This weekend…

30 09 2010

…is a happening time for most of my family and friends.  Isn’t it funny how everything seems to hit all at once?  As a family we are celebrating my aunt Nisie’s 29th birthday. It’s been an annual event since I was just a few years old.  I was probably 15 before I realized that she wasn’t really 29.  I’m older than she is now : ) but I still love celebrating her youthful heart.

The semi-annual Kids Konsignment sale happens at the YMCA tomorrow and Saturday. It’s a huge event for me because I loathe buying new clothes and toys for boys who can’t help but to destroy them all. I really look forward to it because I get most of my shopping done for the year and because I love stuff (see previous post). Joe looks forward to it because I consign lots and lots of stuff and he loves nothing more than de-cluttering and ridding the garage of my “collections”.  For the past four years I have spent within $5 of what I’ve made at each sale…really weird how that happens.

Also huge this weekend is Race for the Cure. Sadly I won’t be in town to participate (we have some really special friends getting married in High Point) but I’ve had the honor to be involved with Team Patwa.  Check out Amy’s blog. You’ll notice she’s not obsessed with her cancer but also not afraid to be honest about how much it sucks. And…you have to look at this sweet blog post on her head shaving Party a few months back.

Breast cancer touches us all. Period.  We all have our own stories of how it has been woven into our lives. My precious Grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Bradley was born and we lost her less than two years later.   Yesterday I ran across this youtube video. What a small world that we live in. Jennifer was a friend from Camp Lurecrest way back when. She has an amazing story that I wish I had time o tell here.

She and her Jeneration Cure Team produced this beautiful and powerful video (click here to watch the video) to create awareness about breast cancer. They are participating in Komen’s “Bust a Move Komen” contest where the team video with the most hits will be displayed at the Susan G Komen Charlotte Race on Saturday. I’d love to help her Team reach their personal goal of 10,000 hits – they are so close at 8,750+ !



28 09 2010

Paperclips, spare change, rubber bands, badges, legos, pencils, cards, fake coins, chains, instruction booklets, rulers, dominoes, carabiners, pencil sharpeners, rocks, plastic jewels and rings, stickers, pictures, nails, silly bandz, old keys and key chains, gum ball machine trinkets, action figures, tape, old wallets, broken jewelry, pretty much anything that is small enough to fit in his pocket…they’re all treasures, jewels, valuable to Bradley.  The other night I went around the house and gathered up all the little pouches, bags, boxes and cups that held his treasure collections.  The pile below represents what I found.  Many of these things are part of the permanent collection while others are on loan from galleries such as my desk, the junk drawer and other people’s houses. Sometimes I get frustrated when I find yet another bag of treasure on his desk or in his nightstand that is too important to move or return to the proper place but truthfully I think it’s really cute…and telling.

It took me the longest time to realize he inherited this hoarding habit from moi! I pride myself on a clutter-free home but when you open any cabinet, drawer or closet you find a perfectly organized collection of crap, most of which I have no use for.  Even my closet is full of clothes I don’t really like but I can’t part with for one reason or another…usually because it will create a gap in the order of colors. I have this one purple shirt that is essential for a smooth transition from dark blue to magenta but I keep it for no other reason. I’m really sad that I’ve taught my son to love stuff so much. I’ve made great efforts to live in such a way that they know people are more important than things and that material wealth is fleeting but I’ve spoiled them with things that don’t last and now they’ve learned to fill up on junk.

Maybe there is something redemptive about Bradley’s desire to amass great collections of stuff but when I saw all the stuff I was able to put out for a yard sale last week it made me sick.  I laughed when I saw it but really it was sad. How did we get this way and when did it happen?

School’s in.

12 09 2010

Last Tuesday Bradley and Bennett started school. Bradley is in TK (Transitional Kindergarten) and Bennett is in a two year old class. Both boys are at Forest Hill Playschool, and while it takes a major blow to the budget, it is worth every penny to me. Sometimes I wish I was a mom who thrived on being with my children all the time, but I’m not.  I used to feel guilty about not being that way but I’ve learned that I’m a much better mom when I have a break from the chaos that goes on when we’re all together all day long.  I still have Dexter at home but one is much easier than three and I’m really excited about having some one-on-one time with him. I also forget that I do work. It’s never consistent but there are always a few projects waiting in the queue.

I never enjoyed school. I know that sounds like an exaggeration but it’s not at all. Some years were not as bad as others but I have to admit that even 4K (preschool) and college were nightmarish to me.  As an adult I avoid thinking about my time in school and I even avoid passing by the schools and colleges I attended. The associations are so bad that it makes me feel sick on my stomach to see the campuses.  As you can imagine I have dreaded the thought of taking my kids to school.  I can just imagine the smells, the bad lighting and the horrid environments that I will experience.  Joe had quite the opposite experience so he has been eager for that stage to come with our boys. We attended several open houses last year as we began to make decisions about where Bradley would go for Kindergarten.  I knew that I couldn’t home school (although I did pray about it) so we checked out several different options. There is a whole back story here but the school that I thought I would like the best I liked the least and vice versa.  Why am I shocked? That sort of thing always happens to me. Anyway, I have been really careful not to tell the boys that I didn’t like school. They have a long road ahead of them and I am really hopeful that they will enjoy it…at least parts of it…at least one of them.

So while preschool may not be the right decision for everyone it has been right for us and I’m grateful for the privilege to send them. We have been really pleased with the teachers that Bradley has had over the past three years and I’m excited about Bennett’s teacher this year as well.  She is a new teacher but has lots of experience in children’s ministry, has a degree in early childhood developement, has a two-year old of her own (in another class), and is team teaching with her sister and best friend.  I couldn’t ask for a better situation.  When they are little, like he is, my major concern is that they feel safe, loved and have lots of fun.  It’s nice when they learn new things but that is so secondary to me at this stage in the game.

We are beyond excited about Bradley’s teacher.  She is amazing.  I got to spend some time with her during orientation (because we had to be there early) and I didn’t want to leave.  I’ve never been excited about the things 4 and 5 year olds learn but she changed my mind.  I am nearly as excited about the experience that Bradley will have in her class this year as he is.  I know that we all have different giftings but that kindergarten-tecaher-gift is the most amazing of all to me.

This will be our first full week of school (Bradley 4 days and Bennett 3 days) and trial run at our new fall schedule. I’m excited. Really excited. It’s a feeling I’ve never before had in the fall. It’s nice!

The web.

7 09 2010

No I’m not talking about the internet. I’m talking about the creations of those creepy crawly things Bennett calls “spliders”.  Seriously, if you came to our house today you might just think the Adams family lived here.  Is anyone else having this problem?  It makes me wonder if it’s a seasonal phenomenon.  Halloween is approaching and I’ve never understood why they are associated with the holiday…maybe it’s just their time of year to haunt the corners of our homes.  We’ve seen some cute ones this week and some really strange ones. At dinner on Thursday we watched a fly get caught in a web that had formed in the kitchen bay window. It struggled and then slowly died.  This morning we saw a black widow in the yard.  Yikes. Joe was eager to give the boys an object lesson. I was a little less enthusiastic, if you can imagine.  I get more excited about the fall colors and the cool weather.  I could probably do a “web” search to find out if my theory holds water but for now I’ll just assume I’m right and that we all have spiders in the fall.

The next stage.

5 09 2010

The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles.  A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom.  The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard. ~Sloan Wilson

My big boy is riding his bike without training wheels, my little boy is finally talking in sentences, and my baby is walking. All the progress has made these past few weeks so fun but it’s bittersweet. We’re moving from one stage to the next at such a rapid pace.

My neighbor Kat has three high school boys. They are different from us.  They have the tall genes.  Amazing athletes. But I think she enjoys watching us walk the path she did and I know I enjoy watching her live life in a season I’ve yet to enter. It makes me less fearful.  It gives me hope that it’s going to be great.  She gives me great advice, encourages me, and makes me feel a little less crazy than I do when I’m with girl moms. She tells me things that make me sad too. I’m glad she does. Funny how God knew I needed her.