Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The Boy left our home in 2009 due to some extremely poor choices. In the years since, there is often a daily struggle to love him. Not to love the him I wanted him to be, but to just love him on an entirely "as is" basis. (A mother's love is unconditional, but that doesn't mean a mother's heart gives up hope for better conditions.) Through a roller coaster of ups and downs, there has remained a carefully nurtured spark of hope that our family would one day be whole and our son would be a man of integrity following Christ. Time after time, the Boy has heaped sand on the embers of our hope. The mister and I respond by unearthing that glowing coal even though we burn our fingers trying to salvage our hope.
The Boy has been living in a temporary housing situation for the past few months less than an hour from home. The whole family made visits and attended meetings in preparation for his transition home in the Spring. The Boy made one plan after another for his imminent future; yet, none of his plans involved coming home as the season changed. Unfortunately, his plans kept falling through. Finally, he reached the point where it was a choice between the still open door of our home or foster care. And he did not choose home. It was an appalling, heartbreaking, shocking day.
Our current Bible study is over 1 Corinthians, and in the way of such things, exactly the right words were given. The week's study focused on Chapter 13 (here from the NASB):
13 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; [b] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails...
How does love never fail when the one loved rejects those who love him? That question is the heart of the sorrow that the Boy desires to remain apart. The particular bit about love never failing does not refer to our failure to love our son. It translates to not collapsing. We have not collapsed, but have held firm in our love for our challenge child. Christ died on a cross for those who will accept the sacrifice, but He didn't avoid the cross though there are those who will reject His sacrifice. That is the essence of our relationship with our son. We will make sacrifices for him, and we will love him despite rejection because our love refuses to fail.


Middle Child qualified for her driver's permit on July 20th. That date coincided with a visit from the in-laws, so there was a full audience on hand for Middle Child's first attempt at driving. (The Mister's Pop opted out saying he would remain behind at the house, "... in case our student driver takes out the whole family." That may be prudence, or perhaps just just a lack of confidence.) The Mister's Mama and I drove over in the mom-mobile while the Mister, Perfect, and Middle Child piled into what will be the Kids' Car for the short trip to the high school parking lot.

The Mister has been looking forward to this as much as Middle Child has over the past weeks.
I parked away from where my baby girl was proudly climbing behind the wheel. (See it way over to Middle Child's right? There was no need to put the current mom-mobile in harm's way. Maybe it should have just stayed home with the Mister's Pop...) The MIL and I waved as the other vehicle slowly pulled away. Snapping a few photos, we observed the progress across the parking lot punctuated by brake lights and somewhat jerky acceleration. Whatever her initial technical ability, Middle Child was driving! There was an added degree of difficulty with other inexperienced drivers slowly cruising the school parking lot. Fortunately, none of them pushed the speedometer much over about 10 mph; though, 10 looks pretty fast when the first of one's children to drive is behind the wheel.

This particular rite of passage arrives at just the right time. It doesn't feel too soon, but neither does it seem like our girl was held back. The permit will allow over eighteen months of driving experience. This is her final week of the required forty-plus hours of classroom instruction, and the practice drive times are accumulating quickly with one or two a week with the Mister or I and one per week in the drivers' education car. The initial drive times have gone well, and Middle Child is shaping up to be a good driver. She takes instruction well, and she is generally careful without being frightened or overly cautious. In a blink she'll be chauffeuring the family around town.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Skate Mom

We've become acquainted with the parents of two of the littlest skaters from the rink. The Dad is a hockey guy, and the Mom is a real skater. (Real skaters can do jumps and spins. They know the names of the stuff they do, too. Most of our rink's Skate Moms are not real skaters. We generally are content to live vicariously through our children in this instance.) Last week they entered a Family Spotlight event at the Worlds competition that had a certain silliness with Dad playing the role of Darth Skater and Mom as a floral-robed Jedi Master with her two wildly careening and spinning little floral-patterned Paduwan learners. It was a cute piece relating to the reality that hockey and figure skaters do not always play well with one another that ended happily with Darth Skater gliding off hand in hand with the uber-girly figure skating Jedis as a Star Wars theme played. Those little skater girls will forever have the very cool memory of skating with their parents at the World Team Championships.

Since skating is a central part of our own Skater Girl's world, the mister and I are joining her on the ice. We will not be joining her in a competition setting. She will be skating with her friends in their advanced weekly workshop while Mom and Dad will be joining the Adult Intro to Skating class further down the ice surface. Okay, we'll get on the ice half way through the first class. Or maybe the second class. Either way, it's a step toward better understanding what our girl does almost every day.

Our class registration includes open skate passes so we can join the lovies when they go to skate for fun. Best of all, the kids seem genuinely pleased by our plan to join them rather than continuing to watch from our rink side seats. The mister will likely match Middle Child's skill level in a reasonable amount of time, and they will lap me over and over again while Skater Girl does little spins around them in turn. That's acceptable. This mama just wants to leave the sideline seats and join in the fun- even if the fun is really, really slow.  I suspect Darth Skater and Jedi Master Mom will be tickled to learn that they served as an inspiration to finally sign up for that introductory class, too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Worlds 2012 Solo Events

Skater Girl and Primary Coach Alyssa displaying Monday's medals

Skater Girl competed in three solo events Monday at the ISI World Team Championships. She skated well in a tough group for her footwork, but was disappointed with her fifth place finish. Her second event was her program, and she skated beautifully. The judges rewarded her with a first place finish. (Eeeeee!) The final event in her 10 hour day at the rink was her compulsory. The elements she skated were good enough for a second place medal. (See video.) Her coaches, the mister, and I were all very proud of her effort and performance. It was a long day, but a good one!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Skater Girl participated in an exhibition at the rink yesterday. She skated her "Incantation" program in preparation for Worlds competition this coming week in Dallas. She's come a long way from her first class a little over a year-and-a-half ago.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


The mister drove a Mustang just this color in high school. That tidbit made a sale a pretty sure bet for the car salesman once he overheard it. He has a thing for Mustangs, but they're not really family vehicles. The lovies and I have been plotting, planning, and dreaming about surprising the mister with his wished-for Mustang in time for his 40th birthday. We are a smidge early, but he seems okay with the timing.
What might be a little less brilliant is the addition of this fun-to-drive woo-woo car to the driveway (and our insurance) just in time for Middle Child to start driving. In fact, her first driver's education class fell on Monday. The additional hours of required driving practice outside of the class fall to her daddy because her mama is not emotionally equipped for teaching young people to operate motor vehicles while retaining any level of sanity. The mister is going to make those driving session much cooler than if Middle Child had to learn in a mom-mobile. He's looking forward to sharing the rite of passage with our girl, and he's entirely welcome to it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Where It Went

Somehow days and weeks escape despite the intent to post a little update, story, picture, anecdote... yeah. So. There's all sorts of stuff that was intended for remembrance which will never be known because someone failed to post to the blog that has replaced those messy and time-consuming scrapbooks...

Gentle Reader didn't really miss that much, though.

Unless you wanted a play-by-play of the hours spent applying one sparkly little crystal at a time to Skater Girl's competition dresses? (A picture is worth a thousand words- and you'll be better off. Really.) It's pretty, though. And so shiny. Anywho. Placing each little stone... Oh. Hey. It's just like those scrapbooks...