1. The way he rubs his right temple when he's lost in thought.
I picked up this book in the library because I knew I had seen a positive review of it... somewhere. I brought it home and tried to wade through it. I'll be honest:I still haven't finished it, and am not sure I can (I'm almost 200 pages in, though, so I think I can at least speak with authority about its mediocrity).
when I sing praise to you—
I, whom you have redeemed.
So, remember these days? When I did Good Things Out There? And remember how I was going to feature a precious little Etsy shop each week? Yeah, me neither. I totally forgot about all of that.
I happened across my neighbor's/Ashley's math teacher's/Reese's mom's blog. And on her blog she mentioned her Etsy shop. Oh, yeah. I like Etsy shops. And y'all? Hers is PRECIOUS! I almost picture stuff this cute inside my head, but if I am ever going to attempt it, it simply fails in execution. And? for me? She's local (like, walking distance local!)!! So when I need a wedding gift -- BAM!
If you would like to add your 'Good Thing' button to your blog, copy the code into an 'HTML' box on your sidebar:
My daughter became adult-sized long before she was adult shaped or even out of elementary school. Passing five feet tall in fourth grade, she had a difficult time growing into her long legs and ginormous feet that she inherited from her mother.
One night several years ago, due to events none of us ever understood other than the gravity of the earth, her feet came completely out from under her while walking into the kitchen. With hands full of dishes to put away, the entirety of her adult-sized body landed on her tailbone on the tile floor. While my husband and I stood over her trying to help her, it quickly became obvious that even if there were something you could do for an injured tailbone, we didn’t know what it was, and simply watching her cry and writhe in pain was heartbreaking.
So he squatted down and without a groan or moan scooped up her adult-sized body as if she were still a toddler and carried her to a more comfortable spot
-because she’s still his baby girl
-because she needed him
-because he’s the daddy.
Isn’t it only fitting that Father’s Day fall a month and a week behind Mother’s Day? That’s about right for poor ol’ Dad. It’s reminiscent of the car choking its way into the hotel. Mom takes the kids to the pool to get them out of the way. Dad shows up over an hour later with battery acid burns on his hands, grease on his clothes, steam still coming out of his ears, and holes where he bit his tongue trying not to say “no-no words” in front of other hotel guests. The kids want to know what took him so long, mom is ready to go eat, and dad just needs a nap, but the car is drivable again and all is right with the world and the family vacation.
One of my most consistent memories of my own father is the sound of his bare feet shuffling down the tiled hall after everyone else was in bed. Before I could hear his feet, I had heard the clicks and flips of locks and switches as he had locked the house up and turned off all the lights, tucking the house in and keeping us all safe the way daddies do, and being the last to take care of himself like daddies do.
Daddies’ jobs are a study in contradictions. Daddies teach the Little Leaguer the ultra-tough perfect power triangle batting stance, yet are ready to wipe the tears when the game doesn’t go our way. Daddies may be called on to salvage Barbie from a deep sea expedition in the toilet, or to sit in on a tea party. Daddies protect the attic, basement, yard, and home from rodents, insects, mean dogs, spiders, and unwelcome salesmen, yet can whip up a mean pan of brownies when company comes or just because it sounds like fun.
Daddies have it tough in their task, but I have learned that they aren’t burdened down with a guilt gene like we moms are. They measure out punishment the way it should be: by being firm, fair, and consistent. Later, there might be a sno-cone just because.
Your house may not have such a warm, fuzzy image of a daddy – for whatever reason. But I have found that Abilene doesn’t have a shortage of men who will love on young people in much the same way. My family has done Little League, youth basketball, public school P.E., soccer, Sunday school, sports camps, and bazillions of other activities. While we have encountered some people we would rather not see again, the majority of the men who will spend their time devoted to such activities have blessed us beyond measure and I’m thankful those men will give love, time, and encouragement to children who need to see a daddy in action.
For this Father’s Day I hope you let Dad know you appreciate him. I also hope you let him rest and put his feet up. You never know when you’ll need him to pick you up off the ground – and he’ll be right there to do it, too.
(for Father's Day, I was also tasked with writing this article about an AMAZING family. You may want to click over and read about the family from Rwanda).
I did finally make a blog roll, but like the rest of my life, it isn't organized how I want it. Right now it is updated as often as a post is made. So, newest posts are on top and I'm going to guess that Vonnie and Donna -- two of my teacher friends -- are still hovering around the bottom.
Progress, not perfection, people...
Or, is it too soon to put my 15 month old in lessons?
Or something along those lines.
Believe me, people -- I was that mom.
I put my three year old in swim lessons. SO excited for that baby to love to swim as much as I do. And I sat in a steaming hot swim center wrestling an 18-month old while she screamed as if her life were in jeopardy as those poor high school swim teachers wondered what in the world they had done to deserve such a horrible job.
So. After being a mom a few more years and teaching way more kids to swim here is my current philosophy on swim lessons (drumroll please) (and what I would tell that frazzled, sweaty younger me):
Save your money. (or, more accurately, spend it differently). Instead of spending your money on swim lessons for your 3 year old, spend it on a pool membership for your family. Do not try to teach that baby anything. Let her learn on her own. Let her play and figure it out in her own time (which she did, given enough water play time).
That is pretty much my philosophy for kids 3 or younger. When I taught private lessons (which I don't anymore) I wouldn't teach any younger than 5. At my group lessons, they will take them as young as 4. I have some 4 year olds that are doing GREAT. Another group has two 4 year olds that scream the ENTIRE 45 minutes. So, it can depend on the kid.
Other random thoughts/ philosophies on swimming and children:
1)Once they are in lessons, it can be like walking: once they are ready, it just clicks. Boom. They are swimming.
2)To actually swim: face in, alternating arms, blowing bubbles, and kicking-- is so many motor skills a child is generally about 6 or 7 years old before they can really master the crawl. They can safely move the water at 3 or 4, depending on strength and comfort in the water.
3)If your child was safely swimming and/or comfortable in the water at the end of last summer, DO NOT assume they have retained that knowledge and/or comfort level over the last 9-10 months. My babies will lose confidence over the weekend of swimming lessons. 9-10 months can be a LIFETIME for these guys. For that reason, sometimes it can also be better to sign your child up for swim lessons later in the summer rather than earlier if your child has been hesitant about the water (another mistake the younger, dumber me made). Most people want their kids in swim lessons immediately so that they will know how to swim the rest of the summer, but sometimes you spend the whole session just getting the child comfortable in the water instead of teaching him/her how to swim.
4)If you have a GOOD swim lesson program (like the one where I teach) kids continue to learn strokes and skills far beyond the crawl and backstroke. I have been challenged as a teacher, and both of my kids (ages 13 and 11) continue to take lessons (now in what's called 'Guard Start') and are challenged and grow as swimmers.
My children basically got comfortable in the water the summer that our house flooded. Sounds awful, doesn't it? No, I didn't throw them in. We had to move out of our house, and we ended up at some apartments that had a pool. What else would we do? We went to the pool. Every day. My kids (Ages 5 and 7 at the time) played in the water. I was lonely and bordering on insanely depressed and just sat by the pool every day -- not even reading. Just sitting. Barely awake. It's a wonder my children were safe. But they were safe, venturing a little further out every day. Figuring out what they could do on their own.
Maybe it was the next year (no, it was two) that the director of this swim program asked me to come be a teacher and it allowed my kids to have swim lessons for free.
I think it is crucial to get your children comfortable and safe in the water. SO crucial, in fact, I would recommend this: if your finances do not allow you to belong to a pool and/or get swimming lessons, I think you should treat it like a family vacation. Scrimp and save all year long to invest in that for your family. It's that important!
And then go do a big fat cannonball for me!
Um, I have SO much I want to tell you. Can't think of one thing right now.
Migraines? Getting MUCH better. Besides starting a medication as a preventative, I also am generally following the guidelines in this book (which is worth the click over for the cover photo alone). The title of the book is "Heal Your Headache: The 1-2-3 Solution." Part of the solution is to eliminate potential triggers from your diet. Not YOUR triggers, 'cause you likely don't know what they are, but any of a list of about a million six things that he, Mr. Migraine, says are. Which leaves me eating lots of meat and day-old bread (fresh bread is too yeasty, see). And I don't exactly like meat. So bread it is.
I actually have, by 'cheating' here and there, figured out one of my triggers and I am very, very sad. Almonds. Which explains why those mornings I had my healthy wheat toast with almond butter, I would be unable to go for a run... I'm too scared to see if peanuts are also a trigger which will eliminate peanut butter and, in short, most of the joy of life as I know it.
Blah, blah, I've found one or two more, Mr. Migraine also says if you are a migraine sufferer to get off of caffeine now and forever more and never look back. We'll see. I am currently off of caffeine... for.. I don't know (people keep asking me, but I swanny, I'm too groggy to tally it up) almost 3 weeks now? I keep waiting for that 'never felt better' and 'have so much energy' yada yada that people talk about. The basic problem is that I have established a very busy life that can only be maintained with a large dose of caffeine. Not sure how to remedy that. Summer is helping with lots of naps!
So soon I will regale you with stories of swim lessons, and what happened with the State Track meet and the Clyde relay teams, and so on and so forth, and why I got Pink Floyd's 'Brick in the Wall' stuck in my head last night.
So moving on. Back in the land of the living. Make it a great day!
"Most Christians don't have fellowship with God; they have fellowship with each other about God." - Paris Reidhead
All is not yet right with my health. I am getting there! I am finding how not to get migraines and how not to have energy. When I find out how to not get migraines AND have energy, I will completely be in business. Unfortunately, it requires a wee bit of energy to think through this process and try to solve the situation, and I don't seem to have any. I told the Lord today that I know He is in it and He will either lead me to a solution or give me enough strength to do His tasks for me each day. That's all I can ask for now.
So, while my brain is slogging through life, I shall just point you to someone else's words that I am still pondering. Evidently my brain isn't in TOO awful condition because these words were spoken yesterday at church, I interpreted them into sign language while simultaneously making a mental note to self: "Ooooh, that is GOOD. Remember for later."
I tried to find if this was recorded on video and if it was it hasn't been posted on our website yet.
Our congregation supports a ministry that was started by a young man who grew up in our congregation, along with his wife and another couple, who feels called to minister to the homeless. Matt Wallace, and his wife, Nikki still work with Dry Bones Denver.
Yesterday during church we connected with Matt using Skype. Matt was explaining why he and Nikki feel called to work with homeless and said (I'm quoting the best my muddled brain can remember):
"Nikki and I believe that grace is like water: it flows down and runs in streams and pools in the low places. That's where we want to be: in the low places."
Again, I was interpreting, but I really wanted to stop and ponder on grace pooling in the 'low places'. Isn't that the truth? Isn't that where grace is needed most and found most often?
My recent prayers have been to look like Jesus more every day. First, let me flat-out confess that I doubt that anyone around me would be able to tell that about me. But this statement made me think about that prayer. Where did Jesus aspire to go? The low places. Where could Jesus be found when not with his Father? The low places. If I am to look like Jesus, where should I strive to spend my time?
May I seek out the grace that has pooled in the low places today.