It’s Just a List For Sunday Night

1. It’s a list. Because, on Sunday nights, as the weekend is wrapping itself up, lists are easy. It’s kind of like making scrambled eggs and toast for dinner; you don’t really have to think about it too much. Scramble the eggs. Pop the bread into the toaster. Instant dinner. It’s the same way with lists. Type a number one just to get yourself started. There’s no brain cramping, as you sit before the computer, thinking to yourself, “I have absolutely no idea how to begin this post, after such a busy weekend, and I really need to review vocabulary words with the boy and iron a shirt for Hubs to wear to work tomorrow, so clearly, my time is limited.”

2. See? Type a number two, and you’re well on your way with a blog post.

3. The boy had the best Friday night. Hubs’ younger sister, Aunt Pink, is in town. Aunt Pink is exotic and wonderful and vivacious and fun. She lives clear across the continental United States from us — as far away as she could possibly get, and still be within the boundaries of the same country. Aunt Pink sends the boy and his cousins postcards all the time, along with small gifts that she finds in neat shops and wraps up for them. For no reason whatsoever. Aunt Pink sends things because she sees things that remind her of specific children in her life. Naturally, the boy and his cousins adore her. So, yes. She’s in town, visiting for the next couple of weeks, and she wanted to stage a sleepover for her very own tribe of nephews and nieces. Seven children. Add to that total Brother Joel’s girlfriend’s daughter (are you still with me?!), and that made eight small kids for the sleepover. Aunt Pink and Hubs’ mama made a scavenger hunt for everyone, and there were blow-up beds and sleeping bags and flashlights and random socks and discarded T-shirts everywhere, and they told ghost stories long into the night and scared each other silly, and they bounced, jumped, hopped, skipped, ran, tumbled, somersaulted, and twisted, this way and that, all night long. The boy came home on Saturday morning, with a belly full of pancakes and junk food, eyes drooping from a lack of sleep, and the widest grin you can possibly envision on his face. Sleepovers with cousins are always fun. Sleepovers with all of the cousins at once totally rock! The boy announced, “Mom! B and I didn’t even go to sleep! At least, I don’t think we fell asleep.” Hmm. I think the boy might have just forgotten that apparently he and his nine-year-old cousin, B (who is also the boy’s close buddy), sort of fell asleep while they were talking to one another, out of sheer exhaustion.

4. When I dropped the boy off at Sleepover ’10, Brother and his wife were there, dropping off their pack of kids, too. I had on my Skechers. My Shape-Up Skechers, with the curvy bottoms. I love these shoes, even more than I love cheesecake, which is saying a lot, because cream cheese and I go way back. Brother looked at my shoes and said, “Hmm. Are you wearing geriatric shoes already? Maybe next year you’ll be old enough to get the ones with Velcro.” Brother needs a kick in the head. I’m not sure why we keep him around. He’s cute, but he’s naughty. Thankfully, I’m plenty old enough to laugh right along with Brother’s joke, because I’ve finally reached a point in my life where comfort trumps fashion. Call it security. Call it maturity. I will rock on in my curvy-bottomed shoes, and continue to give thanks to my parents, who bought them for me for my birthday. They are my favorite shoes ever.

5. With the boy off searching for items on his scavenger hunt list, Hubs and I set off on a date. The youth group at our church is taking a missions trip to an impoverished region in Los Angeles this coming summer, where they will work on community-improvement projects and ministering to those in need. In order to raise funds for their trip, the teens hosted Date Night ’10 at our church. It was fabulous! Their youth room was completely transformed into an elegant restaurant, complete with tables set up with tablecloths, fine china, floral centerpieces and white Christmas lights wrapped around everything. The room positively smacked of romance. The teenagers were dressed to the nines in fancy black and white dresses and slacks, and they couldn’t have been better servers if they’d tried. We were served lasagna and glazed carrots and homemade rolls and salad, with chocolate cake for dessert. Hubs and I ended up sitting at a table with our friends, Gabe and Jodi, and Janell and Justin, and the six of us laughed until our sides hurt. The kids had left baskets of “conversation starters” on every table, and you were to draw out little slips of paper and take turns at your table answering the questions. Naturally, Jodi and I were quite successful at turning the conversations off on wild tangents, without even trying, because Jodi and I fly that way. It’s a gift. And the laughter that erupted from our table threatened to get us all into trouble, I’m sure. Afterwards, the teens showed the movie Up on the big screens, because the movie highlights a good marriage between Carl and Ellie, and they thought that this movie would be a great flick for Date Night. It certainly was. Hubs and I saw this movie when it first came out in the theater with the boy, and that’s it. Although we own it on DVD, the boy is the only one who has watched it a second time at our house, and Hubs and I had forgotten how downright funny it was. Naturally, we laughed some more. It was a perfect date.

6. Afterwards, Hubs and I came home and watched last Thursday’s episode of The Office on DVR, and I laughed some more. Clearly, there was a whole lot of giggling on my part on Friday night! People, this last episode was a good one! I feel genuinely sorry for anyone who doesn’t watch The Office. Dwight Schrute has got to be the nuttiest character ever created in the history of television.

7. On Saturday morning, Hubs and I went to Starbucks, where we got cups filled with the nectar that angels drink.

8. Eventually, I made my way to the church, because Beth Moore was putting on a simulcast. Yes, people! Beth was live in Atlanta, and we were watching it, via satellite technology, and I couldn’t have been happier. The church was packed with more than 300 women from Small Town, USA and the surrounding areas, and I sat with an enormous pack of some of my very closest girlfriends and Sister. We sang our hearts out as Travis Cottrell performed live in Atlanta, and live in Small Town, via that same satellite, and then Beth Moore took the stage and gave us a Word. Actually, she gave me a whole lot of Words, because I took umpteen-hundred-and-six pages of notes. I’m pretty sure that the entire simulcast, which was on the topic of Insecurity, was aimed specifically at me, and no one else.

9. During the lunch break, Amy and Regan and I jumped ship and left the church in search of our own nourishment. Since lunch was provided with the cost of our tickets at the church, I felt a bit like a teenager cutting class as the three of us dashed out to Black Beauty (Amy’s pristine Jeep) and went out to eat, but, oh my lands! We ate at a posh little place, we told hilarious stories to one another, we told serious stories to one another, we asked one another for advice in certain areas, and we had the! best! time! Afterwards, Amy drove us back to the church, and I managed to take another squillion pages of notes in Beth’s afternoon session.

10. Yes, I had writer’s cramp.

11. Yes, we all wanted to hold Theresa’s eight-day-old baby girl, who attended the simulcast with her mama.

12. Yes, Hubs texted me not once, but twice, during the day to ask, “How is Beth Fest going?” Hubs thinks he’s so cute.

13. When I texted Hubs at one point during the day, saying, “Plz give boy antibiotic,” Hubs quickly responded with this text, which I am quoting, word for word: “Step down, Woman!! I am on the parenting clock here!!” I took that to mean that the antibiotics for the ear infection had been successfully administered.

14. Yes, I still love Hubs. Unbelievable, but I do. Yes, I think he’s still the cutest thing ever.

15. After soaking up umpteen-hundred-and-six pages of notes from Beth yesterday, we stopped over at Amy’s new house, to see the progress that is being made. Last week, her builders were slapping mud on the Sheetrock. This week, they’re laying tile. Hubs didn’t want to hear about Amy and PH’s quick progress. Hubs said, “I took my time with our house; I built it solid.” If by building it solid, you mean that Hubs took nearly two years to finish it, then yes, that’s what he did. He built it solid, people.

16. When I got home from Beth Fest (Amy and I quickly adopted Hubs’ terminology for the day), I discovered that Hubs was busy! Oh my lands, but was he ever busy! People, he had vacuumed the stairs for me, which is a job that I hate. There is nothing worse than lugging the big vacuum cleaner up and down our giant staircase, and my man had done the task for me. But also…vacuuming the stairs had clearly made Hubs recall the simple fact that we had a central vacuum cleaner sitting in a giant box in the back of the basement, which we have never gotten installed in our house. Oh, no. When you build your house yourself (and with all of your relatives and friends), you tend to accomplish those things which need checked off through inspections in order to move in. Since having a central vacuum in place is NOT something which needs to be passed off on by the City Inspector, it’s not something that you will be in an all-fire hurry to accomplish. Nope. You’ll be in an all-fire hurry to get the deck built, so that you don’t fall out the back door and break your neck, according to the City Inspector. And you will be in an all-fire hurry to get the railing on the staircase, so that you don’t fall off the side of the stairs and break your collarbone and fracture your skull, according to the City Inspector. The City Inspector does not care if you have a central vacuum cleaner in place. And by the time you pass all the codes to make the City Inspector smile and grin and turn happy, your husband will be completely done with home-building projects, so your central vacuum cleaner will sit in its original box, unopened and brand new, for more than two years. But on Saturday, when I got home from Beth Fest, Hubs was running all kinds of PVC pipe and wires, because it was finally time! Time for the central vacuum cleaner to be installed! You know you’re getting old when your brother-in-law accuses your favorite shoes of looking rather geriatric, and when you get excited beyond measure about a new vacuum cleaner!

17. Dear Cody, I know that you are having yourself some serious Vacuum Cleaner Issues right now, and that your VCIs are created because your Vacuum Cleaner Budget was spent by your darling husband on a whole lot of bags of ready-mix concrete. I know that being driven to tears by a faulty vacuum cleaner is a horrid thing, but you’re going to have one really sweet fence when all the ready-mix concrete sets up. Focus on that sweet fence. If you would like to come over and see the Queen Mother of All Vacuums, you may come and hold my central vacuum cleaner, and I will make you coffee, and I will make a solid effort to be your therapist, as we discuss your VCIs. I will love you through said VCIs, and together we will come up with a Game Plan for getting a new vacuum clenaer into your house. Love, Jedi Mama.

18. Today, Hubs and I and the boy were (gasp!) late for church! Horror! What with the Sleepover ’10, in which very little sleep happened, and all the running of the precious PVC pipe, which would bring life to the Queen Mother of All Vacuums, the Jedi House was a bit tired, and we (double gasp!) slept in. We missed Sunday School. We did not miss Starbucks. Had we opted to miss a trip through the drive-thru, we probably would have made it to church on time, but skipping said drive-thru was not an option. We went, and we were officially six minutes late for the service. No matter. We missed the first song, and then all was well. We sang. We heard a fantastic sermon on being in the will of God. We laughed with friends afterwards.

19. And then some good friends of ours handed over their son’s youth-sized set of fancy golf clubs, which he had outgrown. They heard, through the grapevine, that the boy is rather fond of golf. And if by rather fond of golf you mean that he asks me fifty-seven times a day when he can take more golf lessons and another eighty-one times every day when I will take him to the driving range to go smack balls, then yes…I’d say he’s rather fond of golf. Our boy has announced that he wants to sled and golf and publish a hardcover book, and that is it. This evening, while I was scrounging up dinner for our crew of three, I found a putter under my kitchen table. And a driver on my living room sofa. The boy spent most of the afternoon chipping whiffle golf balls in our house, because it was raining outside. I am used to having a boy in my house. I simply said, “Break the lamp, and I will empty the wallet in your bedroom.” The boy was very careful with the indoor golfing.

20. After the boy was blessed with his very own set of fancy golf clubs, we went to lunch with my parents. And we talked. And we laughed. And the boy ate two burritos, because he is growing. Unfortunately, he is not getting much bigger. When he was at his pediatrician’s office on Thursday for his massive, ear-exploding ear infection, she weighed him. Fully clothed, the scale barely (oh-so-very-barely) hit the 59-pound mark. The boy came back into the exam room, where I was waiting for him, and said, “I’m never going to weigh sixty!” He was so saddened by this news, because he has been on a mission to cross over and into the sixties. As the nurse left us alone in the exam room to wait on Dr. B., the boy slumped in his chair and announced, “My ear hurts like crazy, and even with all of my clothes on, I still only weigh 59 pounds. This is a very bad day.” Keep doubling up on the burritos, Boy. Mam suggested that you might try rocks in your pockets next time, too!

21. This afternoon, Hubs finished the central vacuum cleaner installation, and we had a moment of silence to welcome the Queen Mother of All Vacuums into our home. Oh, people! I have no words! I am clearly old, as I nearly wept with the beauty of this appliance! I’d like to think that I would have gotten all excited about a central vacuum cleaner when I was twenty years old, but I’m not sure. A new, leather Bon Jovi jacket with fringe would have tickled me to no end when I was twenty, but I may have shunned the Queen Mother of All Vacuums back then. Not now, though! I’d just like to give it a genuine shout-out today!

22. And now, we’ve wrapped up our weekend, and the boy has completely vacuumed his bedroom and closet, from head to toe, because, he too, is impressed with the new appliance. He has used every attachment the Queen Mother of All Vacuums has to offer, and his bedroom floor shines with a beautiful luster. I, myself, am saving my vacuuming time for tomorrow morning, when I will attack the house with a vengeance and pretend to be the maid, whom I cannot afford. Hubs is trying to solve computer viruses over the phone right now, because apparently our friend, Dave, has been afflicted with one. I answered the phone when Dave called, but no one ever wants to talk to me when they have something wrong with their computer. It may be because I still have to ask Hubs on a daily basis, “Please? One more time? Will you just show me again how to get a file onto that stupid thumb drive?” The boy is camped in front of the TV, looking a little tired and droopy-eyed, but clean from his shower. His head is filled with all the vocabulary words we have studied this afternoon, and he insists that the world would be a better place, if people refused to use big words, and just stuck to simple words that he already knows. Amen, Boy.

23. And also, before I officially sign off and shove the boy into bed, I have to tell you what he said tonight. His school, you see, is going to be torn down over the summer, and a brand-spanking-new school will be built on the same sight as his old school currently sits. He is a bit upset about this, because he loves his school, and the boy is not necessarily an enormous fan of Change. He asked me again this afternoon, while we were filling our heads with big words and their definitions, “Why are they tearing down my school again?” And I reviewed all the reasons, which make up a list that can be labeled, “RUN-DOWN BUILDING.” The boy sighed and said, “Mom, it’s because my school is an antique. It’s so old, that the builders didn’t have the building technology that they have today when they built it, so now it’s time to use some new building technology and get something better built.” People, Hubs attended the same school that the boy attends. It was built when Hubs was a 4th grader. This was not that long ago, because I refuse to be married to an old man. The way the boy talked, and how he called his school building an antique, cracked me up. You’d have thought that the original builders baked homemade bricks over an open fire on the prairie and put sod on top for a roof. I’m surprised it has electricity, what with it having been established when Hubs was the boy’s age. It’s a miracle the thing is even still standing!

24. How’d you spend your weekend?

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