Monday, May 26, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
While I was upstairs with the baby, I quickly became aware of how quiet it had gotten downstairs. If you've ever known a two year old, you know that's a bad sign. I couldn't find him inside, so I checked outside. There was my precious little boy swinging in the sun without a care in the world. He had on an orange fleece, one sock, and stark-white Lightning McQueen underwear.
After the swinging got old, he decided sliding looked like fun. To fully grasp this next image in your head, you have to understand something about my husband; bigger is always better and faster is better than slower. Matt noticed the slide was a little sticky one day, so he used Windex on it. That didn't quite do the trick, so he Pledged it. Our kids look like greased pigs flying down a hillside. Now invision Ryan in his new little underwear, remember he has just one sock on, flying down our plastic slide. He actually goes into the air at the end of the slide because he's cruising so fast. When his trip comes to an end, he kind of skids across the grass. At the end of every trip down the slide, he giggles the most care-free giggle that only a young child can really do.
When was the last time you played like a 2 year old? I'm certainly not suggesting that we all go outside in our underwear, but have you taken some time to relax lately? My idea of relaxing is usually doing something that I want to do instead something I have to do. My challenge to you for today is to find some time to be carefree. If you take your kids to the park, don't sit on a bench and watch, get on a swing. Swaying gently doesn't count; pump your legs and really get going. Play a game of tag with your kids. They'll love it and I know you'll feel better too.
As parents or grown-ups we think we need to be teaching the kids around us. In truth, we probably need to sit back and be the students once in awhile. One thing I need to learn from my kids is how to laugh out loud and play like I have nothing better to do...because I don't!
Monday, May 12, 2008
She was getting ready for bed and was arranging all of her many animal friends. A small dalmation fell off her top bunk, so she picked it up and chucked it back onto her bed. She has a whole big bed and is slinging it backwards over her shoulder and do you want to guess where it landed? If you said "right into the side of the cup," you would be right. The water ran down the headboard onto her big pile of books, onto her bedding, and right down the side of the bed like a waterfall until it splatered onto the floor. No big deal, right? The puddle was under her bed in the far corner. I'm sure I was quite a sight sliding under the bottom bunk with only my toes as evidence that I was under there.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
I found this quote and wanted to share it with you:
"For a mother is the only person on earth Who can divide her love among ten children And each child still have all her love."
I won't be testing that quote to see if it is actally true, but I know it's true for three kids.
Happy Mother's Day!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Back to the dining room table for more management and operations management fun. Don't forget to leave a comment on the contest post (Come One, Come All). I would love to reward you, my few faithful followers for reading my ramblings.
Is that the way you live now? It sure isn't that way at my house! My husband is pretty good about not letting my mood affect him, but I need some work in that area. This change of habit has not come easy and I've only been working on it for a day and a half! I've had to be intentional about the little things. My tongue is starting to hurt because I've been biting it a little more often than letting it run.
Challenge for today: find an area of your marriage where you can give a little more. Maybe you could give a real kiss to your spouse before you leave or when you get home. Not just a peck on the lips, but an actual kiss that says "I love you." Maybe you can drop what you're doing when your spouse gets home to show that you are happy to see him/her. Be creative...I think it will be worth it.
Don't forget to enter the contest posted yesterday!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
1. If you're a mom, tell me why you love it,
2. If you're not a mom, tell me what you love about your mom.
Easy enough. Get me your entries by Thursday, May 8 at 5 pm CST and I'll a winner (or randomly if I can't decide). If you refer a friend, you get an extra entry. Make sure your referral mentions your name in their comment so I know who to give credit to.
I think that's it...get to posting!
Monday, May 5, 2008
I won a Mother's Day Contest! Let me clarify that...I was A winner in a Mother's Day Contest. My entry should be posted sometime this week on the Hearts at Home website. This website is a great resource for Moms, whether you stay home with your kids or not. They also have books available on a variety of topics that you might enjoy. Check it out if you have time. Also, I love the winning entry that's posted on there today.
Well, I guess that's it for now. I hope you have a great day and please enter the contest so we can all see the reasons we have to be thankful for our greatest God-given jobs as Moms!
Friday, April 25, 2008
I heard a song today that was new to me...I don't watch American Idol, so I'm sure I'm a little behind the times. It's called "Hollywood's Not America" by Ferras. Besides that fact that it's just a pretty song, I love the lyrics. My favorite lines are "You can make a million dollars/But you might lose yourself." Isn't that the whole world? There's really no limit to how much money you can make, but does it really matter if you don't recognize yourself or your life when you're done? I can spend my life working, but when I wake up, my kids might be 30 and I don't even know them. I know money is important, but not THAT important. Love what you do today, but don't trade your life for it.
"So long girl..."
P.S. Don't forget to comment on what you think the prize (within reason) should be for the upcoming contest
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Another small hint about the contest...the winner will be chosen at random from all entries, but you can receive bonus entries by referring people to my blog. They have to be visitors who post a comment stating who referred them and I will give you the dates that they will count. Well, that's enough for one day. Stay tuned!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Another reason I'll be excited when school is over for the semester: I am finishing ANOTHER group project. Luckily for me, there is a girl in the group who is as uncomfortable as me (maybe more so) with other people influencing her grade. She also has a 4.0 GPA, so has been doing the entire project just for something to do. Secretly I think she's as paranoid as me that after working so hard to have a spotless academic record, it could all be ruined by this stupid project. At the moment that paper is 8 pages. I also volunteered to proofread that one. If you're keeping track, that means I am proofreading 33 pages of yuck that I care nothing about, except for its impact on my grade.
Well, it's off to bed for me. Hopefully you'll forgive me for not proofreading this!
P.S. Stay tuned because when I'm done with school I will be celebrating with all of you by having a small competition/give-away. It will be fun, I promise!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
"Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therfore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Luke 12:22-31
I was only going to use a portion of that passage, but the entire thing is so good. I hope you will be blessed by it. How many times in your life do you look at the facts of a situation and think that it's too big for God to handle? You might not say it exactly in those words, but it certainly colors your vision. I catch myself doing this all the time. I think I need to figure my life out myself and I keep God in a tiny little box for when I need him. Matthew 17:20 talks about if we will have faith the size of a mustard seed we can do things like move mountains. Umm...I think if God can move a mountain or create the world, he could certainly provide money, or food, or employment, etc. You can fill in the blank. God wants to prove himself faithful, but do we let him? Sometimes he does anyway which is where my day began.
My daughter (4) is very picky about her clothes. Her socks are usually the area where we have problems. She has 4 pairs of socks she will wear and right now we only have matches for 2. I had Matt wash them last night so she would have socks to wear today to school. Slight misunderstanding...he didn't put them in the dryer! 5 minutes before we needed to leave I discovered the wet socks smashed against the side of the washer. I ran to her bedroom and began praying that I would find a match for the one clean sock I had. While crawling around on the floor, I found a laundry basket under the baby bed (not sure how it got there) and there was a matching yellow sock. Praise God! I know that's silly, but I had an extra bounce in my step and a hymn of praise on my lips. That wasn't the end of my blessings for today.
When I got to school this morning, I had to go to the Dean's office to follow up on a letter I received in the mail last week. When I got there, they informed me that I was the recipient of a $5000 scholarship. Yes, you read that correctly. The number of 0's was not a typo. I about fell over! I'll be the first to admit that lately God hasn't had His proper place in my life (the center). What an awesome God I serve that he would choose to bless me even when I think I'm the boss of my life.
Today I pray that you will be blessed and reminded of God's faithfulness.
Monday, April 14, 2008
The first time a child shouts for me, I calmly reply with "What?" After about the tenth time, it turns into, "WHAT!!!" and I'm sure all the neighbors can hear. I finally got smart and pulled out my Bible for some encouragement. I'm sure the battles are different at your house, but with young children, we can all use some encouragement about the role of perseverance.
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:1-5
Whoo! Talk about some encouraging words! What an incredible promise from God that if we persevere, our character will be enhanced and along with that, hope. I don't know about you, but some days hope is all I have left. Hope that my kids will become God-fearing young people. Hope that my kids will one day respect authority (even if they stick their tongues out at me today). The list goes on and on. I'll take some liberties with the verse and say that our perseverance not only produces character in us, but in our children as well.
Well, it's now 10:03 and I hear no more crying coming from upstairs. Thank you God for the patience and perseverance to win yet another small parenting battle. Now if only I can remember this lesson until tomorrow night when it starts all over again.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Since you've spent so much money on school, you'd think you would try to get your money's worth. Here's an interesting situation: you actually are excited when the teacher doesn't show up, cancels class, or let's you out early. Wait! What? That would be like going to Wal-Mart and saying, "I know I've given you $10, but I really only want $5 worth of product." If we saw someone do that we'd think they were crazy!
Here's the real kicker: We put ourselves through all of this for a little piece of paper. Can you believe that? After all the money we pay and all the time we invest, all we get is a lousy piece of paper? I realize you get all of the knowledge, etc. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about tangible rewards.
On top of all of these things I've mentioned already, now I have to worry about being shot! Campus was virtually shut down yesterday because some bored college student who probably had waited too long to study for a big test, handwrote a letter saying that there would be a shooting on campus and placed it in the payments box at his/her apartment complex. I realize that the administration had to take action in case there was a shooting, but come on! Today there is a cop on every corner. Do you want to know what troubles me about that? They can't prevent a shooting! They're not checking bags at the doors to make sure no one has a gun. They're just making sure that if something does happen, they can respond quickly. Is it just me, or is that a little troubling?
Here's another thing to think about: if the entire police force in our county (plus some state troopers) are on campus, who's going to stop a person who decides it would be a great time to rob a bank?
Just some fuzzy thoughts to fall asleep by. Have a good day!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Here's a brief summary of the last 2 weeks around our house:
- Attended an awesome Christian mom's convention with my mom
- Celebrated Easter with our families
- Husband is playing football again on a trial basis
- Lost a group member for a project that is due in 2 1/2 weeks
- Baby (5 months) transitioned from bassinet to crib
- Ryan (2) transitioned from crib to bottom bunk
- Baby started rolling over
- Baby started eating solid food
Let's talk about solid food for a minute. Why do babies always make that awful face like you're trying to poison them when you give them their first taste of cereal? Aaron screwed up his face and gagged the first time I gave him rice cereal. Then he pushed the cereal out of his mouth with his tongue. Being the good mom I am, I scraped it off his face and shoveled it right back in his mouth. When he signaled he was done with the cereal by crying, his bowl actually looked fuller than when we started. I think it was because of the regurgitated cereal mixed with saliva that ended up in his bowl. He's eating the paste much better now. He only gags on the first bite or two.
As you can see, it's been busy around our house. I'm sure I've lost any readers I had at one time because you thought I had fallen off the earth. Be assured that I am still here! Let's all meet back here again tomorrow!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tonight I ventured to Wal-Mart with Madison (4) and Ryan (2). We couldn't find socks for Madison, so she decided to wear shoes without socks. Then we couldn't find her shoes, so she wore black boots with zippers. On top of that, her jeans are getting too small and her butt crack hangs out if she at all deviates from the upright position. Ryan was wearing sweatpants and penny loafers (1 size too big) with white athletic socks. To top it all off, I think they both made it out of the house with orange pizza sauce residue on their faces. And so it begins...if this was the end of the story, I wouldn't be writing this as a post. The trip quickly spiraled into an awful experience full of burning-red checks. (Facial cheeks for me and butt cheeks for my kids)
Madison wanted to ride in the cart, then wanted to walk, then ride in the cart, etc. Finally I made her walk next to me because she was riding the end of the cart as if it was a scooter and I envisioned her feet getting stuck under the cart and me running over her while the Wal-Mart employees looked on with disgust. She threw a fit about walking next to me, but I just kept walking thinking she would follow me. (I have a lot to learn as a mother!) She fell to her knees crawling after me screaming, "MOMMY! QUIT LEAVING ME! YOU JUST ... KEEP ... LEAVING ME!!!" This was the first of my blazing cheeks. I calmly picked her up and ushered her quickly to a quiet aisle while customers stared at me because I was obviously abusing her! When I got down at Madison's level to look her in the eye and discuss her behavior, I was frightened! This was not the face of the angelic baby I labored to bring life to just 4 short years ago. She had morphed into a creature barely recognizable as a little girl. Panic rushed through my body. What do I do? My precious daughter's body has been hijacked! It was like the movie Men In Black where the man's head flips open and there's a miniature alien controlling his body with little levers and switches. That must be what happened, because MY daughter isn't capable of such things. The scenes from the movie quickly ended with Madison's shrill voicing screaming, "PLEASE DON'T SPANK ME MOMMYYYYYYY!"
I thought back to the day she was born when I spent hours staring at her face dreaming what our lives together would be like. I vowed that I wouldn't be one of THOSE parents and she wouldn't be one of THOSE kids. But even my best intentions could not ward off the inevitable Wal-Mart meltdown. After living through one, I can honestly say that I don't look at THOSE parents with THOSE kids the same!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Shortly after this lecture, I found myself lying to my son. Nothing too serious, mind you, but just little lies that make it easier to get through the day. Here's an example of one of my day-smoothing lies. Ryan is suddenly very picky about his wardrobe. The only clothes he will wear are hand-me-downs from his cousin Josh. I've found myself labeling everything as formerly Josh's just to get my boy dressed in the morning. Is that wrong?
Another example: "Mom, are there any cookies left?" My answer: "Nope, no more cookies." Truth: "There are plenty of cookies left, but I don't want you having anymore." It wouldn't be that much harder to tell the truth, but if I say there are no more cookies, there's no fight involved. My kids can be quite the beggars and when I'm cooking supper, I just don't want to deal with it. Again, is that wrong? Leave your opinion in the comments if you want to share.
P.S. Thanks for your patience regarding my posting. I've been a little busy lately.
Friday, February 29, 2008
On my way to work there was a song playing on the radio that really hit home for me. I'm not sure of the title or the artist, but the line that kept being repeated was "you're gonna miss these days." At the beginning of the song, my attitude was still rotten from my morning and my response to the key line was, "yeah, right! I don't think I'll miss this chaos!" The last verse of the song was about a mom with one child crying and one child screaming while the phone was ringing and a man was trying to repair the hot water heater. The mom kept apologizing to the repairman for all the chaos. The repairman told her that no apology was necessary and explained that she would miss these days. Wow, did that sum up my morning! Even now as I think about it, it makes me tear up. I have lost a morning with my kids that I will never get back. Ever since I had my first child, people have been telling me how fast time goes and that I'm going to miss this, but I've never believed them. Yeah, I know time goes fast, but why would I miss this? There are many days when I'm begging for bedtime to come for my kids so I can do things that I want to do. How selfish is that? Yes, I need time for myself, but there will also be plenty of time for that after my kids grow up and leave me. I want to have happy memories to keep me company while they're gone.
I think the phrase "these days fly by" is slightly inaccurate. I think it's more accurate to say "the days don't go quickly, but the years sure do." You'll find thoughts and articles similar to this idea on http://www.family.org/. They have some great marriage, parenting, etc resources. Check it out if you have time and enjoy your kids!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Three simple questions…
1. If you knew you could not fail and those around you would not only suspend judgment, but wholeheartedly support you…what would you do?
2. Are you doing it?
3. If not…why?
Oh, one final question…
*If your reason for not doing something is that you’re afraid of failing or being judged…how much worse would that be than never having tried?
Fear and fear of failure play such a huge role in my decisions, so it's hard to abandon those feelings for this exercise, but I'll try. For me, it would involve a job change. I am so secure in my job that the thought of leaving scares me. I also have a case of approval addiction, so I don't want anyone disappointed in me for leaving; I don't want to let them down. So, if I quit my job, what would I do? My dream is to own a candy store like the one in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It would be similar to Maple City Candy Store in Monmouth, IL.
Am I doing it? No, for the reasons listed above. Fear of failure, approval addiction... Also, I'm worried it won't make enough money to support my family. Once I'm done with school, I will probably have a little more time to explore other careers. Realistically, I will probably never open a candy store. It's just not practical and practical is my middle name!
As for the final question, I think for me it is worse to fail than to have never tried because trying is so strongly linked to my financial well-being. I feel like that's a fairly good excuse for not trying, but maybe it's just a cop-out.
What do you think?
Think about your answers and share if you want to.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
My morning was going pretty well: I got quite a bit done and my kids all seemed relatively happy. Most mornings at home, 2 of my 3 children are crying at any given time. (The things we will go through to make money) The baby was playing quietly on the floor, my 4 year old was playing quietly by herself, and my 2 year old was being quiet. After several minutes of relative quietness, fear slowly crept up my insides until I realized it had been quiet too long.
Oh no! Something must be wrong! I turned from the computer and the baby and 4 year old were still playing quietly. It would be easy to think my mother's intuition was wrong, but I knew better. The remaining child isn't just any 2 year old...he's a two year old boy. I asked Madison to run upstairs and check on her brother. What I heard next would strike fear in any seasoned mother's heart. Madison was laughing hysterically and she shouted, "Mom! You gotta get up here and see this boy!"
I took the steps two at a time and nearly missed the doorway to my bedroom (think the famous Kramer move on Seinfeld). Ryan was sitting on my bed with a set of Crayola paints. Not just any Crayola paints, but rather glitter Crayola paints. And he was EATING them!! When he decided one color tasted bad, he spit it out ON MY BED and tried another color. Maybe he thought they were different flavors? He had paint in his ears, on his hands, on his socks, and his teeth and tongue were covered in glitter. God bless kids...life would be boring without them!!
Follow-up to that story: Ryan's first post-paint-eating diaper was very colorful and glitterful!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I love getting my kids' pictures taken. Pick a holiday and I've probably gotten my kids' pictures taken for that day. Easter...yup. Christmas...most definately. Halloween...yup, done that one too. Presidents Day...my son wore the top hat like Abe Lincoln. Ok, well I might be exaggerating on that one; however, I did get his pictures taken on Abe Lincoln's birthday, but that's only because my son's birthday is the same day. It's only been 2 days, but the memory is still a little painful and quite vivid. It might be good therapy for me to revisit my most recent trip to the Wal-Mart portrait studio.
My son was in a great mood when we arrived. He was chatting up the Wal-Mart greeter when we walked in . You know the one...smiley face tie, suspenders, and a handful of smiley face stickers. I always imagine the stickers have little swords and Zorro masks just slashing the prices for me as I walk through this store. Just like the commercials. Rollin' Back Prices. My own little price slasher stuck right on my kids' shirts. Until they get drooled on, dropped on the floor, put in the mouth. Yummy! Back to the story, we walked into the portrait studio (fancy name for a hole in the wall with a table for the kids to sit on) and he's all grins. The thought crosses my mind that I might actually get some good pictures out of him. I banish that thought to the far corner of my braining afraid that I have already jinxed myself. The photographer gets the bright idea that since it's his birthday, she will get some balloons from the Woodforest Bank next door for him to hold in the picture. Yeah...right! I haven't been a mom a really long time, but I know better than to think he's going to sit like a little cherub with balloons in his hands. His favorite thing to do with a helium-filled balloon is to try to bite it. Oh well. The photographer wasn't going to listen to my opinion on the subject. I'm just his mom who happens to hold the award for most visits to the Wal-Mart portrait hole in the wall...um, I mean studio. Ok, so they don't give out that award, but if they did, it would be framed in a cheap little Wal-Mart frame on my wall.
The Woodforest Bank was a little busy and couldn't get the balloons ready right away. No problem. My son had rummaged through the portrait props and found a small red step ladder with paint all over it. Since he was in a good mood and infatuated with the ladder, I asked if we could just have him stand at the ladder with the #2 next to him. She thought that might work, so we tried it. Bingo! A priceless picture. Thank goodness we got that one! The balloons finally arrived and he couldn't have been happier. Maybe this wasn't going to be so bad after all. She tried to get him to sit down...what a joke! All he wanted was to get back on the darn ladder. Instead of asking me if I wanted another picture of him on the ladder, she decided to take the ladder from him and hide it. BIG mistake, Lady! He threw a doozy of a fit. A fit that only a 2 year old is capable of throwing. If it had been the day before, it probably wouldn't have been as big, but now he's 2 and he's got to express it somehow! This photographer was a tough cookie, though and she wasn't about to give up just because of a little fit. The balloons were a good idea, but she had a better one. I could see the little light bulb above her head come on as she pulled a sucker out of the cabinet. Yes, you read that right. She tried to bribe a 2 year old with a sucker while attempting to photograph him. The rest of our picture attempts were of him reaching for the camera since she was holding the forbidden candy right up in front of the big foil umbrella. I was ready to cry right along with him because I was so frustrated. I asked if we could stop trying and just settle for the one good picture we got. She reluctantly agreed as if she thought she could somehow manage to save this train wreck of an experience.
What she did next will keep this memory forever burned in my mind. She bent down in my son's precious face and said, "I really wanted to be able to give this sucker to you, but since you didn't smile, I'm just going to have to put it away." I've never seen him beg for anything more in his 2 short years of life. He was frantically wiping his hands across his chest (sign language for "please") and saying "pease, pease, pease." I would have said something, but I took off in search of my tiny personal Wal-Mart Zorro to put his sword to good use!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
I miss my sister because:
- I want to raise our kids together
- I don't have an answer for the little blue eyes that look up at me and ask, "Hannah is a really fun girl. When will I get to play with her again?"
- My little boy walks around the house looking for Zsosh (Josh).
- Once a year is just not enough time together when we've lived so close for 22 years.
- She's my best friend.
The list could go on and on, but I'll stop with the top 5.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
As you might guess I was more than a little wet when I reached the van. Once I arrived at my destination, I ran for the door, trying to dodge the puddles under my feet and the mini water bombs from the gutters overhead. I finally reached the door, threw it open, and stepped inside. Ahh...at last I was out of the rain. Not 3 seconds later, I was greeted by a pleasant voice which asked, "Did you get wet in the rain?" I peered through my wet hair and bit my tongue to keep from saying, "No. I was watering my grass and there was a little overspray! Heeere's your sign!"
For more Bill Engvall "Here's Your Sign" fun visit this link:
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
My kiddos are growing faster than I can keep up with. Every day it's something new. Today my daughter informed me that when she gets old like me ("You know Mom...when I'm 7?") she's going to wear a booby bra. How I kept from laughing, I'll never know. My son who doesn't talk much yet said Uh-oh. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but he doesn't say many 2 syllable words and Uh-oh usually sounds like Uh-uh. And the baby, he's not really doing much yet, but he does smile a lot. I'm still trying to coax a laugh out of him, but I've been unsuccessful so far.
Well, my life isn't too exciting and no one will probably read this anyway, so I guess I'll close my first blog posting and send it off into cyberspace. If you're reading this, you need a hobby because it's really not worth reading! Check back tomorrow and I'll have something better to write about. (Stephanie, it's probably just you and me. I'll post something for you tomorrow.)