Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm Letting Go

Warning: This post is incredibly whiney. If you have already had a full day's worth of whining from your kids, you may want to skip this one.

Have you heard the song, "I'm Letting Go" by Francesca Battistelli? I think it's becoming my new theme song. Because, although I love to pretend I have my life under control, I don't. (If you thought I did, just scroll back and review what happened to all my projects I wanted to do while Jerry was out of town last week.) I mean, I already liked the song - in fact, I bought it twice for my iPod. Well, I bought it when we already owned it. See, it was on one of the WOW albums we already had, but since I couldn't spell the artist's name, it didn't come up when I searched our iTunes library, so I bought it. Again. Yes, as I was saying, control is an illusion.

ANYAWAY, any illusion of control I had was completely blown out of the water today by an e-mail I received. It was one I was hoping to receive, and the first few lines made me feel very excited, but the remainder, well, not so much. I imagine it was kinda the same feeling those folks who crashed the 2 billion dollar telescope this week felt as they launched it, watched it go up, and then watched it get strewn all over a field as things went wrong. Not that anything nearly as bad was in my e-mail.

First, the good news. My application to the Master of Library and Information Studies degree program has been reviewed positively and I have been recommended for admission to the MLIS degree program.

Yipee! Nevermind that I haven't seen my GRE score yet - apparently they did, and it must have been okay.

Now for the bummer news. There's a course that must be taken first in this program. It's a pre-requsite for all other courses. Every Single One. This course is mostly online, except for a two-day orientation, which is at the Tulsa Campus. On Friday, August 20th and Saturday, August 21st.

Yes, I realize that this is not the end of the world. I realize that most of you who are reading this are now scratching your heads, wondering what the big deal is. And I realize that you are probably right, and it isn't that big of a deal. I knew that going back to school would mean there would be changes to our schedule, that adjustments would have to be made, but they are starting on day one! Literally! I guess I better get used to it quickly. Nevermind that the girls start school the day before, so either Jerry will have to make arrangements to work within the girl's school schedule or I will have to make arrangements for alternate care. Nevermind that it's my birthday and I'll have to be away from my family. Nevermind that it's the campus halfway across the state instead of 20 miles south. It's higher education, and if you want it, you have to play by their rules. I knew this and chose to apply anyway, so now I must suck it up and stop whining.

Okay, I'm done. Thanks for listening.

So, back to my song - here I go, trying to embrace the fear of the unknown, beyond my comfort zone - wondering what it will be like to go back to school, except this time, instead of concentrating on school full-time, I've already got a full-time gig. Somehow I've got to do everything I already do to keep the household running, and then add in school. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A History Lesson

Yesterday evening, after Gracie was finished with her spelling homework, she flipped to the back of the dictionary, where they have all the past presidents pictured along with their birth/death/and service dates.

"Hmmm," she observed, looking at the most recent presidents, "They don't know when these guys died."

"That's because they are still alive." I said.

"Oh." She continued perusing. "This is Lincoln!" She exclaimed, pointing to his picture. "He saved our state."

"Saved our state?" I repeated, about to make the distinction between state and country.

"Yes, with the silverware." She replied.

I couldn't help it. "Silverware?" I asked, cracking up.

She could tell by my laughter that she didn't have it quite right, so she said, "You know, with the slavery and all. That war - what was it called?"

"The Civil War." I said.

"Yes. The Civil War." She repeated.

I explained the difference between our state and our country, and the lesson was over, but I chuckled about the silverware for awhile.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Catching Up. . . Or Not

Jerry was gone last week. He had a week-long convention in Las Vegas. I was anticipating the week with mixed feelings - after all, I married him so I could be around him for the rest of my life, and he was going to be gone for a week - but a part of me was looking forward to getting a few of my projects out and completed while he was gone, too.

Well, remember how I posted that Gracie was home sick with me last week? She stayed that way for six more days. She missed six days of school, total. I'm sure I'll be getting my nastygram from the truancy office any day now. Anyway, having a person asking me every five minutes if there wasn't something we could play together put a crimp in my project plans. Not that I minded, of course, I mean, as a mother, my primary job is to tend to my offspring, but still. . . my projects. . . Oh well.

Gracie and I played some games one day. Blockus is always one of my favorites. I was a bit tired of Candy Land and Sorry, so I made her play Scrabble, which is like saying I played myself in Scrabble. Gracie didn't care for it, until the end, when she beat me 150 to 85 with an 80 point play for the word "hazards". Yeah, she came up with that. . . right. Oh well. It was a short game.

The last two weekends have been filled with Girl Scout activities. The first weekend we were supposed to go to an overnight at the local museum. We were actually supposed to go last October, but we all had the flu or something, so we pushed our registration to the spring event. When it became apparent that Gracie was not going to be well enough to attend, we decided I would have a special night with Maggie, and Gracie will (hopefully) get her turn this fall. Maggie and I had a good time, although sleeping in a cavernous building with 400 giggling girl scouts is an exercise in futility.

This weekend we went to Frontier City, our local amusement park, for Girl Scout Day. Maggie's troop had decided to use some of their cookie money to buy the tickets, and lots of parents had decided to come along, but once we got there, it was more of each family doing their own thing that our troop doing stuff together. We had brought our lunches, but not drinks, so I stopped at a concession stand to get us some. The girls wanted the souvenir cup, and since Gracie was still newly recovered, I figured I better get each girl their own. Four drinks, and our total was $25.90! Highway robbery! Of course, we get refills for the souvenir cups for only $1.50 each, and now I feel like I have to come back to the park again just to get refills so I can drive down the cost per drink to a reasonable level! ACK!!! My penny pinching soul was in anguish!

The girls have been working on riding their bikes with no training wheels. There's a church at the entrance to our neighborhood with a nice, large, flat parking lot. Once Gracie was feeling a bit better, I loaded them up with their bikes to go practice. Interestingly enough, Maggie is the one who wants to go fast and fearless on the bike, while Gracie is being super cautions. Here they are, getting the hang of it.

It wasn't long before they had the hang of it and were mugging for the camera and singing cute little ditties about riding a two-wheeled bike as they made their passes by me:

Sorry, I know the sound doesn't work for everyone.

Saturday Maggie went out to ride her bike in the driveway, and she wiped out, skinning her knee. She came in sobbing, declaring , "I will never, ever, ever, ever, EVER ride that bike again!" We got her calmed down and washed her wounds, but couldn't convince her to get back on the bike. Sunday after church though, as we got out of the car at home she asked if she could ride her bike after lunch.

"You mean the bike that you will never, ever, ever, ever, EVER ride again?" I asked.

"Yeah, forget I said that." She said.

And she wonders why we call her a drama queen.

Let's see, on other fronts, my application for OU has made it through the admissions office, and now I am being considered by the College of Library and Information Studies. I still haven't heard about my writing scores on the GRE, so I guessing they haven't either, but I'm not as worried as I was.

I had noticed that whenever I talked about going back to school, Maggie would get very agitated and upset. One day, when I was discussing my education plans with another mom who is currently finishing her bachelor's, I found out why. Maggie thinks that I am going away to college, to live in a dorm, like some of her babysitters from the past have. We laughed and explained that no, I'll still be staying at home. Maggie still wasn't sold on the idea though, so I told her that the things that would change was that I'd be on the computer a bit more, and be busy with homework and studying, so I might not have enough time to cook every night, so there would probably be more take out in our future. This was enough to convince her that school could be a good thing. This just proves, it's all a matter of perspective.

And now it's time to get a new perspective on my laundry pile! Adios!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things - The Gracie Edition

Well, Gracie has been home with me today, having been running a temperature for the last couple of days. Jerry stayed home with her yesterday while I took the GRE. I was lucky that he had already arranged to work from home that day, so when it became apparent that she would have to stay home from school, I didn't have to fret about finding someone to take care of her. God was taking care of me down to the littlest details. In fact, that morning I woke up from a deep sleep with a word in my brain - a word that I had seen before, but had no idea what it meant. I looked it up in the dictonary before I left for my test, and guess what? That word was on my test.

For those of you that were wondering, they do give you your scores at the end of the exam for the multiple choice portions. For those of you that asked, I made a 550 verbal and 650 quantitative. I have to wait two weeks for the writing portion to be graded and sent to me. I think that the reason I did better on the math was because I've been studing for the last three weeks. Math you can re-learn, but the vocabulary portion is 28 words picked out of the unabridged dictionary. You either know it or you don't, in my opinion.

Anyway, back to the original theme of this post - Gracie. She is such a hoot! Here's just a few examples from today:

  • I was doing the "Sun Salutation" yoga pose on the Wii Fit Plus this morning, and it asks you to touch your toes. I attempted, but fell several inches short. I muttered, "Can't quite make that today." To which Gracie replied, "Yeah, it's harder when you're fat." Ouch!

  • Later we were talking and she said, "You know, we didn't eat lunch yesterday."
    "Yes we did," I replied. "I stopped and got us a special lunch from Chick-fil-a!"
    "Oh yeah." She said.
    "I guess it wasn't special to you." I shot back.
    "Yeah it was!" She said. "I'm just a big forgetter. (Pause) 'Cept one plus one. And two plus two. And three plus three. 'Cause those are doubles."

  • Later we were working on our computers - Gracie was plaing a game in the office, and I was facebooking on my laptop at my desk in the guest room.
    "MOM!" came the shout from the office. "Something is wrong with the computer!"
    "What is it?" I hollered back. She appeared at the door and looked at me very seriously.
    "I think it's a medical issue." She stated very matter-of-factly.
    "A medical issue?" I repeated, "I'll be right there."

    Because we all know that medical issues are serious.

    Especially for computers.

    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    My Cup Runneth Over

    Today I am beginning to wonder if I'm not having a case of the jug not running dry like we studied in Isaiah last Sunday evening. You know what I'm talking about, right? The widow with just enough flour and oil to make one last meal that turned into many meals because God miraculously multiplied it, right? Well, the girls had a bake sale at school a week or two ago, and I (not being in a baking state of mind) decided to dip pretzel rods into candy coating and put sprinkles on them for my bake sale contribution. In my dipping inexperience I melted a whole block of candy coating, and it ended up being way too much. After all the pretzels were gone I still had at least half of it left. I slapped a lid on the container and set it aside, making plans to buy some more pretzels and finish it off later, rather than being wasteful.

    Fast forward to today, when I finally got around to dipping more pretzels. I finished of a second bag of pretzels, and still had more. So I did some peanut butter crackers. Still had more. Seriously, if you stood still long enough in my kitchen, you risked being coated - there was that much left over. I remembered that once at a scrapbooking retreat someone had brought popcorn that had been tossed with the candy coating - it was a wonderful blend of salty and sweet - so I popped some popcorn and mixed some coating in -delish!

    After that I threw out what was left. It was like the Midas touch - you think never ending white-chocolate coating will make you happy, but. . . not so much. It just gives you a tummy ache!

    **** Warning to Terri ****
    Snake Picture Coming Up
    **** End of Warning ****
    Sorry to ruin the surprise here, but Terri's been known to toss pictures of snakes across the room when she comes across one in a book, and I didn't want to be responsible for her tossing her new laptop across the house.

    Can you guess what I found in my house tonight? I was walking from the guest room to the kitchen and saw a little squiggle on the floor. "Um, honey? There's a snake in the house."

    We got a container from the kitchen and Jerry scooped it up. It probably wasn't 12 inches long, but it was a snake, nonetheless. We looked at it and determined it was most likely harmless, and Jerry let it go in the backyard WAY back in the back flowerbed. What I'm wondering is a) How did it get in, and b) how did it get all the way to the kitchen from any outside door without us noticing it? I know Boo is an elderly cat, but I gave her a talking to about earning her keep. Here's our critter:

    Cute, isn't it?

    In other news, guess what? I'm a terrible waiter. Not in like the serving sense, but in the being patient sense. Remember how I sent in my application to Graduate School last week? Then I sent in the application for the specific program I wanted on Monday. Can you believe that when I called on Tuesday they didn't know anything about me or whether I'd been accepted? Geez, people, let's get it together! I did make it into their computer system on Wednesday though. I got an e-mail from the housing department letting me know that all freshman are required to live in the dorm their first year, so I better fill out a housing application and send in my application fee for that pronto!

    Well, I guess I better learn patience, because the lady said that if I take my GRE on April 15, which is when I am registered, I can expect to hear something by May 7 or so. Luckily, I have plenty of math re-learning to keep me busy between now and then. And then I can spend the rest of the time cleaning up the mess after my head explodes from all the stuff I'm trying to re-learn. Fun, fun, fun!!!