Tuesday, June 26, 2012

He Took It Like A Man…Twice…In The Head

You know that nervous feeling you get when the big tournament baseball game is on the line and it’s your kid that’s up to bat with two outs and a tied game? I knew it tonight.

Boy #1 was standing there, wiggling in the batter’s box like he had fleas.

SMACK! The first pitch struck him in the head and chin. There he is lying on the ground and I’m about to vomit from the sight.

His coach is over to speak some words of “Coaches Wisdom” to him while he checks for a pulse. The Coach…Coach Jay…said “He’s tough, I’ve seen his dad.”

No wait, that’s what he said when the boy was struck in the head earlier in the game, yes, you read correctly, he was hit twice in the head during this game.

The last hit advanced him to first base; he stole 2nd and 3rd and was able to steal home on an overthrown pitch to win the game. The team tackling him probably caused more physical harm than the pounding to the head x 2.

His coach had worked with him all season to “take a hit” so he would stop jumping out of the batter’s box every time a pitch came at him. During Sunday’s practice Coach Jay intentionally hit him in the behind with a pitch.

That pitch to the butt saved their butts tonight in the tournament. The Texas Longhorns are still alive and will play again Thursday.

I am setting up a jar for donations to Eli’s hospital bills that are sure to come with this game.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Warrior of a Day

Highlight of my day? Being washed with a fire hose. True Story.

We, the Z Warriors, set out to be part of the Warrior Dash, an obstacle packed run that raises money for St. Jude’s Hospital. Our journey began very early with a caravan of dressed alike Zumba friends headed to Marion County, Kentucky.

Our first real adventure was the quest for a bathroom. The back roads of Kentucky don’t offer too many options, thank God for Blandford’s grocery store after about an hour’s worth of travel. A total of 10 girls stood near the only small bathroom door waiting for the person inside to finish. As patience thinned, Robin (possible fictitious name) began to march in circles outside the restroom door with hands on her hips; occasionally bending over and grabbing a table nearby as she spewed foreign words that could possibly be curse words.

When a second flush was heard inside the bathroom, after a hand washing session had already gone-on, Robin began to look for sharp objects. Out of the restroom came a 20 something year old boy, with a very red face as he looked upon a group of girls standing near the door, “hearing” his bathroom episode. We let Robin use the bathroom first – she wishes WE would have gone first; just sayin’. I don’t think the hometown grocery is where most people consider heading for their morning business, but this guy seemed to think it was a good idea this morning. Bet he stays home tomorrow morning.

The caravan is in motion again.

We parked and were shuttled to the Warrior Dash site. The shuttling system is not the Warrior Dash event planners strong point. They were running three buses for approximately 10,000 people five miles. Pretty sure this person’s calculator failed them when they set up this part of the event.

Our heat was scheduled at 11 a.m. but we ran at 11:30 a.m.

Half of a mile in – I’m about to turn back. The farm land/woodland terrain full of tire ruts was not easy on the ankles.

One mile in – I almost cursed.

First obstacle – easy. Second obstacle – jump into a stagnant pond that smells of cow manure and swim across and dodge logs. Cold water in 92 degree temps while I’m sucking air like I’m dying – Priceless.

One and a half mile in – almost grabbed a stranger and jumped on their back. True story.

The rest of the obstacles were mainly walls to climb or nets to shimmy across. There was the fire jump and the mud creek you had to slide through on your belly or risk the barbed wire spanking your face.

Coming out like a winner – BooYahh!

We walked around in mud soaked clothes for a few minutes and posed for a few pics but we made our way to the “Warrior Wash” where fire hoses awaited us.

Pulling my sports bra out from my body and feeling mud slide down my stomach = priceless! (No body parts were exposed during the day)

I’m pretty sure I am an adrenaline junky now; cannot wait to do it again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Indulge In This and Be Blessed

I haven't blogged in several days but wanted to add something quick today and I came upon this. This is my resolution. This is what I teach my children to resolve in life. This is what I pray their spouses will resemble when I pray for their spouses, and I do already pray for their future spouses. Read, absorb, pray it, indulge in it and watch your life be blessed:

(This was written from a man's point of view so adjust wording for yourself)

- I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.

- I will love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.

- I will be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.

- I will bless my children and teach them to love God with all their hearts, all their minds, and all their strength.

- I will train them to honor authority and live responsibly.

- I will confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.

- I will pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.

- I will work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.

- I will forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.

- I will learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.

- I will seek to honor God, be faithful to his church, obey his word, and do his will.

- I will courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for his glory.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
~ Joshua 24:15

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Family Has Been Targeted

Guess who wants to go back to day camp tomorrow because the Lego robots were awesome – the boys!!! Guess who wants to sign up to be in the Lego robot club this school year – Boy #1!!! Of course they do – this mom never has a bad idea. Not in the last five minutes anyways. Earlier today was not such a good choice but we’ll not discuss that – it could embarrass me and I can’t have you thinking I am less than AWESOME!

I am looking for a graffiti artist. I have some great ideas for my daughter’s 16th birthday party. I would prefer someone with mad skills that works for free. Yes, this will work fine.

I decided to try my hand at running outside, away from the treadmill, today. I HATE to run but sometimes its better with a buddy when you workout. As much as I enjoyed the company, my strepped throat was not in favor of my choice to run. The dog (boxer) that lunged towards us was not a highlight of my day either. Thank God Rita isn’t afraid of dogs – I could have been killed or worse. I saw my life flash when it showed its teeth. Tie up your dogs, people!!! I’m not a dog hater (cats are better) but I am scared of some, untied dogs. I watched my sister get attacked when she was 3-years-old and had her face bitten. She’s still scarred and I am still scared. iiick…still feel my skin crawling!

We think the Eldest Girl has a spider bite. Guess who gets to go back to Urgent Care tomorrow and spend more time/money. Me! Pick Me! I have yet to bankrupt the family with stupid sickness this month. The weird part is, every member of my family has a bite on their waistline – I have to wonder if we are being targeted as a family?

Church tonight was, as always, a blessing. I do love my church, church family and our bishop. God has such a way of touching my soul each time I step into that place that brings peace to what always seems to be a stormy, busy day.

I did not cook dinner tonight and I hear the boys down stairs attempting to assemble a meal out of leftovers and items they can cook. Sounds like ramen noodles, pork tenderloin and cereal it is.

I received my first child support check last week from the new boy’s parents. The state handles the calculation and transfer of child support payments. Not sure what the person calculating the payment is feeding their child, but the $3.87 they decided I should receive may be the reason the ramen noodles are stock piled. Just sayin’ I have yet to take the check to the bank. I have calculated that I will spend more money driving the check to the bank than $3.87. I must wait for multiple weeks before taking them. This is the only way I won’t lose money on the trip. Smurfity Smurf! That’s me cursing…

Favorite quote I read today: Oh honey, you must be confused. You’re supposed to live out Bible verses, not just get them tattooed and hope that does the trick.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stinking Lying Nurse

Nope, they didn’t want to go to day camp the middle school was hosting this week, so I let the boys stay home…home with a dad that made them mulch all day. Burhahahah….(evil laugh)

Guess who is asking to go to day camp tomorrow. I love when my way is proven better. Someday they will believe me when I say that my way is always the right way.

I got back to Zumba tonight and remembered why I love it so much. But not before I spent the day back at Urgent Care for the strep throat that made its reappearance. I obviously make awesome choices when I’m sick. When I picked the two boys up from the ballpark, boy #1 kept saying, “You look really bad, you’re face is all red.” This was just hours after the nurse weighed me at Urgent Care and obviously lied about my weight. I’m pretty sure that if I ever decide to send chocolates to my favorite nurses, she won’t make the list.

On the flip side today – I scored free bologna at the grocery. It was on sale for .99 cents. I had .50 cent coupons that doubled! Nothing like free bologna to brighten a day.

I did get some swag today. Eldest girl sent me a text to say “Ms. Smith brought you a DECA Mom shirt. *swaggie” Thanks Ms. Smith! I love it but according to the lying nurse, I need a size larger.

My favorite quote I read today: Pinterest reminds me just how hungry and unstylish I really am.

Monday, June 11, 2012

If These Walls Could Talk

My Grandmother got to go home for the first time in almost three years yesterday. My mother bought her childhood home a few years back and has cleaned and painted the old farm house.

That's my boy Nolan giving her some "sugar."

There are so many childhood memories of this place. The house did not have indoor plumbing until I was somewhere about 5 – 8 years old. I remember drawing water from the well and using an outhouse. I guess my generation is the last to experience such primitive measures.

My Grandmother, who is 97 years old, has been living with her five daughters for the past few years. It was good to have her in her home with several family members around.

Mamaw Dean gave birth to all 12 of her children in the home. Her stories are precious to hear. She’s never driven a car, neither has my Aunt Marianne. The girls love to tell stories of the old home that has two bedrooms and one bath; a bath that was formerly a bedroom before renovated in the 1980’s. Mamaw can yodel and tells us that is was her 2nd or 3rd grade boyfriend who taught her the talent as they would walk to school each day. She also says the only thing she has ever smoked is rolled up grapevine leaves. I can only imagine what these walls would say if they could talk. All the lives they have watched grow up here in the last 70 plus years.

She has also left us with a couple of songs we sing to our babies. They make no sense at all but we and our babies love them.

This is mamaws baby girl, little bitty nastum tankum tanum too…a tanum too.

Who knows what language that even is, but we all speak it!

It was good to be home, tucked away in the hills of Kentucky, for a Sunday afternoon lunch complete with fried chicken. I am everything but a coal miner’s daughter according to this blog.

In other Thomas Family Business:

The middle girl completed school with honor grades and an award for being one of two kids recognized by her teachers for being very helpful and nice to everyone. Makes me proud.

The boys are halfway through baseball season and the new kid got smacked with a baseball in the back last week. So far the court has not called demanding him back yet…

The eldest girl is working several hours at her new job as a sandwich artist. She really likes the job and the money.

The boy and I spent our vacation with strep throat. I have successfully been sick everyday in May and now June. I am mentally exhausted with it all. I cannot wait to feel like me again. I did get to keep my sister's two girls yesterday. My kids were not used as bait since they were not even there. The girls came home with Aunt Misty all on their own. They are 2 and 6 and are too stinkin' cute! They had so much fun playing with my girls old doll houses that are stored in my attic area now. I remember as a child getting to play with my older cousin Lisa's Barbies when we visited my Aunt Nettie. It was such a treat.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Week in Orlando, Tips and Tricks

It was a bit more frustrating for me since I woke up with Strep Throat the morning after we arrived so my experience is a bit jaded. However, I learned some valuable lessons I think you can benefit from for future visits.

We stayed at Windsor Hills, google “closest to Disney” – it really was just a 10 minute drive from Disney World and about a 25 minute drive to Seaworld and Universal Studios. It’s in Kissimmee. The condo was a bit dated but my sister’s next door was very nice (ask for pictures of your unit). The pool was great, not heated, and there was a nice workout facility and neat playground areas. We stayed on a ground level near the pool with 3 bedrooms and two baths for $650. We left mid-week and returned home mid-week. Perfect for driving and flying. Flights were much cheaper for my sister's family and traffic was much less congested for our drive home. Also, our condo was ready for us ealier then what the normal check-in time would be since no one had used it since the weekend and was cleaned days before.

Universal Studios does a great job entertaining you at their parks. We visited “Island of Adventures” in 2010 for a day and my kids wanted to go back, so I bought a two day pass base ticket. We went to “Island of Adventures” the first day and Universal Studios the following day. What I learned:

1. Do not visit a park you already have been to in the past. My kids loved “Island of Adventures” BUT the magic of seeing it for the first time had passed and the money would have been better spent seeing another new park like SeaWorld. Do not pay the extra $ for the park-to-park pass. There is enough to do at one park to consume your entire day. Waste of $.

2. We bought the $20.99 all you can eat food pass for everyone. Six adults (9 and under are considered kids, mine were all 12 and over) X $20.99 = $136 after tax. You will spend about $12/person each meal. We only ate twice and they didn’t really want the second meal. It would have been cheaper to pack snacks and only have eaten once. Do buy the souvenir cups. They are buy two get one free and are $8 each. Then you pay $1 for refills. Only buy these if you are addicted to soda and will be in the parks more than one day. You can bring the cup back each day for $1 refills. Do NOT buy online with your tickets, they are cheaper inside the park.

3. DO NOT buy the line hopper passes. $20 each at Universal and $35 each at Disney. Use the single rider line. You will bypass even the line hopper people. There is no sense in waiting in line for an hour just to be able to sit together. Most of the time, we got to sit with or near each other using the single riders line. The big rides like Harry Potter doesn’t have a single rider’s line nor does it allow line hoppers to be used. Ride the Harry Potter ride last, later in the afternoon. The parks start to clear out around 4 – 5 p.m. and the lines are much shorter! Also making the line hopper pass a waste of money.

4. Take a lightweight backpack with a poncho, large bottle of frozen ice (it will thaw throughout the hot day and provide drinking water), Band-Aids, small deodorant, ibuprofen, Benadryl, ponytail holder, sunglasses, and a water bottle fan. They sell these in the parks for $15 but you can buy one at the Walgreens for $8. You only need one to pass around and share. Not everybody needs a backpack since you have to get a locker while on rides. Just mom and dad should have one.

5. If there is going to be a rainy day in your week, use it on Universal Studios. Almost all the rides are indoors. Very awesome place but I would not take children under 8 – 9 to either park. There are things for them to do but not many and it may jolt them to experience some of the bigger rides. Universal Studios is awesome for a couple who loves rides and experiences!

My sister, husband and two boys (5 & 8) visited Lego Land; the newest park in Orlando. They did not like it. They said it was a waste of $ ($75 per adult) and they stated Disney’s Lego store in Downtown Disney was better than anything Lego Land offered, and it is free. Downtown Disney is open to the public for free.

We went to Disney’s Animal Kingdom our last day and we loved it. However, it offers few rides and I wouldn’t recommend for kids under the age of 7. They do have Dinoland for little ones but that’s about an hour’s worth of fun. They offer two great mini-Broadway plays: The Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo. You MUST see both to get your money’s worth! They are truly AWESOME! The rest of the park is basically a zoo. The animals are very healthy and beautiful. The gifts shops and landscape and gorgeous and Disney provides great street band entertainment and parades at their parks. However, they do not offer online discounts on tickets like Universal Studios does. We saved $10 per person by purchasing online and picking up tickets at Will Call for Universal.

Small children should be taken to Magic Kingdom. That’s an entire day of fun for them.

If you plan to visit many parks in Orlando that do not include Disney, I recommend getting online at SeaWorld or Universal and buying what is called a Flex Ticket. You can pay a base price of around $275 per person and have 14 consecutive days of fun at SeaWorld, Aquatica Water Park, Universal Studios, Island of Adventures, Wet-N-Wild Water Park and City Walk. The best deal in town.

Happy vacation to ya! Hope this helps any future Orlando planners! I am headed to sell something valuable to pay off my vacation debt.