Monday, August 30, 2010

Bloggin' my Birthday

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A few days ago I turned a year older. Here are some pictures from the day. Wish I could've captured everything on camera because they were lovely memories.

1. Sarah made me breakfast (added scrambled eggs and bacon after this shot). An extra thoughtful gesture it was since she had to be out the door for her first day of Student Teaching in the adjoining county. Bouquet of purple daisies, a basket of my favorite treats, and a tear-jerkingly sweet card.

2. I got to enjoy my rule of "no work, no school on your birthday." My son Steve blessed me by doing housework while I took advantage of the deck swing and a beautiful sunshiny day and read a book outside. (Yes, it's for school, but it doesn't feel like it. I like missionary bios.) Nose shown actual size. Nothing I can do about it short of plastic surgery.

3. We went to dinner at a local Italian restaurant. As everyone was packing up their leftover, the waiter took Sarah's pizza off the table. He shuffled away and she said, "You're going to box this up, aren't you?" and he said, "No, I'll feed it to the dog out back."

Forgot to take the camera, so Ben's girlfriend snapped a picture when we got home. Paul was already in bed, which explains his absence from this photo.

4. Many, many greetings on Facebook took me by pleasant surprise and made for a lovely day from start to finish.

5. Joel made me a card with a 1965 dime taped inside. It's a nod to his current "phase" . He told me I should have been born in 1964, the year of "rare dimes" . "This one's only worth ten cents, Mom ," he said. Gee, thanks, son. I think I made the face that he is making in the picture.

6. I got funny cards and touching cards in the mail and delivered in person.

7. My friend Cheryl took me out to my favorite Mexican restaurant the next evening. Haven't laughed that hard since...well, ...the last time we got together.

8. Anticipation. My mother told me that when you start getting older, you should tell people in advance that you're visiting them. They have something to look forward to besides their next bowel movement. And they'll talk about it almost as long. Sage advice from a hilarious mom.

I love my God, my Giver of Abundant Life and 45 birthdays thus far. Love my family, my friends, my dog. Thanks, everyone, for blessing me!

Amish Proverbs

My friend Bonnie always gives me a thoughtful little gift for my birthday, along with a sweet card. I've been reading through the book she gave me, and thought I'd post some of my favorites thus far. These are from the first two chapters, "Time" and "Money."

You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.


One thing you can learn by watching the clock is that it passss time by keeping its hands busy.


Patience is a virtue that carries a lot of wait.


Money talks, but it doesn't say when it's coming back.


Fortune knocks once, but misfortune has more patience.

Speaking of time and money, it's time for me to bid adieu to the blog for a week. Lord willing I will catch my flight to Kansas tomorrow, and catch it coming back a week later, with layovers in Dallas in which I get to meet Rachel Ridge , a blogging friend. (There, Rachel, satisfied? I mentioned you by name in my post!!!! BBQ at DFW for ZMZ and RAR!)

I only live once, and "working it right" means making special memories.

The clock's hands are busy, and mine need to get that way. Typing on the computer doesn't really count right now.

I've been patient from the time Paul said, "Sure, you can go..." till now. Boarding jets is one of my favorite wait-loss methods!

If I return (and Lord willing, I shall), I'll bring you some photos and stories. If I don't, I hope to meet you "on the Other Side." In the meantime, I'm thanking God for His kindness to me in the form of a husband willing and able to afford me this time away for a "friends retreat" that I've dearly longed for. Thank you, Paul !!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Getting Excited

My trip to Kansas is just a week away. Oh, I can hardly wait! I love to fly, love to meet new people, love the big sky in the Midwest, love the memories I've held for 38 years from childhood in Kansas.

I can't wait to lounge around at Wilson Lake with Barb, to reminisce with Brenda, to play a game and see Lindsborg with Laurie, to catch up with my favorite teacher who is now in her 80s, to spend the night at a B&B, and mostly just to be refreshed and rejuvenated in the company of my precious friend and her family.

My generous husband will be taking a week off to be with Joel so that I can enjoy this getaway to celebrate with Barb.

Did I say I'm excited?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Good News, Bad News in terms of the Injury

As I wrote earlier, our young son was tackled in rec council football practice last Thursday. He fell on his right arm and sustained a shoulder injury bad enough to warrant a trip to Patient First the next day. After taking x-rays and saying it's a shoulder sprain, the doctor referred us for further evaluation.

We took Joel to see a sports medicine specialist today. He took one look at the x-rays and diagnosed a fracture of the growth plate .

The good news: it's a stable fracture, thus requires neither cast nor surgery (I didn't think it would)
and Joel can already use it much better with less pain than he could Thursday.

The bad news: no contact sports for the next 3-5 weeks. The arm is to stay in a sling for rest, and we are to have Joel do the range-of-motion exercises assigned. To be honest, he doesn't seem all that upset because he has been having a hard time loving a certain boy on the team who puts him down every time Joel makes a mistake.That 8-year-old says "you suck!" whenever Joel messes up. We have been having to help Joel pray for him. Last night it broke my heart to hear him so angry that he couldn't even speak the boy's name in prayer. I know how that feels, the bitterness toward offenders. Joel is calling him his "arch nemesis" and we're telling him to pray for his enemy, to do good to those who persecute him, to love with the help of Jesus, that it does hurt nonetheless to be treated like that. I also told Joel that the boy's father or other people in his life are probably saying those things to the boy when he messes up, and that he is probably hurt and angry and just passing on the mistreatment. So sad!

If you're the praying kind, please ask God to give us wisdom and love for this mean boy. As a mom, I want to shake the kid who says "you suck!" to my son, but I have to keep preaching the same gospel to myself. My one and only Arch Enemy, Satan, has already been defeated by my Warrior King, Jesus.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lemon Sherbet Shower Punch

I got the official recipe, "Wedding Punch," from,but altered it because I accidentally left home without it and because we tend to stay away from Tom Collins mix at church:).

This one was a big hit. It turns out a cheerful yellow froth on top of a tawny orange color. (I made it for Kate Minton's baby shower today.) Here is my altered version, including the name brands. I am convinced that not all ginger ales are created equal, which may be the key in this punch. I am recording the brands as my go-to source for next time. (Found these brands at Shop Rite.) This shower punch also smells wonderful. Orange garnishes aren't necessary, but sure pretty.

This will almost fill a punch bowl. Put in the bowl in the following order

1 can frozen Minute Maid limeade concentrate
1 liter Canada Dry ginger ale
32 oz. Florida's Natural orange juice
1 qt. Lehigh Valley Farm lemon sherbet

slices of fresh tangelos or oranges to float on top (Squeeze out the "end pieces" for an ultra-fresh taste!)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Famous Dave's: The New Joint in Town

Famous Dave's BBQ restaurant just opened in my neck o' the proverbial woods, and our family tried it for the first time last night. It was the first experience we'd had with this particular chain restaurant and, for the most part, we liked it.

We came in at 9 pm, super hungry after the first scrimmage (in another county) and even at that late hour there was a waiting line for 25 minutes. The place smelled wonderful, for starters, so our chops were in ready mode long before our handheld ambulance notified us that our table was ready.

Sarah ordered the Devil's Spit Burger, Joel the cheeseburger from the kid's menu, Stephen got the honey chicken sandwich, and I ordered the Famous Dave's burger. Paul wondered why I didn't get barbeque (since I was the one who'd been saying how much I wanted to try it) but it was a matter of feeling pressured when the server was standing there, pen and pad set for action, and so I just picked something randomly on the spot. That is so not like me, but it does prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks! I forget what Paul ordered but he liked it. The meats were cooked just right, and every one of the six sauces served at the table had a unique and delicious taste, from Texas to St. Louis.

What I was really impressed with were the side dishes. Too often restaurants present them as seeming afterthoughts, but not these. The mac 'n cheese has corn and jalapenos. Mmm. The Drunkin' Apples still had crunch and the right amount of cinnamon. The garlic red mashed potatoes had a thick but creamy texture, and the fries (which we dipped in honey mustard) delivered the perfect complement to our terrific sandwiches.

Collectively, we had four complaints. First, three people at our table ordered sweet tea, but got unsweetened. The waiter made it right when they brought it to his attention, but on the third delivery he again brought out unsweetened tea. Second, I thought he seemed to linger too long at our table each time he checked on us. I didn't like the way he made eye contact with my older son and ran his fingers along the table telling us (with eyes that looked like a cat's when you scratch behind the ears) how heavenly-to-die-for the bread pudding is. Third, one of the employees who was "using the facilities" at the same time as one of us, was cussing in the stall and did not wash hands before leaving the restroom. The offended party told the manager about that one, who thanked us and said he'd bring it up in training next time.

The prices were certainly reasonable for the satisfying portions. No leftovers this time, and we look forward to going back. It's the kind of atmosphere that's made for lively conversation, but I mentioned to Paul (who loves, loves, loves bread pudding) that maybe we could come back soon and have a heavenly-to-die-for date. Just a thought. Famous Dave's. The new joint in town is a keeper. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Please Pray. Sounds Serious to Me

Joel's shoulder was injured during football practice tonight. We were not there, we were in care group, so did not see it happen. He says it happened during a tackle, but doesn't recall details. He cannot lift it up to the side.

Please pray. This really has me concerned.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ZZ's Crab Mac 'n Cheese

I created this dish earlier last week, wanting both crab cakes and mac 'n cheese in one meal, as well as wanting to capitalize on a cooking mood. So I began grabbing ingredients and tasting things as I went along. Messy hands and hungry tummy meant I didn't write anything down, so this is from memory. Nothing measured except the crab and eggs! Truly an indulgent meal, but I get the crab meat at Chesapeake Quality Trader's for $12/lb. and can make enough to feed 5 adults and one kid just fine.

Great after football whether player or spectator!

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 mins plus time to let it cool/flavors "set"
Bake time: 30 mins.
Total Cost: about $14

Next time I make it, I will:
-add something crunchy
-make the crab mixture earlier in the day to let the flavors congeal before cooking

I sprayed a 2-qt casserole dish for baking.


1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
2 eggs
1.5 cups chopped stale bread (I used it from freezer stash)
Worcestershire ( about 1 T)
Old Bay (about 1 T)
pepper (a few shakes) NO SALT, the Old Bay and Worc. are plenty salty!
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 chopped onion for the pan
olive oil

3/4 lb of medium pasta shells

Skillet--Start sauteeing onions in oil.

Med pot- boil the shells till almost tender. They'll cook more in the oven.

Then, in large bowl, mix eggs, W. sauce, Old Bay, and pepper. Form crab cakes . When onions are lightly brown , saute crab till brown on both sides but not cooked.

Plate-When they're brown, pull them out and dab off the oil but keep the onions clinging to the meat. Set the cakes on a plate. *You'll be layering pasta, meat, and cheese mixture.)

Cheese Mixture:

about 1 cup milk-- heat it on med, turn down to low, and melt the following into it:

2 handfuls shredded cheddar
2 handfuls shredded mozzarella

Remove from heat and add about 1/4 cup sour cream. Stir all.

Then layer in a sprayed dish:

pasta, cheese sauce, crab meat, pasta, cheese sauce, crab meat. Top with ground bread crumbs. (Next time, crushed Ritz?)

Cover with foil. It'll be too hot to put in fridge, but you want to let the flavors "gel" so let it sit on
counter until you're 40 minutes from serving it.

Bake at 325 for 30 mins. Let cool for 10 and then chow down!!! Great w/ baby greens and pineapple chunks on the side.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Let Them Be Little (a repost)

In this video, Joel was a baby (2002), the answer to ten years of longing and praying. Stephen was 10, Sarah was 12, and Ben was 13. Joel did this thing with his mouth where he'd hold it open--wide--for a long time. Uncomfortably long. Note that halfway into the video, he does it, and that someone flicks his cheek, but he still keeps his mouth open. (It should have been a major hint that I'd have perennial problems getting him to close his mouth. Like mother, like son?)

Anyway, I get choked up watching this. The green and white striped shirt is the one I wore constantly while practically immobile on bedrest. When you see me tickling him on the changing table, it was one of the few times I was on my feet, and so I get teary-eyed remembering how God met me at the lowest of the lowest time in my life--with comfort from others, comfort from the moon, and most importantly, comfort from God alone.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Blogger I Like Already

To my fellow saints who enjoy good writing, great humor, and raw emotion, check out this blog:

Sit a Spell

It's the journey of a young American family on the cusp of their new life in Haiti as teaching missionaries.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook 8.13.10

Another entry in A Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...

The temperature has finally fallen to a comfortable 74 degrees. The night is black, like one huge pupil in the cosmos. From the woods behind us comes the familiar strains of a symphony of God's
critters. If you listen closely, it sure sounds like the woodpecker tapping on drums, frogs croaking on the tuba, insects shaking maracas, and some other unidentified musician whistling on the piccolos. Every night I get free admission to their concert under the stars, but they aren't playing for me. They are playing for God alone.

I am thinking...
about the brevity of life. The incredible sadness I felt when talking to my neighbor who lost his wife back in May. He stopped by to return a lasagna pan from mid-June and was telling us that he and his boys just got back from a cruise, trying to make new memories doing things Mom would not have done. She got seasick looking at boats. "Do you know how hard it is to find a way to tell people on the cruise, when they bring it up, "So what are you folks doing here?" and you stammer to explain, '"We're taking this cruise because my wife just died.'" But then he said, "The next day, one of the ladies from dinner said, in a most sensitive, caring way, 'Tell me about your wife'--and that was a God moment."

I am thankful for...
the young lady in Ben's life. Her name is Deirdra. She is a godly, sweet person, and easy to love.

From the kitchen...
I hear Stephen's keys jingling. He just came home from a jam session, carrying his djembe and cajone. I keep wanting to call him Al. Al Cajone.

I am wearing...
brown pants and a brown shirt with swirls on it. I look like a King-size Snickers bar.

I am creating...
nothing, really. Quite uncreative at the moment.

I am going...
to learn to love being a football mom if it kills me. And it very well could.

I am reading...
a Psalm a day
a Proverb a day
a chapter from Ezekiel a day (arduous reading, in my opinion)
a couple chapters of Hebrews every day, and
a missionary bio of Wm. Carey.

I am hoping...
to have walked 26 miles between Aug 6 and 26.

I am hearing...
Joel say (over and over) "Better not lay a finger on my Butterfinger."

Around the house...
scream projects I've meant to get to this summer.

One of my favorite things...
is flying. I get to fly to Kansas to celebrate my and my friend Barb's week-apart birthdays!!!! We've been friends for (achoo!) 38 years. Also I get to meet Laurie of Tulip in the Thicket in Kansas for the first time (though she already feels like a sister to me through bloggyville). I also get to meet Rachel from Home Sanctuary at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. She's going to bring me Texas BBQ during my lunchtime layover on the way back.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Saturday is unplanned. Yay!! Sunday we are celebrating my nephew Danny's master's degree in Special Ed/Severe Disabilities. He got a perfect score on his exam! Nearly the whole Zubrowski clan is descending on Danny and Lisa for a cookout.

A picture thought I am sharing...

for the sole purpose of self-abasement is this one...because how tempting to post only the ones that might elicit "what a great picture of you!" You can imagine who is cracking up while I'm in the middle of telling him to put the camera away now, that's enough pictures, don't you think? He was twisting the lens in his little hand like a true professional , just for the fun of it, while gathering a host of stares at PF Chang's.

Could I be any more photogenic if I tried?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Joel's Note-taking Initiative

Joel and I are reading a missionary biography called William Carey: Obliged to Go. We're mostly reading aloud, taking turns. But today he was on his own, I said, because I had read ahead at football practice, and now was too sleepy to listen.

I gave him 30 minutes (and he watches the clock, believe me) and said I would ask him questions about what he read, so as to be sure he was paying attention.

Before I dozed off for my nap, I smiled to see that he had grabbed a small notebook and pencil. Of his own volition! He was sprawled out on the family room floor, taking notes!

I awoke to find this scene, boy gone, precisely 31 minutes later.

Be still, my teaching heart.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Transforming Books

Once in a great while I have the privilege of reading a book that has lasting impact on me. It's one I want to recommend to any person who has expressed a genuine desire for a similar impact. Or maybe even more powerful than that--a transformation. It seems this kind of book crosses my path once every five years or so, but this summer it's like the Lord has put three into my hands, one after the other. This summer of great books, coupled with experiencing an emptier nest, has been like one long treatment of spiritual growth hormone.

I don't have time to blog about the books now, but stay tuned. The titles are:

1) Because He Loves Me, by Elyse Fitzpatrick;

2) Organizing for Life: Declutter Your Mind to Declutter Your World, by Sandra Felton

3) The Holiness of God, by RC Sproul

Reviews coming soon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Welcome Home, Kids!

The long-awaited moment finally came this past Sunday. Sarah and Stephen returned home from eight weeks away as camp counselors in the mountains of central Pennsylvania.

No one was more eager for their homecoming than I, their mom. (Maybe dad and little bro', too, but they kept their enthusiasm under wraps. being the cool Joes they are.)

In preparation, I asked Joel to make a sign, but I accidentally deleted the shot of him doing the work with markers and paper. I also accidentally deleted the picture of Paul doing the dad thing of noticing the Jeep's condition and saying, "Well, looks like we now have three vehicles needing new tires."

We swapped tight hugs with our precious offspring, and then Stephen presented Joel with a gift: a fart pen. It describes a multitude of natural gases that boys find uproariously funny.

Sarah then noticed the big bush of black-eyed Susans--Maryland's state flower--and wondered if it was new this year. No, it had just grown great-guns. Our state flower looks like a miniature version of the sunflower--the Kansas state flower--and I feel a constant connection to glorious memories of my beloved prairie days.
Anyway ,the driveway, front porch, and the golden flowers provided memorable backdrops for the occasion.

The kids freshened up from their long trek and we all went out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant to celebrate their homecoming. It was Stephen's birthday, so we tacked on a helping of fried ice cream for dessert, but since Ben wasn't here, we decided to postpone celebrating Steve's birthday until this coming weekend. He's hankering for Chinese after a steady diet of No Carb Left Behind .

I feel newly completed now. All my birdies in the nest. (If I was on Twitter, I'd tweet about it.)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Too Old for This

I thought choosing the homeschool curriculum for one third grade boy would be a cakewalk since I have nearly two decades of choosing it for three or more grades at a time.

Wrong! Somebody please hand a box of resources that all go with my teaching style and my child's learning style. I'll hand you $200 and we'll call it even.


Sunday, August 08, 2010

Happy Birthday, Steve! 19 on the 8th

My thirdborn is 19 today.

Here are 19 things I love, admire, and appreciate about him.

1. He has a passion for the Lord Jesus.
2. He loves to serve the Body of Christ.
3. He shows that love in myriad ways (see #4-18).
4. He walks and talks daily with God through His Word, the Bible .
5. He loves to read theology but not for the sake of head knowledge, but to help him
keep watch over his heart.
6. He always has a reason for the Hope that is in him. (If he'd been a girl, which I was sure while carrying him--no sonograms to prove otherwise, just a hunch--I was going to name him Hope.)
7. He can articulate himself well in speaking, in writing, and in nonverbal communication.
8. He prays diligently for people.
9. He is discerning.
10 He doesn't take himself too seriously, a noticeable trait through his often self-deprecating humor.
11. He uses his musical gifts on the drums at church and at camp.
12. He takes jobs no one else wants, especially guys--like teaching preschool phys ed.
13. He does what is asked of him, but usually takes the initiative.
14. He takes good care of his possessions.
15. He is a careful manager of his own finances.
16. He treats everyone with respect.
17. He puts people at ease with his smile and conversation.
18. He's a good listener.
19. He's a precious human being.

Stephen, I am so glad you're ours. And I'm so glad you're home from camp. I have missed you, son. Happy birthday .To God be the glory for these wonderful 19 years.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Friday, August 06, 2010

26 x 26

I'm a numbers gal. No, I don't[ mean I like math, but I like numbers for setting goals. I set my timer for housework, watch the miles on the trip meter in the van because I know my gas gauge is faulty and my tank stops at 347 miles. (Learned the hard way.) I use numbers when baking because the goal is a decent-tasting, presentable dessert. (Also learned the hard way.)

But mainly I use numbers when setting exercise goals. On the treadmill I change up the goals from distance to speed to time to incline or a combo thereof.

My current goal is to walk 26 by 26. That is, 26 miles total (closest whole number to a marathon) by the 26th of August (my birthday)

The track at the football field is about 1.25 and the walk to and from our car certainly brings it to 1.3. On Tuesdays, my friend Lauren has agreed to walk with me, and she is a duathloner, so she can push me to 2.5. (She could try to push me to 9.5, but I can push back:). I'm sure these numbers sound very lame to some of my fit readers, but let's just say they are baby steps for me. I want to have lost 10 pounds by my b'day, and have shed 2 this week already from walking.

Please say a prayer. In the past, I have set goals, started out great, and failed more times than I can count.

But I'm getting back up again.

26 by 26. And she's off!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Confessions of a Football Mom, Day Three: Sweat, Tears and Notes to Self

Thoughts and feelings:

Confused about how tight the uniform should be. Answer: tighter than skin so an opponent can't grab it. Okay, now it makes sense.

Anxious: that I'm being a bother with my many questions. Note to self: Next time you're in the know, or in charge of leading others, and others are clueless, remember this feeling and be patient, even asking them if they have questions. What comes as second nature to you may be putting them on the verge of tears or anger. Reassure them that trying new things is great, that we are all here for each other, that they are not being a bother with their many questions. Be available and stay nearby. Go out of your way to serve and take initiative. Don't assume that someone else will be there for them.

Having finally helped Joel change in the equipment shed into the exchanged pads, girdle, pants, and all--sweating from the heat and humidity and blood pressure from anxiety, I steered Joel to the field and told him to have fun. Then I spread out my blanket, began reading my magazine ,and nibbled on pistachios. I concluded this was going to take some getting used to. Not knowing what I'm doing. Not knowing anybody. Not having dinner at 7.

The woman next to me was sitting on a Target bag. No chair, no blanket. She had just finished complaining about her plight to someone on the phone. When she hung up, I asked her if she'd like to share my blanket but she said, "No, thanks.I'm okay." I felt slightly rejected, but decided to get over it. If she wanted to confine her hiney to a slippery square foot of plastic on a slope, fine. But it sure sounded to me like the better option would be to share a twin-size comforter away from chiggers and rocky grass.

Note to self: Next time you complain in a man's hearing (ie mainly your husband's), remember that his "solution" is meant as a help. Maybe all you want is to be heard. That's okay. But don't reject his solution out of hand or assume he's just trying to shut you up. He doesn't think like a woman or act like a woman. If he did, you would not have been attracted to him in the first place.

It was a beautiful evening and Joel was gaining a bit of confidence with each drill.

: A little 2-year-old girl was entertaining me as I watched her play on the hill. She would venture farther from her mom, enlarging the circle she was running. Her mom would say, "Honey, you need to come over here near me." And the tot said, "I'm okay, Momma. I'm okay." Yes, in her cuteness she was disobedient, and I was glad she wasn't my responsibility. She would've been taken to the van for some spanctification. And who knows? Maybe the mom will discipline the cutie pie later.

Note to self: Be grateful for the emotional security your older children have in saying, "I'm okay, Momma. I'm okay." Really, they are. They have the confidence to widen their circles, to lengthen their radius from Momma. You're watching from a distance and even when they're out of your sight, God is still watching them. When they disobey, He will measure out discipline.
My attitude: starting to see the "bigger picture" through this new experience. Seeing again my selfishness, self-righteousness, pride, insecurities, confidences,
ignorance. Realizing I am not as prone to trying new things as I thought I was. More understanding of what comes naturally to me does not mean it comes naturally to others. Realizing that almost everyone would rather be reached out to than do the reaching. We are fearful and selfish, or a combination of the two. Help me, Lord, to be different.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Confessions of a Football Mom, Day Two: While He Adjusts His Cup, I'll Adjust my Attitude

(And when I refer to myself as a football mom, it means only that I drive my boy to and from practice and sit there during. I know very little about the game. One of these days, I might be the lipsticked equivalent of a hockey mom a la Sarah Palin.)

-------Monday, Aug 2, 2010

Saturday they just needed helmet, mouthpiece, cup, shirt, socks, and shoes. Oh, and water bottle and medical form.

Tonight they need full gear. Mind you, I have always thought I knew what that meant, but now I think I need a checklist. I can never again say that a woman needs more accessories than a man. Never had I had to write a coach and ask, "Exactly what should be on his body when he gets to the field that doesn't have to be removed when you pass out the new 7-piece-girdle thing?" He is probably cackling at my email as I type this.

But perhaps this is where the humor ends. Truth told, I think I will need to adjust my attitude to the nuisance of a new schedule that hits us smack dab in the middle of dinnertime four nights a week during the summer, and then "only" three nights a week during the school year. I am so not ready for this interruption. It bothers me to think that one of the practice nights might be the same as our care groups and fellowship groups. If we skip either one, someone will be shortchanged. If I skip care group, no big loss for our group. Only I suffer. If Paul skips, however, the group goes without music. (Paul is our group's only guitarist and has been for some 13 years, regardless the number of group changes we've been through.) If we skip football practice, Joel will miss out on learning certain plays and probably won't get the full bennies of having "done the time" like the rest of the team. As a teacher, I can really see how missing out on even two hours of "coaching" a week can put a kid and the "class" at a disadvantage.

My attitude: I'm feeling incompetent about equipment, which means my pride is taking a hit. And rearranging dinner to feed Joel earlier and Paul later, and not sitting down together, is not sitting well with me . It's all about me, after all, isn't it?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Confessions of a Rec Council Football Mom, Day One: "Listen, My Son"

I am journaling my perspective through this new season of life called Rec Council Football for my 8 year-old.


Joel started football at the local rec council this past Saturday. He was excited, nervous, cute, and rarin' to go. The boy eats, drinks, and breathes the game of football. He knows the full Ravens roster, their jersey numbers, who's injured, who's not. The kid is a proverbial chip off the old block.

It was a beautiful day in Maryland, on the hill behind the equipment shed where evaluations were taking place. I loved watching my son and others' sons as they took tentatively but eagerly to the field. My heart was warmed by my husband and other dads who were bending halfway over to talk to their kid.

"Son, remember what I taught you." "Don't forget what we've been going over at home." It almost felt like holy ground, as if I could finish their thoughts with biblical promises, "that it will go well with you." My attitude was soft and peppy. Having Paul there meant I could relax, knowing that he was competent to answer Joel's questions. I thought of the single moms out there who don't have a man for their sons to turn to about guy things, a trusted father when they really wish they had a man to train and guide the young fellow. My respect meter shot WAY UP for them.

I introduced myself to one of the moms. Her son is quick and short, but robust and ready to tackle a Mack truck. I secretly hope our boys end up on the same team so that some of that Mack-truck confidence replaces Joel's timidity.