Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas lists...

Julia's Christmas list this year:

"An American Girl doll, a refrigerator and microwave for my bedroom, a spy kit, my own computer, and $5000."


Anybody know where I can get a spy kit?

... and do you think I should leave her alone in her own room?

Friday, August 14, 2009

So easy a caveman could do it.....

Well, today we completed our first official week of homeschooling!

* Whew. *

Monday, I was nervous and eager to begin. So we began our day at 7:30 am.
When we ended at 4 p.m., I told Jason I was re-enrolling them in school.

But, thankfully, the rest of the week has gone better - and ended a little earlier. :-) They are learning - and report that they're having fun. But I'd guess the biggest learning curve is mine. I'm one of those people who said they could never do this... and I meant it. Funny though how sometimes you can find motivation that's bigger than your fears.

My patience and flexibility..... well, even using a possessive pronoun like "my" for those words seems like hypocrisy. But... they're stretching and growing. I might grow into some yet. My seriousness is learning to loosen up a bit. My gentleness is getting a much needed workout. My listening ability is perking up. I'm learning to let my kid bounce a ball, swing, and spell all at the same time. (Even though it drives me crazy. ) Just proves he's already smarter than me.
Ultimately, these are all the things I wanted God to grow me in, but didn't want to take the time to let Him. And the time with my kids is so worth it. I'm still learning how to educate them well. But they're certainly losing no time on me.

My favorites this week?

Julia - praying one night after we'd studied about creation, death and sin:

"And God, about Adam and Eve. I sure hope they learned their lesson."

Eli - (This one needs explaining - but it's worth it.) We'd been studying about Jubal and Tubal-Cain in Genesis 4. Short references about them show they were master teachers of iron and bronze making, and flute and harp playing. Iron making alone is a very dangerous and complicated skill... and these references are significant to show that historically, early man was intelligent - something that stands in contrast to evolution, which would assume lesser intelligence of early man, and often where we get the picture of cavemen from.
As we wrapped up ... Eli was to summarize what he'd learned from the week's lessons. When he got to this one he stated: "Jubal and Tubal-Cain teach us .... that Geico must have it all wrong."

And so ended our week. ;-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Julia Funnies

So Julia cracked me up again today.

First, this morning, we discussed lifeguards, as she is taking swimming lessons.

J- "Mom - why don't the lifeguards (at swim school) carry those little boards?"

Me - "Well, all of them are right there with you - they don't need them like when we're at the ocean."

J- "Yeah. Drowning at the sea would be really harsh for kids. First, because you'd get salt in your eyes, and second, because you'd drown. "

Then, this evening, Julia went to the bathroom in McDonalds and came out with an incredulous look on her face.
"That was a creepy bathroom. It was creeky and made all kinds of noises. And do you know what I saw in the toilets when I went in there?!?"
(Of course ...I'm caught with the reality that I really don't want to know, but she is so eagerly anticipating my reaction, I have to say "What?")
"One toilet was full of toilet paper - and I mean FULL!! Another was all yucky and there was a sign that says 'We're proud of our restrooms!' .......I don't think they could really be proud of that, do you?"

Friday, May 29, 2009

What's his name?!?

Sitting with my niece tonight, we began putting together some Thomas the train puzzle pieces. She's so adorable and bright. So we're talking about everybody and who they are:
Me: " Now, who is this, Elizabeth?"
Elizabeth: "Edward the Train"
Me: "And who is this blue one?"
Elizabeth: "Thomas the Train!"
Me: " Good! And what about this guy (pointing to the man)- does he have a name?"
Elizabeth: (thinking for a moment) "I don't know?"
Me: "Should we give him a name?"
Elizabeth: " Yeah! Potty Train!"

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I'm a groupie...

I’m not a groupie. Well, there was that New Kids on the Block phase when I was in 8th grade. But otherwise, I’m not a groupie.

I’ve been around a lot of name droppers, and I’m just not impressed, really. I don’t think it’s as much of a noble quality in me as it is a social unawareness. The same characteristic in me shows up often and can create really awkward moments.

When we were preparing to move here, I knew Terry Rush’s name. I knew some were really impressed that we’d get to work with him. But I didn’t grow up with his name being familiar or grow up going to the workshop that so many know him from, and I’d never read a single book he’d written. I’d heard a sermon once that did impact me, and I’d gotten a card from him with a neat message that I’d held on to. And when we were first married, I’d remembered that he’d arranged for us to be able to come to the workshop when we couldn’t have otherwise afforded it. When I met him at that workshop, he called me friend, so I assumed he didn’t really know my name….:-)(I was wrong…see that social awkwardness showed up again…) But still, I thought he was nice.

This morning, 6 years after moving here, I had a funny experience. I have a new desk – and I love it. Neat, organized – no clutter except what I’m working on. I want to keep it that way. I’m a little OCD like that.

Except there is this card sitting there, that I opened in the mail yesterday. From Terry. His laughing face after a strike out at the Cardinals camp in Florida this summer. And I want to put it up on the desk. Maybe even frame it, I don’t know. Then I have that fleeting secondary thought…. that I will look like a “groupie” with his card taped to my neat desk.

But it really was fleeting…because immediately I am flooded with the recognition of something significant.
I have worked with this man for 5 years… and despite the many opportunities to see ‘true colors’, my affection and respect for him has not lessened in that time & those experiences, but grown intensely. (And I’m hard on people at times!) His weaknesses are endearing because they only magnify more the strength of our Father’s spirit in him. He doesn’t hide himself, and he doesn’t hide God in Him. His strengths are impacting because they carry the force of heaven behind them.

The smile on this card makes it my favorite one yet… because I live and work and watch the man and know it’s real…I’m changed and different because of his character, integrity and love for our God.

I’m so a groupie about that.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wedding Ring Logic....

So last night, after tucking him in bed, Eli and I talked for a while about all kinds of things, but the subject of marriage came up. As he played with my wedding ring, he asked me all kinds of questions... He asked about the cost of rings, -did you have to buy the diamond, or could you just get the band?- and which was more expensive. We talked about what a wife would want. At the end of the discussion, he said : "I've decided I'm going to be a miner when I grow up."

I told Jason we need to be praying for his precious wife. I think she'll have to be a Dave Ramsey kinda girl. :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kidnapping logic

So our fam thoroughly enjoyed the long four day weekend -Monday was the first full day I've had with the kids in a LONG time - and it was a joy. We headed to Chick-Fil-A and while sitting in the drive through, Eli, taking an especially friendly turn, rolled down his window and waved hello to a woman crossing the parking lot with her 4 kiddos and a baby stroller tow.
In an unusual reversal of roles for the two of them, Julia was mortified.
"Eli! Stop it! You don't even know them!" she scolded.

"What?!? I'm just being nice?"

"Yes, but they are strangers. How do you know that they're not kidnappers?" Julia warned.

"Well, usually people with that many kids aren't really looking to take any more, " he replied.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Turning around....

Today is a sad day for me. I think it's a good day, though.

Today as we were walking in to school, my son walked a few steps ahead of me. When we hit the door, he headed up the steps, and didn't look back. Even when I said goodbye.
There had been no fight. He wasn't mad. I just realized he was cold. And tired. Of me.

Julia skipped on to class with me, oblivious, and I was thankful.
But the contrast was painful. And I cannot be oblivious.

I think 9 is too early for this. But so is 16. So is 21, and 37 and 54.
Culturally, we tell ourselves this is normal... part of growing up and growing independent. I even let some of those phrases try to reassure me. But I realize that's a lie. Growing up and growing cold aren't the same.

Twice in the last week, he's told me that he's really bothered when I point out all the bad things he's done, and don't point out the good things.
In the few hours I have with him each day, correction is a constant.
If things are going well... I'm just thankful .
I don't balance needed discipline with intentional encouragement.
I'm 'too tired' to be creative or fun... or do much of anything besides just 'get by'.

And I tell myself and my family that I'm doing 'all of this' so I can quit and homeschool our kids next year. At one point I was questioning how much damage from my attitude and this schedule could really be done in just 6 months. And then I realized how appalling it was that I was even asking that question.

Today is the day that I realize everybody else is right.
I've been talking to people about boundaries, and having few, in the name of ministry and in the name of accomplishing goals for my 'family'.
I talk about prioritizing, and haven't - in the name of ministry and family.
All the choices I have in front of me are good.... to not choose one of them... will not "feel" good.
From a heart standpoint... none of the tasks needed or the people behind them are worthy of disappointment. And burnout seems crazy to consider! I'm surrounded by wonderful people!
But that's the point. It's not everyone else's fault.
It's mine.
My passion for ministry changed to a passion of pleasing people. Or avoiding displeasing people. And I don't even have a good attitude about it anymore.
My ministry ... isn't about Jesus.
He had boundaries. He said no to people he loved. He worked hard, long hours. He rested and related to people. And his priority was always His Father.

My family has become a checklist of goals I'm working towards... but not living among.
Saying yes to everyone really isn't ministry at all. And putting my family last really isn't being a mom at all.

How many people have learned this lesson?

Friends have warned me I'm doing too much. But I thought they were wrong. I thought I was pretty strong. I knew it was just for a time.
But I didn't think about the strength of my kids.
Sure... I can hold up this crazy schedule.
But I expected them to go along.
And they do, compliantly, without choice. But not without affect.

How foolish of me. I hate being wrong - but I hate even more being foolish and prideful.
That image of Eli walking up the stairs and not looking back is now burnt into my heart.

Thank you God, for letting it sting. For letting me sob over this. THANK YOU!
Please forgive me for putting You and those You gave me last.
Please give me strength to say no, kindly, to others. Please heal if that 'no' hurts them.
Please give me wisdom to say yes only to what you call me to.
Help me not expend energy in things you didn't plan for me to do. I've done way too much of that.
Help me watch more for what You desire for me to do. Help me turn my drivenness over to you. I believe it is from you, but not always reigned by you.

And please help me now to heal the messages I've sent to my son and to others.
You know how to communicate love. Help me watch You. Closely. Remind me that it's the most important endeavor- to learn from and to emulate You.

That, Father, .....Your love... helps us grow up, but not cold.