Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I put the wheels in motion, talked to Craig, and prayed about it. Today, I got my answer. You see, I tried to ignore the phone call that came last night [well not really ignore it as much as I kept forgetting to call the contact] but today, when the church number came up, I answered the phone. "Hey Missy. This is Shane. I heard you were interested in training for the disaster relief team. Are you ready to sign up for training this weekend?" Yes. I am ready. Here I am. Send me. I go for training this weekend and have my first opportunity to serve, in some way, around the middle of June.
I am sure God knows my weaknesses [I don't build, I'm not good at spatial things, I am a horrible painter, and I snore very loudly] but as the old saying goes, He does not call the qualified but qualifies the called. I am excited [and very nervous] and I don't want to be the only woman. I am not really sure what to expect but I know that for once, maybe for the first time, I'm listening to God's call in my life and it makes my heart smile.
I'm also super excited about the upcoming youth trip to M-Fuge in several weeks. I think it's going to be an awesome experience and I am lucky to be a part of such a great group of people. Plus, Molly's going and this will give me some time to grow with her. [Not to mention, she and her BFFs are an absolute scream!!!]
God is good ~ all the time. And all the time ~ God is good. Stay tuned for updates about the disaster relief training and potential opportunities to share the Love. [I just hope that I don't, single handedly, create more disaster than is already present.] Prayers are requested :)
Monday, May 30, 2011
While the babies swam, we fixed burgers and hotdog, and homemade ice cream. To me, homemade ice cream is like Heaven in frozen form. I am not a huge fan of ice cream [I know some people who eat a bowl every night before bed] but I truly love homemade ice cream. I like vanilla only because you can add so much to it ~ my favorite is fresh peaches. My mom went for the safe alternatives like whipped cream, chocolate, sprinkles, and chocolate chips. It was super good. Homemade ice cream also brings back fond memories. My mom and dad currently have an electric ice cream maker but growing up we had one of those that you had to crank. And crank. And crank. We worked for our ice cream ~ no cranking = no ice cream. Good times, good times :)
The babies [and Summer] came out of the pool long enough to eat then back to swimming they went. Forget that whole "you'll get cramps if you swim after eating" myth. Gabe was still chewing when I heard him yell "Cannonball!!" What is it about swimming? I, personally, am not fond of swimming [I hate pets. I don't like swimming. What a bore!!!!] I think it is because, to be honest [unless you like hearing lies] I am afraid of the water. I have this fear of drowning. I know how to swim [sort of] and I've never had an issue in the water but I think subconsciously I am constantly thinking about not being able to reach the surface once I'm under the water [therapy is costly people ~ that is why I write]. I love to watch the Shorties swim and I am glad they do not share my disdain for the water. [Add to this the fact that the best way to swim is in a bathing suit. That is scarier than the water. Swear.]
We had a blast and our night ended with Bill and Diane shagging on by the pool [Yes, we did end up listening to your eclectic music station, WSEG ~ I knew it would happen.] and that makes me smile. They are so cute and so much in love. Perfect Sunday :)
This is the week that I dread the most. The week when 3 and 4 reign and 1 and 2 mean you have to try again. It means messed up schedules, more As, Bs, Cs, and Ds than I care to see, and weary children. It is make or break.
All for what? Does one year of learning really all boil down to this? Seriously?
I have been on the losing end of this battle many, many times. One time [engrained in my memory and relived, this time of year, over and over and over again like a broken record] I was tossed a piece of paper [it was pink] with a list of names on it. Mine was at the bottom [not because my last name starts with S and S is at the end of the alphabet] . I was told [and I quote] "You are the worst reading teacher in this county. This proves it." I remember leaving that office, wanting to run far away [only I was very pregnant so that wasn't an option] and never, ever teach again. I mean, really, what else could I say? If the TEST results put me there then it must have been true: I.was.a.sucky.reading.teacher. Yet, as I think back about that moment, there wasn't one bit of constructive criticism that came out during this conversation - only there is your name and you're [paraphrased] a lousy reading teacher. Never was there mention of offering help, finding someone to mentor me, looking at my philosophy of how to teach reading, etc. - just "You suck."
Did I truly long to be a part of the "High Fliers" club? Did I start teaching to simply produce a test score? Was I going to allow the testing monsters to eat me alive and become one of them?
No, no, and heck no. I made up my mind that day, whether my name came first or last the next year, that I was going to teach as if my life depended on it. I was going to teach from my heart and try to meet every kid where they were when they landed in my classroom. I decided to block out all of the competition to be "THE" teacher with "THE" kids and learn all I could about how to be a better, more effective reading teacher. More than anything, I promised myself, that I would never, ever make anyone [including my students] feel like I did that day when I walked out of that office. Never. Ever.
Colossians 3:23 says "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord and not for men." I teach because I love it. I teach because it is a way I can honor God by doing what He would have me do. I teach because it is fun [more days than not] and because kids can teach me so much about life [whether you want to hear it or not] and keep me young. I'm not interested in getting my name on a list or being a "High Flier" or being THE teacher. Those are titles that only elevate the teacher and really, it's not about us at all.
Molly was asked to move up to the 18U team in the organization that she plays for and I am so proud of her! She started off this season, the only freshman on the Varsity team, feeling like she had to prove that she wasn't just on the team because her dad is the coach [Which is absolutely true] and ended the season leaving no doubt that she deserved to be a part of that team. She is just a cool kid and I love her.
I am thankful to all of the service men and women who have fought, still fight, and will fight so that our great country remains safe and free. "Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13. I am honored to be a part of such a great nation and I vow to never, ever forget the sacrifices paid by so many.
As always, especially on a day like Memorial Day, life is so good :)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Another confession? I really do like the color pink [well, more fuschia] . All these years I've tried to deny it and wear my pink only on occasion but honestly, it happens to be an awesome color. There I said it Stephanie - are you happy?
Still another confession: I am a terrible decorator. I have zero sense of how things are supposed to go together when it comes to decorating. Seriously, I am decorating challenged [some of you would say I'm challenged in a lot of ways but we're not talking about those at the moment so hush] and it's kind of embarassing. I think, as a woman, you're supposed to know those things but I don't have a clue.
Confession number next? I cannot stand pets. I do not want a dog or a cat or a fish or anything that moves and isn't human. I do not want a dog licking me in the face or jumping on me. I can take a cat because they usually do not want attention like dogs. I guess that would account for the fact that four out of four of my kids are almost deathly afraid of dogs - I've done that to them. Sorry to all of you dog lovers out there. I love you dearly....as long as you keep the pooch at home :)
[I should have been on Oprah's last episode with all this baggage I'm letting go of....feels good to get these out in the open.] I love 80s music. Like really, really love 80s music. Culture Club, Janet Jackson, Atlantic Star, Chicago, Wham! [That's what she said....bahahahahahaha], Duran Duran, Bryan Adams, and the list goes on and on and on. I had several really great CDs that Short made me take to the Goodwill [damn him] so now I am forced to get my 80s fix via Youtube or infomercials selling 80s compilation albums [which I would buy if I had access to my checkcard...which I don't]. I also like those hairbands!! Nothing like a little Love Song from Tesla or Uncle Tom's Cabin from Warrant blaring from the speakers. Reminds me of simpler days when all I worried about was having enough gas in the car to cruise the court square with my BFF [aka Stephanie]. And I would be lying if I didn't confess that I totally love Air Supply [You know you do too so just admit it. Now.]
One of my favorite artists from "back in the day" is Elton John. My dad and I used to Jam to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Levon. My sister and I saw Sir Elton John in concert one time and it was pretty cool. You have to confess that Rocket Man and Bennie and the Jets makes ya tap your toes a little.
Last confession of the night....I want to write a book. I have a story to tell [whether or not you want to hear it is a different story] so one day I'm gonna write it. There is no doubt that God has worked on me lately and I am listening [or trying really, super hard to listen] and there was a time when I wasn't sure who I was because I didn't believe in me or that God had a plan for me. Better than that, once I realized it wasn't ever about me then life became something so wonderfully awesome that I want everyone to know. Stay tuned.....
Lies? Is that really in the title? Hmmmmmm....good lies or bad lies - is there a difference? My lie sort of goes along with my huge addiction to Diet Sundrop. [Seriously, I've said it before and I am saying it again - I just need and IV bag and a pole and I would be happy] I cannot stop drinking it. LIE. I want to stop drinking it. LIE. I've tried really hard to stop drinking it. BIG FAT WHOPPING LIE....LIE OF ALL LIES. [Some of you are rolling your eyes 'cause you thought you'd hear something gossipy that I've lied about, like a long lost "love" child with the Governator or Hole 19 with Tiger. Nope. Just a citrus elixir that makes my taste buds tingle and my heart skip a beat (which probably has something to do with the massive amounts of caffiene I take in daily....hmmmm)]
Half truths might be hard. I think we can make anything we want half the truth or half a lie - it depends on how we are going to look or feel about something. For example, I had a HUGE crush on a particular B-O-Y in high school. It is a half lie to say that I simply liked him - I was infatuated, like head over heels, prime time in love. Of course, he never really noticed me, and it would then be a half lie to say that I was merely upset. He was to be my prince in shining armor [or a shiny car] and sweep me off my feet ['Cause that MASH game we used to play said so and that adding all of our similar letters in our full names to find our love percentage meant we were totally supposed to be together...except someone forgot to tell him....'cause he didn't notice me at all] So half a truth would not work in this situation. I was devasated when he did, sort of act like he liked me, to only use this act to go out with a friend but I'm not bitter. At all. Nope. I'm over it. (half truth!!!) Truthfully, [whole truth and nothin' but the truth] it all came out in the wash. See, God always has a plan because if he had noticed me then maybe my favorite coach would be someone else's favorite coach. So, thank goodness God knows better than me.
Gabe asked me to help him put his Spiderman toy together tonight. When I did, this is what he said to me:
Thanks Mommy! You are so cool. You know how to fix lots of things at our house.
Fix things? Supper, cookies, and broken hearts are my specialty. Cool? Craig told me yesterday I was as cool as a penguin's ass so I'm guessing that will work. Love being told that I'm cool and good at fixing things by my favorite four year old militant midget? Heck to the Y-E-S!!!
One more confession [or several more confessions] before I go to bed....I've never seen Gone with the Wind, I made an F in science and engineering calculus at UNCC as a freshman [and it took me six years to squeeze in four years worth of college - but who's counting?], I cannot stand reality TV, I want a Jaguar [the car not the cat], I hated high school [worst years ever], I have uttered the words "This one time, at band camp...." with a story to follow, I would like to help coach track one day, I would love to pick up my golf clubs and learn to really play, I still want to see the space shuttle go into space [Early july?] , I have every album I've ever owned in my attic, I am scared of the dark but LOVE scary movies and books, I was on Team Edward [but really liked it when Jacob took his shirt off], and I think that teaching school is the best job anyone could have.
As always, life as a Short is just good :) [And that is the absolute truth!]
PS: This video covers both Hairband and 80s criteria mentioned above. And it makes me smile :)
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Saturday, Emma and Gabe had their last tball game of the season and oh, what fun it was! Gabe still looks like the hammer weilding turtle from Super Mario Brothers [give him some hammers and he's a dead ringer] when he runs with that helmet. He also slings the bat when he hits the ball off the tee [and he takes a lot of "practice" swings when he's playing] and poor Coach Ryan almost got few hits to the shins and lower ankles. [He finally learned, after at bat number three for Gabe, to get out of the way after Gabe hit the ball.] Once Gabe made it to first base, he forgot all about playing tball. As in, he literally forgot to run, pay attention to the ball, etc. The boy started have a serious conversation with the first base coach from the other team. I mean, he was into it with this man. We could not hear all of what he was talking about but we did hear the words "tornado" and "scared" and we could see the coach laughing so I can only imagine what the boy was saying. One time, my dad went over to take a picture of Gabe while he was batting [Gabe is a super model in training 'cause he's always ready for a picture.] and Gabe put the bat down and gave Paw Paw a huge way and cheesy smile. [Hey, who cares that I'm up to bat? There is a camera near by and it's got my name all over it people. CHEESE:)] He made it to second base only after his Paw Paw, his Nana, his sister, and I all yelled at him to R-U-N! [Cliche, I know........"RUN GABE! RUN!]
Gabe also told me today that I was naughty. [Shut it.] He said, "I know what naughty means. It means that you are late for school." Yes, Gabe. I live .5 miles from my job and I am naughty every day. I try. Sometimes.
Gabe's new thing is asking us this question: So, how was your ________? Sometimes he wants to know about our day. Sometimes he wants to know how the trip to the store went. Sometimes he wants to know how folding clothes is going. The boy is a mess.
Usually he ends up sleeping in whatever spot he falls asleep. Lately, that's been in Molly's floor. [Truth be known, she probably likes for him to sleep in there as much as he likes to sleep in there] This past Sunday, he slept in our floor, Emma slept in his bed, Coooper slept in the other bunk bed, and Molly slept in Emma's bed. Craig and I don't sleep under the covers - we just use two of our favorite blankets on top of the comforter. We need a sleeping intervention at our house. Many nights, between 2am and 4am, I hear, "Mommy, can I sweep wif you?" And, of course, [and much to Short's disgust] I say yes. [Who wants to get up and make a pallet when the baby can just slide in beside me?]
If you're looking for something fun head to the KM YMCA tomorrow night @ 6pm and see our team, A Kick in the Teeth, play a serious game of kickball. It's sure to be fun. We'll be the menacing [and somewhat injured] group of folks with black shirts. Watch your balls - we play to win.....
I have decided that some people cannot be helped, reasoned with, or expected to change for the better. I cannot elaborate but just know that I'm asking for prayers for some situations that have really bothered me. [Nothing here at Casa de la Short but outside of here. We are way too sarcastic and humorous - we don't have time to be mean.] I have questioned myself, my choices, and my reactions and I just ask for your prayers.
In other Short news....Craig was voted Big South Coach of the Year for softball [see, he isn't just my favorite coach] , Molly won the Freshman Academy Award for lead actress [aka a student leader in and out of the classroom] and Emma is learning that friendships are amazing [I am so proud of her:)] . Coop is READY for school to be out and looking forward to a fun-filled summer, and Gabe, well, he's Gabe....keeping us in stitches!!
I leave you with a conversation between Craig and I last week....
Craig [holding his khaki shorts by pushing his finger through a hole in the back]: These shorts have a hole in them. I forgot. I am going to have to iron the others.
Me: Good luck with the iron. [We've babied our iron for about two months - it spits water and makes one's pants have the appearance of being urinated on after using it. We should buy a new one but we don't want to spend the money. Makes perfect sense.]
Craig [holding up the 2nd pair of khaki shorts] : I immediately regret the decision to NOT examine the crotch of my shorts last night...these have a freakin' hole in them too!
Me: Yes, checking the crotch of your shorts is imperative.
Now you know why my kids say the things that they do...As always, even with khaki shorts that show a little too much, life is good :)
Friday, May 13, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
In other news, this has been an extra long week. For some reason I've felt completely overwhelmed and like I can't get my act together [and my act is fantastic for those of you that don't know me well] which has me all outta sorts. I've felt like a class A CRAPPY teacher this week....like I am tired of listening to me spout off about EOG review - ENOUGH ALREADY! I would settle for a slow down right now [or at least a caramel macchiato with non-fat milk].
I try not to complain [I really do try...] but tonight I just gotta go there. I am tired of whining. Whining of all kinds from all kinds of whiners [that, my friends, was clever]. I am tired of miserable people that whine and want to make EVERYONE around them miserable too. You know them, the kind that never smile and always start off any conversation with, "Well, what I don't like is..." or "Do you know what makes me mad?" Let me answer those two questions for you with one simple answer [that whole kill-two-birds-with-one-stone thing]: WE DON'T CARE IF YOU ARE JUST COMPLAINING! Get a life. Walk a mile in my shoes. Build a bridge and get over it. Think of someone other than you for a change. Do your job. And for goodness sakes, wipe that scowl off your face and be happy for a change. Really? Is the world that bad that you have to be negative all the time? I saw a person just a little over 24 hours ago and they are the epitome of miserable - like it leaks from their pores. As in, every time I see this person they are whining and complaing. I know they whine and complain about their job because they hate it. [Know that one for a fact so this isn't gossip or hearsay - right from the miserable horse's mouth] There is just so much in this life to be thankful for and happy about that scowling and complaining just makes you, as Dwight Schrute would say, "A thief of joy."
I guess I look around at my children and my husband, at the fact that there is food on the table and a roof over my head [though at about 1am last night I wasn't too sure of that fact], at the fact that I have a good job and work with not just colleagues but friends, and that God allows me another breath and another day. Now, before some of you go postal, let me finish. My life isn't the poster child for happiness. There are days when I could just scream [and do] over petty things [dirty dishes in the sink] and I do my fair share of complaining. I also know that there are many out there without a dime, who do not have the luxuries that I am so richly blessed with. But I often times find they are the ones that know true happiness. Short and I don't have a lot of money [shocker there I know] but we have what we need. I know there are people that don't even have what they need yet they are still happy and rarely complain. So why is it that the people that really have a right, in my opinion, to complain, find contentment yet those that seem to have it all just want to complain?
My daddy told me one time that he was not rich because he had a good job and made good money. He said that he was rich because he was healthy, had a wonderful wife, and two children that had raised families that gave him grandchildren that he could spoil. He said money makes you wealthy but God's blessings make you rich. [Sweet William is pretty awesome. I ♥ my daddy]
Sometimes life gets to us. I've been there [today, in fact] but it's not a place I want to stay. I don't want to be miserable. To look miserable. To have people say, "She is a miserable person."
There is too much to smile about.
Too much to be happy about.
Too much to be thankful for.
Friday, May 6, 2011
We arrived home and began making our pancakes. Little did Emma know that I snuck into the pantry and grabbed some Wilton's purple food coloring. [Sidenote here, if you don't bake but need some cool colors for icing or cakes, use Wilton's food gels instead of plain food coloring. Just be careful ~ the black will turn your teeth strange colors and make it appear as if teeth brushing is simply an afterthought at your house.] When she wasn't looking, I put some in the batter and stirred it quickly. "Emma!!! Look at the pancake batter ~ it's turning PURPLE!!" I shouted to her. [It was as if I truly began to believe the milk did the trick or something.] "Oh my goodness! I have to call daddy right now!" Of course Craig is on the other end of the phone telling her she is crazy and that purple goats don't exist in stores. [Thanks Short! Way to not get my ESPN waves that said play along. That ESPN stuff is a joke.] "Well daddy, I am looking at these pancakes and they are purple 'cause that goat was purple and momma bought it's milk." [She sounded like a regular hillbilly...or someone from West Lincoln.]
[FYI: Some of you are saying, "It's ESP not ESPN." Yes....thank you Captain Obvious. It was a joke.] We finished up our fine meal and Emma grabbed the milk bottle. SNAP! There was a cow on the label so I figured the ruse was up and I would have to tell her everything. She never even noticed the cow! "Yep Momma! This doesn't taste like the milk we drink at school. Look in my mouth and see if it turned my mouth purple. Our milk at school has a blue stripe on it. Does that mean it's from a blue goat?"
So there you have it folks.....purple goats make purple milk which makes purple pancakes. It is true and we witnessed it here, tonight, at the Short house...where life is always good :)
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
How did we get here? It certainly was not on our own accord. First and foremost, we worship an amazing God that sets the course for our lives before we are even born. He has truly blessed us with all that we've ever needed to survive ~ each other [and the occasional diet Sundrop and lazy Saturday together]. There were times, in the beginning, when I truly was not sure. We were so young and already parents. We didn't have a steady income [Though I will say that dough manager job at the Pizza Hut carryout in C-ville really prepared me for, um, well absolutely nothing. But it did make sure food was on the table. Good thing we like pizza] nor any ideas about how a marriage worked ~ we've learned as we've gone. Craig lived in the same house all his life - since he's married me we have moved about 10 times since we've been married [honestly, that is absurd]. In the midst of all of this moving and change of schools and football teams to cheer on we have managed to find time to start and grow our family. We take no credit for any of our good fortune ~ the glory is to God.
I knew, the first time we ever went on a "real" date that he would be the man I would marry. I even told my dad that same thing. [And ladies, listen closely to this little nugget: I asked him out. That's right. All me :)] We met working as student tour guides in the admissions office at UNCC. One thing led to another and we ended up going out after a Christmas party for the tour guides to Coyote Joe's [You might be a redneck if....] then we sat in the car, in the middle of December, freezing, and talked about EVERYTHING for two hours. And then I finally got the nerve to ask if he wanted to go on "real" date and he answered yes. The next night we had a nice dinner at Chili's, went to McAdenville, and then the rest is history. We were not apart very often after that....I met his family [tough crew ~ he's the youngest AND the only boy...he has three older sisters] and he met my family [my parents loved him and still do] .
We started out with one foot in the hole: a new baby, one income, college to finish. Thankfully we both are very blessed with families that looked out for us and helped us to get to where we are today. I could never, ever, in a million years thank them for the diapers, dinners, formula, clothes, haircuts, money, time, energy, cars, advice [some taken and some that should have been taken], hugs, encouragement, babysitting, visits to the ER, and countless other things that have been done on our behalf. L-O-V-E is an amazing thing. We believed in us because so many in our lives believed in us.
Marriage is not easy. It is work. [More work for me than him. I am soooooo easy to get along with....all the time.] Give and take. Give more than you take. No expectations for perfection. Understanding and encouragement all of the time. Love like there is no tomorrow. There will never be enough money and that is OK. Christ centered. Prayers daily.
Marriage is fun. There are too many laughs and giggles to name. Craig makes me happy :) He makes me laugh [Or is it just that he laughs at me?] and is hardly ever serious...and that is OK. He never leaves without saying, "I love you" to each of us.
So, as I celebrate 15 years of wedded bliss I am thankful that I am Mrs. Craig Short....'cause life as a Short is truly a blessing.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Poor Short had to handle the house all by himself. And, in classic Short fashion, he dun real good :) He fixed homemade lasagna on Thursday [Some of you just hit your husbands and asked them why they can't fix dinner] and took the whole crew to the Merry-Go-Round Festival on Saturday. Then, it happened:
I was on a boat [I'm on a boat, I'm on a boat. Everybody look at me 'cause I'm sailing on a boat....] with the entire group, gettin' my dance on, when Craig sends me this picture and this text:
This is what Gabe does to the walls when he finds a sharpie! We need our mommy at home!
I laughed [as in horse laughing, doubled over and snorting] when I opened this text. I am quite sure Gabe really wanted me home after his Pops yelled at him. I told him we would put a frame around it and consider it Gabe's homemade art ~ Short did not agree with me.
Lessons learned from this:
1. Keep all Sharpies under lock and key. [Otherwise, you'll find fine art and tattoos]
2. Never, EVER leave Gabe alone. For any reason. At any time.
3. Don't sweat the small stuff :)
As always, even with Sharpie on the wall, life as a Short is good.