Sunday, February 27, 2011


Friendship comes in all shapes and sizes..... race or culture.......long hair or short.....neighbor or distance matter how you describe your friend, there is nothing like having one. or 2,3, or4 Just ask the two above- that would be Samuel and September Moon. What tempted me to write about friendship and post these particular photos is due to my recent conversations with my Gracie. My dear Gracie is going through something at this time in her's's heart's not what any woman wants from her marriage.... I'm trying to keep her spirits up.....I'm trying to make her laugh as I always have done in 22 years.....I'm trying to be a friend.
Like any friendship, it takes patience and understanding. There are boundaries and there is trust. Like a marriage
There are moments of frustration and there are memories that can be made into precious stepping stones. In a friendship- the relationship is formed, molded, sewn or stitched.
I like to think of my friendship with Gracie as a tapestry that has been created over the past 22 years. In this tapestry there have been threads that came loose....we mended the torn threads....there have been new memories added to our tapestry as well. We have been able to watch this tapestry of friendship catch us when we fall, when we failed, when we traveled through some of the darkest hours of our womanhood wrapping us in comfort.....this tapestry has given us such a cozy has caught the rain for us while antiquing on an October has been used for Chinese food evenings and apple dumpling mornings.
Now, when my friend needs me the most.....I found myself running out of tapestry. I have tried so hard to say and do the "right thing" for her. For us, for our friendship
I try to avoid saying "things will get better", "look at your future"...... oh, please
What I'm trying to say to her is what helped me get through some of my hours of moments of doubt and not too long ago, my fear(s) of everything coming to a dead end after so much planning and changes that have been made.
Removing ourselves from the turmoil that we have found in our lives, whether we created it or someone has placed us in the messiness - and place our trust in Him is the only way.
I ask you.... will you place Gracie in your prayers? I love her like a sister and it hurts in my heart to see her suffer in sadness. She knows me all too well.... she knows I've been down this road a long long time ago.... and she knows I got through it. But when the "shoe is on the other foot" I dislike cliches it is much harder to digest what others are saying, advising, suggesting..... all we can do is listen.
Like a good friendship~ China Doll and her BFF are proud to be sewing their memories into the tapestry.
"Gracie & a little Apple Cheeks with me on our opening day of Simple Dimple! {5/2008}
Family tapestry is just as beautiful..... my Eva and I. Eva is not only beautiful on the outside, she is the most genuine person I think my family {as well as Gracie} has ever been blessed to have in our lives.

As you see....friendship comes when you least expect it. Apple Cheeks is posing with a band member of The Dialogue. This band member and Apple Cheeks formed a friendship from first sight..... as you can see, she became the bands official PR girl! Gracie's son is the lead singer!

Friendship. Now, I'm going to pick up the phone and call Gracie...... my friend.


Friday, February 18, 2011

What am I thinking...more importantly, what do you think?

> This was me today. Well, it's not actually me, it's Apple Cheeks- however I thought her expression could pretty much sum up how I felt during my work day.
All week!

Perhaps I could get some help here from my blogging friends. I'm feeling as if I'm all over the map with my emotions....guilt, anger, frustration, fear which then leads into exhaustion, more guilt, blame game wrapped up in a brown paper package tied up with string.........

It's my job.
*Guilt has surfaced because I am now working full time- Apple Cheeks is in preschool full time-
she is adjusting "okay" for the most part~ but there are moments of frustration when she wants to be home with mommy...... like at the "old house" back in PA..... and then this is when my frustration tips the scale. I'm feeling frustrated because I don't know how to balance my work time and my home time. I did it before.... why can't I do it now? Is it because I was home for almost 6 1/2 years with my older kids and 4 of Apple Cheeks 4 1/2 years? I should be able to juggle everything....after all I'm SuperWoman! um... no I'm not
I begin to feel fear when I can't accomplish my schooling. My classes are not challenging....but I struggle to stay on task. my teens are told they will succeed in school/college when they apply themselves why am I not able to tell myself the same?
I'm exhausted by the time I get home from school. My students are draining. yes, even my precious "V" from Russia makes me feel as if I just received my first concussion
I requested a teachers aid. Was refused. I requested a part time "floater" for those hands on moments when my non-English students need my undivided attention. no can do for you
I blame myself because I wanted THIS job! I wanted to be part of a brand new ACADEMY.
Who did I become- George Bailey?
I wish I had a million dollars!

I've been eating lunch alone. I like that
I've been sneaking into a closed off classroom to hide from my co-teachers to eat in peace.
I've been texting my husband in tears- and he is unable to text me back because of his busy schedule.
I've made some decisions.

*I'm going to place my classes on the back burner. to simmer not to spoil
*I'm planning on applying for job positions within the enormous school districts throughout the DC Metro area and Northern VA. it could take 2 years or more!
**My goal is to land a position within a public school in order to match the schedules of my children. the Academy is open year round- they run a summer camp
**Once I get there....I will get back on track with my classes.

Football Superstar feels this is important not only for our kids, but for me. He sees right through me. As much as I try to not complain and whine I do. And he never once serves me a plate of cheese and crackers with my whining.
We were both in this decision to move together. And it was the best decision we made. 100% the best
I guess all this whining is due to my job. I give my sister(s) an earful..... I give Gracie earfuls too.... and now I'm giving you an earful. oh lucky readers!!!!!!
I feel as if I was given an earful during my interview and during corporate training that now those promises are not being kept. such as my class tuition reimbursement!!!
As I write in my prayer journal each night- asking for yet another chance in the work field- I feel selfish and childish. I feel perhaps I need to stop whining and be thankful for what God has given me {us} these past few months. We are here. We asked for guidance in our decision to move. We were given such an opportunity- why am I complaining? Especially when there are thousands of people out of work- in need- and lost.

Maybe I just cracked an egg on my own head. Wake up girl! I'm giggling because the Dove candy wrapper that I ate today said this: NO LIMITS FOR TODAY
Should I frame this wrapper? Or do I just frame my prayers and goals?

Care to meet me for a cup of java and chat? wouldn't that be fun!
Would love to hear your thoughts!

Have a wonderful weekend...... it feels like spring here!

*And just for the record.... Apple Cheeks was not pinched in the photo above. It was taken during one of her potty breakdowns!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Francesca Battistelli- This Is The Stuff

It's 8:45~ China Doll needs to be at her high school to catch the bus at 9:00 with the rest of her gymnastics team. Today is Districts.
As China Doll is grabbing her gym bag she says to me "oh yeah, Mom I need....." and begins to ramble a few items NOT in the gym bag! What??? Why didn't you inform us last night? You know when we said "anything else needed?"!! Okay no problem, I grab the stuff needed....we head out the door.....Apple Cheeks stops dead in her tracks because a squirrel is in her way.....OMGOSH it's a squirrel not a grizzly bear, let's go! We get into the car..... we are heading over Loudoun County Parkway when China Doll says "are we going to make it?"
I take a deep breath pretending this gorgeous living breathing daughter of mine did not just ask me this....... oh, great....traffic! I manage to get China Doll into the BR parking lot at 9:02 on the dot!
Apple Cheeks and I are heading home...... as we are I begin to make yet another mental note in my head of what I will need to do before heading to this gymnastic meet. I hit a huge pot hole!
In all areas why would a huge pot hole be here on this brand new 1 year old road?!
Football Superstar is at work and will not be pleased if I call giving him news of a blown out tire. brand new tires that is blown out tire....things are good..... what the what?! Now I know why Canadian Geese can take down a jet plane......I've never seen so many gosh darn big birds in all my life!
Coming out of the Redskins Park were and I'm not joking at least 50 Canadian Geese!
What was their plan runs through my head? They stay put but my heart was in my throat....and to top if off I then noticed that I was driving 45 in a 25 mile zone!
As I began to squabble using the words "this stuff drives me crazy!" my sweet calm 4 year old says to me "mommy, just like the song" and she begins to sing to me!!!! Laughter with a poke of tears happy tears got us home. The meet doesn't officially begin until 1:00. Ahhh.......

Enjoy your weekend.
PS: Be sure to read Ramblergirl- her latest post Hating Hope is a good read!
I have read so many awesome post this morning..... thanks for sharing!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge.
Living life with Purpose.
Sunday service message from Pastor K. Like Pastor S., he is strong willed- determined to touch the lives of the broken people- those is mass numbers in his auditorium. 2,500 at best
On this day, teens take over the auditorium. The jr.&sr. high teens from Edge. My daughter is one of them.

This was our message:

The most important thing you can do is invest your life in the next generation.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1

Bottom line is we need to be willing to change because unless you are completely turned off from society- things are changing rapidly. The church must understand the changes- there is a battle going on in the lives of our young generation. Our youth. Our future leaders.
Connecting with our youth shows that we believe in them.
No matter what your label reads- we need to invest in our young generation now. Adapt and sacrifice to touch them. Here is a story that was shared~

A 70 year old woman came to follow Christ. She asked her Pastor "what can I do to make up from the time that I did not follow Christ....that I was not living as He did.....loving, caring, giving....." Her Pastor suggested she "invest" in the college students that live in her community. She decided to make cards and walk through the college campus handing out invitations to all who passed by. Invitation to her home for tea every day beginning at noon.
The first day the woman made a pot of tea, plated scones- and waited. No students came.
The woman returned to the campus handing out invitations and even posted a few on boards in the dorm entrances. Day two. No students. After 16 days she returned to her Pastor asking rather discouraged- "do I continue". Her Pastor agreed. Day 17. The door bell rang- as the woman answered the door a young Vietnamese student stood at her door. He introduced himself explaining he was homesick. They enjoyed tea and scones with conversation that led into Christ. The next day- the young student was back with a friend. For the next 10 years this woman was hosting afternoon tea with the college students. At the age of 80, she passed away. This woman, who invested in our youth....had over 100 pallbearers {friends}. She made a difference.

After listening to this story, through the tears, I thought to myself- Have I invested in our youth? I try to stay up to date with their music, {it's difficult when they change their selection month-to-month} their style of fashion, their girlfriends/boyfriends, gasp their facebook pages and their texting. However, trust comes to mind when raising teens. We have our family discussions.....they know their boundaries.....and they will know their own guilt when the boundaries and trust is broken. But knowing the youth that surround me daily, weekly, and even on weekends I'm not sure. I don't want to embarrass China Doll or Freckle Boy by asking the ice breaking question(s) to their friends in my home...... and frankly I wouldn't want to embarrass myself by conducting a "strip search" of their souls!
It's the young generation that I see outside of my home. At work. At the mall. Pulling up beside me at the traffic light in their cute little Audi.

China Doll mention to me today that she told her "boyfriend" my eyes are rolling she would rather just date and not be in a relationship. What? I'm sorry...we had no idea you were in a relationship? Did the boy? And how did you explain this to "P"? I sent a message through facebook. Oh, geez poor guy. Then again..... I remember passing a note to a friend so another friend could give it to the guy that I just wanted to "date" and not have a relationship with in school! OMGOSH!
Freckle Boy tells me he is tired of girls just wanting to "talk about dating" for a month or so before they actually begin dating! I gotta love this kids honesty....he is a lot like his father!
No matter how my teens inform me of their love interest again I gasp our job is to listen. To support - guide- and with a dash of seasoning tweak their lingo. that's guiding right?

Thoughts of the service again make me think......
Stepping off the edge for our kids today may just save their souls.
As the closing of service came there was a roar from our young teens in the auditorium.
I began to cry. I began to think there is hope. Role models who step off the edge to save this generation. I'm planning on stepping off the edge. Now, I may need to be reminded with my own kids that I'm stepping off the edge - not pushing them off the edge!

I'm worried about this generation. Their relationships with people. Their priorities.
Their need to feel loved- feeling worth- feeling accepted.

Are you with me? yes

God does not call us to live a life of comfort, but to live life on the EDGE.