Thursday, May 24, 2012

10 Things Thursday

10 of my favorite "words of the day" from

1. cachinnate: to laugh loudly or immoderately
The lady in front of us at the movies cachinnated through the whole thing, which was rather surprising considering it wasn't a comedy. 
2. lunette: something that has the shape of a crescent or half-moon
The boy who threw the rock got in big trouble after it left a lunette bruise on his classmates forehead.
3. bon vivant: a person having cultivated, refined, and sociable tastes especially in respect to food or drink
Considering that my idea of fine dining is soup and salad at Olive Garden, it's no surprise that I've never been accused of being a bon vivant.
4. menagerie: a place where animals are kept and trained especially for exhibition
My kindergarten class is often turned into a menagerie on show and tell day.
5. agog: full of intense interest of excitement; eager
A forty year old mother of three should not be agog while waiting to see The Hunger Games.
6. tranche: a division or portion of a pool or whole
The huge watermelon will be doled out in tranches to the guests at the bar-b-que.
7. shanghai: to put by trickery into an undesirable position
I was shanghaied into teaching Bible class this summer because someone said, "I'll do it if Jen does."
8. hypnagogic: of, relating to, or occurring in the period of drowsiness immediately preceding sleep
Why is it that my best writing ideas occur while I'm hypnagogic and I have to get out of bed to write them down so I don't forget by morning?
9. argot: an often more or less secret vocabulary and idiom peculiar to a particular group
Part of the argot I share with my sister is the word "daugherty."
10.maffick: to celebrate with boisterous rejoicing and hilarious behavior
On June 7th at exactly 12:00, the CCS staff will maffick as the last student exits the building!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Adam's 11th Birthday

Adam has, from the day he was born, been the kid that I look at and wonder just where he came from. He was the most adorable baby with his blue, blue eyes and blond hair. So cute and sweet. An easy baby to care for and an even easier baby to love. He was a good eater and sleeper. His smile would, and does, light up a room. He has always been so charming and sweet and funny. But he can have a temper and we called him Jack-Jack when he was little because when he got mad he would turn red like that character from The Incredibles. He is wicked smart (can I get away with using wicked right there?) and hilariously funny and  has been for as long as he's been able to talk. He's a thinker and continuously surprises me with his insight. He has a keen sense of right and wrong and the wrong sincerely bothers him whether it benefits him or not. He worries about me, sometimes too much, and cares about my feelings. He is silly and mischievous and excitable. He can be extremely quiet or extremely loud and is rarely anything in between. And all of that, and much more, is why I often wonder just where he came from. But I really don't need to wonder. Because I know. He came straight from above. He's just an amazing kid. And I'm blessed to call him my son.

Happy birthday, Adam D. Mama loves you more than words can say.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

10 Things Thursday

10 things that make me happier than they probably should.

1. Free chai lattes. The free ones taste so much better than the ones I buy for myself or make at home.
2. A gift of flowers. I love flowers. Love them. But I, nor they, should be happy when I am in charge of them. I can kill a cactus. Can and have.
3. A brand new box of crayons. They are so perfect and lovely. I almost hate to let my students use them.
4. Clearance sales. I have to repeat to myself over and over, "Just because it's cheap doesn't mean you need it."
5. Clearance sales on things I'm actually shopping for. I found a great deal on a camera for Josh for his last birthday. It was what I was shopping for and I got a $200 camera for $40. And then a few weeks ago I found a $150 camera for $30 for Adam's birthday. I know! Happy!!
6. Reality tv. It's one of my guilty pleasures. Survivor, American Idol, Pawn Stars, Deadliest Catch...
7. Movie trailers. I pay $9 to see a movie and my favorite part is the trailers for movies I'll have to pay $9 to see later.
8. Comfy shoes. I haven't worn heels since 1991. And gladly so.
9. Someone else taking the garbage out. Anyone. Anyone at all.
10. A whole Diet Coke. A whole one. One that I don't have to share with anyone.

What makes you happier than it probably should?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

This year Mother's Day was much like it's been the last few years. Lunch at Mom and Dad's with my family and my sister's family. The kids are bigger this year and the dad's are slightly wiser and the moms are a little grayer. (Well, at least I am, the only one who doesn't enhance my natural color.) But still, to sit around a table with the Delicious Dozen of our family is just as sweet as ever. If you know us, you know that there is a lot of laughter and stories and food...oh, the food. But to see us all together is more than all that. Twelve people. Three generations. Seven boys and five girls. All loving each other. It's kind of amazing. I hear about families that are estranged or don't see each other for whatever reason and can't imagine it. We all get along. We all support each other. We all share so much that sometimes it's too much. And all of that happens a midst cooking and cleaning and diaper changing and toddler tantrums and dirty hands and muddy feet and video games and go carts and hyper dogs and sibling/cousin spats and lots and lots of popsicles.

And yesterday was one more of those days spent with my two favorite moms in the whole wide world, their kids and mine, and the dads that made it possible. And really, what is Mother's Day about if it's not about watching kids play, eating food grilled by dads, and drinking Diet Coke while sitting on the porch swing in the shade on a sunny day? It was as close to perfect as it could get.

And I have to add that all of this is only possible because of my mom. Many years ago I realized that she is our rock. Our glue. Our north star. Without her we would not be who we are or where we are or what we are. She gave birth to my sister and I and I'm sure she would agree that that was the easy part. Through all of the ups and downs and trials and joys of all these years of mothering all these people, she still is, and will ever be, the very best of the very best. I adore her. 

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Wanna Hear A Ghost Story*

I know you do. So here it goes.

It was a dark and stormy night...or a bright and sunny morning. Whatever. The children and teachers were all gathered together in chapel listening quietly to the day's lesson...or wiggling and whispering and not listening at all. Whatever. The school administrator, Fearless Leader, was leading songs, sharing scripture, and telling ridiculous stories just like usual. All of a sudden he told the kids to turn around and look at the back of the auditorium to see the spirit reading the prayer cards covering the whole back of the room. Well, I assumed that it was more of his silliness. But I warned him he better be careful. Kids sometimes see things we don't. Just as I finished saying that, the little boy in the seat in front of me turned around and without hesitation and with big eyes, said, "I see his wings flapping!" My friend, and preschool teacher, Lynelle heard, too, and we looked at each other with surprise. I turned around quickly to see what he was talking about. I saw nothing. But have wondered ever since what he saw.

Fast forward to this morning. I asked Fearless Leader if he heard what the little boy had said that day. He said no, but went on to tell me the rest of the story. While standing in the front of the chapel, he noticed that the prayer cards taped to the wall in the back were fluttering as they hung on the wall. Moving enough that he noticed all the way across the huge room. It was weird, he said, since they hadn't done that before. He had stood in that same spot every single day with the same cards on the same wall for weeks and weeks. No fluttering. Until that day. "It must have been the fan or the heater vent," he suggested.  "Or the flapping wings!" I countered. After chapel this morning I did a little investigation. There is only one vent anywhere close to the mysterious site. And it blows in the opposite direction. And the heat and fans are never on during that time of the day. It wasn't the fan or heat. It couldn't have been. It was the flapping wings. It was. I know it. I just wish I would have seen them, too.

*Okay, so it's more of an angel story. But isn't that better, anyway?

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Blessed Sunday

I was blessed to have a movie date with my favorite 12 year old today. He finished reading The Hunger Games last week, so I kept my promise to take him to see the movie. I don't know who was more excited, him or me. Even though I'd already seen it, it was like seeing it for the first time through his eyes. He surprisingly had some opinions about things they left out of the movie that he thought it needed from the book. What fun to share this book and movie with him.

On the way home from the movie, Josh requested Domino's pizza. I obliged (even though it's my least favorite pizza). After we picked up the pizza, he said, "Thanks for taking me to the movies...and for the pretzel and pop...and for the pizza...and for giving birth to me." Well, it's about time he thanked me for that!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Found Pictures

I was going through all my blog post drafts and came across these never published gems. Julianna on her second birthday. All together now...awwwww.  (Update: Turns out they were published back in June of 2010. But you can never get enough cuteness, right?)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Wednesday Word

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.  Matthew 5:9

This verse and verse 10 about being persecuted because of righteousness are my class's memory verses for the week. They have been working on all the beatitudes--Matthew 5:3-10. But this one I spent extra time on. Peacemaker. Shouldn't we all be peacemakers? Don't we wish there were more peacemakers? When I asked the kids what they thought being a peacemaker meant, one said that it was trying to make a problem better. One said it was someone who tried to make peace. Well, yes. A peacemaker makes peace in any and every situation. But even more, a peacemaker doesn't cause unpeaceful situations...someone who carries peace with them and shares it with others. I explained to the kids that the opposite of peacemaker is troublemaker. If you are a troublemaker, you are most definitely not a peacemaker.

And look at what you get if you are a peacemaker. You get to be called a child of God. Picture this. You are playing a game. Any game. With a bunch of other people. And all of the players' parents are standing on the sidelines. And your parent in attendance is God. The father of all. And he is watching you. And he is smiling. And he is leaning over to the parent standing next to him. And he says, "See that one. That one right there making all the peace. That one's mine." Ooohhh. Don't you love that? Don't you love being called a child of God himself. I do. I really, really, really do. That makes me want to be a peacemaker more than anything else.

I get peace. I understand it so completely because I've been without it so completely. I have felt it to my core and I've longed for it without success. I've had my soul flooded with it so powerfully that I felt the very presence of God and I've grasped at it and missed miserably. And through all of those times with peace and without, I've learned that peace, the true peace that passes all understanding, is my favorite gift from above. The one that holds all the others in its hands. The one that can ease my soul, heal my heart, and quench my thirst. The one that guards my heart and mind. The one thing that I never want to be without again.

So a peacemaker I will strive to be. I will carry it with me. I will share it. And I will be blessed. I will be called a child of God. And I will shout from the rooftops that the peace I have is not my own. It has been given to me by the ultimate Peacemaker. The peacemaker who has been and is and will ever be.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


So today Jules and I were running some errands after school. One of the stops we made was the post office to pick up our mail. When we were walking in, she asked me if she could open the mail box. I told her she could and handed her the key. With a few instructions she was able to unlock and open the box and then close and lock it after I emptied it. Then she asked me if she could carry the keys as we walked back out to the car. As I told her she could, I had this vivid memory of having the same exact conversation in the same exact building with Josh nine years ago and Adam seven years ago. That moment, and others like it, make me smile and get all misty at the same time. I smile at the joy and wonder of my children as they do the smallest things and all those amazing memories that I've stored up over the years. And I get all misty because those little kid days are over with the boys and going by so fast with Julianna. These days with the boys have joys of their own, even with the teenage moments sprinkled in. Even those moments have a special place in my heart. And as I repeat these early years with Jules, I am enjoying, savoring even, every single moment. Even the littlest things like getting the mail remind me of what a blessing it is to raise my own children. What a gift they are. What an answered prayer. What an amazing purpose God has given me as I walk hand in hand with these three little souls toward him.