Friday, December 22, 2006

The Mission Field of Motherhood

Jules at Everyday Mommy subtitles her blog "the mission field of motherhood", and everytime I read that I am struck by the utter appropriateness of that title. I truly believe that each of us has a mission field we are called to serve in for the Lord. As a child I thought the mission field was Japan, where so many of our church missionaries were, or Africa, where my parents' friends were or some other foreign place. I definitely DID not want to do that. I don't like bugs, I am a picky eater, and was worried about eating strange food in a different country, I would miss my family, and I like my own country, Thank You! In part I still feel that way, I don't want to go oversees as a missionary to a foreign country. I saw the children of family friends who were raised oversees and saw the struggles to feel as if they belong. They were American's but this was a strange place, they'd never lived here, so they were a little foreign, yet they weren't Japanese, or Asian, or African, either, they were caught between homes. Now it probably seemed worse to me as a child than it actually was. They seem to be adapted as adults. I just never wanted to do that to my children. As I grew up I realized that a mission field is where ever God puts you and has work for you. We are missionaries in our jobs, our schools, community activities, sports teams, at the grocery store, the courthouse, in our neighborhoods. If God asks us to do it, he gives us the ability to do it. I believe, He also gives us the interest to do it, the desire and the talents. If it feels wrong, that maybe a good indication it is wrong. If the doors don't open, the path isn't made availible, maybe it isn't the right path. Right now, I feel that the missionfield of motherhood is my calling. Perhaps, in the future, I will return to full time work, outside our home, but for right now, I don't feeled called to that mission field. Someday, God may even send me out of my comfort zone and ask me to take on vocationally missions, or other work in that line. I have to say, that I hope not, but again, by the time He sends me, I probably will want to do what He asks.

The Mission Field of Motherhood what a perfect way to describe how I view my role in life.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hospital for Sick Preschoolers

My head is spinning from the machinations necessary to get my daughter to school and all the other kids where they need to be. Our carpool partner wanted to switch because of school parties at her older children's school, and that was no problem. I called my friend, whose child I was watching so she could go to her daughter's room party. T let me know that K had a fever and she was concerned. I told her I wouldn't mind watching a sick kid. She had done it for me a couple months ago, and I was glad to return the favor. Today, our carpool partner, M, called her daughter has diarrhea, she can't go to school and she doesn't want to expose my kids by driving them. I completely understand. I offered to watch KT so she can still go to the party. I said, "I'm running a hospital for sick preschoolers" so one more won't hurt. Her husband was rearranging his schedule so she can still go to the party. KT is unhappy about missing the last day of preschool before Christmas. We had also planned for KT to come here to play after school until M got done at school. I think that was the big disappointment. So now, Je is ready for jammie day at school, wearing her new Christmas pjs, slippers, pillow, bear, and sleep sack tucked into her backpack. T will drop her off after she drops off K for the afternoon. K's fever lasted one hour yesterday. So we are guessing it was a quick bug or an anomaly. Hopefully no one else will get sick. I told both of my friends that nothing can top the Christmas/Anniversary season two years ago, when both girls spent the day throwing up on me, cancelling our night out, then shared the virus with every member of our extended family and a few friends from church. We were not popular people that Christmas. Although by Christmas day everyone was healthy, before round two started for the rest of the family the next week.

Monday, December 18, 2006

He Did it!

We've lived in this house six years, and finally he did it. We've been married 10 years (on Thursday) and for only the second time he did it. I am talking, of course of Christmas lights. They are up outside my house, and not just in the bushes or the garland I wind around the railing. On the top of the house. He told me to take a picture for proof since he hates to do it and said this may be my only chance for them for a while. He put them up once in our old house and worried over them for a long time to get them straight. He is anal about getting them straight. So that year, after Christmas, I bought him some plastic track to use the next year. That was seven years ago. Finally this year he made use of them. They have been shoved in the basement storage room so long they have lost some of the key pieces. He improvised with hot glue. So they are pretty straight. The girls acutually begged repeatedly. Whenever they asked me for lights, I directed them to Daddy since I don't do roofs. I do garland and bushes and big blow up snowmen. This was the best of the pictures, it is a little blurry but I think you can see the lights on the house pretty well. Shan had an unexpected day off on Saturday. He went to the JV meet on Friday night and the head coach excused him from Saturday's varsity meet. What a great day! We took the kids to swimming lessons, then out to lunch. Daddy finished putting the lights on the track and attaching them to the house in the afternoon. After supper we took the kids for ice cream so they could see the live Nativity in front of the ice cream store. We drove home and saw the pretty lights on our house. The girls were so excited. Shan has grumbled a bit about them but maybe it'll be okay. Next year, I am going for the whole front of the house, more than just the peak. Of course, beggars can't be choosers.

Santa Claus is Coming

I read a very interesting post over Everyday Mommy. Jules and the many comments posted got me to thinking about the debate over Santa. A lot of what Jules said resonated with me. I have fond memories of believing in Santa. My parents created those memories but never ever let us forget the true meaning of Christmas. So I have stuggled as a parent and as a Christian to know how to honor God with my celebration and keep some kind of sanity over the "santa issue" I don't think it is a hard and fast rule for everyone. My children are still too young to really understand Santa and the implausiblity of his trip. They enjoy the Christmas movies on TV: Rudolph, Frosty, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, etc. We have lots of Christmas traditions that reflect the true meaning of the season so they, I think, understand about the birth of Jesus. They put the pieces of the advent nativity on each day, participate in the program at Church, with the message about true reason for the season. I don't want my kids to equate Santa with God, he isn't, nor was he ever. I do want them to have lots of great memories of fun family holidays and all the trimmings. Right now, that includes Santa. I can't remember when I stopped believing in Santa. I used to say that Santa was the spirit of giving that we feel at the holiday. I don't know that I agree with that anymore. I also remember how very careful my parents were to not lie to us, about Santa and the presents. I remember noticing that gifts from Santa appeared under the stockings and were labeled in my mom's handwriting. I remember having to go to the car and wait for my parents who were inside filling the stockings before we left for Christmas eve. One memorable year, we asked for a specific thing for Christmas. Mom very firmly told us she did not buy it for us. Everytime we asked about it she repeated that phrase. Boy were we surprised to open it. Mom said she did not buy it, she didn't say that Daddy didn't buy it. They explained how they pulled it off. If I give my kids gifts and write Santa's name on them, aren't I just pretending to be Santa? I don't really see that as a lie but maybe it is a gray area. What an area for us all to wrestle with in our own homes. It was easier when I was little and my parents had these issues to deal with and I was blissfully ignorant!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I got out a toy for my 10 month old nephew that I had put away when my girls "out grew it". It is a Leap Pad Activity table that plays music if the book is flipped to music or tells colors or shapes if the other side of the book is open. B loved it. He would push a button and the music would start and he would dance. At least after I put new batteries in, and then put them in again the right way. He soon had to fight for a chance to play with the thing though. The other four kids thought it was a great toy for them, too. I might have to leave it out for a few days. This toy rotating is great stuff.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I Survived

After last week's shopping day, it was payment time. I hosted the co-op children at my home, along with another mom, while last week's watchers shopped. They ran circles through the dining room, into the kitchen, down the hall into the living room, into the dining room again. They got the wagons, doll strollers, and bikes out and brought them up to the wood floor. We let them play undirected until lunch time. They did really well. When the natives got restless we fed them. After lunch we gave each child a piece of colored cardstock, red or green. We gave them Christmas stickers and crayons and markers and let them decorate as they desired. When they finished we covered each side of the paper with contact paper and Voila! A Christmas placemat. They turned out pretty well and the kids are pleased. It turned out to be a great day for us moms as well. The families in our co-op are all Christian families so we were able to have some great spiritual conversations and it is always fun to be able to talk to another adult. She and I have a lot in common, so a lot of areas for great talk. I loved last year, when I got to know this mom better and this year, as our friendship has deepened, I had an even better time. It was just coincidence that we were together both years, shedules lined up. I would love to do it again with her. God has been so good to us to give us this great group of families to share our time with. All of the kids are great kids and fun for my kids to play with. Whe the idea was introduced, I almost let my reluctance to do something new keep me from it. It has been such a blessing to me. Not just the fabulous babysitting for my kids, but also the fellowship, friendship and love of these women. Most of whom, I probably wouldn't have met or had an opportunity to know very well. What a blessing. So I am exhausted by the long day, but exhilarated at the experience of a whole day with a friend and no guilt for not cleaning and no place to be.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What a Great Answer

Zodiac Sign: Who cares? I don't trust the stars. I trust the One who made them and set them in their courses

This is the last answer in a meme over at Everyday Mommy. I recently found her blog and enjoy her take on her role in life. She is working in her mission field, her family. Isn't that the best way to look at a life spent doing God's will. Our mission field is where God puts us.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

One Down--Only 14 More to Go

We made it through the first daddy-less Saturday. Swimming lessons, errands, lunch with Nana, a sewing tutorial (for me) and no nap. They went to bed very early after Mama had a thermonuclear meltdown. Next week, Nana will be out of town so the girls and I will be without her company and buffer. If my head explodes, we will know why. Today I was making a Christmas stocking for my nephew. It was a more difficult project than I expected when I volunteered. Two years ago, I bought four stockings at Lowes after Christmas clearance. My sister had mentioned that she wanted to have coordinating stockings for their house. I congratulated myself on finding some I thought she would like and at such a good price. I put them away for her birthday. About two months after her birthday, she unexpectedly was expecting. She used the stockings last Christmas, and seemed to like them, they are made of burlap, decorated with yarn fir trees and bells, with red cord trim and rickrack. All things easily found at a craft store. When we knew new baby was to be here in Feb. I planned to have a stocking made to match the others well before now. I've had all year to do it, but...I procrastinated. Since my sewing instructor, (MOM) is leaving tomorrow for a week doing Katrina rebuilding in Mississippi, I had to get my help now, and do it today so if I had questions she was near the phone.

While stitching the tree trunks the girls got into at least the third tussle of the evening and knocked over the table with my diet coke. I blew a gasket and sent them to bed at 7:30. The were nap free so they were ready, but I felt guilty for losing my cool. The girls harbored no such feelings though. They seemed to know that they'd gone too far, and gladly went to bed. They were cheerful even. I got the usual hug and kiss requests, and Je played her favorite game, hold onto Mama when she tucks me in and don't let her get up. I have to tickle her to get free.

Four hours later, I folded the finished stocking and put it with the model one in a sack with other odds and ends to go to my sister.

Only 14 more wrestling events until the end of the season. That is 10 Saturdays, and four mid week duals.

Is it March yet?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ahead of Schedule

Today was our babysitting co-op's annual shopping day. I dropped the girls off at 9 and met Mom for a day of shopping. I had most of the big shopping done. I think I finished the girls presents a few weeks ago. It's all the little filler stuff and a few cousins, teachers, etc. that I had left. I bought one big thing for Shan but that is all the big things I had to do today. I got a lot of odds and ends wrapped up today, and even some other errands. Last year we planned a big trip to KC, shopping mecca, but this year we decided to stay in town since we didn't have things we needed to get in the big city. We shopped together, then Mom left to do Meals on Wheels, I continued alone for a couple hours. We met up for a nice lunch at a restaurant the children don't really like to go. Then right back at the shopping. We went to all those places we don't typically take time to go to, especially with two small shadows. Got some good deals at Grocery supply, juice 10 for $1, bananas 5 cents a piece, and diet dr pepper, 6 for 99 cents. Shan was thrilled. I made it back to pick up the girls just about 3:30 and was pleased with my days accomplishments. Now I need to wrap presents and decorate the house. I'd like to get that done before it is my turn to host the children so the mothers who watched today can shop next week, kid-free. What a great idea!