Friday, February 26, 2010

The Donut No No

One of the kindergarteners brought donuts to share with all of her friends at recess today.  I passed them out right before the bell rang, and the kids praised the little girl up and down for bringing their favorite treat. 
"Reine, could you do this every day?" One of them asked.
Charlie shook his head, "No!  We can't do this every day.  Donuts have too many calories!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Of Doctors, Harbors, and Closed Captioning

Yesterday was an odd day.  It was so hard to get out of bed, especially since I tried Theraflu's new warming nightime caplets on Sunday night.  Man alive, don't ever try those unless you're ready to be out of it for the whole day!  It says to take two pills every four hours.  I took two pills at 8pm, and at midnight when Jesse woke me up on the couch to go to bed, I couldn't even walk straight.  I was still completely drowsy when my alarm went off at 5:50 in the morning, and I ended up staying in bed until the very last possible second around 7am.

I've been sick for weeks, between colds, a stomach flu, and a sinus infection, and I'm tired of it!  All of the symptoms have slowly faded away, except for a pain in my ears and all-over achiness.  When I was able to single out pain in my ears, I knew something was wrong. 

I made it through the school day yesterday, but as soon as the bell rang at the end of the day, I got in the car and drove to the doctor. 

I sat for about an hour in the waiting room, crocheting and trying to avoid the instant death germs that were wheezing out of everyone around me.  When my name was called, I was led to the same room I was in last time I went to the doctor, back in December.

As I sat there waiting for the doctor, all of these memories came back to me.  It was a Monday, the last time I was there, and my foot was in so much pain that I could hardly walk.  I had served jury duty that day, and had told Ami the week before that if she could pray me out of jury duty, I would come spend that Monday with her and Papa.

It had been an agonizing appointment; sitting there, waiting, knowing that the doctor was going to have to cut into my foot to see what was hurting me beneath the skin.  I had thought about driving straight up to Oxnard to spend the night with Papa and Ami as soon as I got out of jury duty, but my foot was in so much pain, I knew I wouldn't be able to keep it on the gas pedal for that long.

Jesse was there with me that day, holding my hand and reassuring me while the doctor probed my foot with a scalpel.  It was so painful!  He basically had to carry to out to the car; I was in so much pain.  Jesse pampered me on the couch for the rest of the day, brought me everything I needed, and kept me comfortably situated with my foot elevated and on ice.

I remember calling my mom the next morning.  It was a cold and windy Tuesday, and my foot was still so painful that I knew I couldn't make up to Oxnard.  The purpose of my call was to let Mom know not to expect to see me that day.  But as soon as I heard Mom's voice on the other end, I knew that wouldn't be the case.  She was sitting right next to Papa as she talked to me, and I could hear as he struggled for breath.

I've already told the rest of that story.  It's still so hard to think about, sometimes.

One of my friends lost her grandpa last week.  My heart goes out to her, because the pain is still so fresh in mine.  But her grandpa had alzheimer's disease for years before he died.  That must be so hard.  My papa was really only sick for three months before he died.  Thinking back, I'm so greatful for that. 

Because it was so quick, sometimes it feels as if it didn't even happen.  I read something funny the other day, and put it aside to share with Papa because I knew it would make him laugh.  I miss his laugh!  It's weird to think that only a few months ago, back in October, Kate, Laura, Ami, Papa, and I were sitting at a picnic table in the windy harbor eating fish and chips. 

I turned on Closed Captioning the other night as I sat home alone watching the Olympics.  He loved the Olympics more than most people I know.  Somehow, the familiar white-inside-of-black block letters made him feel closer.

It's been two months.  I know that the pain eventually goes away, but I also know that a little bit of it hurts forever.

There is so much less pain, though, with the hope of seeing him again.  I thank God for that.


Oh, and p.s. the doctor said I have a double inner ear infection.  Whoop-de-freakin' do.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I've Reached a New Level

Of patheticness.  Or, as my stronger suspicion tells me, I've been at this level for a while.  Only just now am I realizing it.

Last night as Jesse and I drove home from a long day out in Glendora, Jesse asked if I was feeling ok.  I admitted that I wasn't.  My throat hurt, my head hurt, I had body aches all over.

He put a loving hand on the back of my neck and started massaging it while he said, "I'll make you some tea when we get home."

"That would be really nice," I agreed, "I just need to rest tonight.  Like, really rest.  Don't let me do anything--not even clean the house."

I winced, and Jesse looked at me, concerned.  "Did I hurt you?" He asked, moving his hand from my back.

"No," I groaned, "it's just...the thought of not cleaning the house!"

He laughed so hard that he didn't see the green light for a few seconds.  I was pronounced a lovable dork, and told to go to bed as soon as we got home. 

And now, here I am, sitting at school with ten precious, napping kindergartners on the ground around me, and I'm thinking about the dirty dishes in my sink.

Friday, February 12, 2010

In This Day and Age...

Here is a snippet of a conversation from Kindergarten a couple days ago:

Lauren: "I wish I had 100 Webkinz." (Webkinz are this generation's Beanie Babies)
Jacob: "Oh yeah? I wish I had infinity Webkinz."
Lucas: "Oh yeah? I wish I had google Webkinz!"
Me: "Google Webkinz?"
Lucas: "Yeah. Google is more than infinity because Google has everything."


Saturday, February 6, 2010

On the Subject of Being Good

I'm home alone today. Jesse is with the youth at the LCMS's annual LoveFest, a day-long seminar about purity and waiting til marriage. I was going to go, but I was really sick this week (only I could manage to get a cold, the stomach flu, and a sinus infection all in one week!). Plus, I already passed that test with flying colors ;-)

Even though I needed a day home just to r e l a x, I am kind of bummed that I'm not at LoveFest. I'm curious what it's like! I've never attended anything like that. I don't know if the Christian culture has changed and talking that openly is ok now, or if it always has been, and just not in the little culture that I grew up in.

From the time I was in jr. high to the time I graduated high school, I went to weekend winter retreats in Idyllwild (such sweet memories at OPC winter camps!). Anyway, this one year--I was a sophomore, I think--the guest speaker based his messages on Song of Solomon, and everyone just about had a heart attack!

It's pretty funny to think about now, looking back.

Christians can't just shy away from the subject, and that's why I applaud the attempt at LoveFest (of course, I can't really sing their praises too loud since I've never been to one). It's such an important thing to be open about. Silence only makes kids curious, forbidden topics only make them hungry for answers.

People talk about purity, and how kids need to be "good" and wait until marriage. What they don't talk about, and what I think kids don't understand is how hard remaining pure actually is.
When I was a teenager, I thought purity was easy. I read good books, only watched movies approved by my parents, knew that anything I looked at online would show up in the history, and thought that there was nothing to remaining pure in a relationship. No one had told me that it was hard.

When I began dating, I freaked out about how easy it was to be tempted to go further than I knew I should. I remember spending hours one day at a Christian book store poring over the relationships section looking for easy answers. I spent about $50 that day looking for answers. But you know what? They aren't in a relationship book.

I'm so thankful that God protected me and Jesse and blessed our relationship. Love is so beautiful when it's not fraught with temptation and secrets.

Jesse and I talk a lot about how we will raise our kids and answer their questions. We grew up with such completely different backgrounds; it's interesting to evolve our own parenting style. Now don't anyone get excited--we don't have an announcement for you! We just talk about things now so that we'll be ready when the time comes.

One of the most important things about talking with kids is being honest. No shady answers, no "I'll explain when you're older," (though of course, age-appropriate answers are a must!). Don't leave them curious enough to seek answers elsewhere.

Prepare them for how hard remaining pure can be. Don't believe anyone who says it's a piece of cake! (If they really mean it, they're superhuman.)

"Being good" isn't easy. It never has been, whether it was staying awake from fresh-baked cookies or changing the channel. But with the best preparation and the right armor, kids can face the foe.

Not sure why this popped into my head today. Just something to think about. I like talking to others about how they were raised and how they plan on (or are) raising their kids.

What's your style?


Here's something to think about today:
Where is your Bible right now? And besides in church, when was the last time you opened it?

Read this blog entry from my friend Katie--it has me amazed!

How much we take for granted! Would that we all felt that joy for what we can put in our hands so easily!

Katie has been living in Malawi as a teacher and missionary since last summer. Her stories of life there are amazing, uplifting eye-openers. Please pray that God will continually work through her and bless all those she encounters!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Well, I've left 4/5th grade behind me, and moved down to Kindergarten for the next 10 weeks!

These kiddos are gauranteed to give me lots of things to write about. Here are my two favorites from this week:

During Science Time:
Me: Ok, so we've talked about some animals that have fur, and animals that have skin, and animals that have scales; now let's talk about animals that have feathers. Who can tell me what animal has feathers?
Lucas: Horses!

During Circle Time:
Me: Lauren, you need to sit still.
Lauren: Sorry, Mrs. BroomMaker, but my bones are having a party.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Mueller Family New Year's Letter

This is the letter that my family sent out this year. I thought I'd put it here, too :)

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:10-11

Dear Family and Friends,

The Mueller family has never been famous for being on-time. However, after seeing several Decembers come and go without sending out a family-newsletter, Dad and Mom and I (Laura) decided that January of 2010 was as good a time to send one as any. We hope this letter finds you all well, and well-rested and –fed after a busy Christmas season. It’s been a hard year in lots of ways for the Muellers, but what’s really amazing to me is how every one of us has seen God’s goodness through it all. That, for sure, has been a lesson worth learning.

As many of you know, my grandfather (Papa Chuck) passed away two days before Christmas. Since his condition worsened, I watched my parents care for him selflessly for months and, as we knew his time with us was short, his sickness was a growing weight on all of us. My siblings and I have been praying for Papa’s salvation since probably before we knew what it meant, and as his final days drew nearer I believe we were all wondering how God could possibly save him now. And yet, our God is great – almost 48 hours before Papa died, he read a simple version of the gospel that Dad had written, and professed it as “Good News” for him. We can now say with hope that we’ll see Papa again. In a strange and difficult way, God gave us a Christmas miracle.

Dad and Mom are now taking turns staying with Ami throughout the day, and our friend “Uncle” David is currently living there as well. Ami is doing as well as can be expected. She misses her husband of 60 years, but each day she moves forward and her hope is in the Lord.

I always knew I had good parents but this year they’ve out-done themselves – they cared for Papa and Ami, on top of their other jobs, and did a pretty swell job of keeping me in line, too. Mom’s still teaching multiple classes, and Dad is still serving the Lord as pastor of Covenant of Grace.

Beth and Jesse are heading into their third year of being married, come this June. Still no kids. (Sorry Jesse, I had to do it. ) B is quite the little homemaker, and every time we go over to their house she’s got some new bit of decoration to show us and a grand recipe to feed us. Jesse always has something fun planned for us when we come. I think this is secretly the reason that Jon and Kate both go to college within a half hour of the Brubakers.

Jon is in his second year at Biola, and has succeeded in surviving classes, acting and assistant-directing with the Torrey Theatre Group, growing a beard, and somehow foxing the lovely Megan Jackson into being his girlfriend. We’re still not sure how this happened. However silly he may be, though, the boy is increasingly bright and even filled in for Mom in her World Literature class. And did a first-rate job, might I add.

Kate went off to Azusa Pacific last semester, where she plans on surviving as an art major. Kate’s skills as an artist are really incredible – her ideas were always crazy, but now she gets good grades for them, and this looks better on transcripts. She also rides shopping-carts on balconies and barks at people from her apartment window. (I so can’t wait for college!)

I’ve been busy getting used to life as a junior in high-school and as an only-child at home, although the phrase “getting used to” implies much more progress than I’ve made. When I’m not at Ventura College, I’m usually writing, doodling, or tearing something apart in my room. (OCD has its cost.) I’ve also been really into theater, recently – I was in a friend’s production of Beauty and the Beast over the summer, and throughout last semester, Dad (yes, my Dad!) and I sang and danced our way through a community theater production of Pirates of Penzance.

Over all, it’s been a year of real change and challenge for us, but I can honestly say that I believe each one of us is closer to God through it. And having a God this strong and caring is a pretty incredible thing. We pray that He blesses this coming year for you, and for all of us.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Ground Hog Day.
-Laura, for the Mueller Family