Thursday, February 28, 2013

Just when you think the day can't get worse...

A photo essay...

My FFW neighbor's front steps.  Thank God for her!

When I finally got to the ER...

And he is on shift...

Tomorrow is a new day, I just have to get through today...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Talk is Cheap, Show Me

I know everyone is envious of me.  I just know it.  Especially today.  Up at 4:30am - on Sunday - planning on what everyone is going to wear to 8am mass.  Admit it.  Okay, truth be told, I wasn't planning on being up, but while I was laying in bed convincing myself that I didn't really have to go to the bathroom, I started planning my day.  Once I do that, my brain does not shut off and I am so much better off just getting up and starting my day.  My FF is home, so if I become tired, I can find a way to sneak in a nap should the need arise.

Spa Day for the girls!
J has been home since Valentine's Day, after working a million-bazillion 48s - one right after another.  Okay, perhaps million-bazillion is a bit of an exaggeration...but it seemed like it.  But, he's been home and that has allowed me to do something other than play referee and run around like a chicken with my head cut off.  We spent time together at family functions, he went with me to get the girls' haircuts, dinner with my dad at the Organ Piper (which the kids LOVED), went clothes shopping for us together, snuck in an impromptu dinner date just because we could, WE spent an hour with our FFW neighbor (whose FF was on duty and in the dog house all at the same time - bad mojo) and today I will be locked away in seclusion getting work done.

I am certain that work will be done around the house (I have been less than subtle with my current laundry feelings and the house NEVER looks like it does today.) while I am locked in my room with a note threatening nothing short of exile in outer Siberia if someone knocks on the door before taking said concern to Daddy.  I mean if someone falls and lands on an open iron maiden that just happens to be lying around on its back - open and he needs assistance plugging the wounds, I am certain his paramedic buddies will be here fast enough to lend a hand, N is old enough to call 911, he won't need to have the kids bother me.  It is that serious.  I need to get work done, I needs to practice what I preach and at least put together an e-portfolio (we discussed it in September of 2011 at an inservice, after all).  It will definitely allow me insight that is practical and not hypothetical.  I need to grade papers, including the 10 pager that kids are starting to submit early.  I need to get work done and my recent single mommyhood has not allowed that.  That means I either need to hang out at Starbucks all day or lock myself in my bedroom.  My bed allows me to layout materials and put my feet up.

And it will be this kind of day that my FF will pull off that reminds me how much I love him!  In the Fire Fighting World, as we talk about strengthening our marriages in a vocation that, by its very nature, is almost designed to tear them down, it takes days like this.  V-day has come and gone.  We went to Buffalo Wild Wings (totally my choice - we got to watch the infamous MJ dunk contest and eat w/o muppets - score!), bought a Bear-proof garbage can from HOBO and there were a dozen red roses waiting for me when I got home from school - romance abounds most certainly! But clearly it takes more than that to make this insane fire-world marriage work.  You also need to know what makes each other tick.  One of the most prevalent titles/methods thrown around allows you to do just that. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman helps you to understand where you and your spouse fit in with his categories.  There are a myriad of quizzes and tools available to help you understand where each of you fall in this spectrum.  Just hit up Google. 

I fall into the Acts of Service and Quality Time (Quality of Time for me, however, is indeed spending time together watching sports.  If you are watching it WITH me, joining in my frustration with bogus calls and Holy COW, DIDYA SEE THAT? discussions so totally counts.  Hence the Dunk Contest worked for me.) categories equally as my lead Love Language.  This is of no surprise to me. Talk is cheap, gifts are expensive when you have set aside another career and become a FF this late in the game - show me instead.  I don't need praise, I don't need gifts.  I need your attention, even if it is watching and talking about a slam dunk contest that we already know the outcome of, while licking honey BBQ off of our fingers.  I need help.  I man this ship 1/3 of the time totally solo and the other 2/3 of the time I don't really get a break just because he is not working.  (I am literally with kids from 5am until 10pm - uninterrupted!  That leaves me seven hours to lesson plan, grade papers, do my chores, blog and sleep.)  It is a fine balancing act that we have found ourselves in.  I support his mid-life crazy career change and he speaks my love language.  

Today will be one of those days - and it won't cost him a dime.  I simply need him to organize the muppets and get this house cleaned and laundry done.  He won't enjoy it and the kids won't like that I am inaccessible.  But they will somehow do it.  It is a day that I need.

Make sure you know what speaks to you AND how to speak your FF's Love Language.  This is not just about you, especially not in the world we find ourselves in.  It definitely a 2-man operation to make things work.  If you need a translator, find a friend that can help you speak your FF's language until you become fluent.  Also, make sure your FF knows what you need.  They can be amazing, but they are not mind-readers.  Let them know.

My muppets are so cute while they are sleeping...ahh.  Thinking I might snuggle back in with my FF.   Be sure your FF knows that you want them in your world and your kids know that they are indeed blessings.  Have a great week if I don't talk to you before the weekend!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Girl in the Red Coat

I teach Church History- love it, love it, love it.  My favorite class that I have ever taught.  Except for one unit - the Righteous Gentiles.  My kids "teach" the sections regarding the Church and the World Wars through their projects.  I wrap up the world wars era with a small unit on Righteous Gentiles.

One of the activities involves showing Schindler's List.  Love him or hate him, he did amazing things.  He was a money grubbing, womanizing, conflicted man.  Perhaps Steven Spielberg put him up on too high of a pedestal.  BUT, if he did even a fraction of the portrayal in the movie, Oskar Schindler did much, MUCH more than some of the fine upstanding citizens who turned a blind eye.  And that makes him amazing.

But, I am not here to chit-chat about him, or the other Righteous Gentiles. You'll have to take my class for that - and I don't come cheap!  I am more concerned with the Girl in the Red Coat.  She is the focal point of two scenes - the liquidation of the ghetto and the exhumation and cremation of those victims' bodies.  

The little girl in the red coat is based on a real little girl - Gittel "Genia" Chill, daughter of Dawid and Ewa Chill.  

Every time I see her walking through the streets while they are clearing out the ghetto, my stomach drops.  When she hides under the bed - it is even worse. All I see is my oldest daughter.  I see her having to try and hide for safety and to try and hide from the atrocities she is witnessing all the way around her.  And my heartbreaks.  

Tomorrow, when we get to the scene where they are exhuming the bodies and we see the beautiful little girl in the red coat, again, my heart will break again and I will indeed be in tears.  

Tonight, I will hug all of my children tightly and enjoy every moment I have been blessed to have them in my world.  And I will pray that families may never have to fear that kind of hatred again...ever. 

Hug those kids tight and tell them how much you love them, they are indeed a blessing.  Tell your firefighters how blessed you are to have them in your life.  As much as we'd like to think we know where we are going, the future is unknown to us. You never know...
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