Monday, June 15, 2009

Your Children Are a Pleasure

A little over three years ago, Jon and I met our
kids for the very first time.
We were so excited that we had actually been matched
with kids, and even more excited when we got to
visit them.
On our second visit, we took the kids out for dinner at Uno's.
We were so excited to get to spend
time with them.
We eagerly waited to be seated for dinner.
We helped the kids pick what they wanted to order,
sat back with smiles on our
faces and waited for the magic to happen.
We visualized these two children, who would one
day become our children, enjoying a nice
dinner out with us.
That didn't happen.
Instead, those two children were wild. They stood up
on the benches. They waved their drink
glasses in the air while hollering at
the waitress. They crawled under the table, threw their
silverware, picked their pizzas apart.
Doodles opened packets of sweetener and
proceeded to sprinkle it all over her pizza and the table.
We watched as others gave us at first pitying looks,
and then glares as the children got louder and
more wound up. We had become those
people that I used to talk about. People that should
take their children to McDonald's Play Land, or
a park, or better yet a zoo.
I remember how Jon and I would scoot further and further down into
our seats, as the children continued to make a scene.
Discreetly our waitress came to us and said,"Most people with
children don't choose to stay for dessert. They just
pay their check and leave."
I believe that she might have been kicking us out, or maybe
just pitying us.
It didn't matter, we couldn't get out of their fast enough.
After that restaurant visit, we started packing food for
meals that we would share with the kids.
No more restaurants for us. EVER!
Were all kids like this in restaurants I wondered.
It has been three years. Our children are different
than they were then. They go to restaurants with us
regularly. Every time they go, our waiter or waitress
will compliment them on their good manners, good behavior,
and the pleasure that they are.
Hard to believe that they ever could have embarrassed us in public
like that. Over the weekend, we went to a local BBQ joint.
The kids were their sweet and polite selves.
The waitress loved them.
At the end of our meal, she brought them each a BIG bowl
of ice cream. She told them what wonderful children
they were. She looked and Jon and me and said,
"Your children are a pleasure."
I'm still beaming with pride.

Last Day of Soccer

Friday, spring soccer season came
to an end.
I can't believe that it's already over.
Last fall, Doodles started out not really
knowing what to do. She used much of her soccer time to
just chat with the other girls and hang
out at the goal.
Now she has learned the positions and what
to do. She gets right in there kicking and running.
Big K. just ran and kicked. He didn't care which
direction he was kicking in as long as his
feet were touching the ball.
On Friday, he made a goal.
It was for his team.
He was very proud and so was I.
We ended our day of soccer with an end of year party. It was so much
fun. We're counting the weeks until fall
soccer starts again.

Dog Gone Wild

The other morning my friend Ree called me.
We were so busy chatting, that I forgot to
watch the puppy.
This is what I found.
What a puppy will do when left alone!
Now that she's house broken I don't follow her from room
to room. Maybe I should.

A Summer Morning Walk

This week, the weather was
beautiful. Every morning we try to take the dogs for
a walk. One morning
we visited a local park
with a bunch of really pretty trails.
We enjoyed looking at all of the
ferns and trees. The kids enjoyed trying to find and
follow each of the trail markers.
Kalea enjoyed jumping at and barking at the kids.
Bailey just tried to pretend that Kalea wasn't there.
I swear when she looks at me she's
saying, "You never asked me if I wanted a puppy.
Why would you do this to me during my senior years."

A New Hiding Place

First it was a paper bag.
Then it was a bowl.
Now, it's the linen closet.
Not only does she get herself in there,
she even stands up and pulls the door shut.
Cats are fun.

A Visit With Nan

Last week, we took a much needed trip out
to visit my grandmother, Nan. The
kids call her Great Grand Nan, sometimes
just Great Nan for short.
We enjoyed lunch together. The kids
played, while Nan and I caught up on some much needed chat.
My Nanny has always been a lot of fun. She finds
a way to make the ordinary special. During our
visit she did not disappoint. She made a big
deal that the kids had finished another grade. She
gave them cards that said, "Congratulations!" and
"You did it!". In the cards
she tucked away five dollars for the kids to spend
any way that they wanted. She even had a note of
celebration for me! It was such a fun afternoon, and after our
visit I realized how blessed I am to have a grandmother
who loves me, loves the Lord, and prays for our family daily.
It was a very fun lunch.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Brand New Big Kid Bikes

It seems like just yesterday we were buying our kids
bikes with training wheels. I will never forget
their first spring with us. We surprised them
with a princess bike for Doodles and
a Spiderman bike for Big K.
Tonight, they graduated to big kid bikes.
Last summer they worked so
hard to learn to ride without training wheels.
During the school year they
worked so hard to earn
brand new big kid bikes.
Tonight, we enjoyed taking them for a ride on
the canal trail. We watched our
kids as they started with some wobbling
and then took off sure and strait.
They looked so grown up
riding in front of us.
I realized that this is life. Each day we watch
them grow. Sometimes it seems fast,
other times slow. Eventually, they will ride off in
front of us, to a world we can
not protect them from. Hopefully, they will ride into a
happy and fulfilling adulthood. One that brings them
lots of joy, a family of their own, and a
desire to keep the Lord first in their lives.
I don't think
I'm ready to let them ride off. Not quite yet.
I just want to slow the time they are
small down. Cherish every day. I
want it to last forever.

Friday, June 5, 2009

My Eyes are ON FIRE!!!

This morning I made Jalapeno Bagels for
breakfast. During the school
year the kids read a story
about Jalapeno Bagels. They
were dying to try them. To surprise them, I woke up
early and made some.
I carefully cut the jalapeno peppers, and then
even more carefully washed the
oil off of my fingers. Everything seemed fine.
My hands weren't hurting, I made it through all of the steps
to make the bagels, and then went to take a shower.
I was washing my face, when all of a sudden
there was a hot, searing pain in my eyes.
literally on fire, but if they had been at least I was in the shower.
Anyway, I had jalapeno oil still on them.
I thought I was going to die. After blindly flailing around, I was
able to get out of the shower, wash my hands again, stumble to
the computer to type in "removing pepper oil from hands".
There were almost a million (again not literally) cures for
pepper oil on fingers. I tried almost all of them.
I soaked my hands in milk, washed them with sugar, caked
them in baking soda, poured rubbing alcohol and then lemon
juice all over them. If I had Rum I would of tried
that remedy too. Not sure if you were supposed to drink the Rum or
pour it on the skin, maybe both.
Anyway, nothing worked. My hands were on fire.
They finally don't hurt as much, but I can't get them anywhere near
my eyes. At least the bagels are delicious.
The kids loved them.
Oh the things I do to bring a smile to their faces.

Finished With Second Grade

This week, the kids finished Second Grade!
I can't believe another school year is done.
Of course, we had to celebrate. I made
them their favorite dinner Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza
with Hot Wings.
For dessert, cupcakes with sprinkles.
They weren't just any ole' cupcake.
This was a celebration, so I made.....
Drum roll please...
KETCHUP Cupcakes.
Thanks to a girlfriend who sent me the recipe.
These cakes were very good.
They sounded gross, but weren't the
kids loved them.
To top off our celebration, we went to
the book store to buy some new books to read
over the summer, and last night we
went to see the movie UP! Fabulous time,
fabulous year. I'm not old enough to be
the mother of third graders.
Maybe I should hold them back.

A Weekend Walk

While we were visiting
my parents, we took some time to enjoy a local
trail. Jon and I have always enjoyed hiking.
Doesn't Doodles look like she's in pain?
I tell her that her parents forcing her to hike
will give her something to
tell her therapist when she grows up.
Big K loves to smile for the
I remember a time when the kids didn't know
what cameras were. They would just
stare while I was snapping pictures.
This was when we first met them, so I was taking
pictures like crazy. Who am I kidding,
I still take pictures like crazy. Anyway,
finally we showed them some of the photos we'd taken.
They were so amazed to see themselves. They would say,
"That's us." After that, they were always hamming
it up for the camera.
Sweet Doodles. I can't believe
she's almost nine!
And of course my favorite daughter. Doodles would
be yelling, "NO MOMMY!! I'm your favorite daughter!"
Sweet Kalea, already three months old.

A Memory Made

On Friday, May 22, we were able to go see Mary Poppins on
Broadway. At Christmas time, we had so much fun giving
everyone "clues" about what the big gift was.
Jon and I wrapped up all sorts of nutty stuff, laughed as
everyone opened it, and watched as my Mom thought
that we had finally lost our minds.
The last gift was a box filled with construction paper
"tickets" and a note that shared with my
Mom that we wanted to create a memory with
everyone by taking them to see
Mary Poppins.
At the time, my Mom had been recently diagnosed
with cancer. The future was uncertain, and her
prognosis was poor. Dreaming about our
trip to Broadway gave her, and us,
something to look forward to.
She used to say to us, "Well, if I can't go
at least I had fun thinking about it."
I'm SO thankful that we were able to go.
We took a limousine down to the city.
My mom is still weak, and walking, standing, or
riding is difficult for her.
The limo picked us up at my parents house,
and then dropped us off in front
of the theater. We had
so much fun on the ride. Our driver
was really nice, and really great at driving through the
The show was in the New Amsterdam Theater. It
was a beautiful building.
There were all sorts of carvings on the walls
and ceiling.
The show was FANTASTIC. Enough like the movie to be
recognized as Mary Poppins, but
different enough to be new.
There were new songs and dances.
The actor's did a terrific job. Even the two kids that played
Jane and Michael were phenomenal.
The props were amazing. The house moved back, the roof came off,
Mary Poppins flew out over the audience.
The chimney sweeps danced on roof tops.
The final scene was about being able to
do anything.
We all loved the show!
Because we had the limo, and we didn't have to drive, we
decided to eat at Katz Deli after the play.
The Deli is famous, although I'd never heard of it before, but
I was told (by my Mom and my brother) that it was a
famous deli that had been around for over 100
years. The food was FABULOUS!
I think I would rent a limo just to go back to Katz, because
I would never drive there on my own.
It was a fantastic night. More fun than we
had hoped for back at Christmas when we
first had the idea of Broadway.
It was so fun to make more
memories together, because in the end,
that's all you have. I know that the memory
we made with each other that night is something that we'll
always hold on to.