Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blogging Restitution

OK. Here it is. My admission of guilt.

I realize that I SUCKED at blogging last year.

Guilty as charged (Matt!).

So, I will do my best to make it up. A bit of Restitution, if you will. And, just like criminal restitution, blog restitution comes nowhere close to paying the actual debt. It's really more of a "thought that counts" kind of a thing.

Please take a look at the overly long Facebook Year in Review post. (Now is the time where I admit that post is completely for the scrapbook and admittedly not very engaging reading).

Anyway, take a look, and let me know which 2 status updates you would have appreciated more information on - like, it would have made a good blog post if I was actually blogging at the time.

I'll take the Top 5, and do an "expansion post" each day next week on them.

Choose your own adventure . . .

Monday, January 9, 2012

2011 - A year in Review - Facebook edition

• Snow Day! Or, more accurately, the roads are a hockey rink day. Thank goodness for an understanding boss, guys willing to pick up the slack, and the ability to work from home when I need to!
January 13, 2011 at 8:39am via mobile

• Excellent Jr. High Basketball banquet with Mr. Bickel last night. He had great things to say about each athlete. Chance's word for the night - RESPECTFUL. Toward coach, toward refs, toward teachers, toward other players. I could not have been more proud. He will get many athletic accolades in his lifetime - and I would gladly trade them all to know he is a young man on the right path.
January 14, 2011 at 10:46am

• Trying to listen attentively, but all I can think about is my Ikea wish-list. Couches are at the top of it. Fixins for the new bathroom not far behind. Maybe WE will just direct deposit my paycheck to Ikea for awhile.
January 20, 2011 at 10:40am via mobile

• Heading out with the team and the fam to the Gonzaga game. Should be fun - for the girls and us. Look out Spokane!
January 22, 2011 at 9:31am via mobile

• So, we spend a bit of money at Ikea on furniture, and fill the drive home with Dave Ramsey podcasts. Yes, we are weird. Livin like no one else.
January 23, 2011 at 10:02pm via mobile

• Chance - "So, Dad is 39, and his mom still remembers the exact minute he was born. I'm only 11, and you can't even remember what time of day it was? What kind of mom are you?????"
January 31, 2011 at 8:42am

• I can't watch The Proposal without wanting to move to Alaska.
February 6, 2011 at 1:09pm via mobile

• If memory serves me correctly, the last time I cut down a district championship net was 20 years ago - just about to the day! So proud of the girls and all the sweat and tears that went into tonights win. Way to go Lady Lions!!!
February 18, 2011 at 3:38pm via mobile

• Apparently, the stars are aligned: the laundry is caught up, even folded, and the taxes are done. Whew!!!
February 20, 2011 at 6:18pm

• "When God moves us out of our comfort zone —- into places that are way bigger than us, places that are difficult, hard, painful —- even hurt — this is a gift. We are being given a gift. These hard places give us the gift of intimately knowing God in ways that would never be possible in our comfort zones."

Trying to appreciate the gift . . .
February 28, 2011 at 9:18am

• ‎7 boys. 6 pizzas. 3 liters of soda. 12+ nerf guns. HELP!!!!
March 4, 2011 at 3:00pm via mobile

• Chance's latest at the dinner table - it IS considered good manners to rest your elbows, if you do it like this.

Yeah, right.

No, I'm serious! I saw it on Larry the Cable Guy.

Really? We're getting our table manner instruction from Larry the Cable Guy now? We're doomed . . . .
March 8, 2011 at 8:26am

• No Facebook for Lent. See y'all in 40 . . .
March 9, 2011 at 11:58am

• Phew! What a great 40 days! Ups and downs, for sure - missed seeing what everyone was doing, but it was great to be "really present" when I was needed, instead of phoning it in while in front of the computer. I tend to get a bit OCD.
April 25, 2011 at 9:12pm

• Baseball, more baseball, workin out of town, month-end closing, more baseball, piles of dishes and laundry, floorboard looks like a sunflower seed factory, oil change well overdue, snow tires still not switched back - and did I mention there's a bit of baseball in the mix? Livin the life.
April 27, 2011 at 8:34pm via mobile

• Never form your entire opinion around half the story - there's always another side.

May 1, 2011 at 5:42pm via mobile

• He's pretty sure it's the worst day of his life. Two more stitches puts him well ahead in the competition. God was with him for sure. Probably won't be upside down on those makeshift monkey bars for awhile ...
May 5, 2011 at 6:20pm via mobile

• Today, I'm happy to be right where I'm at. Glad to call many in the MLCA family my friends. Thanks for the love, prayers, and help - and a big thanks for the resident Doc in the stands! Colton is on the couch recovering with a McDonalds shake and some Hogs Gone Wild on t.v. PTL.
May 5, 2011 at 7:23pm via mobile

• Wow. 3 games today. Getting better each one. Finally got our first win in tonight's 8:00 game under the lights. 1 home run. 3 hits by pitch (1 bad one that had mom breathless). A few strike outs (can't win em all). Countless memories. Who needs Mothers Day Brunch?? Instead, we'll be back at it at 10:00 tomorrow. Wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
May 7, 2011 at 10:39pm via mobile

• Dodging the rain in Spokane, trying to get rid of a truck full of metal. Ugh.
May 14, 2011 at 10:53am via mobile

• MLCA Graduation. There's nothing like it. Personal. Inspiring. Heartfelt. Renews my faith in the goal. Thanks, 2011 Lions!!
June 4, 2011 at 5:33pm via mobile

• Baseball, sleep in, buttermilk pancakes, baseball, lunch and relaxing with Grandma D and Papa, baseball, birthday BBQ with the team, sleep in, church, baseball, lunch under a shade tree, then, you guessed it - more baseball. Life is pretty good.
June 12, 2011 at 4:52pm via mobile

• ‎1 classroom, 7 air mattresses, 1 cot, 10 basketball players, 1 ball girl, 2 chaperones, and I'm assuming 0 sleep. What was I thinking?????
June 16, 2011 at 5:36pm via mobile

• By my current estimation, the proverbial straw is but one or two away from breaking the back. Not sure how much more this camel can handle. Crappy thing is, it's going to be something seemingly stupid or embarrassing that puts me over the edge. Ugh.
June 22, 2011 at 9:59am

• Great weekend of baseball. I needed that. Friends. Cousins. Victories. Life Lessons. Hits. Strikes. Web gems. Errors. F. U. N. It's all good.
June 26, 2011 at 8:42pm via mobile

• Oh summer, where art thou? Down the road at 5:45 for basketball camp. Still waiting for the lazy days ...
July 9, 2011 at 6:23am via mobile

• My little boy off to camp all by himself this afternoon. By Matt's report, he headed to the meadow and never looked back. I guess it's true - it's a lot harder on mom than it is on the kid! Have fun, Colt!
July 10, 2011 at 7:32pm

• ‎4 days to go. I can survive anything for 4 days, right? Light at the end of the tunnel is really starting to shine.
July 11, 2011 at 5:03pm via mobile

• Colt comes home tomorrow. They didn't have to call me because of debilitating homesickness even once. Guess my little boy is growing up! Can't wait for all the camp stories!
July 12, 2011 at 10:57pm

• Purposely flying under the radar this weekend for some much needed home time. Matt is home 'til Sunday, and we are all enjoying some unscripted, unscheduled, non-expectation family time. Whew...
August 6, 2011 at 2:47pm via mobile

• Week 6 of 9. Ugh.
August 21, 2011 at 9:56pm

• Now there's the mark of a good birthday party. Pound cake, strawberries, bananas, cookies, gummi worms, cheetos, and even pepperoni pizza into the chocolate fountain. I don't think they'll sleep 'til Monday!
August 27, 2011 at 10:29pm

• This is going to be a heck of a week - I could use 2 or 3 of me, but I'll have to make do with 1, I guess. Here we go . . .
September 11, 2011 at 9:06pm

• Quote of the day - "Unless life also gives you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!" Glad I've got some sweet friends with enough sugar to go around!
September 13, 2011 at 2:12pm

• Made the boys' favorite - chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, and green salad. Lovin' this family dinner time.
September 28, 2011 at 7:29pm via mobile

• Issaquah. Rain. Salmon Days. Cold. Baseball via text. Tired. Ugh.
October 1, 2011 at 9:46am via mobile

• Undefeated regular season. Triple date night with good friends. Kids having a ball hanging out together. Relaxing lunch at "The Cottage". Grandparents supporting. Co-champs of final tourney. Fall Ball - life is good.
October 9, 2011 at 7:49pm via mobile

• Sometimes, it’s so not about how you feel. Not supposed to be. Sometimes, you just have to make a decision. A decision to do/act/respond in a way you know is right, regardless of how you “feel”. Today, I’m deciding, not feeling. Because I’m feeling cranky. Surly. Insecure. Tired. AGAIN. And I’m done with it – so I’m choosing something different for this day. I’m choosing what I know is right. My feelings better choose to follow. The train’s leavin’ . . .
October 11, 2011 at 11:06am

• Cooking, cooking, and more cooking. Trying to get the freezer ready for basketball season. Whew! 11 meals in the freezer. About 9 to go.
October 16, 2011 at 4:08pm via mobile

• Last campout of the season, here we come . . .
October 21, 2011 at 8:35am

• Not chasing your potential, but pursuing your calling . . . Hmmmmm
November 1, 2011 at 6:54am

• Hangin' with Colt today while the big boys go hunting. He says he's taking me on a date tonight - his plan: Michael's for dinner, Theater for a movie about fighting robots, and Dairy Queen for dessert - a dream date if I do say so myself!
November 5, 2011 at 10:24am near Moses Lake

• Stuffed! Apparently, even though we're "older and our stomachs are bigger " (per Colton), we can still only handle about 1/2 mile of a Mile High Mud Pie. Great date night with my young man. Blessed.
November 5, 2011 at 8:28pm via mobile

• Ups & downs today. Great first practice for the girls / hated missing Chances game. Good to still be needed when my boy doesn't feel well / hard to watch him struggle as he makes a good decision to still get homework done in spite of it. Worked through the laundry pile and a made the boys a dozen breakfast burritos / 4:00 is gonna come WAY too soon. Ups & downs.
November 14, 2011 at 9:36pm via mobile

• Two hour delay. Papa Chuck's buttermilk pancakes on the griddle. Cup of coffee with my boys. Oh, this has gotta be the good life.
November 17, 2011 at 8:52am via mobile

• Phenomenal church service. Stew in the stove. Salmon in the smoker. Many pounds of jerky smokin below the salmon. Football on the screen. $200 saved on the coupon trip. That's the makings of a fantastic day right there!
November 20, 2011 at 5:12pm via mobile

• Trans-Siberian Orchestra!!!!
November 25, 2011 at 3:53pm via mobile

• Chance's character word for Jr. High B-ball banquet = "Fun-Loving". Working hard and doing what has to be done, both on the court and in the classroom, with a smile on his face. Love it. Anyone who has been around me for the past 6 months knows he did not inherit that trait from me. Oh well, glad he's able to see the positive!
December 2, 2011 at 6:50am

• Tough practice tonight. I still remember my playing days enough to know which side I would've fallen with tonight - and some days I would have been running and sucking wind right beside them. Most days, though, I would have jumped at any challenge. I have a few practices that I'll always remember from when I played - I'm guessing this will be one of those for lots of us. Hang tough, ladies. Go Lions!
December 5, 2011 at 9:01pm via mobile

• ‎18 years ago this week, my persistent husband ignored my declaration of "don't call me until March, I'm concentrating on basketball and don't need any drama". Instead, he took me out to look at Christmas lights. So, so thankful for his persistence! Love you, babe!
December 7, 2011 at 7:22am

• ‎15 years ago today, in the biggest snow-storm Moses Lake has seen in the years before or since, I married my very best friend. What a day! I could not have imagined then how much I love him now. Happy Anniversary, honey!
December 7, 2011 at 7:24am

• ‎5 years ago today, we were celebrating 10 years with a horse-drawn carriage ride to see Christmas lights and decorations in Seattle. What a guy! Wonderful memories of a fantastic and nostalgic evening.
December 7, 2011 at 7:26am

• Here we are today, 15 years of marriage, and I'm back to saying "can we think about celebrating in March, after the state tourney . . . I'm sort of concentrating on basketball right now." What a patient man I've married. How about we just have dinner at Michael's and go look at some Christmas lights, Matt Messer?? ♥ you!
December 7, 2011 at 7:28am

• Trying to keep it all in perspective, as we enter the busy, busy week before Christmas. It's not about me. It's not about now. It's not about presents or lists or lights. It's all about God. His son. His glory. Striving for a week filled with family, peace, humility, and joy. Merry Christmas!
December 16, 2011 at 10:57am

• Friday night basketball, team breakfast and film time, Christmas baking, church, Bronco football, tree trimming, soup simmering on the stove, "crack bread" in the oven, presents to wrap, crafts to craft. Family time. I'm lovin' it!!
December 18, 2011 at 5:49pm near Moses Lake

• Came home today to a clean house, dishes done, laundry caught up, and folded, with dinner in the works. Wow! I know I haven't been that good this year :). I just have the best husband. Thanks, babe! — with Matt Messer.
December 23, 2011 at 9:36pm via mobile

The lighter side of the fine line

Of course, in the path between fact or fiction, when dealing with Colton, there are always some quotable quips.

As we sat down on the couch, and it began to become clear to Colton that we somehow knew about his playground antics (keep in mind that no one had told a teacher [hindsight - because there really wasn't anything to tell], and there were only 4 students present), he had a few questions of his own . . .

Colton, through tears, after being asked AGAIN to tell his side of the story - "I just have one question for you guys, and I hope you don't get mad at me. But how do you guys even find out about this stuff??"

Then, as we are a bit further into the "interrogation", I ask Colton if he could think of any reason why this girl wouldn't be telling the truth.

Colton - "I don't know! Based on my experience from being in their class last year, they are generally very honest people."

And then, when attempting to extract what "very mean" name he had called them . . .

Colton - "I don't want to tell you! I know I'm going to get in a lot of trouble. Like you might send me to my room for a week and not let me out or ground me for months or something!"

So, so hard to keep a straight face when disciplining Colton. Thankful for the ability to get through the situation and look back with some humor. This kid's gonna keep us guessing, that's for sure!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's a fine line

I love the times when I'm able to look at current areas of my life with enough perspective to see and appreciate the lessons that God is putting in front of us.
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As is usually the case, our lessons this week are coming via one of our boys. Surprise, surprise!
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I was approached at church on Wednesday by a mom very concerned with a playground incident involving Colton and her daughter. At first, as she was describing the incident, I had no trouble imagining Colton at the scene of the crime in the manner indicated. Though I didn't condone his actions, they didn't surprise me, either.
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When she went on to talk about him pushing her daughter, though, my mommy radar went up a bit.
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We have, since the boys were very young, instilled in them at every opportunity that "Messer boys don't hit girls". Not when provoked verbally. Not when provoked physically. Messer boys do not hit girls.
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So, my mommy radar went up, and I found myself thinking - "This just doesn't sound like Colton."
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Here's where the lesson part comes in.
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I squelched it. I pushed my mommy radar down until I could feel the anger of the other mommy, and I had summoned my own anger at my son for doing something he knew was very wrong. For the whole 20 minute ride home from church, I talked very little to the boys, and allowed that anger to bubble and boil.
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And when we got home, I quickly called both Matt and Colton into the living room to address the situation.
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I ask Colton what happened on the playground. I ask if he did anything wrong.
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He says he doesn't want to talk about it.
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"Ha!" I thought, "further proof of his apparent guilt."
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It took some pretty serious interrogation techniques on Matt's part (and approximately 20 minutes) to start to reveal Colton's side of the story.
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He was crying. He felt guilty. He knew he was in trouble.
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But, at the end of the tears, the questions, the hugging, the sobbing, I finally started to realize something. My son felt terrible - but not for the reasons indicated by the other side of the story.
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He felt terrible for calling a little girl what he thought was a very mean name (a fool), and for kicking her soccer ball away so she would get out of the way of him and his friend trying to play Star Wars.
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And the mommy radar that I had squelched rose back up.
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I called a teacher at the school, who is the mommy of one of the other students present at the incident, to verify Colton's story.
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He was telling the truth.
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Because of my staunch determination to not be "That Mom" who thinks her kid does no wrong, I missed a perfect opportunity to advocate for my child.
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I realize that Colton doesn't know the difference at this point. Because he knows he did something wrong, and he doesn't know that my anger was directed more at something he didn't do at all.
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But I know the difference.
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I know that God has given me these two boys only for a short while. I am charged, along with a wonderful and loving husband, with raising them to be Godly young men. I am their advocate. Sometimes, we will be their only advocates.
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There will be days ahead when they will attempt (and sometimes succeed) to deceive us regarding their less-than-desirable actions. It will be our job to search out the truth. To squelch the automatic desire to believe that our children can do no wrong.
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And, there will be times when the other side of the story goes so against what we know of our sons' character, that we will be called to step up and advocate for our boys.
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It's a fine line.
I pray the Lord helps me find the right balance, each and every time. And, I am thankful for this fairly innocuous example to teach me that I need to be aware of my role as my son's advocate.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Family Pics 2011

My boys with their little cousin, Angus
Man, I love this guy
A couple handsome little punks
Our family
My siblings

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 - Year in Review

New Year's Day at Triple Play * High School Girls' Basketball * Seattle Meetings * Matt Turns 39 * Wilbur Ellis Grower Meeting * School Board Retreat * Basketball Playoffs * Baseball Work Day * New Baseball Field at MLCA! * Tourney Team Tryouts for Chance * MLCA Crab Feed * Heather working in Odessa * Matt and Heather to Las Vegas! * Spring Break * WSU Craft Fair * Cal Ripken Baseball for Chance & Colton * JDE Training * School Board Meeting * Easter * Achievement Testing for Chance & Colton * MLCA Baseball * Messer Boys Spring Fling to Seattle * Spokane Garden Festival * Baseball Tournament * Boys' Fishing Trip * Heather Turns 37 * Colton turns 8! * Outdoor School at Camp Ghormley for Chance & Matt * MLCA Spring Concert * Sun Lakes Camping Trip * Minute to Win It! * Baseball Tournament * MLCA Graduation * Basketball Camp - Chance * Baseball Tournament * Basketball Camp - Colton * BNB Basketball Camp, Kellogg - Heather * Baseball Tournament * Spotter School in California - Matt * Baseball Tournament * Cal Ripken State Tourney * Baseball Camp - Colton * BNB Camp Soap Lake - Heather * Baseball Hitting Clinic - Chance * Cape Disappointment Vacation * Hiking * Tidepooling * Exploring * Feasting! * ERAD * Grandma D comes to help for the week * Baseball Tourney * Richland Allied Arts Show * ERAD * ERAD * Wilbur Ellis Summer BBQ * Baseball Tourney * ERAD * Chance Turns 12 * Olympic National Park Camping Trip * ERAD * Fall Ball Tryout * ERAD * Back to School * Chance - 7th * Colton - 3rd * Cabin Camping * ERAD * Fall Baseball * ERAD * Grid Kid Football * ERAD * MLCA Auction * Warden Homecoming Food Drive * Issaquah Salmon Days * Seahawk Football for Chance with Uncle Mike * Dinner Out on the Town in Bellevue * Y'All Got Hoodies? * School Board Retreat * Fall Ball Playoffs * Family Picutres * Wilbur Ellis Pumpkin Patch * Cabin Camping * MLCA Middle School Basketball * MLCA Harvest Party * HS Girls' Basketball * Thanksgiving at the Ark * Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Spokane * 15th Wedding Anniversary * MLCA Christmas Program * Colton solo as The Scientist * Wilbur Ellis Christmas Party * Chance's first "Finals Week" * Christmas Break * Christmas Eve at Grandma D & Papa Chuck's * Our First Christmas Dinner at Home * Christmas Celebration with the Hulls * MLCA Christmas Tourney * New Year's Eve with Johnston's, Cooper's, and Redmonds
Whew!
What a year!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dinner Question - Up a Notch

So, how do you create more interesting dinner conversation?

Ask dinner questions.

How do you take it up a notch from that?

Add more kids. Their answers are always the most fun anyway!

On Friday, when our house was all but overrun by boys, we paused between bites of pizza and asked a dinner question.

What is one thing you want to try, but haven't yet?

Braden - Ice Skating

Grant - Fly a fighter jet

Chance - Skydiving

Ross - Throw a boomerang. In Australia.

Brad - Kiss a girl
  • You mean you haven't?
  • What were you doing behind the school the other day, then?
  • How do you know what goes on behind the school, Chance???

Jace - Fly an airplane

Eric - Jump off the Eiffel Tower

  • Like bungee jump?
  • Nope, just jump.
  • You gonna have a parachute?
  • Nope.
  • Just gonna splat?
  • Well, maybe I'll try and land on a trampoline or something.

Colton - Join the army

We had a fun group of kids, and a fun time! They were all good sports, not minding indulging us in our dinner tradition. Gotta admit "kiss a girl" from Chance's best friend has this mama a little worried. I'm not ready for this!!!