Thursday, August 28, 2008


If you are reading this....consider yourself TAGGED!!!

I am: a child of God
I think: I should go back to school someday (shhhh....)
I know: that I am blessed in so many ways
I want: to be the person God wants me to be
I wish: I could remember something from my 6 years of piano lessons
I hate: gossip
I miss: my brothers
I fear: loosing someone I love
I feel:'s nice not having a lot going on for a change.
I hear: Chad's video game
I smell: the air conditioner-yup! I can smell it because it smells like cats. YUCK!
I crave: chocolate and tacos
I search: for a house we can call home
I regret: the wife and mother I was the first 5 years of our marriage
I love: my husband and children
I ache: for others who face hardships in their lives
I care: for people
I always: kiss my husband 3 times in a row
I am not: perfect
I believe: that there is a reason for everything even when I don't understand
I sing: in the car
I cry: when I'm mad,sad, happy and often when I'm feeling sympathetic for others
I write: to express what I'm feeling
I win: when I'm able to bless others
I lose: when I get stressed out
I never: want to miss an opportunity
I confuse: peoples names-especially my kids
I listen: to all the cute things my kids say
I can usually be found: at home or at church
I am scared: of missing
I need: to go to bed!!! geesh! it's late!
I am happy about: how well the kids are adjusting to school
I hope: to make a difference-even if it's a small one

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Little Buddies

Is it such a terrible thing that I try to manipulate who my children are friends with?? I want my kids to be friends with other kids who are going to lift them up, encourage them, make good choices and grow up with memories of good, strong friendships. Is it really so bad to sway them in certain directions???

Today Samuel and I met Emery and his mommy Sarah at the zoo. The boys are both "experienced" walkers now. We let them out of their strollers to explore a little more independently. They seemed to have fun. So much in fact, that they never once turned around so I could get a picture of them A. Together and B. Looking at me.

They are both very unaware of one another still. But with some more play dates, growing a little older and some slight manipulation from the mommies, I'm certain they will grow up buds!

Both Emery and Little Dude seemed to like the ducks the best. You see, "Duck" is Emery's favorite word and Little Dude fell in love with ducks on our vacation.

We had a good time. Remember how I said I thought I was manipulating my children's friends??? Well, it got me thinking of all the ways/chances Sarah and I could have met. We actually met on our Walk to Emmaus weekend. But it just so happens that our in-laws live across the street from one another, we both graduated from the same high school within a few years of one another, and her sister is friends with my mom. seems we were meant to run into one another at one time or another. I have truly been blessed and inspired by her story, her strength, her bravery in showing when she's hurt and/or scared and in the fact that her faith has remained strong throughout this journey that she has been on. I remember reading their Carepage and now Blog thinking how much I was looking forward to our boys being able to meet and hopefully grow up being friends. That day has arrived!!!! I look forward to more play dates and hopefully they will pose for a picture one day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I So "Escited"...

Yesterday morning at 6 a.m. I was laying in bed knowing that I needed to get up and get The Boy up and moving. I heard some noises coming from the living room and I tried to figure out which kid it was. It didn't take me long to realize the quick moving bare feet on the floor were BuhBuh's. Then a moment after that I realized what he was doing; he was cleaning up the living room!

The Daddy got up out of bed and BuhBuh came in and took The Daddy's place.

Me: Were you cleaning up the living room

: Uh-huh. I wanted to surprise you

Me: Honey, why were you cleaning?

BuhBuh: I just so 'escited' for school that I can't sleep.

Me: You know that you don't start until tomorrow right?

: Uh-huh, I just so 'escited'

I did get a little choked up yesterday as we were heading into town to do some grocery shopping. I was telling him how nice it was to go and be able to do this with him his last day before kindergarten because he has been my little shopping buddy for the past almost 6 years now! He was, as always, a good little shopper so we had a Starbucks treat afterwards. (which btw, I think they FORGOT to put the coffee in my drink as it was pink. EWWWW)

We had a chill out day yesterday after The Boy got home from school which was nice. And since we had all gotten up so early yesterday, BuhBuh fell asleep while I was reading to him...he's never done that before!! When I came back downstairs, Little Dude was also already asleep. I once again procrastinated (read as: WASTED my time playing Sims) my bedtime knowing what today was to be.

We were up bright and early again....although BuhBuh wanted to know WHY I was up in the night time. The funny thing is it was only a wee bit later than he was cleaning yesterday. As soon as he realized that TODAY was the first day, he was soooo "escited"!!

It was kind of nice having an hour between bus times. BuhBuh was all ready and there was no mad rush to get out the door. I made sure to steal some bonus hugs before he left. We went and did our normal first day of school pictures.

We looked like a mini army heading up to the bus stop: Me, The Daddy, Little Dude and Gpa B!! Bus time wasn't so bad. This was a normal routine. Everyday for the past two years BuhBuh has gotten on the same bus, with the same driver, at the same time and gone to the same school because he was in the PreK program at our elementary school. I was there, chatting with my bus stop mommy friends, watching the kids, sipping coffee. He was comfortable, he knew what to expect and he looked like a pro!!! So, to me it didn't really feel like a big change.

It will be tomorrow when it will be weird when he's not here for lunch.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Middle School Already?????

The first picture is of The Boy's first day of school today.....his first day of Middle School!!!! The second picture was taken 5 years ago on his first day of first grade. WHERE has time gone???? And why has it gone so fast??? Middle School???? Really???? Already????

As we pulled into the parking lot of the Middle School last night to get his schedule and locker assignment he said, "These kids all look so big." Funny how he was thinking the same thing I was. We practiced the locker several times and helped him find his classes so he could meet all of his teachers. He seemed pretty excited.

Last night I was procrastinating my bedtime because I knew what this morning was. I'm sad partly because I wish that I could either freeze time or at least slow it down to keep my kids from growing up so quickly!! But I can't and I know that. I was worried about the transition between being in a contained classroom in elementary school to changing classes and teachers in middle school. I am worried about how to parent a pre-teen child and help them to continue to learn and grow and feel good in their own skin while dealing with all the changing hormones and drama that can come during this season of his life. I am worried about him having friends, about him having good friends and about how others will treat him. I am worried about how he will react if he is ever faced with a negative situation. I just have to trust in the young man that he is and know that he does makes good choices and know does not put up with people who don't. I just hope that others don't take advantage of my sweet boy. What's a mother to do??

I also have academic worries. I've told him the secret to success in Middle School is organization. Towards the end of 4th grade we did a ADHD screening which scored him at about 70% with his biggest challenge fell into the inattentiveness part of ADHD. I have refused to label him as such because it's just a label. I don't want him to ever feel that he is in any way different, he just has different ways of learning and doing things and occasionally needs guidance towards the best way. I worry too that he may have a little bit of a learning disability called dysgraphia.....he hasn't been screened for this like he has the ADHD, so I'm not sure if it's just part of the ADHD or if it is an additional challenge for him.

My goal this year is to be in early contact with the school counselor about my concerns and worries, and to watch his grades closely so that we can fix any problems that may arise. I want to be in regular contact with his language arts/communications teacher because this is the area he struggles with most. I need to be patient because I know from the past that homework is a struggle. I need to be his advocate and voice if there are academic struggles so he doesn't get lost. I need to be his biggest supporter and try my best to keep his confidence and self-esteem up. I feel that it is extremely important for him to learn the ways in which he learns best now so that he can have a successful academic Middle School experience which hopefully will carry on through high school and beyond.

Well, he is home now....he clearly survived and just told me, "I really like my new school."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Kid Day

Friday August 15th 7:45 a.m.

BuhBuh: Hey dad, can you open this for me???

Daddy: Sure buddy.


Daddy: WAIT A MINUTE!!!!! POP for BREAKFAST?????

BuhBuh: Don't worry dad, it's "do whatever you want" morning.
runs off sipping his drink

For the past couple of summers I've let the kids have an entire day of whatever they wanted. A mostly, no NO day. They get to eat whatever they want, drink whatever they want, play their video games without mom saying, "turn them off, you've played all day" and they can watch as much TV as possible. Everything has to be safe and still abide to the house rules. Like yesterday when The Boy was watch Cartoon Network, I did tell him to change it to something else because even though it was "do whatever you want" morning, Cartoon Network is mostly off limits in our house.

We weren't able to devote an entire day to this household kid holiday because we had other things to do and have basically run out of summer. So at 11 they were asked to turn everything off, get dressed and brush their teeth...REALLY GOOD. We packed up and made a Subway run then headed to the park for a play date with friends. Then after we got home they were able to play with the neighbor for awhile before Gma and Gpa picked them up for the weekend.

So, even though they didn't get an entire day of doing whatever they wanted, it still ended up pretty good I think.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cleaning the Mississippi Mud

I just got home today from a week long Youth Mission trip. It was a long, hard week, but it was good because God is good All The Time! It was a week full of mud, corn, dust, heat, KIDS, no sleep, challenges, learning, praising, worshiping, growing and blessings. All The Time, God is Good!!!

The Boy and I left from home last Sunday around 1:30. It was hard leaving the others behind especially since I had never left Little Dude home before. 9 youth ages 11-16 and 4 adults piled into two vehicles and headed for Quincy, Illinois. When we got to Quincy we met up with another group from Lincoln, Illinois which was made up of 5 more youth and one more adult. One of the United Methodist Churches in the area had offered to let us use there Church for the week. Bless them for their willingness to allow us to literally take over their church the week of their big Ice Cream Social.

We began our work on Monday morning on a family farm. The water had filled to about 6 inches below the ceiling. The dry wall and insulation was out. But it was amazing at the difference that our crew was able to make. As a group we did things like remove nails from the studs, gutting the basement, cleaning out buildings, cleaning up around the yard, removing nails from the sub-floor, cleaning off the bricks that had been knocked off of the house from the waves of the river pounding up against the house, did lots of sweeping, finished gutting the garage, took out the duct work from the home, walked the length of the fields picking up garbage and debris left behind by the water. This was most of the kids first work trip, and they all worked their tails off EVERY DAY!!! The first day we were there The Boy was eager to try out his new rubber boots in the icky basement. He and I worked down there together taking down paneling and getting it gutted....I found it ironic that I HATE my basement but had no problem working down there for three days. I suppose it's different when you are doing it FOR someone else whose needs are more than you can imagine. On Thursday we went to another farm just down the road and did various odd jobs. I spent the entire day raking corn husks that ended up in their yard.

We were so blessed in so many ways while we were there which made this trip possible for these kids. The church that opened their doors to us for sleeping, cooking and eating the week of their big Ice Cream Social, the same church provided us dinner one evening so that we didn't have to come back and cook, Chaddock which allowed us to use their showers at the end of the day and let the kids also use their swimming pool, another UMC offered to buy us dinner out one evening at Buffalo Wild Wings the week that they were doing VBS at their church and then invited our kids to join them for their VBS swim party afterwards, the Red Cross for bringing us our lunch to the work sight everyday, the son of the homeowners who took the time and patient to help the kids whenever they needed something, his wife for designing our t-shirts and the home owners for paying for them. The hospitality and generosity itself was overwhelming.

Then there were the kids. 10 out of 13 of the kids on this trip were from broken homes. Some were being raised by grandparents, some had parents in jail, one girl lost her dad a few years back in a car accident and was moving across country with her family to start over. One sweet, hard working girl was clearly having a down day and said she didn't sleep well because she didn't want to go home....not because she wanted to continue to work necessarily but because home was that bad. Two of the kids were in constant need of attention and nurturing and guidance. It was a very high needs group of kids which in itself drained you mentally and spiritually. But my prayer is God remains their rock and that they continue to trust in HIM for the strength they need to preserver. I also pray that they were each able to take something home with them in which they learned from this experience that will help them continue to grow.

After 5 days of hard work we ended the week at Six Flags in St. Louis. What a BLAST I, uh, WE all had!!!! Roller coasters and water rides seemed to be the favorite for everyone. At 7 we saw Newsboys in concert there in the park. They were AWESOME!!! All of the kids really seemed to enjoy it. When the concert was over we had time to ride a roller coaster in the dark!

On a personal note, this was an AWESOME time with The Boy. I really enjoyed working side-by-side with him in the yucky, yucky basement, I enjoyed being there to help encourage him, I enjoyed the one-on-one time that I was able to give just to him without the interruptions of little brothers, I enjoyed screaming our way (my way, he didn't scream) through roller coasters and singing and dancing next to him at the concert.

On a spiritual note, I thought that maybe youth ministry and missions was the place that God has been calling me to serve. This past week just proved those feelings to be true. I know I'm serving in my church just where I should be. I hope that I can be more involved in youth ministry and missions as God allows.