Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Slowest Child in the History of Ever!

Dewey is eleven years old and is now in the 6th grade. He is super smart and he's also the slllloowwweesstt child in the history ever. He knows this and it doesn't seem to bother him much. But y'all... aaauuugghghh!

This morning Dewey mismanaged his time and didn't heed my warnings. He got the 20 minute warning, the 10 minute warning, and the "FIVE MINUTES UNTIL YOU NEED TO LEAVE... GET YOUR SHOES ON" warning. But Dewey moves at Dewey's pace. With that said, here's how his morning went.

When his brothers left for the bus stop one minute before the bus usually arrives, Dewey was still looking for his shoes. I found his "spare pair" and shooed him out the door. "Go.. just go... put your shoes on when you get on the bus". (The bus stop is about 3 houses down the street). So off he went. As soon as he left the front door, we discovered the bus was already there and the other kids had already boarded. The bus driver sat there waiting for Dewey. Bless his soul! Dewey crossed the wet lawn in his socks, carrying his backpack, viola, shoes and breakfast. He left wet footprints on the sidewalk, all the way to the bus stop. Along the way, he dropped a shoe twice while he tried to run for the waiting bus. Cars on the street stopped to allow Dewey to cross. Two moms stopped at different times to laugh at the scene and tell me "I've been there". It was funny and sad all at the same time.  

A "better" mom might have helped the child a little more. She might have taken his viola and ran with him to the bus stop. But this mom is all about natural consequences. This mom gave him an opportunity to feel the stress of the situation he created. Was that mean? Maybe.  But maybe tomorrow he will pick up the pace a little more. Or maybe Captain Kirk will show up and tele-port him to school. Either way, I'm betting tomorrow won't be such a close call.  Just a hunch.  

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Thirty Days of Prayer for Our Children

Prayer is the work, dear Mommies. Today I am making a commitment to uplift my children in deliberate and specific prayer every single day. Join me in this endeavor and watch how God moves in the lives of our children. Let’s stand firmly on God’s word and raise the next generation to be strong and courageous, adorned with the full armor of God, living in the Spirit, displaying it’s fruit, and seeking God’s will. Let’s raise men and women of honor and integrity who will lead the next generation to God. When we do this, we will be amazed at the results.  

Here is a list of ways to pray for your children each day for 30 days. When the month is over, start again. If a month has 31 days, you get a free day. By “free day” I do not mean you get a “no pray day”; I mean you get to repeat any topic or chose a topic of your own. You can even pray several of the topics on one day. No worries, God can multi-task. No matter what, it is essential to cover our children with prayer when we send them out into the world.  Let's make this commitment together and see how God works.

Pray For:
1)  Salvation: Pray that your child will accept Jesus, walk in the Word and live in the Spirit.
2)  Friends: Pray that your child will befriend children who will be a good influence on his life. Pray also for your child's friends.
3)  School: Pray for your child at school; for peace during tests and good behavior in the classroom.
4)  Protection: Request a hedge of protection around your child. Bless her into God’s hands and ask God to provide angels to guard her.
5)  Mind: Pray for your children to have peace of mind and pure thoughts.
6)  Teachers/Adults: Pray that the adults in his world will also display the fruits of the spirit and will gently instruct and guide. Pray that they will be trustworthy individuals who will not undermine the morality you are teaching.
7)  Health: Pray for wellness and a healthy body for your child.
8)  Future spouse: Uplift your child’s future spouse. Pray that their union would be Godly and their home will be a household of faith. Pray they will teach their children to serve the Lord.
9)  Love: Pray for your child to have a loving heart, and to treat others with love and respect.
10) Addiction and pornography: Ask the Lord to protect your child from the evils of the world.
11) Peace: Pray for your child to have a peaceful nature.
12) Joy:  Pray that your child will experience life with an attitude of joy.
13) Patience: Pray that you will have patience with your child, and that she will learn to give patience to others.
14) The Armor of God: Pray for the full armor of God over your child: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit.
15) Grace: Pray that your child would give grace freely to those around him, and receive grace for his shortcomings.
16) Honesty and integrity: Pray that your child will be a person of honor and integrity in all things.
17) Education: Pray that your child will take her education seriously and will be prepared and free of stress for tests. Pray for your child’s future and for his path to college or vocational school.
18) Career path: Pray for your child’s future career and for wisdom in this decision.
19) Financial awareness: Pray that your child will learn financial health now and practice financial responsibility in the future.
20) Emotional health: Pray for your child’s emotional health. Ask God to guard against all of the harmful things that could scar her heart and damage her confidence.
21) Goodness: Pray that your child will practice goodness as he deals with others. Pray that he will exhibit honor and integrity in all things.
22) Kindness: Pray that your child will be kind and will be treated with kindness in return.  Pray against bullying and hostility.
23) Faith: Pray that your child will be a person of faith. Living a life trusting in the Lord.
24) Self-control: Pray that your child will display self-control as he grows. Both now, in the small things, and later in his relationships.
25) Gentleness: Pray that your child will have a spirit of gentleness toward all people. Pray also that gentleness will be returned in kind.
26) Empathy/caring for others: Pray that your child will have a natural concern for the well-being of others. Always ready to lend a hand and be a friend.
27) Strength: Ask God to give your child strength to stand against the evil that seeks to destroy.
28) Temptation: Ask God to provide your child with a solid foundation on the word so that she can withstand temptation. 
29) Spirit led: Pray that your child will be focused on the spirit and not distracted by worldly gain.
30) Seeking God: Pray that in all things, every day, in every way, your child will seek the will of God.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Retreat at the Magic Kingdom

This family has spent countless hours visiting Disney Theme Parks.... it's what we do. We've visited in every season, in both California and Florida over the course of many, many years. We are no rookies when it comes to all things Disney. But Y'ALL... during this recent trip to the Walt Disney World, I learned something new. At the Magic Kingdom there is a flag retreat ceremony every night at 5:00 pm. Of course, in wonderful Disney fashion, they make a giant deal out of this ceremony. WHO KNEW?  

To make the ceremony special and to provide a personal touch, those Disney folks pull out all the stops. As soon as the park opens each day, the cast is on the hunt for a military vet. One vet each day gets the honor of presiding over the retreat ceremony as the "Veteran of the Day". This is a super special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and guess what... Army Guy was invited! It was a great privilege to see him honored for his service during this ceremony. Disney even supplied us with our own personal Disney photographer to capture the moment.  

The ceremony began with a call to attention and bugle fanfare by the Disney Marching Band. Before the flag was lowered, the crowd was lead in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance by my Ducklings. They nailed it... phew! The band played the national anthem and, while the flag was lowered and Army Guy stood with a proper salute, the crowd sang "God Bless America". Once the flag was folded, it was presented to Army Guy and carried through Main Street in a parade along with the Disney Color Guard, Marching Band and our family. We all got to be in the flag retreat parade and it was amazing. Disney sure knows how to pull at the heartstrings and bring out the patriotic pride. Well done Disney!

After the ceremony and parade, we were taken to a little nook on Main Street where Army Guy was presented with a certificate and pin. This "Disney Vet of the Day" collectors' pin cannot be purchased anywhere and Disney does not trade it. It is only presented to the ONE vet every day who participates in the flag retreat ceremony. Talk about exclusive and completely special.

Thank you to the wonderful people at the Magic Kingdom who noticed Army Guy's "retired army" hat and invited him to participate in the honor of a lifetime. What an amazing memory.

The call to attention

Disney Color Guard Lowers the Flag while Army Guy Salutes

The Parade Down Main Street

The Magic Kingdom Veteran of the Day Pin

So Proud of My Retired Vet.  Well Done Army Guy!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Yes, We Have No Limes

When we first moved into our house in Texas, I was delighted to find a lime tree in the back yard.  I LOVED that lime tree and made excellent use of its fruit.  We used the limes for guacamole, chicken-lime pasta, margaritas, salsa... etc. 

Y'all... I was in lime heaven.

Then one day Louie brought my bliss to a horrible conclusion.  My lime-tree heaven came crashing down around me with this one sentence:  

"Mom, the limes have turned ORANGE"!   


So, to answer a few questions:

1) No, the "lime-juice" did not taste odd at all.  Apparently, unripe oranges are a great substitute for mature limes.  Who knew?

2) Yes, I did think my "limes" were a little oddly shaped.  I made a mental note to look up what kind of lime is more of a sphere-shape than the traditional oval variety we see at the grocery store.

3) Yes, the boys still tease me about my citrus-dyslexia-disorder.  I remind them it is unkind to tease the mentally disabled.  

4) Yes, I have grown weary of the boys holding up a fully ripe orange and cutely saying "look mom... a lime".  It was funny the first 300 times... now not so much!  But it's okay because they have progressed onto other fruit.  Now they hold up a cantaloupe and call it a watermelon.  I.AM.IN.HELL!

5) Yes, I do realize this topic has now come full circle.  Seems I have been pushing lime over orange for years now.  You can read all about that here.   

One day I really DO want a lime tree.  I dream of fresh lime in my guacamole.  I remember my days in lime-tree heaven fondly; where there are plenty of limes that are green... and oval... and tasty.  For awhile I had it all.

It has occurred to me there might possibly be some sort of Biblical lesson here.  Something about being IN the world but not OF the world.  I think being a lime on an orange tree is a perfect metaphor for standing firm in life as a Christian and  going against the sinful nature of the world.  

That's it... I HAVE GIVEN MY CHILDREN A LIFE LESSON! Now who's the not-so-bright one?

That is all...

Saturday, April 8, 2017

It's a Conspiracy... and We're ALL in on it!

Dear Male Children of the World,

Gather 'round the fire pit for a little chat. Be ready to receive the most excellent tip for the betterment of your lives. In fact, this one tip will be instrumental in your ability to actually WIN a bride one day. This it GOLD! And life changing! Listen up.

There will be times in your life when gym shorts and Nike's are not going to cut the mustard. I know... this is difficult to hear, but the truth will set you free. Sometimes there will be occasions when you'll have to wear the dress pants. I know... I hear your groan... and I can certainly sympathize. But this is something you must learn now, or you will be alone for the rest of your lives. I understand how that sounds AWESOME at the moment. You're 12... I get it. But one day you really will want a wife... YOU WILL. And no self-respecting girl will meet a guy in gym shorts at the alter. Not gonna happen. If you are able to pull that off you will be the hero of the male people world-wide. But I'm sorry to tell you, many strong and handsome men before you have tried... and failed... so this is most likely not in your future.

You see, female children have been dressing up since the day they were brought home from the hospital.  Their mothers dressed them in adorable, lacy, beautiful clothing with bows and sparkles and everything your mother finds fantastic. But the mothers of little boys are behind the curve. We dressed you for comfort so you could run around a play. Oh sure... some moms dressed their sons in sweater vests and bow ties, but by the time those boys were three, they revolted against their mothers and insisted on the gym shorts and blue jeans. This is how life has been for you for 12 years now... and it has been glorious for you. I Know!  You're welcome for the comfortable years I was able to provide for you. I'm sorry to tell you this, but you are almost men now; and men have learned to suck it up and wear the dress-up clothing.

Why must you wear them today? Because your band teacher says so.

No, you cannot wear blue jeans to the band competition instead of gym shorts.

Because her letter specifically says to "dress nice".

I understand that your blue jeans are new and are pretty nice.  But that's not what she means.

Why is she requiring this? Because Mrs. Carter hates you.  It's true.. she does.  All of the band kids are aware of this.  Even the boys. Oh sure... they don't want to wear the "fancy pants" either, but once their mothers told them it was to make your head explode... they were totally IN.

Why would your friends do that? Because guy friends are butt-holes. Get used it it. This is how life will be with the guy friends.

Oh sweetheart you look so great in the "fancy pants". You do. But honey.... the Nike's... they don't really work here.

Why? Because they are orange and also because of the whole "Mrs. Carter hates you" thing.

Remember those "fancy shoes" I bought for your Christmas band concert? Try those!

What do you mean they are too small? You wore them four months ago!

OKAY... lets look in your dad's closet, man-child of mine with the giant feet.

Oh wow... that works.  You look wonderful, my son. You make me proud.

But honey... lets talk about the socks....


So, Dear Reader, how is YOUR Saturday going?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

Did you REALLY name your boys "Huey, Dewey, and Louie"?
Um... yes because it is my goal in life to raise children who will need to spend tens of thousands on therapy. :)

No, those are not their real names. These names just perfectly describe my life with three boys.

Why haven't you posted any recent pictures of your boys?
The Ducklings are approaching middle school and I cannot think of anything more horrifying to a 7th grader than a mother who has shared his potty training story with the world. Though I delight in sharing the hilarity of living with these guys... I don't want to harm their middle school experiences.

Are you still trying for a girl?
Ummmmm... obviously you do not know how OLD I am!  No, our family is perfect just the way it is. And also, adding a girl to this household would upset the balance of power, potentially causing a rift in the space/time continuum and destroying the entire planet. It’s just not worth the risk.

Why did you start this blog?
The blog began in 2008 when my husband was deployed to Iraq. It was a way to keep him informed of the happenings at home. When I started the blog, we had just moved to South Carolina and I was 3000 miles from my family and friends and alone with three little boys aged 1, 2, and 3. Ah...good times. You can catch up on the hilarity by starting at the beginning of the blog here. Have fun with that!

You mentioned you wrote a book.  What is it about?
I have a passion for moms with young children. Parenting a 2-year-old is often maddening and I want moms to understand this one thing… "If your kids are making you crazy... congrats, you are normal". The book takes a humorous look at surviving the preschool years and hearing God's message in the madness. The book is based on some of the stories in this blog... back when the boys were small and Army Guy was deployed. Upon looking back, I have found that there is a Godly message in many of the stories I recorded. It is my hope to share a message of God's grace along with understanding, empathy, sisterhood and support to moms who just might need a hug now and then.

When will the book be released?
When I decide to stop the re-writing and just go with what I have. Being a perfectionist can be annoying. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Why I Can't Say "Yes"

If I made one of those word-art deals that shows my most often used words, "NO!" would be prominently displayed in the largest font, smack dab in the center... It's my daily mantra. The slightly smaller words would include fart, Nerf darts, and SERIOUSLY?!?!?

Here's a sample of words I speak on a typical day:
  • "No, you cannot wear your swim trunks to church."
  • "No, you may not have a Mountain Dew right before bed."
  • "No, you cannot shoot your brother in the face with Nerf darts."
  • "No, he didn't think it was funny!"
  • "No, your homework is not acceptable if you completed it in invisible ink."
  • "Not even if you send your teacher that special pen/light to read the invisible ink."
  • "No, its not OK to fart at the table."
  • "Seriously?!?!?"
  • "No, we can't have a puppy because he will choke on all the Nerf darts and DIE!"
  • "Oh... you'll pick up the Nerf darts?  My experience says you won't"
  • "Seriously?!?!"
  • "No, I'm not going to buy you an iPhone!"
  • "WHY?  Because you are in the FOURTH GRADE!"
  • "NO!"
  • "No, I didn't think that fart was awesome."
  • "No, I'm not kidding." 
  • "No, it's not okay to buzz your brother's head with your drone."
  • "No, because you still haven't picked up the Nerf darts"
  • "No, You cannot have syrup on your Cap'n Crunch"
  • "No, Ketchup is NOT a vegetable.
etc, etc etc....

I'm such a kill-joy!  

Sometimes I hear myself and I think..."dang I'm glad she isn't MY mother". Being a bummer is exhausting. Sometimes I just want to be cool... fun... agreeable... definitely NOT a bummer. Sometimes I want to say "yes".

Yesterday was such a day.  I was grocery shopping with Louie (4th grade) and I was in a "I just can't be this guy anymore... I want to be FUN!" kind of mood. So I didn't say "no"....not even once. Here's the result of that little experiment.

I just gave my family diabetes! 

Apparently being the "bummer" is my role in this family.  It must be done or we all die in a sugar coma.  Sigh...  In other news, I'm ready for Halloween!!! :)