News of the Day

Two words noticeably absent from my blog this week are "hurricane" and "Katrina". I seem to be gaining "blog audience" daily, so if you are new to my blog -- welcome, but you are about to see a not-very-pretty side of me. Some of you know that my house flooded 3 years ago. A flood that, for Abilene, Texas, was pretty bad. 600 homes and many businesses affected. It was a big inconvenience for about 8 months. It didn't come anywhere close to Katrina. Few things in history have, evidently. I have seen very little news -- partly because of meetings and work, etc., but partly because I just can't take it on. It's just too big. Like the tsunami disaster last December. There are heartbreaking stories at every moment. To be quite honest, the main thing I feel about it is anger. I guess it's all part of my grieving over the enormity of it. I'm in the anger stage. I also feel enormously guilty for simply turning off the TV or not reading the paper to get away from it. Some people have lost their lives and some people's lives are devastated and forever altered, and I just want to turn away from it.

I have no words of wisdom, no deep insight about lessons learned, no great ideas to reach out to the devestated communities. I only know to pray. And even then, I pray that the Spirit intercede for me because I'm sure my words are inadequate.


What's Old is New?

Phrases I have literally heard in the last year:
  • (age) 50 is the new 30 (The Today Show)
  • Pink is the new black (Nathaniel Jones - and fashion magazines! :-)
  • Green is the new brown (Most of the Abilene Jr. League)
  • (age) 70 is the new 55 (current Reader's Digest)

Um, is there a 'reset' button on all of this? What happens when black becomes the new pink? Will it be black again? So what about people that are currently 30? Do they stay that way for 20 years?

Whether or not there is an actual 'reset' button, please do not speak to me in what "is the new" what. Half the time I can't even find my keys -- there certainly isn't room in my brain to keep all of that straight.


Blogger day off

I have no wit or wisdom. I have no gross observations. I have a headache and lots of dust bunnies. Okay, I may have a wee bit of wisdom. Despite what they are playing on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel, the kids will watch "golden oldies" if they are made available. The biggest hits of the stocking last Christmas were "The Lucy Show" and "The Andy Griffith Show" DVD's. Who knew? Riley still can't get enough of ol' Barney.



When the dog is violently ill indoors and you are the only witness (which means you have to clean it up) and all of your own hair creates a clog in the shower drain that necessitates you clean it out and both of these things happen before 7:15 a.m. -- you may as well go back to bed.

Our preacher speaks of (possibly even makes fun of) our "church button" -- that "button" we press to automatically put on our "church faces" and act as if all is well and great with us. Instead of activating our "church button" he encourages us to be real with each other and let our guard down. My rather large church is also having a push/ campaign to encourage us to be warm and welcoming to all of our visitors. There are days when I can either be real, or I can be warm and welcoming. There are some days that the two simply don't coincide. Especially when the dog is sick and I unclog the shower before church.


Riley's Aspirations

Riley (playing with some of Mom's old stamps from when she was a teacher): I want to be a teacher when I grow up.

Mom (wearily from in front of the computer): Okay.

Riley: Or a comedian

Riley: Or a rock-climber

What happened to my little punkin' who wanted to be an ice cream truck driver (so he could eat the ice cream) AND a mechanic (so he could fix the ice cream truck when it broke down)? I actually think he could be all 3 of the things he mentioned -- his classes would really appreciate his humor. I'm not too sold on the rock-climbing thing, though. Considering the drama we had last week with a skinned elbow, I just can't imagine a serious rock-climbing accident.


Thursday mornings with the Stirmans

My church has a great Wednesday evening praise service. It puts focus back into my week and gets me through -- until Thursday morning, which is as much of a low as Wednesday evening is a high. We frequently stand around and talk on Wednesday nights, leaving our children to run amok and getting themselves hyped up so that sleep is insured to stay away until well after 10 p.m. On evenings when Troy is traveling the delay is even longer as we must spend about 30 minutes on the phone telling him 'good night'.

All of this activity makes for a SLOW Thursday morning. I let the kids sleep in just a few extra minutes. When I do try to wake them, there is so little movement I feel like I should check for a pulse. This morning I had this conversation: "MOM! I can't see you!" "No, you can't -- your eyes aren't open." "Oh." At least one child is in tears ("I don't feel good" "I don't want to go to school" "I forgot to bring home my book"). Eventually there is shouting (from dear old mom) because we can't drag our hineys out the door on time. We finally get to school -- me, with smoke pouring out of my ears, them with tears in their bleary little eyes.

Wish we could go straight from Wednesday to Saturday.


The Dead Horse

Okay, I know we're all weary of the 'Aida' controversy, but one of my ACU classmates has an excellent write-up about it. Check out Grant Boone's blog -- plenty of controversy for one and all, written in Dr. Seuss style! Grant was evidently in the midst of this when my letter to the editor was published. Too funny!


If living with a 13-year-old girl is any more of a roller coaster than living with a 9-year-old girl, would someone please send me some boarding school brochures?


Junie B.

We need to take a break from political and theological discussions, don't you think? At Mike Cope's Blog there is a wee bit of mud slinging and a LOT of passion on Mike's stance on certain theological points. At Amanda's Diary of a Transplant Patient (I started to call her my friend Amanda -- and she is even though I only have seen her in that precious picture on her blog) Amanda brings up a great question regarding the health and wealth gospel. My brain is tired. Let's do a little juvenile fiction reading, shall we?

If you haven't had someone you love in first grade in the last 5-7 years, you may not know Junie B. Junie B. Jones, that is. She is a mess. A fictional character, and quite a character. Author Barbara Park does a fabulous job of having Junie B. wear her feelings on her sleeve with words of a first grader. In the book "Junie B. Jones and that Meanie Jim's Birthday" Junie has just left a party in her classroom. She and her friend Grace are riding home on the bus talking about how great the party was when "a meanie boy named Jim" jumped into the conversation. Jim and Junie B. begin arguing about who can have the best party and "that meanie Jim" is elaborating on what a great party HE will have. Junie B. concludes a tirade about how that wouldn't be a great party with :
"And so I wouldn't even come to your stupid party in a jillion billion
"Good!" hollered that Jim. "I'm glad! 'Cause my
birthday is this coming Saturday! And tomorrow I'm bringing invitations to
every single person in Room Nine! Only not to you! You're the only
one in the whole class I'm not bringing an invitation to! So there!"
Then he did a big HAH! right in my face.
And he sat back down in his seat.
Meanwhile, I just kept on standing and standing
there. 'Cause something had gone a little bit wrong here, I think.
I tapped on his head.
"Yeah, only here's the thing," I said. "I
didn't actually know you were having a party on Saturday. And so, good
news. . . I think I can make it."
"No!" shouted that meanie boy. "You're not
coming! Now go away!"
I tapped on him again.
"Yeah, only I was just kidding about the ponies,"
I said. "They hardly even stomple you probably."
"I don't care! Stop bothering me!" he
I stood on my tippy-toes and looked at his
"Love your hair today," I said.
That Jim swatted at me.
"Get away from me!" he hollered. "You're not
coming to my party! And that's final!"
Just then a big lump came in my throat. A
big lump is what comes before crying.
It hurt to swallow.
I sat down and hided my face in my sweater.
"Darn it, " I said. "'Cause I think I really
would have enjoyed myself at that thing."
Then my bestest friend named Grace put her arm
around me.
And she patted me real gentle.
And she let me sit next to the window. (end of
chapter 2)

Do you just love Grace in this? Grace sat right there while Junie B. got in huge trouble with her mouth (which is why I identify with Junie B.) Then she was there while Junie B. tried to get out of trouble. When Junie B. failed at getting out of trouble Grace could only pat and let Junie B. sit by the window. My friend Roxanne (signs her posts 'R-') is a patter. I confess I have yelled at her about it, too (remember I've known Roxanne through my worst days -- like high school!) I think the root cause of me not liking it is because she really does have great timing with her pats -- which would mean they would bring the tears I was working so hard to stop. Roxanne would have let me sit by the window, too.


My letter to the editor

If you are a blog-reader not living in Abilene, Texas, you may have missed a recent ACU controversy regarding the homecoming musical the theater department had chosen. It boils down to: NAACP -- 4 months into rehearsals -- realized that a white girl had been cast to play a Nubian (African) princess in the homecoming musical, 'Aida'. Hackles were raised, letters to the editor were written, tensions were rising. Adam Hester, director of the play, ditches those 4 months of rehearsal so as not to rub salt in any wounds. Letters to the editor continue to fly back and forth. It's a mess and very sad. If you want more detail, go to Mike Cope's blog -- he has his own editorial, as well as links to relevant newspaper articles. Late last week it was announced that 'Seussical' would replace 'Aida' (musical based on Dr. Seuss' stories and characters). I wrote the following letter to the editor which, to my knowledge has never been published which tells me one of several things: a) editor disagrees with it too strongly b) editor finds it too inflammatory (I suspect this is not the case -- they seem to like inflammatory in that department) or c) editor is weary of beating the dead horse that is the 'Aida' controversy (which is, I suspect, closer to the truth). But, since you are privvy to this most insightful blog you get to read it anyway!
I would like to commend Adam Hester and ACU's Theater Department for taking the
high road in replacing the musical 'Aida' amidst controversy. I can't wait
to take my family to see the homecoming production of 'Seussical' not only to
see another fabulous production from that department, but to show my
support. As further evidence of my support, I would like to volunteer my
services to Mr. Hester to assist him in locating ACU students that have blue
skin or who are bright red with colorful feathers growing out of the top of
their head to fill the roles in Seussical. These students, as well as the
green students with orange polka-dots, will allow Mr. Hester to stop that silly
practice of casting a play on talent instead of skin color.

(Sarah's note -- 8/23/05: My letter was published this morning in the Abilene Reporter-News. Let the rotten eggs start flying at my house!)


We Made It!

First week of job/school are under my belt! *whew* Job is going okay -- the first 3 days were training, then Thursday and Friday I got to actually try to accomplish some things, which only highlighted that I have no clue what I'm doing. Chalk it all up to "lesson learned", right?

Troy and I had 'date night' last night. Perhaps not the best night for that. I was ready to stare into space and/or sleep. We went to see a really cute movie, though. "Must Love Dogs" was REALLY good (Troy and I both enjoyed it) and made me REALLY thankful I don't have to endure the dating scene right now. Yikes. My favorite quote, again with some not-too-nice language, was when Elizabeth Perkins (playing Diane Lane's sister) was encouraging Diane Lane to "go for it" with one guy -- who happened to be the father of one of Diane Lane's pre-school students: "He's got a Ph.D. AND a great ass. Let's not get dragged down by ethics." The only thing that drives me NUTS about movies like that (and most TV shows) -- where are these people getting their money? Diane Lane lived in a PRECIOUS historical home that was thoroughly modernized and updated, and had the most fabulous Talbot's-ish type wardrobe -- and she's a divorced pre-school teacher and later it is revealed that her ex-husband is a fireman! Sadly enough, we all know that firemen are not made of money. Anyway, allow my materialism to shine through at this moment (and my envy of other people's STUFF) and say that drives me crazy.


Mike Cope has an interesting discussion launched on his blog (he usually does). Much of the comments are about Harding's policy of who can and who can't come speak, but Mike has some great comments about people (perhaps like myself) who are WAY too into politics:
Believe it or not, I know lots of people who can become apoplectic when
talking about Ann Coulter, Al Franken, Fox News, federal judges, and George
Bush—but who seem to yawn when talking about discipleship, materialism, justice,
and racism. They give time and money to their CAUSE (liberal or conservative);
but won’t share the good news of Jesus with the people they work with.

Cope's blog is always worth a read, and this one really has me interested. Read this post here.


Memo to the Teachers

Dear Mrs. Moser and Ms. Martin:

Thank you for giving my children a reprieve from homework this week. It has aided our transition to school to establish our own routines before we have to add homework to the mix. Or the kids' homework at least. Here is a summary of what I have been obligated to complete this week:


  • Emergency Information Card for each child
  • PE information and permission slip
  • Field trip permission slip that, as I read it, entitles you to take my children anywhere at anytime for any trip that you deem educational. Will I be notified if you plan to leave the state?
  • Immigrant Worker Survey
  • Homeless Survey


  • Student Code of Conduct. ( I know I signed that I read it, but I didn't really)
  • Internet permission form


A blessed day off


  • PTO requested that I cough up names of friends and family so that some magazine company may send solicitations to them. (If I gave your name, please throw it away -- but it enabled my children to receive some plastic piece of junk that will be broken before we get home from school today).

I am requesting a reprieve from my own homework for the weekend. And I am so thankful this is a school where my children have been attending for 4 years so that I do not have to produce a blood sample, my mortgage paperwork, and all utility bills we have ever received.


Ashley and Riley's mom

Okay - have we all seen the new thing in computer 'spam'? They're leaving it on blog comments now. There is a special place in the after-life for these people -- right between the people that invented those plastic CD holders that come on CD's that you purchase and the people that are "doing it wrong" in the school drop-off lane!


I Love To Tell The Story

I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory,
of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story,
because I know 'tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story,
'twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.
I love to tell the story,
'twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story; 'tis pleasant to repeat
what seems,Each time I tell it,
more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God's own holy Word.
I love to tell the story,
'twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
'Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.
I love to tell the story,
'twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

We sang this last night at our 'function'. First time I've heard it or sung it in years. Since I had just written my blog about how far Troy and I have come in the last year, I thought of it in a new light. "The Story" isn't the flannelgraph story of Jesus with the fishes and loaves or even healing a blind man. "The Story" is MY story -- of unseen things above; Of Jesus and His glory' Of Jesus and His love. I do have a story of God's grace and healing and God's power in my life. And I do love to tell it. I finally listened carefully to the last verse and realized how powerful it is.

And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
'Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.
I love to tell the story,
'twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His


Morning drop off

School started yesterday. All of my plans and schemes for a morning routine and to get out the door on time -- blah, blah, blah. And God said, "Ha!" We were to leave at 7:45 a.m. At 7:45 it is raining in sheets. Our family owns one umbrella. Is it anywhere to be found? I searched the top 3 places and then just decided to grab my raincoat and the kids could drip. 7:50 -- finally in the car. Ashley was doing something for me and set her lunchbox down. She returns to the house to get her lunchbox while the neighbors' cat wanders into the garage. In putting my raincoat into the passenger seat, I knocked my keys off of the console where they had been sitting. Can't find them ANYWHERE. I heard them 'thunk', know they are still in the car, but can't see them. 7:55 -- return to the house for a flashlight to search for keys while Ashley tries to wrestle and bribe the cat out of the garage. Cat seeks shelter under my car. 8:00 -- keys are located, cat still in garage, Sarah stroking out in driver's seat. And we're off. (No, I didn't run over the cat in the process, but did lock him in a pitch-black garage for a few hours).

We weren't late, but drop offs at schools are just a nightmare. If a principal takes a very pro-active stance in directing traffic, sometimes it's not TOO awful, but I haven't seen any Abilene principals willing to do that (and I can't really blame them). And I admit that nothing brings out my need for other people to conform to MY way of thinking like school pick-up and drop-off. If we would all do it my way -- considerate of other drivers as well as concerned for the children's safety -- well, I don't know if it would go any better, but I would be happier and that should be what this world is based on, right?

Then I started my job. So far, so good. Lots of training and new acronyms. Whatever. My favorite office orientation statement was, "Undergarments should be discreet but not absent." As my director says, "You can laugh, but all of these originated with someone!" Oh -- for anyone I have failed to officially inform, I am working part-time for Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Central Texas. That's about all I can tell you now -- until I've figured out what it is I'm actually doing.

Tonight I have a lah-dee-dah dinner for Troy's work. Actually it's more of a ho-hum dinner. The lah-dee-dah one(s) is in February. It just calls to mind where he and I were last year at this time. I remember that as we dressed for this dinner we were calmly discussing whether or not our marriage was even worth the hassle of working on it (we had been working on it for some months at that point). Our basic concensus was that it may or may not be worth it, but a divorce is just so nasty and costly maybe we could work it out. Truly, that's all we could come up with. God has done so much and healed so much in both of us. I am so thankful for His mighty hand in my little bitty, generally ungrateful life. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness when we thought we would drown. Thank you, Troy, for fighting for our family. I am blessed many times over.


More post-exercise observations

  • I've never run by this house when it was as dark as it was this morning to notice the house with the 3 neon signs that are some sort of beer advertising. They are inside the house but glow warmly all the way to the street. Do you suppose that's the room where they have their small group Bible study?
  • In commercials it may look refreshing and invigorating, but if you're going to run more than 100 yards in the rain with wet feet from dodging puddles and your hair dripping in your eyes it's just soggy and irritating.

Bah, humbug! Happy soggy Monday to all.


Back-to-School Eve

Here we are. Like school was never out. This was one of those "non-weekend" weekends, which means not restful in the least, so off I'll go about 5:30 tomorrow morning on my distance-run through Monday.

Yesterday I welcomed 3 extra little girls into my home for the day and it was so much fun. Their daddy, Don D. Hood, is ACU's new track coach. So they stayed at our house while Don and Rachel looked for a house. Don was coaching in Temple when Troy and I were newlyweds and we all went to church together. I'm thrilled that they will be living in Abilene, but the sad reality is that we may see them 6 times a year. I hate when life gets in the way.

Phil had a GREAT sermon this morning on 'firstfruits' living. It spoke to me mainly about time. I mentioned to someone today that I have SOMETHING -- an article, a talk, a meditation -- about 'stewardship of time' brewing inside me. You can always make more money -- Dominoe's will always hire another driver -- but we all only get 24 hours in one day. Our stewardship of our time is every bit as critical, if not more so, as our stewardship of our physical resources.

Several families gathered after church today and blessed our children. It was a very brief blessing as our children are quite young, but it meant a lot to me and each of the parents there to see the support we all have. I spoke to the kids and told them that we all -- all 13 parents that were there -- are on their side, pulling for them, praying for them, cheering them on. It was a great time and I pray becomes an annual tradition for us.

I also met a lady at church today that has blessed me many times over. She's me, just having gone down a different path. She and I share passions and 'soapboxes' and mutual friends. It was one of those meetings that you know God has a hand in. I'm eager to see what God will do in our lives.

I must get back to my time with God. The firstfruits sermon spoke to me so strongly because I have simply not given God the firstfruits of my time and energy -- which leaves me frazzled and grumpy. I hate to even say it that way -- I don't want to give God a portion of my time, but I must give Him SOME of my UNDIVIDED, uninterrupted attention and time so that I may see Him and be aware of Him all of the rest of the time. I know that my loving Father has His hand in and around my family and by failing to acknowledge that I am failing to testify to His power in my life and family. I'm rambling -- but if you are inclined to speak a word of prayer for me and my family, please ask that I look to Him first and always and have precious time with Him.

The thunder is rumbling outside reminding me that this is the strangest August I can remember in the 18 years I have lived in Texas. I think the high today was about 85* -- maybe not even that. I met some young man who has come to ACU from Anchorage, Alaska. I told him we tried to be accomodating with the weather so that he wouldn't have a heat stroke! This evening the kids and I went for a short bike ride. It was interrupted by Riley hitting the street and peeling off about a pound of elbow skin. So I walked home -- a little more than half a mile -- rolling a bike on each arm, with Riley crying and whimpering behind me the whole way. As my friend Denise says, "No one does angst like Riley Stirman." It's good to be known for something, I guess.

It is 9:00 and all are in bed -- even Troy (because of the bad weather we have no satellite signal. Is your bill cheaper in the rainy season?) So I will go and hopefully we all will be rested for a big first day!

Praying that your day is full of blessings, as well!


This Morning

I wept when I saw the sunrise this morning. I went to bed sad about poor choices that one person is making and the pain those choices are causing to many others. I slept fitfully, my dreams telling me that my brain was unable to rest from thinking of all the going's-on around me with a new school year, new job, busy season at work for husband, and just the general aches and worries that come from living in a fallen world. I was so thankful to see the bright beams of sun as a promise for a new day.

Such a moment always makes me think of Lamentations 3:22,23:

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

So thankful for a new day and God's tender mercies that are truly new every morning.

"But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God." Psalm 59:16,17


For the Teachers

I have come across two blogs recently that speak to teachers. One from a principal and another from a retired teacher. They both are beautiful reading and I would encourage you to read both of them. Craig Fisher is a principal, I believe in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. Judy Thomas is a retired teacher and taught me children's literature lots of years ago at ACU. If you are a teacher, I admit that it is that flowery "You change the world" type writing that you may have your fill of right now as school is starting.

To my teacher friends: You may have doubts that you are changing the world and you know for a fact that you are under-paid. But as Mom to two children enrolled in public school: You are changing the world for my child. You influence what s/he considers acceptable behavior toward his/her peers. You show him/her appropriate things that are funny. You help with hygiene. You listen to stories about my family -- hopefully doubting some of them. You are definitely changing the world, one child at a time.


Mr. Gatti's

I should be sweeping my floor, but instead I shall gripe about the ills of society. We have a Mr. Gatti's here that is enormous and the object of most children's birthday parties. Lots of television viewing and arcade-type games. Last night Troy was out of town so I scrounged enough coupons to only have to pay for myself to go. Of course it's a buffet. As I looked around while in there I realized that many of society's problems can be encompassed all in that one dining experience.

Now, before I go off on my tirade, keep in mind that I was there, the mere thought of the building makes my children immensely happy, and I don't question the spirituality, morality, hygiene, or anything else about the patrons OR employees of Mr. Gatti's.

That said -- look at us all. Here we all are in all shapes and sizes, some of us enormous like tend to frequent buffets, all eating enormous quantities of food while having our brains sucked out by the television. I was sitting in a room with probably 40-50 other people and a 10 foot television screen. Besides Sponge Bob's rant about his career choice at the Crusty Crab, not one word was being spoken in that room. A room full of families (again, my familly was one of them) and we couldn't bring ourselves to have any type of conversation so concerned were we with Sponge Bob's dilemma. Sad, sad. Then, we moved our quality fellowship to the game room where a) the music is so loud even if you could formulate a thought and get it out of your mouth no one would hear it and b) there's no such thing as a video game anymore -- most of them are Introduction to Gambling 101 so that Junior can rack up the tickets and 'purchase' a piece of junk with tickets. It just all makes me sad.

Okay -- that's all I can do on Gatti's. And then there's always the part of me that wishes I had thought of it first. It appears to be a money-manufacturing plant! Good idea. I guess it goes to my Wal-Mart deal. I just can't believe we not only stand for it, but pay through the nose for it at Gatti's!

Finally got to the pool today after on-again off-again summer rain showers yesterday and this morning. Trying to soak up all of the fun and leisure that I can!


Adieu, Summer

Things I will miss about summer:
  • My most urgent obligation on most days is getting all of us to the pool, where the children don't fight and I sit with my friends and talk, laugh, and solve the world's problems.
  • Getting "dressed up to go out" means finding some shorts that aren't frayed and maybe putting on some eye liner.
  • The only time we have to hurry to get everyone out the door is on Sunday mornings; it's not a constant way of life.
  • The ice at the swim club (like Sonic's ice).
  • A swim suit is my work uniform (and, in my mind, has become acceptable dress at most retail establishments).

Things I will not miss about summer:

  • The constant coating of sticky -- melted ice cream, sno-cone juice, popsicle drippings -- that cover most of the doorknobs in my house and a good portion of my car.
  • My coiffe' choices are: ponytail or sweaty or both.
  • Scorching my hand on car doors or door knobs facing the sun.
  • My TXU bill.
  • Being hot, hot, hot -- except when I'm freezing, freezing, freezing in the air conditioning (welcome to Southern Hills! :-)

You'll notice that most of the things I will miss are related to a lack of schedule, most of the things I won't miss are related to miserable temperatures that will stick around for the next 6-8 weeks. *sigh* I'll just have to remember what Riley says. When I asked Riley to help me with 'what I will miss' about summer, he had a great response: "What do you mean? There will always be another summer." I like his attitude! Somebody please remind me of that in January.


Exercise Observations:

I noticed a few things on my jaunt around the neighborhood this morning:
  • People who drink Keystone Light beer seem to be more likely to litter than any other beverage. Perhaps those dorky "Please dispose of properly" signs on cans and cups have been working and Keystone Light doesn't have one.
  • If the people standing in the street can smell your perfume/ cologne while you drive by, YOU'RE WEARING TOO MUCH!
  • At precious few homes, you can smell breakfast cooking as you run by (this happens more frequently on Sunday mornings than your average weekday morning). Makes me wonder if people can smell the cereal boxes from outside my house.
  • The combination of a driver putting on make-up or a tie, still waking up, with the sun in their face makes for very poor driving (and they have probably noticed that a fatigued runner with headphones on makes a very poor pedestrian).
  • I love my run -- after it's over.

Tuesday was my friend, Roxanne's birthday. I have known Roxanne for almost 30 years. Man, that makes BOTH of us sound old. Wish I had a scanner -- I would post our first-grade class picture where we are sitting together. Now I have one leaving first grade and she has one starting first grade. Wonder which of their friends will be friends-for-life? Happy Birthday, Roxanne!


The Difference between Moms and Dads

No, this isn't an anatomy lesson. This really struck me a few weeks ago. On July 4th, Troy was off of work, of course, and we had a fun family day. Early in the day, before it got too miserably hot, we decided to go for a bike ride. The kids and I all have bikes, but our oldest chose not to go on the ride, so Troy used her bike and the three of us went for a ride. Keep in mind that the kids and I have ridden quite frequently together. It basically always makes me a nervous wreck. I spend most of my time coaching on bicycle safety:

"Stay in a single-file line on the right side of the road."

"Slow down at this intersection to watch for cars. They have the stop sign, but make sure they see you."

"Keep your helmet on the top part of your head."

The funny thing is that when I was riding with my husband (who refused to wear a helmet) I should have been saying the same things. I realized that while I feel it is my job to teach my children how to be safe on their bicycles, Troy believes it is his job to teach them how to do a perfect wheelie and how to go 'dirt-biking' over the mounds of dirt at a nearby construction site. In all honesty -- each of those things is important. So I'm thankful that Troy is around to teach such things (I don't think I could ever pull off a wheelie).

I thought the same thing last week on our amusement-park tour. It was my self-appointed job to make sure everyone got enough water to drink, was always with an adult, and didn't eat so much junk that they got sick (which was easy to do since after paying $9 for an icee for everyone, we were done for the day -- I'm not exaggerating a penny). Troy had to make sure that everyone rode at least one thing that was a little bit scary for them, then on Friday he made the most beloved rule of all. After we had both jumped all over youngest for burping quite audibly at the steak house the night before, Troy made a new rule after lunch on Friday: "Burping after meals consumed in an amusement park is okay." After this pronunciation, he proceeded to shake the rafters with his own eructation. The kids were thrilled.

I am so thankful to God for designing this dance we do through life of give / take, push / pull, worry / play as parents. I am so thankful for the man I married to take on his role as bicycle daredevil instructor and roller coaster evaluator.

Tuesday morning, Jack will have surgery on his eye and a port installed (inserted? implanted? stuck in? what do they call that?) for chemo to start later this week to treat the tumors. Please say a prayer for Jack, his doctors, the surgery, the chemo -- all of it. Tammy (Jack's mom) keeps us all posted on Updates on Jack. Check there for details.
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