One Week Wired

For those of you that don’t know, I was in a pretty bad car wreck just over a week ago. I blacked out while driving and found my way to some trees. In the process, I got some bumps and bruises and shards of glass here and there, all basically minor. I also managed to break my jaw in two places, which is pretty major, and therefore I now have I wired jaw for the next 6-8 weeks, yielding an all liquid diet and constantly clenched teeth. I will definitely blog about what I can remember from my accident (I was in and out for most all of the evacuation and transport) but I thought for now I would share lessons from one week being wired shut.

(cue fancy intro music now….)

1. Just the thought of biting into a juicy hamburger will scare you. Later, after about my 300th serving of soup, I am sure the hamburger will be my heart’s desire, but for now, the idea of extending my mandible and chomping down on something like that gets me fearful.

2. Yawning is every bit as terrifying as you might imagine it to be. A casual yawn turns into a 6 sec nightmare as the lower part of my jaw tries to naturally separate from the top, to which it is very securely wired. When this happens, I have found myself squeaking out some sort of unintelligible prayer and flapping my hands next to my face. Fortunately, it passes quickly, and at a yawn’s conclusion, I don’t know whether to cry tears of pain or of laughter.

3. Throwing up when the opening from your esophagus to the rest of the world is blocked by wired together teeth is extremely more terrifying than you might imagine it to be. This one doesn’t need to much explanation, and I doubt you really want details. Suffice it to say, I’ve done it twice and hope not to do it again in the remaining weeks.

4. Getting cold, resulting in chills, is highly inadvisable.  This happened one night in the hospital, and the uncontrollable chattering of a broken jaw that that is wired shut is excruciating. Then, the pain and fear from the cold chills resulted in nervous shakes throughout my body, unsteady hands, tears, and ultimately a dose of morphine in my IV. After my first shower when I got home, I felt myself getting cold and immediately cried. Fortunately, we were able to warm me up before I had to experience the chills again.

5. Amidst all the pain, there will be lots of unbelievable blessings. You will see an image of your car and know that only God could have spared you from what should have been death. The police officer that was the first responder will give your husband his personal cell so that he can receive a report on you. People 5 counties away will manage to get dinner on your front porch. The glasses that you lost in the wreck will be replaced for free from your optometrist friends. Your mailbox will be flooded with gift cards to places that serve smoothies. Friends will watch your kids and love them fully. Your mother-in-law, when told the strawberry Ensure that you had in the hospital wasn’t that bad, will clear out Wal-Mart of their supply. Your brother will take off work to be with you, hold your hand. When you cry, and you say that all this seems too hard, your mom will cusp your hand, look you in the eyes with her beautiful blue ones, and speak to you that she taught you to be a strong woman, just like her momma taught her to be, and you will know that she speaks the truth. Your brother-in-law will mow your yard. Your sister-in-law will come immediately to the hospital with dinner for your hungry husband. Every family member’s pastor, including all the ones from your church, will come, driving out of their way, to pray with and for you. From the west coast, your brother will send a funny card to make you smile, along with yummy smoothie recipes. People that are strangers to you but friends to those you love will bring creamy soups from Trader Joe’s. The best man from your wedding will show up unexpectedly and suddenly make you bawl like a baby. Your phone will consistently receive texts of scripture, requests to help, prayer, and support. Your children will bring you flowers, rub your hair, and smile uncertain smiles that are still filled with hope and love.

Your husband will utterly amaze you, pray over you, cry over you, hold you up, awake in the middle of the night, wait on you hand and foot, carry all the family’s burdens and not falter. He will help rub off the IV stickiness, he will scour at a nurse that does something wrong, he will send out Facebook updates to everyone letting them know your condition, he will truly and ultimately be your helpmate and love of your life, cause he will be the walking embodiment of proving the line he said 10 years ago of “for better or for worse.”

Close friends, distant friends, strangers, family and  people in-between will pray beautiful prayers, and you will feel them, covet them, echo them, and know that your God hears them. You will know God hears them because you are still alive, and even thought things are not perfect, you fully know that things could have been much, much worse, and you’ve been blessed to live another day, and so has your sweet unborn baby that you carry inside; and that is one miracle no one can deny.

Sometimes…

20130816-083843.jpg

Wesley turned up sick in the middle of the night on Thursday. Lots of puking for the poor boy. He’s basically lounged and slept the past two days, but I think he is on the mend.

When Daniel asked, “What did he eat?” I said  in reply “He didn’t eat anything. He’s sick so he’s not eating.” But Daniel just knew Wesley had eaten some sort of food that had made him sick, which I assured Daniel was very likely not the case. Wesley, in his own defense, replied back,

“Sometimes you have nightmares, sometimes you throw up.”

True words, little Wesley, true words

20130817-091902.jpg

20130817-092158.jpg

To Be Clear….

So the hubs shared my “How We School” post on Facebook, which was something that I had not done–intentionally I might add. Turns out, that post now has tons of hits and lots of readers, making it, according to WordPress, my second most popular blog post ever. It also has a decent amount of FB comments, and it elicited a series of private messages and texts, almost all of which were supportive and encouraging and noted that the post really helped a mommy’s heart feel comfortable with her decision NOT to choose homeschooling, like us.

But I am afraid that some people might misread it, cause the web is good for that…….no tone shared, little clarification given, so albeit after the fact, I have a few bits to add:

1. As a caveat: An explanation of how I school is not a condemnation of how you school. Period.

2. My post is not written to  change the mind of a homeschooler. In fact, it is really only written to those Christian, white, Middle Class moms (and even dads) like me that feel the pressure to do the “good SAHM/Christan thing” and teach their children at home. The emotions are real, cause I’ve felt them, and I know others that have too. It is a true battle. Just today at church I was asked how Daniel was liking getting back started with homeschool, from a lady that does not have FB or the Internet to know about the post I made. When I told her Daniel went to public school, she looked surprised and said, “Oh! I thought you homeschooled, cause you are a teacher you know and you are such a good Christian!” Point made.

3. I think that some of the “salt and light” mentalities can *absolutely* be met in homeschool, but very few individuals in the world are intentional enough to make it happen. A service day on a Saturday to the lost is not the same as a relationship with the lost M-F.

4. A trend does not have to be something you know about in order for it to be so. A trend is not necessarily what is most popular either. The raw data may fall in a higher percentage towards another way (public school) but that does not mean that another way (homeschooling) is not growing in numbers or becoming the growing force of tendency (especially when broken down into the demographics I mentioned in the post). Sometimes when I catch it on TV, The Today Show will air YouTube videos that are “trending.” 99% of the time I have not seen a single video. However, that fact of me not knowing about them or seeing them personally does not change that millions of people have already watched it.

5. I know that my sons will be exposed to things in public school that will not fit the ideals and values of a Christian faith. But let’s be real here for a minute, for real for real…….my sons are exposed to things in the home that do not fit the ideals and values of the Christian faith. Because Thomas and I are sinners. We’ve fought before. I’ve yelled at my kids when they’ve made me angry. Sometimes, I am selfish, impatient, or lazy—just plain imperfect. Being at home does not make full resolution of that issue, and if you think that it does, then I would like to meet you and your awesomely perfect self.

6. Falling into the demographic of WASP with middle class income makes me more aligned with the standard homeschooler, which added to the inner battle. Every family that I can name right now that has chosen homeschool is Christian. They are also all white. They are also all Middle Class (cause if they were upper, they would have the money to pay for private Christian education). None that I have ever spoken with have claimed pedagogy, rigor, or relevance as their justification for homeschooling. None that I personally know have said that they had a horrific public school experience (in fact, nearly all never even sent their children to public school for any time at all). Their choice is the promote faith. As noted in USA Today,  “83.3% of home-schooling parents named ‘a desire to provide religious or moral instruction’ as an important reason to home-school. Susan Beatty, co-founder and general manager of the Christian Home Educators Association of California, who home-schooled three now-grown children, says most of her group’s members are looking to offer ‘a distinctly Christian education.'” I know the people I know and the blogs I read across the country are not the only indicators or only examples of the homeschool family, by far, but I do think it is the average example. There will always be someone on the fringes but the median remains as described. As a Christian, I *feel* like I should follow suit—Cause if I love God and love my kids, it seems logical. I am just saying that I don’t have to follow that trend, and not doing so is not a disservice to my babies or a ding to the validity of my faith.

I can love God, love people, maintain a resounding faith, AND send my boy to public school. My boys can love God, love people, maintain a resounding faith, AND attend public school.

Happenings You Missed

 

Here are some happenings you missed—because I am a bad blogger and fail to update regularly, even my “Wordless Wednesday” posts are fallen too silent of late!

20130803-081715.jpg

Daniel wore a new shirt I got him and was with enthusiasm claimed, “Momma! I look just like your pillow!” Tis true, tis true. Oh, and check out those amazing freckles!

20130803-081724.jpg

This little guy almost never naps anymore (insert sigh of exhaustion from mommy, as well as one that indicates “My baby is growing up!”) We still have “quiet time” where both boys have to go to their rooms and play quietly, but Wesley REALLY has a problem with the quietly concept. Just on Friday, I noticed too much silence. I went to his room and he wasn’t there. Turns out, in missing his brother while he is back in his school routine, Wesley climbed up in his brother’s bed, under his brother’s covers, with his brother’s stuffed animal, and took a nap. It was SO peaceful. And sweet.

20130803-081739.jpg

I got a bookstore gift card from my brother for my birthday. I have been insisting to myself that I spend it on ME and me alone, which is hard, cause I want to get stuff for the boys. I did find these cool books and I was extremely tempted to snatch them up! Daniel claims to love science, he is a good reader, and he adores graphic novels, so this seems SO him. Anyone have experience with these texts to give me first hand feedback?

20130803-081813.jpg

I was able to go to a Thirty-One conference last weekend, where one night we were to dress up! It was so fun to get glammed with some other gal pals, and even though I am always a tom boy at heart, I enjoy feeling pretty, which all of us were able to feel that night. Such fun!

20130803-081829.jpg

Because of aforementioned gift card, we’ve been visiting the book store a lot more lately. This particular day we were headed to our free summer karate program when we stopped. I just loved the sight of the kiddos in their uniforms claiming a spot on the floor to read. I love that Thomas and I have fostered a love of the written word with ours kids, even if along side a love for time on the iPhone.

20130803-081852.jpg

 

That’s right, I finally went there. Ikea, I’ve heard so much about you. You definitely lived up to all the hype. Thank goodness the budget did not allow me to buy all I wanted or liked. I will settle for a bright red rug for the bonus room for $20, thank you very much.

20130803-081901.jpg

While at my conference I was able to slip away and spend time with this great high school friend, Jen. She was part of my core friendships that seriously changed my life. I was one of those weird people that loved high school. I’d go back to those years at anytime. And even though she and I went to different schools, we were helpers in life, and I am SO grateful she and I were able to connect. Soon, she will become a momma to two, and I have loved sharing my tiny bits of mommy wisdom with her. I’m glad she made time for me, and showed me the ropes at Ikea. I would have for real been lost without her.

20130803-081912.jpg

These are no joke. I would like to call them little miracles: Iced Carmel Macchaito. I’ve been blessed with some Starbucks cards for my birthday as well, and I’ve somewhat blown through them. But every sip is was totally worth it.

20130803-081932.jpg

This is my niece. I dare you to tell me what is not to love in this picture. Just try….cause it is all perfection.

 

20130803-082017.jpg

Here are some of my sweet friends from college (above and below) at the Wesley Foundation’s summer picnic. Thomas and I have not missed a single one in the 10 years since his graduation from college (and my 9!). This was the place where I first met him, the place where I formed so many amazing relationships, the place where I grew spiritually, opened my mind to the beauty of the gospel, and found a place to call home.  It is also the place that is responsible for the name of my second son, so obviously it made an impact. So glad to reconnect.

20130803-082036.jpg

Oh yeah, we totally did Chick-fil-a’s Cow Appreciation Day. You know me, I’m frugal, so how could I pass up free meals all around just by dressing up like a cow? I certainly didn’t miss out, nor did my baby calves. They were all about it too, cause they love them some Chick-fil-a as well.

20130803-082121.jpg

20130803-082145.jpg

Guess that’s it! Although much more has gone on, these are just some quick iPhone photo highlights. So, for the grandparents that sometimes are able to function and figure out the Internet to find their way to this blog, I’ve given you a bunch of pictures to swoon over! Everyone else, I suppose I did the same for you too :O).

First Day of 1st Grade!

20130801-134604.jpg
This big guy started first grade today! He would have went a month ago had I told him it was time. When we were talking this summer I said “Daniel, you start back to going to school soon” to which he replied, “OK! I’ll be ready tomorrow!” When I asked him what he was looking forward to learning the most about in 1st grade, math, science, reading, etc his response was “X. I want to learn more about that X.” To which I was a little confused. Next he followed with “I’d also like to know more about that line with a dot on top and a dot on the bottom. I think I’d like both of those.” Turns out my 6 year old wants to know more about multiplication and division! Sheesh!

So, here we go with a new year. I’m excited about all of his learning opportunities at home and at the school building. He craves learning, and I can’t wait to see what he does with all this new knowledge.

Happy 1st day of 1st grade, sweet Daniel!

20130801-135405.jpg