Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Goodbye Summer

Our boys head back to school tomorrow.

I know many parents are relating to the classic ad from Staples set to the tune of, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year", and have a glazed smile on their faces.  I am however, truly sad.

I think I'm dreading their return to school even more than they are.  This is saying a lot if you knew how much our middle schooler loathes this time of year.

As I sit feeling like I could cry, I mentally peeled away the layers of my sadness to get to the root of my melancholy.  Eureka!  I found it!

I'm sad that this summer is ending because we will never have this summer again.  Sure, another trip around the sun and we'll have another summer season; but we'll never have THIS summer again.

This was the summer of our oldest son having his last birthday before becoming a teenager.
It was the summer of our youngest son having his last birthday in the single digits.
It was the summer both of our boys chose to be baptized as an outward expression of their faith.
It was the summer of multiple birthday sleepovers.
It was the summer of new wheels for the hubs.
It was the summer of both boys being away at camp at the same time and yet having a schedule that was busier than ever!
It was the summer our Webelos Scout earned his first pin (Aquanaut)!
It was the summer our Boy Scout was voted into the Order of the Arrow!
It was the summer of spending time with family in Westport, playing with cousins in the water, digging up shells and kayaking.
It was the summer I learned (with help from our Boy Scout) how to start a fire with flint and steel.
It was the summer our oldest got his braces on.
It was the summer our family went camping, and I actually liked it!
It was the summer of spending lots of time at the pool with Auntie Julie (because she had an operation on her hand) - as well as time with Auntie Judy, and the cousins swimming and splashing.
It was the summer of 2 VBS's.
It was the summer we picked lots of raspberries and made our first jam.
It was the summer our whole family was involved in our church's VBS (and raising money for children in India to get clean drinking water).
It was the summer of our youngest telling me at the bowling alley, "Don't give up Mum. You can do it, believe in yourself. Remember, as Cub Scouts, we 'do our best'. And don't ever forget - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
It was the summer of really great weather, good health, and many blessings!

It was filled with memories we'll cherish, and times that will never be repeated.

Since my lovely mother died over six years ago, I am extremely mindful of how quickly time moves on.  My Mum always used to say, "The older you get, the faster time goes by." She was so right!

I pass these wise words on to our boys.  I encourage them to enjoy where they are at and embrace what is coming.

So with that in mind, I will be thankful for our terrific summer and will now look forward. I will welcome all of the one-of-a-kind, never to be repeated moments that are coming and will make fall 2014 another amazing season to cherish.

Farewell summer 2014!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day 3

Today I am thankful for sleep. 
This may sound weird to those that know me well as 6 - 8 hours is plenty for me, and I don't like to sleep late. But, I am so appreciative of a good night's sleep. If I'm sick, it makes me feel better. If I'm worried or stressed about things, I awake with a better perspective. After a long day it feels so great to climb under cozy covers. Then in the am, I love waking up to my young men coming in for a morning snuggle before starting our day.
Thank you Lord for peaceful sleep!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day 2

Today I am thankful for my husband. 
He works hard to provide for our family. He is the official attic 'getter-outer' and 'put-awayer'. He does most of the yard work. He protects me from ferocious bugs (like spiders). When I'm sick, he takes care of me. He is a great Dad and gets involved in the boys Scouting (he is "Mr. Scout"), and cheers them on at their soccer games. He makes great cheesy eggs. He is a wonderful example of loving and serving the Lord. He loves me unconditionally, supports, protects and encourages me. And if all of that isn't enough, he does a great Dr. Duffenshmirtz impersonation which amuses me greatly (sorry folks, he won't do that for just anyone)! I could go on, but suffice to say, I am thankful and blessed to have John as my husband!
Thank you Lord for providing me with a wonderful husband and friend, and a great dad for our boys!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

"30 Days of Thankfulness Challenge" Day 1

As I was falling asleep last night I was running through my head all of the things that needed to get done today in preparation for this evenings Pizza & Movie Night for my Cub Scouts.  As I was feeling a little overwhelmed by the list of 'to-do's', I knew what my Day 1 post would be about.

Today I am thankful for, our home.

It's not palatial.  It's not pristine.  It's floors are not without stains and marks.  It's shelves and corners are not without clutter.

But here's what it is.

It's a home where there is lots of love, laughter and life!  Over the 9 years since the Lord brought us to, and provided for our home,
* we have welcomed our 2nd son
* hosted playgroups
* my mother stayed on weekends (super special since she is now with the Lord)
* held summer school when the public school had nothing to offer
* had a licensed day care, providing for our family
*  lots of laughs at Sunday night scrapbook nights
* celebrated many birthdays, anniversaries and holidays
* annual Christmas parties
* lead and hosted two separate Cub Scout Dens
* many Bible studies
* dearly loved Heart2Heart program once a month
* too many play dates to count
And much, much more!!

What a blessing it has been to watch our children grown here, and welcome friends and family in it's doors.

So although our home may not be featured in Better Homes and Gardens, it is a refuge and blessing to our family, and I am truly grateful!!  Thank you Lord for our home!!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

30 Days of Thankfulness Challenge

Several years ago I started an "I Am Thankful" challenge on my blog; you know, where you write one thing for which you are thankful each day.  After a few years had passed and I began using Facebook more than my blog, I began writing my thankful posts on there. 

Psalm 107:1 Give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever.

As November is approaching quickly, I began thinking about how it's almost 'that time' again.  As I considered it while perusing my Facebook news feed however, I felt God prod me to do more.

I was convicted to not only write one thing for which I am thankful each day in November, but also to strive to not complain.

Complain, complain, complain.  How easy our pet peeves, annoyances and gripes roll off the tongue (and fingers).  "We need to vent!" we'll reason.  Yes, it's true, I feel the need to vent sometimes too.  But have you ever signed onto Facebook for a quick minute before work just to check in and at the end of that minute feel annoyed or almost depressed over all of the negative posts in your news feed?
What if, ... what if, instead of just posting what we are thankful for that day, we also endeavor to keep our posts positive for the whole month?  How would that make us feel individually, not to give into that grumpy voice in our heads?  How would it make us feel to see primarily happy, positive posts in our news feeds?

Now of course, things will come up.  People will have real needs, hurts and problems.  I'm talking about giving up for one month, posting about how horrible the coffee server was who forgot to double cup your latte.  I'm talking about not speculating how anyone could buy a new car in that color.  I'm talking about not complaining that anyone who likes a particular show, movie or band is a moron.  See where I'm going with this?  We all have the right to our opinions, I'm just challenging us all to not go negative for one month.
Ephesians 4:29 - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
This will also help us with Philippians 4:8 - Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

And what if we take things even one step further (now I'm really getting crazy!).  What if, we challenge ourselves to let at least one person per week through November know that we appreciate them?  A handshake and a word of thanks.  A card with a note of appreciation.  What then?  How would that effect both the giver and the receiver?
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up ...

What do you say?  Anyone with me on this?

Would you join me for "30 Days of Thankfulness"? 

Feel free to save the picture below and put it on your Facebook page or blog.  If you have a blog, leave me a message with your address and I'll link to your site.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Against my better judgment, I clicked on a link on the MSN home page.

The headline read, "Florida mom outraged over breastfeeding ban at college".

I don't know why I clicked on it. Really, I don't. But alas, I did.

MSN had a video (which I'd like to include a link to in this post, but they have since taken it off) where the mom talks about how she's been wronged. Oh pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaassssssssssseeeeeeeee!

Here it is in a nutshell:

She showed up at her final exam for a college course with her 10 month old baby in a stroller and expected to be let in. (She said her plan was for the baby to sleep through most of the exam, and then maybe wake up at the end to be fed. We all know how babies follow their mother's plans, right?!) She was turned away by a proctor at the door because babies are not allowed in a final exam.

The mom then claimed the school was violating her rights and sent them a copy of a law that says she has the right to breastfeed in public.

The college wrote her back saying her rights were not violated as their issue wasn't with her breastfeeding, but their policy is that no babies/children are allowed in a proctored final exam.

So then what does this woman say to the interviewer? Oh.. it gets worse...

She said that if there are special accommodations made for people with handicaps and learning-disabilities, even giving them separate rooms, then breast feeding mother should be given the same.

So being a parent is now equivalent to being handicapped or having a disability?!?!?!? Seriously?!!!!

The reporter also said that when she was asked why she didn't leave the baby with someone during her exam she said that the father was at work.

Ok, so the REAL issue here is not about breastfeeding at all! It's that she didn't have a babysitter and therefore, she felt entitled to bring her 10 month old to an exam and all of the other students just had to suck-up the distraction.

I am so irritated by this story!!!! I am sickened by this wave of entitlement that has swept the country!! This is not isolated as I'm sure many of us can attest. I've even heard of mothers changing their baby’s diapers on restaurant tables if they don't have a changing facility, or if it's not to their liking. Seriously? Bring your stroller into the restroom or go to your car. How seriously unhygienic and how disgusting for other patrons! It would be nice if they had a changing station, and certainly you could decide not to go there again because you don't care for their lack of accommodations. But your child is not the world's responsibility!!

I've had two babies. I know how hard, exhausting, inconvenient, stressful and thankless it can be. But you know what? I chose to have my two precious little guys. They are our responsibility and I don't expect the whole world to bend over backwards to make my job easier. The world doesn't owe me.

So to all of the selfish, self-absorbed, entitled parents out there: Get over yourselves!!!!!!!!!!

I will now store my soapbox safely away until my next rant.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

We're Scary

The boys wanted to go to the library after school today. (What mom is going to say 'no' to that?)
After checking out 12 books, we headed out to the parking lot.
I waited for the boys to climb in the back and shut the door.  Then I got in and sat down.
We were sitting for about a minute and I thought to myself, "What's taking so long?"
I then looked to my left to see the drivers seat empty.
I then began laughing hysterically, my boys were only very mildly amused.  I think at this point, they're starting to just find my craziness scary.
So I get out of the passengers seat and into the drivers seat and we begin our short trip home.  As I'm driving, our 7 year old comments on the fact that a truck had passed us with "John Ripley" written on the side.
He said that he found that funny and then asked us to guess why he thought it was funny.  Our 11 year old guessed that he thought 'rippley' referred to the man farting a lot. (I have boys, gas humor is how they roll)  We all giggled about that and then he said, "No.  I thought there were a lot of people named John buried in there."
Son #1 and I were baffled and looked at each other through the rear view mirror and I quietly said that I didn't get it.
"Well a lot of gravestones say 'rip' on them so if that says 'ripply' there must be more than one dead person."