23 September 2007

Happy Birthday, Chris!

Well, I'm a day late (dollar short? perhaps $10 - inflation you know...) but Happy Birthday to Number 3 child, Christopher, who is now 26 years old!! Son, Husband, Daddy, Student, Employee...you wear many hats. Hope you had a wonderful day and we'll see you on Thursday (along with Jenjer and Mirai). We love you!

20 September 2007

Thursday September 20, 2007 For Better or For Worse

This pretty much sums up how I feel (except I DO change diapers, DO deal with tears...okay, so I can sleep at night - so sue me...) But it did seemingly go by too quickly and I do wonder, now that I'm reveling in the joy of this next generation, if I realized just how precious those times were. It was not all fun and games but there is a deep satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment looking back. Anyway, enjoy! (and thanks to my daily friend, Lynne Johnston, whom I've been reading ever since Jennifer was a toddler and Tim a baby. I've often joked that Michael Patterson and Jennifer were friends and "grew up together". I know Elly and I grew up together.

19 September 2007

Move over, Easter bunny...

Today was Ben's birthday (as everybody who is ANYBODY knows). He had this little spotted lizard (red with blue spots) that went everywhere with us today. Right before services at church tonight, after I'd collected him from class, he suddenly said, "Where's my BIRTHDAY LIZARD??" The lady in front of me and I dissolved in laughter as we were introduced to a new icon to children - or to at least one little boy here in north Texas. There's Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy and now the Birthday Lizard! May he soon be skittering to an aging child near you!

18 September 2007

"How beautiful heaven must be..."

I'm getting ready to go home to Katy. I've been at home in Keller. Mike is in Katy. I've been in Keller. I've also been in Pflugerville. And I've been in Bedford. I've had three grandchildren born in the past 4-1/2 months. Ben is about to turn 3 - tomorrow! Kennedy will turn 3 shortly afterward. So my heart is in turmoil - joy at all the experiences, thrilled to be a part of such a loving family, wanting to be everywhere at once and all things to all people. But I can't. I can only be one place at a time. I miss Mike terribly. I also know that soon I'll miss being around the children and grandchildren daily. Hence, heart ache of the loveliest kind.

It's funny actually - when we lived in England, my battle cry was "let's move somewhere where I can be Wife, Mother and Grandmother all at once!" Well, I'm closer now - only 2-1/2 hours to one family, 4-1/2 hours to the other two families. My mother has actually moved down to Katy from Lubbock. Mike's folks are in Bedford around the corner from Chris, Jenjer and Mirai. No longer is it an hour's drive to Gatwick, 2 hours of checking in and waiting, 10 hours to fly, etc. But it still seems far away when you aren't with the ones you love. There are times when we are all together - July 4th week was one. Another is coming up the last weekend in September when almost everyone (we'll miss you, Jason!) will be in the "Big House" (see earlier post - tee hee) in Katy. There's Christmas and possibly even Thanksgiving (plans anyone??). And in January, of course, DISNEY WORLD! :) Events that fill my heart with joy. I find myself wanting it all.

But it got me to thinking about that old hymn and especially the 2nd verse:

In heaven no drooping nor pining,
No wishing for elsewhere to be;
God's light is forever there shining,
How beautiful heaven must be

How beautiful heaven must be,
Sweet home of the happy and free;
Fair heaven of rest for the weary,
How beautiful heaven must be.

So Happy Birthday, Benjamin. And on Saturday, Happy Birthday to not only Christopher, but his brother Benjamin, who DOES know "how BEAUTIFUL heaven must be"!

15 September 2007

Ah, Ben...

Today we were heading out the door to go to a park for a party. Jennifer left with Jason and Luke after asking me if I would take Ben with me. As the door to the house shut, Ben looked a bit startled and asked where his mama had gone (of course Jen had told him earlier but being 2 years old and busy with other things, well, you know how it goes...). I told him, "Mama went with Daddy and Baby Luke. You and I are going to follow them in my Gramma car!" He immediately brightened and solemnly announced, "I'm the LUCKY one!"

Be still my beating heart....

10 September 2007

A limmerick for Becky

This one is for Becky - she said she wanted more limmericks on Jen's blog - but was written for Mike about an "incident" while we were dating.

Once when we were out kissin',
A real good time not to be missin',
Up drove some cop,
And everything stopped,
And to a long lecture we listened.

Tales of children - or what they did

I read all these fun stories of what children did or said and I have my own little tale to tell. The story is a bit old (about 21 years old, truth be told) but is pretty good none-the-less.

Kids are always on about fairness - "that's not fair" is a mantra we hear day in, day out from our children when they are young. We were no exception. Despite our best efforts to reason out why life wasn't fair, it always boiled down to "that's not fair" as far as the kids were concerned it seemed. One day Chris had to go to the doctor for an illness - he was feeling really puny, was going to continue that way for awhile and, feeling really bad that HE felt really bad, I did what any self-respecting mother would do - I bought him a toy.

Now Chris was about 4 years old at this time. Big brother Timothy was a first grader and had reached the illustrious, mature age of 6. So Chris and I are at home, resting after our exertions as the doctors, the resultant trip to the pharmacy and the purchase of the aforementioned toy when Jennifer and Timothy come home from school (we were living in Norway which means that it wasn't EASY to get out and do all this go to the doctor stuff - Europe in general does not have the drive-in/through, 24/7 convenience of the US of A) and Tim immediately notices the toy. He starts moping and sulking. I ask him what's wrong.

"Chris got a new toy."

Yes he did.

"Why didn't I get a new toy?"

Well, you weren't sick and didn't have to go to the doctor.

More sulking.

You think I should have bought you a toy too?

More moping.

So whatever Chris gets, you should get? Is that what you're saying?

Tim nods.

You sure about that? I ask.

He nods again.

So I reach over and give him a swat on his backside. With surprise on his face mingled with dismay, he exclaims, "What was THAT for?!?"

I replied, Chris got a spanking today and I ONLY WANTED TO BE FAIR!

I never heard another word about fairness from that child for the next 10 years.

I've been tagged....

Most of you who read my blog also read Megan's - so you'll probably know about the "tagged" bit. But if you don't, here goes - and I don't know 8 people who blog who haven't already been tagged so mine's just for "information only" I guess:

I've been tagged...and here are the rules:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.

2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

3. People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules

4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight Random Facts About Me

  1. I don't have a university degree - I did go to Texas Tech for one year at the insistence of my (future) husband and my mom. I only took classes I was interested in (which drove my course advisor crazy) - no English, no math, no P.E. (HATED P.E. anyway), no history. Instead I took Child Development (clashed mightily with the prof as I didn't agree with their so-called "child rearing" philosophies big time!), Home Economics, Clothing and Textiles, Interior Design (an easy "A" for moi!) and, laughably, "Courtship and Marriage" where my term paper of a marriage contract garnered a lowly "C" for "too traditional values" while Miss "I live with my boyfriend" got an "A" for her "personal class interview with Q & A" - I'm sure SHE'S languishing away somewhere with her contracted STD's and hates men while I've been married 31 years to a lovely, salt-of-the-earth guy and have all these lovely children and grandchildren - and "germ free" - ha!
  2. We lost a child at birth. Our Benjamin (which we inadvertantly misspelled "Benjamen" on the birth and death certificates) was only 5 hours old. He was one of twins (Chris' twin - they were 3 months premature) born to us in London. The NICU in the UK was marvelous and we were fortunate to be there at the time since they were the leaders in infant intensive care at the time. We had the support of a loving church family and as a result of the outpouring of love by that congregation, our nanny (yes, we had a nanny for awhile) studied and became a Christian. Lovely ending to an otherwise sad story.
  3. Mike and I met at the J.C. Penny coffeeshop my senior year of high school. And we started dating on a bet - I bet him he couldn't go a week without "picking on me". He threw the bet Day 1 and he's been "picking on me" ever since. :) Oh, the "loser" had to take the other one out for dinner - no real losers that way! Met in Sept. 74, started dating in Feb. 75, engaged by Oct 75 and married Aug 76. I was 19 when we married. Jennifer was born 18 months later. By the time I was 25, I'd had all my children, had moved 4 times as a Mrs., was living overseas and been married 6 years. It was great to have worked together before we dated - you get to know a person by their work ethic, their reaction to people and situations "under fire" and we were on a similar plain...except for how to make a chocolate milkshake - mine "wasn't by the book" but it got folks coming in for them. When brought to the attention of the store manager, he closed the book and told me to keep making those milkshakes. I won.
  4. I love interior design and am especially fond of English interiors. While living in the UK, I collected antiques (mainly Edwardian) and incorporated them into our new house we built in Katy. My kitchen was copied from a Clive Anderson kitchen brochure and the result was a LOVELY Victorian kitchen - all that's missing is the Aga stove (a little too hot for the deep south but would have been so nice to have had in there otherwise). Oh, I'm also addicted to Polish pottery - really, I'm addicted. I have my favorite manufacturer, favorite eBay vendors, favorite patterns - it's a sickness...no cure...must have pottery....
  5. I sang in a well known choir in Trinidad & Tobago when we lived in Port of Spain. It's called the Marionettes and I was the first American to audition for the choir. I sang with them for 3 years and really enjoyed it! There were about 85 members, it was a nationally and internationally known choir, we had a full week of performances in the Queen's Hall every Christmas season and other concerts throughout the year. It was, as the British say, "lovely". I was in an expatriate women's choir in England called "Expatria" for 3 years as well - not nearly as professional a group but fun none-the-less.
  6. My first car was ...wait for it...a really "cool" avocado green Ford Pinto - oh, it gets worse - it was a STATIONWAGON! (gasp!!) This was alongside Mike's VERY cool MG Midget sports car...I've improved on my taste in automobiles (and on the safety record of said autos as well - for those of you too young to know this (go ask your mothers), Pintos were "under investigation" for their penchant for blowing up when rear-ended since the fuel tank was located near the rear of the vehicle)
  7. I've never had a moving violation in my 33 years of driving. Got a ticket for an expired registration sticker, got a warning for going 67 in a 60mph zone (last spring) but never have had a ticket for anything else (watch...I'll get one this week now....)
  8. I got to go to Wimbledon back in June 2001 and was probably the only person who ever had to have the game of tennis explained to her. It was the men's semi-finals (Pat Rafter and Andre Agassi are the only two I can remember) and we were invited by some lovely people to attend as their guests (thanks, Helen and Trevor!). Much protocol, strawberries and all that tradition - for a non-sports person, it was still a fantastic day and so great to be able to go "in person" (vs. what - "out of person"? That was stupid). Mike was happy as a clam (being a tennis player). And I was intrigued by the (not very well known) "changing of the shirt" between sets. They strip off their shirts, squirt water all over themselves, towel down and then put on a fresh shirt. Really, if I'd known, I'd might have been more interested in tennis years ago! (just kidding Mike...and I did check and NO, they do NOT do that at the women's sets - sorry guys!)
So those are my 8 random things - I decided to not divulge all my secrets so this is pretty tame. There are quite a few unknown things about me, but, kids, you'll just have to wait till I'm dead and gone and read my journals...assuming I don't burn them before then!

Now as to whom to tag - I guess it will be Grumpy, Sleepy, Dopey, Doc, Sneezy, Happy, Bashful and Snow White. I don't know their blogs so I hope they read this and let me know!

Been a little busy...

Sorry to say I've been incredibly busy this past week. I've been to Houston and back, my mom's visiting and on Thursday night, Mike drove up from Katy after arriving back in Houston from Saudi. So, no brain cells to spare, no time to write, barely time to check my bank balance online! :) Mike and I did get to go see a movie tonight after church services ("The Bourne Ultimatum" - very good but you'll be on the edge of your seat the entire time) which was basically our only time alone until I get back to Katy later on in the month, but that's okay. We knew this summer would be super busy and we both really like our respective jobs.

But anyway, back to my main point, be patient with me and I'll blog again soon.

And I've been "tagged" by Megan so my list of 8 little known things about me will be up soon. Only 8??

03 September 2007

Blest be those ties...

My home was the venue for a congregational bridal shower yesterday. It was for the son of one of my dearest friends - her son grew up with my sons. And the other hostesses had been witnesses to this young man as he grew up and matured. They say "it takes a village" and I believe that but would change it to "it takes a congregation" to raise a child. These were women who had helped watch, nurture, encourage, even rebuke when necessary, my children as well as so many others throughout the years. And a new face, a lovely young lady, somewhat of a stranger to us now but lovingly accepted none-the-less because of the reputation of her groom, was introduced to our "larger family". Another family is about to be born and we are privileged to be a part of it.

I don't know about you, but early on in our children's years, we started praying for the future spouses of our children. And the result of all that prayer was graciously answered in the form of Jason, Megan and Jenjer. They are also our children now and it's always been a bit of a quandary how to answer people when they ask how many children we have. I used to say "six" which led to further questions of if they were all married (which of course technically is "yes" but they don't yet understand that), how many boys, how many girs and (my personal favorite) "You don't look old enough to have six children!" Now I answer, "Six - three by birth and three by marriage". I've never liked the term "in-law" (which always conjures up the polar opposite, "out-law", to me) but for some reason our society just does not want to recognize the people our children have chosen to love, honor and cherish as bonafide children to us! They are outsiders or an extension but not of full rank or some such nonsense.

Families are a community and a sense of community must always be present for all members to feel connected, involved, of equal worth as well as equal responsibility. We all want to be accepted and feel loved and it's hard to feel that way if held at arms-length. I hope all of you with children at home have been praying for the future spouses of your little ones and, if not, will start TODAY to do so! For they will also become your children, a part of your family community, a part of your heart.

For those of you with married children, I hope you will embrace them as your own (which they truly are) and make every effort to include them and treat them as sons and daughters of your own blood. Forge bonds with them as individuals. They will become the mothers and fathers of your grandchildren and also hold the hearts of your "birth-children". If you can't love and cherish them, you wil have lost out on so much and will put your relationship with your "birth-children" on shaky ground. Don't ever make your children choose between you and their beloved.

So God bless Jennifer, Jason, Timothy, Megan, Christopher and Jenjer. And God bless Benjamin, Kennedy, Lleyton, Luke and Mirai - and their future spouses, whoever they are, wherever they are.

God bless us every one.