Sunday, July 25, 2010

My New Friend

Today I met someone new.  I have seen him from afar many times and a few times we have even brushed shoulders, but never exchanged names.  I set out to meet this mysterious character about two weeks ago.  It was more difficult to coordinate our schedules than I expected.  Not wanting to show my desperation, I hoped for a chance encounter.  I knew he was in the same town, I just had to be in the right place at the right time.  When shopping at Wal*Mart and Target, I would linger in the aisles hoping to see him.  I knew his crowd and skirted around their edges, but he eluded me.  I am actually very close to several of his type, but I wanted to meet him for myself, on my terms.  When I got up this morning, I had a feeling today would be the day.  The girls and I set out on our adventure, but I didn't tell them exactly what we were doing.  I heard a rumor he would be at Michael's today so that was stop number one on my trip.  We entered the store discreetly like any other customer.  We cruised the aisles, casually looking at the scrapbooking supplies but constantly on the lookout for him.  I knew to look carefully because sometimes he seems almost transparent.  Not seeing him, I sauntered to the wedding aisle.  Just like at Wal*Mart, I saw his kind but he was not there.  Without revealing my urgency, I asked a store employee if she had seen him recently.  She said she had and instantly took me to where he had been.  We were several yards away and she stopped.  She could see that he was no longer there.  Sensing my disappointment, she took me over to the spot, telling me all about his good looks.  I didn't need her to tell me, I knew already.  About to give up, I glanced one more time and saw him!  We both had to do a double-take, but we both knew it was him!  I instantly grabbed him, threw some money at the cashier for my items and rushed home.  It wasn't until I was safe in my room that I actually looked him in the eyes.  He is currently resting on my bed.  I don't have the heart to tell my dear package of vellum paper the plans I have for him tomorrow.  I know that we won't be together long for I must share him, but we will always have our memories.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back to School Day 3

By day 3 we have found some things that work and some that don't.  Having the neighbor kids who are still on summer break ring the doorbell every half hour to see if my kids can play doesn't work.  Telling them that if they ring the doorbell again my kids will not be outside today does work.  Hanging a sign in the window to answer the dreaded question before the doorbell is rung the first time works even better.  Here are some more things that don't work:
  • Forgetting it's a school night and letting the kids stay up until 10 pm to watch a really good movie.
  • Looking at the clock at 6:30 pm and realizing that I haven't even thought about dinner.
  • Leaving the girls unsupervised in the bathroom to put on their own powder.
And some things that do work:
  • Letting each girl teach her younger sister's spelling/sight word lesson. (The older sister gets more benefit I think from relearning skills and gaining leadership ability).
  • Having each girl bring her blankie to the carpet when I am reading aloud.  Each has her own space and stays put.
  • Giving my easily-distracted kindergartner a sticker each time she accomplishes a task.
  • Letting my phone calls go to voice mail and returning the messages during independent study.
  • Praying constantly!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school.  You may wonder why we started so early, but by the end of this entry you won't.  Everyone was very excited.  The girls each got a bag of the necessary supplies such as pencils, erasers, glue, scissors, and so on.  We learned last year to either color-code or label each girl's items to avoid confusion.  The day started simply and quietly with Bible and breakfast.  Things quickly digressed.  Our four-year-old, who was thrilled to begin kindergarten, decided that she wanted to go play when the language arts lesson began.  Our six-year-old second grader stomped her feet when she saw that her sister sat in the chair that she wanted to sit in.  Before I could say a word, our ten-year-old fifth grader was negotiating a compromise with her now cross-eyed sister.  Eager to avoid disaster on what was supposed to be a wonderful day, I attempted to   derail their discussion and get back on task.  When my attempts didn't work, I decided it was time for a break.  We had two unexpected errands that needed to be run that morning, so we all hopped in the car and smoothly, but slowly accomplished our tasks.  We had spent the night at our friends' house and by the time we returned, it was time to return home.  We ate lunch with them and loaded up to return home.  The older girls did some book work during the drive, but my new kindergartner thought it was nap time.  Not only did she sleep for the hour's drive back to Grandpa's house, but climbed into her bed and slept another four hours!  Eager to claim some of the remaining day, the rest of us gathered around the kitchen table and made dinner (wonderful lessons in math, culture, nutrition, etc).  After dinner, the girls and I went in their bedroom and read Genesis 1-3 and had a good discussion and prayer time before they went to bed.  We are ready for day 2!  We have plenty of work before us!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Basket Wedding Invitation

This is for a friend who wanted a "fun wedding invitation for simple people."  They are having a BBQ after the service, so I spun off of that theme.  The Splendor papers are from Close to my Heart and the flowers are from Celebrate It.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tell Me What You Think!

Tell me what you think of my website and be entered to win a free stamp set from Close to my Heart!  Here's how:

1) Log on to and click on the shop online tab to browse around
2) Come back here and tell us about your favorite product

A winner will be chosen from all comments on August 1st.  Winner will be announced here on August 1st, so come back to see if it's you!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Mean Mom

The Mean Mom.  I wear the title proudly.  Prouder than Superman wears his "S."  I think I may even have a T-shirt made with that on the front.  It didn't happen overnight, but there have been glimmers of it as long as I have been a mom.  My husband and I agreed early on that our daughters wouldn't wear things as toddlers that we would say no to when they were older.  No tops that show your belly, one-piece swimsuits only, no short shorts, and on and on.  So far it has worked.  We have been consistent with our expectations and the girls have made responsible choices.  Our daughters have chosen to wear shorts over their swimsuits because just a swimsuit wasn't enough for their taste.

The Mean Mom doesn't stop at clothing choices.  Television, movies, activities, how they spend their allowance, and now even friends are subject to scrutiny.  We don't usually just say no.  We ask questions and encourage our children to make choices.  Is that (show/movie/activity/friend) building your character?  Are the characters in that show demonstrating the values you want to have?  Is this really how you want to spend your money knowing that it will take you time to earn more?  Is that friend encouraging you to make good choices or influencing you to make bad choices?  Is this a place where people will be making choices that you want to make or a place that would be better to avoid.  I am happy to say that most of the time, our girls make choices that we are happy with.  Sometimes, we discuss their choices and guide them to a better choice.  This often happens with activities they share with friends.  Occasionally, we let them go down a wrong path and experience the consequences.  Once when we were driving, the girls didn't want to drink the water we had in the car.  Instead they bought sodas at the gas station.  Later, we stopped for ice cream and the girls didn't have money to buy any.  Cruel?  Not really.  Did they drink the free water next time?  Yes, and they had money for ice cream at the end of the trip.  Lesson learned.  You must live within a budget and that means making choices.  I didn't care if they used their money to buy the soda or the ice cream, I just don't want them blindly spending money as if there is no limit.

I recently overheard my oldest daughter telling the younger two that I'm not really a mean mommy.  I love them and I'm teaching them to make good choices.  She also said, "the neighbor's mom is nice, but those girls don't make very good choices because she lets them do things they shouldn't do."  Occasionally, my daughter even tells me that she is glad that I take the time to help her make good choices.  Once she asked me to help her find the perfect husband when she is ready to get married.  I think by then she won't need my help as much as she thinks she does now.

**For the record, we have amended the dress code.  Who knew that our 10-year-old would have legs so long that the only thing long enough to be modest would be bermuda shorts?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Today I heard about a man whose wife wanted a divorce after 42 years of marriage.  They still love each other and spend time together, they just live in seperate houses.  He didn't like the way she decorated the house and she didn't like his collection of stuff in the garage, so they ended the marriage.  Huh?  Really?

My husband and I have been married for 12 years and dated for 4 years before that.  In our marriage, we have been apart more than together.  Between his service in the army, working nights while I worked days, a contracting job in Iraq, and truck driving, I have hardly seen my best friend.  We have racked up countless hours on the phone and text message between calls.  We both cried along with the kids when his face appeared on the computer thanks to Yahoo Messenger.  We cherish the time we have together because we know the pain of being apart.  When my husband is home (or within driving distance), the world stops for me and nothing else matters.  We look forward to date nights, even when we end up going grocery shopping or watching a movie at home.  I am also looking forward to the time when kissing each other goodnight doesn't just happen once a week.