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Ball Camp

June 4, 2009

sports-basketball-boy.jpgI went to the gym yesterday to see how my seventeen year old boys were doing as coaches. Every year the school hosts a basketball camp for children. There’s a girls camp in the morning and a boys in the afternoon. The varsity team members are coaches and the children are assigned one coach who is in charge of them. Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time at this camp. When the boys were young I’d take them and stay and watch. Now my years of camp are almost over. Russell and Grant are juniors this year. One more year and the only camp I’ll attend will be with grandchildren, that’s hard to believe.

I had no idea how my big boys would be around so many little boys. The only small child they are ever around is my granddaughter and she’s almost four. Seeing my big six foot seven twins coaching such tiny basketball superstar wannabes was amusing. It’s so obvious how much the young children look up to the varsity players (literally too) that I found myself smiling at their antics.

When I asked the boys how they liked coaching the little ones they rolled their eyes and said they’d be glad when camp was over. Seventeen year old boys are not the most patient people in the world but it’s great to see them learning. Even though they act like they aren’t enjoying it, I suspect they can tell how much the little boys admire them. 

I left camp feeling better about things. Regardless of what they had told me, they were doing a good job. I also came away amazed by how very fast little boys grow up. It seems like yesterday that Grant and Russell were campers, now they are coaches and soon the high school years will be over. I can’t slow time down so I guess I’ll just do my very best not to miss a single minute of their last two years.

Happy Birthday Rachel!

May 24, 2009

rachel-and-me.jpgMy little girl turned 25 this weekend. I remember the day she was born so clearly. My mother had taken our son to a friend’s birthday party. Bill and I were on our way to the hospital and I was daydreaming about the baby that was about to make an entrance into the world. I wanted a little girl so badly, but I was afraid to think it because I knew I would love a boy too. I even went so far in my thoughts as to wish she’d have dark curly hair. We didn’t have to wait very long for Rachel to be born and to say I was thrilled would be an understatement. My mom was thrilled too. “Now we have one to put ruffles on!” she exclaimed.

I know every mother thinks their baby is beautiful but I knew instantly that God had sent me the most beautiful baby in the universe. I got exactly what I asked for (except for the curly hair–it was straight as a stick). Now, 25 years later, Rachel is a beautiful young woman. She married the love of her life last year and now I have someone else to love, my son-in-law Gabe.

Just like her mom, grandmother and aunts and cousins, Rachel loves children and is a teacher. I couldn’t be more proud of her if she was president of the United States.

Happy Birthday sweetheart! My daughter and now my best friend!

Mom

Cold long enough

April 21, 2009

Okay, it’s been cold just about long enough. According to my poor and sometimes inaccurate memory we have already had blackberry winter, dogwood winter and a couple of others that I don’t even claim to remember. I’m a summer time gal who loves the beach and doesn’t enjoy gray days and cold winds. About the only good thing I can say about the way the weather has been is that it sure does make you appreciate good weather.

So I’m not going to think about cold, rainy, gray days anymore. I’m going to get out the capris, sandals and tee-shirts and pretend summer is here.

If you see me and I have goosebumps do me a favor and loan me a coat or sweater. Mine are all in boxes in the attic with the Christmas tree.

Totally Grossed Out

April 16, 2009

I am the mother of four boys….not much grosses me out, but tonight something did. I was watching Charlie Gibson on the news and he had a story about a video on u-tube where Domino’s pizza workers were putting cheese up their nose and blowing it onto the pizza. Ewwwww!

Tonight we are having a home cooked meal. Need I say more? Probably not but I will anyway.

I am a teacher (or I was until February, now I’m writing grants). Every teacher that has ever driven through a fast food restaurant and seen her former students working behind the counter has had heart palpatations. My thoughts go something like this….”Okay, that’s Mark making hamburgers. Did he pass my class? Does he have a reason to hate me or spit on my burger?”  If the answer is “yes” then I don’t eat the burger and don’t go back when Mark is working.

But now I have new food worries. Evidentally even if people don’t know you they (or some of them) think it’s funny to abuse your food. I’ve heard rumors of this before but seeing it on television was a true testimony as to why we should be cooking more at home.

Come on over. Tomorrow night it’s pork chops.

Why people should be furry

April 11, 2009

If people had fur, like dogs, then we wouldn’t have to wear clothes. If we didn’t have to wear clothes then I wouldn’t have to do laundry. After a weeks vacation I have come home and there is so much laundry and so many clothes that I have no idea where to start. Tomorrow is Easter and I have no idea if I will be able to find the kitchen by then. Of course Easter isn’t about the food and eating anyway. It’s about our Lord and celebrating that He arose and He is coming again.

I don’t have time to blog very long because I have a lot to do between now and tomorrow, but I just wanted all my blogging buddies to know that I really do think life would be easier if we were all furry. And I wanted to say…..

Happy Easter and blessings to you!

Going to the Vet

April 3, 2009

dog.jpgWhenever Murphy, our neurotic cocker spaniel, has to go to the vet he starts shaking uncontrollably when I get to the stop light where I turn to take him to the office. What amazes me about this is he can ride with me anywhere else and be fine, but if I go to that particular stop light, he starts shaking. How does he know that that light means we are close to the vet’s office? I don’t know, but he does.

When Murphy was very young he was agressive. We had him neutered and that helped but when he’s on his home turf he still feels protective. His personality totally changes when he’s at the vet’s office. We board him there when we go on trips and although we don’t travel often between his regularly scheduled visits to get shots, flea medicine, baths, etc. and the times we leave him overnight, he’s there at least ten times a year, probably more.

The minute we pull in the vet’s parking lot he jumps in the back of the van and tries to hide from me. If I don’t carry him in  to the office I have to drag him by his leash. I know all the people who work at Dr. Heltsley’s and they all very sweet people who genuinely love animals, but Murphy still doesn’t like going there.

One day I noticed on his chart that someone had written “Female groomers only.” Evidently male groomers brought out Murphy’s aggressive nature. For the most part I hardly recognize him when he’s there. He acts so different. Then when we go to get him after we’ve been gone there is no doubt that he’s happy to see us. He ALWAYS waters the floor first thing when he sees us. By the time we get almost home he’s all over the van and barking like crazy. The minute he’s in the house he zips through every room like a bolt of lightening, slipping and sliding over the hardwood floors with all the excitement of a little kid on Christmas morning.

Finally after everything is sniffed, inspected and checked out, he jumps up on the foot of my bed and lays down with a heavy sigh.

All is right with the world. Murphy is home again.

Why do I blog?

March 29, 2009

A new friend of mine asked a question on her blog that I’d like to talk about here. The question was, “Why do I blog?” For every blogger I’m sure the answer is different. For me, I blog because it allows me an outlet for my writing. The written word has always enthralled me. I love to read. I love to write. I’m much better at writing something down than I am if I have to respond to something verbally.

The other day I overheard someone talking about letters. They said they couldn’t remember the last time they had received a letter in the mail. They went on to talk about how everyone communicates with email, texting or on the phone. I’m not opposed to any of those things but I do think that generations of folks younger than me are going to miss out on something really wonderful because they won’t be getting letters in their mailboxes.

Just today I was unpacking some boxes and found a letter from my mom and dad. They had both written me at the same time and their letters were folded together. The first time I read those letters I was a freshman in college and away from home for the first time. Both my parents are gone now and I can’t tell you what seeing their handwriting still does to me after all these years. Mom died in 1990 and Dad in 1995. After I read the letters I held them close to my heart to keep the tears from soaking the paper.

The written word can speak to us privately in a way that email, texting and phone calls can not. Even blogging is a very “here today, gone tomorrow” type of communication, but I still love to blog.

Back to the original question, why do I blog? It’s simple really. I blog because I breathe. The day I stop writing is the day they bury me. Writing is my calling, my hobby, a huge part of my life. Whether I’m writing to friends and family or people I don’t know and may never meet, it doesn’t matter. It’s a theraputic cleansing of my thoughts and feelings. Some people garden. Some people paint. My therapy is writing.

So blog on sisters….blog on!  

By the way, the friend I mentioned can be found at her blog at http://roxannekristina.blogspot.com/    Thanks for getting me started on this Roxanne!

What makes a wedding a Redneck Wedding?

March 26, 2009

Tonight I decided that March Madness was making me crazy so I went to my room, grabbed my remote and went channel surfing. I landed on CMT’s Redneck Wedding show. If you’ve never seen it you owe it to yourself to watch at least one episode. The first time I saw it, about a year ago, I called my friend Carol Perkins and said, “Carol, you won’t believe this. Turn on CMT and watch this with me!” She did and we both were incredulous (I just love using big words-especially since Carol is a former English teacher-are you impressed, Carol?)  Anyway, the show inspired an idea. My daughter was getting married and no I didn’t throw her a redneck wedding, but I did throw her a surprise Redneck Wedding shower. It was loads of fun and I’d love to show you the pictures (NOT) but only my very bestest friends get to see those.

We played silly games and my crazy sister-in-law made a mud wrestling cake with two barbie’s wrestling in some chocolate pudding. We went mattress surfing across the field, and yes I was one of the first on the mattress. It was sort of nasty with bugs and grass flying in your face, but fun too.

Tonights television episode was about a lovely couple named Gator (I am not kidding) and his girlfriend (can’t remember her name but I know it wasn’t a reptile name, something like Linda) got married after living together for 14 years. The groom wore overalls and the wedding was held at some sort of muddy arena….maybe where they had truck pulls? The wedding cake was made out of Ding Dongs and Ho Hos….I kid you not. After the ceremony everyone mud wrestled and the bride and groom road off into the sunset on a huge wagon.

Again, if you haven’t seen the show, you might want to watch it. You might just get some ideas for your next party!

A Good Read

March 22, 2009

read.jpgI love to read. Always have. Mom got me hooked on Nancy Drew books and there’s been no looking back. When my children were young there were years there when I hardly had time to read the back of a cereal box.  I read my share of Dr. Seuss and The Diggingest Dog, but there wasn’t time for anything beyond that. Now I am making up for lost time. I keep a stack of books by my bed and devour one or two a week, sometimes more. The book of the moment is The Poet by Michael Connelly. It’s a murder mystery (like most of the books I read) and it’s very well written.

I’m not sure why I’m so addicted to murder mysteries. I’m a mom of five, nanna of one. I love dogs and animals. I go to church every Sunday and belong to lots of clubs and organizations. The worst crime I’ve commited was speeding and I haven’t done that in a long time. So why am I so into violent books? It’s not the violence I crave, in fact I often skip the gory parts, its the “what comes next” that keeps me reading.

I’m the type person that had rather read the book than see the movie. If I have read the book first and then see the movie I am almost always disapointed. Movies rarely live up to my expectations. The biggest let down I remember was Bridges of Madison County. The book was great (well, not Gone With the Wind great, but okay) but the movie was terrible. Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood were not the right choices to play the lead roles. Of course the Hollywood producers forgot to ask me my opinion, but they were definitely wrong.

Maybe I’m just a reader, not a watcher. I don’t know, but I sure do love a good read. Anyone read any good mysteries lately?

Could it be spring?

March 17, 2009

buttercups.jpgIt is March in Kentucky and that means unpredictable weather. Last Friday (the 13th!) we had snow and the kids were out of school. Today the sun is shining and the high is supposed to be in the 70’s. As I am so fond of saying…Yee Haw! Spring is great for so many reasons. It’s fun to watch the rebirth of nature, to see the fields turn green and the willow trees get their leaves. It’s great to open the windows and breathe fresh air. And did I mention sunshine?  Winters in Kentucky are shades of gray and brown. Sunshine turns the sky blue, wakes up the plants and animals and lifts my spirits like nothing else can.

Buttercups are blooming. Birds are singing. I am rejoicing and giving thanks for spring!