This blog is so random it’s crazy, maybe even scary. But hey, it’s Sunday night after the boys have been out of school for five days, my narcotics have worn off and I’m wide awake (and everyone else is sound asleep). Which translates to I’m a bit loopy because I am no longer medicated. It should make for an interesting read if nothing else. 🙂
Have you ever felt like a salmon? You know, have you ever felt like you were swimming upstream against the raging rapids with several hundred thousand of your closest friends and family while dodging obstacles, leaping up and over waterfalls, strategically avoiding fishermen, carefully navigating through a maze of rocks, sticks, and fish while trying desperately to not become dinner for some lucky bear; all without eating anything since your journey started and knowing full well that once you reach your destination you’ll have one great romantic fling and then you’ll die?
So, have you ever felt like a salmon? I know I have. Well, sort of. I mean, there isn’t that feeling that I’m going to have a “great time” with Bruce and then die….but if having that much fun led to death would it really be that bad (I imagine you’d still be feeling pretty good)? In reality though, we all feel this way a bit. There is so much going on at any moment in the day that we barely have time to breathe. If I focused solely on my own schedule and demands I’d be home free up that river….I would be leading the pack….or school in keeping with the fish example. Of course, that would also be very selfish of me. So you see, the reason I haven’t done much blogging lately is this: I am just too exhausted from swimming upstream and my creativity hasn’t been appropriately fed because I haven’t eaten a thing in weeks; instead I am living off my fat stores until I reach the end of the road….river. 🙂
Ok, so it isn’t really that bad, I don’t think. Maybe it is, who knows?
To motivate the kids a little around the house we’ve created a list of payable chores. And if you know my kids then you know that one of them is very motivated by the prospect of making a lot of money; and that the other two are motivated at the prospect of making more than their big brother. It’s a win-win situation. And, since we would go broke paying them we instigated a few clauses in our little housework contract. If you make mom mad and she gives you a job as punishment….no pay. If you are given a job and you bellyache, moan, and complain the entire time….no pay. If you are given a job and you do a wicked poor job on it…..reduction in or no pay, depending on just how bad at it you were. If you have to do a job twice because you sucked at it the first time….no pay. If you are given a job and you piss around too long and your brother does it for you…he gets paid, not you. See, it’s a total win-win situation.
The first couple of weeks the boys were cleaning us out. They set goals on how much they needed to make in order to get this or that and they’d achieve it before the week was out. It was awesome, aside from that losing all my cash once a week to the kids thing. Like everything else, the novelty quickly wore off for two of the boys. The third boy, however; always aims to please his momma. In fact, he insists we’re going to get married one day (Silly boy. I don’t have the heart to tell him I’m already married….). Anyway, I explained to him one day that if he did his brothers chores that he would get their money (and they wouldn’t) and he would still get his money if he does his chores too. He’s pretty smart for a five-year old. For the last few weeks he’s made the most money hands down, and the other two have yet to figure it out! The best part is, he’s too little to get the whole save for something and then spend it thing. He’s as happy as a spawning salmon in a river’s headwaters just saving his money. 🙂
Last week report cards came out. In keeping with a Shellum family tradition, we pay the boys for good grades (although we are much cheaper than my dad was). 😉 All three did really good (an answer to a prayer!), but Trey kicked some serious butt this quarter and his brothers didn’t stand a chance. I’m going to brag on him for a moment. His lowest grade was a 91%, his next lowest grade was a 99%…..everything else was a 100%! And I can’t lie to you, I was nervous going to his conferences. His teacher is so tough and has really high standards for those kids that she makes me nervous. Tyler did awesome too. The middle school schedule is crazy. They have A days and B days, and then the days rotate by hour. So you may start with math on Monday as an A day and on Wednesday when you have your next A day you’ll start with Science or something. How that child managed to figure out his schedule and get good grades is beyond me. Trygg’s teacher and her aide are awesome and they do a great job in their class. He’s in a JPI class, that is a Japanese Partial Immersion class. He’ll learn a bit more about the Japanese culture and they introduce some of the language, whereas they don’t do that in the other classes. He enjoys it quite a bit and is a total charmer (as noted in his conferences).
It’s hard to believe we’ve been in Okinawa for four and a half months already. It seems like we crash landed in Japan and haven’t stopped moving since. Of course, I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you know me than you know I can not sit still for very long at all. In fact, the two-day flight over here was more than enough sitting still for me for the next two years at least. In the words of Mrs. Gallagher from the single best ever movie made: “You may call her hyperactive. But if the good Lord gave her excess energy, then, by God, no one is taking it from her. If you don’t appreciate that, maybe the problem is not my granddaughter. Maybe the problem is this school.” 🙂 And in that very same scene Mrs. Gallagher runs over a priest in her wheelchair….I can see my grandma Schwartz doing that (minus that whole she’s not in a wheelchair thing).
I’ll get another blog up in the next few days. The kids have done some hilarious things, wonder where they get that, and I just need to sort them out in my head before attempting to share them with the rest of the world. Blogs like this one are the result of me thinking and typing simultaneously…a dangerous combination when your mind is as brilliant as mine is. (ok, admittedly I couldn’t type that without laughing a bit).
Oh, one last thought. I have to give a shout out to my girl Karen. She’s in Dallas at the PWOC International Conference….WITHOUT ME!!!! PWOC is Protestant Women of the Chapel, and the two of us have so much fun together at the conferences, retreats, and in Bible studies. I miss her dearly and am so thankful that she’s there getting closer to God, and that she sent me a sample of the great music and pictures from the conference today. Funny thing is that her texts came in right smack in the middle of Pastor Ricks message today about Christ coming to fulfill the Law. 🙂 Kindred spirits her and I. Even on opposite sides of the world we were enjoying great music and amazing lessons and teachings from the Bible together.