Sunday, August 28, 2011

Just Say No

Saying "no" has always been tough for me. Not when it really counts, like facing peer pressure in high school or college. Or even in those ethical moments, like when a "boss" advised me to fudge my gas mileage so I would get paid more. And as a parent, I have NO trouble saying "no". Just ask my kids. They will tell you.

But in other areas, it is not as easy. I ended up on a lot of dates with guys I didn't really like because I didn't want to hurt their feelings. (I would then try my best to come up with an excuse to not go... :) And who knows how many committees and meetings I ended up at because it was so hard for me to say "no".

It still isn't easy.

We have a countertop filled with requests for charity donations. We love to give but we can't give to them all. (I guess we could but we may not be eating dinner again for a while...)

I get asked for favors and often end up doing them no matter how much valuable time they take just to avoid that two letter word.

We end up with busy weekends as we deal with parties, sports, and other things I just couldn't turn down.

But I am learning.

Sometimes I have to.

Sometimes I have to think of my family first.

We have been asked why we don't go on the family mission trips with our church. Hopefully one day we will. But for now, it is more than I am capable of doing. For one of our kids, it would be more than he could handle. I would spend all of my time dealing with the repercussions of that change of routine and sensory overload. There would be no mission work for me. Only a frazzled child and a tired mom.

Another "no" I had to say recently was when Mark asked if I wanted to host life group ("community group") at our home like we did last year.

It wasn't easy to say no.

There are many things I like about life group. I enjoy the fellowship (with adults no less), the food, and the faith talk.

But it was also a lot of work. Cleaning the house up. Cooking some sort of snack/dessert. Buying the plates, cups, silverware, etc.

And keeping the kids up past their bedtime every Sunday night.

That wasn't fair to the teachers who had to deal with them. Nor to the kids themselves.

For now, this will be our family time, a meal together, a little time to relax, and regular bedtimes.

And I am a little sad. I will miss that time. It is a good thing. But for now, I have to say no.

Sometimes it is necessary.

More soon,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In Their Shoes

I don't know this family personally but have an adoption/virtual friend who does. This family recently moved to Guatemala (with several of their own children) to work (like in missions) with children at a hogar/orphanage. They are working not only with orphans but with children who walk to the hogar to get a good meal each day.

Anyway, tonight she (Amy, the mom of the family I have never met) posted a need.


I could explain further but instead would encourage you to look at the blog and see the shoes being worn and hear the plea in her words...

Building the Blocks

More soon,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

You Know You Are a Puppy Owner When...

I apologize for the lack of posting. I think I am probably this tired every year the first few weeks but it always catches me by surprise anyway. I often wake up around 3 a.m. to find that I fell asleep on top of the bed, fully clothed...

Anyway, here is a lighter post, just for fun.

You Know You're a Puppy Owner When...

1. You start driving past the toy store to visit the pet stores instead.
2. You come home from the grocery store each time with a new bag of treats.
3. You have a plastic jar with pawprints all over it to hold the new treats that keep coming home.
4. Your trashcans are on the counter because a curious puppy will dig in them otherwise.
5. You have always slept as long as possible in the mornings but now pop out of bed at the first little whine you hear...
6. Your bathtub has a smaller bathtub in it, just right for washing little pups.
7. You start watching where you step while playing with the kids in the yard.
8. Your parenting books have been replaced with "Puppies for Dummies".
9. You run home every day at lunch to let the pup out for a few minutes...eating with one hand so you can play fetch with the other.
10. You start paying attention to the words "pet friendly" in beach rentals and hotel websites.
11. Your light blog posts used to involve children stories and now involve puppy stories.
12. You start including pictures of your pup in your blog or on Facebook...instead of the kids. :)
13. You plan your day around the puppy's schedule.
14. Your last ten google searches have involved the term "puppy".
15. You start "liking" every post on Facebook that involves a pup.
16. You have to pause when someone asks you how many children you have (include her or not?)...
17. You can find a way to work a puppy story into just about any conversation.
18. Your time in front of the computer has been replaced with time outside (to wear the pup out).
19. You suddenly "get" what other people have been talking about for years...they truly are a part of the family.
20. You step on a chew stick every where you go in your house...

I know there are many more but I better quit for now. We are only partway through the week...I have to conserve my energy. :)

More soon (I promise).


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Oh, These Kids...

Short post but I hope to get back at regular posting this week as life settles down. Well, relatively speaking.

I just want to remember a couple funnies.

If you read me on Facebook, these won't be new.


There are few original thoughts these days. Proof? They are remaking Footloose AND Dirty Dancing. Really???

Anyway, the youngest child first.

Last night I had a belated birthday bash with my family and my parents. My mom made a beautiful cake with my name on it.

Strawberry cake and frosting. Yum. I only get it once a year. It is the only cake I ever ask for.

Anyway, our youngest looked at it and remarked, "That isn't right. It should be M-O-M." Later when his sister jokingly called me "Rera" (the B had melted a bit), he quickly informed her my name is Mom. M-O-M. Oh, that kid tickles me.

The other one? Child 3.

Apparently yesterday she was unhappy with Mark's parenting skills. Like telling her no. And other stuff dads are supposed to do.

A little while later, she came into where Mark was sitting and asked him how to spell his name. He spelled it out for her. She then showed him her work. It was a list. A good list and a bad list. Apparently I was on the good list (for that moment anyway), along with the dog and one brother. The other family members, including Dad, were on the bad list.

She then proceeded to make up 10 "tickets" with Mark's name on them. Any time he does something she doesn't like, Child 3 will take one of his tickets. Sounds a WHOLE lot like her classroom management/discipline system at school. Not really sure what happens when he loses all of his tickets or if he has most of them at the end of the week. She didn't explain those details. In case you are wondering, he has lost a ticket already for something last night...I don't even remember what it was. I am sure my tickets are in production as I type...


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Birthday Blessings

Yes, it is time for the birthday blessing list. I really I write just 29 which is how old I plan to tell people I am OR do I just lay all 40 out there (this has been a hard birthday for me to swallow)? Since I write these every year, I figure I can't really fool anyone out there in blogger world. Might as well do the whole shebang.

So, here it goes, in no particular order. Please don't count up how many are food items. And yes, many are repeats from previous year. What can I say? If I like it, I like it.

My Birthday Blessings (an annual tradition)
40. Red Bull Sushi with a side salad topped with ginger dressing
39. watching the brilliant colors of the sunset each night
38. my i-Touch. It wasn't a "need" but it is a truly appreciated "want"
37. a clean sink (which is unfortunately rare around our house...our dishwasher cannot keep up)
36. a sleeping Marley pup in my lap at the end of the day. I can say all day long that she was a gift for the kids, but I know why we really got her. My sanity. :)
35. "chance encounters" with people that have God's fingerprints all over them
34. an ice cold Mountain Dew
33. the imagination of our youngest as he tells me stories with elaborate details and hand gesture...oh how he can entertain me
32. the ironing scene, mostly wordless, of Niles on Frasier. The funniest 5 minutes on television I have ever seen (If you haven't seen it, look on you tube; you won't be sorry)
31. white lilies
30. new school supplies
29. a hot bath with a new magazine
28. freshly fallen snow without even a footprint or blemish(preferably on a Friday evening so it is melted before Monday...NO snow days!)
27. pillow talk with my man (at the end of the day when we catch up on our day's happenings, our kids, etc.)
26. reading a good book (just finished The Help. Wow!)
25. Excedrin Migraine which has saved my day a time or two
24. Pizza with mozzarella, Parmesan, cheddar, and feta (and any other cheese I might find)
23. the faith of my oldest child...may I have even a tenth of the faith he has!
22. our Christmas tree full of ornaments that tell stories of years before
21. Facebook. Where else can I get more birthday wishes than my actual age? Or an encouraging word on a hard day? Or even just a restaurant suggestion or a reminder of upcoming events?
20. My co-workers. Not only do I have a job I love, but I get to work with people I truly like.
19. walking barefoot on the beach
18. the (very) dry sense of humor of child 3
17. Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares with sea salt caramel (a little different this year since they added the sea salt)
16. hiking The Natural State with my family
15. my digital camera to record memories with my children
14. sitting outside as my children play in the dusk on a summer evening, lightning bugs flying around us
13. wearing a pair of jeans and a comfortable t-shirt
12. high school football games
11. the generous heart of child 2; she truly takes joy in giving
10. butterflies and ladybugs
9. an afternoon nap
8. not setting my alarm clock on a summer morning
7. a God who makes me His top priority even when I don't make Him mine
6. holding hands with my husband
5. my blonde hair, one of the few parts of my body that hasn't betrayed me as I get older (yet)
4. air conditioning
3. blogging
2. my family (husband, kids, parents, sister, in-laws, cousins, grandmothers, aunts and uncles
1. You. Thank you for taking time to read this. Thank you for being a part of my life.