Friday, July 30, 2010

Pool Time -- posted by Momma

Notice Will's Capture the Flag battle wounds:

Yesterday I took the kids to the pool (Bill usually does that after work but he was going out of town), and I had several wonderful things happen to me.

First of all, every time we go to the pool the little boys want to take their schoolwork with them. They actually don't want to break away from their lessons to go! Usually John has a book he doesn't want to put down; Richard is into creative writing and he carries his pencil and story pages, which are rippled and smell of chlorine; George is into his math, and he's whipping through his book at a breakneck speed. That speaks well to the success of our homeschool, don't you think? My goal has always been to instill a love of learning in them, not just pour information in for the sake of obtaining knowledge. At least for me, information never stuck that way.

Another benefit of homeschooling is that typically children who aren't age-segregated throughout their entire schooling are much more likely to socialize comfortably with a greater variety of ages. We've noticed in mixed family social situations that the traditionally schooled kids tend to congregate together by age, and then pull away from the main group. Homeschoolers tend to prefer staying in the family groups. Yesterday I watched Will thoroughly enjoy playing catch with a toddler at the pool. In fact, he preferred to ooh and aah with him even when a rough and tumble game of Capture the Flag was on. I just loved watching it. And I'm always blessed by how well they get along with, and thoroughly enjoy, the elderly.

But the best thing to happen to me at the pool was when Bill came from his office, pulled a chair right up to mine, came forehead to forehead with me while he took my hands in his and held them to his chest. You see, he was leaving for a night in Tennessee on business, and he was already homesick. He stayed with me much too long, putting him in Chattanooga at nearly midnight, but he just couldn't pull away. We smooched a little and he lamented having to leave. As he left, I walked him to the gate and gave him a goodbye smooch-a-roo. Shortly thereafter, one of the twenty-something fellas at the pool made it a point to come over to our table all excited about how he saw us kissing and that we looked sooo in love and how awesome it was to see! Don't get me wrong, we weren't making out or anything, just sorry we had to be apart. I wonder if that young man was amazed that such old folks could still have it goin' on.

I also wonder what that fella would say if he knew Bill texted me a couple of hours later, and then emailed me when he arrived at his hotel. I got a wake-up call this morning with him telling me he made himself dream about me last night. How does he do that? I don't know-- I'm just glad he does!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What We Do -- posted by Momma

This week, for health and budget, Sarah Grace and I brined and roasted two turkeys and then sliced them up for a turkey supper with gravy and mashed potatoes and a huge mound of sandwich meat for the boys.  (I love my new electric knife!  It can slice thin like a deli meat slicer.)  Yesterday I cracked the bones of the carcasses and boiled them with a couple of glugs of apple cider vinegar to extract the nutrition from the bones.  (I don't follow the fella on the link, so I can't speak for the rest of his blog, but that article was very thorough.)

Anyway, as I was standing there for an eternity, picking the meat off the bones for a nutritious turkey soup and also a dressing casserole, I pondered what a dang tedious job that is when the goal is to get all the meat, yet leave every bone.  I reminisced about how 20-something Mandy in her golden tan and bronze Porsche would have laughed at that exercise and suggested we eat cake... bought from a high-end bakery no less.

It made me realize how much I have to be proud of in Sarah.  She's been doing this for years, caring about the budget, caring about the nutrition of her family.  This is the kind of thing about homemaking that is under-appreciated.  It makes me want to have every man and child under the loving care of a devoted homemaker stand there and pick every morsel of meat off two turkeys each.  Sadly, so many women have joined the ranks of the man's work-a-day world in search of appreciation and fulfillment.  Fortunately for us, Bill has made it a point to celebrate us to the boys, so we need go no further than our own KitchenAid mixer for a healthy dose of self-worth.  Bill's mother is a stay-at-home homemaker, and an excellent one at that, so he truly values our contribution to home and hearth.

I'm usually late to the party on popular videos, but I so loved this!  I hope you didn't see it like four years ago.  I hate it that end-zone celebrations have been banned in Pro Football.  I loved watching Ochocinco's antics.

<a href="" _fcksavedurl="" target="_new" title="Best Goal Celebration Ever">Video: Best Goal Celebration Ever</a>

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Then -- posted by Momma

I've never been much of a country music fan save some of the classics by Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, etc., but I've got to tell you that Sarah's Brad Paisley has really put out some doozies. Of course, Sarah's favorite is She's Everything, which I love too, but this morning I listened to Then, and honestly it really hit home for me. It's hard for me to understand how marriages disintegrate after life crises, when with every challenge my marriage just gets better and better.

They say there is a high divorce rate among couples after the death of a child. I've never actually seen those statistics, but I trust there's truth to it since I've heard that so often. And yet with the passing of Webb, Bill and I entered a marvelous place in our relationship I never even knew existed, and it would be impossible to explain. You know, we see the birth of a child as a miraculous creation in which God allows us to participate. To think about a human being born from our seed and our love, and then God breathes life into them and places them in our loving arms... I don't know... sometimes it's too much to contain. And then to have the disappointment of losing such a gift, while trusting the Lord in it all. Sometimes the Lord lets us prove our love for him in ways that almost seem cruel, and yet I know he's holy and good and I love him all the more.

A while back Sarah hesitated to ask me a question, but then apologetically went ahead with it. She asked me if I ever smell Webb. I can't tell you how many times I've smelled him as though he were right next to me. (Not that he smelled, as in bad, but just like we each have our own scent, you know?) And yes, I smell him and hear him and feel him constantly. (It reminds me of John Denver's Annie's Song: You Fill Up My Senses-- obviously just the first stanza, not the romantic part.) I know from the Bible that he's not here, but I suppose the power of love keeps the memory of love from being totally lost. I miss him constantly.

It just seems like with each trial we face -- from health scares, job loss, persecutions, miscarriages, to ultimately the passing of Webb -- it has taken us to an unimaginably higher place in our marriage.

What a great song.

I had to laugh when he said he couldn't do anything right! Been there.

Thursday, July 1, 2010