Monday, January 31, 2011

well, i guess i wasn't over being hormonal just yet, because today was another roller coaster of a day. ugh. sometimes it's just really rough being me.

i worked in the library this morning with Mrs. Cobb. there wasn't  much for me to do, so i only stayed about half an hour. i did some grocery shopping after that. i'm an every other day grocery shopper. i could never go a week like most people do. i would miss it too much. so HEB and me, we spend a lot of time together.

i tried to clean house today, but was too tired. our busy life is catching up with  me, i guess. i feel asleep standing up leaning across my bed. only for a few minutes.

i had to drive out to the Girl Scout store to pick up some things for Margaret. what a fun place that is! makes me wish i'd been a Girl Scout.

i snapped this pic this afternoon of John and his two best friends, Keegan and Jose. they're standing in front of John's science project.

Keegan came home with us after school and all the kids played (fought) the wii together until i put a stop to it. then they went out and started a game of baseball in the front yard. not sure which was worse.

Karen and Joseph and Jules came in the evening to get Keegan, and stayed for awhile to visit. i think we're going to have them over to dinner tomorrow night. we see each other so much since i always drive Keegan home every day, but we haven't actually spent much real time together as families. they are an interesting pair. she comes from a (according to her) "real conservative" Catholic family that seem pretty wealthy. he comes from a wild, hippie Jewish family. she's tall, dark, and kind of tropical looking (she's half Mexican), and he's blond, blue eyed with shaggy long hair. he's one to always push the envelope, so to speak. it's funny how we've hit it off with them. they're a few years younger than us and on the surface we seem quite different. Joseph is an artist/carpenter to Brian's engineer/athlete, but here they are leading a boyscout pack together. Karen and i have a little more in common, both being stay at home moms who love thrift stores and Texas red dirt music. anyways, they are another one of those families that i think about when i question whether or not we've done the right thing in having the kids in public school. there are so many real folks that we've connected with this last year and a half.

i saw little Ricky Z. again today. he is so tiny, smaller than his younger brother, Jose. i had some cookies that one of the teachers, Mr. Kennedy had given me, so i gave him one. he seemed happy.

Brian's parents were supposed to come to town this weekend, but his mom got sick. so we have a weekend to just do stuff around here.

**Monday, Jan.31~

never got around to posting all that over the weekend. so there it is. another post coming shortly.

Friday, January 28, 2011

a new day!

so it's taken a few years, but i think i'm finally figuring out this hormone thing. i always thought that PMS was right before the menstrual cycle, but it's actually about a week before, with a week of normalcy in between. or at least that how it is for me. for three days i was so stressed, so full of tension and anxiety, but then i woke up this morning and felt like a new person. thank you, Jesus! i didn't think i could stand too much more of myself like that. at least now i feel a little but more human.

Brian has been taking the kids to school lately, which has been nice for both of us. it helps him get out the door on time, and gives me more time to clean up after the helter-skelter of our morning routine. i work at the church on Thursdays. this morning i decided to bike there. what a great day for being outside! i packed up my lesson in my back pack and cruised on down the road. at least i was cruising until i came to some hills. being a marathoner doesn't mean you are in shape for every sport. my legs felt like jello trying to bike up those little inclines.

we had a very small group in my nursery class today. i guess there were a lot of folks out sick. five kids are so much easier to deal with than twelve. one of the workers in the infant nursery is the woman named Reyes. she has been hired by the church to do childcare for different activities over the years though she doesn't attend Redeemer. we talk a lot. she's a decade or so older than me and calls me Baby Girl, which makes me smile inside. she has three kids and has been divorced and is remarried. she's married to an "undocumented worker" or illegal alien. when you meet real people that carry those titles it kind of makes all those issues a little muddy. suddenly they aren't so black and white. anyways, Reyes is a great woman, and i don't know her whole story or why her husband doesn't seek citizenship, but i'm glad to know her.

me and my jelly-like legs biked home and i got in a little time of house cleaning. i dropped in on the thrift store and picked up some clothes for the kids and a handful of books. when i went to pick up the kids i saw William and one if his classmates and his teacher engaged in a conversation. this is rather monumental because i have never seen William in a conversation with anyone at school. his teacher would ask a question and William would answer yes or no. this is huge.

i took John to basketball practice in the evening. we made up knock-knock jokes all the way there. i worked out in the fitness center while he practiced.

we sent out a fundraising letter yesterday in our attempt to help the Zamora family. already we have more than $300 in pledges. this is just a grassroots kind of thing, so Brian and i will collect the donations, cash them in and give them the money. i don't think they can get penalized by such donations because i doubt they pay taxes. there was concern that they could lose some of their medicaid benefits if they were given money. they are currently in San Antonio where Ricky is receiving treatments.

i've been commissioned to do a cake for Keegan's little sister, Jules' birthday on Monday. this should be fun since i don't get many opportunities to do girl cakes.

i started writing this post yesterday. now it's Friday morning and i'm supposed to be up moving, but i've been plumped up on my pillows trying to catch up on my Bible reading.

i'll be working in the library at Maplewood this morning with this sweet lady, Mrs. Cobb~

so now i must bid adieu, and get my kiddies ready for school.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


i have been so uptight the past few days. i know it's hormonal and it'll pass, but it is so frustrating.

i went down to the trail this morning to run, but i felt so emotionally flat, that i only ran half of what i had intended. i contemplated calling Brian to see if he happened to be downtown so he could pick me up. i felt so burnt out. so i ran the first 3.5 miles and walked the last 3.7 miles.

i did Meals on Wheels today. i just love those people! my sweet friend, Esther, wasn't there today because, according to the MOW dispatcher, she was in rehab. i hope she's ok.

i did recess duty at the school right after MOW and got to see William, Margaret, and Samuel. John plays on the playscape in another part of the school yard, so i don't see him.

i had a chance to see Brian because i had to trade out cars with him before picking up the kids at school. i had a small window of time to clean house - it really needs it - before going back to school.

i took all the boys over to Keegan's house so Karen could watch them for me while Margaret and i did a GS cookie booth. we set up at the Walgreens on Guadalupe. that place is busy and we sold a ton of boxes. it was nice to have a little time together, just Margaret and me.

i'm tired and i feel like i just want my senses indulged. i want to lie around, or better yet soak in a bubblebath,  have someone rub my back or feet, watch tv, drink wine, and just be self-centered.

God help me to die to myself, deny myself, and follow you!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

work, running, friends, reads.

just got home from picking up the kids at school and dropping Keegan off at his house. i worked at the church all day. now it's time to chill out a little, bake some cookies, and do a little tidying up.

yesterday morning (Monday) i went down to Lady Bird Lake and ran a 4 and a half mile loop. my mom called while i was down there, and we decided to have lunch together and do some shopping. i ran home and showered before she got here, and then we went to Jason's for some salads. we went in together on a bike for Brian for his birthday (next week), and she bought some bed linens for us and some shirts for William. she's always so generous. you'd think she was a millionaire the way she spends on everyone!

all the kids had some sort of after-school activity they were participating in until 4, but i went by at my regular time and made sure they all got situated, Margaret in her student council meeting, Samuel and William in their robotics class, and John and Keegan in their classroom for individual benchmark testing. while the kids were thus occupied, Mama and i went grocery shopping at HEB.

William and Samuel both had basketball practice last night, so Mama and i took them over to the Y for that. i worked out, doing the elliptical and some weights. i'm feeling better toned and strong than i have in awhile. that bulkiness that i had when i started running hard and doing weights is gone and my beloved 00 Gap jeans don't feel snug anymore. *(funny note about those jeans. they are probably the measurements of what used to be a 1, but Gap seems to have upsized everything and added another smaller size. i know it isn't because i have shrunk. when i was about 14 and weighed 90 pounds i wore a size 3. now i weigh between 15 and 20 pounds more and wear a 00. makes no sense.)

Mama ended up spending the night last night. thankfully she stayed up with Margaret while she finished up her science project. Brian and i were so worn out from too many late nights and couldn't handle another. we got to bed at a decent hour, and then were up in time to run our 5 and a quarter miles at 6 am. this morning. it always feels good to get that in first thing.

i worked at the church all day. Classical Conversations was having an open house, so we had more kiddos than usual. the last few weeks have been so pleasant. all the moms have made a point of chatting with me and asking about my kids, etc.

Brian's parents are coming in to town on Friday to see the kids' basketball games and to send Brian and i away for a night. they booked us a night at a hotel on Lady Bird Lake, using Brian's dad's frequent stay miles, or whatever they're called. this will be the third year in a row that they've done that for us for his birthday. have i mentioned that they are the best inlaws ever?

we'll be getting another date weekend the next weekend because the kids are going to Burnet to spend time with my mom. i got tickets for Brian and i to go hear Pat Green at Coupland Dance Hall that Saturday night. =)

when i went to pick up the kids this afternoon, John, Keegan and Jose ran up to the car, and with great enthusiasm, Jose informed me that John had punched his tooth out. granted, Jose asked him to, but still....Jose thought it was the coolest thing ever! oh boy.

Wednesday morning -

i took Margaret and Marissa to basketball last night and worked out in the gym for about 45 minutes while we were up there. Marissa has become a sweet friend to Margaret. it's so cute to watch them out there on the court since they're both very girlie-girls. they both play real aggressive and take their playing very serious.

i checked out The Time Traveler's Wife at the library last night i was there. i read about 75% but it just didn't appeal to me at all. for one, i don't like unrealistic reads. i guess i'm too black and white for fantasy and sci-fi. another is the crudeness. if i take the time to read a novel, i hope that it will be beautifully written, not crass and junior high-ish. but the most disturbing thing is the way casual sex is the M O. i want to read something about women (and men) respecting themselves, and not casually passing their bodies around to be used by each other. but maybe there are no books out there these days that don't glorify casual sex, unless you go get the cheesy Christian romance novels at Lifeway. so i throw that into the pile that includes Eat, Pray, Love, and move on.

i started The Christian's Secret to A Happy Life by Hannah Whithall Smith, a book my mom gave to me a long time ago. 

yesterday i saw Ricky, Jose's brother, you know, the one with leukemia. so sweet, so young. i thought a lot yesterday about what it must feel like to know that you are very sick. to wonder if you'll grow up. it's almost too much to bear if i think about it long enough. it's been so neat how the school community has rallied around the Zamora family, providing things like meals and transportation as needed. i think the family is a bit overwhelmed by all the offers to help. suddenly they have hundreds of new friends.

well, time to call it a wrap for today. gotta get the kids up and ready for school.

Monday, January 24, 2011

i'm sitting here in front of the fireplace with a cozy fire going while i spin tunes and Brian and the kids play wii. i possible, i've become an even bigger fan of Friday nights now that we've all grown so busy.

this morning i worked at the Maplewood library for an hour or so shelving books. Ms. Cobb and i chatted about a variety of things, including the AISD budget shortfall which is bigger than big. lots and lots of things are going to change, which makes me sad because i know how much it will hurt so many that i know and love, including my own kids. but we had a nice little visit nonetheless. she's such a sweet lady.

i came home after my library gig and cleaned house. and cleaned and cleaned. it needed it, too. and when i'd cleaned all i could clean, i rewarded myself with a trip to Target to buy some things for the house. i've been looking for a duvet for our bed, but all the ones i wanted were $100 and up. i stumbled on a beautiful one for $25, which was 75% off the regular price. i was so thrilled! also got some towels. i am a sucker for linens. bedding, sheets, towels, table linens - i love them all!

i brought two extras home from school on Friday, Keegan and Jose. Jose hasn't spoken about his brother's sickness and i haven't noticed any change from his usual jollinesst. i guess it's just too hard for a 6 year old to
 comprehend all that's happening.
we all went up to the Y in the late afternoon/early evening because Brian was subbing for Margaret's basketball coach. i worked out for an hour or so and then watched her team get their first win of the season. we came home and ate frito pie for dinner and played wii and in the den with the fireplace roaring. it was so nice. this is mentioned above because i blogged some of this friday night.

saturday morning saw Brian and i out running before 6:30. we ran about ten miles, a loop to the capitol and back. other than it being awfully cold (23 degrees) we both felt great. once we got home it was time to hit the ground running (running of another kind), with Brian taking the boys to their games and Margaret and i on a quest to find her a Girl Scout cadette sash. she "bridged" up to cadette last year and we never got her the new sash. technically she's not supposed to sell cookies without it, but we had no choice yesterday since the GS store wasn't open. i took Margaret and her friend, Marissa, who is also on her basketball team and in her class at school, over to Hoover's to set up a cookie booth. we ended up selling 27 boxes over two hours, which seemed pretty good to me, having never done a booth before.
one of the workers from the restaurant came out and snapped this picture of the girls to put on Hoover's FB page~

the rest of the afternoon was spent working on science projects. the stress level was pretty high for Brian and i trying to work with all four kids on their projects at once. more proof , i think, that i was just not cut out to be a teacher. i think there was smoke coming out of my head. we finally had to call it a night, eat some dinner, have Bible-time, and put the kids to bed. then Brian and i sat by the fire and tried to unwind our nerves. we had made a lot of progress that day and the end was almost in sight.

Sunday morning we went to church and then on to Sunday school. thankfully the other teacher prepared the lesson for our class this week, so i was just the helper person. we came home to a nice meal of fajitas, black beans, spanish rice, pico, and guacamole. i had signed up to take a meal to a family in our church that just had a baby, so Saturday night we grilled double the amount of fajitas, and cooked double the amount of sides so we could give some and keep some. it's so nice to come home from church and have a good meal waiting.

then it was back to work on those dern science projects. now, as of Monday morning, we have three completed science projects sitting in the den and one "getting close to being done" one in Margaret's room. yay! i feel like we just help four people write thier dissertations. over one weekend.

before i forget, yesterday my "baby" brother, Thomas, turned 34. happy birthday to a great guy!

....and to my nephew Thomas, who turned 10. happy birthday, Tom-Tom!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

yesterday was just one thing after another. ot the kids to school, then went down to the trail to run what was supposed to be a ten miler, but got cut short because i had three phone calls while i was out there, and ran out of time.

i called Gracie, the mom of the little boys with Leukemia. she seems to be holding up ok. when i started talking to her though, i started bawling. i didn't mean to, but i couldn't stop. it was a little embarrassing. Brian and i are going to use out running in the Austin Livestrong Marathon to raise money for Ricky's treatment. since we only have about four weeks until the marathon, we're going to be scrambling to get a fund set up and letters sent out.

i did Meals on Wheels yesterday morning. my buddy, Esther, didn't seem well. i hope she's doing ok. i can imagine it's hard to get up much will to keep living when you're so old and you don't get much interaction with others.

i had recess duty after MOW. two of the grades were not having recess, so a big part of the time, Grandma Greene and i just sat on the stone wall and visited. i don't know if i have mentioned her before. she has a granddaughter at Maplewood. she heads up the outdoor gardening program and is often doing recess duty the same time i am. she's very interesting to talk to, being very articulate and having lived all over during her lifetime. we've become buddies, she and i.

i went up to Brian's office after that, and found Margaret doodling away while Brian worked. i think she enjoyed spending the day with him. i brought her cookies with me and we went around to all the employees and tried to convince them that they needed to buy some. then it was time to pick up the others at school.

thankfully we had no basketball practice Wednesday evening. Margaret made dinner for us, Brian helped Samuel with his science project, i did laundry, William did homework, and John watched American Idol.

Brian and i are about to go out and run our five and a quarter miles, then it will be rush, rush, rush to get everyone to school. so i'll end right here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday am. -

a real quick post before i run off to the church to look at children all day.

yesterday i met up with Meredith and her kids & also my mom to go visit my grandmother and her brother. they both live in Blanco, each on their separate little "ranches". my grandmother raises all sorts of animals and it's really more like a zoo out there. you'd never know the woman is nearly 82. she's as cute as a button and sharp as a tack. she's also an artist and, when she's not caring for her gazillion animals, does portraits and restores paintings in the fashion of the old masters. she has been married several times (twice to my grandfather), but has been single for some 20+ years now. her brother, Roger, who we've always called Rootie, lives a few miles from her and raises buffalo. he'll turn 80 this year. he has never been married, and is one of those simple, guileless people you meet only once in a blue moon. he lives in a little one room cabin, heated by a wood burning stove. he has no indoor plumbing, and no hot water. he does have his tv and microwave and telephone though. he's as happy as he can be out there, just him and his buffalo on 55 acres.

Wednesday am. -

I've been working on this blog post a bit at a time over the past day and a half. it feels kind of like eating on leftovers. i keep warming it back up. maybe i'll actually publish it this morning before i take the kids to school.

we just found out that John's best friend, Jose's brother Ricky was diagnosed with Leukemia. Ricky is in 2nd grade at Maplewood. this is just heartbreaking! the Zamora family is a poor, working class family that lives in a run-down apartment complex near the day-labor site. the boys' mom, Gracie, is so sweet and devoted to her kids. please keep this family in prayer.

i worked at the church yesterday. things are going better, and all the mom's were very gracious to me. the one in charge of childcare assured me that they wanted me to stay. i think she must have talked to the other moms, because they all went out of their way to be friendly, even the ones that are usually snobby. so i guess i'm there for the semester, because it doesn't look like the have any plans for looking for a replacement for me.

i've been having a lot of intestinal problems for the past couple of months. actually all my life, but the intensity fluctuates. i had colitis when i was a kid, but it cleared up through prayer and care. anyways, i was talking to a mom yesterday who had similar issues, and she went to a GI doctor who tested her for gluten intolerance. she tested positive and has had great results from going GF. i've always been wary of all the hype about gluten, as it has seemed like just the latest fad diet to cure all ailments. but after listening to Carly talk about her GI problems, i am at least interested in trying a GF diet to see if i can clear up some of my problems. i'm also going to cut out dairy for awhile and see if i notice a change in my innards. =) one symptom that most gluten intolerant folks have is fatigue. that is a symptom i am blessed not to have. and i don't seem to struggle with a weakened immune system either. it's just the danged pipes down there that are always having trouble.

i've been exercising at the Y on the days i don't get out to run. last night i took Margaret to basketball practice and got in about 45 minutes or cardio and 15 minutes of toning. i've found a new friend in the StairMaster. i climbed 113 floors in about 13 minutes. i was soaking wet when i finished. it felt great, like i was getting rid of all the yuckies in my body. i'm trying to strike that balance of getting strong without bulking up. i do not want to look like a body builder! and i don't want to build up so much muscle that it hampers my ability to run.

cookie sales start today! we ordered twice as many cases to sell as last year.

Margaret decided on her own that she did not want to go on the field trip with her class to the places of worship, so she'll go to work with Brian this morning. we didn't want to force her against her conscience. that will give her a chance to work on her applications for middle schools.

i have a ten miler to do after i drop the others off at school, and Meals on Wheels after that, and recess monitoring after that. but the rest of the day is open. yay! our one free evening of the week!

i still haven't found a good read, so i've found myself filling my  empty time with Scripture. i suppose that's better than any other book anyways. yesterday i had a chunk of somewhat free time while the babies were napping, so i was able to get in some reading and meditation in I Timothy. so much good stuff there!

well, that's all i have time for this morning. adios, amigos!

Monday, January 17, 2011

i'm the only one up so far on this drizzly Sunday morning. i'm enjoying the quiet while i drink my Pike Place roast coffee.

yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind day for us. as i blogged about yesterday, Brian went down to the trail first thing to run 22 miles. and he did! i took John to his basketball game, and Brian brought the rest of the bunch a little while later. John isn't much on organized sports yet. he just doesn't have the attention span for them, but he sure did enjoy sitting there with his female coach talking to her about all sorts of things. William and Samuel had their game right after John's. Samuel really comes out of his shell in sports. he's so aggressive! Brian says that we just need to have him involved in something at all times. he seems to need the affirmation that comes from doing well in sports more than the others. after the game, Margaret and i went to a Girl Scout meeting, and Brian took the boys to register them for spring baseball. we picked up our cookies at the GS meeting. sales start on Wednesday!


It's now Sunday evening. i've been having the time of my life scanning in old photos for the past hour or so. our old printer/scanner died awhile back, so Brian's parents got us a new one for Christmas. it's a lot better than the last one. i have a huge pile of photos that i need to get scanned in, so i'm working on it a little bit at a time as i have time. they bring back a ton of memories, and i find myself stopping to stare at pictures and day dream for awhile.

after we got home from church, Brian and i each spent most of the afternoon working with the kids on their science projects. Margaret's is done now, and i think William's is, too. we are still working on the other two kids'. i am so glad that i have Brian to help with theses things, because science is so not my thing!

i'm having trouble finding a good book to read now. i checked out some "national best sellers", but i read a chapter or two and get turned off by the crudeness or the unbelievable storyline, and then move on. i need some recommendations!

i've been keeping up (barely) with my daily Bible reading, and it has been so good to submerge myself in the Word! i got behind this past week and had to read about ten chapters yesterday to catch up. i'm not complaining. it was glorious! i'm currently reading in Genesis, Nehemiah, Matthew and Acts.

it's been raining for several days now. i went to the Y again this afternoon to exercise, my second day in a row to do that. i can't make myself run on a treadmill. it's just nothing like real running. i did the elliptical for half an hour or so, then climbed almost 100 floors on the stair stepper. i was pouring sweat by the end. i really wanted to make it to 100, but my timer sopped and the machine stopped and that was that. next time i'll get in those last 6 floors.

i was sure i had more interesting things to write about, but i guess not. maybe i'm just too tired.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

saturday morning - such a wonderful time to be alive!

Brian left out a while ago to run his long run, 22 miles, if all goes well. the kids and i are slowly getting moving. we have two basketball games today, but they aren't until 11 and 12, so we can lounge around this morning.

i worked at the Maplewood library yesterday morning shelving books. i think i'm finally getting a handle on where each section is, and i don't have to rely so much on the Dewey decimal system to tell me which part of the library the books should go. the Maplewood library is a cozy place, especially on a drizzly morning like yesterday. i can see why Ms. Cobb loves her job. i would, too. usually the pre-K classes (there are two) come in for story time while i'm there. Keegan's little sister, Jules, is in that class. she always has to holler out, "hi, John's mom!" she is the cutest, tiniest little creature!

after i finished at the library, i came home and suited up, then drove down to the trail. i ran somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 miles, maybe a shade under, depending on whose map you're going by. i really felt good (i ran it slow and easy) and felt like i could have done 17 if i had had the time.

it's weird, despite all this running, i still haven't got the hollow cheeks that usually come during marathon season. as long as i'm not getting plain out fat, i welcome it. my face looks years younger now that it has a little more meat on it. i dont' keep a scale at home (for many reasons, foremost that i refuse to be a slave to it. i weigh myself maybe twice a year, if that often.), so i have to rely on the zipper test or the husband test to know if i'm getting fat. but the zipper test isn't so reliable, as all my jeans are stretchy, and when i run a lot my jeans get tight anyways from muscle build up. and the other, well i guess that isn't so reliable either since Brian seems to love it when i gain some weight.
for ever so long (since i lost my ATI training center chub) i have hovered in the 105 to 110 range. i tip the scale on the higher end of that range when i am vigorously exercising. so i suppose the moral of this story is that size and weight are not necessarily a good indication of fitness. but you all knew that anyways, eh?

sunday school starts back up tomorrow. i'll be teaching the 4 year old class again. they are a fun age and we have all manner of interesting conversations.

our church has had a couple of issues of discipline to confront this week, very serious ones that hit really close to home. when things like this happen it really shakes you up and makes you examine your heart. it is awfully humbling realizing where the thoughts we sometimes entertain will lead if not taken captive to the obedience of Christ. and seeing how little flirtations can quickly lead to full out adultery is pretty frightening. we cannot be too careful. though it is painful and ugly, i am so glad that Redeemer practices Biblical, public church discipline. it has led me to examine my heart and motives and realize that some of my own actions in various instances have been out of line.
I am confident that even these things will be used for His glory. Praise God!

Brian took the trailer down to Daddy's the other day. everyone on our street that had any boat or rv or extra car got cited for code violation last week. apparently someone is trying to sell a house and wants the street spruced up. i guess that's a good thing. we'd been planning to move the trailer anyways, and it's nice to have our driveway clear again. Daddy's neighborhood isn't so picky about such things

we went to Margaret's game last night. she played hard, but her team lost. they were playing a really good team , the team that the eastside superstar, Mark, plays on. if you keep up with my blog, you may remember me mentioning this amazing bball player that was on the team Brian coached last year. he's even better this year, though he's still a tiny little guy with a squeaky voice. so as long as he was in the game, the other team dominated. when he was on the bench, her team had a chance and caught up. but, alas, he was in for the fourth quarter, and they ended up winning by about ten points.

thanks for the thoughts about the field trip question. i still am not sure what's the right thing to do. after reading the permission form again, i realized that the class will be visiting all three places of worship. we might ask one of our elders at church to get their take on it.

well, i'm off to make chore check lists. happy soggy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


the cold front came in the other night. it felt like i went to sleep in Texas and woke up in Minnesota. kudos to my husband who went out and ran at 6 am. in the frigid weather. he's amazing.

i was back at work at the church yesterday, doing childcare for Classical Conversations. we couldn't take the kids outside because it was so cold, so that made for a longer day than usual, but overall things went well. they are sweet babies. i thought i'd be dead on my feet after that 20 miler the day before, but i felt great. i guess i'm not as old and decrepit as i thought.

i took Margaret and her friend to basketball practice at the Y last night. i did the elliptical and rode the bike and did some weights. the gym was packed out, maybe because of the bad weather.

Maplewood's science fair is coming up, and we have to try to come up with 4 different science projects. this is so not my thing. i'm a math and science idiot. i checked out these books that are supposed to help, but i can't make sense of them.

the other day as Samuel and i were sitting warming ourselves in front of the fireplace, he asked, quite out of the blue, "Mommy, are you ever going to have another baby?" i said i didn't know, but i didn't think so. he followed it up by saying that if i did, i could be the mother of a multitude. (??) maybe it had to do with him reading about Abraham lately in his daily Bible reading.

this morning John crawled in bed with me and i read some of my daily Bible readings to him as we snuggled. how did he go from the little one that slept in our bed, right there in the crook of my arm, to the big six and a half year old?
after i took the kids to school this morning, i hit them gym again to "work out". i am not a fan of gyms and the term "working out" has always bugged me. it seems so unnatural. but, because i am a wimp and cannot run in cold weather, i had to do the gym thing. did the elliptical for about 45 minutes and called it a day.

i did my Meal on Wheels deliveries today. i visited with Esther, who has become my special friend. she got off talking about how when she was young she would look at old folks and think, "look at those old things! they're just taking up space! we need to send them off someplace, get 'em out of the way!" but here she is 80+ and still going and she said the young people are now looking at her thinking those same thoughts. i assured her that she and the people of her generation have so much to share with we younger ones, as they've walked this road before. anyways, it was a sweet conversations of give-and-take. i feel so very blessed to have these little windows of interaction with these older and wiser folks. they really are treasures! when i show up at their door with a meal and a smile you'd think i was giving them a million dollars. it makes me sad to think that they don't get much attention and respect and are cast aside like an old shoe.

i made coffee this afternoon, and Brian delighted me by stopping by for a cup on his way back to the office from a lunch meeting. he still thrills my heart when he walks through the door. actually now more than ever. i married up, and that's the truth.

this afternoon feels very Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle-ish as i made the kids hot coca and am baking oatmeal cookies while they do homework. wasn't that how all the stories in those books started? Wednesday folders went home today because it's Wednesday (!).  in Margaret's was a slip saying that they are going on a field trip to either a Hindu temple, a Buddhist temple, or a Jewish synagogue as part of their studies of world religions. our initial thought is that we won't let her go on the field trip. what about you? what would you do if it were your child?

in other news, i'm wearing jeggings today, something i swore i'd never do. personally i think they're tacky things, but i saw them for a steal, and bought them just because. and they're the only things clean that would go with me new boots.

i need to pick up another book to read. any suggestions?

Monday, January 10, 2011

monday musings

i'm sitting here trying to keep John on track with his homework, while Samuel practices piano, Margaret does her homework, and William draws comic style pictures with me as the superhero slaying the bad mommies and daddies of the world. ha.

yesterday we went to worship and Pastor Cassidy preached on the familiar first few passages from Romans 6. it was so good to worship and receive communion. after church we came home and i whipped up a sauce for the Central Market pumpkin ravioli i had bought the other day. then we sat down to a nice meal on our finest china. i've been trying to make our Sunday meal a little more special, and pulling out the china and using nice napkins and trying to use our best manners is our way of setting the meal apart.

i felt pretty rotten most of the day, so i took a long nap and read All the Pretty Horses much of the afternoon. Brian made a fire in the fireplace, and we just relaxed and took it easy. i couldn't completely enjoy the day because of how i felt though. i think it has something to do with this nutritional supplement my mom passed on to me. any of y'all ever used Reliv products? well, she took them for awhile, but the cancelled her order and gave me what she had left, as she didn't notice a difference when she was taking it. i'd been taking it for a couple of weeks and it seems to be the cause of my intestinal upset. it was terrible. needless to say, i stopped the stuff, but not soon enough. ugh.

after i dropped the kids at school, i went down to the trail and ran 20 miles. it looks so simple when i type it out, but it was long and grueling, and i had to cheer myself on over and over past mile 15.but i did it and i think i'm on my way to a decent finish in the marathon. i might try another 20 miler between now and then, depending on how i feel. i doubt i'll attempt to run further than that in training. i think i'll be be able to do the extra 6.2 in the marathon coasting on adrenalin.  i'm glad i got it done today before the arctic cold front arrives. my hands swelled up like vienna sausages out there. they never swell, even when i run in the heat of summer, so i'm attributing it to the Reliv as well. i've been drinking lots of water, trying to get it out of my system

so far this year i've finished three books. i finished All the Pretty Horses today, or maybe it was last night. this book was full of beautiful imagery of west Texas and Mexico. it took awhile to get used to McCarthy's style of writing, as he uses no quotation marks, which made it a little hard to follow at the first. but i truly enjoyed this book, mostly because of the setting. it makes me all the more look forward to our spring break trip out to Big Bend.

well, i'm off to get this place in shape before the man gets home. stay warm, folks.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday morning. my favorite morning of the week.

we've had a nice weekend so far, and have done well in trying to keep up with our resolution to be more hospitable. Margaret brought home her friend, Stella, on Friday, and then brought home another friend from her basketball game that night. i guess the girls are getting a little older, or maybe that these two friends are more mature than her others, but there wasn't as much squealing and late night giggling as there has been in the past.

Brian took the boys to their games on Saturday. this was John's first time to play basketball. he's a child with the very short attention span. his take on the whole thing: "i did alright in the first game, but then we played that other one and i got tired." i guess we should've explained to him beforehand that there would be two halves to the game.

Samuel and William went to play at a friends house. this was a big milestone for William, as he's never gone to a friend's house before, someone he isn't related to without Brian or me. he survived and had a good time.

i rode my new bike across town to the library across town, a 4 mile each way trip. i was pleased that i didn't get honked at, ticketed, or run over, on this, my first ever excursion out on a bike. thankfully we have lots of bike lanes around central Austin, so it shouldn't be too hard to get used to being out on the road. i had to go to the library to check out books on science fair projects since all the kids are needing to create one for the upcoming science fair at Maplewood. it was really the most beautiful day for a ride! i rode through the cozy little neighborhoods of Hyde Park, Chesterfield, and Rosedale, with their small, old house painted in such delicious varieties of colors. and past all the funky vintage shops on North Loop with names like Blue Velvet, Hog Wild, and Room Service. i could've ridden all day, just poking along, taking in the sights and sounds.

after we got the kids fed and bathed, we left Margaret in charge for a bit so that Brian and i could get in a little date. we went over to Cherrywood Coffeehouse, which is just across the train tracks from the kids' school. Brian had a beer and i had a glass of wine and we watched a little football on tv.
Cherrywood is like the hub of Maplewood Elementary. it's the after school go-to place for coffee and smoothies, and many kids go there to work on  their homework while they wait for their moms or dads to pick them up. it's sort of like the drugstore of days gone by. 

so we had a sweet tiny little date, just enough time to reconnect and feel like lovers again. one of the great things about living in central Austin is the abundance of locally owned cafes, coffee shops, and lounges. i'd love to see how many different ones Brian and i can visit for mini-dates. maybe that will be a goal of sorts for this year.

well, i'm off to spend some time in the Word before the rest of the family gets up.

*pics that i borrowed from somewhere else...

Thursday, January 6, 2011


wow! i'm blogging twice in one day! this morning i couldn't make myself get out with Brian to run. the cold just makes me hurt. William was complaining of ear pain before i took the kids to school, so i gave him his special drops as well as some allergy meds and sent him off. and then i drove straightway to the trail to run.  about 3 miles into my run i got a call from Ms. Martin saying that William was crying about his head and ears. i  was nearly to the Mopac bridge, and my car was at the Interstate bridge, meaning i was at the farthest point from the car that i'd be on that run. Brian ended up picking William up at school and took him back to work with him. i finished the 7.2 mile loop and then picked up William at MWM. he really didn't seem sick at all, just in need of some personal attention. we played hotel, and art studio, and game show, and then took a nap together. at least i took a nap and he drew pictures. then he helped me get the sheets off all the boys' beds to wash them. i realized how little time i have had with him, just one on one time. it is so hard to find time for that in our (sort of large) family.

speaking of sort of large families. lately i've had the desire to have another baby. we never really said we were done, life just kind of carried on. when John was born, we were done for then, but could imagine having another way down the road. well, we're way down the road now, and at 35, i'm not getting any younger, as they say. i love being a mom. everything about it. i think it is the greatest honor to carry another human inside you and then care for it in the most intimate way. and really, the thought of having another child with the man i love now more than ever, is rather thrilling. when we had the others, life was happening so fast, the babies came in such quick succession, and there wasn't really much planning to any of it. intentionally trying to have another is a very pleasant thought.

so those are some thoughts i'm (we're) having. adding another person to our family would change a lot of things, most practically, what size car we can get, and would almost certainly mean that we'd have to move. i say that, buy much larger families generations prior to ours lived in houses this size and smaller and made it work.

i write all this as if it lies in our power to make it happen. even if we tried, there is no guarantee that we'd be blessed with another. heck, our preventative measures over the last nearly 7 years have been pretty wimpy. i'm surprised it hasn't happened yet. so it makes me think we might have already missed the window. which is ok, too. if these four are all we're given, i've been blessed more than i have words for thanks. as i was about to say, it's Him who opens and closes the womb. so maybe He will, maybe He won't. and I know He didn't this month. and no, we're not "trying".

so that's that.

morning thoughts

it's nearly time to get the kids up for school, but i just want to blog a bit before the day gets away.

the other day when i was meeting with the teachers and principal at school, they suggested that we go for counseling at the Austin Child Guidance Center. i just now looked the place up and i'm going to call them today. they can offer whole family sessions, which i think would be good. i feel like we're at the end of our rope in trying to help the boys on our own.

when i look at my kids i don't see them as having problems. i just see their quirkiness as just a part of them. they have strengths and they have weaknesses, we all do. but other people see those things as weirdness, things that ought not to be there. something that needs fixing.

next week i start back at my two different jobs at the church. i am really dreading the one. i just really do not want to work for the Classical Conversations group, but i'm committed to it through this next semester. so i'll shoulder on and make the best of it. maybe my perception is wrong, but the whole thing seems so pretentious. they call their classes and levels by strange names that nobody in education uses anymore, and they all seem to be trying to outdo one another. when i tell them that no, my kids aren't in CC, they go to public school, these moms get all nervous-looking, like they're not sure they should leave their toddlers with me. i might corrupt them. it takes a toll on me emotionally. almost every Tuesday last semester i went home with feelings of guilt, that maybe i really am a bad mom for not teaching my kids latin chants at home and history facts in song form.

well, i'm off to get the kidlets to school.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

hereby resolved

so i've had a few days to think over some New Year's resolutions, and this is what I have so far. i am sure I'll think of more as the days go by.

* i aim to be more hospitable. Brian and i have already dubbed this year, The Year of Hospitality for the Wells family. at least we hope it will be remembered as such. last year was so wrapped up in all the projects going on at the house, the we weren't very hospitable and hardly had any guests in our home. we hope to have at least one family over every other week, and a friend from school over at least once a week. and Keegan Langley doesn't count as he invites himself over every day anyways.

* i will attempt to read through Robert Murray M'Cheyne's Bible reading plan this year. i have used it off and on for probably 15 years, and it is the best reading plan i've known. if you follow it fully you will read through the NT, Psalms and Proverbs twice, and the OT once in a year.

* i will keep a record of all the books i read. i really wish i'd been doing this all along. maybe i'll even write a little summary of each. and along with this, i hope to read at least 50 books. i have no idea if this will be easy or difficult, as i don't know how many books a year i'm already reading on average.

* i will continue adding to my list of 1,000 Thanks.

* i will write thank you notes. i used to do this religiously as a kid and teen. and as a newlywed and a new mommy. then i got lazy, and what with the internet and all, told myself that a phone call or a hastily typed email was just as good as a written thank you. but i know that's not the case. and a long with this, i hope to teach my children the importance of writing thank you notes.

* i will plan and make lists. i so resist this. ugh! there is something in me that finds lists confining. i want to just fly by the seat of my pants and make things up as i go. the ironic thing is that i am married to someone that could not be more opposite than me in this area. he cannot function without a list. so i will plan. i will have an agenda and not just be carried along by my feelings. i will put tasks on my lists, and not just after i have done them so that i can add a check mark and make myself look productive.

* i will plant a spring garden.

i have some other ideas that i typed out, but they started to sound really me-centric and , well, just silly. so maybe i'll just keep those resolutions in my head.

the kids go back to school tomorrow. it has been a good vacation and a blessed Christmas season. i am just so thankful to be a mom and be able to enjoy these sweet times with my kids and husband!

we are going back to Big Bend fro spring break. Brian made the reservations today. it'll be much more enjoyable to camp along the Rio Grande when it's not 109 degrees as it was when we were there in the summer. the kids are so excited!

i've finished two books in the last couple of days.

1. Across Five Aprils, sort of a juvenile book, but i thought i'd read it to see if i thought the kids would like it.
2. We Were the Mulvaneys. wow, what a sad book, but good as well. i'm still digesting it. i got some into it that i read the whole thing in 2 days.

Wednesday, January 5

i blogged that first part a few days ago and had every intention of returning that evening to finish it and publish it, but life got a bit carried away.
the kids started school on Tuesday. no complaints from any of them, and each seemed to have a pretty nice day. i had to go in and meet with the principal, the speech therapist, and William's teacher to discuss William's progress. his lessons are gong to be suspended for now until he begins communicating more. he still does not talk to anyone at school. when he does talk to his teacher, it is in the breathiest whisper. so it was a discouraging meeting. i feel like they're looking at me as wondering what i did to my chldren to make them this way. maybe i did something, but i really don't know what it is. i don't know why William struggles with anxiety issues so much, or why Samuel is always so down on himself, or why John can't sit still. i don't have any answers! this morning when i hopped back in the car after running at the trail i saw a message on my phone from Samuel's teacher saying that he had another break down. he refused to go in the classroom, said that nobody understands him and that he has no friends. Brian had to call and soothe him and try to decipher what had brought on these feelings. Samuel said that ofttimes there isn't any incident, but maybe a thought, a feeling of "being different" that causes him to feel out of place. both he and William are just weird socially. that's all there is to it. it's our job to teach them what is acceptable public behavior. that's just not as easy as it sounds. especially when you have a son that doesn't "get" the normal social cues that the majority of us just take for granted. but even in these things i can thank God. i'm thankful that these trials bring me to my knees and cause me to pray more than i would otherwise.

this morning i went down to the trail and did the 10.2 loop. i was so happy when i finished. no knee trouble. i ran it at a 9:30 pace. i know, slow by most standards, but it felt like something i could sustain for a long time. between now and marathon day i'm going to attempt to get down to a 9 minute mile. that would have me finishing the marathon in under 4 hours. i so want to break 4 hours. my PR is 4:00:30. so close yet so far away!

today was report card day. there was some improvement in areas, some regression in other areas. Margaret was in tears because she had a couple of B's. it was mostly because she has horrible organization skills and often loses homework. and she admitted as much. so we have some things to work on before she starts middle school.

i took Margaret to basketball practice last night and Brian took the boys to Boy Scouts. i did the elliptical machine at the Y, then some weights, then read my book for awhile because the practice ran long. i've been reading Eat, Pray, Love the past couple of days, but i find the woman so nauseatingly flighty and self centered that i can't stomach any more. on the Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses.

1,000 thanks~

0040 - mild Texas winters

0041 - arms that hold me all night long

0042 - a son that no longer needs glasses!

0043 - hearing, "can you read me a story?" and knowing that the days of hearing that are numbered, so cherishing those sweet moments

0044 - a beautiful table with candles, and placemats, and great-grandmother's china, and chargers, and cloth napkins, even for a simple mean of leftovers.

0045 - reserving the last available camper spot at Big Bend for spring break

0046 - God's Word that is fresh and new each time it's read

0047 - pots of herb plants on the kitchen window

0048 - a new vacuum cleaner filter

0049 - children that love to feast on Scripture