Category Archives: Working Full-Time (struggles)

Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

I just don’t know what to do with you as of late.
I rarely post, and when I do I feel that I always post about being so busy, nothing to insightful!  I started my blog over 3 years ago, I posted 2-3x per week, had regular readers, loved reading other great ladies blogs, and was so immersed in my blogging hobby!  But as of late I just have not had time to post!  Blogging has gone the way of my love for baking, my steadfast interest in feeding my family healthy home-cooked meals ( the other night we had frozen fried chicken from a box and mashed potatoes from a frozen plastic container!) and my love for reading.
I just don’t have time to do the things I enjoy on a regular basis.

So the question is do I give up my blog?
I do bake on occasions, and I do fix a healthy meal for the family on occasion…..so I am thinking I must cling to my blog, even if it’s an occasional post.  It is after all one of the few interests I do still have. :)

When I started this blog my kids were in elementary school and I worked part-time, now I have teens and work full time.  It’s a different season of life.  And although I LOVE it in so many ways, I am a tired mom.  There are those moments when I think giving birth at 19 seems appealing.  Ha ha!

So dear blog, I guess we will stick together a bit longer as we journey through this life God has given to us.
And to my dear readers thanks for sticking with me, I do appreciate ALL of you!!!
So as I encountered some unexpected free time this morning, I think I will drink a little coffee, and do some baking.   Blogging and baking, it  helps keep this mom sane!
Yes, I must keep my blog, it does provide a respite from life and helps me to keep a refreshed resiliency to keep pressing on!
~Sandy

Snow Days and Being a Working Mom

I am a working mom.  There are times, I wish that I did not have to work!   I stayed home with the kids for 5 years, and I am so thankful for that time.  But now with a 15 year old and soon to be 13 year old, I am working.  At times it’s HARD, I get tired working all day, come home to LOTS of activities, dinner, laundry, etc.  I feel bad that sometimes I just don’t have the emotional energy to “be there” for my kids.

However, I have found little tricks (like a 10 min power nap, and regular exercise, and an occasional pick me up stop at a dear little bakery that happens to be right on the way home from school) that seem to help.  BUT, as a working mom, I can not even begin to tell you how thankful I am for my job.   I am a special ed teacher, I teach at the same school SportTman attends, Drums also teaches there.  And in 2 years, The Inventor will also attend “our high school.”  Being all together, just makes this working thing so much easier.  The Inventor walks down to the high school each day after school, SportTman comes to my classroom and we all drive home TOGETHER.

I see SportTman many times through out the day, I see him with his friends in the hallway, and at lunch. How many moms get to be in their kids HS all day?

So even though there are times when I get so frustrated with having to work,  I love teaching at the same school my kids attend!

I also LOVE having  snow days off together!!!  We are working on day 2 of being off of school due to a blizzard.

Yes I did use the “B” word, and yes it was an impressive blizzard!

So we have all been home together, having fun, watching movies, eating homemade chocolate chip cookies and playing in the snow!  It’s nice to have a job where I can be OFF with the kids and don’t have to worry about getting to work on the days schools are closed.

So even though there are THOSE moments when I just want to quit my job, in the big picture I am thankful for my job.

And I can’t resist posting lots of those crazy snow pictures! :)

SportTman in his fort, in the midst of the blizzard!

Digging out!

Making snow angels!

In the fort with SportTman

Silence is golden!

I walked into the computer lab at school the other day to get my computer upgraded. My son just bought a new iPod Nano, so I needed the newest iTunes version.   As I entered the lab I was suddenly overwhelmed by the silence! There were no classes in the lab at the time, just the one lonely lab assistant, quietly working at her computer.  As I gave her my laptop for an upgrade, I plopped myself down in a chair, and relished the silence!  ( Do I sound old or what, I am now relishing silence!)  But for that brief moment in the computer lab it was if everything suddenly stopped for a moment, the busyness of the school day turned into a reflective moment in the computer lab.

The moment of silence caught me off-guard, but it was also God’s perfect timing.  The Lord knew I needed a little moment of refreshing amidst my busy day.  So I sat there in the computer lab, in what may have appeared to some as a zombie state of mind, but in reality was a moment of refreshing, and renewing.  I feel certain the lab assistant would have thought I was dozing off during school, but I can assure you that was not the case. :)

What a glorious reminder to savor those brief moments of silence, to refocus your thoughts to more heavenly matters, and savor time with the savior!  I posted several weeks ago about my struggle with making Jesus the center of my life.  But many of you suggested bring Him into my daily activities, and this moment in the computer lab was just that!

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So I am driving down the road………

I am driving down the road the other day, praying, and thinking. Since I was alone in the car, this was possible. I realized that I have been suffering from the “I used to” syndrome. I have been feeling very guilty about the “I used to” syndrome and now I  feel like I have been set free from this thorn in my side. :)

Why is it as a mom, all great revelations either come when I am enjoying peace and quiet in the bathroom or while I am driving???

So what is the IUT syndrome?

Let me give you some insight

  • I used to always have the cookie jar filled with homemade cookies……….NOW we eat Oreos
  • I used to plan creative meals with a large variety of family favorites……….NOW it’s the crock-pot, or the grill
  • I used to be a women’s ministry speaker and I really felt God using me at the many events I spoke at……….NOW I don’t even have time to attend these events.
  • I used to teach a variety of classes for women at my church…………..NOW I just see the classes listed in the church bulletin.
  • I used to read and study my bible more……………NOW my devotions are quite sporadic
  • I used to have a special snack waiting for the kids when they got home from school………..NOW they eat nothing, or have junk food!
  • I used to match socks in a timely manner………..NOW I just buy more socks
  • I used to scrub my kitchen floor on my hands and knees…….NOW, I used the Swifter, and hope my cleaning lady is coming soon!

I have been feeling so guilty about all my “use to” things, that I had totally lost sight of the present. I was not allowing God to use me NOW. I kept comparing myself to all the things I had done in the past and felt so guilty that I didn’t do those things anymore. So if you are constantly surrounding yourself with guilt, you leave very little opportunity to be used NOW. Well, during the drive to the grocery store, while feeling tired and weary after my first week of school……God spoke to my heart! Got to love His timing. Anyway, I have totally changed my attitude, and am looking for small and even big opportunities for God to use me in my current crazy, busy, working full-time life. :) I am no longer going to be ruled by the IUT syndrome.

Here I am Lord, use me NOW! I think I will go enjoy an Oreo and get the crock-pot ready for dinner tomorrow. :)

Random thoughts

Every blogger needs a random thoughts post every once in a while. So now it’s my turn for some serious randomness. :)

I start back to school next week, I am not in the school mode yet! Summer has been so nice for us, and I guess I am not dealing with the reality that it will soon be over.

But on the other hand I am accepting it, and have been so busy this week running around trying to get everything done. You would think I was preparing for nuclear war or a hurricane. I feel like I need to have gobs of toilet paper, soap, shampoo, conditioner, detergent etc. on hand so I never need to shop again! I tend to forget that I can still shop for these things during the school year. :) I get this way before school starts every year. I also think I need to have the house in order, cleaned, and plenty of food and “supplies” for the house so I don’t have to deal with it during school. Or, if war does break out, I will be prepared. :)

This will be my 2nd year at this job, and my 2nd year working full-time again ( I was a SAHM for 5 years and taught part time for 4 years). I still struggle with working full time every day……..yet when it comes down to it, I do feel that God has me in this job and I see so many opportunities to honor Him with my job and interactions with students. Drums and I both teach at our local public high school, and as much as I personally did not want to go back and teach at our local high school ( I had taught there 10 years ago), I now see God’s wisdom in it. It really is the perfect job for me, of course I see that now, and of course I fought it and didn’t see that last year! I remember saying, “this must be God’s will, cause it makes no sense to me to switch jobs.” And now I so clearly see God’s wisdom in the whole job move……funny how that happens isn’t it? It comes down to trusting God even when it doesn’t make sense to us. I know I often blow it in those situations.

More randomness……..I went kayaking the other day for the first time! SportTman and I went out on a local river, we rented “sit on top” kayaks for 2 hours. We both LOVED it! What a fun thing, I have read about how much Faith enjoys kayaking before and have seen others do it. So I wanted to try it before summer was over. SportTman and I had a blast, the river was choppy that day and at first we were nervous. But since it was choppy it actually made it more fun, we felt like we were, as my son would say, “getting some air” when we went over a wave!

Do you like the pic of me getting some air? :)

Oh and did I mention, that after 20 years of wearing glasses, I got contacts! The Inventor got them last winter, and when I watched her put the contacts in and saw how easy it is, I thought, what am I waiting for??? :) So I feel so hip and cool, now that I can wear sunglasses…….compared to the stylin clip-on glasses I have been wearing for years! Do you like my Wal-Mart $9.89 glasses? :) Nothing but the finest eye ware for me.

Also, I feel a bit guilty about not being a good blogging buddy lately. I just haven’t been reading your blogs as much as I like to. Too busy preparing for war I guess. I do enjoy reading so many of your blogs, and seeing how God works in your lives. Hopefully this will be a better weekend for that. :)

Keeping it all in perspective…..

I was complaining to a friend I saw out this morning while at a yard sale ( have I mentioned how much I love to yard sale?) that I am sick and tired of waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat! I am a women deeply entrenched in evils of perimenopause. Perimenopause is defined as the “period ( why do they use that word!!) around menopause.” Well I have been AROUND menopause for 7 years now, I started with these crazy symptoms at 37……how much longer must I wait!? The definition makes it sound like the period (evil word again!) around menopause, like my body is in training for menopause. Hello….training for menopause? Like I need to practice having mood swings, insomnia and sweating all night long!

But as the friend and I continued our bemoaning we also discussed a friend we know who has been battling breast cancer for the last 4 years. She is currently struggling with an array of life-threatening ailments, and is the mommy to 3 young boys. As we continued our chat, suddenly my night sweats did not seem like such a big deal in light of her daily suffering. It reminded me the importance of the big picture and keeping life in a Godly perspective.

I have never been a really big complainer, but I do complain when I “think it’s necessary!”

Yesterday I took 4 hours in the heat of the day to mow our woods, it totally wore me out….but I am thankful I have the physical energy to complete such an arduous task…..perspective.

I am also thankful for the beautiful woods and creek behind my house.

I get frustrated sometimes with the fact that I work full-time, but, I am thankful that I can be off work in the summer….perspective.

I hate the smell of manure on the farmer’s fields around here, however, I am thankful there is so much delicious, locally grown fruits and veggies in our area in the summer…….perspective.

There is much to complain about in this life, but is it really worth it? I am working this summer to keep the right perspective and to be thankful for the MANY blessings I have……..including…………. can I say it………………………………………perimenopause! Yes I am thankful for even that, it forces me to rely more on God!

Philippians 2:14 Do everything with out complaining or arguing.

Ephesians 5:1-2 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love…….

Snake handling and Fifth Disease

Just found out today the cause of what I thought was a weird spring flu. I had joint pain, a fever, hand and feet swelling, TIRED, rash etc. I have Fifth Disease, normally a childhood illness. It’s one of those things that if adults get it, it’s worse then when kids get it. So my symptoms should begin to clear up, they say in1-3 months. At least it explains why I have not felt right since I had a fever, and headache back on my birthday on May 1st. So this just gives me an excuse to nap more….and of course it makes me even more eager for school to be done. We are done June 9th!!!

Do you think the wild snake handling caused my illness? What do you think, am I cool or what holding that cute corn snake? The picture was taken in my classroom at school, whew it was a good thing I wore lots of deodorant that day! Actually, I had a really cool guy come do a reptile presentation for my students, we all loved it!

What do you think of the picture mom??? Remember how I used to be so afraid of snakes? :)

We need to leave at 7:15am today!!!!

I yelled to the kids this morning, “we need to leave by 7:15, I have a meeting at school at 7:35 and I can’t be late!” It was 6:45am, and I still needed to eat, pack SportTman’s lunch, find some clean pants in my laundry mess for my son, and try to find 5 min. to drink a cup of coffee and read glance at the morning paper. I then did as every wise mom does, gave a 10 minute warning and a 5 minute warning, so the kids knew I meant business. So at 7:15 I expected to see the kids in the van and ready to go. I grabbed my coffee, lunch and laptop bag and headed out to the van. I said to “prompt daughter” sitting ready in the back of the van, “where is your brother?”

SportTman was still getting ready!  Finally about 7:19, while we are waiting in the van in the driveway, he comes out. In my most wise, calm, motherly angry, mad, yelling voice I told him, I meant 7:15 and not 7:19 ( trust me, this is NOT the first time this has happened, we are always waiting for him! Our “commute” to school is only about 5-7 min.). So I told him, he could not use his Nitendo DS for the rest of today and he owed me a dollar. He immediately complained, whined, yelled and of course said “it’s not fair.” I told him he doesn’t have to pay me the dollar or hand over the Nitendo if he came into my meeting and told everyone why I was late! He didn’t pick that option. :)

But as we drove on to school together, his tone calmed, the mood in the car became more lighthearted, and when I dropped him off at school in front of his friends, he says back to me, “Love ya Mom.”

I just love that long-legged, size 12 shoe wearing, baseball, basketball, soccer playing 13 year old….yep through it all he is my son, and I am thankful for him!

What makes YOU great?

I have been sitting at my laptop for the last hour or so working on a Jr. High Sunday School lesson for tomorrow ( yes, I waited to the last minute to prepare!……And yes I actually enjoy teaching Jr. High age kids!). The lesson is mostly about the disciples bickering about who is the greatest among them, and the reply Jesus gives them about being the last among men, and a servant to all! ( See Mark 9: 33-37, Matthew 18: 1-4, Luke 9:46-50)

The whole lesson got me thinking about a legacy I want to leave, and how do I measure greatness?

A teacher at the high school I teach at was recently caught in the back seat of his car with one of his students. This man had a reputation as a great teacher, and music director. This man by the world’s standards seemed to had achieved a level of greatness, by his reputation, numerous awards, the respect of his students, and the community. But it’s gone. You can only imagine what was going on in the back of his car, and it had apparently been going on for over a year now! The man is married and has a toddler at home. I didn’t know this teacher personally, but now I know of his legacy. I overheard people talking about his immoral legacy at McDonalds this morning. His once honorable reputation is now destroyed, along with his marriage, job, life etc…….. Who knows, maybe God can now reach him since his worldly greatness is shattered. All the glam and prestige he once held is gone, it was built on worldy standards, not Gods. This teacher has been formally charged and will probably serve time in jail………so what does he now tell his 2 year old son about his former greatness?

I‘m not really sure what I am trying to say here…..except I know this, I want to be known for having the mind and attitude of Christ, and not this world. I will look to serve, help, encourage, and give to others. And in doing so, I can only begin to grasp the kind of greatness Jesus refers to. My desire is that standard for greatness will be built on a biblical foundation, not a fading, worldly view. Oh for less of me and more of Him.

Mark 9:35……..he must be the very last, and the servant of ALL.

A snippet of a mom’s life

At this very moment I am

  • eating these delicious multi grain tortilla chips and salsa
  • cooking chili for dinner
  • writing one of my student’s IEP’s
  • doing a load of laundry ( actually the only time I am not doing laundry is when I am sleeping, but even then I am probably folding the laundry in my sleep!)
  • listening to the radio
  • just started to unload the dishwasher, because I needed a wooden spoon to stir the chili
  • oh, and I am writing this post
  • Oh, there is a knock at the door got to go……….

More power to us multi-tasking moms, but now you see why I need the quiet moments that I wrote about in the post below!!!!!!!

Christmas break is officially over…..

The alarm rang at 5:45am this morning, it was tough getting up and getting back to school. I need coffee, was my first thought. But my second thought was, I need Jesus! I need the Lord to walk with me through this life. It seems when you are a teacher your life revolves around the school calendar. And to me, the New Year started today with my first day back to school. I spent a few extra minutes in prayer this morning, asking God to guide our family this year. God only knows what lies ahead for our family in 2008, but our prayer is, His will be done, and more of Him in our life and less of this distracting, busy world!

Christmas break was good for our family, there was lots of needed down time. We watched several good movies together, this one was my favorite. But I also liked this one. I actually started reading book, I love to read, but have trouble finding the time to read. It’s one of those simple, small books, but it packs a powerful spiritual punch. Just what I need these days.

Several highlights of the down time included, going out for a girl night with my daughter, her friend and her mom. I had a nice lunch out with hubby, and played scrabble with the kids, made homemade donuts with my daughter, went on a long bike ride with my daughter and played a few PlayStation games with my son, hit a good post Christmas sale at Wal Mart, and had friends over for a fun New Years Eve. Oh, and I visited a ton of new blogs. I will be updating my blogroll soon. New bloggin buddies abound! What wonderful ladies there are out there! :)

I know sometimes I have written about working full- time and it’s difficulties, but in the big picture, as a mom, I love the schedule of a teacher. I am thankful.

I also just had to include this COOL picture. This is my daughter playing checkers with her cousin who lives 2 hours away. They played while talking on Skype, the fun software we downloaded where you can talk to each other for FREE and see each other over your computer. The girls, eventually decided to put post-it notes on each checker, so my niece would say to The Inventor, move #9 to the right, or move #2 to the left. What a cool idea! Now the cousins can “play together” even thou they are physically 2 hours apart!! :)

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It’s been awhile…….

since I updated my blog. I have been so busy with my job. I must admit it has been an adjustment returning to work full time. I can not imagine having a job where you work year round, don’t get home until 5:30-6:00 and need to bring work home! I am done by 3:00 everyday, the same time my kids are done, what a blessing that is!

However, there are things I miss, like having time to get the laundry done, making pumpkin cookies for the family, riding my bike to exercise on those cool fall mornings, making a decent breakfast for the kids in the morning, ( instead of frozen, microwave waffles!), being on top of the laundry, taking walks with the kids and the dog, and enjoying that moment of peace and quiet right after the kids left for school, and did I mention getting the laundry done?? ( I need to go to the store and buy 500 pairs of socks and underware for each family member so I don’t need to worry about running out!)

That appears to be my biggest struggle with working, I feel like I am compromising on some of the “mommy things” I have done for years. I had to miss one of SportTman’s soccer games the other day, my rule of thumb has been to never miss the kids sports events (unless the other child has a game at the same time, hubby and I split up the game watching duties). The other thing I am wondering about is teaching Sunday School at church and teaching Girls Alive on Wed. night, I have done both for years, and I start back teaching SS today and Girl’s Alive in 2 weeks, I just wonder how I will be able to handle all these things in addition to the job. I don’t want to compromise the gifts God has given me to teach kids at church because I have too much going on.

I guess I will just see how it all plays out and spend less time worrying about it and more time praying about it. God has given me this opportunity for this season of life, the job has been rough, but I think a lot of that is growing pains since it’s a new program, things should calm down.

I will continue to write about my struggles of being a christian working mom, and how God continues to lead and guide me through this.

………..Oh and did I mention, I have been eating more chocolate lately :)