Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bowling and disco lights at 3 a.m.

(Let me start this post with a  clarification that I am writing this with a sarcastic tone.  I am being snarky, silly, imaginative;  however you want to say it I am really not angry with my angel boys!)

No, I wasn't bowling in the middle of the night!  The only thing I'm doing at 3 a.m. is either sleeping or wishing I was asleep.  But I have two grandsons who thought it would be a great time for a bowling game.

So picture this... beautiful evening.  Windows open, a slight breeze, crickets chirping their melodious tunes to the man in the moon.

Sleeping.  Or trying to.  I wasn't even in my own bed!  I've been fighting a sinus infection so I thought I would sleep upstairs and let my sweet honey have a break from my tossing and turning and snuffing and snorting.  But that didn't mean that I didn't keep myself awake with all that racket. 

And then it hit.  A searing white flash of light followed shortly afterwards with a huge BoOm!!  It shook the house!  It scared the animals!  And it quite frankly scared me!!

McKallister and Quincy were at it again!  They love to bowl!  Usually they are polite young men and bowl in the middle of the afternoon or early evening.  We've even enjoyed sitting out on the front porch and cheering them on for their obvious strikes or laughing at their pitiful blunders.  I guess they didn't like the pressure because they started this match at 3:00 a.m.   AND they had to go all out with the disco lights for fun, too! 

Whoever decided, "Mmmm.  Let's build an enclosed area, with wooden floors and throw / roll a large, solid object down a row into more pieces of wood / plastic to make a crashing sound and add flashing lights to it and call this fun!"  has a weird sense of humor.  Oh, yeah, and then someone else decided to add alcohol to some of the matches.  Good call!

So, back to Mac and Quincy.  Mac is the poorer bowler of the two.  I'm not sure if he's just letting Quincy win to be a nice big brother or he's just not good at the sport, but he pretty much sucks.  Whenever it's his turn you can hear the ball meander back and forth between the bumper pads and then ding a pin.  But Quincy on the other hand - WOW!  That boy has some moves!  His turn always consists of lightning zippy balls roaring down the lane and plowing through the pins!! 

Back to the other night.  I think Mac may have given up after a few rounds because the game didn't last all that long, but what they did play was with vim and vigor!  A few strikes, a few slashes of light across the sky and that was it! 

Next time, boys, if you're gonna wake me up let's at least have a little ABBA in the background to go with the lights!  OK?

Friday, September 12, 2014

I am so blessed.

Just feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude lately.  I have a job that I absolutely love and have enjoyed my whole life!  Whether it's working in Early Intervention or babysitting my grand kids I am doing what I love, and I learn something new everyday! 

Just the other day I had the opportunity to have 2 of my granddaughters come to one of the Early Intervention classes.  One of them is 2 1/2 years old and the other is only 1 1/2 years old.  This class is for children 2 1/2 - 3 years old with delays, but we love having non-delayed peers come in the class to 'teach' the other kids appropriate play and behaviors.  So the younger one of my granddaughters (C) gets to come just because she has a lot of language, and because it's a really small class!  So I watch them - as I'm manhandling another child across the room! - and am just in awe of the process of life and how C , no matter how smart she is, has such a hard time sitting down for any length of time.  A on the other hand, is sitting and participating like a champ.  Just those few months of learning added to A vs. C and her attention span is tenfold. 

I guess in my profession it makes me more aware of the little things kids seem to do automatically and we take them for granted.  Using our hands;  did you know there's a real learning process there?  We all start grasping things from the outside in, so from our pinkie to our thumb.  As our grasp gets improved we only need to use our three inner fingers - thumb, pointer and middle finger - to rake things into our palm.  As our eye-hand coordination improves, and we learn to get a better pinch, we only need the two fingers - thumb and pointer.  It just takes time!  Some people more time than others.  And some people, depending on their ability, may never be able to have a fully functioning pincer grasp.  But how many of us just watch a baby reaching for his binky and never even notice  how  that just occurred?  It's amazing!!!

And then there's the love of my life.  My honey bunny.  My sweetheart.  I love my George so much that sometimes it hurts.  That may seem odd, but it's true.  I miss him when we aren't together.  But I am so lucky to have him, and to love him and that he loves me back!  I know that's a rare thing to have in this world, and I am very gratefully to have someone who I love and respect soooo much!  Ewww!!  So mushy!!

And then there's my Al.  Oh, that boy!  He's been struggling with low oxygen saturations for about 6 months now and I'm worried they may put him on oxygen 24/7, but he has so much spunk and charisma that he can get away with just about anything!  He puts his oxygen on the other day because he had lost the chance to watch a movie after school because of bad behaviors, but his teacher said if he wore his oxygen he could watch a short one.  So, he so dutifully put the oxygen on, had me take a picture of him to send to his teacher and said, "MMMM.  This makes me feel better!"  Then when I went down 10 minutes later, he not only had the oxygen off, but he had broken the cannula and ripped apart the filter that goes on the back of the machine.  But, of course, the movie was still on!!  He's a smart kid.  As much as I vent about him - and I really am not complaining, it's just a lot of work being his mom! - I wouldn't trade my life with him for anything!  He teaches me so much love and understanding - that is, when I actually look at him and what he has to offer.  It's my fault I don't learn something from him, not his!!  I got a good laugh on his expense yesterday that I need to share.  We had a Stake combined YM/YW activity last night where they served us a dinner then we had a water balloon 'fight' (each team had a launcher and they launched balloons one at a time so we could make sure everyone was safe).  So Alex was conniving his way into getting some water balloons and then chasing some of us leaders with it and trying to get us wet.  I think he picked on us because we are slower than the young women, but it was still fun.  I tried to intervene and try to get him to throw it at someone from a distance so they had time to dodge it (it was chilly last night!) and I would yell, "Alex, look!  A dolphin!"  This is something we have done with him since he was young, and to this day, he will stop what he's doing and still look!!  No, he has never seen a dolphin, especially since we are usually in our house or yard when we say this, but he always trusts us and looks.   Others around us that heard got a good chuckle, but that boy just warms my heart!  AND yesterday after school his oxygen levels were above 90!  Yahoo!!!!  Keep taking deep breaths Al!!!

As you can see, I'm just gushing with love and blessings and am one lucky lady!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

nine eleven

Never have 2 words meant so much to so many people.  Just thinking them brings back that day...

I was doing laundry.  I always turn the TV on to have sound on while folding. 

News. News. News..... wait.  What?

New York.  Airplane.  Fire. 

I actually watched the second plane hit the building.  I remember holding my mouth over my hand, even though the scream that I felt never left my body. 

I also watched as the twins dropped.  I think I fell to the ground with them.  I didn't know what I felt.  Pain.  Fear.  Confusion.    Nothing good, that's for sure. 

New York has always had a dear place in our hearts.  That's where Mike served his  LDS mission (New York /  New Jersey). He has a love for the people there that will never diminish.  I got to fall in love for myself when we got the opportunity to go there together about 8 years after he got home.  The sights.  The smells.  The languages - even English spoken there is a different language!  And we even went to the twin towers and stood on the observation deck.  That's where I stood and listened to probably close to 100 people talking to each other as I walked around, and I don't think I heard any English spoken.  So weird to be on American soil and not hear English.  At all!  And then we went downstairs to the shops.  Of course!  We were tourists!!  We found a tie and suspender set for sale that was absolutely beautiful!  But we didn't buy it.  At least not that day!  I actually had Mike's mission mom - who worked in one of the towers - buy them and send them to me for Mike for Christmas that year.  Best present I ever got him!  That's still one of my favorite ties!  He wears it every 9/11.

As bad as those memories are, and always will be, what I remember most is the emotions over the next few weeks.  At the time I had a paper route.  Don't laugh!  I've tried everything I could to stay home with my kids, and a paper route helped.  But at 4 am there isn't much on the radio but talk and news, especially after a big event like this.  And for all the negativity that could  have been dribbled, there was so much love.  Compassion.  Sincerity.  Patriotism.  Pride.

I remember driving and running through the neighborhood in the dark, but feeling full of light and wanting to bang on every one's door shouting, "Thanks for being my neighbor!"  "Thanks for helping me feel safe."  "I'm proud to be an American!!" 

Thirteen years later.  I haven't been back since 1992.  I want to!  OH.  I so bad want to.  I want to add my tears to those that have been shed in honor of the brave men and women who risked their lives to try to valiantly save complete strangers in a dark, unforgiving mess.  To feel the spirit that I'm sure is there.  How could it not be? 

But since I'm home, I will just raise my flag in honor.  I will think about those people, their families probably all day long.  And I will thank my Heavenly Father for allowing me to live in America at this time of history. 

May we NEVER forget......

Monday, September 8, 2014

I haven't forgotten you, my dear friend BLOG!

Wow.  In March I wrote that it had been far too long, and now it's September and this is the first I've sat down to write. 

I do have a confession to make.  Part of the reason my blog has been suffering is I hurt someone's feelings with a post I wrote, and that hurt me incredibly!  I didn't mean to hurt this person, but I can see how what I said may have caused tender feelings.  But on the flip side of that, I blog as a way to vent my feelings, so it's been hard to sit down and write down my feelings worrying that I will offend someone. 

So...  fresh start!!  I will still express my feelings and I hope that everyone who has an interest in reading them will just know that I don't mean them to offend or criticize.  I just need a safe place to share my feelings.

The other reason for my lack of interest in blogging is it seemed so overwhelming!!  It's like laundry;  you get behind and it just seems impossible to catch up!  I have so many pictures I want to share, and so many cute stories or happenings in my life that I've missed writing down.  And the thought of taking a few hours to catch up just doesn't seem possible.  So, I'm not going to catch up.  At least not completely.  I will let you know some goings on in my life, but some of the other stuff will just have to wait.  And maybe another time I will put a few 'fillers' in here and there!

George - still loving working at Memorial Estates and doing a fantastic job!  I'm so glad he finally enjoys what he's  doing.  He's also the second counselor in our Stake presidency, which keeps him hopping.  But he's hopping with some fine gentlemen and I'm so glad they are the leaders in our stake.

Colby's family - well, Kierra quit her job and is a stay at home mom and also babysitting the other 2 kiddos I was watching!!  M has started kindergarten and is taking gymnastics and piano lessons and A is going to come to a pre-school type class I work in, and loves having mommy around more often.   Colby still works for the same company, but is looking to change.

Cali's family - Josh is still building big water tank thingy's, Cali is loving life staying home with her 2 little onesO  is back in pre-school and taking gymnastics, and CR is working up the courage to try to walk by himself.  Recently Cali and Josh were able to meet the first responders who helped out when she was so sick!  An awesome day!  Check out her link for details.

Taylor's family - Brandon loves working in finance and I think has decided not to become a lawyer, but to continue schooling in finance.  Taylor works a few hours a day but gets to spend the rest of her day with her little Ch who is a sweet, precocious, smart little human being! 

All my grandkids absolutely amaze me!!!  I remember feeling this way watching my kids grow up.  And now I'm so proud of how well they are raising their own kids!

Alex - started his senior year in high school, baby!!!!  Him and I got to go to Oregon with my parents, and my brother and his family this summer and had a great time!!  It was to celebrate my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, but we were the lucky ones to enjoy the trip with them!  Beautiful country, and great family fun!! 

Alex has also struggled a bit lately with his health.  He's gained a lot of weight these past few years;  partly because of his hip surgery, partly because of some of the meds he's on, and partly because the hormones have kicked in and with people with Down Syndrome, they unfortunately most of the time gain weight.  Well, because of this his lungs aren't working like they should.  His oxygen sats are normally at 88.  Anything below 90 is not good.  We're working on it, but he really hates wearing oxygen.  And it's really hard to get that kid to move fast enough to get his heart rate going to try to lose weight.  Long process, but we're in it together!!!

Me - obviously I'm not babysitting anymore!  I've picked up a few more hours at work but get to be home with Alex, which has been nice since he's had a bad cold which has made the oxygen sats even worse!!  I also got called to be the Young Women's President in our ward.  That means I'm over the girls ages 12 - 18 that live in our area for Sunday services as well as weekly activities.  I'm so excited to work with the women I have been called with and am hoping we can keep the activity level up so we can have a good sized group!

So, lots of changes.  Lots of new things.  But not much to report. 

That's ok.  At least I'm here.

I'm happy, and I'm here!!