I’m just going to Sit back & eat Baby Ruth Bars

This whole corona-virus thing is Doodie vs Baby Ruth. You are on one side or the other and they are 2 VERY DIFFERENT sides… I think we can all agree to that!

Perhaps you think that staying home was meant to stop the virus. I’m sorry to burst that bubble. It wasn’t. It was meant to SLOW the spread so hospitals were not overrun with patients. AMEN – it worked. In most places it worked exactly as it should have…causing people to begin demanding we “open back up”.

Every COUNTRY in the world shut down in some way shape or form. Some more than others. Have you seen the pictures of China? They had armed gunmen on the street to keep you where you belonged.

So, settle down there cowboy. We can’t just “open back up”. Let me try and put it into a bit of perspective. I didn’t have the words I needed until I read the analogy I will call: Doodie in the Pool… As always, me being me I will put my spin on it. I hope you enjoy it!

Have you had the pleasure of seeing the very old movie Caddyshack with Bill Murray? Go watch it if you haven’t and come back before finishing. It’s worth it. I mean, your home anyway, you still have the time. (The clip of the most important part is at the bottom of my post)

The scene where the pool clears out in 3.5 seconds flat because there is a DOODIE floating in it is HYSTERICAL. I mean who wants to swim in a pool with doodie in it? No one does. EVERYONE GOT OUT OF THE POOL.

So now you are asking yourself what does the doodie in the pool have to do with the coronavirus? I stinking just want to go to Disneyland! (the beach, the mall, camping, the movies…anywhere,,,,)

WELL… there is still doodie in the pool – the coronavirus still exists. There is no vaccine and even when we do have one, not everyone will get it. Land of the free and all. That’s why we need to wear masks and adopt procedures and guidelines and we can’t JUST open back up… we need to deal with the doodie in the pool.

If I could get a glitter mask I’d be all over it!

America is indeed the land of the Free, the home of the Brave – so by all means… If you want to go swim in doodie, that is 100% your right. I’ll be sitting at home eating Baby Ruth bars until there is a better method for dealing with the doodie out there in the pool. I’m not going to judge the way you smell after swimming, and I ask you not to judge me for how much weight I put on by eating candy bars. Deal?

The bottom line here is everyone is doing the BEST they can do… those that HAVE to go out into the doodie to earn a living… those that have conditions complicated by coming in contact with doodie who choose to stay home, those who don’t think the doodie is real but instead is just a look alike planted in the pool to scare people and those at home chained to the never-ending bag of candy. Be kind and do what YOU need to do.

We ARE all in this together, we always have been – We are brothers and sisters meant to care for one another.

Watch and enjoy – Laughter is the best medicine!

Christy

Lessons I learned as a Lunch Lady

This is our picture from the FIRST DAY – If I remember correctly, Mrs. Bri wrote the text. She is so right!!!

Corona-Cation is officially over and Summer is HERE! Friday (on the calendar for what it’s worth) was the last day I was scheduled to work as the assistant lunch lady. I absolutely LOVED that job and I miss it. I learned SO much. You should see my burritos! They look so nice now when I wrap them, LOL! I never did get as fast as I wanted cutting chicken, but let me tell you the MORE IMPORTANT LESSONS I LEARNED WERE:

There is no need for stress, lunch gets served every day, no matter what.

My family deserves my focus

——————————————————————————-

I spent so many years *freaking out* over things that needed to be done as a classroom teacher, mentor, mom, etc… always worried about GETTING IT DONE…. and my schedule. Everything by the book. I was the master of the calendar, planning, planning, planning.

No matter what got tossed at us in that lunch room, not once did my boss ever freak out or stress. She just rode the wave, opened the window and handed the kids food with a supreme smile.

It really is that simple. Sorry sweetheart no teriyaki chicken today, would you like a chicken burrito instead? I can have it for you in 3 minutes.

Whatever the *problem* we just found a solution… kids showing up early for lunch with no notice – no problem! Schoolwide assembly – lunch will be late – no problem! Special visitors on campus – we need an adult lunch for 10 catered – no problem…. I know it sounds CrAzy simple – I did all of this and more as a teacher and pseudo- Vice Principal at a private school for 200 children. I was constantly juggling my work life balance, doling out advice, teaching like a boss, grading, answering the phone and scheduling…. Perhaps that was IT…perhaps I was doing too much… I had to problem solve for 30 other people. I had to anticipate problems and head them off at the pass…. As a lunch lady my biggest problem to solve was :No chicken – just offer beef.

All day working together we were HAPPY. Joking, smiling, sharing with each other about our kids.

That job SAVED MY LIFE. I’m a good teacher – in fact better than I have EVER been recognized for. I have mentored many new teachers and inspired countless students. My out of the box methods should have gotten me fired many times, but the bottom line is kids were learning.KIds engage in what I do in the classroom in ways I can not put into words. Fourth grade fades into the distance very quickly, but I taught them THEY matter and they were LOVED.

This group of students is currently graduating from 8th grade. The one I have my arm around to my right is still part of my circle of friends. His family invited me to be their guests at Graduation.

Mrs. Bri didn’t want to give me the job – she did not want to see me leave teaching (I taught her youngest daughter, so she knew my magic). I promised her I WOULD look for a teaching job, and I did. I applied for three jobs last summer. I even interviewed for one of them. I ROCKED that interview. Jobs are extremely difficult to come by in July. You might say just applying for 3 wasn’t much of an effort, perhaps not. But the way I look at it, if God wanted me to get a teaching job, I was PLENTY qualified for the 3 I applied for – and I was OVERQUALIFIED for the one I interviewed for. I would have gotten a teaching job… It’s my *baseball* rule. 3 strikes and you’re out. 3 applications – 3 no thank yous… Call Mrs. Bri and work for her.

But when I look back NOW – over what was, and what became of the 2019-2020 school year…Being a Lunch Lady saved me. I found Christy. I found “Momma” and I found the roots of being a Wife again. I found my friends, the truest of them – that had been waiting for YEARS in the background for a bit of my time.

The 7 months I spent as a Lunch Lady were like going to “life rehab”. Don’t tell Mrs. Bri – I should have probably paid her!

As always – I am very much looking forward to my summer and what it has to offer. I have plans for the Fall in the works..well – I should say more accurately – GOD has plans for my life beginning in September 2020 and I couldn’t be more peaceful about where He is leading me.

I look forward to using my Lunch Lady Lessons as I move forward. Likely the most important one would be – Always order plenty of Pizza! Thank GOD we always had Pizza, they were teenagers. Pizza solves everything.

Until next time- Be blessed my friends!

Christy

The secret to a long, happy marriage or 22 years in one blog post – choose your own title.

May 16, 2020

Today we are gathering to celebrate the 22 years we have been a family. We don’t call it our wedding anniversary – we call it our Family-a-versary because it’s the day our family started. Granted, it started with just Anthony, myself and 2 adorable kittens, Tiger and Smokey – but indeed it was a fine start.

Smokey (Black and White) and Tiger (Orange Tabby) June 1998

We lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment half way between his job and mine. Anthony actually worked 2 jobs back then because we had no idea what it took to make ends meet and figured we would rather be safe than sorry. After a while the dust settled and he got promoted so he was able to just focus on his 9-5 job.

Apartment life was great except for paying rent that went up every year. We decided to “suck it up” and move in with my mom for a year, saving for a house. Looking for houses was some of the most fun we have ever had. We absolutely needed an office each and a playroom for the cats. After months and months of searching we noticed a set of flags we didn’t think we had seen before…. And the rest was history. Our first home was a beautiful 2 story with plenty of space for everyone. We signed the paperwork in October of 2000. In December of 2000 if found out I was expecting my first child. Dag nabbit there goes your office Hunny!

We moved in with plenty of time to spare. All 3 children “came home” to what we now refer to as the Hemet House.

Being a 2 story home, this house was never intended for children, so the housing market was crazy good. We had a dear friend who was an agent. Our house was snapped up faster than ice cream on a hot day. Onto a one story home on a half acre with plenty of room for everyone. Even my craft room! It was in this home I spent the foundational years homeschooling my children.

It was in this home we faced our first crisis. That amazing housing market bottomed out, Anthony’s income was tied directly to new home construction. New homes in our state were now being built at a standstill. We tried as hard as we could, but nothing we could do could change God’s plan for our family. The day I gave the bank the keys to that house I sobbed in the shower for a good hour so no one would hear me. To the children we were just on another adventure… we were moving into my childhood home with a fully developed yard. All three of them would share one room. How fun would THAT be! All I saw was failure.

All three beds in one bedroom. The BUGS thought this was a GRAND adventure! It broke my heart!

It did not take me long at all to pull myself up…pretty much by the time I got out of the shower, I had children to attend to. We moved in in October. By August it was obvious things were still pretty dire and I would need to return to work.

I made a few phone calls, and ended up with a phone interview for a teaching position at a Catholic School. Anthony and I agreed, (We do that a lot, agree!) if I was going back to work – I was doing it for God directly. Public school was out of the question. The principal I was speaking with on the phone happens to be an old friend. In fact, when she first started teaching I was assigned as her mentor teacher. That connection, along with my stellar teaching skills landed me with a job right here, on the phone, in my “housewife” clothes – my shirt happened to be on inside out. When I came out of my bedroom I had tears streaming down my face. My middle daughter asked what was wrong – I will never forget that moment. “I think I just got a job, I need to go buy some real clothes”.

The first thing I did was buy my family Disney passes! Homeschooling never felt so good. We made a crazy decision to continue to homeschool even though I would be returning to work. We were blessed to have my Sister in Law care for them for 2 years until I transferred to the school attached to my parish, just a mile from our home. At that point, the homeschoolers stayed home with their Uncle who lived with us full time.

Having their taken picture with the 2011-2012 School Principal. Mickey Mouse!

Eventually the girls began attending school with me, as an experiment to see if we could launch a hybrid program. The principal was amazing to work with and we discussed ideas in depth. We even drafted a letter to the Diocese. I think he knew as well as I did, this was simply a WONDERFUL way for my daughters to experience school, but neither of us ever admitted it. When the School had a change in leadership – again God blessed me with an amazing principal who allowed the hybrid homeschool test to continue. My daughters were both awarded special certificates of accomplishment at the Graduation ceremony.

My son who is kind, sensitive and in no way shape or form interested in any of this – continued to homeschool, even when the special program was offered to him.

I continued to dedicate my time to working for God and had become the “go to person” on campus after the principal. It was never in writing, and always just “there” – When he was off campus, if there was an issue, I took care of it. Even when he was ON campus there were areas I specialized in. TOGETHER the principal and I, along with the leadership members – made a GREAT TEAM. At the end of the school year in 2018, my principal asked the parish to promote me to Vice Principal. Due to “enrollment not being high enough” , he was told no. I have no idea what enrollment had to do with it, other than money. The Job still had to be done.

I continued to fill the role, without the title until the end of the 2019 school year. It was then I asked on my own behalf to be given the position of Vice Principal. If you are a regular blog reader, you know the rest of the story.

Crisis #2 – I lost my job. Apparently asking to be recognized for your hard work is a no-no. When I lost my job in July of 2019, my husband did nothing but support me. He told me I could become a Lunch Lady – taking that job saved my life. More precisely – listening to God saved my life. After a few months I asked my husband about it… If it REALLY was ok…why he let me take that job. You know his anwer: He rememberd how I supported HIM when we had crisis #1, when essentially, through no fault of his own, he lost his job. So now, he was doing the same thing for me… supporting me.

August 2019 – first day as a Lunch Lady. No one got food poisoning and lunch was on time every day! I learned SO MUCH in 9 months!

This is the secret to our success. We have spent 22 years, simply supporting one another. It’s just that easy.

It has been 10 months since I lost my job, became a lunch lady, lost that job due to a worldwide pandemic and now – come before you after 22 years to say: when God is the center of your marriage, the center of your life, there really is no crisis. It doesn’t hurt to talk about losing my job anymore. All healed up. It will, like losing our home, always shape who I am – but it doesn’t hurt anymore. I’m done learning from this experience and I’m ready to move forward fully.

I hope over the next 22 years we do not have any crisis to face, but I know that if God has one up his sleeve for us, together we can face anything.

Happy Anniversary to my very best friend and biggest fan. You can retire in 12 years. I promise!

Until next time my friends, be blessed and Trust the plan God has for you. He will not lead you down the wrong path.

Chrsity

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If you homeschool, or are involved in education, you need to check out my website: HomeschoolHoliday. There are free printables, curriculum suggestions, tips and the “history”behind the holiday of the day.

Fix your heart not on what is lacking…

It’s so easy to get caught up in what we don’t have. ESPECIALLY during a worldwide pandemic. A few weeks ago, I told my husband to stop looking for paper towels… seriously. I’m home, we have plenty of hand towels. We have napkins and if we run out of those, we have cloth napkins. I can do laundry! I’m not sure I’ll ever see clorox wipes again, LOL.

I don’t want to compare sacrifice lists… everyone is making them in their own way, some for sure more than others. Truly working in the trenches….

We managed to make Mother’s Day pretty normal. I sent my God Mother In Law flowers because I didn’t think we would get together. I knew she would be so sad. Getting together as a family is the most important thing in the world to her.

I ordered gifts for my children because they are the reason I am a mother. I’m sure they didn’t think the gifts were all that, I didn’t even get a Thank You. However, it is still my job to try and create amazing humans. Books have always been the backbone of how I wanted my children to learn things, I wanted them to have strong characters to relate to. How would this character navigate this problem, etc. Inside the books I included 3 letters. The first I wrote them on their 5th birthday, recalling things they loved, and how much I loved being their Mom. The second was a reflection I wrote 4 months after Douglas was born summarizing my transition from not wanting children to it being the BEST thing in my life, and the third letter was a summary of the “Pandemic of 2020” and how I hope the Heroes in the book help shape the future before them. I’m simply in awe of the books Brad Meltzer is writing for children and don’t know how I missed them as a classroom teacher. (I’ll share more on these next week. )

I ordered myself a 4 pack of Rock Star. You see, if I don’t buy my own gift, no one else will, so I took care of it! (I gave up rock star when I stopped working in March because they are expensive). I absolutely LOVE them. LOVE. So they are the perfect gift for me, especially now.

I didn’t know at the time Mrs. Bri and her girls would bless me with a wonderful surprise at 4:30 in the morning! I did get a Mother’s Day gift after all!

We ended up visiting Aunt RM in shifts today. Her youngest daughter moved to Arizona and asked Anthony to make a gift. We needed to deliver it. The stay at home orders are relaxing. We sat in the yard with no hugging, just lots of love and talking! We got to see some cousins as they were leaving, so we could visit.

She loved her gift – and even though it wasn’t from us – it was good to bring JOY!

When we returned home I made dinner, did the dishes and I cut some roses from my favorite rosebush in the backyard. It is blooming in overdrive. That rose bush is a ‘climbing’ variety. It doesn’t actually make good cuttings, but I love the color, so I cut them and bring them in anyway. They bring me JOY.

Watching everyone get pampered on Mother’s Day leaves a sour taste in your mouth – the curse of social media. I had nothing from my family, sans a card from Megan, and I had just cooked my own dinner, and done the dishes. I sat down to check my email and BAMB !

Fix your heart not on what is lacking – this is the message I received. When I keep my eyes on the ABUNDANCE of good in the world it is so easy to give THANKS. Again my inspiration comes from Little House on the Prairie. This time, in real time – the blog of Wendi Lou Lee,

God has equipped us with everything we need for every situation. I didn’t even need to buy my own gift, because HE had already taken care of it!!! I’m still glad I sent our aunt the flowers- even though we DID get to see her, because you can never spread too much Joy in that arena… but again, I didn’t need to WORRY about her not seeing her family – because we made it work! I’m a mother – it is my HONOR and pleasure to prepare meals for my family, I should never see it as a burden – on any day! My gift to my children, although they did not say “thank you” – was meant to plant seeds. I will never know when they pick it up and use it. Perhaps when I’m gone and they discover they “need me” – it will be then, through books they will have me! My life truly lacks nothing because of God’s divine power.

If you happen to be a Momma that perhaps had a “less than Instagram worthy” Mother’s day… know you are Loved and designed by an all perfect God, whose plan is so AMAZING that this one day out of infinity is all in his plan. Turn your troubles over and let the Lord carry your burdens. Thank him for everything he has bestowed upon us, even these ‘burdens’.

Dinner is in the crock pot!

Until next time, – be well my friends!

Christy

Interesting week

Interesting week. I’ve had a nagging migraine. It’s mild but just enough for medication. I find it hard to concentrate. In fact I was checking out a link a friend sent with a recipe and an ad popped up for an app. It was for recipes and grocery lists. Something in my head made my finger push the button. Then when the flashing screen said, push yes and yes…I DID THAT TOO!

I didn’t even read what it said! What just happened? Ok, whatever. I’m going to go BACK to the page with the recipe because the app will magically know I’m on a page with a recipe and it will save the recipe and generate the grocery list!

What in the name of all that is holy in my addled brain made THAT even seem possible? (Is it? -that would be a freaking awesome app. Can I invent that and make millions?)

So, needless to say, not this app. I exit out of the website and realize that I should just uninstall the app, so I try. It is LOCKED DOWN! This app is not able to be uninstalled the *regular* way. I forgot to mention that my home screen looks weird, and I think there might be somewhere in the neighborhood of 7-10 other apps flashing across the top of my phone. My head is spinning. Migraine or app panic, I have no idea….

So I researched the name of the app and “can’t uninstall”. I find the advice of some super smart nerd who politely explained that the app had indeed taken control of my phone…he doesn’t use words like dumb blonde and never press buttons with a migraine, but instead explains exactly in easy to follow steps what to do!

Apparently, not everyone is nice. This app was written in a way so I had given it administrator permission over my phone. The author did it on purpose! I uninstalled and got control of my phone back! I then went and wrote a scathing review. Similar to when I wrote Best Buy for having the kids movies on the same isle as the rated R movies. Dumb.

So it has been an interesting week…and I realized It’s only Tuesday!

Be blessed my friends, this is precisely why I don’t have ads on my website! Those pop ups will get you when you least expect it 😉.

– Christy

A Pancake always has two sides

I remember someone telling me once, no matter how thin you make a pancake, it will always have 2 sides.

I guess this is my side.

Life is full of options. In my home, I like to use the phrase: make a different choice. It doesn’t imply to the child that they are bad, but that they need to make different choices because the current choices are not working.

We can’t go around ripping toys out of the hands of other children when we want it ourselves. We need to communicate, wait our turn and otherwise make a different choice 😉. This is a KEY philosophy, but as they got older I had to adjust because you don’t always have the OPTIONS of making a different choice. Say, drinking and driving for example. If you Drink and Drive and hurt someone, no one is going to say in their Mary Poppins voice: You need to make a different choice. At some point you need to understand actions have consequences.

When I was in high school I read a short story by Ray Bradbury called: A Sound of Thunder. If you have never read it – I HIGHLY recommend it. It shaped my life and if you know me, you will see clearly how it shapes my decisions from homeschooling my children, to choosing unequivocally to stay home for as long as it takes. Books have had a HUGE impact on who I am. Even the ooodles of Romance novels that fill my brain with drivel! My charming prince is a truck driver.

A Sound of Thunder is a science fiction story in which the very wealthy can go Dinosaur Hunting. They go back to the EXACT moment the dinosaur was going to die historically, and they shoot it. It is critical they kill the dinosaur at precisely the exact same time so as not to alter the future.

Not to spoil too much, but when the characters return from their trip of a lifetime EVERYTHING is different. The language on the posters is different, the leader of the country is different, EVERYTHING. Something has gone terribly wrong and their dinosaur hunt has changed the future in unimaginable ways.

These characters can not go back and make a different choice. I hope you will read the story for yourself to find out EXACTLY what caused the change to the future. If you read it, you know.

I have referenced this story COUNTLESS times in my life.

Our country, for better or worse, has MADE A CHOICE – to stay home. In fact – the choice has been made GLOBALLY and started with China. We hope, and we pray it is the right choice, because we can’t go back and make a different one. This is not a play room scuffle between siblings over a toy. Lives are at stake. The choice is not easy. No one said it was going to be easy. Nothing that is worth it is ever easy. NOTHING.

When schools shut down March 13th, did you really think they were going to reopen this year? Really soul search that answer. How could they? There was not enough time to make a difference and flatten the curve. To, um,..save lives. Last I checked that was the goal. To save lives. Perhaps, just PERHAPS we are not seeing the numbers because it’s WORKING? Perhaps? Like I said, 2 sides. The glass is half full or half empty.

If schools were not going to reopen, why would businesses? There is no quick fix for this. The decisions have been made. I understand you don’t agree. I understand you think the world is going to end. I understand you think the economic impact is worth more than the lives. That’s what you are saying every time you say open up the state. That translates into – lives don’t matter. This is what hurts my heart so deeply. I care more about strangers than myself. I always have. Americans are not about the greater good, they have become about the individual. What’s in it for me? My business is doomed, I have to do without getting my hair done. I can’t **********************************************************- fill in the blank.

The real issue is you weren’t prepared for a rainy day, and it’s a colossal storm. I understand. The experts say we need 3 months of living expenses in savings, minimum. If you are in a home where both bread winners are now unemployed, June is it. But reality and the attitude I see shows me not only a lack of emergency savings, but a lack of faith.

The truth is – there are no winners here. Had we left our State or our Country open and everyone going about our business as usual and this virus ran rampant killing people left and right without a care in the world the Facebook posts would be screaming and crying about how incompetent the leaders are because they DIDN’T shut the country down instead of the crying that’s going on now – whyning and crying claiming the leaders are incompetent because they DID shut the country down. Deep down you know it’s true.

Our country is run by leaders we elect. We TRUST them to make decisions, that’s why we elect them, to be in charge! So, I for one am on board with saving lives and following the stay at home orders set forth by my governor.

I’m not afraid to go out as you put it I’m too smart. Only the strong survive.

It’s all well and good until you have to make real life changes and actual sacrifices. I’m making those sacrifices. It is an honor to do so for you. God is still providing food for the birds. I have some rather plump ones in my yard. I know because he is taking care of the birds, he will certainly take care of me.

Until next time – be blessed my friends! I hope you liked my pancakes. Do pick up A Sound of Thunder!

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Lessons from Little House

When I had my surgery in 2019 and I began my journey to turn my life over to God, part of my recovery was watching the Little House on the Prairie TV series. I connect with this show on so many levels. I read the books many times as a child. Laura Ingals Wilder was definitely an influence in my becoming a teacher. Monday nights, when the show originally aired I was allowed to stay up past my bedtime to watch each episode! It was a great treat! Anytime I came across a rerun I would watch as well. I could write another blog just on my Little House memories and connections. But I already have too many blogs!

After completing the entire series in 2019 I researched the actors and actresses a bit. I came across one of the twins that played Baby Grace and I was blown away by her story. Wendi Lou Lee (Turnbaugh). As it turned out, just as I found her she was releasing a devotional based on the episodes of Little House on the Prairie! I purchased the Kindle Edition as I was not working at the time and it was the least expensive option – but I HAD to HAVE that book!

Now that we are safe at home, I may as well watch Little House on the Prairie again, Right? This time though I can’t help myself… It seems I can’t just WATCH THEM. I seem to find great pearls of wisdom in every episode! I’m not going to write my own LHOTP devotional, but I have found myself having deep thoughts about the episodes.

I recently watched, Season 1, Episodes 13 and 14: The Lord is My Shepherd

In this Episode, the Ingals Family lose their newborn son, Charles Frederick. Laura blames herself for his death. She asks Reverend Alden how you can get a miracle. In true Reverend Alden style- having “no idea” he says: “The closer you are to God the more likely it is to happen” (A Miracle). That prompts Laura to run away and go climb the tallest mountain she can find.

Laura wants to trade God herself for Baby Charles. So she is praying and praying, convinced that what SHE wants is the answer. Baby Charles does not appear and after a few days Laura can hear her Pa and Mr. Edwards calling for her. She is distraught because God has not answered her…translate that into: God has not given Laura what she wanted. The Angel Jonathan has to explain that God has indeed answered, and what God DOES want is for Laura to go back with her family.

How many times do we pray, telling ( yes telling ) God exactly what we want, and exactly how we want it? Pre 2019 I was soooo GUILTY of this you could lock me up for life. Once I realized that asking God to give me what was best in HIS eyes, and TRUSTING HIM was the only path to peace, I will never go back.

I wish I had realized this sooner. I wish I had trusted God sooner. I hope now I am teaching my children this, the most important lesson of life: To trust completely in the Lord. No matter how painful, he knows best. He will guide them to the right path.

When the stay at home orders were first announced, one of my VERY CATHOLIC friends sent a link regarding placing a picture of the Divine Mercy Jesus on the front door. Well, he didn’t quite make it to my front door, but he is in the window next to the door. (On a scale of 1 to 10, if the friend who sent the link is a 10, I’m about a 4 sometimes a 5- I’m private about my faith) I figured, I think a little protection over my household couldn’t hurt. I probably was supposed to pray some prayers to, so likely we are all going to die, because I just hung him in the window and said: Jesus, I Trust in you! But we’ll see! Hopefully it works!

I’m so sorry for everyone who is out of work, scared and otherwise filled with anxiety over what is going on in the world. I’m taking things day by day, because I know – deep down, there is NOTHING I can do, but go with the flow. I put up my Divine Mercy Jesus, confirming my trust in Him… whenever my mind wanders or a bit of worry tries to creep in, I just say again: Jesus I trust in you. I encourage you to try it.

Now I’m going back to feeding the Opossum in my yard. 2020 is my year of Joy. I spotted a youngling on the Opossum cam for the past 2 nights. Not sure where Momma is, but that’s ok. I’ve got grapes out! Seeing that little guy brings me joy for sure!

What brings you Joy? I do hope you will share your Joy with me in the comments!

I don’t have enough hangers for everything. Pandemic Problems.

I really had the greatest week! Attitude is everything, I have always believed that, and I surround myself with like-minded individuals!

My favorite Meme of the week

It started with a little scare. You see, the virus is real. It’s not some made up conspiracy by the government to shut down my scrapbooking business or to keep Seniors everywhere from Prom. Real people in real families are getting sick, and thankfully they are also recovering. My Uncle, my mother’s brother, who lives in New Jersey, was hospitalized with a confirmed case of Covid-19. He falls into the at-risk category in many ways, but the Irish-Italian Patriarch of the clan Moore is stronger than that virus, and thanks be to God, home and resting.

Easter was different, but I realized it was the first time in my married life I ever cooked a full Easter dinner. And it was good! I was very proud of myself! Even if I failed to include vegetables, ha ha ! We certainly missed our extended family, and appreciate them deeply. I will treasure the memories of Easter 2020, of sleeping in and NOT going to Church… postponing the egg hunt until Lauren’s boyfriend Alex could join us… you see his sister got sick and had to be tested for the virus, so Alex and Lauren were no longer allowed to see each other. (Feel free to judge my decision to let them go back and forth every other day from my house one day to his house the next day. I have no problem with it, sometimes I drove 😉

As the week progressed – this week was to be my “Spring Break” from work – I continued my *work from home* attitude – and it turns out that not only did I have my highest week in sales ever (never fear, retirement is still YEARS away!) – I also learned how to create products for Google Classroom! I created a fireside video – 11 interesting things about Mrs. Crabtree and I continued to work in the backyard keeping the birds and squirrels happy! I continue my quest as an Amazon Associate and post a picture each day on “My Daily Picture”. I hope I am using the gift of time well. I have discovered that when all the laundry is done, there are really not enough hangers for everything. Who knew?

Megan, who is a Senior, is handling her change in Senior activities with such maturity. She was thrilled that her “Virtual Prom” – hosted by John Krasinski of “The Office” (She has watched every episode of The Office 3 times!) Had the Jonas Brothers and Billie Eilish. In her words: “What other class can say the Jonas Brothers and Billie Eilish were at their Prom?”

This picture is very much stolen from a screen shot on my phone. Copyright police, please don’t arrest me.

My thoughts exactly! Attitude is everything. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, you don’t wine about the lemons! I wasn’t the best Mom, but I did the best I could. I did not sit up at night trying to think of ways to give my children a horrible childhood. I did not homeschool them because I thought it was the WORST thing I could do. I didn’t return to teaching full time and CONTINUE to homeschool them to damage their Freudian Psyche.

Douglas, who waited patiently while every school in America (except homeschools) closed their doors was off this week. I heard laughter and,oh my goodness, some colorful vocabulary words he may have learned from Tony Stark, coming from the playroom. He was relaxed and took full advantage of his well deserved vacation from schoolwork.

If this week has shown me anything, it has shown me that my 3 kids are BOUNCERS! They roll with the waves of the Sea of life. I am so proud of them and who they CHOOSE to be in spite of the decisions their father and I made.

On Saturday, the results of the virus test came in and Alex’s sister is fine (Praise God!) He came over and I was able to give him his Easter basket… you see Alex is also a Senior, salutatorian of his class in fact, and not able to participate in his events. He too has a great attitude. The Easter Bunny got him a UC Berkeley hoodie so when his online summer classes start he will be a stylin’ freshmen in those Zoom classes!

Life is moving forward. It continues to evolve. I’ll have Anthony pick up more hangars. I hope you and your family are navigating the Sea as each wave rolls in.

Christy

The guilt I carry

My husband carved this squirrel for me. He used wood from a tree we had to have removed from our back yard. We had the tree trimmers come a few months ago. Instead of having them haul it all away, we saved the wood for fire wood, and apparently wood carving! The cats also use it for scratching, he he! The thought behind this gift is too much for words. You see, I’m carrying around an enormous amount of guilt these days. For almost a year actually. His sweet gift overwhelms me.

Getting laid off in July 2019 was indeed God’s plan, but I did not want to go back into teaching. I looked, I really did. I even pulled strings with a good friend at a local district and went on an interview. They had 1 position, and I KNOW I was qualified for it. But I begged God not to give me a position. I could not face working for someone new, I could not face the unknown. Imagine having to teach what they told me to. —Shudder. —(I had a lot of freedom to teach what was good for my students, in the way I WANTED where I was working before.) If I had gone to work at a public school I would be making enough money that we would not have to worry, but the trade off is doing it their way. Instead, I took a job so I could be SAFE, and yes, HAPPY. Working as a lunch lady made me over the moon HAPPY, but it did not remove the guilt.

Now I am not working – A G A I N … through no fault of my own. And inside, mixed with the guilt is such RELIEF. I would HATE distance learning, and I would have been at a brand new school figuring all THAT out, not at my long-time school! In the month of March I brought home 2 weeks pay, plus a whopping $1.71 in curriculum sales. My scrapbook business income was eliminated because that event was cancelled. I have tried TWICE to become an Amazon Associate and can’t get enough people to order through the links, lol! You can order whatever you want, you just have to use one of my links first.

My point is that I’m not contributing to the household much. The kids are grown, I can’t exactly pull the stay-at-home- mom card. Hence, the enormous amount of guilt.

I’m certainly not just sitting on the couch watching TV, eating bon-bons each day. I spend each day completing chores, cooking (GASP!) and writing curriculum for sale and keeping up with my HomeschoolHoliday blog. I have high hopes that when things go back to normal, both classroom teachers, and homeschoolers will be interested in what I have to offer, and I will have built up enough of an offering to be “legit”. Perhaps in 12 years when Anthony is ready to retire, my little curriculum business can support us!

I also spend a tremendous amount of time with GOD. I continue to TRUST that this is indeed his PLAN…he could have given me the teaching job after all – he is an all powerful God. And every time I begin to let doubt creep in, the most amazing thing happens: I sell the most random item in my shop…get a new follower to my blog, or my Husband of almost 22 years walks over with a hand carved squirrel – just because.

Despite a stay at home order, the Easter bunny came. I know Easter is very much about Jesus rising, and so do my children. But long before I had any inkling I would be out of work, and quarantined, I had ALREADY shopped and had enough for Easter. I’m usually ahead of the game, but never *that* far ahead! Again, for me, the amazing power of God in my life. Had I waited 2 weeks, I would have hesitated financially to purchase the items I did for the bugs because we don’t know how long this is going to last. All three seemed happy in their teenage way that the Easter Bunny came. I love Holidays ( Hello – all my curriculum is holiday based, and I’m pretty sure I became a teacher to get Valentine cards!).

So, inspired by a hand carved squirrel, I will give my burdens to the Lord, and allow the JOY of the holiday fill my spirit instead!

May the Risen Christ carry whatever burdens you are feeling as well!

God bless you and your Family this Easter Season!

– Christy

I didn’t want kids

I didn’t want to bring kids into an evil world. I didn’t want my kids to hurt, and I guess I didn’t want to hurt either, so If I chose not to have kids – all that could be avoided.

God chose for me. I have 3 kids. 2 were accidents and the last one was my “touche” to the Lord. I made peace with motherhood in the nanosecond of time between not being a mom, and when my daughter was delivered via c- section. God and I are Good. My kids also understand my “not wanting kids” deal.

December 2004, My 3 Bugs

I could not have imagined 2020 back in 2001. When I watched the towers fall and I spoke to my then unborn daughter through the walls of my uterus, I never dreamed the conversation we would have today.

She said – I don’t understand people Mom. I can see on my friends’ social media that they are going out. Why would they do that?

I didn’t have an answer for her – because 2 weeks ago, when the Governor of California was the FIRST in the United States, to “lock-down” our state with MANDATORY stay at home orders, we had already cancelled our planned trip for Friday March 13th to Disneyland. My exact words were- I can never go back and make a different decision. We need to stay home to be safe. I had already issued the Gandara Family stay at home order.

At that point Disneyland had already determined they were closing their doors on Saturday March 14th. When Disneyland closes – that means business. Doesn’t it?

A lock hangs on the center gate between the turnstiles at the entrance to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, on Monday, Mar 16, 2020. The entire Disneyland Resort is shutting down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

If there is even a chance this will work – isn’t it worth saving lives? Don’t you have SOMEONE who is older, receiving cancer treatment, at risk at all of catching this and passing away? I do! I’m terrified I will never see my Dad again. He is 80 years old. My step mom is a doctor at Eisenhower Medical.

There was a party on our street.. A PARTY. We could see the cars and people on our security cameras. It was all I could do not to call the police – but I figured, I would just put the officers in danger of exposure! I love America and the freedoms we have in our country – but I also have a passion for the GREATER GOOD.

Now, my trust in the Lord is strong. if I believe anything I believe this:

It could be WORSE – we could be fighting a full blown war on our country’s soil and in imminent fear for our lives in that way.

This is God’s Will, so those who are meant to pass away, including any of my loved ones, will pass away one way or another.

God gave me 3 amazing children – and I always knew they were destined to grow up to be SOMEONE… this event in history is going to define who my children are in the way the Space Shuttle Challenger and events that followed defined me.

This isn’t MY event the way the Challenger and 9-11 were. This is THEIR event, but how I respond to this event WILL be remembered.

I will respond by continuing to place my trust in the Lord.

We will be back to see you again Mickey – fear not!

  • Christy

I’m still so very blessed

As I sat out in the backyard with my coffee this morning, pondering life I decided – I’m still so very blessed. I held still …..and a chubby bird came right over and nibbled bits of seed off the ground right in front of me. We said good morning to each other as clear as if I were Snow White herself!

In China, there are GUARDS to make sure people don’t go outside.

I trust that the ONLY PEOPLE going out are those that HAVE TO. I’m mailing my dad the mail that comes for him here. Thankfully the post office picks up priority packages, so I don’t even have to go to the post office. My dad is 80. How long, if ever, before I see my dad?

In China, they stopped SHIPPING THINGS/DELIVERIES…

I am one of those “not working” due to the state shut down. I know my friend that gave me the job feels horrible, she is the kindest, most loyal and giving human I know. But I’m ok. This feels NOTHING like losing my teaching job. The worst part is not being able to see her: my friend/boss every week! I’m not going anywhere, spending any money, using any fuel… I’m cooking every night. That’s a HUGE money saver. I feel HORRIBLE, but I am not in a position to support other businesses. I get the impact of this economically. I AM a small business too. But eating out is a privilege. And yet – I don’t want anyone else to lose their job. I’m not even ordering from Amazon.

My husband works all day and then, like the hunter-gatherer he is, he heads to the store with our list of random items to see what he can find. When he gets home it’s fun to see what “treasure” he has. The pack of hamburger buns was a huge hit this week. If I cook in large batches, I have leftovers. Less trips to the store. We just use up what we have, even if we are all eating random things. We are eating, and that my friends is a blessing.

So when I say I have been H O M E – I truly have. Going into the backyard is my only adventure. I don’t even get the mail, lol.

I was tempted to wave at the people walking their dogs behind my house this morning. Ha ha – can you imagine, I’d probably scare the living daylight out of them! There is always a steady stream as we have a community of condominiums behind us. My backyard is lined with trees and bushes and actually doesn’t have a “proper” fence. You can’t really see in/out… but when I sit and just relax, I can see people walk by. I’ve never been tempted to strike up a conversation with them before – it’s just now, feeling isolated – the mental “lockdown” of not being able to hang out with people is strong. Even the UPS delivery guy is faster these days and I can hardly shout “thank you” before he drives off. But I have a good sized yard and I look forward to getting it ready for Spring and Summer now that the rain has stopped. My backyard is one of my biggest blessings!

I have plenty of creative projects to keep me busy. I have curriculum to design, scrapbooks to fill and vinyl to cut! Do you think I can scrapbook from 2012 – 2020 in 8 weeks? I can’t afford to develop the pictures but I can get started at least. I can’t go to Disneyland, but I can scrapbook Disneyland and that’s a blessing!

The world is filled with so many amazing people. Homeschoolers are helping public school moms adjust to their new reality. Those gifted with the talent to sew are sewing masks for healthcare workers, grocery store employees and whomever else needs to be out so the rest of us CAN be home. The outpouring of FREE services available online is mind boggling! Blessings continue even in the face of such dynamic life changes.

Yes, friends every night I make sure there are grapes out for “Oscar” – and fresh water. Oscar is a blessing. Every morning I watch his adventures on the “possum cam” and thank God for all that is good in my life! This is merely a season we will go through, and I know who is driving the bus.

I hope you are finding the blessings at home.

*Christy

Longest week – e v e r

A lot has happened in one seven day week. At least here in California it has.

Friday, March 13th, almost mocking the day… we find out that indeed all schools are closed until April 3. By Monday that had been extended until April 30.

On Tuesday I received news the principal at the school I was fired from is transferring to another school…I let it bother me for a bit, and then I remembered, God is in control. It bothered me because I saw myself as the most loyal, dedicated staff member on campus. As Vice Principal, I would have been in the perfect position to help a new Principal transition. I worked closer with the Principal than anyone else on campus. Whomever comes in now will have a lot of learning to do. There is a leadership team in place, but because of staffing changes, that team too has changed dynamically. This impacts students. But after about 30 minutes, I took a deep breath, read my devotional and remembered, God is in control.

On Wednesday, the governor of California told his own daughter he didn’t foresee schools opening again this school year… Friday, March 20th California is officially closed and all non essential businesses are ordered to close.

Holy online learning Batman. Kudos to my former colleagues for going the distance. I doubt the school wanted to refund tuition for 2 -3 months of “no school”. Those in public school are going the distance and unfortunately none of it can be assessed. There are too many variables. But, not my circus and not my monkeys! The online platform being offered by Bug #2’s school states clearly it is optional. I’m glad they figured that out 🙂 . As a homeschool family I’m not concerned 1 bit about her education. I never have been. Bug #1 will shift all her college classes to an online platform – welcome to Adulting 101, where you adapt in the blink of an eye. She will be fine. Bug #3, affectionately known ad the Hermit, just keeps on keeping on with his assigned work daily, his school didn’t make any changes. (Much to his homeschooled dismay!)

As a former teacher, I relate well with school schedules and school “life”.

Financial loss and deadly pandemic aside, I’m thrilled summer vacation came early! And I feel like I dodged a huge bullet by NOT being a teacher right now! I certainty have found my JOY:

I get to spend my time with my kids. I’m cooking dinner for my family, and my work day consists of being self employed, doing something in a field of education I can control. I’m going to scrapbook and be creative this weekend! This pandemic is going to get worse before it gets better.

Each evening when Anthony comes home from work we are excited to see what essential items he found at the store. One night it was Milk. Tonight we got napkins! We had 5 napkins left! We do have the elusive toilet paper…who knows for how long?

I need to talk to my children. They were born into a post 9-11 world but they don’t remember that event. This is going to be their first event.

Mine was the Challenger in 1988. Those moments change you forever. This is going to change my children forever. I have no way to prepare them for the 56% of the population in California that is going to get sick, and many of them are going to die. I’m not sure I’m prepared for that. I do know God is prepared. I’m surrounded by amazing people and together we are going to support one another.

I may not know what the future holds, but I do know who holds the future.

I will let my concern be if I have enough pajamas to get through this long of a stay at home period. Seriously – no one is coming over for a visit!

Stay well my friends. Use your time wisely. May God continue to watch over each of you! I pray you find your Joy in what is going on around you, be it a gallon of milk, or a package of napkins!

  • Christy

Every year since 2010 I pick a word to guide my outlook on life. Now I'm sharing that Outlook with the world.

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