Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bullet Points 2

What am emotional night last night was - Will's final football game.  I was ruminating on the significance of the night while I got everything and everyone ready to go.  I thought to myself, "I ought to write this down!"  So I did and it turned into a long Facebook post.  I think I touched a nerve - lots of parents, football and otherwise, have responded back.  It was kind of a miserable night, weather-wise - misting, windy, and oh-so-cold.  But I wouldn't have been anywhere else in the world.  After the game, all we senior parents just hung around, waiting for the coaches to get done with their post-game talk to the players.  Will walked toward me, I held out my arms, and he walked right into them.  It would have been a movie moment, except that I smashed my glasses and my nose on his chest armor.  We posed for pictures and then got all the seniors together for more pictures.  Ben asked me, "Why are they all crying?"  The end of an era...

And the next awaits!  Will filled out his application to Faith this week.  I need to download a FAFSA form.  We received a postcard this week from Faith about their scholarship weekend in March, so we're making plans to attend that.  But first, there's still some senior year things to get out of the way - like school.  Will has been taking a college class this semester at the school - Psych I.  He has absolutely loved it.  He loves it so much that he found out they are offering Pysch II next semester - at 7 am!  And he wants to sign up for it!  This is my child who thinks it is just cruel to ask anyone to roll out of bed before 10 am.  I'm not sure what he'll do with all this psychology - I can't really envision him sitting in an office while someone lays on a couch and spills their guts to him while he makes notes and offers sympathetic "hmm, um, hums."  He'd be more likely to snap, "Yeah, so?  Life isn't all about you!"  And there would go his practice!

Oh, I didn't tell about last Friday's game!  That was interesting.  We had asked the youth group to come over, promising them food if they would watch Will play.  They didn't have to be persuaded too hard.  So, I baked and baked, got permission to use the elementary school gym, ("Only because Will is such a fantastic kid!" one of his coaches kidded me), and lugged it all into the school.  We started watching the game and felt - raindrops.  Seriously?  It has not rained in months and months, so much that the crops dried up this year, we've been told there hasn't been a drought like this since 1988, and food prices have skyrocketed at the grocery store.  And it has to rain on THIS night?  The weathermen had been talking about rain for the next day, Saturday, but didn't say a word about Friday.  I've watched games in the rain before, so while uncomfortable, it was do-able.  But then the lightening started, which made the referrees nervous.  Apparently, there are sport rules about lightening - parents get cranky if their kids get electrocuted, I guess.  Just as they announced that there would be a 30 min. recess, the rain began to pour down in sheets.  We were all soaked as we ran across the street to the high school cafeteria.   Paul called Caseys and told them to delay the pizzas.  Eventually, the rain let up and the game resumed.  And then jagged streaks of lightening began appearing once again.  Paul called Caseys and asked them to speed up the pizza order while we ran for cover again.  We ended up feeding the youth group then - without Will.  The game didn't get over until 10:30.  But they won, which made the rain, cold, and potential electrocution all worth it.

The Wednesday before, Will's coach took him and a few other players to Pizza Ranch for supper.  He's been doing that throughout the season - finally, it was Will's turn.  He told me he ate some chicken and THIRTEEN pieces of pizza!  Really, it ought to be illegal to have as many teenage sons as I do at one time.  There's not enough money in the world to cover the cost of feeding them!  13 pieces of pizza!

I spent last Sat. in Council Bluffs attending a craft fair with Kathy.  We used to go to those all the time, but it had been 9 years.  We had fun.  I had to take Baby, but she did well - she's pretty easy.  It was sunny out there and actually humid.  I guess it stormed all day here.

A few weeks ago I was playing a nostalgic CD in the van - filled with 80s hits and songs I remember from my teen years.  "Material Girl" came on and L really latched onto that.  Ever since, she has been going on around singing, "I'm a cereal girl, I'm a cereal girl!"  It just cracks Paul and me up!  I definitely do need to make her an appointment with an audiologist, I think, though!

Well - I'm finished and there's no bullet points to be found.  Apparently, I felt the need to expound in greater detail than I thought I would.  I should be good for another couple of weeks, I think.  We enter our official "birthday" season this week.  Sam turns 5 on Monday (and he was born on a Monday, too).  We'll have our first birthday with L, who turns 4 on Halloween.  Then, 2 days later Will will turn 18.  And then 2 weeks after that will be Ben's 16th birthday.  I also have a niece with a birthday the same day as Will and a nephew with one on Nov. 8.  What is it about February that makes people feel all romantic?  Oh yeah - Valentines Day.  People never think about November when they think about Valentine's, do they? 

Gotta run - lots to do, including birthday shopping for a VERY excited little boy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bullet Points

I think this is going to have to be another "bullet-point" blog  otherwise I'll be typing until next Tuesday!

Tonight is Will's last football game - EVER.  I should be happy, right?  No more injuries, no more risk of permanent brain or spinal cord injuries...but I'm sad at the passing of an era in his life.

Oh, the cake - it had been a few years since I did a Halloween cake, so it was time.  I took that up to Waterloo a couple of weekends ago.

Ok, bullet points:

* We have a new dishwasher.  The one we bought in '08 quit working and Paul could not fix it.  4 years really does not seem like a very long lifespan for an appliance.  I was wondering if we needed to spend more money in order to have something last longer.  Instead, the very next day after we decided our dishwasher had gone to that appliance junkyard in the sky, Paul found one at the Habitat for Humanity resale store - barely used and for only $165.  I was electronically washing dishes again by that night!

* I got my story written for Tammy to do at church on Christmas Eve.  I did it according to her specifications, and she said she loved it - but then wanted to change it.  Sigh...but if I didn't agree it would sit on my computer, unused, so I guess it's better than nothing.  But the narcissistic part of me that is convinced my writing is golden and perfect the way it is just cringes to see any part of my work changed!  I think I need to get over myself.

* I got a call from the school principal a couple of weeks ago, asking me to be on the parental advisory board for the special education dept. at the school.  He said he wanted somebody who was "really involved with their children, reasonable, and well-spoken."  Well!  I think I should be flattered!  But there is a part of me that is suspicious that he just needed a warm body to fill a requirement from the dept. of education.  We shall see.

* Will's team has won their last 2 games, which is really amazing.  They had lost everything prior to that.  The first win was again SE Warren, who had also not won anything yet.  Evidently, they were convinced that they would win that game.  So shocked and upset were they when they were soundly beaten that 2 of the players and the coach promptly quit the team the following Monday! 

Ok, those are my bullet points for now.  There will be more in a little while!


So much to update little time!

This particular post will be a one-subject post, hopefully, a short one, too!

Most know, but I want to make it public - we're keeping the girls!!!  Last Friday was Jenn's birthday (Jenn and Paul are adopting the girls' brother that is closest in age to them - they used to be our girls' foster parents) so I began, at the beginning of last week to pray very specifically that we would have an answer by Jenn's birthday.  On Thursday, Jenn called and asked, "Are you sitting down?"  She had just heard.  I have to admit, I pretty weepy throughout that entire phone call!

There is still an appeals process to get through, but we've been assured that is nothing to worry about, so I'm doing my best not to.  However, I think I will breathe a little better once that period of time is up!  I still feel the need to be a little more guarded on the internet when it comes to posting pictures or specifics about the girls until the appeals process is completed; perhaps until the adoption occurs, too.

I feel like this tremendous burden of worry has been lifted from my shoulders.  I am keeping my girls!  I am a mother to daughters - after all these years!  It's a little mind-boggling.  I've noticed that it's made a difference with Paul this week, too.  He's been affectionate with the girls before, but this week he has really ramped it up.  We're starting to call the girls by their new names.  We're kind of mixing that up - just throwing out the new names every so often.  So far, they seem really receptive to it.  I probably won't make a total name switch-over until the actual adoption, though.  The girls have a lot of "new" being thrown at them.

Monday was what they call the "Good-bye" visit with Birth Mom.  That was emotional.  She did not know until she got to the visit that it was the last one.  Her lawyer had not told her, so she was a bit blindsided by the news.  I honestly felt bad for her.  Jenn and I took pictures of all the kids and their mom.  I got some of my girls alone with her.  One is just breath-takingly poignant and beautiful.  I would love to frame it, it's so good.  But I'm thinking that right now, while we try to establish our own family bonds, it's probably not helpful to have a picture of the birth mother in sight.  But I am definitely saving prints of these pictures for the girls. 

While the kids had their visit, Jenn, Paul, (her Paul, not mine), and I went to a sandwich shop.  We have such an amazing bond, even though we've known each other just a few short months.  I think we probably would have been friends anyway, but the fact that we love the same children definitely helps.  Afterwards we slowly walked back up the sidewalk to the house to claim the children.  Our little ones ran toward us and the birth mom walked slowly towards me and placed Baby in my arms.  I about lost it at that point.  I gave her a hug and told her just how grateful I was.  After all the kids had been claimed Birth Mom and her grandmother walked down the sidewalk towards the bus stop, never looking back.  I could have wept.

And I did on the way home because L was pretty emotional.  She told me that she had started crying during the visit, knowing it was her last one.  She wanted to know why and I had to tell her why in a way that didn't place an undue burden on her.  At that moment all the good things waiting for her (our family, a secure future, etc) didn't matter.  All she knew was that her mother had just walked away - for good.  And there wasn't a thing I could do to ease the pain in her little heart.  I will spend the rest of my life attempting to point this little girl to the One who can ease the hurt - the One who carried that hurt to the cross so long ago.

So, that's where we are now.  I have the freedom to call counselors and doctors and set up appointments.  I can cut their hair if I want (although Baby cut a good chunk of hers today when she got a hold of my sewing scissors!).  They are MY children - for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in plenty and in want.  They are mine, forever and ever.

I have found myself ridiculously close to tears all week long, thinking about how much God has blessed me.  Why He would do that is really beyond my understanding.

  But I am thankful - so very, very thankful.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Life of the Culturally Un-Elite

Will's official football picture of the season - his last.  Will actually got injured again in last Friday night's game.  I hadn't been watching (since they were getting creamed, as usual) and then I wandered down to the sidelines.  I saw a player was down and the coaches were trotting out to see if he was dead (I guess).  I thought, "Oh, that's too bad!"  And then I realized that I didn't see Will standing upright out there.  I asked the guy next to me, "Is that Number 7?"  He said he didn't know.  Then, I realized with sickening horror, that it WAS Will!  All I could think about was him getting another concussion and how his doctor had said if he did there wouldn't be any more football.  And then, the youth group is scheduled to attend his game next week and how we'd have to cancel that if Will couldn't play.  And. oh yeah, what if he happened to be paralyzed?  The moments it took for him to arise seemed like an eternity.  All I wanted to do was dash out onto the field.  But I figured Will would never forgive me if I did.   Will slowly rose to his feet and the crowd cheered as he made his way over to the sidelines.  A player had landed on his neck which sent Will into paroxysms of  pain.  In fact, he wasn't able to play any more of the game.  I dashed under the rope to where he was to make sure that he was indeed, going to make it.  Paul and I rooted through our pockets and purses and came up with enough Advil for Will - it was probably enough for  good sized cow to not feel anything, actually. 

I suggested to Will the next day that he might want to see the chiropractor the next week.  He told me no way - that would hurt too much.  Instead, he kept icing his neck and popping Advil.  Monday morning he says to me, "So were you going to call the chiropractor?"  (Rolling my eyeballs here)  He's had several appts. this week with the guy and is feeling much better.  I saw him today for my normal appt and he was telling me that Will is one of the "big guys" now.  He couldn't believe how tall and filled out Will had gotten since he saw him a year ago.

We had his senior pictures done the next morning.  I was fearful that he would be grimacing too much to actually smile, but he did fine.  We met the photographer at Gray's Lake.  I had never actually been down in there, although I've driven by the place millions of times.  I had such bad shin splints afterwards, following the two of them around, toting all of Will's stuff and clothing changes!  For his first picture, Will posed with his shotgun since hunting is a big part of his life.  I had told the photographer ahead of time what we wanted to do and he called the police station just to give them a heads up that if they got any calls about a sniper at Gray's Lake, it was only us.  Later, after we had shot those pictures, we were walking to another part of the park, when this old guy came up to us and demanded to know why we had a gun at the park (by this point, it was locked back in the van).  We explained it was for senior pictures and he started huffing about how inappropriate it was to have that out in public and so forth.  I assured him it was never loaded and walked away.  Some people!  I had a chance to observe those walking the trails there and I concluded that Gray's Lake seems to attract the more culturally and politically elite.  It's not for people like us!  Of course, it didn't help that we happened upon about a 100 people being guided in yoga and meditation out in the open there, too...Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing the pictures soon.

Our next door neighbor was seriously injured last Thursday out on the highway.  He was riding his motorcycle to work (helmet-less) when he hit a deer.  He flipped several times.  He's been in intensive care ever since and is not conscious.  But the doctors do believe he's going to live.  It will be a long road of recovery, though.  He's having surgery Friday to wire his jaw shut and insert a trache.  Paul went up to see him this week and I've been in contact with his daughters.  That's got to be devastating, financially, too, to suddenly not have his income anymore.

We're going to see my parents on Saturday.  I was hoping to have some news from the court before we went, but I don't know if that's going to happen.  My parents have not yet met the girls, so this will be good.  I sure hope I can persuade B to be on her best behavior, though!

Sam was so excited this week when he realized it was finally October.  Every day he looks at the calendar and counts down the days to his birthday.  B is doing the same, too, since her birthday is only a little over a week after Sam's!  The way those two are building up their birthdays, I hope they won't be disappointed by my efforts!

Church is tonight, so I need to keep moving.  I finished my monologue and will give it to Tammy tonight.  It feels like an accomplishment.  I had to write it in bits and pieces, which is difficult.   And yet I am nervous that she may not like it or find it suitable for what she needs.

Our warm weather comes to an end tonight.  I, for one, am glad.  I am always happy for the change in seasons.  This time of year, I especially love the change because the first hard frost, which we should have this weekend, kills the ragweed.  I have had a particularly hard time during harvest lately because it has been so dry.  You can just see all the dust in the air hanging there from the combines stirring it up.

All right - gotta run David to the school so he can practice bowling with Ben.  Then the rush is on to get to church!