Saturday, March 18, 2017

Girl Scouts, and Homeschooling, and Soccer, oh my!

I'm trying to find Jena a new Girl Scout troop, as her current troop is dissolving at the end of this year.

Jena in her Brownie uniform. She's a Junior now, but quite frankly I love this picture.

I don't really care if it's a homeschool troop, as hers currently is, but... it kinda has to be. With her playing (and loving) soccer, plus other family obligations, we currently only have two nights at home most of the year. I'm not willing to give those up in order to add another activity that just keeps us busy.

So... I kinda need it to be a homeschool troop, because I need one that meets during the day on a weekday. Apparently we may be the only such troop in the area, because so far I've had no luck, and I've stretched my search to an hour drive in all directions. Still no luck.

We like Girl Scouts, but I need to have a heart-to-heart with Jena about just how much she loves it. Because right now it looks like my only option might be to start our own troop, and I'm not about to do that unless this is an activity that Jena is really wanting to continue. It's a big commitment for us to make as a family if she's not 100% into it. So we shall see.

Homeschooling is going well. We're behind a bit from where I would like to be in the curriculum, mostly due to my health issues. I've had five surgical procedures since October. That puts a damper on our schooling schedule.

First day of Preschool and 3rd grade, respectively.

Thank goodness last year I made the decision to school year round. Our school year runs July 1 - June 30, and somehow, even with all the "breaks" we've had, we only need 21 more school days to satisfy the state requirements. Praise the Lord! And we have more than 3 months to get those days in! I don't know how we managed it, because quite frankly it feels like we hardly ever school, but I keep record of everything she does, and numbers don't lie. Even though we do school year-round, meaning we won't stop just because we meet the state minimum, it is still a huge relief to know that we are more than on target to meet it.

I will say that one thing that has also helped is that this year we joined Classical Conversations. The community days provided Jena with one day of school each week, even when I was out of commission. The director and Jena's tutor were very gracious in working with us (parents are supposed to remain on campus) and allowed Jason to drop Jena off in the mornings when I could not attend and pick her up when he took a break for lunch (our session ends right around lunch time). We didn't plan on things like this when we started, but it really ended up being a God-send.

Back to soccer for a minute. I'll be honest, I really never pictured Jena as a soccer player. But she wanted to try a couple of years ago, so we signed her up for the YMCA league. And... she loved it. And... she loved being goalie.

Not an action shot, but I love this pic of her.

Fast forward to now, and she plays in a recreational league Spring & Fall and a select league for indoor soccer during the winter. Currently she's her team's only goal keeper, although the coach plans to rectify that once spring practices start, which is any day now. Actually they were supposed to start last week, but have all been cancelled thus far due to crappy weather.

Anyway, I am proud to say that Jena is not only the only goal keeper currently, she's a super star. She may very well be the best goalie in her age group in our entire area. She started this season of select soccer with three shutouts in a row. Stopped 100% of shots on goal. We haven't started keeping stats yet, but I'd say her average is well in the 90% range. Her last game her team played an opponent that was in an older league, and played a much more physical and aggressive game than our girls are used to. Jena stopped 23 of 26 shots on goal. I even heard several of the opposing team's parents commenting on how good our goal keeper was. Yep. That's my girl.

Oh, and because anytime Jena has a high number of stops I hear this comment, I'm gonna go ahead and say that her defense did not let her down. Those girls worked hard and get credit for keeping even more shots coming her way. This was an older team that played a tough game.

Anyway, we haven't started keeping stats yet, because, well... she's 8 years old. But she has asked us to. She heard us (and her coach, and other parents...) using the word "shutout" after those first few games, and decided she did want us to keep track. Jason and I are toying with the idea of keeping track starting with Spring season, not only because she wants us to, but also because if she decides this is something she wants to continue to pursue, knowing how to do it and do it well will serve us well in the future, so figuring it out and practicing keeping track now may be a good idea. You know me, I'm a planner, LOL.

My only hesitation is that she is still very young, and while I know she has a competitive spirit, I want her focus to remain on having fun. I don't ever want it to get so competitive that it ruins the fun for her. On the other hand, since she does have a naturally competitive spirit, she may think it's more fun. Who knows.

So that's what keeps us busy most days. I don't know what we're going to do once Jillian adds her own activities into the mix!

As always, thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I can't sleep

So I'm sitting here at 1am* on my 40th birthday and I can't sleep. And now my Netflix isn't working. And my phone is on the charger. But my mind is spinning, spinning, spinning, so... perfect time to blog, right?

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Right now at the top of my mind is an unpleasant topic, at least for me. Have you ever seen a woman with a man, or listened to one of your girlfriends talk about a guy, and you just know they have a crush on him, even if they haven't told you yet?

Yeah. Right now there are two women in our circle who I'm pretty sure have crushes on my husband. Now, I have no flat out evidence, nothing's been outright said (obviously), and no, I don't think anyone has done anything, but... you know that feeling. Not even the gut feeling of the wife, but the feeling when you see your (hopefully single) friend crushing on a (hopefully single) guy and there's just something about the way she talks, or how she is around him that tells you how she feels before she actually tells you how she feels. That. Except instead of being happy & giddy & nervous for her you're kinda ticked off and a little sick to your stomach because she's in your circle and both of you see her regularly and this is a little close to home for your taste. But you kinda have to be nice, or at least cordial, to her, because there is absolutely no evidence that she (or he) has done anything wrong, so for you to just become a complete b**** would be social suicide, and possibly give her reason to feel no regret or guilt over pursuing what is yours, so you're nice. Even though you want to not be nice. And did I mention there are two of them? Ugh!

So... that. That is on my mind a lot lately. And it's not fun.

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The topic second-most in my thoughts lately is someone else in my loop who is, quite frankly, driving me crazy with the way they are twisting Scripture.

Here's the deal: I was raised with certain Christian beliefs. Thru the years and my own journey to know God better I have come to realize that some of those beliefs were not biblical. Thru the years I have gone to churches of varying religious denominations, talked with believers with a multitude of differing views.

And here's the thing. If someone can show me in Scripture why what I have believed might be wrong, I have no problem accepting that I need to either change my beliefs, or dig deeper into the Word and into prayer and figure out what's going on. I have done this more than once. On some issues I now believe completely differently than how I was raised. On other issues digging deeper has done nothing more than to show me how biblically sound my beliefs were to begin with.

But if you can show me in the Word, if it is not only in the Word, but makes sense in the entire context of the passage, in the historical context of the day, in the sociological context, etc. If it all fits and makes sense, then we're good. We are open to considering it.

This person? Ugh. Pulls individual verses out of context constantly. Has been called on this repeatedly by several other believers, including myself, and still does it. When challenged they tend to either change the subject to another verse altogether, change the subject altogether, or shut down the conversation.

For whatever reason, they have come across an idea that they want to hold on to, they have found other likeminded individuals, and have made their minds up. No matter how many Scriptures you show them that contradict what they are saying, no matter how many times you explain that if you put that verse back in the context of the entire passage, then it doesn't really say that at all, if you usual actual historical fact to explain to them why what they are saying is just not factual... doesn't matter. Their mind has been made up and there is no talking to them.

And it frustrates the crap out of me. It bothers me. I have been talking to them and praying for them for months and it seems to be no avail. I just keep trusting that the Word of the Lord will not return void (Isaiah 55:11) and one day they will see the Light. It's just really hard for me to see them going down this path, because I know them. I know how they were raised. I know their parents. For some years we attended the same church. I know that they were raised in biblical Truth. So to see them turn their back on it, and pervert the Word of God and twist His Word... oh, it gets to me, right in the heart. It saddens me, and angers me, and worries me all at the same time.

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Lastly, the thing that's been on my mind is my recovery from vertical sleeve gastrectomy. I was five weeks out yesterday. The number everyone wants to know: I'm down 34 lbs. I've dropped one pants size and am on the verge of dropping another.

I feel better than I have in a long time, and I feel like I'm getting my life back.

I'm still on a restricted diet. I started on clear liquids, then pureed foods, and now I'm on soft foods. I will be on soft foods for another three months.

This topic needs its own post, so for now I will leave it at that.

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Hoping all of you are well! Thanks for checking in!




* I schedule out my posts to be published at 12noon, and have for years. So now ya know.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Pretty Enough

I've been reflecting on the many times I was told I was unattractive. As in, people literally said it with their words. Once in a while to my face, but usually I overheard it. And it didn't stop with childhood.

We think kids do these hurtful things because "kids will be kids", but that's just not true. People do these things because sometimes people suck.

I remember my siblings telling me how fat I was. Repeatedly.

The kid in middle school who asked if I were pregnant, because my belly looked like a big pregnant belly.

The friend in high school who I overheard say I "could be" pretty if I just lost some weight and started wearing makeup.

The mom of one of my best friends who I overheard say I needed to put on some makeup and wear some pantyhose, then I wouldn't be so bad.

One of my good friends in high school who told me if she ever got to be a size 14, just shoot her. I was a 14/16 at the time.

The office manager at my first job out of college who told me I wasn't attractive enough, and I should consider fixing my hair and wearing full face makeup regularly.

The manager at my last job who sat me down after having my first born and told me I needed to work on my appearance, maybe dress nicer, fix my hair, and consider makeup.

And these are just the ones that stung bad enough that I still remember them.


My husband wonders why I don't see myself as attractive, why I never have, why I have a hard time believing him.

Maybe it's because repeatedly, over the course of my life, I was told over and over and over again exactly how unattractive I am. And not just by images on the media, heightened expectations, blah, blah, blah. People in my life actually said it.

And a lot more people said it and/or treated me that way than ever told me I was pretty. I was never the pretty one.

For 40 years.

You internalize that crap after a while.

It is also a big reason why I tell my girls constantly how beautiful they are. I call them "Beautiful" or "Pretty" as if it's a nickname. I tell them they have beautiful princess hair, the cutest noses in the world, and the most amazing eyes. I tell them they are gorgeous.


Yes, I also tell them how smart they are, and kind, and generous, and sweet, and thoughtful, and all of those things. But here's the thing:

One day, this world is going to tell them they are ugly, they are unattractive, they're too fat or too skinny or too muscular or not muscular.

Sure, maybe someone will tell them they're mean, or not nice. I doubt anyone will tell them they aren't smart. Sorry, but they're both brilliant, they just are. But I can just about guarantee that one of these days they will be beat down for their looks. And when that day comes, when those days come, I want them to have this voice in their heads that says "You are beautiful!". I want them to internalize my words in these young years so when they reach their older years, my voice will be louder than the world beating them down. I want them to have a voice telling them how gorgeous God made them. I want them to know it.


I also want to set an example.We compliment other people regularly. I make a point of it. I want to raise my girls to be the girls who compliment the other girls around them, not grow into one of those girls who beats someone else down, who tells girls how they "could be" enough one day.

Girls, you are enough. You are beautiful just as God made you. And I'm sorry for anyone who wasn't told that enough in their life.
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