Friday, November 20, 2015

Procrastination, Pinterest Fails and Curse Words

Momma's Log November 20, 2015 (Kwrp)

So, last week started off with the realization that the craft fair that I had signed up to participate in at Super Rock Star's workplace was happening. On Thursday.  In my true to form procrastinating nature I started gathering ideas Monday morning.  How hard could it be?   SO.. I started off where any good crafting soldier starts off--PINTEREST.  I have a love/hate relationship with this particular place.  I LOVE it because you can get super good ideas for just about anything here and I HATE it because those super good ideas almost NEVER turn out the way they show in the picture--known as Pinterest Fails.  As you will soon see--I had one of those precious moments in my week.

TUESDAY morning (the procrastination continues) I found this SUPER cute idea for making a candle center piece out of mason jars. 

It just so happens that a friend of mine from my Bible study had just given me a bunch of mason jars that she no longer wanted.  As you get to know will find that I NEVER turn down a freebie-- even if I have NO idea what I will do with it.  If it's free.  It's mine.  Anyway, I thought they looked adorable and relatively easy to make:  Some jars,some spray snow, a cute little cut out scene (PLUS the artist supplied the template for printing--YAY!) -- pop in a candle and POOF you're done.  Cute. Easy--Heh Heh--not so much.   FIRST of all, the artist said to use spray snow.  I should have grown a little suspicious when I noticed a comment questioning how well the spray snow would stay on. "I've had mine for over a year, and the snow has NEVER flaked off" says the artist. Liar, liar, pants on fire!!! I wasted an entire day spraying these jars and waiting patiently for them to dry.  Just merely picking them up sent the snow disintegrating off like the needles on Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. 

I even tried putting a finishing coat on. Nuttin.  They were a HUGE mess.  And the cute little cut out? Oh. My. Goodness.
It took me half an hour just to get ONE cut out.  I looked at the time.... I looked at what else I had to do and I saw this was going to turn into "one of those" weeks.

Next, on my list to make was some pillows.  I had all the fabric I needed, had come up with a simple Christmas tree pattern and I thought I would use up my plethora of extra buttons to sew on to make it look like ornaments on the tree. PERFECT! Now, here's where things start to take a very bad turn.   Super Rock Star got home Tuesday evening and I had managed to have 16 jars sprayed that were spewing dusty snow everywhere, one template cut out and the fronts of 4 pillows PARTIALLY done.  I was feeling pretty good about my progress until WHAM he hits me with "You know you have to have these ready by tomorrow afternoon, right?"  WHA WHAT??!! Yeah, apparently to participate in the craft fair you have to be oh, I don't know, PREPARED and have your table all set up the afternoon BEFORE the fair starts! Gulp!  I give him my best -- I had no idea look and I think he could see the desperation in my eyes.

Being the loving super SUPER ROCK STAR guy that he is AND the best husband EVER, he offered to help.  He came up with the BRILLIANT solution to use white spray paint (which does not flake off everywhere) for the jars AND he spent the entire evening cutting out the scenes.  Did I mention that the scenes were on thick craft paper. And had tiny details like 1000 windows on a house with at least two chimneys (Who does TWO chimney's. On a cut out? Why?!) ? 

Yep.  I owe him BIG time. Good GRAVY!!! Can anything just be easy?!!

Sewing on the buttons on the Christmas trees took and  EXCRUCIATINGLY long amount of time. Also, I punctured my fingers with the needle so much, I was howling in pain with all 32 buttons. (If only they made something to put on your fingers to protect them from being poked by the pins and needles when sewing....)

Also it turns out that in my pile of a bajillion buttons the only colors I possessed were brown, black and beige. Not very Christmassy (UGH!)   I had decided to buy some rope trim just to give them a little extra "I made an effort" look. Let me ask you-- have you ever tried to sew rope trim onto square pillows? 

If not--it's a real hoot (said no one EVER)! In trying to force my sewing machine over the stacks of 3ft high trim and fabric (small exaggeration--but that's what it seemed like) I had to grit my teeth (because that helps--you know) and shove the masses through the machine praying that some small particle of a stitch would latch on holding it together--meanwhile the pins that I used to hold the stacks together are jamming into my wrists and the howling in pain continues (no--they do not make a thimble type apparatus for wrists--I checked).  I am not a big curse word user.  In fact most of the time the worst that pops out of my mouth is the phrase "curse word" and the OCCASIONAL use of the "D" word.  By the end of all this I was throwing curse words out left and right without remorse.  I was yelling at my sewing machine as if my words would some how miraculously get it to defy all the odds and produce a somewhat straight seam in the midst of all of the uneven terrain of fabric, trim and buttons. At one point I noticed Super Rock Star giving me a side glance that was either fear or pride--maybe a mix of both.

By late that night, we had managed to finish most of it--only some assembly left to do. But, we were both exhausted and our hands were cramped into grotesquely painful positions.  Our home was a complete disaster area and we both fell EXHAUSTED into bed.

The finished products actually turned out o.k. and, to be honest Super Rock Star was kind of hoping the tree pillows wouldn't sell so that we could keep them for ourselves. (that is a HUGE compliment to me).

As for the craft fair.  I sold 3 of the 6 pillows I made and 0 of the mason jar contraptions.  I don't blame people--as much effort as we put into making them they didn't seem up to par for selling. Plus, there were at least 3 other tables that had some sort of mason jar craft to sell, so maybe they weren't as special as I had hoped they would be.   Lessons I learned:  1) Once again, NEVER trust an idea on Pinterest (esp. if your making it the night before said event--this is true for recipes, crafts, everything) and 2) If you decide to sign up for a craft fair--maybe start a little earlier than the day before. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

God changed my plans today

Momma's Log November 5, 2015 (Kwrp)

I love lists--I love making them, I love thinking about them, I love checking things off when I've completed them. It's like an obsession for me.  (To see how truly, crazily and insanely thorough I am, you can read it in my blog post from a few weeks ago) I have learned that having some sort of schedule is essential, because without one chaos ensues.  However, ever since my boys have gone back to school and I'm in this new territory of planning how to spend the 7 hours they are away--my lists have gotten pretty ridiculous. I have a plan on how to spend almost every moment of my day.  I like the feeling of order, control and consistency of knowing what's going to happen.   But, here's the difficult part--my desire is to get all of these things done so that when my husband and children need me I'm available, fully there and not distracted by the things I want to get done on my list.  Sounds reasonable right?  So why is it so hard?
Day after day, I make a plan, I start to implement it and BOOM--something happens to throw my world into COMPLETE chaos (or mildly disrupted--it depends on your perspective).  Whether it's something as small as one of my children forgetting something at home so I have to spend an unplanned 20 minutes of my day (which is clearly slated to be designated to exercise time) to go take it to them at school, or the car is out of gas and I (UGH!) have to spend an excruciating 15 minutes watching the meter click at an interminably slow pace which has now forced me to be behind during my running errands scheduled time slot or, the one that nearly sends me over the edge of my sanity--the super chatty sales clerk at the store.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I DO NOT need to hear about how your head cold is making you feel all sluggish and that management won't let you go home as you sneeze and cough and sputter your woes to me while ringing my purchase at an excruciating slow speed.  Keep your head down, sister, and just scan, scan, scan-- make it snappy! It goes on and on--interruptions that destroy and upset my perfectly laid out plan of how I wanted to spend my time that day.

But, boy have I been convicted lately on this issue.  I realized I was being absolutely hateful to everyone I came in contact with--even those I love the most--all because I felt that their "interruptions" or "slowness" or even silly changes in plan were taking precious time away from my time spent on my list.   One example was last week--Super Rock Star normally practices on Tuesday nights, but last week  the band decided to cancel practice.  Now, what I had planned on doing was--what I always do while he's at practice which is read a book and relaxing--it was on my list.  Item # 22.786 sub paragraph 2.   With the change in schedule I ended up snuggling with my hubby while we watched shows. Oh the horror (dripping sarcasm)  Ridiculous Right?  It's enjoyable to sit with him and enjoy giggling at our favorite shows together, but because of my over the top control freak desire to stick to my plan--I was grumpy and groany and made sure he realized that changing his plans was NOT making me very happy.  
Whenever my boys get home from school, I have a SCHEDULE to keep--home work, chores, put their things away, THEN they are to go off and play so I can make dinner.  But, that rarely happens.  Instead they want to tell me about their day (the nerve), talk while they're doing their homework, and I have to prod them through each and every chore all the while they are goofing off and laughing and having a great ole time while they do it. What happens?  I LOSE it --I yell, I screech and holler for them to go with the plan, follow orders, do as they are told!

As you can imagine, when I see their crumpled little faces or when I see the look of rejection in Super Rock Stars face--I realize they must wonder " what in the world is wrong with this woman"?  Why can't I just lighten up?  Why do I feel SO defeated when things go awry? Why am I trying so hard to control my life rather than just live it? So, in the quiet of my time with the Lord, He leads me to realize that everything I am fighting against--the interruptions, the changes in plan, the unscheduled events--ARE His plan for me.  Get it?  God is trying to show me He has a plan for my life every day and it is not what I thought (or planned) it would be.  I'm not saying it's totally wrong to have an outline for you day--goals or things you would like to get done--but the way I have been handling it has been totally wrong.  I have used my lists as my marching orders and like a good little soldier I want to complete them so I feel complete.  But God is saying "No,no, no, no, child--My plans for you are different. My ways are NOT your ways."   He wants me to seek Him in everything--including how to spend my day.  He wants to grow me, stretch me, create in me a desire to be more like Him and if I am just following my own agenda--I'll miss it.  I'll miss those opportunities to grow closer to my husband, I'll miss those opportunities to engage with my children and just laugh and be silly with them,  I'll miss those opportunities to show kindness, patience, respect to a stranger.  I'll miss out on showing Jesus' love to those who desperately need it--all because I am so focused on some silly non important things I wrote down on a piece of paper.

Earlier this week I challenged myself to at least try to be more flexible if some hiccup disrupted what I had scheduled.   As you can imagine it took nano seconds for God to let me test this out.  MY plan for the day was to follow my older son's bus to the destination for his field trip and then run some errands, go home and get some house work done that I was behind on, take a rest, do some reading maybe and then pick up both boys after school.  THAT was the plan, but what happened was NOT the plan.  Oh sure, I followed the bus, got to see him safely into the building, take off  in my car whistling a happy tune of freedom.. and phone rings.  It's his teacher wondering if I could stay and be an extra chaperon for the field trip since the one who was supposed to go cancelled.  Sigh!  "O.K." , I say, "I'll turn around and be right back".  Mentally, I'm calculating that I will now no longer have time to do ANY of the things I planned to do that day.  The field trip is to see a two hour play put on by young adults that I will now GET to watch with my son and about 200 other noisy, rambunctious 2nd and 3rd graders. Oh, joy! I realized that by the time the play finished and following the bus back to the school I would barely have enough time to get a load of laundry in before it was time to head back to the school for pick up.

The whole time I drove back to the field trip destination I mentally coached myself to get into the moment.  But, I'll be honest--I wasn't there.  I did this VERY begrudgingly and not AT ALL with a good attitude.  I plastered on a smile and sat next to my son.  But, as soon as the play started and I had surrendered to the realization that my plan for the day had been blown (that I was trapped and there was no where to run or hide), I relaxed.  My son thoroughly enjoyed the play--and to be honest--I did too.  I LOVED his look of pride and joy when he saw me come in to sit next to him.  I LOVED watching him laugh and really get into the story and I LOVED how he clung to me almost the entire two hours.  But,  most of all I loved that somehow I knew I had permission to enjoy this moment in time.

You see, I think as Moms we feel like were supposed to be doing doing doing all the time.  Especially as a stay at home Mom--I constantly feel like I have to justify my existence and "earn my keep" so to speak.  I think that's why I'm always pushing myself so hard to get so much done.  But, this experience has taught me something so huge I can hardly put it into words.  At any given time, God has us where we are for purpose.  For me that means being fully here for my family, rolling with it when my plans change and engaging and being kind to the strangers He places in my path almost every day.  It means allowing God to "interrupt" my schedule so that I can be what He wants me to be for someone else and be in the moment rather than chasing after the next item on my list.  As with all the lessons He's teaching me, this one does not come easily.  As I walk through this life-- trying so hard to shed this snake skin of my sinful nature that longs to be selfish-- and replace it with being more selfless and putting others needs before my own, I find that the Lord blesses me with the feelings of significance and sense of completion I long for. When I put my agenda before His, all I feel is miserable.  

As I walked Morgan out to his bus after the play he gave me the biggest hug and whispered "I'm so glad you stayed".  That, folks, is all the encouragement I need to try to do this Momma/Wife thing better all the time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

To buy or not to buy--THAT is the question!

Momma's Log October 27, 2015 (Kwrp)

Today we need  to discuss a critical topic--one that can raise havoc in households all across our nation, dividing families, causing weeping and gnashing of teeth and tearing at the very fabric of our peaceful lives: Do you do store bought or homemade Halloween costumes?

Now, this is seemingly a simple question to answer, but in my almost 9 years as a Momma--I tell you it is NOT.  Every year I face the excruciating anxiety over what my two little monsters will tell me (demand) what they would like to dress up as.  When they were babies--we got to choose for them and boy did we have fun!

But, now that they are older, they have VERY specific ideas on this subject and, buckle up because it can be a bumpy ride.  You see, kids, there this little known phenomenon called "television show/movie influence" that I am just becoming aware of.  What is this? You may ask.  It is the syndrome that causes all children to become OBSESSED with whatever they have recently been exposed to on television or movies.  Did you take your kiddos to see the latest Disney movie? Uh huh.  Did--as soon as the lights sprang on--your overly excited and over the top stimulated child then start rattling off how they wanted to be the hero/princess/robot or whatever was portrayed in the movie?

Yep.  Later when you got home, did your child stumble across the newspaper ads and see that there were TOYS available to purchase featuring said characters and then start begging and pleading and giving you their Christmas and birthday wish lists involving these toys? (My boys lists have extended into --"for this birthday I want this and for my next birthday I want this", and so on....we're at about 5 years from now on the wish lists)  And then, low and behold, did the catalog featuring Halloween costumes somehow escape the recycle bin and end up in front of Junior in all of his wide eyed wonder that not only are there toys, but he realizes his dreams can now come true--he can now BE the one he has been obsessing over?  And there you have it--the dilemma.

On the one hand one has to consider budget--Halloween costumes can cost as much as a weeks worth of groceries.  But, on the other hand--one has to be pretty crafty and creative to put some of these contraptions together in a way that it will at least seem like the real deal.  Sometimes the time, effort and cost of materials alone can be staggering.    Whatever happened to the one piece flimsy jumpsuit costumes with the hospital tie in the back and the horrible plastic slitty eyed, barely large enough hole to breath through masks that cost like 5 bucks?

No, no today costumes are all elaborate with the built in poofy muscles, the layer upon layer satin gowns and then--oh my gosh--the accessories (sold separately, of course).  The guns, swords, shields, tiaras, purses, wigs, wands and helmets--it just goes on and on and on.  Last year was a purchase year for me and not only did we have masks and weapons, but we had to have special gloves too. My goodness, who knew that a pair of finger less gloves would cost as much as a weeks worth of latte's?

Now, I know what you're going to say (in your most condescending voice)--"you know you don't HAVE to do all that?  Second hand stores have perfectly good used costumes and last year I only spent $10 for little Johnny and he was as happy as can be".  And you would be right.  I could do that.  But, there is something magical about allowing my boys to become the objects of their fantasy that make them feel like super heroes.  I love placing them in the moment and watching their imaginations soar as they battle the legions of doom and destruction that threaten to take over our humble abode.  But, it does come at a price--sometimes a hefty one.

This year, I goofed big time and I suppose that is the reason for my post today--to save other parents from being as foolish as I was a few weeks ago. We were all set--with the latest Avengers movie that came out earlier this year and then Ant Man this Summer.  My boys had decided on store bought costumes and I had even clipped coupons for some pretty significant savings that would help me not break the bank.(Yay me!)  But then I made the mistake of all rookie mistakes:   Anyone else have Netflix? Yeah, me too.  Anyone else let their kids watch Shark boy and Lava girl?

My boys LOVED it.  I mean LOVED IT LOVED IT.  They've seen it about half a dozen times in less than a month.  I realized too late that the imaginations of my two super heroes had shifted from Ant Man and Ultron to......Shark Boy.

What?!!! But, but...we had a PLAN and, and....I had it all worked out! Why, you ask,  would this changing of their minds create such crisis?  Well, you see, the movie came out about 10 years ago. (Truthfully, I should have realized this since Shark Boy is played by Taylor Lautner and I know he's not 10 anymore cause I've watched him as the wolf boy/man, or whatever, in Twilight)  And,as you can imagine, there are no toys to correspond (bonus for me). But-- the big horror--no costumes.  None.  Nada.  I had two little faces imploring me with their precious blue eyes and pleading to be Shark Boy. " Please Momma? PLEASE?????".

So, I did what any Mother would do...  I told them they couldn't be shark boy because they don't make shark boy costumes and that it was unfortunate that Netflix would revive a show featuring super heroes that kids love and not have some sort of product marketing to go with it. And that was that.   Or so I thought.  My boys would have been fine, if I told them they had to settle for a second choice.  To be honest my boys would be fine wearing the same costumes from last year, but it was me that wanted to make them happy.  To eek out those precious grins of excitement that come in such rare waves these days.  To be THEIR hero in coming up with a way to make their dreams (silly though they seem) come true.  So, I begrudgingly got on Pinterest (the bane of my existence) found a couple of photos from folks that had found simplified ways to make the costume and I grumpily got to work.

One of my friends told me recently that she felt like I had a mom gene that she didn't get.  I want to be perfectly honest with you.  I love my boys and I LOVE being a Momma--Super Rock Star and I do A LOT for them and with them and love every second.  But, for me, every birthday party, every Christmas surprise, every planned fun outing, and yes, every Halloween costume always begins with a curmudgeony groan of "UGH--this is going to take FOREVER" or "WHY oh why can't we just dial this one in--I don't wanna!" I wanted to have children as long as I can remember and I always imagined myself being the kind of crafty, creative, come up with a zillion projects and always engage my children Mom. But, I found out real quick that this Momma thing does not come naturally to me--EVER.  Most days I am just fumbling along and feeling pretty smug whenever we make it to the end of the day with all of us alive, somewhat clean and fully clothed.  I am always thrilled when I feel I got one right--those moments when I feel like there should be some sort of awards ceremony that miraculously pops into my home and Dick Clark (If he were still alive) bestows on me the Mother of the Day award.
I never regret investing time in my two little boys, but I am a selfish, introverted, grumpy Gus on the inside and it takes a lot of effort for me, a lot of days, to invest time to do much more than just get by.  I'm not proud of it and I know I have a long way to go in changing my attitude.

The Shark Boy costumes really weren't that big of a deal to put together and it didn't take much time at all.  In fact, just between you and me...I enjoyed it.  It was fun to be a little creative and it brought me a lot of joy to know how happy my boys would be when they got to be the object of their current dreams.   And, yes, they are SO happy--you just can't tell in these pictures because Shark Boy is always apparently grumpy (he and I have A LOT much in common) and my boys are method actors.
How about you?  Are you a store bought costume purchaser or do you like to get out your inner Martha Stewart and come up with your own creations?  I will tell you, after this experience, I will not be as hesitant to explore the home made option more often--it's fun to have them dressed up as something different than the masses.  And, just in case you're wondering--no.  No, I am not going as Lava Girl.  Tight pink spandex is not happenin on this Momma's body.

Friday, October 16, 2015


Momma's Log October 15, 2015 (Kwrp)

Have you ever felt stuck?  Not literally (as in your shoes are stuck to the floor and you can't move or maybe somehow you have fallen into a tar pit and are stuck and sinking--if this is you, you should probably stop reading and call for help), but you just feel like you can't get motivated to do anything? I am-- at this moment--stuck.  I have been stuck for 4 days now. Did you ever see that movie Awakenings--where Robert De Niro plays a man that is catatonic?

That's how I feel at this moment.  Now, please don't think I am, in any way, making fun of anyone who suffers from this condition--I'm just saying it's where I am emotionally at this moment.  I feel trapped inside my own body and unable to motivate myself to do a single. solitary. thing.  It's so frustrating.

With my boys home this week for fall break I knew life would be a little more hectic, but I was still hopeful about accomplishing a little more besides wiping the drool off my chin that keeps sliding down my face as I seem to be unable to even muster the energy to close my mouth.  Sigh.  I've considered several options as to why this has come over me so suddenly.  We have had a pretty busy schedule lately--lots of appointments, activities, and Super Rock Star has had gigs every weekend which always creates a need for some heavy duty recovery time.  So, it's possible that my body is just telling me to just rest.  The thing is, I'm getting plenty of sleep and I feel fine physically--especially since I've been in this frozen state for several days now.   It seems that maybe there is more to it than lack of rest.  I'm beginning to wonder if it's a deeper more spiritual type rest that I need.  The Bible talks many times of the Sabbath and how we need to observe it--and we DO go to church most every weekend and worship and then come home and sit our rumps and enjoy watching football and relaxing.  In the Beginning, God even took a rest from His work--you know creating the universe, sun, stars, moon, planets, earth, water, air, animals, plants, and humans in six days (minor things, but hey,  let's not deny Him the need for a bit of a breather on the 7th day).  The Bible also talks of Jesus taking rest--getting away from the crowds and even taking a nap in a boat in the middle of a pretty severe storm (He must have been REALLY tired--boy have I been there!) So, it makes sense to me, that the Lord, would seriously need to shut down my body and brain just to force me to take a break from the worries of life.  It's kind of like when my boys were little, I would have to force them to take naps--they were so tired and didn't even know it (screaming at me at the top of their little lungs--I'M NOT SLEEPY!!!!!).

They would be so grumpy, rubbing their precious little eyes, but didn't want to stop playing to get rest--even though I knew they would feel better (and I would too)if they did.

Maybe that's what God is doing for me at this moment.  I've been running a pretty successful 3 ring circus for several weeks now and I seem to think I need to keep it up, so I'm trudging along like a little freight engine, just doing doing doing--the next commitment, the next project, the next appointment.  But, I'm not enjoying anything.  I should have been clued in when things, that I normally enjoy and are a pleasure for me, started to feel like a chore --"I guess I should look at the gorgeous fall colors right now (heavy sigh...)", or "isn't this carmel latte delicious (said in most bland, boring attitude)"--I feel like Debbie Downer from Saturday night live.  (Can't you just hear the Whom, whoooom).

The one bright spark in all of this inactivity has been the enjoyment of just sitting in an environment with my boys and listening to and watching them play.  In all the business of getting things done, I have started to take for granted the sheer pleasure of listening to them as they lose themselves in wonderful worlds of imagination.  I LOVE that time has no affect on them whatsoever--they are not bound by any type of schedule when they are in their imaginary universe and everything just morphs together effortlessly from one game to another.  It fascinates me that I never have to come up with a way to entertain them.

Children come naturally equipped with everything they need to enjoy life and it's all wrapped up in their wonderful little minds.  I find myself envying them that they can just be so free to enjoy and they trust that their Daddy and I will take care of their every need.  When they're hungry--we feed them.  When they're thirsty--we give them a drink.  Whatever they need we provide it for them because we love them.

And it's time I remembered that Jesus promises that for me too--and He didn't say it would end when I became a grown up.  In Mathew 6:25-27 it tells us not to worry about our lives-- what we eat or drink or about our bodies and what we will wear.  He takes care of the birds of the air and THEY aren't worrying about it, so we don't need to worry either because we are so much more precious to Him than birds.  In other words--I AM free to just enjoy the things in this life--I'm the silly one that keeps making it a chore.  I read recently that play time is essential for children because for them--that IS their work.  Wouldn't it be something if I could enjoy my chores, to do's, appointments and such with the same enthusiasm that my boys enjoy pretending to be Iron Man, Spies, or Shark Boy?  The Bible talks in Mathew 18:3 of how we are to become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.  So, maybe, just maybe, the whole reason God has forcefully made me sit still is because it was the only way He was able to get my attention to remind me that I need to be more child like. 

Life is hard.  The world is a scary place right now.  Sometimes I just want to go hide and not come out until it's all better.  But, God seems to be saying that it's a condition of my attitude, my perspective.  He's got the whole world in His hands.  Yes, there are serious things going on in our lives and world.  Yes, I have responsibilities that sometimes weigh very heavy on me.  But, I am also blessed to know the One who has it all under control and that I can trust to deal with all of the scary things that I see with my eyes and hear with my ears.  He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power love and a sound mind.  It's the JOY of the Lord, that is my strength! 

Now, excuse me, I must go put on my Wonder Woman costume (or maybe Bat Girl) --I've got some toilets to scrub!

Writers Note:  Any grammatical errors are put there are on purpose --you know--so that all of my grammar geek friends can enjoy finding them.  Kind of like a word search...only different. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fall Break

Momma's Log October 7, 2015 (Kwrp)

Ahh! Fall Break!  It's that time of year again...that time we all look forward to with hold your breath excitement and anticipation! (Insert sound of record needle scratching across record) What?! You've never heard of fall break?  Yeah, me neither.  Not until about 4 years ago when my lil guys started school.  Yep, here in the good ole State of Colorado, in the fair city of Colorado Springs, in the not so well known district of 49 we GET to have fall break. Wait....Wha?  I know. I know.  But, let me take a small moment of my day to give you the highlights of WHY we are the privileged chosen of this break that no one in the rest of the world and hardly anyone else in our city has. 

You see, kids, a few years ago, the smarty pants, higher ups in our district claim that they took a survey  asking parents various questions about their preferences for the school schedule--start and end times for the school day, where the school buses should pick up and drop off, and yes, apparently there was a question about having a fall break.  But, what no one seems to remember is that the pay off for this fall break would be to start school in the middle of summer instead of the, preferred... end of summer.  Instead of getting to enjoy all 12 weeks of soaking in the sun(you know, that 2 hours we get before noon here in Colorado when the temp finally reaches a reasonably warm level), playing in the pool (hopefully yours isn't in the shade til 2:00pm and therefore you don't get to play very often because of the afternoon thunderstorms that come through like clockwork), eating Popsicle's, playing at the park and doing all of the summery things we all love to do--they decided that we only needed 9 weeks to get all of our activities in.  We GET to start school on August 1st and since that makes for a pretty long stretch til Thanksgiving and Christmas break,  we GET to have fall break.  

Now, I don't mean to be one to complain.  Having a break can certainly be nice, but I'll be real honest...I'd  rather have back my summer.  For the last four years we have had to move through our summer activities at break neck speed. Starting in late May I'm barking out orders to go play like a drill sergeant:   

"Okay, today, we need to go play at the park!  I don't care that it's only 50 degrees, just bundle up--wear your heavy coat and gloves, it's summer break--we don't have time to wait until the weather is warmer.  There's a schedule to keep here--we have miniature golf to play, we must go camping and fishing, there's the zoo to visit, we gotta go to a water park and a baseball game.  Move it! Move it! Show some hustle!" My poor boys move meekly through our break looking dazed and confused as to why our summer break doesn't look or feel like the ones they've seen on TV. 

Truth be told, I do love fall--it's probably my favorite time of year and I DO enjoy spending time with my boys.  I've really been missing them since school started, but coming up with ways to entertain Thing 1 and Thing 2 so they don't destroy our happy dwelling, is a little trickier than than it would have been 2 months ago.   Plus, with Christmas only a mere 78 days away, the ole pocket book is a little thin on funds. With the weather turning cooler, it's harder to find free and inexpensive things to do.  So, for the sake of my sanity and the humblest of hopes, I turn to you today with the plea of my heart crying out for some ideas on some activities we can do for the next 10 days that will not break the bank and not drive me crazy.

PLEASE, for the love of all things holy, do NOT suggest anything you have seen on pinterest.   For you crafty sorts out there--I love you, I think you're creativity is....well...just nifty, but I am still cleaning out glitter from every crevice in my kitchen table after following an over zealous suggestion 3 years ago.  Movies, movies and more movies are all I have in my arsenal right now and I'm trying really hard to not turn my children into mindless, vacant zombies.  
Any suggestions would be helpful--I'm sure more than one of us could use a few fresh ideas on some things to keep us going for the next few days...unless, of course, you are one of the lucky ones and your kids are in school...where they're supposed to be..this time of year. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Making an "Ebenezer Stone" kind of change

Momma's Log September 30, 2015 (Kwrp)

Change.  I don't know about you, but that word usually sends heebeegeebee chills down my spine.  I am not a person who likes sudden change.  I like my schedule (as seen in last weeks post), I like to know that the sun comes up and the sun goes down, I like my bowl of cheerios every morning and my cup of coffee every afternoon.  I'm a bit like Rainman ('s definitely time for Judge Wapner).

 I love the consistency of expected.  I've mentioned before how much I love this time of year with all the beauty of the colors changing and the cooler temperatures coming and the hope of cozy, using your fireplace season. (For those of you in Texas I realize this season never comes and I'm truly sorry, but hey! you get to have 105 degree temps and cockroaches the size of small Volkswagen's--so there's that....) But seasons changing are the kind of change I like-- it's part of the expected and, in that, I have comfort.  So I realize not all change is a bad thing.  For instance, some of us have bad habits we would like to change, for some, a job change would be a good thing, and for others of us, an attitude change would be in order ( a certain 8 year old child o mine, comes to mind). But, change, whether it's good or bad can sometimes be hard and even painful.

A few months ago I was out for a walk.  These excursions are when I like to have my good long talks with God--well I do most of the talking--He patiently listens to all of my blathering and gives the appropriate "Mmmhmms and Oh Really's" But, on this particular day, I was lamenting over all the areas of struggle I am dealing with.  You know, those things in your life that you REALLY are just sick and tired of dealing with--the desire to lose weight, to be more patient with your family, to save more and spend less, to not lose your cool driving down the highway when that same jerk keeps driving 5 mph slower than the speed limit in the fast lane and then when you try to go around him, he speeds up and then has the nerve to give YOU "the look".  ARRGGGGG!!!!  (Breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out) (I'm fine now. really) I'm sure if I asked you, you probably have a few other things you would add. It's like a battle that we are waging against some unseen force in ourselves.  We know we WANT to change, we know we NEED to change, but for some reason it is not an easy mind over matter situation.  We can have the best of intentions to "get it right next time" and then in the moment ...THUD! we stumble and fall and fail again and again and again.  It just seems and feels like it's never going to happen.

Anyway, on this particular day as I'm venting all of these frustrations, God reminds me of a little known passage in the Bible about the Ebenezer stone.  In 1 Samuel 7, the Israelite's have been sinning against God...again and God is basically ticked off at them (Big surprise).  So, they (the Israelite's) ask Samuel, their resident profit, to tell them what to do.   He commands them to: "Get rid of all your false gods and commit yourself to the Lord and serve him only" and they say: "Yeah, sounds good, lets do it" (I'm paraphrasing here).  So the Philistines (arch enemies of the Israelite's) hear that they (the Israelite's) have gathered outside an area called Mizpah and they (the Philistines) say: "let's attack them".  So, now the Israelite's are scared because they know they've been really naughty against God and that they know they can't fight the Philistines without God on their side so they beg Samuel to cry out to the Lord for them--
and... he does.  Here's the best part:  In 1 Sam. 7:10 it says "While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering(that's was one of things you had to do to let God know you were really sorry for your sins), the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle.  But that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such panic that they were routed before the Israelite's." Yeah, basically God threw down against the Philistines and wiped. them. out! Then in verse 12 it says:  "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen (the place where they kicked the Philistines butts).  He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the Lord helped us".  So, what is an Ebenezer stone?  It's a marker that that Samuel used for the Israelite's to help them remember how God had  fought for them for them that day.  Every time they looked at that stone it reminded them that when they chose to follow God and do things His way, He came through in a HUGE way and gave them victory in their battle.

I really started to like this idea and I'm thinking "maybe this is something I need..I've been stuck in this same rut for years, nothing is changing and so maybe I just need a reminder of what God can do when I cry out to Him." So I decided to pick up my own stone and when I got home, I wrote the word Change on it.

When I look at my Ebenezer stone it is reminding me (well in my case commanding me):  "Hey You! Put that donut down and go exercise instead!" or "I don't care if the sale ends today, you don't have the money to buy those super cool, last pair available, boots!" "CHANGE"! (No, my rock doesn't really talk out loud--just in case you were wondering--it's just the way I hear it in my head).  I realized that all of these things I want to change are, in fact, things God wants me to change.  When you have the Creator of the Universe on your side, you are not helpless, but step 1 is:  you must realize that you need to change and step 2 is:  you need to believe that you are not helpless to change when you ask God for help.  I have some really bad habits that I've had for a long time and so getting myself a symbol to remind me daily to do something about it has been truly transforming for me. 

When Super Rock Star got home from work, I told him about this brilliant idea I had to have this rock in our kitchen (thankfully, i didn't haul home the boulder I had been eyeing...seemed a bit extravagant--probably would take up too much space)
and my plan for making it my reminder to really work at changing the not-so-nice things about myself.  To which he immediately responded-- as the awesome husband he is "What not-so-nice things?"  I love him!  Then he proceeds to tell me that they have something similar at his work.  He works for Compassion International and in one of their upstairs common areas they have this great statue of several rocks displayed.
(yeah...mine looks a little wimpy compared to this one, but THEY didn't use a super cool silver glitter pen to write on theirs.Ha!) Their statue was to celebrate their 60th anniversary and a remembrance of God's faithfulness to them as a ministry.

So what is it that YOU are desiring to change in your life?  Is there a struggle you've been having a long time and have grown so used to it that you've lost hope that it will ever be any different?  Maybe you just need a reminder.  Day to day life is sometimes hard and tedious.  We take baby steps and nothing spectacular happens and we think..."well maybe I just need to give up trying".  Don't. It's the beginning of a new season--the fall weather is gorgeous.  Go out for a walk, enjoy the cooler, crisper air (again, except in wait til evening when the temps dip down to a tolerable 85 degrees and then you can take your ole cockroach friend for a walk), dig your hands in the dirt, pick out your own Ebenezer stone, and write your reminder on it. (You can even use special glittery pens if you want) and then put it in a place that you will see it everyday.  Maybe for you it's not a reminder shouting at you TO change, but a word or phrase to remind you of some awesome thing to be thankful for--a remembrance of His faithfulness in times past and His promise to be faithful in the future.

 I leave you today with a Bible verse I hope will encourage you:
Phil 1:6 "being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."