Friday, December 30, 2005
Tonight Nick and Chris went to the ODU game and Lauren went to a party with some kids from church. So, Ben and I ordered in. We ordered online. I have never done this before. It worked. You know....after you submit the order online....you sit there wondering if anyone is even checking the computer. Should I call? NO....that's the whole idea dummy! No hassle. Just click....and your pizza is here in thirty minutes! Ben was pleased. It even came with free chicken strips for ordering online. Cool!
We all got up early Christmas moring so the kids could open their presents before church. I liked going to church on Christmas. No classes to teach....just worshipping with your family, celebrating Jesus birth and taking communion as a family. After all....that's the reason for the season! We came home and ate all day long.
Katy and the kids, mom and dad, grandaddy dyer and george and jackie came over and ate and exchanged gifts through the day. Then mom had us all over in the evening for chilli and more gifts. We were all exhausted by the end of the day. But it was a perfect day! Happy Birthday Jesus! Here are some of the highlight pics. from the day.
We (katy an I) took all the kids to the botanical gardens so I could take pictures that we could use for gifts for mom and Jackie. We took over a hundred shots. They turned out real good. We matched and everything! Once in the frames they were really outstanding. It was a great idea. By the way....did you know you have to pay to get into the botanical gardens? $6.00 for every person in the car! Good grief!!
The boys Karate school had their annual Christmas party and we really enjoyed it. There was lots of food some cool demos and an awards ceremony. Ben was involved in one of the demos. It was 5 little dragons (Ben's karate group) performing a choreographed routine to "Proud to be an American".
It was AWESOME! Then during the awards ceremony...both boys recieved awards. Nick....the most prestigous for his age group. It was a great night.
Ben's school had a breakfast with santa on a saturday morning. I volunteered to help with it, so the boys came along with me. They had a good time. When we pulled up Santa and Mrs. Claus were arriving in style.
Ben loved that!!
Then the boys ate and played while I worked. After a while Ben and I couldn't find Nick. I sent Ben off to find him.
Of course he was in the cafeteria working with the lunch lady. He was serving breakfast. He was in heaven!
Monday, December 19, 2005
Finally, all the Christmas practices and performances are over. Nick, Ben and Kristian all starred in the church show "Christmas in Reverse" last night to top off a busy few weeks. It was very cute. Nick was one of the narrators, and did very well articulating his parts clearly. He wore a tie and white shirt and looked pretty sharp. Kristian was an Angel and took everything very seriously. Ben was animated, cute and on point for his solo rap and other parts. Teresa got it all on video. Pictures coming soon.
We were so glad that cousin Joey got better in time for the Dyers to come down from Warrenton for Saturday and part of Sunday. They're really the only out-of-town family we have, and it's so neat to see them. I know it sounds like a cliche, but the kids grow so much in just a few months. We learned that Jamie played basketball for this first time . . . which, of course, is very exciting for me. Soon he'll be playing in a Chritian basketball organization called Upward, which I have heard great things about. We'll definitely have to make a trip up 95 to see him in action. He and brother Joey are getting really tall. The men enjoyed a few hours away to watch my ODU Monarchs drub DePaul in basketball by 44 points . . . so all is good!
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
Teresa, our staff photographer, will put up pictures soon . . . but the Karate for Christ dinner was very good. All the Greens went, along with the grandparents (minus sick Grandaddy Allen). We knew Ben would be one of five Little Dragons in a demo, and that was exciting. What we didn't know was that Nick and Ben would get awards from the Dojo, both of them for displaying the underlying Christian ethics associated with Karate For Christ. We were very proud, and got lots of pictures. Ben's demo was very cute, and he looked like a real pro. He didn't seem nervous at all doing his moves before a couple hundred people. Nick's award really touched him . . . he was beaming and anxious to get the new patches on his "uniform." We really love Karate for Christ, and learned their reach was even further than we knew . . . this ministry is touching the lives of hundreds and hundreds in Hampton Roads and across the world, we learned. If you are ever asked to support them, you ought to do it.
Well, Teresa cashed Lauren's first paycheck for her, which started an interested conversation . . . which will continue.
When Lauren discovered her check had been converted to cash (something Lauren had not figured out how to do), she was very anxious to get the money. Of course, I had different ideas . . . the kind of ideas that make teenagers think parents are, well, obstacles. First, we would take $50 off the top. Money she had spent promising to pay us when she cashed her check. She couldn't believe the little eating out here and trinkets there added up to $5o so quickly. A good lesson. But, I also told her that she wasn't just going to have access to hundreds of dollars at a time, even if she did earn it. She looked at me like I was crazy . . . and said as much too. "We're going to have to know what your planning to spend your money on," I explained. "I know how to manage my money," she declared. I laughed at her. "You didn't even know how to turn that piece of paper into cash!" She didn't get it, and left pretty irritated with me. Of course, as I am apt to do, I exaggerated the point a bit: I told her at her age, her money is my money. That was a little strong. What I meant to say is:
Even a little bit of wisdom will show you that money is a potentially dangerous thing. A good parent wouldn't expose their children to dangers on purpose, would they? Yet, we dismiss money training too often and easily, I think. As much as you need training driving a car, you need training even more in dealing with money. The proven dangers of money? It's been known to breed addictions, cause divorces and broken families (my pet peeve), blur judgement and generally cause trouble. Unhealthy management of money is habitual, according to everything I can find on the topic (as is healthy management of money). Poor management of money has even been proven to be a generational curse on some families. Have you ever seen someone with an unhealthy emotional approach to spending and saving? It has literally devastating effects sometimes, leading to unhealthy dependencies that mess up orderly Spiritual and human relationships. All started with bad habits. So, yes, I am going to be very hands-on with my kids' money, even when they earn it . . . especially as teenagers. Now is the time to make sure Lauren has healthy habits and pereceptions with money. She's already started pretty well: by having a job, her brain will soon make the connection between work and money. I think if you give kids money incessantly (or the things money provides), they don't make that link between work and money. We've seen those adults who never made that link, right? Now, she has to learn how to "have" money. To become a steward of a blessing. It's hard. And, she needs our help. Hands on help, at first. That's what I was trying to tell her. We'll have to teach her that she doesn't really "know how to manage her money" until she understands:
- Tithing and saving (10 - and - 10 rule)
- Emotional spending
- Time Value of Money (since time is actually worth more than amount in the money world, the sooner you learn it the better off you will be). The whole banking and financing industry is built on this, and it works for individuals too.
Cha - ching.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Well, our last entry should have been a clue about what has happened to us. We got sick! Blogging is not really on your mind when you're sick, so . . .
But, we seem to be getting better, though I am exhausted already at 2 p.m.
Some rambling and updates from the last several days . . .
Saw a funny thing . . . Santa will be at Hooters this weekend, with gifts for kids! Uhh. I guess the sentiment there is something like: "Happy Birthday Jesus! We're taking the kids to Hooters!!" Great Day . . .
Ben is doing a demo tonight at Karate for Christ's Christmas dinner at Deep Creek Baptist Church.
It turns out our Guatamalan friend Marian will be staying with us a couple more nights before she heads back home (we'll take her to the airport bright and early Sunday). We're glad to have her back, and she will get to experience another family gathering with us since the Dyers from Warrenton (Teresa's uncle, wife and kids) will be in town, and we will celebrate Christmas early with them.
Lauren got her first paycheck last week . . . and without our help she has not figured out how to convert it to cash. That's a good savings plan, I guess. We'll open her an account soon.
Finally, some drug learnings:
I bought Excedrin for the first time recently. Did you know that stuff has caffeine in it? Makes me sort of hyper. Weird feeling, when you think your just taking aspirin. Oh, and they are HUGE. Back to Advil for me.
Nyquil has changed their antihistimine ingredient. It doesn't knock you out nearly as thoroughly as before. Not sure that is good news.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Today I was at Ben's school. They had a lot of work for me to do while I was at the desk. So the time flew by. Next week I will be there everyday to help out with the santas workshop (kids bring in money to buy family gifts). While working the desk the nurse marched Ben by me. He had a bloody nose. He gets these all the time, so it wasn't that big of a deal. He does however have some major congestion. I gave him some cough medicine before he left for school this morning. He was coughing terribly all night. I asked him if he wanted to stay home with me...but of course he refused. He loves school too much! He doesn't want to mess up his perfect attendance. Not long after returning home, I got a call from Nick's school. He was in the nurses office with a headache and a temperature (100.4). So I had to go get him. I hope he doesn't get worse. The nurse said alot of kids have been out this week, and they all started out with symptoms like Nick's. I bet one or both of them will end up having to stay home tomorrow. That should be fun!
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
I took the boys out to look at christmas lights tonight. I surprised them. At 7:30pm, when I usually get them in the shower, I said ,"get your shoes on....we are going out." They were sooooo excited! I stopped at 7eleven and got them hot chocolate and a donut each. And off we went. We went up and down all the streets in our neighborhood and then out to a house on kempsville that has about a hundred plastic light up characters on the lawn. We blared the christmas music most of the time....except when the boys took turns serenading me with rudolph the red nose reindeer. Ben kept messing up near the end of the song and starting back over again. Aaarrrggg! I thought Nick would explode waiting for his turn to sing. We were gone for an hour and then we came home and the boys climbed right into bed. And all is right in the world. (from "A Christmas Story")
Lauren just got home from school...cheering practice...and work. She left for school at 7:45am and got home at 10:20pm. She looks like shes been run over. So of course I had to take a picture.
Yikes! That's some pretty hair right there! She's eating dinner and then going up to do her homework. I bet she sleeps good tonight!
Kaden went for her FOUR month checkup last week. They told us what we have suspected for awhile now......she is a chunky monkey! And I love it! That's the way a baby should be. She is now 14lbs 4 ozs. She is in the 75% for height and weight. She is healthy and perfect. Isn't she adorable?
We are so excited about the Lion the witch and the wardrobe coming out in two days. Nick and I have just reread the book and we are soooo ready for the movie. We have the vhs of the 1970's cartoon version. But this is going to be epic, like Lord of the rings and harry potter epic! JOY! I will wait and take the kids to the evening viewing instead of the midnight showing like we did for GOF(thats goblet of fire for you muggles). That was a killer!(but worth it)
Last nights karate class was very cool. They learned two ways to get away from kidnappers. One...if they try to drag you off by the wrist (this involved stepping on feet, falling down, wrapping around the leg , sitting on foot and biting the back of the knee)and two...if they throw you over their shoulder(this involved grabbing the back, climbing down the leg upside down,flipping to your butt, and running). All the kids were thrilled with this and really got into it(especially the biting part). Poor sensei Kim. Another exciting thing happening at the dojo is the return of sensei Scott. He is a total cutie who went away to college (sigh) and is now returning as a full time teacher in Jan. They said it was because the head instructor Soke broke his leg and they need him to pick up they slack, but I know different. All the moms got together and signed a petition to bring him home. Class just isn't the same without him. Hee hee!
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I don't think I have blogged about this yet. We have been without a dryer for over a week now. It went kaploowee last Monday. I called Southland(where we but ALL our appliances..(THEY ARE THE CHEAPEST AND THE BEST) and they were so backed up with appointments, their technician couldn't come out until today. I almost cried with the lady on the phone. I wash between 2 to 3 loads of clothes a day(if I am caught up). So this has been a real henderence! I have washed some tubs and taken them next door to my mothers to put in her washer. I tried not to do this everyday(maybe every other day). I can't wait until they come. I am having to miss work today to wait for them. But it's worth it to get back to drying! Southland...Southland.....where for art thou Southland?
I changed my mind about taking Chris to the airport. I decided that Lauren should get up and take him since it would be her that needed the car. I know that may sound mean to you, but.....that's a good lesson for her. If you want the reward...you have to make the sacrafice! And she did! She took him, and got home and went back to bed for awhile. Now I don't have to run myself ragged criss crossing town to get all three kids to their commitments. Lauren has a car....and I have a car. At least until Friday.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Because Chris' flight was cancelled he had to switch it to tomorrow. Of course the only flight that would get him there for his meeting is the 6:00am. Which means he has to be there by 5:00am. That is so early. I am taking him so Lauren(who has a busier schedule than the president) can use his car while he is gone this week.
Today I met Jackie at Walmart to do some Christmas shopping for the kids our church is sponsoring. We had 12, so we split up the list and went to it. Each kid got about 3 toys (all from a list their cargivers provided) and a coat and outfit. It only took us about 5 hours. Jackie is also purchasing rack room gift cards for each of them. I can't wait until Saturdays Christmas lunch to watch them all open the gifts. I think there about 50 kids or so. Each of the kids have parents who are incarcerated. When the volunteers wrap the gifts(which will be thursday night) they put From: Dad or From:mom (whoever is in jail) and the kids get excited to think that their parent is thinking of them eventhough they are apart. Chris and I are sponsoring a table (I encourage each of you who read this to do the same). And Nick has once again been asked to help in the kitchen by the adults in charge of the afternoon. He really enjoys this so much. So I hope nobodys feathers get too ruffled by his participation. :) Anyway...now I need to get it in gear and finish shopping for my own family.
Saturday, when Chris and Nick went to the Old Dominion b-ball game, I took Ben, Katy, Kristian and Kai to the parade in Great Bridge. It was freezing and crowded. But, we got a primo spot right at the corner of battlefield and Cedar road. I think everybody enjoyed it alright. Although Kai asked to go sit in the car about 30 minutes before it was over(he was a little under the weather). Here are some pics. The kids enjoying themselves(they brightened up after Katy walked across the street and got pizza from little ceasars), and the shopping cart some lady was pushing around selling dollar tree christmas paraphernalia.
Friday and Saturday both Lauren and Nick were in the church play. They have been practicing a long time with it and I think it turned out pretty cute. I also had a role in putting it on. No....not acting or singing, I was the copy person. which just means I sit up front and read along with the actors (in my head) and feed them a line when they forget them. It happened several times both nights. We have one more show on Dec. 11th. Here are some pics. One of Lauren on her 1940's get up and one of Nick dressed up like a newsie (I found him shooting pool in a sunday school room...what are they teaching my kids in church theses days?)
In order to keep my car available for the week, Teresa dropped me at the
airport early this morning. I'm still here! They say a battery is dead,
and ther is no replacement in this part of the world, apparently. They're
funny how they handle these things. About 20 minites before depart time,
the first announcemt came. Never a good sign. “We'll be delayed about 10
mins. ... But we will get back to you with an update”. When an airline rep
says we'll get back to you with an update, that is relly code speak for
“you folks with any experience ought to get on your phone and re-book
before all 175 on the plane figure out we are in trouble”. Now it's a game.
Do I take a chance and switch to the next flight, 2 hours later? That
could backfire, if this one is delayed less than 2 hours. I decide to wait
a minute. Wrong move.
The “get back to you in a minute”. Turned into, “we're looking for a
battery, it could take several hours” Darn! Now all 175 are in line. No
need for me to do that. They will rebook me automatically on something.
No way that all the people are getting on the next Atlanta flight, which is
probably full already. I've put Teresa on hold to come get me. Everyone
is on cell phones trying to out-maneuver each other (it's usually quicker
to call the airline from your cell phone than to stand in line). They're
not answering though. So, I sit and wait. Now it is getting interesting,
because the 10 am flight crowd is arriving, and people are telling them
“the flight to Atlanta is delayed.”. Well, it's not THAT one that is
delayed. Now they are getting in line too, for no reason. It's becoming
very likely that I could now drive to Atlanta before this gets sorted out.
Because, even if they get the battery for the plane here by 2, they will
surely cancel this flight to get that plane back on track. But they are
not telling us that yet.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Last night was Marians b-day/goodbye party at church. Today she will be traveling to North Carolina with The Hoyles (missionaries from our church), they will be attending a family reunion Christmas get together. Our family really enjoyed having her in our home. She is such a sweetie! And...with her around the boys were on extra good behavior. All the teenagers came to the party. She gots loads of cards (she said she was going to hang them in her room back home), gifts and money. She looked alittle overwhelmed...but happy. Phyllis Lowry(mom of another family who hosted her) and I got pictures together and made a scrapbook for her. It included pictures of all the things she has done in America...and all the people she met. It also has a voice recorder on it(enough for 12 messages). So we were all able to tell her how much we love her and will miss her. When she gets home, she can still have our voices....and her parents can see and hear the people she was involved with here.