30 November 2009

Last two hardcore weeks

I have no idea what I'm doing still awake after taking a Benadryl, but here I am. Perhaps it's the post-shopping high I'm still on from checking so many names off my list after some Cyber Monday shopping! What I really should have been doing is grading papers, as that deadline is a bit closer than my deadline for Christmas shopping! But for a die-hard online shopper like myself, Cyber Monday is not to be missed!

We had an excellent Thanksgiving in Kansas, filled with the usual great food, wild Black Friday shopping, four-wheeling (eight in use this year!), Nertz, and kid chaos! We now have FIVE two-year-olds, all born in 2007, so you can imagine what it's like with all them, plus the five older ones, in one basement together on the eve of bedtime! That was my last hoo-rah before Baby Girl Mauck arrives in January, and I came home with a sore back from that six-hour drive, and an upper respiratory infection! My OB put me on an antibiotic today, and put me on a schedule of OTC meds, too, so hopefully I'll kick this thing quickly! It's tough enough sleeping with this basketball on my front (one of the things it was lovingly compared to last week, as well as a prosthetic movie belly), without having to add in coughing and congestion!

The Pannell family will start looking more like that next year at this time, when we will have five new babies all born within a year, too! So exciting! It looks like it will be three boys and two girls, if all ultrasound predictions prove correct!

As always, I have grading AND a story deadline this week! They never seem to stagger just right; it's been both at once all semester! But I'm so thankful to have a great combination of part-time jobs that keeps me busy and fulfilled, but still home with my girl most of the time! Once I get my final grades turned in in two weeks, I'll be in full-on Christmas and baby prep mode, but one thing at a time!

15 November 2009

Chill Family Weekend

I have officially taught my last session of Comp 1 this semester! No, the semester is not over yet. But this week and next Monday before the break, I'm just meeting with students individually for their final papers and presentations, and then the week in between the break and finals week, the students will be doing their presentations. That's a little bit of pressure off, but I still have the dark cloud of final grading looming over my head!! One more month until it's all over, and then another month until my due date!

After last weekend's hustle and bustle, it was so nice to take it easy this weekend. Friday night, Jay worked until dark and then came home to our first ever Family Movie Night! Even though Jay fell asleep within 20 minutes of Monsters Versus Aliens, it was still a great night. Claire and I fixed chili and cornbread, and then hot cocoa and popcorn. We made a pallet in the floor and watched it "all togever," as Claire said with delight. I considered taking Claire to see that movie in the theater, and I'm glad we didn't end up doing that--it was neat in parts, but definitely slow in others. I was glad we could pause it for bathroom breaks and talk and read during the Presidential conferences.

Saturday, Claire and I hit the library and a couple stores in downtown Durant before lunch. Claire and I both scored big--both shop owners just loved Claire, and gave her free candy, and I actually got two people marked off my Christmas list!

I savor these casual shopping trips--Claire is such a good shopper, even in a gift shop like The Hollow Tree with quite a few breakables and racks of jewelry and such. She loves to pick things up and say, "Oh, that's cool" or "That's cute." Anyway, I know these days are numbered, as when Baby Sister comes, shopping will be a bit more trouble, although I'm sure still doable while she's still content in her carseat/stroller.

Jay came home to "work on some floor plans" after a morning of work in Calera and golf with a college buddy, which meant he ate lunch, watched football, and then headed to the office and made phone calls until Claire and I got home from an afternoon of more shopping! This time, we were on a mission for winter clothes for Claire, which we found along with Mom and Ty. Mom and Grant celebrated their SECOND ANNIVERSARY on Saturday--I cannot believe it's been two years already!!--so Grant met us in Sherman to take Mom on a date, and we took Ty back home with us. That night, we went to our church Harvest Dinner. While Claire napped yesterday, I made a strawberry pretzel salad and a caramel pecan pie for the dinner--both were great! I will try to post them on the sadly neglected cooking blog.

Here's a video of Claire "reading" her toddler Bible--she'd only heard these three stories once a few minutes before when I read them to her, and then I came back in the living room to find her re-reading them. I was really pleased to hear her say, "Look at the birds people! God doesn't feed them!" from Jesus' awesome "Consider the lilies" passage. She loves to "read" her books and is getting to where she loves for Jay and I to tell her stories about her and her friends. These are usually adaptations of her favorite books and movies--usually either Goldie (a spin on "Goldilocks and the Three Bears), The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, or The Three Little Pigs, with her and her friends' names substituted for the character names.

I've got to write this down before I forget it. A couple nights ago, Claire woke up a little while after I'd put her to bed saying she needed to go pee-pee. This is almost always either a stalling tactic or a signal that she's just woken up for some reason and wants me to put her back in bed. So after a fairly unproductive sit on the potty, we went back to her room, and Claire said, "I saw something in my room just now." This is a new thing; I can't remember her telling me she was scared of something or even telling me a story about something happening like that. So I looked around and said, "There's not anything in your room right now. Did it scare you?" She said, "Yeah. Sometimes, in my room, I see something over there," and pointed to her dresser. So I did my best to explain to her that she doesn't need to be afraid and that sometimes things look different in the dark and that can feel a little scary. I just thought that was so sad and sweet that her imagination is starting to sort of backfire on her, and that this has apparently happened before, but she is just now telling me about it.

09 November 2009

Proud moments for the Mauck family!

We welcomed our hunting hubby/daddy home Friday night from his WEEK-LONG trip to western Kansas. Claire and I spent the week in Coleman at Nana and Grandad's old house/Mom, Grant, and Ty's temporary house while Jay was gone. I really don't mind staying by myself that much, but last week I had a story assignment to travel and write for, and a slew of papers to grade, so I really needed some built-in evening babysitting help. I ended up coming back to Durant everyday to feed our animals and run errands, even when I didn't have to be at school. Claire stayed with Nana and Grandad two mornings while I went to school, and really enjoyed playing with their toys (that trash bucket full of toys has served many grandkids, and now great-grandkids!) and spending time with them, along with Aunt Betty of course. I liked getting to watch Dancing with the Stars and Project Runway with fellow fans who aren't two and a half (Love dancing with Claire, but adult conversation is nice occasionally, too!).

Jay spent the week waking up at the crack of dawn, hunting until lunch, coming back for lunch and a bit of a rest, and then heading back out at 2 or 3 and staying out until dark. NO cell phone signal meant we didn't get to talk for THREE DAYS, probably the longest ever in our relationship. Maybe it was just pregnancy hormones, but I probably could have just sat down and cried a couple times if I had thought too hard about that. Jay did get a Kansas buck, a 200-pounder we will use for meat and mount for our wall. We have a nice upper corner of our cathedral ceiling in the living room where a deer is barely visible unless it is pointed out. I still am not a huge fan of feeling a dead animal's glassy eyes staring down on me.

Saturday morning, Jay got back behind the wheel, this time with his wife and daughter in tow, to head to Edmond for Jay's induction into the Oklahoma Christian Athletic Hall of Fame. Paul, Diane, and Ike Miller, a family friend from our church who has taught Jay to golf, and has watched him play basketball since he was in elementary school, followed fairly close behind us.

I'll just go ahead and brag on my talented hubby for just a minute. During Jay's three years at OC, he broke the career scoring record (even with a knee injury that cut a year out of his career!), and led the OC men's basketball team to one of its best seasons ever. He was NAIA Player of the Year his junior year (again, even after his season-ending injury), and is the OC record-holder for most 3-pointers in a game and season.

Too bad I never got to see any of those things! I was just telling Jay it's ironic that so many people know him because of watching him play basketball, and I am probably the person who knows him better than anyone else, and have never seen him play! I probably saw him play in high school, but I was four years younger, and didn't play close enough attention to really remember.

Anyway, Jay dropped Claire and I off in Norman after we ate lunch with Amanda, so that Claire could get a nap and be rested for our long afternoon and evening. Don't know how much good that did, as this little one was a LIVE WIRE during the basketball games and the banquet. Jay got to watch the women's game, seeing a girl from our church who graduated from Durant High School last year, score 11 points for OC! I wish I could have seen that; hopefully we'll get to watch them again this year. Amanda and I came on a bit later, and slid into our seats just in time to see Jay's slideshow go up on the big screens. Whew!

After the slideshow, with an announcer voice-over that told all about Jay's accomplishments, the OC Athletic Director Curtis Janz went out to center-court with Jay and held up the banner of him that will be hung up in the gym. He got a standing O!

Girl-cousins at the game! It was so hot in there, no matter what skinny old Amanda says.

For the banquet that night, the program was really neat. Also being honored with Jay were Stan and Betty Green, the longtime OC Sports Information Director and his wife, who was a longtime athletic department secretary. After they got up with several pages of notes for their speech, Jay and I exchanged nervous grins--of course, Jay had only written down a few words on his iPhone by way of notes. For Jay's part of the program, they of course read a bunch of his most impressive awards and records, and then showed the slideshow from the basketball game, and some game footage from the OC/OKCU game where Jay turned it around in the last few minutes with some three-pointers.

Then four people got up and gave testmonials of all Jay had done for OC. His freshman-year roommate, Clint Vaughn, who also played baseball at OC, talked about how Jay was not a big man on campus, even though he could have been. He was kind to everyone and humble, despite his ball-hogging on the court--hehee, couldn't resist!

Then the national championship winning OC golf coach, Kelsey Cline, who didn't know Jay personally, but was a fan of his, talked about the fan base Jay and his team built up for the basketball team, and how he still tells people today that Jay is the best college point guard ever. (Lots of tossing around of the word "best" tonight.)

Then Jay's former teammate, Rob Seat, got up to really warm up the crowd. He got them laughing so much that by the time Coach Hayes and Jay got up to give their talks, we already had big smiles on our faces. Since Rob is also 5'8", he cracked a joke about how he and Jay were one of the most intimidating 1-2 combos many players had ever seen. He also made a real crowd-pleasing joke about Coach Janz' hair, which of course, is a favorite subject for any OC basketball fan.

Coach Hayes also talked about Jay, of course, and it almost brought tears to my eyes when he described watching Jay get injured at the OBU game. I can't imagine what a heartbreaker that was for the Maucks, Jay's team, and all the OC fans, when they were so close to conference play in an undefeated season. Many people will make comments about Jay's talents using the phrasing "pound for pound" or "inch for inch," qualifying his abilities by saying that for a player his size, he's the best. But Coach Hayes said there is no pound for pound or inch for inch. He was simply the best point guard and best shooter he's ever seen. *tear*

Then Jay got up to give his talk, which of course, was mostly off the top of his head, but totally heartfelt. He said that OC is a family, and you don't realize what a support system you have until you leave. He also talked about how difficult it was to transition to not being an Eagle anymore, how that at the first Southeastern huddle he was a part of, he actually shouted "Eagles!" at the end when everyone else said "Savages!" He told a couple stories about people not believing that he was a basketball player when he was trying to charge his books to his athletic scholarship in the bookstore (the worker actually called to verify it), or at the pre-game dinner for basketball players.

Here's the Paul Mauck family who was present: oldest brother Brian, his wife Jennifer and their kids Zach and Abby, middle brother Kyle (his wife Audrey was at a church retreat, and his kids Carson and Kerrigan were home with Mimi), and Paul and Diane. Hopefully the OC staff got one of Jay looking at the camera; Amanda, my faithful photographer, was a little rushed. Other Maucks who were present were Jay's cousin Tracy, an OC alum who opens her home up to us every Thanksgiving, and who was in for a reunion of her college track team, and Jay's uncle Don, Paul's brother and another OC alum (most of them are!), who was in for a class reunion.

The proud family!

And one of the sisters! Look closely; there are actually TWO sets of sisters in this one! So exciting! I was glad Amanda got to be here for this, both to share this neat time with her, and so that she could help with Claire, who really needed to do some running around during this two-hour-plus banquet.

Even though I didn't ever get to see Jay in his basketball glory days, I am still so proud of him, not just for his God-given and hard-practiced physical abilities, but for his good heart and friendly smile. Those are what bring so many people to his team, not just for Calera, or OC, or later, for Southeastern, but through all of those experiences where he excelled, the light that Jay projects has always been for Christ.