Tuesday, November 29, 2005


By Chris
Mark your calendars. High profile appearances by the Green family coming this month!

  • The Christmas Post. Friday Dec. 2 at 7; Saturday Dec. 3 at 2; Sunday December 11 at 10:30. All at Parkway Temple (see link on the left that says "our church"). It's musical drama where the characters discover the true meaning of Christmas. Most excited is Nick, in his role as "Newsie." This is right up his ally, in the "big people show." Lauren will appear as a "shopper," with slightly less enthusiasm as her thespian brother.
  • Karate 4 Christ Christmas Dinner. Dec. 15 at Deep Creek Baptist Church (see the head Greens for tickets). We love Karate 4 Christ, so just supporting them should be enough reason to come. Add to it that Ben is one of only five in his age group chosen to do a demonstration to music (chops, blocks and kicks to "God Bless the USA"), and this should be a pretty fun evening for the fam. Ben has now worked his way up to near the top of the "Little Dragons."
  • Kid's Christmas Show. Not certain of the title, but it will happen Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. Nick, Ben and even Lauren partcipate. Apparently Nick will "rap." Interesting.
  • On Any Given Night At Target. Lauren will be appearing as "cashier" in the always dramatic "shopping at Target."


By Chris
Well, I just discovered a new thing (to me) in the blogosphere. "Splogging." It's like email spam, except it's done through your blog, by adding comments. Sometimes automatically and in mass, apparently. It's happened to us before, but pretty innocent stuff until now. If you saw the inappropriate comment before we deleted, sorry.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Dad.....? OK.

by teresa
Nick is in the kitchen right now fixing him and Ben breakfast. This is all under Chris' watch. It's killing me because I know this is going to leave a huge mess for me to clean up. This is what I am hearing from the kitchen: Dad...can I fix scrambled eggs for breakfast? Dad says...OK. Dad... Ben wants fried eggs...can I make them too? Dad says....OK. Dad... can I have some pepsi with my food? Dad says....OK. Dad...can we mix some cinnamon and sugar to put on our toast? Dad says...OK. Dad....can I have some pumpkin pie too? Dad says...OK.

Jillians with Marian

by teresa
Yesterday, while Lauren was working, we (chris, me , Jackie, and the boys) took Marian to waterside mall. they have a great place in there called Jillians. It has a super huge arcade and restaurant(right in the middle of the arcade). And instead of tokens, you get your kids Jillians cards. You can put whatever point limit you want on them. Your kid just swipes it in the games....it takes the points off....and the just play. No tokens! It's great! They just keep playing till their card is empty. Nanny Jackie bought each kid a card. Marian looked like...what is this, and what do I do with it? After just a quick tour of the place...and a few minutes watching Ben and Nick...and she was off and running. Lots of games....lots of tickets....lots of prizes! They had a pizza in between games. Fun was had by all!

gotta be matching

by teresa
If any of you know my sister Katy, then you know she is always styling. Even if she has to run the food lion...at midnight...she's going to be DONE...if you know what I mean. Makeup, big hair, fresh highlights, shiney teeth, a whole outfit right off an american eagle mannequin. Well...Chris took this picture of her early thankgiving morning bringing over some food from mommas. Notice how she coordinated with the tupperware. Good grief!

you know your days not going to be good when........

by teresa
Here's one way to tell that your day is not going to be good...........When your son stands over you at 6:45am, waking you from a dead sleep. the first words out of his mouth are......mom...you promise not to get mad? NOOOOOOOO! NOT ON SATURDAY! It turns out that Shorty (our dog) barfed and pooped ALL over the boys room. And when I say ALL over the room....I mean every foot or so (even under the beds)! He sleeps in their room most nights with the door closed so he will stay. I guess he had a tummy ached in the night. We should have seen it coming...because he was shooting some stinky bunnies all evening last night. We gave him this gianormous ham bone from thanksgiving and I think it made him ill.

If you have any "you know your days not going to be good when stories" please add them to our blog. It's therapeutic to share the joy!

Friday, November 25, 2005


I think the signs at the beach that ban cursing are so hilarious.
So I thought I would put it on the blog. Since this is a no cursing blog!

Thanksgiving Hangover

By Chris
Yuk! That's how I felt Thanksgiving night. It's been since May that we have pretty much banned anything with white flower, sugar and most other "bad" carbs -- grainy carbs only, you know. In fact, most days now my lunch is a salad or Chicken in whole wheat wrap. Then, yesterday, total gluttony. I had gotten used to how good I was feeling, I guess, because I sure felt bad last night. I bet I clogged an artery or something! Did I always feel like this before?, I asked Teresa. After gravy, stuffin', pie, etc. my body was in shock. Bloated. Heartburn. Restless. Couldn't sleep. What is in that stuff! It's poison, I tell you! I still have a little heartburn almost 24 hours later! I had some Gaviscon left over from the bad 'ol days (I used to use a bottle a week), so I've been taking that. Those foaming tablets are nastier than I remembered. But, at least it's cherry-flavored foaming nastiness. That really helps. So, that's it for me. I'll do turkey without gravy and veggies from now on on these special occassions. Which leads to some philosophical questions I was thinking about while a I couldn't sleep:

Why, in order to enjoy our families on special occassions, do we eat like pigs? And, when I say eat like pigs, I mean a lot and fast! We were in such a hurry yesterday, we stopped the serving line to say the blessing, lest one of us starve first. hehe. Then, we ate so fast my plate was gone and cleaned before I could get a good conversation going! Whirlwind, I tell you. After hours of cooking and preparation, the "family time" was boiled down to about 30 mins. around the table. A few of us gathered for dessert at a slightly slower pace, but mostly the crowd dispersed quickly. I'm not sure where we were hurrying to? It's our nature I guess. Hurry up, get started eating. Hurry up, eat this pie so I can wrap it up . . . these are an extension of the way everything else is hurried around us, I guess. Well, gotta go . . . being hurried up to hit the road to Jilians!


by teresa
Well.....thanksgiving day was wonderful this year. Everyone came to our house around 1:30 and we ate and enjoyed each other. There were 15 of us in all. It was Marian's first thanksgiving (dia de grasias) experience. She enjoyed all the food and our crazy family. She has really joined perfectly with our family over the past week. Ben is even over the initial excitement of her visit and is now bugging her just as much as he does Lauren. But she has 2 younger siblings back home , so she is used to it. We ate the whole day off and on and then drove to the beach for the holiday lights on the boardwalk. Nothing says Christmas like a 40 ft neon santa on a surfboard. They had a lit-up nativity scene...as we drove past it Ben asked....why is santa on that camel? It's a wise man Ben....we all said. It was pretty funny.

Turkey day party

by teresa
Ben's class party was fun. The kids had treats (cupcakes, crackers, and grapes), make colorful painted turkeys, and watched Charlie brown's thankgiving. A good time was had by all!


by teresa
It is so cool that Lauren works at Target now. Just about everyone in our family visits Target once a day. I took this picture on her first day of work. Isn't she cute?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


By Chris
Had a chance to observe about 45 minutes of circuit court divorce procedings this morning. I was there as an official witness, but I guess you could say I was really there to support someone dear to us. I was glad to do it. I'm not big on sappy displays of affection or long reassuring words. But showing up . . . being present . . . standing by someone . . . is more my thing. Having been through some stuff (who hasn't), I remember the few who just "showed up" with me, and how that was more real and lasting than passing words. So, I hope the person I "showed up" with today gets that, no matter the mess, there are always people who "show up." God divines it that way.

It was sort of sad, though, watching the business of the court. The judge was nice enough, and made a few funny comments to loosen up the assembled diverse crowd of filers, witnesses and lawyers (who sat at the front away from their clients talking about football games). In our 45 minutes, one particular lawyer represented two cases. It was all so matter-of-fact. Broken families boiled down to the business of the day. The same questions were asked of each set of people. In these cases, only one of the parties to the divorces appeared, with their witness. Ironically, a group swearing-in at the beginning of the session ended with all who would testify proclaiming "I do" together. One young lawyer was back and forth, in and out of the courtroom, looking for his client, who never showed up before we left. Maybe that was one marriage saved? The judge asked of each case "are their children . . . " In our 45 minutes, on this one day, I counted four children affected. I said a silent prayer for each of them. At the end of every case (each of which lasted only about 5 minutes), the judge just proclaimed "Mr. XXX . . . you are divorced. You are free to go. Good luck to you." That simple.

As we left, I commented that I could never have that judge's job.

Monday, November 21, 2005

On Target to Get Paid

By Chris
Lauren's now employed! After passing a drug test, she is a member of the Target team. Really . . . they make everyone get a drug test before starting.

She started last night with an orientation session. She will work several shifts this week, in advance of the big day Friday (Black Friday . . . the day after Thanksgiving . . . the day retailers like Target move into profitability, theoretically). She will earn her money that day, I'm sure. After the one-day false start at Sonic a few months back, this is looking much more promising. First off, is the very good money. They are starting her at $6.50 per hour. I thought that was great! She could easily make several hundred dollars a month. I know grown people missing that mark, if you know what I mean.

And, how to describe Teresa's excitement about a child working at Target? We could just say she is a Target fan. The way I calculate it, Lauren could work full-time at $6.50 \ hour for years and not make back what we have spent there. I'm sure a shopping trip, with digital camera in hands, is on the agenda this week to catch her in action! Poor Lauren.

We're guressing she will do great with a job. She'll learn a lot and be a good worker, we're pretty sure.

Kicked Out

By Chris
O.K. It's Thanksgiving week! Everything is slowing down at work. I have had "off" written on my calendar for this week for months. Just one conference call today . . . which I could easily take from home. Except . . . Teresa kicked me out. That's right, made me go to work. She says I get in the way when she is trying the get the house ready for the week. Get in the way? Aren't you excited I will be home? "I'll be excited later in the day to see you ...," she explains. How humbling. But there's college basketball on . . . in the middle of the day, I protest (that does not happen often . . . just this week and again in March). So, here I am in my office. Blogging. Working. Wishing I was home watching 51 inches of college basketball. There was potential to watch 13 hours of it today! I think I'll go walk around Target. I need some new pens and pencils. And tomorrow? I am told I can be home then. But, I have to go to divorce court in the morning. Really. I'll explain that later.

Marian has arrived!

by teresa
Marian Chavez, the teenager from Guatemala, has arrived in the states. She came in on Wed., and was staying with the Lowry family from church until last night. She came to our house around 7:30pm. She is so sweet and very excited to be attending Indian River with Lauren this week. She went to Greenbrier Christian Academy last week and was overwhelmed. She said it was so big compared to her school back home and that there were so many kids (under 700). Well I can't wait to see what she thought of the River with it's 1,800 plus students! We are really planning on spoiling her rotten while she is with us. Shopping, movie, bowling, Jillian's, the lights at the beach, and much..much...more. Oh yeah...and the huge thanksgiving dinner we host every year.

car show

by teresa
Our church had an antique car show this weekend. Lots of people came out from the church and community. It was very impressive. There were many, many cars, a deejay playing christmas music, and free food. It was Ben's idea of HEAVEN! He of course walked around and looked at each and every car. The whole gang went and stayed for several hours. I really love our church family. It's nice to sit and talk with people that you usually only see for a few minutes on Sundays. I's a great group! Here are some shots of the kids enjoying the day.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Goblet of fire

by teresa
The movie was great! It was long....and great! Half the book was missing though.....some really good parts too. But, it is still a great movie. I guess if they used everything from all 734 pages of the book, the movie would be about 5 hours long (I wouldn't mind). The kids and I went to the midnight showing. No one fell asleep.....quite the contrary actually. They were riveted, eyes glued to the screen, Lauren was literally on the edge of her seat for most of the movie. At a climactic moment near the end (about 2:40am) when the entire theatre was silent (holding our breath)Ben proclaims loudly....what's he doing? who is he? what's happening? We had to shuss him. He was mezmerized! We all ranted on the whole way home, reliving our favorite scenes. We got in the bed around 3:00am....got up aound 6:30am. I'm not even tired. I hope the kids are awake in school!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Harry Potter: The Controversy

By Chris
Since it's Harry Potter time again, I thought I would chime in on this controversial topic. After all, there are widespread accusations about the books and movies being evil. Many Christians promote this point of view, and I wasn't sure what to make of it as the Harry Potter craze spread to my doorstep. We're Christians. So, the adults of the Green household first explored the books and movies (which is our role, right?) I also checked out a bunch of third party opinions. Here is what I found.

Firsthand, we found there is no denying that Harry Potter is good literature on several levels (I have an English degree, so literature is one of my "things") The books are well written, with compelling characters and imaginitive (and at times, gripping) story lines. The writing, from the thoughtful naming of characters and the use of literary devices, is very good. The genre is decidedly fantasy, so you have to enjoy the ability to venture into a world of flying cars and the like. There are strong storylines of good versus evil, and the sympathetic charecters are all on the good side. The auther, JK Rowling, explores themes of friendship, loyalty and coming of age that obviously connect with kids and adults. In fact, the Potter works are widely cited as the genesis of a new literary awakening for young people all over the world. This is all good literary stuff for kids. With prayers and hearts for discernment, we just did not find the evil in Potter!

I like what Rowling says of her work: "The book is really about the power of the imagination. What Harry is learning to do is to develop his full potential. Wizardry is just the analogy I use. If anyone expects it to be a book that seriously advocates learning magic, they will be disappointed. Not least because the author does not believe in magic in that way."

We also checked out the third party opinions on the Potter craze. After all, there are a lot of people screaming loud about evil witchcraft promotion by Potter. Hearing the craze, one would expect demonic scripture and graphic occultic content, or even subtle endorsement of evil spells (in fact, you actually find Potter and friends celebrating Christmas at one point!). I found many with this point of view had never explored the literature firsthand. They were no help. The wider search found no consensus. For instance, Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family has mixed messages, but no strong condemnation, for instance. While there are whole anti-Potter books, there are also very thoughtful Christian authors singing the praises of Potter. One book was even written to help Christian parents defend themselves against the people who were accusing them of promoting witchcraft by allowing kids to read the books. Uhhh. O.K. Christians can be so . .. well . .. un-Christian at times! And, some of the best teachers we know (the ones we who really get kids, and have their best interests at heart) call the series the best thing that has ever happened to kids and reading in their careers. To say the least, there are mixed messages on Potter. So "trust yourself," has been our approach.

So we added it all up, and Harry Potter is welcome here. In fact, several in the Greens' house have been hooked for quite some time. It's caused a spark in our family leading to an explosion of literary curiosity and activity that was not present before Potter. Books are all the rage around here since Potter. Witchcraft? Occult? That's not what the books are about, so, not surprisingly, the reading hasn't sparked that around here. Just reading.

Harry Potter

by teresa
Tomorrow the movie ...Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire comes out in theatres. I am so there! It is bases on the fourth book (which is the BEST by far...in my opinion). So the movie should be outstanding. I guess I can wait until after school so I can take the kids too. Maybe.

Best buddies

by teresa
Kai and Ben are in the "best buddy club". That's what Kai told me. He also said...only boys can be in the best buddy club. Poor Kristian....with Ben and Kai so close now.....she sometimes gets left out. Kaden needs to hurry and grow alittle so they can have a club together too.

Soccer party

by teresa
The soccer party at CiCis pizza was a big hit. All the kids showed up and pigged out! This has been a really great soccer season. Chris, Katy and I really enjoy getting to know all the kids and their families. Too bad you can't keep the same kids on your team each season. You really bond with the kids...and parents. But, each season...you never know who you are going to have. Except of course for the best goalie and the best striker(forward...pointman) in the league. The parents got together and bought Chris a really nice trophy and Katy and I neat soccerball key chains with our names engraved too. Very sweet. When Chris called out each kids name to come forward and recieve their trophy....they were beaming! Eventhough in this league everyone who participates gets a trophy....the kids don't know it. So when their name is called...they look shocked and proud. It's really cute! We had 43 moms...dads...brothers...sisters...nannys...and grandaddys come out and show support. We really packed the place! I can't wait until next season!

ODU soccer

by teresa
Chris took me and the boys to the CAA men's soccer championship game...ODU vs. Hofstra. We really enjoyed it. The boys really like the consession stand too. Hofstra scored the winning goal with 8 seconds left in regulation time. It was very dissappointing. But, ODU got a first round bye into the NCAA Men's soccer college cup anyway , because they finished on top of the leagues regular season standings. So ...next tuesday they will host the game aginst whoever wins the Wake forsest and South Carolina game. We will definitly go! I think next year we should look into getting season tickets! Go Monarchs!

Mt. Trashmore

by teresa
We all (Chris, me, mom, Katy, and ALL the kids) packed up and went to Mt. Trashmore. It was freezing and windy. Two things that do not go together! But the kids didn't mind at all. Kristian has a new bike she got for her birthday and needed to take it out for a spin. The other kids took their bikes too. They enjoyed themselves....played with the football, soccer ball , the playground, and a one footed goose that wandered up to our picnic table begging for food. Ben liked watching the kids in the skate park. He says he wants a skateboard for Christmas(we'll see).

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Soccer Party Tonight

By Chris
Alright . . . public announcement for all who love such things: Our end-of-season soccer party is tonight at CiCi's Battlefield Blvd. at 6 p.m. (I think?) Cheap pizza, screaming kids, sweet cake and trophy presentations (we expect about 40 kids and their supporters). It's corny, but I love handing the little guys and gals their trophies and telling them how proud we are of them and how well they did. It's especially cute for the ones who are getting their first trophy in anything. They beam. This stuff is huge for the little ones, and we try to make it special and official feeling.

Moving Stuff Around

By Chris
It's been months since I bought the big-screen tv and sound system. I always assumed it would go in the den (as opposed to the "Blue Room" , which is the downstairs all-purpose computer, playstation, office, etc. . . . ). But, Teresa insisted on the Blue Room. So, that's where I put it. Setup was fairly intense, including crawling under the house, moving cable tv wiring and hooking up a gazillion wires for the surround sound system. But, the darn thing is so big, I just couldn't get far enough away from the screen. It seemed you could get a radiation burn, it was so close to the couch. My eyes and head would start hurting everytime I watched it. So, I have not watched it much. It's been mostly a game system monitor for the boys (which they love). That was, until yesterday, when Teresa came around to my way of seeing things (hehe). I had dropped the subject months ago, so I'm not sure what happened. I got home a little earlier than usual, and was thinking about catching a nap. Pretty rare stuff for me. "I'm glad you're here, I have something for you to do," Teresa says from downstairs. "Oh goodie! Something to do," I thought. Ends up, she wants to move the big screen, sound and all, to the den. Then, move the den tv and entertainment center to the Blue Room. No problem. I mean, it only took half a day to set it up the first time. I'm sure we can knock this out. I tried to grump out of it. Even though it's what I wanted. Guilt set in, and I got to work. Teresa assured me Nick could help. And, he actually did. He unhooked everything, helped move the entertainment center and big tv and a lot more. It only took a couple of hours start to finish. As it turns out, I was right all along! The big screen in the den is awesome! 51 inches of sitcoms and cable news looked darn good. And my head didn't hurt from being so close! I didn't even have to wear my glasses. College basketball kicks in heavy tonight, so this is just in time.

So, I think there is one underlying learning in all of this. Dad was right to start with! Let's document that, because it don't happen often.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Last Football Game

By Chris
Hard to believe, but last night was the last IR football game of the year. Lauren's first varsity cheerleader year went really quickly (she'll still do basketball and wrestling, but that's not nearly as intense). It was a huge crowd, and Katy, Kaden, Kai, Nanny Allen, Nanny Jackie and George joined our usual crew. We lost the game, but Lauren got on TV when "Friday Night Flights" and Andy Fox from Channel 10 showed up. She was on the tube a bunch this year, looking "cheery". The cameras love that, for some reason. They got to throw a bunch of mini footballs in the stands, since the TV station brings footballs for the cheerleaders to throw in addition to the typical ones they throw after a Braves touchdown. George caught two, and of course Ben got one the direct way, as usual, if you know what I mean. It pays to know a cheerleader, I guess. A bunch of kids came out without shirts (the boys) or tank tees (the girls) with their bodies painted in Indian River colors, some of them spelling out Braves on their chests. We had to explain that they were Lauren's crew to the rest of the family. She has a neat group of friends from every walk of life, including some ones that are a littly crazy (in a good way) like her. One more football season, and she's done. Unbelievable.

Here are pictures of Ben and Kai with the balls they got at the game.

Sharing the Car

By Chris
Lauren is totally over being nervous about driving. Long trips to Va. Beach fixed that. So, we're pretty much sharing my car now. I had to reiterate that it is my car, not hers and lay down some rules. She has a messy room, and quickly makes a messy car, which I hate. Three cd binders on the floor, all kinds of paper, water bottles everywhere . . . last time I got in the car after her. And, she re-programmed all the radio stations. Taking over! I told her, when she gets a job, she can get a car and do all that stuff. This is my car. Long talk about cleaning it. We'll see if it works. She also has scratched all around the key hole! This is so Lauren. "I didn't even realize I did it," she said. I'll have to get that buffed out now, and I'm going to make her pay for it when she gets a job. She has a long history of letting her hands get out of her control. She always was ripping on, writing on, painting on, putting holes in all kinds of stuff as a little kid. "Ooops," she'd say. You couldn't let her have anything. We always found ourselves saying stuff like "Why is there nail polish all over your radio?" "Who colored the inside of the closet door?" "How did that hole get in your wall?" "Why is there a perfectly cut hole in your pants?" and so on.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


by teresa
I just thought everyone would like to see an updated picture of Kaden. She was 3 months on the 2nd of Nov. She coos and smiles and laughs alot now. Isn't she adorable?


by teresa
I had an interesting day at Ben's school. More cutting out (I finished a hippo today....yes, I'm only on H) and I also got drawn into an hour long therapy session with a distraught mother. I was just coming down from the computer lab, when I walked into a heated discussion between one of the kindergarden teachers and a parent. They were standing beside the security desk....so I had no choice but to listen. Apparently, the mom was upset about the amount of homework her child has each night. She said....she has shown it to a college professor and it is a higher level of work than his students are on. Okay? She says she doesn't understand it, and it usually takes them 3 hours to complete it at home. The teacher is explaning that it should only take about 20 minutes or so. The mom is mad because some of it ....she has to write out for her child. The teacher is being very nice...but the mom was cursing and wanting to talk to the principal(who was out of school at a meeting). After a minute, the teacher excused herself to go back to the students.....and I was left alone with her. I felt as though someone had tossed a grenade in my lap and I had to try to put the pin back in before it BLEW! Wow...this poor lady has some problems. I know this of course because we spent the next hour discussing them. She is a single parent.....works 60+ hours a week.....works nights(till midnight weekdays, 2am on weekends).....has a 6yr old and a 12 week old......lives with her dad(70yrs old)......her 6yr old has ADD/ADHD and some disorder where she won't sleep(she takes lots of medicine)......the mom has dyslexia(she can hardly read or write.....hello people....this is why it takes so long to do her homework). She was cursing(I told her to please never curse infront of her children....she said she would try) and crying...ranting and raving....and I just let her....listened.....cared.....tried to work out some solutions. You see...she wasn't really mad at the teacher about the homework...she is just OVERWHELMED WITH LIFE! I told her to talk to the guidance councelor about helping her daughter with her homework at school. And to tell the teacher about her learning disabilites. They would all understand and help. I also told her if she spoke as calmly as she was to me, when she met with the teacher and principal...things would get worked out without so much drama. She can't be more that 22yrs old, She hugged me when she left and I told her I would see her next week and I wanted to hear how everything was going. After she left...the teacher and office staff finally came out(cowards). They were very appreciative of me handling the situation. They said it looked very dramatic out in the hallway. Her pacing back and forth....yelling...crying...holding her little baby. They said it looked like I was talking someone down from a ledge.

Crabs...hee hee....

by teresa
Today, Ben's teacher invited me to watch a powerpoint she had put together of the pictures she and I took during the field trip last week. Remember....the farm. Anyway....we all went into the computer room to watch it. The kids loved it.....all kids love to see pictures of themselves. Well...it got to a picture I had taken of the lady known as "Queen Elizabeth". She had this little lecture about the Elizabeth river and all the things that live in it. She had turtles, snails, crabs, oyster shells, water samples and many other things. Anyway....when her picture came up one kid yelled out......"Hey, that's the lady that has crabs". Mrs. Keagy, Mrs. Ulsh(the computer teacher) and I couldn't stop giggling. It just sounded so funny. Here is a picture of the "crabs" lady.


by teresa
Did you guys know that there is Christmas music on the radio already? Katy told me, so I tuned in, and sure enough....white Christmas was on. The station is 107.7fm. I love it! Turn it on and enjoy!


by teresa
Tomorrow, since schools are closed and Katy doesn't have to babysit. We are going to have a picnic at the park beside her house. The kids are all going to bring their bikes and ride them on the track. We will bring the football, soccerball, and basketball to play with too. It should be a nice little outing. Chilly...but nice.


by teresa
Saturday is mine and Chris' anniversary. We have been married for 12 years. It has flown by! I am looking forward to a nice, long romantic dinner...maybe at my aunt's restaurant at the ocean front. Ciola's has the best italian food and most intimate atmosphere. Candlight, fireplace, music. It would be heavenly! But.....guess what is also saturday? An old dominion basketball game! Who do you think will get my husbands love and attention on saturday? Me....or Big Blue?

Last football game

by teresa
Friday night is the last Indian River football game this season(unless we make the playoffs). It is against Oscar Smith, who are undefeated. I think we can give them a run for their money. ALL the nannys and grandaddys are invited. The game begins at &;00pm and it costs $5.00 each to get in. It's going to be COLD...so bundle up. I may even bring a blanket for the boys. They are whimps when it comes to getting cold. I think they get that from their Nanny Jackie (hee hee).

Lauren's ring

by teresa
Lauren came home with ring information from school. She excitedly flipped through the catalog to show me the ones she liked the best. Some of them are pretty expensive. Yikes! This kid is like a vacumm. She comes in the house and sucks all my money away! Letterman jacket....Orchestra trip to Boston.....Ring dance dress......Class ring....Help!!!! She's lucky her daddy works so hard to get her all these things. She also informed us that all she wants for Christmas is car! Yeah...Right! That girl better get a JOB!


by teresa
We have been able to resume our Karate lessons now that soccer is over. The boys have gone several times this week already. Nick got to teach Ben's class the other day(with a head instructor). He was beaming and did a very good job. All the kids had to say, "Yes sir", whenever he instructed them to do something. Pretty cool! And yesterday after Ben's lesson he was presented his blue belt. He is really moving up quickly. Only 3 more colors and he tests to go into the big class. That's the one Nick and the adults are in. Ya'll should stop by and see one of his lessons sometime.

bad mommy

by teresa
The other day I was busy cleaning the house and forgot to go outside and wait for Ben's bus. I usually sit on the porch and read the paper or pick weeds or talk on the phone....whatever I'm doing....I'm doing it out in the yard. Well....this day....I lost track of time. I had the front door open, but I was busy vacumming. I heard the front door shut and turned and saw Ben standing there, out of breath and very looking upset with me. Hey Ben....Sorry, I didn't realize it was time for you already....I said. And this is what my child said to me..............Mommy, you weren't out on the porch! So...I thought a robber had come in the house and killed you. I was afraid to come in the house because I was going to see you dead! And then he buried his head in my lap and cried for about 10 minutes. GOOD GRIEF! I felt really bad, to say the least. You can be sure I will be outside at least 10 minutes before his bus is due from now on!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Road Update . . . Again

By Chris
Made it to Atlanta this a.m. Early! I beat the Avis guys to the lot to return my car this morning in Charlotte before 5, to catch the 6:00 to Atlanta. MARTA (the train in Atlanta) was behind schedule, which I have found is not unusual. And when it's like that, it gets packed, especially during commuting time. Every stop, even when you think that not even one more person could possibly fit in, 10 more people get on, while only two get off. You can imagine at that rate what happens. Touching strangers. My favorite! I have learned to give the train cars a sniff test before entering, selecting one that doesn't have the familiar MARTA smell. I used to see other people doing this, and couldn't figure out what they were up to, sticking their heads in one set of doors, then moving on to another car. Until, one day, I got on one of the clean cars by chance! Most of them smell like . . . well . . . someone couldn't make it to the bathroom . . . uhh, you get the picture (or scent, I guess). But, it only costs $1.50, so I guess you can't ask for much. Even after the train finally arrived, the stupid thing kept stopping on the track for no apparent reason. So, the MARTA ride across town took longer than the time it took to get from Charlotte to Atlanta. Stop. Go. Stop. Stop. Go. Dramamine was still working though. The darn thing stopped so much, that I lost all sense of where I was, and got consumed in reading my new book (Andrea Mitchell's memoir . . . which is great if you like news and politics). So, I missed my stop and had to backtrack a couple of stops.

Good news tonight, though. Better luck on the hotel than last night, at my regular Residence Inn. PJ, the night guy at the desk, is a real friend now. He's not as pretty as Teresa, but he is always happy to see me and gives me some type of food at check-in. This time it was Cheese-Its (which I didn't eat) and bottled water. Usually gives me an upgrade too, to the two bedroom suite (which he did tonight). At the Residence, there is free breakfast and dinner everyday. But, you get what they cook. No choices. I gave PJ a hard time because tonight they cooked up: Macaroni & Cheese and Meatballs. That's it. I told him that's what my ten-year-old would cook for dinner. He referred me to a Chinese Delivery service and knocked some money off my room rate (another learning: always ask the guy who checks you in at any hotel if that's the best rate he can select on the computer. Usually, there is something better they can give you since every room has a bunch of rate options that anyone working the front desk can select). One more day in Atlanta. I'll be home tomorrow night. I miss everyone!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Update From the Road

By Chris
Alright. Almost in the home stretch now on a very long series of days on the road. Been waking up regularly around 4 a.m. to get to a variety of places. Funny how that actually makes me more awake at night sometimes. Especially in hotels. Gotta be up at 8? Fall asleep at 10. Up at 4? 11:30 and wide awake, blogging!! Oh well. I lazy ironed (see a few days ago) and have remembered to turn off the shower, so it's been a pretty successful night. Only glitch . . . made an online reservation, and ended up with iffy lodging. You just never can tell, when you don't know the hotel. I manage to regularly pick ones in not-so-great locations. Tonight, I picked a Courtyard Marriott online, usually a safe choice. This one, though, has a companion Waffle House, which is never a good sign. And, you turn in through some type of truck station, to pass the Waffle House, to get to the hotel. So what does Waffle House next to hotel mean? That you will have a smoky smelling hotel. It's a nearly perfect indicator. Of course, the website doesn't ever tell you they are a Waffle House neighbor. So, it brings up the philosophical question: What comes first: The smoky hotel or the Waffle House? Does the Waffle House turn the hotel into a smoky one? Another thing you can count on at Waffle House hotels: Waffle House will be the only dining option nearby. Apparently, competing restaurants will not challenge a Waffle House next to a hotel. Not even McDonalds. Of course, Waffle House is never, ever an option for me. I will hit the road every time, to avoid that. They cook all their stuff on the same griddle surface. So, getting lucky at the Waffle House means that if you're getting eggs, you could get a hefty hunk of bacon, or some other meat, by accident. "Mmmmm, what's that special taste of these scrambled egg?" Hamburger-steak-bacon-sausage-grilled cheese residue seasoning . . . yum! Good night. I'll eat at the airport.

Busy day

by teresa
The boys and I had a really busy day today. Lauren spent the night out at her friends house and was there until 3:00pm today. So....it was just me and the boys. We slept in until around 9:00am. Ben had came in my bed around 6:00am, so he was cuddling with me and telling me ...I love you mommy! So I layed with him awhile even after we had woke up. You don't get affection from ben much, so I wasn't passing that up. Once we washed, ate, played playstation and dressed , we hopped in the car and went to the dry cleaners....then to vote(they had cool new digital ballots)...then to great bridge to order the trophies for the soccer team.....then we went to Chick fil a (I had free sandwich coupons from the pta). The boys ate and played in the new play place. Then I surprised them with a movie. Chicken Little at the regal theaters. They were giving free popcorns for filling out some survey...so of course I did that. The lady in front of us gave her free popcorn coupon to us....so both boys had their own. That worked out well! The movie was very cute.....and then we went over Katy's (I took Nick home first...he needed some alone time....if you know Nick, then you know what I mean). Ben and I stayed at Katy's for awhile (she put up her Christmas decorations today...so that was neat to see) and then we picked up sissy from her friend Megan's house. We drove home...I dropped off Lauren and Ben....picked up Nick...and the two of us went to the thrift store (remember...it's tuesday). He had a great time looking around the store....got a couple of things....and then we scooted over to........THE LIBRARY! Ben always whines when I want to take him(he says I take too long) but Nick loves to take his time, sit on the floor and rummage threw shelf after shelf. So that went well. After we got home....we read a couple of chapters from a book we have been reading together. Then everyone ate, showered, and got in bed by 8:00pm. Chris is out of town....so I put Ben in our bed. I usually let Shorty sleep with me when Chris is out of town, but we are having difficulty getting rid of his fleas. So.....he ain't sleeping with me! Tomorrow....schools in session. So, I will spend the day cleaning up after the kids FOUR day weekend!

Check Out the Smoking Blog

By Chris

Hey everyone. If you like the blogosphere, check out my organization's first try at using the blogosphere. The Great American Smokeout is coming up, and we have Smokers from all of our states (Delaware - Georgia) who are writing about their experiences. We launched today. There's also quitting information, e-cards to send to your smoking loved ones and more. Check it out, help us encourage our quitter bloggers and spread the word to someone you love who smokes. Go to www.quitforyou.org.

Final Soccer Game Excitment

By Chris
I can't believe Teresa hasn't posted this yet.

Last night was our final soccer game of the season. We played a team that beat us in the first game of the year, so we really wanted to win. Teresa laid out the lineups again, after the 7-0 victory she led them to Saturday, I wasn't touching that! It was great again. We were tied 1-1 late in the fourth quarter. Ben had been playing pretty good all night, just missing on a goal earlier from the side. In the last quarter, Ben stole the ball from the other team near the goal that we were defending, dribbled all the way down the field, breaking out of a pack of players, controlling the ball and outrunning the pack!! He took it to the goal box, took a hard shot and scored, just as time expired. We won 2-1! There wasn't even time for the other team to kickoff. We were all very excited. You could hear everyone screaming on the videotape that Nick was shooting, and Ben was running around, all smiles. It was pretty neat. Ben scored our first goal of the season and the last. The team was very happy. Kristian, as usual, shut them out when she was playing goalie, and was key playing defense and keeping the ball away from their best player, which we had challenged her to do. She has no fear! All the kids really got better as the season went on, which is what it's all about. It's neat to watch a final game where everyone is trying hard, and doing things they never would have done earlier in the season. It's mostly about confidence, and I think all of our kids got more confident all year. For the second game in a row, we let the littlest guy on the team play goalie. He begged for the longest time, so Teresa practiced him there then let him play there the last two games. He was lost when he first started. Now, he was playing goalie, the most stressful position to me. He didn't allow a single goal, and had several saves. Last night, he took a big kick rigth in his midsection and saved a goal. It hit him so hard that he cried, but he didn't move or flinch as the ball slammed into him. He had to go out of the game to get some comfort, but he was so happy with himself. He went back in, and dribbled in a pack a couple of times with kids twice his size! I was amazed. Teresa is responsible for that. She played him in the goal, and showed confidence in him, which he ate up.

Next up is basketball season. Ben is too young to play, but Kristian just made the cutoff, turning 7 in October. So, I'll coach her basketball team. Seven-year-old girls basketball!! Should be interesting. Practice starts after Thanksgiving, with games in January.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I'm A Magnet

by teresa
I think Iv'e mentioned this in the blog before.....I'm a magnet when it comes to the lonely, depressed, poor, elderly, or psycho. If they need to talk....they are drawn to me. Sometimes it's a gift....sometimes it's a curse. Like the time when the old woman called to me from a McDonald's bathroom stall....she could'nt get up and needed me to come in the stall, pull up her underthings and pants, and lift her off the toilet. Come on people...why me? I could have just snuck back out and act like I didn't hear her calling. I bet people did that before I came in. But no! WWJD......that's right WWJD! He would go in there and pull that ladys pants up! These kind of things happen to me almost weekly. Yesterday I told Chris I needed to run to the store for about 10 things. I would be back within 30 minutes. And I would have too.....but I was tied up talking to my friend Inez for over 45 minutes on the frozen food aisle of Farm fresh. It was the end of a very long day.....I wanted nothing more than to be at home curled up on the couch with Chris. But no! I was there, infront of the Hot Pockets reliving Inez's 80 plus years of memories. Eight children,all out of town, husband Lloyd who passed away 5 years ago from cancer, a beautiful 55 year marriage, how they met, where they got married(2 weeks later on Valentines day), his meddling mother from Alabama, how she caught one of her sons drinking because she always made them kiss her on the cheek when they come home so she could smell them, the church her family was raised in, where she bought her and her husbands burial plots(1984 for $3,800.00), how beautiful she was when she was young, how lonely she is since her husband died, the charity work she does for her church, how much she loves doing the nursery once a month at chursh, the little boy Jeffery who loved her and called her "mimi", how he loved him so much and his father was transferred to Hawaii and she cried, how she was raped a year ago this September by the mailman in her senior living apartments, the counceling she is in, how he stalked her and she had to move, how he didn't get prosecuted because they didn't have enough evidence(she waited several weeks to report it), and many,many,many more things. Had I ever met Inez before last night? No. I just smiled and said hello when our eyes met and the rest is history. Do these things happen to you? Perfect strangers telling you there life stories?

Farm days

by teresa
Ben's field trip went great on Friday. Chris let me drop him off at the airport 3 hours before his flight left so I could make it to the park on time. I did arrive about 15 minutes later than the buses. But I dressed ben in his YELLOW windbreaker so finding him would be easy. It took about ten to fifteen minutes of me trotting from group to group to find him(all the other primary schools in chesapeke were there too!). I only found him because I spotted a teacher I recognized. Ben had turned his coat to the blue sid (it is reversible)...so that's why I could'nt find him. Anyway....we all had a great time. Here are a few of the 75 shots I took.

My car

by teresa
I know the saga of my car woes has been neverending since the accident. Well..the other day after spending several hours at Ben's school I went to hop in my car and it was dead. A little clicking...but no turn over. Pooh! Stupid car!
So of course I got on my cell phone and called my daddy. Daddy.....can you come jump my car? I'll be right there...he said. I knew he would be! He was there in about 3 minutes and we jumped the car. After a few minutes we turned off the car to see if it would start up on it's own. Nope! Dead again! So we jumped it again and I drove it to the house. Once there we let it run for a long time. Dad said that may charge up the battery. Well it didn't work. So we jumped it again and I drove up to advance auto. They came out (a woman), checked the battery, and told me it had a dead cell. She sold me a new battery.....she took out the old one and put in the new one(you go girl) and I was home in about 20 minutes. If they sell you the battery...the put it in for free! That's Advance Auto...you should check them out! Anyway, later that night we were running errands with the boys...by the time we got back out to the car the sun had gone down. We started the car and guess what..........my dash lights were working! Praise the Lord! I don't know what happened...but I am pleased to have my car in complete working order for the first time since September 1st.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I Dream of . . . . Teresa

By Chris
Teresa has become quite fashionable lately. She always looks good going to her school job, or anywhere, really. Yesterday, I called from the airport as she was shopping for new pants. This morning I got to see them. I thought they looked great! I had not really seen anything like them before . . . maybe she'll let me take a picture. They flaired out towards the bottom, making them almost look like a dress when you stand still. They really flowed and moved nicely as she walked. Very hip and sophisticated at the same time, especially with the pink shirt and sliver \ pink necklace. So, I hummed the I Dream of Jeanie song to her on the way to church.

Boy Time

By Chris
Teresa went to a baby shower today, and Lauren had my car running around. She helped out at a Special Olympics bowling event in Va. Beach early in the a.m., then to the mall with school friends and then the park with church friends. Sounds like a politician . . . a little charity work and stops with all the main constituent groups, hehe.

That left the boys at home, with no transportation, to entertain ourselves. As of now, Ben and Nick have spent about 5 hours in the back yard. First, we cleaned the cutters out. Teresa wouldn't approve, but I let them both go up on the ladder and and get a couple of scoops of the never ending pine straw that gathers up there. Ben thought it was really cool to be that high (and I'm certain I could have caught him if he fell!). We played a little basketball, and a bunch of football. Ben cried a couple of times . . . since Nick is so much bigger it hurts when he lands on him! But, he sucked it up everytime and wanted to keep playing. One time after a fall \ tackle he sort of gave out a little half giggle - half cry and said "I cracked all my knuckles at the same time." That one sort of worried me. It probably wouldn't go over too well if somebody broke something on my watch, and I had no car to get them to the doctor. Now, they are digging and getting really dirty. That wouldn't be high on mom's list of things to do, either. But, they are really enjoying playing together and they're not fighting, which is really, really rare. I think I might be on to something. Let them have some organized physical altercations, and it will cut down on the fighting. At one point, Ben asks me, "Since mom's gone can we eat lots of the candy?" , and he was very serious. Have I become soft? Why would he say that?

Oh, well. We had fun. Everybody survived. And I only let them have a little candy.

Soccer Win!!

by teresa
Yesterday we had a soccer game and it was great! Chris was out of town so Katy and I had to run the show. I even made the lineup myself the night before(6 drafts). It was perfect weather...and all the kids showed up(although 2 barely made it before kickoff...and one forgot his cleats at home). At our last practice we tried some new kids out at goalie. Not because they are particularly great...but because they wanted to. We love to win...but believe that if a kid wants to play a certain position...they should get to! Even is they are not the best at it. So I made the lineup with these kids in the goal. The kids were pumped! Well.....we won 7 to 0! They were amazing! And the new kids in goal....GREAT! They really made us (and their parents) proud! Ben scored TWO times. I ran out on the field and spun him around. He was beaming!!! Nanny Jackie and George were there too. The second score by Ben was a penalty kick. Three other players who had NEVER scored before(and were never expected to) scored a goal each. The parents and grandparents went WILD! And one of our superstars scored two times. Kristian of course shut out many attempts when she was in the goal. She really is amazing. Our last game is Monday night at 6:00pm. Come on out and join the cheering section.

toys r us kids

by teresa
One night this week, Chris and I took the boys to toys r us to put a Christmas list together. We took a notebook and told them to pick out 10 things each in the entire store , and I would write the info in the notebook. Then the nannies and Chris and I will split the list up. We were there for about an hour and a half. They kept putting this on and taking that off. I'm glad we went, because some things that I had been looking at as "for sures" for Christmas gifts...they didn't even like. Finally...they finished. I have the list if anyone wants to see it.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Basketball is Back!

By Chris
This week was the first Old Dominion basketball game of the year (an exhibition, but still a game). Nick and I went with Mike (college roommate, friend and more than 15-year co- ODU fan with me . . . Mike's twin Mitch is also in our basketball crew for more than a decade). I don't hunt. Don't fish. Don't golf. Don't buy many gadgets. Mostly love using my free time on family stuff and coaching my kids' teams. But, I am pretty stubborn about my ODU games. I'll try to re-arrange almost anything to see the Monarchs play. We had to switch sections this year and up our donation to the Big Blue Club to get decent seats, since the guys are expected to be very good, possibly even nationally ranked. I'm happy when they win and grumpy when they loose. It is about the only place I raise my voice (except when one of the knuckleheads needs a jolt at home!). It might sound strange, but it's very therapeutic. It starts in November and ends in March, so it's not even a year-round vice! Nick goes to pretty much every game with me, and likes hanging with Mike and Mitch. It's about the only thing that Nick, as middle kid, gets to do with me by himself (Ben is starting to ask about going, but his hyper butt really can't sit there for two hours yet, and chasing him around is not an option!). Teresa is very cool with it. She never really gives me a hard time about games, even those on anniverseries! She does always ask "did you win," when I get home. She'll admit that she doesn't really care, except that it will tell her if she needs to leave me alone for a little while the answer is "no." Thanks, baby, for letting me have my basketball!

Lazy Ironing

By Chris
Over the last few months, I've become pretty good at finding the shortcuts to traveling. One of my favorite tricks eliminates the need to iron. I unpack at the hotel, and hang up my clothes for the next day in the bathroom, turn the shower on hot and let the wrinkles fall out. Works like a charm if you've had your clothes pressed at the cleaners', which Teresa takes care of for me (I really appreciate that. She always keeps me cleaned and pressed).

Tonight I was talking to Teresa on the phone, when it hit me that I forgot about the clothes in the steam room! They were in there for at least 2 hours! It looked like it was raining in there when I opened the door, and the clothes were slightly more than damp. Water had collected on the ceiling, beeded up and was falling periodically. I litterally created a little weather system right here in my Marriott hotel room! Hopefully, the clothes will dry out before 6 a.m. tomorrow when I need to be at a meeting! This is the second time I've forgotten the clothes like this . . . all in all, it beats ironing though!!

Farm days

by teresa
Ben hopped right out of bed this morning. Got dressed with no whining and bounded down the stairs. Eager to get his shoes, coat, and bookbag on and get out to the bus stop. Why...you ask? Two words....FIELD TRIP! All of the first graders in his school are going to Chesapeake city park for "farm days". This will involve animals, a hayride, a walk through a pumkin patch, picnic, and many more activities. He is sooooo excited. I remember field trip days. No work, just lots of fun socializing with your friends. It's good to be a kid! The weather is going to be beautiful (74 and sunny) so the day should be perfect. Aside for the few tantrums that are most likley going to occur (60 6yr olds in one place.....it's inevitable). I am going to stop by the park after I drop Chris off at the airport and join in the fun. Nanny Jackie is supposed to drop by for a few minutes also.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Southwest Flying Geeks

By Chris
Sitting in the airport, waiting on a Southwest flight:

Unlike other airlines, Southwest does not asign seats. You get a boarding
pass with A, B or C on it. A's go first, C's last. So, well before the
plane departs, all the people stake out their spots in their respective
lines, to get first choice of seats. I'm sitting here now in this mess.
Peolpe are jockeying for position and making really unorganized lines. The
plane isn't even at the gate yet, but these folks don't care. Better to
stand in line for an hour to get ahead of me than to get some bad seat for
the 25 minute flight. I bet they get home and brag about the seat they
got. I understand the people in the C line doing this. But, no matter
what happens, the B's and and A's are going to get row or window seats.
What's the hurry to stand in that bunched up line? And, get aggressive
about it. I have a B ticket today, and there is no way I'm standing with
that horde of humanity. They all are practically touching each other, lest
someone get one spot ahead of them! I'll fall in as the last B to board,
and, guess what, I will get a seat! And it's been my experience that all
the seats on a particular plane typically arrive at the same time!
Amazing. Hehehe.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


by teresa
Trunk r treating was a blast at church. The kids got lots of candy and had fun with their friends. We invited the kids from our soccer team and some of them came. That was wonderful. Some of them even said they might visit the church on Sunday. Nick, Ben, Kristian, and Kai were in a costume...but Lauren came in her regular clothes. After she got there her friends took her up to the costume room in church and she put on a fake beard, hat and coat. And then she won first prize in the costume contest. That's so Lauren! Here are some of the highlight pictures from the evening.

Ben's halloween party

by teresa
I had a really good time preparing for Ben's class party. I was up at his school several times during the week preparing the crafts and goody bags. It went really well and the kids enjoyed themselves. Ben didn't stop smiling the whole day! I'm blessed to be able to do theses things. Nick's teacher only wanted to do treat bags...so I made them and sent them at home and sent them in with Nick. He said they all enjoyed the goodies. This is a picture of Ben doing the craft.