Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It feels kinda' weird - this job thing. I like it and all, but I'm surprised at how strange it feels to have this change after 15 years. Every evening something just dawns on me, "oh yeah. I go to work in the morning."

My first day was really long and boring. I spent most of the 4 hours filling out paper work and reading manuals. Since I am working for a stock brokers' office, there is pretty tight security with new hires so the paper work was pretty lengthy. I just finished it up this afternoon with my boss. I really prayed last night that today would be better - more exciting. I finally got my phone at 2:00 this afternoon. I get off at 2:00. But I answered and successfully transferred 2 calls before I left so I at least feel like I can go in tomorrow knowing that I will have work to do. There is going to be so much to learn and I really don't want to feel stupid so I have been praying that I learn quickly, that the staff is patient, and that I feel confident in myself.

I had to report for my drug screen yesterday afternoon. Ok, I usually cannot go 1 hour without visiting the restroom. So I sauntered on back knowing that this was one thing I could excel at. WRONG. It took me 3 tries to give a big enough sample. I had to drink 2 glasses of nasty tasting water. The lab tech was very nice ( I am there a few times a year for blood work so we kind of know each other) and said she's had people take 2 or 3 HOURS before. Finally I knew my kids were getting off the bus so I made myself perform. I felt like a toddler being potty trained, I was so relieved to fill that cup.
Do all of you know exactly where your original SS card is? I thought I did, but when my boss said he needed it to confirm my ID (strict security) I couldn't find it. So I had to go get a copy of my birth certificate instead. I did that before I was finger printed at the sheriff's office. That was fun too. But they have this ORANGE GOOP to clean your hands. If you have boys, you need orange goop. It was magic.

So tomorrow, I think I get to sit at my own desk and start learning my job. Please pray for me - that I will stop being nervous and will feel confident in what I'm doing. And keep checking. I'll probably have some good stories over the next few days. No inside information, though.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The words that struck fear in my heart...

Mom, I want to do summer wrestling. NOOOOOOO! Congratulations wrestling, you have replaced baseball as my least favorite sport to watch - except for 9-12 minutes out of a 9 hour meet. I even told Blake I may not go to all the meets. I can't believe I said that. I always go to my kids things and act as their biggest cheerleader. But summer wrestling? An un-air conditioned gym with 300 spectators and 15o sweaty wrestlers in the middle of July? Well...you go once and then see if you judge me.

I would go to every meet and love it if they went something like this:

Sign in. "Oh, the Woolards. I hear Blake is one of the best wrestlers out there. And quite a handsome man. And is this Kayla? I know she is the up and coming softball pitcher to look out for and even prettier then my own daughter. And is this Mrs. Woolard or your older sister? Mrs. Woolard, have you lost weight?" Then somebody would PAY ME for going in to watch.

Notice Rules Board.
1. No cussing. If you need a thesaurus, ask. But please expand your vocabulary.
2. No making your kids feel lousy. Anybody caught doing this will be made to wrestle that really big coach from the team in the yellow and black uniforms.
3. No yelling "down in front!" Look around you remember where you are.
4. No saving a whole row of seats. You are not in 7th grade anymore.
5. Leave your babies at home. We love babies but they are miserable here. If you need child care, see Mrs. Woolard.

Meet nicely dressed college prep - type guide and listen to him/her say "Welcome, here is your pager. It reaches to the Wal-Mart on this side of the gym or the Target on that side. We will page you exactly 22 minutes before your son wrestles. Both stores offer 20% discounts to wrestling moms. If you choose not to leave the building, please enjoy our mothers' lounge. There you will find 3 years worth of People magazine and 2 big screen televisions. One will be showing Dr. Phil all day and the other will be showing Denzel Washington movies. Except Man On Fire because we don't like him so sad and haunted. Oh, and that Mrs. Fields counter over there - it's free. At noon we will bring you a chicken salad on croissant and a diet pepsi in a styrofoam cup with crused ice. Also, our starbucks opens at 9:00. It's also free. If you decide to take a nap, just dial 9 on the phone and leave instructions for a wake-up call. Any questions? Well, I know your son will win. And did I mention how thin you look?"

See? It could all be so simple....

these boots weren't made for running...

Is it true that if your feet stay cold and wet, then you'll catch a cold? If so, I will be sniffling until July. My feet have been cold and wet for two days. Wanna know why? Cause I delivered papers in the blizzard.
On the day of the blizzard I war my new snow boots. I bought them late in the season (50% off!) and also bought Blake some because his old boots are a size 9 and he is wearing a 14 now. I also bought Kayla some because....well, we found some cute ones on sale for her too. Anyway, mine are realy cute - Land's End, suede, mid calf length, and they zip up the back (not quite so handy after all) But they are comfy and look pretty good with my pants tucked into them on a snowy day. But. They are not made for running. I wore them in the blizzard, and the day after for the paper route, and I ran alot to get done quickly. Well, yesterday I noticed a big blister on my heel. By last night it had popped and my sock was sticking to it. So yesterday and today I had to wear my tennis shoes, which left my feet cold and wet. It still hurts to walk - I am kind of walking like this: step, ow, step, ow, step, ow. Today I did no running; not necessarily because of the pain but because I noticed Blake wasn't running. Well, if this 14 year old athlete doesn't have to run then his 39 year old mother who has a blister on her heel doesn't have to run either.
So there. And the good news is....Paul gets home tonight and I don't intend to get up for this paper route tomorrow or the next day. No Alarm clock. As my mom used to say on Friday nights "tomorrow morning, I'm gonna sleep 'til I wake up!"

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I kinda just want to eat my dinner and go.....

Kayla and I just ate and Texas Roadhouse and my cheeks hurt from smiling and being polite to the wait staff for an hour.
See, when Paul travels, I usually take the kids to dinner one night. Well, Blake could not squeeze us into his schedule so it was just us girls and Kayla picked roadhouse. I know I'm getting old because I think that place is just too loud. Anyway, we walk in and the kid gets the rolls and then I know the script. He will lead us to our table and while he is walking he will turn backward(which, by the way, could be dangerous) toward us and ask "Have you been here before?" I wonder what would happen if I said NO. Would he stop and scream "Hey everybody we have a first timer."? Would I get my meal for free? Would we be hazed in some way. So when we say YES he will say "welcome back."
Thank you, I'll say. Then the waitress will come and say "Have you been here before?" Yes. "Great. Then you know about our homemade bread, our salads, homemade dressing, our steaks, and our fall- off- the- bone ribs...?" Yep. Know all about that. "Ok then, can I get you a drink from the bar?" (Well, if this questioning keeps up, probably) No, just iced tea and a diet pepsi. "Ok, then how about an onion blossom?" No, thanks.
I know, I know. They are just trying to be nice. But really, don't most of us know how to behave in a restaurant? Don't most of us know to look at the menu and let them know if we want an appetizer? Aren't most of us smart enough to order the drink we want without being reminded there is a bar in the restuarant? I mean, I have never heard a person, when asked if they'd like a drink from the bar, respond with "oh my gosh, you have a bar here? I had no idea. Thank goodness you told me. Yes, please bring me a cocktail!" It just seems like such an effort to be polite and keep smiling when it takes 15 minutes just to get to the point of giving our order. Even Kayla said about the waitress "she is really perky!"
And it's not just restaurants. Seems you can't make a purchase anywhere without being asked "do you have our rewards card?" "Would you like to sign up?" "Would you like to receive a free subscription to....?" "Would you like a special low interest Visa to save even more at Sears?"
Arrgggggh!! I just want to give you my money and take my purchases home and hear somebody say "ya'll have a good day." Simple as that.
Kayla has been invited to go to Harding's Spring Sing. A wonderful young woman at church has invited her. My first thought was that she'd get bored for three days with nobody else there who is her age. Now we have found out that some friends from here in town are also going.
Here's the thing. I dread letting her go. I totally trust the person taking her and I know she will have the time of her life. It just seems that about six weeks ago she started having the same busy social life as Blake. I'm not trying to hold her back. It just seems to have snuck up on me and said "Boo!!" - this growing up thing she has done. For a couple years it was just a way of life - that Blake was on the go all the time and Kayla was home being the little sister that never got to do anything. Now. Whammy!! She's on the go too. She has always loved to go places and spend the night. When she was 4, she stayed with my mom for a night. Well, it started out for one night but she called about 6 times in one evening trying to expand her visit. I finally said "put Grandma on the phone." So I told my mom that she should quit letting Kayla call me - it was running up her phone bill. Grandma said "I didn't know she'd been calling you...." Yes, Kayla had learned her phone number and used it quite nicely to turn her one night trip to Grandmas into 3 nights. So I know she will have a great time. I took a poll at lunch today and my two best friends said let her go. So I guess we will. She will be gone on Easter Morning, but she doesn't seem to mind that. She will turn 12 two days after she gets home. She doesn't seem to mind that either.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

get your mind out of the gutter....

OK. First let me say that my son's science teacher is a pretty sweet young woman. I came to this conclusion last summer when she was my son's chaperone on a 4 day trip to Washington D.C. with about 50 jr. high students. She happened to get the group of kids (about 12) who got stuck in Chicago overnight on the way home. They were broken into 3 travel groups and they came back on 3 separate flights. Wouldn't you know my son was one that got the extra night away. This poor woman looked as though she had been through a war zone when she got off the plane. She was exhausted. But she was very complimentary of the kids and said how patient and repsectful they were and how they handled all the mishaps with great attitudes. The kids were just coming down from some sort of caffeine/sugar high. Seems they discovered Starbucks in the airport and decided to use the last of their money buying one frappucino after another. So Mrs. C has earned my respect and admiration.

That is why it has been hard for me to confront her on a couple of issues. First my son wore a sweatshirt to school that said "one night at fight camp..." it is a wrestling sweatshirt. He came home and said she told him not to wear it again. So when I asked her about it she said that the phrase "one night at band camp..." comes from the movie "American Pie" ( I think) and it refers to something sexual. Well, we didn't know that and I really believe Blake didn't know that. So we won't let him wear that anymore. Now Blake has come home and said he got in trouble for naming his paper airplane, which was a science class project, "The Pocket Rocket." She told him he could either write an essay on the inappropriate nature or...something else...I can't remember. He said, "Mrs. C I don't know why it's wrong. It's the name of an actual motorcyle on the market - a mini bike for kids." So she dropped it.

Now I don't fight battles my kids don't want me to fight, but Blake feels wrongly accused and I don't blame him. So I have printed off a picture of the "Pocket Rocket" motor bike and enclosed it with a (hopefully) very respectful letter to assure her that it is a legitimate product and his name for his little airplane came from just innocently copying from that. Maybe he is in violation of copyright laws but I don't think his mind was in the gutter.

I am not naive enough to think that teenage boys don't love potty talk. But in this case I think Blake was misjudged. When he first told me about this I thought "well, she needs to get her mind out of the gutter and stop assuming everybody else's is there too." But I'm sure dealing with jr. high kids on a daily basis can make one pretty cynical on occasion. So I don't want to judge her too harshly either.

So that's that.
Now to my favorite world traveler; I hope you are having a good trip. We miss you. Our circle doesn't quite close when you are gone....

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

If you don't have anything nice to say.....

I am not going to blog today.
Because I don't have anything real nice to say and I think I would complain too much. So I am not going to blog.
If I did blog today I would probably tell everybody:

I got a new job yesterday after 15 years as a stay-at-home mom and my husband was flying across the ocean and couldn't share the excitement/fear with me. I don't blame him at all but I sometimes get really tired of dealing with life's big deals (and little deals) alone.

I delivered papers in a blizzard today and disappointed my son because we were 30 minutes late. Later I found out the office left a recording on their line telling customers the paper may not come at all. You mean I didn't HAVE to get out in this weather? I didn't even have to pull out of my driveway, let alone drive those country roads? So, paper customers...since you really didn't have to get a paper at all today, let's see some big TIPS on next month's statement!

I drove into somebody's yard today because I thought their circle drive was smaller than it is and I couldn't see a thing. I really hope the snow and wind picked up after that to cover my tracks. Of course, it was the home of the "hot girl from Warrensburg" who Blake talks to on the phone. So I guess if you have tire tracks in your yard you can ignore that TIPS comment.

Note: the preceding two items occurred before dawn today.

I talked to my mom last night and she shot about 12 verbal poison darts at me for not contacting her over the weekend. I gave a baby shower for 70 people on Saturday and spent most of Sunday in Bloomington (the best part of my week) and my husband left for London yesterday so I kind of wanted some time with him. But no matter how many times I apologized and she said "oh, it's ok..." she kept coming back to the fact that none of her four kids called, she didn't come to Decatur because I didn't return her call, blah, blah, blah. I have 2 brothers and a sister. I say spread the guilt evenly.

I bought new work clothes yesterday and beat myself up because they weren't the size 4 or 6 I wore when Kayla was 2. I am on 2 medications that have made me gain weight but, believe me that side effect is better than the problem. I have 2 friends who went off one of these meds because of the side effect. Fine, be miserable. At least I feel good everyday. But there is still that wistfulness......And shame on me for letting it matter.

My house is a wreck.

So, I am not going to blog today because that is all I would talk about and none of it is really positive.

Monday, March 20, 2006

They like me. They REALLY like me....

Well to those of you who read this blog (yes, both of you) - thanks for your thoughts and prayers regarding my job interview. I was offered the job and I will start on Monday. He wanted me to start at the end of the week, I think, but I told him I had some loose ends to tie up. What I really meant was that I need to get my hair colored and go shoe shopping.
I have to be finger printed and drug tested next week. I also have to get my references sent to him.
My husband is on his way to London. It's kind of lonely coming home with such news and have nobody to share it with. But at the same time, I haven't felt this validated in a LONG time. My husband is tremendously supportive and respectful of me, but I guess to feel valued by somebody else just feels a little better than it probably should.
So. I will be hanging up the blue jeans and sweat suits and tennis shoes and looking for some professional attire. Frankly, I kind of dread it. I'm not a fan of skimpy and tight so it may be a little tough to find something that does not look like something my mother would wear.

On the bummer side of life - We might be getting a snow storm tonight. That is good if you are sleeping in and missing school. But we have a paper route. This will be our first time to run the route in bad snowy weather. Blake has given his notice, though, so we only have a couple more weeks. So, if we are snowed in tomorrow (after throwing papers) I will spend the time cleaning out my closet. That could turn into a week-long series so keep checking in.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Ok, you know those people at funeral homes who tell you where to park your car and direct you inside and tell you where to stand, when to blow your nose, etc....Well, do ya'll think they get paid extra to be snotty?
We had a man yesterday at the funeral of Paul's grandma who was downright rude to us. He ran up as soon as we pulled up and said "Grandchild?" "yes." "Well, then you need to park in the driveway." No we could not leave the van at the end of the driveway or move it after going in to let Paul's parents know we were there. It had to be moved NOW. When Paul asked if this really had to be so complicated the man said "yes it does sir, we have people to get to the cemetery." And he wasn't polite about it. I told Paul later he should have broken down right there in a sobbing heap and started wailing about his poor lost grandma. I say families pay these folks alot of money to bury their loved ones; these people should be willing to dress up and come jumping out of our cars like so many clowns in a circus act.
I know, I know.. not all of them are like that but some of them are so uptight; they act as though the funeral has to be run like the academy awards - when you hear the music you must stop your crying and exit stage right.

Also, we got a call from Blake's paper supervisor today. Seems we missed a customer the other day. Yes it was on the sheet the next day "customer found no paper." But this customer warrants a separate call because he is the publisher of the paper. Something does not seem right here. If he is the publisher of the paper and works at the office; when he misses a paper, do we really need to take him one the next day or COULD HE PICK ONE UP AT THE OFFICE WHEN HE SHOWS UP FOR WORK?????? So the supervisor says to be sure and leave this guy a paper because after all he is the publisher. Well, we are an equal opportunity family and he is no more important to us than our family dentist, or our home builder, or Blake's math teacher, or the 95 other customers to whom we deliver (and who have no access to a hundred free papers at their places of work)

So...a couple people have irritated me a little bit these last couple of days.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Here is my cell phone conversation with Paul from yesterday:

H: Hi. I am at Dollar Tree and they don't have the napkins I need for the shower and I won't be home in time for the kids if I run to the party store. Can we stop by the party store on our way out of town?
P:Sure. But I'd be glad to stop by and get what you need as I pass it after work.
H:Great. Write this down. I need a pack of luncheon napkins in green - think John Deere Tractors. And a pack of luncheon napkins in yellow...
P:what should I think in yellow...?
H: Sunflowers. And a pack of beverage napkins each in the same green and yellow. Also, beverage napkins in blue - Navy blue. Not trojan blue*. Also, beverage napkins in red.
P:(jotting things down ) Noooot trojjjjjjan bluuuue. Naavy. Now for the red, just red...?
H:Yeah, just red. Thanks. I love you.

30 minutes later at home:

P:I am at the Party store and I am having napkin issues.
H:well, then forget it, honey, I'll do it tomorrow, no big deal.
P:No, it's fine. They don't have any John Deere or Sunflower napkins in luncheon size, they only have dinner size. They are a total of 2 inches bigger.
H:That's fine. Get those.
P: Do you know HOW MANY colors of napkins and table covers they have at this store?
H: yeah, isn't it fun.....? That's why I had to say John Deere and Sunflower....

*Trojan blue is royal blue. Trojan is our school mascot. Could we have a WORSE name? We are actually the MF Trojans.

So this is the kind of guy I have. I occasionally ask God why I was blessed with him. Whatever I did to deserve him, I'm tickled pink.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Yikes! Maybe this job interview thing isn't such a good idea. I'm working on my resume and it is hard to make 15 years of raising children sound impressive to most of society.

My career pre-children was pretty exciting. I was responsible for the care-plans and admission records of 127 mentally ill residents - most of them schizophrenic. I made it through state inspections from the Department of Public Aid and Department of Public Health. I butted heads with my boss daily if all 127 beds were not occupied. No resident- no state payment you know. She had never heard the old "can't get blood from a turnip" thing I guess. If there is no mentally ill person needing our services out there today, then where should I find one...? Anyway, I really liked that job most of the time. My field work for college was in the VA hospital in Little Rock. I worked in the Primary Care Clinic and the Oncology clinic. So I HAVE done important adult work in my life. But now...

Most people aren't interested in the daily grind of life for a homemaker and mom. You know,
balancing two sick kids on the day you are responsible for organizing and serving lunch for 60 school staff members and your husband is in Toronto. Or sending one kid in for surgery to finalize the repair of his broken finger, the day after the other kid breaks hers on the softball field - while your husband is in London. Two kids with casts on their hands at the same time looks a little suspicious - but anyway...
How about feeding and controlling six hungry 13&14 year old football players after practice LOTS of times (try walking into Blake's bedroom when they are all in there before their showers......whew!)
How about driving a van load of kids EVERYWHERE because your house is the kool-aid house and it just seems natural now that every seat will be full. ( Has NOBODY thought of putting a sound proof shield between the front and back seats??? Are none of those engineers parents?)
How about being called at 11:30 one day and hearing "Mrs. Woolard, Mrs. Beal's class has no Valentine Party organized for TODAY at 1:00 - could you throw something together and come in...?" Now that's organized AND brave.
How about french braiding 4 girls' hair in 15 minutes because they had to look alike for their volleyball game. Now that's staying calm under pressure.
But all this - as all mom's know is hard to put down on paper. You just gotta live it. And I know it's not just stay-at-home moms who juggle and struggle. Working moms have it worse I'm sure. I have just finally come to that point in my life where I really feel like I have to justify the last 15 years of my life. That's hard to do on a one page resume.
I wonder if they'd like to see my photo albums..........

Sunday, March 12, 2006

This road we call life...

I loved High School. I got straight A's. I had lots of friends. The teachers liked me. I had a social life. Every week in senior calculus, my friend Janie would pass me the same note -
"Are you going to the game Friday? Want to do something afterward?" And then we'd make our plans, either to ride the fan bus to the away game or to meet for the home game. Basketball or Football. It didn't matter. Just so we met and spent the evening with our group of friends. Living in a home with a clinically depressed single mother, school was my safe haven. My place to be what I was supposed to be - a teenager with lots of potential. At home, I was often the parent, the youngest of four kids who had the responsibility of being my mom's companion and making sure things were always ok. I still carry that responsibility, but that's another blog.

I was reminded of my love of high school this weekend at that state basketball tournament. The student section was awesome. Some students gave up their seats on the floor to move to the top section to sit with other kids. They were great. There was every imaginable combination of blue and yellow clothing, hair color, jewelry, socks, shoes. They were all just thrilled to be there showing their support and enthusiasm - and individuality. They were truly just delighting in the happiness of being together. What else was there that weekend? Nothing. Nothing but their perfect teenage world.

Then on the way home Friday night, we got a call from Paul's parents. His grandmother was dying. So we fed the kids and got them settled with friends and drove to Pana to sit with his parents in the hospital by Grandma's bed. We had gone from the breathless, giddy joy of youth to the dying breaths of a precious 95-year old mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. We stayed for a couple hours and were told to go on home - nothing we could do. We offered to send our kids to the tournament the next day with friends and come back to spend the day on Saturday. No, his parents said. Enjoy the day with your family. There's not a thing you can do and you need this time with your kids. We enjoyed our day with the kids and on the way home at about 8:30 last night the cell phone rang. We knew. Grandma had passed at 7:17. I know one thing for certain. My mother and father in-law decided not to call when they knew we were in that stadium. They had decided not to call and take away Paul's joy of the moment. They were very SELFLESS in that. One other thing I know for certain. My mother would not have given me that gift. She would have made sure the sadness and misery were spread as soon as she had them in her hands. I will always appreciate my in-laws for that; for thinking of Paul and for loving him enough to allow him every last drop of joy before flooding him with the sadness that we knew was coming. And now, after canceling a business trip to Belgium, Paul will be their pillar. I know he will. That's just the kind of man he is. I hope I can be his pillar.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What's with this unity thing, anyway...

It's everywhere in our little community. All generations - preschoolers to grandparents. People are missing work for it; school has been cancelled for it. Tears have been shed over it.
You know...School Pride.
We head to the state tournament tomorrow. Another check written for tickets, more money sent to school for yet another "school spirit" t-shirt. Fresh yellow and blue ribbons bought for the braids the girls will wear. Vans all over town with their windows painted with our school colors, favorite players' numbers, basketballs, megaphones. You know, all united for the cause.

Why isn't it that way for the Church? I don't know how many times in the last 18 months I've been asked "isn't that the church that....?"
You know, some churches have praise teams, some have a song leader. Some sing songs 300 years old, some sing songs 3 years old. Some let women pass the plates, some let women only work in nursery. In some, a man never sets foot in the nursery unless it's to serve communion. We interpret the scripture this way, they interpret the same scripture that way. Our kids wear jeans to morning services, only "church" clothes allowed in others.
All the differences aren't a problem until....we judge each other and declare each other wrong.

How can so many of us - all from different economic, religious, educational backgrounds come together to support a basketball team, when only a small portion of us even have a child on the squad? Because we want to show our school spirit, our community pride. We want to show that we support what this coach and these students have done.

But, even those of us who are huddled under the same umbrella of church names, can't unite for The Cause. The cause of Jesus - showing Him, living Him, being Him. So what's with this unity thing anyway and why can't we get it right?


note: I eventually answered all of these questions, I am recording here my first response...

Blake (age 3): Mommy, those men who nailed Jesus to the cross....will they be in Heaven?
Mommy: UHHHH

Blake (age 4):Mommy, you do know that Daddy can NEVER fall in love with another woman...?
Michael (his 4 year old friend): Yeah, cauth thath, adultewy and that'th a thin.....
Mommy: what have you two been talking about in pre-school anyway....?

Blake (with hands on hips, age 6): Mom, if drinking alcohol is wrong for some people, why did Jesus turn water into wine at that wedding....?

Blake(age 8ish) Mom, what kind of girl will I marry?
Mom: I hope you marry someone who loves Jesus as much as we do.
Blake: well, yeah...I'm not gonna marry a girl who prays to a gold cow like those people with Moses.

Blake(age 8ish again after a sermon on gambling...yes gambling): Now, what are we gonna tell Grandma about those lottery tickets she buys...?
Mom: giggle, giggle

Blake (age 14 1/2): Mom, do you believe God made everything? I mean everything in nature...trees, plants, animals?
Mom: yes, I do Blake.
Blake: then, what possible reason could he have had for creating marijuana?
Mom(somewhat smugly because she thinks she knows this one): well, marijuana has some medicinal purposes, such as fighting nausea in chemo therapy patients. It probably started out as something to help us and like so many things God made for us, once man got hold of it, it was abused.
Blake: ok, what about tobacco....?
Mom:I KNOW I had some chapstick in my purse.......

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

another priceless moment

It happened again last night. Strange how so many of my happy times seem to occur at a sporting event. I AM NOT IN THE LEAST BIT ATHLETIC. But you go where the kids go at this phase in life so....

We were in Bloomington last night to watch our varsity team WIN the super sectional game. We now advance to state. Because of the way the tickets were sold, we had to sit as a family. Kayla was not with the "sixth grade rowdies" and Blake was not in his usualy front row spot with all of his buddies. We ate dinner out first and then sat as a family. The kids not only tolerated us, they seemed to enjoy us. I could tell that Paul and Blake were having a great time together and Kayla even "high-fived" me as we won in the last second. She did, however, have to instruct me when to sit down and when to stand up so that I would not embarrass her ( I guess she assumed I was off duty in that regard in my job as mom) so I did my best to follow directions. I could hear my friend behind me getting similar instructins from her daughter "uh, mom, you need to, like, stop jumping...."
Anyway, for the game on Friday, Blake got smart and found a way to get a ticket in the student section - no adults. And Kayla has asked to bring a friend. She will sit with us but will not have to acknowledge us except to ask for money and perhaps to give me the sit or stand command. That's ok. That means I can sit by Paul and gently admonish him to stay calm.

Yes, Paul got rowdy last night and yelled at the refs; something about how they were making each other look like fools out there. I told him he was close enough to the floor that they could eject him. Now Paul is a very gentle man who is kind and tolerant and patient....but something about a bad call at a game brings forth a demon. He says even the most godly of men get this way at sporting events ( I started listing off men who I thought would NEVER behave that way)
Is this true? Of course, I know it's not just men. I saw some women flailing their arms as they screamed. And, I promise you, at a wrestling meet recently one of our team grandmas was yelling "KILL HIM, KILL HIM..."

And, honey, if you're reading this - I knew you wouldn't mind because you're such a good sport.

Monday, March 06, 2006

be careful what you wish for....

I have a few friends who were stay-at-home moms and had jobs fall into their laps. People sought them out and basically said "you'd be just right for this position..."
I've always said I want that to happen to me. Well, I think it did today.
A friend called and said her husband is looking for a phone receptionist part time just until summer. YIKES!!!! She gave me his office number and told me to call and let him know if I was interested.

Here are my concerns:

I have not worked outside the home for 15 years. I feel totally ill equipped to handle a job in an office today. I just want to say "you have no idea how incompetent I probably am...."

I went to church with this man for 12 years. He is an elder at this church and I was pretty close to his wife. Is it good to work for somebody that I know that well? Also, he and his wife are not at all shy about saying things like "when are you going to get tired of driving that distance and come back to church with us?"

Kids still get sick even when mom only works part time. If Paul is in town, he can do the pick up thing. But if he is out of the country (which is often) it will fall to me. I will have to be sure that any employer will not have a problem with me running to pick up a sick kid in the middle of the day, at least until we come up with a plan B - perhaps ask a neighbor if she'd be willing to do that for me should the need arise.

Paul and I had just decided I would not go back to work for awhile. He just took a new position that will require MORE travel and we decided it would be best for our kids for me to still be home full time.

Here are the positive things about this opportunity:

How fortunate to be able to work for a good Christian man who I know will expect good work, but is still kind hearted and a decent human being. Paul says he does not know anybody more professional than Bill. Of course there will be others in the office to answer to also.....
I doubt church will be mentioned in the work place (see comment on professionalism) at least not in the context of urging me to return.

It is part time and temporary. It will be a good way to get my feet wet and re-enter the work world gradually. It will be good to be done by summer. My kids are too old for a sitter, but I don't want them home alone all day every day through the summer.

I will be bringing home a paycheck - not a big one, but a contribution to the family finances. And with college less than 5 years away......

It will build my self confidence, if I succeed at this.

Is this God speaking to me - telling me that this is that opportunity I've been waiting for?

I guess I will call him tomorrow and get some more details. I will pray about this tonight and ask for your prayers and also any advice/comments.

Friday, March 03, 2006

aaaaaahm! I'm telllllllllling..........

Reading Beaner's report on the puppy made me think of our first few weeks with Cookie. Kayla was four. She spent the first 2 weeks standing on a chair crying any time the puppy was around. Not a good sign. She soon became best buddies with her though.
One day after she was (we thought) completely housebroken, I was ironing in my bedroom, Kayla was playing on my bed beside me and the puppy was just bouncing around. Then Cookie just came up beside me and made a mess right there on my bedroom carpet!!!
Now before I go on I will tell you that our kids were taught that certain words were naughty:
stupid, idiot, shut up...
Ok, so I grabbed that puppy by the collar and dragged her down the hall toward the garage door grumbling through gritted teeth something like "you STUPID, WORTHLESS, IDIOT puppy, no good...bad doggie...." I put her in her crate and said "NO, NO!" Well, Kayla heard Stupid and Idiot and she looked up at me and shook her finger and said "I'M. TELLING. DADDY. EVERY. NAUGHTY. WORD. YOU. JUST. SAID. And, mommy she's not stupid, she's just a baby and doesn't know any better." Anybody ever feel teeny tiny like that...?

Thursday, March 02, 2006


I decided last night, after talking to a couple of ladies from church, that I will go to the retreat after my son's wrestling meet, assuming nothing really big happens to prevent it. I may not get there very early; and, sorry to say, I will probably miss Chris's presentation. But I will get Saturday evening and Sunday morning for fellowship and fun. Blake's meet is only about 10 miles from the retreat center so Paul will drop me off afterward and I will catch a ride home with one of the ladies. Woo Hoo. Paul is happy for me too and has tried all week to help me find a way to work this out. Seems so obvious now. I guess I felt like I had to make it an all or nothing thing. I have made another decision based on this one. I will not try to avoid sugar anymore this week; I will start that again on Monday. In the name of fellowship, and being one with my sisters in Christ, I will plan to partake of all the chocolate and fresh cookies. Anything for unity. I think I saw a brownie mix in my pantry; why wait 'til Saturday....

Please pray for Paul and his parents. Paul's grandmother (actually his stepdad's mom) was put into a nursing home this week after suffering a cracked vertabrae. She is 95. His parents hope to bring her home to care for her soon, as they did with my mother-in-law's dad for 3 years. Paul loves Grandma dearly and has been so good to her over the years, as she has been to him.
I know his heart is heavy and he worries about her and tries to find time in his crazy schedule to go down and visit him.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Well, we did it. We bought the van. It is a painful experience, perhaps second only to buying or selling a house. All that paper work. All that schmoozing. We kept being reminded of the "report cards" we would get in the mail to evaluate our service and how important it is to give them high marks. Our paper work was not ready when we got there, even though we were told it would be. At the end, we started to hand over the title to our old van and the man says "UH, I don't show that you have a trade in." My mind was saying "are you KIDDING me?" So, we did every paper over again.

I showed them, though; I had left my kids plus a friend of Blake's in the lounge with the free fountain soda. Uh huh!!!! Never put Blake and free soda in the same room. When we got back, Kayla was giggling. Blake had drunk 7 sodas - alternating between Diet Pepsi and Mt. Dew, and was on his second cup of coffee. I'm pretty sure his eyes were moving in circles. Then we went to dinner and he had 2 or 3 Diet Pepsi's. He is just like his dad, though; he goes to bed and sleeps like a baby after all that caffeine. If only he had drunk about 750 more cups at the car lot we could have had the rear bumper paid for.

Kayla has entered an art contest for Doctor Appreciation Day. Her objective: to show on a poster how she feels about her family doctor. She worked hard and I sure hope she gets some recognition. My objective today: find a place that can make a copy of her poster so we can deliver it to our doctor before the contest; and then deliver the poster to the art gallery.

I will Thank God today for:

1. My good report from the doctor
2. My husband (DO NOT get me started on this wonderful man)
3. Our new church family (DO NOT get me started on the change this congregation has made in our lives)
4. My healthy, active children (and the public school where they attend; I can love them from afar just as easily)
5. the fact that we were able to replace the van
6. whatever else comes to mind at that moment