Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Day at School

Here I am at work, my students are doing a long worksheet on the Civil Rights movement, I've answered all my emails and entered all my grades, I've exhausted every possible home search on HAR.com, so now I have a few minutes to write a little bit.
Yesterday at our kids' Bible study, a friend made the comment, "During pregnancy and immediately after giving birth are not good times to make big decisions." That really hit home for me. Right after giving birth to Laney, I was ecstatic about how precious she was (is), that she didn't have galactosemia, and that I got to be home with my 3 girls for a whole 6 weeks. Probably not the best time to decide to quit my job. Now that I'm back at it, it's really not that bad. Yes, I have complained about it alot, but through this, my mindset has changed, and I truly feel thankful for my job. It is a blessing to have a job that only takes me away from my kids for 2-3 hours per day, and what a blessing that my girls have two grandmothers who don't work who are more than happy to take care of them in my absence. My girls are not suffering at all from me working, in fact, it's hard for me to admit, but they might be even better off, getting those special times with their grandmas and all the wonderful wealth of love and knowledge that their two grandmas provide. Now that my job is very uncertain, I find myself praying that God WILL give me my job back!! What a change of perspective. I hope after all this, I will be much more reluctant to complain about my job, and instead look at all the positive things it provides for me and my family:
*the chance to move to a bigger home for our growing family
*the opportunity to involve our parents very closely in our family
*the blessing of my kids getting to benefit from their grandmas' love & knowledge on a daily basis
*the chance for the Lord to use me in the lives of these high school kids every day
*the blessing of being my husband's helper
*health insurance and retirement benefits
*the blessing of missing my kids, so that I value my time with them so much more when I get home

Hopefully I will come back and read this list and add to it whenever I feel like complaining about work. Besides all that, I feel like the Lord really has answered my prayers by keeping me at this school for all these years. I want to be where He wants me, and it's seems pretty apparent that He has wanted me here, and hopefully will provide so I can stay here at least one more year. I'm eager to see what He is going to do.

Our poor house is in complete chaos... we are painting walls, cleaning out closets and loading boxes in the garage, fixing things, changing lightbulbs, moving furniture around, you name it. The final touch will come Friday when we're having laminate installed in our living room. It was going to cost the same as re-carpeting the whole house, so we figured why not? I am excited to see how it will look. We always wanted laminate while we lived here, but never got around to it, so it's kinda sad that we're going to get it done right before we move, but I'm excited for the next family who lives here to have pretty floors. Hopefully by Saturday morning, our house will be officially on the market!

Okay, the bell is about to ring, so I guess I better take up the worksheets. I love worksheet days!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Time for a Break!

We're on spring break! It's been so fun playing with the girls and just relaxing together as a family. We haven't done anything really exciting, but we are working on getting our house de-cluttered and cleaned up to put on the market soon. I had no idea how much stuff we've crammed into this house over the past 5 years. We've already packed up 5 or 6 big boxes and moved lots of furniture out to Brian's parents house, but it still feels like we haven't made a dent! Brian & his dad have cleaned up all our landscaping and made our yard look really good. I am glad my husband was blessed with a talent and love for yardwork, because there is no love in me for that. I do appreciate the beauty of it, as long as I'm not the one doing it. Anyway, we are planning to get new carpet and touch up all the paint inside, then we will be ready to try to sell it! I have been watching HAR.com like crazy looking at all the houses in our area for sale, and wondering which one might be our future home! It will be exciting once we can actually start looking at them and narrowing down which one we want.

Avery's gorilla face & Laney's worried face


I haven't written much about my girls lately, so I'm going to take some time to write a few of the highlights of their sweet lives lately.

Laney Hope

Laney is 9 weeks old today. She is officially in size 2 diapers now. She had her 2 month check up last week and she weighed 11 lbs, 5 oz. and was 23 inches long. It is crazy to think how fast she is growing. She's already getting cute little chubby cheeks and the most precious little chunky thighs. She is getting into a good routine of eating, playing and napping. She loves kicking. It is fun watching her lay on her playmat and kick the monkey over & over, and you can tell she is really proud of herself. If I haven't said it recently, I love my Hotsling. She lives in that thing much of the day and it is a lifesaver when you're trying to keep your baby happy and chase your toddler & preschooler around the house all day. Laney LOVES her sisters already. As long as they are running around her, talking and playing, she is as happy as can be. She definitely does not want to be left out of things. The highlight of my day is in the afternoon when A&T are napping, and Laney & I can lay back in the recliner and take a nap together, feeling each other breath and just being close. It is truly the best thing in the world. I feel so incredibly happy and blessed to be her mama. I am filled with joy that I get to watch her grow and take care of her every day of her life. She has definitely won all our hearts and we do not know how we ever got by without her.

Avery Elizabeth


Avery has been learning so much lately. She knows all her letters and if you give her a word, she can usually tell you what letter it starts with. She is also starting to write her name. She is such a great helper, she truly gets ecstatic when I ask her to help me with something. I need to do that much more. And I need to be patient while she learns how to do it right. She says to me at least 3 times a day: "Mama, I love you THIS much (as she stretches out her arms as wide as she can)! She loves teaching & helping Tatum. If only Tatum loved it too, it would be great. She has started bossing and tattling a little bit, which is something we're working on. She carries on conversations like such a big girl. Her favorite word is "actually" and she tries to add that into almost every sentence she says. She sticks by my side most of the day, kindof like a little shadow. She has a tender heart and has been known to burst into tears when Tatum gets hurt because she's so sad for her sister.

Tatum Mary

Tatum is talking better and better every day. I can understand almost everything she says now. The above picture, as well as every other picture we've taken of her lately, is about the best smile we can get out of her on camera. She is getting long curly blonde hair at the back of her head, which I love. She got some ant bites on her hand about 3 weeks ago, and every day, although the ant bites are healed, she holds her hand up to me and says "ant bite" and wants me to kiss the ant bites that are no longer there. She is very independent, she does not want help with anything that she is trying to do herself. Heaven forbid that I show her how to buckle her carseat! Whenever Laney begins to cry and I walk over to pick her up, Tatum rushes to me and cries out, "hold me, mama, hold me!" It is heartbreaking. Sweet Tatum doesn't understand why I have to pick up Laney and not her. So usually I just try to hold them both. She is the best eater you have ever seen. She will eat almost anything. She is great at sharing toys and loves to climb on things.

This is what I get when I say "Say cheese"

Tomorrow is the first real day of spring break for Brian. He's had lots of baseball so far. I don't know how he keeps everything going with all he's juggling right now, but I think he's doing a great job and I'm really proud of him.
As for me, I still don't know what I'm doing next year. Hopefully when I get back from spring break, something will come together. I still feel a great deal of peace about it that God will provide something and it will all work out. Thanks so much to all my precious friends for your prayers. Keep them coming!


Here's a video we took of the girls performing the other night.

video

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dilemma

Tatum and Laney playing footsies
Laney - 8 weeks old
Laney not so happy to be surrounded by sisters

For those of you who know me well, you know I have struggled with being a working mom for a while. Well, Brian & I decided a few weeks ago while I was still home that I was going to quit teaching next year so I could spend more time with the girls. This was okay, until we really started looking into selling our house and getting something larger. As you might imagine, those two things aren't really meshing. So we decided last week it would be worth it for me to work one more year so we can get a bigger house. So I braced my mind for the change of plans and decided to move forward with it.

Today I found out that my job is not my job anymore. I have already been replaced for next year. All the details aren't important, but my job-share partner quickly found another teacher to job-share with next year when she found out I wasn't planning to teach next year. She didn't want to work full-time and I don't blame her, so she took care of it quickly. Anyway, that leaves me unemployed for next year. I must admit, I am not that disappointed. I feel like God has His hand in this, and I am trusting that He has something else out there for me.

We would really like to move forward with getting our house ready to sell. We met with a real estate agent last night and she gave us a lot of helpful information to get the process started. We are still hopeful it will work out. However, we will probably put it on hold for a few weeks until I can secure employment somewhere. All this to say, although it's not comfortable having so much up in the air, in a way, it's the most comfortable place to be, because now it's up to God to do something for us. He has never let me down in my entire life, and I know He's not about to start now. I am excited to see what He will provide.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My great week back

My first week back at work has come and gone, and it has been a really good week. Really. First of all, my mom stayed here all week, and made my life super easy by helping out with cooking, doing dishes, bathing the girls, entertaining the girls and pretty much anything else you can think of. All I really had to do was get up and go to work and feed Laney. Nice.
So here's how I did the feeding thing while I was at work. Thanks to the great advice from a couple friends, I think we got it figured out.

5:15am - Wake up & feed Laney
5:45am - Get dressed, eat breakfast, have quiet time, etc.
6:30am - Pump (milk that cow) :)
6:45am - Leave for work
8:00am - Laney wakes up & my mom feeds her the bottle I pumped.
10:30am - I get home and feed her myself (can you say engorgement??!!)

That's how it worked and it went great! Praise the Lord! Laney was such a trooper, she took those bottles like a champ! She is still waking up in the middle of the night, usually around 2-3 am for a feeding, but that's okay because I've started putting her down around 8:00pm , which means all the girls are in bed by 8:00 and we can have a normal evening again!

It was great to see my teacher friends again and everyone was glad to see me. My students got into some bad habits while I was gone and it has been alot of work whipping them back into shape, but I must say it is good to be back. And it was nice to be missed so much. We just started the JFK unit this week, which the kids always love because they are so interested in the assassination of JFK. Needless to say, although very sad, it is fun to teach things that the kids really want to listen to and learn. Also, it was good to see the FCA kids yesterday at our meeting. They are planning a lock-in next weekend at the YMCA so that should be really fun.

Brian's baseball team has been doing really well, they have played 3 games this week and won all 3. And they have two more this afternoon and one tomorrow! Yes, that is a lot of baseball for one week, but it's just how the beginning of the season goes. In a couple weeks, it will settle down to only two games per week. I can't wait for that!

The most exciting news is that we are starting the process of MOVING!!! We are meeting with a real estate agent on Monday and we have already gotten our pre-approval letter done. We love our neighborhood and neighbors, but we have just outgrown our sweet little 1500 sq. ft. house. We are needing more elbow room in a serious way, and we are really excited about the prospect of a bigger house. We are praying we will be able to sell our house quickly and that God will lead us to just the right house in just the right neighborhood when it's time. My project for this weekend is to de-clutter all the closets and floor space. If anyone has any selling/buying/moving tips for me, I would gladly accept any advice you can give. Have a great weekend!!