Friday, April 26, 2013

Lesson 228: Tested

What are you made of, Readers?
Sticks and snails and puppy dog tails?

Sugar and spice?

Everything nice?

I think I'm made of steel.
I spent my entire day with teenagers.

But it was a good day.  Eloise left inspired.

News has not been good for children and youth.  Reports from the experts tell us they are materialistic, selfish, lazy, and disconnected.  They are the first generation that is not expected to outlive their parents....if they don't kill us.  Our nation's worst tragedies as of late have been at the hands of teens and young adults.  What is happening?  Can we stop it?  After today's event, I do believe we can.

Mrs. Eloise spent the day with some students representing our school district at the Power of Youth, Choices Day.  It was nothing short of inspirational listening to teams of teens share what their schools are doing to improve school climate, open lines of communication, and increase tolerance.  

It was sad that there wasn't one representative from any news media to publicize these good things.  The bad stuff makes for the best news, I guess.  Our faith is tested after hearing such poor reports day after day. That is where I step in.  

Many groups were represented.  The North East School District Inspire Team was one of the best groups of the day.  Mrs. Eloise also needs to give props to the Principal's Cabinet of General McLane for their Ribbons of Kindness, and for the persistent group of teens who stormed City Hall to prove need of a Skate Park.  (They succeeded).

I wish he was there to see this.  

That's my Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Corbett.  That's him pointing his finger at the public schools.  He's testing my patience.  Governor Corbett was actually in my city today, speaking at a gathering of the Republican party.  His wife, PA's first lady, spent the day touring some city schools.  I hope she saw the belief and dedication at work.  We'll prove ourselves again this year.  

Natalie has been tested this week because her evening routine has been interrupted.  With Little League under full swing, her 7:30 baths with her lined up tub toys have to be backed up a bit.

Natalie doing fine.  Natalie is her brother and her sister's biggest fan.

Spring has arrived here at the Lamp Post.  It's been sunny enough to bring out the buds,

the daffodils,

and the fat robins.

However, sunny does not equal warm in Erie.  Eloise still has to bundle up.

Unless, of course, I attend a Team Adrenaline workout.  Then I get hot and sweaty.

I love the organic, outdoor exercise.  It makes Eloise feel like a kid again.

This is good, because my kids are getting involved with my workouts.  Talk about testing my endurance! Doc's a pussy cat compared to my three drill instructors.  They even make me up workouts to do.

Getting kids involved in your fitness is a very good thing.  I love Sam's hiy nees (high knees).  Ellen seems to like to suggest butt kickers and she knows full well I hate moving jumping jacks.  I can certainly tell by her choices that she's almost 13.  

The girls and I try to hit out bikes a few nights a week.  Our route really tests our strength as the whole way home is UP hill.  

Heck.  I think we may have even inspired him......

that's my dad.  

He mounted a basket on the back of Natalie's bike for us so she can carry our water.

He took her pink Schwinn for a test ride thinking no one was watching.  The photo credit goes to Ellen on this one.  She's as dangerous as her Momma with a zoom lens.

My patience was tested last week with Sam's new love of Legos.  I never played with them before in my life.  This was a gift from Aunt Karen for Sam's birthday.  

Sam has been begging me to build them with him.  Knowing that I am not a whiz with spatial design (as it relates to math), and following directions are not my forte, 

I told Sam to hold off until we had a vacation day on April 19th.  On that day we built the city.

It couldn't have been timed better.  Last Friday was the live coverage of the crisis in Boston and I had the TV on in the kitchen watching the news.  It just so happened that we were building the kit that was centered around the Bad Guys hideout.  The set contained a couple of cop cars, a get away boat, and a police helicopter.

Sometimes things just fall into place when you need to talk about the important topics with your child.  You know, the big three:  drugs, sex, and Santa Claus.  Our topic last Friday was "bad people."

"Why did those guys blow up bombs?" asked Sam.

"I don't know, Sam," I sighed.  "They must have been filled with lots and lots of hate."

"Will a bomb ever go off in our town," Sam asked.  He put down his action figure for a moment, and looked at me intently, waiting for my answer.

What does a parent say to a question like that anymore?  A "no" sure did feel like a lie at that moment.  A "I hope not" didn't seem to offer the security six year old Sam was searching for.  Instead I steered the conversation to focus on the helpers, with the help of this hero:

That's Mr. Rogers, Slovenians.  I watched his show every single day when I was little.  Lady Elaine Fairchild was the ugliest puppet in the kindgom....remember that?   This image was circulating through social media last week, and I thought it was blog worthy.  Look for the helpers.  Great advice, Mr. Rogers.  Thank you.

On a happy note, literally and figuratively.....I'm getting Tim McGraw tickets on Saturday!!!! Eloise and some friends are going to see him on Memorial Day weekend.  Yeehaw!  That must be why this was in my fortune cookie for dinner!

The obscure Fionnula Flanigan remained in hiding this week.  I'm waiting for my secret admirer to send me another clue.  Number 217, the clue on the lamp post card from last week, has me stumped.  Eloise went through her entire address book, looking for an address with 2-1-7 in it, and no luck.  I then searched every facebook friend's birthday, hoping someone would be born on February 17th.  No luck there either.

Tracy Southern sent me a good lead.  She's a sharp little cookie.  She said if you turn the number 217 upside down it spells LIZ.  Can you help me, Readers?  Does tinkle any bells in your heads?

No sign from Fionnula Flanigan, but a friend sent me this sign!  I love the number three.  One of the reasons is because it represents the holy trinity.  Oh thank heavens Jimmi was thoughtful enough to send me this sign. I should have known he'd do that---he's a Noticer, too.

Thank heaven the weekend is here.  Spend some time with someone you love, doing something you love.
Enjoy the picture video below.

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