Friday, November 30, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Wonder

I was sure this week would never end and that I wasn't going to make it through everything our family has faced this week, but I didn't miss any days from work, so I am calling it a success. I did miss some sleep and  ended up eating more comfort food when I should have been exercising, but I am giving myself a pass.

This is the last Five Minute Friday of 2012. Seems I was a bit late to the party and now it's over until January. But, I am glad I have participated and have meet some neat ladies and read some cool blogs. So, why not join me for this year's last post.....

Five Minute Friday

WONDER

He watches as Granddad takes the pieces of the tree out of the box and begins to assemble it. "It's a tree, MoMo! It's a Christmas tree!" He is so excited to see the tree take its form and for the lights to be wound around the branches.

When the lights are turned on he excitedly exclaims, "GREEN! RED! YELLOW! BLUE!" He gently touches the glowing colors and murmurs, "It's a Christmas tree."

As Kari and Noah start to hang the ornaments he watches from the couch, covered up with the snowman tree skirt. As he leans his head against a snowman pillow he is silent taking in the wonder of it all.

I want to see Christmas this year through the eyes of my 2 year old grandson. I want to gleefully ask everyone if they will be here for Christmas, for Jesus' birthday. I want to take in the wonder of the tree, its lights and what the ornaments mean to my family - the first year ornaments, the handmade ones, the ones sent each year from Texas.

It is completely amazing to me that God sent His Son to this earth as a baby to grow among men to be our ultimate sacrifice.

I want to be in awe and wonder in the marvelous season of Christmas.....  

Friday, November 23, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Thank You

Spending time at my sister's house right now and really wasn't sure if I would get time to post, but I have a few minutes before the craziness begins again. Won't you join me?

Five Minute Friday

As I sit here in my sister's living room, surrounded by nieces, nephews, my children and husband, I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful for right now.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents, my sisters and their families and some extended family. The house was full of people and food. At times it was a bit overwhelming, but yet so surreal.

As a child, we always hosted Thanksgiving dinner. Around a ping pong table covered in bed sheets, with a buffet of food on a covered air hockey table, we would give thanks and indulge in holiday favorites - King syrup sweet potatoes, ambrosia salad, sweet potato biscuits and pumpkin pie.

I have always loved Thanksgiving because it meant a visit from my grandparents and playing with cousins.    

Some cousins I don't even talk to anymore.

But, I am thankful nonetheless. Thankful for my husband, and my kiddos, my sisters and their families.

Just thankful and blessed.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Stay

So, school right now is keeping me pretty busy, not to mention the every day overwhelming pressure of being a working Mom, wife and well, I am concentrating on at least getting my Five Minute Friday post up every week. Even if I don't post any other day of the week.

Join me if you like =)

Five Minute Friday

Stay

It doesn't necessarily make sense to me why morning has to come so early. I find myself enjoying the warmth of my covers and the security of my bed, laying alongside my husband way too much. I want to forget that I have to get breakfast for the kiddos and head to work. I want to snuggle up a little closer and wrap the blankets a bit tighter.

But, I can't.

I can only hit the snooze so many times before I make myself get up out of bed. Sometimes an 8 year old boy growing too old for some things but never a early morning snuggle with his Momma makes it into my bed before I pull the covers back and climb out, so I stay a bit longer and linger in the fleeting minutes of a boy wanting to snuggle with his Momma.

And that is how I know when I open God's Word and find a passage that warms my heart or digs deep into my soul, that I, too, need to not outgrow getting close to my Father. He longs for me to stay as well. To stay in His Word and in a close relationship with Him. To be warmed by His presence and to linger just a bit longer.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Quiet

Won't you join me? Just take five minutes and write on a weekly topic picked out for you. It allows you to write with abandon and just let words come and create. It is freeing. Link up here and share your story!

Five Minute Friday

Quiet.....

The TV is on and I can hear the faint sounds of my daughter's iPod. I think my son is playing a video game in his room because I can hear him talking. Must be to a friend online. Hope it's not to himself.

My husband and the teenager debate politics in the midst of the murmur of all the other sounds and I sit on the loveseat and try to finish homework I didn't even realize I had. First time I didn't have an assignment to turn in during class time. Thankful the professor said it could be turned in by midnight and now I am scrambling to finish it in the midst of life.

But, I can't.

I used to be able to do my schoolwork with the radio playing or a show on TV, couldn't really stand the quiet. But now I am unable to focus with too much noise and I find myself frustrated with my children and my husband and the noise.

Instead of being thankful for the bodies that fill and warm my home I just want them to BE QUIET SO I CAN FINISH MY HOMEWORK!!

But, I don't say that. Instead I stay on the loveseat and just get frustrated. And am unable to complete a thought, let alone a sentence.

I am like that with a lot of things, though. I let the noisiness of life block out the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and I work toward things that are of this world and not of eternal importance.

Help me to be quiet, Lord.

 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Halloween 2012

As the children get older, I am realizing that we are quickly losing the years that involve the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and Trick or Treating. Sometimes I wonder if Kari and Noah have already figured out that those beloved characters aren't real, but pretend to believe for me and Rick. Especially, since Kari abandoned Trick or Treating this year.

The elementary school held a fall festival this year which included a dance and Kari enjoyed getting her groove on with her friends, but didn't dress up for the event. Noah hung out at the festival for a bit before he headed to his Cub Scout party with Rick. He painted a pumpkin, ate some pizza and got his face painted. And he used some of his tickets to get his sister in the "judgement seat" and had her write 10x that she is a Directionator. She was not happy. She loves that boy band.

With my class and some other family issues, we totally forgot to carve pumpkins and make caramel apples. Neither of the kiddos seemed bothered by it, though, which has me wondering if the traditions I thought they  enjoyed so much were not just ones I was making them participate in because I wanted them to and not because they enjoyed them. We will have to reevaluate it for next year, I guess.

Kari and Noah dressed up and participated in their school's Halloween day parade, but Kari opted out of trick or treating. And Noah only lasted a few blocks. When Rick brought him home, he said his feet were hurting so I had him put on better shoes and headed back out with him. He only went a few more houses and asked if we could go home, so he could soak in the tub and rest his feet. Rick said he will start training them soon for next year and that they will have to drag their bags home.

And I have been nagging the kiddos to "throw your candy wrappers away for goodness sake!" ever since.

Here are a few pictures of the kiddos (and some from the festival). The last two are of the grandbabies. Thankfully, Ashley sent us the pictures since they went trick or treating around their neighborhood and not ours.

Ryu from Street Fighter



Kari and her teacher (in the striped black and white shirt) doing the Cupid Shuffle

Ryu and Cleopatria

"I am a Directionator"

A Viking on his way to a Cub Scout Halloween party

Wobble, Wobble

Fan Girl



Cutest Batman ever!

Cinderella - Ready for the Ball


Hurts My Brain

Once Noah started school I realized that I wanted and needed to go back in the educational field. I applied to substitute with the public school system and applied at a few private schools in the area. Nothing seemed to be opening up, so I started working at our church as the receptionist, still keeping my eye on any open positions with the public schools.

In the summer of 2010, I received a few emails about a few openings as a temporary student assistant and went on a few interviews. I never heard back from two of the schools and one of the school called to let me know that they had filled the position with someone else. I decided to stay at the church and just keep looking, knowing that I would eventually be back in a teaching position eventually.

That was 2 years ago and I have been at my current school as a TSA since then. The school that called and said they filled the position with someone else...well, she never showed up so I was offered the position. Since then I have worked with 3 different than the one I was hired to work with and I am now on the journey to obtain my state certification so I can get back to the classroom as a full time teacher.

I just completed my Praxis I test yesterday and am currently taking one of the two required classes I have to take to satisfy the requirements to validate my degree. I will have to take the Praxis II as well and hope to do so in February. Rick will be student teaching in the fall of 2013, so I am praying that I am teaching full time by then, so he can concentrate on student teaching and will not have to get a part time job in the evenings while student teaching.  

I honestly am anxious about teaching again and feel very old compared to some of the others taking the tests and in my current class. Part of me would love to just stay at home and be a domestic goddess, but I know that to get our family where we need to be in the future, I need to pursue a teacher career again.

I am praying for the right school, grade and class and am excited to see what God has in store for me this time around as a classroom teacher. I am also tossing around the idea of getting my special education certification or getting my master's in speech pathology. But, just thinking about more schooling hurts my brain.  

Friday, November 02, 2012

Roots: First Five Minute Friday Post

I started this blog as a way to keep up with friends and family out of state when my little family moved back to my hometown six years ago. I think for a while friends and relatives checked in pretty often and then I started to branch out a little bit, write about other things and I got a bit of flack for it. I wanted to become a blog that people visited often and commented daily, but it just hasn't happened yet. I have linked to blogging parties and been a more faithful commenter and still have not seen much traffic and I don't think anyone, even my in-laws read like they used to in the past. Of course, my posts are few and far between now, too.

But, I want to be a blogger with a blog that people visit. One where they pour a cup of coffee and start down their blogroll and I am on there, one they check out every day.

So, I am again stepping out and praying someone comes to my blog, reads my story and comes back again to check in on me and my family. I even started that book God told me to write 12 years ago.

Five Minute Friday

So, here goes....today's theme is Roots

"Bloom Where You're Planted" is what the little sign my friend sent me said. What did that even mean? I mean, I didn't want to be where I was, 1300 miles away from home and everything familiar. I didn't want to have to start over and make new friends or get acquainted in a new town with unfamiliar faces. I longed to be back home in MD. But, I also wanted to be a good wife and Momma to my son and newly acquired stepchildren. I wanted to succeed everyone's expectations, prove all the skeptics wrong and be the most functional dysfunctional family we could be.

So, I started to put down roots. I dove into ministries and MOPS and PTA and prayer groups and I started to "bloom where I was planted". We added to our blended family and I felt like everything was starting to fall into place. New job opportunities, new ministries, new expectations.

Then, my husband whispered one night in the stillness of our bedroom that he felt we should move back to my hometown and help my father with the family business. But, my roots....

I did not want to uproot our family, our home or our life. But, we did and again I have been trying to bloom where I am planted with a new set of roots and a focus on God's expectations.

STOP

Love Yourself

Yesterday was a bit hard on this Momma's heart. I finally took Noah to a PT to have his toe walking issue evaluated. Seems his muscle to...