September 26, 2007

Back to School Night

What do you do when your oldest child has a complete idiot for an English teacher? And when there is no teacher - only subs for science? And the only option is to have her drop her French 1b class ( which she enjoys and wants to have a full year credit before she enters HS)? And one option is to transfer her into and English class with a permanent sub?

I wonder why the Mt Diablo School District is failing miserably and teachers are fleeing as fast as they can? I know my hubby did. My intention is to be long gone by the start of next school year. To somewhere where a child's education is important to the school district, not just to the good teachers ( which, fortunately, both kids have a few!)

Maybe homeschool doesn't look so bad..........

September 16, 2007

Who Are You?

I found this on a comment list from the blog of "The funniest mom in the world" (on my list on the left). Made me cry. Made me realize that my job is one of the most important jobs I can do. I know my Father in heaven knows my intent and is proud of me for who I am raising. After all, He gave them to me. Thank you for the challenge!

It started to happen gradually. One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, "Who is that with you, young fella?"

"Nobody," he shrugged.

"Nobody?" The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, "Oh my goodness, nobody?"

I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family - like "Turn the TV down, please" - and nothing would happen.

Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, "Would someone turn the TV down?" Nothing.

Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We'd been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, "I'm ready to go when you are." He just kept right on talking. That's when I started to put all the pieces together. I don't think he can see me. I don't think anyone can see me. I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not! No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30 , please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going she's going she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees." In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
* No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."
And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women. ~ Nicole Johnson

September 15, 2007

One Pan Taco Dinner

If you want a REALLY easy dinner, you have to try this. It's one of my favorites to pull out when I can't think of anything else.
I found this recipe on the back of a Minute Rice box that my sister in law gave me when the moved. (And I hate minute rice.)
Here it is:

1lb ground beef
1 pkt (1 1/40z) taco seasoning
2c Minute White Rice, uncooked
1c shredded cheese

1. Using a large skillet or pot with lid, brown meat; drain - put back in pan.
2. Add 2c water & seasoning mix; stir. Bring to boil.
3. Stir in rice. Sprinkle with cheese; cover. Cook on low for 5 minutes!

I ususally double this recipe. I use the taco seasoning from costco and add a bunch. I use more than 1 cup of cheese, too.
They suggest adding lettuce and tomatoes. I have added avocado and more cheese. We like to use chips to scoop it with. Always add a plop of sour cream, too. So fast and easy. A good one for the kids to help/make. Every one loves this dinner. Even my picky kid. I have to be careful to not make it too often, or it will be burned out.

Do you have any REALLY easy meal to share??? Please do!


September 13, 2007

Please pray for Tyler

A friend of my sister's and our family, Heidi McMillan (she's on my side list). Her little boy, born Sept 4, was born with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome. She explains it all through her blog. Read her blog and pray for Tyler. He had heart surgery yesterday. Things started out well and now its moment by moment. She is an amazing Mother in Zion, knowing that her sweet baby belongs to the Lord and knows that his mission will be fulfilled while he is on this earth. Heidi's faith is unmovable. Her peace is felt through her words. She has been a member of the church since she was 18. Not that many years ago. And yet she seems like she's been a member for ever. ( I think she has - she just didn't know it.) Thank you, Heidi, for your strength and example to me.

September 6, 2007

How much do you blog?

68%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Dating Site

I found this on a "friends" blog (someone I don't know but want to). My husband says I'm addicted. It could be worse!

September 2, 2007

two weddings... too tired....

I was tired of looking at the mushroom... so I thought I would post a few pictures of the 2 weddings mom and I did this weekend.

This one Friday evening... It was the most magical and BIGGEST we've done in a while. It was a dear friend of my mom's and it was the families 5th daughter - and last to marry. I will post more detailed pictures later.

This wedding was the next day - at the same place - in the heat of the day. We did the brides sister's wedding last February. My 2 little girls got to come with us to help. It was an amazing experience to witness this sweet couple and their love for each other. And to show my girls that love is possible no matter who you are and what you look like.