Thursday, May 29, 2008

Feeling the love, and the gratitude....

Just sitting here with Grace, watching "So You Think You Can Dance", and realizing how blessed I am. (Yeah, I wish I could still dance, or at least be as limber as I once was, but I do love to watch dancers all these years later.)

There are so many reasons I am grateful right now. Too many to list, really. There are people in my life who are blessing us in ways that are immeasurable, and certainly in ways that cannot be repaid, but will definitely be "paid forward." I have friends with whom I celebrate right now, and friends with whom I grieve right now, and I feel priveledged to be a part of both. There are many changes coming for friends...some wonderful, some -well- not so wonderful. I only hope I am able to make them feel grateful for me in their lives during the changes.

The boys are home from high school music camp, and although Alex has (a little more than) some adjusting to do, I am optomistic. We are one week away from the end of the school year...and Alex will start high school in the fall. I do think I'll be wearing my knees out in prayer over his success.

Eric's combination of academic grades, lack of absences, and phenomenal TAKS scores allow him to excempt ALL of his finals this spring.

Grace has successfully navigated the often treacherous waters of 6th grade girlhood, and maintained a strong self-image and a confidence I know I never had at that age.


I added a badge to my sidebar, to the left. It's taken from Ravelry (thanks, Sujo!), and here's the description (I felt I deserved it!):

The “I Will Crush You With My Math Prowess” Badge - The recipient has applied the principles of higher mathematics to knitting including, but not limited to hyperbolic planes, Fibonacci sequences, Klein bottles, Moebius strips, fractals and Flying Spaghetti Monster hats.

So I'm back to watching the auditions, living a little vicariously through the dancers, in jammies and freshly cut and colored hair. (Thanks to Tim, I'll be a blond for as long as I possibly can!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just checking in.....

Here's an interesting blog entry. (I read a LOT of blogs about organization. Turns out it's not osmotic. Who knew?)

the Organized Mom

And a little funny I copied from a friend's blog...some are oldies, but still funny.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure -- right from Day One! -- that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.......

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road...

ANDERSON COOPER - CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain. Alone. (from Kris...this still cracks me up!)

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth?' That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media white washes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side. That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^(C% ......... reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken? AL GORE: I invented the chicken!

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

Have a great rest of your week! ....and knit on!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cool Beans.....

Just a few little links:

Wendi Aarons blog....known as "The Always Lady", she lives and blogs from Austin. Just hysterical, especially this post.

Keep watching Ali's blog...she's doing one layout a day, and they are wonderful.

The Summer Interweave Knits in in 'da hizzouse' and the patterns are fan-stinking-tastic once again.

Lisa Bearnson's latest book just arrived in Archiver's yesterday, and my copy is sitting impatiently for me to pour over it. More ideas for scrapbooking the things that really matter, and what I want to remember. I've really enjoyed doing that lately...even to the point of either staging photos for the story I want to tell, or using a photo of the kid from any age and telling the story. My mojo is back! Whee!!

and I gotta tell ya....I am just BUSTING with good news about a dear friend! But I wasn't told whether or not I could tell, and I don't think I should yet anyway. But hot dang, IT'S SO FLIPPING COOL!!

I don't know if my friend reads here, but.....if you see this, I said to you: I am so happy, and so honored you told me!

Have a great Memorial weekend....enjoy and be safe!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Yeppers, it's been a while....

hasn't it? I had a rough couple of weeks in there. It happens, thankfully not too often. But it's over, and all is well. So let's just move on, shall we? Yes, let's shall.

I'm going to share some little goodies I've been collecting for a while now, just to share with you:

Ok, is this not adorable? These are the kinds of little things we want to remember about our kids, isn't it? Glimpses into their minds.

If you don't know who Peter Walsh is, you've not been watching Clean Sweep or Oprah. He's a professional organizer, and helps those who are really out of control. Not the mainstream "I can't seem to get this house together," but rather the hoarders, those who are unable to part with things emotionally, and are paralyzed by the thought of getting rid of anything. He has the ability to get them to that lightbulb moment of realization that getting rid of the years of newspapers is not getting rid of the parent who collected them. Things are not memories. Can you tell I'm a huge fan? He's got a new book out, called : "It's All Too Much." If you even think you might have issues with STUFF, I highly recommend reading his books. Life is so much better without the stress that too much stuff brings us!! Click on the title for a link to Amazon.

Many of you know that I am a member of a message board of scrapbookers. Some of the dearest people to me live there, in my computer. I have been lucky to have met a handful in real life. The first weekend in May I spent the weekend in beautiful Salado, Texas with 40 other women from this board, scrapbooking, eating, sharing lives, and just plain refreshing ourselves. It's something that women need, I believe, to have time together away from our everyday lives. And these other women are so giving and loving....and stinking funny! It was wonderful to have sore stomach muscles from laughing that hard. Who knew a pregnant woman could kareoke "I Like Big Butts" so very well? We recently lost a member of the board to a very aggressive cancer. (We've lost more than one over the years.) Our Mickeylou touched us all with her courage. I wanted to share a little ditty from a scrapbook page made by Mickeylou: The quote reads: "Gentleness is not unmanly. Remember that Jesus, St Joseph, St Francis, Pope John Paul II and Grandpa were all gentle men. Being gentle does not lessen men, rather it is a true characteristic of manhood. Great men tend to be gentle men."

And to catch you up on life here at Chez Van Allen:

We are really looking forward to the end of the school year (last day June 5th). We're just ready for the lack of scheduling in the summer. We are in the midst of band concerts and marching camp for incoming freshmen...good grief, Alex will be in high school next year! (His annual ARD meeting went extremely well, we are all anticipating a great year for him next year, and the band directors are all on the same page that we are regarding Alex's Asberger's and his toleration of marching season. And by the way, he takes four TAKS tests this year -state standardized testing- and we have 2 results so far: he passed math, which we expected, and he not only passed his reading/writing but scored at a commended level! this is the boy who used to have difficulty with readong comprehension and written expression!)

Joe spent a week in ShangHai, and then had another trip to Philly. He doesn't travel nearly as much anymore.

I'm still at Archiver's part-time. We are trying to figure out how we'll handle the summer. We've got 2 kids going to camp, Eric may be asked to counsel at camp, a mission trip for Grace and Alex that Joe is also going on, and Eric will be going on a mission trip with the senior high. So I need to figure out pretty soon how I'll be able to stay at Archiver's!

Happy to be back in blogland again.....