1000 Sandwiches - more or less

Honest to goodness this just happened.  I picked up Kid 2 from school wearing some new pants that I thought looked more than cute on me.  In fact, in my mind I looked just like this... wearing my olive green cargo jogger pants.

But then Kid 2 said I reminded him of his Mammaw.

Mammaw would be my mother in law, God rest her soul and her banded ankle sweat pants that she always wore with white keds.

Between Kid 2 and male nurse, Tim, my ego needs a boost.

Then this happened.... 

Because sometimes my volunteer heart forgets to tell my mind that making a million sandwiches isn't easy.  This was round one of the sandwich assembly line, prepping food for the high school football team's pre-game meal.  It was really more of a snack since I couldn't cook up an all- you -can- eat buffet for them.  

But y'all, I had no idea that the kids weren't eating before games till Kid 1 called me last week and asked me to bring him McDonalds.  So then of course I got right on trying to feed the world -  and now I can't get the smell of turkey and white bread out of my nose.  

And then our car broke down and I ended up driving the cutest little rental.  But it's really little compared to my car - and low to the ground -  and I have no idea how people can enjoy such things.  I practically rolled out into the grocery store parking lot trying to get out of the driver's door.  Again, reminding me and others of Mammaw. 

This is a picture of me feeling very small inside my very small rental car.  It's actually a picture I took right after this giant truck parked so close to my little bitty car that I had to climb in through the backseat and do some gymnastics to arrive in the driver's area.  Geez.  People are rude.  Or maybe they just didn't see me way down there.  

Small has been the word of the week for me....whispered in my ear in so many ways. 

When I took the food to the school for the team, I found myself apologizing that it wasn't more.  I found myself wishing each sandwich had more meat and that I had chosen a healthy, whole grain bread.  But instead, I chose food based on budget and the fact that I was feeding 75 hungry teenage boys.  I wanted it to be more.  But that was my own insecurity worrying that it wasn't enough. (Fireman Dave and I also discussed the need for proper pre-game refrigeration of the 2 billion sandwiches so we wouldn't be forever known as the parents who food poisoned the football team.)

And then this happened....  

The sweaty and accomplished look of the first win of the season.  Good work out there Kid 1.  I like to think the turkey fueled your efforts.  And the pretzels and the giant case of bananas.  

Y'all, today I met a lady who is living in a homeless shelter.  And she had her shelter resident book that she wanted to show me to prove that she has to earn $10 a day to pay for a night's stay there.  But she had a plan - a plan to ask 5 people for $2 each.  And to show each of us her book to prove that she was telling the truth.  

And she thanked me for the donation.  But mostly she thanked me for smiling at her, and for not making her feel small.  

I wanted to tell her how clean she looked and smelled and how organized her bag was when she opened it to show me her book.  And I wanted to tell her that I agree with her,  .. that this situation is only temporary.  But I didn't.  

I got back in my tiny rental car because Fireman Dave was meeting me at the rental place to return it.  Then we had to pick up my car from the mechanic.  So I drove away.  Feeling small in my efforts.  And in my concern.  And in my actions.  

And right now in my mind I am praying over those $2 - and hoping she earns the other $8 for the night in the shelter.  And I'm thanking God that I smiled, even though I didn't know it till she told me.  And I'm hoping that lots of small adds up to a lot more big in her life.  Starting today.  

And I'm trying to to remind myself that even though the team probably could've used more food that day, that a little was better than nothing.  And that somewhere way back when, as the story goes, a little boy offered 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish - and it turned out to be more than enough.  Because it was done for God's glory.  

Y'all, this sounds so crazy.  But I prayed over those sandwiches.  I prayed for it to be energy for hungry kids, and I prayed that someone would know that people care.  And I know teen boys better than I ever imagined I would, and it is a documented fact that they won't even consider the depth of the offering for at least 15 more years, if even then.  But someday, I hope one of them discovers a person in need, remembers a need met of his own, and sets out to do the same for someone else.  Who knows if that will ever happen.   Maybe it will.  Even if  my own kid sees that giving is good, I'll consider this situation a win. 

But a little bit of effort goes a long way.  And a little bit of time can be invested to grow something bigger.  And even small acts of kindness can grow into something beautiful when God steps in.  

I'm not sure God smelled like turkey all day, though. 

post script.... because I'm crazy and unexpectedly discovered my new passion for ending football player hunger, I am committed to the next 5 weeks of team feedings.  So if you know someone in the grocery business, restaurant business, or just someone with a whole lot of deli meat lying around, let me know.  I'm trying to line up donations.

Things I say when I am sick

Did you get the news that I've been sick?  Because when I'm sick I like everyone to know about it so they can ask me how I'm feeling and offer to unload the dishwasher for me and stuff like that.  But then when I'm better and go back to work I feel like no one believed I was really sick so I have to cough occasionally in the microphone or lay down on the floor to rest.  Which also gets me out of doing crunches so that's where that fits into my class plan.

Anyway, my illness started Sunday, then gained speed Monday morning so I found subs for most of my classes, had to cancel a couple of others, and went to the local urgent care facility.  Which turned out to be mistake on several levels.  First, they didn't charge me anything because apparently I can go to another brand of urgent care clinic and get charged a flat fee of $25 for my visit.  But at this clinic, my insurance claims to have not been properly introduced - so I think I'll soon get a $300 bill for a sinus infection.  Plus cost of antibiotics.  

Second mistake was when they assigned me male nurse Tim to weigh me in, and talk to me about my hormonal ups and downs.

Now, I'm all about honestly on the blog so I'll just say it.  Tim, just went ahead and asked me if I was post menopausal.  To which I gave him the I'm already sick and you just made it 1000 times worse death stare.  Then I gently corrected him and asked if he meant to say pre-menopausalBecause male nurse, Tim, I know it was just a simple slip of the tongue on your part.  Or maybe my sinus infection has taken a larger toll than I thought and it has made me look 60ish.  Or maybe male nurse Tim just needs to get some new glasses.  And while you're at it Tim, practice a neutral face at the point of weigh- ins with female patients and you'll last a lot longer in your line of work. I, too, work in the people business and I know this to indeed be true.   

Anyway, I actually think the urgent care place had no idea what they were talking about and that I really have the first case of a new flu strain in Dallas.  The flu strain that makes your skin ache and your eyeballs feel like they got yanked out, stepped on, and then put back in your head.   

At first they gave me a particular antibiotic that may or may not have burned a hole in my esophagus with the first pill.  So I called male nurse Tim back and asked him to fix it.  The medicine, not my esophagus.  That is what is called advocating for your own care and I highly recommend it.  Or you can just call it complaining till they get it right, but gosh, you know what?  It's my body and I'm the boss.  

Anyway, I'm now taking antibiotics and some sinus kinds of things and hope to be better soon.  I also found a box of cold and flu tea bags that may be my answer to wholeness sooner rather than later.  I'll try anything.  Except things that hurt.  

In other news, Fireman Dave was supposed to be one of the first responders/heroes featured in the 9/11 Tribute half time show of the Dallas Cowboys game.  But he got a late start away from the station to get there for flag unfurling rehearsal and then tried to change into his dress blues in the car.  But.  Should I say it?  Yes, I should because it's such a Walters thing to do and fits in so nicely in my blog news reports.

Y'all he forgot his pants.  Now, he probably could've gotten away with it from some camera angles but I saw the march in and the missing pants would've totally singled him out in the crowd.  He ended up leaving, coming back home to feel sorry that he forgot his pants, then praying about in church till I felt feverish and made us all leave early.  Then he took Kid 1 and headed back out to the game as a spectator in the party pass section.

I took a nap and let Kids 2 and 3 handle things like a difficult lawn mowing job and some major life decisions on their own.  

And here we are.  A few days in pajamas, binge watching The Mindy Project on TV.  I swear I watched the entire first season plus a documentary about O.J. Simpson.  And if you are battling illness of any kind, let me now applaud you with my weak and shaky arms.  You are stronger than I.  

And last but certainly not least because this is weird.....

This really happened,  at the request of my kids' high school, I Facebook posted a survey about a potential campus name change.  The name change is to go along with an entirely new curriculum model at the school that actually started last year.  Notice I said I just posted the survey.  I did not write it, nor did I have anything to do with anything about the decision that matters.  I just hit the publish button.  That darned post got over 100 shares, and I finally deleted it after nearly 800 mean and tacky comments, 99% from the school's alumni association, with far too many directed at myself and other school leaders and volunteers.  

I totally didn't see that coming.  I didn't sleep that first night after the fuss.  I guess I was upset over it and subconsciously afraid the entire alumni association would come stage a picket line in my yard.  But in the middle of the storm, y'all.... oh my goodness... I got such a surprise!  I received a message from my childhood piano teacher who used to teach at the high school, and I was introduced to a distant relative.  She and I have the same great grandfather.  So that just proves that crazy can be going on all around us, but good stands still.  Look for the good, people.  It's always there.  

Anyway, incidents like this are exactly why I chose not to run for President of the United States this go round.  We really do need a bigger house and I do kinda like the White House.  But I'm finding President of the PTA to be enough of a challenge for the time.  Add to that the stress of my recent illness and it all adds up to premature aging.  

Vote NO on premature aging.  Now that's a strong campaign platform.    

Did you use my shower as a urinal?

I'm always learning new things as a mom.  For example, I've learned that when I find a utensil of any kind in the boys' room - a dish, a knife, cup.... never put it back in it's place and don't dare use it because there's no telling what happened to it in there. 

And if, say, I find my vegetable scrubbing brush in the boys bathroom, I know to never again scrub a potato with it again.  Because they probably scrubbed their shoes with it.  Or something.

(Because in case you haven't heard, clean shoes are a thing.  Clean shoes are the real deal, the mark of a good man, in fact.  But the shoes have to be bright white and have to be worn with tall socks like I think of old men wearing.   But if you have a scratch or a smudge on your shoes, you'll be banned from the group.  Then you'll come home and try to scrub them with your mom's vegetable brush so you can go back to school the next day.   Your inner city fashion lesson for today.)

Also, did you know that when you get some brand new white shoes that you should not walk like a normal person, because this could cause creases in them.  And then you'll be frowned upon by the it crowd and again, face possible exclusion from ever being popular and accepted again.  So you should walk like Frankenstein.  Then you'll be all kinds of awesome. 

I think I've also reached the millionth time marker of saying the words, Get your hands out of your pants.  I deserve a party for that I think.  Oh my goodness, true story..... I tried to fight fire with fire.  So a couple of times I've even tried to hold conversations with the boys with my hands down my own pants to see if it bothers them.  It doesn't.   

And I really really really had to ask this the other day.... Has someone used my shower as a urinal?  The reply from undisclosed kid 1,2 or 3 was,.... I have not used your shower as a urinal, RECENTLY.

And I still love them.    

I also learned, well... was reminded.... that teenage boys can and will sometimes be mean to their mothers.  Because they think they can.  And probably their mom taught too many aerobics classes that day then came home and scrubbed their filthy bathroom and felt weakened by the whole experience.  Then she probably only had a protein shake and some cantaloupe for lunch because she was in a rush and is also trying to low carb her weekdays to maintain her before- a- certain- age figure, and she's beat down.  Actually she's just exhausted, dirty and doesn't know what to fix for supper or how to help with algebra and may be borderline mad at Kid 1 for ditching Kid 2 at the bus stop that morning.  And she's an easy target for a teenage boy with raging hormone levels and too much time on his hands.

Yes, I'm talking about me.  So then I called Fireman Dave at work and admitted that I had considered violence as the answer, but God saved me from myself and would he please talk to his boys about how to respectfully speak to their mother?   Also that I would be going to bed soon and was holding out high hopes that the boys would lock up, not beat each other up, and Lord willing, find their peaceful places so she can rest and forget this day ever happened.

Then this happened. 

Something about a choke hold, a brother and self defense.   This is in the hallway outside the boys' room. 

And I still love them with an insane kind of love that has to come from above -  because it certainly can't be from my own heart.  That gave out hours before, probably around the time I scrubbed the boys' toilet.  

But y'all, I also remembered that I will sit in multi hour PTA meetings and sell hot dogs at fundraisers and watch Kid 1's football team get stomped 30 something to zero on a hot August night.  I will also pick up kid 2 from school every afternoon till who knows when - until he becomes more comfortable being on the high school bus - and enjoy the ride home, just him and me.  And I will kiss them goodnight every night.  And good morning, every morning.  And I will forgive their nonsense and chalk it up to a growth spurt of the spirit.  Because of grace.  Y'all.  Because of grace that moves me beyond my own weaknesses and onto bigger and better things.  

And I will support them and pray for them.  And I will never stop correcting and guiding till they are molded into the shape of that God size hole inside them.  Again, because of grace.  And because of love.

And I will remember that I made mistakes too.  And that I would've given my world for someone to hold me close and love me anyway.   

Post script.... someday I hope to be a blogger with pretty pictures in every post.  But for now, I hope you enjoyed the picture of the hole in our wall.  I can take a picture of the hole in the shower wall and share that one next time if you like.

Planting seeds in our school - sharing a link

I wanted to put this out there for my email subscribers.....  

#1, I have not fallen into a giant hole and gotten stuck.  I'm still around.  

#2 I may or may not have just eaten half a bag of Cheetos for lunch.  Don't tell anyone.  

and #3 - here is a post I wrote for Wilshire Baptist Church here in Dallas.  And it has my kids real names in it so hopefully you're not a crazy person that I'm sending this to.  

Y'all, this is a post about school choice in Dallas.  But mostly it's a post about our school choice in Dallas.  And yes, I'm feeling mighty brave right now sharing this with you.  But it is just so real.  It's a living breathing situation here.  

And I am not against school transfers.  We've done it ourselves.  But I have come out of the tunnel of misinformation and found out that there is not a perfect school out there, be it public, private or other.  

Here's the link for this one....  We chose a school to plant a seed

Happy reading, Happy Labor Day and happy everything to you.  

Let's talk soon and I might tell you something Kid 2 did and learned a lesson.  Or did he?  I can never tell. 
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