Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Four Dollars

My gas tank is almost empty.  Tomorrow morning I will need to fill up the Man Van before I go through the day.  Paying $3.99 for gas made me think of when gas was a dollar and we drove all day to Aerosmith's song from Armageddon.  All of that is a distant past, but it is funny what I think is a good deal for $4.  Here are thoughts that I have probably had.

  • $4 at McDonald's: "I remember $2.99 meal.  This is way too expensive for fake food."
  • $4 at a Bats Game: "$5 gives the souvenir cup, so $4 is way worth a 32 ounce soda!  After all, the "all-you-can-drink" cup is like $9.  $4 is nothing!"
  • $4 fee at school.  "I really don't know if books are that important.  Prices are rising and we have five kids!"  (Plus $10 late fees at the school library!)
  • $4 at Thorton's, (or Kwik Trip).  "You can get like 325 ounces of soda, 14 hot dogs and a bottle of Yoohoo there.  It's like Christmas kids!"
  • $4 at Starbucks.  "I know the water costs $4, but 25 cents goes to children."
  • $4 at Target.  "I don't know if we NEED socks.  That seems pretty steep for a twelve pack.  Can't you just share with your brother?  Wear them inside out? Put a sticker over the hole?"
  • $4 on cereal.  "Wow!  How can Cheerios cost so much?  This will only last our family a few days!"
  • $4 on donuts.  "That should get you home, Durant.  I'm glad to give you six pounds of chocolate icing for breakfast!"
  • $4 at Taco Bell. "I'm going to pay for this!"
  • $4 at the gas pump.  "Seriously.  These kids are going to start walking to practice."
I hope you have a more realistic grasp on the value of a dollar.  Apparently I have no clue.

Monday, April 25, 2011


It has been raining almost every day here.  I'm not complaining Wisconsin.  I am glad it is not snow.  Still, almost everyday.  The rain has been very timely though.

Yesterday Ana was out drawing with Easter chalk on the deck.  I don't know what makes it "Easter chalk" other than the extra dollar you pay and the shorter, fatter stick, but she was drawing nonetheless.  She had amazingly straight lines all over the deck.  They were also on the table, and a little bit even on the window.  Her feet and legs were tie dyed some awesome spring colors and she was happy.  I would call the art "modern."  At least I think I would.

A few weeks ago she found some baking soda goo that her brother had made and decorated the same deck, table and window.  Her legs and feet looked like goo on that day.

Today, when I look outside, everything is wiped away.  Some of the pictures were great and I was happy about them.  Some of them, well, not so much.  Still, today is new and the rain has washed away all that was.

Sometimes people need brand new starts where everything that was is wiped away.  Sometimes we need all the successes wiped away to finally be present.  Sometimes we need all our failures to be erased.  Either way the rain comes.  I'm thankful for rain.  Today is brand new again.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Enough Time Away

I think I have taken enough time away.  That was my three week sabbatical that followed my two week sabbatical.  This blogging thing offers great time away though the salary is pretty stinking low.
Anyways, this is my first Derby Season in Louisville and it is a big deal.  Not only are there awesomely decorated hats, but there are rules and routines for everything.  Here are a few things that I am learning about living here in the spring.

  • The weather is crazy: 85 degrees at 5pm.  50 with rain at 8pm.  75 with sunny skies at 10am.  Repeat almost daily.
  • Derby is bigger than Easter.  How do I know this?  The kids get "Oaks Day" off of school but not "Good Friday."  Oaks Day is when the female horses run the day before the Derby.  I guess this is the day to go to the track and you go to "Derby Parties" on Derby Day.
  • There is such a thing as a "Derby Party."  There is even a "Derby Pie."  It looks like pecan with chocolate, but what do I know.  (side note: last year at the race they served $1,000 mint juleps.  It was made from ice that was taken off an imported glacier.  Seriously)
  • Horses are a big deal.  Every Walmart has one inside.  It isn't real, but good luck convincing Ana of that.
  • Secretariat won't be running this year.  Good luck convincing Durant of that.  He has a field trip to the Derby Museum and we are pretty sure he will cry when he doesn't see Secretariat.  He now wants to be a jockey.  He has the height for it.
  • Horses have cool names.  "Pants on Fire" is Nikki's pick to win.  I'm waiting for a horse to be named "Mr. Wiggletooth."  He would get my vote.
  • Louisville races everything.  If it can go in a straight line, there is probably a race over the next few weeks.
  • Nothing gets done until after Derby.  People are on semi vacation.  It is pretty funny.  I feel like an outsider.  There are fundraisers every day, basketball tournaments, and everything.  I'll tell you more when I figure it all out.
  • It takes weeks to prepare for, but the race is over in just over 2 minutes.  Go figure.
That's a crash course in this time of year here.  Have a great Easter weekend.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Month of Change Begins!

Hello everyone.  The "Month of Change" begins today.  We are very excited about how many of you are taking part in this event with us.  From Kammerer Middle School, to families around the country, and even the Boys Scouts here in Louisville.  Thanks for all of your participation.  Each day I will send out an update on the month and the projects that we are working on.  These will be posted here, and if you would like them in email form, just email me at matt@eyesthatsee.org
Grace and the "Month of Change" jar

Marquis family showing support

The fireflies at Rachel's Place

Everyone who is hosting drop off sites, please make sure we have your addresses as we will make certain you have the flyers to go with your drop off jars.  Watch for stories on this blog or in your inbox!