Planting trees and a road trip wish

One of the advantages of school nursing is the schedule. I get to be home every evening. I never work weekends or holidays. I get two week vacations in the fall, winter and spring, and a two month break in the summer. But every time I have one of these long breaks I enjoy so much being available to my family, cooking meals, planning ahead, going to the kids’ school to help out or just eat lunch… just being un-hurried and relaxed, rather than spent, when everyone comes home. And it makes me think maybe a part time hospital job would be better.  Then I’d be home 3 or 4 days every week.  But then I’m sure when the kids’ fall break came, and I had to put them in a summer camp for three days a week while worked, or when I had to work a 12 hour night shift on Christmas Eve I’d be kicking myself wondering why I left my awesome schedule as a school nurse. 

By the grace of God, I still consider myself a homemaker, even though I have a full-time job.  I still make a home.  I still build a family.

She rises up as morning breaks 
She moves among these rooms alone 
Before we wake 
And her heart is so full; it overflows 
She waters us with love and the children grow
So many years from now 

Long after we are gone 
These trees will spread their branches out 
And bless the dawn 
These trees will spread their branches out 
And bless someone

– Planting Trees by Andrew Peterson

Today I actually went to a class at the gym.  The cooler mornings and evenings have been so nice, I’ve been doing my exercise outside at the local park.  But this morning, since I was able to drop the kids off at school and have the day to myself, I went to the Barbell Strength class.  I’m pooped.  Jogging, lunging and push-ups in the park by myself doesn’t push me nearly as hard as a woman yelling at me with a microphone on to do 7 more cleans. 

I finished off the Rahab study today.  Digging into the Bible never fails to be an adventure.
I want to go on a vacation touring the restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives!  We’ve already been to three in the Phoenix Metro area.  This place in Gilbert (get the Ahi Tuna Sandwich), this place in Glendale, and this place in Phoenix.  All delish!

Not much to say tonight. 


Gonna keep this short. I was going to say, “…and sweet,” but it may just be short.

I’m spent.  A good deal of energy goes into squatting from a 6 foot position to a kindergarten height to say:

Ok now, remember what I showed you in class yesterday?  That’s what we’re going to do now.  I’m going to point to the shapes and you tell me what they are.  

Ok, let’s start here.  What’s this shape?  Yes, good.  And this one?  A box, yes, you can say box, or square.  Ok, now what’s this one called?  Yes, that’s right.  Now what about this?  What does this look like to you?  Ok, a tooth is good.  Some say it looks like a heart, some an apple, but you can call it a tooth if you want to.  Ok good job. Now let’s look at the little ones.  Ok what shapes are these?  Good.  Ok now cover one eye with your hand like this.  Now don’t poke your eye, just cover it.  Ok, what’s this shape?  And this one? And this one?  Good.  Now take your hand off your eye and cover your other eye.  No, now you can’t see with both eyes covered.  Take one hand off and cover the other eye like this.  Good, now what’s this shape?  And this one?  And this one?  Good job!  You did great!  

Now come over here and sit down and you get to look in these magic glasses and see this cool E.  Do you see that E right there?  Now in one of these squares is an E that looks just like that but you can only see it with these special glasses on, so put these on and tell me which square you see the E in?  Good!  Yeah isn’t that neat!?  

All right, now we get to play the hearing game?  Remember what I showed you in class?  Ok, well, I’m going to put these earphones on your ears, and you’re going to hear a quiet beeeeeep.  When you hear that beep you have to raise your hand so Nurse Sheila knows you hear it.  Show me what you’re going to do when you hear the beep.  Ok good.  Hear we go.  Ok, are you ready?  All right listen and raise your hand!  (Pause.  Push button.  No response from student.)  Did you hear that?  (Child says, “Yes I heard it.”)  Ok, when you hear it you have to raise your hand!  Ok, let’s try again.  (Pause. Push button.)  Yes!  Good job.  Ok, keep listening and raising your hand when you hear it.  (Repeat for 8 more tones).  Great JOB!  

Ok, let’s see how tall you are and how much you weigh.   Stand on the scale over there….

Repeat for about 30 kindergarteners.  At that point it was only 10:30 in the morning and I was sick of the sound of my own voice. 

By the time I was on my way home at 4pm I was ready for a good nap.  That didn’t happen.  Picked up the kids from school.  Got the usual, “It was good,” responses to, “How was your day?”  Came home to check emails, go over long-division struggles, change into baseball practice clothes and off we went to practice. 

Ryland was proud to get nailed in the lip with the bouncing grounder he caught with his mouth and glove because the coach praised him so much for being tough and catching the ball.  

Connor was showing everyone his eyes to see if they could see his new contacts.  Yep, my 9 year old has contacts.  I don’t need vision correction so I really can’t speak to the issue, but I think the visual reflex of shutting one’s eyelid tightly to prevent foriegn objects from entering the eye is a good enough talking point for why one shouldn’t get contacts.  But my husband, who does need vision correction, and wears contacts, thinks it good for a boy who is as on-the-move as Connor to have contacts and not glasses.  So he’s got ’em. 

I love these words:

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.  For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.  I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.  – Psalm 32:1-5


The Adam and Eve Principle: No matter how good a parent you are, your child is still capable on any given day of doing something despicable, disgusting, or depraved.- John K. Rosemond

On the last week of summer break I bought a puzzle Connor asked for as an indoor activity we could do together. I learned a few things.

First, Connor is too on-the-go for puzzles (If you’ve known Connor for 5 minutes you know this.  I’ve known him from day one and yet I still bought him the puzzle.  Could be a sign of early onset dementia?). If they had puzzles you could chase, or puzzles that chase you he’d love putting one together. But since it involves sorting, more sorting and sorting some more- and nothing makes him run- it’s not for Connor.

Second, puzzles are for Ryland who I’m convinced is going to be in some position of accounting or a referee one day. He likes to put things in order, he likes order, and he likes to tell people the order of things.  It’ll go something like this: Connor will be the pitcher on the field, Ryland will be the ump calling balls or strikes or the CPA telling the manager of the team what to do with his money.

Third and last of all, puzzles are very frustrating and addictive for me.  I like sorting and I like putting things in order, but I can’t stand leaving something unfinished on a table for 3 weeks!

This past first week back to school, for both me and the boys went fairly smooth.  Adjusting to living by a schedule again is easier for the grown-ups than the kiddos.   I’m very thankful to have a job where I get to work with kids and be home every evening and weekend with my family.

School nursing involves a lot of puzzle-like tasks: gathering, sorting and putting information together one piece at at time.  It also involves teaching kids and parents and staff about various topics pertaining to health and safety.  And because it involves teaching it also involves ongoing learning for me.  I have CE courses on heat related illness (HRI) and Asthma bookmarked to take this week.

It’s too hot to do anything, even go to the pool. Which is worse, to be home bound in scorching heat for a few weeks or home bound in a depressing deluge for a few months?  I have thought I’d rather live where its hot than where its constantly cloudy, but on weeks like these I feel certain that cuddling up with a book and hot tea while the gray, rainy drizzle carries on outside would be a form of paradise!

I read an excellent parenting book this past week:  Parenting By the Book by John Rosemond.  I was convicted and motivated as I read it.

  • Say what you mean and mean what you say.  
  • Let the consequences be memorable so as to cause one to think twice before committing the crime.  
  • Be a leader with a vision for where you’re leading your kids.  
  • Look to the scriptures for guidance, not people with capital letters behind their name.

These are some of the bullet points that stuck with me!  Most of what I read I already have believed and therefore put into practice.  But I’ve grown slack, lazy in many areas.  I am inconsistent and warn way too much.  I set out this week to lead with a powerful love and purpose again.  Its easy to fall into what-makes-my-life-easier-in-the-short-term parenting.  The monsters created by short-term parenting aren’t worth the few minutes of peace one may get now.

The Bible is such a gift!  It’s never proven wrong.  None of God’s instructions are ever out of touch with the times!

We prayed in small groups during our second hour at church this morning.  It was powerful.  I want to do that again.  It’s not what we normally do.  Our pastor went home early to rest and recoup after having a pacemaker implanted this past week.

I read this quote today:

 “God did not come to me in some mystical experience, but through a human being, a neighbor, an agent of His love.”- Elizabeth Kilbourn

That’s what the people of Pathway Bible Church and my pastor have been to me… agents of His love.  I’m very thankful for them all!


The night before the first day of school

Well its the last night of summer break for my kids. Even though I started back to work last week on Wednesday tomorrow will FEEL like my first day back to work.

The start and end of a school year as a school nurse are the busiest. I couldn’t get anything done without a legal pad and pen. Lists. I live by lists at work. Crossing things off as they get finished. And alarms. Phone alarms for all the times when kids are to get their medicines at school. Just in case I’m busy answering someone’s request to verify immunization records, or fill a need for school uniforms, or clean up a skinned knee, or teach proper use of the rescue inhaler to a 2nd grader, or the many other triage situations that come walking through my door at the same time that student A needs to have his blood sugar checked and student B needs to take her daily medication and student C need his tube feeding started. If that happens, I mean, when that happens I’ll hear the alarm and stop looking up the vaccine record, hand the bandaid off, make sure the inhaler got used properly, make a quick note so I don’t forget and call a teacher to please send student A to the nurse’s office.

All that will happen, and 15 other things that need to get done will remain on my list, and will be there the next day for me to pick up where I left off. I’m already tired thinking about it. Or maybe its the flexaril?

I started a treatment plan my dentist put me on last week to help with the constant pain I’m having from my damaged left TMJ. The damage occurred 19 years ago in a car accident when I dislocated my jaw. But the effects of 19 years of talking and chewing on that dislocated joint apparently has left me with NO cartilage or muscle in the area. Just bone to bone the CT scan shows.

What do you do for that? Apparently you start small with muscle relaxers, a mechanical soft diet, no gum, ibuprofen round the clock, heat packs, gentle massage and a retainer. We’ll see how it works in about a month. I don’t remember ever taking muscle relaxers before. I don’t like having to take something that makes me sleepy. I sleep just fine and when I take stuff that makes me tired I wake up feeling like I didn’t really sleep. There’s definitely a difference between sleeping and being drugged! I’m fading fast. Better wrap it up.

After church I asked my boys what they remembered or learned. Connor said, “Not to get pressed into the worlds ‘zeitgeist’????” (looking to me for assurance on pronunciation). My pastor likes to use words from other languages to explain concepts in scripture. I like that too. This word zeitgeist stuck with me and with Connor too. Ryland asked what the world’s mold was. I said, “It’s to think of yourself and what you want now.” He responded, “Oh no! I better press real hard cause I think I’m getting squeezed!!!” Smile. Prayer ascending.