Posted in Church, Kids

My Childhood Hymns are Not Their Childhood Worship

Subtitle: What my children are nostalgic about sometimes really surprises me.

Laura is at college. She went away with CRU on a weekend retreat and they had worship time. She texted me with a line from a worship song, wanting to know if I remembered the rest so she could sing it. I was able to, texted it back and she was so happy. Her comment? “I miss worship time when you and Dad led worship. I loved the music then.”

Whoa. I literally never thought about it that way. For me, that time was good, but also stressful. It was about five years of devoting ourselves to being the worship leaders in our church and was extremely draining. I never thought about it being something our kids remembered, let alone loved and were nostalgic about.

I grew up Baptist. Church, from the time I was born, was sitting in the back right pew, singing hymns from the hymnal. As a teenager I hated that and pretty much turned my back on it, embracing modern worship. As a 50+ year old woman, I look back on that time with fondness and gratefulness at the strong theology that was build into those hymns. Plus some great harmonies!

Jim didn’t grow up in church and has no similar memories. Church for him started in high school and, while including some hymns, was more the worship music that is so popular now.

As a dating couple and young marrieds, we were extremely blessed to be part of an incredibly musically talented church with four or fives worship teams, and all different types of music, including a professional Christian band. When we left that church (for many and varied reasons), we skipped church for a good, long time. After finally making our way back, we “sat in the pew” for a few years and then became worship leaders in 2008, when the kids were 7 and 5. So, yeah, in thinking about it, we WERE their worship model for a large portion of their childhood years!

All this to say, it kind of rocked my world to hear my daughter misses when her father and I were her the worship leaders.

Posted in Health, Kids, School, To Do List

Summer is Full and Flying By

Sorry for the lack of posting! The last time I posted was June 17. We had celebrated the graduation of Bennett and Laura.

Since then: hosting the largest party I’ve ever hosted for the graduation, TONS of doctor appointments, meeting with our lawyer to set up a special needs trust for another Laura, dropping off Ethan at camp, picking him up after him having a great week, meeting with our future autism services people, dropping off Ethan at TVI (Transition Vocational Initiative) at Overbrook for three weeks, doing med checks and changing meds for the girls, Laura as of today being on the full dose of anti-seizure meds (and therefore sleeping a TON as her body acclimates), buying college stuff for Laura (surprisingly fun!), helping Bennett get a job at Wawa (VERY popular local version of 7-11 for you out of the area people), helping him fill out paperwork and needing to go and buy non-slip shoes, dropping off Catie and picking up Catie every week day from her junior counselor job, figuring out college loans, dealing with Jim working late pretty much all the time for until mid-September…

I somehow thought this summer would be quieter! We only have five weeks left until Laura moves out (it’s FLYING by so quickly as the title says!), and a few days short of seven weeks until school starts for the two attending. TWO? TWO!

Which is why I’m looking for a job. What in the world will I do with myself with only two kids to worry about?!

 

Posted in Kids

Graduation

They did it. WE did it! Bennett and Laura graduated on Saturday. I cried up to the ceremony, but did pretty well during and after. I love those two kids and it’s SUCH a HUGE milestone! From not even a kilogram at birth to high school graduates!

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Posted in Health, Kids, School

Where Do I Begin?

I made my counselor cry on Monday. Seriously. Because she saw how much I’m carrying and how self-sufficient I’m being and she feels so badly for me.

I feel like I’ve attained a new level when I can make my counselor cry.

Nitty Gritty Details:

Daughter who was doing partial hospitalization program successfully completed it and also completed four-day-a-week group program and is down to once a week counseling again. Except, she can’t because she just had her 2nd seizure. We meet with neurology in an hour to get more info, but she’s on an anticonvulsant and has a rescue med as well.

I have two kids finishing senior year in 9 days. Whether both can finish all their work on time I’m unsure, but here’s hoping.

Tomorrow I meet with Ethan’s new governmental agency–the autism waiver people–to see what they can offer him now and in the future.

Jim and I met with a disability life planner on Monday to start the social security paperwork process. There’s a LOT between Ethan and Laura.

Yesterday (after the above meeting) I emailed our lawyer to update our wills to add another special needs trust. Everything needs to be redone.

Took the seizure daughter to the pediatrician yesterday and also got a boatload of bloodwork done. SIX VIALS of BLOOD. Yowza.

This morning I returned the majority of the hardware and books for cyber school because of the two graduating seniors.

Tomorrow is Laura’s spring art show and Ethan’s spring concert.  Always on the same day. We will manage it, but will need to drop off the girls in between so one can rest her brain and the other can babysit her.

There’s always other miscellaneous stuff going on, but that’s the major stuff. I just want to get off the merry go round, people. Does it ever stop??!!

Posted in Kids, Me

Managing

I am. Managing, that is. Managing four teenagers, their schedules, their schooling, their mental health (and lack thereof), driving them hither and yon, my own life (thankyouverymuch) and, a little, my husband.

My daughter finishes up her Partial Hospitalization Program tomorrow. Finishes because they have seen much progress and she is ready to move down to a group therapy setting four times per week 2 hours per session. Down from 8:30-2:40 Monday through Friday at a place that was about 30 minutes away. Including dropping my other daughter off at her school, I would leave at 7:45am and return at 9:10ish. and then repeat at 2:00 and return around 3:15.

I saw some joy returning to her this past weekend. Joy that I hadn’t seen–honestly–in three or four years. It has deeply grieved me and I was almost in tears yesterday seeing it. So I will unilaterally say this program has been GOOD. I had my doubts in the beginning, although I supported her going because she wanted it and the team thought she needed it.

I think I’m just a little tired of keeping too many balls in the air. Some are starting to fall, and I really dislike that. But there’s just one of me, and I can only do as much as I can do, so I’m trying to give myself grace. Not necessarily doing well with it, but I’m trying.

Posted in Health, Kids, Me

Margin, or Lack Thereof

It has Been. A. Week. (insert shaking head)

Monday began like it regularly does, with grocery shopping and one of the girls having counseling. At the end, however, the counselor wants to see me. She’s concerned about where this girl is, and thinks that she needs to change from one on one counseling once a week to group counseling 4x/week for 4-6 weeks. For reasons. I’m, naturally, freaking out not only about the need but also, realistically, about the scheduling and what needs to be done to make it work.

So Wednesday we make our way to the counseling center to fill out forms and for the group counselor to assess my daughter. For “30-45 minutes” after our forms.

One and a half hours later, she says that she doesn’t think group is the right placement, that my daughter should go into a “partial hospitalization placement” for a couple of weeks. This is from 8:30 – 2:40 Monday through Friday about 25 minutes from our house.

Ok. More freaking out, because of the exact same reasons listed above.

I reschedule my upcoming allergy appointment and the boys’ upcoming plastic surgery consults (long story there), but keep my “relaunch your career” class even though it’s stressful to do it, because, darn it, I NEED it. I need something for ME. And I hardly ever do anything for me. I’ll manage the driving from West Chester to Phoenixville to Media. It’s a LOT of driving time, but it’s worth it. Maybe the next two days of my classes when I have to also drive her, I will not go back home in between but will return to Phoenixville instead after class.

I find myself taking very deep breaths and letting them out slowly through my mouth in a blowing motion. No clue why, but if it’s what I need, then ok. I feel on the verge of tears a lot, and REALLY want someone to hold me and say everything is going to be ok. Usually I’m the one doing that to one of the kids.

I don’t do well with a lack of margin in my life. I build it in on purpose because I know myself and I need it. However, hopefully this will only be for two weeks and then we can just worry about group time in the evenings.

Right?

Posted in Change, Kids, Me

The Year of Change

Some people choose a “word for the year” each new years. I’ve done it myself–last year in fact! (It was Engaged). This year I’m going with the word Change. Because I need to embrace it, although I typically hate it.

Change in parenting, change in my marriage, change in my work status…lots of change in circumstances.

However, I’d also like to embrace some internal change as well, more likely known as growth.

There’s been some serious talks around here lately, between my husband and I, between my sister and I and even between me, myself and I. Conversations about things that need to be addressed, looked at, and yes, changed.

So here we are. 5 1/2 months until graduation, 8 1/2 months until Laura goes to college and let the roller coaster start!