Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Daddy & Daughter Donut Day (can you say that 5 times fast?)

Monday morning was "Daddy & Daughter Donut Day" at Saucy Girl's school. And Mommy and Daddy forgot! Ouch! I even wrote it on my calendar.

As I pulled up the school and started into the drop-off line I noticed there were cars parked everywhere and there were very few in the line itself. "What's going on here?" I said outloud. Then just as quickly as I said it, I remembered. I gently explained to Saucy Girl that today was Daddy Donut Day and that the Daddy's who either didn't work or worked from home or worked closed to town could come. (She knows her Daddy works a good 30 miles from her school). She said "ok" and headed into the building.

As I left the school I cried for her and then I called The Coach. I told him how I felt awful for forgetting. I was having a "Sabbath" on know, a day of rest. :-) Unfortunately, I rested all day and didn't pull out my calendar to review the week on Sunday night. "I'll make it up to her" said The Coach and with that we hung up.

Cut to 7pm that evening...The Coach walks in the door and, as usual, the kids run to him. Saucy Girl notices he has a box of donuts in his hand. He looks at her and says, "Someone told me that today was Daddy & Daughter Donut Day". "Yes it was" said her little voice. So The Coach said, "Well, let's go have a donut".

My heart was full as I sat and watched The Coach have a donut with Saucy Girl (before he'd even had his dinner). I am so blessed.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Here's what will be on the table this week at The Coach's House!

Monday - Cheesburger Rolls & Homemade French Fries

Tuesday - Chicken Italiano & Rice

Wednesday - Quick Picnic Pasta (we eat between dance classes)

Thursday - Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas & Spanish Rice

Friday - Homemade Pizza

Be sure to check out the other menu's at I'm An Organizing Junkie!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

POINT 1: We have an older model Whirlpool washing machine and this past Monday it quit agitating and spinning. I don't know about you, but we do lots of laundry here at The Coach's house. Each family member goes through approximately 2 sets of clothes per day! The Coach has dress clothes and practice clothes each day, Veggie Boy is a walking mess, Saucy Girl is apparently always doing a fashion show and needs to wear multiple outfits, and me, well, some days I have "cleaning clothes" and then a set of regular clothes for errands, bible study, etc. Needless to say the pile starts to stack up! Point being...I cannot go without a washing machine.

POINT 2: The Coach is a fabulous husband and father - but, a handyman he is not! Not to mention his time schedule. Let's just say he was a handyman. I guess he could get up at 4am to repair the washing machine before he left for work or he could repair it after he came home and ate know, around 9pm. The Coach is in season and that makes our life a little bit crazy. (Fellow Coach's Wives...Can I get an Amen?) He works very long days and weekends too. Point being...The Coach is very busy and not handy.

So, what's a frugal coach's wife supposed to do with a broken washing machine and a no handyman within 30 miles? D.I.H. Yes, Do It Herself!

A quick phone call to the local, U-Fix-It and I, with the help of the sales associate, had diagnosed the problem and knew what part I needed. I paid the $18.65 for a new coupler and headed home to make the repairs. 1) Remove the washing machine casing 2) Remove the motor and pry off the old coupler lodged onto the motor and the other piece that was attached to the transmission 3)Install the new coupler and reattach the motor 4) Replace the washing machine casing and voila! Repair Complete.

Yeah. If only that easy. I started my repairs Tuesday afternoon and had a relatively easy time of it until I couldn't get the motor back into place. At which time I was flooded with emotion. My body ached from working in a very small, hot, cramped area. I felt defeated because I wasn't able to complete the job and I sat there moved to tears. (Disclaimer - I am normally this emotional :-)) What was I going to do? A new washing machine just isn't in the budget right now and I really wanted to repair this myself for The Coach and our family. I sat there...dirty, sweaty, crying...and cried out to the Lord. (He said we could take even the trivial stuff to Him, right?) I asked God to give me physical strength to hold the motor and reattach; I asked for His help in making this repair for my family. I dried my eyes and tried again. Nothing. I still couldn't get it.
Wednesday passes, Thursday passes, Friday passes...Saturday morning arrives and I know I've got to get back in there to finish my repair. I say a little prayer to start my work. Within 15 minutes...V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!!! I was so excited I shouted it out loud. The kids thought I was crazy for sure! I called The Coach and held the phone to the washing machine as it agitated and told him I had done it!
Frugal Friday Tip - Don't think you can't make a repair! Do It Yourself! Say a prayer and stick with it.
By the way - By my calculations this repair saved my family approximately $300!! (and that's doesn't account for delivery, taxes, extended warranties, etc)

Hat Tip to Debi Pearl's book, Created to Be His Help Meet for the idea of being my husband's helper.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

God Loves You!

A video that is as timely as the bible study! A visual reminder that God is always there for us. He wants to be with us and His love is amazing and never ending!

A Change in Perspective

Do you ever think you have everything under control just to have God hit you between the eyes and remind you to check yourself?

I'm a part of a women's bible study here in our community and today was our 2nd meeting. We are studying Cindi Woods' Victoriously Frazzled and last weeks' topic was very timely for me. In our study we focused on the idea of keeping God and our relationship with him a top priority. Ok, seems like we should know that by now, right? I don't know about you, but it's easy for me to get so wrapped up in the daily business of our life that I don't consistently make time for God. We needlessly stress ourselves out because we fail to rely on Him. We fail to take everything, even the tiniest stuff, to Him in prayer. Exodus 14:14 says, "The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still" -- and some translations even say, "... you need only be silent". This is where God smacked me between the eyes. Everyday of the study seemed to reiterate this theme. It became more evident to me that there is a lack of balance in my life. I short-change myself and my relationship with God and put my husband, kids, family-life, home, etc above everything else. God was calling me home this week.

In my previous post I shared my homeschool desires and frustrations. Last week I was ready to homeschool in light of the "obvious concerns" I had with the kids schooling. But God has really been trying to speak to me this week.

Apparently I am the one who needs to be 'schooled'. I need to learn to find myself in Him. I need to trust that we are living in His will as he has blessed us immensely. I need to calm down, relax, rest in His arms and take it all to the cross. I need to release the idea of homeschooling (for now anyway) so that it doesn't become a weight dragging me down emotionally. I have to quit carrying it in my back pocket, bringing it up everyday with The Coach. He carries his own stresses this time of year. Our children are receiving a good education in a good district.

I need to teach my son to pray for his teacher. I need to be the example for Veggie Boy and Saucy Girl. God richly blessed us with our new home and a great school system. He has blessed me with the gift of time. I haven't had time alone in several years and I think the idea completely freaked me out. I truly believe God is teaching me the concept of 'sacred balance'.

So, in obedience to the promises in Exodus 14:14, Psalm 91:1 and Matthew 11:28 I am releasing my children's education to God. I am taking a deep breath, relaxing in Him, and "keeping silent". Sometimes I just need to shut-up (but, ask my husband and he'll tell you that I probably don't know how ! :-) and quit over-thinking things. I am taking one day at a time. I will be thankful for each day God gives to my family. The kids are in the middle of a semester and we will be actively involved in their education. Taking it step by step, holding God's hand the entire way. He will reveal to us what the next step is and when it should happen - BUT, in the time being, I will Him.

How about you? Has God smacked you between the eyes lately. I would love to hear how He has spoken to you.

Blessings, Stranger-Friends!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Putting It In Neutral

I have so many thoughts running through my head that I'm not quite sure where to start. My "brain in overdrive" is not a new situation for me so it's a very familiar feeling; however, where I struggle is slowing it down and organizing the thoughts for others.

Thought 1:
A little over a week ago, our computer decided to die. I'm not very computer savvy, but it's broke. Yes, that's the technical term (in case you were wondering). Broke. Fortunately, I have a fabulous connection and we have a loaner!!! Even my husband admits that when I have the computer as an outlet I am a much happier person. It's very weird, I know. I really miss my stranger-friends when I don't check in with my daily blog reads. It was a long week without so much as checking my email, but I survived.

Thought 2:
The Coach is really struggling. The season is has started and it's been rough. The first game was so promising and exciting. We were all looking forward to the rest of the season and could really see the hard work paying off. But then Game 2 came and we recorded another mark in the "L" column. Thursday was Game 3 and much to my hearts dismay, we now sit at 0-3. The kids and I met The Coach at the edge of the field and they wrapped their little arms around him and offered their love. "I love you, Daddy". At 9 & 5 they understand how a loss feels.

As his wife I want to make everything okay for him. It breaks my heart to see my big, strong Coach welling up on the sideline. It is so hard to hear him question himself and his program. I stand with him and hold his hand and tell him that I believe in him. I believe in his goals and dreams for this group of kids. 'Tis but a moment. By the end of Friday he had renewed his spirit. He is there to change lives. For My Coach, it's not all about the win/loss column. It's about making a difference in the lives of young men. His heart is for these boys who come to him and need so much...a friend, a father, a role model and more.

Thought 3:
Back in March , The Coach and I began thinking about the possibility of homeschooling Veggie Boy and Saucy Girl. In the form truest to my nature, I jumped into the research with both feet. I delved into several books (Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, Catholic Education Homeward Bound, etc.) and found online information regarding every aspect you could imagine. The Coach and I NEVER had entertained this idea before. As a matter of fact, when my sister began mentioning it for her family, I probably discouraged her..."you'll never get a break"..."you'll be completely responsible for their education"..."education is something you only get one shot at - if you mess it up you'll regret it"...(I know I was relentless). But God was now stirring something in me. So,I began a novena (9 day intensive prayer for a specific intention) and really sought God's will for our family. After a 2 month discernment process The Coach and I made the decision to homeschool our kiddo's. Which is why I know struggle with the fact that our children are attending the local public school. ugh! We made the homeschool decision prior to buying our new home in June. We felt compelled to reevaluate home education since we are now in a small community (still only one elementary school in town). We felt our kids might be cheated of relationships if all the neighborhood kids were attending school together and ours weren't.

All of that said, the last 3 weeks have been so hard...for me! I am very sensitive to everything happening at the school. When Veggie Boy speaks, daily, of how his teacher "yells" at them I cringe inside as I tell him that there just isn't anything I can do about it. I cannot sit in the classroom each day to ensure she isn't raising her voice. When Saucy Girl brought home a note from the school principal stating that parents could no longer accompany their children into the building, she feel apart and climbed into my lap while we sat in the carpool line to pick up Veggie Boy and it was all I could do to not loose my emotions too.

The parenting decisions we are called to make are sooooo hard! I really need the handbook! I could create a list of things The Coach and I are unhappy with - academic and administrative as well - but, that won't help matters. Talking last night in the dark of our room, The Coach shook his head and said, "let 'em finish the 6 weeks".

We need to talk again - just to be sure we are on the same page - but I think my kiddo's are coming home!! I feel a sense of relief and peace (even though the work is just beginning) :-)

I hope the kids are as excited!

Well stranger-friends, thanks for letting me talk it out. It's getting late, The Coach is out scouting and I don't think I'm gonna stay up waiting on him tonight. He's working tomorrow so the kids and I will attend Mass without him (2nd week in a row) and I hate that, but............ 'tis but a season.

Good Night!