Monday, February 26, 2007

Have I ever mentioned the fact that I have three real boys? Though they enjoy reading and are able to act as gentlemen when necessary, my guys prefer running wild and free. The grandparent money Christmas present of a trampoline is the best spent money in the history of the world. They jump on it like the postman delivers mail- through rain, sleet, snow, and freezing wind. All three are content to jump, skip, romp, ride, pogo, the day away outdoors at True Vyne Farm.

Friday we invited another boy, Zane, with as much boy gusto as my trio, to spend the night. We went shopping for junk food we don't keep on hand to liven up the party. We bought chips, soda, pizza, Little Debbies, trail mix, and sugar breakfast cereal. There was, however, one request which I refused to fulfill:

Zane asked for energy drinks in the check out line. "Nah", I said, "We got plenty of that to go around already."

Friday, February 23, 2007

12 Nations + 4 eleven year old Delegates from each country= a way to build world peace

My son, Tater, was accepted as an American delegate for the Children's International Summer Village to France this summer. Our family feels so very blessed for our boy to have this opportunity.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Here's where I start to sound like an old grandma. Not you mom, grandmother of all my beautiful children, but a "I remember back in the day when there were dinosaur footprints in my back yard" type old grandma. My own mother is far to hip and graceful to use old timey words like me.

Back in my day of braces, I'm sure my mom forked over huge bucks for me to walk to Dr. Ricco's office after school for horrid mouth torture. Every single tooth of mine got a lovely, jagged, cemented band wrapped 'round it. Next thing I knew, our family moved about 25 minutes of driving away from the orthodontist office, and here's where my mother owes me money for a therapist. As if clunky braces, huge glasses, pimples, and a gangly body weren't enough to ruin a perfectly nice jr. high girl, my working mom called my school as asked if any teachers lived close to Dr. Ricco's office and wouldn't mind dropping me off for appointments after school. Can't ask rides from teachers in 2007 unless the teacher doesn't mind a few felony charges brought against them. Not so in 1979. Of course, Miss Hamel, the teacher with a bun the size of a loaf of bread atop her no-make up, no-nonsense head, was the teacher available and willing to humiliate me. She drove a cream colored VW Beetle, and I found it very difficult to scrunch down far enough out of sight of the thousands of cruel twelve year olds pointing and laughing at me seated in the English teacher's vehicle. Pay up, Mom.

Fast forward to modern times. Children of working moms must still have the same dilemma of needing a ride from school to the orthodontist. However, Tater's new orthodontist has resolved this problem in another far more stylish way. He sends a driver in a Hummer to the local public schools to chaffeur his patients to his office. Yes, a Hummer. No doubt the speakers inside that vehicle blare rap and dance music as the metal-mouthed children merrily sing along. Tator is perfectly green with envy that the Hummer won't drive from Knoxville to Loudon to pick him up from homeschool on the farm for his orthodontic appointments. I suppose I'll be the one chucking money in the therapy jar as I drive a beater of an old white speckled van to his appointments. The poor boys' self esteem is likely to suffer from always being seen in cars not made in this century.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Here's a truth I stumbled upon in the busyness of my yesterday in a little breather I took sneaking in a very few minutes of Oprah.

True forgiveness is when one can say a heart felt, deep, and sincere "Thank you" to the person by whom one was hurt. A thank you that says, "The experience you gave me made a better person in some way." Here are some lessons which could be learned in forgiveness- I'm stronger, I can help others through the same situation by knowing what they'll need, I am more complete, I'm wiser, I'm not as fragile as I thought, I humbled, I don't want to things or people for granted, I'm no longer afraid.

At everyone's core is a vulnerable human. It's our job to preserve the dignity of that humanity in all we know and meet by offering our forgiveness and love.

God help me. I fall so short.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I thoroughly enjoyed the observation of the sheep farmer, Andy, on the treadmill next to me at my small town gym recently. Andy has two daughters which have turned out to be fine adult people. Do you know to what he attributes some of their success?

Farm life.

He never really had to bring up the two most dreaded parent topics- death and sex. Both subjects were natural conversations around his dinner table. The family buried dearly loved lambs and sheep which could not be saved. They mourned their losses, and learned how to cope with death issues with sheep before it was time to let go of humans they loved. And Animal husbandry leaves nothing to the imagination from signs of fertility, artificial insemination, mating for a stronger breed, pregnancy issues, miscarriage, to birth assistance.

I had to agree with Andy that farm life really can be an excellent teacher.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Peace and Buck returned and spoke about the unsual phenomenon which happens every year in"Scouting for Food". The Boyscout troop left grocery bags all over the front door knobs and mail boxes of Loudon County last week and went to pick up those same bags filled with canned goods from the residents. The collected canned goods will go into a church food pantry for the poor. The astonishing thing is that each year, the boys report the same thing- the richest neighborhoods always give the least, and the poorer parts of town are the most generous. Buck and Peace were assigned the largest million dollar housing neighborhood of about 50 to 70 houses, and my men returned with a whooping total of two bags. I pray these folks simply may give big in other ways, because "to whom much is given, much is required".
Stop the world. I want to get off.

I'm having one of those days where I want more than anything for it to be a restful, but I still have "make-up work" from being sick last week. I'm behind on everything. Laundry. Housecleaning. Writing I hoped to finish. Spending enjoyment time with my children. School Projects. Homeschool planning for next week. Grocery shopping. Thank God Buck picked up milk last night. He out with Peace today picking up "Scouting for food" donated items.

It all just make me feel anxious. I have two "free" days that aren't really free at all.

What about crawling back under my warm covers and reading a great book?

I'd have never made it as a frontier wife.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I'm not altogether better, but my dear husband needed to get back to work. We negotiated Buck dropping the healthy perky Peace off and picking him up after his one co-op school day, while the rest of us stayed home with our various levels of contagiousness. I hear and join into a rousing chorus of coughs from time to time with Tater and Pooh Bear. Wise One is remarkably healthy, so he's a jolly young soul.

The last two days, as Tater felt well enough to rattle out of bed, tiny pre-revolution sparks started flying among he and his brothers. He even slammed a door in anger with me. Yikes! I worried immediately our hard work over the past few months might have somehow vanished.

I'd woken up this morning with the idea that I'd ease into homeschool slowly, because we'd taken off four days last week. However, God changed my mind. I decided maybe Tater was reacting to a week without positive focused attention that he couldn't take in as a sick boy, and I couldn't give as a sick mom. In my morning quiet, it occured to me that if I began by filling my children up with fun time with me, then perhaps those sparks from yesterday could be extinguished more quickly. I think I was onto something, because after I read and talked alone with Tater he started glowing into his better self. He started offering kind things right after like, "Mom, would you like me to make you lunch?" and "Would you like part of the candy bar I won?" I still can't believe the transforming power of just a little love.

I'll end with a touching passage I read with Tater today from one of my all time favorite books The Education of Little Tree. Little Tree is a small boy who lived with his Cherokee grandparents in the mountains after the death of his mother and father. One of the family hounds named ol Ringer died, and these are Little Tree's thoughts after they buried the dog together as a family.

I felt total bad about it, and empty. Granpa said he knew how I felt, for he was feeling the same way. But Granpa said everything you lost which you had loved give you that feeling. He said the only way round it was not to love anything, which was worse because you would feel empty all the time.

Granpa said supposin' ol' Ringer had not been faithful; then we would not be proud of him. That would be a worse feeling. Which is right. Granpa said when I got old, I would remember ol' Ringer, and I would like it- to remember. He said it was a funny thing, but when you got old and remembered them you loved, you only remembered the good, never the bad, which proved the bad didn't count nohow.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Helen and I paid an unexpected visit to 1983 this evening.

I called her to catch up. We were going to meet for lunch tomorrow, but she'd rather not eat out with a flu leper.

So, Helen and I found ourselves on the phone with one another watching Prince on television while he crooned Purple Rain in a pretty long coat in the exact same fashion he used to do before either of us could drive.

Helen and I spent far too many of our teen hours on the phone with one another in the same manner watching Prince on MTV, wasting away our youth.

I have to admit, he's still got it going on after twenty-two years. Wasn't his beautiful name symbol guitar all that? And the lit up marching band back-up rocked.

Come to think of it, Helen and I still got it going on as well. You should see us dance.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

She's a Fighter

Pooh Bear astonishes me. Her pie pan sparkling eyes and dainty flower smile don't fool me, because I am her mother. She's a fighter- knock down, drag out, kicking and screaming fighter.
On top of the flu, she has a raging sinus infection which makes her cough. Alot. She coughed a good deal in the night and is plumb exhausted today. Her response to a fever, sore throat, sick tummy? To quote her as I have heard many times in the past few days, "I DON'T WANT TO BE SICK!" In the early hours of the morning, I tried settling her with calming words, "Lie very still. Rest sitting up on my shoulders and the pillows. When you move it shakes all that yuck around inside you and make you cough more. Relax." At this suggestion she responded in quite an unladylike manner. She kicked her legs and shouted, "I...DON'T...LIKE...COUGHING. Grrrrr!" Buck took a unsuccessful stab at a story with pink ponies as a distraction to which she growled, "Argghhh. ." and "I don't LIKE the taste of that medicine!"

Over the last few days, she's got her daddy carrying her long body around the house like a rag doll. I'm not much help as my nagging cough turned into chills, fever, sweats, aches everywhere, and troubled breathing. Peace and Wise One also have symptoms now though not as severe as Tater.

Buck took Pooh Bear to the doctor and returned home bearing gifts of X-0-Force legos for the bored boys and yet another pink pony for the miserable girl.

Mom, did I ever kick and yell, "I don't LIKE having the flu!"? Did you try to tell me, "That's the wrong kind of fighting. Breathe deeply. Look for peace to fight this thing" and that "It simply takes time to heal"? I know it now, Ma. I know it now.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

It's the flu! Tator is having his worst day. Pooh Bear is getting better with a 100.2 temp, but Buck has 101.1 temp now, and I can't get rid of a nagging little cough. Tamiflu to the rescue.
Somehow Peace and Wise One have avoided all symptoms thus far.