Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bits and Pieces #21

  • My older teenagers** have been enamored with Snapchat for some time now.  I am Not A Fan, no matter how much they have tried to convert me.  I think it isn't at all intuitive, it is annoying and ridiculous.  But no matter how I boo hoo, the kids continue to find it appealing, and I think the Snapchat craze has gotten out of hand.  Whilst on vacation this summer without internet access, one of my children actually had their friends babysit their Snapchat streaks.  A Snapchat streak?  What is that, perhaps you are saying?  A streak is an unbroken stretch of back-and-forth snap chatting.  And if you are without internet on vacation, one can't let those streaks die, so one must ask one's friend to babysit the streak, which means in some cases, the friend is actually snap chatting him or herself on behalf of my child.  THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME.
  • Overheard, this song:  Tarantulas, tarantulas, if there's fuzz where your hamster was, it's probably because of tarantulas!
  • Also overheard:  Child: "Hello favorite doggie!"   Me: How about 'Hello favorite mommy'?" Child: "You're not my favorite mommy!"  Me:  "Who else could be your favorite mommy?" Child: "Mary!"
  • I recently opened my Kohl's online shopping cart to find $1093.84 worth of goods.  Most of the items in my cart were $169.99 air fryers.  This is my life.
  • My youngest daughter, about her big sister:  "Poor sissy!  She is off to work after only a few minutes after school at home! Just like a grown up!  The days go too fast!" Sigh.  Indeed.

**Only the two older teenagers have snapchat, having proven themselves in the responsibility department.  My youngest teenager has received a firm no every time he asks to have it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Awhile ago, I read the following quote on a canvas in a friend's home:

it does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise, trouble
or hard work.  it means to be in 
the midst of those things and still
be calm in your heart.

Wow.  Those thoughts really gave me pause.  My knee-jerk reaction would be "Yes!  I agree with that! Peace is more about your mindset and heart than the actual circumstances you are living in."  But in reality, when the rubber hits the road, how often do I really feel that way?

Often, I get bogged down with the minutiae of life.  The to-do list, the never ending the laundry, the taxiing the children to and fro, the work demands, the being pulled in a thousand directions.  I often get pulled under with all noise -- arguing, singing, demanding, random noise-making children.  I get frustrated when things don't go my way or are harder than I think they need to be.  

The word peace conjures up images of beaches and sunrises.  Of solitude and prayer.  Of reflective worship.  Of easy living and relaxation.  Of harmonious family members. Of quiet.

And while those things might indeed, bring peace, they are often few and far between.  So am I only to experience peace when those (sometimes rare) events occur?  Thankfully no!  As the above quote states, true peace is being able to find peace even amidst the cacophony of life.  And even more, being able to find that inner peace enables us to create outer peace in our own lives.  As Christians, we know who provides that inner peace and we are able to embrace it in Christ!  What a gift we have been given. . .to know that Christ gives us peace! Among the loudness and busyness of our lives, Christ enters into our hearts, to give us that peace we long for.  We may not see it in white-sand beaches or beautiful sunsets or idyllic vacations or even in quiet.  But we can see it in our hearts, through faith.

One of my favorite passages as a child is one I now use as I bless my children each night.  I make the sign of the cross on their foreheads as I tuck them in and often quote this verse:

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Phil 4:7

May He indeed.  Amidst the noise and chaos of life, may we have true peace in Him.

What can you do to promote world peace?
Go home and love your family.
Mother Theresa

Sing a Song

My  blog is a mixed bag, perhaps you've noticed.  One day I post pictures from the week ranging from rocks that look like poop on my counter to sentimental ramblings about my children's rapidly passing childhoods to musings on faith.

 You (and I, honestly!), just never know what I will write about.

Today, I bring you a list of songs that one of my children (who shall remain nameless) has altered for our family's entertainment.  Brace yourself, delicate reader.  Potty humor is über cool in our house and rears its ugly head below.

Original song:  Owner of a Lonely Heart
Child's version:  Owner of a Deadly Fart (variations - Owner of a Juicy Fart)

Original song: I'll Make a Man Out of You (from Mulan)
Child's version:  I'll Make a Man from your Poo!

Original song:  Do You Wanna Build a Snowman, lines altered include "We only have each other, it's just you and me.  What are we gonna do??"
Child's version: altered lines -- "We only have each other, it's just you and me.  What are we gonna pooooooo?"  (did you see that one coming, dear reader?)

Original song: Paradise City, lines altered include "Take me down to Paradise City where the grass is green and the girls are pretty."
Child's version: altered lines -- "Take me down to Paradise City where the grass is brown and the girls are ugly".

Original song: New Romantics, lines altered include "Cause baby I could fill a castle, out of all the bricks they threw at me"
Child's version:  altered lines -- "Cause baby I could fill a castle, with all the turds they threw at me!"

Original song:  Theme song to Sofia the First
Child's version:  "Sofia the turd!  Making my way through the sewers every day!  Finding out what being brown is all about!"

Original song:  Look What You Made Me Do (I will write more about this song later - I am NOT a fan of it or its title!)
Child's version:  Look What You Made Me Poo

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cry Baby

The scene:  Bedtime routine with KK, age 8

KK:  We read a book in school about Mrs. Tizzy.  I can't tell you about it.

Me:  Why?  Is it sad?

KK:  Yes.  It's about an old woman.

Me:  Why is it sad?  Did all of her children leave her?

KK:  Not exactly.

Me:  Don't tell me.  I'll probably cry.  Did your teacher cry when she read it?

KK:  No. . .     And then she proceeded to tell me the entire story. . .about an old woman who entertained the neighborhood kids each week.  She was so much fun and everyone loved her.  Then she got sick.  The doctor came out of the house and shook his head seriously. . .

Me:  (sigh.  tears seeping out of my eyes)

KK:  And the last page is a picture of just her hat.  But all the kids did the special things without her, in her memory.

Me:  (brushing away a few tears) I told you not to tell me!  Mommy can't handle these kinds of stories!

KK:  I know, Mamma.  You shouldn't read this book.

Me: 😳

Sunday, October 15, 2017

All In A Day's Work

Things I've done today, not in order of importance:

  • Listened to the Preschool - First Grade Choir sing at worship this morning.  We had so many children join us this morning - my heart was full as they all sang their praises! 
  • Sang with the worship team at church.  I haven't been singing much lately due to the busyness of our schedules, and I miss it so much!  It was wonderful to be a part of such a fabulous group of musicians!
  • Participated in a confirmation rite with my 11-year-old son.  My husband and I were able to trace the sign of the cross over his eyes, ears, mouth, heart, hands and feet as we prayed for him.  This rite always catches me off guard -  I love praying for his heart, that he may always know his Savior -- his hands, that God may be glorified in the work they do -- his mouth that God's praises may always be spoken.  The journey to confirmation and communion is such a joy!
  • Went shoe shopping with my boys (and youngest daughter).  The boys have been driving me cuh-razy with their obsession over which basketball shoes they have to have.  My husband and I, of course, have limits on what we will spend on these precious items, and I assure you the amount we will generously provide doesn't exceed the amount of our electric bill!  The boys have acquiesced to our spending limits, but are still scouring the internet for the most dope shoes available to man, at the cheapest price possible.  I'm about to tell them they can wear flip flops and hope for the best.
  • Painted a bathroom.  We have decided to renovate our downstairs bathroom, and our goal was to get it painted today.  Success!  In the coming week or two, we hope to put up wainscoting and put in new flooring.  We have very limited time to accomplish these tasks -- I am hoping for the best!
  • Enjoyed a family dinner with all seven of us.  With my eldest two in their school play (with major leads!!), they have been gone many evenings lately, so our dinner time is precious!  However, two of my little darlings forget how precious this time is, and I therefore felt inspired to pen a list of things we need to work on during dinner time, including the seemingly obvious, but apparently extremely hard to accomplish, sitting on our chairs. 
  • Played a loud, spirited game of Pit with the three youngest kids.  Lots of yelling, laughing, and  bell-ringing. Corner on Wheat!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Five Things I'm Lovin' Right Now - In Pictures

In no particular order, I bring you the following, which bring me great happiness:

My boys' IKEA towels, hanging neatly and vibrantly on the back of their bedroom door.  Each child has his or her own color, and each towel has a handy loop for hanging.  I love knowing just whose towel is whose (especially if I spy one laying on the floor!).

Rave apples.  I just discovered these this year (at a grocery store sample counter - for once I didn't sample and make polite commentary about "maybe buying" "in the future").  They are tart and flavorful and very fall-ish!

I opened the fridge today to find this lovely little piece of hardened toast, left for me by my daughter this morning.  She texted me after she left it there, telling me she left me "a wee fridge present".  Cold and stale toast doesn't usually make me smile, but this time it did.

Aldi.  Well, more specifically, friends that I have converted to Aldi-ism.  I took this pic for a friend who I introduced to Aldi last year.  Making people into Aldi converts brings me some serious joy.

This thirty-one bag.  My sister got it for me several years ago, and under each of the kids' likenesses are their names (not shown).  I smile every time I use it - it makes me so happy! 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Things I Just Don't Understand**

Among the many, many things that baffle me, I offer you these:

  • The song Despacito: I don't know what they're saying (though I hear it's rather inappropriate), but it drives me crazy.  That is all.

  • HGTV shows:  I saw the following meme, and it resounds with every fiber of my being --

House Hunters be like:
I rock climb for a living and my wife sells
umbrella insurance from home.
We have a budget of 1.3 million.

              Seriously.  Who are these people on these shows and what DO THEY DO FOR A LIVING? 'Cause sign me up!

  • Video game controllers:  Until recently, to watch a video in our house, one's only option was to use the PS4, with a ridiculous giant game controller.  I had to push this random button to find the DVD section, then this button to play the video -- oh!  and don't forget before all that I had to remember to turn the controller on (using another unmarked button!). . . It was the absolute worst!  A friend of ours gifted us an extra Blu-Ray player they had last winter and I was overjoyed!  My teenage son said, "We don't need that mom, the PS4 plays DVDs and Blu-Rays!", and I was all like -- yes.  we.  do.  
  • Books whose sole purposes seem to be to make mothers verklempt:  In the spirit of their forerunner, Love You Forever, books everywhere are apparently out to kick us sentimental moms right in the gut. With titles like Forever My Little Girl/Boy and If I Could Keep You Little, what's a mom to do?  Is breaking down in the Meijer aisle an acceptable answer?  I'm asking for a friend.
  • Football:  The rules have been explained to me more times than I have ever had desire, but I just don't get it.  I also don't care about it, and I don't like it. Well, I do like the marching bands, and the concession stand food. So I suppose the sport itself is a necessary mean to provide those ends.  

**I hope you read the title in the spirit in which it was written - in Will Smith's voice, à la Parents Just Don't Understand, circa 1988.