Deciding we were due for some adventure, we headed down to College Station to spend this Thanksgiving with my little brother Andrew, who attends that obscure little school you’ve probably never heard of. The kids were ecstatic about visiting Uncle Andrew at this place called “college” which they’d never seen, only been told about. Andrew put us up at his college digs, a house he rents with four friends and which, appropriately, looks as though it belongs to 5 young men in their early 20’s. No preschool toys here, but there was a cool drum kit, an awesome Foosball table, 3 televisions, a crazy black lab named Calvin, plenty of room to run, and furniture that couldn’t be injured by little people playing on it. Oh, and did I mention a back yard the size of a small football field? You can see us posing there in our pictures we’ve included.
We spent Thanksgiving Day over at the home of some wonderful people who are like adoptive parents to Andrew, and whom Jay and I know back from my college days there at TAMU: Bo and Peggy Mills, parents to Steph Clemmons, and dear sweet folks who are always opening their home to the many college students they know from Westminster. We enjoyed visiting with a great crowd of family and friends, ate much delectable food and drank much delightful wine! What a great holiday!
All in all it was a really fun trip, if only a little dampened by the football fiasco the day we left. We are thankful to have been able to get away for a bit of a change of pace. Many thanks again to Andrew, Slim and the rest of the guys for your great hospitality!! Go Ags!!
On Friday, November 14, I headed off to Israel on behalf of my employer. Now, the last time I had some international travel, both I and Tricia (on the home front) had enormously challenging situations arise (for those who regularly read House of Horne, think “duck foot”), so I was expecting this trip to be rather straight forward in comparison. Oh well.
One hour prior to landing in Tel Aviv after flying from DFW to Chicago to Zurich, I came down with a migraine headache. Thankfully, I had packed my meds in my carry-on. Unfortunately, they didn�t seem to work, and I was pretty much ready to throw up from the pain about two hours into the Israel international customs experience. I eventually made it to the hotel and got to sleep. The next morning, as the group I was with was to begin working, I came down with another migraine that lasted through the morning and into the afternoon. At that point, I was dealing with two major issues: 1) the hit to my body of the travel, migraines, and forced fasting (I couldn�t eat while having the migraines), and 2) utter terror that something had gone terribly wrong and I was going to have one migraine right after another indefinitely.
As it turned out, the second migraine was the last, so on Monday I commenced a day late one of the more challenging work weeks I�ve ever had. We were together working, eating and talking about work, traveling and talking about work, etc. for about 18 hours a day. We did take an afternoon off to tour the old city of Jerusalem (I�ll probably put up a separate post on the tour) and one afternoon to hit the beach (we were staying right on the Mediterranean).
I landed back at DFW Sunday afternoon… it is good to be home.
I should preface this entry by saying I have had so many friends tell me stories similar to what I am about to share with you, so I know this experience is not unique to me. Kids say things so innocently, but they not always understand the effect their words might have on someone.
Today after picking Abigail up from school we all headed down to the large Half Price Bookstore off Northwest Highway. I had a couple books on hold and we spent a bit of time browsing through the children’s section too. After acquiring one tiny Thomas board book for Nicolas, one medium-sized Thomas book for Jonathan and one larger Thomas book for Abigail (aren’t we a literarily diverse family??!!) plus a copy of Madeline, whom I’ve wanted to introduce Abigail to for some time, we headed to checkout where we had to wait for a bit as there was a long line. As I paid for our purchases, several people passed by us. In order to exit the checkout area, one had to navigate a rather narrow passage, much of which we were blocking! A rather large gentleman said “Excuse me” to us as he attempted to pass by. Abigail looked up toward the voice and without missing a beat pointed to him and said very clearly, “Mommy that man is a little fat!”.
Oh dear!! I clapped my hand over her mouth but was not quite quick enough. My first thought was that having the ability to vanish into thin air at that moment would have been helpful. To tell the truth, Abigail was tempered in her description of the man. In actuality he was quite fat, but I am very thankful she did not say so. I was so concerned about how the poor man felt upon hearing my daughter’s comment. On the car ride home we had a chat about how sometimes even when we are stating something that is true, it might hurt someone’s feelings. I have to be careful though with Abigail who so much wants to please and who is quite sensitive to correction. So I carefully told her that she did not do anything wrong per se, but that sometimes instead of saying something about the way someone looks, it is good idea to keep that thought to talk about at a later time with Mommy and Daddy or another close member or friend of the family. Of course that doesn’t sound quite right to me either because in general when she makes a comment toward someone it is very appropriate, such as when she told her Grammy that she really liked her pretty dress, or when she noted how cute little Nicolas was in his Sunday outfit, or when she commented upon how well Jonathan was obeying Mommy one particular day.
So, gentle readers: what have you to say?? Have any of you found a way to verbalize what it is I’m trying to get across to my four-year old in a way which doesn’t discourage her from saying the right things but also helps her understand which things might be best left unsaid??