Friday, September 20, 2013

Mama's Bible - Mel McDaniel

I don't know where I have been for the last 30 years but I just discovered Mel McDaniel yesterday.  I downloaded his greatest hits and found this gem.  If you aren't a fan of country music from the 80s (which apparently I am!) The lyrics are below.  This is the message I want my children to learn from me.  This is the greatest gift I can give them.  
Mama's Bible

Verse: 1 
I use to be afraid of dying when I’d think about having to go, 
now I know I’m gonna live forever mama’s bible tells me so, 
it said that just believing is the key to it all, 
and that I’m forgiven every time I fall. 

Hallelujah, hallelujah, mama’s bible tells me so. 

Verse: 2 
When it rains I know he’s crying for the love of all mankind, 
and he hurts inside just like us when he’s left behind, 
but I know he is my shepherd and he’ll never walk away, 
because he gave us Jesus for a friend on judgment day. 

Verse: 3 
All I’d loved are cared for had either changed or gone, 
I reached for mama’s bible for strength to carry on, 
like my heart it gathered dust like it’s pages I was worn, 
and as to life for both of us oh Gabriel blow your horn. 

And I’ll trust in mama’s bible till it’s time for me to go, 
hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Daddy Daughter Date Night

Saturday night was a Daddy Daughter Date night at our local Chick Fil A.  I had heard about these events and quickly signed up Laci and Charlie.  Their date almost didn't happen when Charlie was unexpectedly given two tickets to the Purdue / Notre Dame game.  He spent the day debating between going to the game or going up there to sell the tickets.  

Chick Fil A does a great job of setting up these nights.  Part of the restaurant is blocked off for the event.  The tables are set with flowers and tableclothes.  The whole purpose is to promote fathers and daughters spending time and talking together.  So the placemat is filled with discussion prompting questions and they are giving a booklet to take home to "continue the conversation" full of more discussion questions.  The dads and daughters talked about the day the girls were born and what things they enjoy doing with their dads the most.  There was a band and a balloonists.  There was even limo rides around the parking lot.  All and all it was a very sweet dinner for the two of them and I am glad they got to spend that hour together.

Calvin and I did not have that special mother / son night.  Calvin had fallen asleep after the party and I woke him up at 6:30 so he would go to bed that night.  He is a complete disaster grump when he is woken up. I made a frozen pizza and since it was such a nice night, I thought we could enjoy it outside.  I was wrong.  I finally got him calmed down enough just to take a stroller ride around the block.  This was our attempt at a special dinner.  The look on his face pretty much sums it up.  Maybe our special Chick Fil A Mother / Son Knight in the spring will go better.  

Cake... Charlie's Weakness

Cake is definitely one of Charlie's weaknesses.  It may be his only weakness.  This weekend was Laci's 6th birthday party.  We had some leftover cake.  When I went to bed Saturday night, there were at least 4 pieces left.  When I woke up Sunday morning, there were only two pieces left.  Laci asked for a piece for breakfast - after all it was her cake.  I told her not for breakfast but she could have a piece later.  As we were walking out the door to go to church, i noticed that now there was only one piece of cake left.  In light of the promise I had made to Laci earlier, this note was totally appropriate! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Our Annual Family Picture - Year 9

If you don't know our family story, Charlie and I both went to Purdue.  But not together.  I joke that he didn't wait for me.  He had graduated before I started.  But Purdue has still always been a very special place for us.  We have gone to many basketball and football games through the years.  We even got engaged there at the Engineering Fountain on Valentine's Day 2004.  

I have a large family scrapbook with one page for every year.  I love that it chronicles our family and is an easy way to watch us grow in one spot.  So every September near our anniversary, we take a family picture.  Since we often go to Purdue football games, we have started a tradition of taking our family picture at the Engineer Fountain - the place where our family started years ago.  I love having that picture to watch our family grow and change. 

I think I need a new Purdue shirt - I am wearing the same one almost every year.  :)


I love that they get to play in the fountain that we used to run through at Purdue.  Of course, when we were there, the metal barrier was not in the middle and we could run straight through.

As we walk around Purdue, we always tell Laci about our time there - what buildings we had classes in, what dorms we lived in, why it is special to us.  When we asked her this year why the fountain was special she said "I know, I know... it's where you got married."  She is completely unimpressed already!  :)

Blue Team. Move It Out...

One of Charlie and my favorite movies is Ocean's 11... followed by the entire Ocean's 12 and 13 franchise.  It has become of those movies for us that we quote constantly and can find a quote from it for almost any occasion.

There is a scene at the end where Brad Pitt and company are the make believe squad team.  As they leave the casino, he says "Blue Team.  Move it out."  For some reason, Charlie has latched onto that phrase.  For years, as we leave the house, he says "Blue Team. Move it out."  Laci, of course thought it was based on the clothes we were wearing and would say "Dad, you can be the blue team.  I'll be the pink team.  Mom is the green team."  

This has caught on even to Calvin.  The other day, we were getting ready to go to the Purdue football game.  It was a very trying morning and Calvin had gotten up at 5:30.  Calvin and I were ready to go by 9:45.  He picked up a princess back pack and filled it full of random things - books, a baseball glove, some cars and fruit snacks.  As he was walking around the house wearing this back pack, he was saying "blue team. blue team. blue team. time to go!"  It was pretty funny.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Harsh Realities of Life - too much for a 5 year old

Maybe I have scarred Laci.  Sometimes I don't know how much "truth" to tell her.  Sometimes I forget she is only 5 years old.  

The other night she was listening to the radio at bedtime as she always does.  I went in to check on her and she was crying and terrified.  An Amber Alert was on the radio. I didn't hear the details so I simply explained that a child was lost and they put it on the radio so that everyone would look for her and protect her.  I didn't want to scare her more but reminded her that that is why she needs to be careful when playing outside.  
After she finally fell asleep, still scared, I looked at the details of the Amber Alert.  A little girl was taken by her mother who recently lost custody.  I didn't know how much to tell Laci.  What a horrible situation.  I know that a 5 year old can't understand why a little girl can't be with her mother.  

Charlie said that the next morning, Laci talked to him about the Amber Alert.  She knew the name, age and description of the little girl.  She had heard and listened to the entire Amber Alert.  

That night I read that they found the little girl in Louisville.  Police had found her and brought her home to her dad.  At bedtime, Laci asked if the little girl had been found.  I simply said "Yes".  I didn't know what to say when she asked "Who found her" and "Who took her".  I told the truth.  I explained that the police found her and it was her mother who had taken her.  I went on to explain that we do not know why the little girl's mother had to take her and we do not know why the little girl's mother was not allowed to have her.  We do not need to know.  That mother loved her little girl but there was a reason that we do not know that she was not allowed to have her right now.  I continued and reminded her that I loved her very much and will always take care of her and keep her safe.

A few minutes later, I went in there again and she was still upset.  She told me that she is scared that when she grows up and has a child, the police will take her child away.  My heart was breaking.  I goofed and told her too much.  I explained again that she is a very good, kind and loving person and she will be a very good, kind and loving mother and no one will ever take her child away from her.  "How do you know, Mom?"  "I know because I know you.  I love you very much and I know that you will love and care for your child as much as I love and care for you.  No one will ever take your children away."

I know that the conversations and harsh realities were too much for my 5 year old.   I know she is almost 6 and an "old soul" almost 6 year old but she is still a little girl. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

After Dinner Walks

We started a new routine this summer.  Charlie's schedule has been modified slightly and we started eating at home on Saturday nights.  On the nights that all four of us eat at home, we have started taking an after dinner walk.  It has been really nice.  On Friday nights we still do Taco Bell and after dinner usually go out for ice cream or to a park to play for some family time also.

On our dinner at home nights, during dinner we talk about what we want to do.  Last summer we played tennis several times but we haven't played tennis at all this summer.  There is a small pond full of blue gill and a few big cat fish that we sometimes walk to to feed the fish.  Our favorite walk this summer has been over the bridge to the adjoining neighborhood.  They built the path and bridge about 3 summers ago and we love it.  Once you get past the neighborhood, you had hidden back behind trees and a creek.  You forget you are so close to home.  The neighborhood has a park and basketball court also.  We usually walk the mile to the other park and sometimes a little further to their pond to feed the fish.  Laci takes her bike and Calvin gets pushed in his tricycle.  We usually play at the park for about half an hour (or until Laci has to go to the bathroom) and then turn around and walk home.  On the bridge we stop and look for animals.  We have seen turtles, deer and a heron.  Calvin even saw a kangaroo once!  :)  By the time we get home, it is time for bath, bedtime shows and bed.  We are all worn out.

I am looking forward to the fall walks with the leaves changing color and the crinkle of the leaves as you walk over them.  I am not sure what we will do in the winter when we won't be able to take as many family walks.  Laci loves card games.  Maybe we can teach Calvin a few games.  I hope we can continue the tradition of family time after family dinner.