Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our first week of OUT school...'N Stuff...

There should be a picture RIGHT HERE of the girls and I in all our gear standing on the driveway...but I'm not sure what I did with my camera...and it's only 4:35am...so it would be considered RUDE to poke Beanie and see if she knows.

It's okay with me, because a newsy post can easily be followed by a picture-y post and I hardly have to try...which is important now and then.


Kinda fun.

The girls LOVED their very first day of "Out" school...dubbed thusly by a then-5-year-old Beanie who wished she could go to "out" school when all of her little friends on the street went to kindergarten. The wishing to go to "out" school only lasted until the middle of the second semester when several of her little friends confided the wish to stay for "home" school...but the term itself, stuck.

So what to say first?

It is SO fun to go and see friends (student and teacher alike) first thing in the morning and listen and learn and visit and share ideas. Pulling out new books and supplies is great fun too...that's pretty much the same "home" or "out"...although there are WAY more supplies needed for "out". This makes the corralling of said supplies a little skitchy. We've never needed room for 3 full 3 inch storage binders...or 3 different Science boxes...but new crayons are new crayons, even if we never progress further than, "Stick it in the pile by the piano". New crayons=Joy. Still, don't show up unannounced without your hard hat...'kay?

My kids are taking subjects we've never done formally at home before. For instance, Spanish! Monkey Face spent the rest of Thursday (our first day) and most of Friday wishing to be called by her Spanish name. P.E., which we've done always, every day, every year...but have foolishly called it soccer, swimming, jogging, hula hooping etc...holds great fascination for them...our first class of that will be this afternoon. And then there is Art. I'll confess, I'm more excited than they are...but then again...I'm all kinds of impressed with their Art teacher. I've seen him draw and paint and it makes me, the one who is more into penmanship, very happy.

The girls think lunch out of box is AWESOME. It's not so much the lunch itself...it's more the snacks. I've actually allowed fruit rope in. Technically, it wasn't that I wasn't allowing it per se...it just seemed unnecessary when they’d just eaten breakfast (at home we don’t usually eat until 8:30 or 9) and they could just grab an apple…a cheese stick…a bowl of crackers. Little did I know they had been missin’ out on a certain TYPE of junk food (Just to clarify, they get junk food a-plenty in other forms.) and the lunch box soothes their little souls.

There are a few things that we are still muddling through. One of my friends at the school told me to expect it to take about a month to really understand the interaction of the paper. And I confess…it’s my biggest stressor. In homeschool…it’s ME and THEM. I made the plan, the worksheet, assigned the book AND have it on hand. I understand where I’m going with the assignment (for instance, this one we’ll test, this other one is just a learning/reading thing) and they DO it, cuz I’m their mom and they want to see daylight at some point in their lives. With six teachers (each kid) BESIDE myself that intimacy with their school work is gone. Right now, while I’m NOT sure of the plan…things are a touch more chaotic than I’d hoped.

Still, they wanna go back. And for me, for now, that’s all that matters. There are so many things in my life right now that I can’t un-jumble. As challenging as this is…this is a finite equation…it’s answerable…AND even in the chaos, it’s still pretty fun.

Regarding the ‘N-Stuff…that’d be the Grandma.

We started this weekend in Urgent Care, as you know. Things went well Saturday, but her blood pressure climbed all day Sunday. So, Sunday night, back to Urgent Care. We had a terrific doctor who checked her over and switched her meds around…we were in and out of there in under an hour…which was really REALLY nice. He recommended a doctor for us to call first thing in the morning.

Yesterday, which was Monday, Mom called and got an appointment with the recommended doctor’s colleague for 1:45pm. Nice. Who would have thought that we’d have gotten in the same day? On top of that, we liked the doctor a lot. She was very attentive and kind. We changed meds again and go to check on everything on Friday.

Please continue to pray for her. Her blood pressure makes ZERO sense to me. We’ve learned that if she doesn’t eat it goes up and if she is stressed (like going to the doctor) it goes WAY up (another reason to praise the Lord, this doctor was so nice, Mom is looking forward to seeing her again)…but aside from those two obvious ones…there seems no rhyme or reason.

One other thing…things are pretty stressful over here. MOST of it is good, new, excited stress…the kind that makes you laugh. Some of it is bothersome, minor things that all by themselves would barely blip the radar. And there are small bursts of BAD, scary stress. But my body doesn’t deal well with it. I don’t sleep. Could you pray for that too?

I guess that’s it. Hey, look, it’s only 5:30am…plenty of time to…hmmmm…well, time to do something, I suppose.

See ya around…

Friday, August 19, 2011

In Which the Grandma Scares Stack...

This is a pure prayer request...

My mom has had REALLY high blood pressure this week. On Monday she went for a root canal and her BP measured 203/99…

It came down a bit over the next few days…but starting yesterday afternoon her left arm was feeling very uncomfortable…of course, she didn’t say much about it…

Today, when I called to tell her that I was on my way home, she told me that her left arm was really uncomfortable and sort of numb. I called my neighbor to take the girls and rushed her to urgent care where THEY rushed to get her BP (now 218/103) down and went about trying to find out what is going on.

Long story a little shorter…they still don’t know why her arm is so uncomfortable but it does seem that she is “okay” in that she has not had either a heart attack or a stroke. And they’ve given her some medication to bring her blood pressure down to a safer level.

Because she lives out of the state so much, she doesn’t have a doctor in the area…so I’m praying that we’ll be able to find a kind doctor who takes Medicare here in the area…

Because we are a pretty natural family, we don’t know even how to approach being on a medication that has severe side effects…and until we find this doctor we have to understand what we see and be ready to take her to the ER should any of the many possible side effects come about…some of which they told us WOULD happen anyway for the first few days…so I’m praying for understanding and clarity…

And because she’s my Mommy…I want to keep her. So I’m praying for healing…and peace…and to be able to keep our emotions in check so that we can keep a level head…I say “we” but probably mean “me” and “my”.

To be clear…she’s okay…and I’m praising the Lord for that!!

But…please pray.

See ya around...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Barbeque Chicken Pizza...

I am an odd duck. I readily admit it.

I suppose that if you know me at all, this does not come as a surprise...but for some reason, every now and then one of my quirks hits me and I'm still surprised by what a complete dork I really am.

Case in point...the subject of our blog today, boys and girls, is not REALLY Barbeque Chicken Pizza...nope...it's actually..."how Stackey is missing her girls after several days of planning, gathering, writing for things that don't directly concern them...and after 2 days of absolutely necessary and interesting meetings...with one more to go...and just wants to connect with them in some way when she is not here..."

You can see, dear reader, why I had to simplify the subject a little.

So, as is my nature when ANYTHING out of the ordinary happens...I've not been sleeping. So in my wanderings of late last night and early this morning...I realized that I really like handwriting.

Stay with me here...remember the Topic Sentence, "I am an odd duck" we are now getting to a supporting sentence.

I REALLY like handwriting. I've kept some sort of handwritten journal most of my life...and sometimes wrote often enough to keep a timeline. I notice handwriting...My dad's was small and succinct...Beloved has an account's hand...My brother is a lefty and a boy and he is how I learned that MANY lefties...even boys...have a more open script that as a kid I thought was a more feminine look...it's just how they hold the pencil. My cousin Oddy has some of the most beautiful script I have ever seen, and yet it was a little difficult to decipher until I'd really sat still and TRIED, because some of her letters are very flowery. I've poured over both of my Grandmother's writings...and noticed as their hands became more shakey and jagged...and yet remained the same lovely lines.

I really like typing too...but that is not the point of this ramble.

Let's stay on topic shall we? That's right, 1) Odd Duck 2) Missing my girls 3) Handwriting.

So this morning...knowing I was going to meetings that would keep me away from them for another whole day, I got thinking, "I need to write them a NOTE! That's it! At least that is REALLY me...I would have actually touched that piece of paper and although I won't be here to touch them...they can touch the paper and it's sorta like touching each other" (I'm a touch sentimental at 3 am...it's part of my charm).

So I DID write them a note. And then I thought, well, hmmmm, Grandma might like a project for them, and I might be tired this evening, so maybe they could make dinner and if I WRITE them an easy enough recipe, maybe all of them can be involved...and then I can put it in MY recipe book and when they are old and gray and I'm dead (I'm also a touch morose at 3 am) they can look at it and remember my handwriting. (Please note, run-on sentences are the norm when I'm low on sleep...I may come back and edit this...but probably not...).

So, in the end I wrote them a note...and a recipe...in my own handwriting. And THAT, dear reader, is why this post is called Barbeque Chicken Pizza...for this ONE scan.

When they are old, they will also remember that their momma loved turquoise...if it'll only hold the color...and that brings my sentimental heart joy.

See ya around...

Monday, August 8, 2011

I know the plans I have for you...

It's been a long time...again.

Remember, a long time ago I told you I blog on the upswing? Yeah...well, life's been tough for a while...I think I'd better blog from the well...

We are going through some major changes over here...and I truly believe that they are a gift from God. But we are still learning a new way of normal.

Let's see, where to start. Last school year Beanie was in a choir in a local university style school...and they did a musical for their spring show, which I got to help produce. We had a BLAST!! But because there were MANY other people's children...you didn't get any pictures...I'm not actually sure I said anything about it.

At the time, the director and I talked and talked about this year. Things I could help with, things that she dreamed of for the school. At the time I wasn't exactly sure which part was going to be reality...so I left it for the Lord. I was a homeschooler, after all, and not really interested in doing anything else.

But God is the One who knows the beginning from the end.

For several years now, my husband and I have been struggling. He has asked me not to call him Bubba anymore, so I am going to call him Beloved. I have believed that things would sort out...I have believed it for YEARS...however, a year or so ago it became apparent that Beloved and I were not able to come together and be a stable unit for our girls. We each love them to distraction...but the unity...the peace between us...the trust and comfort that a husband and wife are supposed to provide for each other and for the family is not there.

So, a little over a year ago, I began to pray..."Lord, please PLEASE provide stability for my girls...help us to BE who we are supposed to BE...do what we are supposed to do. Help us to love as we are supposed to love."

Everything only got worse...and was no better in spring than it had been...soooo...

I forgot about teaching or anything new for awhile...and I hunkered down and schooled and loved and scolded and laughed with my kids...and tried as hard as I could to make this huge hole in my life seem tiny...something that could not...WOULD NOT...destroy life as they know it.

Then, a little over a month ago...the director came to me and said, "Hey, would you like to help with the choir again this year?"..."How 'bout aiding an academic class?"..."You seem to know about computers...could you help us with some electronic stuff?...

Before I knew it we were discussing plans for 4 different classes and one administrative position and putting my kids into this university style school full time. And the weirdest part...I could HEAR God saying..."You asked for stability and YOU can't do it all alone...but these people can surround you and help".

I think the weirdest part is the fact that I was really just looking for a choir class for all my kids...and here I am...in a little over a month...accepting a job for the first time in almost 10 years and putting my kids IN a school for the first time EVER. Granted, it's two days a week and I'll be homeschooling the other three...AND I'll be at the school when they are and aiding in the same class as one of them...but it's a complete change.

God has been in it every single step of the way. I could list 10 different "action" item fleeces that He has resolved for me in amazing ways...but it would take another post...Suffice to say, God has a different plan for us than the one I first imagined.

As for my beloved and I. I don't know. I love him. I supposed that's all that you need to know.

We are both grieving this rift in our own ways...we are both torn with the sadness of the situation...and I believe we are both praying for renewal...but for the time being, this seems to be the path that we are on...

It's hard to move forward on this path...so hard...but I know that God has put my feet here...and I know he is holding my hand...so I WILL walk...whatever may be...

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

See ya around...

(There are those of you who know more than I'm sharing here, because Beloved and I ARE in counseling and are trying to find our way through. I would ask that you NOT share what you know...or even what you think...but honor us by praying for us through all the changes that are in store for our family.)