Friday, December 31, 2010

And another one bites the dust.

Well, here we are at the end of another year. Time has always been my enemy. It's stealing my children from me. It's stealing my youth, my energy, my zeal. It's making things sag and behave in ways that are not becoming of a lady.

All that aside, 2010 was a good year. We got to go on a fab Disney vacation (that the kids still talk about even though it was way back in May), Grace started Kindergarten **sniff, sniff, wiping tears**, Kristin started 2nd grade, Elliott started pre-k and for the first time ever I have 2 days to myself. No one broke any bones. No one had to go to the ER even. We got to spend some time in the mountains over July 4th and then sometime at the beach over Labor Day. We were fortunate enough to not largely be effected by the bad economy (praise God) and even more fortunate that Paul got a new job (which he squeezed in a few weeks before Christmas, another story for another post). We got 2 new kitties. We got to go camping. I got my wisdom teeth out. Alabama beat Florida in football. My sister is pregnant with her first baby, another girl for our family.

It is sad to see it go though. As I was looking back at my 2010 calendar, I saw how I had noted Grace's last day of school which was different from Kristin's. That's because back then, in May of 2010, Grace was still in pre-k. She was still my little girl. Now she's in elementary school. And it's all going to be over if I blink too long. Still doesn't make me want more kids though. Not another baby. I just don't want the ones I have to grow up. I want them to be my sweet little ones forever. I want to always hear Elliott tack, "because I love you" onto the end of practically every sentence, especially when she wants something. I want to hear Grace tell her ridiculous knock knock jokes that don't make a bit of sense but still manage to somehow be funny. I want to hear Kristin who is really too old to believe in Santa, explain to me how she thinks he is real and how he goes about delivering all those presents.

Next year, when I'm writing my "2011 is over" blog post, they'll be even older! Elliott will be getting ready to start kindergarten! AHHHHH!

Every time their life changes, my life changes too. We are all growing together. And that's good. As much as I don't want them to grow up, I don't want to go backwards either. My sister is getting ready to have her first baby and I do not envy her in the slightest. Right now, my life changes for the most part are subtle. Her life is about to change in drastic ways that you can't really prepare for. You think you can. You can take a birthing class, buy all the baby gear in the world, read a million books, listen to all the advice in the world about how other people's babys did it, blah, blah blah. But until it's your own and it's you and you've got this little, bity thing that you can't undo, and you HAVE to figure it out, you can't know what it's like. And it's scary. You couldn't pay me enough money to go back and be a first time parent again. It's a darn good thing that's impossible.

Anyway, I need to hop back on my original trail before I get to the fork in this rabbit trail and then who knows where I'd end up.

We had a good year. Good was good to us. He was faithful. He was with us through the good and the not so good and I have faith He will continue to be faithful.

So anyway, last night we had our usual no party new years party. Meaning, it was just us and the kids (who went to bed at 8) and Paul and I struggled to stay awake till 12 only to say a quick "happy new year, honey. I love you" and then roll over and go to sleep. Before all that though, we did have champagne (sparkling cider for the kiddies) and chocolate fondue with strawberries. The kids liked drinking out of wine glasses, though Grace was a bit concerned at first that I was actually giving them a grown up drink. ~Way to just say no, Gracie!~ The kids watched a movie (mostly because it was Friday and thus movie night, not really because of new year's eve), then Paul and I watched a movie (The American, 2 thumbs down, not a great pick) and then, as I said above, we read and chatted and dozed until midnight just because.

So Happy New Year everyone! "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus through out all generations, for ever and ever, Amen." -Eph 3:20-21

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Going Postal

You've heard the term, "going postal" right? It stems from the thought that a postal workers job is never ending, the mail never stops, seemingly progress is never made. As a result, frustration sets in and inevitably, anger. And then of course, shooting up your workplace with an AK-47 or "going postal."

Well, I think as a mom of 3 young kids I can identify with our faithful postal service people. I'm fixin' to go postal on my house and my family. The cleaning NEVER ENDS!!! There is always junk, piles of papers, hair clips, bows, random items of clothing, books, magazines, scraps of paper, dolly accessories, cat food because some one decided to make "cat soup" for the cats this morning, evidences of Grace's never ending projects that she likes to make out of tape and toilet paper and most recently pine tree branches from outside. And that's just the stuff I can see from my computer! (I didn't even include the bits of items out of place that belong my Paul or me).

It'll all get cleaned up, either because I do it or because we force the children to. But who cares! It'll look just the same or worse in 2 hours, the details will just be different.

I clean ALL DAY LONG! I feel like I yell and fuss at the kids all the time to clean up this mess and that.

I'm tired of fussing about cleaning.

And I'm tired of cleaning.

And I'm tired of the mess.

And, I'm having a bad hair day.

I'm might go postal.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Books I've Read (and am reading)

I'm starting a new Headline for my blog entitled; Books I've Read (look up, look up! There it is!). Under this headline will be books I've read (betcha couldn't figure that one out on your own) and my thoughts on them -without giving anything away-or maybe sometimes just a yea or nea (mainly because I know me and I know that there will be many times that I can't get around to writing anything more).

So to begin my list:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: I'd say, yea for this one, though it is not for the faint at heart (I don't even know what that means but it sounded like an appropriate fit here). Said girl is pretty much an amoral character with a tumultuous background. It was interesting to read though and I'll probably read the next 2 in the series.

I'm currently rereading (at a MUCH slower pace) through the Twlight books. I'm on New Moon. This is my least fav book of the series. Assuming here that anyone reading this who cares, has either read the books or seen the movies, I won't worry about giving anything away here. If you do care and don't know what happens, avert your eyes.

Edward leaves her! I've already read this book once and have seen the movie more times than I care to admit but still, he leaves her! I feel the same way I did the first time I read it; I have to get Bella through this. However, this time, her pain may last a bit longer. The first time I read it, I think I did it in a record 2 days. But now that I now what happens, I don't feel quite the same sense of urgency. She's just going to have to deal.

I can't think of a clever title for this one that won't get me in trouble

More that we are Fish Out Of Water evidence:

Grace brought home a dreidel they made at school yesterday. If she comes home with a Menorah, I'm sending in a Christmas tree activity and may even get bold enough to send in a nativity one too!

~disclaimer...again, it's not that I mind them learning about Hanukkah, it's just the fact that while it seems ok to learn about Jewish traditions anything Christian is taboo. And yes, I am aware that a dreidel, in and of itself does not really say anything about the Jewish faith, but then neither does a Christmas tree does it? (except that it has the word CHRIST in it). ~However, the Hebrew letters on a dreidel are said to form the acronym "A Great Miracle Happened Here." Who do you think performed that miracle? Yep, I did my research.

Although, you will notice the lack of Hebrew on Grace's dreidel.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Us Fish

In case you don't know, the title of my blog, Fish Out Of Water is in reference to the fact that we are a Christan family with kids in the public school system. You know, "fish" being a Christan symbol and all. So far in our 2-1/2 whole years of experience in the public schools, I have not had really that much to write about. There are of course, the essential differences in that, there is no chapel, no prayer and then of course quite the mixture of faiths and I'm sure nonfaiths. None of this though, so far, has effected us in a negative way. I like to think some of it has even been positive. For one, my kids are learning at an early age about different faiths. Kristin in particular has several friends that are catholic and several that are Jewish. In fact, 2 out of 3 of her teachers have been Jewish. This has all prompted, what I think are beneficial conversations about how do these other faiths differ from Christianity. It's also prompted conversations on what exactly do we, as Christians believe on a more in depth level than I think we would have otherwise felt led to do. I did go to the local Christan bookstore to see if they had any children's books that explain the differences in other faiths as they compare to Christianity but came up empty. I found an adult book that laid it out fairly easily. My intention is to use the information in the adult book I got and write my own kids book. I've started taking notes on the info I'd like to include in the book but am still trying to come up with a good concept to present this information so that it will be appealing and interesting to kids.

This is the time of year, however that we notice the most difference being in the public schools. For example; there is NO mention of even the word Christmas. They are having a "holiday" party. It's "winter break" not Christmas vacation as it was when I was a kid. There are no Christmas decorations in the school. Any seasonal art projects are centered around snow (since we have SO much of that here in the southeast.) One big pet peeve I have though, is that for some reason, it is ok for their teachers to read stories about Hanukkah but not Christmas stories. (Grace is singing "The Dreidel Song" as I write this). Although I'm sure they are just as good about leaving the religious aspects out of Hanukkah as they are Christmas.

To be honest (and I'm not sure if this is even an appropriate fear to have) but the thing I worry about most with my kids being in the public school and not the private school our church runs is that they will feel left out when it comes to church and one day youth group activities because they are in the minority. This was a problem for me as a teen. When I was growing up, my brother, sister and I were the ONLY public school kids in our entire church. ALL the other kids went to the local Christan school. We were left out. I hated youth group. I never went. I did not have close friends at church. I did not have the type of personality to break though this barrier and include myself. I needed to be included and I wasn't. So, my friends were kids I went to school with, non of which were Christians. I just want my kids to feel included and to always enjoy church and to really feel like it is an extension of our family. And I want them to have friends they can turn to that they can trust and that will help them grow as children of God. We are giving our kids a Christan education, at home. That is something both my husband and I feel is a very important part of being a parent. I just hope the church/friend thing works itself out ok.