Sunday, May 27, 2012

congrats to us

My husband and I have successfully navigated the middle school years.

2 kids = 6 years of middle school

Allie in her graduation dress.
As of daughter Allie's 8th grade graduation on Wednesday, we've made it through adolescence and puberty, and we're headed for college.  Of course, that also means we've mastered diapers, ear tubes, daring to discipline, and much, much more.  We've attended countless band concerts and athletic events and school related functions.

One more year for Jamie, four more for Al, and we're empty nesters.

While that makes me feel sad and sentimental, it also gives me a sense of pride, knowing we've accomplished yet another milestone.  Sometimes we forget, in all the hoopla for the kids, that we parents are doing an alright job.

We're at the age parentally [yes, I've made up my own word], where we can happily assess our near 18 years of being mother and father. And to my husband Chip, I proclaim,
Jamie, entertaining his Spanish class.

"Good job, friend!  Thanks for hanging in there with me!"
If you too are a parent of a person in the winter of their childhood, I hope you take the time to indulge yourself in your accomplishments.  It takes more than getting up everyday to get a kid where they need to be. 

In the immortal words of Phil Dunphy from Modern Family, 

"You fake your way through it. And hopefully you don't raise a serial killer."

And nearly 18 years far, so good.  

Monday, May 21, 2012

If I Am What I Eat

I just returned from a doctor appointment.  I won't give you the nitty gritty details, but after doing a bit of research online [yes, I realize that researching one's medical ailments via the internet can be a harrowing experience], I've come to the conclusion my medical impairment could have possibly been avoided if I was eating in a more healthful fashion.

Yes, I've avoided meat for nearly two years.  But I haven't said no to processed foods.  And I'm beginning to believe they're taking a toll.  It's not that I eat tons of boxed mac and cheese or 48 frozen cheese pizzas a week.  It's simply that I'm noticing I'm not familiar with some of the ingredients printed on some of the items I place in my system.

So I've decided that come July 1, 2012, I'm giving up on processed crapola.  No more food from a box if there are items listed in the ingredients that I cannot identify.  No microwave frozen meals.  I want to abstain from chemicals.

I'm guessing those that already refer to me as a hippy, will be even more inclined to do so.......

I'm also considering not eating in fast food establishments any longer.  For one, there's not much to eat at these places if you don't eat meat.  I don't often patronize fast food eateries, but at times, I do.  Most offer salads, right?  Yet, they are known for purchasing from those that are the very core of our current American food problems.  Have you read Fast Food Nation?  I'm embarrassed to say I have, yet have since paid for food and drink at these establishments.  I think, I should in good conscience, stop.

Since my meat divorce, people often ask why I don't eat meat.  Or they make smart remarks, implying I'm a little odd.  I, at times, want to ask these folks why they're comfortable gnawing on the flesh of a once living creature.  Or, a random question like, "Why are you wearing that shirt?"  Or "Why do you drive the car you drive?"  Why do I need to explain myself, because I've chosen to do something they haven't?

I filled out a packet of information for my son, who'll be attending Governor's School for the Arts this summer.  They classify being a vegetarian as a dietary restriction.  Interesting.   Lest you think I feel people should go out of their way for me, or my vegetarian children, I don't.  Yet I wonder why Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution is considered so outrageous, and I definitely don't understand why my son's high school doesn't offer a salad bar. 

Alright, I realize I'm getting defensive and maybe preachy, so I'll get back to my original point:  As of July 1, no more processed food.  Goodbye chemicals and cardboard.  Anyone with me?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

my kids are the best

I don't do a lot of bragging on my kids, but it's Mother's Day.  If there's ever a day when a mom's bragging should be allowed, it's today.  So, here goes......

My son James was awarded the Junior Class Music Student of the Year Award this week.

Daughter Al was awarded Band Student of the Year at her middle school, and her band director shared some kind words about her character.

Yesterday Al spent the better part of her day volunteering at a fundraising event for my workplace.  James spent most of that time practicing guitar.

Needless to say, I'm proud of their accomplishments.  And I'm glad they make me laugh.

My son is an honors Spanish student.  I'm sure you can tell by the above message.
He's also a bit of a smart mouth, yet overall, great kid.

And I am proud of you, James!

From The Girl, aka Allie.  I will hold her to this promise.  Guaranteed.

Thanks to my sweet husband Chip and our lovely children for a nice dinner [I had the tofu po boy] at Windy Corner Market.  Their fried pickles are amazing.  And who knew our next door neighbor works there?  We're hoping she'll bring us home some of the above mentioned pickles once in a while........  Or a Bourbon Ball Sundae to help me get through the above mentioned adolescent years.

If you're a mom, Happy Mum's Day [we like to speak like the Brits around here, when we're not utilizing our espanol].  If you're not a mom, I hope you wished yours a happy day.  Moms like that sort of thing.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

song of the week

I decided to pick out a cd for the week.  On Monday, I asked my son James if I could borrow a Gungor cd, and he suggested {Beautiful Things}.  My thoughts in doing this:

  • I spend a while in the car each day, why not listen to something uplifting?
  • Gungor albums are thematic, which I like
  • Gungor is made up of excellent musicians
  • I can listen to listen to the cd while I work [my children will question whether I'm technologically capable of this, and YES KIDS, I am]
  • I try to spend my morning commute in communion with God, and maybe it's time I changed up this time a bit
  • Repeating something is a form of discipline

So, I'm in the process of listening to {Beautiful Things}, over and over.  Some might get bored, or gasp at the repetitiveness of this, but it's been refreshing.  My current fav worship tune is the title song,  [Beautiful Things].  I think it has been since last August.  Lately though, the words seem especially appropriate.  I seem to be in a "He makes all things new" phase.  Plus I really like the chord progression. 

Life is changing.  I'm looking at having two kids in high school this fall.  One has a school year left, then he's in college.  Our family's life looks different than it did a year ago, and one year ago looked different from two years ago.  Transition after transition. 

I'd like to share another song with you, if I might.  It's #9 on the album, and it's quickly moving up on my likeability scale.  I'm referring to it as my song of the week.  Despite that it's now 2 years old.  It seemed to hit home.  

Here are the lyrics:

I've tried to stand my ground
I've tried to understand
but I can't seem to find my way

like water on the sand

or grasping at the wind
I keep on falling short

please be my strength

please be my strenth
I don't have anymore
I don't have anymore

I'm looking for a place

that I can plant my faith
one thing I know for sure

I cannot create it

I cannot sustain it
It’s Your love that’s keeping (captured) me

Please be my strength...

at my final breath

I hope that I can say
I've fought the good fight of faith

I pray your glory shines

through this doubting heart of mine
so my world would know that You

You are my strength

You and You alone
You and You alone
Keep bringin me back home

Now go listen to the song.  I think you'll like it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

somebody that I used to know

Looking at the title of this entry, you might be thinking I'm referencing the song.  While I am writing of someone I used to know, I'm not writing about the song.  The song we seem to constantly hear on the radio.  The song my daughter and I previously really liked, yet now, thanks to radio overplay, we've grown fickle over.

Back to the someone.....I can't remember the family's name.  My husband and I knew them many moons ago when he [my husband] was a seminary student, as was the husband of the aforementioned family.  They had some kids.  We did not yet.  They were a bit older than us.  They'd been arrested in an abortion protest.  We had not yet, and still haven't.  And probably never will....

I don't recall a lot about them, except that they were into making homemade pizza crust with whole wheat flour, way before anyone else was.  I do recollect they were eccentric.  They weren't really strange.  Yet, they marched to their own drummer, so to speak.

The last I heard of them, they'd moved their family [by this point they had numerous children], to the inner city.  Honestly, I can't remember what city.  Detroit?  Chicago?  Maybe Indianapolis?  I know it was someplace with a more intense inner city than Lexington.  That much I remember.  And I thought,
"What in the world are they thinking?  They have small kids, they are not extremely street smart, etc., etc."
I thought they were naive and perhaps a bit dumb.  And reckless. 

I've come to realize that's how some perceive my family now.  On Thursday, we were living in the midst of a crime scene.  I think you could actually label it a murder scene, because the shooting victim ended up dead.  

In front of our house.

People ask us why[?]
Why do you live there?  Why, when you don't have to, would you choose to move your family to a place where others get shot? 
What do we say to that?  We answer the best we can.

There's the long answer......
"I have my own theology of place.  I don't want to live in fear.  I believe in restoration.  I believe God's Kingdom is coming to earth, as opposed to us all leaving the planet.  I've tried living in the suburbs.  It didn't suit me.  I adore Shane Claiborne." 
Generally, we don't go into many details.  Mainly, it's
"We live where we feel we're supposed to live."   
I guess we've become a bit like the family that we used to know.  Funny how people change......

Friday, May 4, 2012

surreal kinda day


I gave a drunk woman a ride.  She flagged me down in my work parking lot.  She said she'd had hip surgery and couldn't walk the few blocks home.  I asked a coworker to ride along.  She smelled of alcohol.

A young man was shot across the street from our home.  He died shortly after at the hospital.  My son walked home from the bus stop to a crime scene.

My daughter's jazz band had a concert.  She was also asked to accompany the orchestra on the drum set while they played a Queen medley.  Very, very odd, is all I can say.  Mind you, I believe my daughter is a talented percussionist.

My son received a call last night.  He has been accepted into the Governor's School for the Arts.  A dream fulfilled.  Pay off to hours of practicing.  Scholarship opportunities.  Much happiness.

A surreal kind of day.  Thank goodness we're camping this weekend.........