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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Teddy is 2!

It's no secret I'm not the world's biggest dog person.   I may actually live with the world's biggest dog person so I knew it was only a matter of time before I'd be a dog owner again.  Over the last year I've definitely warmed to the idea of a dog and about 6 months ago we found Teddy, our practically perfect dog.

A practically perfect dog-
1.) doesn't shed
2.) doesn't smell
3.) doesn't yap or bark constantly
3.) doesn't jump
4.) is excellent with kids (can withstand lots of pulling, cuddling, hugging, loud noises, sudden movements, sticky hands and general chaos)
5.) is cute
6.) is housebroken
7.) doesn't chew on furniture
8.) doesn't cost a fortune
9.) is over a year old

With the above list in mind we narrowed our search to a Goldendoodle, Labradoodle, or a Wheaten Terrier.  I found several but always moved too slowly and they were adopted before we had a chance.  I felt relieved each time.  Then one Thursday night, as had become a regular part of my routine,  I checked Craigslist for a dog.  For the first time in my search I found a Wheaten Terrier.  An adorable little guy that made me feel excited about the prospect of getting a dog.  I responded to the ad immediately and began a back and forth email conversation with his owner,  an exhausted mother of a newborn and a two year old who loved her dog but just couldn't handle it all.  She wanted him to have a family with kids who had time to love and play with him.  I went to bed knowing that we'd found our dog.

Teddy has proven to be absolutely awesome.  He is a solid 8/9, he's a terrible jumper with everyone but the five of us who live with him.  But, he's about as close to 9/9 as I could hope for.  He doesn't shed, or yap, or bark, is unbelievable good with the kids (he endures so much with his number one fan and has never even thought about being cross with her), is super cute, is housebroken, no chewing (except for an occasional plant!), was on the expensive side but not unreasonably so, and just turned 2 yesterday.

I'm so glad to have Teddy in the family!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The weekend!

I always love the weekend but oh, weekends in late August!  They are really something.
Last week was the first full week of school,  Kevin was traveling most of the week, and by Friday afternoon it was clear this group was WORN out!  Everyone was in bed early and I slept for over 10 hours.
I awoke on Saturday rejuvenated!  
Our weekend has been full of the swimming pool, birthday parities, long talks with good friends, a massage, great meals, books, church, a bike ride, plan making, lunch with friends, so much sleep for everyone, coffee both iced and hot, a nice long walk, lots of tomatoes, and good preparation for a great week ahead.

Ferguson still weighs heavy on my mind.  As it should.  I know as a Christian I must remain uncomfortable, constantly seeking a way to be used to better this world.  When I stop feeling pulled I have stopped listening.   This piece is an excellent example of why we're nowhere near finished and I have a role to play.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The sun will come out tomorrow.....

Almost a week into the new school year and the kids are settling into a good routine.  School definitely agrees with these three!

I've adapted just fine to having Lucy in preschool.  Her days are as follows:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:45-noon
Tuesday and Thursday 8:45-1:30
She loves it!  It is an incredible place and so good for her.   I feel so blessed that we have such an amazing school to attend.

During the four days since Lucy started school, I've worked around our house and worked outside our house (I am working a few hours a week as an instructional coach) and spent some time in Ferguson.  
Honestly, that's where most of my mind is most of the time.
I am heartbroken. 
I am mad.
I am disappointed.
The judgement. The complete lack of understanding of others in situations we don't understand. 
The hate.  Why must we always make everything about US, how we'd react, why we don't think someone deserves our love, why we never trusted those people anyway?
My only refuge is my faith.  Which is oddly the same faith that many of the people that make my heart hurt so much say they are clinging to.  So I pray because we are in this together.  All. Of. Us.   
Also, my kids, well they are just the best thing for my heart whenever it hurts. And they don't even mean to be :)! 
Tonight as the girls were cleaning up the kitchen I was in the laundry room and overheard a sweet voice singing....

The sun will come out tomorrow, so you've gotta hang on til tomorrow, come what may!  Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow, you're only a day away!

And I cried.  Folding underwear and crying and thanking God for all the good things in this life and asking him for guidance on how to help because indeed the sun will come out tomorrow.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

For Shirlene

  My 4th grade class in the 2002-2003 school year was fun and energetic.   One of the amazing children I was fortunate enough to have as a student was Shirlene.  She was spunky and happy and loved me from the moment we met.  I  adored her from moment number one as well. Shirlene had to work hard in every subject area, nothing was easy but she never gave up.  Her smile was easy and she was the first person with a word of encouragement whenever one was needed.  In kindergarten Shirlene lost her mother in a car accident yet she wasn't bitter or scared or sad.  She was absolutely full of life and dreams.  She loved art and singing and dancing. She hugged me often and told me she loved me, which is one of the highlights of being an elementary school teacher....the people you work with like you!  She even helped orchestrate a baby shower for me on the last day of school.  

In early June of 2008, while sitting in a car at a convenience store waiting for her cousin to return with a soda, Shirlene , age 16, was shot in the forehead and murdered.  Her murderer has never been found.  

I think of Shirlene often.  

This week, as the events in Ferguson sat heavy on my heart I thought about Shirlene even more than usual.  
She mattered.
Her death mattered.
Yet you'd never know if you based that on the media coverage it received.
Since she was  
African American
and  poor
and from the wrong area of town
it wasn't really news.
But she mattered.
She was just like my girls...she loved art and singing and dancing.
She had dreams.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First Day 2014

School started today!  
It's hard to believe Emma is a 5th grader and that this is her last year of elementary school.  
Our school is absolutely amazing.  I couldn't imagine a place I would love more and it felt good to be back this morning.

Emma with two of her very best friends.  I sure wish Jessica had her eyes open because this just picture just captures what sweethearts they are!  All three of them are the nicest, hard working girls.  They are in class together this year, for the second year in a row!

Eleanor with a few of her good buddies.  Another awesome group of girls!  I am so thankful for that!
Eleanor is not in class with many of her closest friends, she does have her first choice of teacher though and it will be fun to hang out with some new girls.

Lucy and I visited her preschool together this morning.  She will begin tomorrow and is really excited!  It was very fun to be back at the Family Center again, after a few years away.  We saw some old friends and felt right at home!

It's going to be an amazing year!

Monday, August 11, 2014


 Lucy is clever.
She is persistent.
She is loving
She has a temper..
She loves to play with friends.
She is creative.
She is strong.
She loves animals.
She is helpful.
She loves sweets.
She is a problem solver.
She is funny and loves to laugh, except when she's mad.
She is a force. An amazing intense little being.  
Thank You Lord, when 4 years ago you sent us this special girl to make our little family complete!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The countdown has started!

Less than one week until school starts. 
Our days have been full! 

  We're working to fit in fun things like trips to the zoo.

While doing all of the things that need to be done before school begins again.  Haircuts, new shoes, school supplies and braces!

We've also been working on getting out of bed and getting ready for our day a little earlier so next week doesn't hurt quite so much for these guys!  And let's be honest, me too!  Even though I've been mostly sticking to my early wake up time (until this week when these rainy mornings have made it just too perfect not to sleep in!) I've gotten very used to a laid back, slow moving morning!  

School Year 2014-15, we're almost ready!