Tuesday, July 31, 2007

And so the saga continues

There has been so much drama in my life that I can't take much more. I've always liked the phrase save the drama for your mama, but in this case the drama is within my extended family and there are too many mamas to deal with.

We had a great time at the family reunion this year despite all the rain and flooding. However, once again, there was talking of moving the location of the reunion. It has now blown up into a big email scandal with only a few members of the family receiving the messages because the distribution list is so large it has to be separated and the person who started the attack replied to those in his list. (That may not make sense to some people, but it really is a simple and typical process.)

I have always thought it was amazing that this family with 14 brothers and sisters does not have an estranged member of the family. Of those siblings, five were born to my grandad's first wife; however, they have never been recognized as half siblings. They have always been one, big and usually happy family.

Now because of the words of a very few -- very rude and thoughtless words -- there are some members of my family who are very hurt. And do you know why the discussion all came about?? Because our state is shortchanging its state parks! It took donations from my family and others to finally get our camp facilities relatively comfortable. But for the past several years, the state hasn't even been able to make an effort to insure quality housekeeping in the lodge at the park. There has been mold and mildew, and in the past, there were mice. Who wants to pay want the lodge charges to sleep with rodents?

So the state is causing the first major strife in my family because of its lack of housekeeping skills.

Of course, I'm not necessarily against changing locations. While it would cost more money, it would give my dad (who worries and bosses WAY too much) a chance to relax and visit with the family. I'm not sure how this saga will turn out. I just hope that no one feels alienated when all is said and done.

Monday, July 30, 2007

What a week! We took our first child-centered vacation with the rest of my family -- brothers, spouses, parents, kids. The kids loved Silver Dollar City, the magic show, the indoor/outdoor waterpark and miniature golf. While some of the adults enjoyed shopping. Shopping is not usually my favorite activity, but when I get really good deals, I love it. And this time I got some awesome deals. Jeans for Anna for about $5! Shorts for Baby next summer for $2!

We had a great time at the amusement park. My parents kept baby at the hotel, and the rest of us split up at the park. So D and I only had Jeremy and Jack because Anna went with my niece. We rode several of the kiddie rides which usually involved spinning around alot, which was about all I could handle. I don't think I can do the major roller coasters and other rides like I used to. I guess I'll find out when the kids are actually tall enough to ride those rides.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Speaking of grandparents

During the reunion, I had the chance to visit with some family members that I usually don't have very extensive conversations with. Actually as I get older my conversations with family members change because I think they are starting to realize I'm an adult too.

Anyway, I was visiting with an aunt and uncle from California, and my aunt was sharing some memories of my grandfather. I'm not an emotional person (I leave that to D), but I got a little teary thinking about this man I never knew. He died five years before I was born. My paternal grandmother was the only grandparent alive when I was born, and fortunately I had about 20 quality years with her.

Back to the conversation...I have always had this idea that my grandfather was an aloof, stern man, but I learned he was really a generous, caring individual. Probably the best information my uncle gave me was explaining that while my dad is the one that looks most like my grandfather, my uncle K is the one that acts like him. Since Uncle K has always been the uncle I've been closest to and now he's like a second grandfather to my kids, it gives me a new perspective on him as well as my own grandfather.

As for the rest of the reunion -- there's talk about moving the location (not a new idea) and there were so many kids (probably 15-20)! I'm looking forward to the next reunion because Baby will be three and I can let him run free with the rest of the kids.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

This morning's conversation with my 6 year old:
Him: Are both my grandmothers senior citizens?
Me: Yes and Papa too.
Him: Because the commercial said all senior citizens should have Life Alert.

Someday he may become an apathetic teenager but for now he really cares about others.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

D has officially given his notice, so starting July 30, he will have a new job. It will be nice having a little bigger paycheck, but what I'm really looking forward to is a greater involvement in the kids' activities. He's seen very few of Anna's soccer games because he has always worked on Saturdays, and he will also be able to take on boy scouts with Jeremy. Maybe he'll even be able to coach Jeremy's basketball team -- if he actually decides he wants to play on a team which also involves games not to mention a set number of games.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Memory lane - a high school meme

I'm not very good at doing these things, but when I saw it on Melessa's blog, it brought back memories.

1. Who was your best friend?
Stephanie was my best friend throughout elementary school and middles school, but by high school, although we were still good friends, Maryl, Deana and John are the ones I would consider my best friends.

2. What sports did you play?
basketball by choice; track by force

3. What kind of car did you drive?
An awesome '79 black and gray Mustang with red and black interior

4. It’s Friday night, where were you?
Cruising Noble, hanging out in the bank parking lot and/or walking around the high school track

5. Were you a party animal?
Not hardly

6. Were you considered a flirt?
Not even remotely

7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
Band - small school so it was the only musical option

8. Were you a nerd?
I got good grades, but no one ever accused me of being a nerd or a suck up.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled?
Yeah - not

10. Can you sing the fight song?
No but if I had an alto sax, I could probably play it.

11. Who was your favorite teacher?
Bordelon the band director was cool and Park the history teacher/coach was entertaining

12. School mascot?
the mighty eagle

13. Did you go to Prom?
Yes -- with a date my junior year and with a group of friends my senior year

14. If you could go back and do it over, would you?
It wasn't bad but I'm all for enjoying the stage of life you're in and moving on.

15. What do you remember most about graduation?
Refusing to go to THE graduation party and getting my friends to go to the city for dinner and a movie (Pretty Woman)

16. Where were you on senior skip day?
We didn't have a skip day. I guess we should've just done it.

17. Did you have a job your senior year?
Just babysat. Worked at the state park swimming pool after graduation.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch?
Easy Shop

19. Have you gained weight since then?
I'm the mother of four children -- of course I have.

20. What did you do after graduation?

21. When did you graduate?

22. Who was your Senior prom date?
The best friends ever!

23. Are you going / did you go to your 10 year reunion?
I helped organize it.

24. Who was your homeroom teacher?
We didn't have homerooms, but I remember having times to get help with work or attend pep rallies. These were activity periods and I remember being in Coleman's and Park's classrooms.

25. Who will repost this after you?
No idea.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

D had breakfast with the business owner this morning. He is meeting D's request, so D will take it. BUT D also asked to see a financial plan for the company to make sure it is operating solidly and not month-to-month. So he hasn't officially accepted the position. This process has taken about as long as it takes to fill a state job vacancy!

I'm happy for D because he will be able to use his strengths and actually get paid what he's worth. Also, I think it makes him feel better being able to give me the option of quiting if that's what I want to do. And I would only do that if personnel changed at my office and some ridiculous, arrogant micromanager came in to run the place. But surely my luck would not be so bad that I'd have to work for two jerks with those particular traits in less than 10 years.

So now I'm excited about our finances again and plan to start working on a budget (a very flexible budget), eliminating debt and building up our savings. The amazing thing about all of this is I was beginning to wonder how we were going to be able to continue living on our current salaries. The kids are only going to get more expensive, and it's just not in me to make lunch and dinner EVERY day. God is good!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

I am such a wimp. We're having a block party and I'm using Baby as an excuse to not be out there while they are breaking the law. They are shooting off some minor fireworks, but it's still loud. While there are many adults out there, I don't want to be one of them if/when the cops show up.

Otherwise, we're having a great time -- hamburgers, hotdogs, deviled eggs, beer and smoking for some, water balloon fight for others. It's really nice living in an area with several kids, ages 8 months to 13 years old. And they all get along fairly well. I'm just glad my daughter isn't one of the teenage girls living next door to the long-haired skater dude.

As for the job situation, D has presented his requirements and now the owner will let him know on Monday. I'm feeling good about this opportunity mainly because the guy wants D for D -- for his people and troubleshooting skills. I've prayed about the job and feel a peace about it while D prayed about the salary and benefits and has a peace about what he requested. Now the ball's in the other guy's court.

I guess I need to go out and be social now that Baby has finally gone to sleep (plus I don't hear anymore fireworks so the coast is clear).

UPDATE: A cop showed up while I was typing this post. He asked if anyone was shooting off fireworks, and Jack, my honest little three year old, said "We are!" The cop said they had received three separate complaints and he had to follow up on it but as long as the kids were having a good time and we were only using ground fireworks like snappers and sparklers, he was fine with it. We should've made sure the killjoy neighbors were invited.

Monday, July 2, 2007

We are family

I am so blessed to come from such a big, diverse family, but all those different personalities can be exhausting. We have finally returned from the family reunion -- very tired with a lot of dried red mud.

It rained every day, but fortunately on Sunday, it was beautiful most of the day and just sprinkled a little in the evening. Needless to say, my mother (the best mom ever) soaked many clothes and shoes trying to get them as clean as possible.

Once again, I learned things about my family that I had never heard before. I'm planning to post about it, but that's going to have to wait. It's time to go to sleep in my own bed.