Friday, June 22, 2007

what a blast

Today we played tourist and had a blast. I'm too tired to post photos tonight, but will soon. My cousin, Cynthia, arrived last night with two of her daughters and we have been going non-stop all day. We headed out the door at 8 am this morning to head downtown. First we visited the New World of Coke, then walked across Centenial Olympic Park to CNN Center and ate lunch quickly before taking the CNN Behind the Scenes Tour. Following that we headed to Lennox Mall and ate at California Pizza Kitchen before hitting the PGA Superstore to look at some tennis accessories (Huge golf and tennis superstore here). We finally pulled in the driveway around 10 pm.

Should I mention that my clothes washer has immense issues and Dave had a major injury Wednesday night while trying to repair it? Poor guy has a 1.5 inch deep cut in his knee area. He refused to seek ER treatment (despite gushing blood) because it was midnightish. Apparently we did alright with the wound. Although it deserved stitches, the butterfly bandages and wrappings we created did the trick. The doctor gave him a tetnus shot and a few week's instructions. Did I mention how much I dislike my maytag neptune washer? It's a high maintenance appliance. Love the front loader, but I will get a different brand next time.

What's on the plate for tomorrow? WhiteWater Park! Judging from the energy Grace had today I think I'd better head off to bed.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

to do or not to do

It's been a busy week and today is only Tuesday. My summer to do list is a mile long and progress seems to be slow. I've been trying to finish planting some new items in the yard since last week and finally today I got the front bed started. I've done a better job of putting in daylillies and hostas which will miraculously come up on their own with little coaxing each spring. I removed the pansies in anticipation of some begonias to fill in the blank spots, but never got around to planting them. Maybe I'll finish it today. I did actually finish the screened porch and back deck plantings a week or so ago. That was a two day ordeal because I was planting tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and banana peppers among the flowers. Yum, that should pay off come July.

We picked up Jordan from church camp on Saturday and I was thrilled to have that girl with us again. I missed her a lot last week -- partly because it was week two of camp and partly because this camp had no online prescence to share the week's photos. We got spoiled with the Girl Scout camp because they take digital pictures and share them online the same day. (Of course you can purchase them at a later date.) Church camp is a little more basic. Jordan came away with the "most studious" Bible student award and her cabin of youngest girls won the cleanest cabin award and 2nd place in the Junior Skit night performance. All in all, not a bad week for Jordan. She seems happy to be home though.

This week my cousin is coming from Alabama to visit over the weekend. She is bringing her daughter to a tennis camp here in Marietta. The camp sounds really cool and is actually held at the athletic club in Dave's office park. That athletic club is owned by Robby Ginepri, a tennis pro, and his coach. I am looking foward to having Laura Brooke here all week. I hope she can put up with the household craziness...she's a third child so she should be oblivious to it. ;-)

Oh yes, remind me to tell you about a date I planned last weekend for Dave to enjoy. He says I hit a homerun on Friday night so I guess I did alright. We went out to see some local music and enjoy dinner. It was midnight before we came home which is l-a-t-e for us. It was worth it for the evening's smiles. I'll tell you more tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

third eye blind

Last week I held a serious face and told William that Mommies and Daddies have a third eye in the back of their head. I told him that we were given that eye once we became parents so we could see/know what our kids were doing at all times. To my amazement he seemed to believe me.

Yesterday I got confirmation of that fact. I was sitting at the desk answering emails when I felt a little hand running through my hair at the back of my head.

So without turning around I asked, "William, what are you doing?"

He replied, "I'm looking for your third eye."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I recently read of a tragedy which happened on Memorial day. A family lost a child due to a car wreck and sat at the bedside of his injured siblings awaiting their outcome. The story was told by a family friend who, during the time of the tragedy had been caught up in some superficial, silly family argument and drama. Upon learning of his friend's loss the family friend realized how ridiculous his worries had been and began focusing upon "what really matters. He jotted down some things at that moment and the list is poignant. The next time you have an everyday worry or stress think on these things:

Forgive everyone of everything now.
Never care if you someone else is preferred over you, ever.
Repay evil with kindness every single time you are wronged.
Love everyone. Everyone.
Fight for everyone's heart. Everyone's.
Stop hiding.
Withhold nothing from your spouse, your kids, and your parents.
Stop lying. And stop believing that "not telling the whole truth" isn't lying.
Use every single dollar you ever have stewardship of to bless others.
Say "I love you" way too much.
Show "I love you" way too much.
Be with those you love way too much and poor, rather than away from them a little and rich.
If you must talk, talk about what matters.
Respect everyone. Everyone.
If you don't look at your kids and marvel, figure out what is wrong with you.
Get over yourself and become a "hugger".
Walk slowly through the crowd.
Stop being offendable.
Be still without being asleep.
Be present without having to be noticed.
Notice without having to be reminded.
Say the negative things after you have exhausted everything you can say that is encouraging to anyone.
Find yourself in every single other person's flaws, that you may love them.
Accept suffering as a gift, that you may leave nothing wasted.
Think the best of all people, that you may be a blessing.
Humble yourself constantly, that you may be lifted up, and not by yourself.
Receive anything good at all as undeserved grace, that you may be a lover of God, and a benefit to those closest to you and to all mankind.

I certainly have some work to do in all these areas. Sometimes tragedy seems senseless, but how much better can you make your life by working on even one of these phrases?

Monday, June 04, 2007

camp updates

or perhaps I should have titled this "leaving your oldest in the woods with her friends". Jordan was happy as a lark when we checked her into Girl Scout camp on Sunday afternoon. She seemed like an old pro since this was her second year. I remember being bewildered at the forms and list of required items last year. This year it seemed more manageable to pack those fancy rubbermaid containers.

Dave was scheduled for a plane flight on Sunday afternoon at the exact time of Jordan's dropoff so he said his goodbyes here at home and then his father joined us for the trip to camp. Pop-pop was a huge help and it all went smoothly thanks to his extra hands. Here is Jordan in front of the main dining hall. You can see the beginnings of a path in front of the building. That path takes you down past the horse stables and to the lake area. The camp has its own little harbor area.

William and Grace were excited for Jordan, but then missed her as soon as we got home. Grace asked when she could go to camp. That girl is not scared of anything!

The items required to sleep in the great outdoors:

Jordan's troop friend and tent mate, Catherine:

There are four total beds in the tent and Jordan recognized one tent mate from last year's camp experience. This is basically a repeat of the last photo, but I wanted you to see the tent cabin. (disregard the slant caused by the motherly photographer)

Today I logged into the camp website to check out the digital photos taken during the day. (So cool and comforting!) I found Jordan doing something that looked like tie dying and also a few photos eating lunch. There were some photos down by the water of girls awaiting a ride on the banana boat and she appeared to be among that crowd. I think she's having a good time. William looked at the photos and then had several questions about why boys were not allowed at the camp and what kind of things Jordan was doing. He's missing her and has felt her absence several times today. He was my buddy throughout the day. It's been a good chance for him to take the lead position here at home and show me he's a big boy.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

new song favorites

I've really been enjoying the new music coming out lately. Two new songs which caught my ear are by India Arie. I'll admit to seeing her on an Oprah show (tivo'd of course) about summer favorites. Her performance took my breath away. The first song she sang was a special one she wrote for the girls she met at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy. I love the lyrics and thought they were so appropriate for someone Jordan's age. If you have a girl you'll recognize the fragile age that girls go through self confidence wise. My Jordan has never been aprehensive about anything, but sometimes I see the beginnings of a "female" self doubt...the kind that we as women struggle with everyday which asks if we are enough as is, did we do enough, were we present in the roles expected of us. Jordan's development is perfectly normal and age appropriate, but I just want to squash as much of that self doubt and guilt so she can soar as she gets older. I sent the lyrics off with her in one of her camp letters. The song is called "Beautiful Flower" and I love the lyrics:

This is a song for every girl who's ever been through something she thought she couldn't make it through, yeah
I sing these words because I was that that girl too
Wanting something better than this but who do I turn to?
Now we're moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives, mmmmmhh

Cause you're beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind
And there is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you
Who are beautiful
Yeah you, who are brilliant
Yeah you, who are powerful
Yeah you, who are resilient

This is a song for every girl who feels that she is not special
Cause she don't look like a supermodel, Coke bottle
The next time the radio tells you to shake your money maker
Shake your head and tell them, tell 'em you're a leader
Now we're moving from the darkness into the light
This is the defining moment of our lives, Yeah

Cause you're beautiful like a flower
More valuable than a diamond
You are powerful like a fire
You can heal the world with your mind
And there is nothing in the world that you cannot do
When you believe in you
Who are beautiful
Yeah you, who are brilliant
Yeah you, who are powerful
Yeah you, who are resilient

The other song she performed on that show was called "There's Hope" and it is a song which could only pick up your mood. It's hard to stand still during the song and right now it is my early summer favorite (even over Maroon 5). The chorus goes:

There's hope
It doesn't cost a thing to smile
You don't have to pay to laugh
You better thank God for that

and it talks about how we all want a lot of things, but those aren't the key to true happiness. Check them out for your summer smiles. The Beautiful Flower song is available only in itunes with 100% of the proceeds going to the school. What are your current song favorites?

Friday, June 01, 2007

baseball, birthdays, and nature

Memorial weekend was busy. On Saturday we finished the t-ball season with a well played game (no tournaments at this age) and a pizza party with the team at a homegrown parlor across from the field. Then a few hours later we celebrated a wonderful 80th birthday surprise with Dave's Aunt Lois. Lots of family in town for that and we enjoyed the beautiful party Beth and James hosted at their home. Aunt Lois was truly surprised and she was amazed that her sisters -- who never fly -- flew in for the occassion. Later she looked up to see the caterers arriving to treat us with dinner and I think she truly realized what a special occassion this was for everyone in the family.

On Monday we celebrated the Memorial Day holiday by getting out for a hike with the kids. We went down to Sope creek near the Chattahoochee River which has ruins of an old paper mill and explored around the ruins and the water's edge. There are huge pieces of granite which the creek water runs over and they make a beautiful relaxing sound. Dave walked all three to the middle of the stream and they dipped their toes into the water. It was a great little family adventure. When we began William was asking when he could get back to on the computer, but by the time we were through he was picking up acorns and inspecting them. With all the development going on in our area it is nice to see that some special places have been allowed to remain. Greenspace is so important for many feeding the soul after a walk.

This week I was ambitious and took advantage of some coupons I had for the plant nursery on Tuesday afternoon. (You know, save 20 bucks by spending a fortune.) After buying plants for our back deck and front yard I then proceeded to get a stomach virus which rendered me unable to sit up by Thursday. I got a few things planted but have much more to do. Dave has been a godsend. He returned from his business trip on late Wednesday night and by Thursday afternoon he was in charge of anything that had to be done. I was barely able to keep the kids safe because of my condition. I feel better today, but still not 100%. Dave volunteered to take all three kids out to finish the errands necessary to prepare Jordan for Girl Scout camp next week. I'm here trying to do a little laundry and rest. Guess I'll finish my plantings this weekend amid all the packing excitement.