Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Be a Hero!

*This is a 'sticky' post: it will remain at the top of the page throughout the month of April. Scroll down to see new posts.* April is National Donate Life Month.

Our youngest son is living a happy, healthy life with a wonderful future ahead of him, thanks to the ultimate generosity of a family that lost their own little one.

They are heroes to us.
Please consider organ donation. A donor gives so much more than an organ, they give a life.

To see more stories of kids who are affected by organ donation, please check the comments section. Be sure to leave a comment if someone you love has been given a gift of life, is waiting, or has donated.

For facts about donation, click

To learn how you can commit to be a donor, click

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Daffodils

by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A Poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Arts & Crafts

Many times on Saturdays Greg keeps the boys and I go over to 'play' with my mom.

Lots of those times we end up creating.

Today Greg asked if I was going to do "arts & crafts" with my mom. Lol.

Not exactly the way I would word it, but he meant well. :)

Anyway.... this is my afternoon's work:

And go HERE to see Mom's!

Life with kids... more

Friday, April 25, 2008

Just not quite the same

Yesterday morning the boys finished their breakfast and got down to play. I found myself alone at the table, next to the open window, feeling the cool morning breeze and listening to the birds.

I wished for a cup of coffee to linger over.

But to get up and make it would have spoiled the lingering feeling, so I sat for just a moment and then went on with my day.

As soon as I felt the breeze this morning, I started making the coffee.

Ha! I'd be ready this time!

But this morning, the boys finished their breakfast and hopped down....

..... and ran to the window to watch the action.....

..and instead of the beautiful sound of morning birds....

....all I could hear was the garbage truck thumping and grinding.

Maybe I'll try lingering tomorrow. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I am a multi-tasker. I like to see how many things I can successfully do at once. In some ways, I think it must be part of the job requirements of being a mom.

I mentioned recently that Alan luuuvs to write and draw. While I was washing dishes this afternoon, Alan came through the kitchen and found a marker. So I set him up in his booster seat with a big piece of paper and his marker. Pretty soon Dale joined him, and I set out a couple of other markers.

I glanced over once to see Alan with two markers. If one is good, two is better, right?

Well, not quite.

You see, he had one of them upside down. So while he may have felt like he was coloring double-time, he was actually being slowed down by the upside down marker in one hand.

Watching Alan trying to do two things at once made me realize it is the same for multi-tasking sometimes.

Sometimes it is necessary and helpful.

And other times, we can actually get more done and done better if we focus on one thing at a time.

And the real irony of all these ponderings while I was washing dishes and the boys were coloring?

After my eyes and attention had gone back to the kitchen sink for apparently a little too long, Dale interrupted my thoughts:

"OH! He's eating his marker!"

And sure enough, Alan was slurping on Crayola Washable Blue like a lollipop.
Suddenly, my multi-tasking was over. Blueberry Boy had my undivided attention (not to mention a wet paper-towel swabbing his blue tongue).

So, lesson learned. Be careful the tasks you allow to divide your attention!

Now, if you'll excuse me, the phone is ringing, my email is waiting, the dryer is buzzing, the baby is crying, and the cat wants out.

Just kidding.

We don't have a cat. ;)

What about you? Are you a natural multi-tasker or a one-thing-at-a-time type?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hail, the conquering hero!

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." Matthew 10:29

It doesn't take much for an event to qualify as 'exciting' around here. The smallest things can be worthy of much attention, anticipation, re-telling, and well... blogging. We had such an event Saturday morning.

Greg had gone out to do some work with some men. Dale and I were sitting in the house. We both suddenly became aware of a good little racket going on just behind us, out on the front porch.

My first thought was that a bird must be flying up against the screen, such was the scratching and chirping and wing-beating.

But there were no birds to be seen.

We went outside to further investigate and knew for sure that what we were hearing were definitely bird-sounds. Frantic bird-sounds. But from where?

It didn't take long at all to locate our distressed little bird-friend.

He was at the bottom of one of the columns that hold up the roof of the porch. Each one is open at the top, and apparently birdy had fallen down to the bottom. And since there was nothing to climb and not enough space to spread his wings, he was stuck there.

And he (or she, I suppose) was frantic.

Enter the excitement. And distress. I was so sad for the bird, that I was sure was going to panic itself to death at the bottom of our column. I called Greg, just to let him know. He would still be out for a while. We knew birdy had to come out that day, no matter if he lived or died. If we had waited three or four days and then tried to remove it, well.... you know.... "by this time he stinketh" (John 11:39).

Pretty soon birdy got quiet and quit the flailing and chirping. That made me feel some better, but then I'd be afraid he had expired down there. So every so often I would sneak up to the pole and put my ear to it, relieved to hear the scratching sounds from inside.

And then, finally, mid-afternoon, the Excitement, Part II began.

Greg gathered a jack and various other man-tools and supplies to be able to move the column. After a little trial and error, he found the right combination and eased up the pressure on the column. Not wanting to scoot the bottom of it and possibly break a little birdy leg, he slowly tipped the top of the column toward him.

And almost immediately, as soon as the first sliver of daylight lit up the inside of that column, a flash of dark feathers burst out from under it, singing the whole way. And he (or she) was welcomed with much singing in a tree across the street. Yay!

I got a quick little glimpse of how Jesus must have felt after healing the ten lepers.
(Luke 17:11-19)
"YOU'RE WELCOME!!" I shouted after birdy.

Oh well. I'm just glad we didn't have to bury a bird Saturday! I wonder if that is him I hear singing outside now?

Birds of a Feather

A robin in the treetops
With its breast so red and bright
It waits until the wind stops
And then he starts his flight

The blue jay sings so gaily
While it shows its feathers blue
The sun shows the mighty navy
And it shines on every hue

(Excerpt from First Place poem, Middle school division, by 7th grade homeschooler, Allix. Click
HERE to read the rest of this poem and the other winners!)

Friday, April 18, 2008

M is for... magic and mornings

I'm not a big brand-name person. In fact, I'm not much of a brand-name person at all. If there is a store-brand alternative, I buy it 99 times out of 100. And then I usually do without for the other 1 time.

But there are a few (rare) exceptions, one of them being these:

Baldy has proven himself usefull yet again this week. His latest feat? Taking crayon off walls.

Yes, my friends, Alan has discovered writing utensils and he loves them.

One of our kitchen drawers has been named "Dale's Craft Drawer" and holds most of Dale's art stupplies.

The Craft Drawer may have to disappear. Temporarily, at least.

Yesterday afternoon I suddenly noticed the tell-tale sound of silence (there's an oxy-moron for you) and immediately headed off to investigate.

Alan had found the finger paint.

And unscrewed the lid, all by himself.

Dale wasn't far behind me, and it all looked like great fun to him, so I got out more paper and went with it. Anything that fills time and doesn't involve the tv, computer, or whining is a winner in my book.

Here are the boys this morning, Dale learning how to make "M"s and Alan doing his thing. I wanna be a lefty......?
....or a righty?
We have watched his left and right preference change back and forth constantly over the last week or so. I keep forgetting to notice when he's eating. Based on my memory, I think it'd be hard to tell. It's all hands on deck when it comes to eating time, you know?

And speaking of preferences, the boys seem to have a new one.

We are early risers now. As in 6am. I woke them up around 5:30 Monday for our trip to Dallas, and they have kept it up all week. Yesterday Alan woke up around ten 'till 6. I went in to him and laid him back down and I went back to bed. I had barely had time to lay down and think that he might actually be going back to sleep, when the moaning and wailing commences.

But not from Alan.

From Dale.

I head in to his room and hand him his bunny from the floor. All while he is moaning and wailing. I manage to make out that he is in some kind of pain. It's source?

"My chin hurts! On the inside!!" he wails.

You've got to be kidding me.

And from the room next door?

I hear, "Day, Day!" This is Alan's word for 'Dale' which I find (not-humorously) ironic.

And yes, at that point, "Day" had begun.

Ah well. The flip side? I find I get a lot more done when I get an early start to the day. That combined with Baldy's recent emergence from under the kitchen sink, and things just might start looking kind of spiffy around here!

P.S. Dale's chin is fine.

P.P.S. I didn't get a thing from the Mr. Clean people to write this post. Although that would be really cool.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hello, hello, my bloggy friends...

...what a crazy two weeks it's been.

Did you like my little poem? I feel it's about as far as my creativity will stretch right now!

It's been a busy couple of weeks, and I can tell you, the longer you go without blogging, the harder it gets to get back to it.

Here's some of what we've been up to:

My Dad and Greg went to a
NASCAR Cup Race. Fun! The first picture is the only pictorial evidence we have that my dad was there. Lesson: always hand the camera to someone and ask them to snap your picture. :)
Alan spent 4 days in the hospital. My mom was 'on duty' for this particular run - she and Greg and my Dad switch out, depending on who's available. Too bad for her (and Alan, of course), since this worked out to be a particularly rough stay. Day 1 was a lot of traveling with a rapidly escalating fever (104.5 anyone?) and a long afternoon/evening in the ER. We spent that night in ICU. All of day 2 was spent in ICU, and then we went to the regular floor, where we stayed 2 days. Needless to say, we all came home exhausted an it took a couple of days to recover.

Thankfully, Alan is back to his usual self, and still learning new stuff. He is a climber. Mark my words, he will be the child we make trips to the ER with that require stitches and casts, and have nothing to do with a liver transplant. Here he is sitting in his latest conquest:
Ignore the deceptive throne-like look of this chair. No way this 22-pounder is running the show. Nope. (You believe me, right?)

Four days after getting out of the hospital, we had a follow-up appointment in Dallas. My Dad and Dale were along for this one. These trips always end up costing me money. We go early for labs, and then have several hours to fill until appointment time. Not much else to do in downtown Dallas except shop! So adults take turns staying in the van with Alan while the other gets out for a little while. This time I bought shoes. A pair for me and a pair for Dale. Next time I think I'll try to find a park. A free one. Because the shopping is not good for the wallet.

And then there was the trip into Target. I'm a sucker for their little Dollar Bins at the entrance. This time there was dinosaur stuff, so Dale was the lucky one that came away with this:
Dinosaur Putty.

Why didn't they just call it what it is? Goo or Slime?

I say if you're going to go for it, go all the way!

It's pretty neat stuff, though:
And came with a plastic dinosaur submerged in the middle.

Hours of fun, I tell ya.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Or maybe the joke's on me?

Tonight at supper I recounted to Greg my phone call with his mom today, and the story of her getting double-charged at Dairy Queen during her recent visit here and how she had called the manager today and worked it all out and he had apologized profusely, even though she was telling him the whole time it was all okay and no big deal.

(Our dinner conversation can be so stimulating).

This led to the topic of being profusely apologized to, and Greg recalled a time before we were married that we ate out at a sit-down chain place that might rhyme with "Snapple-Trees." Or maybe it rhymed with "Billy's?" I can never remember which is which between those two places. It was one of the (very) rare occasions that we ordered dessert. Greg's was something a-la-mode, only he bit down on a little chunk of something metal in his second bite.


Brownie a-la-law-suite?

Not from us, of course. Instead of being angry we were more puzzled.

"What in the world is that?"

But we did alert the waitress, in case more little bits of shrapnel were hanging out in the ice cream tub in back.

And of course, she passed this info on to the manager on duty who came promptly to our table, informed us our meal would be on the house, and began the Apologizing Profusely.


Makes you wish there would be aluminum bits in all your desserts.

Or not.

Anyway... my point of all this was, we relived this story at supper tonight, but all Dale heard of it was the part where Greg said, "before we got married."

So when it was his turn to talk, Dale immediately raised this question:

"After y'all got married did you take off your wedding clothes and that's how you got me?"

We haven't the slightest idea where he came up with this.

And we thought aluminum in the ice cream was puzzling.

No foolin'

Dale has a thing for calendars & seasons. He loves the passing from one month to another, one season to the next. He likes to know what day & date it is and if any events, however large or small, are coming up.

Considering there was much! excitement! when moving from February 29th to March 1st, and seeing the First! Day! Of! Spring! approach, throughout the month of March we did some extra reading and projects about spring.

That was received very well, and anticipation of turning to April began to build, so I started wondering of things to do for April Fool's Day. Dale has never been introduced to all the trickery of April 1st, and I knew he would be old enough to appreciate and enjoy it this year.

But I never came up with any sort of plan or ideas.

Good thing.

They would have been a waste, because we will in no way, no how, under any circumstances in 2008 be teaching Dale the premise of "say something totally false (and make sure people believe you) but it is all ok because you follow up with 'April Fools'!

Morally opposed? No.

But I'm no 'fool' either.

Last night was our first big lesson on Telling the Truth as opposed to Making Up Stories, and What Happens When Dale Makes Up Stories. It involved some, ummm... Discipline, some tears, some hugs, and some more Teaching & Explaining.

So, 12 hours following the Big Lesson, Dale checks the calendar and reads "April Fool's Day".

"Mama? What's April Fool's Day?"

And that was the moment that I decided this is NOT the year for introducing the type of prank that involves un-truths. Because how can you explain to a 4 1/2 year old whom you JUST told how important it is to ALWAYS tell the truth that actually, it is ok once a year, as long as you are 'just foolin'.

Can we say confusing?

So our April Fool's Day has involved a lot of nonsense followed by "April Fools!" and much giggling.

My favorite?

Knock knock.

Who's there?

April Fool!

Have you been the instigator of any fun tricks today? Has anyone 'gotten' you?