Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Boys are Back

My family is back to normal.

The boys are back, and the chatter has returned. I am thrilled to have everyone home again. Although I had a taste of what an empty nest might resemble, I am in no way ready for an empty nest. Although having frozen yogurt for dinner is great, it's isn't ideal.

The arguing has begun.
Dinner was boisterous.
They are asking what we are going to do today.
One is complaining that he doesn't want to read.
My daughter says that she needs more school supplies.
The dishwasher filled quickly.
The laundry room is bursting.
I need to vacuum again.
The toilet seat is up.
There are toothpaste smears on the bathroom sink.
The beds are disheveled.
Someone crawled in bed with me at 4:00 a.m.
My computer was taken over at 8:00 a.m.
ESPN is on the television screen.

And, I LOVE it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Warts

I used to have warts when I was younger. My brother had them too. I used to get plantars warts on my feet. Those were painful.

Two of my four children have warts. Why is that? I don't know much about warts, but I do know that they are a virus, genetic, and well, gross.

My youngest boy has ten warts on his hands and arms. My oldest boy only has one. What makes some children immune to warts and some littered with them? That a rhetorical question unless you are a wart expert.

I've heard that covering the warts with duct tape removes them after a while, but that sounds like a lot of sticky work. I can imagine that pulling off duct tape that is stuck to arm hair hurts.

This is the week. This is the week for haircuts, new shoes, school supplies, and burning off warts. I'll bet that last one didn't make your list of "to-do's" for the week. Lucky you, really.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Still and Quiet

I am shocked that I haven't talked about the fact that my three youngest, all boys, have been in The Great State of Ohio (I have been forced to say that now) since August 17 with my mom.

I'm guessing that I have kept from boasting about my lack of schedule, and feeling whimsical and free, would send my mind into a frenzy of guilt. Ah heck, let's call a spade a spade. I have deeply enjoyed the still and quiet days. Sure, I miss them terribly, but having alone time has been so pleasant.

My teenage girl, who loves to hang out in her cave called a bedroom, eats breakfast at 11:00 a.m., figures out lunch at 3, and begins with questions about dinner at 7:00. She really is, no hassle.

My husband and I have been on a second honeymoon, borrowing a friends home at the beach for a couple of days, enjoying date nights at the movies, and filling the void from chatter and chaos with sweet conversations, hand holding, and quiet nights reading in bed. Ahh.

The boys return on the 24th. I look forward to their return and hope that they are missing me as much as I am missing them. Until then, I will write, listen to music, have dinner whenever I want to, stay up late, and enjoy the still and quiet.

This too, shall pass.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

That Hurts

Given the right situation, I don't mind criticism, corrective criticism. However, I am not a big fan of criticism with no rhyme or reason. I also don't like how the non-corrective criticism sticks with me for such a long time, wearing down my self-esteem and crushing my joy.

At times I ask for corrective criticism when it comes to my writing, raising kids and making parental decisions, with my job, and marriage. As long as the correction is laced with love and honesty, based on biblical principles, and the criticiser is looking to make me a better person with godly character, I can handle it, mostly, with a lot of prayer.

So, if you decide to criticize me, just know that you need to hug me while you are doing it, or end your critical comment with a colon and parentheses. That way the blow doesn't hurt as badly.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Waiting

I'm not very good at waiting. I am better at waiting when I am aware of the end time and have a clear understanding of why I am waiting.

Today was a marathon wait day. I sat in the podiatrist office for an hour with my daughter, watching other people enter and be called back to the back before us which always frustrates me.

I finally asked the receptionist for the reason why so many others were called back before us. She informed me that she was waiting for the insurance company to approve our visit. Had she told me this, I would have understood, however, why didn't she ask for my insurance information when I made the appointment for my daughter and get approval then?

My daughter's appointment was scheduled for 10:00. We were called back at 10:45 and waited another 15 minutes for the doctor. After a surgical procedure was performed to help an ingrown toenail, we finally exited the office at 11:50. Ugh!

I was home for an hour and 40 minutes and then we had to leave a 1:45 appointment at the orthopedic doctor's office for my son's cast removal and x-rays. After waiting to be called back, waiting after the cast removal for x-rays, waiting after x-rays for the doctor to read them, and waiting for a new cast to be molded onto my boy's arm, we arrived home at 4:00. Again, ugh! At least I knew this time why we were waiting. This made the wait better, but not great.

Note to self: Don't schedule 2 doctor's appointments for children on your day off of work. This is not the best use of your "off" time.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Large, Jumbo, and Giant

Whatever happened to small, medium, and large? When I order a large drink from a fast food restaurant, the soda cup that they hand me could be used as a tank for 7 fish. On the other hand, the small fry that I get with my kiddie pool cup is a small pouch with 13 fries inside.

A tall is not tall. A tall is small. A grande is not large or grand, it is medium, and normal sized. And a vente is Italian so I don't have any clue whether that is big as in fish tank size, or large as in slightly bigger than medium. I don't speak Italian.

If I order a scoop of ice cream for dessert, gelatto is twice the price of ice cream and half the size, and a single scoop of ice cream from Rite Aid is large and filling, and only costs a dollar. A soft serve cone from McDonald's is only a dollar, while a small soft serve cone from Dairy Queen is the same size, but twice the price. Personally, I like more bang for my dollar. Taste is secondary.

Although movie concession stand food is off the charts expensive, I do like splurging on a popcorn purchase every so often. While the small size is too small, the extra large is enough to feed my entire family, and the free refill is an extra bonus, even though the price tag should include a pedicure and shoulder massage.

The best popcorn bargain around is the bag of popcorn from Target. With the same amount of trans fat goodness, and fake butter flavoring. I can purchase one bag for each child, and still only spend $4.00. Thanks Target.

The other day we ordered pizza for my son's 14th birthday party. Nine teenage boys have the appetite of a pack grizzly bears waking from hibernation. My husband suitably ordered three jumbo pizzas. Little did we know that jumbo was actually a medium sized pizza, while giant was actually the largest size. We ran out of food and had to pick up 15 hard shell tacos in order to tilt the appetite meter of the starving boys even after we included chips and watermelon. Preposterous.

I would prefer a regulation on sizes according to weight. That way, if I order a large soda at Chick Fil' A or a large soda at Del Taco I am getting the exact same amount of soda. Price would still vary, I'm sure.

The guessing game continues, and so, the next time I find myself ordering coffee, a bag of popcorn, or pizza, I'll be sure and dissect the definition of jumbo, giant, grande, small, and extra large, because for all I know, these could all be the exact same size.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven."
Matthew 5:16

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Text Mix-Messaging


I have teenagers, therefore I text.

Even if I didn't have teenagers, I would still use text messaging more often than picking up the phone and calling. Texting is less time consuming than actual conversation.

My daughter is typically clear and concise, with her messages, making sure the point get across well. "Going to Chicful-a with a bunch of people pick me up at 10." (note the cute misspelling?) I can understand that message clearly.

My son on the other hand, isn't as clear. "Can I go to the beach with Al?" I knew that Al was his friend, who happens to be a girl, and since I am very close to her mother I said, "Sure." My assumption was that he was going to the beach with his friend and her family. I reminded him that he had plans for the evening, and that a late day at the beach was out of the question. He assured me that he remembered with a, "K."

As the evening rolled in I began to wonder when my son was going to arrive home. "What are your plans?" I texted. No answer. "When are you coming home?" I questioned, to which he replied, "Idk tell u when leaving." I couldn't understand why he didn't just ask Al's mom and get back to me with an answer. Surely he told her that we had plans and needed to be home before dinner. Surely.

As time passed and the dinner hour approached, I phoned my friend. I know, what a concept. She informed me that she was on her way to pick up the kids from the beach, and that they were dropped off by another mom. Picked up? What? Now I was really confused.

The fact that my son was at the beach with friends and no parents didn't upset me. These were all great kids with a capital "G" but, I was upset by the fact that I felt that my son was hiding something from me because of his cloudy texting although he assured me that he wasn't hiding anything.

We texted back and forth until I finally called him to have a real conversation. After some arguing and frustration, he and I cleared the air. He kept telling me that he didn't understand why it was a big deal that he was at the beach without an adult and he couldn't understand why I was so upset.

I explained myself again. I wasn't upset that he was at the beach adult-less, but I was upset by the fact that I felt that he hid it from me. I told him that next time I need very detailed information and that he will not be making any more plans this week. He still doesn't get it.

What is the point to all of this? Next time my son wants to go anywhere, he's going to have to call, unless her forgot how to.

Sometimes I hate texting.

Monday, August 2, 2010

God is Still Good

I watch a lot a baseball. I like watching baseball, but I'd would choose to watch other shows if I was given the option.

Since I live in a house with 4 boys who love to watch baseball, listening to the commentator's words reverberate off of my plaster walls is a common occurrence. I become involved in the game through some automatic force. That doesn't happen when I am watching soccer.

I've noticed that after a good play or hit, some of the players point to the sky, kiss their fingers and point to the sky or look up toward the sky. My assumption is that they are giving God the credit for their great play, hit, or running skills, or thanking Him, but I honestly don't know their motive.

My kids ask me if the players point to Heaven because they are Christians, I tell them that I cannot don't really know because I don't know the player's hearts. I don't know if they are Christ followers. I don't know them. What is implied isn't always the truth. Just like people who wear crosses around their necks don't necessarily make Christ the center of their lives.

One thing that I have noticed though is that I don't see any players pointing toward the sky, kissing their fingers and pointing to the sky, or looking up toward the heavens when they get tagged out, strike out, or make a bad play. Is God not awesome and worthy of praise in the disappointing moments? Is God not worthy of thanksgiving when we strike out in life.

I too am guilty of profusely thanking God when plans are successful, prayers are answered with a "yes," and when our my car is running low on gas and doesn't run out of gas. However, I'm not so generous with my thanksgiving when our bank account runs low, the brakes on my car begin to squeak, or my son breaks his arm for the third time, even though I should be.

God is still good no matter how I feel. God is still good no matter what situations arise in my life. God is still good when I hear disappointing news. No matter what, God is still good, and I need to be reminded of that constantly. Do you?