Saturday, April 23, 2011


Friday, April 22, 2011

thank you, Jesus.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

bridesmaid adventures part two

My invitation to the wedding shower I am helping to host arrived in the mail last weekend.  We got word from the matron of HONOR (i.e. head bridesmaid) that 105 invites went out.  Yes, you read that correctly. 

one.  hundred.  and.  five.

Not at all the "intimate gathering of the bride's closest friends and relatives" Miss Manner's suggests. 

One other bridesmaid and I are in charge of favors. 

Since the wedding is a beach theme, we wanted to do a message in a bottle favor.  A small plastic bottle with a rolled up paper in it with the happy couple's names and wedding date.  We were going to toss in a few small shells and a teaspoon of sand.

Now we are doing jordan almonds wrapped in tulle.  And I'm thankful I'm not in charge of the food.  How would I ever be able to afford my lovely strapless pool colored dress if I was?  And the Spanx I need to hold my assets in?

Monday, April 18, 2011

radical change

When we first met, Kevin was unemployed and substitute teaching to help make ends meet.  (hmmm, help bring ends less than a mile apart is more accurate.)  His unemployment did not last long and he's been very gainfully employed with the same Fortune 500 company ever since. 

We were still only dating hanging out (remember ends were a mile apart so we didn't actually get to "date" much in the traditional sense) when he first wistfully made mention of the fact that he could never make teaching work as a career because of the low pay.  Another person may not have even noticed this passing comment, but for some reason it was one that stuck with me.

So when he mentioned the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship to me last November, I did not automatically collapse in a frantic heap of sobbing worrying mess.  I knew back then that I would eventually be married to a teacher($) and NOT a senior systems analyst($$$$).  I just figured it would be more of a retirement pursuit for him and not a midlife course correction.

I did have a lot of trepidation.  We have SEVEN living children.  Only the first of which is starting college this fall.  But God had prepared my heart with David Platt's Radical and the Adventure of Greatness our life group had just completed.  This was a 7 week study on using our gifts and talents to serve others.  That is where you find greatness...  when your life's work is serving other people.

The fellowship seeks midlife career professionals in science and technology fields to retrain as high school teachers.  Applicants must commit to teach at least 3 years in high need urban schools.  It is the aim of the program for these teachers to bring knowledge and hope where it is needed most.  John Carroll's mission statement, vision and core values make it the perfect partner school for the fellowship.

Through my anxiety, I encouraged him to apply.  A few days later a good friend told me she had just read an article that said there were already over 700 applications for only 20 spots and that was only the beginning.  I won't lie.  I breathed a small sigh of relief.  Maybe this really wasn't something that God was calling him to now.  That much change with the loss of our daughter so recent seemed almost insurmountable to me. 

Then we received news he made it through the first round and was selected for the interview process.  He spent a vacation day down at John Carroll interviewing with the committee members and teaching a sample lesson.  After that, it was just a waiting game.  He was told he would have an answer sometime in April.

Saturday morning the envelope came.  In his words it was, "too big to be a rejection letter." 

John Carroll here we come.  Go Blue Streaks!

I have no idea how we will make it through the next year without his income.  But my husband is an awesome hardworking resourceful guy and we serve a BIG HUGE GOD.  Pray for us as we begin this new chapter of our lives.

Pray for wisdom, discernment and clarity as we decide how to best manage our household during this time of transition.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

carpool lane

I will very highly recommend my son's school to anyone willing to listen.  I love that they have master degreed teachers in every room.  I love that the ratio in his room is 1:5.  I love that they use technology like ipads to encourage the kids to go as far as they can.  I love that he is exposed to kids that are differently abled.  I love that one of the teachers brought in some baby ducks to share with the classrooms.  I love that they provide 5 day a week 3 hour a day play based learning experiences for the whole county on a sliding tuition scale.  I love that he walked in today to meet a butterfly newly emerged from her chrysalis.  I love the huge indoor gym and the bikes.

I do NOT love the carpool line.

I try to have patience.  I realize after participating in at least 6 different carpool lanes at schools in 2 different states that I have a lot more experience than some of the other moms.

The parent handbook attempts to make it very clear.

The note the head administrator sent home at the end of the first quarter made it even clearer.

They still don't listen.  So maybe we should spell out exactly what the carpool line is NOT for.

It is NOT for cornering your child's teacher just because it happens to be her day to help with carpool for a quick conference on how Johnny has been doing.  Believe it or not the teacher really isn't interested.  She's had a long day and is anxious to get her room closed up and home to her own family.  Shoot her a quick email or leave a voice mail and she will get back to you.  When it is convenient for you both.

It is NOT for chasing your kid down to wipe down his face or fix her hair.  If you can't take care of this one at home just let it go.  Preschoolers can get grimy.  And they aren't all that concerned with their appearances.  Teachers know this.

It is NOT for placing your car in park to make multiple trips into the building to unload classroom supplies. 

It is NOT for long conversations with your child about his day as you buckle him into the seat.  But be sure to get around to that.

It is NOT for rearranging items in your car.  If this is something you have a problem with, you are not going to be able to fix it in a few minutes a day.

It is NOT the place to get distracted talking on your cellphone or working a sudoku.  Especially when your bumper sticker says, "hang up and drive."

It is NOT for adding oil, windshield wiper fluid or other substances to your car.  Yes, I've actually seen this one.

Now that we got those NOTs out of the way, please place your child's booster or car seat in the most convenient position for the aides who are there to assist him in and out of the car.  Today, let them do their jobs and we'll ALL get home sooner.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

bubble fun

Blowing bubbles is one of our favorite things to do so I bought 3 of these No-Spill Bubble Tumbler Minis at Walmart.  I wasn't expecting too much because they were only about $2 each.  I am so happy to say I was very pleasantly surprised.  They are the perfect size and shape for little hands.  The circle that you blow through is small.  It makes is so easy for even toddlers to blow lots of bubbles successfully. 

Lots of things can say no spill but they aren't.  This bubble tumbler can be tipped over, dropped, even turn it upside down, and at the most only a tiny splash leaks out.   

This would be a nice addition to your wee one's Easter basket.  It's won multiple awards including Oppenheim Toy Portfolio's Gold Seal, Parent's Choice Classic, and National Parenting Publication Gold Award!

Monday, April 4, 2011

praising God today

for His provision of five, YES FIVE!!!, new pint sized clients,

for the MANY material blessings we have so recently received:  24 Regal Cinema passes, MTD trimmer NIB, the very successful sale of an Edison Phonograph, $50 Amazon gift certificate, fancy running shoes gift certificate,

for the everyday encouragement from people and bloggers in my life to help me to be a better wife and mom,

for the opportunity yesterday to cuddle with a precious newborn girl in the infant nursery with ZERO grieving in my heart,

for a teenager who would sincerely and excitedly say to me:  "Isn't tithing GREAT!",

but most of all for the opportunity to have a relationship with Him! 

Do you know Him?