Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Things I Learned From My Mother

Mom and I have never had an easy relationship. Now we have no relationship. I have not spoken with my parents since February. There was no argument, no disagreement, nothing at all that I know of. They just stopped answering the phone when I would call. They are still in contact with my siblings, but not me. My children have been asking lately if we would be able to visit Grandma & Grandpa this Christmas. What can I say to that??? "Grandma & Grandpa don't want to know us anymore," doesn't seem like a good answer. I haven't figured it out yet. Fortunately while we were in Knoxville it didn't come up. I suppose they were too busy playing with their cousin, aunts, and uncle to think of it.

So I started feeling sorry for myself just a little. Wishing that I could have the kind of mother I could call when I was down or share stories about my kids with... comparing the way my kids are with the way I used to be. The sort of stuff women tend to do with their mothers. I've come to accept that it will just never be that way for us. I am blessed to have a mother-in-law who is very maternal and is always interested in hearing about my kids. She calls to check in nearly every day, and lives close enough to come to dinner on weeknights.

When I started to feel sorry for myself, I decided that instead I would focus on the things my mother taught me that help me to be the wife and mother that I am.
Respect your husband; never "bad-mouth" him.
Do not usurp your husband's authority.
Do not demean your children with name-calling and insults.
Allow your children to make age-appropriate decisions.
House rules should be in line with Godly principles.
Do not voice your worries to your children.
Do not adopt worldly perspectives.
God first, husband second, children third. Do not allow anything or anyone to upset this balance. This, of course, does not mean to stand back and do nothing if you have a husband who abuses your children.
Continue to love your children when they make mistakes- and let them know it.
Control your tongue. Hurtful words tear down a child's self-worth.
Never say, "I wish I didn't have kids", "Don't come back", or "I'll leave you."

Visitin' With Family


We had a chance to go into Knoxville on Sunday afternoon and see my side of the gene pool. We were able to see my sister and my younger brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. We had a great time catching up and reminiscing. Scott had to work 1 hour outside of Knoxville, so the kids and I spent the day with my brother and his family. I actually felt like an aunt! We even had the opportunity to babysit for a short 20 minutes while some errands were run. The trip there seemed remarkably short after the drive from Texas, and we're hoping to do it more often.

Catching Up On Chores

We had 3 days of fall, then summer made a re-emergence. We fully enjoyed the cooler days and can't wait for more of them.

Noah harvested and cleaned the basil.



Our fence is a work in progress. Scott's done a great job on it.



While we were planting our fall crops, Gloria found an old pot and mistook it for a hat. This is her in mid-dance. Note the disco-style pointing fingers.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The last few days have been full of activity. So much, in fact, that Noah tearfully asked yesterday if we could just stay "home" in the hotel room.


Friday we drove for 8 hours then went to a Rangers game. Saturday we toured Scott's old neighborhoods and went to the Rodeo. Sunday we attended church 2 blocks away at First Baptist Dallas where W.A. Criswell preached for nearly 50 years, then took the train to the zoo. Here we are on the DART.


We got rained out at the zoo, so we took the train back to downtown and got drenched walking the 2 blocks back to the hotel. The Dallas Zoo is much like I remember the zoo from my youth. The animals were mostly behind chain-link fences and had brick buildings into which they could retreat for privacy or protection from the weather. We did not get to see the African exhibit, which is mostly accessible by monorail. It was closed due to rain. Anyway, when we reached the hotel we changed into dry clothes and headed out for an early dinner. We had to make another stop to pick up a few necessities at a local store. Once we were back at the hotel we rented Ratatouille, which kept the kids calm and still for a good while. On Monday, we took the kids to the Dallas World Aquarium & Zoo. It was very nice... much nicer than the Dallas Zoo. It was all indoor, for one thing. The other nice thing is that there was virtually no separation between us and the animals. We stood a foot away from a Three-Toed Sloth. Here is his photo.
We learned that a male sloth has a stripe down his back, and that sloths only descend to the ground to defecate every 2-8 days. My kids were thrilled to know that.
But we didn't stop there. Oh, no, we didn't stop there. We went to the Sixth Floor Museum at the former Texas School Book Depository to see the JFK stuff. We walked around the Grassy Knoll. Scott went out into the middle of the 3 lane highway to take a photo of the Depository from the X on the ground that marked the spot where the first shot hit the motorcade. Here's that photo.

See that car coming? She had to slow down and go around Scott. There was another man out there doing the same thing.
So today, we've been at the hotel all day. Scott is in his meetings. We've eaten cereal bars and sandwiches made of deli meats and cheese we picked up from the store yesterday. Scott will pick up dinner tonight. We're getting ready to run downstairs to mail some postcards and then come back up for a game of hangman. Let the fun begin!

Hmmm...









Sunsphere.









Fake Sunsphere.

I'm just sayin'...

Our night at the Mesquite Rodeo







Monday, September 10, 2007

Whataburger


On Saturday, we had the opportunity to visit one of Scott's old favorites from Texas. Scott has fond recollections of Whataburger, but I doubted that it was really as good as he remembered. The food was really very good. I don't get the whole TN Vols Orange thing, though. Scott said it was Whataburger Orange, but as a Knoxville girl, I beg to differ. There was even a TN Vols Street sign hanging over our table. (I failed to get a picture of it.)



Here is Noah enjoying the sports memorabilia on the walls.


Sitting at our table in the Mesquite Whataburger, minus Nicholas. He's the photographer. See those TN Orange cups?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Texas Rangers Game


On Friday night, we took the kids to a Rangers game. We paid extra to sit in the "No Alcohol" section. I learned long ago that if sporting events offer an alcohol-free section, it is worth the extra money to get those seats. We'd just rather not sit around the loud drunk folks. It makes the game more enjoyable. I did not realize that the alcohol-free zone was also the nosebleed section. The height was shocking at first, but after a while we adjusted. We had a great view of the field.


The Texas Rangers won the game, which was nice. It's no fun to watch the home team lose when you are really not a fan of either team. There was lots of entertainment. Perhaps one of the best things about the evening was our usher. I wish I had a picture of him to post. Scott spent much of the game time just talking with him. So many times you meet people who are really excited about the things of the world and are not at all excited about the things of God, even when they claim to be Christians. Charlie (our usher) was very much excited by the things of God and eager to talk about the Lord. He took this picture of us.














And now, some pictures of the kids. This is Dad & Gloria. She's sporting her new Rangers hat and scarfing down a hotdog.





















Nicholas and Noah goofing off...

















Elijah wearing his popcorn bucket as a hat...

Arriving at the hotel

It was a long ride from TN to Dallas. We made several stops, the last of which was close to Dallas to show the kids a mall Scott remembered from his childhood.
Putting them back into the car to go the last 30 minutes proved to be difficult.
It was hot. I slipped off my shoes. I didn’t mean to let my inner hillbilly out, it just happened.
We pulled up to the front of the hotel so Scott could check us in. To my utter horror, a man came up and opened my door for me. Fortunately, I had just put my shoes back on. I did still have my skirt hiked up (it was terribly hot). A scrap of paper drifted out of the car as he opened it. This was not good. He proceeded to bring out a cart for our luggage. I tried to discreetly shove the multiple pairs of underwear into any open containers we had. We lost shoes and empty juice bottles in the street. The valet had to park our car. How very embarrassing!
The good news is that the hotel is very nice indeed. I feel like a fish out of water. We have a wonderful city view, and there is enough stuff in the hotel that I would probably not have to leave it to keep the kids entertained next week. When we do leave it, though, we don’t have to go far. We are within walking distance to museums and art galleries. The DART (mass transit) will go to many other places we would want to see. We’ll be posting pictures as the week goes on.

A Road Trip with the Winslows

Scott had his test this afternoon, and the doctor said everything is perfect. He just has to up his medicine, so all is good. Scott was feeling well and decided we should go ahead and get on the road. We dropped off Penelope with friends and we were on our way. We stopped in Jackson, TN for the night. An early start this morning put us a little ahead of schedule. The kids were calm as could be.
















Gloria shouted the alphabet in song, made her toy puppy go potty, and karate chopped her seat. I've tried to upload the videos, but I keep losing my internet connection. Nicholas was mostly helpful but somewhat annoying to his siblings.


Just as we were crossing the Arkansas/Texas border, Gloria asked where Penelope was. She's an attentive little girl, eh? We were happy to finally arrive in Dallas at around 2pm.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Clampetts


Our family of 6 is going out of town for a week. This is what our clothesline has looked like ALL DAY. I called for "Last Load!" at 1:00 this afternoon, but still ended up doing 4 more loads. I have one last to hang out in the morning, after what is already on the line is dry, and then we should be done.
Today has been our most peaceful day of the week. We had to be at home because Scott is doing some prep for a diagnostic test tomorrow, so we (the kids and I) had a chance to just relax. (If you can call 9 loads of laundry relaxing.) I don't think Scott's day has been very relaxing. His test will be over soon, then we can get down to the business of getting out of town.
We will be staying in downtown Dallas because this will put us very close to Scott's meetings. We are not downtown people. It should be interesting. The kids are looking forward to riding the train and visiting the Rodeo, not to mention seeing where Dad grew up. Speaking of Dad, he spent a good portion of his "downtime" today putting together plans for our vacation. We'll keep you posted.

Eupatorium coelestinum


Another yard find, and the very first that I have identified without Scott's help. It is growing all around the front porch and behind the house as well. This is the blue mistflower. Here's a little info I pulled off Google.
This member of the Sunflower family sports flat-topped clusters of pale blue fuzzy flowers. The Mistflower is the only blue member of the genus Eupatorium. The paired leaves are opposite, sessile and arrow shaped. Plants reach heights from 1 to 3 feet (30 to 90 cm). Plants are widespread in thickets, wood edges, wet meadows and alluvial flats. Flowers bloom from August to October.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

I'm A Blogging Star!




We have been awarded the Blogging Star award by my Big Sister.

According to the creator, this award is for “bloggers who shine their light throughout the Blogosphere. Some do it with humor, others with creativity, and others with their kind and thoughtful natures.”
I'm afraid my last post about "The Trial" didn't live up to all the nice things Tish had to say about me. I'll strive to do better. We are humbled and honored to receive the award from a seasoned blogger such as Tish.

Date Night Movie


Hubby really should have done some research before plunking down his $1 at the discount DVD bin for last night's movie. Orson Welles' The Trial was perhaps the most bizarre movie I've ever seen. I'll admit I was mildly amused for the first 15 minutes with the police interrogation. About 30 minutes into the movie, I turned to Scott and asked, "Did J_____ recommend this movie?" Scott and I decided a couple of years back that we would not take J's movie recommedations- as a matter of fact, they would be avoided at all costs. This movie seemed to fit his style, so I was surprised to find out it was not one of his choices. "We should give it to him," I suggested.

What to do without coffee in the mornings? I've turned to Blueberry Yogurt smoothies. It doesn't give me the caffeine boost, but it is much easier on the stomach and I can have as much as I want without getting jittery. This is Day 6 with NO caffeine at all. It is getting easier. Scott has been 10 days without caffeine, and he has a great headache STILL.
I never could get the kids to eat plain yogurt until I started making it at home. There is such a difference between homemade yogurt and the stuff you buy at the supermarket. The little ones will actually eat yogurt with no fruit or sweeteners. That being said, my two pickiest eaters love the blueberry-yogurt smoothies.