Sometimes You Could Be Better

This past weekend I was laying with Joseph (7) for some snuggle time before bedtime. He nuzzled in close and said, “Mom, you’re the best mom in the whole world.”

I said, “Thanks, buddy. That’s so nice of you to say that. Sometimes I don’t feel like the best mom.”

“Why?” He asked.

“I feel like I yell a lot.”

He quickly answered, “You do yell a lot.” ouch “There are times when there are better moms in the world than you,” double ouch “but right now I think you’re the best mom in the world.”

Out of the mouths of babes…

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The Best Mom in the Whole World

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A few nights ago, in typical pre-Mother’s Day fashion, Joseph asked me this question while we were laying in bed: “Mom, who do you think is the best mom in the whole world?”

Here we go, I thought. This is gonna be good. He’s going to tell me how great I am. Time to talk about my awesomeness as a mother. I’m game.

I didn’t want to boast, so I replied, “I would say it’s a tie between Nana and Grandma. They were awesome moms to Daddy and me.

“Nope.” He said.

yup, I knew it… Here it comes. I’m walking right alongside his thought path. I love this kid.

“Mary.” He lead on, “Mary was the best mom in the whole world.”

Wow. Mary? Good answer. Must have been tough raising a son who was incapable of sin. Falon, slow your role. Mary had to watch her son suffer. Suffer the most unbearable death. For your salvation. Get over yourself.

“You’re right! Mary was the best mom. She was Jesus’ mom! And that’s so awesome.”

“Yeah, but mom, if God was Jesus’ dad and Mary was married to Joseph, was she also married to God??”

Crap. Here we go. Of course he picks a time to ask this when Ben’s out of town….

“No, she wasn’t married to God. God made her pregnant by a miracle.”

Silence.

“Oh, ok. Do you know who is the best mom that I’ve ever met?”

yeah, baby. THIS is my time!!

And sure enough, it was. I love that boy to pieces.

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A Question A Day With My Kids – Update

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Q&A a Day For Kids

As you may recall, in 2012 my mom got me this book Q&A a Day for Kids. I failed miserably at keeping up, as I do with all things in my life that are “extras.” We made it through April in 365 days… but I’m not letting that stop me. I’ll keep going not paying attention to the dates and write down their silly answers. Some may be a year apart, and some may be three. Does anyone care? I didn’t think so.

Alex, now 4, has picked up some new themes – as you may recall, he was obsessed with Target at the beginning on 2013. But due to a relocation of the store further from our home (BOOOO!!), Target has exited the brain and has been replaced with wrestling.

Enjoy…

Q: What sounds do you hear around you?
A (Joseph): Daddy cleaning some grease off, Alex eating, and Mommy writing.
A (Alex): Bats and tigers.

Q: What are you thankful for today?
A (Joseph): I’m thankful for Jesus.
A (Alex): I’m thankful I can hope.

Q: What is your favorite thing in nature?
A (Joseph): Grass because it’s really soft.
A (Alex): Going in a tunnel.

Q: What do you really like about yourself today?
A (Joseph): I like that I gave the tattoos to my friends.
A (Alex): I like to play wrestle.

Q: What did you do this week to keep your body strong and healthy?
A (Joseph): Eat lots of food – fruit and vegetables.
A (Alex): Eat rice.

Q: When were you brave?
A (Joseph): When I heard lots of noises in my room and I slept still…and when Santa was here.
A (Alex): When Santa came here and I played wrestle with him.

Q: Describe what your Dad does for his job.
A (Joseph): Traveling.
A (Alex): He works with tools.

Q: What advice do you have about keeping friends?
A (Joseph): Say thank you for the stuff that they do, give ‘em a pound and give ‘em a high five.
A (Alex): Play ring around the rosie.

Q: Which one of your senses is your favorite? Why?
A (Joseph): Tasting. I like to taste candy.
A (Alex): Smell. I like to smell things and then see them.

Q: What is the best thing about your life right now?
A (Joseph): Oh that’s easy! Having friends and having family.
A (Alex): Playing with Leo.

Q: What do you wish you had more time for these days?
A (Joseph): More time for being outside.
A (Alex): Taking somebody’s beyblades.

Q: If you ruled the world, what would you change?
A (Joseph): I would not have people go in time out and I would just take away stuff – like books.
A (Alex): My bathing suit and my underwear.

Q: What is your favorite way to get around?
A (Joseph): Ride my bike or my scooter.
A (Alex): I like to go through the woods.

Q: Who is the oldest person you know?
A (Joseph): Grandpa Peters and Munga.
A (Alex): Ryer.

Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why?
A (Joseph): Really fast at Legos because I want to get really good at them.
A (Alex): GRRR! And running. Because I like it.

Q: If _______, things would be a lot better.
A (Joseph): the world changed and we could always wrestle
A (Alex): my animals would be an alarm

Q: What have you done lately to help the planet?
A (Joseph): Cleaned up
A (Alex): I helped the aliens

Q: I hate it when ________.
A (Joseph): somebody chews on my toys, or takes my toys.
A (Alex): somebody takes my toys away or takes my family to jail.

Q: Whom do you look up to? Why?
A (Joseph): God, because he’s in my heart.
A (Alex): Morgan, because I like her.

There you have it, folks! The inner-workings of my kids’ brains… wrestling, playing, toys, and…. family in jail???? I plead the fifth on that one! ;)

Snow Day Fun

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It’s January 6th. The supposed first day back to school after winter break. Only today we’re at home again. For the 18th day in a row; but who’s counting?

Snow days like this – emergency snow days – call for deep reaches into the patience bucket and high doses of tolerance. Throughout today’s adventures I’ve learned something: as long as I’m standing in the room where the action is, just watching, things go very well. As soon as I walk out, it all falls apart. Not much getting done that way, but my sanity is more important than chores today. I feel like a purple minion – about to explode at any minute.

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So here’s how we’re surviving 30 billion inches of snow that we’re not allowed to play in due to 100 below wind chills.

First, we find every pillow and blanket in the house and make “a pile” and then jump off the furniture into said “pile.” At 8am.

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This sweet action shot was taken by Alex of Joseph. Not exactly blog worthy, but whatever, you get the point.

The infamous pile gets moved into many rooms throughout the house so we can try out various dismounts from differing heights.

Next, we pull out the solo cups and build towers. This entertained them for a good 45 minutes and then finding every Lego guy we own to put on each piece of the tower swallowed up another 20-30 minutes. Brilliant.

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After the tower fell, I diffused the anger and disappointment with another project! 2 words that solve any problem: rocket launcher. We made rocket launchers out of the solo cups. Pinterest is a beautiful thing.

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There was a little of this in there, too.

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And now it’s nap time so we’re eating popcorn and watching Disney junior. (Oh yeah, that bruise on his forehead is from an unsuccessful pile jump. Oh well).

Snow day success!

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Dora the…Planker??

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My son, Alex, loves Dora. He has since he was 18 months old. I don’t mind it. I bought him Dora sippy cups, and made him Dora birthday cakes… We read Dora books and play Dora games. No big deal, right?

Well, yesterday I downloaded the Dora’s fantastic gymnastics app on my phone for him. And tonight I found these saved on my phone…

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Who knew Dora could plank?? What’s next, photos of Dora twerking?!?

Never a dull moment!

T’was the Night Before School

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T’was the night before school
And all through the kitchen
Momma was stirring
While the kids were all bitchin’

I don’t want to go to bed!
I don’t want to go to school!
I hate hot lunch!
These clothes are not cool!

Momma couldn’t be happier to see them off the next day
Eat your breakfast!
Use your manners!
Have a great day!

6 hours of silence
As she rode in her sleigh
To the bank, to the store, maybe a latte!
The first day of school was her favorite day!

But after noon passed
The clock didn’t seem to stir
The house was too quiet
No one needed her

3pm rolled around
And the kids got off the bus
She couldn’t wait to hear their tales
She missed all the fuss

It wasn’t easy being Momma
Day after day
But her heart felt empty without them
At time spent away

She hugged her babies tight that night
As she began to think,
Only the second day of school tomorrow
But the years are gone in a blink

*Blessings to all of my momma friends tomorrow on your kids’ first day of school. I know I’m ready, but somehow I know I will miss them come the slow afternoon! Thank God for the amazing teachers and staff that care for them while they are out of our watchful sight.

Back-to-School Interviews

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Here are our 2013 Back-to-School Interviews…

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Joseph, 6, going to First Grade.

Q: What are you most excited about?
A: I have the good teacher. She gives you lots of mints.

Q: What are you most nervous about?
A: Going to my new class, because you know how I don’t like to leave you.

Q: What is your favorite subject?
A: Computers

Q: What do you like for lunch?
A: Lunchables

Q: What are you going to miss most about summer?
A: Swimming in the lake and in pools.

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Alex, 4, going to Preschool.

Q: What are you most excited about?
A: My new teacher

Q: What are you most nervous about?
A: Nothing

Q: What is your favorite subject?
A: Coloring

Q: What do you like for lunch?
A: Mac-n-Cheese mixed up with hot dogs

Q: What are you going to miss most about summer?
A: Not going to school. I want to bring my shark scooter to school.

There you have it, folks! We’re ready for the 2013 school year to begin!

Take Me the Way I Am

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As I was dancing with Andrew in the kitchen tonight, I sang him the second verse of the song, The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson. I felt a tug at my heart (dare I say emotion??) as the words felt so real.

I have always known that my love for my children is the most intense love I have ever felt. And the love that they so unabashedly give in return is amazing. But the thing about their love that sticks out to me comes to life in these lyrics:

If you were falling, then I would catch you
You need a light, I’d find a match
‘Cause I love the way you say good morning
And you take me the way I am

If you are chilly, here take my sweater
Your head is aching, I’ll make it better
‘Cause I love the way you call me, (mommy)
And you take me the way I am

I’d buy you Rogaine when you start losing all your hair
Sew on patches to all you tear
‘Cause I love you more than I could ever promise
And you take me the way I am
You take me the way I am, you take me the way I am

[ From: http://www.metrolyrics.com/the-way-i-am-lyrics-ingrid-michaelson.html ]
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So maybe the last verse is a little weird, but it’s so true that our children take us and love us for exactly who we are. They don’t care if we have designer jeans, or make up on, or if we lose our job. They don’t even care when we’re total jerks to them. They love us anyway. And they keep coming back, again and again.

It truly is a love that only God can understand. It’s the love He has for us. It comes through in our children and we feel it for our children, too. Just the way we are, just the way they are, just the way He made us. He’ll take us.

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Friday’s Parenting Failure, Redeemed

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Mornings aren’t a good time for me. No matter how late I sleep in, I’m always crabby. This morning was no different than any other. The boys were up and around and full of energy at 8:15am.

They ended up in Alex’s room pulling all of his “next size up” shoes from the closet. Of course one pair had been put away with sand still in them and Joseph noticed the sand and tipped it upside down to empty it. On the carpet. Perfect. I saw the whole thing unfold while I was trying to help Alex with another “new” pair and flipped out. “What are you doing?!? Why would you dump the sand on the floor? You know better! Use your head!”

#1 Mom right here.

He sulked out of the room and sat on the couch. “Why are you so mean? I’m going to tell dad that you’re the meanest.”

I stewed for a minute and looked at him across the room. And then I walked over to him and sat down next to him. “Why are you sad?” I asked.

“Because you always yell at me. You never told me not to dump the sand on the floor. I didn’t know.”

True on the first 2 accounts. False on the 3rd. But the 1st statement broke my heart. I could see hurt in his eyes.

I do my fair share of yelling. My temper is short. Especially in the morning. Unfair and uncalled for.

“I’m sorry, buddy. You’re right. Mommy should not have yelled at you. I’m sorry. I love you.”

It’s amazing how hard it is for me to apologize. Even to my 6-year-old. I hate that about myself.

“Do you want to help me vacuum up the sand in Alex’s room?”

“Yes!”

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So I pulled out the vacuum, and started in the living room. With a few quick tips he was off!! And man was he off! Vacuumed the WHOLE HOUSE! And loved it. Of course I praised him up and down for his stellar work and help. He beamed and called himself the janitor. “Just like at school!”

And while he vacuumed for 30 minutes, I got the boys dressed and myself ready!

Praise God for parenting failures that turn into loving, teachable, forgiveness-filled moments.

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And to his future wife, you’re welcome. ;)

Jesus and Paul

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Joseph, 6, and Alex, 4, were playing in the sandbox. We’d already had multiple crying/screaming incidents… And so the ultimatum was laid: “next time I hear any screaming or crying you’re both coming in. Both of you. So it’s in your best interest to get along. Got it?” So much for following that advice I read a while back that boys stop listening after the first sentence… I should have stopped after the first period.

So about 30 minutes went by and there was peace. And then I heard Alex scream.
Me (from the deck above): “All right guys, time to come in.”

Joseph: “See what you did, Alex? Now we have to go in.”

No movement.

Me (walking down to the sandbox): “Guys, time to come in. I heard a scream.”

Joseph: “Mom, it was Alex. I was using the castle and he came and took it out of my hand. I told him that he can’t do that and then he screamed. Mom, can we please just keep playing? Please?”

Me: “If you can both tell me what you learned from this then you can keep playing.”

Joseph: “me?!? Talk to Alex! He needs to learn. Not me.”

Me: “Alex, what did you learn?”

Alex: “Jesus. Jesus and Paul.”

Yup…….. That’s it. Makes total sense.

So they kept playing…

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