Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Birthdays, barbeques, and baseball!

We've been quite busy kicking off summer in style the past few days!

The weekend started with a bday party for one of Perry's best buds. They had a great backyard party, and the kids enjoyed some Slippin' n Slidin'.

Sunday was Eric's birthday, and we hosted a barbeque to celebrate. With the birthday and a long weekend, how could we have passed up that opportunity? And there was more Slippin' and Slidin'!

And some fun with water guns.

Let me just pause here to say that I LOVE OUR BACKYARD! This was our first real backyard "party" since we moved to this house last summer, and it was such fun! We love having so much room for everyone to run and play (I was going to say for the kids to run and play, but if you look back at the water gun pictures, you'll see clear evidence that the big kids enjoyed it at least as much)!
OK, back to the pictures...

Tuesday evening was our last baseball game of the spring season. Of course, there was pizza and trophies after the game!

We had a really great team, fun, supportive parents, and one very handsome coach!!!

And there's more! I know you can hardly stand it, but this is life in the fast lane, people!

Tonight was the Summer Kick-off at church. We had a barbeque dinner and games, but the big attraction was the PreK - 1st grade children's choir in their debut performance!

Yes, Perry finally got his hands on a microphone in public! On stage! He sang one of the verses of the song, on mic, with another little boy. He took it very seriously and did a great job!

That's all for now. I don't know about you, but I'm tired!

Friday, May 23, 2008

My how he's grown!

When Perry came home from school yesterday, he, of course, brought with him the obligatory envelope with end-of-the-year paperwork and such. There among his awards and report card was something so amazing, I just had to share it...

This is a self portrait he drew the 1st week of school.

Here is what he drew this week...

Although we watch him develop everyday, seeing his growth in such a concrete form is really unbelievable. It's more than just "budding artistic" talent, too (that was one of his awards, by the way -- Budding Artist). This is just a visual expression of how much he has truly matured this year. Wow...

Just in case you're interested, he also brought home "The Bible Award" because, trust me, he is quite the little Bible scholar, and an "Outstanding Sportsmanship" award from PE. I wouldn't have wanted anyone to lose any sleep wondering what those other awards were!

We're very proud! : )

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cute shoes! And CHEAP!

I was thinking last night that I have been remiss in sharing my "somewhat deep thoughts" about fashion so far...

Then I saw these, and I just had to share.

Jellies! In many colors! And ON SALE! How fun for summer!

I think I'll go buy some tomorrow. Seems like a fitting way to celebrate my last day of school, right?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Random thoughts from a brain ready for Summer!

I have been away for so long! I have so missed the blogging! Let me explain the week we've had. Then we'll move on to some random thoughts.

Last week, while the hubby was out of town, I started breaking out in an ugly rash -- 1st on my leg, then all over my face (of course!). I thought the stuff on my face looked like poison ivy, but the spot on my leg had me confused. As it got worse, I decided to see someone. I got in with the nurse practioner on Fri., who told me I had a staph infection. YIKES! So all weekend I'm panicking because it's continuing to spread and get worse, and I REALLY don't want to be responsible for spreading staph around. I went to another dr., who agreed that it looked like staph but changed my antibiotic. Finally I got in to see my regular dr. on Monday, and he tells me it's POISON IVY! So everything I've been doing to treat the staph has actually probably been making it worse. He gave me steroids, but also left me on the antibiotic since he does think the leg is infected. It now seems to be improving, THANK THE LORD, but it was quite the ordeal.

Meanwhile, Perry got a fever and sore throat. After the dr. on call reassured me that this could not be related to the staph, I relaxed a bit, but we eventually found out that it was strep throat, as I suspected. He was on the mend quickly, though, and even made it back to school in time for field day on Tuesday.

All this at the beginning of the last week of school, which those teachers out there know is the CRAZIEST time of year! Summer's coming fast, though. HALLELUJAH!

Now for some random thoughts that have been floating around in my head for the past week...

1. American Idol -- I voted for David Cook. I would love to see him win, mostly because I really like his style but also because I am truly afraid of what might happen to Archuleta if he actually wins the thing. Seriously, people, he looked like he might pass out at any minute last night! Anytime the judges were talking to him I was waiting for him to hyperventilate or just fall into a heap on the floor or something. He truly has an amazing voice, but I think maybe he just needs to go home and be 17. I love him, though, I really do. To paraphrase one of my favorite bloggers,
BooMama, I just want to hug him and give him some fried chicken!

2. My baby, my only child, will finish Pre-K tomorrow. How can it be??? He is about to be in KINDERGARTEN! Seriously, I have no idea how this happened. Although often when I'm talking to him, I think he has to be at least 14...

So if he acts like a teenager now, what will he be like when he is one? Will he act 5 then? Probably so...

3. I saw this really terrific idea somewhere the other day. I really hope to find the time to start it this summer. It's an "On this day..." family calendar. You record significant events as they happen, and it becomes a great family history to review. For example, May 22 might say, "On this day in 2008, Perry attended his last day of PreK." You can record new places you visit, big family milestones, and silly little things. I think it would be fun to see which things different family members choose to write down and how long it takes to fill up every day of the year! I REALLY wish I could find the link to the much better explanation I found online... I'm trying, I really am!

4. I missed my little sister's college graduation today because, for some strange reason, her college thought the middle of the day on Wed. was a great time to hold a very meaningful event which people often travel many miles to attend! So, even though I was not there, I want to say

CONGRATULATIONS, AMANDA!!! We're very proud of you and love you very much!!!
Now, go get a job!

Sorry, just couldn't resist! : ) Just kidding... We do love her lots. Again, though, how can it be that my BABY sister is a college graduate? Seriously? I am OLD, people!

That's all for now! Hopefully, I'll be back to regular posting and I'll find something meaningful to talk about. Fun-filled summer days are ahead, so check back often for news and pictures!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Making the World a Better Place... One Stick at a Time

After a little yard-saling this morning, we spent some time working in the yard today. Perry enjoyed helping us, until he decided there were more important things he needed to do.

"Mommy," he says, "I'm going to make the world a better place for bugs."

"OK, how?"

"I'm going to build a playset for the bugs," he said.

And he did.

It was quite elaborate. I'm sure the bugs were mighty pleased with his work!

We did get something accomplished. Look!

This is beside our shed in the backyard. I wish I had taken a "before" picture. Just try to envision small, half-dead bushes on a slab of eroded clay. Quite the improvement, huh? We built the wall and everything.

Now, I'm thinking I might post a picture of our front yard and request your landscaping suggestions. I'm at a total loss! We have quite a large yard, and I'm not sure where to start.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Our Trip to the Big City

On Monday, my man and I had the opportunity to visit The Trinity House. I have 3 words to describe the experience -- A-MAZ-ING! OK, I know that's technically one word, BUT in this case, it should be 3.

A group from our church visits each month for the TEAM dinner program. Eric went last month and came home full of great things to say about the ministry and his time there. Anytime Eric is full of things to say, I know something powerful is happening! My man is not much of a talker for the most part. (I know what some of you are thinking -- but even when I do give him a chance to speak, he doesn't usually say too much.) Anyway, he insisted that I go this month, and, boy, am I glad he did!

The men at
Trinity House are in recovery from addiction, and, let me tell you, this program is SERIOUS. They have to be ready to turn their lives around and willing to work for it. First, they must personally ask to be allowed into the house. They interview with the staff, and, as our guide put it, "that's the easy part". They must also convince the "brotherhood" that they want help and are commited to change. Basically, the whole structure is somewhat like a fraternity, with some military aspects as well (think push-ups, strict schedules, household chores, etc). There is a hierarchy based on time in the house, and they gain priveleges as they "move up." The goal, of course, is independent living, and they may spend up to 2 years in the house working towards that. There is intense accountability, incredible support and structure, and lots of spiritual and emotional focus along the way.

We did tour the facility and learn about the program, but most of our time was spent hanging out and eating with the men.

(Cool historical fact -- The Trinity House is built around an old church which was the site of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral. We ate dinner in the chapel where his body lay in state. WOW!)

Each man shares some of his personal story at dinner. The guests share as well, and the openness and honesty of all involved is really incredible to see. Many of the residents blew me away with their insight and their vulnerability. One man sitting next to me spoke of the humility it takes to come to the house and to get clean. He said, "When you humble yourself, you are exalted. When you exalt yourself, you will be humbled." Another of the residents took off from that point and discussed how all of them were once willing to humble themselves to support their addictions. They would do things they never thought they would to get what they REALLY wanted. Just the same, they had to REALLY want to recover, because to be in that house and turn your life around, you MUST humble yourself.

One of the guests then shared about how he had lost everything a few years ago -- his business, his financial security, etc., not because of addiction, but because of pride. When he started over, he chose to do it with God in his life, and humbling himself and giving up control was the only way he could begin to recover what he had lost.

Now, I don't know about you, but I know I have lost some things in my life because of pride -- opportunities, friends, etc. I admire these men so much for their humility and their willingness to say, "I have a problem, and I need help and support." Even those of us who haven't lost it all or hit "rock bottom" have times in our lives when we need to say that. The sooner we do, the sooner we release it and head back in the right direction.

Here's the other thing: these men were so much fun to hang out with and talk to! I genuinely had a great time learning about the man sitting beside me and laughing and joking with him at dinner. They were all homeless, many are estranged from their families, and most do not have jobs right now. However, several of the men we met were professionals and family men at one time in their lives. One worked for IBM and travelled the world, but when he went through a divorce, he "fell apart," as he put it. As I listened to them, I thought many times, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

One of the residents made the point that lives are changed in a moment. In a moment, one can make a decision that will eventually ruin them. In a moment, he can turn away from it and commit to change. As I walk through my life, I must remember that my life is defined by my moments. What I do and say, the choices I make, have the potential to affect me and those around me for eternity, really.

I am so thankful for
The Trinity House and the work they are doing with these men. These intelligent, funny, friendly men are learning to walk with God, functioning as part of a family, and truly learning to live again. Their futures, their eternities, their lives are literally being saved.

I can't wait to go back.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

When I Grow up I Want to be a Life Coach

I have been trying very hard to lead a healthier lifestyle lately. I've made big changes to my diet, and I exercise daily. Of course, Perry has taken note of this. I have experienced some frustration for the past couple of weeks, however, because the scale is not cooperating, despite my efforts. So I was discussing this with Eric this morning. Perry was in the room, but wasn't participating in the conversation until he piped up with this...

"Mommy, why don't you just persevere!"

I have found new motivation from my 5 year old. Thank you very much.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tied Up

Look what we've learned this week!

It does take some deep concentration, people...

It's all worth it in the end, though. And now he has taken to keeping track of how many times he has tied his shoe -- the current total is about 8, I believe. I'll double-check in the morning to be sure that information is accurate. I certainly would not want to communicate a falsely inflated count or rob him of the glory due him if the tally is actually higher than that!

Oh, and one more thing...

This kid is SERIOUS about some baseball!