Saturday, August 27, 2011

Scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing

Back in May or maybe June, our dishwasher developed a problem.  It would continually try to add water.  It is as if the inlet valve never closes.  After some online research, it seems like a fairly common problem and probably related to our hard water.

Well, rather than bite the bullet on the repair, we employed our summer army (aka the three kiddos) with a rotating dish schedule.  It worked relatively well for the summer but now that school has started, the army is busy with schoolwork and extra curricular activities.  That means that Mom gets to wash a lot more dishes.  But I have discovered that if I draft one of the kids to be my helper, I get quite a lot accomplished.  Not only do I have clean and dry dishes, I also have an extended period of time in which to talk with the child.  And that is a gift!

Today I worked with my youngest DD.  She opened up about things happening at school and asked questions I might not have heard had it not been just me and her.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Breath, just breath...

In fact, take some big deep breathes!  We are in the midst of teaching the oldest DD to drive.  She acquired her permit last week and is taking driver's ed this semester in school.  It will only be another 5 weeks or so before the teacher takes them out on the road.  We have a lot of work to do!!!

So far she has driven only in the neighborhood.  We started last Saturday up in a new development where there were minimal cars.  Then we added some time around an empty school building to show her she didn't know as much as she thought she did.  Then she got to drive home from that same school building at night with the whole family in the car.  It is only a couple of blocks from our home and we made her stop before she got to the driveway.

Later this week, she was allowed to drive from a church in the neighborhood to home.  The first time, she was not allowed to park, the second time she was.  She did great.  You should know that our driveway is a single car width and we have a fire hydrant and a telephone pole to one side of it.  Makes it a tough turn from the right but turning from the left as she did the first time is not too hard.  Then on the same evening, her father let her drive home from the school and park in the driveway but this was the right hand turn.  I was not in the car but I hear it took 3 tries.

So this morning I got up early with DD and hit the streets.  We left the house just after 6AM with her driving.  First we drove to the church.  It was a little scary.  We had much discussion about how slow one must drive to make a turn.  We missed one intersection because she was going too fast.  We made it to the church  though with no incidents.  After parking there, we discussed our next destination, her school. 

So off we went through the heart of downtown.  We traveled a smaller road (Holmes Ave.) through town and out to the research park.  We did meet some walkers out in the park who thought it would be okay to walk in the left turn lane.  Uhmmm.... NO!  I'm trying to teach a 15 year old how to drive here!  You walking in the middle of the road is not good!  She did hit one curb after a turn but that was minor.  After reaching the school, I changed places with her and drove back toward home.   By this time traffic was beginning to pick up a little .  We reached the five points area where traffic let up a bit and I let her drive the rest of the way home.  I actually had her turn at A. Jackson Way and go up to I-565.  She drove from AJW to Maysville (sequential interchanges) and did an okay job.  Traffic was pretty light and the speed limit is reduced currently due to a repaving project.  It was her first time to drive more than 40mph.

After driving for 30+ years, it can be hard to remember what it felt like to drive in the beginning. This week has brought back lots of memories!

I'm fairly certain that she will be able to handle 'behind the wheel' when that portion of her class starts.  I will be spending a lot of time in prayer!!!  We would covet all prayers for both her safety and our sanity!!! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's a carnival! A blog carnival!

The Rocket City Bloggers have just posted their second Blog Carnival at The Anvil Tree!  There is not a theme other than we all live in the greater Huntsville area.  Go check it out and see what the buzz is in Huntsville!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Good Sunday Morning

I enjoyed hearing a great sermon this morning at my church.  This one was delivered by a guest (Rob Weingartner) who heads the Presbyterian Outreach Foundation.  The sermon, naturally, dealt with mission and the role of the church and each individual.  He reminded us that no one else was called to do what we each are called to do.  Each of us has a specific gift and talent that we are called to use to further the kingdom of Christ.  Now that is a heavy responsibility!  If I don't listen to my calling, no one else will fill my shoes in same way I that I will.  Now I am left with much to ponder this week concerning mission and calling. 

He also brought us good news about the body of Christ and how it is alive and growing in many parts of the world.  In Korea, China, Ethipoia and East India (the Meso people) the church is growing in staggering numbers.  As PCUSA members, we are so used to hearing about how the mainline church is in decline and our numbers shrink each year (nationally).  So how is it that the Presbyterian faith is so strong in other parts of the world?  Are we doing something wrong?  Are we just in the wrong place at the wrong time?  In my opinion, we are hindered by both our self-destructive behavior and our culture in the USA.  I am reminded of the rich man who cannot get into heaven without giving away all of his worldly possessions.  But that may be a musing for another post.

For now I will leave you with my gratitude for today's sermon and my thankfulness for my family.  I am truly blessed!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rising to the Challenge

I started to put this as my FB status but I couldn't really do the topic justice in a FB post.  I am so proud of my DS.  When we saw his homeroom assignment last week, we realized that he had not been put in the Algrebra I class which he will need to truly exceed in the IB program next year.

When I picked him up from school the first afternoon, he had a headache from his class.  That was not an auspicious beginning for him.  I managed to speak with the math teacher and we determined that he had shown growth over the last year and that he could qualify to try Algebra I for the first 9 weeks.  She put the plan in place yesterday after we spoke.  What a difference it made when I picked him up yesterday!  He was happy and pleased that he would be allowed to try this.  I think he is committed to making it work!  It took him all afternoon and evening to finish two days worth of homework but he did it without complaining.  That is a serious change from last year! 

So today I am thankful for a teacher who works with me for the best outcome for my child and I am so grateful for a child who wants to do his best.  I have been blessed!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 26 - Much for which to give thanks

Our community was hit by severe thunderstorms last night.  I slept through most of it which isn't all that unusual for me.  But I am so thankful that the damage was minimal at my house!  We didn't even lose power.  There were over 20,000 customers without power by 2:30am.

I have 2 friends on FB who had trees come through their roofs!  And another had a tree fall on the roof but not come through.  And a fourth friend sustained significant damage to her home from the wind.  After surviving the April 27th storms, this was relatively small but when your home is damaged, it is severe.  So while I am counting my blessings, I am also thinking and praying for my friends who were not so fortunate last night.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 25 - Giving thanks

Somedays it is rather difficult to write these gratitudes.  I'm not sure why that is but I also think it is getting easier to do for the most part.  I think there will always be hard days but blessings are still to be found.

Nothing hard about today though!  I am thankful for my friends!  They make me laugh and cheer me on.  They listen and fill me in on things I need to know.  Life without my friends would be rather dull in deed!  I am also thankful for facebook and the opportunities it provides to keep in touch with friends spread to distant parts of the world.  I think I would have kept up much better with some of my college friends had facebook been around back in the dark ages.  With two friends about to move out of state, I have been thinking about this quite a bit. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 24 - Thankful!

I am finding that I am watching more for the God moments as I progress in this endeavor.  Being aware of when God is working is one of my goals.

Today I am thankful for my new doctor.  She doesn't normally take new patients but we must have said the correct thing to get into the practice!  I am so pleased!  I had my initial appointment today and look forward to a long and hopefully healthy relationship! 

She listened and seemed willing to work with me on the goals that I have set for myself.  That seems to me to be the beginning of a good partnership if one can call the doctor - patient relationship a partnership!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 23 - I am thankful

I am thankful tonight for all the people who make up the Kiwanis organization.  I had the privilege of attending two meetings today.  At lunch time, I attended my DH's club and at dinner, I attended another club meeting with him as part of an InterClub.

The people of Kiwanis are committed to helping children.  Internationally, nationally and on the state and local levels.  Kiwanis clubs in Alabama are sponsors to the RIF program (or Reading is Fundamental).  They donate books and read regularly at schools with fewer opportunities.  Kiwanis is sponsoring a huge immunization effort right now on the international front.  And locally, Kiwanis has played a huge role in getting the new Everybody Can Play playground created.

These civic minded people show me that we can do a lot when we all work together.  Somebody should take the message to the US Congress.  They could certainly learn alot from Kiwanis!