Friday, August 29, 2008

Don't Even Listen to Us, Part 3

We really stand by our word.  You know that already.  If we say it, we maybe, kinda, sorta mean it.  And that's final -- sometimes.

Last Saturday we went to have our family picture taken for the church directory.  We said we would NOT purchase any pictures.  So not true.

Then our kids wanted to go to PetSmart and "just look" and we knew there were no dogs there we wanted, so we said, "No way, no how."  Of course, we were there right away.  BUT we did not adopt the dog Checkered loved.  We congratulated ourselves on our maturity.

Our daughter turned on the great sorrow as we left PetSmart.  She pouted a bit.  She poured on the guilt.  What about the Big City Humane Society?  Huh??? Huh?? What about that Lab mix there??  Well??

We said, "We don't want a city dog with perhaps a very rough history."

We said, "It's a 45 minute drive.  Surely if we wait, there will be a dog locally."

We said, "We do NOT want a dog as large as the one you've chosen."

And we immediately got into the van and drove into the big city and adopted the very same dog.

Meet Pepper:
She was advertised as a Lab mix.  Not necessarily true.
She was advertised as large.  She weighs 8 pounds.
She was advertised as 8-10 weeks.  She is 12 weeks.
She was advertised as perfectly healthy.  She is not.
But this little puppy now owns us.  She has had good vet care and is starting to regain some energy and, we hope, weight.  Our neighbors have proclaimed her docile and good natured.  Our vet says that she will recover quickly and completely and then he hugged me because he thinks we really got the right dog this time.
No, we don't always mean what we say.  And that's a lucky thing for us.
Welcome home, Pepper!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Tonight is my first night of classes.  What that means is that I spent last night scouring my class lists to see if I will be working with any students I've taught previously or any students I might know outside of class.  My daughter doesn't understand this.  She doesn't see the knots in my stomach as I look at those lists and wonder if the student named Jones is related to the Jones student who went to second base with his girlfriend -- during my class.  Or maybe this Jones student is related to the Jones student who failed to attend class at all after midterm and then was outraged that he failed.  Then again, this Jones student might be related to the Jones student who got caught plagiarizing and then tried to convince me he wasn't the guilty party because he had hired someone else to write his paper.  Then again, maybe this Jones student is related to the Jones student I loved, and I live in fear that the second time around won't be as great.

So I looked over the list, and there it was.  Sue Jones.  The worse case scenario:  a former friend.  No trouble went between us, but the friendship just kind of died when our lives went in slightly different directions.  I've run into her a few times since, and it was awkward.  Now she is in my class, and I am not jumping up and down celebrating.

This morning my boys received their letters from school telling them who their teachers are for this year.

Two of the boys will work with teachers our other children have worked with in the past.  These teachers are beloved to our family.  Just beloved.  I even sent the Superintendent of Schools a letter once about how much I loved those teachers.

So when the letters arrived, I was certain those very same teachers must be doing the dance of delight knowing they would have yet another chance to work with Caution Flag's children.

Then I thought about how I cringe when I see a familiar name on the roster.  What are my boys' teachers really thinking right now??

Irony?  I think so.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Don't Even Listen to Us. Part 2

After returning home from our disastrous, "We're not buying any pictures" trip, Checkered went to his favorite hobby - putzing and cleaning something outside. I returned to my favorite hobby - dog shopping via PetFinder.

Once again I inquired about various dogs I thought we might like to buy only to be told the dog had already been sold. I reassured my children that we shouldn't worry. We WOULD get the right dog, but it would involve waiting. It had to be at least half Lab and of a certain age, and so on.

But there was an adoption thing going on at PetSmart and so we looked online at the dogs listed. We were not interested in a single one. Not a one. So why go over there?

Then our daughter found a dog she liked at the big city Humane Society. Not one bit influenced by the Animal Cops shows filmed there and certain that dog was too big, we said,

"We are not going anywhere. Let's wait to find the right dog."
Within the half hour we were at PetSmart and Checkered was in love with this guy:
The dog was part Lab (good) and part GREAT DANE (Heaven help us.) I mean, Checkered suddenly thought Great Danes were lap dogs. The foster mom said it was a smart dog. The boys loved it. And we ....
...didn't buy it!
Gotcha, didn't I?
We walked out of PetSmart with four sad children and one sad dad.

We went home and that was that.

To be continued.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Don't Even Listen to Us. Part 1

We are so true to our word. Oh yes.  You can bank on what we say 'cause we mean it.  Really.

On Saturday we went to have our family picture taken for the church directory.  We reconfirmed for ourselves during our ride over there that we were only going to order the free picture.  That was it.

Ten minutes later I got to thinking about how Checkered and I haven't had a good picture taken of the two of us since we got married.  Okay.  So we decided to order the free picture and buy one picture.  Just one.

Five minutes later I got to thinking about how we didn't have a nice picture of all four kids together, so we viewed the ones the photographer took.  One of our boys saved us by closing his right eye for each picture.    Then the photographer said he would be happy to try again.  I thought about our decision  not to be pulled into the sales pitch.  And I said,

"Sure.  Let's take some more pictures!"
And those weren't really better than the first batch.  So ...
we bought one.
No. No. We said we would not buy any pictures.  We would be strong.  We would be money savers.  We would not be swayed. 
We lied.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Range Officer

My husband is a range officer.  It's a high and mighty and powerful and cool title.  It's also a little bigger title than  job.  What it really means is that he occasionally teaches cub scouts how to shoot bows and arrows and bb guns.
What it also means is that when he has to teach, I have to go to camp with him.  For example, yesterday he was in charge of a scout camp.  Because he was going to be obligated to stay with the ranges all day and because our three boys would be participants and because the boys could swim and fish when they weren't shooting, and because the boys couldn't do that without a parent (there! we are almost at the end of the run-on sentence,) I had to go to camp with the cub scouts.  Again.

And what all that means is that I had to get up yesterday before God created daylight. 
 And I was so tired that I put on a my most ill-fitting bra.  And that meant the wires poked my underarms all day.  And camp was a place you might see in the movie Deliverance.  And mosquitoes go there for terrorist training.  And there are lots of leaves of three/let them be thingies there.

But I AM the range officer's wife, so I endured.

The range officer is allowed to wear a scout leader uniform.  If Checkered actually donned a scout leader shirt, our friends would pour more laughter and teasing on him than could be carried in a 10-gallon bucket.    But here's my little secret:  if he were to wear that scout leader shirt, well ... the range officer's wife could be very, very impressed.  How absolutely odd am I that I would think my husband in a scout uniform would be sexy?

Oh yes, girls.  These are the burdens known only to the range officer's wife.

Friday, August 22, 2008

For the Love of Reading

At first I was disappointed that she didn't appreciate the family hobby of fishing. Then I realized she had discovered a way to spend the time while everyone else fished. I think she made a great choice.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Vintage Thursdays

In 1915 or so my maternal grandfather gave this rocker to my maternal grandmother as a gift for their first wedding anniversary.  For fifty plus years it lived as an onxy-colored piece of furniture.  Then, during the late 60's, it became a red head.

I've always loved this rocker as a study base.  Its wide seat always allowed ample room for me to sit cross-legged with a book or books propped up. During my one and only crafting adventure, the chair proved wide enough to hold a hook rug project.  And then, when I gave birth to my last baby, the chair became mine.  With its broad seat and sturdy arms, the chair was perfect for rocking and nursing the baby.

I would like to return the chair to a natural finish, but I surely hate getting starting on those types of projects.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This Grass Really IS Greener on the Neighbor's Side

A long time ago, a lovely housewife thoughtfully mowed the yard.  Up and down and back and forth the mower went powered by the housewife's sheer muscle.  She was taking great pride in the fact that the yard would be done before her husband returned from his toil at the office and before her four children completely destroyed each other or the house.

Then, without warning, the quiet of the day was shattered by a loud, "CRUUUUUNCHHHHH!"

The housewife jumped right out of her skin.  Shaken, she looked for the source of the noise.  Just some little plastic thingie.  It was with relief that the housewife continued her mowing.

What the housewife didn't know was that the little plastic thingie was a sprinkler head.

What she didn't know was that that sprinkler head could not be replaced because of its age.  What she didn't know was that she had just killed the entire sprinkler system.

So now the housewife and her man don't water their lawn.  When the grass turns the inevitable dull shade of brown to which they've become accustomed, they brag to each other that they are helping the grass by letting it go into a natural dormant state.  What they don't say is that they have become too cheap  fiscally responsible to install a new system.

But their neighbor waters his lawn.  He waters it twice and sometimes three times a day.  He waters enough for the housewife's sump-pump to turn on every day.  And this makes the housewife's lawn look even more pitiful.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fine. I Might Have a Quirk or 7: #1

#1:  I once appeared in a t.v. public service spot celebrating a teacher I disliked.

At one point in my looooooong schooling history, I worked with a teacher I disliked.  He was frequently absent,  returned homework weeks and even months after it had been due, and ice skated all around the subject matter without ever teaching us anything.

Then that teacher was chosen to be honored for his great teaching.  Isn't that how life goes?!

A film crew was scheduled to shoot a public service "commercial" honoring this "great" teacher.  The little spot would air on t.v. statewide for weeks.  The teacher asked several of his students to appear in the tribute.  I was among that group and thought the irony of it all was hysterically funny.

When the morning of the filming arrived, I was very nervous.  This film thing would be seen by other students.  This film thing would be seen by genuinely good teachers.  I would be on t.v. being disingenuous. 

I arrived at the filming only to discover that NOT ONE of the other students had shown up.  So my little 30 second tribute was to be expanded to several minutes - during which I was extol the teaching virtues of the teacher I considered to be one of the worst of my entire life. 

Somehow I survived those moments of terror and blank-minded talking.  When the spot first appeared I was mortified at how high my voice was, how obviously nervous I was, and how untruthful I was.

A few days later I received that most gracious of thank-you notes from the professor.  He said that students like me made his entire career worthwhile.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Fine. I Might Have a Quirk or 7: #2

#2: I once went to a student's home for dinner and survived.

English as a Second Language (ESL) students are among the grandest on Earth.  In all my years of teaching, I have met a variety of students.  Some are mean and yucky, but some are simply marvelous.  The ESL students were among my favorites and during the years I taught ESL, I received several invites to meals in their homes.  To refuse would have been the harshest of insults. 

I have been the guest of honor many times in my students' homes, but the most memorable was my experience in a Cambodian home in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

I had taught two children from the same family and some of their cousins, as well, that year and truly loved them. It was my first ESL job and I learned that there was much more to good teaching than simply going over vocabulary and syntax.  My students didn't know how to dress for the weather (they didn't even have winter clothing), they didn't know how to eat the food served in the school lunchroom, they didn't know how to get help in a medical emergency.  It became my personal mission that year to get my students over all those hurdles and more.

So when the invitation to dinner arrived, my supervisor gave her blessing, and I headed over to the students' home one Sunday.  The family graciously welcomed me.  I was seated alone at the table while my translator student sat with the men on the floor:  all watching my every move.  We "talked" for quite a while before the food was brought out by three generations of women.  It was placed before me.  At some point I understood that I alone would be eating while the extended family would all watch.


I ate many of the same foods the students had brought as gifts to me during the year.  There were egg rolls and other recognizable treats.  Then the main course was brought out:  it was some kind of soup.  By that point my irritable bowel stomach was rolling and roiling and protesting but I knew I had to eat the soup. My translator-student looked absolutely stricken when the soup arrived. 

I continued to pray, asking the Lord to allow me to be gracious to my hosts. 

And I ate every drop. A slurp from the bowl. A smile for the men sitting and watching me. Another slurp. A smile for the women peeking around the kitchen door. Another slurp...another smile.

As we eventually walked from the house, my student-translator explained that the soup had taken many, many hours to prepare.  The day before my feast, the entire family had gone to the public park.  There, they dug and hunted and found hundreds of snails.  The snails were brought home and became my soup.

In later years I would enjoy Mexican, Puerto Rican, Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, and so many other meals courtesy of my beloved students.  And in almost every situation, I alone ate while the families watched.  I am just now beginning to understand what an honor those meals were.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fine. I Might Have a Quirk or 7 : #3

#3:  I am a Kentucky Colonel.

Thanks to a man named Bill Fred (no, I am NOT using his last name here), I am a Kentucky Colonel.  What's that mean?

According the website for Kentucky's Secretary of State:

The highest honor awarded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky is that of Kentucky Colonel.

Commissions for Kentucky Colonels are given by the Governor and the Secretary of State to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state or the nation...
This tradition began in 1813 during the second term of Governor Isaac Shelby. Shelby had just returned from leading the Kentucky Militia on a highly successful “War of 1812” campaign. He named one of his officers, Charles Todd, as an “Aid-De-Camp” on the Governor’s staff with the rank and grade of Colonel. Later Governors commissioned Colonels to act as their protective guard; they wore uniforms and were present at most official functions. (Today's colonels are not required to perform such service.) Other Governors continued this practice and by 1920’s their numbers had grown considerably.

In 1928, an effort began to organize the Colonels into “A great non-political brotherhood for the advancement of Kentucky and Kentuckians.” In 1932, The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels was formally born. Today, the organization is incorporated as a charitable organization with by-laws directing it to be non-partisan, non-profit and dedicated to good works within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

So there you have it.  A little knowledge for your own edification from Colonel Caution.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fine. I Might Have a Quirk or 7 :#4

#4:  I have a learning disability

I do have a learning disability and it impacts my life daily.  Sometimes it's a subtle little annoyance; sometimes it really stinks.  The learning disability manifests itself as an inability to do math and to organize and in some other ways.  It's not that I am afraid of math or have had a bad experience.  My brain simply struggles and usually can't "get" math.

It must have been second or third grade when our teacher first brought out the wooden pies to teach us about fractions.  I was completely and totally lost.  I assumed everyone else was, too, but it was only me.  That day is as clear in my memory as any other life-changing experience.   For the first time in my life, I knew I was dumb.

I would have gone through life believing that, too, if it hadn't been for my mom who was earning a master's degree in psychology/guidance and counseling.  At the time (the 1960's) learning disabilities were newly "discovered" and the research wasn't always accepted by teachers.  There were still more teachers who believed that a student simply needed to try harder.   But my mom tested me and had me tested by other professionals and there it was:  the reason I couldn't do math, couldn't do puzzles, couldn't organize things, et cetera.  It also explained why when I needed to throw a ball, I didn't know which hand to use - not because I was ambidextrous, but because neither arm was a dominant/strong side.

My mom became my greatest advocate.  And when through the next many, many years we met an obstacle, she was right there finding a path around it.  She never used the LD as an excuse for me, but always as a basis of understanding.   She worked with me academically all the way through and she helped me to create patterns in my brain so that  I could get through course material.  Baby steps is more than a movie quote for me.  It is how I've lived sometimes.

Checkered has taken up the cause since we've married.  He shoulders anything having to do with numbers in this house from  orgainizing and list-making to bill-paying to helping our children with their math homework.  He even sits next to me at the end of every semester and plugs in all my students' grades and tells me what their final percentage is.

The learning disability is real, but  I've learned lots of coping skills and function pretty well.   I believe it all has made me a stronger teacher and a more compassionate human.   I will be forever grateful for my mom and her life-changing love and her understanding that something WAS wrong and her determination that the LD would not be a stop sign, but that it would simply be a bit of a detour.  And then there's Checkered.  Wow!  I've surely been blessed :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fine. I Might Have a Quirk or 7. #5

#5: I have never gotten a traffic ticket.

I should not have typed that.  Now I feel as though I am a target.  "Hey," the traffic cops will say.  "Isn't that the innocent driver who has never, in all these years of driving, gotten a ticket?  Isn't that the same woman who has been pulled over twice and driven away ticket-free? Well, her luck has run out as of NOW!!!"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fine. I Might Have a Quirk or 7. #6

#6:  I shave my legs only as high as my hemline.

Wearing capris?  Shave to mid-calf.

Wearing shorts?  Shave to the knee.

Wearing long pants?  Well, that's an outright gift.

I'd say Checkered's a lucky man, isn't he?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fine. I Might Have a Quirk or 7: #7

My favorite school board member, Sue, from As Cape Cod Turns has tagged me.  I've never been very good at tag because running is not my thing.  But, after some serious introspection I am going to play.  It also helped that she said I was smart.

So this week, you will learn about 7 hitherto unrevealed facets of me (that sounded smart, right?)


I am not certain of the origin of this reaction to thunder and lightening, but it probably has its genesis (please note the use of that smart word, too) some time around my 9th year.  I had a horrible, miserable, ugly, life-changing school year courtesy of some factors such as a cross-country move for our family and being assigned to the most mean-spirited teacher ever. 

Prior to that year I had always shared a bedroom with one of my sisters.  But in that new house, I had my own room.  And in that room I spent many nights wrestling with nightmares and sleepwalking.  I was certain that someone would break in (but the murderer would only enter the house through my bedroom window.)  During any stormy night, I would watch the windows during the flashes of lightening to see if the murderer was outside my room yet.

Two years later, we moved again and my new best friend taught me a lot about life that I had never known.  Included in those unsolicited lessons were several horror stories - always with the setting of a raging thunderstorm.

Fast-forward a whole lot of years and one particular thunderstorm found me with my fussy newborn who had just settled into sleep while in my arms.  I knew that if I put him down, the crying and crying and crying would resume and I was soooooo tired.  My two-year old son was in the room with us and wanted to see the storm.  He reached from the bed to the window and missed the landing.  I heard a thump and then the 2 year old began to cry.  In one of my finest mothering moments ever, I opted to continue holding the sleeping baby while telling my toddler he was okay.  When the lightening flashed next, I saw my toddler 's face covered in blood which was freely flowing from the newly carved gash in his head which he received when his face hit the window sill during his fall.

So there you have my first quirk.  I think my "discomfort" with thunderstorms is perfectly normal, thank-you!

Friday, August 8, 2008

I Said; He Said

I said,
"Video game time is over."

He said,
And then he stopped his tantrum and wiped his tears and blew his nose - all with my sheet.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cupboard Cooking, Part Two

So there I was on a sticky, hot July afternoon making pbj after pbj.  We were two weeks into our no spending, eating only what was already in the house experiment.  Checkered sat at the kitchen table checking his work email and not even pretending to listen as I told him every detail of my day.

When the doorbell rang, we quickly made fleeting eye contact and then resumed our intense concentration: he with his computer, I with my pbj's.  You see, prolonged eye contact would have necessitated acknowledging the ringing doorbell and that would have necessitated one of us moving to answer the door.   We're competitive in a passive-aggressive way.

But, no fear, we possess a 6 year old who was more than happy to emerge from the playroom and open the door.  Still, Checkered and I pretended deep concentration with tasks, but each of us was listening for the voice from the doorbell ringer.  Was it the kids from up the street?  Was it the street-wise child from a few houses down?  Was it an unannounced pastoral visit?  Was it a package delivery?

We heard nothing.  Nothing.  Yet we could tell from the street sounds pouring into the house that the door remained open.  Suddenly, Checkered and I began to move fluidly and with great beauty and agility toward the open door where our shy child stood hiding behind it and a complete stranger stood just beyond the threshold.

At this point you must pause to congratulate us on how smart we are about teaching our children to use the peep hole and to never open the door without our permission.  This example is rivaled only by the time my toddler daughter opened the door while I bathed.  I was in a bit of panic when I heard a man's voice calling from my living room, "Hello!!  Is your mommy or daddy here?"  Yes, that day I came flying down the stairs in a towel to find the mailman in my house.

Anyhow, back to the story.  Just outside the opened door stood a delivery person from Papa John's pizza.  She stood beaming while we told her she was at the wrong house.  She tried to talk, but we would have none of it. 

"We didn't order pizza.  You must be mistaken.  What is the address you're looking for?"
We finally finished our protestations while she patiently stood there holding two of the most fragrant pizzas.  It was our address on the pizzas.  The disturbingly patient adult delivery woman told us,
"A friend sent these to you.  They are paid for and there is no need to tip.  Enjoy your gift from someone who wishes to remain annonymous."
She drove away while we three stood there like idiots staring mutely at two pizza boxes.  Eventually we made our way into our kitchen where we continued to stand looking at the now-opened pizza boxes with their beautiful, beautiful pizzas. 
We began to laugh.  I began to think and think.  And then we ate all the pbs's and both pizzas - all in the same night.
There was only one person who knew my family was to be served pbs's that night, and that person is my sister, Red, who has never commented on this blog. What she did was clever, kind, and very fun.  We laughed and talked about her random act of kindness for days.  What a wonderful idea!  It's something we think we would like to do for someone else.
So all I'm saying, Red, is thank-you and I love you.  And you never know when some Detroit chili dogs might find their way to a certain address in a certain city in a certain state called Texas... 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

So Much Better When It's YOUR B-day

Happy Birthday to my MUUUUUUUUCH older sister who was born on this date half a century ago.  I would like to say that I understand how it feels, but I don't because I am younger!!!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday, dear aunt Missions.
Happy birthday to you.
From your younger sister (did I mention that already??)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cupboard Cooking

A few weeks ago we ran out of money.  I mean, we weren't homeless or destitute, but we were pretty much cashless and would remain that way until payday which was three weeks away.  What that meant for our family was a buckling down of spending or rather, as Checkered reminded me, a stopping of spending.  Much to my own dismay, that included the grocery store, too.

At first I figured we could all just diet and fast until payday and maybe Checkered and I could regain our youthful, svelte figures that we never really ever had in the first place. But then I remembered that I owned some children.  No, we did not eat them.

So, clever homemaker that I am, I announced,
"What an exciting adventure this will be for the Flag family!  Until the end of July, we shall be cupboard cooking. Our meals will generate with the ingredients currently living in our cupboards.  Let's see how creative we can be!"
And clever we were for a meal or two.  Then my creativity failed me, my picky eaters failed me and the weatherman failed me.   We were quite bubbly from beans.  We were not quite satisified from cereal night.  And it was simply too hot to cook the mystery, label-less foods I found in the back of the cabinets.
So brainstorm of brainstroms, while talking to my sister, Red, one day I decreed that we would be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner that night.  It was fast, cool, and a guaranteed winner.
Dinner time arrived, and I was happily loading an entire loaf of whole wheat bread with peanut butter when the doorbell rang.
Who could it be?
To be continued...
HINT: It was NOT Red [who lives a mere 1800 miles from me:( ]

Monday, August 4, 2008

Decade Plus 1 = Our Miracle

Eleven years ago we went to a pool party. It was hot, it was crowded, and I was 100 weeks pregnant give or take a year. No one understood why I refused to take my swollen body into the crowded volleyball arena called a pool, but I knew something was going to happen quickly with this baby.

One hour after the party ended, we were at the hospital. Five hours later, Checkered decided to turn green and try to pass out. His explanation was that he had been up all night. At the time, I chose to ignore that comment as the epidural wasn't working. Then, just as the sun was bringing light to the day, our first son was born while Checkered sat down and drank orange juice.

That boy proved to be the sweetest baby ever born into our family. He was and remains the most even-keeled temperament here. He is kind. He is patient. He is considerate in the most adult-like manner. He is also the member of this family who has faced the most difficult challenges.

Through this beautiful boy we have learned so much. We have learned how one little virus and the dehydration it causes can lead to doctors screaming and ambulance rides and frightening hospital stays. We have learned about Oral Motor Apraxia and Duane Syndrome. We have learned about speech therapy and occupational therapy and physical therapy and eye patching. And we have learned to steel ourselves when experts tell us our son will struggle learning how to read, will struggle learning how to ride a bike, will always have deliberate, disjointed speaking skills, and will always have a head turn to avoid seeing double.

We've learned about tenaciousness. We've learned compassion. We've learned trust.

But most importantly, we've learned that God does hear prayers and He does heal. We don't know why the Lord chose to work through medical experts and beyond them to heal our boy, but He did.

And this boy? This boy who was first called, "handicapped" when he wasn't yet two years old? This boy who could only say the utterance, "Uh" for years? This boy whose vision was terribly impaired in one eye by age 2? This boy who still sees double if he looks straight ahead? This boy who suffered so many more issues than I feel comfortable posting?

This boy turned 11 yesterday. He reads! And he reads beyond grade level. He has fluent speech. He has 20/20 vision in both eyes and perfect depth perception. He is a great soccer goalie and scored a goal in hockey last week! He earned straight A's last year. He gave a speech and was elected to Student Council. Just call him "Bullseye"on the archery and bb gun ranges. And there is far more than I could ever tell you in one post. He is our miracle and as my mom calls him, " Our Wonder Boy."

Happy birthday, you precious, precious boy!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Local Tourists

We went on vacation yesterday. Travelled 20 miles and toured a museum I used to love when it was little and underfunded and no one knew about it. Now it is much bigger and has more funding and people actually go there.

This seemed like a great day to go because:
a) I deemed it so, and
b) Our less than enthusiastic teen is gone to Tennessee with her church youth group

A bonus for us was that this museum is located on the campus of the university where I used to work. I just knew my boys would be very happy to see that. After all, it was the reason I moved to this state. I earned my doctorate there. I met fascinating people there. I had my own offices there. WOW!

Here is what I learned yesterday:

1. Even with more space and $$ and visitors, my favorite museum is disjointed and confusing. The problem is that it has now lost its charm.

2. My boys could care less about certain parts of my life.

"Look!" I said, "That's the building where my office was! There's the building where I met the university president! There's the building where I used to teach!"

Then I realized no one really cared. Here is what my boys took away from my trip down memory lane:

  • One boy was intrigued about the cultural differences of the city and was loudly expressing his interest.

  • Another boy was concerned with the non-functioning fountains.

  • The youngest boy was simply sitting down in the middle of the walkway. He was done. Their favorite part of the trip was discovering the student center with all the fast food outlets.

3. That we need a camera with a larger screen so that when one son takes a picture of us, we can actually see that it is a lousy picture before we post it on a blog.

I Think Nabisco Owes Me a Little Kick-back