Working Mom

October 21, 2008

Wow!  This school year is so busy for me.  Why?  Well, being a Room Mom for a kindergarten class can be hard work!  🙂  We just had our first annual school carnival on Saturday. . . which meant choosing a game for our class, getting volunteers to work the game, choosing an auction basket theme and then getting items from parents (or money to shop with) and getting everything for the basket, wrapping the basket and then showing up on Saturday and spending some more money on tickets for games, etc.  WHEW!  I am wiped out!

Not to mention that I am “working outside the home” this week.  I have to qualify the word “working” since I know that I work every day, with no monetary pay!  But this week I have gone back to my old roots of drug/alcohol prevention work.  I have spent time at a middle school with the 8th graders (and 7th graders for the next two days) doing an alcohol prevention program.  Again, hard work.  I forgot what it is like to literally stand on my feet ALL day long and TALK for 6 straight hours.  I am pooped!  Not to mention that trying to convince 8th graders that it really ISN’T cool to drink is a HARD task.  And I also feel a little out of the loop.  It has been six years since I have done this type of work.  Well, sort of. . . let’s see. . . for the past six years (since I have had Addison) I have continued to work with Just Say No (by coordinating events throughout the year and working with the school sponsors), and continued my in-service trainings for teachers on bullying and mean girls.  I love that stuff. . . but I am mostly working with adults.

This week I am IN the classroom working with the kids.  And I am CLEARLY out of touch.  I’m not even remotely cool.  I don’t know what they are watching, listening to, or doing in their spare time.  I am a mom, for goodness sake.  And apparently I look like a mom and act like a mom, unlike my cool self BK (before kids)!  I have decided that working outside the home with little ones is HARD WORK.  Not just physically, but also mentally and even emotionally.  Someone else is taking Ava Jane to ballet tomorrow and someone else was here yesterday when Addison left for school.  I didn’t even fix anyone’s hair for the past two days.  That is hard for this mommy.  I like doing those things.  And I am blessed to be able to do those things.  Both of my angels were sleeping this morning when I left and I was sad not to be the one to greet them when they woke up and smell their funky morning breath, that I have really come to love!  🙂  I didn’t get to pray with them before our day started like we do every morning.  I prayed for them as I drove to “work” but it wasn’t the same.  I realize how blessed I am to be able to be at home with my children.  I love that job!  I can’t wait for Friday when I GET TO CLEAN MY HOUSE!!  I have never really been too excited about that, but this week I am! And I am looking forward to playing barbies and coloring too.  It’s funny how something small, like working for four days can help you put things into perspective!  I am glad that my primary job is to be home with my kids.  And you working moms, WOW!  You amaze me.  I don’t know how you do it!

What about you?  Are you a stay-at-home mom?  Do you do any type of work from home?  Do you work outside the home?  What do you like about your job – whatever job that may be?

Punkyum Fun

October 10, 2008

Yes, you read the title correctly.  In our house, Ava Jane has progressed from calling pumpkins “punkums” to “punk-yums.”  And the truth is that it is just to cute to correct.  Addison even has a hard time remembering the correct pronunciation thanks to Ava Jane.  Anyway, Addison is out of school on fall break and we have had such a good time (the girls and I) the past two days.  We’ve visited the new library, had lunch out, had friends over to play, had a picnic and played at the park, and this afternoon was the best. . . we painted pumpkins!  The girls each picked out a pumpkin and so did I.  I also bought three little ones just for extra fun.  We headed to Walmart for some new colors of paint and paintbrushes.  While we were there, we picked up lots of junk food to make some fun fall treats (caramel apples, cookies to ice and decorate and brownies to make and share with neighbors).  Then it was home to set up shop.

We pulled out our big table in the garage.  Then covered it with newspaper and pulled out all the paintbrushes, paints, paper towels, etc.  Each of us had our own spot to create our masterpiece.  Ava Jane could not wait to get started.  She just likes to make a mess.  And Addison was equally thrilled because she is really into anything art related.  She took her time designing her pumpkins and was quite proud of her work.  Here are some pictures of them working.

Addison with a “clean canvas” just waiting to get started.

Ava Jane is ready to go!

Addison hard at work – and check out that headband on her head. . . now that is what I call true artistic confidence.

Addison thought it was so cool to use a palette to paint from instead of my paper plates.

Ava Jane loves the color yellow because it is her daddy’s favorite color.  And look at that bumpy little pumpkin.  Poor thing. . . looks like it is covered in pumpkin warts – and Ava Jane actually picked this out of all the pumpkins!!

And these are my little creation.  Fancy huh?  I kinda like them, so I am putting them on my front porch!  My kids didn’t understand why I only used black paint. . . but they liked the polka dots and stripes too.    And this is really bad, but I was so excited about my end result that I forgot to take pictures of the girls finished pumpkins.  What kind of mother am I?

And speaking of pumpkins. . . my friend Bridget made this incredible pumpkin for me as a house warming gift. 

Isn’t that the cutest thing ever?  It will last me until around Thanksgiving.  And it is made with all my favorite fall colors!  She is amazing and so is her work.  Thanks, Bridget, for such a great gift.

So, as you can see, we have had a fun few days with NO school and getting up without having to go somewhere right away.  So nice.  And on a completely different note. . .

Many of you know that my step-mom, Karen Robinson, fell on Monday night and broke her hip.  Crazy freak thing and she is WAAAAYYY to young to have a broken hip.  But, she fell right on it and the socket broke into several pieces.  She just had her surgery yesterday (Thursday) and is recovering and doing well.  I think the pain has been pretty intense, but she is tough.  She will be in the hospital a few more days and then the real road to recovery begins.  It will be a long recoup time.  She cannot put ANY weight on that leg for 3 whole months.  Insane.  She will have to use a wheelchair for a short time, and some great friends went to dad’s house and built a ramp in the garage going up into the house (they have super steep steps).  So generous and kind of them and a HUGE help to dad and Karen.  So, thanks to those of you who knew about this and have been praying for her.  Continue to pray for her speedy recovery.  I can’t imagine being “down” for that length of time. . . and she is quite the go-getter like I am!

Well, time for folding mounds and mounds of laundry.  I can’t procrastinate anymore.  I keep thinking it will fold itself, but the baskets just keep filling up and sitting there.  And we are all tired of digging through the clean clothes to find something to wear.  But, playing for the past two days has been priceless and I’d choose that over laundry any day!

Weekend Wrap Up

October 5, 2008

I LOVE fall.  The crispness of the air, the color of the leaves and everything else that comes with it.  The past few weekends have looked the same. . . not much going on, hanging around the house on Saturday morning, playing outside and lots of good family time together.  Saturdays have a whole new meaning now that Addison is in school.  We cherish our weekend family time now more than ever before.

This weekend the girls got to spend with Noni and Pops (grandparents).  They had a blast.  They were both so excited. . . we took them to meet my dad at Centennial Park on Friday afternoon.  They got to go to a party over on the Vanderbilt campus (where Noni works) and then to a high school football game.  Saturday, they made “PFWs” which stands for Pop’s Famous Waffles.  That is a tradition with them and the girls get so excited.  Then they spend the day at Gentry’s Farm in Franklin.  They came home exhausted and with many stories to tell from the ballgame, farm and their time with Dad and Karen.  The first thing that they very proudly told me as soon as they walked in the door was, “Mom, we got our own diet coke today.”  Pops and Noni just smiled (b/c they know that I don’t allow them to drink diet coke) and said, “It was a special time, Amzo.”  They also came home with pumpkins (that they picked out themselves) and gum (that was not sugarless – which I was NEVER allowed to chew growing up).  Grandparents are great because they let the kids have so much fun without reservation.  I love that and I am so thankful that my kids get to spend time with their grandparents who love them so much.  Thanks Dad and Karen for having a great time with my kids and giving Rick and I some time alone too!

So, onto our weekend. . . Rick and I enjoyed dinner Friday night on the patio at SATCO – the BEST taco joint in Nashville.  My all time favorite and a must have at every visit is the cheese dip.  Yummy.  We looked around at all the college kids eating and drinking their buckets of beer and realized how old we are!  College was a really long time ago and yet we don’t feel so old.  There was much excitement in the air because ESPN’s College Game Day was there on the Vandy campus for the game on Saturday.  After dinner, we walked over to the Vanderbilt campus to the hospital to visit a friend.  Our visit there was a sobering reminder that life is short and each day is a gift.  When we got home (at 8:00 – party animals, huh?) we started to watch a movie and pooped out before it was even over.  Even without kids, we couldn’t make it past 10:00!

Saturday morning Rick took me to breakfast.  I chose to go to Mimi’s cafe since we have not had breakfast there before – BIG MISTAKE!!  It was a terrible experience.  There were some major kitchen issues and all I can say is that 35-40 minutes AFTER we arrived, we were served our breakfast which was not complete AND it was cold!  Rick was furious.  He called over a manager and sent his meal back and told them he was not going to eat.  She sent us home with some muffins and a $30 gift certificate to come back again.  And of course we were not charged for our breakfast.  It was such a bummer, cause it really got our fun Saturday morning by ourselves off to a bad start.  But we recovered and spent the morning making stops at random places like the bike shop, Lowes for flowers and Old Time Pottery for pots for flowers.  We didn’t make any significant purchases, but enjoyed spending time driving around and looking around together with no little urchins clamoring for our attention.  🙂

Saturday afternoon, when the girls returned, we headed to a birthday party and then home for much needed baths and rest!  Bedtime was early on Saturday night.  Sunday we attended church and enjoyed the worship.  We had Mexican (again) for lunch and came home for an afternoon of playing outside, folding laundry and watching football.  I really do enjoy when we don’t have to go anywhere or do anything.  It just feels so freeing!  And now we are getting ready for the start of another week.  This week Addison has fall break and I am really excited.  I hope to plan some really fun things to do with her while she is home from school.  Ava Jane will love it too.  She misses Addison being at school all day.

There wasn’t much exciting to share, but I am pretty into not having too much exciting going on.  It is a nice change of pace for me.  🙂  My weeks stay busy, but the weekends have just been GREAT.

My New Dining Room

September 26, 2008

I know, I know. . . two posts in one day and I haven’t blogged in two weeks.  But this morning the delivery men brought my new dining room furniture that I have been waiting for!  Oh and I just love it.  Especially with the green walls.  The room will be gorgeous with some window treatments and a few things on the wall.  Here are a couple of pictures. . .

Can’t you just picture my china in the cabinet?  Well, maybe not. . . but I sure can.  It is in pristine condition since IT HAS NEVER BEEN USED and we have been married for ten years.  It still has the price stickers on the bottom of each piece.  And some of my crystal is still in the Castner Knott boxes (for those of you who remember that wonderful department store).  And I know what you are thinking. . . she has two little kids and white upholstered seats – she must be crazy!  Well, not so much.  I didn’t have a choice in the fabric (which is actually cream) but loved the furniture.  And I my expectations are that the seats will be stained – probably by me first.  🙂  And one day we can recover them.  But it is just furniture and this is real life. . . I want to use it and enjoy it and not worry and obsess about it looking perfect.  I like my house to feel warm and comfy and most of all “lived in.”

Thanks to my wonderful husband for buying this for me!  I know how much he really wants a big flat tv thingy, but he put my desires first.  What a man!!  I love you, babe!

Now, I have a couple of questions. . .

1)  Do you use one of those big pad things, that covers your table, when you eat on it?  Or do you use a table cloth?  Both?

2)  Or do you use place-mats?  Or just chargers?

I have never had a dining room, so I need some help here!!  I am giddy with excitement.  Can you tell?  Two exciting things in one day. . . my new furniture and talking about Disney (see previous post).  So, leave me some comments and help me know how to eat on this table!  Ciao!

Disneyworld

September 25, 2008

It makes me giddy with excitement to write this post.  You see, we are thinking that maybe this year for Christmas our gifts to each other and the kids will be a trip to Disney!  Yippee!  We will probably go in February. . . but it will still be our Christmas gift.  Part of the rationale is that our kids DO NOT NEED ANYMORE TOYS!  For heavens sake they have plenty that they don’t even play with.  Secondly, the only way we can really make this trip affordable is if we put our Christmas savings with our vacation savings (that we had to stop saving for over a year ago).  So, I am already wanting to start planning the trip. I love to have something to look forward to and this is a BIG something!  I have been to Disney several times. . . as a kid, a college student (for a VOLS bowl game) and once for a conference where Rick came and joined me for a couple of days of fun in the park.

This will be our kids FIRST experience at Disney.  And I want to take them while they are both still into all the playhouse Disney characters and they still find the princesses to be magical!  It will just be so fun.  Okay, so this is where I need ALL the help I can get.  I know that many of you have taken a trip or two or ten to Disney.  Some on a small budget and some of you just blew it out!  I want as much info as you can give me.  Here are some of my initial questions that will help me plan:

1)  Where did you stay?  On the Disney property or elsewhere?  What were your accommodations like?  Spacious?  Price-range?

2)  Did you purchase a meal plan?  If so, which one? And do you remember what that included?

3)  Did you fly or drive?  I am almost positive we will fly. . . but I am still curious.

4)  Did you get a base ticket or park hopper passes?  Do you like the choice you made?  Did you actually use the benefits of a park hopper pass if you got one?

5)  What parks are best for a 5 and 6 year old?  (Ava Jane will be almost 5)

I would appreciate any and all information you want to share!!  I am getting excited just thinking about it!  Wahoo for Disney!

Trying to Play Catch Up

September 21, 2008

Apparently settling into a new house and having my oldest child start kindergarten have zapped me of all my energy.  I haven’t had the time to get on here and post like I normally do.  So I guess it is time to play catch up.  We have had a lot and a lot of nothing going on.  It’s funny how sending a child to school can alter so much of your normal routine.  We have a new “normal” now. . . including savoring our family time on the weekend.  The first few weeks of school Addison continually asked when it would be Saturday.  She has learned at the young age of 5 to appreciate the weekend already!  🙂  Our Saturdays are much different now than they used to be.  I love not having to get up, get ready and be somewhere at a certain time.  We have been hanging around in our pj’s and enjoying eating breakfast together for the past few Saturday mornings.  It is really so much fun.  This week we slept until 7:30!  I can’t remember the last time I got to sleep that late.  Most of our Saturday (this weekend) was spent at home hanging out.  My dad and Karen came over to visit for a little while and the girls both napped on Saturday afternoon.  We had a birthday party on Saturday night that was a family event.  Lots of fun and GREAT weather.

Sunday we went to church and Rick got a call saying that there were four tickets to the Titans game waiting for us if we wanted them.  Yippee.  Ava Jane and I have never been to a Titans game before.  The girls were thrilled when we picked them up after Sunday School and told them the plan.  We were a few minutes late to the game, but that was fine.  The seats were AWESOME. . . but from the time we sat down the girls were asking for food. . . that was after they had already eaten a huge hot dog upon arrival.  By half-time they were over it.  Whining, hungry, hot. . . but then the TSU band came out and played and Ava Jane was entranced.  They had a girls dance team too that the girls enjoyed watching.  It was jammin’ and when we announced that we were leaving they both asked to stay.  Rick and I agreed. . . but we decided to leave at the end of the 3rd quarter.  It felt like it was about 6:00 at night, but it was only 2:30 in the afternoon.  They both thanked Rick for getting the tickets (which he scored from his office – Thanks Elite!) and said they had a good time.  I think it might be better with just one child at a time. . . or maybe next time it will be just me and Rick!  Yeah!  That sounds better to me.  But it was a fun family experience for us. . . as we left the stadium we saw all the tailgating tents and grills left out to cool. . . and we decided to cook out for dinner.  Bedtime came early tonight for the girls.  And they fell asleep as soon as they hit the pillow!  I think I hear my pillow calling my name. . . I’ll try to be back soon to fill in the past few weeks for us. . . they have just flown by and all I think I have done is drive back and forth to school twice a day and do laundry in between!  Go figure!

To Make You Smile

September 7, 2008

I haven’t been on in a while. . . it has been a crazy couple of weeks. But here are some super cute things that have come out of Ava Jane’s mouth over the past weeks. Those of you who know her will appreciate this and hopefully it will make you smile. It has made my face light up for sure.

* Tonight at bedtime Rick asked Ava Jane why she sleeps on top of her sheet and blanket and only covers up with her comforter. Her response: “Because I don’t want to have to make up my WHOLE bed in the morning.” That is Rick’s child, I tell you.

* Again at bedtime tonight I went to kiss Ava Jane. She instructed me to keep my head straight and she was going to turn hers to the side. And she wanted to kiss on the lips. Okay. . . I couldn’t stop laughing. “Where did you see that, Ava Jane?” I asked. “It’s how you and daddy kissed at your wedding.” Well, right she was, but so funny that she wanted to kiss both of us that way.

* I told Ava Jane that my friend Leslie had a white clothes hamper she was going to give us for Ava Jane’s closet. Ava Jane was ecstatic about it. Funny itself. But I heard her tell Rick last night, “Daddy, Ms. Leslie is bringing me a white HAMPSTER basket for my room.” Rick’s response was, “Well, Ava, I don’t know about that. Mommy and I will have to talk about that.” Ava: “Daaaaddddyyy. . . mommy is the one who told me she was bringing it. It’s for my dirty clothes. ” Ohhhhh! Now that makes more sense!

* Last week at bedtime Rick was laying with Ava Jane. She whispered to him, “Daddy, I hear your harp beating.” Precious and priceless all at the same time. She can’t seem to get the word heart. Even today she drew a picture and tried to make a heart and said, “Look mom! I drawed a harp.”

* Ava Jane has had a fascination for a while with her belly button. She is always putting her finger in it. The other day I finally asked her, “Ava Jane, why do you ALWAYS put your finger in your belly button?” “Mooommm (two syllables), it keeps my finger warm.” Gross! But cute coming out of her lips.

* On the way to school last week before we prayed we went over everyone’s day. Addison had school, Ava Jane had school and I had a meeting to go to. So, we prayed for everyone’s day. I picked up Ava Jane first from school. It was her first day back. On the way to the car she told me about everything she did that day. When we got in the car, as she was buckling up, she looked at me through the rear view mirror and said, “Soooo, how was it?” I swear she sounded like one of my girlfriends talking. “How was what?” I said. “Your meeting, how was it?” Again, priceless. My four year old remembered that I had a meeting and thought to ask me about it first thing when we got in the car. If you could only have seen her face and heard her tone of voice.

Well, that’s it for now. I just had to write all that stuff down before I forgot it! Ava Jane is such a joy to be around. She is always happy and most of the time content. She speaks the love language of words of encouragement. She is everyone’s biggest fan and cheerleader. Especially her sister’s! She is a true delight. She’s also a pistol and a handful. I am praying even now for her teenage years. Can you see her? Hear her? Imagine her antics as a 14 year old, instead of a four year old? My payback may come via Ava Jane. I’m sure both my parents are laughing if they are reading this. For they know exactly what I am talking about.

Crying

August 29, 2008

I am crying. Why? Because Addison was crying when I dropped her off this morning. And now I can’t stop crying. I need some chocolate and a diet coke. Wait. That mean I am an emotional eater. Okay. . . that is true. Just another of my issues that I need to work through. Back to the present issue at hand.

Today is the last day to “walk” kindergartners to class. Addison decided that she wanted me to drop her off at the door like all the other kids. “Are you sure?” I asked her. “I can walk you inside and then you can go to your classroom by yourself.” “Mooommmmm – I don’t want you to go in with me. I can do it all by myself.” Okay. so, she doesn’t want me to take her in. I just wanted to be able to watch and make for sure she made it to the right classroom. For myself, of course. . . so that when I do drop her off, she knows exactly where to go. So, that was the plan. We experienced a little more of the “I don’t like school. It’s no fun there” but that was overlooked when she realized that today for lunch was the breakfast bar AND that she gets to buy her lunch today AND that Ava Jane and I are going to help in the cafeteria for lunch today! Whew! Lots to look forward too.

On the way to school I prayed, as we have been doing. As we pulled into the car rider line, I told her to unbuckle and get ready to get out because other cars would be waiting. We pulled up, we kissed and hugged and said I love you. She opened the door and started out and then just as quickly started BAWLING and crawled back in. I couldn’t even understand what she was saying because she was crying so hard. I am already almost in tears because she wants to get out by herself. . . then comes a teacher to help her get out. I tell the teacher that I will drive back around and walk her in. “Are you sure?” she asks me. Not really, but what choice do I have at this very moment. By this time Addison is pretty hysterical and is trying to say something and I cannot even understand her. I am getting stressed because she is crying, I have no clue what she is saying and she is getting ready to be late! We pull back into the car rider line and I ask her what she wants to do. “Addison, honey, do you want to go in by yourself or do you want mommy to go with you to your class?” Addison: sniff, sniff “I want to go in by myself. I want to pray.” And through her tears and barely mumbled audible words I hear, “God, please help me to be brave and to have a good day and not a bad day. In Jesus’ name amen.”

Okay, I was really fighting the tears then. Actually, I started to cry (but had on sunglasses). I told Addison how proud I was of her asking God to help her be brave and reminded her once again that she needed to get ready to get out of the car. “Never-mind mom. I want you to go in with me.” I whip into a parking place and pull everyone from the car so we don’t get in there late. We walk briskly to the classroom and then her tears begin again. Lots of them. I kissed her and literally hand her over to Mrs. Moss who whisks her inside the room talking to her about going to the library. I walk with Ava Jane to the car and leave. As I am leaving, I see Mary Day Reynolds, the assistant principal, waiting outside for any lingering children. I pull up and roll down the window to ask her what I should do if Addison does this same thing next Tuesday. And then it happened. Tears, lots of tears. Flowing freely as I am talking to the asst. principal. Nice. I’m making a great impression. For crying out loud it is the last day of the first full week of school. . . why am I crying now? (I’m just guessing that is what she was thinking.) She was so sweet and gracious as I apologized for crying and told her I just needed to know how to handle this. . .

I cried, no, I bawled all the way home.

This is Ava Jane in the backseat, “Mom, why are you crying.”

Me: sniff, sniff, sob, sob, sob

Ava Jane: “MOM! WHY ARE YOU CRYING? TELL ME WHY YOU ARE CRYING!”

Me: sob, sob, sob, sniff, sniff “I’ll tell you why when I can stop crying.”

So, here I am at home. . . I called Rick (crying of course) and now I am trying to get it together. I have prayed that Addison IS having a good day. And thanked God for her over and over. And here is the biggest thing I have realized as I have been sitting her writing and processing this morning. My heart hurts for Addison that she is scared. I hurt for her because I KNOW how she feels. I remember the exact feelings of fear that I had as a little girl when I wasn’t sure what to expect or when I was on my own. It was a yucky sick feeling. So, I can truly say that I feel her pain. And then it hit me that all those times when we try to comfort others by telling them that God understands their pain because he has experienced it himself. . . it really is true. I just had another head to heart experience. What I have known about God in my head has just found it’s way to my heart. If God hurts for me when I am hurting like I am hurting for Addison right now. . . WOW! I have always just said those words, but never really realized the TRUTH in them. . . but now I have experienced it myself. . . and it is powerful. Again, God amazes me at the things he can teach us through the most ordinary everyday experiences. We just have to be listening for Him. I hope that you are listening today. What he wants to tell you might blow you away!! Just like it did me!

Wicked Wednesday

August 27, 2008

I used to teach swimming lessons and the Wednesday of the first week of lessons was always called “Wicked Wednesday.” On Monday the kids thought is was GREAT and so much fun to come to swim lessons. On Tuesday they were sorta kinda okay about being there, but by Wednesday we had full out arms and legs flailing in the water, screaming, kicking fits. All because the realization had set in that these were swim LESSONS, not playtime. And that they didn’t really get to do what they wanted, they had to do what I told them to do (in the most loving, but firm way, of course).

Sweet Addison had that same realization today. After being super excited about Monday at school, and mostly excited about Tuesday at school (with the exception of the boy who keeps bothering her), today it hit! She mentioned a few times this morning that she didn’t want to go to school. “It is no fun,” she said. But I told her she got to go to computer this morning and she piped up a bit. Then again, “Mom, I don’t want to go today.” I could feel it coming. As we walked in we saw our friend, Micah, and that made that transition easier. When we got to the classroom it began. The tears were welling up for her and she kept whispering that she didn’t want to go to school. These were her profound words, “Mom, it’s just no fun here. Mrs. Moss doesn’t let me do whatever I want to ALL day. I can’t even get water to drink whenever I want it. And there isn’t anything fun to play with.”   Whoa. . . that is the harsh reality of life, my sweet Addison. She’s really been living the life for the past 5 years, huh? I tried to (in one sentence) tell her that life is hard and we don’t always get to do what we want and that we don’t get to play all day either. And also remind her that she would have a great day and God would be with her wherever she is today.  I know this routine because she is my child and I know how she operates. The longer I stand there, the worse it is for her. She wants to cling and as long as I am standing there, she has hope that I may take her away with me. So, even though I was in the middle of a conversation with Mrs. Moss I had to gently prod Addison in the door and give Mrs. Moss “the look” that said you better take her. I quickly walked away, thankful that my friend, Michelle, was right there so I could talk to someone and not cry for my sweet baby who did NOT want to go to school.

Truth be told, I would probably rather have her here at home with me. Ava Jane and I are not quite sure what to do with each other yet. She is used to Addison being here. I am used to Addison being here. But we will figure it out. And Addison will learn to LOVE school. I know it is just the “getting used to it” part that will be hard. So, I will be fervently praying for her and for me and for Ava Jane. That we will all “get used to it”! Here is a poem that Mrs. Moss gave the parents last Wednesday (Addison’s first phase in day with her teacher – only a half day of school). It made me a little sad then, but is much more real for me today.

The First Day

I gave you a little wink and a smile as you entered my room today.

For I know how hard it is to leave and know your child must stay.

You’ve been with her for five years now and have been a loving guide.

But now, alas, the time has come to leave her at my side.

Just know that as you drive away and tears down your cheeks may flow

I’ll love her as I would my own and help her learn and grow.

For as a parent, I too know how quickly the years to pass

And that one day soon it will be my turn to take my child to class.

So please put you mind at ease and cry those tears no more.

For I will love her and take her in when you leave her at my door.

So, now that you are probably crying like I am. . . say a little prayer for all the sweet kindergarten kids who are entering “Wicked Wednesday.”  Tomorrow may be worse and then by Friday things may ease up a bit.  Maybe it is for this reason right here that God had me teach swim lesson for those five years before Addison arrived.  To be able to know and be prepared for Wicked Wednesday, and the days to follow.  And to know how to encourage and love and support Addison through this season of learning and growing.  And for those of you who have not sent your baby to school yet, be sure to mark down the first Wednesday of the first FULL week of school so that you can be prepared!!

Where Have I Been?

August 26, 2008

Where have you been, you might be asking? Well, I have been busy organizing (maybe not so much) my house, playing with my kids before school REALLY started and getting Addison all ready for kindergarten. We have had so much going on lately. And I just haven’t taken the time to sit down and blog about it all. I have had a million things in my mind that I wanted to write down, but just not the time to do it. Let me try to recap the past week or so for you.  I want to give you the highlights (which there are plenty), but there are also some pretty sad things that have occurred in the past 10 days as well.  Here is what has been going on. . .

Last weekend Addison learned to ride her little bike with no training wheels.  HUGE!!

On Sunday (8/17) Cheryl Owen passed away after a nearly year long battle with leukemia.  She is the second adult I have known in the past year to be diagnosed with what I thought was a childhood disease.  Though I didn’t even know Cheryl myself, I felt as if I did.  I prayed for her from the day I found out she was diagnosed right through the end.  My heart was sad for her husband and two grown sons.  And I have to say that I wrestled with God for a while about why she had to suffer so much near the end.  Especially when she was suppose to be getting better.  God has shown me some amazing things through her life and through praying for her.  Prayer itself, is an amazing thing.

On a lighter note. . . we finally had our blinds installed last Monday so we now have some privacy.   For two weeks we had NO coverings at all on our windows.  The best part (that I can think of) about that was that I could see the moon and stars sooo clearly outside my bedroom window at night.  And now that we are much further out of the “city” the sky is so dark and the moon and stars are so bright.  It really is majestic!

On Tuesday I had two little cavities filled.  Both on opposite sides of my mouth.  The entire upper part of my mouth was numb ALL day long.  The good part – I got gas. . . well you know. . . a little nitrous (isn’t that what it is?) since I am such a baby about my teeth being worked on.  It was nice to feel loopy for an hour.  Just being honest here.

Wednesday was a big day.  It was Addison’s second phase in day and first day in her real class with her teacher!!  Here she is with Mrs. Moss.

We are so blessed to have her for a teacher.  She has been a kindergarten teacher for several years now and I have her from so many about how wonderful she is.  And what is funny is that I actually knew her when we were little girls.  We lived down the street from each other and went to church together.  Her parents and my parents are still friends.  The sweetest part is that Mrs. Moss’ dad called my dad to tell him that Addison was in her class.  And Mr. Bearden told my dad that he prays for each of the children in her class by name.  Oh, I just love that.  A good teacher and a godly teacher with godly parents too!  Can’t ask for more than that.  Not to mention that Addison loves her and has not shed ONE tear about school. . .which is HUGE for my child!!!  Another amazing thing about prayer.

Second thing on Wednesday was that Ava Jane started her first ballet/tap lesson.  She has been wanting to take ballet FOREVER.  She was so good last year to sit and watch Addison (and their friends) every Monday in gymnastics, while never getting to do it herself.  And now it is finally her turn.  Here she is really for the first lesson.

Here she is with her new ballerina buddies.  Is it odd that she is the only child with a black leotard on?  I guess I will have to go get her a pink one so she will match the rest. . . they are sooo cute!

Thursday was another sad day for me.  Sweet Joseph went to be with Jesus.  He had just turned four on Wednesday and died on Thursday afternoon.  I have prayed with so many others for this precious boy since the days even before his diagnosis of a brain tumor only nine months ago.  I have several connections to him and his family and was heartbroken by their loss.  As a mom, I could put myself in his mom’s place and I just don’t know what I would do.  Each detail that I would hear about would send me back into sobbing tears.  I spent most of that night crying and trying to process again, why God would want Joseph with him instead of here with his mom, dad and little sister.  As always, God met me in my sadness and assured me that I could trust him.  Oh, what a hard lesson.  When that fear begins to creep in that this could happen to my child. . . but I literally said outloud many times on Thursday and Friday, “God, I trust you.  You are good.  I trust you, Lord.  You are in control and I trust you.”  My heart has remained sad, but I know that Joseph is completely healed and for that I am so grateful.

Friday night and Saturday morning I had the priviledge of participating in a conference called Going Beyond with Priscilla Shirer.  I was ready and I needed to hear a word from God.  And boy did God speak!!  Priscilla is awesome because she is in my stage of life. . . just sent one to kindergarten and has one at home (and she has one on the way, though I do not!!!)  Her message was convicting and yet made me more passionate about wanting to dig into God’s word.  I could write a whole post on what I learned, but I will just tell you that I learned a lot.  My step sister was there and she had just graduated from Mercy Ministries in St. Louis.  I am so very proud of her and praying that she continues to follow God as he shows her his amazing plans for her life.

Rick had what he called “The Ultimate Man Day” on Saturday.  He rode his motorcycle most of the day and then topped the day off wakeboarding on the lake.  Wow!  I should say he did have a man’s day.  The girls stayed with his parents in the morning during my conference and then we went to the pool that afternoon.  We had a good day and a relaxing Sunday afternoon after a great church service that morning.

This week is Addison’s first week to go all day long.  And boy do the days seem long for her.  Here she was yesterday.  It was raining (which we are so grateful for), so we got a little wet.

Do you like the apple dress for the first full day of school?  So cute.  And I love her pigtails.  I helped during lunch on Monday to get the kids through the line and open things in lunch boxes for them.  They seem so small to serve themselves in a lunch line.  Addison took her lunch yesterday, but plans to buy it Friday for the “Breakfast Bar” on the menu!

As you can see we have had lots going on.  Not to mention an emotional rollercoaster.  We are loving our house and can’t wait to have people come over to visit.  I gotta run. . . kindergarten car rider line starts forming soon.