Sunday, July 27, 2008


Well, somehow I managed to go another 10+ days without posting. It's been on my mind, just haven't made the time to get my thoughts together. And I can't even complain about being busy right now, but the busy time of year is just about to start back up........

Anyway, the thought of "changes" has been floating around in my head. Changes of various types. Number one is that (sob, sob) summer is officially ending for my family, as of 8 am tomorrow. You guessed it, tomorrow is the return of the hated, dreaded BAND CAMP for K. I feel like each school year is a merry go's always turning, even when we're not on it. We jump off each summer, do our own thing, no schedules, no plans, it's blissful. Then, reluctantly, at the first of August we synchronize our steps to the movement of the merry go round, and then step on. And we can't get off again until June. I don't want to get on, I don't want to get on, but the merry go round is the life we chose when we both became band directors. So take a deep breath, lift your foot, and here we go........

We've tried hard to enjoy our last week of summer, really we did. We went ice skating, shopping, out to eat several times, to the water park, to the beach. You name it, we did it, basically. One of our dinners out was to a local restaurant that does "kids eat free Tuesday", and it appeared that the entire population of our little town was there with the kids in tow. Inevitable that we'd know someone there, and we did. We'd hardly gotten in the door before we saw a family we know from church. Or should I say, KNEW from church. Ever since then, I can't get them out of my mind, and the whole situation is so sad.

Almost 2 years ago now, we had a very abrupt and almost violent staff transition at our church. Essentially, someone was asked to leave/fired, and for most of us it came completely out of nowhere. Questions still linger about the way it was done, did it even need to be done, etc, and I don't even know how to answer that because it was all so secretive and I never had all of the info. But the bottom line remains: it created a big split in the church, and several families that we'd known well and who were active and integral parts of the congregation decided to leave. The family we saw last week was one of those. I haven't laid eyes on them since that time. They have 3 kids, and I was floored to see them and how big they are! How dare they keep on growing, even when I no longer see them as they do it?

It was so awkward though, and I hated that. We were across the restaurant from them, and it was crowded, but we basically just waved at each other and nothing else. We could have gone over to speak to them, or they could have come over, but we all chose not to for some reason. It's like there was a wall there now, and we all felt uncomfortable going across it, so we just didn't. This family, and the others who left too, are great people and were assets to the congregation who (in my opinion) are still missed. I know I miss them. Why does stuff like this have to happen?

Oh, and then tonight we got some horrible news. A friend, a mentor, a colleague, just was diagnosed with breast cancer. I don't know any details yet, we heard this secondhand through another colleague. This wonderful lady has been my friend for 15 years, and I worked with her for 8. She's taught me so much and is a fabulous band director and fabulous lady! I don't see or talk to her as much anymore, since I work on the other side of town (literally and figuratively). But now this news comes, the night before band camp starts. I cannot imagine what is going through her head right now. I DO know that she has a tremendous faith in God, which she's shared with me many times. She helped us so much when our kids were in the hospital, and always reminded us to stay faithful and rely on God to help us all through what was a painful and scary time. Now, this is HER painful and scary time.

So if you don't mind, I think I'll end this with a prayer:

Lord, be with my friend today and in the days and weeks to come. Give her the strength, physically and mentally, to face the treatments that she will undergo. Be with the doctors and nurses; help them provide the very best in compassionate care for her. Be with her co-workers, and her band students, that they may find ways to support and encourage her as they prove the old saying "the show must go on". And lastly, please give me and all of her friends and family consolation in knowing that you are caring for her and that all of this is a part of your plan. Amen.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

a pleasantly pleasant day

.....for lack of anything better to call it. Today was just that, pleasant, and I loved every minute of it. Of course, I'm stressing big time because some long-time friends are coming to town tomorrow to visit for the weekend, and they've never seen this house before, so we're in MAJOR cleaning/sprucing up mode, but just went smoothly, calmly, nicely, pleasantly.

Little E went to school today, for the first time in a while, because he missed his friends, plus today was WATER DAY, and how can any self-respecting 4 year old not enjoy water day? ;) After K dropped E at school, the rest of us went palm-tree shopping. We've wanted one for a while, but not the true palm tree with the big trunk that grows really tall.....more like one of the bushy kind that grows more outward than up. It was hilarious, like shopping for a Christmas tree: "do you like this one better, or this one? This one's bushier, but this one's taller. This one's nice, what do you think?"

But we settled on one, and brought it home. A helped us dig the hole to plant it, then helped pour Miracle Gro soil around it and water it in. It looks awesome, really makes the front of the house "pop" as they say. :)

Next, I went to my school for a decidedly pleasant and stress-relieving talk with my principal. He was so nice, thanked me for taking on these Chorus classes, and answered my many questions in a very satisfactory way, IMHO. I'm not ready to start back yet, of course, but I feel a lot better about doing so after today.

Went to the outlet mall and racked up on some great stuff at Oshkosh. 2 polos for A, and a pair of shorts, a pair of "shortalls" for E and 3 pairs of bill, $35! Never mind that they didn't have what I went there to get, LOL, I still had fun because I love "beating the system" and getting such great deals! :)

Picked up E at school, and was greeted with nothing but positives......all the teachers and kids were so glad to see him, he had a fabulous day, water day was a smash, AND get this: the teachers were giving the kids cute little star-shaped sunglasses to take home (not sure why, but I digress). E asked for a blue pair, which he got, then asked for a green one for A (A's fav color) and they gave him one. That's my sweetie, thinking of his big bro.

Home tonight was Leave it to Beaver material.........yummy semi-gourmet dinner of calzones (from scratch!) and broccoli, all cooked by K. After dinner, outside to play with the kids in the cul-de-sac, and ended up meeting/playing with some of our neighbors. 3 kids in particular, one of which we didn't already know. K and E were riding bikes with 2 "big boys" (found out they're both 11), and God bless those boys, they were SO nice to E. Didn't just tolerate his little 4-year-old obsession with the SuperFriends, they played along and pretended they were Batman and Superman to his Robin. A and I played with just-turned-8-year-old D, and she's such a breath of fresh air. Very nice, tolerant of A's peculiarities, seems to really want to play with him. They kicked the soccer ball around the cul de sac, then got out his bike and her Razor scooter.

She really wanted him to ride the bike, but then I explained he hasn't learned how yet (without training wheels)......then she was MORE excited and wanted to help him learn. He resisted every way he knew how, but finally gave in and tried it. She was a great helper, very encouraging. He still doesn't quite have it, I can't let go of the bike for more than a second, but we're trying.

Inside for pajamas and homemade milkshakes, a bit more cleaning up, and then reading books for with A, K with E. Now, my ears are filled with the beautiful sounds of my sleeping boys, all 3 of them, through the baby monitor we still use. Right before getting into bed, E topped off the day by telling us "when I was at school and taking a nap, I really missed you guys!" My heart is full, and today was wonderful. I am truly very blessed!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

my snuggly boys, and other news

Wow, no blog posts from me in nearly 3 weeks! Sorry, guys. We've been out of town........taking A to church camp, doing our own overnight camping up in the mountains, visiting family for the 4th, etc. Also, the kids did 2 weeks of swimming lessons and we finally finished up Tball, so we've been busy.

Anyway, you know how sometimes you're really "in" a moment, really aware of what you're experiencing right then and how wonderful it is? I have those moments a lot, as a Mom, and often the thought that goes with it is "you'd better appreciate and remember this moment, while the kids are little", etc. Had one of those last night, and it was blissful and bittersweet at the same time.

For the summer, since we're all at home and no one has school or work to go to :) , we're not doing much about an organized bedtime for the boys. We get on pajamas, we start getting into bed (usually Mom and Dad's) and turning down lights, and when we fall asleep, that's fine. Last night, K and A were already in the bed but not asleep, just watching TV. E came to me where I was sitting at the computer, and I could see how tired he was. He said "I want to snuggle with you, Mom". How can you turn that down? :)

So, he climbed up into my lap. I had my legs stretched out straight, laying on top of a wooden stool, so he just stretched himself out to match. Head on my chest, body laying on top of my legs, etc. Within minutes, he was asleep. He's good about being able to stay asleep when you have to move if he's asleep in the car, but then you carry him inside, etc. So I knew I could take him to his room to his own bed, but I didn't want to, not yet. He's 4, but very petite, only weighs about 31 lbs and can still pretty easily wear most 3T clothes, even some 2T. So I was perfectly happy to lie there with him asleep on my lap, for a good long time, just savoring the moment. Realizing that someday soon he'll be too big for this, or won't want to do it. A is already too big, for the most part, although he and I did have a nice snuggly hug this morning, and he said in my ear "I really love you Mom". They can just be so amazingly sweet sometimes, and I know how incredibly blessed we are in that department. :)

Makes me think of a book my Mom bought for me, soon after A was born. I truly, honestly cannot read it without crying. I tried a few days ago, and failed again. The worst time ever was when A was beginning to learn how to read, so he wanted to read it aloud with the end I was bawling. But despite the tears, all moms of boys should have this book, it should be handed out at the hospital whenever a son is born.

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be."