Saturday, February 28, 2009

10 Things for which I'm Thankful

I was just thinking about some of the many things for which I'm thankful.

1. The ability to study the word of God on my own and understand the plans that He has revealed to us. I realize that copies of the Bible and the ability to read are not available to all girls across the globe.

2. The family that brought me up valuing Christ's church and encouraging me to make sure that my faith was my own.

3. The safe places I lived when growing up. Both my parents' house and our neighborhood gave me a sense of security that too many children lack.

4. The time that I've been able to have with both of my parents. When my mom died, I was torn between losing her for myself and my children's loss of a grandmother.

5. The good teachers that I had growing up and in college. Now that I'm a mom and in the education field, I appreciate this so much. I've tried to look up some of my old teachers to say thank you, but not all of them are so easily located.

6. The supports that made going to college possible. I do not believe that I "deserved" college through my own virtues and that other kids did not. I was blessed with the opportunity to have a supportive family and scholarships (from skills my teachers taught me). Mr. Miller, thank you for teaching me bassoon when I got bored with the saxophone!

7. Friends that I've been blessed with throughout childhood and adulthood. Even when my mom died a couple of years ago friends from high school reached out to me. I have friends now who share the same faith and with whom I feel I can share just about anything.

8. Skills that I've picked up from work experiences. Thank you, previous babysitting and nanny employers, for letting me practice on your kids before I had mine. Now that my oldest is past the age when I cared for others' children, I wish that I had even more experience. My workstudy job in college was in the Computer Center -- I was sure that would be a disaster, but I learned so much and gained in confidence as well. Even my short stints in a hospital and assisted living helped me when I needed to care for my mom. Now I am in a job that sends me to trainings and task forces that I never had to time to be part of before -- I love this part of the job!

9. My family. I'll have been married for 16 years soon to the guy I fell in love with when we were working on our college production of The Good Doctor. I have 4 boys who were wonderful babies and are too quickly becoming young men. I've been able to share with and learn so much from them and received plenty of love along the way. I hope that I'll be able to instill in them some level of the love and security my mom gave me.

10. The medical care available to me and mine. I've often thanked God for letting me and my children live in a place where both standard and specialized medical care is readily available. I've told my husband that if we ever had to move, I'm sure that we could settle in with a new church congregation and that we'd work things out for school for the kids. But what would be the most unsettling thing is finding new medical care for the kids. I don't know how I would have made it through some of the crises with out the encouragement of Dr. Chaudhari and Ann and Dr. Amy and our Early Intervention specialists. Thank you all for being there and telling me I was doing a good job when things seemed so bleak.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Planning for Summer

Well, we're in full planning mode for summer now. Daniel & Nathan went to the Summer Camp Expo with me and we found some more interesting programs. The emails to plan for sleep-away camp have started and the weeks are getting blocked off on the calendar. All of the boys will go to a week of sleep-away camp with us and we hope that the 3 youngest can get into the 3 week day camp that they attended last year.

I'm looking into the Digi-Pen camp now that Drew is old enough. I'd love to get him into the Computing Workshop summer program at Duquesne, but our school district won't approve funding for it and it's a bit (no, a lot) too expensive for us to manage on our own. So I'll keep my fingers crossed for Digi-Pen & keep my eyes open for other opportunities. Drew will also be old enough for some of the high school/teen summer programs locally this year, but I don't know as much about those yet.

I'm not sure if we'll go to any medical conferences this summer -- the one I'm interested in is right before sleep-away camp. We're not due to go back to the NIH until next year, which disappointed the kids quite a bit. They love the Children's Inn and the rest of the place as well.

I should only have to present at a couple of workshops during the break. My goals are to keep clearing out stuff that the boys have outgrown, replace the carpeting, and rearrange the furniture. It seems like during the school/work year it's just a matter of scrambling from one week to the next which is really my only conflict about being at work. I also want to put my garden in again. I stopped when my mom was sick and didn't pick it back up, so this year I think that I'll make half the previous size & only put in the things that we totally loved. Probably just basil, tomatoes, watermelon & cantaloupes, squash, zukes, & cucumbers. If things get too hectic then I'll see if we can get added to the CSA delivery route.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A great day

We are blessed to have 3 different congregations within an hour's drive and we have worshipped with all of them at one time or another. We just started meeting with the church at Eastside -- we thought that we would stay with the group we knew and loved at Tomlinson Run, but there were several weeks in the last month that we could either take the parkway to meet at Eastside or not be able to go to services at all. Eastside just started meeting in the last year and we were meaning to go and visit. After gathering with them for several weeks when the roads were bad, we realized what a weight it was off of our shoulders to cut our drive time in half. I think that if we had visited Eastside in the middle of the gas price spikes, we might have made the decision sooner. But I am glad for the time that we spent with our sisters and brothers at TR.

Anyway, Bible class and worship were both very intense, in a good way. We are studying the Psalms in class and then a sermon on what the scriptures have to say about fasting. Both parts really encouraged me to concentrate and that's just what I need. Sometimes I have trouble staying "on task" when I'm trying to make sure that all four of my boys are doing what they should. Then I feel like apologizing to God for not being totally focused on worshipping Him. Other moms can make it look so easy!

I made sure that I planned for an easy meal when we came home so that my guys could watch the game. I'd put the barbeque chicken in one crockpot and green beans with bacon & onion in a smaller one. I got everything ready for the swiss & bacon (hmm - a recurring theme here to get plant materials consumed) potatoes and the honey butter biscuits. I'd have pineapple for fruit. Before I got dressed for services, the chicken and green beans were already starting to smell great.

We nearly had a mutiny on our hands after worship. We were invited over to eat with two families, but I'd already fixed our dinner at home. Eric and I conferred about picking up the crockpots and bringing them over to our closest invitation, but we ended up just letting our oldest go -- it was to my friends' who have twins his age.

So right now, the three littles are enjoying their weekend video game/computer time and Eric is parked in front of the tv -- it's Steelers 10, Cardinals 7.