Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Real grown definition.

I'm a real grown up.

I. Have. Artwork.

No longer do I just have pictures and candles, but we have artwork.

We are real grown ups now.

Seriously, though...Dave and I bought a painting the other night.

Granted, we bought it at Fred Meyer which may or may not make us more grown up since now we are constricted by budget concerns and the question, "Do we need this painting more or less than the 4 boxes of diapers we could buy with the same amount?" 

And no, it's not actually hanging up...yet.  It's sitting nicely on a table in our garage.  But it will,, soon, it will be hanging up soon.

On this same date night where we bought our said painting, we went to dinner at a new restaurant in town that everyone thinks is awesome (including Dave) but not I.  I think it's mediocre and incredibly loud, and really when I have a chance to not be with the kids - the last thing I want to do is willingly go somewhere that's even louder than my home.  But regardless, that is where we went (because I love my husband so) and we, of course, were seated right next to a table with a baby.  Dave looked at me with an "oh boy, here we go" expression and I reassured him that it would be just fine...what harm could a tiny baby do.

Little did I know about the six year old.  She was going potty.

She returned to the table and began dancing in the isle between our two tables.  There she danced, turning in circles and waving her arms around like she was at a dance party and like it was totally acceptable to be doing that in a restaurant.  As she danced and kicked her legs, waving her arms almost knocking over our drinks - I just calmly moved them to the other side of the table.

I sat there staring, yes staring (I have a problem with that when people with deplorable manners are out in public) at her parents who were not oblivious to the dancing, but just completely didn't care.  They, apparently felt her dancing was so fabulous that when the servers tried to pass by carrying large trays of food they didn't even motion to her to get out of the way.  I am convinced that my mouth hung open as I watched the lack of consideration in this family. 

The little girl went away again for some reason, I can only assume another trip to the restroom when her dad, who had wonderful manners himself, decided to stand right in the aisle as well.  I began to laugh as I saw the servers walk around him trying hard to respect his personal space although he was completely disrespecting theirs.

And then our food came.  I saw the girl carrying our food high on the tray and was excited to finally eat and be done with this whole performance when the dad so nicely bumped into our server, causing her to lose her balance and our food went crashing down to the ground.

Awesome friends.  Awesome.

Did he look over and apologize?  No.  Did he move back into his booth and sit down?  No.  Did he move so when all the bus boys were trying to clean it up they didn't have to work around him?  NO!  IT WAS INSANE!!!!  Who does that?????????????????????????????

At that point, I wished that our kids were with us so they could see that rude manners affect everyone around us.

There are parents who are way to hard on their kids in public, expecting them to not make a peep.  There are parents who spend the entire time at a restaurant telling their kids to sit down, not scream, don't do that with your fork.  There are parents who are oblivious to their children and I think they have just reconciled their kids are possessed and their is nothing they can do about it.  And there are parents who are so rude and disrespectful themselves that they think their kids audacious behavior is totally normal.

But our meal was comped (which was nice since we pay a pretty little penny for Mary Poppins which is worth every cent, but still...) and then we rewarded our patience and our restraint with buying artwork.

Patient, restrained adults with artwork...I'm so grown up.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Then I deleted them...

Ok, I've got nothing.

Just in the last three days I have sat here and wondered where God was in situations, seen God all over situations, and been in awe at how God works everything out according to His will and His timing.

I've begun posts regarding the blog awards that I have received and have yet to do anything with simply because my new "so this is what it means to be involved" schedule is overwhelming me.  And then I have deleted them.

I've begun posts regarding the insane tantrum that Emma threw in the middle of church last night due to sleep deprivation but I'm sure that people were thinking she was demon possessed by the way she was screaming and running in circles and knocking over her siblings.  Ya, it was awesome.  Then I deleted them.

I've begun posts regarding how I'm not a competitive person at heart, but apparently when it comes to mothering I am hugely competitive which is incredibly laughable.  And how ridiculous it is that mommies have these "who is the better, stronger, braver mommy" competitions anywhere we can - be it the store, church, school...Can't we all (including me) just decide that being a mommy to 1 kid or 5 kids is hard and we just need to encourage each other instead of feeling like we have one up on each other?  Then I deleted them.

I started posts regarding the power of prayer and how sometimes our prayers aren't answered in the timing we want, or how we want them to be answered, but that they do in fact get answered.  It was deep and moving, but then I deleted them.

So now I have a multitude of stuff to expand on in the upcoming weeks when I get a moment to breathe and sit down and write out my thoughts in their entirety.  However, right now, I'm going to take my cold-stricken self to the couch and take a nap before we have to maintain our incredibly busy schedule (at least for our family).  And really, real life...real relationships...real friendships...real conversations are just better than blogs. 

I know, shocking.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I've arrived - I am now a soccer mom.

Yesterday it happened.

I officially became a soccer mom.

No, I do not have a big soccer ball picture on the back of my minivan yet (don't push it people) but I was there...hovering - and that was only the beginning.

I explained the hovering away to my aunt who is a teacher and hovering parents drive her crazy.  Despite her intensely loud clearing of her throat to inform me I was hovering, I politely ignored her and told her that, "all the other parents were doing it too." 

But the moment it happened, I knew it. 

The twins were both playing, both kicking the ball, both running.

Let's pause here and remember t-ball.  The only time I saw Luke running was when it was snack time. 

But yesterday, they were running and smiling, and participating with only a smidgen of whining due to the rain and chill factor.  It was incredible.  The kids were actually good for NEVER playing soccer before and being 4...I was impressed.  So impressed in fact, that I was screaming from the side lines to, "KICK THAT BALL!  RUN!  RUN!  NO!!!!  THE OTHER WAY!!!!"

There were other soccer moms on the team too.  Thank goodness.

But as I was screaming, I had this moment of realization that I was in fact a soccer mom.  I tried to grab my obnoxious words as they flowed so freely out of my mouth and stuff them back in so I could be calm, quiet cool mom...but there was no doubt about it - it was too late.  I am a soccer mom, mini van and all.

Even as recent as two months ago I sat there watching t-ball parents and swore up and down that I would NEVER be like them.  I would never be screaming (encouragement, mind you) loudly from the sidelines. 

When will I learn that when I say "never," it typically happens way sooner than I ever imagined it would.

But really - how can you not be super excited at 3 and 4 year olds playing soccer like they know what they are doing...even if it is into the other team's goal?

Oh, and pictures will come people - but let's be honest, yesterday I was too busy screaming to take pictures.  Oh.My.Gosh...I am that parent.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Overwhelming, not to mention Amazing, Grace

"God will only give you what you can handle."  I love that verse in the bible.  It's so comforting.  Basically, that verse tells me that really God will never push me outside of my comfort zone, He will never challenge me, change and discomfort won't happen because I can't handle that and God knows it.

Wait, that's not a verse in the bible?  Seriously?

I would like it to be, just as I am sure my mom wished "cleanliness is next to godliness" was part of the scriptures when I was a teenager.

But I think God gives us only what we can handle with Him.  Which, Phillippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength," so basically to sum it up: Grab on to God TIGHT and hold on for the ride of your life.

Being a Christian doesn't mean life is full of rainbows and lollipops - it just means we have a hope and a future.  Being a Christian doesn't mean our pantry will always be full and our vehicles will always be new and shiny - but it does mean that we have an inheritance waiting us that is larger than any earthly sum of money.

This weekend I felt like two worlds collided - and I, miss control freak extraordinaire, was TOTALLY and COMPLETELY not in control of ANY of it.

Saturday night I received an email that I wasn't expecting, well, ever.

My biological father who was never a part of my life due to choices he made had a daughter before me.  I have always known she existed, but I never knew anything about her.  I have wondered what it would be like my whole life to have a sister as well as my big brothers.  But when I started having my own family, quite honestly I forgot about that.  I have forgiven my father for the choices he made - yet have chosen to not have him be a part of my life and so her existence slipped my mind entirely.  That is until Saturday night.

She found me on facebook and we have been chatting all weekend.  Despite her circumstances, she seems to be a strong successful woman.  I looked at pictures of a person I have wondered about my whole life.  Dave teased me about being obsessed looking at pictures over and over again - but it was surreal to finally put that last piece of that whole puzzle together.

And then yesterday as I was standing in church, with my wonderful husband on one side of me and the family who became like my own and the closest thing to a dad I have ever had standing on the other side of me - I was overwhelmed with how richly God has blessed my life.  I have a family who loves me, a husband who I adore, children who are wonderful, an extended family who are amazing, friends who are incredible and a God who has had His hand on me my entire life...even when it didn't feel like it.

I have suffered my fair share of pain and grief, but yesterday as I stood their singing "Amazing Grace" I got a glimpse of the purpose of it all and was reminded that when God orchestrates my life - it truly is amazing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kindness, Integrity and Compassion




These are just a few things I want to instill in my children.  When I think about the world and what would make it a better place (other than the obvious answer of Jesus) I come to the conclusion that if people were honest, kind and compassionate we would be a much safer, happier, peaceful world.

I think integrity is taught.  I asked this a while ago if people thought integrity was something we were born with or we were taught and the answers I received were all over the map.  But here is my argument:  My kids weren't taught how to lie, they just were deceitful at some point (around 3) and I had to teach them that we ALWAYS tell the truth, even if it's not comfortable.  There are families out there who don't stress integrity and make it a requirement in their home.  I, however, do.  Kindness gets you in the door, but if people don't believe a word you say you won't get to stay there very long.

Kindness is imperative as well.  You know those people who seem to not have a kind bone in their body?  The ones who are critical and judgmental of everyone and everything?  I don't know about you, but personally after spending just a smidgen of time with them, I'm pretty convinced that if I never spent any time with them ever again, I would probably benefit from their absence.  I start out our days reminding the kids of the passage of scripture in Phillippians 2 where it talks about going about our day with no (my paraphrase) arguing, whining or fighting but make sure their "lights" are super shiny.  All day long, when my kids start being selfish with toys or even if I start getting grumpy we will remind each other to be shiny.  If we aren't kind, then we aren't shiny.  And if we aren't shiny, then we are missing the whole point.

Compassion is the hard one...or at least for me.  I definitely don't major in compassion, well, even minor in it for that matter.  Often times when people are suffering through consequences of their poor decisions, I struggle with having any compassion at all for them since I strongly believe that every action has a reaction and we just have to learn to deal with it or make better choices.  As I get older, I am beginning to understand grace and mercy a little better and how to be more generous with it.  But there is a different kind of compassion that I'm talking about.  The kind of compassion for people who are hurting and struggling due to no fault of their own.  The people who can't walk.  The people who are blind.  The people who can't talk.  The people without family or friend support.

How do you teach your children about people who are "different" due to know choice of their own?  Are you uncomfortable around those people afraid you might say the wrong thing or offend them?  Do you avoid those individuals in the store so no awkward moment can arise?  Or do you say hi to them like you would any other person?  Do you offer help when you see they need it?  Do you talk with your children about why they are in a wheelchair or using their hands to talk?  Do you gawk at little people, or do you explain to your children why they are their height and talk about them like they are just like us?

I want my children to know that even if people don't look, talk, walk or see like us - that they are still people.  That they are still people who have feelings and needs and that want to be loved just like the rest of us.  They are people that we should be excited to meet and learn from instead of scared and awkward around.

What are you teaching your children?

P.S. The pictures of Lily and Will are from our day at the farm - that's why they are covered in dirt.  Ok, who am I kidding?  Lily is always covered in dirt.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dear Chef Rocco

Dear Chef Rocco,

You were on "The Doctors," talking about how to make good food healthy.

You're handsome and so I bought into what you were saying hook line and sinker (no people, I'm not that easy of a sell...but Chef Rocco, come on!)

I should have known that the approving nods from the doctors were simply not to offend you or make their choice in guest chef look questionable...

So, I did what you said.  I made the brownies.  The brownies that you served the other good looking doctor for his birthday and he smiled and said, "Mmmm...these are good."  I made the brownies that you said were great for diabetic and gluten free diets.

Yes, that's right Chef Rocco - I made your black bean brownies.

As I bought the ingredients, I was hopeful that I would find a great substitute for the treat that I love and not feel guilty if I indulged too much.

As my kids and I began to prepare the brownies we were excited.  We poured the batter into the pan and even tasted the batter.  Ya, it tasted um, beany but we told ourselves it would bake out.

Chef Rocco - it did not bake out!  As a matter of fact, it tasted just like black beans covered with splenda filled chocolate sauce.

Something that has never happened before has happened this week in our home.  The brownies are still in our fridge.

And thank you for your healthy suggestion but in order to get the chocolatey bean taste out of my mouth, we ordered a large pizza and cinnastix...and proceeded to eat the entire thing.

You are handsome but your brownies were not so hot.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Don't run baby, SLOW DOWN!!!

A lot has happened friends.  A lot.

Not anything life changing, well maybe, but not like "  I will never be the same again."  More like, "Can things seriously slow down please?  I must breathe."

Here's my list (so I look important and organized, which I am neither but just humor me...)

1.  Will has started to walk. 

Ya, ya - I know he is 13 months old but it feels like he was just born and really, should stay a baby for much longer.  He didn't get the memo apparently and today decided that since he has been walking for a week he must now attempt to run.

2.  Dave got a new job. 

This is sorta big, right?  He no longer works for the company in which he felt like he was dying a slow painful death every time he walked through the doors - he is working for a company that really, in the grand scheme of things, helps people change their lives.

He works for Kersey Mobility and they modify vans for people who have disabilities of all types.  It is incredible what they can do to vehicles to make it possible for people to have their freedom back.  Know anyone that would be interested in that?  Check out or call (877) 507-7491 and ask for Dave.

3.  Lily used the potty.

Once again, I should be thrilled because one less kid needing a diaper change every ten minutes.  Dave is very excited because this means less money out and more money saved.  But this translates to Lily being ready for potty training which I loathe and do not enjoy.

Before all you start chiming in with your "potty in a day" thing, may I please point out that it is next to impossible, nor do I want to sit in a bathroom all day with all 4 children.  If any of you would like to train Lily in a day for me - please be my guest!

4.  Dave did yoga last night.

Yes, this may be the biggest deal of all friends.  As many of you know, Dave has multiple sclerosis - which is quite annoying and bothersome.  Dave has this nice little habit of not telling me when he is experiencing symptoms because he knows I go into total panic mode, but when he finally tells me after they go away (usually a few weeks later) I am never grateful for his secrecy.  Darn Dave always trying to protect me.

Anyway, we have started eating better - trying our hardest to keep gluten out of our diet and not put any processed foods into our bodies.  PLEASE NOTE:  I AM NOT AN ALL NATURAL TYPE OF PERSON.  I like McDonalds.  I like foods that are bad for me and full of stuff I cannot pronounce.  However, my body doesn't - and I'm pretty sure that Dave's body is definitely opposed to those foods.  So, in effort to reduce his symptoms and me to reduce my fatty mcfat fat body we are eating healthier.  This has been a hard transition, but we are getting it down.

But as I was reading the other night about "natural" ways to reduce some symptoms I came across yoga.  Dave has to take a shot each week called Avonex to keep symptoms at bay. PLEASE NOTE: DAVE DOES NOT LIKE TAKING SAID SHOT AND WOULD RATHER NEVER TAKE IT AGAIN.  But, he must take it and has finally succumbed to the fact that if he continues to not take it I will nag him until he dies at the ripe old age of 98.  But, in effort to keep other drugs not necessary I thought we should give yoga a chance.

Asking Dave to do yoga is the equivalent of me making him put on a dress and drink spiced tea by the fire. 

BUT DAVE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He refused to admit that it was relaxing, or he felt stretched or anything positive from it at all - but he did it.  And tonight when I make him do it again, he shall - and quite possibly, by the time he is the ripe old age of 98 he may admit that he actually benefited from yoga.  I can wait 68 years for that.

5.  I have lost 6 pounds.

My obsession with the scale is unhealthy as I have to weigh myself daily or maybe even twice a day hoping that the number will be less...and it fluctuates, and I get angry - but I am in fact not as large as I was a couple of weeks ago.  Hallelujah.

6.  Preschool starts next week.

No, I do not send my kids to preschool.  I have decided to attempt it on my own.  All you homeschooling parents - God bless you.  I am not, nor will I ever be equipped, patient or organized enough to do homeschooling beyond preschool...but preschool I shall attempt.  My goal is to have readers by kindergarten.  Can it be done?  I dare say yes!  Anyhow, joining Emma and Luke this year will be Lily simply because I cannot keep her interested in coloring any longer when the kids are learning.  She wants to learn too - and I can't tell her no.  So - she now has a book and we shall see how it goes. 

But this is the last year I have with my kids before they are big school goers.  How did that happen?  So much to teach this year like tying shoes, WIPING THEIR OWN BUTTS, buttoning up their shirts and pants themselves, WIPING THEIR OWN BUTTS, how to sing the ABC's with actual melody...oh boy.

7.  I have cooked dinner almost every single night.

Breathe people, breathe.  And most of the meals have actually been pretty good.  Miracles happen people, miracles happen!