Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This Week

Claire's memory work for this week is:
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Single Parenting

The pastor of the church where Cannon Valley is located commented yesterday something about my being a single parent. That got me thinking, because I don't really think all that much about being a "single parent."
For one thing, the girls' father had been in the Army Reserve for the duration of our marriage, and had his training weekends and two weeks in the summer. So I often had to care for Claire and Natalie on my own for that reason.
Also, he is a police officer who works shift work. I rarely had any help at bedtime, but between the three of us, we had our routine and it worked.
The girls' father had been diagnosed with PTSD the week before Natalie was born. Looking back now, I see he had really checked out long before he asked for the divorce. I had been doing everything I could to make sure the girls and I weren't a burden on him (not that I succeeded, obviously) and so I took them with me everywhere, not liking to ask him to watch them. When he was at home and awake, most of his time was spent playing video games, so it was just easier to have Claire and Natalie with me.
The point of all this is that I was almost a single parent for a very long time before the divorce.
Then there is the stereotypical image of what a "single mom" looks like, which is a woman with several kids and just as many "baby daddies" that are not helping out who is receiving public assistance but spends it on cigarettes and McDonalds (unChristian of me, I know). If not that, then there are a lot of single moms out there who get no child support, who don't have flexible jobs, who don't have the help of family and friends.
Fortunately, Claire and Natalie's father is very reliable about paying child support. They see him a couple of times a month and will be on vacation with him this summer for a few days. I also have most of my family nearby, willing to help out if I need it, and my job pretty much lets me be "mom" if there are days that I need to be that more than the school secretary.
Single parenting isn't really seen as something to aspire to, and I certainly don't recommend it. I think children should live in a 2-parent household and be raised by both mom and dad. However, since my children don't have that, I've decided to try to find the positives in our situation. For one thing, our house is (usually) low-stress and happy. I am a happy, optimistic person, and that helps keep our home happy. For another, Claire and Natalie are getting to spend a lot of time around extended family. Claire and Alair are giggly little BFFs, and Natalie just adores "Ba-pa"and "Da-ma." I get help on most Sundays with them in church. We go to my parents' every weekend for Sunday dinner. Things truly aren't that bad, and could really be a whole lot worse. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Verse #10

Claire's learning verse #10 this week:
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

2011, So Far

The year is about half done, and here's what I've done with 2011 so far:
I finished my jean quilt.
I decided I don't like quilting.
I've read 52 books so far this year, 25 new and 27 re-reads.
I've got far too many books in my TBR (To Be Read) pile, both physically on on my Nook.
I'm caught up on my daily Bible reading. I have a Bible-reading plan to read the entire Bible in one year. Each day of the week is from a different section: Epistles, History, Law, Psalms, Gospels, Prophecy, and Poetry. That way you don't get bogged down reading just one thing.
Claire's memory work is going very well.
I'm baking lots of bread.
Since I almost burned out the motor on my stand mixer, I now knead my bread by hand instead of machine.
I signed a contract at Cannon Valley for the next school year (yay)!

Here's what I still want to accomplish this year:
Potty-train Natalie
Read 100 books total
Be in the habit of exercising each day
Read the entire Bible
Make boppy pillows for Natalie, Evelyn, and Carly
Work on Claire's reading ability
Paint the bathroom
Put shelving up in the laundry room
Have $5,000 in my savings account at the end of the year

I'm working on most of these. Of course, the ones involving my daughters are entirely outside of my control, but they're goals nonetheless.
We'll see where I'm at come December!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thoughts for Friday

1. I could really get used to this 4-day work week, 3-day weekend schedule. I'm working shorter hours this summer, and Claire and Natalie are totally enjoying having me around more :). We've done a lot more activities just around the house since summer started. It gets really hot up in their room in the summer time, so sleepouts on the sunporch are very common. I spread out an old sleeping bag, cover it with an old sheet, and voila! A comfy, cool bed for them.
2. I am enjoying Claire's memory work probably just as much as she is. It's good for my brain to have to remember her verses as well as she can! I'm also hoping Natalie is absorbing some of the memory work, too. Not necessarily each verse, but the idea of learning from the Bible. I've always wished I knew more Bible verses, so I guess we're all learning together!
3. Last weekend most of my high school friends got together for our 2nd annual girls' weekend. I wonder if we'll still call it a "girls' weekend" when we're all grandmothers? It speaks well of our friendship that we can go a year without being together and still pick up our friendship as though no time has passed. I think I'll try to get in touch with my girlfriends more often this year.
4. Can we please be done with Anthony Weiner jokes? The whole thing is icky.
5. I have learned so much in my first year as a school secretary. Cannon Valley is starting some online classes this year, and among them are religion classes. I've asked if I can test-drive those and see what they're like. I've never had any religion classes, except Sunday School and confirmation class, and I've learned this year that I've got an awful lot to learn. So I'll be able to learn some more this fall.
6. My dog's tail drives me nuts. It's like a fur-covered bullwhip. I'm surprised it hasn't drawn blood yet. Although, the day after my family and I got back from our vacation to the Black Hills, Brinkley (who had stayed at Mom & Dad's house) got some sort of injury at the tip of her tail and it was bleeding. Brinkley's tail rarely stops moving when she's awake, plus she was happy to see us after 4 days. So we have to hope that no one shines a blacklight around Mom & Dad's house, because Brinkley wagged blood until we noticed and I shoved her back in the kennel.

Monday, June 13, 2011

This Week

Claire is learning her 9th Bible verse this week. It is:

Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Learning some more Bible

We didn't have a new verse last week. It was kind of crazy with vacation and Claire's dance recital.
We're back on track this week. Claire's new verse is:
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, Rejoice!
Alair learned this one for school, too, and when Claire and I were going over the verse at Mom & Dad's, Alair was helping Claire learn it, too.
Claire is so enthusiastic about her memory work. She's eager each week when I pick out her new verse. I'm working with her to not get overly frustrated when it takes her awhile to learn the whole verse. Even Natalie listens to Claire say her verses and says to me, "Bible?" So I don't think it will be a problem when Natalie gets a little older for her to start learning the verses, too.