Thursday, June 28, 2007

It rained and poured...

for 16 daysies, daysies. I'm not Noah and God promised He would never flood the earth again, so I'm going to have faith that we won't be saying 40 daysies like the kids' church song goes.

Today many of my extended family descended on my hometown. We are having our reunion at a nearby state park which has been divided in two by a flooded creek. So those staying at the once very convenient lodge have to drive 9 miles to get to the group camp. Fortunately, the park has a front entrance and a back entrance. My brother's FIL drove 1 1/2 hours to help him move their camper to higher ground. It will be a very interesting weekend -- 20+ kids under 10 and a 60% chance of rain almost every day.
D and I will be very busy once we get all of these kids into their teenage years. Tonight we saw the Lyric production of Oklahoma! We both enjoy doing things like that so for our anniversary, we bought season tickets. Besides Oklahoma, they are also performing Singin' in the Rain, so we couldn't pass that up. I couldn't help but think that when the kids are older, D and I will be able to get season tickets for anything -- theatre, basketball, etc. (assuming that four kids hasn't bankrupted us).

I can see us traveling to wherever the Big 12 basketball tourney is or going to various theatre productions. I'm very glad that we have such similar interests. I look at my parents -- they both enjoy watching sports which is good, but mom loves to go places and dad would rather stay home in his recliner and sleep. While D and I have different interests also, at least we will having many activities that we enjoy doing together. And hopefully, we will have many years to enjoy those things.

Life is short and there are no guarantees. In the past month, I've learned of a couple of different men who died at relatively young ages. One of them was planning to retire this fall. It's important to plan for the future, but I'm glad D and I take advantage of opportunities today that give us wonderful memories with each other and with our kids.

As for the production of Oklahoma, it was very enjoyable and made me proud to be an Oklahoman. However, I did think it was funny when people began clapping when the orchestra was playing the title song during the opening. Then of course at the end, the crowd stood while they sang Oklahoma. A little strange, but that's my state.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Two posts in one day. I'm on a roll. Just had to say thank goodness Paris is finally free. Now we can get on to more pressing things like presidential candidates, Iraq, immigration, the fact that murder is the #1 cause of death for pregnant women...

Rain, rain, go away

Actually I love the rain. It doesn't really bother me. It also gives me an excuse to be antisocial at home and encourage the kids to find creative ways to entertain themselves indoors. I don't mind staying inside because sometimes I get tired of dealing with other people. I'm not much of an extrovert, but sometimes I'm not fit to socialize with other people.

Currently, I'm losing patience and unable to find a solution to a neighborhood issue. We have a girl who spends a lot of time watching us from her backyard fence or showing up in our front yard without permission. She is not able to participate in many activities outside of the home due to the health of her guardians. Another neighbor has done all she can to help, and I offer when I can. But after a while, you realize the situation is beyond anything we can realistically help with. For now, all we can do is extend an open invitation to let her play with our kids whenever we are outside.

I wish there was more I could do, but it wouldn't be fair to her or my own kids to take on any more right now.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hopefully, I will know by the end of the week if life will continue as is or if we will actually be able to create a realistic budget (not that I would actually do it). D has been asked by the owner of a company to tell him how much it would take to get him on board. We've thought about it, discussed it and prayed about it. I feel good about the opportunity, and I've left the financial praying to D. If he gets what he's asking for (or even close to it), we will be able to afford things like paying off debt quicker and building our savings - such luxuries!

The big reunion is this week, so I'm squeezing in some work hours early. Then I won't be back in the office for a couple of weeks. The kids are looking forward to this weekend too. Bowling, swimming, bingo...lots of stuff to do. D and I have roped my brothers into playing in the family golf tournament. Last time I actually got the prize for the longest drive -- definitely a fluke. Of course, I'm competitive enough to want to win any of the prizes, but I don't care enough to actually go out and play golf between reunions -- which are held once every three years.

I'll try to post some more tomorrow. I'm going to try to write at least a short paragraph each day. Such lofty goals!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Today my boss took the staff to lunch for her birthday. Seems like we should've been buying her lunch, but she wanted to treat us. Who am I to argue? Not only did she pay for lunch, she chose to take us to Nonna's, where no meal is less than $11. I had a delicious chicken salad, but they must have been really special chickens and imported grapes and almonds to make it worth $12.50.

One of my coworkers, we'll call her Thing 1 brought up the issue of DVD players in vehicles. Her opinion was that it was ridiculous. Her reasons were that specifically, her nephews already watch too much TV, we didn't have TVs in the car when we were kids, and according to her dad, kids should just be bored. My boss put her two cents in and another coworker, Thing 2, who happens to have a toddler, agreed to a certain extent. I remained silent until Thing 2 made a comment about kids entertaining themselves. I had to laugh. With my kids (like many others I'm sure), entertaining could mean a few things -- sing songs, pretend your piloting a spaceship or scream/hit/torment your sibling(s).

At that point, I spoke up and said while I don't use the DVD player while driving around the city and rarely when we make the hour's drive to my parents, we do use it on extended road trips. They don't watch videos continuously, but as I pointed out when we were kids, no one had a strapped into a seat with limited room to move. I roamed all over the family roadster as a kid, camping out among the luggage in back. Give today's kids a break!

To steal from a local TV anchor...that's my two cents.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Many people ask how I manage everything with four kids. I'm not sure a day goes by that someone doesn't say, "how do you do it?" Well, my answer is, "you just do." My kids aren't perfect, but I don't think they are complete monsters. They usually manage a please or thank you. They do fight, but they also watch out for each other. And so far I haven't forgotten a kid anywhere. But I have driven a mile down the road and looked back to make sure Baby was in his carseat.

It's not easy having four. I don't know how parents with full-time jobs manage to do it, but their answer would probably be the same as mine. Growing up, I never thought about how many kids I'd have. I always knew I wanted to have kids. I just didn't focus on how many. I wasn't sure how well the whole childbirthing experience would go. I feel kind of strange when people realize I have four. I feel like an oddity, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tonight was a day where the chaos of having four kids was at a peak. Anna had soccer camp. Jack had a soccer game. And I was hosting bunko. Fortunately, I am very blessed with an extremely flexible mother who is ready and willing to help me out. So she loaded up the older three and headed to Braum's before taking Anna to camp and bringing the boys back home. D arrived home in time to feed Baby before taking all the boys to the soccer game.

Anna had a great time playing water soccer at camp. Jack kicked the ball three times. And while I didn't win at bunko, I enjoyed the time as usual. After reading another blogger's story about her battle with brain cancer, I am again reminder about the importance of enjoying and being thankful for the little things -- even chaotic days.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I think I need to figure out a dedicated time to write. Maybe that would help me write more often.

Jack's soccer game this week went much better than last week. He would start out in the middle of the pack, kicking the ball, but before long, he would be happily jogging after the herd. He looked like he was just running laps in the gym -- there just happened to be a group of kids ahead of him trying to kick a soccer ball. Regardless, he was out there with a smile on his face. Big improvement!

Baby is eating some finger foods like cheerios and puffs, and he loves them. He's like a little bird with his mouth open, waiting for the next bite, except he gets really mad if you don't stuff something in there very quickly.

The next couple of weeks will be very busy. Soccer camp, soccer games, BUNKO/bunco!!, brother arriving from Malaysia, reunion, and did I mention BUNKO/bunco?!? I'm hosting the group this month, so while I won't be getting away from the house, people will be getting the kids away from me. Of course, it also means I need to clean the house.

On a sad note, I learned this evening that Ruth Graham, wife of Billy Graham, passed away this afternoon. I've never heard either of them speak, even though I've been told Billy is quite impressive. I'm very bittersweet about the idea of this couple, who has been together for years, now separated by death. There is a Mark Schultz song, Walking her home (I think), that tells a story like that. While I don't want to wish my life away, I'm looking forward to growing old -- God willing -- with D and (WARNING - mush ahead - being even more in love with him than I am today). I just don't dwell on which one of us will make it to heaven first.

Not to ruin all that sweet talk, but it's not all love all the time. I'll save that for another day.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

It's only the beginning

For the first time, Jack is participating in a sports league. It's a very low-key indoor soccer league for 3-5 year olds. The first game was very chaotic, so there was a lot of crying and hand holding. Jack went on the court once, started running towards the action, then made a u-turn and returned to my side. Hopefully, he will get over his fear as the season goes on. He usually likes playing soccer, but as I said the atmosphere was very chaotic.

However, this latest activity has created more work for me. Here's what my June looks like:
  • soccer game once a week
  • vbs this week (which explains the lack of posts)
  • a week off
  • soccer camp for Anna
  • two-day basketball camp for Jeremy
  • family reunion

That's just June - AND we decided to drop a week-long summer camp because all of this other stuff plus swim lessons and vacation have resulted in very little time and money.

However, I did make time to watch two of the movies I rented - Hollywoodland and Bobby. (Thank goodnes for total access or else I'd keep spending money on movies I didn't get to watch.) I really enjoyed Bobby and definitely recommend it. While I was watching it, I still couldn't quite wrap my brain around the thought that Emilio Estevez actually was this creative. Hollywoodland, on the other hand, was slow. I dozed off during the last 15 minutes, but I don't think I really missed anything. George Reeves still died, and as far as I know, they still say he committed suicide. Hope I don't ruin it for anyone.

Next on my list is Dreamgirls -- when I find the time.