Monday, June 28, 2010

I am moved to tears

Bug is upstairs playing with a little two year old boy that we are watching.

We can hear Bug saying to him "Yeah, God!" and his little friend repeats after him "Yeah, God!"

Shortly after we heard Bug saying, "We love you, Jesus!" and the little guy repeating just that sentiment.

I adore how my children are so willing to lead their friends from church...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jellybean wanted to see what has been happening in Haiti lately.  The only video I could find was an old news video from when the earthquake first happened.

After several minutes of quiet contemplation (once the video stopped), Jellybean asked me, "Mommy, what can I do for the people of Haiti?".

"Baby, other than praying for them still, I don't know."

A few more moments of quiet as she  fell deep into her great big loving heart.
"Mommy, I know that they are now doing a bit better but on the video those children were so scared and sad.  When I am scared and sad I like to snuggle my teddybears.  Maybe we can send them teddybears."

I had to admit to her that I wouldn't even know where to begin anything of that magnitude and the few teddybears we have here may not be accepted due to the small number.  But I also told her that I have great readers who may know how to go about that or know of a foundation where she could add her teddybears for those children.

Her biggest fear is that the people of Haiti will question whether God loves them or not since some people think that this was His way of punishing them.  We know that that is far from the truth.  God is good.  Everything that is in Him is good! And she fears that they will think God is responsible for their pain, loss and sadness.

So, any ideas? Suggestions? Pointers?

Just as a sidenote: My heart just swells with joy and pride at how compassionate and caring my children are. I am truly blessed to be entrusted with the lives of these precious children.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In matters of style swim with the current, in matters of principle stand like a rock

Bug goes through stages of not wanting his hair cut.  He ends up looking like a ragamuffin, realizes he doesn't like it and, as in the case of the above picture, cuts his own hair.  Yikes.  Straight across bangs on a boy is just "Not In" {grin}

So, mama took him to the salon to fix his style mishap.

And there he is looking like a rock star with his style of choice... the faux hawk - something he can make into a hawk if he wants to or wear like a "youn' genelman" (spelling is intentional).

Within reason, I am not going to make arguments with my children regarding matters of clothing and style (the issues we will have with them relate to bodily coverage); I encourage them to live out their own personal personalities - follow the guidelines with a twist.

 Bug likes orange. On "chapel days" at school, he may where his dress pants and shirt but wear a bright orange or some other expressive tie.  He is also likely to wear his faux leather "biker" jacket with his shirt and tie.

Jellybean, wanted her hair cut short and, as much as it pained me to allow her to rid herself of her beautiful golden curls, that is just what we did.  We are now, thankfully for mommy, growing it back out as she did not like short hair as much as she thought she would.  Regardless, she is a beautiful girl so why fight over something of personal taste?

The above quote by Thomas Jefferson somes up how I feel about the fashion styles of my children. I do, as I said, have ammendments to that quote or our own fashion commandments such as "thou shall not dress like a houchy mama", "thou shall dress in freshly laundered, non-stained items when doing anything more than playing outside", and "thou shall not covet thy friends wardrobe and be satisfied with what mom and dad can provide for you".  You know, just to name a few.

What about you?  What are your commandents of attire for your children/future children?

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'll love you forever...no matter what

As I have mentioned before, my brother-in-law has not been a constant part of our lives but that has not changed the fact that my children love him to pieces and the feeling is mutual.

Uncle Hammer taught the kids a culinary delight when he joined us the last time...

Roasted weiners with ripple chips smooshed into the bun with the hot dog.

The kids thought he was a genius!

They have applied this technique to everything they can think of.


I don't know if it's because it is actually good or because this tip came from their dear Uncle Hammer.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Who we fightin'?"

We took the kids to 7-11 last night to pick up some small slurpees.  While Bug and I waited in the car, he saw the cage filled with 20 lb propane tanks.

"Mama? Are those bombs?"

"No, honey, they are propane tanks."

"Tanks!?!  Who we fightin'!?"

"No, dear, tanks for the bbq."

"We have to fight the bbq?"

"No..ah, never mind..."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"I'd like to make a report"

That is how Jellybean began her conversation with the manager of the restaurant we took BigDaddy to on Father's Day.

She went to the washroom and, at some point, I began to think she had been gone just a bit too long and went looking for her, wondering if she was feeling all right.

I found her standing at the doorway into another part of the restaurant searching for someone.

"What't the matter, baby?  You doin' ok?"

"Yes, mama but, I saw some swears on the bathroom stall wall and I have to make a report."

"To the manager?"

"Yes!"

"Do you know who you're looking for, honey?"

"Yes.  There she is. I have to make my report now, Mom."

So, I let her go off to speak with the manager to file her "report".

I, proudly, informed my husband and the other two couples we were with of her mission.  We all decided that we wish we had her boldness, her conviction and her desire to change things that don't sit well with her and her beliefs or desires. Her biggest concern for the swearing on the wall, after all, was that she didn't want other children to see those words and think they were ok.

We asked her how it went once she got back to the table.

"Good. I told them there were swears on the wall and the manager, she said she would get it painted."

And she carried on eating her dinner like it was no big deal...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Is that your final answer?

Recently I have had a few of the single moms, one in particular, from the church asking me about disciplining their children and how to do it.  These ladies have absolutely no control over their children, who are constantly running off from them, hitting other children, destroying stuff.

My advice to them? Are you being consistent?  Do you have rules/guidelines that are enforced or do you let something go time after time and then demand for them not to do it every so often? Are you one of those parents who tell your children 'if you do that one more time.' and then let them do it sixteen more times?

Most of the time they look down at their feet, a little embarassed, shift their eyes away from me and tell me that, yes, indeed, that is what they do.

Consistency is the key.

We have rules and consequences written on a paper in a binder at our house.  If you break a rule, you know ahead of time what the price is to be paid for committing such an act.  This also helps us as the parents to not respond out of anger when our children do something deemed unacceptable. We carry out the punishment each and every time our children do something wrong.  Consistency.

The one mom who asks me for help all the time is a couch parenter.  She will yell at her children from her couch (or wherever), demanding them to stop but there is no instruction or teaching or consequences for not listening to what she says. "If you do that one  more time..." is her answer to everything and there is never any follow through.

I asked her one day if she thought her children took her seriously, if she thought her children hadn't figured out that "one more time" was never going to come. I told her that she needed to tell her children to stop what they are doing one time and that is the only chance they get; the discipline needs to follow. I explained that discipline is not neccessarily spanking your children because you get frustrated after the 16 bazillionth time of "if you do that one more time".  Discipline is enforcing what you said through time-outs, taking away priviledges, things like that.  Not neccessarily spanking.

Have I spanked my children? (hot topic here for some) Yes, I have. Very, very rarely and never a whooping, as I have heard some say. I have 7 children and I can count on my fingers the amount of "spankings" I have given. I have given my children a swat while speaking to them in a stern, serious voice, and by swat, I mean the "spanks" have never had enough force behind them to kill a housefly. I don't think striking my child is the answer to all their wrong doings.  I believe teaching them and explaining to them the consequences or ramifications of what they have done are more important and discussing with them what better options might be and I believe in consistency.  I am not saying that those discussions never end with my husband or I explaining to them that they are grounded from playing with their friends or that they are grounded from the wii or tv or something because most often they are.

And I find that to be the best discipline for our children.  I think because we have spent their entire lives doing that. They know that our 'yes' is 'yes', our 'no' is 'no' and our 'stop it' is 'stop it'.

I asked that mom, if she ever carried through with what she said she was going to do and she, honestly, said no.  I asked her if she thought that gave her any credibility with her children.  Before you utter the words "if you do that one more time I will..." make sure it's your final answer.  Children feel safe and secure when they have guidelines and boundaries, and when they have consequences to their bad behaviors.  You don't teach them consequences and you will wind up with teenagers who can't hold a job because they have no honor or respect for their employer, they won't know how to follow the rules of the business and they will quit the minute they don't get their own way.  Trust me, I work with a lot of those kids.

So, next time you begin to say "if you do that one more time I will..." ask yourself, "Is that my final answer? Will I carry through with this?  Am I saying this out of anger and frustration and is what I am about to say the most ridiculous thing?". Be willing to carry it out.  Out of frustration I told an 11 year old Rush that she would not be able to go to "the" birthday party of the year because of something she had done.  I felt bad after but knew I had to stick to my guns.  I got weak.  I called my dad for back-up, for guidance, for reassurance that I was doing the right thing. He said I had to stick to my words.  Above all else be a parent of your word.

So? Is that your final answer?

*Disclaimer: I, by no means, claim to be an expert parenter.  I am merely going by my experiences of raising 7 children and, thus far, living to share about it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

B is for Daddy

Yesterday Bug was practicing some of his writing and letter association.

He wrote an "F" telling me it was for "father" and an "M" for "mother".  "K" was for kids and then he wrote the first letter of each of his brothers' and sisters' names.

Bug then wrote a "B" and said, "That is for 'daddy'."

"Honey," I said to him, "Daddy starts with a 'd'."

"Um, yeah Mama, I know but I can't call him by his name; can I?"

What a great level of respect and honor my children have for their father.  It makes me so proud of them.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thank you

To the dads in my life...my husband, my dad, my step-dad, my brother, my grandfathers (who have passed on)...
To the father-figures in my life.. my pastor, to one of the elders in our church (who also happens to be my husband's best friend).

I am so grateful to all of you for being in my life.  You have contributed to my life so much more than you will ever know.  You are my heroes.

Dad, you raised three children by yourself and you did a fantastic job! I am so thankful for every discipline, for every correction, for every tear that fell in the safety of your room, for every heart break and every frustration you endured on our behalf or because of us.

I have never felt more loved or protected than when I was in your arms or you were stroking my hair to comfort me.

BigDaddy, you have accepted Rush as your own from the moment you met her. Thank you.  Thank you for raising our children to the best of your ability, for always being willing to learn from your mistake or to be taught by others.  Thank you for leading us, for providing for us, watching out for us...

R.G. (my step-dad), thank you for accepting my brother, sister and I into your family.  Thank you for watching out for my daughter and caring for her (even though we don't see eye to eye on her being there in the first place).

Little Bro, thank you for being such a great dad to my two nephews, for being such a great single parent up until the last year.  You rock!  Thank you for being such a good example and role model to my children.

Grandpas, I love you... I miss you to the moon and back.  You are thought of often and never forgotten.  The lessons you taught me are being passed on to the next generation.  Your legacies continue.

Pastor Kevin, thank you for being a spiritual father, for guiding me, correcting me, teaching me and training me, for not allowing me to wallow in self-pity, for your strength and for the passion, intensity and commitment you put into growing and learning and pastoring us.

Wayne, thanks. You mean more to us than I ever would have imagined.  You are loved, appreciated and are family.  "Whaddya think about that?" {wink}

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, DADS (brothers, uncles, grandpas)!!!!!  We love you!  You are appreciated.  The role you play in your children's lives can not be duplicated or replicated! Enjoy your day...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

You want to what?!?!?!

This beautiful girl

You know, the one who will be 10 years old at the end of November?

The cute one?

The one that goes by Jellybean on this blog and, a great deal of time, at home...?

Yeah! That one.

She wants me to teach her how to shave her legs when she has her next bath!

Um, hello! Wasn't it just last week we were working on how to say 'mama'?

No?

Longer ago than that?

Hmm!  Pretty sure that was last week...

Did you just hear that!?  The popping?

Yup, pretty sure I just heard another gray hair pop out of my head. 

Uh huh! There it is.  {sigh}

Friday, June 18, 2010

5 Question Friday

Wow, it's been a while since I have participated in MamaM's 5 Question Friday. I've been a little busy *ahem* unpacking and stuff.

But I shant dwell on the past any longer.  I will lift up my head and, without shame, guilt or other such condemnation, throw myself back into the swing of things. {grin - remember I am the drama writer at the skit,  I think over-acting may be my middle name}

Anywho, without further delay present to you my answers for 5QF.

1. What is your favorite thing about summertime?

Oooo, tough question.  Could we make the word "thing" plural?  Please? I have to answer plural.  There is no one "thing".  Water and camping and water fights and basking, boating and fishing and hiking and sunning.  These are a few of my favorite things...

Sorry, got carried away singing... {grin}

2. What is your ideal retirement location (if money didn't matter)?

Retire?  Isn't that something you do to a car?  {grin} I don't know if I have plans to retire. Perhaps I will "retire" from a job but I have plans to work as long as I can in some facet of ministry.

3. Do you live in the same town you grew up in?

I live VERY close to the same town I grew up in.  In fact, this is the closest town to the farming community I did live in.  I left here for a time (a few years) but it is home and I was drawn back.  You know, it's not quite as boring as it was when I was a teenager.  Huh!  Go figure.

4. What nervous habit did you have as a child that you kicked to the curb before becoming an adult?

You know, I can't think of any.  Which probably means I never kicked them, right?  All I know is I don't turn eleventy-hundred shades of red when I get asked to speak anymore!  Um, yes, eleventy-hundred is so a number!  Don't believe me?  Do we need to poll some of my elementary school classmates?  Huh? Huh? Huh?  Didn't think so!

5. What is the most embarrassing thing that happened to you while on the job?
 
Working switchboard at the hospital.  We worked in a plexiglass enclosure, lovingly (or not so lovingly) dubbed the fishbowl.  Outside of the fishbowl was the flower "shop", a cooler, that we switchboard operators took care of as well as manning the kijillion phone calls (you're not going to doubt this one are you?).  I happened to be helping someone to get flowers out of the cooler when the phone rang so I sprinted off to answer the phone only to push against the door instead of pulling and ran right smack into it in front of all the people waiting to be seen in Emerg and, well, everyone in the foyer.
 
At least I did not need to become an E.R. patient that night.  I think that would have topped it off in the embarassment category...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

If this keeps up I may quack

Seriously. 

There has been so much rain...

Rain...

Rain...

There are puddles EVERY where!!!

Not just little puddles!

Puddles that, when you go through them, blind you.

My wipers could not keep up.  They would clear the window for a brief second and then, BANG, blinded!

There has been so much rain here this spring that the water table is VERY high.  Great for next year's farm season.  This year?  Not so much.  It has also been great for lowering the number of forest fires we normally seem to have.

I am feeling soggy and wrinkly - you know, like I have spent way too much time in the bath tub or something.  {grin}

Summer?  Did you break up with us? Why the silent treatment?  Was it something we said?

Certainly hoping the weather in your area is much more favorable and, well, summer-like!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In order to catch up

in two of her classes, Jellybean will be doing some school work over the summer holiday (which begins this Saturday!)

We, meaning Jellybean, will be working on getting her Social Studies level up and doing some more Math.  Math is mainly so she keeps working at it over the summer, as it is not her favorite subject and I think she needs to "practice" instead of get Summer Vacay Brain.

C'mon, you all know what I mean.

So, we set some guidelines because Summer is still about fun and relaxing.  She can work on school work for about 45 minutes a day (while I am at work and she is at the sitter's which means 4 days a week).  She gets closer to her goals in school work but, we still have our time to enjoy each other or for her to simply be a kid.  Gotta love that.

Of course, any trouble she has will need to cut in on Summertime as I will need to help her.

Pulling out my times table sheet right now...

Seriously!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Song of a Bug

Listening to my youngest son right now.

He's singing into a microphone that he has been carrying around the house.

A song that he is makin' up on the fly.

It goes a little like this (as it changes a bit each time he sings it).

"Everybody sing
Everybody dance
Everybody worship the King!
Get ready 'cuz tonight's
Gonna be the night
that revival's gonna break out!
Oh yeah!
You know it's gonna!
'Cuz God is really cool
And awesome
And go-oo-ood!"

Seriously thinking we have the next Dustin Smith or Lyndel Cooley on our hands {grin}

Cake for Breakfast?

That has to cover the majority of the food groups.

Right...?

Right...?

C'mon, help a girl out.

People...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I don't mean to brag but...

I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school...

Don't be hatin'...

{GRIN}

...'cuz that's about all I can still fit into...

Oh sweetness!

Or cheesiness...or whatever...

But Brandi is my tastebuds' new best friend and my hips' newest nemesis...

Click here to find out why

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chances Are

if you were here with me

→ we would be sitting at the kitchen table sipping on iced teas and listening to Jellybean and her friend, Cass, doing homework together.

→ we would have just finished eating a small tiger tiger ice cream cone and may have snacked on some tortilla chips and Avo-Hummus - a new deliscious item in our deli that is half guac and half hummus and is 100% delish!

→ we may just be discussing if we were going to do one of those home facial envelopy things you can buy at Walmart.

→ I may be sharing with you the few stories I have of my Uncle K who just passed away after struggling after having a stroke a few months ago. He was married to an Inuit lady and lived in a very, very northern part of Canada.  (yes, he has even had a polar bear break into his trailer!)

→ we may be talking about the great service we had at church last night and how there is another service there again tonight with the same guest speaker.

→ I could be telling you that it is getting a bit easier for me to be the "testimony lady" and my fear of speaking in front of people.

→ if we were sitting in my living room you may not even be able to tell that I am far from completing the unpacking process of our move.  All the boxes are nicely hidden in our basement...

in front of the numerous bags of my clothes (meaning, I have 4 outfits that I rotate until I can reach my clothes.)

→ I would probably mention how I was going through withdrawls from taking pictures as I don't know where my battery charger is or my "good" camera.  I would probably mention that I know there are loads of great pictures for me to share once I do get all the cables and gizzmos and gadgets located.

→ I would really appreciate our visit as my husband has been out of town all last week; this week has had a lot of work to do on some of the other units here (there's a deadline) and I am anticipating (read pouting) the fact that he is going to be out of town again all next week too.  Three weeks without seeing my husband is way, way, way too long!

I am really hoping that he will be here the following week as our 10th anniversary is coming up on the 24th.  We were married on my grandpa's 100th birthday. Were he still alive he this would make 110.  I love that I can share this special day with the memories of such a great man - like my grandfather!  We have a lot of shared special days in our family...

Our wedding anniversary with my grandpa's birthday
Jellybean and BigDaddy's birthdays
Rush and mine is very close together
Bug and my dad's...

Time to go for that facial...and perhaps a nap...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What a blur

the last 4 days have been.

Late Thursday night, I received a call that we needed to grab the things we would need for a couple of days and we needed to relocate to another unit so that some dry wall flubs could be fixed.

I was sick Thursday... si-ick.  I had an incredibly high fever and I woke up Friday morning not knowing where I was or why I was there.  It did not take long to figure out that it was not a hospital and a few minutes of looking at the room, and I remembered what was going on.  I crawled out of bed, got my kids ready for and to school, and made my way back to bed for the remainder of the day.  Saturday I was up a bit but napped very periodically and made it through the church corporate prayer night we had feeling refreshed and renewed but SO ready for bed. {Grin} Sunday was another great service, had lunch with great friends and did some work around the house.

Today I went to work, got groceries {including a new electronic gadget - a pocket-sized videocamera that will come in very handy dandy}, had same friends over for supper and we have been working on painting our house, cleaning window sills, painting trim and getting our furniture moved back from the center of the room where it had been piled and protected with poly.

I have two more window sills to clean tomorrow after work and then I get to start unpacking a few more boxes before I get to go to our corporate prayer team teaching meeting.  I look so forward to those days; I adore learning about how to do things better, more effectively and in the prescribed way.

In all of this "gee, this sounds like she figures she is all that & a bag of chips, keeping so busy - a in't she special" {grin}, please let me be the first to point out to you that today is Monday.  My children have music lessons on Mondays.  Go two paragraphs up.  Yup.  I forgot to take my children to their lessons and we were moving last Monday so that is two weeks in a row that they have missed...

...Mom fail...

P.S.  I'M GONNA BE A GRANDMA!!!!!

Told you that all ready...?  *Blushes*  Oops!  My bad...
{grin}

Friday, June 4, 2010

Faces from the past

can show up in strange places...

Like in the midst of your living room garage sale, glancing through the things you don't have room to take with you.


I watched an old man struggle up my stairs and heard Jellybean say to him, "If you see something you like but you don't like the price, you just talk to my mama."  {insert image of Jellybaen rubbing her fingers together like money here}

He was enamored with her.  Most people are; she is a loveable, endearing child.

He asked her for a piece of paper, sat down at our table & began telling her a story about how his teacher would give him heck for scribbling but that he learned that scribbles can be beautiful.  He then began to scribble on the paper and produced a tree, then another and another.  An owl emerged, mountains, a pond and cattails and he signed it "Papa Allard".

"Are you related to the Allards from {insert the name of my small hometown here.}.

"How do you know that haywire clan," he says.

"Oh, they had a farm near ours."

"Well, I'll be...," he says.

Turns out this wonderful old man, full of all sorts of stories and fun jokes for the kids was indeed our neighbor down the road.

He never did buy anything but he left having given us a lot.

Once I unpack the picture, I will share it with you.

The post in which I jump up & down from excitement

So, um, there's no real cool, nonchalant way to say this so I am just going to let her rip...

I'm gonna be a grandma! 

For real!

P.B. and J. are having a baby!!!

Coming January to a hospital near us.

I will be 35 years old.

That part still feels kinda strange

But...

I am so uber excited!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

All boxed in

Yes, we are all moved.

Had a floody yard sale on Saturday.  It rained and it rained and it rained.  We moved it into the living room of the old house.  Considering the weather, the outcome was not so bad.  $358 and some odd cents.

It was odd watching my stuff leave in someone else's hands but I will not be attached to things.

Told my husband we will never again have so much crap in our house!  EVER!!!

Had planned on going to a worship conference in the city on Sunday to see Pastor Dustin Smith of World Revival Church (you can watch them on Daystar - information and schedule is here).  That plan fell to the wayside when we saw just how much stuff we had left to move.  We were going to visit Rush at the same time.  She was extremely miffed at our inability to come.  I was able to go yesterday but due to a tire malfunction (it's only flat on the bottom half - grin) I was unable to meet with Rush again.  Um, she is enraged at me!  Calling me a promise breaker and that she thinks it is ridiculous that she is only 16 and has to be the bigger person.  {sigh]  I know that she is just being selfish and self-centered and that God can and will break that off of her.  Doesn't make it easy to hear but I am confident in the fact that I did the very best I could.

By the way, the conference session I was able to attend was phenomenal!  Looking forward to the entire conference CDs being shipped to me.  Best $35 I have ever spent, I am sure!

The boxes are piled up in my basement and in my kitchen.  They are slowly being managed and emptied.  That makes me happy.  It would make me happier if they would empty faster...

and on that note, I need to get back to work.