Wednesday, November 19, 2014

30 Days of Thanks {Humbled & Grateful}

Last night when I realized I couldn't "get myself together" over the injustice that is public school first grade homework, I ran away to my room to fold laundry.

I folded and cried and wiped my eyes for what seemed like an hour but probably wasn't.

Then I realized I had makeup all over my face so I had to fix that.  When I pulled the hot washcloth off my face, I looked into the mirror and flashed back to see my mother's swollen red eyes looking back at me.

I think about all the times she cried for her three children and all the times I probably don't even know about.  As mothers we cry when our babies are hurt and we can't fix it; we cry when our kids are faced with tough choices that we can't make for them; we cry when they disappoint us; most of all, we cry because in all situations we just love them so much and want only the best for them.

There is a lot of humbling that comes with becoming a mother and a lot of realizing that we never valued {and never can value} our mothers enough.

This morning's results of last night's uglier-than-ugly cry are not good.  My eyes are swollen and  they actually hurt.
Once again I had to hear my son tearfully protest from the back-seat, "Mommy, I don't want to go to school."
But I am thankful for all the ways, just this morning, I have been reminded of my blessings.

We listen to HIS Radio in the car most mornings and bless them, they saved me from self this morning.  They are doing a project called The Blessings Project and reading excerpts of these "needs" on the air.  I was instantly humbled and grateful to remember all that I have in comparison to the lack that many have.

And then I got home to lots of wonderful encouragement through Facebook from other moms who are struggling {and seeing their kids struggle} with ridiculous Common Core homework and classwork at school. 

One of them even sent this, which was great and brought laughter to me so I hope it will for you too!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

30 Days of Thanks {Everyday a New Day}

As I log on to this site tonight, I can't help but laugh a little.

I started this post last Friday, November 14.  I only got as far as the title although I knew exactly what I wanted to say.
The funny part is it applies so much more today than whatever happened on Thursday or Friday.

I am thankful that the things we think might kill us, usually actually don't. 

Y'all, I completely lost my mind over my son's CLASSWORK tonight. 
Yes, you read that right - classwork. 

My son wouldn't do it at school yesterday so his teacher sent it home to be completed here. On top of that, he is supposed to read every night {there is a log to sign}, has a math worksheet once a week, and spelling journal - 3 separate spelling activities a week- to be turned in on Friday. We spend about 4 to 5 hours a week on homework, not including reading, and NOT including this extra classwork tonight.

His classwork assignment? Expository writing.
  Three pages total: top page, FINAL draft of 5 sentence expository piece on spiders. Second page: "rough draft" page, broken down into "topic sentence," "fact 1," "fact 2," "fact 3," and "conclusion sentence." Third page in packet: Three columned list designed {I think} to brainstorm the "facts" about spiders. The top of the page says "spiders," column 1 says "have" {as in, "spiders have..."}, 2nd column says "can...," and 3rd column says "are...".

We spent 1 hour and 45 minutes on this tonight and didn't get any other homework done including reading.
He cried. 

I cried {I look like someone beat me up :-)} and I wrote his teacher a very heated email.

I'm thinking she probably hates me right about now {although I was sure to say my frustration was not personal but about the work being forced 
on these kids}.  
My son is smart.
He is top of his class in math (97th percentile) and the highest reading level in his class along with 2 other students (20 total in the class). 

He likes spiders and thinks they're interesting.
He's NOT interested in writing and as far as I'm concerned, that makes him a normal 6 year old boy.

That's right; he's 6 and in the first grade.

Today, I am thankful for starting fresh and grace and praying the teacher shows me some!

Monday, November 10, 2014

30 Days of Thanks {Little Interruptions}

If I listed for you all the interruptions I've had to accommodate this past week, we could be here all day.
The reason I am thankful for them is simple: they cause you to stop and check yourself.

Kids seems to always get sick on a day I have an event planned.  You know, an out of the ordinary event; a thing I need to attend; and look professional. 
It's when I'm already pressed for time or trying to do too much in too little time that someone gets sick.

If it's Buddy, getting sick {spiking a fever, even a low one; getting chills, a nasty cough} means a visit to the Doctor.  He has asthma and has ended up in the hospital before when he got so sick that breathing treatments weren't helping him.

It was one of the scariest things for me as his Mom, because he was only 2 or 3 and so tiny.  Watching a tiny one struggle to breathe is always scary but when it's your own child and you can't help him, I think it's worse.

So we've learned not to mess around with him and illness that could aggravate his asthma.  We travel with his nebulizer now - no exceptions - even day trips.  We do maintenance treatments everyday during the school year. And we go to the doctor with almost every sniffle for him, just to be sure his lungs are clear and that there isn't any other kind of infection going on.

Anyway, back to my original point: I've learned that these unexpected "ain't nobody got time for this" interruptions are usually a wake up call.
A call to slow down and pay attention.

God's way of saying:
 "...slow down..."
"'re missing it..."
"'s the little things..."
"...find joy in the everyday happenings..."

I also think He's teaching us to see the good in all things.

That's something that I'm hoping {and trying} to teach my kids too - 

always find the good.

Friday, November 7, 2014

30 Days of Thanks {Friends for Life}

I'm certainly not the only one thankful for my friends and I know that. 
I've learned a lot about friends, and about people in general, as I get older.

Being an introvert, I've never been the type to have a ton of girlfriends.  I just relate better one on one or maybe in a group of three including myself.

Growing up, I had friends {and boyfriends} that were both older and younger than me, as well as some the same age. As I got older though, I found myself relating better to those a year or two older than me, especially when it came to boys and dating.

In some ways I was mature for my age and that could make a difference.  Then of course, there's the belief that girls mature faster than boys and that may account for the dating difference.

As I've gotten older, I've realized a few things about friends and ages.  Life experience - specifically, circumstances and hardships and how one reacts to them - determine a person's maturity. Age really has no bearing at all on a person's maturity.  I have younger friends with way more life experience than me.  Those who had to grow up fast due to hardship or unexpected loss.  I also have older friends who chose a different path in life and therefore have not experienced all the same things that I have.

What it boils down to, really, is that age is just a number.

How we live our lives, {maturely - or not} is what attracts us to our friends and likewise them to us.
If you'd told me in High School that today two of my best friends would be 10 years older and 8 years younger than me, I would've thought you were crazy.

What's even crazier is that I've known one 
of them since I was 14 and she was 24, and the other since I was 12 and she was 4! 

It really is a small world and it pays to make connections and remember them.
You never know when someone who was just an acquaintance "way back when," could become your closest buddy in the "here and now."

I'm thankful for that!

What {or who} are you thankful for today?

Monday, November 3, 2014

30 Days of Thanks {for lazy days and more...}

I cannot tell you how thankful I am for lazy Sunday afternoons!
In truth, most of them are not so "lazy,"but I call them that because we make an effort to just come home after church and BE together as a family.
The kids might go play with the neighbor kids, but one or both of us is outside at the same time so we can keep an eye out.
This week, hubby and I cleaned up the garage together and I took down the strictly Halloween decorations {I left up some of the plainer pumpkins and general Fall stuff for a little longer}.

Although we got a lot done, it was a pretty laid back day. That extra hour of sleep didn't hurt either - haha!

I'm thankful for this time of year - Fall is my favorite!
I love taking pictures of all the trees because they can literally change in the course of 1 day.
I did just realize, though, that I haven't taken many pictures over the last two days so this post will contain one lone photo.

I'm also really thankful for Forgiveness - God's forgiveness specifically.

This song is a great one:

Well, the past is playing with my head
And failure knocks me down again
I’m reminded of the wrong
That I have said and done
And that devil just won't let me forget

In this life
I know what I’ve been
But here in your arms
I know what I am

I’m forgiven
I’m forgiven
And I don’t have to carry
The weight of who I’ve been
'Cause I’m forgiven

My mistakes are running through my mind
And I’ll relive my days in the middle of the night
When I struggle with my pain, wrestle with my pride.
Sometimes I feel alone and I cry.

And in this life
I know what I’ve been
But here in your arms
I know what I am

Well, I’m forgiven
I’m forgiven
And I don’t have to carry
The weight of who I’ve been
'Cause I’m forgiven

When I don't fit in and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere
When I don’t measure up to much in this life
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ

'Cause I’m forgiven
Well, I’m forgiven
And I don’t have to carry
The weight of who I’ve been
'Cause I’m forgiven.

What are you most thankful for today?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

30 Days of Thanks: Day 1 {it's the little things}

Call me crazy {haha}, but I do think that writing everyday, or at the least the attempt to, has been good for me.

I'm not sure I will be here every single day in the month of November, but I would like to do a gratitude  journal.  
Some people do it on Facebook, but I think I prefer my space here.
Please feel free to join me and post links to your posts in my comments below.

  • Unexpected quiet moments hours {score!} alone at home
  • Friends who continue to give me hugs even though I'm not much of a hugger {I sort of stink at it because it makes me a little uncomfortable}
  • Kids who miss me when I'm only gone a few hours
  • An extra hour of sleep!
  • the warmth of home on a cold day
  • leftovers {no cooking for me}!
  • kids who love to read
  • friends: new ones and close ones

31 Days: Day 31 {Better Late than Never}

If you're like me and you have kids, yesterday was pretty crazy in your house!
So here's my day 31 post a day late.
I don't often post pictures of my kids, but I did include one here of them dressed up and ready to trick or treat.

Halloween is not a huge deal in our house/neighborhood, but the kids do love to dress up and go beg for candy Trick or Treat in the neighborhood.

We have less than 50 houses in our 'hood, so with over half not participating (scrooges as my hubby said last night), our kids are able to walk the entire subdivision before we get too many complaints about sore feet and such.

It seemed there were less trick or treaters in general this year, because our bowl was still quite full when we returned.  I left it out on the front porch til after 9pm and no one else came by. 

Too bad we have so many Reese's Cups leftover {sarcasm}!

My Dorothy and My Hulk

Hope y'all all had a safe and fun Halloween, with no "candy hangovers!"