Archive for April, 2008

I’ve spent days shedding a few happy tears while pouring over old photos and making edit after edit to finally get these just so. I would prefer they were all one video, but until I figure out how to stitch them together and still have them available online, five shorter ones will have to suffice.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 18 years since you joined our family. Look at all you’ve accomplished in just a blink of an eye! As a memento for you, Ali, and for those in our family who can’t be with us in Texas as you graduate next month. . .

All the Things You Are

Technology continually improves and brings us new ways to get addicted to the Internet. I wish Animoto.com had been available when Joel and Jenna were graduating so I could have done something similar, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still do it. 😀 We’ve got an amazing family. We’re so proud of all of you.

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They Come in Great Armies

Then came the plague of ants. They came no one knew whence, in great armies… and the housewife and cook were pestered to desperation by them. But the philosophical people are reasoning that the little ant is less bothersome than the fly or mosquito, that he is an excellent and ever-industrious scavenger, and that he has never been accused of being the means of spreading contagion.

The New York Times, August 17, 1902

Each spring and fall for the last several years, much like the infamous red ant invasion of New Orleans in 1902, menacing fire ants assault our lawn, and little, innocent-looking black ants declaring eminent domain take possession of our house. Okay, not billions, maybe not even millions, but at least hundreds of them invade our house — usually marching one by one, but occasionally they double up — and I swear if those little ones didn’t have to stop to suck thumbs or tie shoes once in a while, I’d never be able to catch them! The only harrah-ing to be heard is from me when I finally get those little suckers. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! As nasty as fire ants are, I find them easier to evict than their smaller, non-biting, ever-industrious, scavenger cousins.

My dad will probably recognize that I’m playing off one of his own comments a few years ago as I write this. One day we were chatting on instant messenger and I was seriously ranting about my bi-annual ant problem. He then mentioned he’d found a nest of carpenter ants in his garden shed that week. Concerned that maybe our uninvited household guests were of that variety too, I typed back, “How did you know they were carpenter ants?” Without pause, he cleverly caught me off guard with, “Well, when they threw their tiny hammers and tool belts to run for cover, I was pretty sure.”

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The girls are getting medical records together for Northwestern and Texas Tech, so I went to our family medical center two weeks ago to get copies of their records, for $10 each, mind you. Ali’s information was to be put on a specific form for the university and signed by her doctor. I was ready to provide a stamped, addressed envelope for them to mail them to me, but I was there accompanying Jenna to an appointment, and the medical center receptionist said Ali’s would be ready when we left. Jenna’s records, however, had been archived and she could pick up a copy in 2-3 days.

After Jenna’s 3pm doctor visit (which lasted well beyond expectations), I picked up the envelope containing the form, paid the $10, and then when leaving, discovered the university’s form was BLANK, but they had included an UNSIGNED digital copy of her records. This wasn’t what I asked for, but it would probably be accepted if the doctor would at least sign that, so I returned to the receptionist’s desk. She said I could personally go to the doctor’s office and get it signed, but when I went to do that, the doors between their office and the waiting room were open only to exiting patients and I’d have had to WAIT for someone on the inside to open it (if they would — it was already after 5pm)… and then WAIT AGAIN for him to be available to sign it.

Jenna was starving after fasting for her physical and had already scheduled a follow-up appointment for this last Monday, so she said she’d take the form with her to have the doctor sign it then. When he saw it, he noticed missing records so he wanted to review it and then mail it back to us. Today I got a call saying they didn’t have ANY record of Ali from 2002-2007 and that if she’d had one, she must have received her tetanus shot elsewhere. Where else would she have gotten it, and was she completely healthy and absent from their medical center for those five years?! I don’t think so. She did see specialists (that they referred us to!) for leg injuries during that time, but they wouldn’t have given her immunizations.

So, this afternoon I appealed to the school for help. I know her immunizations are current and they surely have her records, as they would not have admitted her without them. Then, I emailed my dear friend Teresa suggesting she move back to town and resume employment with the medical center. This has not been our first issue with patient records and nothing has been well organized there since she left. Getting medical records seems like a simple request, but for $10 and hours and hours of time, you can apparently get nothing that you ask and pay for.

Jenna now has her records, but hasn’t yet opened them. After that call, we’re afraid to.

Update: The school has come to my rescue and Ali informs me since she arrived home from school today that she may have gotten her tetanus booster at a CareNow facility — but that doesn’t excuse the missing chicken pox information and other miscellaneous issues in the past few years. If I didn’t personally appreciate my doctor so much and all he’s been through with us, I would no longer deal with that medical center.

I don’t know why this bothered me so. But, in fact, IT DID.

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Ali’s had a rough week. She stayed home from school today to attend the funeral of her boyfriend’s maternal grandfather, but left before I got up this morning. Then the phone rang…

“Mom, I just got rear-ended and that made me run into the car in front of me. The guy who hit me just drove off without stopping and I don’t know what to do!”

Words to panic any mother. Various parts of her car were crumpled, but SHE WAS OKAY, and that was the main thing.

“I’m stopped in the middle lane and the car I hit is stopped ahead. I’m scared to get out of the car in traffic and I’m afraid if I continue to exit and pull off, it’ll look like I’m just leaving too.”

“Try to pull over, but stay in your car and call the police, then call me back.”

“Okay, but I’ll have to exit to pull off anywhere…”

Then I heard her yelling to the driver ahead what she was about to do, they agreed to pull off at the first exit, and she said she’d call me back.

But time passed and she didn’t call back. I didn’t want to tie up the phone, so I used Internet instant messaging to contact Steve, who said he’d head out to find her. Apparently she called him as well, and she was handling it. Someone had already alerted the police as to what had happened by the time she called them herself and they were on the way; however, no one got the license tag number of the hit-and-run driver.

I didn’t want to call her boyfriend if the funeral had already begun, but I also thought he needed to know why she was late — so assuming he probably had his phone on silent, I text messaged him with my cell phone. Soon after, he called. He had not yet gotten my message, but she had already called him too.

I know she was stunned and late for the funeral, but she handled it very well. Cell phones, when charged and needed, come in very handy. So does instant messaging.

A hit-and-run driver — why would somebody do that to my kid?! Er… youngest adult offspring.

Photos: Aliology

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I’ve been stuck for a couple of minutes, but nothing like this.

NEW YORK — A time-lapse video of a man trapped in an elevator for 41 hours has become something of an Internet sensation after surveillance camera footage emerged of the event which occurred nearly a decade ago.



I wonder how many people will avoid elevators for the next few weeks.

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For some reason, my mother’s thirty-third birthday (April 4, 1965) is a memory to me. I think it was the year I was first aware of her age. I remember her looking so pretty, made up with lipstick and dressed in a fancy brownish-taupe dress with a wide, darker brown silky bow tied at the neckline. I also remember going to Grandma’s for her party. I don’t seem to have a picture from that time, but I do have photos from other times she was all fancied up…

Mom and Barb

With every button buttoned and every press pressed
They’re dressed up, and aren’t they the best?!

Mom and Barb

Happy birthday, Mom. I love you!

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And the sun’s gettin’ high. . . 😀

Birthday Dinner

Every day’s a new day. Happy birthday, honey.

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She’s Twenty!

Beautiful, surprising, with just a splash of silly. Our adorable little girl has become a glowing, capable young woman.

Jenna, age 3

Seven-year-old Joel was expecting a brother the day Jenna was born, and when we announced to him that she was a girl, he thought we were April Fooling him! Having an April 1st birthday meant lots of jokes and tricks by friends as Jenna was growing up, but she was born on Good Friday as well, so we always said that it canceled out any mean ones. When her birthday again fell on Good Friday in 1994, I wrote her a poem and made it into a bookmark to help her appreciate having an April Fool’s Day birthday.

The First of April, as a rule,
Is set apart for April Fool;
Joke if you will, don’t hesitate
To smile a lot and celebrate;
We think it’s great that all this mirth
Comes ‘specially on your day of birth!
Some years you’re even doubly blessed;
Some “firsts” are better than the rest;
You see, some years we’re pleased to say,
Your birthday’s also Good Friday!

Happy birthday today! Your next Good Friday birthday will possibly be in 2011. We love you, Jenna. 😀

Upside Down Jenna

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