The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Friday, September 26, 2008

Things we love right now

I had a wonderful evening with my family last night. We were all doing things that we love to do right now and I just had to capture it with my newly repaired camera.

Jordyn read one of her Twilight series books. This from a girl who used to HATE to read, and now she can't get enough. Just LOOK at the size of those books!!

Liam watched Cartoon Network. Uh, yeah, it's kind of ridiculous that the cartoon characters are bigger than he is. Didn't realize that until I took this photo!

Owen played with trains in the hallway. He's a train guy all the way. And he's currently going through this phase where he won't look at the camera. Nice.

Kev grilled up some mean steak for dinner while drinking an ice cold beer. Dinner was DELISH! I sliced up my steak and spread it over a field green salad with goat cheese, walnuts, grape tomatoes, grilled onions, and balsamic vinaigrette. YUM!
And I...I watched a gorgeous autumn sunset across the lake while taking in a glass of German Cabernet Sauvingon. Hanging on to the last traces of summer as we melt into fall here in Michigan.

And when this was gone, we dipped into the box of cab sauv. What a perfect evening.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Soccer Mom

I'm a soccer mom.

To some people, that might have a negative connotation. But to me, well, I'm really starting to embrace and enjoy being a soccer mom.

My Saturdays are consumed with it from 9am-10am (Owen) and then again from 10am-11:30 am (Liam), and Liam has practices 2-4 times a week.

Owen is in Kiddie Kickers. We tried this when he was 3 and we only took him two times because he refused to let go of our legs. Not very conducive to actually playing soccer. Now that he's a mature 4 year old, he is totally digging every single one of the 60 minutes. From the very first day, he took off and didn't even glance back. The quintessential shy boy has even made a buddy on the team, Dusty, the coach's son. I don't know why these two click, they just do. And they don't even say much to each other, they just kind of hang out, and you can just tell that they are buddies.

Liam did Kiddie Kickers for a couple of seasons and has now played on an organized parks and rec soccer team for three seasons. Liam's coach this year is teaching the kids A LOT and expects a lot out of them and even though our parks & rec doesn't officially "keep score", our coach is turning Liam's team into a winning machine (and I keep score). I understand what parks & rec is getting at by not keeping score so that the game is FUN for the kids, but I happen to believe that competition is fun. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

Liam has never been the player to score 7 goals in one game, he's actually never scored any goals in any games (until last week), but he plays hard and seems to enjoy it. It is certainly not his natural gift the way that baseball is, but he has fun. He scored his first and second goals last Saturday (when Kev and I were away at a golf outing - so we missed it, of course). The other two games that he's had this year, the ones that I was AT, he came SO close to scoring...mutliple times...barely missing the net. I'm beginning to think I will never witness one of his goals. So, I will go to tomorrow night's game, in all of my soccer mom glory, and cheer at the top of my lungs for Liam, for all of his teammates, and for the mighty green Spartans!

And if Liam doesn't score, I just may explode...or be banned by the coach from attending any more games.

The Bum & a Bottle of Squirt

My little town has a bum.

That may not be the most politically correct term to call him, but I don't know what other word to use for this guy. I can't say that he's homeless, because rumor has it that he indeed does have a home (or at least a place to live) in one of the nicest subdivisions around these parts. I guess I could call him a bag lady, but the problem with that terminology is that it's the wrong gender, and I've never heard anybody called a bag man before.

So, we'll just stick with the term bum, with out intending any offense.

For those of you who live by me, you know the guy.

He rides around town on his bike, usually with a trailer loaded full of stuff attached to the back. He appears unshaven and unbathed and even in the middle of summer (or on a very nice fall day like today) he wears layers and layers of tattered clothes with a hat and a scarf and big boots.

He doesn't cause any trouble that I'm aware of and the closest I've ever been to him has been while passing him in my car while he's riding his bike. When we still lived in our old house, Jordyn and her friend saw him riding through our old neighborhood while they were walking home from school and they were TOTALLY freaked out about it.

Today, however, I got up close and personal with the bum. Today I found myself standing behind him in line at Rite Aid. I didn't get super close to him because as I got closer, I could start to smell....something. He bought his 2 litre of Squirt with a debit/credit card, and went on his way out the door, which, upon his exit, proceeded to beep beep beep and a red light started flashing. He kept walking.

I looked at the clerk. She was looking out the door window where we could see the bum getting on his bike. She calmly said "Hmm, he just stole something." Then she took out a can of Lysol and sprayed down the counter where he had just been standing before she rang me up.

That's it?! She didn't even bother to go after him, or call security?! Maybe Rite Aid doesn't have security. Would she have pursued the alleged thief had it been a skater boy or a varsity-jacket wearing athlete or a pregnant woman with a couple of kids in tow (hey, I know first hand that pregnant women steal, but that's another story altogether).

She then proceeded to wonder aloud what he would have stolen.

I responded that maybe the stolen item was something for which he needed the Squirt as a chaser. Horrible, stereotypical assumption, I know, but it was the first thing that popped into my head.

She went about her business of ringing me up as if nothing out of the ordinary had even happened and replied, "Yeah, probably."

But, since he and his bike were gone by the time I exited the building, I guess we'll never know.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I hope she's feeling better in Heaven

Two buddies of Liam & Owen just lost their mom to cancer on Saturday. Their buddies are the same ages as Liam & Owen, 7 & 4, and my heart just breaks for them.

Although this family has lived in our neighborhood for about a year, I didn't get to know them very well, mostly because the mom was sick the whole time they lived here and basically fighting for her life...I don't think she was in a position or in the mood to extend herself to new people. Not to mention the fact that I traveled every week for 8 of the last 12 months, so even if she did want to meet new people, I wasn't around very much.

Regardless, my boys got to know her boys pretty well. And now her boys are with out a mom.

I told Liam the news yesterday at dinner. He knew their mom had been sick for a long time and that she recently had taken a turn for the worse. He was extremely sad for his two friends. He told me that we should go over to their house THAT very night after we were finished with soccer pictures and curriculum night.

When I asked him why we should go over to their house, he said we should go to tell them that we're sooooooo sorry. I told him we could go over another night, but not that night (the family was still making arrangements and I didn't want to interrupt).

Liam even included his buddies and their mom in his (legendary) bedtime prayers last night, asking Jesus to make sure that their mom was having a good time in heaven. (I'd like to think that Heaven is a "good time" kind of a place.)

So, I bought the family a card today and wrote a quick note inside. Jordyn is making a banana nut bread right now and we're going to take the bread and the card over to their house tomorrow night, which I think is the day of the funeral. (Like I said, I'm not super close with the family.)

Since Liam knows the family better than I do, I asked him if he would like to include his own note in the card as well. He really is a thoughtful boy and, of course, he wanted to write something to his buddies. He immediately knew what to say and this is what it was:

He actually wanted to end his note by saying "I hope she's feeling better" and he was going to leave it at that. But when I told him that I doubt she was "feeling better" since she had just died, he changed his note to say "I hope she's feeling better in Heaven." Which I thought was an appropriate thing to say.

And I certainly hope she's having a good time there, too.

Monday, September 15, 2008

President Wood

As Liam and I were on our way home from soccer pictures tonight (for the Undefeated GREEN SPARTANS!),

I was listening to NPR. Now, I don't usually listen to NPR during such short driving distances, and usually not when the kids are in the car (lest I bore them to death), but our country is in the middle of a financial crisis, and I wanted to hear what people were saying about it.

Well, the people who were talking about it on NPR were none other than Barack Obama and John McCain. You might've heard of them. Senator Obama said that this is the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression (ya think?) and Senator McCain warned us that our country's economic fundamentals are at risk, AT RISK! (duh.)

But, before you stop reading this post, I'm not about to get upon a financial or political soap box. Heaven forbid. No, No, No....this is an amusing Liam story, so keep reading.

So, I'm listening to NPR, and Liam hears these guys talking (he was paying attention?) and he says to me, "Mom, what is Rock Obama, this Rock Obama ...what is he versing this guy, this guy talking right now, I forget his name, what's his name?"

Me: "John McCain"

Liam: "Yeah, him. What are they versing each other for?"

Me: "Well, these two guys are in a competition to see who gets to be the next ..."

Liam interrupts: "President." (how does my 7 year old know this? he must be a GENIUS!)

Me: "Yes, they are competing against each other to see who gets to be the next President of the United States of America." (I can't have him thinking they're running for the presidency of student council or of the Sara Palin fan club or something ridiculous like that. This is important.)

Me: "So, Liam, do you know who the current President of the United States is?"

Liam: "Yes, Yes I do. His name's....his name's....uhhh....President WOOD!"

Me: "Hmmm, no. Not quite, honey."

Liam (interrupting me again): "No, No, No. That's not it. That's not it. It''s..." (as we're driving down a dirt road with rows and rows of trees and fields and woods and shrubs and BUSHES next to us and I'm dying to give him a clue, but I've just gotta see if he can come up with this on his own, so I let him think a minute.) "Presidennnnnt (slight pause) BUSH. President Bush!"

Me: "Yep, that's right. George W. Bush." (Wow, I'm thinking to myself, this kid knows alot more than I give him credit for!)

Liam: "Yep, George Washington Bush." (OK, so he doesn't know everything.)

Then I started thinking, hmm, what DOES the W. stand for? William? I know it's not Washington. Or maybe it IS Washington, but I really don't think so.


Thank God for Google.