Friday, December 24, 2010

Whoo hoooo!

 I got an A in both of my classes this semester!  Whooo hoooo!

I have a couple of weeks to bask in the joy that is completion of a challenging semester with satisfying grades and then WHAMMO, off to the next set of classes.  4 to be exact.  Two methods classes (social studies and math) and two one-hour classes that are only five weeks each.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Kinda.  It's still really far away, but I'm definitely making progress.  Slowly but surely.

I'm going to enjoy the rest of my winter break and celebrate Christmas in our new sanctuary and enjoy seeing my kids opening gifts and singing happy birthday to Jesus tomorrow.

*contented sigh*

Monday, December 6, 2010

My behind

Or, rather, I'm behind.

So behind.

Far, far behind.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

My candle

Someone asked me the other day how I was doing. After a moment of consideration (where my mind raced through my 'stuff': husband, kids, church, job, school, friends, housework, etc.) I replied that I felt as though I was burning the candle at both ends and in the middle.

The reply to my response was "Oh, a conflagration."

Yeah, possibly.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I'm an expert

There are a few things I think I'm an expert at. Grammar should be one, given my English major background. But if that were true, my first sentence in this post would have been: There are a few things at which I think I am an expert. (Right?)


I think I can say I'm an expert at having twins. Growing and delivering and breastfeeding and raising two sets of twins sort of indicates at least a little expertise, right?

I think I can say I'm an expert at parenting. I've done it pretty well for 15 years, if I do say so myself, and have five kids that are mostly fun to have around (And maybe I'm an expert at being humble, too?)

I think I can say I'm an expert at reading. Or at least reading as a hobby. I've done a LOT of it. I understand what I read and I can read fairly quickly. I would say I'm an efficient and effective reader (giving a little nod to knowledge gained in my current Literacy Methods class).

I even think I can say I'm a relative expert at a few other things like faith and mosaics and cross-stitch and being a board member and friendship and maybe even marriage (as long as you don't expect me to know all the answers).

But one of the things I think I can claim undisputed expertise in is procrastination. I am overly excellent at putting things off until I absolutely have to do them. It's a gift. It's a curse. It's a horrible habit that I wish I could break. And am trying somewhat to break. Especially as I'm in school taking two fairly demanding classes and working full-time and trying to parent my children lovingly and well (I'm kind of an expert, ya know) and be a good wife to my darling spouse (again, ahem, expert alert) and keep my sanity.

I really want to get right to work on breaking that habit. But first I've got some reading to do.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Yes, that is right. I am ready. More than ready. Extremely ready. So ready that it's a little scary how overly ready I am.

Ready for what?

I'll tell you. Just a second. I'm kinda worked up right now. Let me take a breath.

I'm ready to be. paid. to. teach. Spanish.

I opened my pay stub today, expecting twice as much income as in previous years. 'Cause, you know, I work full-time now in my dual position as a librarian and a Spanish teacher.

Except guess what? No really, guess. Any inklings? Suspicions? Did you figure it out? paycheck didn't change. Hopefully that will be remedied very soon, but for now a piece of paperwork is missing that lets the district know I'm now working full time.

I'm ready.

To find a little more patience in a frustrating situation.
To have this solved.
To figure it out.


Sunday, September 5, 2010


I've been struggling a bit with the start of the school year. I have been a part-time school librarian for five years (I think) and, after a long and arduous year of getting certified and hired, added part-time Spanish teacher to my repertoire this year. Now, I basically did that same position most of last year, but this year I'm 'official' and am making much more moolah.

With this 'official' status comes more responsibility and expectations for attending trainings and workshops. Well, whaddya expect? you ask. Yeah, I know. What did I expect? Somehow I expected to have it be okay that I'm the Librarian who happens to teach Spanish. But really I am employed as the Librarian/Spanish teacher, AKA the Spanish teacher/Librarian. Equally important to the district even if not necessarily equally important to me.

Hence my feeling of being an impostor (BTW, spelled 'imposter' by me before tonight's Blogger spell check caught my mistake).

Am I being true to the new teaching position? Am I taking it seriously enough? Shouldn't I be eager to get better at teaching Spanish and seek out extra trainings? Should I have waited to let them hire me for this year closer to the start of the school year to see if anyone else came out of the woodwork (even though no one else did all last year)?

I certainly never planned to be a teacher of Spanish. It sort of fell into my lap when I got all altruistic and took it on last year. The person hired for the job bailed the day before school started. For a position that had finally been provided to our small, not-even-close-to-experiencing-equity-with-middle-schools-in-Anchorage middle school. I quickly volunteered to sub the position until Someone Else could be hired so that the position wouldn't be lost. Someone Else never showed up and eventually I became Someone Else.

Now, a year later, here I am. Not sure it's worth it. Because to be a 'real' teacher of Spanish I had to start a new degree program that allowed me to be certified as a classroom teacher. Which means lots of money for classes and books. Time spent on homework and away from family, not to mention the additional work hours that create new child care issues. And lots of stress.

And, my lack of true passion for the position has me wondering if I could be considered an impostor. Shouldn't I love what I'm teaching? Please don't get me wrong (although it'd be understandable, given my waah-ing). I love Spanish--the language is beautiful and the culture of the different Spanish speaking countries is fascinating. It's why I studied it for years and had it as one of my majors in college. But I'm not sure I'm a Spanish teacher at heart, standing in front of classes teaching vocab and conjugation. I'm a librarian.

I will continue to work hard at providing my Spanish students the best I have to offer. But in terms of 'feeling the love' for my newest position? Where do I go from here?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Crazy thought

After weeks of overcast, occasionally rainy skies, I am actually (I think) looking forward to being hot when we travel to Indiana in the near future.


Or desperate to feel more summer sun?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My parental 'titles'

I wonder if I'll miss being called "The One with Two Sets of Twins" someday (and yes, it feels like it's said with capital letters), once our kids are grown and away and it's not immediately apparent that we have two sets of twins. I've been introduced as "you know, the one with two sets of twins" to someone who did not immediately know who I was. Which received a "oh, yeah, that's you" response.

Because it often happens that in a small town people don't actually have to know you to know about you.

The two sets of twins thing was so not in the plans. The first set was a complete surprise and who in the heck would even think it could or would happen again? Not me! But it is our family's blessing and it is still my somewhat stupefied joy to have had two sets of beautiful girl twins.

I wonder, too, if I'll ever get tired of seeing the surprise on some faces when I respond "five" to "how many kids do you have?" That surprise often translates into my other parenting title, "The Mom Who Handles Things Well" (see an earlier post about that!).

Having a big family was not initially in the plans for us. Jim and I used to joke (back when we were first in 'deep like' with each other and thought we might get married some day) that we'd have 720 kids. That came from a silly, lovely story that Jim thought up about us that somehow started in Spanish class, I believe, when we had the same teacher for different levels of Spanish.

Anyway, I digress.

When we were first married, two seemed like the number we'd go for. Moriah and Susannah jumped that number, thank you very much. And, having been a fairly efficient pregnant lady, my next pregnancy resulted in another jump to five kids and here we are, to the surprise and (puzzling) admiration of many who meet us and know us. And I'll reiterate what I said in that earlier post, that it's nothing amazing that I (we, really, because I need to include Jim, even though this post is from my perspective) do. Our family is our unspeakably blessed gift and we use the gift as well as we possibly can.

Yet those two titles don't motivate me as a mom. You want to know the title that I yearn for the most? The title that drives my parenting? The title I want more than any other is "The Mom Whose Kids Love and Serve God" because really, that's incredibly more important than being known for having twins or lots of kids.

That's the title I want to be known for.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More than a little pissed off

I'm horrified along with the rest of the world at the damage the oil is doing to the Gulf and elsewhere. I can't look at pictures of mucked up animals without feeling physically ill. I want BP to be treated as an individual (as per the recent Supreme Court ruling on political donations) and have all of the management arrested and tried for this travesty.

But I can't help thinking about the relatively recent Supreme Court case that reduced Exxon's payout for the Prince William Sound mess to so much less than should have been paid. I know that the situations are different, but to me, both involve negligence and both require financial restitution.

I sure hope BP will be made to pay.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I finally watched New Moon tonight. You know, the movie about vampires and werewolves.

And young love.

Completely enjoyable movie, and it got my mind set for the next one in the series, Eclipse. The release date is June 30, I believe, so a trip to the theater may be in my future.

Alice could tell me for sure, right?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

So real

I had an incredibly detailed dream this morning. Something that often happens to me if I fall back to sleep in the morning. The girls had an early babysitting gig and needed Mom to get them up and out. Crawling back into bed was the best only option at 7:35 a.m.

I woke up thinking "I have to blog about this!" But 'this' wasn't the dream. It was whatever I dreamt about. Now, sadly, for the life of me, I cannot remember at all what happened in my dream and, indeed, the dream slipped away within moments. But I still have this vague awareness of something momentous happening and my thinking "WOW" and wanting to share whatever it was. And, of course, the dream wasn't real; whatever it was that was so important didn't even exist.

Maybe my subconscious is looking for things to blog about. ??

Sunday, June 6, 2010

How do I do it?

Tonight someone said to me, echoing what I've heard from many others, "I don't know how you do it" (it=the juggling I do with family and work and school and friends and volunteering, etc.). I never quite know what to say to that, because as anyone else with lots on his or her plate will agree, you just do 'it'. There isn't usually an option to not do 'it'.

I am always flattered and not a little embarrassed when this is said to me, because 1. I have a great partner in Jim who helps make my life a joy and 2. I don't always do 'it' very well.

Let's look at #1. My amazing husband is truly an equal partner in all of 'it'. He is with the kids as much as I am. He does cooking and cleaning and garbage duty and laundry. He pays bills. He supports me and encourages me and is, basically, a selfless, generous man. I am absurdly blessed in my marriage and I should probably thank God a little more often for His wondrous gift of Jim.

Now, on to #2. I feel like I'm somewhat like Holly Golightly (I think she's the right movie character), who emerges from a messy apartment looking totally put together. That's my house and my appearance. I may look mostly put together, but it probably took some panicked searching and extra minutes moving piles and staying up too late to get things done.

Yes, I seem to hold 'it' together, but it's often with string and duct tape.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Holy cow...

it's gorgeous today. What a kick start to summer vacation!

Moriah and Jim were out this morning, helping at the baseball field.
The little girls and I were outside for several hours today, between working on the baseball field and playing at the playground. And they're back outside in our tiny little yard as I type this.
Susannah and Moriah were outside for several hours today as well, riding bikes down to the park and hanging out with several friends. And are outside with their little sisters now, too.

That leaves darling, semi-anti-social Samuel.... Well, he's been inside all day, either at home or at the movie he went to this afternoon with Jim (Iron Man 2...without me).

At least 6/7 of our family likes sunshine and fresh air.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I can almost breathe again.

Tomorrow is my last day of the school year and I have never been so ready for summer as I am this year.

This school year, I:
took on subbing for a part-time Spanish position.
waited for someone to come out of the woodwork and take over teaching.
waited some more.
decided to get my classroom certification and become the 'real' teacher.
signed up for classes.
took one class in the fall, three in the spring.
thoroughly enjoyed my winter break with my family.
was pretty stressed about going back to work.
waited for my certificate to get processed.
waited for my principal to help me figure out the whole hiring thing.
called about my cert and was told it was on its way.
took an awesome 40th birthday trip with my best friend.
made lots of calls (that my principal should have made).
cherished Spring Break time with my family.
went back to work somewhat reluctantly.
passed my world languages 'entrance' interview.
was eternally grateful for a supportive, loving husband.
waited on my principal some more.
figured it all out myself.
was really stressed.
traveled to Indiana to see my sister-in-law get married to a great guy.
missed having afternoons with my husband and youngest kids.
advocated for myself and was awarded some more pay as a long-term sub.
was told my work in one class was sub-par.
freaked out.
received notice that the long-term sub pay was terminated because I took personal leave.
was offended that my principal didn't tell me that herself but sent it in an email.
had a good cry.
received a call my mom fell and broke her femur and had had surgery two days before.
redid the work and resubmitted it.
felt even more stress.
received an A- in both my major classes.
hassled students to return books to the library.
said goodbye to some awesome 8th graders, who I will miss next year.
surely did more things that I could recount here.

Time to breathe.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I suppose I should write something

I keep imagining of all these great thoughtful posts that I could write but I just don't have a ton of extra time to compose them. Then I realized tonight that they don't have be long posts. Right?

Problem is, I can't remember what I was going to post about.