Sunday, January 27, 2008

Say What?

It's funny how a simple twist of a word can conjure up so many images. Yesterday, as we were backing out of the driveway, Hunter asked me, "Mom, how many Kennedy's do you have in your body?" My mind was thinking, doll baby, I was raised in a mostly Republican household, so I'm pretty confident that I don't have ANY Kennedy's in MY body! But rather than try to explain that, I just said, "uh, none?" This was not a sufficient answer for him as he insisted that I HAVE to have Kennedy's in my body...EVERYBODY has Kennedy's in their body. It was at this point I realized what he was trying to say: KIDNEYS! Kidneys, honey, not Kennedy's. Yeah, Mom has two kidneys. Those I do have.

But he comes by this honestly. A few years ago when we decided to switch to organic/whole foods/natural eating, I was just surfing the 'net looking at organic farming sites - just surfing. Scott walked up behind me to see what I was looking at and scoffed, "Are you going to have us living on a concubine next?" Commune, dear, commune. And, no.

See, Hunter is all set up to ask these type of questions. It's in his Kennedy's.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Too Fast

Kids grow up way too fast. I can remember telling my Mom that I couldn't wait to grow up and she would tell me that I would get that wish before I knew it. Of course, at that time, I didn't believe her. I figured it would take F-O-R-E-V-E-R to grow up. And by grow up, I do mean get older, not necessarily more mature.

Now, as I look at Hunter and Hadyn, I can see how quickly time can pass. I watch Hadyn do precious little things that I feel like Hunter was just doing not that long ago, and then I look at that long, skinny, sweet little boy and realize those baby years are gone. It has created in me a patience I did not think was possible. I know that has to be God's doing, because patience is most certainly not my doing! When I feel a little girl clutching my legs as I'm cooking or doing dishes, I just let her (as long as it's safe), because that time will quickly pass. I stop things I'm doing during the day - at just a look - and sit down on the floor to play dolls or blocks, because this time will pass, too. I clean up crumbs, dirty faces, food covered trays, spilled juice cups, and much more with a small smile on my face because most of this will pass, too!

And it has helped me see Hunter as a still small boy. He will be bigger before I'm ready, so I'm taking all the 6 year old angst in stride and we'll break out into silly play occasionally. All the attitude he is experimenting with, I have recently developed a calm toward. The instant distraction he conjures up when he is supposed to be doing something Mom or Dad directed is now being met with more love and a gentle, but strong, nudging back on track. The constant disdain towards homework and mom supplemented school work is dealt with a smile and a hug and the phrase, "you'll be done in just a little bitty bit." And we still get our cuddles and "bed-night" kisses from this little one.

Yeah, they grow up way too fast and since I can't stop it or slow it down, I think I'll just smile and enjoy every stage of it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I Hate Legos

If you haven't already, you may want to read yesterday's blog "The Best Birthday Present...EVER!" before you read this one. It may help a little bit.

Hunter and I sat down yesterday afternoon to put together my new Indiana Jones Lego set - the big one with the Hovitos temple complete with booby traps and everything. It is the first scene from "Raiders of the Lost Ark". We put in the "Raiders" DVD so Hunter could really grasp how it all was supposed to work and who was a good guy and who was not. I had just put Hadyn down for a nap so it was about 1PM when we started. I opened the box and pulled out two step-by-step instruction books, 6 bags of Lego pieces, and a few big block type of pieces. Fortunately, the bags were numbered so we didn't have to dump it all and search through it to find anything. The instructions were very clear. So far, so good.

Scott had left for a hospital visit and came back to us still working at the living room coffee table with the movie going on behind us. He decided on a little couch nap while Hunter and I (mostly me) still worked. At 3:38, Hadyn woke up and I still wasn't done. She played with Dad, tried to "help" me, and was just generally in the way. By 4PM my head was starting to hurt. Is there any end to this? Why are there so many pieces? Maybe we should have a bigger house with a specific "Lego" room. And really, for the prices they charge for these sets, I think they should come already assembled!!

By 4:30, I had put the last pieces on the set, checked to see that everything was working, and allowed Hunter to play a little bit with it. Then, since Hadyn was a little too interested in the set, I decided to take it into my room for Hunter to play with (there is no more Lego space in his room). I gently picked up the set which spans close to two feet long and started to carry it away. I was out of the living room just about to enter my room when...

Yes. I did it. I dropped the Lego set. Five hundred and fifty four pieces. Three and one half hours of non-stop piecing together. All at the entry way of my room. I just put my hands over my eyes, turned around and started chanting, "this didn't just happen, this didn't just happen". Scott was cracking up. I don't know when the last time I've heard him laugh that hard was. I'm so glad I could be a joy to him like that. Hunter was in shock, just looking at the mess. Bless his baby heart, he did try to put some pieces back on, but it really didn't help. I finally got it all drug into my room and after another bit of time, got it all put back together again. I was really wanting some superglue as I worked, though.

I told Hunter later that I really liked my birthday present, but I asked him to please not buy me any more Legos. After a surprised look, my sweet precious 6 year old boy, started laughing as hard as his Daddy had earlier.

I think they both know now that Mommy and Legos just aren't a good mix. But hey, that set looks good now!! We just aren't allowed to move it or play with it! HA!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Best Birthday Present...EVER!

Today is my birthday. I am, I guess, officially OVER THE HILL. I am 40 today. However, if this is OTH, then does that mean we only live to be 80? No, I'll take OTH at 60 then. My Darling Dear Husband arranged a family party for me my house. What initially sent me into a panic turned out to be really nice. Of course as I was frantically straightening up I did ask him, "it IS only family, right?" I could just imagine half the church popping over for well wishes!! But he said he wasn't sure if it was appropriate to advertise the fact that I was turning 40 to everyone else. For guys, it's generally acceptable, but for women, it is a loaded gun.

Hunter was especially excited for my birthday to come. A few weeks ago, we were watching TV while Scott was giving a guitar lesson in the office. A commercial came on for the new Indiana Jones Legos set. Hunter knows that I like Indiana Jones so he made sure to point them out to me and ask my opinion of them. Knowing how much Hunter likes Legos, I made a big deal over them. Well, sweet precious asked if he could go tell Daddy a secret. Ordinarily I would not let Hunter disturb Daddy while he is working, but in putting 2+2 together - my excitement over the set AND my birthday coming up, I could guess what the "secret" was.

This past Friday, Hunter went through the entire charade of checking the pantry for snacks and upon finding "none" (the bottom shelf is filled with snackie things), he insisted that he and Daddy run to the store to pick up some more. Now, this child does not like to leave the house for any reason and to just decide on a whim to run to the store for snacks, yeah, right. I knew something was up, so I just played along, again.

Yesterday at my party, my sweet precious boy carefully carried in a big box behind his back to surprise me with the "best gift EVER!" I got my very own set of Indiana Jones Legos!!! What a lucky Mom I am!! And I'm serious! My 6 year old boy picked this out, planned the shopping trips -the first outing was fruitless so he planned another one, and gave this to me himself. He is so excited to put this together with MOM, not Daddy, MOM!!! I have my own lego set to play with my son. And a son that wants to play with his Mama.

Yep, I have to say, right now, I think that is the best birthday present ever!

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Perhaps you've heard the saying, "Opinions are like (insert your bodily choice here: nose, tuckus opening, etc), everybody has one." Well, ain't that the truth. Oh, I'm guilty of interjecting my own opinion into the lives of others around me when an opportunity presents itself. I think that is just part of our genetic makeup as human beings. But how do you deal with those undesired opinions? Especially from family?

Scott and I were talking about this type of thing earlier today. It is amazing to see the reactions of people around us when we bring up the topic of home-schooling our son. To give a little background, Hunter is 6 and was home-schooled for Kindergarten and is currently in public school for 1st grade. We felt we had a myriad of reasons to keep him at home last year but we still met opposition, mostly from family.

One of our reasons was Scott's work schedule. Scott works in ministry - by choice - and enjoys his work and calling. His days off are Monday and Friday. He also teaches guitar lessons three nights a week. He is gone all weekend, a time when many kids might get to see their parents. He is gone three nights a week and maybe more if he takes the occasional gig. And again, he works in ministry, which means, when someone is in need, he is there (good boundaries in place all the while).

Another reason for home-schooling last year was also a reason for public schooling this year: I had a baby. Knowing Hunter's personality, it would not have been a good thing for him to spend two months adjusting to school life only to then have home life disrupted by the addition of his baby sister. So, it was a good thing to keep him here, prepare him for school life and adjust to a new baby in the family. And the new baby prompted the decision to go out of the house for school this year.

Hunter's personality and intelligence just lends itself to one on one attention and home-schooling -this was also seconded by his pediatrician. And with a seemingly larger number of people in our area choosing to home-school, there are many more opportunities for social get-togethers, field trips, co-op classes, sports, and much more that is and is not offered in public school systems.

And there are many more reasons, but these are a few. Yet, opinions still seem to fly. I got wind of one opinion out there stating that taking him out of school next year would be the worst thing we could do for him. Uh-huh.

We have choices in life. And all those choices are not necessarily permanent or life scarring. If choices were permanent, people would think a little more closely about who they were marrying! HA!

We have the ability, the willingness, and local resources to be able to home-school our son. We have the choice in Texas to remove him from the public school system in order to home-school. If we see that our choice is not the best for him, we have the choice to re-enroll in him the public-school system or choose another school source. We have the choice to coordinate our family schedule to do what is best for our family. And that is what is all boils down to...Doing What Is Best for OUR Family.

Yup. Opinions. Everybody has 'em.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Time, Again...

Pardon the noise while I drag out my soapbox again to stand on. I realize that there are times in our life, seasons, if you prefer, that it truly doesn't seem like there is time to get anything done -or started - or completed. But to whine about not ever having time to do anything...oh, just get over yourself! Obviously, I've talked to someone who has used that statement with me. And knowing this person, I just don't have that much sympathy for him/her. Not that I have a hard life. On the contrary, Scott and I talk many times about our cartoon life.

I have a 6 year old son in school and a 1 year old daughter at home with me. My daughter is quite a handful - or two. I was working away from home when my son was a baby, so I treasure this time with Hadyn very much. However, there are the times that I would just like to have a break. There are many, many times it feels like I can not get anything done because she needs me, has to have me, clings to me. Scott works full time for the church and part time teaching guitar (and some time working on computers) and isn't available to me all the time, then I have Hunter and our next door neighbor here after school, but I still manage to get some things done.

Yeah, I know, I just have the one at home during the day. What about the mom's with several at home all day and husbands who travel all the time. Well, some of those mom's would have some choice things to say to me but some might say the same thing that I will say now: pick your battles.

I try to keep my house picked up and neat. It's not perfectly clean, but it is neat. I don't like clutter. But I can deal with dust for a while. I don't scrub my baseboards every day, I don't clean out shelves or grocery shop every day, but I will mop, sweep, and/or vacuum almost daily because I don't want to add the battle of crumb-eating creepy crawlies to my day.

I clean out my kids toy boxes and closets at least every six months to keep their clutter down and not to overwhelm them with things. I clean while I prepare meals to avoid the huge pile of stacked pots, pans and dishes later. I also try to put away dishes when they are done so there is no clutter there. Laundry, even with just the four of us, can get away from me if I let it, so I try to keep up with it by doing it all two to three times a week, depending on the need. Then occasionally I will drag a dust rag over everything, and then I might do a deep clean on one room a day or week, depending on the day or week. But I don't stress over it all and where to find the time to do it. I just do it and it becomes part of the day, the routine, the expectations.

My children are learning to pick up after themselves - which is good so they'll know that little tidbit in the future. It's slow work, but for this season of my life, this is what I do. When I find myself starting to stress over when am I going to do something, I have to slow down, breathe, and remind myself that time comes and goes and I have to pick and choose how I spend my time.

Right now, I am spending my time enjoying my baby, teaching both my son about being responsible for his things, keeping my house neat -not perfect - but neat for my husband and myself to be able to enjoy being at home and to enjoy being with each other.

So there is time if you choose to find it. And to my friend who doesn't have any time...I can watch your kids for you for a couple of hours to open up some time for you to do something that you need to do. There is nothing but time. Choose it wisely. Okay, I'll put the soapbox away now.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

When Did It Go?

I was reading a blog from a friend of mine where she discussed the "vanity" of examining oneself in the mirror for as she termed it, "weird things". I responded to her blog with comment that as I am rapidly approaching a milestone birthday this month, I haven't been looking in the mirror so much for "weird things" as I have been lifting/pulling various areas of skin wondering where, or more to the point, when did it go?

I'm not a bit concerned about wrapping up the last four decades of life and starting the fifth. I have a 6 and 1 year old to keep me busy! Seems like so many moms around me are still in their 20's or 30's with the same age of kids, so I have the company of young moms to keep me younger, too. Besides, I am happy with my life. I love my husband, I adore my children, we have a strong church family, and keep close to relational family, too. I'm happy, but not complacent. I still have things to do. I'm not sure what, yet, but I'll know it when it's time.

You know, I think I do know where my young skin and young beauty went - I'm watching it toddle around my house right now giving her "baby" a bottle. My children have captured my youth and young beauty. Well, they can have it. I'll cherish my mothering years and mommy beauty right now.

To every thing, there is a season.