Friday, August 22, 2008

Country X's egg

I think I've only had one post concerning the Olympics which is rather surprising considering how much I've been watching them lately. I enjoy Bob Costas. I know that may sound weird, but he isn't dry and occasionally has some really good lines. I think his best one was last night. It was concerning a country which did very poorly at some track and field events. The country will remain nameless as I don't want to cause further embarrassment because it really was painful to watch (if you know what I'm talking about I'm sure you agree!) so we will call it "Country X". Anyway, when they returned to Bob Costas after these two very embarrassing events occurred, this was his quote:

"Well, it looks like Country X laid a very big egg tonight at the Bird's Nest."

I'm still laughing--I don't think I've had enough sleep this week...

My proud mommy moments of the week

I've had two proud mommy moments this week related to the girls going back to school. Well, I've actually had many more than two, but I have two very memorable ones that I am going to document. And, yes, I'm going to brag on them because they are my kids.

The first one is related to Ashley. She very excitedly had her first homework of the year tonight. It was her "baggy book". They bring home a book to read every night and we evaluate it to see if it is too difficult, too easy, or just right and she just happens to have the same color hair as goldilocks. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) Anyway, she had her first book tonight and it was a book on butterflies and the life cycle of butterflies. And she read the word "chrysalis"--didn't even have to sound it out. Yep, I was proud. Okay, so maybe she already knew a lot about butterflies and the life cycle of a butterfly, but I was still rather impressed. She is only 6 afterall and we had to mark that book as too easy. (It could have something to do with Joe being her father...)

The second proud mommy moment that I am going to share is related to my eldest. It is a story that she shared with me today. Earlier this week her teacher had asked the class a multiple choice question. There were two choices. He asked all those who thought "A" was the answer to raise their hands. The entire class raised their hands except for my Sara. Then he asked those who thought it was "B" to raise their hands. Sara was the lone student. (Wow, I really don't think I could've done that in second grade!) Then her teacher took the time to recognize Sara's bravery and told them that they shouldn't be afraid to go against what everyone else was saying especially if they know it is wrong. Then she got a piece a chocolate. And (I'm sure you're wondering) she got it right! I was and am so proud.

I truly can't wait to see what God is going to do with all my children. I feel as though they are turning into leaders for the Lord right before my eyes. Actually, that's wrong. I feel as though they already are.

Can you see a brain grow?

So I think my boys' brains are going through a growth spurt. Here are some of the questions I've had to field while riding in the car lately:
  • Why is gum white?
  • What is the difference between a kid and a baby? Is a baby a kid? Is a kid a baby? When does a baby turn into a kid? Am I a baby or a kid or a baby and a kid? When will I be an adult?
  • Is a mosquito the smallest insect? (no, I informed them--you know what's next) So what is the smallest insect? (guesses anyone? remember I'm in the car--no internet access)
  • Do dogs like water?
  • Why do terradactyls (yes I had to look up the spelling) have wings?
  • What are campers and sprinklers for? (no idea how those two got connected)
  • What do banana splits taste like?
  • What are the buttons for (at the drive thru at the bank)?
  • What's a check?
  • And my personal favorite from John: "What does "since" mean?" (As in "we haven't seen Grandpa & Grandma since vacation") "I know that "cents" means change for money but what does "since" mean?" (That one took me awhile.)

And keep in mind the last 7 question were just on the way to the bank the other morning. And my bank is less than 1 mile away in a very small town. No wonder my head hurt by lunch. I feel like I've gone back to school. I'm surprised I can't physically see their brains growing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My new job

Well, my work week is over. Yes, you read that correctly--my work week. I am officially (at least according to the IRS) a working member of society again. When I thought about it earlier I was excited about adding a new job experience to broaden my life job experiences. I already have stuff like accountant, factory worker, dishwasher, and, oh, babysitting. I guess it's not something new because it is, indeed, babysitting. I'm watching two girls down the street before and after school 4 days a week. They are in kindergarten and the first grade. Believe it or not our house can get even louder than it was previously. Actually, by the end of the week it had calmed quit a bit as the novelty had worn off for everyone, toys were found and my structure was set and in place. I think my structure was somewhat of a shock to them (meaning the girls I babysit--my kids are used to me being neurotic). But, seriously, if one child gets up during breakfast without asking to be excused it is a matter of less one second that every other child is out of their chair, breakfast not eaten and complete chaos has ensued. Actually chaos doesn't even seem to be a strong enough word. And with the end of the first week comes more structure that needs to put into place because homework starts next week. I'm rather insistent that homework gets done immediately after school. Well, you can have a snack first, but immediately after the snack it is down to business. Wouldn't it be easier to wait for the other two to leave you may be wondering? Probably, but I'm always up for a challenge. It just makes life a little more interesting.

Monday, August 18, 2008

the pain of school

What I call my morning of distractions began at 8:35 am as I walked out of my girls' school after dropping them off for the first day of school. In order to keep the tears from flowing as I greeted fellow moms who were milling around talking and wondering what to do next, I began to force my mind to focus on what was next in my morning...laundry (isn't there always laundry to do?), the dishes weren't done yet, maybe we could go to the library, I can make cookies for the girls. The first day of school is always a tough one for me and it surprisingly isn't getting any easier. It is a day of contrasts as I look at my kids--they look so old and proud when I take their pictures and then when I drop them off they look so very young and scared and innocent. Early this morning I allowed myself to ponder exactly why this morning every year was so very difficult. I determined that at the root of it was what my kids would learn and the pain that would be associated with it. Oh, I'm not talking about math, reading, or even science. I can combat evolution with the best of them and help my kids learn how to read and learn their addition and subtraction good enough to ace any time test. I'm talking about learning life lessons and hopefully growing in their relationship with God as they learn. They will experience pain and it will probably be deep pain. They will experience broken friendships, unfair teachers, sickness, loneliness, and horrible fear. They've both already experienced some of it even while they prepared for the first day of school--especially that fear one. As a mom I'm not sure that there is anything worse then watching your kids that you would die for experience any of that stuff. My natural instinct is to hide them and shelter them from all that this world can do to cause pain. And, yet, the Lord has taught me how much that is necessary for them to grow into adults that He can use in a mighty, mighty way. And, also, while I hurt with them (maybe even more than they do) as they experience all the pain that this world has to offer, I also feel more joy than I could imagine when I see what God has done in their lives as a result of that pain. I actually saw it this morning and experienced the joy. Sara found out that one of her best friends was in her class and then she recognized how much God had blessed her without her even remembering to ask Him to make it possible. She was so afraid as we walked down the sidewalk and in that brief interaction with Emily she grew in her trust in God. And it was a joyful moment for her, but I wonder if God did it for her or for me. Because it was also a huge reminder to me of God's deep love and compassion for my child and my trust in my Father also grew. And so as I plug on through this very long morning I learn that school is good both for my kids and for me. Praise God that He loves us enough to allow the pain so that we will grow closer to Him.

my new favorite picture(s)

On the first day of the...

first grade, the first day of second grade... (I love the song). Yep, summer is officially over at our house. Today was the first day of school. I now have a first grader and a second grader. I didn't have to do the first day of kindergarten today so it was a little less emotional but not much. I'm so proud of them. Here's the traditional pictures:

the second grader

the first grader