Monday, March 29, 2004

Birthday Weekend

Because Anne's old roommate Alicia was getting married in Memphis on Saturday, the Rucker family came to visit this weekend. Saturday was also the 6th birthday of George, Adam, and Emma.

Julia's granddaughter Adrienne, a student at Vanderbilt, also came with them. It was great to have her smiling face around. She is good with the kids because she has a little sister Calista the same age. Her parents live in California.

Both George and Adam have lost teeth but Emma hasn't. However she definitely has a loose tooth, so it will be coming out soon.

We went out to the nursing home Saturday afternoon to see Mother. Anne was suffering from spells of allergies and did not go. It is a bit heart-breaking to see the reaction to children visiting at the nursing home. The eyes of all the patients follow them as if they are starved for the sight of children.

Adrienne and I went to visit my brother James's stepdaughter Brittney who works there on weekends. She is in nursing school during the week. Adrienne was surprised to hear that Brittney is engaged.

Back at my house Anne and Ken got ready and left for Memphis. They enjoyed seeing Alicia and a lot of old friends from law school. Sadly, they found that Alicia's father had died a few days before. Sadder still, they were estranged and he had said he was not going to the wedding.

I had a little family party for the kids. It was small, just them, me, Julia, Adrienne, Denee(Janice's daughter), and my brother James and his wife Rene. I had particularly wanted John's grandchildren to come but it was a weekend they spend with their fathers. (But I was grateful for the ones that did come.)

Julia brought her usual tuna fish sandwiches and stuffed eggs. I fixed spaghetti, coleslaw, bread sticks, and, of course, three cakes.

I had asked for small presents and the kids enjoyed the gifts far beyond the value.

With all the was going on, I did not get the kids to bed until 9 o'clock. Then we could not find Adam's blankets, a major crisis. He was so tired it was not as bad as I would have guessed. The next day Anne told me it was in the sack with their pajamas. I had just sent them to bed in the clothes they were wearing. I was so tired myself, that I read them no books, something I love to do. I made up for it Sunday.

Poor Ken worked all Sunday morning. He picked up the branches and brush in my yard, tried to fix my garage door, aired up Julia's tire, and finally reinstalled the toilet paper holder after Adam accidentally pulled it off.

I gave the kids each a gallon of bubble liquid and a sack of Lincoln Logs. George especially loved the logs. He would build houses and them knock them down, saying a tornado came through. Adrienne helped them build a lot on Saturday night. They were so proud of them and excited to show their parents what they had done. With a little help.

Someone gave them those soft pool balls. They used them to wage war on me all weekend. They would throw them at me. And Adam throws hard! Then George would yell Retreat and they would go up the stairs and throw them down on me from the balcony.

Anne asked George what the word retreat means and he gave a pretty good definition of it.

I taught the triplets and Adrienne how to suck an orange. Then I helped the kids make lemonade by using a Juice King, identical to the one we had at my house growing up.

Adam drank the lemonade despite it having some pulp in it.

I proofread a paper Anne had written for school about mathematics education. I could not do a good job of that because I kept getting mad at the content. The paper was explaining a mathematical teaching philosophy where there is no correct or incorrect logic. What a disservice to children.

When they left, of course, I was exhausted. I did clean up the kitchen but otherwise I slept till this morning. It was a great weekend and I miss them today.

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