Month: June 2006

The Joys Of Parenting….

I was packing for my trip a couple of days ago and my 3-year old son was having a wonderful time playing on the bed. At one point he said, “Mommy, look at this,” and stuck out two of his fingers. Trying to keep him entertained, I reached out and stuck his tiny fingers in my mouth and said, “Mommy’s gonna eat your fingers!” pretending to eat them before I rushed out of the room again. When I returned, my son was standing on the bed staring at his fingers with a devastated look on his face. I said, “What’s wrong, honey?” He replied, “What happened to my booger?

And Yet Another Birthday Party…

Today, I took my kids to their cousin’s birthday party.

It was one of those I-knew-I-couldn’t-tell-them-in-advance-or-they’d-bug-me-to-death-kind-of-things.

Know what I mean, Vern?

I mean, come on…who ISN’T going to bug their mom about a birthday party for a two year old where swimming in a giant pool and hot dogs, ice cream, cake, and presents are the main event? Did I say there was swimming?

Did I mention yet that only one of my three can swim? Did I also mention that I will NEVER take them to their cousin’s birthday party by myself again???? Do you have any idea how hard it is to watch a 4 yr old with floaties who, up until this year was terrified of water, while keeping both eyes and hands on 19 month old toddler in the pool?

Factor in a 9 year old doing running twirls and spins off the diving board and you can imagine what a “lovely” time I had…(note the “dripping” sarcasm).

Whomever thought up the bright idea for a pool party should be spanked and put down for a nap.

Speaking of naps, my adrenaline rush is just about up and I’m going to have to take one here pretty soon or else I’ll just faint right in the mid

So You Say It’s Your Birthday…

Today is my birthday. Doesn’t feel like my birthday. It feels like just another day lost in a year of 365 days. Why is it when you get older that your birthday is just another day? When exactly does it lose its sparkle?
I can remember being a kid and looking forward to turning one year older all year. I’d usually begin anticipating my next birthday as soon as my party was over. We never had a lot of money when I was a kid. Some folks would call us poor. But my mom went all out for my birthday – she’d invite all of my friends (usually only about 4 would show up), clean the house (although I don’t have a clue why she’d do that with 5 rowdy kids about to break out the cake and punch), and she’d bake a chocolate sour cream cake with chocolate frosting (my absolute favorite cake to this day, but only if she makes it).
My husband is so great. He got me a new cd stereo player for my car. It’s so great, because I really needed it. My old stereo was just that…old. The CD player quit working about 2 years ago and the radio only works sometimes. Our family LOVES music. We are all musically inclined, whether it be playing guitar, piano, or singing, everyone has a talent. We pop in one of our cds and the whole family sings along. I have missed having music in my car. It makes even a trip to the grocery store worthwhile when your kids are all singing an old Cathedrals song in the backseat, right down to the baby, who mostly just oohs and ahhs with the music.
Today will be a great day…not because it’s my birthday, but because God has allowed me to draw breath today….and I get to spend it with 3 of the 4 people I love more than anything in this world – my kids. They know it’s my birthday…they’ve been counting down since the day after we celebrated it last year. They are the best present any mom could ask for.

Tell Me Stories and Sing Me Songs…

It has been our ritual every night for the last 5 years to put our kids to bed with stories and songs and prayers. AJ, our son, is the one who really clings to the tradition. Every night he asks me when it’s time to go to bed if I”ll “Pway, and tell me stowies, and sing me songs?” It’s like he knows that one day he’s going to outgrow it and the “magical” time with mom and dad is over. Usually, it’s his daddy that he wants the stories and songs from while mom just tickles or holds Abby. It’s such a precious, special time with our two youngest ones…I sometimes feel guilty that Katie is missing out on it (she has deemed herself too old at nine for any more stories or songs) but then her voice rings out from the other end of the hall as dad is telling a story he’s told AJ a gajillion times “Daddy, you forgot the part where the cat jumped up on the farmer’s head!” and I know she’s still involved in her own way.
Abby fell asleep in my chair tonight, so it was just AJ that got the prayers, stories and songs. Sometimes I get tired of thinking up stories to tell them, but I realize it’s only for a short time that we will have this family tradition…so I just retell Bible stories and the classics I grew up with. Maybe we’ll have another 5 years of this…I’m going to miss my babies when they are too old to fall asleep in my chair and too old to remember the times they asked me to tell them stories and sing them songs…

A Heart Full of Compassion

We have had two days of torrential rains here. The rain has come down so hard at times it sounded like hail hitting our roof and windows. It blew in from the south and fell in sheets, unexpectedly. That’s how it does here in Texas. The old saying goes, “Don’t like the weather? Stick around…it’s sure to change”.

Earlier this week, my eldest daughter discovered that one of our many outside cats had given birth a few weeks ago. She was delighted to have finally found the “hiding spot” of the kittens. Unlike her father and myself, she has not been raised on a farm, but she does know and understand that she’s not supposed to touch babies of any sort without permission from us. (That’s to protect the babies.) She has watched those kittens over the last week like a new momma – keeping a watchful eye on them so dogs don’t get them (the momma kitty hid them very well…in the briars), and making sure their “birth mom” feeds them, etc. She’s going to make a great HUMAN mom one of these days, as she has a very nurturing and compassionate nature.

Then the rains came. Unexpectedly. And all Katie could think about was “her kittens”. She keep looking out the window and down where they were hidden by the side of the house. She could hear them screaming out for their momma, who was trapped on the other side of the field under the shed (we verified this by looking out the window on the OTHER side of the house). The rain kept coming. It fell harder. Just about the time it was falling the hardest, she decided she couldn’t take it any more. “Momma…I HAVE to get those kittens. They are going to DROWN where she put them!” She was right.

The momma had unknowingly put the kittens right where the downspout is on our house. It was falling right into the flowerbed (hence the briars, or rosebushes thriving right there) and the kittens were literally floating in the water, about to die. So we did what any mom and daughter would do in gale force winds and torrential rains. We donned some raincoats, grabbed some dry towels and went out to get them. Yeah, we got soaked. But we did it! We got all five and brought them into the house.

My husband had taken a cardboard box and filled it with towels and brought out the heat lamp, which unfortunately wasn’t big enough for Katie and I to fit under too. Katie sat and watched over those kittens for two hours until they were dry and warm enough. Then the rains stopped and the skies turned blue again (I told you, just stick around). You’d have never known we had just had a monsoon of sorts, except for all of the standing water in our yard. We took the box outside and set it by the flowerbed and left it so the momma kitty could get her babies. They were gone within about 3 hours.

I don’t know if that momma knows that Katie saved her babies, but I have noticed that she’s been friendlier toward us the last day or two. She even went so far as to leave a crawdad on our doorstep this morning (they live underground near our “gulch” in the front yard)…and I know it was her, because I looked out just in time to see her deposit it there. I guess that was her way of thanking Katie. I hope Kate never loses that. I want her to ALWAYS have a heart full of compassion for others. I want her to be concerned with what is happening around her and I want to encourage her to get involved. I am pleased that she is growing into a fine young lady. I am truly blessed.

90 Day Madman Cycle

Recently, I was introduced to a new concept, “The 90-day Madman Cycle”. I know it sounds a little, well….mad. But I honestly think it’s terrific! What is it, you ask? Well, it’s the thought that you can do anything for 90 days and go at it like a madman. You can give something your all if you know it’s only for 90 days! What’s 90 days out of your entire life? Then, of course, when the 90 days are up, you are supposed to do it again. Basically, it’s breaking things down into smaller bites so you don’t get overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all. I have also learned that there’s a HUGE difference in “shall” and “will”. Shall merely means that you “may” do something, while using “I will” states intent. I need to have more intent in my life! I don’t want to be a lukewarm anything. I want to be known for being a person who DOES WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE GOING TO DO. A person of integrity. So this is what I’m doing. I’ve set some goals for myself and I’m going to go at them like a mad man for the next 90 days. I need to post them so I will feel like I am being held accountable by someone other than myself. (Sometimes it’s so easy to just say you don’t feel like doing that today when it’s just you that knows what your goals are!)

During the next 90 days:

1. I will lose 20 pounds.
2. I will finish reading my Bible through for the year.
3. I will stop raising my voice when I am stressed, angry, frustrated, etc.
4. I will pass my licensing exam and get licensed with Primerica.
5. I will clear the clutter from my bedroom.

I recently ordered new checks from checks in the mail. There is a place on the checks where you can put your own sentiment. I inserted “I can do anything for 90 days”. It goes right above the signature line on my checks. It will be a constant reminder for me that I have goals….everytime I write a check for bills, groceries, tithes…whatever. I’ll see that. And remember my goals.

There. It’s done. Those are my goals for the next 90 days. Simple really.

I can do anything for 90 days.

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