Sunday, October 30, 2005

Somebody else come up with a title; I can't

Had a short discussion with a friend today regarding today's kids. I'm interested in hearing y'all's viewpoints, so I'll give you the topic, and you can talk amongst yourselves here in the comment section. I'll share my thoughts later. Anyhow, the topic was the issue of maturity. Do kids today mature sooner or later than kids of years past? (I'm not talking physical maturity...) Let me hear what you think, and be sure to explain what you consider "mature" to mean.


It's been a productive weekend. Time spent with the kids, a flag football game that ended in a tie ("A tie's as good as a win," according to Coach Walt), some laundry, a couple of movies (one in the theater and one here at home... Batman Begins was great!), and a small potluck after church this morning. Brian and I managed to make a run to a couple of stores without the kids and have some uninterrupted conversation and discuss plans/ideas for the upcoming holiday in December (like many people, I don't like saying the word too early in the season). All in all, not a bad weekend. We've had busier, and we've had ones that were more relaxing.

We did hit a bad patch of traffic shortly after we left the church building to come home today. When it was finally letting up, we realized that traffic on the other side of the highway had been totally stopped, the road closed, and people were being allowed to turn around and exit the highway on the onramp. There was a guy threatening to jump from a sign on that side of the road. I guess we will need to watch tonight's news to see if we can find out any more information on this. Traffic was backed up for what seemed like 5 miles. Hopefully, the guy is safe now and getting whatever help he needs.


One last note: Emily has a new page with more samples of her work.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Footloose(d) and fancy free

The cam walker is now a thing of the past. As of this morning, I am now free to wear my tennis shoes or the stylish flat boot I received at my original doctor's visit. My foot isn't totally healed, though; the doc said that will take almost 6 months. I still have to take it easy... no running or jumping. I almost feel like I am learning to walk all over again.


The three younger kids and I went to see Dreamer early this evening. High marks all around on this one. We will definitely be getting it when it comes out on DVD. Halle really liked Dakota Fanning's hair in this one and is asking to get her hair cut tomorrow. I think we'll probably do it... Maybe taking off some length will encourage her natural wave/curl. Right now, her hair pretty much just hangs there.

Also on the agenda for tomorrow is Noah's football game. I'm looking forward to seeing how they do. They are 2 and 2 now. The last game really could have gone the other way if the ref hadn't called the game early. At least tomorrow we don't have to worry about him being late, like he was to the last game.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Should I turn on the vacancy light?

It looks like our home is going to remain visitor-free for the holidays. Yesterday, my brother-in-law IM'ed me to tell me that the plans for my sister and him to visit at Christmas aren't going to work out. No 3-part harmony for me now.

My mother called today to say she didn't think she could come for Thanksgiving, either. She's not feeling 100% and didn't want to come out here and be a lump who didn't feel like doing anything with us.


I have an appointment in the morning to get my foot checked out again. We'll see how it's healing. I honestly have no idea. I've been taking mega calcium supplements in hopes that will speed my bone's mending. It would be nice to get this boot off before the Omaha trip, otherwise I imagine I'll be one of those lucky individuals who gets "special" treatment by the security folks.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What a Wicked day

Take it any way you like; it fits. It was a hurried day of schoolwork and housework. We were expecting a furniture repairman to arrive shortly after 1pm, so we needed to finish everything by then. As Ron Weasley might say, we worked wicked hard. Goal achieved.

Fast forward to a couple of hours after the repairman's arrival. He was still working (he was repairing all the gouges and scratches the movers left on our furniture). Noah and I were in here on this computer, looking at stuff for the new Harry Potter movie. I heard blood-curdling shrieks from the other room and got in there in time to see Emily lifting the Clavinova off of Halle. She and Joel had been spinning around in circles and bumped into the piano, causing it to fall over. She had a small impression on the inside of her right leg a couple of inches above the ankle, and the area had already started to bruise. She said she couldn't stand on her leg. I carried her to the sofa to look at it more closely. I couldn't feel an obvious break, but there was a good amount of swelling. I put an ice pack on it and had her sit for a bit. The repairman told me he had about another hour to go, so I called Brian at work on his cell. Luckily, his class was on a break and he actually answered the phone (if he hadn't, I'd have paged him and added 911 to our number... our little code that says, "Call me NOW!"). When I told him the situation, he said he would come home and get Halle and take her back to the hospital to have her leg x-rayed. He made it home about 30 minutes before the repairman left.

So... Brian left for the hospital. About 30 minutes later, it was time for Noah and me to leave for his football game. The repairman left a mere 10 minutes or so before this. We made the 35-minute drive to the football game, which lasted until about 7. Brian and Halle were done at the hospital by then (No break!!! Just swelling and bruising). I called Emily on our way home to ask her to start up the oven for frozen pizzas, really the only thing we had time for by this time. Noah and I beat Brian and Halle home by about 10-15 minutes. Halle lay down on the couch and went straight to sleep.

Now for the good Wicked part of the day. At some point in the day, my latest order arrived. It included 2 books of Wicked music. You can be sure I'll be trying them out tomorrow once everyone is up.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a little calmer around here.

Tires and TV

Got the tire replaced on my van today.... FREE! As I was thinking (and hoping), it was covered under warranty. These really are neat tires. I was able to drive all the way to the car dealer on my flat tire, even though the air pressure in it was only 13-14 PSI. Getting that taken care of meant I could get my other errands run, namely getting groceries.

Did any of you see Extreme Makeover: Home Edition last night? I definitely thought it was one of the more touching episodes I've seen (and I haven't seen too many). The family they helped last night was one that had lost the dad in the last year. Mom was trying to run the family farm alone... they were living in a very ramshackle house (weeds growing into the house through the walls, holes in the walls, unstable foundation...). The team built them a new house and a new barn, neighbors donated hay to fill the barn (for the family to sell), more neighbors helped plant 20 acres of alfalfa so the family would have a crop to sell next year, donations for a trust fund for the kids were made, and the family got 2 new vehicles (a big truck for farmwork and a Ford Freestyle for the "mom" car). It was very neat to watch the family's reaction.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Do nots and donuts

I forgot to mention the latest drama in our house. Friday evening, one of the neighborhood boys (11 years old) enticed Noah to take the cap off the tire stem of a car parked in the neighborhood. This wasn't an ordinary plastic cap, but a specialty cover.... one that looked like an electric blue bullet. Once Noah did that, the other boy proceeded to take a couple off of other cars (these were the plain kind). Once we found out, Brian took Noah across the street to the other boy's house. His mom already knew about it, but apparently hadn't done or said much to her son. She told Brian that they couldn't be too hard on the boys, because "they're going to do this kind of thing." Well, we've told Noah he can't hang with this kid any more. If he is going to be so easily led, we just don't want him around this guy. The sad thing is, he's really the only kid in the neighborhood that's close to Noah's age. It makes us even more determined to move when our lease is up, though.


We stopped by Krispy Kreme on our way to church this morning and discovered that all Krispy Kremes are not created equal. Oh, the donuts were good... but they don't make cinnamon buns here!! What a disappointment. To top that off, the closest Krispy Kreme is 13 miles away, across a toll bridge! At least in Omaha, we could get there in 15 minutes or less... and get a cinnamon bun.

What else?

This has been a day with a few frustrations. We were headed out to Noah's football game this morning when Brian noticed the warning light informing us that one of our tires was low on pressure. No problem; we'll add some air on our way. Drove about a mile down the road to the service station, where he added some air to the tire. Then the warning light says that that tire is now using its "run-flat" capabilities. Noah's game is a half-hour away when driving 65-70 miles an hour. On a run-flat, you are supposed to drive no more than 50mph. So we turn around, switch everyone into Brian's Yukon XL, and head for the game. We arrive about 10 minutes late for practice (20 minutes before the game). It is then we realize our lawn chairs are still in the back of the van. The grass is still damp, and this bum foot makes it extremely difficult for me to get up off of the ground. I wind up sitting outside the fence on a bench. We lost the game, so now we are 2-1.

We'll find out next week if we'll have to pay for the new tire or not. It's possible it is covered under the warranty. We're not sure why it went flat; there is a damaged section... just don't know what caused it. If it isn't covered.... we're looking at around $1K to replace it. OUCH!

After the game, we drove to Sacramento to get our tickets for Omaha. Using a voucher Brian got for giving up a seat on his way home from Oklahoma a few weeks ago, we were able to get 2 tickets for only $80. Downside is that we have to take an overnight flight, leaving around 11pm and getting into Omaha a little after 9:30am. I'm looking forward to seeing my old friends again, and so is Emily.


Tomorrow morning, I am "on" praise team. We're doing a new song, Magnificat, a Randy Gill song off of the new Zoe cd. We're also doing one that is new to me and a few others on the team, I'm Forever Grateful. I'm looking forward to it. Our song worship is one of my favorite things.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A night of TV

Rare night in our house last night... I actually got to watch TV! We started with Smallville, a show I've never really watched before until the last few months. Even then, I haven't seen it with much regularity. The kids have filled me in on key details that helped me understand the background. Last night was kinda fun, seeing Aquaman. He was a much darker character than the one I came to know and love from Saturday morning cartoons as a child. I got a big kick out of the scene in which Aquaman told Clark they should start a "Junior Lifeguards of America" group and Clark replied he didn't think he was ready for the J.L.A. yet... is that a foreshadowing of the Justice League of America??

Next up was CSI. Hubby and I both agreed last night's show was quite excellent. It was unusual in the fact that the whole show revolved around just one case, rather than the typical 2-4 cases. I loved George Eads' final scenes with the young girl. My eyes couldn't stay dry.

We finished the night with Without a Trace. I was left thinking that Jack didn't learn much from his mistakes in this episode. I felt that he did the same thing with the new suspect that he did with the first... coerced a confession that wasn't necessarily true. There is no way to know whether the kid's hands slipped or if he let go, and I didn't see why Jack had to force him to say he had.

All in all, a fun night...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Seeing red

Naw, I'm not mad. I just got my hair cut and colored today. New stylist, new color. It's darker than my usual shade, kind of a coppery color. Emily does NOT like it, but she is known to hate change, so I can't fully count on her opinion. Brian is reserving judgment till he has time to get used to it. It does feel strange to look in the mirror and not see reddish blonde. I imagine it will take me some time to get accustomed to it as well. But at least that dark stripe that was running down the middle of my head is gone now. No more "reverse skunk," as my husband calls it.


Jim had a great post today on being safe. I love how he takes everyday phrases and occurrences and finds a way to connect them to the spiritual. You rock, bro!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Run, boy, run!

Tonight was Noah's second flag football game. Because we were late entries, he's never attended a practice, just the last game and tonight's. The team ran a few plays for about 15 minutes or so before the game started tonight and I noticed the defense coach spending some time filling Noah in. Once the game started, it was obvious that things were clicking for him. He really hustled out there tonight and even managed to get the ball carrier's flag on one play. This is getting to be FUN!! (Yeah Jim... I'm starting to like football. Whoda thunk it?)

Practice Thursday evening and then another game on Saturday.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Friends, flags, and furry things

Mike Cope has written a wonderful article on friendship. In it, he quotes Larry Crabb:

The future of the church depends on whether it develops true community. We can get by for a while on size, skilled communication, and programs to meet every need, but unless we sense that we belong to each other, with masks off, the vibrant church of today will become the powerless church of tomorrow.

If you haven't read it yet, please do. Then thank God for those he has placed in your life.


Noah is playing flag football this season. We are driving about 1/2 an hour east of here in order for him to play. We actually found out about it a little late, but just in time for him to join the team in its first game. They won! His coach seems very nice, as do the other kids on the team, who were very welcoming to him. Next game is Monday night. I've never been much into football, but I think I just might learn to like it.


I forgot to tell you all that one of Emily's "babies" died while we were on our vacation. Brooke, her white rat, passed on to that great cheese wheel in the sky the same day I broke my foot. Summer is still doing quite well, though. She has taken a great liking to her exercise wheel; she tends to hop on it first thing in the morning when she gets up. She's still quite the social creature and loves to sit in Emily's lap and nap while Em is on the computer. She and Campbell still enjoy each other's company as well. She has taken to licking Campbell on the nose and trying to chew his beard hair. What a pair.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Light at the end of the tunnel

Bright spots ahead:

My sister may be coming to visit for Christmas
My mom may be coming for Thanksgiving.
Emily and I may get to visit friends in Omaha next month!!

Prayers for any and all of these appreciated.

Of birthdays and beyond

So yesterday was Halle's 7th birthday. Per her request, we took in a showing of Wallace & Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Cute movie with some funny sight gags for the adults (i.e., a jar of "Middle Age Spread" on the kitchen table). Did some running around, a little searching for Halloween costumes for Joel and Noah, and then tried out a local Japanese hibachi restaurant (well, somewhat local... up in Vacaville). Service was horribly slow and the food was so-so. Our search for good hibachi continues. Came home for presents and cake before bedtime.


Today was an errand and cleaning day. Made a run to CostCo and then cleaned out the fridge, helped Joel clean his sty room, and vacuumed his room, Halle's and mine. Noah and Emily did their rooms and the living/dining room. In between all that, I did a few loads of laundry, which are still calling my name to be folded (somehow, that is a task that totally escapes everyone else in this household, with the exception of Brian.... who does it when he has the time.). I was able to talk to a couple of old friends on my cell phone while I was out running errands. It was great connecting with them again. I don't have any connections out here, so I treasure those so much.


Hopefully tomorrow will be a little less busy. I like a little downtime.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Borrowing a theme

So I deleted my earlier post today. Anyone who happened to read it, consider yourselves lucky (I guess...).

Borrowing from Donna (and others in the past), I'm curious as to why you read my blog. What makes you come back? Or for people who are first-timers or occasional readers, what brought you here? I've often wondered; today I got up the noive to ask.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A little "me" time

Hubby is off for the weekend on a last-minute moonlighting gig, so I am single-parenting it once more. As a pick-me-up, I treated myself to a movie sans children this afternoon. Just Like Heaven was fun. I've enjoyed Mark Ruffalo since 13 Going on 30, and Reese Witherspoon is also a favorite, so I pretty much knew I was going to enjoy this one. Most critics didn't care for it too much, so that was another clue that I'd probably like it. (Anyone else out there usually like the films the critics pan?)

Before hubby left, we took in a movie with the kids on Thursday night, seeing Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. It was mildly entertaining, although Brian said it was one of the few times he actually wished he hadn't paid money to see a movie. Ouch. What is it with Burton's preoccupation with death, dying, and life after death?

Still haven't seen The Greatest Game Ever Played, but hopefully we'll get to it before it leaves the theaters. Also on our list of movies to see as they are released are Dreamer and Wallace & Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Yup, I live in California, and all I can find to do with my free time is go to the movies.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Just a little brag

Here's a sample of Emily's Paint Shop Pro work. She made this today and is using it as her desktop on her computer.

See the new button she made for me tonight over on the right, too!

Not much else new around here, just trying to keep ahead of the housework. It's a neverending job when everyone is home nearly 24/7.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Movie reviews on the fly

Didn't make it to the movies this weekend, but we did rent a few to view here at home. Crash was hard to watch, but harder to stop watching. The language was atrocious, but probably fairly realistic, and I'm afraid to admit that the portrayal of prejudices and racial stereotyping were probably accurate as well. It was thought-provoking. The Longest Yard ... the best description for it is "inappropriately hilarious." I felt guilty for finding it so funny, since much of the humor was either somewhat crude or otherwise inappropriate. But laughter is the best medicine, and I'm looking for some speedy healing. Last movie for the grownups was The Wedding Date. Cute, nothing spectacular, definitely a rental film and not something worth paying full ticket price at the box office.

I have another post in my head, but since it involves bathroom humor (literally), I'm not sure I have the nerve to post it. I should ask MissZoot to do it, as she would make it funnier than all get out. She can write about anything. I'm just too reserved.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Random thoughts

Well, I no longer need to worry about being mugged. My toeless version of half of a pair of Chucks has given way to a cam walker. Yesterday's x-ray showed some displacement of my fracture since Sunday, so the doc said I needed something that would provide more immobilization of the break. It does make a difference in the amount of pain I am feeling, and walking feels a little more natural, but it's bulky and makes moving quickly near impossible (my kids know it, too.... and are taking advantage). The plus side: it's black, so it goes with everything.


Halle's 7th birthday is coming up in 11 days (Oct. 12). She wants a sleepover. That means we can't do it on the actual day, but it will have to be a Friday. This next Friday is too soon; Brian may be gone to a men's retreat on the Friday after her birthday. I do not feel up to handling extra kids who are not my own on my own. So do I wait another week to do this??? I am sooo not a birthday party planning kind of person. I much prefer taking the party someplace else and letting others handle it (last year we did Build-a-Bear, and it was AWESOME). Should I try to talk Halle into another party out of the house??


Hoping to get to the movies today and see The Greatest Game Ever Played. Anyone else planning on seeing this movie? Shia LeBeouf is maturing nicely... a far cry from his character on Even Stevens.

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