Monday, November 24, 2014

Intelligent Conversations with my children - Part Whatever

I found these little anecdotes scribbled in a little bitty note pad.  They made me smile and reminded me of simpler days maybe a couple or as many as a few years ago.

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At a gas station.

Ronn: That song has so many swears.

Dad: Do you hear that bass? It's so loud. It'll hurt your eardrums.*

Me: It'll be a generation who needs hearing aids.

Hermionie: What?

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We have an Isuzu Oasis Minivan. In the back seat behind the driver, there are 4 directional vents on top of the van ceiling. 4 vents. 3 children

Harrey: I'm sitting here with no air... You have 2 vents pointing at you. I'm in the middle.

He points all the vents at himself and the bickering commences. Note that this was before he was the tallest person in the house.

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*When my husband was in his teens, he was in a couple bands. One of the bands was a true garage band. He played bass and guitar while his brother played drums. Several times the police were called because they were so loud. Now that he is a parent he fails to see the irony of his statements of noise.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

In the meantime

Schools started. Senior, Sophomore, 8th grade.

Harrey the youngest sprained  his ankle and was on crutches for about two weeks. Fun times. His crutches were almost as tall as his older sister. He missed the last two games of soccer and the rest of cross country.

He tried out for 8th grade volley ball and surprisingly made it, even though he had missed a week of practice and a game. He has been doing well but recently jammed his finger. That topped with the stress of high school placement and a binder left at school made the perfect storm. Food and tea and a little understanding helped. I convinced his big brother to talk to him--big news in our house.

Speaking of big brother, we are in the throes of college decision. Essays. Auditions. Nerves. Egos. It's all there. What's not all there, again, is homework. He blew off or forgot or both homework and has once again pulled his grades down. He said that he is catching up. I don't know. I do not go online to see what he is doing. I don't trust him, no, but he is a senior. He is tanking. He has talked to his high school counselor and that seems to be helping.

I cannot do the work for him and I cannot bail him out. Recently, I read blog about a mother who is going through an almost identical situation. While our Ronn is not on an IEP or any type of help, the post reflects something we discovered about his life.

We've ALL babied him. His teachers. His friends. His family. I've worked so doggone hard to get him to be a little more independent but in many ways he is emotionally immature.

Case in point.

Ronn organized a open mike at our church. He worked with the youth pastor and pastor to get the room. He talked to people and got some friends to play. He has been practicing with his own band and they sound great.

The problem.

He did NOT share this with his parents. No date. No time. AND.......he promised people that there would be food and drink.

How is he getting his stuff to the church? What kind of food did he promise? How is HE going to PAY for this, considering he doesn't have a job? How long will this be? Who is going to clean up afterwards? Have we confirmed that his friends will be there?

You know, little things. My husband was so angry that he wanted him to pull the show. Ronn is lucky that I didn't let him. He has been talked to strongly but I don't know if it's enough.

Hermionie has overbooked herself once again. It is showing up physically; stomach aches, exhaustion, muscle and back problems.

We have tried to let her regulate her schedule and it is a huge fail. Next year is junior year; the year of the ACT. Activities will be dropped and started back in senior year. At least that is the plan.

Next time, I'll write about me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Challenge

I got this from Facebook but thought I would post it here. I love books. I love to read. It was awful to have to pick only 10.

In your status, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't take more than a few minutes and don't think too hard. They don't have to be the "right" books or great works of literature, just ones that affected you in some way.
1 The Bible by God and a couple of helpers
How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (a must read)
3 The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (it still counts as one)
4 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (apologies to certain people who despise this book)
5 Shepherd's Guide to the 23rd Psalm by Philip Keller
6 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
7 Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
8 The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes (not necessarily about writing)
9 The Light of Eidon by Karen Hancock (showed me that fantasy was not locked into a secular audience)
10 Sea Biscuit by Laura Hillenbrand and Krakatoa by Simon Winchester - tied for 10th

 If you make a list, please tag me so I can see your list.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pray that Mommy finds her keys

When the kids were little, we had a little ritual that we participated about every three weeks. I would lose my keys in the house, right before we were going to go somewhere. We would hold hands and pray that mommy would find her keys.

Today my youngest lost his glasses. He lost them between coming down the stairs and taking a shower.

"I can't find my glasses. I thought I put them in my pocket. They're not there!"

"Look on the floor."

"I did look on the floor."

"Go upstairs and look in your room."

"I did look in my room. They're not there. Oh my gosh, why aren't you listening to me? I had them on when I was in the bathroom." The upstairs bathroom aka the thinking chair.

"Did you look in that bathroom?"

"Hermionie is in that bathroom."

"Can you ask her to look?" I swear that this is an actual conversation.

"Ok!" General stomping, slamming of doors.

After repeating the above scenario twice, I told my oldest, Ronn aka Mr. Intolerant, to go help his little brother find his $$@(*&&*^! glasses.

As Harrey the younger is going up the stairs to once again look for his glasses, he makes it half way and starts laughing.

"I found them. I put them in my pocket."

We're all laughing until he realizes that he won't be allowed on Minecraft for the weekend.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Journal Entry on a Thursday

Tomorrow I'm taking 4 other kids and driving to Ravinia to see The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will be performing it live with the movie. Like last year, we should see a choir and probably some soloists. I look forward to seeing it but DREAD the drive.

Saturday I think I'm going to beg my dear husband to take oldest to the music school for a lesson.

Sunday I will drive to Danville, IL again and spend the night at my sweet niece's house. Then up early to drive to Decatur, IL to visit Milliken University from 8am until 1pm.

From there I will drive home and drop oldest off to a percussion sectional.

Tuesday morning no one is going to move from their pillow.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Our First College Trip

Today Ronn and I are driving to Danville, IL to spend some time with a niece. She and her husband have very kindly offered to let us spend the night. They live about 45 minutes away from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana.

We have heard bad things about U of I, how they give no financial aid to kids living in Illinois. It won't stop us from visiting and touring. We have another tour on August 22nd which is a Friday. We have chair placements auditions for their Saturday music school but that won't be a problem. What might be a problem is that school starts that week, I believe. However, I think that visiting colleges is an excused absence.

Our family has been busy and next week (7/28-8/1) is the last week of freedom before high school band starts. I can't believe it went so fast.

I did not go to visit my mom and dad but I'll write more about that later.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This week

Oldest is at a missions trip.

Youngest is still with the Boy Scouts in Michigan.

Daughter is a busy only child this week. She's driving in the driver's ed class and she's in two music camps. One is an ensemble which finishes up tomorrow and the other is a wind symphony, which will conclude in August.

The house is so peaceful and quiet. The quiet screams at me on Tuesday and Thursday when she's done for the evening.

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I made some big changes. I am seeing a Christian therapist every two weeks. I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to talk to someone who doesn't know me from Adam and gives me a little encouragement so that I know I'm not crazy. It is so nice for someone to tell me that my decisions are reasonable and sensible. I mean, I think that they are but it's nice to hear it from someone else.

Monday nights I attend a Christian weight loss support group. It is very good, just what I need. One of the mottos is "Imperfect progress is still progress." I repeat that to myself often.

Tuesday night I went line dancing. My daughter said, in her teenage voice, "Line dancing?" It's all part of my get out and try new things goal. I've done it before but it's been years. It was very fun. I would totally do it again and may.

My mom and dad are getting old. They are 87 and 89, respectively. My dad has not been feeling good and my mom is still recovering from the spider bite on her leg in November. It's July so you know how serious it is.

My mom's doctor that she loves like a son has moved his practice so she can't see him anymore. She is unsure what to do. My father has been feeling dizzy and thinks it could be a side effect from his anti-depression meds. My brother is flying down there and I will go to Florida when he leaves.

I think of this week as the quiet before the storm. I'm applying actively for jobs. I have to take my oldest to a college visit and tell him to start applying at places. We are relinquishing responsibility to him and it is very hard for him. Of course we are there to support and guide, like we always are, but he has got to start doing even more on his own. For the problems that he's had, he's doing well. And the problems that have showed up are being dealt with now.