This weekend was the Cheeze family's annual Pumpkin Carving extravaganza. You see, we love Halloween here at the Cheeze household. And by love, I mean build a coffin, plant a cemetery in your side yard, carve more than two pumpkins each, scare the neighbors kind of love. Bubba is always coming up with new ideas to turn our otherwise tasteful front yard into a den of spooks and goblins. This year it was the coffin. He got almost giddy when he came up with the idea and then maniacal laughter ensued when his creation was finished. BoyBoy has his very own fog machine - and not one of those wimpy ones you can get at the Target - an industrial, movie quality, timer activated, special juice fog machine. Add to all of that a green light bulbin the outdoor spots and folks, you have yourselves a good ole-fashioned fright fest.
Pumpkin Carving extravaganzas are our yearly excuse to pimp our house and (force)(trick) invite the neighbors over for a little carving fun.
Guts were coming out everywhere...
and creative pumpkins were emerging.
Some were spooky:
Others were kooky:
The hit of the evening was the uber-creepy graveyard after dark...
This past weekend, the Cheeze family went to visit Bubba's oldest daughter, Paudry, at the University of Alabama. (A little back story - Bubba was married before and had two beautiful daughters, Paudry and Palli. Their relationship has been one of many ups and downs and side to sides. Recently, Paudry has reached out to us and we are grateful to be able to be in her life again) Paudry is a gorgeous, tall, gregarious 20 year-old who, after struggling through her freshman year and taking a year to be back home while her step-dad deployed, has returned to the Crimson Tide and is moving on at full speed. She invited us to Tuscaloosa to see a football game, meet her friends and roommate and see where she lives and goes to school. We jumped on a plane and went to Alabama (with a banjo on our knee - ok, I know that is getting old...)
It was a perfect weekend. She almost knocked Bubba over when she ran to hug him in the parking lot of her apartment. The look on his face was of pride and joy and will stay in my heart forever. She bounced up to her apartment and gave us the $2 tour and we met her equally gregarious roommate and their dog, Piper. She showed us all around Tuscaloosa, where she took classes and worked, partied and played, her sorority house and all the fraternity houses, and all the other parts of college life that make that time so special. We were struck by how grown up she is and at the same time still the little girl we remember. Full of promise for the future and funny stories from the past. She has overcome a lot and is a better person for it. She may still have some growing to do, but who doesn't?
And the game...OMG! I have to preface any talk about the game with the fact that there were 57 people in my high school class and 200 in my college graduating class. I am a small school girl. When we walked into that stadium (along with 92,000 other people) I was in awe! I didn't know that many people liked football! All dressed in red and chanting "ROOOOOOOLLLLL, TIDE!" at the top of their lungs, they were the most well dressed and well behaved football fans I have ever come across. Paudry loves football as much as Bubba and I do and it was great to watch them cheer together and talk about plays and players. The Tide rolled and won the game and Bubba and Paudry won each other's hearts again.
He was bursting with pride over this weekend. This is how he has always wanted his relationship to be with his daughters. He admits that he has not been perfect and could have done more in their lives, but he is ready to look to the future and the promise of better things to come. And I love him for that.
I have failed! After repeating week 3 of the 100 push-ups program and failing the weekly test for the fourth time, I have decided that the only way I will do 100 push-ups is if I am pushing up a glass of wine to my mouth!
This program is supposed to train you in 6 weeks to be able to do 100 consecutive push ups. I have had to repeat week 3 three times and still can only do 25 consecutively. My spaghetti arms are revolting! They want to remain spindly and noodle-like. They don't want to do 100 push ups unless there is a reward at the end like Mel Gibson...in a kilt. And since Mel is tied up with all his acting, producing, directing, and writing, and these days he is wearing pants, he has no time for my spaghetti arms. So, I am conceding defeat.
You can download a bloggie badge from the 100 push ups site if you are not a quitter like me, so I just made a few alterations and adapted it for my shortcomings...
This past weekend, Bubba and I took BoyBoy to an open house at the school we hope to send him to next year. This is the same school where I went to middle and high school (back in the dark ages). It is a private, college prep school with a fantastic reputation and a challenging curriculum. It was weird for me to be back on those grounds. I realized that I hadn't set foot on that campus since the day I graduated. I haven't been back for homecoming or class reunions. My excuse has been that we have always lived too far away and I knew that someday, I would be back.
I hardly recognized the place. It has grown in leaps and bounds since I graduated. Where there used to be a small art room, there are now two huge art studios. The gym where all the basketball games were played was called "The New Gym" when I was there. Now it is the "Old Gym" and is swamped by the new gym complex. There is a state of the art culture center with a auditorium that seats over 500, a new library complex with over 10,000 titles and 50 computers, the list goes on and on. The percentage of graduating students who get into the college of their choice on the first try is 99% and the average amount of scholarships awarded to each graduating class is well over a million dollars. Bubba and I were impressed, to say the least.
But what I think I was most impressed with was BoyBoy's reaction. He seemed comfortable there. He seemed excited to get started with the rest of his education. He seemed ready for the challenges ahead and eager to move on with his learning. This is the kid who hates change, with a passion! There was a moment when I lagged back on the tour and watched him walk through the halls that I once haunted. He looked so big, so grown up, so capable, so independent. He's ready...I'm just not sure I am.
My niece is addicted to my blog (Hi, P!). I think it is great that I appeal to a younger crowd. She is in the 6th grade and the most totally awesome girl I know. She is beautiful, creative, athletic, sweet and funny. I like to think she takes it all after me! (Sorry, Aunt S.)
However, now that I know that she is a Wheezer disciple, I am going to have to be more careful about my posts. No posts about boobs or lady parts. No cuss words or descriptive analogies (*wink*). No posts about my college escapades (oh, yea, I don't remember any of those anyway...)
What can I post about? Well, definitely farts. Burping is ok. iPods, Drake and Josh (whom I have just discovered and may have to start stalking), and Alex Rider - all on the okay list. Swimming, bicycling, UVa and Redskins football.
So, look forward to my next few posts...Love you, Girlie!
There is a movie that I love. Some might think that it is a movie that only men love and I can assure you that Bubba loves this one almost more than I do. Every time I watch this movie, I cry...buckets, crocodile tears, boo-hooing. If I hear the soundtrack while channel surfing, I have to stop and watch it no matter what I am doing and how long it will take to watch the rest. It inspires me in life and in love. It is classic, timeless, and beautiful from beginning to end.
Braveheart has been on our movie channel for the past month and everytime it has been on, (except one - Bubba watched it that time until about 2am) I have watched. For those who have never seen it, Braveheart is the partly historical, partly mythological story of Sir William Wallace, a Scottish commoner who fights for his country's freedom from English rule at the end of the 13th century. But more than that, it is a love story.
Wallace starts out the movie as a peaceful, simple living son of a Scottish farmer. His father and brother are killed by the English. A young William is inspired by his father's words when he tells him that he can fight - "I know you can fight, but it is our wits that make us men." He falls in love with a local girl and marries her in secret. When the secret comes out the English Soldiers murder her in order to lure him to fight against them. And fight he does. With passion both for his country and his lost love. This movie is, at times, gory and violent, tender and beautiful, comical and rediculous. It is, at all times, inspiring.
Bubba loves me without question and would fight to the end for me and BoyBoy. He is patriotic and he is loyal. And I am sure he would look great in a kilt! I am inspired by that love, that patriotism and that loyalty. But most of all I am inspired by his courage. He has fought for his country and lived to tell about it. He has woken up in the morning and stepped outside to a world that at any time could kill him. And he continues to do it every day. His retirement paperwork was approved last week and he will hang up his soldier boots for the last time next summer. But he will forever be my hero. I think that is why I love Braveheart so much - he reminds me of my husband.
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