Friday, August 22, 2008

And They're Off!

After much anticipation, the school year has officially started. (Yea!!!!) Maggie was so excited about the first day of school that when her alarm went off at 7:00 and we went in to get her up, she was getting ready, saying, "I woke up at 6:18!" The girls got ready in record time, and then were so insistent that we go to the bus stop that we did - almost 15 minutes early. Eventually other kids did show up - there's at least 10 that get on at this stop - the only one for our subdivision.

When the girls came home Maggie declared her first day "Great!" and Gracie said it was "Good, except for the girl that hit me in the face on the bus." Not sure what happened there - although it seemed to be an accident, so I'm not too worried. Maggie had homework from the first day, but Gracie doesn't yet. She seemed disappointed at first, but when I suggested she could do a page in her math packet from the summer, she decided she was happy to not do homework.

As for what I did on the first day of school - well, Jerry had taken off to be with me, so he helped me by making the girls lunches. Maggie asked for a turkey sandwich for the first time ever in her lunch, and when she got home she declared it the "best sandwich ever!" so now Jerry has been instructed to make a turkey sandwich every day for her before he leaves for work. It's tough being the best! We all went together to the bus stop, then Jerry and I went to the school to make sure that everyone found where they were supposed to go. After that, he and I went to Whataburger for breakfast, and then came home and took the traditional first-day-of-school nap and just piddled around the house doing this and that. Once the girls got home we did homework and headed off to Wednesday night church for the kids. Jerry and I dropped them off and went to Quizno's for a sandwich. Then it was time for baths and bedtime. And so my birthday day passed, uneventful and relaxing.

Our den is empty. I sold all the furniture on Craigslist on Monday, and the last item was picked up yesterday. We've been looking at furniture, but haven't really been happy with what we've found. Now though, as we sit on the floor watching TV, I think it's time to get serious about finding something. Now I feel motivated to action.

Well, things have dried out around town, so today is errand day. I also have to make homemade ice cream for a churn-off with our Sunday School Department tomorrow. I'm going to make Aunt Ellogene's famous ice cream - hopefully I won't scramble the eggs! I'm also going to make a backup quart of orange sherbet just in case. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Yesterday was a big, big day.

The girls and I got up and went to church by ourselves yesterday, since Jerry's disaster recovery testing kept him at work until 4 AM last night. It was promotion Sunday, so we were eager to see how Gracie did staying in the first grade class while her classmates moved on, so we were prepared that it was going to be a big day for the girls. As usual, we had no idea.

During the beginning of the service there was a baptism, of a couple that had been brought to Christ through the church's door-to-door visitation program. The girls are always interested when someone gets "dipped," as Gracie calls it, and it has lead many times to conversations about interesting topics that always challenge me to put my beliefs into words. Anyway, while the praise team was singing the offertory I glanced over to see Maggie playing with her dolls - holding their hand up to their noses and leaning them backwards - baptizing them! It was very cute.

Well, at the end of the service, during the invitation, she tugged on my hand and when I leaned over, expecting to hear the usual, "I'm thirsty!" or "When is this over?" Instead I heard, "I want to be baptized."


Well, I sat down and asked her a few questions, and she decided she wanted to talk to our pastor, and one bizarre part of me wanted to tell her to wait until next week so her daddy could be here, but um. . . HELLO! If the Holy Spirit is prodding her, do I really want to get in the way? We headed down the aisle and our pastor asked her a few questions. Then he asked me how I felt about this decision. I told him that I was happy that she wanted to be baptized, but I wasn't absolutely sure that she realized everything it meant. We sat down on the front pew and filled out a card and she got introduced although she was very camera shy when she realized that she was going to be on the big screens around the sanctuary - go figure. After we were dismissed we headed to a room where they have folks that are specially trained to help kids with decisions, picking up Gracie along the way. When we got to the room and Gracie found out that this is where you learned about 'dipping,' she wanted to talk to someone too, so both girls ended up making decisions for Christ that the counselors felt were understood and genuine. We got home and spread the news - Daddy was so sad he missed it, but of course he'll be there for the actual baptizing!

You know, this is something I have been praying for continually, and constantly trying to plant seeds for, and nurture along, but I am having the hardest time with this. Part of me wonders why I can't be happy and excited and just enjoy this moment. I think it may have to do with the fact that I was out of college before I truly accepted Christ. I wonder how, as a child, the girls can possibly understand the enormity of a decision like this. But then I look at how Christ wants us to have a child-like faith and I realize, they don't have to understand it in its entirety. No one does at first, really. I think about how gracious God has been to me, revealing things to me in doses that I could handle. If I had to realize at the beginning, all the things I've learned in the last 10 years of my walk, I totally could not have handled it. Yes, God is good. And if I'll surrender to His will, I'll see even more of that goodness - for me, and for my girls - no matter what happens. When I get to heaven, I'll see how everything works for good - and my girls will be there with me. Praise God!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Drama at Bedtime

Well, tonight we were heading steadily for an 8:30 bedtime for the third night in a row (we are trying to be good and get back on schedule for the start of school next week) when we encountered high drama.

During the girls bath the phone had rung, and so while the girls were brushing their teeth, I went to retrieve the message from the voice mail. Just as I punched in the password and the message began, hysterical screaming erupted from the bathroom. Maggie rushed into the office, clearly upset and began trying to tell me what had happened, but she was so upset I couldn't make heads or tails of it. I rushed to the bathroom, where Gracie was crying her "really, really hurt" cry and saw blobs of blue toothpaste, red blood, and tears everywhere. Gracie is yelling, "My tooth!" A quick glance in her mouth verifies that it was a baby tooth, and I start to reassure them that everything is okay.

"BUT IT HURT!" Is Gracie's to-the-point argument. And I'm sure it did, as a quick inspection showed that there was still a bit of a root on that tooth. I give her a glass of water and tell her to swish and spit while I go retrieve a bit of gauze for her to bite down on to stop the bleeding. Now that it is apparent that Gracie is going to be okay, Maggie is now more upset than ever. "It's all my fault! I shouldn't have done it! I hurt my sister!" she sobs. Since Gracie's mouth is full of gauze, I listen to Maggie's side of the story, then Gracie's. What I can manage to figure out is that as the girls were brushing their teeth, Gracie saw that Maggie's nightgown was unfastened at the neck, and she began to make a circle with her finger to indicate that Maggie should turn around so she could fasten it. Maggie mistook the waving for a kung fu move and began defensive maneuvers. Somewhere in there, the toothbrush in Gracie's mouth got hit (story gets rather fuzzy on details here) and the tooth popped out. Whew!

In order to get everyone calmed down, we read a story in Mommy's bed, shooting our 8:30 bedtime out of the water. Oh well, you do what you've got to do. I can't help but smiling when I see Gracie's new smile. She had such tiny teeth to begin with, and now there's this huge gap, right in time for fall school pictures. And of course, there's not a bit of the permanent one showing yet. Here's a preview!
Good night!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tempting Fate

Well, the girls are in Texas, learning all sorts of life lessons with my Dad and Terri and their goats. They called this morning to let me know some of the baby goats were sick, and one of them had died. I was surprised at how calmly Maggie told me all of this, since she is so tender-hearted that she would usually cry if an inchworm got stepped on.

I was afraid that we might have to cancel this trip after Gracie got a stomach bug and I spent the wee hours of Saturday morning cleaning sheets. It was my own fault though - notice in the last post what I said I was grateful for? I should know by now never, never, never to utter any words like those, much less write them down! By Sunday morning though, everyone was eager to get on the road, so off they went. Now I just have to remember what to do with myself when their not here - it's been awhile. It's good practice for when school starts!

By the way, we did tell Gracie the other night that she would be going to first grade again next year. We approached it as something we had discussed with her teachers and principal (which we had) and we all thought that since she was one of the youngest and smallest in the class, she needed a little bit more practice at reading and holding her pencil correctly (a real challenge for her) before she went to the second grade. We then held our breath and waited to see what she would say.

"Great!" She exclaimed with a smile, "Who's my teacher going to be?"

So everyone can breathe a big collective sigh of relief. She doesn't seem to mind at all. . . yet.

Friday, August 1, 2008


As you know, if you read this blog, my in-laws are scheduled to arrive tonight. So, yesterday, I started cleaning the house. I had to get out my good old Flybaby manual to even remember the steps to take to cleaning the house, it's been so long since I really did a top to bottom cleaning. I started at the top, and ever so slowly, procrastinating every step of the way, managed to do everything but the floors. That night, as we were getting ready to go to bed, I asked Jerry, "So did you even notice that I cleaned the house today?"

"Yes, the floors look really nice." was his reply. Sigh. So today, I finished the cleaning. Mind you, since the floors already looked so "nice" I didn't mop, just cleaned up the worst of the spots with a sponge.

What I spent most of this morning doing (since I didn't mop) is what has got me thinking today. Each morning, one of the first things that I do is sit down at the computer and check my e-mail. Today there was an e-mail from my Creative Memories upline that included a blog entry that captured my interest. I ended up clicking over to the blog and reading it from beginning to end, a heart wrenching read, to be sure.

As I contemplated this woman's journey through the loss of her child, it made me feel many emotions - especially gratefulness for my children's health, for the ease of which my children were conceived and delivered and so forth. It makes my problems seem so small in comparison. Her journey is not one anyone would choose. It's not that she doesn't question, "Why Me Lord?" but her faith is steady - it is so inspiring. Now, of course, when I read about it, I think, "God, I want a faith like that." But if I'm really honest with myself, I probably don't. Why? Well, recently I read a great book, Same Kind of Different as Me. In this book, one of the main characters points out, when you start living for God, Satan notices. That's when the going gets rough. And to be honest, I like staying under Satan's radar. So, am I willing to risk being noticed by him? Am I wiling to be a person that Satan would ask God permission to sift like he did Job and Peter? Or do I want to go by unnoticed? The problem with being a person that Satan doesn't notice though, is that no one is going to be touched by a life like that. So, who do I want to be? Mostly I want to be someone that God can use. Anyway, my prayer for myself right now is to return to faithfulness. I think that's one He'll be delighted to answer. Don't you think so?