How Not to Talk to Your Child about Sex: A Cautionary Tale

I’d like to share three things I learned about myself last night.

  1. Procrastination is bad. Very, very bad.
  2. I’m a phenomenal actress.
  3. I’m too old to drink multiple margaritas on a school night.

So there I am, lovingly tucking my daughter in bed. The house is quiet around us, it’s just her and I, we’ve said our prayers, and I’m juuuust about to shut the door and go downstairs, when she opens her mouth.

Daughter: “How does someone get pregnant? Do you choose to do it or does it just happen?”

Oh dear God.

I could tell by the look on her face that this wasn’t going to be one of those times when I could brush her off with a simple, “when two people fall in love and decide to be a mommy and daddy…” kind of conversation. No, she was going to dig in. She was going to ask all kinds of why’s and how’s and how come’s until she was satisfied.

Have I bought and read all of those lovely books written by child psychologists and child education experts on explaining puberty and sex to children? No, of course not, they’re still sitting in my Amazon cart. Have I read through the articles I saved to my Pinterest board on parenting for just such an occasion? No, of course not, I’ve been too busy watching Tasty videos of four ingredient enchiladas and cupcakes that are iced to look like hydrangeas.

Stupid procrastination. Stupid Pinterest.

Ok Sandra, you can do this. You’re a mature adult and a loving mom, surely you can make it through this conversation. How hard could it be?

I can’t even tell you what took over my brain because I’m pretty sure I entered a state of shock, horror, unbelief, and please help me little baby Jesus. One part of me tried to retreat to my happy place and some person I don’t really know took over and ran the show.

All I can tell you is that words like penis, vagina, semen and ejaculate (can I say those words here?) came out of my mouth. After a while her face got this horrified and disgusted look on her face, and she grabbed my hand and squeezed it tightly. What did I do then, you may ask? I just kept going and going because once I jumped out of that plane, well, there was nowhere else to go but down. And the whole time, a frantically screaming woman that looks remarkably like me, was in the back of my head saying, “shut up, shut up, shut up, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL OF HIS ANGELS, SHUT UP!!!

And even though her face was mortified, she kept asking MORE QUESTIONS.

Bless her heart, after about 10 minutes she finally said, “Ok, that’s enough, Mom. We’re done with this conversation. We’re moving on.”

And what did I do then? I kept going…because of course.

Me: “Ok, we can be done, but two things are important for you to know. The first is, you can always ask me any questions at all that you have about these kinds of things. I’m not at all embarrassed to talk about it,” (yeah right you freaking liar liar pants on fire), “so you shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask.”

Daughter: “Ok, mom.”

Me: “Second, this is a conversation that should only take place between parents and their kids.” (Did you hear that? Parents. Plural. As in, two. Where the heck is my husband, and why do I always get these questions??) “So make sure that you don’t share what we talked about with your sisters or any of your friends. Your friends need to hear it from their parents when they are ready, not from you.”

Daughter: “Ok, mom. Can we be done now?”

By the time I finally made it downstairs and into the kitchen where my husband was making the coffee for the next day, I was done. Completely spent. My two personalities had finally merged back together again, and were yelling obscenities at each other since apparently working together is beyond them. In pure defense my brain decided to leak out of my ears and puddle on the floor.

Husband: “I made you a margarita. That took a long time. Everything ok?”

Me: “No. Shut up. Make it a double.”

Talking to your child about sex

P.S. Before you get mad at me for all of my prayers for help – they may have seemed slightly blasphemous, but they were COMPLETELY sincere. I actually WAS praying for deliverance…

where do babies come from and other scary conversations

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Truth Tales – Sometimes Helping Others is as Easy as Enjoying a Story

I recently met a wonderful woman by the name of Mary. She is lovely and fascinating, caring and intelligent – basically all of the things I want to be when I grow up. We met through a mutual friend at a women’s ministry event at my church, and as we were working with our hands we got to talking about our lives.

Book Review benefiting India

Mary has a daughter roughly the same age as my oldest, and she stays home with her children, like I do. However, unlike me, Mary was born and raised in South India. At the age of nine she accepted Christ and began to serve the Lord by distributing information about salvation to the people she would see in the streets of her home town.

Now she is an adult living in the U.S., but she still has a heart for those people in her native country who do not yet know Jesus. She and her husband travel back frequently on missionary trips, and on one such trip she had the privilege of teaching English to the teachers at Infant Jesus School in Yercaud Hills, Salem District, Tamilnadu, India.

Infant Jesus School is a private Christian school that caters to the educational needs of 60 villages surrounding Yercaud. They offer a basic, affordable education for children ages 3 to 10, teaching English, Tamil (their native language), math, history, geography and science. The majority of the children attending Infant Jesus School are sons and daughters of agricultural estate laborers and drivers.

These teachers were very shy because they had such little knowledge of the English language and needed someone who was willing to work with them at a beginner level. They themselves had only received education up to the 12th grade, and while some of them had basic teacher training, none could speak or write in English.

When I asked her why she felt compelled to teach these women, Mary offered this:

“Their individual desire to learn English motivated me to be their main tutor for 5 months and enabled me to sow into their lives with their first English lessons, so that they [could] learn to speak and write English. Once they overcame this major hurdle of learning basic English, their confidence level built up tremendously and they became a huge source of encouragement and support to their own family members, neighbors and their communities. The bottom line is to reverse the concept of English being a foreign language[,] to English becoming a local language.”

At the end of the training, they were given an assignment. They were asked to write, in English, a children’s folktale that they had grown up hearing. Once these were complete, Mary gathered them up, along with the accompanying artwork produced by the teachers, and brought them back to the U.S. to be published.

Book review benefiting India

Truth Tales is a compilation of 15 children’s folktales from India.

The stories are sweet and easy to read, and like most folktales, are followed by a moral. They reflect a rich culture, and are written in a way that children of all ages will enjoy and understand them.

book review for India

The profits from sales of Truth Tales will go to build schools in the remotest villages in India and SriLanka.

If you are looking for a gift for an elementary-aged child, or you want to help out this beautiful ministry, you can purchase the book directly from their ministry SOAR for Greatness here.

Or you can order it from Amazon in paperback or Kindle format here.

Book review benefiting India ministry

India, ministry, book review

 

 

 

Trying New Things and a Giant Thank You

When my husband first started encouraging me on this blogging journey, my biggest worry was that I wouldn’t have anything to say. Or, at least, I wouldn’t have anything to say that people would want to read. After all, I was “just” a stay at home mom. I didn’t have any special training, fancy letters after my name, or expertise in any one particular subject. I was that mom who, when her friends and family members would call to excitedly talk about a promotion or raise, would be all, “I organized the kids’ closets by color, today.”

Please don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love that I get to stay home and raise my children. I have been a working parent, and while I really enjoyed my job, I felt strongly that I needed to be home full time while my kiddos were young. Obviously that’s not to say that I think that’s what every mom needs to do to be a good mom, but at that time, for me, that is what I needed to do. Thankfully, it’s something we were able to make work, even though at the time it was scary to lose half of our income.

So, when Aaron nagged gently encouraged me to start writing, I was pretty dubious about what to share. I’ll never forget what he said. He told me that we have a good family – not a perfect one – but a good one. And people need to see good. People need to see that there is hope for the family – even though it seems like the American family is falling apart everywhere we look. Sometimes it seems like all you read and watch these days is about brokenness, and people need to see pieces of light, too.

After many late night conversations, a lot of prayer, and a pro-con list (because that’s what I do), Outnumbered was born.

It’s been incredibly nerve-wracking, exciting and liberating to be able to write and have people care to read it. Each and every comment people have left has been treasured, whether it’s been on my blog, Facebook page, or even in person. So thank you, thank you, thank you so much for reading.

I just rolled the ticker marker over to 800 followers this week. Woohoo!

blogging

It probably seems small for some of my much higher-reaching blogging friends, but I’m pretty excited by the milestone – especially when my first follower was my husband, followed closely by my mom.

Since you’ve all made it this far, and because I figure I should share where I’m going since you have gotten me to where I am, I have some news I would like to share.

FIRST

I was very excited to have one of my devotions published in the Focus on the Family Magazine. I’ve never made a secret about my opinions on inviting God into your marriage, and having something I wrote in a feature about growing together spiritually is a huge honor.

You can see that article here. There are a number of other devotions in the series they put together, so I encourage you to look around the site for those.

SECOND

I’ve been occasionally submitting content to various other platforms, and I recently got an original piece picked up by a site that I really respect. If it does well they will even pay for it – which is a pretty big deal for a stay at home mom/blogger who does almost everything for free! You can expect to see me doing a happy dance soon when that comes out – I’ll be sure to share it with you all.

THIRD

I’m working on something huge (for me) right now, something that I’ve wanted to do for years – it’s pretty much the most terrifying thing I’ve done since that time I thought it would be fun to have a fourth kid. I imagine I feel the same way I would if I was going to go sky diving. Excitement, exhilaration, and the fear of falling flat on my face in a giant puddle of unrecognizable goo. I’m not really ready to say what it is yet because it’s just too close to my heart right now, but keep me and my “goo thing” in your prayers, if you don’t mind!

Thank you again for reading my stories, it’s been a pretty great ride so far.

Love,

Sandra

Man Cold Meets Nurture Umbrella (Or the Surprising Things You Can Learn When Arguing with your Spouse)

Let me start by saying that my husband and I get along pretty well. After being together for 20 years, we’ve figured out how to settle most disagreements in a civilized manner so that at the end of the day we still like each other. There was one memorable exception at the beginning of our marriage involving salad tongs, but we’ve learned to put the serving utensils aside and just use words these days. Since we know each other so well now, there are many times when we don’t even need to argue since we already know what the other person is going to say.

what I learned when I argued with my husband

That being said, there are times where we still surprise one another.

Last week Aaron had a cold. It was so bad that he actually left work early to come home and rest (which is saying something since we have four kids and our house isn’t very restful when everyone is awake). Now I know many women joke about “man colds,” you know, when they have a tickle in their throat and think they’re dying.

what I learned when I argued with my husband

My husband is the complete opposite of that. Have you ever seen that old movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Do you remember the black knight on the path that gets in a sword fight, and then when his arms are cut off he is still jumping around declaring, “it’s only a flesh wound!”?

what I learned by arguing with my husband

Aaron is a lot like that. The few times in his life he has voluntarily gone to the doctor without me nagging him to death have been for, in chronological order: a heart condition requiring surgery, a life threatening bacterial infection, and a case of the flu that was so bad that he cracked a rib coughing.

So needless to say, when he comes home from work early because he isn’t feeling well, I get pretty concerned.

Fast forward about a week. Aaron’s feeling better, and we’re sitting on the couch discussing some things that are going on at church. He asked what was decided on a council I’m on, and I told him that I wasn’t sure since I missed the meeting it was discussed at because he was sick and I had decided to stay home instead so that I could help with the dinner and bedtime routine.

He got irritated.

At first I couldn’t believe it. I mean, hello, I was helping HIM out while HE was sick. I missed a meeting at a TACO restaurant to feed the kids and put them to bed so HE could get some rest. I’m a stay at home mom, I know it sucks taking care of kids when you’re sick, couldn’t he see I was trying to HELP?! (I was this close to breaking out the salad tongs).

arguments in marriage

Now, this could have dissolved quickly into anger and hurt feelings, but the neat thing was, instead of that we were able to have a conversation that revealed some really important things that neither of us had realized about each other.

My Husband is an Equal Partner in Raising the Children

Aaron is, and wants to be treated as, an equal partner in the raising of our children. Of course, I knew that and do my best to treat him like that. However, to him that means doing the hard stuff, too. Such as taking care of the kids even when he’s sick if there is something important I need to do.

He gets upset when he feels like other moms expect him to need help when I’m not around. In his words, “I’m the Dad.” The Dad isn’t the secondary parent, or the parent that is clueless most of the time. The Dad cares just as much as the Mom when it comes to what the children need.

Now, there may be times when he doesn’t know all the little details of the kids’ lives as I do since he goes to work each day and I spend more time with them, but he is still just as interested and involved in their lives.  Yes he works. Yes he has to do so outside the home to provide for our family. But that doesn’t make him less of a parent. And parents show up, even when they’re sick.

My Job as a Caretaker Extends to Him as Well as the Children

As a wife and mother, part of my job, part of my calling, is as a caretaker. I take care of our children – making sure they are healthy, rested, fed and emotionally nurtured. That nurturing, though, doesn’t stop at our kids. For me, my husband falls under that “nurture umbrella” as well.

When he’s sick, it’s part of my job to make sure he has access to the medicine he needs. When he’s tired or stressed, I try my best to give him space to rest or to be a sounding board if he needs to vent. I would do no less for my children, so he doesn’t escape that caretaking just because he’s an adult. If I would bring a sick friend some soup and wash her dishes, why wouldn’t I do the same for my husband?

So in that regard, if I think he needs help or rest, I’m not going to say to him, “Suck it up, I have something more important to do.” I’m going to rearrange my schedule to try to help because that’s what you do when someone you love needs something.

what I learned from arguing with my husband

All in all, it was an incredibly important conversation, and one I’m surprised it has taken this long for us to have. While I knew he felt very strongly about his role of father and what that entails, I didn’t realize he would feel like I was treating him as the weaker parent by rearranging my schedule. While he knew I took my role as caretaker very seriously, he didn’t understand that he falls under the same umbrella as our children.

I suppose the lesson here is, sometimes it’s good to go ahead and have the argument, even when you think you already know what the other person will say. They may just surprise you.

arguing in marriage

To My Youngest Child

Dear Baby of the Family,

You’re my youngest child, the last baby I’ll ever have, and the one thing that was missing from this family all of these years. You get the benefit of all of our experience with your older siblings, the relaxation of rules, and a playroom full of used toys.

youngest child

Sometimes I’m not sure if I should feel bad for your place in the pecking order or congratulate you for being the one least likely to get in trouble. However, as you get older, I feel like there are a few things I need to apologize for.

youngest child on his birthday

I’m sorry for the time I pushed you down when you started to crawl. I knew what was coming and I wasn’t quite ready for it.

I’m sorry that we have a cabinet full of pink cups, purple bowls and flowered plates since you’re the only boy and we’re too cheap to replace everything now.

I’m sorry for squeezing you a little too tight and crying that time you gave me a kiss without me asking. Mamas get a little emotional sometimes.

I’m sorry you never get new clothes since all of our friends and family have already had boys, and hand-me-downs are much more cost-effective and earth-friendly than always buying new. (I’m also sorry they all have other people’s initials on them…)

I’m sorry I don’t take you to the park as much as I did your older sisters – I’m pretty parked out. Luckily you seem to like our back yard just fine.

I’m sorry I keep arranging your hot wheels by color instead of playing crash, like you would rather. (Although that may be an anal “me” thing instead of a youngest child thing.)

I’m sorry for that time you fell and scraped your knee and I didn’t immediately rush over with a hug and a band aid. We’ve learned that sometimes it’s better to not react and just let you shake it off.

I’m sorry if I rock you just a little too long at bedtime. I know these days are numbered and you’ll be too big to fit on my lap soon.

I’m sorry your older siblings don’t like the way you play Godzilla with their Barbie houses and are always shutting you out of their rooms.

I’m sorry I don’t allow play-doh or glitter in the house anymore. I blame your sisters, so take it up with them.

I’m sorry I seem to forget your name every now and then, and instead call you by your sibling’s, dad’s or the dog’s names.

youngest child and his personality

Most of the time I find so much joy in the way you’re growing, learning and developing. I love how your personality is emerging, so distinct from your sibling’s but with little hints of them in you. I love watching you discover new things and try new stunts. But it’s all a little bittersweet since every time you move onto the next step I know that’s the last time I’ll get to be in the previous one.

So keep growing, keep doing and keep learning. Just give your mama a bit of a break now and then when she holds you just a little too long or hugs you just a little too tight.

Love,

Your Mom

youngest boy

mom and son at the beach

baby of the family

Not In My House, Harvey

You came in with a heavy fist and you tried to smash us. You broke our buildings with your winds, you smashed our boats and ripped off our roofs. You brought the waves over our sea walls and spread debris over our beaches. But you know what? We’re already rebuilding.

Not in my house, Harvey.

You brought your thunder, your lightning and your tornadoes. You made our alarms blare and our children hide in closets. You took our sleep and comfort with your bands of red, orange and yellow. But you know what? We’re not in closets now. We’re already picking things up.

Not in my house, Harvey.

You dumped trillions of gallons of water on us. You sent floodwaters surging down our streets, into our businesses and through our homes. You made children cling to trees and roof tops, mothers float their babies on air mattresses, and fathers carry belongings in trash bags. You took the homes of our seniors and swept cars off of roadways. But you know what? We’re drying off now.

Not in my house, Harvey.

You made us leave our homes. You made us find shelter elsewhere while we prayed, watched and searched for loved ones. You tried to break our spirit. But you know what? We’re coming back.

Not in my house, Harvey.

We’ve come together. We’ve helped one another. We’ve risked our lives to rescue our neighbors and prayed for strangers. We’ve cried our tears, mourned our homes, and we’re picking ourselves back up. We’re holding our hands out to one another. We’re giving our things to our community. We’re giving our hands and our time.

Not in my house, Harvey.

I’ve seen people come from miles away with their boats and their skills. I’ve seen teenagers beg for opportunities to help. I’ve seen women cooking for first responders and displaced friends and family. I’ve seen strangers giving rides to evacuees. I’ve seen people comforting children not their own. I’ve seen shelters prepared with love and warmth in a matter of hours. I’ve seen men standing in the rain with smiles accepting donations of maxi pads for strangers. I’ve seen a parade of police come in from other cities to give our officers some much needed rest. I’ve seen parking lots full of volunteers, families shopping for other families and donations overflowing. I’ve seen friends, family and neighbors cleaning out each others’ houses. I’ve seen social media used as a tool of beauty, help and relief instead of hurt or isolation. I’ve seen relationship. I’ve seen family. I’ve seen the true meaning of community.

Not in my house, Harvey.

You brought your worst. And make no mistake, it was bad. It was terrible, horrifying and tragic. But you know what, you don’t win. We do.

Not in my house, Harvey.

We have a chance right now. We have a moment in time where we can build on the overwhelming love that is flowing in this place. We have an opportunity where we can take these feelings of compassion, of helpfulness, of willingness to listen and share; we can take them and make something amazing. We can be that city on a hill. We can be a light in the darkness that wants to divide us. We can be an example of what it looks like when you truly love. When you truly want the best for your community. We can show the world what it means to be on Team Humanity. Not team left, team right or team skin color. Not team gender, team politics or team religion. We can show what can happen when a group of people comes together and says, No. Not in my house. Take your division, take your hate, take your destruction, and get out. Get out of my house. There’s no place for you here.

How you can help

1. Reach out

Talk to your neighbors, get to know their names, build relationships.

Texas needs your help right now, but honestly, so does America. We’re at a crossroads where we can make a decision. We can keep going the way we have been, walking a path of anger, litigation and distrust. Choosing sides and demonizing our neighbors. Or we can join Team Humanity. We can look at our brothers and sisters as something other than adversaries, and learn their stories and their hearts.

2. If you live in an area that has been touched by Harvey, help your neighbors

Walk the streets of a neighborhood that is trying to rebuild – offer snacks, water, or a strong back. Bring cleaning supplies and tools like work gloves, buckets, boxes, pry bars, hammers, scrapers, heavy duty trash bags, plastic sheets and rubber boots. Pick branches up out of your elderly neighbor’s yard. Cook a meal for someone that has been helping rescue others, or who has been cleaning all day.

3. Write encouraging letters

Bring notes or children’s cards to fire stations, police stations or other responders. Show them what their work means, and let them know that what they do is appreciated.

4. Donate items

People in Texas have been very generous, and our donation centers and shelters are overflowing with items already donated. If you would like to donate goods or services, contact the organizations and find out what they truly need right now. Most commonly asked for are diapers, pull-ups, baby formula, hygiene products and pet supplies. Look at the smaller towns in Texas and Louisiana that were also hit – Rockport, Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, Dickinson, Beaumont, Lake Charles, Port Lavaca, etc. They are missing much of the media coverage, but many of them have been devastated by this storm.

5. Give your time to a shelter

Our shelters are packed with people with no home, no belongings, and frequently with no idea what to do next. If you have the time and compassion to do so, volunteer at one of these places to sort clothes, give a listening ear, watch children and give some relief to those who are working there. Many shelters in the area have plenty of volunteers right now, but as people start going back to work the number of helpers is going to dwindle. As a friend of mine said, this is a marathon, not a sprint. If they don’t need you today, chances are good that they will tomorrow.

6. Help find homes

Thousands of people are in search of temporary housing as they try to rebuild their homes. If you have a garage apartment, rental property or have knowledge of apartments that have available units, share that information with your friends or family who may be searching for somewhere to stay.

7. Babysit

There is nothing harder than knowing you have to clean out your home but you have nowhere safe to put your young children while you work. Offer to babysit for those people that can’t afford childcare right now, or whose schools or daycares were destroyed. Be a safe place for those children that are already traumatized by losing their homes, and care for them while their parents try to clean things up.

8. If you want to specifically help Houston or other parts of Texas right now and you can’t be here in person, donate money

Pick a charitable organization of your choice and give to it. JJ Watt has one, Samaritan’s Purse has one, and odds are your local church has one – the list goes on and on and on. People can be amazingly generous, and there are tons of options available. Some people speak badly of the Red Cross because of concern about where your money is actually going, but as someone who has recently witnessed the competence and compassion of Red Cross volunteers, I can honestly say that if your $10 doesn’t go to Houston today, it will surely go somewhere tomorrow that needs it just as desperately. And I’m ok with that.

9. Read to kids who need the distraction

Go to the Facebook group Hurricane Harvey Book Club and upload a video of yourself or one of your children reading a book. Children who have been displaced or who are stuck indoors while roads clear can have some distraction while sharing the joy of reading with others.

10. Pray

Pray for our state, for our cities, for our communities. Pray for our country. Pray for the people who have lost their homes and loved ones. Pray for people who are working tirelessly to help. Pray for all of those who have given and who continue to give. Pray for peace and unity and understanding in our country so that we can be that city on a hill. So that we can be a place that others look to in order to see what it looks like when you truly love your neighbor.

Some helpful links:

These are places you can go to give money, items, or to volunteer. This list is not exhaustive by any means, they are just a few that I have used or am aware of. Many school districts in our region are doing what they can to help the community. If you want to help your immediate area, check with your local school district to see what needs they have.  Schools throughout Harris and Fort Bend Counties have flooded, and districts are working to find places and supplies for the students to use while their regular buildings are being cleaned. Many area churches have also set up relief funds and shelters for the parts of town they serve. Check your local church websites for donation and volunteer information.

Focus on the Family and Convoy of Hope

JJ Watt’s You Caring

The Red Cross  Or text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation

Samaritan’s Purse

Klein ISD

Preemptive Love

Mission of Yahweh

Houston Food Bank

As I said, this list is far from complete. If you have one I missed or if you have other ideas for ways to help, please comment to let others know. Harvey finally left Texas, but it’s still not finished with the U.S. It moved through our family in Louisiana, and is currently bringing winds, rain and tornado warnings to our family in Memphis. But you know what, we’re stronger than any storm.

Not in my house, Harvey.

hurricane harvey

Photo Credit KRRC

flooded Houston

Photo Credit ABC13

flood water rescues

Photo Credit ABC13

flood rescues

Photo Credit ABC13

national guard rescuing residents

Photo Credit ABC13

 

Texas Strong

Photo Credit @ChrisCraftUSA

 

pray for TX, pray for Houston

Some Sunshine for This Rainy Day – Kids are Hilarious

I’ve been watching the news, gathering donations and checking in with family since 7am this morning. I’ve talked to strangers who became friends, prayed until I lost words, and cried over the pictures on the news. I’ve watched volunteers show up and be the hands and feet of Jesus, offering to help wherever they can because that’s all they can do.

My heart and mind are exhausted from all of the things I’ve seen and heard.

We’re holed up in our house now, watching the rain continue to pour down and hoping the creek nearby stops rising. I know that as hard as this has been, many of our neighbors have it so much worse. We’re continuing to put our trust in God, knowing He is present at such a time as this.

Because I needed a mental health break, I thought you may need one, too. So here is a list of some of the funny things my kids have said through the years. I hope it brings a little bit of sunshine into this difficult and heart wrenching day.

my babies

***

Sydney: Oh look, a cheetoh!
Layla: Gross, don’t eat that, it’s been out for like five hours.
Sydney: So it tastes like the last time you cooked something?

***

Me: Gwendolyn, go find your seat. Warmer…Warmer…Warmer….Hotter….
Layla: Red hot, red hot, you’re on fire!
Sydney: You’re like hot lava!
Aaron: You’re like Alice in Frozen!

*Silence*

Me: You really need to watch that movie.

***

Layla: Two boys at school are fighting over who gets to marry me.
Me: Are they just play fighting or real fighting?
Layla: Real fighting.
Me: Like hitting?
Layla: No, like rock, paper, scissors.

***

Layla: What are we having?
Aaron: Asian chicken salad or pasta.
Sydney: It looks a little funny. *Cough* I think it’s stuck in my throat. Don’t worry, I’m ok.
Gwendolyn: I think I’m allergic to this food. It makes me do this *makes gagging noises*.

***

Me: Y’all want to go get donut holes?
Sydney: Not donut holes. Just donuts with the holes.

***

Me: Do you remember our list for the store?
Sydney: We should write it down.
Me: I don’t have any paper, you’ll have to write it on your brain….what are you doing?
Sydney: I’m writing it on my forehead. With spit.

***

Sydney: Mom, can you text Santa?
Me: I don’t have his number.
Sydney: You can probably look it up on the Internet.
Me: What do you want to say to him?
Sydney: Dear Santa. My whole family is very nice. Except when we lose our temper and hit someone.
Me: That’s probably not the best choice for your opening statement.

***

Me: Remember to cough into your elbow.
Sydney: Mom, that’s too boring. I like to call it a “dab cough.”

***

Sydney: I think I’m allergic to big sisters.
Layla: Dear God, please give me patience.
Sydney: I’m pretty sure they give me hives.

pray for TX, pray for Houston

 

Pray for Texas

Pray for TX

As we here in Texas have been glued to the news stations for the last 48 hours, it’s been equal parts shocking, sad, humbling and encouraging. We’ve seen devastation caused by winds and rain, as well as the grief on people’s faces as they experience the loss of everything they have built and worked for. We have seen the extreme hard work and dedication of people who are committed to rescue, reporting, and assistance efforts. We have seen people coming out to help their neighbors, and others who are incredibly grateful just to be alive.

From all of us here in Texas, as we deal with the immediate emergencies and the aftermath that is still to come, please keep us in your prayers. We covet each one, and are incredibly grateful for all the people and agencies who are providing assistance in any way.

 

First Day of School Playlist

Note: Sense of humor STRONGLY recommended. If this does not describe you, I recommend bypassing this particular post. I won’t judge.

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So. It’s the first day of school for my three girls, and like most things in life (weddings, vacations, trips to the grocery store), I have found that things are much more fun when you have a soundtrack to get you through the day. If I was in a movie, (or let’s face it, a tv show because I don’t have time for movies these days), I would have the absolute coolest soundtrack. The first day of school is such a big day it needed a playlist all its own.

7:00am: Packing lunches, fixing hair, eating breakfast, assuring each child that it’s going to be a great day where they will get the chance to see old friends and maybe even make some new ones.

We are Going to Be Friends – The White Stripes

first day of school playlist

7:30am: Hugging my new kindergartner one last time and watching as my babies climb on the bus.

I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

first day of school playlist

8:00am: Wow. It sure is quiet in this house. It’s only me and ONE other kid, who is still asleep. I kind of miss summer.

Here I Go Again – Whitesnake

first day of school playlist

8:04am: It’s almost like I’m ALONE here. I don’t think I’ve been alone in about ten years.

I Stand Alone – Godsmack

first day of school playlist

8:10am: Wait wait wait. I can do whatever I want!

I’m Free – The Rolling Stones

first day of school playlist

9:30am: The toddler wakes up. I give him milk and breakfast and decide it’s a good day to dance. Son! Did you know we can play ANYTHING we want ALL DAY??

Day One (of the rest of our lives) – Matthew West

first day of school playlist

12:00pm: Still having fun, and partying with the toddler. Check it out, it’s almost nap time!

House Party – Sam Hunt

first day of school playlist

3:45pm: Watching out the window for the bus to pull up and drop off my three girls. The party is almost over – oh look, there’s the bus.

Without Me (Guess Who’s Back) – Eminem

first day of school playlist

3:50pm: How was your day? Did you like your teacher? Yes, you can have a snack. Did you make new friends? Yes, I can cut up an apple for you. Did you use your new school supplies? It’s ok, I can pick up the spilled milk, don’t worry about it.

Here It Goes Again – OK Go

first day of school playlist

6:00pm: Everyone is home, everyone is safe, and we’re all together again. They had a wonderful day of school, they loved seeing old friends and are looking forward to tomorrow. The noise is back, but it’s a good noise – a happy one.

Beautiful Day – U2

first day of school playlist

New School Year Resolutions

I have THREE of my kids starting school this coming Monday, so I thought I would pull this out from last year, dust it off and see what I need to do to prepare for this new chapter. It will be weird for me since this is the first year since 2009 that I will have only one kid with me for the majority of each day. I’m not sure what the baby and I will do with ourselves for all of that time!

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School is about to start for our crew, and since our whole schedule is about to get rebooted, I decided to create some family goals for the upcoming school year. Here are some new school year resolutions important to our family…anything you would add for yours?

1. Ask the kids each day if they have homework.  If they say yes, make sure they do it.  If they say no, check their back packs.

2. Pack a nutritious lunch each day.  Ok, every other day.  Ok, ok, at least twice a week.

3. Develop a relationship with the childrens’ teachers.  Email relationships count.

4. Avoid PTO flyers. Give them my husband’s cell number and email address if they ask for contact info. (Some people are super awesome PTO parents.  They’re gifted and involved and efficient. I am not one of these people, and it’s really best for all concerned if I stay out of their way.)

5. If the teacher has a treasure box, make donations to it throughout the year.  Those treats are paid for out of the teacher’s pocket.

6. Hide all clothes I don’t want the kids to wear to school. Those are the ones they always choose to dress themselves in.

7. Institute a daily chore list and enforce it.

8. Be consistent with bedtime so the kids get enough sleep.

9. Wake up before the children each day and drink a cup of coffee so I can speak to them intelligibly, and so I can see well enough to catch them before they walk out the door in the clothes that were supposed to be hidden.

10. Encourage the kids to make new friends in addition to their old ones.

11. Have healthy after school snacks on-hand and easy to find.

12. Find the school year calendar and record it on the family calendar so we can avoid those awkward mornings at the bus stop when we’re waiting forever, only to find out it’s actually teacher in-service.

13. Take advantage of online grade books and cafeteria records.

14. Don’t lose any more library books.  Those suckers get expensive.

15. Be in constant communication with the children about how everything is going. Make sure they know that I’m interested in what they do away from home, and that I care about what they are experiencing each day.

New School Year Resolutions (1)