With each new school year comes the need to raise funds for our school.  I know each school is the same because I have sweet little faces at my door both at home and work offering me the chance to purchase cookie dough, magazines, sponsor a jog-a-thon, etc.  I totally understand the need to support education, athletics, technology, and the arts.  But…I literally HATE sending my kids door to door to sell cookie dough.  I don’t want the cookie dough.  I don’t need to eat it and I don’t need to store it.  My friends’ kids are all also selling cookie dough.  And, it’s become a joke that we should each just cut our schools a check rather than go through the hassle of some of the fundraisers.  You know what I mean.  I’m sure many of you have the same thing.

This year our school has decided to try something new.  They’ve set up an online platform for fundraising.  We are asking for sponsorships from people to fund the school.  But, we are also going to end our fundraising drive with a awesome event where our kids will pack 10,000 meals for other local students who are less fortunate and are not always sure they will have food available for three meals a day.  So, while we are raising funds for our school we’re also giving our kids an opportunity to serve in the local community and meet a very real need.  It’s exciting.  It’s cool to see our kids serving other kids their age who have a real need that our kids can help fill.  If you are interested at all in Christian education, helping young people who need a meal, or just in helping my family in particular – please check our our family’s page for the fundraising here.  We would love your support.  If you can’t give financially we would love your prayers for this fundraising drive as well as for the event at the end where we pack 10,000 meals. And, it’d be really great if you could pray for the kids who will receive the meals.  Thanks, friends.

F.E.A.S.T. “Funding Education And Serving Together

Here are some photos from our kickoff dinner last night.  It was an amazing time.

feast1 feast2


Another Back to School

When summer starts it seems like we have so wonderfully long until school starts again. Then, as the days and weeks slip by the new school year gets closer and closer until finally we’re in the spot we’re in now – the night before the first day of the school year.

No matter how much my kids complain or how many times my kids say they don’t want to go to school – the night before the first day is always exciting and frenzied. Tonight was no different.

Two days ago my youngest son informed me he didn’t care about what he would wear to the first day of school because that wasn’t until Thursday (two days is a long time when you’re 11). Today, at 9:30pm he informed me he was completely ready, but he needed jelly because we are out. Apparently, telling me that when we were actually in town didn’t seem necessary.

My daughter has spent the entire summer planning and re-planning her wardrobe. She’s done fashion show after fashion show as she tried to make new outfits with different pieces. This fashionista will probably be the death of me. Tonight she said “Mom, I need to start being beautiful all the time so the next time you get paid we need to go get a makeover, okay?” Uh, hello – you’re 11 not 16.

For my oldest, this is old hat. But, there is still that flutter of excitement and the picking out the clothes, shoes, things for the locker. He wants mechanical pencils only and tabs in his binders.

For me – I think “How did my children get to be so grown up? Why did we sign up for a 7am class? Why do the kids count how many food items they have in their lunches? Will the socks they need to wear show or can I get away with mismatched socks?” and so much more.

There are so many things I want for this school year – and the least of them is academic success for my children:

  • I want them to grow in Christ daily.  More than anything I want to see the Word of God in my children’s lives.  I want them to have complete faith and to witness to others with their actions each day.
  • I want them to be a true friend.  I want them to be the person who sits with the new kid.  I want them to forget about who is wearing what and just hang out with someone who might need someone right now.  I want that to be sincere and not because their mom told them to.  And, I want it to happen without me needing to say it.
  • I want them to experience all aspects of school.  School isn’t only academics.  People can learn at home on their own and be the smartest person in the world.  There’s a lot more to the school experience.  I don’t want them to just play sports, but also be in band.  I want them to play different sports each year just to see if they like them.  I want them to remember that ‘hanging out’ on the grass to be cool isn’t as fun as taking pictures for yearbook or volunteering for charity projects.
  • I want them to stand up for themselves.  I hate to see the struggle between letting someone ‘cool’ be unkind to them because they are afraid saying something will make them even less cool.  I want them to understand they are strong and they can be cool all on your own.  People will buy into it if you believe it.  Not to mention, most of the people who thought they were cool when I was in high school, have learned that life doesn’t care if they are cool.  Life cares a lot more about kindness and hard work.
  • I want them to remember SCHOOL IS FUN.  I want them to enjoy their days at school.  At the risk of sounding old – there are people in other countries who don’t have a chance to get an education.  I want them to enjoy the learning, enjoy studying how the body works and what cells do, enjoy learning how to write poetry and build bulletin boards.  Enjoy this life you’ve been blessed with!

Football Newbs

It’s been three days and my oldest son is still alive. This week is Hell Week for football. Football is a new experience in our house. I’ve always sworn my kids wouldn’t be allowed to play because I value their limbs and their brains too much. But, Dad gave permission and so here we go.

I have been praying hard all summer that my oldest son would change his mind about this sport I fear. I overheard his little brother telling him “Look, if you play and you don’t get hurt or killed – Mom will probably let me play. So, just play really great, okay?” Yes, do not get hurt or killed. In fact, neither would be just fine by me.

But, here we are. I went to the parent meeting. I signed the form that had all sorts of possible injuries (including DEATH). My best friend said to our boys “Go get your football costumes and then let’s go!” Costumes – do we sound like newbs? Of course, when my son informed me he needed to buy a chin guard I said “do you need a cup?” He shrugged. Being ME I went and asked the coach. He and his son chuckled at me. Um, it seems to me that MOST boys would think that was the most important gear. Apparently, I’m wrong. And, also apparently, that is embarassing…

When we got home we forced the boys to try on their gear so that I could have a good Instagram/Facebook photo (duh!)

Bright and early Monday morning I drove my boy out to the field and watched him walk to a group of very large and very rowdy boys. Some of them look like full grown men. I wanted to stay and watch, but I didn’t want to embarrass him so I pulled away and went to work. I drove back to pick him up in time to see some hitting drills. I still don’t understand how it’s fun, but I also am not a boy so I suppose that makes sense.

Today we had some work to do at the school. My husband took all three kids to help. When I showed up my oldest said “Mom, I’m tired. I don’t want to scrub.” I said “I understand you’re tired, but you have to finish.” I looked over a few minutes later and this is what I saw:
This kid scrubbing, but on his back and laughing so hard because he finds himself amusing.

So, we’ve made it three days. Everyone is still alive. I’m sure it will all be fine. But, we’re newbs. It’s yet another adventure in our crazy lives. I wonder what’s next?

Live it!

School is in session and we’ve jumped into things head first.  It’s sort of my style, I guess.  We have so many things going on and we love all of them.  I just need to sit down and make some sense of the schedule so I don’t get overwhelmed.

Already, we’ve had the normal new school year things.  The assessment of the new kids in the class after the first day – you know – names, descriptions, and first impressions.  Last year, Trevor and I had a conversation about what a name means and why we should remember the names of people.  This year he was able to come home and tell me all the names of the new kids.  I didn’t even ask him – he volunteered it.  So cool.

I have an ongoing discussion with my children about befriending kids who don’t have someone to play with, eat lunch with, or just to talk to.  It’s true that there are people who are difficult to get along with.  It’s also true that you simply will not get along with everyone in the world.  But, the biggest truth is that Jesus loves us all despite our personality flaws and character faults.  One of the things I remind my kids is that a good friend lets others know when they are annoying the group too.  Some people really don’t even know they are being annoying!  They can’t improve if no one helps them.  The same is true of the kids who are ‘too cool’.  It’s a different, more socially accepted annoyance.  But, it is still annoying to watch as an adult and sometimes as a kid too and they don’t even know sometimes.

I’ve told my kids about my youth as a snobby teenager and how that put me in a position to have to apologize to someone as an adult.  It was such a humbling and eye opening experience.  I want them to avoid that as much as possible.  Today a friend posted this on Facebook.  I read it and had tears and wanted to yell “YES!!”.  The only thing I would add is that the kids won’t necessarily be rewarded for showing Jesus.  My oldest was informed he couldn’t be in the ‘cool group’ because he was too nice to the people who were not cool.  It blew my mind that such a conversation would even take place, but I can see my teenage self saying something just as stupid.

My prayer for my children has always been that they be better than I ever was at anything and everything. But, when it comes down to it – nothing really matters except how they are living what they believe.  If they are not living it then it’s worth nothing.

Crazy Daze

We have had such a crazy week!  Between work, kids last week of school, fundraising for basketball camp, graduation, and our anniversary – its been wild.  I feel slightly dazed by it all, but I’m trying to enjoy it as we go.  I assume it’s better to enjoy the moment than to miss it all being overwhelmed.

I have to say that I hate the big bags of stuff that come home on the last day of school.  I don’t even know (care) what most of it is.  I honestly just tell the kids to keep awards and supplies and anything else goes in the trash.  I realize this probably makes me a terrible person.   Oh well.

In the midst of all that we also had fundraising happening.  Slushies and flocking were both happening at the same time.  Slushies are done (great money maker)

and we’re still doing the flocking.

I have to say that the flocking is by far the boys favorite fundraiser.  The getting paid to do something like tp-ing is great for any teenage boy. 🙂

Last night my oldest graduated from 8th grade.  It was a good ceremony.  Short, sweet, but heartfelt.  Love that.  I managed to only shed a few tears, and focused mainly on the joy of my boy being successful.

It’s great to see our kids succeed, isn’t it?  It was cool to see on the slide show that the word his class chose to describe him was CHIVALROUS.  I take that to mean I’ve been successful so far.

Today is our anniversary.  I got to sleep in, TJ is taking me to lunch at my favorite spot, tonight we’ll watch the Celtics and eat steaks my husband will grill that will be amazing and better than any restaurant we could go to, TJ will take the boys to flock another victim person, and mainly we’ll just hang out together.  I realize that for most newly weds that doesn’t sound fun, but I find it LOVELY to have the time to spend with the man I love and to actually still love him and want to spend time hanging out.


Last night we went to the science fair.   It was fun to see all the projects that the kids had made and their boards with their graphs, hypothesis, etc on them.  But, as a parent I was looking around thinking that it’s funny how little has changed at the science fair since I was a kid.

My husband and I walked around the gym and were really impressed with a few of the projects.  The kids worked hard, built something creative and put a lot of effort into their project.  There were others who stayed carefully in the lines of the usual projects and managed to have lovely organized poster boards that looked exactly like the ones I remember from being in school and exactly like the ones I’ve seen online  I didn’t realize that there were awards on some of them at first. But, after we’d been checking some out my husband said “I can’t believe that got an award.”  He pointed out the ribbons and then I went back through and checked out who got ribbons.  I guess I am not a science fair judge.  I am sure there is some matrix they follow and each experiment must complete each catagory to be considered ribbon worthy. My thought is that they should add to their matrix and say “original idea” or “made from scratch”.  I say this just as an observer.  I don’t think my kid should have won.  I am not even upset.  But, the truth is that the projects that won were boring and have been overdone.  Maybe they need an ‘excitement meter’ for the projects to see whose project actually interests people.

One boy built a functioning hover board.  A HOVER BOARD people!!  It was awesome.  He was giving kids rides on it.  There was a ton of interest in his.  It was creative and it was something I hadn’t seen at a jr. high science fair before.  Another boy built a telsa coil.  You know, the cool things from the new Sorcerer’s Apprentice?  They conduct cool electric currents that people can SEE?  Yeah, one of those.  That thing was going off all night and people were crowded around it.  I saw their boards. They were not as neat and clean as the winners. But, in my mind – real science is rarely neat and clean.  It’s dirty and takes lots of work and seldom goes the way people expect.

All this to say that maybe I should be the excitement meter for the next science fair.  My whole job will be to simply look at it from an average joe standpoint and say ‘BORING!” or “THAT IS FREAKIN’ AWESOME!”  The rest of the judges can worry about the science portion.