(awkward and awesome)

(awkward and awesome)
First Wive's Club...one of Ma's favorites

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas! 10 Things I Love About Christmas and 1 Little Known Fact about Jen

Little known fact: White baby Jesus doesn't make sense to me. He was born in the Middle East, not Europe. Just sayin'.

1)Colored Christmas lights that blink and twinkle! I know they used to make them. It it my mission to find them once more.

2) Since Florida is the Sunshine State, it's cold but not I-think-my-pancreas-froze cold. Nice.

3) People around here know how to cook, and Christmas is when they show off...oooooohhh yeah!

4) The kids bring home the cutest things made from hand and footprints. Ms. Banfell, Mrs. Gill and Ms. Hayen/Mrs. Stokes brings their A game.

5) The girls remember that Santa is watching...for at least 2 minutes. Then they beat each other up.

6) As a gift giver, I really do love being able to give rather than to receive. The joy of a gift well received is truly heart warming.

7) My family sends sick and twisted Christmas cards. I love my family.

8) The annual Christmas ornament exchange party...there are no words for that brand of awesome sauce. Inside joke alert: It's time to strut!

9)My Barbie ornaments! Wahoo! I'm a Barbie girl even though I'm not sure if I really believe Skipper and Kelly are her "sisters"...she and Ken have been together a long time...just sayin'.

10) This is when we sing my favorite of all worship songs: Christmas Carols. O Holy Night gets me every time. "Fall on your knees, oh hear the angels voices. Oh night divine! oh night when Christ was born." Chills baby.

May this next year of 2012 be the year and of thinking before we speak or act and shower each other with unabashed kindness and mercy.

Merry Christmas and a most joyous and blessed New Year to all of you!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Don't Start None, Won't Be None

I understand that different people have different views on parenting. I learned very early on the Mommy Wars can be rather brutal and bloody. I have even learned that you can benefit from experiencing parenting styles that are not your own. My pastor always says "Check the fruit." In other words, check the results. Well-behaved, happy kids are good fruit no matter how you grow them. I try not to judge, and then, someone has to go and judge me. That's when I tend to get...uppity.

I read this link (http://demandeuphoria.blogspot.com/2011/12/you-call-that-gift.html) off of my friend Kim's FB. She was appalled and had to share her disbelief. Now, Kim is a great mom with a great personality and a fabu sense of humor. She is also taller than me which makes her instantly awesome. Her kids, though not always angels, are delightful. She and her hubster are doing something right. She was upset by this blogger. After reading several of her blogs, I was also upset and honestly felt attacked. It's understandable due to the blogger's belittling chides and accusatory tone. Here was the kicker for me: I don't really see her as parenting. She doesn't parent so much as co-exists with her children. According to her blog, I shouldn't call a gift a gift if it isn't. She shouldn't call herself a parent because she's not parenting. She should call herself something else because:

-You are not a parent if you don't hold your children to any sort of standard and expect them to live up to it to the best of their abilities.
-You are not a parent if you don't give consequences for poor behavior to include the taking away of personal items that are being abused and misused.
-You are not a parent if you don't discipline your children appropriately and especially if you do not discipline them at all because it makes you feel bad or guilty because the child is so sad.
-You are not a parent if you put you child's decisions before what is best for them, i.e. wearing proper clothing, shoes, etc.
-You are not a parent if you put your child on equal footing with yourself because they will never learn to respect you or authority at all.
-You are not a parent if you honestly think your 3 year old is going to make the right decision for himself because he is simply too young to do so.
-You are not a parent if you let short term happiness on your child's part keep him from long term goals of being a healthy adult able to have healthy relationships.

I know what to call parents who aren't really parents. They are minions of tiny overlords. The minions must feed, bathe, play with, bow to and clean up after them at the overlord's good pleasure. We mustn't upset the overlord...heavens no! His little spirit could be crushed! Meanwhile, he's the most miserable little child that no other mother wants playing with their kid because he's a little tyrant. That fruit is so rotten flies won't touch it.

The saddest part about kids like that is it really is their parents' fault. If they are given guidelines and boundaries, they will rise to the meet the goal. I've worked with kids for years. The hardest kids to deal with are the ones with minions who give their power to their overlords. The happiest and sweetest kids are the ones with parents.

Read the blog for yourself. Come to your own conclusion. This is mine. I feel sorry for that woman's kids, but I'm glad I don't have to deal with them. I choose to be a parent, not a minion. I choose to show my children just how beautiful, special, talented and loved they are by giving them guidelines and tools they will need to live life in the real world. If that means Barbie gets taken away because you popped your sister in the eye with her, that's what it means...even if she was your birthday gift.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Be Vigilant My Friends Who Wish for Successful Marriage...

Some thing happened last night. We've discussed it, and now, I wish to share it with you. Why? Because it is the Little Foxes of life that can make or break any relationship. Marriage seems to be the main target because once you get nice and comfy, you forget to look and listen for these little raiders.

And that's just it. They are little. Catch this.

In our pre-martial counseling class, Bear and I were told that little foxes are the things that steal our joy and love for one another and the be careful because they will shank you in the shower. That sounds bad. So we are careful when it comes to things like money, big life decisions and we don't sleep with other people....that last one saves A LOT of pain and heartache. Guess what? Those aren't little foxes...those are grizzly bears. You can see that coming because they're 7 feet tall with 3 inch claws and they growl. You can tell just how dangerous it is. You know that grizzly is gonna kill you if you don't respect it and handle it accordingly. Duh.

Little foxes look more like Little Debbie snack cakes. True story. Last night, I pull them out of the freezer to thaw because I like them NOT frozen and the kids need them for snack on Friday. About 2 hours later, Bear sees the box out and puts it back into the freezer because he likes them NOT thawed. About an hour later, I say, "Where are the Little Debbies?" Thinking the kids stole them, and now I have to kill the children. Bear says, "In the freezer. The kids took them out." (Notice how "the kids" are doing a lot of things without actually doing them...they are ninjas.) Little Fox time. I'm mad because if I want a Little Debbie with my currently hot coffee, I will have to wait for it to thaw thus making my coffee cold or I have to eat it frozen which I do not like. He's mad because I'm mad and why can't he like frozen Little Debbies? Can you say animated discussion and hurt feelings over something really dumb? Marriage is full of these moments...believe it. If you've ever wanted to cold-cock your spouse because my-word-you've-lived-in-this-house-for-3-years-and-you-still-don't-put-bowls-in-the-right-cabinet?! or if you've considered thrashing them because if-they-leave-their-shoes-were-i-trip-over-them-one-more-time...you know what I'm talking about.

Now, all of this could've been avoided if Bear had simply asked who took out the Little Debbies or if I had told him what I had done when I did it. We didn't, and that little fox came a-creepin'. Instead, we both felt like our wants weren't important to the other person. These types of feelings are the little foxes the destroy marriages and friendships. These are little moments that snatch and pull away all the good fruit and leave nothing behind. These are the things you need to be looking behind you in the shower for.

We not only look in the distance for signs of Grizzly Bears, but we also look along our fence line for signs of foxes. Sometimes it's easy and sometimes, it's not. We worked it out, though. Bear will try harder not to assume things, and I will try harder at letting him know why I've done what I've done. Like all things precious, your marriage will need defending and protecting. Watch out for the little foxes. They'll come a-creepin'.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Quit Your Bellyachin' Already

One of the interesting things about growing up is getting to know yourself...if you're paying attention at least. I've noticed I'm not one for continued complaint. After awhile, I just really don't care about your problem if you're not going to do anything about it yourself. Maybe that's not very nice. Yeah, still don't care.

I've also noticed I'm not one for unnecessary complaints. Those mostly come from my 9 year old. It could be about anything that slightly makes her feel like she doesn't want to do, eat or see that or it changes her mode of being in anyway or maybe the sky just isn't blue enough. I don't know. I do know that it's about to make me lose my mind. I am open for suggestions on how to deal with this issue because I've used up all my reserves. It's like, really? It's spaghetti....but the noodles aren't long enough....really?

I know she's just a kid, but when is enough enough? I'm always telling her that there are kids in the world who only get like one piece of fruit to eat a day if they are lucky and she's all "they still wouldn't like this." I'm about to snatch you bald. Thoughts and suggestions appreciated.