Tuesday, December 16, 2008
One of the fun things about working in the school system is the anticipation of snow days. Teachers as well as the children get all excited wondering if we will be out of school when there is a chance of snow or as in the case today a chance of ice in the forecast. There is talk of doing the "snow dance" and the run on the grocery stores that always make me smile. I always say that I won't panic and go to the store on night before the big event but I found myself at Walmart last night buying up my bread and milk and cookies and chips and any other snack food that sounded good. I really did "need" some groceries and it was fun to be in the store watching what others would put in their cart. I got some ideas on what to buy such as cereal, hot dogs and the ever popular snow food of bread and milk!!
I went to bed last night wondering if there would be enough to close the schools for today and sure enough at 5:30 this morning the phone rang saying that our school system would be closed for the day. Looking outside ( a few hours later and sleeping in a little) there really didn't seem to be much out there but when I looked harder I could see a thin layer of ice on the driveway and sidewalk.
I was reminded of how sometimes things are not really as they seem. Everything outside looked normal at first glance but by looking closer I could see the danger that was looming if the ice was not given the respect it deserved. We must always be on guard to not be too causal in our everyday lives.
I am excited about the extra day off this week and plan to do fun things like make cookies, wrap presents and watch White Christmas!!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
It was a normal Sunday morning at the Shaw home, or so I thought! I was in the state of not being fully awake to stretching and yawning getting ready for a new day when suddenly the phone rang, it was one of the Sunday School teachers telling us that he wouldn't be there for his class this morning. I was glad that he called so we could make arrangements when we got to church, but what I couldn't figure out is why he called so early, the clock said 6:30. I just shrugged and hung up the phone. I still had 15 more minutes to enjoy the morning before I would get up and start my day. I got up at 6:45 feeling refreshed and ready for my coffee and the rest of what the day would bring. I got into the bathroom and looked at the clock in there and not believing what I was seeing walked quickly to the kitchen to look at the clock in there, all the clocks were reading out the time of 7:55, not the 6:55 time that I thought it was.
Then I remembered that we had gotten a clock that would automatically reset when it was day light saving time. BUT GUESS WHAT? IT WAS NOT DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME!!!!!! ( We copied Angela and Zach's clock that they had gotten for a wedding present.) I had thought how neat it would be not having to remember to set my clock those two times when the time changed!!
I never really had a problem remembering when to change our clocks before because the spring time change was the weekend after my birthday and the fall change was the weekend after Steve's birthday in October. What I had forgotten this year, is that the government decided to make daylight savings time last longer so the time change to spring forward this year was in March and the time to fall back is in November. The spring time change and not remembering to change the clock didn't have any affect on us. But, this one made us late!! We ended up with our extra hour today and then I guess we will get another hour when the time really does change!! (whenever that is!)
I am not someone who likes to be late, in fact that is something that Steve and I have had issues with over the years. I was brought up that you are not late to things instead you should be early. He was brought up to get there when you can. I know that when I yelled out "Steve, get up, we are late, the clock is wrong" really got his attention this morning. I made phone calls to let the leadership at church know that we would be late. It made me so irritated at myself that I let this happen but then I realized, how did I know that the clock would reset itself like it did? I realized that sometimes we put undue stress on ourselves because we think we are the only ones that can do certain things.
What happened this morning reminded me that we should control the controllable. I couldn't control the fact that we were late this morning, it was just one of those things that happen. I think I handled things okay for me but as I got ready, I had to laugh that the more I tried to hurry, the more little things happened. Like I thought, I won't wash my hair but when I got in the shower as I was planning out step by step how I would get things ready to go, I realized that I was washing my hair, then I was getting out my makeup and dropped part of it on the floor, then I couldn't find my other earring. Nothing, it seemed was easy this morning.
I realized that with this experience that I have changed my way of dealing with things like this. I didn't get mad and try to blame anyone, I didn't stay stressed on the 30 minute drive to church, I was able to laugh and tell how technology got the better of me this morning.
Life is too short to stay upset over things that are out our control. I hate the fact that we were late this morning but I am happy in the fact that I didn't let the situation get the better of me. But, you better believe that I will be finding out the specific dates for day light savings time in the future!!!!!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Today is my wonderful husband's 50th birthday!
For the past 7 months my sweet husband has been kind enough to remind me that I am 50 and that he is not!! Well, today is the day that he turns 50, so once again, he is the same age as me.
Finally, no more teasing about me being soooo old! Now he knows how it feels. I have to say that it doesn't seem to be bothering him either about turning 50, it's going to happen so why be depressed.The years keep going and so do our ages. We figure that as long as we don't act our age it is okay to keep having birthdays!!
He has been on vacation this week so it was good to spend most of today with him. I have had a few happys for him to open throughout the day, like chattering teeth, in case he needs to replace his, a small construction cone to put out when he is having a senior moment and things like that. I am saving the rest for when the children get here so we can have cake and open the rest of his special presents! Payback is fun!!!!
When it was Angela's, Zach's and Ben's birthdays I listed things about them that matched their ages but with Steve turning 50, I don't know if I can think of that many, ha ha
I will just say this about him:
He is a man who loves the Lord and his family with his whole heart. He is kind and compassionate. He has a wonderful sense of humor. He is very smart and knows so much about so many different things. He makes me laugh and has the most beautiful smile and twinkling eyes of anyone I have ever met.
I could go on and on but I will stop with:
Happy Birthday Honey, I love you very much!!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Ben was able to come home last Friday and stayed until Tuesday afternoon. He brought with him his wonderful smile and laugh, his guitar to entertain and his laundry that would fill an entire laundromat. I sure was glad to see him and enjoy his company. I even did most of his laundry. My mom was very glad to see him as well. She has been staying with us for most of the month of October. So the timing of fall break was perfect. Ben was able to have a little time with all of us. Ben and I did one of our fun things while he was home and that was to take a trip to Sam's Club. We are both very impulsive shoppers so when you get us together in Sam's, my checking account can take a hit. We went in there for TP, washing powder and coffee beans but came out with books, juice, water, cinnamon rolls, ink pens and much more. We always have a good time there.
When he went back to school on Tuesday, mom and I had Wednesday to get laundry done and get ready for our trip to Knoxville to visit Angela and Zach. We had already had tickets to the UT game on Saturday before we knew mom was going to be here with us, so Angela suggested that we bring mom to Knoxville with us and that we could take her up to Gatlinburg and drive around the mountains and show her around the area. Mom was excited about that since she had never spent any time in east Tennessee. Mom and I went on Thursday and then Steve came up on Saturday in time for the game. Mom stayed at Angela's and Zach's while we went to the football game. She was very glad for the chance to see where her grandaughter and grandson-in-law live, to meet their dog, Jere, and the newest addition to the family, Pickles the kitten, AKA Kitty, and to see some of the mountains. We were a little disappointed because the day we had planned to drive into the mountain area was drizzly and rainy so she didn't get to see as much as she wanted too but was still happy to be there.
We got home last night and of this morning, fall break is over, how sad is that? The time went fast and now it is time to move on with the school year. I am glad that I had a good fall break and now I am looking forward to Thanksgiving break and then on to Christmas break.!!!!!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
We watch football all day on Saturday and from the time we get home from church on Sunday till we go to bed. There are games after games after games. We watch mostly SEC games but occasionally we will watch other conferences. We cheer for our Ole Miss Rebels first and foremost! This is a team near and dear to our hearts. Steve and I are both graduates from Ole Miss and we have a niece that is attending there now. Even though Angela and Ben went to other colleges, they too, have a heart for Ole Miss. I think even Zach is getting fonder of Ole Miss even though he is a very devoted Tennessee fan.
I love the fall for other reasons besides football. I love watching the leaves change colors. The vibrant colors are so amazing and inspiring. I love the smells in the fall. When you get up on a crisp morning, it is almost like you can smell the new day dawning. I love the smell of the tobacco being smoked in nearby barns. I look at the trees as their leaves begin to fall and wonder if it makes them sad to loose them. It seems that on a crisp fall day that you can touch the blue sky because it seems so very close and vivid.
Fall in the Shaw family means plenty of birthdays. It seems like every week someone is having a birthday. Steve's dads was last week, his sister's is this week and Steve's is next week. It is interesting having so many birthdays in one month. We were able to go see Steve's dad last week for his birthday and I think they will be able to come see him for his birthday on the 24th. He will be turning 50 and I know they want to help celebrate this milestone birthday. I guess we will just be able to call his sister for her birthday. She lives pretty far from us so it is harder to get together.
Fall has many things to enjoy. I will always love this time of year and the things that come with it. Football, changes in the weather, vibrant colors, crisp days, and of course celebrating these times with family. After all family is what makes these things that much sweeter!!!
Friday, October 3, 2008
It is birthday time again in the Shaw family. My wonderful father-in-law, Billy Earl Shaw, is 77 years old today!!
It has been so fun to get to know this man over the past 30 years. There are many things about him that I have come to love.
He is a kind, honest man who always puts his family first. He loves his wife, children and grandchildren with all his heart. He is kind, honest and a man of integrity. He has been an example of what a Godly man is all about.
One of my favorite things about him is his smile. He doesn't just smile with his mouth but mostly with his eyes. He has the best twinkling eyes I have ever seen. I love to watch him smile and laugh.
He is special to me because he is a father that I never had while I was growing up. When I became the wife of his son, I became his daughter as well. I have never felt like an outsider or been treated any differently than his other children and for that I am truly thankful.
Happy Birthday Pop!!!! I love you!!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Well it is birthday time again in our family!! Our newest son, Zach, is 26 years old today. He has been a wonderful addition to our family. Zach likes birthdays as much as the rest of us do. He makes me laugh because he wants to either know what he is getting or open his presents way before the real day of his birthday. He tries very hard to get people to tell him what he is getting. I have found it fun to make him wait and tease him about his gift. I was disappointed when I found out earlier today that his present that we mailed didn't get to him today, on his birthday. Oh well, he will have something to open tomorrow! He called me before wanting me to tell him what we got him since it didn't get there today, but we are making him wait!!!!
In honor of our new son, Zach, here are 26 things we have come to know about him.
1. He is a child of the King
2. He is married to our daughter Angela
3. He is a University of Tennessee fan
4. He is a Boston Red Sox fan
5. He is getting a cat for his birthday
6. He has one sister
7. He has lived in east Tennessee most of his life
8. He is very techy.
9. He has brown eyes
10. He likes NASCAR
11. He doesn't like onions
12. He likes deer jerky
13. He doesn't like to fly
14. He likes Mac computers
15. He is one of my technical advisers.
16. He likes green beans.
17. He has a dog named Jere
18. He works for a media company
19. He wears glasses/contacts
20. He plays guitar
21. He has driven the Dragon
22. He has family in Arkansas, Tennessee and Maryland
23. He likes to play golf
24. He and his dad went to the same college
25. He has a beautiful wife
26. He has wonderful in-laws
Happy Birthday Zach!!!!!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I have been placed in a challenging situation at work this school year and instead of relying on Him to help me through it, I have been trying to come up with my own solutions of how things should be done. I had wanted to show them that I could rise to this challenge and be super woman and have time to see approximately 45 children two times per week , have assessment time, paperwork time, planning time and meeting times for all of them in three days per week. I have come to the conclusion that this cannot be done!!!!
I had to do something last week that is very hard for all of us to do and that is to admit defeat!! I had to go into my boss and tell her that I could not do everything that needed to be done in the three days I worked. I told her I needed help (that is such a hard thing to admit). She understood my dilemma and said that she would try to get some help for me. I soon found out that the extra help I so badly needed was not to be and I was told to do the best I could.
At first I was mad, then upset and saying to myself that it isn't fair that they should expect me to do a full time job on a part time schedule and on and on. Finally, in desperation I cried out to the One who knew my dilemma and despair. Why I waited so long I don't know but He began to bring peace to my soul about the situation and helped show me the error of my ways. I was whining and complaining to everyone, and the whole situation consumed me. I had become negative and disheartened.
I was having my quiet time one morning and reading a devotional that was meant just for me at that moment. It was talking about whatever situation you may be in not to lose your joy and to praise Him no matter what. I was so humbled as I read this because it was all playing back in my mind just how negative I had been, how much I had complained and on and on. As I began to seek His forgiveness, I began to realize that it had been all about me. He showed me that no matter what He is in control and has a plan a purpose for me. I began to realize that He had moved me to be in this new school for a reason, He knew the road would be hard, He knew the circumstances that I would be in and He knew that I would wake up to theses truths. I read this morning that as I enter His throne room with my cares and burdens loaded into a dump truck; that I should dump them out before Him and leave with a song and dance of praise. I have unloaded all my cares on Him and now I am singing and dancing His praises!!!!
I know that the tasks will be difficult as I continue this path during this school year. I know that discouragement and discontentment are always lurking around the corner. But!!! I know that I am not in this alone. I know that He will light my path and give me what I need to face each day. I know that I am there to love on these children and to help them to the best of my ability and with Him I will!!! I may not get things done as quickly as I would like, I may not know where I will place the new children that will be entrusted to me but I do know that I will keep on plodding down the road just like a turtle, (slow and steady wins the race!!), and get things done as quickly as I can, even though it may be slower than I would like.
At the end of the school year I will be able to look back at all the things that have been accomplished and the lessons learned both in the world and spiritually as well and give a big sigh of relief!!!!
Whew!!!!!!! We made it!!
Monday, September 8, 2008
It is hard to be home alone when you are used to someone else being here with you. Steve is out of town this week attending meetings for his job. For many years these meetings were held in August and he would usually have to miss our anniversary and/or one of the children's birthdays. I think it is kind of funny that now they move the meetings to September and the children are both gone from home, so it really doesn't matter that much when the meetings are. Oh well!!
I don't mind being alone too much but this is the first time that I have been alone for an extended time without my precious Pepper. It is hard for me to believe that he has been gone for almost four months. I never realized just how much I talked to him and even though he had slowed way down in his movements, wherever I was in the house, he was there too. If I went to the kitchen, he was in the kitchen. If I went to the bathroom, he was in the bathroom. If I went to do laundry, he would lie down in the hallway and watch me go back and forth. He would go with me to get the mail and to walk in the yard. He would bark and guard me with all his might.
He would love me and let me love him. We were content just to be with each other.
I told Steve tonight that I missed the sound of his paws as he walked through the house. I miss the sound of his dog tags hitting against his water bowl when he would drink. I miss the sound of his barking at the animals he would see from the window. I miss the sound of his breathing as he slept contentedly on the floor next to me. I miss watching him play and run through the house sliding on the floors trying to stop. But most of all I miss his devotion to me. I was his and he was mine. I know he was the family dog but he was my dog. We would call him "momma's boy" Although he had his moments for the most part he was a dog to be proud of, he had a very laid back personality and he loved people. When we would have friends over he would be so excited, it was like he thought they were coming to see him and not us. He would go from person to person with his tail wagging and waiting just in case they happened to drop a bit of food!!
I know someday we will get another dog but none will ever take the place of Pepper. Thank you, Pepper for all the joy and love you brought to our family you will never be forgotten!!!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
It has been a busy few weeks around our house with all the birthday and anniversary celebrations, the garden stuff that had to be done, working and the everyday things that have to be done around the house as well as the errands that have to be run. I have found that the days go by so fast when you are busy.
Last week after a trip to Eupora to see Steve's mom and dad over the weekend, and a busy two days at school, I actually found myself looking forward to a dental appointment that I had scheduled just so I could sit down for awhile and not feel guilty about not getting something else done. I don't think I have ever felt that way before about the dentist!! There was a plus to the visit in that I didn't have any cavities and everything is looking good. That is always nice to hear.
There are days in which busyness is a good thing because you can get so much accomplished and then there are the days that you feel that you are spinning your wheels; you work and work and look at what you have done and you realize that you have only scratched the surface. This is a time when the whining and complaining can start. I found myself in that situation and was whinning to my son when he said to me,"Wait, wait, I hear it, it is getting louder, can you hear it? Here comes the whambulace, whaaaa, whaaa!" Well, he made me laugh but I also got to thinking about what he said. I was whining and complaining and what good was that doing me or anyone else? I had to admit to myself that my complaining was bringing me down along with whoever the lucky person, or should I say unlucky person, I was complaining to.
The only one that can fix this issue is me. So I will be trying very hard not to whine and complain about things that come along in my life. I realize that when I do this, I get fixated on me and when my focus is on me, I tend to forget about Him because it is all about me. I felt very ashamed when the true reality of this hit me. My devotion one day this week talked about this very subject, it was time for me to get my act together!!! I have made an effort to stop, but it very hard because you just want others to understand what is going on and before you know it, I hear the whambulace once again! I realize that this will be an ongoing process but one that I intend to work on very hard.
I realize too, that many times we bring busyness on ourselves. We feel that we have to do this and go there, watch this and that, be the one who does everything and in doing these things we get so tired that we can't find the time for the most important thing. We sometimes forget where our strength comes from. When we get too busy that we don't spend time with God, then we are too busy. When our priorities get out of balance many times our quiet time with Him is one of the first things to go. I want to encourage you that if you have been forgetting or you have been too busy for your quiet time with Him, that you make it a priority once again in your life. He promises to give us what we need and through Him your busy life will have purpose once again.
Monday, August 25, 2008
August is a month of many birthdays in our family. We have had Ben's, Angela's but the biggest birthday in the month of August this year is my brother-in-law's, Johnny. Johnny is Steve's sister's, (Lisa), husband and he is celebrating the big 50 birthday today.
Johnny had a good time helping me celebrate the big 50 birthday this year back in April, so Johnny Fulgham, this one is for YOU!!!!
We hope you have had a wonderful day and aren't paybacks fun!!!!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Today is a very special day in our family, it is the day our first child, Angela Lee was born 26 years ago. Steve and I talk often about how fast these years have flown by. It seems that she was born only yesterday. She has brought us much joy and we are so proud of the young woman she has become. We were able to go to Knoxville this weekend to visit with her and Zach and to be there for part of her special day!!
26 Things About Angela
- She is a child of the King
- She has had her daddy wrapped around her finger since the day she was born!!!
- She has a dimple in her cheek
- She has a beautiful smile
- She is tall but doesn't play basketball
- She is the older sister
- She has a wonderful husband
- She has a cute little dog
- She has been to China three times
- She loves to travel
- She loves to shop with her mom
- She likes to scrap book
- She loves Cinderella
- She loves her grandparents
- She is the oldest grandchild
- She loves to read
- She is a photographer
- She plays piano
- She loves football
- She likes Tennessee but her heart belongs to Ole Miss
- She has a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree
- She used to think Lou was her middle name
- She is a blogger
- She loves the colors pink and purple
- She can charm just about anyone with her twinkling eyes and cute smile
- She loves to be with her family
Monday, August 18, 2008
The month of August is always a busy one in our family. It is back to school time and for so many years that was such an exciting time for Angela and Ben and I guess in a way for me too. I had fun taking them for the shopping trip to Wal-Mart for those ever so important school supplies. Ben would go through his list pretty quickly but Angela on the other hand would walk up and down the aisles looking at every style of notebook, pencil, and pencil box, crayon and marker package. She loved the fun of the new supplies; in fact this is something that she still loves. ( She loves to look at markers, papers and any kind of stationary stuff. I guess she comes by this honestly because I love these same kinds of things. She and I have a wonderful time in Hobby Lobby just looking at all the different kinds of scrap booking things.) They would also have much anticipation of their new teacher and which ones of their friends would be in the same class with them. The first day of school was always a picture day and a day they looked forward to.
August also hold birthdays for Angela and Ben. Ben is the first one to celebrate his special day on the 15th even though he is the youngest child. He, even to this day, loves to tease Angela that he is only one year younger than she is even if it is only for nine days. August 24th is the day that our firstborn made her appearance into the world. So as of this writing Ben is 24 and Angela is 25 (soon to be 26). We have a lot of cake to eat in August!!!!
Back to school is fun and birthdays are special but the main event for the month of August is that 29 years ago today, August 18, 1979, I became Mrs. Steve Shaw. I look back at the past 29 years and wonder just where the time went. Steve and I have had our ups and downs over the years but that is to be expected. I am so proud of the man I married and love him more with each passing day. So in honor of 29 years of marriage here are 29 things about our lives together.
29 Years of Happiness
1. We are both children of the King.
2. We both love college football (Ole Miss!!)
3. We both love to hunt, he game hunts, I bargain hunt
4. We love to laugh
5. We have moved 13 times
6. We love cruises
7. We love to sing
8. We appreciate the beauty of creation
9. We love our families
10. We have been to many baseball games
11. We have been to many tennis matches
12. We have been to many piano recitals
13. We have been to many soccer matches
14. We have worked the concession stand
15. We love to go for rides in “little red”
16. We both love sports
17. We are the DREAM TEAM !!!!
18. We love to travel
19. We like to ride 4 wheelers
20. We have been parents of the bride
21. We now have three children
22. We have lived in the city and the country (aka boonies)
23. We take a lot of pictures
24. We are proud of our children
25. We like the Atlanta Braves
26. We like to walk out on our property
27. We still hold hands
28. We pray together
29. Our love is always and forever!!
Friday, August 15, 2008
I grew up always anticipating my birthday. I fact I would and still do start singing Happy Birthday to me on February 2nd, which is a full two months before my actual birthday! I have passed this excitement of birthdays on to my family, and today I am proud to say is my son’s, Ben, 24th birthday.
He gets excited and talks about his birthday in advance just as I do. Something else we have in common is that we are both the second and youngest children in our families and for a short number of days we are only one number year away from our older siblings. My sister, Cathie’s birthday is April 10 and mine is the 2nd. Our birthdays are only 8 days apart. Ben’s birthday is August 15 and Angela will be 26 on the 24th of August, so their birthdays are only 9 days apart. Get this, Steve and his sister are only 10 days apart. I think that is pretty neat!!
When I think of Ben I think of someone who loves his God, his family and is looking forward to what this next year has for him. He has come full circle in many ways and had has many life experiences. I am proud to have him for a son.
In honor of his 24th birthday, here are 24 things about Ben.
1. He is a child of the King
2. He loves life
3. He makes me smile
4. He is a good listener
5. He has gets frustrated in traffic
6. He has a passion for music
7. He plays bass guitar in a praise and worship band
8. He is a part time youth director
9. He loves football
10. He likes to hunt
11. He loves jerky
12. He played baseball for many years
13. He makes others happy
14. He is very compassionate
15. He played soccer
16. He played in the jazz band
17. He has had many jobs
18. He doesn’t like to do laundry
19. He has a contagious laugh
20. He can charm anyone, anytime!!
21. He is very competitive
22. He is the only male Shaw in his generation
23. He has wonderful twinkling eyes
24. He is a wonderful son!!!!!!
Happy Birthday, Ben!!!!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Summertime brings us wonderful things like swimming, going to the beach, eating watermelon, vacations, baseball and this year the Olympics. For many people the summer also brings the wonder and fulfillment of growing a garden.
This is one of my husbands favorite things to do. He loves the planning of what to grow, planting, weeding, harvesting and then enjoying the fruits of his labor by eating the wonderful things he has grown. Having a garden in summer is a part of his life. He is from the country where having a garden was something that you just did every summer. On the other side of the coin, I grew up in the city and for me green beans was something you got at the local grocery store from a can. I never realized the difference between store bought and fresh vegetables until I visited his family while we were still dating. They were amazed that I had never eaten fresh veggies and were quick to fix things for me to eat. I have to admit, fresh veggies have a much better flavor. I think part of the better flavor comes from the pride of planting, growing, harvesting and preparing them yourself.
For a long time we didn't live in a place that we could have a garden but since we have moved out to Southside, aka the boonies, we have more than made up for it. We, or maybe I should say, Steve has a good sized garden since the first year we were here. He puts a lot of work into it and we have had many wonderful meals as a result of his labor. This year he planted corn, butter beans, green beans, peppers, squash, tomatoes, okra,watermelon and cantaloupe. I enjoy the bacon and tomato sandwiches, fresh veggies from the garden to the table, the walks we take everyday to look at how things have grown and the satisfaction on Steve's face when he looks at his garden.
There are times though, when I don't want to see him bring in another bucket full of tomatoes, corn, butter beans, etc. because I know that means we have to do something with it. I have to admit that Steve does 80% of the garden stuff. I am just the helper, and that is okay with me!!!
We have had a bountiful garden again this year and I am so happy to be able to share with others what God has blessed us with.
Monday, August 11, 2008
It is hard to realize that it is time for school once again. The summer has gone by so quickly. I have been on the road to Memphis a lot this summer, taken a couple of trips and have been helping Steve work on things from the garden.
For many years I was a stay at home mom, a part of my life that I will look back with fondness but, after my youngest child graduated from high school, I knew I would need something else to help occupy my time. I applied with the Clarksville Montgomery School System and soon I had a job as a part time speech/language therapist.
I have enjoyed working part time for the past six years. The first year back I worked in two middle schools and a Head Start all in two and half days a week. The next year I was moved to Glenellen Elementary School to be the extra person needed in that school. Glenellen is the largest elementary school in our area and had enough of a case load to support a full time therapist and then me on a part time basis. (I was working three days a week at this time. ) I was blessed to meet Kristi Kimmell who was the full time therapist there. I learned a lot from her. We got along well and became good friends. She has since moved to a differen school but not until we had four fun years of working together. Last year a new therapist came in and we got along well but I knew that change would be coming for this school year. A new school had been built and rezoning would bring the numbers down so that only one full time therapist would be needed.
The call from my principal came in July that I would indeed be moving to a new school. I would be going to Norman Smith Elementary School and I would be the only one servicing that school. It seems funny not having someone to collaborate with as the start up procedures are being done. It is also strange not knowing the teachers and staff. I have found myself more than once turning down the wrong hallway, or going past the room I was looking for. I can find my room and the office and restroom but after that I am still kind of lost.
I have been greated warmly at my new school and know that before long I will be able to put names with faces and grade levels together, but for now I feel like some of the little ones I saw this morning, trying not to act afraid or lost but being that anyway!!!!
Just like the children I had opening day jitters today too. It was fun seeing their faces shining with excitment as they looked for their classrooms. Most had new backpacks and supplies that they carried so proudly. I too had a few new things for my classroom. It has been fun fixing up my room, (I have had to share a room in the past) and making it my own.
I look forward to this new school year and the adventures it will bring. I will miss my friends and my children from Glenellen but I am looking forward to the new friends and relationships that I will make in my new school.
Let the new year begin!!!!
Friday, August 8, 2008
I am pleased to revive Fabulous Friday!! It has been a long time and I have missed not updating regularly but I hope to start writing a little more often.
Date Night returns for Steve and I today. We used to have a specific date night at least every couple of weeks for many years that would be our date night. We would plan to go to a movie or out to eat, or just go walk around the mall. This was time for just the two of us. It was wonderful to have that special time planned out that would give us time together away from all the distractions and obligations of everyday life.
Tonight we are going to see the new batman movie, The Dark Knight. We used to go out and eat before the movies we would see but we found that left no room for the wonderful movie popcorn and goodies that you can only get at the movie theater. So we are meeting tonight at the theater and our dinner will consist of movie popcorn with extra butter, diet coke, and some kind of candy to follow for dessert. I have been looking forward to this all day!!
If you don’t have Date Night as a part of your relationship, I encourage you to do so. Things can become so busy and we can get focused on other parts of our lives that sometimes we take for granted the relationship we have with the ones we love the most.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Time is a precious thing.
Mom and I have had some special times while she stayed with me and Steve in Clarksville for almost two weeks. I wondered if I would be able to keep her with me that long. She is very much a home body, but she stayed with me for 12 days. We had it timed out that I would bring her home the day before her next doctor appointment, which is also the day before Steve and I leave for our New York City trip.
Angela came home the first weekend she was with us and Ben came home on Monday. It was precious to see them share a sweet time with their grandmother. She would tell them how much she loved them and how proud she was of them. They in turn shared with her about the activities in their lives.
We had a good time while she was with us. She loved looking out our big picture window. She was able to see deer, turkeys, birds, butterflies, squirrels, rabbits and the beautiful view of trees. She would sit there for hours just admiring the beauty of God's creation. She mentioned several times that she was so thankful that she was His child and thanking Him for that and the beauty of nature.
We watched the Cubs play baseball. (She is a die hard Cubs fan, she can tell you their win-loss record, the names of the players, the school they played for, etc.) She has always enjoyed watching her Cubs. We watched the Braves too but she didn't get nearly so excited to see them!
We had lots of good food and I was able to cook extra so I could fix her some plates that we would freeze and then take home with her. I think we ended up with enough for fourteen meals that all she would have to do is warm up in the microwave. We even had deer steak twice! She loves that so much, it is one of her very favorite meals. Steve was wonderful to cook this and other things for her too.
We went to town and ran errands, she stayed in the car while I shopped at Wal-Mart but we parked in the shade and she was fine reading while I quickly stocked up on supplies. She also got to meet all the repairmen that I had to call while she was there. The air conditioner, the clothes dryer and my Internet service all went out with in a 24 hour period. We also had to have a window replaced and that was done while she was there too!
The weather was pretty while she was there and again, one of her favorite things to do was to just look out the window. She continued to talk about the peacefulness and tranquility she felt at our house. I guess I had begun to take it for granted so I am thankful to her for reminding me how blessed I am living in the country.
One afternoon Steve took mom for a ride in Little Red. Little Red is our convertable that we bought last year. We have so much fun going for rides in our little car. I thought I would have to talk mom into going but when Steve asked, she got right up and got ready to go. They were gone about thirty minutes and she had a great time. I started calling her "Hot Rod Momma".
When I call her this, she just smiles.
I think one of my favorite days with mom during this time was the day we looked at old pictures. We had found a box of pictures a while back and I had them at my house so I asked her if she wanted to look at them and I would write on the back of the pictures who the people were. (with an acid free pen of course!) This project took us almost all day and we felt very successful with our accomplishment. There were sad moments but most of the day was spent reminiscing over sweet memories of her past, most I had heard about before but some were new and I am glad to have these new insights on mom. We came across several pictures of my grandmother of when she was a little girl and the house where she lived in up in Milwaukee.
We also found some of my uncle and his family as well as friends and places she had traveled.
It was a fun day.
We had several sweet talks and a few little squabbles, (too much togetherness!!!). I will never forget this visit. Time is precious and I am learning how important it is say what you need to say and do what you need to do for those special people in your life. You never know when it could be the last time.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The past weeks have been filled with many things in my life and as I sit and reflect on them, I am amazed at the variety of things that life has given me since the first part of May.
This time began with the farewell dinner for a precious friend who is moving from Clarksville and as we celebrated with her I received word from Memphis that my mom would be admitted to the hospital. She had been trying to recover from a bug and never really got her strength back so my sister took her to the doctor and then to the hospital.
Since Angela and Ben were both coming in for the weekend to celebrate mother’s day, my mom insisted that I stay here in Clarksville and enjoy my children instead of rushing to Memphis the next day. So I did and indeed the time with Angela, Zach and Ben was very special. Steve, Angela and I went to see mom on Sunday, Mother’s Day, we teased that were other ways of getting us to come see her for mother’s day rather than to visit her in the hospital. Angela was able to take a few days off work to stay with her until I could get back on Tuesday that helped me a lot to know that she would be there to help out and that my sister would have someone to relieve her at the hospital. I went to work the next day and was able to close up my room at school, just in case I didn’t get back before school was out. I am so amazed out how God worked that out.
I went back on Tuesday, at this time they were calling mom a “diagnostic dilemma” and were still running tests. On Monday, they were able to remove some fluid that had accumulated around her lungs so she was able to breathe better. On Monday they told mom that she had an abdominal aortic aneurism and that she would need surgery, but they had to figure out where the fluid was coming from first. Needless to say we were all very concerned, as I drove to Memphis on Tuesday morning, Angela called me and said that another test had been done and what was there, was no longer there. Some would call that coincidence or that a mistake had been made but I know that it was a miracle from God!!! We were all so excited.
This excitement changed to disbelief when the doctor came in on Thursday with some bad news. The fluid that had been drawn off her lungs showed cancer. CANCER, this is a word that no one wants to hear. He gave us the names of several oncologists and helped us get in touch with one. He would be passing off mom’s care to this dr. This news came on May 16. They did however release her from the hospital, which she was so grateful for because her bed was extremely uncomfortable to her. I came home with her and stayed until Sat.
The oncologist met with us in the hospital and wanted to do a few more tests before meeting with us. I would take her to one the next week and Cathie would take her to one the week after that and then we would have a consultation on May 30th. God was so kind to me in this area because my sweet niece was graduating from high school in Mississippi and then afterwards we had planned to go to Florida for a few days with her family. Mom was doing well enough for me to go and enjoy these days with Steve’s family. Florida was a much-needed break in these days of uncertainty and even though I still felt overwhelmed, I was able to enjoy the beach!!!
We drove home on the 29th and then I got up at 5 the next morning so I could drive to Memphis for the appointment at 10:15. The results were not what we wanted to hear. The doctor told us that mom had adenocarsinoma and that the prognosis is not good and that there is no cure. The numbers she gave us were 3-12 months. Needless to say we were all numb and really had no questions for her because we were not expecting this news.
How do you react when you are told that your mom may only have a short amount of time left to live? I am still working through things myself. But, I have to admire my mom so much because at the word cancer at the hospital the first words out of her mouth were “my God is bigger than cancer”. Her faith is so strong and her belief in God’s healing power is a testimony to all she comes in contact with. She refuses to believe that this is going to beat her and I stand with her all the way!!!
She has had fluid removed from both of her lungs and is breathing much better. She is not using oxygen and at this time she is with me here in Clarksville. We are having a special time and I thank God that He is allowing us this time here with Steve and me. Angela was able to come in for the weekend and Ben was here yesterday and left this morning.
I have begun to look at life in a very different way over the past month. Things that I thought to be so important aren’t. I have been looking for the strength and grace from God each day, instead of taking it for granted.
I have faced other trials during this time, such as:
• The loss of my precious Pepper.
• I hit and killed a deer, the first one ever for me.
• The sudden loss of a special friend.
• Steve’s mom has been in the hospital too.
• My Internet service, my air conditioner and my clothes dryer have all gone out in the past 24 hours.
But one thing I have to say about all these things is that MY GOD LOVES ME and HE IS IN CONTROL!!!!!
I have had some good times too:
- Going to the beach
- Spending time with family
- Vacation Bible School
- Knowing that I have special friends that love me and are praying for me and my family
- Seeing my children
As I reflect on these past days I am realizing once again that life is too short and precious to fret over the little things. I am learning to live life each day and to take advantage of the things that matter most.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
As I began to reflect on the party and all the wonderful things of my birthday week, I also began to reflect upon the years leading up to this milestone event. I think that when you turn 50, you have a right to be in a reflecting state. I realized that I am no longer a little chick that needs to be constantly taken care of by her mother chicken. I also realized that I am no longer a spring chicken,( as evidenced by the back pain I woke up with the day after my birthday, no kidding!)
I want to think that I am the same Barbara that I used to be; but reality hit me when I realized that I look forward to going to bed at 9:00 and that I like to take naps!
When you start to think about your life, I mean really think about it, you can react in one of two ways. You can look back at it with regrets and beat yourself up about what you did or didn't do, the choices you made or didn't make OR you can look back and think about the blessings that you have as a result of your life. All of us have blessings, we may not recognize them for what they are but we have them. We all make mistakes and have made choices that may not have been the greatest. We may have regrets and think "if only", but I have found that if you choose to dwell on these then you are hindering yourself from being the one God intended you to be. You are limiting the God of the Universe from using you to be His vessel because you are so wrapped up in you that you forget about Him.
As I begin my life as a 50 year old (half a century ) woman, I am once again reminded to live each day to the fullest. I want to remember to smile and hopefully make others smile as well. I want to continue to be a good wife, mother, daughter, and sister. I want to make a difference in this world by shining the Light of Jesus wherever I go. I want to pursue the calling that He has for me and to encourage others to do the same. I won't let the passing of time be something that I look back on with regret but instead with fondness. What about you?
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I just love birthdays and what they represent. A lot of my birthday memories include my sister, Cathie. Cathie is two years older than me and because our birthdays are so close together we have shared many birthday celebrations together. My birthday was last week and I turned the big 50. Cathie is two years older, (so that means she is 52 today!!) I remember trying to catch her in age when we were growing up because for 8 days I was only 1 year younger and not 2. That was during the time when I wanted to be older. As the years have gone by, I have been glad that she got older first. HA HA!!
I am sad not to be with her today as we had planned but we should be able to get together next week and have some birthday fun at a spa and the mall. I can’t wait. I love to be with her. I love to watch people watch us and wonder if we are twins; some people tell us that we are having way too much fun as we walk along laughing and talking. I love our times at Starbucks as we try to catch up on the things happening in our lives. I love the sparkle in her eyes and the sound of her laugh. She is special to me in the way only a sister can be.
So here’s to you, Cathie, my sister and friend!! I hope your birthday is as special as you!!!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I have had fun the past two days enjoying spring break. Our school system usually ties our week long break in with Easter, either the week before or after. This year with Easter being so early, it is the week after. My sweet husband has let me sleep in the past two mornings and has made me extra coffee to enjoy. It has been colder again and so much fun to wake up and snuggle in my favorite blue robe and drink my morning coffee not feeling rushed to do anything.
I did go get my sweet Pepper, who was being boarded at the vet and run a few errands yesterday and today I went into town to get my hair done. I was also going to get my new driver’s license picture done but there were like 50 people in the information line so I decided to come home and take a nap and do things that are fun. The rest of the week I plan to scrapbook, do laundry, sleep, maybe clean out a drawer or two, watch old movies and read!!
I think it is a very sad thing that everyone doesn't get a spring break!!!!
I think it is a very sad thing that everyone doesn't get a spring break!!!!
The weekend was fun but different. Steve and I were able to leave early on Friday to go down to his parents in
It is amazing how God will work out the details of a situation if you let Him.As the days before Easter approached I began to think about
the Easter Bunny and wondered how he would get the goodies for Easter to the children. He reminded me of the US Mail and on Thursday of last week he fixed boxes to send to each one, green grass and all!! Then I thought how can family pictures be made and pictures of the grandchildren taken? I realized that pictures can be made anywhere and we had them take a picture and email it to us. As all the seemingly small details worked themselves out one by one, I was reminded that even though not being together for Easter was not really a big deal in the scheme of things, the hurt in my heart was just as real to Him as it was to me. I also realized that no matter how seemingly big or small the reason for heartache that my Heavenly Father knows and is ready to help me through.
I have wonderful group of friends that meet together each month for a time of fellowship and sharing. As I shared my heart with them on Thursday about the upcoming weekend, I asked for them to pray for me during this time. I truly felt the prayers of my friends! Yes, it was hard for me but I think even harder for Steve’s mom because not only were Angela, Zach and Ben not there but also her daughter and her family could not come because of illness. God in His faithfulness helped us through this time.
Easter morning was a lot calmer than usual, we made it to sunrise service, breakfast at the church, going back home for a short time and then back to church to hear the Easter cantata. We came home and took pictures,(it didn’t take nearly as long), then we ate a wonderful dinner, took a nap, watched basketball and then Steve and I loaded up and made our way home. I was able to talk with them via cell phone and text messaging. Hearing their voices helped a lot!!!!
How could I stay sad knowing that the day was meant to celebrate our Risen Savior!!! Knowing that the grave couldn’t hold my King and that He is Alive forever more!!! What joy fills my soul! Thank You Jesus!!!!
The Shaw family
(minus Angela, Zach, Ben, Deborah,
Randy and Christopher)
Friday, March 21, 2008
A Tribute to Spring
F- The Flowers are making their appearances after sleeping all winter.
A- The Amazing colors that are seen. Bright blues, yellows and vibrant greens.
B- My Birthday is coming; I may never stop yacking about it. I love birthdays!!
U- My Umbrella is in demand as spring brings April showers.
L- A time to remember my risen Savior and bask in His Love.
O- Listening to the Orchestra of music presented by the birds as they return.
U- Spring Ushers in the feelings of new beginnings!
S- Time for turkey Season!!!
Friday, March 14, 2008
Last Friday I found myself in White House Tennessee helping to celebrate the grand opening of yet another Wal-Mart store. I love to attend these grand openings. I have been doing so for the past 27 years. That is how long Steve has been with Wal-Mart ( actually his anniversary date is June 13th).
I stand with pride as currents of excitement run through the crowd. There is a mummer of voices as customers mingle with associates and local dignitaries that are in attendance. I find myself looking for Steve as he prepares to do his role in the grand opening ceremony itself. His role has changed over the years from being an assistant manager, co-manager, store manager and now market manager.
A hush falls over the crowd as the store manager stands at the podium ready to begin the festivities. The grand opening always begins with presentation of our American flag and singing of the national anthem. This time a chapter of the local Boy Scouts presented our flag and someone from a local radio station sang our national anthem. As I stand listening, I am once again thankful and feel much pride in my country and what it stands for. I think of Mr. Sam and his obvious love of this country which has been instilled in Wal-Mart traditions. He was a man with a dream, he worked hard, and because of him following this dream, we have Wal-Mart. I think he must smile every time a new store opens.
Next, they lined up Wal-Mart associates who had been with the company for over 20 years, the local dignitaries and the store manager. A long red ribbon with a large bow was stretched in front of them. They were give a large pair of scissors and the next thing you know the ribbon had been cut and store number #4483, White House
Customers were then given pieces of cake while the local high school band started to play. The atmosphere was electric and everyone was smiling and excited. The customers began their adventures in this newest Wal-Mart. It was great to see people with shopping carts looking and buying in this new store.
The associates have worked hard and were very proud of their Wal-Mart store.
And so am I!!!!!!
I had to include another picture of the snowfall from last weekend. It too, reminds me of some of the words He has spoken.
Isiah 30:21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the left or the right."
Saturday, March 8, 2008
What an amazing Saturday this has been so far! We woke up to a blanket of snow on the ground. I am always so awed by the sight of freshly fallen snow. It looks so beautiful and tranquil. It covered tree branches as well as things on the deck. Yesterday the skies were gray and gloomy all day. We had rain, sleet and snow. Last night we even lost power at our house. I had to laugh as to how many times I tried to turn on a light, even though I knew we didn’t have power.
But when I woke up this morning, there was the new untouched snow. The birds were out at the bird feeder not seeming to mind the cold or the snow. The sky was a vibrant blue with the sun sparkling on the beautiful white snow. I am reminded of the verse from Isaiah 1:18 that says: “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.” Once again I am reminded of His forgiveness of sins. What a wonderful God we have, I am once again renewed and refreshed in the beauty I see in His creation.
Steve and I went out for a ride in the snow on the four wheeler. We rode to the back of our property and then walked along the back creek to the water fall. Everywhere we looked was beautiful. We saw the blanket of snow covering everything. However the sun was making its presence know because the snow started to melt while we were out. We saw tracks made by deer, squirrels, and rabbits. We saw the footprints that we had made and the tracks of the four wheeler itself. We had fun walking and sliding around on the snow covered hillsides.
We took the camera and ended up taking around 80 pictures. We would look one way and take a picture and then we would look the other way and take more pictures. It was so pretty and we knew that snow doesn’t come often, so we wanted to capture this beauty while we had the
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Today is Saturday and in Southside
Just a few days ago, I thought that I might be preparing for spring without my faithful Pepper. The first part of the week, he seemed so lifeless and no energy. But, he is doing so much better; he is eating a little more, has a little more pep (no pun intended!) in his step and is even begging for people food! Steve and I are encouraged but we also know that he might not be here much longer. The kidney failure cannot be reversed but hopefully it will slow down so we can have more time with him. I am thankful for each day and I feel a little more prepared for the day we no longer have him.
Spring also brings the wonderful sound of the birds. I love to hear them chirp and sing their beautiful songs. These songs fill me with joy, hope and reassurance. Many mornings I am given a showcase of color and beauty as well as a symphony in song as I watch them at the feeders in my back yard.
I also love the flowers that bloom in the spring. My favorite flowers are buttercups. I have already seen a few blooming!! The colors and fragrances that flowers give us are some of my favorite things even though I am not a flower grower. That is Steve’s department. He loves to work outside in the yard or in our garden that he is already thinking about. I love the flowers, I just don’t care for the dirt that you have to grow them in, I just don’t like to get dirty. Something that I might add, I have passed on to Angela; she would come in as a little girl with dirty hands and say, “Wash it, wash it”, looking down at her hands. Sorry Angela1
Here’s to spring and the wonderful things that it brings!!!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Pepper is home from the "hospital". He was there for two days. He is better but because of his age we aren't sure just how long we will have him with us. He is moving a little slower but when he wanted to eat one of my oreo's I knew he was really feeling better!
We will just live each day at a time enjoying our time together.