Someone wasn’t quite big enough to go on all the rides.
Yes, of course the pig’s name was Wilbur.
Fairs, I discovered this weekend, are hot and sticky. They smell like sugar, grease and manure. Fairs can lure all kinds of cash from your wallet. Fairs are loud. Fairs are crowded. Watching your kids have an absolute blast, however, is way awesome. And they did, have an absolute blast that is. My kids loved the rides, the farm animals, the presentations, the treats. Troy and I loved that they loved the county fair – that we didn’t have to travel far to make sweet summer memories.
That being said, I am officially all fair-ed out … until next year.Read More
The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple.
~Doris Janzen Longacre
With school starting back up in a couple of weeks, I've been taking inventory. I've been eyeballing bedrooms, dressers and closets – assessing what we have, and making a mental checklist (Wouldn't it be awesome if I actually wrote these things down. Imagine how productive I'd be!) of what we'll need in the fall.
And here is the conclusion I've come to:
Once again, we've accumulated too. much. stuff.
Oh what will it take to finally penetrate my thick skull with the truth that less is freeing – less is less stressful – less is easier to manage – less is spiritually, financially, emotionally beneficial?
I'm shooting myself in the foot by hungering for more.Read More
Princess Priscilla went up to the moon
She took Elijah in her hot air balloon
Princess Priscilla, please come back to me
And we'll have some donuts and raspberry tea
I think I heard her laughing, swinging from a star
My precious little angel, singing from afar
Princess Priscilla, the morning has come
Slide down to me on the rays of the sun
Princess Priscilla, wherever you roam
I'll always be waiting to welcome you home.
- a home grown lullaby from me to Priscilla,
composed in my head while nursing her in a rocking chair
when she less than a week old
Happy 10th Birthday, Darlin'!Read More
Two days ago, during one of our half dozen phone conversations, my sister-in-law, Paige, reminded me to "submit to the crazy." It's really just the wisest advice in the world, what with fighting the crazy (that which cannot be controlled, including unexpected interruptions, tantrums, broken appliances, illnesses, etc.) being so consistently frustrating and all.
We're on our way to drop Elijah off at drama practice (Is it really 12:30…already?), register my kids for school, get some groceries, and…oh good grief, Benji just dropped a weight on his finger and it's swelling like a balloon. Our bedrooms will most likely not get tidied again this afternoon, nor will the car…or the kitchen.
One deep breath, several prayers for mercy, a swipe of lip gloss and I'm off!
…in unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by You.Read More
I'm not sure how we ended up at the mall together, my brother, sister-in-law and their three girls plus my two youngest and I. Elijah was at drama practice, Priscilla was downtown with my parents, our afternoon was unusually open, the weather was muggy, it was threatening to rain, and next thing I knew we were an hour from home scanning the aisles of Old Navy for back-to-school items.
I hadn't been to a mall in ages. It was surreal, I tell you, a real blast from the past, from when my junior high girlfriends and I would be dropped off for the afternoon to hang out at Wet Seal and Annie's Pretzels. Not much has changed in the last twenty-some years. The trendified high schoolers were still there, as was the food court and kiosks selling all sorts of weird junk.
Not much has changed, expect for me that is, all ancient (in mall years) and out of touch, and confused by the display windows featuring spandex pants and studded halter tops. And I have kids now, one boy in particular with energy to spare way interested in touching stuff, stuff like escalators. "Those aren't toys you know!" I was brusquely reminded by a mall cop. That's totally true, they aren't toys (and that's… One to Grow On) - not like Legos from the Lego store:
So fun to drool over, to pine over, until…uh oh, my young boy's ardent desire to bring home just one tiny Lego set becomes more than he can bear, inducing tears and passionate pleading. Too bad that young boy's mother has become, by that point, all malled out – has grown leery of the s-t-u-f-f for sale every where she turns. "Not today, buddy, she tells him." Sniff. Sniff. Sob. Sob, goes the boy. "Oh no, the green eyed monster got you!' says his cousins.
I am thankful from the bottom of my heart for those cousins, for their parents who support me in my ongoing struggle to balance empathy (Look, I for sure struggle too – just like my children – in this area) with tough love – the kind of love that reinforces early on the pitfalls of enslaving oneself to his or her passions, the downward emotional, spiritual, financial spiral born of an obsession with instant gratification. It feels like I'm swimming upstream sometimes, as a parent both unwilling, and unable, to keep up with the Joneses.
It takes a village to plant seeds of compassion, patience, self-control and contentment (with who they are and what they have) in a child. I'm too imperfect; I become easily discouraged and overwhelmed on my own. I need you, friends, Church family, flesh and blood family. I appreciate you more all the time for embracing me, and my kids, unconditionally, and for backing me up when I must make unpopular parenting decisions that may not be understood for years to come…maybe never. I appreciate you for making me laugh and for gently pointing me back (without condemnation) toward the one thing needful when I get distracted.
I raise my mall slushie to you! And I promise to try my best to buttress your salvific endeavors as you have fortified mine.
Peace to you, today!Read More