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Month: January 2009

B-Ball Blues

B-Ball Blues

Houston, we have a problem.

Jacob never wants to go to his basketball games.

Wants to stay home and do “arts and crafts” instead.

No, this is not Bill’s ideal scenario. Especially seeing how he is the coach and Jacob is his only son.

Now Jacob eventually does go and is totally fine….in fact, he scored his free throw today and pumped his fist in the air as if it were the deciding factor in the game.

But believe me, the second it was over, he was looking for the craft box.

He then proceeded to make me a Valentine.

And really… I see no problem with that!!!


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Flying WHAT?!?!

Flying WHAT?!?!

Brittany had allergy testing last week. 40 shots….I felt horrible for her. The tests came back that she was “moderately” allergic to many things. One grossed me out so badly I could hardly stand it.

Flying roach pieces.

I thought I misunderstood.

Flying what?!?

Roach pieces.

Are you kidding me?!?! That is one of THE sickest things I have ever heard.

So I asked…and how do they get into these “pieces”?

The nurse explained that roaches are often found in the walls of houses, schools, etc. They die and decompose and then the “pieces” become airborne through the ventilation system.

So much for the roach running across the floor being gross! Now their decomposing pieces are FLYING.

And to think that all these years I thought dust mites were a problem!

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Darla Stories

Darla Stories

A Few More Things I Thought Were Funny….

So, here’s what happened. The vote was just about even. And after my friend Beth pointed out that she thinks she may have coined the phrase “Darla Stories”, I had to go with that. But, being the people pleaser that I am :), I’ve decided to use both. So that way everyone feels like their choice won.

So, each week, there will be another edition of Darla Stories…A Few More Things I Thought Were Funny.

This week’s include:

  1. When Jacob’s pre-school teacher sent home a list of school supplies he needed, I mistakenly sent toilet paper instead of paper towels. To this day I don’t know how I mixed that up. I just remember the note saying…”Mrs. Baerg, Thank you so much for your contribution of toilet paper. The school however actually covers toilet paper, but we would appreciate it if you could send paper towels.” I was seriously embarrassed to go through carpool line for like 3 weeks….”hey, here comes the lady that sent TP!!”
  2. I had forgotten all about the above story until this week when I ran by the school to return 3 VERY overdue (like he left the school last May) books. Apparently the toilet paper story is now kind of legend around there.
  3. For Brittanys birthday party last week I was busy the entire day getting things ready. We were ordering Chick-Fil-A nuggets but I wanted to have some fruit to go with it. In my rush, I never made it to the grocery store. I told my sister it didn’t matter because I’d make Jello Jigglers. And right there on the Jello box it says….”cherry”. Cherry is a fruit, right?
  4. A few years ago several friends and I were going to another friends lake house. My friend Cindy offered to drive. She picked me up first so I was in one of the captains chairs in the front. It was late August so I was wearing shorts. We headed out of Houston towards Austin and I kept asking people if they were hot. Everyone was fine. First I just thought the car was hot. It was Texas and it was summer. I later began to think maybe I was in menopause or something – I was miserable. I was seriously BURNING up. Finally about an hour into our trip, I couldn’t take it another second. I asked if Cindy could please pull into a Sonic. It was Happy Hour (everyday at Sonic 2-4!) and a round of Diet Cokes would be on me if we could just stop. When we stopped I said, “I’ve got to get out of this car. I’m having a heat stroke.” And upon getting out, I noticed that the backs of my legs were beet red. “LOOK!!! My legs are burning in the car!” And it was then that Cindy said…..“Oh no! Your seat warmer is on.”

    Those are not however seat warmers. They are leg and seat burners and I am going to be driving myself in the future.

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Welcome Home Mr. President

Welcome Home Mr. President

I’ve put a lot of thought into writing this post. But I’ve decided I must, if for no other reason than for my children to someday understand that the world I grew up in was not like the world they live in today.

For starters, I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. I love my hometown and my home state, but the way I grew up was much different than most of my Texas friends and almost unimaginable to my husband. You see, he grew up with no more than 5 black students in his Minnesota high school….which was the largest high school in the state. And here in Texas, there are neighborhood schools….not the cross city busing that I was used to for the purposes of integration.

It wasn’t until I was 18 years old and went to Baylor University that I learned that my worldview was very different than many others. There was only one black student in any of my classes. She was beautiful and was in my tennis class. I called my dad and said…. “where are all the other black people?” I don’t remember his exact words but I remember something being said about public vs private schools having different ratios and how my upbringing was different than others.

Shocking to me. Shocking. Still to this day.

It took me years…well after my oldest started kindergarten to realize that not all public schools were more than 50 or 60% black.

But the diversity I encountered made me the person I am today. The diversity I encountered taught me a lot about the world, some good, some not so good.

On my first day at Little Rock Central High School (think Crisis at Central High), Dan Rather was in our hallway with a microphone interviewing students on what it was like to walk into school on the 25th anniversary of the school being integrated. 25 years…that was it.

I went to the assembly where the Little Rock 9 sat on the stage and shared how it felt to not be allowed to walk in the door. And I couldn’t imagine. (By the way, those same 9 were invited to sit in the Presidential box during the Inauguration.)

But I did know prejudice existed. Even within me. Like for example, Kevin Wilcox’s best friend was Elgin Clemmons. Elgin was probably the smartest boy in our class. Well spoken, articulate, funny…but he was black. Kevin had play dates with Elgin and I thought that was pretty radical and to be honest, I was a little jealous. I always thought it would be nice to have Jowanna over, but it seemed kind of weird for her to ride my bus. (Please note, my parents would have welcomed Jowanna into our home, I just never asked.)

But in some ways, I felt different than others. I used to feel awful that a boy named Victor got laughed at for the way he smelled. He was living with his grandmother and I wondered if he had a mom and a dad like I did if he’d smell better.

And to this day, I’ve never watched the epic “Roots”. I tried watching pieces of it, but when those slave owners took out the whip, it was more than I could handle. It was such an ugly piece of history and one I didn’t want to have images of in my mind.

And so, for me, I could not help but be moved when I saw Barack Obama inaugurated as President of the United States. Because it was historic. As he said, it’s a great country that “a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant, can stand before you to take a most sacred oath.”

And I think that’s cool. It’s cool for people like Elgin and Jowanna and Victor. It’s cool for the young people he has inspired. It’s cool that in a country where more young blacks are in prison than in college, there is now a new role model. I think it’s cool too that now it is the black man that the phrase “yes sir” is spoken to in the White House. Not necessarily by whom it is spoken.

Being moved by history does not make me a liberal.

But it does make me an American.

And of that, I am very proud.

My friend Sharon’s daughter recently had to interview someone on what it was like to live through the Civil Rights Movement. She chose my mom. My mom shared how she remembered the blacks having to walk past her school to go to their own and how they were made to sit in the balcony of the movie theater and on the back of the bus. And Andrea wrote this…”civil rights have come a long way in America. We no longer require Afro-Americans to sit on the back of the bus or in the balcony of a theater. Blacks vote, play sports, own businesses and now even hold the highest office in the land.”

And to that I say, “welcome home Mr. President.”

And so, to Caroline, Brittany, Savannah and Jacob…this is how his Inauguration speech ended…

“Let it be said by our childrens’ children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter, and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth the great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”

The future is yours.

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Gentle Landing…

Gentle Landing…

If you are anything like me, before EVERY flight, I pray one thing….. “Lord, please put your hands under the wings of this plane and put us down gently and safely at our destination.”

From the looks of this drawing, the artist pictured Jesus doing just that during the landing of the US Air Flight into the Hudson River. I love that visual so much!

Not sure what things are crashing around in your life right now, but remember…he’s got you in His hands.

 

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The Biggest Winner

The Biggest Winner

We are smack in the middle of basketball season right now. It’s my favorite sport to watch our kids play, mostly because you don’t have to bring your own chair. You also don’t have to worry if it’s going to rain, be too hot, be too cold…and I’ll tell you, having those bleachers in a warm building…it’s all good.

Currently we have 3 kids playing on 4 different teams. Caroline has transitioned from playing to score keeping…and I didn’t realize how much I’d miss getting to see her play. It takes some planning to coordinate all their schedules, especially with Bill coaching 2 of their teams and assistant coaching the other, but we love every second of watching them play.

The playoffs will be here before we know it and when that comes, it’s games every single night until you lose two games in a row. Double Elimination. Caroline has played in 2 different championship games over the years, and Brittany one.

Carolines first championship game though is the one I’ll never forget. We were playing on the “silver” level meaning we were the second tier of teams. As one parent put it…. “better to be a winner in the silver bracket than a loser in the gold.”

And here’s what happened:

We played against this one team during the regular season. I’m not sure who won or lost because Beth Moore (you know, the real one, who does all the Bible studies!) was there. My mom was there too and after quite the going back and forth session on “is it her, is it not?” we decided to ask….and sure enough, it was her. We have the picture to prove it. She had come to watch her good friend, Kendall Tate, play ball.

Kendall and her sister were on the same team and their dad was the coach. Now I know there are a lot of great basketball coaches, but he has to be one of the best. You see, he played Kendall. Didn’t seem to matter what the score was, he had her on the court. And you should have seen her teammates cheer. No matter what she did, from what I saw, it was all encouragement, all the time. Props to those girls as well.

You see, Kendall has downs syndrome (and I later learned has battled leukemia as well). She wasn’t a great player, but I don’t think anyone had a better time on the court than she did. She’d raise her arms to cheer when her teammates got a basket and she gave it her all on the court.

We met them again in the playoffs but like before, I can’t remember who won. When all was said and done though, it was their team that we would face off against in the final championship game.

And as much as I wanted our team to win, I wanted their team to win more. I wanted them to win as a tribute to that great family who signed Kendall up for basketball, I wanted them to win for that great dad that played her like a champ, I wanted them to win for those sweet girls on her team that patted Kendall on the back and cheered her on. And I also wanted them to win for our girls to see that there are lots of things in life more important than who wins the game.

And win they did. In a nail biting, down to the last second game.

And I cried.

But not because we lost.

But because, on that day, everyone won.

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Wedding Belles

Wedding Belles

So we took Brittany out for her post-birthday lunch today. She LOVES Mexican food and had picked “On the Border.” When we got there we found it had gone out of business. (I guess not everyone shared her enthusiasm for their food.) We headed over to Guadalajara instead….which ironically is where Bill, Caroline, her Grammy and Grandy, Aunt Deah and I ate the night before she arrived.

Somehow Bill and I started talking about paying for college, the economy… and then wedding funds. Bill, all impressed with himself, stated…. “I can’t believe it. I’ve already been saving for the girls weddings.”

When we inquired about the amount he had saved, Caroline announced that that wouldn’t even cover the cost of her DRESS. Granted, she is our child with designer tastes and a Target budget, but Bill almost choked on the amount she thought it would take for her ideal dress.

Now granted…there are still quite a few years left before we’re planning any weddings much less shopping for dresses around here, but, more than likely there will be THREE of them. I’m all about finding good deals and all, but I think Bill may have no idea what he’s in for.

Either that or the girls don’t.

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Beautiful Brittany

Beautiful Brittany

Brittany-

Today you are 10! Double digits, the big time.

Every parent says it, I know, but I truly don’t know how we got here. What I do know though, is that however we got here, you were bouncing along the way. You have been standing on your head, flipping over furniture, and doing cartwheels and flip flops in the yard for as long as I can remember.

And as much as you love your gymnastics, you also love the Lord. I’ll never forget the time we thought you had done something wrong. You innocently proclaimed…. “but I was just sitting on my bed reading my Bible!” Looking back, you probably were. You have a sensitive heart and even at a young age you seemed to understand God’s leading in your life. Your prayers are sweet and your heart is pure and it humbles me almost daily.

You are an on time machine. The watch on your arm is not an accessory… it is your guide through the day. Keep us on time little Brittany, keep us on time! By the way, this comes in especially handy with that roommate of yours…the sister you say is your “twin separated by 19 months.”

You need to know, the genorosity, kindness and love that you exhibit is not unnoticed. Daddy and I are so very proud of who you are and who you are growing to be. We love watching that smile on your face….and it cracks us up when you are dribbling down the court or racing in a swim meet…. and we hear others around us say…. “look at that little girl smiling”- little do they know you are always in it to win it.

You do what you love and you love what you do. And your smile is as beautiful as your heart.

Happy 10th birthday!

I love you,

Mom

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Today’s Forecast….

Today’s Forecast….

Today was an absolutely GORGEOUS day in Houston. It was sunny, 76 degrees, no humidity….crystal blue skies….and all this in January! I loved it! Everywhere I went I continuously marveled, “isn’t this a beautiful day?!”

And late this afternoon I called Bill at the office. He answered and I said…

“Quick…you have 30 seconds to tell me a day you thought was more beautiful than this one.”

I thought he’d say…”it is gorgeous, isn’t it?” or maybe “I haven’t been out yet.”

But instead, without skipping a beat, he said this….

“August 11, 1990.”

The day we were married.

And you wondered where Jacob got his smooth talking ways.

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A few more things I thought were funny…

A few more things I thought were funny…

O.K., so I’ve become something of a blog reader. People will send me some links and before I know it I’m caught up in reading about someone else’s life. One thing I’ve found out is that even the cyber world is small.

For example….I read my friend Molly’s (www.thedustbunnychronicles.blogspot.com) blog in Houston. It had a link on it to a Minnesota moms blog (www.mycharmingkids.net) who may now end up doing a family photo shoot for us sometime. I noticed a link on her blog to another blog (www.kellyskornerblog.com) of a mom in Arkansas that a friend in Tennessee had just sent me. Kind of complicated, but here’s the deal…these are all people from totally different walks of life, they don’t know each other…there’s no “common element” that links us…it’s just a small cyber world after all.

All that to say….a lot of these blogs have regular features….the Minnesota mom has “not me Monday” which is a day when she describes all the things she “most certainly did not do” which is a tongue in cheek description of things she can’t believe she actually did do. I think my contribution to the blogmunity is going to be this …..”a few more things I thought were funny.” Or maybe I’ll call it “Darla Stories”. A regular feature of things that just seem to occur in my life (on a regular basis I might add) that I think are funny.

Because, truth be told, funny things happen to me all the time. Some things that happen to me, really may not be that funny to others, but to me, they are. My mom has said before, in a lowered “mom” type voice….”oh Darla, that’s really not funny.”

Like the time I thought it was hysterical that I wet my pants while walking through Woodland Gardens Christmas Light Display. Bill said something really funny, I began to laugh…things began to, let’s say, leak and I didn’t want anyone to see. So I walked behind a bush which unbeknownst to me had a big light in it which then only shed lots more light on my predicament. Bill kept saying….get out of the light, get out of the light! which only made me laugh harder. So hard in fact that I could not walk. People were commenting as they walked by…”oh, that’s just awful”, etc. I had to ride back from Hot Springs to Little Rock wrapped in Bill’s golf towel. Like I said, this was one of those stories my mom definitely did not think I should be laughing about, but I’m telling you, I thought it was hysterical. (Just so you know, I have now had surgery to correct that problem….I highly recommend it).

And there are other things….I mean seriously, even a regular weekly feature might not cover it all, but here are just “a few more things I thought were funny….”

  1. That in an attempt to hide Bill’s Fathers Day present, I placed the gift – just for a second – or so I thought- on the hood of the Suburban. Forgot about it until late that afternoon. Somehow I then backed down our driveway, drove out of our neighborhood and merged into a major intersection without ever noticing that I had a CROQUET set sitting on the hood….looked like a giant hood ornament! The only way I noticed was that one of Bill’s friends was walking down that road and was pointing to the hood. I just thought he was waving so I waved back…being friendly and all. He kept pointing, I kept waving. Until I realized…the hood ornament….and then I began laughing so hard I could not drive. Had to pull over.
  2. That on my second week at HBU, I asked my class…”so, did the Huskies win the football game this weekend?!?” Bunch of blank stares until one student declared…”Mrs. Baerg, HBU doesn’t have a football team.” Note to self….get more familiar with the University.
  3. That once when showing an instructional video of an informative speech to my class, I said….”I love this speech, but don’t know why the guy gave it sitting down.” That is until another assertive student said….”uhm, Mrs. Baerg…he’s in a wheelchair.” Ouch….again, duly noted. (And I do realize that is really more embarrassing than funny…really embarrassing in fact).
  4. That I once had to go to a friends house to have her cut my hairbrush out of my hair…I foolishly tried to blow it dry and use one of those curling brushes. I mean styling the front is fine, but the back…forget about it. My advice….leave that to the professionals.
  5. That I had to go back to this same neighbor, scissors in hand, to have her cut 4 month old Caroline out of an “ill fitting” (read WAY too tight around the arms) dress. I was freaked that it was cutting the circulation off. Becky very calmly cut down the seam and extracted my baby from the dress (which was actually a dress my mom had sent me that I had worn as a baby). Honestly, I never even saw a seam. My only thought was to call 911.
  6. That at Brittanys basketball game on Saturday we could not find her jersey. It’s black and so I thought….no problem….I’ll just use a black t-shirt and tape her number (12) on the back. Unfortunately, the 2 looked more like the letter “z”. I knew it was bad when people began joking….”Foul on one-z” or then ,when she began playing really well, the crowd began chanting…”is, is, IS”. When Bill showed up (from another game) he took one look and said….”oh that’s just awful.” I’ve heard that before!

So, there you have it. A few “Darla stories”. Hopefully, some of these stories will make you chuckle. If nothing else, they may make you feel just a little better about yourself….you know….thankful that these things aren’t happening to you!

And finally, I would love for you to weigh in….”Darla Stories” or “A few more things I thought were funny”? You decide. And to keep a tally, please consider signing up as a follower, or just sign in, so that you can leave comments on this site. Many of you send me comments….which I love…..but you send them to my email or facebook address. (My friend Debra reports that “having this blog sent straight to your email is the way to go”. Your call. But here is your chance to get hooked into the blogmunity!

It’s easy! I promise….I signed Bill up.

And for me, I’m just gonna keep laughing….it sure beats crying!

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