Thursday, June 26, 2008

Conference? What Conference?

Skip to the end if you want to know more about this flashback to the '70s!

You may be wondering how the Charlotte Mason Conference went because I have remained absolutely silent. It was FANTASTIC but I have had so little downtime I have not been able to blog about it. I will blog it as soon as I find time to process and reflect!

Why so busy? I returned Saturday night (June 14) and got up for church Sunday morning. I spent the rest of the day relaxing and catching up with David and Pamela.

While we Steve and I were gone, David was man of the house and took care of watering the yard, plants, ferns, and trees and feeding the pets. Pamela stayed with my parents who live across the street and furnished delicious meals for David. Where was Steve? He was supposed to leave for Ecuador on a business trip the same day I left for the conference (June 10). His flight was canceled, and he ended up attending the meeting via video conference. Rather than confuse Pamela with a last minute change of plans, they never told her that he was still home. Confused yet? He flew to Guatemala on Friday (June 13) for a niece's wedding (June 14) while I was still in Boiling Springs.

Both of my parents observed how much better Pamela processes what they say and how well she participates in back and forth exchanges. My mother shared a wonderful story about Pamela that spotlights the power of episodic memory. As you already know, she does not like changes in schedule and will fuss (hence the reason for staying mum on Steve's change of plans). If I promise to take her to the store and have to change the plan to another day, she sometimes fusses and tells me, "You broke a promise." My mother went to the dentist and had promised to take Pamela to Wal-Mart. The dentist visit turned out to be more draining than Mom had anticipated. Mom came home with a poochie cheek and mouth full of gauze. She told Pamela that they would go to Wal-Mart the next day.

Normally, Pamela would cry and become flustered in a situation like that. However, she did not fuss; she did not complain; she did not talk back; she remained absolutely calm about this sudden and abrupt change of plans. I really think she reflected back to how miserable she was when she had her wisdom teeth removed a few years ago. Pamela took three weeks to get back to herself because she found it so traumatic. She still talks about the misery of it from time to time. I think she had sympathy for how my mother felt and let her desire to shop go without a peep.

So back to my crazy week! Sunday night (June 14), I wrote one lesson plan for VBS and spent three hours at church on Monday. I unpacked and managed a week's worth of laundry for the three of us for the rest of Monday. On Tuesday, the day Steve was supposed to come home, I spent only twenty minutes at jury duty because the defendants never appeared at traffic court. Steve called and alerted me to a sudden change of plans to fly to Chile for an important business meeting. He had no time to drive home and back, so I packed winter business clothes for him and Pamela and I drove the three hour round trip to the airport and watched Steve repack at baggage claim. Exciting, huh?

Tuesday night, a friend of a friend called to ask me about RDI (and I am happy to help any family get started on that journey) so I did not tackle Wednesday's VBS lesson plan until 10:30 Tuesday night. I apent another three hours at VBS and thoroughly enjoyed teaching the children on Wednesday then unpacked Steve's bags and did a week's worth of his laundry! I spent Thursday cleaning the house and meeting with the friend of a friend interested in RDI.

The kids and I finally got around to doing some academics on Friday when one of David's out-of-town friends came over to visit. Before I knew it, they sprung an impromptu sleepover on me, but I was fine with that. The next morning, I woke up at zero dark thirty to drive three hours one-way to a meeting with Dr. Gutstein, our consultant and other families--yes, it was worth the drive. Steve came home while I was out and, when I arrived home, I finally saw him after nearly two weeks apart! The next morning I woke up early to attend both services because our trio was singing Beautiful Savior. We relaxed but did squeeze in one of the RDI E-learning modules. Monday, we did some more academics, and I unpacked Steve's bag and cycled through more laundry (it is starting to sound monotonous).

Is this week any less busy? No, but I have great reasons why . . . my best friend from high school and her husband and 15 month-old daughter are vacationing in Charleston. We got together for typical touristy things like Fort Sumter and Cypress Gardens. I will blog more on that later . . . oh, yeah, and I am writing an article for ChildLightUSA's The Review due July 1 in between engagements.

P.S. Speaking of engagements, Pamela and I are going dress shopping for my niece's wedding. She wants all of her female cousins to play a role in the wedding, primarily bride's maids. As that would be too much for Pamela, she lovingly thought of a part for Pamela: hand out little brochures that explain the history of the beautiful, old chapel where the ceremony will take place. That way, Pamela can participate at a level that does not overwhelm her. She has not worn dresses in years so buying what I am calling a "Princess dress" is going to be quite an experience.


MasterpieceMom said...

Good Grief, when do you breathe?!? LOL Or sleep for that matter. I figured you must be super busy since I hadn't 'seen' you around. Hopefully things will slow down soon.

poohder said...

The picture near the beginning IS SO how all of my pictures look! LOL, Just curious who the birthday boy is?
Thanks for sharing the pics and updating us on all the excitment in your life right now. Please take care to NOT burn yourself out. Rhonda

beth said...

Whew! Tammy! Hope you're getting a few moments here and there to sit down and rest. Frankly, your weeks after the conference sound a little like mine - full, busy, and wonderful - but with little time to reflect and write. I think next week will be a little quieter for me. I hope it will for you and that in the midst of it all, you continue to experience God's sustaining strength.

I think of you often!


Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

who's whho in the picture???

walking said...

In the 70s Flashback:

Seated Ken aka Terror of Ten Hundred (given a nickname by the beloved English teacher Mr. Pilgrim).

Left to Right: Me, my best friend Lisa, Laura, Bridgette and Terri.

Lisa's husband and daughter (Johnie and Leilani), Lisa, David, Me, Pamela.

Masterpiece, Poohder, and Beth,
I have been taking it slow and ramping up for a visit from Steve's sister and beau next week.