Uncategorized

Because at the End of the Summer We Simply Hope for Survival

Back in yon day, school started at the end of August. My poor friend Teri has a late-August birthday and many of her special days were completely ruined by the first or second day of school.

Not anymore. My kids are still home, thanks to some recent Michigan legislation that forces public schools to begin on the Tuesday following Labor Day. Our social media feeds show kids from other states already back in the classroom; the shine has worn off the new backpacks and the bus drivers have mastered their routes.

The sunflowers are ready, so that means we should be back to school. But we're not. Huh.
The sunflowers are ready, so that means we should be back to school. But we’re not. Huh.

Not in our house. In our house we’ve moved beyond summer fun to holy-crap-we’re-out-of-things-to-do. This is actually the first summer I’m not the one going crazy. The kids are finally old enough that they neither want nor need my constant, hovering attention. They’re just fine without me for hours on end. I’ve had complete thoughts and time to myself for the first summer since 2003. I feel like a new woman!

No, it’s the kids who are losing it. They’ve lost that summer glow. They’ve lost their wills to live. They’ve done all the swimming and the biking and the ice cream eating. Audrey’s dying to see her friends. Caleb’s dying to get back to the math. (That last part is a total lie.)

This was Audrey two years ago. That was the same face she made at me yesterday, minus the goggles and the pool.
This was Audrey two years ago. That was the same face she made at me yesterday, minus the goggles and the pool.

Yesterday they came with me to the office and Audrey sat in the visitor’s chair across from my desk. She stared sullenly at me for many consecutive minutes, until I finally cried, “Get out of here! You’re making me crazy!”

“But what can I do? I’m so bored,” she whined.

“I don’t care! I don’t care! Go take a nap on a couch. Take your brother and walk to Walgreen’s. I don’t care, just stop staring at me!”

I left them home alone today. They’ve probably watched six straight hours of television and had Fruity Pebbles for lunch, washed down with brownies and chocolate milk.

Come back, Mr. Bus. Come back!
Come back, Mr. Bus. Come back!

Fine. As long as I don’t have to see it directly, I don’t care. We’re in survival mode for the last free week.

Jen Hatmaker recently wrote a blog post for Today.com Parenting, and she put it like this:

Part of the reason Back to School is such a shock treatment is because we’ve spent the majority of our summer basically running a frat house. No schedules, no bedtimes, no fixed mealtimes, no mental development, no worries. What? You want cereal for lunch? At 2:30pm? Fine. It’s a free country. Summer Happy Hour starts in an hour and a half, so you just do you, man.

Amen, Jen Hatmaker. Amen.

While we  haven’t spent the entire summer in Frat House Mode, I think a week won’t kill us. At this point it’s all about simple survival, and praying we all make it out alive.

How’s it going at your house?

Hugging (and other things that surprise me as I get old)

I hugged Marty this weekend. I also hugged his wife, Sheila, and their daughter Bri. I also hugged a tiny little African woman during the greeting time at church on Sunday, and on Friday I hugged Susannah tight because I hadn’t seen her in almost a month. Then I grabbed up her babies and nearly nibbled their necks off while they giggled.

I’ve become a hugger.

I haven’t always been a hugger, because our family isn’t known for displays of affection. It’s not that we don’t love each other, it’s just that we love each other best from a distance of anywhere from twelve inches to three hundred miles. That’s pretty much our comfort radius for physical contact. If I want to make my brother extremely uncomfortable all I have to do is sit three inches too close to him on the couch. He gets this pained look like maybe he needs to be somewhere else.

I would have used my own siblings for this photo montage, but reference the above mentioned "hundreds of miles." They were unavailable for a photo shoot today.
How my family is comfortable sitting together on a couch. Cushions make excellent buffers. (I would have used my own siblings for this photo montage, but reference the above mentioned “hundreds of miles.” They were unavailable for a photo shoot today.)

And then I get the couch to myself.

I noticed this shift to Touchy-Feely-Hugger about twelve years ago, which coincides directly with the time my first baby was born. Having a small child pretty much gets you over the whole personal space issue because babies are notoriously unfamiliar with the concept of personal space.

Is this how normal people sit on the same piece of furniture? I'm not sure.
Is this how normal people sit on the same piece of furniture? I’m not sure.

It’s all their space. All of a mother’s body is suddenly the baby’s free-range area. And then time marches on, but toddlers and preschoolers are still most comfortable clinging to portions of their parents’ persons, and by the time they’re old enough to let loose a parent is pretty much dead to the idea of personal space.

"How to Irritate Your Brother So Badly He Feels the Need to Be Elsewhere."
“How to Irritate Your Brother So Badly He Feels the Need to Be Elsewhere.”

I could sit on a stranger’s lap on the subway at this point in my life and barely notice.

Um, too far? Sort of weird? Yes?
Um, too far? Sort of weird? Yes? (If this was me and my brother, someone would have been getting punched in the head right about now.)

What the children didn’t change for me, time took care of. Now that I’m in my very, very, very late thirties I don’t care whom I hug and if they think it’s weird or not. Hugs are nice. Given the proper circumstances, if a person is willing to come close and make actual contact with appropriate body parts, I think that’s exactly right.

Twelve years into parenting, this feels normal. If parenting ever feels normal, I guess.
Twelve years into parenting, this feels normal. If parenting ever feels normal, I guess.

(Notice I added the words proper and appropriate. Don’t call me for bail money if you don’t understand these boundaries.)

Life is hard, and tiring, and stressful. Hugs erase all of that for just a second. For a minute we get to close out the worry and the budget and the to-do list and just enjoy our loved ones. We welcome them into our personal space and create a bond that bridges gaps and years and words.

I wish I had a great biblical example to share here. I wish Jesus had gone from town to town, hugging his way through the crowds. I have yet to remember an example or a parable where this was so, but I do know he spent his ministry welcoming everyone to his personal space. He healed their sick and wept with the grieving. He walked with his men, slept in their boats, and ate at their tables.

So no. I don’t have any great Jesus-Was-a-Hugger stories to insert here. But I do know Jesus was a companion, a friend, and a blessing. I’m sure he was a hugger occasionally and they just forgot to mention it.

Today, I challenge you! Have you hugged anyone? Go find a person and hug them (remembering our key words of proper and appropriate). If you’re not a hugger and just can’t force it, at least try a warm smile and a few extra minutes to listen. Reach out, if only emotionally.

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. (Matthew 5:12-13)

Would you like to join my newsletter readers? Click here for the form!

Bicycles: I am internationally obsessed.

I need your advice. Is there an easy way to tell if an interest has crossed the line to obsession?

pink bike in Florence
A pink bike in Florence, Italy

Let’s say that… oh… a woman likes bicycles. Maybe she goes on vacation and takes a picture of one.

yellow bike in Traverse City
A yellow bike in Traverse City, Michigan

Or twenty.

And then maybe while on vacation she buys a t-shirt with a bicycle on it, comes home, wears it all the time and then thinks about framing the fabric when the shirt becomes unwearable.

bike in Rome
A beat up old thing on the streets of Rome

Maybe she finds herself staring at her daughter’s new bike in the garage, filled with gladness at the sight of it.

2015-07-23 17.25.13
A bike in our backyard

Maybe she sees an old lady riding down the bike path one day and the old lady is fluffy and plump and her bike is adorable and so is the pink helmet that is crushing her permed hair. Maybe she has to stop herself from hopping out of the car and running to the old lady and hugging her bike-riding cuteness all to death.

If there was such a theoretical woman, could it be possible that she has developed some sort of obsession?

And if she exists, should she seek help or just keep taking pictures of bikes?

Because she’s pretty sure she’s just going to keep going–she may be batty, but she’s I’m relatively harmless.

Right? I’m probably not due directly for the loony bin or anything. This new excitement is related to the new bike path some governmental office is running through our county. They’ve connected it to our little town and now the kids and I can ride in safety right through some woodlands and meadows and all other sorts of nature. We don’t even have to worry about getting hit by a monster truck!

When I was growing up my parents lived on a busy road in the country, which meant we had a high chance of getting hit by a semi and then thrown into the nearest drainage ditch while biking.

I didn’t find this option appealing.

And then one day I was riding my bike on my parents’ farm, ducked to go under a low tree branch, and smashed right into the back of the camper. The damage to my bike and my ego was fairly permanent. It’s taken me two decades to get over the trauma, but it seems I’ve overcompensated.

Now I’m eyeing a new bike at the little shop in town. It’s a retro style and the most delicious shade of tangerine. I would look super spiffy riding down the trail next to my daughter on her turquoise retro bike, and I think I’d be glad that I gave biking another chance. We could pedal off into the retro-colored sunset, enjoying one another’s company.

What about you? Do you need to revive any old interests? Do you have any new obsessions taking you by surprise?

2013-10-18 07.59.39
This one’s for all you boys who insist everything needs an engine. (in Florence)

 

 

Summer 2015: The Grit, the Glory, the Gratitude

Since we’re more than halfway through the summer of 2015, I feel like somewhat of an expert on the season. And although no one has asked me for this, I’m going to share my expert insights with you now.

You are very welcome.

Firstly. Global Warming, Global Schmarming. I do not believe in such a thing. I know our cousins on the west coast are “sweating to death” and have seen “temperatures like the sun” and they are “probably going to sizzle into a dust and then blow away in a Nino event.” Or so they report on the Facebook.

My flower say hello.
My flowers say hello.

But not here in southwest Michigan. A couple of weeks ago the news reported that we hadn’t had a 90 degree day in over 668 days, and we still haven’t had one. We were close last week when we hit 89, but 89 doesn’t count. Lake Michigan is still approximately the temperature of a glacier. We were there last week and our feet were numb from trying to walk near the shore. Numb, I tell you! However, the nights have been cool and beautiful and we’re saving a ton on our air-conditioning bill.

Secondly. I haven’t seen a tick in at least a month. I can’t explain why, but I’m certainly glad to be feeling less twitchy.

2015-07-18 13.08.45

Thirdly. We didn’t put up a pool this year, but someone gave us a hot tub and we’re trying to convince the children this is just as much fun. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you will remember that each previous summer I moaned and whined about our cheap pool because it caused me no end of trouble. Green water, leaks, off-balance chemicals– it was all just a nasty mess. I put my foot down and refused to do it again this year, and then along came the hot tub. Our daughter says it’s not as much fun, but the rest of us think it’s divine (and much less trouble!). We think she’ll change her tune in December when her friends can come over and join her in the spa-like waters in our own backyard.

Exhibit A
I took this picture a year ago. I do not miss this beast. I slashed the liner with a screwdriver when we took it down last September. True story.

Fourthly. The children are home for the summer. Because they are now 12 and almost 10, I am not at my wits end. (It helps that I work four days a week, too.) The kids are able to 1) make their own breakfasts 2) entertain themselves 3) go for bike rides around the neighborhood and 4) stay away when I’m making angry eyes and yelling about blog stats. Have you ever had a 12-year-old and almost 10-year-old? This has to be the best age group ever. I love it.

Their father and I relaxed on a bench while they managed their own merry-go-round.
Their father and I relaxed on a bench while they managed their own merry-go-round.

Fifthly. I’m still working on the companion devotional for If I Plug My Ears, God Can’t Tell Me What to Do. It’s coming along nicely and I’m quite pleased, and I hope to have it available here (free!) in the next week or two. I think I might do more devotionals and post them as free e-books, actually. Then I’ll use the blog here to be as dumb/ridiculous/sarcastic as I want, but actually write helpful/edifying/biblical things in the ebooks.

So how about you? How’s your summer going so far? Are you getting all the things done that you had planned?

Let’s Learn to Play Tennis (but we use the word “tennis” loosely)

The Clemences are not a sporty crowd.

And I mean the total sum of us are not a sporty crowd. Not the older generations, not the younger folk, not the way out extended cousins– nothing. We never have football blaring on the TV during holiday gatherings, we never gather at the park to play softball while the hot dogs roast on a grill, and we don’t sit in the rain to watch the kids play their umpteenth game of soccer.

But the summer is a long, boring space of time. We have to fill those hours with something, so we’ve recently invested in the world’s least expensive tennis rackets and a plastic container of balls. The kids were in funky mood on Wednesday, so after dinner I convinced them to get into the van to drive down to the closest tennis courts to practice.

Tennis in flip flops

They looked at me like I’d lost my ever-loving mind.

Me: “We need to get out of this house. Let’s at least try it.”

Caleb: “But what if someone’s there? It’ll be embarrassing.”

Me: “We’ll leave and go to the park if someone’s there.”

Caleb: “But what if someone comes while we’re playing? Can we leave then, too?”

Me: “Just get in the van.”

We drove down the hill to the school with tennis courts, only to be surprised at the condition of the courts. The nets were down and the weeds were up. I mean, waaaaay up. Some of them were waist-high, growing in the four-inch cracks in the surface. Our community isn’t rolling in cash and things often get a little neglected, but this felt more like a post-apocalyptic sort of tennis experience. In the end it added to the fun, because the kids used the rackets to whack down weeds in between serves.

weedy tennis court

I’d reviewed some basic tennis rules before we left, but it turned out it didn’t matter.

I have to say, and the children have given me permission to say this, that our offspring should not expect tennis scholarships to the college of their choice.

IMG_2508

Did we have fun?

Yes.

Did we actually manage to hit the ball a few times?

Yes.

Did we actually spend most of our time making fun of one another and then chasing the ball across a cracked and weedy expanse of what used to be tennis courts?

Yes.

Did we learn that we aren’t any good at tennis either and this doesn’t really bother us?

Yes, indeed.

I have a feeling that the good tennis courts are located across town at the new high school, but I don’t know that we’ll bother to go find them. After all, it wouldn’t be as much fun with a smooth, weed free court. And the chances that someone might show up to see our embarrassing efforts is much higher.

I think we’ll stay at the cruddy courts and continue to have a really good time.

 

According to the IQ Test, Things Could Be Worse

My friend Josie just walked out my front door with a gigantic briefcase in her hand, a briefcase that holds clues to the inner workings of my brain.

My actual brain, the gray blob that’s still left in my skull, is throbbing a little. I just took the WAIS-IV at my kitchen table, and mercy. If you’d ever like a slice of humble pie served up in your own kitchen, have a counseling student come and give you an IQ test.

Poor Josie is in her final classes before she is loosed upon the counseling world, and the powers that be determined that she and her colleagues should have experience in administering the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. Josie needed to find a few willing victims to sit through a three-hour test so she could practice administering it.

Who isn’t fascinated by the human mind? I’ve wanted to give out IQ tests for Christmas presents for years! I happily agreed to let Josie practice on me, even when she made it clear it would take us literal hours at the table. There was a point at about the two-hour mark where I questioned my earlier excitement. Josie was reading numbers and letters to me in groups, then making me recite them back to her after I’d alphabetized them and put them in numerical order. No paper involved, no reading. Just listening, remembering, then repeating.

I am not good at any of those things, it turns out.

Then there was a moment where I lost the complete will to live. I was staring at pictures of scales, trying to figure out what shapes would balance the scales. Little drawings mocked me with their codes and puzzles. Imagine the frustration of staring at the yellow stars and the red balls and then wondering if they are heavier than the green square. I could have probably figured some of them out, given an entire day and a math assistant.

Josie did not give me permission to call my math assistant/husband.

“One!….?” I call out, squinting up my eyes and putting a question at the end of my proclamation. (endure long pause while Josie writes down the wrong answer…) She flips to a new page. I stare again.

“Five!” (because I can’t very well answer one again, can I?)

“Three!” “Two!” (close eyes and hope scales balance themselves without my input…)

It wasn’t all scales and memory games, though. I had a few hot rounds of puzzles and word games. I might not be a complete dullard after all, but I doubt I’ll ever actually know my IQ. I didn’t ask Josie for the results, and she didn’t offer to share them when she gets it all calculated.

I think we’re all better living with the mystery. Let’s assume I’m smart enough to get through the day and you’re smart enough, too.

Here, if you’re in the mood, let me recreate the IQ test for you. You can ask whatever companions are handy at the moment and assess their mental acuity:

  • Define these words: apple, harmony, parsimony
  • Recite these numbers and letters back to me after you sort them out. Give me the numbers first, then the letters. Numbers must be in numerical order, letters must be alphabetized: 4H2 (becomes 24H), 9J (stays 9J), P64WS1 (becomes 146PSW), 3NN31D (becomes 133DNN)
  • Answer these questions: Why do some people feel it’s important to protect the environment? How are a cheetah and a moose similar? If David has 99 pies and shares 50% of them after he eats three of them, how many pies does he have left? (Remember, no paper. Gotta do it all in your head.)
  • Now figure out what should go in the empty box:
I don't actually know the answer. Six stars, maybe?
I don’t actually know the answer. Six stars, maybe?

 

Good luck to you!

Poopsie and Beanie Squabble Over Cell Phones (or lack-thereof)

Poopsie is now in her golden years, considering the purchase of some orthotic shoes, a girdle, and possibly a cane. Her eyelids are sagging and her knees are creaking. The high-waisted pants at Lands End are looking better and better with each passing season.

(Actually Poopsie’s in her late 30s, but to hear Beanie describe the situation you would imagine Poopsie to have one foot tentatively aimed toward the grave.)

Beanie is an entire twelve years of age, plus a few weeks. She feels quite grown up and quite ready for her own cell phone. She has started haranguing Poopsie for her own cell phone multiple times each day. Sometimes even before breakfast, the child starts in on her “needs.”

Poopsie is not in agreement. Of course, Poopsie came of age in the 1980s, when things like texting and the internet were imaginary, like unicorns. She grew up in a house with a phone that weighed five pounds and sat on a desk like a lead ball. A twirly cord attached the handset to the base, and a long wire carried voices from the base to the wall and then into infinity.

Photo courtesy of Tom Laurus' Etsy shop.
Photo courtesy of Tom Laurus’ Etsy shop.

Poopsie has offered to get Beanie her very own landline for the house. She’s pointed out that twirly cords are fun and heavy phones are exciting.

Beanie doesn’t think this is funny.

“What if I need to text someone?” Beanie cried just this morning.

“You are twelve. TWELVE. You don’t need to text anyone.”

“What if I’m at a friend’s house and they’re doing drugs? I might need to call you!”

“Do you have friends who are doing drugs? Because if you do, they aren’t your friends anymore.”

“No. I don’t have any friends who are doing drugs. But what if I do?”

“You’re TWELVE. TWELVE YEARS OLD.”

And with this Poopsie made a waving motion with her hand that translated as “Bring this up one more time today and I will go sit in a closet until your father comes home and deals with you.”

But the truth of the matter is that Poopsie kind of understands. She was just about this age when she started harassing her own father for a phone of her own. She wore G-Pa down to a nub until he finally gave in and put the dang phone in her bedroom. But there were a few key differences there:

  1. Grand Pa was actually a telephone man by trade. It took him a few minutes and a few bucks of supplies to silence the squawking from his oldest child. Minutes well spent, frankly.
  2. Poopsie purchased her very own phone with her very own money. If memory serves, it was a slim-line model with see-through plastic and colorful cords on the inside. Very techy.

    Photo courtesy of Pinterest. (The original link is broken.)
    Photo courtesy of Pinterest. (The original link is broken.)
  3. The addition of Poopsie’s phone didn’t cost the family any extra money. The phone company didn’t care if we had 2 or 2,000 phones hooked up in that dang house. And since Poopsie didn’t know anyone outside the 673 code, she didn’t run the risk of long distance charges. “Texting overages” were a not-thing in 1989.

This is not the case with a phone for Beanie. G-pa the phone man and his wires are useless here. The phone Beanie wants will cost many dollars up front and monthly charges thereafter. And the horror stories of reckless children texting their parents into bankruptcy linger in Poopsie’s mind.

But the offer still stands. If Beanie would like her very own slim-line see through phone, Poopsie will buy her one. And it can sit on her desk like a lead ball until Beanie is old enough to get her own job and pay for her own phone.

The end and Amen.

I’ve Been Meaning to Blog, but Naps Keep Intervening.

I really have meant to blog this week. But every time I get within two feet of the computer, the couch sucks me in to its napping vortex and BOOM, I’m asleep.

It’s also the week of VBS, which means I go back to church every night to herd small children through a maze of songs and science experiments and sticky snacks, with Jesus tucked in between all the fun. Heck, I guess Jesus is joining the fun, if you want to get technical. Pretty sure He loves sticky snacks and glitter crafts.

It’s also the week I’ve been reading two of Emily Freeman’s books: A Million Little Ways and Grace for the Good Girl. I tell you what, that Emily knows how to write a book that climbs inside my head and rearranges all my thinking cells.

It’s also the week that feels like all the words have been stolen right out of me. I could truthfully claim that I’m trying to listen more, really listen, which means I need to be not-talking and not-writing. I’ve been listening to my family and friends and listening to God, but I also feel like the cat stole my tongue. I’ve been doing a lot of blinking and thinking. It’s quiet around here.

It’s also the week that the rain won’t stop. Right now it’s a humid 72 degrees, and the grass is soggy. It squishes as you walk. But this brings us right back to the napping portion of the blog post, where we started. Rain=Nap.

Amen.

So this quiet, rainy, thinking week, I’m thinking of you, the reader. I’m grateful for you and I’m praying for ways God would have me serve you better. I’m praying for your future and that you can hear God speaking over the noisy wind of life.

1 Kings 19:12-13

The Curious Case of the Snoring Cow

I am a story thief.

I can’t help it, and even if I could, I wouldn’t help it. I steal stories. I hear good ones while I’m out and about and think that’s going in a book someday.

I had this experience the other day while we were at a party with college friends. We have this friend, Daniel, who can make literally anything funny. He commented on the door handle while we were standing on the front porch and it was hilarious. It’s something about his word choice and dry wit that make me wish he and his family didn’t live three counties away.

But anyway, he told us a story about a friend and a cow and I said, “Daniel, that’s going in a book some day. Just so you know.” But I couldn’t wait for a book. I think we need a blog post about the snoring cow today.

(I hope I get all the details right. I didn’t write it down fast enough…)

ViviLnk
ViviLnk

So, Daniel has this friend who has chickens.

(He started telling this story in the first place because our other friend Bethany wants chickens but her husband thinks she’s crazy. And we were all telling her horror stories of owning chickens, which is where Daniel piped in…)

Something was getting into the guy’s chickens and killing them.

(I don’t know if you’ve had the chance to personally meet a chicken, but they’re sweet and funny little things. Endearing, really. So when you go to feed them in the morning and find that something has murdered all your little feathered friends in the night, it’s upsetting…)

Some of the chickens, the ones in the coop, were fine. Nothing was bothering the cooped poultry. But the chickens in the barn were really getting mauled.

So Daniel’s friend decided to put a baby monitor in the barn one night to see what was causing the ruckus. I’m guessing he planned to run out there with some sort of weaponry to halt the chicken murdering process (or something) when the noise started up.

(Killing chickens is rarely a quiet event…)

But it didn’t work. Nothing came to bother the chickens that night. He was kept awake all night, though, by the cow’s snoring. The noise right through the baby monitor, loud and clear.

(And I don’t know why I find that so hilarious, but I do.)

That’s it. That’s the whole story. The end.

You may now go about your day.

 

End of the School Year: Merriment and Gratitude

Today I strode up to the big front doors of our local elementary school, grabbed hold of the thick metal door handles, and pulled the doors right open.

Just like normal. Just like every school day for the past seven years we’ve had a kid (or two) enrolled there.

But it wasn’t normal, because today was Caleb’s last day in the elementary school. We’re now the parents of two middle schoolers.

The last bus dismount of 2014-15.
The last bus dismount of 2014-15.

TWO OF THEM.

Pray for us.

I’m not the kind of mom who gets all choked up over every baby step away from babyhood, but I am the kind of mom who is fiercely thankful for the school staff who loved our kids all these years. I’m thankful for the secretaries in the office who kept things from falling apart every day, handing out medicine and paperwork and dry clothes with precision and kindness.

A last day of school celebration cookie!
A last day of school celebration cookie!

Thanks to the principals who handled cranky parents, challenging children, and hysterical mothers of kindergarteners. (I wasn’t actually hysterical. Just very concerned because my kid had a tendency to wander away when stressed. Which he did. For twenty of the longest minutes of my life. But now he’s almost ten and doesn’t do that anymore, thank goodness.)

A last day of school smile for the ride home!
A last day of school smile for the ride home!

I’m thankful for the teachers who planned all those lessons and even battled the Common Core on our behalf. The fourth grade staff has my never-ending love and thanks. You guys did a fabulous job and my son is now taller, smarter, kinder, and funnier after being in your classrooms.

A last day of school celebration nap! (me, not the kids.)
A last day of school celebration nap! (me, not the kids.)

The school librarian, who kept me entertained and sold me countless books at his book fairs, has won a spot in my heart over the years. No one can wear funky shoes like he can. Or shorts in the dead of winter, for that matter.

I’m thankful for all the lunch ladies, the para professionals, and the custodians. Have I missed anyone? I don’t want to miss anyone.

Thank you all.

I don’t know what we would have done without you. You have been a blessing.

1 2 3 4 5 8