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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Thanksgiving Mourning

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No, that’s not a typo.

I know, I know…. today is supposed to be a day of THANKSGIVING, not mourning of anything. But let me explain how mourning the loss of some things can make so thankful for things as they are right now.

When I think back on Thanksgivings past, I remember great memories of being at my Granny’s house with our entire family around. I do remember one year my step dad convinced us all to go out to eat because that is what his family did. ONE YEAR. We only did it one year. Seriously, who wants to sit and order food in a restaurant on Thanksgiving?! Even still, it’s a memory of family together.

There are people who were part of my family growing up who are no longere there. Divorce has wreaked havoc on my Thanksgiving memories.

I miss my sister, because she has chosen a life that has seperated her from her family and my heart breaks for her. I miss her and love her. I don’t know what she is doing today.

I miss my Grandpa. I miss smelling his Old Spice. I miss his big rough hands and the songs he would sing. He is with his vegetarian wife on Thanksgiving, and all I can think is “I hope she made a turkey!” πŸ˜†

I miss my Aunt…. who was just the same to me as my Uncle. I never understand why people can divorce and then think you have to sever all family ties. You are still loved, and still in all the important memories.

I miss my Step-dad. He used to say this querky prayer before a meal “Come Lord Jesus be our guest, let this food to us be blessed. Amen” and that was that. πŸ˜† I wanted to call him today, just because, but I can’t find his number.

My Granny’s house is quiet today. Everyone has gone their own direction and Holiday Traditions just aren’t what they used to be.

So, while I could be sad today because I’m missing out on the normal holiday family traditions…. I’m not. Because I’m not missing out. Nothing is the same as it was when I was growing up. The habits have changed, the people have changed, some are missing and never returning.

And that leaves me thankful for the chance to create our own lasting family holiday traditions that can mean so much more to me now. Instead of being sad that I’m not at home celebrating in old familiar ways, I am thankful for my little family that is here right now, all warm and cozy together, and know that none of us is ever going anywhere…. and it won’t be tainted by me wishing I was somewhere else or thinking I’m missing out.

Yes, my heart mourns for the time when our family was whole when I was growing up and even still, I wish they were all gathering together without me…. even though I know I would miss it. But knowing it’s not there anymore, leaves me able to love and cherish what I have now so much more.

I hope this doesn’t sound like a downer thanksgiving post….. but I find myself caught in the bittersweet remembrances of Thanksgiving past with family I will always miss and love, the reality of what it is now, and the awesome blessing I have in my own family and the chance to start a new Family Legacy.

Sugar Coated Truth

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I often say that I don’t likeΒ sugar coating things.

That’s not entirely true. So I guess that would be…. sugar coating? Or just not being real. I don’t know. I’ll let you decide.

If you ask me if an outfit is good or bad, I’ll tell you straight up.

If you ask me my opinion on a situation, I’ll let you have it.

If you ask me if I like how something that you made tastes, I’ll be honest.

I won’t sugar coat that stuff. I don’t think that’s fair. And truly, it’s not trustworthy. I’m not cruel about it, just honest.

BUT…. but….

If you ask me how I’m doing, I’ll sugar coat. I’ll even flat out lie.

If I have to think about how I’m feeling about something, I’ll joke and laugh and stuff it down.

If God puts something in my lap that I know is HUGE for my heart or my character or my relationships, I won’t talk about it. Until it’s over. I don’t want to share it until it’s all cleaned up and in a pretty package, preferably with a victorious bow on top.

And that, that really isn’t fair.

I’m not quite sure what to do with myself concerning this. I’m an open book, about PAST things, not about current things.

I don’t want advice. I don’t want pity. I don’t want your two cents. I don’t want to look like something might be wrong with me to a point that makes you question my sanity or my character.

And I’m totally aware that those are unreasonable wants and expectations. I know.

But when you’ve always been the helper, the advice giver, the one everyone goes to to fix things…… it’s hard to say “I need fixing” or “I’m being fixed” because then you have to TALK ABOUT IT. And like I said, I’m good at sharing when it’s all said and done. Not during.

So, as a leap of faith, I’m sharing. Even though it’s making my skin crawl.

I feel like God is calling me to something bigger, and it’s making me retreat.

I feel like things I’m doing aren’t enough, and I need to do more.

On the flip side of that, I feel like I’m doing too much in certain ways and need to do less.

I feel my heart hardening with bitterness and sadness, and I don’t know why. I’m just plain ole’ grouchy to be honest.

God is seriously PULLING on my heart, and I am seriously pulling back because I’m scared. I don’t like MORE responsibility, because I usually take it very seriously, and right now that scares me.

So, that’s where I’m at now. And being this vulnerable is quite scary. But it’s not fair for me to put on a happy face, do a happy dance, and never let you in.

Two Random Facts…..

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….. that you might not know about me. And you might not care about either….. but oh well. I’m sharing anyway.

It occured to me last night as I shared with a group of friends who gathered here for a fun girls night, that I have an odd habit. From the stares, silence, and then giggles that resulted…. I gathered that it was odd. πŸ˜‰ I’m quite astute like that. (as I laugh at my own stupid joke)

Okay, so. I like chocolate milk. I love chocolate milk actually. I particularly love it when I can make it myself, with POWDER. Not syrup. Syrup is gross. I’m not a fan of Hershey’s. Never have been. I also don’t particularly care for the chocolate milk you can buy in a jug or carton…. but I’ve been known to compromise with that. Anyway, I don’t think I always used to like it so much though…. and I only think that because nearly 10 years ago when I met one of my now closest friends, she was this way about it… and I thought she was odd. Fast forward almost 10 years andΒ I find myself drinking a glass of chocolate milk when I want chocolate, when I want a treat, when I want a snack…. almost always at night. I think of her everytime I drink it. Haven’t seen her in 7 years. Miss her.

Anyway, that’s not the apparently weird part.

I drink it like soup. With a huge spoon. I can’t DRINK drink it. I can’t drink it through a straw. Has to be a spoon, and consumed like soup. Complete with slurping. Just ask Jake. Makes him crazy.

When I shared this with my friends, after some giggling, they said “and do you put it in a bowl like soup?”

Pretty funny question if you ask me! πŸ˜†

But it does lead me to random fact #2…. because the whole “drinking chocolate milk like soup with a huge spoon” was #1.

I LOVE coffee cups. We have an Airman’s Attic here on base, and anyone who ranks E5 and below can go there. If Jake makes this next promotion I’ll be quite sad about not being able to go anymore. Anyway, everything there is…. FREE. Like a thrift shop, but FREE. If you go often enough you can find some seriously awesome things. I actually found an A BEKA homeschool book there…. and if you know anything about A BEKA curriculum…. it’s $PENDY. I was super excited. I also got a super cute shirt there, with the $35 tag still on it. Awesome.

But that’s not the point. The point is, everytime I go, I look for interesting coffee cups, and I ALWAYS leave there with at least one. Always. And I go at least once a week. You should SEE my coffee cup collection. I’m loving it.

SO, to answer my friends question about whether or not I drink my chocolate milk like soup with a huge spoon from a bowl…….

No. No I don’t. I drink it from my super cool coffee cup from my awesome collection. πŸ˜‰

And that’s no yolk. πŸ˜‰

Aidan’s Results….

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For the sake of not reinventing the information wheel (ha!) I’m just going to repost an email sent to a friend. I hope it’s clear enough. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask! Thanks!

She asked what happened and this was my reply:

Truly….. nothing happened… as in, there is nothing “wrong” per se. She did say that since she HAD to diagnose with something, she chose a disruptive disorder. ha! His IQ test showed that he is HIGHLY verbal, but lacks on the processessing skills. She said it wasn’t anything to worry about though right now considering he is still young. So the curve he was on for ADHD based on those results shows him just barely on the cusp of what they’d consider ADHD, but it’s not enough that they’d consider medication. She did say that he would either increase or decrease in this behavior (duh) as time goes on….again, because he is so young still. What it did show is that he DOES have hyperactivity and impulsivity issues….which we knew already. The good thing is that it confirms what we knew and I’m not left wondering if it’s my overtired imagination on a bad day. She also said that he is hard wired this way, and that it’s not a result of parenting or trauma or lack of discipline….but did suggest a few things for us to do with him. I’m now on the prowl for three new books to read.

So, it helped confirm what we already thought and reaffirm the fact that we didn’t make him this way….which every mom worries about. I cried when she was done with the results. Not because I WANTED something to be “wrong” but because I was really hoping for definate answers about how to deal with him and proceed. I said “so what do I do when he’s screaming at me, calling me a bitch over and over in front of people, punching me, kicking me, screaming horrible things? WHAT DO I DO WITH THAT?” and I just cried….. and basically what she said to do was everything we’re already doing…. just with less yelling and anger. ha.

I told Jake Aidan has his anger issues and my verbal skills. EXCELLENT. ;o)

So, that’s that. Now we go back to the pediatrician and most likely will enroll Aidan in a class this doctor (who administered the tests) facilitates for kids who impulse control issues. She highly recommended it and said she would allow him in, even though the group is closed. I want to be able to get him in while she’s teaching the class b/c she moves in a month and a new doctor takes over….so I’d like him in while we have someone willing to squeeze him in. She also suggested seeing the child psychologist there so he can work on his anger and learn techniques to calm himself down. *sigh*

So, yeah. Thank you for asking. I might just use this reply as my blog post. haha! ;o)

Total 180!

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So, completely contrary to yesterday morning…. Dylan ASKED to do his bible lesson today, and ASKED what word I’d like him to write down today. Todays lesson was about Mount Ebal, and when I told him I said “even if you don’t know how to spell it, remember to just write it out how it sounds to you now.” He nodded his head and smiled and said “yeah, I know” and proceeded with his work.

Awesome.

And now…. now he’s running around the house to check off the things on his chore chart.

Double awesome!

Now we just need to finish the school work chart. πŸ˜‰
-20 minutes reading
-20 minutes math
-20 minutes handwriting
-spelling
-we already did two science projects this week, so we’re clear on that! πŸ˜‰

Aidan is also attempting his chore chart, although not with as much enthusiasm, and he keeps getting sidetracked. I imagine he’ll take a bit longer to get excited about the lists anyway. ha!

Aidan’s school work chart has
-write out ABC’s
-write #’s 1-10
-20 minutes preschool workbook
-start sight words

The kid has been BEGGING me to start school since he turned 5. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t ask when he can go to school. I keep telling him that if he wanted to GO to school, he has to wait until next year, but if he wanted to start NOW he could do school at home. He wants a combo of his options. πŸ˜† He wants to GO to school NOW, and not do it at home. ha! Sorry kid, no such luck. I’m hoping that slowly introducing him over the next 6 weeks or so will make it easier to make sure that by January he’s used to the routine and doesn’t complain so much about wanting to GO to school. πŸ˜‰

The pics I picked

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Here are all three pictures that I picked to buy….. and remember, it’s only a mini session so we only did three. Hopefully in the beginning of next year we’ll do a larger session with a lot more poses and outfits.Β  I also hope the boys will be more willing to smile their REAL smiles too! πŸ˜‰ Check out www.stacyvandyckphotography.com to see her awesome work!

Pot, teach Kettle

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Today I realized I’m teaching a 6 year old version of myself. Dylan is the exact replica of his pefectionistic black and white mother.

This morning he wouldn’t write something out that I asked him to unless I told him EXACTLY how it was spelled. I tried to explain to him to spell it how it sounded to him, so that I knew how he was thinking and what he already knew. He threw a MONSTROUS FIT and ended up crying in a corner in another room yelling that he didn’t want to be in the same room with me. I took that opportunity to take a little cat nap in the chair I was in until he decided to talk to me. When he finally decided to talk to me, he YELLED (b/c he was so far away it was the only way I’d hear him) “It’s not that I’m trying to be rude to you!” I asked him if he acted like this at Awanas when his teacher there told him to write out something and he said no. I asked him why. I got more silence. So I went back to snoozing.

“BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE BEEN EMBARRASSED IF I DID THIS THERE!!” Followed by some crying. My heart broke for him as I realized that even though his fits made me CRAZY, he felt comfortable enough to show his weaknesses at home where he was loved, rather than in a class with a bunch of other kids…..even if it was just Awanas. He continued with “I don’t want to do it unless it’s perfect!” Ugh, not only did my heart brake for him, but my stomach churned with the familiar feeling of not wanting to attempt anything if it can’t be done perfectly. The feeling that if you anticipate failing in the slightest, you don’t even want to try. The boy is his mothers son for sure.

I asked him to come sit with me, we talked for a little bit, and the he did as I had asked almost 30 minutes prior. Did he spell all of it correctly? No. He spelled half of it correctly, and the rest he spelled how it sounded to him. Now I have a better understanding of how things sound to him, and he knows that if he tries his best, he’s sure to get at least some of it right.

I thought that lesson in perfection was just for Dylan. NOPE. Mine came about two hours later when waves of failure washed over me as he balked to do his reading…… after having an hour of free time. I was frustrated. I was feeling, like I do at last 10x a day, that maybe this isn’t the right choice. Maybe he would be better off in school. Maybe I was selfish. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Maybe is a perfectionists worst enemy. Because everything could MAYBE be better. Nothing is ever just good enough, or okay, or satisfactory.

I was sitting here in tears, trying to find ways to get my mind off of the never ending thoughts and feelings of failure and frustration…… when I decided to read a homeschool magazine a friend had dropped off. (Thanks Karin!) I read a few articles and while reading them I thought “I’m just like Dylan was about writing out those words. I don’t want to do this unless I can be told play by play how to do it, with the guarantee that it will be right and pefect.”

Just like Dylan, I will do half of it right, and half of it wrong. Seeing what was done wrong will show us how we learn and think and where we need to tweak it. He won’t forever spell Achan wrong (hard word to spell by sound for a 6 year old!), and I won’t forever go about homeschooling wrong. He spelled the other word right (sin), and I do some of this right. There has to be a happy medium, where perfectionism doesn’t rule – or destroy – and we all feel like we’ve accomplished something and learned something we didn’t wake up that day already knowing. If that is the bar I have to set for now to keep us motivated, then so be it. I know that the farther we get into this homeschool journey, the higher that bar will rise. It may not rise at the same pace as others – homeschool or public – but it’s ours for the raising.

Oh, and the lesson this morning was the story of Achan’s Sin at Jericho and Dylan was drawing an illustration of it while I read. I asked him to write “Achan’s Sin.” What he wrote was “AGINES SIN.” πŸ˜‰