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Two Boys and the Only Girl just got home from a week spent with Grandmama and Papa.  I never thought I would say this with such enthusiasm but OH My GOSH I am so excited to have some NOISE up in this house again!  Those of you with multiple kids probably understand how unsettling it can be – albeit more peaceful – when all the chickens aren’t under your own roof. 

I had a fabulously long list of things I was going to do while they were all gone.  I didn’t accomplish a single one.  Sew/Embellish The Girl’s plain white curtains to match her comforter?  Still in the package.  Get caught up on laundry?   Significantly lower but still piled.  Pair all the socks in the overflowing, makes-me-twitch, sock basket?  Still digging for a match. Write a book chapter?  Outlined but approximately 500 words away from a suitable conclusion.  BUT, I’m proud to report none of these things got done because Luke and I spent a great deal of time together with Boy Three doing things like fishing, swimming, and eating a slushy-a-day from the new Froggy Freeze stand in town.  {My Homies, if you haven’t been there yet you simply have to try it.  SO yummy and SO cheap.  Need I say more?}

Speaking of fishing, I’m not a fan.  I’m not sure if my being the most impatient person on the planet is a factor or if an aversion to slimy, dead, stinky things is what pushes me over the edge.  Boy Three, arguably the toughest of the bunch, even screams like a girl when he tries to get a fish off the hook and it flips on him.  I don’t consider that a weakness because seriously, anyone  who acts like they enjoy touching all that stuff is flat out lying.  I should clarify by saying that I really do get a kick out of  the catching part, but unless I can reel one in every 3.7 seconds then the ADHD kicks in and I find I need to move on to getting a fresh Diet Dr. Pepper from the cooler or sticking food in the guys’ mouths so they don’t have to touch anything with their grody (how do you spell grody?) hands. 

It’s my angling ministry.

You should know I did catch one fish but it wasn’t without great support staff.   All the credit goes to Luke who took care of all the baiting,  untangled my line from a tree limb, and from that point forward made all my casts  so he wouldn’t have to do it again.  And then – when I hooked a lively 6-incher – got it off the hook and threw him back to swim another day.  He fared better than the other fish who swallowed the hook. Luke had to use the pliers to get it out wreaking havoc on the poor thing’s intestines.  I’ve never been an animal sympathist, but I have to admit I was a little bothered by that whole scene.  Imagine how much better I felt when my fish was barely snagged on the lip.

Whether I personally enjoy fishing or not, the pond one of our church members invited us to use was just beautiful (Thank you, Mr. G), the covered dock a cool shelter from the blazing sun, and a day with two of my favorite guys on earth one I won’t soon forget. 

I might just go again.

As long as I don’t have to touch anything but the snacks. 

Hope y’all have a great weekend filled with doing things you like with those you love! 

Lisa

…which is unfortunate since all I seem to be able to do is stare at the blinking cursor. I’ve just about meme’d y’all into oblivion so I thought it might be time for some real live mediocrity.

And since we are the subject of un-excitement (spell check wants un-excitement to be encystment. I have no idea what that means but it doesn’t sound exciting either!), the kids are in Big Testing this week at school. Apparently when it’s time for the Big Testing parents are supposed to provide nutritious breakfasts as opposed to the breakfasts we normally feed our children. Cookie Crisps and a Coke don’t count? What?!

Being the Wanna Be Good Mom that I am, I actually prepared food this morning that exceeded room temperature. After all that work, I’m expecting 99th percentile. And if the awesome grub didn’t do the trick, the brother-to-brother mentoring ought to work. This morning Boy Three asked Boy Two what a preposition was – you know, in case in turned up on his test.

With a knowing smile, Boy Two said, “That is SO easy. It’s a word that is found between some other words in a sentence.”

The child is a prodigy. Webster and Roget would be so proud.

And speaking of dictionaries and the like, I’m reminded to tell you my book finally has an official name! Y’all. It was harder titling the thing than it was writing it. Married to the Ministry was always tentative but after going through the titling process (did y’all know there is a whole titling process?), the publishers and I have finally agreed on…

*drumroll*

“You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes…And Other Great Advice from an Unlikely Preacher’s Wife.”

If you hate it, please keep it to yourself. I’ll be devastated. Okay, not really but it’d be great to hear your nice thoughts! I’m really, really getting pumped now because we can move on to cover design since the title is decided. I promise I will cry like stupid baby when I see this thing with a picture on front. I also assure you as soon as I have the design and I’m given liberty to share it, you’ll be the first to see! We may even make a little contest out of choosing a cover if I can get my awesome editor to arrange for a choice or three. I’m horrible at decision-making. Just ask anyone who has ever shopped or eaten with me more than once.

Alright, I know this is short but it’s time for the kids’ devo and early bedtime. I may just hit it a bit early myself.

I’ll need to be fully rested if I am to cook a warm, nutritious breakfast again in the morning.

This being-a-good-mom stuff is exhausting.

First of all, thank all of you for your sweet prayers on behalf of Son Three. The surgery was successful and uneventful other than the Doc deciding to take out the adenoids while he was in the cutting mood. {What are adenoids and how did he get them out? Seriously, are those things removed through the ears, the nose, the throat? I’m thoroughly baffled but not brave enough to look it up on YouTube.}

The most enjoyable part of the day was seeing the boy drunk as a bicycle on the ‘happy juice’ he was given before going to the O.R. My girlfriend Tammy, who happens to be the Most Awesome Day Surgery Nurse Ever, held our hands and petted Three as the medicine took effect. I knew we were in trouble when he started dancing in the bed, waving his hands over his head, and singing, “It’s time to raise the roof, uh huh, oh yeah..”.

The looser Three’s tongue got, the more fun we had at his expense. Luke asked, “Is there anything you’ve not told me the truth about that you would like to tell me now?”

Three said, “Yeeeeesssss. I’ve been drinkin’ beer.”

Where’d you get beer?

“At Hooters.”

These are the times you wish your friend hadn’t just introduced you as pastor and pastor’s wife to the entire nursing staff.

In an earlier decade, Luke and I would have made careful explanations to anyone who would listen that we have never (Not ever, never in our whole life! Please believe us – never!) been to Hooters. But, now that we have a little mileage on us, we just laughed our heads off and impishly let everyone wonder how our 9 year-old learned about beer and Hooters.

And now you are wondering. I know you are.

And I’m still laughing my head off.

After the procedure was over, the Doc gave us the rundown on how things went. I suppose I should be alarmed that the first thing he said was, “Always keep a watch on this boy and drugs. He enjoys them very much.”

Why, thanks Doc for speaking that hopefully un-prophetic word over my son.

And then he said, “By the way, how does someone in Alabama become such a huge Georgia Bulldog fan?”

What makes you ask that, Doc?

“Well let’s just say right before we put him under he started fist-pumping and yelling, ‘woof woof woof GO DAWGS’.” (Aren’t we proud, Mandy and Annie?)

That’s my boy. At least he remains true to his convictions when he’s on The Junk. If he’d been cheering Roll Tide we would have wheeled him straight to Rehab.

Instead, we ended up at WalMart to get the boy a little post-surgical prize.

Isn’t that where all good parents take their child after an operation?

Perhaps Three isn’t the one who needs the Intervention after all.

Tomorrow morning Son Three (9 years old) is having surgery to begin the process of removing tubes that have been in his ears for SEVEN years.

Nobody ever told me they weren’t supposed to remain that long. I figured the longer the better and credited his lack of ear infections to the long suffering tubes. However, after he began having problems a few months back, we eventually ended up at an ENT who explained the problem was not a typical infection but a rejection of the tube by the eardrum itself.

Have y’all ever heard of such? The Doc told me that 99% of tubes come out within two years but those remaining longer can cause permanent damage to the hearing. He will have to cut the tube out, remove the scar tissue, and patch the eardrum so it grow back together normally. My Boy will not be able to hear out of the ear up to six weeks. When that one is healed, he will have to return for the same process on the other ear.

Luke has a great saying, “The only minor surgery is someone else’s.” Even though we expect this to be a smooth procedure, I don’t think any of us look forward to our child being put under anesthesia and a scalpel for any reason. It also breaks my heart that he may be in pain and discomfort for so long. With that said, I would be so appreciative if you’d say a prayer for a slightly nervous boy and his slightly more nervous mom and dad.

Y’all are awesome.

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
~Isaiah 26:3

Tomorrow morning Son Three (9 years old) is having surgery to begin the process of removing tubes that have been in his ears for SEVEN years.

Nobody ever told me they weren’t supposed to remain that long. I figured the longer the better and credited his lack of ear infections to the long suffering tubes. However, after he began having problems a few months back, we eventually ended up at an ENT who explained the problem was not a typical infection but a rejection of the tube by the eardrum itself.

Have y’all ever heard of such? The Doc told me that 99% of tubes come out within two years but those remaining longer can cause permanent damage to the hearing. He will have to cut the tube out, remove the scar tissue, and patch the eardrum so it grow back together normally. My Boy will not be able to hear out of the ear up to six weeks. When that one is healed, he will have to return for the same process on the other ear.

Luke has a great saying, “The only minor surgery is someone else’s.” Even though we expect this to be a smooth procedure, I don’t think any of us look forward to our child being put under anesthesia and a scalpel for any reason. It also breaks my heart that he may be in pain and discomfort for so long. With that said, I would be so appreciative if you’d say a prayer for a slightly nervous boy and his slightly more nervous mom and dad.

Y’all are awesome.

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
~Isaiah 26:3

UPDATE: CAN Y’ALL BELIEVE WE DIDN’T EVEN PLACE IN THE CONTEST? I’m not sure how offended I am or if I should just be glad we didn’t place worst of the best. I really don’t want to know if we were 4th. Best of the worst doesn’t sound so great either.

Wendy, I smell foul play.

I’m going to go pout now.

I know y’all have been refreshing my page all day today ’cause you just couldn’t wait to see what the Homecoming Door looked like. Behold, the work of art.

What can not be done justice in the photo is the shiny brilliance of the gold glitter. It was an inspired move on my part even if I do say so myself. Luke agreed it looked fab even if he does look like Liberace on steroids. I personally think our guy is a rockstar.

Full view. My friend Wendy is the mastermind behind the door. She took pictures of all the kids in class with scared faces. The text says, “Did someone say Tigers? Never fear, The Hornets are here!” The expressions of the kids are downright hilarious.

The Girl couldn’t wait until Friday to wear her Homecoming get-up. Just realized I went through the trouble of blacking out our town name and yet told you who our mascot is. Oh well. I figure if y’all want to know where I live you’ve figured it out by now.

The Girl in front of her door. She is so proud that her daddy (YES MY DADDY DID THAT AND HE EVEN HELPED WITH THE GLITTER!) drew the picture.

And I am too. Thanks for bailing me out, honey.

Again.

On Friday, the elementary will be having a wagon parade (think Radio Flyer) which thankfully, I’m not in charge of making. The classes pull their wagon down the hallway and are judged at the end.

What do you girls do during Homecoming? Do you have any cute ideas to tell us about? I need to stock up for next year but I’m thinking there are many of you who may need some themes for your own class projects. Share away!

Do you ever have times when you look at the next couple of days on your calendar and have a panic attack over all the stuff that somehow has to be accomplished at your hand?

* We begin Bible Release Time tomorrow. This is the program our church hosts which allows children from Grades 2-6 to attend Bible Classes one day per week. I teach those classes and tomorrow is the kick off. I’m typing this post as I wait for the copier to print worksheets for the kids.

* We have AWANA kick-off tonight. I just finished printing registration sheets in anticipation for a bigger than ever club year. Praying we have plenty of food. Not looking forward to cooking 160 weenies. Blech.

* The Girl is having a sleep over Friday night for her birthday. You may find it amusing that I’ve planned to do an at home version of a Libby Lou party for her friends. We pulled out all of Girl’s makeup today to see what kind of supplies we had and somehow I’ve ended up with glitter all over my face. Didn’t know it until I got to church so I’m wondering what our darlin’ church people will think their PW has been up to on the side.

I thought typing it all out would help with the hyperventilating that is going on over here.

It didn’t work.

I’m taking Donna’s advice and resorting to some prayer. Amazing how that can be the last thing we think of when it should have been first, huh?

*Breathing deeply*

Thank all of you for your well wishes and words of support as we have come to grip with our Eldest son’s injury. I am glad to say those three baby stitches are healing nicely but I’m even more happy to announce Eldest mustered his courage and played through the pain in his first 7th grade football game last night. (If you didn’t read that first sentence through the lens of sarcasm, please read again.)

I think it was obvious from the Accident Incident that I’m still stumbling my way through the boy-to-man transition. The Boy Mommy in me wanted to keep my son home last night, put an ice pack on his darlin‘ little head, cover him up on the couch with some Doritos and Sponge Bob, and generally baby him until we were both ready to vomit.

The thing is, he’s not a baby anymore.

That breaks my heart in many ways but it also challenges me in others. His game has shifted from PeeWee to Jr. High. My game has to grow right along with him.

When he was younger, (and I’m still here with three of my children), it was important for him to be secure. To know that the people in his life from family members to teachers loved him, overlooked his faults, and generally accepted him unconditionally.

As he grows his security is still a primary concern but instead of it being a filter through which all things must flow, it should become a rear guard that undergirds all his experiences. At some point the flaws in character; the laziness, the absent-mindedness, the half-heartedness, and/or attitudes of disrespect, etc. need to be addressed – by family, teachers, and other significant figures in my kids’ lives. I am in a constant state of prayer that my children will find favor before God and man but I want it to be an earned favor, not a respect that is handed out freely without due diligence. I am grateful for every person who has demanded more of my son than he would have given were his buttons not pushed or his will not challenged.

Obviously our favor before God is based on salvation and not works, but it still comes at a personal price of self-sacrifice and humility. Favor with man is no different. When I choose to place my children in the care of an adult, whether it be in the classroom or on a playing field, I have to trust God will use that individual to draw the best from him. I must also encourage my son to rise to the occasion of whatever challenge is placed before him. Does he know I love him unconditionally and will catch him when he falls? Absolutely. Do I do him a disservice if I prevent that fall before it happens? YES. No boy ever grew into a man behind the shield of his mom’s apron.

So last night, instead of cartoons, we bandaged our boy’s head and watched him wince as his dad banged on his helmet to see if he could stand the pain (or to numb him – I was never clear on which). He didn’t really want to get hit, but he did. It wasn’t easy, but he soldiered through. He got on that field and played with heart and when it was over said, “It didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would. I’m glad I played.”

He manned up.

And his mom is proud.

So this morning I’m at the track just beginning my somewhat daily walk/run/walk when I get a call from Luke:

“Where are you???!!”

“Umm..at the track?”

“Get to the school. Coach just called and Eldest got hit in the head with a football pylon and needs stitches.”

Thankfully, the track is only 4.7 seconds from the high school so I jumped in the car not having any idea if the gash was as bad as hubby made it sound.

You see, Luke is a little high-strung when it comes to the kids being injured. There was a time a few years ago when our then three-year-old youngest son shot a finishing nail through his hand with the air nailer. (That’s totally a story for a different day.) As soon as it happened, Luke picked boy Three up under his armpits, held him straight out from his body, and ran the length of our hallway 37 times screaming, “He’s shot with a nail! He’s shot with a nail!” I finally convinced him to stop it with the sprinting and use some of that energy to get him to the hospital. We raced to the car and Luke proceeded to pull out of the driveway with the child in his lap IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT.

No Britney, I will not allow you to drive down the street with my child in your lap, nail in hand or not.

Y’all remind me to tell you the rest of that story sometime. It really is a good one. For now, I think you get the point that Luke, well, he’s a little excitable.

Moving on, I went to the school office and signed out Eldest. Amber, (the most awesome office aid ever) called the infirmary and couldn’t find him. About that time, Luke busted through the office door and said, “I HAVE HIM! LET’S GO!!!!!”

And y’all, I’m not trying to minimize the fact my child got hurt but it really wasn’t that bad. I’m thinking glue and maybe stitches; Luke’s thinking concussion and maybe brain surgery.

I had to take my car home and while there, Luke asked me to run in and get his cell phone. I was in the house for a nanosecond and the dern horn starts blowing “HONK HONK HONK HONK”.

There is nothing worse than an alarmist with an alarm.

So we finally get on the road to the Emergency Room. We get there, it’s not very crowded thank goodness, and go back to Triage. The nurse asked Eldest, “On a scale of 1-10, how is the pain?” Do you know what he said?

“About a 6.”

Clearly, he inherited his father’s tendency to exagerrate.

After I explained the pain scale a little more carefully, Eldest agreed that maybe he was only a 0-1. “Umm, nurse. You can cancel the transport to the Morphine Clinic.”

Oh it gets better.

Remember I told y’all Eldest got hit in the head with a pylon? (It was just the result of some horseplay during first period athletics. The 7th Grade football team was helping the coach set out the markers for the game tonight and things got a little crazy.)

Okay, this is good. A nurse came into our room, read the chart and said, “So, I see you got hit in the head with a python?”

A stinkin’ Python. Are you kidding me?

Lady, to what kind of school do you think we send our kid? The Seigfried and Roy Center of Performing Arts?

After we explained that HECK NO HE DIDN’T GET HIT IN THE HEAD WITH A PYTHON, Eldest was able to lie back and relax until he got his three baby stitches in the forehead. Thankfully, our dear friend Tammy was at work and came down to rescue us from Terri Irwin.

On our way back to school (yes, he wanted to go back to school because today was Crazy Spirit Day) a weird thought hit me. When I had signed Eldest out I was required to put a reason. My brain was going in every kind of direction and all I could think of was “Accident”.

So I signed out my kid with a note beside his name that said he had an accident.

I told him what I had written and he said, “GREAT MOM. Now everyone’s going to think I peed in my pants.” So for those of you who go to school with my boy, just know he was only gushing blood – nothing else.

My How-Not-To-Embarass-Your-High-School-Child-Skillz need some perfecting.

Now, even though Luke can get a little crazed when the kids are hurt, he totally has his priorities in check. Would you like to know the first question he asked after my boy was stitched up?

“Doc, when can he put a football helmet back on?”

And then a phone call from Coach, “How is that head? We have a big game Tuesday!”

And then a call from a Deacon, “Is this going to affect his football?”

Men. I may tell the whole high school my son has had an ‘accident’ but he knows his mommy could care less if he puts on a football uniform. Even a grown boy needs that kind of secret security – don’t y’all think?

This whole thing has got me thinking though. Since football is the instigator and motivator behind the accident and recovery, I’m sending the ER bill to the Quarterback Club.

And if the Cow Plop didn’t raise enough to cover it, well, I’ll just take one of those darlin’ t-shirts y’all are selling at the game tonight.

(Just messing with you, President Mary and Entourage. Just messin’. I like the pullovers much better.)

Good grief…this post was as exhausting as the day.

Have an Awesome Friday night, interpeeps!

I absolutely love the first day of school when the kids get to come home and tell all. Here are a few of my favorite quotes so far:

Boy Two: “My teacher’s aide is a goth high school kid.”
Me: Well is he nice?
Boy Two: “I don’t know. He doesn’t speak.”

Boy Three: “My teacher’s aide is Dora. Lucky for her.”
Me: Lucky for her that her name is Dora?
Boy Three: “No. Lucky for her that I’m in her class.”
Me: *Eye Roll*

Me: Girl, what was your favorite part of school today?
Girl: “Pretending we set the play kitchen on fire so we could call the fire department on the fake phone.”

And Boy One is still at football practice but I’ve already heard through the small school grapevine he got lost looking for a class. Isn’t that every 7th grader’s worst nightmare? I had plans to pet him to death when he gets home but Luke has informed me that he’s grown now and doesn’t need his mother smooching on him just because he had trouble locating Science.

Whatever, man. Isn’t it obvious why God gave children a mother?

I should say a special thank you to our awesome principle, Mr. S., for helping my boy find his way. It’s nice to know there’s a little compassion remaining in your gender.

More later on the emotional breakdowns that took place in the Kindergarten hall this morning, but right now it’s still too raw.