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Day 56 – Handbells and BBQ

  • Posted on December 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Today I am thankful for music, and the kids handbell choir, and the person who runs it. The choir performed at a retirement community today, and it was wonderful to see the kids doing their best, and watching a variety of people enjoy the music. I’m also thankful that the director gave my younger daughter a job to do while there, handing out the programs. It made her feel so needed and useful instead of just being in the way.

I’m also thankful for amazing BBQ, and the ability to share it with my children for dinner tonight. While it may not be very healthy, it certainly is tasty.

Kids and Tragedy

  • Posted on December 15, 2012 at 12:25 am

Today there was a horrible tragedy in our country. This evening I had to tell my children about it. I could have skipped it, and just hoped they didn’t hear about it, but that wouldn’t be right. They will hear about it, somehow, somewhere, and I prefer they get the honest truth from me. I also want them to know that it’s ok to talk about the Big Things with Mom. And if they do have questions or concerns, I’m happy to talk about it with them.

And so it was, that I told my elementary school aged children that at another elementary school in our country, someone went in and shot and killed many people. I didn’t go into too many details, but was honest about what happened.

My kids reactions both did and didn’t surprise me. They both reacted in ways I expected. They asked questions, and I gave them honest answers, even if they were painful. I hugged them and told them that this is a rare event, and that I love them and glad they are safe.

My oldest, who is in fourth grade, asked how many people, and how many were kids. I told them what I knew.

My youngest, who is in first grade said, “but it wasn’t kindergarten or first grade, right?” I had to tell her that it was.

My oldest said, “But not the principal.” Yes, even the principal.

My youngest said, “But not the teacher.” Yes, even the teacher.

My oldest said, “He must not have seen the no-guns signs on the door.” I told them that people who are not ok and intent on hurting people don’t really care about signs or rules or laws.

We talked about how this is why they have “code red” drills at school, and how important it can be, in those rare situations. My oldest told me all the details of what they do during a “code red.” “Shut the lights off, lock the doors, and get to where you can’t be seen and stay quiet.” Yes, exactly, I replied.

“You can shoot open a locked door.” replied my first grader. Not much escapes that one. Or maybe she’s seen too many Mythbusters episodes.

“Yes, that’s true. That’s also why it’s important for the room to appear empty.” I said.

After a few minutes, and more hugs and cuddles, the kids moved on to other things. Before we moved on, I made clear to them that this was probably not a good topic of conversation amongst their friends later this evening, or over the weekend. I suggested they not bring it up with their friends, but told them they could come talk to me, or to the other adults in their life if they needed to. And if their friends bring it up, it’s ok, but it may also be good to bring a trusted adult into that conversation, since this subject is such a sad one.

At bedtime, we prayed as we always do, and added in some about asking God to care for those who hurt, and who are sad – for this tragedy and others.

My first grader, as soon as the prayer was over, asked me, “like the kids who got shot today?”
“Yes sweetie, for them and their friends and family.”

She paused a moment, while I cuddled with her, and petted her hair, as she likes for me to do. “Mommy? I feel like I’m about to burst into tears .”

Choking back my own, I replied, “Me too, sweetie. Me too. And that’s ok. It’s ok to cry because we’re sad. It was a very sad thing that happened.” And we hugged. And we cried. And after a few moments, we moved on to discuss other things before she drifted off to sleep.

I’m sure tomorrow will bring new questions. Many of which I won’t have answers to. And I won’t lie, and I won’t pretend I know things I don’t. I won’t shelter my kids from the truth, just because it is painful. Instead we will embrace it, learn what we can, and learn that life isn’t always great or perfect. Kids pick up and understand far more than we often give them credit for. I will teach them how to handle even the yucky stuff, because that is life. We won’t dwell on it, but we won’t ignore it either. And I will teach them that it’s ok to cry, and it’s ok to ask questions. And it is ok to move forward, and learn, and laugh and live, because that is what we do. We aren’t to be paralyzed by the fear of the “what if.” We learn from it and we move forward.

Days 53, 54 & 55

  • Posted on December 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Wednesday, I was thankful for my last day of classes for the semester, and that all of my assignments were done and turned in. Yay!

Yesterday, I was thankful for my district ordination interview going well, and getting passed from district up to the conference committee. This is my next step toward ordination.

Today, I am thankful for my kiddos, for being able to give them lots of hugs and kisses and extra bedtime cuddles. I’m thankful for playing games, and listening to stories. I’m thankful that I can talk to my kids about big tough things and they know that they are loved, and that they can come to me with questions and concerns. I’m thankful that we can pray together for things that weigh heavy on our hearts.

Day 51 & 52

  • Posted on December 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm

I’m thankful today for being done with my homework for the fall semester! Whew!

Yesterday’s thanks go to friends who were also up late and willing to chat to keep each other on task, and silly enough to keep each other from melting down.

Also thankful for spontaneous dance parties & sing alongs in the student lounge.

Days 47-50

  • Posted on December 9, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Finals week/paper writing consume me this week. It’ll pass in a couple more days. I know this, because my last papers are due Tuesday. At which point, I may have a few spare braincells and minutes in the day left for updating this thing.

Right now, I’m thankful the horrible headache I had all afternoon/evening has finally gone away. I’m guessing the weather system that was moving in is now here. Go go gadget body barometer!

I’m thankful for tea.

I’m thankful for my understand husband and understanding children, who haven’t seen much of me this week.

I’m thankful for good friends, who give me good advice, even if it conflicts.

I’m thankful for God who loves me, no matter what.

Days 45 & 46 – School

  • Posted on December 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Yesterday and today I am thankful for classes filled with awesome and amazing people, for learning, and for the people willing to teach us.

Days 43 & 44 – Completions and my Local Coffee Shop

  • Posted on December 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm

I am in the final two weeks of my semester. This is also known as the time when friends and family start to wonder if I do truly exist, as I hide away to write write and write some more. I’m still thinking of things to be thankful for, though taking time to post them may come late, or in groups.

Yesterday I was thankful for more cake leftover, and for getting a paper completed. (Only three more papers to write before the end of this semester!)

Today I’m again thankful for our lovely local coffee shop. Somehow, I’m always more productive homework wise there than I am anywhere else. Perhaps it’s the wonderful tea. Or perhaps it’s the awesome music they play. Or maybe it’s just being away from all the distractions of home. Whatever it is, I’m thankful for its existence  and my ability to go there to work when I need to. I’m also thankful for the awesome owner who knows me, knows what I’m studying, and asks how I’m doing whenever I’m in. In fact, she may be one of the few people who know I exist these days on a regular basis! Thanks Lori!

Days 41 & 42 – Birthdays and Cake

  • Posted on December 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Lost but not forgotten, this blog o’ mine. It’s been a busy few days. Breaking up the four days into two posts.

Friday – I was thankful for licking the beaters & bowl after cake making on my birthday eve.

Saturday was my birthday. I’m thankful for another trip around the sun. Another year older, and hopefully another year wiser. I’m thankful I got to spend the day with my family doing things we enjoy. And thankful the kids were well behaved pretty much all day. Thankful for awesome Children’s/Family theatre here in the metro area we live in, and for the amazing show we got to see together. And I’m thankful for student ticket prices (and gift cards) that allow us to do such things on our limited budget.

Truth be told, I always get rather depressed leading up to my birthday these days. It’s not because I’m getting older, because honestly, that doesn’t bother me at all. There are other reasons, and I may or may not publish those thoughts at another time. Suffice it to say, once my actual birthday came and went, my mood has significantly improved, and for that I’m thankful.

Day 40 – Homework and Hugs

  • Posted on November 29, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Today I am thankful for the opportunity and ability to help my children with their homework. Even though it had to pause for tears (hers, not mine) several times before it was complete, I’m thankful that I can be here and help her through it. I’m glad I have the cognitive ability to help her with her schooling. I’m also thankful that I have the ability to be home with her to do it. There are a couple nights a week where I’m working or at school and can’t do her homework with her, so frustrating though it can be at times, I’m glad I can be there most nights for her.

I’m also thankful to know that my oldest daughter still wants my hugs, even though she tries to act like she doesn’t most days. I know this because she came downstairs after bedtime to inform me that she didn’t get a bedtime hug from me. I’d fallen asleep on the couch while she was brushing her teeth, and when I woke up, I figured she was already asleep. Guess not! She is hitting an age where more often than not she tries to dodge my hugs or hand holding, so I’m thankful to know she really does care and appreciate my affections, despite attempting to appear otherwise.

Day 39 – Laughter

  • Posted on November 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I’m thankful today for laughter. Today I sat with a group of people at lunch and we all had way too much fun hanging out together for about an hour. Much raucous laughter ensued. People from other tables stared. We didn’t care. We were too busy laughing and enjoying each other’s goofy company to care. It was the perfect break between classes at the point near the end of a semester where we’re all burned out and have way too many assignments to finish all too quickly.

I’m also thankful for the laughter that my husband and children provide on a near-daily basis.

Laughter really is the best medicine, for everything. It lifts sour moods, improves physical health, and brings us all closer together.