Friday, October 30, 2009

A Beautiful life; Answered Prayers.

I have so much to be thankful for this week, that i find myself whispering "really? all of this? in one week?"

It's Friday, and that means that Melissa, at The Inspired Room is hosting Beautiful Life Fridays. I think it's supposed to be about home decor this week. Ok, i know that it's supposed to be about home decor (and btw, please go over there and look at the kitchen pic she has posted. swoooooooon worthy.) but i digress.

My beautiful life Friday is about answers to prayers. I think she would be ok with it.

So much has happened in the last 48 hours that i have to stop, take a breath, and say "God, I am SO thankful".

1) Laura's cancer screen came back CLEAN on Wednesday. Laura is a friend that lived around the corner from me in my old neighborhood, and our sons are the same age, and have gone to school together since day one. I think i may have hugged her too hard or too much on Wednesday at scouts though, lol. I can squeeze pretty hard - but i was so very happy for her and i think i have cried more than a few tears of joy on this in the last few days.

2) My struggle with the school over a poorly executed program that left out children with disabilities ended within the WEEK. I heard back from my son's teacher yesterday that the school had decided NOT to continue participation in the program. The program, though, will continue countywide, so i'm praying hard on this one whether to continue the fight with the schoolboard and the Orlando Magic themselves. I'm not sure i can let this one rest just because my son was addressed.

3) My honey. My man. I was not having the best time of it Wednesday night. He called me from his Miami hotel room, and while i was trying to not let the situations of the week wear on me while we spoke, i cracked. I hate to do that to him. He works unbelievably hard and it is not fair to dump on him like that when he's under the gun at work, and traveling. But do you know what he DID? He came up early yesterday afternoon. I wasn't supposed to see him until tonight, but he walked in the door with flowers and took me off to dinner! It was such a great surprise, and it meant so much. I adore him and am so thankful for his presence in my life.

And that my friends, is why i think i have a pretty beautiful life.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We fought the School, and we won!

For those of you that read my post about the FCAT awards and how it went so terribly wrong - I AM ELATED to say that the teacher just reached out to me and said that yesterday, at the weekly teacher meeting after school, it was unanimously decided that the school will not paricipate in this program. This is me screaming YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However, since it is not their program, it is the Orlando Magic's program, that the Magic may elect to mail ticket awards to children. She did say that it's unlikely that that will occur, though.

I am still irritated at the program itself, and at the Orlando Magic, so i'm afraid my gut won't let me stop here.

I feel the program is inherently flawed. Correlations are made each year between socio-economic levels and school participation. I would venture a guess that the lower income student bracket have a higher rate of school dropouts, poor test scores and the like. BECAUSE they can't afford the extra help, the extra push, the after school care that pushes homework, etc. The village that it DOES take. So, furthering that thought, you could say that those that would MOST APPRECIATE the free sports ticket would likely never see this award.

HAVE YOU BEEN TO A PRO-SPORTING event lately? It's EXPENSIVE, i don't care how much money you make.

I must stop typing now, i feel another fight coming on...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

no, THAT's important.

Life is funny.

Your mind can get all wrapped up in things that set your hair on fire and seem SO important at the time.

The cable going out as you set down to a movie you just pay-per-viewed.
A temper tantrum by a child of yours.
A irritating conversation with your spouse.
A really late notice of a time change for a kid's ballgame or practice.

and then, something is said that takes your breath away and makes you go "i get it."

Last night, after getting an email about a last minute cub scout meeting, and rushing around to get dinner, out the door, in the rain, worried about a project at work, and how i'm going to get everything done before this weekend, and and and...

my friend and ex-neighbor, Laura, walked up to the door of the meeting, closing her cell phone and putting it in her pocket.

The first thing she said was "I just got my results, the cancer screen was clean. It's gone."

And that is why everything else doesn't matter.

Laura, i am happier for you than you could possibly know.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Faith Throwdown. Cause we all gotta have faith.

Sounds ominous, doesn't it?

All "iron-chef" in your face, Bobby Flay inspired. But no, this throwdown is of a different sort. And from my momma. Ultimately from Stormi Omartian, but via my mom.

This throwdown challenge is faith based and i don't think i've ever done this before.

You are supposed to log down your prayer requests to God, and then pray on them 30 days, and then report back any progress on the requests. Simple no? Jot down what you've been whining to God about (that's me by the way...lots of whys, why me's and why nots???) and then seriously pray about it for 30 days straight. At the the end of 30 days return to post about what the outcome was.

We all do decor linkups, project linkups, even menu linkups, but i haven't seen this before. I'm sure i'm not the first person to do this, but it's still new to me.

I'm giving up linky space here to link back to any and all posts on this. I hope that you join me, even more i hope that you spread the word. We could all use a little faith. November 16 we post back whatever we are comfortable with sharing.

My prayer request list for the next 30 days:

1) Closure with my ex. Serious conversation closure.

2) Resolution of the school drama and a decent, acceptable outcome from the school regarding what happened to my son last week.

3) Getting this house sold. There are so many reasons why and none of them dire. But i cannot tell you how much it would mean to me have my children in a neighborhood again.

4) Personal request that i want to keep to myself right now.

It's all in the presentation.

Yesterday was our Sunday School fall festival and Spook-ghetti lunch after service. Instead of it being a potluck, the youth group cooked the dinner and sold tickets for the dinner and the festivities outside.

It served 2 purposes - to raise money for our youth mission trip to someplace ( i know, horrible, can't remember without pulling my bulletin and i'm too lazy to get that right now) and to keep the kids busy so that we could have a church meeting after the lunch while the kids were occupied.

We had a bake-walk for the kids and i volunteered to make cookies or cupcakes or something easy.

But it's never easy, really, is it?

Easy bar cookies or iced cupcakes turned into decorated sugar cookies.

Do you people know how hard it is to decorate a sugar cookie? And how much TIME it really takes? You do? oh, see, i should have read up on this before i said "Sure honey, Mommy will make the BEST cookies out there!"

It's a process.

Scan the pantry: flour - check! Oh wait, this is self-rising, put on list. sugar - check! Butter - check! oh wait, this is salted. put it on the list. Oh, reminder, salt - wait sea salt won't work....anyway you get the picture.

I let Walker make the dough. He likes the kitchenAid mixer we have. I plugged it in, blew the dust off of the top of it, and let him have at it. It started doing this really bad wobbling though, and i looked at him and said "I don't think it's supposed to do that." He looked back at me and in all seriousness said "yes, it is. and if you used it more than once a year you would know that."

Hmm. good point. Ok, smarmy 4th grader - GO MAKE THAT DOUGH YOURSELF then.

So he made the dough, and did the cut outs and i got relegated to do the decorating.

Did i tell you we're setting record heat highs for October again? We are. I bring this up because i would decorate a cookie, ice the cookie, set the cookie aside and come back to cookie and icing would be off of the cookie, on the tray, the table and in some cases the floor.

But there's AC you say? Yes, and there are polar bears too and my son the cookie dough king - says the AC is killing off those fluffy white beasts so we have tried to use it as little as possible. Icing isn't the only thing dripping and falling right now - think hair and makeup. It's not pretty.
Which is why, this picture is of them in the fridge. Keeping their clothes on.

But the cookies didn't come out half bad - i may even get into this more, provided the cookie dough king keeps that wobbling mixer monster away from me.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chill out. I got this.

Just. one. year.

Heck, i'll even bend farther than that. Just one SEMESTER.

Without an incident, involving one or both of my children and any ONE of the school faculty. Seriously. Please.

I don't have bad children. I, in fact, have the type of children that hold doors open for others, use their manners, and at the dinner table throw people i don't even know into grace. "God, please give the lady at audubon her job back." Those are my kids. They study hard. Yes, it's a never ending struggle to get homework done here, but i know plenty of other mothers in my circle that go through the same thing. every night.

I don't mind. It's my job. A job i wouldn't trade for a million dollars.

But yesterday sent my mom-o-meter helter skelter.

My oldest got out of his grandmother's car and ran up to me after school with tears in his eyes saying that the teacher and principal walked into his class and handed out Magic Basketball tickets to everyone who scored in the top percentile for the FCAT. This is the standardized test that all 3rd graders have to take in Florida to prove that the teachers know what they're doing. That's right. Test the children to make sure the TEACHERS know how to do their job. I'm not bitter. I'll go on. And i apologize now, because there are a gazillion great teachers out there and i'm just mad right now - don't spam me please.

I love motivation. I think it's great. I think there is a time and place for it AS WELL AS A PROPER WAY TO DO IT.

Yesterday during this exercise, everyone EXCEPT my son received a ticket. So, while they called up each and every kid, my son sat there and watched every child in the class get a ticket except him.

Last year, i posted about our struggle with his learning disabilities and his right brain/left ear performance deficit. It has not been easy. The mere fact that my son EVEN PASSED AT ALL was an ENORMOUS victory in our house.

We spent 2 afternoons a week at the eye specialist for vision therapy that insurance did not cover. We spent every Wednesday afternoon at the speech and learning center in College Park - again out of pocket. On days we weren't in some form of therapy we were catching up on the homework that was missed, in addition trying to keep him in football so he would have some semblance of normalcy.

I heard "i'm dumb", "I'm stupid", "this is TOO hard" and "I don't want to go to school" more than any parent should in one year.

When his little brother passed him in reading levels i thought he was going to break down right there and i was going to have to put him in counseling for THAT too.

I am mad. No, I am PISSED.

But I got this. This will not go quietly into the faint dark night. Oh no.

What part of that was encouraging to my son? Seriously??? When it appeared that more than 65% or 70% of the kids were going to get tickets they should have realized it was going from PRAISING excelling children to PUNISHING the ones that barely got by EVEN THOUGH THEY WORKED THEIR BUTTS OFF.

His little tear streaked face begged me NOT to call the school. He said he didn't even want to tell me because he KNEW i would not let this sit. He is right. He doesn't want the ticket. NONE of us want the ticket. We want some teachers and administrators with common sense.

Baby boy, i'm sorry in advance. The wheels are in motion...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's an After-Party - all the cool people are gonna be there...

I know it's been awhile since I posted - bad me. I have good reasons. Really. Below is one of them. My last post was about Melissa over at The Inspired Room having a Procastinator's Party and me joining in the fun. And i am....HAVING FUN. Ok, not. I did have fun the first hour. Not so much after that.

I think i lost that lovin' feeling somewhere between "yes, i'm sure we don't need to use spacers" and "WHY AREN'T YOU USING SPACERS??!!??"

For fun, add:
  • Watching Vance get shocked by an exposed outlet and then promptly electrocuting myself on the same outlet 30 minutes later. I'm a slow learner. or as V says, i learn by doing. LOL.
  • Getting the tile on the wall before rushing out to meet my cousin for dinner only to come home and see that some of them had decided hanging on the wall wasn't for them and decided to party with the floor tile and the counter.
  • Blowing out the circuit breaker in Lowes when i took a few tiles in to have them cut. I guess the outlet the wet saw is plugged into trips the circuit every.single.time. For us, it was an on-going event. The tile guys started hiding when they saw us walk down the aisle.
  • Thinking how nice it was to have the job DONE, finito, grabbing a glass of wine and sinking into the couch only to hear Vance scream a really bad word from the kitchen. It seems you CAN screw an outlet cover on too tight. We broke 2 of the tiles that were now set firmly in mortar and grout. and of course, they were cut tiles. not whole tiles. awesome.
All things considered, we did a really good job - see for yourself. However, this is not my cup of tea. uh uh. I would much rather use my fingers to write a check or sign a charge slip to get this done. But it's UP and still on the wall (including the cracked ones because i just can't face that right now. It's too soon. The trauma is still too fresh. Maybe next year.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Procrastinator's Par-tay - count me in - i'll be the one covered in mastic.

It's Tuesday - Tuesdays' are almost as bad as Mondays. BUT - i found something to take my mind off of the drudgery of work. The drudgery of renovation! heh.

Melissa, over at the Inspired Room, is having a Procastinator's Party and is encouraging everyone that has let certain things sliiiiiiiiiiide around the house OR anyone that has been staring at a project for far too long to suck it up and get busy!

Ok, she didn't say "suck it up" that was me talking to my bad self. I NEED THE KICK IN THE PANTS..

you know i had free subway tile....that's been here at least a what better time to get busy.. I have 2 weeks before i have to report back. I wonder if she calls you out if you don't finish your project? I have the man home for most of it. and the children for only half. so that should be enough to get me started.

Here's the before...
stay tuned for the after...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Save the Ta-Tas

Protect the girls
Scan the sistahs
Moosh the mammories
Hug the hooters
Feel the flesh
Binocle the boobies

WHATEVER you call it - check'em out. October is the month people - take care of those things!

How many people has breast cancer affected in your world?

My count:
My co-worker, Margaret.
My ex's cousin Debbie.
My Aunt Ruth
My Great Aunt Irene.
My good friend Alana.

That's enough.