Tuesday, January 28, 2014

C Minuses in Algebra 2 ROCK

It's finals week for my high schooler. So out comes my amazing parenting skills: "You cannot search for cute hairstyles on your phone, watch The Bachelor, AND study for finals at the same time! Pick TWO and focus, woman!"

Okay, parenting skills aren't THAT bad around here. Obviously I made sure one of her picks was "study for finals." Gotta crack down!

Although I'm not too worried overall, there is one grade that has me a little on edge - her Algebra 2 grade. That horrible-awful class! I can't believe it still torments me, only now via my sweet 17-year-old. Probably because I skipped taking it in high school. I stupidly waited until college and didn't pass it until my THIRD attempt. Oh, the tears! Oh, the extra food I ate as a buffer in between each "odds only" problem!

So you can see why our house rules are: 1) Dishes with leftover food go into the right-side garbage disposal sink. 2) Don't forget to clean your nitty-gritties. 3) Thou shalt take a minimum of three years of high school math, finishing with at least Algebra 2.

But I think we're good. I just got a text from her: "Algebra went up to 74%." And that's pre final exam, which is tomorrow. So when I do-the-math, she could get a 66% on her final and end with a 70% for the semester?? I don't know where I got that. Point is, there's wiggle room! Praise-elujah, Halle-Lord!

Now with my 8th grade son...I don't think that boy has gotten under a 92% on a single test in HONORS GEOMETRY so far this year. What is wrong with him? He's a mystery to me. And to think his brain grew inside me! Inside a woman who feels like somethin' else when she casually uses the math term 'perpendicular' in a sentence - and uses it correctly. Pretty impressive.

So sure, my son is a genius. But I also think it helps to have super fantastic teachers. My daughters' teachers? For a public school, they are fabulous! But because my son goes to a private school (we do this "private school for junior high only" thing in our house - best parenting move we ever made), teachers get to send out emails like THIS from time to time:

"Please help your children relax this finals week. Let them know God is the God of their intellectual abilities and capacities. Encourage them to ask Him for help in every way. They are more than a single or collective grade. They are more than a GPA. They are treasures with strengths and weaknesses and a God who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that they (or their parents) can ask or imagine!" (Ephesians 3:20)

Anyone else with teens breathing easier all of a sudden? Good! Glad to help. You see, we have treasures living among us! And a C- doesn't make them anything less. (It just makes them sparkle more? NO! I didn't say that. Easier to be around? Not that either. More show-off-able? That either! Stop putting words in my mouth...)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Signed, Parched in SoCal

Not only is "It Never Rains in Southern California" my least-favorite R&B song from the early 90s - it's my reality. Our reality. And i
f I see one more warm-temp-flaunting Facebook post - #socaljanuary #ilivehere #suckstobeyoubackeast - I'll have no choice but to post a piece of my "tree vs. forest" lecture. 

Here's the thing: by "tree" I mean...YES, today is beautiful. All by its lonely self, today is basically beautiful. I'll give you that.

BUT by "forest" I mean...NO, today is not beautiful. Because everyday has been like today - rainless. And it's January, folks. We need snowpack in our Sierra Nevadas if we SoCalians want water to trickle down into our lakes. And water for our infinite number of landscaped hillsides and rose gardens and fruit trees. Oh, and to drink! Kind of important. Besides, do we really want to revisit the 80s drought slogan, "If it's yellow, let it mellow?"

Confused by my "tree vs. forest" analogy? Well at least CNN and FOX are catching on because all week they've been talking about our severe drought. Earlier this month it was kind of cute, us having sunny weather for the Rose Parade... again. And how the nation rolled their eyes at us... again. But now, I think we're gaining the country's sympathy. 

Okay, maybe not. 

But if I have to round-up compassion for California by taking myself straight into the Arctic Vortex's core, which I'm pretty sure is centered directly over an amazing Bed-and-Breakfast set among rolling acreage with covered bridges and acoustic sounds and fireplaces and scones with lemon curd (See Primitive Lifestyle Dreams), I WILL DO IT. I'll be super charming and prove to them that we Californians are, like totally, worthy of snow-which-equals-water-which-equals-not-dying, too. 

Now don't think for one second I'm ranting because I'm bitter about not being able to cozily wear those infinity scarves I got for Christmas. BECAUSE I AM. But I also think constant 84 degree weather in January is messing with my brain. To me, winter equals a high of 58 and a low of 37 (maybe I won't enter the eye of the Arctic Vortex), mixed with a rainy Alaskan front moving in overnight, snow levels dropping to 3,500 feet. 

So as I sit here and stew over this odd weather (in a very dry, brothless stew), I find comfort in knowing that our unseasonably BORING and potentially longterm-BAD weather hasn't escaped God's attention, for he is a God who sees both today (one tree) and all of our days (the forest) - and has everything under control. 

"And the Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11