The Kids

The Kids

Monday, August 27, 2012

You Are Awesome

While in the car, I told Nick about a hypothetical question that I heard on the radio. 

"If you had the choice, would you be the worst player on a winning team or the best player on a losing team?"

Selfishly, we both opted for the latter.  Maybe not every time, but there is something ego-boosting about being the best on a team, no matter the talent of the rest of the players.  It was more fun watching Abby be a leader on her team of much younger girls this past spring than to watch her be an average player on a team that went to the state championship last fall.

I know-not a very good team mentality and we would never teach our kids to think that way.  We were just being honest with each other.

Apparently, Caleb was listening from the back seat.

This kid cannot hear me say to pick up his toys, get dressed or brush his teeth when I am standing right next to him.  But, he heard our private conversation from the very back of the van with the radio blaring.

As we were talking we heard this little voice say, "I would say...sorry, I was listening to you guys...I wouldn't say what you guys said, I would say the other thing."

When we asked him why, he said, "If my team played yours, I would win.  The other guys on my team would win because I have better players than your team."  He went on to talk about how he would not mind being the worst player because the team would still be the best.

I shall remind my competitve boy of this conversation the next time he gets upset on the field.

Nick told Caleb that he was proud of him and how he is growing up to be a better man than himself. 

Caleb responded, "Dad, you are awesome!  You are both awesome.  you are both the same."

As we smiled at his reaction, he went on to say, "You guys should be saying this stuff, not I."

Not I?

Apart from his hilarious grammar, he was correct in his thoughts.  Nick and I should be telling each other how awesome we are more often.  Not because we think so highly of ourselves, but because we think so highly of each other.  Somewhere in the midst of kids, work, carpool, errands, and general life-telling each other how awesome we find each other tends to get lost.

Nick, after 14 years of knowing you, you are still pretty awesome.  I am so glad that I get to spend this life with my best friend.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Week Of School

Oh, the first day of school.

For Abby, she was up early.  By early I mean that as I got out of the shower at 6:00 am and took a load of laundry downstairs, I saw her light on. 

Don't worry-that only happened the first day.  After having soccer practice that night, I had to wake her up for day two.  Still, it only takes a second for her to wake up, then smile and go on about her day.

Now Caleb on the other hand.

Oh, sweet Caleb.  The poor kid still has not learned to fall asleep earlier.  His body is on summer time and he keeps staying up late and goofing off.  Since the boys share a room, this means Noah keeps staying up late and goofing off.

On the first day, I opened the door quietly and Noah looked up at me with an expression that said, "What the...?"  Caleb did not budge.  After turning off the fan, opening up the blinds and finally talking right in his ear, he opened one eye and said, "But, I only had 6 words in my dream."

Um, okay.  I am assuming he meant that he had just started dreaming when I woke him up.

Apart from the task of dragging Caleb's tired butt out of bed every morning, school is going well so far.  Abby loves it, of course.  And Caleb seems to be enjoying it as well.  He keeps talking about his friends and all of the things that they are doing in class. 

Noah is not as thrilled as they are.

The first couple of days I had to walk Caleb into the building and to his class.  Each time, Noah made himself at home, sitting at the desk and grabbing markers.  He had been quite bothered by me since I kept taking him away from all the fun.  During the day, he just walks around, looking for everyone.  When Abby came home the first day, Noah followed her around everywhere and sat right next to her every chance that he got.

It was pretty sweet to watch.

I miss my kids already.  Simply unbelievable to me that I have a 2nd grader and kindergartener this year.

It is also simply unbelievable to me that I have a quiet house in the afternoon.  No middle of the day pick-ups from preschool.  No thousands of questions from Caleb all afternoon when he is supposed to be resting.  Just Noah napping.  And quiet.

I could get used to this.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Break My Heart For What Breaks Yours

I have been thinking about this Chick-Fil-A thing for awhile now.

Yep, it is one of those posts.

I feel that both sides of the story have failed.

Someone asked the CEO of Chick-Fil-A his thoughts on gay marriage.  Big shocker that he is against it.  Was anyone really surprised?  The guy owns a company that closes on Sunday (on a day where I suddenly crave it for some reason) because of his religious beliefs so why would anyone be surprised that he is against gay marriage? 

For the people who reacted with such hatred against him-I am confused.  He answered a question and used his constitutional right of freedom of speech.  If you no longer want to support his company, fine.  But, why all the hatred?

Now here is where I take on the other side.  While I was glad to see so many people come out and support Chick-Fil-A, I am not sure they all came out for the same reason.  Was it to support a man expressing his freedom of speech?  Or was it in support of the hatred of homosexuals?

Judging from what I read on facebook and twitter, it was the latter.

I am a Christian.  I believe the Bible to be true and I believe that it says pretty clearly in scripture that homosexuality is a sin.  Not just in the Old Testament where some things are left to culture differences, but also in the New Testament.  It says it flat out in Romans 1 that it is wrong.


Before we get on our high horse and say, "See-I told you!" it also goes on to mention the people who "have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity."  The ones who "are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice."  The "gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful."  The ones who "are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless." 

Funny enough, after all of those descriptions (which I am completely guilty of), it says, "you, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself because you who pass judgment do the same thing."

I could keep going with quoting that section of scripture, but I would pretty much keep typing all of Romans.  Open up your Bible, your Kindle, your app and read it.  Pretty humbling stuff.

Every time I hear the following song, it brings me to my knees in embarrassment of my behavior.  For those who do not have the time to listen to it (which I suggest you take the time to do so), I have also written out the lyrics below.

Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in Your name, but the sword was never ours to swing
Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth's become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You, but they're tripping over me
Always looking around, but never looking up, I'm so double minded
A plank-eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided

Oh, Jesus, friend of sinners, open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy, help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh, Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks Yours

Jesus, friend of sinners, the one whose writing in the sand, made the righteous turn away
And the stone fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of these, let the memory of Your mercy
Bring Your people to their knees
Nobody knows what we're for only what we're against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs, cross over the lines and loved like You did?

You love every lost cause, you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame, they're the reason that you came
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast
But You died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet

Cause You are good, You are good and Your love endures forever

I keep struggling with finding the fine line between holding strong to my beliefs and knowing the truth, but also loving the people around me.  Finding compassion for them instead of judgment.

I am completely the lost cause and the outcast.  Somewhere in my little bubble world, I tend to forget that.  Compared to others, I am doing pretty well.  So well, in fact, that I forget the ugly mess that God saw before Jesus saved me.

When Jesus met those lost causes in scripture, He met their needs and then told them to leave their life of sin.  Why would anyone who is lost want to listen to anything that we say if all they see are our pointing fingers?  And better yet, when they see all of the sins that we are committing to each other without apologizing?

My soul is still hurt from how I was treated at my home church from lies and gossip and slander.  Why were those sins never addressed?  Why is everyone stopping traffic to line up to buy chicken in support of their beliefs, but not lining up at the soup kitchen downtown?

I really do not have the answers.  I just keep praying that my heart breaks for what breaks God's heart.  That it dislikes the sin, but loves the sinner.  That the huge plank in my eye reminds me where I started.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our Yearly Reunion

Ah, relaxing with my college girls.  Simply lovely.

For our annual get together, we flew down to Jacksonville, FL to hang out at Brandie's new home.  She married a Navy pilot so we got to enjoy the private Naval beach and hear pretty cool stories from her pretty cool husband. 

Every year we meet somewhere different, but honestly, we could stay at a hotel in the middle of nowhere and be perfectly content.  All we do is talk...and talk...and talk some more.  Sleep no longer becomes important because the talking is what matters.

Okay, so when I slept in until 11:30 a.m. one morning because of all of the previous night's talking, I guess it did matter a little bit.  Have not slept that late since, well, college.

There are some differences in our times together since our college days twelve years ago.  We tend to wear hats and cover up with 50 spf while in the sun.  Many of our conversations are about our children, husbands and careers.  Not every time can we all meet because of having babies and nursing and life (sweet Kristan missed this trip because of the arrival of her new baby).  We feel our age a little bit more each year.

But, the important things still stay the same.

We still fall into our roles.  Within seconds of being in the same room together, we all know who will say what and we communicate with a steady flow of conversation that never seems to end.  We understand each other and can always be honest and upfront about anything.

And I mean anything.  If you could only hear the topics we hit on and the details to which they are discussed...

...sorry, that is between me and my girls.

What a blessing that God brought these women into my life so many years ago.  I rolled my eyes at my assigned aerobics class my freshman year, but without that class, I never would have met Rebekah.  Without her, I would not have met Brandie, Christi, and Kristan.  Without Christi, Shannon never would have transferred to Geneva and met us. 

Since 1996, God has woven our lives together and has given us years of laughter, tears and sisterhood.  We are blessed.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Little Sisters

I opened the mail today and found a lovely picture of my friend Kristan's new baby.

As my kids heard my "Ahh, how cute" line come out of my mouth, they ran to see who it was.  I explained how their friend, Noah, now had two little sisters.

Caleb said, "Wow, I wish I had two sisters!"

Both Abby and I looked at each in confusion and finally Abby asked, "Why would you want another sister?"

Before he could respond, Abby said, "Oh wait-I know!  So that you can bother her and annoy her."

Caleb smiled and said, "Yep, that is correct."

Such honesty.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Couple Of Calebisms

Sometimes Caleb really surprises me.

He can go from being a typical five-year old boy whose room is always a mess, who does not hear half the things that I say to him, to only thinking of himself... this...

"I think I know why Jesus died for us.  To take us to Heaven.  He made Heaven for us!"

He randomly said this while walking up the stairs to voluntarily clean his room.

While voluntarily cleaning his room, he said, "I just feel like cleaning my room.  Some days I don't feel like it, but today I do!"

Okay Caleb.  Clean away. 

Of course this is also the same kid who said the other day, "I'm sorry, Abby" for something he did wrong to her.  When I asked, "Are you ever going to do that again?" he replied, "Maybe."

At least he is honest.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Nick and I have a habit of talking with each other and forgetting that little ears are hearing absolutely every word.

Particularly Abby's ears.

We were discussing the pros to Nick scheduling a certain surgery that would prevent us from having more children.  As much as we love our children, we would like to send them to college someday and eventually get out of debt, which requires me working at some point.

Remember when a family could live on one salary?  Yeah, me neither.

Anyway, as we were discussing it, Abby (from two rooms away) asked, "Why do you have to have surgery, Daddy?"

We looked at each other, I gave him the look and yet he still said, "So we don't have any more kids."

Crap.  Here we go. 

Abby:  "But, daddys don't have the kids, the mommys do."
Nick:  "Well, daddys love mommys and put a baby in the mommy's belly."
Abby:  "How does a daddy get a baby into a mommy?"

And that is why I gave him the look.

Nick:  "Well, when daddys love mommys, they can have kids together."
Abby:  "So, you won't love mommy anymore?"


Once we finally dug ourselves out of the hole that Nick put us in, we somehow changed the subject to something that Abby would be distracted by.  It was probably something about dancing or soccer or books.

Which is probably what we should have done after she asked the first question.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Conversations In The Car

I have been watching a friend of mine's children this summer.  Just a couple of times a week for the summer.  Our kids are friends and they are the same age so it has been fun for everyone.

Okay, so exhausting for me.  There is a reason that I do not watch a lot of kids for a living.  Some people are blessed with that patience.  I am not.

Anyway, due to the super healthy appetite that the five-year old boy has, I decided to get pizza for lunch today (it was either that or go buy more groceries tomorrow).  I called it in and was told it would be another hour until it was ready. 

Um, yeah.  Five kids, with hunger pains, and a tired Noah to top it all off.  Clearly, I decided to pick it up on my own.

Five kids piled into the car and we were off.  My first laughable moment was when the boy asked, "Can we watch a movie?"  The pizza place is five minutes away, buddy.

Have you ever ridden in a car with two seven-year olds, two five-year olds and a one-year old?  It is pretty fun.  A headache, but fun.  Here are some of the statements that I heard from the backseat...

"This one time, I pooped in my dad's truck."
"This one time, I puked on my dad's lap."
(The scene from American Pie kept coming to mind, "This one time, at band camp...")
"This one time, my dad held me up and his mouth was open and I puked into his mouth!"
"This one time, Caleb puked in the car, all over his Angry Bird.  That's why we call it the 'curse of the angry birds!'"
"This one time, Noah pooped up his back and up his front."
"This one time, I pooped all through my clothes and Mommy forgot the diaper bag."

As each story topped the next, I was just thankful that they weren't fighting.

One poopy diaper from Noah and a few farts from the boy later, I am so over hearing about poop.

Yet, I have two boys.  Something tells me that I will never stop hearing about poop.