Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So Long, September

Pin It I was doing "week in review" posts for a while, then I kind of stopped keeping track. We were too busy or I was too lazy. One of those.

Now I'm realizing that it's October! How did that happen? It seems like it's been ages since Jim left, and yet it seems like summer flew by. Someone explain that to me. Four months down though.

September was another busy month. September, December, and May are always the busiest months! We have accomplished a lot this month though. On Friday, the girls will finish up the first six weeks of school. They're moving right along and I'm so proud of them.

Something happened for the first time ever. I actually had to tell my oldest to put down her book and go to bed. She reads well, but it's never been something she especially enjoys. She has really gotten into the book her class is reading at co-op. I thought she probably would, but still fully expected to have to pretty much hound her to do the required reading every week and I'm thrilled that I'm actually having to tell her to stop.

I've already mentioned this, but Madelyn finished Math U See Beta. We are going to switch her to Teaching Textbooks, as we did Gabbi, but we're on hold right now because third grade TT hasn't been released yet. One month to go. We're starting to introduce multiplication while we wait.

The girls really are doing well with school. I mean, they still try daily to get out of it, but they've also realized that it's not going to happen, so there's not too much argument. We have the DVD situation pretty much worked out by just moving them back and forth depending on the class. We have several field trips coming up in October, and a visit from their grandmother, and I think we're all excited about those.

Now that I'm not working in awanas any longer, I'm spending that time on Sunday night planning our week. I'm more organized than I've ever been before (trust me, that's not saying a whole lot) and it's nice to be able to look through and see easily what they're supposed to do each week.

Brendan is enjoying Mother's Day Out, and I'm enjoying Mother's Day Out as well. He's having some issues going into class some days, but once he gets past that, he's having a good time. He's been doing that at co-op from the beginning, and this past Sunday, he did at Sunday school too. I'm not sure what's up with that; it sure does make it hard to leave him when he's crying. Hopefully it's just a brief stage. I seem to remember Madelyn doing the same thing off and on ... even up to ... um ... last year.

I'm doing well also. I'm finding that I'm capable of all sorts of things. Like vacuuming. Who knew I could even do that? Fear not - I fully expect to forget how as soon as Jim gets back. Sleeping is getting a little better too. I still feel tired a lot of the time; I'm still a little too late getting to bed and a little too early waking up, but it really is better.

Get this -- I mentioned that I've been *bonding* with Leslie Sansone lately, after dumping Jillian. Wanna guess how many miles I walked in the month of September? Sitting down?

56! Yes, seriously. Fifty-six miles. Unbelievable. Go me, right? Unfortunately there are no real results from all of this effort, other than the feeling of accomplishment. That's worth something though. :) I also actually feel a little better, and even a little more confident, which is just kind of weird. Maybe noticeable results will happen. I guess it's okay if they don't, it's worth it just to feel better and to know that I'm making an effort. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

So, on to October we go!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Five Things

Pin It Five things that five years from now, I'll be glad I did today.

1. Studied my Bible. The study I'm doing right now (Esther by Beth Moore) is really speaking to me, and I'm praying that a lot of it sinks in. I do remember some studies I've done from years and years ago, and I know this one has the potential to change my life in the same way those did.

2. Exercised. Really wish I had done a little more of this ten years ago!

3. Laughed with my children. Madelyn singing to Hannah Montana at the top of her lungs, Gabbi having issues with getting her pencil sharpened just right, Brendan being so excited to take his treasures to Mother's Day Out today. Giggles all around, over silly little mundane things.

4. Discovered mini babybel light cheese. Yum!!

5. Blogged. This isn't my favorite season in life. Oh? You noticed that? I hope that one day I'll be glad to look back through what I've written. I hope to laugh a little, cry a little, and be thankful to have made it through this in one piece.

I should probably include five things that I'm doing today that I'll not care about five years from now ... probably because I'll STILL BE DOING THEM. Laundry, dishes, cooking, sweeping (no, I won't be doing that one, because I will very happily hand over the broom when Jim gets back), breaking up fights between siblings. ;)

There are lots of other things ... I hope to have a productive day today, these are just the things I've done so far. I'm sure that, at least, connecting with friends and talking to family would be on the list if I had done these things so far today!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Me Monday

Pin It

It is not me who promised a "post with substance" and never posted it. It's sitting in my edit folder ... coming soon. :) After this last week with sick kids and gray days, I need all the laughs I can get, so giggles before substance is a good thing!

I did not have an argument with one of my children on Sunday morning, requiring said child to be sent back to change THREE times. Tha-ree TIMES!! This did not happen after we carefully selected and laid out clothes Saturday night. This child did not select a different everything from what was planned, even shoes. I did not have to sit and ask myself if this was a matter of disobedience, or whether this was a "pick your battles" type thing. The internal debate did not go on for quite a while, nearly leaving said child no time to change into the preselected clothes.

Oh ... the battle above ... was not fought with my four year old, who each time changed into a different Buzz Lightyear shirt, pair of shorts, and shoes. (btw - in case you're wondering, Buzz has not reached the level of obsession around here. I'd never actually use the words "Buzz would want you to pick up your toys" or "Buzz would not make the same obnoxious noise 893728956 times just to annoy his sister.") Oh, I'd also never promise my child a pair of Buzz wings, meaning cardboard costume accessories, and expect to pay $10 for them. And if I did promise a child this, I would not get to Target and find out that the only ones they have are hard plastic with a voicebox (which is not annoying in the least) and cost $30. I would never face chastisement from this child's older sister, who reminded me several times that I promised him the wings, and if I was going to spend $30 on him, she would really like some new jeans. (I suspect she had an agenda here, and it was not really about the Buzz wings!) This did not prompt another internal debate. Oh - and said Buzz wings did not prompt a whole bunch of conversations regarding "falling with style" and how lots of times "falling with style" really means ER visit waiting to happen.

We have not been battling various sicknesses around here, causing me to panic and nearly completely fly off the handle when I had a little bit of a sore throat the other night. I'm fine, by the way, and I would never over-react. Nope, not me.

I did not get into the car after picking the kids up from awanas last night and announce what we were having for dinner. Each kid did not tell me that he or she was going to make himself or herself something else. I did not LOSE IT and announce to them that they would eat what was prepared, with a thankful heart, or go to bed hungry. The meal in question was actually something every one of them likes. I did not take this to mean my children were just being obstinate, and that perhaps it was time to do away with the "if you don't like what we're having, you may make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as long as you clean up after yourself" rule.

And during this conversation, the child who was away visiting her grandparents for the weekend did not burst into tears and exclaim "but I thought you missed me!!"

Oh yeah, my kids are never dramatic, and they never over-react. They take after their mama. And I'm not sitting here right now having an internal debate about the number of internal debates I'm having lately. (See what happens when the husband is out of town for long periods of time? The wife has all of the debates ... with herself. I'm sure people are not starting to wonder about my sanity.)

Okay, so what did YOU not do this week?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'd like to request some sunshine, please.

Pin It Oh my heavens, could we have any more gray days??? The cooler weather has been so nice, I've loved to go outside and feel a cool breeze, but the lack of sun is just getting me down! It hasn't helped that we've been essentially housebound the last few days with a sick child. It says something that I was looking forward to going to the pharmacy because it gave me an excuse to get out of the house!

Thankfully, this evening has brought some improvement in the sick one. She's been pretty high maintenance this go-round. (Oh - and I've talked about her lack of focus before, haven't I? Get this: she was looking for some jelly to put on her toast. Then I started to feel a breeze ... she got distracted and wandered off, leaving the refrigerator door open. What am I going to do with her?)

I'm feeling this urge to be crafty. I blame Meri for this, in part. I won the gorgeous garland she was giving away on her blog and it got here today. I mentioned how dreary it is around here, right? This garland has brightened up my kitchen and I'm kind of feeling the urge to make one for Christmas. We'll see if I have the "stick to it-ness" to go get the stuff and make it ... all the way until it's done. It looks like it would take quite a bit of time. It's very rare for me to get any urge to be crafty, so I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing that I'm feeling that way now.

Wow. Could this post be any more random and pointless? This is my way of saying that I'm bogged down with sick children and gray skies, and have nothing of interest to say. Why it has taken me several paragraphs to say a little bit of nothing escapes me at this moment. I should offer some kind of award for anyone who actually reads this!!

Okay ... I promise ... post of substance, coming soon!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge - Completely Candid

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I love to look at all of the pictures in the photo challenges on I Heart Faces. I haven't entered any of the challenges before; either thinking that I couldn't come up with a picture to fit the challenge, or looking at the picture that would fit the challenge and thinking ... um ... no. But then last night I was loading pictures from my camera and saw this one. If you're a facebook friend or on CMF, you already saw it. I just love this picture. He had picked no less than a million flowers, seriously. I told my parents he was weed-eating their yard, one wildflower at a time. He brought them all to me, very eagerly. Then I told him that he needed to finish up and come in so we could get ready to go, which was clearly not a popular decision. I really wish the picture could have captured the intense grabbing of the last few flowers and the stomping up to me. "Here Mom. Take your dang flowers."

So there's my photo challenge entry. Completely candid four year old in all his four year old attitude glory.

(Look through the other entries! There are some fabulous photographers on there and I love looking through all of the blogs and pictures. I am completely unqualified; I just wanted an excuse to post this funny picture of my baby.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Not Me Monday

Pin It

Yes, it's time for another edition of "Not Me Monday."

It is not me who thinks all week of things I need to put here, then when I actually sit down at the computer, can't remember them. Nope, no senior moments here.

It is not me who planned the next month of activities for my co-op class last night. I haven't known I was teaching this class since May, and I'm not all about planning, so there would really be no reason for me to be cramming at the last moment. It is also not me who revised the syllabus for the class I'm teaching for the seventeenth time. Nope, I'm a planner. I make a plan and stick with it, and never change anything at the last minute.

I'm not referring to Jason's Deli as the kitchen currently, because I really would not prefer to just eat every meal there. (And just why is it that I have the same foods in my kitchen that they have on their salad bar, and yet when I make a salad there it's TONS better than when I make it at home? With the exact same stuff? Except their roasted red pepper hummus, which is better than anything I've ever bought ... and we won't even speak of the one time I tried to make it myself other than to say that is an experience that will NEVER EVER be repeated.)

I did not leave my car in the driveway last night almost completely empty of gas, planning to do that on Monday morning. There would be absolutely no sense in me doing that. We're never rushing around all fussing at each other to get to co-op on time on Monday mornings, so it would really be no bother at all to swing by the gas station to fill up. Plus I'm a huge fan of touching those gas nozzles and getting who knows what on my hands and that smell that just doesn't seem to come off. (Yes, let's add this to the list of chores that I will happily pass back off to my husband when he gets back, hopefully to never pick up on my own again!)

Oohh, I remember!!

My son has not learned to insult his sisters. Not my sweet little angel. He has not thought of the worst insult his little four year old mind can come up with, and does not torture his sister with it daily. And, his sister does not LOSE HER MIND over it. She is capable of ignoring it, and I'm reasonably certain that it would go away if she did. My dear son has not learned, at the ripe old age of four, how to push his sister's buttons.

Oh? You're curious as to what the insult is?

Let's just say, it being "not me Monday" and all, that my son would never call his sister a "poo poo diaper." And she would never completely FREAK OUT upon hearing those words. (And I would never discipline him and then have to turn my back because I'm giggling at the fact that my girls would never come up with something so ... gross ... with which to insult each other. They called each other meanie and things like that.)

Just another fun-filled week in the life around here ...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Funnies

Pin It I read this over at Christian Moms Forum and decided to bring it over here to share with y'all. Get ready to giggle!

Random Thoughts of the Day:

* I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

* More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

* Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

* Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

* I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

* Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

* There is a great need for sarcasm font.

* Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

* I think everyone has a movie that they love so much; it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

* How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

* I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

* I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

* The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

* Was learning cursive really necessary?

* Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

* I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

* Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

* Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

* How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

* I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

* While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

* MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

* I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

* Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

* I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

* Bad decisions make good stories

* Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

* If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

* Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from; this shouldn't be a problem....

* You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

* Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

* There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

* I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

* "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

* I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

* While watching the Olympics, I find myself cheering equally for China and USA. No, I am not of Chinese descent, but I am fairly certain that when Chinese athletes don't win, they are executed.

* I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Darnit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

* I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

* When I meet a new person, I'm terrified of mentioning something he or she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

* I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

* Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles.

* As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

* Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

* It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

* I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

* Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

* Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet my butt everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time.

* My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the heck do I respond to that?

* It really hacks me off when I want to read a story on and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

* I wonder if cops ever get hacked off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

* I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

* The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fatso before dinner.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What a weird couple of days!

Pin It Monday was a good day. I made plans for Tuesday, everything was good.

Tuesday I got up and felt a little weird. Not terribly so, just a little. I got ready to go and got Brendan ready for Mother's Day Out. In the car on the way there, I felt a little more weird. In the car on the way back, I hit the "I'M GOING TO BE SICK NEED TO BE HOME IMMEDIATELY" mode. I'll spare you any more details on that, other than sending a big "thank you" to every single one of you who offered to bring me crackers and sprite! Heather took Brendan home from Mother's Day Out and the girls pretty much took care of themselves while I laid in bed all day long. Then Jessica took the girls to dance.

Can we all just give a big thank you that stomach issues usually only last about 24 hours? Thankfully this was even less than that, and I was feeling mostly human again by bedtime last night.

Then this morning, Brendan woke up very whiny and clingy. This is not typical for him. He usually wakes up happy and ready to go for the day. He actually cried because the blue cup was dirty and he had to drink from the red cup. Cried pitifully. So, I assumed he was getting sick. Then he perked up and was fine, so I assumed he was not getting sick. Then, when I was getting lunch together, I realized how quiet he was. He had gone to bed. That is NEVER a good sign, so I assumed he was getting sick. He slept for over two hours. I made sure we had tylenol, got on the "we're not going to church tonight" comfy clothes and prepared for him to miss MDO tomorrow. Then he woke up. He was FINE. He woke up, demanded his chocolate milk and peanut butter and jelly sandwich and jumped off the furniture while I made them for him. Obviously, he was just tired. Unfortunately, since he had a long nap today, it's now 9:30 pm and he's still going strong.

I would think that, Brendan being child #3, I'd have a good idea as to whether he's actually sick or not, rather than just being tired. Guess not. He will be tickled to not have to miss Superhero day at Mothers Day Out though!

(You may have guessed that I'm sitting here, usually typing things for my blog right about now, and have realized that I really don't have anything interesting to say today. So, you get a play by play of my last couple of days. I know you're thankful.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blog Giveaways!

Pin It I have a couple of friends running blog giveaways on their blogs right now. Go check them out, leave a comment, and maybe win.

First, there's my friend Meri at Seriously? Ridiculous!. This garland she made is just precious! I'm actually tempted to go get the stuff and make one myself!

Then, there's Meghan at Tuckers Take Tennessee. What fun looking rings these are!!

And since we're talking about giveaways, I won one last week and I'm holding up the entire process because I can't decide what I want! I love to read comments and I really want suggestions, so please give me some suggestions in comments! Here's what I won: Little Painted Polka Dot Necklace. Here's the actual necklace I won: Beautiful Duo. So ... go enter these giveaways, and then come help me decide what to put on my necklace.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A heaping helping of randomness

Pin It Our homeschool co-op began for the 2009-2010 school year today. I had two very excited children and one velcro child. I told Gabbi that she was way too big for me to carry around, and that she MUST go to her own class. :-P Okay, so Gabbi was actually one of the excited children. Very excited. Like woke up on her own at 7 am excited. Every time I decide that it's too much work and I'd rather just sleep late on Mondays (HA! Like that would actually happen!) I remember how much my children (most of them anyway) love co-op, and really, how much I do too. It's a lot of work ... a LOT of work ... but it's so nice to connect with the other moms. I have a basic syllabus planned for the class I'm teaching, but this week I'm going to write up specific lesson plans week by week which will hopefully allow me to enjoy my Sunday nights.

Speaking of Sunday nights ... I'm no longer working in AWANAs. After six years, I'm taking a year off. It was just plain WEIRD to drop my kids off last night and leave! (Although - I did have one child at home last night because Gabbi was still running fever on Saturday, so I didn't let her go.) I'm planning to use that time to plan our school week. I really hope I will have the self-discipline to actually do that.

Speaking of self-discipline ... I have found that I'm a very goal-oriented type person. If I have an attainable short-term goal, I do much better. I have set myself an exercise goal for September, and it's going well. Possibly going a little too well. I made myself get up early to exercise before co-op this morning. Bizarre, I tell you. I'm thinking that maybe that time might have been better spent waking up and becoming functional. At least it would likely have put me in a better mood this evening, when I hit the point of exhaustion long before my kids did.

I also discovered something eye-opening about myself. If I eat lunch later in the day, I'm not ravenous in the afternoon. Imagine that. May seem like an obvious thing to ... well, everyone else in the world, but it's helping me. At least for now. I've been doing well not eating at night and not being hungry in the mornings, but by about mid-afternoon, I was hitting near starvation. We'll see how it goes ...

by the way ... I just saw a soup commercial and now I'd like some soup. See, I warned you in advance that this was random.

My plan for tomorrow during Mother's Day Out time is to *really* clean the floor in the kitchen. I have a brush and pine-sol ready to go. I got busy today and cleaned the corners in the kitchen, the places where I hide things. Now that the counters are all gleaming, the floors really look pathetic. Feel free to ask me tomorrow how much progress I've made. The family room needs to be done too ... but that room is about 600 square feet, so I'm in no hurry to get busy in there. One room at a time.

Oh - one more thing - everyone within about twenty miles from my house will hear a loud celebration at about 10:00 tomorrow morning. This is the approximate time at which Madelyn will finish second grade math. Yes, I know, she's a month into third grade. Last spring was a little crazy around here, so cut us some slack, okay? I am debating over what to do for third grade math. I have the curriculum we were planning to use all ready to go, but Teaching Textbooks is calling to me. We're using that with Gabbi and I'm REALLY liking it. Third grade TT hasn't actually been released yet, but it's coming "Fall 2009" so should be soon. I was thinking of just doing flash cards and introducing some multiplication while we wait. But then I remember that we have what we were going to use all ready to go and could just jump in. Decisions, decisions!

Okay, I think that's it for my random thoughts this evening. I know you're all glad you took the time to read through them.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Update on my brother

Pin It This is from a "guest blogger", my mom. :) (giggle ... I always wanted to have a guest blogger!)

We have just returned from an absolutely wonderful visit with Troy. While we know that he has some health issues that may not improve, he was much better than our last visit. We spent some great quality time together and during this visit he was able to express his emotions and carry on a real conversation with us. While there, we called both of his sisters and they enjoyed the phone visit. I believe thei was possibly only the second time this year they have had such a visit.

In talking with Troy we discussed his uncanny ways of always beating the odds. He stated that it was "on a wing and a prayer" ... oh, how right he was -- always on the wings of angels and on the prayers of so many! We really just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you so much for your prayers and concerns. Every time any one of you asks about Troy, it definitely lifts our spirits. Your prayers are working miracles. We never would have dreamed that Troy could have improved so much. We don't know what the future holds for him, but do know that he has some major health issues and does now and probably always will need lots of medical intervention and lots and lots of prayers. However, none of us are promised tomorrow but we are promised a future, a healthy new beginning in heaven.

Thank you all for showing us a little heaven here on earth. If there is every anything we can ever do for you, please do not hesitate to call and ask.

I don't think I blogged about my phone visit with him. We talked for a while, and it was just like talking to my same-ole brother, if that makes sense. I got tickled that he no longer has pink hair. He now has a mohawk. Too funny!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My 9/11 Perspective

Pin It This is an odd thing for me this year.

Background -- I did not know a single person who was killed on 9/11/01. I did not have a friend of a friend who died on that date. It really did not affect me on that personal of a level. I was horrified with the rest of the country, and the images from that date are forever burned in my mind, but for me, I didn't really have faces of people that I knew to put with those images. Grief and shock, to be sure, but not on a more intimate level.

It did affect me on a personal level though. We were in Spokane, having flown up on 9/10/01. Gabbi had just turned three and Madelyn was four months old. We had plans to fly back on 9/17, I think. So, sitting there seeing all that, being so incredibly thankful that we had flown out of Houston the day before, and looking at my babies, well, it was somewhat personal, because the matter of getting back home was in the back of my mind. Did I want to rent a car and drive all the way across the country with the baby who screamed a large portion of her awake time, and the preschooler who talked incessantly? Or did I want to put my babies on a plane?

The airport reopened the day before we were due to fly out, and our flights remained as originally scheduled, so there turned out to be no real issue with us getting home, other than fear on my part. I remember just basically sobbing in relief once we landed in Houston. Really though, this was the extent of how this affected me personally. More inconvenience than anything else. Still horrified (I still am, actually) and still feeling that "this changes everything", but not personally affected in the ways that so many people were.

Then last year happened. It has become more personal to me because almost exactly a year ago Jim signed up to rejoin the army. My husband is now in Afghanistan. My kids are without their daddy for nearly a year.

Eight years seems like a long time. It's a little unsettling to think that something that happened eight years ago, that didn't affect us directly at the time, is so profoundly affecting our lives right now.

I wonder about the kids. Because of this year of our lives, I wonder if 9/11 will be more than a story in a history book for them. I wonder if they will relate the two in their minds. I'm not entirely sure. We don't really say the word "war" to them. Gabbi might have a clue, but the other two have no idea. In Brendan's words, "Daddy's at work." Madelyn, I suspect, doesn't really know why he's there at all. Maybe I should ask her sometime. Gabbi has an inkling I think, but even she is content in her world without details.

I was trying to decide about whether I should turn the TV on today if children are in the room. They can and have seen pictures, but I think the fact that there are people in those pictures hasn't sunk in. At this point, that's a good thing. I don't know if I want them relating the fact that the people who caused that live not too far from Daddy and are the reason he's not home with them right now. It's an interesting decision -- do I risk them being in fear to explain the real reason he's there? Or let them continue to enjoy the ignorance is bliss that they're living in now? Actually, my decision is already made there. There is next year, when Jim is home, to explain things if we feel they should know more.

I apologize if I'm just rambling now. I've been working on this post in bits and pieces over the last week because I can't really seem to collect my thoughts. Remembering then and experiencing the effects now. It's an interesting place to be.

eta: I am loving the (In)Courage blog right now, and they're doing a blog hop of 9/11 stories and posts. I'd love for you to hop over there and check out first the incourage web site, and then to read some of the other blog posts on this topic.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Best Day Ever!

Pin It Okay, maybe not the best ever, but it was certainly up there!


We got up and I did a three mile walk and didn't die. You know it's starting well right there. (Yes, I have bid adios to Jillian. I just didn't like her tone. Leslie is way nicer.) I finished just in time to get Brendan to MDO. (And let me just apologize to anyone I ran into. I mean it when I said I finished just in time to get Brendan to MDO. Meaning, no time to shower. Now it's out. You know that I would rather be in public stinky and sweaty than to not take advantage of every moment of MDO.)

So, I drop him off and come home. The girls were moving right along on their schoolwork. We've hit a breakthrough with Madelyn's math (or maybe just an easy lesson) so she breezed through it in ten minutes. We realized that somehow or other, Gabbi got a lesson ahead in science, so our school day seemed pretty short. Then Gabbi had a mother's helper job and I realized something was about to happen that never happens. ALONE TIME WITH MADELYN! The delight she expressed when I asked her if she would like to have a lunch date with me made my day. Really made my day. So, Madelyn and I went to Jason's Deli for lunch. Want to know why we decided upon Jason's Deli? Madelyn wanted to eat off the salad bar. Seriously.

I remembered that I needed to take my water bill by BEFORE it had sat in my car long enough that I had to pay a late fee for it, which is what happens most months. I got some errands run, and got the other two children picked up.

We got home, and my friend Jessica S called to say they'd pick up the girls for dance. I had actually forgotten that we had talked about that, and not only were they going to pick them up, they were going to bring them home too! What a blessing! Everyone was content to eat leftovers - actually they ate them all - and everyone was happy. Then the girls left and I had a few minutes with just Brendan.

He and I played for a bit, then I took him over to a friend's house so that I could go do something that I really enjoy doing. We got that done quickly and I left there and remembered that we were almost out of milk, so I ran to the store -- alone -- to get some milk. I picked Brendan up and we came home, and still had about an hour before the girls came home, so he and I played some preschool games and just had a good time together.

Then the girls came home and I said for everyone to get ready for bed. And everyone did. Brendan went to sleep quickly. The girls didn't, but at least they were quiet. haha

Today is starting out to be pretty good too. Thank you Lord, for good days!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Not Me Monday

Pin It

My son has just turned four. This means he is effectively booted from the church nursery during worship service on Sunday mornings. We've been practicing a little by bringing him into "big church" on Wednesday nights, and he's been to Sunday morning church once or twice. We have a few "not me's" from yesterday.

First of all, it is not me who gets to church early every single week. And if I did, this would not be so that I can drop my kids off at their respective classes and enjoy a few minutes of quiet before my own class begins.

I did not decide yesterday that I didn't care if Brendan promoted to the four year old class or not. The three year old class has a man that teaches it, and as Brendan is lacking on male influences in his life right now, I did not come to the conclusion that I'd just follow Brendan's lead on this. (There was a change-up several months ago when this man wasn't Brendan's teacher for a while, and ... let's just say ... it was not MY child who threw a fit every single week to stay with the teacher he loved, to the point where I'm sure people starting hiding when they saw us coming.) Ironically, after some stress regarding making this decision, it was not my child who had a total "whatever" attitude about which class he was going into yesterday.

We have a couple at church who is about to leave the country for military service. Yesterday we had a prayer for them. This was a little emotional for me. I did not come back and sit down after this prayer yesterday, wiping tears, and then realize that a sticker Brendan had in Sunday school was stuck onto my chest. I am not wondering just how long that sticker was on me, and I did not decide that maybe it would be best to just not know.

And one more ... Brendan did not decide that it would be great fun to insist on being held during the song service portion of the service yesterday. He did not discover while I was struggling to hold his 34 lb body that he was in the perfect position to kick his sister. He did not express great delight in this discovery. I did not start singing to him, along to the tune of the song we were singing, "if you kick your sister, I will spank you." Great to go from singing praises to the Lord to threatening bodily harm to a child in a couple of seconds. If that had happened, of course, which it didn't. Not at all, not me, not even one bit.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wow. Eleven? Seriously?!?

Pin It I just can't believe that Gabbi is now 11. It doesn't even seem possible. Happy birthday sweet girl! It seems like yesterday that she was born. I know I said that
last week on Brendan's birthday. It's true though!

So to the sweet girl that first taught me how to be a mom, who is me made over but looks just like her father, who sings like an angel, who I left the hospital with thinking that I was SO unequipped and really hoped a nurse would come with me, who has been an incredible help to me over the last few months, who loves babies and pleads for coffee ... I love you girl. I'm so incredibly proud of you and the godly young lady you are growing up to be. Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dancing on the line

Pin It There's a line between wearing a mask and being too honest. I find myself on that line a lot. This post will probably put me far on the too honest side, just so you're warned in advance. I've had several posts that have been too heavy on the mask side, so I guess it all evens out.

When someone asks you "how are you doing?" how do you answer them? Is it "oh, let me put my happy mask in place and say that everything is fine" or do they REALLY want to know? What if the real answer involves tears and stress? Because, if you were to ask me right now how I'm doing, and if I were to be honest with you, it would involve tears and stress.

I thought this would get easier. It's been three months, and I'm no less overwhelmed than I was. Maybe even more so because we started school last week. (And actually, other than the first day, school has gone very well.) The stuff is all getting done just fine. You could drop in unannounced and I wouldn't be mortified that my house was a mess. The laundry is getting done, sheets are getting washed, floors (which I totally hate) are getting swept or vacuumed. The kids' rooms are clean and have been that way for a while now. We've given away a lot of the clutter and are still working to get rid of more. We eat regular meals and get all of the dishes done. We even observed earlier this week that we hadn't gone out to eat (other than a free meal at chick fil a) in several weeks, including fast food. (We promptly went to chick fil a again to celebrate.)

All that is great, however, I am a mess. I feel like I walk around in a fog all the time. I'm exhausted constantly, and I'm still really not sleeping. Brendan still gets up early and the girls still go to bed late. I did sit down with them yesterday and told them how badly I need for them to go to bed when I tell them to; that they're too old for the arguing and constant up and down at bedtime. Last night did go a little better, so maybe there's some hope there. Last night though, I know they were both asleep by about 10:30 and it was still almost 1:00 before I got to sleep. I crave the quiet, and wait until then to do my Bible study, or read, or watch TV. Then I end up with an hour or so of tossing and turning and wishing to be asleep, but am wide awake. If I could get them to go to bed a little bit earlier, I think I could get to bed a little bit earlier. I hope to be able to find out!

It's more than just being tired though. I'm wondering if I'm dealing with some depression. I really don't know, it's more like a constant state of being overwhelmed. Looking right now I see the dog needs food in her dish. The thought of getting up, walking the five steps to her food and filling her bowl is too much. The thought of calling a kid to do it and a) being ignored, b) having them fight over who is going to do it, or c) having the dog jump on whoever is trying to feed her is equally overwhelming. I don't really know how to get past this. Well - with the dog I do; I know that if she's not fed in the next few minutes, she will start barking incessantly, and I'd rather skydive than listen to her bark incessantly, so when I get up to get dinner out of the oven I'll feed her. I just don't know how to get past the overwhelmed feeling.

And I'm not sending this out hoping that the collective you that reads it will offer to help. You all have, and continue to do so, and I love you for it. I get plenty of breaks, so it's not like I'm really even in need of a break. What I need help with is learning how to get past the feeling of constant overwhelmedness. I don't think that's something that someone can do for me, although I would request prayer that I would learn to deal with it without bringing out my mean face too frequently. Maybe it's just a season that I need to accept and live in this state for the next seven months. I really don't know.

Okay ... so I think this post completely obliterated that line. Sorry to share so openly. Maybe one of you have the solution to the constant state of being overwhelmed. Or maybe this will help someone someday who might feel the same way. Or maybe it will just be something interesting for me to look back on one day when I'm NOT in this place anymore. It is what it is though, I'm hitting post.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Pin It Brendan's take on the messy party!

And giving a big shout out to Landon today! We love you buddy! Happy birthday!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Brendan's First Day of School

Pin It Please enjoy a couple of perfectly awful pictures of my sweet son on his first day of Mother's Day Out.

He was really excited this morning. We got up and Gabbi made his lunch for him. He got all of his stuff together and was so happy to put on his backpack. He has reached that lovely fake smile stage that they all seem to go through. This is just before we left:

Then we got to "school." He was still excited but also getting a little nervous. I had prepared him to be in class with some of his friends, and he was excited to see them when we got here.

Then we realized he wasn't going to be in their class. Uh oh. He's a child who very much wants to know what to expect; not so much a "go with the flow" type of kid. (Hm ... wonder where THAT personality trait might have come from ...) So, we moved him over to the other room.

Thankfully Grayson was there. Usually the face in that picture precedes a fit, so that was it for the pics. I pretty much rushed out of there before the fit could begin.

I'm sure he's having a great time. I'm missing him. I'm also enjoying a teensy bit of quiet around here, while the girls are diligently doing their schoolwork.