Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I have a lot to learn

My sister and I have been on some adventures, to say the least! When we were younger our adventures were more catastrophic because we had not mastered the art of control, but as we've aged over the years we are able to manage the collateral damage that occur in our adventures. We are truly and Lucy and Ethel team because if one gets in trouble--we both got trouble. I've rescued her and she me too many times to count.

When my sister was probably 8 or so, I would have been around 4 or 5, she went through a phase of not wanting to take a bath. If she did take a bath she certainly did not want to go through the whole ordeal of washing, combing, and drying her long hair. She devised this plan that she would hang out in the bathroom for the period of time that it would take to bath, then wet just the front of her hair and wrap it in a towel. No one, but me, knew this trick and she would get away with not having to bathe. Me I had to bathe and wash my hair and I didn't like to do it at all. That was until I hatched my perfect plan.

I devised that I would try her trick and get my hair wet, tricking my Mom and Dad into thinking I had cleaned up. "Will, bath time." "Ok, Dad..." Off I went reluctantly slumping along to the bathroom. Water on, front hair wet--set! This is where things started to unravel to me. First, I didn't stay in the bathroom long enough to bathe and wash my hair. Next, I didn't think to wrap a towel around my dry hair just exposing the wet portion. PJ's were put on and I marched right back out to the living room, it had been maybe five minutes.

I can remember my Dad slowly turning to look at me with this look of dazed confusion then slowly turn to my Mom and look at her as if to say, " what is YOUR son doing?" "William, I told you to go take a bath." "I did." "No, no you didn't." "Yes I did..." "So, you took a bath and washed your hair?" "Yes." "Then why is your hair only wet here and not all over her head." My sister was deer in the headlights bug eyed because I in the process of exposing her perfect plan of disgusting habits. "Um...I us...I" "You didn't wash your hair or take a bath, did you?" "No sir." "What in the world were you thinking?" "Well Sis does it all the time so I thought I would try it." "Oh she does...does she?" [thunk]I had just abandoned my sister and left her high and dry. On her way to bed, she pinched me and said, "Thanks a lot...idiot!" Mom and Dad were on to her game from then on.

This is pretty much how I roll, bumbling and fumbling my way through life. My sister, thankfully, still loves me and rescues me more than I deserve.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And just where have you been?

If I told you I'm sure you would not believe me. As I am typing the cobwebs are actually [ack] choking me [gasp]. In all honesty I thought I was done posting on this blog and would totally devote any blog time to my cooking blog, but it's just not in me to abandon this ship. I just need an outlet and a place to pull out memories.

This will be a short post, but I will not leave you empty handed I have pictures!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jesus Loves Me This I Know for the pictures tell me so

In exactly five days little miss Teensy will be two...TWO!! I can not believe it. One of her greatest pleasures is to be in Bible Class and sing, especially now that her Momma is teaching her this quarter. These pictures were taken on Sunday and show just how much she loves her Bible Class. No need for comments, the pictures say it all.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Holding hands

This morning when I woke up I woke up resolved, I had made my mind up before I went to bed that I would have a certain attitude and be committed to a certain attitude. I would be lying if I said that I'm excited about the decision that my fellow Americans made. I'm not going to grab a stick and start a revolution, or talk to everyone I know about how horrible this situation is and what in the world are we going to do. That really wouldn't be very productive, now would it, nor would it solve anything. Instead I think resolution is in order. Especially as a Christian who has three small sets of eyes watching my reaction and my attitude. It's especially true when things don't go the way "I" want them to go, should I pout and scream and call forth doom and gloom? Not at all. I think I should be resolved to pray for this country and those who lead it. I should be resolved to pray for the leader of this country no matter what. I want my new President-elect to be safe and protected. So, I'll pray for him and pray that his leadership is a turning point.

I know that this election will be the topic of discussion as long as I live, it is truly one for the history books! There is no doubt that it was an historic election. I can remember feeling a sense of apprehension when my candidate didn't win the last time (1992) and looking back made a critical error in not praying for my president. I don't want to be guilty of ignoring some one's need for prayer based on the fact that "he's not the one I wanted to win."

It's over now, we move on, nothing has changed in my daily routine. As I drove to work this morning it really struck home with me that nothing in my normal routine has changed or possibly will change. Would have, could have, and should have are all things that have no power other than the power of distraction. If you are reading this today and feeling somewhat like I do, look out for yourself and pray for your president, he's going to need it. Pray for every member of government as Christ prayed for the members of His government that were crucifying him! We, Christians, are called to stand out and be different, let's not be different by being ugly and rude and not supporting the person we didn't choose.

Freedom is a sweet, wonderful and under appreciated liberty. I hear the bells of liberty ringing and know that the founding fathers of our country would be proud of the process and revelling in the ability our country has to give opportunity to all who seek it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

These little piggies

Miss Emma woke up a little early on Monday and spent some time with Dad. She sang and played in our master bath while I was getting ready for work. I noticed that she had torn her big toenail and didn't want it to go into the quick so I sat down and said, "let's clip clip." She knows the drill when it comes to clip clip.

"See this nail? That can give you a boo boo, Daddy is going to clip it so you won't get a boo boo." I decided to go ahead and give her other toes some attention and clipped all 10 little piggies. Baby feet and baby toes just shut me down. They are the most precious, wonderful, delicious thing in all the world. Love those baby toes, especially when they are attached to my kiddos!

" day you'll get to paint your toes pretty." I opened Kendra's make up drawer and pulled out her hot pink nail polish and said, "see this is pretty." Emma was illuminated and very excited at the thought, "pittty...pitty toes." Overcome by the moment I just went ahead and painted those little piggies. She galloped and clopped around the house saying, "pitty toes" the whole time. When Kendra got up, Emma ran over to her and said, "Momma...pitty toes." She was super proud of her toes!

This little girl just gets deeper and deeper into my heart more and more everyday!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cow Patty Pond

Titus had Fall Break last Wednesday through Friday so Kendra and I decided to get away and go to Silver Dollar City. It has become our all-time favorite escape, we just love to go there and wander the day away. Of course going "home" means the logistics of seeing family comes into play and we have to do our best to get in our time with Mom and Dad My parents are divorced, have been since I was 21 We had a great time at the city, even though one day is not enough time to get everything in. Our family really needs at least two days. Titus was bummed because he only got to ride the train one time, we usually ride it a minimum of 3 times, which means we do the Mine Ride that many times as they are right next to each other.

I talked to Dad and told him we would be coming down to see him on Saturday afternoon. "Maybe Mr. T and I can go to the pon
d." My Dad, who loves to fish, is thrilled beyond his ability to express that Titus loves to fish with him. Dad doesn't get excited about much, but going fishing with his Grandson is one rare glimpse of him excited. When we got there Titus wasted no time in letting Dad know that he was ready. I had not even turned the van off before, "Poppa! Poppa! Let's get our pole and go fishin'" "I go to Poppa?" Levi was wanting in on the action. "Oh buddy, Poppa doesn't think he can handle both of you." My Dad has never changed a diaper in his life and has no clue what Levi is saying because his hearing is poor. Those two things are reason enough for him to leave Levi home with Graham and Mom. I decided to go along with them so Levi could go which made him very happy.

We drove about six miles to my Dad's friend, Schmidt's farm. My entire life I have never know any of my Dad's friends first name, just their last name which is kind of that just in my family? I don't call any of my friends by their last name. Anyway, this farm was in a very rural and remote area. "Turn here." "On this...path?" "It's their driveway, just turn in." It was a very bumpy, narrow, mile long path that led to their house. I could think of nothing other than how in the world they made it in and out of their house in the rain and snow and ice. I just couldn't get that wrapped around my brain. I noticed a sign that said, "Beware of Dog" and I usually like to heed such warnings. "Rock is a good dog." "You mean the one to beware of?" "That's just to scare people off." Turns out that Rock was a sweet, laid back black lab that belonged on this rural farm. Just pull up here on the grass out of the way.

"Where's the pond?" "We have to follow the trail to the pond." Call me crazy, but do YOU see a trail? I took this picture because I knew there was a blog post in the making. As Dad began to walk I did notice somewhat of a winding, worn, trail-ish path. I would not have found the pond had it not been for my Dad. This was not a horribly long walk, maybe a 1,000 feet or so. I almost forgot that there was a barbed wire fence to traverse before getting to the wooded area. I'm not a rugged Pioneer anything! I climb stairs, not fences. Why did the fence builder not put a gate up? I'm kind of a big guy, not as big as I used to be, but still 6'3" and 2noneofyourbeeswax is big. Dad stepped on one wire, then lifted the wire above it to make an opening. "Climb through." "Why don't they have a gate?" "Just climb through!" Needless to say, the first thing caught on this day was the fence. Snagged top and bottom, "you need to work on your fence climbing Son." "Very, very funny tell your friend he needs a gate."
There is something magical about seeing your Dad walk with your boys to participate in one of his most loved activities. When I became a Dad I hoped that my children would know thier Poppa and love him without reservation. My Dad is a great Poppa and my boys love him to death, Emma is in love with him too and next year this picture will have a bowed up Tom girl running ahead of them all!

The above picture is the cow pasture
just on the other side of the wooded area. You had to walk through this gate [now there's a gate!] to get to the pasture after going through the wooded area. Dad is holding Levi because cow's live in this pasture. And while the cows were not even remotely interested in being around us and were far, far away, the...shall we say...evidence of their presence was ALL around. Huge cow patties I'm talking about cow poop! were all over the place. "Dada...look mud!" "DON'T STEP IN IT LEVI...THAT'S NOT MUD! THAT'S POOP FROM A COW!" This completely undid my phobic son. He refused to walk any longer, why is any one's guess. Maybe he thought the poop would just jump on him or something, I don't know. All I know is he was OUT on walking on the ground that was covered in poop. "Poppa...hold me...dhat poo poo get me!"

The pond was really big. I was in charge of casting for Levi and Titus was hanging out with his Poppa learning from the master. I cast into the water, "We catch a fish da-da?" "I hope so, we have to reel it in." Levi began to call at the top of his voice, "Here Nemo! Here Nemo!" The goal was to cast the lure, which had a bobber attached, into the pond and slowly reel it in. Not too fast, not too slow. That's the part I never get, what is that speed? If you know, you know, if you don't you spend your entire day casting into water and getting nothing but carpal tunnel. By some miracle the first catch of the day was from Levi's pole! "You got a bite, bub! You caught a fish! Let's reel it in." Levi gave me the pole, it was that or throw the thing into the water and run away--fast. I finally reeled in the fish and lifted it out of the water, "Get dat away from me! I don't want dat fish, peas top da da. " This was followed by a blood curdling scream. Levi had finally, painfully made the connection that all of this casting into the pond would result in this slimy, yucky fish attached! He was out. Dad came over quickly excited that Levi had caught his first fish and the first fish of the day. He thought that standing by the fish would some how help him over the fear of touching it. NO such luck. Levi was, as you can see, standing as far away from the thing as possible. "Peas top put dat back in the wahter."

I think I caught three or four fish, which brought the amount of fish ever caught to a whopping 6. Titus hit his lucky streak and began to catch fish. I got a kick out of Titus because he thought every bump, every wiggle or ripple of the pole was a bite. He is really focused when he's i
nto something and he was into catching fish. The picture to the left is Titus first fish. Dad called it a bluegill, but Titus never got the hang of calling it that. "Poppa this bluetail...bluefish...what did you call it?" Bluegill are fun to catch because they resist. Catching fish is fun, it's the moments in between that drive me crazy. Titus had no problem getting the fish off the hook and throwing it back in the water. He eventually caught six before the boredom consumed him. "Let's go, Dad. I'm getting bored." There really wasn't much to do after that other than go home. I figured I didn't want to force him to stay longer than he was ready to preserve the love for this sport.

On the way back through the pasture Titus sang this:

Yippee Ci yeah
Cowpatty! Yuck!
I'm glad my boys have their Poppa and memories of fishing with him. These will last a lifetime and give them something to long for with their children. Only their Poppa, me, will be cooking and not walking through cow laid mine fields to ponds to fish. At least not as far as I can see.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Lord said...

Sunday was Noah's Ark day at church. Titus was really into the construction of the Ark and all of the details that went along with that. At lunch he told me he had drawn up some blue prints of the ark and would like to build an Ark when we got home. I agreed, having built 750 arks in my nearly 20 years of Children's Ministry work, piece of cake. I'm not sure what there is about Titus and his ability to completely dupe me into thinking what I've always done is what we will do at this particular moment--we didn't build just any ark...we had to build a 3-D ark that could house all of Levi's Little People Nativity animals and Mary and Joseph who would play the part of Noah and his wife. I was hoping that Titus would ask me who Noah's wife was and I would immediately tell him, "Joan...Joan of Ark" but it never happened. I'll save that tired old joke and keep it for later use.

Building an Ark in our house with the materials on hand was the challenge. We didn't have a supply of craft sticks (thank you Lord, the glue would still be drying) or shoe, we had Kendra's supply of Scrapbook paper, scissors, Titus' blueprints, and a glue stick. My attempts to streamline this process went unsuccessfully, "Dad...I'm not trying to be angry at you, I'm...well I'm just not sure you are following the blueprint. I have it right here." Pressing on, with 6 year old mechanical engineer in charge. We built!

The first thing we did was build up the sides of the Ark. I folded the square scrapbook paper, carefully selected by the engineer because it looked the most like the wood that Noah used, "Titus how do you know what the wood Noah used looked like?" " teacher told me and I saw the picture for myself in the Bible!" [thunk] "Sorry, just asking." The engineer and I laid down a floor, to match the roof--of course, and then folded about an inch of the side paper, gluing it to the floor. That made a good size U shape.

Next came the strips of paper we glued across the top of the boat to keep it from collapsing upon itself. It was pretty wobbly, but the strips of paper were enough to keep it all held up. After we glued the strips of paper on the top we had to make the roof, and glue more sides on the roof, "Dad, if there's no wall on top Noah and his family will get's going to rain for 40 days!" I'm really glad we were staying true to the exact specifications and needs for our Ark. After all, civilization lies in the balance of this boats ability to float!

After the top and sides were constructed, and the walls for Noah's house were built I had to think about how in the world I was going to get the sides of the boat to stick? I couldn't glue the razor thin edge of the paper because it wouldn't stick. What to do...what to do? Eureka! I took the square of paper, carefully cut by the engineer to be exact in size, and folded about an inch of the piece, gluing it on the floor. I made a flap which folded out and in and kept the sides pretty secure. Would the engineer buy it? Would the engineer be willing to accept that these sides are not secure and permanent? "Hey Bub, I put the sides of the boat he had excused his self to go to the little boys roomon for you. I made them fold down you could put your animals in easier." "Thanks Dad, that's a great idea. The door isn't big enough for my animals, this is great."

The door was secured shut by one of Emma's hair clips. That engineer of mine! Beautiful, wonderful, creative imagination! You can barely see the pink clip, but it's there. After the animals were loaded into the Ark, Titus put it on his skateboard and played Noah for close to one and a half hours--the whole time we were at home between morning and evening worship services.

I don't know that this boat will survive the week, but I do know that the hour and a half we spent working on his creation, from his blueprint WILL last my lifetime of memories. Spending time with Titus as he opened his imagination up to full throttle is so fun to watch. His level of concentration when he is in full construction mode is unparalleled and a wonder to behold. I just am amazed at this creation of God. It gets me all excited to think about the wonderful things I'll get to do with Levi and Emma. Although Levi is my right hand in the kitchen, loves to crack those baby chicks!