Thursday, April 24, 2008

A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails..

Happy Birthday Sarah!!!
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "WHAT, You too? I thought I was the only one!"...C.S.Lewis
To my very good friend Sarah, who understands the love of the sun and the craving of 90 degrees. Sarah shares the same summer addictions I do, and is willing to spend her summer afternoons soaking in the sunshine, reading good books, and of course a sharing a little gossip! I'll never find anyone else that truly understands the tan thing like you do! Thanks for being such a wonderful (and beautiful) friend.
p.s. I picked the title just for Sarah and her unbelievable voice. I love to stand by Sarah at ball games and lip sync "The Star Spangled Banner" and just hope that someone thinks that her voice is coming out of my mouth!! (true story)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock

How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon.
December is here before it's June.
My goodness how the time how flown.
How did it get so late so soon?
--Dr. Seuss--
How did it get so late so soon? All of a sudden it is the last full week of April. I have four weeks of school left. In that time I have to clean out my classroom, pack it up for the new 'owner', pack what I am taking, plan a graduation party, plan a move, pack the house..................and it goes on and on. I feel time ticking away. I have so much to do! I realized it is the end of April and I have not even thought about, much less designed and had printed Luke's graduation announcements! Plus, I need to address the envelopes and get them sent. At the rate I am going, people will get them after the party. I need to figure out what we are having to eat, make arrangements for family who will be here to visit, order his name tags for the announcements, and the list goes on and on. Every day I add to the list far more than I scratch off. Time is ticking away! I have things I am writing that I want to get finished before I leave Kansas. I have so much to do that it is overwhelming me. Tim leaves for Oklahoma in less than five weeks. Does anyone else feel time ticking away? All this and none of it even touches on the fact that my baby, the last one of the brood is a senior in high school soon to graduate. Wasn't it only yesterday that he was toddling after all his brothers and sisters? How did it get so late so soon?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

When You're Lucky Enough To Be Irish..........

I have written several times about my Grammie and Pop, my paternal grandparents. I was equally as lucky to have a maternal set of grandparents that were off the scales if one were measuring grandparents! With the spring weather we are enjoying (two days in a row now!) my thoughts turn to my Granddad Flanagan. Long before the weather was decent enough to go outside, he would have already been out getting everything ready so that when a beautiful day like today came along he was ready to plant. He was a wonderful gardener. I couldn't even begin to count the number of people that were on the receiving end of his garden's bounty. Perhaps it was because he was a full-blood Irishman, but my Granddad Flanagan was 'green' long,long before it was 'cool' to be green. My Granddad was the original 'recycle, reuse, reduce' man. We laughed at him about it. He took one mans junk and recycled it into something most of us never would have thought about. He made all kind of projects for his various gardens. He loved equally to garden fruit trees, vegetable gardens, herb gardens and flowers. If it could be grown he grew it. There was nothing that went to waste with my Granddad Flanagan. My Granddad gave practical gifts as presents. At the time, I never minded getting them, but I did not understand the importance of them until I got older. For instance, he gave Tim and me gifts such as a new wheelbarrow, a big gas can, trashcans complete with a handmade trashcan holder so dogs wouldn't get into the trash and an assortment of tools and motors. Believe me, all the gifts were handy and used all the time. It is only as I have gotten older that I realize the importance of what he was teaching me. One of his favorite gifts was to give us was a $100 grocery gift certificate. Wasn't that the best and most thoughtful? One gift he surprised me with, and totally out of character for his practical side, was a large painting of my three oldest children from a professional photographers. Every time I look at it still I not only "ooohahhh" over my three babies, but I think of Granddad and the fact that he knew I would love it, but never be able to afford it on my own. My Granddad was like that. He was also the most handsome man I have ever seen to this day. Period. No questions asked. When he was 80 he was still good looking (and not looking a day over 50!). He had the bluest eyes that were filled with mischief and kindness. His eyes looked like the ocean in the blue Caribbean. My Granddad never wasted time. He was always up and around doing something. He was a storyteller extraordinaire. He was a wordsmith with words. He was a man of many words and he knew how to use them well both written and verbally. My Granddad adored my Grandmother. She loved to wait on him and pamper him. Perhaps he was lucky, or maybe because he was such an outstanding gardener, but for whatever reason my Grandmother was a cook that cannot be matched. She could have made dirt taste good. She not only could cook anything and make it exceptional, but everything she cooked and presented to her family and friends to eat was like a picture. Her tables were beautiful and laden with fresh flowers and fresh food. When I see redbirds I know my grandparent Fergusons are around, but when I see gardens full of food and flowers I think of the Flanagans. As a couple it was unbelievable what they brought from the earth. I would love to hear them now if they could see this whole 'organic and green' movement. My Granddad, a true Irishman, talked often in Irish riddles and verses. One verse he repeated so often I can still hear him saying it, "If you're lucky enough to be Irish----You're Lucky enough." Just like the gifts that I learned in time were far more important than their surface value, I finally understand the depth of that verse. I was SO lucky to have them in my life........

Monday, April 21, 2008

Be Still And Know That I Am God.....

"Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exhalted among the nations,
I will be exhalted in the earth."----Psalms 46:10
When I was looking for something to write about today, my mind just kept thinking about what a wonderful day it was. The weather was beautiful, there was so much green, and I finally have a few flowers blooming in my yard. I just kept thinking about the beauty of the day. So when I went to write, I looked through the photos I have on my computer to put a picture with something about spring. Instead I came upon these photos I took in Colorado Springs back in September. We were taking the train to the top of the mountain and no matter which direction I looked all I could see was beauty. God's beauty. It was overwhelmingly beautiful. When we got to the top we were told the story about Katharine Bates, (also an English teacher!!!) who went to the top of Pike's Peak in 1893. She had driven through Kansas (also !!!) and then was to teach summer school in Colorado Springs. After getting to the top of Pike's Peak she immediately wrote the words to "America The Beautiful". The "purple mountains majesty" was beautiful beyond words as I looked out from the top of Pike's Peak myself. So today, I thought not only of the beauty of spring and the rebirth of everything around me, but I was also taken back to the top of that mountain and the beauty that just was really beyond words. ---Or so I thought. I knew the pictures would suffice because of their beauty, but then the Bible verse came to mind, "Be still and know that I am God." What better time to be still and reflect on God's amazing love than spring time? So, I got out my Bible and reread the verse, and then (because God works that way) I read the entire chapter and found that it SO applies to our nation and world today. Not just because of the beauty of the Lord, but because of the faith he instills in us all. "Indeed the present world be shaken with the nations raging and the kingdoms of men tottering. We will not fear, since we know that God is our present help in the time of trouble. Come behold the works of the Lord."---All this because I wanted to write about spring! Don't you love the way God works?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sometimes Life Is Just A Blur.......

I knew I had not posted in a while and I was reminded of it by my good friend Sarah, but I really had NO idea how long until I ventured back into the blogging world tonight. Why has it been two months??????
I have no idea. I really enjoy getting on my blog and trying to think of things to write about. ACTUALLY, I get on here and have to limit my thoughts.
I will say though, in the two months time I have not been on here, I was not just sitting around. First, I ended my mother-of-the-ballplayer-career. That will be a whole other blog. I just need to be in the right frame of mind to write it. All year long Timbo and I were on what we called "The Farewell Tour". You will hear about it soon. Next, I gave state assessments. Now that is enough to stress out anyone!! My students did very well though and as the scores came in I could feel a LITERAL weight off my mind, shoulders and neck. So much emphasis are put on those tests and the teachers that give the tests. So those tests encompassed several stressful weeks of my life. Then, Tim and I got new jobs and resigned from our present jobs. NOTHING STRESSFUL THERE!!!! Tim got his job in Oklahoma first and then I interviewed in the same school system about a month later. They offered me the job on the spot and I think it all had to do with ----TESTING!! I am not kidding. They talked and talked about testing and how well my students had done over the last five years. Now, I must learn the Oklahoma test and disect it to a million pieces to teach the students. OK, so we got new jobs and resigned from our others. That was hard to do because the people at my school have been very very good to me. Then we had to begin house-hunting. Not only that we had to figure out what the youngest two boys were planning to do. Was their plan to go to Oklahoma with us or stay in Kansas? The answer to that went back and forth on a daily basis. At this moment, both are going with us.....But we all know that could change again a million times. It is so hard to look for a house when we didn't know what town to look in! It was so hard to look for a house when we had to look over the internet most of the time! It was so hard to look for a house when everything is SO expensive!! MY GOSH!!! More stress!! Then we began to clean out and pack up our house. Another OH MY!! We have lived in this monstrosity of a house for seventeen years and five children. Every nook and cranny of the four floors is filled with something. We have thrown away so much already. We have one whole room for a garage sale (that we scheduled and cancelled when it was SNOWING IN APRIL). So more stress....just trying to pack this house up. Then more stress figuring out who would want this house that needs work but has wonderful bones. And don't think there aren't a thousand different emotions churning along with every decision we make. We want to do what is right for the children, our parents and of course us; but there are so many factors weighing in on every decision. Don't forget I still get depressed everytime the weather won't cooperate. I just want warm weather so badly! So, that is what I have been doing for the past two months. I also have been just plodding along with my every day life and getting through each day. In the back of my mind I think about my diet. I have great moments/days/even multiple days in a row, then BAAAMMMM! I get stressed and immediately turn to food. I have to learn to find something else to turn to when I am stressed besides food...Which in turn gets me back to my blog. It is such a stress reliever to write. It is almost (almost being the key word) as good as chocolate. Why have I been away for two months????????? The good news: I'm back!