Posts Tagged ‘college’

Wedding Planning Extravaganza

January 30, 2015

wedding linens

Today I bring to you just a glimpse of how wedding planning is going for us. Here is the latest phone conversation with the store selling linens.

Me: Hi! I’d like to order a color sample chart.

Store: I’m sorry we are out of our color charts. They should be available end of February or March.

Me: (of course you are out) O.K., could I please order one napkin of each of the four colors we are looking at?

Store: I’m sorry, no, you can’t. The napkins only come in packages of 12.

Me: (of course they do) O.K., What is your return policy?

Store: You can return anything as long as it is unused and not laundered.

Me: Perfect. I would like to order a dozen each of linen napkins in ivory, beige, coral and hemlock.

Store: I would be happy to place that for you. What is the shipping address?

Me: (gives Larisa’s address at school that contains a C.P.O. Box)

Store: Oh, is that a post office box?

Me: No, it is a student box at a college.

Store: Packages cannot be delivered to P.O. Boxes.

Me: This is NOT a post office box. I send packages there all the time.

Store: O.K., but we are not responsible if it is returned.

Me: Fine.

(credit card number and details are exchanged)

Store: This name on the card does not match the shipping name.

Me: (no duh) Yes, that is my daughter, but I’m paying for this.

Store: So the address for the credit card is the same as the shipping address?

Me: No. (I don’t live with my daughter at college.)

(New billing address is given.)

Store: Thank you for your order. Those are pretty colors that will all look great together mixed on the tables.

Me: Thank you. (SERIOUSLY!? Did you forget the questions about color cards and ordering single napkins and return policy questions???)

And the 48 multi-colored napkins arrived in two days at O.R.U., were examined and are now all being returned.

End of story.


“Be Ready!”

April 6, 2013

In March 2012, our eldest child flew off alone to Tulsa, Oklahoma (OKLAHOMA!) to interview for a scholarship for the college she REALLY wanted to go to.  It was one of the few colleges that made the cut of still believing and upholding the godly standards on which it was founded.  As she was a thousand miles away that weekend, I had one of those God moments where I heard His still small voice in my spirit (in the bathroom, but that is beside the point) whisper, “Be ready!”  That was it.  Be ready.  READY FOR WHAT? I wanted to scream…. in fact, I probably did.

Of course in my own little control-freak mind I made my list of what I thought I needed to be ready for… or with… or against… or because of…   (See? It was pointless!)  I prayed up more.  I Bible studied harder.  I threw myself into money making. I lectured.  I bit my tongue.  (See? It was pointless!)  I should have been focusing on Psalms 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”  Oh yeah. Right.

We knew the cost of school for our sweet girl would cause us to walk the tightrope of faith financially.  And we have.  And God has shown up.  Over and over again.  Please let me climb up on my testimony box and shout out some praises for a minute or two… or three, of how God has shown up in the last THREE WEEKS!

Three days before our Canadian-thick-blooded relatives were coming to stay with us in sunny Arizona, the air conditioner decided to only work for ten seconds at a time in three minute intervals.  For those who don’t live in Arizona, that is not quite adequate for keeping the house at a comfortable temperature for Canadians.  (I was fine, but this is not about me.)  I called Rob the A/C repairman.  He came out and visited me for three hours to the tune of $1,300.  Ouch!  Thankfully Rob and my husband Rick are members of Tradesource, where private businesses can barter services, so we only had to fork over $370…. of the $380 in our account at that time.  I wrote the check and sent God a little reminder that we may need Him to show up in the next few days if our relatives planned on eating while visiting.  “Hey, welcome!  It’s canned tuna week!” 

Corresponding with the northerly visitors, Larisa, our college girl was also coming home for Spring Break with her roommate!  WhoooHOooOOooo!  Party time! (and you thought the cafeteria food was bad!)  I scrubbed the visitor bathroom until it gleamed like Joel Osteen’s teeth.  Seriously!  The only thing I needed to purchase was a $2 shower liner so I headed off to Bed Bath and Beyond with four hours and $8 to spare!  Perfect!

Two miles into my three mile adventure, a girl pulled right out in front of me and I t-boned her.  This is what I remember: Air bags. Checking if Nora (9 year old) was ok in the seat behind me.  Nice strangers who stopped to help. Policemen. Firemen. OH DANG IT DO MY LEGS HURT! My dad coming.  ER visit (without my boys… that was rare!). And then I arrived on the yellow couch in the living room 21 days ago.  I’m still there.  What I am allowed to share is that I am wounded and receiving care. God protected us BIG TIME!  (I can walk. I can cry.  I can brush my teeth with my left hand. I can type. And I’m really good at taking pills every 4 to 6 hours that may cause dry mouth, chills, panic attacks, anxiety, inability to sit still, seizures, delusions, fainting, itching, slurred speech, etc. etc. etc.)  Is THIS what I needed to be ready for?

That was a Saturday.  The following Monday the Canadians showed up at the doorstep along with the homeschoolers and various other peeps who delivered meals for two straight weeks (and now we’re on an every-other day schedule for two MORE weeks.)  Not just pasta dinner.  Gourmet chicken with French names and seasoned vegetables that were hoarded by my children. And not just dinner.  Breakfast pie showed up.  Oranges by the bag full. And pizzas and sandwich meat and fruit bowls and chocolate cake and bagels and cream cheese and whole grain bread that I never buy and potato salad and ice cream sandwiches and milk and ALL the food that was necessary to feed our family and the four visiting guests while $8 sat in our bank account.  Maybe THIS was what I needed to be ready for.

The van may or may not be totaled.  We’ll see.  We got a rental car that I am too delusional to drive….. and my children are not over 21, so they can’t drive it either.  FUN!  My husband figured he may as well take it to work and save money on gas…. and he rear-ended a nice lady who stopped really rapidly on the highway.  IN THE RENTAL CAR. Can you spell deductible?  So, my hubby took it back and got another rental car that looked exactly the same, except the seats were tan, not black.  He came home that night and took his brother to the store.  His brother mentioned, “I could have sworn these seats were black!”  Um, yeah.  Is THIS what we needed to be ready for?

If that hoopla wasn’t enough to make my mother hit her replaced knees in fervent prayer, yesterday my hard-working son (who has a Jedi braid, but that is not crucial to the storyline) volunteered to spend his day helping his cycling team set up for a race last night.  As if our family has big targets on our backsides at the moment, a loathsome individual made off with my son’s $8,000 bike. Yes, you read that right. A two-wheeled pedal bike… $8,000.  He is sponsored.  It is on loan to him.  We did not pay $8,000 for a bike with which I can do one-handed curls. I learned about the lifted bicycle from my husband who left me a message on my phone while I was in my 6th doctor’s appointment to end the week.  WAS THIS WHAT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE READY FOR???

Today my bikeless son’s facebook status reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 God showed me this yesterday.”

Besides messaging me about the missing bike, my husband prayed.  And then he posted a little ditty on facebook about the bike and asked others to pray.  Because we know that prayer works.  A friend of ours in Canada who was supposed to be paying attention in a business meeting, who happens to hate injustice and loves hardworking youngsters, went on facebook and read Rick’s message……. and bought a new bike for my son.  We were close to speechless.  A tearful thank you was all I could get out. What I loved about this was all the glory was given to God… in front of the teammates.  By son and father, without shame.  Maybe THIS is what we were supposed to be ready for?

Be ready…. to live your life for God no matter what.  Be ready …. to rely on God for everything.  Be ready…. in good times and bad to praise God, for He is worthy of our praise.  Be ready.

Post Wreckage Wisdom

March 21, 2013

Before this past Saturday, the previous car accident I participated in was in 1999 in Anaheim, California.  Thankfully I have been fender bender free for 14 joyous years. (However, in my current state of narcotic use, I could easily and most probably be missing large periods of my life in my memory banks.)  When one meanders through life without hitting other vehicles, you tend to forget many important facts regarding collisions.  This morning, at 4:06 a.m., I am here to inform all those who need informing on said subject.

1.  Accidents happen when you least expect it and when it is not convenient in your life.  In my case, I was casually  heading to Bed Bath and Beyond to purchase a much needed shower curtain liner for the main bath due to visitors who were scheduled to arrive at my home in exactly four hours.  My daughter and two friends were descending upon our house for Spring Break from college in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a mere 14 hour drive to Phoenix, Arizona.  Two days after their arrival, three Canadian relatives were also visiting for a week.  Hence, the new shower curtain liner was MANDATORY.

2.  Teenage drivers are a danger on the road.  Out of a neighborhood shopping center driveway (right next to Charming Charlie’s purse/accessory mother ship store) a small white vehicle came flying directly into my lane from the right without any warning time, hindering me from doing all those things you know you should do when you figure out you’re are going to hit another car, i.e. brake, scream “Sweet mother of God!”, brace yourself so as to increase muscle injuries, curse the driver’s day of birth, yell at your kids “Hang on, Mommy’s going to hit someone!” or any other such nonsense. I glanced at the car and slammed into it.  That is all.  I never saw the driver’s face as she was looking to her right the entire time she was entering the four lane road, planning on crossing two lanes of traffic.  The kind police man asked me how long I had between my visual awareness of the other car and impact.  “One second.”  I have since wondered about her actions.  Did she just find the queen mother purse to match her favorite hot pink and cheetah print shoes, and couldn’t wait to get home and unite the two, creating the perfect ensemble?  Did she just eat at the Mellow Mushroom and was in a pasta induced coma with garlic permeating from her pores?  We will never know, dear reader.

3.  When the kind police man finished my inquisition and then glanced in the back seat of the van to witness a tear-stained little Latina child, he should have used his kind policeman voice and asked a politically correct question like, “Who is this little sweetheart?” or “I see we have a princess in the back seat.” or “Honey, are you ok?”  But NO.  He got the wrath of the blubbering adoptive mother when he blurted out, “Who is THAT?” like I picked up an illegal alien down by the border and was transporting her color-coordinated, well manicured dimpled self like a criminal. I will admit I answered a bit tersely, “SHE’S MY DAUGHTER!!!!”  My tone set him in his place and his kind police man voice surfaced as he praised her for being in her booster seat and wearing her seatbelt.  I am a protective mama first, and an injured car passenger second. Don’t ever forget that!

4.  Auto injuries are curious beasts.  Due to the impact of the airbag underneath the steering column of our van, my shins took a real beating.  I did not know there was an airbag under there, nor was I aware that it was hinged from the bottom and the molded plastic cover was capable of shaving your legs so thoroughly upon explosion, you might never need to shave them ever again due to the absence of several layers of skin and hair follicles.  Thank God I was wearing jeans.  As was predicted by my ER doctor friend, other injuries will surface when the most intense injuries subside.  After four days of lying on the couch with my legs elevated and iced every hour around the clock, I was able to stand without tears accumulating in my eyes.  Then I realized my right shoulder was not working as well as it had been performing before the white car jumped in my path.  Yesterday x-rays were had and after two days of icing my shoulder every hour around the clock, we will hopefully have some answers tomorrow as to my gimpy limb.  When that is concluded, I do not know what will make me cry next…. the seatbelt bruise line across my entire torso?  Or some other area still in shock waiting to surface.  I will surely keep you posted, even though I am aware of “women’s tea rules of courtesy” of not speaking of sickness or operations.  This ain’t a tea…. it is my blog, and where else can I complain with my sense of humor intact for the enjoyment of others?

5.  God takes care of His children.  When God found our new-to-us van on November 30, 2012, He was testing my thankfulness at receiving such a good and perfect gift from Him, despite it being red.  Red is my least favorite color.  But I WAS thankful for the van… the low miles, the reasonable price, the stow-n-go compartments to haul more junk, the awesome air-conditioning, the radio controls on the back of the steering wheel, etc.  And I was content knowing that I couldn’t see that it was red while I was riding in the van. I imagined that it was a purty royal blue color.  So I am pretty sure I passed the red van test and now get another new-to-us van that is not red.  I will keep you posted.

Currently my pain meds have once again done their duty and I am ready to drift back to a psycho-dream filled sleep.  Good night for now.

Our New Life

January 17, 2013

Since the adoption of our little Colombian princess we have had six people living in our home.  It has all gone rather smoothly… even admirably, in my humble opinion.  However, I was not quite ready for the change it would bring to our family when our 19-year-old left for college.  Her 14-year-old brother moved into her room possibly within three nanoseconds of her father and I driving out of the driveway.  Not only did he take over her bedroom, but surprisingly, he started using the items she left behind… like her little yellow ballet-slippers with bows on top… and her fuzzy hot pink bathrobe.

keeve pink robe

If that wasn’t enough, the kid who seldom cooks got all inspired and yesterday morning all of us awoke to the pleasing aroma of waffles and bacon.  I sauntered down the stairs to find a delicacy that gave my stomach an uneasy feeling…. bacon AND chocolate waffles.  What?  Dirty dishes were scattered about the counters and there was a stack of waffles awaiting their victims.  Surprisingly, they were quite agreeable.  Upon further inquiry, he spilled the beans that he discovered the recipe in a magazine at the chiropractor’s office… and had been dreaming of making them ever since.

If you asked me two weeks ago if my 14-year-old son would be wearing a hot pink robe and cooking bacon and chocolate waffles… I would have laughed in your face.  Today…. I’m not laughing.  I’m still licking my lips.

Nine More Days

December 28, 2012

My husband of 25.5 years and myself will leave our home on January 4, 2013 with a van stuffed full of college paraphernalia and our firstborn child…. to just drop her off in Oklahoma and run for the border.  It’s a first for our family.  Children leaving the nest.  Much preparation, turmoil, tears and rejoicing have gone into this event.  Way more turmoil than I originally anticipated for a college departure.

There are nine more days to teach her everything she needs to know for infinity and beyond.  That is the key right there that keeps me from losing it… again.  Infinity and beyond is what really matters.  Kingdom thinking.  Have we prepared our daughter (the one who once asked for scotch tape and a box of envelopes for Christmas) to love God and serve people?  That people are more important than things?  To build others up and give a helping hand?

Yes, she plowed through algebra and ancient world history… but that is knowledge and not necessarily wisdom.  Wisdom is what matters in life.  Proverbs says that we should seek after wisdom and that it is found in those who take advice.  And wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men.

Yes, she can effectively run a household, hold down a job and save money… but it is her heart that matters.  Getting to this point with child number one has helped me focus with children numbers 2,3 and 4.  They will also make it through algebra and ancient world history… but I need to be an example of love to them no matter the circumstances.

My firstborn daughter and I watched Les Miserables in the theater in Mission, B.C., Canada last night.  My favorite line was “To love another person is to see the face of God.”  A GREAT movie to see before heading off to college.

(I can do this. I can do this.  I can do this.)

Black Friday 2012

November 23, 2012

Slept til 8:48 a.m.  Read in bed for 45 minutes.  Got up.  Got dressed.  Ate breakfast.  Cleaned my toilet and washed the bathroom floor. Washed all the bathmats.  Helped Nora try on ALL of her clothes to see what is too small and if we need warm clothes for Canada next month.  We don’t,YAY!

That is all.  So far.

Truly I don’t understand the desire to push through crowds at the wee hours of the day to save a couple bucks.  Yes, I do understand that there are some good deals to be had, but truly, do we NEED all this stuff we already have?  I have come to the conclusion …. in my house we don’t. Not everybody in my house agrees, but he is gone at work most days…… heh heh heh.

Recently I was lead blindfolded with hands tied behind my back to a facebook group with 2400 local members where you can buy and sell the junk in your house.  It’s earth friendly.  It’s convenient.  In one hour online and one trip to the Walmart parking lot, I collected $45 and got rid of four items in the garage sale pile.  Another lady came to my house and purchased a boxed set of books for $12… that we had TWO of.  Selling on this site rakes in far more cashola than a garage sale would bring for these same items.  It’s better than eBay because there are no fees and I don’t have to ship the junk.  I love it.  I am addicted… well, when I have a pile of unwanted treasures to sell.

The remainder of Black Friday 2012 will be consumed with having dinner with college friends that we haven’t seen in 25 years, and a homeschool board meeting.  Then I get to sleep in again tomorrow!  I realize those of you who know me well, think I sleep in every day, but that is not true…. very much.  I have even been arising when the number 7 is on the clock!  Astonishing, I know.  And I’m showering before leaving my room….. AND I’m making my bed every morning.  It only took 45 years to get into these amazing habits.  Just goes to show you that the old dog, new trick idea isn’t true.

Enjoy your weekend!

Hello Blog World!

July 3, 2012

Yes, I haven’t been around MSJ for a bit.  Here are the recent headlines of the summer life of the Crosby clan.

46 Year Old Housewife Drops 80 Pounds:  Wise choices for health over the last year have produced remarkable results for this average housewife, who is now above average in weight loss success. (Yes, that’s me, but didn’t that sound headliney?)

Water Shortage in Desert Leaves Dying Remains:  This simply means that Rick isn’t watering the backyard grass this summer and it’s all dead.  Why is that headline news, you ask?  Because the wiener dog likes to roll in the dead grass and then come in and roll on the used-to-be-clean carpet.  This is a new cleaning issue this summer that we have never faced before.  It is a constant source of time and energy expended on STUPID stuff. 2012 will go down in the Crosby History Book as the summer of the dead grass. (Hopefully not of the dead dog!)

Summer Movie Fun is Proving Successful:  Yes, I bought the summer fun pack of $7 movie tickets again.  So far, I haven’t seen any of the theatrical selections!  So it’s ALL fun for me!  This week is Mr. Popper’s Penguins.  If you have been an MSJ reader for several years, you will recall how we tortured our children with a sound recording of Mr Popper…. so I’m looking forward to finding out all the information we missed from the skipping CD… IF they followed the book.

Full Time Work is Stressful:   Hahahahaha!  This one makes me laugh.  Our 18-year-old, soon to be college-bound daughter, is working “full time”….. HARDLY!  I think in her first two weeks of “full time” she put in one, maybe two 8 hour days.  This is exhausting!  Never has she been asked to do unpleasant tasks for EIGHT straight hours!  Well, except for school and chores!  She has never taken so many naps.  She came home after a grueling six hours of scanning and filing files to exclaim, “I cannot imagine working eight hours a day, doing something you don’t like FOR FORTY YEARS!?!”  hahahah… real life, baby.  This is it!  See why we have tried to steer you to a career that suits your interests and talents????

Unpaid Worker Scores Big:  This is the story of my life.  I finally found a part-time opportunity that allows me to help others and make cash at the same time.  It is the exact antithesis of my daughter’s job.  In ten hours per week, I’m helping people lose weight and get healthy, get off their meds and live longer!  And they pay me!  It reminds me of when my husband started his initial job as a pilot and he couldn’t believe he got paid to fly a plane!  I handed my first check to my husband, who has been the primary bread earner in this household for 16 years, and he spat out in astonishment, “This is the most money you’ve made in …..   Y E A R S !”   haha!  God provides!

Lagging Teacher Delivers for Hopeful Students:  This simply means that I finally got my American History grades done and sent to my high school students whom I haven’t seen in 6 weeks!  Better late than never.  My child was the only who needed the grade for a transcript, so it’s all good.

Enjoy the Fourth of July, America’s birthday!  God bless America!  Land of the brave and FREE!  yah, baby.

G R A D U A T I O N ! ! !

June 4, 2012

We did it!  We successfully got one whole child through homeschooling.  This is a monumental achievement for a homeschool mom.  We wonder all along if this day will ever come.  We hope and pray that we aren’t wrecking the kids by doing this ourselves.  And that right there is the key…. I never felt like I was doing this by myself.  It was me, and my terribly supportive husband, my co-op mamas, our support group, the state organization (Arizona Families for Home Education) and mostly God, who called us to this way of life and education 12 long years ago.

I have no regrets for choosing homeschooling.  All the sacrifices and tears have been worth it…. every little bit.  I do have a few regrets involving course choices and follow through, which we all encounter our first time.  I have learned from my mistakes and have already made corrections for guinea pig #2 who just finished his first year of high school.

I liken the homeschool journey similarly to childbirth.  The painful memories diminish as the joys grow each day.  Truly my happy homeschool experiences outweigh the horrible ones 100 to 1, for which I am stupendously thankful.  Our family is close and we love each other.  We love being together.  We love playing games together and they don’t end in yelling matches or wrestling fights.  We even love vacationing together.  Secretly, the kids even love learning together, but they try to keep this under raps.

The great news is that I am still looking forward to planning next year!  I still love homeschooling.  I love being with my kids.  I love learning and teaching.  However, it is with great relief in my ever-loving-heart that I have exactly 81 days of NOT homeschooling ahead of me.  They will be busy days of summer movies, packing and planning for college for our graduate, swim parties, a 9-year-old birthday celebration, a marriage retreat, a relaxing vacation to the beach and then Tahoe, the homeschool convention and a visit to friends in Kansas and Colorado.  I have waited for THIS DAY…. June 4, 2012 for a Loooooooong time.  It arrived.  I am beyond elated.  :o)

Yet Another Rude Awakening

March 9, 2012

These past two weeks, I have been appalled, shocked and dismayed as I have investigated “Christian” colleges that my daughter is interested in attending and heard reports of several state universities.  I’m not sure which surprised me more (albeit, I realize I’m a morally straight-up, nicely sheltered prude…. and proud of it most of the time) the fact that a professor at a nearby “professing” Christian college relayed to me that less than half the staff THAT TEACH at the college believe that the Bible is inerrant…. OR…. the fact that the dorms at the big state college here in town have co-ed dorms and BATHROOMS!  WHAT?  SO much has changed since our college days… oh…. my…. word.

With my daughter by my side, we introduced ourselves to a psychology prof whom she would be taking classes from if she attended the school we were touring.  He asked if I had any questions.  Boy howdy, did I!  My first one was about the professors believing the Bible’s innerrancy… second was an inquiry about his personal beliefs and worldview.  I didn’t reserve these questions solely to the psychology department…. I thought it was even more apropos to ask the dean of the Christian studies program.  “Most of the profs in the Christian Studies department believe like you do, Mrs. Crosby.”  MOST!?!  I’m more concerned about the few that don’t…. EVEN having a teaching job in that department.  Good gravy!

(Here’s my daughter with her suitcase packed ready to jump on the college train.)

My questioning ended with the Christian Studies gentleman with an inquiry if there were any required religious courses.  He quite satisfactorily affirmed that yes, all students must take Worldview.  (That could be good or bad, depending on what that prof believes!!!)  Larisa chimed in at that moment and said that she had already taken Worldview.  The prof asked what college she is transferring from.  She replied that she is a senior in high school.  He then cross-examined about what school teaches Worldview.  “I’m homeschooled,” she answered.  With eyes as big as the free frizbees they were giving away, he turned back to me and queried in disbelief, “YOU taught Worldview to your highschool homeschooler?”  “Yes,” I admitted a little more timidly than my questions had been delivered, “I thought it was really important.”  He actually shook his head at me.

After my questions were exhausted… as well as my little brain trying desperately to wrap itself around these ideas that are accepted by most now-a-days…. my daughter turned to me and said, “Wow, Mom, those were tough questions.  I didn’t know you were going to ask questions like that.  Good job.”  What was I supposed to be asking?  “Do you give scholarships for being really cute?” (I wish!)

I’m feeling older and more prudish as each day passes.  I’m relating more to Noah than to the world we are surrounded by.  In and not of, baby.  All the way.

Guess Who’s Going off to College????

February 16, 2012

Yes, this is the same baby girl who was squeezing her arm in the photo two blogs ago.  In the last week Larisa was accepted at the college of her choice, passed the requirements to qualify for a scholarship, was nominated for the scholarship and is flying out in two weeks to interview for the very same scholarship.  Since conception we have told her that God blesses obedience and this is one more example of Him taking care of all the details…. following years of obedience on her part.  It does a mother’s heart good. 

Yes, she has been by my side homeschooling for 11 years.  Yes, it will leave a HUGE hole in our home when she goes away.  Yes, I am proud of her.  Yes, I want to keep her here tight with me.  Yes, I want her to go and have fun at college and pursue her dreams.  Yes, I want her to live at home forever.  Ok, that last one wasn’t entirely true, but you get the picture.

You know the old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”  I disagree.  If it’s God’s basket, you’re good.  She has also applied to three other colleges, but they are not the schools she is dreaming about.  Next week we are going to a local Christian college for dinner and preview night.  I haven’t been to a college (except for a graduation) for 22 years.  I’ve heard things have changed a bit while I’ve been growing up.  We’ll see.

Bursting my buttons, once again, at the blessing this girl has been in my life.  She is amazing and I love her.