Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Our week has been good!

I am thankful for (in no particular order):

Diet Coke (terrible, I know)

Jon and I being completely in sync this week- we needed this!

Cold weather- although I complain, it's so nice to be able to smell fall.

The time that Cooper and Jon have spent together this week- starting with the Homecoming Parade last Friday. How great is this picture-- and how important does our 6 year old feel being a part of the gang!

Some quality family time playing games (Jon is teaching Cooper to play chess and he is completely into it). Checkers is more my speed.

A safe arrival in Iraq of Christopher...and the peace that his sister is feeling because of it.

A reprieve for Angela- time away from her older 2 to take some time for herself & Rory. We had a great chuckle together and she sounded terrific.

Looking forward to the weekend- a big play date for Cooper since there is no school on Friday, a Halloween party on Saturday and a night out for Jon and me with some dear old friends.

My walking neighbor- I am enjoying this time (albeit very early) so much.

Quiet time at T*rget earlier this week.....those aisles are therapeudic!

Rats- I just realized that it's only Wednesday......does that tell you anything about where my brain is?? Oh well-whatever the day, I am grateful for each one that I have!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

There is good....

When you read things like this, it helps to reinforce the fact that there are kind and decent people in the world. There really is good all around us.

I'm not sure that I would have done this. I couldn't have managed it financially for one- I also would have had so many doubts, and questions and second thoughts.

I need to remember- there is always a plan!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Funny Kid

The Coopster has a great sense of humor and lately has made me belly laugh quite often. These are the 2 most recent.

Story 1-

I called Jon yesterday to tell him that I was on my way home. Cooper answered his iPhone, so I talked to him instead.

Me: Hi Little, what are you doing?
Him: Just playing
Me: Oh good. I just called to say that I'm leaving work and will see you soon.
Him: Ok. Momma?
Me: Yes?
Him: Can I buy a football?
Me: Do you have any money?
Him: Yes.
Me: How much do you have?
Him: Four dollars.
Me: What kind of football did you want to buy?
Him: Nerf.
Me: Do you know where they have those?
Him: T*rget.
Me: When did you think that you'd go to T*rget?
Him: Tonight.
Me: Who is going to take you to T*rget?
Him: Daddy
Me: Really? Daddy is going to T*rget tonight?
Him: Well, he doesn't know it yet, but he is.
Me: (laughing because I know there is no way that Jon is going to T*rget for a Nerf football on a random Tuesday night) Buddy, if you can get Daddy to take you to T*rget tonight, I'll give you the money for the football myself.
Him: Ok, hold on a minute
Him: (yelling) Hey Daddy, Mommy said you need to take me to T*rget right now!

The Result: There was no trip to T*rget last night.

Story 2-

Cooper stayed home today because he had a bit of the runs. Poor kid! So the entire day he's dying for a trip to T*rget....and finally at 5pm, I give in. He has $4 that is burning a hole in his pocket. But, it's sort of hard for me to pull myself away from the computer and so the kid hears 'we're leaving now' probably about 15 times. He got frustrated...and rang the doorbell, knocked on the door, brought me my purse, my keys and all but shed a tear to get me to move. I finally say- Ok, ok and start to get myself together. Since I'm now physically moving, Cooper goes down the steps and apparently gets in the car.

I'm sort of oblivious to the fact that Jon has come home during all of this, but he has. I hear some scuttle and then him talking to Cooper. So I go downstairs, say hi to Jon and let him know that we're headed to T*rget. He seems good with that (especially since it doesn't involve him) and we're off.

As I'm backing out of the garage, Cooper says, "Momma, I'm glad you weren't ready to go right away because I had fun scaring Daddy". Huh?? Then he says- "Daddy didn't know that I was in the car waiting for you and I hopped out when he came into the garage and it really scared him to death."

Ok- I'm DYING!!

I am picturing this- Cooper goes downstairs, gets into the car and is calmly waiting for me to come to take him to T*rget. Jon is clueless about this and pulls into the driveway, unloads his supplies and walks into the garage through the door with supplies in hand. Cooper is excited to see his dad, so he opens the car door- at which point Jon freaks out and thinks that someone has been hiding in the car and is now coming out to attack him. He reacts, jumps 2 feet and is ready to take on his attacker- who happens to be his now hysterical 6-year old son!

I couldn't drive out of the driveway, I was laughing so hard. Jon comes over to the car, because he realizes that Cooper has relayed the story and he says- He's killing me. Honey, I could feel hair standing up on the back of my neck I was so scared. (Now, I can hardly breathe!) Oh, how I wish I had film on that one!!

**Please note that I am laughing so hard right now I can hardly see!!**

Lots of laughter- lots of love!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall is in Full Force!

My parents came down for the weekend and we had such a fantastic visit! They arrived on Friday night- just in time for all of us to crash after a looonnnngggg week.

Saturday brought cooler weather and what better way to celebrate than with a trip to the Pumpkin Patch. Ever since Cooper was a baby, we've been going to a nearby church that has a great selection of pumpkins. We have the big farm type patches, and Cooper has been there on field trips with hay rides and giant characters, etc. Somehow, this place feels like our very own. I've got such great memories here, and although he may not remember being there the 1st time....but I sure do! Couldn't you just eat him up?!!

<span class=

We had just as much fun this year- leaving with one big pumpkin & one tiny one. I love the pictures that we took- my dad had his camera and it's one I dream about. The colors are so sharp, bright and true, just the way that I saw them that day.

<span class=

<span class=

Jon worked in the yard all day, and we're one step closer to completing our project- grass! Such a simple word....not so simple to get some in our yard. Jon's been working so hard, and we've been helping as much as possible. We had some gravel delivered earlier in the week and Jon was spreading it (not as simple as it sounded). He edged the whole driveway in landscaping timbers and it looks fantastic. I'm thrilled. Sunday means mulching- fun for the entire family!

Another milestone for Cooper- his 1st sleepover. One of the boys in his class wanted a sleepover for his birthday, and he was allowed to invite 2 boys. Cooper was one of them. I was a wreck. I know the mom really well- we used to work together ages ago, and she was once my boss. She's great and it was as perfect a 1st sleepover scenario as could possibly exist. Cooper was excited, and then nervous. I was sure he'd never make it and we'd get a phone call in the middle of the night. Truth be told, I was dying for that call. It never came-

That little kid spent the night somewhere else, somewhere away from us, and his home, and his dog. He was so brave and so big- and he was so proud of himself. I am proud of him too- but am hopeful that his next sleepover isn't for at least 6 more months.

While Cooper was growing up, we had a birthday celebration dinner with my mom and dad for Jon. They'll be in Egypt and this was a perfect opportunity for us to have a great "adult only" dinner. We had Vietnamese, and it was delicious. Diana gave me a tip on a secret, off the menu item and it was divine! Jon had her other suggestion and I ventured out and it turned out to be the perfect dish. My parents loved their meal too and the evening was a success!

Today we all spread mulch....and the quest for grass continues.

Wonderful visit with my parents, a milestone for Cooper, quality time together, lots of hard work and some really good food.

An A++ weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Prayers for Christopher

I received an e-mail today from my sweet friend, Diana. I would be so grateful if you'd include Christopher in your thoughts and prayers. It is because of the brave and dedicated men and women like Christopher that we are able to enjoy our freedom. For this, and for them, I am thankful.

As many of you know my younger brother (he hates when I call him that!) is leaving tomorrow for Iraq. If you feel so inclined, I'd love your prayers for him and for the rest of his soldiers. This is his 2nd deployment and he'll be there for 12 - 15 months.

For those of you who don't know all the details, Christopher got out of the Army after his 1st deployment and had a little taste of civilian life before he decided that the Army was where he belongs. He rejoined last year as an Army Captain knowing that a deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan was inevitable. He loves the Army and loves serving his country and knowing this, makes this deployment far easier for my family and me. We will of course be worried for him, but we know how exceptionally well trained he is, how good at his job he is, and..most importantly...that he's protected by the One that loves him more than we do.

I'm a firm believer in the power of prayer and if you feel inclined to pray for him, please do! Please just pray for Christopher's safety and the safety of his unit (he's deploying with the 25th Infantry Division).

Here is a picture of Christopher we took just over 2 years ago when he was home from Iraq for the first time. I know it helps to have a face to pray for!


Monday, October 13, 2008

The Weekend in Review

Such a great weekend! I got a ton accomplished- the only things on my list that I didn't get done were going to Sam's Club (had to do Wal-Mart once the boys were home) and re-organizing the hall closet. Not too shabby! I caught up on some sleep, spent a fantastic night with the river girls, de-cluttered all sorts of spaces and was anxiously waiting for my boys to return.

When they arrived, I had to laugh out loud. I spent most of my weekend working on cleaning things up- it seemed like they spent an equal amount of time doing just the opposite. Cooper could hardly wait to tell me about the weekend. Before he could finish even the 1st story, I was clicking away to try and capture the sheer filthiness of the situation. Here is a sample:

You'll note the huge amount of dirt on his hands and face. Those are hands that didn't come near water for almost 50 hours. Don't even get me started on the red tongue and teeth that hadn't seen a toothbrush in the same amount of time. The clincher was the wound under his right eye. When I asked about it, he shrugged it off and said, "what momma, it's not a big deal". Who are you and what have you done with my sweet child?? The tube-like apparatus in his hands is a homemade corn shooter. Glorious!!

Jon sent this picture to me while they were gone- a tiny glimpse into the conditions at camp.

Bottom line- they are safe and they had a wonderful time!

We all did!

Friday, October 10, 2008

No Gloom & Doom!!

It's Friday- and I have been looking forward to this weekend for a while! My post from yesterday seemed to be so sad- and I'll admit, that's how I felt when I wrote it- but I have decided to get back to living in the moment and so, here I am!!

Jon and Cooper are away for the weekend- at Indian Guides. I know, it doesn't conjure up the most politically correct visions, but these dads are not your average Indian Guide type and so I don't let it bug me. Bottom line, this group of dads and kids have a camping outing twice each year and it's really all about the kids. By sheer luck, and a very down to earth friend, Jon & Cooper were invited to join this tribe (?). I have been planning my weekend ever since the date was finalized. Here are my plans/goals:

1) leave work by 4 (I am fried!)
2) buy something yummy for dinner & snacking
3) do laundry so that every item each of us owns is clean, folded and put away
4) watch 4 hours worth of recorded programming (Lipstick Jungle, Project Runway- 2 episodes, and Gray's Anatomy)
5) remove clutter from dining room table

1) sleep late (this could be hard since the dog is still here, but I will try!)
2) eat a pumpkin muffin from Einst*in Bagels (they have them with and without cream cheese frosting- please use your imagination to determine which I will order!!)
3) remove the piles that have accumulated in our bedroom
4) de-clutter the hall closet
5) go to Sam's Club (this could turn into Wal-M*rt, based on time)
6) potentially meet Diana at 0ld Navy for some fashion assistance
7) drive to the river to pick up the "river girls" for a girls only celebration
8) eat dinner at a fun restaurant (tbd)
9) shop
10) shop
11) shop!!!!

1) sleep late (again- the dog will be an issue)
2) come home
3) continue operation de-clutter until my beloved family returns!

I. Cannot. Wait!!

I'm not sure whether you can tell or not, but Cooper's tongue is sticking out through the space that was created by his latest tooth loss. He's also got his Cub Scout uniform on and he looks adorable in it!! I love this picture- it makes me smile. Hope it does the same for you!

Hope your weekend is as fantastic as I'm thinking mine will be! Jon and Cooper have perfect weather for their camping trip, so I've got no worries about them getting frost bite and I've got the perfect plan for a relaxing, yet productive weekend. Everyone's a winner!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thankful Thursday

A simple list today of some things that I am thankful for. Simple because everything else in the world seems so complicated and uncertain right now.

For Jon & Cooper
For my parents & my brother & extended family
For the family that is now mine through marriage
For the friendships that make our lives richer
That I am able to provide for my family
For our good health
For our freedoms
For laughter and smiles
For memories

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lost Tooth (#2)

I got home from work yesterday and before I could even turn into the driveway, Cooper was flying across the yard, waving his arms at me. I stopped the car and rolled down the window to see what the excitement was all about. Turns out, his tooth fell out! It had been loose, but I didn't think that it was anywhere near ready- but what do I know?

I went to play Domino's with friends last night (we had a great time), and so wasn't home for bedtime. When I got back, I went to kiss him goodnight and take care of my parental duty. Next to the tooth (carefully preserved in a zip-lock bag) was a note.

There are a few things that made me laugh at this-
1) the fact that he would even think to write a note
2) that he knew, deep down, that there was a pretty good chance that he wouldn't get $5 for this tooth (the Tooth Fairy was very kind and left $5 because it was his 1st tooth)
3) the way he spelled 'last'- just like it sounds- lastime (love this!)
4) that he felt confident enough in his ability to write a note in the 1st place
5) how much that kid really wanted $5

I crawled in bed and nudged Jon after reading the note and he delivered the kicker- Cooper wanted to make sure that I saw the note, but he was worried that I wouldn't get home before the Tooth Fairy came. So he made a 'copy' of the letter so he could show me. That little kid wrote 2 notes- 1 for the Tooth Fairy & 1 for me.

He woke up this morning and came in to my room with the $2 that had been left in exchange for his tooth (after all, it was tooth #2). In his other hand was the copy of the note that he had written. He was so proud that he had thought to make a copy, and told me the whole story (even that he made sure that Jon took a picture of the actual note- not the copy!) He seemed a little let down- but that was quickly replaced by a burning question.

"Momma, I've been wondering. Where do you think the Tooth Fairy gets her money?"

Hmmmmm, that's a good question!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Funny Kid

The weekend came to a close with an early bedtime for Cooper. Our routine has changed lately- and now, Cooper reads stories to me. He gets so excited as he turns the pages and realizes that he knows what they say- and so irritated when he stumbles on a word and I'm quick to provide the solution.

I'm getting better about that- but for days, I've been trying to provide hints to help. My "old stand by" has been- when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking. And until tonight, each time I say it- he reads the word correctly. So tonight, he's reading and the word is read- and he's stumped.

So.....I tell him the rule and he turns and looks at me straight in the eye and says, "you know momma, I really don't get it- why are you talking about the vowels walking?".

He does make me giggle

Saturday, October 4, 2008

New Arrival

Saturday morning had us heading to the river after a lazy Friday night of pizza and movies. We were looking forward to an afternoon of no real plans. A typical Saturday to us, but not for our friend! Ang & her husband welcomed their 3rd child early on Saturday morning. A little girl named Rory. Both mom and daughter are doing well and the big sister & brother are ecstatic about their new roles!

Welcome Rory- we can't wait to meet you!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Have had a long week away from home. I had to go to TX this week for a series of meetings. It has been a long four days and I am glad to be back. As I walked across the parking garage to my car after getting off of the plane, the moon was a crescent and the sky was striped pink and blue. It was so beautiful and so unexpected that I stopped for a second just to take it in. So much to be thankful for....

The week was a good one- an opportunity for me to meet some of my new partners, and to get more engaged in the depths of my new role. There were times when I felt like my presence was inconsequential, but there were also times when the light bulb went off and I started to feel as if I was making an impact, and closing some gaps. That was good and I am thankful.

Coming home, I saw the grass that we planted almost 3 weeks ago peeking through the straw. So exciting! I pulled in the driveway and saw a little head at the window and could hardly wait to hug that sweet kid. So heartwarming! I walked up the steps and was greeted by my sweet husband asking whether I needed any help. So comforting!

I brought Cooper some Mexican Jumping Beans and a small armadillo. I've started the practice of bringing something back from each of my trips. Usually, it's a t-shirt and a small trinket- I'm a sucker for a smile brought by a treat from a far away place. The jumping beans were a huge hit and the armadillo went to sleep with him. I'm thankful for the ability to bring that smile to my child, not only with a treat, but with all the love that transfers between us when we curl up and read bedtime stories and I tuck him him and kiss him goodnight. There is nothing better.

Things are not all peaches and cream though....I could have used some restraint and some understanding toward Jon after tucking Cooper in tonight. I left a list of things for Jon that I thought would be helpful while I was gone. Am I overprotective- probably. Could he have done it without the list- probably. Would Cooper have had everything that he needed this week without the list- probably not. Would that have been the worst thing ever- probably not. I made a specific request that I didn't think was too much to ask- and it didn't get done. And it threw me over the edge. And I made it perfectly clear how upset I was. And it didn't go well. I'm thankful that there will be another day, and that it will be better. I'm thankful that even when we're angry, we believe in each other and in our relationship.

Tomorrow is Friday- TGIF!!