What a weekend (it includes a fight)!

We had a fairly eventful weekend and a good time as a family.

Friday night our neighbors came over for our weekly installment of the Jeeves & Wooster series.

 Jeeves & Wooster

Can I say this is one of the greatest tv series ever put on tv? Cause it is. It’s clean, it’s funny, it’s British humor (which I am just beginning to understand and appreciate) and it’s got Hugh Laurie in it. And when he’s paired with Stephen Fry it’s even better (they also were together in Black Adder Goes Forth and some other shows). We got the complete series for Christmas and we’re trying to get them all watched before we move. Because our neighbors like J&W too (and they’re British so they can explain things to us that we would completely miss otherwise). I made French Onion Soup from Julia Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and it was fabulous.

French Cooking

Saturday Du took Reagan to Lowes for their bi-weekly build it series for kids. This time they made a little Jimmie Johnson race car. Can anyone tell NASCAR will be back soon? Later we all went to the CMU Jennie’s basketball game. I think that’s the first women’s basketball game I’ve been to. Ashlyn was interested for most of the game. We were surprised at how well she did. Vienna sausages and a cheese stick might have helped do the trick as well.

Today, after church, we headed up to the closest shopping around…45 minutes away. When going to Target is a major day out you know you live in a small town. Our new place of residence will have major shopping within minutes of our house…one of the reasons we chose to live there 🙂 This would have been a nondescript shopping experience were it not for

a kid slapping Ashlyn in the face while I was holding her.

I kid you not. We were standing around the water fountain explaining to Reagan the dangers and just plain grossness of licking the fountain (don’t ask). I was holding Ashlyn in my arms when a woman walked out of the bathroom with her two young sons. As they were walking past one just ups and slaps Ashlyn on the side of the face–hard. She begins to scream immediately. The mother is trying to scold her son and I’m standing there in shock. I’m giving one of the dirtiest looks I have ever given. I wasn’t able to move. My mind/body wanted to grab the kid and shake him, slap him back, yell at him…with curse words. Controlling myself by giving a nasty look was the only thing I could do. She blurted out that she was sorry, her son is autistic and adhd, but it didn’t sound very apologetic. That’s when the fear for my daughter shifted to compassion for this mother. Ashlyn was already starting to calm down and now all I could feel was remorse for wanting to take her kid to the ground. And of course her apology didn’t sound very apologetic–she probably has to apologize all the time. After walking away and catching my breath I went back over to her (she was still there because right after the boy slapped Ashlyn he beat his own brother and pushed him down) and let her know that Ashlyn was ok. I cried as I walked away knowing that this would affect us for maybe five minutes of our lives, this woman must deal with autism for the rest of hers.

 After Ashlyn’s first fight we then went to see THE PIRATES THAT DON’T DO ANYTHING!!!

 Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything

That was a good movie, as are most things Veggie Tale (our personal favorite: “Do the Moo Shoo” song on the Ultimate Silly Song Countdown). Reagan is able to sit through a full-length feature now that she is almost six. Ashlyn, who is almost one, was able to go about five minutes before she started commenting on everything like she was on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Fortunately the theater wasn’t crowded and everyone else was in our same situation. We still kept her quiet to the best of our ability.

So, there you have it. Our crazy, fun, somewhat violent weekend.

Bowling by numbers

4 — lane number

2.48 — speed (in miles per hour) of Reagan’s ball

0 — gutter balls (this would be awesome, except for the fact that we were bowling with gutter guards…they saved us all)

9 — Reagan’s shoe size (the smallest they carry…and she used the lightest ball they offer. How cute)

1 — loud cheerleader named Ashlyn who sat in the highchair eating baby food, cottage cheese and french fries making loud noises when any of us went up to throw the ball.

3 — splits in a row. Thank you very much. That was very hard to accomplish, but unfortunately they don’t have a name for consecutive splits, other than untalented.

TMTC (too many to count) — splits throughout the two games.

2 — almost turkeys — don’t those count? Du and I both made two strikes in a row but couldn’t pull those third ones out of anywhere.

20 — years we were taken back by the hair rock that was playing over the music system.

1 — Bud Light sticker Ashlyn managed to find while strapped in her highchair. Hmmm, it is a bowling alley I guess.

78, 68 — Reagan’s scores

107, 114 — Vicki’s scores (actually better than I thought I’d do)

90/116 — Du’s scores (he was bowling left-handed since his right shoulder is hurt)

.01 — amount per pin we were paying to play.

Suspect in a murder

Last night Du took me out for our 12th anniversary dinner and I ended up being a suspect in a murder. Mind you we were on a train in 1918 riding from Springfield to Kansas City in a blizzard. My name was Flora Clovis and I was a granddaughter to a very wealthy man in Kansas City.Everyone had eyes for his money and the will. My cousin was murdered on the train, and of course every family member on the train had motive and oportunity to do it.

It was one of the funnest (most fun just sounds so inappropriate here) nights I’ve had in such a long time. Actually it was a great day all around. I was surprised with a massage appointment in the morning. Then we relaxed all day and went to Union Station in Kansas City for our Mystery Train dinner, entitled “The Christmas Stalking.” There were four actors and they chose four of us from the dinner guests to play the other roles. Of course, we still couldn’t figure out who did it or why, even though I might have had some advantage. The whole thing was put on very well and dinner was fabulous. My compensation for playing Miss Flora was a gift certificate for another dinner. So, maybe we’ll get to go back.

Happy 12 years to us!!

Pay it forward

I had a pay it forward experience tonight. I took Reagan and one of her friends to see Enchanted. We’re standing in this insanely long line that extends nearly to the end of the parking lot. The girls are jumping around to stay warm and I’m thinking that might not be a bad idea, except I’m over 30 and it might look like I’m crazy.

 I vaguely remember that this theater does not take credit cards. (As an aside, I never carry cash. Who uses that anymore? And why would a theater–who is clearly out to suck you dry with the prices of their tickets and junk food — not accept credit cards? Pay the 3% fee and take my card!) I ask the family in front of us and they confirm my fear. They offer to give me cash if I can write them a check. I don’t carry checks either (we got our checks in 2003 with our Virginia address and still haven’t come close to using them all).

I’ve decided to stay in line though hoping there’s an ATM inside the building. This would make great sense seeing that people like me would gladly withdraw 20s with abandon and happily pay huge service fees–just let me buy your tickets and huge buckets of buttery popcorn, candy and coke! If there’s not an ATM then we’ll just go to Blockbuster, where they do take credit cards, and rent…it’ll be cheaper anyway.

We make it inside and are thawing out, still waiting in line. The family in front of us asks about the ATM. The theater not only doesn’t take credit cards but are intent to reject outright people like me. How could they not have an ATM? The father in the family turns around and hands me a $20 bill. I’m flabbergasted. He’s clearly taken by how sweet and precious the two girls with me are. They can’t be rejected with no movie at this stage. I tried to hand him the little cash I did have (which came from R’s friend’s mother or else I would have had none) but he wouldn’t take it. A true selfless gift.

I almost started crying. There was no need for this family to continue to converse with us past the initial “does this place take credit cards?” But they offered to pay our way and not even ask for change in return. I said “God bless you” after the dad told me “Merry Christmas.”

It may be silly feeling so grateful to have someone grant us access into a movie theater, especially when I have the money to get in, just not in a format this theater accepts. Maybe humbling is a better word than silly. It did make me want to run out at the earliest convenience and PAY IT FORWARD to someone else.
So, I will be looking for the soonest oportunity to pass on this selfless act of generosity…even if it’s for something as silly as a movie ticket.