Sunday, August 31, 2008

Another week down, a new beginning?

Well I am certainly glad last week is over with, and I am looking forward to a better week this next week. Hopefully, with some schedules in place for better use of time, for homework and less fuss and fighting. Chris has his first and hopefully last detention on Tuesday after school. In their school if they have 5 minor infractions, (talking, not completing homework, etc) in a week they have to serve an after school detention. So he had made it up to 4 on Thursday, and figured since he was already most of the way there, why not do it right and complete the five. (Well I hope that's not what he was thinking.)

In any case, we have since told him the penalties at home for detentions, which makes them much less appealing, so hopefully this is a one shot deal.

Kirsten missed the first volleyball game on Thursday because she came home sick, so her first game will be Tuesday afternoon, immediately following Chris' soccer practice. She is the team manager, (following in big Sis' foot steps), so it will be fun to watch her in action. Chris made it on a good soccer team this year so it should be a good season. With the change in dates for daylight savings time, the season seems longer this year, and wraps up right about the time Basketball will start, which wraps up just a week or so shy of when Baseball it should be a busy year. Hopefully I can remember to take my camera and catch some action shots.

Since we have an extra day this weekend, and we're all rested (I hope) , think we might go bowling. Sound like fun?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to the grind- Evil task master

I do not remember my parents having to brow beat me to do my best job on my homework. It wasn't that I found it particularly fun, but I know I took pride in doing a good job. I always feel like the Mean Evil task master when I have to send (normally Chris) back to do his homework again because he didn't do it right the first time. How can you mis-spell spelling words when your copying them from a list? Last week it was "esa" supposed to be "essay", today it was "poeple" supposed to be "people". And we're only in week two....this is going to be a long school year, he and I are both thinking as he stomps off ripping the paper to shreads.

Kirsten on the other hand -always does great work, if she can get started. She has a tendency to procrastinate, and is then asking for help when its past my bed time. She doesn't understand that the mean evil taskmaster needs her beauty sleep .:-)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

7 Things about me

First let me give a disclaimer, I am new to blogging and am not familiar with all the term's, and by no means am familiar with the "How to", so having been "meme'd" by Sandy I will give it a good effort and ask for acceptance & forgiveness where it comes up lacking.

It is a difficult task to follow after my sister, as her gift with words is amazing. She is elegant and articulate and by comparison this may seem like the work of a five year old. (I might have used a fifth grader as comparison, but I have seen that show, and some of them weren't smarter than a 5th grader.)

1. As my blog states I am blessed with faith. I am unable to explain how, when I came to realize the Easter Bunny was not real, and that Santa was really Dad , and that things really aren't fair in life, that I managed to hold on to faith in God. Perhaps it is a very basic need to believe that there is a higher power watching over me and protecting me from myself. I have been told that each of us is given one very special gift from God, and that mine is Faith. At first I didn't understand that, but as the years go by, and I have attempted to explain my faith to others I have come to realize it is a gift. It's not the kind of gift I can give-away, or even share fully, (although I have tried), but is a forever gift, that even in times where I forgot to use it, it was there waiting on me to return.

2. I like to ramble, on and on and on, well you get the picture. After reading Sandy's 7 things I had to laugh, as my boss would tell me often over the years, that if it takes more than a paragraph to explain he's not reading it. I just consider it thoroughness. I'm not one to add a lot of fluff, or at least don't think I am, but I want to provide all of the facts the first time to allow the reader to make an informed decision right away, as opposed to exchanging numerous back and forth IM's or e-mails to draw the information out.

3. Perhaps the flip side of thoroughness in my exchanges, is impatience with others when I have to perform 60 questions to get the needed information. I am easily frustrated with people who are giving me information I am expected to make a decision on, and they beat around the bush, and hide pertinent facts in lots of fluff. Get to the point! I also find myself completing thoughts, sentences in my head, of others who are more thought out speakers, before they have gotten there. This is of course so I can formulate my concise reply, as soon as they have finished speaking. Because of this I am sometimes caught when their ending was different then the one I had envisioned and I am now at a loss for words.

4. I have a strong work ethic. I got this from Mom and Dad. Although its a good thing and I have received various gifts and awards over the years for it, like the trip to Hawaii , WOW, it is also the type of thing that can become a monkey on my back. I find it difficult to sit still and just relax, when I know the pool needs to be cleaned or the dishes need to be washed etc.

5. I'm controlling. There, I've said it. I like to control anything and everything around me. Me I can trust, you I am not so sure about, so life will be better if I just take care of it. There are a few people I trust implicitly, but the majority have to prove time and again they are capable. Unfortunately I have passed this ugly trait unto my oldest daughter Heather, (she is one of the few I trust implicitly- I wonder if there is a connection?) and I can see it manifesting its ugly head in her life too. I find it funny that I am able to give her advice on relinquishing control, but I am not able to follow it myself. "Whats up with that?"

6. I am a reserved person, some would call me standoffish perhaps, I like to think of it as just quiet. I like to sit back and observe many things, rather than participate in them directly. I have perhaps as much or more fun on the sidelines, than I would if I were in the middle of the action. I think my lack of participation is often times driven by fear that I won't do as well as I would like and embarrass myself as well as others - so I choose not to join in.

7. I like to think of myself as a people pleaser. I do most things that are asked of me, even if I don't really want to. Unless its physically impossible, or goes against my nature (see #6) I will bend over backwards, go out of my way, etc to lend a helping hand, or do whatever is asked of me. Sometimes I find myself run ragged because I don't like to say NO. (Heather would tell you differently I'm sure :-). I also find that sometimes once I've done something as a favor, then it links to #5, and then I am the only one who can do it correctly. Although my younger two kids sometimes do not seem to appreciate how hard I try, someday perhaps they will think back to...Mom as the swimming instructor, Mom as the bike riding instructor,(my back still hurts), Mom as the driving instructor...(think I lost years off my life ), Mom as the practice catcher..(thank goodness there were no cameras around.) However, as much as I would like to say I do this to make others happy, and I do in part, it has given me a warm and wonderful feeling to sit back and see all the fun times I have shared, and the enjoyment I have had.

Whew....that was hard. I don't know too many people who are bloggers yet, and I am not sure how to link them in, so we'll see if this works., and my friend Sherri..

The Meme'd Rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back to School

Summer has come to a close, and the kids started back to school on Thursday! Yeah! It was a good summer, but I am exhausted from trying to hold down my job, and provide entertainment for the kids to keep them from getting too bored over the summer.

We ended the summer with Christopher's 10th birthday party. This year he wanted to have a sleep-over with his 3 gaming friends. So we planned to swim early in the evening, (I was secretly hoping they would be exhausted after this), then a battle on the WII.....he chose Mario Olympics, and then a movie to calm things down.

Needless to say after 2:00 AM I had to separate them into different rooms in order to get them to sleep. Unfortunately at 5:00 AM Ginger heard some movement in the living room, where 2 of the boys were asleep, and ran out barking, raising the alarm that woke up most of the house. Thankfully I was able to get them, (not me) back to sleep until 7:00. I told Chris, don't think I need to repeat this experience for another 10 years, and by then he should be in college and living in a dorm. I am just not the sleep over Mom type I guess, I need my sleep more than they do.

We were able to fit in several fun outings over the summer. Think the kids saw every PG movie that came out, either with me or the sitter. We went to the water park once, and ice skating a couple of times. Kirsten tried ice skating this last time, and did fairly well. I was proud that she didnt give up and quit when she wanted to. Christopher has the knack of it now, so he does not fall as often.

Chris made the decision not to play fall baseball this year, but elected to do soccer instead. He is still taking his private lessons for pitching and batting which he wants to continue until Spring, but was not interested in playing since his Coach would not be able to coach the team for the fall. Soccer is a much shorter season through the school, and is only one night a week, so this is wonderful news for me. Kirsten did Volleyball tryouts on Friday and is very hopeful that she will make the team. She is extremely sore, and this made shopping for school clothes entertaining yesterday since she had difficulty walking, and well....just moving in general. I am happy to see her interested in joining anything. Since Chris is not playing baseball it should give me the opportunity to watch her in action on the courts.

We're off to a good start, and hopefully this will be a good school year!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


The first part of this week was really tough for me. Monday I took Kirsten and Chris to the gym for a work-out. Chris is too young to use any of the machines, per gym rules, but feels he is to mature to go into "kids club" so wanted to hang out and just watch TV while Kirsten and I worked out. Kirsten expressed on more than one occassion that she hates it when Chris comes with us because she doesnt want him watching her work out. From the zoned out appearance on Chris' face as he watches Sponge Bob on the TV, I can't imagine him noticing anyone else around him, and try to encourage her that everyone is focused on what they are doing, and not to worry about her brother. She continues and continues, until I can't hold it in any longer. She then tells me she is angry with her brother because he lied to her. WOW....not that I encourage lying, but what kid hasn't told a lie at one time or another, and then I hear this particular lie happened at least 3 months ago, and she has been carrying this around ever since.

When we got home, I pulled her aside and asked her if she knew what "Grace" meant. Being a smart kid, she said "being forgiven for something we don't deserve to be forgiven for". Perfect she understood, I thought. I told her that God has forgiven us for all of our many faults in this life, and even better, after he forgives, he then forgets. That's the second part of Grace. He doesn't carry it around in a back pack waiting to whip it out and confront us at every turn. He forgives and then forgets, never to have it mentioned again. I told her if her brother has created an injustice and she wants to punish him by not talking to him, etc....that's fine for a day, but when the day is over she has to let go, and move on. Otherwise the baggage she carries on her back will become so heavy that she won't be able to have fun and enjoy her life, because she will be too intent on reminding everyone of their faults against her. She understood, but seemed unable to commit to such an undertaking as "forgetting".

I felt utterly defeated as I walked away, and for a few brief moments thought about giving her a taste of her own medicine. However it didnt take me more than 5 minutes to realize, that would only make me feel worst, because I'm not that kind of person. So I went outside for some peace and prayed. I prayed that God would show me how to teach my teenage daughter about true forgiveness. I prayed that he would talk to her.

Several hours later she was setting the table for me, and moved a beautiful flower arrangement Heather had made for me to an end table. Unfortunately she set the doily underneath it rather than in front of it. Scamper, (the cat) wandered out, saw the doily hanging down and pulled on it. The vase came crashing down and broke in hundreds of pieces all over my wood floor. Because of the thickness of the vase it actually chipped my floor. These are floors I saved up for , for a long time! And now, they were marred by little chips in the finish. The vase I had received for Mothers Day...gone.

I was of course upset with the Cat, but he didn't know any better, and I was upset with Kirsten because it was partially her fault. She didn't know any better either, but after the afternoon we had had it wasn't as easy to so quickly dismiss her part in all this.

I went to the gym with Heather and had a good workout, and when I came back, she told me she was sorry for everything. She said she was talking to Doris, (her guinea pig) and Doris told her she was wrong not to forgive and forget, and that she would try harder. Thank you Lord I know you work in all kinds of mysterious ways....even throught Guinea pigs named Doris.

So, now my floors have a little imperfection in them, not much different than the imperfections in me. In time I am sure I will hardly notice them. The vase is replacable and Heather has already promised to fix the arrangement in a new vase when I get one. My relationship with Kirsten continues to take on new legs, and I am thankful that God walks with me, every minute of every day, and when I am at my own breaking point, he steps in and seems to open all of our eyes to the lesson HE is trying to teach.

Yesterday, I took both kids, and 3 of their friends to NRH20 for the day. A local water park with lots of slides. This was my first expedition that I can recall in a large park where I would not have my eyes on them for safety at every possible minute, and where I would be the only adult. They are 10 and 13 now, so I need to start letting go a little bit. So I set down the rules. I took my own chair so it would stick out among the others, and a white board with a marker. They had to stay with their friend(s), and check back with me every time they were changing location in the park. If I wasn't in the chair for them to tell then they were to write it on the white board so when I came back I would know where they were. I prayed before we left, prayed while on the drive there, and prayed the many times we were there to keep each one safe, and protect them from harm. We had a few minor issues where Chris lost track of Bailey or Bailey lost track of Chris in the lazy river, but thankfully both were smart enough to come back to the chair for help, and we were able to reconnect. Had one scary moment in the wave pool where Chris fell off his inner tube, and had a moment of panic when he couldn't touch. He is an excellent swimmer, but he is normally in our pool where there aren't a bunch of people and waves to contend with. Thankfully I was with him and Bailey and was able to reach out and grab his arm until the panic went away. (Thankyou Lord....for making sure I was there.)

The girls seemed to have a more difficult time towards the end of the day with keeping to the rules of checking in, and staying where they said they were gonna be, thus causing us to get out of the park, later than I had promised the other parents. When they realized they had tried to stretch the rules and I was not happy with them, they apologized. I of course forgave them. The forgetting part may take longer, not with Kirsten but perhaps with choosing friends that will support her in the rules she needs to follow rather than those who might look for loop holes. Thankfully one of her friends -was such a person and knew where the other two were when they failed to tell me. Thank you Lord once again for watching over all of us. Protecting us from harm, and delivering us all home safe and sound.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A contest for fitness

As is often the case its swimsuit season, and I find myself looking at all the droopy places, and places that giggle when I walk wondering why someone doesn't make a suit to cover these things, but I guess they do, if I don't mind wearing a full scuba suit out by our pool. I had a turning point about 10 days ago, when my normally kind and loving son says, "Boy Mom, your legs are fat"...I wanted to reply "Thanks son, I hadn't noticed!" This was the kick in the pants I needed to get motivated back to working out in a more consistent basis. Since both Heather and Kirsten also want to lose a few pounds we have entered into a contest for the next 6 weeks, on who can lose the greatest % of weight. I am very competitive when it comes to this, so hopefully Heather and Kirsten stay motivated as well. So far I have been to the gym 8 out of 10 days, so I feel pretty good about that. I think I have lost about 2.5 lbs so far, now the trick is keeping it off while I continue on. One of my favorite new pieces of equipment is the Nautilus Tread climber. This is awesome! Ok Girls....I have no intentions of losing, so hope you play your best game! August 7th is D Day.

The Garfield wannabe

After public criticism I feel compelled to add this last picture. Scamper adopted us last fall, and has made himself very comfortable here. Can you tell?