Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Teddy Bear Parade

Today is the Teddy Bear parade at Ella Kate's MDO. Admittedly we didn't do much too dress up our "float" but, the participants sure dressed up! Tu-tu cute! Ella Kate insisted on wearing her tu-tu to school today. Sure her teacher will love me for that came diaper change time! I'm sure I'll have more pictures this afternoon.

It's another crazy busy week in La Casa de Groz. Rob has a HUGE project due Friday and it's week two of my big PTA Fall fundraiser. There is so much involved in these things, then add day to day life with three kids. No wonder my every-three-years friend MIGRAINE decided to rear it's ugly head yesterday! Thank goodeness for that post-baby stash of "feel-better" pills! :)

I'm looking forward to a more relaxed October! Do you think I'll find it?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

whatever dude

My new answer to just about anything?

It's been another one of those weeks of sleepless nights, busy days, and general chaos and pandemonium. So for self preservation and and the doctoring of my frayed nerves, I declare that this week is officially whatever dude week in la casa de Groz.

It's a feeble attempt at letting stress roll off my back like water off a duck, but it's an attempt. Want to join me? It's easy. Whatever the crisis de'jour, take a breath and say "whatever dude" and walk away for minute. Of course this phrase is useless in life threatening situations. But since I only face 6 or 7 of those a day, I can safely use whatever dude 90% of the time. So unless it involves blood, bankruptcy or a toddler in the street, I'm saying whatever dude and taking it in stride.

I even made whatever dude flair for Facebook. Now there's a great example of my prudent time management skills! And for the record, there are no caps in whatever dude because it's such a casual, no-stress phrase that it doesn't even require proper punctuation or grammar! It's just that laid back. Yeah, it is. Oh, and girls can be "dudes" in the jovial buddy/buddy sense (or is it since?) so don't ruin a perfectly good saying by alternating "dudette" for dude. It doesn't work and would sound weird.

So... you're thinking I sound weird?

whatever dude

Monday, September 22, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Day Off

Today I am taking the day off to do all the things I should be doing anyway but can't ever seem to get done because I'm too busy doing things that have to be done first.

If you totally understood what I said in that last sentence by reading it just once, you get me. If not, you may never, so just shake your head and give us a courtesy read.

Today I am not leaving the house except to pick the kids up from school. After I push publish on this, no more blogging. No Facebook. No meetings. No errands. No returns. No drop-offs. No PTA. No Stores. No Church. And ... NO GUILT!

It's just me, my family, my house and my God. I was actually happily singing praise songs as I scrubbed the toilet this morning because it has been so long since I could just sit and scrub the toilet! I'm even getting a bit tingly thinking of putting the laundry away...and you know how I usually detest laundry. But for the first time in, well... I can't even remember how long, I am staying home.

I going to attempt to do housework, cook a good meal from scratch (without going to the store), play "kitchen" with my 2 year old, give my 7 year old my undivided attention while he reads "The Little's" to me for 20 minutes tonight, and help my sweet tween diva clean up her closet just because I want to and she needs help. And I might even squeeze in a non-cell phone conversation with my husband when he gets home! It's been far too long since I did any of these things, especially considering these are the things I am here to do. This is what I thought I would do everyday when Rob and I decided all those years ago that I would stay home with our kids. What happened?

I fully admit that I had no idea how hard it would be for me to be a stay home Mom. The self imposed balance, structure and discipline required just don't come easily for me. However, I love everything that I do. I love being involved and active. I love my life. But I really don't like the constant rush, the hurry, and the feeling that there is NEVER enough time to get it all done. I don't like the person I become when my life gets too busy and my to-do list is so long I cannot see the end of it.

Perhaps I just need to make myself take a day off more often to do what I need to do at home for those I am supposed to be staying home for. Maybe I'm too much of a weenie to do all this stuff I try to do. Maybe it's just the season. Perhaps I've let my life stray from the purpose God gave me. Perhaps it's a bit of all these things. Perhaps. I'll ponder that as I relish this day at home.

But just in case I get all caught up in things again and forget, would someone please remind me of this glorious September day, documented here by this post, when I made the time to be what and who I wanted to be and to do what needs to be done, and how very, very wonderful it was? Thanks!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Hurricanes & Hurling

We had Rhett's ALL STAR SPORTS party Friday, just a week after his real birthday! I let Rhett pick what we would do for this party. After we eliminated all the $10 per person options, he just wanted to play with his friends in a gym. Gotta love 7 year old boys! It was a bit more complicated than it sounds though.

Just hanging out.


Pinata baseball!

Last Wednesday (about 48 hours before the party was to start) I learned that our church gym/community center (the place where 40 invitations had said we were having the party!) was being used as a Hurricane Ike evacuation center!
(Yes Rhett. That was exactly my reaction!)

After an hour of stressing and wondering what to do, I called around and found the gym at the Baptist church downtown was open. I booked it. We have actually had several birthday parties there before and Rhett was thrilled, but scared no one would be able to find his party. I'm still not sure everyone got word we had moved, but we did our best. The kids who showed up seemed to have a good time. Here is an attempt at a group picture. Of course we missed 5 or 6 kids but still.... Aren't they fun? These were some really sweet, energetic little kids!

It was really fun night except that we (or at least I) really missed Rob who was knocked out by a nasty stomach virus. Rob never gets sick. It's still hard to believe he missed the party! Thank goodness for Mama KK, Sari, Jim, Robby, Maria and several other parents who stayed and helped. Yes, it takes a village to feed and supervise that many kiddos! The kids were having so much fun that Rhett didn't want to stop playing to open presents. We got to have even more fun when we got home. It was like Christmas in September for him! We all went to bed worn out but happy.

Saturday morning was wonderful! It rained outside and we all slept in. All the soccer games were canceled and we had no where to be all day. We. Did. Nothing!!!

IKE passed by us to the east and we only had a few gust of wind and some rain. It was a great rainy, lazy day! I absolutely live for Saturdays like that! Rob was felt much better. After a terribly busy week, it was good to do nothing UNTIL... I came down with Rob's stomach virus! It was not fun but, 24 hours later I am much better.

About Hurricane IKE...
We are praying for all those near the coast hit so badly. It looks like downtown Houston came out better than expected, but those communities directly on the coast and those that saw the East side of the storm were hit VERY hard! Watching KHOU.com's live feed makes me so sad. We have several friends who hunkered down during the storm but who are now leaving because they have no electricity. Those who refused to evacuate Galveston island before the storm are now being forced to leave because the area is just not fit to live in. Galveston is facing a long recovery I fear!

Praying, praying, praying for those people who lost their homes and places of work!

On a personal note...
This week doesn't look nearly as busy as last week, but that's not saying much! Hoping for calmer days and more restful nights! Is it me or has everyone had a crazy busy start to school this year?

More later.
Have a blessed week bloggies!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Take a hike


Where IKE was when I posted this.

Where IKE is now. (updated live by NOAA)

These are the days...

This has been a busy week. Truly. Busy.
With multiple meetings everyday and night.
Rob with his TWO graduate classes, playing softball and coaching soccer.
Me with being on the board of two PTA's, trying to paint and redecorate, planning Rhett's birthday party, and dealing with trying to have our house repaired from various accidents.
I'm a bit frazzled. Next week does not look any less busy. Yesterday I found myself wishing the next two weeks away. As much as I love being active and involved, I was looking forward to a less active "normal." But a few things have happened this week that made me stop wishing any more days away. I thought I'd record and share these things here.

First there was the accident in our front yard last Saturday. Even though no one was hurt it was still scary. (The driver wrecked because he had a seizure or something close, but was not actually hurt in the accident itself.) Even though Rhett is fine, I still get week in the knees when I think about how if just one variable changed, it could have been so different. Thinking of my little boy standing in the driveway with a big Yukon plowing through the yards beside him out of control... I still tear up when I think about it. I've hugged Rhett much tighter this week and he doesn't seem to mind. He doesn't really talk about it much, but he has been a little clingier. It really scared him. My sweet neighbor has a special celebration planned for Rhett today to help put a positive spin on the whole thing. Rhett is well loved. (The driver is still in the hospital. Though I'm sure the doctors know, we have not been told exactly what happened. We suspect a stroke or aneurysm. But no matter what it was, this looks to be a life altering event in his life.)

Secondly, I received an e-mail about a girl I once knew who has grown up to have two liver transplants. Even with the touch and go health and the incredible debt that comes with those type of operations, she is living the best life she can with her husband and two school aged kids. The last line of her e-mail said "Every day is a gift" and I thought "Yes. Even these busy ones."

And (I saved the best for last!), my cousin Amber gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby boy last night! I can't wait to get to the hospital to see him this morning! At 9 pounds 1 once, I hear he is a one cute little bundle of boy! I know babies are born everyday, but each birth is it's own little miracle. I love babies! I am always so happy and relieved when babies I know arrive safely with all 10 fingers and toes, breathing well, and all systems go! I am so grateful that little Jeffery "Kolt" Russell is here!

So I'm trying to remember that even when I can't slow down, every day is a gift!
Every day has it's blessings and miracles.
This is the day the Lord has made.
I will rejoice and BE GLAD in it.
These are the days...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Never a dull moment

UPDATE 9-9-08: As of this morning the driver is still in the hospital. His name is Dan. We covet your prayers for him.

This was the scene in our front yard this afternoon. Apparently the man driving this Yukon had a seizure and landed in our front flower bed on top of our Spruce tree. No one was hurt. The man was alone and we heard he should be OK. He came within inches of hitting so many things, including our house, but didn't. Rhett was standing in our driveway when it happened.(My hands started shaking as I typed that.) Thank you God for not letting anything happen to my little boy!

I was OK until I took these pictures. I think it hit me just how blessed we are.
This could have been so bad and it wasn't. Little Rhett was so brave and calm as he ran in to tell me about it. He was the lone witness. That was a lot for a seven year old! While I called 911 Rob got in the truck with the convulsing driver, put his truck in park (because it was still in drive!) took the keys out and sat with the driver while he had what Rob guesses were multiple seizures. Our neighbor got a doctor who lives down the street before 911 responders arrived. Rob knows the driver from work. The whole thing was quite an ordeal. We were all pretty shaken up.

I can't stop thanking God that all we lost were some shrubs.
The policeman said our 12 foot Spruce probably saved our garage.
Maybe so, but I think it had some help from the big guy upstairs!
God is good!

I think I need a nap!

Staying Swiss

This is the flag of Switzerland. It looks like the symbol for the Red Cross, but with the colors reversed it's the Swiss cross. (Wikpedia it. It's interesting.)

My blog is flying the Swiss flag as a symbol of my decision to try not to take sides here during this election. As much as I try to fight it, I am just naturally drawn to politics. I have my firm beliefs, but I'm seeing more gray than black and white when it comes to all things political these days. I find this election absolutely fascinating on many fronts. So I'm being "Swiss" but with an opinion. (Shocker!)

Have these candidates moved me?

Yes. I am moved by the vision put forth by Barrack Obama's acceptance speech at the DNC. Who can argue with the significance of his nomination and the big wall that he knocked down in American politics. I think he loves America and wants to work towards making life better for Americans who have not had it as good as he has. I especially admire the respect he showed Britol Palin and the fact that he pointed out that his mother was 18 when she had him. I thought that was classy. He is the candidate I would most like to go to dinner with if he was not a candidate. He is a very likable guy.

No. I don't agree with him on many fronts. I don't think he can reach across the aisle and work with those who differ with him, but I'm not sure I believe any of them can. I don't trust his party and I'm not sure the best way to be President during a war (which like it or not, we are in it!) is to call all the troops home and declare the whole thing a wash. I also can't stand the thought of having to go back to work so we can pay our taxes. All those great things he talks about cost $.

Yes. Biden does have experience. Of the four candidates in this race I know the least and care the least about Biden.
And NO. I've never particularly cared for his long winded-ness. Of course I never liked Cheney either, and I still voted for Bush. But Obama's VP choice is telling. After the last 8 years, I'm not sure I like what it says.

Yes. I thought Sarah Palin did what she was selected to do in her speech, and did it better than anyone expected. She was one fun spunky bull dog and she delivered. But the five children she has delivered, particularly the one she is still breast feeding, make me wonder about all those things I would not wonder about if she were a man. Yes. That bugs me about myself. Really bugs me.However, I've been with children with special needs. That's not just some random title. Special needs means just that... in addition to the unfathomable needs of a normal child, these children need even more! But one of my favorite women in the world is the mother of five who had a son with downs syndrome. She has always been able to balance a life of service with a deep love and commitment to her family. It can be done. With God all things are possible.

No. I don't think we know enough about Palin to know who she really is, but first impressions aren't bad (unless you like endangered animals or are a librarian.) But I also don't like people to be slammed on National TV, even if there is some truth to it. I just don't. I know all politicians do this, but it's hard for me to rally around, even if I agree and it makes me laugh. Palin seems a little to much of a barracuda for my taste. But maybe that's just me. I do love how she is shaking things up and making everyone re-evaluate their stand.

Yes. McCain is a great American and I love him for his many years of service and suffering for this nation. I believe he loves America. I believe he wants to change things up. His acceptance speech moved me more when I read it than when I heard it. I'm debating with myself over how polished and motivational a President needs to be to be affective. But when it comes to the War, I think he is clear headed. He has bucked both sides during the course of this Iraq War. I would feel better about Foreign relations with him in the oval office but on his domestic policies, I'm not completely sure I'm with him.

No. McCain is not the environmentalist and reformer he was 10 years ago. The years have tamed this Maverick, which is disappointing to some. But maybe McCain is more affective in a tamer package? Though I'm not sure Palin is the best woman to be a bullet or heart attack way from the presidency, I admire the gamble McCain is taking with her. It's like he knows the casino is closing so he has put all his chips on the table and is going for it the way he wants to do it. I truly think he has the best shot of working across the aisle, unless the party makes him burn too many bridges in this election. Again, I don't trust the party.

I did not like the tone of the RNC. Too hostile.
I felt the DNC was all so scripted that it felt more like a Broadway production than an informative convention.
I have issues when it comes to trusting either party. The party's seem so ugly to me.

More than anything else, out of this election I would like a President who can unite the country and still get the job done.
I would like to love political discussions again.
I would like to think we can respectfully disagree with our brother and still be there to have his back.
I would like liberals to stop thinking they are smarter than everyone else.
I would like conservatives to stop thinking God is on their side and not on their opponent's.
I would like teachers to be paid more than sports agents and public schools to be nicer than public stadiums.
I would like children to grow up wanting to work for a better life for their children and their NEIGHBOR'S CHILDREN.
I would like all children who are born in this land to be loved, wanted and taken care of.
I would like God to be praised in deed if not in words.

And no matter who I vote for, I would like people who vote for the other guy to be respected.
I don't want someone to be made to feel wrong,
or less,
or inferior,
or not as Christian,
or not as compassionate
or not as intelligent,
or not as in tune,
or not as accepted
just for voting for someone else.
Call me crazy, but I think Christians can vote for either candidate with good conscience.

No, I don't intend to take sides.
I'm staying Swiss.
Swiss, with an opinion that may be shared.
I won't disparage any of the four of my fellow Americans running for President or VP or their supporters.
Being a candidate in a Presidential election is hard.
I'm grateful these four are doing it.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Mother's Day Out

Yesterday was Ella Kate's first day of MDO.

She was so excited to go!

She has graduated from nap-time in a pack-n-play to a nap on a nap-mat.

Her friend "E-fan" is in her class.

She loves E-fan!

But after we put her things in her cubby and on her hook, it hit her that she was staying and I was leaving. She pulled her "E" out of her bag and her thumb found her mouth. This only happens when she is sleepy, sick or a bit unsure.

She didn't cry, or even whimper, but I headed out ASAP when her sweet teacher directed her attention to some puzzles. Woosh! It was a close one!

I might have even been a bit teary if I hadn't been running to go get Kolby from her new school for the first time and get to an orthodontist appointment. We just made it. (Again WOOSH!)

I'm happy to report Ella Kate had a great day... and so did I!

I love staying home with my kids, but I also love my Mother's Days Out!

Monday, September 01, 2008

So your saying I'm a bit feely?

I took this survey tonight and this is what happened.

Your Personality is Somewhat Rare (ESFP)

Your personality type is playful, charming, open minded, and energetic.

Only about 7% of all people have your personality, including 9% of all women and 5% of all men

You are Extroverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving.

I dunno.
What do you think?
I think it depends on the mood I'm in when the questions are administered...but evidently I'm a feely type! :) What are you?