Monday, January 18, 2016

Day 956

January 18, 2016

Day 956


Martin Luther King Day...Lizzie was picking out bands for Ellie's hair and  she commented that she had chosen "Christmas colors."  Then she asked, "What 'color' is Martin Luther King Day, Mom?"  I know I'm terrible, but I immediately replied,




I forgot to record a funny incident that happened last month when I took Lizzie in for her foot.  The nurse asked her how she had  hurt herself and Lizzie told her that her sister had dropped a mirror on her foot.  Then the nurse turned to  me and quietly asked, "Did she say she dropped a beer on her foot?"  Ha, ha, ha...she was probably already mentally dialing Child Protective Services in her mind!


David and I went to the bank last week and opened up a checking account for him.  Another sign of impending adulthood, I guess...Actually, I've found it easiest to just get the kids their own debit cards once they start driving.  That way they can buy gas and then I reimburse them.  It will be a good opportunity for me to teach him bank skills, as well.


Lizzie was complaining the other night that her foot (not the one with the previously broken bone - the other one) had been hurting all day and as a result, she said, she had been, "humping" all day long.  I couldn't help it.  I laughed outloud!  I realize she meant, "limping" but what she said was so much funnier!


Bernie Sanders was at the high school last week.  I assumed Ben would miss the event because it was his day to work at Hy-Vee, but they made arrangements to have him come back early just for the gathering. 


I'd just as soon they'd left him working.


Ben got home and the first words out of his mouth were, "Can some Democrats have good ideas?"  It made for a good conversation but ever since then, Ben has been on the Bernie bandwagon, no matter how much his brothers and I have tried to explain to him that Bernie is a Socialist.  I also pointed out to him that we would have to pay for the free college (the subject he was particularly hard hitting on at the high school that day) he wants to give out.  But Ben isn't quite persuaded. 


I need to get him to a Ted Cruz event.


I've started working on Ben's scrapbook for his graduation party.  A long time ago I was on the ball and did his book by the year.  The last page in there is the year he was 9...  So, now I'm going through the albums digging out pictures to copy and scrapbook. 


I was looking through 2008s today and was struck by how happy we used to be.  Not that life was ever perfect - it can't be - but there were so many genuine smiles in those pictures.  Ben, unfortunately, was a little vacant in his expressions, but that was normal back then for him.  It just makes me wonder if we will ever be happy that way again this side of Heaven.


I don't know.  I hope so.


Lizzie told me that sometime recently her teacher asked each student in the room to name something out loud that they appreciate about their moms and their dads.


I understand that it's a good idea to coax small children into thinking outside their own myopic little worlds and learning early on to feel and express appreciation is a good thing.


But knowing that a child has lost a parent, why would a teacher suggest this activity?  Lizzie said she isn't the only child without a dad in the room and the teacher said they could say something they are thankful about regarding another male relative.  But everyone knows that's not the same.   It does nothing but cause a child additional hurt.


By the way, what she said she appreciated about me is that, "she feeds me."  Important stuff, I guess!


Family Day is coming up in about  4 weeks.  I did some research today for options for that day.  As time goes on, I would definitely say the need for distraction on that day is diminishing.  Although, I think the idea of the day is a really good one, so I don't want to ever abandon it, altogether, either.


It would have been 23 years this year.


I had to read a story today for my class.  It's called, "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin.  She was a writer from the 1880s.  We're reading another of hers right now, a novel about a discontented wife.  This was a short story we had to read today and I am starting to sense a theme with Ms. Chopin's work.  This one actually cracked me up in a morbid, dark way, though.  The story regards a woman who has just received the terrible news that her husband has been killed in a tragic railroad accident.  The news appears to be confirmed and she is gravely (hah - no pun intended) informed of the sorrowful event by her husband's co-worker.  She immediately bursts into noisy tears and insists on retiring to her room, despite the fluttering of her sister and other females in residence.  I found myself really being drawn into the story - no doubt because of my own widowhood experience.


Once in her bedroom, I can imagine the main character doing a fistpump, although I don't think such an action was a thing 130 years ago.  Several paragraphs are dedicated to her overwhelming sense of newfound freedom.  While she didn't wish any harm to her husband, she is delighted that she is suddenly completely free of the man and free to do whatever it is she wants.  Her sister hovers outside the keyhole, begging her to come out, so at long last, the new widow emerges, forcing her jubilant features into the solemnity the occasion demands.


She walks to the top of the stairs and just then the front door opens and in walks her husband.  The last line reads, "When the doctors came, they said she had died of heart disease - of joy that kills."


Oh, that reminds me - I guess I haven't written about my class yet on this blog.  Last Monday all we had to do was introduce ourselves.  There's 15 of us - all women - in the class.  We're located all over the state (the beauty of internet learning).  Most are moms, although I think I won the award for having the most children.  Our teacher is up in the Mason City area - a farmer's wife.  It's just amazing to me how much college has changed since I was last a student 24 years ago.  I mean, I'll be sitting on the bed in my pajamas listening to the professor instead of tapping my foot on a concrete floor in a cold classroom.  Awesome!


Thursday night I drove over to Newton and my adviser showed me how to access the Blackboard Collaborative on my laptop. I just sat in the office and did the class there that night.  The teacher had her powerpoint on the screen and we could hear her talking.  We had the ability to speak, ourselves, if we wanted to into the computer and be heard (we could also show ourselves, too - I hope I never accidentally press THAT button!).  Off to the right of the screen is where we "talk" by typing.  It just struck me as funny that as the professor is giving her lecture, students are interjecting comments by type and then sometimes the teacher would respond to those.  In a normal classroom nobody would ever just interrupt the professor in the middle of her talk!  Computers make everything so much less formal.


I had spent the week reading the textbook that the lecture was supposed to cover and I just felt dumber and dumber as the week went on.  I didn't understand any of it!  But I felt better after actually attending class Thurs. night.  I might be able to handle this after all.


My professor has been very personally encouraging to me, praising my writing that she's seen just in my notes to her and introduction to the class.  She said she's "already impressed" with me...hope I don't let her down once I start submitting papers!


Oh, and cue the Disney music to "It's a Small World After All"...I was so flabbergasted to discover after doing our introductions a week ago that Paul's cousin is in class with me!  Of all the universities and all the classes out there and we end up in the exact. same. one.


Holy cow.


We quickly became Facebook friends after we made the connection.  She's actually Paul's second cousin, the daughter of his first cousin.  Her daughter was born 4 days before Sam, too.  She commented that they don't see too much of the other relatives (this is Paul's mom's side of the family) so I don't know if anything will ever get said, but it makes me wonder if it will ever come out to Paul's family via this cousin that I'm back in school.  Not that it matters, I guess.


Well, it's after 8.  I have one more kid to shoo into bed and then I need to go through my nightly check-list so that I can get these kids onto the bus in the morning. 


Another week starts...


































What I have learned in two years of widowhood:

• God is good - so, so good
• I am loved far more than I ever knew
• I have amazing, resilient children (I am reaping what Paul sowed into their lives)
• Darkness eventually gives way to light
• Strength and wisdom are mine for the asking
• I don't have to have all the answers
• God delights in carefully and tenderly mending torn-apart hearts

Psalm 73:26: My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.


































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