Monday, November 24, 2014

Christmas binder

I made a Christmas binder a few years ago. I saw the idea on a blog and thought it would make for the perfect Christmas. I've learned through the years a few lessons about that.

1- expecting anything in life to be perfect is a surefire way to be let down. The more I plan, the more can go wrong. I married a man that is anti planning. I've learned that so much of his time is dictated in his job that when he's home he really wants to be free. I haveto accept where he is in his life which can be tricky when I love a good plan.

2- I've learned to plan activities in pencil and keep expectations low. It's taken time, but I'm learning to be more of a Mary and less of a Martha.

3- i'm also learning to enjoy parts of the binder that are uniquely mine. For example, I write a letter to myself every year. Sometimes it's an actual letter and sometimes it's an after action report written in bullet form. It's very useful for this time of year.

I already have my Christmas cards done.I learned a few years ago that waiting on them stresses me out so now I take advantage of sales on shutterfly and do them in Oct. I like that they are done and in my closet waiting for me.

4-Gift giving isn't my strength. Aaron loves it so he has that job. When I let go of that Christmas got a lot more fun for me.

5- I used to wait to get the binder out and then be surprised by black Friday. No longer. I am going to shop on black Friday and am looking forward to it. I need new boots. I have lovely cowboy boots from last Christmas but I need to replace my riding boots. Great sales are coming for those. Here I come!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


This morning we took our boys to a mythbusters exhibit at a museum. Very fun. Now we're back home and I'm working through 48 days. I'm finding it's a tricky thing to be relaxed enough to take the time to search my soul and dream about the future. I'm accepting that I can do what I can when I can and I'm ok with that.

Today's brain candy: "the only way we can handle change around us is to know what is changeless about ourselves." -Stephen covey

There's a lot there. What is changeless about me? I'm not all that sure. Motherhood has done a number on me. I'm glad I chose to stay home, but it's been rough.I'm seeing this year that being back at work while being a mom is a new challenge.

Friday, November 21, 2014

advent calendar dilemma

I love advent. I grew up celebrating advent at my church. It's a time of getting ready for Christmas.

Enter motherhood. When my twins were 2, I remember using an afternoon naptime to make an advent calendar. It was precious. We had a wonderful time with it. At age 3 I got to watch them really get that Jesus is the reason for Christmas. Super cool.

Last year, my brother gave my boys a Lego advent calendar which they loved. I looked for another one, but they are pricey.

Now, I'm thinking that maybe it's ok to not do an advent calendar this year. I'm torn.I want Christmas to be special, but I also know the more stuff I add to our days the less of me I have to give.

I'll keep thinking on it.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


 I have a cold. Yuck. Not bad enough to not teach my class at 1230, but bad enough to want to rest. So,I asked my husband to take #3 to mdo so I could stay home to rest until I need to drive to my school to teach. He said yes and was happy to help.

This time at home this morning has been a huge blessing.wise choice on my part. Figuring out how to balance work, home and motherhood is rough. Today I think I made a huge step in doing it well. I didn't spring the request on him. Instead,I asked nicely and gave him plenty of time to be able to say yes easily.

It's good to have a wing man.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

48 days for some direction

I haven't blogged in a while because my computer is misbehaving. My IT guy/ sweet husband is on it, but it's slowed down my blogging.

Well, I've had my new teaching job for 1/4 of the school year now.  There are parts of it I love and parts that are thumbs down. I'm learning some great lessons as I go. The best so far is that I can't let my emotions ebb and flow with how my job makes me feel. I'm teaching middle schoolers for the first time after teaching elementary my whole career; needless to say I've had a steep learning curve. Not so fun.

I'm fluent in Spanish and love the language. I love the way the grammar flows together and the elegance of the way the language sounds. Writing on my Spanish blog makes me soul sing. Teaching it to beginners just doesn't. Part of me feels like a snob but the other part of me sees this as a gift. I'm getting a chance to try on something new. It may be a great fit with some tweaks or there may be something else for me.

I believe that God called me back in 2002 to teach. I loved it. It's 12 years laterand I'm not the same woman I was. Motherhood has matured and humbled me. The other day while talking to a friend, she pointed out that my passions about being a bilingual teacher didn't really involve teaching; they involved being the champion for the families and children as they assimilated into American culture. Could it be possible to find a job in that arena but not the classroom? I hadn't even considered that.

So,I downloaded 48 days to the work you love by Dan Miller. Aaron read it a few years ago and was blessed by it.

Now it's my turn.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My nemisis, JT Cluck

Last spring we took 7 chickens from the kinder classes.  When you take baby chicks, you hope for hens but roosters can happen.

We ended up with 3 hens and 4 roosters.  The cute baby chicks are now grown and the roosters just aren't my favorite creatures in the world.  Honestly, I don't care that much for the hens either because they're shifty looking.  Yes, I realize I sound ridiculous but it's my yard and my blog so I'm going to write about my ridiculousness.

The king rooster of pack is the only white one and I call him JT Cluck.  I took that name from the Hank the Cowdog series.  He's the boss of that chicken crew and not very friendly.

JT is leading the rest of the flock to leave their chicken yard (a portable electric fence that doesn't seem to even slow them down) and they are getting into the ditch, eying my front yard.

I put up with a lot.  I currently have a broken downstairs toilet that I wish were working for a play date we're hosting on Halloween.  My dishwasher is broken and I've gotten used to washing by hand.  In the grand scope of the world, these are small potatoes and I'm looking at the small inconviences as a way to be more thankful for what we have.  Like running water that's hot quickly and boys who are potty trained.

But I draw the line at JT being in my yard.  My husband's solution?  The racoons will get them if they're not smart enough to stay in the fence.  Hmmm....I'm no animal activist, but that strikes this city girl as not a great plan.

So here's me, resigning that this life won't be perfect.  Toilets will break.  Dishwashers will, too.  Roosters will eye my yard.  But there will be a day that we'll have money in the budget for a wonderful chicken set up (here's me being jealous of Nea and her hens' lovely digs), my appliances will work and maybe I'll even be more appreciative of the loveliness of chickens. 

For today, I'm accepting that God never promised me a rose garden.  I'm going to focus instead on the blessings I see around me:  a sweet little boy whose clothes don't match (he insisted on wearing red shorts with his Aggie football jersey) but whose heart is precious, a car that I can depend on to get us where we need to go and a husband who provides a safe home and living for us.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Laughter and tears

Mondays are my days to be on my own for a bit while I wait for #3 to finish up in school.  I've learned to run errands and also relax during this time.

Today I had the luxury of reading a wonderful new book in a coffee shop.  It was great--I had a great cup of coffee, a pastry and a book.  The pastry was so so (anyone else think they like pumpkin stuff more than they actually do?) but the coffee was good.  The book was fantastic!

I love Hank the Cowdog.  My husband grew up reading the series and my boys and I have listened to many of them on CD in the car.  I'm at the point where I read them on my own so I can quickly read them and fully enjoy them.

There's a sweet love story between the cowboy Slim and Viola, the sweet gal down the road.  He proposed in the last book and I just had to know if they were actually going to get married.

I won't ruin the story for you, but there I sat, by myself in a coffee shop, laughing out loud and shedding a number of tears and loving every minute of it.

There's nothing like a great book.