Thursday, June 25, 2009

Velocity Church Camp

So, tomorrow I leave for Velocity, our church camp in Gambier, Ohio. I have to pack for Tyler and Grant before I leave. They don't leave until Saturday. I have to say, I have prayed and fasted for this trip to be a safe, life changing experience for everyone who goes. I will not be blogging until I get back. That will be so hard for me, not to share with you daily the amazing things going on. I will have plenty to say when I get back. So, I will return to the blog next Friday, if I survive the week. Two words, no air conditioning.

That is actually stated in the brochure, "bring a fan to cool your room, there is no air conditioning. Should be interesting as here in the midwest, humidity is king. I think cool showers will be a daily thing for me. Pray for me and the other leaders and the kiddos. I have declared my room to be the snack room, so I must stock up.

Have a great week. God bless you and yours.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Little League Baseball and the dreams of our youth

So my Grantie Bear has made a tournament team. Very exciting. If they go all the way, they could be on ESPN. The coaches assure me that this probably will not happen. The other teams in our area have played together for four to five years and we have had one practice. In our township, this is new, so we are the babies of the league.

This opens up a whole new can of worms that I think we should all discuss. Tournament teams, travel teams, private coaching, all that jazz. Obviously, I am not against it, but where do you draw the line? My sister spent $5,000.00 one summer for her daughter to be on a travel softball team that "promised" scouts to be at the games. She was scouted at one of her high school games. They traveled, spent money on hotels and gas and stuff and at the end of the day, was not quite sure it was worth it.

How much money do you have to spend for your child to get a possible college scholarship in a sport? Do they really need private coaching? Is Little league enough to get them ready for school ball? Tyler played for a school for the first time this year. He learned a lot, and showed the coaches his heart for the game. I think that is key. Heart. Where is your kid's heart in all of this? Are we forcing our dreams onto our kids?

I see those beauty pageant moms with those dressed up, poofed up, fake teeth wearing little girls on the reality shows and want to cry. They are fake tanning, fake hairing, fake teeth wearing little girls with more make-up on than I wear in a week. And I wear make-up every day. Two thousand dollars for a dress they can only wear once? Strutting and shaking things that have yet to grow in? And in the end, every one of them has said they were tired and wanted to go home. The moms have the nerve to say it's for college money. Okay, take the two grand you just spent on costumes and stick that in a college fund. The poor child will make more for college that way than if you spend all that money carting her around to little state pageants. Yikes. Scary, scary stuff.

I try to be very careful to make sure my children want to do what they sign up for. Tatum would sign up for fifteen things a semester if she could. She has done dance, gymnastics, girlscouts and many other things. Nothing has stuck. And that's okay, if she finds something she loves, she will stick with it and I will support her. Tyler and Grant have played baseball for more years than I can count, and they love it. But if they came to me next year and said they did not want to play, that would be okay.

The things we enroll our children in are supposed to enhance their lives, not take over their lives. The tournament team tryouts were just that and Grant made it and we are proud of him. I hope they go far, but in reality, this being their first year, that probably will not happen.

Where do you draw the line in your house about extra curricular activities? Do your kids enjoy what they are doing? Let me know.

God bless you and yours.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Too busy to blog.

So, today, I have six appointments regarding four children and myself. I cannot blog, I am too busy. I also work six hours today. So, I will see you all here tomorrow.

God bless you and yours.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Budgets, a necessary evil..........

So, my dear husband and I have always had a love/hate relationship when it comes to money. I love to spend it, he hates to spend it. When we made the move to Michigan, we made some serious decisions regarding our family and our finances. Money was no longer king, and we shifted our focus to God and our family. We simplified our lives and got closer to God in the process.

On Saturday, after a nice breakfast out, we decided we had to firmly write down our finances and create a budget. It is a little scary writing it all down. What you really spend a month will stagger you. My program on my Macbook was very helpful. What I found out was I needed to trim $350.00 off our food budget and find another $300.00 a month to live. So basically, I need to find $650.00 a month and not dip into our savings.

Interesting. The food budget I think I can do, because, quite frankly, I fly by the seat of my pants in that department. What sounds good today? Oh, I will just pick that up for tomorrow type of stuff. I have to create a menu and buy what is on sale. The end. I will shop the specials, cut coupons and eliminate waste. Which, we all know, I should have been doing in the first place. Finding the extra $300.0o a month is going to be a bit challenging. I could sell one of the kids, but I am sort of attached to the little buggers. I am going to open up my schedule at work and see if that helps. Scott is going to work a little harder and we are going to tighten our belts.

Better to do this now, then try to catch up later. I have always been for a budget, Scott not so much, but is coming around. He always felt if we had, let's say, $200.00 for food, we would spend it all instead of not spending that much. I have changed his mind. We have had friends do the envelope system. That works too so much money in said envelope for said costs. Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover is a great place to start if you need some help in the budget department. You do have to budget fun. If all you do is drudgery, you won't stick to your budget. Period. You just can't eat at the fancy steakhouse every weekend. Unless you have a two for one coupon, a gift card and someone else is splitting the check.

In these trying times, we all have to get creative with our finances. We need to listen to our elders, who survived the Great Depression and use it again, save it, recycle it, or use it up. We are going to tighten our belts and get the last little drop out of the toothpaste. We have become a wasteful nation and we need to go back to the basics.

What do you do to save household money? Share the love and the ideas, we all need some help.

God bless you and yours.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Chore Jar

So my fifteen year old is sassy and privately, he cracks me up. He just told me last night that I had to pick from the chore jar because I had yelled. That meant, because he was back talking, that he had to pick from the chore jar. Which brought up a unique debate. My oldest could be an amazing lawyer if he did not want to be a youth pastor. Let's all take a moment and praise God that he wants to be a youth pastor.

He can argue six sides of an argument, all of them successfully and make you believe he believes in all six sides. Case in point. He wears many t-shirts regarding his faith to school. There was a boy who had to change a satanic t-shirt. Tyler argued that if that child believed in Satan the way he believed in Christ, what was the difference in their civil rights of wearing t-shirts promoting their individual "faith". The basic argument challenged his and my mind and I walked away worried that he might be falling from his faith. He laughed and said he didn't believe in what the kid's shirt said, just that the kid had the same rights as him. Amazing.

So, bring this child (at fifteen he is still a child) into the realm of chores and the chore jar. The debates could kill a lesser person. Now if he debates, he gets a chore. He is too smart for his britches, as my dear departed grandma would say. I love that he is so smart and using his brain for good and not evil, at least most of the time. I do have to watch it though, he has my memory, which is long and vast.

So the chore jar works, the house is cleaner and the kids are falling in line. Any questions? They learn to hate the chore jar, so they learn to get along and do what they are supposed to, so they can avoid the chore jar. Easy peasy. Mostly.

What quirky personality thing does your child do? Share the love.

God bless you and yours.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Father's day

So, I just realized that Sunday is Father's day and my dad lives two thousand miles from me and I have yet to mail him a gift. Not good. It will be late. And what do you get a man who says he has everything he needs? I usually go gift card, they mail in a card quite easily. I am taking the kids to get Scott's gift today. He is tough too, the kids have some funny ideas, so the trip should be hilarious.

My dad has always cherished my mom. A true love story that has been a blessing to watch. Not always perfect, but willing to work through the tough times. Through that, I know, with all my heart that he has always loved us kids. My sister, brother and myself. There has never been a doubt that we were loved. There may not always have been tons of money or vacations and stuff, but there was always love. My dad is a hard worker and now at almost 80 years of age, his biggest regret is that he cannot wake up feeling 29 every morning. He does not like being sick or getting old, but so go the sands of time.

I consider my father a gift to our family. His work ethic, the way he worked to get his degree while working full time and supporting a family. His love for his roses. His love for his family. His refusal to ever give up on any of us kids. He is a good man and I am a daddy's girl. Always have been. So what to get this amazing man. He is not without faults, we all have them, but his love has never wavered. I think I am stuck with gift certificate again. Not very original, but will have to do.

What is your favorite memory of your father? Funny? Touching? Loving? Crazy? Share the love.

God bless you and yours.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Off to the Library

Or Libarry as the case may be.  We make our children, or rather encourage rather strongly,  to read for half an hour every day.  Today being my first day off since they have been out of school, it is library day.  As an avid reader, all I have to say is YEAH!

Here in Michigan, well in Macomb Township, there is this library of epic proportions.  I love it.  It is like all the libraries in all the movies.  Enormous and wonderful.  I go and get some books, the kids get books and movies.  You can check out movies for free people.  If you don't mind waiting until it gets donated or bought, you can see some newer stuff, just not on the day if was released on DVD.  When I realized we were spending close to forty dollars a month renting movies, we went to just the library.  If you like movies like we do, that is too much money to be spending.  So we check out movies from the library and buy they ones we know we want for our collections.  Saving money makes great cents (teehee).

So I am off to take a shower, eat a little breakfast and go to the library.  Love it.  As it is raining out, I know the place will be packed with moms and kids.  All the better.

What is one of your favorite, free things to do in the summer with the kids?  Let me know and share the love.

God bless you and yours.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A milestone in the making

So today, my first born starts driver's training.  He stands a head taller than me.  He has a curfew of 11:00 p.m. and doesn't break it.  My baby is going to be driving.  When did that happen?  

Wasn't it just yesterday that I held him in my arms for the first time?  I was completely drugged out after a C-section and could barely hold him, but I remember it.  He was 9 lbs, 10 oz. I had just given birth to a three month old child.  He had blonde hair and the biggest blue eyes.  I remember his first steps, his first words, and his first stitches.  We have been through various broken bones, an emergency appendectomy in the middle of the night and countless hurts and growing pains.  I have rubbed his upset stomach and carried him inside of me and he was my first child to fall asleep on me and I just held him for hours and hours.

He loves baseball and skateboarding and playing the guitar.  He recently told us that God has called him to be a Youth Pastor.  Amazing.  He humbles me, he truly does.  He also frustrates me, talks back, teases me, and is a typical teenage boy.  It doesn't seem possible to me that he is fifteen.  He is so grown up in so many ways.  Letting go is hard for me, but necessary in this crazy thing we call life.  I cannot protect him in every way I wish I could.  He will make mistakes and have to live with them and learn from them.  

So, as I take him to driver's training and will eventually let him drive me around, I take this moment to remember his little hand in mine.  Now his hand envelopes mine.  He's growing up.  If I am this sappy at driver's training, can you imagine his graduation or prom or, gasp, his wedding.  Yikes, I better get this under control.  Oh wait, then I would not be me, sappy girl.

What milestone is your oldest child coming up to?  Share the love.

God bless you and yours.

Monday, June 15, 2009

In the still of the morning

Okay, for a monday I am doing well.  For an every day, not so hot.  I did not get up at 5:00 a.m. to walk with my hubby.  The alarm did go off, but due to cramps beyond human comprehension, I crawled back into bed.  When he left for work around 6:15, I thought I would just lay down for a few more minutes before I began my morning routine of getting out my bible and talking to God.  Imagine my surprise when I looked up and it was 7:45!  Whoops.  

But as I sit in my kitchen, quietly tapping on my keys, the house is so quiet and peaceful.  Cooper, my little routine man, is downstairs playing a game and the rest of the house is silent.  Grandma is sleeping on the couch, Aunt Sandy, who is visiting, is in her room with her daughter, sleeping.  All my other rugrats are sleeping.  Blissful quiet.  

We had a very busy weekend with family, ending yesterday with a pool party at Aunt Kim's.  My kids never left the pool.  The need to sleep it off.  We did stay up until 9:30 to watch Twilight.  Tatum received it with the book for her birthday.  Good movie, I can see what all the hype is about.  More about romance and love that the typical sex motivated teenage movie.  Yeah, I know, he's a vampire and all that, but it is still a sweet love story.  The boys hated it.  I think they hate it because every girl breathing loves it.  Hilarious.

I think, I shall do some laundry, take a cup of tea out to the deck and enjoy my morning before I have to go to work.  What do you do on your silent mornings?  Share the love.

God bless  you and yours.

Friday, June 12, 2009

First day of Summer

Okay, first, for the pool party yesterday, it was pouring rain.  Not a spring shower, but a constant soak that is so great for the grass.  Did not stop until midnight.  The funny thing was, the kids still went swimming.  The moms were on the deck with umbrellas, hilarious.  Nothing like getting soaking wet while you are swimming.  Not one ray of sunshine.  The kids had a blast.

As I sit here at 5:45 in the morning, the child who could not be awakened yesterday is watching cartoons downstairs.  Hilarious.  Yesterday it was like pulling teeth, today, comfy in his jammies, he is watching some cartoon.

We have a "family" meeting at 9:00 a.m. to discuss and sign the summer rules.  We will also be going over the chore jar.  Rolling of the eyes will be the first offense.  I am determined to have a great summer, despite my children.  Ha.

I must go clean, we have the twins birthday party, which has evolved into the "June" birthday party for the family.  I have to pick up and clean a bathroom and then go to work and then come home to family.  Good, busy day.  Toilets wait for no man.

Loving the first day of summer, quietness (except for the cartoons) and the calmness of my morning.  

God bless you and yours.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last day of school.........

It's the last day of school.  Yeah!!!!!  The only thing I hate is the cleaning out of the backpacks.  I will have to do a quick job as the whole family is coming on Saturday for the twins birthday.  Actually we are celebrating all the June birthdays, but that is a mute point.  I am always totally amazed at what I find in my children's backpacks.  Recently I found a birthday invitation to our little neighbor's party, which was the previous weekend.  I thought we were not invited and could not figure out why.  Just shows you that jumping to conclusions is a bad idea.  Not that I did anything, I just thought I had offended  in some way.

Tyler owes ten dollars for a book to be re-bound.  Apparently over 60% of the class has to pay the fee for one book or the other.  Yikes.  Isn't that what my tax dollars are for?  He did not maliciously break the book, it just sort of fell apart after many years of use.  I ponied up the ten bucks, but really, maybe it is time for new books.  

We have a pool party to go to.  Actually a ool party, our neighbors would prefer you don't "P" in the pool.  They do it every year at the end of the school year.  Hot dogs, swimming, junk food, fun for all.  You do have to watch their dog, he usually eats himself sick from all the half eaten hot dogs kids leave on plates at the tables.  It is not Haas's fault if you just go in to get a drink, he is just a dog, doing what dogs do, eating unattended food.  By around four o'clock, even he is looking a little worse for wear.

Then tomorrow, the magical day when I don't have to attempt waking up my children.  I can have a quiet morning and watch the news and not have to watch Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network.  Although, the Penguins of Madagascar totally crack me up, King Julian, riot.  "It's boom boom time Rico".  Love it.

So, I will enjoy today and say goodbye to another school year.  No more school, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks (I don't really think they give dirty looks anymore, but what do I know?)

What do you do on the last day of school?  Share the love.

God bless you and yours. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Twinkies

So, my little twins are turning eleven on Sunday.  Time flies.  I remember fighting so hard to keep them inside so they could be strong and not too premature.  Then, after they were born, I don't remember anything for about two years.

I am not kidding.  One day when the twins were about four, Scott looked at me and said, "What did we do the first two years?"  I had no idea.  I have watched the video of their first birthday and have absolutely no recollection of the event.  None.  I will say, I must not have had my hair done in a long time, because it all fit into a ponytail, with no bangs.  That is a look I should not have and had not had since I was ten.  Yuck.  I know we moved into a new house when they were about 18 months old.  The only thing I remember about that was that Tatum had the stomach flu all night and I ended up with her in the ER at 2:00 a.m.  After catching up on sleep, I got to my new house after my kitchen had been unpacked and put away for me.  I burst into tears.  

I know that Grant was still in diapers when they were born and that I filled two Target bags with diapers every day.  Sorry for the environment, it is entirely my fault.  I do not know what they ate, when they walked, what they liked, none of that.  I simply do not remember and that is okay.  Maybe God is protecting me from losing what is left of my mind by blocking that time.  That makes sense to me.

So now, my little girl wants all things Twilight for her birthday and Cooper wants Bakugan and Gormiti.  If you don't know what those are (I had to google gormiti) they are basically pokemon but different.  I have a theory, once you collect all the cards and figures of one Japanese type of battle game, they come up with another one to make yours obsolete and you have to spend their college money on the new stuff.  But that is just my theory.

I know they are growing up so fast, but I miss the smell of spit up sometimes.  I am not saying I could or would do it all again, but I miss those times.  Or maybe I don't, because I cannot remember them.

Oh well, what do you miss about your babies being babies????  Let me know.

God bless you and yours.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Almost there....

Two and a half more days of school.  The kids are jumping around like crazy people.  They cannot wait until school is out.  There is something so pure about summer vacation.  For about three days.  That is when the fights start, the yelling, the chaos, the general yuckiness of siblings being siblings.  If you have an only child, then this will not pertain to you.  You must have at least two children in your household for this to take place.  I will give you an example.  The younger one is just watching his/her favorite TV show when the older one comes in and just changes the channel.  No warning, no "please", just "I am here and I am bigger than you, so there" attitude.  The younger one screams and the fight ensues.

This is how your whole summer could go.  I chose not to give into the madness.  The summer rules shall be typed up and signed by all parties.  They will have a loose summer schedule (my kitchen is not open all day every day) and there will be consequences.  I love consequences.  I have a chore jar.  I fill it with disgusting chores that I do not want to do.  Case in point---cleaning the tile in the bathroom around the toilet with a toothbrush.  No one wants to clean up pee, but if you are going to wreck the calmness, you are cleaning up pee.  Sorry.  Three boys and a husband and various other children in our household are enough for me.  I also put in cleaning the baseboards.  Dusting everything in the house, and you really do have to pick up all the little nicknacks along the way.  Weeding the flowers is a good one.  They have to be above and beyond the call of regular duty for these kids, or it will not make an impact.

If I stick to my guns, in about a week, we have courtesy, respect and mostly peace.  When the peace goes south, the chores come out.  Love it.  I cannot stand yelling and slamming, it is totally unacceptable to me.  They don't do it at the neighbors house, so they should not do it at ours.  Period.

What do you use to keep your house calm in the summer?  Let me know and let the ideas flow.

God bless you and yours.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rainy day blues

Whenever it rains out, I get the urge to curl up on the couch and read and do nothing.  That is my perfect rainy day.  Oh yeah, all the kids have to be in school, so I am not bothered by them in my tranquil moments.  So as this week is the last week of school and it is cloudy, as soon as the bus rolls by, I will sit and quietly drink a cup of tea.  I may read a little, I may not.  I can do this for approximately ten minutes before I start my day.

Rainy days are made for making soup and relaxing and maybe baking bread.  I still make hockey pucks when I attempt bread, but I do thaw the frozen stuff really well and bake that up.  I did bake cookies on Friday, yummo, nothing beats homemade chocolate chip cookies, except for more homemade chocolate chip cookies.  That is an issue, once I bake them, I cannot stop eating them.  They are all gone.  I did not eat them all, but I had my share.  

So what do you do on rainy days?  Any protocol you like to follow?  How about a whole bunch of nothing?  Do you bake or cook?  Let me know.

God bless you and yours.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Youth Group

So, last night I helped out with our church's youth group.  Somehow, I have become a leader, I seriously do not know how that happened.  I told Pastor Tim that I would help with fundraising in January and now I am the high school girl's leader at our Velocity summer camp.  Makes your head spin.  I am not complaining, I actually love it.  I am constantly amazed by these kids, literally.  It also helps that two of my sons were actually there last night and having a great time.  Tyler plays guitar in our youth band and they were up on stage last night.  Awesome.

So, it comes to mind that God puts you were He needs you.  I have always been called to women's ministry.  I have avoided taking care of children at church.  Not because I don't love them, but really because I was so busy with four little ones, I did not have the patience to deal with anyone else's little balls of sunshine.  I worked on our Christmas Tea for the ladies in our church and loved it.  Then it happened, I just walked up to PT and said I would help with fundraising.  That lead me to help sometimes at youth group and then I was asked to help with Velocity.  I have to pause and ponder.

Some of the girls came up to me and told me they were so excited that I was going.  I am truly humbled, teenagers want to spend time with me.  Wow, really?  How fun.  I know I will come home from this camp absolutely exhausted and wondering what the heck I was thinking.  I expect God to show up and work miracles.  These kids are really trying to learn and put God into their every day lives.  They face challenges we never did and that our parents cannot imagine.  The world tells them one thing and their hearts another.  These kids are not afraid to express their faith and still be teenagers. One has their lip pierced, one has funky hair (not including my bundle of joy) one sings like a rock star, all are amazing to me.  

So, here I sit, involved in my children's lives in a way I never thought possible and loving it.  Exhausted from making milkshakes for seventy kids (Joanie makes hers too thick, I make mine too thin) and loving every minute of it.  Two of my kids will be at Velocity, but I am not allowed to be their mom on the trip, I am not in charge of them, only the chicas in high school.  Pray for me, I will have to ignore a lot of things going on in the name of being fair.  I will have to let all the burping and farting go unnoticed.  Yikes.

What are you doing in and around your kids lately?  Share the love.

God bless you and yours.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A mom's day off..........

So today, I do not have to go to work at Starbucks.  It's my day off.  That does not mean I actually have a day off to loaf around and do nothing.  I am a mom, I will be running my behind off.  I have errands and stuff and I have to fax some stuff and mail some stuff and all that jazz.

The question becomes, when do mom's get a day off?  If you read my Mother's day tirade, I did not get mother's day off.  I think I am supposed to get mother's day off, but due to various things, I ran like a dog all day.  So if I don't get mother's day off, when do I get to sit?  The answer is never.  Mom's don't really get days off.  We squeeze in "moments" of peace.  Small moments for that matter.

I get up at 5:00 a.m. to walk and then read my bible.  I do so for the sheer quietness of the moment.  If I tried to read my bible and have alone time with God at night, I would be interrupted at least five times by every single one of my children and my husband.  I know this, because my wind down routine at the end of the day includes me reading a book before bed.  It is my attempt to relax before I attempt to sleep.  I never go to bed without one or more of my children needing something.  So I know, my alone time with God, which is precious to me, would not be alone time.

When I lived in Arizona, my best friend, Mary, literally lived down the street from me.  Our kids went to school together and played together just about every day.  Mary and I had to schedule our "play" dates.  Sneak away to get our toes done (I have yet to get a pedicure in Michigan, I don't think I can get my toes done without Mary, weird).  I will say that in Arizona, all my dear friends were within five minutes of my home, even right across the street, and we still had to schedule time together.  We have lost the knack of just dropping by to say hi or have coffee.  We need to get that back, the drop in and say "hi".  

I know I always hesitated the drop in because as busy as I was, I knew everyone of the moms I knew were just as busy.  But think about it, we need to stop scheduling and just start doing.  When our family left Arizona, my biggest regret was that we did not spend more time with dear friends on a daily or sometimes even a weekly basis.  Take some time and catch up.  If we just wave as we drive by each other, we may miss our friend who needs a pick me up or just a hug or just a cup of coffee.  I deeply miss my friends in Arizona, think about them every day, and regret not spending more time with our toes in the pool.  Don't live with regrets, knock on a friends door today.

So while we don't get a day off, we can reach out in our hectic lives and say hi.  I am going to make it my purpose to spend some time with a friend today, even if I have to run my errands later.  

Who do you miss the most today, let them know, they miss you too.

God bless you and yours.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We have all been there......

So yesterday, as I was leaving work, I hear a three year old losing it.  I don't mean the normal whining tired little one.  This child was being carried under her mother's arm and screaming, "I wanna stay, I'll be good, no, no, no".  The decibel level was reaching the corner of my eye.  Obviously, she had not behaved at the little play area in the mall and her mom was removing her from the situation.  I did what any mom who had been there before should do.  As the mom started to pass me, I gently touched her arm and said, "We have all been exactly where you are at".  She smiled and thanked me.

You see, when you are carrying your child under your arm in a public place, and said child is screaming at the top of their voice, it is not what you envisioned parenthood to be.  Maybe, in our childless state before our kids arrived we even muttered those words.  You know the ones, we probably all did it.  Let's all say it together and laugh now.  "When I have kids they will never act like that".  I seriously do not think that anyone with children would ever mutter those words.  If they do, they are like nine hundred years old and don't remember the wonderful world of three year olds.

All children have melt downs.  If you are smugly sitting there saying "not my child" you obviously have a newborn and I would caution you from uttering the dreaded words.  It is unfortunate for us as moms that they will usually lose it in a very public place.  I will say, that by the time my third and fourth child arrived, I could see it coming on, and tried to leave about a half an hour before the melt down.  It only took me six years of parenting to figure it out.  

We would be at a birthday party and stay until the bitter end.  By that time, everyone is hopped up on sugar, overstimulated and ready for a brawl.  There I sat, dragging my child out of the party, freaking out, and sure Child protective services would be paying me a call in the coming week.  So, after many a break down, I finally wised up.  About a half an hour before I think they will freak, I make my excuses and leave.  Right on schedule, at home, where I can yell without worrying about what my neighbors think of me, the kids break down.  There is crying, baths, and bed.  At least it's out of the public eye.  I remember when the kids were little, actually being relieved that they were in tears in the bathtub, because at least I was at home and nearer to bed and relief of their tired littleness.

I know how hard it is to leave a fun party, but be firm.  Trust me on this, leave early and save yourself the chaos.  Or at least have the tantrum at home.  No one at the party wants to watch your kids freak out.  Let their kids freak out and you are already at home, so you don't have to watch it.

Don't judge those moms dragging their kids, kicking and screaming, away from some public place, they are just doing their best.  We have all been there, so smile and reassure these poor souls.  Remember, "there but for the Grace of God, Go I".  That's another one of my mom's quotes.

God bless you and yours, and you are not alone.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Running Late

Okay, chaos ensues, I am running late.  Anyone else having those problems?  I am really ready for Summer vacation and no waking up tired children.  So, very short blog today as I have to be at work in one hour and have not taken a shower or packed lunches, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I do have a pretty good reason though, I got an email that another one of my stories is a finalist for a Chicken Soup book, so yeah me!  I had to print out a release and all that jazz, amazing, God has blessed me so much this year.  

So, have a great day, sorry to rush off.  Love to all.

God bless you and yours.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer Reading List

I have to say, I love a good book.  I read mostly romance novels, trashy, I know, but entertaining.  This summer started out weird for me.  I am reading Twilight.  My almost eleven year old girl wants to read it and I was not familiar with it, except that every pre-teen girl in America is obsessed with it.  So I borrowed a copy and started to read it.  I am about 2/3 done with it and it's okay.  If I were thirteen I would probably think it was the best thing since sliced bread, but I am forty-two and it's a pretty good book for a teenager.

As I look back on my reading list this year it is quite eclectic.  Fasting by Jentezen Franklin would be on the top of my list.  If you are a Christian who is looking for a way to open up your faith life, open up this book.  I have also read Saturdays with Stella by Allison Pittman.  What a great view of our walk with God.  I have read Nora Roberts first book in her new quad series, A Vision in White.  Finally, she is back to romance without vampires or someone dying every other chapter.  Although, I am reading Twilight, it is totally different vibe, can't really explain it, but it is.  I re-read many Nora Roberts trilogies involving Irish and love and all that jazz.  Love it.  She writes well, I just don't like her creepy stuff.

I read my bible every day.  It is the one book I could not live without.  If I was on a desert island, and could only have one book, it would be my bible.  I would need a pen or pencil too, as I frequently write and underline stuff in my bible.  I do like finding a passage I have underlined with dates and realize I have been through something that God brought me through.  Amazing.  I laugh, I cry, I cover it all.  What an amazing love story, the bible.  It angers me when someone uses their bible as a weapon.  It is a love story, the best one ever told.

So, what is on your reading list this summer?  What do you like or dislike?  Have you been sucked into the Twilight chaos?  Let me know and share the love.

God bless you and yours.