Wednesday, October 26, 2011

getting a face lift

 "confessions" is getting a face lift! a long over due face lift at that. while my picture at the top of the blog was a cute one, it was very outdated! and while i'm stating the obvious, might i also add, it didn't fit the page?
 here's the thing, i really like to blog (even though i've been m.i.a. lately). i'd really like to make this a pretty place to store all these memories that i'm sure i will all too soon forget. but the truth of the matter is, i don't know how to, and quite frankly, i didn't really want to take the time to learn - until recently.
 so i'm asking for a little patience as i am a s-l-o-w learner when it comes to computer'ish type's of things. after all, we've only had a computer (actually this is a net book) and an internet connection for the past 2 1/2 yrs. yep, scardy-cat that i am, i've been afraid of the internet since 1994 - true story. perhaps i'll blog about that another time? so i am going to give "prettying-up the place" a try. any suggestions?
 i've been playing with to make a photo collage for the above picture but as you can see, it's still doesn't quite fit the page. also, i'm still trying to figure out how to reply to comments so if it takes me a while to get back to ya, it's not that i don't want to - but only that i'm not too sure how - lol!! what a blogging mess i am!
 here's to hoping i'll be able to figure it all out - any extra tips in the comments section would be a wonderful welcome :) in the mean time, i'll probably get back to blogging a little more regular again even if the blog is in the middle of it's face lift - i won't mind the mess if you don't :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

my 4 yr. old reads and builds stealth fighters

 this summer, while walking through a parking garage, my son decided to read, for the very first time! (that we know of.) stopping inside to use the bathroom i missed the whole thing, of coarse. when i got in the car i could tell something good had happened. their was excitment and smiles on all the faces of my family, and the chatter was out of control!
 "what's going on?" i asked
 "mikey read the sign," my husband said as if to say 'duh!'
 "what?" i asked thinking i heard him wrong, mikey is only 4 1/2.
 "yep! he sounded out the sing "level 4" all by himself and asked me what it meant." declared the proud papa.
 "are you kidding me!?" i asked.
  hugh? imagine that! this must be a fluke i think silently to myself. we had been working on letter sounds for the past year, consonance mostly. i had hoped he'd read early but this seemed young.
 the next night while at the dinner table mikey says, "daddy your coke was free! "
 "no it wasn't, they were 12 for $4.99" i say wondering where in the world he got that idea.
 my husband sitting beside his boy, face lite like a Christmas tree, spun the can of cola around to face me.
 "it says free right here," mikey said as he pointed and proceeded with a phonics lesson.
 of coarse it does! an advertise on the back for an amusement park and a buy one get one free ticket.
 "he's reading!" i exclaim with much excitement. i couldn't believe my boy was reading! i still can't believe he's reading, small words mostly but i am such a proud momma!
 later that week at an art supply store i let him pick out a wooden model to paint and glue together with his dad. watching them put it together i decided to get him some early readers. my sister in law lived by the book store so i called her to see if she'd like to go with me.
 "did i tell you that mikey has started to read?" i ask her over the phone, watching my boys in the dinning room fuss over the model together.
 "oh yeah?" she's asked, "what's he doing now?"
without missing a beat, the words just flowing out of my mouth i say, "building a stealth fighter." we had a good laugh over that one, but yep, i'm a proud momma.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

walking the balance beam

 when i was a little girl i had two nick names given me by my mom. onion and gracie. onion for reasons i'm not getting into right now ( i'm not even sure i know ). gracie because i was the one who would fall over nothing at all. i was, in fact, the cheerleader who tripped over the lines painted on the basketball court. true story... several times i'm afraid. even after about fifteen years of dance class i am still quite a putz.
 balance. it's not something i'm good at. it is something i am seeking, even to this day. several months ago i was given a beautiful new sewing machine *sigh* boy did it spawn creative juices!! along with my creative juices flowed a deep sense of guilt! (crazy - i know!) this guilt came from the thought that i was taking time out of my already very busy day of wife, momma and home maker, for myself. that i was hoarding away time = stealing moments for myself! *gasp*
 a few months have passed and i am realizing that what i need is to make time for myself, and that it's not only okay - it's good for me! 
  so this is the week! i am making a schedule and going to stick to it! i'll be blogging about it over at
 here is what i must remember: 1.) one day at a time 2.) one hour at a time 3.) it may take time for the schedule to fall into place 4.) it's worth time and effort for the whole family to follow a schedule, for it to be made and prayed over so that the schedule is also honoring God. so that i am reminding myself  that His schedule should be my schedule.
 even my husband was telling me that he'd like to have a schedule! i know that kids function better with a schedule. even i, one who doesn't like a schedule, functions better while on one! so where's the schedule?!? i'm making one tonight...and i'm kind of excited about it because i'm making sure that in that schedule i get time for myself to do what i want. that it could be sewing, knitting, paper crafting, painting - hey even napping if i want! no folding laundry or putting dishes away during my time though. i can't let that happen - lol!
 the cool thing about having a schedule is that i'll know for sure that i'm not taking time away from my family and house work. it will all be on the schedule, right there looking back at me whenever i start to feel guilty for taking time to do these things that i really enjoy. the things that really help charge me up.
 so that is my news. i know i haven't blogged in a while. my creative juices have been used up else where - in my new sewing/crafting room :) but i'll be making time for this too.
 look out balance beam i'm hoping on! ( i really hope the floor below is padded - lol! )

Sunday, July 31, 2011

still small voice vs. loud shout

  do you ever have one of those days, or in my instance a life where you find yourself saying, "oh i have to remember to _________ " fill in the blank here. i am constantly saying this and then not remembering to do whatever is in the blank, until either way later on, or in some instances, it's too late.
  while rearranging my daughter's room, i put her turtle night light on a small plastic chair near the wall outlet until i could think of a better place for it. i never though of a better place for it and i'm not even sure that i even tried to.
  last week while cleaning up the kitchen after dinner i noticed she was abnormally absent and it was very quiet in the house. this could really only mean trouble. i snuck down the hall to find her playing on her bedroom floor with her dolls and i got all emotional thinking about how big she was getting so quickly.
  back in the kitchen and only a few minutes later she came running in crying about her finger. i asked her to show me what had happened and instead of showing me her finger she ran back to her room. that's when i saw her turtle night light on the floor taken apart. at first i thought she was just sad that the turtle's shell had come off but then quickly noticed how hot the small 15 watt light bulb was under the shell.
  i checked her finger and sure enough it was red but not burnt - thankfully! we ran cold water over the boo-boo finger and i told her not to touch the turtle again. and ya know what i did? i reminded myself to find a safer spot for it and i put it back together and back on the small plastic chair.
  the next day we had family over a good part of the day. after everyone had left and we were cleaning up the toys, i noticed a burning type of smell in her room. immediately i checked for the turtle night light. it was where i left it but as i leaned closer and breathed in deeply i could tell the burning smell was coming from that night light.
  squeezing the clamps and removing the shell this is what i found:

   the wattage label had been slid up around the bulb and had started to melt. i'm betting this was part of little gracie's exploring her turtle night light yesterday.
  it felt like my heart had jumped out of my body as i realized how foolish i had been to, let's face it, ignore that still small voice that kept quietly reminded me to move that night light for months.
  not only did i not move it yesterday after gracie got a slight burn but how close were we to a near catastrophe! maybe i'm being a little over-thoughtful here but this probably could have been prevented and perhaps even turned off when not needed. this could have turned into a bad situation had it caught fire, especially while we were all asleep, in our beds! a fire in my daughters room! i was a mess over this yet very thankful that this is all that happened. and angry that i had been so lazy not to have taken care of this all those other times i had thought about it. that still small voice reminding me time and time again, nicely to move that night light. i am so very thankful He was still only reminding me, only this time in a much louder voice.
  is this what it takes to get my attention? am i too busy to hear and respond right away? too going-going-going that even though i hear, i forget, and right away? or that i just simply ignore? yikes! i don't want to have a fire to get my attention. 
  moral of the story? if their is something that i need to do, i need to just do it right away. to listen to that still small voice before it becomes a loud shout. while i'm thinking about it, i'm gonna go check all the fire alarms in the house too. right now while i'm thinking about, not putting it on the back burner to forget about - no pun intended! 
  thank you Lord for all those quiet reminders and thank you for waking me up to recognize the importance of those quiet whispers of "hey you need to __________" fill in the blank. even if it took a loud shout to get my attention, it really could have been much worse and i am so very thankful that it wasn't. 


Thursday, July 14, 2011

the old made new; a tutorial

  we've had this old baby wipes container with an ever growing number of broken crayons in it for years now. gracie has just started learning colors. digging around to find as many red crayons as we could, only to find their were tons, but were very small and mostly broken, was a little disheartening. sure we have nice new crayons with nice sharp points. the regular sized ones and the jumbo ones, stored away. why you ask? because i am that mom who says "no! you can't have any more until you finish what you've already got on your plate" ...wait... maybe that's the dinner table, but you get the point, right? so here's what we did to make the old crayons new again...
  first separated the colors:
second peeled the papers off all the crayons:
third, make a hot water bath. i rummaged through the recycle bin and grabbed out some used cans. they had already been washed because we keep our bin outside the kitchen door and i don't want to lure any wild, country critters up to the house. i placed the cans in some shallow boiling water and dropped in the crayons. i kept the colors separate because these will be gracie's big jumbo-jumbo crayons to learn her colors by. you can just as easily mix the colors and make "rainbow" crayons which is also very fun.
fourth i had used and washed yogurt cups ready and waiting for the hot melted crayon wax, and no, the crayon wax didn't get hot enough to melt the plastic yogurt cups. in fact, even with the hot water bath bubbling, the crayon wax didn't get hot enough to burn my fingers, i know cuz i spilt some on myself - yep, leave it to me :)
thankfully i had the foresight of knowing just how clumsy i can be and poured the hot wax over my cutting board, cuz this happened...
the cool thing about hot wax is that once it cools you can easily pick or scrap it off most surfaces
the wax sure did look pretty as it melted
as it melted i poured it into the yogurt cups. if you're going to make the "rainbow" crayons your gonna want to do it in layers pouring one color and letting it harden before you poor another color over top.
once the melted crayon wax was all poured into their cups i placed them on a cooling rack in the fridge. mostly because i needed the counter space and i was a little concerned that curious hands would be "checking" on them when mommy wasn't helping. but of coarse it would have hardened out on the counter just as well.
here are some pictures of the different shapes we got from different containers.
and sure enough, they still work! good as new, except their old, made new = even better =)
i got this idea out of a super great book called the toddler's busy book 365 creative games and activities to keep your 1 1/2 - 3 - year - old busy by trish kuffner. if you have a toddler, check out your local library, chances are they have it there. but i'm telling you, this is a book you'll want to have in your collection, it's that good!
2 corinthians 5:17 therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

p.s. here's a few pictures of gracie enjoying her new - old crayons. yes, they make nice "stacking blocks" too!

and what do ya know? they ended up back in the same baby wipes container that they started this project in! hee hee!! at least their's a lot less of them =D

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

gracie turned 2!?!

  july 5th 2011 my baby turned 2! i knew this day was coming but come on! it just happened out of no where! seriously, i feel like i just blinked after giving birth and here we are!
  it was a  busy day full of mommy cleaning and coaxing the newly 2 year old and her older brother who is 4 1/2 (note to self, he will be 5 in 3 short months) to join in on cleaning up around the house, making it seem unrealistically neat and tidy. really? shouldn't we have been playing in celebration all day long, wild and full of laughter? who was i kidding? any one who knows me, knows i am not this neat and tidy! but still, it just seemed it had to be done.
  i had invited only family at first then realised it was the day after the 4th of july (the same big holiday it followed last year) and worried many people wouldn't be able to come. quickly i invited a few extra. thankfully tons of people came!
 ya know how a labrador retriever gets all excited when new people come to visit? their whole bodies have a tendency to wiggle with every wag of their tail for 15-20 minutes of a new persons arrival. their delight is so evident in their every step they usually get banned outside or to a crate in a quite room until they can settle down.
 that was me! all night!  i was the crazy excited labrador retriever who couldn't settle down, only no one banned me to a crate in a quiet room to settle down - thankfully.
  i'm sure i looked as crazy excited as i felt - but it didn't matter because my baby was suddenly 2 and where did the time go? could i recount each and every day the way i wished i could? did i spend them listening to her laugh and sing and teaching her to count and learn colors the way i did her older brother? or did i allow life to over whelm me at times and tell her 'mommy can't read just right now' or 'gracie-girl, your getting big, mommy can't hold you for as long anymore'?  will she have a first memory of fun with the family or of mommy ripping her and a feisty (but loving) older brother apart and separating them until they could settle down? (maybe i should get a dog crate - lol! ) and really, is one memory any different then the other? (i guess only if it means the children will be sitting in a dog crate - lol!.)
   this one life, two years lived and i am still momma in the birthing room with questioned look of shock "what just happened" after giving birth. i want to go back and slow down time and savour each and every moment. not just to do better in mothering but to do better in remembering the moments, staying in each moment, recording each moment. seeing and tasting that the Lord is so good, all the time, in all the many different moments.
  i couldn't even sing the whole happy birthday song, coking a little as the hot lump in my throat got too big, watching my baby turn into a small girl. all too soon she will be off in the world and asking me not to call and bother her so often.
 Lord, may i choose every day, in every moment to point her to You. may i seek You in all so that i can show her as much of You as i can. may i be the parent You need me to be so that she may grow to be the young lady she can be in You.
                           happy birthday gracie girl - i love you so much!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

my strawberry smeard alter

 so i've been reading the life altering book one thousand gifts by ann voskamp. if you haven't heard of it please watch this clip...

   i was fortunate enough to have learned to be thankful, for both little and much, from a very young age. however, this book is teaching me to be purposefully thankful even in the difficult, hard to breath kind of life as well. to actually stop and put to practice a type of self control i have never known existed. in emotions, and weather or not i will choose to let them run me over or stop, and give thanks for the first thing i can think of, in that particular situation, to choose to find joy in the difficult places, in the every day life, in every single God gifted second that i breath.
   in this practice of thanks i have this running list. it sits where i am. on the kitchen counter, on the side tables in the living room, on the front stoop outside our house, in the dirt of our garden, under the covers while i sleep, pen in hand listing listing listing, until i list myself to sleep. in fact, that is one way i used to help myself to sleep as a child, not by counting sheep - i could never see them - but to count my blessings. to recall all the things during that day that i was thankful for, grateful for, blessed by.
   this book definitely takes it multiple steps forward in that it's not only things i am thankful for that i am counting, but that in giving thanks, i am choosing to see the joy gifted to me from the Maker of Heaven and Earth - Creator of All that is seen and unseen. i am counting the ways He loves me.
   oh how high i spiral in the thanks and joy and Love!
   if you need a way to find the joy in life, a way to refocus your eyes on what you were created for, if you need to get free from anything that weighs you down, may i suggest that you read one thousand gifts and take the dare from ann voskamp, farmers wife and mother of half a dozen.
   psalm 50:23 he who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that i may show him the salvation of God. thank offerings. in my minds eye my blank book (filling quickly) is the alter, and in it - on it, are my thank offerings,
#79) flowers that push up dirt
#81) bounce dyer bars, ready and waiting to add fluff
#99) for peace that lands in my heart when prayer is whispered to dark threatening clouds
#107) for the gurgling rumble of tractor shifting earth
#109) for the sight of sun kissed curls dancing on heaven sent breeze
#119) for toddler girl dumping every single pretzel and granule of salt out of bag with the look of purposeful work on her face
#120) for small boy dipping fingers in salt only to lick them clean and whisper "mmmmh...salt."
#153) for crumbs under the table and all around, a reminder of my children and the all important job of training them up
#155) for strawberry jam, ruby colored, seeds suspended in sweet gifted spreed
#160) for sticky honey nut cheerios spilled over in my favorite red chair
#163) for sky fire beaming down on moist air, heaven kissed vapor

   it has become a hunt. a once very simple list of "i am thankful for's" has turned into a "eyes wide open" experience and i am full of long sought after joy. my table of thank offerings is smeared with wonderful home made strawberry jam, dappled in sunlight filtered through radiance and covered in crumbs that used to make to sweep like a crazy lady, and now, at the mere sight of them, i could cry tears of joy. time has slowed to a snails pace and i can see moments happening inside moments captured and i am finding holiness in everyday life, the beautifully and the ugly - this - this is amazing! this is truely a holy experience.

you're fired!

   it's sunday morning. we're all vying for the bathroom, the iron, a quick breakfast and the coffee pot. the boys, my husband and son, finally emerge from the bathroom and the girls, myself and my daughter, finally get our turn.
oh. no. they. didn't.
the scene in the bathroom is horrific. on the counter are tooth brushes, dribbled mouth wash, smeared tooth paste, razor and shaving cream.
 i suck in a deep breath and start to clean up the mess so that i can take my turn to get ready for church. so that i can make myself presentable for the Lord on His Sabbath day. i fume having to clean up this mess before i can even start the mad rush of trying to make myself seem presentable and lady like.
i shout out the bathroom door, "you boys are fired!"
they know what i mean. they know why i say it.
momentary quiet fills the house while i start the quick job.
...then i hear, "i'm not fired in Jesus." a small boys voice calls back. it's not in defiance. it's not that nannie-nannie-boo-boo sing-song voice. it's just simply stated. for a few seconds i freeze and the house grows still.
 "what?!?" i call down the hall in a voice ready to leap. is that boy getting smart with me - while i clean up after him - while i'm in a mad rush to get cleaned up myself?
 his little voice repeats its innocent truth, "i'm not fired in Jesus."
 the breath is squeezed out of me by my own guilt. down the hall, in the opposite direction, i hear my husband chuckling under his breath, "that's right boy!" he cheers him on. "you'll never be fired in Jesus!" the husband, truth coaxing and proud of his young boy.
   i stand still in my attitude, my finger pointing and my anger. truth spoken by a four year who sounds as wise as a one hundred and four year old, reminding me how far from being presentable and lady like for the Lord on His Sabbath day i truly am.
 i exhale the deep sucked in air of tension and hang my head out the bathroom  door, " that's right buddy. you'll never be fired in Jesus," i agree with him proudly yet humbled and dressed in shame.
 i wipe blue mouth wash off white counter tops and i am seeing blood drip from splintered tree and never once do i hear from the cross about my mess that He continues to clean up. never once do i hear in my inner spirit, from an all knowing God, that i am fired. i never will.
 the wise boy with words so deep passes the bathroom and i call him in. back tracking he appears in the doorway with a fresh pressed, button down shirt and clean, sharp edged, shorts. he could have been crusted over in mud and wreck of early morning, spring air and he would have been more presentable and ready for the Lord on this Sabbath day, then i with my hair ready and dressed in my best.
 i cup his face in my hands, kiss the tip of his nose, "i love you boy."
   placing his hand on my shoulder, reassurance from a child, "i love you too mommy." and he's off down the hall to find his shoes.
 we will never be fired in Jesus. how many times a day do i fire my family? often i tell me them, "and don't even think about a letter of recommendation." this is supposed to be my funny way of dealing with life that doesn't go my way, but really? what does it say about me? what does it say about how far i have to go to grow.
 i look in the mirror and realize their is simply no need to try today. anther purposefully messy bun it is. another pulled together look reflecting the pulled together attitude i have.
   isn't this the enemy? the snare of the belly crawler? any other morning, on any other day of the week and it would have gone so much more different - better. even waking before dawn at 3:00a.m. so as to share the car with my husband, even those mornings go, by far, more smoother.
 somehow, i've been giving the enemy of my soul a hold and choosing defeat on a morning that should be the easiest to recognize it. knowing their is an evil desire to callous my heart over so as to keep me from receiving the God bread of Life that is to fed my soul. it never fails. almost every sunday morning, the rush to get ready for church is always that - a rush; a mad rush. the drive to church is silent as i whisper prayers of confession to the Almighty and the walk to Sunday school is always the conversation of my asking my children or husband for forgiveness for my bad attitude.
   i see it now. i see it in the deep words spoken by a four and half year old boy who simply stated, "i'm not fired in Jesus." and thankfully i am not ever fired in Jesus either.
   He continues to teach me and uses my children almost all the time to do it. i am so thankful that i haven't been and never will be fired in Jesus. in fact, i feel as though i have just been given a promotion. more responsibility with this knowledge of the way that i tend to be and how wrong it is. how easy it is to humbly accept correction from a God who does so through my children, who does so so lovingly, who i know, will never fire me. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

mysterious man chasing the God of Mystery

   how easy it is for me take my husband for granted. how terribly sad! how hard he works seeing to it that we are provide for. how hard he works around the house to see to it that our house is taking care of us. he plays with our children, sings with them, teaches them and encourages them. while he reminds me often that he is not superman, despite what his t-shirt says, i think, most of the time, that he is.
   you see when i met my husband he was long haired, greasy, foul mouthed and i fell hard. somehow the cheerful pomp-pomp yielding, flag twirling, bright gal of me saw in this quiet, aloof, artisy, dark, guy of him, a future husband, even though he was everything opposite of what i wanted out of a man! we grew our high school days together and gave our parents the headache of a lifetime. our senior year was, i thought, our graduation into a life apart. tired of being the one who encouraged him to do right, i broke it off.
   eight years later and much too much of life down the wrong path, for both of us, i got a phone call from him. he had dreamed of me and "everything was perfect." he was calling"to see how i was."
    having not really kept in touch and not running around in the same crowd, i didn't believe him when he said, "God is the most important thing in my life."
   i thought, 'yeah right! he must have heard that i love Jesus and am now choosing not to date anymore. not until God places a husband before me and he is asking for my hand.' having just learned of courtship and quickly tiring of the loneliness of it, and turning down seemingly "nice enough" date prospects, i told him if he wanted to take me out he could bring me to the next church service. the next church service was on Christmas eve. he did bring me! we were married that may.
  just like in his dream we do everything together but unlike in his dream, everything is not perfect. we live in this imperfect, fallen world and yet we still look, hope, for this unreachable perfection. what is perfect is that he has been surprising me ever since by showing me his trusting, obeying, seeking and growing into a man of God.
   my love for my youthful mysterious boy has bloomed into my love for this man chasing the God of Mystery. that in itself can seem pretty perfect. in all our messiness of life, our struggles to find time for one another, to remind each other how much we love each other and even remind ourselves how much we love each other, our imperfectness has found its rightful place and feels perfect for us.
  today i just wanted to take the time to stop and think on him a little extra. pray for him a little more. recommit myself to being his best friend. try harder each and every day not to take him for granted. i love you mikeyson!! XOXO

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

potatos & the local crazy lady

   when my mom was living she HATED cats. when they came into the yard she would hurl potatoes at them, in hopes to chase them away never to return. my brother and i were then expected to go retrieved them. i wonder how many were left only to sprout and grow? i wonder if people in that neighborhood question one another, "isn't it weird how potatoes grow randomly between our yards?"
   the other night while chopping sweet potatoes, my husband and his grill master skills in the twilight on the deck, he opened the sliding door and popped his head through, "theirs a bunny in your garden."
   "are you sure?" i ask. we've lived here for a little over a year and i've never seen one bunny or squirle - ever! cats on the other hand? well we've tried to make friends with them but they're not interested in us, yet. shshshshshs, don't tell my husband :)
   "yep, a big one" he replied.
   "no way!!!" i set down my knife and head for the door.
   ears perked high, he looked more like a chocolate Easter bunny on steroids in the dusk. propped at the edge of beans and broccoli i squinted, wondering if this was a trick of my husbands. "is it real?" i ask.
   "yeah. big hugh?"
    i started up the hill. hearing again the voice of my cousin and aunt tell me of their eminent destruction inside my head, i start flailing. arms wild over my head, hands flapping, "SHEW! GIT GOIN'!"
   he didn't budge.
   i reached the top of the first little hill on our slopped property and i realize this bunny is brave. i'm sure he's heard tale of neighbor farmers with guns perched and waiting. this bunny just may be laughing at me.
   'oh. no. you. dont' i think as my flailing gets more wild and my threats become louder, echoing down the valley a little. "GET!!! NOT IN MY GARDEN YOU WON'T FEAST!!! SHEW!!!" my head now shaking crazy and my feet kicking forward, he finally turns and makes a belingn threw the meadow and down the hill.
   standing at gardens edge i squint threw oncoming night to see if he got a taste. instead i realise what a show i just put on for all the quite farmers and their families swimming in the pound at the foot of our hill. i turn back toward the house, shaking my head a laughing. my husband, standing on the deck, another witness of my crazy display i say, "i should have just thrown the potato."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

created in His image

 today is the first day in ten years that i wore shorts. can i get a hallelujah for restored body image here? ...or is it a lack of caring? ... either way... HALLELUJAH!
 no, it's definitely not a lack of caring. i do care. because even now i am quick to pick apart my legs. my whole entire body for that matter. so maybe it's not even a restored body image?
 as a young girl i hated my legs. one time while sharing with an older, very kind friend, she pointed out to me, in a very wise way, "well see you're a dancer. dancers are very blessed with strong, muscular legs." wow. she said my legs were strong and muscular! what about that jiggle? we talked about walking more and dancing more and making sure we were looking at our bodies in a healthy manner.
 years later i would obsessively walk my dog, swim laps in the pool and practice many kicks for kung fu class all the while secretly wishing for legs that would make gwen stefani look twice.
 yuck! dare i remember she that she gets paid to look that fabulous? and poor gwen stanfi anyway!
 i am now a mommy of two. a boy and girl. both of which i need to nurture in them a better body image then the one i have.
  enough with the jiggle! i ran through the sprinkler today in a pair of jeans! i can't always garden in a skirt! some skirts are too nice for dirt! i need to get these jeans off!
 when i bought these shorts my exact thought was, "oooh! these are pretty! i have enough time to use the treadmill between now and shorts weather to get my legs in shape. if not? i have to wear them with a cute pair of wedges and then my legs would look elongated and fine." how sad for me!
 here's is what i must remind myself. stop complaining, even if only to myself, and do something about it. my body was given to me by the Most High to hand back to Him as a temple. i need to treat it as such.
 am i healthy? is this a temple that the Lord can be pleased with? of coarse their is always room for improvement and so i will make a list of reasonable goals and i will set the list out so i can see it, so as to stick with it. but i can't help but wonder, did eve have jiggle in the garden? did it come before the fall, or after? this is funny, no doubt but muscular dancer's legs have sat long in rockers holding babies and long on the floor at play - yes. that is my way of pointing the finger.
 so God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (genesis 1:27 niv) am i doing God justice with my image? perhaps it is time to dust off the treadmill? not for my sake and the sake of the jiggle, but for the sake of taking better care of the Lord's temple. the only one i've got. about shaving......something tells me that eve did not shave.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

raising royalty

   while growing up i was not big into princesses. of course i did have princess diana paper dolls but i was told early on that we didn't have kings and queens in america. that i wasn't going to be a princess. ever. we didn't have the disney channel so i hadn't seen cinderella, snow white or even sleeping beauty. at least not until i was old enough to be embarrassed for actually wanting to watch them. i had heard of the story of cinderella as a young girl but thought it all highly unlikely to be true, so i just didn't buy into it.
  as  i grew i met a feminist who spoke of the "great dangers" of teaching your daughters that they were princesses. that waiting for "prince charming" to come and "save" them was not teaching our daughters independence and so on and so forth. i thought it was interesting but it was never a big deal to me either way.
   i am now 32 years of age and on a daily basis i remind myself, my husband and our children that we are children of the King. having "officially" invited King Jesus to come and live in my heart 14 years ago, i am only now grasping the brevity of it all.
   romans 8:15-17 for you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of son ship. and by him we cry, "Abba, Father." the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
   their it is. we are, in fact royalty. this sits heavy on my shoulders. looking deep into the eyes of my children i cry, 'Abba, Father! how can i do this Your way? how can i purposely NOT mess this up? not mess them up?'
   i didn't have an example of what raising Godly children looked like in my own home. i rode to church with the neighbors and really liked the way the parents parented. i saw in my grandparents a difference, a patience that wasn't displayed at home. home on the weekends was a playground for the enemy and often i hide out in my room, pen or paint brush in hand. my wordy, colorful escape.
   i fear that my children are teaching me how to be a better parent. a Godly parent. they are my trial and my error. i am thankful they are young and quick to forgive. 
   royalty. i am to train up royalty?
   proverbs 22:6 train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
   really? is it just that easy? no! i am finding that my children learn all my behaviors that i'm not purposely training them. i am inadvertently training them when  even my guard is down. when my teacher hat has been taken off and i let my gut out. when my deep breathing is more of a huff of exasperation. when i am shouting. (yes i shout) when i am impatient and i do for them because "we don't have time for this."  
   they are showing me all the many places that i have to grown in Christ. these little mocking birds. my monkeys see and my monkeys do. unfortunately this momma still has so much growing and all the while i am to be teaching. training up royalty in the way that they should go? all the while i am still learning and practicing myself. and might i add, i make mistakes on a daily basis. an hourly basis. sometimes quarters of an hour. on the 15 minute mark just simply because i know i'm trying so hard and why don't i get a break to just shout a little? that deathly flesh of mine.
   raising royalty....isn't there someone better qualified for this job? i know i have been hand picked for these two precious souls, but Lord! Abba, Father! can't you download all that i have to learn before it's too late and they are out the door and the book has been written? information download please? 
   raising royalty. it's heavy.  it's enough to make me wanna give up before the day even starts and i am messing up every day, i am sure of it. 
   matthew 11:28-30 come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and i will give you rest. take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
   not that raising my children is a burden but the thought of doing it right the first time, all the time is a burden. ......a lie. i am not perfect. never ever will be. i have to be kind with myself and remind myself that my best, at any given part of the day, is acceptable. that my best right now may not be the same as my best 24 hours ago, or 24 seconds ago. and maybe that's okay?
   raising royalty. i can always rest assure that my flaws are character building not only in me but my children too. right? raising royalty. why is there not classes i can take for this? like after the kids go to bed? no, i guess i go to bed soon after them. maybe while they nap? no, that's when i'm catching up on making my home. maybe before they wake in the morning? ......ah-yes. my quiet time with the King. coffee with my Father. this is the time i can ask Him for council. for grace. for abounding love and joy in all that is placed before me.
   when my heart is heavy with the task of raising royalty, and doing a job the King would be pleased with, i guess the only thing i can do is ask of my Father the King, "please, gently guide me in my training today? please teach me my error before i pass them on to my- to Your children? show me my example before i show it and teach it to them?  Abba, Father! i pray i am all that you need me to be so that they will be all that they can be in Your son. and please Holy Father, remind me, often, that i too am royalty, a child of the king.'

Sunday, May 1, 2011

mommy and son date success!

    i had practiced my "better listening" the rest of the week. i was again exhausted by saturday. my fluish daughter in for a nap i asked my husband, "would you like for me to take mikey to the yarn store with me?" i cringed thinking of all the yarn he would be tempted to touch and how loud he would probably be. my husband said, "yes, it will be good for him to get out of the house." i agreed and felt a little guilty for wanting to go alone. i asked mikey if he wanted to come with me to the yarn store, secretly hoping he would say no. "of course i want to go with you mommy," was his proclamation with much gusto.
*i was washed with guilt for wanting to go alone* 
   this particular saturday rained a cats and dogs type of rain most of the day and we drove while listening to a folk style c.d. with wonderfully sung promises from God. mikey and i chewed spearmint gum and talked only a little. he told me that the music reminded him of a renaissance veggie tales movies called pistachio. i thought that was cute.
   we first stopped at a consignment shop where mikey played in a toy room right by my dressing room. he found himself a church shirt and a book while i found his sister a pink valor sweat shirt with an gigantic apple on the front. he. was. the apitamony. of wonderful. at the register he charmed the owner of the shop who gave him a one sided gold coin. she told him he could exchange it for a cookie in the cafe upstairs. he was beyond excited to have a coin like the super villain two face.
    in the yarn store he charmed yet another shop owner and the two of them waxed philosophic about batman while i, giving in to temptation, touched all the yarn. he was gentle with the bunnies that hopped around the shop and even asked the owner's daughter questions about her life, as if they were long lost friends and that the 7-8 year age gap didn't exist. 
   in the cafe he asked if he could leave the cookie and keep the coin and the barissta was so charmed by this that she gave him both. while my cupcake flavored steamer was being steamed i showed mikey a grand picture of workmen having lunch perched high above a city on an I beam. we talked about those men and the dangerous job they did while i noted in my head that every single person mikey came in contact with today, he asked them, "do you know Jesus?" 
   what a testimony he is to me. every night i pray over this boy that he will grow to be strong and courageous and go boldly into the world speaking the name of Jesus and at four the Lord is showing me answered prayer already. mikey shows me it's as easy as asking, "Hey! do you know Jesus?" without fear. in a charming sing-song voice. smiling with even his eyes. and so what if people are a little put off, "because i know Jesus and if you don't you'll be thrown into the lake of fire," very matter-of-fact. 
   in the car, wet yet very contented i hear him from the back seat. "mommy? this was sort of like a mommy and me date hugh?"
   i smile wondering if he was a mind reader. "yeah buddy it kind of was like a mommy and mikey date."
   "i had fun! maybe we could do it again?" he asked with hope in his voice.
   "i think we should buddy," i turn back and smile warmly at him.  our time together wasn't forced but just sort of happened. when even i hadn't originally wanted it to. i really enjoyed standing back and watching him interact with others while i shopped here and there. we had good conversation and we both felt good about it. both of us really relaxed, like we used to be. yes. i'd say this was a mommy and son date success! preceded by my better listening was a good week and this was the perfect relaxing way to end it. just being together, out and about. and seeing God work through this little boy and being blessed oh so much by it. thank you Lord!!!  =)

mommy and son date fail?

   i have really been struggling with my 4 1/2 year old son lately. always talking. always making noise. always jumping or throwing himself from another object. always at a ready for a fight with swords, guns or sling shots. always good guys vrs. bad guys. always. non. stop. it's just simply exhausting!
 now don't get me wrong here. i am still as much in love with him today as the day he was born, but seriously? all action? all the time? my knee jerk reaction to this all rough and tumbleness is to flee. not like forever run away and never return kind of flee! sheesh! no. but the kind where i take my knitting to a local coffee shop and try to find some solice in a hot cup of tea while keeping both my eyes on my knitting (and not one on my air born son). sure i would enjoy an hour out much like the one i just described, but i read in another blog about the importance of actually being closer with the child that you feel the need to get a break from. this tired mother of six explained it in such a way that made me think, huummm. i should give this a try.
   so a few sunday's ago, my mind made up, i told my boy we'd be going on a mommy and son date after he took a nap. mistake number one. questions of where we'd be going and why wasn't daddy also coming kept him up from any nap. finally i let him get out of bed and we headed to the local twin kiss for ice cream. my heart already bruised by his "i wish daddy were taking me" comment i decided we were gonna enjoy this even if it did feel forced. he ordered a vanilla soft serve twist with rainbow sprinkles. the sprinkles were my add on feeling the need to inject excitement and enthusiasm. i order a hot fudge sunday. the ice cream was cold and so was the inside of the twin kiss and as it turns out my son doesn't like sprinkles and neither do i.
  the best part of our date out was the old juke box. i scrounged for a quarter only to find that the juke box didn't play "blessed be the name" mikey's favorite song. in fact i read the titles to my small boy with very red checks forgetting that we live in a predominately secular world. we settled on the theme song to alvin and the chipmunks even though i felt the movie was inappropriate for small children.
 i handed him the quarter and held him up to push the buttons. my hope was for him to watch the record be selected and dropped onto the turn table. his face light up with the drop of the quarter and the juke box light up like a Christmas tree. he push in the numbers. one thirty eight. nothing happened. the lights blinked a few times and went out like some one pulled the plug. we waited. i pushed the coin return button. we waited some more.
   "what's gonna happen?" he asked filled with anticipation.
   "i don't think it works buddy." i set him back down on his feet and walked over to our table. he stood in front of the juke box waiting. poor little guy. he didn't even know what he was missing. i called to him and motioned for him to sit with me. he came to the table and told me he was done with his ice cream. he wasn't even to the cone yet. i had eaten my whipped cream, already given him the cherry while reading song titles to him, and the hot fudge had started to harden. i decided i was done too. we left tossing our not even half eaten ice cream in the trash can.
   feeling defeated i thought we'd never connect again and that my boy was gonna always slightly bug me with nonstop chatter about death of the swords or sling shots. on the way home i shared a piece of spearmint chewing gum. the same flavor i was given in church on sunday evenings by my nana years ago. the car ride was quiet with chewing.
   i thought to myself. the silence is strange. nice but strange. suddenly i wondered if my asking him to go play quietly without reporting back to me all the details of his war with plastic guys was my setting us up for a distance. shouldn't i be eager to listen to his play? shouldn't i at least be pretending to enjoy hearing about how one guy stabbed another guy in the birdy? (uuugh, that's the worst one! although i must admit funny ) aren't these the times that are nurturing in him the knowledge that he can come to mom and dad and tell them everything and they will listen or guide him gently? if i start telling him now, at four years of age, that i didn't need to hear his every thought, who will he go tell things to when he's older? when his thoughts are more real rather then pretend? who will tell him then that it's not nice for one guy to be stabbing another in the birdy?
   while practicing silence a few times each day is healthy and yes mommy does need a break every now and then, i had made up my mind. when my boy wanted to tell me something. i wanted to listen. when my boy wanted to share with me i would be more glad and feel more appreciative of it. longing for silence now is foolish for i know one day the house will be quiet, kids long gone and i'll be a mess crying on the couch wishing only to hear my boy running at the mouth and making crazy sounds and telling all the gory details of the battle that just took place in the playroom.
  i made up my mind to practice a better kind of listening. a more-present kind of attention-to-him kind of being-right-there-more-involved-in-the-play kind of listening. the kind of listening that doesn't require him to come into another room to tell me what's going on 'cuz i'm gonna be right there with him, in the mix and running around and hurling myself from objects (really? yikes!) making sounds that most adults shouldn't be making. and maybe, just maybe when it is time to practice silence it won't be so forced. like our first date was. it will just simply happen. and peace will accompany the silence and the next date, making it all the more sweeter.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

smallish boy; still growing

    it's happening. my boy is growing up. he was once small and on my hip always. now he runs and jumps everywhere, talks about every single thing that pops into his mind and makes every single sound that you could possibly think about making. even the sounds you'd never think about making.
   when i worked in a day care center i refused to work in the pre k room. "why?" my boss would ask. "because those kids talk back and the boys are totally unrelateable. i have no idea what to do with them or how to go about controlling them." i should have worked in the pre K room.
 one morning i was trying to get my kids ready to "go out" simply because we could. we don't always have a car but today i made sure we did. i was quickly getting discouraged by the amount of time it was taking just to get out the door. realizing we didn't even have a specific destination, i asked my son, "where in the world are we getting ready to go to any way?" i was walking him into his room to help him find his shoes for the fifth time. 
 "mommy?" he asked tapping my leg and arching his neck up hard to see me. he put his hands up and motioned me down to him. i bent over signing with exhaustion. 'what in the world could he want me down here for?' was my first thought. 
 putting his smallish hands on either of my checks and looking deep into my eyes he said, "what do you say we go to the mall and i buy you a pillow pet?"
 ...and cue melting heart...he might have known he was in trouble but he did for sure know i was getting frustrated. always the one to try and cheer up another, that is my boy. embracing him in a deep hug i realize it's not about what we do or where it is we go. it's about the time we spend together. at that moment in time, had i all the money in the world, i would have taken him to every mall and bought him every pillow pet.
 this boy, the one i had just yelled at for not putting his shoes on the first time i asked, holding me in the tightest hug possible with his smallish arms, was teaching me. his arms once so small. while they have far to grow to be "daddy sized" they are suddenly too big for me to believe they are the same arms that used to hold my neck while he sat on my hip.
   as if he could read my mind he asked, "mommy? can you hold me more? i mean like you hold gwacie?"
 breathing in deeply and blinking back tears i whisper into his smallish ear, "you bet buddy. i will hold you more. a lot more."
    had i worked in the pre k room at the day care center i might have learned that relating to kids isn't always about having something in common with them, but having a desire to be there for them. that while they do talk back sometimes, they just may have something important to say. something nice to say. something encouraging to say that will bring you up when your feeling down. that sometimes they have just the right words when i'm flounder. that controlling them isn't as important as guiding them. 
   my boy. he is getting so big so fast. i am so glad that he still wants me to hold him. i pray their never comes a day when he doesn't want me to hold him. i pray their never comes a day that i forget that he has so much to teach me. about myself. about the world around me. about him. i pray that i make more time to help him find his shoes. that i realize that he might know where they are, but really just wants me to be by his side while he puts them on. that he just may need me to hold him more.

Friday, March 18, 2011

little mommy watching/small boy prepping

   the other morning while cleaning up the kitchen i heard my little lady of one and a half quietly playing in the other room. i had the kitchen radio on, but really, i was listening to her. her little voice. she sounded so busy. i heard her quick foot steps down the hall and back again. then she'd be back in the room, close to where i was, just talking and talking in her sing-song young lady-like way. i kept at my kitchen work, still listening to her but starting to pay closer attention to the preacher on the radio. then i heard it.
   "daper? daper? daper?" was what her little voice kept repeating in question tone. oh no. she had recently started using the potty. she also has a habit of taking off her clothes and sometimes her diaper too. daper is diaper, in grace speak. my worst fear was that i'd peak around the corner and find her with no clothes on, and a poopy diaper half peeled off.
   quickly abandoning whatever kitchen work i was doing, i move for the dinning room where i hear her voice and stop dead in my tracks. my heart previously dropped heavily to my knees, it is now my knees that are week and my heart that soars. i stand there blinking back tears. my little lady of just twenty months of age playing with her doll baby who, might i add, isn't much smaller than she. doll baby flopped on top of the toy chest, her feet in the air and several of gracie's diapers on the chest and the surrounding floor. my daughter was changing her baby's diaper. in a mommy-like way, she was asking her baby, "nee' daper? 'come on."
   be. still. my. heart.
   i stood there and watched a little longer. watched as she struggled with the heavy doll baby trying to lift up it's hinney and putt on a new diap. grace started to pitch a fit.
   "grace?" i asked from the door way. "does your baby need a new diaper?" she turned and looked at me. big swirling blue eyes, ever so hopeful.
   "uh huh."
   "you want mommy to help you?" i asked.
   "uh huh."
   and their it was. me teaching my daughter the simple task of diapering a baby doll. her tiny hands helping to open and close the tape. her repeating my words of instruction. my trying to permanently sear each and every single second of the whole experience in my memory. my recalling that this little person was watching me. she would turn out a certain way because of me. she would maybe, diaper her own babies some day and then turn around and show her little ladies how to diaper their baby dolls.
   blinking back tears, doll baby diapered, i look into her tiny sweet face and say, "she's all fresh."
   "shoes? socks?"
   "does she need shoes and socks?" i ask my little grace.
   "uh huh," she replies with her eyes enlarging in excitement she runs her pitter-patter feet down the hall and into her room. "here 'ey are." i watch as she takes her shoes and socks from a cabinet in her room. the same cabinet that was once in my room. the same cabinet that was once in my mommy's room. she comes barreling back down the hall with a face full of delight and hands them to me. we sit for what seems like too short, but i know it was quite long, putting gracie's socks and sneakers on and off her doll baby's feet.
   my little lady. saying and doing as i say and do. in a voice that sings-songs much like mine. in ways that seems more familiar then strange. it makes me want to be me at my very best. who is that person that i wished i could be for her? the best version of me that only God Himself can turn me out to be and only by my stepping back and letting him have all of me. all of me.  letting Him have my little lady and making her what it is that He wants and needs her to be. impressing Him on her heart by letting Him be first impressed on mine.
   we play more with her baby doll. i get barretts and grace finds her comb and this doll baby is fresh with a new diaper, has had socks and shoes put on only to be taken off again and now it endures the brush strokes and barret application of a small toddler not yet able to do those things for herself. i sit and help and watch and say silent prayers to Maker of all that has breath, that she will one day be full of breath that praises the very same Maker.
   my small boy of four years and five months appears up the steps and wonders what we are doing. again, i am reminded that i need to be the best me possible, for him as well. for it is this small man child that will one day grow up and be attracted to someone someday, that they say reminds him most of me. and suddenly i want again to be my best me. i pray again for my decreasing and His increasing and the desire for this boy to know and love and trust the Creator of all the heavenly lights. i pray silently that i will help them both find and shine that light whereever they go.
   this calling of mommy. this job of sorts. it's by far, more then i expected and by far more then i ever hoped to receive, let alone deserve.  it's by far, my favorite job of all. by far, one of my favorite delights.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

holy high jump start

   i'm on a roll. here is conffession number two. yesterdays post was true. i have a theory about starting off the day with sweets helping to curb the desire for them the rest of the day. i hold firmly to it. here's the kicker. it staired me down yesterday, while rereading sugar high jump start. that post and i stood in the center of town square, about 25 feet away from one another, hands at a ready. one to reach for more coffee, the other to push delete (no guns in the showdown of my mind).
   their was once a time i had coffee with the King every morning. it wasn't easy waking up before the kids, the husband, the chickens and yes, even the sun. i was coaxed out of bed before dawn by the lure of a small one cup coffee maker on my bedside table. the clock would scream its usual "GET UP! IT'S TIME! GET UP! SLEEP IS DONE!" and i trained myself to turn it off and press brew. the tiny one cup coffee maker would brew, purk a little and steam almost like an appolagy for the annoyance of the clock an would gently reminding me that i had a coffee date to wake up for.  every morning, for the longest time i would wake up like this and enjoy my first cup in the quiet of my prayer closet. sipping between repenting. sipping bewteen giving thanks. sipping between asking for help in this and in that, and for him or for her. sipping between sobbing for those who don't yet know the sweet fragrance of the love song that plays in the backround of coffee dates such as these.
   early morning coffee with my heavenly Father.
   so what happened you ask? obviously i'm not keeping this date as of late. no. i am not. i have been standing Him up. standing up the One who calls me beloved and blessed and desires nothing short of communion in spirit and to love on this broken child of His. one who needs desperately to be fixed of all the messy world-wounds, most of which i create myself. mind you, i am not totally negelecting my first Love but in the sugar high jump start post i am reminded that my tithing time away from my comfortable bed, tithing my percious sleep, has been lost and forgotten and even accepted in a cheeky post. 
   not okay. not acceptable.
   forgotten in sickness. forgotten in depression. lost in my selfishness. all of which are just the things that close communion with He who is the Creator of all that is seen and unseen, can heal me from and set me forever free from.
   a holy high jump start is by far a better way to start the day. is a better way to be best prepared for the day. of coarse i'm not saying that i won't still share cupcakes with my children first thing in the morning, but if i am so prepared, having been jump started by the Jumper Cables of the Universe, my children may in fact have two healthy breakfasts. instead of one infused with sugar and then a "make up breakfast" more on the healthy side.
   and while i'm confessings to an infinate void, i may as well bring up that whole "voyers who may get their super-mom capes in a bundle" comment. i must remind myself. this is a blog that i started for the sake of my own remembering. more so that with each passing second i won't be both trying to sear each and every precious moment of my family into my brain and grieving it's fleeting loss in my bad memory. not to have public followers. and doesn't that sound creepy anyway? to have followers. i am sure, every family goes through these wonderful family moments as well. they need not read mine but go and live them out with their own families. and so i will continue to post so that i can remember and whomever wants to come along, or not come along for the ride, either privately or publicly, may.
   excuse me, i have an alarm clock and small one cup coffee pot to go set up, for tomorrow i am having coffee with the King. a holy high jump start. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

sugar high jump start

   i have a theory. i am no scientist, phyissist or mathmatician. nor am i a lot of other things but i'm okay with my lacking in all of them. my theory will shock and astound most. if anyone of the few voyers out their reading this blog get their super mom capes in a bundle? too bad. here is my theory.
   starting your day off on the right foot means, to me and mine, your first step is fully loaded with sugar. seriously. i find it curbs the sweet tooth for a good part of the rest of the day.  (insert shock and gasping here, i am quiet fine with it, really.)
   if i'm perfectly honest, this theroy has been noticed in my lacking. early in the morning, sifting through the fogginess of sleep and first rays of sunshinine. awaiting my morning cup of joe, my son expecting a wonderfully made breakfast meal at this time would have to mean he is out of his mind. personally, my sweet tooth is at it's all time high first thing in the morning. low blood sugar? i can only assume. coffee is my first dessert of the day. no kidding. more sugar and cream and less coffee in my cup. this friendly combo of caffine and sugar is my jump start and i look forward to it from the time morning peels my eye lids open, until the first wonderful sip and savour.
    so while i'm in the land of forcing the wakfullness, sugar pulsing through my veins, eyes finally wide open, i spy things like cupcakes and cookies that me and small brood bake from scratch. butterscotch crimpets and kandy cakes, a few days past code that my husband brings home from the warehouse. smile scross my face, enthusiasm in my voice, i offer them to the kids who almost never turn them down. aaaand here is where my name for mother-of-the-year gets pulled form the ballot. i let my son wash it down with chocolate milk and my daughter? well she starts the day with warm tea. no! decafe! she is, after all, only 1 1/2.
   so their you have it. officially. my first real confession for my supposed blog of confessions. mostily i adore my job and each one of my confessions is in fact my recalling the sheer love and adoration of being wife and mommy. but this? it's truly a "confession" of sorts. although no secret, i have shared my theory with those with whom i run. (hahaah!)
   starting off the day this way is a total cop-out. a quick fix until i have my head screwed on tight and am actually able to fix the kiddos something that will do their growning bodies good. in wich case, they are standing on chairs at the counter ready, waiting and willing to partake in and enjoy the making of. (see post cooking show: audience of 2) and i am, since having had my sugary jump start, a little bit better off for it. and for them. the crazy finding in all this is that we don't spend our days in arguing over the next sweetie. through out the day we do well, nutritional speaking.  little do they know i deceptively sneek more veggies into their diet then they can see. thank you very much jessica seinfeld =) and so i dont think that starting off our day on a sugar infused treat and using the rest of the day for all the other wonderful good-for-you foods is so bad after all. i do in fact think it it curbs our desire for the sweeties.
   theory share? check! first confession? check-check!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

cooking show; audience of 2

   i love food!!! i love to see it, feel it, taste it, smell it, hear it. yes. hear it. i like to hear it while it sizzles, boils, bubbles and is smashed as such is the case of squeezing air out of risen dough or mixing mushy things with the greatest kitchen utensils of all; hands. i like to hear it being torn. i like to hear it being chopped. i just love food!
   my mom was a great cook. every food she touched was the yummiest! sadly, i didn't learn much from her. in fact the only things i can remember, for sure, her teaching me is how to whisk eggs, how to form meatballs and how to stuff shells. i guess i do remember watching her mix the ingredients for meatballs, and the ricotta for shells, but mostly i remember her shooing me, "okay now go while i make _____" and she'd flick her wrist so her fingers would flop up and down twice. as if that gesture was magic i would turn and run off knowing a great treat was in store for dinner. i can still feel my checks high and tight on my face with the giddy smile of anticipation.
   when i was pregnant with my son i was obsessively perfecting my cheese cake. he has been working with me in the kitchen since utero. once born he'd sit either in the comfy car seat and watch me cook or bake, or i'd wear him, when not frying or doing things near the stove. he was the first audience member to the cooking show i film in my head complete with invisible cast and crew. thankfully, they never judge me when the outcomes are poor.
   as mikey got bigger he'd stand on a chair and watch. then he was my big helper, carefully listening to every word i had to say about why tomatoes are beautiful and how lovely their marriage is with crusty, garlic, rubbed bread; smooth, thick olive oil and a touch of salt and pepper. for the longest time we baked every monday morning. at first i'd do the measuring and he'd do the pouring and mixing. always from scratch. he is four now and knows very well how to crack eggs. perfectly retrieve any tiny bit of shell using the shell. mix and smash the best meatloaf and make the yummiest of billy's vanilla-vanilla cupcakes. he even sits and watches the cooking shows with me on tv calling me into the room when ina or giada come on.
   the other morning i realized the cooking show that has been secretly taped for a little over four years, if your counting the cooking lessons while in utero, has grown it's audience by one!! my daughter, now 1 1/2 is very excited about the go'ins-on in the kitchen. "cook? cook?" she says while reaching up for me to hold her whenever we enter the kitchen. she even whisked her first eggs this very morning! i may not have many of my moms coveted recipes but one thing she did pass down was her passion for food. this, i do believe, has been handed to mikey and grace as well. so each morning we prep together, we mix together, and peer into pans and even oven windows together. all filled with excitement and anticipation of whats to come. of coarse, the pure enjoyment of cooking together is ever so rewarding in itself, but i want and hope and think, i have passed this wonderful all senses awake kind of food passion on to them.   manja!!

the game of clean up

   monday and friday are usually big cleaning days at our house. i feel like i'm recovering form a lack of keeping-up over the weekend on monday, and gearing up for not keeping-up over the weekend on friday. vacuuming carpets, steam mopping floors and a super thorough cleaning of the bathrooms. in general, my kids enjoy the clean up. their is an age that either children love the vacuum or fear it. of coarse i have yet to reach the age of loathing the chore of vacuuming, although i hear it will someday come. i've tried a few methods to get the kids in on the act. "you better clean up your toys or i may vacuum them up..." this never ends very well. how could it with a beginning like that? my poor boy.
   we have things like small child sized brooms that play music. i turn the vacuum over to my boy of four and don't think twice when his vacuum lines in the carpet don't overlap the way i like them to. my daughter of 1 1/2 enjoys wiping things and dusting. we play music loudly and dance around with our cleaning accessories singing all the clean up songs that i can think of or make up. it really is quite fun. i pray it will last long into their teenage years.
    the funny thing is, while at the table grace still enjoys purposefully dropping food on the floor and then singing the clean up song while gazing over her tray at it. i'm begining to wonder if this exciting type of cleaning up isn't going to just backfire on me. "it's okay if i make a mess mommy, and it's so fun to clean it up i'm gonna let you do it!" i can just imagine. for now i will enjoy their enjoyment in the game of clean up and be thankful for it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

mommy's red corduroy chair

   i have this chair. it is red, corduroy and slopes funny in the back. i remember this chair from my childhood. i remember curling up, laying on my side and watching i dream of genie and gilligan's island in it. i remember when the young and wrestles came on and the piano music started to play it was my cue to close my eyes and not to open them again until the music from general hospital was playing. i played behind it in the strange nook that the sloppy back created. it was a great place for barbie and her friends to sit and share tea. it was a fun place to put my coloring books and crayons, tape recorder, tapes and the books that came along with them. this chair has followed me always. this chair has waited patiently for me always. sometimes in strange basements, sometimes on porches, sometimes in garages. i used to question myself often, 'why do i keep lugging this chair around?' 'is it worth it?' i have dropped a lot of stuff off at good will and salvation army in my many moves but always kept this chair. people would say, "that chair is dirty" " that chair is weird" "it's not the chair you love, it's the memories attached to that chair". yes and no. the chair is dirty. it is weird. i do love these memories. i also happen to love the chair. it is also one of the few things that i have that belonged to someone i loved very much, who also loved this chair. 
   so now i have my own house. we have been here almost a year and still this chair has yet to be cleaned. i have often wondered, 'maybe it is time for this chair to find another home?' until the other night.   the chair is currently in our playroom. my son, daughter and i were in there playing. mikey was curled up in my old, red, corduroy, chair watching spider-man. that in-itself was very heart warming to me. it made me think, this is still a comfy chair, perfect for a small child to curl up and dream and imagine in.' it was about then that i noticed my daughter was stinky. i got a fresh diaper and the box of wipes, sat on the floor and called her to come for fresh pants. grace is infact a rascal. she quickly ran away. she ran to the red, corduroy chair, climbed up, squished in next to her brother and rested her head on his shoulder. 'this is why i kept the chair' i thought to myself. because along time ago i dreamed of having kids and watching them play in this strange sloppy chair. i wanted to watch them sleep, dream and imagine in this chair. i had a hope and a dream that one day that would happen. here it was. like God had gift wrapped my dream, tied it in a nice big bow and handed it to me. what a wonderful dream to see realized.
   i have this chair. it's red, corduroy and slopes funny in the back. it held me as a child. aided my sleeping and dreaming and now is handing them back to me gift wrapped by God Himself. i love this chair.