Friday, February 02, 2007


I love thrift stores! The store in town had an all-you-can-fit-in-a-bag for $5.99 on clothing this week. I bought three bags and got something for everyone in the family. Doogie and Jess got new pants, I got some new work clothes, Mia got a couple of new dresses, and Molly got some hoodies. Most of it is name brand, and I figure I paid about 50 cents an item. Honestly, right now Mia and I are both head to toe thrift store clothes. The store employs the developmentally disabled in the community and also operates as a food pantry. Whenever anyone in the family outgrows anything I bring it there in hopes that it will bless someone else the way the store blesses us.

I'm currently reassembling the house. Mia's birthday party was Sunday (she turned four on Wednesday) , and we had 25 guests over during the day. The house didn't get messy from the party, (well it did, but it was easy to clean), but a flare-up kicked in afterwards; I'm sure because of all the running I did getting the party together. So I've been laid up all week, and the house fell to bits, but I'm slowly but surely putting it back together today. I really love this house. The character and charm shines through all the time making it easier to want to clean and live here.

Cross-X by Joe Miller covers about a year in the lives of several students from Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri as they travel on the debate team. They face racism, infighting from the state activities board, and the choices made by their own family. Miller does an amazing job taking this story and making it accessible to all readers. The stories of Ebony, Marcus, Antoine, and Brandon are poignant stories of survival. These black teenagers compete against white kids from private schools and win because of their quick wit and determination to win. Miller completely changed my ideas about debate: what it is and what it stands for. He includes a history of Central High School, a flashpoint in the controversy over Brown vs. Board of Education and also the site of an astronomically expensive renovation to encourage white families to move to the district. Instead these teens have to face ambivalent teachers, tough home lives, and peer pressure in an environment that expects them to fail. The story ultimately becomes about racism and the right to be different. The only disappointment in the book is when Miller inserts himself into the story by becoming a coach to two of the boys. As an objective observer, Miller was able to narrate a tale showing all of the different sides to these young men. As an active participant, he becomes strident as he attempts to be their savior. As such, the ending is a bit of a let-down. The book exposes the deep differences between black and white education and points out that we need to make a change so that all children have the same opportunities for education so they can succeed. It opened my eyes to the incipient racism in schools today.

Lisa Samson
blogged about this today, and I'm giving it a shot myself. She (and I) is (am) asking our readers to make a list of the five things you like best about your body. Tough huh? Here goes:
1. My hands - My grandma always said I had piano player's hands. Long, thin fingers with short nails.
2. My hazel eyes - probably my best feature. They change color with my mood.
3. My complexion - I've been blessed to never have a serious problem with my skin.
4. My lap - Mia thinks it's pretty comfortable and so do the older two on occasion.
5. My hair - I'm liking the length right now. I got it chopped to just below my ears, and it curls up just right.

The pic above is from Mia's birthday party. Bumpa got her a princess costume, and she couldn't wait to try it on. She wore it most of the day Wednesday too. Have a wonderful weekend!