Monday, October 29, 2007

Confused.


My kids and I made these tonight while Trey was at the Stars game. They look great, right?
Well, my kid's didn't think so. Each child took half a bite and left the remains on the table.
My dog, Scout, ate five of them.
And a stick of butter.
Who should I be more worried about, the dog who LOVED them so much she might die, or my kid's who didn't?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bella

Trey and I had a special weeknight date tonight and went to see a prescreening of the movie Bella. It won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival along with other favorites; Life is Beautiful and Chariots of Fire. It is a really beautiful movie. It's release date is this Friday so go see it!

I love this line from the introduction...
"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Product Endorsement

It's here! The very first day of Fall! Real Fall, not the official first day of Fall where it's really 98 degrees in the shade. It was chilly and rainy and the perfect hunker down all day at home kind of weather.

I was pretty excited.

Then, like a soggy bowl of cereal, my mind started to fill with thoughts of "what in the world are we going to do ALL DAY?" We have 1/2 days on Mondays so that would leave me with three of my crazies most of the day without the possibility of going outside, riding bikes, jumping on the trampoline or running obstacle courses.

OK, obstacle courses are things I make up for my kids to do when they're full of energy bored, and are starting to hurt each other. Here's an example...
"Run up the stairs, do 10 jumping jacks, down the stairs, outside, 100 jumps on the trampoline, hop the perimeter of the backyard, skip around the cul de sac, sing Jesus Loves Me, run backwards inside and touch my hand."

Meanwhile, I can have a diet coke, read a chapter in my bible, blog, and take a cat nap as long as I fall asleep with my hand out. It's a beautiful thing.

By the look of those rainclouds, there would be no obstacle courses today. Little beads of sweat started to form on my upper lip. Where's Julie, the cruise director, when I need her?!?!!?!

Silence.
Sweet laughter.
Wha...
Quiet talking.
More laughter.

OH MY! WHAT ARE THEY DOING?!? They for sure have a sharpie and scissors and are redecorating my bedroom!

Last night, we went to Target and everybody got a costume. They were 30% off and the Cowboys had won so "COSTUMES FOR EVERYONE!"

Sadie is Stephanie from Lazytown with pink hair.
Olivia is a bride.
Graham is a Power Ranger.
Tee is a Clone Trooper.
I'm not saying they're original costumes but what they are is instant fun and activity for rainy days!

My kids were busy all day playing in their costumes. Making up bands with all the different characters, singing karaoke to High School Musical. Playing that the bride was being held hostage by the Power Ranger and the only one who could save her was Stephanie with pink hair.

Hours and hours of joyful play was had by all thanks to brand new costumes from Target.

I was able to get an obscene amount of laundry done, catch up on all my housework and only had to be the judge of the American Idol talent contest once, and pretend I was a baby kitty who'd been left on the side of the road to be rescued twice.

Thanks Target. Now if you'd only put a camera on sale so I could document these precious memories. Mine was stolen...by our neighbor. Maybe I'll send the power ranger and Stephanie with pink hair over there to take care of business.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Graham

Trey and I spent a good part of our morning at a doctor's office with Graham. The little buddy has been having some issues that we've narrowed down to either OCD or OCD with maybe a side of OCD. Lots of repetition, counting, anxiety, etc. on his part led us into some uncharted waters.

Thankfully, we are talking to someone really great who knows much more than we do and will be helping us navigate.

He will undergo Neurofeedback which helps exercise the weaker performing parts of Graham's brain. It is non-invasive and done without medication. Please pray with us that this treatment will work for the little man.

...because we had a long day, after dinner, we came into our very small office and learned to do the Soulja Boy dance from the instructional video on You Tube.
Graham may be the only one of us with rhythm.

Just as I was finishing this post, we received a call from a coworker of Trey's. She was taking a little 4th grader in our neighborhood to the county hospital now because she was possibly raped. I am so heartsick for this child and what lies ahead of her.

They will wait for hours just to see a physician they've never laid eyes on. They'll then begin the journey with police, CPS, and the prosecutors office which they would typically travel without the resources we take for granted.

I am struck by the contrast of our own smaller issue today and how we were able to call the right people, get in quickly without wait, have everything covered by insurance and know how to contact the physician at home if we had further questions. Our copay was put on a credit card and we drove through McDonald's on the way home.

I cannot even pretend to know what they're going through and am ashamed because of it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A cool drink of water.


I've got some seriously beautiful friends. In ways that have escaped me, they manage to look amazingly gorgeous in carpool at 7:55, after they've gone for a run, even when they're really frustrated with their children who also have discovered the Sharpie marker. Not only are they beautiful, they're funny, creative and encourage me to walk more intentionally and humbly with Christ.

We get together all the time but our conversations are usually interrupted by small children who are either hungry, fighting, or need a diaper change. There are times though, when we all feel at the end of our ropes and we grab a few hours away from the chaos to check-in and encourage one another.

Last night was one of those times and I desperately needed my friends. I just needed to hear, "I'm right there with you." alongside the words of the Father that say "you will mount on wings like eagle's, you will walk and not grow weary, you will run and not grow faint." They are like a cool drink of water. Refreshing even to the soul.

Thank you Lord for these precious gifts. Thank you for hand picking them for me. You gave me exactly what I needed before I even knew to ask.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Deductive Reasoning

I love the conversations I get to overhear from the front seat of my car.
Today, Graham was having a chat with his little buddy Luke.
"I saw a fwee legged dog once. It gotted runned over by a car."
"Our cat got runned over by a car."
"Does it have fwee legs?"

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tag You're What?

I've been tagged!! I'm not really sure what it means or how you do it but the people pleaser in me is making me do what I'm told.

Ok, here goes nothing.

Jobs I've had:

1. Secretary
2. Easter Bunny (mostly true)
3. Nanny
4. Class Checker for the Texas A&M football team. I had to make sure they were going to class every day. Sweetest job on earth. It took 5 minutes.
5. Business Manager at a car dealership. I got a free cadillac. It was sweet 'cause I was 22 and the DeVille made me feel like I was 82. :)
6. Marketing for an Orthopedic Physicians Practice Management Company. That was a mouthful.
7. Apparently, now, I have no job but am busier and more tired than ever with little or no pay. Go figure.

Places I've lived:
1. Hastings, Nebraska (secretly love it)
2. Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
3. Houston, Texas
4. Nashville, Tennessee
5. Dallas, Texas

Foods I love:
1. Almost anything I didn't have to cook
2. Sushi, thanks to my husband
3. Mexican Food
4. Really good BBQ
5. Not beef jerky bought on clearance at Target. That should have been a huge red flag for me.

Places I'd Rather Be:
1. Aspen, Colorado
2. Nashville, Tennessee
3. Anywhere with my husband
4. Getting a pedicure

Movies I love:
1. Life is Beautiful
2. Pride and Prejudice
3. Elf
4. Spitfire Grill
5. Apparently, High School Musical if I'm ranking this by how many times I've seen it.


TV shows I love:
1. Office
2. 24
3. Lost
4. Flipping Out
5. Spongebob Squarepants (see: Movies #5)

Books I love:
1. Same Kind of Different as Me
2. Mark of the Lion series
3. The Valley of Vision
4. The Hawk and the Dove

People I'm tagging:
1. MissHannah - Lost in Ministry
2. Jami - Place of Grace
3. Jen - Just Passing Through

Identity Crisis

I've changed the name of my blog. You can read why here. I'm so dang excited to have something that's mine, I don't know what to do. My kids eat my french fries, drink my diet coke, color in my bible, dress up in my clothes, sleep in my bed (only when they're scared, not in a weird family bed sort of way. Not that there's anything wrong with that.), and I haven't gone to the bathroom alone in 8 years. I love having a place to write all by myself and thought it needed a new name. This one seems like a better fit so I changed it just because I can. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Products of the Environment?

Parenting is crazy hard as it is but as my children grow, it's easy to hyper-examine their actions and try see if they are just the results of sin and more sin or if the environment is effecting them in negative ways. Granted, we are reminding them daily, almost hourly of where their identity lies. Mostly I'm doing this before or after disciplining them for being sassy, or willfully disobedient, or writing with Sharpie on the couch.
(Total aside, what did I do to the person who invented the Sharpie? Let me just say right now, I am truly sorry for whatever I have done to so deeply offend you. It must have been really bad to make you invent an uber-permanent marker with a cute name that my children would adore. I'm sorry. Really sorry.)
Anyway, I have begun to see some things that I might be more than tempted to attribute to the culture that surrounds us. Oh, yeah, and once again, they're sinners but that wouldn't make nearly as fun of a post.

My son Tee greeted me with today with, "'Sup".(working the body language as he said it)
"What, skinny white boy, did you say? What's 'Sup'?"
"You know Mom, 'sup."
"Go clean your room."

Olivia told me that she was glad to be able to help poor people and she wanted to give her allowance to the poor every week.
I thought I heard the angels sing.
"Mom, then can I be on T.V.?"
"For what, sweetie?"
"You know, for helping the poor people. I really want to be on T.V."

Earlier, we were at my friend Carey's house playing. A good thirty minutes after getting into the car to come home, I noticed Graham's basketball shorts were all bulgy.
"Graham, what do you have in your pants?"
He then went on to pull out a teddy bear, a bracelet, and a wallet.
Sorry Carey.

Sadie put her pj bottoms on her head tonight to look like long hair and then said "Mom, do I look hot?" She's three. I have often said she will be the child I would have never let my firstborn play with.


We've had lots of redirecting today as we teach and train our children to live in the world but not be of it. It is my own greatest struggle and I'm ashamed to say they witness less wrestling on my part than they should.


This morning when I came in from my walk, Max the cat was on the front porch but close by was a very angry looking female kitty that looked like she might be pregnant.
The look in her eyes was...
"Mmmm. You must not know 'bout me! Ooh no. I know where you stay and you're NOT gonna leave me to raise these kitties all by myself. No, sir."

The effects of the Fall are great indeed.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Brighter Day

We woke up to rain this morning but that wasn't stopping us one bit. We had a day and a half planned and were out the door bright and early!
Graham, my 5 year old, had his first soccer game and yeehaw can that boy play! He scored three goals and was so daggum excited!!!
I love it when you're looking at him square in the eye when he does it, you're jumping up and down yelling "way to go Graham!!" and popping a champagne cork across the field, pouring glasses for all the parents, handing out cigars and he still fells obligated to yell; "mom! Mom! MOM!! I scored a goal! Did you see me mom? MOM!"
"I know son! I saw you!!"
"MOM!"
V.I.C.T.O.R.Y...that's about all I know because, as my friends often remind me, I was not a cheerleader.
Next, we were off to the Lion King. A precious pledge brother of Trey's gave us six tickets so we could all go see it! It was so generous and we loved every minute of it. I'm sure we looked funny having these great, expensive seats and I was still pulling snacks out of my purse.
The expressions on my kids faces while they were watching it were as wonderful as the show. Total eye candy!
We finished the day with a little stop at our favorite Asian Restaurant. It's a little hole in the wall with a great chef and yummy food. Tee is a huge fan of the gourmet dish of rice and soy sauce.
No drama today. It was sweet and smooth sailing...I'm gonna leave it on a high note and head off to bed.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Running

I'm not a runner. There, I said it. I used to run, or jog, if you will, when I was younger and I've always wanted to be a real-life honest to goodness runner. Someone who could run for miles and miles and feel the exhilaration and and purity of the sport.
I've found myself daydreaming lately of really running. Going outside, alone, and running for miles and miles and miles. What I've noticed about these daydreams is that they often come after a conversation like the one I had yesterday with my friend Mindy who walks with me in the mornings.
She had gone to visit some teachers at the schools in West Dallas and the report she gave was overwhelming.
The teachers' comments were all similar. 'Your student is under performing and reading below grade level but probably average for the class. She tries really hard so I'm going to give her a 90%.' Essentially, I'm going to pass her because she tries hard. She is not mastering the basic fundamentals of the class, and that's average. She's not reading where she should be but, because she's trying, she'll get an A.
It's called a social promotion and it happens all the time. If teachers didn't do this, it would create a "bottleneck" in the system and there would be too many kids in one class. That's changing some because of the TAKS tests but prior to the 11th grade, if a parent and teacher agree that the child is "ready to move on" despite a failure to master the ciriculum, that child is promoted to the next grade.
That's a giant problem in itself without all the extraneous circumstances that come with being a part of the urban generationally poor.
Studies have shown over and over that if a child is not having his basic needs met, food, clothing, shelter, and safety, they cannot perform in school. Not even the basics.
The problem goes so much deeper than a lack of concern for education.
How is a child who hasn't eaten dinner the night before supposed to perform on math drills? How can a child who is being raped by his eleven year old brother supposed to learn to read on grade? When the police have come to your house three times in a week, learning science can be more than frustrating.
The problem has rooted itself in the soil of indifference, hopelessness, injustice, and apathy. We see another generation of children following, if unknowingly, in the footsteps of their parents who were often only children when they had them.
I think when I daydream about running, it's to get out, to escape, to not deal with the cobweb of mess that exists here. I can't untangle it and it frustrates me.
My hope is that instead, I will fall on my face daily before a holy, sovereign God who tells me things like this...
"...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Monday, October 1, 2007

Feelin' the Spirit

Trey and I pulled up to a gas station the other night to get something quick so I waited in the car while he ran in.
He gets back in the car laughing hysterically and tells me about the conversation he just had with the homeless man who hangs out in front of the place...
"Hey hey hey. Mind if I tell you a joke?"
"Uh, sure."
"Ok, Little Johnny...wait a second...are you a pastor, man?"
"As a matter of fact I am."
"Ooo, I KNEW IT! I could feel the Holy Ghost on you. Looky here, I got goosebumps."
Now he shows Trey all the things he had on him with either a cross or a bible on them, a bracelet, a tattoo, etc.
"Hey, I'm a gonna change my joke..."

Lord, may we ascribe to you the glory due your name; may we worship you in the splendor of your holiness.