Monday, December 26, 2011
Monday I finished my shopping and didn't even mind standing in line which I only had to do a few times. Besides that, waiting in line is a perfect time to watch people, one of my favorite past times. Tuesday I cleaned house and played with the kids. Wednesday I wrapped presents and played some more. Thursday Arrty and I split up the kids and took them shopping. Adam chose to spend his own money on a gift for me. He was determined to get me something perfect. (And he did. The new Lady Antebellum cd which I love! He's a very thoughtful kid.) Then Thursday night I watched Christmas movies with some of my favorite girls who could hardly believe that it was my first time seeing "A Christmas Story." (Thanks, Katrina.) Friday was spent making goodies (lemon bars, cream cheese drops, fudge, chocolate covered pretzels), finishing up the wrapping, and making a pre-Christmas dinner (ham, augratin potatoes, green beans, apple asiago bread). And all that was done with very minimal, if any stress. Aaahhh.
Saturday we went over to Mom and Dad's house for lunch (West Virginia sandwiches, homemade fries, and cookies for dessert). Then we opened our traditional Christmas Eve gift--pajamas. Since we were getting ready to go to church, the kids held their pajamas in front of them instead of wearing them in the annual "jammies in front of the tree" picture. Then we went with the family to their church's Christmas Eve service. It was nice to get to sing and worship with Mom, Dad, and my sister and her family. Then we went back to Mom and Dad's for cookies and tea. Then to our congregation's first annual Christmas Eve service. It was lovely. I enjoyed it very much. After all that, it was still before 6:00, so Arrty drove us around town to see Christmas lights. There were lots of great displays, but my favorite was the one in a local neighborhood that played to music on the radio. It was very entertaining. Then we headed home for snacks and animated Christmas movies. It was a great day.
Sunday morning we got up early and opened stockings and presents. The kids were thrilled and that means I was, too. This was the first year Julianna has really been able to participate in the whole process. It was so fun watching her open presents and appreciate each one. She was laughing and jumping and absolutely loved every minute! It was different this year with the boys. They are at an age where they've kind of outgrown most toys. So they got video games, movies, and books. Which they liked a lot, but I so missed the scattering of Transformers and Legos and Matchbox cars. But I did enjoy the scattering of Barbies, Littlest Pet Shop and Fur Real pets. After presents we ate egg nog french toast and ham. (Yes, I made egg nog french toast.) Then we all got ready and headed into town for church services. (That made three times to church in two days. The kids were a little overwhelmed with that prospect when we told them the plans for the weekend. And, honestly, I was, too. But it turned out to be such a blessing. It was a great way to keep Jesus at the center of the holiday.)
After church, we went back to Mom and Dad's. We had lasagna, salad, and Ada's homemade bread sticks for lunch. Even though some people around the table thought it was a weird Christmas meal, I loved it. It was simple and yummy. After a record breaking fast clean up, we all gathered in the moose room to open presents. Dad and Mom had a special treat in store for us. They had planned to share a childhood Christmas memory with us. As they told their stories, the room was silent as all eyes and ears were on Grandma and Pappy. Their stories were wonderful and will make for a good blog post someday. Ada had suggested that we open gifts one at a time so everyone could see what everyone else got instead of a free-for-all like last year. So we went around the room from youngest to oldest and opened gifts. It went amazingly smoothly and even Julianna and Abby were very patient while waiting their turn. Only one gift was opened out of turn when one of Dad's "fell off" the couch and mysteriously came open. It was all very suspicious, if you ask me. It took awhile for 6 adults and 6 kids to open several gifts each, but it was well worth it to see the faces on all the recipients as they opened their gifts. Every one was happy and overwhelmed with all the gifts...especially when we had a $10 limit for the grown ups. (Amazingly, we all won, earned, or were given things that we gave to others in the family...books, gift cards, movies, and I even got a beach blanket and umbrella from mom. The creativity of sticking to this new limit was one of my favorite parts of the day.) After we picked up all the paper and boxes, the boys took their new air-soft guns outside to shoot, Abby vacuumed with her new mini pink vacuum, Julianna got all dressed up in her new princess dress up clothes, and Asher watched it all looking adorable as usual. After a little more clean-up and visiting we headed home.
Christmas night we watched movies and played and just kind of soaked it all in. It was an amazing weekend. So peaceful and full of love. And so full of Jesus. Just as it should be. A lot of Jesus and a lot of family with a few gifts and some really good food thrown in for good measure. Hope yours was just as merry.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
So on Christmas morning, my kids will be spoiled because not only will they have a warm house and clean clothes and an amazing Christmas meal, they will each have three lovely gifts and a stocking full of treats. They will have two loving parents who are willing and able to provide for them. They will have smiles on their faces not just because they are unwrapping presents, but because they have people and a place that make them feel safe and loved. And they will know, because their mommy knows, the reason for the season.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
During this trip we were looking for books for our classrooms, Christmas gifts, and Books for Tots*. The best deal is the "Build-a-Box." For $24.95 you get all the books you can pack into the provided box. The books for this are usually older or something they have an overabundance of, but there are still lots of good finds. The average person can probably pack around $100 worth of books in the box. Kathy can pack $300 worth of books into the box. That's why I go with her. So for 25 bucks I got at least 20 books for Books for Tots with a few extras for stocking stuffers for my students and kids thrown in for good measure.
Then to Trader Joe's we went. Neither of us had ever been there, so it was a fun little adventure to explore all the quirky, unique items. And the employees seemed thrilled to be there and were so friendly and helpful. I bought a few snacks and treats for my family and a few stocking stuffers. Then we headed for home. We were happy with our book finds, full of yummy food, and thrilled that we got the last four boxes of Trader Joe's Candy Cane Coal to be found in the Pacific Northwest. It was really fun. And a much needed break from real life for me. I think this little excursion could easily become a new tradition.
*Our school is collecting books for Books for Tots until Thursday, December 15th. Our goal is 150 books, so if you'd like to donate, just drop them off and we'll add them to our collection. Thanks.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
A. Traditional gift exchange with $5 limit.
B. Book exchange. (I give my students a book every year no matter what we do.)
C. Treat bags with everyone contributing small treats for each other.
D. No gifts exchanged. Just a party with treats and games.
E. None of the above. (Share your ideas.)
What do you think?
Thursday, December 01, 2011
1. This Stephen Lyman "Moonlit Flight on Christmas Night" signed and numbered print. I've had it for years and have never been able to frame it or display it. Even though I love it, I'd love even more for someone who would enjoy it more to have it. (And I really hope to sell it so that I have some money for Christmas shopping.)
2. Bubble bath. Avon bubble bath. I have a few craft fair customers who come every year and buy bubble bath.
3. Jewelry. Avon and Silpada along with others.
4. Stocking stuffers. Lots at my booth and even more at others.
5. Rice bags. You know. The wonderful ones that you can heat up in the microwave to keep you warm on those cold, winter nights.
6. Photography. A budding photographer friend will be taking shots with and without props. A great time to get those Christmas card photos. One pose will be provided free as a way to promote her new business.
7. Booths to benefit World Vision supporting children sponsored by our school's classes.
8. Yummy baked goods. Our PTO is famous for their amazing bake sale booth.
9. Lunch. Mr. D. is cooking up a full turkey meal available in the kitchen. I know you just finished off your turkey from last week, so you're bound to be ready for some more.
10. 35+ vendor booths selling a huge variety of handmade crafts and gift items. You can get all your holiday shopping done in one stop!
Bonus: Me! I'll be in booth #14. Stop by and say hello.
*Coeur d'Alene Christian School on the corner of 4th and Hanley.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
So here are my thoughts about the major scenes in the movie.
The wedding scene. Nervous bride. Smiling groom. Unsure father of the bride. Human and vampire wedding guests. (Including a cameo by author Stephanie Meyer.) Lovely dress. Sincere vows. Romantic kiss. It was sweet.
The wedding toasts. Emmett...umm, are you sure you want to give him the mike? Charlie...so hilariously protective. Renee...really, lullabies? Edward...so sweet with his promises of love...forever.
The honeymoon. I loved that the bride and groom were nervous on their wedding night. It was so refreshing to see two teenagers in a movie who were nervous about the whole consummation thing and who knew it was a big deal and took it seriously. And if you've read the book, you know that vampire/human relations are not, ummm, normal. The broken furniture and flying feathers were hilarious.
The wolves. It's no secret that I am a wolf girl. The vampires are nice and all. But, come on, you have to admit the wolves are more fun. They laugh and play and howl at the moon. The scene where they are reading each others thoughts but we can hear is so very cheesy and great. The whole mysticism part of the book was well portrayed, I thought. So compared to other movies with mind reading werewolves, it was really good.
The pregnancy. So creepy. So gut wrenching. So weird. So good. And drinking blood through a straw out of a Styrofoam cup with a lid. Priceless.
The names. E.J. for Edward Jacob if it's a boy. Okay. I get that one. But I loved that they kind of make a joke of the whole Renesme thing. The look on Jacob's face when they tell him is perfect. He's thinking what we all were when we read it in the book. Really? Renesme? Really?
The delivery. Okay. It's disturbing to say the least. I won't go into details for fear of spoiling it for those who plan to see the movie. But be prepared to groan and look away for at least a part of it. And plug your ears if you can.
The baby. She's cute. After she's cleaned up a little. But please, call her Nessie.
The imprinting. Jacob imprinting on Nessie is very interesting. I know the whole subject has caused a lot of controversy, but I liked how they showed it in the movie. It was less creepy than it could have been.
The change. We all know that Bella becomes a vampire. But watching the change is kind of fascinating. This is one scene where having read the book changes things. You know that she is feeling what they all felt as they changed to vampires...excruciating pain. And yet she is lying there motionless, controlling her screaming so that she doesn't upset Edward. Such a Bella thing to do. The movie doesn't go into that and you'd miss the importance if you didn't go in knowing it.
The final shot. Unexpected. And pretty much perfect.
So there it is. I am slightly embarrassed to say that 1) I paid (matinee price) to see this movie and 2) I not only admitted it on the world-wide web, but spent more minutes of my life that I will never get back writing about it. But it made me happy. It gave me two hours of uninterrupted silliness in an otherwise mostly serious life. And, if you must know, I'll even buy it on dvd when it comes out so that I have the whole collection. You can come over and we'll have a Twilight marathon. Come on. You know you want to.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
It's funny how five years seems to have been just a day long and a lifetime long at the same time. So much has happened and changed in my life. Good and bad. Trials and blessings. And yet, here I am. Smarter and stronger and thankful for it all. Thanks for joining me on this journey. Here's to the next five years!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I'm sitting at my desk enjoying the 12 1/2 seconds of peace I have during the day when I hear one of the older boys rush into the building and yell for me. I could tell something was wrong and headed in his direction right away. From the look on his face I knew it wasn't good. All he said was, "Julianna." I started to panic a little, but know from experience that minor things can get made into more than they are. I hurried outside and saw the teacher on duty cradling Julianna and rushing to get her to me. The closer I got, the more blood I saw and once I reached them all I could see was the blood. Luckily my common sense kicked in and reminded me that head wounds always look worse than they are because of the blood. But for a few seconds my mommy sense kicked in, too, and all I could think is that my baby was in my arms covered with blood. (Kathy described her as looking like Carrie during the prom scene in the movie.) I got her into the office and with the help of our secretary, grabbed some tissues to start cleaning her up. Then Kathy came in with wet wipes and we were able to use them to clean her little face and hair and clothes. The more blood we removed, the easier it was to see that it all came from a little 1/2 inch cut right in the middle of her forehead. During all this she never cried. She was mostly mad that I was holding her like a baby and just wanted to be put down. She sat patiently as we ministered to her and calmly told us what had happened. One of her friends was throwing a stuffed dog off the top of the jungle gym and she was running to catch it and ran into one of the poles. And her friend Tyler caught it instead. If the cut would have been a little higher and covered by her hair, I probably would have cleaned it up and left it to heal. But since it was right in the middle of her perfect little forehead I decided to take her to see if she needed stitches.
Our regular doctor was able to see her right away and confirmed that she did in fact need a few stitches to hopefully prevent scarring. So the nurse cleaned it up using her handy, dandy little squirter and since it was pink, Jules was fine with it. Then they put some numbing gel on it for about 5 minutes. Then it was time for the stitches. The only fussing she did through the whole process was when they wanted her to lie down on the examining table. But with a little persuasion she went along with it. (Which was a relief because they also brought in a board with straps into the room in case she wouldn't lie still for the procedure.) They covered her with a sheet covering her whole face except for a hole around the cut. Still she laid still and didn't complain. Then the doctor began the stitching. I watched as much as I could but had to look away a few times. Not because of the needle or blood, but because all I could think of was my baby girl lying on that table being sewn. She was such a trooper, though. Amazingly cooperative and brave. (Braver than at least one of the boys would have been.) Soon she was stitched and bandaged and praised and ready to go. I sent her home with her daddy and headed back to school exhausted from the whole ordeal. But oh so glad that two stitches was all that were needed. And grateful for such a sweet girl, stitches and all.
Here's the injury.
Here's the Tweety Bird bandaid holding on the numbing gel.
Here's Little Miss Stitches with her humongous bandaid and her new "what a brave girl" puppy.
And here's the picture that "needs to be cute."
Monday, November 14, 2011
Speaking of stuffed animals, since the boys were born they've gotten a stuffed animal in their Christmas stocking. A couple of years ago I'd decided that they were too old for another animal. But then I overheard them discussing what kind of animal they might get in their stocking that year. Needless to say, I went out on Christmas Eve and bought two stuffed animals. So my question is this. Should I ask them this year if they are too old for stuffed animals or should I just put them in the stockings and wait for them to tell me when they are too old?
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Please, for all that is holy, have your children immunized so that the sweet little darlings don't give me whooping cough ever again in my entire life. I know that you may have reasons why you choose not to immunize your children. But if they get sick with these preventable diseases, they can give them to those of us who are immunized. Like me. And if the last week and a half of my life is any indication, you DO NOT want your child, or anyone else, to get whooping cough. If you would spend just one day, or night, with me and hear the intense and body wracking coughing I go through, you would not wish it on your worst enemy, no less your precious children. You protect them in every other way. Why not protect them, and everyone else, from these illnesses? At least think about it.
P.S. To the family whose child gave me whooping cough: I forgive you and pray for your sweet daughter's healing, too. But if my own children get it, it will not be so easy to forgive.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
H: A., do you take him to be your wedding husband?
A: I do.
H: J., do you take her to be your wedding wife.
J: Umm, I guess so.
H: I now pronounce you married. You may kiss the bride.
(Upon which I peeked at the ceremony just in time to see the "bride" grab and kiss the "groom" on the cheek while he struggled to get away.)
H: Okay, now the baby can be born.
Oh. My. Goodness. It was the cutest thing I've seen all day. Who else in the whole world can say they attended a wedding ceremony (and birth) while teaching kindergarten?
Thursday, October 20, 2011
1. Abraham went...(wherever God told him)
2. Birth of Isaac
3. wRapped up Isaac (to place him on the alter)
4. Abraham took a trip
5. He loved Lot
6. Abram changed his name
7. Mom was old (as in Sarah was 90 when Isaac was born)(This one is my favorite!)
8. I am amazed by Abraham's faith. No wonder he is known for his faithful service to God. He walked with God and obeyed him even when it seemed impossibly hard.
9. I have always been fascinated with Sarah, too. What an amazing woman and wife she must have been to support her husband's God-led lifestyle. And to have a baby at 90! I know that lifespans were different in those days, but still...90!
10. I read this poem about Abraham and Isaac to my class during yesterday's lesson. In case you don't know this part of the story, God tells Abraham that he is to sacrifice his son Isaac. When he is sure that Abraham is really going to go through with it, he stops him...with the knife in mid-air. He assures Abraham that he's passed the test. God now knows that Abraham would not withhold anything, not even his son, from him. This poem is kind of funny in a "when are we going to get there" kind of way, but the last few lines are quite touching. Enjoy.
(from the book Don't Mess with Moses)
Monday, October 17, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Happy Birthday, Josh! I love you more than words can say.
*So my friend Carrie had the great idea to get Josh a camera for his birthday when I told her I couldn't think of anything to get him. I did a little research online and then headed to Target. I prayed that God would let me find a great camera for a great price since price would play the biggest part in my decision. I asked the lady in the camera department what she suggested and she took me to the Kodak section. She pointed out a few cameras that she thought would be good and then showed me a clearance camera and told me that since it was the last one, she could give me 10% more off. That would make the camera $45. Then I looked a little closer at the the description card and discovered that the original price of the camera was $199.99. I asked her if that was the real original price and she said that it was. Well, that made the decision a lot easier. I walked out of the store with the camera (which happens to be a lot nicer than my point and shoot), a case, and a memory disk for under $70. Nice. Thank you, God, for answering even the smallest of my prayers.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
2. toothbrush and toothpaste
7. brain and heart--said in all seriousness because "If you don't you would die."
8. guts--said in all silliness after the previous answer
This was a discussion leading up to the story of God sending Abram from Ur to Hebron. He left without knowing where he was going or how long he'd be gone. He just went because it's what God said to do. Good lesson for me to teach. God often says to me, too, "Just go. I'll fill you in on the details later." Guess I'd better get my brain and heart ready.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Monday, October 03, 2011
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
So here's my thoughts on this story. As a teacher I understand classroom disruptions and being consistent and stopping trouble makers in their tracks. But saying, "bless you?" I would just be glad that my students were showing good manners, outdated or not. (Not, if you ask me.) Settle down, Mr. Cuckovich. Ignore it and pass the tissues.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
*It's clean because the appraiser for our refinance is coming this afternoon. Maybe I should schedule an appraisal once a month.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
For the last few weeks Sara's already poor health had taken a turn for the worse. Her body began shutting down. I was a little sad knowing that the end of this life was so near for her. But I was mostly happy because I believed that she was ready to take the next step God had planned for her. And last night she took that step. I never heard Sara's voice except through her words on the screen. And we only emailed a few times. But I know that this morning Sara is singing and dancing and running like she's never done before. In the presence of the angels, her dad, and so many more who have loved her here on earth. So I'll say a prayer for her family and friends today who are already missing her. But I will also smile knowing that she is free. Absolutely free and loving every minute of it.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Lisa Whelchel. Yes, Blair from "The Facts of Life." She is now an author and founder of MomTime Ministries. Her new book is called "Friendship for Grown-ups" and that is what she spoke about at the conference. She shared about how she had to learn to make friends as an adult since her childhood was spent working with on-screen "friends." The thing I took away from what she said was that to have good friends you have to be a good friend. Be a friend who gives, listens, and is gracious. Then those kind of friends will find you. Oh, yeah, I also learned that she got to kiss on George Clooney during his stint on her show. He seems like he'd be a good friend.
Sandi Patty. Well, Sandi Patty could just sing and not talk at all and I'd be happy. But what she says is almost as beautiful as how she sings. She talked about being on the edge of the divine. About how we can live in this life close to God and enjoy all His grace and goodness and love and mercy. And how she is learning to do just that. And I just have to say that if I could sing like this women I'd sing every word I ever spoke for the rest of my life.
Marilyn Meberg. Marilyn seems like the mom of all the ladies on the porch (even though a couple of them are older than she is.) She seems like the down to earth one. The one who could answer all of your deepest, darkest questions and love you along the way. She shared about being closer to God. And isn't that what Christianity is all about?
Debra Joy Winans. Debra Joy was the drama queen of the weekend. She performed several skits over the two days that touched the very heart of many of the women in the audience. She was a mom who literally wore so many hats that she had a hard time keeping track of who she was and who she was supposed to be. And she was a wife and mother who felt invisible in her life but realized that she was not invisible to God and that he saw, and appreciated, everything she did while serving her purpose in Him. The drama part of the weekend isn't usually a highlight for me, but this year Debra Joy made me think and I learned a lot from her performances.
Amy Grant. I've never been a huge Amy Grant fan. I couldn't even name one of her songs if I tried. But I really, really enjoyed her performance. It felt like we were in a small venue when we were in fact in a huge arena. She and her three-man band played several of her songs, both Christian and secular. She seemed very real and down to earth compared to the divaliciousness of Mandisa and the voice perfection of Sandi Patty. She just sang and told stories and was soft and sweet and authentic. I may just have to look her up on itunes and get to know her music. I think I'd like it...and her.
So there you have it. Once again Women of Faith gave me a weekend to remember. It really is a blessing and I'm already looking forward to next year.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Each person who walked up on that stage this weekend touched my life in some way. I thought I'd share a thought or two about each one.
Patsy Clairmont. Can I just say first off that I love her. She is what my grandma would call "a case." She is a character with a capital "c." There's just something about her, the way she talks and moves and shares, that makes me happy. I found out this week that she was once agoraphobic. You know. She didn't leave her house and had extreme anxiety issues. I couldn't help but think, "there but for the grace of God go I." But to see her now, it's hard to believe that she was ever anything but her amazing, outgoing, fearless self. She spoke numerous times throughout the weekend and I especially appreciated what she shared about overcoming fear and accepting that change can be good. And I had to laugh out loud when she declared her opinion on medication for depression and anxiety: "Pop a pill in Jesus name." Amen, Miss Patsy!
Andy Andrews. I wasn't so sure about Andy when he first got on stage. He ran around while he talked and the poor camera men could hardly keep up with him. By the time he was finished speaking, I was exhausted. But what he said was really, really good. He spoke about being responsible for our choices and how those choices could and would impact our lives. One of the things I came away with from his words was how everything good in our lives comes about because of how we act. And everything great in our lives comes about because of how we act when the going gets tough. I can hardly wait to read his books, especially "The Traveler's Gift."
Brenda Warner. Brenda is a former marine, mother of seven including one special needs child, child advocate and philanthropist who came from nothing and now wants for nothing. Oh, yeah. She's also the wife of Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner. Brenda spoke about overcoming difficulties in life while still hanging on to the Lord. The hour spent with her gave me the impression that she is strong. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. But she knows, and shared with us, that her strength comes from above.
Mandisa. I can't say enough about Mandisa. I saw her first on American Idol. Remember her? She's the one who told Simon that she forgave him for commenting on her weight after her audition. She didn't win American Idol. Which is probably good for her and better for me and all the women who are touched by her at Women of Faith conferences all over the country. Miss Mandisa rocked the arena Friday night. Her voice, her presence, her words move me to tears every time. Her music was a lifesaver during the darkest days of my life. It was literally something I clung to during those days and one of the things that pulled me out of the stormy sea and back onto the S.S. Savior. Still today I will listen to her cds over and over and sing along with hands in the air and heart full to overflowing with His love.
And that, my friends, was only the beginning. I still have Saturday to tell you about. Stay tuned.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
1. I have a house in which to live. It's perpetually messy and beginning to be too small, but it's warm and safe and full of love.
2. I have three healthy, happy children whom I love more than life itself. And they're pretty darn cute to boot.
3. I have a husband who loves me and our children and God.
4. Our family has stable, secure jobs. This is new for us and is truly a blessing.
5. I am going to Women of Faith this weekend. I will be surrounded by sisters in the presence of our Father. I will laugh and cry and sing and be filled to overflowing with His goodness and grace.
6. I was able to serve last night by helping our neighbor who just moved back to the states and is recovering from a broken back. Her husband is working in Afghanistan and she is trying to get her house in order. I went over there exhausted and a little less than cheerfully. I came home so very glad for the opportunity.
7. I work in a Christian environment surrounded by people I love and who love me. It's not always an easy job, but the support of others is undeniably there.
8. I have a new baby in my life and even though he lives at my sister's house with his family, I am completely in love with him. Being an aunt is only second best to being a mom.
9. I know amazing people. People who make my life better and make me better, too.
10. I am saved. Everything else is icing on the cake.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
When we walked through the front gates I declared Adam the boss for the day. He was in charge and I think he liked it. We went where he wanted. We ate what he wanted. We rode every ride he wanted to. I didn't complain or "suggest" or "guide." I just followed. Adam doesn't often have times like that. Being the middle child between two strong willed siblings isn't always easy. But for one day he made the rules. And what a day it was. One filled with fun and laughter and memories. At the end of the day he thanked me and said he really liked that it was just the two of us. So did I, Adam. So did I.
Thursday, September 08, 2011
1. recognize their name when written
2. sing the ABC's
3. recognize most of the basic colors
4. count to 10
5. recognize the basic shapes
6. hold a crayon or pencil correctly (or at least close to correctly)
7. put on their shoes (I'll do the tying for a while.)
8. go to the bathroom by themselves
9. know the difference between snack and lunch (Sandwiches are lunch. Goldfish crackers are snack.)
10. sit still for at least 15 seconds
*If they don't know these things I can teach them. It'd just be nice if I didn't have to.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Monday, September 05, 2011
Thursday, September 01, 2011
1. Paint. Lovely blue and tan walls. Fresh coat of white on the doors. (Thanks, Arrty.)
2. Curtains. I took two panels and made them into four for the two windows in my classroom. (Okay, okay. My mom did it. Thanks, Mom.) (But I helped. Really.)
3. Rug. My friend Marci got a piece of carpet free from a garage sale and thought I might be able to use it. Arrty cut it to fit and it's perfect. (Thanks, Marci.)
4. Swivel rocking chair. I asked at church if anyone had a chair they'd like to donate to my class and I was offered two. One is already there and I'm making arrangements to pick up the other. (Thanks, Sylvia and Jo.)
5. Bookshelf. One that my dad made for me when I was a teenager that has been in the basement of my house. It's absolutely perfect for holding my book baskets. (Thanks, Dad.)
6. A new toy cupboard. Okay, so it's not new. But it looks new because I painted over the hot pink with blue to match the walls. I hated that pink. I called it red, but it didn't fool anybody.
7. Terrarium. A beautiful glass tank with a miniature dessert in it. It was kindly donated by my friend Alyson. (Thanks, Alyson.)
8. Two leopard geckos. To live in the tiny dessert terrarium. They are babies and so we don't know if they are boys or girls yet which is leading to trouble with naming them. I'm also concerned because I've read that two males can't live together when they are grown. I guess we'll see what happens. Any name suggestions? I suggested Samson and Delilah, but Adam vetoed it because Delilah was a "betrayer." Good point.
9. Crowntail Betta. Yes, that makes 3 class pets. Three. I'm a gluten for punishment.
10. Whiteboard. Mine got written on with permanent marker last year and I put up with it for the last half of the school year like that. But now I have a fresh, clean white board...that will have no permanent markers anywhere near it.
Bonus: My attitude. I'm going into this year with a goal to do the very best job I can do teaching my students while all the while remembering this: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord...Colossians 3:23
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
It was hot Wednesday, so the kids and I didn't get there until around 3:00. We walked through all the barns and saw the animals. Of course Julianna loved them all, especially if they were "babies." The boys even held some little rubber boa snakes in the Fish and Game building. Around 4:30 we headed over to the grandstand to watch the motocross heats. It was in the shade, so it was bearable. Arrty met us there shortly after. Between 5:30 and 6:00 we decided to eat before the actual motocross races started. Arrty and the boys got ribs, which is a yearly tradition and has been for my dear husband since he was a teenager in 4-H. He's very sweet to share his ribs with the boys these days. I even ate one even though I don't usually like meat with bones. I headed over to the food court to get fish and chips, my yearly fair meal. But there were no fish and chips! That booth has chicken this year. So I got nachos. I know. That makes no sense since I wanted fish, but that's what happened. We also all ate Hawaiian Shaved Ice which is a glorified snow cone but soooo much better. I had blackberry and strawberry. Mmmmm. After we all washed the rib grease off our fingers, we walked back over and found seats for the motocross.
You know, if you've ever gone to a county fair, that it's a great place to people watch. My dad taught me to people watch a long, long time ago and I enjoy that as much as whatever event I'm attending. This year was a little different though. These four teenagers sat down in front of us, two boys and two girls. I noticed one girl right away because when she brushed her hair to the side she had a four leaf clover tattoo on the back of her neck. I have no body art, but find others' body art fascinating. A four leaf clover is a cool tattoo if you ask this Irish girl. Then I noticed that the other girl had tattoos, too. Her right arm was covered from the elbow to the wrist and her left arm had some writing that wrapped around right above her wrist. Now body art (and piercings, which they also had) is not the least bit surprising these days, but what surprised me was how young these girls looked. They were maybe 17. I didn't notice any tattoos on the boys. One looked about the same age as the girls and the other looked younger, like maybe 14 or so. He was sitting next to the girl with arm tattoos and I thought, "Oh, that's nice. She brought her little brother to the fair with her." Soon after I could tell that the girls were going to get snacks or drinks and asked the boys if they wanted anything. They didn't. Then tattoo-arms leaned over and kissed her "brother" right on the lips! Not in a brotherly way! What?!?!? He's a kid! She's way older than him! And pierced and tattooed so young! First of all, he was way too young to be kissing on girls like that. Secondly, he was way to young to be on a date. Thirdly, she looked way to "worldly" for him with his baseball cap and baby face. I was disturbed. Highly disturbed. I was so distracted by this "couple" that I hardly saw any motocross racing. After I got over my shock and the almost irresistible urge to move down to sit between them, I got down to figuring it out. So here's what I determined.
1. He must be older than he looks. Maybe he's 16 and just looks like he should still be with his mama at the fair.
2. She must be younger than she looks. Maybe she just turned 17 and looks older because of her mature haircut and body art.
3. Their tattoos are temporary. I came to this conclusion when I saw the one covering the inner arm of the boy. There are booths at the fair that sell temporary tattoos and these were all black and white and pretty simple. Yes, temporary. Phew.*
4. They are nice kids. Other than that original kiss and a little hand holding, there was no other public displays of affection. And they did seem nice to each other and their other friends who came and went over the few hours I studied them.
5. They go to church. Her tattoo said "Psalms 23."** And his said "familia." (Not that only church goers find family important enough to get a tattoo expressing that. Just my thinking at the time.)
6. I was maybe a little sensitive about the whole thing since the boy involved looked just a little older than Josh. Just a little. And here he was with a girl. By himself. Kissing. Yikes. Just Yikes.
So I left feeling like the situation was maybe okay. I didn't have to rescue that boy and take him to the "lost child" booth. He would make it home safe and sound and not too kissed up on and be able to wash off that tattoo. Here's hoping.
*Just to reiterate. I have no problem with body art...on adults. If you make a mature decision to ink yourself permanently that's completely okay with me. Just wait until you're old enough to make that important decision. I'm 39 and still haven't made such a decision. But my 40th birthday is coming up...
**Shouldn't it be Psalm 23? No "s." Just asking.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
But here's the thing about Julianna. She is so adorable that no matter what language she speaks or what she asks me to do, I have to oblige. Maybe it's because her little face can make me melt in a second or maybe it's that I'm an older mom this time around and so understand that I only have a short time to meow with her. But either way I let her meow. And I pretend to understand every word. And I even meow back. Am I crazy? Absolutely. But it has nothing to do with meowing. The meowing isn't the least bit crazy to a mommy in love with her kids.
How many of you are now meowing Row, Row, Row Your Boat? I know you are. Admit it.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
1. My sweet husband has spent two whole days helping me prep and paint my classroom walls. And he does such a good job. Way better than I would have done by myself. And now he is planning to paint the ceiling, too! How great is he?!
2. The boys are back from camp. Phew. We all made it through the week in one piece. They came back with stories to tell and memories made. (And one of them came back wearing "friendship" bracelets given to him by girls. Guess which one.)
3. I spent a whole week with my darling daughter. We played and talked and went to the beach. It was truly a blessing. She is something else, I tell ya.
4. Thursday was my last day of summer school. So that means I have two weeks off to enjoy the sunshine. (Well, except for the few days I have to go to school to get my room ready for the new school year.)
5. My boys are going to have the teacher they wanted next year. The one who goes on field trips. The one who doesn't lecture. The one who they've both had before. The one who happens to be my friend.
6. We are getting a new family member this week. My new nephew's birthday is Friday. I can hardly wait! My sister grows really cute babies. I just wonder if he has any hair? :)
7. We are having lunch at my parent's house today and celebrating my brother-in-law's birthday. He's chosen salmon for his birthday meal. And if you have ever tasted my dad's grilled salmon, you know it'll be like it's all our birthdays!
8. It's Sunday! May you be blessed today, too!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Josh: Hi, Mom.
Me: Hi, Josh! How are you?
Josh: Great! Sorry I didn't call you sooner. I was going to call you yesterday after breakfast but I forgot. Sorry.
Me: That's okay. Are you having fun?
Josh: Yeah! Lots! I know all the counselors and junior counselors already and there's lots of fun activities. And we don't even need canteen money because they give us snacks and pop everyday at free time. And the food is really good.
Me: How's your brother doing?
Josh: Good. He's out playing basketball right now. He's in a cabin with Nate and Jacob and Grant. He's having fun, too.
Me: So, are you ready for me to come up and get you?
Josh: Ummm, no.
Me: Are you staying warm at night? Did you take enough clothes?
Josh: Oh, yeah. I'm fine.
Me: Okay. So you're sure you don't want me to come get you?
Josh: Yep, I'm sure.
You can't blame me for trying.
After a few more assurances and "I love yous" and "byes" we hung up. I was smiling. Even though half my heart is 3 hours away. My boys are growing and making memories. For 10 and almost 12 years they've been doing that with me. Now it's time for them to do it without me sometimes. But just sometimes...a very limited sometimes. Because little do they know that when they get back on Saturday they will not be allowed out of my sight for at least a month...maybe two.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
So today when the boys were getting ready to head off to camp for a week, I offered them $10.00 or a trip to Outback or both to stay home. (I had to take into account inflation since 1987.) They didn't take me up on my offer. So they got into the church van, waved goodbye, gave me the "I love you" sign, and left me for a week. And I know they will have fun and learn and grow. And rarely think of their mom at home. Even if I am thinking of them every minute.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
1. 10+--the number of hours I've worked every day this week
2. 12+--the number of children I have cared for each day
3. 3--the number of children I wanted to be caring for each day
4. 4--the number of hours I've spent outside each day on the playground
5. 27--the number of times I've closed my eyes and smiled at the sun
6. 3--the number of neighborhood hooligans I had to chase off our playground today after they set off firecrackers in the covered slide
7. 7--the number of Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music...which would seem really random if I didn't also mention that I am going to summer theater tonight and the show is The Sound of music
8. 6--the number of lists I've made today
9. 15--the number of days until I meet my new nephew
10. 3--the number of days I have left to work this summer
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Friday, August 05, 2011
You are adorable with your trendy clothes, ponytails, and smooth skin. I'm glad that you enjoyed the movie even if you did figure out that she was his daughter early on. I'm sorry that the movie theater girl had to tell you to put your feet down off the seats in front of you.
But why, for all things holy, did you not wash your hands after you went to the bathroom?!!?? You look like smart girls. I'm sure you have mothers at home who love you. And I'm sure those same mothers taught you to wash your hands after you pee. But you didn't. Really?! You stood in front of the mirror to fix your hair and check your lip gloss. Would it have been so hard to turn on the water and rinse your hands? It kind of grossed me out and when I heard you say that your "next plans" were to go eat, I think I gagged a little.
Girls, please, please, make it a habit to wash your hands after using the bathroom. Because I'm pretty sure the boys you no doubt went looking for last night would be grossed out too if they knew you didn't wash your hands.
Concerned and Disgusted Fellow Movie Goer
Thursday, August 04, 2011
1. It's here. Why does summer get shorter and shorter every year?
2. It's busy. Our calendar has very few empty boxes.
3. They boys will be going to camp. For a week. Without me.
4. Our last summer theater show is the 11th. It's The Sound of Music. I can hardly wait. And since I'm in charge of the tickets, I'm putting myself next to Katrina because I know she'll sing along and that means I can, too.
5. The county fair starts the 24th. We like to go at least one day although we mostly boycotted last year because they were allowing beer all over the fair grounds instead of limiting it to one area. And it's soooo crowded these days. We'll see what we decide to do this year.
6. We will have a new member of the family. My new nephew who I can't wait to meet will be born in a few short weeks. Well, short for me, not for his mommy. He will raise our family dinner attendance to an even dozen.
7. We just finished Bible Sports Camp at church. I came to the realization while chasing 23 four year olds around and trying to get them to sit still for 5 seconds that I am a willing servant, but not a cheerful servant. I have to work on that.
8. I took the kids to the beach for the first time this year yesterday. They had so much fun and despite the sunburn on my right shoulder, so did I. I hope we can fit in a few more beach days this month. (Apparently spray sunscreen only works where you actually spray it.)
9. There are still a few things left on our "summer to do" list. The ones we hope to get to are garnet digging, a Spokane Indians baseball game, and at least one outdoor concert (for me).
10. The last week of August will be time to get ready for school. Do not remind me that we only have 32 days left of summer.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Last night, after being asleep for a few hours, I heard over the monitor a sleepy, little "Mommy." I know to wait a minute because it's probably just sleep talk. And it was. But lying there awake and having heard that word again, I decided to take it and put it in a little box in my mind. A little box that I can pull out one of these days when I have a day where no one calls me Mom because my children are not living under my roof or dependant on me for all those little things. That day is a long way off since I still have a preschooler at home. But I also have an almost 12 year old, so I know all too well how fast the years fly by. That day will come. And I'll miss these days.
So today, after being called on a million times, I will smile and put the million and first one in my "Mom" box. And save it for a day when I need to hear it once again.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
1. Spongebob Squarepants game where the kids chose the characters they wanted to be and then chased each other around the play equipment inexplicably.
2. An argument over who was going to be the abominable snowman.
3. Campfire building lessons with everything but the actual fire.
4. Bug catching...grasshoppers, caterpillars, ants, butterflies...
5. Scooter riding. Except for Julianna who rides a "cooter."
6. Lots of little bare feet. And even though it's totally against school rules to run around barefooted, I'm letting them. It's summer. I run around barefooted, too.
7. My daredevil daughter climbing everything in sight including playground ladders, up the slide, and monkey bars.
8. A rhino/squid. The big brother said the little brother was a squid while the little brother insisted he was a rhino. I voted for rhino.
9. Human and dragon sacrifices. Pretend of course. I'm still not sure why or to whom they were sacrificing but it was very near the fire building pit as to be more effective.
10. Lots of kids having lots of fun. Yeah for summer!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I've been working some extra days at school. The other teacher is in the process of buying a house and has needed some time for paperwork and packing. Anyone who has ever bought a house knows that it's a full time job getting through that.
Working this summer hasn't been too bad. The kids I care for are well behaved (mostly). My kids get to play with other kids. I have time to work in my classroom. I get paid. Except for the getting up early, it's pretty much win/win.
Although I have had the worry this week that without some time off, completely off, I may get tired of school before next school year is over. Maybe I'll try to get a whole week off before September.
Yesterday Julianna was wearing a little skirt/shirt outfit. Adam asked me if she had shorts under her skirt. When I told him "no," he said, "Mom, that skirt is too short to not have shorts under it." I'm going to be glad to have him around for her teenage years.
Josh went on a youth group outing on Monday. Swimming at the lake house of a couple from church. He had a great time. Loved it, as a matter of fact. I was excited for him to get to go and actually encouraged him to. Until about halfway through the day when I realized that my almost 12 year old was way, way, way too big. And growing up right before my eyes without me having a thing to do to prevent it.
I got to spend some time with my sweet sister yesterday afternoon. The busyness of life doesn't allow for nearly enough of those times for us. She is pretty amazing. Right now she is growing my new nephew and being a real trooper about being pregnant all summer. And her kids are such good friends to mine. I love that all the cousins adore each other. The boys play like boys and have such a great time together. And the girls...well, they are the cutest thing ever when they get together. The days when we went swimming together are gone. But now are the days when we watch our kids do the same thing. I couldn't help but smile when Aidan was showing me his handstand in the water...just like his mommy did all those summers ago.
And speaking of swimming, Julianna didn't have a swimsuit to swim in the pool in my sister's backyard so I let her go in her underwear and tank top. Which worked out fine, until her unders got wet and she decided to go without. Ummm...yeah. Let's not run around half naked.
The rest of today will be spent cleaning my house. Well, that and playing with the kids. And maybe a short nap. And the watching of So You Think You Can Dance. And starting a new book. Okay, so I'm going to spend 15 minutes cleaning. It is summer vacation after all.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
This difference was apparent once more yesterday. I was lying on my bed reading and she was in and out of the room playing and talking and climbing all over me. After a while she discovered a storage box sitting in front of my dresser and asked if she could stand on it. When I told her she could, she climbed up and immediately spotted my jewelry box. She then asked me if she could look in it. Now when I say jewelry box, you should know that I don't wear jewelry and therefore the box contains a bunch of stuff I've collected or been given over the years that pretty much only has sentimental value. So I told her that she could look in it. The girl spent a good hour looking at and trying on all the rings, necklaces, and bracelets. She whispered to herself and sat down and climbed up a hundred times enjoying her play. I spent more time watching her than reading and was amazed once again at this little girl that God has loaned me. Julianna Grace is a blessing. And having a daughter is a blessing. A blessed abundance of sugar and spice and everything nice.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
You see, 19 years ago, on 7/11/1992, I got married. I was 20 years old. He was 21. We had known each other since I was in 5th grade and he was in 6th. We had been dating for 3 1/2 years not counting the middle school crush and silliness. We were both in college. We both lived at home. We were oh so young. And oh so in love. So on that 11th day of July with the sun shining and me in my JC Penney wedding dress, we said, "I do." And have been saying the same thing every day for the last 19 years.
We have been through the poorer more than the richer and our fair share of sickness. But the better has still outweighed the worse by a long shot. We have grown up together. Not just our shared childhood, but since we've been married. At 20 years old I felt plenty old enough to get married, but now when I think back I was still so very young. We were both in college and working close to full time. It was a busy time and a wonderful time. For 7 1/2 years it was just the two of us. Frankly it's hard to remember, or even imagine, those years before kids. It's all kind of a blur of growing and learning and becoming a wife. And being happy. Almost as happy as I am after 19 years.
And if I had to do it all over again, I would still walk down that aisle and say, "I do." I would hold his hand and know that he was my lobster. I would smile knowing what was to come for us. I would kiss him longer and not worry about what the old people thought. I would enjoy every second because I would know that that day was just the beginning of something wonderful.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
1. Some of my favorite ladies sitting in the shade, drinking Diet Coke (or water or tea), visiting, and laughing.
2. Video games. Josh and Adam really hit it off with the exchange students from China who joined in our celebration. It was great fun having them there. Even if we had to communicate using sign language. And even though they put watermelon on their hamburgers.
3. Horseshoes. What's the 4th of July without horseshoes? Luckily we didn't have to find out.
4. Cotton candy. Warren and Lynn brought George's cotton candy machine and made all the kids (and some of the adults) very happy.
5. Happy kids. Happy, sticky kids.
6. Friends. Julianna loved playing with Katie. They bonded over cotton candy and bug boxes.
7. Did I mention sticky kids?
8. Kim. One of those "favorite ladies" I mentioned who was especially happy about the appearance of cotton candy.
9. Smiles. This is just one of the many smiles I saw that day. It was a good day.