Archive for February, 2006

AI Week 1 – The Girls

February 21, 2006

I am all about American Idol – 01 tonight – MANDISA! She really wowed me! There was some great talent displayed tonight and Jim and I were both excited about the season start! We also really love Katherine so we had a family conference with Daniel and Brooke and we decided each household will vote – 01 and 12!!!

Heidi – since you said you wrote a longer commentary, can you copy and paste it here?:)

Tomorrow is closing on the house! I am excited – but Tanner is not. He is really resisting this change and even had a cry session over this last night. He can’t articulate a reason but he does not think moving to a different house is a good idea. My mom asked me what I was going to do about this. I laughed:) What in the world can I do?????? LOL. He’ll get past it and love his new home (but last night he even used the word “hate” – he didn’t just dislike it – he actually hates it! Sheeeeshhhh!!)

Valentine’s

February 14, 2006

We are now counting down! One week from tomorrow we close on our house! Yippeee! I am in a quandary right now because it FEELS like I should be doing something but most things that need to be done don’t make sense to do today so I feel like I am caught in the “hurry up and wait” cycle:).

I don’t have too much to write today so this will be briefer than usual. I’ll post pictures though because I am way behind on current pictures. (See the Dec-Feb album)

Tanner and Moving
When we first told Tanner we were moving he thought it was a grand idea. Now he isn’t so sure. In the last week he starts to get upset if we talk to him about it. He has decided he likes living here and moving is apparently – too much of a change. I think he’ll change his mind once we do it but he doesn’t appreciate this disruption to his “norm”. So like my Tanner:).

Grandparents
Both my kids are well educated in the role of grandparents. Ty especially is quickly to call for a grandparent rescue if he is in trouble with mommy. He is very practiced at charming people. He squints his eyes with those long lashes (and when I say long I mean I have never in my life seen llllooooonnngggeeerr) and worms his way right into your heart.

This morning Tanner woke up and told me he was going to go camping with Papa and Sweetie and I couldn’t come. I had to stay home. I told him that camping sounded like fun and I’d like to go to. He said I’d have to camp somewhere else. Sheeeeeshhh! Was he serious? Oh yes I believe he was. He realizes that Sweetie will give him undivided attention if mommy isn’t there and he would rather be the center of her world and would prefer to not have to compete with me. Makes sense really so I can’t fault him:).

Last week Tanner wanted to stay the night at Sweetie’s. When I was pulling out of their driveway, Ty realized that Tanner was staying and he wasn’t. He pitched a royal screaming fit. He yelling, crying and spitting for a mile. All of a sudden my car speeds up on me and won’t stop. I was scared to death and ultimately had to throw the car into park. (It turned out to be the throttle cable was hung open and Jim actually asked me why I didn’t step on the gas to release it!!!! Duh!!! When my car is SPEEDING UP why in the world would it occur to me to press the gas pedal?????) Anyhow, Ty got his way and we had to walk all the way back to Papa’s. He sang and smiled all the way back.

Why Oh Why
Tanner is going through the lovely why stage. My friend Laura shared a thought one day that I believed was wonderful. When her kids ask her “why” after she has told them to do something, she will only answer the question AFTER they obeyed. I do not like “why” questions either – especially the whiny ones. I have been trying to break Tanner of this. Recently Tanner spouted out a really long whiny “wwwwwwhhhhhhyyyyyy” and before I could even respond Ty copied Tanner with perfect tone. Aaaaggghhhh!!!! I then set about trying to teach both boys to simply say “Yes Ma’m” when I asked them to do something. Surprisingly, Ty caught on right away and is doing very well with this. He say’s “Es Em”. So cute.

Food
When Tanner was two, he loved to look at picture books and he knew the names and sounds of all the animals. Ty could care less about the animals. He wants to look at the food pages. He knows “Cake, chocolate, strawberry, banana, broccoli, cupcake, chips….” and a whole host more. Ty loves to eat. This week about 45 minutes after lunch he told Jim “I hungweee”. He kept repeating it over and over. Finally Jim said “Ty you don’t even know what hungry means.” Ty looked Jim in the eye and said “Lunch!”. Apparently he knows exactly what hungry means:). Mommy was not a bit surprised. This afternoon he got hungry for lunch so he picked up the phone and tried to dial an order in. I heard him saying “Boo-goo….Fwies”.

X Box
I am going to take our stinkin X box and throw it through the window. Ty begs for “Gemes” or “X box” 24×7 and it is driving me crazy!!!! He is totally OCD about it so the last two days I haven’t let either of the boys go anywhere near it. He even starts singing the star wars song and marching in front of the television to let me know that he wants the Star Wars game on. THAT is funny:)

Balance
Ty’s PT this week told me that she would release Ty from PT if it weren’t for the balance issues. He still is so clumsy and he has such a hard time with any elevation change or step/curb. I don’t know if it is depth perception or not. Usually, he doesn’t even look down at his feet at all. Like he has no awareness that he needs to observe where he is going. Still watching this one…

Valentine’s….
Got this Happy Valentine’s from Aimee and wanted to post for you. My niece Zandi and nephew Zane. Simply irresistible aren’t they?

Wishing you a wonderful day!

My Gift

February 2, 2006

Last week I wrote all about “the” house. How I walked in to simply say hello to Aunt Joan – and then ended up falling in love with the house she was showing. The next few days caused some crisis thinking for me. I kept asking myself “Did God show me this house on purpose or do I just want it?” Here is where fear would start to set in. I am very black and white by nature and I get really uncomfortable when God pushes me out of my zone. My thought process was this:

A few scenarios exist here:

1. God wants me to move either to this house or another one.

2. God is wanting to “gift” me with THIS house – just because of who He is. He just wants to bless. I don’t deserve it but he loves to give to His kids and he just wants to.

3. God does not intend for me to move but this process is character building:)

4. This has nothing to do with God. I just saw house – liked it – wanted it.

Now how in the world do you decipher what is the accurate scenario? Well I don’t exactly know either and that was the problem. So this led to all kinds of conversations with myself trying to get it all worked out in my mind. During these self conversations I isolated a character issue that I have. I tend to be the type of person who does the right things for wrong reasons as opposed to the wrong things for right reasons (best scenario is right things for right reasons of course). The house is a good case in point. Being that I am a budget natzi, increasing my mortgage is terrifying. To my way of thinking, if it is fiscally smarter to stay in our smaller home with a manageable mortgage as oppossed to pushing some limits on mortgage – than the obvious answer is to not be a risk taker. (We can afford the mortgage but it makes the budget really tight and I hate that). At the end of these conversations I determine that any extra spending is irresponsible and ungrateful and therefore sin. Oops now I have a problem. God gave me my children using Home Equity Lines:). I used credit on my house to pay for kids. Does my same earlier theory apply? Hmmmm….. Well do I believe that God did indeed intend to gift me with my kids? Of course I do. So I went back and forth finding my own inconsistencies in every argument. Here is where the truth was. I don’t like to take risks because it creates fear. I end up thinking that if my decision had any portion of irresponsibility attached than when things go sour and I go bankrupt, than I will know that is God allowing terrible consequence for my poor choice. So I make a “right” decision for a wrong reason. It is no longer about wanting to truly obey God but about just wanting to avoid consequence. I’d rather the motivation be the former.

Now, there is someone else in my life who I won’t name that is the opposite of me. He is a major risk taker (in my opinion) and generally speaking I would not make the same types of decisions. Over a year ago a decision was made and I was highly skeptical about it and he said that he believed God wanted to bless him. I was thinking “why do you bank on God’s blessing when the decision itself doesn’t appear to be a very responsible one”. I didn’t ask this question but I know what he would have said. He would have told me that He just trusted the Lord to work it out. I would have disagreed because my legalism say’s that you can’t take risks and than hold God responsible for fixing.

Well guess what. He did get what he desired and is doing just fine:). So I was comparing his situation to mine and I was wondering why he was so at peace and I wasn’t. I think the answer is that he tends to do what may be “wrong” things but for RIGHT reasons. I have never seen him make decisions out of rebellion against the Lord. He sincerely petitions the Lord. He just trusts that if his decision is unwise, that God will cover Him mercifully and He banks on God being his loving daddy. For the record, he has had some prices to pay. Sometimes things did not work out well. He doesn’t look at those situations though and say “Oh – I sinned. God punished me.” He say’s – God carried me through a really tough spot. Some may say that is not being accountable but if you knew the situations and the person I think you would agree that it isn’t about him not being accountable it is about a deep faith that just trusts his daddy so he doesn’t waste him time worry about all the things that he might do wrong. He isn’t worried about consequence so much because his spirit is never one of rebellion. He realizes consequence could come from unwise decisions but they aren’t the kind of consequences that result from rebellion and defiance in God. God, as daddy, allows for natural consequence but He also shields and covers with great grace.

I am starting to cry writing this because there is much more to this than I really intend to write about but it’s really having a “settling in” effect on my heart. My conclusion? It is time for me to learn to be a risk taker. Not the kind that blows caution to the wind as an excuse to be unwise. The kind that say’s I am not going to be afraid of the one who loves me. If I am trying to make good decisions, I will allow myself room for failure because if I am not being defiant and rebellious, God will cover me. Folks, I am such a legalist that scares me to write it. I could argue and argue that and part of me wants to but the reality is God is showing me over and over that He wants me to rest and abide and TRUST in Him. I think we SHOULD be concerned about the consequences of our decisions HOWEVER we need to approach that concern with a right heart attitude. Here’s why – my method resulted in me consistently worrying that God wouldn’t protect me. Protect me from myself. I don’t bank on God’s grace ENOUGH. I don’t write this as an excuse for sin. Go ahead and sin and God will cover. That is NOT what I am saying. I am saying that my legalism gives me an excuse to be AFRAID. I wish I would always do the right thing for the right reason but for right now, I’ll settle for doing the wrong thing for the right reason. Why? Because God judges my heart and I am learning to trust that He will cover me. I discover more and more about who He really is and how deep His love and mercy is and it makes me want to bank ON HIM and sometimes…that means really putting yourself out there and taking a risk because YOU BELIEVE that He is leading you.

Where am I going with all of this?

MY HOUSE SOLD IN FOUR HOURS ON MONDAY!!!!!!!

All papers have been signed on both ends. Closing date for our buyers is Feb 22nd. Closing date for us as buyers of our new house is Feb 22nd.

There are a whole lot of reasons I could list for being concerned about buying a new house with a higher mortgage but HOW DARE I GO THERE!!!! God has shown me each day that He is moving. In this market you do not sell your house in 4 hours unless God divinely intervened. Last year – yes. This year – no.

Earlier in the week Darin called me to discuss this. He was very concerned that there was NO way we were going to sell the house by (guess what date Feb 22nd). Feb 22nd was the date the sellers gave us to SELL our house (we didn’t have to close till the end of March – interesting that our CLOSING date happens to be Feb 22nd). None of us thought it was likely that we would sell in this market in 3 weeks. Darin had a whole string of ideas about how I could increase our odds. When he was done with his pitch:), I said “Darin – I hear what you are saying but here is the deal. This whole thing is a long shot anyway. I wasn’t looking to buy. The house was shown to me. I didn’t want to move from this area. It’s down the street. I had a list of needs – this house met them. My house is not likely to sell in time. The buyer is not likely to accept our contingency offer. Someone is likely to bump us. Interest will likely go up….the list goes on. There is no way we are getting this house unless God has already determined to just give it to me. I am not going to stack the odds. I will just do the normal thing and watch and wait each day and see what He intends to do. I need it to be obvious to feel secure about this anyway so if the house doesn’t sell – I have my answer.” Then Darin say’s “Okay but IF your house does end up selling by Feb 22nd than I am going to wonder why God loves you more than me!” (LOL. Darin and Jodi had their house on the market 90 days and just removed it).

So Monday at noon it went onto the MLS system and before 4:00 there was a realator in my front yard letting me know that an offer would be written that evening. He wanted to know if I had any other offers yet:). I laughed.

Now a deal is never done until you are all moved in of course but so far all ducks are in order and nobody’s quacking about anything;). From what I have seen so far, it leaves little doubt in my heart that God does intend to give me this gift. That has taken away the fear and in it’s place given me greater joy. It isn’t really about the house. It’s about God. I am certainely excited about the house but I am moved to tears over “the gift” straight from His hand. This home will always be a “God” marker for me and as a woman who tends to bond to houses, I may never want to leave it for exactly that reason. He is beckoning me to just simply trust Him. No – not just trust Him. Live loud with courageous and even AGGRESSIVE faith. Faith that is bold, unwavering and unitimidated. Faith that say’s God IS in control and the whole thing will work out for my good and for His purpose because I belong to Him and He is the daddy of all daddy’s. And He is mine.

And to my brother….

God does not love me more than you. It seems He is simply saying “Go” to me and “Whoa” to you. Remember though, the “Whoa’s” that have occured in my life resulted in my most precious gifts – Tanner and Ty. You have absolutely nothing to be afraid of.

Excuse Me

February 2, 2006

Last week when Tanner was sick he said the most adorable thing. He was crying and I kept asking what was wrong and he wasn’t answering. Side note: Tanner has a really tough time answering questions. He is very very intelligent but he often lacks the skills to put his thoughts into words the way that he wants too so he often takes a long time to answer a question. Anyhow, I insisted that he tell me what was wrong and I could tell that he couldn’t think how to describe it. Most kids would simply say “my tummy is hurting” but apparently that explanation was too simple. Instead he said “My “excuse me” hurts”! LOL! I think that with the flu, his tummy was growling and making noises thus the “excuse me” definition.

Tanner is so much like Jim. Neither are verbal but both very visual and hands on. When Tanner was Ty’s age he would line cars up in perfect order. The other day I caught him separating his M&M’s. They were in an order like this: 1 Red, 2 Yellows, 3 Blues, 4 Greens, 5 Browns. He is all about ORDER. When he plays with blocks, he can build a whole little city with perfect symmetry in the blocks he uses, the colors, and the way he designs. It is very interesting to look at his creations because you see a very intelligent little mind at work. He is also liking to draw now. He can draw a pretty good whale and a house with windows and a chimney with smoke:). Grandma taught him that one. Jim is an awesome artist so he will be able to help Tanner nurture his creative talents.

Several people have asked me about my schooling plans for Tanner so I’ll share more of my thoughts on this. First of all, I am of the theory of thought that most boys are not ready for school until 6. My brothers didn’t start kindergarten until 6 and it worked better for them. Tanner could start Kindergarten this May but I have decided it wouldn’t be in his best interest right now. So, here is my plan:

From Sept 06 through May 07 – use play activities to teach Tanner all his letters and associated sounds. My aunt is a first grade teacher so I am going to ask her what is required for first grade entrance. I will not do a formal kindergarten (home school class) yet.

From Sept 07 through May 08 – I will start FORMAL homeschooling. IF Tanner has the basics for first grade down by that time, I will just start him in the first grade at 6 if he seems mature enough and ready. If he seems that he could use a bit more time I will do a more formal kindergarten at 6.

I don’t know what material I will use. I will look at scripture press and abecca and will be asking lots of questions next year and asking everyone to give me their material pitches:). I figure I will be very eclectic about it and choose my preferences in each subject.

Why home school? I won’t take the time for a full “essay” on this but here are some bullet points.

* I went to college to be an educator. I didn’t finish but I do feel that I am qualified to teach my children at home.

* Christian schools are nice but we can’t afford to pay a mini house payment on school unless I went back to work and that doesn’t make sense to us considering we still want 2 to 3 more kids.

* The ratio in the public or charter schools is usually at LEAST 1 teacher with 20 students and generally 1 teacher and 30 plus students. One mommy with 2 to 5 children is MUCH better than that.

* I don’t like to see a child’s time wasted. Childhood is precious and I don’t see why they need to spent 6 to 8 hours in school because of the above ratios when mommy can give one on one attention for 2 t0 3 hours per day and actually accomplish more. Better investment of their time I think.

* As a parent, there are certain pieces of their education that are very important to me. I want them to love reading and excel at writing. I was an English major (though you may question that with my hurried journaled postings LOL) and I really want to emphasize this more at home than they would get in school.

*I want them to explore their education fairly and not be indoctrinated with public bias that so often happens in our school. I do not appreciate “tolerance” teaching. The way that our culture teaches tolerance would redefine God a bigot. I continually hear the word “intolerance” and is becoming a brand that is slapped on the back of every citizen who supports the authority of God. If being “intolerant” means that I hold to God’s laws over man’s laws which means that I cannot support immoral lifestyles, than slap the brand on my forehead I guess because I must follow Christ first – irregardless of what labels that forces me to wear. I will not teach my children that tolerance is ok. Tolerance is not okay when tolerance is defined as ignoring God’s laws. God is NOT tolerant and does not tolerate our tolerance to these things. I am far more concerned with what God thinks about this one.

*The whole socialization issue? IF I gave any credit to this argument (which for the record I do not – and neither does supporting literature) – I would STILL chose to home school because I consider all the things I listed above to far outweigh any very minimal risk of socialization issues. My children are well exposed to other children and this simply is not a concern. I am most interested in the men of character they become and to be frank – I think I stand a better shot at helping them develop into the kind of man I want them to grow and be than the public schools systems can – thus our decision.

*When I was little my parents were of the belief that you don’t take all the christian kids out of the public schools because they are the light and the salt of the world. I don’t agree with my parents on this and they no longer agree with themselves:). As adults, yes we are not to create our own communes and hide from secular influence. We are to be IN not OF. It is our responsibility to be the light of Jesus. Things are different though when it comes to our children. I feel our FIRST responsibility is to equip them. Jim and I believe that sending our kids to the public school would be counterproductive to our FIRST goal. Even in elementary school their exposures are equally as bad or MUCH WORSE than the exposures of television that we shield them from. Example, I wouldn’t let my 4 year old watch a movie full of cursing, drugs and sex but on the playground at school they would be very well educated in all these subjects even as young as the first grade. Do I consider this to be OVER protective? No way – I think this is the “duh” factor. Some have said that children have a tougher time functioning in the adult secular world if they were “over” protected from it as children. There may be degrees of truth to that – anything taken tooooo far creates problems HOWEVER I do think it is wise to spend time preparing them for the world they will go out into without shoving them into the lion’s den before they are mature enough to discern their role and responsibility without being sucked into the depravity themselves. Bottom line, my risks of sending them out before they are equipped seem FAR higher than keeping them in and equipping them at home. (By the way, when I say “keeping them in”, that does not mean they don’t socialize out of our home. That is certainly not true. There are degrees of being way over productive so I think there needs to be good balance. I take Tanner to the park a lot and I am really working on teaching him to watch what goes on around him and respond appropriately. For example, this week Tanner was playing with two children that ended up yelling at another child for throwing a rock. That in and of itself was probably appropriate but then they started to make fun and the other child was considerably younger and was simply trying to get attention. I watched Tanner’s face as he was deciding who he was supposed to defend. I was glad I was there. He had the exposure but then I later got to coach him about what the right course is in situations like that. At school, I don’t have these teaching moments because I don’t know about them.

NOW…please do not anyone be offended if you feel that I am criticizing all who do not home school. I think there are many people who were not cut out for this job and I may ending up holding that opinion of myself in a few years. This is a very personal family decision and I support the right and responsibility of every parent to make the choice that is best for their family. I wrote this as an explanation as to why WE have made this choice for OUR family because people ask me questions about this often. And by the way, Brooke and Aimee are also going to follow suit. Brooke was home schooled and she turned out to be quite the little social butterfly;). Not sure what Jodi’s decision will be with Karsyn – she has several years before she has to think about that (and now Jodi sighs with relief LOL).

(That is my very short list by the way – I had much more to say but didn’t want to take the time to write it all today:)

Playground Observations

Speaking of playground observations, I overheard something that made me laugh laugh laugh. Tanner was playing with a 6 year old little boy at the playground. Tanner brought his ride on car (that you move by the steering wheel not peddles – really cool). It was a big hit with the kids and they kept riding it down a grassy hill. Tanner warms up with kids really quick and he was having the time of his life. After a bit, my extrovert personality starts coming out in him and he gets really expressive. He gives this amazed with himself expression and he say’s “Wow! Swwweeeeeetttt! Did you see that? I went sooooo fast!!!” This continues with each turn (and of course I think he is adorable). The 6 year old got sick of the bragging after a bit though and finally said “Dude! You gotta quit making those big eyes!” You would have to “know” Tanner to know what that kid was talking about but I anyone that knows me – already can picture it:) I had to turn around so they wouldn’t see me shaking with laughter. Those of you who experience my very dramatic personality realize EXACTLY where Tanner got the big eyed expression from LOL.

Car conversations

Yesterday in the car Tanner said “Mommy? Did I do a good job?”. I said “I don’t know. What did you do?” He said (a little exasperated) “Well…I am going to SHOW you.” Then he sang Itsy Bitsy Spider. Then I told him he DID in fact do a great job. Ordinarily doesn’t one ask if they did a good job AFTER they have done the deed? I mean maybe I am confused but I thought that is how it usually works. Maybe Tanner is so used to my affirmation that he was completely prepared for praise before he even did it:) LOL.

Idol Threats

As parents, I think we may have the tendency to make a consequence a bit more dramatic than it probably is when we are trying to stack the odds against the child performing the “crime”:). Tanner has learned this technique. I was getting ready at the bathroom sink and Ty kept flushing the toilet. It was driving Tanner crazy and he kept telling him to stop and (naturally) Ty ignored him. Finally Tanner said “TY! YOU BETTER STOP FLUSHING THAT TOE-LET! YOUR GONNA MAKE OUR POWER GO OFF!” LOL. Sounded pretty good didn’t it? Ty didn’t care. Power shmower – whatever.

This has been a long posting so I better quit with this one because actually I have a whole other subject to write on now:)