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wife. mom. adjunct professor. we homeschool. i'm a little bit OCD. i love math. bright colors and geometric designs make me drool. we live with a medical rarity, and Jesus saved his life. through that, Jesus is changing us. The american dream and status quo is overrated...and sometimes just plain wrong. our lives, our family, our careers, our faith are all now filtered through a new lens-- thank you Jesus. welcome to our crazy. feel free to take some of it with you, we have plenty to go around.
It's not the load that breaks you down; it's the way you carry it.
-- Lena Horne

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.-- Jesus Christ

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just a couple....

Well, idk about you, but I am growing used to, and quite fond of, the yellow and grey here on the blog.  I think we will keep it awhile.

And I hope your jaw isn't totally on the floor dropped in awe of the fact i'm posting AGAIN...twice in one week.

I don't have anything fantastico to post about.  Just a couple photos and musings...

First of all, I'm still crazy about deals and couponing.  We needed some milk anyway the other day, so running to CVS where it was only $2.99 wasn't an unreasonable request in this household. BUT I got up fast and headed over there pronto when I heard about these hair straighteners!  Don't get too fired up, they are probably all gone by now...but maybe not?? These straighteners (of which, admittedly, I need neither) are regular $30-$35ish.  They are on unmarked clearance for 75% off (so around $7-$8).  PLUS last week at CVS if you bought a conair product, you got a $5 printout (called an Extra Care Buck-- it's like credit to spend at CVS).  So if $7ish wasn't good enough on those straighteners, it was really like I paid $7, got $5 back, so one miiiight say I got them for $2.  So that's insane. I paid around $19 total for these 3 items and got back $10 in Extra Care Bucks (ECBs).  I'd say not too shabby (kinda like spending $9 for all of that).  I love love love shopping this way- we get so much, for so little!
What else... I made some coasters.  And a cute minnie mouse pillowcase dress for a big sister/little sister duo....

And... my kids are really cute.
And...Brandon's sister got married, Ridge was enamored with the idea of her wedding dress, and then he spilled water all over his wedding attire and got to boogie down semi-naked style.

He also loved the cake at the rehearsal dinner (and at the wedding...and any cake, anytime, anywhere...)....cousin Noah didn't waste time putting away the grub, either....and then they all posed on the steps for a picture (okay that was before the cake...because after the cake, Ridge looked like the ABOVE picture as well)

Aren't they all so cute?  Yes. Yes they are.

So there were a couple photos. :) Just a couple.

And here is a musing for you, if you will.  I've been reading Steven Furtick's book "Sun Stand Still"  I'm a horrible reader since I have excuse or anything, I just mean I don't take/make time to read enough now that I have children. I seriously have been reading this book for probably...oh...6 months?  AWFUL of me!  But it's really good.  And I only have like 5 more pages.  Or 10.  Or is it chapters?  no no no-- pages. :)

Here is my most recent favorite excerpt:
"If all God wanted to do was get right to the happy ending, you'd be in heaven by now.  If his only intention were to make your dreams come true, he'd snap his fingers and your vision would appear out of thin air.  But that's not all God wants.  And deep down, it's not really all you want either.  You want to learn to walk by faith, not by sight.  And you can't learn that without walking through periods of complete darkness.  The apprehension and gut-level fear you'll feel in these stages may make you turn back and pursue something safer....Or you can opt for something better.  You can embrace the process with audacious faith.  Because every big dream has small beginnings.  Between the promise and the payoff, there's always a process. And that process is a breeding ground of faith.  That process has the potential to draw you closer to Jesus than you've ever been before.......The.Process.Is.The.Point."-- Steven Furtick (except I added some emphasis right there at the end...I think my process allows me that creative entitlement).

So. Yeah. Do I even need to say anything else? No. But because by now you obviously know I can blab my mouth forever, I will.  We've gone through quite a process.  So have many, if not all of you. Sure our stories are different.  But Bdawg and I were talking the other night on the way to my mom and dad's for dinner (to which my oldest child said, "Golly you guys have talked the WHOLE way here.  Can you just STOP talking?"-- you know, because we get to have a conversation so often and all. :)  Anyway, we were talking about how weird it is now.  How a year ago, our life was totally different, and how we still feel like we are on rubber legs.  I said I don't know if things ever will really feel normal again. I don't know if they ever CAN.  I have NO idea how we would EVER go back to the dark time we have lived through.  I don't know if I could make it.  I don't know if I could do it again. Although, deep down, I know you are always given the grace to withstand much more than you think you can.  But while dark times (can) cause us to question God, pray with a vengeance, be angry, be afraid, rise up in faith, cry until we literally have no tears it seems....they often are exited with a new sense of calm.  A new sense of purpose.  And while your faith may be strengthened, and your awe of the hand of God may be new and just too big for you to wrap your brain may also still feel afraid.  And still question why.  and still have shaky legs because what was normal before can never even BE again because of what HAS been SINCE then.  You have been shaped.  You have been held.  You have been loved.  But you have also been scarred.  And scars don't just disappear...they are reminders of the discomfort we have felt at one time.  Like the scar on my knee- I know it's from throwing a fit and rolling over onto the scissors in fourth grade when my mom wouldn't help me on a project bc I was being a brat.  And the scar on my chin, I got that one from being an idiot and twisting my bike's handlebars back and forth and i fell right onto the asphalt sister had all the courtesy in the world to just laugh at me, and all i was worried about was if I looked ugly or not.  I remember all the blood and i remember seeing the stitches' thread being pulled/laced whatever through my chin....i remember busting the stitches open again on the playground, but thankfully no major catastrophe resulted from that.  I have a scar on my ankle from being out at the farm with my Nana...she told me to crawl through this barbed wire fence, and I said I couldn't fit...she did it, so she assumed I could. I'm not athletic or coordinated in the least sense of the word.  So, I ripped open my ankle on the wire.  She said it'd be fine.  And it was, but there was a lot of blood and there's a nice big ol' scar there now.  Stretchmarks.  Reminders of the lives that have lived inside of me, and the pieces of my heart that now walk around my house every day.  Scars.  They are reminders.  They are tough.  They can be ugly.  But they are earned.  Accidentally, sometimes with no warning.  Sometimes they aren't fair. And sometimes they hurt.  And even if it's just a little scar on a finger from where the cat scratched you at one time, it's still a tells a story...and it leaves your body different than it was before that incident.  Scars.  We definitely earned a few in this household over the last couple of years.  And I think that they have changed us.  And that's okay.  We can't be the same.  What was normal, will never be normal to us again.  I don't even REMEMBER what our life was like when things were "normal."  I didn't know that'd ever be gone from us.  But it is.  And I guess I thought we'd always get it back one day...but we won't.  Because even if on the surface everything were identical- if I were back to full time work, if my kids were in school/daycare...if Ridge never needed blood and could take antibiotics when he was sick, etc....even if we had EVERYTHING we had before, we still have these scars from the road we've been on.  And that changes your perspective.  Some things matter more now, and some things matter so much less.

Scars....we all have them.  At least a couple.  They are there for a reason...whether we choose to remember the story they tell and do something about it or ignore them and try to live in spite of them...well, that's our decision.  For me, they are too deep to ignore.  I know we will adjust to a normal again, but it won't ever be like before.  And that's okay.  Because the process...that same process that gives you those's the point.

Friday, August 19, 2011

what? WHAAAAT?!?!?! yes. it's fine.

Howdy, world. 

First thing's first.  I wanted to change the background of the blog. Somehow, when messing with all that, I messed some stuff up. So welcome to the new view-- I hope you like it and can navigate okay, because I'm way too exhausted to try to figure out exaaaaactly how to put it back the way it was.  It's pretty close, though, so most of you should be fine. :) 

Any of you more tech savvy people out there know much about tumblr?  I have half a mind to switch over to blogging that way, since I have this account and I'm semi-hooked on I speaking english?  To some of you, no.  :) That's okay too.  But I only have half a mind to switch because I don't understand how it works with the other half of my mind.  So...geniuses who read this- inform me, please.

What else, what else...oh, I know.  Two new things.  If my eyes stay open long enough to type them (and it's only 2:50 PM...but lately, I find myself getting up around 7 or 730 AM one day, but not going to bed until around 1am, which puts me already into the next day.  I need to get more sleep_....ANYWAY.

1. I start my new job Monday!   I will be teaching night classes at OCCC (and a Saturday class because I'm sort of insane).  I am really excited. The math department is so nice-- meaning the people...but the department itself/it's features are also incredibly nice!  I am super excited.  The enrollment is incredibly high and over half of their classes, especially the math classes at the level I will be teaching, are covered by adjunct professors.  We had new adjunct training this week and the VP of Academic Affairs was fantastic and letting us know how appreciated the adjunct faculty is.  Anyway, it didn't take long for me to realize I was in a very, very good place!  I have met both of my partners (we team teach the courses I am working in....goes a little something like this: each class session, we have FOUR small classes: a large group, a computer lab time, a small group, and another large group session. In large groups, lectures are given.  I will lecture sometimes -- I will have my students as well as my partner's students in there.  The times I do not lecture, my partner will.  During small group/computer, I will only have MY students, and we will work on homework and some visual applications to the day's concepts). I am totally excited.  Overwhelmed.  But excited.  Both of my partners are fantastic, and are going to be wonderful to work with.

2. I bought school supplies.  And a backpack.  And new clothes. For my 5 year old. To go to Kindergarten.  We were all geared up for it.  Or at least prepared.  But neither Brandon or I felt right about it.  Not because we think school is bad or wrong or whatever, because that's asinine.  And not because we aren't ready for S to be a big kid- although who is ready for that kind of stuff?  But that had nothing to do with it...because he's a big kid no matter where I put him.  But something just wasn't right about it. And you can't just ignore those promptings in  your spirit.  So we piddled around about whether we were just going to go ahead and send him to school, where we knew he'd learn a lot and have fun and do just fine (even though he does know all of the math and reading/writing PASS skills already)....or if we'd just keep him home, and reinforce what we learned last year, as well as throw in the social studies/science/music/PE (if you know me, you are probably laughing at that one)/health and safety type subject areas.  I'm not a procrastinator.  But it wasn't until the day before school started that we actually decided to keep Sawyer home.  Which meant, I had all my resources from LAST year, but zero for THIS year.  So...we loaded up and went to Mardel and bought what we could decide on for sure, and I ordered the rest on line. So initially we will be winging it.  More details in a bit, but let's all stop and take a knee for a second. :)  Here's what you can pray for us this year, if you want something to pray for us about other than Ridge (please, keep praying for him! He's doing fantastic!) Pray that I will remember that even though Sawyer is just like me, he is also just like his dad.  He would rather learn by being told and just sit there and read/write/reproduce something (ME) than by having fun/playing a game/etc. (BDAWG).  This sounds fabulous, because I can easily find papers to go over/help him do...but as a teacher, I want to DO activities with him, and his brain isn't geared as much that way as his daddy's is. HOWEVER.  No rushing that kid.  What should take a few minutes, takes 30 minutes.  He just isn't in a hurry.  THAT is his'll get done when it gets done.  And I can appreciate that attitude, it is the total opposite of me.  But it makes it difficult trying to accomplish daily goals in school if you want to take forever on a short project.  And I'm a finisher. I always have too many irons in the fire. It's just how I am.  So anyway, project meet in the middle (except really I will walk farther...willingly) is underway.

I have oodles of things I want to say about this decision to homeschool, because I know what some people say (or don't) and think about people who decide to school from home.  But I will just keep it at this: this is what we-- BDawg and myself-- felt right about.  I didn't want to send my child to school just because culturally that is what we "do" when they are 5 years old.  That's a stupid reason to do something.  What started out as a "have to" in our brains because of avoiding illness (which we still would like to do) has grown into a "want to."  I'm home anyway.  My child is my responsibility.  If I were working, I wouldn't even think about this as an option- I'd send him straight to Kindergarten because that's what people do.  But I have time and freedom to sit back and think about what do we really want to do?  Do I want to commit to this? Because it IS a commitment.  I am responsible for making sure my child learns as much (and even MORE than) what he'd learn in public school (and we have FANTASTIC public schools.  please do not misconstrue what I am saying...this is a FAN of public schools here).  I have to read over the PASS skills. I have to make sure I have all the curriculum/resources/activities I need. I have to be the one to make sure my child is interacting with others (he will be- at church. at birthday parties. at regularly scheduled homeschool craft times at Chick Fil A).  Keeping him home isn't a ticket to just not have to take him to school, or to have a helper around the house.  It is a responsibility that I never knew I wanted.  And it is not easy for me.  It is a challenge.  It is going to take practice.  My laundry room is going to become my best friend for awhile-- it is where I go to breathe some big time prayers when coloring an elephant's trunk takes S as long as it would take me to prove the Theory of Relativity (ok...exaggeration...yes).  But we will get over the initial newness and have a terrific year, if I have anything to do with  it.   And I will.
So that's a teeeeeeny glimpse of our brains at work-- I'm sure I'll share more at another time.  Because you asked, and all. :)

Hope all of those who started a new school year-- teachers/students/administrators/parents of little ones who just started school-- are enjoying it so far (or I hope you DO enjoy it if you're lucky enough to still be enjoying a bit of summer break!). 

Here's to learning something new. Everyday.   And living a life abundant. Everyday.  And freedom in Christ. Everyday.  Cheers!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

everything's late.

I haven't blogged in like two months! Terrible, terrible.  So I'm late on the blogging front.  Two years after Ridge was born (i.e. this summer) we took a vacation to Dallas (we didn't want to venture toooooo far yet).  So that was late-- only because other circumstances prevented us from vacationing.  I can't seem to get anything accomplished around the house or anywhere else, so that's ALL late. 

So I had to start somewhere.  First we went on the vacation. Now I'll get a blog post finished.  Then I can feel like I'm a super accomplished rockstar human being.

Okay. Dallas was super fun. We started out our trip with a stop over at Turner Falls to split the driving up just a bit.

From there, we headed to the Great Wolf Lodge, where fun was had by all of us!

From the GWL we headed to another hotel after two days/one night there ($$$!!!!)

At that hotel, the boys enjoyed snuggling in the same bed with their new GWL stuffed animals...chasing each other up and down the hall....and from there, we left for a day of shopping at Grapevine Mills  (including lunch at the Rainforest Cafe), followed by a day of shopping at Cabelas and an evening of a Rangers game where not only did they win, but the boys (all 3 of them!) were able to get an autograph from the Rangers coach.  It was fun. And hot.

On our last day in Dallas, we met dear friends for lunch and a good time was had by all (including our  bellies!)

The end!  We had a great trip, the boys did well, and it was so wonderful feeling like we could go and do those things-- we have not been able to, or felt able to, in two years!

And in addition to all of that-- five weeks ago, Ridge had a lab, his hgb was good: 11.5.  Two weeks later, it was even better (no transfusion) 11.8.  This week, he hasn't had a lab, but I checked his hemoglobin-- 12.7!!!  We are so thankful that he is continuing to do so well (even if he is covered in a nasty rash bc he's had Fifth's Disease...again.  and even if he is fighting an awful lot with his brother, which is why I will  be saying TTYL for now!)

Everyone have a great day!