Thursday, March 30, 2017

These Kids Today...

I was out shopping at Payless today looking for some plain white flats for Spring. (Y'all, they do not exist! I mean, they do if you want to pay upwards of $60 for them, but I just wanted some cheep ones for one season for church. I'm not going to run a marathon in them or anything. Sheesh!)

Luckily for you, the lack of affordable white flats is not the subject I want to talk about today. I want to talk about kids these days.

I was chatting with the lady who was helping me with my purchases today and she was saying that she is so disappointed in the kids today. She can't find good help. She said that they rarely want to work and if they do they want the good hours right off the bat, no weekends please and thank you. She said when they do show up they're lazy and don't know how to work hard.

This made me sad because this has not been my experience, and I told her so. I told her that I have 4 kids, 18 and up and they are awesome! And their friends are awesome! I mean, yeah, sometimes I watch the news and worry that we're doomed if this is the group that will be running the country next. Then I remind myself that these kids and young adults I see throwing things through windows in protest of whatever is the next sexy perceived injustice are the small minority. I think they just have the loudest voice. That's not unique to this upcoming group of kids; every generation has their miscreants.

The teens that I see are hard workers. They are relational. They are looking out for each other. They forgive wrongs. Let me digress here for a minute; I've seen this younger generation of girls work through things in a healthy way, maintaining friendships, that I don't think some grown women could do! I'm amazed at the grace they have for each other.

This group of kids gives me hope for our future. I know several who are actively, selflessly, serving in the military, and many who are serving in missions. They're definitely a more globally minded generation. You don't have to tell them to eat their vegetables because there are kids starving in Africa. They know it! (though that knowledge is not always enough to incite them to eat those veggies) Many of them are actively doing something about it.

When I was done waxing on about how awesome my kids and their friends are, the lady at Payless said, "Please send some of those kids my way. THAT'S who I'm looking for!" I think that's the cry from many employers out there.

This millennial generation does things differently, that's for sure, but different does not equal bad. I have a lot of confidence in the ones I know. They're going to do great things.

And if you're looking for a summer job, Payless is hiring.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Book Challenge

While we were camping over Spring Break my niece Kaarin mentioned that she'd recently read Wuthering Heights.

I mentioned that I had not read that one intentionally because I hate sad books. Yuck. Life is sad enough. Why read or watch sad things for entertainment? If you want to be sad all you have to do is watch the news. 

She said that it was not that sad. She said that while it was not a 'happily-ever-after' book it did end well. 

I asked her if she'd read Jane Eyre which is my very favorite book. I love it even more than Jane Austen books. She said she had not, which gave me an idea:


I told Kaarin that if she'd read Jane Eyre, I'd read Wuthering Heights. (Frankly, I think Kaarin got the better end of the deal.) I opened the challenge to the rest of the family and have a few more takers. 

Because everyone is super busy with end of school year stuff and finals coming up etc, the challenge was to have it read before school starts back up in the Fall. That gives all the college kids the summer to get it done. 

The reward, other than the edification you get simply from reading great literature, is a meal at Whataburger for whoever finishes the book in time. 

I better get to reading... 

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Head, It Spins...

I'm entering a strange new phase of life. The baby of the family is graduating high school this May which means my homeschooling days are coming to a swift end. To be honest, they've already ended. She's been taking only college classes this year through the Duel Credit system and has already completed everything for me. She is still working through some Algebra but she has a tutor for that. (Thank the Good Lord Above for her tutor!).

 Senior Pictures by Haleigh at 121 Photography

I am still doing the details of homeshooling. There is the end of the year performances with our homeschooling co op, the year end Gala (prom) and of course, Graduation. I still have some work to do as a homeschooling mom this Spring then I close up shop for good. 

Senior Pictures by Haleigh at 121 Photography

You'd think I would have all this free time on my hands. I remember wondering what I was going to do with myself this school year, concerned that I'd be bored and lonely. HA! Yeah, that has not been the case at all. 

Senior Pictures by Haleigh at 121 Photography

Turns out, having Young Adults, especially when some of them still live in your house, can be quite time consuming. 

Senior Pictures by Haleigh at 121 Photography

We started the school year with a wedding. My oldest got married to the lovely Haleigh in October. It was a beautiful wedding. I was exhausted when it was over and I didn't really even do anything! The venue was so beautiful and of course the Bride and Groom were radiant. 

This is just the immediate family on the groom's side. Haleigh's immediate family is even bigger! 

In November I hosted the entire family (Dave's side) for Thanksgiving. That was a LOT of work but worth it. It was an awesome day. 

I kept thinking, after Thanksgiving I'll have some downtime. Yeah, instead of that, we got a giant tree for Christmas, put it up in the corner of our living room and before we could even get it decorated the hot water heater in the bedroom part of our house leaked and ruined the carpet in all three bedrooms and the hallway. We had to take every possession in three bedrooms, four closets, and a hallway and put them all in the livingroom so we could tear up ALL the carpet, replace all the carpet, then put all the things back that did not get ruined by the water. While it only took me about 2 minuted to type that out, trust me when I say it took significantly longer to live it. 

We manage to get everything put away and the tree decorated the weekend before Christmas. Holy Cow! 

We then celebrated a wonderful Christmas with my side of the family on Christmas Eve at my dad's memory care facility and then my place in the evening, Christmas Day at my sister-in-law's, and Boxing Day at Nana and Oppa's place. It was three full days of festivities. 

I loved every minute of it, but was so ready to just rest. However, the day after Boxing Day I got the cold from the dark-side. I coughed and coughed and coughed. It took about two weeks to recover from that lovely cold, and of course I passed it to the whole family. 

During the time we were all coughing like we were dying of consumption, we had a cold snap here in TX and the pipe over our game room burst and leaked all over! Luckily we were home when it happened and heard it and were able to turn off the water to the house before the ceiling collapsed, but thus began another round of furniture in the wrong place, attic contents all over the garage, insurance claims, and a revolving door of fix it guys coming in and out of my house. 

And if that were not enough, I had an abdominal surgery scheduled for Jan 16, right in the middle of dealing with this mess. (You don't really want the details on this one, I promise, but let's just say no one wants to be coughing after they've had this type of abdominal surgery!)

This surgery came with a 4 to 8 week recovery depending on the invasiveness of the procedure. I took about 6 weeks. That as all I could take because exactly 6 weeks after my surgery my second son asked his girlfriend to marry him!  

We had a party at my house for about 80 to 100 people. Pretty sure I've never hosted that many people in my home ever before. 

That was a wonderful and amazing night. 

 I really won the lottery as far as daughters/daughters-in-laws! I love these girls so much! 

Needless to say, It took a few days to recover from that party. That set me back in my recovery a bit, but not too badly. Which is good because then it was Spring Break and the annual family camping trip to prep for, enjoy, and then clean up after. 

That brings us to today. Here we are in mid March and it's time to plan for the year end production/Gala/Graduation/Graduation Party. Then it's summer and this school year is over.

My head is spinning. This is not at all how I expected this school year to go. I thought I'd have some time to do a few things that I'd been putting off until I had more time. I thought this would be the year I had some of that elusive, 'more time', but it remains elusive. 

So, summer trips will come and go and then guess what we're doing again in October? You guessed it, a WEDDING!! I hope this isn't like that 'If You Give A Mouse A Cookie' book because I'm counting on next school year being a little calmer than the last!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Why I Will Show Up Today

 Today I am going to spend some time reading to my elderly father. I am going to go grocery shopping for my family. I am going to do laundry, wipe the dogs feet before I let them in, and pick up and put away random stuff. I’m going to set up the new printer and throw the old one away. I am going to ask my children how their day was when they get home and celebrate their victories with them and commiserate with their frustrations. I’m going to cook my family dinner (but not do the dishes. I’m not crazy. I make the kids do that.)

When my husband gets home I am going to welcome him with a smile and a kiss and thank him for working so hard every day so I can serve our family from home.

I am doing all these things today, just like I do these kinds of things every day, because that is the job I have chosen. This is the job I am blessed to have. It is my joy and pleasure and I would not have it any other way.

I am showing up today because that is what I have always taught my children to do. We show up. Is there a job that needs to be done? Then do it. Don’t look around for someone else to step up. Do it and do it well.

What kind of example would I be if I sat down today? On National Women’s Day? If, to show how much I am worth, I suddenly stopped doing my work?

I am so proud to be a woman. I love being a woman. I love being a mom, a nurturer, the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, but here is the real truth. I do not do this work solely because I love my family (though I do) or because I enjoy keeping a house (though I do). I also don’t think my life as a woman needs to look anything like yours. God has this work for me and I love it. God may have different work for you. You do that work.

I will not stop my work today to prove the point that I am so great and my work is so important, because ultimately I don’t work for man, I work for God; the God who sent his son to die for my sins. Talk about unappreciated. Can any woman on earth complain they’re so unappreciated that they came here perfect and got up on a cross, took up the sins of man and paid for them with their blood, so that the world could be right with God?

I am only one person. I am only one small person. I do not have a grand stage or a loud platform. I’m just a woman who has chosen to be a wife and a mom and a house keeper and a teacher and a follower of Jesus and I try to do my work to the best of my ability, though I often fall short. I will probably not affect many people’s lives, but I do pray that those lives I do touch I affect deeply. 

As Mother Teresa, one of my favorite women and such an example for all people whether you’re a woman or not, said...

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

That is why I will show up today and every day I have breath.