Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer: To Schedule or Not to Schedule?

Now, let me first prep this blog by saying...

I do NOT have my stuff together.

And, after reading this, if you seem to think otherwise, let me again reassure you...

I do NOT have my stuff together.

I do, however, try to get-it-together as much as possible for my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants personality.

If it were up to me, I would just take each summer day as it comes. However, my two boys tend to gravitate towards electronics waaaaay to easily, so I have had to get creative in order to keep them from doing so. 

On top of that, I always have grandiose plans of teaching my kids fun facts about animals, the earth, and other kid-friendly topics. However, if I don't schedule it, I will get sidetracked with Facebook laundry, dishes and other household chores. 

So I decided to bite the bullet and try what all the organized moms were doing. Hey, you can't knock it 'til you try it, right?

I found an awesome Summer schedule printable at Just click on her link to check it out. I played around with it, placed text boxes in it and tailored it to meet our needs. It turned out super-cute-o (and for this un-techy girl, that's impressive). Here is the original from her blog:

We have been following our little schedule this week, and though every day isn't perfect, it has definitely helped keep me and my boys on track. It forces me to keep track of time and see what's coming next. 

I even went through my calendar and placed one subject each week-day to spend a little time learning about. 

Nothing fancy, people

Yesterday, we learned about clouds. I found a YouTube kid's video for them to watch and then we glued cotton balls and raindrops on light blue paper. (And note they are cotton-rounds, seeing as I didn't have any balls...hey, work with whatcha got.)

Bam. Done.

And, might I add, that I had totally been getting my cirrus, stratus and cumulus clouds mixed-up over the years.

Oh, the HORROR!

Today's subject was "The Moon." We Googled to find a kid's video to watch. And then I proceeded to make a "moon" out of cornstarch, baking soda and water. Here's the recipe and directions to make the "dough." 

I took the top from a water bottle and let them "stamp" the dough to make "moon craters." Once it dries and hardens, they will paint their "moons."

It was messy. And I might have lost my Mommy-cool once or twice, (just keepin' it real, ya'll) but in the end we made the flippin' moon and even had some dough left over. 

I made some beads from the left-over dough for a jewelry craft to do another day. I figure they can paint the beads and string them on some yarn as gifts for Bible class teachers or something. 

We will see how long I can maintain this Summer schedule thang. Some days will just be play-on-the-porch-and-blow-bubbles kind o' days...and I am sooooo okay with that. 

Happy Summer Ya'll!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Man

He is laid back.

He is wise.

He is faithful.

He is forgiving.

He is a rock.

He is my biggest fan.

He speaks less and listens more.

He has walked through the fire with me... and and held my hand the whole way.

He is an amazing Daddy.

He is my boys' hero.

He builds forts, shoots guns, and lets Opie have a knife collection. 

He loves my boys with a firm, relentless love. 

He makes the future seem full of hope and possibilities.

He's more than I deserve. 

He ain't perfect. 

But, He's great in the ways that count.

Thank you, Lord, for this man. 

He is Your Man. 

Happy Father's Day 
to an amazing Daddy to my boys!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Parenting Beyond the Playground

The hard part of parenting is beginning.

I've enjoyed parenting small children. 

I've been able to guide, distract, direct, and spanky-spoon my kids into proper behavior. They aren't perfect kids by any means, but parenting seems more black and white when children are younger.

"Don't hit the kid with the stick."

"Pick up your toys or you'll go to time-out."

"If you do that again, you will not get ice cream."

I consider that "playground parenting", which is highly important and necessary. Don't underestimate laying the foundation for good behavior when your kids are little.

But now, parenting has taken on a whole new meaning. 

Opie has dealt with a lot the past few years: moving multiple times far away from friends and family, dealing with a traveling Father, and lately, his unidentified sickness.

I knew it had taken a toll on him. Tonight he shared his thoughts.

And I was humbled.

I have never felt so unable

I felt so inadequate listening to him. Trying to comfort him. Trying to make sense of his heart's precious words. 

How could I expect to impart wisdom to a nine year old things that I am still struggling with myself?!?!

But, I was reminded in my heart that I can't focus on myself. In fact, I told him, "I will let you down. Because I am human. I will not handle this all perfectly. God is the only one who will never do you wrong, even when you think otherwise."

Opie and I. High Point State Park, NJ. June 2013

Can I just say, booooy, do I want to "fix" Opie. I want to take it all away. His fears and anxiety. His worry. His troubles. 

But, I can't.

I can continue to seek God, though. And to ask Him to lead me. To change me. To teach me to lean on Him for my strength.

And encourage Opie to do the same.

I will continue to be there for my son. 

I will listen.

And love.

And cuddle with him as he drifts off to sleep. 

Yes, this is the tough side of parenting that I wasn't prepared for. 

But, then again, none of us are. We are each flawed people, full of backgrounds and plenty of our own internal "junk." 

The good news is: God can take my weak, fragile heart and through the Spirit of Jesus, grant me the grace, humility and power to lead my precious Opie through this storm of life.

And by golly, I am his Mom. So I WILL accept that challenge. 

Opie and I. High Point State Park, NJ. June 2013.
Lord, lead me. Minute by minute. Take Opie's mind and fill it with your peace. Your strength. Your hope. Help me to be radically changed by your Spirit so that I may have the ability to be the Mom I need to be for Him. I can not do it without you, Lord. I will fail miserably if it is by my strength. You are in control. May I be the hands and feet and words of Jesus to my children. Teach me Lord. I am willing to learn. May Opie come to know your tenderness and love in the depths of his heart. May he lay his worries at your feet and live a life full of your Presence. Please help me model what that looks like right in front of him. 


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Big Bottoms and Pirates

Every mother has horror stories.

You know. 

The ones where your kids observe something or someone in public.

Then they say their observation out loud

Where others can hear

Including the person they are "observing."

Both of my boys have done it. 

Opie. Christmas 2008.
When Opie was two, we were at the grocery store waiting behind a lady in the checkout line. Let's just say this lady had a little "junk in her trunk." 

And Opie noticed. 

Standing two feet behind her behind, he shouted, "Mom! That lady's got a BIG BOTTOM!"

Mor. Ti. Fied.

Peanut. June 2013.

Today, while checking out at the grocery store (What is it with my boys and grocery store check out lines?), Peanut started going nuts and saying loudly, "Mom, look! It's a pirate! A pirate, Mommy! Look!

Opie and I turned around to see what he was going on about. I figured he had spotted a large poster or a T-shirt with a skull and crossbones on it. 


There was an old man behind us checking out. 

Wearing an eye-patch. 

I whipped my head back around at whiplash speed while the checkout clerk let out a muffled, "Ohhhhhh no."

Oh yeah. We got outta there. 

Real quick-like.

What are your horror stories? Leave them in a comment! Anyone else have bad luck in check-out lines besides me? :)


Monday, June 3, 2013

Random. Totally.

I'd like to meet the people who go around placing red stickers on deer-crossing signs.  I've seen hundreds of those deer transformed into Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer all the way from Alabama to Jersey. 

I wonder if they have a stash of red circular stickers in their car at all times. 

How do they find the time to pull over on highways and back roads, stand tippy-toed and put that sticker on the deer's nose?

It would seem they share my love for all things Christmas. 

But, that's a whole 'nother level of Yuletide commitment.

I wonder if it's considered vandalism. 

I'd totally plead their case in court. 

I wonder if these polka-dotted deer signs are actually manufactured, which makes me look like a total doofus thinking they are stickers.