Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Moment Not Easily Forgotten

(Posted by Request)
A few years ago David was driving in our neighborhood when a tiny, little dog ran out in the street in front of him. Like all conscientious neighbors, he stopped and honked his horn several times so the dog’s owners would realize their precious little pet was in harm’s way.

Unfortunately, no one came running from the house to rescue the little guy. Being such a wonderful and thoughtful guy, he decided to just park there for a few minutes while continuing to honk his horn—patiently waiting for the neighbors to respond as he could see them in their front room.

In the middle of his honking-fest he heard a loud whistle. Looking off to his left, he was quite horrified to learn his honking was not going unnoticed. Approximately a hundred or so confused and angry eyes were fixed on him—he was rather rudely interrupting a funeral taking place in the cemetery on the other side of the street!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Thank You Long Overdue

If you remember the 80’s then you know how to walk like an Egyptian on the dance floor. Quite possibly you were unknowingly distantly linked to me in “Hands Across America” and you know all the words and motions to YMCA—and can even do them on roller skates. But unless you went to Monroe Central High then you have probably never met Mrs. Washler.

Mrs. Washler ties for first place on my list of favorite teachers along with my fifth grade Social Studies teacher, Mr. Campbell and my college literature professor, Dr. Trimmer. (It has always been kind of hard for me to narrow things down.) Mrs. Washler taught English my sophomore, junior and senior year of high school—all during the 80’s. It’s rather sad when you’re young and take for granted people who work so diligently, often with a great deal of personal sacrifice, to pour into your life. I don’t think I’ve ever thanked her.

I loved Mrs. Washler’s classes. It was there I learned the riches of great literature, how to diagram a sentence, and the depths of poetry. She taught me how to write research papers and to look for greater meaning in the pages of a book than what lies upon the surface. To this day I can vividly see her standing in front of the class with great animation explaining Mark Twain’s bent toward social reform and why “Et tu, Brute?” in Julius Caesar was so significant. It is because of her I love great literature.

It is a very real fear of mine she might actually one day find this site—I’m sure I break the rules of grammar on a regular basis. Nonetheless I am dedicating this post to you, Mrs. Washler. Thank you for the investment you made in my life. Whenever I finish a great book I remember who inspired me to pick it up in the first place. My life is so much richer because of you!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Spirit Day

Our school colors are blue and gold—which is why Ashley and Jonathan had blue hair for Spirit Day. We are so thankful for the small school they go to. Though it is 30 minutes away, we feel like it is worth the drive. As an extra bonus, one of the teachers lives near us and does a lot of the transporting to and from. What a huge blessing she is!

In addition to the emphasis on academics, there is a strong emphasis on building Godly character. They wear uniforms (which I LOVE) and have chapel once a week.

During the recent annual speech meet, Ashley jumped WAY out of her comfort zone and landed herself a place in the district meet. She is working diligently to perfect her speech and bring home a blue ribbon next month. Somewhat to our surprize, Jonathan didn't fare as well. Jonathan is a master at memorization. He memorized every single speech in his class! When our church did a children's play, Jonathan memorized EVERY SINGLE LINE. This proved to be helpful when other kids forgot their cue. Though he had his speech down to perfection in our living room, Ashley said he shifted his weight from his left foot to his right foot over and over as he gave his speech. Jonathan was very sad to not get to represent his school at district.

I have a feeling his day will come. Jonathan just seems to be good at everything he does. (Uh, I know I'm his mom, but that isn't my gene package). Jonathan's good friend Mackenzie will be representing the second grade at district. I was talking with Mackenzie's mom a couple of days ago. She said he told Makenzie to look out next year because, "You're goin' down!" I think that's a pretty good sign his ego is recovering.

Nice job Ashley! We are so proud of you!! And Jonathan, I have no doubt you'll make it next year!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Painting With Cats

I only needed a 10 minute window. Cole had just fallen asleep for his nap and Nicholas had just woken up from his. The paint was open, the twelve foot ladder in place and I have been trying to get this project done since before being pregnant with Nicholas.

The house we bought a little over two years ago came with a really, really ugly shed—I’m guessing older than the ages of myself, David and all of our kids combined. Originally we intended to burn it down. But since the roof was intact and no moisture was getting in, we decided it was a rather convenient place to store lots of junk—which one might understandable deduce our garage is therefore junk-free. (Only in my dreams!)

So since the shed was going to stay, I’ve been longing for quite sometime to just complete the paint job and be done with it. Note to all readers considering painting exterior buildings—DO NOT CHOOSE RED!! It is very hard to work with, requires a gray primer first, and if you drip your white trim paint on it . . . it takes several steps to get it red again. Aaaaagggghhhh!!!!

I put Nicholas in his stroller and parked him near my project. As soon as I was on top of the 12 foot ladder with my paintbrush and paint can in hand, I noticed one of our neighbors’ beautiful, indoor cats was eyeing my sweet son the way most cats eye a fat mouse. After ignoring my commands to, “Get lost”, I descended my 12 foot ladder and shooed him away. This scenario repeated itself 3 times before BRILLIANCY took over and the cat became an occupant of the shed I was painting.

Once again I ascended my 12 foot ladder only to find the neighbor’s other really beautiful, indoor cat trying to jump in Nicholas’ stroller. For the 4th time I descended the ladder. I guess he knew he was about to join his fellow kitty inside my shed because he quickly ran under the porch. Once again, the non-blonde side of my brain kicked in. I barricaded the small opening under the porch and for the 5th time ascended my 12 foot ladder.

I was right. Ten minutes was all I needed and the red paint I started nearly a year and half ago is now complete. In case any cat lovers are wondering about my neighbors’ beautiful, indoor cats—I released them to the wild . . . uh, the wild merely being our yard.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Timing Is Everything

Oh sure. It was the day report cards were handed out for the quarter. So during the basketball game, I let my curiosity get the best of me. While digging in Ashley’s backpack for her report card I totally MISSED seeing her make the FIRST BASKET of her life!! The other parents were clapping, screaming (a little out of control) and asking me, “Did you see that?” What is up with my timing?!

Ashley is such a tiny little thing. The fact she is in the fifth grade while most of our opponents are in either 7th or 8th only exaggerates the issue. Watching her in the huddle during a timeout I thought, “How did we get here?” It seems like just yesterday she was a baby. My mind flashed back to her nursery, the toddler years, the day she started kindergarten . . . how is it possible she is now a tween? She still has the little chubby cheeks she was born with and that great big grin she used to greet me with from her crib.

When David (serving as one of the officials) called a foul on her, it brought me back to the present. The growing up years are so short. Each stage is a gift. I don’t want to miss a moment . . . which is why I was overjoyed when I saw Ashley make the SECOND basket of life.

Way to go Ashley! Who says short people can’t be great basketball players?!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Henry’s Here!

Cole and Henry
Originally uploaded by °Beth.
A few months ago something very exciting happened in Cole’s world—his cousin Henry moved to Texas!

Cole and Henry make a good pair. They both love trains, fast cars and Go, Go Diego (the male counterpart to Dora the Explorer).

Cole has spent a great deal of time with Henry . . . visiting the Science Place, the Caldwell Zoo and the Brookshires Museum and the Lindale Park, not to mention the trampoline in his backyard.

The other day Cole was VERY excited because he knew this was the day Henry was coming over to play. From the moment he woke up he kept asking me when Henry was going to get here. I kept replying, “In a few minutes.”

His dad was delayed a little bit because of some cement work they are needing done . . . and the guy stopped by on that particular morning—meaning Cole’s anticipation was drawn out even more. But at last I heard Cole squeal with delight, “Henry’s here, Henry’s here, Henry’s here!” What fun these two cousins have together.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Originally uploaded by °Beth.
If you are a regular reader of Hazel and Blue you know Cole is always trying to hone his delivery on a joke. Two nights ago he hit a milestone . . .

Cole: Knock, knock.
Me: Who’s there?
Cole: Ya
Me: Ya who?
Cole: Mom, I didn’t know you were a cowboy.

It was the first time he told a joke where the punch line made sense!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Jonathan and Cole
Originally uploaded by °Beth.
Winter has finally arrived in East Texas! Today it is 30ยบ and the freezing rain left ice on everything—it is beautiful!

I enjoy having winter for about a week. For us, Spring is just around the corner . . .

Friday, January 12, 2007

Baby Noah Steven

Baby Noah Steven
Originally uploaded by °Beth.
Sweet Baby Noah. He has lived almost all of his young life at a Children's hospital. Today he will be taken off of life support.

It doesn't take more than a casual stroll down the halls of a Children's hospital to recognize the enemy's assault on humanity is continuous. While he mercilessly reigns in this corrupt and evil world, there is an ever-increasing longing in my heart for Jesus to come and take up His rightful throne. While sitting at this computer I can close my eyes and almost hear in the not so distant distance . . . . 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away . . .’ (Revelation 21:3-4).

I don’t know about all of you, but with renewed urgency, I don’t want to idly sit back and allow the enemy to continue gaining ground. I want to press in ever closer to the Father and live my life in such a way that I play a part in advancing His kingdom on the earth. It was Jesus who said, ‘ . . . the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.’ Oh to be numbered with those who forcefully lay hold of His kingdom!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Is There A Dictionary In The House?

Originally uploaded by °Beth.
Me: (Interrupting Jonathan playing, when he is suppose to be cleaning his room) Jonathan, how is your room looking?

Jonathan (age 8): Atrocious, Mom . . . but I’m going to do that next.

Atrocious?! Isn’t that kind of a big word for such a little kid?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Star Light Star Bright

Cole and David
Originally uploaded by °Beth.
David and Cole were driving in the car by themselves last night. Out of the blue Cole said, “Look Dad. It’s the Wishing Star.”

David: “The Wishing Star?”

Cole: “Yeah Dad. You’ve gotta make a wish!”

David: “Ummmm . . .”

Cole: “Do you wanna know my wish?”

David: “Sure, Cole.”

Cole: “I wish I could drive!”

Monday, January 08, 2007

Are We Getting Old?

Ashley, Cole and Jonathan
Originally uploaded by °Beth.
Recently David and I watched the movie Walk the Line. It brought back many memories from when I was a kid—Johnny Cash has always been a favorite with my mom and dad. The movie inspired David to download a few Johnny Cash selections for his ipod.

Driving in the van with the kids the other day, he cued up a couple Johnny Cash classics. This resulted in LOUD groans from Ashley and Jay. Ashley said, “We have to listen to that kind of music when we’re with Grandma and Grandpa—NOT YOU TOO!!”

Guess that generation gap just got a little smaller.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Renaming Nicholas

Cole and Nicholas
Originally uploaded by °Beth.
You might recall the difficulty we had in coming up with a name for Nicholas. Cole thinks it is still a work in progress and has renamed his brother several times. A couple of weeks ago he was calling him “Fuzzy Wuzzy.” After that wore off he came up with “Bean Bag.”

Today he told me we should name him “Colie.” Since we often call Cole by this nickname I asked him why. He replied, “So we can have TWO Colies!”

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Say It Again, Sam

Jonathan, David and Cole
Originally uploaded by °Beth.
Jonathan is an avid reader. In addition to all the really great books I try to put into his hands, he loves checking joke books out of the library and reading them cover to cover. He loves having a joke in his repertoire to pull out at any given moment for anyone willing to listen. David and I try really hard to listen, laugh and not just roll our eyes or tune him out. (This requires a great amount of personal discipline when your child is 8.)

Cole works very hard to be just like Jonathan. He is also working on his joke-telling delivery . . . which might explain the interaction we had a couple of nights ago.

Jonathan (age 8): Hey Dad, what flowers grow between your nose and your chin?
David: I don’t know.
Jonathan: Tulips. Tu—lips. Get it?

Cole (age 4): Hey Dad, what grows between your back and your skin?
David: I don’t know.
Cole: Flowers. Flow—ers. Get it?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Christmas Memories

Originally uploaded by °Beth.
It was the day after Christmas and David’s parents had just called saying they were about 30 minutes out. We were celebrating a belated Christmas with all the family in Texas and they were driving from Colorado. I lit several Christmas candles to complete the Christmas ambiance.

Ashley was two. When I told her Grammy and Granddad would be here in a few minutes, she started running around the house in excitement. When she accidentally ran into the kitchen table, I went over to pick her up assuming she might have a little bruise. Instead, she had a HUGE hole in her head just above her eye! I totally freaked, screamed—lost it. Ashley couldn’t comprehend my behavior and momentarily stopped crying to watch me.

David took charge, gathered up a few things and kept saying, “Go get in the car.” Though I heard him, my brain couldn’t seem to make my legs do what he was saying. He kept repeating it louder, “Go get in the car.” Since I didn’t move, he finally forcefully “helped” me to the car while I still held Ashley in my arms. Finally I was able to say what I kept thinking but couldn’t get out earlier, “You need to blow out all the candles.” David took a last trip into the house to find all the burning candles and then left a note for his parents on the door.

The 30 minute drive to the emergency room seemed like eternity. David tried to encourage me with little tidbits like, “She’s fine. Every other kid in the world has to get stitches at some point in their lives.” The one thought reverberating in my head was, “Maybe I shouldn’t be a Project Director to Nepal next summer after all.” Oddly enough, between the two of us, I was always the one handling medical emergencies in overseas situations. Even in those crazy moments I was aware I wasn’t handling the situation well.

The full waiting area in the ER might have been a little upset they put Ashley at the front of the line, but given the fact I was still crying somewhat hysterically, maybe they didn’t mind so much. The most traumatic thing I’ve ever done is watch Ashley get tied down to a gurney and then get 13 stitches underneath the skin and then on the skin level—all while she was screaming, “Mommy” hysterically. Even the memory makes me tear up.

After it was all over, the hospital gave her a Barbie doll and a Barbie bicycle gift set (really cool), a boo-boo bunny, and a coloring book all about going to the hospital. The ER doctors and nurses were all very, very nice. We finally caught up with David’s parents for a late lunch. Thankfully, that was by far our most traumatic Christmas we’ve ever had. Oh and for the record, to this day Ashley loves showing off her scar and telling everyone the story.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Highlights

Originally uploaded by °Beth.
Since the last time we attended we rocked to Bruce Springstein’s Born In The USA, I shouldn’t have been surprised when the pastor played a Santa on a Harley singing, Born To Be Wild at church on Sunday. With all 25 of the Haszes in attendance, we kind of took over an entire section of my in-laws small church. That’s how we began Christmas Eve and it only got better from there.

David’s mom made the traditional turkey and her house was decorated to die for as per usual. Lisa made all the pies, Kelly and Amy made a myriad of the side dishes, and I brought 3 cans of cranberry sauce, 2 bottles of sparkling grape juice and a pound of butter—my mother-in-law knows me well!

Christmas Day we celebrated first with our immediate family and then all of my extended family at my sister’s house. With all of our families here in Texas, Christmas is just fun—without all of the hassle of traveling. We are so, so blessed!

Last night we brought in the new year with a party at my sister’s house. David and Jon put together their traditional Audio-olympics game—a fun time for all. Though my team struggled with our lack of pop-culture knowledge of recent movies and hollywood bigwigs, we did well in the music section—REO Speedwagon (hello eighties), hymns and Christmas songs. Though there were twenty-six of us in attendance, none of us actually made it until midnight—this is the first year I can remember when I was too tired to stay up.

All in all our holidays were fun and meaningful. We recognize how tremendously blessed we are and are so thankful for God’s goodness in our lives. May each of you have a happy and blessed New Year!