Saturday, August 29, 2009

What A Better Day!

My Saturday without the kids usually consists of sleeping in and mulling around the house, catching up on my DVR recordings. The new team I am on at work is a very social group, and I love it. This morning they had a breakfast planned. All of them live in Dallas, but I was happy to drive 30 minutes to spend time with them. The drive isn't bad when you know there isn't going to be traffic. There are ten of us on the team, but only five at breakfast. I picked up Jordan first. He needed to drop his car off for a tune up. While I was waiting for him to come back to the car, Andrea called to say she had just picked Vicky up and thought maybe we could just all go together. The place we were going did not have a large parking lot and was certain to be packed on a Saturday morning. Now, I'm really glad she did. It was a really good bonding experience for all of us.

We had breakfast at Lucky's Cafe on Oak Lawn. If you know anything about Dallas, Oak Lawn is in what we call the "gayborhood". To me, this just means it's definitely going to be much more lively than any place I could go in Bedford - that's for sure. As soon as we walked in the door, I saw a Director (and is partner) that was let go from Hilton at the same time I was. He has taken this opportunity to just travel and enjoy not having to work. Maybe it's just me, but it's so nice to just feel apart and important. On top of that, it was a really beautiful day in Texas, which is not normal for August.

After breakfast, Scott took us on a tour of that part of Dallas. He grew up around there and the people I was riding with were either from Memphis or Beverly Hills and didn't know where much, if anything, was just yet. Even though I grew up in Texas, I am not familiar with Dallas, so it was just as exciting for me. We took a drive through the SMU campus and down by Turtle Creek. I am definitely going to get the kids and go down there to take some family pictures soon. It is absolutely gorgeous!

When I got home, I finished up the laundry that I had started - getting ready to go dry everything at the laundry, which I hadn't been to in months. Michael was here so I had him go with me. It always goes faster when you have someone to help you fold. I was also cleaning out my closet, which has become the catch-all for things I think I need. Why do I have a 25 year old typewriter and a 19 year old camcorder that is as larger as a VCR player? The typewriter is out of ribbon, which I'm not sure you can even get anymore and the camcorder doesn't work unless you have it plugged in. Ridiculous.

When all of that was done, I got ready to go to Missy and Brad to just spend a night with them and a couple of their friends. It's always fun to go over there. I should do that more often. All in all, it was a really good day.
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Rainbows Make Everything Better

This week has been the first week of school for Alyssa, Ben and Jonathan. Typically, this goes well and I don't anticipate anything every-really. How often have I ever had to call the principal or school counselor since my children started school? I could probably count it on one hand between all of them. This year,I had to call the counselor twice - once before school started and once this week. I am going to tell the story now. The names have been changed to save the innocent - not the dumbasses involved in the story.

Bobby has a dad who has a girlfriend. The girlfriend has two sons. One of them is the same age as Bobby. Everything seems to be going fine between Bobby and Kenny, until summer visitation. Bobby has to go spend a whole month with his dad, which means he has to spend a whole month with Kenny. It's not that Bobby doesn't like Kenny - more like Bobby is much more mature than Kenny and isn't used to having someone so close to his age hanging around. Kenny has a tendency to irritate Bobby and Bobby gets frustrated a lot. During summer visitation, Bobby gets so frustrated with Kenny that he chokes him. Now, this is not acceptable behavior and Bobby's dad grounds him. This doesn't make Bobby like Kenny any more than he already does. In fact, it does quite the opposite.

It's now about time for the new school year and it's "Meet the Teacher" night at Bobby's school. Carol, Bobby's mom, realizes that Kenny will be going to school with Bobby and she forgot to call the counselor to ask that they not be put in the same classrooms. The counselor assures her that they were one step ahead and that Bobby and Kenny have no classes together all year. At school that night, Carol and her daughter, Marsha (Bobby's older sister) overhear Bobby talking smack about Kenny. They tell him that's not the right thing to do. He should put himself in Kenny's shoes and understand that Bobby is the only one Kenny knows at the school. Bobby needs to help him make new friends. Carol is irritated that this is even happening, but this is what happens when you get divorced, so she will do her best to make the situation bearable.

Here comes the first day of school. Bobby is a little negative that morning and Carol is concerned. After school, Carol picks Bobby up from school and asks him how his day was. Bobby proceeds to tell her a story how he refused to talk to Kenny on the playground and how he communicated with him through other kids. Carol tells Bobby that probably wasn't the best way to handle the situation and decides to call Bobby's dad and talk to him about her concerns. The conversation goes well and Bobby's dad promises to think about how to handle the difficult time that Bobby is having.

Later that evening, Bobby's dad calls and is now upset - you guessed it - because the girlfriend is upset. This, of course results in a disagreement between he and Carol, where upon he starts getting rude and Carol hangs up. Bobby is with his brother, Greg, at a much anticipated late dinner at IHOP. Carol asks Bobby's dad to please not disrupt their dinner, but to no ones surprise, he proceeds to call Greg and Bobby, but neither will answer their phone. Greg calls Carol and asks what to do. She tells them to just come home and their dad can call Bobby tomorrow - which is does.

The second day of school doesn't go so well, but Carol does make a call to the school counselor to ask her what to do. Ok, let's be honest - to be told she was right and Bobby's jackass of a dad was wrong - but that's not part of the story....
We are thankful for rain, because it makes our grass grow...and it makes elementary school children have to stay inside at recess and not see the person they are most trying to avoid. I am certain there will be more to this story, but having to rehash the stupid drama I...I mean, Carol, had to go through this week has given me a headache. Sometimes, life is just stupid.
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Facebook and the LD Bell Band

Myspace was always my thing - until I met Facebook. At first, I didn't like it at all. Now, I have a facination with it (Thank you, Andy). I have reconnected with so many people from high school and keep up with friends from work. I have even allowed two of my children (the two that have a Facebook) and a few of their friends to "friend" me against my better judgement. This was going to be my "grown up" friends social networking site. Thankfully, it still is. It has allowed me to brag a lot about my kids and, this time of year, announce ever time the band does anything at all. This said...

Last night was the first community performance for the LD Bell Band this year. They even made an event page so that I could let all of my high school friends in this area known when and where it was going to be. In years past, I would go up to the stadium a few nights a week. Now I make it a point to go up on Saturday night. They work on so much during the week and Saturday it all comes together. With Ben living at his dad's, he has had to find a ride to and from practice so he only "needs" me to take him and pick him up on my weekends - which I am happy to do!

Several friends from church and high school showed up to support the kids and enjoy what I enjoy all the time. It's fun to watch someone who hasn't seen the band in a long time or at all but has marching experience. They are always amazed at how hard the routine is compared to what we did in the 80's. As a parent (forgive me if I've said this before) it makes me so proud to see my children marching, playing on the worship team, playing a sport - whatever it is, they try so hard at what they do. I just don't understand those parents who don't see the importance of being there to support your child, no matter what it is they are participating in. Even if you don't "get" the function, be it football, band, golf - if you want your child to know you are proud of them, be there for them. That will usually require extra time out of your super-busy day, but these are your children. They need to know you love them.

I had a friend come up to me at church this morning. She is a teacher and will be starting back to school on Monday. She was telling me how overwhelmed she is feeling, "but" she says, "when I start to feel this way, I just think about you. I know if you can do it, I can do it." That makes me feel so happy. It isn't an effort for me to do the things I do for my kids, but I do get overwhelmed and I have to say no, or not right now. Life goes on and things sometimes just have to be passed up. But this is another subject for another day.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's Time To Move Forward

Almost 6 years ago, my kids and I moved out of the house where we lived and into the duplex I live in now. At the time, it was definitely a blessing - a safe place to go and be near family. The time has come for us to move on. I knew deep down that I would move again one day, I just didn't think it would be right now.

We are all excited and ready, but it will be a couple of more months before the move takes place. The home we are moving into won't be open until then, so we will spend the next few months purging, selling and giving away those things that do not need to go with us. One of the things going are the dogs. This is a bitter sweet thing for me. I wanted these puppies five years ago, but I can't take them with us. The pet deposit is not worth it to me. They will go back to the family who gave them to us. Their brothers and sisters are all together out in the country on an acre of land. I know they will be loved and they will go together. That is the most important thing for me.

I will keep you posted as to the progress of the move. In other news....the marching show is coming along very well. I have enjoyed a few evenings out at the stadium watching them play and march. Ben is really enjoying it - except for getting up early. He is not one to go to bed at a decent hour. Michael started his new job with our church this week. This coming Sunday will be his first Sunday to lead the worship in the morning. He is also working at Ashleigh's church doing youth worship on Sunday night. I'm just glad he's working again. School is scheduled for January now. Alyssa has been babysitting her future stepbrother this month. It's nice because she can take Jonathan with her,although he hates going over there. I can't leave him home alone all day. School starts on Monday and I am honestly very glad. It's so hard to work and know that your kids are home all day with nothing to do. One day it will be better, one day very soon.

Not much going on right now, but that will change. I promise to try to blog more often.
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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Prayer for Light

Benjamin pulled a fast one on me Wednesday. This was his first week of marching practice for the 2009-2010 marching season. I wasn't sure when marching try-outs or results were, but I found out...the hard way. I get a phone call at about 4:30. It's Ben on the other end and he sounds very upset. I can tell these things. I'm his mom, right? I ask him what's wrong and he proceeds to tell me, "Mom, I didn't get a spot. I didn't get a marching spot. I don't get it. How can 'John', who doesn't know his steps, get a spot and I don't?" I am in shock. How can this be? He is 3rd chair First Band. He HAS to be on the field. How can he not have a marching spot? I am going numb. I don't know what to say. I try to be encouraging and just tell him he can challenge for a spot. Then he says, "You know the craziest part of the whole thing? I totally had you going. Of course I got a spot!!!"

You know that space between were you want to hurt someone and yet you are so excited for them? That's where I was. He is such a hard worker. He wanted first band and he got it. He was so worried about getting a marching spot and I knew he would get it. He's a Nobles after all. We are good marchers *wink wink*. He takes pride in everything he does and he craves recognition. He asked me to come to the field to watch them do the spirit show. Unfortunately, there was a storm rolling in and it ended up getting cancelled, but there is always tomorrow. This is my season of spending lots of evenings at Pennington Field watching the LD Bell Band come together for another amazing marching season.

We have a "new" director this year. Mr. Earnhart has moved on to be the Fine Arts Director with the Irving ISD. Van Matthews, who was new to Bell last year, has moved up to be our new band director. Michael and Alyssa had nothing but wonderful things to say about him last year so I new Ben and the rest of the band would be in good hands. It's always exciting for me to see how the kids relate to the directors. What a great opportunity these men have to be a good leader to these mold them into responsible adults, make a mark on their lives in a positive way. As a parent, I am putting my child in the hands of adults that are with them more than I am. It's so very important for those people to have good character and attitude. I can honestly say that I wouldn't have my son in any other band. Call them Nazi if you want, but I have two kids that have come out of this band better human beings. Whatever it is the directors do, it works.

Prayer for Light is the name of the show this year. It will be great. Come see it when you can. LD Bell Band Prayer for Light
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Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Month With No Kids

July has come to an end and the time is about here for my kids to come back and live here full time. I think I actually liked it this year. It seemed a lot less lonely and a lot more interactive with the kids. I had the chance to go out with each of them alone or just two of them together. But at the same time, I was able to go out and be with my friends without having the mommy-guilt of knowing that the kids were home and I was out having fun. I wonder if that will ever go away. I doubt it.

I wish the visitation was different for the kids. There aren't too many years left before this all ends. There will come a day very soon where Alyssa quits going to her dad's and Ben doesn't come here as often. Jonathan can make that big decision in a couple of years, and I am pretty sure when he realizes he as the choice as a 12 year old, his answer will be that he doesn't want to go. He was so unhappy this month and I don't see it getting any better for him. At least,for me, I see them at church and they are here living with me.

The night was so sweet and peaceful and emotionally fulfilling for me and the kids (I think). It was just Alyssa and Jonathan at first. We watched "The Incredible Hulk". Alyssa brought her friend, Melina, with her because they had been together that day. The three of us sat in my room and talked like adults - almost. What a great thing to be able to talk to teenaged girls about life and have them actually listen (or at least pretend that they are)! Ben came home about 10:30. He had been at the lake with friends, hanging out and stuff. It just feels so right to have all my babies at home with me. I hope this feeling never ends!
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