Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Little Boy's Realization


Said a saddened little boy: "Mommy, I can't fly because only birds can. So I can't fly. And moons. Birds and moons can fly but not me. I can't."

...and a saddened little momma's heart broke in a million pieces that day, driving down the street, watching her little boy stare out the window at the sky, watching reality slowly tear away the magic that is childhood...

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Rocks in my shoe.


"Mommy! I got rocks in my shoe!! Oh maaaaaan. UGHHH!"


In the world of a three year old explorer, rocks in your shoes can be the worst part of the day.
Don't you wish that were true for us all?

Because,
Sometimes people get cancer.
Sometimes, when it rains, it pours, and you forget your umbrella.
Sometimes, your fur-niece passes away and you're too far away to give your sister a proper hug.
Sometimes, your big brother has to go away.
and sometimes, you can't get out of bed.

But.
 Sometimes cancer makes your faith stronger, your marriage closer, and your priorities aligned.
Sometimes you dance in the rain with little ones in big rain boots and not much else.
Sometimes you can get across a big hug in a series of stupid text messages and funny pictures.
Sometimes you have to let go and have faith that things will return again,
and sometimes, you get breakfast in bed.

I haven't lived a long time, really, but I've lived through a lot. And I've come to find that problems and trials become smaller in hindsight, as if you're watching them dissappear in your rear view mirror, sometimes even with a small smile, as those mountains become nothing but pebbles in your shoe.

So, today, if you are facing a trial, a hard decision, a battle,
a rocky road ahead,

remember that one day,
someday,
they'll become pebbles in your shoes

and then one day,
someday,
they'll become as small as sand

and one glorious day,
you'll look back and see those footprints in the sand,
and know you were never alone.
and you were always going to be okay.

and you'll smile because it happened.
and you won.


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A New Focus

I hadn't made a New Year's Resolution this year, but I kept telling myself that if I came up with one before Chinese New Year, it could still count. I hate resolutions, because they usually lead to failure on my part by the nd of summer, but, man-oh-man am I good up until then!

It wasn't until we got to church last Sunday that it really sank in what my resolution should be. And I had known it all along, and told myself (and others, actually) that I was eventually going to make this change, but just hadn't until now.

I'm a yes-sayer. That being said, I don't "yes" my way into things I really have no intrest in, but when it comes to school or friends or the kids or an empty "HELP" line on a sign up sheet, I usually am there donning my SuperMom cape and jumping to the rescue. I've slowly managed to weazel my way out of many things, but there are more to be left behind, those of which will be weaned off starting NOW.

I remember what it was like for me when Emma was so small and the time we sepnt together was uninterrupted and special and magical. I never wanted it to go. I honestly did live "for the moment". I never used the phrase "Not right now - I'm busy" or decided I couldn't stop dishes or a phone call to read a book or play Dora outside for the gazillionth time. It happened again when Evan came along. The age separation was beyond perfect. Emma was off to her first year in school which left me with precious alone time with this new little guy, and I loved it so much that I thought I would never let him grow up.
But he has, and here we are, are the brink of another child - our baby- off to school next year. And I realized that among this age of technology, he's had to deal with the "Not right now, just give me a second!"'s and "I've got to take Emma to gym! I'll be right back!"s, and the dreaded iphones.
There was a day that John & I looked up and realized that ALL FOUR of us were sitting around the living room on iphones.
Yep.
All four.

It was like a punch in the gut. By a big strong muscle man on roid rage.

And it was then that I realized that our whole life, I haven't let the kids watch more than an hour of TV a day (if that!), I don't let Emma on the computer for longer than half an hour, and outdoor play is a given on days of sun and warmth, but these phones had given way to a lifestyle I hated.

So, it's time to finally disconnect from the web and focus on what's important.

My family.
My four little hands that fit just right inside mine as we walk down the sidewalk barefoot.
My hubby's shoulder where God created my head to fit just.right. inside of it.
My laughing little boy through those tiny baby teeth, yet to fall
My beautiful little girl, soon to be a young lady if I blink once more
My life. Passing by. Not waiting for me to hang up, log off, look up.

So we dropped Facebook and G Plus. I had removed almost all my apps about a year ago, when I became OBSESSED with pocket frogs, but there are a few more I could stand to lose. I don't need the temptation of browsing the web when I'm bored instead of playing, listening, watching, praying. I really wasn't on facebook all that much, but when I was, it was full of complaining and anti-this and that and updates on things that really didn't intrest me at all. After all, I keep in touch with everyone I want to keep in touch without facebook, so it wasn't a big deal.

So now, on my new quest to re-find our family in the quiet times, I've politely declined lunch dates, shopping trips, errand running, and some extracurricular activities for the kids. I'm ready to plug back into our family. So if I don't text you right back, it's probably because I left my phone in the car or turned it off for a few hours until nap. If I don't email you back, it might be because I didn't check it on weekends or that evening. We're going primitive! (gasp!)

Wish me luck with my withdrawls! ;)


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Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Oklahoma WONDERtorium

Have you been to the new Oklahoma WONDERtorium yet?
It's a little place in Stillwater, OK that is the beginning to something big in the future.
We hadn't gone before last week. Actually, I was in no rush. In all honesty, the Children's Museums we are used to in Cali are absolutely HUGE and take days to see all that is inside, and I just wasn't overly excited to go to this one, tucked inside a small building that was housed inside a telemarketing business for decades. I mean, after all, how much could there really be inside, and perhaps I had better save it for a rainy day when we were looking outside, wishing there were some place to go since we had an hour before lunchtime.
But, we have a membership that we probably should use before it expires, so we headed down for storytime (and a little playtime beforehand).
Evan immediately found all things that included balls. He played with marble runs and golf balls that raced down tracks of all shapes and sizes. He wasn't overly impressed with the golf ball wall tracks, similar to plinko, but the rest of the rolling fun was greatly appreciated.
 The cutest thing is the Japanese exhibit. Stillwater's sister city is Kameoka, Japan, so they incorporated that into the museum.
 Evan set out every dish and cup he could find, and fed me such a giant feast that my hands were cramped from so much chopstick usage!
 In the entryway, they even have house slippers and yukata to wear (nothing that germaphobe children like to wear, but cute, nonetheless!) Just like a real Japanese home.
 Here goes Evan, crawling under Mt. Fuji to discover the animals that live there.
 The water table was fun, and they had smocks available, I just didn't see them until later on.

 In storytime, we read a book by Ezra Jack Keats, who illustrated his books with paper cutting and tearing (Like Eric Carle, minus the paint), so in the art area, there were paper pieces to make our own illustration.
 Evan made a beautiful letter "E". Green, of course.
 Aaaaaand, we practiced a little paper cutting as well. For good measure and all.
(and to replesnish the stock of cut and torn pieces)
 Our final exhibit was the magnetic shape blocks. Evan made a garage that rendered him so proud, he was pretty mad we wouldn't get to take it home.
 But, isn't it take-home worthy?
SO cute.
With a working garage door, no less!

We left after that for Chik-fil-a with friends, and it made a perfect morning.
The best part was that there were only a handful of kids there, and almost all of them were being supervised well by moms or grandmas. It could be realllllly crowded, realllllly fast, but overall it was really cute! I'm glad we went, and I have heard that they will switch out the exhibits pretty often so that it doesn't get old fast. AND they'll be building a bigger home in time, which will be wonderful!
Have you been to Leonardo's in Enid? I'd say it's almost identical, minus the animal exhibit and outdoor area, but cleaner, brighter, and definately closer to home for us :)
I can say we'll be back, Evan really had fun!
Come join us!

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A gift of Spring

Well, hello there! I have my computer back! It's working again, though I have some suspicion that it's a bit slower, but, working nonetheless! Hooray!

Did you all enjoy the weather last week? You almost couldn't tell that it was the middle of winter! There was one afternoon in particular that was so warm, it felt like Spring and it had Emma dressed like this:
 She and her friend, Isabel, both got their Littlest Pet Shop Jets for Christmas. The pets had come out to play in the sun, along with this handsome young man...
 He's getting SO big, don't ya think? I remember when he was just a tiny thing, blowing spit bubbles in his sleep, to the tiny toddler that blew slobber instead of air, tainting birthday cakes and candles with a rain of Evan DNA. Even so, it was A. Dora. Bole.
And now, here he is, a big three year old.
Blowing bubbles like he's been doing it forever and a day.
 And after the bubbles were all blown and popped, he washed dishes.
That's right ladies, this little guy washes dishes.
(In VOSS water, no less!)
And he's ALL mine, so hands off!
;)
 Isn't this the cutest little sink? It even runs water from the faucet. Love.

And then, here we are, a week later, bundled up in hats and mittens and walking in SNOW!
Welcome to Oklahoma :)

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Monday, January 2, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

2012 is off to a good start. No broken bones, no major disasters, just a normal, everyday year.
So far.

The einsteins got their New Year jellies, this year's version is in cute little anime kids. Last year, we bought them in an asian supermarket in Oklahoma City, but the local Crepe Myrtle Market had them this year. (Usually they just have plain containers - these versions are piggy banks, and usually come out in the new year)
 These two are growing steadily. Another foot and Em will be as tall as me!
 As the nights come earlier, I always felt a little weird at my sink after dinner because it was so dark and I don't like blinds on that window - it's the soul of my kitchen!
So, I decided to make a curtain that would still let light in, but still have privacy.
 It turned out really cute, and the pots that I had bought and sprayed pink looked perfect. The plants had waaaaaaaay outgrown the pots they were in. When I repotted them in these, there was 90% root and 10% dirt. Crazy, huh??
I also spray painted a frame I found on clearance for $3.00 the other day at ROSS. It was gold, which is a hideous look for me, because I hate gold, but I loved the shape, so off it went to the land of pink...
 Top the day off with fresh flowers, and you have a GREAT beginning to a new year packed full of blessings and love.

Wishing you all a wonderful new year!
As we go forth on this new slate, let's remember that each day is a gift, and that's how it should be treated.
Give thanks, live well, and be NICE!

Happy 2012!

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Goodbye, 2011!

When I think back on 2011, I grumble and mumble a little and tell you all about how I wish it would be over already because it was such a bad year for us. But when I sit down and really think about, it was a pretty good year with a couple of BIG downers thrown in for good measure. I mean, really, cancer is never ever fun, but hubby is still here, and he feels good! Money and jobs are scarce, but we have enough to keep us afloat, and hubby's job is wonderfully secure (you can't beat working for the government, I tell ya!). His workplace was SO accommodating while he went through surgeries and treatments, I can't ever be thankful enough. We have wonderful family and friends, and our kids are smart, healthy, happy, and full of life. It really was a good year, but I can't say I'm not anxious to start another!
In our house, we eat the traditional Japanese mochi cakes on New Years Eve. Last year my mom wasn't here, so I had to make them, but she came this year, and it was a big relief because mine didn't turn out very well. You can read more about the mochi HERE
 The night fell pretty quick this year. It was cold and quiet outside while everyone's lights glowed from inside their warm homes.
 I had worked all day on spray painting, these were a few of the victims...
 Party favors!!!
 A cooked mochi in its sauce!
Yummmy!
 Evan & Uncle Kurt :)
 Uncle Brock (who HATES mochi, but has to eat it, for good luck and all!)
 Hubby dearest...
 "Uncle" Roark, who joined our crazy bunch for the night!
 ...and little Evan, eating his like a little bird. 
 Another tradition around here is the burning of the effergies. In the past, we've decorated burnable items, but this year, we each wrote inside our Koala candy boxes the habits or things we wished to do away with in the new year and burned them up in hopes of a new year, free of these things.
 At midnight, the einsteins shot their confetti guns (much easier than the streamer poppers) and the rest of us popped streamers all over the room!






 As the family left, there were sparklers lit outside in the cold to wish them farewell as we waved goodbye to our first houseguests of the year.

My vacuum was emptied TWICE in the cleanup afterwards. Now THAT, my friends, is a lot of confetti.
Happy 2012, everyone!! 

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