Monday, July 26, 2010

A Bit Blue

I'm feeling just a bit blue tonight, so it's time to give myself a pep talk and get over it. But first, here's why...

I'm feeling a bit left out, out of sorts, and cranky. See, a good many of my writer friends and Seppie friends and Cherry friends are in Orlando. Without me. It would be bad enough if they were all just there having a great time without me if I were still writing, but it's even worse since I haven't written a word all summer. Well, except blogging and Facebook, which totally doesn't count. I ditched all my WIPs (and even the little glimmers of ideas that might have become WIPs) a couple of years ago when I decided to go back into teaching, but I told myself that I'd pick it back up again when things settled down. And, of course, I haven't. If I have a few minutes of spare time, I'm usually playing around on Facebook (darn you, Bejeweled Blitz--why do you have to be so addicting?) or reading someone else's work. And now I'm kicking myself because RWA National is just another reminder that I haven't been writintg--that I am letting a dream fester and die because of busy-ness, laziness, and self-doubt. Not only that, but my buddies are having a great time and I'm not with them. If it had been in Nashville, I'd at least get to drive into town and visit everybody, but there's no way I could fly to Florida the weekend before school starts. Stupid flood. (Laura Z, if you click that link, you'll see the areas we walked with you and James were completely underwater back in May.) Stupid Opryland Hotel underwater. So I'm a little sad.

My Smyrna friends are moving on without me too. My TFAA friends are getting the phone calls to tell them which teachers their kids will have this year and I'm sitting here wondering who my kids would have if we'd stayed there. Which of their friends would be in their classes if we'd stayed? Which parts would they have performed in the plays at school? I know that I had to go back to work and I really believe that moving to Hendersonville was God's plan for us. I'm glad that I got my job when I did because Linens N Things closed just a few months later and we'd be in big trouble if I hadn't had a job then. But even so, I still second-guess that decision every few weeks. Will my kids suffer because we pulled them out of the magnet school? Are they better off here? Do they miss their friends horribly, or have they formed even stronger bonds with their friends up here? I love our new church, being close to my family, our new house, my co-workers at NBE, but I still wonder what would have been. I guess I always will.

I'm excited about the school year that's about to start, but I can't help but be apprehensive too. I know first-hand how hard fourth grade is, and I worry about my own sweet fourth grader. He's just not ready for the academic challenges that he'll face this year. None of them are. Last year's class was so awesome that I worry this new class will not compare favorably. This will be my tenure year, so there's an intense amount of pressure on me to be incredible. My evaluations last year were really great, so I'm going to have to totally blow it out of the water in order to show growth on my observations. I know I'll be fine once the year gets started, but right now the fear of the unknown is weighing heavily on my mind.

And finally, I have to go in for my six-month diagnostic mammogram next month. After all the garbage I went through last August with the lumpectomy and everything associated with it, I can't help but feel a little nervous. Plus, I'll have to miss at least a half-day of school and anyone who knows me knows how much I HATE to take a day off. Writing sub plans is worse than scrubbing toilets, trying on bathing suits, and shaving with a dull razor. Combined.

Thus, the whining. I'll be fine and will get over myself really soon. I'm going to pray about it and give it all over to God tonight.

But first I need ice cream.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

Brotherly Love

Nine is going to be a ring bearer in my friend Brandy's wedding tomorrow night and tonight we went to the rehearsal dinner. I was trying to get a nice picture of him before we went. It started out innocently enough and I managed to get a couple of decent shots...

<------See how cute he is? How handsome and charming?

Adorable, right?----------->

And then things took an ugly turn. Twelve decided he wanted to get in on the action. Literally. They insisted that I take some action shots. See, this is what happens when you have only boy-type children. Girls want to pose sweetly, all smiley-faced and pretty. Boys want to simulate WWF posters. These are the shots I ended up with...

This whole raising boys thing is not for the weak. Although the flowers in the background add a somewhat dignified flavor, don't you think?

Cow Appreciation Day

Today was Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A. If you dress like a cow, you get a free meal. Well, Nine and I were all for it. I love free food and he loves dressing up in costumes. But even better than free food, it totally annoyed the twelve-year-old to be seen in public with us. Mommy SCORE! See how delighted he is?I told him that he didn't have to dress up, but if he didn't want to, then he'd have to pay for his own food. Sometimes being a Mom is just plain fun.

When we got there, dozens of other people got in on the fun without being embarrassed. We had Young and Hip cows...And Red Hatter Cows...
And a ton of Adorable Little Kid Cows, but I didn't feel right about putting a picture of a complete stranger's kid on the internet. But I can put THIS adorable kid's picture on here because he's mine.
We had a great time (once Twelve got over the I'll die if I see anybody I know phase) and saved $15.57 on our meal.

Free food, fun, and humiliating my tweeny-bopper...priceless.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


In which I gush some more about my church, which our pastor refers to as a church full of imperfect people. But I have to say, some of them are pretty close to perfect in my eyes.

We just wrapped up an awesome weekend of fellowship in the form of a wiffleball extravaganza. Today my husband played in the praise band for the first time. Our worship pastor let Dan borrow a couple of very expensive guitars simply because he doesn't have a lot of time to play them himself. We haven't known these folks very long, but he trusted Dan with these instruments anyway. The band sounded great and Dan had a blast playing with them.

When I picked Nine up from his Sunday School class today, he had a nice printed card which said this (Matthew 5:14-16) on the outside:
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise you father in heaven.

Then on the inside it said:

Let your light shine!
This is how Aaron's friends see his light shining.
He is nice, kind, and smart.
He is very smart.
He always speaks the truth.
He is the bestest friend in the world.
You are a very good friend.

I love that this is how his friends in church see him, because that's the way we see him too.

When we got home, Nine told me that he wanted to work on a surprise for me so I needed to stay downstairs for a while. I went outside and sat on the swing with the dog and cat until I was allowed to come upstairs. When I got to the kitchen I saw that Nine had emptied the dishwasher all by himself. He's been learning about responsibility in Sunday School, so he wanted to do chores to show me that he is responsible. I love the way he takes what he's learning and finds ways to apply the lesson at home.

We are so lucky to have such a great children's pastor and awesome teachers at church. I'm praying for them this week as they go to CentriKid camp. I'm so glad God led us to the church where we belong.

I'm also praying that God will help the student pastor work a miracle with Twelve's attitude. :-) Hey, he parted the Red Sea and turned water into wine and fed 5,000 with a few fish and loaves, so...miracles can happen.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

WiffleMania Games 2 and 3

Team Echols/Brewer (a.k.a. The Heat) won our second game against Team Swaby. There were many awesome moments of the game but my personal favorite was when Nine hit a triple! He was the last batter of the inning because we're only allowed to bat around our roster one time. Since the inning would be ending no matter how he hit, Dan kept waving Nine on past every base. The other team finally tagged him out at home plate, but not until he'd racked up a few RBIs. Twelve also got a couple of hits and made some good plays at second base. We won 11-4 (I think that was the final score.)

In Game 3 we played against Team Tyler and lost. I don't even know what the score was. By then I was too tired and hot to care. We didn't lose by a lot (maybe four runs), but I was not disappointed. I was ready for lunch, a shower, and air conditioning.

But forget the score, some of you are saying...what did you wear? W
e dressed as tourists on Earth because our permanent home is in heaven. We tried to make it Biblical so God would favor our team. Check out the Hawaiian shirts on my family. We were ready for a luau!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wiffleball 2010 Game 1

I've never had so much fun being totally whooped up on in my life.

Tonight our church held the first two games of the July 4th weekend wiffleball tournament. Game 1 featured Team Tyler VS the "Fruits of the Spirit." Each player had their own T-shirts made with their name and their "fruit" on the back. Yes, they are overachievers. My favorite Fruit was our Worship Pastor, Ron Foster, who was "Beans." Think about it for a minute...

Beans, beans, the Musical Fruit... (Get it? He's the Music Guy?) For those of you not familiar with the rhyme, here's the one I grew up with:

Beans, beans, the Musical Fruit
The more you eat 'em, the more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel,
So let's eat beans with every meal.

Apparently Yankees learned a different rhyme because my Ohio hubby learned this rhyme growing up:

Bean, beans, they're good for your heart.
The more you eat 'em, the more you fart.

Personally, I like the Musical Fruit better because it's ever so much classier. But, alas, the Fruits lost--mostly due to the efforts of the nine-year-old pitching phenom on the other team. Seriously, there should have been some MLB scouts out there watching this kid.

We played in the second
slaughter game of the night against the student team. This was a group of very talented teenagers who outplayed us in every aspect of the game. Except one.

We looked cool.

We were rocking the uniforms. (I got schooled by the children's pastor, Loren Echols, for calling them "costumes" yesterday so I made sure to say "uniforms" tonight.) Either way, we really presented a unified, very intimidating, picture. Well, check out the slide show below and see for yourself...

I know, right? It's really shocking that we lost 14-5, isn't it?

My favorite moments of the game were when Dan hit an over-the-fence homerun (we won't mention the two times he struck out first), when Nine got a hit and scored a run, and Rosi's amazing catch up against the fence in left field. Thanks to Matt Tyler for his mad umpiring skeelz, Pastor Matt for shooting the video montage that I'm pretty sure I don't ever want to see, and Kim King for taking the above pictures with my camera.

Since it's a double elimination tournament, I'll add an update tomorrow with pictures from our next game so you can see our next amazing
costumes uniforms. I'm about 99.99% positive that we will not need to break out our costumes uniforms for the championship game on Sunday. Darn, because I was going to dress as the Princess Wiffle, complete with rhinestone bling and a tiara.