Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Best Thing Ever

We spent the day using our passes at Disneyland to celebrate my son's ninth birthday. This was in lieu of a full out, too many kids, stressed parents, birthday party. I was thrilled.

My boy had requested a few gifts on a list that he composed, and everyone missing school/work to go to Disneyland. We let him be in charge of the entire day and didn't make any moves toward rides or food unless the choice was his.

The weather was perfect and the longest we waited in line for a ride was 30 minutes while the majority of them were less than 10. We had a blast.

After his favorite meal of ribs and corn at Claim Jumpper he dropped into bed exhausted. As he was settling into bed my husband asked, "What was your favorite part of the day?" While he expected the mention of a particular ride, the fact that he got to eat ice cream not once but twice, or the new X-Box game he received, he said this, "I liked having my whole family together."

Isn't that the best?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

You are in Big Trouble!

Although I say it often I really have no idea what I am talking about. You see, I am the parent that has "big trouble" with follow through.

"If you don't listen to your brother while I am gone, you're going to be in big trouble!"

"If this room isn't picked up before Trent leaves, You're going to be in big trouble!"

"If you call him a big fat liar again, you will be in big trouble!"

"The next time you scream at your brother, you're going to be in big trouble!"

Note the exclamation points? I sound like I mean business, don't I?

What is big trouble? How does big trouble look? Great question.

Perhaps I have never gotten to the "big trouble" stage so I have never had to consider how it looks, or maybe I have gotten there and just let it go out of sheer laziness. I never claim to be a parenting expert. I used to be, and then I had children of my own.

I will have to consider this whole "big trouble" issue now so that when the moment after not picking up the room, screaming one more time, or not listening happens, I will have a game plan, otherwise, I will be in big trouble.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord. Colossians 3:14

Duty alone is drudgery; duty with love is delight.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Name That Tune


There is nothing like having a kindergartner to bring home all of the songs that you thought you forgot the last time you had a kindergartner, better yet, the last time you were in kindergarten. I didn't realize that they still sang songs at school. Hasn't singing songs been replaced with "401 ways to recycle?"

I'm singing songs like "This Old Man," and "Here We go 'Round the Mulberry Bush." Can I just say for the record, no one goes around a Mulberry bush, nor does any old man play nick nack. What is nick nack? Where are all of the Kidz Bop songs we all know and love? And since we are on the subject, people don't row boats that often, or bring sheep to school. I'm not trying to sound cynical, just realistic.

This afternoon my son was singing Amazing Grace. That was nice, except I felt like we should both be attending a funeral. Please don't play that song at my funeral. I love the song, I just don't love it while I am toasting english muffins. I can't concentrate on the words.

Today I have "She'll be Com'n Round the Mountain" stuck in my head. Just so you know, she won't. . .be coming around any mountain.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pandora


I have I told you that I am deeply in love with Pandora? What is Pandora you say? Pandora is a free internet radio station. I simply create a station with all of my favorite music, or all Christian tunes, or all eighties rock, and viola! I listen to wonderful songs from my computer. If they ever play a song that I don't like, I just click on the "thumbs down" symbol and they never play it for me again. They're nice like that.

If I could get Pandora in my car my listening ears would squirm with joy. Pandora is perfect for me because I love variety and discovering new artist. I should be a spokesperson. Pandora should pay me a lot of money to be their spokesperson.

Since I never fell in love with paying for songs on my iPod, my iPod sits, with 4 songs downloaded and a dead battery. I don't listen to any music when I jog, so I really have no use for an iPod.

Perhaps I would find good use for my iPod if I ever found myself sitting in an orthodontist office waiting for my mom to pick me up. However, my mom hasn't picked me up from an orthodontist office, in 30 years.

I realize that I am in the minority for not loving iPods, but I don't mind, I have Pandora.

Monday, April 12, 2010

affirmative action

Written for Simply Youth Ministry:

I’m affirming, at least when I really try to be. If I were to take a somber look at how I dialogue with teenagers and my own children, I would discover that I complain about their negative behaviors more often than I reinforce the positive things that they do. Unfortunately, I’m more about the “Don’t do that!” and “You need to be doing this!” instead of the “Thanks for doing that!” and “You’re great at doing this!” Did you notice the exclamation points? I’m not very soft spoken either.


Recently I was watching a show hosted by parenting experts. Just so you know, having children automatically precludes me from being an expert. In addition to questioning whether the expert’s teens were better behaved than mine, I was also hoping to learn parenting techniques, which didn’t include feeling guilty for my current parenting performance.

I couldn’t wait until the show’s end since they kept teasing the viewing audience with the one, sure-fire way to get kids to behave. I needed the “one way” especially if the “one way” was simple. I’m slower than most. The parenting experts said this: Reinforcing positive behavior is more effective than repeatedly pointing out negative behaviors. In other words, all I have to do is be cognizant of when my kids behave properly and applauded that behavior, figuratively of course. “Thanks for not slamming your door,” and “I love that you introduced yourself to Mr. Davis without my asking you to,” became part of my vocabulary. People love positive encouragement. No one I know gets tired of being told that they did something right.

What about the seventh-grader who insists on cracking his knuckles during prayer? Ask him quietly to stop, and then let him know how much you appreciate him saving the cracking until after the prayer. What about the girl who insists on taking the lead in every skit? Encourage her to allow another student to have a chance, and then commend her for being considerate.

If it were only that simple, I know. But at the very least, by reinforcing the positive behaviors in our children and students, we are feeding them a plate full of encouragement, which never leaves a bad aftertaste.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

"Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let those who boast, boast about this: that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord who exercises kindness, justice, and righteous on earth, for in these I delight."

Jeremiah 9:23-24

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Why is it that on my birthday I expect the day to be different than any other? I must be crazy.

When I woke up and entered the shower, one of my kids came in and and proceeded to lay on the floor in a ball while talking to me and asking if I could take him to the sporting goods store. It is still about him regardless of the date on the calendar.

Next, another child came in and asked me to leave so that he could go poop. I left. As I was waiting to return to the bathroom to finish getting ready for work, two more children came and wondered out loud about what I could cook them for breakfast, while the same floor layer, kept saying, "I l-o-v-e y-o-u" over and over again. At least that part was nice.

When there was finally a moment when no one needed me, and the bathroom was clear, I made another attempt to finish getting ready for work. My husband then entered and started showering. As the steam rose, making a thin coat of dew which covered the mirror that I was using, I left the bathroom again and was quickly summonsed over to a recently created Lego structure.

I needed to watch the structure spring into action. I needed to. Although the contraption was impressive, I don't love watching it spring into action in my "spare" time.

I left the house at 8:40 a.m. and was greeted by a co-worker with a large cup of coffee from Starbucks and two cards. That changed my morning.

This afternoon is looking better. We are going to watch the Angels play some baseball, and hopefully no one will ask me to do anything that requires effort. I just cleaned my house, because, I just couldn't sit and relax in a cluttered house. I am crazy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Disappointments

I woke up with an acute realization that I had some awful dreams last night centered around the idea of disappointment, and more specifically, disappointing my children.

In addition, their lives were in danger, so I quickly reassured myself that the dreams were fiction and that my children were safe. What an awful feeling.

Since these dreams come after the fact that I had my son get a ride to and from baseball practice from another mom, even though her son was not attending practice, I knew that my guilt was being manifested in my dreams. I had date night with my husband and needed some pick up and delivery help from a friend. Is that bad?

Also, since I have had my fair share of missing baseball games, showing up late to pick up my children from practice, and missing out on watching my daughter sing at church, it is no wonder, that "Disappointing Others" was the title of my dream series.

I'm not the mom who drops everything to attend every child event, nor am I the mom who shows up on time to baseball games in order to absorb in detail, every boy at bat, and play on defense. Life happens, I have other things going on.

I'm not the mom who drops everything to attend the awards banquet after my child says, "You don't need to be there, really."

I did need to be there, really.

I'm not the mom who holds a bouquet of balloons announcing, "Welcome Home!" when my daughter flies in from Africa, but I do greet her with hugs and tears of joy. Doesn't that count?

I miss things. I mess up. I should make a better effort, and try harder to not disappoint, or wake up each morning feeling guilty.

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Ratings are Decreasing

If there is anyone who is still reading my blog and cares to know, my ratings are decreasing. Evidently the amount of people who follow my blog has decreased from 32 to 30. I know, 32 isn't all that impressive either, however, I'm thrilled with any readers, honestly.

The fact that I have not updated my blog in two week may have something to do with the lack of readership. The fact that I'm not as consistent in my posting may be to blame, or the fact that there are other blogs that are more exciting, may be the culprit. One may never know.

I have friends out there in "blog land" who have 400 followers, and update daily. They are diligent about posting, having posts with significant information, fun posts, or posts that people enjoy reading every day. Time just gets away from me. I want to be consistent, yet before I know it a week has gone by without a single post.

For the three of you who are reading this, thank you for reading my blog.

Please don't give up on me. Blame my lack of writing on the fact that I work full time and have four kids. I'll try harder, I promise.