27 October 2008

paul accidentally took the van keys to school with him today. so when i got ready to pack us up to go to school we were literally all dressed up with nowhere to go. or rather all dressed up and no way to get anywhere. I called paul to make sure he hadn't hidden the van keys somewhere - and he suggested that we walk. so we headed out, but i quickly realized that the fact that i was already exactly 1 minute late for work made walking a bad idea. SO - we called Calen, our friend and fellow teacher, and she picked us up on her way.

we walked home. it was awesome. we sang songs and enjoyed the absolutely perfect day. and it was so good for me to move - i have such a hard time exercising, but when i am actually travelling somewhere, i don't even notice the exercise i am getting. so now i feel great.

Ada Brooks has just finished fixing lunch for all three of us - she's such a little busy body - which is endearing and frustrating. Eason is sitting quietly eating his apple -

I am exhausted - i may take a nap with the kiddos. i hate when i have those weekends that leave me (and the children) less rested than we were on friday. they were all good activities - there were just too many.

24 October 2008

little germ factories

eight weeks into school and i have caught my first real virus. i am having trouble breathing and am coughing up a storm. rrrraahhhh!

22 October 2008

life plans

I love this time in the morning - We've been having great mornings lately. Paul gets up and takes a shower, wakes me up and we visit - while he eats his breakfast and one of us fixes his lunch. Its hard to believe for me that I am that wife and mother who gets up to send her husband off to work with his leftovers and a kiss. But i do, and I love it.

But he leaves at 7:20 every day and then i have this time - while i listen to the children start to stir. Ada is currently singing to herself and eason is starting to do that talking with a passie in his mouth thing. which i love.

Paul's parents called yesterday to tell us that they are going to hire a green architect to come and build them a new house on their land in Petal. And that if we want to, we can come live almost rent free in their old house while we get our masters at Southern. We are still talking about it, but its an amazingly kind offer and a hard one to turn down. They are awesome grandparents and we have been in constant turmoil about who will go back to school when. It would be great if we didn't have to worry about the biggest chunk of our living expenses. I think I am fine with it as long as we have an exit strategy. Maybe if the President felt the same way when he sent our troops some place....

I am stressed out about the upcoming election - because either way SO many people are going to be angry.

the children are saying more explicit things now, which means i probably need to parent.... =)

16 October 2008

Open House is Today

i have approximately 20 parents and some grandparents coming to my classroom this morning to view the "work" the children have been doing since school started.


30 September 2008

grow our own food?

A friend last night said, "i have not been anxious until today." Well, I got anxious sometime last week, but yesterday definitely made it worse.

Another friend said, "well, if we really trust God, we know he'll take us through this." Yes, but the primary means of grace on earth, now, are people - God's people - and, at least i believe, he has given us gifts, like wisdom, to get us through things. So we don't stick our head in the sand - even if the entire time its in there we are praying. Because we are called to repair, not just to have faith. Not to mention that we made it through the great depression and two world wars - we made it through, yes, though God's grace, but it wasn't like people didn't have to get out there and hoe the fields because they were praying hard enough.

Which brings me to the title of this post - how well equipped are we really to take care of ourselves when we cannot run to the bakery for bread and the grocery store for every item under the sun, not to mention walmart for aluminum foil, etc.

Could Paul and I grow a substantial amount of the food that we eat? and will we have to? and whether we have to or not, isn't it a good idea to know how? and even if it isn't due to poverty, wouldn't it be better anyway?

wonder if the fondren association would be upset if we kept a dairy goat in our back yard?

anyway, i'm anxious. about all sorts of things, but especially our lack of ability, as a society, to be remotely self-sufficient. how much of our food do we import? how much of it do we make at home? wonder what my grandfather is thinking about all of this? he lived through the first great depression. wonder if my baby brother who is in the midst of freshman-at-ole-miss-free-for-all is wondering whether he'll forever have unlimited keystone light?

I am thankful for our lack of debt. thankful for my babies. thankful for the equity in my house. and thankful for my ability to create meals that cost 3.00 total. perhaps our recent endeavor into less money has been a blessing in disguise - a blessing preparing us for longterm 3.00 meals.

i don't like the idea of that. dammit.

20 September 2008

fall is on the way

i have been in heaven with these cooler days - not that they are my ideal weather or anything, but they are signs that it is on its way.

paul is still loving teaching, which is a blessing and a curse - a blessing because thank the lord that he has found something he loves - and it is something he can do in any way/under any circumstances, at any time. But, if he sticks with it, it means that he'll never earn a significant income - if we stay in mississippi, that is. he does stay frustrated with the bureaucracy. I am trying to listen without editing what he says, which is a huge weakness of mine. we'll see. it is a constant prayer and meditation that i can be a sounding board and answer questions without offering unsolicited advice, which is almost always taken as criticism.

eason is doing wonderfully -climbing, exploring, learning new words (though not nearly as many as his sister had at his age - but the pediatrician and others keep telling me she was very abnormal...) - just generally being a happy child. he is getting over the separation anxiety stage he was in during july and august, which is good. I thought it was just a stage, and it is always good to have your parenting instincts affirmed.

ada brooks, on the other hand, is worrying me. Not because she is unhappy or unhealthy - but because she doesn't seem made to be part of the system - she came home last spring from her preschool, which is admittedly not rigorous, but i mean, its pre school - she was three - they are sweet, and kind and teaching the children important social skills as well as the beginnings of learning academic things - anyway - she came home and, unsolicited, said "mama, i wish i went to a school where i learned things." - i sort of brushed it off, but obviously didnt forget it. Well, in the past few weeks, i though things would be better - the four year old program at st.lukes is much more structured and has successfully prepared kids, for years, for the most rigorous kindergarten classes in jackson. but she's still not satisfied - very vocally not satisfied - and not pitching a fit - just sort of sad and bored. and I am very concerned that she will require a creative solution - we are working on supplementing, which sounds like the most attractive option to me- so we will see how that goes.

my mama and daddy continue to make me sad, but i do have a peace about them being separate from us - about my responsibility to my children and family.

mine and paul's struggle continues to be career centered - who will go first, what will it be (that one is especially an issue for him), etc.

but the weather is turning cooler, so all is looking up.

side note - book club this month is doing milan kundera's the book of laughter and forgetting - i am about 20 pages from the end and really loving it. his style is not mine - its a little too funky and jumping around, but it is good for me to make myself read something like that - it is still very good and its like food that i refuse to eat - sometimes its awesome and its just my own stubbornness that comes back to bite me in the bum.

life is good.

25 August 2008

transition time

August should be called Transition Month here at the forster house.

My last day working for The Man (or my law firm....), where I have been interviewing witnesses, keeping up with deadlines, and generally assisting in litigation for a little bit more than two years, was a little over a week ago. I have begun getting my room ready at St. Luke's, where my class full of young threes arrives on Thursday of this week. I am thrilled with this change of pace - going from a summer full of 50 -60 hour weeks to a fall full of 25 hour weeks is a welcome change. I will be on the same schedule as the children, but still have that much needed time for them to be with others and begin that painful process of individuating.

I am so excited and ambitious about things around the house - mainly sewing and cooking. I'd like to make all of our own bread, each supper from scratch 5-6 nights a week. Keeping us under budget is a must, because with this transition went some of our income.

Paul has begun teaching physics, physical science, and AP physics at Forest Hill. I am loving the change in him - he is purposed and excited and obviously happier. Some of the students are making him laugh and others are making me cry. There are three young women expecting babies (one her second), and I am constantly burdened with how to help them. I am very tempted to start a new project of outreach into the schools, but I am tired and don't know that I have it in me. I may though.... we'll see.

It does frustrate me quite a bit that Paul works for not very much money and works WAY more than forty hours a week. It frustrates me for Paul, at our broken education system, and for me and the children because we don't see him enough.

Speaking of the children - they are in Hattiesburg with Paul's parents for a few days - from saturday evening through wednesday morning, which seems like an eternity for me. In good and bad ways. I am able to do things like blog.... and grocery shop alone.... and sew some.... and just be still. But i am already missing them really badly - they are just such an integral part of everyday life.

We've had such a great weekend. Friday evening we had our church supper club at our house - great people, great food (if i do say so myself), and great fellowship. We had enchiladas, homemade salsa, homemade guacamole, roasted red bell pepper dip, a big green salad and sister schubert rolls. We also had bananas foster for dessert, which is just my favorite - fun to make and yummy to eat.

Ada took one of the women who came over on an unsolicited tour of the house. She walked into my room and screamed back to me "Mama - did you know your room was this clean?" Thank you, Ada Brooks.

Saturday we had two birthday parties, so we went to lemuria to buy presents (you will NEVER be able to talk me out of the fact that books are the best presents to give to people of any age, but especially children).

Ada Brooks's two comments of the day:
"Two birthday parties - do i have to smile that much?"
Yes, sweetheart, child after my own heart, yes, yes you do.
And then later, "Two birthday parties -thats a lot of sugar."
Yes, yes it is.

But they were fun, and after them, Paul met his mama in Magee to transfer children.

We had a delightful dinner with just two friends on Saturday night. They were actually on a blind date at our house - which was fun. It was the brainchild of our priest at the Chapel of the Cross, and when I laughed a little at him he looked at me indignantly and said, "Ann Lowrey, don't you know, thats the way the church is supposed to work."

It is an intriguing idea - what the church's other purposes are- other than of course being God's primary means of Grace on earth (now that Jesus is hanging out at his right hand instead of walking the earth).

Sunday we had an amazing child-free sabbath. Although, downside, i spent an hour and a half in the Mississippi Blood Services bus- which not only makes me claustrophobic, but my left arm looks like i use intravenous drugs and is still throbbing. Willie, the phlabotomist, actually called me "juicy." Thank you, Willie.

After church and the blood drive (which caused me to miss the Ministries Fair), we went to PFChang, with friends. I had not been since it opened. It was yummy, and we had great conversation. Then to buy shoes, then to Wal Mart, then back to the church to make some jams and jellies for Day in the Country, then to theology group.

Which was amazing. It made me realize that Paul and I have to carve out time for academic pursuits together - it is what most attracts me to him (and how great a dad he is) . He is so sincere and smart and full of ideas - and it is so edifying for our marriage for us to be on the same page about theology - and to fight about theology. I'd love to outline all of our three hour discussion from last night, but this post is already ridiculously long.