Step Mom

I recently watched the movie, Step Mom,  as I was running on the elliptical and it got to me.  As a mom, I guess I take it personally.  I do not like how through the whole movie Julia Roberts (the step-mom to be) is portrayed as the underdog.  I fully believe that a mom who loves her children and is an active part of their lives should not have to compete with another for the title of mom.  I am not a supporter of divorce at all, but if the situation happens and another comes into the picture, of course you don’t want a battle between your children and the new person…that wouldn’t be fair for anyone.  I just pray that people begin to take marriage more seriously and these situations do not “need” to happen.  I guess for me, the worst part of the movie is when the mom knew she was dying and was talking about her kids’ futures.  The step mom tells this dying woman that she fears her step daughter will be thinking of her (the mom) on her wedding day.  How selfish.  If anything should happen to me that I couldn’t be there on any of my children’s wedding day, I would take it as a personal failure if they didn’t think of me.  Of course, the mom’s fear is that she will be replaced and her daughter won’t think of her or wish her to be there.  So sad.  Before I was a mom, I liked this movie a lot more.  Now that I am a mama  bear…hmmm…maybe it just strikes a little too close to the heart.

Sugar and Slides

Sundays are our family days.  No matter how busy we are during the week, we set aside Sundays to do things fun as a family that do not require work or school as part of the day.  🙂  Today we went to a park fairly near our house.  It was our first visit there and it was pretty awesome.  They built a slide into a hillside, resembling a small water slide, but without the water.  You are supposed to bring a piece of cardboard and you sit on it to go down the slide.  There is also a playground there.  The kids had a blast!  And I loved that something so simple was entertaining to them.  Free outdoor fun is always a good thing!  The only snag, which irked Mommy and Daddy more than the kids, was when a grandpa didn’t want to share the box that we brought.  Long silly story that I do not want to go into, but it was interesting that all the kids could share with each other and the grandpa was unaware of how that process worked.  Alas, another life lesson for the kids.  That was about 30 seconds of the whole time we were there, so it was a successful, happy and fun day!

Something interesting that I have been doing….I did a 10 day no sugar experiment.  I could eat natural sugar…meaning fruit, but nothing processed.  I gave myself a 10 day limit so I could see the end of the tunnel and therefore have more success.  Today is day 11, so I am pigging out a bit, but I am going back into another 10 day no sugar beginning tomorrow.  Being without sugar made my body much healthier. I could feel it.   I have had quite of bit of sugar today (in different forms)  and my body noticed right away.  But I do not want my body to forget how to process any of those foods quite yet.  Interestingly, I had a diet soda and it tasted horrible!  Which actually made me happy…because I know diet ingredients are really awful for your body.  And if I lose my temptation for them, all the better.  Baked goods however did not taste terrible, however if I get in a habit of only eating them every so often, I am not too concerned.  I did lose a little bit of weight…I will gain a fraction of that back today.  For me, the best part of no sugar is how quickly my belly slimmed.  My belly is not my biggest problem area, but wow! any slight improvement is ok with me.  I am sure after today there will be a little bulge, but it will also go away.  🙂

And that is the light weekend update!

Baby Love

My children were once super small, helpless, “innocent” blessings.  I was never the mom who was sentimental about putting their clothes away or giving them away, because I was always excited for the next stage.  There were a few special items/outfits that I packed away instead of giving away.  In my sentimental mind, I wanted to hold onto those items.  In my practical mind, I didn’t know why.  Would my grandkids, someday, wear these clothes, or would they just moved from box to box and house to house?  I decided to have their most special clothes made into quilts.  I decided it many years before doing it.  But I now have all 4 quilts and I adore them!!!!!  Yes, 4, we used intended clothing and bedding items for Joshua’s.  It is so nice to have sweet memories on display for me to treasure each day.  

Michelle, from Willow Creek Studios, is the master behind these precious quilts.  I highly recommend her and her talents.  You should check out her website.

http://willowcreekbaby.com/home

In the meantime, check out my photos below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Life

Our world has been spinning at high speed lately.  I feel like we are always at high speed and then more things go into our schedule, but they are all good things.  We are moving quickly, but we are doing it together (for the most part) and praising God for the blessings!  🙂

For my husband, MBA classes have begun.  How he is able to work full time and be an awesome daddy on top of going to school full time blows my mind, but he does it.  It adds a little extra chaos to all of us, but he surely bears the brunt of the load.

For me, on a personal level, my eating and working out too a hiatus this summer, so I am back on my strict schedule of working out and eating somewhat right.  😉  Teaching and taxi driving has been put back in motion as well.

The kids are back to school (at home) and each have 1 sport activity as well as a church activity they attend each week.  By Friday they are just as tired as my husband and I.  They are still mourning the loss of their Riley cat.  My oldest was the most outwardly sad in the beginning, has recovered quite well and talks about all the pets he will have when he is big.  My daughter, who was the most attached, holds it all in.  This concerns me a little bit.  She will say things on occasion that let us know she is still thinking of Riley.  She is trying to bond with the other cat now, which is kind of a cute thing to watch.  My youngest, who is my old soul, was the one who went to Stormy right after Riley died to let her know what happened.  He still misses her.  He is also concerned that about Stormy’s buddy being gone.  We can’t sure if he is more sad for himself or Stormy.

So, nothing drastic in our world.  We count our blessings for that.  We seem to be surrounded by friends who are suffering and we know we should thank God for our blessings as often as we pray for their lives to be mended.

 

Children’s Books

I have to tell you that I love Beverly Lewis!  It has been awhile since I read a chapter book from a children’s series, so it seemed a bit simple at first, but then I had to remember it needs to be simple.  😉  She has little people as her audience.  We began reading The Cul-de-sac kid series as a family, but my daughter also reads them on her own.   I recommend them to anyone with lower elementary aged children.  It is especially great for our family since we live on a cul-de-sac street, have girls and boys, and have adopted!  I love how closely the family in the book relates to our family.  Most importantly, the children in the story PRAY!  I am so excited that an author wrote a children’s book in which the children pray.  We have only read the first book, but will definitely continue the series.  Love The Cul-de-sac Kids!  🙂

When our cat died I looked for some books for the kids to read and help them.   The Bible is not clear on what happens to animals when they die.  There is no way for us to know if they will be in Heaven or not.  Sooooo….a lot of assumptions are made in children’s books to make the child feel better.  It is a great thing to make a child feel better, but in our family we want to make them feel better with truth and not assumptions.  I previewed the books and ended up not giving any to the children to read, solely because of mixed messages.  The worst one, however, was the one that was trying to be most politically correct.  I will not mention the title, but according to the reviews it is a pretty popular choice.  The entire book was great…up until the point when the author had the daddy character tell his child that we are not sure if there is a heaven or not.  That closed the book for me.  I understand for sales an author may not want to step on toes and offend people.  However, I give great praise and credit to the authors who aren’t afraid to stand up for their faith even in children’s books.  Thank you Beverly Lewis!

Doggish Cat

My daughter has a Barbie movie in which there is a cat that is referred to as a “doggish cat.”   Most likely because it is a tomcat and barks.  We all know that cats in Barbie movies are usually girls.  😉

My husband and I adopted 2 tiny kittens a few months after we were married.   Non-pet owners will not understand, but before we had children, they were like our babies.  Unfortunately for them, after we had children, they lost a bit of rank in the house.  😉

One was abused in her first month of life.  The shelter found her on the side of the road with her whiskers pulled out.  Stormy was the size of a snowball when we saw her.  She loved us right away, but would go into hiding when others would come into the house.  She is definitely a cat cat…she has cuddled with me since she could fit in my shoe, but she is a bit overly skiddish and has a mind of her own.  She is beginning to warm up to others now…slowly but surely.

Riley was our doggish cat.  We chose her from the shelter at the same time as Stormy, and though they look identical, Riley was born at the shelter.  She and Stormy were great “friends.”  Riley would come when called, would thump her foot when we scratched her ear, would follow us around, and sleep in my daughter’s bed each night (sometimes as the pillow).  We even were able to play fetch with her when she was young.

We had to say goodbye to Riley this weekend.  Pets are loyal and love you unconditionally, they let you cuddle them when you need comfort and “forgive” you when you ignore them.  It is hard to lose a pet, hard to lose anything that has been a positive part of your life for 13 years, but it is even harder when you have small children.  They knew she was sick, they knew she was not likely going to get better, but in the end she went much faster than we thought.  That is a blessing, especially for her sake.  It was hard to watch her in the end.  Kids are troopers, though, and though they miss her, they have an ability to put things in better perspective than adults sometimes.  Again, I know pet owners, or even simply dog owners, may not understand, but our hearts are heavy this week as we miss our doggish cat.

“small” blessings

Sometimes the little things in life prove to be the biggest and best blessings and joys.

My youngest has an old soul as some would say.  He is goofy and crazy and rotten and young, but in certain things he has an understanding, a forgiveness and an almost wise.  When my daughter was sad a couple months ago about giving up her old bike (she could ride the new one, but it still made her nervous and the old one needed to go) he took the bike and said he would take care of it and moved it away from her sight.  So sweet, but not surprising.

Our cat is very sick and likely not going to make it much longer…all of the kids brought her their favorite comfort items and gently tucked them around her.

My youngest told me the other day that I was his best girl friend.  🙂

A few weeks ago we were coming home from a family outing and someone was throwing out a great air hockey table…which is now in our possession.

My two second graders had to write about someone they admire and my son chose his dad and my daughter chose me.  🙂

And of course endless hugs and kisses from all of them.  Life’s blessings are so sweet and simple, we just need to grasp them and cherish them.

And just to add a little turmoil to the life’s sweetness, but again on a very simple note…no crisis.  My lawn mower starter is my enemy.  It starts wonderfully for my husband but it doesn’t like me…and I do nothing different.  Oh well!  After 20…yes 20 minutes of trying to get it to start…would you believe the sky opened up and rained on me?  😛

 

The Clash of the Kings, The Dawn Treader, and more

I finally finished The Clash of the Kings by George R.R. Martin.  Summer has proven to not assist me in reading or dieting or exercising…or blogging.  I have completely fallen into the “lazy days of summer.”  That statement is a bit humorous as we are always on the go…but the schedule disappeared and I took a long break from reading.  Alas,  “The Clash” is now completed.  After about 1600 pages of reading (book 1 and 2) I am still eager to read the next parts of the saga.  There are 3 more books to go…at least until more are added.  😉  It is moving faster now that all the characters, their quirks and the plots are set.  I have to say I like them, and don’t mind skipping the pages that are unnecessary (crude, lude, etc).  I still have not watched the series and have no intention to, but have begun this journey and want to see how it ends.

I am working through the Narnia series with my children and we are now on the Dawn Treader.  It is great, of course.  Aren’t all Narnian books?  I don’t know if I can honestly say any are as good as the first, but they are all great reading opportunities for the family.

The kids’ devotional also encouraged us to read the book of Esther together.  (Since we began the Narnia series we have had many discussions on the Bible being truth and fact, while other stories are fiction.)  We just began reading a chapter a day and are on chapter 3 (of Esther).  I have decided to read a chapter a day as part of school, so after Esther is done we will choose another book of the Bible to walk through.  I like reading the chapters to the kids, because it forces me to think about each word and explain the context more thoroughly than if I am just reading it to myself.

I am slowly working my way through The Power of a Woman’s Words, by Sharon Jaynes, which is a great reminder…daily…of how I should hold my tongue.

And those are our reading updates for the moment…  😉

firsts

It has been an “exciting” kid week in our house.

My oldest got his first bee sting.  It has been the first bee sting our children have experienced that they remember.  His sister was stung when she was under a year and it was devastating!  He handled it well…really well…until I hugged him and then he fell apart.

My daughter finally has 2 loose teeth…her brother has lost a handful and she has been waiting pretty patiently and definitely with eagerness.

And my youngest who may possibly have the biggest heart of anyone, but who also is quite curious, fierce hugging, all boy and rather wreckless, fell on the back of his head this weekend while playing…small scrape, but being as it was his head, lots of blood.  This child will make me gray.  He is okay…completely!  🙂

Something else we began working on this week is addressing adults by saying “sir” or “ma’am” or their name (Mr./Mrs. _________).  They have always used last names with adults, but when they address people I want them to use those names in greetings and thank yous, etc, or in yeses or nos.  My oldest is doing quite well.  The other two are a little shy, but will get there.

That is a week in our life.  🙂

 

7.22.13

Proverbs 20:6-7

Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?  The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.
 
 
 
Marriage:  
 
Marriage used to be sacred, used to be taken seriously, used to be forever.  It should be.  It is called to be.  It isn’t anymore.
 
I (sadly) often wonder how many brides and grooms go to the altar these days pledging to love and adore their spouse until death do they part, or someone better comes along.  I wonder if brides and grooms these days expect forever.  It is heartbreaking.  I expect forever, my friends expect forever, but forever isn’t always what occurs.  
 
So many of our friends now are experiencing the pain of affairs and divorce.  It is horrendous to watch and be up close and personal with.  There are so many pains in this world, but I cannot fathom facing one where you lose your best friend, the one who is supposed to carry you through the bad times or at least bear them with you.  God of course is ever present.  It is still so hard.
 
I blame the selfishness we as a people have acquired over the years.  So many horrible decisions are made in the here and the now.  “This feels good now, I should do it.  My kids, wife, family, friend, etc all come in second to how I am feeling.  It is all about me.  I should be able to do anything I want and not deal with the consequences.”  This way of thinking causes issues in marriages, in unplanned pregnancies, in drinking and driving, in drugs, in every sinful area of life.  I despise this way of thinking.  And I say that knowing I am not perfect and my thoughts are not perfect.
 
Whether or not you are a Bible believer (of course you know I am), the rules and laws of the Bible do prevent a lot of pain if they are followed.  And they don’t prevent a lot of fun as many tend to believe.  
 
I am thankful for my faithful husband.  I am more thankful for my faithful God!  And I pray all the time that my children may grow up caring for others over themselves and that they may spend eternity with their Holy God.