Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another school year draws to a close...

As I sit typing this my 2007-2008 school year has officially drawn to a close. The kids were taught and learned more than you could possibly imagine their little minds could hold... that vastness never ceases to amaze me. They truly are like sponges waiting to soak up knowledge.

At the beginning of each year I hyperventilate while I'm testing my students because, "Good Lord they can't read!!!" and I know that it is my job to teach them. I set my expectations high and spend the next 177 school days praying and working harder than I ever knew I could so that these expectations can be met... and they always are. This year has been my best yet and out of 17 first graders, I had 6 reading on a 3rd or 4th grade reading level... now that's one hell of a job if I do say so myself. Out of the remaining 11, all but two met or exceeded our goals for the year. Even those two, made great strides and I have no doubt will be shining stars next year.

It was a good year, one to always remember. On the last day of school I always receive goodies from my students, which is nice. I mean who doesn't love a gift card or a present to open. However, the best gifts are the ones that make your heart swell with love and pride because they make you realize you not only did your job, you made an impression that will last forever. I will close with my most precious gift of the school year, a handwritten poem on a crinkled and torn piece of paper:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Dear Mrs. Larson we love you.
Trees are tall and grass is green,
You're the best teacher we've ever seen.

We will miss you and we know you'll miss us too.
So, think of us always, and we'll always remember you!

We love you Mrs. Larson

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Do you want a piece of this?

Chase and Cade are bestfriends.... 99% of the time. The other 1% of the time, they are worst enemies. For reasons I've yet to really comprehend, our babysitter decided to take today and tomorrow off making yesterday their last day at the babysitter for this school year (Cade's mom is one of my bestfriends and the school counselor). Now we have talked about this with Chase but seeing as how he's three, he really didn't get it that he probably wouldn't see Cade again until after we come back from Disney World and that is a long time away. You'd think that they would have played and had lots of fun yesterday to make sure that they were good for the next three weeks w/o eachother. Instead I believe they got in to their first knock-down, drag out fight and spent a great deal of time in "time out." Chase came home with a huge gash on his chest that I think is from nails but he has told me a good 20 times that Cade bit him and after talking to Lisa it turns out that Cade has a huge scratch on the side of his cheek. I guess that they both got in at least one good scrap.

We always tease Chase when he's being a handful and ask him, "Do you want a piece of this?" He laughs and does it back or screams, "NOOOOOO!" and runs off. I can't help but wonder if he asked Cade this very same thing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Almost there

3 more days with kids, I just might make it.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Quotable Quotes

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
— Albert Einstein, physicist and Nobel laureate

Sunday, May 25, 2008

So it begins... again

I won't say that I am the perfect example of what a Christian should look like by any means. I have a long ways to go when it comes to that part of my life. I make lots of mistakes and have done many things that looking back I probably shouldn't have. I'm not the type that preaches to others about what is wrong and what is right because while I know what I believe, others may not and that is their choice. I know that it was through his help that we have the child that we prayed and asked for. Yes, the scientist and doctors are the ones that are responsible physically getting us through IVF, but I have no doubt that without our Lord, they would not be able to work such a miracle.

Since IVF#2 failing and IVF#3 ending with nothing but emptiness and heartbreak my faith has wavered. I've never been one to just let things happen. I like to be in charge, I like to plan, I like things to happen when they are supposed to... when I want them to. So, as you can probably guess, infertility did not fit into my plans at all.

When we embarked on IVF the first time I prayed hard that we would be blessed with a child that we so desperately wanted and despite the loss of a twin, we were blessed. With IVF#2, I prayed hard that we would be blessed with a sibling for our child and that prayer was not answered. I simply didn't understand why, but told myself that for some reason I couldn't understand, it wasn't time. When IVF#3 ended so painfully I felt my heart harden and faith become disrupted. I'll be honest, I didn't care that I was hating. I was mad and who better to be mad at than God. He had let me down!

Over the last 6 months I've really tried to deal with feelings and cope with this "infertility disease" that we've been dealt. I tell myself things could be so much worse and yet it doesn't make me feel any better. I've prayed for understanding and acceptance. I prayed hard for a miracle baby that would mean we didn't have to do IVF again. I prayed that we could just be normal... no shots, no ultrasounds, no egg retrievals and transfers, no total invasion of privacy. This was our last month to have that miracle and again, that prayer was not answered.

As I stood in church this morning, we began to sing a song by Chris Tomlin titled, "How Great is Our God?" As I sang the words, "Age to age he stands, And time is in His Hands, Beginning and the End..." I suddenly felt a peace, a forgiveness. I felt an understanding that it would all be ok... in his time.

So, as we begin this journey again, in my heart I'm going to rebuild my faith and trust in my father that loves me so much. I'll start my BCPs on Tuesday and with his help it's going to be OK.

How Great is Our God

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What's in your camera bag?

The day we found out I was pregnant with Chase we purchased a digital camera to celebrate. We bought the Sony Cybershot and I have loved it. It was a great, inexpensive, decent camera. It has certainly more than paid for itself and still has lots of life left. We do need to replace the battery compartment cover since Chase has been very loving of it and it's hit the ground one too many times, but even that can be fixed by tape (yes, we're country). However, I would love to get an upgraded camera. Since I have NO clue what to look for in a camera when it comes to technical terms, I'm looking for some help. I want a camera that has a great zoom, takes clear pictures, and most importantly does NOT have a delay from the time you push the button on the photo is taken. That is my biggest draw back on the one we have now. Any person taking pictures of a child knows that you literally have seconds to snap that one perfect shot. I would also like to NOT spend an arm and a leg on this thing. Lastly, it needs to be simple to work, I have no interest in anything that is complicated and will require me to do hours of reading in order to turn it on (I have no time for that).

So, any suggestions. I know ya'll are out there, tell me what you use!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Trust in the Lord

I bet I don't even have to say it, but I am so glad that tomorrow is Friday. In fact, I don't think that tomorrow could possibly get here fast enough. More importantly, I don't think that 4:00 tomorrow could get here fast enough.

This has been one tough week. I've prayed a lot. I've prayed for acceptance of those things which I can't change and know that they are the way they are for a reason that may be unknown to me. I've prayed for wisdom to know that while there are some things I need to accept, there are other things that I do need to change and that with this wisdom I can do it. I've prayed for strength to rise to the challenges that may lay ahead so that I can face and conquer them. I have prayed that I remember to trust in the Lord, for through him all things are possible. But mostly, I've prayed for patience to not strangle small children that have decided school is out... even though we have 5 days left together.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.

Proverbs 3, 5-6

- - - - - - -

On my way to work I was listening to the radio (after I had already continued listening to the Doodlebops and Shrek for a good 10 minutes after dropping Chase off) and a commercial came on that went something like this, "China and crystal are out... a responsible bride now registers and Mobile and Exxon." Sometimes you just have to laugh.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Joys of Boys

"Mommy, you are a pwincess, I love you!"

Monday, May 19, 2008

One of "those" days

I'm not sure if today could have been worse. After a horrible night's sleep I managed to get out the door *almost* on time. I dropped Chase off at the sitter and was in the middle of a phone call when my cell phone screen went black. I don't know if you have ever had this happen to you, but it's not good. You can't access anything. No numbers. No calendar. No clock. You get the picture. I have a replacement on the way and I can see the money signs now. Do you know how hard it is to have to guess what type of ring your phone is on when you can't see anything... not easy.

I arrive at work only to remember that I have training until 9:30 and have nothing ready for my kids to do while I'm out. Ever heard the saying, "idle hands are the devil's playground?" It is so true. Fortunately my aide rocks and saved the day. When I walked back in to class after my training you would have thought that 1) I had been gone for years and 2) it was the first day of school because they certainly don't remember any of the rules we've learned this year and if they do remember them, they don't care to follow them. I bet I said, "School isn't out yet" at least 100 times today.

I had CPS come to visit about a student... no comment beyond that.

Jeff's company is having to lay people off and although we are not worried about him being one, we are afraid of pay cuts, benefit cuts, etc. This is NOT good... remember the new house we JUST bought?????

I got in my Tahoe to leave and looked at the mirror where the outside temperature was reading 99 degrees... I knew it was hot. Of course it went down some, but not enough. After viewing the "way too hot" temp my eyes were drawn to the nice foot long crack that goes right across the drivers side of the window. DAMN IT. Guess I'll be replacing that too.

I run to the store to get allergy meds for Chase when I get a message (because God forbid my phone actually ring) from my sitter saying she has to have a day off... tomorrow. WTF? Are you kidding me????

I thought surely I'd been handed enough to fill my plate today, but another person I love dearly told me she is pg tonight. I know she will read this and I'm happy for her, I really, really, really am. She's an awesome mom and has been through a loss just like us. She deserves this. But man, it makes me so sad for us. I think everyone is pg, but me.

I also realize that at this point, there is no way we can come up with $4500 for IVF, it just doesn't look like it's going to happen. :o(

I know that God never gives you more than you can handle, but I sure wish he didn't think I could handle quite so much.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ready, Set, GO!

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Safe Kid is a Happy Kid

I have no doubt that very easily I could be a neurotic mother when it comes to safety. I would do anything I could and spend any amount of money I needed to in order to keep my Doodlebug safe... w/o a moment's hesitation. Whenever I hear a story about a kidnapped child or see an Amber Alert I get sick to my stomach. I can't even imagine what this must be like and I certainly don't ever want to experience it.

In three weeks we are leaving for Disney World and I can't wait! However, I do stress about just how many people will be there when it comes to keeping my Doodlebug safe. Today I came across a post on a board I frequent about a new product called Safety.tat. It is a temporary tattoo that you have your number put on for your little one. These.things.are.AWESOME! To check them out go to www.safetytatdotcom. I will be ordering some of these tonight for our Disney trip to put on Chase and my niece, Madison. I think I'm in love.

If you are interested in some I even found a discount code that is good until May 31st, just enter MAY02025. So exciting!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Superhero In Training

If you checked our Disney World ticker lately, which I do daily just in case it speeds up or something, you will see that we are down to barely three weeks until we leave for Disney World. Excited does not even begin to describe how we are all feeling right now, especially Chase. We talk about it multiple times a day and he is constantly talking about the different things we will be doing there and telling everyone we see about it. One of his biggest infatuations is that we will be flying on a plane to get there. He is intrigued by this since it will be his first time on a plane. While his father would rather drive and wants nothing to do with planes, Chase cannot wait.

On Mother's Day we were at Jeff's parents watching Air Force One. For those that have not seen it there is a scene where a tanker refueling Air Force One blows up. As Chase looked on in horror we quickly reassured him that this would NOT happen to our plane. He was ok with that and blew it off (Jeff hasn't... yet). In another scene passengers start parachuting from the plane. While I would never do that, Chase immediately told me he wanted to. So again, I said that would not be happening from our plane. Chase thought about it for a moment and then said, "Mommy, if you fall out of the plane I will catch you.... with my fishing pole." Boy, I sure feel safe. I think I have a Superhero in training.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sweet Relief

Thank you for all of the emails/comments/calls about my grandfather. As my grandmother has put it, "Anything is critical in an 85 year old, but this is not fatal." Phew! From what I understand he is still having a harder time breathing, but he is being released today and will see his heart doctor on Monday. This weekend he will go home, rest, and let my grandmother drive him absolutely nuts (but I know he wouldn't want it any other way).

I really, really, REALLY do not do well with these kinds of things. Just the thought of losing people I love makes me hyperventilate and feel the need to find the nearest toilet because I'm pretty sure I could lose it any moment. If I haven't mentioned it before, I'll mention it now... I so need a vacation and Disney World CANNOT get hear fast enough!

I honestly think that the hardest thing about getting older is that means the people you love and hold so dearly, are getting older too.

Coming soon: Trouble, Tattoos, and Tall Tales - Starring Chase

Thursday, May 8, 2008

From tattoos to prayers in a phone call.

I was going to entertain you with a story about Chase and tattoos, but I received a phone call this evening that totally changed my train of thought. There is nothing that can make you stop dead in your tracks like the phone call that tells you a loved one that is sick.

I am very blessed to have both my grandmother and grandfather still alive. Not only are they healthy, happy, and spry, they are very active, which to me plays a major part in staying young. My grandfather will be 85 in less than a week, but he certainly doesn't act like an 85 year old. He could outrun someone 25 years younger than him w/o skipping a beat and keeps up with not only the grandkids, but the great-grandkids. I am the oldest granddaughter and laid claims to being the favorite many years ago. He is the one that calls my mom's work and when they ask who's calling, he tells them that "it's her Daddy." He is the one that walked me down the aisle at my wedding and I love this man dearly.

When you get *that* phone call you panic... or at least I do. My first thought is to jump on an airplane and get to my grandparents as soon as I can, but reality is I can't. I have a job, a family, responsibilities... we all know how that goes. So, I wait. I wait to hear exactly what's going on, and try not to listen to what other panicking people think they hear. I wait to know that he's going to be ok. I was told that he has had fluid build up around his heart and they are not sure why. They have drained almost half a gallon and he has assured my mother that he is fine. He even sent my grandmother home because she doesn't like him flirting with the pretty nurses... and Lord know he has to flirt with the pretty nurses. That has to be a sign of someone who is going to be ok.... right?

If you can spare a moment, please send a prayer his way. Perhaps tomorrow I'll get to tell a tale of tattoos and little boys, along with some good news from Mississippi.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Joys of Boys

Daddy: "Chase are you poopy?"
Chase: "No Daddy, I just tooted!"

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Joys of Boys

Mommy: "Chase, what are you doing out there?"
Chase: "I'm diggin' Mommy... in the ant pile!"

Saturday, May 3, 2008

To be 17 again

Today my mom came up and I went with her to get a hair cut. While we were there four teenagers were getting their hair done for their prom tonight. I watched them sit and giggle while they had their hair done and couldn't help but think how nice it was to be young and carefree like that. I love my life 99.9% of the time and wouldn't trade it for anything, but oh to be 17 and carefree again, even if just for a night.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Envy - The Dark Side

Envy: Resentful or painful desire for another's advantages.

This would be the feeling I have felt not once, but twice today... and it makes me hate myself. It makes me feel selfish and insecure. It causes my eyes to sting and a huge lump to rise in my throat. It makes me want to lock myself in a room and throw away the key so I never have to come out.

I found out that another teacher is pregnant. For those that don't know, this makes number seven for the school year. Seven teachers that aren't me. Seven teachers that will hold their sweet bundles of joy while all I hold is a memory of what should have been, but isn't.

As if that wasn't enough to take in, I received an email inviting me (and all the other employees on our campus) to a baby shower for the teacher that is due one week before my due date. The one that is getting her nice baby bump that makes me want to run screaming in the other direction every time I see her in the hallway. The one that makes my heart ache because that should be me. I don't think I can make it through that shower and the sad thing is that I guarantee you very few would understand... not that most would even notice my absence.

I hate days like this. I hate when I look at Chase and watch him play with other kids and realize that he should have a sibling but doesn't. He loves babies and I know he would be an awesome big brother. It's just.not.fair. I hate that every month I pay out over $350 towards IVFs and others are spending that money on babies/children that they didn't have to *pay* to get (or not get as in the case of our last two IVFs). I hate that we are having to "find a way" to pay for IVF#4, when others try for two months and get a positive pregnancy test. I hate that I have no clue how we're going to pay for this again and it scares me that maybe it won't happen. I hate myself for hating these things.

I am thankful for Chase and God knows he means more than anything to me, but this envy is slowly dragging me to the dark side.