Wednesday, September 27, 2006

SYATP 2006

"See You at the Pole" was this morning at Gracie's school and there was a nice turnout. I was so impressed with the students who led. There was just something about seeing a big 5th grade boy in a football jersey raising his hands as he sang to God that got to me! Even though he wasn't my child, I felt pride for him. Silly maybe, but I felt it. When I saw another lady wiping her eyes, it got to me. When I saw the mom of the football boy with her eyes shining and saw the way his dad looked at him, it got to me. I believe it was "Here I Am to Worship" where some of the kids had movements that involved raising their hands during part of the song. Truly sweet to see.

I was just so impressed that he, and other boys & girls, were taking such leadership roles. There was just something about the football jersey that stood out to me. So many kids at that age try to "be cool" and act like they're too good for something like this and I thought it was great that he was so vocal about being a leader. SYATP is supposed to be "student-led" and the lady who organized it this year tried to really take that into account and the "service" was truly led by the students. I told Gracie and her friend Hunter that they would be the ones up there one year leading when the big kids leave to go across the street to the middle school. Of course, they said no and acted embarrassed but I have a feeling a time will come when both of them will be ready for leadership roles in something like SYATP. I hope so. I still consider myself quite conservative so I'm not sure what role I will pray for Gracie, as a girl, to have in a setting such as this, but there is some role she can have I'm quite sure. Of course, Chris told Hunter's dad that he'd have to be the one who played the guitar. I said, "Yeah, we don't have a guitar at our church, we don't know about those!" LOL

I'm thankful for the mother who coordinated this event and for the people who passed the word around. I have a friend who tells me that noone is school, no family, no friendship and anyone who pretends that something is perfect is lying. I think she has a good point, so I won't tell you that the SYATP experience was perfect. There are some people who don't support it like I think they should; there are some people who don't encourage others to attend; there are some people who discourage some people to attend. My mind screams, "It's not fair!" "It's their right to be there." "Freedom of Speech; freedom of religion."

However, the mother who coordinated it had a good point. SYATP is not about making a stand. It's about being in prayer. So I'm thankful that we, as parents & students, were able to take this opportunity to be in prayer this morning. Gracie or I either one will try to say a prayer each morning on the way to school or before we leave the house, but this morning was a "special" time for this large gathering. I'm thankful that the names of all the classroom teachers, along with the principal & assistant principal, were read right before a prayer was said for the them.

I'm thankful for the discussions I had with 2 of my PTA friends later in the morning as we sat working on the Student Directories. We talked about where we go to church (1 Church of Christ, 1 Baptist, 1 Presbyterian). We talked about how we try to instill values in our children. We talked about some of the things we struggle with at our school and some of the good things about our school. We talked about fears we have for our children and times they've made us proud. The point is that we all 3 (I talked with them at separate times) have a faith in the same God & Christ. I'm thankful for that. We all believe a little differently and in my "strict Church of Christ background" I'm still not sure what to think about those differences and how to respond to them, but we all believe in the same God. We all struggle with similar things regarding our children and we all seek God to help us. I know that God is putting me in situations these days where I'm being made to think, really think. I'm still not sure exactly what I'm thinking, but I'm thinking. I'm thankful that so many good people who love God and are teaching their children to love God have been brought into my life through our experience with Gracie's school. I don't know if I'll become "good friends" with them or just "school friends" or even just "school acquaintances" but I'm thankful nonetheless. I love feeling like I walk away sometimes with something new to think about.

I'm thankful for the teachers who came to SYATP even though they weren't encouraged, and some may even say discouraged, to attend. (see above reference to the fact that it wasn't perfect). They impressed me so much and I want to somehow let them know that.

I'm thankful that the Student Directories were put in the teacher's boxes this afternoon! Yippee! I had lots of help today and we knocked them out. I'm so glad!!!!!!!!! Granted, I was at the school from 9:15-1:15 Monday; 12:15-2:15 yesterday; and 7:00-2:15 today (with a few breaks to take & pick up Katie from MDO), but they're done! *whew* I'm thankful that the assistant principal was nice enough to allow me to take Katie to the school with me since the room I was using was kind of isolated so Katie wouldn't be a distraction to the students. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't have been able to work on it so much. I try to be very considerate about Katie when I'm at the school and don't take her to volunteer in the classroom because I know it's not the "time nor place." The room I was using for this project though was perfect for her to run around in and not be a distraction to anyone but the people in there and there weren't ever many of us in there. Those who were seemed to be fine with her being there. I was really proud of her because she behaved really well! Of course, when we went into the office to deliver the books she got a little rowdier but not too bad and we were probably only in there 20 minutes or so.

My life right now is "PTA mom" and I'm loving it! True, I get tired sometimes but I don't think I would have it any other way. Our President was helping me this morning and cut her finger and got blood on one of the books. She was laughing about putting her blood into the project. I referred to putting "blood, sweat & tears" into it and told her that I did shed some tears Sunday when we were trying to get it all into the computer the right way! I'm thankful that I'm able to be a stay-at-home mom who can volunteer at Gracie's school. I enjoy being there. There and at home with my girls & Chris is exactly where I want to be right now! I was thinking about that when I was colating over & over and getting a little overwhelmed with it all. I thought, "You know, this is just where I want to be right now. I wouldn't change a thing." Katie behind me playing happily and eating snacks at "Sissy's school" while I worked. True, she is having a different toddlerhood than Gracie whose life consisted pretty much of church, home and playgroup! Katie lives in the van alot more but that's okay! Different doesn't have to mean bad!

I'm just trying to be thankful for things in my life. I don't always do a good job of that, but I'm trying. (I'm thankful that Chris gets to go to a "real" football game tomorrow night because I know he's excited about it!)

Thank you God for all of my blessings. Help me to be a positive example to those I come into contact with. Thank you for the precious children who lead prayers & sang songs this morning. Thank you for their faith & their boldness in sharing it with all who were at the school. I pray that my own children will be so bold as they grow. I pray that I will be, too.
In Jesus' Name,

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

See You at the Pole

See You at the Pole is tomorrow morning at 7:05 at Gracie's school, and many others around the country. Please pray that many will be in attendance and that God will be glorified and lives will be touched positively. Pray that hearts will be softened if they need to be. God is everywhere; may all Christians share their faith boldly and encourage each other to do so! (Thanks to JettyBetty for posting about this on her blog which prompted me to mention it on my own as well.)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Jack Sprat.......

Friday: Parent's Night Out! One of the Life Groups from church hosted this event and it was great! Chris & I went out to a "fancy" restaurant that we wouldn't typically take our kids to. There were kids there so it's not like it was extremely fancy but it wouldn't be our first choice to take our kids to. We then wondered what to do with the rest of our evening! We got some Starbucks (Pumpkin Spice Latte~yum!) but our only Starbucks is in our Kroger so that's not real "date-like." Then we drove around and ended up going to Goody's where we ran into some friends then also saw Adam & Alissa driving through the parking lot! We just hung out for the rest of the evening. Even though it wasn't very eventful, we enjoyed it...just being together without the kids around. We love our girls but it's nice to take a break every now & then. I've included a picture Gracie drew of us on our date. No comments please that I'm drawn like a large triangle while Chris is drawn as a skinny he is! She was quite intrigued by this whole "Parent's Night Out" thing. You can tell we don't go out much! Of course, the girls had a blast playing at the church building and eating pizza and watching a movie with their friends!

Saturday: I went to a Ladies' Brunch that morning. That was really nice and yummy! Waaay too many choices. It was fun to have this time with different ladies from church and my friend Mary Beth came also. That afternoon I worked on my Sunday School lesson and then took Gracie & a friend to a birthday party at Build-A-Bear. That was fun! The party concluded at the little girl's house where the kids had alot of fun running around playing and eating cupcakes.

Sunday: We had church that morning where I am continuing to really enjoy teaching the 1st & 2nd graders. It's a small group...usually 3, but only 2 this Sunday. I am having alot of fun and I love getting to see firsthand what Gracie is learning. I'm so proud of how well she does with learning!

That afternoon, Chris & I worked on the Student Directory I'm putting together for Gracie's school. OH MY GOODNESS! I never in my life imagined how much work this would be. The way we were putting it together involved having to combine different classes on different sheets and then we'd (I'd) forget a class and we'd have to move classes to other sheets then I'd print them off then I'd have to move things over and print again then he'd have to make the font a different color then I'd have to proofread to catch any mistakes. This was all after I'd typed in the about 663 names then proofread and found way too many mistakes then made sure everyone was in the right class then made any corrections the teachers found on their rough drafts. Do those last couple of sentences sound like run-ons? Well, that's how my last 24 hours or so have felt!

I really was stressed yesterday about 5:00. I actually sent Chris & the girls to Life Group without me. I felt really guilty but I just felt like I had to get that part done before I went crazy.

Monday: This morning Mary Beth & I met at the school office around 9:00 to make the copies. 4 1/2 hours later we were done. We made roughly 750 copies of 9 different pages, front & back. 13,500 copies. Thank goodness for Rizographs that go fast! Still, it took forever! Not to mention a couple of glitches with the machine resetting when we didn't know it had and then it saying we had "gone over our limit" as far as the number of copies we were allowed to make.

We left the school around 1:15 to pick up Katie. Another lady was in the lounge beginning the task of colating 750 sets of directories. I may go in tomorrow to work on it then also on Wednesday I think some of us may work on whatever needs to be finished. They will also need to be stapled down the middle. I am grateful for MB helping me make copies (I literally would have gone crazy if I'd been doing it by myself.) I'm also grateful for the lady who began colating today! This is not a job to do by yourself! Both of these ladies had offered to type as well.

Right now I'm waiting on a friend to come over with her children. Her son & Gracie have a soccer game tonight. Chris has a test he needs to study for, so he's going to watch her girls & Katie while she & I take the big kids to the game. That way, she gets a little bit of a break and he can study for a test. He has this ability to tune out the kids playing so he will actually be able to study with 3 children 3 & under in the house! LOL My friend & I plan to stop at Starbucks on the way to the game too!

Tonight I plan on veggin' out!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

first field trip

Gracie had her first "real" field trip today! I say "real" because she went on one in preschool but I went with her and drove her in our own car. Today, she went without me and rode on the school bus and everything! I was nervous I will readily admit, but she did great! They went to a Science Center and saw a planeterium show and also learned about rocks. I wanted to be a chaperone but Mrs. Stauffer said she had so many parents volunteer for field trips that she just had to draw names out of a hat. Yesterday after school she emailed me and said there was a possibility that they were going to be short 1 chaperone because one of the teacher aides was sick. If she'd been sick again today I would have been able to go. Alas, she was well today. Good for her but bad for me!

While Mary Beth and I were waiting to pick up our kids today, one of the other moms from class came over to talk to us. She had been on the field trip with them. She is a very nice lady who is outgoing and always real sweet to Gracie. She went on & on & on about how well the kids behaved. She had so many complimentary things to say about Gracie! She said something about her being just like a little grown-up which is funny because it's true. My mom was the same way as a child and I can be that way too. Apparently, Gracie and her little girl hung out the whole time. She said Gracie & Lakenya held hands almost the whole time and Lakenya kept saying she had to take care of Gracie and she wasn't going to let anything bad happen to her. Her mom made mention of how wonderful it was that Gracie & Lakenya don't "see" the obvious difference between themselves. Gracie is white & Lakenya is black. It is so true and something that I am so grateful for! I even wrote about this "color blindness" once before. She said she wanted to talk about them to the whole school and say "this is the way it should be!"

Lakenya's mom said "Some of these adults can be such fools!" referring to the way adults can be so prejudiced and I think she's 100% right. I don't understand how some people can forget that God made every single one of us and He decided on our skin color! He loves us all just the same! I have sat & listened to people~even friends & people in my extended family~who will say such racist things and it just kills me. It's like they say everything but the exact words..."I think I'm better than that person because I'm white and they're __________" Even though they don't say those words, the meaning behind what they are saying is crystal clear.

I'm so proud of Lakenya & Gracie for being friends despite their difference and I hope I will always be a good example to my girls of how everyone is loved by God....not just white people!
I volunteered to do the Student Directory for Gracie's school. Why??!?! Because it was mentioned in one of our board meetings that it needed to be done, noone volunteered, so I said, "I''ll do it!" Yeah, good move on my part, huh?!?" We have a little over 650 students so this week I typed in their names & the phone numbers of those who consented. I checked my list against the class rosters and the teachers were given a rough draft to check for any corrections that needed to be made. I should be getting those back by tomorrow. I was supposed to get some today but for some reason the teacher representative didn't send them home to me. *argh* If I don't get them all back by tomorrow, I think I'm going to have to go around to the classes and ask the teacher for their list. I have to have them back to make my corrections this weekend because I'm meeting others in the office Monday morning to start running copies and getting it put together. No small task. I'm having to arrange childcare for Katie so it's not like I can just hop into the school to work on it at any time. I'm so hoping it works out!
Tonight I'm going to a "Grey's Anatomy" premiere party at a friend's house. Tomorrow night one of our Life Groups is sponsoring a "Parent's Night Out" from 6:30-10:30. Whoo hoo! Free babysitting!!!!!! Saturday morning there is a Ladies' Brunch at church. Saturday afternoon I'm taking Gracie and a friend to a Build-A-Bear birthday party. It'll be a busy but fun weekend!
Dear Lord,
Thank you for letting Gracie have a fun & safe time on her field trip! I was a little worried and you took care of her just like I asked. Thank you! Thank you that children are so much more loving at times than we as adults are. I pray that you will help my children to love & accept everyone regardless of their color, race, background or socio-economic status. Help them to love You enough that they want to share You with everyone they meet. Jesus is what matters, as one of my friends likes to say! Help my children to know that! Help them to know what is important and what is not. I don't want them to accept things as being okay if they're not but there are so many things that just don't matter and I believe skin color is one of those things when it comes to who they can or cannot be friends with! Help Chris & I to be good examples to them! Help us to model for them the way they should act.
In Jesus' Name,

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Amazing Race

Well, you know what they say about South Carolina's education, right? It doesn't rank up there with the best. Tonight's premiere of "The Amazing Race" didn't help that thought I don't think!

Chris & I both love this show, and I was excited about the premiere. Little did I know until earlier in the day that the Dallas Cowboys were playing at the exact same time. It didn't take me more than a second to realize who was going to win this one. My husband loves the Cowboys so much that if Katie had been a boy, her middle name was going to be 'Dallas.' We actually know a precious little girl at church named Dallas~for the same reason...her daddy is a huge Cowboys fan!

Anyway, Chris taped my show for me and after balancing the checkbook (why is there never enough?!?!) I watched it on the computer while he finished up his football game. One of the teams I was interested in watching was a team of 2 cheerleaders from the University of South Carolina which is located in a town not far from here.

Of course, the cheerleaders are being portrayed as you would expect, as are the beauty queens, the Kentucky coal miners and the "alternate lifestyle" couple. All 12 teams pretty well fit into a stereotype. At one point, the cheerleaders walked up to the team that was comprised of 2 Muslim men. One of the cheerleaders reached out her hand to shake the hand of one of the men. He politely declined saying something about not shaking hands because of his religion. I don't know what that was all about because they didn't show his whole reply.

The part they showed later was the part that makes South Carolina look really bad! One of the cheerleaders looks at the other one and asks under her breath, "Do Muslims believe in Buddha?" The other one replies, "I don't know."

I don't claim to know much about either Muslims or Buddhists, but I think I could have at least answered that question for the poor girl.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I can't find anything!!!

I've heard of Spring cleaning. I guess this is what you call Fall cleaning! Chris decided today was the day to clean out & organize the shed. As much as I'm not enjoying it, it did need to be done. I needed to find Gracie's old clothes to see what Katie already has to wear this Fall. I also lend out some of Gracie's other clothes to a friend's daughter and I needed to get to those. Finding those was going to be hard since I'd have to step over a lawnmower, a tricycle, a bicycle, a weed blower, a chain saw, etc. to get to the tubs of clothes. I think you get the picture!

So far, I have a clothes pile to go through, a book pile (some to sell on Ebay, some to add to Gracie's bookcase and some to donate to Gracie's classroom if Mrs. Stauffer wants them) and a garage sale pile. There are alot of other piles out there too...I'm just not sure what they stand for!

Please tell me that someone else out there is as disorganized as we are!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

life is better

Today is better...thank goodness! I guess maybe now I feel like writing it all out. I don't write this to embarrass Gracie but since this blog is a journal of our lives, I guess this needs to be in it!

A brief synopsis: Gracie has a bad habit of waiting until the last minute to go to the bathroom. We get onto her alot for this. When I say "alot," I don't mean daily, weekly or even monthly but it still seems like alot for a child her age.

In Kindergarten she had at least 2 "accidents" at school It seems like maybe there was a 3rd but I can't think of it. They were both during the 1st semester and were handled appropriately with care & gentleness by her teachers & aides.

Well, this week she had an accident at school. *sigh* No one wants to be the parent of the child who wets their pants at school. We all know how kids can be and I had these visions of children taunting her mercilessly. It was Tuesday afternoon right before school got out. Apparently it was literally like 10-15 minutes before school got out. I was standing on the sidewalk next to my friend Mary Beth waiting for our kids. We saw Mrs. Stauffer walking down the sidewalk towards us. We both kind of thought it was strange because she doesn't usually bring the kids out; a different teacher does.

I couldn't fully see her so I asked MB, "She doesn't have one of our children by the hand does she?" She said no. Well, she was walking straight towards me and pointed at me and said, "I need to talk to you." You've got to understand. Gracie is not a perfect child, but she is certainly not one who causes the kind of trouble that makes the teacher come out for an "on the spot" conference. I said, "Am I in trouble?!?" She said no but asked for me to step over away from the group of parents.

She explained that apparently Gracie had needed to go to the bathroom during math time but knew that they weren't supposed to ask to go during "direct teaching" time. (As a former teacher, I understand the rule because the students could miss alot & potentially be disturbing if they're getting up during this time.) I guess she raised her hand with the little "signal" they have after the direct teaching was over. However, Mrs. Stauffer didn't see her because she was busy getting the take-home folders ready. Now, most other kids probably would have said the teacher's name to get her attention but not Gracie. By the time Mrs. Stauffer noticed she had her hand up, Gracie stood up to go and it was too late.

I really feel like Gracie didn't necessarily wait until the last minute this time but just had bad timing with when she needed to go. However, she probably could have gone at any number of times during the day and just didn't do it. I also feel like she probably could have been a bit more "aggressive" with letting the teacher know that she had her hand up. However, what's done is done. Mrs. Stauffer told them that if it's a real emergency, they can just go.

Mrs. Stauffer had given Gracie a pair of gym shorts to wear (size medium ADULT!) Gracie had rolled them over at the waist like we do with her soccer practice shorts so that they weren't quite so big. I asked Mrs. Stauffer if everyone laughed at her. She said no and she would have really "chewed them up" (I believe was the phrase) if they had. She said they talked about how no one is perfect, etc. Mrs. Stauffer was very kind about it all and I was very happy that she'd come out to tell me about it in person. If Gracie had walked out in those shorts and I didn't know what had happened, I would have been mad!

So, that was part 1 of the bad thing. I'm embarrassed. Gracie was embarrassed. We talked to her alot about how she shouldn't wait 'til the last minute. She should have made sure Mrs. Stauffer knew it was an emergency. She needs to go during the day so that she doesn't get to that emergency point, etc.

Here's part 2 of the bad thing. Well, that night we were continuing our discussion. I decided to try some "scare tactics" with her. I said, "Gracie, some kids will be mean and they will laugh." She said, "Mrs. Stauffer said X laughed." (X is not the kid's real's being used to protect his privacy!) Well, I was shocked b/c X is her friend and that just didn't seem logical that he would be the one to laugh. I questioned her about it and she kind of laughed and said, "Mrs. Stauffer said X laughed and she had to get him." She wasn't particularly upset about it but it bothered me.

X's mom has always told me to let her know if he ever does anything to Gracie b/c she would want to know so she could correct the situation. I've told her the same about Gracie. So, I emailed her and told her what Gracie said. She emailed back shortly and said, "X said he did not laugh. L did. I'm going to call her (the teacher.)" So she & I talked back & forth about it and how this story just didn't make much sense. She called Mrs. Stauffer but had to leave a message.

All during the evening, I wondered if Mrs. Stauffer would call her back and what she would say. Finally, X's mom called me back and said that Mrs. Stauffer had said X did not laugh. Another child had laughed and maybe he had smiled at that but he did not laugh at Gracie. Well, that was good. However, in the back of my mind I couldn't figure out why Gracie had said that Mrs. Stauffer had said that X had laughed. It just didn't make sense to me.

Chris was so nonchalant about it. He just figured there was an explanation. He felt no need to find out what the explanation was. I on the other hand was going crazy. I believed X. I believed Mrs. Stauffer. So it appeared that Gracie was lying. That didn't make sense either though. X is her friend so why would she try to get him in trouble? It's not like her to blatantly lie like that. It's not that she's never been dishonest, but this would have been a pretty outright lie and it just didn't line up with Gracie's character. She had said it so matter of factly that it just seemed like fact, but X & Mrs. Stauffer's stories weren't coinciding with Gracie's.

I went to bed but woke up with that icky feeling in my stomach of something not being quite right. I had a tummy ache too! I knew Chris wanted me to drop it, but I just couldn't. After he left for work, I started questioning Gracie about it. We went 'round & round with her saying she "thought" she'd heard Mrs. Stauffer say X's name, etc. I got onto her & told her that saying something as fact when she just "thought" it, was like telling a lie and she knows better, blah blah blah. I said something about how she had told us that as if Mrs. Stauffer had looked her in the face and said it. She said, "She did." I repeated it and asked had she looked her in the face and said, "X laughed and I had to get him." She said, "yes." I know everyone wants to think the best of their child but I truly felt like she was telling the truth. As much as she was gonna get it if she was lying, I was also going to stick up for her 'til the bitter end if she was telling the truth!

I was completely unprepared to go inside the school that morning but I did anyway. I threw some make up on and grabbed Katie, barefeet & all (Katie was barefoot~not me!) and we took off for school. I had planned to just go through carline, but I knew I had to find out the real story. We went into her classroom and I said, "I have a question." Mrs. Stauffer said, "okay." Then, I immediately burst into tears! I was so embarrassed! I was so not planning for that to happen! (I guess we know where Gracie gets her dramatic nature from, huh?!?!)

I said, "I just have to know what happened." Mrs. Stauffer was very motherly and hugged us both and listened intently. I said, "Okay. I know X's mom called you. We're friends. I know you said X didn't laugh and that's fine. Whether he did or not is not really the point right now." I took a deep breath and looked over at the bathroom (and her teenage son who is sitting in the rocking chair watching me make a fool of myself!!!) and said, "But she said that you came into the bathroom and said, 'X laughed and I had to get him.' I don't understand!"

She said that yes, she had said that to Gracie. Apparently, L had laughed (who happened to walk into the classroom at that moment! Mrs. Stauffer asked her to step out. She really is a sweet girl!) X sits near L and he had laughed at HER! Mrs. Stauffer had gotten on to X for laughing at L because she said no one needed to laugh at anyone for any reason. Then apparently she told Gracie that X had laughed and she'd gotten onto him but Gracie didn't realize that he hadn't laughed at her. She had gotten the statement out of context.

I sighed with relief and said, "So, you did say that to Gracie, but X hadn't laughed at HER, he had laughed at L!" She said, "yes." *sigh* I explained that I'd worried about this all night and I'd gotten onto Gracie for being dishonest but she was adamant about Mrs. Stauffer having said it and it all just didn't add up. Mrs. Stauffer apologized for not being clear and to please never worry about something all night but just to call her. She handed me a tissue, told Gracie she could get unpacked for the day and I had a little hug & kiss time with her before I left. I apologized for thinking that she was lying and said I really didn't think she would lie about it but it just hadn't made sense, etc. Then I left. My mouth was very dry from being nervous, I was still embarrassed at having cried but relieved that my baby hadn't been dishonest about the whole situation.

Seriously, I was so drained from this whole thing. I had just known in my heart that something wasn't right about the whole situation. I couldn't rest easy until I knew what had happened. I am so thankful that no one had been dishonest! As for L laughing at Gracie....well, kids will be kids. She really is a sweet girl. I'm sure it would be hard for any 6 year old not to laugh in a situation like this. I have not heard of one other child who laughed about it. Gracie has not complained about anyone teasing her. I went in to work with her class later that morning (which added to my embarrassment because I had to face Mrs. Stauffer a mere hour and a half later!) and not one child mentioned the incident to me.

Chris & I were very surprised that Gracie didn't seem to be more embarrassed about it. Chris said, "I don't know why she's not saying she wants to stay home from school tomorrow?!?!?" I guess she's still innocent enough about life not to worry about it. Thankfully, like I said, she hasn't complained about anyone teasing her at all! She really is just a good kid with a great attitude (most of the time) who can go with the flow and is just happy. (Don't get me wrong; she has her moments!)

Today I sent a note to Mrs. Stauffer apologizing for being so emotional and thanking her for helping us sort it all out. I stressed to her how much Chris & I want to support her throughout this school year; how we're Gracie's advocates and we'll make sure she gets what she needs, but we appreciate all she does as Gracie's teacher. Chris had been concerned that I'd been too defensive and made it seem like I was upset with her and I wanted to clear up that I wasn't upset with her at all. Here is how she replied:

There is absolutely no reason for you to feel that you need to
apologize for anything. You are Gracie's advocate and as such you need
to do what you feel is in her best interest. I did not feel like you
were questioning how I handled the situation. I appreciate that you
came to me and gave me the opportunity to clear any misunderstandings up
between Gracie and myself. I again want to thank you for coming in
yesterday and working with the children.
Have a great day.
*** Stauffer
I am so thankful that Mrs. Stauffer is the kind of teacher who is open to having parents come to her with concerns. I am so thankful that this incident was resolved in a good way. I am so thankful that my baby wasn't dishonest about the situation. I know she's going to have moments of dishonesty in her life and she will hopefully learn from those moments, but this wasn't one of those moments. I am hopeful that Gracie won't have anymore accidents. She just needs to be more mindful of going to the bathroom more often so she doesn't get to the emergency point.
So, I guess that synopsis wasn't so brief, huh?
Dear Lord,
Thank you for letting this situation be resolved. Thank you for letting Mrs. Stauffer be sensitive to how I was feeling. Please help Gracie to do better with not waiting too late to go to the bathroom. Thank you for not letting her be made fun of~at least not too much. Thank you for the good attitude that Gracie has about school and friends. Thank you that she enjoys school so much and is learning so much! Thank you for all of the blessings we have from all the different areas of our lives. Please help us to recognize & appreciate them. Please help us to look for opportunities to share You with others.
In Jesus' Name,

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

doozy of a day

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life....Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Matthew 6:25a; 27

Today was a doozy! Well, last night was too to be honest.

I really don't feel like writing it all out, but suffice it to say that I didn't sleep well last night and woke up with a tummy ache. Everything seems to be fine now; the girls are good; Chris is wonderful; I'm just a worrier who can't let things go easily. I tend to keep harping on it until I feel it's resolved. Chris on the other hand was fine with the whole situation well before he went to sleep last night. How can men do that?!?! (It didn't have anything to do with him by the way.) So....a couple of conversations and a few tears later, everything was better. Still, with the rain and all that happened this morning, it seems like a good day to curl up with a good book and read.

Friday, September 08, 2006

God is a hero!

I just experienced a wonderful moment with my sweet 6 year old little girl.

In her folder today, a note came home titled "Heroes." The note went on to explain that Monday would be the 5th anniversary of 9/11 and that they would be talking about heroes. It asked us to talk with our child about what a hero is and that we could start with Super Heroes and then just talk about everyday heroes. They said they would be watching a video and doing a few activities including a writing activity about who our child's favorite hero is.

I talked to Gracie about this note. She wasn't sure what a hero was so I explained it to her by saying it was someone who would help when someone was sick or hurt or someone who would protect someone from being hurt. I kind of felt like I was floundering for a really great definition. We talked about Super Heroes and pulled on her experiences watching her little friends Avery & Aidan pretend to be Super Heroes. From that experience we came up with Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Mr. & Mrs. Incredible and Dash.

We then started to talk about everyday heroes and I mentioned firemen. I told her that Mrs. Stauffer was going to want her to write about her favorite hero. Her response made me give her a huge hug and be so proud of her!

She said, "God is a hero because He died on the cross to save us from our sins!"

I told her yes and that she can write about Him next week if she wants to. I so hope she does! (I did elaborate a little on the fact that it was Jesus who actually died and that He is God's son, but after all, they are 3-in-1 right? Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit!)

I am just so happy that God is who she thought of as a hero. Isn't He the best hero of all?!?!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

too wholesome?

We went to Atlanta over the weekend and had lots of fun! We got home Monday afternoon and the girls & I crashed. It was fun but tiring!

Tuesday was Wal Mart shopping day! I bought so many groceries, Katie had to walk next to me out of the store because she wouldn't fit into the grocery cart!

Yesterday Chris took off work to help take care of the girls & me because I've been sick. Just really feeling awful. I went to the doctor and he said it may just be viral, blah blah blah. I think it's allergies/sinuses. Whatever it is, I felt bad. He gave me a prescription for Zyrtec which seems to have helped although I still don't feel great. Chris took Katie to her first Mother's Day Out of the year yesterday and she did great! (I was supposed to go volunteer for Gracie's class~had it all planned out with her teacher~but being sick, I had to cancel. I was very sad about it!) He also took Gracie to school & picked her up. I'm so grateful that his job is such that he can take off for things like taking care of a puny wife!

Today is our playgroup day but I just didn't feel like going. I feel better but not great and with such a stopped up head I didn't feel like sitting in a room with a bunch of preschoolers running around. I needed to go to the post office to mail some things I've sold on Ebay. I'd put it off too long. I also ran to the bank then went to Blockbuster. I'd been wanting to watch "High School Musical" and "Akeelah and the Bee." I also picked up "RV." It looks funny. We'll see. While there I decided to look at the t.v. series that they rent. I chose to rent the first season of "The Waltons." I know, I know, maybe that's a little geeky but I love them!

When I checked out, the guy said, "Oh, you got the Waltons" with an amused tone. I said, "Yeah, my husband will love it. He can play on the computer while I watch it." He kind of chuckled and shook his head and said, "too wholesome." I just kind of laughed. Really though, is there such a thing as too wholesome? I wanted to go pick out some of the smut they rent and ask him which he'd rather me rent to watch while my 2 year old & 6 year old are in & out of the room! He probably doesn't care either way but honestly, I don't think it's such a bad thing to watch something wholesome. Good grief!

When I was putting Katie into the car, I did the stupidest thing! I had put her in then went to open my door all the way to get into the driver's seat. I opened the door right into my face! and hard! Katie said, "Okay Mommy?" I'm even wearing my glasses today and I just knew I had broken them and given myself a black eye. So far, I don't see a bruise on me and the glasses seemed to have escaped too much damage although they do seem to be sitting on my face a little crooked. How embarrassing! Talk about geeky!

Tonight Gracie plays soccer against one of her best friends! That is, if it doesn't rain! Tuesday they played about 10 minutes and then it started pouring! Hard, large, really wet raindrops! We didn't park anywhere near the field either. UGH I had a PTA Board meeting that night. 2 hours of fun! (HA!) Really, it wasn't bad just kind of tedious talking about all the details that we needed to discuss. I am feeling more & more like I "belong" although still a little like a "newbie." Everyone is nice and ready to offer me help when I need it.

A couple of us at school are starting to talk about "See You at the Pole"which will be held on Wednesday, September 27th. I ask for your prayers that this event will be a positive, uplifting experience for all involved and that God will be glorified!

Tomorrow is Grandparents' Day at school and I'm making some mini muffins for the breakfast. I don't think I'm helping serve simply because I'll have Katie with me and she won't be much help! I told them I could stay if they're desperate for help but I made it clear that Katie would have to be with me. (The breakfast is from7:30-8:00 and MDO doesn't open until 8:45 so that isn't an option.)

Tomorrow night Gracie has a sleepover "camp out" birthday party for a friend. I know she'll have a blast and come home exhausted! Saturday Katie has a birthday party to go to. In a few weeks Gracie has another birthday party to go to. It's a blessing to have so many friends.

Well, I guess I'll go watch a little "John Boy" and ice my black eye! HA!