Monday, January 31, 2011

And the Mommy of the Year Award Goes to...

probably any other mother but me.

Before I get to that, I have to say, we have warnings of really bad winter weather. So my computer days may be limited if we lose electricity again.

Oh, please not again.

Anyway, this is a post that has been floating around in my head...

I don't think I will get the Mommy of the Year award any time soon.

How do I know these things?

Well, my children are not afraid to tell me. One regularly tells me that I am a mean mommy. Another tells me I am not his best friend anymore (not that that was ever my goal). And another basically says I have ruined her life with her bedtime. Apparently it isn't as late as the bedtimes of her friends. Why they sit around and discuss this is beyond me...

That got me to thinking...exactly how mean a mommy am I?

I am one mean mommy.

I limit the kids' screen time. Yes, limit it. I have to admit, in some ways, if we left the t.v. on or the video games running, life would be more peaceful. But I have this thing about their brains not turning to mush. So after their time is up, the electronics go off. And usually books or creative play come out.

Hand in hand with that, I don't allow my kids to watch t.v. in the car unless the trip is longer than 2 hours. No exceptions. Even then, we watch a movie, then wait a while before we watch another.

I don't let my kids drink caffeine. I wish I could say that it was purely for their benefit, but it is mostly for mine. My kids have enough energy without any boosts!

I make my kids do chores. Oh, they will tell you that I am a slave driver. Even the 6 year old empties the dishwasher. Yes, it is a bit risky. But so far, nothing major has been broken. It can be a guessing game sometimes to find where things ended up but it is a learning process, right?

I insist on fairly consistent bedtimes each night. Again that may be just as much for me as for them. :)

I insist that they brush their teeth each morning and night.

I monitor what they watch on T.V.

I let them have moderation. Lauren thinks I am particularly mean for that one. She wants to eat them all day long.

I make them do family type events like go hiking even though they complain the whole way there (then laugh the whole time we are actually doing it).

I won't let them have t.v.'s in their bedrooms. Ever. We said maybe when they are in college if they want to buy one.

I won't buy them the newest in electronic devices. Hunter now has a very basic cell phone. That is about it.

I won't let them get on Facebook, no matter what. I am a rule follower. The rules say "age 13". I respect that.

I insist on checking on their grades frequently and regularly. I also insist that poor grades will have consequences.

I make them apologize for wrong doings, often writing a letter of apology for instances of disrespect or hurting someone else.

I make the girls share a room. Okay, really, there is no choice. We have more children than we have rooms. But one daughter lets me know on a regular basis how unfair this is and how much she wants her own room. I just nod and say, "I know, but it isn't happening right now..."

I monitor what games they are playing on Wii or PS2. I read those ratings things. Much to my son's dismay.

I have all of these traditions, like the Christmas book tradition. Oh, wait, they are the ones that insist on that one...

I don't throw big birthday parties. We just have small family parties.

I insist that they try new foods. Oh, they complain, but so far, nobody has truly gotten sick or faint from trying.

I check their homework. And make them redo it if necessary.

I make them get on the Internet out in the open.

I don't let them say things like "Shut up" or "Stupid". Just to show them how serious I am, I don't use those words either.

I make them limit how many activities they do at one time.

I rarely take them to Fun City or Chuckie Cheese. I think I am too cheap.

I insist that they go to church on Sundays. Even when they complain. (Okay, only one really does)

I also insist on praying for them nightly (in their presence).

I insist on respectful talk. Even among brothers and sisters.

I tell them what consequences will be for certain behaviors, then I follow through. No matter how fun or rather not fun it is for me and for them.

I make them sleep in their own beds. No co-sleeping here. Okay, that is mainly because I value sleep too much to do it any other way. :)

I insist on balanced meals as much as possible. Even in their lunchboxes.

I rarely buy fruit snacks. Not much nutritional value.

I make them put their own clothes away.

I insist they drink milk twice a day.

I am sure my kids would be happy for me to continue the list and probably would happily contribute, but I better head to bed...just in the high hopes that there is no snow day after all. :)

More later,

PS So, why will you or won't you be getting the Mommy of the Year award? :)
PSS Please know that I often write tongue in cheek. And these things that I do (we do) work for us. In no way am I judging anyone for running their household differently :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I often struggle with how much to share about our children no here. There are so many things I wouldn't share for privacy sakes. And it is never my goal to embarrass my children. Yet there are times I want to just sit and have a heart to heart HONEST conversation with you, whoever "you" may be.

All that to say, parenting is hard work. And parenting adopted children has its own special challenges. Maybe one day I will share. Maybe.

I do want to share this though. I have an Internet friend named Angel. She has adopted three children, so I doubt there is anything I could say or do that would surprise her. :)

Anyway, a couple days ago on Facebook, Angel mentioned this blog post (thus "Redirected"). I don't always take the time to watch videos on the computer because usually I am doing a "fly by" with e-mail and Facebook. I am just doing a quick scan to catch up on any news, prayer requests, etc. But this time, I decided to take a minute to watch. And I about cried. Oh, wait, I did cry.

You see, I have thought for a long time that many adopted children feel things we cannot even fathom. A sense of loss. Fear. Confusion. They are kind of "caught between two worlds". I know that all of this is there, but truthfully, Maria sometimes has a hard time articulating her thoughts and feelings. So we play a guessing game with her when times are tough about what is really going on. And even more of a guessing game about how to fix it. Or at least help her cope with it.

Then I saw this blog post/video. It not only articulated what I think she may be experiencing, but it articulates what I think she may be experiencing.

Thank you, Angel, for sharing and putting this into words...

More later,

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Plans and Possibilities

So now that we are over halfway through January, maybe I should put out my "resolutions" out there.

Obviously, not procrastinating is not one of them. :)

I don't really care for the word resolution. That word is much bigger than what I do. I don't have major goals or aspirations other than to be all that I can be...oh great, now I have the Army commercial in my head.

Anyway, I don't really set major resolutions. I just set little goals for the year in hopes that I might keep at least a few. Some are just continuations of things we started the previous year, others are changes I am hoping to make...

Things like...
  • Flossing more (I know better than to say daily because I will fail at that!)
  • Doing one thing a day for me. Words with Friends and Facebook doesn't count. It may be a quick game with my Scrabble Flash cubes or a hot bath/reading a magazine (tonight's choice). Just one thing.
  • Making weekly menus and sticking to them. I have been shopping for about a week at a time, and it has worked pretty well. I also recently cleaned out the freezer and inventoried the meat we have in there so I can plan meals using that. I will still put in an "on your own" day as well as an occasional eating out night. But at least if I have ingredients ready, I am more likely to cook.
  • Spending more one on one time with the kids. With Maria, that has become easier. She has more homework than anyone else, so we get to spend a lot of time together. :) And Joshua just kind of commands it. So I am making more of an effort to spend time with the big kids once the little ones are down for the night.
  • Continuing our once a week "dates" with the children on a rotating basis.
  • Having once a week "dates" with Mark...whether it is actually going somewhere or just getting take out to have once the kids are in bed.
  • Cooking new recipes with Mark every other week.
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables. And making sure my kids see that.
  • Not being on electronic gadgets as much in front of the kids. That has actually evolved fairly naturally. I don't usually have time until they are in bed. But sometimes I get to playing on the i-Touch (especially after a hard day) and don't want to stop. :)
  • Using coupons again. Ironically, I used them often when were younger and had no children. Our grocery bills were minimal. Now that I have a larger family and make a lot more trips to the store, I rarely use coupons. Doesn't make sense to me.
  • Telling more people when I am thankful for them or what they have done. Sometimes that means contacting their boss to make sure the right people hear the appreciation!
  • Doing one thing a day to improve the house, whether it is cleaning out a closet or just straightening up a drawer. (Today's activity: organizing my spices in the kitchen)
  • Wise financial choices and using our resources (not just our paychecks) to pay for bills, charities, etc...things like selling unused furniture or skipping a restaurant meal.
  • Reading the Bible regularly.
  • Praying with and for the children regularly.
  • Being an encourager, whether through a positive message left on Facebook or a comment on a friends' blog.
  • Continuing our "clean out" of the house, getting rid of things we don't use.
  • Getting my China out of the attic and using it!
  • Backing up my photos monthly as well as working on each month's calendar page (we create every December) at the end of the month instead of waiting to do all of them in December with a deadline...
  • Going to bed by midnight every night. On that note, I better go...
More later,

Monday, January 24, 2011


Go ahead, hum the song. Pretend you are Aretha. You can even dance a little. I won't tell anyone. :)

Each year I have a "Word of the Year". One year it was contentment. Oh, that was a fun one. Striving for contentment means that I am probably going to give up some things I like. That may have been the year I was robbed... Last year's word wasn't as evident to me. God was a Provider to me but that isn't necessarily the word I would choose. Maybe Simplicity. I really sought simplicity in our lives. I am continuing that theme as we constantly declutter and rid ourselves of things we don't use or need. Anyway, this year, I really felt like my word would be "Peace". We just don't have as much of that around here as I would like. Either my kids are getting along too well (and likely getting into trouble together) or they are fighting like cats and dogs. Either way, it is rarely "peaceful" around here. (Please don't think of it as a warzone...sometimes it is just really loud with laughter and chatter...still not what I would call "peaceful") But since I am the boss of this whole word thing, I am changing it. Peace is still the goal but I don't think it is the word I am looking for...I think it starts with RESPECT.

This issue has been gnawing at me for a little while now. Then yesterday I received a link to an article from Joshua's Sunday School teacher. I think she sent it to all of the parents in the class...I don't think she was singling him out. :)

Anyway, here is the link...

The Primary Root of Disobedience

What the article concludes is that the primary root of disobedience is disrespect.

And I find that to be true.

Disrespect is one of the biggest battles I think I face as both a teacher and a parent.

The thing is after reading this article, I just took a few minutes to reflect on our household. Did I see disrespect as an issue?


Do I always show respect to my husband? When he asks me to do something for him that really inconveniences me, do I do it out of respect for him or do I grumble and complain the whole time? When I am frustrated with yet another commitment he has made, do I support him and talk about how proud I am of him or do I nag him about giving up more of our family time?

Do I always show respect to my children? Do I sometimes fuss at them (in front of their siblings) about their shortcoming or their behaviors (like food all over the floor)? Do I answer every single question (even number 1, 020 for the day) with a respectful tone or do I sigh and roll my eyes? Do I sometimes joke about how difficult parenthood is, even though my little blessings are standing nearby and hear my every word?

And do my children show respect for one another? Do they point out each other's faults any chance they get? Or do they encourage one another to do their best?

The more I thought about it, the more aware I was that we are failing in this department.
Don't get me wrong, we do teach respect for authority. I encourage "Yes, ma'am" and "No, sir". I never put down teachers in front of the kids even if I don't agree with their decisions. I try to model respect with the way I talk to others whether it be our server at a local restaurant or the man who ran over my toes with a shopping cart.

But I think we have a lot more we can be doing in the area of respect for one another in our family.

I have a feeling that if I can help model that and teach that to my children, it will carry over to other areas of our life.

Oh, it isn't fun. Looking at myself and my words under a microscope...makes me feel a bit nauseated and weak in the knees.

But it starts with me.

It is the way I address Mark whether in front of the kids or in front of him. It is how I react to my children's attitudes and shortcomings, as well as the words I use and even my facial expressions. It is what I allow to be said or uttered or what I finally put my foot down on saying, "That is not respectful. It is rude. Try that again."

And maybe, just maybe, if I can start fresh and really adhere to my word of the year, then maybe I will see that word flourish and become our lives and our hearts this year.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T...let's find out what it means to me...


Friday, January 21, 2011

Looks Can Be Deceiving...

We had our second snow day in a row. As you may have gathered, I am not a big fan. Of snow days. Of snow. Of winter. So I will admit, I started the day with a touch of a sour mood. I really wanted to be at school.

Instead I was home with my crew.

Oh, sure, we like the leisurely morning. We took our time getting up. Most of us hung out in our pj's until after lunch. We played a little Wii, the kids created forts or read books, and I got a little cleaning done. However, the kids have cabin fever. Major cabin fever. And as the day went on, their activity levels increased. Meanwhile my good mood (what little there was) decreased as I broke up arguments, dealt with whiny children, and warned about the wrestling that has become common around here...without my approval.

About the time I was going to take a little nap, I got an e-mail from my hubby. It basically said we were going out on a date, that he would be home at 5. I would chastise him for not actually asking me but I think my need for a night out was no big secret.

I needed a night out. Not wanted. NEEDED.

Why? Well, there is the whole winter/stuck inside thing. There is also a three year old who is just very high maintenance right now. He thinks the entire world revolves around him. It doesn't matter that we have tried to tell him otherwise with both words and our consistency with behavior standards. He is still convinced. And very mistaken.

Anyway, we dropped the kiddos off with their unsuspecting grandparents and then ran to the car to make a quick getaway. :) Well, something like that.

We headed down the road or rather up the road to Bonefish Grill. We had eaten there once, and it was pretty good. Plus we had a gift card there that we had won through KLRC (our Christian contemporary radio station) for our anniversary.

It was a thirty to forty minute wait. Guess what! We didn't care. We didn't have any children to entertain or supervise. We were able to have uninterrupted conversations. And we spent some time people watching. It was just a very pleasant wait. Oh, and we got to sample one of their appetizers...Bang Bang Shrimp.

Finally we were seated. Since we had the gift card, we treated ourselves to an appetizer. And a dessert. More on that in a minute.

We had bacon wrapped scallops for our appetizer. They were good.

Then we each had Caesar salads. Yes, healthy meal thus far, isn't it?

Finally our meal arrived. Mark had Mahi Mahi with a Pan Asian sauce. I had Imperial Wolffish with a crab/shrimp/scallop lemon butter dressing. It was just wonderful. I almost cried when I took my last bite. Yum.

What is wolffish, you might ask? Well, according to our server, it is a fish with teeth that enjoys eating shellfish. Sounds like me! Thankfully though...doesn't look like me at all...

Just want to say, what I ate looked nothing like this. We just got tickled when we googled it to see what it looked like. :)

For dessert, we had chocolate creme brulee. I don't think I have ever tried creme brulee before today. And I am not positive I would like the regular kind. But the chocolate version? Yum, yum, yum!

After our meal, we made a little stop at Target for some household essentials.

Such exciting folk are we!

Then we came home, crew and all.

And life is back to normal.

But for just a few minutes, I was able to escape and rejuvenate.
Thank you, Honey, for helping make that happen!

Monday, January 17, 2011

That Was Then, This Is Now...

I have been thinking a lot lately about how much my life has changed in the last 15 years. Thought I would share a few with the few of you out there. :)
  • I used to get ready in the morning by SITTING at my vanity, putting on my makeup, curling my hair, etc. Now? I am standing so I can go help a child in need, brush other people's hair, and as for my own...I go with the au naturale look most of the time.
  • I used to come home every day and take an afternoon nap before getting up to make dinner and hang out the rest of the evening with my main man. Now I come home, get a load of laundry going, help with homework, start dinner, oversee chores, break up arguments, etc. I don't get to sleep until after midnight typically. I do still take naps on the weekends if I can though!
  • I used to read novels for fun (usually Christian romance or Nicholas Sparks). Now the only books I read are picture books. That isn't totally true. I usually get a couple fun books in on vacation. I just tend to get wrapped up in books forgetting the world around me. So I don't let myself start a novel unless I know that I will have someone else here supervising.
  • I used to read the newspaper every day, front to back typically. Now I try to read the front page and a few select parts when I can. Sometimes it is that day, other times it is a few days later.
  • I used to play Solitaire on the computer while I waited for my e-mail to download. Now I hang out on Facebook (socializing with friends from all walks of my life), google for things I don't know, and check e-mail...all at the same time!
  • I used to relish a weekend away with my husband. I am sure I still would, but now we take an hour or two alone if we can get that.
  • I used to take pictures, then take my film to a store to be developed. Now I click away, store them on the computer, edit the pictures, and rarely develop pictures.
  • I used to scrapbook big events in our lives, vacations, etc. Now I might get a picture book (digitally) made. Might. (That is why this blog is is my little piece of Cloud history)
  • Once upon a time, I got new magazines and read them from cover to cover. Nowadays, I have a basket (or two) filled with magazines that I hope to get to eventually.
  • I used to take long, leisurely hot baths (usually with a magazine in hand). Now I take showers (often times long just to escape for a bit :)...they are quicker and quieter (drowning out any tattling going on in the house).
  • I used to look forward to snow days to stay home and play. Now I pray against having them so we have a longer summer. Besides staying home with this crew when it is too cold to be outside is NOT fun.
  • I used to drive my beloved Honda Accord. I loved that car. Now I drive a Honda minivan. It works for us. It isn't the Accord though.
  • I used to get big cravings for milk chocolate. These days, I usually only eat dark. It is better for my heart, thus easier to justify. :)
  • I used to think a weekend in Branson or a shopping trip in Kansas City was the best thing in the world to do. Now I cannot fathom being anywhere but out on a hiking trail with my family, complaining kids and all.
  • I used to grocery shop by the month, bringing home a few bags here and there. Now I grocery shop by the week, bringing home multiple bags bulging at the seams.
  • I used to look things up in encyclopedias or call my mom if I had a question. Now, I google. I can google anything. I still call my mom though. :)
  • I used to never fill my car up with gas. My dad did it for years until Mark took over that job. Now, in the last year, I have filled my car up more with gas than I did the previous 25 years. I am usually out, see that light come on, and have somewhere to be. So I just do it. But I still don't like to.
  • I used to see cousins at the occasional family reunion or hear about them through my grandmother. Now I chat with them via Facebook, e-mail, blogs, or texting.
  • I used to wait eagerly for Christmas cards in hopes there might be a picture of friends and family. I still eagerly wait for Christmas cards, but there is a big chance I have seen the family pictures via Facebook or a blog.
  • I used to dream of being a mom, a wife, a teacher. Now, I am living that dream and enjoying (almost) every moment. Guess some things never change, do they?
More later,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Top Chefs

This past year, we transitioned from reality shows to cooking shows for our television entertainment. We started watching shows like "Chopped", "Top Chef", "Iron Chef", "Cake Boss", and "Cupcake Wars". Ironically, I often watch these shows while I exercise on my elliptical. :) It isn't that we spend hours watching t.v., but after the kids have gone to bed, we often turn the TV on while we do other things like fold clothes, exercise, surf the Internet. And these are often the shows we turn to in such times. I have a real appreciation for food, so watching these shows is really fun for me.

I didn't realize how much influence these shows had until we started looking at our food presentation at restaurants, using "food lingo" like "reduction" of a sauce, and heard our oldest daughter ask one day how her "plating" was for whatever food she had just made.

I often watch these shows with my mouth watering, secretly hoping that I can be a guest judge, especially if the food consists of seafood of any kind.

Anyway, I digress (as usual).

Not long ago, I mentioned to Mark that my favorite dinner to make is tacos. It is the one meal ALL of our kids love to eat and we (being Mark and me :) usually make it together. It is rare for us to both be in the kitchen otherwise.

So not long ago, Mark said, "I think you and I need to cook together more maybe try a new recipe together every other week (coinciding with our "off weeks" with Life Groups)." That is one reason I love this guy. He hears what I like, then tries to figure out a way to make that happen more often. Isn't that thoughtful? It is such a precious way he shows love for and to me.

Anyway, tonight was our first cooking night. We let the kids choose a video to watch (a treat for them), and we went to work in the kitchen. It was my turn to choose a menu. I have been craving PF Chang's, so I did a little google search and found a PF Chang's copycat recipe for Mongolian Beef. That is one of our favorites there. I also found a recipe for fried rice. Then as a bonus, last night on another friend's blog, I saw a recipe for Molten Chocolate Cake. I thought that might be a fun dessert which is a rarity around here...usually dessert is a small piece of candy.

There was a snafu here and there. I really thought I had gotten ginger which is important in Chinese cooking. No luck there. So we had to use the powdered stuff. And for whatever reason, I did get fresh cilantro which doesn't typically go with Chinese food...oops! My fried rice didn't turn out quite like I had hoped...I think it needed a little more sauce and a little more fried. But an hour later, we had a nice little meal on the table...

The Mongolian Beef was delicious. It tasted just like PF Changs' beef to me. The fried rice...well, it worked. By the end of the meal, it was pretty much all gone, so I guess we didn't do too bad for our first time.

After dinner, I sent the kids (and Mark) to watch the end of the movie they had started, then I went to work on the molten chocolate cake. It is a very easy recipe. I have these nice little ramekin dishes I have been itching to use...they came in perfect for this. The only trouble I had was that a couple of the cakes ended up being a bit more molten than I had hoped, but in the end, it all goes to the same place, right? We scooped out a little ice cream and then had some dessert...

I will say the dessert was a HUGE hit with my kiddos. They seemed to enjoy every bite. Maria told me about every two minutes just how good it was. I think we will be making that again some time. (I will also say that it was really RICH. I LOVE chocolate but I could not eat it all...)

So, for our first cooking night, I would say overall it was a thumbs up experience. I loved being in the kitchen with my main man. And of course, food is a particular love of mine. So how could we go wrong with this combination?

Mark gets to decide the menu in a couple weeks...wonder what we will cook up next?


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Have You Ever Wanted...

Just some random thoughts from a random mom...
Have you ever wanted to...
  • sit on the floor of your shower (under the hot water) and cry after a hard day of listening to sibling rivalry?
  • go on strike when yet another child turns up their nose at the dinner you just spent hours making?
  • have a doctor tell you that you were on "bed rest" for a short period of time (not for anything serious) so you could catch up on a little sleep?
  • empty out the toy room and start from scratch?
  • break out into song and dance, for no reason other than you can?
  • start singing and find out that overnight you developed an amazing set of pipes?
  • eat dessert first?
  • be a judge on one of the cooking competitions?
  • sleep in past nine o'clock with nobody calling your name and telling you how hungry they are?
  • finish a conversation with your hubby without ONE interruption?
  • say what you REALLY think on Facebook?
  • just go out for a quick run to burn off some steam (not recommended when you can't walk one block without getting huffy and puffy :).
  • find "THE PARENTING MODEL" that tells you exactly what you need to do as a mom.
  • spend one whole day doing nothing?
  • just take off for a quick weekend trip to the beach?
  • find a baseball card tucked away in your things that is actually worth a lot of money?
  • scream at the top of your lungs to just see what your kids would do?
  • just take off for vacations without a care in the world about cost or travel?
  • freeze a moment in time with your family, that moment when things are just right...almost perfect!
More later!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hindsight is 20/20

The past few days, as I have lived my life as a grown up Reba, I have been writing a little letter to myself as a youngster. After all, hindsight is 20/20. Here are a few "highlights" from my letter to my younger me...
  • Enjoy that warm dinner your mother slaved over to put in front of you. Once you are grown, you will no longer eat warm meals because your little children will tell you that they need milk or a napkin or something like that as soon as you sit down to eat your first bite.
  • Enjoy that time you spend in the bathroom...alone...primping and preparing for the day. After you bring children into the world, you will never ever get to do that again. You will always have an audience as you fix your hair and put on your face.
  • Relish the days your dad fills your gas tank up for you and you get a weekly allowance with no strings attached. You will miss those days as you dread opening the mailbox to find yet another bill that you are the one responsible for paying.
  • Regardless of what you think, life is not all about you. It isn't. In fact, it is very little about you. Live like you believe that.
  • Marry a man who gives you flowers. No, they aren't practical. Yes, they die. And yes, it is a bit of an expensive gift for something that just dies. But they are an expression of love. And they make my heart happy. Even though they die, they live on in the smiles of my heart.
  • Never ever complain about cleaning your room. It is one room. One room. Did I say it clearly? One room. Now I am responsible for the whole house.
  • When your mother sets a plate in front of you, don't complain. Don't pout. Eat it and enjoy every bite. In the future, you will be responsible for all meals for not only you but your family. And after working so hard to prepare a good meal, the complaints from your children will crush your spirit.
  • Think you enjoy getting gifts? I can promise you that in the future, you will get much greater joy from watching your children open presents that you gave them!
  • Enjoy that cute little car you drive. One day you will be driving a minivan. And while you will appreciate the space for your family, you will still grieve just a little for that cute little Accord you once drove.
  • No guy, and I mean NO guy, is worth the heartache. If they are causing heartache or you feel the need to "beg" them back, they are NOT worth it. The ones that are worth it may cause a tear here or there, but they will mostly do what they can to help you avoid heartache. They will want your happiness, possibly even more than their own. And they will pursue you because you are worth it.
  • Turn your socks the right way and smile as you put your clothes in the laundry least someone else is doing your laundry!
  • Friends will come and go. True friends will always be there though, even if you haven't talked in months or years. Even then, you will know they are your friend when you get the mail one day and find a football card of a favorite player for your son. Those friends...those are the ones to thank God for!
  • Love is not a feeling. It is a decision. Sure, there are feelings sometimes when you love someone. That flutter when he walks into your school unexpectedly or the smile that comes to your face when you think about him. But some days, in the nitty gritty of it all, you won't feel anything but frustration and fatigue. Yet even then, you will know that you rather feel it with him than with anyone else.
  • Even though you can eat chips and candy bars every day for lunch, that doesn't mean it is a good idea to do. There really will come a day that the weight will start staying on rather than coming off. Trust me.
  • Enjoy that body that you think is too fat, too round, too whatever. I can promise you that after you have children, it will never be the same, no matter what you do.
  • Sisters are forever.
  • The decisions you make as a youngster will stay with you as you grow up. I cringe when I read young people saying they will live life with no regrets. There will always be regrets. It may be that scary movie you just had to watch as a teenager that still wakes you up with nightmares or that guy you look back later and think, "Why on earth did I like him?" Live with those decisions and learn from them.
  • Before you have kids, organize, organize, organize. If you start off that way, maybe, just maybe, you will continue it once they are here. Once they are here, if you didn't start that way, it is like a salmon swimming upstream to start.
  • Other things to do before kids: Travel. Volunteer. Do mission work. Once you have kids, no matter how much you want to do those things (and maybe can on occasion), your children will always be first and foremost in your thoughts.
  • When your parents say "This hurts me more than it hurts you" as they dole out discipline, know that they are right. You see, when they ground you, they now have to live with a pouty teen stuck at home. Or when they cancel a fun outing due to your behavior, they are missing out on fun too even though they don't deserve that.
  • Time really does heal wounds. However, there will always be scars. Bad memories are not forgotten nor are lost loved ones. But eventually, with time, broken hearts hurt a little less, even though it may not feel like it right now.
  • I remember all too well those thoughts, "Don't let Jesus come yet...I still have a life to live." Now I see the pain and suffering in the world around me and understand why people long for a life beyond this one.
  • Blog. Journal. Record. Do something. You think you will always remember these fun times as a youngster, but you won't. In fact, as you get older, that part of your life will seem further and further away, and the facts and memories will become fuzzier.
I am sure I could write for days, but I must head to bed. More later.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Signs 'O a Teacher

I have all kinds of blog entries swirling in my mind, but I am severely sleep deprived. So tonight I am going to be light and fluffy. Then tomorrow I can maybe be serious again. Maybe. If I can wake up. I am having trouble with that.
Today something happened at school. I can't even tell you what exactly. But I thought, "I haven't done a teacher post in a while...time for some "signs of a teacher". Please know this is the "light stuff". I am way too tired to try to be "deep" or very serious tonight.
You know you are a teacher if...
  • you go home each day with dry erase markers and Vis a Vis marker all over your fingers.
  • you have used a paperclip to open up a clogged glue bottle.
  • you have gone to work with a throbbing headache just to avoid writing lesson plans for a substitute (who you are pretty sure cannot be you no matter how bad you feel!).
  • your heart actually races when you get a new book order.
  • you see a pile of mismatched puzzle pieces and immediately think of three art activities you could do with them.
  • you use acronyms in daily conversations. PST, GRR, PPVT, PDD, OT, PT, PTA, RTI, ELL, TESOL, the list is endless.
  • you have ever cooked green eggs and ham.
  • you dread hearing the word "snow" knowing your summer is getting shorter and the kids are going to be more antsy.
  • you say the Pledge of Allegiance each and every day.
  • you know what "calendar time" is.
  • you clean out your children's toys and books and immediately think of a perfect spot for school.
  • you have a collection of school pictures...taken every single year.
  • wearing a lanyard around your neck with necessary keys is as normal as wearing shoes and socks.
  • you have a fun shirt for about every holiday you can think of.
  • you know what a "bubble" test is.
  • you have spent your evening cutting out and folding paper circles so your students can create snowflakes the next day.
  • you can read kindergarten writing with vowels necessary.
  • you can name three ways to get a group of people quiet without raising your voice.
  • you find yourself walking down the hall with your hands behind your back and a bubble in your mouth.
  • you are used to eating lunch at 10:30 (and in just a few gulps).
  • you know a variety of songs about the days of the week.
  • You have ever worn a paper necklace with pride as its creator (a student) stands nearby beaming.
  • your "new year" starts every August.
  • you have the urge to tell other children at the park to only go DOWN the slide, not UP the slide.
  • you write posts in your head during the day about the signs of a teacher.

More later,