Saturday, June 24, 2006

Backlog of cute pics

Real quick explanation: After having a Father’s day dinner last Saturday, we went to Wendy’s house and swam. The through the week, the bigguns started to get a little bored while we were at work, so they put up a new wall on our old, rotting tree-fort.

The kids have had vacation Bible school every night this week, and it was kind of nice to have a little break in the evenings. They had fun for the most part - they brought home all kinds of painting, crafts, candy, and junky little plastic prizes. They had to memorize a Bible verse every night, which the twin's did surprisingly well, and there was also a boys vs. girls giving contest. Their offerings were put into a scale and I guess the girls totally dominated. If you know Chantze, you know that this really bothered him. He bitterly complained and said that there should be some kind of limit as to how much people put in the offering.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Shortensweet was blogging about how great it is to have 2 dads, and that got me thinking. In our culture, our idea of a 'father-figure' has become blurry and abstract. With the lack of marriage so prevalent, either through divorce, or childbirth out of wedlock, it's completely common for a person to have several 'father-figures', and barely know their real dad. I'm one of those people, and, sad to say, so are two of my children to a certain extent.

You know how some algebraic equations have more than one answer, so the solution is expressed in a 'set'? That's kind of what the 'father-figure' is these days. My stepdad Fritz is the first in my set, followed by my father-in-law, and I'll always have fond/fun memories of 'rottendad'. My own dad fits into the equation, but until a year ago, I didn't know a thing about him. I'm not sure how you express that mathematically.

I suppose I wouldn't mind so much if my kids form paternal attatchments to other men, like Hailie's stepdad, Karl, for example, but I'm gonna do my best to make sure that, when they begin to start their own families, their idea of what a 'father-figure' is would be pretty darn lofty. I'm gonna set the bar as high as I can so that Chantze has an ideal to live up to, and my daughters have a standard for a mate that they won't comprimise. The next generation of Veenie Babies will influenced by what kind of a father I am, and that's a sobering thought.

You know what's cool, though? My kid's, all four of them, did housework to earn the money to buy my father's day gifts this year. That makes it ten times sweeter. I feel more appreciated because they felt I was 'worth' the effort. Thanks guys.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

It was nothing special... or was it?

Today was all about the kids. We totally focused on them and blew a wad of dough in the process. It started with ice cream sundaes at Fat Jack’s, an hour at Seyferth park, which was cold, so we spent a couple more hours at a more inland park. I don’t know the name but it was five degrees warmer and there was no shade. We left there and took a pleasant walk on the nature trails behind MCC, then we ate at El Camino’s and rented a big stack of movies.

Here’s the thing. I can rattle off a list of activities, but that in itself doesn’t convey the sweetness of the hours that we shared as a family today. Holding hands, laughing, tickling, snatching the shoes off kid's feet to throw up where they can't get them - priceless. I drove home thinking how great it would be if we could do this everyday, if these moments could last forever. But, we have jobs and dishes and laundry and so many other things that distract us from our treasures. My kids are growing (Good Lord, look at Hailie) and the days I don't focus on them are days I can never get back. Hopefully, the memories we're trying so hard to make will be enough to last us all the rest of our lives.

When I get to heaven, I hope it feels just like today did.

Did we perhaps take too many pictures?

Meanwhile, back in Veenie Baby land...

Besides our accident, life has been cruising along at its usual wild pace. We’re acting all ‘summer-like’ again; going to parks, eating grilled foods, visiting/being visited by family, hanging out in the yard, making our kids work… it’s all good.

Here’s a recent exchange I shared with my youngest daughter regarding our accident. We were backing out of my Mom’s driveway and I said,
“Paige, put your seatbelt on please.”
“I AM…. You’re not gonna kill me.”
“I know you broked Mama’s neck.”
“Why would you say that?!”
“Cuz you’re a bad driver and you wuz driving and you crashed and you broked Mama’s neck.”

Mad baby.

Thought y'all'd wanna see this.

Wrist Watch Update #4

For the record, Paige is getting along fine with her cast. She adapted instantly and hasn’t complained once. One time when we were falling asleep on the couch together, she described at length the procedure she goes through if she has an itch, “I stick a stick in here, and in here, and in here, and sometimes in here…”

I also have a confession to make; that x-ray a few posts back – I ‘doctored’ it. I drew the wicked black lines across the bone. Her actual fracture is very hard to see and I thought it’d be fun to freak everybody out so…. When I showed my blog to people at the hospital, they laughed cuz they knew right away, too bad none of you made a big deal out of it – that would have been more fun for me.

Dr. Recknagel's reaction when somebody showed him the blog x-ray: "My heart skipped a beat, I thought 'Oh crap, I don't remember reducing that fracture."
('reduction' is ortho-jargon for putting broken bones back together right)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The whole story

This is the police officer's sketch, scanned from the police report. The little boxes that represent our vehicles don't really convey the absolute 'horrific-ness' of what happened.

We were on our way to work, six-thirty in the morning, the sun was just coming up over the tops of the trees behind us. I was driving and Cindy was looking down, reading the last few pages of the book I dedicated to her, "The Runaway Apprentice." I saw the car on our right, stopped at a stop sign, waiting for traffic to clear. The car in front of us passed in front of her, and she pulled out - like we weren't even there. I slammed on the breaks, Cindy barely had time to look up, and we smashed the crap out of her. Her car went flying across the road and crashed into the cement block wall of a little store. I was surpised that I wasn't hurt, but Cindy said, "Ray, I can't breath. You've got to get me to a hospital."
I couldn't open my door so I crawled through the window and ran to see if the other woman was okay. There were instantly a dozen people milling around, all calling 911 on their cell-phones, but none of them would go to her car. I think they were thinking what I was thinking - the lady was surely dead. When I got to her, she had her cell-phone out, also calling 911. "Oh, I'm okay."
I went back to Cindy and waited with her. She knew something was wrong with her neck and wisely decided not to move at all. So the fireman got there, slapped a collar on her and eased onto a big yellow backboard (where she spent the next three hours). Then they put all three of us in the ambulance together and took us to the hospital where we spent pretty much the remainder of the day.
The rest is pretty boring, but I'll just leave this description with a couple of obversations: they don't let husbands ride in the back of ambulances holding their wives hands with deep concern, the first thing that popped into my head as we bore down on the defenseless little car was "I wonder if this will look like the car crashes in the movies", and an adrenaline rush can last more than five hours.

This truck was like a member of our family. We've had it longer than we've had most of our kids. We used to park by the lake and make out in it when we were dating. I thought we'd have it forever and I'd be able to give it to Chantze when he turned sixteen. It was twelve or thirteen years old (Cindy was it's first and only owner), it had 180,000 miles on it, it never had any major mechanical problems, and it's been paid off for almost nine years. Now, it simply doesn't exist anymore. Weird.

At least I don't have to worry about when I can get the time to change the brake pads that were starting to grind.

Goodbye, old friend.

Is this not the hottest accident victim you've ever seen?