Monday, April 30, 2012

It's Officially Pool Season

Well, it's certainly not the best picture (taken with my phone), but I had to document the first swim of the year.  Parker and Claire have been begging to swim for weeks.  Unfortunately, the colder weather returned for a little while, and we had a lot of rain.  We finally gave in on Saturday since the temperature was above 80.  The water temperature on the other hand was still very cold.  Obviously, it didn't stop them!


In the past, I've had some mixed feelings about Taylor Swift.  I have lots of positive things to say: she's a great song writer and she's (so far) a positive role model.  I'm thrilled to have such a major, young star staying out of trouble and seemingly making good choices.  Just hoping she doesn't let me down...

On the other hand, I have had some serious questions regarding her ability to sing on pitch during live performances.  She gets the most improved award in that area because lately she sounds WAY better.  She either got some excellent voice lessons or a really, really good auto-tune microphone.  I also have a smallish issue with her winning all the big time awards over some of my other country boys that I think deserve it.  But that's another story for another day!

She does have some pretty nifty songs, and I especially like her song "Ours".  It's a catchy tune, and that's all well and good, but it actually made me stop and think.  When I first heard the chorus, I said, "Well now, ain't that the truth". (I think I actually even said it out loud.)

Here it is:

So don't you worry your pretty little mind
People throw rocks at things that shine
And life makes love work hard
The stakes are high, the water's rough, but this love is ours

Originally, it was that third line that got me.  Life makes love work hard.  Maybe I'm just waist high in some deep thinking, but it's true.  It just is.  Life is hard.  But love is worth working for even when it's not easy.  

So I thought about that line for a while, especially when I heard the song on the radio.

Then one day, Parker and Claire heard it too and asked what the second line meant.  We had a good discussion about jealousy and how people sometimes act.  That was a few months ago.

After Parker's Stinkbug program at school, he mentioned that another little boy said some ugly stuff to him the night of the program.  That other little boy just happened to be one of the others who was really wanting the role of Stinkbug.  I'm really not sure the boy even meant the comments because it sounded kind of like a joke, but Parker took it seriously.  As we were talking about it, he said, "You know what, Mommy? He threw rocks at things that shine".  He wasn't saying it in a bragging way at all, just realizing that it was probably rooted in jealousy.  I thought it was kind of funny how that way back discussion stuck with him.  I just hope when the tables are turned, Parker and Claire choose to encourage and not tear down.  I need that lesson myself too.  Jealousy can be such an ugly thing whether you're six or thirty-six.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grace for the Good Girl

Ok, here goes...

I finished reading Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman sometime last week.  Truth is, I'm still processing it, and I think I will be for a long time.  I don't know if I've ever connected more with a book than I did with this one.

Here's the Amazon description if you're interested:

Many of us believe that we are saved by grace--but for too many, that's the last time grace defines our life. Instead of clinging to grace, we strive for good and believe that the Christian life means hard work and a sweet disposition. As good girls, we focus on the things we can handle, our disciplined lives, and our unshakable good moods. When we fail to measure up to our own impossible standards, we hide behind our good girl masks, determined to keep our weakness a secret.

In Grace for the Good Girl, Emily Freeman invites women to let go of the try-hard life and realize that in Christ we are free to receive from him rather than constantly try to achieve for him. With an open hand and a whimsical style, Emily uncovers the truth about the hiding, encouraging women to move from hiding behind girl-made masks and do-good performances to a life hidden with Christ in God.

I already feel like God has taught me so much in the past several years about topics that the author discusses in the book, but I just couldn't get over how much I related to her.  My high-lighter got a work out that's for sure.  Claire even asked me why I was writing all in my book! At times, I almost stopped high-lighting all together because it seemed like a waste of time when it was almost every word.  

So here's the thing...I'm a good girl.  At least I try to be.  That's always been the goal.  I was a "good" child, a "good" teenager, and so forth.  Chances are, lots of you all are too.  I never had a big rebellion.  I was saved at a young age and raised in church by wonderful Christian parents.  I was WAY too responsible to risk my reputation, hurting my parents, or disappointing Jesus.  Kind of like a mother hen, I kept all of my friends in line.  At least I tried to, and I felt responsible if they didn't "follow the rules".  Yep, that's me.  Pretty much a big ol' goody two shoes.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm far from perfect.  I've made more than my share of mistakes.  Way more.  It's just that I'm one of those girls with a really boring testimony.  At least that's how I've always felt.  I'm so thankful for my boring testimony, but along with that comes my "good girlness".  

I've rambled long enough, but I must share some of these quotes from the book with you.

"My idea of who I should be is at war with who I am.  I want to be perfect in every situation. I just do. I want to know what to do. I want to know how to do it right."

"Because I care so much what you think, my hiding has everything to do with you. I desperately want to manage your opinion of me."

Preach, sister, preach. 

"Still, I like knowing the rules.  If the sign says Don't Tough, I don't touch. If it says Keep Out, I stay away.  If the form is due on Friday, I'll turn it in on Thursday just in case.  If the doctor says take one in the morning and one at night, I am sure to space them out exactly twelve hours. And even though I admit to occasionally bringing candy into the movie theater, I am always worried that the ticket person will search my bags and throw me out for smuggling in a bottle of water and two Peppermint Patties". 

"It is the false belief that I, myself, am the cause or explanation for the bad, uncomfortable, or dissatisfied people or circumstances around me.  Likewise, it also means that I feel the need to prevent the bad, uncomfortable, or dissatisfactory circumstances from happening in the first place.  I can't remember a time when I didn't feel responsible. I was responsible to be right. I was responsible to look good. I was responsible to have it all together. I was responsible for being responsible."

I'm going to stop quoting now because this post is way too long.  Also, I REALLY want you good girls out there to read the book.  I could write so much more.  SO MUCH MORE.  I want to, and I'm holding back because you need to read it for yourself and see if any of her words resonate with you.  Obviously, the book goes into ways to overcome the fear and anxiety that accompanies being a good girl.  And in the end, it's all about Jesus of course.  

I know I encourage you to read books fairly often, but this time I really mean it with my whole heart.  Especially if you are a good girl.  

(If you read it, please let me know.  I'd love to discuss more of the book with a fellow recovering good girl.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Day

So I just posted about Parker's fun program at school tonight on the other blog.  He did such a wonderful job in the role of Stinkbug.  Now I'm sitting here on my "letting it all hang out" blog reflecting on this day.

1.  I had my last evaluation for this school year today.  Everything went really well, so I'm not complaining.  Just admitting the fact that I am tired from the anticipation and carry through.  So thankful it's over, and I can feel good about it.  But tired.  So very tired.

2. An afternoon of homework, dinner and clean-up, fancying up a stinkbug, and racing back to school.

3. An evening of cheering on a stinkbug from the audience, taking pictures, and feeling proud.

4. Home, bedtime, preparing stuff for tomorrow, etc.

5. Hearing a cry, rushing in and finding a child covered (and I mean covered) in vomit.  Cleaning up a bed (with help from the most wonderful husband and daddy in the world), changing sheets, starting the washing machine, helping with an unplanned shower, and tucking in for a second time tonight.  Predicting that it could be a long night.

6. Feeling thankful that I get to be here for every single part of it.  And I wouldn't change a thing.  Except maybe the vomit.

(I really don't like that word.  The "v" word.  I just don't like any of the alternatives either.)

7. Praying.

A Real Stinker

Parker was in a musical program tonight at school.  Several months ago, he told me that they were starting to practice for the play.  The play was about a bug picnic.  He REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted to be the Stinkbug.  Apparently, several of the boys wanted the part, and the competition was fierce.  Naturally, he was delighted when he officially got the part.  It's a part that suits him quite well, I might add! He's a stinker ~ that's for sure!

Here he is before the show with his "I Stink" shirt with socks and trash hanging all over it.
 The dirty face made him extra stinky!
 With his beautiful butterfly friend Emme

 He had several lines, and of course I thought he stole the show.  Some of the other bugs were being mean to the stinkbug because he smelled so bad.  So the stinkbug got his feelings hurt.
 Then they sang a song to him and hugged him to cheer him up.

 He did so great, and I'm super proud of him!
Nana & Claire 
I love both of these little stinkers! 
 After the performance, some of the cast decided among themselves that they needed a cast party at Dairy Queen.  
 When we got home, Brian felt it necessary to try on the bug hat.
(Parker photobombing in the background)
Great night!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Just Catching Up

Claire and I went shopping. As soon as we walked into TJ Maxx, she begged to go try on shoes.  I guess I'm not the only one who walks around like a newborn baby animal in heels.  The difference is: people think she's cute doing it, but I look like crazy.
Like Mother Like Daughter

A little girl in my class brought me this sweet note.  It says:
"I love you. You are a great friend to me.  I gave you an apple for all the work you do for us."

So sweet! It's the little things like this that make my day!
(That's an apple in that wadded up paper towel)

I found this shirt and decided I must have it.
But if I get it, I'll have to get Brian this one.  We pretty much have a Pepsi/Coke battle going on all the time.

P.S. I accidentally called Pizza Hut in Gray when I was trying to call my mom.  Do you think I should take it as some kind of sign???

Parties for Friends

Claire and I went to her friend Mollee's birthday party yesterday.
Some of the girls

The Birthday Girl

Claire made me wear this hat

Parker and Brian went to a birthday party for Parker's friend Colton at the same time.  They went to the Gray Fossil Site and had fun digging for fossils all afternoon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wonder Works

 On Saturday, we woke up to our usual vacation breakfast.

Then headed to Wonderworks. 

We stopped at The Apple Barn before heading home.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Because I'm Still Processing

Today was interesting to say the least.  (Chances are, you won't care about this at all).

A couple of days before spring break, I was asked if it would be ok for some school board members to visit my classroom on April 17.  Sure.  I didn't even hesitate.  I was under the impression that a few people might walk through my room as they also visited every other class in the building. 

Today is April 17.  In case you didn't know.  This morning, I was handed a schedule that had four teachers' names on it. I was one of four.  In the whole building.  "Here's the schedule for the visit today.  There will be two groups.  Included in these groups are the Superintendent of Schools, THREE Assistant Superintendents and ALL of the school board members.  Oh, and you're first on the list.  They'll probably stay for a while to watch and talk to the kids and ask you questions. Have fun!" Excuse me? I did not sign up for this.  I guess I should feel good that my class was chosen for the visit, but my stress level went up about 52 notches.  I found myself in a way-bigger-deal situation that I had anticipated. 

As promised, I had two groups of VIPs visit my classroom today.  It was fine. The kids were well behaved.  The activities went as planned.  I didn't have a full blown panic attack (just a mini one).  Everybody seemed happy, and it was actually a quite pleasant experience.  I call that success.

So what is the take away? What should I learn from all of this?

In the words of Steve Winwood:

You just roll with it, baby
Come on and just roll with it, baby
You and me, roll with it, baby
Hang on and just roll with it, baby

(Now that song is stuck in my head)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tales From The Nursing Home

Today was my first day back to school after Spring Break.  And it wasn't pretty.  At all. 

I got to bed last night a little late because I have some wild friends who shall only be referred to as MLBSG or S, L, & R.  Being the Mamaw that I am, 11:00 was certainly past my school night bedtime.  We had so much fun though, and it was totally worth it.

Unfortunately, I didn't sleep great and definitely have some sinus issues starting.  So I felt kinda puny-ish.  Also, I made a remarkable discovery today.  Apparently, ten days out of school is the exact amount of time it takes for first graders to forget every rule and procedure they ever knew. 

I had really great intentions of walking tonight, but I just went and talked myself right out of it.  I blamed it on my tiring, puny-ish day.  Then I decided that I definitely should stay in and rest up for my big night of television.  It's hard on a Mamaw to watch Dancing With The Stars and The Voice all in one night. 

Well, I reckon I better skedaddle since I'm no spring chicken, and I'm plum tuckered out.  I guess I'll just piddle the night away watchin' my stories. 

Goodnight. Sleep tight. Mamaw loves you.


We went to Dollywood on Friday with Grandma and Grandad.  It's been several years since we went there, so a lot of it was new for us.  I bought season passes for us a few months back, so we are definitely planning to go a few more times this year.

The crowds weren't bad, and the weather was perfect!
Lots of fun!