Friday, April 29, 2011

Mrs. Crankypants

Yep, that's me.  Could be a combo of too many late nights, caffeine and not enough fruits and veggies.  Could be hormonal.  Could be the moon.  Who knows! I do know it's ME.  I'm c-r-a-n-k-y! 

Like, send the children outside so mom doesn't snap their heads off, cranky. Like, don't ask me how my day is when you ate all the BBQ chips again, cranky.  Like, can't find what I want on the computer therefore the computer is stupid, cranky. Yep. The computer. 

Sick of feeling tired when I'm not sick enough to feel this way.  Sick of messes and stepping around or over things.  But I don't have the energy burst I need to clean it up. I just want it to GO AWAY!

Truthfully, I have absolutely no business being this irritable.  I had a lovely night out last night. I painted pottery and it was fun.  I got to spend time with a friend I haven't spent time with in way too long.  It was wonderful.  Today, my undies are in a bunch and apparently they aren't my big girl panties because I'm not sucking it up and being sweet. 

Lucky for those around me I recognize this fact and am doing my best to breathe through the waves of annoyance and exasperation.  But heaven help the child who makes a repetitive noise just for the noisemaking! 

I do believe I will put myself to bed early tonight. Perhaps I'll let the girls watch a movie downstairs where I can't hear them and therefore can't get cranky at them.  It's Friday and fun days are coming.  A little sleep, a little chocolate, and hopefully all will be well soon.  A prayer or two thrown in is a pretty good idea too. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Horrible Mom!

I slept too late in the morning.  Church started at 10.  I'd not planned ahead with a special outfit including shoes for each of my girls.  I had no idea what I'd wear even.  The clock said 9:20.  Now we'd have to hurry!  At a glance, they looked ok, so Tim told them to go get in the van.  We drove to the church and had to park a ways out, Easter morning it fills up fast. 

We got out of the van and it was obvious dd3 had not brushed her hair.  It was still wet from her shower.  And she put had black sandles on her feet, not the white ones I'd told her to put on.  Ya know, because her dress was white and green pastel shades.  Tim took her back to the van to brush her hair as I walked towards the church with the other two, pressure started at my spine.  A good mom would've made sure her hair was brushed, dried and looking pretty.  How could you have missed that?  And black sandals? Why didn't you check her feet before you let her leave the house?!

My oldest walked in front of me.  She had chosen her outfit, a lovely purple sweater dress. . . .with cerulean blue skinny jeans beneath.  At least her hair is brushed!   She owns lovely dresses and pretty dress shoes, but this Easter Sunday she has on a cute and comfortable outfit, great for shopping. . .

We walked into the church and despite it being mostly empty at this time of the morning the last three times we've visited, Easter Sunday is different.  The chairs are filled and I see just a few spots with  room for five.  Near the front.  Tim will never, ever go for that.  The usher tries to usher me.  I hate being bossed around.  Even by nice people.  I tell him I'm waiting for my husband and he asks how many. I say five and his eyebrows shoot up.  As if five is a lot!  He tries again to usher me to the front and I back away and say we'll wait.  I tell him my husband is 6'4" he won't sit near the front.  Thankfully Tim walks in at that moment and I'm saved from the helpful usher. 

My patience is worn thin.  My back is stiff with irritation at myself and frustration at not having had it all together for this Sunday morning.  My mom made sure we had nice outfits for Easter Sunday.  She got up early or stayed up late to make sure the homemade rolls were ready.  My house was still a mess waiting to be cleaned before family shows up at 1.  You are lazy.  You should've had this.  How could you have let something this important go? 

We slip into the seats just as the worship team begins to sing.  I relax a touch that we've made it.  I glance around.  Little girls with their hair done.  Women looking lovely.  Pretty dresses, obviously ironed and ready for this special day.  I'd failed again.  This is important! Looking good on Easter is important!!  I wanted out. I would've happily left the church and not come back.  I didn't measure up, my family didn't measure up and it was my fault! 

I'd whispered a silent prayer for help as we'd waited for Tim in the outer foyer when I felt my patience slipping and irritation building.  At that moment in the sanctuary God answered me, Really?  Looking pretty is what's important here today?  

I stopped whipping myself mentally and almost laughed out loud.  As though taking off sunglasses my mindset brightened and disappointment melted to a puddle in the light of the truth.  I joined in singing the hymn "Grace! Grace! God's grace! Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.  Grace! Grace! God's grace. Grace that is greater than all our sin." 

I'd love to tell you that the day went perfectly from that moment on and that I didn't have an attitude issue the rest of the day, just basked in the glory of His grace.  But, you probably know me better than that.  I fought my attitude at home while cleaning up in time for family to be here.  Smooshed the irritation at my lack of perfection, the table cloth never made it onto the table before we ate, grandma would've made sure it was on you know. 

Multiple times yesterday I was reminded of the lie I'd almost bought hook, line, and sinker!  I'm not a horrible mom, and pretty on the outside is not what's important! Perfection in the prettiness is not the epitome of perfection.  Living in God's grace, accepting it and moving on is, especially on Easter Sunday when we celebrate His ultimate sacrifice and victory over death and sin. 

He is Risen! 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Memories

  Potato salad.  Tonight I attempted to recreate a childhood favorite by making from scratch and from memory my Grandma's potato salad.  A few potatoes, some chopped onion, chopped pickle, mayonnaise, a squirt of mustard, some celery seed, a couple of chopped boiled egg and salt and pepper to taste.  I forgot to add chopped celery and may or may not add it in the morning.

  While I was peeling, chopping, and stirring, my thoughts turned towards past easter meals and summertime get together's.  Easter, memorial day, or just a summer Sunday all blur together in my memory.  Scents and tastes bring back memories for me faster than almost anything else.   Cinnamon and apples with a hint of green beans and I'm at my Grandma Quicks.  The thought of potato salad, warm rolls, and coolers of pop in the garage put me into Grandma Burks house on any given summer Sunday. 

  I realized tonight that I try to recreate those memories which mean the most to me.  It plays out in little things, like always having a veggie tray to snack on before the big meal is ready.  Or, feeling it is compulsory to have an easter egg hunt to make Easter complete for the kids.  Tonight I put the potato salad into a clear glass pyrex dish with white flowers on the outside and it felt almost like bringing my whole past of celebrations to my family.

They can't experience the baseball games in Grandma's, now the Wheat's, backyard.  The girls won't fall asleep while the dads and uncles watch baseball and talk about Caterpillar, gas prices and other local news.   There won't be an impromptu hymn sing because Grandma asks us to sing something or someone hummed a tune and someone else joined in with words.  It won't be hot tomorrow and there won't even be a ham.  There will be Little Debbie Cakes, a basket of goodies for the grown ups, and there will be potato salad.

 Time passes so quickly and all too soon I will be the grandma.  I wonder what memories my daughters will treasure and what they will try to recreate for their families?  Most of all I am thankful for those memories.  Thankful for cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents that truly are a wonderful family.  I am not sure why God has spread us so far apart and I look forward to August, when on one side many of us will gather together to celebrate a new family forming.    Tomorrow I will set out the veggie platter, make a pot of green beans, and watch the girls look for Easter eggs and remember to give thanks again. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

On My Own

     I was thinking about salvation this morning while showering.  Thinking of the circular theological arguments:  faith by works, and faith equals works.  Faith without works is dead.  Yet, it is by faith and not by works that we are saved.  It is not of ourselves.  It is a gift. NO ONE can boast.

It occurred to me that I don't boast, but neither do I truly accept it is as a gift with no strings.  I know that I can't do it, I can't earn it.  But in the secret places I believe that because I believe, I have to be perfect.  I can't fail.  I know I'm called to be perfect as HE is perfect.  The reality in me is when I can't reach perfection, I quit.  I always quit. (I'm quitting quitting this year.)  Yet that's not exactly what His word says.  It does say be perfect as He is perfect, but it also says His strength is made perfect in my weakness.  If I could do it perfectly on my own I wouldn't need Him.   Did you follow me there?  I know I can be circular in reasoning too.

Once again this morning, while naked and vulnerable, it hit me that it:  forgiveness and salvation, is a gift and I have done absolutely nothing to deserve it, nor can I do anything to repay Him for it and equal his gift.  I am at His mercy, in His debt and nothing can ever take that away from me.  It is a gift and it's all mine.  Not only can nothing take it away, there's nothing I can fail that will mean He removes it from me.  I'm forgiven.

Casting Crowns has a song that I woke up hearing in my head,  Glorious Day. The chorus lyrics flow from my heart.  Living, He loved me.  Dying, He saved me.  Buried, He carried my sins far away.  Rising, He justified freely forever.  Someday He's coming, Oh Glorious Day!

Here's a youtube link if you want listen:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Orange Blossom White Tea And Other Lovely Things.

Mmmm, can you smell it?  The sweet, warm, fragrance of my Orange Blossom tea from Timothy's.   It has a fragrance that fills my upstairs and makes me smile.  A little bit of sugar stirred in and I have a moment of bliss.  I don't normally like orange flavored things. Except I've found a couple I do.  This tea is one, and a dark chocolate with candied orange peels is another.  Different.  Sweet, tart, silky smooth and light. 

I had a moment of complete contentment today.  Am still enjoying it now actually.  My feet are propped up on a rubbermade tote. My girls are in the basement happily playing together and the puppy is asleep. 
I'm home.  The sun is shining.  My lilac bush has buds on it!  The kitchen is mostly clean.  The laundry is caught up.  Schoolwork is done for the day.  Content, I sit here. 

I'm sitting in my favorite pink chair.  Once upon a time it was a lovely chair.  Now it is simply my favorite chair.  I have two exactly alike, but this one is closer to the electrical outlet and so it's my favorite because of my laptop. 

Earlier today I posted asking for help on another forum.  My oldest has inherited her mother's inability to think. LOL, no I mean it.  She is proficient at finding answers spelled out in books, at regurgetating the words written in response to questions asked.  But ask her to answer a question that requires thought and not simply repeat information and she freezes. 
For a moment I felt failure keenly.  She can't think.  Panic and memories of being in college and not knowing how to give the professors what they wanted because it wasn't simply giving back facts found in the texts hit me full force.  Followed quickly by a desire to make sure she does know how to think.  But HOW?

So I asked other moms who homeschool their children.  These wise women overflowing with years of experience and knowledge.  They would know.  They could spell it out for me and tell me how to make this right. 

They did.  They told me they too have this problem with their children.  That their children also stare at a blank page when asked to write, and weep. I'm not alone.  She's not an exception.  This is normal and can be overcome with time and doing. . . .guess what? Exactly what I am doing! 

Thank you, God for the internet, for homeschool boards where I can quickly hear back from those who have been there, done that.  Thank you for honesty in answering and no pretending perfection!  Thank you for orange blossom tea and other lovely things. :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Birthday for me!

I love Birthdays! Maybe when I'm really and truly old I won't, but I suspect I still will.  I love the celebration.  Love looking back on the year and knowing I survived it, hopefully thrived in it.  I love that it's a new start.  I'm 34 this year.  I don't feel a whole lot different than when I turned 14 or 24, I mean, I'm still me.  Older, bigger, hopefully wiser, but still just me. 

Some years we have celebrated my birthday in a BIG way and I've loved it.  For thirty, Tim wanted to take me to see Phantom in Toronto but I asked if we could do something else because my memories of Phantom in Chicago are amazing and I just don't think it can be matched.  However, I was blown away by his thoughtfulness and consideration.  He told me because he wanted me to be happy, smart man.  I wouldn't have been because it would've been a super fast trip to go see it and then dash back and pick up the kids from his parents. No thanks.  Instead I had a spa-day, my first ever, with two best friends.  Then we had dinner catered at one of the friends house.  It was fabulous!

Another year I was able to get AMAZING tickets to a Raptors game, and they were a decent team.  We stayed in Toronto overnight and watched the game.  Another year we did the Raptors game, hotel AND picked my dad up from the airport for a weekend visit.  Loved that too. Yet another year we drove to Illinois and I got to be with my family for a weekend visit and Tim took me for lunch at Chili's. YUM.

Yesterday was such a non-celebration day that it will probably fade in my memory as a day itself.  I worked hard cleaning and sorting, filling 5 garbage bags for Goodwill.  My girls weren't fabulous, but could've been worse.  My 6yo threw a couple of tantrums but recovered in time to not ruin the whole day.  I took them for lunch at my favorite Deli downtown and their favorite toy store.  How that celebrated my day I"m not sure, but they liked it. LOL  Then Tim took me out for supper and we had delicious burgers at a new burger place near us.  We then walked around Canadian Tire (at my request! odd) and our sad excuse for a mall.  A non-day, day.  Nothing super special. 

But see, next week I am going to Illinois.  And again it is a treat because my sweet, caring, give you the shirt off his back husband has taken time off work for ME.  I've wanted to go since my dad's motorcycle accident.  I've also wanted to attend the homeschool convention in Peoria and never have been able to.  This year John Stonestreet from Summit ministries, and Jay Wile, author of Apologia upper level science curriculum will be there.  There are multiple sessions on homeschooling high school and well, I want to go SO badly.  SO my husband has made it happen. 

While we're there I'm going with my best friend to the homeschool convention.  That is a double blessing, time with Tiffany AND the Apache convention.  Cool!  Tim will be working on my parents roof.  It badly needs replaced over the addition.  That is the kind of man he is.  Take time of work, drive 13 hours to be with your in-laws and then work your tail off.  He's amazing.  I am so blessed. 

So while the actual day yesterday was a non-huge day, my birthday was not forgotten.  My husband didn't bring me flowers or fly me to Paris.  He didn't bring me diamonds or another day at the Spa.  There was no cake, not even a card or a single gift to unwrap. But he's showing me again with his actions that he loves me, that he puts my needs and even wants above his own.  I will take that love and consideration over a million things with only earthly value. 

Thank you God, for knowing my needs and blessing me beyond measure with a man who loves you and obeys you by loving me.  Thank you for children who are healthy and normal and silly and slightly nutty.  Thank you for a home that is warm in winter and cool in summer.  Thank you for food to eat and money to be able to afford our needs.  Thank you for a job for both of us.  Thank you for friends and family who love me no matter what.  I am blessed.