Monday, November 28, 2011

Whatcha been up to?
Well, funny you should ask.

It's been busy around here. What's new, right?

  • Well, for starters, Spencer had a project due the week before Thanksgiving. It was the student's choice for a subject of Thanksgiving, Indians, or Pilgrims. But, it had to include a visual project, a written report, a cover page and an oral report. Parental help was encouraged. Because the teachers hate parents.

  • Also? I'm pretty sure I didn't do a project with so many components until I was in college.

    But, we got it done. We're diorama-making fools around this house.
    And, although I didn't get a picture of it (because I was exhausted), Spence's cover page was a Comanche Indian with yarn braids down each side of his head, tied with leather straps and a feather. And the part in his hair was even colored with white "clay." Oh, yeah. We brought it.

    But, I think Shawn and I were both most proud of how many times our shy boy practiced his oral presentation until a) he knew it by heart; b) he could speak up; and c) he could look up and make eye-contact occasionally while speaking. Quite an improvement for the boy who hid his face two-inches behind his paper for the entire oral report he presented last year in first grade.

  • I made a Thanksgiving treat for the kids' classmates. I mean. We all knew I would, didn't we?

  • That's just a mini Reese's peanut butter cup upside down on a
    fudge-striped cookie, stuck down and decorated with frosting.

  • There was Grandparents' Day at the kids' school. My mom and step-dad drove up. And, Shawn's mom had to jump through hoops to get time away from work. But, she did. So, the kids had two of their three sets of grandparents there. They got to show them around the school, and take them to a reception. And, there was a special chapel service. It was all very sweet and special to the kids.

  • *We found Lulu's lost splint. In the Barbie basket. Duh. Where else would it be? So now we have a spare (that the darling Occupational Therapist made us for no charge)! This is a good thing. The original splint has been lost again on no less than four other occasions for varying amounts of time on each occurrence.

  • Speaking of that broken finger and splint: we had a check-up last week on that little ol' bone. It's healing well, the doctor said. But, there is still a missing bit in the center of the bone that needs time to knit itself back together. One more week in the splint. She's such a responsible little trooper about it, though. She's the first one to say, "I don't have my splint on!"

  • There was Thanksgiving. But, in order to keep this post under a thousand words, that post will have to wait until tomorrow.

  • And, then there was church yesterday.

  • Here's what's funny. I can drive myself insane worrying about where we should go to church. We've tried going to a mega-church. But, all of our friends that are members there are a part of a "small group/Bible study" that is "closed." So, we never could figure out how to feel "plugged in" - not that the church doesn't try. They really encourage you to come to a once-a-month "Get Plugged In" meet and greet where they'll match you up with like-minded people so you can start your own "small group." Shawn and I just couldn't do it. It felt like a weird speed-dating session to make church friends. And, Lulu straight-up didn't like Sunday School there. I don't think they did anything wrong. I think it was just huge - four classes for Lulu's grade alone. We never knew who her teacher would be or who would be in her class. She would see some friends she knew... but then they would be assigned to a different room. And she told us she didn't know the songs they sang. But, when Little Miss Congeniality with the most confidence in our family is uncomfortable somewhere... it might not be the right fit for our family. Spence liked it. But, Spence liked it because he had a friend from school who was in his Sunday School class - a security blanket.

    And, then my great friend Springer sent me a book by Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies. It was interesting. Clearly Springer thinks I'm a whole lot deeper than the usually fluff I read (Note to self: Send Springer a copy of The Hunger Games). But, it was worth the read for even just this one concept I took away from it. I'm sure I will paraphrase this badly, but Lamott said she was told, when praying to God for the answer to a problem, don't look for the big billboard announcing the final answer. Look at the small spotlight He's shining for you to take to the next step. Then, once there, look for the next spotlight. Just keep stepping from spotlight to spotlight until, the next thing you know, you've arrived at the solution.

    So. I took a step into the spotlight yesterday.

    We have other friends. (I know. Shocker.) They go to the lost-my-child-church (which we didn't know at the time of the "Lost Child" incident). They were talking about their awesome Adult Sunday school (that's open to new-comers)! They helped us figure out where it was, what time it started and were excited that we were there. And, y'all? The Director of Young Adult Ministry that teaches the class? Amazing. A-maz-ing.

    We dropped Lulu off at the playroom - where there is an extensive new check-in procedure complete with sticker identification for each child. Holla! (All of our friends really do say to us, though, "Ummm. So. We hear we have you to thank for this." They don't seem so thankful, though... ;) After Sunday School, we went to ask Lulu if she wanted to leave the playroom to come sing songs with us in Big Church. She did not. She wanted to stay and keep working on crafts.

    Spencer has one classmate who goes to church there that he knew of before we arrived. He wasn't there yesterday. But, lo and behold, his very best playmates from down the street go to church there! And, they did go to church yesterday, much to Spence's delight. Then, during the Children's Service portion of Big Church, Spence realized that one of his buddies from flag football goes to church there, too.

    The church service was just non-liturgical enough to remind Shawn of the Bible Church in which he grew up, but just traditional enough to feel "like church" to him, too. Shawn does not like "rock bands" in church. I don't mind them. This church has a guitarist with singers. Shawn is okay with that. We both agree that the service really is a perfect mix for us.

    As we drove home yesterday, Spence said, "I want this to be our church."

    You know what, son? I think I do, too.

    It seems that we can say Indian again instead of Native American. Who knew?


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