Ice Cream

I had Sammy in charge of dinner tonight.  He chose pizza.  I had some work to do, so I didn’t get any pizza.

There was no time for food, we had stuff to do at the school.  So we were off.  One meeting finished and we had some time left before picking up my cross-country runner.  So my non-cross country child and myself went to the store.  We had our fill of unhealthy snacks in our hands and were headed to the check out.

At the check out, we were standing in line and we saw a friend buying ice cream.  It looked soooo good!  It was raspberry chip cheesecake!  I sent my daughter to return some of our unhealthy snacks and we got some ice cream!  My dinner was a cup of raspberry chip cheesecake ice cream!  And it was delicious!

Tonight I am thankful for my ice cream dinner!  Yum 🙂

I Don’t Care if My Kid plays with Your Kid

This goes against a LOT of parental guidance out there.  Read anything, it says that I should care.  Pick up a magazine article, I should care.  I should have been planning play-dates since my kids could sit up themselves.  I should have enrolled them in something, anything, to get them interacting with kids their ages, right?

Once in school, I should be monitoring and encouraging their social growth.  I mean, that is what the experts say.  I should want them to “fit in”.  I should put them in a sport, have them join a club, or something, anything, right?

Guess what?  I simply don’t agree.

When my kids were younger, my thoughts on the importance of social interaction were not at the top of the list.  I thought they should learn to dress themselves, shower themselves, eat by themselves, and maybe speak coherently.  When we worked on social interaction, we went outside the house.  I’ve always said that’s the thing about people – you always know where to find them.  So we went out to eat, and I had the kids order for themselves.  We took the kids around family and they learned to be social in a protected circle first.

When my kids got a little older, I encouraged them to talk to other kids.  I reminded them that the other kids, the quiet kids and the loud kids, were all new to the classroom too.  And maybe they wanted to play.  Or maybe they didn’t want to play that day, but maybe they would want to play tomorrow.  Maybe the day their friend yelled at them for no reason, maybe that morning was a bad morning for them.

There was a brief period where I was going out of my way to help my oldest, with the whole “friend” thing.  We had a few social things at the house.  There was one girl who my daughter really wanted to be friends with.  And the girl’s parents were thought highly of in the community.  The mom seemed to snob me, but whatever.  I cared only in the respect that I wanted her to trust me, so that our kids could play; because this was important to my daughter.  One day we had this girl over to our house.  It was just for a few hours.  After the girl left, my daughter was so relieved.  The girl had been pinching my daughter to get her way the entire time.  The girl was mean.  The girl didn’t act mean around adults.  She knew how and when to act.  That changed it right then and there.

Adults are not usually what they seem.  Children are usually different; but not all of them.  I started watching this particular child a little more when I saw her at the school; or in their girl scout troop.  And I could see it then, when she played up being nice.  And when she thought no one was looking.

I was wrong.  I should not have worked so hard to make that get-together happen.  There is a reason that some friendships work and some do not.  Imagine what would have happened, if I had done nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing would have happened.  My child would not have had bruises on her arm.  And she would not have been bossed around for hours in secret.  And then it hit me.  If I am working on living my life to the best of what is right for me; and if I am telling my children to do the same; then isn’t it very hypocritical of me to push and force friendships that don’t come natural?  And the friendship that I was trying to “help” with, would not have been a good one anyway!

School is starting soon.  I certainly want my children to be good friends to others.  And of course I want my kids to have a couple of friends that they can trust.  I remember school!  I would like there to be nice people for my children to play with at recess.    My children and I will talk about a lot of things that happen at school; why this child said this or why they acted this way.  We will break down the mean words and actions; and how they usually come from some insecure or other place from the one dishing them out.

At the end of the day though, I would rather my kids be friends with themselves before they are friends with anyone else.  I don’t want them to ever value themselves based on how the kids at school treat them.  Because they are going to grow in to adults.  These adults will go out in to a world that will treat them meanly.  And I don’t want them to ever, ever, ever believe that who they are is based on what the world tells them they are. I know that this kind of confidence is not built-in a day.  I know this is year after year, month after month, week after week, and day after day of talking and believing and reassuring them that God made them special to do great things!  And he doesn’t make mistakes!  And that has absolutely nothing to do with who their friends are.

So no, I don’t care if my kid is friends with your kid.  On a scale of life importance, it is close to remembering to brush your teeth.  Friends are good.  Friends can be life changing.  Friends can define moments in life.  But friends are never a definition of your life.

Tonight I am thankful for a Mom who spent countless hours talking to me about how I was not what people said I was at school.  If I had ever bought in to the words or the classifications that social interaction had placed me in during school; I would be a completely different person today.  I would be a shell of who I am and who I will become in life.  I am thankful that my Mom spent the time teaching understanding to me about what was really happening.  There is a way to not end up bitter if things don’t turn out like you wanted in life; and that is in gaining wisdom and understanding.  I am thankful I was taught that; so that I can teach my children.  I want them to see that knowing who they are themselves is far more important than making friends.  I don’t want them to ever get lost in the stream of “social interaction” that carries away youth and makes them believe they should be a certain way because it is “normal”.  No one gets to dictate what is normal for my children.  Not social media.  Not teachers.  Not parenting groups.  And not friends at school.  And I am thankful for that.

Vroom-ity, Vroom, Vroom!!

After weeks of waiting, I finally have the final word on my car.  The repairs are covered under warranty!!  Hooray!!

I was around 4,000 miles from being out of my warranty.  So the timing is actually good here.  At the dealership, they showed me pictures of my poor little Blueberry car.

The scoop is, screws holding the wrist pin came loose.  Once there was enough play there, the wrist pin sheared in two, the piston came exploding out.  Metal fragments everywhere.  The picture of inside my oil pan looked like my engine threw up all sorts of pieces of metal.  Poor little Blueberry was sicker than I thought!

A new engine has been ordered!!  And in the meantime, I was given a car to drive!  It looks like Blueberry’s cousin!  A different color of the same model.  But a LOT newer!  Blueberry was already the newest car I’ve ever owned.  Her cousin here has a little over 1,000 miles on it.  Yep, that’s it.  Just over 1,000 miles!  I’m styling over here!

Tonight I am thankful for a new car to drive around in for a bit.  But I am most thankful that my new engine is covered by warranty!  It saves me several thousands of dollars!!!  And hey, I’ll have a brand new engine!!

In A Storm

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; I think that being a mom has taught me more about God than anything else in life to date.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not diminishing the Bible by any means!  But when I think of my heart towards my children; and how much greater God’s heart is to us . . well then the world makes a little more sense.

For instance, I have four children, so I ask them to help each other.  Sometimes there will be a child who really could use some help.  Sometimes it is the child’s own fault that he or she needs help; sometimes it isn’t.  It doesn’t matter.  Sometimes I see a child who needs help and I ask another child to help out.  Many times the child who needs help ends up being mean or rude to the helping child.  They yell at them for not helping how they wanted.  Or they yell because they’ve already tried doing it “that way”.  It doesn’t matter.

When that happens, the child has now lost their helper.  I tell the helping child to leave.  I tell the remaining child that they must now figure it out themselves because I offered them assistance thru their sibling, and they were rude or mean.

Same thing goes for if the helper child helped finished the task; but then the child needing help started to bad-mouth the way the helper child actually helped.  The child who needed help has now lost help the next time that they need it.  Because you don’t get help from someone and treat them bad.  You just don’t do that.  I’m the Mom and I say that is not allowed.  Case Closed.

Now put that in to the adult world, where we are God’s children and he is the Heavenly Father.

A few weeks ago I helped out a person.  Like majorly helped.  One of those helps that a person gets to do only once in a very great while.  Only the parties involved know about this help because it was so big.  I didn’t want the person being helped to feel embarrassed.  I just wanted to help.

The main part of the help was done.  There were loose ends and a bit of work to be done by the person receiving the help.  But they were pointed down the right path and given a helping push to send them off on their way.  Now, weeks later the person thinks everyone is the enemy.

Change is scary and change is hard.  And life is hard when decisions are made for the wrong reasons.  This person is scared.  Their life is going to change one way or the other.  I get it.  I truly do.  But just because change is going to be happening; people are not evil and the world is not the enemy.

Today I think I should have felt betrayed.  I think I should have felt hurt.  And I’m pretty sure I should have felt mad for helping someone and then having names called and threats made against me.  But I didn’t feel any of that.

I just kept thinking about watching my children in this scenario on a much smaller level.  And I felt sorry for this person.  When I watch my children; I explain to the helper child that they did what I asked, they helped, they did their job, and I will protect them from anything the other child might do.  How much more does God feel this way?  I’m not sure . . . but I’m sure it is a lot.

Tonight I am still thankful for the opportunity to help a person in a big way.  I would not change a thing.  Tonight I pray for this person.  I pray they find peace.  And I pray they get thru this chapter in life better than today.  Tonight I am thankful for the understanding that is mine at a completely different level than I would have had just years ago.  Tonight I am thankful that I could stand amidst a storm being thrown my way; stand there and offer a solution.  And best of all, I could stand there unafraid of the storm, confident in the knowledge that I was safe.

Ready to Ride!

Our 15 mile bike race is coming up next weekend.  I am excited for it!

We did this race two years ago, and we finished dead last.  BUT, we finished!!!  At that time, the endurance was just not there for my then-10 year old.  Since that race, he is now on his second season of cross-country.  So his body has learned a few things for sure!

We’ve had a bit of technical difficulty preparing for this race.  We’ve replaced the piece that moves the chain between the gears, pedals, seats, and various other items between the three bikes.  We’ve worked on recognizing the important difference between gears and seat to pedal distances!  And I believe we are ready to roll next weekend!

Tonight I am thankful for some rides leading up to this race with my kiddos!  The race itself will be fun too.  But these times riding together to build up to the race have been priceless to this Momma!

 

Adventure

For a few years now, I’ve heard about the hundreds of miles of garage sales happening on Michigan’s US-12 and thru several other states.  For a sale-lover like me, this has sounded like an exciting time!

The big sale was this weekend!  On Wednesday I looked at the calendar, and I saw an empty spot on Saturday!!!  I talked to the kids, and they were all in!

This morning I woke them up bright and early at the crack of 7:30 *eye roll*.  Ok, well to the summer vacationing children, 7:30 might as well have been 4am.  But they got up!  They got ready to go!  And we were outta here!!

Of the several hundreds of miles of garage sales, I think we may have went about 20 miles.  I should have measured our journey.  But, we had fun!  We found some good deals at many, many sales!  We pulled in alongside the now-closed dinosaur park!  We pulled in the currently-closed Stagecoach villagey-thing.  We bought some yummy produce from a road-side stand.  And, with it being race weekend, we drove home thru MIS so the kiddos could see the excitement building with the qualifying today!

Tonight I am thankful for a fun adventure day with the kiddos!!  I am thankful for finally going to experience the miles and miles of garage sales!  And I am thankful that we found something special for each kiddo today!  We sadly did not find good deals on fishing poles (which is on my garage-sale to-buy list).  But that really didn’t matter.  We had a wonderful day together today as we are wrapping up summer vacation before school starts soon ❤

The Right Tools

Unfortunately, the repair list on the washing machine discussed last week was too long.  The more we looked at how much it needed and weighed in the age of the machine and how much we use it, we decided to see how much a new machine would cost.

The hubster did some research on energy-efficient models, capacity, etc.  We hoped on Lowe’s website (love their free delivery!) and found that the model at the top of our list just happened to be on sale for well over $200 off!  That made the cost of this new model look much more appealing versus the cost to attempt to repair the old machine.

The washing machine was delivered yesterday.

Our old machine came with the house.  That machine was selected by the previous owners; of which there were two of them.  Do you want to know the difference between a washing machine capacity selected for two people versus the washing machine capacity selected for six people?  I’ll tell you!  The difference is amazing!

I was skipping thru the house yesterday looking for more dirty laundry to wash!!  The size of the machine had never really clicked with me before as being a variable to my never-ending battle with the mountain of dirty laundry that had taken up residence at my house.  But, oh what a difference it makes!

Tonight I am thankful for having the right tool for our family’s laundry needs!!  I may start re-evaluating all the things in this house!  Ok, well not everything.  I won’t go overboard.  BUT, I wonder if there is anything else that could be just one change away from a bit more of my sanity being put back in to place!!  🙂