Monthly Archives: May 2008

Virginia IS for…well, you know


Beginning the descent into Norfolk (I still can’t say it right…hubby says NAHfork…pilot said NAFFok…I say NAW(bigthinkingpause)foLk it felt like I was coming home!  Home to hubby, home to a new adventure, home to the south, home to the beach. Home.

Speaking of home, I get to see the insides of our new home in two hours which is also just two days before it becomes ours.  Ours to rent, that is.  Hubby hasn’t yet begun to pack but is confident he can easily take repeated loads in the tiny Celica every day this week from the bachelor pad.  Go dude. 

This apartment has been not so great for him or for me, but it’s amazing how much better it is for me with four less kids sleeping wall to wall in the only other room. 

Babysitter Extraordinaire is doing the hauling kids around metroPlymouth this weekend for me and I couldn’t be more thankful.

I saw the kids schools yesterday.  Woo hoo!  And I thought 600 was a lot of kids for an elementary school.  Their new school has 6 classes per grade level.  I went after school was out and immediately fell in love with the library.  When I can figure out how to get cell phone pix into computer, my posts will be a lot more colorful.  Help me CapriK!   

High Dive Butterflies


I never had much fear going off the high dive at the City Pool.  More often than not I was at the bottom with a lifeguard tube, coaxing children to “make a T with your arms and jump where my hand is” (and not on my head as they usually fearfully aimed).  I caught them every time and they were always glad they did it!  So so brave!  “Let’s do it again!”

After our lovely BSF 08-09 placement activity with Sunshine & the girls on Bonus Round Leader’s Meeting Day, I drove towards my almost about to be former home and the high dive feeling began in my core…behind the muffin top.  We are really closing up shop now, in a fast-forward kind of way.  Packing is in full swing, batons are being passed (on and off Central’s Track), Michigan sporting events and parties are being completed and crossed off while camps and opportunities for the summer are quickly tossed and not even being considered and that high dive feeling is growing.  And it’s not going away.  So as I stand here on my mental high dive, with my metaphorical finger in it’s thinking spot on the hypothetical edge of my lips, here’s what’s racing between my ears:

The climb up the 20+ rungs of the ladder wasn’t bad at all.  In fact, it was kinda thrilling!  The reward at the top is the barefoot catwalk where all eyes are on your brave self.  The walk out to the edge has a great view!  Handle rails are available to hold onto, even, for safety and support.  Then the railing ends and there’s about 5 steps to the edge which is where I find myself now.  Uh oh.  It’s just about go time.   I pause.  I look back over my shoulder.  There are people with hands on the ladder patiently ready to come after me.  A line of excited, wonderful people who can’t wait to come after me as soon as my turn is over!  I can’t go back.  I won’t even think about turning around.  So instead I face forward.  I sigh because I like it way up here where I can see everything.  Everywhere I’ve been, and a glimpse of everywhere I’m going–what a sight!   But I’m getting a little tired of standing.  I look down.  It’s almost time to jump and not be here any more and for a brief time not exactly be down there in the cool water either.  Wow.  That water looks a long way away.  Like 700 miles and 12 hours away.  Much farther away than it looked as I was ascending the ladder.  Now I wonder,  how is it that my body won’t break or shatter when I hit what looks very much like blue wavy glass?  I see lots of people down there having fun, waving me down, cheering me on.  My reserved, quiet husband, smiling, frantically beckons me and is beside himself waiting for me to jump in and once again be at his side.  He jumped long ago.  He’s been in for a while and the water is great!  I don’t want to stall.  I am ready but just not quite.  There’s a little more work to do but not much.  I stick out one foot and all that’s left is the other foot and then the fall.  No confident swan dives.  No flips either–forget about it!  The fun comes later, but I will be falling for some long seconds, remembering the climb and the people I was with as I waited, longed for and expected this high dive moment.  Back to old friends, back to family.  Wheeeeee!

Binding Ties are Blest/Lobster Bro


Reading a secular novel this weekend (between packing), there was the line uttered to the main character as she tied her brothers bow tie. “Blessed be the tie that binds” which made me hum that tune in my head the rest of the day and look it up in my old Methodist hymnal.  These words are right up there with “Till we mee-ee-eet…”  (Heavy sigh…too much packing makes one melancholy)

Blest be the tie that binds/our hearts in Christian love;

the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne/we pour our ardent prayers;

our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.

When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain;

but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again.

I love you crazy Michigan people!  Who would have guessed God had such human blessings for us back in January 1994 when we moved here from Florida?  Remember the -50 below winter?  Yeah, that one!

Let’s leave this post on a “sunnier” thought:  got a text from usually fair skinned Hubby this morning that said, “I look like a lobster with a sunburn whose big brother lobsters gave a redbelly to.”  and then after a sunscreen reprimand, “I put on SPF 40–guess I needed SPF 140!”  Say a little prayer for quick peeling!

My First Bar Mitzvah


(is that how you spell it?  I don’t even know!)  Oldest got an invitation to his school buddy’s barM which was a HUGELY fun party in an airport hangar with an actual airplane in it!  I thought it was just 7th grade exaggeration when he said, “the guy’s coming in on a helicopter and they’re gonna play Iron Man when he arrives.”  That’s exactly what happened as we pulled up right at the stroke of 7!  BarM Boy was even in a Tom Cruise flight suit & everything!  It was quite the function…better than any wedding reception I’ve ever gone to!  All that newly-teenager energy, I guess.

Well the kids got treated like royalty.  First chocolate airplanes on the table, then a propellor beanie, glow necklaces and Harry Potter glasses.   Open bar –the best kind–ICE CREAM SUNDAES!  And a flight duffle bag filled with skittles, starburst and other airplane related toys.  What a night!

Still, Jesus is better.

Sharing Day 2008


Yesterday concluded 9 great years of BSF for me.  Heavy sigh.  Several of my beloved leaders shared–I’m so proud!  And I always love hearing from the ladies and especially the moms–the wonderful overflow that happens at home after they’ve brought their wee ones to us and we usher them quickly after a sufficient amount of playing right into God’s presence (and they bring us there too!)  CapriK held a mic like nobody’s business.

This year I’ve led two lives.  An NRC one with my job that pays eternal wages and actual earth money; and a BSF one with my job where I get paid “just” eternal wages.  Both have been demanding.  Both have been out of my comfort zone in many ways, though I *thought* they were IN the zone at the time I signed up.  At times I strongly questioned the wisdom of attempting to do both jobs and the impossibility of doing either of them well, even if they were the ONLY job I had to do, much less with the other one looming.  And without a spouce for 7 months.  And then without a partner.  And with only God.  Well, you’ll never guess what I learned…He is enough!  He did it all by Himself with me just a not-so-innocent-bystander.  And yesterday He validated every concern, every doubt, every fear with good presents from His people–both verbal, tactile, and the huggingwhisperingpersonalencouragingwords kind!  God is just so darn good I can’t even believe it! 

Actually, if you count motherhood, that would make three lives.  He’s been good there too.  I know I don’t possess enough patience, organization, and desire for cleanliness for what has been demanded of me without Hubby here, showing the house, shuttling middle schoolers and their friends, doctor visits, orthodontist…yadda infinity.  It has to be His supply!

I will miss this class, this neighborhood, and this church so much it already aches.  But God is already providing me with comfort and excitement that is incomprehensible and impossible to explain. 

God be with you till we meet again

By His counsels guide, uphold you

With His sheep securely fold you

God be with you till we meet again (now pep it up:)

Till we me-eee-eeeet till we me-eeeeet,

Till we meet at Jesus feet,

Till we me-eee-eeeet, till we me-eeeet

God be with you till we meet again.

(sniffle break)



So I finally got a REAL sub job–one I could HANDLE.  Second graders at Workman.  Beautiful new building, bright cheery sunny day…life is good.  Then it got even better when I saw a beloved works-with-babies volunteer from church in the hallway.  We both did the stop-in-tracks simultaneous “What are you doing here?”   She:  I work here!  Me:  I’m subbing today!  Where’s your room?  She:  right there!  Me:  Mine’s right next door!  How good is God, I ask you!  So during assembly she helped me and during recess she helped me and we chatted about going back into teaching (it’s her first year back after momhood), church stuff, etc.  When I told her that I had an interview with a Christian School in VA and she said, “Public schools need Christian Educators too” it struck a nerve. 

But here’s the funny story…while on recess duty, every 20 seconds some random kid runs up and needs one or more of the following: a) to go to the bathroom   b) a bandaid   c) to know what time it is   d) to report a non-sharer   e) to report a sand-thrower   f) to go inside for numerous reasons   g)  to get a drink because their throat hurts so much they can barely talk…I could go on.  One such student, not from “my” class, ran up to me tattling before he even reached my side saying,
“Teacher, those boys over there are mocking us.”

“Oh…they’re mocking you?  Well, what are they saying?”


“Well, I forgot what mocking means.”

“Mocking is like when you say ‘stop it’ and they say in a whiny voice ‘stoooop iiiit’

(pause)  “Oh.  Well,  that’s not what they were doing.”

I think he felt better just reporting the misdemeanor.  I gave him the standard “You tell them I said to use kind words from now on.”

AAAahhhhhhhh, heavy sigh.  As he ran away, I giggled the giggle of the delighted.

Middle School “Music”


Subbing is just like labor.  While you are in the midst, you are saying to yourself.  NEVER AGAIN am I going to PUT myself in THIS SITUATION!  Holy shuh-nikees, this is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT not to mention UNCOMFORTABLE!!!  Then after it’s all over and you are walking (or being wheeled to) your car, you say to yourself, “Well, now.  That wasn’t so bad now, was it?” 

Which brings me to signing up for subbing job #2.  “Music” as is was so marketably labeled on the pick-your-sub-job website.  Another half-day assignment along with my short term memory loss caused me to accept it.  When I got to Central Middle School and got my nifty clip on nameless nametag and a map of the school with the highlighted destination labelled 102 I thought “cake walk.”  This thought lasted about 3.2 seconds until I saw door 102 labelled “BAND ROOM.”  Oh d-d-dear dear!  Band!  Holy cow!  That’s not the “music” I thought I was signing up for!  They were happy enough to have a “no instrument” day although I was sooooo tempted after watching the last 1/2 of the previous hour.  You stand on a box…you wave a stick…are they really going to sound a whole lot better at the end of the hour than at the beginning whether or not I know what I’m doing?  Alas, I followed directions and handed out worksheet after worksheet.  One lively few boys (percussion–of course) got a little too puppy dog rowdy so I let the class go a few minutes early.  The students were in the hallways at lockers early before bell the last hour, so I didn’t think much about it.  Then the BatPhone rang.  “Sub, is there a reason why your students are out in the hallway so early?”  I kindly told her about my strategy of avoiding the rowdiness and thought that we were close enough to the bell that it wouldn’t be a problem.  “There’s not a problem in the hall, is there?”  Grumpy office lady says “I’m sure there is.  Somewhere.  That’s what always happens when they go early.”  Well then!  It reminded me of Ferris Beuller when the office lady says to Jeannie, “Isn’t Mrs. Whatshername expecting you in class?”  Jeannie deadpans “Probably.”

I gotta say, both middle school jobs have confirmed and validated my love for the wee ones!  My 2nd grade and 1st grade jobs have been so much better!  Great 2nd grader story coming up next…

Middle School subbing


That’s right…you heard me.  I subbed for middle school.  Yes, yes…I am, in fact, out of my mind because I did it TWICE!  My very first subbing job was for Art at Discovery Middle School (how fun is that?)  Totally!  Well, almost totally…because I did get to use Aqua Net (aka:  haaaaar-spuh-raaaaaeeeey) to finish some lovely chalk drawings completed that day by very hard working and mature 8th graders.  The needy 6th graders did some folding/tracing projects and those pesky think-they’re-omniscient 7th graders did not do even one thing they were supposed to.  Ears green and all, I mistakenly believed that chatting up the troublemakers would make my life easier for that 3-days-long 50 minute period.  One of the more outspoken hellians was attempting to chat me up in order to get me to give his buddy a detention.  I wasn’t about to admit the fact that this particular process had not been part of my training, so I just let him keep talking.  “I’ll give you a hundred bucks if you’ll give him one.”  “Wow.  (appropriately unimpressed) $100.00?”  “Yeah, and I have it too…(with Trumpesque pride) I mow for my job and I have $100.00.”  “Mowing…that’s good money…”  And here was my fatal follow up question:  “Do you push or ride?”

The entire table of ‘worldly’ 13 year olds pauses, looks at each other gasping and gaping with chins hanging, then erupts in wide-eyed laughter with each other at that hilariously “dirty” question.  “O. M. G.!  The sub has no idea what she just said.”  Big-13-year-old Daddy leans back in his chair and proudly declares with the voice of experience, “Oh, I push alright.”  Suddenly I’m whisked back to 1981 where every sentence uttered at Jefferson Middle School was also taken dirty and I nod as I remember.   And that was WAY before “that’s what she said.” 

“Alright.  That’s enough.” 

Great!  Now I’m my mom AND my teachers! 

Next post:  Middle School “Music”    (as if!)

Last Day at the Ridge


“You shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace

the mountains and the hills shall break forth in singing,

there’ll be shouts of joy and all the trees of the fields

 will clap, will clap their hands”

This little chorus has been rolling through my head today as I take my final items home from my desk, ahhhhhh.  How sweet.  Also rolling around in there as I walked away was “…and that’s all I need too!  And this.  The remote control…and the paddle ball game, and that’s it.   And that’s all I need.  Except for this…” 

It was a very nice cake and a prayerful send off with many hugs and blessings (as well as those who only came for the cake…as I often do.  It’s only fair).  I just marvel at the goodness of God allowing me the cross-over of the phone interview with A. S. Christian School just days before my NRC staff departure.  “He knows my name…He knows my every thought…He sees my in-se-cur-ity…and throws me a bone once in a while” (I’m pretty sure that’s not how it REALLY goes).  Actually, He knows my every hunger too, and brought Mrs. Leader Friend with dinner to my door.  Holy Olive Oil!  I’m rolling in God’s goodness!

Anyway, nothing new on the house–here or there.  3 more weeks of BSF and then I’m officially “Just” a Mom.  Fine by me. 

A brief word on the theme picture I chose for this blog.  I read it today from a book I was given just yesterday by Mr. Busy-Thoughtful-Sweetness Personified:

“Though time and miles may separate us, I have built a bridge of lovely memories to span the distance.” Virginia Tubbs

(appropriate, huh?)