Sunday, February 28, 2010

Grandpa Vest's 100th Birthday

Today I thought about Grandpa. A hundred years ago today, a man named Hubert Leslie (Les) Vest was born. So, today I bought a cake in his honor and celebrated for Grandpa. Unfortunately, Grandpa wasn't here to enjoy his piece of cake, so I ate two (one for him and one for me). I thought it was the least I could do. Any excuse to eat cake, I say!

Grandpa passed away from heart failure days before Christmas 1990 at the age of 80. I was a sophomore in college at the time and didn't meet Andy until my junior year, so unfortunately Andy did not get to meet Grandpa. I wish they could have met since I see a similar strong-willed personality.

(Grandpa and me in a car in 1974)
Notice how it was acceptable then for a 3 yr. old to sit in the front without a carseat! Eek!
Grandpa was a kind man who was married for well over fifty years to my grandmother. He was the father of five, grandfather of thirteen and now the great-grandfather of twenty-one. Les was also a retired Bell Telephone Manager, an avid golfer (made a hole in one), an opinionated Democrat and a devout Christian.

Grandpa also had some many quirks that I remember fondly. Even now when I buy a loaf of bread at the store, I only purchase the name brand bread because Grandpa would call the plain (generic) kind "sawdust bread". Or how he would drive even slower if he thought someone else was driving too close behind him on the road. Oh, he was ornery!

(Grandpa, Grandmi & me the day before my high school graduation)
Over twenty years have passed since I last saw Grandpa. Funny how I can still hear the sound of his voice echo in my head. Grandpa was a very special person to me. I just hope that someday in sixty years, I'll make the same kind of difference in the life of my grandchild as Grandpa did in me.

One Hundred Years from Now...

It will not matter how much money you made,
What kind of car you drove,
What sort of house you lived in.
One hundred years from now,
The world will be a better place,
because YOU made a difference,
In the life of a CHILD.

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Grandpa Vest!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

First Wrestling Meet

Today was Tyler's first wrestling meet.

It was Tyler's first time wrestling for three minutes in front of a large crowd.

Oh, I was so nervous for him. I could hardly contain myself. I fidgeted, I bit my lip, I got a stomachache, I chewed my nails and I even had to close my eyes at times. This was one difficult thing for me, his mother, to handle. I guess I just hadn't quite prepared myself for this kind of event.

I thought I had come prepared for a lengthy meet. I do recall that these kinds of things can last for hours, so I got Grant food and toys all ready to go in a bag. I even remembered to pick Madison up from a sleepover on our way to the meet. I was ready for anything....okay, not mentally, but I was ready. Then I forgot the most important item of all...a camera. Tyler's meet was clear across town at Irving Middle School and I would have missed his first match if I went back home to get it. I'm usually not one to leave the camera behind, but today I dropped the ball!


So, I am going to improvise by re-creating the wrestling meet that took place this morning. Please note this is a dramatization. The photos are of paid professionals, who did not participate in the meet, and know very little about wrestling in general.

Match #1
Madison (acting as Tyler) got pinned within the first period by a Scott Middle School student (played by Grant) and Ranger (our dog) is the ref for the game. The end result: Tyler getting a bloody nose and me looking like one frazzled mom. I don't handle blood well or seeing my kid struggle. It was dreadfully, painful to watch!

Match #2
Tyler's second match proved a little more promising. His opponent was his height, unlike the last brute, and appeared to have similar playing skills. Tyler (starring Madison) went all three minutes with a Scott Middle school student and the score was 9-4 in Tyler's favor.


Now on to next week...I will remember the camera, Grant's bag and maybe some aspirin for me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Middle School is not for me!

Let me preface, by stating, that I love kindergarten! There are so many things to like about teaching this particular grade. Kindergartners are not knowing of everything, they rarely give you an attitude and if they do, they easily can be set straight. Kindergartners are lovable, give great compliments (Mrs. Broeker, you look nice today) and generally think I am one of the coolest adults they know. Really....where could I go wrong hanging out with this kind of crowd? I will admit that they can also be a little egocentric, but for the large part they are genuine and manageable on most given days.

Now middle school, that's a totally different story in my book...

Middle Schoolers are not as cute as kindergartners in their thoughts or actions. They also have raging hormones and an apparent need to impress their peers without any thought to others' feelings.

This attitude of mine is the number one reason why I would not/could not make a good middle school teacher. I don't have the patience or tolerance for any kind of adolescent behavior. Really, how do middle school teachers do it? I've pondered this more than once.

This brings me to my own middle schooler, Tyler. Tyler is that lucky, oldest child who gets the joy of breaking in two parents who would rather had him stay in 5th grade forever. Two parents who want him to work out his own problems without interference by overprotective parents. My sincere goal as a parent is to be an active listener as well as a constructive advisor all while trying to empower my teenager to be the best he can be. Tyler has one parent (me) who often thinks that skipping middle school all-together might be the easiest thing for all parties. I still recall quite well the horrors of my own junior high years (that was the terminology then). Oh, to have to relive it through your child is almost too much to tolerate on certain today.

Today Tyler informed me of his need to wear a rubber band around his wrist to "ward off any dude who's armed with a rubber band". This helps protect one's self from other "band" users who might consider snapping you with one or flinging a "taco" your way.


(Photo of a taco: no meat, lettuce or cheese, just a burning sting without the hot sauce.)

Or when *Aaron kicked him again in Language Arts for the umpteenth time and Tyler chose to get up and move to another table without any confrontation on Tyler's part.

Bravo, I did teach him something right!

Or how Tyler got attacked by a child named *Eric a few weeks ago, which I chose not to blog about since the child does have a disability and because I'm willing to admit that my child is far from perfect too. However, sometimes I wonder where our system has gone wrong when I hear things like this said...

Tyler: "Mom, guess what *Eric told me today?"

Me: "I have no idea. Maybe sorry?"

Tyler: "Nope. *Eric said, thanks for fighting with me, Tyler. I have a behavior plan now and I get rewards when I have a good day. He said it with a smile on his face, Mom."

Me: "Really?!"

(deep breath)

I will get through this.

I will navigate Tyler and two more children through these same adolescent rough waters. And I will go back to work tomorrow because kindergarten is definitely the place for me!

*Names changed to protect the guilty.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Funny Email Message

This was the one email that made me laugh today! I had to share.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cookie Time

The cookies are in...all 161 boxes! Madison wanted to sell more and I said, "No, thanks!"

Now I am too tired to even think about delivering them, let alone sorting them!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thinking Day 2010

Each year in February, girls participate in activities, games and projects with global themes to honor their sister Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in other countries.

Our local Girl Scout Council set up this year's Thinking Day activities at Arnold Elementary's multipurpose room on Friday with a passport style theme. Girls could "visit" different countries and experience foods and crafts from around the world. Each girl was given a flag sticker for her passport.

My troop #365 selected Ethiopia for our country. It was an easy choice with one of our scout's parents (and neighbor of mine) who are from Ethiopia. The girls in the troop made pins with beads and Betty (Kate's mom) made Dabo Kolo for our tasting item. Dabo Kolo is a snack that tastes much like a shortbread cookie, but cut into small pieces. This was very kind of Betty to do this for us since Dabo Kolo is quite time consuming to make. It tastes great, so one can't go wrong with cookies for sampling! It was a guaranteed hit!

Each troop was responsible for selling something from their country and giving out samples of a native food. The girls sold their beaded pins for five cents each and the Dabo Kolo was free for the taking. The money raised went back to the council to support the Girl Scouts and Girl Guides across the world.
Here's my friend Leyla and her mom with Sweden as their display. I jokingly asked, "Where's the Swedish meatballs?" They served lemon bars that were awesome!
There were 14 countries represented at this year's Thinking Day.
Kate and Emmie looked very cute in their traditional Ethiopian attire.
Here's Madison, Emmie and Clare visiting Morocco. It was almost as good as Epcot's World Showcase at Disney World. Notice I say "almost".

The theme for World Thinking Day 2010 is girls worldwide say "together we can end extreme poverty and hunger". This theme will guide troop #365 to our next community project. More about that to come.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spring, Spring Come our Way

Here's what I know....this is the longest winter of my adult life and it just keeps on coming. Recently, I haven't had anything exciting to blog about and even considered making something up, until I discovered this. In today's paper I found some statistics about Lincoln's winter and thought I'd share in case you didn't read today's Lincoln Journal Star. (The paper's info is starred and my own personal comments aren't. Just to clarify.)

*Lincoln has had an inch of snow on the ground in Lincoln for 75 days, the second longest duration since 1975, which was 92 days.

Now I know why I feel so life-less and in desperate need of some color!

*Lincoln has not reached 50 degrees since December 1st and we have only seen 40 degrees four times since December 1st.

This explains why I haven't been able to wash the salty sludge off my mini van. Luckily, the forty degrees have come while at work, so I was able to take my kids out for recess. That's been a plus!

*The half of inch of snow that came yesterday has given our season's total to 39.3 inches. This amount only puts us in 16th place among Lincoln's snowiest winters.

Really? Haven't we had enough already?

Apparently not. We are now expecting an additional 3 to 5 inches this weekend (Sunday night through Monday morning).


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Brother = Bother

This note that's from Madison is just too cute not to share. It's difficult to read since she folded it into a tiny square and left it on her bedroom floor. Apparently, she had second thoughts about giving it to me. It was written after a night when Andy and I did some shopping and left Tyler in charge for the evening.

Here's what it says....

"Never ever let Tyler babysit agin. Do not give money. I take more care of Grant than Tyler duse. HE IS THE WARST BOTHER IN THE HOLL UNAVERS!!"

By the way, if you see Madison, don't tell her you saw this on my blog. I mentioned the note and she said, "You're not going to blog about that are you?"

How could I not?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Crazy Day

I decided that today's theme is "Crazy" since....
it's Crazy Hair Day at Schoo Middle School. Tyler loves to dye (temporarily) his hair for any occasion, so he couldn't wait for this one to come along. He was praying for no snow, so school would be in session.
I talked him into the Colt's theme with this weekend's Super Bowl. He said he wanted to wait to do it on Sunday for church youth group. I put the kibosh on that one. Everyone doing it is fine, but doing it by yourself is nerdy. Good thing this kid's got me for a mom, huh?!
Our neighbor girl, Hannah, had her hair done too. I didn't ask her if she put blue in her hair for the Colts also. I'm guessing not.
Another "crazy" event is poor, sick Maddy. Don't ya just love how I always have my camera with me? Well, she got sick yesterday at school. She had a headache, fever, terrible sore throat and vomiting (just once), which to me are all the right signs for Strep. The first test came back negative and we could hear today if the second test is positive, but more than likely it is just viral. She did have a 103.6 degree temp. last night. Of course, when I pay a $30 for a co-pay, I want it to be Strep, so I get my money's worth. I know that is indeed "crazy"too.

Madison's illness, along with no daycare for Grant today sealed the deal for me staying home. Oh, did I mention Andy is at a Surveyors' Conference in Kearney? Sick kids and Andy's absence always go hand in hand!

Today is the first of three days for a weekend scrappin' event here in Lincoln. I've never signed up for a full weekend crop before. I usually do a 12-15 hour one in a day, but never something this mammoth. Of course, being a mom is my first priority until Andy gets home tomorrow afternoon. I'll post what I get accomplished this weekend. Woo hoo! I can't wait!
The last "crazy" event of the day is more snow. We got a couple inches, which began as rain and turned into snow, and will continue to be in a Winter Weather Advisory until noon. The roads were a little slick this morning, but we are unfortunately getting use to driving with these treacherous driving conditions.