Monday, April 27, 2009

Mr. Turtle

This is a poem I wrote today for the PAD challenge, which ends this Thursday. Thanks to a wonderful gift from our neighbor, and our stupidity at placing a turtle in a shallow bowl, we now have a turtle loose in the house!

Mr. Turtle longs to be
outside by a pond where he
can bask in the early morning
sunlight or sleep in his portable
home under a big oak tree.
Instead, Mr. Turtle is being
held prisoner in a home of noisy,
unruly children and two ferocious
dogs, having escaped from a small
bowl and frantically searching for a
way outside to his family.

Rollercoasters and Flowers

Oh, the joys of parenthood. I feel sometimes as if I am on a rollercoaster. The ups and downs I go through as a mother has me screaming at times and laughing the very next moment. But I truly love being a parent and I would ride this ride over and over again if given the choice.
As you can see, Katie broke her wrist. This makes our third fracture- the other two were on our youngest and most active- Nicholas. But Katie fell just the right way- here in our home and after complaining for a few days, I took her in. I really did not think it would be anything serious, since Katie is our "drama queen," but the doctor said she had injured the growth plate in her wrist and a cast was needed. Of course, Katie has loved wearing her pink cast and getting all the attention at school- what girl wouldn't. The cast is now full of signatures and she can keep it forever, which I would have done too, when I was her age.
Even though parenthood has its challenges, the joy that comes with it is as beautiful as a springtime flower. I am grateful to be a mom- sickness, broken bones, nightmares and all. The ride is a rollercoaster of memories I will cherish forever.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bird Messenger

Today I had another wonderful, beautiful spiritual experience. I was trying to get dinner ready for the kids, Pete was working and I was lamenting on my day of substitute teaching and how I wish my kids didn't have to go through the rigamarole of portable schooling next year while a new school is being built thanks to the passing of the school bond issue, when I heard Snowy barking nonstop. Wondering what could be causing such a fuss, I looked out the back window and saw that she was looking up and barking- as if something was on the roof. So I went outside to take a peak and there was a beautiful bird perched right on the edge. This bird sat as still as a statue as the dogs continued to bark ferociously at it. I sat down on a chair because I knew this was another sign, but I didn't yet know what. I sat and prayed for at least fifteen minutes and the bird still hadn't flown away. I could hear a cardinal singing, too. Nicholas called me in to help him with something and I darted in real quick and went right back out. The bird was still there. So I started asking God what kind of message was he trying to give me? I knew I had been wrapped up in a lot of things lately and maybe He wanted me to take some time to rest. So I sat. The dogs stopped barking and went off to play, but the bird stayed there. Time was marching...Katie needed to be at a friend's house for a sleepover soon. That's when I heard the ambulance and fire truck sirens blaring down the street. They were headed to my dear old friend Libby's house. Libby and I have known each other for more than twelve years and she is the one who we hunkered down with after hurricane Ike at her brother's house north of Dallas. Libby has had some problems through the years and I have tried to help her on numerous occasions with them. Anyway, I loaded up the kids to take Katie to her friend's house and then stopped by Libby and Frank's house. She had a seizure and they were trying to convince her to go to the emergency room. When she saw me barreling through the front door, she was calmed because I was there. I hugged her and told her to go and I would call her tomorrow. Right then and there I knew that Mary had sent that bird to alarm me...and I am so grateful for that. Thank you God!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This is a poetic form called the Villanelle, written after spending some lovely time with my godson and his family.


Babies are so cute and cuddly.
I love the sweet smell of their skin.
A blessing are babes, don't you see?

Their eyes look at you so innocently,
as if they can see deep within.
Babies are so cute and cuddly.

To be held and loved is their only plea.
Entering into this world without sin.
A blessing are babes, don't you see?

Eat, sleep and poop babes do repeatedly,
then cry and cry again and again.
Babies are so cute and cuddly.

I am grateful to have had three,
and if I could, I'd get pregnant again;
a blessing are babes, don't you see?

Cherish all babies deeply;
for they come to us freely, no trade in.
Babies are so cute and cuddly.
A blessing are babes, don't you see?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Highway Robbery

Note to self:

Remember if we want to go to Luby's ever again, we must do so on a Saturday, when kids can eat for half-price. Any other day we'll just blow $40.00 like we did last night. Can you believe it? We could have eaten at a steak house for that! ( Pete and I even had Luanne Platters).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Today for the PADchallenge, we had to write an angry poem. Here's mine.

Teenage Drivers

That hot summer day
four years ago
when you looked down
to change the radio station
while driving fast
in your big white truck
on a curvy neighborhood street
and rammed into
my husband's small car
while he was innocently
driving home from church
with the three young kids,
changing our Saturn
into an accordian,
crushing my husband's neck
and ruining our serene life
changed my family forever.
I hate you for that,
irresponsible teenage driver!

On A Happy Note...

Today Pete and I, along with the kids, attended our godson's baptism. We are so honored to be baby Jack's godparents. The baptism was beautiful and Pete and I were so happy to be standing with our friends. It doesn't seem like that long ago when we were having our children baptized. I always had great anticipation for the big day because I would worry about the baby crying, nap schedules being interrupted and things like that, but this time I got to sit back and relax. I was able to help the mother with her child, and that was so nice. The whole baptism seemed longer today, but Pete said it was always that long- I was just too wrapped up in "mommyhood" to notice. Everything about the ceremony touched me. Can you believe our kids sat behind us nicely in a pew, watching their parents become godparents? They were so good. I am truly grateful for this day.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Rainy Day

Saturdays are usually filled with chores in the morning. When there's no sports game, we have time to loll around and take it easy. Pete lets me sleep in and he wakes up and cooks pancakes. I love these days. Today, Katie started following me around, from room to room. When I asked her what was wrong, she said, “I’m bored.”
“Well, remember the other night when you were on a roll cleaning your room? Why don’t you go and finish?” I answered.
“I’m so over that,” was her sleek reply.
I looked at her matter-of-factly, thinking of the dream I had the other night. We were in a church and Katie was graduating. When it was her turn, I ran behind her, trying to catch up.
I was saying, “Don’t leave me!” and waving my hands in the air trying to catch up. I woke up feeling sad. I know one day the kids will grow up and leave. Sometimes I dream about those days, imagining how Pete and I will have time to ourselves like we did before children. But I know when the day comes it will be hard. So now I want to live in the moment and enjoy each and every minute I've got with my children.
Today ended up being wet and rainy. The whole family stayed in most of the day and we enjoyed being with each other. I am thankful for that.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Here's a poem I wrote for the PAD challenge:

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

There are many ways
to say "I love you,"
like "Je t'aime,"
or "Te amo,"
or "Ti voglio bene."

But perhaps the sweetest way
to show your love for thee,
is to do thoughtful things;
for action is proof
of love you can see.

A thoughtful note,
in praise of your loved one,
or a picnic for two;
out in the sun,
walking hand in hand
through good times and bad,
being the one to lift
spirits that are sad.
A song sung or
poem written for thee;
all of these things
make our love
a lasting memory.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tornadoes Aren't Just Storms

I am scared to drive. Everyone seems so distracted, I feel like driving has become a hazard. The other day I was sitting at a red light and I watched at least ten cars making a left hand turn. As they drove by, I noticed each driver was either talking on a cell phone or had one in their hands texting on it. Not long after that, I was sitting at a red light waiting patiently when all of a sudden I got bumped from behind. Luckily, it was just a little bump and no damage, but it scared me half to death. Who knows what the distracted lady was doing. And then, while coming home from the grocery store, I noticed a car behind me, tailing me closely. A quick glance out the rear view mirror revealed a young teenage girl driving with her cell phone on top of the steering wheel, texting as she traversed the roads. Visions of the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz, pedaling on her bicycle flashed through my mind. And right then and there it hit me. I knew what my mind was trying to tell me. Driving while texting, talking on cell phones, or fidgeting with the radio is exactly like a tornado wreaking havoc through a town.
And like a tornado can destroy lives, a wreck can, too. Believe me, I know. I got the call nearly four years ago that changed my life forever. It was my husband yelling at me to come quick- there had been an accident. Wait a minute- hadn’t my husband and three children just left the classroom I was getting ready for vacation bible school? They had come to see the huge elephant Pete had drawn the previous evening for me.
I hurried out the door and drove to the sight, praying the whole way. I was unprepared for what I saw. A huge truck had rear-ended my husband’s small Saturn and it looked like an accordion in the grass. Fear took hold of me as I scanned the scene for my family.
I quickly found Pete holding our then two-year-old and trying to console him. I looked around and saw nobody lying on the ground, but I couldn’t find my other two children.
“They are in Ann’s house,” said my husband, as if he read my mind. Our friend had a house right by the accident and she had taken the older two inside.
“What happened? Do you know?” I asked, wondering how this accident could have occurred.
“Yes, I do know what happened. That teenager over there,” said my husband pointing, “was changing the radio station. He wasn’t paying attention…”

Come on people, let's stop this nonsense. Driving needs our undivided attention. I would like to add to the campaign that says "Don't drink and drive," and say "Don't text or talk, either." Be safe, please!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Our Easter Surprise

Today we had a wonderful Easter! Getting ready for mass, I heard Pete exclaim, "I can't believe it!" He had found his Aggie ring in the pants he put on for church. The last time he wore those particular slacks, he had taken some clients out to dinner. Pete was certain he had thoroughly checked the pockets, but when he put the navy pants on this morning he felt something heavy against his leg. Sure enough, there was the ring that had been missing for nearly three months. The kids are convinced that the Easter Bunny put the ring there. Thank goodness I told Pete to wait before we ordered another Aggie ring. At $800.00, that is not quite in our budget right now!

Here is a picture of the kids and me before church. Afterwards, we went over to my parents house for an Easter dinner. My sister and her family were there. Her oldest, David is engaged, and his fiancee was with him. Matt, the middle child, was home from A&M, and Sarah, the youngest (a freshman at Lamar) was also able to make it. I sure do love my family! What did you do for Easter?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Fun

Happy Easter! Today we were kept busy preparing for Easter. First, Katie and I baked and decorated our annual Easter bunny cake. As you can see, Katie likes to REALLY decorate the bunny's face- giving him candy freckles and a mouth made of almonds. We usually use licorice for the whiskers, but this year we went out on a limb and tried Pringle sticks! You gotta love a little salt with your cake.
Then we dyed eggs. I wasn't able to find my usual PAAS, so this time we used a different kind of coloring kit that uses oil and water (no stinky vinegar). The eggs actually turned out more beautiful- pastel colors of pink, purple and yellow, along with some crayon rubbings made for a fun project.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter in celebration of the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Thank you, Jesus!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Last Friday

April is National Poetry Awareness month, so a poetry group I am a member of is writing a poem a day. The chair of the blog gives us prompts each day and we post our poem for everyone to read and critique. Today's prompt was to write something about Friday. Since this is a very significant day for me, I wrote this poem I'd like to share.

The Last Friday

I last saw her on Good Friday a year ago.
We sat side by side in a church meeting
and she wrote "I love you" in a note just so.
A bond as strong as sisters is what we shared,
always there for each other, showing that we cared.
Jeans and a t-shirt is what she wore.
When we walked outside, she jumped for joy,
shouting, "It's a beautiful day-
I want to go out and play."
That is why I was so blown away
when I learned she killed herself
the very next day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Train Wreck" said the Doctor

Mrs. Angelle will be ninety-four on April 26. Last May when she had her horrible accident and ended up in the hospital, Pete and I did not think she would make it to ninety-four. But she keeps hanging in there, barely. Now her legs are swollen and as hard as rocks. She can barely walk. Her heart is bothering her and she is having a difficult time breathing. To make matters worse, we are having a hard time finding a doctor that cares enough to help. Remember the last doctor I took her to vehemently told us he could not treat people over ninety after she took off her shirt for him. Well, I finally got her into another doctor who specializes in geriatrics. The whole time we were in his office, he spoke to me only and ignored Mrs. Angelle, telling me she was a "train wreck." Then he ran a series of tests on her neck, ignoring what we were in there for-her legs (he is afraid she will have a stroke because of blockage in her neck). We left without any remedy for her swelling and I had to keep calling back before I could finally get some answers for her. Is this what we have to look forward to? All Mrs. Angelle wants is to die peacefully in her home that she loves. The doctor's nurses adored her, though, and they arranged for a nurse to come and check her vitals once a week. Until then, Pete and I will do our part to make Mrs. Angelle's last days alive as peaceful and comfortable as possible. Wish us luck!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wrecks, Hurricanes, Debts and Deaths

My Guide

Pardon me if I seem kind of bitter,
I have had a lot on my mind.
These past four years have been hell for me,
Life has not been treating me real kind.
Foremost on my mind is my family
Involved in a horrible car wreck
Totalled our car, put us in great debt
And injured my husband’s sweet neck.
Next has been the death of Mary,
A great friend I had found at last
Who could not deal with her problems
Put behind her a terrible past.
Then we’ve had two huge hurricanes
That have wreaked havoc on our life so dear
Uprooted our family for months on end
Causing damage to last through the year.
But all of this is behind me
And things are getting better each day
Because I have God to guide me
Who leads me and shows me the way.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Holy Week

I still can't help but associate Mary's death with Easter because last year it was the day before Easter that she died. Although her year anniversary has passed, the memory of what I was doing during that time weighs heavily on my mind. So this week might not be too easy for me. I have experienced a lot of peace and acceptance since Mary's one-year passing anniversary, March 22, though. I now can look back fondly on the memories and smile, which is huge for me. I used to look back on memories and cry. I have not done my usual decorations for Easter this year. We have huge Easter eggs we throw out in the yard to decorate and I have all kinds of bunny knick knacks I place all over the house. Not this year. I simply haven't had the motivation or desire to fool with all of that. I know next year will be different, because time really does heal. Until then, I will walk through this Easter week in prayer. I hope you will, too.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Now I'm Kung-Fu?

I have quirky sleep habits. My poor husband Pete has to put up with them, too. I have been known to take my socks off while I am sleeping (I don't remember doing this) and place them under Pete's pillow. Last night was the icing on the cake, though. It was a rough night. First of all, Nicholas had a bad dream and so he climbed into bed beside me, forcing me into the middle of the king-size bed. Then, the electricity went off. Pete woke up and got flashlights for us to use. After he reported the outage, he attempted to go back to sleep, but it was very warm. When he finally dozed off, he was suddenly (and painfully) awakened to the sharp kicks from his wife. "Ouch, that hurts," he said.
Meanwhile, I did not realize I was kicking my husband, for I was far away in dreamland, fighting off the evil warrior who was after me. I was running as fast as I could, away from my attacker, but he caught up with me and grabbed me. That is when I started kicking with all my might- literally. Little did I know I was kicking my innocent husband while he slept.
I had to laugh about it this morning, thinking about an old "Mad About You" episode. Pete just looked at me and said, "That's NOT funny- it hurt."
I'm sorry, honey.
I guess I'd better sleep closer to the edge tonight.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nature's Painting

What would Texas be like without the beautiful wildflowers that bloom each Spring? My personal favorite is the bluebonnet and they were beginning to take over grassy fields up towards College Station. I remember when I was in college I used to love to drive home in the Spring simply because of the beautiful flowers that painted the grasses. Blues, reds, yellows and oranges decorated the huge land expanses like an artist's palette. We were not the only ones stopping to take pictures. Families, couples, friends and even pets were spotted posing for the camera as we drove by. Now is the time to capture this beautiful sight- a natural Monet painting created by Texas wildflowers. Just be sure not to pick the bluebonnets!