Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Love Club

There are dreams and ideas that my children have that are so sweet. I even entertain them for a while in my mind, even trying to figure out for to make them a reality. Today, Sadie went to see Kit Kitridge (I have no idea how to spell that), the American Girl movie. My mom took her and Gray. Ethan was invited to go as well, but upon hearing the words "American Girl" was immediately turned off. Come to find out, the movie was good for girls and boys and my mom was convinced Ethan would have thoroughly loved it, too. Sadie has not really stopped talking about the movie - even reenacting several scenes in WalMart tonight to the amusement of other customers. However, her biggest and most sincere idea is to start a club (must have been in the movie). She was so clear in her directives and details that I got out the camcorder and recorded her. Priceless. After I recorded this very serious dialogue and turned the camera off, and she asked me when I was going to put it on the internet. My response: "What????" Sadie: You know, so everyone will know and come! Sweet.

Here are the basic details of the club: The name is the Love Club. There will be an activity once a week, like going on a hike and girls can bring their bugs (interesting little detail here). People can bring a snack though sometimes she will have a snack. The club will learn about God and His creation and about loving others. There was something about some sort of promise and a bowl of water which wasn't too clear (possibly from the movie, too).

Basically, it sounded like Daisies which I am supposed to help co-lead this year. However, recent developments with Girl Scout national may put a damper on these plans. They have developed a new program for the Girl Scouts and aligned themselves with a major new age group that focuses on "breaking the roles that are traditionally given to girls by youth groups, religious organizations and parents." Say what? They are a branch of some Enlightened Messengers or something like that. I did read up on it, but I do not have direct quotes. Bascially, another attack on our beliefs. Our church is meeting this week to make a decision on what direction to take on this. So, pray, please for guidance.

If this does not go forward, does anyone know how I can make this work for my Sadie. She was so sincere, excited and interested!!! Am I crazy?!?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A short story or essay or something in progress

It was unclear how she got there. Standing in the middle of a dirt road, she soaked in her surroundings. The tattered road was littered with ruts and divots. Worn from the elements and those going before her, the road seemed to have no end. Straining to see what was ahead, she could only make out the outline of trees at the horizon. The summer haze gave them a fuzzy, gray-ish hue. Little dust clouds briefly surrounded her feet as she walked, slowly to the horizon. She was not clear where she was going. She was empty, isolated.

"Caw. Caw," a black crow cracked the silence. Landing in the wasteland which bordered each side of the road, the crow picked at a few kernels of corn left in the field. The stalks which once stood tall, bursting with ears of goodness now lay broken and crushed, rotting away in the summer heat. A sudden breeze brought her a second of relief, her long skirt billowing around her. She strained to hear a noise, anything familiar. Far away, the agonizing screeching of a dog in distress pierced her heart. She could feel the adrenaline coursing through her veins, her heart began to race. Her eyes darted left and right. She quickly turned around only to see nothing.

As her heart began to slow, her focus was once again on the crow. She watched him take quick little steps and tight, sharp jabs at the leftover corn. The few kernels her eyes discerned were shriveled and dry. It made her own mouth feel parched. She felt a unlikely connection with the crow. The size of the crow gave evidence to a life once full of sustenance. Her own life was once seemingly simple, her circumstances full of ease, steadiness and predictability.

The crow continued to peck and jab at the decaying fields. Her heavy heart sank as she recognized his desperation. Her own search for goodness, for nourishment for her aching soul had been unavailing. Tiny fragments of Him provided a temporary salve which was quickly washed away by her tears. She was awash in emotions that flowed freely and ruled her life. Her frenzied state left her unable to feel His goodness. It left her in barren lands. Yet, like the crow, she continued to peck in hopes of once again, having her soul filled.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Heavy, man, heavy

Disconnected. That is how I feel. Very detached from myself. My head has been spinning this week as I try to focus on Him and not on my circumstance. Multiple health issues (increased back pain, mammogram and MRI annual, and some irregular cycles) have been Satan's point of attack. All roads lead to cancer, right? Will that plague me the rest of my life like a pack of dogs nipping at my heels as I walk down my path? Stress from our business is heavy, leaving me with vice-gripping headaches and restless, fitful nights. I am not settled. I am not at peace.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Comments by Sadie

One of her self-created, oft used word choices: later ago

Example: Mommy, later ago I saw a cricket in the grass. No, Mom, you said later ago that you would get me some hot chocolate.

I have attempted to correct this phrasing to "a while ago," or just to eliminate it altogether. Not happening.

Conversation a couple of days ago:
Sadie: When I grow up I want to be a veterinarian, you know, because I like to take care of things. Oh, and I want to be a missionary.
Me: Ok.
Sadie: Mom, can you be both - a missionary and a know, a missionarian?
Me: Sure. giggle.

After several years of basic cable, we have reupped to extended cable. And, although Jay built a homemade HD television antenna out of closet racking, a broom stick and some other scraps from his workroom, Time Warner brings it in a little more consistently. Within all these channel choices lie the good, bad and the ugly - mostly the latter two. However, one Sadie has discovered is more on the good side: FitTV. After experiencing sheer delight when viewing the programming, she scavenged around in the hall closet to locate her nap mat from kindergarten. Buddy, she was in business. As I have noted in a previous entry, Sadie is not quite the dancer. She is extremely athletic, but a little awkward. So, as I peered into the living room to watch, there she was, copying the instructor who was performing lunges. Lily joined in for a little while, but soon puttered out. I heard the instructor say, "Are your muscles burning?" Sadie responded out loud, "OH YEAH, I can feel it!" Just cracked me up! She "worked out" a little while longer and then proceeded to show me how much her muscles had grown from that bit of exercise. Wonder Woman!

Conjunction, Conjunction, What's Your Function

Thought of many of you over the last few weeks. I bought the entire collection of School House Rock songs on a two disc collection at Circuit City for $14.00. I couldn't resist the impulse buy. I felt a little justified since I was dragged there to look at flat screens for Jay - subsequently bought online and not at a box store. No need to compare prices of the two items so I was relieved of my guilt.

It has been a blast reliving the songs with my children who can't believe I know most of the words to the songs on the disc. They don't remember how Saturday morning was the only time we had cartoons. Around noon, American Bandstand and ABC's Wide World of Sports came on, signaling that our time was over. We had to wait a week to see "our shows" again. No Nickelodeon, No Disney (except the occasional flick that came on Sunday nights), No Noggin or whatever else is on these days. School House Rock...well, it ROCKED, right?!?!?

My favorites were and still are Interjections and Planet Janet. LOVED THEM. I am also really digging Adjectives. Sadie loves Conjunction Function and Ethan loves Adjectives. It has a great function where you can listen by category or shuffle them all. For some reason we tend to stick with Grammar Rock. Need to broaden what categories we are choosing on the disc.

As I do occasionally, here is my question for the day: What School House Rock songs were your favorite? Or which ones do you remember the most?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Life, in general

Did I make a mistake last night? Should you ever withhold kisses from your children? I have been toying with guilt this morning. Ethan is entering what I can only surmise as the pre-teen years or the marketers neologism - a tween? Could that really be at age 8? There is this pervasive attitude of questioning me, rarely taking responsibility of his poor behavioral choices and steadfastness in justifying his actions. I am sad, because Ethan has always been a people pleaser, very tender-hearted and well, somewhat reliable. I know my limits as his mother. Now it is Jay's turn to help mold Ethan into a man.

Last night, he was making his own choices which were contrary to ones his dad would have him make. Ethan was sent to his room. I came upstairs a little while later to check on his school uniform stock for next year. His declaration that his dad was, "mean," and insistence that he had not done anything wrong was disheartening to hear. My response to him was not well received and when I went to tuck him for the night with a kiss, was told, "I don't want one." So, I said, ok and walked out his door. The howling, crying and begging that began at that point was pretty pitiful, but I felt that he needed to know that what he says matters. The impact of his choice needed to have consequences, so therefore, I never went back into his room. Actually, now that I type it out, I am good. No more guilt. I did the right thing.

Sadie is up to her usual frolics. Seriously, where does she come up with these things. A couple of days ago, we had a very strong downpour. No thunder or lightening, but just heavy, heavy rain and wind. It was around dinner time and we were at the table eating it and watching it come down in sheets. However, water was spilling over the gutters which didn't bode well. Jay ran upstairs with a pole to clear out whatever was clogging up the gutter. I walked up to see if I could lend a hand (really just being nosey). As I peered into the gutter which ran under Sadie's window, I see what was clogging the gutter - pencils. Yes, you can say it with me, "What?" Sadie had opened her window, thrown pencils out, and then closed and locked her window. Oh, and I also saw a night light light bulb floating down as well. Punishment was swift and painful - administered by Jay.

There comes a point when you just give up on trying to understand what goes on in a person's mind. While most of us live our lives thinking, "what if..." or "what would happen if...," she chooses to actually act it out to realize the outcome. Keep praying for us...

Lil' Bill (Lily) is working her independence. My attempts to draw out the sweetness I know is underneath that little 3, almost 4, year old demeanor has seen little success. But I persevere. At least she is obsessed with doing "summer work." This amounts to practicing her writing, school workbooks, etc. She loves it.

As for me, I am lonely these days. My schedule is super busy, but yet, I am alone. Laughter is sparse and I am a little perplexed and saddened. I am sure that the complexities of my life at the moment (intensity of the new business, recovery and soreness from surgery, challenges of motherhood and the tenuous balancing act of it all) are at the root of it. Nevertheless, I need my friends, I need a day or a night filled with ridiculous craziness. My great friend, Amy, made her first DVD of photos and music. She sent me (and I am sure several of you) a copy of it - entitled, "girlfriends." Knowing it was filled with pictures of past girls' nights out and scrapbook trips which included Ansley and Robin (now living in TN), I was sure I would spend much of my viewing time crying. Contrary to this, I spent most of the time smiling, giggling at times. I miss those times and wonder why they are not still happening. Where are you, my friends? Isn't it time to come together?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Long time, no see

No sooner than I wished for my life to get back to "normal," I find myself wishing for it to slow down. Never content, I am. What a frantic pace our lives have become in the last few weeks. Crazy! My body is not ready to keep up with the pace and I find my pain and exhaustion level quite high at the end of the day. PT is going well and I learn new tidbits about my body every time I go. My right leg is still experiencing weakness, my foot has dropped a little because of the nerve damage and I have weakness in my rotator muscles in my hip. I love getting the warm and even the icy cold compresses and the little bit of very light touch massage I got today. And, finally, I have terrible posture.

I am officially a "working girl." Not in the street sense, but with RaRa. Jay was out of the office on Monday and Tuesday traveling and I was left holding down the hatches. I was so completely out of my element. Seriously, where has my brain gone? I was nearly in tears when trying to get an international shipment out and I received some goods as a lot when they should have been serial numbered. Does that make any sense to anyone? It still doesn't to me. I was in serious pain after that long in a chair - despite trying to take breaks. Killed me. Thankfully, I still have some good meds and doped myself up pretty good. Woke up feeling much, much better on Wednesday.

In time, I am sure all this work business will come together, but I wonder how I did my pre-children jobs. I have lost some brain cells somewhere...anyone know where they could be?

I am still doing this strange thing where I am thinking one word and a completely different word comes out of my mouth. I remember Ansley talking about the same thing when she had whole brain radiation, but that doesn't apply here. However, it does make me think this is related to my surgery. It is past the funny stage and is becoming more annoying. Also, to anyone with surgery experience - Can it also cause monthly bills (you know, Aunt Flo) to come in strange patterns as well? I am too young for the big change, right?

Kids are slowly getting back in shape. It has been a couple of good days, with just a couple of exceptions. L is a piece of work when she is tired. Naps and normal bedtimes are essential for her. E and S have been at tennis camp in the mornings this week. Their instructor said that E is very consistent. S is very, very good - a natural athlete...when she is focused. They allow her to take more breaks than the other kids because she is a couple of years younger than the rest. On her self-imposed breaks, she hunts for spiders, climbs trees and collects tennis balls.

I have been out of the loop...Here is what I would like to know:
Robin - How was Guatemala?
Beth - How was Guatemala? (different trip, same purpose)
Amy - Can you come over Monday and help me with my project?
Trish - How was your surgery?
Angela - Any news on the editing job?
Jennifer - Do you feel some peace?
Nena - How is the nursery coming along?
Alisa - How are the scrapbook supplies I sent? How is Zeb?

If I have missed someone who might be lurking out there, can you give me a shout out?