Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Buen Dia

On Friday I volunteered to help out at an event for Dawson's Spanish class. As I was waiting by his teacher's classroom to receive my assignment, I was surprised to see a kid walk right by me with a sombrero on his head. Turns out the kid was my son.
Jason was out of town on a business trip so Evan had to tag along with me for the event, which meant I had to put him to work in order to avoid all manner of whining along the lines of "I'm booooooooored".
I got assigned to help out in the art room where student's would be learning about and creating "Ojo de Dios" or "God's". It's a craft made with yarn. This is the picture of Dawson's final project, though he told me he grew impatient with the teacher's instruction because it wasn't making any sense so he just did his own thing.
The lead teacher tried showing me how to make one so that I could help teach the students. I couldn't grasp the concept so I volunteered to have the students come to me when they were finished so that I could use the glue gun to glue down the leftover yarn piece. I'm so helpful. 
I told Evan it would be great if he could pass out the craft sticks and then make sure all of the yarn was straightened out on the table. He took over like a boss.
One of the stations the student's went to was a taco truck sitting at the entrance to the school. Evan and I went out to the taco truck to place an order and one of the students shared her sombrero with Evan. 
Evan and Dawson apparently have a similar gene that encourages them to pose immediately if there's a sombrero on their head.
I tool 3 pictures because to tell the truth, it was so bright outside that the screen on my phone was too dark to see whether or not I was actually taking a picture so I kept pushing the button and hoping for the best.
Dawson thought having him mom at his beck and call was something to be admired and asked me to please go get him a coke at the taco truck so I did because I love him and all that crap. So he sat and sipped his Coke during the class God's eye presentation which enabled his lack of knowledge when it was his turn to create said masterpiece.
It took him 100 years to pick out the colors he wanted for this project. Finally I told him the apocalypse was drawing near and if he didn't have a replica of God's eye to wield at Zombies his death was imminent. 
Evan wandered over and made himself at home at Dawson's table.
I was endeared by the brotherly love Dawson showed Evan, while chatting away with him, not realizing I noticed or was taking pictures. Now that I have evidence that it can be done, you better believe I'll be using this picture at home during their hourly confrontations to remind them that they love each other.
One of the parents in the room had the brilliant idea to take a class picture. Yeah, the parent wasn't me. By the time I tuned in, the class had already dispersed.
The classroom across from this one had a face painting station. Evan asked if he could have his face painted like Dawson's. When I asked him what he wanted, he explained he wanted the "shaky things", which I realized meant maracas. I know. Come to me for all your interpretive needs.
By the time he was halfway through is Coke, he was coming alive.
Of course this was just in time for us to head home. 
I asked Dawson to let me get a picture of the maracas on his cheek for memories sake.
But when you have beautiful mountains lingering just outside your car window, I understand if you can't focus on the task at hand. Like driving.
We were at a stoplight by the way. I don't want people contacting telling me I endanger my children's lives because I take pictures of cheeky maracas while driving. I probably won't ever use that same sentence ever again. 
Thank you all for joining me on this volunteer day. 
May the Ojo de Dios be with you.

Friday, April 13, 2018

They Woke HIM Up

When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being covered by the waves; but Jesus was sleeping. 25 And the disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us, we are going to die!” 26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was [at once] a great andwonderful calm [a perfect peacefulness]. 27 The men wondered in amazement, saying, “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
Matthew 8:23-27

I've  immersed myself in a bible study by Beth Moore entitled "The Quest" which has me ruminating a bit on the humanity of Jesus.
In particular I'm wondering if Jesus ever had bed head.
To be clear, I'm not asking if he ever had a hair out of place that was blown about by the wind, (like the times I ask for a fan when I'm having my picture taken). 
No. I'm referring to "just woke up haven't had coffee don't even remember I have hair" moments. Like this:
This was me the day after my 40th birthday. I know. I totally look 39.  (You can read all about my 40th birthday here). Surely if Jesus had bad hair days He can understand why I've written nearly 100 million different blog posts needing opinions about my hair cut, style and color. Leads me to believe that He can relate enough for me to actually interpret "Come to me all you who are weary and I will give your hair rest."
What I really want to know though, is, how did Jesus wake up?
 The disciples woke GOD up!
The God who might have bed head slept.
I think maybe preschoolers should focus on that verse for a bit a memorizing.
Jesus wept. Jesus slept.
Slept looks weird all typed out now. 
Did the disciples just yell and yell in a frantic fury of fear to get Jesus up, or did they shake him? 
Did He sit straight up? Did His eyes pop open and scan the surroundings? If He was a side sleeper He had to roll over and sit up.
Make no mistake.
If you are in a violent (very strong destructive force) storm with waves crashing in on you and you are being thrown about in a boat ... you have to yell in order to be heard. If there's someone in the same boat with you. Literally. I guess my imagination is equally intrigued at the thought of frantic screaming disciples as it is with Jesus sleeping. Did Jesus dream in black & white or in color? I'm glad I got that question out there before I forgot, because I'm hoping Jesus answers all these questions one day when He's reading my blog.

Just a few hours before this storm caught the men by surprise, Jesus had spoken a sentence that healed a leper who wasn't even in his vicinity. Soon after, He simply touched the hand of Peter's mom-in-law and her fever vanished. 
All that healing would make me tired too. Probably.

I understand the desperation that sent the disciples scrambling to rouse a sleeping hero even though they'd just observed several supernatural events in rapid succession. It wasn't their miracle, you see. They needed to partake in a miracle of their own.
God met me in a supernatural way when my sister died
But that didn't stop me from screaming for Him when my dad got sick or when my dad died.

If you find yourself in a situation that leaves you feeling like you need to scream to be heard, just remember...
Jesus is in the boat with you, and the audacity of waking Him up was already left to a few men who've been there, done that.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Volunteer

On Tuesday's I volunteer for Evan's class in the library. I've also volunteered in Dawson's classes in one capacity or another, but I guess I didn't have the wherewithal to take pictures of me in my volunteer superhero costume. If you'll look at the picture of my shoes, you'll notice that they nurse's shoes and that has nothing to do at all with volunteering. I just want everyone to know that I recently bought comfortable shoes.
I told the class to please pay attention to the librarian. Clearly, Evan listens to me even while at school.
I'm guessing it's safe to post that picture on the internet because the students are looking ahead and not at the camera. But just in case, I went to great pains to adjust the next photo of all the students looking at the camera so that I can't be held liable in a court of law.
I do think the "Elmo drew a picture of my class" effect is pretty clever.
Volunteering in the library is way better than signing up to grade papers. 
Except when a student raises their hand and stares at you intently and just as you're asking them what they need they pee on the rug. 
In those instances I'd choose to grade papers. But only if the papers weren't riddled with mathematical problems.
 Speaking of rugs. This rug could only be better if it was a different color with a different design. But it's not like it's in my unfinished basement. I suppose it's suitable for a library.

Here's me proving that I'm there to keep the peace.
 Today's book reading brought to us by the librarian was a very humorous book entitled "Ragweed's Farmdog Handbook". When the books are funny and interesting like that one was, I'm totally capable of focusing. Otherwise, I tend to internally wish one of the students would create drama so that I can shush them or utilize my volunteering role with bossiness to pass the time a bit quicker.
After story time, the librarian reads through all of the names of the students and lets them know who still has books checked out and therefore are unable to check out books on this day. If I were a library villain, rather than a volunteer superhero, I'd make it my aim to render all library books delinquent.
It reminds of the days when I worked in an elementary library right after I graduated from college. I was probably the most exciting non-librarian to ever to grace the inside of a  library. But that has nothing to do with children and delinquent library books.

Evan has two types of books he checks out every.single.Tuesday.
1. Lego City
2. Star Wars
Here he is rummaging through the Star Wars books looking for a book he's most likely brought home before but doesn't remember. I always steer students clear of of the "Magic Eye" books because the only way I can see the pictures in those books is to cross my eyes and all children know that if you cross your eyes for too long they stay that way.
 Eventually he gets in line to check out his book. These children are not the best as the art of a straight line. But every now and then I subdue my volunteer powers and allow such things to be overlooked. It's during this time that all students who brought a quarter with them are able to purchase a scratch and sniff bookmark. Evan has brought home one that smells like candy canes and one that smells like pancakes. I do not encourage any student to purchase the "eggs and bacon" bookmark. It smells like flatulence.
 I left the kids to their own demise and asked Evan to please take a "your mom volunteers at the library on Tuesday's" selfie with me. 
I took a moment to explain that he needed to look at the camera and tried again.
 In case you were wondering, today I wore "Mauved" lipstick to the library. I noticed an increase in my volunteerism with it on.
That was the last photo I took in the library today.
But in a few weeks I'm volunteering for Dawson's Spanish class and they are bringing in a taco truck! Can you imagine the Nacho Libre eagle powers I'll possess as a volunteer on that day? 
All for the Lord's Chips.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

My Shadow's Wedding

In case you were picturing me with my silhouette in a wedding gown getting hitched, let me expound on that title.
This is my niece Shadow:
 Only she's 20+ years older than that now. But sometimes I still picture here as her two year old self which made me cry harder on her wedding day. Like one of those sappy commercials where a dad is watching his little girl grow up and then she's old enough to drive a Nissan.
She decided to make March 17 (St. Patrick's Day) her wedding day.
On Thursday of last week, I flew home to Indiana so that I could be there for her special day. 
My sister B picked me up from the airport and surprised me by bringing my mom with her. My hair basically shoved my mom out of the frame.
 I have a treasure trove of photos proving that I don't stop talking.
 We went out to eat at a restaurant called Granite City. My favorite part of French Onion Soup is the cheese. I just thought that was valuable information.
My sisters set aside Friday for a day of bonding. Our first order of business on all sisterly bonding days is a selfie in the car together. I would like to present to you a collage of this special time:
If you paid close attention, there's a good chance you noticed that when I placed my camera in the selfie stick for our picture, I accidentally set the place holder directly on top of the button that takes pictures. So it was repeatedly taking pictures without stopping for at least 2 full minutes while we all tried to figure out what was happening. Eventually I discovered the problem, turned the phone the other way around and we were in business.
Almost.
We couldn't stop laughing long enough for all of us to be prepared for the picture.
Putting our sunglasses on calmed us down a bit.
We spent the first half of the day in an old church building that had been converted into an antique shop. I asked one of the workers if she'd be kind enough to take our photo by one of the stained glass windows, which was no easy feat because the light from the windows kept washing us out. So I asked if she'd also apply stage makeup to us before the picture and she said no.
I bought my first pair of booties in honor of this special trip, and I ended up with blisters and cramped toes. But I looked good. So.
We ate lunch at a cute little hole in the wall joint called Pickles. My sisters K and A both applied lipstick which looked magnificent and I was determined to buy the same thing so that I can dominate the world with my lips. That's the reason for this picture.
And this one.
While were out and about, my BFF sent me this little gem. A copy of the "newspaper" the old school district I worked for put out.
Saturday was the big wedding day. My sister decided we should leave early and we grabbed lunch and a slice of pie at Essenhaus restaurant. All of the Amish waitresses there have tattoos. That's just a joke.
Finally we arrived at the Silver Palace to enjoy the beautiful special wedding day.
 Shadow had the entire event center decorated just beautifully in a St. Patrick's Day theme.
 If I could go back and do my wedding over again (which I won't because I'm too lazy) I would have a super cute welcoming table like this one.
 The aisle runner was sprinkled with little gold leaflets. They weren't real gold. I figured it out after I stuffed my pockets with a bunch of them thinking I would cash in after the wedding.
I think it's important to note here that I have the oldest iPhone known to mankind. I think it's like a negative 3. It doesn't take great shots when a room is dimly lit. 
 This might be one of my most favorite pictures of my sister K. My nephew C  in this picture had just celebrated his birthday the day before. I caught him grabbing gifts off of the gift table and shoving them in a bag believing they should really be for him. The jokes on him when he discovers a fruit tray and a set of coasters once they're opened. 
We had a lot of time to sit around and take selfies before the wedding started.
 This is Kyle, the groom. I always love to watch the look on the groom's face when he's about to see his bride walk down the aisle.
 My niece Felicia (the bride's sister) was the first one down the aisle. Isn't she cute in her green dress?
 I took an angled picture of her once she got up front because I was in a mood to act like a wedding photographer.
The time of weeping came when Shadow came down the aisle. If you listen closely, you can hear me telling my sister that I was going to ball my eyes out because she chose to walk down the aisle to the song I sang at her mom's wedding. 
 Shadow and Kyle's daughter Lydibug was the most well behaved child I've ever witnessed in a wedding party. My sister and I were just discussing how my nephew ran up to the stage to play the piano during my wedding. When my sister chased him down to stop him, he hid under it. I didn't even know any of that happened until I watched my wedding video.
I like this picture because you get a good look at Shadow's veil. I accidentally put a hole in mine when I decided it would be a great idea to sew rhinestones into it even though I don't know how to sew.
 I'm pretty sure Shadow is making sure the preacher man is reading the correct vows. I tried to sneak him some that I made up that said "I promise I will still love you even if you pick your nose and eat it".
 They were just announced Mr. and Mrs. They seem pretty happy about it so I decided I would be too.
The reception was immediately following which meant it was time for more selfies. I was also determined to get one impromptu photo of the bride and groom right away because it turns out that my favorite picture from my wedding day was taken by my cousin as Jason and I were greeting the guests to go to the reception. Look at the cutie butt couple.
 I'm like a selfie wedding crasher.
 I saw Shadow signing the marriage document and I didn't see anyone taking pictures of it so I snatched one right away. That will be $15 Shadow. Cash or Credit.
 Lydibug is so sweet.
 I asked her to twirl around for me and when she did, the aisle runner got all twisted up and I got in trouble. Totally worth it.
The centerpieces were just exquisite. I really wanted the heart shaped mirror to carry around in my purse for when I apply lipstick number 140. But I was under the impression that it would be noticed if one was missing.
 The cake. Which was vanilla AND chocolate! Everyone wins!
 Of course I realized that their faces were 100% blocked by the bouquet. 
Lydi didn't feel well. Mommy cuddles are needed, even at weddings when the mom if the bride.  Of course that all changes is the bride gets puked on.
 Shadow eventually found her pose and nailed it each time I paparazzied her.
They had this superb idea to have a photo booth set up, which was taken advantage of throughout the night.
 I'm pretty sure these photos emphasize the Irish roots in my DNA.
 The night was coming to a close with dancing brought to you by the bride & groom,
... And me. You're welcome.