Thursday, August 17, 2017

HS Football 2017

Last year we started a tradition of having Sam's 5 best friends and their families over for spaghetti before high school football started.  This year we weren't able to do it the night before football started because we were out of town.  But we did have it the Sunday before the 2nd week of practices started, so that's something.  We had all 5 families over and I made a ton of spaghetti.  We don't entertain as much as I would like so I relish the opportunity to serve friends.

Last year, I made the boys a poster of the lyrics from Fix My Eyes by For King & Country.  And I had decided on a verse from Nehemiah for this year.

 When God called Nehemiah back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city's wall, many people tried to stop the work.  But Nehemiah held strong.  When neighboring rulers plotted to kill Nehemiah they sent messengers to summons him.  Nehemiah's response is perfect...


The boys discovered this year that there are people, circumstances and situations that will try to distract them from their work and goals. I wanted the boys to know that they need to stay focused. Their work can not stop while they come down to the level of those who aren't working on those same goals.  I hope the verse will help remind them to keep working.

I managed to get through most of the telling of Nehemiah's story and my explanation of the verse without crying.  A big improvement from last year! One of the boys asked his mom, "Do you think Mrs. Bartis will cry this year?" So they were expecting it.

I love these boys so much. I'm so proud of the men they are becoming.  I'm in awe of their dedication to their goals.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dog Spells

This story is so unbelievable but, rest assured, this all happened.  This is a perfect glimpse of life with B-man.

When I got home from work Monday, I was tired.  I had a cold last week that I was mostly over but it had worn me down.  As soon as I got home, I laid down on the bed.  B approached...


B: momma, I did a spell on myself and tomorrow I might be a dog. Is that ok?

Me: no but I guess I can't do anything about it now
B: if it works it will just be for 1 day and it wouldn't keep me from going to Mrs Lori's.
Ryan: did you tell Mrs Lori you might be a dog tomorrow.
B: she said it's ok. I have to go to bed as the same time as Cub tonight. It's good dog luck.
Me: ok but we have to get up to take Zac and his friends to work out in the morning
B: Will you still let me ride in the car if I'm a dog? I'll still be your son in my heart.

We go to Sam's Club and all he can talk about is being a dog. In line...


B: can we say a prayer tonight about the whole dog thing? I really want to be a dog. It's a good scientific way to learn about dogs. I did have a bad day dream that it lasted more than a day. I think if it lasts more than a day, Presli will be able to cure me.  I think I will thoroughly enjoy being a dog.


At Sam's Club he wants to buy a dog bed.  I manage to put him off on that one.  But, for real, it's all he can talk about.  When we get in the car, he sings a song...




I do manage to use it to my advantage by convincing him that he needs to trim his toenails.  Dogs need short toenails.  He even goes to bed early in anticipation.  At bed time...


B: I don't think it's going to work
Me: me either buddy
B: I love you no matter what. No matter if I'm a dog or cat or bug I'll always love you
Me: I will love you no matter if you're a dog or a cat or a bug but I think God made you perfect just the way you are
B: do you think it's going to work
Me: no, I don't really believe in spells. God doesn't do spells
B: but he makes tornadoes with his will power
Me: that's his will power not ours
B: if god wanted to he could use his will to take away my instincts, especially grammar - that's the most important one language and replace them with dog instincts.
Me: just don't be mad at God if it doesn't work out
B: I wouldn't! I'll be mad at videos
Me: yep, you watch a lot of videos that aren't great


Before I got to bed, I check on him.  He's asleep in the floor because dogs have trouble getting down bunk ladders.  





You are seeing that correctly.  He's asleep on the floor with dog food and a dog toy beside him.  Also, under that blanket he's naked.  He didn't want to ruin his clothes during his transition.  


You know what's coming next...B did not wake up as a dog Tuesday morning.  He was not happy.


B: Well, I'm not a dog

Me: sorry Bubba. I think you're perfect the way you are. Sorry the people on the video lied to you
B: for real they just trolled me out of nowhere!

To him it was a personal afront that the video didn't work.  I tried to console him but he just wanted to be alone.  I couldn't blame him.  


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Information

Saturday morning, Ryan, B & I set out to run some errands.  I needed to go to Michael's Arts & Craft store and I knew I'd have to let B get something.  I told him he could spend $5.

He's been on a bit of a Halloween kick lately and, of course, Michael's already has Halloween stuff out.  After some back and forth, he picked out 2 small wooden caskets.  Excuse me, a vampire casket and a sarcophagus.  I have no idea what the difference is, I'm a little afraid to ask.

On our way to the next stop, the grocery store, B looked at the back of caskets and noticed they were $1.99 each.  "I still have a dollar left" he announced.  I said sort of but dropped it because I really didn't want to get into a discussion about taxes.

"I'm going to get cereal" B declared as we turned into the grocery store parking lot.

"I'm sorry. Try again" I said.

"I'm going to get cereal at the grocery store."

"Not quite.  Try again."

"I'm going to get cereal at the grocery store."

"That doesn't sound like a question."

"It's not. I'm giving you information. I have a dollar.  I'm buying cereal."

I sat with my mouth gaping open while Ryan giggled.  "Oh that is so you!" he said.  

I tried to recover and explain to B that cereal was more than a dollar.  But I couldn't.  He picked out some cereal.

All I could hear all day was "It's not. I'm giving you information."

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Oklahoma

Where the wind comes whippin' across the plains...

This has been an unusual summer.  Not bad at all, just different.  The big boys went to Broken Bow with my uncle.  I went to Galveston with my girlfriends.  Ryan and big boys went white water rafting in Colorado.  But we didn't get to do anything all together, including B.  Vacations are hard for B.  He wants to travel.  He wants to go places.  The actual getting places is hard for him.  Being away from home for several days is not easy.

My momma had the great idea to rent a cabin in Oklahoma.  We didn't want to go back to Broken Bow since the boys had been there earlier in the summer.  I remembered a commercial from my childhood for Arbuckle Wilderness, a drive through wildlife park.  Thanks to the Googles, I started looking in the Arbuckle area.  Long story short, we booked a cabin on a ranch close to Davis, Oklahoma.

We went to Turner Falls on Friday.  Turner Falls has a 77 foot waterfall and natural swimming areas.  It's beautiful.  The first area we swam in had diving boards and a slide. But the rocks were slippery and we didn't think to bring water shoes.  There was a lot of falling.  After an overpriced lunch, we went to the waterfall area.  Everyone was dry and not interested in more swimming.  Except for B who was trying to meet his goal of catching a fish with his bare hands in a ziploc baggie.  The waterfall and surrounding mountains are amazing.  There were people on top of the fall and in caves nearby.  I'm not very outdoorsy so I can't imagine hiking up there.

Our cabin was smack in the middle of no where and I loved it!  We went to a nearby town to get groceries at a local store, not a chain!

All day Saturday we just hung out at the cabin.  Ryan and the boys tried to fish but the pond was too low.  Momma and I hung out reading, coloring (me) and crocheting (her).  It was nice to not have to be some where.  We slept late.  We played games.  We fed the goats and llamas that live in the pasture beside the cabin.  We were goofy!

My favorite part, besides the general sitting around and resting, was the fire pit. Both nights Ryan built a fire and we hung out with the boys for a while.  We had good talks with the big boys.  We made s'mores.  The weather was nice, not too hot, a good breeze.


I can see us making this an annual tradition!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sit

Yesterday, in the midst of the craziness of our life, I got to sit. And it was good for my soul.

I sat with some teachers today and worked on an awesome unit. Working with teachers to create units is one of my favorite things to do.  I really feel like I'm helping the teachers and kids when we plan these units.

Then I went to visit my friend Kaycey.  We laid on the bed and talked.  It was so nice.  We didn't solve the world's problems, we just chit chatted.  Nothing heavy.  Just being together and loving on each other.

Finally, I skipped out on what I was "supposed" to do and went to get a mani/pedi.  I don't do that often enough.  And when I do I usually just get the pedicure.  It was nice to sit still and let someone else massage my hands and feet. I would like to tell you that I just sat there and relaxed but I didn't.  I listened to the end of an audiobook that was slightly stressful, the ending was distressing - not a happy ending.  I also texted with another friend on a variety of subjects both ridiculous and serious and that was not stressful.

I have trouble sitting for too long.  Most times when I get a pedicure I leave with a sore behind.  I think I'm trying so hard to sit still that I tense up.  Completely counterproductive.  I like to either move around or curl up in a chair to work.  I don't work well sitting "normally".  Right this minute my legs are pulled up under me and off to the side with the laptop balanced on top (think z sit).

Sitting still seems a lot like not doing anything.  I've written about it before.  Not doing anything feels lazy.  But sometimes we need to not do anything.  We have to rest.

This past weekend we rented a cabin in Oklahoma.  All day Saturday we did nothing but sit around together.  We played games.  We slept.  We ate.  The boys tried to fish.  I read and colored.  My momma crocheted.  It was so nice.

I'm thankful for the times I get to sit and be renewed.  I need to do it more often.  I need to sit with the Lord as well and let him renew me.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Practice

Last night B-man started talking to me about Halloween.  He'd watched something on YouTube and it got him thinking.

"We need to practice, Momma."

"Practice what, bud?"

"Halloween"

"Halloween is a ways away, buddy.  I don't think we need to practice."

"Yes, we need to walk all over the neighborhood to practice.  You can go in the car or on your feet."

I'd been at work all day then made it to the gym but I couldn't resist a walk with my little man.  Plus I knew he wouldn't walk far.

We had a lovely little walk.  He went further than I had anticipated.  We had a nice chat.  My favorite part was him telling a neighbor that he was practicing for trick or treat.  The guy played along and seemed amused.

Practicing is helpful for B in a number of situations.  It helps lower his anxiety in new situations.  We try to talk through things.  I answer his endless questions - sometimes patiently, others not so much.

We usually don't practice so far in advance though.  I don't usually tell him things very far in advance.  It helps with the millions of questions.  The less time he had to think about a new situation, the fewer questions.  It's a delicate balance: telling him far enough in advance to help him get comfortable but not tell him so far in advance that we have to answer a million questions.

On our walk, B said he'd like to practice three times a week until Halloween.  I could use some more exercise so I'll go along with it.  But he also said that he'd ask Mr. Tom to drive him around on the golf cart on Halloween night so I'm not sure how long practicing will last.




Thursday, August 3, 2017

Line in the Sand

Yesterday I wrote about my walk/run on the beach last Friday morning.  Besides the insight into my relationship with Kaycey, I had another insight during that walk/run.  I guess I should do it more often. I need it for weight control, stress relief and insights. Actually, I'm going to start next week. Mark my words!

As I'm huffing and puffing and looking at my feet, I notice a vertical line the entire width of the beach (it's a relatively narrow beach).  My first thought was that a momma drew that line after her kiddos wouldn't stop messing with each other. My imaginary momma drew the line and said "Do not cross this line! Stay on your own side! Be quiet! I'm trying to relax!"

That imaginary momma got me thinking about my line in the sand.  What are the thing or things I'm not willing to do? There are several moral and ethical things I wouldn't do.  I wouldn't get into that list.  What I started thinking about is my new job and the Breaking Busy book I read this summer.

I'm a little bit nervous about the scope of my new job.  I'm going to have a lot to do.  I'm way more excited about the possibilities of my new job than I'm nervous.

I've already had teachers email and text me to ask for help for the upcoming school year.  A few of them have said "I know you're going to be super busy but..."

That's my line in the sand - I do not want to be too busy to help my teachers.  I wouldn't be at everyone's drop everything beck and call but I will do what I can to help my teachers.  I want to help them understand that while my schedule is full, I still have time to help them.  It's my job to help them!

There will be bumps.  I'm moving some things off my plate that my teachers are used to me doing.  There will be a transition period while everyone learns what I'm doing and what others are doing now. I will have to be intentional about not taking on things outside the scope of my job.  I need to remember to stay in my own lane.

I will need to choose my words carefully.  I need to remember that all the things I have going on doesn't have a lot to do with the person in front of me.  The person in front of me needs my help and attention.  I owe it to them.

I will need to stay organized so I can pay attention to the person in front of me and not be worried about what else needs to be done.  I will have to be ok with things being undone when it's time to go home.  Helping my teachers must be more important than crossing things off my to do list.