Monday, February 10, 2014

Nothing New Under the Partly Cloudy Sky

You see what I did there? The actual saying goes, "Nothing new under the sun". But since we haven't seen the actual sun in nigh on 50 days or so, I went in another direction.

There's nothing like over-explaining a lame joke to make it more lame...

I'm going to be honest. I don't really have anything to say. I decided to write down some words because I'm trying to do things to avoid losing my sanity. I hate winter with my whole heart. I have to work hardest during the winter to just be a normal person. Please note, I have to work fairly hard at this when it's not winter. You can imagine why I'm exhausted. Every spring I feel extremely proud if I have any friends left. I've mentioned that I'm a hard person to be friends with. It's waaaaay worse in winter.

Can we pause and let me just tell you that if one of my children gets up out of the bed again tonight, this post will never get published because I will have thrown my computer through the window? Which would be counterproductive in so many ways. I would have no computer and I have serious doubts about whether my children would be in bed. However, they might be scared of me just enough that they wouldn't cross me again for at least fifteen minutes...

I was away over the weekend, leading a retreat for the staff at the preschool. Before you imagine me being a fancy retreat leader, let me say that this is a group of about 15 ladies, most of whom are my dear friends. My former boss indulges me and allows me to share whatever I've been learning or whatever I think might be uplifting to the group. When she asked me to do it this time, I told her no. Please note this is not a woman you say the actual word "no" to. But, I told her I was in a pretty rough spot spiritually. I had nothing uplifting to say. In fact, everyone's spiritual life would probably take two steps back if she let me say anything. I was sad about it, because teaching is my ticket to go on the retreat. Since I'm no longer an actual staff member, I shouldn't be allowed to go. But, because I taught last winter when I was on staff, she asked me back in the fall. And then she asked me again. I don't know. She's a glutton for punishment. Anyway, she literally would not take no for an answer and said, "Well, seeing as it's not up to you, but up to the Lord, I think you are supposed to do this regardless of what state you're in. This will force you into the Word. It will be good for you. So, I'll put you down."

See what I mean? You don't say no. And, as usual she was right.

I definitely want to share what we talked about over the weekend. It's going in the file with the Dominican stories. I have to really muster it up to write about those things. In the meantime, re-entry was fairly brutal. Clearly, my kids were saving up all the angst for my return. Kids do this to moms, you know. You go away and then when you come back you get a little bit punished for the going away. Like they think if things are rotten enough, maybe you'll never go away again. Maybe you'll just sew yourself to them and never leave their side. Maybe you'll get a sweatshirt with three head holes so you can just walk around all together, all the time. I'm kidding. I'm sure they don't really think that...right??

Real life. If you can find HIM there, you can find HIM anywhere!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


When you're a parent, there are some things that you know for sure you're supposed to do. Sometimes those things sound fun. And then you actually do them. In the doing of the things, you realize sometimes you're supposed to do them because it is helping your children become better little people. The goal then becomes my not becoming a worse person in the process!

The sentiments above are how I feel about playing games with my kids.

You can think me a witch. If you do it's because you don't have kids, or you have tiny kids. I know. I was the same. I couldn't wait for my kids to get old enough to play games. I LOVE games. And, I don't want to ruin it for you. But maybe if I give you a little glimpse into reality, you'll be, shall we say, prepared, for your own game playing days.

The thing about playing games with your kids is that it is the most interminably SLOW process ever in the whole world. Not only does it just take kids longer to do everything, they have very small attention spans. Being able to wait a whole round until their next turn is like you and me sitting through an hour long lecture on deep space.

For Christmas my aunt got us a Bingo set. I was SUPER excited about it because it has the cage and the handle and you turn it and the ball comes out the bottom. I know!! It's OK that you're jealous, because who doesn't want their own Bingo cage?

I was excited about this game, because it is really a simple concept. There's not counting of spaces, there's no strategy to teach, very straight forward. I had high hopes that this game would not make me lose my mind.

As the holy scripture says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." My hopes have been deferred.

First, when we pull out the Bingo, there is the fighting over who gets to spin the cage. I'll be honest and tell you that it is tempting for me to declare myself the all-time spinner. I fancy myself like the lotto girl who comes on after the local news. If only my Bingo cage were bigger...

After we decide who the spinner will be, we have to make sure the spinner can actually make the cage spit out the balls. Sometimes I have to hold the base of the cage because the spinning gets too vigorous. Sometimes the spinner will spin the cage in the wrong direction, seemingly deaf to my calm requests that they spin it the other direction. They only catch on when fire shoots out my ears and I scream, "Turn it the other way!!!!!!!!!!!" "Oh yeah," is usually the response uttered. I mean. I just...

Finally, when the spinner finally gets the ball out of the cage, one of the younger of us may have some trouble reading the higher numbers. Which is fine, because said family member is young. What is not fine is the refusal of this person to have help. Also, this same person might fall into fits of laughter in between the reading of every.number. Sometimes both of my children will just completely stop what they are doing and just stare at me! WHAT???? Spin the dadgum cage!!!!!!!! And, of course, the grand finale comes when the loser throws a complete fit as the winner prances around the family room. What? I get excited when I win!

You can imagine that I'm very fun to play a game with.

I wonder how my kids would describe this same game. Probably something like, "Yeah, Mom, she's a nightmare to play a game with. She sooooo impatient. Just chillax already." Just kidding. My kids don't say chillax. I was trying to project into the future and give them a teenage voice. But I suppose teenagers won't be saying chillax by then. It'll be something just as delightful. I can't wait to throw the word around just to annoy them!

I'm counting on the fact that all these hours I'm logging playing games with my kid is like character building double duty. We're working on them, and we're definitely working on me.

If only I could figure out a way to work wine into our game...

Monday, February 3, 2014

When the Weekend is Too Long and Not Long Enough

Saturday started with a broken bowl.

One of my real life, grown-up bowls that I picked out before I got married. One of the bowls that I can no longer find because dish companies like to make ladies lose their minds. And buy whole new sets of dishes, but can anybody really do that?

I did not yell. Or freak out. Because the child who dropped it? They knew. And they were really, very sorry for what happened. When I feel like someone really understands why I'm upset, I really am very mild in my reactions. There's a whole treasure trove there just waiting for some professional to dig into!

Saturday is my one and only true day off. Because I work on Sundays and have to be at work at the ever lovin' crack of dawn, Saturday is my only day that I'm not running the gauntlet. Except, by the nature of life, sometimes Saturdays have their own gauntlet. Activities and what not that require I leave the house and be dressed presentable. Ish.

By the time the Broncos got drilled in the Super Bowl last night, I was ready for a weekend do-over. Just one more day. I needed just one more day. And by some miracle I got it! There was an impending millimeter of ice forecast, so school was cancelled! BONUS DAY!

And, people, it has not disappointed. My kids have played together the entire day. No fighting, no tattling, no exasperation. I have had the pleasure of sitting and listening to them play while I manage to be productive. Ish. Earlier today we had our very own NBA draft. I overhead Drew giving an "interview" before he was drafted. I couldn't hear everything he said, but I for sure heard him say, "Oh yes, I was born ready." ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? And then he proceeded to call out the top ten draft picks complete with made up names and the universities they attended. I'm so glad he didn't know I was listening. It was the most entertainment I've had in days!!

Later, Emily came downstairs carrying a few pairs of her shoes. She put them in the shoe basket and told me she was playing shoe store upstairs. A few minutes went by and she called me upstairs. She had actually been cleaning her room. She was thrilled with herself that she had played a trick on me!

I'm really not trying to brag. This does not happen everyday. Or even close. Somedays your good bowls get broken and you scrape oatmeal up off your kitchen floor. Somedays you wonder if your kids will really ever love one another. Somedays you wonder why you didn't move to Colorado and work in a coffee house.

But somedays, you get a day full of grace. Somedays you sit really still, knowing that if you breathe or try to sneak an Oreo, the whole bubble will burst.

Today I'll be sitting here, holding my breath, thankful for the two rascals I get to call mine.