Yesterday evening two little people, a 4 year old and a 2 1/2 year old came to me when I was sitting at my desk and asked with big smiles on their faces, "Are there any chores we can do for you?" Clearly they were coached and I figured something must be up. Soon after, I was given an invitation for a Party in my bedroom but, I was told it wasn't time and NOT to go in my bedroom. So I went back to what I was doing and when the house got mysteriously quiet, I went up stairs. The lights were off in my room but, as soon as I got in the doorway, all of my little people shouted, "Surprise!!!!". Cookie then passed me a CD to put into my player and Dolly, Rocco, and Noahkeem started break dancing. This was absolutely hilarious!
There were 2 envelopes on my bed one for me and one for Big D. Inside them there were love notes from all 4 of the children. They even gave us a paper chain that they made! It was the best surprise all day!!! We danced and laughed and acted like complete bobble heads and then I headed to the gym and they headed down the hall for baths. The "party" erased away all of the mundane annoyances of the day and I walked over 3 miles on the treadmill to boot!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I don't know what is worse, a cold in the summer or when my level of tolerance is quickly declining. As a child, I used to think that adults had it all together and they were to be admired but, now that I am one, I realize my childhood ideals were so wrong. Either or this post calls for a list:
Things that confirm that most adults have not grown up:
Things that confirm that most adults have not grown up:
- A person flips you the bird after they cut you off and almost cause an accident.
- Adults who still try to convince you that they know so much more than you because they feel their old age equates more experience and not because they are self absorbed or not self-aware.
- They feel a sense of competition and intimidation if they weren't the ones who came up with your idea, dream or vision, instead of support all they can offer is...uh...nothing.
- If you are "real" with your feelings they assume you are manic or depressed.
- If you buck tradition and create your own or just plain do things your way, they get offended like you committed a crime.
Am I venting? Maybe.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
A year and a half ago, Cookie would come inside from playing wheezing and gasping for air. She couldn't breathe. I had no idea what was going on or how to help her. It was scary and as her mother, I felt helpless. Soon after that, she was diagnosed with Asthma and we were thrust into a world of inhalers, albuterol, peek flow meters and medicine. It was all encompassing and so overwhelming since I had no one in my family that had asthma. Watching my daughter suffer and not being able to breathe prior to her diagnosis, cause me to determine that "I would not let asthma ruin her life!" So we continued allowing her to participate in Karate and other activities and just monitored her breathing. Over the course of the year I armed myself with knowledge about pediatric asthma and read and read as much as I could about it from trusted sources. And even though it was inconvenient at times, I made sure she took her controller medicine and gave her her rescue inhaler when she needed it. I have to say during her last doctor's visit, her doctor indicated that she has recovered a lot of her lung function and her lungs have improved since this time last year. So I encourage you to take your medicine, even if it appears as though your asthma is under control and you no longer need it-until you get confirmation from your doctor that it is no longer necessary. Cookie also decided after her diagnoses, that she wanted to participate in a walk-a-thon. We then went on a letter writing campaign to friends and family to raise donations. We even had a few lemonade stands this summer to help raise money. It is such an honor and privilege to partner with the American Lung Association to raise community awareness and funds to help Cookie and so many others like her fight lung disease one breath at a time.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Today was my 12th wedding anniversary. My 4 children made us breakfast in bed. The menu: Chocolate Milk, applesauce, waffles with strawberries and of course computer generated anniversary cards. With each special occasion that they surprise us with breakfast in bed, the meals get more and more edible. Downstairs on the kitchen table was a huge bouquet of sunflowers and lillies, all neatly arranged in a beautiful vase. At the foot of the vase was a tin box of chocolate candy and a heart felt card from Big D. We went to church later in the morning and then afterwards our awesome sitter came over. Big D and I prepared to go on our 6 hour date. We saw a play at the University's theatre, went to a Japanese restaurant afterwards, and then for desert at Starbucks.
The weeks before this precious day, my heart was reminded of so many great memories that my husband and I shared together as a couple and as a family. So much so that the not so perfect memories were constantly overshadowed. Big D and I met in 2003. From day one we were friends. My husband's heart has always been kind and thoughtful. When he makes me laugh, I bust out laughing- loudly. Those are some of the qualities I like about him, besides the fact that he's so darn cute!
We had an awesome honeymoon. We cruised the Carribean and later flew to St. Lucia for a few days- a land and sea vacation if you will. Over the last 12 years we have had 5 addresses, 3 pets (not including fish or hermit crabs), and 4 kids (all born during the Bush Administration might I add). Life has been nothing less than an adventure.
Some seasons have been filled with joy of new birth, some filled with the tasks of ironing out kinks in our friendship. Other seasons have been growth opportunities.
The life lessons that I have learned after 12 years of marriage is that the best gift you can give to each other is forgiveness and mercy. The best gift you can give your children is a great marriage. The best thing you can do for your sons is to respect their father; the best thing you can do for your daughters is to love their mother. Another best thing you can do for your children is to love on them and to swallow your pride and ask their forgiveness when you have wronged them-even in the times when you don't think you're in the wrong...whether they are 5 or 25. And that my friend, is where a lot of parents go wrong. Many say, "I tried my best" and for them it may be true, maybe they did try their best. As a parent, I try to be self aware and trust me I know what days I try my best and I know what days I don't. And for the record, this rant about parents, pride and forgiveness (hey that's a catchy phrase) is not art imitating life.
If there is ever a time to be set free from the bitterness, anger, and disappointments from childhood, adolescence and even adulthood, it is now. Holding on to those things will rob you from the relationship, companionship and fellowship that you desire with your spouse, your children and eventually your adult children and their spouses. That is not the legacy I want to leave. Sure I can point to many self help books and say, "Read this" or do this and your relationships will be straight. But I know, that all of those contemporary fixes are not long lasting. I can point to churches and seminars and podcasts and say, " If you go here, listen to this or attend this meeting, you will find peace". But I know in my heart, that tools are only good if you recognize them as tools, and use them and even so your strength will give out because often your battle is bigger than you are. So, I won't even steer you in that direction.
Yet instead, I'll point you in the direction of a book, that is considered outdated, and irrelevant and useless in many sects in our society, The Bible. Psalm 34:18 says, " The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed". (New Living Translation). I can list a million things that break hearts and crush spirits but I will name only one and that would be....... people. And when we live life operating out of hurt because we have been crushed or broken, we then hurt and crush others, often inadvertently and then those actions affect even more "others" and so and so on. But, there is hope. The Lord that is close to the broken hearted is just waiting to hear from you, your side of the story, your heart ache. His arms are open wide just waiting to heal every broken part of you. He longs to heal your crushed spirit, if you let him. So why do I have many posts that point to God, Jesus, and the Bible? I found Him to be the Pennicilin that is denied in many countries and is considered hostile to many people in the country that I live in. Yet each time I try Him, things work out and the evidence refutes all the lies that are told about Him. And I can not stop proclaiming His Truth.
So what does hurts and baggage have to do with love and marraige? (Isn't that a song?)
Our last 12 years have not been about pretending to be perfect or even sacrificing family for a job that would ensure we would have the most prestigious cars and designer clothes. We have simply been two imperfect people who were and are still being transformed and molded by a perfect, loving and merciful God. We have been allowed to see the beauty of God's love and the ugliness of sin and its effects in our lives. We have and continue to see, that God the Father loves and freely gives mercy and grace to His Children and that He delights in us. We have been given an opportunity each day to choose life or death with our deeds and words. His love for us has given us the boldness to declare that His Word is true and true love comes directly from Him. May our next 12 years be filled with a deeper level of friendship, more belly laughs and the reality of His presence that produces true love. That being said, let me remind you God is not mad at you, He is mad about you!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
- Rain brings a certain kind of peace and tranquility to me.
- Kids don't care about how many dishes are in the sink but, they take pride in setting the table.
- It's okay to make cookies, first thing in the morning.
- I love my children.
- There are plenty of hugs to go around.
- 2 pre-schoolers cutting paper together is a lesson in itself.
- My Psychology Degree & Leadership Coaching Certification has never been wasted by staying at home with my four awesome kids. The return on my investment is immeasurable.
- In an imperfect world, I know that I can trust in a Perfect Savior.
- I wouldn't trade my profession for anything else in the world.
- Nothing brings my 4 little people together like Milk & Brownies.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Today begins our second week of school. Even though it's a holiday, we are going to do geography, math, penmanship and reading. Then after that sometime in the course of the day, get wet, either at the beach or pool and call it a day. I guess I should fire up the grill, and bar-b-que, since it is labor day and all but, that would be me laboring, wouldn't it?
This year Noahkeem is starting preschool. All last year he kept saying, "I'm tired of school" and we hadn't even begun. This year now that his curriculum is official and I'm ready to add another pupil to our Academy, he keeps telling me, "I don't know how to do school". Oh, to be 4 again and to only worry about how to do school~ what a life!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
God can bring His light into my darkness. He is ALL Mighty! Sometimes I forget that there is a reason why I am commanded to "renew my mind" and it is so easy to let any thought glide across my radar. Yet I'm reminded the things that seem to bind us, the mindsets that seem to hold me captive are not a life sentence because He- God is my very present help in time of trouble, just like His Word says.