Friday, December 30, 2011

Let the record show...

The year is coming to a close and as I have known myself for.... awhile now... and I know that I will be jumping up to do the "get back to blogging in the new year" thing on the 1st so I thought "why not get started now?"... Ok, that's a lie because what I really thought is I just flipped over the calender to January and there are only 4 days left open so maybe I should do it now while there is a break in the chain... LOL

So, even though you didn't ask for it, here it is A BRAND NEW BLOG POST!!! 

I was inspired by a dear friends Christmas letter this year in which she, who shall remain nameless, (LESLIE DEERING) gave what amounted to a deposition on why she is crazy and I thought... as my fate is sure to be similar to hers I should also be prepared to give an account :) 

So, here goes...  I am home schooling and driving a carpool 3 days a week.  How did that happen? Wasn't homeschooling supposed to keep me home?  We are still able to squeeze all the other subjects into the remaining days though so... no worries.  As it turns out I really can go back and forth between high school, middle, elementary and kindergarten questions at the same time.  I am an Awana leader (ok, and Ben is the commander so there's those meetings too) every Wednesday night, which is one of the days I carpool so I end up gone all day with just enough time to serve and clean up dinner before heading back out for club.  I love going to the Elk Homemakers once a month and writing the article for the local paper about each meeting (hey, it's only once a month, that's not bad... but then book club is only once a month too...) I have cut way back on being on the worship team because now that I teach Sunday school it is too hard most weeks to do both back to back.  My class isn't huge but it's all kindergarten boys (I love boys so I don't mind).  It is for this reason however, that I now HATE markers.  I have had 8 surgeries on my mouth in the last year and spent 14 days in the hospital (none for me myself so they were spent sleeping in a chair... which is a bad idea in case you were wondering) which was really only doable because Ben could be here with the kids as he has been out of work since June.  I was super excited to help put together Elk Days (we had over 300 kids in the first hour!) this year and volunteer for the plant/bake sale last spring.  All my kids had birthday parties and I hosted every holiday of the year (including that BBQ with over 70 guests). My garden did better then ever and I did my first canning this fall all without missing a single day at the county fair for 4H (those meetings are only once a month too) or Dr. well checks or visits to the children's dental village...

I hope this doesn't sound like I am complaining as I am thankful to have a house, clothes and dishes TO clean... it is simply to explain the ever burning question that people keep asking "are you crazy?" YES! Yes, I think I am. At least that is what I am attributing the eye twitch, loss of hair and insomnia to.  I don't have much time to think about it though so I am not completely sure but yes, I think I am.  
Sorry but I have to go as the new puppy needs to be taken outside to go potty... consistency is the key you know!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Did You Just Say That?... Really?

My husband and I were in a local restaurant the other night (a very nice restaurant, that I frequent... frequently) and it was late we were the only customers.  As will sometimes happen, this created an opportunity for the staff to strike up conversation amongst themselves while cleaning up.  We were not talking and so it was that I heard every word of this conversation and am confident that I didn't misunderstand.  There were three girls with zero male input.  I would guess they were in their early to mid 20's. 

Girl #1 said that her boyfriend wanted to get married and that she was not willing as she was confident that he wanted to have children and it was important to him that she stay home.  She said that she would never do that as her time was more important than that and she was too intelligent to waste herself that way. 

Girl #2 said that she wouldn't mind being a stay at home mom but knew that she would have to join some committees and non-profit organizations to keep her mind working as there is no way that she could just sit at home like that watching children like some daycare worker. 

As Girl #3 piped up, you cannot imagine how I hoped that she would be different... but she was not.  She said that she would love to have the freedom of being a stay at home wife but not if there were children involved.  She was working for her degree and had no intention of wasting all that work just to get stuck with the kids while he got to have a fulfilling career and accomplishments.

Oh how I wish it had ended there but it did not.  They then proceeded to talk about how that was a job for women who weren't educated or creative enough to do anything more.  They laughed and joked about how sad it would be to have so little self respect or prospects.  I wish I could say that I stood up and set them straight... but instead I sat there trying not to cry. 

They were saying so many of the things that I feel.  Most days of being a stay at home mom make me feel like my brain is turning into mush.  Picking up the same toys, washing the same dishes, folding the same laundry while my goal is to keep life fun and challenging for everyone else... but me.  I know that what I am doing is important but I don't feel important most of the time.  It was so hard to listen to other women say these things.  I think if it had been men I would have been in their face in 5 seconds flat. 

Why is that?

Who taught them these things?

How do we stop it before my daughters grow up?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pssst.... Did you hear?

Gossip. I was approached with a question yesterday about what gossip really is. What qualifies as gossip? Being a group discussion I of course heard the tired "talking behind someones back" and "a group of women huddled in a circle after church"... people, people, people, that is not gossip. Talking about other people behind there back is not gossip. It is my hope that if I have talked about you to someone else when you're not there and you two finally meet, it will sound something like "Amy has told me so much about you, I feel like I already know you and love you!". A group of women circled around to talk is called communication and it is vital to the growth and maintenance of relationships.

So what is gossip? Sadly, this one I have had so much experience with that I have the answer down pat. Gossip is talking in a negative way about someone not present, using words and phrases that you would not say to their face. There you have it. Talking about something negative that happened between you and another person is not gossip if you have had the discussion with that other person. In other words, you cannot accuse someone of gossiping about you if they are making you look bad because you did something mean, cruel, catty, or rude and they told someone else about it. Note to self... behave better. On the flip side if you are purposefully telling only negative things about someone or repeating negative things that you have heard, that is gossip. If you have never met... you really shouldn't be saying or hearing anything negative about them period. This is of course why I strongly believe that 90% of all mass media newscasts are gossip. They are simply telling you the ugliest, nastiest things that happened that day involving people you have never met who have no way of telling their side of the story and if you have ever been involved in an event that made the news you can attest to how inaccurately most of it is reported.

The overall point of this memo is this... if you cannot say it to their face... don't say it at all. When you talk about other people keep your words positive and uplifting of their character. People are relational and will (and should) talk, so give them something to talk about (clearly I practice what I preach on this one!) but remember that you are the one deciding what they will have to work with. Do not be afraid to speak the truth but make sure that if it is negative, you are saying it only to people who know the situation and are involved or it is just gossip.

Disclaimer: all of the above statements are made under the assumption that what you are saying is true. If you are lying, it doesn't matter if it is positive or negative... because it's a lie... get it?!

*steps off soap box and poses for photos

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Story of my Tuesday version #1

Tuesday sucked. I was greeted first thing in the morning by a call from my husband (while trying to get everyone out the door already running late before 8am) saying that something was wrong with his brakes and he may have to have his car towed. He suggests that I take my car in to be checked (after I drive the carpool, go to a meeting and of course with my 5yr old) as it has been making the same noise as his and he would just feel better if I checked it out. As I am sitting at the tire and brake center (for what ended up being just over 4 hours) my husband confirms that the repairs on his car came to just over $800 and I tell him that mine will be almost exactly the same. Ladies and gentlemen, we now have a $2,000 dollar day. Tuesday sucked.

Story of my Tuesday version #2

Tuesday was miracle day. I was greeted by my husbands voice first thing in the morning assuring me that he was alright but that his breaks went out. During his 45 min. drive to work over winding and hilly back roads, through stop signs on more than one highway and stop lights through town. His brakes even worked as he slowed to enter the parking lot at work. As he stepped lightly to pull into his spot the peddle went to the floor and he bumped into the little cement blocker. He was on time to work and completely safe. Later when they towed his car they found the brake pad and parts on the ground under the car severed in half. The older gentlemen who worked on his car said that he had never seen one broken so completely. Our cars had been making the same noise and so I took mine in to be checked. Along the way I drove my own children and four others to school over those same winding and hilly back roads and highway stops. The man at the tire store made me come look at my brakes when they pulled them off. He looked at me and said "Honey, there is no doubt in my mind that tomorrow you would have stepped on the brakes and the peddle would have gone to the floor and your emergency brake was already gone". I did not yet know what had happened to Ben's car. The next day I would have again been driving with all those children in mine. Unlike Ben, there would not have been a single safe stop or area for me to lose my brakes... not one. There would have been no amount of money that I would not have paid to avoid a call saying something had happened to Ben or that Ben would not have paid to avoid a call about me and the kids. Tuesday was miracle day.

Glass half full or half empty?... have you met me?!
My Cup Runneth Over

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Am I Masculine?

There's girls like Trinity and then there's... me

Ok, so I have a new friend. I don't know why but somehow that always starts a weird assessment test in my head. The kids and I were invited over and all my senses were assaulted with femininity. I had no idea you could scream "women live here" quite that loudly with decor alone but trust me... it can be done. I watched as my daughter Trinity's (pictured) little eyes lit up like a Christmas tree and even Raven seemed stunned. The more I looked around the more I could not help but ask... am I masculine? I came home and took a good look around. This is different than when I visit my 'messy disorganized' friends or my 'we make more in a month than you do in a year' friends or even my 'unafraid of color' friends... this made me feel like.... my mom! *GASP

I love my mom but it is not a secret that we refer to her decor as "hospital-esque". In other words, white on white on white with just a touch of almond appliances. I have been relieved to find sufficient evidence that a girl lives in our house too (although admittedly nearly all of said evidence is in my daughter's room) just not in floral form. I have a strong aversion to flowers... because they die and that depresses me. I have however learned to keep a number of indoor plants alive (herbs and fruit bearing so that they qualify as useful not decorative) for color. My walls are not white (but since most of them are log I cannot take a huge amount of creative responsibility there either). It seems to be in the small details that I can see I am indeed feminine... just on a smaller scale. My hair is nearly to my waist so I do get points for that (but only because it's no longer the 80's). As long as I don't look in my closet I feel pretty good about it.

Maybe I should buy a skirt?