Wow! Once again it's been over a year since I've been here! Lots of work to do to update and clean up my blog site. Just wanted to share (with someone!!) the beautiful thing my daughter did today and how proud I am of her for her loving heart. Aidan, my "baby girl" who's now a big SEVEN year old, tapped me on the shoulder when we had lain down to go to sleep (yes...it's true...I DO still lay down with my 7 yr. old babies...AND?) and so I said, probably a little irritatedly since we had stayed up too late already, "Yes, Aidan?". She said, "Mommy, today we got another new student in our class." Wow...now 24 seven-year olds in the twins 1st grade class...so I said, "Wow." She said, "She has blonde hair and I know her name but I really can't pronounce it." I asked her, "And?" So Aidan proceeded to tell me, "I asked her, when we went to the library, if she would be my friend and she nodded her head YES." At this point we talked about how that was a really nice thing to do and how this new little girl, whom Aidan said didn't talk all day...only nodded, was probably really nervous about being in a new school. I told Aidan that I was proud of her for being nice and for trying to make this little new girl feel included. I asked her if the other kids were nice to the new girl and she said, "Not really...". As a school counselor, that makes MY heart hurt, and so I said to Aidan, "I am so proud of you for being sweet to this new girl and for making her feel welcome. That is so important to help this little girl adjust." I then told her that I really thought she had done a grown up thing and Aidan got really quiet. I said, "What's wrong, Sister?" She said, "I just don't know what to say to that." Neither do I Sweet One...you're growing up so fast and I just hope this act of kindness is just one of so many still to come.
Wow! It's been over a year since my last post...so for those two followers I have out there...here it goes! I just read my blog header when I logged on to my blog and realized it totally fits what I want to say tonight! I was lying in bed, not sleeping, and thinking about the day. My beautiful twins (boy and girl) turned five years old today and what a five years it has been...I'm tempted to cry because those five years are gone, but I want to smile because it's happened (see header :).It's amazing to recall that five years ago, at exactly this time of night, I was nursing those babies for the first time and holding close the sweet blessings that God had entrusted to me. After ten years of waiting and trying and worrying and crying, we had been blessed with not just one baby, but two healthy beautiful children, both a girl and a boy. So much has happened in the short time that they have been with us. We moved back to our small hometown, I changed the school at which I taught and began commuting 60 miles total each day, I began teaching college classes, my husband was diagnosed with epilepsy and was in a bad car wreck from which he suffered crippling injuries (which btw, is one reason I haven't blogged in over a year), I regained my lifeguard instructors certification and managed the city pool, we became very involved with our church, and on and on, decisions have been made which have impacted our lives. Throughout these five short years, there have been so many moments during which I have cried, but there have been so many more during which I have smiled or laughed...to remember that during EVERY moment of our lives, we are so richly and completely blessed. It's good to remember, and I want to tell more about the events of this last year, I want to "blog" about so much more, I want to share with you the EVENT that was the PIRATES and PRINCESSES Birthday Party this day, but for now it's enough to say "Happy Birthday to my beautiful Princess and dashing Pirate" and to remind my friends not to cry because it's over, but smile because it happened.
Okay, I have Mama Mia on the mind because I finally got to see the movie last night over at my BFF Carrie's house and so now I know what all the singing and dancing is all about - such a great movie!!!!! But the other reason for the title is because of how I spent the first part of the weekend...my dear son, Cord, who made his first visit to the emergency room two days after he turned two years old, to get two stitches in his forehead after falling at my mother's back porch, decided that he needed to fit an ER visit in before he turned four next month. So we're actually going to get to bed on time Thursday night and we almost had everyone in bed by 9:00, but as I am getting our glass of ice water to take to bed, Chad and Cord come rushing in to the kitchen and Chad is saying we're going to have to take Cord to the Emergency Room...because he has a rock up his nose! Great...we try to get him to blow it out - no luck; we try to lay him back and look up his nose - we can't see ANYTHING. But, he continues to tell us that it's there, it's up there, he can feel it. We make a couple of phone calls (to our resident nurse, also a great friend) and she calls the ER in Childress to ask their opinion. Everyone agrees that we should probably go ahead and take him in before his nose tissues begin to swell around the rock and it gets further inbedded. We wrap up twin sister, Aidan and take her to the grandparents, and head off to Childress with blanket-wrapped pajama boy. Once at the ER, Cord is wide awake, not in any pain and now has decided that the rock is on the OTHER side of his nose. I'm beginning to think he is not being honest about the whole thing. The doctor on call that night examines him and can see no rock. He tries blowing it out, again with no results...so he calls in the x-ray machine. After two x-rays, it's decided that they can't really tell for sure if there is a rock present, so he says we need to do a cat scan. Okay...here's my "horrible" mom admission...all I could think was - great here's an expensive procedure and there probably isn't even a rock up there, but thankfully my husband insisted because he was pretty sure that there was a rock, and so off we go to the cat scan room. Being a science teacher, I'm always fascinated with this whole process, so even though it was my son, I thought it was really cool (and the bonus was I got to see a preview of his permanent teeth and they look like they'll be straight - YES!!!). OH, and by the way, the rock WAS there...in all it's 1.1 by .6 cm size!! It was lodged to the left side of the nasal septum right under the nasal bone, but too deep to just blow out. So the next order of business was to call an ear, nose and throat doctor in Amarillo and see how fast we needed to get him to a specialist to remove it. The doctor on call for Dr. Morgan (who we actually had visited while living in Amarillo and loved) said just to call her office in the morning and see when she could look at it. So we trooped back home and went to bed (at 1:00 a.m.) and then got up the next morning to make the trek to Amarillo. After making arrangements with Dr. Morgan's office to be "worked" in and knowing we might have to wait all day, we made other arrangements for Sissy and both of our jobs and headed north. We got to the doctor's about 12:40 and only had to wait about an hour and a half. It only took Dr. Morgan about 20 minutes to "suck" the rock into view and pop it out with a very skinny "crochet" needle. It wasn't near as traumatic as we thought it would be and I'm sure it was a fairly routine procedure for them. They did have to give Cord "laughing gas" (nitrous oxide) and he was loopy and silly. He never cried, whimpered, or jerked at all while they were doing the procedure. For that matter, he was good as gold for every bit of the ordeal (x-rays, cat scans, nasal probes, nasal picks, etc.). I think a lot of that had to do with his affinity for dark-haired girls. He proclaimed his love for the radiologist in Childress Dr. Jenks, and told that "sweet lady" that he wanted to marry her. Dr. Morgan and her nurse were also dark-haired and sweet talking and he was all smiles and sweetness himself. So alls well, that ends well and we have "the rock" to show for our little probably $500-$600 adventure. We can laugh about it now, until the bills come in!! So one trip to the ER when he was two, one when he was three, and we'll pray that he doesn't make a habit of this. Mama Mia!
What an awesome holiday break it has been for me and my family! I have enjoyed the time off and it has been wisely spent! During the first weekend off (Dec. 20th) we hosted my husband's extended family in the "Piper Tree" and got to spend time with about 20 of our relatives at our house for a fun filled night of food and gifts. Then of course during Christmas week I finished up last minuted shopping, wrapped gifts, cooked delicious (if I do say so myself) food and spent time with my brother, Brother (his real name is Vince), and his two grown children, my nephew, Luke and my niece, ShaVonne. Luke is a successful landscaper in Destin, Florida at the age of 22 and rarely gets the opportunity to come home to Texas. ShaVonne, who lives in Lubbock, but still doesn't come home very often to see the whole family! After a great visit from Santa Claus, who delivered a large play tool bench complete with a chainsaw and various drills and the long sought after "swimming" baby, we spent Christmas day and the day after with more family who visited from Oklahoma City. My cousin, Chip and his wife, Kathy, enjoy coming down to Paducah and experiencing the small town life and they love for their 2 yr. old daughter, Darcy to spend time with the twins - it's really great fun to watch them all play together.
After all that family exposure, we got to spend the weekend after Christmas in Amarillo with my brother and sister-in-law, John and Anita, celebrating Christmas. We also got to attend a party hosted by my good friend, Kathryn and all of the girls that I used to spend time with in Amarillo were able to be there too. Including two of my friends who have also moved away from Amarillo. I was a great reunion and I had the best time reminiscing and relaxing with those old friends.
After returning home, we still had a whole week to spend celebrating the New Year with friends at home and just spending time together as a family. I got to play with the twins, even watch some movies with my husband, AND I finished a "drawer-cleaning" project during which I got EVERY DRAWER in my house cleaned out and organized!!!!! I have been so sick of not knowing where things are and just cramming and sweeping anything and everything into various drawers for so long, that it REALLY made me feel like I had accomplished something by taking 2 and 1/2 days and cleaning all of them out! I realize it doesn't take much to make my happy, but I can honestly say that this chore did!
So, tomorrow it's back to work and back to a busy, busy schedule, but I can definitely say that my holiday was rejuvenating and restful, and I will carry the JOY of the HOLIDAYS into the new year...hopefully until Spring Break - haha! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
Wow...it's been a long while since I posted, and time certainly gets away from you when you're busy, busy, busy...the story of everyone's life these days!! The post that has been on my heart lately though has been to blog about a recent adulthood revelation. This is going to sound so silly and so totally obvious to everyone, but I feel like my adult life has been a series of revelations that have come as thought processes over days and weeks and that finally STICK within my being. The first came in my twenties when I discovered that even though people could be great individuals and true friends, there were a great many people who just could not be counted on to get things done. It was truly a revelation to me that the majority of "things" in life get done by a very few people. Of course this is a blanket statement, but I guess it was really a disappointment to me that not everyone had been raised with the work ethic of responsibility that I had. Anyway...another revelation has come to me in my thirties...I guess I have always kind of held the belief that some people had it soooooooooo good. Don't get me wrong, I am truly blessed (we'll get to that in a moment), but there always seems to be that "grass is greener" mentality going on. Well, the revelation, no drum roll please, that has come to me in the last several weeks has been this...we are all broken. Everyone, yes, everyone, has some broken place in them that they must deal with. I know, I know, again it seems like a "duh" kinda statement, but it's really resounded with me lately. In our society, during this time, on the news, in our world, etc., etc. we are bombarded with stories of brokenness. And yes, in my own life there are some issues that I am dealing with, but I guess it just really HIT me, that everyone has their "broken" pieces to deal with in this life. The Christian song, "People Need the Lord" comes to mind over and over..."everyday they pass me by, I can see it in their eyes..." the need and the hurt and the worry of so many. No one is exempt, the wealthy, the poor, the healthy, the challenged, they all have brokenness. Which brings me to my NEXT point...
It's almost Thanksgiving...and I can truly say that while Christmas is a great holiday and time for family and friends and fellowship, my favorite holiday has to be Thanksgiving. It can be a stressful time of year, cold weather, sickness, worries about Christmas spending, but it can also be such a wonderful time to STOP, BE STILL and think of ALL the blessings. God is sooooooo very good to us. Not just me on a personal level, which is certainly true, but to all of us, as Americans who live in a free country and one with so many blessings and so much wealth (that's a whole separate post!!). Blessings from God are all around us and it makes it almost impossible to worry when you think of all you've been given. The brokenness we all experience on so many different levels can be "fixed"...maybe not back the way it was (i.e. the white vase from "Bring the Rain" blog link found here...) but God can help you find ways to cope - to see the blessings in your life and in your situation. I know I am not doing justice to the way I feel, but the two concepts - brokenness and blessings - can go together...maybe brokenness makes the blessings more apparent. Anyway - this Thanksgiving I hope that if YOU, dear friends, have brokenness in YOUR life, that it has been healed or is being healed, now and in the time to come, and I pray for blessings for you and yours...to be revealed and recognized.
Just a footnote of a few things that I am truly thankful for this Thanksgiving...and TAG to anyone reading this to post yours (this is what we do around my family Thanksgiving table - and it's never without a few tears!).
10 things I'M THANKFUL FOR... 1. the Creator of nature's beauty and for eyes to behold the color and wonder of it all. 2. the man I love and his friendship, counsel and undying love 3. the parents who have always so unselfishly loved and provided for me, and who taught me compassion and kindness...and for all the other family that have been so influential in my life 4. the beautiful, healthy children that God so richly blessed us with and the daily lessons learned from them 5. the friends (angels) that God has always put into the paths of my life and who have always been a source of strength, love, and understanding 6. the job that God has provided for me, not only as a source of income, but as an area of confidence, pride and testimony 7. the material things...a place to live, clothes to wear, a car to drive, food to eat (I'm especially thankful for this one!), coffee and tea to drink and so many more that I don't take time to appreciate every day. 8. my health...which although it's not perfect, I'm so thankful to be able to walk, to see, to hear, to feel and to function daily in the manner God intended 9. my education...which enables me to read, to communicate with others, to comprehend, and to teach...my chosen profession 10. music...for the ability to hear and to sing and to play instruments and to praise God with the talents he has bestowed on me...
I have to share about this practice we've started at our house. Some months ago I was reading Parenting and it talked about this idea for sharing "News and Goods" at the dinner table. So on the nights when we are able to sit down as a family (as often as possible), we started this. The point is for everyone to go around the table and share their "News and Goods" from the day. With 3 1/2 year old twins, the things that they are able to share are often funny, sometimes revealing and never cease to amaze me. What also amazes me is that after the first few times of prompting by me, this has become a practice that my children LOVE! As soon as we sit down and say our mealtime prayer, "God is good, God is great...", Aidan or Cord, or both, begin prompting..."Mommy, say your news and goods!" They always want Chad and I to share first, while they are thinking of what to say. And while their first "news and goods" were pretty simple, for instance, "Um, today I played cars..." (that's Cord's favorite thing to share), the things they've shared recently have gotten more complex and detailed and they really get the meaning of the exercise. I remember always sitting down to dinner with my family growing up, even though both of my parents worked full time, and for most of my life, my Dad would return to work around my bedtime (he was the county sheriff for 20 years). I know that those memories helped shape me into the person I am and I hope to pass those memories on to my children. I also know that "News and Goods" around the family dinner table will always be a part of our lives.
OK - I have to post something so that I will quit seeing my Piper Posts with that "3 weeks ago" sign under it on all my friends blogs!!! As my friend Cowgirl at Heart said, it is time to get back in the groove, but I was talking to my friend Linda at school today, and made the analogy of having to "gear down" when school is out for summer (switching from high gear always going, going, going to a much more relaxed gear) and then how I just haven't "geared back up" yet. I feel pulled in 10 different directions and can't seem to settle on any one at a time yet. The twins started the Headstart Program last week when I started back to "big" school, and while Aidan is living large and loving school, Cord just hasn't decided it's the "best thing since sliced bread" yet. He is having some separation anxiety when his Daddy drops him off at school, although he always says he's ready to go back the next morning. He's also started throwing a lot of temper tantrums this past week and has Chad and I exasperated trying to empathize and discipline in equal amounts. I know it's just an adjustment phase, but it's extremely hard on a Mommy who is stressed with responsibilities and who feels guilty having to return to work ANYWAY! When your children are unhappy, it just adds to the worry and the guilt. So...I have my occasional breakdown, shed a few tears and then face the fact that - I have to go to work and I spend as much time as I can with my children when I'm home...pushing swings and playing Candyland, in between folding laundry, cooking supper, paying bills, etc., etc. And most likely, with a lot of prayer and a lot of love, they'll grow up just fine, like so many children of working moms do...I have to keep telling myself that!
I am a high school science teacher...and I also teach science for the community college. I enjoy spending time outdoors with family and friends. I love teaching science and hope that my students will love science too! I want them to understand how Biology impacts and is impacted by the world around us.