Monday, July 21, 2014

my summer Pinterest fails

I had such great plans. If only....

Here are some Pinterest fails for me this summer

1. Homemade laundry soap. Was cool making it...felt kind of like Ma Ingalls. Reality is that it pulled color out of dark clothing and they look terrible. We saved money on not buying fancy detergent, but tossed several T-shirts---likely more expensive than detergent.

2. Hudson's "Bored Jar"--you know, the cute mason jar filled with slips of paper that have clever activities written on them for when he says "Moooom, I'm borrreeed!"  Never.Used.It!  Not for lack of him saying that phrase either

3. Painting the master bath and installing knobs in our pitifully 1/2 done kitchen. I had pinned so many lovely paint shades and examples of modern and sleek, yet warm and inviting rooms to copy. In my defense, I have little desire to make things pretty knowing we need to do many thousands of dollars worth of repairs. Boring things like plumbing, wood rot, new windows....not a captivating decor project and no money to do them. Alas, we opted for nothing. Oh wait, not true. Mike has worked extremely hard this summer on the landscaping. Our 1 acre was wild and overgrown. He has it looking lovely.

4. Yoga routines for runners. My back is super stiff. Like when I look down at my toes, my back pulls all the way down. I know what is wrong. Runner's magazines and blogs are full of this type of problem.  Strong hamstrings and calves, weak core. Truly, I have zero abdominal muscles. I pinned several yoga routines designed to remedy this. Nope, didn't do them.

5. Take my kids to serve the poor in our city.  ARRGGHH, Again??  Last summer we missed it as well. Such a disappointment in our parenting journey!!

The good thing we did? Squash and tomato plants. Oh, and season passes for Hudson, Dillon, and I to our local (small) waterpark. I've floated the lazy river with them and counted how long they can stay under water until the cows come home.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"the" talk with the boys!

Tonight we crossed a bridge of childhood.
When Carter was a little boy we bought an early childhood, Christian book called Why Boys and Girls are Different that gives a brief, Biblcial intro into sex ed. It has been on the little boys shelf. Apparently Hudson saw it and looked through it a few days ago. Tonight while brushing his teeth, he said "I know how boys and girls are different." I played it so cool and asked how. He gave 3 examples, like girls fingernails are longer. Dillon was standing by and giggled, said "I know how, girls wear lipstick" and dissolved in to laughter. Hudson pointed down south and said "And boys have a....". I was so calm and cool, you'd be so proud. I said "that is right, boys have a penis and girls don't." To this, Dillon was taken aback and said "WHAT?? Really??"
So stinking funny! Of course we proceeded to read the book and discuss at this teachable moment.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

And the after post..speaking about mothering part 2

Here's what I gleaned from the mothering talk tonight:
 Young moms want a formula to follow, a chore chart with check offs type of thing, a book to tell them how to be a good mom.

Ain't gonna happen

At least not with me.

I think I realized something about me that doesn't fit so snug in the church circles. I'm a hippie, I dislike formulas and regulations and chore charts and stickers and standard family rules and nightly family devotions. I'm much more of a loosey goosey, listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, there's freedom in Christ kind of mom. I have a life outside of kids, and Mike is extremely competent at the daily child care routine. We don't make our beds and we don't force our kids to make theirs in the morning. And, I was a rebellious and sneaky kid so if our kids think they are dreaming up something, I've likely already tried that one.
And, Mike tells the kids if someone is bullying them and no adult is helping, punch the kid in the teeth.
Only God's grace has kept our kids are turning out as well as they are!

Speaking of mothering

Tonight I'll join 2 other ladies from church in a panel forum about mothering. We were asked to bring some thoughts on what we feel we did (or still are) doing well; and what we feel we did (and unfortunately still are) doing not so well. It is a humbling task to try to share with other moms some things that work well and things that do not work. Maybe someone out in internet land can benefit from what I've been mulling over the last 2 weeks.
First of all, I want to make sure all understand that I am still in knee deep in this mothering gig and do not want to assume I have it figured out. In fact, Hudson (age 6) is giving me a run for my money!  What I say has worked well in the past very likely may be a big bomb later on.  Carter has turned out super, all due to God's great grace...not our parenting skills!  Oh, he did get a tattoo last week..rebel :)

Suggested Books---toss most and take all with a grain of salt. They are not the end all be all of mothering/parenting
  A few I really like and cling to some of the truths are "Weird" by Craig Groeschell, "Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours" by Dr. Leman    Love is a Decision by Gary Smalley and John Trent.

Things that work well for us:
  When a kid asks to do something, I respond with "I don't know, do you have the freedom to do that?"  I totally stole this from Dr. Leman. It places the responsibility on the child.  For example:  kid wants to watch a movie. You say "I dont know, do you have the freedom to do that?"  This basically ques the child to take a mental checklist of things he/she know deep down that they should have accomplished (maybe clean room, homework completed..etc)
  Allow choices. My parents did this really well. I tried lots of activities, ugly fashion styles, and decorated my room hideously. All these things let me express and experiment without being unsafe or causing me to stumble. I try to do the same with my kids.
Have fun!  Laugh, be silly

What doesn't work well for me and I have struggled with:
Controlling behaviors.  Darn it!  I want my kids to act the way I think they should. Sometimes (okay, often) I revert to controlling behaviors to manipulate them to act "right"
Imparting a critical spirit. UGGGGH, I had to go there didn't I??  It is so amazing how I hear my kids criticizing or making assumptions and I wonder why they are critical or negative?  Umm, excuse me, pot calling the kettle black. Holy Spirit, please free my mind and tongue from a critical spirit and do the same with our children!
Spanking.  Okay, simmer down out there. I am in agreement that there is a time and a place for spanking. It works very well to deter deliberate and defiant disobedience. But, we made mistakes as new parents with spanking. We expected way to much of our young and fairly wild little boy. I wish I could redo so many of those frustrating moments and use "time ins" instead of spanking.

And lastly, I want to acknowledge that something that works well for us is that mommy has an interesting life outside of the children. Our children understand that the entire universe does not revolve around mommy serving them and making their childhoods picture perfect.

And there you have it. This is what I plan on talking about in a few hours.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

becoming garden folk

We are having a blast experimenting with our tiny garden. We have huge squash plants and awaiting our harvest (we've picked 2 and ate them) and we have 3 tall tomato plants with lots of green tomatoes. The cutest of all is our watermelon vine. There is a darling little melon growing. Mike grew up in watermelon growing part of Texas and knows how they grow. Apparently, the little buggars need a nest of dry straw to lie on!  Who knew?? The little boys love checking their produce. We hope to build a big raised bed for a garden next spring. It was so fun cooking a squash we'd grown and knowing it had no pesticides on it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

reformed VBS hater

Confession:  I've dissed on VBS for many years, since as long as I can remember. Really disliked VBS. Not sure why? Maybe the chaotic and loud environment, the cheesey paper mache crafts, the Kool-Aid in dixie cups and vanilla wafer cookies for snacks, predictable lessons and games....  I'm reformed now. Our church does a great job with VBS. We always help out in some sort of fashion. But this year, both Mike and I were huddle (small group) leaders. I had a blast! It was so well organized, bazillions of adult and teen volunteers placed all around our church property to help. The music time was so cool and even the snacks were imaginative. The group lesson times incorporated creative media resources to appeal to this high tech generation. My group was precious. 6 first graders all colors of the rainbow. The kids loved every minute of the 4 evenings. I will definitely sign up to help next year.

Monday, June 16, 2014

took the "chilin" a bit too far

Missed 2 assignment deadlines for my completely stupid Research class.  Umm, what have I become??  I'm never ever late for anything!!!