Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rain Check

The weather has been very pleasant the last couple of weeks and by that I mean mostly in the 60's.

I love fall.

The past couple of days it's also been rainy though, and that has made these nights just about perfect.

Not because I love the rain, but because football practice was canceled two nights in a row.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE football. Love it. But I also love my family and there haven't been many relaxing weekday meals together since August 1st.

So tonight I'm grateful for the rainy, fall weather.

Now if I could just keep the sun from setting so early....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Curriculum Night

A lot has changed in the 20-ahem years since I've graduated high school.

Tonight I got to go to my first curriculum night for my freshman daughter, walk her schedule and meet all her teachers in ten minute increments.

Why I thought heels were a good idea is beyond me. It's a big school. And her 5th period class is on the opposite end of the school and on another floor than her 4th period class. But she manages to get there on time every day so I was determined to do it too.

My knee only gave a little on the last flight of stairs.

After parking in the adjacent county and walking in said heels a few blocks to get back to the school I was on my way.

Her first period is PE. Poor thing. Sweaty all day. Thank God she's not one for primping and getting her hair just right. The woman was laid back, extremely reasonable, very informative and a mother of three girls herself. Love her teacher.

On to AP English - writing, reading, grammar, the works. They don't call it L.A. in here. Her teacher has a son on Ryan's football team who was born on the exact same day in the exact same place as my twins. They act out some scenes from the classic books they read. She messes with the freshman boys and asks them their tights size for the Romeo and Juliet unit. Love her teacher.

In Algebra 2 everything is on warp speed - her teacher also teaches applied computer science. The beauty is he cares more about how they finish the story than the points they accumulate along the way and has figured out how to mathematically program the scoring system so they get the most credit possible for their efforts and end results. Love her teacher.

In biology the man at the helm was an alumni himself...class of 1975, and good humored enough to share his high school photo, complete with plaid sportcoat and four-inch-wide tie. There was a sign in his room - Caution: Deadlines are closer than they appear. He had paper and pens so we could write them love notes and leave them behind. Love her teacher.

By some miracle I made it to her Spanish class tucked away behind the auditorium in a hallway labeled with room numbers that stopped shy of hers and met a straightforward woman who doubles as the assistant athletic director and couldn't say enough about what a gem my daughter was. Love her teacher.

Had time to kill for lunch/study hall so I visited the booster sales table, got a free oatmeal raisin cookie in the science atrium and stopped to chat for a few minutes with a friend in the hallway. We reminded each other that it's good our daughters aren't so mainstream socially because their faith will always be counter-cultural and we don't need to be concerned about them missing out on all the popular activities, like homecoming. Took a quick peek in the book fair, was thankful I forgot my checkbook and moved on to band.

Sat in the front row and realized the mom next to me had been in at least three other classes with me, introduced myself and found her to be delightful. The band director made us clap out a vertical rythym. Don't ask me. I don't know what it is, I don't play any instruments and I can't read music, but we did it in unison somehow. Love her teacher.

Most of my high school memories are gone, but the few that remain offer a wide spectrum of emotions. The best memories have to do with the relationships I had with just a few close friends, and the two or three teachers who made all the awful experiences more bearable.

I think my daughter is way ahead of the game on all fronts. And for that I am very encouraged. And grateful.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


It's been anonymously brought to my attention that I haven't blogged in a month or so. My sister...I mean my anonymous commenter...speculated that not much has gone on in my life lately. Of course if there were a sarcasm font, it would have been the typeface she'd used.

Yesterday when I left work I was assaulted the moment I stepped outside with an intense burning odor. I would have guaranteed you a house was on fire within two blocks of where I stood had I not been told by a co-worker that the stench was actually from wildfires in Minnesota. As in above Wisconsin. Over 400 miles away. I didn't really believe it until I experienced it first hand.

I pondered it all the way home.

My day to day life has been a lot like a wildfire this past month spreading over miles of terrain, burning hot and fast and requiring urgent attention. In fact so much of how I've been spending my energy at work has been determined by the biggest fire that it was getting a little hard for me to see the forest through the trees.

And I work in a church.

It's been all hands on deck and a flurry of activity as we have launched a new ministry year that just happens to coincide with the new school year bringing extra urgency to my need to master the circus that is my calendar.

It actually feels a little hot to the touch.

I do not know how women can work full-time and take care of a family. I am more baffled by how single parents do it. And I am outright bewildered as to how I have become the mother of a high-schooler and two junior high students already.

I do know God has given me the strength to manage sickness, school activities, band, football, parades, hospital visits, assorted clubs, work, family, mid week church activities, cooking, cleaning, shopping, and a multitude of meetings.

I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12

Today the air was a little clearer.