Monday, May 23, 2005

It's a BOY!!

Yes the new delivery we had last week was a boy, well a bull. Yesterday we were finally able to get down to the farm and see the little fella. I have to say he’s not so little. He is a week old today. Man oh man I am glad that my offspring were a wee bit smaller. Mina asked today if she could hold the baby cow. I said if she was able to catch him she could. She realized that that would be impossible and said she didn’t think she would hold him today.

It was a nice day we had. We did not do anything to involved and the weather was great. It was overcast and breezy and not too warm. It is always a wonderful time we are really enjoying the farm life. The kids are so much fun to watch in all that they do there. They are almost hillbillies. Well, I have to say they ARE hillbillies.

Well, I’d love to stay and chat but it’s getting late and there is school tomorrow. So I’ll say goodbye for now.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The teacher we ALL remember.....

We’ve all had them. The teacher that we remember so clearly that it seems like only yesterday we were sitting in their class. We remember how they looked, how they sounded, even how they used to mark our papers. Oh, the good old days.

This year marked the beginning of Michael’s educational career and to believe it’s almost over. I just have to say it again, “where, oh where does the time go?” He is not the same boy that started school back in August. The growth and the learning are astounding. Never would I have thought that he would be coming away from this year with all that he has.

Mrs. Steele, yes I’m thinking that she may be the one. I can’t even begin to say how pleased I am and what a fabulous first year she has given us, Michael more specifically. Her teaching career is not just a job I believe that it is truly her calling. Her patients and tender hand, lovingness and compassion for each and every child are remarkable. I have had the privilege of accompanying her on several field trips and participate in class parties as well as just chatting on the playground. To see her with the kids and be all knowing at all times is something. She is not only a teacher she is a magician. A wrong is made right effortlessly, a crying child stops almost instantly and where they may have been one short of something…..whaa-la there is another one. When watching such things it is nothing short of magic.

Not only did Mrs. Steele provide a wonderful learning environment for Michael she also gave me the sense of security a Mother loves when leaving her child anywhere. There was also plenty of learning for me. I enjoyed although brief very stimulating conversations with Mrs. Steele. I always came away with something good to think about or apply in my own life. Her spiritual foundation is solid, one that overflows into her teaching, as I’m sure everything else she does.

I know there will be many more teachers in the lives of my children. But I know as sure as I sit here today that this Kindergarten teacher will be “The teacher that we ALL remember.”

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Reaping what we Sow

Even the people that scoff the Bible I know believe this verse. It is not only common sense but it’s there in black and white. I personally believe everything that the Bible says but for those of you that don’t I know you believe this. It’s even been heard said. Job 4:8 “As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.”

People want what they want out of life, be it short term or long. Whether it is a project, a class they are taking, job or promotion, raising kids or having relationships with others. All of these must have an active party in it. I’m sorry to have to inform you but things just do not happen all by themselves for the most part. You have to be involved. You want an “A” on the project or in the class, so get busy. You want that promotion, then don’t just sit there and wait for it. Get off your duff and go get it. You want children that are kind, giving respectful and a pleasure to be around, then TEACH them. And what did you say? You want to have healthy relationships with people that are important to you, so start building.

I’m appalled at how often I hear “ they just don’t treat me the way they should” or “I didn’t get the job I wanted” or “why didn’t I get to do this or that?” Well, more often than not, the efforts just weren’t there. They want what they want. But refuse to do anything to get it.

So my thought is this. You want it then go and get it. You want to enjoy good, healthy and loving relationships with people then start building them. Our children are the next in line. If you want to have adult children that love and respect you and others then start teaching them that now. And has parents we are to do the same thing for them even at this young age. Love them, encourage them, praise them in ALL that they do and most of all discipline them. A very wise man once told me “love your children 100% and discipline them 100% and you’ll never loose your balance.” That man is my Dad……and yes he is JUST that wise.

If you think at all that you may not like what you will be reaping next week, next month or anytime later in life you can change it. Start planting different seeds and begin tending more closely your gardens. I too had some seed changing to do and even had to pull out plants that had already started growing. It was hard and I didn’t like doing it but it will be well worth all my efforts. When I see the beautiful flourishing plants that are in my gardens, these gardens are the sweet lives of my children.

It is just heart breaking to see people working there entire lives to just regret what they are now reaping. This happens because they were not paying close enough attention to what they were sowing.

Sowing or sewing, watch out for that needle it could get you!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mommyyyyyyy, My Goldfish!!!

Yes, the brightly colored orange little guys that have graced the desks, dressers and nightstands of kids for decades. These same jelly eyed, finned friends would swim to the glass in hopes to receive a flaky morsel. Most of which would get more then ample bounty. Also, with the memory capacity of that of my best friend ever….Salena, they would swim for miles and miles to get right back where they began. Essentially, going nowhere.

And all this just to be found belly up by its loving little caregiver and sent to a watery grave with one simple flush. However, for the civilized and sophisticated ones of our race, there would be a lovely memorial service in the back yard. This service consisted of family and friends along with the deceased. This being the formal affair it is the loyal friend would be laying in state in a shoebox that once was home to a pair of Prada’s. Naturally all along being held by it’s grieving owner.

Oh gosh, I got off on a tear! “Goldfish”…I was referring to the snack cracker. You know, the ones “that smile until you bite their heads off”. Being a young family, with a six-year-old son and four year old daughter we spend our fair share of time burning up the roads. School – home- bank- post office-home…. oops 2pm back to school. On some days it’s then off to dance and Michael is ALWAYS over joyed. He once suggested that I leave him home by himself and return to him when dance was over. Oh, the simplicity of being a child.

Anyway, we for the most part eat at home but have been known to darken the door of a fast food joint or two. Well, darken the drive thru really….remember we are in a hurry. And always try to have snacks in the car. Even if that meant looking on the floor, under the seats, door pockets and yes even removing the actual car seat. Upon doing that not so regular task we discover an array of what some may call fine dining. A smorgasbord if you will. Lets see, Skittles, peanuts, cheese-nips, raisins and chips to name a few items. There is even some coinage found, which is quickly confiscated by the locator for his or her piggy bank. Well, on this day Mina and I were at friends and the clock was about to strike the magic hour of 2pm. Time to pick up big brother. Tyler asked for a drink upon our departure and not only received it but one for Michael as well and a snack for both of them. Well, as most parents of young children know, there is a “black hole” in our vehicles. This is the place where all things go. “Where is my baseball?’…I don’t know it was in the car. “Where is my other sneaker?”…..I don’t know it was in the car. “Where is the dog?”……I don’t know it was in the car. Needless to say when reaching the school and retrieving Michael – Mina stated proudly that she had a drink and a snack for him. Now, where did it go??? I get out and look and look and look…….no cheese and cracker snack pack to be seen. Mina’s choice was the snack size bag of goldfish yes the goldfish. Being the tender heart she is and the ideal little sister she was more them willing to share her fish. Michael being pleased with her decision quickly volunteers to “open” the bag for her. After doing so he took it upon himself to divide the bag. Now, being only in Kindergarten and barely having the adding and subtracting mastered you can only imagine how he made out with the division. While driving and on our way to his favorite place….dance I look back and see a look of horror on Mina’s face. Only after Michael made a convincing declaration of “Mommy, I didn’t take them all” did I understand. Tyler was by then looking into her bag and spotting only “3” fish said very unhappily……..”Mommy, my goldfish”

Me being the math wizard that I am was able to rectify the unbalance and all ended well. I believe this was the only time I remember thinking “man, it’s a dang good thing I was paying attention in 3rd grade math. I shutter to think of what the outcome could have been.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

My "MaMina"

Is it a word that is made up or one that has true meaning and can be defined? I really don’t know to be honest with you. Nor do I care.

MaMina ( ma-mee-na): little Mommy, caregiver, nurturing one, helper, stand in authority figure. The list can go on and on.

This is what I started calling Tyler when she was just about 6 months old. Thinking it sounded sweet and just fit her, even at that young age I continued. As she has grown from that 6 month old to a beautiful, energetic and bright four year old I discovered I was right on target with the name.

Now my sweet little girl is simply called “Mina” for short and “Mi” for shorter.

I really believe that Mothers do know BEST!

And THIS is why she is called "MaMina"

"Michael keep your eyes closed"

Monday, May 16, 2005

Addition to the Fa-moooo-ly!

That’s right you heard me. Our family has increased again by one. We received a phone call this afternoon from the neighbors near our farm. The news was that one of our little ladies down there had a calf. Apparently, she gave birth some time late last night or very early this morning. They were at the farm hauling some dirt and thought “hmmmm, that looks like a pretty big dog over there.” After closer inspection they discovered it was a calf.

One of these is now called Mom!

We purchased these heifers last fall but didn’t know any of them were bred. What a surprise! I’m sure it wasn’t much of a surprise for Mama. I mean she sure knew she was expecting, especially after going into labor. It is quite an experience, witnessing the birth of a calf. I remember at my brother Marks farm years ago when he had one calving. Talk about something that looked painful, man oh man!! If anyone was on the fence about whether they were going to have children or not, that would have solved it.

Our bull Sampson but NOT Daddy

Honey is proud of his new herd member. He was so excited to hear of the new delivery that I actually thought he was going to start passing out cigars. Imagine a boy out of the Bronx raising Angus. Who would have thought such a thing? I have to admit he is quite the farmer. He reads everything he can get his hands on and does more research then anyone else I know. He is a very informed farm boy.

The kids are all excited too. Michael wanted to know if it was a “bull” or “cow” and Mina just wanted to see it “right now.” I know in her little mind she is thinking, " baby, I little baby cow.” She is visualizing a stroller, bottles, etc. She is just a little Mommy.

Daddy better keep on building those kitchens, we have another mouth to feed.

Who is to say whose wasting time?

The comment made more than I care to hear is:

“I think you must have too much time on your hands.”

What these people are basically saying is that in their opinion, you are wasting time. Now, what I would like to know is exactly who are they to say. It seems to me as though, if you are not cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn, washing the car or doing laundry you are doing nothing but wasting time. Don’t let anyone hear that you are doing something that you truly enjoy. If they catch wind of such a thing, be prepared for the infamous “too much time” gammit.

No matter the interest, canning, sewing, gardening, picture taking, painting, teaching a VBS class or even volunteering your services you could be accused of such an act.

I personally don’t care much about tinkering with old cars but I know men that do. I also don’t have much interest in sewing or quilting but I know women that have. The fact that my interests do not lie in these areas does not make these activities any less important to such people. It would never occur to me to even think never mind say that they were wasting their time.

What to do with people that do not think you are using your time wisely because you are not being productive? Or they themselves have no interest in your activity. Should they deter you from continuing to do the things you enjoy? I certainly hope not.

The next time you have this overwhelming urge to accuse someone of wasting time perhaps you could rethink it. Even follow their lead by spending a little time each day doing something you truly enjoy. You will be amazed how much happier you will be.

My hat is off to the women who know how to stop for coffee with a girlfriend to discuss the joys of raising children. And the men who stop by the neighbors to talk about how the fishing has been lately over a glass of tea.

After all what is this life that we are living worth if we don’t take time to LIVE any of it.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

How Fast They Grow!!

I often look at my kids and stand in amazement of how quickly they are growing. It seems as though it were only last month that I was bringing them home from the hospital. A couple of weeks ago they were learning how to walk and cutting teeth. And it was just last week that they were learning how to say their own names.

Now, it’s ball, bikes, and ballet, reading to ME and loosing teeth. My goodness, how does that happen? I would like to know just how long my head was turned that I missed it. Not really missing it just not noticing that is was happening right before my eyes. It’s amazing truly amazing.

Just yesterday Michael came to me and said “Mommy, I have a loose tooth on the bottom.” WOW!! A tooth that will be falling out the “right” way how exciting? I really think that I will remember how they look right now at this time in their life but come on who am I kidding? Their little “original” smiles. The ones they have before teeth begin falling out. The way their little hands hold a pencil or spoon.

Even the size of their toes, today. I know it may seem a bit odd but I want to know and be able to see what they looked like today, ten years from now.

I’ve decided to take pictures of some things that are specific so that will be possible. I believe the kids too will enjoy seeing them in later years.

Before we know it they will be grown and gone and all the sweet little things along with them. What we will be left with are the memories of how they looked and things they said. I think it important to preserve all we can of these precious times of our children. They are gone all to quickly just because of “How Fast They Grow.”

Is it ambana or bambana??

So, summer time is approaching and on some days I'm convinced it's here. On this particular Sunday afternoon, Anthony the event coordinator that he is "has a plan". He is going to bring us all to 8th Ave. to see a Harley bike rally but without the kids knowing. It was nearly lunch time (that is whenever Daddy is hungry) and it was getting warm so into Mrs. Winner's we go. This is a chicken joint that is held in high regard here in Tennessee. Now, if you ask my Dad there is no other. If it isn't 'KFC' it just isn't chicken.

We're having lunch and Daddy is now priming the kids for all the up coming excitement. He's asking Michael "wouldn't it be cool if we saw like a thousand motorcycles go by?" "It would be great if we saw Ricky drive by with a couple of his friends, huh?" Ricky is a friend that has a Harley, a beautiful one at that and rides in the Rallies.

"Yo! Mom, now that we have the head gear straighened out how 'bout buttonin' my pants?"

We just break out the vittles and here they come. Bike after bike after bike after bike. Michael's eyes grew into flying saucers, I mean if it were dark out he would have been identified as a "UFO". He looked at Anthony with some confusion and asked "Daddy, are all these Ricky's friends?" I could see his point, look what his father JUST said to him. Well, being inside just wasn't good enough. I hear "honey, stay here and guard the food, I'm taking the kids out to the sidewalk." I mean really, it's NOT like it's 'KFC' or anything. Out they go and there I sit with a family pack of 8 watching through plate glass. It was worth it, the sitting alone, the high pressure of standing guard over the family meal and having passers by looking at me like I was lost. Very hungry and lost. Just to see the excitement of the kids and to see that moment being shared with their Dad.

They actually saw Ricky and were able to finish their lunch.

Aunt Jemima OR Michael?

Back at the ranch there was a peice of furniture that Ant made for the mudroom that needed to be moved. Mind you it was as long as his truck. I'm thinking man oh man, he really believes I can help him move this? I was also thinking he's insane and I'm NOT! After seeing the beads of sweat on my forehead he so kindly informed me that he had help. Joe was coming, WHEW!!!

Joe arrives sporting a "dew rag", something that the kids are familiar with. Honey wears them all summer due to the fact that there is no longer the natural scalp protection that most of us still enjoy. Michael comes running up the walk "Mommy, I want a bandana". There is a mad search and "whaa-la" he emerges with one in his hand. Of course Mina is hot on his heels in need of the same thing. "Mommy, I want a ambana too." I giggle and say that it is a bandana. "Ok, Mommy, can I have one?" Another search and she too had a successful mission. "Mommy, here can you put on this bambana for me?" Now it's a belly laugh. Tyler with her eyes wide and her head tilted and the certainty that one of them were correct asks "what is it again, a ambana or bambana?" I squeezed her tight and told her again that they were bandanas. Just today I asked her what they were and guess what she said........

What is this "blog" thing anyway??

I have succumb to the "blog". Honesty I have just spent the better part of last week complaining about the stupidity of these on line journals. Salena began one of these "blogs" to keeps friends and family informed of her life activities. Since shes become mobile with her new flame Eddie that is something that has become increasingly more difficult to do. So her blog was born.

Blog. To the best of my understanding it originated from the term "web log". If you say that fast, go ahead and do it now. This way you will know what I'm talking about. It sounds like blog. These were designed for people to share thoughts, ideas, stories, pictures etc. In other words, allowing people to be apart of your everyday without actually being there. How FUN!!"

Light Bulb" idea. Why don't I start one? So after all my bad mouthing I pick up the phone and call Salena and say "I want one". "A blog, I want one". Naturally she laughs and spends some time ragging on me which was well deserved. I decided that instead of just sending random pictures it would be nice to tag a little story to it. This way my family and friends that miss the everyday comings and goings of my kids will feel that they are apart of their lives. There are things that are seen or said daily by these curious little creatures that I feel is blog worthy.

Salena has been my computer mentor now for abour 2 years. Man oh man, what there is to learn. I have to say I was completely disconnected from the world of technology. However, Salena would just not stand for it. She stated "it's the 21st century and you ARE going to learn how to use this thing". Well, before I knew it I was online with an email address, had a camera, was creating online photo albums and even learned how to burn CD's. All this from a girl who spent years without a cordless! I owe all of my computer knowledge to her and thank her regularly for her help and her insistance on my learning. My camera has become one of my essentials for everyday. I don't think I could live without it.

Now it's on to the next. The blog. Salena again has been instrumental in the creating of my blog. Thank goodness for free "Verizon" minutes. Her willingness to teach me how all these thing work enables our family to stay better in touch. Helps me to share my life and the life of my family with all of you.

I hope you enjoy the daily postings and please feel free to leave a comment when you like. I too want to know what is happening with you.

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