Sunday, April 29, 2012

Down for the Count

We have been passing the stomach bug around. 

I prefer we share dessert or love.

Germs, not so much.

One kiddo had it last weekend.

Another had it mid-week.  It went away then returned Friday.

A third thought he was sick but recovered quickly.

Then last night it struck my dear hubby.

We cannot blame my cooking.  He had just eaten.  It was much too fast.  And nobody else seemed affected.

Then this morning I realized I didn't feel so hot either.

I will admit. I groaned. I complained.  I asked God, "Why?"

I had plans for the day.

Plans for tomorrow.

And this was not one of them.

But want it or not, it was here.

The only good news (at least for me) is that my illness was mild compared to my sweetie's.

Either way, we were both down for the count.

Amazingly, everyone, including that sweet pup of ours, slept in this morning.

Even when Marley pup woke up, she wanted to eat and go out but not necessarily play right away.

That is a true miracle.

Slowly the other kids emerged, the youngest sleeping in the latest.

I have to give credit.

When they found out we weren't feeling well, they took charge.

They got breakfast for themselves (and for Joshua who isn't quite ready for that yet).  They got dressed.  They entertained themselves.  They even "held home church" (without us). 

I am thankful for that.

I remember having a stomach bug when Lauren was a baby. So Hunter was just about 3 years old.  And I had to call my mom to help while Daddy was at work.  They weren't so self-sufficient then.

But this time they were.

If only one of them could have driven to the store, it would have made a not so fun day about as perfect as they could come.

I did manage to get up and around a bit this evening and even made (and ate) dinner.

So hopefully I am on the mend.

We will see about hubby.

And we will pray that the one child, the one person, not affected in this house stays that way.


Friday, April 27, 2012

A Belated Thankful Thursday

Despite the fact that it wasn't the best start to the week, I do have a few things to be thankful for...

  • my husband's safe trip (and short trip) for work
  • the gift of laughter
  • air conditioners
  • opportunities to talk about life lessons with my daughter
  • a co-worker who didn't laugh when I asked her to take pictures of our sweet pup
  • a mom who is willing to puppysit and sick kidsit when needed
  • short lived stomach viruses for two of my children (as opposed to long lived)
  • a husband who encourages me to go out for the evening
  • my friend C. who goes to chick flicks with me
  • surprise e-mails from dear friends
  • warm evenings to get outside for some playtime
  • my students...they make my heart smile
  • a quiet lunch at home during my lunch break

I know I could come up with more, but that quiet lunch time at home is about to come to an end...

What are you thankful for this week?


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Facts of Life

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and there you have...

The facts of life.

The facts of life.

I realize that many of you are way too young to remember that song. But I do.  Or at least parts of it.

But I do.

And that is the song that comes to mind when I recall the events of the last two days.

(By the way, I started this post last night and fell asleep before I was done :)

Yesterday was the bad.  Almost all bad.

Two kids who were not making wise choices, either at home or at school (or both).  Another child licking wounds after a difficult time with a friend.  Mark was gone.  I was busy trying to straighten up the house.  And yet everywhere I turned, I tripped over kids' belongings.

I may or may not have snapped.

I may or may not have ALMOST said "Shut up."  (I DIDN'T say it, but I sure thought it...hard)

I may or may not have ranted and raved a bit.

I may or may not have threatened to run away.

And I may or may not have meant it.  Okay.  I may have.

It was not a fun evening.  It wasn't a stellar evening for my kids.  And it wasn't a stellar evening for this mom.

Fast forward about 24 hours.

Two kids had a good day, both at school or home (relatively speaking :).  Another child learned and demonstrated how to walk away when he/she wasn't being treated nicely.

We played.

We had pictures taken by a friend (well, mainly Marley did :).

We enjoyed some time outside.

We laughed.

We talked.

And Daddy came home (later).

I want more of those days, but I suppose I wouldn't appreciate having them as much if I did.

I guess I do have to take the good with the bad.

It's the facts of life.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Happy Place(s)

It has just been a rough month.

Kid wise. School wise. Life wise. (Not marriage wise...I always worry that it sounds like that:)

Just rough.

As in some days I want to hide.

I want to crawl into my bed, pull the covers up, and just sleep for a long time. Like a year or two. And wake up to happier times.

Not that every single day is bad.

But it seems like I will have a good day with relatively little stress, then the next day is overflowing with stress.

I find myself standing in my shower, just letting the hot water run over my head. I like that the water muffles any noise that might be happening in the house. There are honestly days I stay in the shower extra time just to escape. Does anyone else do that?

Anyway, it got me to thinking about my happy place(s)...

  • The beach. Are you surprised that is my first choice? I am most happy when I am walking along the warm sand barefoot as the waves splash on my feet while I watch the sun set over the water. Sigh. It is truly my happy place.
  • In the woods. A good hike makes my heart happy. Even when kids are arguing around me, there is just something peaceful about being surrounded by God's creations.
  • A hot bath with a new magazine in hand.
  • A really good pizza parlour. Have I mentioned how much I love pizza?
  • Storytime in front of my class. It is one of my favorite times of day.
  • Strolling around the neighborhood.
  • San Francisco. I really did love it that much. Chicago is not far behind. Not so much on Las Vegas...
  • A movie theater, seeing a "chick flick". A nice little place of escape for a couple of hours. And of course, there is popcorn too. :)
  • My Sunday School class (or Bible Fellowship as it is really known). We have all been together a long time through thick and thin. I wish we had more time together outside of Sunday mornings, but I just treasure what times we have together when we can.
  • Time with my co-workers. We are all different but all have the same teach our kids.
  • A night out with my man. Even better, a weekend away with him.
  • Lounging in my bed on a Saturday morning while the kids feed themselves breakfast.
  • Our dinner table.

I am sure there are more, but these are some of my happy places.

And writing about them really did make me feel happy. :)

I needed that.

Where are your happy places?

Hoping for a better week next week,


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just Another Manic Monday...

What is it they say about "A woman's work is never done?"

Sorry to any guy readers.

I am sure that is true for guys too.

I can only speak from the woman's point of view.

I have a zillion (maybe even more) posts floating through my mind.

And I want so much to put them down.

But time is so limited.


Because a woman's work is never done.

Obviously, since I am a teacher, I am gone all day.

I will save all of those activities for a teacher post another day.

But let me just share a somewhat typical Monday afternoon (which would look similar to a Tuesday afternoon, a Wednesday afternoon, etc.).

3:00 Child 3 appears in my classroom. School is out. Child 2 is at an after school activity. I spend about 45 minutes working on lesson plans, materials, etc. Well, when I am not answering questions from Child 3. We will just say she is curious.

3:45 We run out the door, taking just a minute to pause and watch a little bird splashing in a puddle of water from yesterday's monsoon.

4:00 We arrive at Child 4's school. My favorite part of that is that he is outside playing. He watches for me and when he sees me, he waves wildly at my car and smiles from ear to ear.

4:15 We arrive home for just a minute, picking up a snack (grapes) for Child 4. I also do a quick homework activity with Child 3. Then we hop back in the car to go pick Child 2 up from her after school activity.

4:35 Back home. I will admit, I want so much to just sit and kick up my feet for a bit. But duty calls. The girls get their folders out, so I spend some time going through their schoolwork, filling out school paperwork, etc.

I also finish filling the dishwasher, get it going, and wash a few big items. Then I start the dishwasher.

And I got a load of laundry going, gathered up the recycles, and played with the pup a bit.

5:30ish: Started washing potatoes in preparation for dinner. Of course, I also handled discipline issues, settled arguments, etc, while cooking.

6:45 Dinnertime (I a little late for the evening). It amazes me that the meal it took me almost an hour to make is gone within minutes.

7:30 Two kids start the bedtime process (coking, setting the table, etc.). Meanwhile, hubby and I work to clear off the countertop in the kitchen. Again.

8:00 Two kids, homework done. Showers done. Teeth brushed. Ready for bed.

I go pray with Child 3, then go to the kitchen to work on the dish situation. Just as I start, the puppy appears with a toy to play. I reluctantly head to the living room to play a little tug of war and fetch with her. In between games, I try to catch up with my own games (Words with Friends, Scramble, Draw Something) while I have a minute.

8:30 Child 2 is now almost ready for bed. We have a quiet time (the two older kids and us), each reading the Bible. We share at the end what we read about then pray together.

9:00 A little more clean up in the kitchen

9:30 Hop on the elliptical for 30 minutes.

10:00 Soooo want to go to bed.

But again, duty calls. I start a lunch for Child 3 for tomorrow, check over homework for Child 1, and get our sheets folded. Every time I start to sit down, I remember something else that just has to be done...

11:00 Paperwork for my own class (checking over work).

11:30, Another load of laundry, cleaning out some "piles", etc.

I am sure if you are a parent, you know what I mean.

It is never done.

Never. :)


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Look on the Bright Side

This won't be my typical "Thankful Thursday".

I also won't apologize (though you know I am dying to) for being scarce this week.

I will be honest.

It has been a hard week.

Much of it I don't care to share.

But just trust me when I say it has been hard.

I think it was Tuesday night that I had a little pity party.

You know, the kind where only I was invited.

Where all I really wanted to do was curl up with a big box of chocolates and a tall Mtn. Dew and cry.

Okay, I think I did cry.

And I had a 7.5 oz Mountain Dew.

But I couldn't curl up.

I have four kids.

If I curl up, they will TAKE over the house. :)

But anyway...

It had been a hard day.

I was feeling a bit blindsided by some things.

Then I found out one of my children had not had a stellar day.

And I had big plans to cook dinner with Child 1 (his choice? Fried catfish).

Which would have been fine except around 6 hubby calls to tell me that he is stuck in traffic. In another town. In another state. Which I didn't know. So suddenly I was in charge of homework for one, supervising the not-so-stellar-day child, not to mention entertaining a certain little fuzzball. And cooking a meal with child 1.

I really felt like a camel. With a lot of straw on my back.

So I had my pity party. In my head. And heart. And spirit.

And as I did, a couple things came to mind.

This week before Easter, Jesus went through a few not so fun days also.

He rides a donkey into town with people throwing palm trees down in front of him, a sign of victory.

Later that week, those same people would be casting (not literally) stones at Jesus by calling for his blood upon the cross.

Jesus had His friends there with him, praying in the garden.

Except one of His "friends" was secretly betraying him for some silver.

And He was this perfect man, living a perfect life, who came from His perfect place (that being heaven) to save a very imperfect me.

And here I am complaining about what is wrong in MY life?

The other thing that came to mind is a little more in line with Thankful Thursday.

As I sat there thinking about some things that had gone wrong that day (feeling a little blindsided), I couldn't help but remember that I had gotten a sweet note on a report card thanking me for being their child's teacher. Or that a friend sent an uplifting e-mail at JUST the right moment.

As I thought about that wayward child who hadn't had a stellar day, I remembered three other children who had had a great day. And that the wayward child has had several other stellar days in recent months.

While I feel frustrated with homework (supervising it), I am thankful that my children (for the most part) do their homework willingly.

It was so easy to be frustrated with a husband who called late to tell me he would be even later (as I am cooking a fairly extensive dinner), but instead I decided to be thankful that he bothered to call at all. And that he made it home safely, even if it was a couple hours late.

And of course, as I think about the meaning of this week, I am most grateful for the eternal life I have been given through the death and resurrection of My God.

I wish I could say my pity party ended there.

It didn't.

But I think it lessened a little.

And maybe, just maybe, changed my perspective.