Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sometimes God Uses Shoes ...

A while ago, I heard a great sermon about God using who and what He can to "get His point across." It was far more eloquent than that ... but I got the gist ... and it stuck. He drove the point home today.

All four kids were home this morning. We had a deposit slip in hand and shoes were on. I wasn't dressed yet but I was going to do that after all the kids were in the car. We were headed to the bank. It was 10:18. Then Cooper had a two year old "moment." It was over which shoes he was willing to wear. Silly. Trivial. Frustrating.

I let it play out. When it was over I looked at the clock it was 10:30. Takes four minutes to get to the bank ...should I go? Nope. Still wasn't dressed. I have to go in ... and take all the kids... no driveup at our bank. It is inside a grocery store. Not today.

The bank was robbed at exactly 10:30 this morning.

God uses what He can. Today, He used shoes. And a two year boy.

Thank You God.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Journey vs. the Destination ...

The kids were asking for an "outing" today. We went to the bank, the pool, and the grocery store. I thought we accomplished said outing. In my mind, it was successful. No blood and not much whining. Apparently, it wasn't much "fun."

So... after some thought, I found a nearby park we hadn't visited. I researched it online, texted a friend to get her opinion, and mapquested the route. We finished dinner early and headed to the park. It was gorgeous ... with a lake, trails, and a cool tower you could climb. We saw deer and even met an (honest to goodness) Park Ranger and he pointed out various wildlife. I almost broke an arm patting myself on the back for what a fine job I had done planning this.

On the way home I glanced at the cemetery near our subdivision. I always do. The kids and I used to "walk the cemetery" in the last two communities where we've lived... but we hadn't done it in a while. I asked them if they would like to stop. Absolutely.

The trip there was unplanned. The destination ... a bit unconventional. But I can't tell you how much I got out of my kids while we were there. Education at its best. We did math (figuring out how long a person lived), reading (lots of names), social studies (who is likely related to who), a lot of talk about respect (cemetery etiquette) and God.

Emma and Grayson were particularly drawn to the grave of a six year girl. It had a light. It was getting dark and Claire pointed out it was likely " her nightlight." Gulp. Yes, I agreed. Wasn't it nice she has one? Then Claire surprised me. "She doesn't need one ..." she said. "She's in heaven."

Emma looked at me with the understanding of a soul beyond her nine years. She didn't even argue when I told all of them (with a huge lump in my throat) ... "But I'll bet it makes her parents feel better."

I don't doubt they will remember the park. But I'm so glad for those moments in life when God reminds us that the journey is often so much more than the destination.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Kind of Time Share ....

I decided to win some "Mother of the Year Points" from Claire by volunteering to keep Lucky the class guinea pig for a portion of track out. I felt pretty sure that I would immediately feel validated in my litany of "THIS is why we would NEVER have a guinea pig...." and that the kids would concur.

I thought a guinea pig would smell (not a bit), keep us awake all night (haven't even heard the little guy), and be not at all fun (turns out he is rather charming). He is really people oriented, makes little noises when you talk to him, and takes vegetables from your hand rather daintily.

And did I mention ... he is not at all fazed by our occasionally boisterous household? This must seem tranquil after being surrounded by a classroom of Kindergarteners.

At the end of four days, the kids may be sad to see him go. If they are, there are two or three trackouts left. We may be able to book the same timeshare for December!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Museum of Natural Sciences

We are blessed to be living in an area rich with culture. There are museums and other opportunities to learn outside the classroom everywhere we look. Today we took some time to venture over to just one of the museums in Raleigh. There were dinosaurs, waterfalls, live animals, movies about indigenous animals to NC, and a fantastic discovery room where the kids could do hands-on learning.

Did I mention some of the dinosaurs were life-sized? And equipped with sound effects? Yep... that made Cooper do some of his own sound effects. They sounded alot like crying.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Weddy Doe Mom" .....

"Tum on Mom!" Yep, Cooper was "weddy" for his first day of preschool today. Armed with his Diego backpack (thank you Auntie Janet) and a snack, he practically ran to the van.

Once he got there, he thought I would be staying ... just like at meet the teacher day. Guess I forgot to mention that I had mommy things to do. The lip came out and the eyes teared up ... and I had that mommy guilt brewing in my stomach. Momentarily. Fortunately, I had an appt and couldn't linger. Kiss and hug and off I went.

He cried. He settled down. He played, made a craft, went outside and had a snack. He crashed in the car before we made it out of the driveway. What more could I want from a preschool for two year olds?

Besides, how cute does he look standing outside with that backpack on? Seriously.

Friday, September 3, 2010

All Hail the FLOBEE!!!

I've occasionally been accused of being "thrifty." Some would say cheap. Not with all things ... but I try to watch what I can. When we took the move to this area, that skill had to be exercised a bit more regularly as the cost of living is quite a bit higher than the midwest.

So, when I heard that TWO of my neighbors had (and regularly used) the Flobee for cutting their kids' hair ... my ears perked up and the mental calculations of savings started in my head.

When one of those neighbors offered to actually cut the boys' hair using it, I jumped at the chance. After all, what boy wouldn't get a huge KICK out of getting their hair cut with an attachment hooked on to the vaccuum cleaner? Win-win.

The boys went first. I wasn't nervous for them. The neighbor and his son looked pretty good ... and they use it religiously. Then ... you know where this is going ... the GIRLS wanted to use it. You know, my girls with the CURLY hair ... the day before school pictures no less.

I had a bit of a dilemma. I so want to be the kind of parent who lets their kids take adventures - especially the safe kind - like hair. But .. the tiniest bit of me was a wee bit nervous with a vaccuum attachment stuck to the side of Claire's head. Again, my neighbor exuded confidence.

We went for it. All four kids got really good haircuts. The day before pictures. With no appts. For free. And all the hair was sucked into the vaccuum. Claire even wrote about it in Writers Workshop. How often do kids care enough about haircuts to write about them? But it makes me wonder what the teacher thinks of me... as Claire just wrote about the vaccuum part - conveniently forgetting about the "Flobee" part.

I just checked on line. You can still buy them. If you aren't lucky enough to have TWO neighbors that already have them =) A huge thanks to R and R for letting us barge in and take up their evening. The check is in the mail.