Friday, May 29, 2009

An Ode to the out of doors

I want to go back. Even though I haven't finished the laundry from the last trip yet.

I like camping because the dirt on the ground? Totally supposed to be there!

Also there is not a TV in the RV. So when I am camping I don't know that Iran is accusing the US of bombing a Shiite mosque in the city of Zahedan, or that all the American car companies are suddenly owned by my government, or that North Korea and South Korea are shooting things at each other and somehow America is in the middle of it, or that a girl from Kansas who is hardly a teenager can spell words I've never even heard of.

I like the woods. The woods do not judge me for my inability to spell and if you spill syrup under the table some animal is all the happier and it won't cause me hours of work.

I love the woods.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Are. You. Kidding Me?

Imagine if the white male who was nominated by President Bush to the prestigious job of Supreme Court Justice uttered these words…“I would hope that a wise white male with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina woman...".

Heads would roll my friends. There would be a backlash the likes of which has not been seen in generations.

But not if spoken by the minority. I don’t understand this. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Not so much apparently.

Here is the actual quote.

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male...” said Judge Sotomayor.

That comment is perfectly acceptable. That comment will not bar you from becoming a judge in America. Not just a judge but the highest judge in the land. A Supreme Court Justice the president is appointing to make unbiased and unprejudiced decisions for life.

I would hate to be a white male and have to rely on her as my last chance for justice.

Something is wrong. WRONG. with this country.

I have written my senator. I recommend you do the same. I don’t care what side of the isle you find yourself on or what color your skin is. This woman is a self proclaimed bigot and I don’t think she’s the best idea for an impartial lifetime appointment like Supreme Court Justice.

Tomorrow we’ll move back to the light and fluffy fare you usually find here on the Hilltop, but this just ticked me off.

Home Again

Reentry is always hard. I feel like I have been drop-kicked back into my life. The laundry alone...ugh.

We did however, have a great time. It is so nice to get away. The campsite was pretty nice. Sadly the nearby lake was up 18 feet so the swimming area was closed. This was a bummer to the kids. Also the mosquitoes and gnats were everywhere! The mosquitoes would leave you alone if you were covered in head to toe DEET, but the gnats do not respect the DEET. DEET did not put them off one bit. I ate a lot of gnats I'm afraid.

Despite the bugs, it was beautiful.

Here are the men playing cards, a favorite past time of this crew. We were hiding from the bugs that evening in the RV. They hide their faces when they see my camera and Bob yells "Blogger alert!" Silly boys!

Yes I'm still cannot hide from me.

This is one of my favorites of camping...

the men cooking breakfast.


It was a great time...

I can't wait to do it again. Hopefully minus the gnats.

P.S. You'll be happy to know that Sir D did not ask anyone out the entire trip.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Get me outta here!

Today the family and I are heading out of town in the RV. We're going to the lake with Sir D's brother D and his family, and another family.

I plan to sit in my camp chair, by the lake in the day and by the campfire in the night. I will not do laundry. I will not do dishes. I will not sweep the floor. I will not do school. I will not think about Will's college classes.

I will eat good food that is bad for me. I will stay up too late and sleep in. I will get too much sun. I will read a good book.

It will be great! I NEED this weekend.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's OSHA's fault

“So, I think I inadvertently asked someone out today.”

You can count this among the top 5 ways you don’t expect your husband to start a conversation.

See, my husband is very friendly. He likes to talk to people. Yesterday he was out at local establishment in a town south of where we live, for work. He walked up to the lady at the front desk to ask her where a good place to eat nearby is. He does not like to eat at chain restaurants, and will instead ask a local where the best place to eat is whenever he is in a new place. Consequently, he knows the little known yummy restaurants all over the state of Texas and even some neighboring states. Usually this works out quite well for him. Not so much yesterday.

He sauntered up to the lady behind the desk and causally asked her where she likes to go out to eat. He said she glanced down at his hands and then got all weird and flirty. She told him of a little Irish Pub type place where her and her friends like to go for drinks at happy hour. Weird. Suddenly, Sir D said, he replayed back the conversation in his mind and realized she thought he was asking her out! Because of Sir D’s job (going into various factories with OSHA regulations about jewelry) he is not in the habit of wearing a wedding ring. So once the lady saw his hand was ring free she turned on the charm.

When Sir D realized he’d asked a woman out, he quickly thanked her for the lunch establishment recommendation and high tailed it out of the place!

Then he called me and started the conversation by telling me he asked some lady out…accidentally.

Sorry lady, I hate to disappoint but he is indeed VERY married. I am also going to be digging through the jewelry boxes for his ring. OSHA be darned. My man’s wearing his ring from now on.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


If you were to look up procrastination in the dictionary, this is the lovely face you would see smiling back at you.

Last week was finals week for the college set. I can’t believe I know this, but I do. I know this because I have a kid in college. I am still not sure how that happened. Will has been slogging through Spanish 1 and 2 this year. Spanish 1 was hard for him last semester but he did fine. Spanish 2 this semester about did him in. Verb conjugation and agreement was the culprit. Isn’t verb conjugation and agreement always the culprit? Is verb conjugation and verb agreement the same thing? Humm, perhaps I should ask the student taking Spanish. Oh yeah. He probably won’t answer me because he has sworn off Spanish forever.

He had a very good professor who did everything but give him points. He allowed him extra credit for everything he could think of. He had him going to Spanish movies at a Latina cultural center (not hard to find in DFW) he had him bringing in canned goods for the food drive (not sure how that pertains to Spanish but whatever) he gave him every single opportunity to pass this class that he could think of.

And yet, it came down to…pass the final=pass the class, fail the final=fail the class. He failed the final. Those darn disagreeing verbs! We thought all was lost. But wait? An email from the prof. The email said that Will had from Monday afternoon (evening when he got the email) to Wed at noon to do as much online extra credit as he could to pass the class. The prof outlined exactly how much he needed to do to bring it up to passing. It was a lot. Now ask me why Will was not doing this online extra credit all semester? Yes, excellent question. One I asked as well. Only to get the typical teenage ‘I donno’.

Will had just come home from work where he had signed up for extra hours now that he was done with school. He had to call his boss and back out of one shift. He worked a bit on the extra credit, and then went to bed. He got up, worked a bit on Tuesday morning then went to work. He came home from work late Tuesday afternoon and hit the computer. He came out for dinner then went back to work. His dad and I went to bed and he was still working.

Turns out, he worked all night! He was supposed to show up at work at 10 am on Wednesday and had to call his boss and tell him he’d be late. He was just 2 lessons away from being done. He finally finished and went to work at 11. (Remember NO SLEEP ALL NIGHT). He came home at 7, then went to youth group. (His choice, I told him to go to bed!) He came home from youth at 11 and finally went to bed. He got up again at 6am and went to work all day. Working hard outside landscaping work! HOW do they do it? I’d be a walking mess with only 7 hours if sleep in 2 days! TEENAGERS!

We didn’t hear until Thursday afternoon that he did indeed pass the class with a 70.95%. Cut it close much? Sheesh! We’re all exceedingly happy that he does not EVER have to take any more Spanish! In fact I think it will be a good long time before he stops cringing when he hears the Spanish language being spoken.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In no particular order...

Last night I watched The Old Curiosity Shop that I had saved on the DVR. YUCK! Masterpiece Theater has been playing Dickens for a while now and I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I’ve always had it in my mind that Dickens was all dark and sad. And it is, but there’s good and happy in there too; enough to make it worth my while.

Let’s take Bleak House for example. Yes it’s a little bleak, but it also has some redeeming qualities. Little Dorrit? Loved that one. A little sad here and there but the ending more than makes up for it. I missed David Copperfield, but if I remember correctly it is not wholly bleak either, in fact I think it also ends well…but The Old Curiosity Shop? Reminded me why I don’t like Dickens! UGH! Where’s Jane Austin when I need her? I am such a big fan of happily ever after. If I want to be depressed I’ll watch the news! The Old Curiosity Shop was sad and depressing and ended terribly. YUCK!

On a different and completely unrelated note, the fan in our room died last night at approximately 4 am. I know this because it was suddenly very quiet and that woke me up. How weird is that? We’ve always slept with a box fan on full blast in our room (classy, right?) not for the air movement but so it will drown out all the goings on downstairs. Those kids seem to get up and go the bathroom all night long! And do they ever shut a door quietly NO! So the box fan idea was born. Now I can’t sleep when it’s quiet. I am so weird.

And on yet another unrelated note. The Teenager is doing all the extra credit for Spanish…some 40 sections of it, in 24 hours. He is doing this because he failed the final, bringing the overall grade down to failing. His professor emailed him and told him he had until today at noon to get in all the extra credit he could to bring it up to passing. He has 3 more lessons. He was supposed to be at work 30 minutes ago and he had to tell them he’d be late so he could finish. When is that boy going to learn to not put everything off to the last minute??? I wonder also at the prof’s motivation. He is either very magnanimous and really wants Will to pass this class, or he really does not want Will in his class for a third semester. I wonder which it is, but either way I think I’ll be just as relived as Will when he is finally done with Spanish.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Boys.

I think I have the most hansom sons on the planet. You may feel the need to argue, but remember…my blog, my world, my reality. So Yes! They are the most hansom.

On Saturday my boys (can I still call them boys when they are so big?) took part in the Fireman Games. They are both in the Explorer program with the fire department. They have to do all these things like Make and Break (something with the hose and the fire engine?) Room Search (look for a victim in the dark and smoky room?) CPR (I know what that one is!) Hose Off (does this not sound like a Canadian insult?) and others that I do not remember.

It is physically draining because they do all these things like running up flights of stairs wearing their bunker gear and carrying heavy hoses while yelling “get out of the building” or some such thing.

I don’t know when my boys became men. It seemed to happen overnight. They can do stuff, manly stuff. How did this happen?

I know my boys will stand head and shoulders above the rest. I watched them Saturday. They are quality young men. They are strong, they have integrity, and they have a can-do attitude. They are men.

Sometimes parenting teens can be hard. Sometimes I wonder what I did wrong. Sometimes, when things don’t go right, when classes don’t get passed and teenage stupidity colors their choices (hello traffic tickets?) I worry.

But then we have days like Saturday and I feel encouraged. I feel proud. My men will go far. They will do whatever they choose to do and they will do it well. They are men of honor; Godly men.

Thank you Lord for that reminder. Thank you for letting me see the glimpse of who they are becoming. I am in awe.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

D. O. N. E.

Hey, so it’s been a week. Wow. This is not going to become a weekly blog, I promise. It has just been a crazy few weeks. Halleluiah! It’s over.

Awana is over for the year.

Ann has graduated from her 2 year Scottish Rite dyslexia program.

Co op is over and al the papers/projects/reports/presentations are done.

Also we’re almost done with our school. We just have a little math left and some reading.

Every year I live in dread of the first few weeks of May. The ink is so heavy on those weeks that my calendar will barely stay on the fridge.

But this coming week and weekend? Empty. Can I get an AMEN!? Sir D and I do have to go to the end of program meeting with Ann’s teacher to go over her test results and progress but that’s on Friday afternoon and it’s the only thing on my list for next week. Well, Will has his College Spanish 2 final on Monday. That really has nothing to do with me, but I will be praying he does well. I would hate to have to make him take it again. It will be punishment for everyone.

Really I should spend my week cleaning my filthy house and organizing the back room where it looks like a homeschool store threw up. However, I think we all know that I’ll probably spend next week in a slightly comatose state staring at the walls and murmuring…”Is it over? Is it really over?”

Ann receiving her diploma from her teacher.

Ann with her class.

Ann with all the class, teachers, and administrators. (really isn't she the cutest one in the whole bunch? I KNOW!)

Monday, May 4, 2009

What a Day!

Yesterday was a pretty amazing day. It was one of those days. The kind a mother treasures in her heart forever. The kind with eternal significance.

Yesterday all four of my children were baptized. They chose to do it together. They were not forced and they all knew it would be okay if any of them choose to wait. But they wanted to do it together.

Could someone please pass a tissue?

Here is Ann being baptized by the Senior Pastor.

Here is Eve right after she was baptized by the Senior Pastor.

Here is Bob, right before he was baptized by his Youth Pastor. Bob was the only one brave enough to speak. He gave his testimony to the entire congregation. Coherently. And he used words. And they made sense. And did I mention he was in front of the entire congregation? Amazing.

And here is Will about to be baptized by his youth pastor.

The other thing that made yesterday amazing? I did it too. There are no photos of me getting baptized. This was not by design, the photos just didn’t turn out, but that is okay with me.

I had not been baptized yet for any good reason. Mostly it was because it is a goal of mine NEVER to get up in front of a crowd. EVER. But I decided if my 10 year old could gather up the courage then so could I. This was the year of courage, remember?

What a day. What an amazing, wonderful, terrifying, eternally significant day.

Friday, May 1, 2009

No need to send out the search party...yet.

Okay, so, confession time. I have not yet called 'Joseph' in India to have him re upload my hard drive, operating system, flux capacitor thingy. I have these two programs that I really don't want to lose and I have not been able to figure out how to move them to the external hard drive. And I have not had a lot of time to do it what with the end of the year projects/papers/reports/productions/and presentations that have taken over my life.

We finally finished all the co op stuff last night (Praise the Lord in Heaven!) and this weekend Sir D is working, Will has the SAT's and Bob has his Fireman thing which I must take him to (downtown) and sit in the car while he does his Fireman thing for three hours on Saturday morning. Then on Sunday the children and I are getting baptized and we're having a big celebration/picnic after. The thing is there is a 70 percent chance of rain on Sunday and have I mentioned my complete loathing and utter panic at the thought of standing in front of a crowd for anything? EVER?

Then Ann has graduation from Scottish Rite on Thursday of next week. (Again, Praise the Lord in Heaven!) so I have to get the entire family spit and polished and nice looking and all downtown Thursday evening for the ceremony. Then next weekend is filled with the Fireman Games (Apparently a big deal where the kids show off all they have learned and compete with other programs) we will all go and watch. Then we will spend Sunday at the soccer field watching Will chase a little black and white ball. Then I will spend the following week cleaning my house (because I think we all know that with the aforementioned schedule no cleaning will be getting done) and packing the camper for a camping trip.

Once we get out to the camping spot by the lake (in two weeks) I plan to take my chair out to the lake, sit in it and stare blankly out at the water.

Maybe after that I'll call 'Joseph' about re aligning my flux capacitor.

Also, I feel compelled to mention that my sister and her husband are in Maui right now for a week. I am not with them. This makes me slightly unhappy.

That is all.