Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Rehearsal Dinner

The Rehearsal dinner was in a tiny cafe in Midvale, Idaho, located about 750 feet from the church. To the best of my knowledge, the cafe and the church are the only things other than a few houses and a grain elevator in Midvale, Idaho. Since Midvale is a two hour drive from Boise, we asked to have the dinner on Thursday evening. (This gave us Friday to take care of last minute details.)

On Thursday evening we arrived early in Midvale and Aimee needed to use the bathroom at the cafe. She and Megan went in, and greeted a man sitting in the cafe. Megan asked Aimee if she knew him. She replied that she did not know him, but she was probably going to be related to him, since her fiance is related to everyone in Midvale except the infamous Sen. Larry Craig. (We did not invite Sen. Craig to the wedding, because we were afraid that he might come. Some of our other guests might have made an issue of his presence, and made him feel less than welcome.) At any rate, it turned out that Aimee actually is related to this man, and he was also the pastor who performed the ceremony. Life really is stranger than fiction.

The cafe dinner; meatloaf, potatoes, a great salad bar, homemade veggie soup, the best rolls that I have ever eaten in my life, and cheesecake, was great. After dinner, we rolled our fat bodies over to the church. The moms spent their time trying to stay out of the way and not be controlling or demanding which was really funny because everything was so low key that it was almost too low key! Aimee decided to march in after her bridesmaids. I took a video of the practice with my camera, and in the middle of practice, Aimee ran off the platform to the back of the church. Someone yelled, "Runaway Bride," but she was back momentarily after helping with the sound or something. I can't remember too much more about the practice except that they practiced about 3 times how everything would work. I set up a table for the cake people to put the cake on, and everyone departed happily.

On Friday, we ambled around taking care of things, and Aimee turned out to be the only offspring home for dinner. So, for her Last Supper, she requested spaghetti, but without the Awful Whole Wheat pasta. We did it Her Way. She spent hours doing her laundry. If you have ever seen her room, you know that for months it has been difficult to even make a path into the room because of the books and clothing strewn about. She could not use her desk or her chair because they were filled with stuff. I quit using her bathroom, even in emergencies, because she quit cleaning it months ago. She would use her laptop while sitting on her bed or come upstairs and work on our sofa because her workspace was not usable. I hope the Brent is ready for this woman. I have to say that she also got all A's and one A plus, and she is vice president of two campus organizations and has two part time jobs etc. She is in more organizations, but she is only an officer in two. Anyway, that is why her room is a mess. It never makes it into the action part of her priority list. Abby and I keep smelling something terrible in her room since the wedding, but we cannot figure out what it is. It is like something died in there. We have given up the search and decided that we will really, really clean it when she leaves.

I have to get ready for work, so I will continue with the Wedding Story later!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Lied

I am not filling you in on the wedding yet, although it was perfectly wonderful. I don't have much time.

Here is my news: today I finished teaching home school math!!! I have been doing it for about 16 years, and this is a momentous occasion. Next year, Abby will be taking Trig/Pre Calc at BSU, and I am DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, and in the English Lit. Anthology, I found the following aphorism:

"We do not know what education could do for us, because we have never tried it."

It is all too true in the U.S.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Today's Wisdom

"Pooh," said Rabbit kindly, "you haven't any brain."
"I know," said Pooh humbly.

Wedding Day

It was a beautiful wedding with a hundred awesome details, but the mother of the bride is taking a day off! I promise to fill you in later.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I fell for it.

It was not Aimee's dream since she was six years old to go down the aisle first; she made that up. She told her bridesmaids that she would say that if anyone questioned her decision! Last night at the rehearsal, she changed her mind and decided to walk in last...I am so naive.

The rehearsal dinner was great. I did not expect that because it was at the only diner, a tiny little diner in a tiny little Idaho town. It was fantastic.

The rehearsal went went although not everyone could make it. Of course, in the end, it doesn't matter if the rehearsal goes well, but if the real thing goes well.

I could not sleep last night, and I was up until 5 a.m. Yes, I am bleary and teary today. Aimee and I took a morning walk, and I took the girls out to lunch and we met up with Mr. Sinta.

I have spent my day running around getting last minute things for the wedding. Some of it was fun things like bottles of bubbles to blow at the honeymoon farewell. My house is really disorderly at the moment. We keep getting more and more gifts in the mail and delivered. Abby had to go to work tonight. I think I am going to try to take a nap. I feel weepy and off-center. I am confident that tomorrow will be lots of fun.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We Are Making Ourselves Ready

There is a Bible verse that says something like this: The bride hath made herself ready.

Until now, I don't think that I have fully appreciated that verse. There is the preparation for the wedding, of course, but also there is a different kind of getting ready. Ready to leave home, ready to make a lifetime commitment, ready to become vulnerable in a hundred different ways, ready to trust someone who is still untried but true, ready to forgive and be forgiven, ready to step to the place of knowing the only one you can really turn to for help is the Lord. A bride who has prepared herself is wearing a suit of armor under that lovely white dress. She is ready.

The truth be told: I doubt that I was really ready for marriage, but Mr. Sinta was ready enough for both of us. I was tired of being single, and he was the only person I could imagine spending my life with; still is. I had a terrible case of cold feet the week after we were engaged. The idea of marriage terrified me so much that if my (computer factory) boss at that time had not been a knowing-about-these-things Christian woman from my own church, we would not have been married. On our wedding day, I broke down and cried shortly after we entered the building from stress. Even now, I can safely tell you that it was the worst day of my Christian life. I was glad to get married by then, exceedingly glad, but sick of the all of the wedding manipulations and idiocy that was going on behind the scenes. While I was just hanging out with my bridesmaids, Mr. Sinta was on his knees praying with his groomsmen. This was probably the best indicator that we were going to be okay.

It is very different being the mother of the bride. Aimee is so ready, and so beautiful. It will be an awesome day; I just know it. It is the next day that I am not looking forward to when she is not living at my house anymore. For 19 years, we have had her hanging out eating all the gummi worms, and then, POOF! She will be eating someone else's candy. Probably someone else's cooking as well since she is not really a kitchen person. Aimee feels that kitchens are for socializing. The last few years I see her late at night and we talk in the kitchen. She likes to hang out in the kitchen at parties as well. Maybe an interesting transition is about to happen! She may actually cook something there.

As a good homeschool mom, I did actually teach her to cook at one point. Well, my version of teaching anyone to cook goes like this. I teach you to read. I teach you to do dishes. Then, one day I plant you in the kitchen with the cookbook, the tools and the supplies and I leave. I leave because I love you, and I cannot stand to teach people to cook. It is messy, and I stress out at the mess, and the mistakes.

I also taught my kids to clean the house, and to work hard. That does not mean that they are tidy housekeepers, but that they cannot claim ignorance in any of these areas. I do not expect college students to do much around the house. This will probably also be an area of transition.

Tonight is the rehearsal dinner. East is meeting West. We are making ourselves ready.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Narnia Opening - The Misadventure

Last night I ventured out (with my kids) to a downtown midnight opening of the new Narnia movie, Prince Caspian. It turned out to be a series of bad decisions on my part.

Bad decision number one: I should have gone to Meridian to watch it. Why? Lots of my friends were going to be there. In Boise, I found only one friend to talk to before the movie. I forgot to have my parking garage ticket validated, and it cost me six bucks to park in addition to the full price for the movie. It would have more than paid for the gas to Meridian.

Bad decision number two: The parking garage that we wanted was closed for construction, and we got stuck on the second floor of a different garage. It was so full, even at 3 a.m., that we were sucking exhaust for 20 minutes before we could get out of it.

Bad decision number three: As we sat and talked pre-movie, I noticed some obnoxious high schoolers behind us. I made the ridiculous assumption that this would not matter once the movie started. One young man talked for the entire length of the movie. We should have moved before, or even during the movie.

Bad decision number four: After one of our number personally confronted this young man, without response, I gave him the Mother Look. So did the Other Mother.

Bad decision number five: I went to get the manager too late. By the time that I had totally had it, the manager could not be found. I came up with two non-English speaking janitors who could not locate the manager. They were not willing to slit his throat until after the end of the movie, which I deemed a pointless risk, so I reluctantly advised them to go back to cleaning the lobby, a more stable job than contract killing.

Bad decision number six: I decided to relax and enjoy the last twenty minutes of the movie. Near the end of the movie, there is a huge departure from the actual book by C.S. Lewis. This ordinarily would be of no consequence whatsoever to me because I have not read all of the books in the series. (Please do not send hate mail. I actually own the books; I just haven't read them all...yet. I own lots of Lewis' books. For some of you, this is sacrilege; I know. I have only read the first one.) Unbeknownst to me, two girls about 12 and 14, who sat to my immediate right, had decided weeks earlier to come in full costume (this movie has a cult following, remember), and to defend the integrity of the original manuscript. When the movie took an abrupt left turn from the book, they stood together with swords high in the air and screamed, "Stick to the book." I admire their mettle, but it was a little unnerving.

Bad decision number seven: Wednesday night, I only slept for four hours. Thursday night, I only slept for about four hours. I got to sleep about 4 a.m., and the phone got me up at 7:59 a.m. Thank you, Federal Express. After work today, I had such an incredible head ache that I could not sleep. I am thankful for Ibuprofen. Aimee just got home. She did the same not sleeping routine for two nights and also has the same head ache. When will I learn? Probably, I won't. Things like movie openings only happen ONCE. Carpe diem, everyone!

Aside from all of that, I liked this movie much more than the first one. I won't tell you about it because I do not want to ruin it for you.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You Will Laugh

Just before we left on our trip, Aimee showed the following clip from SNL to Abby and me. Abby did Penelope impressions for me at various times which was hysterical!

Without further ado, for your entertainment, I give you Penelope.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Trip Rewards From the Oregon Coast

In the mail today I received a trip points reward card for staying at a Ramada on part of our trip. If I stay at a Ramada three more times in the near future, I will get thousands of points which will actually benefit me if I stay at the Ramada even more times in the near future. I think that you need to reevaluate your life if you want to stay at a Ramada Inn that much.

Everyone survived the trip; those who left, and those college students who stayed home.

Abby and I visited Powell's bookstore in Portland on Thursday afternoon, sans Mr. Sinta, who was working at a job we have near there. He really did not want to go to Powell's. We did not mind going by ourselves although I must admit that even with a map quest set of directions and with Abby as my reader/navigator that it was a little hairy on their freeway system. It seems like in Portland that each road lasts about .3 miles before you need to make an immediate exit to the other side of the freeway. We loved Powell's. I found the book of a lifetime which I have already read and re-read by a Henri Nouwen, entitled The Only Necessary Thing. Actually, it is a compilation of just about everything that he wrote about living a prayerful life, and it was put together after his death by a close friend. It has transformed anything that I formerly thought about spirituality. I also bought The Tale of Two Cities, which I despise, and a really neato box of activities to help spur on reluctant writers. I haven't had time to open it yet. Aimee thinks it is a relatively worthless box because she has never needed help writing. She is working on a Gothic short story for a final project at the moment. She can pump out stuff like that without any sweat.

Eventually, we picked up Mr. Sinta and headed to Lincoln City where we stayed in a condo. In the bug, we just barely fit everything, including a cooler and all of our luggage. We visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium, which was wonderful, especially the jellyfish, and the hands on tide pool exhibit. For the first time we were able to go through the shark tube. Absolutely amazing. They had lots of sharks. The thought provoking thing is that they all are from the Oregon Coast. I did not want to think about that. Evidently there are definite boundaries in the ocean determined by depth and temperature which fish recognize. The sharks stay in the deepest places. They were awesome to see. The curators assured me that there is no particular shark named The Man Eating Shark. A man eating shark is just any shark that eats you. Comforting. I am wondering how much attention sharks pay to boundaries.

We ate at Mo's for the best chowder. Abby and I love it. Mr. Sinta does not. They also have a great berry cobbler. Mr. Sinta does not like that either, so he got a brownie hot fudge sundae with loads of whipped cream. I have to admit that the cobbler kind of paled in significance when the sundae came to the table.

The weather at the coast was one sunny afternoon, one rainy morning, and windy or very breezy the other days. We had a great time anyway because we love the ocean.

Abby and I watched two sci fi movies. We do not have cable at home, so whenever we go to the coast, we watch far too much television. One of the movies was a global warming movie from about 1952. The short guy who played Eegore in Frankenstein was supposed to be a military/political leader, and I thought it was hysterical. The global warming was caused by a giant ring of fire around the earth which eventually a nuclear sub (complete with glass windows) shot out of the sky with a nuclear weapon. Only seconds after they belted out the hardware, the sub surfaced and they all rejoiced that the earth was safe. Of course, they were unconcerned about fall out etc. We enjoyed the special effects of the giant squid and the shark among other things. Life was simpler then.

I found lots of rocks, and not many shells on the beach. Oh well. One shell that I found was really nice until I discovered that it still had an inhabitant. I put it back. We found a great tide pool with colorful anemones and starfish. We are still amazed at the life in the ocean.

On Wednesday, I dropped off Mr. Sinta and Abby at the airport and ventured over to shop at IKEA for the afternoon. That is probably my favorite store in the world. Lucky for me, it was so close to the airport and the hotel that even I could not get lost. Amazing. I am almost prone to guess that God had somehow predetermined that they would place all of that strategically close together for my benefit. Maybe that is just a little too much of a Shealy-centered universe!

Of course, I got to stay in Portland for the annual conference at City Bible Church from Wednesday to Saturday, after the trip. ( I was gone nine days in all.) The conference was fantastic. I always come home from that spiritually energized and physically exhausted, but it was worth it. I will simply say that I was greeted, upon arriving home, by Ryan who immediately let me know that we were almost completely out of milk etc. He and Aimee were famished from the lack of leftovers. They seldom make it to a meal, but they scrounge when we are asleep. That is a college student welcome for you!

Before I go, I had the best Mother's Day ever. The girls brought me breakfast in bed, fresh cut flowers from the florist (not the backyard), a gift card to a book store, and a set of really cool pens. Mr. Sinta took me to Guido's (NY Pizza) for lunch with Aimee. In the afternoon, I grocery shopped to satisfy the natives, and in the evening Mr. Sinta cooked steaks on the grill for us. Amazingly, and this is a near miracle, all five of us ate supper together and then we went to see Iron Man. Ryan bought my ticket.

Mr. Sinta and I think that was probably our last big fun thing to do as a family before the wedding. It is so hard to get everyone together. Anyway, it was a great day.

Yikes, all for now.