The Prom-Mom's Perspectives and Ramblings...

Monday, April 23, 2012

A project ALL about the kiddos...

So, let me start by saying sorry to my audience...albeit, I'm assuming I even have one on here, lol.
I am aware of how long it's been since my last blog. Even if there are just two of you, I am urged
to reiterate that this blog is not really about you *sorry* but just a virtual 'journal' that I'm choosing to keep as I feel 'led' by someone or someTHING.
I did read a little about starting blogs when I first started this one and I know what they said about 'entering posts daily when possible' but seriously... you really don't want to *or for that matter need to* here about my every DAY. If you are ludicrous enough to follow me on Facebook, than you ALREADY endure such nonsense from me, ha!
It is instead the more profound thoughts and experiences that I started this for, so sorry if you *both* ;) have been waiting on a new entry, but it is what it is.

tonight, while doing the dishes that little brain-bulb went off...and thus, here I am.

Today was one of THE hottest and most gorgeous days we've had since mid last-summer, that I can recall. Of course, that means a number of things *especially when you live smack in the middle of  'cozy' neighborly quarters, centrally inside your little town.

Kids laughter *and/or tears and/or screams* as they play in the confines of their yards and soak in the awesome Vitamin D.
Lawn-mowers... oh, the lawn-mowers.
Sights and sounds of big-wheels, skateboards, family bikes on the nearby cross-streets.
Birds perched on tree-branches singing beautiful spring arias.
Planes and jets flying overhead.

Shovels, rakes, weed-whips...
Oh wait. That noise was OURS today, ha!

Shoveling, raking, weed-whipping...though not in that order, exactly.

Two and a half years ago while perusing Craigslist in my *then* obsessive buy/sell fashion, I came across a deal on one of those awesome cedar swing-sets, NEW IN THE BOX *regularly $600 but was able to 'steal it' for $200--a chunk of the money I'd made off a garage-sale* dreaming at the time of how amazing it would be to set up a whole little play-area for the boys in our eventual backyard.

Those of you who know us well and have 'walked' with us through the 'Roseburg-season' of our life, know that we bought a house that, literally, has nearly nothing the same from when we bought it with the exception of the pretty vinyl-windows, the expensive *yet not our taste* oak-cabinetry and the garage-door. EVERYTHING ELSE on this house/property has been or will soon be painted, replaced, refinished and/or maintenanced which means a lot of elbow-grease, sweat, time and little chunks of money... BUT, also a humble pride in looking at where it's all come. :)

back to 'my vision', ha.

I bought this swing-set, knowing at the time, that it would be a bit before we'd be ready/able to set it up (our backyard was still just a nature-made lake in the winter, needing some expensive drainage-work done)---Yeah. Don't think I would've wanted to dress the boys in swimsuits and goggles just to go play on the swings, ha. Didn't exactly anticipate it being two+ yrs later, but hey, it's all good.

If there's one thing I fondly look back on with my own childhood, it was the rule of 'all in due time.'
7+ yrs to build our family-house, 12+ yrs for it to get genuinely pretty, 15 *I believe?* years to have actual landscaping... yep.
There was/is no easy way to have it all *right now* and frankly, I firmly believe the cliched but wise saying that you APPRECIATE IT MORE when YOU work for it and YOU wait for it. ;)

My parents have done this my whole life and they own absolutely everything they have (mortgages and all) and have the best credit two people can have!
So yeah. I think it wise to despise all the pressures of this world, live humbly and heed their example.

Sorry. Now I'm rambling. BUT *PROM* does stand for that, so I suppose I'm allowed. :-P

So, about three weeks ago, Aaron (my hubby) out of nowhere started promising our eldest, Grayson, that he was going to have their swing-set up by the end of this month. Of course, my honest initial thought was 'Oh pleeease don't promise him something that may or may not happen that fast', but it quickly became clear that Aaron was determined to stick by his words. Especially since we were able to pinch monies and get our second french-drain run through the middle of the yard last fall, it seemed like a reasonable next step on our 'operation backyard' list.

Oh yes. There's a list. *Hooked to the side of our fridge, in fact.*
You home-owners out there KNOW what I'm talking about. Albeit, when doing the work yourself *and/or through amazing, gracious family who know what they're doing*, most things on that list cost very little money ... but yes, it can sometimes be daunting aside from the post-project fulfillment. ;)

Anyway, for whatever reason, this project felt different. TRUE, it hasn't really been 'my' project ... it is in fact very much so Aaron's, as he insisted it be ... but in helping him get it set and leveled and giving advice on it's 'permanent place' in the yard, etc, it still just felt different.

while standing at the sink, scrubbing my last pot tonight and looking out at the dark silhouetted outline of it now sitting there, it dawned on me!

This isn't another flower-bed. It isn't another chair-rail or painted-wall, or organizing-shelf. It isn't a pretty counter-top or a glossier table. It isn't a more functional and nicer looking light-fixture or a less weedy driveway. It isn't a fancier-looking landscape border or a freshly power-washed porch.

It's a PLAY area that we are making... for our children!
It's a place for our them to laugh, cry or *hopefully not too much* scream while they soak in some Vitamin D and enjoy the safe outdoors of their own backyard of the childhood-home their parents chose for them.
It's a place to play amongst sounds of lawn-mowers, big-wheels, skateboards, family bikes and aria-singing birds and a place to IMAGINE *as our children so eeeeeasily do* that they ARE that plane or are IN that jet headed to 'insert whimsical destination here' to save the aria singing birds from the evil lawn-mowers. :)

This IS a project. My aching shoulders, hands, feet and heels are all affirming this fact right now.

MANY people have swing-sets in their backyards. I am very aware that most people who have children do, in fact, own some sort of swing-set.

I am now beginning to fully understand why it is that Aaron wanted this project, out of our many, to be souly his ... even if it meant more work and more time spent. The sheer satisfaction of the mere dream it was to have a functional backyard 5 years ago... let alone the satisfaction of completing a project in said *now existing* functional backyard that really is ALL ABOUT OUR KIDDOS, is nothing short of an awesome reward. :)

Simple, yes. VERY.
But Awesome, nonetheless.

I look forward to the hours and memories our children will reap from having this play-area while knowing and *at least Gray* remembering that mommy & daddy worked hard for and daddy assembled, just for them.

Going down their slide for the first time, tonight. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

What does 'success' mean in YOUR life?

In pondering my 'successfulness' as a teacher over this last few weeks, God reminded me of one very profound moment that stands alone in the sheer power that it had over my overall view of 'what I do.'

While in my first job, about 6 months into my second school-year, I found myself walking down a hallway on my way to the staff room which, in public-schools, is known as 'venting central.' I'd had a bad day and needed to 'share' about it with whatever unfortunate soul happened to be on a break, too.
As I began to walk--utterly consumed with my frustrations and thoughts of 'why…why did I want to go through nearly seven years of college to do this un-rewarding job'--I ran into my vice-principal. Without hesitation, she grabbed my arm and exclaimed 'Oh! I really need to talk with you about something, do you have a sec?!' Hiding my inward negativity to the best of my present-ability, (being that she was my boss), I squeezed out a smile and said 'Of course!'She then proceeded to ramble on about one of the boys in my choir…how poorly he's doing academically, in school…blah, blah. I hate to admit it now, but I was so consumed with my own state that I didn't really even hear all that she had to say. I just kept smiling and nodding, if nothing else but out of respect for her authority. As she went on about this young kid and HIS struggles, I could feel my attention drifting back to the same selfish question--WHY AM I DOING THIS?!! Lord knows I don't get paid enough.

All of the sudden, I heard my name and tuned back in just in time to hear her say '…and I said to him, Mrs. Ziebart? Are you sure you want her to mentor you, cause I know she's reeeeally busy and already very overwhelmed.' Then she smiled, grabbed my hand and said 'Then Hayley, do you know what he said?' I shook my head and she replied, 'He said, I'm sure Mrs. B.C.--she's my first choice, but only if you think she'd want to be.'

Never ceases to amazing me how life cold-cocks us when we start thriving and thinking too much about ourselves! 

In that moment, it was as though my entire bad day along with all others before it was whisked away. I suddenly found myself thinking, wow…maybe I have succeeded at something. Maybe I am making a difference, and maybe even in the midst of what feels like the most unsuccessful and worthless day imaginable, one student may feel they've learned something from my class or may have even been inspired to do or become something that will change how the rest of his life unfolds. 

As it turns out, my shyest, quietest and most reserved boy chose me as his mentor just because of one class experience we'd had with one another as student and teacher.

The celebrated success from this story however is not that I accepted his request, but is instead the profound teaching-value that I gained from him requesting me.

We don't teach to become the 'most loved teacher of them all', or to earn gifts from them, or even for all those sweet little 'love notes' they may send our way. In fact, those things are not the true testimony that we really achieved anything.We must instead come, ready to teach those who want to learn--teaching in creative and fresh ways---and thriving on the simple faith that we will touch the lives of our students that are supposed to be touched--whether or not we ever receive 'proof' that we that we did.

Monday, April 2, 2012

PRAISE BE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It DOES still exist! Thank you, Lord...
He DOES know how needed this beautiful weather was for me today! :D

Happy, sunny plants outside the studio :)
Suppose there-in ends my last post. As promised, I said I would quit pouring out when the rain did. Hey...I wonder if I threatened our rain away?! haha. Yeah. Sure.

Nah. We all know that today is God's gift!
Praying that ALL of my fellow-Oregonian family & friends find (if even just a few minutes) some time
to soak in the awesome UV-therapy!

~"When dawn erupts with sunshine, it fills our heart with warmth, hope, and happiness...bringing to us strength and vitality." ~Unknown

MAY ALL those things be the overwhelming and rejuvenating case for you, today. :) 

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