Friday, November 30, 2012

Chop sticks

My seven year old has been suffering from chapped lips lately.  I've told him to get lip balm from the corner table any time he needs it.

In the middle of eating his spaghetti, he jumped up and ran into the kitchen saying, "I need chop sticks!"  Aaron and I looked at each other, wondering why he wanted chop sticks for his spaghetti.  When I questioned him, he was reaching for the lip balm and said, "It's for my chapped lips!  You said I could use it..."

After uncontrollably laughing, I corrected him, "It's not chop sticks, it's CHAP stick!  You know, 'cause it's for chapped lips."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

10,000 Reasons

I am so incredibly blessed! I regularly think about how blessed I am. Lately, as I think about it, I honestly feel overwhelmed at the thought of it. And all I can do about it is thank God for His abundant and lavish blessings, and try to pass the blessing on to others.

I have a house to live in.
I have heat in the winter.
I have air-conditioning in the summer.
I have a phone and can call people who are not within shouting distance.
I have the internet which I can access through many devices.
I have a variety of delicious and healthy foods to eat.
I have a store that I can walk to so that I can buy food.
I have a van that will protect me and taken me places when I am too lazy to walk (which is often.)
I have enough clothes to cover my body and keep me warm.
I have a change of clothes to wear so that I don't have to wear the same thing every day.
I have enough money to provide for my family's needs and so many of our wants.
I have people in my life who I can trust with anything.
I have friends on whose shoulders I can cry.
I have children.
I have children who rock.
I have a husband.
I have a husband who rocks.
I have a Bible.
I know how to read.
I understand what I read in my Bible.
I have the gift of Salvation.
I was born in a country where I am valued as a person
I live in a country where I can practice my faith without fear of persecution.
I have a doctor that I can go to when I am sick.
I can buy medicine or other treatments when I need to get well.
I have an extended family that loves and cares about each other.
I have three living grand-parents.
I have parents who are still married to each other.
I have parents-in-law who are still married to each other.
I went to (and graduated from) university.
I can talk.
I can hear.
I can taste.
I can smell.
I can feel.
I can sing.

I am so blessed.

(That list is incredibly incomplete.  I haven't written 10,000 reasons that I am blessed yet.  Please help me add to my list and tell me how you are blessed.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

To-ma-to... Po-tah-to...

While watching The Sound of Music for family movie night...

6 yr old Simon: What's a nun?
Me: Someone who spends all her life serving God in the Catholic church, choosing not to have a husband or family...
Simon:  Oh.  I thought nuns were bad guys.
Me, giggling: When are nuns bad guys?
Simon: I don't remember what the movie is...  *thinking*  Mulan!
Me, laughing even harder: Those were the HUNS!

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Super-man

This was written many moons ago, on Nov 16, 2009.  It still applies today, three years later.

My husband is stretched out in the Lazyboy right now, "watching" MNF with his eyes closed. I take him for granted very often. He's not the most romantic guy in the world and he doesn't always say what I want to hear, but I can't help loving him anyway.

Do you know that he gets up every morning at 6:15 so he can get to work on time? And he never complains about it. He doesn't even try to make noise to wake me up. He lets me sleep until 7:30 when he's heading out the door, at which point, he wakes me with a kiss, EVERY MORNING, and says good-bye. The kids, who he's been holding off until that moment, rush into our room and ask if they can get breakfast. Let me expound... He makes his own lunch each morning (a feat among husbands from what I hear), gets dressed in our dark room, and absorbs the kids while I doze for another hour and fifteen minutes.

And then, THEN! he gets his gear on (coat, hat, mitts if needed) and bike helmet on and rides his bicycle to work. In the rain. In the snow. In the extreme heat. In the cold. It is a very rare day when he accepts my offer of a ride in the morning.

He gets to work on time every day... No wait - he gets to work early every day and makes decisions on his workday based on his morals and ethics, not on what his boss is expecting or what will be easiest.

Do you know that he takes a lunch to work every day? He doesn't spend our money on such frivolous things as pizza and chips or salad and a sandwich. He would rather spend the time making his lunch in the morning. And yes, it is our money, even though I sleep in until 7:30 and the hardest thing I have to do on any given day ranges from unknotting knotted hair to deciding who gets the last blueberry yogurt.

My husband is a superhero! I could go on about how when he bikes home from work he settles in to play with the kids and gets them to clean up before dinner, or how he reads with at least one of the kids almost every night after dinner, or how he chats with me about his day and listens if I feel compelled to complain about mine. (At this point, I'm wondering what there ever was to complain about!)

No, I don't need to tell you all that. Nor do I need to go into how he patiently taught me to understand and appreciate football, or how he goes to concerts with me even though he really would rather not spend the money on the tickets and babysitter. You get the idea without me going into all that.

I am married to Superman. He may appear to be Clark Kent, but he's Superman underneath it all. I'd say that makes me Lois Lane, but I think I'm somewhere closer to Amelia Bedelia. So I just keep thanking God for blessing me with my Aaron and hoping that he doesn't realize he's sorely mis-matched.

And as I finish typing this, he wakes from his peaceful slumber, passes gas, and flashes me his smile. I giggle. I can't help it. I'm smitten.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Simon's Guide to Not Reading

I decided to take my three kids (6, 8, and 10) to Chapters to buy brand new books (a luxury in a house that uses the library or purchases used books from Amazon) with the purpose of getting the kids hooked on some new books. The six year-old boy is a very reluctant reader, opting for the standbys like “One Fish Two Fish” when he has to endure his 15 minutes a day of reading time.

We walked in to the book store and I directed the kids to their age-appropriate sections. The 6 year-old boy picked up Captain Underpants and had settled on that. I was helping the 10 year-old choose a book when I saw this book, Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading, written by Tommy Greenwald. The 6 year-old squeaked with joy and claimed it as his choice, mercifully rejecting Captain Underpants.

After paying for our selections, donating some used gum to the trash can, and having a lovely chat with the book lady, we got back in the van.  The 6 year-old asked if he could read on the way home. “Sure, if you can see.” (It was dark already.) We got home and he kept reading, getting so excited every time he finished another chapter. He harrumphed when I told him he needed to get into pajamas and brush his teeth, but cheered when I told him he could read again when he was done. That was his fastest “Get-Ready-For-Bed” ever!

I walked in to tuck him in. After saying his prayers, he smiled his winning “Can I have chocolate?” smile and asked if he could finish the chapter. I hemmed and hawed, and slyly asked how long it was, conceding when I saw that it was only two more pages. (It must have been a long chapter.) Then he asked if he could take the book in for reading time at school tomorrow. I told him that was a great idea. Then he told me that he just might read the book instead of playing his Nintendo DS tomorrow.  Sounds good to me.

So thank you, Tommy Greenwald! Thank you for writing the book that encourages children not to read. Thank you for all the time and effort it took to publish this book, which implores children to do as little as possible when it comes to reading. You’ve failed miserably and my son is hooked on your book!

*For those who have no idea idea what I'm talking about, click on the link for the book.  The author wrote it to get his kids hooked on reading.  Pretty sneaky, huh?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Lazy Mom's Guide to Housework

You would think that someone who has her own cleaning company would be on the ball in doing her own housework.  Not so my friends, not so.  I am, instead, training my own cleaning crew to take care of themselves.  Let's just say I'm doing it in the name of responsibility.  Yes, my children need to learn responsibility; that's it!

I was telling some fellow moms about the lunch chart that I have set up, a cheat sheet on what they should pack for their snack and lunch at school.  I figure at 6, 8 and 10, these kids are old enough to get their own food.  I help the 6 year old sometimes, but since he usually doesn't want a sandwich, he takes care of it most days.  I have a list on the fridge of how many items from each food group they should take, as well as which food items we have in the house for that week.  What you do not see is the "Lunch Wish List" which is also on the fridge, so the kids can write down whatever they'd like to see in the house next week for lunches.  (My daughter has written down granola bars, so I need to make those today!)

I also have this handy-dandy chart to help them organize their morning and afternoons.  I have cut out letters from my least favourite fridge magnets so the kids can put their initial beside whatever they have accomplished.  The older two did not move their magnets over this morning, but rest assured that they did get everything done.

And finally, I'm not sure if I'm most embarrassed of this or most proud of it.  You decide what I should feel...

Our newish second bathroom is mainly used by the kids for toileting, hand-washing, and teeth-brushing.  I clean it when we have company.  And every so often, in a pinch, I try to use it in between company.  It was just too gross to use though.  My boys didn't care to aim for the toilet when they used this bathroom.  I finally got so fed up with the state of this bathroom that I gathered the kids around and told them that they would be taking turns in cleaning this bathroom.  I made a list of what they need to clean and in which order to do it.  I showed them how to clean each item.  I told them about how long it should take (5-10 minutes) and set them free to clean.

(Let me take a health and safety break here to explain how this is possible without me worrying about my children killing themselves with bleach:  We don't use toxic cleaning products.  We use vinegar and water and Norwex cloths.  That's it.  Nothing to worry about and the bathroom sparkles with cleanliness every day!)

Miracle of miracles, my kids are able to keep the bathroom clean!  Apparently, all it took was a little direction and a mandate of cleanliness.  Yeah!!!

That's what we've got so far.  I welcome any tips from other lazy moms.  What else can my kids do??

Monday, November 12, 2012

Out of the abundance of the heart...

My nearly-7-year-old boy has developed a recent infatuation with Bey-Blades.  At any given moment, I expect to hear screams of "3-2-1, let it rip!!!!" followed by the sound of spinning tops knocking against each other.

As I was tucking him in at night, he was going on about Bey-Blades and which ones worked well for which type of battle stadium.  I had finally had enough of it and let him know that it was time to pray and get tucked in.  He closed his eyes and started to say his prayer...

"Three, two..."  Eyes popped open and he started to giggle when he realized what he was doing.  :-)