Monday, April 20, 2009

Parenting 101

Ok, so it has been over a year since my last post...since His mercy is new every morning-Ill jump into life currently.

There are too many facets withen my mind to begin to cover them all in one post-so I will start with's where my latest conviction comes from....

Love....that's it. Do I really love? Fully, completely, unconditionally, physically, tangibly? Only when they behave as I desire? Is that where all my praise comes from? Do I expect perfection? Have I sucked the joy out of loving Jesus?.....yes, on all accounts. Guilty. Thank you Jesus for standing in the huge deficit of my parental skills....thank you , thank you......

I took a long and extensive look in the "mirror" at the mother I have become vs. the mother I long to be....hum, tad off do I get so far to the left? I have all the usual excuses, "I'm busy with 4 kids." " There is so much work to do, I don't have time to enjoy them!" " I didn't grow up this way. My mommy didn't love me." "My husband is in Iraq." You know, all the usual ones.... but really at the end of the day-they are just excuses.....I get on track for a while, then all of a sudden I look at the map and have no clue how we got here?! Thank you Jesus for your Map!!!

Jesus said that they will know you are my diciples by your love (paraphrase, but close!).Quick revelation-I think he's talking about my kids too! Not just the outside world or those who don't believe. How about the little people who see me everyday, all day?! His word also teaches that I should "train them (children) in the way they should go..", somehow I am to merge these two thoughts! OH!! I get it!!!

Somewhere in my brain , I think I thought that as long as I train-they will catch the rest..and I suppose that could be true-but I hyper-focused on one to the exclusion of the other. Opps. Again, thank you Jesus for your grace and mercy.

Love them and train with grace....hum, nice one liner.

I like things that I can write on the wall of my brain like post-it notes to works for those of us prone to be distracted by shiny objects...

So what does that look like to me? The mommy I long to be? I don't wanna fall to far to the right either and just stop parenting. It's not so black and white;right or wrong. I think I have to have the balance of tender, yet firm love and training. Is there a book on that? (lol)yeah, there is.....

It can be so overwhelming....tender yet firm, gracious yet consistant, authoritative yet humble....

I'll start here. For today, just for today...(pretty sure they use that in AA...but I digress...)I pledge to do the folowing:

Hold you for as long as you will let me.
Talk late.
Find the "funny" in you and all you do.
Cry with you when your heart hurts.
Love you...all the way.

....and on that note....I'm off to learn more about crustaceans, supervise a chemistry experiment on fueling reactions, and go over colors with my two year it!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Update - day 17 (Confession)

So, as of yesterday we can officially see the front and sides of our pantry shelves!! This is really very exciting-and no worries-we have not resorted to the crackers and Ketchup yet!! Far from it! In our journey to clean out the pantry-we have stumbled onto some great recipes and we are finally using the " stash" of brownies and cake mixes!! So don't feel too bad for us!!!

Now on to the confession....we had some dear friends of ours Mr. and Mrs. R invite us out to lunch. The temptation of lunch was small, but the temptation to have adult conversation over a meal was great! And I caved first we were going to a restaurant where I figured we could still do pretty good by ordering a la carte. Then plans got changed and we ended up at a buffet....I hate buffets.....again, my desire to catch up and have deep conversation was too we ate at the buffet...I hate buffets. It just reminds me of how wasteful we are but you barely have time to notice that before the waitress comes to remove your last plate so you can just go get another, clean, hot fresh from the dish washer plate because they can hardly keep up with the demand from the patrons for more!!!! (I know, that was not even a sentence..) Anyway-before we left they mentioned they were going to go see the new Veggie Tales movie....again, the temptation was too great. At that point I should have just been satisfied with what conversation I had and time spent-but then I thought that I would treat the kids(ha) because they have been so great with everything and we NEVER go to the I remember why....crying baby, fussing baby, then sleeping baby who wakes immediately upon the absence of the constant rocking movement that I so desperately provide to calm him and not get nasty looks from all around me....I hate the movies....

So, I left the theatre, sick to my stomach-and not because I consumed an enormous amount of freshly popped movie theatre popcorn (mmmm....popcorn.....) , but because I knew I had foolishly spent money that was now gone-buyers remorse had set in (it was either that or the chemical breakdown of that highly addictive, yet oh so good "butter" they squirt heavily on the popcorn, but I digress...). I was so angry at myself and am still quite miffed at the whole day. And all though I very thoroughly enjoyed the company, I went over and over in my mind how I could have better handled my choices today.....

All in all, here's where I landed

Buffet for 4 : 26.00

Movie with popcorn : 32.00

The sick feeling in my gut of knowing that the money
could have been much better spent : priceless

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Update - Day 7, Our Journey Through the Pantry!

It is day 7 (week one) of our Journey Through the Pantry and I have to tell you its been awesome! We still have plenty of good food to eat! I was talking with a friend in AZ (Mrs.B) about our little experiment, and she too has taken on the challenge! After talking about it with her, we decided that there were ground rules that should be followed. Rule one is that although we may not go "shopping" for food, we may get fresh fruit and veggies. I want to see how long I can live out of my pantry-not nutritionally starve my kids! Second, you may also purchase milk. We don't drink a lot of that in our house, but at Mrs.B's they do, and with three "little" ones(she has seven altogether!), we couldn't see going months without that! I buy instant nonfat milk now anyway-so we always have milk on hand!

After talking about the "rules" of the game we added yet another side to it. In an attempt to keep our non-sense, impulse buys to a bare minimum. We are sending the oldest child into the store to retrieve said exceptions to the experiment. That way there is no aimless, wandering down numerous aisles of temptation!

Last night we had chicken, gravy and mashed potatoes, and veggies. Yesterday we ran out of store bought bread-but I have a cupboard full of all the ingredients to make bread! Ahhh...the bliss of "going without"!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Beauty for Ashes...

So today is my birthday. No big deal really, but it does cause one to reflect for a moment on ones life thus far. And as I reflected, (curled up on my couch in front of the fireplace with a nice hot cup of french vanilla coffee), I saw once again how blessed I am.....

I grew up on welfare and with no place to call home. With no father and a mom who worked two jobs to try and support us. We lived lived a life where I witnessed things that no child should see..... I don't want to get into the whole story-but it was a sad and hard childhood-we'll leave it at that....

Now flash forward to present day-I live in a home. A beautiful home(oh, thank you Lord...), with kids that I adore and will never feel the same pains and struggles that I felt growing up(oh praise your Holy Name....), and a husband who loves me deeply with a marriage that only God could have granted and has blessed with His own two hands(I fall at your feet, my God....) how?

I felt so unworthy.... there truly is nothing in me that deserves any of this." Weren't you there Lord, when I did that one thing...and then that other? I know you saw how bad I messed up when I did "that"? So by all accounts, You had every right to leave me no better then I came into this world!" But He didn't....oh could I ever thank you for giving such Beauty for such burnt Ashes?

Later I read a post from my good friend Mrs.L. She talks about loving her new boys that they have recently adopted. How the boys had never heard words of love, so she reminds them several times a day by asking them a question. "How comes I love you so big?"(in polish, and I won't even try to type that!) to which they respond "because you do!". It is a touching story.

As I got up from my computer to go refill my coffee, I thought about her post. I thought about how blessed I feel, how I don't deserve any of it, how God has adopted me into his family, how he loves me and I can't for the life of me figure out why!

Then, it was as if I could hear my heavenly Father say...."Calandra, how comes I love you so big?"....and I just smiled and softly whispered back to Him......"because you do...."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year-New Look?

Yes, as you can see I did a little remodeling to the blog site. I really wish I knew how to make it more my style-but I only know how to use the templates provided...perhaps I will look into that in my spare time! For now-this was a fun makeover!

So here's what I have been thinking. Well, first, here's what happened.

I was making dinner last night and was missing an ingredient. So I dug deep into the "black hole" of a pantry that we have to see ,if by chance I had said ingredient canned somewhere back in the recesses of the cupboard. After digging and shoving and pushing things aside, out of frustration I decided to just empty every shelf out onto the counter. OH... my, my, my.....

side note:have you ever had gluttony just stare at you right in the face? Sorry, I am getting ahead of myself

I contemplated for about half of a second weather or not to brave the arctic chill of winter that was outside my door to go get this elusive ingredient. Did the recipe really call for it? I should look at it again...yup, that's what it needs....oh well - nitrate induced hot dogs it is then!
Anyway, that's when the epiphany hit me. The idea that is rocking the world of the precious little ones that live with me.

Just how long could we last only eating what we have hoarded in the pantry?

I took the idea to the kids and shockingly, it has become quite a challenge! We got really excited about how this is going to play out. We decided to write down our meals daily; to keep a log of how we eat. I predict that we will be just fine for a while-but I can't wait until we get down to crackers and ketchup! (By the way-I have had that for dinner growing up-that's a post for another day!)

So, here we go. On our little" journey". Day one-so far so good....soup and sandwiches for lunch;sloppy joes and fries for dinner; complaints yet, but I'll keep you posted!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Elvis has left the building....

Well, I have always loved Elvis (because I was born in Memphis-and it just wouldn't be right if I didn't!) , but I love and miss my knight in shining armour more....actually , it's more like my knight in a teflar , bullet -proof vest....but you get the just.

I kissed my knight farewell after a much too short holiday together. Where we discovered that being miles apart from each other for long periods of time does not change the constant humor we share!! It's a slightly twisted humor that he and I share.....but its magical!

We spent our holiday cuddling, laughing, crying, shopping, staying up late, getting up early, cuddling again, making googly eyes from across the room, praying, talking, wraping more presents then we intended to buy, cuddling some more, visiting family, sitting with the kids, (did I mention cuddling? lots of that!) was the best Christmas......ever.....

Now, as my good friend Mrs. L would say, time to put my big girl panties on! I keep telling myself that we are on the downhill now of his tour-we did the last 10 months, so surly the next 2 and a half should be nothing, right? You know how when you run a race(don't laugh, I used to run) the last leg of it felt the hardest? You were tired, out of breath, and your legs felt like spagetthi-but you pushed through just long enough to make it past the finish line. Well, here I am. Staring down this last stretch of the race. A little older, hopefully a tad wiser, and definately with a tall, house blend, one sugar, two cream coffee in hand!!! Cheers!!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What's a "tag"?

So my real life friend, Kelly "tagged" me with something called a meme. Where I am supposed to give up 7 unusual things about myself. OK, here goes...

1. If in the unusual event I "forget" to make my bed in the morning-I have to make it before I get in it. Even if it is right before I am about to get into said unmade bed! (hows that Dr. Seuss!)

2. I have a strange love for the smell of bleach-my AZ friends are well aware of no secret to them!

3. When in the shower I am kind enough to save my hubby the cost of drain-o or a good plumber by "swirling" the lose hair I get from shampooing on the wall....much to his disliking I often forget to remove the small "creature" and dispose of it properly in the waste receptacle. There, I outed myself on that one , Kelly!!!!

4. I could watch "Pride and Prejudice" every night of my life and never get bored...but who could ever tire of Mr. Darcy??? (that would be the new version, not the terribly long, 6 hour version by the BBC)

5. I have to move my feet in a clock-wise motion in order to fall asleep-I only recently found out how much this annoys my husband!

6. There is a certain way to eat, no, savor chocolate.....slowly and with a glass of my favorite red wine, on the porch with a good friend.....sure miss you Mrs.L!

7. When I get anxious I rub my left eyebrow-and as my hubby knows-I have been known to rub it right down to nothing!!!

As I look over this tip- of- the- iceberg list of my "habits", how do you do it My Love? Boy am I glad God gave me to you! (Of course, not so sure you would say the same!!! Love you and counting down the days!!!!)