Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

A test of true Christian love:
Do you help those who cannot help you in return?

Our Daily Bread

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Excuse Me? Officer!

Tonight my youngest and his friend decided, while we were at an outdoor eating facility, to go beyond the boundary and "disappear."

When I whistle, it means,"get your butt over here now" however, no amount of whistling would coherence he and his friend to be located.

After circling the building twice, and looking under dumpsters, asking strangers if they had seen two young boys, and dashing inside stores to locate the two boys, they were still no where to be found.

Panic set in quickly. I pictured a white rusty van pulling up to the back of the building, two men jumping out of the vehicle, and each one of them grabbing a boy.

Tears came to my eyes quickly as I hyperventilated, going into severe panic.

A police vehicle drove past, I hollered, "Our boys are missing!" and one officer got out of the car to walk with me while the driver circled the area in his car.

My tears were frequent and my voice was now breathy and shallow. I envisioned the worst as I walked at a quick pace trying to locate the boys, and then suddenly the police officers radio alerted that the boys had been found. Ten of the longest minutes of my life.

I was in the safest city in the USA, but worry got the best of me, and sheer panic was my best friend.

Heart stopping moments like this, suck.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Check for Stains

I know that it is usually a great idea to check the white sweatshirt you're wearing, for stains, before having to drive, and walk, the kids into school.

Those inside house lights can be tricky. A perfectly clean, white, sweatshirt can look wonderfully stain-free inside the house and then a quick trip out with Mr. Sun can reveal a myriad of yellow and brown spots.

I speak from experience. I was caught in the sunshine, in the midst of people, wearing a stained sweatshirt. That's embarrassing.

After realizing my error, I crossed my arms while trying to hold the hand of my 5 year old son. Walking into the preschool play yard I felt a bit more at ease. I was certain, that in the crowd of children under the age of 5 I was certainly not the only one donning a shirt with a stain or two.

I signed my son into his classroom as he quickly glanced though his school file, and pulled out a piece of artwork. He handed it to me to take home and place on the wall. Just my luck, the artwork was on a sheet of paper which was 11 X 18 inches, the perfect dimensions for covering my sweatshirt.

I placed the sheet of paper in front of my body so that it covered my sweatshirt entirely. As I "hugged" the artwork, I made the long journey back to my car, smiling. My stains were indiscreetly covered and I felt comfortable stopping to greet people and make small talk.

The artwork never made it's way to the wall in my kitchen. It remains in my car just in case I'm ever caught wearing another piece of stained clothing at school, and need a great cover.

I'm clever.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Spilt Milk's Second Printing!

But you already know that, right?
Spilt Milk has gone to it's second printing, and the typo on the back is fixed! (In case you missed it, the last word on the back of the book said "childern" instead of "children.")
Get your copy today. Don't hesitate. It makes a great gift. Encourage a new mom. Buy one for your next baby shower. Grab some for your women's group. Included it in your book club list.
It is travel size and fits perfectly in your, purse, beach bag, pool bag, diaper bag, or computer bag.

Don't Cut Paper with Scissors

I love when the school calls.

This event means, a child is sick, wounded, or has done something wrong, I have received calls from every category. Mid-day calls from school never mean that something fantastic just happened. Why would the administration call about fantastic things?

“Hi Linda, this is Andrea from school.”
[Sweating and mind wandering begin now]

Evidently my oldest boy cut his hand with some scissors, and, according to the school personnel, the cut appears to be deep enough to require stitching.

“What was he doing with his scissors wide open in the hand cutting position?”

“We don’t know that exactly, but you need to come and pick him up. He is bleeding and shaking, but says that the cut doesn’t hurt.”

On my drive to the school, I considered all possible options as to how my son actually cut his hand. In addition, I wonder how school scissors, that are coming to the end of their high-performance ability since they have been used daily for 9 months, could leave a wound which requires stitches.

When I saw my son, I looked at the injury. The cut is terrible and deep. I question the incident. He informs me that his hand slipped while cutting. It makes sense, but deeper probing is required. I need an adult’s interpretation.

While waiting in the procedure room, my son also informed me that the boy standing next to him in the office, fainted at the sight of all the blood. The boy was sent home after banging his head on the ground from his fall. Super.

We returned to school at noon. Exactly I hour and 45 minutes from the time he was escorted to the doctor’s office. When I greet the teacher, he informs me that it was an interesting morning. When I probe the details of the cutting incident, the teacher tells me that it happened during math. No cutting was required. I question my boy to which he replies, “Yea, I um was doing this thing.” Can you say, EVASIVE?

Don’t run with scissors? How about don’t cut with scissors, during math, and then pretend that you were supposed to be cutting something.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mission Accomplished

“God wants to use you.” ~Rick Warren

I always felt like something was wrong with me if I didn’t want to go on a mission trip to another county. I felt like I was unique if I didn’t get goose bumps when other people approached me about traveling to Africa or India to help the hurting.

I once took a trip to Mexicali with high school students. We only showered three times in one week and had to use bottled water for everything. The outhouses overflowed by the week’s end, and the dirt, mud, and asphalt were in all places grass should be.

Although I enjoyed my time with teenagers and teaching Bible stories to the children of Mexico, I never returned to Mexicali. I realized that I loved working with teenagers, and continued as a volunteer in youth ministry for 12 years, but I didn’t love being in another county doing mission work. My mission field was freshmen girls who were trying to find their place in the high school scene while growing deeper in a relationship with Jesus. However, it took years for me to realize that high school students were my mission field. I didn’t need to go to another country.

As I have gotten older my passion has changed. I still have a strong desire to be used by God by ministering to and serving others, however, I now have a passion for moms. Moms are my mission field. I have a deep desire to assist them in making a spiritual connection, encouraging them, and helping them realize that they aren’t alone in their frustrations and struggles of motherhood and life.

God may change my heart in regards to traveling to another county, and I am open to whatever His desire is for my life, but for now, God has called me to help women.
What is your mission field? Do you have a heart for serving the people of China? Do you have a passion for assisting destitute families in local motels? Do you enjoy conversations in retirement homes or playing games with disabled children? Is talking with teenagers your gift?

We all have a passion that God is waiting to use for His glory. Are you willing to allow God to use you?

“In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world.” ~Jesus
John 17:18 (Message)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

You Know What?

A conversation with an almost six year old.

My ear hurts.
Why does your ear hurt?
It got hit with a pine cone.
How did you get hit with a pine cone?
Me and Zac were playing catch.
I was right here, Zac was here. [He points to two different spots on the table] Mom, I was right here. We were right here. Mom, we were right here. And then you know what?

We were right here and you know what?
Zac was over here throwing the pine cone and you know what?
Carson, you just said that four times.
But you know what?
I said what four times.
I tried to catch it but it hit my ear.
Are you okay.
Ya. It just hurts a little.

I didn't realize that one conversation could be so exhausting.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hawk Eye

Every once in a while I will see a Red-tailed hawk circling around one of the areas in my neighborhood.

I have heard stories of hawks swooping down and plucking up everything from snakes and rabbits, to small dogs and even parrots.

I watched this one hawk while I was jogging and admittedly, I was hoping to see it swoop something up in it's talons. I kept watching it fly around in a circle as if it had an eye on something.

I confess, I'm a little bummed out that the hawk flew away eventually, with no creature in it's talons.

Perhaps next time Mr. Hawk decides to visit our neighborhood I can witness the circle of life. I just hope he stays away from my children.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

An Anecdote to Stress

When I feel overwhelmed, like I am accomplishing nothing, I mow the lawn.

Growing up, I never mowed the lawn. I was in charge of dishes. My brother and I switched off washing and drying. I always preferred washing.

Since we moved to a house with yard, I have taken a liking to mowing the lawn. I go out in the backyard, pull the rope attached to the motor, and make straight lines with the mower in the overgrown grass.

Mowing the yard only takes a few minutes. I think, pray, and feel like I was accomplished a task, checked something off of my list.

The yard looks presentable once again, the myriad of balls no long litter the grass, and the smell of fresh cut grass permeates the air. Ahhh!

I like to mow the lawn. I also like black coffee in the morning, and prefer sandals to boots.

That's just me.

What do you like to do?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Got Cellulite?

I hate cellulite. The infamous lunges that I have been participating in are supposed to reduce the appearance of cellulite. A year later = nothing but the same cellulite.

Cellulite doesn't play favorites. It happens to fat people, skinny people, celebrities, people who want to be celebrities, fifth grade boys, teenage girls, college students, stay-at-home-moms, career women, and many more. From what I understand, cellulite is genetic. If moms got some, you're going to have some too.

Lucky me. Bathing suits with attached skirts are looking like a summer "must have."

On my husband's side, the girls do not have cellulite. The gene skipped them. I just hope my girl gets her daddy's lack-of-cellulite gene as opposed to my jog-your-butt-off-and-do-lunges-and-still-have-cellulite gene. There is a 50/50 chance. She 15 now, and she is safe. Only time will tell.

Did I mention that I hate cellulite?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Feet and Twinkies

I can't understand why I continue to be amazed, but alas, I continue to be amazed at the difference between boys and girls.

"Ooh that's gross!" My 15 year old daughter screamed when her brother's bare foot grazed her arm. "He's clean Maddy. He just got out of the shower, so what is so gross?"

"His feet. It's just gross that his feet touched me."

My son and I roll our eyes, knowing that my daughter's overreaction to feet touching her skin is 3/4 drama and 1/4 germaphobe/footaphobage, in other words, her own freakish issue. That girl will never work in the shoe department.

Here is the difference:

The other day my neighbor was removing her son's foot brace that he has to wear due to a broken growth plate. When she removed it to put him in the bathtub, the stench made her forehead sweat and her bangs curl. After mentioning how badly the brace smelled, the younger brother and the brace wearer both said, "Let me smell it." Gross. Boys love gross smells, and have no footphobia.

If anyone takes a drink from my daughter's drink, she is sure to wipe the straw. I have yet to tell her that the back wash in the cup is much more damaging than the DNA left on the straw's tip.

Here is the difference:

While driving 5 boys to a Midnight Madness church event, my son informed me that his friend Cameron found a Twinkie in the car's cup holder and it was rock hard. I was confident that no one would get sick since the preservatives in a Twinkie can keep it fresh and delicious for approximately seventeen years, so I chimed in with, "Five dollars to the first kid to take a bite of the Twinkie and swallow it." To which my son replied, "Too late, I already took a bite. Where's my five bucks?"

And so it goes. I continue to be amazed at the vast difference between boys and girls.

You need to know: Do yourself a favor, and don't Google "foot photo." Yuck-O times 100.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Thought for Sunday

"One way to recollect the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquility, is not to let it wander too far at other times."

~Brother Lawrence
The Practice of the Presence of God

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Contact Lenses

I have a love/hate relationship with contact lenses.

I love the idea of not having to wear glasses, yet I hate feeling like I have frosted flakes stuck to my eyeballs every evening.

I love not having to wear prescription sunglasses in the outdoors or while driving, yet hate the eye scratchy-ness that happens mid-morning.

I hate having blurry vision so I either suck it up and wear contacts without complaining, or wear my glasses, and pray for cloudy weather.

I am learning to love - my contact lenses.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Not Guilty

I like to jog around my neighborhood. It is quiet, and hilly which is a good switch from flat and noisy, just outside my neighborhood.

This morning I was coming to the end of my jog and a Highway Patrol passed by very stealth-like. I don't know why, buy every time a Highway Patrol passes me on a jog, I feel a sense of guilt mixed with some paranoia. I can't possibly be speeding or running a stop sign, so what is it? Will I get a ticket for jogging too slowly? Should I be some place else and not on the sidewalk? Do I have any outstanding traffic violations that he knows about and I don't? No.

I don't know why I feel guilty and a bit paranoid. I imagine all cops and their vehicles give off that aura, even for the innocent.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We Have Some Winners...

The results are:
Spilt Milk:

Eight Little Faces:

What Southern Women know about Faith:

The Best is yet to Come:

Thanks for Playing!!

For those of you who didn't win, you can get Spilt Milk, a humorous book for mothers, here, here,or other places if you Google "spilt milk vujnov."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Please Talk

Evidently, my oldest boy is in “like” with a girl. He openly shared that he likes someone, but any questions beyond that result in a shoulder shrug, or a “Why do you care mom?” laced with a thick layer of disgust. Such information is sacred and not intended for mothers.

I continue the conversation although the reluctant responses continue.

“Do you two talk?”
“I dunno, no?”
“You never talk?”
“We text.”
“And that works for you?”

Although I enjoy the text element in my life, if left to texting everyone I care deeply for, and not having face to face communication, in other words, not talking, our relationships would fizzle out and die. Verbal communication is essential to every important relationship.

Our relationship to God is no different. Just the other day I read a Twitter that said, “Most Christians I know admit to not praying as much or as deeply or as trustingly as they desire...” That is sad information. We learn about God through His Word, the Bible, we communicate to Him through prayer, talking.

I can grab the latest edition of People Magazine to learn more about Jennifer Aniston, but I cannot truly know her, and have a relationship with her, unless we talk to each other. Chances are, I will never have a relationship with Jenifer Aniston and I’m okay with that, but I am not okay with not having a relationship with Jesus Christ, therefore I need to talk to Him often, and make time to listen to Him also.

My son and his “friend” can text all day and never go deep enough for an authentic relationship. Whew! That’s refreshing to me. No twelve year old boy needs to go deep with a girl. However, we need to go deep with God. He desires to hear or words spoken through prayer. Yes, he knows our every thought, but this doesn’t replace conversation with our creator.

“Pray continually.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Monday, May 11, 2009

Kicketty Kick Ball War

My youngest has a keen sense of manipulation. His right eye wink could send the angriest of mothers back to a smiling, gentle, soul. He has the uncanny ability to wrap women around his finger with a smile, hug, and a wink. I'm scared.

He also has the street smarts of a nineteen year old hoodlum. That also scares me. The other day he and his brother were attempting to play kick ball with a very small rubber ball. Since the youngest finds great joy is frustrating his siblings, he kept kicking the ball incorrectly sending my middle mister into a frenzy of "kick it right!"

After about the fifteenth "Kick it right!" My middle mister looked the littlest in the eye and said, "If you don't kick the ball the right way, I'm going to give you a wedgie."

The youngest smiled, unaffected by the threat and ran into the house. He proceeded to drop his drawers, and remove his underwear. As he ran back outside, he lined up ready to continue the kick ball game.

Deliberately, he twisted his foot and kick the ball cockeyed. Middle mister grunted and shouted, "That's it! You're getting a wedgie!!"

The youngest laughed and ran toward him ready to receive his just consequence. When my middle mister reached to grab his underwear, there was nothing to grab. The youngest laughed hysterically, and ran off with a pompous sense of victory.

He scares me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

May you-

Eat your lunch without having to share
Sleep in late
Not have to wipe up a spill
Get some alone time
Ignore the laundry without any guilt
Refrain from having to cook
Thank God for your kids and husband
Enjoy the blessing of motherhood.

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Text Craziness

We had a deal.

If our twelve year old could maintain an "A" average for the first three quarters of school, he could purchase a phone.

As it turns out. He is a very hard worker when the reward is phone related. He kept up his end of the bargain and two weeks ago, he received a phone.

To say that he is extremely happy is an understatement.

Evidently, it only takes 24 hours to make sure that everyone you know in the sixth grade world, has your phone number. He hasn't actually spoken to anyone on his phone, but his thumbs have been very busy. The text messaging has gone into hyper-drive. I had to ask him to put the phone on vibrate since I got tired of hearing the text notification music playing incessantly.

I am in a quandary. I am not crazy about all of the texting, but I also understand that now, that is how teenagers talk to each other. At the exact moment I am ready to tell him to quit, or tell his friends to take a text break, I think about how often I communicate to others through Facebook, Twitter, and texting too. Yikes.

Perhaps I should take a tech break myself, and actually talk to people face-to-face.

Lesson learned.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Swine Flu

Our intern has mono.

Our team associate has a cold and headache.

My legs hurt from lunges.

My 5 years old has a headache and says he needs a soda.

My husbands back has been acting up lately.

There is no Swine flu anywhere.

Can we please move on to another subject? Please?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bloggy Book Give-away

I supporting my wonderful publisher and giving away some books on my blog. Please send in a comment if you would like to win any of the following books from Zondervan. I love Zondervan. They are nice. Oh, and if you would like to have a FREE copy of my book, Spilt Milk, I will give one of those away also. Yay!

Eight Little Faces by Kate Gosselin, of TLC’s Jon & Kate Plus 8, features personal family photos from Jon and Kate Gosselin, parents of twins and sextuplets. This gift book includes comments from Kate on various themes including trust, perseverance, joy and encouragement. Any fan of the show will love this glimpse into the Gosselin family.

What Southern Woman Know About Faith by Rhonda Rich is a collection of hilarious stories by former Nascar publicist, current bestselling author and newspaper columnist and permanent southern bell. Come, sip a glass of sweet tea and sit for a spell with Ronda on the porch swing as she tells you stories of happiness and heartache, friends and family, and a faith that’s strong enough to handle anything life throws your way. Dolly Parton endorsed it “it speaks to [her] heart,” so it’s got to be good.

The Best is Yet to Come by Fran Fernandez is the perfect gift for grandmas on Mother’s Day. Fran writes with the woman baby boomers in mind and shares her passion for finding purpose during the golden years through 60 daily readings.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Charles Knightly

I enjoy having a pet. I like pets, most pets. Growing up I had dogs, a mouse, two ducks, a rabbit and a host of fish. For the record, I consider fish disposable pets. They don’t count as real pets.

Some people like birds. I’ve never owned a bird. I have never wanted to own a bird. I have nothing against birds; they just seem un-cuddly and messy.

The neighbor girl recently asked her parents for a pet duck. Saying “no” was easy. Not many people who live in the middle of a city, take in a duck as a pet. They eat snails, and I imagine, like water. Pond-ish water, not chlorinated pool water.

Mackenna, the neighbor girl, prayed every night for a duck and her parents continued to inform her that a duck was not an option.

Over the weekend, while attending one of her brother’s baseball games, Mackenna wandered through the field looking for daisies to make a chain. She happened upon an egg, which was sitting in the middle of the field. She lifted the egg from the grass and took it to her parents who were sitting in the bleachers.

They took the egg home. Wondering what lurked behind the shell, they researched and discovered that the egg was derived from a duck. They incubated the egg for a few days at the proper temperature and soon feathers began to emerge.

After 24 hours the budding life struggled to break through the egg and needed some help. Charles Knightly (Chuck the duck) is now alive and well. Mackenna’s prayer was answered—this time with a “yes!”

God answers prayers. He knows what’s best for our lives. Sometimes He answers with a “yes” sometimes with a “no” and sometimes with a “wait.” Although we aren’t always convinced that we love His answers, we can have peace knowing that His will is best for our lives—even it entails an egg, with a duck inside.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Support Group

I am starting a support group:
Socks Without Partners
Do you know any socks that would like to join?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

"Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to."

Deuteronomy 15:10

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Self Promotion

I am not one to toot my own horn, but I have learned that when you write a book that you would like people to buy, you have to do some self promotion. You have to get your face out there and say, "Hey read this book! I promise it's great."

For the record, every author thinks that they have a great book. I could write a list three yards long as to why you should buy my book. Evidently Barnes and Noble, the actual store, doesn't think it is so great.

I have walked into three Barnes and Noble book stores and walked directly to the Christian Inspiration section in hopes of locating a copy of my book. Since my last name ends with a "V" which come directly before "W" as in Warren, as in Rick Warren, I immediately locate Purpose Driven Life, and then dart my eyes to the left, and [enter the "you guessed the wrong price again" tune from The Price is Right] nothing from the Vujnov author is sitting on the shelf. Nor is my book sitting on the cute table in the front of the store with the sign which reads "Great Books for Mother's Day." ["you lost again" music please]

All three times, I have marched to the periodicals section and grabbed a Parenting magazine, turned to page 45, and walked to the Customer Service desk with the page opened to my book in the section, "Your Toys-Goodies Worth Grabbing" and say, "Hi, I am an author, and my book is right here in Parenting magazine listed as goodies worth grabbing. Is there any way that you can carry some of my books and perhaps place them on that pretty Mother's Day table?"

"Sure!" says the nice customer service gal/guy, "Can we call you when the books come in and have you sign some for the shelf?"

"Oh sure, I would love to."

That was easy. Toot Toot!