I’ll Pray for You.

Just today a friend shared a heavy burden on her heart, a physical illness with her brother, she asked me to remember him and to be praying for him.  I answered of course I will.

This weekend a friend shared some very sad news with me, and asked me to be praying for her.  I cried when I learned her news and of course I would be praying for her.

It happens all the time, I ask people to pray for my own family, for strength, for choosing a college, for better doctor news, for something to work in my favor, and my friends always respond in a loving manner that they will pray for the situation.

I am well-meaning,  I just do not pray continually, or as much as I think I should.  Oh God knows my heart, He knows the moment by moment happenings in my life, He knows my intentions.  But I can see how I am not praying for my friends who have shared their heart, as much as I would like.  He knows my heart and He knows my mind, it wanders.  The whole close your eyes you can focus better when you pray, nope my own mind distracts me, the sound of my breathing the feel of the socks, the tick of the clock.  It is not really any better if my eyes are open, now I see the distractions.

I have activities in my life that I pray while I do them.  I am a little OCD on my floors and how to clean them.  I do them all on my hands and knees, and while I wash my mind wanders, or it used to.  Years ago, about 9 years now, I spent hours each week on my knees, I had a crawling baby so I had to stay on top of the floors, she put things in her mouth and she was an army style crawler for a long time.  I washed those floors daily.  But while I washed I prayed, and I prayed.  Daily I was literally on my hands and knees praying for dear friends.

My question to you all, is how do you stay on top of your promise to pray.  What do you do?  I am asking because I need a solution to my promise.  Unless I see their picture on facebook or someone mentions something that reminds me of that person, I forget.  Not usually when I first learn the request but as time moves along.  Romans 12:12 says to be “faithful in prayer” and as much as I try, I get distracted.

I need help, ideas really.  Someone out there must have an idea that will help me stick to the promise I made to take their request to the Throne of Jesus.  Colossians 4:2 says to devote yourselves to pray.  I want to, I just need suggestions.  So if you have an idea of how to remember to pray for someone I promised I would pray for, please share it!

Go hug your kids, life is just so uncertain.


Oh, You’re In The Club Too?

You know the feeling when you are struggling as a mom, and you see another mom struggling.  That is the mom club.  We are united together the imperfect, who fiercely love our children even when life is messy and loud.

Some how it feels better to know we are not alone.

We see the teen sigh and roll her eyes as she gets out of her parents car.

We watch the boy walk as far as possible from his parents, as though they have cooties.

We talk with another mother whose child eats as picky as your own child.

We commiserate with a mom whose schedule forces her to miss class activities.

We all feel the pain, but in all honesty as much as we don’t like our own loud and messy life, it is nice to know we are not alone.  The mom club.  Welcome to the club, the parenting is HARD club.  Where one day, I am told that they will appreciate us, and tell us that we did one thing right.

Go hug your kids, and next time you see a mom who is having a hard parenting day, give her a smile, let her know that you are in the same club!

p.s. if you are not yet in the club, just hang on, we will welcome you when you have that hard day!




Senior Night Already?

imageOn Friday, we celebrated Senior Night for the Girls Varsity Basketball team.

We recognized these girls, these seniors, on their final home game.  These girls, who have given up free time, for team time.  They have played together for 7 years now.  (most of them for 7 years and some of them have been playing together for 10 years.)  Seven years to bond, to be together, kind of like sisters, annoying at times but the bond is undeniable.  The IF you mess with 1 sister, you get all the sisters, kind of bond.  (Oh I’m not saying that they hurt anyone, but you don’t mess with family.)  Seven years together, every afternoon, 2 or 3 evenings a week, countless bus rides, summer camps, and bad jokes, you become family.

imageAt our school the parents write a letter to their senior,  the announcer will read the letter as the parents and child walk to center court.  The parents give their girls a bouquet of flowers.  I hinted to O, and outright asked her.  She did NOT want a flower bouquet.  She did not want flowers at all.  After brain storming and chatting up with some of the moms, at the game the night before,  I decided a cookie bouquet would be perfect.  I looked at ordering one, but it was too late.  Ok, so I looked into it at 10pm the night before senior night.  I looked into fruit bouquet too, also not enough time.  After morning drop off, I left the babies with a friend, I decided I could easily make one myself.  Nope I could not, oh sure I have the skill I really could make them, I just needed more time, 1pm the day of the event to be held at 6:30 was not enough time.  When I was buying the cookie stuff I grabbed a few bags of O’s favorite candy bars.  I grabbed skewers too.  I was so glad I had a back up plan.  I made her a dozen “cookie flowers’  and wrapped them like a flower bouquet.  She thought it was great.

imageBecause we are just not big candy eaters, I made a ‘flower’ for each of her teammates, and coaches.  I also made a flower for all her friends, and family who came to honor her with us.

I had a bouquet, I had signs I made, I had 12 balloons (Oh you ask why 12, well because that is how many came in the bag I bought) I had clean matching clothes for the girls, I even had clean clothes for me.  I was all set.

I did okay writing the parent letter to be read as we walk our daughter to half court, oh sure I cried a little but not big ugly cry.

I made it through the candy bouquet without freaking out.

I made it through the balloon pick up when the guy blowing them up asked what they were for.

I made it through dinner, I even got everyone to the car.

I walked into the gym like a boss.  Until I saw one of Keith’s former players, we love her like she is family.  I started to cry, she told me to ‘pull it together mom’ so I did.

My stomach hurt, my eyes stung and I had a lump in my throat.  But I pasted a smile on my face.

They called all parents of seniors to the basket end of the court.  They started calling out names, we were last, they read all 6 letters before they got to ours.  These girls have been together with for 7 to 10 years, I cried for them.  Their moms and dads sat in the bleachers for countless games, and camps, we have driven or carpool together, we know the families, we are also a family, because of our time together all these years. We were last on purpose, the other moms knew I would cry, and they said if they saw me cry they would start crying too.  So in order for the families not to all cry they stuck us at the end.

imageOur senior, and her last home game.
Our senior.

We are so proud of you and your accomplishments on and off the court.  You have spent more time diving for balls and sacrificing your body to make a save, a rebound, or a steal, I think some games you spent more time on the floor than on your feet.  We are proud of all the heart you put into basketball.  You have put countless hours into your game, years of camps, before you were old enough to play, time hanging out in the gym, and watching games with your dad.
I don’t think I will miss the game you play after every game, the one where we guess how many new bruises you got during the game.
I am pleased to say we ONLY purchased 11 pair of knee pads, for the 7 years you played at school, when I told you the last few pair were supposed to be the best, they would not rip, I think you took that as a challenge.  They ripped.  They ripped by the 2nd game you had them.  Somewhere in some gym there are little hex shaped air pockets laying sad on the gym floor.
Often I would hold my breath as you were thrown to the floor, not sure if I should clap for the effort you put in the play or call the chiropractor because of how hard you bounced.
We are going to miss watching you play.
I am going to miss coaching you, the time we were together was special for me. Watching you grow as a player these last 7 years, getting stronger, working as a team, and listening to instruction has made all that time together enjoyable.  I am going to miss sitting next to you on the bench, listening to you talk, and watching you grow.  
We love you, and will miss watching you play the game that brought you so much joy and pain.  
We are eager to see what God is going to do in and with your life.  
love Mom and Dad
During the reading of the letter we (I) wrote for O, she decided to tell us her college choice.  So not only was I thinking about the ending of her time at her school, I now was thinking about her new beginning.  I think I don’t like this.
One sweet mom said I looked great and smiled so nice, I informed her I can cry while smiling.  I know the big ugly tears will come soon.  I had a few escape on Saturday, while I was alone running errands.  I had some escape earlier this week while Keith and I were talking about the scholarship competition weekends.  Ugly noises escaped from my mouth and tears just burst from my eyes.  I am going to miss that girly!
So please go hug your kids because senior night is just around the corner.
ps: during the ceremony O announced to us her college choice.  Today she paid the fees, and now has an email address to that college.  In two weeks she is going up for the scholarship competition.  I keep crying.

I Have Failed As A Mother

I have failed so badly as a mother, so badly that my 6-year-old is now making plans and rules for her own children.  She has thought about these new rules, she has made them in response to the bad parenting I am doing to her.

IMG_2250Here is a sampling of her rules.

I will not make them stay in a car seat when they graduate k-5
(This was after our discussion on 65 lbs before she can get out of a car seat.  We’ve just hit 45 lbs, she might be in 5th grade before she gets that big!)

My children will not have to close their lips shut when they eat.
(Every meal, people, every meal.  If not here then someone is getting corrected on the chewing,)

I will let them stay up when the big kids stay up.
(seems self-explanatory…)

When my kids have red snock (snock is her word for snot.) on their blankets I will wash it right away.
(She had a bloody nose, we cleaned it up, sometime during the night some bloody snot leaked out of her nose onto her blanket, I washed it as soon as she showed it to me.)

When my kids have a snockle nose I will buy them soft kleenex.
(We ran out of kleenex I made her use paper towels until I could get to the store.)

This might be my favorite one!
When I work I will let you care for my children. BUT they do not have to take naps, just ballet, but you can come get me when you take them to Chick Fil A.

So apparently I must be doing something right.  I love that she is planning on me keeping all her kids while she works.  I can’t wait to see what other rules she comes up with as she gets older.

Go hug your kids, and laugh at the funny things they say!

My Child is Older, Yet I Refuse to Age

11256528_10207543587534052_2034265109_nThis weekend my first-born turned 20, I don’t know how it happened, because for the last 7 years I have not aged.  Time is funny like that!

After a year away in Ky, to that University that took my child, and promised to make him a man, he is home, closer to being a man, and farther away from being a child.  Unless you give him a Nurf gun, then he is a child.  He decided at this point in his life acting and production are not his hearts desire.  He is unsure of the career path he wants to take.  So while he is trying to decide, he has been living at home and taking classes at a local University.  It has been an adjustment, but we are where God wants us to be, so we will sit back and see what path his life takes.  I am sure that when he finds the ‘thing’ he will be amazing.  He is smart, and funny, he is clever and charming, he has a bright future ahead of him, for now we will wait to see where he is going.

I can’t believe that 20 years ago I was holding my first child, now he is almost an adult.  I was making plans for his future and ours as a family.  Now it is time to see the plans he is making for himself, for his future, for the man he will become.

Go hug your kids, because I was just laying in the hospital holding my newborn son with tears in my eyes and a life time to enjoy him.


She is 18, Are You Kidding Me???

100_7838(rev 0)I swear I was just eating the final meal before I was scheduled to be induced.  (Peanut butter, jelly sandwich and chocolate milk) I swear I just way laying in the hospital excited to meet our new baby.  I swear I was just over exaggerating how to say the girl’s name because we spelled it with an O on purpose, a long O to be exact, a long O which says its name…  I swear I was just starving waiting for Keith to get back with food, I swear I was just breathing in her new smell, and worried about ‘girl’ things for her.  I swear it all just happened.  How in the world is she 18?  I was so nervous how was I ever going to be a mom to a girl.  A beautiful take my breath away “it’s a GIRL” how was I ever going to do it. I did not know anything about being a mom to a girl.

Today that girly is 18.  I swear she was just snuggled in my arms, only until her daddy came in the room.  She was a daddy’s girl through and through.  She always was.  Now that she is older, she sometimes chooses me over him.  I am not going to lie, my heart does a leap when she does.

Happy Birthday girly, thanks for making me a mom of girls!  I love you
go hug your kids time moves so very fast

A Bean by Any Other Name Is Probably a Lima Bean

I am fond of most vegetables, and the ones I am not particularly fond of I know with enough butter and salt I can eat them.  All but one, there is one measly vegetable that I just cannot make myself eat.  In case you were wondering, it is the Lima Bean.

Last night for dinner I made lima beans.  Not on purpose though, it was completely on accident.  Because why would I make a vegetable that I actually hate?  We try to eat early on nights when O has a game, if we eat too late then no one goes to bed at bed time.  So last night I made a steak and potato dish, that is not the reason for this post, nope, it is the vegetable I picked.  A few weeks ago when I was in the freezer section at Publix, I grabbed a few bags of the typical vegetables for meals.  In effort to mix it up I grabbed a bag of BUTTER PEAS.  They were green and white bean looking things in the picture on the bag.  We like beans and even though my kids are extremely picky they will try new things so they can have input on it coming into the rotation.

I dumped them in boiling water just as dinner was finishing up.  Gave them a few minutes to get hot, and put the bowl on the table.  I scooped the babies up first so they would be cool enough to eat when I gave her the plate.  I put butter and salt on top and served myself a spoonful.  When I passed the bowl I told everyone they had to try both a white one and a green one.  The census was mutual they were nasty.  I thought they tasted like lima beans, O thought the same, Little A said “they are not terrible but I don’t want to eat them ever again.”  R looked it up for us, apparently they WERE lima beans.  They will never make it back into the vegetable rotation in our house.

Did you know that butter peas were also lima beans?  Do you actually LIKE lima beans, or do you hate them?  You should read Bad Case Of Stripes by David Shannon, it is a cute little story about a girl who wants to fit in more than anything else, and after that backfires on her she just wants to eat a plate of lima beans.  Check it out if you get a chance!

Every few days I either lose my keys or lock myself out of the car or house.  Mostly the house, sometimes the van too, but mostly the house.  Yesterday afternoon I locked myself out of the house.  I had both the babies (Ellen’s baby and PS) in the car.  I had both girls buckled in their seat, I ran back to the house to grab the keys, the door was locked.  With the keys inside, hanging so nicely on the hook.  So at 3:10 yesterday I sat in my van and waited for a rescue.  It was lovely in the car, both babies played, talked, shouted, then cried.  I sat and thought about dinner, I thought about our evening plans, and birthday shopping, I texted a friend (never fear, the van doors were open and the weather was in the high 60’s we were safe) and I laughed at the baby who had pooped out her diaper.  When I changed her 5 minutes earlier I wondered how she did not get poop on her clothes, there was so much poop in the diaper.  I cleaned her up, and snapped her clothes back on, stuck her feet in shoes and then locked us out of the house.  So there we sat, one of us in poopy pants but not poopy diaper, stuck in the car, and waiting for our help.

I know what you are thinking, you are thinking why don’t I have a hide-a-key, or why don’t I give a spare key to the neighbor?  Well I don’t have a hide-a-key because I don’t think they are safe, and I already gave the neighbor a key, borrowed it at one time, and never gave it back to her.  So the spare key was hanging on the key rack right next to the car keys I needed.  (I’m just glad I did not make that as a resolution for this year…)

What about you, do you lock yourself out with regularity, what do you do to stop it from happening?

Go hug your kids, they need your love

The End or Torture, also knows as P.E. class (or gym class)

As I type this, the kids are in bed, most of them before bed time, it was a New Year Miracle, tomorrow is our first day back.  Am I ready, nope, oh sure lunches are half packed, and uniforms are washed, so technically we are ready.  The P.E. uniforms is clean for the 10th grader, and there is no love lost on the fact that in 2 weeks he will be finished with PE until he goes to college.  We have not yet told him he will be required to take a physical education class, or two, once he gets to college, we don’t want to burst his happy little bubble.  He makes no claims to be athletic, and does not even pretend to like the class.  He will still end up with an A because, while he does not like P.E., and he is not gifted athletically, he will try his best in class, participating and dressing out.  I think he might have a uniform burning party in 2 weeks.  Even though he is not athletic, each year his P.E. teachers tell us they love having him in their class, he is funny and surprises them with the things he says.  Sure he will never lift a weight again, and I am positive he will never run laps around a field if he can help it, but, he still had fun in class.  He celebrated when he could bench press the bar, and when they added weight on the bar that was the first thing he shared that night at dinner.  He is proud just to have survived 11 years of P.E. every single school day he has had P.E. and he survived!

Did you jump on the resolution band wagon?  What are you going to do?  I need more pictures of everyday things, so I resolve to take a picture a day.  I know that one day I will look back and see I have missed things, so I hope in taking pictures I won’t forget those little things.  (not going to lie, so far… it is iffy, at best.  I’m shooting a 50% on this goal)

So you know the whole set of cute little wooden sings or magnets or banners that say DO WHAT YOU LOVE or FOLLOW YOUR DREAM or some such sign, supposed to be inspirational.  Well O hates them H A T E S them!  Every time we see one she complains.  Do What You Love?!?!?  Are you kidding me, what if you love doing things that are illegal, what if by Following Your Dreams, you are making immoral choices?!?!  So every time we go into Hob’Lob and she sees one of those cute little signs she complains. Every time.

Go hug your kids, they need your love!



Finding Peace in The Storm

I have been absent from blogging way too long.  I have composed this post way too many times.  I want to be real, I want to be honest.  The problem is sometimes honesty and realness are just too hard, just to raw.  Exposing a wound, our broken hearts, that just does not heal it is uncomfortable, for both us and the people who see our pain.  In effort, not to lie, or be fake, I just took a break, a long break.  During that break I sat and nursed my wound, my broken heart.  Over a year ago we were given some news that struck our core, a storm shattering my ideal life.  In that year I battled the storm, not alone, Keith, a few of our kids, some of our family, a few select, knew of this attack they were battling with us, and still for us.  We chose them because we wanted them to pray, to not give false hope, with this news we know there are truths, we did not want someone who was not ready to accept that things might not go as we want.  In the beginning we chose a very tight circle to share this, we told 3 people, I know our family shared it more than we did, more than we wanted.  Exposing our pain to the outside, put fear in my heart and a lump in my throat.  (it still does)

Last November we were given Spiritual news that rocked our core. Satan came into our house to attack the thing we cherish most.  We were stunned almost to the point of falling backwards, like a comedic reaction, only this real life was not a comedy.  A horrible sickening drama to be sure.  The news was Spiritual, not physical, but the response was physical.  I was sick, Keith was sick, my blood ran cold, my head ached, I felt like I had the flu.  I did, and honestly still cry at the mere mention of the news.  We sat with our news, in our own pain and prayed, cried out to God, prayed, and moaned because we did not even know the words to say.  Our friends cried and prayed, they offered comfort, not false hope, in God’s truth.  Scripture is a healing balm when you are hurting.

We do know that God is sovereign, he proves it over and over in scripture, He shows himself faithful to His children, on a daily, minute by minute basis.  God the ruler, creator of the entire universe is SOVEREIGN over all.  Even satan and his invasion in our home, most of all God is sovereign over this invasion on our home.  We know this truth.  We cling to this truth, and I am now realizing that we are resting in this truth.  A comforting blanket of truth.  Sometimes the blanket of truth seems to smother when I want a resolve, too hot when I want answers, when I want to see the outcome I feel tangled in this blanket of comfort, but other times it is just the peaceful comfort I need.

We know our news was not a surprise to God, it was a surprise to us.  A blindsided bit of information to our lives.  We know that God who put the stars into place, and before our first breath knew us, knew this information, and GOD has a plan, we know that God was not surprised.  Which is a comfort, sometimes, yes sometimes I cry out to God, I needed a warning, I could have prevented this.  I could not, God knew, He knows that I could not have handled that truth before it was time.

But I realized something last week I started thinking of the storm we are going through and the peace I am experiencing.  I realized that in the middle of this storm I have found peace, peace for the moment.  I have become more relaxed in this peace.  In the knowledge of God’s sovereignty, I noticed that my blood does not continually run cold, that the news does not consume my every moment, I can go to sleep, it does not keep me awake, when I first wake in the morning the news does not make my stomach roll, sending me running to the bathroom.  I have noticed that I cry out to God, sometimes not even crying when I call out to Him.  When I first heard the news I prayed continually, every breath was a prayer.  I have noticed that this heart break hurts even more now that it did when I first heard the news.  This attack hurts more than I knew my heart could hurt, but I am finding this new normal, I am learning to rest in the comfort and peace God is giving me in the storm.  So while the storm in happening about my family, while satan is attacking the thing I cherish most, I have found Peace in God. This is not to say it is always peaceful in the storm,  the waves of anguish and fear beat into my spirit, when I am again surprised by another attack, it hurts, it is scary, it is the unknown, and it is hard.  Harder than anything we have even experienced before.  Satan knows what we cherish, he has chosen to attack us in our core, but that comfort and peace from God is never far, and if we wait, if we hold tight to God and His truths in scripture, we will again find peace in our storm.  I realize that this storm could possibly last my whole life, it could go on for years, or if it pleases God then it could end this year.  But during this attack on what we cherish most, we have Peace in God.

2016 holds Peace in the storm, the new normal for our family.  As we flip over the calendar, I know that the peace that passes understanding is waiting for me.  Even though I do not look forward to the storm, I know that in the storm I can find Peace.

go hug your kids, they need your love