Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Over Stimulation

Hello, friends and lurkers alike (lurkers are friends, too!!). It's been a while.

The end of the school year is a busy, busy time for everyone. It's a good busy, though.

Yesterday, for example, my day went a little something like this:

7:45 drop off

8:00 upload pictures from camera onto computer at Michael's office to make room for end-of-year activities

8:30 Caroline's choir performance at Monroeville Middle

10:00 Caroline's choir performance at Community Center

11:15 Caroline's choir party at McDonald's (I'm still a bit jittery)

12:20 Ethan lays down for a nap, I make grocery list

1:30 Ethan's nap is over, and off we go to Wal Mart (I'm still a bit jittery) to buy "stuff", including the "stuff" for Michael and the kids' camping trip tomorrow

2:50 Pick up kids from school and head to Winn Dixie for second half of shopping trip

4:00 Homework, snacks, costume changes

4:30 Caroline's friend (Caroline G) calls to see if Caroline can come over...yes, can your mom come get her?

4:44 Notice Molly's eye...looks like possible staff infection...call to Dr...they are already closed...call to after hours answering service...leave my information

5:00 PTO Officers' Meeting...doctor calls back about 5:10 (during meeting)

6:00 Go pick up Caroline from Caroline G's

6:20 To Rite Aid to pick up prescriptions

6:30 Back home, start dinner

7:10 Dinner and dessert...strawberry shortcake, yum!

7:40 Baths/showers

8:00 stories/prayer

8:15 Rip (see previous posts)

9:00 Watch DVR of American Idol - IF I voted, I would vote for Archuleta.

9:45 Asleep on couch

Today is going to be much the same. Today is awards day at school, we'll have to pack for the camping trip today (because tomorrow is field day, plus there's a funeral reception at our church in the afternoon), and Ethan and I have to pack for Birmingham. I like being busy, though sometimes it stresses me out. Here is a VDO of Caroline's solo. It made me cry.

Bless ya!



video

Monday, May 19, 2008

Life...

Life has been really hectic...crazy...wild...busy. Pick your adjective.

When I find a moment or two - maybe this week - I am SOOO gonna blog.

Bless ya!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Recap

I had a wonderful Mother's day. It was hard and sad at a couple of points (which I plan on blogging about...hopefully tomorrow), but my children and sweet husband made me feel so special.

Michael made lunch on Sunday...he set the alarm clock to go off at midnight Saturday so he could get up and put something in the crock pot - a roast. For lunch we had the most delicious French Dip sandwiches - I absolutely have never had a FD that was as good as the ones he made! The children gave me homemade cards, picture frames, refrigerator magnets, dollar store lotion. All my favorite things. Michael gave me the most wonderful gift, though - he's going to take the kids camping...and I can do whatever I want! I'll miss the camping...but time away makes me a better mom. I'm like the cordless screwdriver...20 hours of charging for 10 minutes of use (I read that in "Blue Like Jazz" and laughed because it was so apt).

How was YOUR Mother's Day? No dustbusters, I hope?

Bless ya!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mother's Day Tips

This is a note to all the men who read this blog.

Actually, I know there aren't any...but just let me have my fun.

A note to all men: Mother's Day is coming up. Don't blow it. here are a few of, what I believe, are the most helpful tips you will ever need.

Tip #1 - Think ahead. You still have 3 days...but you only have 3 days. If you haven't taken action, or at least spent some time planning, you are already behind schedule. A Saturday night trip to Wal-Mart or Food World is not going to serve you well. The cards are picked over and the pre-arranged bouquets have leaves that are browning. We know if you've saved this important task for the last minute.

Tip #2 - Think through meal planning. In my opinion, any meals your wife has to cook/prepare are actual withdrawals from the emotional bank. Breakfast in bed? Great. Lunch out after church? A no brainer. Dinner is really a judgement call. My advice? Know your wife. If you made a late-evening trip to the local grocery store floral department, I'd say dinner, too.

Tip #3 - Think before gift buying. The old "stand by's" may not be the best option anymore. Be creative. Does your wife like practical gifts? Then you are in luck...but remember that "practical" is not a synonym for "dustbuster". Practical gifts are those little lovelies that are not only fun to look at, but useful, as well. The gift doesn't even have to be expensive!! The key is to use your imagination! For your benefit, here are some bad gift ideas: dustbuster (I already mentioned this), any cleaning accoutrement whatsoever, pots and pans (unless the box clearly says "Calphalon - complete set" somewhere on it), grill tools, or anything at all that could be used on the lawn (save gardening stuff...if she's into that).

Tip #4 - Think "time management". What are your plans for the day? Don't have any? Get some. Will you be having a picnic? Making a trip to the park with the kids and a camera? Letting her have the afternoon "off"? Go ahead and think through your laundry needs for next week early in the weekend. No boxers will be laundered on Sunday, buddy!

These are tried and true tips. Tried and true, I'm telling ya. These were gathered from personal research. It is my belief that adopting these tips can help to ensure a safe and restful Mother's Day for all involved.

Bless ya!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Lost at the Ball Park

Yesterday Caroline went with her first grade class to see the Biscuits Play baseball. She was very excited about going, but as we were getting ready that morning we faced a hurdle: should she wear a hat or not?

Caroline, in typical girl style, wanted to wear a hat with her pony tail poking through the back, but was afraid that no one else would be wearing a hat. What if her teacher told her she couldn't wear a hat, and then she had to take it off? Singled out?! Forget it!

We finally came to a conclusion after several minutes of talking it through. I wrote a note to teacher asking for permission for Caroline to wear the hat and assured her (Caroline) that if she was indeed allowed to wear it, her student-teacher would certainly know how to poke the pony tail through. She seemed ok with that plan.

Let me give some more explanation: Caroline couldn't bear to be told "no" by her teacher...this was the reason for her apprehension. Not the "no" itself, but the fact that others might hear and she would be embarrassed. I can totally relate, even though as an adult I could say the whole thing doesn't make sense or that she's overreacting. However, this whole scenario could be a page from my childhood, so I'm not pointing any fingers.

Anyway, as I was dropping Caroline off, I prayed for her: that she would have confidence in the Lord, no matter what teacher said, and that she would be content, without or without her hat. I then went on to pray that God would just make it possible for Caroline to wear her hat on this hot, sunny day at the ball field. (in case you're wondering why this hat thing is a big deal at all - we have a strict uniform dress-code at our school, which is nice, but somewhat of a millstone about my neck at times.)

After leaving Caroline at the school, I had one of those "feelings". I can't really explain it, except to say that I was unsettled in my spirit. Was it the hat issue? Maybe...but it felt deeper than that. All day long I felt a nagging sort of feeling inside me. I wondered if it was her self-consciousness, which surprised me, because she is a very confident little girl. Either way, I felt compelled to pray for her all day long. Like I said, something just wasn't "settled".

At 3:45 I went back to the school to pick her up. I noticed she had a hat on when she got off the bus, which made me smile...but there was something about her face. Something...troubled.

The story goes something like this: Caroline, on a trip to the restroom with the girls in the class, failed to hear the teacher say for everyone to meet at the sinks when they were done. Caroline finished up first, walked out of her stall and saw that no one was there. Thinking she had been left behind, she left the restroom and began walking. (AACK!!) After walking for what, to her, seemed like forever back towards where she had come from (feeling scared and alone), she found one of the chaperones, who lead her back to wear the first grade classes were seated.

When teacher discovered Caroline was not with the group in the restroom, she panicked for a moment (as would have I). When she took the class back to their seats, she happily found Caroline. Teacher then took Caroline aside and (in Caroline's words) "got on to" her. I know she wasn't harsh...but I thought it was interesting that the thing Caroline hoped to avoid with the hat drama in the first place, was played out, not only with her class present, but the entire first grade and all those watching the Biscuits game as well.

How often do I try and orchestrate events in my life so that things go my way and I avoid any sort of less-than-wonderful light? I'll tell you: lots. I think it was a good lesson for Caroline and for me. For Caroline: listen well, apply wisdom, and trust that what God has us face (whether comfy or not) passes through his loving hand first. For me: that still, small voice is something I must listen to. I really feel the Father had prompted me to pray for her all day and had given me that "unsettled" feeling so that I would intercede for her and her class that day.

Whew!

Bless ya!

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Lion and the Lamb

Don't you just love it when God uses your children to show you your sin?

That sounds a little sarcastic, but actually, I don't mean it that way. When my children point out something in my life, it's usually dead on, and also a little funny or cute, so I get the conviction...and a laugh, too.

Ok, now that sounds like I might think sin is funny or something. Good grief...if I'm going to sit around and worry about what you people think of me, I'll never get my housework done...

Anyway, the following is a question (and maybe a commentary?) that was put to me by my precious Molly this morning at the breakfast table. Let me set the scene: after sleeping in for quite a few extra minutes, I inevitably woke the kids late. So, by the time we made it to the breakfast table, we should have already been well into "chore chart" time. I told the girls that since we were running late, we were just having a quick breakfast - nothing fancy. Caroline then proceeds to ask if she can have different things that will take time to make: waffles, toast, cinnamon rolls. No, no, no, I answer. Cereal, nutri-grain, cheese - you pick, but pick now. Caroline pouts and points out that in the time it has taken me to chop up an orange for Molly, I could have stuck a couple peices of bread in the toaster. True enough. SO, I grab the bread, throw it on the counter, shove two pieces into the toaster.

Molly looks at me and asks: "Mommy, will there be animals in heaven?" I explain to her that she has asked a great question and that, yes, there will be animals (in the new earth - hope my theology is correct here. Michael?), and if we feel like taking a nap, we will be able to curl up next to a great big lion to stay warm and he won't hurt us. That, in fact, the wild animals will be our friends - they will be nice to us.

Then she adds: "Mommy, will you be nice to us in heaven?"

Ouch!


Bless ya!

Footnote: I could add here that at the moment this interchange occured I had been awake for a mere 5 minutes, hadn't had my coffee yet, etc...but that would be excuse making. Molly called me on the carpet. I was unkind to my children this morning. Maybe not so much in my words, but in my actions (which they saw clearly), I was anything but "nice". I need reminders like this...they show me how ugly my heart can be, but also my desperate need of Jesus.