Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekends are for Playing

The weekend started with hubby and the older kids heading off to Sky Ranch for their first campout of the semester. Which left me with the toddler (I can't say "baby" anymore) and all sorts of options on how to spend our time. Football watching was negotiable, since LSU beat Mississippi State on Thursday night. So we started out with a pancake breakfast at the local fire station Saturday morning.

Here is Gabe hanging out with Darren Driskell, a friend who serves our town as a new fireman and as mayor (he's kinda busy).

After the boy's naptime, we headed out to Splitzville to join members of the Young Marrieds class for an afternoon of bowling. Click the link below if you want to see a 4 minute video of highlights.

Young Marrieds Bowling Social from Bruce Q on Vimeo.

It contains proof that I'm not a horrible bowler, that in fact I did bowl a strike. Actually I bowled several strikes (even two in a row at one point), but you only get to see one of them on film. Gabe makes a cameo appearance, enthralled by the colorful bowling balls that keep popping up out of that hole. We all had a fabulous time...congrats to our social coordinators Bethany and Jenna who planned the event.

While the rest of the group ran off to dinner afterwards, I boogied down the highway to Cafe Brazil to meet up with friends from my former life. As in, friends I haven't seen in years since they moved away (and ok, so did I). Erin has spent the last year going through cancer treatments, and while she has kept us in the loop through regular updates on FB, words on a screen are no substitute for a hug and face-to-face sharing. Aunt Kathleen picked up Gabe so I wouldn't have to wrestle with him all evening. Thanks, SIL!

Three hours, shared with a group of friends, wasn't enough to catch up, so I played hooky from church the next morning and joined Erin and Sandi for worship down at Sandi's church. After a summer-long drought of no opportunities to share in the Lord's Supper, what a fabulous day to enjoy that privilege. The three of us drank our juice together (and Erin pipes in, "Cheers!") grateful for lifelong friendships and the Lord who binds us together. I admit to wishing Jeni Ward were there too...

Craving as much Tex-Mex as possible (apparently Maryland lacks such yumminess), Erin suggested On the Border for lunch. I was happy to oblige!

I arrived home to a full house, with happy faces and hugs and stories to share (and baths to take!). How could I ask for more?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Grandfather to the Rescue

Our grandfather clock is the hero of the day (thus far). Its melodious donging penetrated my unconsciousness at straight up 7 a.m. That's the time the clock "wakes up" from its overnight silence mode, as I can't handle hearing it on the quarter-hour all night long. But 7 a.m. is not the time I'm supposed to wake up--on a school day. (Exactly how did I sleep through hubby's early-morning prep-for-work ritual?)

When panic mode kicked in, about three seconds after I mentally chastized the clock for waking me on a ...."oh &$^%&! It's not Saturday!"...I jumped out of bed and ran to the kids' rooms. Thanks to their extra 45 minutes of sleep (they are very welcome (not)), they popped up quickly. Nate led the charge since he knew what 7:04 meant. Clothes on, baby's diaper changed, shoes found, baby's milk poured, lunches packed, bags loaded, pop tarts grabbed, and we were in the car backing out of the driveway by 7:17.

That is only about 4 minutes later than usual. Translated: ON TIME!

We all laughed, somewhat hysterically, I realize, but still it was laughter, most of the way to school as we congratulated ourselves on accomplishing the impossible. Between bites of pop tarts, of course. They each had about 4 minutes left to chew minty gum in an effort--vain, I'm sure--to improve the quality of their breath.

But they. are. at. school.

On. time.

Thank you, Grandfather Clock.

Monday, September 05, 2011

LSU-Oregon Experience

  Just being in Jerryworld The Death Star Cowboys Stadium is an experience unto itself. And I didn't even wander through a fourth of it. But my little section was fairly spectacular. I knew my Aunt Eileen was going to be there, but we never knew where her seats were. Before the game even began, I looked up to the balcony above my section and laid eyes on my uncle, who was standing in full view. Soon enough we were all waving madly at each other. Crazy how close we were considering how immense the stadium is.
 And we had fabulous seats. Close enough to feel very much a part of the game, but not so close to field level that plays on the other side of the field were impossible to see. Of course, anything was visible from the jumbo-tron above. 
Then the players started coming out for warmups. The crowd practiced their potential volume. Lots of good-natured taunting between the Tigers and Ducks fans. Soon enough the captains met in the center for the coin toss. Tigers win the toss, and we defer. The players disappear into the locker rooms, and the field clears.

 And then The Golden Band from Tigerland takes the field to rouse the home crowd into a frenzy. And since LSU is slightly closer geographically to Dallas than is Oregon, you could say our fans had duck for dinner were in the majority. And we sounded like it.

"Baaaah-ba-ba-BA!" or something like that, goes the opening notes of the band's pre-game routine. Every. single. game. It's literally music to the Tiger fan's ears. Especially here, where we weren't truly in Death Valley (just the Death Star--ha!).

And then there was kick-off, and a lame first quarter where both teams wondered who was going to finally show up. But special teams made the difference, and the second half saw the Tigers pull away to a comfortable lead, making all us Tiger fans happy to line Jerry's pockets buy drinks, food, and more drinks. And that's about when my phone battery conked out, which is why I have no pictures of the touchdowns and ensuing celebrations.

I heard one news report after the game incredulous at the amount of trash after the game, both in and around the stadium. Tailgating gone wild? I wouldn't doubt it. A 40-27 victory against the #3 ranked team is definitely a reason to celebrate.

 I owe my fabulous day in purple and gold to my college buddy Travis Terral, who found a way to get four tickets and treated his son, me and another friend to the game (and, I might add, to a killer lunch at The Keg Steakhouse).Thanks, Trav! (And thanks, Hubby, for giving me an awesome day off work :)).