The Kids

The Kids

Saturday, February 28, 2009


What is wrong with me when it comes to driving?

While driving on the highway the other day, I noticed a little sports car flying around everyone. Instead of being practical and staying in the left lane to pass everyone, this guy decided it was more fun to switch lanes and pass on the right.

Huge pet peeve of mine. And if you live in Cincinnati, you know people are notorious for doing this on 275.

I watched this man ride right up on someone else's bumper, swaying back and forth, trying to find his edge to pass them. He finally found a space, flew through (picture brake lights flashing everywhere as he almost caused at least three accidents) and took off.

Now, he did not affect me in any way personal-I was still a few cars behind his madness. But, I wanted justice for how he treated the stranger he was riding up on. Do I know them? No! But, I wanted justice!

Then, miracles of miracles, a police car just happened to be sitting around the corner. Ignoring my own five miles over the speed limit I was doing, I found myself chanting, "Get him! Get him! Get him!" I watched in glee as the cop pulled out and immediately started gaining on the enemy. He followed the car up the next exit ramp (which made me wonder if that guy really needed to take that exit or if he was trying to play it smart and get out of the way) and stayed right on his bumper.

Sadly, I could not stop in the middle of traffic to see how it played out. But, as I continued on under the exit, I noticed the victim car in front of me, weaving back and forth, straining to see the outcome through their rearview mirror. We all were so concerned about whether or not that guy received justice, we were almost causing our own accidents.

Forget the fact that I was speeding. I had the right to judge this man. It does not matter that when I was in labor with Abby, Nick drove the same way (or worse) to that very exit. This time, I was right and justice appeared to prevail.

I seem to recall Jesus saying something about taking out the plank in our own eyes so that we can remove the speck in our neighbor's. Hmm.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No More Tears

After having a rough day (to be honest, a rough few weeks) something happened yesterday that just pushed me over my limit. The occurrance is not important, but let it be known that I was in tears out of frustration and exhaustion.

Caleb came up to me to ask for something and stopped short when he saw my face. He looked concerned and said, "Are you sad, Mommy?" When I said "Yes," he immediately reached up his arms to hug me. While I stood there hugging him, he stared intently at my face and kept wiping my tears away. With each wipe, he said, "It's okay, Mommy-no more tears."

What I love about this story is not only am I touched by how tender my son can be with someone in pain, but how God used this little one to remind me of something greater.

Too often the only comforting words we can share with each other is that God loves us and cares about every detail of our life. And we know that we can rely and call on Him. But, let's be honest-sometimes He can feel far away when we are lost in our own problems. For me, it is easier to receive comfort from friends and family who I am physically seeing and talking with. That does not mean that I do not put my faith and trust in Him, but sometimes my neediness just wants human contact.

When Caleb was wiping my tears away and comforting me, scripture came to life right in front of me. It was like I could hear Jesus saying the same words to me. The assurance that someday there really will be no more tears flooded my heart and I felt ashamed for not trusting in Him from the beginning.

I also felt valued and humbled by the fact that He always finds a way to remind me of His never-ending providence and love.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mother Abby

While playing with Abby the other day, she came up with a rather frightening pretend game. She told me, "We're going to play that you are my mom and I'm going to have a baby!"

After recovering from my mini-stroke, she went on to describe how this would work. She told me, "I have a baby inside of me and it was just made!"

I could not resist. I asked her, "How was it made Abby?" (Yes, I know, I was setting myself up for questions every parent dreads-what is wrong with me?) Thankfully, she just thought about it and said, "I don't know, but it will get big and have to come out." About five seconds later she said, "Oh look-it came out!"

(If only it was that easy in real life.)

Then she grabbed one of her baby dolls and pretended I was the grandma. It was such a boost to my ego, let me tell you.

We continued to play that she was the mommy and it was pretty funny how good she was at her new role. She was very tender and spoke softly. It made me scared to think about how quickly time goes and how eventually my baby will be having babies.

However, within the hour she was fighting with her little brother and screaming at the top of her lungs. I never thought present day reality would sound so nice.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Congratulations Mom and Daddy

Today is my parent's anniversary. Just when I think I have a lot of experience with my seven years of marriage, I add on at least another 20 years and realize I have a lot to learn.

I want to thank my parents for setting such a wonderful example of what a marriage should be. They have been through so much and life is never boring for them! Life on a dairy farm brings about many adventures and a whole new meaning to the definition of faith. Even though life has never handed them consistent financial security, their faith in God and his providence has never waivered. And if it did, they did a great job of keeping it from my brother and me.

When I look back on my life growing up, I am filled with happy memories. I got to grow up in the country where my imagination could run wild. Life was never boring or mundane. It never dawned on me the frustrations my parents had of an old farmhouse and its coal furnace as the source of heat, chopping wood to keep it warm for us, the never-ending weather changes that make or break a farmer's livelihood, and the worries of what the milk industry would hand them next.

I think about how happy I was without a lot of stuff (even though Billy and I were tremendously blessed) and it makes me wonder why I worry about life for my children now. Are they really going to remember that they lived in a house where the living room walls are still white or will they remember the warmth of a loving family? Will they think back and wish their parents both worked so that they could buy more stuff or will they be thankful for quality time spent with us?

My parents relationship has always been a strong friendship, which I am grateful for. It made me seek a spouse that was my best friend. I remember my parents always, always talking with each other, which led me to marry someone who I could talk with forever.

Thank you Mom and Daddy (yes, I am 31 and still call him Daddy) for your commitment to each other and to your family.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Really Caleb, Really?

Another day in napping adventures.

Caleb was doing his usual stalling and playing in his room while I did the usual threatening and disciplining. For a short time it was quiet and my hopes soared. Then, I heard the little man making noise again. When I went upstairs to check on him, I noticed a pile of something peeking out from under his door. And it had a very familiar odor.

Oh yes, that's what it was.

Somehow my little blessing from God managed to poop in his diaper and empty it on the floor. Not just on the floor, but pretty much under the door so that when I opened it, it kept on moving.

It was like a little present for me. The gift that kept on giving.

Friday, February 13, 2009


For the last two days, my children have skipped their naps. On a normal day, they go in their rooms at 1 pm, read/procrastinate until around 2 pm, then eventually fall asleep until 3-4 pm. Those few hours are my lunch break and chance to get caught up on stuff I did not finish earlier in the day.

Needless to say, I am tired.

Which explains my reaction to them knocking on their doors, begging to get out of their rooms after not sleeping-again.

It was not pretty.

I know as a mom I should be showing patience and aim to speak in a loving voice. But, whoever made up that rule clearly did not have children. My children received my loud voice (it's not pretty) and a lecture of why naps are so important. They actually had the look of fear in their eyes for a short time.

(Is it wrong that it is satisfying to know your children might fear you?)

Anyway, what I noticed this time was that they gave each other a look that meant they understood each other. From that moment today, they continued to back each other up. When Caleb got in trouble for practically emptying his brand new tube of toothpaste (that's what I get for buying him a Thomas toothbrush that makes music), Abby pulled him aside and gave him a hug. When he was sent to time out right before dinner, his sister immediately ran over and quietly asked him if he was okay and ready to join us, to which he hugged her and agreed to calm down. Even when Abby bit her brother, she immediately apologized while crying and he replied (through many tears), "That's okay, Abby."

It appears that they join together against the greater enemy-me. When they see each other getting in trouble, they suddenly forget the argument they were just having over a toy or who gets to sit in the front of the tub that night (why is that so important, anyway?) and immediately defend and comfort each other.

I hope this loyalty continues as they grow up and face greater enemies then their mother.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Shout Out To The Farmers

While Abby was eating breakfast this morning, she suddenly said, "I think I need to call Grandpa and thank him for all the milk!"

(My dad is a dairy farmer)

She went on..."You know, Mommy, Grandpa milks the cows and the cows give milk and that's where this milk came from! I think it's good to thank him for all the milk!"

After thanking her for explaining to me what my dad does for a living, I agreed we need to be more thankful for things like that.

Thanks Dad. You continually watch milk prices rise in the store while your paycheck drops, your job never ends, you never get a vacation and you have worked hard your entire life with not much of a thank you. But, your granddaughter is very thankful for the milk that you put on her table.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Change In Octaves

Do children really believe that if they raise the octave they are begging in, their parents will change their minds and give in?

Abby: "Can I please have something sweet?"
Me: "Not right now."
Abby: "Please?"
Me: "Not now, Abby."
Abby: (in a higher pitch) "Pleeease?"
Me: "Abby, I said no."
Abby: (another octave higher) "Please, please, pleeeease?"

At this point she receives the look and has to decide whether it is worth it to go one more octave. (And this picture is an example of the look I receive when I say "no.") Substitute the "something sweet" for any other request and that about sums up our daily battles.

Parenthood is fun.