Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Worm Song

I actually had a really sweet blog about this being "the last day of school for Kolby and how much her teachers have meant" in mind when I started blogging today. But then I heard Rhett trying to sing The Worm Song. You know, THE Worm Song.....

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms,
Long, thin, slimy ones;
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms.
Down goes the first one,
down goes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm.
Up comes the first one,
up comes the second one,
Itsy bitsy chunky wunky worms

Now my mind will not go back to my former sweeter deeper thoughts. The ADD has wiped the sentimental teacher blog out of my head and all I can think of is The Worm Song.

JUST WONDERING...who wrote this song and why do we all know it? I have never knowingly eaten a worm. I don't think I would ever get depressed enough to eat a worm...unless maybe it was a gummy worm or a chocolate worm. Is this a code song for drinking tequila or some sort of drug? There has to be more to this song since we all know it. HMMMM?
Random, meaningless trival thoughts..... Aren't you glad you read this blog? :) HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Old made new again

When I was little (pre-elementary) my mother went back to school three nights a week to get her masters. Three nights a week I had a date with my Dad. Because microwaves were not around (yes that was just 30 years ago) most nights my Dad would take me to McDonalds (pre- play grounds and happy meal toys) or K&N Rootbeer for dinner. Like all good dates, at least once a week after dinner we would check out a movie. (Yes, in the theater as there were no VCRs ...Yes that too was just thirty years ago!).

We saw all the Disney Movies. We saw The Wizard of Oz. We saw the cartoon version of the Return to OZ with Liz Minelli as the voice of Dorothy. We saw the cartoon Jack and the Bean Stock, The Cat From Outer Space and all the Bengi movies. I even remember some Peanuts Cartoons in the movie theater. But some of my favorite movies were about Herbie the Love Bug. We saw all the Herbie movies: The Love Bug, Herbie Rides Again, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Herbie Goes Bananas. I remember one Saturday my Dad took me for a test drive in a VW beetle because I loved Herbie so much!

Herbie is making a comeback this summer in Herbie Fully Loaded. I won't go buy tickets a month early, have a Herbie party, or go see the midnight movie with a 53 on my shirt...(see last week) But, I still can't wait to take my kids! One of the joys of parenthood is introducing old friends from the past to your children. It is so fun to see some of my favorite things through their eyes. The old is made new again. This joy is multiplied when your kids fall for something as hard as you did all those years ago. I'm not just talking about movies.

Rob's chest puffs up proudly every time Rhett wants to go play baseball or golf. The fact that our kids are very into collecting the Star Wars toys from Burger King and love to fake dual with their light sabers makes both Rob and I smile. The streak of independence Kolby found through learning to ride her bike reminds me so much of myself at that age. I loved my bike! Kolby's 4 year "all things Princess" craze has been fun for me too.

But perhaps the sweetest thing of all has been seeing how my kids view church. When I was little I loved going to church. I felt very at home in our church and with church people. I had no idea that there was anything wrong with our "little tribe." To me church was family, security and the good and right thing to do. My kids feel that way about our church now.

They don't know about the bitter words exchanged when building the community center. They don't know about the teacher shortages and the life groups that just can't seem to get together. My kids don't care what their class mates are wearing or what kind of car they came to church in. They don't see the crisis, the frustrations and the friction. Not that our church is not falling apart or anything, but with all churches there are rough spots and problems. Our church, like all churches, has it's positive and negatives. My kids don't see much negative. That is the privilege of youth.

While I think it would be immature and irresponsible to never grow up and see the church through adult eyes, I wonder if we (meaning I) should try to see things from our precious children's perspective more often. Is that what Jesus meant when he said that the Kingdom belonged to those who can make themselves like little children?

For all the talk of emergents, moderns, post-moderns etc., I think the secret is trying to see church through a baby Christians eyes, and making the old new again.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Schools Out for Summer.....

In just four more days! YEEEEEHHHAAAWW! Kolby was so excited this morning saying that this is the last Monday morning of school! I think she is a little sad to think she won't see her friends as much, but she is so ready for summer to be here. Aren't we all! :)

The only problem with summer is I have much to do outside and in the 97 plus degree heat, and I just don't want to do it! Have I mentioned that I'm not fond of hot hot weather? That I turn beet red and melt at the first hint of high humidity and high temperatures? I know, I know! I live in the wrong state! Well off to straighten up the house for a committee meeting to plan for next year. :)

P.S. Sorry for the short post, but between Episode 3, family day at L3, and the season finale of Extreme Home Makeover and Desperate Housewives... I am wiped out! :)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Star Wars Again

Sorry to any of you who could care less about the whole Star Wars thing. I figure if Mike Cope can blog about it for two days, I can too! I have a time crunch so forgive the spelling and the lack of thought provoked creativeness of this post.

Ok, I really am a Star Wars geek! It has taken time to admit it, but I am what I am. Yesterday between my yawns and longings for a nap (see yesterday) my mind was processing Episode III all day. My cousin and I talked about it on the phone for almost an hour. My sister came over and Rob and I finished telling her what happened. (She was at the midnight showing, but got really motion sick and almost ralphed in the theater so she left about the time Mace Windue went to confront chancellor Palpetine) My last words to Rob last night before I drifted off to sleep were about the few inconsistencies we caught and some other things I am not sure I understand. Isn't it amazing how much a movie can impact your thinking?

Star Wars is not the typical movie though. It is a story that has spanned 28 years of my 35 years of life. Luke and Leia and I go way back. I feel I have vested interest in this story line for some reason. AND it is complex, quirky, fun, dark, deep, cutting edge, creative and artful. How many movies can you say that about?

If you haven't seen the movie DO NOT READ THE NEXT PARAGRAPHS because there are some big spoilers. I want to see how many other Star Wars geeks there are out there.

As to the few inconsistencies in the saga, here are the ones that bothered me a bit. In ROTJ or episode 6, Luke asks Leia what she remembers of her mother. She says she died when she was very young but she remembers mostly images, and that she was very beautiful and very sad. How could she remember that if her mother died at her birth? Or was she talking about her adoptive mother? Or did she know she was adopted?

Why weren't Pademes parents considered when placing the twins?

Obi Wan tells Luke in Episode 4 that Vader was a Jedi that turned to the dark side then hunted down all the other Jedi and killed them. Not exactly true. The clone armies helped with that.

Did any of you catch Obi-Wan picking up Anikin's Light Saber as he left him for the last time? When Ben gives the Saber to Luke he says that "Your father wanted you to have this when you came of age." Well that was a bit of a stretch since his father doesn't even know he exists.

So do we think that the prophecy was interpreted wrong and Anikin was not the chosen one? Or do you think balance was eventually brought to the force by Luke or by Vader/Anikin before he died so it was right?

Lastly, when the chancellor tells Anikin about the Sith, he says that the great Sith Lord (whose name I can not remember) was so great that he knew how to manipulate metaclorians to produce life on their own. Is that what happened to Anikins mother? She said there was no father, he was just born. We know Anikin had the highest metachlorian count in his blood of anyone ever. So was Anikin born of a Siths manipulation?

After all this contemplation, I have to say that I think I need to see this movie again and I really wish there would be an episode 3.5! Or better yet I wish they would pick up after Return of the Jedi and make episodes 7- 9. If they hurry they could start 30 years after Return of the Jedi and use Mark Hamil, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford again. That would be so cool! Ok, I will stop now.

Did anyone else pick up on story tweaks and quirks? I welcome the discussion. OH, I REALLY AM A STAR WARS GEEK!
But as the picture of my husband and cousin below prove, I am far from alone! The rest of you can just gawk at our Star Wars geeky-ness!

Beaner I expect to hear from you on this one!

Jenga Fett and the Tuscan Raider

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Episode III Revised

Tonight at 12:00AM, Rob and I, along with 12 good friends and family members, will take our seats in history to watch the final Star Wars movie debut. EPISODE III! The final unfolding that puts all the peices in place to finish out the Star Wars Saga. Rob (aka Obi-Rob-Knobi) and some of my cousins are actually going to dress up as characters.
We are having a B-day/ Kick off party at our house then it is off to the theater with all the other Star Wars geeks! ANTICIPATION!!! We are all really pumped about this movie. The guys have always done the midnight movie thing, but this time we wives decided to join in the fun. Rob went out and bought all our tickets three weeks ago! Needless to say we can't wait! Tell you all about it tomorrow... May the force be with you!
Anyone else out there in blog world celebrating Star Wars tonight?

OK I just saw the movie. For some who asked about kids seeing is my take
The movie is dark early on. I felt sick during many parts of it. I just kept hoping Anikin would not go down the dark path, but knowing that he would. Rob and I agreed that we will not let our children see it until they are much much older. George Lucas himself said he wouldn't take anyone under the age of 12 to this movie. All my family talked about it while leaving and we agree.The darkness builds quickly, but then at the end it just shocked me. I'm sure lots of kids will see it, but I think all parents should see the movie first before making that call.

Having said that, I really loved it. Yoda was awesome! All the questions I had going in were answered. It was amazing how they wrapped it up so neatly. There are only one or two things that don't jive to well with what was said in episode 4-6, but these don't completely contradict eachother either. As dark as it was, the unfolding of the story was amazing. I think it was the best movie of the pre-quels. Just glad I knew the long term ending! I don't think Star Wars would have been as successful if he had released them in order.

Must go to bed... I am just to pumped up to sleep!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Happy Birthday Rob!

Not much time for blogging, but this is a very special day I want to acknowledge. My favorite guy in the whole world was born on this day thirty something years ago! He is by far the best person I have ever known. I am very blessed that he is my husband, my best friend, my rock, and the father of our children.

Rob is the kind of guy everyone likes. He has a great sense of humor. He cares about people. He is the hardest working person I know. He never gives up. His bad moods pass quickly. He is faithful and always loyal. He is fun! He trusts God in ways that amaze, inspire and sometimes shame me. Rob is a great Dad. He shows our kids love every day. Of course Rob isn't perfect, but in my eyes, he is really close!

Rob may or may not read this, as he is not the blogging type. But, Honey if you do read this, I wanted to tell you that there just aren't words deep, wide and strong enough to say how very much I love, appreciate, adore and admire you! I am grateful for every year of your life and I live for the life we are building together. I thank God that we met almost ten years ago and that you took a chance "out of your league."AS IF! :) There is no one on this earth I would rather be partnered with for this adventure we call life. I hope, pray, and believe that it will only get better. Thank you for all you are, all you have been, and all you will be to me and our kids. I love you! HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Weekend Words

b-day cake
out to eat
family shop
toy aisle
craft items
finish cake
late night
sleep late
birthday party
McKenna's 2!
sweet girl
so little
big personality
yard work
water balloon fight
first swim
shivering cold
fun neighbors
raspberry rita's
no fear
no floaties
Rhett jumping
long arms
wet shirt
safe child
out to eat again
can't sleep
trading spaces
Kolby up
paper route
rush rush
smocked yellow dress
hot pink polish
church anyone?
children's ministry sermon
sign me up
lunch with the fam
5 kids
8 adults
Unsuspecting Italian place
big tip
news paper

Extreme Makeover Home

love it
No housewives
kid bedtime
cleaning again
forgot the laundry
late night
still the laundry
weekend workout?
week at a glance
busy one
make list

Friday, May 13, 2005

Window into another

I stumbled on a new blog to read a few weeks ago. Steven Keil is in the reserves and serving in Iraq. I don't know him at all but I am drawn to his blog. It reminds me daily how grateful we should be to the men and women who represent our nation in Iraq. They put their lives on the line everyday in hopes of a better world. No matter what your political preference, you have to respect our fighting men and women abroad.

Most blogs I read are written by people I know, or people who know people I know. Most are Christians. All are Americans. It occured to me the other day that blogs give us the opportunity to gain insight into people who are totally different from us. Maybe that is why I occasionally visit Rosies blog, or the blog of a single girl living in NYC who I have never met , or the blog of a retired journalist dealing with MS that I happened to come across one day. I think it is fascinating to see life from different perspectives. I have this tool of the web and blogs. If I don't abuse it, or let my opinions and prejudices blind me, I have a the chance to see the world through someone elses eyes. It's the techno version of walking a mile in someone else's sandals. Pretty cool!

I have warned and whined before about my experience with "next blog" button. ( see 9-21-04 for that story) The warning still stands. But maybe gaining insight into others is worth the risk. If you have found some blogs that give you insight into a different view of life, let me know. I would love to check them out!

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Have you ever seen the Office Depot commercial where a Dad is skipping down the aisle to "It's the most wonderful time of the year" putting school supplies in his shopping basket while his two children slowly and begrudgingly follow with very long faces? It usually starts playing mid-August. It always makes me laugh... but I am not that parent at all! I really love when my kids are out of school. I am always sorry to see their vacations come to an end. So just like the kids, I can not wait for summer to be here.

We have big plans, but nothing so big it is in permanent ink on the calendar. I love summer because you don't have to have big plans down on paper. Maybe it is because I grew up the daughter of a teacher, but for me summer is a time to do all those projects there is no time to do during the rest of the year. It is a time to travel, sleep late, and laze around the pool. It is a time to rest, re-do and organize. It is the time to toss the daytimer and just let the days come as they will. Not to sound like a song from Grease, but I long for those Summer nights!

Summer nights have always been my favorite. Summer nights are all about fireflies, baseball games, and star watching. Summer nights are times for watching the sun set over the water with the sting of a slight sun burn on your shoulders and the promise of staying out late and sleeping past breakfast the next morning. Summer nights are for movies, late night strolls and making out! Summer nights are about sleeping with the windows open and letting crickets and toads sing you to sleep. Though I despise heat and sweating, is there anything better than a shaved ice snowcone on a hot afternoon? Ah summer! I can't wait! Just nine more school days till summer!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Senility Smiles

Two elderly women were eating breakfast in a restaurant one morning. Ethel noticed something funny about Mabel's ear and she said, '"Mabel, did you know you've got a suppository in your left ear?" Mabel answered, "I have a suppository?" She pulled it out and stared at it.Then she said, "Ethel, I'm glad you saw this thing. Now I think I know where my hearing aid is."

I got this joke in an e-mail and had to run to the restroom as I was laughing so hard! I know most of you are still trying to get through yesterdays novel long post so I'll keep it short today.

This joke is especially funny to me because I have been surrounded by older people most of my life. Yesterday we went to see Nana at the home for Mothers day. We took her a card, flowers, pictures of the kids. Funny how time changes things. A few years a go we would have carted Nana out of there a made a big to do over the whole day. Yesterday it was a quick visit after church. A few years ago if she had constantly asked where my grandfather was and when she could go home I would have left in tears. A few years ago if I was told that someone had taken her "Beautiful" perfume AGAIN, I would have been fuming. If Nana had not known my kids or my husband a few years ago, I would have been crushed. But yesterday all that happened and we went on like nothing had happened at all.

You have to smile at all this or just ignore it, or you end up crying all the time. I have been down that road and found it leads to nowhere good. So, we make light of it and laugh. Heard any good nursing home jokes lately?

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Catch up

Where to start? So much to say since I last really posted. First a few updates...

The Gate Kids
After posting about the gate kids a few weeks ago, I e-mailed Berkley and Charlotte Hackett who I worked for in Nairobi those two summers so long ago. The Hacketts quickly became two of my favorite people during my first trip to Kenya. I'm not sure what I thought the "missionary type" was when I arrived in Nairobi, but Berkley was not at all what I envisioned a missionary to be. Berkley is bigger than life in some respects. The things God has accomplished through the Hacketts work in Nairobi over the last 30 years is just astounding.

Berkley And Charlotte Hackett

The Hacketts have braved revolutions, uprisings, government sanctions, and many, many legal an political storms over the years. Their work has produced an amazing church and technical college just a mile or so away from one of the worlds largest slums.. Mathari Valley. Their work has not always gone with out controversy. They have ruffled some feathers in Africa and the US. Berkley is a rebel in some ways, but not one with out a cause. Make no mistake, Berkley Hackett's heart is consumed with a God given love for the people, particularly the young people, of Nairobi. He and Charlotte may not be your typical missionaries, but through Christ they have dedicated their lives to the salvation and betterment of their adopted family in Kenya.

Not your typical Missionary
It took about a week or so, but I heard from Berkley. Here is an excerpt from his e-mail:

Njeri is now a senior in high school and Wachira is a sophomore. They haven't had overseas support to help them in over ten years. If you find someone to help these kids it would be great. Charlotte and I have done
what we could but with so much to do we can't do much. In fact we lost a good deal of our support in 2003 and are yet to gain it back. I could, of course, go back to the States for a few months, visit lots of people
and churches and rebuild the support base but we're no longer comfortable leaving the work and the people who depend on us for an extended period. So instead of that we go along the best we can, cutting good works that deserve to be supported. Right now Wachira has a $350.00 debt at the high school and is in danger of being expelled. Njeri is only $200.00 behind.

Eastleigh C of C in Nairobi and the KCITI Campus

I am very happy and a bit relieved to hear that the kids are OK and still in school. Even if they don't get to finish, having some high school education will give them a great advantage over many in Nairobi. Still, I hope they are able to finish school and really rise above their circumstances. It really saddens me to know that Berkley and Charlotte have had to cut good programs and not been able to give aid to the people they have loved and stayed with for so long because of whatever happened in 2003. I'm not sure what all happened in 2003. From the tidbits I have heard, it was an ugly church split that happened between the missionaries in Kenya. Missionaries are not immune to church politics and splits. I hope to find out more and perhaps start actively seeking aid for my precious African kids! E-mail me if you have any thoughts or insights in to this situation.

On the home front

Back here in Texas, things have been busy, as usual. There has been one thing on my heart and mind for the last few months that I have not been comfortable blogging about until now. I am just now to the point I don''t get all weepy when talking about it. It seems that Kolby may be dyslexic. She has not been formally diagnosed but, we are currently going through that process. Her teacher and I know that something is wrong and she shows many signs of dyslexia. There is a big discrepancy between Kolby's intellect and reading level.

It has been a heart breaking thing to watch unfold. I hate watching my sweet, bright, social, sensitive little girl struggle so hard. It kills me to hear her say that she is "reading dumb" and to painfully help her through her homework, AR books, and spelling words each night. I hate to see the gap widening between where she is and where she needs to be. I hate that her incredible little self-confidence has taken some very hard hits. BUT we still have much to be grateful for, even in this difficult situation.

As her wonderfully sweet teacher has told me time and again, Kolby is very, very bright. Socially and orally she is way ahead of the average first grader. She loves school. She wants to learn and she knows that she is smart even though she doesn't understand why she can't read as fast and easily as her classmates. Incredibly, Kolby has made mostly A's with just a few B's this year. That speaks to her ability to adapt and the coping skills she has developed on her own. But the time has come for her to get some help dealing with this... and we will get her that help! Because she is only seven, there is a great chance that she will be able to fully compensate for this reading disorder, once she is taught the right skills and techniques.

Finding help, the exact right help for Kolby, has become my focus for the last few weeks. It isn't as clear cut and easy as it may sound. We have talked to many, many wise and wonderful people who deal with this sort of thing professionally everyday. Most of them have very different views on what is best for Kolby. We are having to educate ourselves very quickly, and try to weed out what is truly best for our little girl.

Everyone agrees that we must do something now and that this summer will be crucial if we hope to close the gap and get Kolby where she needs to be to start second grade. Because she has done well in school and has no "educational need" everything we are doing, or will do, will have to be done privately and outside of the school system for now. I'm actually very grateful for this as I do not want Kolby labeled or singled out if it can be avoided.

Of course the downside to that is that we will have to pay or find funding for any programs, camps, tutors or evaluations that need to be done. All these things can be rather pricey. For example I have about $2000 dollars worth of options right now just for this summer. We can not afford all of these, and Kolby could not possibly participate in every one of these things as there are only so many hours in the day! So I am trying to find what will help her the most and give us the most "bang" for the buck. I really covet your prayers for this process.

In the mean time, we really have to work with Kolby with her homework. Spelling is a nightly chore. Unlike her classmates who just look over the list a few minutes the night before, (or so their mothers say) Kolby has to go over and over the words and sentences every night to be able to get a B on her Friday test. It really frustrates her. Last week after an especially frustrating time with spelling and reading homework, Kolby crawled in my lap and sobbed "I don't want you to be my teacher, I just want you to be my Mommy." It broke my heart. I so just wish she was three again and school was just her beloved preschool "turtle" class. My spunky three year old toddler somehow turned into a seven year old school girl. It happened so very, very fast! I look at my two years left before Rhett starts school with new eyes. I want to make the most of it!
Kolby's dsylexia came as quite a shock to my motherly pride. Up until this year, everything has come easily for Kolby. Starting at age two, every year her teachers have told me that she was one of the brightest kids in class. I never thought she would have problems reading, in fact, I thought I had done everything to instill a life long love of reading. But more than our parental pride has taken a hit as we have run the gamut of emotion during all this. There has been regret, wondering if something could have been done to prevent this. There has been guilt, thinking that I saw the signs and ignored them for months. I have been angry because my little girl has to deal with this. I have felt cheated as all this seems so unfair to her. I have stressed and worried about what this would mean for Kolby's future. I have cried at seeing her feel broken and defeated when unable to read as fast and as accurately as she wants to. Now I am at a point of acceptance and my focus has shifted to coping and making the best of this.

I truly believe that Kolby can and will overcome dyslexia and be a better person for it! Rob and I will do what ever it takes to get her the help she needs. We have all of our family backing and supporting us. I know that every person must struggle. Struggling is part of life, every life, even my little girl's life. I firmly believe that the God who blessed us with this wonderful little girl will help her and us through this latest challenge. I pray we all learn from this and further appreciate our God given blessings and abilities. I know there are much, much worse things that could happen. Dyslexia is not something that has to ruin a life. And it really helps to know that God has our back! So even if I mess up, God loves Kolby and Rhett more than I ever could and he will not abandon them. I always thought having children would bring me closer to God...I just had no idea how close.

So that's the update. Seems my heart and mind are consumed with my kids..both here and abroad. This post is so long it will take a few days to read. I'll check back in around Wednesday! I have missed getting to "chat" regularly with my blog world friends. I really appreciate the e-mails from those making sure we were still here and OK. We are! Now I am off to surf my blog list to see what the rest of you have been up to. See you soon in blog world! : )

The annual blue bonnet pictures

Monday, May 02, 2005

Computer Bug

My computer may have a virus... seems more like a full blown flu! Hope to be back to blogging soon! In the mean time I have heard from the gate kids. I can't wait to tell you all about it! SEE 8th COMMENT!