Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Fun at Robbers Cave

We had a dance/sports activity free weekend, believe it or not, so we decided to cram as much family fun into the two days as humanly possible. It was a lot of fun, but by Sunday evening, Mike kind of reminded me of the dad in National Lampoon's Vacation where he demands that they will have so much fun they will be whisteling zippidy- do- da out of know where's. We went to Lowe's on Saturday and bought a fire pit, so Saturday night, we had a wienie roast and had the neighbors over to make S'mores. We all enjoyed sitting by the fire and talking. Up for early church on Sunday, then off to Robber's Cave State Park for a day of hiking and rock climbing. (and whining and complaining...) I forgot my camera and the pictures I took are being held captive inside of my cell phone, so here you see a two year old picture of the kids on a rock. See all the smiling faces? That is how they looked BEFORE the three hour hike up and down rocky trails. Honestly, the kids enjoyed the caves and climbing up the steep rocks, but the hike stopped being fun about an hour in. We did it anyway, and we were richly rewarded by Mike taking us out to a famous Italian restaurant called Pete's. We carb loaded big time. The two and a half hour car ride home was nap time for all but the driver (me), but I did enjoy the quiet time. I listened to some NPR and enjoyed driving through the Oklahoma hills, which are quite beautiful. We should go that way more often.

Next week, we go back to our regular activities...running to and from Nutcracker rehearsals, late night high school football games, basketball practice, ballet practice, scouts...and hopefully my bottom will no longer be sore from that VERY steep rock I had to slide down because I am way too claustrophobic to go through the caves. Hopefully the memories of having fun together will last longer than our aching legs!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Nothing says "German" like Oktoberfest! Wiener schnitzel, beer tents, the chicken dance and The Dance Pointe dance company, En Vidette. WHAT?! That's right, our dance company performs at Oktoberfest each year. The dancers get much needed practice in front of an audience before heading to competitions. The funny thing is, they are not on a stage, but on a large(ish) piece of plywood sitting on some concrete blocks in the grass under a tent. Hey, it works....kinda. It kind of reminds me of trying to fit our full drum corps show on the race track at the Illinois State Fair year after year. I can't tell you how many colorguard flags I took to the head back then...Oh, well. The old guy running the show is a sweet heart and the audience is typically made up of sweet senior citizens. Ms. Cara has the good sense to schedule us before the beer tents get rockin'. We did get to see a dude dressed up like a lady last year, with a floral skirt and head scarf on; and another highlight was the pregnant lady who fainted while getting a piece of pizza. Some kind of excitement! Above is a picture of Mary (on the left) with her friend Anastasia getting ready to dance last year. I'll add a couple of more pictures from last year, including the guy in charge in his lederhosen leading everyone in the chicken dance. I can't wait until next week. I'll let you know how it goes!

Ms Cara with Lyric and some crazy characters!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Want to Run Through The Halls of my High School......

I just read an e-mail from Seth!, a guy with whom I went to high school. (do you like my proper and correct grammar? Don't get used to it...I don't use "whom" often) Seems Seth! has been bustin' his butt (his words) getting ready for our class reunion. I sincerely wish I could attend, but I can't. The reasons are many and unimportant, but I truly regret that I can't go. I am curious about the old high school, though. There is a tour planned, and I'd like to see how much it has changed. There is a picnic planned for the families and a dinner bash as the main event. Mostly I would like to go and see how everyone turned out. I know that the images I have in my mind's eye of the guys and gals I suffered through, I mean successfully graduated with are far different than the , dare I say, middle aged men and women we turned out to be. And I seriously hope we all ACT differently. And, don't we all secretly want to see if that certain cheerleader/jock ever gained weight, got married, had children, got over themselves? I would really love to see Seth!, who always was an individual in a sea of people desperately trying to conform. He even legally changed his name to add that exclamation point at the end of his first name. I'm not joking! I'm thinking of adding something fancy at the end of my name, like qor e. What do you think, Seth! ?

But honestly, I can't stop thinking about how much and how little I've changed. My oldest child is a high school freshman and I watch him every morning as he gets out of the car. He leaves as Stephen, my son, and slowly becomes united with this moving sea of insecure guys and dolls trying their best to find their place in it all. You see all the stereotypes: the over confident jock, the gorgeous campus goddess, the lanky nerd, the drama types, the band geeks....but mostly you see everyguy and everygirl trying to find their niche. I don't think I ever found mine. Somewhere between band geek and complete loser, I recollect. And I still freeze when I'm around the "popular" kids, or in my case, popular adults. I still crack myself up, and get embarrassed when nobody else laughs. (yeh, that still happens) The more things change, the more they stay the same. A couple of things that have changed, though, are that I no longer care about how my butt looks in jeans and that I can no longer carry a tune on that clarinet. Just minute details, really.

Probably the only people from my graduating class that will actually read this post are Seth! and my oldest BFF Roxanne. (Love to you both) But if I could send out a message to all the other folks from SHS Class of '83, it would be....Have a great life! I should have said that 25 years ago, but I didn't know I wouldn't see you all again for so long! Also, I forgive Gary Moler for telling me I had thunder thighs our sophomore year. My kids forgive Edith Glosecki for inspiring me to say "Tardis discipuli" when one of them does something stupid. I also forgive Jim Ko for not inviting me to that party when his kitchen floor fell through. While I'm at it, I forgive Shelly Proves for pointing out that I wore fake designer shoes and had flat hair. I forgive the fashion designers during the 80's that convinced me to wear straight leg jeans. (Not a good look for ol' thunderthighs) And, dear friends, please forgive me if I ever did ANYTHING to make you all feel less than great. Retrospect is a bitch.

Have a great time at the reunion! You all look awesome; not a day over 40!! (This would be a great place for before/now pictures, if I only could learn to scan....)