Monday, September 24, 2007

About This Blog

There are moments in life that make us cringe or grin. There are moments in life that make us chuckle silently. Such moments are never few and far between when you toss children who happen to say the darndest things into the equation. This is the premise of My Family Scene. The Cast of Characters are often family members.

Kid Sid-13 (can you say girlie girl?)-
Scrawny-8 (witty, feisty, the son we never had)
Furr-Ball-5 (sweet; loves to hug everyone)
Daddoo-40ish (what a mighty good man!)

And Yep, all of the anecdotes on this blog are based on my recollection of factual situations that occurred over the years. So, kick off your shoes; let down your hair. Listen to a YouTube tune while you look around if you like. Thank you for visiting. Hope you'll come again for updates. Above all, be sure to add My Family Scene in your Favorites Folder!

P.S. Should you run into an entry that sounds like an assured, some major sponsor that's been slipping me a few dollars under the table-enough for a Mcdonald's happy meal-put me up to it-:)

Bennie Droese -August 07

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My List of Things to do Today

I wanna talk about me,
I wanna talk about I,
I wanna talk about number one,
Oh my, me, my...
As much as I love Toby Keith, “My List of Things to do Today” title, has absolutely nothing, let me reiterate, nothing to do with that song!

It’s 4:21am. I’m wide-awake and I’m not quite sure why. I’d say however, if I lived somewhere in the boondocks in an era where if you really gotta go… the “out-house” was your only option and the sound of the cock crowing at dawn was the alarm clock in the neighborhood, I’d be doing the victory dance. I think I pretty much dusted the roosters this morning. Oh yeah baby, one for the team!(Drum roll por favor!)

Anyhow, my nose is running like my kitchen faucet; yet, plugged like the drainpipe underneath. I quietly slide out of bed and tippy toe downstairs to the guest bathroom so I could do what a girl’s gotta do. Nooooo, it's not what you're thinking! I turn the exhaust fan on and comfortably plant my tush on the toilet seat. Nooooo, again. I’m not about to pinch a loaf. I just needed a buffer for the sound I’m about to make. The infamous “snortyliquidysquishy” sound of me trying to clear my sinuses, without waking everyone up.

Ahhhhhhh. I feel so much better now. Well, it’s too early to head out for my early morning "snail speed" jog. So, I am going to procrastinate a bit and then start working diligently on my “to do list."

To all stay-at-home moms or dads, if your list bears any semblance to mine, don't worry, be happy!

Between 5:30am – 7:30am

1. Half an hour morning jog
2. Wake up hubby; make his breakfast, pack his lunch and snack; off to work he goes
3. Wake up my three rug rats; get them ready for school with varying packed lunches
4. Drop off my teenage daughter at the bus stop. Drive my younger two to school

Between 7:50am-10: 10am
5. Finish writing "My list of Things to do Today"
6. Continue to update my pilot blog
7. Schedule a contact lens examination for hubby

Between 10:20am-10: 50am
8. School Lunch with my Kindergartner (I’m still having trouble severing that elusive apron string)

Between 11:00am- 2:00pm
9. Pay bills. Make phone calls to dispute bills that I did not incur and have no intention of paying
10. Vacuum main level. Make the beds.
11. Tidy up. Put away dishes. Toss all action figure toys that are still laying around...and I've stepped...more than once in the last few days
12. Work on a feature story I’ve been half @ssing
13. Take our minivan in for an oil change
14. Stop by the bank to deposit a check
15. Swing by our elementary school to pick up my children

Between 2:20pm-4: 30pm
16. Snack time with the kids
17. Run a quick load of laundry
18. Check my email (compose or respond)
19. Make my cyberspace rounds at my favorite sites, boards and forums...maybe contribute my two cents
20. Make hotel reservations for our upcoming family trip to somewhere...anywhere (this weekend)

Between 5:00pm-6:00pm
21. Prepare dinner or order papa John’s Pizza
22. Help the children with their homework

And later in the evening when Daddoo asks, “So… what did you do today?” during our after dinner evening stroll or a commercial break in-between “Big brother 8,” I’d probably say something profound like, “Not much.” Or, “Same old, same old.”

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Ocean

NOTE: The "Embrace the Wonder" series features excerpts from a collaborative book/music project in progress. John Droese is the main author. However, there are other contributors whose stories would also be featured in this category...

As far back as he could remember, Clyde wanted to see the ocean; but he didn’t really know why. Somewhere deep inside, there was this voice that would come and go. Yet, he couldn’t place it. It wasn’t in his head. It wasn’t in his heart. It pumped through his entire body like blood. “There is a purpose,” it said; “God made me this way for a reason. If I could only see the ocean, the answers would become clear.”

Clyde stands in the WalMart parking lot trying to shake off that voice, that feeling. It’s hot and humid but he knows that the summer is coming to an end. A voice hits him in the face like a cold wind!

“Snap out of it Clyde!”

“ Hey Joe!” Clyde spins around smiling. “Please tell me about the ocean again.”

“Are you still thinking about that? Give it up already man!”

“Well, don’t you remember?” asks Clyde. “Yes I remember.” “And how did it make you feel?” “Complete”. “So why not talk about it?” “ I’ve given up on that long ago,” explains Joe. “Those footprints were washed out by the rising tide. So forget about it okay?”

“I can’t” Clyde says. “That voice! You know, the one about there being a purpose for everything and being made this way for a reason? It just keeps on.”

“Look man, I hear you. You just need to find other ways to ignore it. Watch more TV, read more books or whatever... just find other ways to quiet that voice ok?” “Well, I do. That’s why I hang out with you guys by the Sandbox! You said it’s just like the Beach and I love to listen to all those stories about the ocean.”

“Hey, you and Sheila are getting pretty serious right?” inquires Joe. “Yeah”. “So, why not start a family? That should do it. You'd be so busy running after the kids that you won't even have time to worry about anything else.” “I don’t know.”

“There is a purpose. God made you that way for a reason.”

“Who said that!” responds Clyde; astonished. It was Quan. Clyde liked him even though he was older and set in his ways. “So what’s the purpose oh wise one? Do we all have the same answers? What are they?”

“Young Man,” Quan begins, “You have it all wrong. We were all born with the same questions. The answer is what changes somewhere between you and me.” “What do you mean?”asks Clyde. “ I think we were all given special gifts-A special desire- A dream, if you will. Only the completion of that dream will give you the answers you seek.” “You mean sorta like, how I want to see the ocean?” “Maybe,” replies Quan. “Make the journey and all will be revealed to you.” “But what if it’s hard?”

“It will be hard. Many times, you will want to stop along the way and find substitute answers or other things to occupy your mind and pacify that voice.”
“Boy oh boy!” sighs, Clyde. “Just remember, finding the answers is like following footprints in the sea.” “What exactly does that mean? You sound like Joe!”
“You will know when your journey is complete”.

The road was long and difficult like Quan said. But Clyde took the trip. He was nearing the ocean. He could hear the waves breaking on shore. He could smell the saltwater in the air. The voice pumping through his veins was louder now than ever. “There is a purpose. God made me this way for a reason.” The same voice that kept him going when times got tough…the same voice that was there to drive him. Sometimes it was quieter, but always there. It had never been this loud before; so, he knew he must be near!

The sun began to set as Clyde reached the beach. Suddenly, all the answers swarmed over him. The meaning of life! Why God made him this way! It was all perfectly clear now.

Standing on the white grainy sand watching the sun fade to a thin red line, Clyde felt complete. He spread out his white and black wings and flew out over the ocean. As he joined the other gulls, he wondered why those he had left behind at that parking lot didn’t follow that voice and take the journey. As he floated on the wind, he was just as God intended for him to be...FREE!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Use it or Lose it

Clich├ęs, ahhhhhhhh…you gotta love them. “Use it or lose it” is one that gets tossed around quite a bit in my household for good reason. I want my children to understand this concept. I want them to comprehend the correlation between lack of physical activity and muscle atrophy. At every opportune moment, I try to illustrate or reiterate what happens to brains cells when they are not stimulated or utilized. Above all, I want my teenage daughter to fully grasp the concept that surfing between Nickelodeon, Disney, Cartoon Network or Fox family channels with her remote control and darting downstairs (several times) to grab a snack or a drink does not count as exercising.

Sometime last year, we were getting ready for a weekend getaway. I handed our list of toiletries to "Scrawny" and asked her to do the packing. Of course I had to double check. Then I counted the toothbrushes. Mine was missing and I wanted to know why!

“Well, I tossed it in the garbage” she blurted. “Why would you do such a thing?” I asked.
“Because you always say use it or lose it and I never see you brushing your teeth that much.”
“I do too,” I replied.” “But you didn’t brush last night.”

Phew! She got me there! But I was the grown up. I had a pretty logical idea of how to wiggle my way out of that sticky situation. I looked her straight in the eye and carefully explained that because she didn’t actually catch me in the act should not translate to…I didn’t do it. Or did I? Well, whatever! The bottom line is… we need to be mindful of what we do and say in the presence of our very impressionable young minds. We must especially try to walk the talk while they are looming around. After all, we want them to follow in our footsteps…don’t we?

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Day I Goofed About the Tooth-Fairy

The day "Scrawny" finally lost her first tooth, was the day she discovered the existence of cloud nine. Truth be told, I don't think she cared that much for the darn tooth. I think she was calculating the potential financial reward from this event. In fact, I am unequivocally positive that in her mind, she believed she was about to start raking in some serious mucho dinero like her Big Sister.

“Mom, do you think I’d at least get 10 bucks like Sidney?” She asked, with a big grin.
“Well, it depends on how much the Tooth-Fairy thinks your tiny tooth is worth.” I teased.

That evening, Daddoo and Kid Sid collaborated. Into an envelope, they tossed a ten-dollar bill and crafted a handwritten note that read…
“Mikala, thank you for the tooth,
Sincerely, Lucy-The Tooth Fairy”

“How did she know my name?” I overheard her asking her Dad the following morning, as she read the note out loud…again...and again!
“The same way Santa Clause knows who'd been good and who'd been bad?” I replied with a mischievous smirk.

Several months later, while she and "Furr-ball" were goofing around in my Jewelry Box, she(conveniently)found a pearly object that resembled…what? Yep, you guessed it. Her lost tooth! By the time she was done grilling me, I had no other recourse, save for the bitter truth! And when she asked, “Does this mean that Santa Clause is not real either?” I thought there was no better timing than right then, to come clean. Yep, it broke my heart and hers. But the truth, they say, shall set you free!

It's a Great Day to be Alive!

Not to worry, I'm not about to start break dancing to that country hit by Travis Tritt. Earlier this morning an email from an old friend (whom I had not seen in over two decades) brought a few tears to my eyes. The message convicted me. The message reminded me that I had not been walking the talk.The message brought me to my knees. I asked God to forgive me for all my trespasses; particularly for being downright mean to Kid Sid-my teenage daughter the day before. Why? That's another can of Frijoles Negro. Right now, I am going to print, laminate and stick a short poem I had written long ago on our refrigerator. Afterward, I'll swing by Target to pick up a copy of " J14" (her favorite magazine). I believe I owe her an apology.
P.S Please feel free to snag if "Today" speaks to you or for you.

Today-I will be Kind, Gentle and Tenderhearted.

Today-I will be Patient, Tolerant and Forgiving.
I will Speak without Raising my Voice.
I will NOT Scold, Belittle, or Ridicule.
I will Reach Out; Lend a Hand, a Shoulder, or an Ear.
I make no promises about Tomorrow; it may never come.
Today -I choose to Stand up for Good,
Even if I have to Stand Alone.
Today is a GIFT from GOD!
What are you going to do with it?

A Little White Lie Goes a Long Way...

Daddoo and I were on our way back from an evening stroll, when we noticed a man walking away from our front door.
"May we help you?" I asked.
He said he was from True Green Lawn Care Company and was just making his rounds in our family-friendly subdivision.
"By the way," he added, "You have trained your daughter well. She told me to come back later because her parents were taking a nap."

Later, after chastising kid sid for answering the doorbell in the first place (which she'd been cautioned not to), I asked, "So, why did you lie to that man?"
"Dad does it all the time!" She replied.
“Remember that time Aunt Bubba called while Dad was watching “American Idol” and he said to tell her he went jogging?"
"Young Lady, you need to do as we say not as we do."
"And you guys need to lead by example."
She was absolutely right! Children live what they learn.

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