Monday, July 25, 2011

Bruno, now I get it!

You know, all summer, my kids have listened to that song by Bruno Mars. I think it's called the Lazy Song but I'm really not sure because I'm usually trying to argue the benefits/attributes/pros of country music through the whole song.

There's a part where they turn it off every time for about 16 beats because it's 'inappropriate'. I will say, their self-parenting skills have gotten exceptionally better this summer. High five for me.

Actually, I have listened to the lyrics a few times - minus the 16 beats - and it's pretty catchy. Catchy, that is, until I envision myself actually doing nothing and then CPS showing up and taking my family away. Clearly, I'm motivated a itsy-bitsy bit by fear. Itsy-bitsy. Those of you who know me personally can stop cackling now. I can hear you.

Anyway, this week, I'm actually considering sitting around not doing anything because...you guessed it...even if you didn't just play along...all my kids are at PINE COVE!

There really are no better words to utter after that sentence than, "Thank you, Jesus." It's true.

From my last post, you could probably surmise that I was getting a little edgy. It's been a good 102 every day for a month and we're a fair skinned bunch. We'd spent just about every day at the pool for some period of time and my dermatologist was starting to send me hateful text messages and harass me on Facebook.

He wasn't really - but in my mind, it was funny. You see, when all my kids are away at camp, I have all kinds of time to use that shriveled up part of my brain called my I.M.A.G.I.N.A.T.I.O.N.

Tee's actually been gone a week already. We dropped him off last Sunday for a two week gig and he was actually o.k. Perhaps he'd, too, grown weary of my nagging and cajoling to read, clean up his room, and stabilize our house's foundation. I believe in hard work before there's any passing out of the popsicles around here.

Yeah.

Ok, actually it's been a little more like, "Read 3 chapters in your book and don't fight with your sisters and I'll give you a popsicle every hour until dinner."

Honesty counts for something, right?

So for the details...Tee's been gone a week and then, yesterday, we dropped off the other three. Graham and Olivia had friends bunking with them so Sadie who was also going for the first time, was riding solo. She was thrilled about camp until it actually came time for her to actually stay at camp sans parents. She got all nervous and weepy and "I don't want you to leave"-y. Olivia had long said her quick goodbye's and raced to the pool. Graham, who actually had been saying he wasn't sure he wanted to go either, and had hung back with Trey and I, took a deep breath and even though his chin was quivering a tiny bit, said, "Sadie, I've just decided I'm going to have a great time this week and you are too." He put his little arm around her and led her to the gate for their swim test and off we went.

Graham's compassionate spirit and gentle heart made Trey's and my first top-shelf jumbo margarita of the week so much easier to get down.

Bless him.

Then, cleaning out my car this morning from the drive, I found this.



That, my friends, is not a good sign. Although Pine Cove has a camp store and each of the kids has a little spending money in their accounts, I can't, for the life of me imagine that one of my children would actually spend actual American money on a toothbrush when, instead, they could buy a Pine Cove key chain.

For all their none keys.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Goodnight, my sweet pumpkins.

It's 10:30 on Thursday night and, although I'd love to say I've been sitting here relaxing for a couple of hours in a quiet house because my children are all tucked neatly and sweetly in their beds, I can't. I can't because my oldest - besides the oldest two that are almost in college and stay up till all hours - is 12 and he thinks he should get to stay up late and watch movies, eat a second dinner, and dribble the basketball like he's doing right now. Hang on.

Ok. I threw it over the fence. Was that wrong?

Anyway, because he wants to stay up later, the other fruit of my womb are staying up later, too. And so, this summer, we've said goodby to the days where the kids were in bed by 8 and Trey and I had the whole night to relax, recoup, and unwind with an episode of Lost and a box of Milk Duds.

I don't even remember what Milk Duds taste like anymore. All I can remember is that they were healthy.

Now, I know some of you are murmuring under your breath at your computer screen that I'm a spineless parent with jellyfish limbs and bad hair. And frankly, I'm just insulted that you brought my hair into this. That was low. And also, I can hear you. It's part of the new Blogger updates. Seriously, Google it.

I know, I know we could put them to bed earlier - we are actually not spineless parents who don't have any control over their children's goings-on even though you'd never know it by reading this post - but they are growing up a little and we're just on the cusp of them wanting to stretch their bedtimes but still wanting us to hang out with them, play Life, or capture the flag, or bake an Italian Cream Cake long past the time Momma is needing to shut 'er down. I'm old and tired. They tell me that all day. Why do they stop believing it right around 9:30 when they're unfolding the Twister mat and preheating the oven to 350?

It's certainly a new season of life for us and I've felt unprepared. And tired. And grouchy. GRRRRR.

Oh, my! I just reread this and I sound like the biggest baby/whiner/complainer ever! What is wrong with me? I should be so thankful my children are all home and funny and precious and want to spend, like, upwards of 15 hours a day with me asking questions, and talking, and asking questions, and wanting to eat, and asking questions, and stuff.

And I am. I am thankful. So, incredibly thankful. Thankful.

And I love them madly.

But can they please go to bed?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Nip and Tuck - er.

One day, maybe one day, I'll learn.

One day, maybe I'll learn that dog grooming is not one of my gifts. In fact, grooming a dog most certainly works outside of my gifting.

Do any of you remember this post? The one where I thought I could groom my dog to look like one that might be a contender in the Westminster Dog Show? FAIL.

I vowed never, no never try to groom my dog again. Like I've told my children for years, cutting hair requires a license. Even if it's dog hair.

I lied to myself, people. Lied. I vowed and then broke my vow. It's the same thing I did last year when I vowed to stop drinking Diet Cokes for a week and then drank Diet Cokes. All week.

This time, though, I thougt was different. Totally, completely different because, although I vowed to never groom my dog again, Olivia's dog doesn't really qualify as a.) mine because, you know, the whole, "it's Olivia's dog" thing and b.) Tucker is so small. So tiny and miniscule, he barely even qualifies as a dog. Really, how hard could it be?

Which brings me to my main reason for wanting to groom him all homemade like. He's like, five pounds soaking wet and do you know what those 'grooming professionals' with their fancy licenses and scissors want to charge me to give him a measly little haircut. Forty-eight American dollars.

Forty-eight.

Well, that's just stupid. I cooked his weight in pasta for dinner last night.

So, all undignified like, I thought we could do this. Right? We're a team, right? YES! YES, WE ARE!

Olivia, Sadie, and I locked ourselves in my bathroom armed with a leash, scissors, and a piece of cheese.

Oh, and Tucker. Tucker was there.



Here's the little buddy's 'before' shot.

I don't have his 'after' shot because, well, that would be just cruel. See, we were humming along great. Hair was falling, cheese was being eaten and Tucker was well on his way to being groomed homestyle.

Then, it happened. It. Happened.

I was snipping and he was squirming and all of a sudden he let out a little yelp.

And his life flashed before him. Along with a piece of his ear which I had unfortunately snipped off along with the hair that was attached.

I know, you're totally grossing out and wishing you hadn't started reading this riveting post.

Sorry.

At least I didn't take a picture of the ear that Olivia put in a ziplock bag in case the vet needed to sew it back on.

Sorry, again.

Anyway, trauma ensued complete with lots of blood and me getting all light-headed and queasy. Kind of like you're feeling right about now, I assume.

So, so, sorry but if I don't document these things somewhere, I will forget them and, like Israel, continue to make the same mistakes over and over and over again.

Just so you'll sleep easy, Tucker is totally fine. Totally. He's been spoiled rotten all night and isn't walking lopsided at all.

He's looking a little lopsided - but walking fine.

And we're considering changing his name to Evander Holyfield. Or Van Gogh.

Or victim.

And for the record. When you make a really big mistake while grooming your dog, saying, "Oh, a myriad of words not meant for family friendly blogs!!!" really does nothing to help the situation but does provide a great distraction. Your innocent children might be so momentarily appalled, they might forget that you almost mortally wounded their dog with scissors while holding a piece of cheese.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

Hope you had a great 4th of July!

We celebrated a little bit old school with friends in their backyard.

We had waterslides, burgers, hot dogs, watermelon, and ice cream sundaes...

And shaving cream...

And water balloons...

When my friend Jennifer brought out a can for each child, craziness erupted.

From the smallest child...

To the biggest children...



No one escaped the mayhem. Even if the rules clearly stated the shaving cream was reserved for those under 21 and wearing swimsuits.


Wait a second...how'd these guys get in here?

Oh, have I mentioned we won the NBA Championships? And went to the parade and waited four hours for this?

Totally worth it.

Anyway, we had a great day celebrating our country, our freedom, and all that comes with it.


Especially the right to get revenge on your little brother for getting shaving cream in your eyes, and maybe a little on your cell phone.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Next Phase

Last week, Trey dropped a group of West Dallas' ten off at the airport as they embarked on a mission trip to Senegal, Africa.

To Trey, it was a pinnacle of the long-dreamed of goal that the kids we serve here would somehow see not only beyond our neighborhood, but beyond our city and country and set their sights on the global community we have in Christ.

As he prayed for them on their departure, he charged the six high school kids and four Mercy Street staff members to embrace their unique call to be Ambassadors for Christ. To set aside their desires, expectations, and assumptions and truly demonstrate the love of Christ to people 1/2 a world away.

We've gotten updates through Mercy Street's high school ministry's blog, Next Phase and have been so encouraged by the things we've read. For us, it's been the little things we've read - sometimes even reading between the lines - that have been the sweetest.

The recognition that bread and jelly for lunch was a delight and a gift for our kids because they'd come to understand the commodity that jelly was to the people they were serving and had come to love.

The wonder our kids felt in seeing the children of Senegal's reaction to the presentation of a brand new soccer ball. Our kids struggle - but the perspective they gained was beautiful.

"We have air-conditioning, running water...and the women endure a grueling process to make coucous. They take the millet gathered from the fields and place it in this large bucket, then vigorously pound away until its ground into powder. We watched in wonder and Sharmonique said, “And we get mad when the microwave takes too long!” Wisdom poured from the students left and right.

This afternoon, Trey has the privilege of welcoming home some young men and women that we pray will truly develop into future leaders for this community, the city, and the world.