Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day

So my sister called me last night and asked what I was doing. I responded, "My taxes." There was hearty laughter on the other end. I thought it was rude too! :)

I am not a mathematical moron. I did my own taxes for years, usually the last week of Jan. I even did our married taxes the first few years of our marriage and then convenience drifted in. Tim had Turbo Tax at the office and so began the next 10 years of me collecting the documents and him filing them one night after work.

Enter divorce. Many women are financially lost when they get divorced but I have not had that experience. Until last night. Two weeks ago I stopped by the library to pick up the forms. They didn't have any. So I stopped by the post office. They didn't have any. They no longer print forms, you have to down load them from the internet. When did that happen?! Did I miss a memo?

Last night I printed out the forms thinking this will take an hour or so. Four hours later, two phone calls to my Brother in law in Washington state, 40 pages of resume paper because I am out of regular paper and just a wee bit of frustration, I printed off the Request for Extension form. I was very please to hear on the nightly news that Pres. Obama will be revamping the tax process and making it more user friendly. Yeah, I won't hold my breath.

So, lesson 1,488,367 from this last year - file your taxes with your hubby each year. Know what a 1040 is, where to find one & how to fill it out. Do it together.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Game Bronchos!

Last night was interesting! I knew this night was coming and I wondered how it would play out. It ended up with drama & tears but so much more growth of character than I could have ever imagined.

Ryan has played baseball 9 months out of the year for the same team for the last 6 years, the OKC Broncos. It is a team of homeschooled boys and they have become a second family for us. The coach is one of the most Christ-like men I have ever met and one of the best mentors I could want for my kiddo. Over the last 6 years, a friendly rivalry has developed between our team and the Bethany Bronchos, a team of boys from the Bethany Elementary school, whose coach is also the principal of the Elementary school. Both head coaches are AMAZING. Both teams are made up of incredible families. Both teams have been touched very closely by cancer.

Then a year ago, I moved into Bethany Elementary school district and Ryan started 5th grade there. Because of my situation, our coach said that Ry could stay with our team for the Spring season, but eventually, he will have to be homeschooled to stay with the team. We were grateful. So, last night the OKC Broncos played against the Bethany Bronchos. Ryan & I felt conflicted. A bit of smack was vocalized at school between the boys. The game was intense. Ryan struck out at bat the first time - that hasn't happened many times. The second time he was at bat, something was said and the umpire got into it with the Bethany Bronchos coach (Ry's school principal) and the coach got thrown off the field. The game wound down with the score 4 to 4 with the bases loaded and one out left. Our coach intentionally walked the last base runner to load up the bases for a force out & brought the players infield to get a quick out. The Bronchos player stepped up and hit an amazing hit to the fence. The game ended 8-4 with the Bethany Bronchos winning.

After the game, I found Ry and he was crying. My heart sank and all the parent pep talks started going through my mind. He pulled me aside and said, "Mom, I'm not crying because we lost. I crying because everyone of those boys on the Bronchos team didn't just say "Good game" as they walked past me. Everyone of them said, "Great job Ryan!" "You did really well.", "Awesome game Ryan." He couldn't believe how they were still his friends, that they lifted him up, that they were such great sports. After the game, we walked out with Coach/Principal Haws and it was wonderful to see this man reach out to my kiddo, a boy on a rival team, and make sure he felt good about the game.

Why do we pay baseball? It is so much more than the game. Good game Bronchos! You did an awesome job!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Answered Prayers

I dropped Ry off for visitation tonight and had a silent ride home with plenty of time to mull over a few spiritual quandries I have been working through. By the time I reached the city my eyes were slightly puffy and I needed a "pick me up" & a good chick flick. At the grocery store I was amazed to see 50% off coupons for all of the best ice creams! I literally had my choice of all the best ones. I walked in thinking I would splurge on some cheap vanilla or chocolate. I walked out with Ben & Jerry's "Chunky Monkey" - thus named because you will be a "chunky monkey" after you lick the carton as I will soon illustrate for you.

Remembering I had a unwatched Netflix on my table, I headed for home only to behold the latest mysterious blessing to my house. A few weeks ago, I came home to finished siding! I had been telling people how to get to my house for a year, "I am the only house with a peeling white paint front porch & gorgeous new tan siding. You can't miss it." Someone had finished siding my house! This morning, as we were leaving for school I noticed we now had shutters. When I came home today I noticed I now have house numbers. I must tell you it is so much fun to come home! And seriously, a huge thank you to my elves - You are awesome!

Anyway, back to my story. I come home prepared to ward off depression with my pint of Chunky Monkey & a movie. I drop my stuff & head to the bedroom & put on my sweats. (All good depressions must include sweats) I haven't been home for 5 mins. when the doorbell rings. I open it & there stand the missionaries. We visit for a few minutes when one Elder says, "We just started thinking about you and decided to drop by. You know, when missionaries just drop by, it is the Lord's way of telling you he is thinking about you." I couldn't even say anything. My eyes filled with tears, my chin started quivering. We talked for a few minutes before saying good-bye. So strange how my burdens didn't change at all, but at the same time, it feels like everything changed.

A few minutes later, my single sister called and we talked for an hour. We laughed, we cried, we planned & we dreamed while I savored each bite of Chunky Monkey. How would I have ever made it through this life without my sisters?

So grateful for answered prayers tonight~

Step by Step

Day 20 Stumbles - Temptations - For a while I've wondered about personal temptations. It has felt like Satan wasn't really worri...