Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Catch Up

Our modem has been broken for the last few days, so, though I've had several reasons to post, I simply couldn't.

This is one of the things that I have been wanting to post.

Each week, at BSF, they give us a sheet that has a lesson plan on it to use with our children during the week. I especially liked the one I received this past week. It talks about praying for your children and gives suggestions.

Here is an excerpt:

Do you pray for your child every day? As you consider how you are presently praying for your son or daughter, perhaps the following list will enhance the pattern you follow. Many parents have been encouraged and renewed in their zeal to pray by using such a list. Is there a grandparent or caring relative who would pray this list with you? Consider asking them to partner with you before the throne of God on behalf of the child you both love so much. Each month use one item as a specific request for your child. In a year you will have prayed them all. Pray that your child will:

1. Enjoy Bible stories now and when he is old enough, he will make and keep a commitment to study the Bible every day of his life.

2. Understand who the Lord Jesus is, fall in love with Him, receive Him as Savior, and be passionately devoted to Jesus all his life.

3. Boldly speak about Jesus and become a leader and standard-bearer for the cause of Christ rather than for causes of the world.

4. Never be without godly friends and role models, be discerning in choosing both friends and lifestyle-caring as much about inward beauty as outward appearance and achievement.

5. Understand that he is created by God; be content and confident with the way he is made-physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

6. Be protected from immoral and impure people and activities, maintain virtue, and have a zeal for righteous living.

7. Recognize, abhor, and flee sin; reject temptations to do evil.

8. Love to give and serve; be a glad, grateful, and generous giver to the world, not just a taker.

9. Early learn and love to pray, develop an intimacy with God, and become a true worshiper of Him.

10. Treat people with godly kindness in a meek and gentle spirit, without losing ability to take a stand for what is right.

11. Readily seek forgiveness when he sins and be quick to forgive others.

12. Grow spiritually as rapidly as he does physically and mentally.

This year, I am going to pray more specifically for Mary Alice and Major. I have been praying for #1 and will move on to #2 tomorrow. To all "grandparents, or other caring relatives" I am asking for for you to keep these in your prayers as well. I just thought these were good suggestions for specific prayer for our children (and for ourselves). For me, it is easy to get into a prayer rut, praying the same things again and again, having them become meaningless words instead of real heartfelt petition to God.

Pictures to come soon.... The kids have been playing in the mud the past week or so. They look so cute in their mud boots!

Monday, January 22, 2007

"Jun-yo" and Brainwashing Fun

Story #1

Major has a little trouble saying his "r"s right now. Major had this funny conversation with my Dad last week,while trying to tell Dad about his favorite Veggie Tales character, "Junior".

Dad: "Which one is your favorite out of all of the Veggie Tales?"

Major: "Jun-yo."

Dad: (looking confused) "Jun-yo?"

Major: "No! Not Jun-yo! JUN-YO!"

Dad: "Jun-YO?"

Major: "No Poppa! Not jun-yo! Jun-yo!"

Dad: "JUN...YO?"

Major: (growing more and more frustrated with my dad) "NOT JUN-YO" "His name is JUN-YO!"

My Dad was completely baffled. He isn't an expert on Veggie Tales characters, but was sure he had never heard of a character called "Jun-yo". Finally, someone else walked in the room who could speak Major's language.

Person: "Junior." "He's talking about Junior Asparagus."

Dad: "Junior?"

Major: "Yes! Jun-yo!"

Story #2

When we talk with Mary Alice and Major, we often interject things with them about their future. (I am secretly hoping to plant ideas in their subconscious.) I guess you might call it brainwashing. I remember when I was a little girl, every time a beer commercial would come on, my Dad would say things like "Yuck! That's nasty stuff." I've never really had any problems with alcohol consumption and I'm convinced that my Dad saying "Yuck." each and every time a beer commercial came on has something to do with my disdain for alcoholic beverages. I don't have anything against those who drink. I just don't care for the taste, unnecessary calories, or addictive nature of alcohol. On with my story....

Since I now have my own kids, I am free to have my own "brainwashing" fun.

For example, We often talk to our kids about who they are going to marry, what is most important when choosing a spouse, etc. They might respond to our questioning with, "marry someone who loves God and Jesus with all of their heart", "a Christian" or something of the like.

Recently, I've been asking Major what he is going to be when he grows up. "A Daddy!" is his answer, but I love to dig deeper. (Questions are a perfect opportunity for brainwashing. :)

Me: "What are you going to do when you grow up and be a Daddy?"

Major: "Go to work at the office."

Me: "What else are you going to be?"

Major: "A GUY!" (said in gruffest voice) "Like DADDY!" (gruff low voice) "And do GUY THINGS!!!" (gruff voice)

Me: "What else are you going to be?"

Major: (pauses, looks puzzled) "A donut-eating Jesse!" (gruff silly voice)

Me: (laughing) "Are you going to be a Christian, Major?"

Major: "Yes, I'm going to be a Christian and follow Jesus and God."

Ok, so tonight Major was outside playing with Mary Alice. He wanted me to come out and play with him, but I was busy cooking dinner. He came inside and said the following:

Major: "Mom? Can you come outside and play with me?"

Me: "Not right now, Major. I have to cook dinner. Maybe later."

Major: "Maybe when I'm another year taller and you're shorter and I'm a Daddy and a Christian could you come play with me?"

(When he said that it reminded me of an old song...Cat's In The Cradle.... It made me realize that I am definitely going to go outside and play with him tomorrow, before I "get shorter, he gets taller and he's a Daddy and a Christian." Hopefully, we have a little while before any of those things comes to pass, especially, me getting shorter!)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Chocolate Rush

Just a few quick things that I've been thinking about lately...

First of all, I have to brag a little bit. You need not worry, I'm not bragging about myself, so I think my bragging is entirely acceptable. I have to brag about my brother, Adam. He just found out today that he was accepted at Scott and White for a residency in ophthalmology. This is a BIG deal. There were almost 500 applicants. Twenty five were given an interview and only three medical students who were chosen to be residents in their ophthalmology program. It is hard to believe that my little brother will be operating on people's eyes one day! Anyway-I am very proud of him and am using my blog as my own personal brag book today. You don't mind do you?

Secondly, my new chocolate fountain has arrived! Not on schedule, mind you, but it is here at last!! I can't wait to get home and try it out! Chocolate fountains seem like such a fun thing to have. The other day, someone asked me what on earth I would ever do with something that was so impractical? Well, my friend, I'll have you know that I think a chocolate fountain is very practical for the Smith family. I know I can think of many fun things to do with my chocolate fountain. I know it will get alot of use. It has to, with the 20 lbs of fondue chocolate that I have sitting in my living room. And guess what... the fountain also works with cheese and ranch dressing, though I seriously doubt I'll be using those options. Yuck!

I've been spending the past few days at my parents' house. Josh took my little brother Ben skiing in Colorado on a little guys trip. He'll be back some time tonight! Yea!!! The kids and I have been sleeping in the bedroom that was mine when I lived at my parents' house. If there is one thing that I have learned it is that I do not enjoy sleeping in the same room with my kids. I do not know how the pioneers ever dealt with these sleeping arrangements! (I am sure that is a contributing factor as to why the pioneers life spans were so much shorter than ours.) I have had almost no sleep the last few nights. I placed Major on a sleeping bag on the floor next to my bed. In the middle of the night, he crawls across the room to a random location, wakes up, and cries because he doesn't know where he is. So each night, I have to play hide and go seek with him several times, snatching him up and putting him back in his warm bed once again. In addition to that, I have been sleeping with the worst sleep-talker I have ever seen. During the night, my five year old talks, cries, screams in her sleep all night long!! Did I mention how she tosses and turns? She is the most fitful sleeper I have ever seen. As a result, I feel like the mother of a newborn this week, getting no sleep at all!!! It makes me wonder if the kids are such fitful sleepers at home, but I'm not aware of it because I am snuggled next to Josh in our own room. I am like an angry bear when awakened from my peaceful slumber, yet another reason I should not sleep in the same room with my children.

I did smile once when awakened last night. While she was sleeping, Mary Alice said, "Mom, guess what I am dreaming about right now? I am an angel, with ten other angels...and we are flying up up up high in the sky." And also, at another time during the night, "Yes! I killed Goliath!" (You have to admit, that is pretty sweet.) I couldn't be an angry bear after hearing her say those sweet things. Also, periodically, she would roll over and wrap her arms around me, hug me and say, "I love you mom." This is all in her sleep!!!

I don't know exactly why, but I have been eating large amounts of chocolate for the last two weeks. It first began when Mary Alice started reading Charlie and Chocolate factory. Mary Alice and I have a little habit of eating bites of chocolate between chapters. I have lots of leftover Christmas candy and really don't need to be eating chocolate, but have found that munching on chocolate is required whenever reading a book like Charlie and the Chocolate factory. It makes reading so much more fun! My chocolate eating frenzy continued on when I indulged in the chocolate dipped strawberries that were left over from the baby shower that I was supposed to be hostessing on Sunday which was CANCELLED due to the ice storm that WASN'T!!) I am not bitter about this,really. A few days ago, I discovered an unopened box of Willams Sonoma chocolate peppermint bark. I couldn't resist. Then, finally, on Thursday, my mother made some mocha chocolate brownies that were excellent! I ate them yesterday afternoon, as an after dinner snack, this morning in the place of my breakfast, and then again at lunchtime. And, of course, now that my chocolate fountain has arrived, it will need to be tested out. What to do, what to do.....

The kids have been so sick lately! It seems like since we have moved here my generally healthy family has been replaced with one that is nearly always sick. Seriously. We usually follow a pattern of sick a week, well a week, well a week, sick a week. This winter, the pattern has been more like sick a week, sick another week, sick a week, sick another week. We've had friends suggest that there is something in our house making everyone sick constantly. Maybe. Another friend told me that when you move to a new location, you can expect your kids to be sick alot for a year, because of the new viruses? Maybe. I don't know what is causing our constant battle with illness, but am hoping it will go away soon. Thankfully, the sicknesses aren't anything major, just minor inconveniences.

This post doesn't flow very well at all. It seems very jumpy and erratic. I'll blame it on the caffeine in the chocolate.

Monday, January 08, 2007

So Much To Say

1. Major is doing much better now. This past week was horrid to say the least, but his disposition is starting to seem more like the sweet boy I once knew....for now.

2. If anyone has a chocolate fountain you'd like to bring over, we can have tons of fondue fun. I've been oh-so-excited about receiving the one I ordered from Willams Sonoma. It was supposed to be here by now. Unfortunately, the item has been backordered until the end of January! So I have 20 lbs of fondue chocolate, loads of bamboo skewers, and not a trace of my much anticipated chocolate fountain. Maybe I'll have it in time for Mary Alice's Valentine's party...

3. Today I had a rather embarrassing experience. To some it may seem tacky, but I think blogging about it may make me feel better. I went to visit the fun doctor today. There I was, in stirrups, when the doc's nurse walks in, with another man behind her. "Your husband is here." she calmly stated. The man walking into my exam room was none other than...... someone else's husband!! This embarrassed looking man quickly made a u-turn and headed out of the room. What!?! My doctor was very annoyed with this nurse for this little mishap and gave her a look. So what was the reason for this unfortunate barging in upon by a random stranger? Of course.... it was that I happen to have the same last name as the other patient, with a very similar sounding first name. This isn't the first time that my name has been the cause of identity confusion, just the first time that the results were so embarrassing!!!

4. Someone told me that China changed their rules for adoptive parents. I am usually a few weeks behind on what is in the news, so this may not be news to anyone else other than me. I went straight to the web to read all about it. Under these new rules, if you are obese (body-mass index of more than 40), have a physical disability, are on anti-depressants, or are single you cannot adopt. These are just a few of the regulations, which also include having at least a high school diploma and a net worth of $80,000. What do you think of these rules?Who knew that taking anti-depressants or being overweight might disqualify someone from receiving a child??? (Especially if they are basing these decisions on body-mass-index)

In college, I took the required general health class that the university offered. I will never forget how many super skinny girls were given the title of "obese" due to their body-mass-index score. I am and have always been fairly thin but was shocked to receive the title of normal, but "borderline overweight". I saw several girls who seemed very normal looking receive the title of "obese". No wonder a large number of girls in my freshman dorm struggled with eating disorders!

5. I got some new shoes!!! To many, this may seem not at all interesting, but to me it is a cause for great celebration, a highlight of my week, and well worth including on my blog. This is my blog, after all. (If you want to write about subjects of interest to you, perhaps you could start a blog of your own.) After many many months of wandering around in some sad looking gray tennis shoes, my feet finally have something to jump up and shout about. My tennis shoes will be making appearances on my feet now and then, but will no longer be the main attraction. I went to DSW shoe warehouse and outfitted my feet with three pairs of shoes. They were discount shoes, which makes them seem even better! My new foot ensemble includes sleek black heels, cute little black ballet flats and some brown semi-funky casual shoes, suitable for wearing with casual dress pants and jeans. Ahhhh! New shoes make all the difference. There is spring in my step once again.

6. I get to pick up food from the food coop tomorrow. Yet another reason to celebrate! I love the look, smell, and taste of super fresh produce. And Grumpy, organic really does make all the difference in the world! ;)

7. My Two New Years Resolutions: I'm going to make more friends and worry less, which means trusting God more. I'm thinking if I can make just two resolutions then they'll be easier to keep. We'll see...

8. I guess I'm finished with my random thoughts for the night. Sleep tight!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Belated Christmas News

I don't know what has gotten into me the last few weeks!!! We've had alot going on, plenty of things that I definitely wanted to record in my blog. I just haven't felt like blogging at all! Josh and I have been having fun with our nightly Smallville-athon. We've slowly made it through the last several seasons and are just about to finish up season 5. That has taken up a little of my time, as has my new hobby, wrangling Major. The kid has had some serious attitude problems the last few days. We blamed it on him being sick for a little while, but have come to the conclusion that he is just a foul tempered boy right now. So, most of my day goes like this.... Get up, train Major, eat breakfast, discipline Major, get the kids dressed, discipline Major, etc. etc. etc. It is pretty sad to be spending so much time redirecting and training Major, but time that must be spent. I just hate weeks like this!! I would rather have fun with my kids than to constantly have to focus on their bad behavior. My boy does have his sweet moments, but they are few and far between right now. Ugh!!!

So, I guess I should recap Christmas... We went to Frisco to see Josh's family on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. The kids had so much fun! We went ice skating on Christmas eve, which is something that I hadn't done in years! (I have some bruises on my legs to prove it!) Thankfully, I was able to make it around the rink without too much humilation and shame. Mary Alice LOVED ice skating and laughed every time she fell down. Her jeans were soaked by the time we were finished ice skating. The girl did much better than Josh and I thought she would do and was even courageous enough to try skating for a while on her own. It was very special, something that I would love to take her to do again soon. The Maje was too little to skate and kept asking if he could skate "when it gets to be another year". Chad let little Major get in on the fun by skating around the rink with him a few times, something none of the rest of us were brave enough to do!

I really enjoyed Christmas morning this year, much more so than in past years. No real reason, other than that the kids seemed to be really excited. We told them that they couldn't get up until at least 7:00. We realized that Mary Alice had been too excited to go back to sleep, but had been anxiously awaiting the clock striking 7:00. I think she was closing her eyes and trying to go to sleep, but just kept checking the time, for a whole hour! So silly! I remember the feeling, though. When I was little, I remember getting up at 5:00 in the morning to go check out what goodies Santa brought.

It is so fun to give your children presents. This is something that I just love to do! For many reasons, we rarely treat ourselves to buying our kids gifts, so when we do get a chance to shop for them, it is always such a joy!! This Christmas we got to give things to our kids that we'd been dying to buy for them and got to watch them give carefully chosen gifts to others as well. A highlight for me was watching Mary Alice get so excited about giving the presents that she bought for her family. Santa brought Mary Alice a play kitchen, which is something that she's been wanting for a long time. Santa brought Major a golf ball machine that gives you your balls one at a time along with some plastic golf clubs. It was funny, though, that Major seemed even more interested in Mary Alice's pink play kitchen. They played together for a long time on Christmas morning. So cute!

Another extra fun gift they received was a Veggie Tales Dance pad from Nonnie. Our whole family has had lots of fun with the dance pad. And, little did I know that my husband of eight years, is a dancing machine!!! He can boogey to The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything with the best of em!
Ok, I'm tired of writing, and apparently, there was an error of some kind. My HTML code "cannot be accepted." Blah. I really wish I was a computer genius and could figure out these problems on my own, but I guess I'll have to wait until my hottie husband comes home to help me solve my computer woes. Happy New Year!