December 19, 2013

Leave the Crazy behind this Christmas

Stop jumping up and down, I am not talking about having one less seat at the Christmas dinner table for "that" family member...
This is actually one of my normal relatives if that tells you anything.
While out shopping this Christmas Season, I was beginning to think, do I not like people anymore? Or have they just becoming more annoying? ...And parking a mile away is irritating... And why does someone have to sneeze on me in every store?

List, let me look at my LIST. Which BTW has been rewritten no less than ten times.

Thanksgiving was less than a month ago. I was so thankful...for everything...I couldn't post on the 30 days of Facebook thanks because I had 1,000 thanks. Too many things to post, it couldn't possibly fit in 30 posts. It was all pumpkin pie and scarecrows.  How quickly I forgot that Thanksgiving isn't a holiday, but a way of life.

Now I am cranky and irritated and way to busy with "Christmas Stuff".

 And I am having to budget in more time for a daily bath in hand sanitizer thanks to Sneezy.

Then I felt really ashamed, because many have a heavy heart this Christmas. Some people are reminded of those that have passed this time of year-whether many years ago or last year. Some people are leaving a loved one behind in the hospital to heal. Some people can't come home to be with their family.  And some people are mourning a very recent loss of a loved one.
So how dare I get irritated and impatient. For one, that is not what the Christmas Spirit is about... it is about love.

So hug your relatives extra tight this year, even the crazy ones.

Let your heart be filled - not with "Christmas Stuff" - but with many  thanks and "The Christmas Spirit", and love on those that have one less seat at the dinner table. 

October 7, 2013

Parenting is risky business

One of the biggest risk factors is driving your child to school..... in your pajamas.

Even riskier.... driving them in your pajamas when the car line is about to close.  Then you do what I believe the school calls the "Mommy Walk of Shame."

Thankfully, it has only happened to me once....okay, maybe twice....well, no more than three times.  The most memorable Mommy Walk of Shame outfit I had on included slippers, my husband's oversized camo fleece, and baggy plaid pants.  I know, you are thinking my husband is one lucky man.

I am no mathematician, but I found myself doing some math on a recent car line visit (while I was in yet again, my pajamas, and watching the clock tick). Approximately eight vehicles should be able to pull forward and drop off in about a thirty seconds to a minute.  
My calculations were way off as I watched the car line turn into an I-85 traffic jam. 
As I was thirty seconds away from total humiliation, and I pondered that I could be leaving the house earlier.

But instead I came up with a some hints for the parents making car line last way too long.

Goodbye should begin at home.  It may be something like this, "Here's a hug before we leave. I love you and have a wonderful day!  Now sweetie, let's get going. We have 30 minutes before carline ends" OR  "HURRY, HURRY! Get your breakfast, get your shoes and get your backpack and get in the car!" Nonetheless, all this letting go should begin prior to the car door opening. 

As you pull up to the school, pretend the shuttle is about to take off. 
Give your child a heads up that they will have to be ready to exit the vehicle in 5 minutes... 4 minutes... 3 minutes... 2 minutes.... 1 minute.

Siblings should not hang out the top of the car in carline.
This one I threw in for a friend,
this happens frequently at their school.  
Your child should already have their shoes on before you stop to have them exit your vehicle.  And in hand, their backpack, lunch box and any projects.

Parents should not exit the vehicle when dropping off.  The adults that we entrust our children with all day, can assist the kids getting out of the car.
And last but not least, don't EVER wear your pajamas to drive your kids to school.

Unless you want to humiliate your children on purpose, and that will be a whole other blog post!


August 6, 2013

Check this Back-To-School Item off your list

Backpack - check
Lunch box - check
Clothes - check
Shoes - check

School supplies - check. Even the last minute add-ons they do in the 11th hour.
And it's a big year here at our house, we have a MIDDLE SCHOOL-ER.

And though I have bought the necessary supplies, how do I prepare my children for bullies, snarky kids, and just plain mean people? 

We have already dealt with some not so nice mouthy kids. I offered three suggestions:

1. You gotta get thick skin and ignore them
2. Tell them something witty, like, "You will probably still be living with your parents when you are 40 and I will remember this when I am your boss"
3. Kindly offer them some laxative infused brownies


Number one turned out to be the best. 

And, I remember middle school.... aah.....Brandy was gonna beat me up on numerous occasions. Probably because I wore fake K-Mart Nikes or something silly like that.  We had a good laugh ten years later when I saw her and said, "Remember when...."

I am sure she is still living with her parents. 

So, as I was sitting in the Middle School parking lot on "Meet the teacher" night with my child, I saw one 6th grader wearing a backpack.  I casually said, "Ooo, aren't you glad you didn't wear your backpack on meet the teacher night?"
The reply after a long pause, "Mom, that's my friend."

Oops.  Just add that comment to my other one about the highlighters and pens in the outside pocket of the backpack looking baby-ish... Hey, I am parent of the year here.   
But a nice note written to my child from a fellow parent reminded me that maybe the tools our kids need aren't that far out of reach after all.  And I am going to learn to keep my mouth shut.  Really.


July 15, 2013

The Spirit of The League

We have all been there as parents.
Whether at a sporting event, school or recreational activity,
watching your child succeed at something and you find yourself tearing up
 - brimming over with pride and emotion -
and you may or may not refrain from yelling,
 "That's MY kid!"
It was a County Championship Swim Meet,
comprised of more 40 teams split among four sessions.
All the parents were seated comfortably in the stands
on the plastic flip down chairs made for really tiny people.
  (Reminiscent of an airplane,
but at least on the airplane there are only rows of three.)
"Excuse me, pardon me.. excuse me, pardon me, excuse me..,
excuse me... pardon me, excuse me, excuse me...."
In the third session, the stands were packed.
We all became very close.
Obviously, we are all cheering for our team's swimmers.
That's a given.
 But I noticed half way through the session,
once the parents around us realized who our kids were,
 they started cheering for our kids too.
It was no longer competitors with team spirit,
but parents-sharing in each other's joy.

Whether our "new friends" heard our child's name called,
saw they were heat winner, or just that they swam hard,
there was a nod of approval and parents were congratulating the
 parents from competing teams.
And when another teams swimmer broke their own sibling's county record,
we were all congratulating them.
(I won't mention their names because I got in trouble with my kids for talking about it,

 but I will so be looking for them at the Olympics!)

And then the moment came. 
 The parents right in front of us were watching their child
(from a competing team)
 in the final heat-in the fastest lane.
They went crazy, hollering, cheering, jumping up and down,
and then when he won, hugging and crying.
And that's when I found myself crying too,
because after all the competition is over,
we are all parents at the end of the day.   

May 1, 2013

Leaving of a legacy

When I first heard my 90 year old Grandma
had fallen ill and was terminal,
my first thought
(other than the gut wrenching sobbing and snot slinging)
was, the end..... of an era. 

 My mind said that she lived a wonderful and full 90 years,
but my heart was so very sad.
After travelling to NY to see her for the last time,
I no longer feel it is the end of an era.
 As God calls her home to be with my Grandpa
whom she loved dearly,
I now feel like it is the beginning of her legacy.

She is at home and most definitely
surrounded by love and family,
and it is how they are loving her that represents her legacy.

Loved ones praying for her,
gently holding her hand,
sleeping by her bedside or on the couch near her,
listening to the monitor in case she makes a sound,
giving medicine as needed,
calling from all over the world to let her know they love her
and hear her voice,
bringing flowers to her,
thanking her for everything she has done and 
all the prayers she has prayed,
 kissing her forehead,
even arguing about what will make her most comfortable. 
Even in those moments of disagreement,
it is a example of how much she is loved.

 Not just one, but two priests came to pray with her at the house,
bring her communion and / or read her last rites.
If you include the priest from the hospital,
we think she had her last rites read three times, 
 she is in the Lord's hands.
 She is a witness for her love of the Lord
by the way she  clings to her rosaries saying prayers. 
This is all the mark of a woman who loved her children deeply,
all thirteen of them, 
and showed her family the power of love and prayer. 
A woman who taught those around her
to look at the world
 through rose colored glasses,
literally and figuratively.

She will be missed terribly,
as Grandpa is to this day,
however she will still live on in each person
that was lucky enough to know and love her.  

It is not just her legacy, but their legacy.
 And as she is being called home and takes this journey,
I pray for her to be at peace.
"Angels are everywhere,
one has only to be still to hear the rustle of a wing."

January 28, 2013

You can learn a lot from Duck Dynasty

We are new fans of the hit show Duck Dynasty
and have been watching ALL the episodes.
Without further ado, here is my list of
“Everything you ever needed to know,
you can learn from Duck Dynasty”
Snippets from Uncle Si
Warm donuts are always best
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover
Know how to sew, you may never know when it comes in handy
Naps are great
Dating teenagers need chaperones
Know what you like and what is special to you
Wisdom from Phil
Pray before a meal
Always think your wife is hot and love her cooking
Learn the art of having your wife “think” you are listening
Listen to your mama
A teenage boy shouldn’t touch his girlfriend below the shoulders...
dating teenagers need chaperones
Nothing is impossible
You should know how to fish
Treasures from Miss Kay
Dogs are members of the family
Use your God given talent to bless others~especially your family and your church
Don’t be afraid to eat a piece of Boudin because you might gain an ounce
Apologize and hug it out
Eat dinner as a family
A woman should know her way around a kitchen
Education from Jase
All work and no play is no fun
When teenagers kiss, they should just be holding hands~always
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again
It’s fun to ruffle peoples feathers
If you love your job, you will work harder
Expertise from Willie
Have a good work ethic
If a boy wants to date your teenage daughter, take him hunting and intimidate him
It’s good to have an entrepreneurial spirit
Sometimes you gotta let your hair down and relax
Teamwork is best
Make sure your children know how to drive before well before they get a license
Observations of Jep
Sometimes it benefits to be the baby of the family

And last but NOT least
What we can learn from the wives
Know how to go with the flow
Love your husbands and love your babies
Sometimes you don't have to know how to cook

January 15, 2013

Sandy Hook ~ A month later

Every Christmas Eve, in Tarpon Springs, Florida on the Bayou,
they light thousands of white luminary bags with a candle for someone special.
It is a beautiful sight. 
 Normally, these bags have the names of those living and deceased..... 
but this year, they mostly were in memory of someone.   
There was a large section dedicated to the 
Sandy Hook Elementary School children. 
 My oldest was overwhelmed by all the children's names and began crying, saying, 
"I just feel like if I can remember one persons name and pray for them, 
I have helped in some way." 

I was moved.... proud.... and sad. 

I think it is safe to say, the holidays had a somber underlying tone for everyone. 
I had also read about a little girl in Griffin, GA who was found dead Dec. 22. 
She was only nine. 
Her neighbor was arrested almost immediately, maybe that is why it didn't make the national news.  

Her name is Skylar Dials. 

Thankfully, my children knew nothing of it. 

I couldn't stop thinking about her though... I figured that was the least I could do. 

Last night my youngest was up till 11:00 p.m., calling out every so often,
"Mom, dad, are you there?"
"Just making sure you are okay."

This isn't part of our "normal" bedtime routine. 
I think the sporadic new bedtime has something to do with the poem my oldest had just written, so here it is,
The Sandy Hook Massacre through a child's eyes. 

As everyday passes by,
I wonder why things happen the way they do.
And I try and try not to dwell on it. 
But I get to thinking…
They didn’t deserve to die,
Why was it so many lives?
Those innocent, 
Don’t deserve to die. 
At least they lived happy lives.
We’ll grieve and grieve,
But try to accept it.
‘Cause they didn’t deserve this.
What did they do to you.
Did they ever hurt him in any way?
Why, why did he take their lives and his own?
What a cowardly act,
doing that.
Every time I think about it I am chilled to the bone.
So why, why…
Did he kill them all?
They were so small. 
They didn’t have to die,
but they did.
And he did.

Once again, I am moved.... proud.... and sad.