Thursday, April 17, 2014

Breakfasts with My Boys

For months, I’ve intended “at some point” to spend one-on-one time with each of my boys on a regular basis. The thought was that, once a month, I could devote an hour or two to some simple activity or outing where I get to hang out with each kid as an individual. When I recently went with Eddie to Donuts with Dad Day at his school, I decided that should count as the first such outing. Thus, about a week later, I took Peter out in the morning. Peter didn’t like my initial suggestion of grabbing a bagel. He wanted McDonald’s. So, that’s what we did. For fun, we went to a McDonald’s that’s slightly more out of the way than others. Once in a long while, as a family, we’ll go out for a McDonald’s breakfast. When we do, the kids usually want pancakes and chocolate milk. This time around, I asked Peter if he’d like a breakfast that came with pancakes, hash browns, and scrambled eggs. He said he would, so I ordered him the “Big Breakfast with Hot Cakes.” It also came with sausage and a biscuit. I didn’t know if he’d care so much about those, but he went to town. Peter is a boy who sometimes doesn’t eat in the mornings because he just doesn’t feel like it. Maybe he’s just not a fan of the stuff we have at home, because apparently he can fit a decent amount of food in that tummy of his. Peter ate all three pancakes, the entire sausage patty, the entire thing of hash browns, most of the eggs, and a good chunk of the biscuit. It was a lot of fun to hang out with him, even if McDonald’s was incredibly slow about getting our food. At least it extended our outing. I took a low-quality picture on my cheapo cell phone. Here it is:

Within a few days, I also went out with Creegan. I had to take back some library books in the morning and Creegan was being a little terror at home. My initial plan to take Creegan was just to get him out of the house for Melanie’s sake, but then I figured I might as well turn it into an official outing. And so, I drove to the library, dropped off some books, then headed to a Circle K, where Beegy and I each got a fountain drink. (His was much smaller than mine, don’t worry.) We then headed to Panera. Creegan was an easy sell on that one. He likes the chocolate chip “muffies,” which are basically cookie-shaped tops of muffins. We went through the drive-thru for that. When I first proposed going through the drive-thru, Beegy was not a fan. He wanted to go inside. I protested, and he quickly agreed to the drive-thru, although he first attempted a compromise that involved going through the drive-thru and then going inside as well. I squashed that idea.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of my outing with Beegy, but here’s a recent photo of him showing off in his new post-potty-training undies:

Monday, April 07, 2014

Bad News, Good News, Bad News, Good News, Good News, Good News, Good News

Yesterday’s post admittedly favored a pessimistic outlook on life. I thought I should try to balance things out a bit. Here goes.

BAD NEWS! Life has been so busy lately that I’ve literally gone a few months now without playing piano at all. This was such a source of joy to me, and it’s falling by the wayside! No!

GOOD NEWS! The stench in my school office from a dead rodent has, after two weeks, been remedied! Yes!

BAD NEWS! Peter puked in the night on Saturday night. Messy!

GOOD NEWS! I’ve had lots of positive family time lately. Last week, Eddie’s school had “Donuts with Dad Day” (or something like that). I took him to school in the morning, where they had free glazed donuts from Krispy Kreme. I was then able to go in his classroom with him and watch the morning school news. Eddie was really excited to show me his classroom. It was fun. Then, on Saturday night, Eddie’s school had a bunch of activities for families, including showing the movie Despicable Me 2. It was supposed to take place outside, but rainy weather messed that up. Still, we had a good time. And finally, on Sunday afternoon, Melanie and I took the boys to a park. These are simple things, but they are often what make life seem worthwhile.

Ready to head out for Donuts with Dad Day.

GOOD NEWS! Creegan is being potty-trained. Or, he already is, I guess. After day one, Creegan has not had any daytime accidents. He’s even been going #2 without a problem. In fact, the first time he went #2 in the toilet, he didn’t even tell anybody he was going to do it. He just left the room, and after a couple of minutes, Melanie went to check on him, only to find him attempting to wipe himself with toilet paper! Impressive!

GOOD NEWS! The disappointments of Saturday’s sessions of general conference did not extend into Sunday’s sessions, which were largely positive and centered on love and testimonies of Christ. I credit both the highs and lows of conference as stirring within me a recommitment both to making this church the best it can be by being a constant source of love within it, and to strengthening my personal relationship with God. I can only do what I can do, and I will do my part to add only good things to the mix.

GOOD NEWS! Last Thursday, Melanie and I were invited, along with several other likeminded people, into the home of an awesome and gracious woman from our church. Children played, adults commiserated, and good food was had by all. I’ve really made some wonderful connections over the last year or so, with neat and loving people both near and far, and the circle continues to grow. I am grateful for these things.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Good News, Bad News , Good News, Bad News, Bad News, Bad News, Bad News

GOOD NEWS! Melanie celebrated her birthday last week! We had a ton of fun. I hope to write about it in more detail in the near future.

BAD NEWS! Something died in my office at school, and it has reeked to high heaven for a couple of weeks now! Gross!

GOOD NEWS! I’ve agreed to be a blog manager for Exploring Sainthood. This is a project I care about, and I’m grateful to be able to contribute to it in a more significant way. Here’s hoping I can help it flourish!

BAD NEWS! The job I was really excited about and that I thought I’d be perfect for? They rejected me! Where will I be in a few months from now? Literally, no clue whatsoever!

BAD NEWS! I went into general conference weekend feeling excited and hopeful that I would feel spiritually nourished. Instead, I have been met with many messages of distrust, dismissal, and dogmatism. I know many people who are hurting because of what they are hearing from the pulpit.

BAD NEWS! Our water heater is broken! No hot water whatsoever right now!

BAD NEWS! Our car ignition was messed up and had to be replaced this week! Goodbye, hundreds of dollars! At least all of our car door handles are working properly! Oh, wait! Not a single one of them is!