Monday, April 30, 2007

Bad News or Ranting Parent post

God has seen fit to bless us with four very easy to raise children. Having said that I must admit that I am now not on speaking terms with two of them. The two middle children. Thirteen year old girl and fifteen year old boy.

The short version is, I got suckered into screaming at the two of them (in front of the four year old) to stop screaming at each other in front of the four year old. Towards the end of my bellowing I realized the irony of the situation and sent them both out of my sight till my mental age could catch back up to my chronological age.

Let me just state for the record that screaming is not an effective parenting tool.

Good News or Gratuitous Dog post

My dog is a genius. He knows how to spell, and he spells happiness D-O-G-P-A-R-K. We have been visiting this particular dog park since he was a puppy. He is 10 years old now, old for a boxer, yet his inner puppy is released every time we visit the dog park. We haven't been since maybe October. Shameful. But, as soon as we pulled in the parking lot he was up in his seat with his ears at attention. We met four, count them, four Great Danes. He was happy to have someone to play with by the lake who wasn't constantly chasing balls into the water. But seriously, next to the Danes he looked like a Boston Terrier.

guilty pleasure

Forget hating Mondays. I Love Mondays.

Well there it is. I can deny it no longer. I am shallow.

For a different perspective however, I offer this post.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Somebody stop me

I just read that our marching band's program for next year will feature music by Chuck Mangione. I spent many a night attached to the earphones listening to Mangione's records. (How awkward it feels to say record.)

Now I have a sudden desire to relive my teenage angst and am in great danger of going on an itunes binge. Children of Sanchez, here I come.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thank you King David

The other night I was tossing and turning in bed. Same old story, the Whatifs creeped in. To redirect my thoughts I began to pray which has become my default reaction to sleeplessness. My mind wandered to David. I've been in a study on the life of David since September. We completed the study last Thursday. I've got to say that, surprisingly, David was a hard guy to relate to this time around. I did this same study years ago and didn't have that impression. So, what gives? It may be because he was such a warrior. I'm a soccer mom. See the gap?

So I'm laying in bed thinking my "woe is me" thoughts and saying my "God please help me get to sleep" prayers and I was suddenly awash in feelings of.....well....I would call it humility bordering on shame. I've lived enough life now to know not to trust my feelings, however, so I asked God to enlighten me. Here's my take. Sometimes I say to God things like, you are my only hope, or my last hope when all else fails. Last hope is not wrong but it's not best. What if instead of my last resort God became my first hope. What if I lived as if the battle was already won. Isn't that what David did???? Maybe it doesn't seem like that big a distinction but it sort of turned on a light bulb in my brain. Instead of groveling I could be leaping and dancing.

At this very moment I am fighting the instinct to point out what a miserable place the world can be. Ok, I just did. Change takes time. Sheesh. But I will try now, when wrapping my brain around a problem, to really believe that God is on my side. Not that He is on my side even when I am wrong, but that He desires what is in my best interests. So, when things don't go the way I expect them too I know that he is nudging me towards righteousness.

Most of all I think that I need to spend more time being in love with God just because He is.

That's what I learned from King David.


That title may be too provocative.

I have some things I need to get off my chest, so to speak. I would like to work through some things concerning body image and raising a teen girl. It has the potential to get personal and I sort of detest getting personal in a public forum. Even a well hidden public forum such as this. Hidden as in certain family members are not aware of it. Anyway, it is something I would like to, if not resolve, take to the next level. This blog entry is my way of easing into it.

I may have just said a whole lot of nothing but it's all I can manage at this point. More to come.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Grown up vs Old

Things that make me feel all grown up:
  1. listening to NPR
  2. reading the newspaper
  3. drinking black coffee
  4. going to movies with subtitles
  5. staying up late to watch Charlie Rose
  6. listening to a Dvorak symphony
Things that my kids say make me old.
  1. All of the above
  2. My everlasting love of Barry Manilow
I say it's a matter of perspective, I mean, I can recite all the lyrics to "My Humps". Somehow my children aren't impressed, especially when I serenade their father in their presence. I just don't know.

The point of this post however is to work up to a commitment I've made. I've agreed to go running with my daughter, every day, more or less. More likely it will be a fast walk punctuated by wailing and gnashing of teeth. One thing is for sure though. It will surely make me feel my age.

Updates to follow.

Monday, April 23, 2007

In a perfect world

If the world were a fair place then I would have an apple computer. But like I tell my kids.....

I was home over the weekend to see my brother, who was in town, and meet his girlfriend. All in all it was a surreal experience that made me feel as if I was back in high school, which was the last time I uttered girlfriend and brother in the same sentence. Ok, college.

Said brother had his new apple computer and for better or worse left it in my hands for much of my visit. Oh the things I could do. The scary scary things. Let me introduce you to my brother. My mom. Me.

One day it will be mine.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Inward and Outward

People do some crazy things. I was directed to this article via another blog this morning and it's hit me like a ton of bricks. Here is a man committing an insanely selfless act, that will likely end in his death. Compare that to an insanely selfish act committed earlier this week that did end in the death of the instigator and so many other innocent souls.

Compare and Contrast.
  • Neither of them knows especially well those for whom they are committing these acts.
  • Both are motivated by the desire to draw attention to injustice, one very real injustice and the other mainly perceived.
  • Both are separated\isolated from friends and family.
  • One gets the attention of a voracious media beast only too willing to feed on the tragedy of others.
  • One gets a lonely little story in the Washington Post. At least that's all that came up on Google news.

What if the media went after this story as aggressively as they do the VT shooting story. Giving it the attention of the Anna Nicole story, even, would be a start.

I am humbled and confused by a fellow human in this day and age who would think so far outside himself. Oh God, that I would remember him next time I am fretting over my own inward struggles.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


So, I've spent the day avoiding the news coverage. Well, that's not quite true. I watched several morning shows. The thing is, being a news junkie I have a tendency to overload on national tragedy and then end up in a downward spiral. Highly unproductive. But that's the thing. I think we all feel the need to DO something helpful at times like these. We can debate how messed up we are as a nation but I believe the majority Americans just want to know, what can I do to help, how can I make this better. Even though nothing can make this better. So, what can I do? I pray, I fret, I worry. I want to do something tangible.

Monday, April 16, 2007

My boys

This is a picture of the Three year old last night on the eve of his fourth birthday. With his daddy.

The three year old turns four years old today! It has been four years of being reminded of things forgotten only to turn around and say goodbye to them. Some for forever. Some will be revisited again someday, God willing, via grandchildren.

With my first three babies everyone said enjoy this time, because they grow up so quickly. What a great sentiment. Impossible to live up to but great none the less. Now, with number four we can appreciate the speed at which time passes. With the luxury of distance and built in babysitters we can relish every milestone and give it the attention it is due. There is a reason the baby of the family is spoiled.

Perspective really is a blessing. From the time he was born there was a familiarity with the rhythms of having a baby around. What might have overwhelmed me at age 26 with my first baby seemed comfortable with this one. I knew that the late nights would not go on forever. I knew he wouldn't eventually need therapy if I left him to cry all alone for awhile to take a shower. I also knew it wouldn't ruin his sleep schedule forevermore if I let him take an entire nap in my arms or fall asleep with us in bed on occasion. I know sugar is not the enemy, it is a powerful ally in times of potty training. I know to call the doctor/nurse first before going to the emergency room, so you know your insurance will cover it and so you can blame the nurse that sent you there if the emergency room personnel look at you like some overly neurotic overprotective parent.

It's not all a bed of roses, though. I have found that I am without a common demographic. I don't really feel at home with the young mothers of his peers and I don't exactly have the freedom of the other moms of teens that are my age to "do lunch" or get together at a moments notice. Sometimes I feel a twinge of regret that I am "to old to be doing this" or that it infringes on my freedom to pursue the dreams and goals I had for myself at this stage of my life. But, in the cold harsh light of reality there really is no comparison. One belly laugh from a four year old can melt away the harshest of regrets. It doesn't mean they don't pop up from time to time though, and with a little imagination dreams and goals can be met in other ways. I just need to discover what they are.

You know what? He's turning out to be a cool kid. He says please and thank you and he can eat a meal in a restaurant without having to be threatened with corporal punishment. He loves to dance and sing and draw and his role model is Spongebob Squarepants. His best friend could be one of the ants I am desperately trying to destroy or some kid at the park he just met. I see glimpses of the kind of person he will become and I find I really like him.

Happy birthday my littlest boy.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Behold, I am Ginger the psychic cat. I foretell the future. Gaze into my psychic eyes.

I seeeee.......images beaming into my brain via....satellite. Sirius satellite. It'''s Don Imus. Free speech for all who are willing and able to pay.

Meanwhile, rappers young and old maintain the verbal abuse for the masses via the free airwaves.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

RIP Kurt Vonnegut

This morning I was sad to hear that Kurt Vonnegut had died. I began reading Kurt Vonnegut in Jr. High, probably 8th or 9th grade. I started with Breakfast of Champions because it was lying around the house and the cover was so cool. I was maybe thirteen years old, much too young to appreciate what I was reading. It set a standard for me that was pretty high, though, and set me apart from my friends in a way that I wasn't always happy about and don't think I ever got over. I think it fed into my cynical worldview also, for better or worse. When I got round to reading Slaughterhouse Five, sometime in high school, circumstances in my life made me relate to his writing in a way that solidified my love for his books. It was a welcome escape for me and I read everything of his that I could get my hands on. I have not read Vonnegut for many years now but I think I will this summer and see how it translates to my "grown up" self. I am sad. Although he was 84 and perhaps lived a good long life it sounds like the circumstances of his death took him prematurely.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I have a simple task to complete. Clean the house. Some day I need to get inside my head and dig out what it is that blocks my motivation to clean. Or not. I'll tell you what I'm NOT going to do. I'm not going to go rip all the tile out of the bathroom like the voices inside my head are telling me to. The voices say, "new tile in your bathroom will fix all your household issues. And, while your at it, why not rip that wallpaper out and paint too". I have two days till we host company here at the house. Two days to completely redo a bathroom.....Must Stop Listening.

Monday, April 9, 2007

So, How do we feel about this?

Yesterday at church I'm sure we had a great Easter Service. I wouldn't know because I was too busy answering a three year old's questions about crucifixion. There was no Children's worship at first service so he ended up sitting with us in Church. So, Crucifixion. How much do we expect a three year old to comprehend? And, how much do we expose said three year old to before yanking him and walking the hallways? What to do? Do we really need to see the crucifixion live and in color on the big screen at what is probably a family service? And I know it is foundational to our faith but what about the Resurrection. I thought that was the focus of Easter. And maybe it was, like I said, I was distracted. The conversation went something like this, (roughly paraphrased)

3yo: Why are they doing that to that man?

Me: That's Jesus, they were very mean to him weren't they?

3yo: But why?

Me: At this point I whisper to him the entire plan of salvation.

3yo: But why?

Me: so we can go be with Jesus when we die.

3yo: Are we going to die?

And so on and so forth.......with this additional humorous dialog:

3yo: does Jesus have Jesus in his heart?

Me: ???

3yo: Is my heart behind my nipple?

Me: suppressed laughter