Friday, March 28, 2008

The B-I-B-L-E, yes, that's the book for me

When it's time to play, UB knows that it's important to carry not only his gun for protection, but his Bible in it's own special cover for more protection.

Especially if he's going to be involved in a gunslinger's fight. These meetings start off friendly enough.
But then they all start running for their lives and it's every man or woman for himself.

Those battles can get out of hand, but there is nothing to fear, because everyone knows that wherever UB is, his gun and Bible are right there with him.

"Wait for me guys, I just need to get my Bible."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Shall we go for a spare now?

No, my husband does not abuse me. He's actually a wonderful husband. He doesn't do dishes, but he's still wonderful.

That bruise, on my left elbow, and the matching bigger bruise, on my left hip bone, is the result of my 90 something pound dog using me as a bowling pin.

She wanted to go bowling, in the dark, saw me standing there and ran full speed ahead until I flew in the air and landed on the concrete walkway in front of my house. She ended up with a strike. Me, as you can see, ended up with something else.

Because of the pain on my left side, I was forced to sleep on my right side for 3 days and as a result of THAT, I had severe neck pain on my right side because I couldn't sleep on my left side.

All this because my wonderful guard dog wanted to go cow tipping and I wouldn't let her.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Homeschooling the non-reader

I just realized that I hardly write about home schooling. We do home school. Sometimes I don't talk about it because I hate comparing myself to other people. It's a brutal world out there and just because we home school, is no different than being out in public schools.

You get together with other home schoolers and sometimes it turns out to be a competition. You know, the "well, my son is only 4 but he's in 3rd grade already" kind of stuff.

Last year, I wanted to do it all. I would hear of a curriculum that sounded good, I'd write it down and try it. I already had a curriculum, but I wanted to supplement what I had. So I ended up doing a lot more than what I should have and then realized that it was causing me and my son to dislike school. We were both stressed about it. I didn't even like to get up in the mornings, because I knew that the tears would start as soon as I said, "let's start school". And this was Kindergarten.

I actually wanted to quit. I prayed about it and knew that God still wanted us to home school. So I sucked it up, changed my attitude for this year and started fresh. School started pretty much the same way that it ended last year. Both of us in frustration. I knew there had to be an easier way to make this all better for us, but I had no idea how at the time. I also had a pre-k student, so now I had the little one that wanted to do school all the time and the 1st grader that hated school.

So I prayed some more and realized that I couldn't compare myself or my children to others. I was a unique person and so were my children. What worked for others obviously didn't work for me. I changed the way I did things, because while structure to the exact minute works for some people, it didn't work for us. Yes, we start at a certain time, but if we didn't finish in the alloted time that I'd given it, so what, we continued on until we finished.

AB hated to read. All the words seemed to just jump out at him and he got overwhelmed with them. He would open the book, start to cry and not stop until we finished the little story. I had to change everything. I tried it all. You name it, I probably did it. I think I should invest in stock in the company's that make thick packing tape and blank index cards. I made flash cards for the vocabulary words and sentence strips for the sentences.

Some days would go better than others. While UB begged me to do school, AB begged me to let him go work, because he'd rather work than do school. I know that some people would tell me that I did it wrong, but sometimes I'd let AB pick what he wanted to do first. I wanted to get him to enjoy school and at the beginning of the year, like I said, he hated it.

I enrolled him in the Braum's ice cream program, the Pizza Hut program, the Six Flags reading program and even bribed him with so many books read would get him a certain lego set. No go. At one point he said he didn't care about any of it. I even threatened to send him to public school.

But my plan worked. Some days he wanted to do reading first. Some days last. But then there were those days that he wanted to read all day. So nothing but reading would get done, but I didn't care, because I was finally getting some of my sanity back.

Now, I can't type in front of him (if I don't want him to know what I'm typing). He reads signs all over the place while we are driving or at places where we are. He even says that he loves to read now. He'll get a book and tell me he wants to read it to me or he'll do two reading lessons at one time.

We do school my way now. I tell him what we need to do and what order and I get no tears and no tantrums. All I get is an "ok mom". He'll even want to start school before we are actually supposed to start.

In my 3rd year of Home schooling I've learned that praying about it definately works, but every child is different. What works for one, might not work for another.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Entertaining Angels

I took the boys to the store yesterday to look for some jeans and shoes. The holes on the knees of their jeans are big enough to fit a basketball in there. Now, I know that there are some people out there that pay big bucks to get the same look, but I'm just not one of them. I think it's crazy when people buy jeans with holes in them for anything over $10. Bring them over to me, pay me the 80 extra dollars and I'll be glad to put as many holes in those jeans as you would like.

While we were getting ready to leave the mall, we stopped to get a cookie. As we were standing there, a man approached us and starting looking at AB's shirt. It had a panther and a guitar and other stuff on it. AB was inching back because the man was getting closer. All this man wanted to do was look at the shirt. I finally got AB to stand still long enough to get the man to see what he wanted.

This man had long gray and black hair that was in a pony tail. His beard was just as long and was in a braid with a bright red rubber band on it. He had the bushy eyebrows and his front two teeth were missing. He was wearing a vest and some jeans with some boots. Yes, he was not the best looking man to look at, but he was not gross. And he did smell just a tad bit.

As I was talking to this man, the boys relaxed and were smiling at him. But the people around us were not. There were two ladies about 5 feet away that looked at me like I was crazy to be talking to this man. They huddled together and kept moving away from where we were talking to this man. The cookie girl asked me for my order and smiled an "I'm sorry" smile.

I got my order and still listened to this man tell me his story. He finished and I told him good bye. The people all looked at me weird. He stood in line to get his order and we left.

He wasn't hurting anyone and he wasn't being rude or ugly. Yes, he was strange looking, but we are all strange looking at one time or another. Some of us more so than others.

I guess what made me stand there and talk to him was that while I didn't have to, I wanted to. The thought that kept coming to my mind while talking to him was, "what if that was Jesus?" So I couldn't leave and not be kind to him. My only regret is that I didn't offer him a cookie.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Adventure Boy

Last Tuesday was Adventure Boys birthday. He had been extremely excited because we let them pick what they want for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So he chose pancakes for breakfast, tacos (homemade) for lunch and frozen pizza for dinner. I know, those are such nutritious food choices, but hey, a kid only turns 7 once.

He had also received some money from some people. He wanted a certain nerf gun. He gives me the money and says, "here mom, it's to help pay for the gun I want" How sweet is that?

Then UB had one dollar, he combined it with AB's 2o something dollars and 0ff we went to the store to get AB his toy gun. We get to the store and AB says he wants to make sure he has enough money to also buy his little brother something. He picks out a gun (the one that he wanted) and then lets his brother choose a small gun and they go pay.

UB is thanking AB profusely for buying him a gun on AB's birthday. AB is quite proud of himself because I told him I was proud for thinking of someone else on his birthday.

Then we get home and they start shooting each other and fighting. That happy moment at the store was short lived.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Hubster!

Hubster's birthday was Saturday. We actually went out on another date. I'm starting to enjoy these dates with my husband. I'm not used to them. We would go out on dates, but it was maybe once every 6 months or so. So I'm really liking this. Anybody want to volunteer to watch my boys anytime?

On Friday, my friend had invited my boys to a sleepover at her house with her 4 boys. A house with 6 boys. Wow! But the boys all get along and they have a great time together. So the boys left sometime in the afternoon and stayed the night.

Hubster and I celebrated his birthday at dinner time on Friday night. I knew Hubster wanted to work on his car Saturday and figured we would eat in after picking up the boys.

This was UB's first sleepover and AB's second one. It was actually strange to sleep in a house with no kids. I was enjoying the quiet, but at the same time, I missed the noise. We stayed up late watching a movie, but being old fogies, we had to turn the movie off because our sleep was being interrupted. I woke up at 8 the next morning on my own. I didn't have anyone standing 3 inches from my faces, scaring me out of my wits as they said "mom, what's for breakfast?"

The boys had made their daddy a homemade card and each had attatched something from their room to give to daddy for his birthday. UB's gifts consisted of a hot wheels car that he said was a collector car. It had apparantly been involved in a road rage battle with another car because the scratches on it told a story. He also put a paper clip, a rubber band, a pen, a pencil, a candy and some lint.

AB had made a card and taped some candy on the inside as well as a keychain with a Jeff Gordon mini car on it.

Nothing like having homemade gifts made with love.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Where do bullies come from?

As far as I know, there have always been bullies in the world and always will be. I remember encountering some bullies when I was in school. Those bullies that like to make fun of you for whatever reason, or the bullies that want to beat you up just because.

There was a girl in my 5th grade class that was a bully. I tried to stay away from her as much as possible. When she would aproach me, I would run. Literally. I was a skinny little thing that could run fast. She, on the other hand, was a chunky little girl. Maybe that's why she had issues. Anyway, I knew that during recess, if she was approaching me to bully me, I would run because I knew she wouldn't catch me. I mean, her little stubby legs would move, but not as fast as my long skinny ones. But when we would go back into class, her harassment started again. I always thought I was dead meat.

One day, we were out in the playground and she approached me, I don't remember why I didn't run, but I stayed there. All I remember is her hitting me and me striking back. Boy did it feel good. I didn't get in trouble because I was a teacher's pet and my teacher knew the history of this bully. However, she got in trouble. I don't remember having to run away from her from then on.

Even though we Homeschool, we still encounter some bullies. Not on an everyday basis, but every now and then. Recently, at a practice that AB attends, there were two boys, 8 yrs old, who bullied a 7 yr old in the dressing room. These boys pushed and shoved and told this little 7 yr old stuff and then they threatened him with a knife. The 7 yr old was scared, as I would be, but didn't tell his mom until he got into the car to leave. The mom came back in and talked to the mom of one of the older kids and that mom got mad. Not at the mom for telling her, but at her son.

The coach made them sit out for a month. Just to watch and not play. Then the coach had a nice long talk with them. And I do believe that they got punished at home as well.

On another day, at another of AB's practice, as we were leaving, AB was telling me that a little boy pushed him against the wall in the dressing room. AB couldn't remember what the little boy said, but he apparantly told him some stuff. I got upset and was about to confront the little boy as his mom was no where around. AB's coach said she would handle it.

Then that same bully poked another boy in his chest as he passed him and told him "I still don't like you". The boy looked like he wanted to punch him in the face, but his mom told him that the season would soon be over.

From the first incident with the two boys, I don't think they wanted to actually hurt the boy. Maybe they were just showing off. I'm not really sure, because when you talk to those boys, they are very nice boys. The second incident that involved AB, that boy was definately a bully. He walked around with his chest puffed out. I'm not sure what his home life is like.

I know that I can't protect my sons from the bullies of the world, but I can teach them how to be an example of Christ. AB says that now that he's in karate, he knows how to defend himself. I'm sure he does, but will he remember how when the time comes.

I constantly tell the boys to remember Romans 12:21 "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." This verse seems to have helped them because when AB an UB encounter bullies out at the playground or around, they will come tell me that someone was being mean or someone took something away from them and when I'll say "remember", they'll stop me and say "We know mom, do not fight evil with evil, but fight evil with good."

Then they'll go off to find these same kids that bullied them and next thing you know, they are all friends.

By the way, does anyone know how to get super glue off of your fingertips?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's time to do some Spring Cleaning

Yesterday was a beautiful day. It was in the upper 70's so we took advantage of it. We were outside for most of the day.

The garage was in need of some attention, so my goal was to start tackling that. We did school outside and in between sessions, I was cleaning the garage. It was starting to look like a dumping ground.

I threw so much stuff away, that I didn't even know the boys had. But what I found interesting was the stuff that were not toys, but the boys play with. Like an ice chest filled with dirt. When I asked them why, they said it was their sand box. Or a pipe wrapped in electrical tape. Their bat. Or a broken skateboard they didn't want to throw away. It was their sled for when it snows. You'd think we live on Little House on the Prairie.

I send them away to play while I threw away junk. I only got to finish 1/4 of the garage, I still need to go through the rest. But I did get rid of the 'sand box', the 'bat' and whatever other makeshift toy they had.

While finishing school and cleaning, the boys would ride their bikes and show me their tricks. They had showed Hubster and I these tricks last week and we were both surprised to see them do these tricks.

AB's bike is a trick bike, but it is heavier than a regular bike, so he tries to get it off the ground, but that's as far as he can get it up in the meantime.

UB on the other hand is able to get the front of the ground. Scary. But he does wear a helmet and when he feels himself falling backwards, he jumps off.

Both boys also lost a tooth yesterday. Actually, Hubster pulled both teeth out. They were talking to their friend and he told them a story about how he gets $50 for his teeth. This little boys likes to tell stories. When I told him that his tooth fairy was pretty rich, he said that maybe it was $10. That's still steep in this household. So he kept telling them that if they begged, the tooth fairy would hear and she would bring them what they asked for. This tooth fairy ain't budging.

The boys put their tooth under their pillows and they wake up at 1am to look for the money the tooth fairy brought. But guess what? The tooth fairy forgot. The tooth fairy was exhausted from playing with the sand box and the bat and such that she fell asleep. So when the tooth fairy wakes up, she has a hard time going back to sleep. She gets up after about an hour and makes the exchange. The boys wake up again at 7:30 and find their money. They were not dissappointed that it was not $10 or $5, they were excited because they got $1.

Now they want to go spend it. I need to teach these boys about saving. But they sure are going to drive me nuts while they beg me to take them to the store to buy a toy. Maybe I'll pay them another dollar to go make a project outside.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Here's your sign

I'm not really fond of all this nastiness when it comes to the Presidential race. Good grief, if they can't play nice then why do we want them in the White House. Can't we all just get along?

Anyways, I read somewhere that Gov. Rick Perry and Huckabee were supposedly good friends.
Good friends from long time ago. But then I read a while back that Perry called Huckabee and 'told, demanded, asked, pleaded, begged' (something) to step out of the race. Huckabee said no.

Then Perry endorsed McCain and voted for him during last week Texas elections.

So if you really want to find out who your friends really are, just run for President.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Can we race the truck?

We went to run some errands on Saturday. Because Hubster does not usually go shopping with the boys, he doesn't know what to expect. I totally ignore them because I'm used to the "mom, he touched me" "mom, he's spitting at me" "mom, his leg is on my leg" "mom, can we run?" kind of phrases that I hear on our shopping trip expeditions. I'm going to start recording everything they say and then record what my comment would be so that I can just hit the play button and not have to say anything.

I just push my mute button and continue pushing the shopping cart until I find what I need. Hubster will respond to everything. I'm telling you, these trips are fun when it's lunchtime and we adults still can't find what we are looking for. (Do you hear the sarcasm?)

We end up at Lowe's. We are trying to find several items that we need. One of them being the piece of molding for the door frame the boys broke. We go down the list and can't scratch anything off because we can't find it.

Now, I don't know what Lowe's motto is, but it should be "find it at your own risk". We tried asking for help, but the person had no clue and wasn't willing to help much. When we did spot some workers, they saw the "I need help" look on our faces and high tailed it a different direction.

With as many customers there, I simply just wanted to stand in the middle of the store and ask in a loud voice "Does anyone here know where the condoms are?" just to see if I would get any attention. I'm sure Hubster would have dis owned me at that moment. So I stood there, but no words came out. Only the let's get out of here words that had been wanting to come out since I ran into a stack full of windows and almost broke them and then told the boys it was their fault I did it.

We then went to Home Depot. Not much luck finding stuff there either. Although, the workers there were a lot friendlier.

We ended our afternoon at the drag strip. They were having test runs and Hubster wanted to go see his competition. Most of the cars were race cars, you know, the big engine, loud noise, big tires kind of race cars and trucks. But it surprised me to see some family cars out there. When I jokingly said, "wow, we should have entered our truck" the boys took me seriously and wanted dad to go out and race the truck.

Wouldn't we have looked funny out there on the drag strip as a "family" going racing.? I could just hear the boys yelling "go faster dad" as the truck skidded to a stop. No thanks, not this time.

Friday, March 7, 2008

UB and his awesome Spiderman flipper floppers

Being the second boy born is tough for UB. Especially because he usually just gets hand me downs. Now, I don't have a problem with that. It saves me money. And UB doesn't have a problem with it either.

Hand me downs are what UB gets when it comes to clothes, shoes, underwear, toys and anything that his brother or his friends or cousins can't use anymore. UB gets very excited when someone gives him 'used' stuff.

We were going through AB's clothes that had been up in the attic. UB was wanting to put everything on that he saw. At one point he had on two shirts, a pair of shorts and some water shoes (with socks). He wanted to go play outside just the way he was dressed. Nevermind that it was only 40 degrees outside. The only way he was talked into changing was to tell him he couldn't ride his dirt bike without jeans on. So the shirts stayed on, but he changed his pants and shoes.

Recently, he was given these flipper floppers.

Spiderman is awesome mom! Is what I've heard lots of times since these flipper floppers joined our family. UB even said that they stuck to the walls. I wasn't sure what he meant, but upon further investigation, I realized that he thought because they were Spiderman shoes, that they stuck to the walls. He then proceeded to show us how it was done. But when the flipper floppers wouldn't 'stick' to the walls, he then said that all the sticky was out already. I just hope he doesn't try walking on the walls when I'm not around. Maybe I'll see him walking on the ceiling.

I'd better go put the tape and glue away.

UB wants to wear these shoes all the time. He was walking around here yesterday making loud noises on the floor while stomping around in his awesome shoes. Then because it was 'only' 36 degrees outside, he wanted to wear them out. Pretty soon he's going to be a typical Northener where he wears shorts, a sweat shirt and flip flops.
In the meantime, he will continue to wear his Spiderman flipper floppers around the house while continuing to see if they 'stick' to the wall.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My little Mexican boy

This is the way you'll find my boys. Most of the time. Being together. But when the camera is not on them, they are fighting. With love. You will usually find UB with his fingers in his mouth just like this. We are trying to break him of this habit, but he seems to forget on occasion.

My boys are different. From the way they do stuff to the way they look. I'm glad because life would be so boring if they were the same. Although they are alike when it comes to thinking about being mischievous.

We call AB our little Mexican boy and UB our little gringo (white boy). AB has a beautiful olive color complexion that most people spend lots of money at the tanning beds trying to achieve this color. UB on the other hand has little to no color. He burns in the summer while AB just gets darker.

Sometimes it's frustrating when the boys are with me and people ask "Are they brothers?" I say yes and they proceed to ask "From the same father?" I just look at them with disbelief because I can't believe they actually have the audacity to ask that question.

I just smile and nod.

Or else people will actually ask the boys "Are you two brothers?" Good grief people.

Anyway, as AB gets older, he notices more and more how different his skin color is than his brothers. Especially when science has to do with genetics.

The other day AB innocently asked when his skin was going to turn white. I looked stunned at him because we've had this conversation several times before. I tell him that his skin will never be white, that this is the way God made him. Then I silently pray that he never finds out about Michael Jackson.

He says, "But mom, the inside of my hands are already turning white, when is the rest of me going to turn white."

"Well son", I say, "You are a little lighter right now because you haven't been out in the sun. But come summer, you won't be light anymore. You'll have that beautiful brown color again."

He looks at me, then his hands and says "Cool!"

My little Mexican boy has a lot to learn.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

When reality has to set back in quickly

Hubster and I went on another bike ride on Saturday. It was the perfect weather for me. Not so windy and warm. Upper 70's. I can handle that.

So we called a sitter and Loren called his cousin and we went on a ride.

It's actually fun to ride motorcycles. You get to experience God's beauty without having to open your window. And once it gets warmer out there, you get to experience the bugs God made. Bugs that fly on your face or anywhere else they do. Just like they do on your windshield of your car.

One day, we were 'cool' riders. No helmets, just our hair blowing in the wind. We were driving down a country road enjoying the scenery when BAM! A bug comes flying fast and hits me smack dab in the middle of my forehead. I think I ended up with a bruise from that kamikaze bug. Nothing like bug juice running down your face while you are going 70 mph.

But Saturday we were 'safe' riders as opposed to 'cool' riders. Hubster had on his half hemet and I had on the full face helmet. I like to keep the bugs off my face, if you know what I mean.

I actually look like a dork compared to other riders out there. They are stylin'. They have the tight t-shirts with their hair pulled back in a nice bandana wearing these cool looking goggles. I have on my jacket over my t-shirt ( I'm a wimp, I don't like to 'feel' bugs on me. Besides, it was still cool out there) I'm wearing my prescription glasses that I need to see far and that wonderful full face helmet. I think I'm stylin' too!

So we head on down the highway, rolling with the big guys. No not really. We just drive. Around here we have been under a fire watch. With the high winds anything is possible. There have also been many wild fires. While we were riding, we saw one. It was quite a ways from the highway we were on, but you could see that it wasn't a little fire. By the time we came back around on our way home, the fire had gotten next to the highway. The firefighters were pretty busy.

We ended up having a good time. Even though my hiney fell asleep. I really couldn't feel it when I'd get off the bike. I'm assuming it was still there, I just couldn't really tell.

When we were leaving the Restaurant we ate at, we 'biker chicks' were going to make a pit stop. We waited in line. Of course women always have to wait in line at bathrooms. But there was only one bathroom for women and one bathroom for men. We waited for quite a while, I finally decided I was going in the men's bathroom. Enough waiting for me.

When I was waiting for my friend to get out, a little girl had been standing there watching us weirdo's go in the men's bathroom. I asked her if she wanted me to watch the door for her while she used it. (We'd been waiting a good 10 minutes for the bathroom to come open) She said no, that was the men's and she wanted to use the women's. What made me laugh was that she said that she hoped they wouldn't be until midnight because she had to go to church in the morning. She had her priorities straight.
When we were driving off the parking lot, I notice a group of little girls staring at us. When I turned to look at them, they waved like I was their long lost friend. I felt cool at that moment even if I did look like a dork.
We get home after a fun and relaxing and body parts sleeping ride. But what we find at home is anything but relaxing.

First we find the door going from the garage into the house wide open. Remember that we live in the country, and what critters live in the country? I'm sure we now have some uninvited house guests.
We then see OUR bedroom like this. Somehow they were all playing, chasing each other and AB hit his knee on the door frame and next thing you know, half of one side of the door frame is on the floor. At least no one got hurt.
I guess all good things must come to an end sometime.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

With or Without

Life WITH Jesus!

Life WITHOUT Jesus!