say, he is not quite there, but his little gifted mind is definitely putting it together.

I relayed the events to Paul when he returned.

He then proceeds to tell me the PROCEDURE for watching sporting events.

Given that the target audience is middle aged men, he turns the channel during commercials.

Yeah, that would have been good to know.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What am I gonna do with him?

Everyone seems to love Hunter. Where ever we go, he makes friends. Strangers are happy to see him. He shows the love of Jesus to everyone. I know I can count on him to reach out to kids who need a friend.

For some kids he is like a magnet. If you need a friend or you are left out, Hunter will rescue you and you will never be without a friend again. If Hunter says you're cool, then everyone believes you're cool. His teachers and coaches can't believe how much he cares for others.

I love this about him. I love his compassionate, caring heart. He lives out the verse that says, "A friend loves at all times..." His life's mission is to care for the underdog.

So what's the problem? He's smart. Nothing seems hard for him. He just memorized 4 verses for Awanas in the last 15 minutes while I was typing this. Why am I frustrated? WE LEAVE FOR AWANAS IN 10 MINUTES. He had all week. He's the same with school work.

SO...I pose this question...What am I gonna do with him?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Opposites Attract

We had such a great Sunday.

After church, we went to the library, selected some books and DVD's for the kids to enjoy over Fall Break, went to the store for supplies for pumpkin bread and Robin's pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. (See YUM under Ramblings of Robin) Oh, and of course a Frappacino for Maddy (don't get me started-Thank you Aunt Saysa!)

We settled in for a cozy afternoon of baking, watching movies and wearing sweats. We all love these family days.

We were interrupted by the doorbell. We thought that it was Maga with the rolled oated-minor detail at the store, I forgot the list. Anyway, Paul got up to get the door while I contained the attack dog.

If we are ever robbed, Koda will bark the robber to death. And I assure you, the robber will run away to maintain sanity!

It wasn't Maga. It was a political activist seeking support for the party I oppose. HOW BAD DID I WISH I OPENED THE DOOR.

Paul very calmly informed them that he would be "speaking his voice when he cast his vote in November." She asked him which way he was voting. He calmly replied he was undecided.

WHATEVER-he did not want to address or to create conflict.

Me-I had a million questions I wanted answered-but trying to display respect for my husband and not take over the conversation-I stood silent trying to calm Koda.

After the the activist handed Paul her material, believing that an over-sized postcards with half information pointing only to what they want to tickle your ears with would change our minds Paul thanked her for stopping, told her to stay warm, and shut the door.

I went on a rambling for 10 minutes about the issues, politics and how lucky that girl was that Daddy answered the door.

Hunter asked, "Why was she lucky, Daddy?"

Paul calmly replied, "Well, Mommy is my zesty Italian. She likes to make sure everybody knows both sides of the issues."

Yeah that's it-Whatever!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fall is in the Air

It's cold outside.

Drizzle fills the sky.

Forecasters predict a light snow-the first of the season.

We are bundled in for the night.

Cozy in our warm, autumn filled house.

WOW! Are we blessed by God or what!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Top Ten Reasons I Haven't Blogged

10. I'm recovering from my time in an airplane.

9. We neutered Koda. Enough said.

8. I had a community...I'm sorry...Hunter had a community project that required extensive travel around Highlands Ranch...WooHoo.

7. Stephanie was in Hawaii for two weeks. Again, Enough said.

6. Paul is working on a secret project.

5. Hunter hasn't gone to yellow in weeks.

4. I've started Christmas shopping.

3. I'm Fall cleaning.

2. Madison is swimming EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK.

And the number one reason, I haven't been blogging...

1. I got nothing!!!

Walking in the Light

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.