Monday, February 27, 2012

Update on My Aunt Carol

Tonight my mom made the decision to take my Aunt Carol off of life support.  She took her off life support around six tonight and Carol died a few hours later.  I know that it's the right decision because there's no way that she could have recovered.  After my mom made the decision, the nurse who had spent some time caring for Carol came up to my mom and said, "We're not supposed to say anything, but you made the right decision."  I am so grateful for her saying that because my mom is in Georgia having to deal with all of this and I'm sure it helped my mom to hear that she had made the right decision.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ten little churchmen

As I was reading the chapter we'll be discussing in Sunday school today, I read this rhyme about church members and their involvement or lack of involvement.  I think it does a great job of pointing out some of the silly reasons we stop being involved, though some of the rhymes are pretty terrible.

Ten little churchmen went to church when things were fine -
The going got a little rough - and then there were nine.

Nine little churchmen stayed up very late -
One slept the Sunday morning through - and then there were eight.

Eight little churchmen on the road to heaven -
One joined the golf club - and then there were seven.

Seven little churchmen solid as the very bricks -
One was asked to serve on session - and then there were six.

Six little churchmen kept the place alive -
One liked to watch football games - and then there were five.

Five little churchmen seemed loyal to the core -
The sermon offended one - and then there were four.

Four little church men argued heatedly
Over church policy - and then there were three.

Three little churchmen sang the service through -
Got a hymn they didn't like - and then there were two.

Two little churchmen disputed who should run
The next church dinner - and then there was one.

One little churchman, wondering what to do,
Brought a friend to church one day - and then there were two.

Two sincere churchmen each brought in one more
So their number doubled - and then there were four.

Four sturdy churchmen simply couldn't wait
'Til they found four others - and then there were eight.

Eight eager churchmen at worship every week
Soon encouraged others, troubled souls to seek.

The seats in church were filled with people cramming every pew -
May God supply such zeal and love in this church too.

-taken from How to Spell Presbyterian by James W. Angell

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Aunt Carol

For as long as I can remember, we've had a strange relationship with my Aunt Carol.  I didn't know much about her growing up other than she was a drug addict, lived in New York, and because of that we weren't supposed to be allowed to go to New York.

She has always been a mystery to me because I don't get to see her much.  I remember we watched her dog, Sadie, for a while when we lived in Michigan.  She was a big black lab and was the first dog we ever had in our house.  She also managed to eat all of the Halloween candy that my brother and I had collected that year.

I remember she came to visit my family after we moved to Indiana much and that's the most time I ever remember her spending with us.  She is an amazing artist and while she was talking to my mom one night, sat with my Alice in Wonderland book and drew some of the pictures just as well, if not better, than they were in the book.

And I remember the last time I saw her, which was at my grandpa's funeral, which was over ten years ago.  I don't remember much of what we said to each other, but I know that we talked about what an amazing person my grandpa was, which is kind of ironic because my aunt's drug addiction was part of what ruined my grandparent's relationship at the end of their lives.  She didn't come to my grandma's funeral because by the time we actually got in contact with her to tell her about my grandma, the funeral had already taken place.

I guess I've never really known what to think about my Aunt Carol.  Obviously I've thought of her as a cautionary tale to show what drugs can do to your life and the people around you, which I bring up to my students from time to time.  But I've also thought of her as my mom's little sister who simply had a really messed up life.  She never finished college.  She went to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York for a little while and I really thought she had finally pulled her life together, but she ended up dropping out.  She called the house the day I graduated high school and I got to talk to her for a little while.  She called the house (my parent's house) a few weeks before my wedding and I got to talk to her about my wedding for a little while.

But mostly, I think about my mom's relationship with her and how strange it must be to grow up with a little sister who then becomes someone whose life you can't even begin to imagine.   I know that she's been homeless.  She's slept outside on the streets of New York City.  She's "borrowed" money from my grandparents, my parents, and my aunts and uncles.  (From my grandparents, she "borrowed" enough that it ended up destroying their relationship.  My grandma refused to stop giving my aunt money even when my grandpa told her not to.  My grandma took out credit cards, ran up thousands of dollars in debt, and went so far as remortgaging the house they had already paid off behind my grandpa's back.)

I know that my mom wants desperately to do anything she can for Carol, but also understands the limits she has to place on her help because of what happened to my grandparents and because my mom wants, above all, to keep her marriage and her family safe.  I know that my mom's heart breaks whenever she talks to Carol.  And I know that my mom will always fiercely love Carol because she's her sister and because my mom knows that she's the only one in the family who hasn't given up on Carol, who talks to her and maintains a relationship with her because my mom realizes, no matter what, the importance of family.

For the past few years, my Aunt Carol has been living in Macon, Georgia with her boyfriend and her dog.  She tells us that she's clean and not using drugs, though you can never really know if what she says is true.  And she's been attending church every week.  She has a supportive church group there and seems to have finally gotten her life together, at least somewhat.  She has Hepatitis from her drug addition and in the past year she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.

Last night, I got a call from my mom.  She got a call from Carol's boyfriend saying that Carol was in the ICU.  It seems some sort of bug bit her and the bite got infected.  Then the infection got into her bloodstream.  My mom got to talk to Carol for a few minutes, but my mom said that Carol was in a lot of pain.  She seems to be doing better today, but my mom decided that it would be a good idea to drive down and see her, so she's on her way to Georgia.  Prayers for my aunt and my mom would definitely be appreciated!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Whenever I've taken a Myers-Briggs test, I have been right on the border between being an introvert and an extrovert.  I always had a hard time understanding the difference between introversion and extroversion because I always thought that if I was an introvert that meant that I didn't like people, which is definitely not the case.  I love people and have a hard time being by myself for too long!  I finally started to understand the difference between introversion and extroversion when I heard it explained as where you get your energy from.  Meaning, that if you're an introvert you usually get your energy from being alone and if you're an extrovert, you usually get your energy from being with people.  When I look at it that way, it makes perfect sense to me why I would be right on the border between them because I definitely change where my energy comes from depending on my mood.

There are some days, like yesterday, where the last thing I want to do is be around people.  I spend all day with students demanding my attention, usually with several of them wanting my attention at the same time, so it's no wonder that I want some time to myself when I come home.  Yesterday, I had just had it with my students.  One of them was doing something that she knew was making me upset and she wouldn't stop even though I asked her to stop several times.  The only thing I wanted to do was come home and take a nap.  I didn't want anyone else around me and even had a hard time with the animals who all seemed to want my attention the minute I got home.

But after I had taken a nap I was all ready to see people.  Our friends from church get together every Thursday and, though I had originally said I wasn't up to coming, I changed my mind after I'd had some time to myself.  And I'm glad I went to hang out with them.  I had a great time catching up with them and I got to meet Andrew's boss and his boss's wife.

I'm still not sure if I would say I'm an introvert or an extrovert, but I'm happy knowing that some combination of time to myself and time with people seems to work for me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Relaxing night

I haven't been doing much tonight.  Instead, I've simply been taking the time to enjoy myself.  I lit a candle (my favorite frosted cupcake one from Bath and Body Works), caught up on some blog reading and TV watching, and finished a few scrapbook pages.  But I've allowed myself some relaxation because I know I have some things to get done before the end of the night.  And since it alway helps me to make a list, here's what I have to accomplish before the end of the night:
  • Write questions for chapter 7, 8, 9,10, 11, 12, and 13 for Rooftops of Tehran for my literature class (while silently cursing the student who is not going to be here Thursday and Friday which made me get them done sooner rather than later)
  • Fold the laundry in the dryer
  • Write out the daily/weekly/monthly chore lists that Andrew and I have decided on
At least I've had some time to relax so far.  And I do enjoy Rooftops of Tehran, the smell of clean laundry, and making my husband less stressed so all of the things I have to do are definitely worthwhile.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Three Things February: Day 7, 8, and 9

Day 7

  • Being on the same page with Andrew about important things
  • Snuggling with Butterball
  • Taking Schmoo on a walk and seeing how happy he is

Day 8

  • Making progress in my Mary Kay business again
  • Spending time with Andrew
  • Knowing my mom will always listen to me

Day 9

  • Getting in some work on the yearbook
  • Having some time to hang out by myself
  • Truly enjoying my job

Monday, February 6, 2012

Three Things February: Day 6

Day 6

  • Walking Schmoo in the sunshine this afternoon
  • Watching the judges on The Voice bicker.  I'm starting to like Blake Shelton more and more.
  • Getting to hang out with Andrew for most of the night, even if we weren't doing anything exciting

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Three Things February: Day 5

Day 5


  • A great sermon at church discussing how God always finishes what he starts.  It was based on the scripture Phillipians 1:6 "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in your will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ."  It was the perfect thing to hear when our church is going through a time of transition with our head minister retiring.
  • Having an impromptu lunch with Andrew at Cafe Patachou.  It's one of our favorite restaurants.  We almost always get the same thing: The Omelette You Can't Refuse with cinnamon toast.  It's so good!
  • The Giants winning the Super Bowl!!!  If Peyton can't win, then Eli is the next best thing.

Three Things February: Day 4

Day 4


  • A good vet's office that was able to get us in on short notice when Schmoo wouldn't stop licking the spot on his leg.  They gave us a cone of shame to put him in, but I'm hoping that we'll only have to do that when he's home alone because he really doesn't like it.
  • My parent's willingness to look after Schmoo so that he didn't have to be in his cone of shame all day since Andrew and I wouldn't be home.
  • Spending time with a good friend - talking, laughing, scrapbooking.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Three Things February: Day 3

Day 3


  • Girl Scout cookies.  We have 3 boxes that we're trying to make last for more than a week...
  • Watching Freedom Writers with my creative writing class and having other students want to come in and watch it with us because it's such a good movie.
  • Jimmy Fallon taping his show in Indianapolis.  It's great seeing him in Hilbert Circle Theatre where the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra usually plays.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Three Things February

Three Things February was developed by Sarah Rooftops.  She explains that "every evening throughout February you write down three things - no more and no less - which made you smile that day."  I love the way this will inspire me to post more regularly and to focus on the little things that make my day better.  So here goes.

Day 1

  • Popcorn and wine
  • Glee and New Girl
  • Inventing a possible drinking game for New Girl with Andrew (Every time they talk in a funny voice you take a shot.  We didn't play last night, but we would have had to do at least six shots...)

Day 2

  • Pink sparkly nail polish that one of my students brought for me to borrow
  • Productive meetings
  • Feeling appreciated and valued by my students.  It's what makes my job worthwhile.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February goals

  • Work out more than I don't work out in February
  • Take a multivitamin daily
  • Drink water (I'm shooting for at least 1 water bottle a day)
Relationship with God
  • Read The World-Tilting Gospel by Dan Phillips
  • Attend church and Sunday school
Relationship with Andrew
  • Finish reading Let's Get Real: Bringing Authenticity and Wholeness to Your Marriage by Dale Forehand and Jena Forehand
  • Start reading He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion by Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles
  • Go on a date to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (opened January 20th)
  • Go on a date to dinner at Olive Garden
  • Do 30 more things on the Declutter Calendar
  • Scrapbook 10 pages of our wedding
  • Knit this scarf (my first attempt at cables!)
Mary Kay
  • Listen to the Mary Kay tax call
  • Take inventory of the products I have for taxes
  • Call the unit hotline every day
  • Check in with customers
  • Order product to remain active
  • Complete the library reading program by finishing Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
  • Send out invitations for Sarah's bridal shower

January goals review

  • Work out more than I don't work out in January - I worked out 20 days out of 31, which I'm really proud of.  I started doing the 30 Day Shred partway through the month and have been sticking with it so far.  I've only missed one day!
  • Take a multivitamin daily - I haven't done so great with this one.  I need to work on it.
  • Drink water - Ditto for the water drinking.  I need to work on it.
Relationship with God
  • Read God's Story, Your Story: When His Becomes Yours by Max Lucado
  • Attend church and Sunday school - I missed one week, but it was the Sunday right after New Year's so I'm cutting myself some slack
Relationship with Andrew
  • Finish reading Let's Get Real: Bringing Authenticity and Wholeness to Your Marriage by Dale Forehand and Jena Forehand - We're 70% of the way through the book.  It's hard for us both to find time to sit down and read together when we're both awake enough to pay attention.
  • Go to dinner at one of the restaurants participating in Devour Downtown
  • See Beauty and the Beast in 3D (opens January 13th)
  • See Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (opens January 20th) - I haven't seen it yet, but I definitely plan to.
  • Do 30 things on the Declutter Calendar