Saturday, August 28, 2010

thingies

I was so excited! I had found the hair thingies. (real word-I think I have been reading too much fifth grade fiction? Frindle) I bought the cutest hair thingies for Rachel's new school year at daycare. They were cute little clips where one was a butterfly and one was a ladybug! The NICE rubber bands that her very thin and fine hair need. Little bows. All in one great package for one low price at wal*mart.- Sure wal*mart I will take some cash for that great plug in.

BUT we had lost them. By we, I mean my daughter and her much taller friend found them on TOP of the bathroom shelf and opened them. And spread them all over. After I found them, nicely*cough cough* sent them outside, and I put them in a plastic bag. Then I lost the bag. Oops.

But last night I found them. I was so happy I called Rachel in. She was not that impressed. I yelled at Scott to check it out. Again, he didn't see the reason to be jumping. Fine. I was pretty happy.

This morning. I wake up and come downstairs to take a shower. Brushing teeth and then I see something colorful in the toilet. You love how I check my toilet in the morning, huh? The baggie of hair thingies. Swirling in water..around and around. I sigh. And I am going to wal*mart with my three dollars to get a new set!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

lucky

He held up a picture. "And this is what your uterus looks like." There was obviously trouble. Now, this wasn't actually a picture of MY uterus, but just a picture of one that was full of endrometriosis. My family doctor self diagnosed me with this after my year long bout with sickness and he had sent me here. To this man. Holding up this awful picture and then telling me "you probably won't have children." I was 21.

I know having children isn't for everyone. But for me, I just always thought it was a given. I would graduate college, get married, have kids, and die happy. But after being sick almost everyday for a year...and then this man telling me I will not be able to have kids...I thought my life was over before it had begun.

I went home and told Scott, my then fiancee, that I could not marry him. He wanted kids and I could not have them. He told me I was crazy. He of course asked me if they had actually looked at MY uterus. Well, no. BUT they did look at my symptoms. And the Dr said so. And the gyno said so.

A couple of weeks later, my mom called Scott to come and get me. I was on the bathroom floor and I was done. He came to my house and scooped me off the floor and drove my mom and I to the hospital. They ran a blood test. I had a UTI that had been let go too long. It was sending poison into my blood. "You need a strong anti-biotic." "That is it? and I will be OK? I can have babies?" The nurse probably thought I was just delirious from the fever.

But that picture stuck with me. What if I can't have kids? What if it just doesn't happen for us. That pain in the pit of my stomach. Sobbing in the backseat of my parents car on the ride home from seeing that picture. Watching my mom wipe the tears from her eyes when they told me. What if?...... I still thought.

On May 17th 2003, I was married. On July 8, 2003 I found out that I was having a baby. My baby.

Now, 7 plus years later, I have 4 beautiful, healthy children. When people ask if we are "done" I laugh. As my husband says he wants to have at least 2 more. People gasp. Look at you funny. Either ask God to bless you or question your sanity.

Too be honest there are days that are an "epic fail." My house is a mess, my children aren't listening, we ate cereal for dinner, and I have to wash a sippy cup to get a clean one for bed drinks. There are times when I ask myself "am I crazy? What made me think I could do this?"

A fellow soon to be mother of 4, Kristen, reminded me of something important today. Someone asked her if this was going to be her forth and she said yes. Waiting for the "your hands are full" or "are you crazy?" response. But instead this woman said you're so lucky. Made her think. And man, did it make me think.

I have many friends struggling right this very minute to get pregnant. Even though I had my moments in the Dr's office and in the back of the old station wagon...I still can't put myself in their shoes. I pray for them. Pray for peace. Pray for the gift they so desperately want.

I look at my own kids. I need to be reminded. Yeah, lucky. I couldn't be luckier.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

choosing to be

Last night Rachel and I were laying in bed and discussing how we are all suppose to be working on "being nice" and "loving even when we don't feel like it." She was having "bad day." She threw her little hands up and said "I am trying to be kind but people just won't leave me alone. I try to go and be by myself and be kind and then people come and bug me!" Aaahhh...from the mouths of babes.

It is easy to be kind when it is just me and my coffee. Then you go adding all kind of people and things get a little hairy. But since I read this article by Janel, I can't stop thinking. ( a post of its own)! I need to get to the "heart" of the problem. And not just with my kids! With myself as well.

I understand my daughters laments. Sometimes it is so hard to be kind! If they would just leave me alone! Like when I am sick and my kids are all screaming and fighting. When my husband has forgotten to tell me to write that on the calendar. When I am forgotten by others. When my house is a mess. (you don't see the connection??)

When you come home from a very long day and you just want to get the kids fed and in bed and the neighborhood girl knocks on your door. Way past playing time. I am grumping as husband opens the door. She needs a flashlight. So Scott goes and gets her one. I grump on. (see how well my mouth challenge is going???) To be fair, I must defend myself in my head. He doesn't get it. The kids set the center piece on fire at the baby shower today! Rachel spilled a whole cup of coffee, when I didn't even get one sip, all over the table, floor, and chairs at the baby shower! I am sick-again- in my stomach. The list went on and on. Then my husband comes in and says "you know, we might be the only Jesus she ever sees." On that note, it became different.

My attitude is so important because who knows who my life is affecting. I know it affects my family. It affects my classroom. My friends and other family. Even though sometimes I might not feel like being kind, I need to choose to be kind anyway. Loving when I don't feel like loving. Even though I may have a list of good reasons not to be, like my little Rachel "They just won't stop being annoying"- her brothers.

Sometimes we don't know what list the other person is carrying. We don't know what is challenging their faith today. When we seem the most "annoying" that is when we need others kindness the most. I need to practice being kind. Loving even more when I don't feel like it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Listening

Scott doesn't really work a lot of nights. He works 7 out of every 28 days. Unless he does overtime. Which seems to always be night shifts....

But we sure do miss him when he is gone. I have been having stomach trouble....again. Of course tonight was a bad night. Scott is home. He got their drinks and is now reading their Bible Story with them. He leads them in the "thank-you God for _____" prayer. He tucks them in.

Certain things you don't think of when you are 17 years old and dating a cute boy. Good thing God thinks of them!

Monday, August 16, 2010

self reflection

"It is never to late to become the person you might have been." - George Elliot


I took a class this summer called "Motivat*ing Students to Re*ad." One of the themes throughout the online 3 credit death trap aka interesting lecture was self reflection. The class opened and closed and did about 10 self reflectiong papers throughout. I was all self reflected out. I was about sick of looking at me thank-you very much!


But you never can underestimate the power of a mirror. At the end of the school year, a friend and I had a great conversation. We are both working mothers of young children with husbands and a host of other responsibilities. We were talking about everything that always needs done and the conversation slid to our faith. We are both Christians and we talked about how of the thing that should be first and foremost in our lives is so easily pushed aside. And that is just not right.
This summer I have been doing a lot of thinking...pondering...reading tons of books...and doing some self reflecting. I have seen that, man I need a lot of help! But where oh where to begin. So I prayed about it and I am starting with my mouth.
This is an area where I struggle. I am a pessimist. If something is going to go wrong, I think it will. I also tend to be loud when I am "asking" for everyone else to knock it off. It can get pretty crazy here at times to say the least. I have decided to check my speech. I will ask "do I have to say this?" If the answer is yes, then what is the best way to say it and where. The plan is to try and cut my speech in half (or at least tame it a bit) and make sure what I am saying needs to be said! For, example, calling Scott at work to tell him he forgot to take out the garbage and I had to do it...blah blah blah..is probably not necessary at that point and time.
"The tonuge also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and itselfset on fire by hell." James 3:6
"But the things that proceed out of the mouth some from the heart and those defile the man." Matt 15:18
This does not mean that I am going to succeed all the time. Heck, sometimes i have been awake for 10 minutes and need a do-over! I lose it too. But then I need to remember my plan and why I am doing this. I want to be a representation of Christ to my family. I can't so that if my mouth keeps on running ahead of me. I need to close my mouth.
To make things simple, I have also decided that at times I just need to be silent. When I am tired/stressed/overwhelmed (uh-oh I may never speak again), I just need to stop and listen. Which has stressed out my husband. He wants to know "what is wrong with you? are you ignoring me? Did I do something? Are you mad?" No, I am just self reflecting...although I don't think that will do much to clear up the confusion for him.....

Friday, August 13, 2010

Canada?

As I am climbing in Will's bed for him to fall asleep....

Me- "Will, we are going to memorize a new scripture. It is Pappy Demi's favorite."
Will-" What is it?"
Me- "Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. I as in William Demi can do all things like go to bed by myself or be nice to my brother through Him which is Jesus who gives you the strength."
BIG PAUSE
Will- "All sure is a lot of things. You mean I could even drive to Canada?"
Me- "Go to sleep William."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The bug zapper

I have class every Thursday night. It is a night class. From 5:30-9:15...every Thursday. Last Thursday Scott was at work so my mother offered to keep the kids so I could learn about Language Acquisition. Fun.

It was late. I still had to get the kids in bed. I jumped out of the van, headed for the door with a mind whirling of the lists of things going on in my head.

Just a side note, but my husband was listening to a book on tape. The book was called For Men Only. It tried to unravel the female mind....good one. One day he told me that the book likes to compare the female mind to a computer. We have many many windows open at once. And although we might not be "working" on that screen, it is still open. Still processing. A woman can have many many windows open at the same time. My husband asked "is that true?" "Absolutely."

Back to Thursday night. As I am walking past my mother's porch I was jolted by a loud very surprising noise. It was a bug zapper plugged in on her porch. For anyone who doesn't know, a bug zapper is a light with a cage around it. Bugs draw to light. Bugs run into light. Zap. Bug dead.

I looked at the bug zapper and smiled. When we first moved into the home my mom lives in now, I was under 10. One of our favorite summer activities was to watch the bug zapper. My dad had hooked up the bug zapper to the clothes line. He had his lawn chair down there and when the sunlight faded, the bug zapper got turned on. We would run around catching fireflies or try to climb on my dad's chair. Yell and scream. And of course cheer when the bug zapper "got one." An extra bonus if the bug zapper got a big one and the "zap" held for a couple of seconds.

On my mom's porch, now almost 20-25 years later, it is nice to look back and remember those times. Playing in the backyard. Not even knowing what memories we were making. Don't know if my brother was thinking about those summers when he hung it up. Thinking about my dad yelling at us to settle down and watch the bug zapper! Funny things that take you back.

It was nice to stop and remember.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

names

I was sitting at my mom's kitchen table yesterday and saw a card my Aunt had sent her. It was a card with her name on it and the meaning of her name. Then it had a prayer for her. I love these little cards. I always look for my name, my husbands names, my kids name on them. Seeing if they spelled Theresa properly with the "a." Rachel without the "a."

My mom has always hated her name. If she was a boy, her parents were going to name her "Carl" after the priest. But she was a girl. So they changed it and made her "Carla." Which I think is nice but she hates.

Of course I never liked my name. No one ever has my name. Which if you have a name that is very common you would think that is great. But I always felt odd. And of course every time anyone heard it they would say "like mother Theresa?" Or like "St. Theresa?" Actually I was named after my mother's cousin...who was names after St. Theresa.

Theresa actually means harvester. How pretty and feminine is that?? I always searched and search for a different meaning to my name. A different little card that would tell me that my name meant "amazingly talented" "sophisticated" "divine." But no. Theresa=Harvester. But when I became a Christian my name took on a new meaning
"He told them "The Harvest is plentiful , but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field." Luke 10:2

When I was naming my children, as we all do, I put a lot of thought into it. After all...this was going to be their NAME! It was what people would think when they saw them. They would write it 5 billion times. The problem was...I didn't know who these little angels would become? Would they need a strong name? A lover of nature? A poet? An intellect?

We named our first born after a pirate. Now, Scott will tell you this is not true. If was after our grandfathers, but I think the fact that Will Turner was quite popular at the time had a lot to do with it. We had our William. My first born daughter was to have a different name right up until the end. Then my husband says..."I think I like Rachel." Rachel???? And so she was named, our "little lamb."

With my third child, I put my foot down. I get to name this one. Right from the ultra sound I called my little boy Lucas Scott. A strong name with a touch of his dad. When I found out my fourth child was a baby girl I pulled out the name I had saved in my heart for her, Isabella. My Bella.

Isn't it amazing that God knows our name? Not just that he knows our name like the IRS does, but truly it is written on the palm of his hand. With that name comes who we are. Not just what our name "means" but who we are. All of our parts. The triumphs as well as the failures. The good and the bad. Just as a parent looks at our child's heart so he looks at ours. He looks past what we want to give us what we need. He gathers us up to our heart.

It is nice when someone important knows your name. To hear it called from important people. They know MY name. To hear our name called from graduation podiums or awards cerimonies. But who better to know you that the creator of the universe? God knows my name. And he calls me. He knows me. He loves me.

"See I have written your name on the palm of my hands." Isaiah 49:16

Friday, August 6, 2010

7 more

I have 15 credits....cause I just turned in my 3 credit on-line course. Woo-hoo... of course I hope I passed the class. I will know in 8 weeks. ***8weeks***

I have to get to 24. I have 2 more classes worth one credit each to finish. I will have 7 more to get this school year to get my level 2 certification...My level 2.

closer.....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Funny Kids

Luke- "Mommy, can I have these cups?"
Me- "Luke, those cups are a lot of money."
Luke- "I checked. They are $3,000. I can get them" *tosses cups in cart
Me- "No...." taking cups out of cart
***********************************************************************

Rachel- "Did you see what the dog do to my shoes? He chewed them up. Let's get rid of the dog."
Will- "What is the big deal? Just buy some new shoes."
Rachel- "Those shoes matched my new shirt. You just can't buy shoes that match like that." sighs and stomps away
**********************************************************************
Me- "We need to clean up this house"
Will- "We need to just move."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

burnt pancake

A long time ago, in a far away land lived a girl. A girl who loved the sunshine. A girl who loved to sit in the sunshine and read a book. Any kind of book really. She kept records of all of the books she read. She turned page after page in her notebook, filling the lines with stacks and stacks of books. Romance or mystery, fiction or non-fiction- it was all good.
That girl…was me. ;)

A while ago Scott and I were talking with a friend about what we liked to do for fun. Scott sat and named two handfuls of things off the top of his head. I sat there. Our friend asked me what I like to do for fun. Before I could part my lips, my darling husband answered for me. She doesn’t like to have fun. Although I am sure he might have gotten an elbow from me, he might be partly right. And partly wrong. It certainly isn’t that I don’t like to have fun. But I honestly couldn’t think of what I like! What a sorry thing that is. You know you have a problem when you can’t come up with a answer to that question.

I saw an interview years ago, where they were interviewing Teri Hatcher about her book- burnt toast. Interesting name for a book. It came from the fact that we, as mothers, always eat the burnt toast. If something gets burnt, we will not serve it. We eat it ourselves. Why not throw it away and start again? Not sure. But I can tell you I ate a burnt pancake on Saturday. AND when everyone was done, I ended up throwing away 2 good pancakes that didn’t get eaten.
I guess this all to say, I think we might be a tad bit hard on ourselves as mothers. And look out if you are a working mother. We have to be all things to all people. Self sacrifice, almost self torture- ok the pancake was not that bad. We feel guilty leaving the kids. We feel guilty if we pick up a book and the laundry isn’t done. We feel like a failure if we forgot milk. No wonder I can’t figure out what fun is.

I put some thought in what do I like? And I had to think back to the past. And I remembered reading. I used to love love love to read. Between wife, mommy to 4, full time teacher, housekeep and cook, I didn’t have time to pick up a book. If I did pick up the book, I have a list playing in the back of my mind about all of the things I could/should be doing.
I bought a book. A couple of books actually. I am reading them. It is my step in the direction of fun. Do I read every day? No. But I am getting better. I also remembered that I like going out to eat. Someone tell my husband…..