Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Playing with the Minds of Quirky People

A little over a year ago, I read a book by Francis Chan called Crazy Love.  

Did I like the book?  I think so.  Although, it moved me way outside of my comfort zone.  I can't remember specifics right now.  I just know I was really convicted about my love for God and people.

Something really cool about the book though was the author asking readers to visit this link:  

Now go visit it.  

I can't imagine not believing in God after watching this little 3 minute video.

I also can't believe the conversation I had with Paul when we discussed the video.

Before I tell you about the conversation, I just want to revisit a comment I made about myself in the previous post.  I'm quirky.  I'll be the very first person to admit it.  Part of my quirkiness involves some odd thoughts I have.  I shared one with Paul the other day.  It was a thought I had about 15 years ago.

15 years ago, I was engaged to another guy (not Paul) (I need to share that story sometime, huh?) (I called it off 3 weeks before.) and the relationship was sending me over the edge.  I was living in a state of panic/anxiety/depression.  While I was headed over to do something with this other guy I was engaged to, I was analyzing my thoughts.  But, I really didn't want to think anymore.  It occurred to me at that moment that I can never get away from myself.  

I shared this intimate moment of my life with my husband and he looked at me like I suddenly had a horn sprouting from my head.  He said, "I wish I had known this a long time ago."  

It was as if sharing this with him would have altered the course of his life with me.  He just can't let it go either.  He brings it up to me all the time.

Does anyone understand this thought but me?

I just meant... I can't get away from my thoughts.  I can't ever stop myself from thinking.  Ok, so I also told him that that thought made me panic, but we've been married 13 years and 8 months now.  And, I am pretty sure he knew I wasn't normal when we were dating.

Really, all this is beside the point now because, he said something to me recently that may have made me 2nd guess my decision to spend the rest of my life with him... so I think we are even.

 But, that's irrelevant right now.  The point is... I am quirky.  I don't like thinking of the abnormal.  I don't like thinking about end times even thought I know we win.  I don't like imagining eternity in Heaven because... well, that's weird.  Eternity?  That word stresses me out.

He knows all these things!

So, having that knowledge of me, why upon discussing the video that you were supposed to go watch... why would you say, "I think there is other life outside of earth."

"What do you mean?  Like life on other planets?"

"Well, like there are so many galaxies out there that we don't even know about.  I bet there are other solar systems with other earths and those earths are full of people."


"Yeah.  God loves people.  Why would we think he'd just make one planet full of us?"

Now do you see what I mean?  Would you share that with someone who is disturbed enough to admit that it makes her panic to know that she can't get away from herself?  I can't get away from people in general and now I have to think about other solar systems floating around out in space with other earths full of other people?

And, then I just have all these questions that no one can answer because no one knows!  Does the earths look the same?  Are the continents and land masses the same?  Are the ethnicities of people the same?  What about the geography?   Do they deal with the exact same issues?  Did someone get in a boat one day and discover the American on that earth?

See what I mean?  The list goes on and on and on.  Why?  Why would you share that with someone you know is quirky.  I can't get past things like the People of Walmart website?  Why people go out in public the way they do.  Now I have to imagine that there are other earths full of the same people.

Do other earths have Walmart?  See, it never ends.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jackson's 7th Birthday

3 of my kids were born in May.  

Yeah, don't ask.... or comment.  I've heard them all.  

Jackson's birthday was May 2.  He turned 7.

If I had to sum up Jackson's 6th year of life in one word, the word would be quirky.  The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree... and this time... I'm the tree.

But, right now, that's beside the point....

Sometimes, I don't even know how to talk to him.  The whole crying before EVERY day of school; I mean that's enough right there.  But then there were things like....

1.)  We'd had our old van sitting in our driveway for about 6 years.  It wasn't able to be driven because of squirrels.  (Click here if you haven't read this story.)  So, we were having it hauled away and as it was leaving the driveway he came running into the house crying.  I was like, "What's a matter buddy?"  He said, "I've had that van since I was born!  And, now it's gone!"

Seriously, how do you talk to that?

2.)  We were talking about getting new furniture in our living room.  Simply talking about it.  Again... burst into crying.  "You can't get rid of that couch!  Can we put it in the basement?  Can we put it in storage?  I've had that couch since I was born!"

3.)  "You can't take out those bushes!!  They've been here since we moved here!"

4.)  I think the real clincher was tending to a kid who spent 162 out of 180 days of school crying... all so that he could cry on  the last day of school.... because it was over.

I'm just going to start saving my money now for the counseling.  Forget college money.  We need a shrink!

So taking this and a multitude of other incidences that I didn't mention into consideration, I'm not sure why it surprised me when I asked Jackson who he wanted to invite to his birthday party, he would say,  "I don't want a birthday party."

"You don't want a birthday party?"


"Not even with just a few friends like Andrew and Drew?  We could go to Chucky Cheese?"



So, the night before his birthday he said, "Can we go to Chucky Cheese tomorrow for my birthday?"

"Sure buddy!  Do you want me to call and see if Andrew can come?"

"No.  Can I invite Mr. Jim and Miss Kris and Janae's family?"

For real?

I get wanting to invite Janae's family.  We spend a lot of time with them... they have two girls and no boy...but I totally get why he would want them.

Kris helps with our ministry and her husband is the OBGYN who put stitched up his eye on Christmas Eve. (Click here for that story.)  They have an 18 year old son and a 14 year old daughter.

Ok... so...

Let me just recap this for you... my almost 7 year old son wanted to invite my friend and an OBGYN and his wife to his birthday party at Chucky Cheese.

Would you know how to deal with him?

Kris and Jim couldn't come (Big surprise).  Jackson celebrated his 7th birthday with his family, Sue (our exchange student from South Korea) and Janae, Michael, and their sweet girls.  

When it's your birthday, you can do what you want... I suppose.

I wish someone could explain to me the peace/V sign from the Asian culture.  I just don't get it!

WOW!  Now that's a face!

I'm not sure what was going on with the icing at this party.

I'm gonna go with Janae was copying off Emme and not visa versa.

Happy 7th Birthday Buddy!  Quirks and all I think you are about the coolest boy ever!  You wear me out but you are a blast to watch!  I can't believe I get to be your mom!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Do 3rd graders....?

If there were 180 days of school this year, Jackson cried before 162 of them.  

He's had a whole 3 days off now, so we decided to send him to Bible school tonight.  

Yeah, that pretty much went over like a lead balloon.  But, guess what?  He doesn't make the decisions in this house (all the time), so he went.

We did give into his pleas and we said he could go into the same class as his sister, Gracie.  

While I was registering them, that seemed like it was going  to be a bit of a problem.  But, after checking with some of the "powers that be", they consented to a 1st grader going into the 3rd grade class.  As the lady was finishing the paper work, I got my serious face on.  I am pretty sure I even pointed my finger at him and I said, "I'm telling you what buddy... you better act like a 3rd grader."

He looked back at me very intently and gently nodded his head in agreement.  The wheels were spinning and with a very serious look on his face and a very serious tone of voice he said, "Do third graders fart?"

"Because what if I have to?"

I thought I was going to die!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Taming Wild Horses

I guess if you'd ask me to give you a list of character traits I'd like to see in my children, I am sure you'd see confidence somewhere on that list.  But, there's a fine line between confidence and cocky and I have at least 2 kids who jump back and forth over that line like it's a jumprope.  

The first child would be Shelby.  She's been playing soccer since she was 3 years old,  Why I put her in soccer... I'll never know. It's not like she exibited some kind of great ball skill.  She'd not shown any significant interest in a soccer ball or anything like that.  Coming from a sports family though, I thought it was protocol. 

I signed her up and put her out on that big ol' soccer field.  She'd run around that field and look the part.  Her eyes would be all intense and her face determined.  But her skill level and her understanding of the game... lacking would be putting it mildly!  During one of her first games, as she was desperately looking the part of a soccer player, huddled with the rest of the children but making no attempt to kick the ball, we yelled, "Shelby!!  KICK THE BALL!"  She stopped in the middle of the field, looked straight as us and yelled back, "I ALREADY DID!"  

She had looked at us like we were idiots.  She had done her part.  She had kicked the ball.  Once.  And, as far as she was concerned, once per game was enough.

Every year when fall would roll around she'd insist on signing up for soccer.  I was always torn.  How do I tell her that soccer's not her gift?  And, would it be ok if I told her that she ran like she had cement blocks on her feet?  Because both of those things would be true.  

I'd sign her up anyway and let her go at it.  Once when she was probably about 7, she came up to me and she said, "Mom, you know how I am the best player on my soccer team?"  I about spewed the drink in my mouth across the room.  She really truly believed that.

Man, could she "look" like a soccer player.  She really needed to be on a stage and not on a field.  But I have always been afraid that once I put her on the stage, I'd never see her again... so, we're still waiting on that.  

Once when she was doing one of her better acting jobs on the field, Paul commented to the dad next to him, "If she only had as much skill as confidence."  That dad spoke some wise words, he said, "You can always teach the skill.  You can't teach confidence."

And, so Shelby continues to play soccer.  And, I have to say, I am so, so proud of her.  She has never quit trying and she is super teachable.  And, 9 years after she started playing...she has become a really good little soccer player.

And, then there's Jackson.  Our motto for Jackson is:  It's easier to tame a wild horse than it is to raise a dead one.

In a sense, he's the complete opposite of Shelby.  Jackson is ridiculously athletic.  He's a gifted athlete and pretty much whatever he takes on, he excels.  Soccer, football, basketball, diving, swimming, snowboarding, rollerblading and on and on and on... His body... well, it's not normal.  During his physical at the doctor last month, the doctor was looking over his body and she turned to me and said, "He's solid muscle."  

You'd think we dropped him off at the gym everyday and made him workout.

Saturday as Jackson and Paul were watching the United States play England in the World Cup.  A USA player sprinted for the ball and Paul said, "That guy is blazing fast!"  

Jackson said, "Is he as fast as I am dad?"

To which Paul replied, "Uh... buddy, he's probably faster than you."

Then Jackson said, "But is he as fast as I am when I run barefoot?"

And, he's as serious as a heart attack.  He thinks he is faster than World Cup soccer players.

Geesh!  I wish I had that kind of confidence.  My sole activity right now is Zumba and I am so uncomfortable in my own skin doing all those hip gyrations that if I could do Zumba in a closet and still see the instructor.... I totally would!

So... if apples don't fall do far from trees... I'll let you figure out where they get this character trait.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The First Best Artist

When I was teaching 1st grade, this little boy and little girl were arguing about who was the best artist.  Finally, the little boy said, "Yeah!  Well, God is the first best artist!!"

I thought that was the funniest thing.  Clearly.  That was almost 18 years ago and I still remember it and think it's funny.

Well, in case I never told you... that same God... well, he's my Father.  And, He passed just a tad of that artsy-ness onto me.  In case you don't believe me, I have proof.

I bought these flower pots a few years ago.  I am pretty sure I paid more than I wanted to for them and then they didn't fare so well in the elements that is the Ohio weather.  Therefore, I was all set to throw them away this year.

Well, since we were painting our house this year (yep, painted our brick house... pictures to come soon!) Paul decided he was going to spray paint those flower pots of mine in an effort to salvage them.  He used a cheap black spray paint and when I saw them, I was like, "You have got to be kidding me!  That's awful!!!  They look like they were charred in a fire!"

That was being nice about it too.  I mean, I didn't want to hurt his feelings.  

I went out and bought a bit more expensive spray paint and painted them black.  Then I got some other ideas and my flower pots went from looking like this:

To looking like this:

(That part on the bottom is not chipped paint.  It's dirt.  Just need to wipe it off.)

I think they look amazing compared to what they did look like.  I was pretty proud of myself.  I should also mention that Sue helped a lot. (Sue is our exchange student from South Korea.)  As a matter of fact, she did quit a bit.  So much so, that after I got started, I went and asked her if she'd like to help.  So, I am not kidding... EVERY single one of my neighbors came over at separate times and they were like, "SUE!!  That is so awesome!  You are so good at that!"

She totally was getting all the credit.  But, guess what?  I have a blog and she doesn't... so, don't you love the flower pots I painted?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day

Yeah, so I'm behind.  What else is new?  I had great intentions.  I started this post last Monday night when I got home.  But, you're going to have to cut me some slack.  Remember, I'm new at this school thing.  I had no idea the end of the year was so crazy.

So, Memorial Day we went to my mom and dad's house.  We cooked-out, swam in their pool and played with their super cool toys.  It was a really fun day and the kids had a blast!
It looks at though Gracie is on the motorcycle chasing Sue down on the go-cart.  Scary.  No one should really let poor Gracie on those things.  (Scroll down and read the baseball night post if you don't understand.)
And, now Sue is chasing Jackson down.  Why can't they just stay away from each other?  There's a whole field for the love of Pete!

Um... and that's a problem .  When you're riding in one direction and looking in the opposite direction.  TURN YOUR HEAD!
This is the second time Jackson has been on his "motorcycle".  Jackson was the first boy born on our side of the family in 25 years. When he was 6 months old, my dad bought him that toy.  It WILL be the ONLY motorcycle he EVER gets!  He better enjoy it!
He better enjoy that and his white trash haircut.  I hate that haircut.  NEVER again!

Emme, floating in multiple floatation devices.
My nephew, Zayne, who never smiles for pictures.  I do believe I caught him.  By the way, 3 years after Jackson was born, Zayne was born... on the same day.
Mimi and Emme.  Aww!  How cute are their names?

My niece, Reide.
Reide, Gracie and Zayne.

Jackson... I'm pretty sure he's an amphibian.
The world is a bathroom for a boy:-)
The kids made up some game.  Paul had to throw the ball and they had to catch.  It never got old.  6 hours later....

I didn't think Sue enjoyed the water because of past swimming experiences with her.  However, I was wrong.  She barely came up for air.  I think she like being in a smaller environment with fewer people.

Shelby, Gracie, Jackson and Reide.

Great family memories!!

P.S.  I do have another niece that was present that day... Her name is Rylan.  I'm not sure why there isn't one picture of her.:-(