Saturday, May 22, 2010

25 Memories of My Mom

Ok - so I know I'm a week late with this post, but given all I remember (and know) about my mom, she completely understands being busy and getting behind.

25 Memories of My Mom

I remember your instructions each time I went out to play with friends - - “Stay within ear shot!” (That actually gave me a pretty big perimeter with which to play!)

I remember how hard it was during my first week as a teacher. After your own day at work, you cooked my dinner, helped me make lesson plans, and even offered to grade my papers!

I remember visiting Grandmother Mills with you at City Hospital each afternoon after school. I remember when you told me that I didn’t have to go every day so that I would have other memories besides Grandmother in a nursing home.

I remember playing in your classroom after school.

I remember many trips when we’d be driving cross-country, and Daddy would get lost because he turned a different direction than what you’d told him.

I remember how you always left a light on when I was out at night and how you always called out, “Carol, is that you?” (Like who else would it be??)

I remember how you helped me get from my house to your car and into the doctor’s office when I was pregnant with Samuel and so very sick.

I remember how you were always standing by with a wet washrag and a saltine cracker when I got sick.

I remember how you painted that awful orange stuff on my skinned knees.

I remember arriving in Ottenstein and being offered a glass of champagne. You just looked at me and said, “Drink it.”

I remember the hours you spent doing counted cross stitch in the evenings after all your work was done.

I remember how you went to bat for me when my band director gave me a hard time about quitting band.

I remember how patient you were when teaching me how to drive (and you were even in a neck brace!).

I remember how you ate the oatmeal I made even though it tasted like wallpaper paste (at least that’s what Daddy said it tasted like).

I remember celebrating your 25th anniversary in the camping trailer with Sara Lee cake and vanilla ice cream that Susan and I had bought at the camp store.

I remember the deal we made about me learning to drive. You’d teach me to drive the car if I’d teach you how to program the VCR.

I remember helping you into that fancy hotel in London and using those fancy cloth napkins to bandage your head.

I remember what you always said when I didn’t know if I should stay home from school: “Only you know how bad you feel.”

I remember the night we were sleeping in the bed at Grandmother’s house, and the bed broke!

I remember how excited you were for me to get a teaching job.

I remember the many times you’ve kept my kids so that I could go to class or do other work towards my master’s degree. I always felt encouragement from you to accomplish my goal.

I remember the many times you cooked Kraft macaroni and cheese instead of making homemade because I liked Kraft more.

I remember many trips to the condo in Branson and the days spent pushing my kids in strollers at Silver Dollar City.

I remember how you weren’t mad when I said I wanted to move home from Tulsa. You just came and helped me pack my stuff and brought me back home.

I remember watching Sound of Music with you every year when it came on TV. And then - - how excited we were to go to Salzburg!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Debbie

Today is my dear friend Debbie's birthday. Debbie and I met in the fall of 1989 in an education class at the University of Arkansas. I was a sophomore, and she was a junior. We both hated the class and swore off education, but we became the best of friends. We enjoyed making many college memories over the next several years, and we ended up as roommates once we both "came back to college" to become teachers. As you can see from the photo, one thing we had in common was hair!

After college, we remained close. She was the maid of honor in my wedding, and she gave me the same privilege in her wedding. I visited her when she lived in Carthage, Missouri and even when she lived in Paris, France!

Now that we're both "old married ladies" with children, it's been much more difficult to stay in touch. However, I know that I could count on Debbie at a moment's notice for just about anything. There's not many people you can say that about.

My hope is that, someday, we can take our daughters to Paris and for them to become the kind of friends that we have been.

Happy birthday Debbie!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Big Weekend for Jacob

This was an action packed weekend for Jacob. He started his Friday evening by going to the Razorback game with Granny Bea. The Hogs pulled a come-from-behind win that Jacob said was the best game he's ever seen. In addition, he had some glorious commentary about the Auburn pitcher, who (according to Jacob) was "freakishly tall" and "crooked". Yesterday, David Hunt (who sits in front of us) confirmed that Jacob had indeed amused everyone in our little section with his description and that yes, the pitcher did look a little like Ichabod Crane. On Saturday, Jacob went to a birthday party at Fayetteville's new roller skating place. This was Jacob's second time to skate, and he was so excited to get to do it again. He's not as bad as you might think, especially since he's not particularly athletic. From the party, he went to his first Boy Scout overnight campout. Evidently, he had a great time. He learned to set up his tent, cook cowboy donuts for breakfast, and play capture the flag. It's hard for me to think of my little baby boy being big enough to do all those things.

Then, the thing that makes my heart so very happy - - this afternoon, he played in his first piano recital. For those that have known Jacob a while, you know that he has long suffered from extreme shyness and anxiety about being in front of a group. He didn't even talk to other children at school until he was in the 2nd grade. (and then it was just one or two kids). Well, he did express being nervous (I assured him this was totally normal) and he proceeded to walk up on the stage, sit down at the piano, and play this:

We've come a long way!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

This is Baseball

Several years ago, you could probably have heard me say something like, "I hate baseball. I hope Samuel doesn't want to play." That was then; this is now. Obviously, I've been transformed into a baseball fan (at least Razorback ball and whatever team Samuel plays for). My sister, Ann, commented to me today (after telling her I was on my way to yet another game) - "Gee, your family has really gotten into baseball." Her comment made me start thinking - "Why, all of the sudden, do I like going to games so much?" Here's what I came up with:

1. The biggest reason - - Our family has found something we all like doing/following. That's a rare thing. We all have pretty different tastes, so we typically don't like the same movies, tv shows, outdoor activities, etc. Somebody is always complaining that they don't want to do whatever is the suggested activity. Even John, who's never really liked sports, likes going to the Razorback games. Today, John and I got to go to the game together. That's not too common - it's usually one of us with one of the boys OR one of the boys with John's mom (they're actually her tickets). We had so much fun going SANS kids and just being one of many couples at the game. He bought me a diet coke and some peanut m&ms. The usher even teasingly gave him a hard time for putting his arm around me.

2. The Razorbacks. It's fun getting to know the players (getting to know about them). You can see their personality more in baseball than in football. It's so much about individual talent and then combining that individuality into a team effort. The players are so encouraging to one another, never getting too upset when someone messes up. Baum Stadium is a fun place as well. Lots of school spirit. Lots of traditions.

3. Samuel loves playing baseball. He has been pretty good thus far (in his short career). This is his first year of machine pitch, and so far he's struck out in every game. He's still done well in the outfield, making a double play and catching a pop fly in the last game. But, he really feels discouraged about not getting any hits. It helps him so much to see the "big guys" strike out and still keep trying and still be considered good players. Going to the Razorback games inspires him to keep working hard to be a good baseball player.

4. Free entertainment. John's mom has two great tickets right behind home plate. We get to use them a LOT. At least once during a weekend series, sometimes twice. And one boy or the other goes when she goes. She also has given us her parking pass. It's so nice to park right outside the entrance. And, she will usually keep the kids if John and I go together. Free babysitting. After ten years of Montessori payments, we like free. So, even though we're going to lots of games - - we haven't ever had to buy any tickets.