Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Friendship in spite of it all

Growing up, we moved a lot. Used to, I believed it a disadvantage. How could I make friends if I was moving away and having to start over again and again? What was the point? Why pour myself into a friendship if it's only going to be severed by distance? What I didn't realize back then is that a true friendship never ends; it melds and reshapes to fit. Yes, the time together may grow to be less or become difficult to manage, but it continues none the less. It shapes and touches you forever. Often we don't even realize the significance and influence of a friend until they are no longer right there with us. I was reminded by my daughter of this, "Looking back, I know they were my best friends."
I'm thankful to live in an age where I can pick up the phone, hear a voice, read a text, compose an email, even converse on a screen and be reconnected right away with a heart hundreds of miles away.
Beware, I'm about to get deep: we walk around this life passing face after face, heart after heart. What is it that causes us to pause at a certain individual, open the door, share, and allow an opportunity for friendship to bloom? How do all those pieces fall into place at a certain time in life to work for good? Can we say it depends on mood? circumstances? accidents? providence? Whatever the reason, when it works, it's a beautiful thing!
Tonight, I'm thanking my Best Friend, the One who already knows my thoughts and heart. Through thick and thin, through all parts of this country, He's listened and stuck regardless of my neglect or fickleness. No need for technology, or a scheduled time, He listens constantly and has blessed me richly. Life without friendship, especially His, would be so empty. The Lord knows I'm not always the easiest person to be friends with, and I often am not all I should be in a friendship - But He has blessed me richly in friendships, in spite of myself and for that I am truly thankful.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Inevitable

Parents' eyes see the obviousness of cause and effect. Like a scary movie, with intense music crescendoing to an inevitable and obvious outcome:
If Daughter carries around a pocket knife, laying it here and there and everywhere - it will be left behind in a store, on a counter, and remembered later.
If Son wrestles with a sick friend, laughing and growling in each others' faces - a runny-nose and week's worth of sickness will incur.
If Daughter sets brand new, super full cup of hot chocolate on the very edge of the table outside on a windy day - it will blow over, covering the table, the chair, and random blown over boxes of Girl Scout cookies.
If one does not hold on tight to the swing - one will fall off (view video here)

If only they'd listen, trust, and accept - SO many accidents, ailments, and catastrophes could be prevented. Escape would have been provided if they'd acted in faith on the belief that "Mother Knows Best." But isn't life a learning process and wisdom developed by the provision of experiences? We allow our kids to exert their free will in things...knowing that pains may come. We protect where we can to keep them safe, but also let them fall with the expectation that they'll decide better next time. The inevitable will come, they will act on their own! We have to hope that we've provided enough foundation they can handle decisions...with a reminder that all they have to do is ask, and we will be there to help.

Our Father, who know all, sees the obvious cause and effects in our lives. He knows if we have evil companions, our good morals will corrode. He knows if we build our "house on the sand," it won't just settle a little, but "great will be the fall." If only we'd listen, trust, and accept - SO many accidents, ailments, and catastrophes could be prevented. Escape would have been provided if we'd acted in faith on the belief that "Father Knows Best." He spouts out these warnings and hopes we listen. Yet, He provides us with the free will to decide for ourselves. He gave us enough foundation that we can handle future decisions...with a reminder that all we have to do is ask, and He will be there to help.

Perhaps this week I will trust He knows the Inevitable and listen better to my Parent's advice. And perhaps my kids will follow in their mother's footsteps....or perhaps we'll have another week of lost pocket knives, runny-noses, sticky feet, and scuffed knees. Hmmmm...I'll hope for the former.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

3, 2, 1, Action

Thessaly has become quite the drama queen in our family. I've mentioned before how her moods are either absolute adorable sweetness or the scariest incredible hulk you've ever seen. Well, as she grows up, she is taming her "gift". As a result, we're finding her a constant source of entertainment. If she's in the right mood, you can get her to do impressions from movies or voices she's heard. Even her Spanish teacher boasts that Thessaly is a natural linguist who can immediately pick up an accent. Here's a sampling of our little actress:
Thessaly's Impressions

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Parable of the Hidden Diaper

You have heard it said "a little leaven, leaveneth the whole lump" but I say unto you, "one little disposable diaper in the laundry will beadeth the whole load...and not just that load, but to the second and third generation (or in this case, load) as well."

We've all experienced the occasional missed item that accidentally finds it's way into the washing it a hidden tissue, a crayon, a pen, a giant strip of fiber glass, or whatever. The result is usually not pleasant. Today what was supposed to be a quick load of laundry, turned into a mess of massive magnitude. It seems a stray diaper's liquid absorbent beads and shredded paper spread in every crease of every clothing item, covering every crevice of the washing machine holes ( know the little ones all along the inner sides that look like little innocent miniscule dots) and then covered the floor of the laundry room as the garments were gently (or perhaps a tad violently) shaken out.

This little accident reminded me of another little incident that recently occurred in our house. The kids saw a cute little video of a Gummy Bear dancing around singing about his delicious gummy self. Innocent enough, right? WRONG! For perhaps 1.5 seconds this gummy bear shakes his little gummy bottom, which of course merits a fit of laughter from my kids. How could 1.5 seconds of fanny-wagging hurt, you ask? Well, being that it brought such hysterics from the bear, imagine a little two year old boy wagging his tail at you. Hilarious!!! Yes, but then this spreads to the adorable four year old who resides here, who takes it a step further by raising her skirt. I won't even tell you where that led a certain six year old, whom by now you know loves to push the limits. Before you know it, my house is daily filled with derriere shaking and potty comments to go with it. NOT acceptable!

So I'm here to remind you....Beware the leaven or diaper or gummy bear that sneaks in unaware. It may go undetected at first, but the repercussions will ripple their way through everything!!!

Oh My Wood!

Each stage of child development is fascinating to me. It intrigues me to witness a little person go from only saying "mama" to a full fledged sentence. It amazes me how a toddler can switch from whining to alert you of his needs, to putting the thought into words and expressing it with precision.

As most of you know, Eben was a late talker. By the age of two, he was only using a handful of words. Looking back, I can see many reasons for this...he has mind readers for sisters who never let him go long without already knowing and providing what he was lacking, he couldn't get a word in edgewise because well, he has three older sisters, and I'm convinced that he knew the words..could say the words...and in his stubborn will, decided not to.

Now, he's a yapper! He'll tell you exactly what he wants. He'll ask you a million and one questions to figure something out. He'll even use his newly discovered super powers of manners with a smile to convince you to do his bidding. It's delightful. The whole family is thrilled and constantly sharing the adorable things he says.

But with anything learned, he's watched and listened to each of us and adopted our words, habits, and manners as his own. I'd like to tell you that because we are always on our best behavior his little mouth is pristine. I'd like to tell you he is quoting scripture and saying things like "Mommy, I adore you. Let me do that for you." However, we do live in a real world and we, believe it or not, are not always perfect.

My latest cringe is when I heard him shouting upstairs at the top of his lungs, "Get out of my Woom!" then followed it up with a smiling "pweese!" Adorable, yes, but oh so rude! Perhaps I should focus my attention on the fact that he does use his polite words.

Some of our favorites are his raw excitement, when something delights him, he claps with a "yeah-hoo!" or gasps in amazement, "Oh My Wood!!" One of our favorites is "Come on, guys! Let's go....see, me happy!" convinced that if he is happy and smiling the world will follow willingly. Oh, and the newest taunt after anything mischievous that he does, which is one of his favorite past times, is "Nanny, nanny, poo, poo!" followed with his adorable laugh, then covering his grinning mouth acting shocked saying, "Oops! Me say bad words!"

All of this rambling is to say this...monkey see, monkey do! The words that I say, the attitude I reflect, the manner in which I conduct myself is constantly and without fail mirrored back to me. It is no wonder that we are commanded to speak His words and meditate on His sayings, posting them on our walls, even carrying them around our necks...just as my kids soak up my words, I soak up those I hear and am surrounded by. May I remember as I walk through this day, that I am the light they are witnessing. His words are my words and thus their words.

Little brother is great at reminding me, especially when he pulls this cuteness..."Come on, mom! Talk to me! Me like Mommy!" What an honor!!!