Sunday, March 28, 2010

Keepin' On, Keepin' On

Hey gang. Getting ready to try and kick it into high gear to work today and thought I would get the creative juices flowing with a blog post. I have to admit I am not feeling my best today and those darn creative juices are currently feeling rather non-existent but I know they are there. I just have to get them thawed out and ready to go.

Recent events of interest (hopefully) include:

I taught three workshops at the state homeschooling conference. Each one was about writing (what a surprise!). They went well although it is easier when the classes are larger. These were pretty small. I also sold some books but they always put me in the corner with other book sellers so it's easy to get overlooked.

Nicole's play is going great. She is doing so well in the part and enjoying every minute of it. Now she is back to looking for a job, which isn't easy to do in Portland yet. She and Jon are doing well and have been together for more than 14 months now.

Coryn, Nicole and I went to see "Cats". WOW. Amazing experience. It has been running on Broadway or touring for almost 30 years. That demonstrates what a timeless show it is.

Went out to dinner with some friends of ours earlier this week and when done, we slipped next door to the mall. We missed a gang shooting by about 12 minutes. Police were everywhere and it was rather unnerving. 99 percent of the time I love living in a big city. This time fell into that one percent.

Caspian continues to enjoy Habitat for Humanity. Last week he called from the site to tell us he had gotten hurt. A broom handle had broken in half and sliced his finger quite deeply. Was he scared or worried? Nah, proud in fact. Another scar (the boy scars if the wind blows too hard) for him to tell a story about.

Coryn's quest to socialize continues. He is signing up for Not Back to School Camp this summer. I am beyond astonished and thrilled. Hopefully, Nicole will also be hired as Junior Staff and that will help with the transition.

As for me, work continues to flow in at a decent rate--one that keeps me feeling relatively secure without feeling panic at being over/under worked. Health issues, well they are just a pain, let's leave it at that. The family has been on a diet for 5 plus weeks now. Between the 5 of us, we have lost almost 70 pounds. I think that's impressive. I have also learned that Tami CAN cook. Who would have thought it? And I'm not too bad at it either. Most surprising of all, I like doing it. I am still writing letters as often as time allows and currently have my own column in The Letter Exchange magazine. I haunt Goodwills as often as I possibly can and delight in finding treasures that are a fraction of what I would pay for them retail. Yesterday (skip this part guys) I found a $54 Vera Bradley purse for $2.99. Snicker. Purse Slut strikes again.

So that's my update for now. If you stop by, leave a note and say hi. Knowing that people actually read this often inspires me to pay more attention to posting. A writer needs an audience, ya know?!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Overnight Transformation

You know how usually your kids change so gradually that you don't often notice? They grow taller. Their hair changes. They mature. That is certainly true for me. All of a sudden, I will realize that my oldest son has left "boy" behind in exchange for "man". I will notice that my youngest daughter is on her last few months of being a "teen" and has developed talents I was never aware of before.

Recently, however, my youngest son (turns 14 in May) did a transformation of enormous proportions in less than two hours. It was like watching "Jekyll and Hyde" only in a GOOD way (and without the music). We attended a teen gathering two and a half weeks ago. He didn't want to go. He is a "home body", much preferring to hang out on the computer or read on the couch. His evil mother made him go, however, also forcing his older brother to tag along reluctantly. We were the first to arrive and already the boys were chafing to leave. Had the meeting place not been in a bakery, they would have already headed to the car, but they were holding out hope for a cinnamon roll first.

We sat, we waited (while one of them had a roll . . . ) and the teens and parents rolled in. Within 30 minutes, the teen table had a dozen people sitting at it with chatting, giggling and other expected behavior. We moms (and dad) sat to the side doing our own fair share of chatting and giggling. I was aware that the oldest son was restless; in fact, he ended up doing what he often does in social situations: hangs with the adults and entertains the toddlers--which was fine.

But our other son? The shy one? The one who is usually ready to head out the door? He was having a fabulous time. He was talking animatedly. He was moving around the table. He was as hyper as I have ever seen him. At the end of two hours, he did not want to go. He had memorized all their names. He asked me repeatedly, "We are coming back next week, right?"
(We did and he had just as good a time.)

But what has happened since this first meeting? This "home body" has begged me to find as many social activities as I can for him. Anything I have found, we have gone to (an OMSI party, a game day, rockwall climbing party, etc.) More over, he has moved towards independence in ways I would have said he'd never try yet. He is talking about going to RESIDENT CAMP this fall. That is a HUGE step for a son who has struggled terribly with anxiety and homesickness for years and years. He told me, "I want to have something fun to go out and do every single day now" and I've been working to help him do that. I certainly can't promise EVERY day but I still feel like we have gone from 0 to 60 in 3 seconds.

He is happier--more confident--and while he was a FABULOUS person already, he has truly blossomed this time around. He counts the days until Tuesday (teen group day) and talks to his siblings about camp all the time (they are both veterans). We have always been proud of him, of course, but this new stage in his life that appeared in a flash, has made him, I believe, proud of himself. It doesn't get better than that.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Call me Beautiful, and I'll Fill out any Questions. . ..

So my friend Susan tagged me on her blog (amimental.blogspot) and I am supposed to write out five things I love. Hmmmm.

(1) I love reading the comics in the morning with my husband. He takes the short page and I take the long because I read faster. We chuckle out loud and if one comic particularly relates to one of us, we make the other one stop and read it right away. Sometimes we are even concerned about the people in the comics and we end up discussing them later throughout the day.

(2) I love being in the living room with all of my kids. We typically all have books in hand and all you hear is music, breathing and turning pages. When one of us reads something that is unusually funny or surprising, we tell the others. We are also known to define words for each other. More often than not, we are sitting near enough each other to have a leg thrown over the other one or we share blankets. I love having kids that not only make me proud but that enjoy spending time with me and consider me a mom and a friend.

(3) I love writing letters. I am so into stationery, stickers and fountain pens, it is a little embarassing. I write to about 12 to 15 people a month right now and derive great pleasure and relaxation from it. Finding a good penpal is as difficult as finding a friend that you actually spend time with. You run into a lot of odd birds in your quest for those special writers whose letters you can't wait to get. I'm fortunate to have found a few that I treasure and hope to write to for years to come.

(4) I love to go to live theatre. Musicals are my preference but I like other plays as well. I am blessed to live in a city that has no lack of theatres and performances to choose from either. In past years I have seen "Rent", "Grease", "Wicked", "Spring Awakening", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Evita" and many more. This year, I already have tickets to see "Lion King" and am working on ones to see "Cats". Three of my kids love theatre also; the hubby and oldest son do NOT. That's fine. More ticket money for me that way. :)

(5) And finally, I love living in Oregon. After 40 plus years living in the stifling, soul-deadening land of Hoosiers (for US, I know others love it there!), I still continually marvel at this state and at Portland. It was like coming home for us. We love it here, we love the people, we love the scenery. It remains one of the best decisions of our lives. Now, moving to Australia has its appeal too . . . but everytime I think about trying to pack up all of these books and PAYING to ship them, I come back to my senses.

Of course, I love more things than these. My friends. My dog and cat. My parents. My work. Seeing my name on the cover of a book. Chocolate chip cookie dough. (Not necessarily in this order). No bake chocolate cookies. Whoops. Better stop there. Anyway, thanks for hearing about what I love. Stop by and leave a comment and tell me what YOU love.