Monday, November 17, 2008

"Family Give Away" Donations

These pictures really don't do justice to our donation last Friday to the Tempe School for homeless kids. My car was FILLED with really nice used clothes, donated by me, Janyce Harris, Jamie Lucas and Krista Breinholt. Kari Stock pitched in quite a few diapers to top it all off. My HUGE hugs and thanks to you, ladies! I was in awe of your generosity. It was neat to see your unique personalities as I sorted through the donations. Like when I came across the new Converse shoes in Jamie's bags: I can just see your kids running around at the Haught's in their cute Tilly's style clothing and Converse shoes! Those shoes are going to make great gifts for the Kindergartners, BTW. And the hair bows - how cute will it be to tie them to the outside of the wrapped Christmas gifts? Boys will get a hot wheels car tied to their gift so no one is left out. :)
Back to the pics - I made the mistake of not photographing all the donations until I got there. It was a challenge to get some snap shots to show you all without making a fool of myself. I didn't want to come across as some self righteous Scottsdale looking girl photographing her good works! Or worse, exploiting the kids. So when the amazing, sweet, tiny little figure of a lady, Sylvia, was out of sight I'd grab the camera and take a quick shot! What a dork.
She was so grateful. Really excited about everything. When I made sure diapers were appropriate she nodded emphatically and told me they have "lots of mammas," at the school.
I took everything around the side of the school to a designated spot for donations. Sylvia and I took the 20 something bags into a relatively small room - her room. She's got everything in there organized - boys and girls clothes ranging in size for Kindergartners all the way to adults. I was very impressed with the wall of sliding shelves that are photographed above.
I dropped off the stuff on Friday afternoon. Saturday morning Sylvia told me she would lay it all out on tables just outside her door. Families would bring their own bags and "shop" for whatever they needed. She estimated that we gave at least $600.00 worth of stuff.
So thank you!
The Christmas Donations for the Kindergarten class will be even better. :)

In School

I’ve started volunteering in the kid’s classrooms. I was too afraid to commit to it last year because carrying Jackson made me so sick. What if I committed to a regular schedule but on the required morning my body would just not let me out of bed? Last year I was still in Caidgen’s class a lot, but it was sporadic, when Jackson decided he didn’t need my full attention at the moment.
This year, my empty womb is all too regular. The wail less house so quiet I hear the clock ticking: I know I won’t forget my appointments. I’ve arranged to help out in Caidgen’s class Monday afternoons and Ami’s Thursday afternoons. It gets me up and dressed. It makes me forget myself in service to others. And it allows me to get to know these critical women in my children’s lives and how they run their classrooms.
Three weeks ago while I sat at Mrs. D’s desk filing some papers I had a clear view of my son as he sat for reading time. Mrs. D reads from an oversized spiral book and asks varied thoughtful questions. Last year at carpet time it was hard to spot my son. Undoubtedly his little ashy head would eventually sway into view just below Mrs. D’s feet. He was always right in front. Always watching. Always enthralled.
This Monday afternoon he was in the back of the group picking his nose.
He was so far in the back that he wasn’t even on the carpet. His lanky body was turned away from me and Mrs. D but I knew the nose picking stance. There was no fooling me.
Mrs. D asked a question. Lots of different colored hands popped up. Caidgen’s white fingers were too entrenched in his nasal canals. I wanted to reprimand him right then. “Caidgen Haught! Why is your hand not up?” Pause. “Where are your fingers?” All 25 students would turn around, gaping at him. Sure it would disrupt the flow of Mrs. D’s lesson, but not for long. It was a split second discipline that would correct his laziness for years to come. No son of mine was going to be picking his nose during important class time.
But I was there to serve Mrs. D, support her, not pick at my son (pun intended). If I had been at home nursing my one month old precious boy I would never have known about the booger/reading incident. I kept my head down and filed papers, only glancing up now and then in hopes that my attentive little student had returned. I saw only the back of his red shirt. I clenched my teeth shut as the air in the deflating balloon of pride in my children whirred out.
At home I couldn’t resist. Not wanting to be critical, I said, “So…the story your class read today – it didn’t seem to interest you.”
“What story?”
“On the carpet.” That came out harsh. “Poor thing, the carpet’s not big enough for your whole class. It’s too bad you didn’t get there earlier so you could have sat on the carpet.”
“We have another carpet too, in the back. We should put them both together and move all the desks out and then we’d have enough room.” His eyes were darting back and forth and his hands flaring about. I knew I was about to lose him to inventions.
“But the story – was it not a good one? You didn’t seem to be listening.”
“Huh? I was listening.” He looked genuine.
“You weren’t even facing the teacher!” Oh no, I could feel the lecture snapping inside, fighting to come out. I clenched my teeth.
“I was listening, mommy.”
I wanted to say, “Listen, you little punk, I better not ever catch you in the back of the class, back turned to the teacher, a dirty finger up your nose in plain view of every respectable person again or I will…”
I said, “Oh. Good. It was a good story. I liked it. Next time you need to pick your nose though, use a Kleenex, okay?”
“Okay,” he said. And he ran off to play.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Tempe Campus
1938 E Apache Blvd
Tempe Az

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who've jumped on board with my family for the Children First Academy Christmas project.

I've got the project narrowed down now. We are sponsoring a kindergarten class. I haven't been told yet how many kids there are or their sexes, but Pat, the coordinator will update me soon. Just check back here for updates. We do know that everything needs to be ready before December 15.
I'm a little nervous, overwhelmed at the responsibility for blessing a whole classroom. My mom's work does this every year -to a poor school in Queen Creek actually- and they put a lot of money into it. But I know more than half the people on this blog are bargain shoppers or super talented launderers so we can do this!!!

For those of you who have clothes and toys to donate that you feel are too big for kindergartners, there is a Family Giveaway next Saturday, November 15. We just need to get the stuff down there before then. If you can bag the clothes in similar sizes it would be SO helpful, as the donations coordinator is the ONLY WOMAN who sets it all up. Wow, props to Sylvia. I would be happy to pick up your stuff if you don't want to take it all the way to Phoenix. Just leave me your email so I can get your phone number for directions.I plan on taking the stuff down there next Thursday.

I'm excited for this project!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I'm a very goal oriented person. It's how I survive. So of course I made a list of things I wanted to get done before we get pregnant again. I get so sick with pregnancy that I'm afraid if I get pregnant quickly I won't be physically able to do all the small things that I want to do to honor Jackson. The urge to mother him is still so strong even though he's not here. One of the things I wanted to do was get his 8X10 on our wall. Today, it's finally done. :) It feels good.

Happy Halloween

Yes, that's a deer on the corner of Ellsworth and Riggs. Blue spotted it on our way to get the kids from school! So out of place. So ironic. So the perfect analogy for our little town.
Me and Ami were witches. It was really touching that when I told her I was going to be a witch she suddenly cared nothing for Ariel and wanted to be a witch.

Caidgen was the coolest Ironman on the streets, thanks to his dad drawing the perfect goat tee on him and adding the LED lights in all the right places.

This was a holiday of requirement. Usually one of my favorites, this year I didn't want to leave bed. First I saw a baby that was in the womb with her mother when Jackson was with me. Then I was reminded that it would have been Jackson's first Halloween.
It was just a shitty day. But the kids were so excited about it all, so off we went, all over Chandler. :)