Friday, September 21, 2007

Is Patience Really A Virtue?

A good friend of mine in Oklahoma, who has three small children, used to joke about how the days she prayed for patience her kids would be extra bad! She just knew God would test her patience more when she asked for some. So, we decided we would never ask for patience! And I still don't!

Well, God must have decided that I needed some whether I asked for it or not!! This week every aspect of life has tested me -- my volunteer projects, my children, and my neighbors. I am ready to run away to a deserted island where no one but my husband and I can go. Instead, I get to run to another meeting...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Our Project

For the five years we have lived in this house, the backyard has just been a BIG doghouse. The only time we really spend much time in our backyard is to do yard work! The dog is the only one who has destroyed, I mean, enjoyed it!

Neither Chris nor I had ever entertained the idea of having a swimming pool. The thought of my kids drowning -- or even more possible, ME drowning! -- made it an easy decision. But then we live in The Woodlands, and, EVERYONE in The Woodlands has a pool, you know?? Actually, I have spent 4 summers packing up the kids, swimming gear, and ice chests loaded with enough food and drinks for a long day in the sun. It became a chore. So, about a year ago, I began to work on Chris..."Wouldn't a pool be so nice to jump into right now?", I would ask my very sweaty sweetie after we finished yard work. We would hear our neighbors swimming in their pool (see EVERYONE does have one but us!) and he would say "Yep." Somehow, the planets all lined up and he agreed!! Yippee!!

After a few months of "interviewing" pool companies and getting permission with the association to cut down 20 of our 57 trees, as of today we have a hole!! With any luck -- and no rain -- we will be swimming in about 40 days!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sibling Rivalry

My sister began her blog about a year ago. I was and still am her biggest fan! I have checked it everyday, several times a day to see what new and fun things are happening with her. So, when she doesn't blog, I send her an e-mail and give her a hard time. When I began my blog, I thought, I am going to blog EVERY day! It can't be so hard. OK, so my last blog entry was Sept. 11! My husband has asked everyday: "Did you blog today?" or "Why didn't you blog today?" or "When are you going to blog?" (I guess HE is my biggest fan!) This week, life got back into a routine. It's the third week of school, baseball games have begun again, Chris is traveling again...all is normal! And, I don't feel like I have anything to say! So, this is a formal apology to my sister. It is hard to blog everyday! I guess I won't give you a hard time anymore!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back To My Roots

I have to share my excitement for the day...maybe the week...maybe the month! I have been waiting for September 11 for a BIG reason...Kenny Chesney's new CD came out today!! Yipee! I threatened to go to Walmart at midnight last night when it went on sale. Instead I went this morning and had to help the clerk unpack the box! But I got it and it is good! And, guess what? Kenny and George Strait do a duet on one of the songs -- OK that is so great! Kenny and George are my two most favorite singers! Yeah!!

I was raised on country music. I "was country when country wasn't cool"! I grew up during the music of the 70's, 80's and 90's and I couldn't sing you a complete Duran Duran or Men at Work song! But, I can sing to you all the lyrics of country songs from the 60's, 70's , 80's and 90's! I "freak out" my oldest son. Although, this summer, my dad introduced him to Alan Jackson and he has now added some very "redneck" songs to his I Pod!

When Chris and I were dating, I knew I found my match because he would wear his boots and jeans and drive his dad's green Ford step side pickup with the windows rolled down and blaring Don Williams! Aah, the good old days! Now he wears Dockers, shoes and drives his yellow Corvette with the windows rolled down blaring the Top 20 hits of today! Country somehow got out of his blood. But, we do agree on Kenny (just not George -- I can't understand why!). Kenny has a Caribbean flair and Chris and I both could easily become beach bums; so, I guess that is why Chris likes him so much too. In fact, for Valentine's Day, Chris bought me tickets to see Kenny in concert in The Woodlands. He came in July and even though it poured rain (and we were in an amphitheater), it was THE best concert I have been to!

Let me just add that I have expanded my music library. I love KSBJ, the Christian radio station in Houston and I even know most of the words to the Top 20 hits also. But, I will always have country in my blood.

Now if you'll excuse me because I must go and blare my stereo!

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Fun of Parenthood

I am sure many of my blog entries will be about baseball -- because baseball takes up most waking moments that aren't spent at school! I swore, just a couple of years ago in fact, that I would NEVER be a tournament mom! A family down the street had their son in tournament ball and would be gone all weekend and not get home until late Sunday night. "No thank you," I said! Well, I now eat my words, and actually miss the weekend tournaments (when we are on our 3 week a year break!) The other parents have become some of my best friends and every boy on Connor's team is a treasure!

We had our first tournament of the Fall Season this past weekend. We packed up and headed to Beaumont, TX totally expecting to be rained out. Instead, we had a hot, sun-filled weekend of great ball games! It is fun and exciting to watch these boys who have been together as a team for a year finally gel. They are also maturing and making good plays by themselves! So much fun!!

This poem was sent to us last year and does sum up it all up. Thought I'd share:


I used to have a regular life. (Actually, many of my friends say that sentence should say, "I used to have a life", period.) It doesn't really seem that long ago. Then I became a Select Baseball Parent.
I used to think anything over $40 was an exorbitant price for a baseball bat or glove. Now the contents of my son's equipment bag are worth more than everything else in the house -- including clothes, jewelry, watches, and my laptop computer.
I used to think a double-header was a long day at the ball field. Now after two games we're just getting warmed up.
I used to look for little restaurants that served seafood fresh off the boat. Now I'm the connoisseur of nachos and hot dogs and my kids rate a city by the quality of a tournament's snack bar!
Sunflower seeds used to be something I would see at a store and wonder who would eat those things? Now I don't feel comfortable leaving the house without a bag in my pocket.
My lawn used to be like a carpet. It was green, mowed, trimmed, fertilized and watered. Now I have two bare spots the simulated distance from pitching rubber to the catcher and dents in my garage door from using it as the backstop for the pitching machine!
My truck used to draw admiring looks and comments. It was clean and waxed and shined and Armor-All'd. Now it only draws attention when boys write "wash me" on the back window in the tournament parking lot.
I used to have a garage, now I have an indoor batting area.
My friends and I used to spend Monday mornings talking about a round of golf or a movie we had just seen. Now I bore them to death with detailed play-by-play descriptions of five or six low-scoring ball games.
We used to sit and talk for hours. We still do -- however, now it's to keep the driver awake when we're headed home late Sunday evening after a tournament.
My summer casual wardrobe used to be made up of color-coordinated polo shirts, cool cottons in bright colors, and the occasional "aloha" shirt. Now I have a closet full of T-shirts that have tournament names on the front and competing teams on the back.
We used to spend our summer vacation relaxing on the beach or visiting family. Now we hit the road with 20 of our closest friends in a caravan that could rival some small town parades.
I used to be concerned that I would fall into the trap of living my life through my kid. Now I know I'm privileged to live my life WITH my kid !!!
Yes, I'm a Select Baseball Parent, what could be better !?!

By Author Unknown

Friday, September 7, 2007

My Job -- Taxi Driver

Because my main reason for this blog is a journal for me to look back on and remember the good and the bad, I HAD to blog again today to tell what my sweet boys said to me yesterday. Yesterday started out really good and until 3:30 or so was relaxing. AND THEN, school let out and all the activities began! Both boys had baseball practice at the same time but, of course, different places. Fifteen minutes before we were to leave, it starts pouring! What do I do? I keep checking e-mails knowing for sure both coaches would call off practice. Nope! So we rush around, getting dressed and gear packed and water bottles filled and get into my just washed car(!) and head out of the driveway. My cell phone rings and Chris says, "You might as well turn around, Connor's practice was cancelled." Surely Colby's was too. I pull back into the drive and take my purse and run inside to check e-mails again. No e-mail from Colby's coach! So, I call him and he says they are still having it, but if we wanted we could skip it. Colby says, "Mom, I really want to go." I am frazzled! Urgh!! Connor looks at me and says, "Mom, when you get old, I will take you wherever you need to go." It took me by surprise! He's never said something so sweet!

Well, I get in the car and speed off! It normally takes 40 minutes to get to Colby's practice field. I only had 35 minutes at this point; so, I decided to take the back roads. Wrong move!! I decide I need some gum to chew away my frustration. I reach for my purse -- no purse. Where is my purse? I suddenly remember leaving it on the back of the barstool while I checked e-mail for the 100th time that afternoon! No gum, no driver's license. I decided God must have made me go the backroads because there was no way I could get pulled over for speeding when I could only go 5 MPH because of traffic! (He knows how I drive on the freeway!) Colby's practice was from 6-7. After one hour of driving, we arrive at 6:20! I am not happy. The team was working on their batting and I sit there thinking, "Why in the heck did we waste our time, gas, and get my clean car dirty for this?!?" Practice ends and Colby runs straight to me and looks at me with a big smile and says, "Thank you, Mom, for bringing me tonight!" Talk about bursting my selfish bubble!!

In one night, within hours of each other, both of my boys showed genuine thanks and love to me! The frustration and aggravation floated away and I decided that I do love my "job".

I Should Be in Commercials

You know that commercial of the lady driving backwards around and around her cul-de-sac? Or the one of the boy waiting for the bus on a hot day wrapped up in a blanket?? Or the couple thinking that the opening and closing of curtains is a Morse Code signal??? That is me, just not for Febreeze.

Today is laundry day. I do laundry on Mondays and Fridays. I don't really mind doing laundry; but, I "enjoy" it more on Fridays because that is my only chore for the day. I haven't always liked doing laundry. In fact, I only started doing laundry when I went away to college. I had a great mom who did all that for me! And, I obviously didn't watch her do laundry because I had LOTS of pink clothes that first semester! In fact, my poor husband had lots of pink clothes early on in our marriage as well. Good thing he looks good in pink! Anyway, we got married when we were still in college, so money was very tight. My laundry detergent was the cheapest brand out there and my softener was a dryer sheet. Our clothes have never smelled fresh!

Through the years I have found little secrets fighting stains -- which is necessary with 2 boys whose sport of choice is baseball. The biggest clothes saver is Greased Lightning. It is not even in the laundry section. It is next to Fantastic, 409, etc. This is THE BEST dirt, grass, tea, ketchup...remover of all time. I learned about it through a fellow baseball mom who knew the rest of us moms were having a hard time keeping our son's WHITE baseball pants clean. WHITE BASEBALL PANTS?? Please! But it worked. So Shout went out the window. Another clothes saver is Goo Gone. If, for some reason, Greased Lightning doesn't get it out, or I don't see the stain until AFTER I have dried it and pressed a hot iron on it, I can be sure that Goo Gone will get it out. Just rub a little on the stain and wash as normal. Awesome!

Through the last 16 years, I have upgraded the laundry detergent. I went through a Cheer stage and a Tide stage and now Gain is the detergent of choice. Still after this "splurging" on detergent our laundry did not smell fresh. We spend many weekend nights in hotels across Texas with Connor's baseball team. On one such night one of the mom's knocked on our door and offered to wash Connor's uniform for the next day. "Absolutely!" It came back smelling SOOOO good. "What do you use?" "Downy." Who knew?? Why did it take me 16 years to find this wonder?

I ran to the store and bought my first bottle of Downy and one of those Downy Balls. Our clothes smell so fresh now! I love doing laundry. I, like those on the commercials, put the fabric to my nose and inhale so deeply. It makes me very happy! Weird, huh? And now at night, when I hug my husband, I hug a little longer. I think he's on to me though -- because my nose stays on his shoulder and I inhale deeply and say, "MMM, you smell good!" They haven't done that scene on a commercial yet!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Coffee and Reruns

I am not a coffee drinker. It doesn't really matter how much sugar or flavored creamers or if it is from the gas station or Starbucks...I don't like coffee. I LOVE the smell of coffee, just not the taste. This is strange, because my dad can't live without coffee. He likes his black, strong, and hot! Maybe that is why, one: I like the smell -- 'cuz it is a smell that reminds me of growing up; and two: I can't stand the taste. We didn't know coffee came any other way than strong and black! The hot part of dad's coffee cup came in handy many times, however. My sister and I would fight over who got to hold dad's cup so we could warm our hands. Thinking back, that was a selfless thing for dad to let us do because, as I said, he likes his HOT and our cold hands cooled it off fast!

I also do NOT like reruns! I watch a couple of talk shows and if I miss one and 6 months later it is on as a rerun, I won't watch it. It's old news!! (And, as my husband knows, if it wasn't on Regis or The View or Letterman, I probably do not know what is going on in the world!) *FYI: my weird idea on reruns also applies to movies and books. Why watch something over and over or read something again when there are so many other things to watch and read?!?*

So, I have always said that Regis and Kelly are my "morning cup of coffee". If I can watch the first 15 minutes of host chat, my day is off to a great start. Today, for the first time since school started up again, I got to have my "morning cup of coffee". You see, Regis was repeats last week and yesterday I was not home to watch. So today is going to be a good day! Cheers!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Tonight's dinner wasn't anything out of the ordinary at first. Chris did his normal, "So, Connor, what did you do in school today?" And Connor replied his normal, "Nothing." Well, Colby had lots to say about his day and was explaining one thing they do everyday pretty intensely. He then was quiet and looked up at Chris and in a very serious voice said, "Dad, are you growing hair?" My chile relleno about came out of my nose! For those of my blog audience (I can only hope) that do not know what my husband looks like, scroll up to our family picture...he is a little hair deprived on top! Chris just cut his hair and so when it is "short", the few hairs on top DO stand up a little more; and, the relleno WAS pretty hot. Maybe we found a new and improved Rogaine!

Monday, September 3, 2007

God and girls

This weekend brought a new phase to our lives as parents and made me decide I was FINALLY going to start a blog. You see, I am not new to the blogging world. I spend about an hour of my "free" time each day reading many entertaining blogs. I feel like these ladies are my dearest friends. My sister and I read some of the same blogs and will call each other and talk about so-and-so like they are our best friend!! Isn't that pathetic??? Anyway, I hope my blog (although will probably only be read by my husband, mom, sister, and maybe brother-in-law) will do for those who read it what these other blogs do for me -- to help others realize that life happens. Some days it is funny, some days it is not; but, you keep plowing on and one day look back and read past entries and say "Life is good!" The reality is that my blog will probably not receive any blogging awards -- yes, honey, there are such things! -- but, instead will be a great way to use that Journalism Degree I spent 4 years getting. I want to journal my days and hopefully, with my blog in mind, find the funny, interesting, life-changing story of each day.

So, back to this weekend. Actually, let me back up two months...Connor, our 6th grader, found two of the most important things in his life this summer...God and girls. I don't mean to say God and girls go hand-in-hand. God is definitely priority #1; but, Connor is now beginning his search for his life-long partner. I know that sounds silly; but, hey, I found mine when I was 13!! Anyway, Connor accepted Christ in June at our church's VBS for pre-teens, called VBX. A moment Christian parents pray for and are so happy when it happens. He also started instant messaging with friends from his class around June -- including girls!

Fast forward to Saturday night. We were getting his swimsuit and t-shirt in a bag for his baptism on Sunday morning when the phone rang. I said, "Hello?" A sweet little voice said, "Is Connor there?" "Ahhhh, hold on please." They proceeded to talk about 30 minutes. Now, as I told Connor, girls shouldn't be calling boys - especially when they are only in the 6th grade. My parents wouldn't allow me to call boys. (That's a different blog entry though!) But two other realizations this weekend made me realize that my life as a mom is changing. Connor needs to start wearing deodorant AND he has a pimple on his nose!! I am now in preteen-land!

I know there are going to be much bigger and scarier things in the next years that follow than a girl calling my house or a zit. So as I watched him be baptized Sunday morning, I realized that he was not only following Christ's example, but he was showing me that he is God's and I can let go a little more and trust that God will guide him through every decision. My new prayer for Connor is that he will serve God every day and will one day find his perfect helpmate!