Monday, August 30, 2010

The Woooshee Tube

You can't have an afternoon like I did and not blog about it. You just can't. Some of you saw the skeleton of this post on Facebook. Prepare for the full fleshed-out blog version now...or click that little x up on your tab, lest you be bored.

The last week I've worked long hours at school and not even begun to be caught up. There's just a mountain of work to teaching, especially at the beginning of the year. But today was different. I knew I needed to get home because the afternoon and evening would be rush-rush-rush! So I took off only an hour after quitting time. I got home to take over the care of my girls. Mom had things she needed to go do. When I got home I realized I needed to pay my car payment TODAY so Mom agreed to delay while I ran and did that. No problem. I'd rush to the bank, get back, and Mom could go. Easy.

Or not.

I went to the bank. Everything went smoothly. I drove home, turned into my drive, put the car in park, turned off the engine, pulled out the key, and turned to the passenger seat to snatch up my purse, when what to my wondering eyes should appear? Why it was this little thingamabob...
It's the little cylinder that goes in the woooshee tube at the bank's drive-thru. I cracked up and ran in the house with my woooshee tube to show my mother. Alli met me at the door with, "WOW! THEY LET YOU KEEP THOSE THINGS?!?!!" I told her no and ran on past to confess my deed to my mother.

I don't remember if Mom laughed. I was laughing too hard to know, really. She recommended I take it back immediately, lest they come after me, lol. So I did. I called them on the way to let them know what I'd done and that I was on my way back with the woooshee tube. I didn't want them sending the police after me, lol. Great headline: Local teacher steals bank woooshee tube. The lady on the phone sounded pretty amazed that I had the tube. (Imagine no one else has done that before???) So anyway. I head back to the bank, pull right up to the woooshee thing and put the tube back in. I glanced at the window and couldn't believe my eyes. Not ONE person looking. I thought for sure there'd be half the bank employees with their noses pressed up against the glass to see who the ding-dong was that took off with the woooshee tube. I was wrong....and very relieved, lol.

I can only wonder what my next great feat might be.... Stay tuned!

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Days and Heart Strings

Remember your child's first day of kindergarten? When my first was ready to go, I was okay with it. It was hard to believe my baby girl was big enough for kindergarten, but she was in my school, so I could cope well enough.

Then a few years later, her baby sister, my BABY was off to her first day of kindergarten. She was in the class next door to mine and it was still REALLY hard. I had wanted so badly to spend a year home with her, but had lost them all to day care (although she was with THE BEST, a very close, very dear friend.) So she was off to school and my heart was sad. Still...I don't think there were any tears.

Today was my girls' first day back to school. Meg went off to 7th and Alli began 4th grade. Meg in 7th BLOWS MY MIND. But 4th grade? Just another year. Not a major landmark in my thinking. But for whatever the reason, Alli was nervous. Her first day of 4th grade and she was SO nervous. She would go from talking ninety-miles-a-minute to laughing, to complaining that she was feeling sick. I'd tell her she was going to be fine and to just breathe slowly so her tummy would calm. The usual stuff. She was clearly not sick, but had some nerves.

We start driving to the school. About a block, maybe two, down the road, she's telling me she's carsick. I assure her she couldn't be carsick, that it's just nerves, and to keep breathing like I'd told her. Nice and slow, etc. Again she vacillates between excited talking and nervous complaints. At one point when she was feeling good, she told her sister to keep track of whichever kids weren't nice to her and to let her know...implying that she'd take care of the situation and those kids would KNOW to be nice to her big sister. It was very cute.

We get to school and I tell her to get out of the car. She doesn't move. So I look at her and she's holding a hand to her mouth, trying to will herself not to get sick. I wait and try to reassure her. Finally she gets out, gives me a big smile for my camera, walks around the car and then...well we won't be graphic, but let's just say it wasn't pretty.

So I I take her home? I mean, she just got sick. But then, I think it's only nerves, so maybe sticking it out would be better...get beyond the nerves, you know? Well she starts looking better and tells me she's feeling better. I walk her into her class, let her teacher know she's been sick from nerves. The teacher is reassuring to her and Alli starts settling in. Now what happens to Mom???? I start to cry. Not wailing, mind you, but I'm choked up and fighting back the tears.

How does that work? How is it that our kids are tied so tightly to our hearts that seeing my little girl nervous over her first day of school shook me to the point of tears. I don't know how it works, but you know...I'm glad it does. I'm glad for those heartstrings and wouldn't have it any other way.

So anyway, I gave her hugs and kisses and saw she didn't need me and off I go. THEN the tears really came. So what did I do??? I called my mommy. (Apparently those heartstrings are still intact, too.)

Before I called her though, I thought, "You know,'re not going to win. This is going to be a positive day whether you like it or not. Because this is going to be a great year, whether you like it or not!" Then I called my mommy, finished crying, and pulled in to my school.

And you know what? It WAS a positive day. I can't remember a first day in years where I haven't felt really overwhelmed...frustrated...even somewhat panicked. I didn't feel that at all today. And this evening? I wasn't a major success. Things ran later than I'd like, but kids' homework got done, food into bellies, hugs and kisses passed all around, and now they lie sleeping peacefully, recharging for another day of learning and growth...and loving.

I can't believe how blessed I am. If I lived the rest of my life without another blessing besides that of two little girls that have been entrusted to me, I could still say I am blessed beyond measure.

And one more thought occurs to me. About those heartstrings.... If we feel so strongly about our own children, can you begin to imagine what God feels for us. His heartstrings were so tight He sent Christ to provide salvation for us.

Incredible. WAY more than hmmmmm....

Sunday, August 15, 2010

God is Good

You know...there were no big thunder-cloud revelations today. There was no lottery check or instant success or suddenly sparkling house (that WOULD BE a miracle). It's just a matter of relationship. In my heart, I KNOW that God is good. There is so much that comes to us in life that I can't explain. There are times in life where I understand why people ask "Why?" I am blessed to not be a "Why?" asker. It would be my undoing, I fear. I think scripture says that it rains on the just and the unjust, no?

But today I've felt hope and peace in my heart and I know where that comes from...or rather WHO that comes from. I can remember as a child singing, "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart." There was a verse that said, "I've got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart." Experiencing that peace...interestingly enough, leads to that joy. It does. I know it does because I feel that right at this very moment.

My life is not perfect. It has its challenges, to say the least. I go through the ups and downs, like any other person. But it isn't circumstances that give us peace. It has been during the most difficult struggles that God has placed that peace that passes understanding in my heart and in doing so has communicated His love to me in such an incredible way. I wish there were some way to communicate that so that each and every person who wanders through this blog could feel and experience it.

But if I can't do it, I'm not worried. God's love is so great that He WILL find the way to let you experience it, too.

He's just that good.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hear that? No? Exactly. It's called...SILENCE.

12 years, 3 weeks, and 4 days ago, my life soooooooooooo many ways. One of my mini-me's was born that day, as you probably guessed. And NO I did not figure out the weeks and days, I found it on an automatic generator thingie-ma-bob. I'm not going to bore you with all the ways my life changed, though. Just one. I think. But sometimes I ramble so don't hold me to it.

From the get-go it was clear: Meg didn't know how to sleep and had no great interest in it. *I* happen to love sleep so much that I would claim it as a hobby if people would let me. Yes, I'm very ambitious. :) Thanks for noticing. ANYWAY, for months I fought with the fact that by 5:30 Meg was ready to start her day. Ready to babble and play and eat and all the wonderful and less-than-desirable things that babies do. Bottom line: MY day was also beginning. Forget about trying to sleep until 6 or 7. It just wasn't going to happen.

Time passed...years passed and things improved a bit. Some days she could actually sleep until 7 or SHOCKER: 7:30, but I'm telling you, people, that took years. And I'm sorry. Despite your own opinion on the matter, 7:30 is NOT considered "sleeping in" on a Saturday. Shoot, it took me a while to concede that 9 is "sleeping in."

But as I sit here blogging, both my girls are still asleep and it's 9 o'clock! That has left me nearly awe-struck, lol. Of course now apparently I'm getting old and "naturally" wake earlier, so I've been up for a while. But my house is quiet and my girls are resting...and there was no one to wrestle the computer away from! :)

Finally got their sleep pattern where I want it. Now we'll get to enjoy the challenge of waking them for school next week...oh well, that's life. But I tell you what: this school schedule better not blow things and start waking them early on Saturdays again.

That's all I'm sayin'.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Breath of Fresh Air

You know how you can miss something and not even realize it until you get it back? That's how I'm feeling these days. Like I'm breathing fresh air for the first time in a long time...and didn't really realize what I'd been missing.

It has been so long since I've been excited about a coming school year. Recent years have found me dreading the school year as each day of my summer break passed. I've approached the year with a deep sigh and trudged back into the classroom. I haven't MEANT for my attitude to stink. I've just been stuck somewhere back in some place between struggle and survival. Ever been there? Not a fun place to be. And it's not a place you jump into. You slip into it one step at a time.

My journey to that place reminds me of a story in the Bible. It's one of my favorite stories because it involves my favorite of Jesus' disciples...Peter. I love Peter. He was so real. He was full of flaws (I know all the disciples were, but Peter gets told on a lot.) He lived life with gusto, too, it seems. I love the story where Jesus walks on the water and Peter asks him to call him out to walk on the water, too. Jesus calls and Peter goes! And while so many of us fault him for faltering faith that found him sinking, I like to commend him for having the faith to get out of the boat.

My journey is similar to Peter's experience. Peter started sinking because his eyes weren't focused on Christ. It's not that he wasn't WITH Christ, but his focus wasn't on Him. And with his focus off his Savior, he saw the winds and the waves and started to sink. The same thing happened to me. Over the past several years, I wasn't away from Christ, but my focus hasn't been on Him like it should. I've had my eyes on the challenges and trials and responsibilities of life and what *I* could do to face them and meet them. I slowly sank into a survivalist mode...doing just what I needed to in order to get by. Doing what I had to do to meet responsibilities but only that, nothing more.

But just like He did for Peter, Christ has come through for me. Peter cried out to the Lord and Jesus lifted him from the sea and saved him. One day, just a few months ago, I was wrapped up in a difficult ongoing situation and thinking I should have taken something to calm my stomach so I could face the difficulty when seemingly "out of the blue" came the thought that I wasn't going into the situation alone, that Christ was going with me. With that thought came complete peace. I believe with all my heart that HE was reminding me. And since that time my outlook has changed. There's excitement where there hasn't been in a very long time. There's anticipation instead of dread!

And so I'm facing this school year in a way I haven't in years. It feels like a breath of fresh air. I didn't realize what I was missing. I didn't know *I* could feel like this.

And it occurs to me: Christ gives us hope. Not just hope for eternity with Him. He gives us hope for today and tomorrow, too. My heart is thankful...and enjoying the breath of fresh air.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Trash or Treasure??

Blogging on my phone today...

You know the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure.". I'm hoping it's really true, because today is garage sale day. Ha ha. Early this morning as I sat watching people slowly drive by, eyeing all my "trash," I thought, "Ah, drat it! It's their trash, too!" Then a couple hours later, when I had melted into a sweaty little puddle and begun dreading moving all the trash back into the garage just to drag it out again tomorrow, the treasure-hunters arrived! Yay! I began wheeling and dealing like a pro! ("Pleeeeeease take it! Here! Have this too! My kids will carry it for you!)

Funny how not too long ago all these pieces of "trash" were treasures to me. What is it about us people? We see things and think, "Ohhhhhh I need that!" or "I HAVE to have that!" And we do what we need to do to get it. Time passes and we find ourselves throwing it out or selling it...whatever we need to do to get rid of it.

Confession: I have some strong packrat tendencies. Know what that means? It means that I have difficulty designating old treasures as trash. Which also translates to the fact that I'm struggling to regain some order in my house. Some people are okay with being that way but it frustrates me. I want my home to be beautiful and peaceful. I think a home reflects on the person who cares for it. Right now my home says I'm a chaotic mess...not quite the message I want to send. Not the person I am or want to be.'s on. I WILL conquer it.

So come on people and claim these treasures!! I've got a battle to win!