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. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Prayer Power

A couple of snippets from my kids' prayer time each night:

My daughter, in her sweet 8-year-old voice:  

Dear Jesus, please guide me to the right man for me when I grow up.  That he is kind and gentle and sweet.

Every night, this is her prayer (among other things).  Her father and I pray for this also (and we add that he loves Jesus as well!), and I am so thankful she is choosing to sincerely pray for her future husband too.

My son:

Every night for well, years now, he has been praying for those people in his life who might not know Jesus.  His prayer goes something like this:  

Dear Jesus, please help anyone who might need their faith strengthened. ..please help great-uncle____, ______'s uncle, and _____ and ______ (our neighbors).  (Names omitted to protect privacy!).   

These friends and have family members have been prayed for faithfully for months upon months upon months!  And God hears our prayers! 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Find my Family!

If you read my blog, you might recall that my eldest child has her driver's license, and my second child has his learner's permit.  All this driving means more travel, more freedom, and more of the unknown.  My kids know to text every time they are about to leave a location, and then text when they arrive as well.  My daughter has been really good about this, understanding I am just concerned about her safety and her relative inexperience in the driver's seat.

A couple weeks ago, my daughter texted me at 3:08, telling me she was on her way from school.  At almost 4:00, she was not home yet.  Her school is 25 minutes away, but even with some extra wiggle room, I was definitely feeling concerned.  I was weighing my options: I could text, but if she was driving, I knew she wouldn't text or pick up her phone if I called (good girl!); I could begin driving the route I knew she took toward school and hope we passed each other quickly; or I could pray fervently.  I choose the last option, and bided my time for a bit.  In just a few more minutes, she arrived home, knowing I would be worried and was full of apologies.  She had stopped at the grocery for a muffin and Starbucks and forgot to text me to let me know.

The situation reminded me of a conversation I had had with a friend whose children are a few years older than mine.  She used the Find My Friends app on their iPhones -- they all joined and could check each other's location when there was a concern.  I brought this up to my daughter that evening, and she quickly agreed that it was a good idea to sync our locations.  Good.  Done.

The next day, when my teenage son arrived home from a friend's house, I mentioned the story to him and told him I wanted him to sync up as well.  I was met with resistance.  "Don't you trust me?", he said. I explained to him that I trusted him very much (which is true, and a gift I don't take for granted!), but it was for his safety.  After a few more minutes of conversation, he understood my point and synced up too.  (Although I had also explained to him that, whether he agreed with me or not didn't especially matter in this case.)

My husband and I don't consider ourselves helicopter parents -- we don't check their daily assignments online, I don't monitor their grades every day.  We try to let them fight their own battles, and approach teachers on their own when there is a concern.  We expect them to do their chores around the house without constant badgering, and we think kids can clean toilets!  In general, we try not to coddle them or hover.  

BUT - I felt the Find My Friends app was a different bird.  This app will give me peace of mind when my kids are driving, and could help us find them if they have trouble (one friend used this app to find her daughter when she had had a car accident!).  I don't plan to use it unless I am concerned about their travel time, and when they are away at college, I will turn it off (sniff, sniff!).  

After I synced my family to my phone, a lovely thing happened:  Each of the four of us has a little circle with our picture in it. And when all of us are home, the circles are all stacked up on one another, right on our street.  I can't tell you what happiness all those circles stacked up together at our house brings me.  

When all of us are home together, all is right with the world. ❤️

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Our Lutheran School's theme for the year is Faith Works.  For the entire year we are focusing on our Faith -- God's gift of grace that works in and through us.  As a facet of this theme, each month we are studying a virtue as a school.

Last Friday, each family received a cardstock gear that we are to write our names on and decorate.  All the gears will be added to a giant bulletin board displaying all of our gears working together.  On the gear, we are also to write which virtue our family is going to focus on for the year.  Each family is to choose a virtue from the list as a family focus and goal -- something we will make an effort to grow in intentionally.

Here are the list of virtues we will be focusing on at school:

So last night at dinner, my husband and I began the discussion -- which virtue should our family focus on for the year?  And thus began a heated debate of which virtue we needed to work on most.
"How about Justice?"  "No, we have too many people demanding justice already!"
"Honesty!", said one child, while pointing at another.  "That one needs to be more honest!"
"Gratitude? We could all work on being more grateful for what we have."
"Stewardship? We could focus on being responsible with our time and talents."
"How about Reverence?"

And Reverence is what stuck.  We are taking a broad look at the word, applying it to both our family members and our faith.  We brainstormed some goals, which I will post in the kitchen and dining room to serve as reminders when we (frequently, inevitably) stray from the focus.  Here are a few of our goals in the area of Reverence:
  • Listening to each other better
  • Communicating respectfully
  • Honoring our father and mother
  • Putting another's feelings above your own
  • Listening at family devotions and worship
  • Participating at family devotions and worship
  • No silliness or distractions during family devotions and worship
So over the next year, we are hoping to make some strides in these areas.  I told the kids I was going to write about our goals so we can hold ourselves accountable.  I hope and pray in the spring I can write again about our reverence, both to one another and to God, and say that we have improved.  With prayer and dedication to the task, I hope it will be so!