Friday, May 29, 2009


My summer started today at 1:00. It could not have been a more beautiful day, either.

I've always loved the summers. Growing up in Hugoton, my sisters and I walked, rode our bikes, and skateboarded all over town. There were a few summers, when Lisa was still little enough that she rode on the back of Mom's bike, that I remember taking family bicycle rides. Dad would head up the group while Mom brought up the rear. We had a specific path through town that we took. I loved those rides. Dad always started a game of tag with us older girls. It made Mom so nervous to watch us swerve at each other.

As I got a little older, I remember waiting patiently for 2 o'clock to roll around so I could go to the pool. We were there almost everyday all day. We had this pea green Ram Charger (we could remove the top) that was Mom's summer ride. It had a roll bar so it was also the sand dune cruizer. I'm not sure why my Dad and his friends thought it fun to see who could climb the steepest dune!

In junior high I got my learner's permit. I can very clearly remember that first summer of driving--Ranae and Tammie were in town and Footloose was the HOT soundtrack of the summer. Any time I hear one of those songs, I think of grinning at my cousins while getting used to being behind the wheel!

High school summers included babysittng the Crawford boys and swimming. Little Brett and I had lots of fun! Of course, going to the pool in high school had absolutely NOTHING to do with swimming. My best friend, Julie, also babysat. We always coordinated our schedules to do things together with the kids.

Summers in college were busy with classes. I was in a hurry to get out and get a job so I always enrolled full-time and worked. However, Heath and I found time to go to the Hays neighborhood pools quite often--followed by a Sonic drink or a TCBY yogurt. I also always took 2 weeks off to go home and see my folks and Lisa for a while.

After my first year of teaching, I remember the exhileration I felt when the realization hit me that I had 3 months with my son! Todd and I were married the previous March and right at the beginning of the summer we found out that we were going to have a baby. That was a special summer. A summer that was just focused on Heath (and our new puppy, Tandy). In Healy there was a small community pool that we paid to use. Plus we spent many evenings watching Heath pick dandelions in right field.

Summers in Tribune were very busy. The kids were growing and our family was growing. I actually managed the pool the year I was pregnant with the twins! Tana was 3 and could swim like a fish...a dark little blondie! We always had to take Barbie along with us to the pool. Later in Tribune, we bought a bigger house right across the street from the pool. It was heavenly! We had a big, beautiful and shady back yard where we spent most of our time. Summers in Tribune were filled with bike rides and long walks in the evenings.

At first the walks included a double-stroller, but as the years went on we watched our kids move to bikes with, and later without, training wheels. They love telling the story of Mom hitting a pothole and going over her handlebars before landing on the pavement with road rash from my toes to my forehead. They think it is so funny that I lost my little front granny basket during that fall! I proved my toughness by finishing that bike ride even though I was a bloody mess.

In Salina we live by a dike that has a walking trail on it. That 2-mile long trail see us come up and down almost every evening--usually with the little ones on their bikes. The second summer we were here, Heath and I wore ourselves out with daily workouts as he was getting ready to go into the Navy. Our pool adventures now typically involve a drive to a nearby town to play at an aquatic center.

I'm so excited for a new summer with my children and the warm sun. I look forward to the upcoming adventures we will take and the memories we will make.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Funny Things My Kids Say--Part 5

One day this past week I had to leave the house early for a meeting. I'm very blessed to have my sister, Casy, living only about 2 blocks away and she agreed to help me out by getting my 10-year-old twins, Andy and Annie, to school for me.

After loading them in and buckling up, they headed down the road with "Ring of Fire" playing on her stereo. This recording artist helped make up the soundtrack of our childhood. If you've read my other posts, you know that there are several. She decided to quiz my children to see if I've been raising them properly to recognize his voice.

She turned up the song and asked, " you know who this is?" Andy said, "I know this one!" Then he got a look of concentration on his face as he tried to think of the name. As they drove further, Casy asked again, "Who is it?" Andy answered again that he was sure he knew, he just needed a few minutes to think! Annie, on the other hand, sat quietly just listening to the music and contemplating the question. A little closer to school Casy offered, "I'll give you a hint. His initials are the same as Jesus." Andy was so frustrated that he couldn't think of the name!

As they pulled into the parking lot, Casy exclaimed, "It's Johnny Cash!" Andy replied, "Oh Yeah!" while Annie finally piped up with "What is Jesus last name?!"