Friday, March 25, 2011

Memory Verses #2

The two memory verses for March are:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24 

The Lord is my chosen portion, and my cup; you hold my lot.  The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.  Palms 16:5-6

I have not memorized them yet.  Since it is nearing the end of March, I'd better get going.  I am proud to say I still have February's verses memorized.  Our March GNO is on Tuesday… I need a drink so I'd better get to memorizing!  

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Invisible Women

That is exactly what has been gnawing at me. I feel invisible. I have labeled it lately to Chief as feeling ignored… invisible.

Nicole Johnson is an author, performer and motivational speaker. She creates skits to portray women and their struggles and challenges. I saw her once at the Women of Faith conference and she was wonderful. While I did not see this skit in person, I have seen it in the past and it resonated with me then. But, I it just resonated with me big time. I know it is not a coincidence I ran into it again now. Take six minutes and watch.
I have wanted acknowledgement that raising three kids is hard and I am underappreciated. It is a great sacrifice to be a parent. It is an honor to be my children’s mother. And, yes it is underappreciated in the day to day moments of mothering. It is a thankless job. I think intellectually most people know these things when they become a parent. Any parent would sacrifice their life for their child. What is difficult is how that sacrifice plays out in the day to day walk of everyday life… the homework monitoring, the struggle to clean the house, the soccer practice routine, the paper hoarding of a seven year old, and the dents in the wall from thrown toys.

Where I have steered off the path is that I should not expect thanks. It is not my children’s job to pat me on the back and say thanks for doing their laundry. It is my job let them know in everything I do that they are loved no matter what, regardless of the thanks or acknowledgement I get. My selfishness will not accomplish that. My responsibility is to build the best people I can… build the character of these little people entrusted to me… all without thanks, acknowledgment or atta boys.

On Nicole’s website and in the video, she speaks of a book about the great cathedrals.  After reading the book the following four life-changing truths emerged and after which she would pattern her work [of raising children]:

1. No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no records of their names
2. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished
3. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit
4. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything

She goes on to say “As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, [but] at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.”

I do not want a record of what I have done and I do not want credit. I want my kids to come home.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Are Socks Really That Good?

The other morning when I went to let the dog out of the garage and give him his breakfast, I noticed Boomer had thrown up. When I scanned the garage I noticed TWO adult size socks wadded up amongst some other throw up. The dumb dog ate two socks! Really? What possess a dog to eat socks? It is not like they are flavorful meaty tidbits. They are dry and most likely covered in dog hair since they were left in the garage. Gross. 

Thankfully he threw them up before they got caught in his intestines. And he happily ate his breakfast. But, I can only hope that there is nothing else lurking in his belly that would force us to go to the vet. This is the same dog that had to have ear surgery twice last summer for a hematoma (swelling in the floppy part of his ear)… both of which did not correct the problem. He now has one ear that is shorter than the other and if you feel the tip of the ear, it is rock hard from “cauliflower ear”… but with his fur covering the ear, most people don’t notice. It honestly makes him cuter since he is a little lopsided.

I have joked with people that he exhausted his lifetime emergency vet care budget with the ear escaped last summer. I am joking, but what would we really do it he did needed surgery to removed socks from his belly? I honestly don’t know. With pets come responsibility, I know. But if I have to choose between my oldest daughter having braces, gluten-free food for Lizard and seeing a specialist for Little Man, or getting surgery for the dog…I will choose my kids.  So Boomer, please don't eat anything else, ok?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

School Fuel - Yum!

A friend of mine who's son is on a gluten free diet shared this recipe with me.  Yummy!!  Even if you do not have to be on gluten free diet (which we are for Lizard's tummy issues) these are worth making. 
Chex School Fuel (Gluten Free)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups Corn Chex cereal
4 cups Rice Chex cereal
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
I used a combo of Chex Cinnamon cereal and Chex Honey Nut cereal.  My friend adds in Chex Chocolate cereal too!

Cover a cookie sheet with max paper.  In large microwavable bowl, microwave brown sugar, butter and corn syrup uncovered for High for 1-2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth.  Sir in baking soda until dissolved.  Stir in cereal.

Microwave on High 3 minutes, stirring each minute  Spread on cookie sheet to cool, about 10 minutes.  Break into bite-size pieces.

In microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High about 1.5 minutes or until chocolate can be stirred smooth.  Drizzle chocolate over snack.  Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set.  Store in airtight container.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Be Still

    A friend posted “be still” on Facebook yesterday.  I so needed to hear that.  “Be still, and know that I am God…”  Palms 46:10

    What does that mean really?  To me, it means shut up and let God worry about it.  To me it means, I can worry all I want, but it won’t change the plan.  It means that I have yet to fully believe God has it handled.

    I have been feeling overwhelmed, inadequate and just plain tired.  I basically feel like I am not doing anything very well.  Negative thoughts run through my head and I have a “poor me, look how hard I have it” attitude that is spilling out to my family in a not so nice way.  I worry that my kids will hate me… how to manage Lizard’s six month gluten free diet… that my husband will finally chuck me to the curb because I can’t seem to get it together… that Little Man will stop asking me to play with him if I tell him too many times “not right now”… that my house will crumble around us because we do not ever do the maintenance you should do on an eight year old house… and Soccer Girl needs braces… and Lizard has a cavity… I need a crown and probably carpal tunnel surgery… hmmm, can I just get off the ride for awhile?  I am physically tired, I mean really tired.  My brain can’t do it all.

    How do people do it?  How can they be still?  How do you actually turn your worries over to God.  My problems are minor in comparison to what some go through.  It should be easy for me to be still.  But it is not.  It feels like I should just handle my own woes myself and quit bellying aching to God; God should spend his time on those with the big things (cancer, death, no food to eat).  But, I know that is not what God wants or what the bible says.  

    So I will continue to work on being still.  Our women's retreat is coming up in April.  Guess what the theme is?… Being still.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    I Do Not Need the Pressure

    So Little Man had a rough day yesterday… so rough I had to sign an incident report for four separate situations… not one or two, but four.  All in one day.  Neat.

    He was apparently so excited over certain activities, he pushed a friend over, flat on their back with feet in the air… three times.  No reason other than he was excited and could not control his hands.  And then he and another child were having issues… the other little guy was hitting and my Little Man was mad and threw a chair at the other kid.  Fabulous.

    His teacher had the appropriate discussion with him, I spoke to his teacher about what happened and we talked to Little Man about what he did as well.  Several times, I might add.  We reminded him this morning about being kind, keeping our hands to ourselves and all the stuff you are suppose to teach your kids.

    When I picked Drew up today from school, in his backpack was an apology letter from his friend that hit him telling Little Man he was sorry for hitting and that he would keep his hands to himself.  It was obviously written by the child's parent, but Little Man's friend did sign his name.

    Apology letters are a great learning tool.  Even my girls have written a few in their day.  At first, I felt horrible that I did not have Little Man "write" a note to his friend… throwing a chair could be viewed as worse than hitting.  Then I thought about it and decided that apology notes in preschool are over the top.  The whole point of an apology note is the learning moment for the child and for them to understand how their actions impact others.  While it does also serve as a notice to the other parent that the offending act has not been sweep under the mat, it is the child's apology, not mine.  Honestly, I think for 3-4 year olds, the point is lost.

    So while I maybe should have done more to demonstrate to other parent it has been addressed, he is in preschool for pete's sake.  It seems like society is pushing things on kids younger and younger.  Your child better show up to kindergarten KNOWING their letters or your child is considered behind.  Your 3.5 year old had better sit quietly while watching his sister swim or you get the eye rolling and whispers.  You better expose your kids to every sport known to man and push them hard at a young age or they will not get a college scholarship.  

    I have high expectations of my kids and push them to be the best little people they can be, but frankly, I do not need the pressure and neither do my kids.  I am confident Little Man will be writing his fair share of apology letters.  But I will ensure he writes the note and means it, not me.