/> Raising Angels: September 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just Wondering

Did you ever get the feeling that someone has given up on your child? Does it take the wind out of your sails?

Do you ever have the kind of week when nothing you plan turns out the way it's supposed to? Do you adjust?

Do you ever think that having a week away from it all in the middle of school is way more work than it's worth? Do you do it anyway?

Does all of this happen to you at the same time? Ever?

Time to rally.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Augusta Half Ironman

Most people spend their Sundays sinking into the couch while glued to the TV. Not my "little" brother, Brian, and the other 3,400 triathletes who were in Augusta today for the largest event of its kind in the world!

You want to talk about inspiring. Standing there waiting for Brian to emerge from the river, I was moved to tears. Yesterday I struggled my way through a measly 10K and thought about how much it stinks to be conditioned for the long runs but have legs that won't cooperate. Today I saw men who were blind, in wheelchairs, and that had no feet or legs participating in an Ironman event. Humbling and inspiring.

Today I put all that aside and went out to cheer on my brother as he did an amazing thing. He was part of a relay team and swam 1.2 miles then let his teammate bike 56 miles and picked it back up to finish with a 13.1 mile run. Makes me tired just typing it.

We brought the whole family out and cheered on Brian and anyone else who passed us. It was so much fun watching the athletes' faces light up when they ran past the kids’ extended hands and slapped them five.

Today made me proud to be a part of my family. Growing up, none of us ever did anything that someone in the family wasn't there to support us. Every dance recital, band concert, play, volleyball and basketball game on the road or at home, someone came and cheered us on. Mom and dad demonstrated this by their actions and they still do to this day.

Today, those of us who could were there for Brian. We stood in the pouring rain to watch him climb out of the river. We ran several blocks to see him run past and cheer him on. We fought our way through a throng of people to catch a glimpse of him crossing the finish line. We did this because we love him and we are proud of him. We did this because we are a family and it's what we do.

Brian, we love you and are so very proud of you. However, your performance, though admirable, is not what makes us most proud. Your perseverance, your dedication, your positive attitude, your sheer will power is what inspires us. Thank you for letting us be a part of your big day!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Because Sometimes Words Are Not Adequate

And because it's college football season...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Signs You're Taking Too Long to Eat

"Mama," asked Max from the highchair this morning, "do you want me to take a big or little bite of my oatmeal?"

"How about a big one?"

"No. I take a small one," he giggled.

"Okay then, take a small one please," I responded as I tried to clear the table.

There was a brief pause before he asked, "Can you please cut it for me?"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Painting on the Wall

I'm a visual learner. I retain best, learn best by seeing. That also means that in order to plan something, I need to see it. You get the picture (hee, hee)?

So in order to move forward in my life, I often paint this picture of what it should look like. My whole life I've been creating this painting. And let me tell you, I've been working hard on it. When you work on something for a long time, sometimes you don't see it for what it is so much as you feel like you've been working on it so long it must be good. It has to be right.

Recently, I have begun to see that the picture I've been painting might not be as beautiful as I imagined. It seems as if God has taken me by the shoulders, pulled me back and turned me around.

It's kind of a shock. He spun me so fast it's taking me awhile to get my bearings and stop my head from spinning. I have a feeling though that once my vision clears, I might just see a picture that is more beautiful than I am capable of painting myself.

The only thing is this - I have to keep from turning back around.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sometimes I Do Waste Time

Oh I should so be in bed, but I found this and just couldn't resist. Maybe I'm a bit sleep deprived and slap happy but this is FUNNY! Enjoy.

The Highlight Reel

Man time flies when you don't have enough of it. I've had a big post brewing since Sunday but have not found the time or energy to get pen to paper (so to speak). Instead, I will give you a few highlights (Yes, highlights! Seems I'm resurfacing).

*I have had so much fun teaching this week. I realized for the first time that all the time I taught high school I was for the most part expanding on previous knowledge. When you teach younger students, you get to teach them things they've never known before and it is totally exciting.

*I told my class today that I was going to teach them to be good writers if it killed me. One student looked up and me and said, "You might as well make your death plan." I'm determined not to see him at my funeral any time soon.

*Last night I talked to one of my brothers on the phone for over 30 minutes. We talked about life, work, family, and opportunities. Tonight I went back and forth texting another brother who actually wrote, "You are awesome...that is one of the many reasons I love you so much!" I mean really, how many people can say that about their brothers? When I say that my brothers are my best friends, I mean it.

*This morning, before I went to school, I dropped off the other kids, ran to Wal-Mart, called back 4 people (two of them I actually said no to...really), sorted the laundry and washed and dried one load, made chicken parmesan for 25, changed for school, fed Max and had a brief discussion with my mom. These events began at approximately 8:15 and ended at 12 when I went back to school to teach. These are the mornings I feel like supermom.

Life is busy. Seems it will be until I die. But in the midst of it all, God is still God. He still manages to get through to me. And He always, always blesses me!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Colossians 3:23

I know I've talked a lot about the benefits of scripture memorization but it never ceases to amaze me. For as much time and effort...and often groans it takes, it has always proven to be worth its weight in gold.

Now that Dawson has joined the ranks, it's actually going a little better because let me tell you, this kid is a whiz...and big brother and sister are not to be outdone by a Kindergartener. Totally working to my advantage this year.

Just so you're clear on how amazing this little activity is, I want to share a scene from my bathroom last week. Dawson came in to brush his teeth and hair before the second day of school. As he was doing this I was reviewing his weekly verse with him. He already had it down and he was so very proud.

He walked out to gather his lunch and backpack with a little skip in his step, all while chanting, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord not for men. Colossians 3:23"

Seriously, how great is that!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Khaki Walls Work For Me

I was up at 5 AM today to make the 12 mile run after running only one very short run this week. It did not go well. The ITB pain from years past hit with a vengeance.

Even though I started out great and ran with folks I can't normally see, when I stopped to stretch at the first water stop, I lost sight of them and everyone else. I was sore, mad and slightly depressed. All I could think about was the people passing me by.

Then I heard that little voice telling me, "Stop comparing yourself." I knew it was God so I tried to occupy my thoughts with other things. I happened to be running through a quaint little neighborhood and passed a cute yellow house with green shutters.

I thought about how that was the color I really wanted our house to be. The only problem was that I couldn't find the right yellow. I'd seen a lot of houses with the wrong yellow and did not want that. Not only that, but all of those yellow houses, upon further inspection, looked very dirty. That would never do.

In the end I picked a tan colored house with black shudders. The dirt kind of blends in. In fact, my carpets are also a color that blends well with Georgia clay, sand, and peanut butter. My counters are stain, scratch, and heat resistant and require absolutely no sealing or upkeep other than regular old cleaning.

You see, I know where I am in life and it's kind of khaki. I'm not a yellow siding, white carpet kind of girl. It doesn't jive with the very practical, mothering, rubber-hits-road frame of mind I'm in. However, I think my home is beautiful. I love the khaki and red walls, the chocolate couches and counter tops and the sandy colored carpet. Not only does it all look great together, but no one can tell how long it's been since I’ve vacuumed.

Somewhere between miles 5 and 6 God showed me that when you accept who you are and use the gifts He gives you, you end up with something that is not only a reflection of you, but also a beautiful work of art.

I managed to get this when I was decorating the house. Now if I can just apply it to the rest of my life.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

First Day Pictures on the Third Day

It never ceases to amaze me how big those backpacks look on the first day of school. Thankfully, they don't look like this again until the last week of school when they bring it all home again.
Of course Max had to get in the mix and the kids only wanted to be serious for so long.
Aiden was pretty excited because big sis had informed him that second grade is absolutely the best one.
Dawson was totally thrilled to be sitting in the Kindergarten classroom. Max has asked me, “Where’s Dawson?” every morning this week.
Mackenzie was pretty excited too. After all, it is her last year of elementary school! It's much harder for me to think about her being in middle school next year than it is to send Dawson off to Kindergarten.
And Max, knock on wood, has made the transfer into a big bed beautifully.
Even he can pose for a picture!

As for me, well, I'm hanging in. I had forgotten how utterly exhausting the first week of teaching can be. I'm not sure how it's possible, but I woke up more tired than I went to bed.

I have been absolutely unable to wake up for my early runs, which means I'm going to attempt the 12 miler with the group on Saturday not having run at all since Sunday. Should be interesting.

I'm only 2 days in to my 4th grade stint so I'm not going to say too much about it right now. I'm trying to give it a fair shake. I'm meeting with another teacher at lunch today to try to figure out how I have yet to finish a lesson plan in the allotted time. Hopefully, this will help.

If I’m being totally honest(and I believe in honesty), I'm on the edge of tears wondering what I've gotten myself into, how I'm going to manage it all, and how I have a Master's Degree in Education and can't get the job done in the 4th grade.

The good part is that this is how I generally roll. I jump in, panic, sink to the bottom (and have a good cry), then push off with all my might and just start swimming. I tend to remember that I not only know how to swim but that I really love the water. That helps me tread when I need to, swim to the edge if necessary, and even climb up the high dive to take a plunge.

I'll get there. I know I will. But right now, just this minute, I'm still sitting on the bottom holding my breath and waiting for that flash of brilliance that gets me back to the surface.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

First Day

Well the first day is over and done. Kids had great days and came home happy. I, on the other hand, came home like a deer in the headlights.

Overall impression - elementary school is NOTHING, NOTHING like high school.

I will give myself two weeks to adjust to the change and then see where I am. Crazy thing is that I've been teaching (in an official capacity) for 7 years now and I don't think it's quite fair to have a first year teacher's experience three different times.

God, however, has other plans. Just goes to show you that life with God is always an adventure.

I really do have pictures but sleep is of utter necessity in this new line of work!

Monday, September 06, 2010

The Times, They are a Changin'

Wow what a whirlwind of a week it was and this week, I'm sure, will be no different.

Here's kind of how it went:

Met with principal and teacher and accepted a job as a part time (12 to 3 daily) 4th grade (not a mistype) teacher.

Met with Resource Coordinator at another school and accepted a job as an academic coach (2 hours a week).

Washed, dried, ironed, put away and labeled every single item in every single stack.

Got kids' things ready for school. I am not ready to teach.

Nelson decided Thursday that we would go to the beach with his cousin and kids for one last hurrah before school.

Got everything packed and loaded before he came home Friday. Had loads of fun (pictures and stories to follow) but got not one stitch of school work done.

Pulled into town tonight at 5PM and had the kids bathed, fed and to bed by 7:30. All suitcases unpacked and put away.

Took the crib out of Max's room and moved toddler bed in. Got my officially potty-trained 2 year-old tucked in and asleep before he could even consider getting out of bed. Thinking right now this is a wonderful plan.

Still am not ready to teach FOURTH GRADE.

Sitting here thinking that my life has suddenly gone topsy-turvy - new jobs, new Kindergartener, new toddler bed, new 10 year old. Hoping I can handle all of this change at once but chest is seriously tightening as I type.

Really leaving RIGHT NOW to go over my one day's worth of lesson plans for tomorrow.

When I have time to breathe, I'll fill you in.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Love is All Around

Max has kept a very one track mind where love is concerned. If he is telling me he loves me, he says he doesn't love anyone else. And, while the selfish side of me every once in awhile almost wants that to be true, I have been trying very hard to convince this cutie that it is absolutely okay to love more than one person at a time.

This morning he came into my bathroom, and as he does so often, walked right over to me, wrapped his arms around my leg and told me, "I love you Mommy," in his sweetest voice.

"Oh," I gushed, stopping what I was doing to hug him back and tell him, "I love you too!"

"And," he continued, "I love Daddy."

"That's great buddy."

"And," he said, not quite finished, "I love Kenzie...and I love the kids."

"I know you do Max and I'm so glad," I assured him.

"And," he added one more time, looking at me with his big baby blues, "EVERYBODY loves me!"

I’d say lesson well-learned!