Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Some quotes

An expert is a man who tells you a simple thing in a confused way in such a fashion as to make you think the confusion is your own fault. ~William Castle
Anybody can win, unless there happens to be a second entry. ~George Ade

You can't have everything... where would you put it? ~Steven Wright

Love your enemies. It makes them so mad. ~P.D. East

When somebody tells you nothing is impossible, ask him to dribble a football. ~Author Unknown

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile way and you have their shoes. ~Author Unknown
May those who love us love us,
and those who do not love us,
may God turn their hearts,
and if He cannot turn their hearts
may He turn their ankles
that we may know them by their limping.
~Irish Prayer

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just 'fess up already

If you mess up, 'fess up.

No one likes to get into trouble. It not easy to admit a mistake.

As a child, my dad used to tell me that all he had to do was to put his finger up at me and I would start crying. Unfortunately, out of three children, I have only 1 that responds this way (my sweet Emma Jo.) The other two deal with being wrong in other ways: Mann gets angry and Daniel lies. I know that my 7th graders are quick to either point the finger at anyone else for their own actions or to lie to get out of trouble as well. And from what I can tell, adults also often use these same defense mechanisms for trying to get themselves out of trouble.

But what does getting angry accomplish? YOU messed up and then you blame someone else and get angry at them. Some people are so good at this that they actually convince themselves that they made no mistake.

And lying. This is the one that I have been guilty of. When I mess up, I automatically try to figure out a way out of it by lying. Of course this doesn't work either and you are going to end up digging yourself into a bigger hole and upsetting people around you even more.

The right thing to do is to admit you are wrong and say you are sorry. It's not the easiest, but it's the right thing to do.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's depends on how you look at it!

To have a positive outlook, you have to find good in everything.

Here's something I saw in my living room today.

I could have been annoyed by the fact that 2 of my 3 boys failed to put up their shoes, but instead, I decided it was kind of cute, the way Daniel's boots were standing up next to his daddy's, so I grabbed the camera.

Last night our kids spent the night with my dad and Trish. I didn't set the alarm for this morning, thinking we may sleep in a little.

Well, oops! Without our 3 little alarm clocks to wake us, Seth and I slept until ALMOST 10AM!!! I haven't slept that late in years!

My initial thought was to be upset because there was no way that we would have time to get the kids from my dad's place and get everybody ready for 11am church. But then, I had to admit that obviously we slept so late because we needed the rest. Seth went to church with his family and I got to spend some quality time with the kids and my dad and Trish.

Seeing positive in everything isn't easy. It's harder to see good in sickness or accidents or death. But hopefully if nothing else we can learn about our own resolve to deal with those situations.

Wishing you and yours a blessed week!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

You can't buy that

We are teachers.

My husband and I both teach. But I didn't set out to be a teacher. I majored in social work in college. Honestly, what I set out to be was a stay-at-home mom, like my mom. When Daniel was born, I stopped working to stay at home with him. Then Mann came along and we came to the realization that either Seth had to change his job or I had to go back to work. We chose for me to work and I wanted to teach, so that I would have as much time as possible with my children.

I am really glad that Seth chose to keep a job where he comes home every night. Before Daniel was born, Seth worked in the oil field. Unlike most oil field workers, Seth was able to come home almost everyday to see me, but he worked very long hours. The money was very good, but the lifestyle was not for us. After Daniel was born, Seth quit the oil field and returned to college to finish his last few hours to graduate so that he could teach and coach.
But when Mann was born, we talked about him going back to the oil field. He would be able to make alot of money and I would be able to stay at home, but the work is dangerous and he would be gone half of the time. Can you imagine how much you would miss only being with your children for 50% of their lives?
Plus, there is no certainty in your job. It could be there one week and gone the next.

I am happy that we decided to stick with teaching. Yes, money is tight and football season is busy, but Daddy is home every night. There is no amount of money that can buy time with your family.

Thank you, Seth, for putting your family first!

Sidenote: I am not saying in this post that all oil field workers do not put their families first. I am just proud of Seth for recognizing what was best for OUR family. I happen to personally know some great daddies that work in the oil field.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Day in The Life

A Typical Day in My Life

1. I get up at 5:30am.
3. I spend some time with God.
4. I shower, put on my make-up, dry my hair, get dressed.
5. I wake up Daniel, dress Daniel, get Daniel a drink, brush Daniel's teeth.
6. Then I do the exact same thing for Mann.
7. And the same routine for Emma Jo (add changing a diaper and attempting to put in a bow that she will yank out almost immediately.)
8. Load everyone in the car.

9. Drop Mann and Emma Jo off at Minnie Mom's Daycare.
10. Drive 10 miles in the opposite direction to drop Daniel off at Noah's Ark Daycare.
11. Get to work just in time to make some copies and get the right date on the board before 7:55am.
12. Between 20 and 30 walking hormones known as 7th graders enter my classroom, with about as much excitement to learn Texas History as they have for going to the dentist. I teach. I break up a fight. I discipline a student for calling another student a "retard" or a "loser" or worse. I get asked "But why?" and told "But that's not fair!" a couple hundred times. 45 minutes later, they leave.
13. I repeat step 12 six more times.
14. I pick up Daniel from daycare
15. I pick up Mann and Emma Jo.
16. Get home, make three chocolate milks and turn on Diego.
17. Go gather all of the laundry and put a load in the wash.
18. Change out of my work clothes.
19. Return to the living room to check on the kids and find this:

And this is all before making, serving and cleaning up dinner, putting the laundry in the dryer, bath time, story time, tucking everyone in, folding the laundry, warming Seth's dinner when he gets home from practice, making lunches for tomorrow....

But you know what, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. -Proverbs 31:27

(Hmmm....perhaps I should be watching more carefully!:)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is it life or death?

I think almost everyone has done it. And it can kill you or someone you love.

I am talking about using your cell phone while you are driving. I am not just talking about texting, but using it at all. I have caught myself not paying attention to the road while just trying to check my voicemail.

A few months ago I saw Oprah's episode about making your car a "No Phone Zone." I was sickened by all of the sad stories about people who had lost a loved one because of distracted driving due to cell phones. I took the pledge, promising I would not use my cell phone while driving. But only a few weeks passed and I was breaking my promise.

My broken promise came screaming back at me just recently.

Have you ever gotten a new car and felt inconspicuous? People don't know that is you in that car!

My two youngest children go to a daycare a few miles down a very curvy two lane road with a 60 mph speed limit. This last week, as I waved like an idiot at my other mommy friends who didn't recognize me in my new car, I noticed something scary. Almost every time I passed her, one of my very favorite fellow mommies was either talking on the phone or looking at her phone. This particular mom is precious to me and I would be absolutely devastated if anything happened to her.

Why can we not just ignore that ringing phone? Is that message life or death? I can't say for everyone, but I know my text messages sure aren't THAT important!

Texas has only a partial ban against cell phones while driving. If you are an adult, you can talk and text all you want while driving. Does that sound crazy? The only restriction is in school zones. New drivers and school bus drivers are banned from using cell phones while driving. Some states have bans against texting and using handheld cell phones. In these states you must have a hands free device to talk on your cell while driving.

So, here's my idea for myself. I am just going to turn off the ringer while I drive. If I can't hear it ringing, then maybe I won't be tempted to look.

Unfortunately, my quitting won't make myself and my precious cargo completely safe from distracted driving. EVERYONE has to do it. So, just wait to answer that call or text. it life or death?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hold Them Tonight

Have you ever heard about something tragic that happened to a child that made you want to hold your own children and never let go? Unfortunately I had that experience this weekend.
Love your kids, tell them so every single day, and cherish every moment like its your last. You just never
know what tomorrow may bring.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Last night I felt "uncool" in every sense of the word.

I took all three kids to the football game last night by myself. (The Brownsboro Bears stomped the Crandall Pirates, by the way. GO BEARS!) It was quite literally "uncool" outside. It was hot to start with and then the humidity was killing me. Climbing up and down those bleachers time and time again for all of the potty breaks we needed to take was making me sweat terribly! I felt disgusting.

But then I began to feel uncool in the figurative sense. I looked around and saw all of these women around me, with their hair fixed cute and their nice clothes and jewelry, just chatting and having a great time. And there I was, in the same jeans I had worn to school, a t-shirt and boots, with my hair and make-up almost untouched since 6am that morning, drenched in sweat, with kids crying, fighting and tugging on me from all directions. Very uncool.

I found myself feeling flustered and exasperated, almost to the point to where I couldn't even carry on a conversation with anyone. (Not that I really like to chat it up alot at the football games. I like to watch the game...well, as much as I can while wrangling my kids.)

I have often thought I need to put more time and money into my appearance. It is just that those things are not easy to come by in our household. If I had some cute shorts, I definitely would have been wearing them last night, instead of those hot jeans. And maybe if I had not spent so much time convincing Emma Jo to keep her hair up like I fixed it, I could have spent some time on my own.
This is a picture of me 10 years ago. I was in college.

And this was me this past spring with Emma Jo. Although it's a sweet picture of the two of us, and is one of my favorites, I have to notice that my hair is virtually unchanged from ten years ago and obviously I have spent less time doing my make-up and accessorizing my wardrobe.

But time and money for myself just seem like a luxury I cannot afford. I think alot of mothers of young children feel this way...I guess I just didn't see many of them sitting around me at the game last night. I felt ugly and outdated and to make matters worse, I felt that there was nothing I could do about it.

Does God care about how I look or is he angry that I am even worried about my appearance at all? God probably doesn't care for me to spend alot of money on new clothes, a new haircut or fancy jewelry. Those things won't make me a better wife or mother.

But author Janet Treadway said this: "Does your appearance reveal an attitude of indifference or a sense of responsibility, of modesty or of temptation, of respect or of disrespect, of carelessness (sloppy dress advertises a careless person) or of dependability, of honesty or of dishonesty? Every Christian lives in a 'window' before the world and is responsible to properly represent the principles set forth in the Scriptures."

While perhaps it doesn't matter that I don't have all of the latest styles in my closet and I can't afford highlights for my hair, I can at least take some more pride in my appearance. I can probably find the time to look and dress nicely without spending all day in front of the mirror or my entire paycheck either!

Friday, September 10, 2010

In Remembrance

Today in my Texas History class we are not talking about Texas History. We are remembering 9/11 today. It is so strange to think that my 7th graders were just preschoolers when 9/11 happened. So many of them really cannot grasp what a tragic day it was for our country. I was even shocked by the complete lack of knowledge that some of my students had about 9/11. I found myself telling the story to some amazed little faces. It is so difficult for them to imagine what that day was like. Some remember bits and pieces, but most of them have no memory of the actual day at all.

I remember it vividly, as I am sure most adults do. I was going through a First Aid and CPR training for my internship in college at Baylor in Waco. Before the training had started, my boss had told me that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center twin towers. Like everyone else at the time, I thought it was a terrible accident. While we were sitting the the training, another staff member kept coming into the room to talk our instructor and we could tell something was wrong as our instructor appeared more and more distracted. Finally after both towers fell, the staff member came in and told us what was going on. He said we would reschedule the rest of our training and we were dismissed. I went home and with my friends, we sat in front of the TV and watched the horror unfold on the news. My boyfriend at the time was working in downtown Houston. I remember him calling to tell me that all of downtown Houston had been evacuated.

I hope that the short video are watching in class today and our discussion will help my students understand better the events of that terrible day in history. Judging by their faces, I think they get it now.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Can you see them?

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to see and admit your faults?

It's like your clothing size. You may justify it saying, "Well, this brand obviously runs small," but the truth of the matter is that your butt is too big for that size. But it's just so much easier to blame it on the brand of clothing than admit those few extra pounds to yourself!

The same holds true for personality faults. When you look at yourself, it's easy to see the great things about your character. You are smart, you are funny, you are loving. But what are people saying about you when you walk away? You are selfish? You are bossy? Do you even want to know?

I have never wanted to be able to read minds. I think I would hate to know what is going on in people's minds. One of my faults is my mouth. It's big, it's loud and it runs constantly. It's something I have been working on, but it is a conscious decision that I have to make to just shut up sometimes!

I also tend to be fake. I like to justify it as "being nice" but if I don't like you, you probably will never know it. This one is really hard for me to fix. It's something that has been ingrained in me from a very early age. You are to be nice and carry on pleasant conversation with everyone, even your worst enemies. But really, what am I supposed to do? Be mean to someone I do not really care to talk to? That's not likely to happen. But then some people might call me "fake" or "two-faced." See, I am doing it now...justifying my faults. :)

Then there are faults you may not even know you have. Those are the really scary ones. Do you wish people would tell you? That sounds kind of scary. Maybe you don't want to know!
I think the best thing to do is to ask God to help you see your faults so that you may work on becoming a better person. But only do this if you are serious about following through with it! (Last Tuesday night I prayed for God to help me be a better parent. Mann bit at daycare for the next three days in a row. He has not bit someone since he was Emma Jo's age! Yep, that's God helping me work on my parenting skills for sure!)
So, if you are brave enough, ask God to show you your faults. From those few extra pounds to the skeletons in your closet.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ask me why

Ask me why I have chosen to drive what I drive.

A year ago, we purchased my dream car. A Chevy Tahoe. It had almost everything I wanted, minus the DVD player.

Or I thought it had everything. Except good gas mileage.

Well, duh! But when you have 3 kids you HAVE to get a big SUV to carry them and all of their stuff, right? Ummmm, wrong!

With all three seats in use in my Tahoe, I have about 18 inches to put my double stroller and my groceries, so the groceries end up in the front seat with me.

Then I get the pleasure of climbing to that third row seat to buckle and unbuckle Daniel's carseat. (Yes, he's 4 years old and Mommy is still buckling and unbuckling...that's a whole 'nother story.)

Still, that aside, I loved my Tahoe. But as the school year started, Seth and I quickly realized that I was burning up gas way too quickly. Just taking the kids to daycare and going to work I was using a tank of gas or more a week at $70 every time at the pump. It was time to rethink my dream car.

After researching until my head hurt, we decided to look at cars. Not crossovers, not minivans. Minivans' gas mileage wasn't much better than my Tahoe. And the problem with crossovers was that they are small and narrow and the gas wasn't too impressive on most models.

I finally came to this conclusion: If the kids are going to have to sit right next to each other, I'd better be getting not good, but great gas mileage.

So on Monday, we came home in this:

A Toyota Avalon.

Enough room for the three biggest carseats ever made in the backseat (2 Britaxs and 1 Graco Nautilus). A monstrous size trunk that fits my double stroller and all of the groceries easily. (And it's loaded just for fun!:) Of course, there is the concern about backseat fighting, but the great news is that my little monsters are within my reach! (And putting Emma Jo in the middle helps out as well.)

Why do we feel we have to drive SUVs? Do we feel they are safer? Car and Driver said that if "Toyota Avalon had another airbag, the entire car could be used as a floatation device." SUVs are far more likely to roll in a crash. And yes, I have to bend over to put my kids in and out, but at least I am not climbing in and out of the backseat to make sure everyone is secure.

No, I am not some kind of "Go Green" lunatic, (although I have used and loved cloth diapers, but we can talk about that another day:) but why aren't we thinking about how much gas we are putting into these large vehicles and how much pollution they are emitting into the environment? It's kind of ironic to think that these gas guzzlers are known as "Mommy mobiles" but the children riding in them are going to inherit an Earth that could be running short on oil.

I understand that some people must own a large automobile for one reason or another. But do you really HAVE to?

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lessons from Children

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. ~Franklin P. Jones

A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm. ~Bill Vaughan

There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get her to sleep. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ~Walt Streightiff