Wednesday, June 19, 2013

10 Things Thursday

I'm always finding reviews and recommendations for new and interesting books as I crawl across the web. I have started writing down titles and authors for future reference. But every once in a while, if a book looks really good, I'll go to our community library website and place a hold on it to get it as soon as possible. That happened this week. I saw somewhere a review of "Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs By Writers Famous and Obscure." What?! Six word memoirs?! I knew I must read it! I picked it up from the library yesterday and couldn't put it down. I am finding it extremely fascinating to see how people describe their lives in six words. Some funny, some sad, some touching, some thought provoking.

I decided to mark my favorites planning for this post. I started marking...and marking...and marking. Here's what happened.

Yeah. That's more than 10. But for 10 Things Thursday, here are 10 of my favorite six-word memoirs...

1. Watching quietly from every door frame.--Nicole Resseguie
2. The psychic said I'd be richer.--Elizabeth Bernstein
3. Forest peace, sharing vision, always optimistic.--Dr. Jane Goodall
4. Danced in fields of infinite possibilities.--Deepak Chopra
5. Xenophile escapist tumbleweed globetrots, finds self.--Dominic Arizona Bouccelli
6. Near death experiences are my forte.--Anna Mauser-Martinez
7. Slightly psychotic, in a good way.--Patricia Neelty
8. I wrote it all down somewhere.--Ben Greenman
9. Clueless meets Ophelia, without the suicide.--Larisa Ballinger
10. Discovered moral code via Judy Blume.--Beth Greivel

And 10 more...
1. Wannabe heroine but just Plain Jane.--Tanya Holland
2. It's pretty high. You go first.--Alan Eagle
3. In a Manolo world, I'm Keds.--Colleen Cook
4. My first concert: Zappa. Explains everything.--Janet Tashjian
5. Students laughed appreciatively. The professor relaxed.--Laurie Hensley
6. Dorothy Gale had the right idea.--Pamela Vissing
7. Canoe guide, only got lost once.--Taylor Stump
8. Boys liked her. She preferred books.--Anneliese Cuttle
9. If Eliza Doolittle wore cowboy boots...--Dixie Friedman
10. So it goes, a tad askew.--Michael Dickter

And just 10 more...
1. The image was large with silence.--Elizabeth Raab
2. I colored outside the lines.--Jacob Thomas
3. Me: consistently avoiding death since 1978!--Daniel Fowlkes
4. Even the quietest sounds make noise.--Paul Boggan
5. Many hands have kept me afloat.--Nick Flynn
6. Little bit Lucy, tempered by Ethel.--Tami Maus
7. Business school? Bah! Pop music? Hurrah!--Max Robins
8. Mom blames musical theater. I disagree.--Don Sigale
9. Poet locked in body of contractor.--Marilyn Hencken
10. Hope my obituary spells "debonair" correctly.--Gregg Easterbrook

Okay...really this time, just 10 more. Then you'll have to read the book.
1.Her blue eyes capture the distance.--Sonya Cheuse
2. To make a long story short...--Jace Albao
3. Rather sing than stay to chat.--Keri Willson
4. Underachieving...but willing to overcompensate halfheartedly.--Frank J. Lepiane
5. Well, I thought it was funny.--Stephen Colbert
6. Put whole self in, shook about.--Melissa Delzio
7. I inhale battles. I exhale victories.--William Heath
8. I answer to the name Mom.--Lynne Chesterton
9. Fearlessness is the mother of reinvention.--Arianna Huffington
10. Straight jacket on the gentle cycle.--Stewart Rudy

Still couldn't do it...4 more...
1. I'm the fine print; read closely.--Kristina Grish
2. Veni, vidi, but haven't vici yet.--Meenakshi Nandini
3. That Kiss song says it all.--James Hampton
4. On the seventh word, he rested.--Stephen J. Dubner

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Best Laid Plans...

(Extension of yesterday's Blessed Sunday...)

Things don't always work out according to plan. Actually, very few things work out according to plan. When I was 16, I swore I'd never get married. This July I will celebrate my 21st wedding anniversary with the boy I started dating just before I turned 17. Then we didn't really plan when we'd have kids. But after 7 years of marriage we decided we'd try it. Then again a year and a half later. And then one more time seven years later. I certainly didn't intend to have two middle schoolers and a pre schooler at this time in my life. But my plans are not God's plans.

When I started college, I called myself a business major. I took accounting and economics and business law. And kinda hated it. And was led, in spite of my immaturity and naivety, to education. I had wanted to be a teacher since I was in 1st grade. But after 13 years of school, I was a little burned out and decided that 4 more years of school just to be able to spend a whole bunch more years at school wasn't what I wanted. But after a year of business classes, I changed my major and started taking education classes. And kinda loved it.

One of the draws of being a teacher, besides, you know, the influencing of young lives and all, was summers off. Ahhh...glorious summers off. And I did have summers off...for a while. I was a teacher for three years before Josh was born. And I had those summers off. All. By. Myself. I read and watched movies and went to the beach and did, well, I don't actually remember what else I did. Then I took a couple years off with the babies. And when I went back to work, I was able to take summers off. I was lucky, really. Many teachers have to find summer jobs to make ends meet every year.

But three years ago, things changed. Our family's job situation changed dramatically and when the opportunity came up to begin a summer child care program at our school, I decided to do it. It was a blessing, even though it meant no extended summer vacation. I worked a few days a week and had a few off. Still better than full time, but not ideal. Then last summer we were asked to have our summer program again. So we did. But at the end of the summer, we said, "No way!" to doing it again. We wanted our summer off!

But things don't always go according to plan. And Dave Ramsey would not want me to not work this summer. So here I am, working another summer. This time is a little different. I will get a couple of two week mini-breaks and have a couple of part time weeks. And all in all it's a pretty good summer job. I get to sit in the shade and watch a bunch of kids play all day...with a little bit of learning thrown in, but don't tell them that. I even get to read a little between all the activity. I was thinking as I was driving into town this morning how much I wished that I didn't have to work. But then I realized what a blessing this job is. I'm my own boss. I get to play all day. I get to take my kids with me. I get to spend as much time outside as I want. And I get paid pretty well for it.

All in all, not such a bad gig. And it serves to remind me that God's plans are always, always bigger...and smarter...than mine.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blessed Sunday

There doesn't seem to be much time for blogging during this whirlwind of life I find myself in. Always places to be and people to see. Dishes to wash and clothes to fold. Shopping and cooking and more dishes. Kids to hold and enjoy and play with. A husband who has his own whirlwind swirling, and whose path occasionally crosses mine. And work. Yes, it's summer vacation from school, but not completely for me. I am sharing the summer child care job with my sister. Two weeks on, two weeks off. Tomorrow will start my second week on. Long, hot, exhausting days spent with lots of kids ready to play the summer away. Both easier and harder than teaching somehow. But this week, even in my dreading the early mornings and constant "kid-ness" of my days, I have learned to count my summer job as a blessing. It allows me to work during the summer on my own terms. To take my own kids with me. To work on school projects a little during the day. To sit in the shade and listen to little voices and hearty laughs. And maybe even read a chapter or two between activities.

So, would I like to have my summer off completely? Yes. Of course. But since that isn't in the plans right now, I am choosing to count this opportunity as the blessing that it is.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Blessed Sunday--Julianna Turns 5!

Talk about a blessing! My daughter is very near the top of my list. She is a gift. An unexpected, but very welcome gift. Someone not long ago said, upon observing the ages of my children, that she must  have been a surprise baby. I felt the need to correct them and tell them, that yes, it was a surprise that I wanted to have a third child. And it was a surprise that God put that desire in my heart. And it was a surprise that God's timing wasn't exactly my timing. But we fully intended to add her to our family. Crazy as it all seems, even to me.

And now, 5 years later, I hardly remember my life without her. She is amazing. So different from her brothers. She's made me be a different kind of mommy. A nail painting, hair braiding, doll playing kind of mommy. Sometimes even now I see her from across the room and have to remind myself that she's mine. And as honest as I was being when I was pregnant with her about being okay with either a boy or a girl, I was secretly hoping for a girl. (I can say that now, right?)

I love that she is a girly-girl even if I'm not. I love that she loves all animals, real or stuffed. I love that she loves music and makes up her own songs. I love that she loves her brothers and that they adore her. I love that she still wants to sit on my lap. I love all the memories that I have of her and with her over the last five years.

She is sweet and funny and silly and smart. Her best friend is her cousin Abby. Her favorite colors are pink, purple, and green. She likes to wear dresses, the frillier the better. She doesn't like to wear shoes and will take them off wherever and whenever she can. She likes to color and do puzzles. She is fearless, which sometimes causes fear in me. I told her daddy when we decided to name her Julianna, that she would have to be quite a girl for such a big name. And she is, undoubtedly, quite a girl.

Happy birthday to my sweet 5 year old. I love you, Miss Julianna.