Racing Cars

Tomorrow is the Awana Grand Prix at our church.

So of course this afternoon, we spent some time running around crazily trying to get said rectangles of pine painted (thankfully we cut them on Tuesday) so that we can get wheels and weights on them pronto.

Tonight, after we help feed the homeless with Trail Life, we'll be setting up the track and trying to make sure everything works so that tomorrow morning is, hopefully, less harried and awful than it usually is.

Are you laughing hysterically? You should be.

I know the kids enjoy it. But gosh I wish someone would volunteer to take it over. Or that I could convince the church that we didn't actually NEED to have a Grand Prix every year. To be honest, a few years it has been snowy and we've cancelled and...it has been glorious.

I guess we'll see what happens.


Happy Thanksgiving

I hope y'all have a good day with family and/or friends tomorrow.

If you're turkey people, enjoy that poultry.

My prime rib salutes you.

But seriously, spend a few minutes remembering your blessings -- because we all have so many, but it's easy to lose sight of them when the dark skies are overhead.




I'm not really sure where, even to start. I am simply and completely overwhelmed.

The trip to Vegas for the conference didn't help overly. Introvert + an event designed for networking does not really equal a recipe for excitement. Of course, missing out on hubby and kid vacation time had me wondering if I'd done the right thing by going for the entire time. And really...I don't know that I learned anything so amazing as a takehome that I can say with any amount of surety that it was worth my time.

But I went. I came back. And it's good to be home.

Everyone survived and the house was insanely clean when I got back. Honestly, I'm tempted to put hubby in charge of all cleaning forthwith.

Beyond that, my sister has started her 2nd week of chemo and radiation today. (Chemo is on Wednesdays and also radiation on Weds followed by 4 days of just radiation.) So far she's doing okay with it. She says mostly just tired. Some nausea and pain but not insurmountable. But her white blood cell count is up, which is no bueno. And her blood sugar is up. Also no bueno. So. They're keeping an eye.

My in-laws are coming for Thanksgiving next week. Sister may stay home - don't blame her if she does (I'm rarely up for the cacophony that is Thanksgiving around here with my family plus hubby's - throw in that my MIL seems to take great joy in asking probing questions and belaboring anything medical so she can then quote a Psalm to you and share a story that she feels one ups your medical dilemma and...well, I'd stay home if I could.)

I mean, I will be at home.

But they will also be here.

We are, again, boycotting turkey because no one in our immediate family actually likes it and I'm officially old enough that I don't give a damn about what anyone else who's coming wants. They'll gripe. But they always gripe. And I guess I figure since I'm going to be wrong anyway, I might as well be wrong while eating something I actually enjoy.

And then there's the madness with youngest. We have his final test on Friday and then I guess it's 2 weeks for results on all the various things they ran him through. I...don't know what to say I hope for. If I'm honest with myself, I already know what they'll say. He has autism. And learning delays. And really what I hope they'll have beyond that is something that will point me in the right direction for finding tools to help him.

I keep going back to the realization that everything in my life seems to be another instance of God asking me to set aside my expectations and trust Him to do things His way even though they look nothing like what I imagined or want.

It's hard.

But I will try.


Away I Go

Tomorrow I'm off to Vegas for a writing conference.

The closer to arrival I go, the more ambivalent I am about the whole shebang, but everything's paid for and I'll likely have a good time once I'm there and in the middle of it all.

But man. I'm not jazzed right this red hot second about going.

Hubby and the boys are looking forward to man week without mom. Though youngest, at least, is sad and says he'll miss me.

I suspect some of my ambivalence stems from the fact that my sister starts chemo and radiation on Wednesday. That will take place from this week til the first week of January, five days a week. If it works (which we won't really know until March as they wait 2-3 months after finishing before any re-imaging. Or, I guess if she dies we'll know it didn't work) then she has a 60% chance of recurrence within the next two years and if there is a recurrence, usually people die within 18 months.

I don't like the fact that I'll be across the country and completely unable to help. Not that I was really likely to be much help in the first place -- between the boys and the fact that she lives a solid hour away now, my ability to help was small. But it was at least possible.

I feel like a bad sister.


Coat Madness

So the boys grow like weeds.

I know this is not something that comes as a surprise to anyone who has spawn. You blink and suddenly none of their clothes fit.

Being a bit of a frugal gal, I have endeavored (mostly successfully) to buy winter coats large enough for each boy that they last at least two seasons. There was one time that eldest managed to not be so rough on his that youngest could then get a third season out of it. But alas, that is not the norm.

Last year, both boys had coats that were juuuust this side of too small. Sleeves were shorter than desired. Zip ups were a tad trickier because they were snug. But by golly, I was not trying to buy a new winter coat in February! Tough it out, I said.

And they did.

Alas, eldest managed to rip a huge hole in his (pulling the pocket completely out), so both boys needed new jackets for this year.

I waited. And then I waited some more. And around the start of October I said to myself, "Self, it's time to get the boys new coats."

So I poked around and found some on the Walmart online store and purchased them and then hung them in the closet because it was still too hot to need them.

But today! Today when it was a balmy 45 when the boys wanted to go play outside, I said, "Hey, why not put on your new coats?"

And there was great rejoicing because they both love new coats.

Eldest grabbed his, zipped up, and was off like the wind.

Youngest grabbed his, zipped...tried to zip...tried again...got frustrated and yelled for help. I went over to look. I tried to zip...and the zipper pull came off in my hand.

The dang zipper lost six teeth the first time we tried to zip it up.

So, when we were out and about, I dragged the coat, both boys, my email confirmation, and a bit of a bad attitude to the returns counter at Walmart.

Plus side? They were very nice about the whole thing and took it back and gave me a refund without any hassle.

Minus side? They do not carry the same coat in the store.

After a bit of fussing and some creative and overly cheerful chivvying from me and eldest, we got the youngest to agree to a new, different, (better! So much better! I tell you it's amazing!) (ed. It's not better. In fact, it's distinctly not better. But shhhh) coat. Because it's supposed to possibly snow on Tuesday so there's really no time to be dinking around with not having a winter coat.

Maybe a bonus plus side? I did also get them winter boots whilst in the store.

So when there is absolutely no wintery weather on Tuesday, you'll know it's us to blame. We're prepared. So the weather will not come.


The Government Does Not Want Public School to be About Learning

A former blog friend now Faceplant friend posted this article today.

Basically, it's a plot to try and make the school day even longer as an assist to parents who work full time and want to have free, government provided childcare under the guise of school. Which just means even more time for indoctrinating.

What those poor kids -- especially the younger boys -- need is LESS school. More moving. More flexibility. More time outside.

Study after study after study talks about how we should have less of a focus on academics as early as we do. How we need to let kids (again -- especially boys!) mature at their own pace. Etc. etc. etc.

I'm so grateful we homeschool. Even as frustrating as it is right now as we're trying to navigate the special needs littlest has, I know he's better off with me. Where he gets one on one attention. Where we can take breaks. Where we can scaffold where he needs scaffolding.

I know -- I really do believe -- that the public schools would TRY to give him the help he needs. But how do they do that when he's 1 of 30? How do they do that when he's what they'd label disruptive when he gets spun up? He'd be disciplined and separated rather than helped to calm and refocus. Because TIME.

I get it.

And I get that we're blessed to have options.

But adding to the school day isn't the option. If the government wants to help out working parents, then they need to have better, more affordable (or free) after school programs. Programs that are not school and lets kids be kids.

Of course, I'm also wary and concerned with our state going ahead and turning completely blue in this latest election. Democrats don't have a lot of respect for a parent's right to choose education -- at least not in my experience. So I'm going to be keeping a close eye. Because the last thing MY kids need is to be stuffed in an already overfull classroom and told to be still.


There Ought to be Something to Say

I have various wandering thoughts here and there throughout the day. Sometimes I flesh them out in my head and think, "Yes, that would be a fantastic blog post." Then by the time I get to my laptop from whence I blog I think, "Meh."

So in no particular order, things that could have been blog posts but aren't going to be for various reasons of laziness.

  • The whole Beth Moore Go Home debacle -- honestly, I think the thing that should have been addressed (and should still be being addressed) is why anyone would think it was a good plan to use another person as a word association exercise. That's never, NEVER going to end well. It's like the dumb idea of slam books in the mid80s, when middle school girls found yet more ways to simply be cruel to one another. Of course, should one ever be asked to say two words in free association and thereafter be given the name of someone as the seed, might I humbly suggest that, regardless of whether you love or loathe or something in between said person, you simply say Imago Dei. Because that's where it all begins and ends -- every human being on this planet, believer and non-believer alike, is made in God's image. And they are deserving of love and respect based solely on that. 
  • More to the point, I really think Christians should stop showing their rears in public. Yes, it's grand to have theological debates and look at the finer points in the context of the broader community of the Church. We don't need to be doing this out in the public eye. To the world at large, our general front ought to simply be, "Hey, Christ died for you. Would you like to know more?" 
  • Eldest boy is doing lots of sentence diagramming in English this year. I am 99% certain I was never taught to diagram sentences. It's interesting. Semi-fun. But there are some here and there that I look at when he asks a question and have to say, "You know what, let's skip that one, because I haven't a foggy."
  • I may break down and buy the teacher manual.
  • I'm off to Vegas for a conference next week. I think hubby and the boys will have a jolly time together and we're doing extra school this week so they can be off and just have dad time while I'm away. But honestly, I'm a little jealous of their vacation and kind of wish I could stay home and hang. (Of course then he'd go to work or focus on stuff that needs to be done around here. That's hour our staycations always turn out. But still. I would really like a family vacation sometime sooner than later.)