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Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Weekend Full of Emotions

  I like my emotions tucked away in the back of my head but these last few days have forced them out in a way that has sent my head spinning.  Friday started as a normal day around here.  I got the kids to school, did what needed to be done here at home and headed out to my middle son's class to help them finish a service project they were working on. After finishing up with that and then picking up my other child, all of us headed home.  My husband pulled in the driveway just a few moments after us.  My son who raced to the front of the house to be first, hollers back that there is wood all over the porch and the door is open.  My husband goes to check and hollers back for me to call the police. We had been robbed. The seconds it took for the police to answer seemed like much longer than it was.  As we made our way inside through our now broken door, we saw a mess. TV gone, stuff attached to it broken.  We made it into our bedroom to see dresser drawers pulled out and stuff thrown everywhere.  I wanted to cry when I saw how they had disrespected our home and taken our things.  Our kids were scared, in fact one son is sleeping with a baseball bat 2 days later.  My youngest included in her prayers that she doesn't want the  bad guys to  come back and take our stuff again.  It's almost funny if it wasn't true but after having a stranger invade your home and take your things you then have to invite the police who you don't know to come in to your home and take pictures. At one moment I thought about asking him if I could clean up the mess before he took the pictures but I know that wasn't the point. Folks I have cried, I have been angry, I have sat on the couch and sulked. And this has been just in the last couple of days. I like to have control.  Control is comforting to me and this weekend has sent me completely out of control.  I made a frustrated post on facebook about all the happenings in our life. What I got in return was an overwhelming amount of well wishes and love. Those well wishes helped me remember that what matters in not our stuff but each other. I also have learned  that family is blood but family also comes in the form of friendship. Neighbors who rush home to check on you, friends who call on you, friends who stop to hug you, and friends who help in so many ways.  Family is those who are there for you when you don't ask them to. They are there for you because they want to be.  I come from a large family but I have  found that my family is much larger than I ever imagined.  As I head to take care of some paperwork Monday due to what the thieves did, I am reminded that no matter what they took, they didn't win. I am reminded that good trumps evil.  We are surrounded by family and friends who love us and who we love, which means we are blessed.  And that is something that no one can take from us.  To my family and friends, know that we value your friendship and it is an honor to know each and every one of you.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Climbing on my soapbox

Excuse me while I climb on my soapbox for a quick rant.  I encountered something on facebook today that I have heard a thousand times before.  But today it rubbed me the wrong way and I feel I have to speak my mind before I speak it in a response that won't be helpful.  I scrolled over a post that was not any worse than the other times I have heard it but this one came from a teacher, a teacher that teaches at one of my children's schools.  She was ranting about pencils being taken  out of her classroom and a cup of hers broken by a student.  She went on to wonder online if anybody was teaching their kids responsibility anymore.  I chalked her post up to being peeved about her pencils and her cup but then another teacher from the school responded with" that's a negative. " Then a few more followed with" no, kids are not" and one wondered if any parents were teaching their kids anything today.  Well you know what, that really tans my hide.  While I am fully aware that manners by SOME have taken a nosedive.  I am also the first to admit that after volunteering at our local middle school for an event they were having, I swore I would never do that again. I was in a bit of shock over some of the behaviour I saw that day. But I also know that what I dealt with that day was just one snapshot of today's kids.  They were the loudest and their actions and language stuck out more than others.  But what I also know is that there are a great deal of well behaved, well mannered kids everywhere.  You may not notice them because you aren't having to call them down and they are doing what they are suppose to be doing.  You will find kids and teens working in soup kitchens, caring for younger children, holding doors for ladies, serving in their churches and even hanging out with friends.  While I agree that their numbers may not compare to that of others, they are not as few as you would think listening to people talk.  And here is what else I believe.  I think we can sometimes be to blame.  How many times have you heard or even said, "kids today" or "parents don't teach their kids" or "what is the world coming to".  If all we heard was how horrible we are, I believe it would begin to affect us.  I am just coming into the world of parenting teenagers.  I have one who will go into high school this year and another in middle school.  Not to brag, but when we are out, my boys will hold the door open for the adults in front of them, and they  speak with manners and they have been taught personal responsibility and are expected to use it.  Do they sass me at times...you bet they do.  Do they face the consequences for it...they sure do.  My husband and I are  doing our job to raise them right.  No they are not perfect and we have a lot of molding left to do.  And here is the thing, I am not the only parent raising her children with manners.  I also know that it hurts my soul to hear so many otherwise intelligent adults talk so negative about my kids.  You may say you are not talking about my kids...but you are when complain about kids today.  When my oldest started middle school, I think most of his first day consisted of what the rules are and what would happen when they messed up.  Maybe if we stop telling kids how horrible they are, they might just surprise you.  Look around this week.  Find that kid who is using his/her manners and tell them how nice it is.  You may be a ray of sunshine to all the negative things they have heard about themselves as teenagers that day or week.  Kids  need good examples of manners shown to them in action and just maybe it should begin with us.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Investments

heading out in 2012 a couple months after our 16th anniversary


We are making investments around here and I don't mean through the bank.  This September 2013, Mark and I will be married 17 years.  In that time, we have had ups and downs.  You know, the kinds from life.  We have been blessed with 3 great children,  Mark went back to school for several years.  We have dealt with low bank funds, and no funds at times.  We have dealt with deaths in the family, and illness of love ones. We have loved and we have fought.  Now, I am aware that most of these things are called life.  Everybody deals with them.  But here is what got us thinking....We have friends and family all around us calling it quits on their own marriage.  There have been as many varied reasons as the folks involved are different themselves.  I can't judge any of them and that is so not what I am doing. But it has forced us to look at our selves.  There was a movie preview out recently and I can't remember what the movie was called and I didn't go see it, but the mom said to her adult daughter when she was questioned about taking up for the dad, She said, "you grew up and moved out, he is still there".  That is not an exact quote but you get the idea and may even be able to tell me the movie.  Our oldest will start high school this fall..ouch.  Our babies are growing up fast and I know what comes next.  I have a while yet seeing that our youngest is just 7.  But I also know that they don't stay little for long.  We decided when our second was born that I would stay home.  This has been a decision I have never regretted and Mark says he feels the same.  My vocation is one to the home and to our family. I can tell you with out a doubt that investing in your children takes a lot of time and energy,  I have prided myself on doing the job well.  But there has been part of my vocation to my family that I haven't done well.  My family includes my husband and without him I wouldn't have the kids.  We are good and we have stayed true to each other but we haven't put the time in to insure it so to speak.  This past Friday, the day after St. Valentines Day, Mark and I had the opportunity to go out on a date.  The last date night was last year for a late anniversary dinner...sad I know.  We talked over dinner and decided we needed to intentionally spend more time with each other, and watching TV till one of us falls asleep doesn't count.  We don't have to spend a lot of money but we can't not put this time in.  We owe it to each other and we owe it to our children to make our home one that not only runs smoothly but one that has love and laughter in it even after they move out.  While I file Marks retirement investment sheets from work, and we  pay our life insurance premiums, we have another future investment to make and that is us.





 



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

I did not stay up to ring in the new year, I hardly ever do.  But I did take some time yesterday to write out some goals for this new year.  I try to avoid using the word "resolutions", it seems to come with the phrase, "next year".  So goals it is.  I have done this for a few years now and have had much better luck with it.  I added something new this year.  I have added a quote to go with my new year.  I have written it down in the front of my date book and written it down on a card to go on my dresser. 



 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:


“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.

I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”


The quote is from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.  I am now on a mission to find a book with more from this writer.  I don't know if his philosophy matches mine as a whole but this statement really spoke to me.  I think as I try to improve in my work in the vocation of motherhood, it is important to understand the power I hold.  When I think of days and they are many to choose from, when folks in this house have been less than loving, my response has been less than helpful.  Quite often, it has made things worse.  I have hollered at a child for hollering themselves, I have insulted when I needed to show grace.  I have been rude when others have been rude to me.  While I don't believe I hold all the power, my responses and my attitude hold a tremendous power that I need to be more aware of and control with prayer, deep breathing, stepping back for a second and other calming methods.  I need to be acutely aware of my attitude to help guide the loved ones under my care.  My job is so much more than meal prep, car pool, and basic care.  My job includes shaping the hearts and souls of God's precious children He in trusted to me and my husband.  While I fix them a healthy meal for the upkeep of their bodies, I need to be just as careful helping them with their healthy spirit.  As I clean their clothes to look nice, I need to be just as deliberate with the pressing of their outlook and personalities because the wrinkles in that is far worse than a dirty shirt.  The old saying of, Do as I say, not as I do should not be true when it comes to my reactions and my mood with my family.  I sometimes and I don't think I am alone in this, give my best to others outside my home.  From putting on my best clothes to go out, smiling at others outside my family even when my day has gone astray and then not showing the same manners to those I love the most.  How many times have you snapped at your child or spouse in the car only to walk in a room of friends and smile like all is well.  I don't think being fake to our families is a good idea either, but I know for me, I need to think much more before I react to a situation.  I need to be very deliberate in my attitude for the day because it does not just effect me but my entire family.  This year, won't you join me in being deliberate in a positive attitude.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Just Me Trying To Make Sense Of The Tragedy

Yesterday, December 14, 2012,  I spent my afternoon working in my oldest son's middle school helping out at the 8th grade Christmas dinner.  While filling water glasses and admiring how these 8th graders "cleaned up", I was unaware that in a small town to the north of us, the unspeakable was unfolding.  I was unaware that a man until yesterday we wouldn't have known if we bumped into him on the street who we now have nightmares of, was forcing his nightmare onto the most innocent of us all, little children all 6 and 7 years old.  I look at my own 7 year old and can NOT imagine the thought for even a second.  As I learned what was happening in Connecticut, tears ran down my face.  We will  never fully understand how someone could inflict this kind of horror onto others.  We will come to learn of whatever mental illness he was plagued with and what signs were missed.  None of this will change what has happened but the hope is it may stop another tragedy and we have to try.
In all of this, I am reminded of a quote from Mr. Rogers that is all over social media now and I have seen it before.  Where he tells of his mother telling him as a child when he sees sad things on the news to look for the helpers.  What a simple and true piece of advice for children and us adults.  Along with this floating through the different channels of the Internet, we see pictures of lit candles, pictures of Jesus and little children and verses from the Bible fitting for times such as these.  But there us something else floating through the channels that I don't agree with.  I keep seeing a "letter" from God, where, when asked why bad things have happened in schools and such, He supposedly answers with I'm not allowed there anymore.  While it is true that prayer has been removed from public places like school, God did not leave.  There are prayers uttered by countless parents daily as they take their children to and from school.  There are prayers uttered by many teachers and staff as they start their day.  While they may not pray as a class, prayers are prayed everyday and God hears them.  Besides that, I believe just because we as a society in general may turn away from God, He NEVER turns away from us.  He is always there. I do not believe that prayer in school would have stopped this tragedy.  I believe that God was with those children guiding them home to heaven.  We live in a fallen world, a world that has been that way since the fall of man with the first sin.  I think we need to look for God in this tragedy.  I believe He  is in the church with the families and loved ones as they prayed during a vigil that very night.  I believe He was with the officers as they led the children out of the nightmare.  I believe He was with the families holding onto each other and  holding each other up as they learned if their loved one had survived or not.  I believe He was with the priests as they prayed with these families.  I believe He is with us now as we try to come to grips with the horrors that we have seen and as we hug our loved ones a little closer too.  I believe He is with us during the good and the bad.  Would it be better if we allowed God into all areas of our life, yes. I believe people should be able to see Jesus through us in all things and we should never stop trying.  I know this is something I need a lot of work on.  It is easy to love those who are kind and good and hard to love those who are not.  I believe that a person who sees God's love through another can change them for the better.  My hope is we can all look for the helpers as the wisdom in the now famous quote tells us but when we find the helpers, we need to recognize Jesus shining through them.  We need to continue to pray for the people directly affected by this tragedy and as it moves from the forefront of our conversations, we need to continue to pray for God's guidance in our lives.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving



Wishing everyone in the blog world a Happy Thanksgiving.  May your holiday be filled with family and friends  and so many blessings  that you can't even begin to count.  May your travels be safe and the food fill your belly.  Be present in the moment and ponder the memories in your heart.  From my home to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veterans Day

I sit here today, typing on my blog where I am allowed to write what I choose.  I can disagree with our leaders in Washington, I can not like the election results or I can like them.  I have so many rights in this country we call home.  I went to mass today without the fear of being arrested or someone blowing up our parish.  Monday I will send one child to public school for which I pay very little in taxes for.  I will send one child to a private school, and I will home school another child.  It is my right to choose what I feel is the best fit for my children.  I am thankful for all of these rights. I am thankful that I don't hear bombs going off outside our house, because I know that there are mothers who rock their children to sleep with that very sound out their windows.

I also know that heaven forbid, our country needs to defend itself, we have legions of bright, brave, and  well trained men and women who are willing to pick up their arms to defend me and my family.  In this country we call home, young men are simply asked to register their names at 18 in the event of worse case scenario.  I also know that so many men and women choose this life of service because they feel called to it.  I know that the different branches of military that serve this country are made up of men and women that we owe a debt to that we will never be able to repay.

I have many family members that have served and serve this country, including an Uncle I never met because he gave the ultimate sacrifice before I was born.  I am so proud of my Uncles that served, my cousins who have served and my Dad and Father in law that have served.  Along with my family, I have many friends that have served as well.

From my family to yours, We thank you for your time and your service.to this country that we call home.

My Dad in the USAF