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Dirty Plays and the Tooth Fairy

Well, this day did not go as planned.  I wonder how many days of my life I can put under that category?  Probably a lot.  I was supposed to take the kids to school, go down to Knoxville and get our financials for the city done at the CPA’s (which I did) and then spend rest of the day at City Hall getting ready for tomorrow night’s meeting.  Well, it started to snow while I was in Knoxville.  And snow.  And snow.  I got home, was going to eat some lunch and head over to City Hall when I happened to glance at my phone and saw that school was dismissing at 1 pm and could elementary parents please be there by 12:45.  Yikes.  It was a nightmare getting there and back.  There were quite a few times that I experienced white out conditions while driving and I was praying the entire way.  My wipers kept freezing up.  I was just thankful that I was driving my red van today because it’s my not-nice vehicle and if I was going to get in a crash, I’d rather wreck that one.  But I’d really prefer to not wreck anything.  I made it, but I almost didn’t make it into my driveway.  I tried going up West St. which is an incline, but it’s short.  I could not make it.  So, my only option then was to go up Orchard.  But there was a garbage truck on the street so I had to stop.  And then I had great difficulty getting up. I love that I live at the top of a hill because we never, ever get any water in our basement, but it’s not so great in the winter. I am pretty sure I burned off some tire tread.  I didn’t know what else to do.  I knew the snow plow would be coming around soon and I sure couldn’t leave the van on the street.  But we made it and I never did go to City Hall.  But I have gotten some school work done today.  And it could have been much worse.  There was a 70 car pile up on I-35 today by Ames – a stretch of road I travel every so often.  One person even died in it.

And, speaking of school work, I made the Dean’s List last semester.  I figured I did, but BVU never lets me know that any more.  But Friday when I walked into the school with the kids to drop them off at their classrooms, the school psychologist was standing at the door greeting the kids as she usually does.  She saw me and said, “Sarah!  Congratulations!”  I looked at her questioningly and she exclaimed, “I saw your name in the paper – you made the Dean’s List!”  Huh.  It must have come out, then.  That made me feel good, though, particularly since I plan to make my living off the school – now some of them know I’m not just eking through college.  And then the next day a friend – who teaches at the high school – posted a picture of the announcement in the paper to my Facebook timeline.  So then everyone saw it and that was kind of nice, too.  I kept peeking at it in between taking my Drama mid-term.

So, I am in this Drama class this term.  It’s all about plays.  We’re covering them really fast, but there is a whole lot of work I have to do for each one. So far, we’ve done some Greek plays, The Rover,  Dulcitus from the middle ages, Hamlet, A Doll’s House, Trifles (my favorite – inspired by a real, turn of the  century murder in Warren county), Mother Courage and her Children, and probably some others I am not remembering.  This week is Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (which is kind of a dirty play, I’m finding out) and Death of a Salesman.  We have a couple of discussions every week and a list of questions over each play we have to answer and turn in.  These aren’t simple to do, either.  By the time I get done researching and forming answers to the questions, I am turning in several pages of work.  Maybe I’m doing more than I really have to – I don’t know.  I’m not trying to.  But I do have a 99.73 in the class, too.  I really appreciate this professor in that he grades very quickly and he sends very long responses to any work you submit and he’s moderately effusive in his praise, which is always nice!  He has stated that he has never quite had a class like ours with the level of responses he’s getting (in a good way).  But it’s a senior level class, so I would assume that most seniors taking this fall to the literary side of things, anyway.  He and I have an on-going disagreement over A Doll’s House.  This play was published in the late 1800s and it’s about a Victorian housewife who suddenly realizes, after 8 years of marriage and 3 children, that she is not valued for the person she is, and in fact, she really doesn’t know who that person is.  So – she leaves her husband and children to figure that out.  I have a problem with that, but our professor is all about self exploration, I guess.   But he still gives me a good grade for my thoughts!

I took the mid term this weekend and when I saw that it only had 22 questions, I did not think that was too bad.  But half of them were essay questions!  And they required really, really long answers!  For one, I even had to find a play that we had not studied in class and dissect it into four different categories.  Although, that one was kind of fun.  I did an analysis of Our Town, which I have always loved.  Anyway, the test took me HOURS to finish.   I am pretty convinced the professor has no personal life and I know he’s not a football fan because he had that test graded and sent back to me in a half hour – during the Super Bowl.  But he was very  kind in his remarks and in the end I received 150/150 points.


My menopause stuff is getting worse.  I think that’s the way it’s supposed to progress – ok, then worse, then horrible, then ok, then oh, I guess I’m all done!  I have been weepier than normal lately, but I just chalked it up to stress.  I have also felt like I’ve been more irritable, too.  And the last two times we’ve been to therapy I have broken down in tears – how embarrassing.  This therapy isn’t even supposed to be about ME – it’s about the girls.  But I have been dealing with quite a few behaviors from Lizzie, especially, lately.  And that morning she had just deliberately pushed my last button, so I was not happy.  I am beginning to think that the therapist thinks I am this perfectionistic, type A person.  I’m not.  Just look at my house.  Look at my office at City Hall (please don’t.)..  I think she must wonder how on earth I was ever allowed to adopt in the first place.  Anyway, last weekend I was reading to Ellie from her Junie B. Jones, First Grader books.  We do that every night.  That’s how I have managed to get better behavior out of her in recent weeks, actually.  Plus, her sister has been acting up and the dynamic tends to be that when one is down the other is up – up, as in, “Notice me,  Mom!  Look how wonderful I am compared to my rotten sister!”  So, we’re reading a story about how Junie B. accidentally cheated in her first grade classroom and gets caught.  And the next thing I know I am sobbing all over the place.  Poor Ellie looked at me wide-eyed and then started patting my back, “It’s ok, Mom, it’s ok.”   Wow.  It was after that that it occurred to me that this could be all hormone related.  I may not be quite this crazy.  So, I dug out my menopause essential oils and I’ve been applying them every single day.  I may need to start carrying it around with me, too.  It’s helping.  I haven’t cried anymore over Junie B, anyway.

On the other end of the hormone scale, Lizzie had her appointment with the endocrinologist last week.  That did not go well.  They had to check her out.  The nurse practitioner we saw was very sweet, very gentle, and explained to Lizzie what she needed to do.  Lizzie still curled up in a ball and sobbed and sobbed right there on the table.  I am strongly suspicious now because of this and a few “triggers” she seems to have that she may have experienced some sexual abuse before I got her.  I doubt she remembers, but those kind of wounds are imprinted on the soul even if the memory covers them over.  Regardless, she has to be treated.  The nurse practitioner said she is 90% sure it’s basic precocious puberty but now they have to run 14 million tests to rule out other things.  So, they will call me and we will have to go in for 2 days of testing – and MRI, bloodwork, and I don’t know what else.  And a friend was telling me that now Medicaid will only pay for the Luperon inserts, rather than injections.  I am not crazy about Lizzie having an implant in her body.  But it sounds like I may not have a choice.  It would only be for a couple of years, but still…

Oh, and the nurse said there is no way Lizzie is going to reach 6’ in adulthood (what our regular dr has been telling me for years when he plots L’s growth), which may make buying pants for her more easy.  She had her growth charts plotted out and while she is tall for a 9 year old, she is only average height for a 12 year old, which is about the age her brain thinks she is.  Apparently, if she was on track for hitting the 6’ mark, she’d be taller now than she is.  And that makes sense.  Children get their height from their father and I have been told Lizzie’s bio father was kind of short.

Sam had his first zit a week or so ago.  I do not remember his brothers getting them this soon.  Actually, all the boys have been very fortunate that they inherited their dad’s and my good skin.  Some teenagers end up scarred before their skin grows up.  Ten seems awfully young to be starting this, though.
 My van  has been in the shop for a week now. Apparently, it needs new struts, a swaybar, tie rods, and an alignment.  It’s going to cost $1200.  I just spent $840 on it in Dec.  Sigh…sigh…but, the church did give me that check.  So, it’s not like I am really spending $2000 on my van.  But still – I’m not happy.  But what choice do I have?  None.  And, like Will said, even if I put $5000 into this thing before it ends its usefulness in a few years, I’m still only paying insurance on a $5000 vehicle. 
 Sam and Lizzie were baptized a few weeks ago.  It was really special.  With Sam’s, I could just sense how pleased Paul would be.  I hope this was one of those nights where God rolled back Heaven’s carpet.  And then with Lizzie, it felt redemptive.  Here again, is a little girl that Satan thought was his – and there she was standing in front of the church, explaining how she had come to realize that she needed Jesus.  Afterwards, we went out for ice cream as a family. 

 Ellie has been asking more and more questions about salvation, which encourages me.  In fact, one evening last week I had her attention long enough to lay out the entire plan of salvation for her.  She had come to me complaining that Lizzie had told her she was going to hell.  I don’t want my kids making salvation experiences for that reason alone.  I really believe there needs to be some repentance of sin happening for the experience to be real.  Ellie didn’t pray that night but she had some good questions.  Lately, when I have made comments about praying and how the kids can be praying about this or that, Ellie pipes up, “Well, God isn’t hearing my prayers yet.”  Apparently, that’s another gem her sister must have shared with her.

Ben has become quite interested in the 10 Commandments lately.  I’m not sure exactly why.  In fact, I had to laugh a few days ago because he was watching, “Cops” which has become a favorite show of his.  I heard him say to the tv, “Oh, you should have known better than to kill.  Now you’ve broken one of the 10 commandments!”  Today he was telling me that it is hard for  him to remember all the commandments.  So, I pointed out the verse in Luke 10 where Jesus says that the “greatest” commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself (By the way, did you know that a variation of this verse is found in all four gospels, as well as in Deuteronomy?  It must be pretty important.).  I wasn’t sure if Ben would understand this, but I explained to him that if he focused on doing these things – loving God with everything in us and our neighbor like we do ourselves, then we aren’t going to break any of the commandments.  His face lit up and he got so excited – so I think he must have understood.  He’s been vocalizing a lot lately that he is worried about getting arrested sometime.  My response has usually been something along the lines of, “Well, if you do what you’re supposed to, it shouldn’t be a problem…”  It just occurred to me this week that his watching of the Cops show may be contributing to this fear.  But anyway, maybe he’ll feel better with this New Testament verse which seems less burdensome than remembering 10 rules.
Well, I think this is all I know. 

Lizzie just came downstairs asking for a dollar.  She has a tooth under her pillow (her first molar, actually) and I guess she thought she’d bypass the tooth fairy and come straight to me.  Uh – I don’t think so.  For one, the rule is no getting out of bed unless there is blood or fire.  Asking for money definitely does not qualify on either count.   But mostly, the day you start telling me that you don’t believe in the tooth fairy is the day she doesn’t visit anymore.  I like the Tooth Fairy.  I don’t do Santa or the Easter Bunny, but I think the Tooth Fairy is cute and I’m going to lie to my kids about her as long as they will let me!

So, this week, here’s to snow (we have about 6” on the ground now – seems like 6” anyway), the Tooth Fairy, spiritual awakenings in children, and tuxedos (Night to Shine for Ben is this Friday).  Oh, and As.  I got another one tonight, for a set of questions on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  Again – took me more than hour to answer these 4 questions and he graded it within the first hour of receiving it.

Gotta go. 



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