The First Day

Happy First Day of School my children. I pray that you are kind, to others, I pray that you are the one that people know they can trust, I pray that you speak to the lonely and that you include those left out. I pray that you know more of Jesus this year. That you will grow and learn and that you apply the things you learn. The world measures your success but God measures your heart. This year I pray your heart grows.

Go hug your kids, time moves too fast for this mama!
jen

Advertisements

Chasing My Thoughts…

Sometimes my mind races, in circles or down rabbit trails.
Sometimes it races towards disaster, the ‘What if’s’, and the ‘What will I do when…’  road.  That road is stressful, and often I start to panic and get upset.  It is very unsettling, I blame it on my creative mind.
Sometimes it slowly wanders all over the place, a ‘what about a beach trip, right now?’ or “I wonder how long it would take to drive up to C in that Great Big City and surprise him?’ ‘How will I ever survive with R gone next year?’ Sometimes messy, ‘so, if I want to make a dresser into an entertainment center, where can I get a hole saw? It is always fun to wander, often the plans are not even laid out, just day dreaming, all in good fun.

When my mind is wandering sometimes it is good for me to do a thoughtless task.  Scrubbing floors is the best thoughtless task I know to do, I don’t need to think, I just need to scrub.  Being down on my hands and knees facing the floor takes me away from distractions, lets my mind look inward, to pray, and let scripture chase away the cobwebs that are fogging up my mind, giving it a chance clear itself.  I have prayed hard for many situations down on my knees scrubbing the floors.  Sometimes I scrub them even when they are clean just so I can think and pray.  The benefit of that process is a clean floor and a clear mind.  I might not come to a solution but I can at least fully give that problem to God.  As scripture chases through my head, snippets of songs, and wise words spoken have a way of re-directing my thoughts and letting my anxiety ease up.  Another way I clear my mind is by crafting, or making things, sometimes with spray paint and brushes, or hot glue and a sewing machine.  I can focus on the task at hand and let my mind clean up and rest without forcing the issue.

Today my mind was racingSo I just let it create.
I had a few ideas I had been thinking about and today my mind needed a relaxing outlet a chance to create (really the floors could use a good scrub, but paint…much more fun)  I actually had planned on cleaning out, sorting, and organizing the craft areas (yes there is more than 1) so it looks more presentable, instead of like Hob’Lob threw up in my dining room.  But as soon as I picked up the first paintbrush to put it away, I blinked and we were in painting clothes.  We only painted white.  I had an idea, from a friend, and when I could not find what she suggested I went off-road and grabbed some cardboard and metal house ornaments, and 2 larger houses from HL to see if I could make my own idea work.

We worked together, PS and I, mostly in silence, while we painted, it was lovely.  A bath was needed to get all the paint and glitter off.  There are some ‘start point’ projects (A large February LOVE sign) and some things were completed, I just need to  glitter the larger houses when the paint is dry, then tall the houses will be done, I can display them in my January decorations for a few more days before it is time to pack it up for February.Glitter is my favorite!Over all I am pleased with the job and cannot wait for them to be fully dry before I display them in my January decorations.

What about you? What do you do when your mind is racing?  Do you work off your worry, do you drive through the country side, do you walk it off?
Go hug your kids, they need your love, and look for a way to help them when their minds race along faster than they can think.
jen

 

 

It’s a Monday but Tuesday is Coming.

It is Monday, we woke up to a Monday, and we started our Monday, just like she likes.  I have decided Monday is a girl, actually she is the mean girl in your 8th grade gym class.  You know the one, and just thinking about her makes you want to groan.  She is sneaky and mean, and she knows just how to frustrate you.

Monday give us, morning stomach aches, knots in our shoes, and forgotten gym clothes.   Monday give us, forgotten breakfast drinks and dried on spilled cereal milk.  She gives us ruined paintbrushes, scratchy pencils, and lost pens, Monday gives us red lights, slow traffic and big changes.  Monday gives us 2 different glasses of spilled milk at dinner, and just before bed, she gives us forgotten homework.  Monday gave us fights between sisters, and bits of trash on the floor.  Monday gave us ruined plans, and difficult tasks.

Monday gave us a chance to see God’s grace from the knots in our shoes to spilled milk.

Monday might have been that mean girl from gym class, but Tuesday, she is coming, she is your best friend in 8th grade, you found her after crying in the locker room because of Mean girl Monday.

I can’t wait for Tuesday.  Tuesday is a new day, and a new chance to see God’s mercies, and to experience His faithfulness.

go hug your kids, they just had Monday too, and they need your love and comfort
jen

 

 

I Will Always Wave

Almost every single morning I stand outside the playground, I stand and wait.  I stand and watch.  I stand with the handful of other parents, we visit and wait.  We stand and wait for recess to end and the children to line up.  We watch as they file off to their classrooms, and we wave.

I sit at Chick-fil-a facing the play place, I watch and I wave.  Every time she climbs to the top I wave, when she pops out of the tunnel I act startled, I wave.  I watch and I wave.

I sit in the audience waiting for the concert, and when she (and earlier he) enter the stage I watch as they scan the crowd and I give a subtle wave.

When he walks past me to go into the courtroom, I give a little wave.

When I enter the gym and I make eye contact, I give a little wave.

When he crosses the finish line I call out to him and I wave.

When I see them see me I wave.  I will always be my Children’s home base, I want to be their beacon, I want to be their safe place, their welcome home, the one who is cheering them on, waiting for them, watching their tricks, I stand to the sideline letting them shine, I wave.

I will always wave.

Go hug your kids, they need you to be the safety, they need your love.
jen

Why My Kitchen is a Mess (or any other room to be exact)

Most of you who have been following for a while, know that we have remodeled most of the house, room by room we have ripped off popcorn ceiling tiles, torn out bathrooms, fallen through the hallway ceiling, added on, pushed out, gone back to the front again, and freshly tiled the fire-place…  I have a list of what needs to be done next.  Lucky Keith.

When we added the back half of the house we were told we had 10 years to get the siding changed out on the house to match the addition.  Well, we were given the occupancy of residency about 3 weeks before little A was born, she is now 7 (seven and a half to be almost exact)  We officially have 2 and a half years left.

We flew O home for the Easter weekend.  She had days off, but we needed a way to convince Keith to fly her home when she only has 3 weeks left at the university.  We had days off and she is a great worker with Keith, the weather is not roasting hot yet, and the sun is just far enough south that most of the job would be in the shade.  But mostly because it was not going to be a billion degrees that weekend.  We flew her down to work, and to spend time with her.  But work.  Friday they worked pulling off plastic siding, pulling out rodent nests, and showering in termite fras, they finished the first floor outside before we went to the Good Friday Service at church.  Saturday early until late they worked, the fireplace with the bees hive (empty) had to be removed, half way into the 2nd floor they had to quit, and finally on Sunday night they came to a stopping point.  The next few weeks are slammed as school ends so they will not be able to work for a good long while.

Monday somehow got away from me.  I had lots of stops and starts, we were out of toilet paper.  Sunday night we started running the 1 roll we had left from bathroom to bathroom…  A trip to target was unavoidable.  Hours later and blown budget we came home to lunch, when the phone calls started E had been feeling badly and needed to come home, we had already tried the tricks and nothing was helping.  J has had some breathing issues, allergies, topped with debris and termite fras (poop) raining down on him while he helped work on the north side of the house, he just could not stop coughing and needed to come home.  Once home O and I sat around watching C.O.P.S. (she gets a sick thrill when bad guys get the taser) we had planned on watching a movie, but with runs to school and no napping from PS we gave up.  School ended and we ALL went to Sam’s club.  In and Out and Under budget it was a win…   Dinner, homework, baths and bed.

Which leads to today.  I went to Bible Study and O stayed home doing homework.  When she first arrived we took lunch to 2 of the school kids, so today we took lunch to the other 2, she was going to be leaving Tuesday night for the last few weeks of the University, it had to be done today.  After lunches we came home, and after lunches I tried to clean up, I really did. I did not know it would not happen…  Because the kitchen is on the north wall where the construction is happening, and Keith was replacing 2 windows in the dining room, and 2 in the kitchen everything from that area had to be moved to the island counter, which was already a mess, now became a huge mess.  I had dirty dishes, and dirty dishes, dirty counter dirty floor,even dirty drawers, and everything piled together.  I had 1 clean counter where all meal prep had happened, the last few days.  I tried to get things taken care of, PS did not take a nap, I needed to run to get stuff for dinner in the car, and time was not on my side, washing another counter top and a few big dishes we left for the airport.

Tonight after we returned home the house stayed messy.  PS fell on the brick walkway as she raced into the house, I carried her in and set her on the table, chasing little A to the shower E took over caring for PS.  She scraped her knee scratching the skin off leaving a little blood mixed with the dirt, it is red, and sore, E brought her a freezie pack and a blanket.  While A was taking a shower I flipped over the laundry, went into my bath room and found more rodent droppings (more on that in another post) and began pulling laundry to throw in another load before I crashed for the night.   PS cried for me, I went to check on her,  E came back in to her rescue to draw pictures for her.  PS cried about the vacuum that is in the kitchen, (it was not even plugged in) I dumped in the laundry load and went to wash little A’s hair soaking myself in the process, changing into pajamas.  PS was content with E’s care, little A was done with the water, washer machine was humming along, I thought I could sneak in a few dishes while little A was getting ready for bed, E was with PS, I washed 3 pans before soaking myself, changing pajamas again, little A brought me her homework (a money worksheet) I sent her to the table and tried to wash another pot.  I forgot about little A sitting at the table, PS came out to the kitchen dragging her clean blanket on my dirty floor, crying about her knee.  E picked her up and had her nose knocked in the process.  Her nose hurt, PS’s knee hurt, and Little A needed to get her homework done.  PS settled into the chair next to me and began to chant Miss Mary Mack all dressed in black with silver buttons…  while I sat at the table to help little A add money.  E began unloading the dishwasher and dropped a glass in the dishwasher and on the floor.  I stopped listening to Miss Mary Mack, and the number of pennies it takes to make a quarter to carry E out of the kitchen and began sweeping/picking up glass.  Little A wanted to show me her math paper, I finished counting pennies to make a quarter, signed an assignment tablet, supplied ice water for little A, sent her upstairs.  I carried PS to my bed to wait for me, where she burst into tears asking where I was going (she {we} are suffering from separation anxiety…) E came down needing water, I had to make it since I only got some of the glass cleaned up.  Thirty minutes later everyone is in bed, no one is crying, pajamas and prayers, water and kisses…  That is why my kitchen, and my house are messy.

My life is filled with starts and stops.  Some days more stops than starts.  But that is okay, I am just where I need to be.  Well right now I am sitting in bed snuggling with the poor baby and her skinned knee.  But in all honesty I want the kitchen to be cleaned, but it can wait.  I choose my people over the kitchen, I choose my people over the broken glass {which I need to clean up soon}  I choose the stops because I choose my children.  One day I will follow a load of laundry from the basket to the dresser, I will follow the dishes from the cupboard, to the table, to the dish washer and back to the cupboard.  But not today, or tomorrow or any time soon.  I am going to stop when Number 1 child calls, I am going to stop when O has a color question, an art question, I am going to stop when R needs some human conversation after spending hours doing homework.  I choose to stop when J wants to visit, I am going to stop when E wants to be with me,  I am going to listen to little A read or count pennies, I am going to carry the baby and do hand slap games because I choose to stop.  I want to stop, and sometimes I needed to be reminded that stops are more important than starts. When I see my kitchen, the construction dust in my dining room, and the dirty floors it is easy to be overwhelmed and discontent.  I need to be reminded that I live in the stops right now.

Living in the stops, go hug your kids and tell someone you love them
jen

Today He Leaves, and My Heart Hurts

Today is the big day.
Departure day.
The day I have dreaded more than any other parenting day I have ever experienced.  Today is the day my first-born leaves to be a forever adult.  Oh sure he is an adult.  He has been a practicing adult for a long time now, he finished his education, and he found a part-time job, actually 2 jobs while he finished his degree.  He looked for jobs in his dream city, set up interviews, and traveled up to that dream city.  He was hired.  He looked for an apartment, he filled out applications, and he secured the apartment.  He has been an acting adult for months/years now.

But today…  it is official.  He is leaving our family for his career, for his own life.  He is moving away and spreading his wings, or some such stupid crappy lines.  What in the world, he is not a bird.  He is my son.  I did not parent a bird, who has animal instincts I parented a human, he thinks, he feels, he reasons and he loves. He is passionate, and brave, he is smart and so very funny.  And today he is leaving our little lives to seek his own fortune, his own life, his own legacy.

We made a lot of mistakes with him.  He was our first child.  Our experiment, things like potty training and sleep training were easy.  Heart training not so much.  Getting him to settle down and be serious, teaching him to think of others first, showing him how to plan and be self driven, not always easy, but so very worth it.  We failed often but we loved more than we failed.  He taught us the things that are  important which has made us better parents to the other children.  He showed us first hand what toddler parenting, elementary parenting, middle school parenting, high school and college parenting looks like.  Now he has to train us in adult parenting.  Because I don’t know how to do that.

He makes me laugh, until I cannot breathe and I have tears running down my face.

He makes me angry until I cannot breathe and I have tears running down my face.

He makes me proud until I cannot breathe and I have tears running down my face.

He makes me sad until I cannot breathe and I have tears running down my face.

He makes me love until I cannot breathe and I have tears running down my face.

My dearest child,
I love you so much, I am so proud of the man you are, and the man you are becoming.  I want you to remember the fun we have had, the adventures we have gone on and the love we have for you.  I want you to know Jesus like we know him, I want you to succeed in life and learn from your mistakes.  I want you to form relationships with people who will stretch you, people who will make you a more compassionate and a gentler, more comfortable you.  I want you to go out and seek adventure, I want you to try new foods, explore new places, and learn new things.  I want you to sit quiet and watch people, I want you to find a way to serve in your community.  I am so proud of you, I loved watching you perform, and do the things you loved to do.  I see the relationship of big brother you have shown to your younger brothers and sisters.  I see the bond and I want you to keep it alive.  I have made mistakes parenting you, and I want you to know that I am sorry, and so thankful that we both grew as a result of those mistakes.  I want you to go out in that big dream you are experiencing and I want you to succeed.  I want people to see how smart you are, I want people to learn from you, I want you to learn from them.  I want you to experience all life has to offer, and I want you to remember that we are always here for you, we will always love you, so much more than you will ever know.  I want you to love, and be loved, I want you to succeed, and I want you to remember that we will always welcome you home.  I love you so very much my heart hurts, I am so thankful to be your mom, and so proud of you.  I want you to remember who you belong to.
I love you,
mom

So Please do me a favor, go tell someone you love them, call someone you love, tell them you love them, go hug your kids, read one more book, listen to one more joke, snuggle for one more minute.  Because one day you will watch them drive off with all their belongings and you will realize just how very fast time moves on.
go hug your kids, they need your love
jen

 

College Shopping and Poop on the Floor

 I am trying with my whole being to embrace the lasts of everything with PS.  And daily I am reminded that time marches on.  We have been shopping for the new college kid…  We did IKEA 2x and no costumes, we went with her childhood bff and mom.  We laughed and we cried (okay the mom’s got teary) We tried out closets and organizers, we sat on chairs, and opened cupboards.  We were exhausted when we were done but it was fun!  It is always nice to have a shopping buddy  We have been to Bed Bath and Beyond 2x, add in Target, Home Goods, Ross, TJMaxx, Marshalls, and more Target.  Some times I feel shopped out, it is emotional shopping for me, I love to shop, but I hate the reason we are shopping.  I think we have almost everything on her list.  (At least I hope we do) Her plan is to not go to Target on check in day.  She remembers what a hot-mess it was when we all went to Target, to get C’s last-minute stuff for his University.  And the Target closest to her campus is also the Target closest to an extremely large university who is also having drop off day on the same day.  She decided that I can run up alone if we forget anything.  I will probably need the break from watching her set up her room.  From trying not to cry, not to be in the way, and not offer too much advice.   We just have to figure out how to pack the stuff for her, and her clothes, and the family and their clothing…  Good thing O is a packing janga queen.

Yesterday PS wanted a bath, again, for the 3rd time.  She was taking off her clothes, and easily pulled down her shorts, she tucked her shirt under her chin to get them off.  How did she know to do that, how did her mind tell her to put her shirt tucked under her chin to see better?  I don’t think I have in my adult life tucked my shirt under my chin, so where did she learn that? Who taught her to do that?

Little Tiny humans are amazing, I am so thankful that I have a house full to enjoy.  Now if I can just figure out where that little poop ball beside the toilet came from…

Go hug you kids, and be amazed at the things they know and things they can do!
jen