It was with some fear and trepidation that I saw the big kids off to school this morning. Last week, being the first week, was chock full of new experiences -- learning how to open up a locker, figuring out when a bathroom break was allowed, discovering the sequence of classroom locations, etc. Some days, they came home happy and some days there were tears.
So, when they all came dribbling in, the tension of my heart slowly eased.
First came Kathleen.
Me: "So, how did it go today."
Kathleen: "Okay." And proceeds to give Kody oodles of love and attention. I can tell her energy level is up and positive, and I'm encouraged.
Me: "Did you turn in your essay?"
Kathleen: "Yep. I read it in front of the class."
Me: (Incredulous) "You did?!"
Kathleen: "Yep. Mr. Wilson asked for volunteers and no one wanted to go up, so I raised my hand."
Me: (WAY incredulous) "No way! You volunteered to go up FIRST?"
Kathleen: (nonchalant) "Yep. It was no big deal. I actually wanted to get it over with. And Mom, some people got in BIG trouble for not finishing their essays. BIG trouble. Some of them didn't have five sentences in their paragraphs. Some didn't even finish their maps." (Clearly, she's aghast at said students' irresponsibility.)
Me: (Still stuck on the fact that she volunteered FIRST to go up and read her essay) "I would have NEVER volunteered to read my essay first. NEVER! You are so brave. I'm so proud of you!"
Me: (Ever the competitive parent) "So how did the other kids do on their essays?"
Kathleen: (conspiratorially) "Some of the essays were kind of boring. They needed a little more zing."
That's Kathleen for you. Ever the drama queen.
As Kathleen finished telling me about her day, Keri Lynn and Kristofer came in carrying their load of books. Keri Lynn was equally amazed at Kathleen's essay heroism, and I could tell Kathleen was enjoying the telling of it to her big sister. Kristofer was off playing as soon as he could unload his backpack, having completed all of his homework on the bus.
So Keri Lynn launched into her own story. It seems her history teacher (the one who wants to teach culture over politics) has been carefully going over all of the main religions. Christianity is tucked in minimally under the general heading of Catholicism. Anyway, the teacher talked some about Jesus and mentioned that he'd been killed by the spear while hanging on the cross.
Keri Lynn respectfully held up her hand, "Uh, actually, Jesus had already died when the spear was put through his body."
The teacher disbelieved her, but Keri Lynn was certain that she was right. So today, she brought a piece of paper to him with the Biblical reference of Jesus' death before he was speared. May that teacher feel how "He was pierced for our transgressions . . . and by His wounds we are healed!" Lord, bless Keri Lynn's missionary heart as she studies under this teacher.
Keri Lynn then showed me some papers she got back from her biology class, the toughest class she has -- although Algebra 2 is pretty crazy, too. Anyway, with some disgust, she showed me her grades: Article Report 20/20, Quiz 44/52, Test 92/100 with 6 bonus points to make it a 98.
I said, "Wow, that's great! You're doing really well! I bet you're relieved to see that you may survive this class after all!"
She was still looking disgusted, "I didn't think I did that well, Mom."
"Sure you did! Keep up the good work!"
And off she went to go work on her homework, but I think she was feeling a little more lighthearted that she had last week, a little closer to feeling that she could make it.
As I cooked dinner, the two girls were hanging out at the kitchen and we told stories.
Kathleen told me about how one of her teachers, as she sat at her desk, kept having to answer the same question by various students. So Kathleen said to her, "You know, my mom has seven of us kids. When we ask her questions, she tells just one of us, and whoever has the information passes it on to everyone else."
The teacher replied that she ought to do the same thing! I got the biggest kick out of that! I'm glad she wasn't offended by an upstart sixth grader!
And because this post isn't nearly long enough, I'm going to type up Ginny's yummy enchilada recipe that she made for us on her last visit and that I successfully duplicated tonight for dinner. I sit here typing well past my bedtime hoping that I didn't eat too much of the enchiladas!
Prepare enchilada mix: Brown about a pound of ground beef and onions (if you like onions) in a big skillet. I like to add seasoning salt to the beef (and to everything else, as well), then drain fat. Add the following: Big can of spaghetti sauce, small can of mild enchilada sauce, 1-2 cups of cheese, smallish size tub of sour cream. Allow to simmer for a few minutes.
Prepare in largish baking dish: Put in about 1/3 of the enchilada mix from skillet, top with torn up layer of either corn or flour tortillas (I did half of each because some of the family likes corn and some likes flour), then layer with another 1/3 of enchilada mix and top this mid layer with slices of black olives (YUM!), then layer once more with tortilla strips.* Top last layer of tortilla strips with remaining enchilada mix. Cover and bake for about 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees.
* Note: You could opt to roll the enchilada mix into the more traditional enchilada rolls. Then, top with the remaining mixture. I like to keep things as simple as I can, so I just tear the strips. Either way, it ends up tasting the same!