Spring Breaking

We've been in Oklahoma since Friday. It's been a whole lot of nothing going on in the form of too much HGTV and picking wildflowers from the front yard. I used to do that all the time, so it's fun to see the girls doing it this week. I should go out tomorrow and make flower necklaces with them. Should.

I do not rest very well. I think I don't know how. It translates to not napping, not going to bed early, etc. Yesterday I cut out the girls' Easter dresses so I could check something off my list. I purposely didn't bring my sewing machine, though, because I wanted to try to rest.

I keep wanting to do that. I keep trying.

Today I'm simply exhausted. I can't figure out why I'm feeling it finally. I have nothing I have to do. Maybe my body is telling me it is okay to relax, but my brain is still telling me it isn't. Every time I fall asleep I start dreaming that I'm awake. I'm not doing anything in particular, I'm just not sleeping. So when I do wake up I think I haven't slept and it really messes with my brain. This happened last night and again today when I attempted a nap.

I think I really did take a nap, though, because even though I was exhausted at 8pm and tried to go to sleep, I couldn't. I never can go to bed at night when I take a nap during the day.

Anyway, that's about the extent of things so far. My dad is thinking about taking us to the zoo tomorrow, but it might rain. If it rains we might go bowling instead. I think I might push for the latter just to avoid the drive.

Yep, that's how sluggish I am right now. Too lazy for the 30 minute drive into Tulsa. I'm in need of some rest. Rest, where are you? I'm waiting.

We’re Moving Again!

Boxes of Books

Just kidding. After moving six times in the last four years, I think I’m just hardwired to pack things into boxes and stack them somewhere in our house every nine months or so. Seems like my calling in life.

In reality, it is finally time for us to deal with this:

The ceiling that hates us

Which really extends across the entire living room ceiling:

IMG_1725.JPG

Because of the havoc that is about to come, I’m putting everything in the living room into boxes and getting it all out of here. I’m sort of digging these shelves sans books right now:

Empty Shelves

It also means that since chaos is about to ensue anyway, we might as well finally get 1984 completely out of the living room by employing some cheap child labor:

IMG_1722.JPG

She does a great job, don’t you think? Just a mere 24 hours ago, this spot too had 1984 glued firmly in place. Now look at it. Now it just has 1984 painted there, but it is all ready for a fresh look next week.

IMG_1724.JPG

Problem? Craig and I are having trouble agreeing on the paint color. He doesn’t think the fabric I picked out really goes that well with the carpet. Last night I posted all 18 yards on ebay and Craig’s List and am hoping for the best. In the meantime I’m saying just do it. Paint it something. Something that isn’t peach. Or black. I’ll deal with the fabric issue later.

2009, here we come.

Shake-y Time

We’re right on the verge of spring break around here. By that I mean I communicated to my kids that as of Thursday we would be officially on spring break. We planned to drive to Oklahoma and spend a few days with my parents. Most of you might remember that my mom recently had a knee replacement surgery, so we thought we’d go cheer her up in her infirmity a little bit.

This was before Millie came down with a throw-up bug yesterday morning. My policy on that is to make sure the household is sick-free for 24 hours before joining back in with other people. In the case of throwing up, I like to make sure we’re in the clear for 48 hours before rejoining society.

As such, I postponed the trip until Friday and broke the news to everyone that we weren’t really taking spring break on Thursday after all. We have a lot of catching up to do and every day counts right now.

They were disappointed but they handled it okay. They’ve handled it better because I’ve taken them to get shakes two days in a row. Our friends who watch the girls for us every Tuesday had told us they would be going out for Shamrock Shakes last night. When it turned out I was going to have to skip class to stay home with the sick one (and subsequently everyone else too), they were seriously disappointed about missing out on the shakes. Millie seemed to be feeling better after lunch and the only thing she wanted was the goofy Shamrock Shake, so out we went. She promptly threw the whole thing back up again. Twice.

Scratch that attempt. Today we were out again and again, shakes were the only thing on her mind. We went through Steak and Shake during happy hour and got more shakes. This time they all stayed down.

So it appears that Millie is on the mend in that department, however she did spike a low fever most of the day today. I’m not so sure the bug is out of our collective system yet.

Not sure what this is going to mean for our Oklahoma trip as I know without a doubt my mom is in no position to be gifted with the gift that keeps on giving and my mom catches everything (right, Mom?).

If we leave Friday morning we won’t have the 48-hour clearance I want before we go. Not sure what to do.

My kids are going to be mucho-disappointed if I cancel the trip altogether.

Maybe another shake is the answer?

Public Service Announcement

I just opened my phone bill and noticed it was higher than it usually is. I wondered why because we hadn't made an exorbitant amount of phone calls this month. I noticed a charge for one "Residential Email" for the amount of $14.95.

There was a number next to that charge to call. This company is not affiliated with our phone company (AT&T) yet somehow sneaks its charge onto the phone bill. When I called about it they claimed I signed up for an account on their website. I assured them I never did. They gave me my name, my address, my phone number – all correct. They also gave an email address – this one NOT correct. Somebody else signed us up on this account fraudulently and we were charged. If I hadn't read our bill this month we would have continued to get charged.

I'm hopping mad and don't know what to do about it. They said they canceled the amount on our bill, but did not take any responsibility for the matter. It is Monday and Mondays are my long days. I'm tired and I want to take a bite out of somebody. That somebody today is Residential Email.

Note to Residential Email: Back off, Barbie. I'm in no mood for your stupid games. I will find out what I have to do to get you reported.

That is all.

On Obama and Education

I saw all the buzz about Obama’s address on education and couldn’t leave it be. The post is here on WORLD Online.
======

In his first major address on education since taking office, President Obama spoke of his vision for public schooling in America to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Two quotes struck me:

“Economic progress and educational achievement have always gone hand-in-hand in America. The future belongs to the nation that best educates its citizens.”

And:

“The relative decline of American education is untenable for our economy, it’s unsustainable for our democracy, it’s unacceptable for our children. What’s at stake is nothing less than the American Dream.”

I agree that American education has taken a nosedive. I happen to think very differently from the president about how to solve that problem.

What is the purpose of education anyway? If it’s only to create state-sanctioned robots to fulfill state-ordered jobs in order to pay back state-incurred debt, then I suppose the way to do it is as the president has proposed.

And here’s what he has proposed: A longer school day, school week, and school year, modeled after South Korea. “The challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom,” the president declared. “If they can do that in South Korea, we can do it right here in the United States of America.”

I happen to think the purpose of education is for the betterment of people and not necessarily the nation. This isn’t to say the two can’t go hand-in-hand, but I’m far more concerned about helping my children develop character and the ability to think and carry on intelligent conversation than I am about readying them for some job. The key to my vision is more time at home, not away from it.

The American Dream is not my pursuit. It may be President Obama’s, and I suppose he as president is supposed to lead others in pursuing it. But if and when he makes some of this policy, he crosses the line in my mind as one far more interested in the American state than in America’s children.

Springish

I debated and debated and finally decided. A new box from fabric.com arrived today.

Soon-to-be Easter dresses

Now then, for that shipment of time I ordered. Once that arrives these cute cuts might actually turn into something wearable…

Called on the Carpet

This morning Maddie and I had an argument about clothes (my word, does it happen this early?). She’s been begging me to pull out the summer clothes for the past four days, and I kept saying no because I still have so much laundry to do, plus the fact that it isn’t time to put away the winter ones yet as it’s only March and it will still be cold again (I don’t like this in-between time when I have to deal with clothes for both seasons with only closet and dresser space for one).

Anyway, Maddie didn’t want to wear a winter dress, so she asked if she could wear jeans instead. My answer was “no,” as I don’t really like the girls to wear jeans to church. She got mad. I got mad back. She left the room, and then Craig, who had watched the whole thing live, said, “What’s the big deal with letting her wear jeans?”

The short answer? I didn’t have one. It’s just a personal preference, probably a carry over from when rock music was “bad” and jumpers were “in” (okay, were they ever really “in”?). I started to get angry with Craig because he “took her side” (child/parent relations probably go sour because parents become kids again to make their case). At any rate, I wasn’t being particularly rational; I was just angry that I didn’t get my way and that Craig didn’t see it my way either.

I was still pretty bent on being frustrated, though, until he said this: “Look at it this way: at least she wants to come to church with us, and as long as she does, I don’t care what she wears.”

I had this instant flash-forward to the idea of a prodigal daughter with tattoos and piercings and dressed in goth – a daughter who had run away but then came home, sitting beside us in church in said garb. And I was glad for it, which suddenly made my pettiness over a pair of jeans, a red t-shirt, and pink tennis shoes seem exactly what it was: stupid.

We went to church. Five minutes after slipping into our pews (we took up two today – sometimes we don’t get there in time to all sit in one), the service transitioned to the part where we confess our sin together. Here’s what we read aloud:

Lord Jesus, you taught us that in Your kingdom, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” – but we have been rich in pride. “Blessed are those who mourn” – but we have not known much sorrow for our sin. “Blessed are the meek” – but we are rebellious by nature. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” – but we have great desire for evil and little longing for Your true goodness.

“Blessed are the merciful” – but we are harsh and impatient. “Blessed are the pure in heart” – but we have impure hearts. “Blessed are the peacemakers” – but we have not sought reconciliation.** “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness” – but our lives do not challenge the world. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” – but we have hardly made it known that we are yours.

Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us all our sins. Renew us and lead us by your Holy Spirit so that we may seek first your kingdom and Your righteousness and walk joyfully in the way of Your blessing.

**It was about here that I started crying. Rich in pride? Yep. Not much sorrow over my sin? Yep. Rebellious by nature? Yep. Harsh and impatient? Yep. Impure heart? Yep. Not sought reconciliation? Yep.

We finished reading and I tapped Maddie on the shoulder and asked her to join me in the foyer; there were people there, so we kept walking until we found an empty room. It was there that, for one moment, my pride was humbled; my sin was sorrowed; my rebellion was tempered; my harsh and impatient nature was neither; my heart sought purity…and reconciliation.

10-year-olds give those things much more easily than, say, 35-year-olds do. Infinity-olds do, too, for that matter. For Maddie and for God, I am grateful.

Be gone legalistic rules that demand preference over truth. If my daughter wants to worship the Lord in jeans, so be it. Please allow her to always want to worship the Lord.

Amen.

Good News/Bad News

The good news – I started pricing books for the upcoming used homeschool resource book sale which is next weekend:

Books for Sale!

The bad news – I still have all of these left to price:

Oh My Word, More Books!

I think maybe this is why I haven’t bothered before now. *sigh*

Would You Encourage My Mom?

Nana

These are my parents here, along with my girls. My mom, Moleta, has to have a knee replacement surgery this coming Monday. I don’t know much about knee replacement surgeries, but I know about spending time in the hospital (via my kids), and know how discouraging a long recovery process can be (also via my kids).

I hear she will be sporting a cane for much of the spring season and you all, my mom is a fashionista. The cane look isn’t going to suit her personality very well (though if anyone can swing it and make it work, she can).

Anyway, I was just hoping many of you would come out of the woodwork and leave an encouraging comment for her. She reads my blog faithfully and I know it would mean so much to her.

Thanks on her behalf. And mine.

U2 Therapy

Maybe my irritation today was caused by relational conflict with a certain female member of the household.

Maybe it was caused by the perpetual mess I can’t seem to contain.

Maybe it was caused by my kids’ collective goofiness being in overdrive in the car today.

Maybe it was caused by my needing to go on antibiotics this week (and the drowsiness warning on the label).

Maybe it was caused by going to Best Buy to get the new U2 album (on sale for $9.99 today) and then having it smoke my computer into oblivion. (Okay, it didn’t really do that, but it wouldn’t load into my iTunes.)

Maybe it was caused by Katie and Millie’s little CD player, which is a classical example of getting what you pay for. It didn’t work either.

Maybe it was caused by the fact that I’m all out of Coke Zero and I could really use one RIGHT ABOUT NOW.

I don’t know. I do know that not five minutes ago I was scouring the Covenant Seminary student portal and main website for information on switching my class to audit or outright dropping it altogether. I’m tired and have too much to do and, as easy as the class is, it’s the time suck that is wearing me down right now.

Then Maddie asked me why I wasn’t listening to the new album and, upon hearing why, went to retrieve her CD player (which she had been listening to). She brought it down, plugged it in, and put the CD in for me.

Maybe that’s what I needed. I think I can handle class tonight after all.

Maybe even complete the Graduate Certificate after all.

But boy, howdy, could I still use a Coke Zero. RIGHT ABOUT NOW.

And there’s no “maybe” about that.