Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hebrews 11:1

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." 
Hebrews 11:1

This past week I learned that a dear friend is making some changes, at the urging of God, after praying about a decision for 5 years. [Yes, I said 5 years. As in 60 months.] God spoke, my friend listened, then waited for the next step.  That step has been in the works for a few months, but after 5 years of being patient [most of the time] and being faithful and steadfast in prayer, God revealed His will for this person. 

Wow is all I can say.  I mean, seriously, I am so impatient that just about the only thing I'll wait on these days is a large cup of coffee, with 3 creams from McDonald's. [Is it bad that they know me when I drive thru?  I crave their coffee. It has magical powers.  It is good.] Five years after God spoke loudly and now the plan has been revealed. I was not at all surprised and extremely excited about this new road for my friend but I have truly been in awe of the fact that faithful and fervent prayers went on for 5 years. 

To say I've lost my faith would be too harsh.  To say that I am torn between being faithful and obedient through prayer and just wanting an answer would certainly be..., well, correct. So many times, I have missed the mark with patience and obedience because I am too worried, I talk too much [not as much as Craig but close], and I get distracted. [Give me a break....I've got four kids!  Distractions are par for the course.]

I've never heard the voice of God but I've been moved by His distinct presence.  The night before my grandmother died, He woke me from a restless slumber to assure me she wouldn't die without allowing me to say goodbye.  When I was on my knees, praying over my own son after his confession of an overwhelming desire to take his own life, God's presence helped me to my feet to take the next step then the next. 

But I want to learn to be faithful enough that when God tells me [I was going to say "makes a request of me" but God isn't asking if I want to: He is telling me.] that I obey, immediately.  If it takes five minutes, five years, or 500 years for God to respond then I want to faithfully, without trying to figure the "it" out, be patient. I've always said that God has a plan for my life and I firmly, without hesitation, believe those words.  I am getting in my own way [and usually God's way] of what He would have for my life. 

I am very thankful for good friends and family, that pray with me and for me.  I used to have an aversion to praying in front of a group [selfish I know] but now I seek those opportunities.  Prayer is so powerful...I walked into the food pantry at school and found juice boxes [Gabe and Emma get super excited over those did I this time!] for the Backpack Buddies program.  All I could say, out loud, with a huge smile on my face was, "Thank you Lord for your timing." We needed those juice boxes and we had them.  I know there are people that are faithfully praying for our Backpack Buddies program and the children it serves.

Again, I ask for your prayers for decisions. I want to be obedient and I am praying that I accept God's will with a heart full of gladness.  [And again, no marriage problems or health issues or anything of that nature...I promise.]

On a totally nonsensical note, could these last days of school move any slower?  Holy cow Batman!  Seriously, it's been like the movie Groundhog Day...waking up to the same thing every single day.  I am so done with review. [Like really, I am done.  We finished everything on Tuesday.  And yes, I am done as in stick a fork in it, end already, stop the torture, etc.]  I am currently allowing my students to do the sprinkler and stand in their chairs when answering questions [yes, I am cool like that] because even I want to gouge out my eyeballs as we find things to work on in class.  Its not that I am not teaching anything but this time has been set aside for review [and the pacing guide must be followed or you could very well be burned at the stake] and I feel confident that my students are ready for the test.  [Regardless the test is coming.  If they ain't learned it by now I am thinking trying to cram it in isn't going to make a huge difference.]  Let the testing games begin...may the odds be ever in your favor!

Someone posted this link on Facebook last night and this woman is awesome!  I love her sarcasm!!  I also completely understand how she feels about kids and the end of school.  Please, please, please visit her page and read this post!  Best of all, she loves Jesus!  Read it!!!

As always, life as a Short is really grand :)


Friday, May 24, 2013

Testing My Patience

Oh my...Prom Twenty-Thirteen was SpEcTaCuLaR!  [As in I have posted pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, my classroom, and sent them in messages to many, many people.  I told you - I am sure I was more excited than her last Saturday!]  My girl is beautiful anyway [and if you say otherwise I will punch you in the throat] but Saturday she was exceptionally stunning. 
The Fab Four in all of their Fabulousness

Haley and Molly with Terry and Amy, their Sunday school does take a village to raise good children!  Thankful to them for their wisdom, guidance, and Christian influence!

The Shorties!!

The Boy ♥

Great lookin' couple of kids!

The girl had a blast!  She was radiant, excited, and had the time of her life.  [On the other hand, I looked and felt like I'd been hit by a truck.  Apparently, here lately, that is par for the course.]

It was fun spending the time with her and doing the girly things that she hardly likes to makeup and hair.  I am good with or without the make up [on her..not me...I HAVE to wear my face every day] on her but one thing is for sure ~ she definitely looked absolutely breathtaking and way more like a woman than the little girl I still see her as....she is just so grown up.  I can't wait to see her put on that travel ball uniform in the next few weeks but I think we've hooked her [a little anyway] on being a little more prissy. We'll see...I am certainly in no hurry to see her actuallly grow up.

We are in that mode in education right now: Testing or Bust. [Testing or Die. Testing is Death. Testing Makes Me Want to Stab Myself in the Eyes with Dull Pencils. My motto:  Testing Sucks.] It isn't that I don't believe in accountability.  I fully believe that we have to find ways to make students [and parents and the community] accountable for what they learn in the classroom.  But I don't believe constantly focusing on THE test or changing THE test so much or adding to THE test is making anyone a better student.  It is frustrating for lots of folks involved - teachers and administrators and students and parents and pretty much anyone who works in education.  There doesn't seem to be an end to the madness. [And believe me when I say that madness doesn't even begin to cover it...not at all.]

Not to mention, as if this time of year wasn't stressful enough, the state decides to literally turn around and take a big fat poo on education. [I could have been a little more colorful or a little more tactful - I choose restrained language over tact anyday...] Now, the great state of NC has decided that we need to do away with teacher assistants in elementary grades.  [And if you EVER taught, visited, or even seen an elementary school then you are fully aware that TA's are the bread and butter of the whole place and without them the kids in North Carolina will lose more than an extra help in the classroom ~ they will lose people that love on them with warm hugs on frigid days...they will lose center time with people who help them cut, color, and paint....they will lose precious read alouds and help with really hard math problems.  Plain and simple ~ by cutting TA's at this level our children will suffer greatly.] Then, as if that blow wasn't enough to knock us down, they are going to further tighten the noose by raising the size of classrooms in lower grades [because putting more kids into a classroom with less help seems like a great way to boost test scores...and blood pressure...and attrition in our schools...great idea NC...]  And let's not forget this little nugget:  if you teach and were planning on furthering your education by earning your Master's degree [with YOUR money and on YOUR time because YOU want to be a better educator and increase YOUR pay] then that's all fine and dandy [*insert ridiculous laugh here*] but the state of NC says they aren't going to increase your pay for your time and effort.  "Hey NC teacher, thanks for being willing to further your education so that you can help your children in the classroom and your school and your own livelyhood.   Have a good day!"  Are you kidding me?  Maybe the legislation won't pass or there will at least be some changes. [I won't pretend to understand politics and I will spare you any further opinions.] Help us out by writing to your congress men and women and give your opinion [and while you are writing,  remember it was a teacher that probably helped you learn to write, spell, read, construct meaning from your thoughts,  distinguish between fact and fiction, use discernment, etc...take some time to help us out..] on low teacher pay, too much testing, loss of valuable jobs, etc. Thanks in advance for your help! 

From the book of James, chapter 1:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

We [Short and myself] are facing a trial.  It isn't something catastrophic or life-threatening, but more along the lines of jobs and money and change.  We know that God has a plan for our lives and that He has NEVER led us astray...and we fully trust in Him.  The hard part for us [like with many of you] is fully relinquishing the reigns and allowing Him to lead our decisions.  [No, we aren't having marriage problems. I love that man too much and he needs me around to cook because he sure likes eating :)]  "We" are in our own way. We ask for your prayers for us as we work on letting go and letting Him.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Boobie Stores, Forty Problems, and Other Stuff From Gabe

Yes, I used the word "boobies" in the title of my post [some of you are cringing right now].  Last Sunday, as we were getting ready for church, Gabe tells us that he is going to open his own store...and name it Boobies.  [I will be completely honest in telling you that I laughed, hysterically, when he said it.  I mean, seriously. The word is funny- I don't care who you are - and even funnier coming out of the mouth of a six year old.  I am sure that would get stern finger pointing from some of you uptight folks.  Judge me - please - I.Do.Not.Care.]  He followed that up by saying, "You know I am going to build booby traps in my room and sell them to people to use in their homes."  You gotta give the militant midget some credit for creative advertising [because I know there are many men who would have lined up for the grand opening] and his genius idea to sell booby traps. Poor kid is trying to round up forty bucks to purchase the latest Batman cave but his sad parents won't loan him the dough.  Bless his baby heart....

He has also decided that every thing that has been going on with me health wise is just because I turned 40:
Me: My blood pressure is up. Gabe: It's a forty problem.
Me: My shoulder is giving me a fit. Gabe: It's 'cause you're forty mommy.
Me: I had to go to the ER today in an ambulance. Gabe: Did you tell them your were just forty?
No need to see a doctor or worry about medicine...I am forty and doomed I suppose.  [I honestly believe he is wise  beyond his years with this one. Forty is not old - just on the fringes and flirty with old age.] Seriously, that has been his answer for both Craig and myself when we've lamented over aches, pains, and whatever else has happened in the last two months:'s just a forty problem. 

His latest ham-it-up move is to tell me he is "guilty as charged".
Me: Gabe you look so handsome.  Gabe [tiny finger pointing at me] : Guilty as charged mommy! *wink*
Me: Gabe you did a great job reading that book to me. Gabe [pointing both thumbs at his chest]: Um, duh, mommy...guilty as charged.
Me: Gabe you are such a sweet boy. Gabe [with that crooked and mischievous smile]: I know I am. *clears throat* Guilty.As.Charged.

He kissed a little girl on the playground this past Monday.  [He made the mistake of telling Emma who then spilled his dirty little secret as soon as she passed through my door. Little does she know that in the future, when she is confiding in her little brother about things she might be doing that are on the maybe-I-should've-thought-about-that side, he will remember every secret she didn't keep.  That is why parenting is so fabulous - somebody's going to fess up sooner or later.]  He got really mad that she told me then he whispered, "Hey mommy, don't tell daddy."  I talked to him about not kissing girls [or boys...especially boys...I mean if you're gonna kiss one of them let it be a girl and not a boy...] but just being nice in other ways like holding the door and letting them go first.  He was cool with that and went on his merry way. 

Fast forward to yesterday when ye ol' teacher emails me about this issue he's had all year with this little girl. [Did I miss something?  It is now May. We are counting down to the end of the year.  I had no clue there was an "issue" with him.] Long story short, the rudely worded email asked if Craig and I would please talk to him.  Apparently if he doesn't get grouped with her then she gets mad and pouts.  Again, did I miss something?  I was a little caught off guard.  Am I now in charge of  making sure this girl doesn't pout when she doesn't get grouped with Gabe?  Not following that one at all my friends.  I decided that replying in the same confrontational tone that poured from this email was not in anyone's best interest.  We talked to Gabe: Keep your lips, feet, arms, hands, and everything else to yo self.  Do what you are told and follow directions. Be nice to everyone.  [Hang on 17 more days.  Wait - maybe that was advice to myself....] 

Prom is this weekend.  [I honestly don't know who is more excited - me or her.]  I cannot wait to see how beautiful she is on Saturday.  I can't wait to see her with all of her friends, laughing and loving life. I can't wait to see her standing next to the "boy", all dolled up and grinning from ear to ear.  In a way, though, it is kind of bittersweet.  This is that first of many moments that signify she is almost the end of her high school career and will be moving on to another chapter in her away from us.  [She won't go far but she won't be here either.] It's hard to believe that all these years have passed so quickly. 

I've been thinking a lot about her entering her last year of high school.  I know we have lots of time but I also know it will go fast.  This journey has been one of the greatest of my life.  I hope she knows how very proud I am of her [yes, I tell her] and how much I love her.  Looking back all of those years ago, this life I am living now seemed like a pipe dream.  We worried about having the money to buy formula and Hamburger Helper.  There were many desperate end of the months when the money was long gone, her shoes didn't fit, and she needed new clothes.  Yet, by God's neverending grace and mercy and an extended family that never, ever gave up on us, we landed here.  I look around and see that we haven't been able to take her on lavish vacations, buy her fancy cars, and spend money on grand shopping trips but we have shown her that God always has a plan.  We've trusted and loved each other as mom and dad and given her an example of a marriage that is solid.  We've instilled in her values that many people just don't care for these days [must be that forty problem Gabe is talking about]. We've also managed, along the way, to grow stronger in our faith and our obedience to God [and we stumble every day] and I see her working for that too. No, we are not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but we've worked hard to bring her up in a family that is loving and caring.  

Yes, the "last moments" will come quickly now.  My plan is to cherish every single one of them [and annoy my family with many, many, MANY pictures] to the fullest.  God has given me so very much more than I even deserve with this wonderful family I was born into and married into and created with my favorite coach.  This is what memories are made of....

And with that, as always, life as a Short is sweet:) 


Saturday, May 4, 2013


Yes, that is a reference to Duck Dynasty.  I want to work at Duck Commander.  I want to just sit and talk to Si.  I think I'll pack it up and move to West Monroe, Louisiana.  How hard can duck hunting actually be?  [I don't actually believe I could shoot one.  Might be hard if you can't shoot one....]  Doesn't that show just make you smile? [If it doesn't then you need to lighten up and get over yourself because you are way too serious and snooty. #realtalk] 

Why am I quoting the great Phil Robertson?  Tomorrow [well, its actually today] I will have been married to my favorite coach for 17 glorious years.  My, my, time has flown.  [Some of you are just now catching up..."Hmmm...17 years of marriage...the oldest is 17...Yes. We put the cart before the horse.  It's over and we've moved on.  Maybe  you should too.]  I love that bearded man!!  He makes me laugh.  He loves me [which ain't easy] and he looks after me.  He loves our children unconditionally.  He is witty and smart and yes, sometimes I act like he hung the moon [maybe he did].  The best part of him is his faith.  He is a Godly man who loves Jesus with all his heart.  He tries so hard to instill that in our children and I think it shows.  And even though he cannot use Saran wrap to cover leftovers and he follows cars too closely on the interstate, I think he is the most amazing husband and dad ever.  I love you Coach ♥!  Thanks for almost 20 years [17 spent being hitched] of way more good times than bad and for loving me for who I am [which is part lunatic most of the time].  I am one lucky woman!

It wouldn't be a Step Away without a little Shortie Story Time....

The oldest has a BF! [For those of you in the dark ages that does not stand for big foot, booger finder, or boloney face...]  ~ Girl has a boyfriend :)  Started out at what we referred to at Casa de la Short as "Prom Date".  Here are a few things overheard the last couple of weeks:
  • We are just going to the prom!
  • I want to wait until prom to see how it goes.
  • *insert eye roll* I am not getting married - we are just friends going to the prom.
  • *insert eye roll and huff* Stop saying he is my boyfriend. 
After last Saturday:
  • We are dating.
  • Yes, he is my boyfriend.
  • *insert eye roll* I am not getting married - GEEZ - it is just a boyfriend.
  • Yes, we are dating. Stop asking me.
Her brother did not take it well and insisted on meeting this "young man" before he starts dating his sister.  [Because at the ripe old age of 14 the brother has it "going on" enough to say that. Please.]  He is nice, she likes him, they have a lot in common, and she smiles when she says his name.  Gabe thinks he's cool, her daddy has semi scared the crap out of him [no guns necessary - just a real firm handshake from a man that towers over you seems to do it], and he is very polite to my girl.  We will see how it goes....who knows what God has in store?  [At this point, after she reads this post, this is where she wants to crawl under a rock.  And this is where I pat her on the head and say, "It's OK my child. You will get over it.  Its my job."]  What the poor boy doesn't know is that when he gets her he gets us all....the whole crazy, dysfunctional bunch.  Start your prayers for him now....please!!!  I promise to post prom pics in a few weeks [and any other cute ones I can snap of the two of them between now and then].

As always, life as a Shortie is just awesome!! [More later...8:30 and 3 miles will come early in the A.M.!]