Friday, February 29, 2008

Challenges ahead

I had thoroughly intended to post before this, but it has been an unusual week here. On Tuesday, Brian stayed home from work sick, and then on Wednesday, I was the bedridden one. (Thankfully, he was up to snuff and handled the house and kids for me.) I have no idea what I had, but I was just sapped of all energy and felt like I was drifting in and out of consciousness for the first half of the day. Ran a fever of 2-3 degrees, but by Thursday, I was pretty much OK. Good thing, because Brian had to go back to work!

Now with those challenges met, I have new ones to face. Brian leaves for San Antonio tomorrow and won't be back till the 8th. This leaves me to juggle baseball practices, choir practice, AWANA, etc. alone all week. Not usually that big of a deal, but we have something new thrown into the mix next week. Emily's choir instructor has called additional rehearsals in the evening to prepare the choir for Musicale, a big chorale event held up in Sac on Thursday and Friday. She has rehearsals on Mon/Tue from 5:30-7:30 and Wed. 4:30-6:30. Noah has moved to a new baseball team and his practices have shifted to 1/2 hour later, starting at 5:30 and ending at 6:30 now. Here's a picture of what my days look like next week, courtesy of my Entourage calendar (click to biggify):

What the schedule doesn't show is that Thursday and Friday, Emily is in Sac all day and I will need to pick her up from school in the evenings at some point. Most likely it will be after 7 on Thursday and then probably near the end of my Friday night commitment (which is very near the school, anyway).

I think I have all the conflicts worked out... just need to check with the neighbors whose son is on the same team as Noah, and with a coupla folks from church who could help get Halle to/from AWANA just to help life slow down a bit for me and save a little gas. (Now *there's* another post... gas prices here have jumped over 30 cents in the last week!) Still planning next week's menu, but have figured out what night will need to be a fast food night and which nights eating at home will be most doable.

I have a feeling by the time the week is over, I'll be wishing I had a hot tub (spa) to climb into.

Monday, February 25, 2008

What a weekend

This past weekend was no different than most of our weekends, plenty of things to keep us occupied. It began Friday afternoon with Noah's ball practice at 5 (for which he only stayed 40 minutes or so because of our regular Fri-night CR engagement that starts around 6), and ended with falling asleep to HGTV around 10:30 last night.

We had AWANA pinewood derby on Saturday (saw some very cool and original designs... Halle is already thinking of hers for next year), followed by a quick lunch at Wendy's. We got home around 3 and around 30 minutes later were reminded by neighbors of their daughter's birthday party at 4 at one of the local "jump houses" (for those not familiar with the term, they are large rooms filled with inflatable bounce houses/slides/mazes). Thankfully, we did already have a present and wrapping paper, so we were able to get ready to go and were on time for the festivities. All the families on our street with children under 13 were there, plus a few extra. I was able to get in a little visiting with the other moms, something I really don't do very often. We got home in time to put dinner in the oven.... Paula Deen's Baked French Toast. Joel said he gave it an "A." Guess that means I'll need to make it again. Watched Mr. Bean's Holiday with the kids and Brian before bedtime (it was as much torture for me the second time as the first) and ended the evening falling asleep while watching Two Weeks with Brian. The fact that I fell asleep had *nothing* to do with the movie; I was just too tired by that time to stay awake. I was up early enough yesterday morning to finish watching it before getting out of bed.

I cannot say enough about Two Weeks. I can not imagine a person who could watch it and not be affected by it. It is amazing the range of emotions one movie can provoke. The basic storyline surrounds four adult siblings whose mother is dying of ovarian cancer and what happens when they come together in her home for what they believe will be her last few days (turning into two weeks... thus the title). There are moments that will make you laugh, cry, feel like slapping someone... and make you think. Watch it. Let me know how it affected you.

Yesterday we went to church and then out for lunch at Tahoe Joe's. Brian and I split a ribeye (really, should anyone eat a 14 oz. steak?). Halle and Noah both ordered the kids' steak, which has always been very good in the past. Unfortunately, the same could not be said yesterday. Apparently they changed the cut of meat they use for it and instead of a small sirloin, it was a big thick unidentifiable chunk of meat. Halle's was so tough I couldn't cut it, and Noah's was so tasteless, he barely ate 1/4 of it. Our server disappeared on us after serving the food so that we couldn't even tell her to take it back.... we had to ask the hostess to tell our server about it. Saw her do that, but the server never came back to the table (she even walked right past us to start chatting up a new table full of guys). Everyone else finished eating, and we finally asked to talk to the manager. We politely and calmly explained our dissatisfaction with the food and service (Brian's glass sat empty for 20 minutes). The manager wound up comping us the entire meal, plus gave us a card good for 3 free kids' meals on our next visit. We *will* go back, mostly because yesterday was quite atypical for that restaurant, and also because of the way the manager responded. There have been times we have had issues or questions in a restaurant and the managerial staff has responded defensively or made excuses; he did neither of those, but just apologized and asked for a chance to make it right. I appreciated that.

Came home and finished making this week's menu/shopping list, then headed to the commissary. Came home, put away groceries, then folded a couple of loads of laundry while watching the Oscars. There will be MUCH more laundry to do today. Brian helped the boys clean their room while I was shopping (and after I got back... and they still aren't done) and discovered a huge amount of clothing that hadn't been making its way to the laundry.

On the agenda this week in the evenings:

  • a ball practice every evening from 5-6ish Mon-Fri, plus at least one on Saturday morning.
  • Easter choir rehearsal for me tonight
  • play rehearsals for Emily after school a couple days (not sure which)
  • Tuesday night AWANA for Halle, growth group meeting for me and Brian
  • Brian's regular Wed. evening group meeting
  • Fri. night CR
Thursdays are happy nights; only Joel's ball practice to worry about (unless I have praise choir rehearsal...)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Good stuff

Maybe I am one of the last people to hear about this guy, but I have to mention Dr. Randy Pausch and his "Last Lecture". Randy is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in his last weeks of life; he has been fighting pancreatic cancer since Sept. 2006 and was told late last summer that he had about 3-6 months of good health left. Amazingly enough, the latest update at his website 2 days ago shows him still enjoying good health. At any rate, you owe it to yourself to watch the video of his lecture (also available with closed captioning), or at least read the transcript. Personally, I preferred watching him. He has a remarkable outlook on life, and I guarantee you that what you will hear is not what you'd expect from a man who is dying and is the father of three young children. It is a little over an hour long, but worth it. He did do a very condensed version (around 10 minutes) on Oprah, which can be found at YouTube if you search for his name and Oprah.

Newest favorite song: In Your Presence, by Charity Von. Actually, until I looked for it at iTunes, I had no idea who sang it. It is one we've done a couple of times at church. Simple song, simple melody, easy to harmonize with. Check out the lyrics (and then get yourself a copy):

In your presence
I find comfort
In your presence I find peace.
In your presence
I surrender
Lord, I give you all of me.

And in your presence
I fall on my knees.
For you are worthy
In your presence
I hear angels sing,
"Holy! Holy! Is the Lamb of God!"

Forgot to mention that last weekend was our ladies' retreat/conference at church. We were blessed to hear from Renee Swope, from Proverbs 31 Ministries. Can't say enough nice things about her. She was so transparent with us about her life and what God has brought her through. The weekend left us all renewed and refreshed.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The mother of all bulleted lists

My infrequency of posting has left many to wonder if I am still alive. The answer is unequivocally yes.... although with the schedule we'll be keeping this spring, that may not hold true for long! There is much I haven't mentioned here, but not for lack of wanting to; I just haven't found the time. But here I sit, hubby out of town, oldest daughter spending the night away, and the other three happily entertaining themselves a few steps away. This may just be the perfect time to get everything all out in the open. What better way to do it than with bullets???

  • We joined the ranks of Wii owners this Christmas. It was the surprise hit of the day. As a testimony to its appeal, I saw more of Emily in the 3 days following Christmas Day than I did in the 3 weeks prior! Favorite games are Wii Sports (Joel has actually bowled a perfect 300!), Wii Play, and Carnival Games. Emily is lobbying to get Guitar Hero III after playing it on a friend's PlayStation; she says she RULES it. That probably means I would *not* rule it. I would like to wait and see if Rock Band is going to be made for Wii; my sister says it is a lot of fun. According to Wikipedia, EA announced plans for a Wii version on Jan. 31, so we'll have to wait and see if that plays out.
  • I think I mentioned that the boys will be playing baseball this spring. Noah started practice this week. He had practice Monday and Wednesday from 5-6, Friday for about 1/2 of that, but only because we had to leave early for Celebrate Recovery, and today from 9-11. So far, it looks like the same schedule for next week, but it may change. Got the call from Joel's coach today, and his first practice is this Thursday from 5-6, with a 15-min parent meeting before that. This will be very interesting, having 2 in sports at the same time; it's a first for us. No word yet on what days the actual games will be. To complicate matters, Noah's team will have to travel to some surrounding towns 30 minutes or so away to play, and possibly even to one about 2 hours away. And then there is coordinating all this with Emily's play rehearsals, which for now are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school until around 4. Thankfully, many of Noah's team members live here in our neighborhood, less than a block away, even.
  • During the sports physicals the boys had to prepare for Little League, we found out Noah needed a more thorough vision exam. So now he is sporting glasses. Overall, his vision isn't too bad, but it seems that his right eye had been doing most of the work.
  • Halle finished up her first AWANA book this past week. She is starting on the second one now. She probably won't be able to finish it this year, but should get far enough along in it so that she will be able to get through both it and book 3 next year, which will put her right on track with where she should be.
  • Still making it to the movies on occasion. Emily and I went to see 27 Dresses a few weeks ago. Just goes to show I cannot listen to any professional movie reviewers. I loved it. Don't want to give anything away for those who haven't seen it, but for those who have, I totally was in tears in the bridal shop scene with the sister. I was feeling Jane's pain.
  • Halle and I went to see the Hannah Montana 3D movie. I actually missed the Super Bowl to take her. We got home just moments after the last play. Ah well, I think it was worth it.
  • Tonight, the kids and I went to the base theater to catch The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. Halle hadn't been all that keen on seeing it, but even she said it was better than she thought it would be. I appreciated the message of the story: Heroes don't have to be the biggest, bravest, or strongest. They just have to do what's right, even when it isn't easy. Good lesson for our kids to learn, and I can think of a lot of us adults who would do well to learn it as well.
  • The dog training is going well. What I find almost inconceivable is how much the dogs actually like wearing their training collars/leashes. This training is not the typical food reward kind of training, so they aren't acting all happy because they know they're getting treats, that's for sure. But when they see me go get the leashes from the leash rack, they both get very excited. One thing we are working on right now is the down stay. They're both pretty good with it; one funny thing is that when I am working with Rory, Campbell will often put himself in a down stay at the same time. Then when he hears me give her the "clear" signal, he'll get up as well. What I really like doing is seeing how softly I can give the command and get a response. I can really almost whisper it. What we really need to work on now is practicing in places away from home (the park, stores... there are a few around here that are dog-friendly, like Home Depot/Lowes). I took Rory to the duck pond park here on base a few days ago and she was quite distracted by the sea gulls! the ducks! the geese! She actually pulled on the leash for the first time in literally months. She was acting more like a Pointer (not June, Anita, or Ruth) than a Great Dane.
  • We have a family outing planned for Monday to go to Sacramento to see the Bodies Revealed exhibit. Unfortunately, no picture-taking is allowed. Bummer. I think it is going to be very cool. Halle really doesn't want to see it ("Mom, I'm a girl... I don't want to see dead bodies!"), but she is still coming along; Emily just plain doesn't want to go anywhere with her family unless it is to buy stuff for her, so we'll see if she goes or not.
  • I never wrote a wrap-up post for the fall reading challenge. Suffice it to say that I did manage to read all that was on my list with the exception of one book that I traded in early on, plus several more. Since the end of the challenge, I haven't had as much opportunity to read; I'm missing it.
  • To that end, I am looking forward to the unified study we are starting at church this week. As a church, we will be reading a book by Bill Hybels, Just Walk Across the Room: Simple Steps Pointing People to Faith. This will continue through to Easter; the sermons will relate to the book, as will our small group meetings. I've read the first chapter so far and liked what I read.
  • Speaking of Easter, rehearsals for Easter choir started this past Monday night. Oops, one more thing to juggle on baseball practice night.
There... that's about it, I think. Hopefully you are still awake after all that. If I've left anything of importance out, it will probably come to me around 2am.

Related Posts with Thumbnails