Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This is the Day, This is the Day...

That the Lord Has Made...

That the Lord Has Made...

I will rejoice.

I will rejoice.

And be glad in it.

And be glad in it.

This is the day that the Lord hath made.

I will rejoice and be glad i it.

This is the day.

This is the day.

That the Lord has made...

If you attended any kind of youth service at church in the 80's, you know exactly how to sing this song in your head. (It is an echo song :)

So this is what happened.

I woke up this morning.  It was snowing.  Big beautiful flakes.  I am not a snow person at all.  But I will admit, it looked really pretty falling. And though I am also not big on snow days, I looked around the house at all of the projects I needed to work on, and I was okay with it.  Except we didn't have a snow day. We had snow but we also had dry streets. Or at least just wet streets.  So the day was already starting off a little "off"...

On a positive note, we were at school on our "extra day of summer vacation".  That is one more day this summer I wouldn't have had if we had stayed home.  And I was thankful the streets weren't a mess so I wouldn't have to worry about the safety of anyone out on the road.

Picture day.  It is picture day.  Ugh. It is picture day.  What do I wear? What did I wear last year?  What is clean?  What will look good in pictures? What will make me look okay in pictures?

Yet I am thankful.  Thankful I have a closet full of clothes waiting for me.  

One of my children started bucking me from the moment he/she was awake.  Not happy about my clothing or hair choices for the pictures.  I let that child choose 364 days of the you think letting me decide one day is too much to ask?

Again, I am grateful. I am grateful for children who have opinions and aren't afraid to share them, though we are still working on the "delivery".

I drive to school. We are behind schedule.  I don't know why.  Arguing children.  Mom is extra busy.  It is still snowing.  I am ALWAYS on time.  ALWAYS.  (For school)  And technically I was on time today. But I cut it too close for comfort.

Yet I am thankful again. I have a job I love with people I enjoy working with. Every day I get to watch children blossom before my eyes.  We all have rough days when we are a step behind.  Tomorrow will hopefully be better.

Lunch time. I drive home to let the pup out for a bit and to pop some dinner in the crockpot.  And hopefully eat but often I end up with about 10 minutes to eat after taking care of everything else around the house.  Sigh.

Though I felt rushed, I did take time to notice the trees on my drive home.  With the snow (that melted shortly afterwards), the trees were absolutely breath taking.

I was looking so forward to Zumba; even more, the boys had dentist appointments and haircuts with their dad so I didn't have to do my usual "running around" after school. I would get to stay the full amount of time.  I enjoy my time with my co-workers, and I get my exercise out of the way for the day.  Except I found out this afternoon that our fearless Zumba leader was ill.  No Zumba for us. :(

Which actually worked out because Child 2's normal ride for the afternoon could not pick her up.  So I ended up having to leave school pretty quickly after dismissal to pick her and a friend up.  And though it wasn't part of my plans, I was thankful to be the picker upper when so often others help me by picking up...

I get a phone call just as I am about home.  My dear hubby says, "Is this crockpot supposed to be off?"  Groan...

Since the chicken sat out for 4 hours, I couldn't justify cooking it.  But thankfully I had more chicken in the freezer.  And though I didn't have the nice bottled teriyaki I had used the first time, I found a great recipe through Google to make my own teriyaki sauce.  It was obviously disappointing to have lost all of that food, but we survived and ended up eating a pretty good meal.

My favorite yeast spilled out of the container in the freezer.  All over my newly cleaned kitchen floor.  Bummer!

Thankfully it wasn't a lot of yeast.  I whipped out the vacuum and cleaned up the floor.  And then I attacked the freezer. I spent quite a while throwing out food we are not going to eat (I won't tell you how old some of it was) and organizing what was left.  It should be MUCH easier to see what we have and don't have. When it is a tad bit warmer, I will tackle the ones in the garage.  A little work but worth it!

There were other odds and ends, like a student moving and sassy children at home.  Messes and near misses.  Things that made me groan.  Times I wondered why.  And a few times I felt like just throwing in the towel (for the day).

But I have to say, even in those not as fun times, I am grateful.  I know these things are all minor (especially compared to what so many of my friends are dealing with).  And I know that no matter what the day brings, this is the day that the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it...


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Will You Be My Valentine?

Valentine's Day.

Some years I surprise my hubby like the year I sent him on a scavenger hunt with the final destination a weekend getaway in a secluded cabin on the lake.  Other years he surprises me like last year when he whisked me away for the night with a trip to the art museum.

Other years we keep it simple.  Like with a steak dinner once the kids are in bed.  Or like this year.

I came home for lunch (after a very long week of parent/teacher conferences) for a lunch date.  A lunch date with the hubby and this cheese stuffed Chicago pizza (flown in from Chicago).  He already had it cooking so we could just eat and chat before I headed back to school for my class Valentine party.

(The picture shows it pre-cooked, that is a packet of extra sauce on top)

I have learned over the years that we just have to meet Valentine's Day where we are.  Some years we can get away. Other years (like this one) we just have to monitor and adjust.

What is important is not what we do or where we go.

Just that we are together.

That we remember our love for one another.

That we are true Valentines.

For life.

Hope your day was special too!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dresed to the Nines

We had a milestone in our house this past week.

Actually, a couple.

Our oldest son attended his first semi-formal this past weekend.

Which involved dressing up a bit.

And shaving.

Breathe in, breath out.

Wasn't he just taking his first steps like yesterday???

When did he get old enough for something like this?

I will not divulge the whole story in order to maintain his privacy (nor post pictures from the actual dance).  It is his story to tell.

But I wanted to remember the night, to record this memory.

I need to remember.

I am afraid the next time I blink, he will be graduating from college.

Slow down, Time, slow down.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Are We Having Fun Yet?

It all sounded like fun.

Child 2 has a volleyball tournament about 2 hours from home in the big T-Town.  (Tulsa)

We really debated about how to handle this one.  Last week's was an hour away, so we just stayed at home and traveled for the games.  However, this one is a bit further.  And even more, the girls played early this morning.

We finally decided we would have a little "weekend" outing.  As a family.  Well, mostly as a family. Child 1 stayed behind to hang with the grandparents and help dog sit (his choice :).

We haven't done one of those in a LONG time.

I didn't realize how long until we got to the hotel and the two youngest kids acted like we had never seen or been in a hotel before...

The kids have been excited ALL week.

So very early this morning, Hubby got up with child 1 and headed this way for today's games.  I stayed behind and had a leisurely kind of morning with the others until we were ready to head down the road.  I would have loved to watch all of the games but I was pretty sure back to back game days would be too much for the younger two which would be two much for me.


Hiccup one.

Hubby texts just as we finished packing to let us know there is only an outdoor pool. 


That was how we planned on keeping the little people busy.  And how we planned on wearing them out.

How did we miss that tidbit of information?

They actually handled the news better than I did, even though they had JUST packed their swimsuits.

I had to laugh that Child 4 was still holding out hope that there might be a hot tub which would be nice this time of year.

There wasn't. :)

Hiccup two.

As we drive this way, it gets colder and wetter outside.  By the time we arrived at the hotel, it felt miserable.

I don't want to complain too much when I know the NE is getting hit with a lot of snow.

But it wasn't pleasant weather.

And even worse, my hopes of going to the zoo (another way to burn off some young kid energy) were dashed.

Finally, after a fairly uneventful trip we arrived.

And then there was Hiccup 3.

Snack bag...not in the car.  Which means I left it home on the counter (probably because I was getting peppered with a million questions as I tried to get everything together to leave).  That wouldn't be too big a deal except that I have that food sensitive child who can only eat certain things.  And one kiddo had some medicine to take which is not with us either.  Ugh.

Hiccup 4

Hubby is sick. He had been sick most of the day but by the time we arrived (and I am sure this is coincidental :), I am pretty sure he had a migraine. He was miserable. And so was I at this point.

Hiccup 5
The fourth floor. That is where we were place.  The fourth floor. The top floor.  I know some people prefer the top. Not me. I want ground floor. It is so hard keeping little people feet quiet. Especially those who don't just walk but those who hop, skip, and flip.

Hiccup 6
As we headed to the restaurant (Cheesecake Factory...yum!), I realized that I left some of the condiments for my food sensitive child in the hotel fridge.  Ugh again.

In spite of all the hiccups, we have had a few fun moments.  It has been fun watching Child 2 get to know her teammates better as they hung out in the lobby, fixing hair, talking, etc.  And while we have had a few "come to Jesus" moments, life really is getting easier with the younger ones.  They are calmer (most of the time) and more self-sufficient.  Hubby is starting to feel better.  I got some turtle cheesecake (then got to work out to work off those calories).  I get to go shopping tomorrow after the games...a treat!  (nothing major, just some little things) 

So are we having fun yet?

That remains to be seen.

Not the fun I thought.

But sometimes we just have to make the most of what we have.

So that is what I am doing.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday Thoughts

Here it is, Thursday.

And I am behind.

In life.  In blogging.  In doing my taxes.  In housework.  In almost all areas of my life. 

Well, except for maybe cooking. 

That is all I have done this week.

Or at least it feels like that. :)

I will just say I am ready for the weekend. 

But in spite of it all, I am thankful today.


  • my new large container of yeast.  I am baking a lot these days.  Now if I could just figure out a way to have an endless supply of flour...
  • a sweet conversation with child 4 about his adoption and his (short) life in Guatemala.  I love that he told me that his time in his birthmom's tummy was like a "dream".  Why? Because he doesn't remember any of it. :)
  • Child 4's teacher sharing some positives about his this week
  • a teacher from our school telling me that she is seeing BIG changes in Child 3 this year...good changes
  • getting to stay for the whole Zumba session today (a rare treat...I usually leave early to pick up kids)
  • lunch with my husband today (which consisted of my favorite salad ever).  It is a rare treat to have an uninterrupted conversation
  • grilled cheese on homemade bread.  Um, yum.
  • fun times as we sing along with Child 2's i-pod music around the dinner table
  • convicting articles about electronic devices (written for parents).  Not that I like being convicted but sometimes I need to be.  
  • a weekend trip with most of the family coming up
  • warm weather.  I want it to stay!
  • staying up late to watch a little TV with my hubby (another rare treat)
  • new ink pens.  (All of my pens lately have been dying.  I appreciate pens that work so much more now.
  • seeing my son in his semi-formal outfit.  He looked so grown up. Okay, I might not be so thankful for that. :)
  • time with my dear high school friend last weekend.  Made my heart smile all week!

What are you thankful for this week?


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Coming Full Circle

Yesterday my daughter had a volleyball tournament.

Out of town.

It was my turn to take her.

Early on a Saturday morning.

About an hour away.

The location?  My high school alma mater.

When I first pulled up to the school (my old high school that is), I noticed how different the campus looked.  It has changed a lot with a lot of updates and new buildings.  I mean, it has been 24 years. 

The funny thing is when I walked into the main hallway and then the gym, memories flooded back.  I am not sure much else has changed in those two areasother than there are a LOT more "class pictures" hanging on the wall.  And I felt really old. :)

I had so many thoughts running through my mind.  In fact, I have a whole other post I can't wait to write about some of those thoughts.

But that is not what this post is about.

A couple days prior to the tournament, I e-mailed one of my close high school friends.  I hesitate to use BFF or bestie...I honestly don't like those terms. I think they are kind of exclusive and could be hurtful.  And it wasn't just one of us.  Several of us (mainly our church youth group) spent hours together every weekend.  But even within that group, she was definitely one of my closest high school friends.

The next day I received an e-mail response from her.

Her son had a basketball game at our old high school Saturday...right around the same time!

I was quite excited.

We have visited over the years but not nearly enough. We always say we will see each other more often but then time flies, and the next thing we know it has been four years.  We keep up some through e-mail but that is fairly sporadic too.  However, she is a dear friend I know I can always count on.  When we do get together, it is like we just saw each other yesterday. We just pick up where we left off.

Anyway, I was watching my daughter play and suddenly had this smiling face before me. 

She was there.

My friend.

We had several opportunities (between her son's game and my daughter's game) to visit.

And like I said, we just picked up where we left off.

What struck me though was our conversation.

Honestly, in looks, she looks very much like the young girl I stood by after graduation for photos.  And other than a few wrinkles around my eyes, I look fairly the same too.

Sitting there with her on the bleachers, I remembered our high school conversations.

Talks about cute boys.

About plans for our weekend.

About classmate drama.

About teachers and homework.

About her involvement in drama, mine in...hmmm, what was I involved in?

About family, parents, rules, and consequences.

About life and insecurity and curiosity about our futures.

So fast forward 24 years.

And we are on the bleachers talking.

Talking about our hubbies (both cute boys :).

Our children.

The challenges of parenting.

Our parents and siblings and friends we wonder about.

About church and faith and God.

About who we are and who we want to be.

About life, love, and loss.

It just felt ironic to me.

Our lives had come full circle.

Where we had once chattered about that mysterious "future" for us we now chattered about where we have been and where we are.

Life is so different now.  For both of us.

I would imagine we would both say we are blessed beyond measure.

That our lives are better than ANYTHING we ever could have imagined.

And that no matter what, God has been there with both of us, each step of the way.

 Neither one of us would travel back in time if given the chance.

We both enjoyed those days, those carefree days, but they are part of our past.  Not something we want to revisit.

Though things have changed in 24 years (the campus, the styles, our lives), some things don't change.

The picture at the top?  A gift from my friend.

We often bought bags of pistachios at the mall, eating them while drinking NON-alcoholic strawberry daiquiris (which is how I still prefer to drink them) and watching movies on the weekend.

24 years later, she still remembers.  She still knows me well.

And I still love pistachios.  I eat a handful every day.

That hasn't changed.

Nor has the gift of friendship God gave me so many years ago.