Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
First, in my defense. I wasn't trying to be critical. I thought I was just stating the facts. He really is extremely introverted. He will be social and even enjoys being social with close friends and family, but even then I usually have to drag him to their parties. And Valerie Ader will attest to the fact. Since she is one of the only people who does invite us over from time to time.
I don't think it is a bad thing to understand ourselves and the people we love and to discuss things freely, and I apologize to those people who feel like I should be more private. LG is also learning to understand that being more open leads to healthier relationships.
Anyhow, after some feedback, it got me thinking of my goal to build the guy up instead of tear him down.
Yes, I fail at my goals often. And I do apologize when I do, privately and sometimes publicly. Aren't you all lucky?
So as part of my apology I would like to practice the old parenting adage that you should dish out 9 compliments for every reprimand.
Before the nine compliments though, let me make it clear that I wasn't trying to passively reprimand my husband for being anti-social. I love him just the way he is. I don't blame him for the fact that we don't have friends. In fact if the blame really lies with anyone it is with me way more than it is with him.
On with it, already.
So the nine things.
But one more distraction before the nine good things. In the spirit of full disclosure and honesty I would like to admit that my husband is far from perfect. I say that not to make him feel bad or to be critical but to make those of you out there that are mad at your husbands or dealing with a difficult marital relationship know that it's o.k. EVERYBODY on this planet has strengths and weaknesses and the beauty of marriage is that you learn to look past those things. If you are really blessed you can playfully banter about them (I read an article today describing George and Barbara Bush doing just that) And if you are really really lucky, you can watch a spouse as their weakness turns to a strength. Maybe LG will see improvement in me as he reads this nice post. That's my ulterior motive anyhow. Can you say brownie points? :)
By the way, honest is probably the one word I would pick to describe myself. The name Alice means honest - I am lamely honest. Almost like that girl in Ella Enchanted had to do what she was told...it's as if I was cursed as a child to state what I am thinking and only the truth at all times. But I am learning to turn weakness into strength. I started by not airing a single piece of LG's dirty laundry in that last paragraph; much to the relief of some of his other loved ones I am sure.
So , really, with no further ado...here are the nine things.
LG may be the only one who cares to keep reading. Oh, and LG's mom. And of course, you, John, because you want to see how capable you are as a marriage counselor.
1 The guy is smart. Really really smart.
2 He is extremely patient. (What a bonus for me)
3 He is one of the kindest individuals on the face of the planet. (When they say "oh, he would never hurt a fly", that is a lie, he would swat a fly to death, and also doesn't have too much respect for any animal he could shoot in the garden, but besides that, he wouldn't hurt a fly)
4 He is hilarious. (He promised me that he would make me laugh every day before we got married, and he has lived up to that promise except for the days that he has only made me cry, but either way he has turned my frowns upside down)
5 He is fair and ethical, not just because he is supposed to be but because he just is.
6 He is generous. (A few years back he didn't bat an eyelash when I told him to give up half his meager Christmas bonus for people who had a bigger TV than ours - and if anything has been the hardest for him in his new law practice, it has been learning to tell people that he can't work for free)
7 He is an amazing father. A - MAZ - ING in capital letters.
8 He is a prodigy in the field of electronic gadgets and random musical instruments.
9 The thing that I have loved the most about him lately is that he is willing to admit when he is wrong and he is trying very hard to change.
But it isn't wrong to be anti-social and therefore I wouldn't feel like saying that is being critical.
And while I am still in my own defense. There may be only a handful of people as righteous as Job throughout all world history.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
That probably doesn't even make sense.
It has to do with the fact that my husband has been in a cave for over a month.
And that I didn't get that solo in the church choir.
And I wasn't invited to THAT party.
And I have gained 15 pounds since the baby has been born.
And I am sleep deprived.
And my kids have been sick on and off ever since school started.
And tonight to top off all insults, the shelter wouldn't let us take that darn dog home. They have to clear us with our veterinarian. I cannot even imagine the whaling that is gonna happen when our kids can't get that dog named Fiesta tomorrow because we missed Kitty Bears vaccines one year.
Hmm...what else can I come up with?
Oh, we don't have very many friends because our house is in shambles and nobody likes to come over here when we can go to their nice beautiful well decorated homes. But they don't really invite us over. (No this is NOT to make you feel bad...you three friends who know who you are)
Or maybe we don't have any friends because I am overly obnoxious and my husband is about as anti-social as you can get.
My husband has been a business owner and a lawyer for over 18 months and HE HATES IT!
And I hate it that he hates it.
And we have never been so poor.
And we wanted to get that dog because it was a cheaper option than the trampoline.
And Santa can't disappoint three darling little girls who want nothing but a dog for Christmas.
And it's a good thing because they aren't going to get much more than that.
If they even get that. Because the shelter apparently doesn't want to send dogs to good and loving homes.
And now my husband is on the phone and I remembered that he chipped a tooth today.
And I gotta call the dentist tomorrow.
Man, I was just happy yesterday when I realized we had freed up $125 a month because we had finally paid off my dental work.
And I am glad that he is still breathing because he has been breaking out in hives on and off for over three weeks.
He told me he is like Job.
But he probably isn't as righteous.
So I hope his stress will go away soon.
Because the only reason he is still doing this is because we think that is what God wanted.
Surely, He is gonna say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" very soon and maybe if we get really lucky He will add "now go and get a real job with a consistent paycheck."
Back to me.
Maybe my problem with my bad mojo is that I haven't been blogging?
I need somewhere to get it all out there.
But I can't blog easily because my desktop died and I am using a laptop that doesn't access my pictures very easily.
Oh, and did I tell you how horrible it is that my laptop is set up on a makeshift table that is blocking me from getting to my tupperware?
Yeah, THAT tupperware...the table is right in front of my dishwasher. And my dishwasher is where I keep my tupperware because my dishwasher hasn't been used in over a year because it is broken.
I am not trying to get sympathy here.
I am just getting it out there.
Because once I type it out, it's like it all goes away.
And I forget that my kitchen counters are covered with dirty dishes that I just can't find the will to wash tonight.
But this year, I have truly learned gratitude.
I know it doesn't sound like it, but really,
I am grateful that I have dishes to eat from.
And food to eat.
And a laptop that works.
And that it can hook up to the Internet.
So that I can get it all out of my system.
And who cares about that stupid solo, or that party, or those pounds.
I am a daughter of God.
And He loves me.
And he provides me with my necessities.
Sometimes that's ALL he provides.
But, as they sang on Glee last night.
We can't always get what we want, but we get what we need.
Oh yeah, my brother really got onto me for watching that show.
Because if I was just more righteous.
The other night, at our church Christmas party,
I was discussing with a girl her dream of becoming a chef.
I wondered out loud, what my dream would be that I could maybe pursue someday.
She said, "I bet it will have something to do with your blog."
I bet she is right.
Everybody needs a dream.
It makes you feel happy.
And it makes you focus.
And mine happens to help me get it all out there.
And if you are still reading this.
Maybe my dream has some merit.
Because somehow you relate.
And that is the magic of a good writer.
And she may be a better singer.
And her a better hostess.
And she a better crafty - er person.
And her skinnier.
And her more beautiful.
And heck, there are plenty of girls out there with more hits on their blog.
But, one person is gonna read this and feel better.
And that's all I could ask for.
Maybe I will find another dream.
Can't you just wait for my Christmas card?
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I love Glee!
Yes, it is inappropriate.
Teenage pregnancy & homosexuality all over the place.
I might as well throw it all out there.
And yes I am a horrible mother because guess what? They all love it as much as I do.
There are few things that we love more than humor and music around here.
We all live a life of music and humor. We live our own little whacked out musical.
I want you all to know that I try to be a good mom. Tonight, I at least started the show with the disclaimer to the children that they could watch Glee as long as they understood that it is wrong to have sex out of wedlock and it's morally wrong to be gay.
Sidenote: I love you gay people, but I won't budge on the correctness of the gospel principles. You gotta live the commandments. I was born as a bitty and it is not o.k. for me to go through life lashing out at people justifying it's OK for me to hurt everyone around me because I was born that way. - Oh man, I can see the comments a flowing - can't wait for this ball to roll. Being gay is not wrong because it hurts people, it's wrong because God said so. Period.
If God ever declares the Bible incorrect and that Sodom and Gomorrah (however you spell that) was really Zion, I will be the first in line to embrace all my gay friends and family members. (Not that I don't embrace them now, I will really embrace them with happiness that they can be gay and righteous.)
And for now when Jesus comes again I will stand with him on the issue...Well, I will try to stand with him, I will probably have to give up the Glee if I ever want that to happen. Not quite ready for that yet.
Well, on with my post.
Last night, the girls were up late finishing homework. I snuck in the other room to watch Glee. I figured out that I have to wait a whole day before it gets posted online and I didn't want to wait. LG was handling homework duty just fine. Last night was the first night I went to watch Glee on TV. I have been watching Glee on Hulu. Cool site. You can watch any tv show on it with very few commercials. It's like an online Tivo for the poor. You gotta wait 24 hours though.
I never watch TV. Really. With facebook, a blog, and trying to figure out how to work twitter, whose got the time? Until last night, I had only indulged in my Glee habit after school with the girls. Around here, Glee is like a way liberal updated version of an after school special. We justify it's viewing because we use it as a teaching tool. Well, last night, Abigail came out to see what I could possibly be doing. She was surprised to find me in front of the TV.
She pined for Glee and whined for her chance to watch it NOW. I told her "later!" She slowly moped back to the kitchen table for homework. She turned to LeGrand and said, "Hey Dad, did you know that Glee comes on TV?"
We're living the Jetsons people. Welcome to the future.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I know I've blessed my children's lives eternally by gifting them my sense of humor. I know they are happy about it. I know because I hear their laughter on a consistent basis.
I am not so sure that their posterity will be so grateful, but if my theory that laughter is genetic is true, then I am sure they will be.
This evening, I pulled out one of Abigail's graded papers from her backpack.
As I read, my funny bone was struck like a beautiful chord.
I had to call LG at work to beam with pride.
Me: "LG, you gotta listen to this."
LG: After my third attempt "Alice, I can't understand a word you are saying, you gotta quit laughing."
Me: "Abigail brought this paper home. She turned it in this way. I can't stop laughing. At the top it is entitled Uranus. (oh c'mon, tell me some of you immature types are already laughing - LG was still silent) It then reads. 'The planet I was assigned was Uranus, now, don't laugh, Uranus actually has some interesting facts.'"
LG: "Alice, it's not funny, she is just saying it is an interesting planet." (Yeah, of course he would think that. She gets the scientific side from him)
I was out to prove that she gets a little DNA from me too. I hollered out to Abigail. "Why did you say not to laugh in this paper Abigail. Was it because it's a small planet?
Abigail: trying to be serious "No, mom, it's just because the name sounds funny."
Me: "Why does it sound funny Abigail. I know you are too smart for that. Do you know what an anus is?"
LG on the other line is denying that she would know any such thing. At which point Abigail busts out in laughter. "Yeah, mom, an anus is the hole in your bum."
That's my girl!
The conversation finished by me using every ounce of self control to stop laughing and discussing LG's further plans for the evening. He said, "If basketball is lame, maybe I will stop by Redbox on the way home."
Me: "Yeah, that would be fun. Instead of Redbox, we could just watch U - P (spelling out the name of the movie so the kids wouldn't catch on to a future Christmas gift.)
LG responds to my fits of laughter with, "What are you talking about Alice?" I reply while trying to breathe instead of laugh, "I said we could watch YOU PEE." LG was still clueless. I had to explain that I was spelling the movie title at which point he gave me a sad sounding chuckle.
C'mon people. Tell me you laughed.
Friday, November 13, 2009
The other day, the girls and I got some good laughs while telling & retelling this oldie but goodie.
The reason for this post is to admit I have been missing in action.
but sometimes I feel bad for disappointing those
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
And, no, this is NO exaggeration.
There are things that just have to be found: the best deal at the stores, shoes, pacifiers, whatever it is that is causing that stench under the back seat of my minivan. (and boy that's a squeeze for these hips that have birthed four children). Ticks. (We've got a lot of those in the South) Where is that darn coupon? I filed it right here! Oh, and the library books...oh those library books. They never go away, except when they are due and can't be renewed.
The list goes on. Which can of tomato soup is the oldest? Where in the world is that bill that needs to be paid. (He didn't follow the system of what basket it goes in...you ladies know what I am talking about.) "Oh, yes, kids, I know exactly where that missing game piece is."
There are the more complex things to look for. The homework that somehow didn't make it back in the backpack. The bra with just the right amount of padding for a ten year old. The stuff at the pharmacy that will magically cure my husband of his snore before he goes to Scout Camp.
The other night brought a fun challenge. "Mom, do you remember that paper that my teacher sent home on the first day of school? It has my log in and password for the website on it. I need it. My teacher says it will be a pain to look up my number. He can look it up if you can't find the paper, but it will be a pain." (Um, what about me here? Seriously? Are you kidding me? That was what? 5, 6 weeks ago?) "Yes honey, I would love to spend the next 1/2 hour searching. It's my favorite thing to do. You know I love to find things." Lucky for me I keep most papers that look remotely important. Unlucky for me, we had put this paper in the girls keepsake tote not my pile to be filed. There went another hour to tack onto my fake time clock. Man, if I could just punch in and out. I would ask for minimum wage. No one could afford to pay me a higher salary.
Then there are the most important Mom searches. The ones with meaning. Are those lying eyes? What does that smirk on his face mean? Is that a tear rolling down my daughter's cheek? Or is that not a tear when there should be one? Where is she hiding and why is she hiding? Why is this one crying and the other one hiding?
How about the searches we like to avoid? Am I doing a good enough job here? Have I got through to my children in the areas of the utmost importance? Do they know I love them? Do they know they are of infinite worth? Do they know that they can accomplish their goals? Do they have goals? Do they believe in what is right? Have I been a good example? Do my kids know I would do anything for them? That I will always be here for them? Will they tell me when they are in trouble?
I love it when the searches are for fun random items. Just this week, I have looked for light sabers at least 20 times. They needed them to read their library books before bed.
Trust me when I say we can do this all night.
Once in a lifetime, as a mother, you find the best find ever. The other night it came out of Sophia's journal. It would have been so much sweeter if I hadn't just got onto the girls about keeping track of their "own crap" (in my exact words). It may not have meant as much if my frustration hadn't mounted.
Needless to say, I think I will be spending that 83.2% of my time with a smile on my face and love in my heart. I'm a hero now. It makes my searching so much more enjoyable.
Now, I am off to find the baby. Where did I leave her?
Oh, and the cat. Can't lock up without her inside.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one
of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to
discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end
up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write
your own destiny. You make your own future.
No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard
work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new
sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve
got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to
do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few
times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good
enough to hand in.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of
weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit
when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult
you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask
them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you
feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on
yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Here is one of her recent stories. I found it jotted down on a folded up piece of paper. She loves to draw and write. I hope she grows up to be a famous author/illustrator. Or a non-famous one. Either way she'll be o.k. with it. Keep reading and you will see why.
On the top fold of this little homemade book it has the book's title: "The Small Prisus." That's "The Small Princess" for those of you that don't speak childrenese. O.k. I admit it, maybe her wisdom could be spread to the spelling department someday. (Oh I better not forget to spellcheck this post)
Here is the story:
"Once upon a time there was a prisus (at least she misspells consistently) in a
far away kingdom Pompae. (She got the place from The Magic Treehouse, I am sure) She had a small kingdom."
And the last line....the clencher.
"She was o.k. with that."
Don't you wish we could all be so wise?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
We were at a friend's house and sparklers were passed around to all of the kids. Many of us adults were sitting several yards away on the porch just chatting and enjoying our food.
My mother in law was holding our new baby Caroline, yet amazingly enough, still watching over our older kids with sparklers better than I was hands free. She said, "Alice, you better go and check on Bella. I think something is wrong."
I sauntered over only to discover Bella with one shoe off sitting on the ground holding her big toe apart from the one right next to it. As long as I live, the smell of her burning flesh will never leave me. A remnant of her sparkler had fallen into the hole of her croc. and melted away her flesh. A few days later, when I was worried infection might be spreading, I wasn't surprised when the doctor told me that she had third degree burns.
And for inquiring minds, we were prescribed some good burn ointment and figured out how to wedge gauze between the toes so that the air could get to the wound and she is now as good as new.
Back to the story. Finding Bella suffering from this burn was very disheartening to me. I was so upset that I hadn't noticed her jump around in pain. I was saddened the she didn't cry out for help. I was compassioned that she was sitting in a state of shock and doing a mighty fine job of "being tough". The girl didn't even cry until I told her it was o.k.
The next day, on our way to church, I was expressing my feelings to LG. "Why didn't she scream?", I lamented. I felt horrible that somehow I had taught my child to be too tough and that for some reason I had not given her permission to hurt or to scream out for help when she needed it the most.
A little further down the road to church, it struck me like a ton of bricks. I could not hold back my emotion. I sat silently as tears streamed down my face. I had experienced for my child what God must experience so often for all of his children. I am sure at times he also laments, "Why don't they scream?"
Because of the feelings I experienced while pondering upon Bella, I know that God, our Father, is there to help us. He doesn't want us to suffer alone. He is a perfect God, and unlike this sometimes oblivious mother, he notices every time we get burned. We may not approach him because we think it is hopeless or that we aren't worthy of his love. (Just as Bella never screamed out because maybe she thought she would be in trouble) But, as his children, we are always worthy of his love. He cannot stop loving us no matter how badly we have acted. Sometimes we may even think we did something wrong when really we haven't. Sometimes maybe somebody else handed us a sparkler and we took it without realizing what damage it could do.
We may not seek his help because we think we are tough and that we can handle it, which may very well be true. But, why do we insist on doing it alone when he is watching over us so diligently? He is the ultimate water source. He is like the soothing jacuzzi pictured above. And when we fail to seek him, it's as if we choose the pathetic path of spitting upon our own wounds, when he can pour out the most refreshing waterfall. Need I remind you that his waterfall is naturally flowing all of the time and is there whether we tap into it or not.
Bella was being tough; she didn't think that she needed my help. Without totally realizing the severity of the burns at the time, I grabbed Bella by the hand and walked over to a water source. I kick myself now when I think that I made her limp over and I didn't pick her up and carry her to safety.
God is perfect. He can pick us up. He will let us limp only if it is absolutley necessary for us to learn something. Otherwise he will always carry us to safety. I know this to be true.
I hope that I will never error again by being too tough for God. Because after this experience, I have learned that when I am too tough, he has to sit back and watch me suffer, and that is the last thing he wants to do. I know it. I know it because I would take a million burns over my own body, until my death if necesssary, than to ever smell the burning flesh of my own child ever again. Or if she absolutely has to experience that burn, I at LEAST want to hold her up while she does.
Jeremiah 31:3 "...I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore
with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."
Monday, August 17, 2009
Here was the conversation at our house this morning.
Me: "Abigail, you're in 5th grade now, things are gonna be different. If those boys tease you about your bra, then you just need to laugh at it. If you get all upset, they will just keep teasing you."
Abigail: "I know mom, I already learned that with my sisters."
Me: "Good. I don't want you to be upset at school. Remember the way to know if a boy likes you is if he teases you or ignores you all together."
Bella: "Wow, Abigail, you must love me because you tease me and ignore me."
Man, I think I am going to like the kids going back to school. I feel awake at 8 am and am already getting my stuff done, including a blog post and making me shopping plan for the week.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I thought that you were perfect.
I thought you were too good.
I thought you felt so cozy.
I thought I'd be your wife.
I thought I knew it all.
I thought I loved you different.
I thought we'd love forever.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Renee gave birth to their fourth child just two days after this horrific accident. Rusty wasn't able to be there. Renee has been so resilient in holding it all together with a newborn and three other kids who had their first day of school today. She has been running around like crazy taking care of everybody. I wish I could be there to give her some rest or figure out how to clone her. She said she is doing great. She just needs to be cut in half so that she can stay with Rusty and take care of her kids at the same time.
Needless to say, I can't get them out of my mind and my worries and my prayers.
Rusty had his first surgery today. Here is the X-ray of his hardware.
Man, I am never gonna mess with Rusty again. He will have two killer weapons in he arsenal. That metal is gonna be like Wolverine. Don't get him mad or it may come shooting out.
Renee and Rusty have been amazing. I am so proud of their resilience and even more proud of their good attitudes.
I asked Rusty how he was doing last week and he told me, "I'm great. If I could just get out of this bed." You know the man is amazing if he is still able to play jokes on you while being confined to a nursing home facility.
He crank called me three times asking if he could take a survey. I about tore his head off for wasting my cell phone minutes. He then called my house phone and I naively hung up on him again. It wasn't until he called from Renee's phone that I even figured out what he was up to. What a jokester. He needs to do phone impersonations for a living. Crazy guy. He does the best Domino's Pizza voice.
The lyrics to a song come to mind, "I get knocked down, and I get up again, ain't nothin' gonna keep me down."
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I was so excited to be lumped in the same coolness status by my attentive husband, even if the moment only lasted as long as it took to snap a photo. How cool is it that even if I can't be a size two like the two of them, my feet can look just as good. My feet may have even outdone them in this one instance if I had any kind of pedicure this summer, but hey, a girl can't have everything.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Oh yeah, except for Uncle Dirk.
I love Uncle Dirk.
His family has made me feel right at home from the very beginning.
My love for the Dirk's nutty Golds was solidified forever
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Here was my mommy conversation with my 7 year old the other day.
Sophia: "Mom, Caroline is so so smart."
Me: "I know, all my girls are smart. Why do you think she is smart?"
Sophia: "Oh it's so easy. She already learned how to cross her eyes. It took me forever to learn how to do that."
All of my older girls have been in heaven for the past week while Uncle Jordan's family has been visiting. There is a younger kid around for each of them to have one to themselves at all times.
Friday, July 03, 2009
What's not to love?
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
I cried when I watched this with my kids on Saturday.
LG made fun of me during Sunday School yesterday
while he explained that just because one has emotion
it doesn't mean that they are feeling The Spirit.
I would like to make an argument that it could have been
and not just my well of tears that we call mother's emotion.
I was feeling love for Michael Jackson.
I was feeling joy in knowing that back in the day,
all those artists gave to the greater good.
I was feeling peace, thinking back on simpler times we called the 80's.
I was feeling longsuffering because let's face it, that diamond studded glove can really make one suffer in pain wondering what's the point.
I was feeling gentleness as I explained for the 20th time how amazing was the phenomenon of We Are The World.
How can one not feel faith at the lyrics:
"As God has shown us, by turning loaf to bread."
Especially when the voice singing is Willie Nelson?
And now I am tired and don't want to think too hard of meekness or temperance.
But, I am sure that I could come up with something.
If I knew that I was going to have to defend my tears
in Sunday School next week.
Consider this a warning for ratting me out LG.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Abigail says, "Ooo ooo, I got it. Ah man, the word is on the tip of my tongue."
Abigail: "Electronic - ee"
Sophia says "Happy"
He's the leader, but that's not an adjective.
Apparently, pictures don't do it either.