Friday, June 16, 2006

Life Lessons from the Mavs

Last night was just sad....and wrong....and sad.

I don't know how, but somehow, after arriving in Miami, the Dallas Mavericks were abducted by some alien mother-ship and replaced by some team that has never played professional basketball. They may not have even seen a game before! It's the only explaination I can come up with. I have been watching the Mavs all year and have not seen a game and a half that have been so dismal, so it's very suspicious. Maybe they are being drugged...or they have amnesia...

Win or lose, I am still a fan. I am not one of those fans that goes whichever way the wind is blowing. (I would have given up many years ago!) That is why I am so sad for them. I somehow relate to their plight. I know that at this point in the season, it is largely a mental game. These Mavs need some Attitude Adjustment!! I know Avery is very capable of helping them with that, but it is still up to the individual players and the team as a whole to get themselves back in the right mind-set. They need to remember who they are and how they got to this place. They have all the talent they need to get right back in this series and win it all and I believe they can.

Hmmmmm.....sounds like life, doesn't it? No wonder I relate. God has given me the talents, the gifts, the provisions I need to live a victorious life. I have it all!! He's done it all already -- it's a mental thing (heart thing!). Jesus gives me all the encouragement I need. He has the game plan. But it is still my heart that has to be changed and given over completely to Him in every situation. Sometimes (especially when I have had a few set-backs) it's a struggle to stay with the "game plan" and I become overcome with self doubts and forget that I'm completely equipped to be victorious. I forget how I "got here." God is not a "fair-weather" god....he will stick with me through all the disappointments and setbacks and will continue to cheer me on and believe that I can do it!

Just as I usually get re-focused and am reminded of all the things I know are true about the situation, I believe the Mavs will do that as well (or the mother-ship will return the "real" Mavs!!!). I just hope it isn't too late for this year : )...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My Man

I'm home today teaching my kids how to spell new words, discovering common denominators in fractions, practicing handwriting, etc. We just had a lunch break and I baked some cookies for them. This afternoon we will gather up some good books and spend some time reading. It may not sound great to some of you, but to me it sounds wonderful. All our days are not perfect, but I am so priveledged to be able to be here with my kids.

My hubby is out driving an appliance parts delivery truck from Lubbock to Midland/Odessa in the 100 degree heat today. (Those of you who have ever driven that route or anywhere in this area of Texas will understand the sacrifice I am trying to convey.)

We don't own our own home. We drive an older mini-van (one vehicle working). We do without a lot of things that we want. Things have not always gone the way we thought they would in our life, but one thing is for sure: I am married to a real MAN. He works hard. (Right now he is working two jobs that are not in his field and pay little, but he never complains and always gives his best effort.) He does this because he loves us. He is a man of incredible faith and transparency. He is honest and ethical to a fault. He's a wonderful dad who will patiently listen to our son talk endlessly about a gameboy game he's in the middle of and even play with him so they can converse about it. He sits with my daughter and they have these great, deep theological discussions that amaze me. He's exactly what I wanted in a dad and didn't have. I think my kids are blessed....they do too! He's not perfect, but that wouldn't be any fun, would it? He stands his ground that we must have time together as a family without getting so caught up in the craziness of activities that keep us apart.

He helps with laundry, pitching in with other stuff around the house that I haven't gotten to yet. He puts up with me!!! He's a wonderful husband who loves me even when I'm not particularly lovable and for that I am forever grateful. He is romantic and thoughtful. He has become a sports fan because it is part of me....not because it means that much to him. (Don't get me wrong, he enjoys it, but it's not his big thing.)

He's fun-loving and likable. He's got a great sense of humor and our friends obviously enjoy him. He always gains the confidence of his fellow workers. They see him as someone they can come to with questions of magnitude and problems. They respect him, but also feel very comfortable joking around with him. His employers always think highly of him. He's kind, sensitive and very strong. He's patient. I often want to rush in and do/say things that I "feel" and his wise, quiet, peace-loving counsel saves me!! (Even though it irritates me at the time!) :)

I can't tell you the love I feel when I walk in to a room and find him sitting quietly with his Bible (and most of the time he's not studying for an upcoming test, paper, sermon, etc. ). His love for God and His Word inspires me and humbles me. He's such a thinker! I want so much for him to be in a situation where his gifts, talents and dreams can be used to inspire as many others as possible.

I love you, honey, and appreciate all that you do to take care of us! I am so blessed to be able to call you MY MAN!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Pyro-Mom & The Mountain Vacation

We had a lovely surprise late last week. My mom and a friend were planning a weekend getaway to Ruidoso, NM but, fortunately for us, the friend had family stuff come up and had to back my mom called and invited us to go with her. (I won't complain about being at the "bottom of the list" here, it's not the first time and won't be the last AND, hey, IT IS A FREE TRIP!!)

Hubby couldn't go (he had to stay here and work) but the kids and I threw stuff into a suitcase and took off. We ate lunch in Roswell, NM, which the kids got a big kick out of....alien stuff everywhere. It was really quite entertaining. We just stopped at the McDonald's that looked like a spaceship. The kids had to go check out the play area (even though they are getting a little big for that -- this one was different and so they had to at least go in once.) By the time I got our food and met them, they were coming to me with bewildered looks on their faces & both talking at once. My son had put his brand new flipflops in the shoe area and when he came out (maybe 5 min.) his shoes were gone and another pair were there....older, worn and a little smaller! GRRRR! Curses on those aliens! It's not such a big deal (they were cheap) it is just irritating. In all our years of playland experience, this was a first. Strange, strange little town.....

I have to put in a plug here for my kids getting older. As much as I wanted to keep them little forever, there are sure advantages to their aging! Traveling with them now is really a joy. We had a lot of fun. They entertain themselves well these days : ) They "get" jokes and even make them themselves, they read signs and are interested in tidbits of information! Wow, I wasn't sure this day would ever arrive when they were little and we had to change diapers often, pick up endless pacifiers & drink cups off the floorboard, listen to miles of crying, etc. Now the conversation is delightful (for the most part) and there wasn't one crying jag or dirty diaper!! (Thank goodness!)

We got to Ruidoso and the temperature was probably 30 degrees less than here and it was rainy : ) We wound our way up the mountain while searching the car frantically for gum to help our popping ears. We were staying at my aunt's second home (we'd never been there before) and it was BEAUTIFUL! We unpacked and looked around. It was then that I noticed an area out beside the house with chairs and a swing around an outdoor fireplace and I got excited. I'm picturing a nice cool evening around the fire -- you know, roasting marshmallows, maybe even singing a song, etc. I told the kids we could even make smores. They were so excited!

We made a winding trip back to town to pick up some supplies. After dinner, I got the kids to help me start gathering wood and getting ready for our campfire. At first, the fire didn't really want to catch (things were still a little wet from the shower earlier and it was still sprinkling on & off) but we finally got a good fire going. I think back now and I was practically doing a "fire dance" out there. I was so excited that I was able to get it going. I was just about to go into the house and get the stuff for smores when a lady appeared at the back door of the house that backed up to "our" house. She yelled out at me "Hey, it's illegal to have an outdoor fire!" I stopped in my tracks and I'm sure my face registered the shock I felt -- I was speechless. She continued, "It's VERY DANGEROUS!" (She just wasn't very friendly!) I finally found my voice and told her I'd put it out immediately. The kids and I ran and got water and doused it. I felt like a 5 year old who had just been scolded. I was appalled and a little scared that I had tried to burn down the mountain! We settled for microwave smores....not quite the same kind of fun!

The next day was our only full day there and we had a great time sight seeing, wading in the river, going on walks, and just being lazy. (It was much warmer that day and so a lot of hiking, etc. was out of the question.) While in town, I saw the fire ban signs and they were even fining people $500 for smoking outside! It's a wonder Smokey the Bear didn't come carry me away to the pokey!

It was a very nice vacation and lots of memories were made. Thank you, mom! We did miss hubby/daddy and were excited to get back home to him. He needed the vacation more than any of us : (

When I asked my son if he wanted to write something in the guest book at the house, he said, "Yes, Do Not Build A Fire Outside.....just a little tip!" That summed it up for him, I guess. As a homeschooling mom, I'm glad this was an educational vacation! Ha Ha! Smores anyone???

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


As a postscript to my earlier post today, I have to admit that all the bathrooms (read "blessings") did not get cleaned some mysterious coincidence our electricity was knocked out just as I got started good on the first one. Note here: none of these wonderful bathrooms have windows and so it was dark in there! Really. I didn't know what the problem was and since it was 100 plus degrees outside, I just prayed it wouldn't last long. My hubby came home from work and treated us to dinner out (at the fast food taco place down the street) since we couldn't cook and it was getting warm in here. We came home to electricity and dirty bathrooms (which I had completely forgotten about by then, the mind is really an amazing instrument, isn't it?--until I re-read my blog tonight and felt guilty!). Oh well, tomorrow is another day, right?

I heard on the news tonight that an electric line "burned down" (whatever kind of technical electrician term that may be) somewhere near our neighborhood and caused the outage. I don't know....I still suspect something having to do with the date! (ha ha) Let's see, how does that work out? The anti-christ doesn't want me to have clean bathrooms??? I might have to do a little more reading in Revelation....

The Price of Bathrooms

The duplex where we now live has 3, yes 3 bathrooms!! (This is Lubbock, TX - the home of Texas Tech, so the large population of college students here dictates how housing is built.)

It is a pretty cool feature and was very appealing when we first moved in. The kids were very excited about having their own bathrooms attached to their bedrooms. Wow, at a time when we are financially struggling....God still provided for us in the form of THREE bathrooms!

OK, here's the reality: they all have to be cleaned! YUCK! I am not a bad housekeeper, but really, who enjoys cleaning the bathroom? The kids are good to help keep their bathrooms clean, but I still have to make sure they do it (do "inspection") and usually have to do some of the nitty-gritty myself (that they don't see or think about). So, there is a price to pay for the "luxury" of extra bathrooms. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying.....everything has a price.

As you can see, I'm now blogging in order to put off the inevitable....the bathrooms must get a good thorough cleaning today. Alright, already. I can't think of any more complaining to do so I'll go get those blessings scrubbed up spic -n- span.

Monday, June 05, 2006

How 'Bout Those Mavs?

OK, y'all have to indulge me another blog about sports! (I really am all-girl in most things. I have never understood why females don't love watching basketball -- all those muscular men in shorts and tank tops, come on ladies!)

The Dallas Mavericks are FINALLY going to the NBA Finals!! I am still having a hard time grasping the reality of this. I was a young, single woman when the Mavs were just getting started and having some success early on. I was lucky enough to get to attend a few games in those years (I was at Reunion Arena to watch Dr. J on his 'farewell tour" when he played the Mavs). I have been a Mavs fan ever since those early years. I didn't have cable back then, so I didn't get to "watch" some of those playoff games...instead I listened on the radio. I remember listening to the Laker series in 88 on my walkman because no one else in my house wanted to hear the game -- but what they got to hear was my yelling and screaming! The names and faces of past players and coaches have been flashing through my mind this week and I know that all of them share in some small way in this exciting time. I'm happy that some of them (i.e. Brad Davis & Ro Blackman) are still with the team and will get to share this. They are two that really deserve it!

I married in 91 and moved away from the Dallas area. We lived all over the country and started our family and I didn't have access to Mavs games (and babies kept me very busy!). I didn't care much about other NBA teams so I kinda lost touch, although I knew they were really struggling. People in other parts of the country thought I was out of my mind when I mentioned being a Mavs fan. When we moved back closer to Texas a few years ago, I began to watch again and have more access to Mavs news. I was excited about this new team I saw emerging. My hubby has become a fan (he didn't have much choice!) and my kids are coming along. My husband even surprised me with Mavericks tickets for my birthday last year. It was a blast and such a sweet, thoughtful gift. It showed me how well he knows me.

I tried to get my kids to scrape together the coins in their piggy banks and buy mom a Mavericks jersey....but they didn't seem too enthused about that prospect!!! They think mom is crazy and they are right. I'm just a MFFL (Mavs Fans for Life). One of the many who have waited for over 20 years for this day to come. I love this TEAM because they are such a TEAM. Yes, Dirk is definitely the leader and the designated "SuperStar" and I love him...but everyone on this team contributes on and off the court. I think Avery Johnson is a tremendous basketball mind and motivator. And Cuban... a great fan with lots o' money who understands the FUN of this sport!

I'm ready for Thursday night -- bring on the Heat! (We know how to do air-conditioning very well in Texas!) Go Mavs!