Thursday, September 30, 2010

Better Late Than Never

So last week (yes, I said LAST WEEK.  There will be no judgment!) The Girl's school celebrated Grandparent's day.  This is the second grade class' big hurrah for the year.  One thing I have to say about that is: Thankfully, it happens in September, and not in May.  It was a very cute, and very long event in which the kids got to show off their grandparents, put on a few musical numbers, do some crafts, read some stories, give school tours, and finally sit down and have a refreshment...or twelve. 

Here are some pics of all the fun that was had:

Some singing goodness:

(Side note: The Girl was very excited about singing at Grandparent's Day.  She practiced for a few weeks.  She has become quite the little singer as of late.  Since she has shown no real love for music up until now, I am quite surprised at this new little development.  I was flat out shocked to learn that she got up in front of the whole lunch room to sing "Happy Birthday" to a recess aid ALL BY HERSELF.  Apparently, the lure of the microphone and some candy was more than she could handle, and she caved.)

Here, she and her grandma are making some bracelets:

Next up: The Bookmark station: 

On to a little reading:

And if no one has built up a sweat yet, then it' was on to the photo booth:

Thank you so much, Grandma, for coming out for Grandparent's Day!  It was so fun to have you!

Next up: Our small weekend getaway...Yes, it was last weekend. 


I am working on promptness.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

As If You Cared

Dear Fall,

Today is the day that you officially return to us.  While I do apologize for all the nasty thoughts and words I have said about you in the past, it is true, you are not my favorite time of year.  

However, your color is amazing.  At times I actually go breathless taking in all of your gorgeousness.  And who doesn't like stomping around in crunchy leaves? 

Yesterday, when I was out and about, I took in a deep breath of your crisp air and realized how fresh it smelled.  Instantly I  thought about pumpkins, apples, harvest, and all things cinnamon.  A smile crept onto my face.

I have to admit, as I read a magazine on the porch yesterday, I was actually happy to not be sweating.  It's true, the temperature had dipped below 85 degrees, and I was still able to find happiness.  Also, I have been finding a small amount of joy in trying on sweaters and cardigans. And the boots this season?  They are too cute!



My biggest beef with you still remains.  Why must you bring along all of the nasty colds, viruses, and flu bugs?  Really?   They are pure misery.  You know, you are who you hang out with.  It is for this reason that you and I cannot be BFF's, or even F's for that matter.   Some will say all the other aforementioned things totally outweigh the illnesses that come with fall.  I say, "No. No, they don't." You have hurt me in this area, and I will forever have a guard up with you in regards to this.

Team: Summer

(But you already knew that)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Driving, and Luches, and Volunteer Time Oh My!

Just so we're clear, it's not for lack of material that I am not blogging very often.  Oh, no.  It most certainly is not.  What I thought was an all time low for number of posts per month, is now going to become even lower I fear.  While there is plenty to chat about here on the o'l blog, there just isn't much time to chat.

I'm sure you knew that by now.  I however, am still flabbergasted day in and day out at the amount of busy that is my life.  And really?  There isn't too much to show for it.


The Hubs and I started noticing something with my car lately.  It seemed as though, we were constantly filling it with gas.  And by constantly, I mean once a week. 

Because I am quite the world traveler. 

Usually, a tank will get me two to two and a half weeks.  Everything I need is within a five mile radius.  While some might call that boring or maybe feeling trapped in, I call it blessed.  I love that everything is so close and there is little opportunity for me to have to fight off traffic to get to where I need to be.  Another word I would use: convenient.

Lately, however, I have been quite the traveler.  Unfortunately, it's primarily all been done in that same five mile radius.  Having two kids in two different schools and on two different schedules equals more car time.  Add to that errands, errands, a few activities, appointments, and then a few more errands and BOOM, there you have it.  I feel like I am never out of the car some days. 

I always thought that when the kids were in school I would have all this time that I would have to fill.  I thought maybe I would go back to work (Doing what, I have no idea because what I wouldn't be doing is teaching.  How people are able to be parents and teachers at the same time BLOWS MY MIND.  That's a whole lot of "kid" in one day.  The thought of picking up the ol' lesson planner gives me the willies.  Of course, there is always Been Blessed (at least that is what the plan was), but WOW! Running your own business takes a TON of time.  Especially when said business is run exclusively by yourself.).   However, what I am finding, at least right now, is that when your kids are in school, you don't have more time, you have less time. It feels much more busy now than it ever has.

So what are we spending our time on?  Well, as most mom's of school aged children will say, it's a lot of little things that add up to a whole bunch of time.  Things like:

1. Driving.  If your kids don't go to a neighborhood school or are attending a preschool, where there is no bus service provided, you are taking your sweet little cherubs to and from school.  Everyday.  Since The Girl's school is a charter school, no one takes the bus.  Everyone is driven to school.  That means there is a carpool lane.  That wraps around the entire school and neighboring neighborhood.  And you must wait your turn in it. 

2.  Lunches and snacks.  Yes, The Girl's school does provide a hot lunch everyday, however, they are not that affordable, and the quality of food is only so-so.  So while she does order lunch about once a week, there are all the other days of the week that we must pack.  The Little Man's pre-school does not provide lunch at all.  He must pack everyday.  And don't forget the snacks and the water bottles!  OH! and The Little Man?  Yes, my sweet little boy.  He will not touch lunch or snack if he thinks it has gotten too hot in his lunch box (honestly, I can't say I don't blame him.  The thought of a warm turkey sandwich with mayo on it makes me want to gag, too).  So, we have ice packs for all lunch boxes and snack packs.  Once we ensure that everyone will have a lunch and snack that will both a) stay the proper temperature and b) not leak all over everything (remember the water bottles!) we are ready roll.

3. Homework.  I really don't need to write too much here do I?  Honestly, the amount of homework given to kids these days is a bit ridiculous.  Maybe it's just me?  Being a former teacher, I do understand the value of homework.  Really, I do.  However.  The Girl is only seven, and just like all humans, she will only be seven for one year.  I don't know.  I just think she should be able to come home and play a few days a week.  I will say a few things, though.  First, the amount of homework really isn't too bad about 90% of the time.  Second, we are getting into a better routine and having a better attitude about it which is about 95% of the battle.  

Secondly, on Thursday, The Girl brought home an invitation she had gotten from the Math club at school.  Apparently, they would like to put together Math teams from grades 2-6 and participate in a Math competition at the end of the year.  She was invited to join the team.  Of course, I was very proud of her and excited at the thought of her doing something extra curricular that would boost her self confidence.  She didn't feel the same way.  At all.

I think her exact words were, "I think this is about the dumbest thing they could have ever asked me to do!  I would never want to do anything like this ever in my whole life!  What are they thinking!?!"

I still have the invitation. 

Clearly, I cannot (and should not) force her to do anything that she feels that strongly about, but on the other hand, I really think it would be so good for her.

I really have to start wrapping my head (and heart) around the fact that just because someone is really good at something doesn't mean that they like doing it.

4.  Volunteer time.  Right now, my volunteer time is at a minimum.  And, yes, I feel like a major slacker.  I do get into the school, though, and I will be doing more in the next few weeks ahead.  For some reason, right now, an hour a week feels like I am donating half my day.  And that is just for The Girl's school.  When The Little Man's school even looks like they are coming after me looking for a volunteer, I panic and run.  Sad, I know.  I have rationalized though that it is just pre-school *ahem* Jr K, and we will only be at that school for one year.

5. Speaking of running and school, the other thing that is sucking the life out of me taking up large amounts of time is running.  While the kids are in school, and I am not running away from volunteering,  I am still running, but for another reason.  I signed up to run another half marathon in October.  I know.  What was I thinking?  I don't really think I was thinking at all, actually.  I think I went crazy for a little bit, and got all swept up in the fact that I knew quite a few people that were running the same race, the fact that it was the inaugural race for our city for this particular series of races, and that since I have already raced in this series this year, I will be getting a special medal.  Because at the end of the day, it is all about the medal.  *ahem*  I keep telling myself that this is the last big race I am doing for a VERY long time.   Of course, I think I was saying the same thing, at about the same point in training, for the last one.  But this time I am SERIOUS.  I mean it.  Really.

I have lots of lunches, homework, driving, and volunteer time I need to be focusing on.

And maybe some more consistent blogging.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Finding the Missing Link in Time, Moutaineering, Burritos, and Faith

A few things on my mind:

1) WHAT THE HECK!?!  How is it already almost mid-September?  I feel like I am in a race.  I know the  race is a marathon and I should pace myself, but instead I am still running a bit faster than race pace.  Ug.  Not something that makes me happy.  I don't like that my days are slipping away faster than the speed of light.  We don't get these days back, people!  This song playing on the radio all the time, isn't really helping me with the guilt factor either.  I do love it, though (the song, not the time moving at the speed of light thing), and will probably be using in an end of the year project I am hoping to do.

I would say that I think things will slow down here shortly, as I can tell we are getting into a much better routine with school and all, but I think that could be a lie.  Because let's face it, it never slows down.  There's always something when kids are in school.

I don't think I have to remind you how much I love summer, do I?

Well, OK then.

B) We've taken the kids out on two successful outings recently.  Being that they are five and seven you might think that they should have accomplished successful outings years ago.  Have no fears, they have mastered the grocery store, the dentist, even a bikini wax (That's a story for a different time.  A time that doesn't exist in blog world).  No, these were outings that were going to require serious physical activity, which surprisingly, my kids are not that into.  I KNOW!  Who's kids are they?

Recently, we went to cheer my sister on in her first triathlon.  Since it was a very popular event, parking was CRAZY.  So, The Hubs decided he was going to beat the parking issue and find a spot in located on the back side of the event and walk in a different entrance.


We did find a spot.

However, we ended up having to walk about a mile and a half to get to the finish line of the race.  Obviously, the Hubs and I were going to be fine with that.  The kids?  Notsomuch.  The fact that The Little Man starting whining about all the walking he had done BEFORE WE EVEN LEFT THE PARKING LOT should have been our first clue.

But we forged ahead.

For me to type out the rest of this story is really just a silly waste of time.  I'm sure you all know how the rest of this day went.

So, when The Hubs started getting a hankering for a family hike, I was like "Um, no way.  And please stop trying to give me flash backs to that dreadful triathlon parking experience."  That was all that needed to be said.  He too started having flash backs, and dropped the subject.

Well, this past Labor day, we decided to give the ol' "family hike" idea another shot.  We stayed relatively close to home so that if we needed to save ourselves, home wasn't too far off, and we also would have saved ourselves a ton of driving for nothing.  The good news is:  The kids did FABULOUS!  I was super shocked all day long.  I have never seen/heard The Little Man be so chipper about hiking/walking around.

They were heavily bribed, but who cares?  It was still a wonderful day, and I too enjoy a little ice cream after a hike.

The second outing which involved physical activity was an evening out rock climbing.  Again, we were on shaky grounds here because the amount of effort we were asking the kids to put forth, without putting a bounce house in front of their faces, was big.

Again, I was totally blown away with how hard they worked, how they kept trying when they struggled, their happy can-do attitudes, and also, I'll admit, I was shocked by how well they did.  I mean, I really feel like they could take on Everest in the next year.


Before I get too full of pride, I should remind myself that neither of my children will ride their bikes.  One child won't even look in the bike's general direction.  Thankfully, there are scooters.

3) evol. = Love for me.  Try some for yourself, and find out why.   I especially dig the bean, rice and cheese burrito. YUM.  Especially good on the days that everyone is in school and I have to try to come up with something for lunch on my own without stealing stuff off of the kid's plates.  Looks like they will have a new fall line up as well...can't wait!

And) I am still amazed at the fact that you don't have to teach boys how to spit or make awesome sound effects.

Finally, here are some recent reads that are totally changing my perspective on God, myself, and life (especially the life I have been given to live):  Crazy Love  by Francis Chan really opened my eyes (again) the the crazy love that God has for me and His children.  It also reminded me of what loving God back should look like in my life, and it gave great examples of people who dedicated their lives to loving God in a "crazy" way.  Warning: Lots of conviction here, be ready to take deep breaths.

Another Francis Chan (because after the first one I needed more) Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit.  Gulp, and double gulp.  Makes me crave the Holy Spirit and His power even more.  If you are ever curious about the Holy Spirit, how He works, and His power, then grab this book FAST!

Lastly, Radical by David Platt

Let's just say, God is working on my heart like crazy now through these three books.  Add to that a summer spent going through the book of Isaiah, and I am praying that, like God promised Israel, He will rebuild me in a way that makes people stop and say, "Only God can do a work like that!"

Oh, there is much to be done.