Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday Cleaning Day

There is no rest for the wicked....or for a mom with a throat infection. Natalie & I both saw the P.A. on Thursday & she said, yes, we did have throat infections. Natalie's doing much better, and I am better than I was. Not sure I should have done all I did today, though. Phil deemed this cleaning day, which was fine (as we always need it & it's SO much easier when he's participating in this). First, though, the girls had a birthday party. I napped while they were there, then went to pick them up. I brought home 2 of the neighbor girls. Before their mom left, the girls were asking if they could play. We BOTH said, "NO, you have to clean!" I love it when there are mom enforcers around!

I have been in the living room trying to go through piles & piles of STUFF. I've thrown out a lot. I wrote about purging the house & how much I like throwing things out, or finding things to sell on ebay! Then we just tossed the rest into boxes. We want to get things UP off the floor, so Phil said to go ahead & dump into boxes & sort later. I did put my stamping stuff away & then put any extraneous Pampered Chef stuff into a plastic box with a lid.

After we were done the girls were SO ready to play. They called their friends & discovered they were still cleaning! Bwahahahaha! When the friends were finally ready they came here. The 11 year old looked in and said, "It's so clean! It looks like it does on Bethany's birthday!" Later she came in and said, "I can step on the floor," then sat on the carpet & said, "I can sit on the floor," then lied down on it & said, "I can LIE DOWN ON THE FLOOR!" I picked up a new package of PC spoons & told her if she didn't stop I was going to spank her! YES, I was kidding.

Since my dad reads my blog, I thought he'd get a kick out of this. Phil also mowed the grass and vacuumed what he could. There's still a lot to do but THIS week isn't so full, thankfully!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

And you thought AFRICA was dangerous

When we were preparing to go to Africa in the 90's, before kids, we were asked these questions, "Aren't you scared? Isn't it dangerous? Will you have kids there? Will you come home when you have kids?" People were concerned for our safety. We did live in Zaire during the Ebola outbreak in 1995. Phil flew right over the village of Kikwit when news of Ebola was breaking. God brought him safely back to our village. We had a snake in the house once, but someone took care of it. We had a snake fall out of tree during church. Now how many of you can say THAT? LOL! We saw diseases easily prevented & cured here in the U.S. that affected people. Yes, it was a dangerous place to live, but less dangerous than outside the will of God. That's the spiritual input for today.

Now the mom freaking out input. Bethany went outside to get something in the backyard and found a snake! YES, a snake. "And it wasn't just a regular green snake Mom, it had leopard spots!" Phil arrived home at the same time as this happened, so he went out & found the snake was dead already & threw it away. I went out & looked. Baby Diamond Back Rattlesnake. The deadly poisonous kind. Yeah, Africa was dangerous, but Texas is WAY dangerous!

Monday, June 23, 2008

American Idol

I hope to share more about our family reunion, but I have to start with some pictures. We had our own American Idol contest. The judges were hilarious. I am not an Idol fan, but was semi-familiar with Paula Abdul's & Simon's critiques. Another time I will fill you in on the acts, but for now, here is a picture of the real AI judges & one of our AI judges. Note: the guy playing Randy is actually Anglo with lots of make-up on.

Six Flags, part 2

Now to finish our trip to 6 flags. After the "Awesome" roller coaster ride, we all headed towards a water ride in the park, all the way in the back. It was closed. Then, the access across to the next section was closed already to prepare for the laser show. So we all hiked back around to the front & then towards the back on the OTHER side of the park. 3 of the girls wanted to ride the "log ride" but one was hesitant. She finally agreed to try it. The line was longer than I've ever seen it. After the long ride, we all got into the "log" and were on our merry way. We went over some little "drops" and the unsure one turned around to ask me, "Was that the BIG drop?" with a hint of hope in her voice. I told her, "No, those were little drops." Her mouth dropped open as she exclaimed, "WHAT????????" I so wish I'd had a camera! We finally hit the big drop. She had nothing pleasant to report about how that made her feel! When we got to the end, a park attendant asked, "Who was scared?" She raised her hand. He said, "Because I see some wet pants & I don't think that was water." The girls thought that was funny. We got off the ride and this child said, "I am NEVER doing that AGAIN!" What a difference in the 2 sisters! When she saw the picture (the ones that the parks take to try to get you to buy them---my friend did buy some as the facial expressions are priceless!), she said, "I have never had that look on my face before!" She made me laugh!

We then scooted over to the bumper cars. Apparently I have some anger issues I haven't dealt with as I was hitting other cars with quite a vengeance! The girls enjoyed that, but we weren't able to ride anything else as the rides were all closing. We walked to the area where the laser show & fireworks are. The show was really good and fireworks just amazing.

That is about all for our trip to Fiesta Texas. Now you can all sleep well knowing you've heard the rest of the story!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hot Time Summer in the City

That old song came to mind Friday night. Yes, I know I didn't finish our 6 flags excursion story, but want to tell you about God's protection over us on Friday. We spent the day running around looking for fairy wings for Natalie to wear to a party, washing clothes, and packing for a weekend Family Reunion. Phil loaded the van then went ahead & left for his mom's house. We waited for clothes to dry and were to leave as soon as I had things ready to take with us.

About 8:30 I was here at my desk, Bethany was in her room, and Natalie was watching TV. Natalie had asked to light a candle. She's done that before and is usually really careful. Suddenly she started screaming, "FIRE!!! MOMMY THERE'S A FIRE!!!" I ran out to the living room and found a straw cinnamon broom (the decorative type) on fire, plus a few other items on top of the mantle. Our mantle is wood. I told Natalie to open the front door & I carried the broom outside to the porch (cement on the floor). I had her spray that down. I told Bethany to get me some water while I blew out some small fires. We have a fire extinguisher, and I knew where it HAD been, but I had not seen it in many months. Obviously, I would have grabbed that first. Bethany brought me water and I doused what was still burning.

There was very minimal damage: some melted cassette tapes that the girls had listened to as little girls, a hat I made Bethany when she was a baby & some other small items. Praise God the mantle never caught.

After it was over, I asked if they knew where the extinguisher was. Bethany said, "I think I do." We opened the garage door. It HAD been right by the door, but somehow had been moved. Bethany looked past the door & sure enough, there it was, covered with stuff & pushed out of the way. It has regained it's rightful position.

By the time this was all over, and after talking to Phil then going to get more Febreeze spray, we didn't leave here til around 11:30 pm. All's well that ends well, but it was pretty scary before it ended!

Friday, June 20, 2008

"That was AWESOME!"

Yesterday we took some friends with us to Fiesta Texas (a Six Flags park). I'm hoping we can take more friends with us another time. Yesterday involved 2 trips to the park. First, the girls & I had to drive to Fiesta, enter the park, walk to the back of the park and pick up tickets for an evening concert (6 pm) because it was first come first served. As it was we got "lawn seats" outside the theater seating area. That was before 11 a.m. and the park had opened at 10:30! We went home, then went back with our friends around 4. It took us what seemed to be forever to find a parking place and we ended up parking farther than we have EVER parked there. Remember, we had already made this trek once in the day, when it was 'only' 91 out. By this time it had to have been nearly 100.

The friends had never been to the park, so we let them choose what things to do. First we went to the water park where the girls had a great time playing in the "Texas Tree House" and we moms were able to sit in the shade (I did get in the pool to cool off, which was just wonderful!). Then we headed to the concert. Did I mention it was 100? Our "lawn seats" ended up being in the full sunlight. My friend thought to mention umbrellas to me, so we each had one. Aly & AJ were the headliners. They are two sisters whose work I had only seen/heard on Disney channels. I'm sure the music would have been quite enjoyable, if we had any hearing left by the end of the concert. The speakers were SO loud that we couldn't even understand the words. At one point my friend put her hand on Bethany's back & could FEEL the drums. It was THAT loud!

After the concert, 3 of the girls (my 2 & one of the friends) wanted to ride the Roadrunner. Now, to a roller coaster aficionado this would seem a child's ride. To those of us who aren't quite up to that level (or shall we say who prefer terra firma to being plunged from the top of a hill), it takes a lot of gumption to get on this thing! Bethany is a pro at this ride. She knows it so well that when we pass the camera (you know, the one they have up there to try to get you go buy a souvenir photo), she looks up & smiles! Natalie had only been on this once when she was only about 5. She had not liked it at that time. Her friend had never been on a roller coaster, not even a kiddy coaster. This was a big leap of faith to try this. I kept watching their faces as we went along. At one point they both had their heads ducked together! When we got to the end, I wasn't sure if they were laughing, crying, or about to throw up. I asked the friend if she needed to throw up. She was speechless & held up a finger to signal, "Just a minute." She shook her head no, but I was waiting for it to happen, with the admonition to lean over the side! She caught her breath and in the most excited voice announced, "THAT WAS AWESOME!" I couldn't help but laugh & grin!

That's part one of our day. We need to go run an errand, so I'll have to share part 2 later. I will add that this old body has not walked THAT MUCH in a very long time. My legs are screaming at me today. I have said that if I don't lose weight with all this walking this summer, then I'm just doomed to not lose weight! More later.

Monday, June 16, 2008

We're sorry, that's not covered.

The man at Wal-Mart today was very nice. However, they will not take back a phone with water damage. So, I have this brand new phone that doesn't work. He did put my card (SIM card, I think) into my old phone so I could use it. I don't know if I could just pay outright & buy a new one & put my card in it or not. I can also contact the manufacturer for repair. In the meantime I have my old phone, so I can still make calls and receive them.

A bit frustrated with myself for doing this! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello? Hello???????? HELLO?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you tried to reach me on my cell phone tonight, you would have found yourself using the title of this post. I became quite unreachable this evening. My friend Stephanie once told me that sometimes you need to be unreachable, but that isn't why I was so. Here, let me tell you the story of the dorky thing Lori did today (actually yesterday since it is after midnight).

Sunday was Father's Day, but we celebrated day early. This afternoon Phil & his friend Chris, who is visiting his parents in San Antonio, went motorcycle riding. Ideally we will not have 2 motorcycles for much longer, but while we do, it was the perfect time for them to ride together. That has to be a guy thing: Spending time together by way of doing something that doesn't involve speaking, and gets you hot & sweaty at the same time.

Meanwhile, the girls & I were planning a trip to Fiesta Texas (6 flags). We had a little glitch in our plan when we could NOT find our Season Passes, the brand new ones we got 2 weeks ago. We looked high & low. We looked in the van about 3 times. That's the vehicle we took last time. On a whim, I decided to peak into the Buick, though I was sure they wouldn't be there. Yep, you guessed it, they were. Thank you Jesus!

We drove over to the park & got a fairly good parking space. Oodles of people were leaving as we got there. However, once we got to the gate, it appeared that another oodle of people was waiting to get in! We made it to the waterpark, kicked off our shoes, took off our cover-ups, and headed into the Texas shaped wave pool. How cool is it to step into your state from South of the Border???!!!! We were happily bobbing around in the water, along with about 5,000 other visitors (okay, I didn't count, it just seemed like that many). Personal space is null & void in this setting. Suddenly, I reached down & realized I was still wearing my lap bag (fanny pack). Now, that wouldn't have been such a big deal, except for the contents. In said bag were my cell phone and the keys to the van. The kind with the electronic lock. We departed the pool as quickly as possible, but, unfortunately, the phone had departed from it's usefulness as well. To make this worse, these items were in a ziplock bag, so they should have been somewhat protected. That is, they WOULD have been, except the ziplock was unzipped. This phone is 2 weeks old. JUST 2 WEEKS! In the entire time I've had my other cell phone (at least 3 years now), I NEVER did anything to it. Now, Phil goes & buys me a fancy schmancy phone and I TAKE IT FOR A SWIM!!! Oh, yes, I am a dork. I'm hoping that I can exchange it since it's been less than 30 days. If not, I'm toast. I'll have to purchase the cheapest phone available. This really is a sad moment.

While the phone issue made me sad, something happened next that made me realize that losing a phone was nothing. We'd gone back into the pool (sans telephone) and were again bobbing along, now in the waves. A woman suddenly started yelling out a name. It was obvious she was distressed and frantic, and missing a child. Someone finally got her to tell them what happened. We figured it out pretty quickly, and those of us around where she was walking & yelling stopped still. Some of the taller men waved to the lifeguards. It was so noisy and the guards sit up in a tall chair, which is on an incline, so they were quite a way above us. I think every person in that pool was looking for a boy in a white t-shirt. They turned off the waves, and told us to empty the pool. A complete search was made in the pool, and praise the Lord, there was not a child under water there. We left the pool area, and on the way out saw 2 little boys crying. A woman stopped to ask if they were lost. One was wearing a white shirt. I am hoping there was a happy reunion after that. Natalie saw another lost child a bit later. Then after we exited, we saw a woman with another lost boy. I saw that reunion, which made me happy.

I was very impressed with the team work at Fiesta Texas. Once the lifeguards knew what was going on, they were all in the pool looking, a person from First Aid was there almost immediately, and security was on the spot, too. I pray that we will never need those services. I held the girls hands a little tighter after that incident.

We'll take a trip to Wally World in the morning to see if we can replace the phone. Until then, I still have e-mail and a home phone. And I am happy to be reached at either!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Father's Day

I have one loyal reader who checks to see if there is anything new in my blog. Of course, she's also a friend who would know if anything majorly new happened in my life, but sometimes I blog it just to see if she's checked in! LOL!

So, here goes a new one.

Sunday is Father's Day. We're getting together with my parents & Phil's mom at my parents' house to celebrate tomorrow. That gives us all day Sunday to do our Sunday things. Also, Phil can do what he wants to celebrate on his special day. It also means no rushing to leave church to drive to eat lunch for anyone.

This will be our first year without Bill, or Pop Bill as the girls called him. It has hit me more than Phil, I think, because to Phil every day is just another day. He doesn't get all excited about holidays, apart maybe from Christmas, or a day off that makes it a long weekend. He'd be fine celebrating Christmas on December 18th or January 3rd. He's really not picky. So, I don't think the concept of "FATHER'S DAY" has really hit him. I've looked at pictures & find it hard to really believe he's gone. In the pictures from a year ago, when we had just learned about the cancer, he looks so healthy. Apart from weight loss, even the Christmas pictures looked good. The man we saw lying in the hospital bed was not the same one we saw for years as "Mr. Fix-it" who always was ready to help DO something to help. It never failed that if he went to visit my parents there would be a handy man job to do at some point! He loved being able to help people. He loved taking the girls out on the lake in the boat when he was well. Anytime we were there & it was warm enough he'd ask, "Do you wanna go for a boat ride?" In earlier years he'd take Phil skiing, but in the past few it was pulling grandkids on the tube. There WAS that time a couple of years ago when Grandma (Phil's mom) decided after taking a year off of skiing at age 68, that at age 69 she was ready to do it again. No sooner did they get out in the lake & he revved up the engine, only to find her fallen. She ended up on crutches for a few weeks. That was the same time that Natalie's tooth fell out. Pop Bill thought she had trash in her hand, and threw her tooth in the lake! Not sure how that Tooth Fairy found her way to Nat's pillow that night. In his memorial service, the pastor said that Bill was a "cool Grandpa." He was.

We also get to celebrate my dad tomorrow. My dad grew up without a dad from the age of 4, when his dad died. My dad has a type A personality. It worked out well for him in a household with 3 sisters & a mom! My favorite story about them growing up is the time his little sister told their mom, "Mama, would you tell George he's NOT the PAPPY!" It also prepared him for what would be his future career in management. While he wasn't the pappy, he was the only boy in the family, and I'm sure had to take on some of the roles of the dad in many ways. I also know he got lots of attention. See, when he was little, he got tuberculosis, and was sent to a sanitarium---no, wait, that's where we want to send him NOW---ha, ha! He was sent to a sanitorium for a year. I hear that he was quite the favorite of the nurses. Hmm, I'm guessing he didn't still have that effect last year in the hospital. His is a true "rags to riches" story. Well, at least rags to suburban middle class American story. Born the son of a poor farmer living in a wood shack type house, growing up with a single mom in the days when there WEREN'T single moms, then working his way through college and into management positions in the moving business. He acquired a new title when his grandson was a little boy. One day he called Poppaw "Boss Boss." When asked about this he said, "Well, he's the boss at work and he's the boss at home!" LOL! Poppaw's first granddaughter, Becky, was blessed with this same tendency, so we call her Boss, Jr. Then along came Becky, Jr., Natalie, who is baby boss! Meanwhile, Nils, the grandson, is the least bossy of his grandkids. I suspect Poppaw enjoys that immensely! Tomorrow we'll celebrate him being a dad & a granddad. And while I can't keep the house clean the way he likes it, I can bake up some goodies that I know he will like, so we will spoil him like those nurses of years gone by.

Last, but not least (that is SO cliche!), is the dad in our house. It took a LONG time for him to become a Daddy. He was 39 when Miss Bethany was born. I can tell you that right up to the point of labor, he was still not quite comprehending what this meant. The moment that child was born, he was enamored. Then, when we discovered another baby was on the way, he already hoped for a little girl & had her named! Okay, he had her named when we had Bethany, but had never told me he wanted to name her Natalie! So, that was the first thing he said when we saw the "double line on the stick." Like his dad, he is our Mr. Fix-It. He's also Computer Guy. While he is definitely the stricter of the two of us, he is also the COOL parent. I am just the goofy parent. HE takes them on the fast rides at Six Flags. HE will take them around the block on a motorcycle (only in the country where there is little traffic). HE will take them to the park to play, and will play with them. Yep, he's Mr. Biker Dad, and the girls think that is pretty cool.

For all you dads out there (HA, as if I have this huge base of readers who are dads!), enjoy your special day. For all you who still have your dads, give them a hug & let them know you love them. And for those of you who are missing your dad, remember that we have a Father who will never leave us nor forsake us. That is the best gift of all on Father's Day and every day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A New Toy

Ever heard the saying, "The only difference in men & boys is the price of their toys?" Well, it's true. Tonight Phil bought a used motorcycle. It wasn't with our money (well, except a little bit), but was from the sell of his dad's truck. So, it's a gift from his father for Father's Day. I think the only other time I've seen him smile the way he did when he got home tonight (picture the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland) was when he used to fly. Apart from the colors, he is thrilled with this. Hey, the girls think purple & green is SO COOL! Plus, how cool is it to have a dad that rides a motorcycle? And me? Well, I'm just happy that we'll save money on gas. THAT is the main reason for getting a motorcycle. He filled it up tonight. It cost $12.00. Yep, really. And that will take him about 150 miles.

Now we all just need to pray for safety! That's another topic for another day.

This picture isn't HIS bike, but is one LIKE his I found online.

For anyone who wonders, it's a 2000 Kawasaki 1100 ZXR. There, phew, I think that's all the info I could possibly give you. Good night!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bethany started something new today

It's true, she did. Now let me present it the way we did to her Daddy. I've been telling him that she is almost 12 and every time she cries over nothing, I explain that's just the way girls that age are. He doesn't get it. He's never been a 12 year old girl. He's never had a sister. This is all like living in a foreign culture to him. So, we decided to use this to our advantage tonight.

At supper, I asked her, "Bethany, do you want to tell Daddy something?"
Bethany, "Daddy, I started something today."
Daddy, nonchalantly, half-listening as dads are wont to do at mealtime, "Oh. You started something?" and continued eating.
Bethany, "Yes. I started something today."
I interjected, "She started something that Mommy does, too."
At that point his eyes got REALLY big and I knew our little plan had worked.
Bethany, "Yes. I started a GLUTEN-FREE DIET today!"

The look on his face was priceless. He didn't know if he should be mad or laugh at us! Bethany added, "I didn't lie! I told you I started something today!" LOL!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Trip to the Doc in a Box

In our area we have what I guess others call "Urgent Care Centers." The local brand is Texas Med-Clinic. In the past our insurance hasn't covered this clinic, so we've just headed for the ER. Today we had an event that could have been an ER trip, but a friend reminded me of our "Doc in the Box" as we humorously refer to going to a late night, after hours clinic.

Pick a child, any child. Well, just pick the one who tends to go to ER at least once a year. The one who really is much more coordinated and not often sick, but gets herself into predicaments requiring care at the most inconvenient times. Bethany is the child d'jour.

Today some friends were over and all the girls were outside. Bethany came in crying. At first I was sure someone had hurt her feelings as she's been EXCESSIVELY teary lately. Last night she started crying two or three times during the course of dinner with some old friends of ours. I even asked, "Do you feel okay?" She did. So, I chalked it up to pre-teen issues. I have assumed the teariness was due to being nearly 12 & a pre-adolescent with hormones bouncing around in her. This time she was crying in pain. She had stepped on something that had penetrated her shoe and gone into her foot. It look almost like an "X" cut when I finally got it clean enough to look. I looked with a magnifying glass but couldn't see if there was anything still inside. We asked her exactly where she was when the incident occurred. Natalie showed us and then she found the "dagger." It was a slightly broken metal hairclip that had somehow become lodged with points up, and she must have stepped on it with enough force that it jammed through her shoe into her foot.

I was concerned about tetanus, so once we got it clean, I called my nurse neighbor. I knew she'd know the shot schedule since she had a baby not long ago and was in the midst of shots. Turns out her daughter who shares Bethany's birthdate had just had a booster for her DTaP, so I knew that meant it was time for B. to get a booster. We thought of waiting til Monday. I couldn't find enough info online, so I called my friend Kathy, who is my "first aid reference desk." I was considering going to the ER, but she reminded me of Texas Med Clinic. Called them, they asked the doctor, who said bring her in. Once we got in to get Bethany's vitals (she never had heard that term before, but was talking to the nurse herself asking about it), the nurse said, "She has a little fever. It's 100.7." BETHANY is the one who said, "Well, that explains last night." LOL!

After waiting for what seemed an eternity, trying to play the "staring game" over & over, then I spy, then fiddling with my new phone to see if we could hear any music, then just waiting some more, the doctor finally came in. He cleaned her foot off (she asked him WHAT that red liquid was he was about to use on her), and rebandaged it. Then examined her for any upper respiratory issues. He said there was a tiny bump on a tonsil, but no redness. The fever has no detectable source. HOWEVER, having a fever meant NO SHOT! Bethany was relieved, though she WILL get the shot as soon as the fever's gone.

Basically that put us back to square one, where we have to go in & see the doctor ANYWAY this week, plus the trip to the Med Clinic. Still WAY cheaper than a trip to the ER. We know. We frequent that place.

Never a dull moment here. A dull moment might be nice!