I'm telling you---whoever first decided to break up the school year with mini vacations was a genius! I mean, we start the school year strong with decorated classrooms, new students, and a head full of ideas. Through September we roll, excited about the curriculum and challenging our classes to be their best. October means that we've begun to lose steam but are still thankful for our profession and willing to keep working. Several weeks and a field day later, we find ourselves nicely ready for our first break, Thanksgiving. Once we get back, there's only three weeks until Christmas break---and that's two weeks long! Then, back to school in January. This is when the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Oh, we get a day off here and there, but we also find that coming back to school after two weeks off is not easily done: no more staying up till all hours, knowing you can sleep in later; no more jumping in the car any time you want to run a quick errand. Now we're halfway through February, and parents are beginning to realize that we've hit third mid-quarter. Now they start to wonder if their child will pass the current grade which leads to conferences with the teacher or more pressure put on the student. Nerves get frazzled, both parents' and teachers', so that this mini vacation (for us, February 18-22) is a welcome chance to reasonably leave all class work in the classroom and enjoy this administration-sent week of relief from all cares!
Of course, not everyone gets the week off. Our varsity teams are traveling to a tournament over the mountains in Pasco, WA. They plan to leave after the service Sunday night and will return (hopefully) just about the time our service starts on Wednesday night. Amanda and Katie will both be going, so they are busy washing clothes, packing clothes, unpacking clothes, and repacking better clothes! You know how teenage girls are. Chad and I are trying to encourage the kids to help get the house in some semblance of order before the girls leave, because you know it's much easier to pick up after just three kids than five. As a result, the washing machine is being run, the dryer is going, the dishes will need to be washed, garbages must be emptied, rooms straightened, floors vacuumed, etc. before we consider the house "clean." (At the moment, some of the kids are not too happy, but they'll get over it!)
Leading up to this chaos, we had Spirit Week at school. Monday was Crazy Hair Day; Tuesday was Nerd Day/Hillbilly Day; Wednesday was Crazy Sock/Slipper Day; Thursday was Favorite Sports Team Day; and Friday was Bethel Knights Day. We had a blast! Most of the school, elementary and high schoolers alike, dressed up each day, with even the teachers participating. In addition, each class made a poster cheering our varsity teams to victory; the winning class received ice cream bars. Plus, each class needed to present a cheer at our Pep Assembly late Friday afternoon, with the teams themselves judging the cheering contest. My third grade class won the cheering competition! We were so excited!!! My students worked hard to memorize the short cheer and, since everybody participated, we did great. The ice cream bars were a perfect reward for our efforts!
Something to note: remember the young man who injured his arm so badly last year playing basketball? He's back on the team this year and doing great. His arm doesn't extend fully straight now as a result of the injury, but he's able to compensate for it and shoot hoops just the same. In fact, last Friday at the game, he made some good shots! And, yesterday at the Pep Assembly, he actually made the winning basket during a silly game event........the varsity players had to put their foreheads on the head of a bat, spin around ten times, and then either make a free throw or do a bump-set-spike with a teammate. This was hilarious! If you've ever watched such an event, you understand. There were ball players falling on the floor and staggering around trying to hit the ball or make the shot. All in good spirits though! I think the teams appreciated the extra support we were able to show.
I finally got a call through to the neurologist's office about Dale's medication. After I explained the problem, they began working from their end while advising me to follow up with Group Health. I counted carefully the amount of days from when I picked up the 90-day supply to when we would need more, and, yes, there should have been enough to get Dale through, taking 3 1/2 pills morning and night, until February 25th (which is when our new insurance starts). However, three weeks ago, I had to cut Dale down to only 3 pills twice a day because otherwise we would run out before the 25th. When I explained all this to Group Health, they did some checking and told me that the manufacturer delivers those pills in pre-measured bottles of 100 pills each. I had received six of those bottles plus 30 more pills to make up the rest of the 90-day supply. Somehow, somewhere, we wound up several pills short. Say, about 25 or so. Group Health, because their records show that they delivered the correct amount, said they cannot just give us more meds. However, there is still one refill left on the original prescription which we can purchase out of our own pocket. My first thought was, "Oh, great, how much is that going to be?" But, thankfully, it only costs about $58, so we went ahead and ordered it. This means that Dale can go back up to 3 1/2 pills each dose (we have noticed a not-good difference since we lowered his dosage level), and it means we can breathe a little easier about having to find a doctor to see to continue the medication. Hopefully, our next doctor will be as nice as our docs at Group Health have been!
Praise the Lord for His bountiful blessings to us! It's so easy each day to find manifold reasons to complain, but it takes genuine effort to find things for which to thank God. He is, after all, our reason for living---or should be. Thank You, Lord, for showering us with good things each day.......and thank You for not zotching us when we grumble!
Psalm 108: 3 - 4 "I will praise Thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto Thee among the nations. For Thy mercy is great above the heavens: and Thy truth reacheth unto the clouds."