Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Hair

More Spring Break

Our real spring break plans - rather than leave town - included just hanging out at home. When we moved in (three years ago), we painted every room in the house except for the kitchen, the hallway and the downstairs bathroom. With a few days of flex time on our hands, we decided we'd tackle the kitchen and the hall this week.

As a bonus affirmation, the mail yesterday brought discount coupons for Lowe's - $10 off! Every little bit helps! After a quick trip to pick out paint (which we did quickly, in spite of my history of taking a minimum of 28 days to choose paint colors), we came home with supplies and determination.

Another reason for having five kids: quick painting. The girls taped everything. I did a bit of spackling, and then we broke out the rollers and brushes. (By the way, if you read the following post, you'll realize why we were unaware of the golf club brick busting activity...we were painting...) We got down to business and got everything done in record time.

Of course, we realized later that we neglected the second coat above the soffits. I'll spare you the pictures. I'm thinking we just put some plants up there and hide the shoddy workmanship... We piled everything up on the tables and worked in the middle of the mess.

Sarah is a master at cutting and doing trim work.

Oh, yeah - Syd got a hair cut....not the best shot, but you'll see more of her, I'm sure. She and Sarah have taken about a million photos...

And the color? Yellow. REALLY yellow. In fact, when you go in the kitchen at night, you don't need to turn the lights on. It's EXTREMELY yellow.

I'm thinking I'll go back to my 28-day color consideration waiting period...

Spring Break 2008

Spring break started with a bang - in David's eye.

We had a great Monday. Dave had his first visit with the eye doctor due to some observations by his teacher, his grandmother and me that he might be struggling with his vision. So, we started the day bright and early with a visit to Dr. Tonya. David did great, and picked out a pair of glasses that he'll wear as needed in the classroom.

Anybody want to lay bets as to how long the first pair lasts? We have the destruction category as well as the, "Mom, I lost my glasses!" category. Any takers?

Dr. Tonya numbed and dilated his eyes as well, just to get that exam out of the way. All clear.

It just so happens that Daniel is good friends with Dr. Tonya's son, Mason, so we'd planned to bring him home from the doctor's office for a spring break play day. The three boys joined forces with a couple kids from up the street and spent most of the day outside, doing boy things.

They made movies of themselves on their skateboards, jumping ramps and falling over. They skated all over the neighborhood. Intermittment games of Guitar Hero broke the monotony, as well as pizza and an entire gallon of milk.

They uploaded their videos on youtube and laughed at themselves, hysterically.

They ate some more.

And then they decided to get out the golf clubs their dad had given to them. And break things.

Keep in mind that I learned this all after the fact.

About 6:00 p.m., David came in - not crying, but not happy. "Mom, I got something in my eye."

Questioning led to the discovery that they were breaking bricks with the golf clubs. One shattered, quite effectively, and shards flew into David's face.

We flushed his eye out as best we could, and the fun continued (though the brick breaking stopped).

About 10:00, David came back to me. His eye was really bothering him. As we tried to flush it out again, he became inconsolable. It was obvious that it really, really hurt. He wouldn't even let me approach him to rinse it.

So we went to see the doctor. The ER wait was miraculously short, and all in all the experience wasn't awful. David was in a lot of pain, but he handled it well.

Diagnosis: corneal abrasion. He probably didn't rinse all of the brick shards out of his eye after the initial problem, and in rubbing it later, he injured himself. The doc numbed his eye, took a look and then gave us a prescription for eye drop antibiotics and Tylenol with codeine. We had to drive around a bit to get to the all-night pharmacy, but we made it back home by 1:30 a.m. I was wired and didn't get to sleep for a while, but David was out cold. That codeine worked wonders.

About 24 hours later, he was fine.

Did you know that 'codeine' breaks the 'i before e except after c' rule? Hmmm. Live and learn.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday!

Here's the best we could do for our family picture this year...sigh...it's hard getting six people to look good, smile and stop pinching one another at the appropriate time. We tried.

It was a wonderful day at church. We celebrated the resurrection of Jesus with over 1500 people who came out to our two services today. It was a terrific service, in spite of the fact that somebody in the school maintenance department apparently forgot to program the utilities for our presence. No lights in the hallway and no a/c in the auditorium. It was warm, but fortunately the 30 degree temperatures this morning (hello, spring!) helped us to be moderately comfortable.

Worship in the big room was powerful - we sang an amped-up version of 'Christ the Lord Is Risen Today' (inspired by Ashley Cleveland), 'You Are Good', 'That's Why We Praise Him', 'Mighty to Save' and 'Voice of a Savior', which followed the message and was tied to a drama to close the service. It was a great day.

'Power Jam' is the kids' service, and all three girls and Daniel led live worship there today, which was VERY cool. Elijah played keyboards, Sarah played guitar and the others sang. They were disappointed to miss 'big church' but I'm so glad they were serving today...

It was wonderful to see so many people out today. I got to meet some interesting folks and reconnect with some acquaintances. We had prayed that God would move and do business with people as needed, and I believe that's what happened.

Usually we have to tear down and pack up the entire stage, since we rent the school for our services - but today we were able to leave everything up, since next week is spring break. THAT was a blessing! We were able to leave early, and we went straight to Mom and Dad's for Easter lunch.

The meal was great, and we enjoyed the opportunity to visit. Here's a picture of Dad, watching basketball.

Sarah took advantage of the lazy afternoon to play Dad's Martin a bit. Shannon followed her around with the camera. By the way, Sarah is writing some original music and posting it (and some covers) on her myspacepage. You can check it out here.

Shannon relaxed. She looks beautiful here; 'single' again, she seems none the worse for wear...

There was some serious sleeping going on as well. It's a given that after a meal at Mom's, we all crash. I guess there's just something about being home; I sleep better there than anywhere else. Especially today, because I didn't get much rest last night (anxious about the services today). Everybody slept at various times. David piled a pillow on his head and swore that he never slept - but he didn't move for an hour.

I think he was asleep.

Daniel took the cake for interesting sleeping positions. This kid can sleep anywhere, anyhow.

I hope your Easter was wonderful as well!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The McFormal

The McFormal was last night! What fun...it was an 80's themed tacky prom sort of event. The girls had a blast, shopping at Goodwill, doing funky hair and using lots of blue eyeshadow, and just generally having fun with odd clothing and old music. I was nominated to do their hair, since I actually lived in that era. I kept reminding them that I never did much with my own hair, 80's or otherwise, but I made a valiant effort. Unfortunately the hairspray didn't hold much, but at one point they all had some serious 80's big hair. My girls had fun dancing and dressing up; even Daniel snuck in! He's too young for the youth group, but he managed to wrangle his way in after borrowing a sports coat from Marshall for his 'outfit'.

It was a great event for all concerned. There are more pictures here, but I tucked a few in on this post. Enjoy!

Sydni and her friend Robert (along with their mutual friend Maureen) won 'best couple', though they competed as a trio...Syd was overwhelmed with emotion...

Elijah looks exhausted - he was - but the outfit was great!

Daniel and his best buddy Katie.

Round one of getting ready...I'm not sure about Sarah's sneer, but it does look sort of eighties...

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Taking a cue from Patti, I'm just going to make a list tonight, in lieu of a proper post:

1. Even though I am on immunotherapy with my MCV allergist, pollen season has started and I am dying. Sneezing. Itchy eyes. Fatigue and muscle pain. Foggy brain. I'm a mess, just like I am every spring. Except this year, I'm also angry, because I'm paying big $$ for my "sublingual therapy" and I'm not getting the results I expected. Achoo.

2. Today we had two soccer games, one sleepover pick-up (in another county), one drum-line competition, one afternoon work schedule, massive house-cleaning, a surprise party for a 14-year old friend and the Metro Richmond Science Fair. Oh, yeah - SYD WON THIRD PLACE IN THE CHEMISTRY DIVISION OF THE METRO RICHMOND SCIENCE FAIR. Rock on, girl!

3. Tomorrow is the McFormal at FOCUS, our church's Sunday night student ministry program. It's a tacky prom with McDonald's food and 80's music. Expect pictures.

4. Easter is next week. Unlike Christmas, I love planning music for Easter - it's a Sunday service, but one that ROCKS. All of everything we believe rests on Easter Sunday. I'm excited!

5. We don't do much for Holy Week, as opposed to many of my ministry friends who are about to jump into Palm Sunday - Maundy Thursday - Good Friday - Resurrection Sunday schedules this week. I think in the future, when we have our own building, we'll do more - but at this point, we just focus on Sunday.

6. David spent a lot of time in his room today. He went in to clean; he said, "Mom - can you help me organize?" We got started on a few things. He cleared out some junk. I went back downstairs and heard some clanking and clattering. I looked out the window and saw things flying. He was experimenting with his cars. And his legos.

7. Spring is here.

8. Walmart is a very bad place on a Saturday afternoon.

9. The surprise party is in full swing. I hear screaming downstairs. Fourteen-year-old-girl screaming.

10. Gotta go.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Seven Summers

I started blogging a few years ago, after encountering a book that grew out of a blog. We were on vacation at the beach, and my brother's stack of authors included Gordon Atkinson. (That's what we do at the beach - we are a reading family. We bring piles of books and loads of music. We swap stories and songs, and then we stay up late and sing every song we can think of.)

Anyway, I read the book that week, and I cried, holding such grace in my hands. It was a turning point for me in various ways, but the biggest impact was my entry into the depths of internet connectivity. I started reading online, and one of my first excursions was to don't eat alone. Milton was linked to Gordon's blog, and I realized that a real life connection of sorts preceded my blog discovery; in a partnership with Billy Crockett years ago, Milton had helped to write some beautiful and meaningful songs that helped form the soundtrack of my early years as a mother and a young believer.

Small world.

At that point, Milton was living in New England, writing, cooking and loving his wife. His writing never ceases to move and instruct and challenge me. He has recently relocated to North Carolina, but thankfully, his blog has stayed put, and his creative output continues to influence my life.

And now he's published, with a collection of poems and recipes in a book called 'Seven Summers At the Beach'. You see the picture there above; the book rests auspiciously in front of the english muffins and the bagels, in a tribute of sorts. To what, I don't know; I asked my photographer daughter to get a shot of the spine of the book for me. That's where she put it.

Anyway, the book is good and meaningful, particuarly because it grew out of the blog. Sort of like seeing one of the neighbor kids grow up and become valedictorian. Or maybe salutatorian at this point, since we're talking about an unassuming sort of soft cover edition. Regardless of the analogy, I love what I'm reading, and the affection is mixed in with a unique sort of pride.

Community springs forth in the oddest of ways sometimes. Communication connects us, in whatever form it takes.

I'm really proud of Milton, and I'm quite fond of his book. You should buy it, too; you can do so here.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Understandably Beat

As a sixth grader, Daniel took the option to participate in Junior Drum Line this year. It means Tuesday-Thursday practices, a bit of extra study, and during the competition season, a lot of long Saturdays. He's doing great - plays wonderfully, is extremely intense and focused and is becoming an excellent musician. I'm thrilled with the level of support and instruction he's receiving from the percussion specialist and with the discipline and work ethic he is developing. It's been a very good thing for all concerned.

Last weekend, they went to Warrenton for a competitive event. They went in late - after our 'ice cream lunch' - but that meant they got home late, too. He got back to the house a little before 3:00 a.m. and stayed up for another hour. When we got up for church at 6:00 a.m. Daniel got up with us. A day at church, lunch afterwards, some time throwing the football outside, a trip to wash the car and drop girls off for bible study...

Is it any wonder that he crashed while we waited for the girls to finish up?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pajama Day!

By day, he is a mild-mannered ice cream scooper (in between drum line rehearsals, family, friends, church and school). However, his new job has released his "inner scoop" - and, behold:

Sarah's NEW boyfriend!

One of our favorite days each year is 'Pajama Day' at Brusters, our local ice cream stand (owned and operated by Rachel, an awesome woman who made an appearance on this blog a few weeks ago after our Myrtle Beach trip). God bless Rachel and her coworkers for thinking this one up: if you wear your pajamas to Brusters, you get a free waffle cone - your flavor choice!

HELLO! That, my friends, is a deal.

Making it even better is the fact that Elijah starting working here recently, and his big job on Saturday was to be 'Scoop'. He was, in my humble opinion, the absolute best life-sized waffle cone I have EVER seen. We had a blast with him.

That's Daniel, our neighbor Austin with his nose stuck in Scoop's ridiculously huge hand, David checking him out, Sarah and Shannon...

Happy with our ice cream. By the way, this was lunch on Saturday. Ice cream. Uh huh.

Go ahead, I'll take that "Best mother EVER" award.

Thanks, Scoop!