Archive for August, 2009

I Drank a Coke, Then Took a Nap

…and now I’m here. I have facebook open in one tab, in case somebody wants to chat, and I’m blogging in this tab because I have a lot going on in my head.

And we all know what that means…time to purge the old noodle.

1. I love teaching Sunday School. I have the greatest group of 9th and 10th grade girls imaginable. They are funny, smart, inquisitive (when they wake up), and from what I can tell, they want to follow Jesus. I am honored that they want to hang out with me.

2. My parents’ anniversary is today. 34 years. They have the best relationship I’ve ever witnessed. I only pray that Michael and I are having that much fun at 34 years.

3. I have a new favorite store, Charming Charlie. I could spend hours…and dollars…

4. I went in another new store…and saw an infant dress for $199. I almost fell through the floor. No offense to those who think that’s okay…but what in the world??!!

5. I’m reading the last book in the Mitford series by Jan Karon. I’ve read them all about 3 times. Every time I go to Mitford in those books, I wonder why I ever left. It’s that wonderful. I never dreamed I would feel such affection for a 60-something year old Episopal priest, but I really do.

6. Michael is snoring.

7. I have 2 weeks to get my house in tip top shape. I think we have a serious looker coming Labor Day weekend. Will you pray about this with me? Thanks.

8. If I wrote about all I am currently thinking about…I’d be up all night and you’d never read my blog again. So I’ll stop and go to bed and pray about how to say it all. I feel like a Jedi in training. Much I am learning. Still much there is to know.

Go to bed I must. The force is no longer with me.


August 24, 2009 at 4:25 am 1 comment

I Don’t Think the Neighbors Would Buy It

So tonight I’m chatting with a friend about school fundraisers and she made the comment that homeschooling was good because I don’t have to raise any money. 

But that got me thinkin’…what if I sent Aidan and Molly out into the streets, knocking on doors, selling candy bars or whatnot? 

I made the comment that I don’t think my family would let me be the administrator of our earnings. You see, spending fundraiser cash at a boutique probably doesn’t help the homeschooling situation, except that I’d look awesome while teaching, but I’d be mad because nobody would see me, and then it would all be in vain. 

So my friend says the money would have to be for technology or a playground. I immediately thought an iphone would benefit our homeschooling in more ways than I can count. 

I told Michael. He laughed…AT me. 

So…I’ve been thinking. If we had a fundraiser (which we won’t, this is all a joke), what would we use the money for?

1. A maid. Because mama can’t do it all. 

2. Some sort of contraption that shocks the kids when they whine. I know that’s really bad parenting, but you haven’t walked in my flip flops. 

3. A garden in the backyard, and a gardener to tend to it. I want the kids to eat fresh stuff, but every time I work in the yard, I get poison ivy. Seriously, that has happened all three times. 

4. Desks for the kids to sit in, rather than at the table. I mean the desks they had at Whitten Jr. High in the early nineties in the ISS room. (In School Suspension, for those of you who had classier punishment titles.) These desks had really high walls around them, so the students could not see one another. I could put Aidan in one, and Molly in the other, and peace could be restored in the kingdom. 

5. A pencil sharpener that works. I bought one last week and it eats my pencils. Then they fight over the pencils that are actually sharp. The pencil fight makes me want to cry. 

6. A cheerleading squad that would chant while Aidan is trying to write: “You can do it! Go, Go, GO!” The kid needs some motivation. 

7. Chickfila lunch for a year. 

8. A gym membership because of all the chicken, and to get us movin’. 

9. A field trip to The Electric Company. Aidan thinks we need to go there and hang out with those people. 

10. A substitute teacher to come in and teach writing…so I can sit up in the bed with my book. 

So obviously a fund raiser is out of the question…but fun to think about! Things are going well, we have good and bad days. 

This week’s verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5. 

Sounds good to me. My own understanding is usually pretty messed up anyway.

August 19, 2009 at 3:54 am 1 comment

That’s The Way, Uh Huh Uh Huh, I Like It

This weekend was BUSY. 

I relish the business, because it was all FUN busy, not BORING busy. I have officially met my social needs for a while, so homeschooling this week shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I probably could use a little bit of home time. 

Friday was a girls’ night out to celebrate the birthday of a sweet friend. Except for the air not working well at the restaurant and feeling like I might be permanently stuck to the vinyl booth, it was a wonderful time. My friends make me laugh, and after last week, that was exactly what I needed. 

I raced home to start cooking and cleaning, because Saturday was going to start bright and early for me. I finished my casseroles and got everyone’s clothes ready and the house somewhat clean. 

Saturday morning, I was up at 6:30. That’s just wrong for Saturday. I dressed and headed down to Madison to prepare for a baby shower for Hannah, one of my friends from college. Hannah just had baby Caleb in May, so we all got to love on him. We brought our kids (some of them, at least) and our moms and had a large time. 

100_7535Notice how lovely and dressed up my girlfriends are, and the tank top and ponytail on me. I arrived wearing a dress, and was almost on equal cuteness ground with them, but had to change clothes to go to a church wiffleball tournament. As soon as I changed clothes, they decided to take pictures. At least I took my hat off. 

sc00582495This is the same group of girls…the year we all became friends at MC. We were all freshmen, and trying to figure out who we were then. We’ve certainly made our mark on the world, I think, each in her own way. And now we’re all mothers. We’ve grown up and grown away from each other in distance. We’ve made new friends and moved on. But the memories I have with these girls are permanent and some of the best things that have ever happened to me have happened with them. I am so glad that God put them at that place in that time. I could not have done college or the years after without them. I love them all so much. 

Oh, and two of these couples in the picture are now married. How cool is that? 

I had to leave the baby shower early and race over to Liberty Park. I missed the first game, but was really okay with that, because I don’t need to sweat profusely twice in one day. I knew the second game would be enough perspiring for the weekend. We took the field and after a LOT of trash talk between our team and the yayhoos that attempted to beat us, we finished the game. Yep, just finished. There was no score. Everybody wins in church wiffleball. 

My kind of game. 

When I got to the game, I was so excited to see my friend Jessica. She was in our youth group a few years ago and babysat for my older two kids. She is now all grown up with a great job, and a future that shows nothing but wonderful for her. She played ball with us and helped keep my kids from eating dirt. 

After the game, we cleaned up and went to the store. We had fun company and spent the evening playing the Wii and letting Jess beat us all in a raucous game of bowling. 

She went to church with us this morning and got to experience the craziness of promotion Sunday. We ate our leftovers for lunch and she had to go back home. My girls cried. Paisley clung to Jess’s leg and said, “No leave me!” It was really funny and sad at the same time. 

100_7542We love Miss Jessica. She’s family. 

After Jessica’s departure, we found that a puppy has been living in our carport all day. His mama is around here somewhere, we saw her this morning. This beautiful little black dog has been hanging out in the shrubs beside our house. He needs to go to the vet, and really should go back to his mama, because I think he belongs to someone. We are hoping she comes back tonight. We gave him food and water because he’s so little and it’s so hot outside, but he can’t stay here. We have a strict “no pets” policy here at Hotel Albritton. I can’t look at him, because it makes my heart hurt. I hope his mama comes back. I really hope his mama comes back. 

Tonight was a children’s choir kick off, so we loaded back up and headed back to Madison. It will be so nice if we can ever live there. It’s a LONG drive. 

So there you have it…my wonderful, social, busy, hug-filled weekend. I am exhausted and could sleep for about 12 hours straight, but I know that would never happen, I might miss something! 

Someone told me today, “You are very proactive. You like to make things happen.” Yep, me in a nutshell. I love action. Weekends like this make me happy. 

But don’t ask me to do anything tomorrow.

August 17, 2009 at 4:03 am 2 comments

Day One.

Please don’t expect my title to be catchy today. Sorry.

We homeschooled this morning. I’m writing this more for me than anything…I want to remember this day, even though I wouldn’t exactly call it a success. But what is success, really?

We got up on time. In our family, that means before 7. Everyone got dressed, which was the first sign that something was changing today. 

Paisley ate her breakfast. I fixed her hair, and she put on her “packpack”. We took all of the required pictures for posterity. Then it started.

I boohooed. My baby. My Paizy. Why is she going to school? What is going on here?

Aidan and Molly hugged and kissed her, then she came and gave me a “big mooch” and saw me crying. She turned to walk off. Then she turned around and came back. She put her little fingers on my cheek and wiped off my tears. She said, “Mommy otay?” After another hug and kiss, I dried up, and they were off. 

I knew the only way to handle it was to get busy. I needed to get my mind off the fact that this was not what I had in mind for our first day of school experience. 

Aidan and Molly helped me get out the supplies I bought a few weeks ago. I kept everything wrapped up and in the box just in case someone came and bought our house before school started. The first thing we did was look at the cool wipe off calendar. We learned the date, the day of the week, and wrote down any events we have coming up. Then we made a chart with chores and reading progress. Then we made a list of rules, the first being “Respect mom and respect each other.” 

After the getting started stuff, we headed to the kitchen to learn our verse of the week. I really want the kids to start memorizing scripture because, good grief, if there is anything they can learn that will actually help them for the rest of their lives, that would be it. So in light of today’s new situation, and my fear of being inadequate, I chose “I can do all things through Jesus who gives me strength.” Phillippians 4:13. The kids read it on our big tablet and said it over and over again. We took turns reading, and repeating it after me. By the end of the time, we were standing in our chairs shouting “I CAN DO! ALL THINGS! THROUGH JESUS! WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH!!!!” 

Actually, Molly and I were doing that, Aidan was looking at us like we were crazy. Party pooper. 

Then I made my first mistake of the morning, I asked them to copy the verse down. I knew they could write, and they certainly need the practice. But apparently writing that classic verse that seems so short to me is like writing the whole New Testament to them. They got to the word “things” and just couldn’t hang anymore. I told them we’d do the second part tomorrow. 

Then onto math. I had a math workbook on order, and had not picked it up yet. So, since we were cruising low-key today, Aidan and I did flash cards. Molly sat at the table with us with her abacus. They did addition problems, Aidan in his head, Molly on the abacus. Nobody learned anything new, but it got them thinking about numbers and putting them together. Mission accomplished. 

Spelling came next, and I have a great workbook for that. I tore out the first page and gave it to Aidan and explained the directions. He had to pick out his spelling words in a paragraph and then copy them twice. Molly and I went to my room while he worked so I could put my makeup on and she did some kindergarten activities in her book. She put pictures in sequential order, and picked out words that did not rhyme with the other words. 

I checked on Aidan and he was stuck. He had written the first five words twice but then was just stuck. He couldn’t make his S look right, so he was just sitting there. We worked it out and he finished, as long as I sat with him. Not a loner, that kid. 

By this time it was almost 10:00, so we got in the car and ran some errands. I bought a cheerleader suit for Molly off of craigslist, so we had to go try it on and buy it from a lady in Madison. After that (which was an experience in itself) we ran to the school store to pick up math workbooks for both kids. Then a few more stops, lots of whining and crying, and we made it back home. 

We had not been here 5 minutes when Paisley came in the door. She cried when Michael dropped her off. She never does that. She is the one at church who just walks right in. But she cried, and that hurts my heart. She got over it, though, and had a fun day. I am sad that she has to be there, I really wanted to be with her, but I’m glad she’s having fun. 

After Paisley went to sleep, the kids and I played Sight Word Bingo for our reading time today. They are both such good readers, it will be fun to do the reading with them. Molly has read about 3 books today already. She’s reading level 2 books with no problem. I have to remember that she can read well, but the writing will be harder for her simply because she hasn’t had to do as much writing. 

I think we’re done for the day. I am reminding myself that it is just the first day. There are adjustments to be made by everyone. Aidan and I are going to have some issues with attitude, but we’ll work it out. 

I am sad that I won’t be able to take my little boy to first grade. That is an experience I have looked forward to since he was born. 

I don’t know if they learned anything today. I don’t know if today was supposed to be about learning, or just getting situated. I have no idea what is expected of any of us. I’m tired and confused and a little bit sad. 

But we can do this. I haven’t experienced it much in my life, but God does ask us to do things we don’t want to do. I think about Abraham being asked to sacrifice his son. Of course he didn’t want to do that. I think about Moses being told to go to Pharoah and ask for freedom. He begged not to, and pleaded inadequacy. 

Homeschooling is small potatoes compared to that. 

“I can do all things through Jesus who gives me strength.”

P.S. I wrote this earlier in the day, when I was wallowing in a puddle of discouragement. As of now, though, I have a detailed plan for the week, and I’m familiar with the workbooks and I know what I’m doing. Maybe. So pray for us, but there’s no need for intervention just yet.

August 11, 2009 at 4:08 am 7 comments

She Takes After Her Daddy

Paisley is going to drive me to drink. 

And if you know me at all…that’s a strong statement. And an untrue statement, because I would never let a two year old have that much control over my actions…but you get my point. 

She insists on wearing panties all day, but won’t use the potty. We wrestle pullups onto her little body, and the screaming is so bad it turns into gagging, and then I feel guilty. 

But I never give in. 

Most of the time. 

Anyway…so we’re not getting much done. Today was supposed to be spent mopping, dusting, and getting our house all shiny for Michael to come home. He’s been away on business, and has flown on 6 different flights in 3 days. He’s worn slap out. 

Well, mama (me) hurt her back, and hasn’t been much good to anybody. I mean, I’ve prepared food, and changed DVDs, and even played a game of Bingo or four…but not much work has been done. 

So you can write your name in the dust on my mantle, and be careful, your shoes may stick to the floor (it’s not that bad, really) but just know that MeeMaw is kickin’ it with some Bingo in the living room. 

Oh…and there has been poop. That’s why I told you about Paisley in the first place. I’ve cleaned up many a puddle, and put her in the tub about 3 times a day since Michael left. 

I’m changing the subject, or I’ll cry. 

Right now, I have to fold a huge mountain of clothes that are residing on my bed if I want my tired husband to have a place to lie his weary head. 

On the homeschool front: I am pretty excited! I mean, I still don’t know why this is what God wants for us, but I’m convinced that it is. It’s the same thing as when I found out I was having Paisley. I just could not figure out why on earth God wanted me to raise three children, but he did. And I am loving every minute. 

Except the stinky minutes. I don’t love those. 

I’ll be homeschooling Aidan and Molly, and they are thrilled. Aidan seriously needs some boys to hang out with. He’s had a little too much sister time this summer. I’m praying that God will send some boys for him to get to know. It would be so good for him. Molly is so excited because her two favorite things are school and home. So it’s all gravy for her. 

We’re going to work on memorizing scriptures and poems. We’ve got books on reading, writing, spelling and math. We’ve got science days and gym days. We’re going to do art projects and music. I’m going to start calling about a piano teacher pretty soon. 

While I don’t understand it, I’m honored that God sees me as worthy of this HUGE task. I’m also thankful that my kids can learn in an environment that is 100% accepting of who they are. I’m happy to be able to protect them for a little bit longer. They have the rest of their lives to live and learn to make decisions in this scary world, so if I can help prepare them to choose God’s way instead of the world’s way, then it will be worth it tenfold. 

And then there’s the gratitude that comes with being able to send Paisley to preschool and letting someone else deal with her body fluids. That may be the biggest blessing of all!

August 6, 2009 at 4:17 am 1 comment

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