Tag Archive | kids

Family of Five

Today’s post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. We write for just 5 minutes on a 1-word prompt, without heavy editing, and see what we come up with. Today’s prompt is “Five.”

I’m going to tell you a little bit about my family of 5.

IMG_6427My husband, David, and I got married in 1991. That was the start of it all.

Five-plus years later, we added Justin David to the mix. He’s now 22 and a college graduated, restaurant-serving father of my grandson, Zayne. He’s a great dad, learning the ins and outs of a committed relationship, making his way in the world with a bit of advice from his old parents along the way.J&A

A little more than 2 years later, Nathan Allan made his appearance. This 20-year-old college student has spent much of the summer as a counselor at a camp in Alaska. He’s a lover of the Nathanoutdoors, but not so much in Florida. This opportunity has been so great for him.

Three and a half years and 2 miscarriages later, our daughter, Morgan Claire, came along. She will be 17 in about 7 weeks. She’s currently making biscuits and chocolate gravy (it’s a thing, trust me) in the kitchen. I’m blessed to have her home most of the time doing high school virtually. And she just got her first job!IMG_1422

After having dealt with infertility for several years, we are beyond blessed to have our 3 kids, and now a grandson in the mix. Our family of 5 will keep growing, I’m sure, but the core will remain. So much of what I write about, so much of what I’ve learned, is because of my family. Today, on the 12th anniversary of my mom’s death, it seems apropos. I wish she was here to see it all play out with my family of five and my sisters’ and brother’s families as well.

So there you have it. My little family.

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I See You

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up where we write for 5 minutes on a one-word without heavy editing and see what happens. Read all of today’s post here.

Like any typical American parents, we were armed with our video camera (this was in the days before cell phones with cameras) and waiting expectantly for our sweet tow-headed 4-year-old boy to appear on the stage for his end-of-year performance for Mom’s Day Out.

When he came out with his classmates, dressed in his green collared shirt and cute khaki pants, I looked through the viewfinder of the camera to make sure I could get him in focus before things began.

 

What I noticed as I watched him through that lens was that he was looking all around the crowded church sanctuary, searching for us. I could read his little lips saying, “Where ARE they?” as his gaze grew concerned. David and I waved our arms and halfway stood trying to get his attention, but the lights were too bright on the stage, and there were too many bodies in the auditorium.

MDO program

He couldn’t see us.

Once the music started, he was happy singing along and doing the hand motions as he’d been taught, and I recorded him and clapped when it was done. But my heart was a little sad. I so wanted him to know that we were watching him. That we were there. That we cared.

Now, 18 years later, that little 4-year-old is 22 and searching for who he is. During a crisis time just a few months ago, I wrote him a letter reminding him of that night all those years ago and asking him, “Do you see us now? Do you know that we see you, that we’re here for you, that we love you?”

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Hagar gave God the name El Roi in Genesis 16:13, “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’”

 

 

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The Blessing Of An Unhurried Life

IMG_2437Every family has experienced it. The frantic rush in the morning to get everyone where they’re supposed to be going. Do the kids all have their homework? Is their lunch packed? Where are their shoes. Hurry! The school bus will be here any minute!

Stick a PopTart in the toaster, gulp down a glass of milk, and run out the door. Barely time for a hug and a kiss, let alone sweet words that might fill their souls for the day.

Sound familiar?

Do you hate living that way?

Is it only on vacation that a slower, unhurried pace of life can happen?

There’s a saying: the hurrier I go the behinder I get.P1000562

Last year we made the decision with the full agreement and enthusiasm of our 15-year-old daughter to have her enroll in virtual school. That means that we don’t have a 5:30 wake up to make sure she gets to a 6:20 bus. Our mornings are calm, later and unhurried. It’s a huge blessing.

As I look closer at living an unhurried lifestyle, I see it as giving ourselves room to breathe. I know that not everyone can make the same decisions we have, but I would encourage everyone to take a look at those hurried and harried times and see if there’s any way to bring some peace to them.

Can lunches be made and backpacks packed the night before? Can clothes be laid out? Shoes put by the door? Pre-made breakfasts be ready to go?

IMG_1888I have a daughter who is not a morning person, so she made some of these choices herself as she grew, and I certainly know that not all children will fit well into this mould.

But if you’re finding yourself getting frazzled before the day has barely begun, give some thought to how you might give yourself and your family some breathing room.

 

This post is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join the fun!

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Waging War

warriorWe have a hot tub as a part of our swimming pool, and when we sit in it as a family, my kids enjoy playing a game where someone thinks of a word, and the others compete to see who can come up with a song that includes that word. It’s amusing what I can pull out of the archives of my mind. Especially when they try to come up with obscure words. Recently, one of them challenged us with the word “warrior.” I know a song with that word in it, but for the life of me I couldn’t conjure the words or the tune in my head. It had been a long time since I’d heard it. I remembered the name of the artist, though, So when we finally went inside, I went to my computer and googled “Twila Paris, warrior.” The song, of course, popped right up: “The Warrior is a Child.”

“They don’t know that I go running home when I fall down. They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around. I drop my sword and cry for just awhile. ‘Cause deep inside this armor, the warrior is a child.”

The battle gets wearying, doesn’t it? We’re fighting for our marriages; we’re fighting for the minds of our children; we’re fighting for Truth. I’m just tired. I don’t want to monitor my boys’ internet activity. I don’t want to work with my daughter on how she responds to authority. I don’t want to write my congressman about making sure our rights as Americans are protected. It’s too hard. I’m too tired. But what happens if I don’t do these things? The results would be catastrophic.

Galatians 6:9 says “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Warriors don’t give up. “I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ, so firm on His promise I’ll stand” to quote another battle song.

Twila Paris said it so well back in the day, so stand strong as you listen to her song. Hang in there, Warrior!

photo courtesy of pinimg.com

No Whining!

Talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel recently aired a conglomeration of videos recorded by parents who had just told their kids that they had eaten all of their Halloween candy. Setting aside the argument about the ethics of lying to your kids, the reactions of some of these children were telling. Most of them burst into tears with loud wailing and protesting of the unfairness of it all. One child hit his parent and then proceeded to throw a water bottle at her. My thought was, “Oh my, there is no way I would let my child act that way.” Pretty self-righteous, right?

Then there were the sweet children who got sad looks on their faces but said, “That’s all right.” One little boy even added, “I just want you to feel happy.” How sweet is that?

I might criticize those fit-throwing children and those who are raising them, but really, am I any better when something doesn’t go my way or disappoints me? I may be mature enough not to actually fall on the floor in a puddle of tears, but that’s what I’m doing on the inside.

When God doesn’t answer my prayers the way I hope He will, do I say, “That’s all right. You know what’s best. Thanks for keeping me from making a mistake?” Or do I throw spiritual water bottles and pound my fists on the floor? I know what I’d like to do; but I also know how I’m supposed to respond. “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

Just don’t eat my chocolate.

Thankful today for:

636. lists

637. jackets

638. gift cards

639. God’s sovereignty

640. our upcoming annual school camping trip

641. unexpected gifts

Time Keeps on Slippin’, Slippin’, Slippin’

I sent my baby boy off for his sophomore year of high school today. He won’t like the fact that I called him my baby boy. Plus, he’s taller than I am now. But it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t read my blog anyway. Sigh. Last night I asked him if he wanted me to get up and say goodbye to him in the morning (which is a BIG sacrifice for me, since he needs to leave the house at 6:45 or so to catch his bus at 6:52). He said no. Then he added, “You can if you want to.” So when I woke up at 6:47 and asked my husband if he had heard him, and he told me he hadn’t, I went to his room to check.

Yep, there he was snoozing away. 5 minutes until the bus arrived at a 3-minute-walk-away bus stop. Wasn’t gonna happen. So, being the kind mother that I am, I drove him. Got him there 3 minutes before the bell for first period. I don’t think he made it. But, I was guessing they were giving grace on the first day of school. But what a way to start.

So, my big, strong Air Force officer wannabe son still needs his momma. Whether he wants to admit it or not.

My desire to hang on, to make sure he has everything he needs for the day, that he hasn’t left anything behind, is hard to break. Last year I stopped myself from checking that he had his athletic shoes for an ROTC field day that he was attending. He had to wear his uniform there, but then change into PT clothes later on. Turns out, he forgot the shoes. The result? Major blisters and torn skin on the soles of his feet for his error. Lesson learned? I think so. But it’s hard to see your children suffer the consequences, isn’t it?

But what’s that saying? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? I bet he won’t be forgetting his shoes again.

When we go to a restaurant, my husband is telling me, let him ask the questions. Don’t baby him. But not asking the right questions can have physical consequences as he is severely allergic to dairy products. And I have more experience knowing what to ask. And what if he doesn’t have his allergy medicine with him? And, and, and.

Let it go. Cut the apron strings. He’s a big boy now.

Wrong. He’s still my baby.

Thankful today for:

561. growing independence

562. a new computer coming

563. approaching fall

What Would I Do Without You?

Although I haven’t touched them for nearly two years, I am a scrapbooker. Once I began teaching, I just haven’t been able to save any mental space for working on my books. I’ll get back to them some day. But this was a quote I put in one of the early books for my kids:

“You are the trip I did not take;

You are the pearls I cannot buy;

You are my blue Italian lake;

You are my piece of foreign sky.”

This is from a poem by Anne Campbell. It speaks to me.

Motherhood, it seems, is all about sacrifice. Of course there are benefits, but often those don’t come until later. My friend Judy posted a poignant blog about the gifts her children have given her (read it here). I agree with every one of her points, although my life looks vastly different from hers. My kids are all still at home. Every day there is something that goes on that means I have to give up something that I would rather be doing. And yet, in raising my kids, there really is nothing that I would rather be doing.

Do I enjoy the silence in the house when they’re all off to school? Yes. But if the continued silence means I didn’t have the kids, I far prefer the chaos.

Do I wish that for even a day the house could stay clean? Yes. But if cleanliness meant my house was empty, then what’s a few dust bunnies? (OK, more than a few.)

Would I like to look out on a pristine yard? Who wouldn’t? But if nice grass meant no wild sword fights or games of fetch with the dog, then I welcome the lived-in look of the warn path the dog has made madly chasing his beloved ball.

My friend Ronnie once told me a house should be clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy. I have taken that on as my personal slogan.

Do I pester my kids about picking up and quieting down? Yes. But honestly, what would I do without them? They are my true Mother’s Day gift.

But I’m still looking forward to that steak dinner promised to me tomorrow.

Thankful today for:

270. the gift of See’s chocolate from my friend Lynn

271. waking up early on a day I could have slept in

272. 12 more days of school

273. a great first year of high school for my eldest

274. the cardinal couple that occasionally flits through our yard

275. that the alligators decide to wait until after our day in the lake to make their appearance

276. the pitter patter of little feet (and some not so little anymore)

277. family prayer

278. photographs