Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Non-Stick

You can tell a lot about a person by the stickers they have placed on their cars. My car is sticker-free by choice. I'm afraid that if I purchase a fish, NOTW, or cross sticker for my back window, people may question my dedication if they drive past and see me shouting at my children or cutting someone off when I have missed my exit. I admire people who cover their cars with stickers. They don't care what people think. Sometimes I care too much.

I see one sticker all over town that states, "COEXIST." I have no clue what those drivers are tying to convince the rest of us to do. I'm slow that way.

I HATE, with all capital letters, the peeing kid stickers. To me they are repulsive and stupid. I'm sure those people wouldn't pee on a FORD if one was given to them, for free.

Mid-twenty something's love stickers. They love to advertise for companies with whom they are passionate. They are still caught up in the "everyone will know my opinion whether they want to or not" way of thinking. I don't, care that is, about their opinion.

If I had to advertise something with a sticker if would have to be Ralph's Chocolate Chip Ice Cream which happens to be my favorite ice cream in the world. Ralph's Grocery doesn't have bumper stickers for their ice cream, hence, my car is still sticker-free.

One of the most brash stickers I have seen said, "Single and Beautiful." I looked everywhere for the beautiful person who drove the car which was parked next to mine and couldn't find anyone. I'll bet they are single because they are too beautiful.

So, for now, no advertisements, no "my kid is a this or that," no praying girl, no college support, nothing, just a plain, old car, that needs to be washed, and also needs a set of brakes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Peanuts

I just finished watching It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown on television. I love the Charlie Brown specials. I love them with all of my heart. Yes, I would marry them if I could, and ask my husbands permission.

I grew up with a special place in my heart carved out for Snoopy. I loved to draw him with art pencils on my sketch pad when I was younger. I would make up my own cartoons using Snoopy and the other members of the cast from the Charlie Brown cartoons.

On Sunday mornings I would read the Peanuts comic and make imprints of Snoopy onto my Silly Putty.

Of course I had a Peanuts lunch pail, and matching thermos with a picture of Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang on the sides. The red lid was also a cup and held the iced tea that my mother would packed inside the thermos.

For 8th grade graduation, I received a 12 inch tall Snoopy plush and stuck inside his red plastic collar was a fifty dollar bill. I loved the money, but loved the Snoopy slightly more. In my graduation photos I am hold the Snoopy dog.

To this day I still have a leather purse that was purchased at a local swap meet. The front flap of the purse has a picture of Snoopy that is painted white and black. He's very cute.

I currently own a lunch pail with Joe Cool on the front and admittedly smile when I see Snoopy on television, in the newspaper, or in magazines. I wish that I could have him for a pet.

I noticed even more, tonight how mean Lucy is. People complain about Squidward on Sponge Bob, but Lucy was also very terrible. Charlie Brown was excited because he received an invitation to a Halloween party. Lucy told him that it was mistake and that her really wasn't invited. She went on to tell him that There were two lists, one was all the people to invite, and the other was all the people not to invite and that he was on the second list. He face got read and sad. She's terrible. I am putting an "X" over her face on my lunch pail.

It is obvious. Lucy needs Jesus, and so does Squidward.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Forty Four Dollars and Five Hours

Gone are the days of book reports written on 8.5 X 11 college ruled paper with detailed answers to comprehension questions and a small box for a crayon drawing of the main character.

Gone are the days of Paper Mache planets using a bottle of blue starch and thin strips of old newspapers followed by a coating of poster paint.

Gone are the days of mammal posters drawn on flimsy $.49 white poster board using markers, and Elmer’s White glue to attach the hand written report with information gathered from the sixty pound encyclopedia and photos cut out from glossy National Geographic magazines.

These days are different.

We exited the arts and crafts store with the materials needed for my thirteen year old son to construct a three dimensional plant cell for his seventh grade science class. He had beads, pipe cleaners, felt, sheets of Styrofoam, hot glue sticks, clay, and tooth picks, and I had a wallet that was forty four dollars lighter.

I suppose that I could have scoured the house for colored construction paper, buttons, barbed wire, duct tape, and dental floss instead, but given the procrastination factor multiplied by the time needed to build the cell, added to basketball practice, divided by lunch, dinner, and church, I opted for quick and easy. I opted for, “I’ll take you to the store, you fill the cart, and I will shut my eyes, cross my fingers, and swipe the debit card.”

When we arrived home, my boy meticulously cut, pasted, glued, cut some more, fashioned, fixed, adhered, and manipulated, the forty four dollars worth of items into a gorgeous, three-dimensional, plant cell.

Five hours later his project was complete and the smell of hot glue saturated the air along with felt lint and dust from the Styrofoam.

Five days from now, when his project is graded and returned home, all the time and money spent will be a distant memory.

Ten days from now the plant cell creation will be stuffed in the trash can, uh, I mean cupboard.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Easily Distracted

A toddler boy in a park is easily distracted.

He begins by chasing a grasshopper and ends up on the swing. While he swings high in the air he notices a slide, and quickly commands his mother to stop pushing him and jumps off the swing to make his way to the slide. After zipping down the plastic slope, he sees a dog on the sidewalk and runs over to pet the dog's soft fur. He turns his head when the dog licks his face and notices a dandelion sitting high in the grass. He grabs the dandelion, blows the puff into the air and points at the white cloud nestled high in the sky. He hears a noise and turns to see his yellow dump truck sitting in a pile of sand and runs to push it around the play area.

Sometimes I feel like a toddler boy at a park. I too am easily distracted.

My plan for the morning includes spending time in God's Word. I want to make it a priority because I know that my soul craves plugging into God's power each day. I don't want to suffer the results on not spending time with God and missing out on the lessons that He wants to teach me.

However.

I get the kids to school and start a load of laundry. I open my Bible, and peruse a quick devotional, and remember that I have to send an e-mail. While I am sending the e-mail, the dryer buzzes, alerting me that the whites are finished drying and need to be folded.

As I am folding the laundry I see my Bible sitting open, ready to be absorbed, ready to instruct me. I finish folding the clothes and decide to then place the piles in the appropriate rooms instead of reading my Bible. I again remember the importance of starting my day in God’s Word and resist the temptation to turn on the television to watch a morning show. While I am reading God's Word, my hands feel dry and I go to the bathroom cupboard to squirt a drop of lotion onto my hands. I look in the cupboard and notice that it needs to be organized, and that some old toiletries need to be tossed into the garbage. I stop, and remember my Bible.

I sit down again and reread what I just read because the thoughts and words have quickly escaped me. I begin again, asking God to help me stay focused on Him and to resist the temptation to do other, less important chores.

The washer buzzes, I ignore it.

My mobile phone alerts me with a new text message, I ignore it.

My throat feels dry, I ignore it.

“Speak to me God. What do you want me to learn today?”

I read two verses and a short devotional in 10 minutes. Ten minutes. I felt filled. I felt ready to begin my day.

I focused, and as a result, I ignored the temptation to be distracted and a verse spoke to me: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive what is due them for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

I am accountable for the life I live on earth, me, and no one else. My life, my actions, my reactions, need to reflect Jesus.

“Help me Lord to love you more, and be a reflection of you.”

Satan loves to distract us from God. He smiles when the dryer buzzer goes off and we remember that we have to send an e-mail in the midst of our time with God. He loves when give way to a distraction and forget what we just read from God’s Word.

I don’t want to make Satan smile.

I need to resist distractions more often.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."

Psalm 32:7

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dog's are Weird

I am convinced that dogs do not like to be clean. I am also convinced that they could not care less if they smell like car oil, smashed possum, or wet wool sweaters. I find this hard to believe since they have such sensitive nostrils.

Our dog Cali decided to wheedle her way under the outdoor grill the other day while we were grilling some chicken. As the juice from the chicken dripped into the bottom of the grill, the drippings then escaped to the cement below the grill. As she was licking the chicken flavored cement, the grill continued to drip on the back side of her neck and collar. This made for a disgusting combination of black dog fur and grease.

This wonderful incident occurred only 24 hours following her last bath. We once again soaked her neck in suds, however, if left to her own, she would have been perfectly happy wandering the grassy area behind our house smelling like grilled chicken and having her shiny black fur clump into oily masses.

Cali's soaked collar has been removed, and two baths later, she is once again smelling like Oatmeal Vanilla Dog Shampoo. Her coat is so shiny it resembles patent leather shoes and her fur is not matted down with oil.

Her collar was left sitting on the table, soaked in chicken drippings from her latest escapade. I never quite got around to washing it. When I came home from work, her collar had been chewed to oblivion. Evidently the chicken smell was too irresistible. Gross. Dog's are weird.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just Friends

When I was in elementary school, the friend title wasn't given to just anyone, and furthermore, once the title was established, only a very serious infraction could bust the bond. Even when Jim Riddle started liking my friend instead of me, I blamed Jim and not Debbie. There was margin for error, and forgiveness was easy.

Unlike Facebook, where Internet users accept friends like Trick or Treat candy on Halloween, I cherished my friendships, and the more my family moved around, the more effort it took for me to grow and develop meaningful friendships, but friends were a huge part of my life.

Even now, I could make a list of all the girls that I called friends when I was in grade school, just as easily as I could back then. Just the same, I could name my favorite people in junior high and high school.

Interestingly, I feel like if I were to reignite the friendships that have since been long lost, we would just pick up from where we left off, send each other notes folded up like origami, and delve into cups full of Dr. Pepper and bags of Nacho Cheese Doritos unconcerned with the caloric intake.

Our evenings would be spent talking about family and life, and trying on clothes from the closets of the other. We would belt out songs by Steely Dan and Peter Frampton while trying out new hair styles using a hot curling iron and orange foam curlers.

Friendships were simple and well guarded. Phone conversations were sacred. Notes included words that had meaning. Relationships took time, effort, love, and nurturing.

Who are your friends? Are they the 328 you have on Facebook or the 207 following you on Twitter? Have cards sent through the US Mail been replaced by a text written with words half written and e-mails that are brief and passionless?

We all need friends. We all need to be a friend. How can I be a real friend today, beyond the text and Twitter, like Jesus, like it used to be?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Results

Elbow issue=no clue. Took a blood test to see if I have some sort of bleeding disorder and getting x-rays too.

Shoulder issue=rotater cuff tendinitus. I need to ice it and take Tylenol.

No amputation necesary.

Pain in the Elbow

My elbow has been bruised and achy for the past two weeks. It swells and turns purple for no apparent reason and then the pain shoots up to my shoulder. The same ache arises in the muscles and, although this isn't reason to cease from using my left arm, the pain often makes me edgy.

While I was driving the other day, I felt another surge of pain up and down my arm, and more specifically in my elbow. When I reached to locate the throbbing, I felt an abnormal, swelled lump.

Since I have no recollection of falling down, or bumping my elbow severely enough to cause a bump and bruise, I thought through my day in hopes of figuring out why I had swelling and pain in my arm. Nothing came to mind.

I had spent the morning watching 4 year olds at church. I recall that while I was sitting on the floor playing games with them they jumped on my back and I fell to the ground, however, I was only kneeling and instead of falling, more or less, I teetered to the floor. They then ganged up on me and yelled, "dog pile!" Before I could stop them, I had four, 4 year olds, on my back and side. I had to catch my breath, but I did not bang my elbow in all of the chaos, I'm sure of that.

My mind then began playing games with me. What if I have bone cancer? What if I tore something in my shoulder or elbow and need surgery? What if I have some bone disease and they have to amputate my arm? Perhaps I could still use my right arm in that case, and I could tell people my testimony of how a bruised elbow turned into a disease and my arm had to be amputated.

Why does my mind go to the most remote of awful situations?

I told my son my story of taking a hurting shoulder and elbow all the way to cancer and aputation, and he assured me that he has gone through the exact same thinking process when he has had injuries. Whew. That made me feel more human and less freaky-like.

I have an appointment at the doctor today. I'll let you know what happens, and whether I need Advil, surgery, or amputation.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

This scripture really spoke to me this week. It is so heartfelt and strong:

"You God are my God, earenestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you , in a dry and parched land where there is no water."

Psalm 63:1

Friday, October 16, 2009

Back to School?

I have found myself lately with the desire to return to college. Perhaps that is because I have been helping my kids with their vocabulary words and thinking in my head, "I like words, words are fun. Learning is fun."

My desire could be from skimming through my daughter's Biology book and thinking, "This seems pretty easy, I could do this. She has easy homework. I could get all A's if I were a sophomore in high school."

Maybe I have gotten the idea in my head because I work at a church where many of the employees are in seminary, or getting their master's degree. Many times, when I meet someone new tell me what classes they are taking. I want to be taking classes, I think to myself.

Recently I have inquired about getting a master's degree in communications. I like communicating, so it seems like a logistical fit. Since I have a degree in art that I never used, and received a teaching credential which I still keep active but never use, communications seems to make sense. I could see myself saying, "Oh yea, just thinking through my project for my Ethical Problems in Mass Media class" to people who stopped by my desk to say "Hi." It has a nice ring to it.


When I told my very young friend that is almost finished with her master's degree in communications that I was considering going back to school, she suggested that with 4 kids, it would be very difficult to do. She told me that the work load would send me to a padded cell. My competitive spirit flared when I heard this and made me want to inquire even more.

School takes time and costs money so I am still in the "thinking through" stage. What sounds fun now, may not end up being so fun, so I will have to do some more research. Perhaps I am so tired of doing homework with others, that I would rather be doing homework for myself. Maybe once I got to college and discovered that I was the oldest in the class by a couple of decades, it wouldn't be so fun.

Maybe I just need a vacation and going to school sounds like a vacation. Maybe I just need to get some sleep. My brain hurts and is unable to think clearly.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bad News-Bad Day-Bad Evening

I didn’t plan on having a cruddy day yesterday, it just happened automatically, without my approval. The cruddy day was a result of cruddy news. I was the recipient of news regarding betrayal, divorce, hurt, family dissolve, and likewise, cruddy.

I planned perfectly for a gunk-free evening, but the best laid plans, well you know the rest of the quote. I arrived home to a quiet house which should have been my first clue that what was, would not remain. I needed to be with my husband and have him remind me that the vows we made on our wedding day are sacred and unchangeable. I needed to talk to him, and pray, for God to place a hedge of protection around our marriage.

Within 5 minutes, our biggest boy hugged me and asked if he could make baked potatoes for dinner. After we explained what needed to be done, he kept interrupting our whispered conversation in the bedroom for further instruction and clarification. Sensitive stories lose emotion when they are constantly halted with interruption.

Baked potatoes didn’t sound good to me for dinner. I wanted to bury my face in a bowl of greasy Mexican food and fall asleep from the overload of calories and carbohydrates. My husband offered to pick up something for me to eat from any eating establishment within 5 miles, but my demand sounded selfish, so I settled for half of a baked potato topped with two eggs and Feta cheese. My feast was a failure, brimming with all things dry and ordinary and satisfied absolutely no crave neurons in my brain or stomach. Chocolate chip ice cream was a must.

I then received an e-mail stating that my son turned to talk to his neighbor during a pre-algebra test that morning and thus received a zero on his quiz. He denied talking and cheating, but admitted to turning, instead of ignoring.

The littlest first screamed at the biggest because he picked up his DS to play it and didn’t feel like sharing, and then after his time out, went outside to pat his hand in the mud.

The middle mister fought me on spelling words and insisted that he has never spelled “age” before and didn’t know that it was a spelling word, and so, didn’t have any idea how to spell the word.

After homework grumbles, shouting matches over bedtime and books, arguing with my daughter about school, and the top 100 things she hates about high school, at 10:30 in the evening, and then discovering that her vocabulary unit that was due in the morning was never started, I plunked myself on the couch.

I was too drained to talk to my husband, too frustrated to feel the need to connect, and it was too late to drown my sorrows in a hefty dose of Cougar Town.

All did not go as planned, however, by the grace of God, today is different. Date Night is planned for tomorrow, I had a cupcake for lunch, and I am wearing my headphones in hopes of avoiding any more bad news.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Missing Teeth

Every time I grab a necklace from the top drawer of my dresser I sift through baggies filled with teeth. Whenever one of our children looses a tooth, we place the gem inside a Ziploc bag and place it underneath their pillow so that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t have to search far in order to locate the tooth.

I have been the Tooth Fairy for the past 10 years. Once I stuff the dollar bill under the pillow of the lucky tooth looser, I gently lift the tooth away and toss it into my drawer.

I have mounds of children’s teeth from four children—mounds. In trying to decide what to do with all of the teeth that I have accumulated I once asked my fifteen year old daughter if she wanted back all of her baby teeth. “Gross, no, why would I want my teeth?” was here assertive response.

A friend of mine once told me that when she got married and moved out of her parent’s house, her mom packed all of her baby teeth into a wooden box and gave them to her. She didn’t want them either.

There must be some kind of mother child connection between baby teeth which have fallen out and not wanting to toss them into the garbage can. If we toss out the teeth, does it mean that we are sacrificing a memory that we will never gain possession of again? Are we bad mothers if we don’t save teeth right along with the stick figure family portrait drawn with four year old hands or the scrap of hair nestled inside an envelope from their first haircut?

Each time I see the baggies of teeth I grapple with the thought of donating them to the dump, but hesitate. At first, I thought that if I tossed them, one of the little kids would see them and my Tooth Fairy disguise would be revealed. I think by ages 6 and 8 they are beyond believing in the Tooth Fairy, although Santa still gets high regard, so I may be incorrect.

I am confident that I will still be a good mother if eight years from now, when one of the children asks to see all of their missing teeth from when they were smaller and I have to inform them that they were tossed out with the coffee grounds, they won’t deny my mom badge.

The teeth are getting tossed. No one wants teeth. However, I am keeping the wisps of baby hair and the crayon drawings which will make for a great wedding gift for each of the kids some day.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Doubting the Power

Hundreds of times I have heard the story of Lazarus. Alright, maybe not hundreds, but I can most assuredly say that I have heard it more than 10 times and less than 90.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, Mary and Martha are upset about the fact that their brother Lazarus is near death and Jesus is hundreds of miles away, unable to be with Lazarus, and thus, heal him. Jesus gets word of the fact that Lazarus had died and Mary and Martha are beyond hope, wondering why Jesus didn’t get to Lazarus’ side sooner.

Four days pass and Lazarus in lying dead, buried in a tomb, when Jesus finally arrives. At that point, I would imagine that Mary and Martha would be thrilled, and quickly ask, “Hey, could you please hop inside that tomb and bring our brother back from the dead now that you are here?” You see, Jesus had done tons of miracles at this point, and they knew his capabilities.

Instead of trusting in the power of God in the flesh, “Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.’" This is a hint of hope in her tone, yet she is still unsure.

After Jesus repeatedly says things like, “Your brother will rise again” “I am the resurrection and the life.” And “Anyone who believes in me will live,” The sisters still aren’t sure about Jesus’ plans. I find this so amazing. They are standing with Jesus, the one who made blind men see again, healed leapers, turned water into wine, and fed 5,000 people with a smattering of fish and loaves of bread, surely they thought He was capable of making a dead man stand up and walk again.

They arrive at the tomb and Jesus says, “Take away the stone.” At this point I’m pretty sure that if I were standing with Jesus, and He told me to do something, I would have enough faith to say, “I’m on it! My brother Lazarus is going to walk out when I take the stone away, right?” Jesus, Son of God, was standing right there ready to do a miracle!

However, Martha replies, “But Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Really Martha? Really? That is the best you’ve got? You are worried about the odor?

How many times have I doubted the power of Jesus? How many times have I doubted the still, small voice in my head giving me instruction that I didn’t act upon? How many times have I worried about the odor?

God’s power is not something I should take lightly. God always knows what is coming up next, and when we study His Word, fervently seek His guidance through prayer, and step away from the control tower, He is able to do mighty acts of grace on our behalf.

Of course Jesus raised the dead man. Lazarus walked out of the tomb, without a stench, with linen cloths still wrapped around his feet, filled with thankfulness, craving boiled fish and a biscuit.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

"God’s primary goal is our ultimate good, not our comfort or short-term happiness—He wants what is best for us in light of eternity. At times this means He’ll lay us flat on our backs for a season."

In Touch Ministries Daily Devotional
Friday, October 9, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Only Slightly Embarrassed

I am only slightly embarrassed that I caught myself twice, entering the bathroom only to discover that I have had my zipper in the down position since the last time I visited the bathroom.

If only adults were as honest as small children and felt free to point out the obvious infractions of their friends and co-workers to avoid unsightly embarrassment.

That list would include food items lodged in teeth, zippers undone, leaves and others items from nature stuck in hair doos, shirt labels sticking out of garments, unsightly items stuck to shoe bottoms, smeared or smudged make up, lengthy black facial hair that seemingly appears overnight, and ill-fitting clothes(which includes, but is not limited to exposed undies).

Children are quick to point out the faux pas that need fixing. Adults are timid.

How many noticed my zipper problem and ignored informing me? The answer to this question remains to be unknown unless I want to send and e-mail to the entire staff.

Next time I visit the restroom, I need to double check my zipper, unless of course I am wearing a dress. Then, I would need a second grader with great hootspa for honesty to give me a once over prior to my exiting the restroom, ready and willing to point out any and all irregularities in my appearence. Obviously, I am capable of only tending to those that require immediate fixing.

The varicose veins would need to be dealt with at a later date.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Frozen in Time

Our wedding cake was perfect; white cake with white butter cream frosting, moist and delicious, from what I can recall. It has been 18 years since I took a bite of our wedding cake, and many a cake has passed though my lips in those years.

I would love to know who started the tradition of saving a slice of wedding cake and freezing it until the first anniversary of wedded bliss. What are you supposed to do with the frozen slice of what was, and now isn’t? Are couples really supposed to thaw out the cake and eat it one year later? Could it even taste good?

As you can gather from all of my questions, my husband and I never indulged in our one year old cake slice. Why? I’m glad you asked. After my mother so diligently wrapped a slice, placed it in her car with all of wedding gifts and placed it in her freezer when she arrived home, the least we could do would be eat the cake on our one year anniversary. This was my exact thought. However, when our one year anniversary arrived on June 1, 1992, I pulled the frozen slice from the freezer and set it on the counter of our small condominium. When my husband saw the meager slice sitting all alone, he insisted that it would be terrible to eat the cake and that we must return it to the freezer and save it-forever.

This comes from the man who is a quantifiable pack rat, but has been broken by his exorcise-all-clutter wife. Me.

Today the frozen slice of cake still remains in my freezer. It is in shambles, uneatable, and crumbling from age, locked inside a zip-lock baggie. Each time I see it I shake my head and stare at the trash can sitting inches from my feet, and then I picture my husband walking up to me one day, asking about the slice of cake. I don’t have the heart to disappoint, this time.

For how many years will I open the freezer and notice the cake? For how many years will the cake remind me that I married my best friend? For how many years will the frozen cake remind me that God has blessed my husband and me with an amazing marriage? Many, and for that I am grateful

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Choosing Battles

I don't want to be a nit picker.

I feel like I nit pick too much, especially with my teenage daughter. She is a great kid, involved in church, gets good grades in school, and gets along fairly well with her brothers, so why do I make comments that are upsetting to her?

As I was listening to a talk radio program on my way to work, they were discussing teenagers and their quirks. They said that after interviewing 1200 teens, one of the most common complaints is that parents don't allow their kids to experiment with their identity when it comes to changing their looks or any other non-moral issues.

Guilty.

Teenagers want to try different hairstyles, pierce their nose, wear plaid knee socks with shorts, and convince themselves that flip flops go with every outfit.

Instead of accepting the fact that my girl is experimenting with her hair, trying different styles and approaches to maneuvering around her chin length locks, I tell her that her hair is too short for a ponytail, and that I spent way too much money on her haircut for her to shove it into a one inch long ponytail. Really, what difference does it make?

Today she was wearing the same jeans that she wore yesterday. I made a comment, wondering if those were the only jeans that fit her why she is wearing them for the second day in a row. "They're comfortable." she told me. Really, what difference does it make if she wears them every day this week, unless they are filthy, and even then, who would notice except an adult? At least she isn't asking me to spend hundreds of dollars on several pair of new jeans.

She wears a ring around her neck that is attached to a 10 inch long string. The string she obtained from searching our garage and discovering a large spool of white string used to tie back branches and vines in our yard. She continues to disregarded my suggestion of purchasing some black ribbon or at least something more appealing for her ring necklace other than the same string used to tie roast beef into a tight bundle. I should let her wear the string and just shut my mouth. In addition, the ring is engraved with a Bible scripture which is much better than a marijuana leaf or satanic symbol. Really, what difference does it make?

I'm learning to let go of the little things.

I'm learning to allow my teenager to discover her identity in this world without her stepping out of bounds.

I'm learning to ignore the insignificant identity changes that don't really matter in the big picture.

I learning each day how to parent, better.

It doesn't get easier, it just gets different, daily.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tantilizing Tastebuds

I like making my kids happy.

I like to cater to their culinary cravings even though I know that it won't make them love me any more. I won't be attending the Mother of the Year convention this or any year, in case you were wondering, especially in light of my recent grocery store visit.

I laughed when I took the groceries out of the shopping cart and placed them on the conveyor belt at the grocery store the other day. My selections were a little embarrassing.

I have a boy at home sick, and while I was attempting to help him fuel his energy with something that sounded good to him, I was also needing to replenish some missing items from our pantry. Some of these items have never entered your house I sure. However, I grew up on Ding Dongs and Freetos and turned out just fine.

If you an organic eating, nothing trans fat buying, junk food has no place in my mouth or the mouths of my family members sort of person, I suggest that you do not read any further. You might get disgusted enough to squirm and have your eyes begin watering.

My purchase consisted of: A box of Lucky Charms, two frozen pizzas, a bag of Cheetos, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream, frozen mozzarella sticks, and a bottle of blue Gatorade.

I'm not proud of my grocery purchase, that is why I am confessing. On the other hand, it's hard to find anything better than a big bowl of Lucky Charms topped with cold milk. I just saying.

The cravings were satisfied, the sick boy ate, and the next time I went to the store I threw bananas, and whole wheat bread into my cart. Balance is key.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 8:38-39

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Few of my Favorite Things

1. Peanut Butter M&M's
2. cinnamon rolls with no raisins
3. breakfast for dinner
4. knee socks
5. Converse sneakers
6. Trident Splash Gum-Summer Spearmint
7. hair highlights
8. puppy's breath
9. Snoopy
10. Mighty Bee cartoon
11. black coffee in the afternoon
12. Kings in the Corner card game
13. Feeling appreciated
14. Lotion from Bath and Body
15. Chips and salsa
16. Hand written greeting cards
17. God's provision
18. writing
19. speaking to women
20. the smell of the inside of a new magazine

What are some of your favorite things?

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Once Over

Are women who have had any amount of children supposed to be out of shape, out of date, and overweight? It seems that every time I tell women that I am a mother of four children, they give me the once over. Is her hair combed? Is she wearing mascara? Her shirts isn't stained today, and no buttons are missing.

Within seconds the women then journey down to my chest and stomach observing whether or not I am properly dispersed in those areas or if from breast feeding, very little remains. For the record, very little remains. "Does she still look preganant?" "Is her six years post belly back to normal?" "Has her stomach area drifted to her hips?" seem to be the questions rolling around in the brain of the observer.

I know that the questions of what lies underneath the clothing penetrate their curiosity button as well. "I wonder if she has stretch marks?" "Are her thighs bigger than mine?" "Does she have varicose and spider veins?" "Are those maternity jeans?" "Did she take time out for herself to get a pedicure?"

We are so silly. Of course we all have the marks of giving birth, stuck like labels, all over our bodies. They are like battle wounds.

I just hope that women such as Angelina Joile and Heidi Klum have sagging breasts and vericose veins too.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Brain Tickler

The other day I was at a restaurant, and picked up a flier called "The Brian Tickler." I'm actually surprised that I grabbed it to read since I have no desire to have my brain tickled. I am terrible at Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and can barely tolerate word searches, let alone word riddles and number facts. Ewe.

After reading the first sentence on the paper, I knew I was doomed for failure and any attempts to solve the puzzles on the paper. "Once upon a time a farmer was selling eggs." I stopped there. My brain was hurting instead of tickling. I don't get along very well with word problem/riddles.

The second puzzle piqued my interest, but required a calculator, so I stopped reading it halfway through. Here is goes, "As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives, each wife had seven sacks, each sack had seven cats, each cat had seven kit: Kits, cats, sacks and wives. how many were going to St Ives?

I knew that too much multiplying would cause my head to swell, so I gave up. I was an art major in college. Math inflicts pain.

As it turns out, no calculator was required. The answer to the riddle was, one. One person was going to St. Ives. Wow, did I feel loser-ish or what? I told you that I wasn't good at this sort of thing.

I won't be reading any more of The Brain Tickler. It's depressing, and it makes me feel stupid.

Give me a grammar quiz or a pop quiz on the Greek alphabet. You can even test me on the modern artists of the 20th century, actually, don't. I barely passed Art History.