Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Stay-Home Mom?

So, I've been thinking today about the phrase stay-home mom. I'm not sure what that means exaclty. It's something that in parts of todays society is looked down on and in other parts is very respected. I've frequently heard "just a mom" be the descriptor of a mom who is not going to a job outside of her home on a daily basis. For those of you who are moms you know that "just a" doesn't even begin to cover what you do.

What has really struck me lately though is this. I'm around a lot of "stay-home moms" in my life. At church, in MOMS club, and even in some of the business arenas in my life. What I'm finding to be the truth is that none of them actually stay home. A rather large majority of them do in fact work in some fashion. Many have home-based businesses (like me), and many work part-time (like me), and many spend lots of their time working for service organizations or organizing activities for their church or civic group. I honestly don't know a single stay-home mom who stays home.

So how does the mom of today define herself? I was recently asked in some paperwork if I considered myself to be part of the workforce. I said no. When people ask me if I work, I usually answer "I've got three kids at home. or I'm home with the kids." The truth is, however, that I collect a paycheck every month. It's not much, but it pays for most of the kids clothes and most of my clothes, and those little things like mulch, and flowers, and the Women of Faith conference I'm going to in March. It helps when a car breaks and when Easy and I want to do more than just eat dinner on date night. But, I'm not a working mom by most standards. I'm also not a stay-home mom.

I think instead I'm a mom actively seeking to improve my children's life. If that means putting in some hours so they can have a birthday party or some new shoes when they need it, so be it. If that means saying "no, I can't help with that" because I know it would take too much time from my kids, so be it. If that means putting together activities at church so that I can be around other parents and have my kids around other Godly families, so be it. Whatever it takes to improve my kids' life and teach them the values and character of Christ - so be it.

So, to all of you out there finding your own way to be a mom I say keep up the good work. I'll pray for you today that you are listening for and hearing His voice as He directs your path. I've learned that the path isn't always what we are most comfotable with, but His path always end in a better place than I would've gotten to on my own. So I guess what I've concluded is this - I'm not just a mom, or a working mom, or a stay-home mom, or a domestic engineer..................I'm a Seeking Mom. I hope you are too.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I know it's not Friday yet, but I plan to leave by 10:00 in the morning for a weekend trip to Baytown to hang with my folks and brother & sister-in-law. So here you go..........

Five things it's challenging to do with your dominant hand in a wrist brace:

1. Put on or take off your bra. I suppose Easy is always willing to help with the latter, but getting that blasted thing on in the mornings is tough.

2. Open baby food jars, medicine bottles, or anything else the needs a push and turn approach.

3. Feed the baby. Who know you needed your wrist to turn so much to shovel sweet potatoes in a mouth?

4. Cut things with a knife - like cheese, meat, anything that requires actual pressur to slice.

5. Wipe. I'll leave that to your imagination.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Weird Food Confession

I have to eat candies in 2's. Most particularly I have to eat M&M's, Reese's Pieces, Smarties, etc... (anything small and round) in 2's. If I get to the end of a package and there is only one left I will give it away or throw it away. I will not eat it.

Also, I made cookies the other day and I melted some chocolate chips to make little snadwiches out of them. I wound up with way more chocolate to spread than I actually needed. Once the cookies were done I looked at the leftover chocolate and couldn't throw it out. I considered my options and........I ate it.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Thinking Back

I recently attended the funeral for my sister-in-law's mom. Kara and I grew up at church together and she started dating my bubba when we were in high school, so I have many memories of her family. I also recently found out that one of my best friends from youth group years has cancer. Things like that make you stop and think and remember. So today's Friday Five is a look at five of my favorite things from youth group years...............

5. Summer. It was during the summer that youth group really played the big role. We always did things with our sister congregation so it was like during the summer you got this extended set of good friends. With no school you got to do stuff together pretty much any time you wanted. When people talked about year-round-school I can remember thinking, but what about summer friends?

4. Bowling Lock-ins. Once a year towards the end of the summer we had an area-wide bowling lock-in. Sounds silly I'm sure, but man was it fun. Nothing better than staying up all night with your buddies.

3. Skating. Once a month we had an area wide roller skating devo. It was always on Sunday evening and was a chance year-round to see those friends that you got so close to during the summer. It gave you a way to stay connected.

2. CAMP!!!!!!!!!!! We always went to GCCYC for a week with s few other area congregations. There are no words to describe summer camp. If you never went, I am truly sorry for you. The spiritual re-charge was amazing. The friendships forged there last a lifetime.

1. My Buddy Matt. Those of you who know me well know just how much I love my big brother. Over the last few weeks as I've thought back over so many memories Matt is a part of nearly every one. The day he was baptized stands out as on of my favorite memories. It was not long after we had come home from the above mentioned camp. I had my leg in a cast because I broke my ankle as we were leaving camp. He carried me to the car. Actually he and my friend Brad fought over who would carry me to the car. Matt won. We didn't always get along perfectly, but I always knew that Matt loved me and was there if I needed him. We won best camper of the year together one year. I went to camp Blue Haven one year and he didn't go. I cried on the way to New Mexico because it was the first time I was away from him like that. I love my Matt. I guess he hasn't really been "my" Matt for many years. He's Kara's Matt now and has been for a long time. But you know what, he is always going t be my big brother. Today as I think about all we've shared and all we have in the future (they're providing me with a nephew soon!) I just get excited. I don't see Matt as much as I'd like and we hardly ever talk on the phone. We email on occasion and we stay updated through our mom. It's nothing like the relationship we used to have, but I still cherish every memory we make together.

OK, so that turned into the I love my brother blog. Didn't know that was coming, but I guess sad news makes you cherish those you love even more.

Father, please continue to comfort Kara and her family as they learn to live life without Ruth. Let them all lean on you for strength and peace. Please also be with Brad. Help Jenny's delivery to go smoothly and Brad's current recovery from surgery to go well. Decrease his pain Lord. Lift his spirits and remind him that you have a plan. Lord, please, just fixt it. Take away the cancer and fix it. Please.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Rejoice With Us!!!!!!!!

I'm so excited I can hardly sit still. I have amazing news. No, I'm not pregnant. No, Easy didn't get a new job. No, Vivian is not crawling. But.....................

Tripper poo-poo'd in the potty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woo Hoo!!!!!!! There was dancing and singing and double the usual candy reward. I think he was proud. He of course had to get down and turn around and inspect his production. Once he was satisfied that indeed, that poo-poo came out of him and into that potty he was happy to flush and tell it "Bye bye poo poo!"

OK, now that the celebrating has subsided I have to admit that I really haven't a clue if he did it on purpose or not. He was getting very still and serious at the table while we were having a bit of family crafting time. (Yes, Easy was crafting too.) We asked if he needed to go and after thinking about it he said "Poppy." Off we went. There was a very lengthy TT period and then it stopped but he didn't sit up. (He leans forward on the potty so as not to shower himself or his assitant.) I was just about to ask if he was all done and I heard the most wonderful sound I've heard in quite a while. Who knew ploppity-plop could sounds so great?!?!?! In an effort not to terrify him with sqeauls and shouts of delight I simply said very calmly and queitly "Tripper, you poo-poo'd in the potty! Good job Buddy!" Once we were all done the above mentioned celebration began.

So, I'm going to go with yes, he knew what he was doing. I feel better about that than we just happened to catch it at the right time. Either way, I finally beleive we are truly on the way to a potty trained Tripp! Feel free to rejoice and do a happy dance - once he's trained I'll probably stop blogging about poop!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

New Book Tag

I've been tagged by Mrs. Jenny!

Here are the directions:
1)Grab the book closest to you
2)Open to page 123, go down to the fourth sentence
3)Post the text of the following 3 sentences on your blog
4)Name the author and book title
5)Tag three people to do the same

To hear the voice of the Lord God must be very difficult; otherwise, it's hard to account for the hundreds of verses in Scripture which exhort us to hear. Most notable of these is the Shema (Hebrew for "hear"), which lies at the heart of Jewish worship: "Hear O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone"(Deuteronomy 6:4). A capacity to hear God is a longed for spiritual gift in the Jewish (and Christian) traditions.

Pilgrim Heart
Darryl Tippens

I know I long for that gift myself. I've decided it does indeed take quiet time alone with Him to be able to hear Him. So, I've started by making quiet time for Him alone each morning. Those who know me well know this is a challenge for me, but when God call me to something - it's my job to say "Yes Sir!"

I tag: Stephanie, Sheri, & Angela R.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Another Five for Five

Five things I love about the five people in my house:

1. The way she fiercly loves her family. Those of you who have received one of her running hugs understand why I chose the word fierce!
2. The way she cares for animals. They rank a seriously close second to the people in her family.
3. When I'm not in the room with her and she screams at the top of her lungs "Mommy!" I usually cringe, epecting something bad or at the least complaintive to come from her mouth. Instead, on occasion what I her, still at the top of her lungs, is "I love you!" That's the best.
4. Her helping spirit. She always wants to help me no matter what I'm doing. From laundry to dishes to cleaning the bathroom she's ready to lend a hand.
5. How she never forgets anything. I don't mean, "I forgot Badges go get him" because that happens a lot. I mean that she doesn't forget experiences. She asks all the time if we remember when...........most of the time we do and we all share the memory together. Last night she stumped us though - she was recalling the last time we were at Mimi's house and we didn't have a clue about the story she told us. Granted, the last time we were actually at Mimi's house Tripp was a nursing baby. But she remembers!

1. The way he loves Elmo. He showers Elmo with sugars and hugs. He has such affection in his voice when he sees Elmo and says "Dis Ehmo." And his insistance that you too love Elmo.
2. "Hi Mommy."
3. That grin. Oh my, that grin. It slays me every time.
4. The way he calls his sister Digaduh with an evil smile even though he is totally capable of saying Puh-is.
5. The way he gets very upset and calls for "Vifi" if you put him in his carseat before you put the baby in hers.

1. That she only cries when something is really bugging her, like being tired, in pain, hungry, or poopy.
2. The way she is starting to help dress herself by pushing her arms through her sleeves and switching her little blue Elephant named Peanut from one hand to the other while getting dressed.
3. The way she shakes her head no when you try to feed her another bite of food and she hasn't finished the one in her mouth.
4. The way she smiles and laughs for her big sister.
5. The way she flaps her arms at her daddy when he gets home every day.

1. Those eyes - they can still melt me in a second.
2. His sense of humor. After 10 years I now catch about 90% of his jokes. Maybe in another 10 I'll catch all of them.
3. They way he is absolutely compelled to open the box and play with his newest device, tool, whatever. He thinks this bugs me, and I suppose it does when there are more pressing things to be done - like changing diapers and feeding the kids - but it's really kind of cute to see him NEED to play with his new toy like a little kid.
4. His vivsion - he is always stretching my brain to see a bigger picture of life - what it is and what it can be.
5. His patience with me. I'm not always the easiest person to live with. I get behind on cleaning and laundry. I'm not always chipper. And sometimes I get in a funk that is just sort of unpleasant for everyone to be araound. But he has this amazing sense that the "real" me is still there and waits patiently until she is ready to come out again.

(Yes, I know he's not a person, but he counts in my book!)
1. The way he is ALWAYS happy when I come home.
2. The feel of his little body curled up behind my knees on the rare occasion we get to take a nap.
3. The way he MUST lick the children in the face after they have gotten up from a nap.
4. The way he knows when the kids are in bed for the night and when I sit down, instead of sleeping at the other end of the couch he comes and sits next to me - at least for a little while.
5. His hugs - yes, my dog gives hugs. Just ask anyone in my family.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Belated Five

Well, it's not Friday but I thought I'd put up my five late just because I want to. For those of you who don't appreciate scattelogical (sp?) humor you may want to look away. For those of you yet to have kids - just know that these things are true and that when you do have kids they will actually matter.

Five Kinds of Poop created in our House

1. Baby Poop - this is what the nursing baby makes before solids/baby food is introduced. It has an odor but is not offensive. It is not a mass. Wipes off easily.

2. The Wedge - shaped remarkably like a wedge of iceberg lettuce, and aptly named by my friend Lara, this begins to appear after rice cereal and other baby solids hit the diet and sticks around until the child is potty trained. Stink, but fairly easy to clean.

3. The Turd - also known at times as a turdlet or grown-up poop. This is self explanatory and begins appearing around the same time as the wedge. It's always suprising, and some how cute the first time you see it - after that it's just poop. Stinks, but clean up is a cinch.

4. Yucky Poo Poo - this is what results from a stomach bug, teething, or sometimes antibiotics. Aptly named by Paris, it is yucky whether it is in a diaper or the potty. This can begin at any age, and I personally still experience it so apparently there is no end. Odor and clean-up is, well, yucky.

And least favorite.........

5. Saucer Poop - this is what results when baby poops while playing in the exersaucer. The continual bouncing around causes the poop (regardless of what form it took to start) to leave the top of the diaper and crawl up the back - sometimes all the way to the neck. This same thing happens to newborns in a carseat. And, as we discovered last night at Denny's, this unfortunate phenomenon happens when the baby is sitting in the Bumbo as well. What a pleasant dinning experience it was. Odor may vary in severity, but clean-up is always, always difficult!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

It's 2007. I'm up early today. I got up this morning before everyone in the house to have some quiet time with my God. I wanted to start the year right. Mom gave me a Quiet Time Bible Guide for Christmas that will guide me through the New Testament and Psalms this year. Today I started with Luke 1. I was surprised how many little n uggets I found in that one chapter. When I completed the devotional time I spent some time in prayer. The sound of my new little coffee pot (again a gift from Mom) brewing a fresh cup for me made me smile as I transitioned from prayer to preparing for my day. So, I thought I'd take just a minute this morning to hop on my blog and say to you all - happy new year. I hope that 2007 brings joy a blessing to each of you. More than anything, my hope for you is that in this year you will intentionally walk closer to God. That you will take a step every day to walk as Jesus did. Resolutions fly around each year like Grackles (those awful black birds - not sure on the spelling) on campus at A&M. I decided that instead of a big flock of birds I would just created a few commitments - prompted by our Bible class teacher - that are a bird of a different bread. In 2007 I will daily, intentionally walk closer with God. I will take care of my body. I will be a good wife and mother.

Father, thank you for giving me a mom who can help lead me to your path for my life. I am so blessed to have her as an example. I ask for your help this year as my children continue to grow up. Help me to be the mom they need most and not the tired stressed out version they have seen so much lately. Help me each day to rise before they do so I can spend some time with you. Help me to be a good wife to Easy and to communicate with him in a prdouctive way that builds him up each day, even when I'm asking for his help. Help me to truly remember that my body is your temple. I'd like to do some remodeling for you this year. Please help me to make good choices so that I can glorify you in all I do this year. Without you I am nothing and can accomplish nothing. Be with me Lord, as you have promised, and guide my actions. Take over my thoughts. All praise is yours Father, my beautiful creator. Thank you for life. Help me this year to give that life back to you as I have never done before so that the people you have placed around me can see you and know that all good things come from you. In Christ's name I pray, Amen.