Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The Lord is so faithful. My mom always told me that we operate under the favor of the Lord, and while I know that to be true, time and time again it's been proven, sometimes I forget how relevant we are to the Lord. I have been worried about daycare and my work schedule and going back to work for some time now. It's not been a secret, that's for sure! I have laid awake some nights, my mind too full for sleep, and sometimes the tears wouldn't stop. So, today, it was with a heavy, yet expectant, heart that I left my babies in the care of other people and went off to work for the first time since February.

The difference between the last few weeks and this week is remarkable to me. Because last week, most of the days were bad; really bad. I felt so heavy, so down, and generally sad. This week, when I expected to be a basket case, I was strangely peaceful. More so than I have ever been at the start of a school year. In a sense, I almost felt prepared. In church a few weeks ago, our pastor (my dad) spoke on living a blessed life. That really spoke to me. In that message, there were several scripture references about blessing and how to pray for blessing. However, in my prayers to the Lord, it felt to me that about all I was able to do was cry out and tell him how badly I felt. And even that prayer seemed helpless to me because I felt like words, of all things, are my strongest ability, and I couldn't even find the words to express my desires about my children to the Lord.

Then, last week, I was able to access my work schedule online, and I found out that I was supposed to teach 2 literature reading classes, 1 journalism writing class, and 3 general writing classes. If you don't know anything about middle school writing, let me just say that it needs a lot of help, and those 4 writing classes were equl to 114 students (no to mention the 60 literature students!). So my mom and I decided that we would pray for favor. I emailed my boss, asked if I could meet with him this week when we returned to work, which is the week before school starts, the week AFTER kids had already picked up their schedules. What I really felt would be manageable for me was to have 4 reading classes, 1 journalism writing class, and 1 writing class. I felt it was a long shot, really, but I decided to ask for it, expecting that I would be relieved of 1/3 of the writing classes, but not 2/3. When I got to work, it didn't look good for me. My boss stated that there were two other teachers with difficult Language Arts loads; one of them with the exact schedule that I had. He asked if we could meet later in the day, and so during that time, I simply told the Lord the problem was his, and that I knew I was in his favor above all else. The meeting was set for 11:10. I walked in a couple of minutes before, and my boss had already begun the meeting without me. In fact, they were almost done. It was the other teacher in question, my boss, the department chairperson, and then me. As I sat down, they announced they had moved the schedule around and asked if it would be okay with me if another teacher took two of my writing classes and gave me two of her reading classes. I am sure my face gave me away, but I was able to say, "If that is what you have worked out, then it will be just fine with me." I walked out of that meeting with exactly what I asked the Lord for, and it may not seem like a big deal to many, but when you walk away from a day of work in which you have collected more than 100 3-page writing pieces or projects, and then have another 60 reading book reports to grade on top of that, it is evident just how much the Lord was working on my behalf!

To top it all off, I picked up Scarlet from her first day of daycare. A day in which her primary caregiver (the one who knew all the details) had called in sick. Not only did she take 2 naps, she took two really good naps at the correct times, and her eating and everything else was totally normal. This was my other prayer...that there would be no interruption to her and that she would be able to sleep in a completely different environment than she was used to, without trouble.

Let me remind you how faithful the Lord is. He is always on time, and as humans, we seem to forget that our lives are not our own. I was able to tell two people at work today that the Lord had answered my prayer.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Scarlet Grace

Well, she can't walk away like the boys would, so that is why she gets the pictures. Here are some recent developments (and I was playing with her hair, and she is wearing the cutest new jammies...but she would only look at her lamp)! Enjoy.

Riding the waves

To be completely and totally honest, I have been in quite a turmoil over the last week. Each August, I sink into a mini-depression. I say this not to make light of depression because I know many people struggle with it. But I know it's coming, and I know why, and I try to brace myself for it. No matter how hard I try to insulate myself, I still get very upset when I think of having to leave my kids and start working again. Summer is such a magical time for us; like the eye of a hurricane, actually. We get to do whatever we want, whenever we want, and go wherever we want. It's uncluttered, peaceful, and happy. Then, suddenly, it is as if we are thrown right into the storm part, we have to deal with routines, homework, childcare, transportation, procedures, making sure everyone gets enough sleep, scheduling EVERYTHING. It's like a balancing act, and I always feel we are on the verge of collapsing if I don't hold it together. And everyone around us still has the same expectations. The weekends during the school year, I feel, are mine. I don't want to be obligated to go to functions and share my kids with anyone, but then, everyone feels like they should get a part of us too. It's hard to manage.

When Spencer started elementary school, it was a little easier, after I got used to the idea that I no longer had the freedom to just do what I wanted because he was in school and needed to be there. That meant on my days off, he might still have school, and I wouldn't be with him like I used to. That was difficult to navigate. Slade loves his teachers and he has friends at school. He likes routine and has always done well. I am sure when he goes to kindergarten it will be the same kind of adjustment I experienced with Spencer. Right now, though, he is still very much a little boy.

Now, I have sweet Scarlet, and while I thought 6 months was a long time; it's really not. It has gone by so quickly, and I am not ready. So not ready. Last week, we visited the daycare three times. I think it would be really unfair of me to send my little kids there with no previous exposure. I do my best to take everything they need, meet and know the caregivers, ask all the questions I need to, fill out all my forms, etc. BEFORE the first week they are supposed to attend. Stefan, ever positive, repeats the mantra, "They will be okay. We have done this before." But it doesn't help. It doesn't help at all. In that place where my heart meets my stomach, I feel sick, like someone is just twisting the knife in. I have shed countless tears, and I know that many people have it much rougher than I. But I am not them, and I don't live their life, and this is my reality, and I am really struggling this time in a way that I don't think I can accurately convey and that most people don't understand. For sure, there is the guilt; always the guilt. But then, I feel like I have cheated my daughter and myself. My boys never had to go to daycare until they were 2 and 1, respectively. They stayed at home, slept in their own bed until they wanted to get up, had a set schedule, took good naps. Granted, they weren't with me, but they were with people who loved them. Now, I have this beautiful 6-month old little girl, and I have to let someone else hold her, and feed her, change her, calm her down, see her instant smile when standing over her. It's too much to bear, really, and I feel miserable, unsettled, and generally distraught. Plus, I don't really LOVE my job. It's okay, the people are average, it's a paycheck, the schedule is better than a 9-5, but it's a lot of stress, too, and some of what I do seems pointless at times. So, I don't know if I am just miserable or if it's because I shouldn't be leaving her at that specific place, but nothing better has turned up, there is only a week to go, and my unending prayer is that the Lord will take this situation and make it at least okay. I know she won't remember it, but I will. Everyday I will.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Things I love the most

These are the three best things I have ever done or known.




Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Heartbreaking and Uplifting

You have to read this.


Does it ever end? I'll spare you the gory details, but Slade has become a regular little vomit launcher tonight on the way home from the church softball game (in our van, gross). So, one kid with stitches this week, another one with stomach issues. Let's all pray it stops there, shall we? Now I get to do extra laundry. As if I didn't have enough to do already.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My rock

I just had to post a picture of my new door holding rock, painted by my sweet friend, Sandy Law. She painted a different one for my parents a few year ago because a doorstop is just not cool. Well, we moved into our house 3 years ago, and have held our downstairs bathroom door open (when it's not in use, of course) with a stool, a bottle of lotion, a towel, and whatever is around! That is until, DUH, I asked Sandy if she could find some time to paint me a rock, too. Here is what she came up with, and I totally love it. I think she should sell them, but then maybe it wouldn't be enjoyable for her then.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Oy Vay!

So, I took my kids to Giggle Beans today. It was supposed to be a fun morning with two of my close friends and their kids. It started out okay; no big problems, just the usual kid stuff. One hour into our 3-hour playtime, Spencer was climbing on a toy - an actual toy meant for kids to climb on - and it collapsed. The poor boy came up screaming with dark, dark blood running down his lip, a bruised cheek, and two teeth knocked loose. I will spare you all the details, but the short version is that I picked him up, drove across the street to an urgent care (location, location, location!) where his lip was stiched up by a mean doctor who told him not to cry because "he would look back on it an be ashamed of himself". Needless to say, I was about to kick in his teeth! After speaking to the owner of Giggle Beans, I found out that the owner knew the toy was broken but had it out on the play floor anyway. I am not sure what to do about this exactly, but she did offer me free membership to Giggle Beans with no expiration date. I think probably I need to make an insurance claim or someting with their insurance company, but she did not let me fill out an accident report or anything. I guess that is something I will deal with tomorrow.

On a more positive note, last week was a fun one. Swimming and playing and celebrating birthdays.
Make a wish....

Summer is winding down...three more weeks until I am back to the daily grind. I can't exactly wrap my mind around it, but I know for sure I am getting stressed out about it. I can't imagine not spending the days as I please and being with my munchkins day in and day out. I already bought the school supplies for Spencer, so that is out of the way. If I wait until the last week, I feel too much pressure.
There is actual vanilla ice cream under all those sprinkles. We gave Spencer the can of sprinkles, and boy, did he sprinkle.

The princess fell asleep by the pool.
This is her diva look....
Slade braved the slide into the water and got "sunked".
That's my baby.

Making bugs!

Stefan took Spencer and Slade to the Summer Reading program at the library last week. They have been loving it, and the night Stefan took them, it was all about making bugs, so that is what they did. They came home with all sorts of creations that are hanging out and buzzing about our house. This week in the Clarkston News, who do we see? Stefan and Slade (and Spencer's elbow)! Poor Spencer...but he has made the paper twice so far, plus the school district calendar, so he's had his 15 minutes. You can see the blurb here!