A slower life can be sweeter...
Sunday, June 29, 2008
One is a book about praying for your husband and being a supportive wife. This is a role I never considered being active in. I am slowly learning what the Bible says about being a team player in your marriage and in your family. I am far from perfect in my marriage, but feel like the effort is as important as the outcome.
The second is a devotional study in the Sunday School class I attend. We are talking about renewing the mind to heal the spirit. It is speaking to me so personally. I am learning so much.
The third is a Beth Moore retreat called Loving Well. It is a four part series that I'm studying with the women in my church on Monday nights. It is a Biblical study of loving others, especially those who are hard to love.
It's been interesting, to see how the three studies are coming together and enriching my life. I hope that I can articulate it well enough to post on it later this summer, as my studies come to an end and I move on to new and exciting topics. A goal of mine is to never stop learning and growing. To always be in search of knowledge that will enrich my life.
This week I will be continuing all three studies, as well as celebrating Independence Day with family. I will also be spending the week with my kids and taking B to swim lessons in the mornings. Tomorrow we will spend at the Hubs sister's, helping out with her kids while she goes to the dentist. It is a full week and I am blessed to be able to spend it with friends and family, enjoying the summer days.
I told my B that we could watch a movie today (our kids are turning into movie junkies, just like their mom and dad) but that the rest of the week, the t.v. is staying off. We are going to unplug this week. And tune in to each other. The studies I've mentioned above also mention the noise in our life and how it can be difficult to even think, if the noise gets too loud. There's been plenty of noise in my life recently, more than I had bargained for.
This means for me, a week off from writing or reading online. I'll continue to email, since I even tend to use that as much as the telephone to stay in touch with others. Other than that, I'll be offline for this week.
I hope that your summers are going as great as mine. I will be back next weekend, to read and write again. I will miss it, but feel like it's time to slow down. To calm down. To buckle down.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Bye-bye yellow house.
Welcome, OM family, to the Brown House Club.
We are going to add black shutters to the two second-floor windows and our front door is red. It feels like a new house when we pull up and I really do like it. Even if I miss my cheery, yellow house. Home is where your heart is, and mine is right here.
Giving us his commands.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I feel sad because none of my truly close friends live in the city that I do and I've been unsuccessful at finding a new close friend. I want someone I can call in a pinch and be at their house in 5 minutes. Someone to go see the new movie with me that doesn't need a two-week advanced notice. I've come to the conclusion that it's really hard to make friends as an adult. How do you get to know someone past the small talk if you've never held their hair while they puke in the ditch?
I am always wishing for a busy social calendar.
When things get super busy...
All I want to do is stay home and hide out!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Is it really creative?
Aw, I'm only kidding, Wondertime. I just get tired of creativity, apparently. I'm just grumpy. Lots.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
When I was dating her dad, he wrote me a letter outlining a few things I should know about him. He wrote that he is always contradicting himself.
I should've known what I was in for.
I do now.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Here's the dilemma: should I get two shelves to put on each side of the window? Or just get one and find something decorative to put on the other side. I realize this is a taste thing, based on whether you like symmetry or not? Keep in mind it's a tight spot, not an extra inch of space to spare. But I still want to know what people think would look better. Here you will find an example of what kind of shelf I'm looking into getting. I also like this very much. Would it look odd to have two different shelves on each side? Like the metal shelves on one side and the wicker basket shelves on the other? Should it be the same on each side of the window? I just don't know which way to go: classically symmetrical or modern and unsymmetrical, which is obviously why I'm asking for others' opinions.
Here is a [crappy] picture our our dining room. Never mind the full table, I'm in project mode this morning and working there. It "usually" looks pristine [ha].
Okay - thoughts?
Thursday, June 19, 2008
- I had a table runner on my dining room table that matched the tableclothes on the end tables in the adjoining living room.
- I had a crystal candle trio.
- I burned candles.
- I painted my fingernails.
- No one had ever pooped in my hand.
- I thought about myself and who I was and what I wanted...a lot.
- I knew nothing of love, trust, fear, anger, or pride.
- I was happy.
- I was not as happy as I am today.
I embrace it. I own it.
Being a mom is my very favorite thing/role/job/time.
Each season of my life has led me to where I am now, I don't pretend to know how wonderful things may become. I just know that where I am, right now, feels exactly how I thought being 30 would feel.
What a relief.
If you save a draft, to be published later, how do you publish it with the current date when you finally do publish it?
I've got a post that I quite enjoyed. I had published it accidentally, then went back and saved it as a draft. Then in two days, when I finally published it, it was four posts down the page. (By the way, it's a fun little post about home organization, my latest obsession).
So how do you change the date? Thoughts?
I have made peace with the fact that our home does not have many of the modern touches that I would like. We are limited on space and the design does not allow for many of the things on my wish list, like a mud room, desk in the kitchen for home management, closet space, etc. I'm making due now and trying to get it to work for us. I made a control center in our kitchen, next to my free standing pantry. On top is a file box (some day to be replaced by a "pretty" one). Next are cookbooks, then place mats, and on the bottom are reusable grocery bags. It's still a work in progress, I tweak it as I find other ways use it.
We now have a family calendar, right by the control center and phone in the kitchen. It is great and has lots of space to mark what everyone has going on. Although the two-year old doesn't need spaces a lot, I have used it for his well-child appointment and for when do things as a family.
I organized the standing pantry that I have in the kitchen (it's next to our control center). I got some baskets to hold breakfast items and snacks. Below that are baking supplies. On the bottom shelf are trash bags, paper cups and plates, a phone book, a lunch box, and a flashlight. The very top shelf looks a little disorganized, but I know everything on the shelf. It holds shopping bags that I reuse, baggies, a first aid kit, my foil and wax paper, and tea bags.
I decided to make a "mud room" in our garage, by the door we use to come in and out of the house. The bench in our living room had become the dumping ground for coats and the floor there was always piled with shoes. I decided maybe this open space by the door out in the garage might work. I hung some hooks, all by myself! Now we have a place for seasonal outdoor needs (swimsuits and umbrellas now, mittens and hats in 6 months). I also have the kids keep their shoes here, so that we always know where they are and it cuts down on dirt in the house. So far it's working great and I love it!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I believe that it is not good for those images to be in my mind. When I started to picture bad things happening to me when home alone, I realized I needed to stop putting the ideas in there.
I found myself more fearful than I had been in the past. I worried about really odd things happening, like dark men lurking outside of my window, waiting to see if my husband was home. Creepy people waiting in my hallway, crouching in wait to grab me. For what?
The show I really, really like is CSI. I still do. A mystery, a set of clues, it is an awesome show. The problem being that the stories stuck with me and crept into my daily walk. That is not okay.
Suddenly, I've become a person who thinks that perhaps it is not good that people are playing really violent games and listening to really violent music and watching really violent images on the t.v. and in movie theaters. If you are a person who is a visual learner, like me, those things stick in your mind.
Thankfully, I am able to distinguish fantasy from reality and my mind is able to shut off those images when they pop up. Some people are not so lucky, I think this leads to really bad things. I'm not saying that violent media is the sole reason for violence carried out. I do believe it is harmful to watch and listen to violent media to excess. It has to play a part, it has to negatively a person's perception of violence. If nothing else, it desentizes a person to violent images. That isn't good either.
It's something that's been on my mind recently. It's the reason why my t.v. viewing has gone from CSI to Top Chef and American Idol. I've also been watching a lot of Super Why and Word World. I am choosing not to watch violent shows from here on out.
So far, the large pink Care Bear and a small black dog have been freed from their chilly barrel in the basement. My B was so excited and knew exactly why she was getting to go down there to get one.
She missed out on getting one at lunch time today. We went to the zoo and when it was time to leave, she did her standard "NO!" only in a sort-of high-pitched scream. At that point, I told her that there would be no animal because that was not okay. She did not pitch a fit, but instead said, "I understand mom. Next time I will just try to tell you. I'm just a little young for that." (Now where did that come from?). She totally gets it though and it seems to be clicking.
My hope is that the next time we need to leave a place that is fun, she'll remember a different way to show her disappointment. I've told her several times that she can be mad or sad or glad and she can tell me all about it. She just doesn't have to do it while screaming and laying on the floor.
I agree that it is a process and it may just take a little time. I also recognize that I'm not going to let a bad habit that has gotten embarrassing affect her development and relationship with others.
I was a teary and emotional child. One who sometimes was called a 'bawl baby', even by close relatives. Perhaps it is better to try to teach a different way of communicating. Instead of just belittling the way it is now.
I'm certainly doing my best. And so is my B.
Breaking news - 8:00 PM: A bendy-legged giraffe has just been sprung. The prison at casa OM continues to shrink. Her pride beamed. I'm now the best mommy ever. It's all good, for now. The best part is that she's getting positive reinforcement without adding to the piles of toys. And she's loving it!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
We'll see how it goes.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
My main goal is to keep it all stress free. I've been trying to keep up with the dishes as we go. Some days that works better than others. One thing I have found out is that I like to plan suppers for a whole month. I'm going to try it again for July. It takes the weekly crunch of planning out of the equation. Hopefully it will also work when we're back to school. Hope nice it would be for it to be this easy!
Friday, June 13, 2008
- fun weekly summer outings (there are almost too many to choose from here)
- getting back on my healthy eating kick
- exercise - getting myself to the gym
- farmer's market
- behavior modification through positive behavior supports (my almost 5-year old has developed a few bad habits, like hitting me with her shoe, for example)
- summer bridge activities for my soon-to-be kindergartener, you know, the one with the nasty shoe-hitting habit
- being a homemaker, especially with regards to getting organized
- budgeting, especially since we just found out we'll be needing to purchase new windows
- menu plans
- daily/weekly/montly routines
Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, Oh MY!!!
Seriously, I've got a lot going on in my brain lately. Too much. So I make lists and lists.
So much for slowing down for the summer!
TO BE FAIR: B has only hit me with her shoe once. It was Monday, when I told her it was time to leave the park. She was trying to get my attention about something, her croc was in her hand, she gave me a "pat" on the shoulder. I guess it stuck with me as an example of what not to do if you are four and want your mom's attention. I shouldn't really call it a habit, to be fair.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I'm a much better wife/mother/homemaker in my mind.
Each day I plan to do better than the day before.
Now I'm going to go do the dishes and change out the laundry.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
It was awesome!
I'll leave you with a few pics. The really good beach ones are on my sis' camera, since I was too chicken to take mine to the beach. She got some great shots that I'll share when she sends them my way.
Outside of the The Crab Trap
Hello, Nebraska! My two frozen babies, waiting for daddy to pull the car around.
My newest addition to our routine is no TV between 10-4, but upon rising in the morning, we really like Mickey's Clubhouse.
Ah well, maybe next time I won't get hit with a shoe when it's time to go home from the park! Here's hoping.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
He and my grandmother lived in a two-story white house on the highway. They had a huge garden that produced most of the vegetables we ate all summer. My grandfather always got me to try new things, despite my objections. Turnips, radishes, parsnips. He would make parsnip patties and fry them in his electric skillet on the countertop. I remember thinking they were the best thing I'd ever eaten.
My grandfather has been gone for 12 years now, but he is still so vivid in my memory. Today I didn't miss him quite as much, as I remembered how much I like turnips.
I think I'll sign off now and look up a recipe for parsnip patties.
Grandpa, I love you still. Always.
Friday, June 6, 2008
We fell into our beds with a weight that I cannot describe. Our vacation was wonderful, but something I can't really articulate right now. I want to write on it later, when the words are not jumbled with the blur of excitement and emotion of the past week. Today I am letting it all sink in. We were there. We made it.
And now we are home.
Today I have summer on the brain and have enjoyed spending the morning reading everyone's posts on what they plan to do. Rocks in My Dryer (sorry, too lazy today to even do links) used Works for Me Wednesday to talk about summer activities. Beck has touched on the topic too.
I had this euphoric feeling this morning, this being my first day "off" of summer, now that our school year is over. Being a teacher, there is this exhausting push at the end of the year. We left for Florida about twelve hours after the end of my school year. Today it's hitting me - we are really off now.
So I have activities on the brain. Answers for the questions of what I want to accomplish this summer. I'll be doing some planning and list making today. Trying to get an outline of a plan. My B starts kindergarten this fall, so I have a goal in mind of helping her retain all of the wonderful learning that she received at her preschool this past year. She won't be taking naps in the afternoons now, so my plan is to do some of those things while her brother sleeps.
I had an aha! moment yesterday, realizing how much better my kids get along, how much more pleasant they are, when I really tune in and give them my full attention and energy. I have some goals of my own this summer on that front. That while we do activities and try to establish some routine, we also spend the summer together. Really together.
We'll spend the summer between the zoo, children's museum, the pool at our gym, the playground, and maybe a few day trips to other local attractions. We will also clock many backyard hours. Spend time with cousins. Unwind.
Today we are detoxing from the trip.
Tomorrow starts the rest of our summer.
At the risk of sounding cheesy, I am so excited about it all - I can hardly breathe.