Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Eli's T-shirt from the WSCC softball team
The history of applying a design to a garment or fabric to denote rank or distinguish groups is known to date back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, but it could possibly date back to even before the Babylonian civilization. That’s a really long time ago. But, it believed that it wasn’t until the cover of LIFE magazine in July of 1942 that print met its iconic match - the T-shirt. The under-garment had been in use since the Spanish-American War in 1898 by the U.S. Navy.  The T-shirt became popular for its light-weight and easy-cleaning cotton fabric among men in laborious jobs and among little boys who needed an alternative play shirt. The word T-shirt, of course, taken from its shape when flat, became an official American-English word in the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 1920. It made its transition to popular outwear when Marlon Brando wore a T-shirt as his shirt in the movie A Streetcar Named Desire. I love T-shirts - plain, printed, cotton or blend. I do not feel like a vacation or a visit to a place or event is complete without a T-shirt to represent it. So, have I been clear that I like T-shirts?
I was in Decatur, so I took the kids to the All-Wright Bakery.
 When I was little my parents owned a businessin Decatur and
we would stop here to get donuts and thumbprint cookies.

Members of the WSCC softball team.
When I looked at the archives of my blog, I see that I have only written one other entry in July. Wow! That really speaks to how busy we have been, plus I just don’t have that much interesting to write about Eli. Thanks be to our Creator and merciful and loving God that we have been enjoying regular, normal, routine, busy, family-of-six stuff. I am happy to share it, but I guarantee that most of you will have similar pictures and stories – and my prayer is that you do and that you can appreciate it the way we do now. I will share, for documenting purposes, that my paranoia is flaring again because there is a tiny speck – seriously, a speck – on his lip that has a tinge of red in it. When Eli was diagnosed, he had this weird red bump on his upper lip. It was never a scab; it was raised slightly but smooth, right on the line of his lip. The doctor never thought anything of it, though I pointed it out several times and could see that it was growing and changing. I wish I could remember when I first noticed it was gone. I think he still had it after radiation, but it was definitely gone by the time we did chemo. So, now, Eagle-eye mom sees this little speck, I mean the size of a pore, on his upper lip just above where the other one was when he was diagnosed. Every time he looks up at me in all his snaggle-tooth sweetness to tell me something about Megatron and Optimus Prime, all I see is this speck. It tortures me.
Hg at camp. She is leftback.
Trying out running-ish exercise.
 So, moving on… I am ear-lobe deep in organizing a St. Jude charity fashion show for August 24. I told a friend that sometimes I wonder if during the night my sub-conscious says to me, “Hey, Kristie, think ofsomething that you know less than zero about, something that is completely foreign to you, something that you will need a lot of help to do, and organize it into a big community event. It’ll be fun.” I will echo Vic’s sentiments that he offers often about my sundry activities, “Isn’t there something smaller you could start with?” I think part of the problem is that I work backwards. I visualize how I want something to be in the end, and then I work toward that vision. I haven’t figured out where reality fits into the vision, so that very well could be the missing piece to the puzzle that is me. But, despite ME, it is going to be super, really super. In addition to The Grasshopper children’s boutique and Goody 2 Shoes Fashions, we have added Paparazzi Jewelry by Pam Moss to the line-up for which we are bringing in cancer moms as models, and I am excited to have Athens Athletics join us as well. I think its participation really broadens the interest and puts a great spin on this Back-To-School show. It’s going to be a great event for our community, and give some of our local St.
At camp.
Me and the girls in a boat again!
Jude patients a little fun and attention, and of course raise money for a deserving non-profit group that saves the lives of children. In 100 lifetimes I could never work hard enough to raise enough money to equal what
 St. Jude has given us, but I am honored to do the tiny bit that I can. Thank you all for supporting us in all that we do. I can give all of my energy and effort to help St. Jude, but if you guys didn’t come through in your support it wouldn’t matter. So, Eli received a special T-shirt this week. We have been at Wallace State Community College watching Hg in volleyball camp for part of the week. The school is home to the two-time junior college national softball champs. The Lady Lions are coached by hometown gal Jayne Clem, who ironically coached a little rec league team that I was on when I was maybe 10 or 11. I won’t repeat my love of the game, but I was excited to see members of the team running a concession area and
 Coach Clem nearby. I do not know her personally, beyond that spring in 1980 or so, but I just had to speak because I am a fan of hers and have been happy to see her success and that of a nearby school. I introduced her to Eli, and I think she kind ofalready knew who he was, so that was exciting for me, at least. He was his usual. We brought them Eli bracelets the next day, and they made pictures with him. He didn’t want to show it, but he liked the attention. I had already decided when I found out that we were going down there that I wanted a T-shirt for softball - because, hey, it’s not every year that there is a national championship to celebrate of a state team - so I went to the bookstore to get one. The pickins’ at the bookstore wuz slim. So, I figured I’d wait until the spring when the Lady Lions began their march toward a third crown because surely by then the bookstore would have something in support. So, the next day, Coach Clem had me a softball shirt, and I am beyond thrilled about it, and the girls gave Eli a shirt with their creed on it. And let me tell you, it could not be more perfect and beautiful. I hope you can read it in the picture.
It was a fun week… oh, did I say that we were there for volleyball. Yes, we were at Wallace State for volleyball camp because Hg is playing middle school volleyball. She hates it, but mainly she hates it because she is shy and she is lazy - horrible combination. An outgoing lazy person or a shy active person is much more tolerable. But, I do make her play. Yes, I know that is very taboo. But part of the opportunities of going to a small, private school is being able to participate in things that one would not be able to at another school. And I strongly believe the lessons she learns from participating in a team sport are highly valuable, even if it is just for a couple of years, which is all she will play because try-outs will actually have cuts by then. I just want her to experience competition, experience winning and losing, experience being on a team, experience
Awh! He took a hook in the eye.
trying hard at something physical, and learn something that I think will be useful to her socially. She tries very hard to not like it, but I think she actually does like it a little. She is also trying cross-country because that is her last hope to fulfill my requirement that she pick one sport that the school has in which to participate. And, I’m good with that. It is something that she can do on a team or as an individual that she can do her entire life for general fitness health. But, I won’t let her quit volleyball until she completes the summer work, and I won’t let her join cross-country when school starts if she is not ready. So, she goes to practices when we can and I told her that she needs to practice on her own. If she is not ready for Cross-country, she
We have a new DQ!
is not allowed to quit volleyball.  Caleb wanted to quit karate. He has been crying at every lesson for the last four or five and began crying at home before we would even leave for the lesson. He said he wanted to quit. So, I made him a deal that if he did four lessons without crying, he could quit, but that crying doesn’t getting him anything he wants. We had moved him to a group class with kids his age and a friend from pre-school was there. He had a great time. I hope he doesn’t quit because he actually does well.Poor Abbey has fallen between the cracks some. She has told me she wants to focus on basketball, but I have missed all the camps. She would actually do much better at soccer, but she just won’t have anything to do with it. Eli did my heart good when he told me he wants to take golf lessons. Really! Don’t mess with my emotions, boy! I hope he does for realsies, that would be perfect for him and our school has a team. There are two summer things that last summer while Eli was in treatment he mentioned missing out on. One is Vacation Bible School, the other is Bible camp. We love our VBS, and so do hundreds of other kids. I think they averaged about 360 kids a night. Our familyminister comes up with the theme and curriculum himself, and it is always spectacular. The girls have been to two Bible camps and Abbey went to a third this week. There are a handful of older girls there and boys from church, but she doesn’t really know them, and knows no one in her cabin. She was very brave to try something new that involved meeting new people. I know she was nervous because several times before I left she would say, “I hope I meet just one friend, at least. Don’t you think I could do that, just one?” It was tough to leave her, but I have heard great things about the camp and we will strike it up to experience for the both of us. The boys went to mini-camp and Eli was so excited to go. The girls and I did some fishing there on the lake shore at camp, just some little bluegill for fun. While the girls were at that camp, Eli said, “So, let’s do something to celebrate the girls being gone.” I hear ya, big guy! Both boys were so good for me thefirst part of the week as I did some chores, so we went bowling one day, and another day we went to our favorite free museum – Cook’s Museum of Natural History in Decatur. My kids love it – mostly because I let them buy something since it is free admission. But, it is a neat place, only takes about a20 minutes to see it all, unless there are enough to warrant cranking up the educational movie, then you can stretch out the visit. There are insects, of course, but also rocks, fossils, and bones. But, the best part is the animals. All the animals are carcasses that were evidence received in illegal poaching cases. Cook’s has them stuffed and gives the animal new life as an educational display. It is a sweet little
hometown museum, we like it. School starts for us in about two weeks. I hope Eli is ready. We have not been great about his make-up work, some yes, but perfect, no. I’m dreading that soon we will begin to see an interest gap grow between him and the other boys. Just his ability to keep up with them physically is going to begin to show this year and spill over socially. It will be heartbreaking for me to watch because I think it will hurt him mentally to feel that perception of separation and rejection by his peers (nothing malicious, just natural). I read a lot about social issues with brain tumor kids, and I need to stop doing that because all these kids are different and all of their environments are different. It is going to be interesting to watch his development and growth.
At the bug museum.
Thank you for your continued prayers! Please share the blog so we can build our audience for St. Jude fundraising.

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