Monday, January 14, 2013

A Date with Dad

It was Keaton's turn to go to the Heat game with Josh last weekend.  Sometimes pictures tell a better story than words. So I will dispense with the pleasantries post-haste.

Bonus marks if you use post-haste  in a sentence this week.

 It would probably be annoying if I was to start complaining about how fast he is growing up, and how it makes me sad that there's so little little left in his chubby cheeks.

It would likely be too much if I thtarted to talk about how much I love hith toothleth grin and sthweet little lithp.

It would be weird to go on about how I sort of tear up every time I see him sleeping, right? 

I thought so. 


Good Night Sweet Prince, Mama loves you.

Friday, January 4, 2013

When Spontaneity Comes to Play

We are trying something different this year - we are planning vacations well in advance.  We are throwing my fun-loving friend Spontaneity out the window, or at least showing her the door,  and replacing her with her calm and predictable cousin, Scripted Living to see how we like hanging out with her. 

This means that since November I've known that Josh and I are going on vacation together again a few more months. This has beat our last planned vacation by at least 5 months.  

Unless you count the trip we tried to book with friends last summer. When Sponaneity heard we'd consulted Scripted Living 9 months before the planned departure, she got all huffy and decided that those friends would instead go on a trip with her to Jakarta - for two years, and that they would need to leave a week before the planned trip and then to show me who was boss she also added that Tyson should rather suddenly, if not spontaneously, have to have his gall bladder removed right when Scripted Living had planned the camping trip. It seems she got all scrunty when we didn't notify her that we weren't going to be planning  a vacation with enough short notice...go figure.

All of that to say, I think I might like planning things with Scripted Living every now and then. I certainly love a lot of people who live in her neighbourhood.  I will admit it's very strange to not have the excitement that comes with having an idea and getting all those details: babysitting, schedules changed, flights, hotels, passports thrown together in as short of a time as possible.  

So I feel pretty snazzy that I found a way to let Spontaneity come and play whilst Scripted Living was busy planning...I don't know, something.  Truthfully, although I value the strength and stability that she brings I don't really understand Scripted Living, and Spontaneity and I were thinking about the vacation today and she looked over at me with that mischevious glimmer in her eye and said "You need to do something fun for your vacation - right NOW!"  I hesitated...was this okay? I mean, it seemed so sudden. Scripted Living won't even mind, Spontaneity said,  she'll be proud of you for making a decision like this all on your own, so WELL IN ADVANCE of your vacation. She loves that kind of me. So Spontaneity took me to my favourite vacation website: and we ordered this - the swimsuit, not the person:

And Spontaneity and I said "It was good".  

Her sweet reliable cousin Scripted Living rolled her eyes, knowing there was nothing she could have done to have stopped Spontaneity from being who she was meant to be and just was thankful she had a budget for clothing done in advance.

The End.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Good News-Bad News 2013 edition

It's been a while since we've played this game of good news-bad news - let's have a go shall we?  It was just one of those days where by the late afternoon the misadventures were so abundant every new mishap became comical - so here we go...

Good News: it was a relaxing morning
Bad News: I was still in my pjs, with no makeup and violently wild hair when the doorbell rang at 10

Good News: I lost 7 pounds before Christmas
Bad News: that was Before Christmas

Good News: The van was cleaned out by the kids after the Christmas marathon
Bad news: This included my purse, which I always (rightly or wrongly) leave in the van

Good News:  I went to Ikea yesterday
Bad News: I found out about the missing purse at this point

Good News: The new Port Mann toll bridge is lovely and reduces driving time to Ikea
Bad News: I still haven't received my TREO decal with the free trips to cross it.

Good News: Keaton loves his Momma so much that he came along for the trip to Ikea
More Good News: this meant we could take the HOV lane in
Bad News:  Keaton gets car sick easily

Good News: He loved me enough to stay for our attempted return trip to Ikea
Bad News: he was car sick enough that he started barfing.  A lot.  Really.  Really. ALOT.

Good News: Keaton likes homemade mac 'n cheese for lunch
Bad News: There is some gastrointestinal miracle of multiplication that happens with mac n cheese when it is barfed up.  In the van. On a four year old.

Good News:  I had a plastic bag to use as a barf bag
Bad news:  Four year olds do a lot more barfing ON barf bags than IN them

Good News: It was only car sick, not flu sick.
Bad News:  No barf is good barf.  Especially when you have to clean it up.

Good News:  I'm done talking about barf.
Bad News:  It's not the end of the bad news.

Good News: Josh brought home pizza for supper
Bad News:  Remember the whole weight loss thing?  Yeah.  

Good News:  He gave me a big kiss and told me he loved me when he got home
Bad News: He told me I forgot to put on deodorant.

Good News: When someone tells you you need deodorant.
Bad News: When someone tells you you need deodorant.

Good News: I left again, solo this time, for Ikea
Bad News:  It was now dark, and I was alone.

Good News: I got everything I needed at Ikea and it was super un-busy there. As much as I love people, I hate crowds, so this was awesome.
Bad News: I crossed the toll bridge twice each way today.  What kind of idiot doesn't check for her purse when she gets in the van?  I'll tell you what kind - the kind of person who also is terrified of stinking like b.o., but still manages to forget deodorant.

Good News: I picked up a bookshelf from Ikea
Bad News:  I smushed the packaging putting it in the car and that included scraping up the flimsy backing board.  

Good News:  I made it through till bedtime without crying, and found the day, even the barf, somewhat amusing.
Bad News: Van barf, stinky armpits and violently messy hair are still bad news.

So there you have it.  Good News - Bad News for 2013.  

Don't worry, I'm still smiling.  

And wearing deodorant.  

Just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

How Much?

This Christmas season - the one that technically happened last year - I think I did something right.

Actually, I think we did a lot right things, or we did things least I'm pretty sure we done some things real good-like  - but I'm specifically talking about a parenting moment I had.  It's kind of funny because I wrote last month on the Family Matters blog that the moments where you decide to do something for/to your kids and you get to see a good thing happen in the short term rarely, if ever happens, and then I had one of those "yay, me" moments...go figure.  Maybe I should blog for FM about how baking and cooking tasty food rarely leads to weight loss just so I can try and prove myself wrong again. 

We are in a Science Co-op.  Basically it means that a bunch of  my homeschooling family Moms/teachers get together, take all the science topics we would like to cover for all of our students/children for the year, divide by the number of Moms/teachers we have, multiply by the number of children/students, add some snacks, subtract some sanity and hope we have learned something scientifical at the end of it all. 

So what I am trying to say is, my kids and I benefit immensely from it and we really enjoy it.

In the late fall, I had a useful thought in regards to our little group.  (They are so few and far between I keep track of them for posterity) I proposed to these kids - most of whom have paper routes/babysitting jobs - that we join forces and purchase something from the Food for the Hungry gift catalogue.  I thought it would be great for these 10 or so kids to part with some of their own cash and see what coming together to make a difference would do. This was the good idea I'm referring to - I highly recommend it!

Initially I was going to suggest maybe they work towards giving $5 or $10 dollars each, but for reasons I can only attribute to God, I felt really strongly that I shouldn't be such a control freak and instead suggested that they just pray about it. I also keep track of these moments when I listen to that still small voice whispering to my heart- it's a short list, but I'm working on it.  

Remarkably, I stopped short of telling them what they should give, and instead said something like:  

It doesn't matter what you decide to work towards,  but I think it would be awesome if you take whatever you give from your own money, not the bank of Mom and Dad, and that you consider asking God  not how little you should give, but how much."

And then I kind of put the whole thing out of my mind.  I reminded the kids once or twice over the next weeks we were together that the collection date was coming up - but really, that was it.  Ideas are my thing, administration, not so much.

So the big day came.  And quietly the money was collected and each child gave in such a way that noone else - including myself- would know how much each one gave.  I counted the money and I started to cry - for many reasons.

First of all - these 10 amazing kids gave $230 dollars - of their own money. I would guess the average "salary" for these kids is somewhere between $30-$50 dollars a month.  So it was significant to them. They happily said no to bigger and better lego sets, t-shirts, and saving Disneyland money because they just thought it was a great idea to help someone else.  And then to see them take such joy in choosing just the right gifts was a delight. It was their money, so it mattered a great deal to them. "Let's try and do something for health, and education AND family life... do we have enough to make a difference in all three categories?" "We do?  Awesome!!" "Let's choose things that will make a big difference to one child"- say the detail lovers of the crowd, "What if we also chose some things that could help a LOT of people of once?" say the big picture people...and they came to an agreement, some big and some small things: a pair of pigs, a pair of chickens, a clean water faucet, school fees, a chalkboard - and then lots of cheering and excitement because they had done a small thing, but a good thing.

I was so proud of them all.  I have no idea what everyone gave, aside from my own kids, who all  happened to give different amounts - but I know that everyone contributed and that all of the Moms were surprised by the amounts their kids were willing to give up.

And then the words I had said initially came back and smacked me in the face: Don't ask God how little, instead ask how much- because I realized that although I had believed I was saying the right things, I didn't really believe that 1) these kids would pray about it 2) that the Holy Spirit would speak to them or 3) that they would follow through and give. 

Oh ye of little faith.

I forgot a few things about God:  he doesn't have a kid-sized Holy Spirit that he hands out.  It is the same  power and presence for everyone who believes. I want to believe bigger - God help me with my unbelief!

How much? instead of how little? 

Those have become life-changing words for me this past year.  I began to ask them part way through 2012 and truly can say God is doing a new thing. How amazing that he chose to show me my own small faith through the generosity of a group of fantastic kids. These are the world changers of tomorrow,and God is stirring in their hearts and making them who they will become this very day! What an incredible blessing and burden as a parent to believe this!

I know my theology is imperfect and incomplete,  but I know this:  Jesus didn't ask God how little it would take to rescue humanity and restore and redeem our brokenness. He asked "how much?"  and it cost him his very life.
So I will continue to ask myself this question.  And I pray  that when this next year comes to close I will have loved better, given more, and believed bigger than I ever thought possible.