Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On a Happier Note

Last week Luke started soccer! He had one practice last week and then a game on Saturday. We're not sure if he's going to like it or not. He's still excited about going to the games and practice but he has run off the field crying several times because everyone was not taking turns. Hehehe. We have practice again tonight and then another game Saturday. I told Jeff he probably will just be a cross country runner, no crowds and no one kicking you (usually).

Game time!
Action shot!

Love that little soccer star!


Over the past few months these posts have become a little few and far between. I think a lot about what I should or want to put on here. Like the boys' first day of school, I did not take a single picture. First there's just me and three of them and I was very nervous about Luke's reaction and what I might have to do if he continued down the trail of tears at school. It has turned out to be a great year so far with no tears, at all. God bless his teachers. Then, Luke has started soccer and I wanted to post about his first practice and game. I'll try to do that next, if there is time.

Today, I'm home from work unexpectedly. Eli got sick at school and thankfully Grammy was able to pick him up and take him to her house while I scurried home from FW. He's asleep now, and has been for a while, and I have a ton of work I need to be doing but I can't seem to get busy. So, to make this day not a total loss, I'll post some stuff on here.

With the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 a few days ago, I wanted to write for the boys my memories of that day. Of course I meant to write it on the 11th but like so many things around here, it's a few days late.

At the time I was teaching 3rd grade in McKinney. I remember the day very well. Somehow we got word of what had happened, I think it was Shannon's husband who had emailed her at work. So, during specials (at about 9:30), we turned on the TV in Jennifer's room. Jennifer, Shannon, Suzy and I stood in Jennifer's room staring at the TV (and some other random person from the district who was to meet with us that day). It was incredible. I thought right away that it was Osama bin Laden. A few days before that I had watched a program about terrorists and he was profiled. We watched as the towers fell and at the time I did not realize the magnitude of what was happening. I did not realize right away that there were people still inside. The realization was horrific. We soon had to pick up our students and sheltered them from the news for the rest of the day. We all felt the news and explanations would best come from parents. Nonetheless, it was hard to go the rest of the day unable to talk about what had happened. So, so terrible. That night when I started to have my daily devotion, I was shocked again. Here is the devotion for Sept 11, the one I read that night (From Faith to Faith, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, 1992): Click on it to see the text better.


My other significant memory from that period of time was about a month later. I was scheduled to run the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC in October. The route went around the Pentagon. There was some debate as to whether the race would still be held but it was decided to go ahead as planned. It was a cold day and as I stood at the starting line, the national anthem played. The sun was on my face and I was surrounded, it was very crowded. It was so cold but I could not feel it because of all the people standing so close together. It was an electric moment. I closed my eyes and it was so quiet. Very amazing and hard to describe really. We did run by the Pentagon, in the parking lot, and ended by the Iwo Jima Memorial. What a day.
And finally, I can't think of Sept 11 without thinking of the fact that it would be just 9 short months later when my brother would die. When people count years from 9/11 I find myself subtracting 1.

Oh my goodness, what a depressing post. I'll get the camera and put some pics of Luke's first soccer game on here to liven things up! So sorry!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Catching Up

Instead of adding to the previous post, I decided to add details about our vacation here. It's been a while since my last post. My work has started again and the boys are back to their regular school. Luke and Nathan attend 5 days a week, 9-2, and stay late on T/W/TH. Eli attends T-F and stays late on T/W/TH. Once the school year gets really going I may keep all the boys home with me on Mondays, when I can. I've been assigned to a new committee at work that meets Mondays at 3PM so that really throws a wrench into our schedule. We'll see how it all works out. I knew committee work was coming this year but that day/time is at absolutely the worst day and time possible. Oh well, we'll work something out.

Good news for Luke, he's adjusting to the 4 year old class very well. All the summer angst is gone and he's gone into his room each day this week with little anxiety. Praise the Lord! It's a real answer to prayer. This summer was so awful that I don't know what I would have done if it had continued during this year. Nathan and Eli are happy as ever, always a good report. Nathan is still working on the potty training. He did an amazing job for the first 3 weeks but then it's like the fun wore off and he started having "accidents" during the day, over and over. He's had a few accidents this week, averaging about 1 a day. I try not to worry about his progress and know eventually he'll get there, just like Luke did.

Nathan's still getting up really early, usually about 5:50 or 6:00AM. I've learned to embrace it and even took him running with me one morning (which is no small task given we only have a double jogger so it constantly pulled to his side:). He gets up and gets dressed by himself, by the light of the nightlight. Luke usually has gotten in the bed with Jeff at some point during the night so that means I've moved to the couch and can intercept Nathan when he gets up.

Sorry for the rambling nature of this post. I'm trying to include anything I think the boys might be interested in knowing about this time in their lives. Luke is learning his letter sounds at school which is great because that's just what I've been working with him on this summer. Nathan is still learning to recognize his name. Eli is learning to follow directions and can do simple things I ask him to now. When Luke came home from school Monday (after his first day), he seemed to have grown over the 5 hours he was gone. And again, I was struck by the thought I have periodically (ok, almost daily), that I hope I won't regret this time away from them when they get older. I know school is good for them and they are learning so much. Anyway, I'll spare you all my mental conversations on that topic.

So, this was supposed to be about the trip to Destin. It was a really fun trip. even with 3 little boys who got tired and were off their schedules and one who did not like the ocean and pull out beds that were not sleep-able and one night without electricity, it was really great. We drove to Madison on a Sunday, spent the night with my dad and then drove to Destin the next day. We went through Hattiesburg (home of USM) so I was able to bore Jeff with my narrative of "this is where I...and this is where I..." I can't wait until the boys get older and I can do the same for them. We spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Destin and left Thursday. On the way back we stopped in Quitman to visit my mom and do more "this is where..." in the town (and house)I lived until I was 11. I was able to take the boys to the playground I loved as a kid and watch them play in the yard where I have so many memories. AND, I was able to see Kayleigh and Michael for the first time in 6 years. It was a brief visit but great. They have changed so much from the 1st and 4th graders I lived with in Plano. Ugg, so hard and another brain compartment I try not to access too often. Time moves on and thankfully, it's moving in our favor this time. Also, Kayleigh and Michael got to meet the boys for the first time. What a treasure. I'll post some pictures when I can. Another good thing that happened on this trip is the boys twice got to see my grandmother. It's always a game of "put that down" when we're at her place but it's worth it. I want them to have some memories of her.

Sitting on the beach is one of my favorite things to do, ever. It was different this time with the boys there but still really great. Watching them play in the sand and surf was amazing. Nathan did not care for the ocean but luckily my dad was there and patiently took him inside or to the pool when he had enough. We did not attempt a seafood dinner out but Jeff did get us some great takeout one night. Unfortunately, it was the night we lost power so we ate by flashlight. It was great, regardless!

The week was full and busy but it was great to see the beach again and some favorite people and places. Being from MS is such a part of me that sometimes I forget the boys don't have those memories or loyalties. They are Texan and have a very Texan daddy. So, I guess it's up to me to show and teach them about their "other side!"