Thursday, June 30, 2011
Emma K. loves Nat Geo Wild [she apparently wants to work in a zoo...and to think, all this time, I thought she might work in Vegas in a tattoo parlor or worse. Things are definitely looking up!] so tonight [after walking about 2 miles THEN eating a cookies and cream milkshake from Casa de la Shortie] we watched some show about these men that find snakes and stuff in the wild. [A) Teaching middle school is WAY tougher than capturing any venemous snake. B) Snakes are cool but the ones that will kill you are best viewed dead....or behind glass....or not at all.] Incidentally, [only because Emma and Gabe are addicted to TV like I am to Diet Sundrop] Emma had already seen this particular episode of Wild Adventures so she was giving us the play-by-play commentary. These men [one of whom speaks Spanish, according to Emma, but his name, complexion, and accent indicate more like Dutch? What the heck? Dutch. Spanish. They all sound the same when you are seven] were attempting to look for a black Mamba snake that was stowing away in a public restroom. [Just one more reason in my laundry list of reasons to NOT use a public restroom.] Apparently this snake loved the tank water of the toilet becaue it was hiding in one then moved to the other. One man [the English speaking American] sent in a high tech robot, like the ones used to detonate bombs, in to find the snake. [Which I found actually comical ~ you are a snake wrangler, for a living!!! I don't send in high tech robots when my 8th graders are acting like grade-A, first class goobers (which is EVERYDAY) to manage them....I just kick fanny and take names MYSELF. Watch and learn Mr. Snake Man.] Well the fancy, smancy robot could not find the snake because it was not tall enough so the silly men [Mr. English Speaking American and Mr. Dutch Accented Spaniard] DID have to do their jobs and go in with those long, clamp things and get Black Mamba. Interesting stuff until 3:00am....
[Nightmare entitled Camping at the Rental Estate from an Episode of Snapped with the Parents, the Shorties, several New Characters, and Bigfoot] My grandparents have been gone for a number of years but tonight they reappeared as the landlords of this enormous rental house, in the woods, that I just watched on an episode of Snapped recently. [You will begin to see that the general theme of this blog is too much TV at the Short house.] My family and I arrived in three, enormous FBC-KM vans [Yes, I hit the curb several times in this dream too] along with many of the folks from A Kick in the Teeth [our kickball team just played in the championship game tonight] and everyone's vacation pick....Bigfoot. Now, follow along with me......
We arrived [this odd assortment of people, thrown together because my mind is warped ~ seriously] to find my parents already there. My dad showed us around the huge estate [and just like the one where this rich old lady killed her rich, lawyer husband on the couch from the above mentioned episode of Snapped] except in my nightmare this house had a huge water park in the front yard. Fast forward to the end of the vacation [that part is true to life ~ vacations go by way too fast] when we are preparing to leave….there were about a million rules for leaving the rental [which, incidentally, is just like staying at my mom and dad’s house now] including cleaning up in the china shop. [Missy’s mind = super bizarre and slightly psycho] where I worked but broke most of the china. [Funny because just yesterday I dropped a small plate out of the cabinet and broke it.] Just like the dream was the end of my vacation, it was also closing time for the china shop. So, in addition to trying to pack up the Shorties to go home, [along with this random assortment of people] I was also attempting to close the china shop [I am the bull that works there] while taking on the 1,000,001 direction from my dad. [Sidenote on the directions: They were things like remove all curtains and wash them, set the appliances at a 45 degree angle, and clean every leaf from the pool. Note to self: Next time, dream about going on all expenses paid trip to Hawaii….alone.] All of a sudden, we are left with a ton of things to get done ~ washing all the sheets, the clothes, counting the cash register, taking care of Bigfoot, and avoiding gunfire. In the nightmare, it was like I could not get everything done [not unlike living here] because as soon as I would take clothes or sheets or curtains out the dryer then more would appear. I would yell at the kids to pick up their rooms [Again, real life meets fiction] and they would ignore me. I asked Craig to vacuum 3 times and yes, he ignored me. Fast forward again to the pool ~ where we have tranquilized Bigfoot so that we can send in some crazy man to capture him with fishing line. [Forget that stick the dude from Casar was using ~ fishing line is much easier.] At this point there was a lot of blood in the pool and I could not get to my children. That is so scary to have something so real [well besides Bigfoot] that it feels like you may lose your children because you cannot reach them. Bigfoot's tranquilizer wore off and then he began to scratch and bite me as I was trying to get out of the pool. When we finally got out we were in a parking lot where gangs were fighting and shooting at each other. Again, in the hail of bullets, my children were frantically running and I couldn't get to them. Finally, in desperation, I ran through the bullets to save them and that is when I woke up. [Tonight there will be zero milkshakes and definitely no black Mamba snakes.]
Other scary tales from the Short house? Well Gabe is home all summer and wreaking havoc on us! From screaming in the mic at Food Lion to just generally screaming I can say that he is driving me CrAzY!!! He likes routine [what's that?] but he doesn't like Emma K. up in his grill all the time [Emma is the mother hen type and a tad bossy...ummm...like her mom :)] so he's gone to screamin' [which has made me want to scream] and whining [like his daddy]. I have torn that tail up a few times ~ hasn't fazed him at all. That black Mamba snake from above? Got nothin' on Gabe.
Tuesday we made him clean his room. The boy spent 5 hours in his room but it wasn't until Craig and I found some HUGE black trashbags and stood over him like Nazi soldiers that he finally picked up his "mans" and blocks. Some of you are shaking your heads and talking about us like we're awful parents....and maybe we are...but he is his own beast and we have to tame him....or die trying. The boy is going to learn, come heck or high water, that putting up his stuff is not an option [of course, Craig's been tryin' to teach me this for 16 years so poor ol' Gabe gets it honest] and when we tell him to do something he needs to do it. Molly has made him rotten!!!
Another great week praising the Lord - NYC style! I've had the most fun hangin' with the kids and youth at FBC-KM. I will be so bored next week....
As always, life as a Short [even when Bigfoot is around] is awesome :)
Saturday, June 25, 2011
But I have to be honest [as I always am] and say that I was not overly thrilled about going and leaving 4 of the 6 Shorties behind to fend for themselves [Molly was with me]. It was tough packing and leaving. I felt very guilty and it is hard to enjoy yourself if you feel guilty [some of you are sayin' "Right on sister!"] so the entire ride there I tried to psych myself up for what was in store. God had other plans and none of them involved what I thought was the right thing for me.
I was a group bus driver for the week [because we all know how well I drive so the prayin' started as we pulled onto Mountain Street on Monday morning] so when it came to signing up for the type of work I wanted to do I didn't have much of a choice. I put down flexible but in my mind [which is twisted and warped] I was screaming, "NO CHILDREN!! I am a teacher!!! I teach Sunday school! I have 4 of my own! NO!!. I wanted to paint [I paint as well as I drive] or do construction. Bahahahahahaha!!! [Why am I laughing? Funny you should ask.] Guess who got children? Yeah, me. So there you go - don't go tellin' God what you want or don't want because it's not about us. He placed me there for a reason.....
Our group had to drive almost an hour to get to our work site. We met at a small church that was located in a mobile home park, inside a mobile home. Here we met Pastor Grover Peppers [he told us we could call him Dr. Pepper but we decided that Sargent Pepper sounded way cooler :]. His plans for us were to invite the community children to play at the church and then spread the word about the revival that is currently going on this week. Our first order of business was to break into small groups of one adult and several kids and canvas the neighborhood to knock on doors to invite students. We [well Satan wanted us too anyway] hit a brick wall because the primary language spoken in this neighborhood was Spanish. We found ourselves not quite reaching the intended goal because of the language barrier. Suddenly, one of the older youth in the group said, "I know a little Spanish. Let me try." Boy didn't know a little Spanish - he knew quite a bit. He knew enough to carry on a conversation with several mothers at the houses we stopped at and these children were able to join us all week. [What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 ~ said while sticking tongue out at Satan.] The first day, Tuesday, we had about 15 kids there....but the rest of the week? They were lined up, waiting for us when we arrived.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Ump: What are you talking about? It was a foul ball!
Craig: It's in the rule book. If the ball hits the bat in fair territory then she's out.
Ump: I don't know what rule book you're reading.
Craig: The one you didn't read obviously.
Ump: I've been calling softball longer than you've been alive! You don't know anything.
Craig: You------ [I stopped him from saying anything that might end with him being escorted to the car for the rest of the day.]
So the rest of the game I got to listen to Short mumble things under his breath and watch him give the ump the stare of death. Men.....
Emma and Gabe came later, just in time for the [shhhh....Gabe might hear me type this] S-T-O-R-M. Gabe is like a radar for storms. The very minute [kid you not] the wind began to blow he started: I want to go home! Let's go home!!!! [Imagine this being said while screaming in a panic stricken state.] I picked him up and tried to calm him down - epic fail. He was having no part of me and my talk about it all being ok. Fifteen minutes later, all heck broke loose. Honestly, at this point, I was in a panic stricken state. The wind was howling, blowing sand on us and lifting anything not tied down. Swirling of the clouds overhead sent me and the babes to the restroom. [I HATE public restrooms with a passion. Now, because of Mother Nature, I was forced to not only go into one, but I had to stay until the fury of the storm subsided. Gross.] The game was postponed for about 30 minutes and after a good hard rain [and ALOT of crying by Gabe] we finished the night with one win and two losses. Craig, Molly, Emma, and my mom went back today for the last two games. Molly's team ended up winning the tournament, winning all three games today. [And Craig did not have any heated arguements with the umps:)]
Today, Father's Day, we all get a little sentimental about our daddies. I thought this would be a perfect day to talk about my family. First of all, my immediate family [the Shorties] are just plain awesome. We have the best time just being together. Often, we end our nights hanging out in the living room watching one of our favorite shows [Dual Survival, World's Dumbest, Pawn Stars, or the Office - real educationally sound TV for the kiddos] or sitting around the dinner table. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing we are together. There are not many evenings that we don't have dinner, at the table, together. [Just call us the Cleavers.] I want my kids to know that they are loved and that Craig and I are intereseted in their lives.
I cannot remember a time when my parents were not there for me. [I can remember many times they wanted to strangle me....the ruptured gas tank on the Prelude, the muffler, ripped from the bottom of the Prelude, the ticket for an "average" speed of 77 in a 55, and the credit card saga....just to name a few.] They have loved me unconditionally [even when I've been unloveable] and they taught me how to be a good parent. They sacrificed and worked so that Summer and I could have "stuff" and go to college. My parents raised us in church and were good, Christian examples of how a person should live a life of service and love. My mom and dad worked [and still do] extremely hard to have all that they have; they put themselves through college and graduated while Summer and I were in elementary school. Both have extremely successful careers and there was never, ever any doubt that Summer and I would be college graduates. Our education was always first and foremost; we were never allowed to settle for less that what they knew we were capable of doing in school. Family.
When I married Craig I gained another family [after being slightly intimidated for marrying the BABY and ONLY boy of three older sisters]. Craig's family is huge! I remember my first Christmas gathering with them when I forced to participate in the famous 12 Days of Christmas singing. [I'm not a singer - at all - like people beg me to NOT sing.] If my memory serves me correctly, I had to sing 10 Lords A'Leapin? And you don't just sing [because that would be way too easy] - you also have to dance the part. I'm guessing this was some sort of hazing ritual and I must have passed because they keep inviting me back for Christmas singing!! Family.
Molly was born when Craig and I were still in college [Some would say "not in the plan" - we had no plan - and it's all been just fine:)] In order to finish college we were going to need a babysitter. Craig's mom and sister, Kandace, would drive to Charlotte every Wednesday and keep little Molly for us because Craig and I were taking educational psychology together. [Just a side note: I made a B and Craig made an A. I wrote his papers for him - and mine too - what is up with that?] Needless to say, Craig's mom and sister were more than overjoyed to come and do this for us. At the time, Kandace did not have any children so she loved spoiling Molly :) They never asked us for money [Ummm, good thing too because we didn't have a dime - literally] or any compensation but gave of their time and money to help us out. Family.
After Molly was born and Cooper came along three years later, Craig and I were still struggling to make ends meet [and not much has changed has it?] we often found the end of the money before the end of the month. [If you've ever had to adjust to getting paid just once a month after getting paid every two weeks then this can be a struggle.] One day, after realizing that Cooper needed formula but the money was not there, I came home to find a note and money taped to the door. Both were from Uncle Butch [Butch is married to Craig's sister Jill]. He was working in the area and said that the Lord spoke to him and told him to leave us the money. God does not leave you or forsake you. I still cry, to this day [nearly 12 years later], when I think about coming home and finding that money. Family.
Our families have clothed us and fed us and kept food on our table. My sister has given us furniture [several times] and kept my kids when I needed to be out of town. One time, after Gabe was born, Summer and Chris [my sister and her husband] bought us a weekend at a bed and breakfast in Woolwine, Va [population 4] and then kept the children so we could go out of town. Summer paid for Emma's baby furniture. Summer drove down last summer [that sounds funny doesn't it?], after working all day, with Sophie, to help us move in the middle of the night [literally]. She packed and cleaned and unpacked and cleaned some more...then took my children to pick out something new for each of their rooms. Family.
I cannot speak about family without talking about Sonja Henie. If you've never met Craig's mom then you are missing out. She is an amazing woman. She raised four children, on her own, and worked two or three jobs at a time. She loves her son [my husband] dearly, as she does all her children. She is hilarious and brutally honest [which can be hilarious] and we call her MiMi. She kept the kids, when softball season started, for me on Mondays so that I could teach at GWU. Family.
The guidance and support of our families, along the way, has meant a great deal to Craig and myself. We give thanks, each and every day, to God, for allowing us to grow up in loving homes and we pray that our children see the same love in our home. Family.
My prayer, for each of you, is that you cherish your family and that you realize how important family is in your life if you don't already know.
As always, life in this family is awesome :)
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I have tried to raise my kids that way [though in today's "Give it to me NOW" society that is not an easy thing to do] and they truly have what they need - but sometimes I want to give them ALL they want and then some. They are good children [even Gabe] and they are such a blessing in my life. I know they are happy and satisfied with what they have. [Heck, Gabe and Emma love to just spend two three dollars each at the Mighty Dollar - way better than the Dollar Store.] Molly and Cooper have never said, "I have to have this or that!" I guess that is what makes me so crazy tonight [well that and the fact that I am more than a bit on the looney side anyway....] is that I want to give them the WORLD and I feel lousy because sometimes I can't. Gabe keeps asking us when are we going to the beach. Short and I had no vacation plans this summer because we are trying to send them to camps and things so the money for a week away just isn't there. We could probably swing it for three or four days but just knowing that his sweet little face lights up at the mere mention of the beach makes me want to move there.
So what do you do? [Robbing a bank is out of the question and I don't play the lottery.] Seriously? We have been through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University [and I would recommend it to EVERYONE. Awesome, Biblical advice, and a light at the end of a long tunnel if you follow what he says] so we don't drive lavish, brand new vehicles [have you seen the inside of my Pilot?] and we don't have a huge flat screen TV [come to think of it, we don't have a small one either] and we don't have a house full of expensive furniture [most of it's been donated to us by our loving families] and we don't buy things on credit [because I learned that credit cards, like poison ivy, are the Spawn of Satan]. Now we do have bills that are leftovers from our "old ways" that we are working to pay off like two car payments [can you spell D-U-M-B?]. We do a lot of things right when it comes to money and we realize that too. We have what we need and we have more than ALOT of folks.
I'm just down in the mouth tonight about wanting to give my kids all they deserve. They deserve a vacation to Disney World [I heart DW] and each a pair of Rainbow flip flops and Reebok Zigs and clothes from Hollister and American Eagle. I work so I should be able to spend what I want and get what I want when I want it - Right? Hmmmmmm.....this is where the inner struggle is taking place. I know the answer is NO. The Bible [and my sweet, Christian husband often reminds me of this from the Bible] says,
Saturday, June 11, 2011
This is Emma's best friend in all the world. She and Emma were in the same first grade class this year. What an awesome experience for Emma to get to know her. Through the year they learned to depend on each other. Hopefully, the two of them will be in second grade together next year.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Lots of changes for next year. I am moving classrooms [and I have a lot of stuff...and this new room does not have a lot of space for my stuff....that means time to clean up] and moving to work with new teammates. I have discovered that change is tough. It is extremely hard to leave what is familiar and move on to what is unfamiliar. We teachers are very territorial - we like to get really comfortable and most of us have lots of "stuff".
But I realized something this afternoon, in the middle of my pity party about packing and moving and painting and starting over - God has his hand in the middle of all of this and it's all going to be a-okay. I have a wonderful job, I work with awesome people, and I LOVE being a dorky science teacher. [Emphasis on teacher and not dorky please.] I really need to get over it - it's not about me anyway :)
If you read my Facebook status' then you know Gabe had a rough day yesterday. He decided that he would tell his friends to "shut up" and call them stupid then he proclaimed [and loudly] a the word "boobies" to everyone and anyone that cared to listen. He got a stern lecture in the car [though it was hard to hear over Molly's hee-hawing after she read the note from the teacher] but I doubt it did much good. I'm not sure about how to punish him way after it happens. At home, when he does things like this [after we hide so he doesn't see us laughing] we pop his little fanny. But corporal punishment 4 or 5 hours after he's said something at nursery does not seem to have any affect on him. [However it does make for good Facebook conversations and nighttime chats with Craig.] I promise you that we do not go around yelling the word "boobies" at our house [not through the week anyway] and we do try very hard to be good parents to our children [well, at least I try very hard....I wonder about Craig's parenting sometimes....just kidding....maybe].
This morning Gabe was counting for us - in Spanish. The militant midget can hardly count in English so you can imagine what we heard....
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Craig has a new nickname: Bug Bite. He was sick last week. It started out Sunday with a fever and him feeling sick on his stomach. It continued with a fever, severe headache [My daddy always says, " The first time I saw that thing I knew it was going to give you problems."], feeling really achy, and lack of appetite. [If you don't know Craig then you know that if he ain't eating then he's sick 'cause the boy loves him some food.] The doc suspected Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever because of the symptoms so she did some blood work and put him out of work all week. So, I nicknamed him Bug Bite. He was not amused but I found it hilarious. The blood work came back and it is not RMSF. He feels better now...but I'm still going to call him Bug Bite.
Coming back down the mountain I get a call from a friend. We chat a minute then the friend says, "I have a confession to make." I'm thinking, in light of recent events that cannot be discussed, that this person is going to tell me something related to these events. Instead, they begin to "spill their guts" about a voicemail. "I didn't get a voicemail from you." The response from my friend? "Good!!" They proceed to tell me that someone passed them on the road and waved at them, around the time they were leaving me a message. This person that waved at them is a person that, for whatever reason, has never been very nice to my friend, but on this day they chose to wave. At this point, thinking the message was over and the phone hung up, my friend says, "I hate you." Yep....then realizes the message is still going and that they've actually left me the "I hate you" message at the end of the voicemail. I laughed so hard! This person, distraught over thinking that I would think they were talking to me, even contacted someone else to "mythbust" whether or not the statement would be heard in the phone. Which is a good segway to my next bit of blog rhetoric....
Why do some people have to be so rude? I am being serious. Like, why are some people so stuck up? For example, last night we hit TJ Maxx and Dick's Sporting Goods in GTown last night. I was in TJ Maxx and saw a family that I know. I looked at the oldest child, made eye contact, then eye contact with the father. I waved....and both of them turned their head. Are you serious? You just about knocked me down a few weeks ago, to talk to me, but tonight you don't know me? [Well maybe they didn't see me? No, not so. They saw me. We were too close, on the same aisle, for them to not see me.] Just like my friend from above. This particular person that waved at them has always been really rude [I am sure not just to my friend but to everyone] and for no good reason. If you truly do not like someone that you really don't know then what is your problem? Grow up and get over it. I know people that will turn their head in the hall so they don't have to speak. Guess what, Thief of Joy, maybe you're not worthy of the hello I was going to share. If you're going to turn your head just so you don't have to speak well maybe you're missing out on something really cool I had to say. [I actually want to jump in front of them and prevent them from moving until they speak or get an air horn and press it in their ear. But I'm not going to do either one of those things....maybe.] Sometimes, I know, people do not speak because they don't know what to say but more times than not, people make an effort to be rude and disrepsectful. Some just think they are too good to talk to us lowly folks. Some pretend to be "friends" until they get what they want then you are as good as done. [Eleanor Roosevelt said "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."] I, for one, don't plan on giving anyone my consent to inferiority.
[Ok, I've put my soap box neatly back into the closet.] I cannot believe that Molly is at the END of her freshman year. She'll be the sweet 16 in December. [We are not keeping up with the current trend of inviting EVERYONE within a 20 mile radius to a party, whether we know them or not.] Our plan is to hit the Big Apple in early December then let her plan something with her friends closer to her actual birthday at the end of December. My dad is giving her the 1997 Honda Accord. The other night, she and I were walking, and the conversation went like this:
Molly: I think I know what Paw Paw is going to do. I know what kind of car he's giving me. It's not the Accord.
Me: Do you know something I don't know?
Molly: Well I think ya'll are just messing with me. I think he is buying me a new car.
Me [after picking myself up off the ground from laughing so hard]: Ummmm...hate to burst that dream ya got goin' there sister but you will soon be the proud owner of a 1997 Honda Accord.
When you see her, tell her you can't wait to see her car...the 1997 green Honda Accord :)
As always, life is good:)