Monday, August 27, 2012

What We've Been Up To...Sewing, Pinning, Breaking, Dancing!

Wow, it's been a couple of weeks since I last posted! Wanna know what's been happening around our house... 

I sewed curtains for a dear friend's classroom. (Our friendship goes way back. We met teaching preschool while finishing up our elementary teaching certificates.) Jenny recently got a new job with a local suburban school district after spending over ten years in the trenches of the Kansas City Missouri Public School District...a district constantly embroiled in the politics of urban desegregation. She taught some of the toughest kids around...and loved them with all she had to give.

Jenny is a dedicated, creative, and fun-loving can see that just in the choice of fabric she purchased for her new classroom. That is going to be one lucky bunch of 2nd graders!

 Next up...we celebrated the last day of summer vacation (August 15th) with a trip to the park for a picnic lunch.  I even loaded up the bikes in the back of the mini van along with my jog stroller.  Gosh it was hot and humid that day, but we still had fun making memories and exploring nature.

Later that night, we celebrated Chris' official pinning ceremony at the Lenexa Fire Department.  Pinning ceremonies are a long standing tradition among fire service organizations.  It is a way for a department to honor those that so bravely and often heroically dedicate their lives to the fire service.

It is also a way for the department to say thank you to mothers/fathers, wives, and children for supporting the men and women who have answered that call to service.  Each promoted officer or newbie fire fighter picks one family member to do the "official" pinning on their uniform.  Chris was very torn over his decision on who to ask to do his pinning.  While I wanted to jump up and down and say, "Me, me, me; pick life is so very hard without you home every night to help me raise our three children...I want to do the pinning," I knew that was not the right thing to do.

You see, I have come to the realization that this life is the life I am called to live.  It is not an easy one...but nobody's life is. We are all met with life's challenges...and it is how we respond to those challenges that determines our happiness.  We can be stretched and grow...or we can be stretched and fail.  It is all in our attitude...and I believe our prayer life in how we respond.  So, I suggested that Chris ask his father, the very man who modeled a life dedicated to the fire service and encouraged his own son to pursue that same career.

School got off to a fantastic start and since I have two kiddos in school all day, I took the opportunity to follow-up with my orthopaedic doctor (foot and ankle specialist) concerning my nagging plantar fasciitis foot.  Yes, it still bothers me.  Yes, I limped my way through July and August basically experiencing pain all day, every day.  And yes, I have a high threshold for pain!  (Okay, so maybe it wasn't my idea, exactly, to follow up with my might have been at the instance of my spouse!)

Here's how the appointment went...

This is my last ditch effort at avoiding a calf-lengthening surgery.  I get to wear this air cast for the next several weeks to see if we can heal up the plantar fascia muscle and stretch/loosen the calf muscle which is straining the plantar fascia.  Our bodies are wonderfully, creatively made...but oh how we can injure God's masterpiece!

Finally,  we enrolled Mary Catherine at a brand new dance studio.  She is so very excited to begin attending Miss Amanda's Dance Academy where she will have the opportunity to dance/perform publicly for small town fairs, nursing homes, non-profit organizations, etc.  It was a really hard decision to leave her current dance studio, especially as she had a true fondness for her dance teacher, but she also wanted to dance publicly, but not competitively, and more frequently than just at an annual dance recital.  (But, I am going to miss seeing her perform in future performances of the Nutcracker!)  :(

Here is our dancer girl in her first pair of "grown up" tap shoes!  She graduated to tan tap shoes with the tiniest of heel...gone are the sweet black patent leathers with grosgrain ribbons!

(I just noticed chunky toddler legs in these pics. Oh sweet!)

So, that's a quick recap of the past couple of weeks.  I've got some more pictures to share of how I recently celebrated my 43rd birthday and the kids "Back to School" pictures.




  1. Well, good golly you guys know how to end a summer don't you?
    Congratulations to both Chris and Mary--great milestones for both.
    The kids are getting so big!
    Happy Birthday to you! Hope you
    celebrated well.

    I'm so sorry that I haven't answered you about getting together.I would love to get together with you ans talk SPED
    and anything else we can come up with! The start of school has been a bear! Let me know.

    M :)

  2. You have been busy! Those curtains are so cute. I love that fabric.

    All seems to happen at once? I love that school has started.

  3. Valerie, happy birthday to you! You are looking awesome!! Congrats to your beloved on his promotion!! I loved your statement about the life we are called to live, and that we aren't called to have our burdens lifted. (thanks I needed that reminder)) Hope that cast heals your foot; surgery does not sound fun. or easy. Your children seem to be growing this summer!! your daughter is a lovely girl -- how wonderful she is taking dance.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are appreciated! As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."