Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Beautiful Game

I haven't been in a blogging mood lately.  And that's really too bad, because have I got a story to tell!  But that's going to have to wait.  Still not quite feeling it.  It's coming, though, I promise.

In other news, "the beautiful game" has taken over our lives.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

He's cute.

And it's his birthday!

Happy Birthday Dan!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Welcome to Camden, School.

You and I already know that my boys are very different.  But this is new information for the teachers in Gatorland.  But they'll learn fast.  Believe me.

Today's after-school conversation...

Mommy: "What did you do in music today, Camden?"
Camden: "I went to time out."

Followed by a discussion about listening to and obeying our teachers.

a little later...

Mommy: "So, Camden, did you cry when you got sent to time out?"
Camden : "Only the first time."

Oh my.  This year may be very different from last.

It Has Begun

Soccer season, that is.

TWO soccer games at ONE time on TWO fields.
You do the math.

But it was a very good day.
And fun!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Do you remember?

Do you remember where you were, what you were doing, who you were with eight years ago today?

I do.

Eight years ago today, I was working out in the gym at George Mason University.  I was only half-listening to the news show playing on the television.  But I heard it.  The chilling announcement that a plane had crashed into one of the twin towers in New York.  All of a sudden my half-listening changed to complete attention - along with everyone else in the gym. We were shocked, and so sad.  What a tragedy.  What a terrible accident.

But then we made a horrible discovery.  As we stared at the tv screen (no one was working out anymore), we watched a second plane fly straight into the second tower.  This was not an accident.

The normally very loud gym was silent.  We continued to stare at the screen, not completely believing our own eyes and ears.  We saw the rubble, the rescue workers, the blood and tears.

But it was happening far away.  Until it wasn't.  Before any of us could gather our thoughts, a new announcement came over the airwaves.  There were reports of an explosion at the Pentagon.  We all knew.  And one man said it out loud.  "It was a plane."  And it was.  This time, it wasn't far away anymore.  It was right here.

We were afraid.  We were sad.  We were devastated.  Our country - our home - was under attack.

As we made frantic phone calls to family and friends - we all knew people who worked at the Pentagon - another tv announcement.  Another plane down.  This one was in a field in Pennsylvania.  In less than half and hour, four planes crashed, three United States landmarks were destroyed, and thousands of people were killed.  Thousands more lost loved ones.  And an entire nation lost a sense of security and safety.

Do you remember the day's following?

I do.

I remember the sense of community.  The national pride.  I remember the blood banks filling to overflowing.  The desire to help others, not just ourselves.  And most of all, I remember the support we all gave to our president and our government.  We turned to them to guide us through this terrible time.  And they did.

We became a stronger, more unified United States.  Party lines were crossed.  We were no longer Democrats and Republicans.  We were Americans.  And we were proud of that.  We would do whatever it took to protect this great nation.

For a while.

But that feeling of national unity went away.  Now, party lines are stronger than ever.  No longer can we be grateful for our liberty; our freedom.  If things don't go our way, we throw a fit.  We complain and rebel against our own elected officials.  We don't support our president and our government.  We don't help each other.  

Why?  I don't know.  I think it's because of pride. And security.  Our government and military have done such a good job of protecting us, of keeping us safe, that we've forgotten what it felt like to have that safety ripped away.

I haven't forgotten.  That is why I am willing to send my husband and my dad far away to protect our freedom.  Our safety.  To protect this country that I love.

Please remember.  Not just today, but every day.  Support this nation.  Support our leaders. Whether you voted for them or not, they are our leaders, and if we want to stay safe, we have to stay together.  Support those who are out there working so hard to protect us.  They are my loved ones.  And I know they remember.

Please remember.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back to School

Yesterday morning I sent not one, but TWO little boys off on the big yellow bus.

Jake started first grade and Camden is in kindergarten!  They both got the teachers they (read: I) wanted.  They wore their superhero tee-shirts instead of the cute polo shirts I picked out. ("We have to look cool, Mom!")  They got a cookie in their lunches.  And they came home happy.  Hallelujah!

I could wax nostalgic and tell you how emotional this has been for me, but I really don't want to get myself started all over again.  Believe me, it isn't pretty.  So instead, I'll tell you how emotional this has been for the dog.

That's right, you read that correctly.  The dog is having a really rough time with all this.  Yesterday was a perfect Seattle day.  Problem was, this is Virginia, and I don't like grey, rainy days.  Neither does Mayo.  So when we headed out to the bus stop - after putting on new sneakers and sweatshirts (seriously? Sweatshirts on September 8?  I wasn't thrilled.) - Mayo decided not to come.  She was not going to step foot out in such wet weather.  So we left her home.  Poor Mayo.  She sat in the front window and saw the bus come and go.  As I came up the porch steps I could hear my dog already crying.  And the crying continued ALL DAY LONG.  Literally.  She wandered the house, crying.  She laid down on the hard floor - never on her beds - crying.  She poked me, pushed me, and tried to sit on me, crying.  It was a rough day.  She was not ready to send those puppies out into the big bad world without her!  

I had to agree.  I wasn't ready for that either.  But like I said, we're not going to discuss my reaction today.  It may or may not have been pretty similar to the dog's...

Finally, at about 2:00 yesterday afternoon, Mandisa conked out.  All that worry really takes it's toll on a dog, and she fell into a deep - albeit fitful - sleep.  But then, at 4:00 ON THE DOT, she bounced up and raced for the door.  Then she raced back to get me.  See, I hadn't said a word.  I hadn't even put my shoes on or anything.  But Mandisa knew those boys were on their way home.  She practically dragged me out the door, which really wasn't that hard to do, since I'd been counting the seconds all day, myself!

And what a happy reunion we all had!  It was so wonderful to have those boys back home.  I was almost as excited as Mayo.  Almost.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Have I ever mentioned that I think my boys are sweet?

You'll agree when you know what I know...

Last week I wanted to get a picture with the whole family.  This involved getting everybody all situated on some rocks near where we were staying.  My Grandmommy - my boys' Bubby - asked for help getting over the rocks to her spot.  Guess who was there first, arms around Bubby...  It was sweet Jake.  (He tried lifting her by her pants.  Too funny!)

That same sweet boy has taken to putting his arm around me when we sit next to each other.  I love it.

And then there's his brother.  The one who likes to give me kisses as often as he can and who told me in all seriousness that, even though I had to get new jeans, I'm still a sweetheart.  I melted.

Finally, on the way home from church today I heard Camden talking to himself.  And this is what he said: "I really love Jesus."

Oh my.  They're just so sweet.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


My dad (Della) got a few days off in between training and actually going over to Afghanistan. So we all headed out to Massanutten to enjoy some family time.  Woohoo!  We sure did pack a lot into just a few days, and it was worth it.  So, without further ado, a little taste of our trip to the "mass o' nuttin"...

First up, we spent a day at the very cool and very fun water park.  No pictures.  I was too busy speeding down slides of water and stressing over how deep my boys were getting into the pretty intense wave pools.  Those two tiny boys sure did surprise a lot of people by going down every single slide.  Multiple times.  It was a blast!

The rest of the trip was much more low-key, but just as fun.  

We covered the condo floors with legos and all became pros at tiptoeing in order to protect our feet from pain and our ears from the wrath of little boys.

I took pictures of my little sister.  Because I don't get to see her often enough.  And because she's pretty.

We went hiking.  Four of the five most important men in my life are pretty tough.  The missing one is the toughest - and cutest - of all, but he wasn't there.  Boo.

We ate a LOT of ice cream.  My belly was happy.  My waistline... not so much.

We watched our neighbors the deer.  They visited multiple times a day.  We got to know them pretty well.  I'm sure they miss us as much as we miss them.

I fell in love with this baby.  And his tongue.  His mommy had two.  Think she'd mind if I brought him home with me?

We sped our way to victory at the go-kart track!  Jake talked the whole time.  My favorite quote: "This is the first time I've ever experienced anything like this!"

We played mini-golf.  The boys won big with some impressively high scores, if you know what I mean.  I, however, did not impress.  I needed Dan there to egg me on.  I always beat Dan :)

And yes, I subjected everyone to a family picture.  Nobody complained.  I guess there's a first time for everything!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Everybody needs a best buddy.

This is a picture of my dad with his.

Sometimes a song will come on the radio and I just can't help but sing along.  Sometimes it's a song that really, given my taste in music, I probably shouldn't even know, much less like enough to sing at the top of my lungs.  But guess what?  I do like those songs.  And I do sing them loud and proud.  (My apologies to those who have heard this happen.  I truly am tone deaf.)

I blame Della and Steve for this little idiosyncrasy of mine.  You see, they have been playing this music for as long as I can remember.  I can remember dancing to their songs at luaus and fairs as a little girl.  Usually with a balloon tied to my pony tail.  But that's totally irrelevant. Just part of the memory.  I remember many nights falling asleep with the two of them still singing in the other room.

And they're still at it.  After all these years, these two old geezers are still singing.

My favorites are "Wake Up Little Susie" and "Barbara Ann."  You see, those are their wives. It's kind of silly, but I think it's sweet.
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