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Monday, March 29, 2010

Gratituesday - My Helping Hubby & Dr. Seuss

Several months ago, the school librarian asked me to help with the Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration on March 5.  Because this is one of my favorite activities our elementary school has each year, and because I've helped every year since it first began (5 or 6 years ago), I immediately said, "YES!". 

Using the Dr. Seuss book, "OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!", the students travel around to differnent states or countries and find out more about the place they are visiting.  This year the theme was countries and I chose to do Mexico.  I was so excited to teach the children about the Mexican culture and let them eat some of the foods of Mexico.

A few weeks before the event I was visiting with my husband about the Dr. Seuss Celebration and we happened to turn the calendar to March.  Right there in big letters, over the squares of the dates March 4 - 7, I had written "Birthday Trip for Mom".  My sister and I had planned a surprise trip for our mom way back in September, and I hadn't thought about those dates when I had committed to helping the school librarian.  Uh, oh! I had a BIG problem.
I turned to my husband and said, "I have a HUGE favor to ask you."  Of course he knew what I was going to ask, so he immediately said, "NO!".  I pleaded and begged and pleaded and begged some more (and even some more :).  He said, "Lori, I've never been to Mexico!  I can't teach the kids about Mexico!"  I said, "Neither have I, but we've both been close, and you can do this.  It will be fun!  You'll be great! I'll get Lauren (our oldest child...A few teenagers usually get out of class to help with this day) to help you.  I'll get everything ready for you before I leave." He reluctantly said yes.  I was soooooo thankful!  Of course, this meant that I was going to have to work really, really hard to get everything done before leaving town - not to mention that he was also going to be taking care of our four children while I was gone (and working, too!).
I managed to get everything ready before I left.  Here's my husband's costume.  I had him try it on before I left, just so I could get a picture.  Cute, huh???  I made an adobe house out of cardboard...not elaborate, but it was okay.  I bought all of the supplies for the students to make homemade salsa and homemade guacamole.  I asked my mother-in-law if she would have time to make him a little Ojo (God's Eye craft) to show (and she did). He picked up four pinatas and some candy at a party shop on the way home from a work-related meeting.  I wrote out a lesson plan and placed all of his needed supplies into baskets.  Everything was all ready for his study of Mexico!

Well, after school on the day of the event, I decided to call and see how the Dr. Seuss Celebration went.  My husband didn't answer his phone, but I called the house and one of our boys (Jacob) answered. (My husband was in our field with the goats, so he didn't hear his phone.)  I asked Jacob how the day went.  He said it went well, but there was kind of a problem with the pinata in the Mexico class. The students in that group (Jacob's class and another class), kind of dog-piled onto the candy as the pinata busted.  I was a little concerned about that, but Jacob said the rest of the lesson was fine.  Our youngest, Tyler, got on the phone. I asked him how he liked the "Mexico" center.  Another volunteer had taught about Holland.  Instead of answering about Mexico, Tyler said, "Have you ever heard of Holland?  That was my favorite center.  They have lots of flowers."  I asked him again about Mexico.  He said, "Yeah, it was good."
Well, I've heard from several adults about how "entertaining" my husband was in doing his lesson on Mexico.  I've also heard from him (and our daughter!) about how everything I had planned, didn't get done exactly how I had planned for it to be.  In fact, he told me that probably nothing was done how I expected it to be! 

Here's what I've learned (from him, our daughter who was able to help him, from the librarian, and even from some of the teachers):

1.  The adobe house blew out of his pick-up on the way to school and landed in a neighbor's yard.  He got it from the yard...some of it broke...and it was set up all different than what it was supposed to be. But it's okay.
2.  After the pinata dog-pile during the first group that visited his class, he came up with a new strategy.  I don't remember what it was, but he said it worked. It doesn't matter.
3.  The moustache I had bought him to wear?  He couldn't find the sticky stuff for it, so he just put an advocado peel across his upper lip! I'm sure that was quite a site!
4.  The salsa?  He put LOTS of peppers in it - plus a peppermint candy in one of the classes!  He couldn't find the recipe (that was also left with the baskets and with the ingredients!)  He said that he and our daughter made up their own recipe and that it was very tasty!  All of the jalapenos kept some of the students from tasting it, though. I don't think I would have tried it, either!
5.  He bought pinatas that have pull strings, but didn't know it until after he had done several classes.  The students were hitting them with a soft bat while blindfolded, but they broke quickly because they weren't made to be hit.  I have to say that he had probably never bought a pinata before, so wouldn't have known what all of the strings hanging from the bottom would have meant. Remember: He volunteered to help and go get the pinatas!
6. During each class he told a big story about the history of "Cinco de Mayo", but ended with the punch line of: Sinking of the mayo (like mayonnaise!).  The first grade teacher said she was listening very intently because she had never heard all about what he was telling....then he got to the punch line!  She said it was hilarious! They learned about Mexico - that was the goal.
7.  Several teachers wrote/told me it was the most entertaining class they had been to for the Dr. Seuss Celebration - even the adults themselves were entertained! Well, at least everyone had fun!
8.  I'm thinking next year I should plan to be gone again on the first Friday in March! I'm thinking he might not say yes if it happens again.  Maybe I'd better be here!
I am grateful for my husband's willingness to help with the Dr. Seuss Celebration.  He bailed me out and tried something new...and a little crazy!  I over-committed myself by not checking the calendar more closely.  I was in a bind, and he reluctantly agreed to help me out by teaching the lesson.  And you know what?  I think he actually enjoyed it!  I know the students and teachers sure did! Although, he might not ever admit it.

Marriage is sometimes going above and beyond to help your spouse. At our wedding, which was almost 21 years ago, we had traditional wedding vows.  If we ever renew our vows, I'm suggesting these "Dr. Seuss-type vows" that I found on the web.  I think it would have special meaning for us now, don't you???? 

Minister:  Will you take her as your wife?  Will you love her all your life?

Groom:  Yes, I'll take her as my wife.  Yes, I'll love her all my life.

Minister: Will you have and also hold, just as you have at this time told?

Groom:  Yes, I will have, and I will hold, just as I have at this time told.
Yes I will love her all my life as I now take her as my wife.

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:25-33
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