Monday, August 30, 2010

First Day of School 2010

The day was filled with lots of excitement; there were no tears but lots of traffic. The school parking lot and the road up too the school was a complete zoo!!!! There aare around 700 cars that have to make their way around the school to drop off their children... Its is quite a catastrophe but they are going to make some tweeks in order to smooth things out. I'll be doing the dropping off and Lowell will be picking up.

Reports from the day:
Chloe: In the morning, we colored a little bit and in PE we learned a new game called Blob Tag. I get to sit by my best friend. Her name is Abbi. My teacher's name is Mrs. McNett. She's nice.

Jillian: When we started, we had a morning meeting that was fun. And in the afternoon, we had a little recess and we played Octopus. My teacher's name is Mr. Pieper and he told us the rules on the first day of school.

Nathan: We made name tags and put them on. Then we went to Spanish where we played a fun game to help us remember everyone's name. We took a tour of the school and we went to lunch. My teacher's name is Mr. Yanke. He's very nice and he has a drum set in his classroom.

I am very proud of myself for how I handled the morning. No tears at all. Honestly, I didn't feel sad. Lowell was asking me how I was feeling and I didn't really know how to explain myself... He did a very good job of articulating the moment... Lowell said that because we've done a good job of appreciating our kids while they're young and because we've taken time to really be in the moments, we're not sad.. We aren't "mourning" the loss of their childhood; we're excited about the next stages. He was absolutely right. I am looking forward to all the new experiences and challenges that come with having three school-age kids... I have such a smart husband! :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Night Before

Well, its finally here. Tomorrow is the first day of school. I can hear Jillian and Chloe laying in bed right now saying "First day of school!!" from Nemo. They are very excited. Tonight we got their backpacks loaded and ready to go. They tried on their uniforms and started talking about all the fun that awaits them tomorrow! I'm really happy that they're excited.
I, on the other hand, am feeling something less than excited. I've come down with a cold and I'm not looking forward to getting up at 5:45 in the morning and attacking the morning rush... I'm sure I'll feel better about it in the morning, but right now, I just want to sleep.. And breathe. And swallow without hurting. I hate summer colds. I've been fighting this one off for about a month and its finally gotten the upper hand. I can't imagine why.. I'm just soooo busy!
Saturday the kids had a sleepover. Jillie and Chloe slept over at their friend's house and the brother of that same family came over here. Nate and Nathan both love Star Wars and were perfectly content to play with each other all evening. I hardly heard a peep out of them. The girls also had a good time. Jillie didn't cry and they both loved how the dad pulled mattresses off of the beds so that they could all 4 sleep on the floor together.
Before the sleepover, I went to church for a Toddler room volunteer meeting. Nathan went with me. I was asked to step up as a Volunteer Lead for the latest service. This means that myself and another lady will be running the service. I'm comfortable taking on this added responsibility because it doesn't require me to do any additional work during the week, only on Sunday when I'm there, serving already. I'm looking forward to the first week of three services - September 11th.
I'll be taking pictures tomorrow morning with the kids because I've taken the day off of work. Now that I've come down with something, I'm really glad that I did. Maybe after a midmorning nap, I'll be able to tackle some homework... Here's hoping!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Freedom of Speech

I'd like to be sure that I am clear -- This is not me. This is an editorial article that was published in the West Valley View, our local paper on August 27th... I bet they'll get a lot of responses from this one...
"Women Voters Created a Mess"
I, like many others, look with sadness to the so-called "celebration" of the right to vote for women. Since suffrage was passed in 1920, we have experienced six major wars and many minor ones; two major depressions, eight recessions and other downturns; multiple major riots and civil disturbances; a flood of millions of illegal immigrants that threatens to turn our country into a Third World slum; the "sexual revolution" and "feminism" that have spawned the emergence of "lesbian and gay rights"; the massive spread of atheism and denial of the existence of God; the Democratic Party assuming the role of the C0mmunist Party USA; and the first black, Muslim, Marxist president.
All of this combined with some of the crazy letters we read from women letter writers, lead me to think the date should be a cause for mourning. I will tip back a cold one and hope my campaign to repeal suffrage is successful; till then, with tongue in cheek, Probst!"
-- William Russell, Avondale AZ

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Precious Relationships

I love to be on the computer because it is my link to my social world. My social circle here in Arizona is comprised of friends that I love but never get the chance to spend time with; new relationships that are still in that not really comfortable getting-to-know-each-other phase; and those who are situation specific - such as co-workers, the ladies I volunteer with at church and those who are in my masters program. Unfortunately, this collection of "kind-of" friends doesn't frequently allow for those moments of joy and comfort that are so present when I'm with "real" friends.
Because I don't have these precious "real" friends anywhere nearby, I take advantage of the fact that most of them have blogs! I will say however, that it isn't enough. I often find myself checking blogs two or three times a day to see if they've been updated because I'm just desperate for some sort of link with these ladies that I miss. They are all precious Daughters of the King and my Sisters in Christ...
Britty is my wonderful MRE who lives in Colorado. She's beautiful, special, sooooo thoughtful and such a easy person to share life with. She's so selfless and kind and funny. She is my very best college friend!
Diggie is my little blessing from Texas. It is impossible to think of Digila without smiling. She is exuberant, friendly, understanding and just a joy to be around.
Moron is my.. well, moron!! :) from California. Moron has been my BFF since forever. She's the one who knows everything about me, knows all my stories and the one who I share all my "inside jokes" with. She is honest, practical, totally organized, goofy, beautiful, thoughtful and so special!
These ladies bless me by taking the time to share their lives on the web so that I can stay connected with them even though miles separate us.

I have other friends who have touched my life in precious ways that have not gotten on the blogging bandwagon yet... My communication with them is even more limited than with those who's lives I can read about. Stacy, Katie, Michelle, Abby, Rachel...
One reason is that when I try to call someone I haven't spoken with in an extended period of time, I begin to question whether or not we'll still have anything in common or if we'll have anything to talk about. I start to think that my life is completely boring and all I have to talk about is my children, so am I sure these people really want to hear about my kids? I suppose I should take the approach of creating a list of questions that I want to ask that person, and then call them to get information about their lives! This strategy may work... Even with a strategy in place, maintaining a relationship with the women in my life has proven to be an anxiety riddled experience.
I have no explanation for this fact. Anyone who has known me for any period of time knows that I am a very social person -- I love people and I feel lost without them. Solitary confinement would be torture for me. Left alone, I talk to myself, to the TV, the computer, the cat, the ferrets, the wall, etc...
When I have spoken to the ladies that I've lost contact with, almost universally they have expressed that they aren't good at maintaining contact either. What is it about us that we let these relationships go? I doubt that fear plays a role in their difficulty with maintaining contact as it does for me, but instead that they lose contact with friends because of the general busyness of life...
Honestly, I'm a busy woman - I have three children, a full time job, I'm a full time student and a housekeeper too. I volunteer at church every Sunday, read my Bible every day, I have class on Thursday nights until 10... I cook, clean, take care of 4 pets, pay bills, study, write papers, blog, read stories, etc....... But there is still time everyday that I take for myself. Some of my "me" time is spent driving to and from work when I listen to my radio and worship God. Some time is spent with kids: reading, talking, snugging, playing etc. But a big portion of my time is spent with the TV. I know this and I acknowledge it... On average, I'll bet I spend 1.5 hours watching TV each night... hhhmmmm...
Well, whatever the reasons, I don't want these precious relationships with these fantastic woment to be lost. I want to maintain them and even begin creating new ones. I love the people that God has brought into my life and I miss them dearly! So to you women -- you know who you are -- I love you! And if you get a chance sometime soon, call me -- I'd love to catch up! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Recent Blessings

My friend from work got in a car accident yesterday. She is okay, but understandably shook up. I praise God that no one was hurt.

We got together with some friends last night for an "End of Summer" bar-b-que. There is no better way to spend an evening than with bar-b-qued food, friends, kids swimming and lots of laughter. We swam, ate, played pool and just enjoyed each others company.

Our church that just recently moved into a new building has already outgrown our new surroundings!! We need to add another service! Isn't that fantastic?? Now we'll be attending church at 8:15, and volunteering at 10:00. There will also be an 11:45 service.

On a related note, Nathan has decided to volunteer with me in the toddler room. He has been such a blessing, making friends with the children as well as doing an AWESOME job helping clean up. He likes volunteering so much that he wants us to volunteer for the third service too. :) We'll see. Honestly, I'd like to find something that we can do as a family, but its not likely with a 5 year old.. It all comes in time, I suppose.

This week we've been to the kids' new school two nights and we'll be going back again tomorrow for Open House. The kids all found out who their teachers are going to be but they have yet to see their classrooms. Tomorrow night we'll be going into the classrooms and meeting the teachers one on one. Chloe doesn't have the same teacher that Nathan had last year and neither of them have many of the same children in their class. This will be a year of lots of new friends and all new teachers.
Three new teachers.... because my baby is starting school. Wow.
This weekend we're going to buy uniforms. I'll be sure to post pictures!

My husband made me laugh the other day. (He does most days, but this little moment I wanted to share) We were talking in the living room and he said, "Sshhh, quiet. I think I hear music.... Like a Jeep." The funny thing is that he was completely serious and didn't find the humor in his statement. I just love my husband!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Nope, not pregnant. That's what everyone thinks when they hear that word.

Nevertheless, it is the word the most accurately describes what I've been experiencing. I am craving roasted marshmallows. I want the campfire, burned on the end of a stick taste of those gooey summer delicacies.

Marshmallows, I can do. Campfire in the middle of the city however is not so easy. So, I improvised. I learned that if I turn a burner on high, stick the marshmallow to a meat thermometer and quickly touch it to the burner, it will catch on fire.

Doesn't it look delicious?????


My next door neighbors are going through the excitement of having teenagers who are entering the realm of dating... And I am looking at my future life through their days and, frankly, I'm nervous!! I have been praying for a long time that Christ decides to return soon, but now my prayers for rapture have taken on a new sense of urgency! I just want to be raptured before I deal with teenagers!!!!
I'm only partially kidding! :)
Right now my babies dream of what they're going to be when they grow up, how successful they'll be and yes, of having families. However those dreams are paired with laughing at Phineas and Ferb, watching Barbie movies and playing Roblox on the computer. They build blanket forts and practice gymnastics in their bathing suits. They chase crickets and love to jump on my bed... They're still kids. And I cherish that so much and yet I can see time slipping through my fingers.
My son still wants me to hug on him. He doesn't mind that I kiss him or tell him that I love him. However, things have begun to change... In public, he doesn't want me to call him "Bug". That's his nickname but now he's embarrassed when I call him that at church. Wow. Peer pressure already. Chloe and Jillian are still in where I can love on them unabashedly... And I am taking advantage of it!
I know that the day is coming soon when they will be embarrassed to be seen with me. I won't be able hang out with them and when I ask the question, "Who wants to come with Mom to the...", they won't jump up and down at the opportunity to have "Girl time"...
The adage says that the two most important gifts that parents can give their children is roots and wings.
I believe this.
And so I'm working each day to make my children independent and self-sufficient. I've also heard the saying that when a mother has children, it is as though her heart has grown legs and is walking around outside her body.
I also believe this.
It is a painful process to encourage these little people that I love so desperately to grow away from me.
Blessedly, I am sooo proud of the little people they are becoming. And I am so thankful that I am here to enjoy the journey with them. And that is exactly why I am not excited about how swiftly the time is passing by.
I regret every time that I don't take advantage of the time I have with them.. The times that I lose my temper, the times that I'm not engaged in their lives, the times when I feel like they're an interruption to whatever I'm doing... At night, when they're sleeping in their beds, I sit up and regret the moments that I've lost; the opportunities to pour into their lives that I missed; the chances to show them how much I love them that I won't get back... And I wish I could turn back the clock on the day. Obviously I can't, but I can work on making sure that tomorrow, I don't have as many moments to regret and more moments to remember and savor.
Moments like these... Jillian laying right outside the front door waiting to go swimming

Chloe playing "Paid Programming". Not even kidding. They are demonstrating the power of OxyClean (Shout carpet cleaner) on our stained floors!

Jillian making her penguin do the "funky, funky" dance

Nathan as Alfalfa

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


We decided to change our cell-phone carrier. We are going to have different phone numbers and so I will contact everyone with our new contact information. Please comment if you don't get my new number. We don't have a home phone and so my cell is the only way to speak with me.
I'm very excited because the new phone number comes with a new phone! Yipee!! I'm getting a Motorola I1 tomorrow but it will probably be next week before I learn how to use it! :)
I also made a new friend a couple days ago... God put me in a situation where I spent some time with a neighbor who, before this, I had only waved at. She is the mom of one of the boys on our street and I knew very little about her. By chance, I went over to see how's she was doing and ended up in her living room listening to her story. She's in pain and suffering. I was upset that I live so close to her and yet never knew what was going on behind her doors. And I was humbled that she trusted me and shared her heart with me. She is a mom trying to do her best to raise her s0n and struggling through marital issues. I'm humbled that God used me and, honestly... strangely, a little scared about becomming friends with her. I can't explain that feeling. I don't know if its fear or selfish or what it is... I want friends and I want to be connected here in AZ but I shy away from those connections at the same time. What is the matter with me???
Regardless of my own issues, I am so grateful that God placed me in the right place at the right time so that I could offer her some comfort and I pray that I am just as willing to be available the next time.

The Family Who Reads Together...

We went to the library today. Summer hours mean that the library is only open after 5 on Tuesday and Thursday. Because I have school on Thursday, Tuesday is the only day we can go. We came home with some real scores! :) Jillian got "Rabbit and the Moon", "The Pigeon has Feelings Too" and my personal favorite, "Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed". Chloe got a Magic Treehouse book as well as "The Nine Lives of Rotten Ralph" and (because she said 'It will be good for school, Mom!') "George Washington, Father of the Nation". Nathan got "High-Altitude Spy Planes", "Attack Helicopters: Apache" and "Writen in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland". These are the books that my kids choose for themselves. And I LOVE it because they want to learn!!!!
I got a couple of John Sanford novels too but I don't know if I'll be able to read them. I spend so much of my free time on the computer and when I'm reading, I try to read my Bible. I've gotten a whole lot better at reading The Word every day and honestly, on the days I don't, I really miss it. It feels like my relationship with Christ gets... distant. It really is like missing a friend - like going a few days without talking to your best friend. I never appreciated it when other Christians talked about how much they enjoy spending time in the Word until just recently. And now I don't want to spend a day without giving God a chance to talk to me through His Word!! I don't want to miss out on what He has to say to me!!
Today I read 1 Corinthians 4. This passage begins with the idea of how God is the judge; it is not for man to judge. I've read this passage before and heard it preached on... Today however something new struck me. Paul says, "I care very little if I am judged by your or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself ... It is the Lord who judges me." (4:3-4) The rest of the paragraph encourages believers to remember that whatever we've been blessed with and whatever we've achieved, we are no different from anyone else. All that we are and all that we have is a gift from Him - a merciful gift from our Almight Savior so it is impossible to boast in our own strengths and accomplishments! "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power." (verse 20) We have been given much because we are called to make a difference for Him - not with our lips, but with our lives. And through Him we have power. So thankful am I!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sickness and school time

Wow. I don't have a whole lot of experience with headaches but I certainly got initiated with them yesterday and today. I had a migraine hit hard yesterday and it hasn't gone away yet. It hurts more in the light, it hurts when I move, and my stomach is upset... And its miserable!! I'm stuck at home today - I called in sick to work which is something I HATE doing. Especially when I heard the I wasn't the only one that called in today. I can get up today and work a little but then I get so sick to my stomach that I have to lay down on the couch again. And I knew that I couldn't lay down at work. So, I'm trying to get something done because I am here at home, but I also want to rest enough to be "good to go" for work tomorrow. I'm catching up on some shows that I've DVR-ed and I'm spending a lot of time on the couch.
I learned this week that I only have two papers left in order to finish my current two classes. On the other hand, I also learned that both of these papers, (one of which is extremely long) are due on Thursday. This Thursday. Like 3 days from now Thursday. So, I'm thinking that I'm going to feel well enough to write some papers today.
My kids are not suffering from any illness whatsoever. They are creating forts out of the empty boxes that I've collected for us to pack with. Jillian's fort is in her room, Nathan's is in my room and Chloe's is in Nathan's room. Lowell is going to take a couple of days off next week to clean up the garage, go to the dump and help get things started for moving. He's going to help me do some major cleaning and I'm going to pack and get somethings organized. And I'm sure we'll be doing more purging. I love purging. :)
I put two boxes in each of the kids' rooms today and they are filling up the boxes with things they are willing to pack at this point. We only have 6 weeks until we move and since they'll be starting school on the 30th, they won't be at home very much. All three kids will be gone all day. Jillian goes from 8 to 3:30 and Nathan and Chloe from 7:30 to 4. Jillian and Chloe are really looking forward to starting school but Nathan is hesitating. He's completely interested in spending time with the computer and not with school books. And he says that he doesn't like being away from his mom and dad for all the time he's at school. In the morning he complains that he doesn't want to go to school. As soon as he gets there, however, he's completely excited to see his friends and spend time learning new things.
Lowell, I'm sure, can't wait for school to start. This will be an opportunity for him to sleep for 6 hours uninterupted for the first time in months. I won't have to worry about the kids being bored or unsupervised. We've already gone shopping for their school supplies and they aren't getting a new backpack this year. All that's left is getting uniforms for everyone. As soon as we all get uniforms, I'll take a picture of my little school-uns. :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Compliment

Chloe gave me a great compliment last night...
Most nights we read a Bible story together before bed. I ask the kids questions about the stories that we've read and make sure they're retaining the information... They take turns answering and fight over who gets to answer the hard questions. Last night we talked about Moses and the Red Sea. At the end of the story, there is a question for the kids to think about and pray about. Last night it was, "Can you think of a time your family was in trouble? How did God protect you?" Chloe's response was, I can't think of a time when I family was in trouble... So, I mentioned some times that we've had car issues or money issues or health concerns and how God has met our needs. Chloe thought for a moment and then said, "I don't notice when we have troubles." That is a fantastic compliment because it means that we're hiding our stress from our kids and insulating them from adult concerns. I want them to be free from the pressures of life until they have to be responsible for them. Right now, my kids worry about their homework and their friends. They memorize their Bible verses and they have problems with their friends. But they don't see that Mom and Dad are dealing with larger issues. Honestly, Lowell and I are not struggling -- we are very blessed and aren't being hurt by this recession nearly as badly as some of our friends and family... But during this time where there is added stress, my kids are not being affected. That was my goal, and according to Chloe - we're succeeding!!! That is fantastic! Thank you Mari!
(My nickname for Chloe is Mari because "butterfly" in Spanish is mariposa)