Saturday, February 6, 2016

Because I am a teacher, I struggle as a mom

6:45 a.m.  "Good morning. Good morning. How are you today?"  These things are said in a kind voice as I make my way down the hallway.  While I feel that it is too early to even be out of bed, we are beginning our day together...these students and I.
I check in, make my way to my room and start to put my things away before the bell rings.  Several students enter to drop off projects.  I compliment them on their creativity and show them where to put them.  It is not quite 7:00.
I glance to the cabinet front and see the bird and nest that my seven year old so lovingly made for me this summer.  I promised that I would keep it up to remind me of her during the day.  The sad truth is that I really don't have time to think of her during the day.  I think back to the morning conversations with my girls and my son.  "Get up.  You're going to be late.  You need to wear a jacket.  It is cold outside. Make sure that you don't forget your backpack. Your 100 day bottle is in your backpack.  Turn in the mission trip money.  Do your best on your test."  All of this said while frantically rummaging for lunch, grabbing my bag, putting on my coat.  It is always ended with "Gotta go. I'm late.  Love you."  Then that's it.  I'm off.
Eight and a half hours later I pick the girls up in carpool.  I'm totally checked out.  I've used all my words.  I've listened intently to stories, excuses, and explanations. I've kept a smile and my teacher voice on all day.  I've asked questions, encouraged, mentored, and loved on at least 75 other kids.  I feel all used up, empty of any energy that is required to be what I need to be.  The hard truth is that  I really want to drive in the quiet and have no noise.  The delay of traffic is brutal and each traffic jam causes tension because it takes time away from all that needs to be done at home.  My mind wonders to the things that are ahead of me.  What is for supper?  Did I shift the load of laundry to the dryer?  I wonder how much homework needs to be done.
We arrive and go our separate ways.  Although I really don't encourage technology, I do nothing to stop the girls from sitting mindlessly in front of "something" for at least an hour.  I begin the work that needs to be done.  Unpack lunchboxes.  Find clothes for the next day.  Start preparing food.
I round everyone up for homework.  We eat together.  Like little robots, they rush off to bath.
"Brush teeth. It's bedtime, Fred."   I call out.   Prayers are said.  Lights are out.
Every.single.night.  I go to bed feeling like I haven't been a good momma.  I suppose this is not a healthy way to look at the day.  This rushed life exhausts me.  I'm sure someone somewhere has all of this figured out.  But it isn't me today.
I keep telling myself that I was made to thrive, not merely survive.
I got a suggestion from a friend tonight to post scripture throughout my house.  I am going to begin putting that up that tomorrow. I seem to need a constant stream of reminders that God loves me.  He chose me for this.  He has equipped me.  Trust in his strength, not mine.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Things I'm loving this week

I'm struggling here.  This is my Monday post and! just came to me.  I'm slightly convicted by putting it here because I've also been reading Trim Healthy Mama and I'm pretty sure the sugar content in these is through the roof.  I'm simply guessing there because I refuse to look at the label.  So, moving along..... these dried mangoes are my new favorite snack.  I have to hide them from myself and I'm pretty sad to see that there are in fact about two pounds of them in the bag.  That means that I have eaten about 1/2 pound a day (give or take). so very good.  Think fruit roll up for adults, only better.  I seriously get sad when the bag gets near empty.  When I remember that I have them, think Pavlov's dog.  Serious.

I think I'll wrap up with that one.  They are so good that they really don't need to share the post with anything else.

Happy Monday!

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Saturday, January 23, 2016


I'm sad today.  A friend is moving to another state tomorrow.  I came into this friendship just seven years ago.  The other two in this triangle have been friends practically their whole lives.  It is rare and such a treasure to have such a long friendship.  Friendships are strange and wonderful things.  There are some people that you know you can depend on from the moment that you meet them.  You just know.  If you have a handful of those, you are blessed.
I went today to help her clean her house.  It is all packed away and the moving truck sits ready in her drive.  I decided on the way there that I wasn't going to act like this was goodbye.  I was just going to help a friend clean her house.
The vacuums didn't drown out the thinking that my heart was doing from the minute I opened the door.
Going through the motions of wiping counter tops and steam mopping floors was not covering the memories that were surfacing.  Just last month, I'd come bringing a meal to welcome a new baby.  Sitting in a living room lit only by the Christmas tree, we had visited for a while and just talked about life.  A year of Thursday night Bible studies had happened in this living empty. It was during this Bible study that we started using the phrase "It'll be just right." to describe things that are done in a hurry and might not live up to perfection.  However, in the whole big scheme of things they really don't matter when you are around friends who don't judge.  Food that might be slightly burned, kids that might not be dressed perfectly....all things that simply don't matter when you're meeting to study God's word.  Mommies and daddies sitting on the floor trying to learn God's word together and trying to support each other in this thing called life.
No trampoline, no swing set, no sign of birthday balloon animals and clown noses from parties past were in the backyard today.  Isn't it strange how we hurry through those days and then realize later how special they are?
Several girls nights out were spent with three friends lying on the couches and talking about life.  The movies that we intended to watch were never played.  Those were good times.  Important times.
Meals eaten with our families, games played with guys against girls, prayers said, life shared......all with good friends.
My prayer is that her new home is filled with love, laughter, and friends.  I'm sure "it will be just right."
Treasure friends.  Seek Christian friends.  Encourage one another.  Build a network.  The older I get, the more I see that these are some of the best blessings I have.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Wentr- the season

Yes, Wentr.....this cold, rainy, dreary time we have here!  I'm not sure it is a true season here because it really never comes and goes in any predictable pattern.  It was 60 last week but last night it was 30.  I"m already ready for summer.
Today this came home in Amelia's backpack.  Such a cute tree, and snowmen, and foxes, and owls....and a declaration "I DO NOT LOVE WENTR."
I feel ya!  I do!  I'm ready for flip flops and sno-cones and a normal level of vitamin D.  She is my daughter!

Monday, January 18, 2016

2 Things I'm loving this week!

Well, it's MONDAY!  Today is an amazing Monday because I am at home!  I slept until 8:30 and I'm recovering perfectly from my procedure on my leg.  I actually feel encouraged about this upcoming week.  That could possibly be because I'm still in pajama pants...but hey, I'll take it! :)

Things that I'm loving this week are:

1) I have started reading the book Hands Free Mama.  In an effort to work toward my goal of creating closer family ties, I am trying to be more present.  Someone once told me, "Wherever you are, be there."  This sounded simple but it is an extremely challenging thing for me.  It is not my personality to just "be."  I feel that I need to be doing.  If I take those ten minutes, I will get behind on the things that I feel that I must accomplish.  However, I am very convicted after just the first few chapters and can already see that changing my ways would benefit everyone - including myself!

2)  I am also very in love with the local public library's online overdrive book rental system.  This is amazing!  With a simple, free library card you can have thousands of titles to browse and download at the click of a button.  You can choose to read from your browser or download onto a device.  I'm sure that I'm very behind because this is not new technology.  However, I am still excited at the benefits that I am seeing for myself.  We have found enough titles to keep all of the girls equipped with new material.

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

"Home Church"

I had a little procedure done on Friday. ( I think that it how you politely describe having a vein stripped from your lower leg.)  Either way.....I am not quite able to go to church this morning.
I don't like missing church.  Henry is always very good about "having church" at home when we can't go.  This morning, he rounded up the girls and we had a lesson on guarding your heart.  The girls wrote Proverbs 4:23, memorized it and earned candy hearts for reciting it.  They also made origami hearts and "hid" the word inside them.  It is so important to have scripture hidden in your heart.  I hope to be more intentional about hiding it in my own heart.
So that I keep it real here.....LG is now having a mini meltdown because she really doesn't want to watch a movie about the Bible and wanted to watch SpongeBob.
Showing off their hearts

Monday, January 11, 2016

2 things that I'm loving this week

So, it's MONDAY again!  Yippee!  A two hour visit to the dentist after school for the girls and a projected bill of $1300 worth of dental work.  NO PROBLEM..... Ugh!  But, I said I was going to work on being positive.  I'm digging deep for this one but I'm thankful that we have teeth and that we have dental insurance.  That's about as positive as I can be on that topic!

The two things that I'm loving this week

1)  I'm really loving my cash envelopes budgeting system.  I HAVE NOT...I retype....I HAVE NOT gone over my grocery budget.  I even have enough left in my envelope to try a restaurant that is new to our family.  So I'm hoping that this is going to be the budget helper that we need in the area of food/household expenses.  That is a BIG expense that can really get out of hand for our family.

2)  I'm loving the many, many posts that I am finding on setting goals that are centered around my priorities.  This includes a wonderful post shared by a friend about setting goals that are Christ-centered.  I can't wait to really look at that this week and examine my heart and my goals.

Well....that was short and sweet.  On to a new week!

Friday, January 8, 2016

936 weeks

I read today that this is the number of weeks between a child's birth and their graduation.  936. 936.  Let that sink into me.  It's worth repeating to myself until I grasp it's smallness.
With Holton already having passed this milestone a few years ago,  I can say that it seems like even that number doesn't sound accurate.  It seems as if it is only a blink.  With Haigan approaching this age, it is worth acknowledging that I still have a few of those weeks left.
 How is it that we can put most things on hold?  We can hit snooze to get a few more minutes of sleep.  We can pause and replay to get another chance, another glimpse, another second.  We can dvr to watch something later.  But we can't slow down time for anyone....not even for our children.  Or, as I believe, mostly for us as parents.  Children are always ready for the next thing.  When they crawl, they want to walk.  When they walk, they long to run.  When they are in middle school, high school is the goal.  High school isn't over before they are preparing for college.  Oh, if they only knew.

Parenting and thinking of my children stirs my deepest emotions.  I miss them when I'm not with them. I pray over them.  I seriously have a hard time grasping God's love for us because I trust that it is more than I can love my children.  How can that be?  There is a moma heart so full of love for each of them.

Time does go so quickly.  When Holton was young, he slept in a toddler bed beside me.  He liked for me to hold his hand while he fell asleep.  Where did the time go?  It's hard to get those fingers to type an answer to a text in today's phase.  That little boy is all grown up but he will always be my baby.  Where do the years go? With Haigan, I can remember reaching back for a little hand as I crossed the parking lot only to find empty space and a young man walking along beside me where a little boy had just been.  A little boy who would not let me sing "Twinkle, twinkle little star" out loud because it would make him miss me too much now leads worship.  I can remember when dinosaurs and boats got put away under the sink in totes and bubble baths turned into midnight showers.  I wish I had paid more attention to when it was exactly that I stopped finding velcro nerf bullets in my sweaters.  When was it exactly that the last army man parachuted from the second floor?  Exactly when was it that I stepped on matchbox cars at 1 am?  When was it that the Tonka truck rusted outside?  I will not know.

What I do know is that each phase, each season, has wonderful things to offer. I won't lie and say that I don't miss the closeness that I had with the boys.  I do.  I'm so proud.  I suppose that the evidence of a job done well is that your children learn to do for themselves.  Sigh.'re moving on.

Help me learn to slow down and enjoy this vapor.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

When life gives you anxiety...

So, I was going with the "when life gives you lemons" idea here.....but it certainly doesn't sound as exciting or optimistic.  So how do I end that phrase?  It doesn't end with a cool, refreshing glass of lemonade to be exact.
You see.....I do struggle with anxiety.  I can usually pull it all together after a micro-meltdown but I have to keep it in check.
This past Sunday, I had a panic attack on the way to church.  My house was not straightened and truly, that is the number one trigger of my anxiety.  At least, it begins that way.  The girls and I had been home for two weeks so we had not had to rush to go anywhere.  Somehow the hectic pace of getting everyone ready and out the door, coupled with a messy house, set me into a panic.
By the time we were in the van, I was wiping tears.  By the time we reached the parking lot of the church, I was trying to remember to take deep breaths.  The girls never know when I get upset but I'm sure they think I have asthma! :)
So, back to my title.  When life gives you anxiety, what should you do?  Well, I just decided to stay in the van for a few minutes by myself.  And I googled "prayer over anxiety."  I sat and read this scripture until I was calmer.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6, 7
I wish it wasn't so. I wish I was calm and collected in the middle of chaos.  But it is so, and I'm not.  So I will keep trusting, praying, and breathing. :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

2 Things I'm loving this week

As part of my effort to be more positive this year, I've decided to post a few things that I'm currently loving.  I'm going to post on Monday, as it is my least favorite day of the week.  I'll use a little reverse psychology here!  I went back to work today after two weeks off.
So, here it goes!
Two things that I'm liking this week:

The Wet Hair Brush, Metallic Purple1)  This new brush  is amazing!  Amelia really struggles with sensitivity issues.  It is a little like torture  takes a lot of patience to get her hair brushed in the morning.  She has "adult hair" and it is coarse and wavy like mine.   Poor really is rough.  However, during her visit to get it cut to shoulder length (at her request) we were introduced to this wet brush.  It is PAIN FREE!  It will revolutionize our mornings (TBA as she doesn't go back to school until tomorrow!)   I paid $13 at the salon.  Of course, it's less than $10 on Amazon.

2)  As part of our budget, we cut off cable a couple of years ago.  I usually couldn't care less.  Henry, nor I, really watch much tv.  We have found that if we want to watch something, we can usually catch it on netflix or amazon prime for much less.  However, DOWNTON ABBEY is my show!  I really couldn't converse with any friends at school today because I was the only one who did not know what happened in last night's episode.  So.......I did a little blog stalking and found that a site  has them all for FREE! I could have been watching months ago!   I'm pretty sure that season four of Call the Midwife is also there!  YIPPPPEEEE!

So, my Monday is almost done!  I survived and even found some positives to note!

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