Tuesday, March 8, 2011


    These last few months have been a gnarly ride! This in turn left me functioning much like a zombie doing life. Not good. A month or so ago I tried, yet again, to find some comfort through a woman's ministry. I was trying to find a way to climb out of my funk. I only went one evening. However I knew right away it just wasn't for me. Maybe one day it will be the right thing for me to be a part of. For now it just isn't the right fit. However some wonderful things did happen while I was there that night, things that made going just then worth it. For instance I became aware of a few book titles I am definitely going to add to my summer reading list!  I received a really nice ego boost from a sweet, sweet lady, which is always a good thing. I also became aware of an exciting movement. Now usually I steer clear of anything with the word "movement" attached. However this is different. This is exciting! Check it out. http://www.truewoman.com. I am now following this on Facebook which gives me regular ingestions of good things. As to the rest? For now, in all the emotion encompassing world, I feel safely afloat with just God, a few sweet girlfriends and Jeff.
    I am a lover of quiet time alone with God & my thoughts. To be certain, I have been in need of some knock down, drag out, cleansing, quiet time alone with God. This weekend, while my kiddos were out of town I got just that! I spent the weekend getting away from the madness, falling into the rest of Jesus and the wisdom of His words. I cried, I yelled, I laughed, I slept. Much peace and guidance came from these days events. It's called soul maintenance people!
    I love being a mom. However with my boys gone it was my "get out of jail free" card. You know, my chance to bust loose for a minute. That is exactly what Jeff & I did. Our plans did have a bit of a hiccup. However all is well that ends well. We got up Saturday morning and hit the road. We talked, and talked and talked. It was good. While we talked the car kept right on rolling along. Up and down we went to Soquel, back down to Santa Cruz for lunch, back up to Scott's Valley. We drove into the Santa Cruz mountains to view giant redwoods in Felton & beyond, down into San Jose for ice cream, back up, then down in Capitola just cuz it's so stinkin' cute and ended at Rio Del Mar for a picnic dinner on the beach.  Normally I would say that level of driving wouldn't be stress reducing. However the scenery was gorgeous, I mean come on clearly California in the Spring cannot be topped. Also the conversation gave adrenaline it's purpose. I love you Jeff. I especially love that Snow White's in Aptos was playing the music of our young love. Good, good memories! This was total couple maintenance!
   The next day we spent at home. Alone. We slept in, which in & of itself was amazing. Jeff & Charity Vincent do not sleep in, at the same time. Ever. We tackled a big nasty project that we've been putting off for like a year. We spent the day showing some garage love. Which actually brought on more driving. We bought 4 storage cabinets for the garage from our friends. They live in Coarsegold. Jeff actually was a truck driver in a former life, I think. Haha. Just kidding, but he really does love to drive. Well I love getting lost in the greatness of working along side my man. We are a good team. Projects are always full of laughter with us.
   Jeff has his man-cave full of tools, exercise equipment, ipod base, BBQ gear, outdoor fridge and all other things manly set up for his grunt fests. The rest of the sports and outdoor adventuring stuff is nicely organized to boot! In addition, the game room aspect of the garage is functional as well. I guess these things are all really part of project manliness too. Oh and me? My itty, bitty corner is all prettified as well. The garage is home to a monstrous amount of "stuff". When "everything is in it's place" it functions splendidly. However the teeth grinding problem was WE NEEDED PROPER STORAGE!! We now have that. You may ask why I add this to a list of stress releasers. Well. This project has been haunting me. Angering me. My house remains fairly clean. The shock of walking into the garage ruined a perfectly good day...too many times to count. Home maintenance at it finest!
  Now I look forward to some much needed dinner plans that are already in the works with some special ladies in my life. You girlies are all so different, all so necessary. You each represent a piece of my heart. This is called emotional maintenance my friends!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The hidden costs of a Winter Retreat

The conversation that started it all....

R: "Mom can we go on the Winter Retreat?"

Me: "What? Wait. The Winter Retreat?"  "Oh yeah, I guess it is still winter."

B: "Huh?"

Me: "Well we've had the windows open all week...and most of last week. The sun was shining so brightly we had the air conditioner on in the car a few days already. Sure doesn"t feel like Winter"

B&R: "Yeah weird, so can we?"

I was frozen for a moment, just thinking on winter...on snow. I love when it comes so softly.  There's beauty in a heavy sky with quiet, gentle falling snow flakes. The world seems so still.  I also like what happens after a crazy rush of white; a glistening blanket covers the landscape. Would it be redundant to say I love it? I have a great, vivid, technicolor memory of snow and evergreens. I really wish I could visit the high mountains more regularly, it's where I feel most tranquil.....

B: "Uhhh Mom?"

Me: "That will be nice. Playing in the snow sounds great. Those youth leaders sure know how to fuel the cheerfulness! Yes, you can go, wait, how much will it cost?"

Suffice it to say B&R went on the Winter Retreat last weekend. They had a superfluously fun time, learned valuable lessons and all that jazz. In addition, Billy came home with a black eye, scratches all over his eye and mouth.. and sick. Ricky also came home sick. WHATEVER! I had wondered about the weather extremes making them ill. However I didn't bank on sick kids being at the retreat. There were. They shared. My kids are extremely healthy so I am sure we will be through with this tomorrow..but still. Geezz!!! Oh, and the "battle wounds"? These are things you come to expect as a mother of active boys. I don't believe I've ever received both of them (at the same time) unmarked. That is just life with boys.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Three Stooges...or Stages???

                                   CJ, Billy & Ricky met when they were 4, 3 &1

While they have been busy growing  up together CJ has spent many weeks/weekends at our house. The older they get the harder it has become to facilitate such bliss. However recently they were able to celebrate the lives of George and Abe together. It was a 4 day weekend of teenage boy heaven! They concocted big plans to squeeze into the time they had together. In the effort to help I gave both of my guys $10...and Jenny sent CJ with $10 of his own. Billy & Ricky decided they wanted this to be extra special since it was likely not to happen again for a long, long time. Anyway they threw in more of their own money and a few gift cards to make the time look like they thought it should.

It all began Friday afternoon. They met at Starbucks in Riverpark.  By the time they were retrieved that evening they had conquered sugary bliss at Starbucks, taken in a movie (The Eagle) at Edwards...where they added to the diabetic coma with soda and popcorn. Oh but they ended at Jamba Juice for that touch of health. Amazingly enough they weren't really all that hungry when we met up for dinner that evening. Even though we met at Harlem Waffles and Wings, weird. Maybe not weird to normal people, but we are talkin' 14, 16 & 17 year old males! I ordered food to go and basically left it hanging around...sure enough eventually my 3 little squawking birdies showed up for their dinner. They spent the evening playing board games watching movies, playing video games and gnawing the siding off my house. Well sorta.

My boys have separate rooms. So when "sleeping" came around CJ decided to spend one night in each boys room...Okay. So seriously. Are sleepovers really necessary?  I mean isn't this the question we ask ourselves each time? At like 2:00 am! I know, I said yes. I deserve no sympathy. Speaking of which CJ spent the last night on the sofa. We have hardwood floors. He chose too though...well I guess I'll give him sympathy.

Saturday was great for Billy & CJ because Ricky was off with his Boy Scout troop for the day, they had some time alone. After they finally woke up, at like noon, they did an hour and 1/2 work out. Then they ate rich creamy goodness...acorn and leek soup. And. A. Loaf. Of. Bread. Though he will probably never admit it...I think yesterday was a bit much for Billy. I think his body wanted some real food. Also to set the record straight CJ ASKED for the soup. I wasn't going to even suggest  he eat it. They then went for an hour or so walk. Upon arrival back at the house they ate more food. Then spent the remainder of the day watching movies and playing video games. CJ brought his 360 along for the visit, but no controllers. Since my boys have a 360 fund they bought a controller....and yes they walked to get it. Ricky came home in time for more food. Then the 3 of them returned to the brain atrophying state of video games and movies.

Bright and early Sunday morning we were up and out the door to church. Next we went swinging down to Hanford with a car full of gushing, exploding, rampaging hormones for a party with CJ's parents, then back home. Ricky went to choir practice. Billy & CJ? Oh, you guessed it...more mid-semester media mania...marathon?? mayhem??? Yeah you couldn't tame those stallions.

Monday Beaufort Billy had responsibilities to tend to. It was nice for son #2 to have some time alone with C.J. However Cletus CJ & Rupert Ricky slept in till noon, they're hilarious. Then in an effort to continue with the brain dwindling experiment the zonked men-folk, looking like they'd taken a dozen sedatives watched movies and played video games. Mean while I was bakin' up some acorn,  butternut sqaush with apple sauce whole grain muffins.  I ended up drizzling  lemon and orange goop over the tops. Nutrient packed yummytime! They ate like a dozen each. Somewhere in there I kicked them out the front door (locking it) and made them go for a walk. Okay so...what of it? They needed it.

.....and, um, yeah, to all that your mind is dwelling on ....hmmm? No. I don't normally allow this. As a matter of fact I never have before. So why did I now? These boys have heavy loads on their plates. Life is tough. Work and schooling are stressful. They are on the last leg of the school year and really, really needed a break. Every teen-aged male inspires their parents to say "look another awww moment". Ten minutes later those same teens can bring their parents to the point when all they want to say to those ever hungry males is "get yourself a big-o bowl of SHUT UP!" It's a safe guess to assume these guys needed to numb out. So I allowed that. Sometimes in parenthood the right medicine is to lighten up...it's called grace.
                                                                   Here they are now.
                                                                      Cletus, 17

                                                                 Rupert, 14
                                                                 Beaufort, 16