5/29/2010

TSMSS: Memorial Day Edition




"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather, we should thank God that they lived."
General George S. Patton

Taking time out to honor our fallen soldiers, both past and future.  Get your tissue before you watch this video.




Link up with Amy at Signs, Miracles, and Wonders for inspiration! Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, but please don't forget to say an extra prayer for those serving our country in all capacities.  Don't forget the families, either:   
Those who wait also serve.

5/28/2010

Last FFF for May

It's the last  FFF for May!  Thanks to Susanne for hosting!  It's a great way to do a weekly wrap-up of  favorite things that happened during the week.

1.  The sun coming through the stain-glass windows at the start of daily mass:
2.  Flowers:  this is the first year I've gone "all hog" with trying to make my back porch "inviting"!












I decided on a blooming ground cover with 2 different kinds of perennials mixed in for that space between the house and sidewalk.  I don't do annuals.
The porch is looking good; all I need now is a table and some chairs!  I told husband the other day that I'd like to have a swing under some of the shade (see picture in #4...it's just to the right of it), and he implied that I should go get it myself, and I think he meant with my own money!  However, after seeing a couple of suspicious looking holes over there (snake holes, maybe?), I'm going to rethink that!

3.  Hummingbird bushes and a son to dig the holes for you!(Thank you, YS!)

4.  Hummingbird feeder:  Out and ready to go!  Now all I need is some hummingbirds!
5.  Not cooking dinner last night.  Youngest son made Creamy Chicken Enchiladas again.  They were excellent!  He had me do the prep for him, and, I must say, he's getting kinda bossy with it!  He's also getting to be somewhat of a blog hog, too.  He asked I was going to blog about him fixing dinner!  15 year olds...watcha gonna do with 'em?

To link up with your favorite five for the week, visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

5/27/2010

TYVM: Short & Sweet

                       


Once again, it's time for "Thank You Very Much", when everyone gets a free therapy day compliments of  Kmama at The Daily Dribbles.  If you still haven't visited her, do it now...well, after you read my post!  And then get ready to be entertained and laugh.

-  To my schnauzer:  Thank you very much for upsetting some mama robins by chasing around a baby bird.  Was it the same baby I almost stepped on a couple of days ago?  Hmmmmm...it's highly suspicious that there would be 2 baby birds out of their nests too early in one week.

-To the TSSAA:   How can our boys ever repay you for pairing them up with the team they beat 3 times in one game during the state soccer tournament last year?  "Blind draw"....my butt!  (Yes, I did want to say another word there...but I held back!) 

-To Middle  Son:  Serving you is my life.  I loved driving back home to get your charger (after you were 5 minutes late getting to school to leave for the state soccer tournament) only to have a phone call from  you asking me to get your wallet out of the car, too.  I only asked you 3 times (at least) if you had it before you left.  Liar, liar, pants on fire.  Need I say more?

-To Walmart:  Oh, how I love going into WallyWorld with all of the Walmartians when I don't have to!  If only you had had the shepherd's crook like I had just seen at Lowes, but didn't get because I just knew you would have one and it would be cheaper.

Head on over to Kmama's to link up.  Or, if you have a perfect life and have nothing to complain about, just go visit and read her posts.  I'm tellin' ya...you won't be  disappointed!

5/26/2010

Excitement!

Yesterday, MS' soccer team left for the state tournament.  The place where it's being played is about 3 1/2 hours away.  Here's a picture of the team on the bus, ready to go:
The boys are so funny...when I was taking the picture, some of them yelled "Queso"!  (Bet you can't guess which ones!)  They are quite a group of boys!
Unfortunately, they lost last night 1-0.  I hate that they got the shaft with the "blind draw" and had to play the same team that they played last year.  But, I think they made it farther than a lot of people thought they would, so you've gotta hand it to them!
While I was at the high school, I ran into YS with some of his harem friends(except for the other boy!  The other boy is his friend, not part of his harem!):
It was his last day of school (they had a half-day), and they had already finished taking their last final as Freshmen. 

I've got to show you my find of the week.

It's a pineapple peeler/slicer.  I love fresh pineapple, but have never gotten the hang of cutting one up without wasting half of the pineapple meat.  I saw this in the grocery store and thought I'd give it a try:

You cut the top off of the pineapple, and start twisting, kind of like you would a corkscrew.

Then, when you get to the bottom of the pineapple, you start pulling it out:
Until it's all the way out:
Here's the final product:
Is that not the coolest thing?  Yes, I'm easily amused!

If you've been reading my posts, you know I don't do well with keeping plants alive.  I've had these for a whole week, and just look at them:












Please over look our clover field yard in the back.  It comes from years and years of it not being tended.  We hate to kill the clover because we're afraid if we do, we'll just have dirt!
Check out my "surprise hosta" in the space between the sidewalk and house:
NO WEEDS!  Hopefully I can get the  little guy to grow!  I need to decide what plants I'm going to put in there and get them  in before summer's over.  I think I've decided on some kind of ground cover that blooms.  Any suggestions?

The Air Force Hot Brass Band was so awesome last night!  I could have watched the tuba player All. Night. Long.  I've never seen a tuba player move like that!  They played a lot of  '80's and '70's music (and we all know that's the best music!), and, instead of having  a bass guitar, the tuba was it.  Man, was he good!  I just can't describe how good they were.  Here's an example:
My Country Tis of Thee   (Scroll down until you see the little blue icon near the bottom of the page, then click on the icon.)  Warning:  It's a little loud at the beginning, but just wait for it.  That will give you a good idea of the tuba player:  he  was jamming!

Meet y'all back here tomorrow!

5/25/2010

Tuesdays Unwrapped: On My Own

I have no idea what happened to Tuesday Unwrapped.  It just disappeared from the blogosphere.    Emily at Chatting at the Sky is MIA.  So, I've decided to go it alone today.

Edit:  It's back!  Just checked & Tuesdays Unwrapped is back online!
tuesdays unwrapped at cats 

I went to Daily Mass yesterday...at the parish where I grew up, which is not the parish I attend.  I drive to the big city to attend Mass on Sundays.  In the 6 years since I've been home, there have been 4 sets of priests in the parish where I grew up.  One, I absolutely loved...he's now a Bishop  in another state.  The next set were a couple of older priests who were in their second career.  I liked them.  Then, out of the blue, they were both reassigned.  In comes 2 more priests.  One, I'm convinced has "autistic-like" characteristics; the other is from another country, and, while I'm sure he has good messages, he's very hard to understand, so those great messages get lost because  you're trying to concentrate so hard to understand what he is saying that 1) the message gets lost, and 2) the messages are just so long that with trying to understand what he is saying, you lose interest.  I've asked for God's help during those homilies, but maybe I'm just not disciplined enough to do it. 

Yesterday the priest with the "autistic-like" characteristics celebrated the Mass.  The first time I went to a Mass where he presided, I thought, "Hmmm.  Okay, being a priest and celebrating a Mass is perfect for someone with autism.  The Mass is very routine; during one season, the only thing that changes from week to week is the Homily."  However, if that priest is required to actually interact with people, then there's a problem.  That parish is a pretty good size:  Interacting with the parishioners is a must.   This priest doesn't even stand outside after the Mass to greet his parishioners.

It occurred to me during Mass that, if he really does have autism, he is a major rule follower and can't stand for those rules to not be followed.  Also, he doesn't understand what is socially appropriate to say, and doesn't get it when he chastises from the altar.  This priest has done things such as chastise a family whose 3 or 4 year old blurted out what Father had just said (I think it was something like, "Peace be with you").  I wasn't there for that Mass, but some people I know said that everybody thought it was cute that he was imitating the priest.  I wonder if that family ever came back following the verbal chastisement they received during the Mass.  Another time, he talked about what to wear to Mass.  I do believe that girls shouldn't come in with short shorts or skirts, or with blouses that are off the shoulder.  However, does God really care that you're there in jeans and tennis shoes?  I think God is just thankful that you came to His house to worship.  (Okay, okay, I just happened to have on jeans and tennis shoes that time...I honestly don't do that very often, but we were going to the mountains as a family and I was trying to save time by not having to change clothes!)

Yesterday was  the first time since these priests have been at that parish, I didn't leave Mass angry.  (This is the "little thing" that I am most grateful for and the whole reason for my post!)  I don't mean for this post to be a "priest bashing", but rather a revelation that I stumbled upon yesterday during Daily Mass.

I have met both priests during church functions.  The priest that is from another country is charming, and has a wonderful personality.  I was shocked when the other priest actually looked me in the eyes. I"m not saying I'm ready to go back to that parish on a regular  basis,  but yesterday was a start.  I know God will lead me where He wants me to be.

On a different subject (I have no idea how to segue into this!):  Our county is really getting "uptown", y'all!  We have a new Center for the Performing Arts, and it is N-I-C-E.    Last night there was a free piano recital by a man who has performed all  over the world, including Carnegie Hall.  He was unbelievable.  I can't get over how he was able to play all of those waltzes without looking at any music.  Every seat in the place was taken;  they even put some chairs on the stage to accommodate everybody.Tonight is the Air Force Band:  Hot Brass Band Concert.  It looks to be a good one!  The best part:  this concert is free, too.  You did have to get tickets ahead of time, and it's sold out.  Really looking forward to that!  Small town girl is gettin' some culture!

Have a great Tuesday!

5/24/2010

Weekend in Review

Friday night YS & I went up to the big city to see the high school jazz band.  The director got them a "gig":  they played for an hour at this place.  They sounded great and got a lot of compliments.  And, I got out of cooking that night.  PERFECT!

Saturday, MS' high school soccer team traveled to a town 1 1/2 hours away for the "make it or break it" game.  Win, and they go to the state tournament for only the 2nd time in school (or county) history.  Lose, and the season is over.  I don't want to say that the refs definitely had who they wanted to win in mind, but I will say that in the first half, I stopped counting the fouls at 10 on us and 2 on them.  In all fairness, there were some missed on both sides, but it did seem that they missed theirs more than ours.  With less than 2 minutes to go in the game, one of our guys scooted around their goalie after he dove for the ball and missed.  SCORE!  The other side was yelling that he was off-sides, but a couple of our parents who are very knowledgeable said he wasn't.  The score stood.  Was he really off-sides?  I have no earthly idea, but it is very possible that the ref overlooked it because it was really hot on that artificial turf, and I'm sure he was ready to go to the house!  One of  their students was told to leave the stadium after he had been yelling inappropriate things.  One of their moms said it was about time.  (See, it is okay to tell a child who is not your own that what he said is inappropriate!)  Apparently this kid had been yelling things all season long, and the line judge called him on it.  Final Score:  1-0.  It was an exciting game!

Next up for the team is a school that they played last year, and beat them 3 times before the refs agreed that they had actually won.  The game went on for 4 hours:  a game usually lasts about 1 1/2 hours.  I have a feeling the other team hasn't forgotten that game, and will be ready for us.  Too bad the team that we played 3 times this season didn't draw them.  Luck of the draw, or....?   Hmmmm! 

Sunday was Pentecost Sunday:   the day we celebrate the Holy Spirit descending on the disciples.  This marks the end of the Easter Season in the Catholic Church, so I guess I can take my Easter mailbox cover down!  Here the Apostles and Mary were, in a room, when it became really windy.  I'm sure they thought the building was going to blow down.  Then, they see a white dove, and, once they realize it's the Holy Spirit, they calm down.  Jesus had fulfilled his promise that he would send the Holy Spirit.

It was on that day that Jews from all over had congregated in Jerusalem for Pentecost.  After the Holy Spirit had descended upon the Apostles, bringing them the 7  Gifts of  The Holy Spirit, the Apostles were able to share the gospel with the Jews, in their own language.  Every time I hear this story, it reminds me of Babel:  In Babylon, the people became divided, because all of a sudden, everybody was speaking a different language and no one could understand the other.  But, at Pentecost, the apostles were able to bring the people together by speaking the language of each one.


Pentecost holds special meaning to me:  It was the day that husband was received into the Catholic Church.  Before we moved to SC, he told me that he would never convert.  I'm still convinced that that's why we were sent to SC.  We had a wonderful parish and made many wonderful friends.  Not only did we worship together, but we socialized together.  Then, one day, husband starts talking about converting.  When the big day was near, we told the boys.  Their one question:  Did he have to get up in front of everybody and sing the "Sunflower" song?  'Cause if he did, he'd look pretty funny!  The Sunflower Song ("Like a Sunflower") is a song that all of the First Eucharist participants sang every year.  It really brought tears to our eyes watching the little ones singing and doing hand motions.  I couldn't find a recording of the song in the internet, but here are the lyrics:

Like a sunflower that follows
Every moment of the sun,
So I turn towards You, to follow You my God.
In simplicity, charity I follow (2)
In simplicity, honesty I follow (2)
In simplicity, fidelity I follow (2)



I have to tell y'all what happened yesterday at Mass.  The lady doing the Children's Liturgy got up, but no kids got up.  The priest (who was a substitute priest) invited any children to come up.  Then, one little girl (my guess is that she's 4 years old) goes up to the altar, up to the priest.  He talks to her for a minute, then asks if they can pray together.  So, the priest, the Children's Liturgy person, and the little girl hold hands.  The little girl bowed her head and closed her eyes.  Oh, the innocence of that little girl brought tears to my eyes!  Then, the prayer is over, and the little girl goes back to sit with her parents instead of going out with the woman doing the Children's Liturgy!  Everybody got a bit of a chuckle at that!

Here is what I almost stepped on when I was in the yard yesterday:

Poor little thing.  Just a little too young to fly.  Husband came out and scooted it, and it ran off into a wooded area in our yard.  I asked him if his momma would come and get him, and he said she couldn't pick it up.  Then I asked him if she would come and feed him, and he just kind of looked at me and said, "sure".  But, somehow I don't think he was telling me the truth.

And, finally, I bought the first melon of the summer.  There is nothing like melons in the summer, even though it's really not summer yet, but we're out of school, so I'm calling it summer!

When I was pregnant with YS, all I wanted was melons.  It didn't matter what kind, I just wanted them.  I was 7 months pregnant, and walked into Kroger's produce section.  The produce manager and I talked just about every time I went in...he got to know me very well that summer!  Anyway, he introduced me to crenshaw melons.  (They are kind of like a mix between a honeydew and a cantaloupe.)
And, that summer day when I walked into the Kroger produce, he saw me and told me the truck came in, but there weren't any crenshaws on the truck.  WHAT?  I told him to get on that phone and tell them they have a woman who's 7 months pregnant who wants her crenshaws.  Well, he laughed and put a watermelon in my basket.  And I waddled away.

Have a carefree Monday!

5/22/2010

Rambling on a Saturday

I put a new ticker above the postings.  Why?  I'm hoping it will help me be accountable for what I'm eating.  In my mind, if I can see that every day, I'll want that person on the other side of the ticker.  I'm visual that way!
About 11 years ago, I lost 50  pounds.  I had an awesome dietitian whom I loved and wanted to make happy.  She taught me what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat it.  Those pounds just came right off.  Since we moved home, I've gained about 27 pounds back, and it scares me.  It's not healthy, especially when diabetes runs in the family.  Remember my grumpy post about being tired?  That was the beginning of my deciding to take ownership and do something about it.  I considered going to Weight Watchers, but my dietitian gave me the tools to do it on my own:  I didn't want to spend money doing it when I knew exactly what to do.  I had to be accountable for my actions.   I'm thinking 5 pounds so far isn't too shabby, considering that it is the end of the school year, which means eating out.  Mr. Principal offered me a candy bar the other day, and I politely told him no.  He went through what kind he had; after each kind I told him "no".  I finally looked at him and said, "I said I don't want it!"  (I was smiling when I said it, so I wasn't rude!) I did end up taking one and giving it to MS.  That is a major milestone for me.  I have an incredible sweet tooth and have a very hard time turning away sweets.

Question:  When is it our responsibility as an adult & parent  to let a child who is not yours know he has done something inappropriate?
Thursday night at the soccer game, a student yelled out "Ref, you suck!"  (sorry, that's what he said)  His parents weren't there (I've never met his parents, and this is a student who was in the band this year), and I didn't notice any faculty sitting near him. I was sitting about 5 people down from him.  So, I turned, said his name, and told him not to do that and that it wasn't appropriate.  The student told MS after the game that I had "yelled at him."  No, I didn't yell, I just let him know that I didn't appreciate it.  MS said that I shouldn't have done that, but I told him that it was a reflection on the school and the whole community.  This student is also the student that let the f-bomb fly in the pool at band camp...at a Christian college.  This kid can be the most respectful, polite person in the world, but he can also be the most disrespectful, talking-back, "the rules don't apply to me" kind of kid.  I don't trust him one bit.  YS is not allowed to be in the car when he's driving.  In our state, when you first get your driving license, you are only allowed to have 1 other person in the car, unless they are siblings.  There have been a number of times when this kid has broken this law.  This is just one instance of him breaking the rules.  I fully expect a phone call from his parents, but I'm ready. I'm going to tell them that I'm sorry they weren't there to let him know how inappropriate that was...but he probably wouldn't have said it if they had been there (which, like I said...I've never met them).  That's the thing about the community where we live:  you look out after other kids.  I would fully expect another parent to correct my son if he said/did something that was inappropriate.  What's your take on the situation?

Sister Ann Marie at Franciscan Life  was kind enough to give me an award!  Here it is:
Isn't it beautiful?   Here's what's next:
1. Post the logo on your blog and/or within the post.
2. Pass it on to 12 other bloggers.
3. Add links to these 12 bloggers within your blog.
4. Let them know they are receiving the award.
5. Share the link of the person from whom you received the award.

So, here are the lucky receivers:

1.  Tempo and Speed
2.  Auburnchick's Weblog
3.  Easy Street
4.  Miss Teacher
5.  Karen's Korner
6.  Our Life
7.  Crooked Lines
8.  Diaries of a Coach's Wife
9.  Rantings of a Southern Girl
10.  If Necessary, Use Words
11.  From This Side of the Pond
12.  A View from a Hill

Just let me say this:  I work in a very cool elementary school.  Yesterday as the kids were leaving, this was playing on the intercom:
 


I enjoyed yesterday afternoon with a nap and "trash tv":  The Real Housewives of New Jersey.   Love, love, love to watch and see what's going to happen next with crazy Danielle and hilarious Teresa!  (Don't judge...it was either that or clean the kitchen!)

 
Y'all have a good weekend!  See you back here on Monday!

5/21/2010

Last FFF of the School Year

It's another Friday's Fave 5!  Jump over to Susanne's to link up with your five favorite things of the week.

1.  Well, DUH!  Today is the last day of school!  I'm free!  I'm planning on just vegging out the first week, organizing the blogs that I read, and weeding through the ones on my list that haven't posted in a long time.  I'm hoping to finish the book I'm reading ("The Help").  It's really good, I just haven't had time to read it.

2.  MS' graduation.  It's so hard to believe that he'll be a college man in just a couple of months.

3.  OS coming home for MS' graduation.  He's spending the summer as a river raft guide & a lifeguard.  He's going to be really busy, but I know he's going to have a good time!


4.   A book a coworker brought to school today.  His daughter just got back from Thailand, and she brought him this book:
Yes, you're reading right:  This book is "Poo to the Rescue"!  It goes through the steps to change elephant poo into paper.  Yes again!  The book was made from elephant poo!  This coworker is also the one with the "Skunkapes" business!  Hysterical!

5.  Band banquet.  Yummy barbecue and great company!  They're a great group of kids!  Here is YS (in the striped shirt) chilling out:

Hope  everybody had a great week!  Head over to Susanne's and link up!

5/20/2010

TYVM





                                         
I liked this so much last week, I decided to try it again!  What a great way to get things off of your chest:  Things that have irritated you this week, things that you kept bottled up, or maybe even things that you actually said that you think need to be said again! 
Visit KMama at The Daily Dribbles and link up!

1.  To the lady who parked her car right in front of the restaurant causing a minor traffic jam in the parking lot:  You are so considerate.  Not only of the people you blocked in, but also the people who had to squeeze by you in order to get out of the parking lot. I hope you enjoyed your take-out, and I hope it was low fat, because you sure didn't have to get any exercise to get it.

2.  To the lady with the 2 kids in church:  You are the epitome of teaching your kids how to act during Mass.  Your 7 or 8 year old daughter talked to her friend (whose mother was sitting in the next section over & up one row so she couldn't watch her girl) the entire Mass without you even noticing.  I'll give you this:  during the 2nd half of the consecration, you did tell her to look toward the altar.  Of course, then she went right on talking to her friend.  Then, when your son started pinching his sister, you did a great job of separating the 2:  all your boy had to do was resist just a little, and you let him stay where he was...twice.  You did not distract me at all during Mass.  Nope, not at all.  And, since you were sitting 2 rows from the front, I'm sure you didn't distract the priest, either. 

3.  My left ankle:  Many thanks for reminding me that I am getting older and can't wear the shoes I want to.  Seems like this happened last spring when I switched over to my summer shoes, only it's worse this year.  Reality bites...hard. 

4.  My small town, the county parks & rec, and the county "Leadership Class of 2010":  Thank you for messing up the landscape in a park in my small town by putting up these ridiculous signs:
Are you kidding me?  The signs detract from the scenery, and, besides that, if families are coming to the park with their youngsters, don't you think they are already doing these things with their kids?  Talk about preaching to the choir!  I have only seen one person actually stop and do anything:  that was a middle school kid who appeared to be on his way home from school...alone.  And, he looked really embarrassed that I saw him trying to do anything!

5.  To a coworker:  Thanks so very, very much for leaving a note in my box asking for progress reports on 3 students.  First:  I just received information on 2 of them that morning, and, being kind of busy and doing my job and seeing students and getting ready for 2 meetings and all, I didn't have time to sit at my very, extremely slow computer and put the information in.  Second:  If it was that important, why the heck didn't you pick up the phone or send an e-mail?  I would've gone out of my way to make sure those 3 students' information had been put in the computer.  My box only gets visited 3 times/day:  when I get there, after lunch, and when I leave for the day (sometimes not even then).  And, the progress reports actually go out on Friday, so what's the dadgum hurry?

6.  And finally:  To the man who got bit by the bear while he was trying to take a picture of it:   Wildlife is there to look at, not get within inches of it. Many people I have talked to about this have asked if we can lobby to have you put down instead of the bear.  She was, after all, just being a bear.  Thanks for upsetting the female bear so that she has to take care of herself,  just to have her life in danger of ending because of your stupidity.  On behalf of the bear:  Thanks so very much.

Now it's your turn.  Come on, you know you want to do it!  Go over The Daily Dribbles and join me in getting some things off of your chest.  Believe me, you'll feel a lot better if you do!

5/19/2010

"ONE" Random Dozen

Before I get started on Random Dozen, I have an important question to ask:
Can everybody see my cute background?  I got it from a new site I found, but it's not showing up on my husband's laptop.  Thanks!





It's time to link up with Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee for the weekly Random Dozen!  Since this week's theme is "ONE", I thought I'd try to answer with just one word.  We'll see how it works out for me!



1. What is one really fast, know-by-heart "go-to" meal to fix in a pinch?
     Spaghettisauce from a jar, of course!  (Okay, one question and I've already blown it.  Let's start over with #2)
2. What is one item you won't leave home without. (Purse and license do not count.)
     Cell
3. Where is one place you never tire of visiting?
    Home
4. Share one factoid of your family's history.
    There goes my "one word objective"!  My maternal grandfather invented the corn stalker, but 
    didn't hang on to the patent.  One of the corn stalkers (along with Grandpa's name) is in a museum 
    in Texas.
5. Complete this sentence: "Once upon a time I ...."
    Went to the bridge during rivalry week and broke off the car key trying to open a can of paint.  I  
    wasn't suppose to be there...it was after band practice and I was suppose to go straight home. 
    told my dad that the key just broke off in the car door.  He acted like he believed me, but 31 years 
   later, I'm still wondering if he didn't really know what happened.
    
6. If you could win a one year's supply of anything, what would it be?
    Toilet paper
7. "One quirky thing you may not know about me is ...."
    I don't like for my morning routine to be disturbed...it makes me really cranky.
8. You have one dollar in your pocket. What will you buy?
     Soda
9. "One thing that always makes me laugh is ...."
     Husband
10. What is one thing you could do today to help yourself reach a personal goal?
       Exercise.
11. What is one thing you could do today to bless someone else?
      Be kind.
12. What is one thing you're looking forward to soon?
       Summer

Hmmm...6/12 with only 1 word answers.  Guess I did okay!

Don't forget to link up at 2nd Cup of Coffee!

5/18/2010

Nickel/Free Beer: It'll Get Ya Every Time

                             tuesdays unwrapped at cats

26 years ago, I said "I do".  I had only known this young man for 8 1/2 months, but knew the minute I saw him he was going to be mine.  August 31, 1983:  Fraternity Rush.  I was a Lil' Sis, having a good time at the Rush Party, when I see this really cute guy.  He's surrounded by a couple of other girls: one I had known since we were freshman, the other was a new girl on campus.  Those girls were crowding in close to him, not letting anyone else near him.  Like I said:  I knew the minute I saw him he'd be mine, I just wasn't sure how it was going to happen.  The girls had met him at a pizza place that had nickel beer, and they enticed him and his friends to the fraternity house for free beer at the Rush Party.
The next night was a "dry night"-no alcohol allowed, supposedly.  Not openly, anyway.  As expected, it was a pretty boring night...until that same guy walks in with the new girl.  Everybody else is in the tv room, but they're in the trophy room.  (I think that's what it was called...not exactly sure now!)  A couple of friends & I decided it's time to go somewhere more fun...nothing going on at the house.  So, we start calling out that we're going to a place down the road, then we leave.
At the hangout down the road, I run into a friend and am talking to him.  Lo &  behold, in walks the cutie!  Well, me being the good fraternity little sister that I was, I went up and talked to him and invited him to sit with us.  He said he had to go see some friends, but he'd be over in a bit.  Yeah, I know a brush off when I see it.  I had actually kind of forgotten about it, when, a little while later, he comes over to our table and talks to us.  We closed the place down that night, talking and dancing.  We were pretty much inseparable that semester.  We talked and talked and talked.  He ended up pledging the fraternity where I was a little sister.  We had pizza in the dorm lobby while I was on duty as an R.A.
I knew that he wouldn't be back that next semester: he had been called to Army Medic School in Texas.  I saw him before he left, then didn't see him again until March or April.  He never really asked me to marry him: it was more of a "Let's get married" over the phone kind of thing.  I was almost 2 1/2 years older than him.  I thought he was so mature for his age, and he was.  Now I tell him how stupid he was to get married at 19. 
Anyway, when he got back from medic school, he stayed in town for a couple of weeks, then went home.  I finished the semester, graduated, then he came up to my parents' house for a few days.  When he went to ask my dad if he could marry me, my dad was in his workshop with a saw in his hand.  Husband gulped, but he wasn't deterred.  I guess he thought it was all or nothing, to ask Daddy if he could marry his youngest daughter, his baby girl.  My dad agreed.
I know how fortunate I was that my parents were able to pay for my college education.  So, I didn't think it was wise or fair to turn around and ask them to pay for a wedding 13 days after graduation.  We decided to go down to his hometown and get married at the courthouse.  We were going to just wear our jeans, but husband's friend from high school talked us into wearing something decent.   Husband's dad was in Germany (he's retired military) for work, so the only other people there were my MIL, BIL, husband's friend from school, friend's sister & their father.  My MIL insisted that I have a bouquet, so she got me a silk arrangement that husband's friend's sister put in the freezer so they would stay fresh!  For our honeymoon, my MIL gave us a trip to the beach for a couple of days.  We  I bought champagne:  husband wasn't old enough to buy it!
We spent the first summer living with my in-laws, although they weren't there most of the summer.  I worked in a grocery store as a "crashier" (as my dad called it) and husband worked in a factory.  Then, we moved to North Ga. to begin our life.
When I look back, I realize how differently our life has turned out than what we had planned.  Husband was going to finish school, then go into the Army.  I was going to get to live in different places all over the world, and visit places I'd just dreamed about.  Well, life happens, and it didn't happen.  Who knows:  if we had done that, we wouldn't be the people we are today.  We've had some rough spots (what marriage hasn't?), but we've chosen to work it out and honor the vows that we said to each other 26 years ago, in a courthouse in South Alabama.  I love this husband of mine with all my heart; I can't imagine spending my life with anyone but him.
For my Catholic friends:  we did get our marriage blessed in the Church in 1986.  My parents were our witnesses; I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Oh, wait...I can hear people out in Blogland asking, "What about pictures?"  Funny you should ask.  When we got married, my BIL was 14 (I think).  For some really dumb  strange reason, we let him be in charge of the camera.  I absolutely love my BIL, but he was quite the brat when he was a teenager.  (You can see this coming, right?  Remember, this is before digital cameras, although I have a feeling the pictures would've been deleted before we got to download them!)  If I'm not mistaken, the door to the film was opened at some point, completely ruining the pictures.  Therefore, I have no pictures from the day I got married.  However, I do have a few pictures to share:
My bouquet:  My MIL had it put into a shadow box for me:
A picture of husband & me then:
And now (well, 1 year ago!):

We've had 26 good years; here's to many, many more!

5/17/2010

THE LAST MONDAY!

Look at my ticker right above this post.  Do you realize what it says?  THIS IS THE LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL!  This year has flown by, but I'm ready to get some R&R for a few weeks!

I do have to clarify something that I put in my previous post:  MS pointed out that his class had actually lost 4 games; I forgot that when they were freshman they lost to a team in the nearby Big City.  (I thought that happened the year before.)  I did get the undefeated part right, though!

Here are a couple of interesting items in the news in my area this past week:
1)  A black bear was seen Thursday morning on the campus of a high school in the school system where I work.  Seems the bear went up into a tree on an adjacent property, and the wildlife officer deemed it harmless because it went up and had a snack.  Plus, it wasn't on school property, so it wasn't a threat to the students.  Thursday afternoon (after Sheriff's deputies watched it all day) she climbed down and then climbed into another tree.  They apparently decided to leave her after school, hoping she'd go back into the woods when it got cooler.  Guess she went on her way:  there wasn't anything in the paper about her as a follow-up.

2)  In Sunday's paper, there was an article about a man getting bit by a bear because he got too close to it while trying to take a picture of it.  The paper reported that he got within inches of her.  SeriouslyAre you kidding me?  This guy gets the idiot of the week year award.  I have to tell ya, when we go up to the mountains, go around "Loop Road" and see a bear, everybody has stopped, and some idiots people go traipsing across the field with their cameras to get a picture of it.   People:  When you go to the mountains and you see a bear, watch from a distance.  They are not pets.    They. Are. Wild. Animals.  Wild, not tame: not there for you to walk up to, not in a cage, not at the zoo, and definitely not at a petting zoo. 

3) The big city near my small town apparently compiles an annual list of 15 buildings for an endangered historic preservation list.  On the "Fragile 15" (No, I'm going to go through all of them...just a couple that sparked my interest!):
  a)  A building on the university campus:  The owner (an architect)  designed it for a childhood friend, who was the heir to Coca Cola.  The building was willed to the university with the stipulation that it was not to be sold or subdivided, and has to be used for certain purposes.  It's been vacant since 1983.  The historic organization offered to put in up to $200,000 to repair the building and keep it from deteriorating further, but the university said no, they would take up private donations instead.  Hmm...wonder how I can get my house on that list?  Wonder if having a bomb shelter in the basement would help?  (I'll have to tell my house story in another post!)
  b)  A building (or maybe it's all of the buildings...the story wasn't real specific) that was on an African-American college in the big city:  The building was designed by the students, and built with bricks that the students made on site.  Very cool.
When we went to Copenhagen last summer, it was amazing to see all of these buildings that had been there forever.  I think we, as Americans, should take a clue from them.  They will update the inside of the buildings, leaving the historical integrity of the facade.  Or, they find ways to integrate the old and the modern.  For example:  Here is a building that was used for making torpedoes during WWII; it's now an apartment building:
Okay, maybe that wasn't the best example because that building hadn't been there forever, but you get my point!  My main point is that, in the U.S., our thinking is to tear it down and rebuild it, but in other countries, it is more important to keep the historical aspects of a building and modernize the inside.  Like this apartment building:
 

Husband & I went out last night for our anniversary dinner.  It's not until Tuesday (Gee, wonder what Tuesday's post will be about?), but with soccer and the band banquet, we decided to go out then.  We're so cheap:  we used a 2 complimentary dinner coupon I got for Christmas from Ms. Principal!  Can't beat it:  2 starters, 2 entrees, and 2 desserts for free, plus the waiter gets a very large tip!  Winners all around!  Oh, and the food was most excellent!

Hope everyone has an Extraordinary Monday!

5/15/2010

This Class

Last night was MS' high school graduation.  It's hard to believe he made it without me killing him or at least hurting him!  (Just joking here...I wouldn't do either to him!)  He is the stereotypical middle child, but he is a complete joy.  He's not afraid to show his emotions:  He can be a "huggy-feely" kind of person, completely in a masculine way.  He's not afraid to tell me he loves me in front of his friends.

I'm going to miss this class.  They welcomed MS in when they were in 7th grade (when we moved from SC) and treated him as if he had been there from the beginning of their school years.  I know in some small schools this isn't the case, and the newcomers are treated as outsiders.

This class won the football state championship all 4 of their high school years:  They only lost 3 games their whole high school career, and those were to a much larger school that won the state championship their 1st 2 years and was state runner-up for the last 2.  This class' senior year they were undefeated.
(The seniors on the field before the game for the coin toss.  This head coach has started the tradition that all of the seniors go out for the coin toss, then the captains for that game-they rotate doing the coin toss-continue on out to the middle of the field.)

(The scoreboard after the big rivalry game.  It had been 8 years since our high school had beat the other team.  They were supposed to have beat them a couple of times in the past 6 years, but they finally did it!)

This class has the honor of being part of the 1st team from our county to go to the state championship in soccer, or to even get to go to the state tournament.  They are continuing their march for the honor to go back to the state tournament, but it's still in the air at this point.

This class is "lively".  So many of them have been in some trouble, but deep down they are all good kids.  Some of the moms on the soccer team were talking, and we decided  they got in trouble because they are immature:  a lot of the kids in the class have birthdays in March & April.  Oh, and they do know how to have fun...a lot of it!
(Some of the senior boys before the game...they would go shirtless-regardless of the weather- and paint some of the players' numbers on the back, and paint a letter of the name of the school on their fronts.  This was their year to do that!  We'll see who carries on the tradition next year!)

This class leaves behind quite a legacy.  There's a classmate who made it all the way to Hollywood during American Idol (he was the center for the football team, and noone understood when he just quit the team a couple of weeks before the 1st game-he couldn't tell anybody what was going on):
A Gatorade Player of the Year for the state (there's only 1 per state)-this is the same young man who broke the record for the most touchdowns in a season (he had 50) and was invited to walk on at a major university nearby:
(Photo by Jenifer Clark)
Another classmate who will join another alum on a football team at a Division I university  in a neighboring state:
And, there are a couple of boys who will continue their football careers at smaller schools:












 (The one on the left is my "son from another mother"!  I absolutely adore the smile that the one on the right has.  Both are such great kids!)
Then there's the classmate who will be going to a major southern university on a "Tech"  scholarship (He did a a lot of the filming of school events)- he's the one on the right:
And the classmate that I'm sure has a future as a Contemporary Christian Artist:


 I'm sad to see this class leave.  I'm sad to see them disperse and go their own ways, because the days of them popping by the house will soon be over.  The nights of poker playing in the basement will just be something they'll talk about when they get together at reunions.  The front yard will be quiet with no boys  kicking the soccer ball or throwing the football around.
 So, I'm just going to enjoy this last summer before they go their own ways.  I love these boys like they're my own.
YS had a part in last night's ceremony:  The band played Pomp & Circumstance (okay, they're not playing here!):
After the ceremony, there were hugs & pictures all around:
(MS with both sets of grandparents.)
(OS & MS...I don't know who the man in back is, but he looks like he's posing as well!  YS was getting the band equipment back in the bandroom.)
(MS and one of his cousins)
 And a little get-together at the house (after husband went back up to the school to get YS & OS-we actually forgot about OS....not used to having him around anymore!)
(OS and a couple of cousins)
 
(The cake...obviously I took off his name and the first letter of his school...privacy reasons!)

I'm expecting great things out of this class:  I know they won't let me down!
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