It begins...

A friend recently forwarded an email to me titled "The Invisible Mother," a short essay comparing the tireless and often thankless job of a mother to the builders of Europe's great cathedrals. Both give their whole lives for a work they will never see finished, both make sacrifices and expect no credit, and both are fueled in their passion by the faith that the eyes of God see every detail. The writer of the essay was inspired by the thought that our endless efforts in motherhood, invisible as they may seem, are worth it and can make an enriching life.

For many of us, the way we choose to hold our invisibility at bay is by creating something tangible. For me, my days often end with knitting - my love of fiber and the need to do something relaxing end up producing something I can hold and look at. Nobody will know how many times I swept under the high chair that day, or how many toys I picked up, or how many times I tried to coax a "please" or "more" or "sorry" out of my 5 year old. But a darling, handmade infant hat? That you can see.

I start new projects every day, and my 10 year old does the same. In this process of creating (and yes, often not finishing our projects!) we connect with each other and a bigger picture of ourselves in the process. My plan for this blog is to share the projects that excite me and bring some accessible proof of my existence in this invisible world of mothering!

So, this blog is dedicated to the mothers out there whose days are filled with the minutia of tasks that build our children and our families. I often tell people that I haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up. But for now, I am the builder of a great cathedral. With every shoelace tied, lunch packed, and forehead kissed, I build.

And I can hardly wait to create something new...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Administrative Week

Paperwork and forms, people! Pretty much all I've been doing for a week straight. Plus 5-6 hours of Brownie "lesson planning" that all got scrapped after I attended the Service Unit meeting and realized I was WAY overcomplicating things. Took a deep breath, simplified everything, started delegating, and am ready to have some Girl Scout FUN this year!

School is in full swing - these past 2 weeks have flown by! (Oh, and let me know if you want to buy an Entertainment Book!) We're back on track with our schedule, haven't forgotten to pack any lunches or snacks yet, and so far it's been smooth sailing. We finally got some rain, and Rowan and her buddy enjoyed some wet, cool outdoor time last week after school. (And check out the green lawn - in August!?!)

I held our Brownie Parent Meeting on Sunday night, which is all about administrative stuff (which I secretly dig).  Rowan decided to bring a handmade anklet for each of her Brownie friends to the meeting. She had a stash from an earlier craft day, but we got out the embroidery floss and made a few more. She lined them all up and took the picture below...She was very excited to give them away!
We also made a batch of Snickerdoodle cookies (SO yummy) and since my Flush is over, I could actually eat one...or three. :P Rowan helped roll the cookie dough balls in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Since I got all the registration paperwork this week, I was finally able to finish my long list of "to do's" now that I have an official roster:
- Make and print official roster
- Make meeting attendance sheet
- Finish 14th Brownie bag iron-on
- Write names on all Brownie bags
- Folder name labels for Brownie folders
- Final Kaper chart name-beanies
- Print Girl Scout law flashcards
- Print meeting board information and welcome banner
- Tweak first newsletter (still tweaking)
- Create/print pumpkin patch permission slips
- Stuff info in Brownie folders
- Order all uniforms, badges, pins, books, etc
- Double check all registration/health forms for missing info
- Make SUPER detailed financial page to track all the money coming in and what it's for

I could keep going, honestly. Some people would find it a nightmare, but like I said, it's right up my alley. (Yes, as a child I loved to play "school," "office," and "library."  I was all about stamping the forms, making official papers and documents, and correcting that schoolwork!)

One of the projects my Brownie's will be doing to kick off their Journey (either at the first or second meeting, depending on time - check ME out, with my flexible, non-rigid schedule all of a sudden! Who am I?) is to make their own Passport. At each meeting we will write down what country we "visited" and learned about. The girls will record the names of the book we read, any ethnic foods we tried, international games we played, etc. I will bring a stamp/inkpad to each meeting, and my "helper" will get to stamp each girl's page when they are done. I hope they think it's fun - I would have loved it when I was 7! I finally purchased a long-armed stapler (been wanting one for years!) and using cardstock I bought last year and cheap printer paper I constructed the passport booklets. I thought about writing "My Passport" on the front or putting a fun picture on it, but decided in the end to let each girl make it her own, with her own writing and creativity. And there is no pink or purple, so hopefully we won't fight over colors! I made a couple extra books, so that nobody gets stuck with the last one - I figured we could let guests (siblings) draw and write in the extras when they come to meetings.

Now, I just wait patiently (or not) for the giant box of goodies to arrive from the Girl Scout shop. Then I can label books and uniforms, sort all the badges and pins, and pack the girls' bags for our Wednesday meeting. So fun for me (I get to play Santa!)

I also spent over an hour yesterday and today completing all the paperwork the school district needs to write Brynn's IEP (Independent Education Plan) for when she starts preschool in November. So many developmental questions - some of it so hard to quantify. It made my brain hurt (and yes, my heart ached a little too.)

Perhaps, this weekend, I will get a chance to pick up my knitting again. Mom is sending me a new cowl pattern I am anxious to start, and I am about 25 rows from completing the first half of my Flutter Scarf - woo hoo!

Happy Friday everyone!

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