Friday, August 17, 2012

Random thoughts

  • Wow.  What a week.  Actually, what a two weeks!  These past two weeks have been so crazy.  I thought this would be a quiet, easy week.  Was I ever wrong!
  • After the emotional upheaval of this past weekend, Paul and I were ready to just lay low at home and recover.  It wasn't meant to be.
  • Early Tuesday morning, Schnitzel (our dauschound) was attacked by a pit bull and required a visit to the vet and surgery.  It threw the whole day off.
  • I have developed a horrible cold and cough.  Again.  Feels just like what I had when we went on vacation.  I.Don't. Have. Time. For. This.
  • My plan was to start school last Wednesday, August 8th.  Didn't happen.  We had Classical Conversations school on Monday, so I thought we'd for sure start on Tuesday, August 14.  Didn't happen.  Ok.  Wednesday was the definite starting date.  We did do some school on Wednesday, but not a full day.  Thursday would be our first full day.  NOT.  Ugh.  Friday maybe?  Nope.  Wasn't meant to be.
  • We did start.  Sometimes, I have found, you just have to start with what you have and build from there.  This next week will be much better.  I hope.
  • Sam and Ben are doing amazing on their memory work.  Sam has about 90% down and Ben has maybe 60%.  The cutest thing is to hear Ben recite the classifications of living things.
  • Paul has dropped several more pounds!  He looks fantastic.  I've lost a few more myself and am up to 124 lost!  Woo-Hoo!  I think we found the missing ingredient to our continued weight loss.
  • We had a nice break in the weather, but it's over.  Back to the heat and humidity of middle Georgia in mid-August.
  • We attended the funeral of one of the charter members of our church on Thursday.  John and Marion were married 67 1/2 years.  She had Parkinson's real bad at the end and a year or so ago, she asked him, "Will you hold my hand when I cross that bridge?" and he determined to be holding her hand when she passed.  He knew the end was near and would not let go of her hand all day last Sunday until she stopped breathing Sunday night.  So sweet and so sad.
  • Whenever I get to missing Paul Jr., I remind myself that he could be here instead of at college, and I immediately feel much better!  Amazing how my perspective has changed!
  • Good Night!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Miracle

Saturday morning Paul Jr. left bright and early for Rome, GA and Shorter University.  It was a tearful goodbye.  (Well, I was tearful- he was excited!).  I did what I had to at home and then headed up to the church to print some stuff off the Internet, all the while feeling like there was a black cloud over my head.  I pulled into the church parking lot and had myself a good cry.  My  kids know the church as a second home and the memories of Paul came flooding into my mind as I sat in the parking lot, trying to compose myself.  After a few minutes I went in and got to work.

I got a text on my phone from Paul Jr saying he had arrived.  We were all a little concerned because some of the paperwork he needed didn't arrive in time for him to take it with him, and he only had substitutes for what he needed.  About an hour later, I got a call from him.

His financing fell through.  What he thought he had in reality wasn't there.  I didn't know what to tell him and Paul was in a meeting all day.  He hung up and I started praying that everything would work out.

A few hours later he finally got ahold of his dad, but it was to no avail.  The financing wasn't there and the bill was too great.  The business office at the school closed early on Saturday, but they said he could stay through the weekend and come back in Monday morning.

It was a long weekend for all of us.  I felt sick to my stomach for most of it.  I couldn't envision him coming back home after the big send off we had for him and after him waiting so long to go.  I started searching on the Internet for other options.  Sunday night, he called and talked to Paul and I.  He was very down and discouraged.  Paul prayed with him that God's will would be abundantly clear.  He prayed that if Paul Jr  was to stay at Shorter, that the financing would be provided; if not, then God would show Paul Jr. where to go.

Monday morning, around noon, Paul talked to him.  There was no financing.  Paul Jr. was headed to the business office to withdraw.  We were at school, and Paul related this to me in the middle of the busy lunchroom.  My heart sank.  I hated that for my son.  Paul's heart was heavy as he returned to his teaching duties.

Emma and I went and sat outside and I texted Paul Jr., asking him if he would be coming home.  I couldn't imagine how he would bring himself to come back home.  I remember thinking how ironic it was- I was so sad when he left, but now I was even sadder to know he was coming home.

A few minutes later I got a text.  I read it; then I read it again; then I read it again.  It said, "No, I'm not coming home.  I was awarded over ten thousand dollars!! I'm off to freshman camp- I'll call you in two days. "

Huh??  I tried calling him and texting him but no answer.  It literally took about 5 minutes for his message to sink in.

God did MORE than we asked.  MORE than we thought!!  WOO HOO!  My first thought was I have to tell Paul, but he was in the middle of teaching 8th grade.

I couldn't help myself.  I went into the building, knocked on his door.  I knew when he saw me he'd think something bad had happened, and he did.  I didn't even say anything, just held up the phone so he could read the text.

He cried.  We both had tears in our eyes.  You couldn't have wiped the smiles off our faces if you tried!

I just talked to Paul Jr. a little while ago.  While he was in the business office trying to withdraw, the lady was searching and searching for something that might help him.  He said he was thinking in his head, "Lady.  Please.  I just want to leave" when she gasped.  She found a fund that churches had given for this just this purpose.  They gave him everything they had- and that includes over $800 for books!

He is flying high- he knows without a shadow of a doubt that he is exactly where God wants him to be.  I think that message came through loud and clear!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Sentimental Journey

I'm feeling sentimental tonight.  In the morning, Paul Jr. will leave to attend college.  That's a good thing.  I'm so happy for him and so proud of him.  He's waited along time for this day and I'm glad it's finally here.

I just wish it didn't entail an ending.  It is an ending of our family the way it is.  It will never be the same.  Oh, I know he'll visit and maybe come back for the summer.  But it will never be the same.  Tonight is the last night of his childhood, even though he's not been a child for a long time. Tonight is the last night he will sleep in our home as a "part" of us.  Tonight we are 8; tomorrow, we will be 7.

I can't help but think back over the years that have too quickly flown by.  I have many regrets, many things left undone, things left unsaid.  I think of the many times I got angry way too quickly and the many times I was tired and just wanted to be left alone.  I think of the times I handled situations badly, or was unfair or unjust.  I'm reminded of some of the long, hard days and the longer, harder nights.

I am also reminded of grace, specifically God's grace, and how He took my feeble efforts to parent and blessed them.  He took my ignorance and turned it into something beautiful.  He took my desire to love my children and made it swell into something huge.  God has been so gracious to our family.  We are nothing without Him and without His hand of blessing.

So tomorrow, I will hug my son goodbye and shed many tears.  I will grieve for what is over, but I will also celebrate what is beginning in him as he follows God's calling on his life.

Here is a slideshow I made for his high school graduation.  It's a tearjerker.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Random Thoughs

 Some beautiful stuffed peppers I made one day last week.  They were delicious!  I had never made nor eaten them before but I loved them.
 Sam has lost his front tooth.  We're all waiting for the other tooth to go.  It should soon- it is loose!
 School starts Monday, ready or not.  I'm excited and anxious all at the same time.
 A decent picture of me.  Sometimes I can tell I've lost alot of weight; sometimes I can't.
 Paul Jr. leaves on Saturday for college.  I don't know which is worse.  The actual leaving, or the days leading up to his leading where everything is overshadowed by how much time is left.
 We all feel like we're in limbo with knowing he's leaving yet having some time before he does.  Maybe it's just me that feels like that, but the tension in our house has been super high.
 Emma has learned to climb into the top bunk.  Not good.
 Because from the top bunk she has learned to climb on top of the armoire.  She has been disciplined several times for this, but continues to do it.  Wonder which one of her siblings she takes after?  Anna, oh Anna....
Looking forward to getting back into some sort of routine with Paul leaving and school starting.  And, for the first time in our married life, I WILL HAVE AN EXTRA ROOM IN MY HOUSE!  Until you've lived with every spare inch of space utilized, you do not realize the freedom that comes from having extra space with no claim on it!  Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet but I have plenty of ideas....

Paul's Goodbye Party

Paul and I threw Paul Jr. a surprise goodbye party tonight after church.  We figured we had to make it a surprise because we were pretty sure he would hate the idea of it.  Turns out he had figured it out on his own but he was a great sport about it.

 These two pictures show all the "stuff" Paul and I got for him.  Blankets, sheets, pillow, coffee maker, laundry hamper, lots of pens, lots of toiletries and lots of his favorite foods.
 The church prayed over Paul at the end of the service tonight.

 There were many tears.
 Paul has faithfully served, mostly in the background, since we moved here almost 12 years ago.  He was ten when we started attending this church and he has become a man in this church and the people have loved watching him grow up and mature.
 Paul prayed a beautiful prayer over our son.  I didn't even attempt it because I knew what would happen.

 The beautiful cake Angie made for Paul and all the foods.
 The people showered him with love and monetary gifts.  He feels very loved and very blessed.
Benjamin helping Miss Norma serve the punch.
Paul giving a mini speech at the end.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Emma 2 ways

 Here is Emma in her "natural" state.  Pretty dress, sunday shoes and her trademark, cury, cury hair.
 Look at those ringlets.
 Here's a better picture of her curls.
 But every once in a while her sisters like to experiment with her hair.
 Here she is in braids.
 Like an Indian.
 And here is Emma in her "non-natural" state with straight hair.  Anna decided she would straighten Emma's hair.
 We were all surprised how different it made her look
 And how long her hair really is.

I prefer the curls, but she is beautiful either way!

(Thanks to Ellie for the beautiful straight hair pics)