Friday, June 26, 2009

Throwing Rocks at Friends, Loved Ones, and Michael Jackson

Painted Rocks, above, courtesy of DD Jill who painstakingly decorated them

Michael Jackson's death got me to thinking:

- There was a time I wanted to throw a rock at MJ for his alleged sexual abuse of children

- As a 9 year old, I threw a rock at a male playmate. I was no David fighting off a Goliath, so he recovered quickly, and returned the favor by hitting me HARD on the arm. Ouch.  He also threatened to never speak to me again. He made good on that threat, so in repentance I went to his house a few days later, with my tail between my legs, inviting him to play and to pick up where we left off.

- Boy, do I want to throw a rock at someone now. A certain member of my family refuses to see things my way, and does not realize that I'm perfect with no faults whatsoever. He does not panic when I tell him that the Devil is behind every bush and that the sky is falling; and yes, watch out for those people who are ready to stab him in the back. He refuses to believe that I'm also completely psycho, ehr... I mean psychic, and that the future is in my hands. What is HIS problem!!??

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lessons from Summer Camp: Brushing and Bullying and Knives

The boys enjoyed their week at camp; and we certainly missed them here at home. A couple of events were eye-openers for me. First, we were told that two Camp kitchen workers almost got their fingers sliced off while on cutting/dicing/slicing duties during meal preparation. Beware of sharp knives! I am thankful that DS was nowhere near a knife as he was a volunteer dishwasher. Lesson learned --- knowing how to handle a sharp knife begins at home. Jared needs to do even more cutting/dicing/and slicing while in our own kitchen. He will then be prepared and injury-free if he were ever asked to help the Camp's Head Chef/Cook .

Second, youngest DS' forgetfulness regarding brushing his teeth was personally embarrassing. He didn't brush his teeth - not even once. Oy! I blame myself for his inattentiveness. Obviously, he was not brushing his teeth often enough here at home either, but I hadn't noticed. Lesson learned --- daily brushing begins at home. To help him remember, after lunch, while I brush my own teeth using sink A, he will simultaneously be brushing his teeth using sink B. Repeat routine after dinner.

Third, bullies go to camp too. A boy was housed in AJ's cabin who'd cause fights, pull hair, and act in other inappropriate ways. Supposedly, the boys' Camp Counselor was right on top of things, and DS even says "...he wasn't toooo bad", so I'll not go on with this subject. Lesson learned --- Cristian-run Camps are not bully-free zones.

The oral hygiene fiasco got me thinking of my responsibility, as a mother, to teach our children useful skills. Below are pictures of Farrah and AJ well on their way to learning that keeping a house clean is a very useful skill; benefitting our home now and freeing me to do my other duties, and benefitting their own homes in the future.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

M.I.A.Weeping Willow Tree: To Sue or Not to Sue Our Neigbors

The temperature is in the 90s, so what's a better way to cool down than a water-filled kiddie swimming pool ? Trouble is, it's not ours, but our neighbor's. Their kids like to invite our 3 younger kids over to try out their new "toys". First, it was a huge, outdoor trampoline; now this. We don't mind living nextdoor to such nice, generous people.

And truly generous they are. Last year, they gifted us with a Brand New Portable Basketball Hoop. They were cutting their huge Weeping Willow Tree and it came tumbling down on our property. Unfortunately, our pretty and unsuspecting Pine Tree was squashed and killed in the process. We came home from church to be greeted with one less tree in our yard -- surprise!!!
So, in order for us not to sue them for millions of dollars ... j/k

At the moment, my neigbors & their kids, plus my DS and his 3 younger siblings are at our HOA swimming pool. I tend to stay indoors with the a.c. when it's warm, but I'll be picking them up in a few.

Bottom picture: My current gold/diamond wedding ring set (over 1.5 carat total), courtesy of DH and his innovative ways (read: cheap). Years ago, we found it after he took me to a pawn shop in a somewhat seedy neighborhood. It replaced my .17 carat original wedding ring set. Thanks, my beloved; I was getting tired of squinting, hehe.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day to my Kids' Fabulous Dad!

Romy's Day! Kris and Camille got him a brand new t-shirt. Farrah wrote him a note from the heart. Jillian put in her effort and time on a decorated index card and a hand-made necklace. Jared took him to a movie (Terminator Salvation). AJ apologized profusely for his lack of a gift -- he was away at camp after all. Flowers were planted by Cindy at the chapel. Glad to have the camera handy 'coz, just like children, they're there one minute, and they're gone (grown) the next.

 The lips of the righteous feed many:
 but fools die for want of wisdom.
Proverbs 10:21


Saturday, June 20, 2009

They're Baaaack! Take 3 : Bear, Friends & Co-workers @ Summer Youth Camp

Always-generous AJ bought Farrah, using his own camp money (!), the cute Stuffed Bear below. More camp pictures taken during the Closing Ceremony. And photos of Jared's fellow Camp Workers during their lunch break.

They're Baaaack! Take 2 : Interesting Heads, Ducks & Nature Center

Below are a couple of memorable camp staff members: One had an interesting Head/Haircut; the other was the Head Cook --- a fellow in tip-top shape who expected the same from his staff (he'd request push-ups). His meals were thoroughly enjoyed by both AJ and Jared. The next set of pictures was of the table next to ours at the Camp Canteen. The family was to take home two, orphaned ducks. Bottom picture shows a scene from the Camp's Nature Center -- home to many animals.

They're Baaaack! Take 1 : Closing Ceremony, Canteen Food & the Beach

The Closing Ceremony at the Youth Camp was at 10:00 AM sharp! There was moderate to heavy traffic, and one non-functioning traffic light in Woodstock. Thus, we didn't get to the camp till 10:15.

Pictures of the ceremony to follow. Below are LG Beach scenes taken from the car 'coz we couldn't stop; and Jared's fellow staff members at the Camp Canteen where we had our (non-healthy) lunch of Pepsi, Nachos with melted cheese and peppers, and ice cream. Yummy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

College Orientation SIU

Early this morning, Romy took Camille, Jill, and Farrah to SI for Camille's Freshman Orientation. Cammy is super-hyped/super-excited. She and her advisor will be planning her schedule. Below are pictures from last February '09. Back then, Cammy was being interviewed as a potential recipient of the full academic Scholarship. There were over 100 finalists. They even held a special dinner for them. The pictures were taken after the interview/dinner. They had time to do a quick drive-through of nearby St Louis.
It's warm here today (80's); it's even warmer down South (mid 90's). Hopefully, their hotel will have an indoor swimming pool. I hope so, for Farrah's sake. She had dutifully packed a swimsuit and extra towel!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Her many moods: Infancy to Adulthood / By Lake Michigan to Illinois State

Kris as an infant, parked in her stroller by Lake Michigan (picture by Uncle Joe R);
and fast-forward, 20 years later, in a self-portrait at her dorm room in ISU.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tess and Jim's Wedding Shower

Sunday: We had a wonderful time at Tess and Jim's Wedding Shower. It was held at the beautiful Vangelo's Town Center Grille. Tess and Jim will be joined in Holy Matrimony on August 1st. We wish them well, and pray for God's abundant blessings on their upcoming union.

(L to R) Ethel, Marissa, Tess, Glenda, and Jim

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...It's off to Camp we go; plus Giant Swing fun!

Summer Camp here we come! They may have been smiling, but underneath I think AJ and Jared were a little bit apprehensive about spending a week away from home. Once they arrived at Camp LGYC, the crowd of excited kids and the possibilities of new friends and fun activities probably alleviated some of their worries. The last two pictures below show DH (center) and AJ (right) giving the Giant Swing a try.