Thursday, January 31, 2008

Agony of De-feet

It's snowing today. Jeremy stayed home with the kids, since they both have colds and his truck doesn't manage well on slick streets. He called this morning to see if I wanted to come over and "hang out." So I did.

Trista and Jeremy had told me about Jacob walking through the living room with his toes bent under his feet, heels off the floor. Jeremy informed her that he could do that too! So he did. What a sight! The two of them walking on their "toe knuckles." Trista and I have both tried, but couldn't bear the pain.

Jeremy and Jacob both enjoy having foot massages--with a twist. They want you to bend their toes backward and then forward, under their feet. They also like their toes to be squeezed as hard as you can. Neal shares this unusual love of torture. He can probably walk on his toe knuckles as well. We'll have to see.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Crash of 2008

Though I could bemoan the plight of our economy, I'm actually writing about the crash of my hard drive last week. I've had repairs done before, and they've always been able to retrieve all my files, but alas, not this time. The only thing on my computer when I picked it up was the software it came with. I'm more thankful than ever for the internet, and the fact that some of my favorite pictures are stored on blogger and facebook. I do back up my photos on cds every year, but nothing had been saved since our move in May. My advice: BACKUP--BACKUP--BACKUP! Fortunately, I back up my financial files monthly, so I'm ready for tax preparation. Whew! Saturday evening I went to print Neal's boarding pass, and found I had to re-install the printer! What a hassle. Then I got an email from a fellow VBS committee member with an .xls file attached. Oh yeah....I'll have to re-install Excel. Erghh!

Side note: Did you know that if the temperature is too cold, propane will not rise and you can't grill outside? Found that out at 5:45 Saturday evening. Eight guests were waiting for 2" thick steaks at 6:00. Anyone prefer rare?

Monday, January 14, 2008


So...Jeff and I had planned to go to Louisiana with a group from his church on Friday and Saturday, but canceled due to the water pipe bursting in his house. As it turns out, the Claims Adjuster can't meet with him until tomorrow, so we're disappointed about canceling, but it also allowed us to attend Jeremy's surprise 30th birthday party on Saturday night. Trista had invited some close friends and family to surprise Jeremy for dinner at In the Raw. Sushi is something I've carefully avoided all my life. There have been opportunities to try it, but I've always wimped out. The mere fact that Trista (who handed down her food phobias to our grandson, Jacob) likes it, was a huge factor in my brief surge of bravery. To emphasize the extent of my bravery (or should I say, temporary insanity) I allowed my not-afraid-to-try-anything niece, Morgan, to order for me. I have no clue what all I bombarded my digestive system with that night, but I managed not to gag or throw up in my napkin. However, In the Raw will not grace my list of favorite restaurants, and I can't imagine craving sushi anytime soon. The good news is that Jeremy was indeed surprised. It was fun celebrating with him and enjoying family and friends.

My birthday gift to Trista, whose birthday was on the 9th, was taking the kids to spend the night with me on Saturday night and keeping them until 4:30 Sunday afternoon. So, you know that in that length of time, there has to be some noteworthy conversations with Jacob. He likes to eat Yogurt Burst Cheerios for a snack, but he picks out the pink ones and leaves the plain. Lauren decided she wanted some, too, so as I poured a bowl for her he informed me that, "Sissy doesn't like the pink ones." Guess he thought I would take her pink ones and give them to him, but Nana's too savvy for that. Sunday after lunch at Mazzios (with the help of Uncle Jeff--I'm not Super-Nana) I put Lauren down for a nap and Jacob and I retreated to the game room to watch MicroCosmos, a non-animated video, chock full of upclose and personal encounters with every insect you can imagine. I put the movie in the VCR, then asked Jacob if he wanted to lay on the couch to watch the movie. His answer, "That's not a good idea, Nana." (Later, during the 2nd viewing of said movie, he did lay on the couch with me and immediately fell asleep, hence the reason for that NOT being a good idea.) As we played in the game room, he asked, "Where's Uncle Jeff?" Me: "In the house with Lauren, watching a football game." Jacob: "Does he gots he's eyes closed?" Me: "Probably." Jacob: "We better go check." My exercise ball is in the game room (not getting much use, I might add) and Jacob loves to play with and on it. He put it in a big box which kept it stabilized--pretty genius, I thought. Then he stood on it trying to keep his balance. I listened as he talked to himself...."better be ca'ful, better be ca'ful..(losing balance and almost falling) see...I told you."

Jeff and Lauren "watching the football game"

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cold Again!

I know, two posts in one night. What's the deal? I just had to devote a separate post to my firstborn on his birthday. In fact, I cooked dinner for him and his family tonight...well, half-cooked would be more accurate. Chicken Cacciatori (or Kitchen Chakatori as he likes to call it), Caesar Salad, Garlic Bread, and Pasta. Oops! When I put the water on for the pasta, none of my burners would light. Could I possibly be out of propane!!!!???? No way! Uh....way. Thankfully, today's temps reached around 60, I had already showered, and I have a space heater AND LOTS AND LOTS OF FIREWOOD. A frantic call to Chuck, the Propane Guy and assurance of delivery tomorrow. I feel very resiliant since the Great Ice Storm of 2007. One night without heat or hot water will be a piece of cake.


Jeremy is 30 years old today. How could that be? Where's my little boy who won over every preschool and elementary teacher with his big blue eyes, played baseball for hours on end in the back yard with his baby brother, and plastered the underside of his bookcase headboard with boogars. I'll tell you where he is. He's being the best husband, father and provider that he can be. I couldn't be more proud of him. Happy Birthday, Jeremy!

Monday, January 07, 2008

...and the hits just keep on comin'

Jeff's house in Kansas City--Gladstone to be exact, is still sitting on the market. This is the last month that the realtor is under contract, and if it doesn't sell this month, he will have to do the unthinkable and "give it back" to the bank. My family, my small group, my prayer partners, my BSF group and several other individuals have been praying fervently for God to send buyers. Today, Jeff's realtor called to report that a water pipe had burst and the house was flooded. How much more can a man take? How much more can his mother take? I wanted to break down and have a good cry, but I was eating lunch with Janet when I got the call, and besides a brief tear-welling and crackly voice, I held it together. We had planned to immediately go to the gym, but Jeff needed me to go home and find the number for the insurance company, so we decided to meet back at the gym in an hour. Halfway home, and another call from Jeff--he happened to have the phone number in his wallet. I turned around and headed back, thinking I would be way early and could maybe sit in the parking lot and have a good cry before Janet arrived. But noooo. She beat me there and I had to again postpone my breakdown. Not that Janet isn't a friend I can cry with...but she's been a little on the edge lately, too, and I was afraid things would get out of control! The workout was therapeutic, especially since we're still learning how to adjust the new equipment--it kept my mind occupied. Sweating didn't hurt either. When I got home I knew I had two choices. I could either sit alone in the living room and bawl my eyes out, OR, I could go outside and scoop dog poop. I scooped.......and I prayed. (Is that irreverant?) I prayed that God would somehow turn this bad thing into something good. If you are not one of the ones I have enlisted to pray for this...consider yourself drafted. Let's see how God works in this situation.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Reflections of the Holidays

Heavy sigh!!! The Christmas holidays were jam-packed with family and fun. My Canadian family (Mom, Dad, Linda, Marcia) were here from Christmas Eve until New Years' Eve. With seven of us here, quarters were pretty cramped. I really missed my big house in Tulsa. But they were all troopers and made do with the limited accomodations. Lots of cooking...eating...Scrabble with the together the annual 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle...a trip to the Aquarium...and did I mention? and eating? I think I cooked more in the last week than I have in the past two years. I'm not by any means a Martha Stewart, but I actually found it to be enjoyable. Maybe because I was surrounded with people and had lots of help. Never had much of that when the boys were growing up. Maybe, too, because everyone seemed to enjoy eating what I cooked...another thing that was rare during son-rearing days. (Or maybe they just didn't see the importance of TELLING me that it was "good.")

Neal spent most of his "vacation" cleaning up from the ice storm. Cutting limbs, stacking wood, and burning brush. But he didn't seem to mind. I suppose he relished the time of solitude and retreat from the houseful of Smiths.

Now everyone's gone. The Christmas decorations are put away, and the house is clean again. I went to the gym today for my first workout of the year. New equipment--new routine--tomorrow I'll probably have new aches and pains.

Hope you all had a great holiday season. May God bless you abundantly in 2008.