Archive for March 2011

And with a click of a mouse....

Friday, March 25, 2011

..he is officially registered for HIGH SCHOOL! Yes. The class of 2015 had their freshman orientation last night. Back in the day we just showed up a week before school started, collected our schedule and went on our merry way to pick out the perfect outfit for Day One. Not anymore. As with every other subject in life, there are choices galore. Did you know that fall sports don't start in "the fall?" Pre-practices begin in June. Yes, June.

After a 45 minute introduction to every club known to man, a brief description of every class on the schedule, a performance by the girls' choir and a testimonial from a staff member/parent-of-a sophomore, we were free to roam the tables in the corridor. Everything from Photography Club to Football to the PTSA was represented behind display boards and smiling faces of teachers, students and parents. Quinn and I took it all in and left a bit overwhelmed. Fortunately, deciding on his schedule for the next four years wasn't required. Phew. We did, however, come home and log on to the school website and pick electives: French and Weight Training. Hmmm.

For nostalgia's sake, I just had to post a picture of Quinn jumping off the bus on his first day of Kindergarten. I remember a fellow parent telling me "Once they start Kindergarten, 12 years will fly by." Boy, was he right. Before I know it we'll be filling out college applications and ordering a cap and gown. One milestone at a time, right?

September 5, 2002 (look at Ian's cute reaction to the left)


Yes, it's broken

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

That is a phrase I am growing tired of hearing. But I guess with a house full of active boys it's to be expected. Although, "it's broken" is often followed by "it was just a fluke thing. This normally wouldn't result in a break." Of course not. At least this time it happened on a weekday as opposed to a holiday or Sunday night. And, at least this time, we have health insurance.

Poor sweet Ben has now had the misfortune of visiting the orthopedic office twice in the course of ten months. Last Friday he had a teacher workday so Dad took the day off too. (yes, it's the school's fault entirely) A few minutes into their one-on-one goal shooting, Ben went down to stop the ball and his elbow jammed into his knee. At first, like always, we were hoping for "it's just a bad bruise." From past experience as most neglectful parents of the year (with Ian) we learned the hard way that it's always better to get an x-ray-especially when the arm is twice the size of the opposing one 24 hours later.

The pediatrician at the after hours clinic predicted a buckle fracture. "We don't even cast those anymore. Just a splint for 3 weeks." Phew. As I stood behind the x-ray tech, even without any formal training, it was quite obvious this was no simple injury. The forearm bone was snapped right down the middle. Not a huge break but enough of one to warrant a "Uh-oh. I'm afraid you'll be seeing the orthopedic specialist on Monday." Oh, and soccer season starts on Saturday. Boo hoo.

Ben got the royal treatment and didn't seem to mind the two hour visit and being shuffled around from room to room. The best part of all was picking his cast color(s). The casting tech worked her magic and he ended up with a mix of green AND glow-in-the-dark. She even turned off the lights in the casting room for full effect at the end. Now that the novelty is wearing off, it's a different story around here. A full arm cast for the next 3 weeks then cut down to a short one for 2 more weeks. At least it's not summer, right?

Big brother pens his autograph--on half the cast.

He's still smiling.

Trying to get the full effect of glow in the dark but the camera just won't capture it.

Ian had to make his mark--gotta love big brothers.


My Children's Literature Portfolio

Monday, March 21, 2011

For my children's literature class this quarter, we were required to complete a portfolio of our work and turn it in today. What exactly does a portfolio look like? I wondered. Our professor shared some of her previous students' work to give us an idea. They encompassed everything from scrapbooks to power points to a website. The website caught my eye and I perused some of those "make your own website" pages but felt completely and utterly overwhelmed. I mentioned this to my professor and she connected me with the young lady who created her own website. After several trying to communicate through several desperate emails, she offered to meet me on campus and walk me through the process. (So very kind of a complete stranger, I might add.) And it all clicked-so to speak.

After spending close to 40 hours on this project, I am on my way to turn it in-and then collapse. Click here to view.


Almost three down

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A week from today marks the end of winter quarter. At the onset I was full of dread. This was my first experience as a full time student attending classes on campus. Up until this point I only did one class at a time and that was more than enough. Unlike last quarter, I didn't have to juggle a job and three sports' schedules on top of it all. (Winters are pretty mild for our family as no one does an indoor sport so that's why I dove in with both feet) But I still had trepidation about the unknown.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't too thrilled with going to a community college. When my advisor told me he would "let me" take half of my endorsement requirements there I didn't see it as a favor. Even though the cost would be substantially less, to me, it was like downgrading from a Mercedes to a Honda. I took the route of high school to four-year university without giving it a second thought. In my mind, junior college was for those who lacked goals and motivation and couldn't get in to a "real college" or 25-year-olds getting a G.E.D. I assumed the instructors were people who weren't able to secure a teaching post at a university so came here as a last resort. Boy was I wrong.

Within the first week I was so impressed by my fellow classmates. The diversity was a welcome change to the elitist attitude I experienced on the university campus last summer. I sat next to a 65-year-old great grandmother who was returning to school, after a 45 year absence, in pursuit of a Fine Arts degree. Behind me was a 20-year-old homeschooler who had left a crummy college experience in the midwest and was starting over toward a degree in education. In front of me, a "displaced homemaker" whose life changed overnight when her husband walked away from their 24-year-marriage. I watched the "youngsters" show patience with the older students as they helped them navigate our online assignments. As we shared in classroom and online discussions, I was floored by the maturity, respect and brilliance in their thoughts, opinions and beliefs. I was in awe of their stories and their struggles. Not one of them lacked motivation, most were also working full time jobs in addition to their course load and no one expected anything handed to them.

My instructors have been welcoming, positive, kind, smart women who love what they're doing. They know how to foster a sense of community and impart a love for the subject at hand. They grade with realistic expectations but push their students to get out of the box. They respect and encourage. They believe in every student no matter what their background. It is so refreshing and makes me want more.

So maybe getting this degree isn't about my academic education after all. I'm getting a true education in the "classroom of life". What a welcome surprise.


Accepting servanthood when we want royalty

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Last month I posted about a struggle I was facing but left the details vague. I received a few emails asking if I was okay and what was going on with me/us. It was on purpose that I didn't expand on the specifics out of respect for my husband. It's one thing for me to divulge my own personal stuff here but to put others out there without their permission is another issue altogether. I'm sorry I caused undue concern.

That being said.......I'll just say that we experienced disappointment over Trey not receiving something we both felt was a "no brainer" and well-deserved. The "powers that be" made a decision that, to us, was completely out of left field. This was well traveled territory for us but that didn't make it any easier to accept.

I remember when something like this happened a couple years ago and a friend was in the middle of a bible study on David. She reminded me of how long David served even after he was anointed to be king. He knew he was destined for greatness but he still had to "pay his dues". Last week this email came from a different friend who is in the middle of a different study on David. It was the sweetest bit of encouragement and one that applies to anyone in the midst of despair and wondering. Whether you've been passed over for a promotion, forced to take a job that you're overqualified for, sold your house and had to go back to renting, God hasn't forgotten you. What may look like a setback is usually God's provision.

This is the excerpt from Priscilla Shirer's study "Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed: A Study of David."

"In the months immediately following David's anointing, God orchestrated a shocking series of events. Instead of promotion to the position of king, David submitted to serving the one already in that position. Fully aware that God's Spirit was with him to lead God's chosen people, David served in full submission as a mere armor bearer to the king. The first step after being anointed was to serve. Often servanthood and submission mark the truest test of the anointed person. David was no less anointed by God when serving than later when he sat on the throne.

David's anointing was not merely to lead the Hebrews 22 years later. That same anointing was to empower him to walk the road to his destination and fulfill each obligation along the way. God empowered him not just to rule as king but to have patience until he sat on the throne, to submit to authority, to serve, and to have faith in God's promise despite circumstances.

What was true for David is true for you. Whatever your life entails right now--no matter how far removed it seems from what you expected--He has anointed you and divinely equipped you to not merely handle it but to thrive in it. If you can't be faithful in a little, God will not give you the larger assignment. he may want to adjust your life and character in smaller assignments to prepare you for the larger ones.

"Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time--pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely." (2 Thess. 1:11-12 Msg)

During the 22 years of waiting, we don't find David longing to be king or looking for ways to rush God's timing. Even when his life was in danger at the hands of Saul, he did not wish the worst on his enemy. Instead, h continued to trust in God's best for his life and fully commit to whatever God asked of him. In fact, David's commitment to engage in what God brought into his life was precisely what equipped him for the next set of circumstances he would face. His willingness to submit to the roll of "delivery boy" for his brothers on the battlefield led him face-to-face with Goliath. David declared his preparedness to face the giant because he had faced lions and bears. Each circumstance David faced and overcame strengthened him to handle the next challenge. All of those years of service were not a waste after all. Each season was a necessary part of his development to be king."

In spite of how I might FEEL, I want to serve "in full submission to the armor bearer" while I wait for "the larger assignment."

To Him who is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine........