Sunday, October 26, 2008

Reading

I've been reading, I just haven't been posting about what I've read.  I added a few of my latest reads on my list to the right, but I've already forgotten some of the titles I read this summer.  

I won't do a review for each, I've found I'd rather just move on to my next waiting book than to write about what I've read (reminds me of school) but I will say this:  I enjoyed "Eat, Pray, Love" even though I don't agree with everything she has to say.  And I really enjoyed "Edgar Sawtelle" although if you're not that into dogs or the human spirit, then perhaps this book is not for you.  As for Nicholas Sparks, all I can say is that his writing has been very disappointing to me lately.  I doubt I will reach for his next novel nearly so quickly and I will wait for someone to tell me it's as great as "The Notebook" before I plunge in.  

Now then, I have five days until I'm back to my own novel writing and until then, I still have some unread books on my nightstand.  

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Eight

He pulled out his homework the moment he got to the house.  "You don't have to do that today, you know."  

"I know."

And he proceeded to do it anyway.  He showed me his classroom newsletter, his Spirit Wear order form and then put them back in his backpack.  I signed his finished homework and he put that away, too.

We had nachos for dinner.  His choice.  And ice cream later for a snack.  He watched Iron Man in the living room with LM and would wander into my bedroom to tell me parts of the movie from time to time.  "Is it over already?" I asked.  

"No.  I just wanted to come see what you were doing."

Asleep around 10, snuggled up on the couch, the dog and the cat both watched over him.

I woke around 6 with a knock on my door.  He had a bloody nose.  He came and laid on my bed and we talked for awhile while we waited for it to stop.  When he left, I heard him sneeze out in the hallway and he peeked his dimpled face back in my door and said, "it started again" and we both laughed.  

This time he came and snuggled under the covers beside me.  I watched him sleep for awhie and then tiptoed out of the room so he could rest.  

I'm not sure at all how eight years have come and gone so quickly, but I will treasure the simple joy of making sweet birthday morning memories together.  

Happy Birthday my sweet little nephew, George.  A Happy Birthday indeed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sick and Tired

Anyone who knows me IRL (in real life) knows that I've been sick.  For awhile.  What?!  Six weeks is too 'awhile'.  Ahem.  

I stayed home on Monday against my better judgement to try to get some extra rest as I had not slept well (coughing) and facing the little wildabeasts that gave me these germs in the first place seemed like unfair torture.  

And Monday they spent the day patching and paving the part of the parking lot right outside my patio door.  

No rest for me.

I went back to work Tuesday, not feeling a lick better and much to the frustration of my co-workers who tried their very best to diagnose my symptoms better than I had.  "It's bronchitis" I said, armed with my WebMD knowledge and confirmation by the helpful pharmacist.  "It's viral.  I just have to wait it out."  

"It's an infection," they retorted.  "Bronchitis doesn't last this long without becoming an upper respiratory infection.  YOU need to see a DOCTOR." They proclaimed with much disdain.

And so today, with barely a lick of actual work to do or teaching to teach at school, I called in a sub and stayed home again.  This time, I vowed to go to the doctor.

Which is a bit more difficult when you are insurance-challenged.  I have insurance (stop freaking out - yes, you in the back) but barely.  When your employer doesn't provide it and you're working for, oh, not-so-very-much money, you make do with policies that will help in case your kidneys need replacing, but not so much help for seeking treatment for the common cold.  Anyway, I digress. 

I found the walk-in clinic and I trudged my butt there at 9:30 this morning, shortly after they opened.  There were three people in the waiting room.  It took an hour to get me in to the exam room.  It took another half hour for the doctor to come in and see me.

"Bronchitis."  Was his already foreshadowed verdict.  But I gave him my best sad puppy dog eyes and I may have coughed more times than were absolutely necessary while he wrote up my paperwork and he finally agreed to prescribe for me an antibiotic "just in case".  Nice fellow that he was.  

And so I waited another hour in the pharmacy for them to fill my simple antibiotic order.

And I finally returned home 3 1/2 hours after I had left with medicine in tow that I am counting on with desperate pleas to heal me.  And all I want now is a little soup and a little nap and I'll be golden.  

But as I pull into the parking lot, I notice a truck pull in behind me.  And as I sit down at the coffee table with my cup of soup, I see the distressing news unfolding.  They are back.  To apparently repatch and repave the parking lot.  Right outside my windows.  

So perhaps I will not get any rest.

But I am about to finish my book.   So it's not a day wasted at all, is it?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

He Comes By It Naturally Enough

Mine are on the right.  His are on the left.  He'll be done before I am, but we'll both be done with our stack before the week is out.

I Don't Get It

Monday, October 20, 2008

Of That Thing I Said I'd Do Again

Because I had so much fun cramming 50,000 words into 30 days the past two years, I went ahead and signed myself up again.

11 days until I start counting.

God help us all.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Overheard

from one Kindergartner to another:

"If you touch your finger to your eye and then lick it, it tastes like orange!"

Thursday, October 09, 2008

We Wrote The Book

Tuesday and Thursday nights at CPR and First Aid Training.  What a fun week.

At least the instructors were good (meaning: fast) and we were out in two hours instead of the predicted four.

After completing the First Aid training this evening, however, I had a surprising realization.  I know the materials are published by the American Heart Association, but I'm fairly certain my family wrote the book.

Start on page 24, Choking.  That's G's page.  Just ask him about the time he was choking and no one believed him.  

Or page 30, that's for Jules and her Epi pen.  The one she forgets to carry with her, especially to the orchard which is swarming with bees.

Flip the page and you'll find my dad.  Mr. Heart Attack.  It was a flukey thing, granted, but still, those calls that say, "your dad is in the hospital because he had a heart attack at school" don't make the memory feel like a fluke.

Stay with Dad for a few more pages.  He's the diabetic they are referring to.  

Page 39 is for Mom.  Seizures.  There was nothing the AHA could tell me about those I didn't already know.  

If you've spent any time at all with George, you've covered page 51 - bloody noses.  

I showed page 53 to LM.  It's what to do in case of an amputation.  (You'd have to know that his whole life whenever he's injured, I've always shouted, "Amputation!!  YIPPPEE!!")

I'm covered by page 63, burns.  Note:  when stirring hot applesauce, be careful of splatters!

I'm also the material for page 70 - bites.   When they talk about rabies and mention raccoons, bats and wild dogs, keep in mind a poor innocent kitten can also send you to the ER for the entire rabies series.  

The instructors said I should receive my certificate of completion in a few days.  I don't need one.  After all, if there's a rabid animal on the loose, I'm the one to call.
 

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Stood Up

4:15.  It was early, but I agreed.  I even got permission to leave work a little early to make it on time.  

4:15.

I drove in the pouring rain down the highway, thinking of things to say.  Things I wanted him to know.  

I wouldn't say I was nervous.  It's not my first time or anything.  But these situations, they're always a little nerve-racking.  You're just never sure how they are going to go.  

I arrived a couple minutes early.  I always do.  I checked in with LM to see if he was okay.

I sat.

I waited.

I saw a couple people I knew.  I could tell they wanted to ask why I was there but resisted.  

I hate sitting alone.

Someone asked if they could help me.  Could they get me anything?  No.  He wasn't that late.  Yet.

Finally, someone checked for me.  He wasn't there.  Wasn't going to be there.  They assured me he must feel terrible.  There was surely some valid reason.

I was stood up.

It's not the first time I've been stood up and it certainly won't be the last.




But I didn't expect it from the principal of LM's school.  I guess I'll have to wait awhile longer to discuss LM's academics and how we can keep him challenged this year.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Choosing Joy

I've talked about it before but if you, my lone reader, know anything about me, it's that I'm far too lazy to link to a previous post.

I learned it over a decade ago from Stacy (Everyday Gifts - over there on the right - see? Too lazy to link.) It was at a Bible study class we attended together. I was lamenting that everytime money came in our door, it went right back out. I wanted to build up our savings account. I wanted the security that money in the bank brought. But each time a check arrived, from consulting my husband did, or from a tax refund, from wherever, there was a repair, an unexpected bill, something to eat up the money before it was even cold in the bank.

But when Stacy prayed for my concern that day, she taught me one of the greatest lessons I have learned. She didn't pray that God would take away those unexpected bills. She didn't pray that He would allow me to get money in the savings account. She prayed instead a prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving. She thanked God for providing the resources each and every time before I even knew I would need them! I remember sitting in that little circle of women looking over at Stacy in awe. She had just changed my life by changing my view of it.

It's the little joys in our everyday that make life so wonderful, isn't it? It's easy to be bogged down by the stresses, by the bad, but God gives us joy!! Everyday! He doesn't want us to struggle. He doesn't want us to worry. He wants us to be happy.

A decade ago, Stacy turned my view on life around by showing me all the blessings God has for me and I've never forgotten it (or her!) In every moment, of every day, in every situation, we can choose to find the joy. And it really is that easy.

Today, I stopped at the store, four days before payday with $6 in my wallet. I bought milk and flour and cheap margarine to get us through. I had all the ingredients (I thought) for homemade pizza at home now that I had the flour, but when I arrived home I realized I didn't have any tomato paste for the sauce. I was frustrated. I was just AT the store. It's a $.60 purchase! But then I remembered in the back of the fridge were two small packets of marinara sauce that came in something we had many many months ago. I pulled them out, defrosted them and you would never have known the difference! Saved!

This morning I carpooled with a co-worker. We don't have a fixed schedule yet, but even one day of not driving my car is allowing me to stretch my gas money just that much further. Plus, gas has dropped nearly a dollar!! At $3.38 this morning I'm nearly giddy with the idea of filling my tank!

This weekend, LM and I visited a church to hear a pastor that friends of ours know. He didn't end up speaking and we didn't love the church, but it was a great reminder of how much we do love the church we found this summer through TB. God brings us little gifts in so many different ways!

I still have Pam's two cats. It's not a great situation. I'm sure they would like out of the bedroom, but the one is too aggressive with Jonah to be let out to roam. For all the hassle, however, I haven't had to buy them any food as they came with more than a month's supply. I didn't have to purchase litter boxes, treats or toys as they came with more of that than I would ever need. All these cats have needed from me is love. And for that, for Pam, it comes easily.

The little joys surround us. God gives them to us daily, hourly! He wants us to be happy and full of the joy of being a Christian, of knowing our eternity is in His hands! If we have nothing else in our day to be grateful for, cheerful about, smiling over, we should at least be joyful for our eternal salvation!

I wish all of you a JOY filled day!

Yahtzee

He plays like he lives. Like a 12 1/2 year old boy. Which makes me smile.

LM has always been mature for his age. His vocabulary has always exceeded that of his peers and he can often come across as pretentious. As an only child, and one of divorce, he's had more responsibilities, more expectations, more maturity required of him. And for that, I blame myself.

I saw it in his dad years ago, a man who lost a childhood and I never wanted that to happen to my own. I wouldn't say LM didn't have the opportunities to be a child, just that his environment and his abilities have pushed him into a corner where he's often more comfortable with adults than with peers.

But then we play Yahtzee.

And he leaves his common sense at the door. He rolls three sixes but will pick up the lone deuce and go for two's. He will try for an inside large straight with one roll left and genuinely act surprised when he doesn't roll the three. He never has a back up plan and more often than not will cross something off his list rather than take a one on his ones or even fill in his Chance. For all his giftedness, I tease, he can't play Yahtzee worth a darn.

He knows all of this. If I choke on my milk while I watch him throw away a small straight, he'll just laugh and say, "oops!" It doesn't bother him in the least that we don't play at all alike; my strategy formed from my dad, LM's formed from...well...nothing I can figure out. He has no plan, no back up plan, no in case none of this works out plan. He just rolls the dice and lives with the consequences.

He plays the game like a child.

And THAT is what I love most.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Saturday in Autumn

LM has a college ID.  It's a perk for attending the gifted program on WMU's campus.  It doesn't earn him fitness center privileges, nor does it get him health insurance, and I can only wish it came with a meal plan, but it does earn him the right to free passes to all athletic events.  And this weekend we took advantage.

We didn't realize at first it was Homecoming but we didn't let that deter us.  It took quite a circuitous route to get tickets but we were eventually successful and found ourselves in the bleachers, choosing seats near the band.


Sitting in the student section was an experience in and of itself.  Not knowing the fight song or the alma mater song, or why they sing a song about the Chicago Fire, we felt a little left out at times, but we quickly caught on to the little diddies the band played in between plays.  We had a great time.


The weather was perfect.  Cool when we arrived but by the end of the first quarter we were both out of our sweatshirts and basking in the sun.  We're both pink on the right sides of our faces today.


We left after the halftime band show.  After indulging in two hot dogs and a pretzel.  After witnessing more than our fair share of drunk college kids, but also participating in the mass celebration of a touchdown and a great catch.  We laughed with the band's antics and we cheered for the team.  

It was, all told, a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Together.


At the game.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Where My Heart Is

I didn't know they would gasp.  I knew I was teaching the Kinders things they had never seen before on a computer, but when I showed them how to "blow up" their screen in KidPix to start a new drawing, I didn't know they would gasp.  I'll admit, I giggled a little.   I didn't know they were unaware of screen savers and the simple joy they would get when I would tiptoe over to a "sleeping" computer to demonstrate how to jiggle the mouse to "wake it up".  

I didn't realize how impressed the First Graders would be that I could work on a computer right next to me and show it up on the big projection screen.  That alone might have won me Teacher of the Year.



I was surprised at how excited the Second Graders were to make an ABC book for the Kindergarten classes.  The enthusiasm of the teachers when I handed them their completed books was as overwhelming as the kids.  They were proud of what they created.  I was proud for them.


It's not my ideal.  I miss teaching math, giving spelling tests and talking about butterflies and synonyms.  But for now, it's a steady, albeit small paycheck and I have these little blessed moments of joy tucked into my days.  

Besides, one of the Kindergarten teachers told me that the kids are as excited about Technology Class as they are about gym.  Ranking right up there with gym?  Now that's something to be proud of!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Shhhh...

...he's cooking dinner.  It's KICK'N and he's so proud to be grilling burgers and making homemade fries and even heating up some baked beans.   He's currently getting the lettuce, onion and tomato ready, too.

Shhh.....

I'm enjoying myself.



Ahhh....KICK'N....what a wonderful way to spend a Thursday night!!