I missed Wordless Wednesday last week. I can't believe I was actually able to go to bed that night and not just come down and post something! It really did bother me- a LOT! But I just had to let it go. There was no time or energy to deal with it right then. I will post 2 to make up for it. Feel free to leave a caption for either one or both (or tell the story of how they relate). I was going through some old photos tonight, so this should be fun.
OK, Sorry for the marathon blogging tonight. I finally found some time to post when my mind was alert enough to actually think. (times like these are few and far between lately!) So I went ahead and just went crazy with posts. I guess that actually is more like a sprint. No wonder I'm tired!
You know how sharks grow rows of teeth behind their rows of teeth? And there is something about knowing how old a shark is by the number of rows that they have? Well, apparantly my boy might be part shark... And he is getting older...
I can't help but think that Jaren will always be his Indiana best friend, but I think he has officially made a Texas best friend. Kalii and Elias have been in Sunday school together since we moved here, and Elias started talking about him after church every week. As it turns out, Kalii is Elias' teacher's nephew, and he is in one of the other Kindergarten classes. Thankfully, they combine all 3 classes several times a day for recesses, PE, lunch, etc. So they get to play together every day at school and at church on Sundays!
Last Saturday, Lissie (Elias' teacher) brought Kalii to Elias' t-ball game. I was away at retreat, so I missed it, but it looks like they had a great time!
Elias' school had homecoming a couple of weeks ago. As part of the celebration, each class decorated their door with the homecoming theme. This year's theme was Disney. So guess who got recruited to do the door to Elias' room?!
It was actually a lot of fun. Painting is so relaxing for me- it's like free therapy! The kids fingerpainted the top of the poster to make the "crowd" in the stands. Then I took all their pictures and printed and pasted their heads in the stands. Lightning McQueen has a panther emblem on his hood (that is who we played), and he is eating the dust of our school's bus. The really funny part is that I took pics of the headmaster and some other admin people and put them in the bus windows. Elias' teacher is driving the bus. It's just funny to me that I was able to get them to do those poses and make those faces, and they all did it without knowing what it was for!
I never did get a picture of the completed work, but here are some I did get...
I posted a while back that Elena LOVES pink. It really is the only color that she identifies correctly with any consistency at all. I said in my previous post that she was officially joining the pink mafia with Kirsten and Gracie. Little did I know that induction into the pink mafia includes a gift! Even if you live across the country!
This is what Elena received in the mail as her "Welcome to the Pink Mafia" gift. (and a homemade card from the other mafia members that actually said those words!)
I was able to go on the HCBC Women's Retreat this past weekend, and it was amazing! I haven't been away overnight since we had kids except to be in the hospital (which isn't exactly refreshing OR renewing) and when I spent the night in Atlanta a few weeks ago for Carter's funeral (ditto!). So I was a little anxious about being away for TWO nights, but I was looking forward to it at the same time. The weekend was focused on God's grace. It was incredible to hear the stories of all the women in our cabin and how God has shown them grace in various forms at various times. I am still just in total awe of how each person in our cabin was able to minister to another (or several) just by being there and sharing their hearts. There were some tears in the sharing, of course, but there was able an unbelievable amount of laughter. And I mean fall-out-of-your-chair-because-it-hurts-so-bad laughter! It was just awesome. Here are a couple of antecdotes: * Jaime found a surprise in her suitcase while she was unpacking the first night. She had accidentally brought the remote control from home. Later, as part of an ice breaker, she told us that the best gift she ever got was a fancy sewing maching from her husband. Then someone broke in and warned her that someday there will be a men's retreat, and her husband will have the pedal to her sewing machine in his suitcase. All the visuals that went along with that story were hilarous. * I got to spend about an hour getting to know Michelle, who happens to be Elias' Spanish teacher. It was so nice to just sit on the porch and hear what God has done in the life of her family. Just and incredible testimony! And it turns out that she is from ElPaso, which is where I lived from age 3 to age 16. We had so much in common! I look forward to seeing her in the halls at school and being able to give her a hug! * Erin shared her amazing story about what God brought her family through in 2007. Seriously, I don't think I have heard of anyone with more tragedies one right after another after another after another. But the way her family responded was SO inspiring, and I am really looking forward to getting to know her better! They just moved to Austin 2 months ago! * I got a haircut from Laura at almost midnight the second night. When we found out that she was a hairsylist (and make-up artist!), we all decided we needed makeovers. But we got a really late start and the scissors were awful (someone went and bought them at a Walgreens!)! Still, she did an awesome job on everyone who let her!
OK, I have to stop now or I will never get to bed! (which is kind what actually happened those two nights!) There are so many fun stories, I simply can't tell them all! But I will say that I came back refreshed and renewed. (and EXHAUSTED!) I know that for sure, because today my car died in the carpool lane. Once I got it jumped, I went to WalMart to get a new battery. Now this was at the end of the day when the kids and I are typically tired and cranky and hungry. But for some reason today, I was really able to just roll with it. It took 2 hours and 15 minutes to get out of there. Then Elias' Cowboys croc strap broke and my diaper bag zipper broke. As I relayed the story to Adaryll on the way home (he was working late), he said, "I am so glad you went on that retreat". I hadn't thought about it up to that point, but I am sure my reaction to the whole situation would have been totally different if I had not had the little break that I did. Isn't that just so God? He knew my battery was going to die on Sept. 29. So he scheduled me to miss my kids desperately the weekend before. And it kept me from strangling them in WalMart. I am so, so thankful for His grace!
Yet another conversation that occurred in the car recently...
Elias: Mommy, do you have a boyfriend? Mommy: Sure I do! Daddy! Elias: Nooooo. Not Daddy! I mean, do you have any boyfriends? Mommy: Well, what do you mean by boyfriend? Elias: You know, a friend that is a boy. (now I am wondering if this is actually something he has heard about at school or if he has just heard me refer to my girl friends and "girlfriends") Mommy: Well, yes. I do. Elias: Who are your boyfriends? (For some reason now the only people I can think of are my friends here that are pastor's wives. So I am thinking I could say that their husbands are my friends. Then I imagine Elias at church telling his Sunday School teacher that "Pastor so-and-so is my Mommy's boyfriend" and I decide that is a bad idea. I choose, instead, to mention people that live in another state.) Mommy: Well, Mr. Himelick is my friend. And Mr. Miller. And Uncle Jeff. Elias: Yeah. Mommy: Do you have any friends that are boys? Because that is really what we call them. And we can call girlfriends friends that are girls. Elias: Yeah! Kalii and Holloway. But I do have a girlfriend Mommy. Mommy: You do? Who is it? Elias: Kylee. (Elias' best neighbor girl in Indiana, who he hasn't seen since January) Mommy: Well, if Kylee is the girl that you like the best, than I guess that is right. Because that is what a girlfriend is. The girl you like the best. (Elias smiles)
2 years ago, Adaryll got me what I think was the best birthday present I have received up to this point. An Ipod. I was not addicted to it as many are, but I did love it. It is a video Ipod, so I had downloaded some kids TV shows and would let Elias watch them when we were waiting in doctor's offices, etc. It is what we have been using for him on planes instead of taking the whole portable DVD player. It was just SO convenient! Well, a few months ago, I realized I didn't know where it was. Around the same time, I also realized some books were missing- the ones I always take to doctors' offices, etc to entertain Elena. And the bag that I always carry that stuff in was gone too. After searching our house over and over and over (and beginning to feel crazy for checking places I knew I had already checked!), I decided that I must have left the whole bag with all the goods at an office. I called ALL of our doctors and no one had seen it. Finally, I thought long and hard and sort of remembered it being in the front seat of my car. So I concluded that it MUST have been stolen out of my car when I carelessly left it unlocked. I contemplated filing with our homeowners or car insurance to see if I could possibly get reimbursed for a new Ipod. But to do that, I knew I would have to file a police report. And I didn't think that would go over really well since it had been gone for months and I didn't know exactly when it disappeared. So I resigned myself to being Ipod-less. At least until Christmas when I might get Adaryll a new one and confiscate his old one, which is the model of mine. Sadness set upon me. Then, the other day, I was getting Elena's Epi-pen out of her diaperbag to check the expiration date. As I pulled it out the this special pocket inside the bag, out came my Ipod!!!! I cried tears of joy- I am not kidding. I don't remember ever being so happy to find something I had thought was really gone! So now it is Found! (everyone say "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!") I updated it this weekend and made the kids their own playlists. I think I have used it every time we have been in the car this week. Now I am addicted. Or maybe overprotective. Or both. Who knows where the bag and the books are? Who cares! I found the Ipod!!!!
Now on to what I would REALLY like to find: more time to blog!! Pray that I figure out how to juggle my day and fit blogging in again. I really miss you guys! :) And it is awful to have all these blogging ideas in my head and never get to download them onto the screen. If I don't find more time, my head might explode soon!
I want to let everyone know a little secret. I was never officially, legally a Hoosier. When we moved there in 2002, I still had a Texas driver's license that didn't expire until October 2008. So I kept it. Nevermind that you are supposed to get an Indiana license within the forst 30 days of living there. Nevermind that my mom moved away from the address listed on my TX license the year after we moved to Indiana. Nevermind that I was not actually a Texan by residence. What mattered was that I was still a legal card-carrying Texan! It was kind of funny on the rare occasion that I would write a check at a store and they would ask for my license. Then they would ask, "Oh, are you from Texas? Did you just move up here?" And I would respond with something like, "Ummm. We've been here a while." Then we ended up moving back to Texas only months before my license would have expired and I would have faced officially becoming a non-Texan. Well, friends, I am now a renewed Texan until the year 2014! I just renewed online- how cool is that?! It even allowed me to change my address, so now I am actually legit too! It feels so good to be Texan AND legal! :) What is really funny is that I had that picture taken in 2000, so I will look 24 on my license when I am really 38. Except that I still look the same now as I did on my permit from 1992. That's a little sad. Maybe I need one of those Mommy haircuts or something...
I was educated today on how to give your blog a new look. I just spent a ridiculous amount of time exploring all the different option out there- seriously, I am not even willing to admit out loud (or in type) how long I have been sitting here. So, whaddya think???
Elias has ALWAYS loved the Lawrence Welk show. If you don't know what that is, it is a kind of variety music show from the 70's that reruns on PBS on Saturday nights. A couple of weeks ago Elias had his drumsticks handy during the closing song. I love that he, at one point, does this funny criss-cross thing with the sticks. And then he does lunges at another point. Elias began drumming at about 8 months old. Everything that could be a drumstick (tongue depressors at the doctor, french fries, pencils, etc) was! Our drummer friend, Ben, gave Elias his first set of real drumsticks the summer before he turned 2. I think we got him his drumset that next Christmas. And he has pretty much been keeping a beat ever since!
As you probably already know, our house is pretty much always filled with music. Since Elena came along, dancing has been added to that mix. On a fairly regular basis, dancefests just breakout in our living room. I was able to capture one of those moments the other day.
Elias has started T-ball again! Actually, we started about 3 weeks ago, but this is the first chance I have had to really sit down and write about it! We are on a great team of 5 and 6 year olds. We have connected with most of the parents, and the coach is a guy who Adaryll played softball with last spring. Elias has come a LONG way since last season! I remember how he looked like a newborn giraffe running the bases, and now he actually looks pretty athletic!! The boys got to pick their own team name (they do major league names in the spring, but the fall is more laid back and focused on fundamentals), so they are the Sluggers.
I didn't get the usual play-by-play of what happened at Kindergarten on the way home. Honestly, I don't even know why- I can't remember what we talked about instead. We had gone to see Adaryll in his office and then on a hunt for the water bottle Elias left in the cafeteria at lunch, so by the time we got in the car I guess we both just forgot to talk about it. So, before bed tonight, I started asking Elias about his day. I have learned to ask more open-ended questions. The first day of school I asked him things like "Did you have music today?", "What did you have for snack?", and "What was your Bible story about?" Not that there is anything wrong with those questions, but I wasn't getting much more than the direct answer to each one. So tonight I asked him to tell me about his 3 favorite things that happened today. First, he told me he got to go to Art class. He told me he sits at the purple table with Sarah, Julia and Camden and that they learned about the primary colors on the color wheel. Then they got to color with markers. His second favorite thing was looking at airplanes after school with Kalii. Actually, this happened when we were on the hunt for the water bottle. We found it outside his classroom in the hall (obviously some nice person had taken it down there since it had his name on it). When he got the water bottle, he saw Kalii in the classroom. Kalii has been Elias' best friend in Sunday school since we moved here, and he was hanging out with Ms. Horvath because she is his aunt. Unfortunately he is in a different Kindergarten class (since they probably didn't want to put him in his aunt's class!), but they get to play together on the playground during recess. Anyway, Kalii was looking at planes on the internet, so Elias joined in the fun for a few minutes. His third favorite thing was his new Bible verse (they have a new one each week): Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Acts 16:31. This is where the story gets good. I asked if they got to do Morning Board (where they are studying the days, months, calendar, etc) and he said yes. He actually asked me this morning on the way to school, "Mommy, today is September what?" After telling him it is the 8th, I realized he was prepping himself for Morning Board. I think he wanted to know the answer in case she asked. So I asked him if he got to tell her today's date. He said no, that he was too slow raising his hand. But that, later, everyone got a turn answering Ms. Horvath's questions when they were studying things God made. He told me that they are learning about day 3 of creation and that they are making a petal for each day. So when they get to day 6, they will have a creation flower. He told me that Ms. Horvath asked each child 3 questions and everyone had a turn answering each question. The first question: "Who made you?" Answer: "God made me." The second question: "What else did God make?" Answer: "God made all things." The third question: "Why did God make you and all things?" Answer: "God made me and all things for His own glory." And that, my friends, is why this whole experience of paying for private school, getting up at the crack of dawn, and sending my baby boy away to Kindergarten is all worth it! I had a big internal struggle this morning- really my first tears about him going to school since he started. It just hit me like a brick as I walked out of the building that this is all really happening!! And I can't go back or make it slow down! But, after hearing that story, I have peace again. I know he is in the right place and that this is the right time. I am SO incredibly thankful for all his teachers for what they are imparting to him. Because, really, if we all just knew and believed the answers to those 3 questions, our world would be a much better place!
I had two different GI procedures yesterday at an endoscopy center. I pretty much think that if your doctor tells you to do to an endoscopy center, you might want to RUN in the other direction! All the procedures they do there involve putting tubes in your body through places that are obviously not made for that purpose! I had a tube put into my stomach through my nose and then had to lay there for about half an hour sipping water and swallowing at various times so that they could take pressure measurements in my esophagus. For a girl who wouldn't even use nose spray until a year ago, this was quite a feat! I kept telling the nurse, "This is really crappy!" She would just laugh and say that she hadn't ever really had a patient who loved it. This manometry test was all done with no sedation or drugs of any kind because drugs can relax you and affect the result. (A little relaxing wouldn't have been so bad, actually!) The next test involved a tube into my esophagus through my mouth. Same size tube (about the width of a coffee straw), so you would think that surely it would be better than through the nose! Then I saw the thing on the end of it. It was a device called a BRAVO pH monitor, and the whole contraption was about the size of my index finger! And that thing had to go down where??? She offered to numb my throat, which I was more than glad to do! FYI- Benzocaine spray in the throat burns worse than having a tube go through your nose. After much gagging, throwing up, pulling the whole contraption out and starting all over several times, she finally got it where it needed to be. Then she suctioned the little BRAVO monitor (actually about the size of a big pill) to my insides and pulled the rest out. Now I am electronically transmitting data about the pH levels in my esophagus to a little machine I'm wearing on my belt. Crazy huh?! I'm electrified! It has been cool to watch how it is all neutral (7) when I am standing and then drops to 1 (acidic) when I lay down. I could have told them that was happening 20 years ago (and I think I did!), but I'm glad that now they have their scientific evidence. This machine will record data for 48 hours. I'm relieved it is almost over and am looking forward to hearing what the doctor has to say about treatment. I have been dealing with GI problems for as long as I can remember (even as a kid), so having a doctor be so aggressive in finding out the real problem is pretty refreshing. Let's just hope I never have to do either of these two tests again!
You can comment on any that bother you too, or you can add to the list. Next week: things we love. 1. School zones. I think a perk of actually paying for your kid to go to private school should be that somehow you start and end at times different from public school, so you don't have to deal with school zones. 2. Dust. The kind inside your house. Where does this stuff keep coming from?! 3. Songs on the radio that make me cry. 4. Crying. It gives me a headache. 5. Annoying songs that you hear and then can't stop singing in your head. Sometimes I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown if I can't stop humming so-and-so song. 6. Whining. Enough said. 7. Alarm clocks. (see previous post) 8. Spiders. Adaryll killed a tarantula in our garage yesterday. UGH!!!! Elias was all about killing it when it was running around, but was sad and concerned when we said it was a tarantula. His teacher apparantly has a tarantula, so Elias wanted to know what this one's name was, etc. 9. Flies. Not because they are such a bother in themselves, but because Elena has a nervous breakdown everytime she sees one. But it does always bring a smile to my face when, once swatted, she tells the fly "night night bug" before it goes in the trash.
I feel a little bit like I am drowning and having a hard time coming up to breathe. It really isn't all that bad, but having to be at specific places at specific times is really taxing!!! My pre-kindergarten life was very regimented and scheduled. But it was MY schedule!!! And if we had a day where we were out a lot, then I had the option of staying home and literally not leaving the house for the next 2 or 3 days. Life now consists of waking up to an alarm at 6:30am. I honestly can't remember the last time I used an alarm to wake up, and I certainly haven't seen the 6's in a very long time. Maybe since Elena had an early morning nursing time. I didn't wake up til the 7's. Which was fine, because I didn't get the kids up until 8:00 or 8:30. And if they did wake up early, they don't get out of bed (see previous post about "Do not get out of bed rule"), so it didn't really affect my schedule. So, now I get up with the alarm. Then another alarm tells me I need to go get Elias up at 7:00. A third tells me when it is time to get Elena at 7:20. Otherwise I would get really sidetracked, and it would be 8:00 and school would be starting and we would all still be in PJ's! But all these alarms are stressing me out! So now that I have that out of my system, and I can take a breath. Thanks for listening.
Here is Elias' report of that they did at school today: He loved chapel. He really like a song about how deep, high, long, and wide God's love is. He bought his lunch and the spaghetti, pineapples, corn, and breadstick were all really good. He wants to buy again the next time they have that. They had art class out in the art portable. They drew lines with markers, but he doesn't remember his art teacher's name. They had rest time. His teacher turned off the lights, but not all of them, and they laid on the floor. They listened to quiet music. I asked him if that was funny and he said no. (I was trying to guage whether he was folling around or really resting) He reported that they had THREE recesses! And that recess is his favorite part of the day. He played balance beam with Holloway the first two times and with his friend from Kinder B the third time. They learned about the letter I. He told me he has a new friend named Still. (It is actually Steel, but I could not convince him of this). I am so thankful that he is enjoying himself and making new friends. He really seems to like school so far. I've worried that all the hustle and bustle would stress him out. Who wouldn't be stressed out by a mother saying "You have 2 more minutes to finish that breakfast and we have to leave. We are going to be late" or "You have 3 minutes to finish you dinner and you have to get dressed for Tball! Hurry, hurry!" Ugh. Sometimes I hear myself and think, "That is NOT the mother I want to be!" The good thing is, we get to start over each day and I can try to get it right tomorrow.