Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Irony of it All

This week I've been frustrated to the point of tears during phone conversations with both the speech therapy teacher and ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers at Maria's school. Apparently Maria doesn't qualify for either of these services. Say what?!?

I pleaded her case and gave example upon example of the areas that we see at home that you would never detect in a cursory, 15-minute evaluation. The best I could get was a "we'll keep an eye on her." I did almost snap when the ESL teacher told me that in her 33 years of teaching experience she saw no need for services. I replied that having sent 3 other kindergarteners to school prior to Maria, I did see reasons to be concerned. Does mother's intuition trump classroom experience?

With as much courtesy as I could muster I thanked her for her time and told her I was sure that she hadn't heard the last of us.

I won't say much more because I try to only criticize myself or the wasps on my blog. Suffice to say that our public school system would rather be reactive than proactive. Makes no sense to me.

And now for the irony. Yesterday Maria came bounding into the kitchen and for the first time seemed genuinely excited about something that she had learned at school. As we sat eye to eye for her to share with me her newly acquired knowledge she exclaimed...

"I learned my Spanish!"

Simply stated: OMG!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Free to a good home

Middle-aged mixed breed dog (old mutt).

House-trained (except when he decides to pee on your brand new laminate floor.)

Great disposition (except when cornered under a countertop avoiding being put in his crate for peeing on brand new laminate flooring at which point he tries to bite the hand that's dragging him from his hiding place.)

Well-behaved (except when he escapes the confines of the kitchen when no one is home because someone leaves the gate open during which time he proceeds to pull food and trash out of every accessible trash can, drag stuffed animals from room to room, jump on the furniture as is evident by the pounce marks on the cushions, and eats underwear--these are just the things I know about.)

In good health (except for the chronic anal gland infections and epilepsy requiring twice a day doses of medication).

Only slightly neurotic exhibiting symptoms such as nail biting, leg chewing (his own) and chronic floor licking.

Simply Stated: Any takers?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Put on your party hats...

and join the angels rejoicing in heaven! We have a new little sister in Christ...Maria Fernanda.

Maria has been asking to be baptized since vacation Bible school but I've been putting her off. My concern was that she didn't really understand what baptism symbolized and was more excited about going for a swim at church.

Over that past couple of months we have had many opportunities to talk about Jesus. During this time she has developed a keen sensitivity to matters of right and wrong and is quick to show remorse for her wrong doingings.

On our way out of church this afternoon she ran up to our pastor for the umpteenth time and asked when she could be baptized. I told Maria before we talked to Brother Allan again that we needed to really talk about asking Jesus into her heart. I told her to remind me when we got home. I thought that would be it for a while.


We had just returned from a Sam's Club run and I hadn't even had time to find a place for the 50 lb. tub of animal crackers when she asked me if we could talk. And so we did.

Using the pamphlet "Do you want to belong to God's family?" we talked about sin, separation from God, hell (the bad place), the crucifixion and resurrection, God's gift of eternal life and how to accept His Gift. And she really got it. She prayed a sweet and sincere prayer asking God to forgive her and help her do right so that she can live with Him forever in heaven.

All those years of praying for Maria to join our family and now she is part of God's family too.

Simply stated: I have no greater joy.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I'm a Dot Com

I have the coolest kids. And cool kids give cool birthday gifts.

Alex bought me the domain name For now it simply links you to my blog at blogspot but the possibilities are endless. He says tech support comes with the gift.

Unfortunately Alex gave me the gift very subtly and I'm not so good at subtle. He sent me an email on my birthday including the link to my new website. I just thought it was a happy birthday email and didn't notice the .com at the end of my simplystatedstacie. It wasn't until lunch today that I discovered the gift within the email. And that's only because Maria asked Alex where his present for Mommy was. Sorry Alex. I LOVE my gift.

Zak ordered me my very own MP3 player. I can't wait to get it. He says tech support comes with the gift.

My teens are going to pull me into the 21st century despite my own ineptitude with technology.

Alex also took Caroline and Maria to Kohl's to pick out gifts for me.

Caroline bought me a bath set with one of my favorite scents. I also received a gift card. I see shopping in my future.

Maria (with Alex's help) picked me out a really nice necklace. It reminds me of something that Betty Rubble might wear. It's really cute.

And Don had roses sent to work on Thursday. The note that accompanied the cards made me cry. I don't have his permission to post what he wrote but if you ask me I'll tell you.

Simply stated: I love birthdays!

There's a yellow ball in the sky...

Oh, it's the sun! I didn't recognize you.

Simply stated: Welcome back, you've been missed.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I'm in a "place." I've been here before.

The last time I was in this place was 4 years ago when our beloved student pastors announced that they were leaving our church. I mourned as if someone was dying. As I sifted through my emotions as to why their departure was so difficult I realized there was more to my grief than the loss of wonderful mentors. What I realized was that I had inadvertently relinquished all responsibility for the spiritual health of my teens to this couple. It was comforting to know that "professionals" were overseeing their Christian walk.

I was scared spitless to resume the task although I never should have let go of it in the first place. So I "manned up" to the task and together with Don we've done our best to guide our boys through the rapids of adolescence. And although our efforts were less than perfect, I believe that God has honored our intentions.

I've been feeling a similar loss since we left ministry with FamilyLife. For months I've been soul searching to unearth the reason for this unsettled feeling. I think I know.

Somewhere along the journey I had allowed being "in" ministry to define me as a follower of Jesus. With it's absence came what can best be described as a bit of an identity crisis. My purpose seemed less important. Less godly.

But God isn't allowing me to stay in this place. Over the recent days He has used sermons, devotionals, and a wise and precious friend to remind me that I can still make each day God-honoring and purposeful. Rather than being "in" ministry I need to be about "doing" ministry in every area of my life. It's time for me to take back the responsibility for impacting the world around me instead of just wearing the nametag. I can now see the innumerable opportunities in my home, neighborhood, church and workplace to be about God's business. For the first time in a long time, I'm excited.

Simply Stated: Bring it!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Creative mojo.

If found please return to: Simply Stated Stacie