Sunday, September 26, 2010

My "Boy of Fall"

My oldest is a senior in high school this year. And what a year it is turning out to be!! For as long as I can remember Jackson has lived to play sports. For years, it didn't matter the sport as long as he was active and competing. Over the last few years, football has emerged as his passion. He has waited patiently on the sidelines for the last year or so, only playing a few plays throughout the game. Now he is a senior and is stepping up to take his turn.
I have always been of the mind set that football was just a game and felt that people got WAY to worked up about it. I mean really, take a deep breath, it just isn't that big of a deal. Until.... it is my baby out on the field catching the ball and making a touchdown. Did I mention that he made a touchdown? Not just one or two, but three this season, and is basically playing every play of the game. More importantly, he is having more fun that humanly imaginable, and I love it! I have become that person that I used to sit next to in the stands and look at with a condescending smile, shake my head, and think to myself, "get a life!"
So for this season of our lives, our family basically revolves around football. All week long we are gearing up for that Friday night game. Come Friday morning, I am nervous and hopeful, excited and a little bit worried. I say a little prayer before each game for the safety of all the players. There is always a little nagging worry in the back of my head that he will get hurt. But it never seems to overwhelm the pure excitement that comes when the captains walk onto the field for the coin toss. The boys line up and play begins! They are "The Boys of Fall!" (I have to cry everytime I see the video of that song by Kenny Chesney.) Knowing that this is his last year in high school, I am just storing up all these fun memories in my heart and mind to have for later.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Molly Dog

Today was a sad day. I took our two dogs into get a bath. We have a golden retriever, Sugar, who is 12 years old and a terrier/corgie mix who was about 9 years old named Molly. Molly appeared to have an abscessed tooth, and the vet was going to take a look at it. A little after lunch, the vet called to say that they had to sedate Molly to take a look at her mouth, and they had found a large melanoma in her mouth and jaw. There was not much that could be done about the cancer, and she was only going to get worse. The vet gave us some options, and we decided it was best for Molly to let her go.
I think I have cried more than the kids today. I had to tell all four of the kids separately, and started crying all over again with each. Afterwards we went to the office to pick up sweet Sugar. I am worried that she is going to grieve so over missing Molly. They were the best of buds. Our Molly girl was loved by the family for many years and will be greatly missed!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What is Your Fake Name?

Last week was TheLifeofTheParty's sixth birthday. Life is so uncomplicated when you are six years old. Birthdays for six year olds are pretty straight forward! Rather than having a special breakfast like everyone else gets, he is overjoyed to have his own little Spongebob cake (thanks to Wal-Mart) in our bed with everyone gathered around. I would never have dreamed of feeding my older children cake for breakfast when they were little. But after doing this mom thing for many years, you learn what will and what won't kill them (Maybe that is why grandparents have so much fun)and cake for breakfast is definitely in the "won't kill 'em category".

With the older children I search and pry for weeks on what is the latest thing, and how I can juggle things to afford it. With my son's birthday last week, I went to the store and picked up a Handy Manny and his talking tools, a helicopter with lots of lights and sounds, and LeapFrog letters toy and Viola! I WAS DONE. Outta there for under fifty dollars. No shopping prices on line, or comparing models, seeing what color it comes in or making sure I wasn't getting the same color as their friends.

Birthday dinners and parties fall in the same way. TheBelovedFirstBorn usually chooses the most expensive place in town and wants to eat the most expensive entree on his birthday, but TheLifeoftheParty wants to go to Chik-Fil-A and play on the in-door playground. I don't think the child even ate! That is another advantage of years of parenting experience. I would have fought with my other children, tied them to the chair until they ate their entire meal, and THEN let them go play. I don't know if I am just wiser now and understand the art of picking my battles, or if am I just lazy:) Whatever the case it makes for a more pleasant dining experience for all!

The best part of the evening came while I was sitting in the playground with TheLifeoftheParty and the two little ones. My six year old never meets a stranger. There was another little boy playing in the play area, and my son kept calling, "Hey, Friend! Come and let's ....." I suggested that he ask the little boy his name. So he proceeded with introductions and the other little boys said that his name was Sloan. "What?" said my son, "Sloan," said the other boy. TheLifeoftheParty dropped his eyebrows and got a serious look on his face. "Is that your real name or your fake name?", he asked. Sloan said that it was his real name. TheLifeoftheParty has never met another child named Sloan and obviously thought it was not a legit name for a boy. With the most straight little face, he looked at Sloan and said, "Well then what is your fake name?" When the Sloan stated that he did not have a fake name, he was given the name "Pringo" by my son. TheLifeoftheParty informed Pringo that his own fake name was Diego, and they picked back up with running and screaming down slides. My daughter and I sat and laughed at the exchange, and for the rest of the evening, we came up with fake names for the rest of us. If the name sounded too much like a stripper, it was thrown out.
What? Oh! My fake name ended up being Muffin. What is yours?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snow Day with the Family

What to write on the first blog post? Hmmmmm? Well I guess the obvious, it's a snow day! All six of the children are home. With. Me. By. Myself. My husband of course was able to brave the conditions and make it to work. But today is a typical snow day in Arkansas. All the schools close down when the weather forecasters even mention wintery precipitation. In actuality, all of the roads are completely clear in our city, but the trees are coated with a dreamy, beautiful coat of ice. With the assistance of one of my teenagers, I might even be able to include a picture:) The big worry is that the layer of ice is also coating the power lines. I have already located candles and lighters, and charged portable DVD players in the event of a power outage. Every time a limb breaks off and hits the roof, I cringe. No electricity with a house full of kids is not something one looks forward too. A quick check of the supply of white wine might also be prudent before my husband heads home from work!

This is also a good time to introduce the family(names have been changed to protect...well so I don't embarrass my teenagers). First and foremost, is my partner in this adventure, Big'un. We have been married for 20 years this coming August. There is nothing he wouldn't do to take care of us. He is a physical therapist working with the geriatric population, and he has a way with little old ladies. My oldest son(16), TheBelovedFirstBorn,is a junior in high school. His name was bestowed upon him by his younger sisters. My 14 year old decided that she should be referred to as TheForgottenMiddleChild, though she laughs when she says it, and knows she is none of those things. TheBaby is my 11 year old daughter. When we adopted my youngest son, it was made abundantly clear that she would still get to be the baby. She owns the role. My youngest son,TheLifeoftheParty, just turned six this week. God brought him into our lives through foster care several years ago, and we adopted a year and a half ago. Starting kindergarten all over again in my forties has been an experience. Last but not least are the children that are loved in our home through foster care. We have been fostering for 4 1/2 years. The placements last anywhere from several weeks to a year. At this time we have baby girl (almost 17 months) and baby boy ( 2 years). Baby girl has been with us 11 months and will be leaving around the first of March. When these little ones leave, it is usually very emotional and difficult for our family.

During the hour and a half, that it has taken me to write this, I have refereed two fights, changed two diapers, cleaned one face, helped build a tent, put one child in time out, and am about to tell TheForgottenMiddleChild she can't go to the sleepover because of the weather (the sleet is quite heavy now)! Just a regular day in the life of a not so typical family!