Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Getting together for a good cause

As more kids enroll in college, I'm hoping every college is planning for more scholarships. Tomorrow, a group of home-business consultants will open up shop on the campus of Fort Valley State University to benefit the scholarship fund there.
You are familliar with the companies - Mary Kay cosmetics, Cookie Lee jewelry, PartyLite candles, Tastefully Simple foods, Pampered Chef kitchen products, Creative Memories scrapbooking supplies, and Weekenders clothing. You've probably even met some of the consultants who will be there. But this time, instead of working for a paycheck, the consultants will be taking home the hostess credit usually given away at home parties and giving their profits to the school. How cool is that?
So if you've the opportunity, stop by the C.W. Pettigrew Center on the campus of Fort Valley State University tomorrow between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Your purchase helps a kid (maybe yours) go to school.
Directions: IF TRAVELING NORTH: Take Interstate 75 north and exit at Perry/Fort Valley (Exit 136). Turn left at the end of the ramp and proceed about ten miles to Fort Valley on Route 341. Pass the Industrial Park and turn left on University Boulevard. Travel to the first stop sign, which will be State University Drive. Turn right onto State University Drive. The campus is on the right. The Pettigrew Center is the second building on the right. Enter through the first gate in the brick fence. Parking is in two lots behind the building (unless otherwise instructed by Campus Security).
IF TRAVELING SOUTH FROM MACON: Take Interstate 75 south, bypass Macon on I-475S, and exit at Byron/Fort Valley (Exit 149). Turn right at the end of the ramp and proceed eleven miles to Fort Valley on Route 49. Pass the Blue Bird Body Company and continue straight through the downtown area on Route 49/Camellia. Cross the railroad tracks and turn left on State University Drive. The campus is on the left less than one mile away. The Pettigrew Center is at the south end of the campus. Enter through the gate at the end of the brick fence. Parking is in two lots behind the building (unless otherwise instructed by Campus Security).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

a boy's "firsts"

I'll spare you the pictures, but we had a male milestone in our house Monday. Daniel got his first stitches.
Now, I know you mothers of girls out there are simply appalled, or laughing and thanking God you have little ladies. But mothers of boys are asking "how old is he? You made it that long?"
Because moms of boys and girls have different milestones to mark sometimes. I won't be waiting for the first time my daughter "becomes a lady" and I won't have to demonstrate feminine hygine products. But I will get to discuss how many broken bones, stitches, ER visits, etc. my son has had. I will go through first car agony in a different way, as well, I suspect. Because Daniel's first car is likely to be up on blocks getting rebuilt for a couple of years before he actually gets his driver's license. (Not all moms of boys go through that, but moms of boys and wives of old-car fanatics get SPECIAL treats.)
So, he ran into a tree (on foot - longtime readers will remember this isn't his first headlong pelt into a tree) and the school called for me to pick him up. Three hours in the MedStop waiting room (I've avoided the flu this long but I'm pretty sure I'm doomed by that one visit) and three stitches later, we have new bragging rights.
Ahh, the joys of boys.

Friday, February 15, 2008

To shield or not to shield

We had a very close call with Faith's beloved kitty, Xiang. Seems he was run over by a neighbor's car but managed to miss all four tires, tumbled a bit on the road before running off. As I searched for him for about 20 minutes, I agonized over how I would tell my daughter if he were dead. Thankfully, he was under a bush in our backyard with a stunned look on his face. Aside from not meowing for about a day, he only had a slight limp that quickly disappeared. Another neighbor up the street recently lost a cat that didn't fare as well with a vehicle encounter. Seeing the cat's body on the side of the road, I stopped and pulled him off onto the shoulder. I later stopped to ask the homeowner across the street if it was their cat. It was. They told their little girl who is about Faith's age that the cat ran away. They wanted to spare her the grief. People may think we're morbid, but we actually took Faith to her first funeral before she turned 3. A dear friend and surrogate grandmother died after battling cancer. During the later stages of her illness, Faith would crawl up into her hospital bed when we would visit. We were honest with her that she was dying. We were also open with her about my mother's illness and she took her death in stride. She probably handled it better than all of us. I'm not sure what the experts will say, but honesty has worked in our case.
- Liz

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Homework "help"

Daniel has already discovered that he can wheedle his way into getting me to help with his homework.
"I don't know how to do this, momma," he whimpers with those big blue eyes focused on me. "Will you help me?"
I usually just go over the directions and make sure he does the first one correctly before continuing with dinner prep. But then comes time to check the paper.
"Look at this one, this one and this one," I'll say.
He gets busy with the eraser and then works his wiles again. "How do I do this one?"
Usually, they are careless mistakes, so I get all stern and "you can do it" on him. But I know parents who hit their limit at about this point, and walk their child the rest of the way through to correct answers.
I'm still tough, though - if Daniel misses more than half of the problems on his first time around, I make an extra bit of practice up for him. (He hates it when I do that, but it's just the teacher in me.)
Here's my question: Is it more important to you to have your child turn in perfect homework - even if you have to provide some of the answers, or is it just important for them to have the practice and get MOST of it right on their own?

Friday, February 08, 2008

Consignment alert

A friend in the newsroom just asked about upcoming consignment sales and I do have dates from two of my favorite sales in Macon. Kidz Replay, which is located in the Riverstreet Corners shopping center next to Lipson's Fabrics, runs Wednesday and Thursday, March 5th and 6th from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., Friday March 7th from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and Saturday March 8th from 8 a.m. until noon when many of the items are half price. The following week, the Martha Bowman United Methodist Church will hold their Mothers of Preschoolers sale at Hephzibah Children's Home on Zebulon Road across from Lake Wildwood. It is open to the public Friday March 14th from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Saturday March 15th from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. which is also a half price day for most items. If you can't wait until then, my friend advised she got some really good deals this week at the Children's Friend Outlet Store at Tanger on I-75 North. Many of their winter items are reduced to just a few dollars or less. The consignment sales offer spring and summer clothing for boys and girls. Happy shopping and Happy saving!
- Liz

how do you handle it?

I was listening to Family Life Radio this week and a woman came on talking about a division between herself and the rest of her family because she's a Christian and the rest of them aren't. Her situation was pretty destructive.
There's a division in my family: it started when I married someone my parents didn't (and still don't) approve of. The hostilities have waxed and waned over the years, but they're still there - like an elephant in the parlor. Everyone's convinced he or she is right, and there have been periods of estrangement over it.
Here's my plea for advice: How do I fix it? How do I live with it? How do I share my son with grandparents who act like they hate his father? How do I ask my husband to share his son with people who seem as though they can't stand him? I know some of you have faced similar situations - maybe with an ex's parents. How did you handle it? I literally have nightmares about this part of my life.
And yes, the parties I'm talking about do read this blog. So it's not like we haven't all recognized there's an elephant in the parlor - holding a bazooka.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Things to make and do

Houston County parents are staring another week of school vacation in the face. Pick up a Family Fun magazine for a whole slew of things to keep the kiddies busy while they're off.
For example: It's not too early to get the garden ready for planting. They can dig around in the mud, clearing leaves and twigs and making rows for summer veggies. Or, just pick up some plastic pots and they can spend part of one day painting them, the next day filling them with dirt and seeds for window pots.
Spring cleaning anyone? I get the bug to rearrange furniture kind of often, so this weekend we'll be reformatting the living room. BUt Daniel's room has devolved into such a mess that I haven't even run the vaccuum in there for a couple of weeks. So come time off from school, guess which room we'll be tackling together? You can spend most of a day playing "try this on to see if it fits" and making a list of new summer clothes needed. And don't forget the teachable moment: too-small clothes and toys that haven't been played with in oh, a year, go to the charity box for kids who don't have good clothes or toys. Just don't turn that toy donation into a battle - if they insist they must keep it, insist they must play with it. Bang, another activity that'll keep 'em busy while you pay bills or organize your closet.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mom's mortal, too

It shouldn't take a brush with death to make us consider what would happen to our families if were were no longer there to take care of them. But as I experienced a severe allergic reaction and waited to see if I would be able to take my next breath yesterday, I kept thinking "Wait - they're not properly trained yet!"
Because that's what I've been doing. Training my son to live on his own, take care of himself, keep his own house. And, of course, at 5, he's not ready. But I'm not done training his dad, either. Dishes don't have to wait until you've exhausted every clean utensil, you shouldn't be out of clothes before you do laundry, and women need wooing - not just to get one, but to keep her. Of course, his heroics in the Taking Care of Me department yesterday earned him a lot of bonus points - metaphorically speaking.
But here's another question I am left with - do I have enough life insurance? And have I told the people around me about my wishes for final arrangements? Morbid, yeah, but also just being prepared.
The biggest question of course is: Have I told them how much I love them? And there can never be too much of that.