Aug 31, 2006

He got to play!

Last night was Grant's first high school football game. High school sports are always a scary thing. There is always someone left sitting on the bench; a benchwarmer. Or in the case of a football team; a sideline stander. (OK, I just made that up.) In any case, there are always players that rarely, and sometimes never get to play. It's heartbreaking. I remember when my brother played high school basketball and didn't get to play much. It broke my parents' hearts to go to every game and watch his benchwarmer pain. And my mother has never forgotten about it, she still brings it up now and again to illustrate a point.

So ever since football practice began the first of the school year (4 weeks ago), I've been worried. Worried that Grant wouldn't get to play in games, since he wasn't a starter. He didn't have much experience and he isn't the biggest guy at his age. But he could hit and hit hard. And he gave practice his whole heart and his whole focus. I just wanted him to have a chance.

Last night he got his chance and played about a 1/3 of the game. There are 82 players on his no-cut team. That's a heckuva lot of sideline standers! Especially when the coaches insist on playing the same players for both offense and defense (can someone explain why that is a good thing?...because I think it's the worst thing I've ever heard). But this first game was a blow-out: 57-0 with Grant's school winning. While I couldn't keep track, I hope that all of those 82 players got to step foot on that field for at least one play. Grant was lucky and was out there for a long time. And he did a great job. Hopefully it will be enough to get him into future games.


Aug 20, 2006

Boy Angels

Of course, my boys are angels! Why do you ask? :) Ha. I wish they were angels all the time, but this isn't about that, or them. If you will remember (those of you who read it), a few months ago I posted about My Sister, the Artist and about the angels she creates. Since that post, she has made me this one Marysangel_sm - why the fork? Everyone asks that as she is hanging in our foyer. Here's the story:

A Woman and a Fork

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order," she contacted her Rabbi and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything was in order and the Rabbi was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

"There's one more thing," she said excitedly.

"What's that?" came the Rabbi's reply.

"This is very important," the young woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."

The Rabbi stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked.

"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the Rabbi.

The young woman explained.

"My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder "What's with the fork?" Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork . . . . . the best is yet to come."

The Rabbi's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge.

She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the Rabbi heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message, the Rabbi told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.


OK, so that's why my sister sometimes puts forks on her angels. But back to topic...yesterday in the mail I received these: Boy_angels I had told her how Kent and Kurt wanted angels, but they all looked like girls and could she please make me some boys angels. So she made one for each of them. They'll go next to my angel in the foyer. Guess I should get one made for DH, huh?

Aug 16, 2006

I went back to high school

...last night. It was curriculum night at Grant's high school. I had to follow his schedule to meet all the teachers. This high school is huge - about 3000 students. I went to a private, Catholic high school that had about 150 students TOTAL. So this reminded me more of college (yes, my college was bigger than 3000! GO K-State Wildcats!), than high school.

I was nervous. I didn't know my way around campus and was so anxious to find a map. Did Grant have a map the first day? Of course not! And he wasn't even nervous or anything, and he wasn't going to be embarrassed by being seen with a map!

As I walked up to the school there were student helpers handing out maps - YAY! I take one and I'm looking at it, going...huh? when I hear student helper #1 say to student helper #2 "wouldn't it be funny if someone asked us to, like, highlight the classrooms they need to go to?" I stopped in my tracks...and did a 180. "Yes, I would like you to highlight my classes!" Student helper #1 got all giggly and reached into her purse for a highlighter. OK! One less thing to figure out. It was hilarious seeing all these hundreds of parents walking around with their eyes glued to the map. And no one was the least bit embarrassed!

I got to my first class 1/2 hour early. (What a nerd!) As I was waiting for class, I decided to jot down my thoughts (yes, I brought a notebook (nerd!)). My first thought...I'm SO happy to be out of school! OK, so I've been out for something-ty years, but I was still glad it wasn't me having to really go to class. I could almost feel the jitters of the first day of school...clueless about your classes: where they were, were your friends in there, was the teacher going to be nice. So much to worry about. Once again...glad it's not me! :)

So, it lasted about 2 hours and this is what I learned:

  1. Grant does a lot of walking up and down the stairs to get to his classes and has no time to go to the bathroom. (I really shouldn't have had all that water before I went.)

  2. His drama teacher (his only "fluff" class) has 5 children and looks like Jack Black.

  3. Grant has 3 classes where he is one of 2 or 3 freshmen and the rest are sophomores and juniors.
  4. His spanish teacher talks like a Valley Girl. I mean, like, really, she does.

  5. When you put a lit candle in a bowl of water and then put a beaker over it, it goes out, the water rises, and condensation forms on the inside of the beaker. (Yes, the biology teacher really did do an experiment for us.)

  6. His algebra teacher was a cute little guy who stopped talking to say "Bless you" every time someone sneezed (3 times).

  7. AND...I really, REALLY love my life, just as it is. Done with school, done with my first career, and now just being a mom and watching my boys go through some of the most wonderful times of their lives. (Was that too mushy? I'm usually not too mushy. ;) )

Aug 7, 2006

1st Day of School

Today started at 5am for me. Somehow, my alarm clock got set an hour ahead and I didn't realize it until I had already showered and woken up Grant, thinking it was 6:30, but instead it was 5:30. I rushed back upstairs and told Grant to go back to sleep. Oops!

The boys all got to school, with only a couple of glitches. Wyatt forgot his lunch (but I caught him at the bus stop, where he got thoroughly embarrassed, even though I tried to be discreet) and Grant text-messaged me, while I was at school with Kent and Kurt, wanting to know his locker combination. Oy. I am seriously all thumbs when it comes to text-messaging so by the time I had sent him "in folders" meaning it's in his folder inside his backpack, he had gotten it open.

So I went to the Freedom Lunch figuring we had pulled off the morning fairly successfully, and was drinking a margarita by 11am. It was only in conversation with the other 6th grade moms that I suddenly realized that I sent Wyatt to school without his schedule! Ack! Serious, serious mom-guilt overtook me (and was enhanced by the margarita) and I could not think of anything else after that. I knew he knew where his first 2 classes were and I just prayed that they got another schedule in first period. I worried about it all day and felt so bad for being so diligent with getting Grant's affairs in order that I skipped something important for Wyatt. That poor middle child! So I was practically pacing the floor waiting for him to get home from school, just waiting for him to say it was all my fault that he was humiliated today, that he had been wandering aimlessly, that he'd never forgive me...

A few minutes later, he walked through the door, all confident and acting mature. I said "Wyatt, I forgot to give you your schedule this morning!!!!!! What did you do? Did they give you another one? Did you find your classes? Did you get lost?????" And he just shrugged his shoulders and said, "No, I had my schedule memorized, so I didn't need it."


So they all had great days, and are back in the swing of things already.

Unfortunately my photo of all 4 of them was blurry, so I don't have one to post. Think I could get them to dress in all the same clothes another day so I can re-create it?

Aug 6, 2006


...whooooooooooooooooooooosh!...summer is over. Well, at least the part of summer where the boys are out of school. The summer heat will drag on here for at least another couple of months.

And I sit here tonight trying to figure out if I got everything done. Back to school is complicated this year. The boys are in 3 different schools. (That happened one other year, but one of the schools was pre-school, so that doesn't count. Heh.) So much to worry about!

Getting Grant ready for high school had a lot of facets. Academics was just one of them...testing into the gifted program, then choosing honors and gifted classes...could he succeed with such a tough schedule? He's already completed his first homework assignment for Honors English - had to read an assigned book over the summer and do hundreds of study questions. And that is just the beginning.

The logistics was another...getting books, being assigned a locker, the new clothes, backpack, supplies...who would he walk to school with? Can he find his way around this huge school (2nd or 3rd largest high school in Arizona, I'm told) and get to his classes tomorrow? I worry - will they give him a darn map? And more importantly...will he be brave enough to use it?

And then there is much going on with that and it hasn't even really started. Football camp, sports physical, the right cleats (see below) memo says practice starts Monday, another says it starts Wednesday...take the white form and the blue card in to get a blue card and a yellow card back...because you cannot play without that yellow card! Ai, yi, yi. And I spent hours today scouring the football club website, trying to get acquainted with everything so that we, as parents, won't be such the neophytes either. (Because seriously, being naive is when you get stuck with the awful volunteer jobs.)

And then there is to middle school tomorrow. He is in a "pod" with many of his friends. But even if he weren't, he would be fine. He's my social one and doesn't shy away from getting new friends. Wyatt's very excited about having a vast menu from which to choose for lunch. He has never eaten at school even once in his life! And he has to take the bus for the first time ever. No big deal, except, whoever he sits with the first day, he has to sit with the entire year. Choose wisely, son.

Kent and Kurt are the easy ones this year. The biggest crisis with them was trying to fit Kurt's pencils with the pencil top erasers on into his supply box. (Kent just opted to take his off and leave them in the box loose. After all, he says, the pencils are new and have perfectly good erasers on them.)

So, the clothes are chosen for tomorrow, the lunches are decided upon, and the schedule is mapped out. Hopefully we will have a successful morning and I'll be back with a post tomorrow with first-day-of-school photos.

Thank goodness it's not yet time to get rid of the flip-flops!