Thursday, July 29, 2010


As we head into the final days of summer, I find myself nesting. Dennis cleaned out the garage a couple of weeks ago, but I (after two years living here) finally organized it. The little girls' closets are underway, and today (after I take several trash bags to Goodwill and finally fix that door that's been off for what, six months?) I will finish mine.

It's like the calm before the storm.

Allie-16 and Neal-15 are at camp - the same camp we went to earlier this summer, but this week as "staffers." Our youth group sent 15 of our teens to be counselors, kids' camp leaders, cafeteria workers, and (the envy of all) rec leaders.

This, after an eight-day mission trip to El Paso, three days home, then last weekend, away again for our niece's wedding (in which Allie was the maid of honor).

Another week out of town was NOT what they envisioned when this all sounded so good on paper at the beginning of the summer. Both of them were wanting us to give them an "out" - and we did feel sorry for them. Neal-15, especially, likes and needs downtime at home.

But I am glad we stuck to our guns and made them honor their commitments (next year they may weigh them a little differently!). From the calls and texts we've gotten, God is doing good things (Allie's comment: "I wish I could do this all summer!"). Nothing like hanging around with a bunch of college kids sold-out for Christ to give the last couple of years of high school some much-needed perspective. SO much better than Mom and Dad preaching the exact.same.message, but who needs to tell them that.

So it's been a quiet week of snow cones, swimming, and enjoying the younger girls while going through their hand-me-downs.

(I would have pics, but alas, the camera is with Allie at camp...)

Several of you have asked if I am going back to my school nurse gig this fall. After wrestling with it, exploring some other options, and coming to the depressing realization that God wasn't going to give me the winning numbers to the lottery (rats!), yes, I am going back.

We are still digging out after nine months of unemployment, and I just can't find anything with such amazing hours that lets me be with my little girls during the day, and with my big kids every time they are home (including every holiday and ALL SUMMER!). So I will be back to my little clinic on August 16.

Which makes the nesting that much more feverish.

This year should be better. For one thing, I know everyone's names (it took me a while to get to know 485 kids and 50 staff members!) and I know what to expect - of myself, of the family, of the rhythm of the school year. The kids are a whole year older. We will have fewer sports activities, so that should help. And I think overall, I am just in a better frame of mind because now I know I can do this (there were some moments last year when I sincerely wondered!).

I am determined to be more organized this time around (crock pot recipes, please!). I am determined not to wallow (too much) in self-pity. I am determined to enjoy my husband and my children. And I am determined to trust God and let Him use me, even when the circumstances aren't what I would have chosen.

He is good.


mholgate said...

He is good indeed!!! I can't believe how fast this summer has gone by. I picked my older three up from church camp yesterday. They had an incredible time "camping" on church grounds. Every year the church sets up tents for kids' camp and surrounds the church with trailers for added security. 102 over night campers,(2nd-6th grade), 85 day campers (ages 4-1st grade), and 33 junior counselors attended this year. I helped on Tuesday for day camp and it was quite a day! I had 8 four year olds and my 3 year old from 9am-6pm. God was amazing! Our theme this year was "Transformed, Being on God's Team."

As for your nesting instincts, I've been feeling that itch too. Last week I made my oldest go through all of her clothing. We passed some on to her younger sister and made room in her drawers for "transition clothing" when school starts. Today I am having a friend over that is going to help me sort out and clean up the storage closet downstairs. We will probably be able to fill both of our vans with donation bags by the time we are done. I'm hoping to get done in time to clean out under the stairs also. Those are my two BIG hot spots.

Well, I better get these kiddos some breakfast. (At least the ones that are awake.) Enjoy what's left of summer! :)

Love, Melissa

Susan said...

I love that you didn't give the kiddos an "out". Not that I have anything against your kiddos, but it is so important to make them honor their commitments.
Actually, the school nurse job sounds pretty good. I would do it if our school actually had that position available.
I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm still waiting for the summer holidays to start and now they're almost over. What happened here? Went by too fast for me.
I have some good crock pot recipes for you if you are interested.

Rachel said...

As Gandalf says in the Fellowship of the Ring, "Its the deep breath before the plunge" And we're doing that soon here. Glad you're having a productive summer.

Brenda said...

I'm sorry that you have to leave your home. I understand. really is a pretty good gig. I'm glad you have the training to be able to do that job. And not have to take home work with you at the end of the day. I also understand the crunch to get things in order before the year starts!

Debbie said...

Katherine, you have such a great attitude! I love how you look for what God is working out during the hard times. I will be praying for you as you get ready to go back to work. I am sure your kids are so blessed by your being there for them, even though you're working.

Easiest crockpot recipe ever:
I place a 3lb bag of frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot (you may need a few more than that, I use about a bag and a half). I don't even thaw the chicken breasts. Dump a large can or 2-3 small cans of cream of chicken soup over top of chicken. Season as you like. I like salt, pepper,parsley flakes, paprika or chili powder. Put on high for approx 5-6 hours (I usually put in around 11am and we eat about 6pm). You can put on low for a longer time.
Serve over noodles or rice. We like salad or broccol as a side. Maybe some applesauce. Easy-peasy!

emily said...

I'm so happy you are blogging a bit more lately :-)

Annie said...

I can relate to not being where you thought you would be...God gifted me with a job at my daughter's school. It really is the sweetest kind of job a working mum can have!

I feel the same way about trying to get it all done before the school year begins...a work in progress!

momoffouratfifty said...

I need to hear you talk about knowing that you can do it this year. Without going into detail, I'm in a similar period of my life - having been through a tough time, but now knowing I can survive and must! I am going to rearrange my work schedule to enable me to be home with the kids (4 of them) after school, but am so afraid of wasting the time and ending up no further ahead. Would love to hear how you got to be OK without putting your little girls in sports, just in case the thing you are not doing is really their thing? I'd love to do no fall sports, but worry that I'm cheating the younger one's who might like soccer, gymnastics, etc. but also needing activity free days!

Beth said...

Have you seen the blog? She posted a new crockpot recipe every day for a YEAR in 2008, then wrote a cookbook! She still has many many recipes on her blog. I love that she gives a critique of each meal...even down to the fact that some kids had boxed mac and cheese. Too funny! not all the same as in some crockpot recipes. We have loved every thing we have tried. God Bless! (you AND the crockpot!)

Roslyn said...


You are great! This post brought a smile to my face. Transitions are necessary, change comes to us all, kids (and moms!) have to learn to balance, seasons turn around and around again . . . but sometimes we don't greet that with much enthusiasm because it means a lot of extra WORK and ORGANIZING and WRANGLING! So thank you for your happy encouragement as we all saddle up again for the coming school year. I am sure I can dig up some yummy crockpot recipes!


Ginger said...

I love catching up with you. Enjoy the wild ride! What's that phrase again? The days are long, but the years are short!

Real quick - our favorite crockpot Taco Soup.

1 can refried beans
1 can black beans
1 14 oz. can chicken broth
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 cup salsa
1 cup chicken (cooked or raw, shredded/chopped, whatever)
1/4 cup water

Serve with:
shredded cheese
tortilla chips (of course!)
sour cream

You can also add: chili powder, lime juice, cumin, fresh cilantro, etc... but it doesn't really need any of these!