But tonight I'm really thinking not about the technology and vast information of the internet, but the way it enables us to connect with others, people we may never meet in our lifetimes. There are people I call 'friends' that I only have ever communicated with via message boards or email, and yet when they are struggling or rejoicing I feel it nearly as deeply as I do with the friends I can reach out and touch. I have received advice and support and love from these friends that have benefitted me in so many ways, and I hope I have been able to give back a fraction of that myself.
I have gotten some strange looks when I mention these friends in casual conversation up here in our small town/rural area. "Oh, where is your friend from?" "I think Atlanta (or wherever)" "You think?" "Well, see, I haven't ever actually met them...we just know each other online..." Their face goes blank and you can see their mind filtering through all the scary internet stalker stories they've ever heard...
But you know what? I feel sorry for them because they haven't had the opportunity and privilege to get to know such amazing people like I have online. I check in with several of my online friends every day, and often wish I really was there in 'real life' to give them a hug when they need it, or jump up and down with joy along with them.
Also, I am planning to put more pictures and such up on this site, but our digital camera is being repaired after an unfortunate incident involving me, the camera, and a four-foot drop to concrete. :( Whenever we finally get it back my posts will include pictures at least some of the time!
I'm not sure I'm looking forward to this conference - I went last year and it was so wonderful, but I was by myself (left The Boy at home with my husband). This year I will have The Girl with me since she doesn't drink from anything except well, me, and even if she did I don't think I would leave her all day. My plan (definitely subject to change though) is to go just to the elective classes I chose and not the main sessions. Or at least not the main sessions in the evening as The Girl gets very angry if not put to bed on time and lets us know by waking up all night long. But I highly doubt she will nap if we're out and about, and since she doesn't like when I sit down, I don't really know how I'm going to sit in a class for an hour or more at a time with her. DH of course doesn't understand all that is involved in schlepping a six month-old around with you all day. I haven't decided if I'll lug the stroller around or just the Snugli, how I"ll carry both of our outside clothes around with us (some of the classes are a few blocks away from the main location), etc. And who knows where we'll park - it's downtown and close to 10,000 people will be there, so I can assure you there won't be any parking close by. At which point hubby tells me I'm so negative and I should have a better attitude. ?!?!? I would say with 10,000 people going the same place downtown in a large city there is not likely to be parking at the door!!! I'm hoping all my stress will be for nothing and it will turn out okay. I'll let you know.
This has never happened to me before, so I first I had to search the internet for an appropriate recipe. Once I found one on All Recipes, I went to print it out and found the printer was out of ink. Not to be deterred, I copied it down by hand.
DH thought this sudden need to bake bread was strange, to say the least, esepcially since we have loaves of perfectly good store-bought bread sitting in the freezer, but he knows enough by this point to stay out of my way sometimes, lol. I mixed and kneaded (and kneaded...my shoulders are sore this morning!), and was pleased when my ball of dough actually started to rise.
A couple of hours later my home was filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread, which turned out quite tasty , if I do say so myself. :) I'd even post pictures if my digital camera wasn't being repaired at the moment.
So I'm feeling very domestic today. Maybe I'll even do this on a regular basis. The only snag in that plan is how wonderfully yummy fresh homemade bread is, and how much of it I find myself eating...
And it's certianly not for lack of things to do. For example, here are the things that I really should be doing right now rather than sitting on the computer playing Snood (big thanks to Erin for hooking me on it, by the way!) ;)
- Tidy the house. It's not a disaster but could definitely use picking up in several rooms.
- Fold and put away the basket and a half of laundry sitting on our bed. (Which, btw, I will probably end up taking off the bed and putting on the floor in order to go to bed tonight.)
- Read the QuickBooks manual so I can help a friend set up the books for her business. (If anyone asks, I hate QuickBooks, love Simply Accounting, but that's because I'm an accountant I think.)
- Exercise. I ran on the treadmill last night so I'm consoling myself with the fact that maybe I should only run every other day to avoid injury.
- Write or email any one of about ten different people I haven't talked to in a long time and really need to touch base with.
- Organize my scrapbooking supplies and put them in one of those rolling drawer things so I can move them around or bring them upstairs easily. I did a lot of pages right after Abby was born, but none lately and I need to catch up before I get totally overwhelmed.
- Work on the basement - I want to paint it, which involves taking off wallpaper, washing walls, filling holes, stripping and painting doors, etc. So far I have painted the closet doors which open into the laundry room. Wow.
There are many more, but that's a start. But I can't seem to move. I'm not overly tired, just don't feel like doing anything. Maybe it's possible that I'm feeling so overwhelmed with the huge list of things that need to be done that I'm just shutting down and aren't able to do any of them.
Or maybe I am just lazy.
***UPDATE*** There. I just went downstairs and tidied my craft/sewing room, and put all my scrapbooking stuff in the rolling drawers (which involved taking the fabric that was in them out and into another bin, of course taking time to look at all the fabric and dream about the day when I will actually make the quilts that I bought the fabric for!) Now I'm going to make myself a snack, I deserve it. ;)
We have two elementary schools here - public and Catholic. A good friend of mine has sent her kids (two so far) to the Catholic school after a great deal of research on her part. Yes, there will be some doctrinal issues that she will have to clarify for her kids, but she feels that this is preferable to having her kids openly taught as early as grade two ideas such as 'some people have two mommies or two daddies' etc. I haven't visited either school myself yet, but her descriptions of her daughters' classes sound wonderful - small classes, teachers who really love the kids, the kindergarten class sits in a circle and prays to start their day, etc.
The times DH and I have discussed this, his argument is that it's easier to make a clear demarcation and say 'this is right and this is wrong,' black and white, regarding some things they would be taught in the public school, than to sort out what things we believe the same as and what things we don't in the Catholic school. While I sort of see the logic of his position, I'm not really convinced by it, especially for young children. I would be more inclined to agree with that for an older child/teenager, where they are starting to sort out the more subtle distinctions of their faith, but for a young child I think it's more important that they're in an atmosphere where loving God is an expected part of their life, rather than an anomaly.
Especially for little children, who are so easily influenced without even knowing it, when they're forming their very worldview that will carry them through the rest of their life, I feel like it's so important to have them in an environment that shares at least the same basic values as we do.
Like I've said, DH is preaching tomorrow, so it's not a topic to bring up for discussion tonight, lol, but we'll need to discuss it soon - my friend told me that if I wanted to get Gavin in there, I should call now and get his name on the list before it's too late. And she has also offered that if we do put him in the Junior Kindergarten program next year, to watch him in the afternoons (it's a 1/2 day program) on the days I work. Which would be great for several reasons, including only having to pay one full-time dayhome fee! (I only work three days a week, but the hours work out to just above the cutoff for full-time cost.)
I'm looking for as much input as possible here, so if you have an opinion, please post and let me know what you think!
But this fall the cancer returned and he had been getting progressively weaker and weaker and when he was admitted to the hospital last week, we felt that this was going to be it. He had rallied a few times in the last several days, but by Wednesday was unable to communicate and essentially we were just waiting. G visited him again yesterday morning and had no clue what to do since he wasn't able to talk to him anymore. (I don't remember him ever having to take a 'What to Say at the Bedside of the Dying' course.) He felt led to read the first chapters of John to him, and as he went through the first six or so chapters, he was so encouraged as these passages talk so much about everlasting life and crossing over from death to life. It was obviously a God-thing.
Our senior pastor's wife ended up being at his side when he passed later yesterday afternoon. Just she and his daughter-in-law were in the room, and he started having real trouble breathing, struggling. She just held his hand and prayed that he wouldn't have to struggle anymore and that he would just relax in God's arms. Immediately he relaxed, and he took three more breaths, and then he was gone. She told us last night her first thought was 'oh, no, what have I done?!?' It was the first time she had been right with someone as they died. She was pretty shaken up and came over last night to 'debrief' with us (her husband's in Africa on a missions trip right now). I had mixed feelings - on the one hand I was very thankful that I wasn't the one there, as I would have had no clue what to do, but on the other hand, it was such a powerful experience for her and such a privilege, honestly, to be there when someone passed over into heaven. Wow.
So now G's not only preaching this Sunday, but he'll have the funeral to do Monday or Tuesday. He's sure missing our senior pastor right about now!!
It's funny how some of the most important functions of a pastor are the ones they don't teach in school. But maybe that's good - it forces us to completely rely on God's power and leading in those priceless moments.
So tonight in the bath he was trying to catch the little pieces of sock lint that were floating around in the tub after coming out from between his toes. He was calling them his friends and he captured one and handed it to me. He's played this before and he just wants them out of the bathtub (come to think of it, he used to be scared of them even). So I took it from him and flicked it into the toilet. Big. Mistake. Huge crocodile tears start falling from his big blue eyes - "don't put my friend in the potty!!" I finally got him calmed down and he convinced himself that his friend was going down the hole to see the rest of his family. Stoic little soul.
Later he unplugged the tub and nearly had another meltdown because he was trying to catch another little 'friend' but the water was swirling and he couldn't grab it. Fortunately Mommy stepped in and caught the little guy. I thought it was safe to put him in the toilet to go to see his family, but G stopped me and told me to put it in his room. Oh boy. Now we have little lint pets. After all the water was out, I got his towel and went to dry him off, and he was sitting in the middle of the now-empty tub looking absolutely heartbroken and he started crying again and said "I'm going to miss them." Poor baby, I think he must be feeling very overwhelmed and emotional about growing up or something. I've read as they get more and more independent they will have moments (like our bathtub friends episode) where they need to come back to the safety of Mommy's arms and still be a baby for a minute. And I'm happy to be there.
I know he'll change as he gets older, and I would hate for him to be picked on in any way because of his temperment, but I pray he never loses his tender heart. Okay, they were just pieces of lint, but he really felt for them! Maybe he'll grow up to be a doctor and I'll tell this story at his graduation (and embarrass him to death). :)
- As much as I get frustrated with Abby's crying in the evenings, I am thankful for how well both my kids sleep. Case in point - this morning, I got up at 8:45, woke up Abby, and Gavin is actually still sleeping now at 9:15. (Normally I would wake him up but he's going to a friend's this afternoon and is going to miss his nap.) And they're both in bed by 8, it's not like I put them to bed at midnight, lol.
- Our house - I remember not long before we bought this house being so discouraged at how all my friends were buying houses and we were never going to be able to afford one and G was going to be a pastor so we'd never have much money and we'd live in a tiny apartment our whole life. Not long after that he accepted this position, we bought this house for an amazing price (which has now gone up 30% at least in three years) and I still sometimes feel like I'm a teenager just home alone for the weekend while my parents who own the house are away, lol!
- Our vehicles - friends of ours at church sold us their minivan last spring for probably less than half of what it was worth. I had wanted a van forever, and we just couldn't afford it, and weren't planning on even thinking about it until I went back to work. It's been wonderful. We've had the kids in the car a few times when the van's getting an oil change or whatever, and although we would have made it work, it's so nice to have the van.
- My friends - we moved into a community where anyone who is the first generation living here (even if it's been 25 years) is still 'new.' And yet we have been accepted with open arms and I have made a few really close friends who I love and who love me. I know not everyone has that.
I'll stop there for now, I hear Abby grunting away filling her pants so I'd better attend to that before it gets out of control! ;) Feel free to post your own thankful thoughts! Thanksgiving in January...without the turkey.
DH and I discussed a few months ago that I am too busy on Sundays and need to drop some committments. I think at the time we decided that I should get off one of the worship teams, and off the piano rotation. Fast-forward to now and of course I haven't done any of that. But wait, I have good reasons!! The worship team I would drop is pretty small, and the leader feels a lot of the time that maybe she should just quit because her team's too small, etc, etc, so I feel like if I said I was dropping it, that would be the last straw and she would quit and then we'd only have three teams and the other teams don't like being on more than once a month blah blah blah so the bottom line is if I drop that team I feel like I'll be letting down the entire church and ruining the happy schedule we have going now. Plus the lady that leads that team I don't think has too many friends within the church and I think she feels like we're friends since we've been doing the worship team together for a couple of years. There is one other lady that I think might be interested in playing piano for this team, but what if they don't get along, or the leader doesn't like the way this other lady plays, etc, etc. I am responsible for everyone's happiness.
LOL, given that background, I just agreed to fill in for the pianist on one of the other teams next week. :O The thing is that music is what I love, so it's hard to say no. In theory, I agree that I need to cut back, it does stress me out because I have to be watching my kids at the same time as I am playing and practicing since Greg is terribly busy on Sunday mornings. And we don't want our kids to grow up resenting church because mom and dad were both always running around crazy on Sundays.
So if everyone could send 'stand up for yourself and do what you need to do' vibes my way, maybe I can post later that I've actually done it and shaved back my commitments! Maybe.
I can't hardly imagine what it would be like to just GO and DO things just because the opportunity presented itself. Ha ha, it would be a cold day somewhere before I could just decide to meet friends in town and send DH home with the kids and groceries. And that's fine, I'm nursing A so of course I have to go with her, and actually if they were bigger DH would probably encourage me to do just that (he really does try to let me have time to myself). But I would still have to organize it, get all their PJs out and everything, tell him exactly how to do it, and then when I got home I would hear about wow, how do you do this all the time? And then I feel guilty for him having to do it for one night. So in the end, it's easier not to.
And honestly I don't mind that he's out with friends. Honest. If I had wanted him to come home I would have said so. Yes, I have to do bedtime and groceries by myself, but then I get the evening to myself. Happiness is.
Well, if A ever stops crying...
So the day typically goes like this... he plays on the computer for an hour in the morning while Gavin's eating breakfast, etc, then all of a sudden stands up and announces what project he's about to tackle (this morning it was cleaning out the cubby hole/shelf/storage space thing in Gavin's room). He thinks he's doing me a favor by getting something done, I just wish he wouldn't take more stuff out and just play with Gavin who is following him around saying "do you want to play with me, Daddy? Do you want to play cars with me, Daddy?"
I'm frustrated because I want him to play with his son, he's frustrated because he hears me getting after him all week that nothing's done and why doesn't he do something (i.e. when he plays on the computer all night) and he honestly is trying to do what I want. Poor guy, he tries so hard the majority of the time to help me out, make things easier for me, and do what he thinks I want, but when I can't even decide what I really want half the time, he doesn't have much of a chance to get it right.
Maybe I'm not the funnest person to be married to after all.
It's frustrating to not be able to do anything during the day - she won't just sit near me while I'm doing something else, she often only calms down if I'm carrying her around the house. And of course I feel badly that I can't seem to help her, whatever the problem is. As much as I'm not really anxious for her to be mobile, I'm hoping she'll be happier once she is able to crawl and play on her own more. Maybe.
Until then, I'm off to walk her around some more until it's time to attempt another nap.
I suspect that I'm starting to feel the lack of accomplishment inherent in staying home with two small children and want to create something permanent that darn it, will not get spit up on, squashed by a flying three year-old who thinks he's a helicopter, or messed up less than fourteen seconds after I've cleaned it. (Those with small children will understand, others may be seriously questioning my sanity...)
So stay tuned for ongoing notes on my life, children, and the strange and interesting (well, I think they're interesting) ideas going through my mind at 3 o'clock in the morning when I can't get back to sleep after nursing the munchkin. :)