Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Stick it to me

Have you ever bought a hockey stick? I hadn't, until today.

My sweet Jake - he'll be 8 in 2 1/2 weeks - started a "Skating for Hockey" class yesterday. He's always been interested in the sport - his dad grew up playing ice hockey in South Dakota, and has regaled us with stories. He's been a natural on skates - the first time we put skates on him, he just took lessons, no nothing. It was as if he were born to skate.

Anyway, he was leery about attending the class yesterday. He wouldn't know anyone, he was right in the middle of playing Lego Star Wars when it was time to go, just your basic fear of the unknown. I picked him up a mere two hours later and asked how it went. "IT! WAS! AWESOME!"

We've tried soccer with him a couple times - no interest. He likes to play on his own, kicking a ball around, but didn't like the team stuff. I thought that was it - he's not a team kind of guy. That wasn't it - he just wasn't a soccer kind of guy.

So today at lunch I hustled myself over to the local second hand sports store and purchased what the guy told me would be just fine....did you know you have to cut the end off yourself? So I went over to my ex-husband's house and borrowed his handsaw.

If you see me tomorrow missing any fingers - you'll know why.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Realm of Non-Reality

Last night I was reminded of something I read a while back. It moved me so much that I jotted it down - but unfortunately did not record the source. So, forgive me my plagiarism (is it plagiarism if you admit it?).

In case you don't know, a Mikvah is a ritual pool used by the Jewish people for purification. A bride visits a Mikvah the night before her wedding, Jewish wives visit once a month, Jewish men before Holy days...

"Water: can’t live without it... can’t live within it. When you’re underwater, you’re in a state of limbo, a realm of non-reality. Whomever and whatever you are—your importance, your achievements—won’t help you: you can’t breathe down there. You’re gonna drown. You lose your ego. You’re reduced to a puny, helpless human. But come up for air, and you’ve left that realm of non-reality. You’re something again. You’re alive. You’re a new person. Immersion in a Mikvah is all that. Renewal. Rebirth. A return to your inner, pure, innocent self, and a refreshing restoration of your pristine spirituality."

The Christian baptism is like've left one realm and entered another. You are alive in Christ. A new person. Literally. That just blows me away.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The most wonderful day

Yesterday was a pretty terrific day. Actually, one of the best ever. What made it so special? I don't really know.

We played War, we played Jacks, we played Sequence and Yahtzee. We colored Easter Eggs. We had dinner with no one fighting. We went out to the spa when it got dark. Just the three of us, sitting there enjoying the mild evening, the warm water, and each other's company.

We talked of fingernails, and eggs, and other things mundane.
We talked of stars, and angels, and the mysteries of the empty tomb.
My 5 year old daughter told me that the stars are in the heavens to remind us that God is always watching over us.
My very-nearly eight year old son asked question after question about why, if Jesus is who He said He was, then why did He allow himself to be beaten and crucified. I think he finally got it - saw the window into the unexplainable, incredible Love that would do that for us.

But as wondrous as yesterday was, today is a day for rejoicing. For

Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

My little runaway, run-run-run-run runaway....

I did it! I finally did it! I SANG KARAOKE! I got up in front of a mess of people (I had to say that, it was kind of like a country bar, I think) and sang two songs. Not by myself, and certainly not well, but I DID IT!!!!!! And it was fun. Of course, I'm quite the performer in other ways, so I had no problem getting up there, smiling, dancing, working the crowd, buh-aye-bee.

Whew. Glad that one's off the list.

Tomorrow is Easter. New beginnings. Hope. Incredible love. Incomprehensible, yet absolutely true. I'm so glad that to me, Easter is about the fact that Jesus rose from the dead - he left the tomb.

Because, frankly, the Easter Bunny freaks me out. OK, I've said it. I don't know where it started. I had a frequent childhood nightmare of a giant Easter Bunny chasing me up and down the aisles of the grocery store (days before supermarkets, for you young clucks). I still can't stand to run into one of those, those, CREATURES. I came upon one unexpectedly at the bank on Thursday. AT THE BANK!!! What were they thinking??? You're supposed to be safe there. I was thinking that maybe it was the immovable face that disturbs me. But I love Mickey Mouse, so that's not it. Maybe I'll never know. But I usually spend the weeks leading up to Easter avoiding the little monster. The mall is out. Have to check before entering any of the big discount stores - they'll usually warn with a sign out front.

Aw, well. That's okay. I still give my kids Easter baskets. We have fun hunting for eggs. But we know what it's really about.

Went to dinner last night with the royalty and my ex-husband. Yes, I say that off-handedly, even though it's the first meal we've shared in what - 3 years??? OK, 3 years, 2 months, 21 days.

It was nice. He invited me to Red Robin. Not a date folks, I haven't broken that resolution. I would have thought the kids would be thrilled. Emme and Jake kept kicking each other under the table. Sweet niblets.

And on another topic

From Faye Kellerman, one of my favorite authors:

"In Hebrew, the word Korban - sacrifice - doesn't literally mean sacrifice. The root work comes from the word 'to become close.' An offering to God is not for His sake, it is for our sake.

God doesn't need sacrifices. But by sacrificing to God, it draws us close to Him.

When Jews sacrificed to God, there was a covert message that they were thanking God for letting them live. The animal's life was in their hands, just like their lives were in God's hands."

Christ is Risen!
He is risen indeed.....

Monday, March 17, 2008

A trail of tears

Last night at the Stirring, Dan spoke of the journey through infertility that he and his lovely wife shared.

It stirred me up.

Once I had a dream. And I had to quietly close the door on that dream and take up another. Some day I'll write of our journey to Jake, and to Emme, and to the little one we lost. But for now, I am reminded that during that journey, I vowed to help others making their way.

I served as a mentor for fost-adopt families. The day John left me, I stopped. I wasn't able to help anyone else when I couldn't even help myself. But, of course, God led me through those trying times. I've come out the other side, and I have a pretty terrific life for a divorced mom.

And I want people to know that there are orphans out there. Sometimes they are truly orphaned, through death or desertion, but they are always orphaned nonetheless. Their birthparents are not able to parent them in any way that is safe or comforting or loving or good.

Me, an orphan (yes, truly Orphan Annie) adopted two sweet children. One had birthparents unable to care for a baby - even though they wanted to - because of their mental illness, addiction, homelessness, hopelessness. Although one of the parents tried as hard as possible, he couldn't break the chains of his addiction, and asked us to adopt his child. I have some touching stories about this family, as I was able to get to know them a bit. Instead of being adversarial, as some would imagine, we worked together as brothers and sisters in Christ to parent this innocent child.

The other had birthparents who struggled with drugs, and crimes, and horrible broken hearts. They chose to walk away when told their child could be placed in a loving, Christian home. I am truly saddened not to have stories to tell my child about these parents.

Ultimately, our loving Christian home was torn in two. Nothing in my life breaks my heart more. But we are still active, loving parents to our children. As far as divorced families go, I think we've got one of the best. I, of course, am broken-hearted that my husband fell out of love with me. But I know a love even greater. God loves me and helps me walk through each day.

And I'm calling the county today, so that I can start mentoring again. If I can help even one family bring a child into their home, to fill it with love and wonder and awe, then I want to do it!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Buttery yumminess

Last night I cooked up a batch of French Breakfast Puffs from Pioneer Woman Cooks. We had our monthly 7:00 a.m. staff meeting today. I was literally sick to my stomach when I went to bed - I made them in a mini-muffin pan and I must have had four of them! This morning I warmed them a bit in the microwave before setting them out. Everyone raved about them. And I am not a baker. Ok, well, I am a pretty good bread baker, but not much of anything else. Everything I make turns out pretty ugly. With these, it doesn't matter. You dip them in melted butter and roll them in cinnamon sugar, so you can't really tell what the original muffin/cupcake looked like! Yes, I said you dip them in melted butter. Mmmmmmmm.

My kids are loving their new charter school. This was the best move ever made. This school actually gets it - that each child is different, and may learn differently, but they are all capable of learning. They are each really good at lots of different things- even if it's not sitting in a chair behind a desk for six hours a day.

I love learning. I always have. There's few things I enjoy more than taking a class or spending an evening researching everything there is to know about something. I'll go off on a tangent, and I don't want to stop and do something else right when it's getting good. I've wanted to ignite that spark in my children, and it's not always easy when they spend their days feeling like square pegs in round holes. NWDS feeds their minds. When the Prince started, and didn't have the experience yet at borrowing in subtraction, the teacher took him aside, dumped beans into cups and showed him in a way that he "got it" immediately. He came home that night and told me that he felt smart. He hadn't said this all year.

I was putting Princess Jelly Bean to bed night before last. She had her "Angry Octopus" CD in (guided relaxation) but also wanted to read her "C is for Clown" book. She was getting really good at sounding the words out. A hug and kiss, and then as I left the room, she yelled, "Mom. Come back in here, NOW!" I ran in, thinking she'd seen a spider or something worse. "Honey, what is it?"

"Can you please close the closet door? It's really freakin' me out."

I had to laugh. Not only was this an adorably cute choice of words for my 5 year old, but that was my EXACT phobia when I was a child.