Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"If I were to label much of the educational material today, I'm afraid a large percentage would definitely be twaddle. How colorfully and scientifically our generation talks down to the little child! What insipid, stupid, dull stories are trotted out!"-Susan Schaeffer MacAuley

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Life along the way

I have been watching him since the beginning of last summer...at least. Peach fuzz was visible, but not much beyond that. Well yesterday, first thing in the morning, I looked to the top of the staircase & saw Billy sporting a mustache. That's it! I can't handle looking at a 14 year old with facial hair.
I broke the news to Jeff while we were out running errands. He picked out Billy's first razor (in a sulking manner). This morning he gave Billy his first lesson in shaving. Jeff taught him about the whole face because Billy also has a good amount of peach fuzz on his cheeks & chin. I'm thinkin' as fast as Billy is changing this was a good plan.
Billy has changed a lot. He has armpit hair, chest springys, he smells (deodorant is a must), has pimples & his voice is changing. He is taller than me. He wears a size 11 shoe. His hair has become incredibly curly. This morning he backed the 4 runner out of the garage by himself & then he & Ricky packed all the recycling stuff.
I am finding every time I turn my head, when I turn back, I see that something has changed in life along the way.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Austin is offical

We celebrated Austin Soltero turning 13 today. Its true. He is a teenager. We went to see a movie, City of Ember. We all liked it so much we went straight to the bookstore to check out the book series the movie was based off of. We went window shopping for clothes. (hope you find the perfect sweatshirt) Then we met the Dads & had a fabulous dinner at Red Robin where they sang Austin a silly birthday song. Billy recorded the whole embarrassing thing!

Happy Birthday Blue Eyes, WE LOVE YOU!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Billy & Ricky have changed living quarters

Ricky is in what was their joint bedroom. Billy is in what was their music room. When we moved in here we set the music room up for WGTB & BTB practice. Both boys have released that part of their world. So the room was really not necessary. Instrument practice is actually easier separated since they aren't playing anything together.
The only immediate draw back is the whole TV thing. They bought a Wii & wanted to put it in the Music Studio with a TV they would start to save for. I was okay with that plan. I am not okay with TV's in the bedroom. So if you have your own rooms...no TV. They thought it over & agreed to the terms.
They moved. They have been enjoying the wide open spaces. They both have plans for what they want to do with their "new" rooms. Some of those ideas will come to fruition this Christmas.
Billy spent Friday night at Justin Pools house & Ricky spent all day Saturday at Bowen Cunnings house so this was pretty much a one evening deal. They started Saturday evening before & after Worship practice and ended Sunday morning before church.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Well it happened again...

When Leroy first began to show signs of hormonal changes he & Larry fought over food. They had their little tiffs. Leroy was left with a scar on his snout. For the next few months Jeff monitored every meal. He was ready to discipline any dog who was trouble makin'.
Fast forward to the present. We have an Adult Leroy & an up & coming "teenager" Eddy. Thanksgiving evening we were late getting home. The dogs, therefore, were late in getting dinner. B&R feed the dogs as usual & walked back into the house. (they are fed in the garage because we can't keep Kansas out of their bowls.) Anyway we heard a loud yelp & went to investigate the crime scene. Long story short-Jeff is monitoring dog dinners again. Eddy has a bite out of his front leg that we are doctoring. Leroy has a new extension to the original snout scar. Apparently that's the place to "get" him. By the way no one is grouchy. Both dogs appreciate the others company. It is just a food thing.
Nope, no vicious killers here. Just two dogs that need to know they can't throw temper-tantrums because they want whats in the other guys bowl. The most frustrating part is that we just got over kennel cough. When Eddy ran away he brought back that gift & shared it with Leroy!
Remind me why I have dogs????

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What ever happened to class?

We went to go see the Fresno Philharmonic preform"Beethoven lives upstairs" at the Saroyan Theater. It was a very good show. And although pushed as an elementary performance my Jr High & High School kids enjoyed it. There were several other "teens" at the performance as well. I heard that some Moms bought the book or rented the movie instead of bringing their older kids, that's too bad. Why do we let other people decide what is age appropriate?
As I said the performance was wonderful. The tidbits about Beethoven brought his music to life! We even got to talk to some of the Philharmonic Musicians after the show, which was a treat. I just wish that schools/parents taught their children/youth how to behave at these sorts of events. I am sick of the sea of whoops & hollers! This is not a football game people! It was a challenge for the performers to focus & continue. This is a common situation. Time & place people, TIME & PLACE!!!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We are surrounded by talent

As a child my Dad played us songs on his guitar & sang to us. He never made it big, but he was in a local band & did put out a few albums. He also drew crazy cartoons & made up silly stories. Those two things have carried over into my house. I draw & make up stories, Jeff makes up stories. Ricky plays the guitar & loves to sing. Billy's in a local band...they put out CD's.
My Mother & Grandmother made my siblings and I doll clothes, blankets well even dolls for that matter! They made hats, mittens, afghans & scarves etc... When my babies were born they made them sweaters, booties & blankets as well.
I married into a family with domestic artists. Jeff's Mom does needle point & sewing etc... Jeff's Grandmother & Great Aunt & Aunt all made my babies blankets, booties & sweaters as well. Ceci, one of Jeff's Aunts even tough my boys to knit. They have made me scarves, socks & even knitted bracelets. Ceci makes some awesome socks. She gave Jeff & I each a pair...we love them!
Jeff has some very talented artist in his family, each with its own flair. We have the privilege of sporting some of that artwork around our home.
Our friend Nathan is a budding artist. We do have one example of his work (hint..hint..). We recently added Ms Hannah's artwork to our decor. She is the 12 year old buddy to our boys. She entered her work in an Art show & did quit well! We liked her work so much we asked her to duplicate it for an empty wall in our room.
We are blessed to have such talent surrounding us. Thank you to everyone for what you add to our world.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


#1 Jeff is Superman. Okay, he may not leap tall buildings in a single bound. But he rescues this frazzled mama with a single bag. He waltzes through the door with chocolate, soda, Mexican food & a movie. He turns my whole world around.

#2 Jeff remembers Oct. 5th every year. This is one of his favorite days. Its the day I said I'd "go steady" with him. We were 15 years old.

#3 Jeff loves to brush my hair. He has even learned to french braid. Billy & Ricky, wanting to be just like their Dad, started playing with my hair as well. This mostly took place while I was sitting down reading to them when they were little. I looked like a Rastafarian by the time all was done.

#4 Jeff loves people. Jeff talks to everyone even the waiter/waitress at restaurants end up sitting & chatting with us when we go out to dinner. Jeff pulls me out of my shell.

#5 Jeff is spontaneous and romantic. He comes home from work to grab me to watch the sunset over the lake. He writes sweet emails throughout the day. He always reaches for my hand as soon as I sit down in the car.

#6 Jeff is a goofball. He busts out in song & dances like Axel Rose to make me laugh when I'm sad. He tries to pick my nose...with straws...while he's driving. He puts fries in his mouth & acts like a walrus..in restaurants. He makes retarted puppet shows until Billy, Ricky & I laugh so hard we cry.

#7 Jeff loves being a Dad. He could hardly wait to meet & hold our babies-he was bursting with anticipation. He loves rough housing, teaching and listening. Being a part of as many moments in their lives as he can. He is grateful to be self employed & thankful for the oppurtunity to homeschool as these endeavors allow him more time with our sons. He will do anything in his power to help them accomplish their dreams.

#8 Jeff loves the Lord. He studies His word. he enjoys breakfast meetings with our pastor plus sunday school & church services. He cherishes leading our family studies. He gets sparkle-eyed when people call or email or text him to "talk God". When we turn on the car after he has been in we normally hear a sermon. If you walk in his office or look on his bedside table your likely to see an open bible with the latest passages he's studying. Jeff wants to please the Lord. He wants to live in His will & praise God through all life's bumps & curves.

#9 Jeff is my knight in shining armor. He doesn't stand for people mistreating me. He will always come to my defense. If there is a wrong to right, a problem to solve, a question to answer he goes riding off into the sunset telephone or email in hand......

#10 Jeff loves adventuring. He loves seeing new places. He enjoys a good hike, swim or drive. He is an amazing photographer. He really likes capturing bits of nature on film. He's game for just about anything. he has a real adventurous spirit.

#11 Jeff is my encourager. He nudges me to try new things. He complements my cooking, decorating, drawing & writing. He's my biggest fan.

#12 Jeff is 33 today! Happy Birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Jeff! Happy Birthday to you!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday

It is a time set aside for us as families to come together, be grateful & recognize that we do need each other. Its rich in history & tradition. Most important of all though, its a reminder for us to place our trust where it belongs, in Christ alone. Regardless of circumstances each of us face, we must know it is He who is in control. Christ has not left us, He is in our midst. We can only read a small fraction of the story as it plays out-but God knows every depth twist & turn. We cannot understand how he orchestrates this world but make no mistake...He does!
This IS His country, I stand tall and thank Him for it. Even though the current situation looks helpless, I have faith in Him. I know God is righteous and His sovereignty will continue to reign. We have His glory here with us.
We are not ONLY go to Christ with our sorrows, but also with our joys. Thanksgiving is a time to do just that. Of course Christ is our comforter & He does hear our fears and difficulties. However he deserves our gratitude as well.
For our family (Jeff, Billy, Ricky & I), in our home, before the celebrations begin with extended family, we take a quiet time of reflection. One by one we share the things we are most grateful for. I take comfort in knowing my children are soaking up this recognition of authority and gratitude toward Christ. Each year as we share our thoughts they surprise me with their depth and variety.
Thanksgiving is humbling and reassuring, it is my joy.