Sunday, January 24, 2016

Day 962

January 24, 2016
Day 962

I had to buy a new dvd player  for my bedroom this week and I've been tripping over it for the past 3 days.  I figured I'd have to catch Will at a rare, non-busy moment and ask him to hook it up.  David wandered into my room a little bit ago and said, "Hey, I can hook that up for you" and proceeded to do so.  He's getting more and more useful around here!
Oh, I'm was busy.

Remember in my last post I kind of jokingly said I need to get Ben to a Ted Cruz event?  Well, Monday, my friend Mari texted me and said, "Hey, I just read your blog and guess what?  Ted will be here on Sat!"  So, I immediately sat down and ordered 7 (free) tickets, thinking we'd all go.

I asked Will if he thought Arien would be interested in going, too, but he didn't think it would work out because her brother was going to be visiting all weekend.  But, as it turns out, she was very interested in going.  When I attempted to get her a ticket Thurs. night I found there was a waiting list.  Hmmm....but then she had the idea that maybe her mom could watch Ellie and she could take that ticket - which sounded great to me.  I didn't think Ellie would mind.  Arien has two little sisters, so the girls would enjoy some playtime.  And then the next day Tammy messaged me and suggested that I bring Lizzie over, too, and then Jonathan could take that ticket.


So, we made the kid exchange late this morning and then we all ate lunch in the van and I drove up to Ankeny. 

Oh, my goodness...we ended up standing for nearly FOUR solid hours.  First, we had to wait outside, in the cold for an hour for the doors to open.  But we had pretty good spots.  By the time the doors opened, the line was snaking clear down to the end of the parking lot.  We got in and they "searched" our bags (meaning, they glanced in our purses and if they didn't see a bomb or gun, they nodded us through).

And then the goodies started.  We were handed yard signs, t-shirts, and signs for the rally.  We opted to stand because we were there early enough that we could get close to the front. 

We waited an hour for the rally to start.  Then, there were inspiring speeches by David Barton of Wallbuilders (he just did a brief introduction), Rep. Steve King, Bob Vander Plaats, and Glenn Beck.  The rally was supposed to go from 2-3 but Cruz didn't come out until 3 and he spoke for almost an hour.

Poor Sam.  He wanted to be there today (earlier in the morning when Lizzie had been ribbing him about not getting to go to Spencer's like she and Ellie were, Sam sniffed, "Well, at least I care about my country!") but his little legs and stamina just had a hard time  We had piled all our coats on the floor so he sat down there most of the time.  It wasn't like he could see, anyway.

I came away very impressed.  I decided quite awhile ago that Cruz was my guy, but hearing him today totally solidified that in my mind.  A few weeks ago I really began praying for him and I was so pleased today when he was enumerating the things he needs from his supporters and he wrapped up his speech with asking for consistent, faithful prayer from his supporters.  He is a man of God and our country needs him.

And right now I need to go to bed.  After the rally, Will left with Arien and Jonathan (he joined us after he got off work around 1) and I ran a couple of errands in Ankeny.  I got home and Sam and I pounded our new Cruz sign into the frozen front yard.  Then I made a quick supper, did some more laundry, and now...I am really, really ready for bed!

Today was Pastor's last  time to preach.  It was also the last time to walk through the greeting line after church and get my hug from Marcia and handshake from Pastor.  This week he hugged me, too.  And blast it all if I wasn't tearing up after both services!

Next week is going to do me in, I'm afraid.  It will be their last Sunday.  Our state rep will be doing the speaking and then we'll have a potluck dinner (we ARE Baptist, after all).  And then...they're gone.

I don't like this.  I may have mentioned that before.

Once or twice.
Something I do like...

Will had mentioned to me that Nathanael and Janie were going to be coming down to Indianola for the weekend to butcher some deer with his folks and they wanted to swing by my house first - which is fine.  I hope they both know my door is always open.  So, they came and I was sitting in the chair, fixing my jeans.  We chatted for awhile and I told them that I had made some cookies.  As soon as I got my jeans done I'd get those ready and open some pop and we could have a nice snack.  Nathanael replied that they had actually brought dessert - which is good, too!

So, I got done with the jeans and walked out to the kitchen to serve up what they had brought.

Now, some background: I have this cake recipe that I would always have to make for Nathanael whenever he came over to spend time with Will.  It's called, "Better than Sex" cake and is the best thing ever - german chocolate cake with sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping poured into it, and then coolwhip spread on top with Andes mint pieces sprinkled over that.  Yum.  When Nathanael was engaged and we had his bachelor party here he requested that cake for dessert.  I remember Will made some funny sign for the top of it in regards to its name and the whole bachelor party theme.

So, I walked out to the kitchen and there was this cake.  Sitting on top was a sign Nathanael or Janie had made that read, "Better than sex cake?  If it were better...we wouldn't be expecting!"

Yay!  I can't say I was bowled over with surprise - after all they've been married a year and a half now, are home owners, are financially stable, and both come from exceptionally large families.  I assumed that baby making wouldn't be too far off in their future!  But it was still very happy news and I was so touched that they wanted to tell me and chose to do so in such a creative way.

I kind of feel like an expectant grandma now (although I am much too young and too good looking to actually be one yet) because Nathanael has always called me his "second mom" and I've told him repeatedly he's my "other" son.

So this summer I'll be cuddling a new baby, which is always a beautiful thing.

The Littles were asking me the next day the specifics of how babies get into tummies and they were obviously doubtful of my standard explanation, which is that babies are lined up in Heaven on shelves and God picks one and sends it down a chute to the mommy's tummy.  Hey - the older boys bought it!  Then Lizzie said, "Well, this is what I think happens: an invisible angel brings the baby down and puts it in the mommy."  I like that - invisible angels.
Another good thing is Sam's reading.  I was in the school this week picking up Lizzie for her dental appointment (she had two teeth pulled Wed. to make room in her mouth) and Sam's teacher saw me and waved me down.  She was nearly jumping up and down as she asked Sam to tell me the result of his FAST test reading (an assessment they do three times during the year - it's federally mandated and puts a lot of pressure on the schools and teachers to have every child labeled "proficient").  At the beginning of the year Sam had scored a 15 in reading and was immediately slapped into all kinds of remedial tutoring and brought home packets of materials we've been working on.  Anyway, Sam proudly told me he scored an 88.  I am so proud of him - he was worked so hard to get that score up.  I'm still not quite sure where that places him in regards to where they want him (we have parent-teacher conferences in a couple of weeks and I'll ask that then) but it's a tremendous jump in his reading ability.  I've noticed lately that he's beginning to read signs and other things and he's so pleased when he can do it!    He's also consistently getting 100% on his reading flash cards.

Lizzie's teacher showed me some of her scores too, and in her general understanding ones (the way a child puts together all the information regarding reading/Language Arts, I guess) she's also jumped over 60 points from her first test.  Her first-of-the-year scores weren't enough to score her in-house tutoring but I know her teacher was a little concerned.

So, it's all good I guess.  I still don't know if Sam is in danger of having to repeat the third grade or not, but I guess we'll cross that when we get to it.
Ellie had a rough week.  Who am I kidding?  Life has been nothing but rough with her since she turned three!  But lately, she's been lying left and right.  She's been in Obedience Training more than she's been out, I've spanked, I've taken away electronics and toys...and Wed. night she came down into my bedroom and reported that Lizzie had opened up this corner shelf I've had sitting up the girls' room for a couple of months.  I bought it to display the special china doll that was given to Lizzie for her birthday last fall.  But Will is planning to put panelboard over the plaster walls so I'm just going to wait to put it up now.

So, I went up stairs to see what was going on.  Sure enough, the shelf had been opened.  Lizzie protested her innocence and when I looked at the shelf I saw that it had been scribbled on with a pencil.  It wasn't but two days earlier Ellie had gotten in huge trouble for, once again, coloring on her bed.

What am I supposed to do with this child?  It's bad enough to tell a lie to get out trouble, but it's another thing altogether to deliberately tell a falsehood in hopes that someone else will get in trouble!  So, I texted Ellie's preschool teacher and told her Ellie would not be going to school the next day because of repeated offenses.  I explained to her that I am finding it difficult to find things that hurt her enough to induce her to choose good behavior.  I felt bad because I know the teachers plan on having a certain number of kids there.  I also know they think the world of Ellie and are convinced she is an absolute darling.  I hated to disabuse them of that perception, erroneous as it is.

When I told Ellie what I had done she cried, which encouraged me.  And the next day when I got home from doing some shopping I asked, "So how was preschool today?"  She just stared at me and then I smiled somewhat evilly and said, "Oh, that's right..."  Several times that day I insisted she tell me why she had to miss preschool and she was able to answer that it was because she had lied and colored on the shelf, so I know that she knows.  This girl can also very succinctly explain to me how that disobedience causes her to step outside God's "umbrella of protection" and leaves her vulnerable to getting hurt - which is a word picture I've used with the kids.  She knows but she chooses disobedience anyway.

Like I explained to Ellie's teacher when I texted her - if I do not break her strong will now we're both going to be in a world of hurt a decade from now.  And the teacher was very, very understanding.  She said she's a mom of 4 teenagers/college students and is "exactly where you're afraid of going."  So it was nice to have that support.

I hope it worked.  Otherwise, I just don't know what to do with her.

The next day I had to run a few errands.  Ellie wanted to come along and I let her.  We were in Walgreen's and she exclaimed, "Look, Mom - crotches!"  My head whipped up because I didn't know what she was talking about, but I knew it couldn't be good!  She was pointing at crutches.

And then we were in Target checking out and the clerk, an older lady, exclaimed to Ellie, "Oh, you are so cute!  Did you know that?  You are just CUTE!" 

Ellie replied, "I know.  Everybody tells me that."

I felt it necessary on the way home to once again launch into my "pretty heart/ugly heart" and "tell me what's most important - a pretty face or a pretty heart?"  spiel.
I had a dream about a week ago that has stuck with me.  In the dream, the girls were not adopted yet and for whatever reason I had decided that I would only adopt Ellie (why, after this week I would choose to do that even in dreamland, I do not know...).  So, a new foster mother was coming to pick up Lizzie.

She arrived and I was so distraught that I could barely speak.  The new mom wanted to know information about Lizzie and I was trying to tell her but I ended up falling to my knees and sobbing uncontrollably because I was giving her up.

It was kind of nice to wake up from that dream and I actually found the emotion of it somewhat comforting.  For so long, I struggled to love that girl because she was so difficult.  I did all the loving, parental things, but I didn't feel it in my heart.  We're a long ways past that now and she has definitely worked her way into my heart.  But there are times she's still bristly and annoying and reverts to past behaviors and I wonder if we've come as far as I like to think we have.

But then I go and have a dream like this and I know that I know that I know that I would die for this child and that I don't think I could love her more if she were biologically mine.

It's comforting.
Tomorrow I will spend a good portion of my day reading since I got none of my college reading done for the past 4 days.  We have some sort of, "post and respond" assignment tomorrow on the class site and then I need to get started writing my first paper which is due in a week.  I don't even know how submit papers electronically yet, either.  It might be good to find that out between now and then!

I'm going to lunch with a friend on Tuesday and that evening should be a hair night.  Today I watched a couple of youtube videos and I think I understand now how to do flat rope twists so I want to try some on Lizzie's hair.  I ordered some soft, squeezy beads last week - maybe they'll arrive in time and I can work those into the twists, too.

Wednesday I have a hair appt. for myself and I'm getting my eyebrows waxed, which will be a relief.  Those things are starting to look scary!  Then, Lizzie's teacher informed me that I signed up to help with the Valentine party and we have a meeting after school that day.  I have a vague recollection of volunteering last August to make some Valentine treats - which is a far cry from helping with an actual party for 19  seven  year olds.

Thursday I have class and Friday morning I'm hoping to make it down to Pville.  The superintendent is going to have this thing at the coffee shop where he'll be talking about the schools and parents can chat with him one-on-one.  I'd like to go.  If I'm going to do this public school thing I want to know what's going on in my kids' classrooms.

Saturday morning I have to drive Ben and the Littles up to the Woodward-Granger school (an hour away) for a Special Olympics basketball event.  David will be at Winter Meltdown at camp so I won't have his help.  Will will be helping Pastor and Marcia load the moving van.

And then it will be a week from today and we will have said good-bye to Pastor and Marcia for the last time and I will be facing a lifetime of having to stand a little more steadily on my own two feet.

I'd like to slow this week down so that Sunday never comes.



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.

No comments:

Post a Comment