Friday, December 30, 2005
Tonight Nick and Chris went to the ODU game and Lauren went to a party with some kids from church. So, Ben and I ordered in. We ordered online. I have never done this before. It worked. You know....after you submit the order online....you sit there wondering if anyone is even checking the computer. Should I call? NO....that's the whole idea dummy! No hassle. Just click....and your pizza is here in thirty minutes! Ben was pleased. It even came with free chicken strips for ordering online. Cool!
We all got up early Christmas moring so the kids could open their presents before church. I liked going to church on Christmas. No classes to teach....just worshipping with your family, celebrating Jesus birth and taking communion as a family. After all....that's the reason for the season! We came home and ate all day long.
Katy and the kids, mom and dad, grandaddy dyer and george and jackie came over and ate and exchanged gifts through the day. Then mom had us all over in the evening for chilli and more gifts. We were all exhausted by the end of the day. But it was a perfect day! Happy Birthday Jesus! Here are some of the highlight pics. from the day.
We (katy an I) took all the kids to the botanical gardens so I could take pictures that we could use for gifts for mom and Jackie. We took over a hundred shots. They turned out real good. We matched and everything! Once in the frames they were really outstanding. It was a great idea. By the way....did you know you have to pay to get into the botanical gardens? $6.00 for every person in the car! Good grief!!
The boys Karate school had their annual Christmas party and we really enjoyed it. There was lots of food some cool demos and an awards ceremony. Ben was involved in one of the demos. It was 5 little dragons (Ben's karate group) performing a choreographed routine to "Proud to be an American".
It was AWESOME! Then during the awards ceremony...both boys recieved awards. Nick....the most prestigous for his age group. It was a great night.
Ben's school had a breakfast with santa on a saturday morning. I volunteered to help with it, so the boys came along with me. They had a good time. When we pulled up Santa and Mrs. Claus were arriving in style.
Ben loved that!!
Then the boys ate and played while I worked. After a while Ben and I couldn't find Nick. I sent Ben off to find him.
Of course he was in the cafeteria working with the lunch lady. He was serving breakfast. He was in heaven!
Monday, December 19, 2005
Finally, all the Christmas practices and performances are over. Nick, Ben and Kristian all starred in the church show "Christmas in Reverse" last night to top off a busy few weeks. It was very cute. Nick was one of the narrators, and did very well articulating his parts clearly. He wore a tie and white shirt and looked pretty sharp. Kristian was an Angel and took everything very seriously. Ben was animated, cute and on point for his solo rap and other parts. Teresa got it all on video. Pictures coming soon.
We were so glad that cousin Joey got better in time for the Dyers to come down from Warrenton for Saturday and part of Sunday. They're really the only out-of-town family we have, and it's so neat to see them. I know it sounds like a cliche, but the kids grow so much in just a few months. We learned that Jamie played basketball for this first time . . . which, of course, is very exciting for me. Soon he'll be playing in a Chritian basketball organization called Upward, which I have heard great things about. We'll definitely have to make a trip up 95 to see him in action. He and brother Joey are getting really tall. The men enjoyed a few hours away to watch my ODU Monarchs drub DePaul in basketball by 44 points . . . so all is good!
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
Teresa, our staff photographer, will put up pictures soon . . . but the Karate for Christ dinner was very good. All the Greens went, along with the grandparents (minus sick Grandaddy Allen). We knew Ben would be one of five Little Dragons in a demo, and that was exciting. What we didn't know was that Nick and Ben would get awards from the Dojo, both of them for displaying the underlying Christian ethics associated with Karate For Christ. We were very proud, and got lots of pictures. Ben's demo was very cute, and he looked like a real pro. He didn't seem nervous at all doing his moves before a couple hundred people. Nick's award really touched him . . . he was beaming and anxious to get the new patches on his "uniform." We really love Karate for Christ, and learned their reach was even further than we knew . . . this ministry is touching the lives of hundreds and hundreds in Hampton Roads and across the world, we learned. If you are ever asked to support them, you ought to do it.
Well, Teresa cashed Lauren's first paycheck for her, which started an interested conversation . . . which will continue.
When Lauren discovered her check had been converted to cash (something Lauren had not figured out how to do), she was very anxious to get the money. Of course, I had different ideas . . . the kind of ideas that make teenagers think parents are, well, obstacles. First, we would take $50 off the top. Money she had spent promising to pay us when she cashed her check. She couldn't believe the little eating out here and trinkets there added up to $5o so quickly. A good lesson. But, I also told her that she wasn't just going to have access to hundreds of dollars at a time, even if she did earn it. She looked at me like I was crazy . . . and said as much too. "We're going to have to know what your planning to spend your money on," I explained. "I know how to manage my money," she declared. I laughed at her. "You didn't even know how to turn that piece of paper into cash!" She didn't get it, and left pretty irritated with me. Of course, as I am apt to do, I exaggerated the point a bit: I told her at her age, her money is my money. That was a little strong. What I meant to say is:
Even a little bit of wisdom will show you that money is a potentially dangerous thing. A good parent wouldn't expose their children to dangers on purpose, would they? Yet, we dismiss money training too often and easily, I think. As much as you need training driving a car, you need training even more in dealing with money. The proven dangers of money? It's been known to breed addictions, cause divorces and broken families (my pet peeve), blur judgement and generally cause trouble. Unhealthy management of money is habitual, according to everything I can find on the topic (as is healthy management of money). Poor management of money has even been proven to be a generational curse on some families. Have you ever seen someone with an unhealthy emotional approach to spending and saving? It has literally devastating effects sometimes, leading to unhealthy dependencies that mess up orderly Spiritual and human relationships. All started with bad habits. So, yes, I am going to be very hands-on with my kids' money, even when they earn it . . . especially as teenagers. Now is the time to make sure Lauren has healthy habits and pereceptions with money. She's already started pretty well: by having a job, her brain will soon make the connection between work and money. I think if you give kids money incessantly (or the things money provides), they don't make that link between work and money. We've seen those adults who never made that link, right? Now, she has to learn how to "have" money. To become a steward of a blessing. It's hard. And, she needs our help. Hands on help, at first. That's what I was trying to tell her. We'll have to teach her that she doesn't really "know how to manage her money" until she understands:
- Tithing and saving (10 - and - 10 rule)
- Emotional spending
- Time Value of Money (since time is actually worth more than amount in the money world, the sooner you learn it the better off you will be). The whole banking and financing industry is built on this, and it works for individuals too.
Cha - ching.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Well, our last entry should have been a clue about what has happened to us. We got sick! Blogging is not really on your mind when you're sick, so . . .
But, we seem to be getting better, though I am exhausted already at 2 p.m.
Some rambling and updates from the last several days . . .
Saw a funny thing . . . Santa will be at Hooters this weekend, with gifts for kids! Uhh. I guess the sentiment there is something like: "Happy Birthday Jesus! We're taking the kids to Hooters!!" Great Day . . .
Ben is doing a demo tonight at Karate for Christ's Christmas dinner at Deep Creek Baptist Church.
It turns out our Guatamalan friend Marian will be staying with us a couple more nights before she heads back home (we'll take her to the airport bright and early Sunday). We're glad to have her back, and she will get to experience another family gathering with us since the Dyers from Warrenton (Teresa's uncle, wife and kids) will be in town, and we will celebrate Christmas early with them.
Lauren got her first paycheck last week . . . and without our help she has not figured out how to convert it to cash. That's a good savings plan, I guess. We'll open her an account soon.
Finally, some drug learnings:
I bought Excedrin for the first time recently. Did you know that stuff has caffeine in it? Makes me sort of hyper. Weird feeling, when you think your just taking aspirin. Oh, and they are HUGE. Back to Advil for me.
Nyquil has changed their antihistimine ingredient. It doesn't knock you out nearly as thoroughly as before. Not sure that is good news.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Today I was at Ben's school. They had a lot of work for me to do while I was at the desk. So the time flew by. Next week I will be there everyday to help out with the santas workshop (kids bring in money to buy family gifts). While working the desk the nurse marched Ben by me. He had a bloody nose. He gets these all the time, so it wasn't that big of a deal. He does however have some major congestion. I gave him some cough medicine before he left for school this morning. He was coughing terribly all night. I asked him if he wanted to stay home with me...but of course he refused. He loves school too much! He doesn't want to mess up his perfect attendance. Not long after returning home, I got a call from Nick's school. He was in the nurses office with a headache and a temperature (100.4). So I had to go get him. I hope he doesn't get worse. The nurse said alot of kids have been out this week, and they all started out with symptoms like Nick's. I bet one or both of them will end up having to stay home tomorrow. That should be fun!
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
I took the boys out to look at christmas lights tonight. I surprised them. At 7:30pm, when I usually get them in the shower, I said ,"get your shoes on....we are going out." They were sooooo excited! I stopped at 7eleven and got them hot chocolate and a donut each. And off we went. We went up and down all the streets in our neighborhood and then out to a house on kempsville that has about a hundred plastic light up characters on the lawn. We blared the christmas music most of the time....except when the boys took turns serenading me with rudolph the red nose reindeer. Ben kept messing up near the end of the song and starting back over again. Aaarrrggg! I thought Nick would explode waiting for his turn to sing. We were gone for an hour and then we came home and the boys climbed right into bed. And all is right in the world. (from "A Christmas Story")
Lauren just got home from school...cheering practice...and work. She left for school at 7:45am and got home at 10:20pm. She looks like shes been run over. So of course I had to take a picture.
Yikes! That's some pretty hair right there! She's eating dinner and then going up to do her homework. I bet she sleeps good tonight!
Kaden went for her FOUR month checkup last week. They told us what we have suspected for awhile now......she is a chunky monkey! And I love it! That's the way a baby should be. She is now 14lbs 4 ozs. She is in the 75% for height and weight. She is healthy and perfect. Isn't she adorable?
We are so excited about the Lion the witch and the wardrobe coming out in two days. Nick and I have just reread the book and we are soooo ready for the movie. We have the vhs of the 1970's cartoon version. But this is going to be epic, like Lord of the rings and harry potter epic! JOY! I will wait and take the kids to the evening viewing instead of the midnight showing like we did for GOF(thats goblet of fire for you muggles). That was a killer!(but worth it)
Last nights karate class was very cool. They learned two ways to get away from kidnappers. One...if they try to drag you off by the wrist (this involved stepping on feet, falling down, wrapping around the leg , sitting on foot and biting the back of the knee)and two...if they throw you over their shoulder(this involved grabbing the back, climbing down the leg upside down,flipping to your butt, and running). All the kids were thrilled with this and really got into it(especially the biting part). Poor sensei Kim. Another exciting thing happening at the dojo is the return of sensei Scott. He is a total cutie who went away to college (sigh) and is now returning as a full time teacher in Jan. They said it was because the head instructor Soke broke his leg and they need him to pick up they slack, but I know different. All the moms got together and signed a petition to bring him home. Class just isn't the same without him. Hee hee!
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I don't think I have blogged about this yet. We have been without a dryer for over a week now. It went kaploowee last Monday. I called Southland(where we but ALL our appliances..(THEY ARE THE CHEAPEST AND THE BEST) and they were so backed up with appointments, their technician couldn't come out until today. I almost cried with the lady on the phone. I wash between 2 to 3 loads of clothes a day(if I am caught up). So this has been a real henderence! I have washed some tubs and taken them next door to my mothers to put in her washer. I tried not to do this everyday(maybe every other day). I can't wait until they come. I am having to miss work today to wait for them. But it's worth it to get back to drying! Southland...Southland.....where for art thou Southland?
I changed my mind about taking Chris to the airport. I decided that Lauren should get up and take him since it would be her that needed the car. I know that may sound mean to you, but.....that's a good lesson for her. If you want the reward...you have to make the sacrafice! And she did! She took him, and got home and went back to bed for awhile. Now I don't have to run myself ragged criss crossing town to get all three kids to their commitments. Lauren has a car....and I have a car. At least until Friday.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Because Chris' flight was cancelled he had to switch it to tomorrow. Of course the only flight that would get him there for his meeting is the 6:00am. Which means he has to be there by 5:00am. That is so early. I am taking him so Lauren(who has a busier schedule than the president) can use his car while he is gone this week.
Today I met Jackie at Walmart to do some Christmas shopping for the kids our church is sponsoring. We had 12, so we split up the list and went to it. Each kid got about 3 toys (all from a list their cargivers provided) and a coat and outfit. It only took us about 5 hours. Jackie is also purchasing rack room gift cards for each of them. I can't wait until Saturdays Christmas lunch to watch them all open the gifts. I think there about 50 kids or so. Each of the kids have parents who are incarcerated. When the volunteers wrap the gifts(which will be thursday night) they put From: Dad or From:mom (whoever is in jail) and the kids get excited to think that their parent is thinking of them eventhough they are apart. Chris and I are sponsoring a table (I encourage each of you who read this to do the same). And Nick has once again been asked to help in the kitchen by the adults in charge of the afternoon. He really enjoys this so much. So I hope nobodys feathers get too ruffled by his participation. :) Anyway...now I need to get it in gear and finish shopping for my own family.
Saturday, when Chris and Nick went to the Old Dominion b-ball game, I took Ben, Katy, Kristian and Kai to the parade in Great Bridge. It was freezing and crowded. But, we got a primo spot right at the corner of battlefield and Cedar road. I think everybody enjoyed it alright. Although Kai asked to go sit in the car about 30 minutes before it was over(he was a little under the weather). Here are some pics. The kids enjoying themselves(they brightened up after Katy walked across the street and got pizza from little ceasars), and the shopping cart some lady was pushing around selling dollar tree christmas paraphernalia.
Friday and Saturday both Lauren and Nick were in the church play. They have been practicing a long time with it and I think it turned out pretty cute. I also had a role in putting it on. No....not acting or singing, I was the copy person. which just means I sit up front and read along with the actors (in my head) and feed them a line when they forget them. It happened several times both nights. We have one more show on Dec. 11th. Here are some pics. One of Lauren on her 1940's get up and one of Nick dressed up like a newsie (I found him shooting pool in a sunday school room...what are they teaching my kids in church theses days?)
In order to keep my car available for the week, Teresa dropped me at the
airport early this morning. I'm still here! They say a battery is dead,
and ther is no replacement in this part of the world, apparently. They're
funny how they handle these things. About 20 minites before depart time,
the first announcemt came. Never a good sign. “We'll be delayed about 10
mins. ... But we will get back to you with an update”. When an airline rep
says we'll get back to you with an update, that is relly code speak for
“you folks with any experience ought to get on your phone and re-book
before all 175 on the plane figure out we are in trouble”. Now it's a game.
Do I take a chance and switch to the next flight, 2 hours later? That
could backfire, if this one is delayed less than 2 hours. I decide to wait
a minute. Wrong move.
The “get back to you in a minute”. Turned into, “we're looking for a
battery, it could take several hours” Darn! Now all 175 are in line. No
need for me to do that. They will rebook me automatically on something.
No way that all the people are getting on the next Atlanta flight, which is
probably full already. I've put Teresa on hold to come get me. Everyone
is on cell phones trying to out-maneuver each other (it's usually quicker
to call the airline from your cell phone than to stand in line). They're
not answering though. So, I sit and wait. Now it is getting interesting,
because the 10 am flight crowd is arriving, and people are telling them
“the flight to Atlanta is delayed.”. Well, it's not THAT one that is
delayed. Now they are getting in line too, for no reason. It's becoming
very likely that I could now drive to Atlanta before this gets sorted out.
Because, even if they get the battery for the plane here by 2, they will
surely cancel this flight to get that plane back on track. But they are
not telling us that yet.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Last night was Marians b-day/goodbye party at church. Today she will be traveling to North Carolina with The Hoyles (missionaries from our church), they will be attending a family reunion Christmas get together. Our family really enjoyed having her in our home. She is such a sweetie! And...with her around the boys were on extra good behavior. All the teenagers came to the party. She gots loads of cards (she said she was going to hang them in her room back home), gifts and money. She looked alittle overwhelmed...but happy. Phyllis Lowry(mom of another family who hosted her) and I got pictures together and made a scrapbook for her. It included pictures of all the things she has done in America...and all the people she met. It also has a voice recorder on it(enough for 12 messages). So we were all able to tell her how much we love her and will miss her. When she gets home, she can still have our voices....and her parents can see and hear the people she was involved with here.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Mark your calendars. High profile appearances by the Green family coming this month!
- The Christmas Post. Friday Dec. 2 at 7; Saturday Dec. 3 at 2; Sunday December 11 at 10:30. All at Parkway Temple (see link on the left that says "our church"). It's musical drama where the characters discover the true meaning of Christmas. Most excited is Nick, in his role as "Newsie." This is right up his ally, in the "big people show." Lauren will appear as a "shopper," with slightly less enthusiasm as her thespian brother.
- Karate 4 Christ Christmas Dinner. Dec. 15 at Deep Creek Baptist Church (see the head Greens for tickets). We love Karate 4 Christ, so just supporting them should be enough reason to come. Add to it that Ben is one of only five in his age group chosen to do a demonstration to music (chops, blocks and kicks to "God Bless the USA"), and this should be a pretty fun evening for the fam. Ben has now worked his way up to near the top of the "Little Dragons."
- Kid's Christmas Show. Not certain of the title, but it will happen Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. Nick, Ben and even Lauren partcipate. Apparently Nick will "rap." Interesting.
- On Any Given Night At Target. Lauren will be appearing as "cashier" in the always dramatic "shopping at Target."
Well, I just discovered a new thing (to me) in the blogosphere. "Splogging." It's like email spam, except it's done through your blog, by adding comments. Sometimes automatically and in mass, apparently. It's happened to us before, but pretty innocent stuff until now. If you saw the inappropriate comment before we deleted, sorry.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Nick is in the kitchen right now fixing him and Ben breakfast. This is all under Chris' watch. It's killing me because I know this is going to leave a huge mess for me to clean up. This is what I am hearing from the kitchen: Dad...can I fix scrambled eggs for breakfast? Dad says...OK. Dad... Ben wants fried eggs...can I make them too? Dad says....OK. Dad... can I have some pepsi with my food? Dad says....OK. Dad...can we mix some cinnamon and sugar to put on our toast? Dad says...OK. Dad....can I have some pumpkin pie too? Dad says...OK.
Yesterday, while Lauren was working, we (chris, me , Jackie, and the boys) took Marian to waterside mall. they have a great place in there called Jillians. It has a super huge arcade and restaurant(right in the middle of the arcade). And instead of tokens, you get your kids Jillians cards. You can put whatever point limit you want on them. Your kid just swipes it in the games....it takes the points off....and the just play. No tokens! It's great! They just keep playing till their card is empty. Nanny Jackie bought each kid a card. Marian looked like...what is this, and what do I do with it? After just a quick tour of the place...and a few minutes watching Ben and Nick...and she was off and running. Lots of games....lots of tickets....lots of prizes! They had a pizza in between games. Fun was had by all!
If any of you know my sister Katy, then you know she is always styling. Even if she has to run the food lion...at midnight...she's going to be DONE...if you know what I mean. Makeup, big hair, fresh highlights, shiney teeth, a whole outfit right off an american eagle mannequin. Well...Chris took this picture of her early thankgiving morning bringing over some food from mommas. Notice how she coordinated with the tupperware. Good grief!
Here's one way to tell that your day is not going to be good...........When your son stands over you at 6:45am, waking you from a dead sleep. the first words out of his mouth are......mom...you promise not to get mad? NOOOOOOOO! NOT ON SATURDAY! It turns out that Shorty (our dog) barfed and pooped ALL over the boys room. And when I say ALL over the room....I mean every foot or so (even under the beds)! He sleeps in their room most nights with the door closed so he will stay. I guess he had a tummy ached in the night. We should have seen it coming...because he was shooting some stinky bunnies all evening last night. We gave him this gianormous ham bone from thanksgiving and I think it made him ill.
If you have any "you know your days not going to be good when stories" please add them to our blog. It's therapeutic to share the joy!
Friday, November 25, 2005
Yuk! That's how I felt Thanksgiving night. It's been since May that we have pretty much banned anything with white flower, sugar and most other "bad" carbs -- grainy carbs only, you know. In fact, most days now my lunch is a salad or Chicken in whole wheat wrap. Then, yesterday, total gluttony. I had gotten used to how good I was feeling, I guess, because I sure felt bad last night. I bet I clogged an artery or something! Did I always feel like this before?, I asked Teresa. After gravy, stuffin', pie, etc. my body was in shock. Bloated. Heartburn. Restless. Couldn't sleep. What is in that stuff! It's poison, I tell you! I still have a little heartburn almost 24 hours later! I had some Gaviscon left over from the bad 'ol days (I used to use a bottle a week), so I've been taking that. Those foaming tablets are nastier than I remembered. But, at least it's cherry-flavored foaming nastiness. That really helps. So, that's it for me. I'll do turkey without gravy and veggies from now on on these special occassions. Which leads to some philosophical questions I was thinking about while a I couldn't sleep:
Why, in order to enjoy our families on special occassions, do we eat like pigs? And, when I say eat like pigs, I mean a lot and fast! We were in such a hurry yesterday, we stopped the serving line to say the blessing, lest one of us starve first. hehe. Then, we ate so fast my plate was gone and cleaned before I could get a good conversation going! Whirlwind, I tell you. After hours of cooking and preparation, the "family time" was boiled down to about 30 mins. around the table. A few of us gathered for dessert at a slightly slower pace, but mostly the crowd dispersed quickly. I'm not sure where we were hurrying to? It's our nature I guess. Hurry up, get started eating. Hurry up, eat this pie so I can wrap it up . . . these are an extension of the way everything else is hurried around us, I guess. Well, gotta go . . . being hurried up to hit the road to Jilians!
Well.....thanksgiving day was wonderful this year. Everyone came to our house around 1:30 and we ate and enjoyed each other. There were 15 of us in all. It was Marian's first thanksgiving (dia de grasias) experience. She enjoyed all the food and our crazy family. She has really joined perfectly with our family over the past week. Ben is even over the initial excitement of her visit and is now bugging her just as much as he does Lauren. But she has 2 younger siblings back home , so she is used to it. We ate the whole day off and on and then drove to the beach for the holiday lights on the boardwalk. Nothing says Christmas like a 40 ft neon santa on a surfboard. They had a lit-up nativity scene...as we drove past it Ben asked....why is santa on that camel? It's a wise man Ben....we all said. It was pretty funny.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Had a chance to observe about 45 minutes of circuit court divorce procedings this morning. I was there as an official witness, but I guess you could say I was really there to support someone dear to us. I was glad to do it. I'm not big on sappy displays of affection or long reassuring words. But showing up . . . being present . . . standing by someone . . . is more my thing. Having been through some stuff (who hasn't), I remember the few who just "showed up" with me, and how that was more real and lasting than passing words. So, I hope the person I "showed up" with today gets that, no matter the mess, there are always people who "show up." God divines it that way.
It was sort of sad, though, watching the business of the court. The judge was nice enough, and made a few funny comments to loosen up the assembled diverse crowd of filers, witnesses and lawyers (who sat at the front away from their clients talking about football games). In our 45 minutes, one particular lawyer represented two cases. It was all so matter-of-fact. Broken families boiled down to the business of the day. The same questions were asked of each set of people. In these cases, only one of the parties to the divorces appeared, with their witness. Ironically, a group swearing-in at the beginning of the session ended with all who would testify proclaiming "I do" together. One young lawyer was back and forth, in and out of the courtroom, looking for his client, who never showed up before we left. Maybe that was one marriage saved? The judge asked of each case "are their children . . . " In our 45 minutes, on this one day, I counted four children affected. I said a silent prayer for each of them. At the end of every case (each of which lasted only about 5 minutes), the judge just proclaimed "Mr. XXX . . . you are divorced. You are free to go. Good luck to you." That simple.
As we left, I commented that I could never have that judge's job.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Lauren's now employed! After passing a drug test, she is a member of the Target team. Really . . . they make everyone get a drug test before starting.
She started last night with an orientation session. She will work several shifts this week, in advance of the big day Friday (Black Friday . . . the day after Thanksgiving . . . the day retailers like Target move into profitability, theoretically). She will earn her money that day, I'm sure. After the one-day false start at Sonic a few months back, this is looking much more promising. First off, is the very good money. They are starting her at $6.50 per hour. I thought that was great! She could easily make several hundred dollars a month. I know grown people missing that mark, if you know what I mean.
And, how to describe Teresa's excitement about a child working at Target? We could just say she is a Target fan. The way I calculate it, Lauren could work full-time at $6.50 \ hour for years and not make back what we have spent there. I'm sure a shopping trip, with digital camera in hands, is on the agenda this week to catch her in action! Poor Lauren.
We're guressing she will do great with a job. She'll learn a lot and be a good worker, we're pretty sure.
O.K. It's Thanksgiving week! Everything is slowing down at work. I have had "off" written on my calendar for this week for months. Just one conference call today . . . which I could easily take from home. Except . . . Teresa kicked me out. That's right, made me go to work. She says I get in the way when she is trying the get the house ready for the week. Get in the way? Aren't you excited I will be home? "I'll be excited later in the day to see you ...," she explains. How humbling. But there's college basketball on . . . in the middle of the day, I protest (that does not happen often . . . just this week and again in March). So, here I am in my office. Blogging. Working. Wishing I was home watching 51 inches of college basketball. There was potential to watch 13 hours of it today! I think I'll go walk around Target. I need some new pens and pencils. And tomorrow? I am told I can be home then. But, I have to go to divorce court in the morning. Really. I'll explain that later.
Marian Chavez, the teenager from Guatemala, has arrived in the states. She came in on Wed., and was staying with the Lowry family from church until last night. She came to our house around 7:30pm. She is so sweet and very excited to be attending Indian River with Lauren this week. She went to Greenbrier Christian Academy last week and was overwhelmed. She said it was so big compared to her school back home and that there were so many kids (under 700). Well I can't wait to see what she thought of the River with it's 1,800 plus students! We are really planning on spoiling her rotten while she is with us. Shopping, movie, bowling, Jillian's, the lights at the beach, and much..much...more. Oh yeah...and the huge thanksgiving dinner we host every year.
Our church had an antique car show this weekend. Lots of people came out from the church and community. It was very impressive. There were many, many cars, a deejay playing christmas music, and free food. It was Ben's idea of HEAVEN! He of course walked around and looked at each and every car. The whole gang went and stayed for several hours. I really love our church family. It's nice to sit and talk with people that you usually only see for a few minutes on Sundays. I's a great group! Here are some shots of the kids enjoying the day.
Friday, November 18, 2005
The movie was great! It was long....and great! Half the book was missing though.....some really good parts too. But, it is still a great movie. I guess if they used everything from all 734 pages of the book, the movie would be about 5 hours long (I wouldn't mind). The kids and I went to the midnight showing. No one fell asleep.....quite the contrary actually. They were riveted, eyes glued to the screen, Lauren was literally on the edge of her seat for most of the movie. At a climactic moment near the end (about 2:40am) when the entire theatre was silent (holding our breath)Ben proclaims loudly....what's he doing? who is he? what's happening? We had to shuss him. He was mezmerized! We all ranted on the whole way home, reliving our favorite scenes. We got in the bed around 3:00am....got up aound 6:30am. I'm not even tired. I hope the kids are awake in school!
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Since it's Harry Potter time again, I thought I would chime in on this controversial topic. After all, there are widespread accusations about the books and movies being evil. Many Christians promote this point of view, and I wasn't sure what to make of it as the Harry Potter craze spread to my doorstep. We're Christians. So, the adults of the Green household first explored the books and movies (which is our role, right?) I also checked out a bunch of third party opinions. Here is what I found.
Firsthand, we found there is no denying that Harry Potter is good literature on several levels (I have an English degree, so literature is one of my "things") The books are well written, with compelling characters and imaginitive (and at times, gripping) story lines. The writing, from the thoughtful naming of characters and the use of literary devices, is very good. The genre is decidedly fantasy, so you have to enjoy the ability to venture into a world of flying cars and the like. There are strong storylines of good versus evil, and the sympathetic charecters are all on the good side. The auther, JK Rowling, explores themes of friendship, loyalty and coming of age that obviously connect with kids and adults. In fact, the Potter works are widely cited as the genesis of a new literary awakening for young people all over the world. This is all good literary stuff for kids. With prayers and hearts for discernment, we just did not find the evil in Potter!
I like what Rowling says of her work: "The book is really about the power of the imagination. What Harry is learning to do is to develop his full potential. Wizardry is just the analogy I use. If anyone expects it to be a book that seriously advocates learning magic, they will be disappointed. Not least because the author does not believe in magic in that way."
We also checked out the third party opinions on the Potter craze. After all, there are a lot of people screaming loud about evil witchcraft promotion by Potter. Hearing the craze, one would expect demonic scripture and graphic occultic content, or even subtle endorsement of evil spells (in fact, you actually find Potter and friends celebrating Christmas at one point!). I found many with this point of view had never explored the literature firsthand. They were no help. The wider search found no consensus. For instance, Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family has mixed messages, but no strong condemnation, for instance. While there are whole anti-Potter books, there are also very thoughtful Christian authors singing the praises of Potter. One book was even written to help Christian parents defend themselves against the people who were accusing them of promoting witchcraft by allowing kids to read the books. Uhhh. O.K. Christians can be so . .. well . .. un-Christian at times! And, some of the best teachers we know (the ones we who really get kids, and have their best interests at heart) call the series the best thing that has ever happened to kids and reading in their careers. To say the least, there are mixed messages on Potter. So "trust yourself," has been our approach.
So we added it all up, and Harry Potter is welcome here. In fact, several in the Greens' house have been hooked for quite some time. It's caused a spark in our family leading to an explosion of literary curiosity and activity that was not present before Potter. Books are all the rage around here since Potter. Witchcraft? Occult? That's not what the books are about, so, not surprisingly, the reading hasn't sparked that around here. Just reading.
Tomorrow the movie ...Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire comes out in theatres. I am so there! It is bases on the fourth book (which is the BEST by far...in my opinion). So the movie should be outstanding. I guess I can wait until after school so I can take the kids too. Maybe.
Kai and Ben are in the "best buddy club". That's what Kai told me. He also said...only boys can be in the best buddy club. Poor Kristian....with Ben and Kai so close now.....she sometimes gets left out. Kaden needs to hurry and grow alittle so they can have a club together too.
The soccer party at CiCis pizza was a big hit. All the kids showed up and pigged out! This has been a really great soccer season. Chris, Katy and I really enjoy getting to know all the kids and their families. Too bad you can't keep the same kids on your team each season. You really bond with the kids...and parents. But, each season...you never know who you are going to have. Except of course for the best goalie and the best striker(forward...pointman) in the league. The parents got together and bought Chris a really nice trophy and Katy and I neat soccerball key chains with our names engraved too. Very sweet. When Chris called out each kids name to come forward and recieve their trophy....they were beaming! Eventhough in this league everyone who participates gets a trophy....the kids don't know it. So when their name is called...they look shocked and proud. It's really cute! We had 43 moms...dads...brothers...sisters...nannys...and grandaddys come out and show support. We really packed the place! I can't wait until next season!
Chris took me and the boys to the CAA men's soccer championship game...ODU vs. Hofstra. We really enjoyed it. The boys really like the consession stand too. Hofstra scored the winning goal with 8 seconds left in regulation time. It was very dissappointing. But, ODU got a first round bye into the NCAA Men's soccer college cup anyway , because they finished on top of the leagues regular season standings. So ...next tuesday they will host the game aginst whoever wins the Wake forsest and South Carolina game. We will definitly go! I think next year we should look into getting season tickets! Go Monarchs!
We all (Chris, me, mom, Katy, and ALL the kids) packed up and went to Mt. Trashmore. It was freezing and windy. Two things that do not go together! But the kids didn't mind at all. Kristian has a new bike she got for her birthday and needed to take it out for a spin. The other kids took their bikes too. They enjoyed themselves....played with the football, soccer ball , the playground, and a one footed goose that wandered up to our picnic table begging for food. Ben liked watching the kids in the skate park. He says he wants a skateboard for Christmas(we'll see).
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Alright . . . public announcement for all who love such things: Our end-of-season soccer party is tonight at CiCi's Battlefield Blvd. at 6 p.m. (I think?) Cheap pizza, screaming kids, sweet cake and trophy presentations (we expect about 40 kids and their supporters). It's corny, but I love handing the little guys and gals their trophies and telling them how proud we are of them and how well they did. It's especially cute for the ones who are getting their first trophy in anything. They beam. This stuff is huge for the little ones, and we try to make it special and official feeling.
It's been months since I bought the big-screen tv and sound system. I always assumed it would go in the den (as opposed to the "Blue Room" , which is the downstairs all-purpose computer, playstation, office, etc. . . . ). But, Teresa insisted on the Blue Room. So, that's where I put it. Setup was fairly intense, including crawling under the house, moving cable tv wiring and hooking up a gazillion wires for the surround sound system. But, the darn thing is so big, I just couldn't get far enough away from the screen. It seemed you could get a radiation burn, it was so close to the couch. My eyes and head would start hurting everytime I watched it. So, I have not watched it much. It's been mostly a game system monitor for the boys (which they love). That was, until yesterday, when Teresa came around to my way of seeing things (hehe). I had dropped the subject months ago, so I'm not sure what happened. I got home a little earlier than usual, and was thinking about catching a nap. Pretty rare stuff for me. "I'm glad you're here, I have something for you to do," Teresa says from downstairs. "Oh goodie! Something to do," I thought. Ends up, she wants to move the big screen, sound and all, to the den. Then, move the den tv and entertainment center to the Blue Room. No problem. I mean, it only took half a day to set it up the first time. I'm sure we can knock this out. I tried to grump out of it. Even though it's what I wanted. Guilt set in, and I got to work. Teresa assured me Nick could help. And, he actually did. He unhooked everything, helped move the entertainment center and big tv and a lot more. It only took a couple of hours start to finish. As it turns out, I was right all along! The big screen in the den is awesome! 51 inches of sitcoms and cable news looked darn good. And my head didn't hurt from being so close! I didn't even have to wear my glasses. College basketball kicks in heavy tonight, so this is just in time.
So, I think there is one underlying learning in all of this. Dad was right to start with! Let's document that, because it don't happen often.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Hard to believe, but last night was the last IR football game of the year. Lauren's first varsity cheerleader year went really quickly (she'll still do basketball and wrestling, but that's not nearly as intense). It was a huge crowd, and Katy, Kaden, Kai, Nanny Allen, Nanny Jackie and George joined our usual crew. We lost the game, but Lauren got on TV when "Friday Night Flights" and Andy Fox from Channel 10 showed up. She was on the tube a bunch this year, looking "cheery". The cameras love that, for some reason. They got to throw a bunch of mini footballs in the stands, since the TV station brings footballs for the cheerleaders to throw in addition to the typical ones they throw after a Braves touchdown. George caught two, and of course Ben got one the direct way, as usual, if you know what I mean. It pays to know a cheerleader, I guess. A bunch of kids came out without shirts (the boys) or tank tees (the girls) with their bodies painted in Indian River colors, some of them spelling out Braves on their chests. We had to explain that they were Lauren's crew to the rest of the family. She has a neat group of friends from every walk of life, including some ones that are a littly crazy (in a good way) like her. One more football season, and she's done. Unbelievable.
Here are pictures of Ben and Kai with the balls they got at the game.