Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Funeral Director?

** This is a journal entry from 2009 - several days after finding out I was miscarrying.**

Um. So, okay, today was an incredibly depressing day. Started off with a bang when I POAS and sat there silently watching as only ONE line showed up. Not even a hint of another line. No faint, maybe there is and maybe there isn’t tilting the thing toward the light just so… Nope. No second line. Nothing left. Not pregnant.

Yeah, I know. Duh. I KNOW I’m not pregnant. It’s just something so final about the line being completely gone that sets it in once again. I just can’t help this feeling of utter failure with this process. I know I’m not a failure. I know this isn't my fault. Yet something in my soul feels this way and my head can’t seem to change it. THIS is the one thing I DO. All those cutesy little sayings, like “I’m so crafty I make people”, and “I make milk, what’s your super power”. That’s ME!

I’m good at making babies, nurturing infants through sleepless nights and wonderful schedules and nursing months on end. I’m good at toddlers learning to walk and discovering how to clap their hands. Terrible 2′s and 3′s I’m still working on, okay? But the point is, THIS is what I do. Losing a baby just feels like failure.

And so, in a valiant effort to make myself feel better, I sat down with laundry to fold during nap time and commenced a Dawson’s Creek marathon even though I really should have been doing the million and one things on my to-do list for this weekend.

So I’m sitting there engrossed in this old episode where Pacey is talking to the guidance counselor and is trying to figure out his options. As soon as I saw Pacey get the news that he’s “failed” the aptitude test, I knew I had to take one for myself. You see, I was strangely bereft of normal guidance counselor type activities in high school. The one our school had was an idiot. And no, I won’t apologize for being that harsh, he’s the one that told my brother he’d never be accepted into Embry Riddle. He constantly told him he’d never get in and he’d never be able to afford it. He tried to steer him into the direction of the local community college instead. Thank goodness my brother brushed the guy off and never looked back.

I hope he felt dumb when big bro worked for NASA.

Anyway, me being the not-so-confident high school student, believed him the first and only time I went to his office (who, by the way, was NOT the one who got me into the Early-Acceptance program at Clark)and thus the year off trying to make some money to put myself through school.

And I never got to take an aptitude test.

500 questions later (little did I know what I was getting in to!!) THIS is what pops up:



Um. Okay then. I think my cynicism must be getting a little bit outta hand here. Apparently I scored high on the sympathy end of things and that was oddly balanced out with high scores on the religious and moral side for this lovely combination.

Thanks a lot for cheering me up, aptitude test.

Number 2 option for me: Vet Assistant. Sorry. My sympathy doesn’t transfer to animals NEARLY as much as you’d think. Call me crazy, sick and twisted, but my concern these days is taken up LARGELY by the little people following me around.

And last, but not least: Singer or Actor (performing arts). Oh, thanks. I could’a told you that. And yet strangely not very comforting when I think of how much I used to want to do that, but don't now. I never, ever thought there’d be a time in my life where music would play such a small part. Mostly I sing bland little kid worship songs, the same ones, over and over until I want to poke my eyes out.

At least I scored high on the intelligence part. whoohoo for that.

Eh. Blah. Don’t listen to me right now. I’m down in the dumps and I know it. All day today I felt like deleting every post from my facebook account, removing my blog from the stratosphere, and disappearing into a small black hole. I don’t know where to be. I want to talk about it, but I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want every conversation to be about THIS, or every conversation with anyone I haven’t seen face to face within the last two weeks to start out with this topic. I don’t want to cry, but I don’t want to be numb. I’m sick of hearing myself talk about it. Just hard to move on, though.

And so, my night ended on a tired and frustrated note – with me in the kitchen trying to catch up on the chores I should have been doing earlier in the day and whipping up food for tomorrow. Why? Because life goes on. It doesn't stop for me, for my trials. Everybody has their own trials. The sun still rises the next day.

Must go to bed now. It’s late and I’ll be happy to put this day behind me. Still have a lot on my list to get done in the morning, and I’m sure it’s going to make for some fun times. Coffee is my friend again, for now.

Growing Up

Just a post of some recent pics of the older two kids - seems every time I turn around someone has had a growth spurt, needs new shoes, or is wearing high-water pants.

These were my babies just yesterday...

Joshua: 8 years old:



Emmy: 6 years old: In my wedding dress!

January 2012 051
She was really not into this photo shoot. at. all.

January 2012 040

January 2012 035

January 2012 029

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tradition. TRA-DI-TION!

Well, I hope you are all hearing the bold sound of Tevye's voice in your head as he struts around singing "Tradition"! I think I need to go to Netflix and put that one on my queue. It's been too long since I had those songs stuck in my head!

Now, if you are an Adventist, like me, and grew up that way, you're probably already feeling a little panicky at the word "tradition". Yeah, you know you are! It seems sometimes that the word "tradition" rates right up there with "antichrist", "666" and "confessional".

Sometimes we throw the baby out with the bath water, folks!

I'm not even going to go into any theological debate over tradition in religion, but I will admit that there have been times I've thrown the baby out with the bath water, too. There's nothing wrong with tradition when it comes to traditions in families, cultures, holidays, and *cough* in appropriate religious forms, too, in my humble opinion.

Christmas is a prime example of where to find some wonderful traditions! Sleigh rides, hot cocoa, sledding, baking cookies, gingerbread houses, caroling, hunting through the woods for a Christmas tree, singing "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" and "The Redneck Days of Christmas".

What would we do without those traditions? Life would be... chaotic. Tangled. Disjointed.

In other words, it just wouldn't be Christmas!

So what did we do this year? Well, I can tell you what we didn't do!


*que really sad emoticon here.

For instance, every year since we've been married, we've had a family Christmas pic taken in front of our Christmas tree on Christmas morning. I've even worn the same red pajamas for the pic every Christmas. It's tradition! Or maybe just a sick fascination with seeing how well (or not) they fit from year to year.
Christmas family collage

But not this year. And not even because I had finally realized that that was a BAD tradition! Seriously, those things were never that flattering! I mean, did I really think I ever looked that good in bright, fire-engine red button-down pajamas?! Oy.

How about all the kids in red jammies in front of the Christmas tree instead?
Christmas Cousins 2

Oh yes, much better! Maybe that will be our new tradition, eh?

Another tradition is to make sugar cookies and a gingerbread house and decorate it.
Like this, except not FLAT.

Well, then. Moving on.

How about singing along to our favorite Christmas music?

No stereo in the house except the cd drive in the computer and the poor little emachines speakers. Nothing but a tape player in my '86 Suburban. No tape of Christmas music recorded on a tape from 1989, OR the cd of Dolly and Kenny Christmas to Remember. Where ARE those two favorite things?!

Well, Pandora came to my rescue and had a wonderful station of lovely Christmas music that did not include any techno or raggae. It played every song and anything that sounded remotely musical from the Charlie Brown Christmas special ad nauseum, but somehow Pandora neglected to include any Dolly and Kenny.

And for the first time since 1980-something, I did not hear ANY Dolly and Kenny Christmas music in the month of December.

Hey, I know what you're thinking. But don't knock my Dolly and Kenny, y'all. I LOVE me some Dolly and Kenny. Their Christmas special first aired in 1984 and that's right about the time I started singing along to every song on that record, and I never stopped. It's as much a part of Christmas to me as... well, as the Christmas tree! And lights! And presents, and bows, packages, boxes and bags! Oh, wait, now I'm veering off into another Christmas special I saw every year. Hmm...

Twice I've lipsynced an entire Dolly and Kenny Christmas song in front of a video camera. Once when I was 10, and once when I was... considerably older than 10. One day I'll get my brother Jake to digitalize the 10 year old one and maybe I'll even put it on youtube so you can all laugh until you cry. I was SO adorable as Dolly! And my dad even played the part of Kenny and lipsynced too! Ahhhh... good times.

Oh, how often I dreamed that we'd go to one of those *imaginary* concerts nearby, only to discover Dolly had fallen sick with laryngitis and I'd have to climb the stairs to the stage and take her place to sing along with Kenny!

Hey. A little girl can dream, right?!

All right, folks, show's over, wipe the tears of laughter away.

Good memories.

Only 11 more months to go (plus an extra day, silly leap year) until the next Christmas morn comes too soon and moves down the line into the annals of yesteryear. So without further ado, I will attempt to make up for lost (Christmas)time and start NOW with getting my Dolly and Kenny fix.

Complete with tight, fur-trimmed sparkly vest and.... mannequins? Wow. Classic. And very scary. I think after this I'll stick with just listening! The dancing elves and rocking out in church in the other videos are still burning my eyes, too, but, hey, you do what you got to when it comes to Christmas Traditions!

So what are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

TOS Review - Zeezok Publishing "Z-Guides to the Movies"

Zeezok Publishing is a company that provides quality literature and educational books, focusing on historical values for higher living. They believe "It is better to build children than to repair men.", and hope their products will inspire a greater love for God and country.

One of their products, the Z-Guides to the Movies, we were fortunate enough to have the chance to review. A Z-Guide to the Movies is a unit study meant to enforce, in a graphic and memorable way, a history lesson! There are Z-Guides available for many well-known titles depicting stories set in time periods such as Kit Kitredge for studying the time of the Great Depression, The Red Badge of Courage (War between the States), The Adventures of Robin Hood (Medieval Europe), and so on.

The Z-Guides are specific to school-grade level (high school, middle school, elementary school or elementary/middle) and we were chosen for the Elementary level Z-Guide for Ben-Hur!

The great majority of the Z-Guides currently available are for the high school crowd, and I wasn't sure what Joshua would think of the movie we chose considering its length and depth, but he was, of course, absolutely fascinated by the chariot races!

There were some parts of the movie that we considered to be too graphic or disturbing for our 8 year old son, but even with the viewing being slightly censored he was able to grasp most of the concepts that were discussed in the review questions part of the guide.

For him the best part of the Z-Guide activities was the assignment of making a "travel brochure" for chariot races. I helped him do some online research, found a few new facts, and had a great time making some illustrations, cutting out pictures we printed, and so on.

There were also a word search, creative writing, storyboard art project, civic involvement exercise, a research activity, a review of a conversation in the movie, a worldview activity, and a critical thinking summary. The Z-Guide also gives suggestions for family discussions, gives resources for further study, and comes complete with an answer key.

Just a word of advice on that word search, though: it is missing the bottom line - check the answer key for help on that one!

The Z-Guide includes activities to be completed over several days, it's not a one-day unit study type of project. We tried to stuff the whole viewing of the movie in one afternoon and it was too much. It would have been better if we'd gone a little slower with that part and given more time to let it sink in and discuss over a few nights!

The girls are just getting into American Girl dolls and I am actually looking forward to the time when they can enjoy the movie Kit Kittredge and learn about the Depression while doing a Z-Guide to the Movies!

Z-Guide to the Movies are available for $12.99 and if you don't own the movie or are unsure of which version is to be used with the Z-Guide, the movie itself is also available for purchase right there on the Zeezok website!

You can read more about what a Z-Guide is here!

I was provided with a downloadable Z-Guide to the Movies file free of charge in exchange for an honest review and nothing more. All opinions here are my own!

To see what other TOS Crew members are saying about Zeezok's Z-Guides to the Movies, you can read them here at the TOS blog!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...