October started with a bang! October 1st was my first day of volunteering in Owen’s classroom. I got to read books with each of the kids. I love reading so this was right up my alley. It was also helpful to now have faces for all the names that I am hearing about everyday. While I was at the school my plans for right afterwards were cancelled so I offered to stay longer. I stayed with Owen through lunch and saw him off to recess. It brings me so much joy to see Owen doing well in his new school. He is liked by the other kids. Someone is always calling his name inviting him to join them. He is also doing well with the schoolwork. Overall, I am very glad at how the beginning Owen’s school career has gone. Here’s hoping it’s smooth sailing like this through graduation… in 2032.
Part of the reason I didn’t rush home on Tuesday was my floors were being torn up and being replaced with new boards. It’s an epic drama that has been unfolding. Many small fixes have been met with no luck. This time half of our living space was torn up. Unfortunately within 20 minutes of the installers leaving, we found a broken spot. And the new boards aren’t as glossy as the old boards. You can totally see a difference. I am OCD. I can’t un-see the difference. I’m sure our building company and the flooring company are not thrilled that we keep calling, but we have an expectation of non-broken floors. I’m not entirely sure what the next step will be. We won’t leave things how they are. It’s so inconvenient to get to the house ready for them to “fix” it. Everything needs to be cleared from the counters. All the rugs and furniture need to be covered. This time our kitchen appliances needed to move. And the amount of dust that settles on everything is no easy chore to clean up. So… that was Tuesday after volunteering. Lots of cleaning.
Tuesday evening I would have stayed home and let dark thoughts about my flooring brew, but I had to lead a ministry gathering. I got together with a few women ministers in our area to connect for coffee. It was a small group, but that is okay. I am glad I got to provide the opportunity. The ladies that did show up connected well and seemed to appreciate the chance to talk. The coffee chat came at the end of a long day. I’m grateful that God gave me the little boost of energy I needed to keep moving. Usually when it’s hard to get out the door and I just want to stay home, I end up being glad I put the effort in to going out. This was one of those nights.
The rest of the week was spent connecting with friends. I had a friend over to my house on Wednesday and I visited a friend with a new baby on Thursday. It’s a strange dynamic for me to not have my Graham tag along for these times. I find that I am able to give my friends better focus. I’m also able to be a helper with their little ones. It’s a new role. I miss my kiddos while they are at school, but I am enjoying the new found freedom a few mornings a week. Slowly this new schedule is starting to take root and feel normal.
On Friday Owen got a pajama party at school. He also got to claim a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut for reaching his reading goal. Graham got to run errands with Jeremy and I as we prepped for one of two birthday parties this month. Usually I do the boys’ birthday parties back to back in one weekend, but this year we’ve space them out. Saturday was our friends party and in a few weeks we’ll have a family party.
Graham and Owen always have to pick a theme they agree on for their birthday party. Graham wanted a donut party, but Owen didn’t. They ended up agreeing on a “Dino Dig” theme, but we turned it into “Dinos & Donuts” for Graham. I enjoyed making the theme come to life. Anytime I have three dozen donuts on display at my house, it’s a good day! Jeremy wore an inflatable dinosaur costume to greet our guests. We hosted a dinosaur hunt in the backyard with kids wearing dino masks while looking for toy dinosaurs in the grass. I’m fairly positive Jeremy will mowing over tiny dinosaurs for years. Our boys had such a good time with their friends. The weather allowed for plenty of outside play. It was about as great as a 4 & 6 year olds birthday party could be.
Sunday, Jeremy and I did what they call the “circuit.” We spoke for a few minutes at all three gatherings – including our downtown Centralia campus – about an upcoming parenting conference. I don’t love getting up in front of the whole congregation, but it’s a good skill to have so I try to be bold. Getting out of the classroom and in front of the crowd is a great spotlight on children’s ministry. After church we got ready to host our growth group. We lead a parenting group. It was wonderful to have some new members join us. The evening went well, but after all the energy spent on partying and speaking at church, I was ready to call it a wrap on the weekend.
And now it’s the aftermath of all the company. Today is for tidying the house. It’s also for prepping for a MOPS & MOMSnext team meeting this evening. And maybe I can sneak a little reading in. Monday is my day with Mr. Graham. I’m sure he’ll be happy to play with new birthday toys while I putter around the house. I have no plans to change out of my pajamas until the absolute last minute. Comfy clothes are a must after a busy weekend! Time to recover a bit. While being productive. Is that possible?