Friday, September 26, 2008

It has been a very long week, and tonight was the beginning of an even longer weekend. I sadly had the privilege of being present at the Oklahoma Air National Guard when fallen soldier Brady Rudolf was brought home.

It was amazing to see the motorcyclists waving the American flag and the soldiers standing at attention. However, my heart broke as his wife and young boys approached the flag-draped casket. It is a sight I will never forget and I pray I never witness again. For now and in the coming months, please keep this family in your prayers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Two parent-teacher conferences down. One to go. We met with Jeremy and Jack's teachers yesterday, and both meetings went very smoothly. The most exciting news was that Jeremy had reached his AR goal! It got better -- he was the first one in his class to do so!! This is a HUGE change from last year when he and I struggled through reading multiple books almost EVERY evening. He was getting all of the reading done at school. All I can say is I love his teacher, and I am so proud of him.

Anna is doing an awesome job as well so far. She's already brought home a test signed by the principal and was also rewarded with a Johnny Carino's gift certificate. Tomorrow we'll find out during her conference how things are REALLY going. It should be interesting because she will be facilitating the meeting.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Jack is still insisting that he plans to stay seven years old. Anna even tried to trick him by asking what he wanted to be when he grows up. He sounded confused by the question and then he got irritated. We're going to have to make his eighth birthday really good to make up for the disappointed of leaving seven behind forever.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

T-ball, soccer and boy scouts, oh my! And the merry-go-round that is my life begins. This weekend D and Jeremy leave for a camping trip, Jack has a t-ball game (indoor - the greatest idea ever!) and Anna has a soccer game. We have an activity almost every night of the week every week, and Anna hasn't even started Girl Scouts yet. The only bright side is that on Wednesday night while the kids are in their classes at church, D and I find a comfortable spot and hang out for about an hour and a half. We actually get to talk to each other!

Posting has been light lately not only because of the schedule described above, but I've also started rereading some cheesey romance novels written by a specific author. Her characters are always the same -- very young, sensitive virgin who is continually insulted by an older, experienced cowboy/military guy/business man -- but for some reason, I like reading them. Anyway, she's been writing for over 20 years and has a certain line of stories -- Long, Tall Texans. Now that I have several of those books in that series, I started reading one after another. It's been fun and gives me a nice mental break from everything else. What can I say? I'm not the type of person who loves to read deep, intellectual tomes.

I'm going to have to sign off now because I have an almost-two year old who is determined to see midnight.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The responses I got to my backwards Works for Me Wednesday were great. I can't wait to get a better look at some of the suggested sites and get moving on the family Web site.

Now I just have to make the time. We survived the big church musical weekend, so hopefully we can get into a normal routine. Of course, we are starting off the "normal" week with a death in the family, a soccer scrimmage and school skate night.

In honor of returning to normal, I'm working on implementing a new reward system in our house. The talking back, messy house, constant reminding/nagging/ordering of the kids to pick up their stuff/get dressed/eat breakfast/brush teeth/do homework is about to send me over the edge. I'm still formulating my plan, but I intend to start out by giving the kids (except Spencer who's exempt) a coin for doing their chores without a reminder, getting completely ready for school without being nagged, being kind to their siblings and respectful of their parents. After they get the hang of how the new system works, I'll start a new phase. In addition to receiving coins when they have behaved appropriately, I will also take coins away when they behaved inappropriately. It should be so much easier to just grab a coin out of *insert child's name here*'s jar when he/she cops an attitude rather than losing my cool.

If you are laughing at this new method, please let me hold onto my hope that this method might save my sanity -- at least temporarily.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

I have put this off for a year. Of course it has been a very hectic year. But Shannon's Backwards WFMW Edition is a great opportunity to get some help.

Last summer I was charged with the task of creating a website for my very large, extended family. I have aunts, uncles and cousins around the world, and we need to have a user-friendly website that will help us all stay connected. It will also be used to help us plan our reunion.

I welcome any recommendations for hosting, web page templates, etc. I would like it to include a feature, such as a message board, so everyone could have the opportunity to make comments regarding various family issues. I may want to also have the option of implementing a security feature so the site or at least certain pages on the site are password protected. Another plus would be the option of allowing family members to upload pictures.

I have got to do something very soon or else I may get demoted as communications chair.

Monday, September 1, 2008

We enjoyed another great Labor Day weekend with my college roommate, her husband and son. There was a lot of laughing, eating, shopping and spades playing.

I was very fortunate that my husband and her husband get along wonderfully. An outsider probably couldn't even determine who the friendship originated with -- the girls or the guys. I have been friends with R since fifth grade, and we roomed together for the two and a half years of college. She is the only person from my childhood I keep in contact with on a regular basis and actually arrange to spend time together. There are other childhood friends that I love visiting with when I run into them, but we never actually call, email or meet up when they come to town.

One strange aspect of the weekend was the absence of Anna. She had required musical rehersal, so she stayed with Aunt K. While I think she did miss us a little, I know she had a wonderful time. It was very strange though being the only female in the van. However, in about nine years, it will be a common occurrence.