Friday, February 27, 2009

Ellie and Papa on the Farm

Here is a video my dad posted on You Tube some months ago. It has had 8,195 views, Miniscule in terms of You Tube hits. But Huge in terms of how much I Love It.

It is a slice of time that Ellie and Papa spent together out on the farm "checking the whales."

When Ellie was 5, she really thought that Dad had a large farm of blue whales. And that he went out to check on them every morning, feeding them fish and other things. In her little big imagination, she thought that he would pet them and play with them.

So, one day he took her out to check the whales, and she found out that there were really no whales at all, but oil wells, and lots of cows, horses, rabbits, fences, hay, gates and other wonderful sights and smells you could imagine out on the farm.

Checking the wells became a fun thing for Ellie and Papa to do together and this is just a funny moment from one of their trips. (sorry Luke).

For me, it isn't the poopy moment caught on tape, it's the conversation between the two, Ellie's cute little voice, Papa's interest in all that's around them, the beautiful green of the farm where I grew up, and just remembering our girl at an age that has passed us by already.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Looney Toons

Do you know who this is?
Well, it's our beautiful daughter, Ellie.

My only consolation?
She's not the only looney-toon around!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bits and Pieces

*I have been asking myself lately when I used to fit blogging in?!! Holey Moley! This month I am lucky to find time to put on deodorant.

*Valentine's Day was lovely. Our little family had a Valentine's Breakfast, which was nice since our Valentine's evening consisted of the oh, so, romantic Valentine's Day Basketball Game. The best thing about the evening? 2 of my awesome friends keeping me company through an exciting/stressful basketball game.... AND.... ORU won! Love you too, honey- that's a great present any day of the year. (I did get flowers - below - and a very sweet card).

*Not that we had mac and cheese for our Valentine's Breakfast, but speaking of food, am I the only one who is amazed at how different Mac and Cheese seems the older my kids get? When they were little, one box of mac and cheese went on and on. It was like the fishes and loaves. Now, I stir up a pan of it and it looks like such a piddly little pile of pasta. It's just a strange feeling that I can't quite get over for some reason.

*Here is our energy-filled little boy at the beginning of his basketball game this past Saturday. At Upward games, they announce the names of the kids (Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuke) and they run out and get all excited. Luke may get a little more excited than most. He has a lot of gusto.
*All your comments on my last post really encouraged me, complete with the necessary round of tears. If you ever get that Loser Mom feeling yourself, take a look at all those comments. I completely intended to personally respond to every single one of them... they truly lifted me up!!! Thank you so much for your thoughts and encouragment. This is a better week. Plus I had a crazy friend who called me at 7:30 AM on Saturday just to make sure I wasn't missing our bball pictures. Ha! Nikki - I miss your Florida-living self.

*Oh, and the lesson? The bigness of God's grace and that I in my human condition need to extend that grace to all people. I need to quit looking at that speck in other's eyes when there is a log in my own. Cuz I was on the other end of that and it did not feel good.

*One thing I am so busy with right now (besides life in general) is being in charge of Teacher Appreciation Week for our school in April (220 people). The theme is JEE Faculty and Staff: YOU ROCK! We are incorporating a rock and roll theme and it is going to be so fun! Though right now it feels like a full time job. Having meetings, organizing activities, contacting people, getting donations, being creative and just thinking it all through. Woh!

* I sure miss reading your blogs too! I just haven't. been. able. to. :( I miss the bits and pieces that you share. You know me, always getting inspired by you! Miss you!

*Oh, and Elle Belle who is always taking pictures, grabbed my camera and took one of herself. I love the crumbs on her cheeks and how her freckles pop. So Ellie. I love that little girl. I love her to pieces.
*Good night, my friends! Blog and non-blog! I know you are out there. XOXOXO.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What's the Lesson?

Things seem to be happening in my life that are right along the same theme.

The theme of Loser Mom.

And I am looking hard for the lesson.

***With 4 kids in tow (my 3 and a friend) and running on fumes (this was day 5 of Tom being out of town), I decided to take my kids to a church activity. Remember, we are going to a new church, trying to meet people, etc. We were to decorate the doors of the residents at a nursing home and then go bowling. Everything was fine until I stepped away from the group for a few minutes to retrieve some more valentines from the office. I left Luke behind with the other moms, which looking back was so amazingly dumb of me. He is a wild 5 year old boy. Sometime while I was gone, another mom of a kindergarten boy decided that she did not like Luke or his antics (he IS wild), and began telling him to calm down. Telling Luke to calm down is like telling the sun to stop rising. Things went from bad to worse and my hopeful good first impression went down the drain. Needless to say, we did not go bowling, and I cried the whole way home.

***Remember the coach who saw me forget both Ellie's and Luke's picture days? Well, last night, it got worse. I dropped Ellie at practice and ran over to Hobby Lobby to work on a couple of looming projects. Being EXTREMELY aware of the time, I was done and ready to head back with 10 minutes to spare (practice was only a 45 second drive away). That's when my phone rang. It was the coach. He said, "hey, practice is over, where are you?" This cannot be happening!!!! I guess they just ended practice early and that I shouldn't have cut it so close. My embarrassment factor is off the charts. I swear, I think I look like I am on drugs or something.

These are just two examples in my life that I would classify under "Loser Mom."

I KNOW I am NOT a loser mom (not looking for sympathy), but I just hate making these impressions on people. I feel like I am being unfairly judged. I just want to jump up and down and yell, "I am a responsible mom! I work very hard to discipline my children! I take care of details! I am really quite organized!!! LISTEN TO ME!!!!" But then I really WOULD be a loser mom, now wouldn't I.

I am looking for a lesson....

Could it be to....
1) try harder and think deeper? could be.

2) realize that i am going to make mistakes? that's already been proven.

3) slow down? well, uh, yeah.

All these have gone through my mind. But what I keep coming back to is this:
I need to care less what people think.

The Lord knows my heart. He knows how I parent.
Darnit, HE Himself gives me the measure of strength and energy to make it through each day.
And if I'm being unfairly judged, well, God knows that too.

and maybe, just maybe, He's telling me this...

that when I notice a MOM in a sticky situation, I can do this:
judge less and reach out more. GIVE MORE GRACE.

It just might make her day. (thanks
Amanda for making mine yesterday.)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Luke Haiku

At the blogging dinner a couple weeks ago, I met Maggie at Maggie's Mind, who does Friday Haikus on her blog. If you know me at all, you will know that counting syllables is really my thing. Thanks Maggie for introducing me to this little blog carnival (is that what it's called?)- it is so up my alley.

So my subject of the day is Luke. Yesterday was the 100th day of school. They did all kinds of exciting, one hundredish types of things. Including making this hat. But when I saw him get into my car wearing his onery little grin, I had to laugh because as sweet and wonderful as his teacher is (and I mean that with all my heart), I'm sure that the message "Hip Hip Hooray! We've been here 100 days!" was closely followed by a huge sigh of relief. (and I mean THAT with all my heart.)
So in honor of all that, here are my haikus:

one hundred short days
faster than a lightning bolt
precious baby boy

you test your limits
bursting right through the stop signs
not yet looking back

kindergarten year
each day a monument to
a patient teacher

In my life I have
never received notes from school
Now? Wow! One hundred!

You make me Prouder
than the President's Momma
you are Strong, Smart, Mine.

Luke James... your own name
makes my heart leap up with love,
even on hard days.

Growing, Learning. How
Dare I underestimate
the Power of Days?

Haiku Friday

You too can participate! Click on the box for more info.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Every Mom Makes Mistakes (right?)

Dawn gave me this Mom of the Year Award (thanks Dawn!)

and it could not have come at a better time.

One of the rules of the award is that you have to post a bad-mom moment, and I had to laugh because I recently had not one, but two.

Our two little ones are playing Upward basketball. With such activities, you always have picture day. And picture day always seems to mess with my head. You have to be there early, looking decent and have $ ready to shell out.
Two Saturdays ago, Ellie had a one o'clock basketball game. I was at lunch with my mom and sister and my dad was planning to take Ellie to her game, me to come later. My cell phone rings as I am enjoying a leisurely lunch and it is Ellie's coach. "Hey," he says in an even voice, "we are all here getting ready to take team pictures. Are you all coming?" Oh man, my heart sinks and my face turns red. I didn't want to tell him that actually, NO, I had totally forgotten, that I was stuffing my face full of chips and salsa, and that Ellie wasn't even with me, so I said, "well, my dad is bringing her, but I didn't tell them about pictures. Just take pictures without us. Sorry." I feel horrible, but we go on with lunch. The phone rings again, "We don't want a picture without Ellie in it. We're going to rearrange and take the picture afterwards." Ok that is soooo nice, but I feel like a heel. Everyone knows that it is me, Loser-mom, who has inconvenienced everyone. I know it doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but one thing I may not have told you about myself is that I HATE making mistakes. I'm not a perfectionsist per se, but making mistakes, forgetting something, especially in front of other just makes me feel like dirt.

Fast forward one week. Luke had a 9 AM basketball game. I thought I was doing great to have all the kids up and ready by 8:30. Tom was out of town, and you know how hard that can be flying solo. However, there was no fighting, everyone was wearing the correct uniform and I was feeling like Supermom. Phone rings. It's Luke's coach this time: "Uh... we're here waiting for you all... trying to get our team pictures taken." CRUD. My heart sinks again. I sigh as I say to him, "well, I'm so sorry. You'll have to take them without us." I get off the phone, but it rings again. Get here as fast as you can. We don't want a picture without Luke. Wow. That is so great... as I stand there in my robe with no makeup on. So, I jump into clothes and we take out there like madmen. It took us a full 15 minutes to get there, and I am so mad at myself the whole flying way. As we walk in, I begin apologizing to the coach. But guess who is there? Of all people? Ellie's coach. His son is having pictures at the same time.

oh my.

So on to the next rule and that is this: to list 7 things your love about your kids, doing with your kids or that your kids love about you.

1) I love to hold their warm, little and sometimes grubby hands.
2) I love to hear them laugh.
3) I love to enjoy each of their very different and distinct characteristics.
4) I love to hear the funny things they say.
5) I love to discover a quality in them that I do not possess.
6) I love to hear them express their faith in God through simple ways.
7) I love to see them interact with family - their dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

I surely LOVE being a mom, bad-mom days and all.

And who to pass this out to?
I'll try some of my dear out-of-town friends:
Shannon @ IA Pilot Wife
Kim @ KimNOW
Roxanne @ Roxanne Kristina
Rena @ Insert Grace Now
Kathleen @ Treasured Chapters

Here are the official rules:

1) Admit that ONE thing you feel awful about involving being a mom. Get it off your shoulders. Once you've written it down, you are NO LONGER allowed to feel bad. It's over with, it's in the past. Remember, you're a good mom!

2) To remind yourself that you ARE a good mom, list SEVEN things you love about your kids, you love doing with your kids, or that your kids love about you. These are the things to remind yourself of EVERY DAY that you rock!

3) Send this to FIVE other Moms of the Year that deserve forgiveness and a reminder that they, too, are the best moms they can be!!! Remember to send them a note to let them know you've selected them, and add a link to the person who nominated you!"