Sunday, April 25, 2010

Crazy Weekend

                                                        Katie, Cody and Elle

Cody and Elle


Where does the flower go? 
Cody, Mr. Tokar (Elle's grandpa) and Elle


Jeff (Mr. Pavliska) helps Cody straighten up

I am weak. Very, very weak.

Cody had Prom over the weekend. What's a proud mom supposed to do? I facebook shared his pictures..mainly because I was  too impatient for him to put his own pics on my computer.

For more pics and a better synopsis of prom and our World Finals OM TEAM!!!..check out sardine mama at Sardines in a Can: Shall We Get Reaquainted? I Think We Shall!

I went to prison (for training) on Sat. a.m.. I have never been to a mens prison before. Juvenile and Womens. But not a men's facility.. I started getting really nervous...about crazy things. I wasn't worried about going in..I  was  worried that they would find a dinosaur or a dragon in my pocket. You know..those toy things. I seem to always find them in my pockets. I envisioned having my car checked...and being okay.  I had cleaned all strange OM items out and thrown them in the morning room floor. I figured I'd get through the metal detector..and then they would pat me down..and there it would be. The dinosaur. (or dragon). Unintentional contraband!

I checked my pockets several times. ID keys..yes. better check again. Dinosaurs are sneaky sometimes.

I'm glad to say, I went through without any problems. We spent a lot of time discussing manipulation tactics and hostage situations. It was an interesting experience..and then I had to rush back to our I could take-off for Austin.

Big B and I had promised  Brian and Angee a visit. They had an Ultimate Frisbee tournament over the weekend> (which we arrived too late to see) They apparently played awful, but had a blast. So we treated them to dinner. Then, in true parental fashion, Big B and I  fell asleep during a movie. We had breakfast with them this a.m..and then rushed back home to get ready for Tania's baby shower.

My..THAT was interesting.

First of all, I would like to say that despite the fact that we are out in the middle of nowhere..and that people had to drive through a town that  had more horses than usual wandering down Mainstreet (Yes..we do have a Mainstreet..and horses that wander through it), We had a really nice turnout..about 35 people total. It was a families invited baby shower.

Played some games, ate some food, visited with lots of family and friends..and then? Well..things got weird.

Austen gets another migraine..these are becoming more and more frequent..we give him some medicine..and make a nest for him on our bed.


It appears there was a shooting in the neighborhood. The subdivision was blocked off. Kids were ushered inside..and no one was allowed out.

Guests joked about the situation..some of the adults watched the end of the Spurs game, while about 7 boys played on the floor with Fisher Price Little People. Other adults congregated around tables, speculating what might have happened and calling spots to sleep if they are stuck for the night. one allowed to leave.We reminisced about my Music Recital Gone Wrong several years ago..where one father had to arrest another during the recital..but both apologized to me and waited for all the kids to play before playing their roles in the ordeal.

Please don't get me wrong. Arrests and shootings are not ordinary occurrences here. Just seems to happen whenever we are hosting an event! In particular, events in which we serve finger foods and serve unleaded drinks from a punch bowl. Now that is interesting...we have barbecue and incident. Serve sandwiches and punch..guaranteed an exciting evening!

More story telling. Joking about what people want for breakfast....The natives were getting restless..cordial, but restless.


I am informed that our ac unit has blown up. You mean like on fire? I ask. Uhmm..not anymore. It appears our ac has deffinately gone up in smoke.I start to casually open windows while guests visit with eachother. What are you doing?asks my dad. I explain the situation. My dad and my uncle hold their hands over the vent and debate whether the ac is indeed broken or just the fan is running. They arestill  debating when my friend runs in and says (in a very urgent voice) Turn it off! Big B keeps shocking himself. Sparks are flying everywhere! It will be a while before we can replace it. dad had brought some box-fans for us to take to the Club. Hmm..maybe I'll just take some of them to the Club.....

Finally we receive word that guests are allowed to leave. It must, however, be a mass exodus..where all cars are checked at the gates to the subdivision. The constable was waiting for them.

In the rush, my nephew is missing. Family members decide he must be with someone else..and if not..well..I can just hang on to him. Aren't family great!:) My father calls from the front gate to let me know that he does have Calvin, after all.

So in a snap of the finger..our house is people run to make sure they don't get left behind...except for one couple. They are still story-telling with Big B on the Back Deck. I am tempted not to tell them that it is a now or never moment.

Now? It is quiet. The house is clean, people are recovering. What can I say? A prom, prison, a visit to Austin and a  Baby-Shower we will all remember for a long time.

It has truly been a crazy weekend.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Facebook Vacation

I was once told by a childhood friend, that when things get rough, I just walk away and ignore the problem. For several years I wondered if she was right.

I think not.

I think I study an issue for quite a while before deciding to open other doors for myself and those I love. I am aware that I am losing something in the process, but I also realize that sometimes, changes are necessary.

For instance..when my  9 year old son was told that in order to have dyslexia services provided he would have to skip 2 grades and start junior high,  my 6 year old put his head on his desk and left it there for 6 weeks and my 5 year old asked why peach was "skin color". I knew it was time to bring my children home to learn.

I pulled them out, not just because it wasn't working for them..and in one case I was horrified at what he was being taught, but I didn't like who we were becoming in that environment. I was labeled neurotic mom..because, you know..I wanted my children to have services provided for them. Brian had begun running a numbers game at the ripe old age of 9, Cody was completely shutting down and Austen couldn't understand why his slightly olive colored skin didn't match the peach he was given. I was horrified at the community that said these things were okay. I was becoming angry and defensive. I did not like the stereotypes we were becoming.

When Austen played Little League Baseball. He played for 2 seasons, before being placed on a team that was considerably older than him. We asked to have him returned to his own age group. They told us no, they needed players and his coach said, "don't worry, we'll figure out something to do with him." ..and they did. They let him sit on the bench...until I asked if he would get to play (you know, over halfway through the season). It was explained to me that my son had no skill and this was a competitive league. He was asked to sit on a bucket of balls for the rest of the season. By this time we had watched our son be humiliated for almost an entire season. We watched a boy who truly loved the game of baseball, wither before our eyes as he tried to please a coach who didn't pretend to tolerate him. We wondered if Austen was doing something offensive. He was not. He was simply 7 on a team of 9 year old boys. Once again, I was horrified at the community that said this was okay. It's just how this coach is. We pulled our son out and let him play ball with another league where he could, you know, play and learn like other 7 year old boys his age. Am I sorry I left that community? Absolutely not. I did not like who we had become in it.

And so it is with facebook.

I originally opened a facebook account so we could send some family pics to the family of our soon-to-be exchange student. It stayed as simply a medium for the two families to communicate for almost 2 years.

 I discovered some old college friends..from a college that was probably more influential in my adult life than anything else. I treasured these connections. It was fun. Next, I found friends from childhood..I added my friends from the homeschooling community. Some of my peers from the club..and saw it as a place to communicate with those doing anti-genocide work, as well as a way to keep communication open with some of the friends I have made in refugee work..I also enjoy communicating with family. It is fun.

But not always.

People are often much bolder on a computer..and in the past year..more than once I have offended others unintentionally. Like the time I said our local Sonic hired emancipated youth from the local Children's Shelter. You can't imagine how offensive that was to some people. Who knew?

Or the time, that I posted I was relieved my son could no longer be denied healthcare. Wow..the hate messages were flying my way..both publicly and privately. After all...I was a slacker. Who did I think he was to have these rights..and I was a socialist, communist, xyz. ( the way...I am not).

I have made a conscious effort to stay clear of political issues on facebook.

I have tried to stay clear of religious issues..

.but I have been a bit concerned at the numerous extremist groups I find on facebook. Anti-(name any religion here), anti-same-sex, ..and then the prayers for the death of certain political figures start.

This is where I draw the line.

Once again, I am making a conscious choice to take a break from what was supposed to be a chance to communicate with people who are dear to me and I don't see often.  Facebook, for me is fun.  Lately, however, facebook is causing me more physiological reactions than I care to acknowledge.My stomach wants to turn... My heart often flutters in my chest..and I think..why are people posting these things! I don't want to be reading this stuff!

  I understand that individuals who post these statements have not really thought through the ramifications of what they are saying.  Unfortunately, I am all too clear on the domino effects to things like genocide. I want no part of it. Especially in the name of a country or faith that I care about deeply.

Once again, I am choosing to leave a community (in this case..facebook) that allows these things to be posted in the name of  freedom.

Bullying, threats and prayers for another's death?! Really. Not okay.

I do not like who I am becoming in this environment. So, for now, I choose another medium to communicate with those I love.

That said..I will..instead..enjoy today finishing a long-overdue paper, visiting (you person and everything) with my parents..and finally..taking PROM PICTURES of Cody. Now that? That is the way to live.

 God's Peace.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Changes Are A-Comin'

I am sitting at my desk. Listening to the hum of the fish tank.

The fish are our foster-fish. The fish are left from when the Gonzales family was staying with us. The boys (Michael, Jose and Bryan) visit them weekly. We are simply taking care of the fish until the Gonzales' finish building their house.

In the past 3 years, Big B, Cody, Austen and I have shared our home with 10 other souls. We have enjoyed their presence in our lives. In May, Michael and Mason will be moving into their own home...leaving...just me, Big B, Cody and Austen.


We are starting to dream about what our house will look like with just our immediate family. We are planning to remodel much of the inside of the house. We hope to pull carpets, lay wooden laminate flooring, put up new sheet-rock, pour a large concrete slab for car-repair (we live on dirt roads), and add a rec/guest room. The rec room ( Big B says Please don't call it a wreck's bad karma.) for our sons and their friends to hang as they enter late high-school/early college years. Especially if either of the remaining boys choose to go to college locally and commute! ..and guest room for primarily Brian/Angee and both sets of grandparents.

We are still playing a waiting game on the building Cody hopes to acquire for EuroTrans Automotive. We expect to have no resolution for a few months.

My last day at the Boys and Girls Club is in a few weeks. For the first time in over 6 years, I return to full-time stay-home mom. I am so relieved. I have loved working at the Club, but this time with my family is long overdue.

And then there is Levi. My sister is having a baby! His name is Levi:)

Expected due date? Last weekend in May. It finally hit me over Easter weekend..that this is really happening. Levi is really going to be born. For a number of reasons, this is a very high-risk pregnancy. I ask all to keep fingers crossed, send good ju-ju, pray for my sister and Levi.

Bib B and I are planning to help support my sister in raising Levi. None of us knows exactly what that will look like yet. (My sister included) Hopefully, we will partner with my sister as she parents. We expect to have Levi around our house-hold a lot. For the same reasons my sister is a high-risk pregnancy..motherhood will be difficult for her. We hope to help her find the joy in parenting.

I am beginning to get excited. We have become very comfortable in a house of teens and young adults. It will be nice to share our home with a baby again.

So yeah..changes are a-comin'!

(staying pretty much the same..Weekly Menu)
Sunday: chili, corn-bread, salad
Monday: Michael and Pam cook..?
Tuesday: Potato and Tomato Al Forno, grapes and apples
Wednesday: Fish Stew, bread-sticks, spinach salad
Thursday: spaghetti, french bread, green-beans
Friday: Odyssey..mixer and tacos
Saturday: ODYSSEY Golden Coral?