Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Week

I just realized that it has been a week since I blogged. That is very likely due to the fact that it has been a whirlwind week. I worked and the kids had school Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday the kids were out of school but I worked a half day. I thought I would be able to get out just a little earlier, but as it goes, I worked right up until noon, went to have lunch with Chris (he works on the other side of Dallas and I haven't had the chance to go see him during work before) then came home and just took inventory of my house and schedule and started in on things to do. Ben came over that night and we just hung out and watched a movie on TV and did laundry.

Thanksgiving morning, I got up and started making a few breakfast dishes. We planned on having brunch about 11:00 just to tide us over until we went to Chris's parent's house for dinner that night. I made a breakfast pizza and sopapia cheese cake, croissants and sausage. It was a lot of fun, just me, Chris, the kids and mom sitting around talking. Then came the time to rest and veg and cook for dinner that night. It was very enjoyable to be with a large, happy family this year. Cathy's husband had to work, but her younger two daughters and my kids were there. It was definitely a full house.

Yesterday was full of running around and two basketball games. Ben is on the 9th grade B Team this year. They had a tournament out at Western Hills High School this weekend. The first game was at 9:30 yeasterday morning. They played again at 1:30 and again this morning at 10:40. They won the first game and lost the last two, which knocked them out for any type of win. Ben was very disappointed as he is very competitive and takes it on himself if his team looses. The kids went to spend some time with their cousin's yesterday since the girls are in town from New Mexico. That opened up an opportunity for Chris and I to go spend time with my best friend Missy and her boyfriend Brad. It is something I haven't been able to do and really enjoyed it! We played a dice game called L C R, which was fun. We played with quarters and I won - $3 - but I won!

I finished up the laundry this morning, but of course, there is always more where that came from. I really have to get on the ball and keep up twice a week instead of stressing out to get it done on the weekend. All in all it has been a great weekend and I have enjoyed being able to relax and go at my own pace (sort of) and just have lots of time to get everything done before I go back to work.

Monday I have jury duty so I will let you know how that goes! :)
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Word of the Day - non sequitur

I have decided to come up with a new form of blogging since band is over and my life is not all THAT exciting. I am going to do a "Word of the Day" and see if I can relate it to my life - probably more exciting for me than anyone else!

non sequitur • \NAHN-SEK-wuh-ter\ • noun
1 : an inference that does not follow from the premises
*2 : a statement (as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said
Example Sentence:
The professor's lecture was a jumble of non sequiturs and irrelevant observations.

Did you know?
In Latin, "non sequitur" means "it does not follow." The phrase was borrowed into English in the 1500s by people who made a formal study of logic. For them it meant a conclusion that does not follow from the statements that lead to it. But we now use "non sequitur" for any kind of statement that seems to come out of the blue. The Latin verb "sequi" ("to follow") has actually led the way for a number of English words. A "sequel" follows the original novel, film, or television show. Someone "obsequious" follows another about, flattering and fawning. And an action is often followed by its "consequence."

So, non sequitur/sequel/consequence - that's what I'm going with. I am in the sequel of my life. It does not follow my past relationships at all. I am with a man who is loving and very attentive, things I did not have growing up or during my marriage. My children have a man in their life who is a positive influence, who loves life and wakes up happy every day. Now THAT is non sequitur to what we are normally like. None of us wakes up happy, except maybe Jonathan, and it usually takes him a few minutes to wake up. It has been an interesting two months with band going fast and strong and then suddenly there is nothing - which is a good thing.

My hope and prayer for my children is that the consequence of my divorce and relationship following will be an example of how to love and how not to love. As much as my parents may hate to accept it, they did not have a loving relationship and were not a good example to their children of how to have a good marriage. I want to break the cycle of bad relationships and destructive behavior that plagues families all over the world. I believe that it has made me a better parent, a more loving and open person for those who love me and accept me unconditionally. Allow those you love to be who they are. Don't put expectations on people. Jesus accepts us unconditionally without judgement. In the spirit of the holiday season, learn to love and forgive, accept the mistakes you have made and move on in the best way you know how. THAT is very non sequitur to the way most of us live our lives.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Home Sick

I get to work this morning and as I am sitting down at my computer to get my day started, my cell phone rings. I see the number and recognize that it's the school calling. It's the school nurse telling me that Jonathan just threw up everywhere. GREAT! Man, how awful for him, for the teacher - ugh. I just have a few things to gather up so that I can work from home, get my mom to go get him and head out at the first chance I get. I'm thankful my boss is so understanding. It's been pretty slow lately since it's almost Thanksgiving.He's doing much better, by the way.

I can't believe it's so close to the holidays already. I am more ready for it this year than in the past years. This month celebrates five years that we have lived in this house. December will celebrate 5 years since my divorce. I can't believe it's been five years. I definitely feel like I am a much better person, woman, mom, friend. I am more comfortable in my own skin than I have ever been. My kids have come so far and have grown up to be almost adults. Michael seemed like such a child five years ago. Now he is almost a legal adult and I look at him like he's a man, even though he calls me mommy when he's not feeling his best. Alyssa is turning into such a young woman, independent and strong, I love it and hate it at the same time. She comes by it naturally though! Ben has grown more in the last month than I thought possible. I miss him but I'm happy that he is where he wants to be right now. I think it's been the best thing for him to gain some independence and grow up a little bit. Jonathan is becoming a little man himself. He is still the baby, but he is independent too - and I'm trying very hard to let him grow up.

The dog at the top is Cheyenne, Chris's dog. If you know my two dogs, can you imagine how they are handling her? The were getting used to her coming over and then we went out of town and they completely forgot who she was. She is a super sweet 60 pound lap dog and my two pests just bark at her. We are going to need therapy for the dogs soon!!
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back to Life

The kids were out of school yesterday and I took the morning off to get Alyssa and Michael to school to do the finals that they missed Thursday and Friday. It was hard to be at work when I just really wanted to be at home vegging. Apparently, Ben has made the basketball team at Bedford Junior High. I need to call today and find out when his games are. At least I don't have to contend with band. Jonathan is just happy to have me home for a while. We are all ready for a break from school and work.

Thanksgiving will be fun and different this year, I think. I am going to decorate the house a little this week with all my decorations that I haven't gotten out in a few years. Chris's mom has asked me what our Thanksgiving plans are. I am planning on just getting a small turkey to make for lunch and just have small dishes of our favorite things, maybe even a brunch kinda thing. Chris's family does a late dinner and it would be nice to be in a house full of people again. Chris's sister has three girls, two that still live at home. We go over there for Sunday lunch and it's just a house full when all the kids are there and sometimes they bring friends. I am looking forward to it.

I am back to life as "normal" I guess. For now things are going really well. I think Ben is enjoying living with his dad. He has his own room, his own space, even though he has two "little brothers" living there now. Michael is working again, saving for a "new" Jeep. Jonathan is just Jonathan. He lives life and doesn't worry about too much. He loves Chris and that makes me happy. Alyssa is thinking hard about whether she wants to do IB next year or not. I think we are going to make an appointment with the IB counselor to talk about her options. It's a great opportunity for her but it is a little overwhelming not really knowing what all is in store.

It's been a good year.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Back from Indy with a Smile

We are finally back from Indianapolis with a great outcome. The trip for all was very wearing but very worth it. The band arrived on Thursday night, Chris and I arrived on Friday night. We missed the prelims because of our flight, but from what the kids said, they had a hard time with the new turf of Lucas Oil Stadium and the pro hash marks vs. the high school hash marks. No matter, they still went on to Semi-Finals on Saturday.

Chris and I got stuck in Chicago and ended up renting a car and making the three hour drive into Indianapolis, which was a good thing. Just as we were entering the city, Michael called to tell me he was having an allergic reaction to something he had eaten for dinner and could see his cheek swelling up to his vision. Thankfully, we were just blocks from the hotel, so I called Chris's sister to ask her to get a hold of the nurse and meet me in the lobby. The band always travels with a nurse and her husband, a doctor, came along for the trip to Indy. I rushed into the hotel to find Michael and get some Benadryl to see if that would help. Michael has been known to have a very random reaction to things with tomatoe but after having him allergy tested with nothing confirmed, we basically just wait for things to happen. The next morning, they had to give him more medicine because he still wasn't feeling very well. That seemed to take care of the reaction.

The band performed in Semi-finals at around noon. The show was fabulous and the crowd reaction was wonderful and motivating as usual. Results for Semi-finals were:

Class AAA:

Outstanding Music Performance - L.D. Bell H.S., TX
Outstanding Visual Performance - Avon H.S., IN
Outstanding General Effect - Avon H.S., IN

1st - Avon H.S., IN
2nd - Lawrence Central H.S., IN
3rd - L.D. Bell H.S., TX

We drew the second spot to perform in Finals, which isn't always the best. The statistics are such that a band who has won and comes back the next year to defend their title doesn't place in the top three. Knowing that going in, everyone was a little concerned about the outcome of the finals competition. I know that my kids were extremely pleased with their job in the show. That meant the most to me, that they were happy with their personal performance.

On Saturday, November 15th, at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, the L.D. Bell Band placed second at the Bands of America Grand Nationals Championship. L.D. Bell stands alone, having placed in the top three at BOA Grand Nationals for the past four years (2005 - 3rd; 2006 - 2nd; 2007 - 1st; 2008 - 2nd). Congratulations to Avon High School as the 2008 Grand National Champion!
Since 2000 the Blue Raider Band has now medaled at BOA events 19 times and has been in the top 5 of all entered contests since 1999... with a 50% increase in enrollment since 2003, it can be surmised that many students find band at L.D. Bell to be fun. Congratulations to L.D. Bell Band stakeholders past and present!

2008 Grand National Championship Results:

1st place - Avon H.S., IN
2nd place - L.D. Bell H.S., TX
3rd place - Lawrence Central H.S., IN
4th place - Marian Catholic H.S., IL
5th place - Carmel H.S., IN
6th place - Broken Arrow H.S., OK
7th place - Tarpon Springs H.S., FL
8th place - Kennesaw Mountain H.S., GA
9th place - Centerville H.S., OH
10th place - Ben Davis H.S., IN
11th place - Plymouth-Canton Ed. Park, MI
12th place - Lafayette H.S., LA

During the final performance, it dawned on me that this was the last time that Michael would march, unless he marched in a college band. I didn't cry, but it was a little sad. He has come so far since his beginning high school. The funny thing is when we got to the hotel to see the kids off on the bus he said "I'm so glad I won't have to wear that ugly uniform every again!" Well, at least he wasn't sad! Alyssa wanted me to come up and see her hotel room. The time it took me just to get on the elevator to get up to her room was challenging. Then I got to her room and it was such a complete mess that I was just thinking I wanted to get out of there! Six teenaged girls in one suite was crazy! I just laughed and told them to make a double and triple check of the room before they shut the door. There is no telling what got left behind.

I think to myself that I have three more years of this (hopefully) and and I just need to get it together and not stress out with having two kids and two uniforms to care for. It is all very worth it if my kids are happy. It's back to the normal life now. Gosh - what am I gonna do with my time???

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Getting Ready for Indy

The band leaves for Indianapolis tonight. They are defending their Grand Nationals Champion title. The statistics are that they will not win again, but their show is amazing - again - and we are certainly hoping for the best! Alyssa is very excited about getting to go this year. This is Michael's third and last time to go. It always makes me a little nervous to send them off on a bus overnight, but we have used the same bus company for a while and have had no problems. I know they research everything possible before they sign a contract.

Chris and I are flying with his parents on Friday and hopefully will be back on Sunday. We are staying at the Hilton Indianapolis where I stayed last year. There is a new stadium in Indy - Lucas Oil Stadium. We were the last band to march in the old stadium. It will be exciting to see the new stadium fully complete. We saw it last year as it was being built. I just hope there is a tunnel to get there because I just checked the weather and it's supposed to be snowing on Saturday! Yeah!! I love the cold weather and it's not getting cold enough here for me.

I will keep everyone posted and updated with pictures as soon as I can.
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Friday, November 7, 2008

Just Thinking Again

I am looking forward to this weekend. I have the kids and not too much to do. We had the last football game last night - thank you Jesus! Trinity beat Bell 30-20, but it was a really good game and the weather is getting cold enough that it's fun to be outside at night. I think the kids are relieved to be done with football. Tonight and tomorrow night the band is practicing to get ready for Indy next Thursday. We plan on just relaxing at the house most of the night tonight. I am working at Trader's Village tomorrow, which I haven't done since September. Then, tomorrow night is the community performance in uniform.

My life has been busy and I am afraid that I have hurt some feelings and made some important friends feel like I ditched them. I don't like to do that. I wish they could understand that it's not intentional. My life is very caotic and right now, with Benjamin living with his dad, I haven't been exactly the best. I worry about my kids all the time. When they aren't in my house, it just heightens the worry. So much in my life is going so well that I am trying really hard to just focus on that. When we all get back from Indianapolis, get things settled and get ready for the holidays, things are going to be much better. I am so thankful for where my life is right now.

As for the election, I hope that the world will just stop for a moment and wait to see what happens. I received a text message yesterday that really hurt my feelings. It said "All white people report to the cotton fields at 6:00 am sharp." Who would send something like that? Apparently, Chris got one too so it wasn't just my friends. If you believe there is a God in heaven, you should know that things are going to go according to His plan. Everyone just needs to keep the focus on Him and be patient.
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

UIL State Silver Medalist

The last few days has been an emotional rollercoaster for me and I think for my kids, too. We have traveled to San Antonio twice in the last 4 days. That alone will wear you out. Two competitions with completely different rules and outcomes. The performances were both amazing. On Tuesday, November 4th at the Alamodome in San Antonio, L.D. Bell was named the UIL State Silver Medalist. L.D. Bell has now placed first or second only in the State Marching Contest for a decade. Since 2000 the Blue Raider Band has now medaled at UIL & BOA events 23 times... with this acheivement level, L.D. Bell stands alone. Out of about 500 bands competing state wide starting with Regionals, LD Bell came in second. That isn't bad at all! The shows just seem to get better and better each time I see them, which is really how it's supposed to go. We have the Bell vs. Trinity football game tonight and then the band will practice on Friday and Saturday nights with a Community performance at Pennington Field at 9:15 in uniform. If you are in the area, you should come out and see the show that the band will perform next week in Indianapolis

The band will leave on Wednesday afternoon and head to Indianapolis on busses. Chris and I plan to leave on Thursday. We are flying stand by so I'm not sure when we will get there, but hopefully it won't be too late. I am so proud of all of the band kids and how hard they work. I have some new pictures, and while they may all look the same to you, I will try my best to post ones that show better angles or more close up shots.
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

BOA San Antonio Super Regionals Champions!!

On Saturday, November 1st, the L.D. Bell Band placed first in preliminary and finals competition at the BOA San Antonio Super Regional. Prelims competition featured performances by 51 bands over two days, and finals took the top 14 scoring groups. L.D. Bell swept all captions in prelims with a score of 95.3 and in finals competition scored 94.55, taking outstanding achievement awards for visual, general effect, and sharing the award for outstanding music performance with Marcus HS (Prelims & Finals featured separate judging panels, with the exception of the finals music individual adjudicator).

The next L.D. Bell competition is the UIL State Marching Contest on Tuesday, November 4th; Bell performs in preliminary competition at 1:15.

October 31 - November 1, 2008
San Antonio, TX

Finals Results

94.55 - L.D. Bell H.S., TX
93.35 - Marcus H.S., TX
91.45 - Cedar Park H.S., TX
90.10 - James Bowie H.S., TX
88.80 - Winston Churchill H.S., TX
87.80 - Stephen F. Austin H.S., TX
86.75 - Berkner H.S., TX
84.55 - Hebron H.S., TX
84.40 - Keller H.S., TX
84.30 - Friendswood H.S., TX
83.55 - Westlake H.S., TX
82.90 - Leander H.S., TX
82.85 - Haltom H.S., TX
82.40 - Ronald Reagan H.S., TX

Outstanding Music Performance - tie L.D. Bell H.S., TX & Marcus H.S., TX
Outstanding Visual Performance - L.D. Bell H.S., TX
Outstanding General Effect - L.D. Bell H.S., TX

This past weekend was very rewarding for our kids. We had a wonderful time in San Antonio. We have the new show flags (see pictures below)which were wonderful! And a new ending to the show. We leave early in the morning for San Antonio, the band leaves today before school is out.



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