Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Joy Who?

I started a class. I actually started a while ago but haven't talked much about it.

Our church offers a counseling training class for 31 weeks. At the end of the 31 weeks, if I pass the hour long interview, and if I'm not a mental wreak, I get a certificate to become a lay counselor. We have a waiting list, and many people come to our church seeking biblical counseling.

My purpose for taking the class isn't actually to become a counselor. I am hoping to start seminary in the fall, and this class is a requirement, although it is quite interesting.

Every Wednesday morning I sit at the same table with the same people, Craig and Shannon. We are friends now, share notes, roll our eyes at the people who ask annoying questions, avoid the homework task, and sip our coffee while listening to the lecture.

Today it was just Craig and I. Shannon is in India with her husband filming his movie. I know, right?

Today Craig said that he was grumpy. I assured him that I would not expect any small talk from him and that last week was my time to be grumpy.

I had a terrible week. I feel like everything got piled on to the same week. Why does it always end up that way. Perhaps I needed to have my character tweaked some. Maybe I needed a few more trials under my belt. Perhaps, I needed a good cry and scream.

I feel more joyful this week. I wasn't very joyful last week. I kept asking God to help me find my joy. I hate when my joy goes missing.

I know that I should be joyful in all situations but not for all situations, but sometimes it is difficult.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Latest Obsession

I am currently obsessed with Botox. I am not a user, just an investigator. I constantly look at the actors on television to see if their foreheads wrinkle when they show emotion or if their muscles are stiff and frozen from Botox injections.

"Do you know about Botox?" my mother questioned recently.

"Of course! I would marry Botox if I had the money."

"Do you know that it freezes your muscle so that you cannot show emotion when people are talking to you. If someone is telling you a sad story, your face won't show compassion. That is terrible!"

"That's why they have greeting cards. They are great at showing emotion."

I'm feeling old, can you tell?

Really, I don't have money to throw away on Botox injections, however, if you would like to throw some money my way, I would whisk away my forehead wrinkles and droopy eyelids in a few short visits.

Not the best use of money, but hey, let's pretend.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jumping Rope

Impressing six year old children isn't easy. As it turns out, I'm not that big of a deal, and neither are my jump roping skills.

Since I was experiencing my first day working in the kindergarten classroom I had some intense impressing to do. The fact that it was June 7, and school ended June 16gave me very little time.

If you are wondering why I waited until June to work in my son's kindergarten classroom, I have no answer, other than Mondays are "group" days and they are also my day off. Perfect? No. I'm selfish with my time off, and he is the fourth child. The school allows a lengthy grace period for selfish mothers with four children. That is what grandmothers, who love that stuff, are for.

I had my choice of reading group, craft group, counting group, or jump rope. Since working with the kindergarten groups was cutting into my workout time I volunteered for the jumping rope group. This meant that I would be jumping rope for 15 minutes, with five different groups for a total of 75 minutes. Piece of cake.

I began each new group by asking a series of questions, "Did you know that I used to teach fifth grade?" They didn't care. "Did you know that I can crisscross the rope while I jump?" Again, they didn't care. By my third "Did you know?" they were experts at ignoring my attempts to impress and off like ponies galloping around the blacktop in hopes of combining a jump, with a rope, and a sold landing on both feet. Many failed.

After discovering who could jump consecutively the longest, teaching them to listen for the click and jump, playing jump the river, helicopter, snake in the grass, and mouse trap, five different times, I was finished, and the ache began.

My insides felt like they had be twisted and reshaped, and my butt was on fire, although it was a good hurt.

There are two lessons that I learned that morning: 1)Never try to impress kindergartners by outdoing them with jump roping skills, and 2) If I still think I can wear a bikini poolside, I had better jump rope more often.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Only Slightly Odd

All kids have a little bit of odd. I find this comforting since my children are proficient with oddities especially in the area of food.

When I recently spent some time with one of my girlfriends, I saw her cutting off the bread crust for one of her children before making him a peanut butter sandwich. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that my children also prefer crust-less bread. I didn’t want to be the only mother who takes time with culinary alterations before feeding her children.

My oldest has a limited diet consisting of pasta, only when it is prepared fresh, burgers, tacos topped with only cheese, and homemade popcorn. She hates Thanksgiving dinner and often eats prior to our going to someone else’s house for dinner. She is limited to three fast food establishments, and whenever we visit a restaurant, she orders chicken strips with a side a french fries, ketchup only.

My oldest eats any and everything; however, he is my high maintenance eater and recurrent muncher. He often requests something crazy like spaghetti and meatballs for breakfast or some other non-traditional item requiring time and effort, and calls for a steady flow of food until he falls asleep. On the occasional restaurant visit, he asks to order the appetizer, man-sized dinner and of course, dessert, while my husband is the one clutching his shrinking wallet.

My middle mister tells me that the chili tastes funny after the sixteenth time I have made the same chili, and snubs his nose as anything which includes the words, “whole grain” “good for you” or “off the beaten culinary path.” His attachment to ice cream borders on fatal attraction, hence the four cavities, and Life cereal and Lucky Charms are the only cereal that he will eat.

My youngest has decided that he no longer likes pizza, anything containing red pasta sauce, or pancakes. He won’t eat rice or noodles without ship loads of butter and salt, eats lunch between lunch and dinner, isn’t hungry for dinner, and then wants dinner before bed time.

Younger children haven't yet mastered the, "It’s not my favorite, but I'll eat it anyway" mindset, and often lock into quirks, oddities, and finicky foibles that only their parents can tolerate, and when toleration works no longer, professional counseling is a must.

I find comfort knowing that every kid has something. While tortilla chips, vanilla ice cream, and strawberries aren’t exactly worthy of the title “dinner,” they falls somewhere in the category of food and I’ll just have to settle for that, and the well known fact that kids are odd.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Stupid Facebook

My sixteen year old daughter is upset and it is Facebook's fault. Stupid Facebook.

Since she has decided to partake in posting her status on Facebook and reading what other people write, she is now subjected to all of the outings that other people do and that she doith not.

She was crying on Monday because she feels left out. After looking at some pictures that one of her friends posted of them painting a friend's room, she was upset that she was not invited to partake in the room painting.

She was also crying on Monday because "a bunch of people" went to the beach and didn't invite her. "Out of sight out of mind!"

I told her not to take it personally. I told her that teenagers are last minute planners and if you are not standing right next to the "planning committee" you aren't always invited. "Teenagers don't always think of others" I told her.

I told her that she can't be invited to everything because that is impossible.

I told her that she gets invited to a lot of things and she would have been too tired to go to the beach anyway. My words of wisdom fell on deaf ears.

I told her that she should plan something to invite her friends to, and take pictures and post those on Facebook. [insert eye roll here] "You don't get it!" Perhaps I don't get it because we called people on the phone and drove to places together with our friends when I was her age. No Facebook in the eighties.

My daughter doesn't drive. Aha! That must be the problem.

Perhaps if we moved closer to church, my daughter went to school with her friends instead of attending a school that is 12 miles from church, and she got her license, the problem of being out of sight, out of mind would be solved.

Perhaps if she shut her computer and banned herself from visiting Facebook, her feelings of being left out would be solved.

Now there's an "Aha!"

Stupid Facebook.