Thursday, October 04, 2007


Our two oldest kids have started taking piano lessons this fall. This is something that is really important to their Dad since he never learned to read music. He blames his older brother (which is always fun to do) because he fought the piano lesson thing , so his Mom never tried with the other boys. Both of his sisters are great pianists. So it is important to him, but he is never around to take them there or make them practice!

The lady they are taking piano from lives out in the country, it isn't any further than going to "town" but it feels like it is. There is nowhere for us to go to do errands or kill time during the hour so we just hang out in the van.

Week 1: I thought it would be easy. Everyone could sit nicely in their seats, eat a snack and watch a movie. The kids could get their reading out of the way while they waited. I actually brought a book for me to read (on parenting of course)- funny that I am still this naive and idealistic about mothering! They roamed all over the van, smashing crackers and leaving wrappers all over; Kept honking the horn, crawled all over the seats with their shoes. They just didn't sit there like I thought they would. We got a bigger van last spring, but apparently is wasn't big enough! The hour seemed kind of long!

Week 2: I didn't bring a book and tried to work on Abby's letter and sound recognition. But apparently her dogs were in heat and that caused great excitement amongst the kids. What better time for a "birds and bees" discussion?

Week 3: Thunder, lightning and heavy rain! The kids were scared and I just sat there with the van running and my eyes on the clock, ready to get out of there as soon as possible. I let chaos reign because I just didn't care!

They keep talking about appropriate punishments in the criminal justice system - maybe they could get those people to take my kids to piano to pay for their crimes!

Week 4: Meltdown, yelling and crying before we left! I realized that I am making this miserable for all of us. They are enjoying piano and actually don't mind practicing. It was nice outside and the kids played in her yard. The horses were out, they got to pet the dogs and they had a fun time. It was actually fun. Imagine that - fun with all my kids in tow! I hope I can turn it into a time we look forward to - away from the housework, phone and other demands just to be together - even if it is the van in a thunderstorm!

Soon enough, when football is over I won't have to bring all the kids with me. I will be able to bring and READ a book. But maybe I'll miss hanging out with the kids, I know it is crazy but isn't that what its all about actually being with them and not hating it. I think I should take all those little moments and hold on to them and try to make the best of them.

On Saturday I had to take Annie to Urgent Care and then to the Emergency Room. Mike wasn't available or in cell phone range so I had to take all the kids with me. I had the double stroller because I couldn't carry both the little ones. People kept asking me, "Are all these kids yours?" I replied that I just thought it would be really fun to bring a bunch a kids to the doctor with me so I picked up random neighbor kids. Duh - what kind of question is that? But it wasn't a disaster. The kids thought it was a fun adventure and I was amazingly relaxed about it all. And I was complimented over and over by doctors, nurses and other people in the waiting rooms about how well-behaved and beautiful my children were. I think I expect way too much sometimes. Of course there is chaos and fighting at times, but for the most part they are pretty good. And sometimes I forget that I am supposed to like them and like being with them because I am too busy "training" them.

When we used to go to gymnastics, I saw a lot of interesting ways people deal with their kids while they are waiting - usually it was not very positive. But there was one lady that brought a bag a games along and sat there playing fun board and card games while they waited. What a great idea - a little planning and proactiveness and it can actually become a time to look forward too.

Fortunately we have a few days before the next "Monday" comes around! Maybe I can do better this time.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I'm tired this morning - who am I kidding? I'm tired every morning! It doesn't only have to do with the fact that I haven't had a good nights sleep in 8 years, or that I'm drinking decaf coffee (really, why bother?) but the last few weeks I've been experiencing a different kind of tired. I feel tired of trying to keep up and keep fighting through a lot of stuff.

There's always a need to be met: a crying baby, a sick kid, a naughty kid, a nasty mess of cereal and juice on the floor, a never ending pile of laundry, homework, appointments, bills and financial needs! Plus there are the demands of ministry, other people who need help or aren't happy with the help you have given. There are people that always, always have issues they need to tell me about in great detail!

Doesn't anyone around me remember what it was like nursing a baby and getting up ever few hours in the night for months on end? No, all I hear is how tired everyone is. While I was sitting in the Emergency Room this weekend, alone with all 5 of my kids, the nurses assistant was telling me how tired SHE was! She works 12 hour shifts you know. Give me a break lady! I've been at it longer than your shift already today!

I was home from church on Sunday with a sick kid (did I mention she's on steroids that make her hyperactive? I think they should have prescribed some extra doses for me!) and I was asking the Lord for some relief! I'm kind of on the edge with all that is going on. I want to stop trying so hard and just shut down or climb back into bed for a week! And guess what verse came into my mind?

2 Corinthians 4:1 "Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart."

2 Corinthians 4:16 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Does any else ever feel this way?

So we have this ministry to our husbands and kids and those around us through God's mercy. And of course we should have joy while we're doing it :). I guess I didn't realize that tiredness, discouragement and exhaustion were all part of the gig too!

But let's not lose heart. I have to be renewed day by day by Jesus (not look to anything or anyone else) and fix my eyes on what is unseen.

I'm going to go dump some more sugar in my coffee!

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Even as I have been learning to "Care Less About My Kids", I am also learning that I have to be an advocate for them. I hate conflict and messy people situations, but I have realized that though there are times I need to let go and there are times when I need to push for things. My kids need to know that I will go to bat for them in any tough situation.

A few weeks ago, I took Annie to the doctor because she was having some trouble breathing. My doctor didn't think it was Asthma, he had some other name for it - sensitive bronchial something, but he did prescribe an inhaler. We left the doctor's office, went to lunch and Menard's then went to Walgreens to pick up the prescription. They said it would be another hour. I couldn't wait another hour. I had already waited, had 3 fussy kids in the car and I had to get home in time for the bus. So I told them to forget it! I called the nurse when I got home and asked her to fax the prescription to a place closer to our house instead. She said they couldn't do that - once it's gone, it's gone. I was kind of mad, but I just let it go. Well, for several weeks I have been meaning to call back and tell them to just make it happen. At the rate we are getting bills from the clinic I don't think it is too much to ask! I never got it done. So this weekend, Annie got sick and again had breathing trouble. I had to take her to Urgent Care and then we ended up in the Emergency Room. They gave her some medicine and a nebulizer treatment and she was better. I couldn't help being ticked at myself for not demanding that prescription. If we had the inhaler, maybe she wouldn't have to go to the doctor at all this weekend.

There are times when I haven't screwed up and have continued to pursue what was needed. When Grant needed speech therapy and wasn't getting any attention from the school, I found other options and finally with the principal's help got him the help he needed.

I don't want to become a pushy parent, so how do I know where the line is? When do you push, when do you let go? The truth is I don't know the answer! Maybe it's intuition or Supernatural prompting that tells us "This needs to happen!" In a lot of situations it is obvious, but sometimes it is hard to know.

I want my kids to realize that when they have issues or problems that they can't handle, I'll go the distance for them. And I can reassure them that whatever the issue, God's got it all under his control. Even if Mom and Dad don't get it right the first time, God is watching over us.

Psalm 140:7
O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle -