Friday, November 19, 2010

My Fridge

I've never been known for having anything other than homework and hopefully a few blog posts now and then in decent order.  My fridge is no different.  You can check out my indecent fridge over at Tara's blog, In Decent Order.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Six years ago, my dad had a massive heartache and passed away suddenly. He was in New Orleans on a business trip at the time, and I was the first person from our family to find out what had happened to him. I was the one who talked to the doctor and then had to tell the rest of my family members. I don't really talk about my dad much on this blog out of respect for him and for others who are still grieving him. My college English teacher once told me that you cannot write about your parents until they have passed from this life into the next life because not until then can you fully be free to explore your thoughts and put them on paper.  I would suggest that you are never fully free to write about those closest to you unless you are ready to deal with the potential consequences.  I am not completely there.  But I wanted to try, so this is my attempt. Please if you are a family member, and it causes you pain, do not read this.

Before my dad passed on, I had never had someone close to me die. At the time, all of my grandparents were alive. Since then, my granny has passed. Death can be mysterious. Being a spiritual person, I had many questions for God - most of which could not be answered. Or they could be answered but God left them unanswered for me then and now. Whatever the answers are or were, they are no longer relevant because daddy is no longer here.  Because I had been hoping to see change in my dad's life, I spent more time grieving while my daddy was alive than after he died.  Through his death and in spite of the unanswered questions, I made peace with God.  His presence or the presence of angels were unmistakable during my dad's death.  God is faithful to those who love him, and that time was no different.

I miss my dad.  I wish my dad could see my sweet children.  I wonder what he would think about my mischievous son, my dreamy daughter, and my baby who looks so much like him.  Would he laugh at the crazy things they say?  Or would they drive him completely crazy?  My dad was well known for his temper - that would be no surprise to anyone that knew him, and little kids in restaurants were not his favorite things.  I wonder if my monsters would have been different.  Would he love that Speed Racer can be just as passionate with his emotions as he was?  Would he think that I was teaching him well?  Would he be proud of me as a mom?  I wish that I could hear his voice again, especially to sit next to him in church and hear him singing.  Perhaps, he sings in heaven.  He had a great voice.  I miss his hugs.  He had the most giant of all the hugs in the world.  And a laugh to swallow you whole.  He was an intelligent man.  I think he was mostly misunderstood and probably bored sometimes at what life had to offer.  But I loved to talk "smart talk" with him about the Bible and math.  I would like to think that I could give him plenty to think about were he still here now.  One of his passions was studying Revelations and trying to figure out the puzzle of it all - while we are still wondering, perhaps, he's seen the answer of what is to come.  As much as I miss my daddy, I no longer grieve my daddy.  I do not understand why he died so early.  And I get sad when I miss him, but I no  longer hold onto him.  I have let him pass from my hand here to God's hand in eternity.  His memory lives on in my heart and in the hearts of those who loved him.  I love you, dad.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Our neighborhood stinks for trick or treating so we headed over to my friend Lindy's house. See a pic of our kids here.  The kids got two giant bag-fulls of candy.  I don't know what we will do with it all. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I can't live without him

I had to write this one down before I forgot it:

The kids wanted to watch a pumpkin show this morning, so I let them watch the first half of the "The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" again.

When we moved to the kitchen for breakfast these are the things I heard:

Princess: Momma, am I going to school today?
Me: Yes, sweetie.
Princess: Good, because I have to tell Collin I can't live without him.
Me: Oh, really.
Me wondering aloud: Did you just hear that on Charlie Brown?
Princess: No, but I have to tell him, it's gonna be great for my life.

A few minutes later, I am busting at the seams to tell Daniel, so I call him.

Me: Guess what your daughter just told me?
Daniel: I don't know what?
Me: She said she cannot live without Collin.
Princess (who was listening): I knew you guys were going to be laughing your heads off at me, but I had to tell you.
Daniel: Did she just say I knew you guys were going to be laughing your heads off?
Me, laughing my head off: Yes
Princess: I had to tell you anyway so you could understand me.
Daniel: That's great, she's trying to talk to you.

These are the things I love about my life. And this was huge as I have repeatedly told Princess she has to explain things to me so I can understand her. She hates anyone laughing at her, and she loves to hide in her shell (she's so much like me as a child), but she told us anyway.  She must have been listening somewhere along the way. Oh, how I love her - crush and all.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

R. E. S. P. E. C. T.

Here is the rub with being a parent. You cannot be friends with your child. And when I was a babysitter back in the day, I got to play and play and play all day, but as a mom, I have so many more responsibilities that playing is not what I spend the majority of my time doing, not to mention all the unexpected interruptions that happen in the day as well.

Currently, Speed Racer is in a whiny phase. He asks for something, and as if I have not heard him at all, he begins whining, sometimes screaming for his request to be fulfilled at the very moment he has asked for it.  And then, he gets mad, throws a fit, possibly hits anyone in his rampage path.  The last thing in that moment I want to do is give him what he has requested, not because I did not want to give it to him.  No, usually, I do intend to fulfill his request, although, I can rarely do what he desires immediately.  When he begins flailing around, he shows a lack of respect and a lack of trust.  Oddly, I have given him no reason to distrust me in this area.  I have repeatedly told him that he will not get what he wants if he whines, screams, or anything similar.  For the parent / child relationship to be at its best, the child has to give proper respect to the parent or authority.  When he asks sweetly and waits patiently, I want to give him what he asks.

Speed Racer and I are not equals, and he has to place me in my rightful position, and I have to place him in his.  I could give him what he wants, but I would never gain the respect that I deserve as his mom.  Instead, he would continually come to me repeatedly behaving in the same way never learning to submit his requests to me and wait and to trust in whatever I decide.

I have been studying prayer and my relationship to God is very similar.  The first and last aspect of the Lord's prayer are coming to the Father and "hallowing his name."  If I am just coming to God and whining and not respecting Him for who He is and realizing my position before Him, why in the world would He turn his ear toward me?   I am just a mom, and He is God.  If I deserve an inkling of respect as a mother, then He deserves an infinite more amount of respect as we approach Him.

Monday, November 1, 2010

How Do You Like Your Eggs?

How do you like your eggs?  Scrambled, boiled, fried?  Well done or runny?  Hard boiled or soft boiled?  Benedict?  Poached?  In the movie Runaway Bride, one of the things that Richard Gere's character, Ike, finds out about Julia Robert's character, Maggie, is that with every fiance, Maggie decides that she likes her eggs to be cooked the same way as her fiance.  In essence, she and each of her fiances do not really know who she is.  By the end of the movie, she cooks an assortment of eggs and figures out what kind of eggs she likes and begins to grasp a better understanding of who she is. 

When I was a child, fried eggs, sunny side up, over easy, were the type of eggs that my parents frequently cooked for breakfast.  Rarely did we have them any other way, because that was their favorite way to cook and eat eggs.  Occasionally, they boiled them.  Sometimes, they scrambled them.  For a special treat, they scrambled them with cheese.  As a child, I did not really like eggs.  Sometimes, if mom or dad put enough cheese in them or if they were boiled, I might eat them, but my preference was to have no egg.  When I got older, I realized that you could have a well done fried egg, and I couldn't believe that my parent's had not taught me about this.   My parent's tried their best to get me to like the same kind of eggs as them, but a runny egg was then and still is in my opinion a gross egg. 

Sometimes, Daniel and I do this with our kids.  We want our kids to fit into the little mold we've already determined for them - from the type of eggs and foods they like to the kinds of toys we want them to play with.  Yes, as a parent, it is our job to get our kids to try new things, but it is also our job to get them to be the best they can be.  Most of the time that means accepting them for who they are and guiding them to be God's best while still being themselves.

When I was just starting out as a new mom, I thought that parenting was more about getting my child to do as I say.  Only 5 years later, and I have found getting my kids to do as I say is a very minor part of parenting.  (I'm sure I'll have to eat my words as I am still a new mom.)  When I had Princess, I followed the BabyWise books, and if she cried and I didn't know why she was crying, I just dealt with it and let her cry.  I did not try to figure it out, and this made becoming a new mom stressful.  I was trying to bond with Princess and so many people wanted to see and hold her.  She could be in the same room with me, and I would miss her because so many people wanted to hold her.  I had no idea how I was to react to any of it.  Being a people pleaser, it was hard for me to set up boundaries.  I found it baffling when other moms would expect me to know my baby and why she was crying because I did not always know why.  I was very green and clueless at first.  Though I had babysat, I never babysat babies, so I had little experience with them.  With each subsequent baby, I got better at baby communication and at understanding each one's needs.  DoodleBug has been supremely easy and pleasant, but I learned early on the way she liked to be held, to sleep, to lay in her bed.  When others held her and she fussed, I knew why.  She has rarely had to cry it out and has very little reason to distrust us (from a baby's point of view) because I have known her better as a baby.  She looks at me, grabs and kisses me, and trusts me completely.  Only time will tell if I can keep it going.

The big kids both frustrate me and please me because they each have their own identity, and though they want to please Daniel and I both, they are strong in voicing their identity and what they like.  As the mom, it is my job to investigate like a detective what makes each one tick.  The more I have attempted to get to know my children, the more my relationship with each of them has grown better.  Sometimes, this has meant that I have had to change my approach in disciplining them.

When it comes to God, He knows everything about us.  He created us and He does not have to work at figuring us out.  He knows how I like my eggs, what makes me happy or sad, and what my deepest and darkest thoughts are.  There is a freedom in that.  You can come to God and simply be, and He accepts you and understands you as you are.  As Anne of Green Gables says, "There's such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I'm such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn't be half so interesting." I don't have to be frustrated because He doesn't "get" me or because I have to be one of the many Jamie's - no, He gets all of me.  He knows I like my eggs occasionally scrambled, always well done, and sometimes poached.

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
   I'm an open book to you;
      even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.
   You know when I leave and when I get back;
      I'm never out of your sight.
   You know everything I'm going to say
      before I start the first sentence.
   I look behind me and you're there,
      then up ahead and you're there, too—
      your reassuring presence, coming and going.
   This is too much, too wonderful—
      I can't take it all in! 
Psalm 139:1-6 (the Message)


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