Days Go By

My last post was not so nice. Hmmm just needed to vent I guess.

Another week is flying by with the girls off in their activities. I know now what my mama meant about time going faster and faster as you get older. We’re dancin’, flippin over at the gym, cheerin’, churchin’, schoolin’, playin’ some ball, and trying to find our new normal after a summer of chillin’. We’ll have Open House at the school tonight so that we parents may meet the heroes we call teachers. Every day, these individuals get up, get ready (early), to head off to educate our children. These are the people! These are the ones – shaping lives, every single day! And…they do it through the prosperous times when they may get an extra ream of paper and in the lean times when there aren’t enough books, and more children in a classroom than there should be. They have chosen to spend their lives trying to educate a generation of our country – of our world! Why???? They don’t make millions of dollars. I completely get why professtional athletes get up and go to work each day – who wouldn’t for multi millions of dollars a year? These heroes do this because it’s a calling, a gift, and a God-given talent. There are those that have a special talent to teach but I honestly think that the gift and talent is the ability to love – to love children. How happy Jesus must be with these people! The picture that comes to mind when I think of Jesus is one where He is seated on a rock with children surrounding him. He’s laughing and happy. How much more do we need? Children are the very essence of heaven right here on earth. So to the teachers out there that get up each day with new re-vitalized energy to love these children another day, kudos to you. I see you sitting on a rock, beside Jesus, smiling and laughing with children all around you.

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I don’t understand

I don’t care how old I get or how many times I ask – I’ll never understand. God doesn’t tell us that we can’t ask “why” – he’s okay with it. I’m sure of it. But like so many prayers that go seemingly unanswered, he doesn’t promise to answer in ways that we can understand. And so, I don’t understand. I truly struggle with childhood sickness. I mean true, childhood, deadly, life altering sickness. I just can’t wrap my mind around it. It makes me mad and sad and frustrated and aggravated – ALL OF IT!  Sweet children – innocent children just shouldn’t have to endure the pain and suffering. Not to say that adults do but babies…BABIES…not babies! Not children.

Nothing more today –

First Week of School

(From August 15, 2009) The first week of school is behind us – in a blur! Back to waking up early, slapping breakfast together, lining the little people up for the dreaded brushing of hair, the mantra of questions – have you brushed your teeth, is your bed made, are the lights out, has anyone fed the dogs, do you have your snack, where is your homework…. Funny how I ask those exact same questions every… single… day and still…still, I find something that hasn’t been done. And yes, I know that I will miss this one day – so I’m told.

We all had a wonderful first week back. The eldest girlie absolutely loves school. Lots of new freedoms for her. A few tears for me on her first day walking in to the new school. It is from this point that I remember my now college boy began the warp speed journey through middle school and high school. It was just a blink – so much, so fast. She entered the school on this first morning still a little girl and by afternoon had already matured. By the end of this year, my baby girl will be so much more a young woman. How lovely – it’s right on time, I got that. But the loss of innocence when they enter this adolescent age is just sad to me. I want my quiet, shy, complacent, snuggler to stay little awhile longer. Sigh….

Reading List – A Little Direction

I love to read. Since I was old enough to remember, I’ve always had a book (or two, or three) distributed throughout the house for me to read given a moment or two. My idea of a great afternoon on my own (if it’s not reading) is to be in a bookstore – alone, with a cup of coffee perusing book after book after book. There are those days that I still think I could be locked in a library or bookstore and never have to come out. But…how to choose?

My 12th grade English teacher once told me that she too struggled with an ever growing frustration over what to read. At some point, she had started a list. Her list at that time was 5 notebook pages long of all of the books she wanted to read! It’s taken all these years to appreciate that a list is exactly what I need. Needing a list and actually starting this list are two entirely different things. So – no list….UNTIL TODAY!

Over on Hillbilly Housewife (http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/blog/) there is a list! And…this list has been started by 16,000 NPR listeners! The exerpt below is from her blog:

That’s why I turned to the National Public Radio’s poll of almost 16,000 listeners. Listeners cast some 136,000 votes in NPR’s Best Beach Books Ever poll and came up with 100 NPR audience favorites.

I like this poll because I’m not interested in what the “critics” have to say about a book – I’m interested in what readers like. These voters may not be able to critique the literary quality of a book, but maybe they can. All I know is that if I have a list of well-read and well-loved books to choose from, my book browsing will take up much less time, which leaves me much more time to actually sit, read, and enjoy a book!

Take a few minutes today to get all warm and cozy while you curl up with a good book. You deserve some time to re-energize and re-fuel your mind. Happy reading! (I’ve added X’s for the books I’ve read – and noted FAVORITE for my own record keeping purposes )

1. The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling (X)
2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee(X)
3. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini(Reading now)
4. Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding (X)
5. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen(X) FAVORITE
6. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells(X)
7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
9. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg(X)
10. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
11. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
12. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel(X)
13. The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
14. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
15. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
16. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell(X)
17. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
18. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
19. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides
20. Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
21. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain(X)
22. The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver
23. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith
24. The World According to Garp, by John Irving
25. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
26. The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy
27. Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel
28. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
29. The Accidental Tourist, by Anne Tyler
30. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer(X)
31. A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
32. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck(X)
33. The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant
34. Beach Music, by Pat Conroy
35. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
36. Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier(X)
37. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
38. Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
39. The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough(X)
40. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon
41. Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
42. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy(X)
43. Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice
44. Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier(X)
45. Empire Falls, by Richard Russo
46. Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes
47. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
48. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins
49. I Know This Much Is True, by Wally Lamb
50. Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie
51. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott(X)
52. The Stand, by Stephen King
53. She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb
54. Dune, by Frank Herbert
55. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
56. Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
57. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
58. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
59. The Godfather, by Mario Puzo
60. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
61. Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver
62. Jaws, by Peter Benchley
63. Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner
64. Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner
65. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
66. The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
67. The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
68. Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut
69. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
70. The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler
71. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
72. The Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy(X)
73. Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns
74. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
74. Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe [tie]
76. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
77. Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
78. The Shell Seekers, by Rosamunde Pilcher(X)FAVORITE!!
79. Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
80. Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett
81. Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck
81. The Pilot’s Wife, by Anita Shreve [tie]
83. All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy
84. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
85. The Little Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
86. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
87. One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich
88. Shogun, by James Clavell
89. Dracula, by Bram Stoker
90. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera
91. Presumed Innocent, by Scott Turow
92. Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger
93. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
94. Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris
95. Summer Sisters, by Judy Blume
96. The Shining, by Stephen King
97. How Stella Got Her Groove Back, by Terry McMillan
98. Lamb, by Christopher Moore
99. Sick Puppy, by Carl Hiaasen
100. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson(X)

Summer storms

I really like the afternoon thunderstorms we get here in the south. Sometimes, on days like today, the thunder goes on for hours with no real intensity. There has been only a drop or two of rain this afternoon. I’m fine with alot or none – I just like the thunder. It helps that the temp has dropped about 10 degrees – that always makes me happy.

It’s funny that at the end of summer each year, we all run around like chickens trying to get in one more fun day before the routine of school and fall activities are upon us. The girls had an awesome afternoon swimming. Now, they have spent the summer in this very pool but today was different. They went with a dear friend and his mom and…they know that the days of splashing around in the warm (bathtub warm) water is almost over. Good for them! They chattered all the way home and are now pooped – good, clean, summertime fun!

My dear sister-in-law shares a daily quote with us each morning. Some stick out to me and we print them out and add them to our quote wall. Today, I like this one:

Mark Twain:
Whoever is happy will make others happy, too.

Isn’t that nice? I totally agree and harp constantly on finding the happiness wherever you are. It’s there – ya just gotta look for it!

Yes – it’s been forever!

I honestly think about blogging often. I think about lots of ideas that would make for a great read. Oh well, we’re just so stinkin’ busy! I can’t catch that minute of time to gather my thoughts long enough to tap out a post. Hmmm…really need to add that to those things I should do better.

A basic summer recap for posterity:

Cheer camp was a success. Our girls were wonderful. They worked hard and it all payed off. Oldest girlie had a blast and continues to be excited about her upcoming year as a “rah rah” girl.  🙂 All of the cheerleaders practiced the entire month of June but have had the month of July to chill. It actually has worked out nicely – much to my surprise. I think we’re in for a super busy school year with all of the details that go along with cheering.

The family (minus dad) met up with my precious cousin and his family for a week at the beach. I haven’t seen him since around 1995. We reconnected via Facebook – yes, I know…  Anyway, his wife is super sweet and wow, his two year old daughter is over the top beautiful and precious. My girls were in heaven all week just spending time with her. I hope we didn’t drive them too crazy. We’re pretty overwhelming when we’re all together. Big guy and his girlfriend were able to hang with us too for a few days. It’s always so nice to have some time with them.

Our baby Zoey (less than a year old lab puppy) jumped out of big guy’s truck this summer. We really thought our time with her was over. Her hip was broken and there were some other issues as well. Between incredible friends, an aunt that is loved and respected by everyone, and a whole bunches of prayers, baby Zoey is back home with us. She spent about 3+ weeks at the doggy hospital and has had two more weeks of so-called “kennel rest”. It’s okay – whatever it takes. She is feeling great these days and drags us up and down our hill, through bushes, under trees, and through neighbor after neighbor’s yards. She may make it to college with the big guy yet.  I sure hope so.

Finally, we traveled to our old camping/rafting stomping grounds to meet up with

The two littles and I started back to our school today. The oldest girlie doesn’t start for another week so she’s actually a great help getting everything moving. This will be our third year and much less daunting to me. I was able to gather my thoughts and plans quickly for our upcoming year. We’re changing one of our math programs to an online curriculum for one of the girls. She and I both have been exasperated with the one we’ve used so anything is better. We’ll see.