Monday, November 19, 2007

Highlights of the Week

It's been insanely busy this month, most of the activity happening in the last week. Here's a rundown of the highlights:

#1) My sweet boy is now four years old. His birthday was on Saturday, but we weren't able to celebrate that day because we were heading up a service project on the South Side (#2) and going to church to see the Thomas girls get baptized. But David, who is wonderfully laid back, was perfectly fine with delaying his celebration for a day. He was also incredibly forgiving when I forgot to make cupcakes for his class on Friday. Did I mention it was a crazy week? I realized at 1:30 p.m. that I had completely forgotten to make and send a treat to school so they could celebrate his birthday. David never even mentioned it to me after school, and I was able to get over the mommy guilt eventually.
Yesterday we hid his birthday presents (our family's goofy tradition) and I got to watch the kids shoot Nerf Balls all over the yard. Today we met David's two favorite friends at Chick-fil-A for lunch, and this afternoon David and his sisters tore up the yard in his new Firefighter Jeep, a special present from Grammy. It was a haphazard kind of birthday, but David didn't seem to mind in the least. Words cannot say how much I adore my son.

#2) Our Sunday School class was able to serve a Thanksgiving dinner to about 150 people at Riverside, which is a government-subsidized apartment complex on the South Side. We've been doing Easter and Christmas celebrations there for several years now, but this was our biggest turnout. We went through nine turkeys, a gross of rolls, and tons of other holiday-type foods. It's really difficult planning how much food to bring, but we did OK this year. The biggest goof was on my shoulders -- last year I brought way too many green beans and ended up tossing an entire crock pot full. This year I only brought 5 pounds worth, and we ran out early.
I was in full Martha-mode and wasn't able to watch the games or interact with the Riverside families as much as I would have liked. But I was able to greet everybody as they went through the line and talk briefly to Jennifer, a single mom of four girls who are adorable.

#3) We got to celebrate "authentic" Thanksgiving Feasts at the girls' school. This is a fun tradition that requires everybody to dress up as a Pilgrim or Indian (sorry, Native American). Again, I was in Martha-mode since I'm the room mom for Caelyn's class and was in charge of coordinating all the food. But it was still highly enjoyable to see the kids dressed up and playing silly games. I did realize how thankful I am that I don't have a job that requires me to be on my feet all day long. My legs were so sore at the end of both days!

#4) My laundry room is clean! All the laundry is washed, although not put away. Tomorrow I'll deal with all the piles in a housecleaning blitz. OK, this isn't earth-shattering news, but it's a major accomplishment for me. Have I told you how much I love my new washer and dryer? I can fit twice as much laundry in the washer as before! The thing sounds like an airplane engine warming up during the spin cycle, which amuses me greatly. At any rate, I highly recommend the Whirlpool Cabrio.

#5) I found out that my mom reads my blog (Hi Mom!). I don't talk about my blog so I was pleasantly surprised that I have one more way to communicate with my mom since she lives 1400 miles away.

I have so much to be thankful for, and hopefully I'll have time to reflect and write later in the week. We're heading to Kevin's parents' house on Wednesday and I'll be doing a lion's share of the cooking to help out Kevin's mom, who recently had knee replacement surgery. I'm looking forward to having some time to relax, although that likely won't happen since I need to finish proofreading Kristine's book and write two more passages. Like I said, it's been crazy busy this month.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Culture Shock

I live in San Antonio, but I don't. Sure, my mail is addressed to San Antonio, but my city is vastly different from the San Antonio just 20 miles south or west or east of my neighborhood. My San Antonio is 75 percent white, 95 percent English speaking, and 100 percent above the poverty line. But that's not the real San Antonio.

I've lived a sheltered life. A comfortable life. And for some reason, I'm a little afraid of things outside that life.

Today I visited my friend KJ, who is stuck at University Hospital this week. University is the public hospital, equivalent to County on "ER." No insurance? No problem, since they'll treat anybody who walks in the door. KJ thinks she's one of the few people actually paying to be there.

Yesterday, one of the Amys visited KJ. On her way in, she saw a man who was in leg irons. He was a prisoner of some sort, and Amy was a little freaked out by the time she got to the 12th floor.

But it got me thinking... Why are we so afraid of people "different" than we are? Jesus would have gone up to that man, struck up a conversation, and probably absolved him of his sins. Me? I would have meekly scurried away and said a prayer of thanks for the nice armed guards.

My visit to the hospital was less exciting. I made a concerted effort to smile at people and pretend that I didn't feel out of place. But I did, and that bothers me.

I have no real conclusions or epiphanies here -- I'm just noting an observation about myself. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

YouTube Tuesday -- At Kevin's Request

Kevin's all-time favorite song, I think. Scroll down to see a picture of him dressed as MC Hammer (and me as Joan Jett) from a party last year.

Here's the pic of us going to our Sunday School class's Rock Star Christmas Party. I do believe that was the most irreverent theme we could have chosen, but it was mighty funny to see our friends dressed up as Cyndi Lauper, Roy Orbison, and Robert Palmer's dancing girls. I have plenty of blackmail shots for future use, but I'll go ahead and publicly embarrass myself now.