Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Kay

Kay's birthday is February 28th! To surprise Kay, Amber cooked dinner for Kay, Jim, Ron and I.
Even though we live only about 15 miles apart, Kay and I never seem to find or make the time to visit each other.
Of my 3 sisters, Kay and I are closest in age. We went to school together, at one time we worked in the same shopping center. Kay worked at Krogers, I worked next door at TG&Y(pre-WalMart) Our future husbands were roommates at one time. And, we had a double wedding!
FYI We did not have a double honeymoon!
We had our kids 11 months apart.(Kay did not cooperate and have that 3rd)
When our kids were little, we got together for play dates for the kids. Then, when our kids were older, we were going to activities for them. Next, we worked while while our kids were starting their own families.
Now when we see each other, we are usually having a family event and playing with our grandchildren. I know Kay wouldn't change a thing, and I sure wouldn't, but we have not spent time together.
My sisters are my best friends! I have decided as an addition to my "Bucket List", I will be spending some one on one time with my sisters!
I was so excited when Amber asked if we could come to dinner. That was just what I had been wanting.
So, Amber prepared a delicious meal of chicken enchiladas, mex rice, bean dip and a yummy chocalate cake. And she hosted at her house, with fresh flowers, no less, welcomed us, then her, Randy and Ethan went out. I felt like we were at a 5 star restaurant.
Thank you Amber, Randy and Ethan!
Attention Sisters! I want some more time with each one of you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We Have Sound!

Ron and I bought a big TV when we did our house remodel. I love the picture on this TV. We have seen details that we had basically never seen in our old TV. But we never have been happy with the sound. Ron wears hearing aids and even he couldn't hear half of what was said on TV. We were constantly, well, I was constantly replaying shows to try to determine what was said. Sometimes we never did know what was supposed to be so funny or so sad.
I had the Geek Squad set up our sound bar, it was supposed to give us sounds. It didn't help.
Well, I ordered these Sony headphones! It took us weeks to determine how to hook them up, I tried, Paula tried. Ron finally, in desperation, started plugging and unplugging cords and finally!
Now I am hearing things I have never heard before. I can hear background noise that I could not hear when I took the headphones off.
Now, we don't have to worry that the neighbors will be able to hear our TV because it was so loud before.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Temple Grandin and Parenting

I watched the most amazing show on HBO, the biography of Temple Grandin. She is an animal science professor and an autism advocate. And she is autistic. If you know someone or love someone with autism, you probably know her name. She has written books and done studies about animal care and how it relates to her autism.
As she describes herself, "I'm not like other people. I think in pictures. And I connect them."
You can google "Temple Grandin" and get a review of the HBO bio or read about her. Claire Danes plays Temple in the bio. It's a very interesting biography.
I have a great niece with autism. I knew her before diagnosis and after. It is such a hard to understand diagnosis. The bio shed some light on how people with autism think and feel.
I had actually read one of her books about the animal studies and found it to be interesting, but didn't really understand her lack of emotion. The book was full of information and her views, but her lack of feeling about the animals was strange to me. She developed a way for cattle to be slaughtered in a more humane manner. Even if you love to eat beef, you don't really want to know about the hoof to table details.
I don't know if the bio was true to her life, I assume it was, but it opened my eyes a little.
The interesting thing was that learning about her life made me think about raising a child. You find out early in the bio that in the 1960's, children with autism were not thought to improve. But Temple's mother refused to believe that her daughter could not learn, she taught her at home, pushing, yet accepting who Temple was. Like she only ate jello and pudding! Now what mother would let her child get away with only eating jello and pudding. And Temple went to college. What mother would make a child go to college and live in a dorm, when that was obviously so painful for her.
I don't see myself letting my kids only eat jello and pudding. But then again, they loved food, so it was never an issue. But could I have really made them do something that they didn't want to do.
Well, NO!
I had a kid that was not autistic, but who was different that I was, actually, all three of my kids were different from me. And I couldn't force my way of doing things on them.
And I am glad I couldn't.
I could encourage them, but ultimately they had to make a choice.
Now, they did have to go to school, brush their teeth, go to bed, do their homework, go to church and behave in a socially acceptable manner. But in the end, they had to decide what to do in life and how they did it.
So, we encouraged, we provided the means, we made them try almost everything; music, dance, sports, reading, writing, art. We had a piano, flute, baseball, softball, batting tee, batting cage.....
I took them to lessons. I played baseball and softball, when it was obvious that I did not know how to throw a ball. Or run or even understand the game. We went to pro ball games, the opera and even the ballet. Brad doesn't believe me when I say he watched the ballet, turned to me and told me he wanted to do that. We took them to church, prayed with them, prayed for them.
All those activities took so much of our time! And money and energy! But I can't imagine how overwhelming it was for Temple's mother got her just to talk! The simple skills most kids learn without effort, walking, talking, enjoying activities, was a major ordeal for Temple and her mother. And she didn't just learn how to talk, she excelled in her field!
Somehow we parents have to learn to encourage our children to learn skills, grow, achieve and become functioning adults at whatever level they are capable of. Even when they are grown, they have gone to school, played sports, sang, danced or whatever their passion became, as parents, we still question, "Did we do it right? Did we push just enough? Did we praise enough? Are they happy? Did they reach their potential?"
I am so proud of my children for the adults they have become! I think they experienced life in positive manner. They are happy, pretty well adjusted adults, so I guess we didn't fail them.
But through all this, maybe the most important is "Did they learn to love the Lord? Do they serve God?" From the bio of Temple, you don't really know if she knew about God, when an animal died, then later her teacher, she said, "where did they go"? Good question.
Our reward for the investment in our children is to observe them parent their children, and work and have relationships! And what a glorious reward it it! And see if they can answer, "Where did they go?'

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bucket List

Andrea forwarded an email about a "Bucket List", you were to check off what you had done and forward it to your friends. I thought it was very interesting. I was pleased to see that I had done many of the things on the bucket list, and very sad about some of them also. Seeing a person die was not really on my list of things I wanted to do, but sadly, I did experience that. Some of my bucket list things were not on the list. So I thought I would come up with my own "Bucket List".
These are not in order of importance.

1. travel to Hawaii
2. travel to Alaska
3. travel travel travel in the continental US!!! too many places to list
4. write a childrens book
5. learn to play the piano
6. learn to take awesome pictures worthy of framing
7. learn to watercolor, mostly flower and bird pictures
8. celebrate 50 years of marriage
9.get healthy, lose weight, blah blah blah long enough to see great grandchild
11. semi retire, so that we can travel more
12. wittnessing my grandchilden accepting the Lord as savior
13. snow ski

Hummm, so how to achieve those items on my bucket list.

1. work harder to make more money so we can travel
2. work at getting healthy so we can live long enough to travel and see great grandchildren
3.get busy taking some lessons!!! watercolor, photography, something
4. teach children Bible lessons
5.get Ron busy getting healthy too

Ok, so my goals are not that unattainable. I feel really blessed to know that so many things on that original "Bucket List" I have already done.
I have seen grandchildren.
I am able to see those grandchildren several times a week
I have seen the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico
I have been to Canada, Mexico and Turkey
I have flown
I have a double oven and big kitchen for family dinners
I actually have the life of my dreams!
Thank you Lord!

Simple Pleasures

Paula and Andrea added a "Simple Pleasures" Post, so I thought I would come up with some of my own.

reading a book to one of the grandchildren that they requested by title

seeing a child smile

having a grandchild reach their little hands up for me to pick them up

finding a cute outfit for one of the grandchildren

seeing a childsize handprint on the window, even when the kids have gone home

just about anything related to my grandchildren

teaching Bible lessons, and hearing a parent tell me their child told them what the lesson was

hearing a child say their Bible verse

coffee, especially the first cup of the day

grinding coffee beans at night in the anticipation of morning coffee

birds at the feeder

the first flowers of spring

flower buds on trees in anticipation of spring

planting a tree

waking to the singing of birds

sharing a laugh with my husband

sharing a really good dessert with my husband

clean sheets

smelling dial bath soap, especially on my husband

Christmas cards, sending and receiving

decorating for Christmas

buying new ornaments


reading blogs

playing scrabble on my iphone