Friday, August 31, 2012

Fall is here, whether I like it or not


Hey Peeps—

Well here we are at the end of August, getting back into a routine.  Personally I liked the routine I had during summer.  It went like this:  1. Wake up whenever I want, 2.Sit out on the back deck with coffee 3. Boss Billy around the rest of the day.   Now that school has started the mornings look a little different.  We all get up, run around like crazy people, screaming for clean underwear, and black soccer socks.  Another time consuming job in the morning involves checking Will’s hair.  He’s grown his hair out this summer and requires mousse to style it so he doesn’t look like Steven Tyler.  Every morning we talk through “how to use product” as he’s only 7 and thinks mousse feels like whip cream and should be played with for five minutes before going onto the actual hair shaft.  All the while, Billy calmly makes the kids’ lunches, and tries to reassure us that life is going to be okay. 

I can hardly believe I’m back to Nursing School this week, for my fourth and final semester.  A few of my peeps and I were sort of depressed about having to go back, so I decided I’d try out my new dance move in order to perk them up during one of our breaks today.  After I performed the move (called, “Makin’ money, Gettin’ Paid”) for a couple friends.  There were shrieks of horror and they begged me to stop.  A few of them wouldn’t make eye contact with me.  Sometimes you just have to accept that even though you think you have a gift, you really probably don’t. 

I’d love to update you with positive news about my son Jack’s Jr. high experience thus far.  At first he hated it.  Two weeks in and he’s at the point of not despising it.  Jack and I don’t “embrace change” real easily.   And to add to Jack’s challenges, we’ve forced strongly encouraged him to try out for the soccer team this year which didn’t go well the first night.  He got in the car and I swear his words were, “Well I hated every second of that, and I’m never trying that again”.  I talked him off the ledge, and by the end of the night he had a great attitude and accepted that he may not be the fastest kid out there, but he’s not giving up.  I’m beside myself with joy that after three nights of practice, things are progressively getting better.  After school the other day, he walked right up to my friend Lisa and said, “The good news about soccer is that I haven’t died while running.  The bad news is my thighs are on fire”.

Faith LOVED her first day of school.  She got to show a new girl around all day and be her buddy.  She came home excited about everything from game time to Spanish class.  She is a breath of fresh air.  I so wish I had her zest for life.  And her hair.  She has amazing hair. Will, my youngest and most sensitive child had a rough first day.  His exact words were, “It was horrid.  All the girls tried to kiss me at recess and I only learned three words in Spanish”. My friend Beth told me that he might enjoy that kind of day in about 7 years.  I think I’ll keep this nugget of truth tucked way down deep.    

To celebrate one week of school under all our belts, we met up with some other friends from the kids’ school to watch the Rocky Mountain Air show.  We went cheap (and smart) and found a spot in a grassy field where all the kids could run around and act crazy.  Will and his buddy Christian were given permission to pretend to act like little T-rex dinosaurs.  This was quite exciting as they’ve been forbidden to be dinosaurs on school grounds.  There’s just something about them that makes them look like they’ve been riding the short bus.   As the air show loudly resonated above our heads, we adults enjoyed each other’s company, laughed a lot, and decided we just might make it through another Fall after all.  It was the kind of night that reminds us how fortunate we are.  We have all kinds of freedom in this country, we have beauty all around us, we have good friends, we have kids that bring us joy.  We are certainly more blessed than we deserve. 

Saturday morning brings us new challenges of course. Will coughed all night and Jack had a bloody nose that lasted 30 minutes around 4 am.  There are massive amounts of 7th grade homework to do, broken toilet seats abound, and it’s way past time to re-caulk the kids’ bathroom.  Billy is attacking his list one item at a time, as I inspect his work and drink my coffee with heavy cream.  A fight is breaking out in the hallway between the children over who gets to be the first one to sit on the new toilet seat, and I have a million pages to read for my first test.  Thank the Lord above for the grace He gives us to face this day, and the next few months as life goes speeding by like an F-16.  Or 17.  Whatever that jet was.   

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The closing ceremony of Summer


Hey Peeps—

What is it about the Olympics that make me feel like I need to carb load?  Thankfully Costco sells a five pound bag or so, of a caramel/cheddar popcorn mix that I was able blast through in about three days while sitting around watching others burn up their precious calories running and leaping through the air.  I did find some rogue popcorn today when I was making my bed…but even more disturbing was finding a few kernal remnants in my bra.  I have no idea what happened there.

Our summer sure is wrapping up quickly.  You’ll be happy to know Jack and Faith are safely home from camp. They had a wonderful time, and have told us many neat stories of their time away from home.  They were so excited to teach us all the new songs they learned too.  At first we were so pleased as they did the actions and sang about God, until they came to a troubling song about swimming with baby sharks.  There are actions to that one too, but I feel I should warn you:  at the end of the song, the person in the water “parties with Jesus”. 

The summer games are about over, and sadly, so is our summer.  We’ve had a really good three months together, and watching my kids grow up right before my eyes is such a gift.  I am so thankful for each day, even when the days were full of phrases like, “I’m bored” and “Mom, Jack just showed me his nipples while I’m trying to eat lunch”.  My kids make me laugh and fill my heart with joy.  They are growing up so fast, and I can’t help but feel time ticking away.  I absolutely hate that feeling. 

It seems fitting that we are finishing up the summer watching the Olympic Games.  Have you been watching too?  We decided Will resembled many of the Japanese male gymnasts, minus the armpit hair and penchant for tights.  Faith has begun teaching herself to swim like Missy at the pool—making me time her as she goes back and forth.  Jack beat her at one event, so she worked on it for three hours until she beat his time.  If there was an event called  “Most competitive child” she would totally get the gold.   Don’t you just love the back story on each of the athletes?  What amazing stories they have to tell!  The Games have been a great tool for us to use with the kids, about pressing on, and giving it all you got.  I love teachable moments.   The children seem less enthusiastic.   

In a week or so, Jack, Faith, Will, and I all begin school within a couple days of each other.  Jack starts 7th grade, Faith will be in 4th, and Will is heading into 2nd.  I will begin my final semester of Nursing school, and Lord willing, I will graduate in December as an R.N. This journey began when Jack was in 3rd grade, so you can imagine my elation if I really do make it to the end.  Sometimes I wonder if I’ll finish, especially on days like last Wednesday when I fell down the stairs from top to bottom.  I hit my head and my back so hard and then landed on the floor in a heap.  I laid there assessing myself for injuries, while screaming for Billy to come help me, and one of my first thoughts was, “crap, I guess I won’t be going to Nursing school this fall”.  I was pretty sure I broke my back, or at the very least had a subdural hematoma.  About five minutes later I was up folding laundry, so I guess it’s gonna take more than a little fall down the stairs to keep me from becoming a nurse. 

Before the crazy, chaotic schedule of Autumn kicks in, there’s a few more lazy days to enjoy.  We’ll probably take an early morning bike ride, and spend one more afternoon at the pool.  The boys just got two toads, and have plans to watch them for hours, while Faith and I hope to get caught up on scrapbooking.  There will be hurdles to jump and obstacles to come, but I think I’ll let tomorrow worry about itself.  Today is now.  Today is calm.  Today we are still together