Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hi Everybody! I'm still alive!

Over the past couple of weeks I've had a few e-mails and comments regarding my well-being so I wanted to let you all know that everything is okay and give you a little enlightenment on my blogging hiatus.

On our way to school one morning, the following conversation took place:
The Boy: Mom, Lent starts today.
Me: Yeah, I know.
The Boy: What does Lent REALLY mean?
Me: Well, umm, you know, it represents the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness.

It was at that point that I realized that I am failing myself, my kids and especially my God. I decided right then and there that I was going to take full advantage of the Season of Lent and better myself through Christ. That night, I went home and dusted off my Bible (which desperately needed it since it probably hadn't been opened in a few months) and prepared to start an on-line Bible Study. When Sunday rolled around, I practically jumped out of bed to get ready for church (which meant also dusting off my church clothes since we hadn't been there in a while either). For the first time in my life, I was excited about getting up early on Sunday and herding three kids out the door. During the service, I felt like Pastor J. was talking directly to me and only to me. I genuinely wanted to be there and my heart had opened up and I could, for probably the first time in my life, truly feel the love of God.

I really have missed all of my bloggy friends but I have been using the time that I would normally blog in to do my daily Bible Study. I have been going back and forth between two on-line studies and today I bought "The Purpose-Driven Life" by Rick Warren. I am excited about starting that and it says that it is really helpful to read it with a friend or group so if anyone is interested in reading it with me, let me know.

So anyway, that is where I have been and what I have been doing; I'm sure you can all understand. Ha! I guess you could say I gave up blogging for Lent. Well, except that I just blogged.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Disappointment of Great Proportions

For days we watched the website looking for change. Every time we checked, we got what we were looking for. 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%. and finally, 70%. It was practically a sure thing! We gathered around the television last night and watched as the weatherman assured us that ice was imminent. We were all giddy with excitement at the thought of an unscheduled day off from work and school. I headed off to bed knowing that I would have to get up at the normal time but would be able to go right back to my warm, comfy bed after I did the responsible thing and checked for school closings.

I slept the night through and when the alarm went off, I jumped straight out of bed instead of hitting the snooze button 3 or 4 times. I practically skipped to the back door just knowing that the porch would be covered in ice. I flipped on the light and what did I see? Nothing that I wouldn't see any other day of the year. Yeah, I'm at work.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Four Year Plan

When I enrolled Al in 8th grade last summer, I never thought that during the course of the year we would be planning out the rest of her life. On Wednesday, Al brought home the results from her Explore test which, if I understand correctly, is somewhat of a pre-pre-ACT test (the actual pre-ACT is done in 10th grade and is called PLAN) and a Career Aptitude test. Now, for the past year or so, she has said that she wants to go into Law Enforcement after college. She doesn't really want to be a police officer but would rather be in the forensics side of it, which I find fasinating but of course this isn't about me. She was more than a little disappointed when her results showed that she is best suited for Engineering or Architecture.

Here is the question that I have for all of you out there. Are you following the career path that you wanted to follow when you were 13 years old? When I was 13, I was positive I was going to be a large animal veterinarian and live on a huge horse ranch where I raised only the best of the best show horses. My place was going to be the Top Gun of horse ranches. I wasn't going to EVER get married and the thought of having kids never crossed my mind. I am the polar opposite of what I thought I wanted to be back then. Veterinarian? Nope; I sit in an office all day long infront of a computer screen. Horse ranch? Nope; had to put my horse down 10 years ago and haven't bought another one. Single? Nope; married for 13 years. Kids? I have 3 of them.

Yesterday, Al came home with all the information to register for High School (Yikes!) We are supposed to sit down this weekend and plan out the next four years of her education career and make tentative plans for the following two. The steps are:
1. Choose the college that you would like to attend after high school
2. Make sure that they offer the degree program within your Career Area
3. Determine the requirements for admission to that program
4. Choose your high school courses in accordance with the program requirements
What I don't know is are we supposed to map out her next 4 - 6 years according to what she says wants to do (Forensics) or according to what the Career Aptitude Test says (Engineering & Architecture)? I realize that nothing is set in stone and we can change what courses she takes during the year but what is wrong with letting her take whatever courses she wants to take so she can learn a little bit of everything if she wants to? Her interests are going to change almost daily as she gets older and I think that is great. I want her to experience as much as she can while she is young so that when she is my age and has a family she doesn't have regrets about not doing something.

I know that setting goals and working toward them is important and I will always encourage her to do so. I just think that at 13 years old, it is a little too much to ask them to plan out their high school career to move towards a particular college program and profession. Shoot, a lot of the 13 year olds I know have a hard enough time planning what they are going to wear to school on any given day, much less planning the rest of their lives!

Monday, January 14, 2008

There's No Crying in Football!

I don't profess to be a football fanatic. I don't pretend to know all the rules of the game; but I DO know this....there is NO crying in football!

Friday, January 11, 2008

"The" Test(s)

Jennifer did a post a couple of days ago on orders from Swistle about how she found out she was pregnant. After reading it, I started thinking about when I found out that I was pregnant with each of my three kids and became quite sad. See, when I read Jennifers post and then read Swistles post there was so much joy and excitement. I don't remember having any of those emotions with any of my pregnancies.

With my oldest, Chuck and I had only been dating for a couple of months. I don't really even know if you could call it dating because it was more like cocktails after work and one thing leading to another. It was in October of 1993 and I was 21 years old. We had gone out, as usual, on a Saturday night after work but I just wasn't into the whole bar scene. I stayed for maybe an hour or so and then decided to head home. I don't know why I did what I did next because physically, I had NO signs of pregnancy. Something in my head told me to stop at drug store and pick up a pregnancy test and so I did. When I got to the house, I made myself a Crown and Coke and stared at that box until I had the courage to take the test. I peed on the little stick and went out to the kitchen to make myself another drink. I think it only took about 1 minute for that test to come back positive. I downed my drink in about the same amount of time. And I cried.

The next morning, I took the other test that came in the package knowing that the first test I took HAD to be wrong. It wasn't. I told Chuck the news and what happened over the next couple of months is another post in itself. It was probably February or March before I could actually feel the true joy of being pregnant. The result? One of the most beautiful and smart girls a mother could ask for.

By August of 1995, Chuck and I were married and were renting a great house just a few blocks from my mother. I remember one day, Chuck came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me and whispered these words in my ear "you're pregnant". I vehemently denied his accusations and began laughing at him. I was on the pill (although I often forgot to take them) so HOW could I be pregnant? His words stuck in the back of my mind for days and I began to doubt myself. I decided to put my mind at ease and went to the drug store to pick up yet another test. I took the test and once again, I cried; this time without the cocktail though. How were we going to be able to take care of another child? We were barely making it financially, we were both working late hours, and Al was just barely over a year old. Not only did we make it, we had a great son.

By the summer of 1997, we were getting back on our feet financially. We moved into a townhouse that was quite a bit less expensive; Chuck was working in Tulsa, Ok while we were still living in Austin, Tx (he would leave Sunday night and come home Friday); I started back to school part-time and stayed home with the kids the rest of the time. Things were good. I woke up one morning and ate an apple as I was getting ready for school. The apple didn't set to well with my stomach.....I started having THAT thought. I argued with myself in my head that I could NOT be pregnant again because I was on the pill and while I still missed a couple of days of taking it, I was much better about it than I had been before. I made it through my classes that morning but I was still having that argument in my head so I stopped at the drugstore and picked up yet another test. I immediately went home and took it and low and behold, it was positive. I called Chuck and as soon as he picked up the phone, I started bawling. I don't really even know how he understood what I was saying but as soon as I got done talking he said "Dana, I knew you were pregnant days ago. Everything will be fine." We moved to our current location the following month to make Chuck's commute shorter and have a safer community to raise our children and on January 10, 1998, The Nut was born.

I realize now that the reason that I couldn't be happy when I found out I was pregnant with each of my kids is that I was scared about what other people would think. I used to think that if I had just done things differently (you know, fell in love, gotten married, then had kids instead of reversing that order) I could have been happy when I found out I was pregnant. I realize, now, that had I done that, I wouldn't have the precious kids that I have today. It makes me sad that 14, 12, and 10 years ago I was so under the influence of other people's thinking that I couldn't take the wonderful gifts that God had given me and just run with them and say screw any of you that feel that you need to judge me!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another Birthday!

Today my baby girl reaches the double digits. I want so badly to be happy, but I just can't.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Quote of 2007

For those of you that have been reading my blog for a while, you know the problems that I had gone through with my son. If you haven't been reading, you can read about it here and here. Well, apparently, just because he couldn't sit still and couldn't concentrate didn't mean that he didn't retain all of the information that was being fed to him.

This past Saturday, my sister, BIL and I took the kids shopping to use their Christmas gift cards. We stopped at a Mexican restaurant for lunch and The Boy started talking about the first time he had met a friend of my sisters two years ago. He said that they had stopped at Dollar General and my sister said that she remembered that they had stopped there but couldn't figure out for the life of her why because she never went to DG. The boy proceeded to tell her that they had stopped there to pick up some things for the office and then told her every single thing she had bought. Nothing notable; they were just things like paper clips and pencils, but he remembered them. I think that if we had let him go on, he probably could have told us the brand names of everything. My BIL jokingly called him "Rainman" and we all laughed.

The boy made a couple of other obscure comments throughout the day and we continued to laugh at them and call him Rainman but the best one came as we were walking through the Target parking lot. Here is how the conversation went:

The Boy: (singing) When your feeling low , lower than the floor. And you feel like you ain't got a chance. Don't make a move till your in the groove. And do the Peter Panda dance. Hop 3 times Like a kangaroo. (If your not familiar, these are part of the lyrics to the Peter Panda Dance that Vin Diesel sings in The Pacifier.)

The Youngest: Boy, how do you remember the words to that song? We haven't watched that in forever.

The Niece: (with a sigh and a shake of her head) Because he's the Weatherman! Gosh.