Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

April 3rd will be my mother's 57th birthday. In August of this year she will have been gone from us for 3 years and I always try, during holidays and birthday's, to honor and remember her in a way I know she would like. I no longer visit her grave on these days; I visit around these specific days because I know she would not want to be remembered at her grave. She is no longer there anyway, so I try to go to a place where I know she would love to be herself. On her birthday I typically go to Cox Arboretum to see all the beautiful spring flowers in bloom and you will probably find me there again this year.

I wanted to write about my mom and put some of my thoughts on paper (or website). I have so many fun memories of my mom and I am afraid someday I will forget them and they are all I have left of her. This writing may take a while to get through so I am sorry if it gets to be too long.

My mom Nanny Constance Hoff ( Connie) was born April 3rd 1952. She was the third girl to be born in her family and would soon be followed by two more girls giving her 4 sisters to grow up with. My mom told me many stories of her childhood but a few stick out more than others. My mom was very fair complected, she had very blond hair and freckles. She was teased without mercy in elementary school and was called Freckled Face Nanny Goat. This upset her as it would any child so my grandfather painted her bike and gave it spots (freckles). This made her happy and it made a huge impact showing her how much her father loved her and it made her see how special she truly was. If she told me this story once she told it to me 100 times, it really made her feel loved.

Left to right.... Tina, my mom, grandma, Bonnie Shelia Sharon

My grandfather also built her a play house. This play house became her magical play house where she would have Barbie fashion shows, club meetings and tea parties. She helped her daddy build this house from the ground up and it meant more to her than anything. She loved it so much that once she had outgrown the house he disassembled it and stored it so she could some day give it to her daughter. (me) :) I too have fond memories of this playhouse....I looked forward to spring every year where I would "spring clean" it and chase all the mice out of the cupboards. It brought my mom great joy to see my love for the play house she had loved so dearly.

My mom shared a room with her older sister Sharon and she told me many stories of the times she and Sharon would sit on their beds and listen to their records. I know she and Sharon had a special bond after sharing a room together for so many years.

My mom loved animals. She had Boston Terriers growing up and she always talked about Buddy and Sissy. Buddy always protected their back yard while the girls would play and would chase away all the boys in the neighborhood; he didn't like boys. She said her cat Tom ate her sister's bird while she was watching it and it traumatized her for a long time. She has several hamsters and her daddy built mazes for them to crawl through. One of her hamsters was named inky because my grandpa said he kept running out of his pen. :) My grandpa made me a maze too for my hamster Ringo.... my grandpa was an amazing, kind hearted man and I loved him very much.

My mom loved music.... she loved music from a very young age and she continued to love music until the day she died. I know she is enjoying the music in heaven and she can't wait for us all to get there so she can have us sit with her and listen to it together. I spent many, many nights listening to old 45's with my mom. She had her favorites and sometimes I would get sick of hear the same song over and over again and now those songs are very precious to me and I smile thinking of her every time I hear them.

My mom loved the Lord. She told me stories of how she would make a promise to give money to the missions at church. She said her promise would be of an amount she knew she couldn't raise on her own, it would have to be God working through her to raise the money. She always made the amount she had promised down to the penny. She taught Sunday school and was at church every time the doors were open. She remembered the day she asked Jesus to come into her life like it was yesterday and would tell of the story often.

My dad was the love of her life. She shared stories with me about their youth group at church and about how she thought my dad was the best looking thing she had ever seen. She said she didn't think my dad even noticed her but obviously he had. She told me how nervous she was when he came to their house to visit and how excited she was to date him. My mom said she thought my dad looked a lot like Elvis, which was another love of her life. She really liked Elvis, she loved his music (especially his gospel music).

Dad really does look like Elvis in this picture.

Jack and Jill

My mom also loved movies and TV shows. I remember sitting up late at night with my mom watching TV Land into the wee hours of the morning. We would watch old shows like the Groucho Marks show, Doby Gillis, Leave it to Beaver, I Married Joan, Bewitched, Green Acres, I dream of Jeanie... you get the picture....OLD shows. :) We had a great time together. She always had a love for movies, however it wasn't until I was married and out of the house that she started collecting movies. She loved buying new movies and when they all started coming out on DVD.... well, she bought them all over again on DVD. I think if she were still alive today she would start all over again and purchase them all on Blu-ray. :) She would have loved the real life feel Blu-ray movies have and I think of her every time I watch a movie on our new HD flat screen with Blu-ray.... she would have loved it. Around the age of 43 my mom was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and as the arthritis started to creep in, her movies and TV became one of her favorite past times.

My mom was fun. She loved to laugh and she loved to joke; this was my grandfather in her. I remember laying in her bed, sticking our feet in the air and holding our big toes up and saying "ayyyy" like the Fonz on Happy Days. I remember her reading books to me and changing the tone of her voice for each character. I remember tea parties and times when we would set up all my Fisher Price toys and make a village and play all day. I remember her allowing me to make mud pies (as long as I kept them outside). :) I remember huge birthday parties with what ever theme I wanted. I remember Disney movies, the zoo and circus'. I remember vacations and school clothes shopping. I remember long nights sitting on her bed and talking about everything under the sun. I remember talking about arguments I had with my friends and her never being able to forgive them long after I already had. :) I remember her allowing me to take the love of MY life on vacation with us (which was huge because we NEVER took friends on vacation). She told me she remembered me saying how romantic it would be to walk the beach with someone you cared about.... so she asked Greg if he wanted to come to Florida with us. One of the most funniest vacations Greg and I have been on yet. :)

My mom loved the colors pink and purple, she loved roller coasters, she loved her birds Buddy and Petee, she loved sweets, (especially white cake with white icing) she loved the old clock that still hangs in my dad's kitchen because they received it as a wedding gift. She loved her family, she loved to read, she loved eating crushed ice. I remember bringing home several bags of crushed ice from the nursing home I used to work for so she could eat it. It was the perfect ice she would say. She loved her tray of precious belongings that sat next to her couch in the front room.... no one was EVER to touch it. :) My mom loved shoes, she loved purses... she loved anything stylish or pretty. My mom loved new night shirts and socks...she was easy to buy for at Christmas. She loved getting mail; especially if they were packages with movies in them.

Her baby Petee

My mom went with me to hear Leslie's heart beat for the first time when I was pregnant because Greg wasn't able get off work. This is very special to me now that she is gone... I am so glad we were able to share that moment together as mother and daughter. She took pictures of me when I was pregnant with both our kids (which I am glad she did because they are the only pictures I have of me pregnant) she always wanted to see my naked belly and she would rub and talk to it. She spoiled our kids rotten and would buy them anything they wanted. Leslie pointed to a 3 foot tall Bugs Bunny in the mall one time and sure enough my mom had to buy it for her. It was larger than Leslie and it barely fit in the stroller, it wasn't cheap either. My mom fully believed in the motto "you can't take it with you when you die" when it came to money.

She always fixed my hair and I looked like I just stepped out of a magazine. She would wash my hair each night and use Dippity Doo (hair gel) and put my hair in curlers for the next day. I didn't like my hair brushed or messed with much so my mom made a song out of it. Dippity Doo chi chi chi chi chi chi.... Dippity Doo.. then we would make up commercials for Dippity Doo while I sat in front of the mirror. She also helped me memorize our phone number by putting it to a song... to this day I remember my phone number from when I was five....256-2275.

Me with my brother Jamie (notice the curlers) :)

I wish I could go back and replace the arguments with laughter... I regret every unkind word that was shared between the two of us. Life is so short and it is so foolish to spend time finding faults in those you love. One day they will be gone and all you will have left are the good times, the times you laughed, the times you loved and you will yearn for more. I know this is human nature and we always play the game of what ifs.

Scriptures say death will come like a thief in the night and that was just the case with my mom, she died peacefully in her sleep. God gave me one last gift before she died..... one last visit with her. Although I had no clue it would be the last conversation, the last laugh and the last hug I would share with my mother, it was a true gift. 3 days prior to her death we had a wonderful visit , she was feeling good and she was her old self without the arthritic pain. We reminisced about the old days a bit, talked about our kids and how big they are, made plans for Thanksgiving (even though it was only August) :), and talked about renting a house boat on Lake Cumberland over Labor Day. I told her I loved her when I left and she gave me a big hug and kissed my neck. How I wish I would have made that hug last a little longer.... how I wish I would have stayed a while longer and visited just a bit more. I can't go back, but I can cherish the memories that she has left behind.

It makes me think a lot about myself as a mother... what memories am I leaving behind?? I want the last words I say to my loved ones to be good ones, ones that will carry them through until I see them again. Since death will come like a thief in the night I need to stay on my toes (or on my knees) to make sure I live my life in a way that I can be taken home at any time and leave my family with good thoughts.

My mother is in a wonderful place, she is whole again and is the person God created her to be. She no longer suffers from arthritic cold fronts or rain storms, she is happy and free and that is why it would be very selfish for me to ever wish her back on this earth again.

Happy Birthday Mom, I love and miss you!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Nick is in eighth grade this year and this is the year the students create an autobiography. It really is a scrap book of their life up to this point. Leslie made hers 3 years ago before I learned how to scrapbook so we are going to do another one for her for her high school years.

I had a great time working with both kids on their autobiography and it was fun looking through old photos to enhance the stories they had written. It was also fun to compare the writings of the two. Leslie wrote about feelings and memories while all of Nick's memories were of funny times. When asked to write about his feelings as an eighth graders he wrote " What I like about being an eighth grader is each day I am a day closer to getting out of here". I am sure he will receive bonus points for that one... NOT! :)

When asked to write about his mother he could have chose to write about the many times we made cookies or all the times cuddling and watching Pooh. Instead he writes about the time I was freaked out on the Drop Zone at Kings Island and couldn't open my seat belt after the ride was over. Nice! It is so good to see the impact I have had on my children. :)

After it was all said and done it was neat to look at them both and see how well they express each of their personalities.

As a mom, it is really neat to look at your kids and see the differences and similarities in your children.

I love Leslie for her big heart to serve, her faith in God is evident in her life. She is bright and responsible and loves every creature God placed on this earth. Leslie loves to read and take quiet walks. She would take a beach over an amusement park any day. She has many friends but only has a few close friends. She is a loyal friend and you will never hear her gossip about anyone.... even if you don't know them.

I love Nick for his big heart, he will give you the shirt off his back if you need it. (unless you are Leslie....sibling stuff). He is one of the most forgiving people I know and he loves to laugh and make you laugh. He will tease you relentlessly and when you say "Nick, that isn't funny" he will reply "I know... it is hilarious!" He loves to be where the action is and would take an amusement park over a beach or a quiet walk. Nick has a soft spot for animals like his dad but he doesn't have a NEED for them like his mom and sister. :)

I could go on and on about my kids and how much I love them. I feel they received all their good genes from their daddy. Greg is a wonderful man who is a tender daddy to his daughter when she needs it, he knows when to step in and when to step back and give her space. He is cool, rough and tough for his son at the same time, he can spend time with Nick and relate to him like no one else ever could.

Both kids have dedicated songs to their daddy which says a lot about how they feel about him. Leslie, when she was 3 years old, said the song from Cinderella was she and daddy's song... "So this is Love"...(Listen here), they also have Butterfly Kisses (listen here). Nick dedicated the country song "I've Been Watching You" by Rodney Atkins. He used to listen to country music at night as he fell asleep and he heard this song and said "Daddy.... I heard a song about us on the radio last night".( Listen here).

You can see why I cry each time I hear these songs.... so sweet.

Here are some cute pictures I dug up while helping Nick with his autobiography:

Nick keeping an eye on his Daddy

Leslie loving her new baby brother

The Dynamite Duo

Nick admiring his big sister (one of my favorite pictures)

Bozsco loved to dress up for our Christmas Photo

My how they have grown

St. Augustine Florida Alligator Farm

Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.

I think about how much I love my kids often, I think about how there is nothing in this world they could do to make me NOT love them. If and when they make mistakes in their lives I may not like the choices they have made, but I could never love them less.

When I think about this it really puts things in perspective for me about my Heavenly Father who loves me. I have made mistakes, and I am sure He is not happy about my choices at times, but He will never stop loving me. Sometimes I feel so insignificant, how could God truly care about what happens to me? Why in all the universe would He care about the day I am having?

Easter is a bitter sweet holiday for me. Sweet because of the gift of eternal life Jesus gave to me on the cross but also bitter because it forces me to remember the sacrifice and the pain. The pain He endured on the cross for me so I could have eternal life and I struggle with thinking kind thoughts about my fellow neighbor?? I can't spend more time with Him???? As always the parent gets the raw end of the deal.... you give and give and give and sometimes, if you are lucky, you are appreciated. The lack of appreciation is not done intentionally, it is a mind set.... learning to have a grateful heart. I want to appreciate more, I want to give more, I want to BE more. That is my prayer for today.

Wow, I guess making autobiographies and reminiscing has made me rather sappy again today. I will try to be lighter next time. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our babies

We have been told by friends they feel we are related Dr. Dolittle and if there is an injured animal within a 30 mile range it some how knows to come to our house. We have had our share of injured and orphaned animals through the years but our experience from last fall I think is our favorite.

We decided to build a deck over our existing patio in our back yard last fall. Greg had the great idea of going "green" and he found a lot of used recyclable lumber... ( I know there is a specific name for used lumber but I can't think of it) Most of this wood was used for the frame of the deck.

The deck building became a big source of entertainment for our family as well as our surrounding neighbors. Greg built this deck from start to finish in one week so you can imagine the time spent outside. He worked from sun up to sun down everyday for a week with only taking breaks to make needed trips to Lowe's.

After all the reclaimed wood was used up (there is that word.... RECLAIMED) we needed to purchase lumber from Lowe's to finish the job. We began carrying all the lumber to the back yard stacking it according to size and created a little lumber stack under the tree next to the frame of the deck.

You can see the stack of wood down in the lower left hand side of this picture. There are tree limbs over the entire stack of wood up above.

As Greg worked on the deck, and I sat handing him tools or holding pieces of wood when instructed to do so, we heard little squeaks and chatter coming from the tree. I looked up and saw a little squirrel swishing his tail at us. He would climb all the way down the tree and hang upside down and watch Greg's every move. We thought he was cute and didn't think much more about it.

You can see how very tired Murphy is after his hard day of building the deck....

Poor dog... he has such a rough life.

One day after we had gone in the house for dinner our neighbors, who live behind us, called us on the phone. They told us the little squirrel who had been chattering to us earlier in the day had fallen out of the tree and landed on our wood pile and was unconscious. We immediately ran outside to the little baby lying on our wood pile with blood coming out of her nose. We wrapped her in a towel, brought her in the house and placed her in a dark, warm, quiet box in case she was in shock.

As we were getting her set up our neighbors said "there is another one up in the tree". Sure enough another little squirrel (clearly upset we had taken his sister) was chattering at us quite loudly. We started talking to him (I used baby talk since they were babies... it just felt right) I said "come here little baby, come here... it's OK" and we held out our hand with a peanut in it. He climbed all the way down the tree to us, ate the nut and allowed us to pet him. ( This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship) :)

Murphy is sad he wasn't allow to help.

I then began to think, if his sister is injured what better way to bring her heart rate down and give her the best chance of survival than to have a sibling lying next to her. So we reached up into the tree and gently picked him up. He was still eating his peanut and didn't seem at all nervous. He clearly was very hungry and we were beginning to think maybe something had happened to their mother. We brought squirrel #2 into the house and placed him in the box with his injured sister. Because her nose was bleeding, we thought maybe she had internal injuries. Her brother quickly snuggled up to her and the two of them began to sleep with their little tails wrapped around them. (so cute)

As we walk outside we hear Leslie tell our neighbors (who were still outside to watch the Leslie Jergens Experience instead of Jeff Corwin) "I see another one up there" she said. Leslie has now managed to climb up into the crook of the tree and she was calling to the third little squirrel the way I had called to the other. He started to climb down the tree to her and he would stay just barely out of reach. He was swishing his tail and he REALLY wanted the peanut she was holding. She decided to climb further up into the tree to try to reach him. Greg and I were getting a little nervous at this point because she was wearing shorts, no shoes and was climbing very high up into our tree. She sat up there for a little while winning the trust of this little guy. We couldn't stand the thought of him going through the night alone with no siblings so she was persistent. He eventually came close enough and she was able to grab him. Now she was very high in our tree holding a baby squirrel and she needed both hands to get down. "What now"? she says as she looks down at us. I always think it is much harder (and scarier) to climb down from a tree than it is to climb up it. I told her to lift up her shirt (she had a tank top on under her shirt) and place him on your belly... he should hold on. Sure enough the little guy grabbed on and stayed in place as she climbed all the way down and out of the tree. He was very happy to be reunited with his siblings in the dark, quiet box.

It was then time to examine the little girl with injuries. I was afraid to look at her because I have had so many animals die when there have been blood around the eyes, nose, ears and mouth. We all went into Leslie's room where the babies were being kept and I gently opened the box and lifted her out. I felt her abdomen and didn't feel any swelling nor did I feel anything broken. I looked into her eyes and they were dilating when light was shown into them. As I examined her little face I noticed her nose was mashed. The blood from her nose was actually a nose bleed. She had taken a pretty hard fall onto a stack of lumber and had only bloodied her nose. She was wheezing a little while breathing due to the blood in her nose so we named her Wheezy. She was so cute and little. We reached into the box and held the other two babies and they too were as sweet as they could be. One particular squirrel was more vocal than the other two so we named him Grumbly; he would grumble about everything. The third squirrel was so snuggly and loved to sleep in our hand so we named him Cuddles. We then realized we had 3 wild squirrels in our house.... in our hands and now we have them named... it is not looking good.

We were already in love.

Align Center

We set up a cage for the three of them with bedding and water. We noticed they only had nubs for teeth so they couldn't eat anything hard. We fed them raisins,Craisins, grapes and soft nuts.

We placed the cage outside so they could be in their own environment.

We kept them for 3 days in the cage for observational purposes. We enjoyed their company during those three days.

Once we saw Wheezy eating and drinking we opened the cage to allow them to come and go as they wished. They would still come down the tree when called and would allow us to hold them and feed them.

We are now in our 8th month of friendship with these little guys and we still enjoy spending time with them. They do not like to be touched these days (typical teenagers), however they still will walk over and take nuts from our hands while we sit on our deck. They will also sit on the deck and look in the window to catch our attention so we will feed them walnuts.

If we for some reason have our blinds closed they will climb to the top of our table umbrella and look through the windows of our cathedral ceiling.

They really have us wrapped around their little fingers. It has been a true joy to watch them grow up over the past several months.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Confessions of the heart....

This weekend we were horrible friends to our neighbors and friends across the street. I am writing this because my pastor has asked me to get it down on paper NOT for confessional purposes but because he thought our "punk" (which wasn't supposed to be a punk) was so funny he wants to tell the story in service at church.

Before I get started with the story I need to tell you that we always have an on going joke with our neighbors who happen to be dear friends of ours. We have an old gym shoe that was found in the middle of the street between our homes and we continue to hide it in each others yard. Greg shines a red laser light into their home almost every Christmas while their family is visiting. We have teased one another so much that when their pear tree was picked clean by squirrels the third year in a row they asked us if we took their pears as a joke. We have Bible studies with these dear people and truly enjoy their friendship. Ok, so on with the betrayal.

This all began a while ago when our friend told us her boss was giving Charlie (our Pastor) tennis lessons. She began singing Charlie's praises to her boss telling him what a wonderful pastor he is and how great our church is. In return her boss this past week told Charlie what an incredible employee and person our friend is and how she is a great example for Southbrook (our church). Charlie then proceeded to tell the boss to please ask her to stop into Guest Central after services this weekend he would like to speak with her.

"The boss" walked into the break room, approached our friend and told her "Charlie would like to see you after services this weekend in Guest Central". She was so surprised she dropped her yogurt and immediately began thinking "why would Charlie want to speak to me after services??? Did I say or do something wrong?"

She then came home and later that evening decided to call us. (this was their first mistake) Greg answered the phone and after being told the story said to them " Well, the only reason I can think Charlie would want to see you after services is you are getting kicked out of church, I will call Charlie and see what he says but if you guys are going down I am not going down with you." They laughed and she yelled in the back ground "See I told you we shouldn't have told Greg... I knew he would say something like that." :)

Now before I go any further I have to say (and anyone who knows us will agree) Greg is the prankster between the two of us. I don't typically think up jokes or ways to "get" people but Greg is in a constant mode of joking and teasing. He has made statements to Leslie and I that we should loosen up a bit more and enjoy the fun world of teasing. Leslie and I are more the serious type in comparison to Greg and Nick. We still have fun, but are more reserved with our fun.

The day after the conversation between Greg and our neighbors I had an ornery streak in me and decided it would be fun to draft up a letter, make it look like it came from Southbrook, and send it to them. They would open the letter, immediately know it was from us and we would all laugh and laugh. (Well, at least that is how I saw the joke unfold in my mind)

I called a good friend of mine who is staff at Southbrook and asked her if she thought I would get in trouble if I used the Southbrook logo to pull a joke on some friends (being the good rule follower I am) and she laughed and said no... they will know it is from you right? "Of course they will know it is from us, Greg just joked with them last night about getting kicked out of church" I said.

So I drafted up the letter, I copied and pasted the Southbrook logo onto the top of the letter and this is how the letter read.

We have been informed recently of your dabbling in our Senior Pastor’s personal life. It is our understanding that you have a business relationship with our pastor’s Tennis instructor and we try very hard as a church to keep his personal life as private as possible. You can understand, due to the size of our church, if we allow one member of our church on “the inside” what that could do to his private time with his family.

We regret to inform you that we need to ask both you and your husband to please not attend Southbrook due to our recent findings. We have enjoyed the time and service you have provided to our church home and we wish you both the best of luck. We hope you understand this difficult decision to act upon the privacy of our Pastor.

Southbrook Christian Church

( I feel sick just reading this right now because of the reaction this letter got from our dear, trusting friends)

Ok, so I even copied and pasted the church logo on the left hand side of the envelope. I waited till Greg got home so he could read it... he loved it of course but said

"We need to sign it or something so they know it is from us".

I said "Really??? They are going to know right away it is from us after they read it."

Greg said "yes, but just to be sure lets write something across the bottom of the letter".

So, I wrote in pen, in my own handwriting. Consider yourself punked G&R smiley face. Greg walked it across the street and placed it in their mailbox. Then we waited.

Around 5:15 after she arrived home from work the phone rang. We saw on the caller ID it was them and started smiling because we knew they had received the letter and were laughing their heads off. WRONG!

Greg answered the phone and she said on the other end (with a shaky voice) "please tell me you guys sent a letter over to our house".

Greg said "what do you mean?"

She said "Please tell me you sent it because if you didn't I am going to cry."

Greg said "did you read the whole letter?"

She said "yes, please tell me you did it."

Greg said " did you read the bottom of the letter?"

She said " Yes, well, wait a minute. ( SHE DIDN'T UNFOLD IT ALL THE WAY) then she saw the consider yourself punked part.

She honestly thought she was getting kicked out of church! She opened the letter 1/2 way and began reading it. While she was reading it tears began to fall and she started shaking and her mind was racing a mile a minute trying to figure out what she had done to deserve this letter. Then she looked outside.... she saw all three of our cars in the driveway. (Greg was home earlier that day because he had taken a class instead of going to work) She then thought...."I am going to call over there just to see and hopefully they sent the letter."

Yep, it was your dear close friends who put your heart into a panic and made you cry. Don't you feel so much better now???? She was relieved to hear she truly wasn't getting kicked out of church but her voice was still shaky and she was still clearly upset. She and Greg both thought it would be funny to call her husband at work and get him too. So she calls him, reads the letter to him and he is silent on the other line.

She said " Are you there?"

He said "Yes"

She said "What do you think?"

He said " I think I am going to throw up"

She said "Well, what do you think we should do?"

He said (and this is the real kicker... the real knife in the gut) "Call Greg and Rachael... they will know what to do." Ugggg.... how rotten are we???

Then she told him it was us who sent the letter and he had time to calm down a bit before coming home to kill us for nearly killing his wife with worry. He said the whole time he was at work answering the phone and talking to clients he was thinking about how he was going to get us back. We have a wonderful healthy friendship don't we? :)

I on the other hand pretty much punked myself because I have been just SICK about all of this. It makes me nauseous that they believed that letter was real even for a second. I truly thought it was going to be a good laugh and something we would joke about for years to come. Instead it turned into a nightmare of me making our friends feel scared and sick. Something we sure won't forget anytime soon that is for sure. Now I am even MORE reserved about joking than I was a week ago.

They are dear friends and when they spoke with Charlie after services (which by the way he only wanted to tell her thank you for being such a great example for Southbrook) DUH, who gets kicked out of church for knowing the pastor's tennis instructor?????? She did bring it to my attention that weirder things have happened in a church and I must say she is correct. But not at Southbrook. :) Anyway, while speaking to Charlie they told him about the letter but spared our names during the conversation. I was at church on Sunday and I came clean to Charlie. He looked at me and said "That was YOU guys?? That is hilarious.. that is one of the best jokes I have heard in a long time. You have to write it all out so I can use it. " The only service I can think of where this story would fit at church would maybe be at Easter when Judas betrayed Jesus.

I will be expecting hate letters in the mail at anytime and I don't blame any of you if you no longer want to remain friends with us since this is how we treat our dearest and closest friends.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back to the Future

People who say time travel is impossible obviously didn't have children and have never planned a high school reunion. The past few months I feel I have been in a constant state of time travel.

Last week I met with both our children's counselors/advisors to schedule their freshman/senior classes. Yes, we will have both a freshman and a senior in high school next year. That in itself is messing with my mind a bit.

It is hard to believe our little girl who wore her hair in pig tails at the age of 3 while searching for "rolly polly's" will be a senior in high school.

We spent 2 hours last night at her high school talking to 150 colleges at the college fair. It is very difficult for me to picture her at ANY of the campuses because she is only 6. Seriously... who would send their daughter off to college at such a young age. She is interested in Environmental Sciences as well as Wild Life Biology so we searched out the colleges who offered both programs to keep her options open. We talked to both private and public colleges as well as local and (sniff sniff) out of state colleges. As the song says... "Your future's so bright you gotta wear shades" (which her future is) I on the other hand will be wearing shades to hide my red, swollen, puffy, eyes from crying. I couldn't be more proud of her and it does excite me to see what God has in store for her.

Nick is my baby and he was supposed to grow up extra slow to give me more time to adjust. To think of him as a freshman is mind boggling. He will be following in his fathers footsteps next year in high school. He is starting his freshman year with a lot of IT classes. He will be taking Computer Applications, Digital Art and Design, and Design and Product. He will have the typical Science, English, Math and History too but the computer classes are what he is looking forward to. It should be an exciting year for him. He will have his big sister to show him the ropes and they will ride the bus home together. I was flipping channels the other day and The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was on. I had a big tug at my heart and I teared up a bit thinking back to the days I had my little man home with me and we spent all day playing with Hot Wheel and watching Pooh (Poof as he would call him). Where does the time go??? I want MORE!

So, back to the past with my flux capacitor......... I am helping to plan my 20 year high school reunion so I have been spending a lot of time in the past. It has been a lot of fun tracking down and catching up with old classmates but it has also been a reminder that I am pushing 40. I truly am not that old in my mind. In fact, when looking up classmates they all look like they did in high school in my mind's eye. Even when I look at pictures of them now I still see that 17 year old I graduated with. The mind is very weird..... or at least mine is. :) I drive around Centerville running errands and will see high school students who at first glance resembles one of my classmates. It takes me a few seconds to say to myself "oh yeah, we are old...that couldn't be her" I am in so deep into the past that I am dreaming about high school and about classmates whom I haven't seen in 20 years.

I have gone from barely remembering classmates names to knowing where they live. It is good for my mind to have challenges so I welcome it. :) I have dug up old pictures from my senior year which jogs my memory in a wonderful way. I have nothing but fond memories from high school so I am looking forward to seeing everyone this summer.

This flip flop of time travel from the past to the future has been an adventure but I will be happy to live in the present again. Today has enough challenges of its own and juggling all three time dimensions is making me tired. :) Now to find 1.21 Gigawatts. :)

For the 80's generation here is a clip from the past.... click here.