Sunday, May 29, 2011

What was I thinking? 100 questions!

1. The phone rings; who do you want it to be? ha ha! I prefer to email or text, honestly. Not much of a phone talker. But if I'm gonna talk to anyone, I will take one of my girlfriends.

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart? Depends. I usually go alone late in the evening (after dark). If I'm parking RIGHT BESIDE the corral thing, I will put it up. Otherwise, no. I park it in front of my van & leave it there.

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener? Depends on the people I'm with.

4. Do you take compliments well? Not usually.

5. What is your most embarrasing moment? 9th grade, physical science class. A friend (boy) in class was chasing me around the room with a paddle pretending that he was going to spank me. In a hurry to turn away from him, I quickly sat down in a desk & heard a rip. Yep...the entire rear end of my jeans....gone. Nice huh? Thankfully a guy friend who had a big cowboy hat walked me all the way to the girls' locker room with his hat over my butt to cover me up. The boys in that class called me Pinky for the rest of the year (the color of undies I had on that day).

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive? Oh please. I'm a mother. I survived a child who didn't sleep through the night until she was 15 months old. I survived 4 major eye surgeries with her. I survived having two children born 10 1/2 months apart. I survived little to no sleep for almost 2 years. I survived waiting on my husband hand & foot after his spinal fusion surgery while mothering 5 young children. I think it's built into us to survive most things.

But in the wilderness? Alone? After about 3 days, I'd be done for.

7. Do you like to ride horses? I can take it or leave it.

8. Did you ever go to camp as a kid? Yes! Every summer at Timberline Baptist Camp in Lindale, TX. SO many fun memories!

9. What was your favorite game as a kid? Sorry!

10. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew he/she was married, would you go for it? No thanks. I have my own sexy man who pursues me all the time...that I'm married to!

11. Have you lied to get out of a date? Why would I want to do that?

12. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you? I know everyone is different, but my faith is such a huge part of who I am that I don't think I could ever be with someone who was on a completely different page than me. Larry & I didn't come from the same denomination, but we were both Christians when we met. That wasn't too hard to overcome, but a completely different religion would've never worked for us.

13. Do you know anyone who acts fake? I think we all do.

14. Use three words to describe yourself? Umm....that's hard. I'll go with teacher, mother, wife.

15. Do any songs make you cry? Yes!! What doesn't make me cry is a better question!

16. Are you continuing your education? Probably not. I've toyed with the idea over the years, but to be honest, at this point in my life, it would take me so long to finish & we can't afford it. I just don't see it happening. Plus, to be honest, I'm afraid I wouldn't be a very good student this time around & that means the possibility of having to re-take a class because my grades weren't high enough...and remember the whole we can't afford it thing?

17. Do you know how to shoot a gun? Yes sir! When Larry & I were dating, he was in the police academy. He used me as his training dummie for all the tactical holds, handcuffing practice, fighting maneuvers (but he was nice about it!). And he taught me all the proper stances for shooting. To this day, he laughs that I am a better shot than him. ha ha!

18. If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed? I guess this is asking about the 'stuff' I'd grab, not the obvious answer---my children! If so, I'd try to grab my purse & the computer tower. Or maybe our wedding picture album. Heck, I don't know. I have lots of things I'd want to grab, but only after I knew the kids were safe!

19. How often do you read books? Every day

20. Do you think more about the past, present or future? The past & present mostly. I don't have time to worry about the future when I've got so much going on right now. And when I think about the past, it's almost entirely with a smile. I'm a blessed woman!

21. What is your favorite children's book? Pinkalicious

22. What color are your eyes? blue

23. How tall are you? 5' 3.5"

24. How many children do you want? No more, thanks. I'm done.

25. Do you have a secret fetish? And if I did, would I tell it here? ha ha!

26. Have you tried sushi? yes. I've had it on chinese/japanese buffets a few times. I like some of it, but honestly don't have a clue which types I've had, so I don't know what I like & what I don't like.

27. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth? yes! I try to drag Larry into every one of them we see, but he never wants to. I'm kind of a picture fanatic. And he's not.

28. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden? November, I think. That's usually where we go for my birthday.

29. When was the last time you were at church? Last Sunday. Usually go every week, but this morning I was at the school seeing my daughter off on her band trip.

30. Where was the furthest place you traveled today? The preschool where I used to work....where I will be working again this summer! I had to go set up my classroom tonight because I missed the workday they had while I was at work last week.

31. Have you ever had sex at work/school? Oh good grief. How old was the person who wrote this survey?

32. Do you like mustard? Sort of.

33. Do you prefer to sleep or eat? I can't have both? Boo!

34. Do you look like your mom or dad? My mom. The older I get, the more I see it. And the more people point it out.

35. How long does it take you in the shower? Depends on whether I'm washing my hair or not. Remember, it's thick. And just about waist-length. That takes a little time to wash & condition.

36. Are you an optimistic person? Usually!

37. What movie do you want to see right now? I think it's called "Something Borrowed"....but there are a lot of movies coming out this summer that I want to take the kids to go see!

38. If you could fast forward your life, would you? No. I want to enjoy every day!

39. Did you celebrate when you heard of Bin Laden's death? Not really. It took some time to soak in & think about it.

40. Do you think The Grudge was scary? No idea. Have never seen it.

41. Could you relate to a character in Mean Girls? I think I've seen this....not sure, though. If it's the movie I'm thinking of, though, then no. They were awful & cruel.

42. Are you a caring person? yes. Unless you hurt my babies. Or my husband. Then the mama lion comes out to growl.

43. Do you have an "ex box" with pics and letters from past lovers? Once upon a time I had a picture album with some pics of one particular old boyfriend, but I don't think it still exists. If it does, it's not because I've kept it on purpose.

44. Was your mom a cheerleader? No.

45. What's the last letter of your middle name? H

46. Do you like your middle name? yes

47. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? 5-8, depending on the night.

48. Do you like care bears? sure.

49. What do you buy at the movies? a trashcan sized Dr. Pepper & about a 1/2 tsp of cheese with 400 chips

50. Would you ever get an abortion? No. I can't imagine a situation where I would be OK with going through with an abortion. Even if I was raped, I would go ahead with having the baby. But I can say that I am not in the same place I used to be on this issue. Don't get me wrong. I'm still totally pro-life, but I've learned a lot in the past few years and my heart has been stretched. Sometimes things just aren't as black & white as they seem.

51. Do you wear your seatbelt? Yes!

52. What do you wear to sleep? PJs or PJ pants & Tshirt

53. Anything big ever happen in your hometown? Nope...and that's just fine with me!

54. How many meals do you eat a day? 3

55. Is your tongue pierced? no

56. Ever meet anyone you met on myspace or facebook? Yes! Lots of them, actually!

57. Do you read facebook notes? yes...especially if I'm tagged in it.

58. Do you like funny or serious people better? Both. There is a time & place for both.

59. Ever been to L.A.? Yes. Summer of '07. Great memories!

60. Did you eat a cookie today? No.

61. Do you use cuss words in other languages? No. I don't even use them in English. I just don't have it in me....I can't say a cuss word without giggling.

62. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads? The only time I've ever downloaded music was when it was a free download....and those songs are on my computer. I don't have an ipod or mp3 player to put them on.

63. Do you hate chocolate? Why on earth would I hate chocolate? It's a gift from God Himself!

64. What do you and your parents fight about the most? I haven't lived with my parents since 1994, so we don't really fight about anything. We may not see every little thing eye to eye, but for the most part we do. I'm grateful for the job they did raising me.

65. Are you a gullible person? Who me? Nah.

66. Do you need a boyfriend/girlfriend to be happy? Probably. I don't like to be alone. I kinda thrive on relationships & communication. Thankfully that is no longer an issue in my life. Been married for a million years and love that!

67. If you could have any job what would it be? Oh the possibilities....I'd love to be a marriage counselor. Or a child life specialist. Or a missionary--ideally at Fatherheart Maternity Home....or at an orphanage in Mexico. Or a salaried preschool teacher. (grin)

68. Are you easy to get along with? People say I am.

69. What is your favorite time of day? Any time it's quiet & peaceful.

70. What is your favorite food? I like it all.

71. What is your favorite drink? Water or Dr Pepper.

72. Are you a virgin? I've been married for a hundred years. I have three kids. You do the math.

73. What is your biggest fear? Losing my husband. Or my kids. Or both.

74. Do you watch cartoons? Yes

75. What is your favorite store?: Depends...what am I buying? If it's clothes for me--Lane Bryant or Avenue or Target.

76. What was your favorite toy as a child?: Speak & Spell---loved that thing!

77. Are you a cat person? I am a low-maintenance pet person, so I guess so. But we've lucked out & had 2 great dogs who are also low-maintenance, so I'm a dog person too.

78. Do you fart when you laugh? No but I snort sometimes!

79. Can you cook? yes!

80. What are your biggest pet peeves? ha ha! Give me something a little more specific. My biggest pet peeves about....other people's parenting, other people's habits, other people's driving.....about work, about my children, about my house...... I could come up with something for just about anything. But really, I am an optimist! ha ha!

81. Do you know any other languages? a teeny bit of Spanish & sign language...and my husband's love languages (they're foreign languages to me!)

82. Do you believe in love at first sight? I must. I knew there was something amazing about Larry the moment we first locked eyes. And by the 2nd date, I knew it was "the one" for me.

83. What was your favorite subject in school? math or english

84. Would you rather date a jock/cheerleader, or a nerd? Hmmm....the nerd will make the most money in the end & intelligence is sexy. So go for the nerd, young ladies. It'll pay off in the end.

85. Do you believe in God? Absolutely. If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time at all, I hope you already knew that!

86. Do you believe in reincarnation? no

87. How much do you weigh? And I guess next you're going to want to know if I've ever picked my nose or if I've farted when I laughed. Oh wait, I think I already answered that!

88. If you could create your own "perfect world", what would it be like? All the things I could list here would only point to one thing: Heaven. And I can't have that here on Earth so I'll stick with the perfect world I live in now.

89. Would you ever go skydiving? I have seriously thought about it, but I don't know if I'll ever go through with it. I have serious dizziness issues and I don't know how I'd handle plummeting to the ground without puking!

90. Xbox, Wii, or PS3? I've never played anything on any of those systems. Can I just have an atari?

91. Do you think weed should be legal? no

92. What do you think of gay marriage? I can't support it. I disagree with the lifestyle, so I can't agree with the marriages. I don't care what you do in the privacy of your own home, but I won't ever be comfortable voting for legislation that makes it legal. I have gay & lesbian friends and I love them, but I don't love what they've chosen for their lives. (and yes, I believe it's a choice. I know that's not the popular opinion, but I don't care to argue about it, so don't leave me comments to fuss about that. I'll ignore them.)

93. Do you take any medications? Just one for water retention. and a whole boatload of vitamins & supplements!

94. What is your favorite animal? monkey

95. Do you smoke? No

96. Do you support war? When it's necessary, I don't see that there's anything morally or ethically wrong with our country defending itself or helping our allies.

97. Do you like sports?: Not really.

98. Would you ever get plastic surgery? perhaps.

99. What is your natural hair color? the one I have.

100. Will you read other friends' answers? If anyone else is crazy enough to do this, sure I will. Leave me a comment & let me know if you answer these questions. And bless you for making it through all 100 answers!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Ok, I know that pride isn't a pretty thing. But sometimes I think it's the right response to something amazing. There are 2 'something amazings' going on right now that I'm proud of & I have to share before I burst!

1st--Tomorrow morning a group from our little town are hopping in a caravan of cars with a bunch of near-strangers to make a long drive to Joplin, Missouri. They will deliver tons of supplies, share a meal with the people and then turn around & drive back home sometime late Monday. They're leaving at 5:00am tomorrow. I was sooo very privileged to go pray with the group tonight as they loaded the third enormous trailer full of supplies that the community has provided. One of my best friends is making the trip with her husband & 14 yr old son. I am so very proud of them and of our small town community for providing SO MUCH to share with people who have lost everything!

Seriously folks, this is a thing of beauty! This is the 1st trailer. I took this pic earlier today.

Obviously, that trailer was way over-full, so they brought in another trailer. And then another one. This was the last trailer, finally packed late tonight.

Please keep this group of people in your prayers over the next 48 hours. Lots of hearts will the touched, needs will be met, and lives will be changed. (and that's just the ones going on the trip!)

2nd--Tomorrow morning, our high school band leaves for another state. They'll be gone for nearly a week. They will board charter buses & set out on a 19+ hour journey to a major theme park halfway across the country from home. Savannah is going on the trip. Of course, I'm nervous. Nervous that we remembered to pack everything. Nervous that she will have trouble with her anxiety while she's gone, or that she'll have a migraine. Nervous that she'll get sick or have a fight with a friend. You know...all the usual mommy worries. I *know* she'll be fine. I *know* that she will make memories that will last a LIFETIME. I mean come on......nearly a week in the happiest place on earth....the opportunity to lead the parade down the main avenue of the park while they're there. What teenager wouldn't want to do that? I fully expect a week chock full of text messages & giggle-filled phone calls. The kids and their families have been saving & making payments on this trip for a full year now....and they're about to see that all pay off! I can't wait to see her grin when she comes home.

Please keep this group (and all the chaperones & band directors!) in your prayers as well.

This mama's proud tonight.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Five Question Friday

1. Do you apologize to your kids?
Yes, if I screw up, I apologize.

2. What color are your nails right now?
No color at the moment.

3. When you were growing up, how difficult was it for you to stay home from school sick? (As in, did you have to vomit or just say "I don't feel good".)
Staying home from school was easier than staying home from church. I needed to be vomiting, running fever or have a bleeding head wound to skip church.

4. When is the last time you bought a new comforter for your bed?
Wait, you mean I'm suppose to purchase a new one now & then? ha ha!
Seriously, when we moved into this house in May 2005, I bought a whole new bedding set. We kept it for nearly 4 years before my mom gave us a hand me down that we've loved & kept ever since. We do lots of hand me downs...and love 'em!

5. Favorite website(s)?
It's a toss up. I spend the most time on AOL (email), Facebook (connecting, it!) and here on my blog.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer is here!

The kids are out of school & I only have 2 days of working left. I work tomorrow & Tuesday and then I'm off for the summer with them. A sweet, regular reader asked me today about my annual summer day count that I've done the past couple of years. I do plan to do it again this year, so be on the lookout for Day 1! I think I'm going to wait until Wednesday, though, so I can start the summer with the kids. Looking forward to spending my summer with you guys!

If you've missed the past couple of summers' posts, I began a few years ago with counting the days of summer based off of the theme song to a Disney channel favorite. If you've seen Phineas & Ferb, you know what I'm talking about. But for those of you without a Disney-watching crowd at your house, here is the song I'm referring to.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Five Question Friday ('s Saturday!)

1. Do you and your spouse go to bed at the same time?
Not usually. Sometimes I'm in bed earlier, sometimes he is. Actually, more often than not, he is in bed earlier. But it's rarely at exactly the same time.

2. A question for the ladies...What kind of facial hair do you like on your man?
None. I am not a fan of stubble when I kiss my sweetie.....but I will admit that some scruffy stubble looks good on some men.

3. What's the worst vacation you've ever taken
I know the obvious answer that my mom will read & nod her head to. When I was 14, my parents & I went to Hawaii. I was already into the "my parents are so dumb" stage of teenager-hood that all parents adore (ha ha!) so I think I was rolling my eyes in most of the pictures we took on that trip. But what made it worse was that we spent over a week in Hawaii and never once went to the beach. Yes, I'm serious. My dad's not a fan of swimming so even hotel pools are a stretch for him and I guess mom & I didn't feel safe going alone. We spent all day every day of the trip driving around either in the rental car or a tour bus seeing lots of historical stuff. Although that stuff was cool to see (Pearl Harbor especially!), the truth is, at 14 all I could focus on was how we never went to the beach.

4. What's the first-ever blog you followed?
I can't remember.

5. Do you enjoy amusement parks?
Can I give this a yes & no? I enjoy the atmosphere, the foods that I won't eat any other time, the joy of watching my kids' faces as they get off a cool ride.... But I don't like them because I don't really enjoy the rides myself. I get too sea-sick on most things to really enjoy it!

Hunger in American Children

Back in the Fall, two of my kids brought home a letter from school stating that they had been accepted to receive grocery assistance given by a local church. They operate a ministry to low income families through my children's elementary school. While I love getting things for free, I was taken aback by this letter because I couldn't imagine how we had been placed on the list to receive assistance. It just didn't add up. Sure, we're not rolling in the dough...but I didn't think we were supposed to have received this letter. After all, our pantry & refrigerator are routinely overflowing, we have a roof over our heads, warm beds to sleep in, an abundance of clothing and so much more. After making some phone calls & sending some emails, I got the kids removed from the program's list and learned about a really cool ministry! Even though I don't attend the sponsoring church, I wanted in! I am a sucker for helping kids. I sent a few emails & was welcomed into the volunteer team for this awesome program. I love how God orchestrated all the details so that I could get involved...before those letters, I never even knew the group existed!

The Backpack Club offers assistance to low income families by packing a backpack full of shelf stable nutritious foods to feed a child through the weekend when they can't be at school to receive breakfast & lunch through the school cafeteria. The sponsoring church provides a team of volunteers who make a commitment to serve through one school year. Food & supplies are provided through grants & donations from local food banks. Each team of volunteers has a specific task to make the Backpack Club a success. At our elementary campus, one team takes up the backpacks on Monday mornings when the children return them. Another team packs the food & seals each backpack with zip-ties. Another team hands out the backpacks to all the kids at the end of the week. I was honored to get to be a part of the team that distributes the backpacks. Seeing all those little faces made it so worthwhile to get up early & be at the school all those Friday mornings.

In recent years, I've seen a big growth in Christian families pursuing adoption. I am thrilled to see them very literally living out the gospel by accepting a child into their home & family. Larry & I have lived that journey & it's so very rewarding. It's such a great reminder that we, as Christians, were all 'adopted' by Christ. We were each lifted out of our own mess & made righteous by His blood, allowing us to become heirs of His riches & glory. But many families aren't able to pursue adoption for a variety of reasons. They commit to praying for their friends who are adopting, or they offer financial or other types of support during their friends' adoption journeys. Some of them choose to sponsor a child through groups like Compassion International, Parental Care Ministries or World Vision to fulfill the words of James 1:27 that say "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." All of these are amazing options for families who want to help children around the world. Larry & I have had the chance to be involved with the ministries offered by all three of these groups in one way or another over the years.

But this morning at our end of the year Backpack Club brunch, another option was presented to us! For less than the cost of sponsoring a child through one of the amazing organizations above, you could feed a hungry child right here in our community for an entire school year through the Backpack Club! It takes about $145 to feed 1 child for 1 school year. (Most of the child sponsorship organizations would cost about $270 for the same amount of time.) While I am certainly not discouraging you from adopting or sponsoring a child if you are able to, I want you to consider this as well!

I think most of us imagine 'hungry children' looking like these kids.

But the reality is, there are 17 million children in America who struggle with hunger as well. They might look like the little boy at the bus stop or your next door neighbor or the kid on your daughter's basketball team.

Fortunately, most of us will never know what it feels like to be hungry. Really hungry. And I don't just mean what it's like to reach the 7 or 8 hour mark between meals. But there are families right here in America who feel it every day.

If you live local to me & are interested in getting involved with the Backpack Club or sponsoring a child to be fed next year, please get in touch! I would be glad to connect you with the right people. As always, you can email me (see the "contact me" post it note in the right sidebar) or leave a comment here.

Matthew 25: 34-40
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Can you help the least of these?

Monday, May 16, 2011


I was emailed a link to this video recently & watched it with my chin in my lap. I was shocked, offended and horrified. This video sits high on my list of shock-factor videos.

As I thought about it, I realized that I can't expect someone who doesn't portray themself as a Christian to behave in a Christian manner. I can't hold her to the same standard that I would expect my children to behave. But at the same time, I would also hope that someone who doesn't express Christian faith would at least be respectful of it.

I felt like it was important to share this video with friends who are parents & do hold the Christian faith in a high regard, whether you claim it as your own or not. My concern is that Lady GaGa's music, the rhythm & catchy lyrics are so seductive to our kids. And to be honest, if I had only heard this song on the radio, it might've gotten stuck in my IS catchy. But I believe the video needs to be viewed by parents to see just how destructive & sacreligous it is. I've re-watched it several times & catch different things in the presentation each time -- watch the Biblical symbols that show up in the video. I am including the lyrics below so you can see what she's saying.

I'm completely aware that this particular song & this particular artist isn't the only one out there we need to beware of as parents, but this one is on my radar right now, so I wanted to share.

Beware: You may want to watch this alone (minus your kids). You may also want to consider clicking the title of the video at the top of the screen & watch it on youtube rather than here, so that you can see the full screen. Blogger cuts off a bit of the right side of the video screen.

Judas by Lady Gaga
I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as

I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as

Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a, Judas GaGa
Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a, Judas GaGa

[Lady Gaga - Verse 1]
When he comes to me, I am ready
I'll wash his feet with my hair if he needs
Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain
Even after three times, he betrays me

I'll bring him down, bring him down, down
A king with no crown, king with no crown

I'm just a Holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel
But I'm still in love with Judas, baby
I'm just a Holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel
But I'm still in love with Judas, baby

I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as

I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as

Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a, Judas GaGa

[Lady Gaga - Verse 2]
I couldn't love a man so purely
Even darkness forgave his crooked way
I've learned love is like a brick, you can
Build a house or sink a dead body
I'll bring him down, bring him down, down
A king with no crown, king with no crown

I'm just a Holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel
But I'm still in love with Judas, baby
I'm just a Holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel
But I'm still in love with Judas, baby

I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as

I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as


In the most Biblical sense,
I am beyond repentance
Fame hooker, prostitute wench, vomits her mind
But in the cultural sense
I just speak in future tense
Judas kiss me if offensed,
Or wear a condom next time

I wanna love you,
But something's pulling me away from you
Jesus is my virtue,
Judas is the demon I cling to
I cling to

I'm just a Holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel
But I'm still in love with Judas, baby
I'm just a Holy fool, oh baby he's so cruel
But I'm still in love with Judas, baby

I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as

I'm in love with Juda-as, Juda-as

Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a, Judas Juda-a-a, Judas GAGA


We've sung this several times at church recently & it is beautiful, so I had to share.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Five Question Friday

1. Tube socks, calf socks, crew, ankle, none?
At home, I'm barefoot 99% of the time.
At work, I'm barefoot at least 50% of the time....gotta love slipping my shoes off under my desk & not getting fired for it. :)
But if I'm wearing socks at all, they're usually the ankle-high type.

2. Was your child’s (children’s) name a mutual decision or was it a debate?
It took us quite a while to decide on Savannah's name (first & middle) because we had so many names we both liked but we kept vetoing each other's choices based on all sorts of reasons. When we finally hit on the right name, it just "fit" and we were thrilled. The other two kiddos were named based on matching initials (all three of our kids have the same initials) and we had a fairly easy time narrowing down the choices.

3. What is your favorite type of weather?
I could handle 70-75 degrees year-round. But since I do like to go swimming, I guess it needs to get into the 90s a few days a year for that. Otherwise, I'd be fine with a mild temp year-round or cool weather.

4. If left to your own devices, what time would you wake up every day?
Well, I suppose that depends on what time I went to bed the night before. Most of the time during the week, I'm in bed by 11 or maybe 11:30 at the latest. But on the weekends, I stay up a little later....usually midnightish. (It's nearly 12:30 as I type this & I'm about to zonk out on the keyboard!) So, during the week, I'd probably sleep til about 8:00 if I didn't have to set an alarm. On the weekends, probably about 9-9:30ish.

5. Have you bought your cemetery plots yet?
No, but I'm not opposed to it. I just can't afford it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer's comin!

At this time last year, I was peacefully working at a local private preschool with a classroom full of silly 3 & 4 year olds. I was tickled to be there and loving life.

Fast forward several weeks. In late June I saw some openings for the school district my kids attend on the school website & sent an email to the principals of the schools where those openings were. I didn't expect to hear anything back. For several years now, I've done the same thing mid-summer, inquiring about jobs but never hearing anything. I really didn't expect anything different this year.

Fast forward a few more weeks. As the summer drew to a close, one of the principals called me. Another one emailed back. Whoa. All the sudden there were 2 jobs to consider. I had an interview for both, just days apart. I was a little stumped about what to think. Honestly, I'd sent in those emails as a matter of testing the waters, but I really LIKED my job & didn't want to make a change. Sure, a better paying job would be good for my family, but my selfish heart just wanted to stay where I was comfortable. I sort of halfway hoped that the Lord would return before I had to make such a tough take a new job or not. {Sure, I realize that it's not nearly as tough a decision as anything life or death...but it was huge in that moment!}

Before interview #1, I realized some things about the job & knew that I didn't want the job unless I could clear those things up in the interview. When it became clear in the interview that those issues I had were not going away, I made the choice to walk away & say "no thanks".

On the day of interview #2, I practically begged God to not let it work out.....but told Him in resignation that if this was His will, I'd rest in that & make the change. Wouldn't you know it? The interviewer practically begged me to accept the job. The pay was about the same as my preschool job, but I would be paid a salary vs an hourly wage for the first time in my life. And I was offered benefits. Clearly, it made sense to take the job. So I did. I came home in a stunned panic. What had I done? I didn't want to change jobs. I spent the next several days saying "oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh." I called my (then) boss and told her that I'd taken the new job. She understood. I was still kind of hoping Larry would come home with news of a giant raise in his pay so that I wouldn't have to go through with it. But that didn't happen.

On the first day of the new job, my new coworkers were precious! They took me in like mama hens and showed me every step of the way what to do, how to do it, who to ask for help. They loved on me, encouraged me and basically made me feel at home. Every single person felt like a mom, a sister, a friend....from day 1. How could I not like this job? I went home & cried my eyes out for about 3 hours. I guess all the pent-up emotion & fear & nerves & frustration of the past couple of weeks finally HIT and it was like a tidal wave of tears that I couldn't stop. I missed my little ones in the preschool class like crazy. It killed me that I didn't get to tell them goodbye or explain where I was going. I just left. I know 95% of the kids never missed me, but it was the 5% who came in wondering "Where is Ms. Liz???" that broke my heart.

For weeks, I longed to go buy a lottery ticket (and win!) so that I could quit the new job & go back to my first love (my sweet babies!) but that never happened. As the year progressed, I spent less time thinking of my preschool friends and more time being excited about who was graduating this week, how my coworker (who I've lovingly referred to as my work sister) was doing with some health issues, how another coworker was when he lost his son in an accident, praying for my boss's father who faced some major surgery and so on. I got caught up in the grown-up world of working with big people all day (and kids who think they're big people). The year has FLOWN by. And I've learned to love my job. But I love it for a million different reasons than I loved my preschool teaching job.

Yes, I still miss being hugged around the knees & wiping noses. I still miss sitting in Circle Time & reading stories. I still miss washing little hands & cleaning paint off the table after craft time. I miss playdough and glitter. I miss helping them climb the ladders & slip down the slides. I miss wiping tears & hugging little bodies. I miss the science experiments & math manipulatives & seeing the discovery in their eyes when they learn to lace shoelaces through cards with holes punched in them.

But I like dressing in grown up clothes and wearing jewelry. I like cracking jokes with 17 & 18 year olds that 3-5yr olds wouldn't understand. I like sharing my workspace with a Christian lady who feels as much like a sister as a coworker. I like watching the kids succeed & grin when they graduate. I like living out all my number crunching, paperwork, OCD fantasies. And yes, I like bringing home a paycheck even when I'm not at work!

As the school year is drawing to a close, I've pondered what will become of my job in the Fall. You see, our state (much like the rest of the country) is facing a budget crisis of epic proportions. There is talk state-wide of eliminating "non-teaching positions" like mine. There is question about filling any openings that are created between now & next Fall as teachers/aides/clerical workers retire, move away or quit. Can the district afford to hire anyone to replace them? I've just crossed my fingers & hoped for the best, knowing that if all else fails, I know of at least 2 preschools that would hire me in a moment if I called & told them I needed a job.

A week or so ago, I found out about a pre-K classroom in the school district whose teacher's aide is leaving at the end of the year. I sent an email to the principal & the classroom teacher and let them know I'm interested. (And of course I let my current principal know as well...didn't want this to sneak up on her & be a surprise if they called about a reference for me later.) The teacher responded that she'd love to work with me, but like I already knew, there was no plan to hire for the position 'til the budget crisis is worked out. So who knows? I might get an interview. Or I might not. I might get to make a switch to a job that will make my heart go pitter-patter next Fall. Or I might not. There's certainly no evidence that even if I do get an interview, I would get hired. There may be 20 other people who want this position as well. And that's assuming that the district fills this position at all!

And as if that wasn't enough to be excited about, yesterday I got an email from my old preschool (the one I was working at this time last year). The directors need some more summer teachers & asked if I could take a class for the summer. You better betcha I quickly typed back an email saying YES! I am so excited! (and extra money this summer with the budget crisis looming over us will be all the better!!)

As I look at the potential of a new position in the Fall (*if* it works out), I can't help but wonder if God brought me to the school district job I have now so that I'd be available to consider this new position. As it is hard to get "in" with the district unless you're already on the payroll, it's almost certain that I wouldn't be considered for the Pre-K aide position in the Fall if I was not already an employee.

As with so many things in my life, I was DRUG into my current job kicking & screaming. I've slowly warmed up to it and found a million reasons to appreciate it. And now I'm excited for God to show me what's next. Or if there is a 'next'. If He's got another season for me at the current job, I will gladly accept that as His will. If He's got a new place for me in a Pre-K classroom this Fall, I will gladly accept that as well. And in the meantime, I get to go play in a preschool classroom this summer!

How much more blessed could one girl get??

Friday, May 6, 2011

Five Question Friday

1. Have you ever had roommates?
I grew up sharing a bedroom with my sister. Does that count?
Other than my husband, she's the only one I've ever shared a room with.

2. How many names do you/your children have? (i.e. Prince Charming William
Phillip Arthur Louis John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt)

All of us just have your typical single names....first, middle, last.

3. Did you watch the Royal Wedding?
Nope. Didn't buy People this week either because it's all about the Royal Wedding. Honestly I could care less. Sure, it's a historical event & all, but I really don't care.

4. What is the messiest room in your house?
Today, my bedroom. Usually it's the boy child's room.

5. What is your ideal mother’s day?
Every day is an ideal Mother's Day for me. Don't you see the butterflies & unicorns dancing around me? And my friend the leprechan who has brought me a rainbow?

Ok, seriously....I really am incredibly blessed & love my life. But if I could have a day where no children squabbled & their bedrooms were immaculately tidy, I'd be thrilled.