Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.
- Alphonse Karr
All week long, I have been looking through the thorns to find those roses. None of the thorns were Big Deals, simply little problems and annoyances which could have added up to a bad mood.
1. As many of you know, Phoenix has been having some difficulties and learning some good life lessons this first quarter of school. One class in particular has been extremely difficult. It's not that he's incapable of learning the material, but that he has never had to put more than 10 minutes into homework in his life, and he's never had such a demanding class. The hole he dug for himself in the first weeks of school are just too big to climb out of in the weeks we have left. So, I am thankful for his teacher, counselor, and his school. They push the kids and expect a lot out of them, but they are also very understanding and accommodating when there are problems. Starting Monday, Phoenix will be in a class one level lower than the one he is in now, and his grades from the first quarter will be wiped out. He has been given a fresh start, and we are all relieved.
2. Travel soccer parents can be quite intense. Different teams have different "personalities", and I enjoy some more than others. Buttercup's team is one in which I do not see eye to eye with many of the parents. I usually sit off to myself when we go to games. Buttercup has many friends on her team, but there are a few kids she has trouble with. Last night, there was a team dinner, and neither of us were looking forward to going. Before walking in, we agreed to have a good attitude and do everything we could to have fun and use this chance to get to know everyone's non-soccer personality. I am thankful for the good time Buttercup and I both had. It started out a bit weird, but we gave each other "We promised we'd try" looks, and ended up having fun.
3. My normal morning routine includes internet reading while I eat my breakfast and wait for Cuckoo to wake up. On Friday morning, the internet was down. I was quite perturbed, since I had a post that just needed read through before I "published" it. Because I couldn't get online, I had to find something else to do. I chose to finally go through the photos on my computer and figure out which ones I wanted printed. I used to be so good at this, keeping all the kids' albums up to date. I am not good at it anymore. I am thankful for the internet going down, with the result being me having this job well on it's way to being done.
4. The four kids in grades K-8 were off school this week, but Phoenix still had high school to attend. To make matters worse, his days at school were all wonky. Three of the four were early dismissal days, and one of those days was parent/teacher conferences. Plus, they all had soccer practice in the evening. With these conditions, there was no way I could take the five non-high schoolers anywhere far. I am thankful for the time we had to stay at home. The little kids never left the house all week. Spent their days in pajamas even. We all simply hung out the entire week. We haven't had that much time to just relax and be "bored" in a long, long while. It was marvelous.
5. A very good friend's mom is very sick. My friend is an only child of divorced parents, so she is having to deal with the problems her mom is having on her own. This past week was extra bad, and my friend finally realized she needed help. I am thankful for the resources she and her mother had to find some professionals to get the proper help they need.
6. In all of this, my friend, who hates to ask people for help, was able to identify several things her friends could do, and then actually asked us. I am thankful I was able to help her when she finally made the call.
7. My friend needed help this morning. I was supposed to be taking Giant to a soccer game this morning. I am thankful for my children's attitude toward sports. They all know that soccer is simply a game. It's a fun game that they love doing, but it is just a game. They know I enjoy watching them play, but there are plenty of things more important than soccer. Giant had no problem at all with me skipping the game to help my friend.
8. Of course, his game was two hours away, so I couldn't just drop him off. I am thankful for his team (which has parents I enjoy) and the willingness of the parents to take Giant for me.
9. Cuckoo's new favorite game to play is War. It's a card game with zero strategy, but entails each person to turn a card over. High card wins that round. It can take an eternity to play to the end, and it is so mind-numbingly boring, I usually have trouble keeping my eyes open. I am thankful for the giggles Cuckoo gets each and every time he wins a round (by round, I mean each time we lay a card down. He giggles a lot.) and for the math skills he is perfecting while playing. He is a master at greater than/less than.
10. The cold is upon us. There is even talk of a chance of flurries next week. I really, really can't stand the cold. I am thankful for the heater that works as best it can in a drafty, 150 year old house. I am also thankful for the plethora of blankets we own so I can double up when the heater just can't get the house as warm as I'd like it.
What roses are you thankful for this week?
Have a lovely day!
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I can say mama, I Want Backsies, Rewritten, Steps into Parenthood, Thankful Me, The Wakefield Doctrine
holy smoke! first again! clearly there is some collaboration or, at very least collusion here....no, that would imply a desire that I start the Comment thread by setting a certain...*tone* lol they not gonna buy that, no wayReplyDelete
sounds like the kind of challenging week that I find most challenging... giant problems, somehow are more relatable (to me) the grind, the detail work, the careful scheduling...not so good at that.
wish the best for your friends with the parent needed her help...always a difficult situation and, as you point out, asking for help, while usually the best thing, can be a very difficult thing to do
War!! yeah! still my favorite (non-Solitaire) card game. and I was quite the playa back in the day
That, or you are stalking me, watching every move my blog makes. Hi Clark! ;)Delete
Yes, all those little not-so-fun bits can really pile up, can't they?
It was very difficult for her to ask, but it was made more so because she was worried about what her mom would think about us helping. Just a bad situation I'm glad to have made just a bit easier.
How in the world do you like that game?? There is no thought to it whatsoever, and I know you like to have lots of thoughts going through your head.
Well done you for finding the roses and for being such a wonderful source of support to your friend :) So glad that your children have a positive and unselfish attitude when it counts, and are willing to give up their games for the sake of something far more important.ReplyDelete
Glad that you and Buttercup had some bonding time :)
And roses. I had lots of roses. I just needed to look for them properly. And need to continue looking :) I'm finding them.
Sending you extra-warm hugs, cos the word 'flurry' strikes terror into my heart, too.
I am glad about the kids' attitude, too. It might have something to do with being in a big family. They all understand that they can't always be the center of attention, but they all get their turns.Delete
It was a good night for Buttercup and me.
There are roses all around. Keep looking. Check everywhere. Leave no stone unturned. :)
Extra warmth is much appreciated.
Reminds me of the earthy advice given in The Secret Garden - "When I was at school my jography told as th' world was shaped like a orange an' I found out before I was ten that th' whole orange doesn't belong to nobody. No one owns more than his bit of a quarter an' there's times it seems like there's not enow quarters to go round. But don't you--none o' you--think as you own th' whole orange or you'll find out you're mistaken, an' you won't find it out without hard knocks." `What children learns from children,' she says, 'is that there's no sense in grabbin' at th' whole orange--peel an' all. If you do you'll likely not get even th' pips, an' them's too bitter to eat.'"Delete
I've always loved that saying, the thorn bush has roses thing. That's so true. Love your list, Christine! It sounds like you had lots of time awarded to you in ways you didn't expect, or know you needed, but actually did need in different ways. It's funny how things work out like that sometimes. I'm glad you were able to get your photos done (that's hard to stay on top of!) and have down time at home with the lil ones, and help your friend. Great things to be thankful for. Also, it's awesome that Phoenix is able to start over with a clean slate. That is a true gift, and kudos to you and his school for realizing his needs!ReplyDelete
It really was lots of good down time this week. I didn't expect it, but boy, did we take advantage of it.
The school thing has been a weight on our shoulders for 9 weeks. Phoenix could not be happier about the situation. It was worrying him more than we even knew.
Promise not to hate me... I am going to make an unpopular confession here... while I reserve the right to complain about it when it is just stupid... I love me some snow! (but if it helps you not hate me... I like your new photo as well!)ReplyDelete
I could never hate you, Zoe. When do you consider snow stupid? (That sentence made me smile.) I loved snow when I was young and never seemed to get cold. We had so much fun in it. Now? Not so much.Delete
Stupid aka life threatening. needed an ambulance once during a blizzard and the town plow had to come with themthen when we got to the hospital I had to get life flighted out to Boston and couldn't leave because it was snowing too hard. It was just a ridiculous night. I think that's the stupidest its ever gotten for me though...I've had the typical car wrecks in things but those are really weather stupid there more me stupid.Delete
Wow, I'd say "stupid" isn't strong enough a word for that kind of snow. What a scary situation!Delete
Now, as for stupid drivers in snow, they abound!! Makes me crazy. My first day ever behind the wheel of a car was on a day school was cancelled for snow. (I'm from NE Ohio, in the snow belt. They don't cancel school for little bits of snow.) I learned how to drive in it on Day 1.
You already know I am so with you on the cold and it has turned cooler here, too now. Definitely not happy about this, but like you happy for our heat and will so be using it tonight for sure. And I loved that as much as you and Buttercup where not looking completely forward to the soccer dinner, you still had fun in the end. Truly sounded liked a great week and just so happy it was for all of you!ReplyDelete
Yes, that cold front is moving in and affecting a whole bunch of us. Brrr.Delete
We did have fun. We talked about it on the way home, and she was happy to see that just because we don't see eye to eye on one topic, it doesn't mean we can't find common ground and actually have some fun.
I'm with you on the cold - bleh. And I know it's coming. And I have to buy snow tires this year for one of our cars. Double bleh. I mean: I am thankful that I have the opportunity to contribute to my local economy while enhancing the safety of my family. Also, snow is lovely (forgot which blog hop I was on for a moment).ReplyDelete
And I hear you on sports parents. We haven't gotten to that stage in our house - but I was a competitive swimmer growing up, so met my fair share of .... interesting parents. It gave me some good insights into how no to behave. I think you seem to have a healthy attitude towards the whole thing! Fun first!
As for war - hmmmm - I'd forgotten about that game. I may have to resurrect it soon for my eldest. Agree it's a great way to learn numbers/greater than/less than. Too young still, but coming soon(ish).
Ugh. Snow tires. We've never had to buy those. While we get plenty of cold, we don't usually have the snow that lasts the entire season like folks do a bit farther north than us. For that I am grateful.Delete
Ha! I think that all the time I have to buy something or pay for something I'm not real thrilled about. At least I'm supporting the local economy. (Come back any other day. You'll see plenty of complaining. :) )
Ah! A competitive swimmer! COW was big into swimming when he was a kid. We actually met when we both swam for our high school swim team. I love that sport. Since I only swam in the summer league and in high school, I never saw those "interesting" parents. However, these days, those parents are everywhere, in every sport. They don't bring a whole lot of fun to the game.
Your oldest is 4, right? She's plenty old enough for war! It may take a few many rounds before she can play it quickly, but she can play, for sure. It is always the first card game we play with the kids, usually before they are 3 years old. Give it a whirl!
Such a lovely, well-considered list.ReplyDelete
Especially glad you were able to help your friend and that she was able to ask for help.
Flurries?!? Really? Yuck-o.
Well, considered. That isn't something people usually say about things I write. Very nice. Thank you. :)Delete
Me, too. It is a horrible situation, but I just adore her family, including her mom. I'm glad I was able to help, and will continue to help as time goes on.
Yes. The tournament next week is going to be a touch less than miserable. Sorry.
Sounds like quite an intense week but you were able to find much good in things. There's nothing better than snuggling under a cozy blanket.ReplyDelete
For a relaxing week, there certainly were some intense moments. I was glad to have those blankets at the end of the day!Delete
I love your list:) I love the blankets, too. I agree..snuggling under a blanket and reading a book or magazine is amazing! I hear you about looking for roses among the thorns...it wasn't a bad week, just nothing exciting to write about :)ReplyDelete
Why is it that snuggling under a blanket brings such a feeling of comfort? It's like it takes us back to being babies, all wrapped up.Delete
Some weeks are just like that, I guess.
Yay for quotes being back in use! I missed them*ReplyDelete
Very sorry to hear about your friend, but I'm glad they finally built up the courage/strength to realize they needed help, asked, and that you (and assuming others) have been able to offer it. It can take a lot to ask someone for help. Hopefully the help their mother is receiving helps. Not sure if it's that kind of situation, or — sadly — one more dire.
I was curious with the school and class being one level lower, how was his reaction to that? Sounds like everyone was okay with it, and hopefully he is too and not feeling overly insecure and ashamed of the switch. It will be great to hear his school woes finally changing over to the better path and maintaining a positive course.
It isn't hard to imagine the variety of people you deal with during the sporting season(s). Being I don't really attend any my "experiences" are derived from TV/Movies ;-) Sadly, I bet most of the portrayals aren't farfetched.
Glad to hear you and Buttercup made the best of an uncomfortable situation!
This weekend they said there was the chance of flurries, and I guess there was some sleet, but nothing substantial. I'm thinking I have to buy a new shovel as Winter last year decimated my former. You will be fine. You have so many runts for extra body heat when needing!
I love War! The card game, not the military action!
*This being because one of the last times hopping I noticed one wasn't used. Seems so long ago.
Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink
That week was the one week I forgot to put a quote in. Bummer that it happened to be the week you read my post.Delete
It isn't a dire situation, just a very, very bad one. Complicated.
No shame in moving classes. The one he was in was mostly for sophomores and juniors. He is moving into a freshman honors class.
There are wide varieties of parents on the sidelines of games. Some more vocal than others. Some more ridiculous than others. I try my best to avoid them both and stick with the parents who see sports as something to enjoy.
Yes, there are lots of kids, but they don't ever seem to feel cold. While I am huddled under blankets and three layers of clothing, they are walking around in shorts.
Ack! Awful game.
My favorite is your attitude about the team dinner. It was spot on. You had a good time too because you all had the right attitude. Excellent.ReplyDelete
Have a blessed Sunday. :)
I am forever preaching to my kids about making sure they have the right attitude going into situations. It was a case of putting my money where my mouth is. Thankfully, it worked, and I was able to prove what a wise, wise mom I really am. :)Delete
I'm wrapped in a blanket right now and totally with you on not liking the cold. Glad your week was full of fun and giggles.ReplyDelete
My blanket was a gift from my husband when we were still dating. I love it beyond what is normal.Delete
Me, too! :)
I love having a week of "boring"! I remember playing War as a kid....it was an all time favourite!! Playing it with my kids ummm...not so much. Haha!ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear about your friend.
When the big kids were little, I was constantly looking for things to do away from the house to break up the monotony of being at home. Now? An entire week of PJs would be my dream vacation! Kinda. I do love a vacation.Delete
Agreed! War as a kid: normal. War as an adult: not so much.
Thank you for sharing, Christine! I love the attitude you and your daughter have towards the team dinner. Don't let the annoying people spoil your fun! Love your week spent at home, kids in jammies, and just hanging out. Sounds lovely ;-) Glad Phoenix got a second chance in his class. I'm sure he'll learn from this experience. I certainly did after a similar situation back in 9th grade.ReplyDelete
Have a great new week, Christine!
Exactly! Plus, we can find common ground with just about anyone. We need to find it and appreciate that part of the people we have trouble with. It makes life a whole lot easier.Delete
It was a lovely week of jammie-wearing!
He most certainly is learning some important lessons. I'm praying they stick and we don't have to have refresher lessons in the future.
It's the little things in life that we should be grateful for and that we tend to overlook. I'm glad that your friend reached out; many people in those circumstances don't ask for help, but should. I'm also glad that things got straightened out for Phoenix. There is no reason that a kid should struggle in classes. A "staycation" is always fun.ReplyDelete
Yes, I'm glad she reached out, too. I was on the verge of barging in and helping without her asking, but this way was much better.Delete
He really was struggling, and it was painful for us all. This week should be much better.
We rarely have a staycation, but I'm thinking we need to do it more often.
One of the best ways to see the roses is to help others. I'm glad that your children understood how important it was to help your friend, and glad that others could help you be able to help her.ReplyDelete
Ain't that the truth!? I love that my kids see the give and take of help which goes on around them. The example is teaching them well.Delete
I love when someone can find the positive spin in a less than perfect situation. It is inspiring! It sounds, too, like your children are learning this oh so valuable lesson from you.ReplyDelete
This is my first time at TToT and I will be back each and every week possible. It is wonderful!
Some are learning faster than others, but they're all learning. Not just from me, but from so many people we have surrounded ourselves with.Delete
I'm glad you joined us and found it to be a positive experience. I thoroughly enjoy going around to read all of the things making people happy each week.
1. I'm glad that worked out for everyone involved, and he now has a clean slate. A failure of our schools is not teaching study skills, even to those who don't "have" to study -- yet.ReplyDelete
2. The important thing was the two of you had fun. It will give you something to talk about years down the road.
4. Nothing wrong with spending the day in your pjs. I sometimes put mine on as soon as I get the kiddo home from school, if I know I don't have anywhere else to go that day.
9. I went through a spell of wanting to play Chutes and Ladders every day, which is also a never-ending game. Nearly drove my mom right over the edge.
10. I have a favorite infinity scarf that is knit, like a soft sweater. I wear it when the house is really cold and it seems to warm all of me up (except my feet).
1. So true! I didn't do a good job teaching it my first year teaching, but the second year I was all over those study skills with my 5th graders. You'd have thought I would have taught my own children a bit better.Delete
2. Yes, it will.
4. Oh, I live for my PJs. They are on my body until the moment I have to leave the house, and back on the moment I am home for good each and every day.
9. I got rid of that game very soon after it came into our house. Terrible game! Mostly because there is no way to set the deck to get someone to the finish quicker.
10. Yes, scarves do help. I only have one, though, and it tends to make me itch if I leave it on too long.
Super-duper list.. I know it is completely different situations, but I have been SO thankful for Keenan's teachers/counselors in working with us when he is struggling...so although different, I still get what you're feelng.ReplyDelete
About the cold... so Dyanne mentioned a heating mattress pad...I, also have an old house (although, not as old as yours) and it is a little drafty and our heater is really old (really need a new one, but.... Ack! $$$) Anyway, all the bedrooms are upstairs and the poor heater doesn't quite make it up there very well. I usually snuggle under 1,000 blankets, but ....I am REALLY going to look into a heating mattress pad!!
The situations may be different, but the sentiment is the same. Great teachers and counselors rock!Delete
I would like to have a heated mattress pad securely fastened around my person all day long. Nighttime is the only time I wouldn't need it. COW's external temperature is a constant 300 degrees, thus making me nice and toasty warm while I sleep.
What an absolutely great list. And I can agree with travel soccer parents. Or many sports parents at any level. I used to work as a sportswriter. You don't know how many kids I cost Division I scholarships because I wrote what happened in the game. Crazy how those things go, eh?ReplyDelete
Enjoyed reading this post.
you need to make a visit down here, it is still toasty warm, and steamy, running the air non stop still. You can get warm and stay that way for a whileReplyDelete
But in all seriousness What a great kid! (well all of them actually)