Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Curiosity killed the cat..or so the saying goes!

Children are naturally curious. I think God has fun with the mankind “curious” gene.  In my case, my children are VERY curious...about everything.  This can on occasion, create embarrassing moments....let me share a recent example. 
Part 1:  Courtney recently went to the “ Health Museum ” on the 5th grade trip, learning about the upcoming changes she’ll experience as she matures on her puberty journey. (OK – warning, this might shock some of you despite my ability to be “sensitive” in verbiage!).  That said, we bought some “supplies” to have on hand for the appropriate time.  She is as all young girls, excited and curious and nervous and everything else about it!  We’ve had a number of chats as the unknown of it all is driving her batty.  So...she put her pending supply in the bathroom drawer that is hers.  Correct disposal and all that had been discussed.
Part 2:  Right before Thanksgiving, our basement sewer lift quit.  Third time since 2006 – it should last 15 years, but no, we are on our 3rd fix.  Just FYI.
Part 3:  AFTER Thanksgiving, Tobias informs me he went into the bathroom and found the toilet unflushed in their main bath and it was rather full, but he went ahead and flushed it – serious talk about "get a grown up next time before just flushing whatever! 
Part 4:  Sophia loves toilet paper parties in the bathroom, after all, we are three!
Part 5:  I find a “pad” wrapper and back strip in the trash can, but NO pad.  Hmmm
Part 6:  I ask each of the three older children, do you know anything about this? Exhibit A = evidence.
Part 7:  All three deny having touched ANYTHING like that and plead ignorance.  Since it was late in the evening, they all went to bed.
Part 8:  Saturday morning, after the older three eat their breakfast I inform them we are having a mini-family meeting – them and me!  I show them my “evidence” and explain, I have no problem with curiosity, but want to know where the MAIN part the leftovers went...did it get flushed, stuck on a friends back, fed to the dog????? Just where did it go?  No one knows anything.  SO....this is where I began to really have fun.  I went into a little “ Health Museum ” biology about the purpose of a pad and why a girl will have to wear it, etc etc.  My son’s faces are open mouthed and they are attempting to cover their ears but still want to hear what I have to say, saying they didn’t know that stuff, gross, la la la la. I tell them they've been to the health museum chats but the declare that stuff wasn't discussed.  Courtney sits there (because she knows the stuff) sheepishly looking at my like I’ve lost my mind. I also pointed out Courtney knows that they don’t get flushed and she’ll discreetly place them in the garbage can wrapped up so we don’t have to stare at the bloody grossness and hopefully the dog won’t drag them around the house.  (Occasionally he is known to wear a “Light Days” or two.)  I advised them that in the next 20 minutes the person who messed with it out of curiosity just needs to be HONEST (read other blog on lies, lies lies....yes we have them in our house) and there is no consequence for anything if they fess up before 8 a.m.  After that the timer gets set and for every 30 minutes without a confession if will cost $5 per kid who “didn’t” do the exploring to be paid to the siblings, they’d all be grounded alike, etc life at all, fess up. 
Part 9:  Courtney needs to use the bathroom and is excused from the room.  Instantly a hand goes up (like they are in school....which is funny because they never do that at home!) and a confession erupts with a request for me to not disclose the culprit nor talk about it anymore. Supposedly it was flushed; brief conversation reminding them it is like a diaper and we don’t put those in the toilet....ignorance is blamed.
Part 10:  Two days later I’m touching up the daybed in the guest room and my foot feels something “suck” onto it, from under the bed skirt a “pad” is stuck to my sock.  Liar confronted again.....I just don’t get it.  Lecture told to him “don’t lie to me; just tell me the truth, why did you say you flushed it?  Did you plan to wear it to school?”  Warned him I might stick it on his back unknowingly.....
Part 11:  Life goes on until the next weird adventure of one toddler, two pre-teens and  one teen. 
Someone – please tell me they at least smiled :-) in reading still cracks me up!

1 “‘If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible. 2 “‘If anyone becomes aware that they are guilty—if they unwittingly touch anything ceremonially unclean (whether the carcass of an unclean animal, wild or domestic, or of any unclean creature that moves along the ground) and they are unaware that they have become unclean, but then they come to realize their guilt; 3 or if they touch human uncleanness (anything that would make them unclean) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt;  Leviticus 5

Saturday, November 20, 2010


In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.  Psalm 4:8

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Post revised and revisited

Some time ago I posted a blog about one of my sons and the bullying he received.  This is the first blog / post I have ever removed and I removed it because I was misunderstood.  I hate being misunderstood.  As I’ve thought about this, it made me think about the tower of Babel and how many religions / churches exist today because mankind can’t agree on the word of God...the Bible God’s own word to us....people misunderstanding people - this has been going on for a eons.  That said, I stand behind what I said in that post.  Fact: my son was bullied by teammates during the football season. (Quote: You are a disgrace to this team.)  Fact: my children have in turn bullied others.  Ouch.
As a child that was bullied when growing up and having one of those bullies call me after 20 years while in a 12 step program to apologize for the way he treated me gives me experience and perspective that are apart of who I am now.  So...if you don’t like what I’m saying – warning, leave now, this is the good ol’ U S of A and I have the right to free speech!
I live in a small town.  When we first moved here, everyone was SOO friendly.  Some people still are.  Classic small towns like this one are a true slice of America and the life lessons from the politics of this town are reminiscent of the problems that exist in our larger world.  People with money have power, some people throw their weight around, others are posturing in the cliques they belong to or want to belong I said, classic America .  I’ve known people who have moved away from this town or others they grew up in, having experiences that chill my spine that shouldn’t have happened, stories of their pain filled journey through the school system and social life of small town USA .  That being said, know that there are MANY good people in this town and others too, standing the test of time...lest this gets “misunderstood.”  And I truly appreciate those “good people!”  **wink and you know who you are. I’ll have to do a POSITIVE post about the blessings of small town USA – because there are many as well.
Ok, back to bullies.  (sorry, known to get off in tangents and different thought lines:-)  All my children have experienced bullying.  From name calling, exclusion because they aren’t like everyone else, the list is long, etc etc.  Courtney hadn’t been with us but a few months when a girl at Vacation Bible School told her she wouldn’t sign her T-shirt because her Mom didn’t like Courtney’s Mom (me!). bet I had to share a few things with Courtney...leave that girl alone, run and hide, there are other “friends” in the sea.  She’s had a girl tell her that if anyone else wears the same clothes she has she won’t talk to them for a day....pure snobbery.  She has a set of girls that “giggle” whenever Courtney walks past them, making her paranoid...finally one of Courtney’s friends just giggles back as it happens....I hate hearing about the girl drama, but want to know and don’t want to ignore it as I know it will go on for a long time. Last week I was saddened to learn she and her friend bullied another younger child. 
The boys too have endured their share of guy bullying....and have dished it back in return. From the beginning of Kindergarten getting kicked on purpose in the back and trying to be a friend back to that person, from a girl beating up my son for something she thought he did at a church event, humiliating him....the list is soo long as are the lessons of life. We all have stories I'm sure.
The cycle rotates and repeats itself.  "Treat others as you want to be treated" - we tell them over and over.  They come from a system where they’ve seen and experienced BAD they know how to give it back.  I hate that.  But it is the push them into the corner, they’ll come out swinging. That is what they’ve learned.  But one of my kids though rolls over, gets beat and runs when he can get up.  That saddens me too. His stress shows up in other ways as he releases it through destruction and nervous habits.  No excuses, but reality.
It is  SOOO hard to teach turn the other cheek and not do the “an eye for an eye” thing.  You hear stories of kids that stand up to bullies, then their bullying ends.  We’ve read special educational information at home about how to respond to bullies, the schools are full of awareness and zero tolerance. still happens. A cancer with no cure, but the fight is getting stronger, yet the bullies are getting more sly.  A great resource shared to me by another grown up who endured bullying is: 
We had this written on our drive way recently:  Nice huh? 
Kindness...we need to work harder to spread it so the ugliness doesn’t invade us and stay.  It all starts with us, one action and word at a time.  So if my kids, husband or I have hurt you – sorry.  We are fish in the sea, swimming in the fast current trying our best like everyone else...but in the end, we are all human needing God’s grace and forgiveness.  

Yesterday that "bully" girl was kind to Courtney and asked her to sit by her....that meant a lot to Courtney and we talked about maybe she'll even become your good friend yet!  Hope for a changing bully moment by one bully moment moving forward.

Matthew 5:38-39   Eye for Eye

    38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Smell Good

We often hear “I smell good” from Sophia when something yummy smelling is in the oven or on the stove, sending flavor full odors into our home.  Basically anywhere Sophia smells yummy food she’ll declare this.  She loves her food.  She loves the smell of good food.  Don’t we all?

What I like about her phrase is we understand what she means, despite the words not in proper English form for their meaning.  BUT, we KNOW her, we KNOW what she means.  We SMILE when she says this as we think it is cute coming from our three year old.

It is also an example of pure understanding by the ones who love her and acceptance.   I am not quick to say “Sophia says ‘it smells good’.” We just smile and know.   It makes me think of friendships I have or have had.  Some have been a struggle on basic communication and I’ve felt I’ve had to defend my words on a constant basis with the understanding so often skewed in ways that I’m like “no, no, that isn’t what I meant.”  
Often those relationships wear me down and don’t  last.  There isn’t a connection and when it is that hard, there probably won’t ever be one.  My BFF’s are the ones I’m comfortable in my skin with and can “spew” my thoughts/feelings/emotions and be accepted in full with UNDERSTANDING 99% of the time. It doesn’t mean we have to AGREE.  That is another thing.  The English language is complex and how we use expressions and words, mixed with our baggage of upbringing, education, experiences and culture all play into that. 

So…to my BFF”s who “get me” – thank you.  Thank you for making me at ease enough to be who I am and love me anyways.  When life gets rough you are there for me to vent…you are there for me to lean on, you are there to understand or pretend you understand without judgment. 

“I smell good” is the core of comfort….may you “smell good too!” 
I think I’m ready for that crock pot potato soup…later.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dead Bird on the Sidewalk of Life

What does the death of a bird represent in your life?  When you see a dead bird, does your heart go “aaahh, poor bird” as mine does?   Some believe they are omens. In our case, this dead bird came before a series of threes that ended with Steve losing his job....I’m not superstitious, but oddly coincidental?  Of course Anthony had to pose with it before cleaning it up...silly boy! 
Dead birds are often s a reminder to me that everything is mortal, everything dies or ends in time and it is just part of the life cycle.  These creatures that fly high in the sky yet eventually end up becoming apart of the earth again.  They are both of the sky and earth.  Interconnected.  Aren’t we all connected by the shared experience of being simply being alive, no matter what species? As Christians I’d like it if we’d remember this more often, look at the dead birds in our lives and come away with more compassion and understanding for each other.
We all know this old hymn (or at least the refrain) with words by Civilla D Martin:
1.      Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
o        Refrain:
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
2.      “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
3.      Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Mrs. Martin must have felt the “aaahh poor bird” moments in life too and she took that and turned it into something positive.  So, go find the sparrow in your life and be free knowing He watches you!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I found this trash receptacle at a hotel I stayed at recently while away on business.  Usually in the U.S. of A. you don't see the word "rubbish" - to me that would be more Canadian or definitely more England prone verbiage. "Trash" is what it is called in the Midwest we reside in.

Right now - it reflects some of the stress we are experiencing.  Steve was "let go" after 25 years of dedication and service....replaced by a "younger" less costly version of company tactics.  Kansas has a law that they can fire you at will if they don't like the color of your here we are.  I know God has better plans for him and I'm just sorry that he didn't leave them first.....I could vent for days but won't - I'll try to look at the positive that this will be.  Some day that company's CEO will sit at the feet of Jesus and explain his actions there.  Enough said.  So, after 25 years of hard work and overtime on demand.....he can now cook for me daily!  He can clean the house!  He can run children errands....tomorrow it is off to the Orthodontist with one kiddo, etc.  He can rest his mind and weary body to rejuvenate  himself for the next step God has planned in his life.  I love and admire him greatly as he turns a new page in his life.  Pray for him friends.....pray for all of us!

The children asked...."so does this mean we'll be home schooled?"  Lord, we aren't ready for that!  Trust me...we have public schools for a reason and their names are our children! lol  Tobias, my golden hearted child offered us his allowance savings...bless him.  We won't rob them just yet I promised him!  We have many blessings to count, many!

I know we are but a statistic in this world we live in and that many have experienced or are experiencing unemployment.  So I'll humbly take to my knees and pray for all the world, as there are worse things out there and this too shall pass.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Shadow Children

My Shadow Children
  • Shadows – can be fun, creative and scary.
  • It was shadow tag that broke Courtney’s finger the first day out of school on May 28th!
  • Shadows can reflect dark things from our past.
  • Shadows are often referred to with negative connotations.
  • I like shadows.
  • Shadows are fleeting.
  • Shadows are silhouettes of life.
As I caught these pictures of my shadow children, I marveled at the beauty of each child in shows their character so clearly to me.  It made me ponder at the shadows in my life past and present. 
Did the bible talk of shadows?  Yes, it did quite a bit actually – 51 references to the word “shadow” in the NIV version.  Have shadows been around since the sun was created back in Genesis with Adam and Eve?  Did Adam and Eve see their shadows in the garden and play shadow tag? Did Old Testament parents teach their children to make sheep or cow shapes on their tent walls?
Job 8:9 says:  for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day One of School 2010 - 2011

Sigh...fresh clothes n shoes n backpacks n #2 we go! Can you make a silly face?

A little better.

Glad their first day was so much fun!  Rest well as the school year begins!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Birthday Girl is THREE!

Birthday baby is now THREE that is 3! Yikes time goes so fast....loving every minute of it though.  She is "all trained" and does SUPER and will attend some preschool this fall....her backpack has been ready for weeks.  So much fun!  She had one wish only - a Dora cake.  Delivered!

A little spit with some cake doesn't hurt anyone!

Pet Shop animals rule!

So do baby dolls that match my curly hair.
Grandma Belknap and Grandma Schapansky always pick out the best birthday cards!

She is so silly - look at her funny expression - she cracks us up!  I know your birthday was you always my little one who is now "THREE."

Monday, August 9, 2010

Before and After



This summer project represents me in many ways.  Before summer, ready for a break - needing the refreshing Mountains of Colorado to cool and refresh my soul, leisure days with the kids in the water park and many other summer activities too many to list in my absence from blog-land.  So now, I return, refreshed, ready to grow again blooming wider...time will fill my flowers and shrubs out....time will fill my heart and soul out.

School enrollment tomorrow....hard to believe it is that time has your summer been?  I'll be busy reading and catching up on my blog friends....good to be back.

Monday, July 5, 2010

When the rain let up - we lit them up!

A small reprieve of rain allowed the boys to FINALLY light their fireworks. It held enough that we even got to watch the town fireworks from our front porch....was a fun day despite the rain.

Buds...we'll miss her when they move!
Ahh, this is better, snacks and a front row seat...INDOORS!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Days Again

Where did June go? Today is July 1st - Canada Day.  I called my parents, I'm a good daughter...usually! :-)

Here are some photos of the month (minus baseball).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Covered Up.

In my work travels recently I passed this solar panel grouping with trees overtaking the one end, covering the solar panels.  We had solar panels on our “older” home – a product of government incentives in the 80’s.  If we didn’t manually turn off the blowers after the sun was off them, they’d just blow the cold air back in.  We didn’t use them much and when we re-roofed that house after a hail we had a hard time finding someone to even take them since we didn’t want to put them back on.
How often do we get covered up in life – not allowing us to “shine” in the way God intended us?  Those trees could be addictions, depression or other vices in our life that cloud over the sunshine in our lives. Sometimes those things creep up and grow slowing that we don’t notice the damage until it is done.  As I thought of the seasons, like when winter comes and those leaves fall off, more sunshine will be able to make it to energize those cells in the panels.  We need God to shed our leaves so that his Son he sent to save us can reach through and energize our cells too! 
So, I’m going to re-evaluate my vices and see what needs pruning.  I’m sure I’ll find a few things.
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.   John 15:2

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blue died

Blue died.  Royal flush happened Sunday, no one noticed until Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I love my ladybugs

Kids clothes are so cute and can make almost any insect look harmless.  Here Sophia is impressed with an outfit that I found that has a cheery flower and ladybugs on it. 
Now – you have to understand I “hate” insects like big time – we can talk about my therapy later, but I really HATE insects.  That being said, I don’t even like butterflies either – like moths, they flit and I can’t handle that.  BUT, I do like ladybugs.  They don’t intimidate me. I know God created everything – and all is good and for a reason, but I just wish he hadn’t made insects needed in the system of life.
In Leviticus 11:21
21 There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. 22 Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. 23 But all other winged creatures that have four legs you are to detest.
OK well, sorry – not interested in them for a vitamin boost to my diet either! I can do the “detest” part and justify my hate for insects if I use this scripture out of context – which I’ll do to support my lack of insect love!  (Tongue in cheek here – hope you are at least smiling on the inside!)
 Ladybug education:
Ladybugs (also called lady birds and lady beetles) are small, oval-shaped winged insects. These shiny insects are usually red with black spots or black with red spots on the wing covers. The number of spots identifies the type of ladybug. Most ladybugs are less than 1/4 inch (4-8 mm) long. As ladybugs age, the color of the spots fade. Birds are the major predator of the ladybug. Ladybugs will play dead when threatened.
These tiny predators are usually very welcome in gardens because ladybug larvae and adults eat aphids, mealybugs, and mites (which are garden pests). Ladybug larvae can eat about 25 aphids a day; adults can eat over 50. There are about 5,000 different species of ladybugs throughout the world. A common species is the two-spotted ladybug; it is orange red with one black spot on each wing cover. We had these mostly in Canada where I grew up.
The ladybug, like all beetles, undergoes a complete metamorphosis during its life. The life stages of the ladybug are: egg --> larva --> pupa --> adult.
Ladybugs live in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, grasslands, gardens, and even in people's houses.  In 1999 NASA took 4 ladybugs to space to watch them eat aphids in zero gravity – result was they did good in space.
 Ok – that is probably more than you wanted to know about Ladybugs.  It is plenty for me – I think I’ll go hug a soft stuffed animal of Sophia’s that isn’t an INSECT...back to the therapy thing~! 
 "Mommy, what are ya doin?"  
"Sweetie, I'm just lovin' my little ladybug!"

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