Wednesday, November 19, 2014

30 Days of Thanks {Humbled & Grateful}

Last night when I realized I couldn't "get myself together" over the injustice that is public school first grade homework, I ran away to my room to fold laundry.

I folded and cried and wiped my eyes for what seemed like an hour but probably wasn't.

Then I realized I had makeup all over my face so I had to fix that.  When I pulled the hot washcloth off my face, I looked into the mirror and flashed back to see my mother's swollen red eyes looking back at me.

I think about all the times she cried for her three children and all the times I probably don't even know about.  As mothers we cry when our babies are hurt and we can't fix it; we cry when our kids are faced with tough choices that we can't make for them; we cry when they disappoint us; most of all, we cry because in all situations we just love them so much and want only the best for them.

There is a lot of humbling that comes with becoming a mother and a lot of realizing that we never valued {and never can value} our mothers enough.

This morning's results of last night's uglier-than-ugly cry are not good.  My eyes are swollen and  they actually hurt.
Once again I has to hear my son tearfully protest from the back-seat, "Mommy, I want to go to school."
But I am thankful for all the ways, just this morning, I have been reminded of my blessings.

We listen to HIS Radio in the car most mornings and bless them, they saved me from self this morning.  They are doing a project called The Blessings Project and reading excerpts of these "needs" on the air.  I was instantly humbled and grateful to remember all that I have in comparison to the lack that many have.

And then I got home to lots of wonderful encouragement through Facebook from other moms who are struggling {and seeing their kids struggle} with ridiculous Common Core homework and classwork at school. 

One of them even sent this, which was great and brought laughter to me so I hope it will for you too!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

30 Days of Thanks {Everyday a New Day}

As I log on to this site tonight, I can't help but laugh a little.

I started this post last Friday, November 14.  I only got as far as the title although I knew exactly what I wanted to say.
The funny part is it applies so much more today than whatever happened on Thursday or Friday.

I am thankful that the things we think might kill us, usually actually don't. 

Y'all, I completely lost my mind over my son's CLASSWORK tonight. 
Yes, you read that right - classwork. 

My son wouldn't do it at school yesterday so his teacher sent it home to be completed here. On top of that, he is supposed to read every night {there is a log to sign}, has a math worksheet once a week, and spelling journal - 3 separate spelling activities a week- to be turned in on Friday. We spend about 4 to 5 hours a week on homework, not including reading, and NOT including this extra classwork tonight.

His classwork assignment? Expository writing.
  Three pages total: top page, FINAL draft of 5 sentence expository piece on spiders. Second page: "rough draft" page, broken down into "topic sentence," "fact 1," "fact 2," "fact 3," and "conclusion sentence." Third page in packet: Three columned list designed {I think} to brainstorm the "facts" about spiders. The top of the page says "spiders," column 1 says "have" {as in, "spiders have..."}, 2nd column says "can...," and 3rd column says "are...".

We spent 1 hour and 45 minutes on this tonight and didn't get any other homework done including reading.
He cried. 

I cried {I look like someone beat me up :-)} and I wrote his teacher a very heated email.

I'm thinking she probably hates me right about now {although I was sure to say my frustration was not personal but about the work being forced 
on these kids}.  
My son is smart.
He is top of his class in math (97th percentile) and the highest reading level in his class along with 2 other students (20 total in the class). 

He likes spiders and thinks they're interesting.
He's NOT interested in writing and as far as I'm concerned, that makes him a normal 6 year old boy.

That's right; he's 6 and in the first grade.

Today, I am thankful for starting fresh and grace and praying the teacher shows me some!

Monday, November 10, 2014

30 Days of Thanks {Little Interruptions}

If I listed for you all the interruptions I've had to accommodate this past week, we could be here all day.
The reason I am thankful for them is simple: they cause you to stop and check yourself.

Kids seems to always get sick on a day I have an event planned.  You know, an out of the ordinary event; a thing I need to attend; and look professional. 
It's when I'm already pressed for time or trying to do too much in too little time that someone gets sick.

If it's Buddy, getting sick {spiking a fever, even a low one; getting chills, a nasty cough} means a visit to the Doctor.  He has asthma and has ended up in the hospital before when he got so sick that breathing treatments weren't helping him.

It was one of the scariest things for me as his Mom, because he was only 2 or 3 and so tiny.  Watching a tiny one struggle to breathe is always scary but when it's your own child and you can't help him, I think it's worse.

So we've learned not to mess around with him and illness that could aggravate his asthma.  We travel with his nebulizer now - no exceptions - even day trips.  We do maintenance treatments everyday during the school year. And we go to the doctor with almost every sniffle for him, just to be sure his lungs are clear and that there isn't any other kind of infection going on.

Anyway, back to my original point: I've learned that these unexpected "ain't nobody got time for this" interruptions are usually a wake up call.
A call to slow down and pay attention.

God's way of saying:
 "...slow down..."
"'re missing it..."
"'s the little things..."
"...find joy in the everyday happenings..."

I also think He's teaching us to see the good in all things.

That's something that I'm hoping {and trying} to teach my kids too - 

always find the good.

Friday, November 7, 2014

30 Days of Thanks {Friends for Life}

I'm certainly not the only one thankful for my friends and I know that. 
I've learned a lot about friends, and about people in general, as I get older.

Being an introvert, I've never been the type to have a ton of girlfriends.  I just relate better one on one or maybe in a group of three including myself.

Growing up, I had friends {and boyfriends} that were both older and younger than me, as well as some the same age. As I got older though, I found myself relating better to those a year or two older than me, especially when it came to boys and dating.

In some ways I was mature for my age and that could make a difference.  Then of course, there's the belief that girls mature faster than boys and that may account for the dating difference.

As I've gotten older, I've realized a few things about friends and ages.  Life experience - specifically, circumstances and hardships and how one reacts to them - determine a person's maturity. Age really has no bearing at all on a person's maturity.  I have younger friends with way more life experience than me.  Those who had to grow up fast due to hardship or unexpected loss.  I also have older friends who chose a different path in life and therefore have not experienced all the same things that I have.

What it boils down to, really, is that age is just a number.

How we live our lives, {maturely - or not} is what attracts us to our friends and likewise them to us.
If you'd told me in High School that today two of my best friends would be 10 years older and 8 years younger than me, I would've thought you were crazy.

What's even crazier is that I've known one 
of them since I was 14 and she was 24, and the other since I was 12 and she was 4! 

It really is a small world and it pays to make connections and remember them.
You never know when someone who was just an acquaintance "way back when," could become your closest buddy in the "here and now."

I'm thankful for that!

What {or who} are you thankful for today?