Wednesday, February 28, 2007

My Dad Had this On His Wall

This set of statements is so much the way my Dad thought. I remember it hanging on his office wall at home. The plaque was dated in style so I don't think it made the cut after we moved or at least after my mom redecorated in the few years after we moved in. He had several plaques and awards that were swapped for newer designs and newer awards but I bet it is still in the basement.

I am going to add it to my sidebar quotes because it is something I want to remember about the world.

The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It's That time Again

We are down to the wire. Only one weekend of wresting left. I can see the end in sight. Daddy leaves today for Wichita to coach six wrestlers who have qualified for the State Tournament. Tommorrow the girls and I go down to have a mini-vacation. I mean cheer on the guys. Seriously, it is a reward for a long season, a couple nights in a hotel with a great breakfast bar, and meals out. And my in-laws are meeting us there so I really won't have to miss the fun, since the kids prefer grandparents to parents whenever possible. At least for the few days that the grandparents are around at a time. Recently, Jo has named me alternately the "worst mommy ever" and the best mama in the whole world, depending on which end of the struggle we are. So I'll be away from the computer for a few days, enjoying my reward for a long wrestling season.

Parenting Problems

I've learned that what goes around comes around. My mother always told me that I would have children who would do to me what I did to her and that I would deserve every bit of it. Now she didn't say it cruelly, she just was warning me. I now hesitate to share with her my lastest series of trials with Jo because, I remember pulling the same kinds of things in my childhood. I told her the other day, and she did start to say some form of an "I told you so" but I was ready and agreed before she could really warm up. It embarrasses me now to admit that I did this. I was even older than my daughter so it is particularly humiliating. I have this photo of me at about two, I sitting on the round oak table eating chocolate peanut clusters and the chocolate is dripping down my face. I was wearing my footie jammies so I am pretty sure I did this before my parents got up. Jo has been doing this kind of thing this week. She gets up, goes and gets the Doritos, and one morning, got back in bed to eat them. Once at nap I caught her with Dorito breath and orange crumbs all over her face. This morning she left them next to her coloring table to be found later. She also "helped" herself to her sister's Valentine's candy from school. Her excuse, "Je forgot to eat it". It was only the next day! Je likes to savor her candy. You could put her Halloween bucket in her room, and she would eat only a few pieces a day. Jo would eat the whole bucket in about two days. Now bear in mind that the girls get enough Halloween candy that we had to throw out the excess at Christmas, we just couldn't eat it fast enough. It was a lot of candy. Jo is going through a sneaky phase. She snagged the purple sharpie I keep in a pen cup on my dresser to color with. She painted her hand K-State purple. THE WHOLE HAND. I still haven't gotten it all off her tights or her leg where it bled through. That is a week ago. Some day, I will look back at her childhood and wax nostalgic over her purple hand and leg. I will laugh at the amusing story of her eating all the candy during nap time, and sneaking dorito's out of the pantry. Of the time she tried to get the fruit snacks off the high shelf by stacking her step stool on top of a kitchen chair. It just won't be today. Well maybe. It is kinda funny.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

New Sidbar Element

I am adding a new list to my sidebar. I have long collected quotes from everywhere. I used to use them to practice calligraphy but with kids who has time to practice that. I love to share my quotes so when Everday Mommy had the Chesterton quote up today, I was inspired to put a list of quotes that make me think. So as I find quotes I will add them to my list. Now when I read her title I immediately thought of Yoda. Star Wars anyone? I know I am an unrepentant fan.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Apologize

I apologize to my husband, my parents, my sisters, friends, roommates, co-workers, neighbors, classmates, the lady at the store in line next to me, random people on a plane,in the elevator, basically anyone who has ever had to spend unstructured time with me. For they must have been forced to endure that which I am currently forced to endure: time with someone in love with the sound of their own voice. I have often thought that my three year old, Jo is like me in many ways. She is friendly, social, and talks to anyone and anything. My head is about to explode, I have no time for quiet reflection if Jo is in the car with me, she had a running commentary from the backseat on whatever catches her eye. If you have ever been on a car ride with me, and I didn't have a book to read, you might understand my pain. I hope I was a little more discriminating in what I chose to share but I am afraid to ask because I am not sure I want the answer. If I talked as a child, even half as much as Jo, I don't know how my voice has lasted this long. It should be a great example for me of what not to do in the future. I saw this commercial recently that encouraged parents to talk to their kids as they went through the everyday ordinary tasks. Seriously folks, I don't think I could get a word in edgewise with that child.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Co-Op

I mentioned in my cheap date post that one of the ways we cut down on expenses is to use the Babysitting Co-op. A couple of you asked for more info so I will explain the whole thing here. Then I will have an easy page to refer back to.

Three years ago I was in a Bible study with just two other ladies. The facilitator,T, was to become a good friend. Our daughters became friends in the preschoolers group while we were studying together upstairs. That friendship led to a playday. That led to an invitation for our family to join the babysitting co-op that T had started.

There are several families, the number fluctuates, but I think 6-10 is a great number. Each family gets 10 hours of tickets per child when they join. These tickets are good for babysitting for ANY reason. You have a need, you call someone in the co-op, and schedule the time. You drop the children off, then when you are done, pick them up and pay one ticket, per hour, per child to the watcher. You then get more tickets by watching other kids in the group. We have used the co-op for work, for dentist or doctor's appointments, dates, errands, or even a house-cleaning day. Once, I used the co-op so I could paint a bedroom. It has been such a blessing to our family. I don't take advantage of my mom, who lives just down the street and has her own committments and life. I don't feel guilty for calling a friend to watch the girls because I know I am paying for the time. I don't break the bank for these errands, or dates or whatever because I am paying with my own time at a future or previous date. If I have a last minute need, I don't feel bad about calling someone. I also don't get trapped at home, or have to drag the girls with me to the dentist. Shan and I can even do nicer dates because we save the money that a babysitter would cost. T got the idea from a similar group she was a part of in Minnesota, and so we have a set of guidelines for the system that help avoid misunderstandings and abuse. Basically, whenever I need someone to watch the girls, I have five people to call. If one can't do it, usually someone else can, and no one feels obligated to say yes all the time. We have meetings about once a month so we can get any dates we need covered, if we know of them in advance. This gives us all a chance to build relationships between the families, and for our children to get to know each other, and the homes they will spend time in.

Our co-op is mostly families that live relatively close together, and we are all Christians, but whatever group works for you is the best way to do this. Get a few friends with kids and put togther a system. If you would like to look at our guidelines, let me know and I can get you a copy.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Cheap Dates Extrodinaire

One of the cheapest things we do is get a pizza from Papa Johns on Customer Appreciation Saturday. Every third Saturday of the month they offer a large Pizza for $5.99, cheese, sausage, or pepperoni. My husband loves Papa Johns so for him it is a big treat. We get at least one and then have it for supper after putting the kids to bed, and watch a movie from our collection that we don't get to watch with the kids.

Another cheap idea we love it our babysitting co-op. There are six families and we have a ticket system for free babysitting. It's a good for dentist appointments, school committments, or dates, and many other uses. We are all Christian families so we can feel pretty good about the people we are leaving our kids with and with the ticket system, we are "paying" for our time and not taking advantage of friends or family.

When we do that for date night we often go to this Mexican restaurant, and get an order of chicken fajita's to share and a couple of diet cokes. With free chips and salsa that gets a meal out, with a waiter for less than $15. Can't beat that.

We've also played cribbage or Mexican Train dominos for a nice date night after the kids are in bed.

Take a drive and make a stop at Sonic for a fun icecream treat or special drink.

Watch for coupons in the paper for mini golf, batting cages, or go-karts, buy one get one free.

Find a local tennis court that you can spend an hour.

Every year for our anniversary we go out to a nice supper, and then, since Christmas is four days later, we finish our Christmas shopping, at the mall. We have been doing that since our honeymoon, five years before we even had kids.

Any activity done together, is a great date. Even if it is only the church league softball game, or cleaning the garage.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Mama Picture

Sarah wrote this fabulous post about motherhood. It is a great reminder to me, and further evidence that God has things to say to me on this topic. Not just with my kids, but with my husband as well.
You know the Bible 100%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

I am not sure this is a great way to gauge my Bible knowledge, but I did feel a certain professional pride was on the line when I saw that the questions were so very elementary. If I hadn't gotten a 100% I would have been ashamed. Give it a try and see if you agree.