Saturday, January 30, 2010

Worth Reading

I really enjoyed this post and I think you will, too: Deeply

My husband wrote it. So, yes, it means a bit more to me that it might you. Still, it is a fantastic reminder that little things can make a big difference to others and that it pays to know what others need.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Free-Thought Friday

I have so much on my mind, I cannot think straight. Some of the thoughts floating around are important. Some are not. For your reading pleasure, here are some of my random (insignificant) thoughts on this Friday afternoon.

I did not like my oldest son's homework this week. He had to cut out his spelling words out of newspapers and magazines. He had words like dictionary and memories. He had 11 words. The words were not easy to find in print. The second option of the exercise was to cut out letters and paste them together to make the words. This was a tiresome exercise that left my floor with lots of paper mess and created frustration for my child.

I hate my kitchen knives. They are new. We got them for Christmas. They make me tremble when I wash dishes. Seriously, they invoke fear in me. I carefully sit them next to the sink when they need to be washed and I also sit them next to the sink when they are cleaned (and not dried). I look at them with sheer disdain and literally think, "I will not cut myself again. I will not cut myself again." (Yes, they do cut everything very easily.)

I have been putting in hours and hours of volunteer work lately. I am the PTO president of my kids' elementary school. I enjoy the work. I love the school. It is almost gratifying. I am bothered that as I am getting busier, I find myself longing to be working outside the home. I haven't felt that urge in a while. I am not sure if the desire is real and I don't know what to do with it.

I am thankful for washable paint. If my Thanks Tank had gotten posted yesterday, you would have seen that "washable paint" was on my thankful list. I love crafts with my kids. Yesterday, I had paint on the table, on my kids clothes, and all over them and on my clothes. Now that I think about it, I love washable markers, too. My daughter lovingly colored her face the other day when I was talking at a teacher's staff meeting. (I sure looked like mother-of-the-year as I walked out of the school.)

My husband's "home office" is a disaster. We had the bright idea to move all of the Christmas decorations in that room when we took them down. It seemed perfect. It would give us the opportunity to organize the decorations properly "when we had more time". We haven't done anything. The room is getting worse. The room is pilled with Christmas boxes and tubs. The items not packed away are laying on a card table. The room has a virus. The mess is growing in size. Not only is it not staying in one place, at random times other items have been put the room. I hope to work on that room this weekend. I also hope to never go in there again. (And for all of my local friends, now you know why I run and shut that door every time you come over. It's a dark decoration dungeon).

I better go. I have quite a few things waiting to be done. Plus, I am about to finish a book. (No, not that one.) That parenthetical statement is for a friend of mine. I convinced her to watch the SEC Championship game and the BCS Championship Game and in return I am going to read the 1st two Twilight books. Do you think I will get hooked? It makes me cringe thinking about it (but I am not sure why). I guess that means I will probably love them. It's worth it, I guess, to know my friend was cheering on my team (at least part of the time).

One more thing- stop by Eyeglasses and Endzones to enter a contest to win a scarf, a $10 GC to a movie and nail polish. Such fun stuff!

Happy Friday Everyone!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No More Sunbutter

I'm not going to pack sunbutter sandwiches in my son's lunches anymore, at least not for a while.

I had noticed for the last several weeks that he periodically asked me not to give him sunbutter and jelly sandwiches in his lunch box.

It surprised me but I thought that his love of sunbutter was waning. It had been his favorite sandwhich. He liked it so much that he would often ask for it at dinner (as if I was going to let him miss out on the gourmet entree I was serving).

Then, when we were visiting friends this weekend, he was offered a choice of sandwiches. He excitedly requested sunbutter. I noticed and in the back of my mind had a nagging feeling it didn't add up.

Last night at bed time, as I was tucking him in, he said,
"Momma, please don't give me sunbutter in my lunch tomorrow."

I asked, "Why?"

The answer he gave me tugged at my heart.

The older kids in the lunch room notice him sitting at the peanut-free table with sunbutter and they tell on him. They tell a teacher that he has peanut butter. They tell on him every time he brings sunbutter.

The lunchroom aides know about the sunbutter. In fact, I brought it in for them to see and sample. I also asked if it was okay he had it for his lunch. They do not have a problem with him bringing in sunbutter. Most of the time (sometimes I forget), I write "sunbutter" on the sandwich bag. He never gets in trouble for the sunbutter.

Sometimes the kids tell a teacher that is not one of the aides familiar with my son and his sunbutter sandwiches. Sometimes, the kids tell the aides that know. It doesn't matter. The kids tell on him. The aides or teachers have to check. My son gets extra attention that he doesn't want.

He told me, slyly, "Momma, sometimes, I take a bite of my sunbutter sandwich and I hide it in my lunchbox when I am not eating it."

gulp *sigh*

I don't know if the older kids are trying to be responsible or trying to get a smaller kid in trouble. Either way, if they are reporting a possible peanut butter sandwich at the peanut-free table, it isn't all bad.

Since my son has a peanut allergy, I am delighted that the aides are checking about a potential peanut butter sandwich at the peanut-free table every time they are told about it.

But... My son is the only kid in his school (of about 350 students) with a peanut allergy. The peanut-free table was set up this year specifically to keep him safe. Other safety precautions, like keeping all of the packed lunches from his class in a box outside of the classroom, were put in place to limit his exposure to peanut products. His allergy gets attention. I tend to think he is used to it.

His request reminded me that he is a normal kindergartener that doesn't want undue attention from other kids and teachers.

I want his lunchtime to be as pleasant as possible.

We will keep sunbutter at home. And, I think sometimes I'll let him have a gourmet sunbutter sandwich for dinner.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Allergies are Nothing to Sneeze At"

Several blog friends of mine posted that Dr. Oz did a segment on Food Allergies on Thursday. I have to admit, I had never watched Dr. Oz before.

I watched his video. I cringed. I laughed. I teared up.

Dr. Oz illustrates what an allergic reaction feels like to someone with a life threatening food allergy. He also demonstrates how to use an Epipen.

The video is informative. It was good for me and I am an "allergy mom". The Epipen portion was a fantastic reminder to me that I can (and should) use the Epipen in a controlled (calm as possible) way.

Please take a few minutes (about 5) to watch the video.

For people I don't know in real life- you never know when this information might come in handy.

For those that know my son... watch the video. I appreciate it.

[Click on the image below. It is a link to the video.]

"When food is involved, allergies are nothing to sneeze at." Dr Oz

This post is linked to Ann Kroeker's Food on Friday Blog Carnival. Hop over there to check out other food related posts.

Thursday Thanks Tank #117

Each Thursday I make a list of my thankful thoughts. I spend time throughout my day appreciating the little and big things in my life.

Here is what is filling up my Thanks Tank today:

Salad: I made myself a delightful one this afternoon.

Sunshine: The sun was out yesterday afternoon and all day today. Oh, is so nice (quite a change from the rainy northwest weather we have been having).


- that I can pray with
- that care for my kids
- that understand when my plans change
- that bring me lattes

Pictures: I had pictures taken of my kids in their Halloween costumes. (Oh yes, Halloween!) I love pictures of my kids. It doesn't matter what time of year it is.

My understanding husband: He's a good man.

Family Time: We have been enjoying more time than usual lately playing games together.

Sweet Words: Nothing like words that are sweeter than honey. (Psalm 119:103)

Sound Effects: I've been smiling today because of my 4 year old boy and his animated sound effects.

Lists: My lists are a lifeline to me this week (and last week and the week before).

Take time to be thankful today. You will be better off for it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Still Comparing Apples to Oranges

I have trouble not comparing myself to others. I don't know why. It just happens. Before I know it, I am doing it. It is self destructive.

Even worse is when someone else judges me against others... no, I take that back, it is worse when I do it... it is just more frustrating when someone else compares me to another person.

I am who I am for better or worst. I strive to do better. I am constantly working to improve.

I am not meant to have all that others have.

I am not meant to excel in areas that others excel.

I do have talents and God-given abilities. Sometimes that means I am ahead of others in areas.

I have bad luck sometimes. Other times, I am extremely blessed through no merit of my own.

I don't always compare myself and feel like I don't measure up. Sometimes I compare myself and wish I didn't have what I have. I wish I could be someone else or somewhere else. I am often discontent with what I see around me because I want life to be more fair.

It's like the cry of my kids, "That's not fair!"

I long to excel. I also long to be more giving. I want to be content.

This comparison game that I struggle with is frustrating. One day I will wish I had more. A day or so later, I wish I had much, much less.

I want to grow my mental capacity, my emotional stability, my spiritual understanding, my physical healthiness, and my over all happiness.

In my growth, I want to be less.

I want to think less of myself and more of others.

Less of me means less comparing apples to oranges.

So, I fix my eyes on what is unseen. For I know that what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). I decide to live by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). I try to remember that I may never be happy with myself. It is okay. I must stop comparing myself and trying to be successful in my own eyes. My faith must continues to grow. I must shift my focus away from myself. I must submit my motives to God. (2 Corinthians 10:18: For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.")

I want to think less of myself and more of others.

I want to think less of myself and more of God. Without Him, I am all about myself.
When my focus is self-centered, I continue to compare apples to oranges.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Fun

My husband and my oldest son are at a Cub Scout lock-in tonight. My husband sent this picture to my phone. (My son is on the right.)

I texted my husband back and asked him what the boys were doing.
He said, "I told them to act like they were having fun."

I know they are having fun. I even know my husband is having fun. I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures and hearing lock-in stories. I just texted my hubby again to ask him to make sure to get at least one picture of him with my son. If that picture gets taken, I'll share it in another post.

What did I do tonight?? Oh, this Momma had fun. I had a babysitter come over and then I went to a friend's house. A group of us girls sat around and talked for hours. We also painted our toenails. I'd share a picture but I don't really like my feet. It was a wonderful night -just the break I needed. I had a very, very busy week.

What about the kids at home? They had fun, too. They had ice cream, enjoyed tickle fights, and listened to stories. My youngest even learned how to crawl out her crib while I was gone.
I'm not so sure that was fun for my babysitter.

That's it. That's all I've got... just a little post to let you know I'm having fun.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Frogs at Wal-mart

You know what I am learning this week? I am learning to not discount the perspective of others too quickly.

I don't think of myself as someone that would dismiss the ideas of others. And, yet, I did that this week because I already knew what I thought was best. I asked for input and then didn't take the time to fairly consider the input I got because it wasn't inline with what I was thinking.

Looking back, it seems like a mark of true immaturity.

Looking back, I am thankful that I recognized my mistake.

Sometimes when I am so focused on what I already know to be true, I fail to consider out of the box ideas or situations. I limit myself to what I know.

I don't want to do that. I don't want to be the kind of person that cannot see past the concrete to consider the abstract.

I didn't even contemplate all of this until my daughter showed me the frogs at Wal-mart.

We were hurriedly shopping because my To-Do list is a bit over-run with tasks. She kept saying "Fraa... Fraa!" and pointing up. I figured out she was saying frog. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why she was saying frog when we were headed to the diapers section. She wasn't just saying it, either. She was excited about the frog. It was one of those, 'what has gotten in to my 2 year old?' moments.

And, then I saw the frog face.

Now, I'll see the frog at Wal-mart everytime I visit. Just like that, something that has always been is forever changed for me. In one little trip to Wal-mart, my daughter gave me a vision of frogs and a gift of a new perspective.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Tide Rolls

ROLL TIDE Thursday Thanks Tank (#116)

I am thankful for the University of Alabama. Ok, this may seem a bit over the top but I can't help it.

I HOPE I have something HUGE (the title) to be thankful for tonight.

Alabama is in the BCS Championship Game.

For now, I am having a hard time thinking about anything else.

I am thankful for my college education. I am a stay-at-home mom right now so I don't use my degree on a day out and day in basis (I do but not in tangible ways) but I wouldn't trade my college experience for anything. It was a wonderful 4 years. I grew as a person and I learned a lot. I also had TONS of fun. If I were more on the ball, I would have scanned in some pictures of the gool ole' days. I didn't get around to that SO... here's some cute pictures.

Here's my son this morning before school. He was SO, SO, SOOOO excited to wear the jersey he got for Christmas today.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Works-for-Me Wednesday: New Year's Tradition

This week there is a backwards theme at the Works for Me Wednesday Headquarters. The idea is that I am to ask a question and my readers are to answer it.

I am so thrilled with a New Year's tradition that I started last year that I wanted to share it. It is not only working for me, it is creating treasures for me for years to come.

The tradition we started last year is a Family Time Capsule.

We created a 2008 Time Capsule on New Year's Day. Each family member got 3 squares of paper for the project. One paper was for drawing a picture (of themselves, if possible). Another paper was for answering questions.
The questions were:
1. What was your favorite Christmas present?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What is your favorite color?
4. What is your favorite desert?
5. What is your favorite toy?
6. What is your favorite thing to do (besides video games)?
The final paper was a wild card. Each person could do whatever they wanted with that paper.

This year, the kids were really excited when I opened up the 2008 Time Capsule. My husband and I took turns reading last year's answers.

Everyone was excited about creating the 2009 Time Capsule.

My daughter got to color the numbers.

We carefully decided on the answers to the questions (we used the same ones as last year).

We worked really hard drawing the pictures.

My princess tried to trace her hand.

Daddy helped create a 2nd hand tracing.

We were excited about each other's pictures.

Momma and Daddy took time to complete their papers (unlike last year when we never got around to it).

The whole family enjoyed putting together the Owen 2009 Time Capsule.

It is being "buried" with our Christmas gifts. We will open it New Year's Eve or Day of 2011.

By the way, I don't think it is too late to do this for 2009. It is such a fun family activity.

Now for my question: Do you have any Family New Year's Traditions?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

My Princess Bride

Last year, I got the sweetest idea to take pictures of my daughter in my wedding dress.

Here's my princess when she was 1:

Here's my 2 year old princess: