Sunday, June 24, 2007

Can We Talk?

Are there scarier words? Maybe, but when your three year old says them, it is next to impossible to keep a straight face. Today, while Shan was grilling lunch, Jo sat in her lawn chair on the deck with him. She needed to talk to him about important things.

Jo: Daddy did you know that trees need water?
Daddy: That's right! (Remember Daddy is a science teacher, and amateur forrester)
Jo: But not too much water or they will die.
Okay kiddo, whatever you say.

Jo: Daddy, I am coloring this picture with this color.
Jo: Daddy, I need to talk to you some more.

and on and on.

Tonight, she fell out of bed and bumped her chin. She came downstairs to tell us about it. She wasn't crying so I would imagine it was a minor ailment. She asked me as I sent her back upstairs,...
Jo: Mama, in the morning can we talk about it?

Me: Sure Jo, now get to bed.

She is definitely my child. OY!

I Don't Get It

Why is Paris Hilton famous? I know there are lots of rich people out there whose names I do not know. Why do I have to see her on the news, or whatever passes for it these days. Also, why do I care that she is in jail? Just FYI, I don't. She is even farther down the totem pole of importance for me than actors whose work I like. Who cares? Not me.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A New Love

I love my Jeep. I have driven it for over 10 years and put 135K of its 165K on the car. I didn't care that the air conditioning system leaked freon and had to be recharged every year. I didn't care that it had a tiny oil leak these last couple of years. I put up with the tape deck making that screechy noise when it played. It was a minor inconvenience when the window control for the rear right side became temperamental and would lock up whenever Jo had tried it, until she did it again and unfroze it. I was even prepared to put in a new radio last month when the current one stopped playing FM stations. Besides, I have that phone that works like an mp3 player so I used it. But the last straw, so to speak, broke the camels back when the oil leak got drastically worse last week. I had started early in the year preparing myself for trading it in on a new car. It was hard to go anywhere with more than just our two kids, it was loud to ride in, and vibrated. Each day I kinda was relieved when it started and got me places. The tires are 4 years old so I knew I wasn't putting new ones on it. It's just that the Jeep was the first major purchase of our married life. We bought a truck right before we got married, but it was a pittance, compared to a two year old Jeep Grand Cherokee. I remember feeling so privileged to drive such a fancy car. My previous car had been an '85 Honda Accord Hatchback with carburetor problems. I remember when we bought it, we thought we would drive it for a long time. I was looking at 10 years I hoped. Once we had Je, and I realized how much room car seats take up, I was thinking that we might need to trade it off before we had child three, but maybe we could squeak by until the fourth if we waited for three long enough to get Je out of a car seat. Now we know that they have changed the law, and Je is in a booster for another two years. We also know that we may never get to a third or fourth child, we probably won't biologically get there unless God over rides a vasectomy. But it was time to let go of my first car love. (Actually, my first car love was my Volvo Diesel, I called him Sherman, but my Dad sold him when the engine block had microscopic cracks in in and got me the Honda, not a car love at all with that one) I have joined the ranks of the Mini-Van Moms
Isn't it pretty? This is just a picture of a Kia Sedona that I found online, but it is the right make, model and color. We got it Tuesday night, so that night, I was just kinda dazy. We'd spent the day checking out cars and working details. We drug the kids along and they did great until about 6:30. Which was just when we were cutting the deal. I was ready to have the whole process over with. We had test driven this one right before lunch, and when we indicated that we weren't ready to commit to it, they pushed us to take it for the afternoon to try it out. Since I really liked it, but wasn't ready to buy it, we agreed to try it. When I casually mentioned that we liked to sleep on big decisions, they offered to let us have it overnight. As we discussed the car over lunch, Shan and I really felt like this was the right car, if the numbers worked out. We ran over to Lawrence to pick up part of our down payment, and stopped to see my sister. On the way back to town, I felt like this was the right decision, and that God was leading me to this one. I also knew that if I left it to morning, I wouldn't sleep. So we stopped back by the dealer for some number crunching. I got on the phone with Mom between salesman visits, and got some good advice. I was tired and ready to get out of there, so I went back to the table, gave him my bottom line, deal-breaker offer, and said if he met my price and put the key less entry in, then I would deal tonight, if not, I am going home. He came back about 10 minutes later, and I have a new mini-van. Last night I slept well so feel good about our decision. That is always my fleece, sleep well, good decision, no sleep, bad decision. So now I am totally excited about my new wheels. Second (or third) car love is pretty good too!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sadness and Relief

For the last several months we have been taking care of a baby for a friend who was working for a few months before beginning stay and home motherdom. Today is our last day with baby J, his mother has worked out her two weeks notice and will now be a full time mama. I am happy for her, but in some ways we will miss the little guy. I won't miss the early arrival time, the screaming baby times, the inconvenience of the baby carrier etc. I always thought I would have at least four children. Right up until I spent a week in the hospital after Jo was born, a week I barely remember and was life-threatening enough to send my husband to the urologist to prevent future episodes of pre-eclampsia. We are and have considered adoption, and since we have done the baby thing twice, I am quite content to adopt older children. I would want to wait a little before we do that so my girls are a little older so we still are in the research and prayer stage. J is a pretty good baby, but he is a baby, so that means he doesn't communicate very well. I have to guess which of the many discomforts he is experiencing, hunger, diaper, boredom, tiredness, pain, etc. I won't miss that. I will miss the cuddling, and the way he stays put when I put him down. Although since he recently learned to roll over, moving is far away. His mother is quitting to stay home at just the right time. He is awake more so that will be fun for her. I am sad in some ways to loose J, and the small income from watching him, but mostly I will be glad to have my schedule back to normal and less difficult manuever about.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Compliments and Success

I've been in an emotional place recently. Success at VBS despite chaos and crisis has left me feeling good and relief that it is over for another year. I told my co-director that the job is probably ours until we say no. I don't want to brag about prowess or claim credit when the credit is the Lord's. We are good at this. We have complimentary strengths and work well together. This was B's third year planning VBS, the first she did it alone. I was assigned to help with the preschoolers, including Je. The week before VBS that year, I was talking with the woman in charge of decorating, and she said she had arranged to borrow several decorations from another church. I volunteered to go with her to get them since I had a vehicle with a trailer hitch and access to a trailer to haul the several ranch themed decorations. As we decorated the church that weekend with our borrowed items and many that we had provided from our stock of ranch themed ideas, I made the comment that I wasn't even on the decorating committee, why was everyone asking me where to put stuff. B said "You are the decorating committee." The woman who had arranged to get the decorations hadn't been able to make it that day to set up so I was by default in charge. I loved that aspect of it. I was contributing to VBS in an important way, and yet I was behind the scenes, invisible unless you knew. That is kinda how I view my role the last two years as co-director. My name is out there as director, but B is the one who is the visible face of VBS. She makes the announcements and leads the meetings. I give her lists, run the errands, do the research, make the copies, etc. We get together and go over things, make decisions and assign tasks. We share the credit. Saturday, as we finished up the clean up she said she feels like I do the work and she bosses. I don't think I explained it very well when I disagreed. I think I need her to do the bossing and I need to do the work. I told someone that I am the feet of the operation and she is the brain. Not to say that I don't think or have ideas, I do, but I am really good at carrying out the ideas she has. Implementation strength. And I think God put us as a team because we have these complementary strengths. He is glorified when we use our gifts in His service. When 47 children attend VBS in our church which has 15 children birth to high school, that is amazing. May the Lord be praised. When it takes 30+ adults to pull off VBS and they graciously offered their time and talents to this effort, PTL. B and I put in hours and effort, and ideas, but the success is because of Him. He blesses those contributions and we have only obeyed Him when we give service to Him.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Trouble Piles On

I've learned that when one thing doesn't go right, several other things will follow suit. I've made it through most of the Bible School frenzy so far. I was even feeling good that I have slept each night. (Benedryl induced but who cares, it's sleep). Right now it is 2 am and the Benedryl failed. I can't take anymore if I want to wake up at a decent hour in the morning. Tonight we nearly had a catastrophe at VBS. Several crucial people didn't show up. The people scheduled to herd the preschool group through the stations, didn't come. One was home sick, one had a sick child, one's grandfather died suddenly. I grabbed people from wherever I could, my co-director went along, and my mother canceled her plans to guide the little darlins' around. The person in charge of the Launch Lab, a science/discovery activity is married to the one whose grandfather died, so he also bailed on me at the last minute. We pressed Shan into service, and muddled through his other responsiblities as best we could. There was a church softball double header tonight and that called away a couple more of my helpers. I thought my head would explode. The night came off pretty well. I doubt the kids even noticed. We even got several of the things ready for tomorrow night's big closing activites, I was just stressed out.
I was packing up to leave, and was talking to my codirector about Sabbath School stuff, when she said: "Aren't we going to Sonic?" I had completely forgotten tonight was free Rootbeer Float night. I hollered for Shan to hurry up so I could get a comfort food. Pop and ice cream are an unbeatable pick me up! One more night then the cleanup. Maybe I can sleep after its all over.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Netflix Contest

Check on this contest from Five Minutes for Mom. I need new movies don't you?

Works for Me Wednesday I'm Bored Edition

Since my girls haven't started school yet, I have to come up with activities all year round to counteract the "I don't know what to do" blues. I am a compulsive clearance shopper. I hit the back aisle of Dillon's often to see what they are closing out at bargain prices. I can probably direct you to the clearance aisle of most of our major stores. I love Big Lots, Tuesday Morning and other similar discount places. When I find a bargain, I stock up. After New Year's a couple years ago, Dillon's cleared out their party supplies. One of the things was a light up star wand. They were patriotic colors and when you turned on the switch the lights flashed red white and blue. They were marked to ten cents a piece, so I bought $2 or $3 worth. Or at back to school time I will buy boxes of crayons for a quarter, markers for a dollar a package, glue and paper. Stickers are also a big hit and you can find them cheap. I also use the tons of free mailing labels companies and charities send soliciting money.

Whenever my kids get bored or restless, I go into the closet stockpile of toys or colors and pull out a new item. The newness lasts for days of fun.

Another good idea is videos from the library. They are free to check out and then you have a new movie without spending money. Our library lets you have some of them for up to three weeks and doesn't charge late fees.

Check into a family zoo pass. We buy one every year for less than $40 and go whenever we want.

Sometimes I suggest a trip to the grocery store. It breaks up the monotony and we get needed things.

Our shopping mall has a kids play area and the girls love to play in there.

In the summer in Kansas, it gets very hot. August is often too hot to play outside, but inside the kids don't get much exercise. We rescued one of those mini trampolines from our neighbor's trash. It was in good shape so we brought it inside and let the kids jump around on it. I put it away periodically and pull it out whenever they are getting restless. I rotate the toys in the toy box, too. Last week, they were in the storage room and found the big chest with the toys I had put away for awhile. They have been playing with them all week. Yesterday, they "discovered" the toys in the toy box in the family room. Some they hadn't played with in weeks. An old toy forgotten is a new toy again. Works for Me.