Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Unedited, Random Conversations from the Trenches...

I love doing Aqua Aerobics with the lil'ol ladies at the Y.  Really, I do.  So much.

Some of the women talk and visit THE ENTIRE CLASS.

Heart rate up?  No.

Breathing heavy?  No.

Muscles burning?  No.

There to workout?  No.

I, however, am actually trying to workout.  Soooooo, when Miss Violet begins to engage me in conversation, I am forced to give her the shortest answers possible.

Such as...

Miss Violet, "Shanna, I love your son.  Is your husband Chinese as well?"

Me, "Yes, Billy is Chinese."


Random conversation with one of my children...

Child, "Mom, I need new under ware."

Me, "I JUST bought you 20 new pairs 2 months ago.  Where are they?"

Child, "I threw them away."

Mom looks confused.

Child explains, "You know, when I didn't feel like washing them."



Random text with husband who works late, late, late on Wednesday nights...

Me, "I am in a cuddly mood.  But, it probably won't last."

Husband, "Me too.  I'm an hour away.  Crap."


Text to a friend at 10:15 pm the night before school starts...

Me, "What time does school even start tomorrow?"

I warned you I hated back to school.

Speaking of back to school...

Just for's the supply list for 5 children going back to school:

1 package construction paper
1 pack of copy paper
7 packages of dry erase markers
3 pkg graph paper
3 rolls of scotch tape
4 glue sticks
1 bottle of Elmers glue
1 protractor
Student Planner
4 blue pens
5 Ticonderoga dozen pencils
3 USB memory sticks
1 in 3 ring binder
3 composition notebooks
TI-30 solar calculator
Consumable Math workbook
Consumable Careers workbook
16 crayold markers
5 dozen colored pencils
5 pair of scissors
6 boxes facial tissure
1 ruler
2 rolls paper towels
3 container sanitizing wipes
2 box zipper quart bags
1 box zipper gallon bags
1 box sandwhich bags
(11) 1 1/2 in 3 ring binder with a clear view cover
26 tab dividers
1 blue folder without fasteners
1 green folder without fasteners
1 yellow folder without fasteners
1 tow pocket plastic folder - purple
1 box crayons
2 large glue sticks
1 scissors blunt tip
1 plastic school box
2 large white rubber erasers
400 count baby wipes
1 old sock
Art shirt
1 box Dixie cups
2 boxes of 24 spoons
1 roll paper towels
5 pack 2x2 post it notes
sheet protectors
college ruled notebook paper (15 packs)
Scientific calculator
6 highlighters
red pens
Fine tip markers
P.E. Uniform
hole punch
basket for locker
locker shelf
Head phones with boom microphone
Keyboard cover
New Uniforms

Just the bare minimum.

NOT to INCLUDE:  hair cuts, new shoes, new socks, new under ware for child who throws theirs away, new software, sports fees and sports physicals.

Also NOT to INCLUDE:  College girl's sheets, towels, lamp, fan, food, books, supplies, dishes, healthy snacks, bath mat, care products, head bands, pony tail holders, new shorts because it's like "100 degrees in Fort Collins", white and colored note cards, snow boots, bike, bike light, lock and basket, bike registration, parking pass, tuition and repairs to car.  And, oh yea, mom can I have some gas money.

Also NOT to INCLUDE:  $330 worth of fees to be paid to for parking passes, technology fees, workbooks, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

And don't even think I didn't notice that $10 charge for Victoria's Spanish workbook...and she isn't even taking Spanish.

If I'm not stressed yet, by all of THAT...

There's the 1,589 emails I get from 5 different schools each containing 3,493,978,290,932 new orders and details for me to adhere too.

There should be a rule.

Each school is allowed to send out 1 email.  Containing 1 list.  The end.

And all the while I'm getting my own business ready to re-open for Fall as well (I have lists of my lists at this point and I am DARING my husband to say, 'I think you forgot something') -- and they slap "Back to School Night" on me?!?!?!?!?!

No.  I just say no.  I hate to be "that parent" who doesn't go to the Back to School Night.  My sons sweet, hand written "letter" sitting on the desk all lonely -- other parents shaking their heads at our neglect and the teacher sending me an email that she'll "catch up with me when she can".  Sigh.

But, on paper at least, I am THAT parent -- for sheer survival I must be.  And, me and teacher should just shoot straight with each other from the start.  I rock in a lot of areas!  Back to school night ain't gonna be one of them.  Homework is another.

Homework with Eli...

Me, "Eli, you are suppose to write the number that comes after 29."

Eli, "20?"

Me, "No.  30.  Do you know how to write 30?"

Eli, "Yes."  Writes 2-0.

Me, "Eli, no.  Does 30 start with a 2 or a 3?"

Eli, "Starts with a 4".

Me, "A 4?  Eli, what number are you writing?"

Eli, "I forgot."

Me, "Eli, you are writing 30.  3 - 0.  Just write 3 - 0."


Parents who make it through back to school without hurting anyone should get nominated for Nobel Peace Prizes.  It's why the car line is so crazy the first couple of weeks.  After taking the ENTIRE MONTH to get ready for Aug 22nd, it's parents way of saying, "We just want out of here!  Let us out!  Let us out!"

And, teachers should run the government.  God bless'em all!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Praying the Word

In college, my dorm proctor, Miss Patti, was a friend.  She was a mentor in joy, in loving Jesus, in loving others.  She invited me to a bible study entitled "Lord Change Me" by Evelyn Christenson.

This led me to read "What Happens When Women Pray" by Christenson...and a plethora of other books on prayer.

I learned to take the words of scripture and pray them -- literally as well as pray the ideas I found there.

These are a few I am currently praying for my family...

"Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work - THIS IS A GIFT OF GOD.  He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart."  Ecc 5:19-20

(I LOVE this!!!  I don't want to look back frequently with regret.  I want to ENJOY.  I want to be "occupied with gladness of heart."  So good...such a gift!)

"Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Oh Lord.  Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy."  Hab 3:2

"Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.  For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery."  Ecc 8:5-6

When we have wisdom to know the "what" and the "how" of our lives, this is a great blessing, yes?

When you stand at a place in life where you have no words, you can trust The Word that brings life, healing and peace.

We ALL have stories of prayers gone unanswered, of times we ASKED and nothing happened.  It's not just you.  It's me too -- and a thousand other people.  Still, I will continue to come and ask.

"To be mighty in prayer, you don't have to be trendy, cool, educated, smart, or anything else.  Refuse to be denied."  - David Perkins.

I would love for you to tell me what you are praying...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

{Parenting in Real Time} - The Words I Would Say

To tell you the truth, I don't even know who finds this stuff interesting.

Me, "Who are these people who read my blog anyways"?

Hosanna, "All my friends."

Well, okkkkaaaayyyy then...

This past week, I've been recovering from an infection.  The effects of the antibiotics are worse to me than the infection, and as a result I've done a lot of sitting in this chair...thinking, typing, and listening to Summer Hits of the 80's.  Currently playing, "Never Surrender" by Cory Hart (who, for the record, had AT LEAST 2 hits in the 80's OBVIOUSLY disqualifying him for the 'one hit wonder' status hovering above his name.  Duh).

Anyhow, while I've been complaining about being sick recovering, our oldest daughter has been packing up her room to move to college.

I so clearly remember this chatty little thing...

Proudly sporting a Biblegirl shirt...

For years I referred to her as the "Gray T-shirt Girl" because she owned more gray shirts than any human should -- and she enjoyed wearing each. and. every. one.  of. them.

She was born talking.  I swear she could say Bye Bye at 3 months old.

From this...

To this...

First day of Kindergarten...(with sister, Hosanna, rocking the Power Puff Girls pajamas)...

To highschool graduation...

Truth be told, we were in love with her from day 1...

She's the perfect mix of sweet and strong...

Southern Charm...

Not afraid to kill it on a dirt bike...


Daddy's girl...

What's not to love?

In March of 1995 (3 months before Elizabeth was born...), Billy and I began writing to her in a journal.  Over the years it was filled with little remembrances that parents often the way she used to mispronounce her own name, the way I panicked and checked her breathing the first night she slept though the night...poems Billy wrote to her.  

When she was 6 months old, he writes, "I enjoy your company."  Yea, she was always that kind of kid.

Now, she's packing up her room.

I am truly, truly excited for her...

I am truly, truly excited for us.  After all, it does feel as if Billy and I have arrived some place significant in this parenting thing.

But, truth be known, the sight of all the boxes makes me feel sad too.

I will miss seeing her every.  single.  day.

The night before her graduation, we sat down to write our final entries into her journal.  

For what it's worth, these were the words that came from my fingers.  Final entry type words.  My serious side...

Dear Elizabeth,

1.  Fear is a natural part of life.  No doubt it will come for you at times.  But try your best not to live your life controlled by it.  Be conscious and intentional about this.  

The good, the bad, the crazy times come.  Things will rarely go the way you expect.  But all is in God's hands.  He already has a path marked out for you.  He already has good works planned in advance for you to do.  Be brave.  Got for it.  Try.  Surrender.  Give.  You will be glad you did.

2.  Don't let the fact that you have many choices available to you prevent you from making a choice.  There is a big difference between having a choice and making a choice.  Hindsight is perfect for everyone.  It's true, when you choose one school, one career, one church, one spouse, etc -- that you then don't get to choose many other things.  BUT, your CHOICE brings with it value.  Value to the thing you did choose.  So choose.  And move forward in your life with confidence.

3.  Enjoy your relationships.  Love always carries with it the element of risk.  Risk to love deeply.  In the end and in the now -- people matter more than anything else.

4.  Protect your thoughts and protect your joy.  The enemy seeks to destroy this above all else.  Be thankful for the good and the hard.  They are both first filtered through God's hand.

"Joy is a function of gratitude and gratitude is a function of perspective." Ann Voskamp

  Seek God's eternal perspective in hard times, be thankful and your eyes will always be opened to God's blessing.  Then, there is joy.

I pray this book serves as a testimony to you of a legacy of God's blessing past down, spoken over you, sung over you, taught to you, and prayed for you the past 17 years.

More is yet to come.  We are always here for you, always thinking of you, always praying.


I do not fear for Elizabeth Joy's next steps -- she's lived the past 18 years -- WELL.  Her name means "consecrated" and "set apart to the Lord".  I've always known that would have to mean something.   And, we release her with joy...

"God is within her.  She will not fall."  Psalms 46:5

I would love to know what YOUR final entry would include!