Friday, June 29, 2007

Welcome home Nick!

by teresa

It has been so quiet around here the past few days. Not only is Lauren and Nick out of town....but cousins Kristian and Kai are also gone for a week with their grandparents. So Ben and I have passed the time with lunches out on the town, the library and lots and lots of hands of cards. Nick returns this afternoon...and Ben is excited to have his bike riding partner back. I hope they will be more appreciative of each other(no fighting) since they have been apart from one another. Yeah...right!

Chris, Ben and I went out to dinner the other night. With only one child it was nice. Less fighting and less money. We enjoyed a chinese meal...which is Ben's favorite. We lingered...having dessert and talking. Once ready to leave Chris realized he had forgot to bring his wallet. And since I had left my purse AT HOME we had a big problem. Oh...and Chris had left his phone at home too. We just sat there giggling. What to do...what to do. I took the keys and made my way past the hostess , out the door and to the car. I figured I would make the drive home (about 15 minutes away), get my purse and get back and bail out Chris and Ben who were getting another plate of food to pass the time...even though they were stuffed to the gills. As I was pulling out of the parking lot it hit me that I had left my phone in a duffel bag in the trunk after a trip to the Y that afternoon. I pulled back in...retrieved the phone and called....who mom. As luck would have was just leaving a grocery store about 10 minutes away. She came right over and gave me her purse and check card. When I walked in so soon Chris and Ben looked relieved. I payed (lucky they didn't ask for ID) and we were on our way home. I will never leave the house without my purse again. Wouldn't it have been funny to leave Ben and Chris there to wash dishes? hee hee

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I miss Lauren already

by teresa

We slept about an hour last night before our 3:00am wake up to take Lauren to the airport this morning. Ben made me promise to wake him so he could go too. I dressed him as he slept...and he was in zombie mode for the first hour or so. I bounced right up....excited and anxious. But sleepiness did hit me around 6:00am. After Chris dropped us off at home and headed to work....Ben and I went back to sleep till noon.
Lauren was and collected. I don't think anything fazes that girl. She didn't seem the least bit nervous about heading to another country with no friends or family accompanying her(her past mission trips were with the entire youth group). A little annoyed by my many hugs, kisses and picture taking though. She was just ready to get the show on the road.

We will be praying for her safe trip there and home (and I ask you to do the same). Also that God will bless all she does and this trip will make a difference in her life and many others.
She will be teaching VBS in three different cities and painting a church in another. Busy busy busy!

12This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Did you pack the bug spray?

by teresa

Nick left for church camp this morning(week long camp).
He was really looking forward to he loved his time at camp last summer.
We went to Target(what a shocker) for his toiletries yesterday and he wanted no help from me.
He stood in front of the wall of tiny shampoos and body sprays grabbing one of everything.
I laughed at the huge supply of hygiene products he was plunking in the cart....knowing full well that boy won't take a shower the entire week. ha ha
His morning regime will be to put on his clothes....put a hat on his unwashed head....spray axe body spray on the outside of his clothes(enough to choke half the camp)....and head toward the smell of food.

I think what he is looking forward to the most is a paintball trip they are having midweek. Also the "open all day canteen"....with no mom around to limit his snacking.

Ben and Kristian will be going to the same camp in two weeks.....then both boys are leaving for Camporama (kinda like boy scouts jamboree). They will both be gone for 4 days! Whatever will I do with my time? Hubby and I need to plan something good. Although...just staying home alone will be like a vacation to us.

Lauren is leaving on Wednesday for Gwah-tey-mah-lah! I can't wait for her return and all the stories of the children and the jungle...and the excitement in the church services. And pictures....that girl better take tons of pictures. She will write an update letter with photos when she returns and mail it out to all who donated to make this trip possible.

I am off to library with Ben. Hope you guys have a super Monday!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Never give up. Never back down. Never lose faith.

Have you seen this movie?
Then go watch it now...and come back and we can discuss how super it is.
Go on....I'll wait.

Are you back?
Did you like it?
I knew you would!

Tonight's the last night of VBS. The kids have really enjoyed themselves...and I have really enjoyed the three hour nightly break. As Ben and I drove around town today running errands I spotted a church a few blocks away with a sign out front advertising a VBS starting next week. I said, "oh boy guys can go there next week!" He said, "enough mom...if you see a sign week in New Jersey....are you gonna send us there too?"
Smarty pants!
It's just that I want them to have lots of fun...and not be bored....and leave me alone. And if I find something that can meet all those needs...and teach them more about Jesus. Well I say...sign 'em up!

Tomorrow we have three events to attend(a block party...and VBS cookout and a birthday party). All fun...and all for the entire that makes it a little easier. It's hard when parent one has to go somewhere with kid B...and parent two goes somewhere else with kid C. It's also nice when kid A can pitch hit for parent one or two. I know most of my readers have youngins'...but just you wait till they are older (drivers license age) and you have an extra set of hands. It's a beautiful thing!

Before I go make dinner (tacos) I have a question to ask all who indulge me...and read my daily thoughts here at The Green Family Circus.
What is the current ring tone on your cell phone?
I've heard some silly ones....and I'd like to know what you have on yours.
Mine is....AT Etta James.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

crayola = misery

by teresa

I knew it was too good to last.
My boys.......are fighting.
What are they fighting over you ask?
Religion? Politics? Money? Coke or Pepsi?
Markers. They are all out feuding over freaking crayola markers!

I have been trying to fill their time with anything and everything to keep this from happening.
Work with dad, swimming, biking, visits to Katy's house, VBS, YMCA workouts, a trillion hands of go fish, puppet kit(they turned out so cute), errand running, library.....and what I thought was a great idea. Fuzzy poster coloring. I had to take some unused things back to I picked out lots of cool posters for the kids to decorate. This has been a long time hit (we usually take some on our family vacations to keep the kids busy during down times).
It started out fine. Then Ben took the blue Nick was wanting (or the other way around...whatever)....holy moly the drama.
There are three others of the same color.
Give that marker to your brother....and use this pretty one.
*Brother throws markers across room at other brother's face*
Waaaaaaa! I was just about to use the green! Waaaaa!

What is ridiculous is that I have a trillion markers in this house. Fine point, fat tip, glittered, neon, scented, two-sided, dry erase, sharpie(the big 50 color set), twistable, etc.
But what do they want......the one marker the other one has.
Go figure.

When they fall asleep tonight I am going to sneak in their rooms and write..."I will not fight with my brother" across their foreheads. With a big blue marker!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Taking the high road will always make for a more rewarding and sometimes difficult journey. But you will never get lost.

by teresa

What a great first day of summer vacation.
I hope it's a sign of things to come.
Chris took Nick to work with him today. He had some clerical stuff that was just right for Nick's busy hands. A co-worker has asked for Nick to come back tomorrow to assist him in the same capacity. Nick is thrilled...and Chris seems to think this can be a once a week thing. Hooray!
Ben was a super helper at home. We shared the chores of making the beds, emptying the hampers and cleaning the backyard. We also ran several errands and picked up some lunch.
When we were leaving the grocery store (putting the cart in the cart rack) we found a purse (full of money and stuff) in an empty cart. We hurried it in to the store manager and then returned to our car. As we were climbing in we saw a lady pull up....clearly looking for something. Before I could say anything a woman popped out from a car a few rows ahead of me(I had no clue she was never know who is watching you). She said, "your purse is in the store....that lady (pointing to me) and her son took it in for you." The woman was crying and so thankful. As I was pulling off the woman who had seen us...yelled out ..."GOD IS GOOD!" "ALL THE TIME....I yelled back and we drove off. I told Ben that God had opened our eyes to that bag....that we were meant to get it. Some people would not have turned it in...and that woman would be in need of her things and money. I told him we were lucky that God used us to bless someone...and in return we received a blessing too. He said he wants to try to bless a different person everyday somehow. So that is his mission for the summer.

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Tonight we have split up the parenting responsibilities.
Chris has gone to Kristian's softball game with Nick, Katy and mom.
I took Ben and Kai to a VBS two streets over(which is every night this week).
I think I got the better of the two.
Chris is sitting in 95 degree heat watching a team of 8yr old girls try to hit a ball. I am sitting in my 68 degree house writing this post. VBS isn't over till I have three whole hours to myself. Praise the Lord!

Here's some pictures of the kids trying to beat the heat.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lauren Part 2

By Chris

I'm late on this . . . and probably in trouble. Mega pressure in the Green house to add dad's reflections on the graduation here. So, an analogy. Strangely and perfectly timed. Just before graduation, our baby bird that has been inhabiting our flower basket on the back porch suddenly decided to flee the nest this week. Hmmm. A message, maybe?? There isn't a day that I don't pray "God . . . guide us and protect us today. Show us what we need to see . . . however you can . . . help us get done what You want us to get done today" (I really do this . .. everykday. For years now. Try it. It seems to work). While some of us were were sitting at the table under our umbrella, baby bird, all alone in the nest decided to make a break for it. Its first stop was the umbrella top, just a few inches from the nest. I saw it first. I was excited. "Look . . . baby bird has decided to fly off! She's on the umbrella!!!" I announced. Teresa and Ben were worried. "Oh no!!" was their reaction. I could tell they were thinking, "STAY IN THAT COMFORTABLE, SAFE NEST!!!" Momma and daddy bird, who had watched the nest and fed the baby for weeks, were chirping and swooping into frenzied pursuit as baby made its way to the front yard. Baby was barely flying . . . but still getting away, clueless that it was causing all these mixed emotions. Mostly on the ground, but half-flying excitedy, baby was heading out into the world beyond the predictable safety of the backyard plant. Mamma bird was freaking out . . . chirping. She was like . . . "hey . . . you think you can fly, but that low-to-the-ground walking mess ain't gonna cut it. You could be killed any moment!!! CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP." We watched baby, momma and daddy move a couple of houses down, where Stupid the Cat lives. Stupid, who can catch rats, mice and adult birds easily. Teresa and Ben were freaked. "Oh no!!! Stupid will get baby!!!" She didn't ... and last we saw, baby bird was heading down the street. Half flying, momma and daddy chirping along. I told them it was fine. This was supposed to happen. It's normal. Baby Bird's probably soaring by now. That little nest was only built for that baby for a short season. She needed to leave. The nest was getting too small for her. They wanted to believe me, but they were still nervous, wanting baby to stay in the safe nest on the back porch.

So it is with Lauren. Tears are flowing about her half-flying out of the nest. She awkwardly stayed out until 3 a.m. graduation night. Half flying, I guess. Ben and Teresa are crying, just like they freaked over baby bird. "I don't want her to leave . . . ." Ben is telling us (and that makes even mean ol' dad a little sad). She's little momma to him, after all. But, she's gonna leave. Pretty soon, I think. And that makes me more proud than sad, really. I'll miss her. Sure. But, she's been half flying this coop for a while. They don't see it yet, but it's the dang birds that only learn to half-fly that really are the saddest. They get so predictably stuck in limbo between God's full will for their lives and the childish security of basking in what was so comfortable to them. Until suddenly, they're neither child nor adult. We reward those "hanger onners " too much in our current world . . . and they become weak as a result. "Here . . . stay half way in the nest, half way flying on your own" we tell them. And they're wings atrophe. It's more comfortable for all of us this way. And then we get surprised when they half-way do everything, never really soaring anywhere. I tell Lauren "Half measures are whole failures." Hey . . . If your're gonna leave baby bird, do it all out! Don't stop in Stupid's yard and get eaten!! Fly. On your own. Fully. I want Lauren to do everything all-out. No turning back. Forward progress. No half measures. And, I see in her that she will . . . and I'm proud of that. She's way ahead of some of her friends who only want to fly to the umbrella as long and mom and dad tell them to, pay their way and coddle them and bring them the worms they shoud hunt on their own.. No turning back, I say, is the best way to fly the nest. Has anyone really done anyting great halfway?. Of course not. Half measures are whole failures. And Lauren has awesomely developed into a whole-measure person. So, I'm proud. A little sad, sure, because it went really quickly. But mostly, I'm in the mode of: "Keep going baby bird! You can do it! We fed you well. Stretch your wings. Don't look back. Find your own way!!!"

Friday, June 15, 2007

Well the day has come.....and gone

by teresa

Our little girls high school graduation.
It's been such a busy month preparing for it all....and now that it is over and she has left for a party at a longtime friend's (and fellow graduate) house I sit here....missing her.
Not the 18yr old her. That girl has been too busy working and hanging out with friends to pay attention to her old mom for a quite a while now.
I miss the little Lauren.
My little maniac kid.
The Lauren who would crawl in my bed and snuggle when we lived in our first cartwheels in the living room (always knocking something off a table) the tops off all my flowers and bring them to me for a present...practice printing her name with a marker on the inside wall of her closet and insist (and by insist I mean throw a monster tanrum) on watching The Little Mermaid over and over and over and over again. Singing every song at the top of her lungs. Of course most of the words were wrong....but that never (and still doesn't) stop her. Little Mermaid...and Winnie the Pooh. That was her thing.
If you looked up mischievous in the dictionary...her picture would be beside it.
Some may think that a negative. But I see it as daring....carefree....self confident and FUN!
That's Lauren....from toddler to graduate.

I love that first picture. It's like where's Waldo.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

apparently...I snore

by teresa

My hubby let me know that I have recently begun to snore. This is a first for me. Usually I'm on the receiving end of the snore. The very loud...bellowing snore of my better half. I didn't believe him at first...but then I woke myself up I was snoring so loud. I just keep getting sexier and sexier in my old age.

Last night....right before 6:00pm we were walking out the door to Kristian's softball game. Then Nick says..."Oh mom. I forgot to tell you...I have an awards ceremony at school tonight". "It starts at 7:00....but I have to be there at 6:30." I asked Nick when he was told about it...he said he got the invitation last week...but forgot to give it to me. grrrrrrr
Lauren used to always forget to tell us school stuff too.
So I quickly called mom to take Ben to the softball game...and Nick and I left for school soon there after. As we were pulling up at school he said..." Oh...I'm supposed to dress up for it." We had no time to turn around and go he went in dressed in his dirty school clothes. I could have wrung his neck! He got a medal and certificate for excellence in math. I was very proud (ticked off) but proud.

Today's field day went off without a hitch. I let Nick skip school (it was movie day) to come help me set up...and then Lauren joined us a bit later. The weather was perfect and all the kids had a blast. Nick led the parachute game...and Lauren helped with the balloon toss game. Ben said his favorite game was jump the creek (a long jump game)...which he won every time. My favorite was the snow cone machine. I need to get me one of those.

Tomorrow is Ben's party and I can't wait till it's over and I can relax. I finished the sun visors and gift bags for the party and they look so cool. I already took everything to all I have to do tomorrow is enjoy the day with Ben. Thursday I will do the same with Nick...and then Friday is all about Lauren.

Monday, June 11, 2007

weekend in pictures

The first set of pictures is from our churches graduation ceremony yesterday. It was such a special service. The graduates were honored with personal slide show for each graduate. There were five high school grads.....all of whom are great friends. They have grown up in the youth group together...gone on mission trips together....spent countless hours at movies, in the pool and hanging at each other houses. The one guy in pic. next to Lauren is very special to us. Him and his family are super people and Lauren and Cohen have been a part of each others church lives from nursery to college. After church all our family and many more met up at a chinese place down the street and enjoyed food and conversation.

The next set of pictures pretty much sums up the rest of the weekend.
Lots of yard work...the kids fixing and riding bikes....grilling out (twice)....Katy and her kids enjoying the yard (and food). My favorite picture is Kaden with a mouthful of dirt. We looked over and she was eating it out of the wheelbarrow Chris had left out while planting some new flowers (yes my man plants!). That surprised look on her face is hilarious. One of the highlights of our weekend was Ben mixing us all up some strawberry daiquiris. They were so yummy! We just sat back while Nick grilled our dinner....and Ben whipped up smoothies. We should have had more kids....cause I could have really used a foot massage and back rub while waiting for my smoothie and hot dog to be ready.
This week is going to be busy...but exciting. Today I have errands (return things to the mall....which I hate to do)...and I must go to Ben's school and fill up water balloons. I also need to start and finish twenty one decorated sun visors for Ben's class.
Tuesday I will be at Ben's school from 7:00am to 2:00pm for field day. I am chairperson...and have tons to do.
Wednesday is awards and party day....and I am the sole parent signed up to help in Ben's class. Fun!
Thursday is Nick's party day so I will be running up there with food and to help out as needed. It is the last day of school...and a half day.
Friday is Lauren's big day. Graduation. It begins at 3:00...and after will be a family party.
Did I mention that Chris is out of town till Wed. night?
I think he did that on purpose.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I got so much baby powder on me...I'm puffing white clouds with every step like I got powdered donuts hidden under my nightgown

by teresa

It's so hot here.
Too hot.
Upper 90's and nooooo breeze.
80% humidity.
All this mommas voluptuousness can't handle these temps.
I'm sweating from head to toe.
No exaggeration!
After getting the kids to bed I peeled off my clothes (literally peeled).....and hopped in a cool shower.
I dried off and covered myself head to toe with some good ol' johnson&johnson baby powder.
I feel so much better now.....and I keep leaving cool white butt prints on all the furniture.
by teresa

Last night I was on the way out the door to Nick's band concert and I realized I hadn't shaved my legs in like....three days(or five...or whatever). Since I was wearing calve revealing capris I decided to run upstairs and shave real quick. Not a good idea to shave real quick ladies. Instead of lathering up real good....I just rubbed on some lotion and zipped my ladybic around my leg and was done in about 5 seconds. My legs are silky smooth.....but 14 hours later....they are still stinging like I slept with a couple of jellyfish in my bed. Bad move!

Anyway...his concert was super entertaining. I was surprised actually. Lauren has always played the violin. Now high school aged students playing the violin in remarkable. But a sixth grade violin concert (with 50 twelve yr olds screeching out three blind mice) is enough to make you want to rip your hair out to distract from the burning in your ears. But Nick's band ensemble (wind and percussion instruments) was really good. Lot's of talent...and even when someone plays a wrong doesn't sound like a dying cat.

The search for the perfect graduation dress for Lauren is still in full effect...and seeing as it's day three....I'm getting a little desperate. So many beautiful things...but not made for a woman with boobs. Tiny little halters...or strapless sundresses. We need something with some support people! I am moving on to another mall today....and if I don't come home successful....then I'm going to encourage Lauren to go naked...and pull one of those graduation streaking pranks.

Once home from shopping is high time for a thorough house cleaning. Just haven't been in the mood lately. Too much to most days have just been tidying days. You know....clean counters...wipe out sinks...load dishwasher...make clutter. But...hampers are getting full...there's dust on everything...and my carpets need vacuuming.
I think I need to delegate.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

by teresa

We've had some school issues to deal with this week.

The first was with Nick's librarian and teacher not allowing him to take a test on a book he read(they must earn at least 25 points a nine weeks...which usually means about 4 books...unless the books are really hard) because it was ABOVE his reading level. When he went to take the test the librarian told him it was above his reading level...and he needed a note from his teacher to take it. The teacher hemmed and hawed all day about it....and ended up not letting him take it. I was majorly ticked. How can you say a child can not go above their level. I can see not going below...but above? Are you serious? I (of course) wrote a note letting them know that if my child wants to attempt a book above his level....he is darn sure gonna be allowed to earn his points for it. The last part of my note read...."Heaven forbid a child be encouraged to reach above what is expected of him."
He took the note to school yesterday....and came home having taken...and aced the test. The one book alone earned him almost twenty points. YOU GO NICK!

The second school problem was with Lauren's cheer coach. It's a long I'll be brief. Back in the winter during a competition cheering event Lauren's xl jacket was taken by another girl. All the jackets were in a pile...under the coaches supervision. The coach told Lauren to take the xs that was left and they would resolve it later. When asked later...none of the girls fessed up. When Lauren stopped cheering she turned in all her uniforms...including the jacket(wrong jacket) and pants set.
Fast forward five months. Lauren gets pulled out of class and we get a threatening letter that if we don't pay $40 for Lauren's missing xl jacket she will not be allowed to graduate.
We are not just ticked about the letter. It's about Lauren's entire senior year with this lady. This woman is such a problem that EVERY SINGLE SENIOR ON THE SQAUD QUIT.
Anyway. I went to the school to deal with this woman yesterday. I was there waiting for over 40 minutes...and the woman seriously hid from me. They could find her nowhere. I came home to a message from her on our answering machine. I was upset that we had not had a face to face discussion. Without getting into specifics....this woman is the most high maintenance diva you could ever meet...and she creates drama wherever she goes.
Chris sent Lauren to school this morning with a letter for coach lady...a little scathing... putting her in her place...and perfect. He enclosed a $40 check for the jacket and a nice sized donation to the athletic dept. in honor of Lauren's graduation. I wish I could have seen her face when she read the letter.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

by teresa

I'm sitting on the couch ...enjoying the peace and quiet of the house.
No dryer going. No dog barking (he is sleeping at my feet). No kids running about (although that will change next week). No tv. Just the hum of the a/c.
I am sitting...watching the momma bird fuss and dote on her baby in the nest on my back porch.
She started with four big, blue eggs. She threw two hatched...and she still sits on the last. I'm too short to peek in and check on the eggs progress. I don't want to touch the everyday I wait for Chris to come home and let me know how things are going.
Today I plan on working out and running some errands. It is super hot out(90's) I only plan on being outside from car to building...building to car.

I feel great today. I slept tossing and turning. Just sound sleep. We were up late again watching Band of Brothers and Little People Big World (which we all looooooove). Have you ever watched LPBW? It's so entertaining...and the entire family can watch together. How many shows are there like that?

Monday, June 04, 2007

A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow

by teresa

A new show has come on the past two Friday nights. It's called National Bingo Night...on ABC. It is so enjoyable to watch as a family. You can print off game cards at home and play along with the contestants. We each printed a card...armed ourselves with highlighters and played. The kids would shout with joy each time one of their numbers were called. We didn't win the $50,000. But we had 50,000 laughs.

We have a new favorite tv series. Band of Brothers on HBO. It's a WWII show produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Chris stayed up till 4am watching episodes ONDemand the other night. It's very good...very sad....very dramatic...and true. Check it out.

I'm a bit I think I'm going to hang around the house today. I could not get to sleep last night. I ended up finally snoozing from 4am to 6:30am. I don't know about you...but that ain't enough for me. I felt tired...I just couldn't get my mind to stop running around. And I was itchy...and hot and uncomfortable. I changed my nightgown twice. I can't wait till Lauren's graduation is over. It is just so much going much to much.
Add to that Nick's concert...and preparations for Ben's end of the year party (which was completely plopped in my lap at the last minute) and I just might put off sleeping peacefully for the next two weeks.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Play ball!

by teresa

Kristian's first softball game of the season was this morning. We were all so excited to see her play. Everyone came out to cheer her on. The Daddy, our family, mom and even our assistant coach from soccer. Her team (THE CRUSHERS) won the game 26 to 22. Kristian made all three outs in the first inning. She was super nervous going in to the game....but that made her perk right up. She also hit very well....and made it around the bases each at bat.
It was very hot and sunny....but we kept ourselves cooled down with xxl slurpies we picked up from 7-11 on the way to the game.