Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to Work!

Well, here it is Wednesday already! Things are going relatively smoothly as the new school year begins. I probably shouldn't say it, but I actually haven't really felt stressed yet. (Knock wood....)
When I first started at the school I was younger than most of the teachers. Now I'm older than most of the teachers. I've only been there 10 years, but teacher turn around has been crazy.
Anyway, the younger teachers make my job waaaaaay easier. They are very comfortable with technology, and actually know how to follow directions when setting up Outlook 2003.
My lab isn't open yet, so I haven't had any contact with the kids per se - perhaps that is why I am not stressed? LOL. Not really. It usually the teachers that get to me the first couple weeks and then a combination of teachers and kids after that.
Ooooo - my lab got a new In Focus projector over the summer. Bye-bye stupid old TV. Now everybody in the room can actually see what is happening. 'Course, I'm gonna have to teach the teachers how to use it.....
Two more days and the first week will be history. I sure can't remember an easier start to the school year! Yay!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pondering exclusion...deliberate or otherwise

I was reading in a book tonight about a girl out having fun with her hubby and a couple other friends. As they were talking it was casually mentioned that several other girls with whom she socialized were having an evening out. Immediately she felt hurt. Now, it wasn't that she even wanted to be with them. She didn't even like most of them. She was truly happier and having more fun where she was. So, why did it bother her?

We have all been there. Acquaintances do something fun, invite one or more of your friends, the people you hang with, but not you. You don't get along with, or even really like the person organizing the event. You are much happier at home with a book. Until you know you weren't invited. Suddenly you care! You don't care that they don't like you, and you don't like them, but you care that they had the audacity not to invite you. You get a bit indignant in addition to feeling hurt. You want to know why they excluded you, when in reality it wasn't deliberate exclusion - it's just that the thought probably never crossed their mind to invite you. You still want to be invited. Why? So others won't think you weren't worthy of an invite? So you can be frustrated and annoyed all evening? Are you jealous that your friends like this person and socialize with them? Or that this person likes your friends and not you? Is it that it's a very obvious rebuff? (even if chances are it isn't.....) Is it that you want to be the one to have the option of opting out? Of declining the invitation? Of turning THEM down? Is it really about power and control??

WHO CARES! You don't like them anyway. Get over it. You know you do not enjoy hanging with this person and dealing with their quirks and control issues. They drive you crazy.

I just don't get it. Why do we do this, feel this, get hurt by this? The human psyche is a funny thing. I don't have any answers. This isn't even occurring in my life right now. It's just that in reading this account the book triggered the feelings and the resentment inherent to the situation.


OK - that's what I'm pondering tonight.....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Who are you??

It’s interesting to catch up with people from your past and see where life has taken them. Which ones have predictably stayed the same, and which have changed or grown in amazing ways. Who settled for status quo, what they’ve always been taught, main stream republican lifestyle? And who ask questions, swam upstream and realized republicans aren’t the only party Christians can belong too? (I’m neither Republican or Democrat, just for the record.)

Thinking isn’t always easy. Change isn’t always easy. Too many of us want to be comfortable and seek approval from others. We are afraid of being judged, or thought heretical. We want to sit in church on Sunday and be passive, yet feel good about ourselves because we did what we were supposed to do.

And there we stagnate. Wither and die. And life rolls on around us. Personally, I’d rather think, read, engage with culture, expand my horizons, realize there is more than one way to see things…..

I also find it interesting that many have come to this conclusion, they just aren’t talking to their “old” friends about it, like it’s some big secret, or they’re afraid of the reaction. Whatever. I’m tired of games and masks. What you see is what you get.

I still want to connect with old friends. I love to hear their stories and why they are where they are. How they got there, if it was hard…. and where they have settled. If they are convinced they have the answer, or if they are still seeking, growing, learning, moving. If they are hiding, or if they are themselves, others be damned.

Status quo people seem to have their lives together, have more money, have success. And are afraid to ruffle the waters cuz they might lose it all. If they even think that much. Life is stable, life is comparatively easy, it’s predictable, it’s safe.

The rest of us wander, never feel secure, take chance after chance, refuse to agree just because we are told it’s so. And are judged.

I’d love to sit with a settled friend - especially one from high school or college days and talk with them. See why they are where they are, what they think about things, why they have settled. But in the evangelical world it’s not easy. It’s always black or white, in or out, right or wrong. Which kinda keeps dialogue from happening. To say nothing of acceptance and understanding.

I don’t have the answers, but I sure have the questions.

Wanna talk??

Sunday, August 17, 2008

No Increvable - no Coup Fourré....


Kim and Carissa are playing Mille Bornes in real life. Gordon is approximately 1000 miles from our house. No one reminded them to make sure they had remedies or safeties in their hand. The world goes on - they sit. Here's the scoop.....

So, it took Carissa some time yesterday to pack her car - tetris style. Shoehorn style. It's amazing what a mini cooper will hold! They took off this morning at 10. Too late if you ask me, but nobody did. So they traveled about two hours and had a flat. Near Valpo. Boo. It's Sunday. And they have to unpack a good bit to get to their spare. Well, it was a nice packing job...

They can't find Mini Cooper tires. And remember it's Sunday. Fortunately someone has tires that will work, just a slight variance in size - not enough to hurt performance. So they've been told. There goes the gas savings I'll bet.

Well it's either them, or stay in Indiana until Monday when they can locate a perfect tire.

So, after unpacking and getting out the spare, wasting time on the tire issue etc. Carissa is steaming. Why did they leave at 10:00 am you ask? Good question. Not that that would have prevented a flat tire, but it would have made them much more flexible and way less stressed about time constraints. Deadlines.

I assumed it was Carissa not wanting to get up early. (Sorry Carissa) Nope, it was Kim. Good thing I didn't know that earlier, I woulda pushed a much earlier departure to allow for whatever issues popped up. And made him mad.

I always tend to say "MEN!" when these things happen.
Probably not fair....but in my experience, often true.
Men always think they can do more, faster. Are all men optimists? LOL.

All righty then. He's not leaving much time on the other end to catch his return flight that he scheduled earlier than I was comfortable with in order to save $100 on the flight.....

Hopefully we will have no need of these remaining cards that are sitting in the box in the closet at home.....

UPDATE: after a late supper in Ohio, and another 12 hours on the road they arrived at Gordon with no further mishaps. A little later than intended, but Kim is on his way to the airport now, and should be able to make his flight unless security is crazy.......

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I <3 Chicago

take a blue sky, a jeep, a friend, good food, and an afternoon - shake 'em up and what do you get?
Fun in the sun in the city - at the beach and Uncommon Ground!
and's a review
There's just something about the city that makes me smile every time.......

Friday, August 15, 2008

Haiti according to Jamie......

Jamie, one of the guys that went to Haiti on the trip before ours posted
this video on facebook today. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Digging Deep.....

Ok - here are five things that made me happy today:

1.) Eating at Seven on Heaven.

2.) Cairo trying to play with the rope and the ball at the same time, while wiggling his butt and smiling. (Yes, my dog smiles.....)

3.) Jen is here!

4.) Homemade ice cream

5.) All my books (even the "heretical" ones) are finally on the shelves in the living room. Who cares what anybody thinks anyway???

Monday, August 11, 2008

Weezer gets it.....

Imma do the things that i wanna do
I ain't got a thing to prove to you
I'll eat my candy with the pork and beans
Excuse my manners if i make a scene
I ain't gonna wear the clothes that you like
I'm fine and dandy with the me inside
One look in the mirror and i'm tickled pink
I don't give a hoot about what you think

So, I went to the party and wore what I wanted. My jeans. I was comfy, and happy and me! And if anybody cared they didn't say, and I was good with that. No trendy shoes, no cool skirt; nope, not me.

So, yesterday was weird. Just weird. Emotions all over the place. We spent the morning helping Mike and Julie load the truck, well except for the time I took to hold Aidan for awhile, and play with Emma. Wow, was it hard to say goodbye. Austin, you don't know how fortunate you are.

And then, when emotions started getting the best of me, we had to go - which was beyond hard - and head to a party for goodness sake. A 25th Anniversary party for our good friends Phil and Betsy. Where we had to be happy and enjoy interacting with friends - some we hadn't seen for quite some time. Well, since we left our previous church. Hence the worry about what we wore and whether we were acting properly, or even if we were still being "judged" for leaving our old church. We were genuinely happy for Phil and Betsy though.

See what I mean about roller coaster emotions? Up, down, way down, up......until I crashed at 10:00 and went to sleep.

But it's another day.... hopefully Mike and Julie are well on their way to Austin, and Phil and Betsy are on their way to another 25 years.

And I'm gonna go do what I want.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Simply being me......

You've got to love me
For what I am
For simply being me
Don't love me
For what you intend
Or hope that I will be


One thing, among many, that I liked about our church was you could come as you were. No matter what you were wearing or how you felt. You could always, unconditionally be yourself. I think that is the hardest part about looking for a new community. The games. The worry about whether you will be accepted. Conforming.

Tomorrow my friends are having a party. And I worry about what to wear. Stupid. They love me. I will just show up as I am. If other people judge me, so be it. This is me. I am not in rags. I am not unclean. I may not be what you expect - but I can't always live up to others expectations. Besides - I will have just helped some dear friends pack the truck for their move to Texas.

I am good enough. The way I am. So, go ahead and judge me if you want to, but I am old enough to do what I want, and to be comfortable as I am.

Now, if I could just remember that.......

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I don't know what to say......

I know I haven’t posted for almost a month. There are many reasons – first I was busy getting ready to go to Haiti. Then I was in Haiti. And when I got back I was busy readjusting. And helping friends get ready to move. Helping my daughter get ready to go back to college – you know, the typical doctor’s appointments, dental appointments, eye appointments and shopping trips. Plus I was also busy helping my daughter paint and redo the master bedroom. And in my spare time I have been just doing all the routine things that keep us busy in general.

Plus there are things I want to say about Haiti, but I am still processing it. I’m not sure what I really want to say, or even how I want to say it.

And I have things I want to say in general about my life, but I’m not sure where to even start - how to deal with all the thoughts and emotions and changes in my life.

So, it has been easier not to blog right now. I just don’t want to stir up all the things I know it will stir up when I start to put things on paper. So, I just keep pushing all the thoughts to the back of my mind so I can just keep on an even keel doing the things I have to do for today.

Hopefully in a couple weeks I will have time and inclination to really sit and process, and then I can blog again.

Until then, here are a few pictures from Haiti……

the Haitian people are beautiful....

sugar cane

Grand'Anse Valley

working on the grillage

Kids at the work site in Marfranc



the beach at Jeremie

goat, abricot, plantains, avocado and picklé


Bible School in Marfranc

to market to market - or just to find water to wash in....

Market in Jeremie

Market in Jeremie

Marfranc children

Sejan and Touton