Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin (Muffin) Eater

It has been a whirlwind week already. We had two days of school this week, and they were busy, busy, busy.

Just to add a little "fun" (or not so much) to the list, little Miss Marley had her Spay Day...her surgery was today. Oh, I cannot describe the guilt and sadness I felt when Mark held her little travel crate up to me to say good-bye this morning. I was SOOOO ready to see her this afternoon. She is home and recovering but she is still not herself. It hurts my heart to hear her little sounds of discomfort. I can only hope that in a day or two she will feel more like herself.

On to "cheater, cheater". So we are into week 2 of the no eating out as a family. And we have stuck to it. But I will admit, we are really using that "as a family" part to our benefit. :) Mark actually eats out for lunch fairly often with his job. I won't make all of the comments that come to mind about the fact that I take leftovers to work to eat every single day. Nope, I will keep those to myself. Now last Friday night, I did have a Girl's Night Out. We went to a "boutique" (it was like a fancy craft fair) then hopped next door to a restaurant. The friend I was with is expecting, so we had to feed her cravings. After all her baby is growing, developing. And then there is yesterday. I didn't have to go home to let Marley out since she was at the doggy hospital. So my dear husband asked if he could come eat with me. And we devoured a little sushi together. Again, we didn't eat out as a family. :) I did get teased some in the teacher's lounge. But I reminded them that we are trying to show the kids how to sacrifice. I already know. I don't have a new vehicle or freshly painted walls or the bedroom suite I would love to have...those are all sacrifices. And the fact that I am not getting my weekly fill of pizza (though we are making our own tonight) is a sacrifice too. Trust me on that. :)

Finally, pumpkin muffins. Oh, you know how I love pumpkin muffins. Well, yesterday I got up a little bit earlier and made two batches. One batch was for my kids (and me). The other batch was as a little "thank you" to our kids' teachers before Thanksgiving. I also then went to school and made a batch with my students for a fun little "brunch" treat. But what I want to remember is that I was actually fairly creative in my packaging. I was worried about getting the muffins to the teachers without them getting crushed in transit. Especially considering the messengers. I also wanted them to have somewhat of a "fall look". I was at the store researching options when I spotted these Chinet Comfort Cups...they are for coffee. They were sturdy, they were fall colors. And they were JUST the right size for holding two pumpkin muffins. Plus the cups kept them warm. I don't get to have these creative moments often. I have to savor them when I do!

Okay, a total Seinfeld post. I am rambling about nothing.

I will have more substance again some time. Maybe. :)


Saturday, November 19, 2011

I Wonder...

These are some of the random thoughts I have throughout the day. Scary, I know!

I wonder...
  • what dogs dream about. Are there words in their dreams?
  • what it would be like to be taller. To just buy clothes without having to search for "short" on the tag (and trust me, there isn't nearly the choice if you are...)
  • what it would be like to be caught up on laundry.
  • what it would be like to be able to sing. On key. To have people saying, "Wow, what an incredible voice" in a positive way!
  • what it would be like to have a day of no tattletales.
  • why weekends don't last longer.
  • what it would be like to feel no guilt.
  • what we will do in heaven all day long.
  • if there will be dogs in heaven.
  • what it would be like to be completely organized.
  • what it would be like to live on the beach all summer long.
  • if I would truly miss winter if I lived on the beach all year long.
  • how kids start reading. Where is that magic switch that seems to flip one day?
  • why boys seem to think the more pain involved (in a risk), the more thrilling it is.
  • why chocolate can't be a food group we need every day.
  • why my phone battery seems to die faster some days than it does others.
  • if I will ever get to visit Hawaii.
  • what it would be like to run a 5 K. Or even a 2 K. Or even to run around the block without gasping for air.
  • why people always fall for those "Get a free giftcard to ____" on Facebook.
  • why I always get advertisements in my e-mail for fake diplomas. Really?
  • why commercials are so much louder than the television snows.
  • why my kids always act worse after I "brag" about their behavior.
  • why I crave ice cream when it is cold outside.
  • what it would be like to be a size 4.
  • why I am so forgetful.
  • why I wonder so much.
More soon. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sacrificial Love

I have several blog posts I have been wanting to write. Yet, as usual, time and life eludes me. However, I have decided that if I can share even one little bit of the thoughts racing through my mind, that is better than nothing.

One of the things that has been heavy on my heart is the idea of sacrifice.

I thought alot about sacrifice on Veteran's Day as we had a special assembly to honor Veterans at our school. During the assembly, seating was a bit limited. Normally teachers take their chairs to sit in on the "sidelines". However, there just wasn't room this time. So I did the most practical thing...sat on the floor. Twenty years ago that wouldn't have been a big deal. However, as I get older (and older and older), that was a bit of a challenge. An hour on the floor, criss cross applesauce. Aches and pains and groans. While part of me (mainly my legs and back) wanted to scream out, "No fair...I want my chair!", the more rational side of me thought, "This little bit of sacrifice doesn't compare to what these Veterans have done for me."

Another area I have been thinking about sacrifice is with our children. I am sure they think they sacrifice already since they have parents who won't buy them tv's for their rooms, i-phones for them, or the latest and greatest in video games. But that is my concern. I want them to know sacrifice goes beyond that. Even more, I want them to know that sometimes, we sacrifice our own comforts for the good of others.

We (as a family) do show "acts of giving" throughout the year, whether it is through our local Christian radio station's fundraising drive, giving to students through our "angel tree" at school, or collecting books we have outgrown for book drives for children's shelters.

Yet I am not sure our children truly understand that act of giving. Often, the check is written from our accounts or the books are passed down when they are outgrown and no longer needed. And I think in some ways, they are missing out on the true joy of giving.

Which leads to the topic of sacrifice.

This holiday season as Christmas lists dance in through our children's minds, I want them to look beyond themselves.

I want them to see others.

To truly think about the needs of others.

And to give up, even a little, so others can have what we already have.

This weekend, it came to me.


We love to eat out as a family. Sometimes it is stopping by our favorite pizza place. Other times, it is a sit down meal at a favorite restaurant. (I don't want to give the impression we eat out all the time...we really don't. But it is a favorite of ALL of ours) Often on Sunday, the kids' first question once we leave church is "Where are we eating today?" (The funny thing is that since bringing Marley home, we rarely eat out on Sunday afternoons; I don't like leaving her alone that long) One of our children even starts a chant, "We want ____", inserting his restaurant of choice in the blank.

Yesterday Mark informed me that after church, we would be eating out. I guess the thought of sandwiches (again) did not appeal to him. So I told him I thought that was fine but I also thought that needed to be it for a while. Like a month.

After church, we headed over to a favorite restaurant, ordered our food, then shared our plan with our children.

For the next month, we will not be eating out. At all.

The money we would normally spend will instead be given to a charity, something we discuss as a family.

I know, I know.

It is not a big sacrifice.

It is not the type of sacrifice missionaries all over the world make every day of their lives.

And it in NO way demonstrates the true need, the true hunger, so much of the world feels.

But it is a start.

I don't expect my children to truly appreciate the experience. It may be a few weeks before they really start to feel the "sacrifice". And I doubt any of them will start giving all they have to the poor out of this.

But I hope in some way, they will feel it.

That sacrifice.

(I know I will. A month without pizza??? Sushi? Crab legs?)

I hope they will feel what happens when we go without.

And more importantly that they will feel the joy we have when we give in return.

More later,