Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Real Advice...updated!

I recently came across this little tidbit and really enjoyed it. It's great advice and all true.

Rule 1: Life is not fair -- get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine aboutyour mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life
HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give
you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and
very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
This list is the work of Charles J. Sykes, author of the book Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can't Read, Write, Or Add. (The list has appeared in newspapers, although not necessarily in this book.) Many versions omit the last three rules:

Rule No. 12: Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic.
Next time you're out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth.
That's what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for "expressing yourself"
with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.

Rule No. 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.) If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven't seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.

Rule No. 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now. You're welcome."

-This is exactly why God gave us parents instructions in Proverbs about how to raise our kids so that they will grow into responsible, self confident men and women of God who do the right thing.

The only thing on here that I found fault with is the purple hair thing. Sure, some people will think you look moronic, but others might just find you approachable enough to listen when you tell them how much Jesus loves them.....all because of your purple hair. You just don't know. (Oh, and the one that says we parents are boring because Big Daddy and I are almost NEVER boring! *grin*)


Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one."
-C.S. Lewis
A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is my beloved and this is my friend.
-Song of Solomon

I spent the day on the beach with my best friend, Anita, recently. We met her family in Portland (where they were staying while attending the wedding of Nita's cousin) and drove to Seaside, Oregon to celebrate her son Jonathan's 1st birthday and to spend the day together. It was a wonderful day with great weather, warm sand and lots of catching up as she lives in Utah and I am here. Thinking about that day caused me to reflect on our many years of friendship.

Anita and I met in the 6th grade. I was the new girl in school fresh from the big city. We had just moved to Whitefish, Montana that summer from the Portland, Oregon area and I only knew 1 other kid my age when school started........and that was only because his parents and mine were friends.

I was seated by her and we fell into an easy friendship. We would spend our recesses together and soon we were having overnighters and dinners together. What began as simple friendship blossomed into a very close bond. Even when her parents moved her to Kansas City so her father could work on his degree in music in our 8th grade year, we wrote faithfully back and forth and told each other all the details of our everyday lives and shared who we were madly in love with at the time. When she returned, we simply picked up right where we had left off in our letters to each other as if there had never been any distance.

Through high school, we were inseparable. I probably spent at least as much time at her house as my own and sometimes more. Her parents became my second parents. I called them Mom2 and Papa C. and they adopted me as their "other kid". We went fishing with Papa C together and I even visited her in Calgary, Canada when she was a nanny for a really neat family. We did everything together we possibly could. I knew her husband as a friend before they began courtship and college.

Now, we watch each other's children grow up while exchanging pictures, parenting tips and sharing new milestones. Our kids play together and we consider each other family. It won't be long until we are consoling each other in our empty-nestedness it seems, though it is still a long way off. We have already shared the grief of losing a parent when my mother passed away in January. Soon it will be high school graduations we will attend and how long until we get to share a wedding? Amazing. Time passes like a river flowing by. You listen and admire the gentle babbling or you endure the rough tumbling a while lost in the wonder of it all and soon you find yourself asking, "how long have I been here?"

We have been friends for 25 years now. Wow, that's a lot of time. We've known each other for much longer than we haven't. I can't imagine my life without her. God knew we needed each other and it is largely because of my friendship with her that I now enjoy a relationship with Him. He is amazing in all of His orchestration of the seemingly insignificant details of human lives. Everything has a distinct purpose in His master plan. I am so grateful for all of the friends He's placed in my life, but this one friendship is a shining diamond to me. I would not be whole without her. She knows me better than anyone else and for that I am humbly blessed.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mr. Meticulous turns 10!

Well, it was bound to happen. Mr. Meticulous has finally reached double digits. We celebrated with a family party on his actual birthday (June 11th). As you can see, he couldn't decide between a carrot cake and german we had both! Yum Yum!
and then he just celebrated with his friends last weekend with a letterboxing birthday party at Mt. Pisgah.

I carved a special stamp just for him

......and planted it as his own letterbox which everyone hunted at the party. It was a blast!

All in all, I would say he is well celebrated!
(And I have to admit, he is my favorite 10 year old boy!)
Happy Birthday "Fin the Mighty"!
...that's his letterboxing trail name in case you were wondering...

A Quiet Afternoon

Just when I think something is impossible God has a way of reminding me not only that He's the one in charge, but also that nothing is impossible for Him.

One day a couple weeks ago, I was busily working on paying bills and organizing our finances with the computer and little Mister was being his busy little self along side me. He was going on and on about watching a movie (which, much to his dismay, could not be allowed as it was a "no-movie-day") and not taking my no for an answer. After stopping several times to read to him and trying to distract him with other things I finally just told him to "find something else to do until Mama is done!" With a sad "OK" he walked away and I finally had a minute to focus on the bills. I felt a little guilty, but that soon passed as I made some actual headway through my piles.

About a half hour later, as I finished up the last thing I had to do, I suddenly realized I hadn't heard anything from little Mister for quite a while and my Mommy instincts were instantly on red-alert! No noise usually meant BIG trouble...........or BIG MESS!

As I searched the whole house for him, my voice grew more frantic with each empty room. Finally, near frantic, I rushed out the back door nearly tripping down the stairs and stopped dead in my tracks. There on the rocking bench, in the shade of our huge cherry tree, lay little Mister .....ASLEEP!!!!

As I laughed at myself and God's sense of humor, I watched the sunlight dance across his sleeping face. I am richly blessed and grateful that God loves us all.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Beautiful Way to Exercise

My sister and I headed off to Ashland for a belated birthday adventure over the past weekend. She had always wanted to go to Ashland for the Shakespeare Festival but had never been, so this year for her birthday (way back in May) my gift to her was tickets to see The Taming of the Shrew which neither of us had seen before.

We ate dinner at Il Gardino. We both ordered the Risotto dish with saffron, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and chicken. It was well worth the wait....even if it was a VERY LONG one...and the owner insisted we have a special treat "because de waita wasa so longa". He brought us vanilla icecream with fresh sliced strawberries and balsamic vinegar! As weird as it sounds, it was VERY yummy. The balsamic vinegar actually has a sweet base to it so it pairs nicely with the berries and cold icecream.

The play was another marvelous experience with full shakespearean dress as we had hoped it would be. The actors were world class entertainers as always and though we nearly shivered out of our skin (because in our rush to get to dinner we mistakenly forgot to bring along our sweaters to fend off the chill in the open air theatre....which, believe me, will NOT happen again), we thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

I also bought her tickets for a backstage tour of all three of the theatres, so we were up and cruisin' the town by 9:30 am. Now, on the website and the advertisements about the tour it says you will be walking 6 flights of stairs. What they neglect to tell you is that you will be walking these 6 flights of stairs......SEVERAL times! Oy! It was neat to learn about the festival and understand a little more about how they pull it all off.

Afterward, since we had skipped breakfast, we ate lunch at Munchies which is always a must on any Ashland trip. We must have very similar palates because we ordered the same thing for the second time: a BLTA (bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado).....oh yummy.

I introduced my sister to letterboxing a little on the drive down. We stopped at a couple of boxes in Cottage Grove and then we attempted Green Tortuga's box at the Applegate Rest Stop. That was fun! After pacing out 39 individual "X paces at W degrees" instructions we found ourselves not where we should have been and after hunting in the heat for about a half-hour we decided we couldn't find it and would try again on the way home. After rehashing the clue again, we discovered that THE WHOLE TIME we had been travelling in the exact OPPOSITE direction because I was reading the compass wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After laughing our hineys off, we opted to travel on to Ashland and try that mess again on the way home.

After lunch at Munchies, we headed out into Lithia Park. I wanted to check on a letterbox I had planted there last March, so I let her figure out my clues and we had a great time. I helped her find the Shakespeare Series and we hunted Romeo's Ex, which had a very creative puzzling clue. Unfortunately, the first box of the two had been vandalized. We salvaged what we could and I will mail it to the owners as soon as possible. I had another box to plant so we hunted for a good hiding spot and found the perfect one. All in all, we hiked pretty much non-stop for 6 hours! WOW! My shins were pretty sore the next day.

We have many more plans in the works about Ashland and letterboxing, so I'm sure this is only a drop in the bucket. What a blast!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

little Mister's first bike ride

On the spur of the moment the other day, while Big Daddy and I were cleaning out the garage, all the kiddos decided to take little mister on his first bike ride. I giggled to see him out there riding his little bike in his pj's and cowboy boots. He's so cute!

It was a wonderful thing to see the olders helping the little guy out.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Mr. Meticulous finishes his Alaska Report

Well, we've had a blast putting together a report on Alaska for Mr. Meticulous' 4th grade class. I had to take pictures before it went off to school today because I'm not sure when it will come back home again. He did a lot of work researching interesting facts and finding cool pictures with me on the web.

Tonight we will finish the final copy of his written report and he will give his presentation to the class at the end of the week. We are so proud of him and his effort and it is neat to see the glow on his face when he admires his finished project. He was so excited to take it in and kept saying "I bet no one else thought of doing it this way, Mom!"

Here's the finished project.