Monday, August 30, 2010

Obsession de jour: Junk Gypsie

My friend Randel introduced me to Junk Gypsie. Oh my. My pupils pulsate at every single item on this site. Perhaps you should check it out.

Pretty obsessed with these boots. Hoping for an ebay sale that can score me some cash or maybe a lottery win (wait, I don't know how to play lottery).

Also their jewelry makes my mouth water. Currently taking donations to help fund my next purchase. This badass turquoise rose ring.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bad School Mom IV: Relapse

It seemed like such a good idea to take the kids to Costco last night. We got them a Wii (which we had been promising for quite some time now - since the PS2 broke). Everyone was in such a great mood that we decided to go to Ingredient for dinner.
What a lovely evening. We sat outside. They have a dreamy fountain and shaded yard for the children to run around in. Creighton and I talked for a good hour and a half. We rolled up to our house around 9pm.

Realization hit:
1. Canon still had homework
2. Backpacks still needed cleaned out
3. Lunches still needed to be made
4. Clothes still needed to be picked out

Aww, no big deal I thought. I will help Canon with homework real quick, then we will just do everything else in the morning.

This morning, the bliss of the previous night wore off, as I struggled to wake the kids. Cosmo never did wake up by the time I left the house at 8:15!
Canon got up, got in the bath, and spent 15 minutes explaining why he was just not going to make it to school today. He fussed about eating daddy's bacon-eggs, about being forced to take his lunch, and about his footwear.
Whitby had a horrible attitude! She reminded me of the time I planted my foot in the middle of a fire-ant bed. She refused to get in the bath, refused to wash her hair, refused to get out of the bath, refused to comb her hair. She spent 15 minutes arguing with me about her poor clothing options, refused to put her clothes on, refused to wear socks, refused to wear sneakers, refused to eat breakfast, refused to get down from the table. She literally growled at me like a wild animal at one point. That girl really gave it to me this morning. How can something so cute be so scary?

Trying to salvage the morning, we surprisingly still had time for Namaste and family prayer. But Whitby refused to join in the exercises and refused to sit in the prayer circle. Unable to focus my heart in an attitude of prayer, I announced, "Daddy is going to say our prayer this morning!"

...Something about kindness, something about peace, something about God.... I literally have no memory of that prayer. I can only hope that in some way it was worth it just to make the effort.

Needless to say, I am thankful that each day is a new day and that my kids are so resilient and forgiving. Even more thankful that God gives me the grace and strength to try again tomorrow.

Lamentations 3:22-24, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fails. His mercies are new every morning; great is his faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him’.”

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pray for campus ministry!

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Text "pray40" to 41411.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Meal menu??

"Planning out your meals every week is a good way to keep track of the time and money you spend on food."


Not only am I embarking on a schedule reformation for my family. Now I also am encouraged by the experts to work on a menu.

Don't get me wrong, it makes perfect sense. But how does one go about planning out a menu for the family every week. I can honestly say that I have NEVER done this. My sister (the organized one) has done it for years. Dana - care to weigh in on this???

I have looked up a couple of menu planning forms on the web. But friends, I literally don't cook. I feed my family finger food, fruits and veggies + easy stuff. I'd say we eat pretty healthy (although after watching the Food Inc. Documentary I know I need a lot of reformation in the nutrition area as well - - more on that later). But I definitely "wing it" for dinner almost every night.

All I can picture is a hospital scenario where everyone knows that Tuesday night is salsbury steak and box mashed potatoes and brown gravy, a roll and a side of canned peaches.

So help. What does it look like to plan out meals on a weekly basis for the family?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bad School Mom III: One week down, 32 to go!

It was a great week - - ok, HALF A WEEK. My reformation seems to be going well so far... I got up early each morning. I stuck to my schedule. We got everything done in the mornings: bathe, brush teeth, get dressed (with clothes we picked out the night before), eat a healthy breakfast, Namaste' (breathing/stretching/moving our bodies), prayer time, and most importantly, an on-time arrival time to school.

I had an AHA moment when reflecting on my new found routine. I realized that having a schedule actually FREES me to do the things I aspire to do.

Huh? Wha? Come-again?

I have always been a free-spirit.

I will now confess my former attitude toward scheduling:

1. Scheduling is for OCD, A.R. people.
2. Scheduling is bondage. It ties me down to something. If I write it down, I am committed to it.
3. I'm not any good at it.

What I realized is that, while I may have a propensity toward being a non-committal free-spirit, having a schedule does not tie me down. Conversely, it actually creates the space I need to accomplish my goals.

I never have looked at scheduling like this before. I can not express the joy I feel when I drop my kids off after a relaxed, non-rushed, enjoyable morning.

I hesitate to mention how great this half-week has been because I don't want to jinx the success I have felt, sticking with the schedule. But I wanted to share with you because this truly is a victory for me!

So BRING IT ON, you other 280 days of school!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Is it possible to become an early riser?

I am a night owl.

My husband is a night owl.

We operate as if we are still in college.

Each night we stay up until after midnight. We get the kids in bed by 8:30 or 9, then we stay up. Either we are doing housework: cleaning, organizing, doing laundry, paying bills... Or we are working on work stuff: emailing, scheduling, planning... Or we are engaging in miscellaneous activities: blogging, reading, surfing, catching up on the week's TV shows, chatting, or hotsex :).

In my recent efforts to be a better school mom, I made it a goal to wake up early - before my kids. I want to get a leg up on my day. I want to be showered and ready to go before they get up. I want to spend time in prayer and in scripture. I want to have the morning chores out of the way so that I can focus on the children.

One blogger I follow (ZenHabits), gave some great practical suggestions on the merits of early-rising. I'd like to share them with you:

10 Benifits Of Rising Early And How To Do It

My plan is to rise at 6:30am. NEVER BEFORE HAVE I DONE THIS. So we will see how it goes. I have a morning routine printed out. By the end of the week, I will post this morning schedule and my hope is to be able to share with you how the mornings went.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bad School Mom: Quest for Reformation

So tonight was "Back to school night". I feel like such a wall-flower. I'm so awkward. I wonder how many other moms are feeling the same way. Anyhoo, since it's not about me... I had a great experience walking my kids through their orientation.

I went up to the school solo, so I could get a lay of the land (classes, teachers, classmates, school supplies, etc.). Then I went and picked up the kids and escorted them to their classes to meet their teachers.

Thanks to all of you who are cheering me on toward bringing my A-game to the school mom situation! I have appreciated your prayers and your counsel.

My friend Lara gave me a few great pointers and tonight I have implemented a couple of them: I set all the kids clothes out, and even made their lunches for the morning. I have my alarm set to get up before they do tomorrow morning (we'll see how that goes).

I took Laura Steele's recommendation on the book "Managers of their homes". It has helped me get an handle on our daily and weekly schedules. I will hopefully have a meal plan and a chore schedule as well!

Lori Cousino (4th grade teacher in Dallas) suggested I talk to the teachers about my desire to do better this year to stay connected to them and to the class. So tonight I told both teachers that I had some difficulty last year keeping in touch and really desire for this year to stay connected.

I have been inspired by Ashley (our live-in nanny and so much more than that) to rise above mediocre and be excellent in the these family matters.

I got a calendar so that each week, Creighton, Ashley and I can be on the same page with our schedule. I have drafted a schedule for each morning of the week, and each afternoon and evening. I have bought an adorable little family organization notebook that contains pertinent info an numbers and lists. Once I finalize the morning and evening routine, I will post it in my kitchen folio, so that we can all yield to it.

Will this all work out?? I have no idea. I am notorious for starting out strong and then getting complacent or distracted - - and falling off the wagon.

But I am determined to create a relaxing and healthy environment for my children's childhood. So I would appreciate your continued prayers for me in my SCHOOL-MOM-REFORMATION!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Here I raise my Ebenezer

We sang "Come Thou Fount" in worship a few weeks ago. In honor of this day, I wore a necklace that was handmade by my friend and hero Shannon Mills.

A few years ago, Shannon sent me this little beauty. She sent it during a season of struggle and frustration in my life. I love it. I love it because she made it. I love it because she found it and thought of me. I love it because she made a similar one for herself.

A written note in the package said:
Nik, I made an Ebenezer stone for us. Read the story of Samuel and and his Ebenezer stone. When you wear it, be reminded that God is our help - remember his faithfulness.

Today I wore it again and have received lots of comments about its uniqueness, its earthiness, its weight... And I have loved sharing the story of Shannon and the story of Samuel. Each time, I am reminded that God is my Help - I remember his faithfulness.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood. —Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

"Samuel took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer—"the stone of help"—for he said, "Up to this point the Lord has helped us!" —1 Samuel 7:12, NLT

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Said goodbye to an old friend today.

This knife and I have been through it all together. Literally, every head of lettuce, every tomato, potato, watermelon, apple, lime, carrot, celery, cantaloupe, pepper....

Today, it broke while Creighton was cutting some romaine.

I held you in my hand almost every day. You're so sharp and strong. You have been there for me every time I have reached out to you for help. I will miss you friend. How can I ever replace you?

Hopefully you will have some fun in your next life. May you find all the milk cartons, coke cans, diapers, and rotton veggies... May you slice and dice to your hearts content.

Obsession de jour: Antoine Dodson

My friend Brandon (Lyrist's locution) first introduced me to "Auto-Tune the News. They skillfully yet cheesily set news stories to rap songs. None of their stuff has blown me away. UNTIL NOW! This one is share-worthy.

To really appreciate the news song, click here to watch the actual news story.