Sane but not too sane

I’m an AWANA secretary for T & T girls. Don’t you love the acronyms? AWANA stands for: Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed and T & T stands for: Truth and Training.

Children, ages preschool thru middle school, come to our church every Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:00 to learn about the Bible, memorize scriptures and enjoy games together. I work with the 3rd thru 6th grade girls. The problem is I’ve been basically a bean counter. Don’t get me wrong. Someone needs to make name tags, do the scoring for the night, and make sure each girls gets the rewards she earns. But my job does not include working one on one with the girls.

So this year, I volunteered to help with AWANA Quizzing. I’m working with 6 amazing girls who are preparing to participate in the Annual Quiz Bowl. We meet at the church each Thursday night for 1.5 hours. I’m having the time of my life. These girls are full of energy and yet very thoughtful and curious.

Two weeks ago, I taught them an acronym to remember the order of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippines, and Colossians in the New Testament.  Go, Eat, Pop Corn. This week they brought me a bag of freshly popped popcorn.

I encouraged them, or should I say motivated them , to do their 3 page written homework and everyone did it.   I brought an array of soda pop and some small candy bars I stole from my husband’s stash. (I have a yarn stash. He has a Nestle Crunch Crisp stash.)

But I digress. This is the 3rd year in T & T for most of these girls, many of whom have been in AWANA since preschool. They range in age from 10-12 years old. THEY KNOW THEIR BIBLE and enjoy learning even more. I’m just amazed what this program has instilled in these girls. Don’t get me wrong. They have to study and study hard to pass each section and discovery.

In this world where children are trying to swallow teaspoons of cinnamon on YouTube, spending much too much time in front of the TV, and doing many things I never even heard of when I was their age, these young ladies are spending this month coming to church not once but two nights a week to learn even more about the Bible. Don’t forget! Most of these girls come to church regularly on Sundays too.

It has been such a blessing for me to work with them. But it’s been even more fun to encourage these young ladies as they prepare for eternity.

Ohio and Beyond Part 2

By Saturday morning, Jonah was back to normal and I hadn’t been out of the house since I arrived. Off and on during the week, I had been knitting a scarf for a little girl at the school where I volunteer. Jen said that Jonah had been using his father’s scarf when sledding. So I asked Jonah if he would like to go on a little trip to find yarn for a scarf. I told him he could pick the yarn and I would knit the scarf. On the way the local yarn shop, we talked about the last time I took Jonah to a yarn shop. He was no older than 2 and thoroughly enjoyed tossing the beautiful yarn on the floor. We talked about looking at the yarn and even touching it, but no tossing. It was a great excursion. He wanted a red rainbow scarf. I found some variegated yarn but it was more brown than red. Jen always says;”Brown goes with everything!” But it wasn’t quite what Jonah was looking for. We kept looking. “I found it, Debbe” yells Jonah. And he had. Red yarn with rainbow specks. He loved it. I loved that he loved it. We found a pretty blue with the same rainbow specks so Jonah could have his striped rainbow scarf. The shop owner said that it was a great yarn and Jonah had made a great choice. SUCCESS…..

Sunday we woke up to a 54 degree house. The heater was obviously not working. We all dressed in our warmest clothes, me with a scarf around my neck, and waited for the repairman. He arrived mid-morning and the heat was back to normal by mid-afternoon. Jen and Jonah left for Cleveland to retrieve John and Gabriel and I played outside. After Little G’s nap, all were home just in time for a late afternoon snow.

Jonah decided to climb a very tall evergreen and Jen and I went out for a few hours of one on one time.(Mexican food and then Starbucks) By midnight, Canton was under a weather advisory.

It snowed quite a bit but not enough for me not to head home. All flights were on time, and I was greeted by my dear husband and father and treated to a dinner of Lobster at where else but Red Lobster. Do you think they missed me?

What a week! What a trip! It took me until today to get back into my routine. I needed to catch up so I did laundry; cleaned two bathrooms & the kitchen; dusted & vacuumed the whole house and mopped the kitchen floor.

But the best part of my today was having a coffee date with Charlotte. We went to Norms, had iced chai and a cherry turnover and played “Too Many Monkeys” and “Zingo”. Next week Bailey is coming over for a few days. Can’t wait for some more GRANDMA TIME…..

All in all, I was happy to be with Jen and the boys in Ohio. I get to see them so seldom compared with the other grandkiddos. But it’s also great to be home.

I’m tired….. But it’s a good tired.

Ohio and Beyond Part 1

I’ve been away for a while. I’ve been in Ohio. It was quite a trip. It started with a plane ride, or should I say two plane rides. The trip was supposed to take a total of 7 hours which included a layover.  It took 13 hours. The first plane was late. I missed the second by 5 minutes. Instead of  a 1+ hour layover, it was 4.5 hours. Instead of making it to Canton in late afternoon, I made it there later in the evening. By the time we picked up the luggage and arrived home, it was almost midnight. Tuesday, Feb. 28 – The end of my first day.

Wednesday Early Evening: Jennifer heads to Cleveland so that John can fly to Chicago for a conference. I stay home with Jonah and Gabriel to feed them supper, and get them to bed. Gabriel gave me an unexpected  present which was not fun to clean up. Need I say more.

Thursday 6 AM: Jonah wakes up with a tummy ache and heads to the bathroom – stomach flu. Jen heads to a meeting and I stay with Jonah and Gabriel. Jonah is such an active 6-year-old. It was so sad to see him just lying around all day Thursday and Friday. We did play some entertaining games of “Angry Birds Rio”. (I love to see the caged birds fly away much more than smashing little green pigs.) Check it out…. It was a lot more fun than changing #*%@&^% diapers or cleaning up stomach flu…

It’s late. I’m tired. Part 2 tomorrow…..

What do these 4 things have in common? The ANSWER: Last weekend! One of my ‘Debbie’ friends and her husband along with Gary and I went to the Women’s WSU basketball game where there was a pink fire truck the night before Uncle Lyle came to visit and we watched golf.

You may be asking, “Why blog about such a weekend?” Maybe because it was just fun.

Gary did a very rare thing. He came home early from work on Friday so we could go to Wichita, have supper with friends, and go to the game. The WSU women are very very good. Too bad there was hardly anyone there to watch them. It was “wear pink” night, the reason for the pink fire truck. I’ve never seen a pink fire truck. The firemen all were wearing pink uniforms. It was quite a sight. To say the least, we had a great time.

By noon on Saturday, my 87-year-old uncle Lyle had arrived from Omaha, NE.  He had a bit of a problem finding our house, but with a little help from me on the cell phone, he made it. We again watched lots of basketball. Both KSU men and women won their games, the men beating Baylor by 1 point and the women with a sound win over Texas.

What a time we had with my dad and uncle, both with their unique personalities: talking, watching sports, eating, and just plain enjoying each others company. Need I say more?

Sunday we did not watch basketball, but watched golf instead. It ended with a 45 foot putt in sudden death on the 14th hole. It was so exciting, especially since the young guy with best looking shirt won. All kidding aside, it was a relaxing afternoon, until the last few holes. When I don’t even want to take a bathroom break, you know it has to be good.

Last weekend was a blast. Having Uncle Lyle here, great basketball and golf, and last but not least, the pink fire truck.

GUNKY

Is it really a word? The internet defines GUNK as: SLANG for any oily, viscous, a thick, messy substance.

When I use it in a sentence, it goes something like this:’I just feel gunky’. Not too different than I feel right now: I’m not too sick, I just feel gunky. I’m coughing; my sinuses feel full; my eustachian tubes are clogged; my throat is scratchy; my whole body is beginning to ache.

It always gets worse at night: the cough; the throat; the cloggy nose. I guess it’s time for an early night and a Tylonal.

It seems that during the day there are so many things to keep my mind off how I feel but when the sun goes down, my body goes downhill too.

So I guess it’s time for me to take some time and just rest. The weather is supposed to be cold, snowy, and icy. Maybe the weather man will be right tomorrow and I will have a good excuse to stay home and rest.

If not, maybe I’ll stay home anyway. It just depends on how GUNKY I feel.

DUST

It’s dusting day at the Jantz’s. Or should I say, it’s Friday and tomorrow is Saturday. When I worked outside the home, Gary and I would do all the cleaning on Saturday. I HATED IT…… After working all week, I had to clean and do laundry most of every Saturday. Gary would clean the bathroom and do the vacuuming. I would dust and clean the kitchen. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? The problem was, and still is, is that the clutter must be picked up before dusting and vacuuming begins. That usually takes longer than the dusting and vacuuming combined. (But that’s a blog topic for another day.)

Back to the present. Now that I’m a ‘stay at home daughter’, (My father lives with us), and Gary is the only one working outside the home, I’m in charge of all the cleaning, laundry, and cooking. So I plan my housework to get it done BEFORE the weekend. I’ll do laundry on Saturday, if need be, but nothing else.

I like to take knitting classes, go to the coffee shop and read, and finish up my lesson for Monday Bible study on the weekends. I don’t want to clean.

The truth is I don’t mind cleaning the kitchen or even the bathrooms. I enjoy the exercise I get from vacuuming the entire house. BUT I HATE TO DUST!!!!!  I do dust every week. But it always comes back. Why bother???

I had an idea that I shared with my dad. What if I didn’t dust a thing until someone noticed and said something. Maybe no one would. Maybe they would be too embarrassed to say anything. Maybe it really doesn’t matter. I wish that were true. My dear sweet husband might not notice the first week, but I can almost bet he would notice the next. Just when I think I’ve done a half-way decent job of doing the hated chore, he finds something that I missed.

It’s not really his fault. You see, he is a detail man. His job the past 20+ years has been to work with the budget of the Newton School System. His brain just works that way. The problem is that mine does not.

Since being home with my dad these past 9 months, I’ve decided to divide and conquer. It doesn’t matter which day I do my chores, I just don’t do them on the weekend, or on my Bible Study day, or on my learning to crochet day, or on my………….. I never do more than one or two tasks in a given morning or afternoon. I clean the bathrooms in the morning and maybe the kitchen in the afternoon. Same with the dusting and vacuuming. If I’m really bummed out about it, I’ll pause and practice piano and then resume my dreaded dusting. Sometimes I’ll fire up my computer and listen to my faves on I-tunes. I just carry it with me from room to room.

But the rule I try never to break is this: Get it Done BEFORE the Weekend. This was Friday. Tomorrow is Saturday. The work had to be done by the end of the day. I have my sock knitting class tomorrow. I dusted this morning, had lunch with my husband, came home and finished vacuuming before Jeopardy.

IT WAS A GOOD DAY….

By the way, my dusting chores do not include my husband’s ball caps. He doesn’t seem to mind. He’s never says a word about them. If he does, I’ll delegate that job to him.

ONE WORD

My hands were frozen on the wheel in the 10 and 2 position. My body was tense. My head was throbbing. It was raining. NO it was pouring. NO it was a deluge and it wasn’t letting up.

What would make me drive to Wichita on a day like today? There were so many trucks on the interstate that I hardly could see the road when passing one. Again, why drive on a day like today?

One Word: GRANDCHILDREN!!   Gary had surgery a few weeks ago and we have been pretty much homebound. I needed a Bailey and Molly fix. I’ve been able to see more of Charlotte and Isaiah because they live here in Newton.  Skype is a wonderful tool to keep in contact with Jonah and Gabriel along with Jen’s blog.  (I can’t make it Ohio as often as I would like.)

Let’s get back to the weather for just a minute. It’s been so warm and dry the past few weeks. But last night it started to rain. There was lightning and thunder and even hail. Gary went out to check the gutters in the middle of the night. When he returned, he woke me to tell me that the ground was completely covered with pea sized hail. Cammy’s rain gauge registered 3+ inches.

When I walked the dog today at noon, it took awhile. Dottie doesn’t like water. She was more worried about dodging puddles than peeing. Of course it was pouring and we both got soaked.

But a little, no I mean, a lot of rain does not keep this grandmother away from her grandchildren.  When I returned home, Charlotte and Isaiah were waiting for me along with pizza and chocolate chip cookies.

ONE WORD: LOVE !!!!! That’s what family is all about.

P.S. I did not take the rain picture while driving. I was stopped at a red light.