Archives for February 2009

Hoops and Tears

Saturday afternoon, we packed the family up and went to the local YMCA to watch Sloan play basketball. Who knew that while watching a group of 5-year-olds trip over a bright orange ball, I would end up blinking back tears and, ultimately, lose a night’s sleep.

Sloan is a great little athlete. So far, two of our three kids have shown the propensity to have their daddy’s graces when it comes to athletics and I’m very glad. But, Sloan is not an overly competitive or aggressive kid. He’s out there to have fun and to look good. He’s not there to win. I know that this is a good trait to have and I truly am glad that he’s got such a great attitude when he plays sports. Lee and I also think that he will be more geared toward individual sports like golf and, perhaps, baseball. I like to think of this as one battle we won’t have to fight with Sloan. I also trust that as he gets older, he’ll develop more of a drive for victory, though I don’t know that he’ll ever be super competitive.

 Now Tia, on the other hand, is a different story. She hates to lose and she is highly competitive. But I digress.

I noticed for the first time on Saturday, that Sloan did seem a little bothered by the fact that he didn’t get more chances to shoot. But he just doesn’t really go after the ball. That competitive nature is just not in him. And as we watched him play, I felt this lump of fear knot in my stomach.

My senior year of high school was a rough time for me. I was dealing with a specific struggle that was linked directly to my lack of self-esteem and it grew into a large enough problem that I required counseling. I remember very specifically one of my counselling sessions breaking down in tears and telling my counselor, “I just don’t feel like I’m good at anything. No matter what I do, someone is always better than I am. I feel like a plain Jane.”

Now that I am older and have had some time to mature and assess some of those feelings, I see so much more clearly what was going on. The problem was not that I wasn’t good at anything, but that I wasn’t recognized for the things that I was good at. Of course I had the support and encouragement from my parents, but I longed for the acceptance from my peers and other leaders and teachers within my sphere of influence. Despite the fact that I was indeed gifted in some areas, it seemed that I was often overlooked and passed by and I struggled with that. I want to be delicate as I write this. It isn’t that I never received encouragement from anyone. I know that I was loved and encouraged. But I had that perception back then, as my flesh warred against my spirit. I longed to be great and was discontent at constantly coming up average.

Before you think of me as some narcissistic little brat who needed all the glory, you should also know that there are some events that occurred in my life that served to create this need for recognition. I’ll keep it vague because I don’t like to discuss private family matters on my blog, but in short, when I was thirteen, our family took custody of three of my cousins who had experienced a good deal of emotional trauma.

 The year that they lived with us was difficult on everyone involved and I think we were all left with a few emotional scars as a result. Because of the needs of my cousins, my own emotional needs were often overlooked-not because people didn’t care, but simply because they didn’t know. I developed this yearning to be seen. I longed to be told that I was great at something and all of that truly took root in that one pivotal year of my life. That’s the best I can do to explain how this deep-seeded emotional need for recognition came about.

When I went to college, for the first time, I felt like I was noticed. I started to receive encouragement from people outside my own family for the gifts that I had been given and I blossomed. I developed self-esteem that I never knew I was capable of. I also, oddly enough, developed a sense of humility that I hadn’t known before. Those were good years for me.

Now that I’m grown, I know the Truth behind why I’ve been given gifts and what I am to expect from them. I realize now that it’s not about me. It’s not about whether or not I get recognition for the things I’m good at. It’s all about Who gets the glory and, ultimately, I believe that the Lord deserves the glory for anything I do. I no longer have this unquenchable desire for recognition. In fact, I don’t much care anymore. I just want to glorify Him and pray that I do that whether I am writing, singing, or just playing with my kids.

But, as I watched Sloan holding his hands out and yelling, “I’m open, I’m open,” and I heard the coach constantly yelling, “Give the ball to Sloan, he’s open,” and watched as time and time again the ball was passed to another kid, all of those feelings rushed back and I began to fear once again. Only this time the fear was compounded because it was for my son. I do not want him to experience those feelings of being overlooked and passed by. The one time he did receive the ball, he shot and missed and my heart broke.

And he’s only five. Good grief. I’m not sure I’ll survive this motherhood thing.

Anyway, I spent much of Saturday night tossing and turning and praying that the Lord release me of that fear. And I feel like I’ve made a little headway. The fact that I’m getting emotional as I type this post shows I have a little ways to go, but I’m trusting the Lord to rebandage the wound that seems to have split ever so slightly.

First of all, I know that Sloan is young and that he will undoubtably experience the pain of rejection growing up and that he will be okay. I also know that it’s okay if he’s not a competitive person. He will find his niche and Lee and I will do the best we can to nurture the gifts that he has. Mostly, I pray that I will be an example to Sloan that it’s not about who wins or loses – it’s about who gets the glory in the end.

After all, that’s the Truth I want my son to learn earlier than I did.

My Funny Valentine

I love this sweet boy. He’s rotten but he’s so very, very cute. And he knows how to make his mama feel good.

Pray for my sister-in-law, Becke’, today and her family. It was a year ago that her sweet sister, Kiley, went to be with Jesus. Knowing she is basking in His glory is good, but it’s still bittersweet. Please remember them today.

The Master Cleanse – A Reflection

Last week, Lee and I got the bright idea that we were going to start the Master Cleanse diet. C’mon, I know you’ve all seen the commercials. You’ve heard them say that we all have pounds of waste clinging to our colon walls like spackle or paste. Well, Lee and I wanted to detoxify. And, let’s be honest, I wanted to lose the weight. Who cares about my colon? Mama’s going to Florida in a month – it’s time to get serious.

Have any of you ever tried the Master Cleanse diet? It’s crap! And yes, that pun was intended. Let me give you a little glimpse into the world of the colon cleanse.

It all started on Sunday, when we both ate very light, you know, to prep our stomachs for the days to come. That afternoon, I headed over to Wholefoods, the Mecca of all things healthy and good. I had my list of ingredients and I slowly made my way through the aisles picking up lemons, purified, but not flouridated, water, non-iodized salt, Grade B Organic Maple Syrup and pure Cayenne Pepper. Yeah, I know.

I should inform you that neither of us actually read any literature about this diet because we’re too cheap to buy a book. We simply consulted Dr. Google for the list of ingredients and some testimonials from those who have successfully completed this 10-day completely liquid diet.

“It’s amazing!” they all proclaimed. “I have more energy than ever before; I lost 20 pounds; my skin is glowing and looks fresh and young; I feel rejuvinated.”

My personal favorite was the man who was on day 17 of this diet and was planning on going another 3-5 days because he just. felt. so. great. Freak.

All of Google’s input said that the first 3 days were the hardest. After that, you hardly notice the hunger – “you will be energized as you release the toxins from your body.” Uh-huh.

(The drink that you consume during the 10 day diet provides you with roughly 1200 calories/day, so this is not a starvation diet, though it may sound like one…)

So I came home with two bags filled to the brim with all the things that were going to make Lee and I glow with the radiance of youth and health. At this point, neither of us had eaten much all day, and we intended to start night one with the salt water flush. It sounded easy enough. 35 ounces of water mixed with one teaspoon of salt. The idea is to drink the entire liquid, then sit back and wait for nature to take it’s course, thereby beginning the process of cleansing the colon.

The next time you’re at the beach, fill a cup with 35 ounces of ocean water and drink it. If you are able to do that, I will personally send you telepathic high fives and feelings of all over awesomeness. I, personally, couldn’t get past two swallows without gagging and nearly vomiting. (There’s one way to lose the weight.) And I tried. I tried to drink it warm, I tried it cold; I tried to pound it back quickly (that was not a good idea), and I tried a small sip. And Lee watched me the whole time. I finally made him try it and after one swallow, he headed back to the computer to consult Dr. Google on what to do if the salt water flush is too unbearable. “You are pansies,” came the reply. At least that’s how it felt. Are all those people online lying, or do they really think it’s “not that bad?” Geesh. Then, we saw it – Hark! There is a tea you can drink called Senna. Glory! Lee headed back to Wholefoods while I perused the recipe for the lemonade.

You mix water, lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. I didn’t understand the cayenne pepper, but my trusty internet assured me it was a necessary ingredient and was not to be skipped. And so I intended to follow the directions. You know, because thus far that was really working out for us. So Lee returned, we drank our tea and we went to bed.

The next morning, I awoke to a rumbling tummy. It was a mixture of hunger and Senna. At this point I was beginning to doubt my willpower to withstand this diet. I made Lee and I a batch of lemonade and poured each of us a glass. The blasted cayenne kept drifting to the top so we had to continually stir the drink. It reminded me of Chandler and Ross on Friends, drink and stir, drink and stir. Five points to anyone who remembers that episode.

I think I know now why the cayenne is important. Apparently it burns off the lining of your throat making the consumption of food nearly impossible. At this point I was sincerely cursing my internet friends who had assured me that the lemonade was quite good and the cayenne gives it a “little kick.” Liars from the pits of hell!

Oh, and while I was fighting back my urge to begin breathing fire, I got my first “prompting” from the Senna tea. My first of many, I might add. Miserable, miserable tea.

So, wrapping up. The lemonade was so nasty that after drinking my half-day ration, I was gagging violently every time I took a drink. My house was completely destroyed because every time I ran to the bathroom, the children exploited my weakness and tore about like wild apes. My stomach was growling fiercely and I was growing irritable. I texted Lee and told him I didn’t have the balls to follow through with the intensity of this diet. He replied that he was glad because neither did he. And we quit. Right then and there. After only 24 hours, we quit.

All that to say, I don’t recommend the Master Cleanse diet.


Two weeks ago, when we visited the pediatrician, the doctor checked Tai’s ears and could only see wax. After digging in both ears and washing them out, a process that was torturous for both Tia and Lee and I, the doctor had successfully removed four plugs of wax that were each roughly the diameter of a pea. Our doctor told us that Tia had likely been only hearing at about 10%, which is probably why she still wasn’t talking.

Today she is talking more clearly than I’ve ever heard her and she’s talking a lot more. She also keeps putting her hands over her ears and saying, “Too loud!” Poor kid.


While driving in the car the other day, I pointed out a brillinat sunset to the kids. We talked about what a great job God did painting the sky. Here were Tia’s comments:

“Mommy, Do yud me.” (translation God Loves Me)
Me: “Yes he does, Tia.”
Tia: “Yeah. Do dood.” (God is good)
Me: “Yes, He is.”
Tia: “Yeah. Da Hedew bad. Do dood. Da Hedew till me. Do say me.” (Darth Vader is bad. God is good. Darth Vader kills me. God saves me.)
Me: “Ooookaaay.”

Sloan is into telling jokes. Someone shoot me now. These are the jokes that I must endure multiple times a day.
Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Gladys who?
Gladys ba-Gladys I don’t know where my eyeball is.

I know. Painful. Literally, my stomach starts to twist up in knots every time I hear the words Knock Knock. I even bought him a jokebook in the hopes that he would learn good jokes. Didn’t work. He still prefers to make up his own. How long does this phase last?

When Sloan tells Tia a joke, this is usually her response:
“Hol, da no hunny.” (Sloan, that’s not funny)
Or, my personal favorite, “Hol, da no may sense.” (Sloan that doesn’t make sense)

I have recently introduced the movie Singin’ in the Rain. The kids love it. They dance around the house singing, “Make ’em laaauugh.” It’s great. We’ve also started watching Little House on the Prairie on a regular basis. Much to Lee’s chagrin. I keep trying to remind him that this will make Sloan very marketable with the ladies someday. He usually responds by telling me that he doesn’t want me signing Sloan up for some fru-fru dance class. Deal, babe.

There is a George Clooney movie filming in town in March. I went to the open casting call for extras but when I saw the several hundred people standing in line, I laughed and walked away. On a whim, I sent in my application, but figured I wouldn’t hear anything because I heard they were giving preference to those who actually showed up for the casting call. I got a call yesterday asking me if I could come be part of the shoot on March 10. Fun! I’m excited. My mom is out of town that day so I’ll have to round up childcare, but it should be a good time.

I told Lee I hope I get to see George Clooney because, um, hi – he’s sexy. Lee told me I have full permission to drool over him if we come in contact. My husband is cool.

Rock Star in the Making

Enjoy the video of our little rock star. I particularly love the part where he sings “I will levah praise you.” Awesome. He kept starting just a little too high and had to go into his falsetto. So cute. If you click on The Next American Idol link under the Favorites tab, you can see him singing the same song last year as well. Happy Monday to you all!

Things I Never Thought I’d Say…

If you need help wiping, let me know.

Hold still, I’ve got to dig this booger out of your nose.

Wow, I love that Crockpot.

7:30? Man, we slept in today.

Don’t grab your brother’s penis.

Can I please use the bathroom in private?

Eat your french fries or you can’t have dessert.

I swear, this house smells like poop.

Gorilla Munch does not go up your nose!

Why is there chocolate running out of your nose? Did you put a chocolate chip up there?

All I want is a nap.

I can’t wait to vaccuum.

Maxipads are not stickers.

We have to leave in 20 minutes? Okay, I’ll jump in the shower.

I wish I had an office job to escape to.

No, you’re not superman so don’t try and jump off the top of the swing set.

Yay! A date night. Let’s go to Borders and have some hot tea while we look at travel magazines.

Because I said so.

I don’t care who started it, I’m gonna finish it.

Take your shoes off I just mopped!

Who flushed mommy’s necklace down the toilet?

What about you? What are some thing you’ve said recently that you never thought you’d say?

School Days

Well, I did it. Yesterday I took the plunge and registered my oldest for kindergarten. Ohmygosh, how did we get here so fast? I try hard not to be one of those weepy moms who gets overly emotional at silly stuff, but this made me a little emotional. It does go by fast doesn’t it?

I thought I’d write a little post about the options for schooling and get some feedback from the rest of you. I have really gone back and forth on this schooling thing the last couple of months. We registered Sloan for public school, which had been the plan all along, but I started to have some reservations about two months ago and it took quite a bit of praying and soul searching (on my part – Lee has been cool with this option from day one) to get me to that school yesterday.

I’ll be honest, private school has not really been on the table. While I’m not against private school I do have some reservations that have held me back from pursuing it as an option (my husband shares the same reservations). I know there are some good private schools in our area, but I just don’t feel like that is for us, at least not right now. We are very blessed to be in a good school district and the elementary school our kids will go to is smaller and is a great school. So, between private and public, public won out.

Until about a year ago, I always said that I would never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, homeschool my children. I, like so many people, had misconceptions that those who choose homeschooling are granola lovers with 15 kids who all wear homemade clothes and sing old hymns accapella at night under the stars. But then, out of the blue, I got a little stirring. Maybe it wasn’t so bad. Maybe I should give it a try. Suddenly, I found that I really liked the idea of homeschooling. And who cares if I can’t sew a button onto a shirt? I could make it work! Oh, and guess what – homeschoolers are normal! I now realize that my misconceptions were way off and that most people who choose to homeschool are just like the rest of us – they’re just trying to do what they feel is best for their children.

I have to say, I like the freedom that homeschooling presents us as a family. I like the control it gives me over my kids education and I like the fact that it presents so many other options for the kids. There are amazing homschool co-ops in the St. Louis area. I had no idea how organized homeschoolers are. Which is probably a red flag given that I’m not known for my organizational capabilities.

But, after much prayer, I realized my motives were not right – at least not all of them. Part of me wanted to homeschool because I wanted to be able to say I did it. Of the three schooling options, homeschooling is definately the most challenging and I wanted to take on the challenge. Not a very fair reason to keep my kids at home. Also, I was so taken by several women who I know, either personally or through the cyber world, who homeschool and do such neat things with their kids that I wanted to be a part of that group. You can check them out here, here, here and here. Again, though, it’s not a great reason to choose to keep my kids home. Mostly, I think I just wanted to keep control of our family schedule. I am not looking forward to the craziness of trying to get everyone where they need to be next year. I have had minor panic attacks wondering how on earth I’m going to get Tia picked up and get home in time to meet Sloan’s bus. It may not be as bad as I’m thinking, but right now it seems daunting. Homeschooling just seems easier in that regard.

I finally decided that, for now, our best option is to stick with the public school, which I’m totally comfortable with. When I signed Sloan up yesterday, I walked through the halls and got a little misty-eyed thinking about my elementary school years and what lies ahead of him. Sloan is such a magnetic kid – so people oriented and motivated by a crowd. He’s going to do great in school. I’m excited for him and he’s beyond elated that he’s going to big kid school next year. The fact that he gets to ride the school bus makes him jump around like an electric chihuahua. He’ll be fine…and so will I.

I did, however, pass on the Adventure Club and full day options. I want to keep him home as long as I possibly can. He’s got the rest of his life to go to school. He can stay close to his mama for one more year.

So, this soul searching process has been good in one regard; it’s let me know that I am open to anything and that, I think, is a good place to be. If I have a child that would benefit from homeschooling, I’m all over it. If we have one that would thrive in private school, we’ll do that. But for now, I think we are going to be a public school family. What about you guys? How did you decide what school to send your kids to?

Wordless Wednesday: A Little Girl’s Tea Party and the Purple Bike

Tia had a purple tea party for her birthday and all she wanted was a purple bike. Here are a few pictures from the celebration. We’re busy here the next of days so I’ll post when I can. In the meantime, hope you’re all having a lovely (frigid) Wednesday morning.

To My Daughter – Things I want you to know

My sweet Katya. On this day, three years ago, you entered the world. The day you were born is etched deep in my mind. It is my technicolor memory. I see those moments leading up to meeting you so clearly. I can still hear the doctor saying, “You’ve got a baby girl,” and my heart plumetting and leaping all at once. How I treasure that moment. It is stored in the most precious section of my heart.Today, on your third birthday, I share a little bit of wisdom with you. The things I want you to know someday, when you are grown.

You are loved.

Being a girl gives you unique and special privileges. One of those is the freedom to love and collect shoes to your heart’s content. This is a good thing.

You are beautiful – truly, truly beautiful.

On that same note, the grace with which you carry yourself will make that beauty genuine.

When you are fourteen and some boy you hardly know tells you he loves you – don’t believe him and don’t say it back.

Measure your hearts’ desires against the Word of God.

A classy red shoe will never go out of style.

Sometimes you just need a good cry.

A friend who places stipulations on your relationship is not worth keeping around.

Be genuine with everyone you meet.

Though they may annoy you, your brothers are very special. Let them be your protectors.

You were created by God. You have worth and value to Him and that matters more than anything else in the world.

Measure any boy you ever date against your daddy. If you do this, you will be okay.

Shopping is not all it’s cracked up to be…unless you have money to spend – then, shopping is really, really, awesome.

Don’t seek worth in the eyes of the world.

Dream big and dream often and know that you can accomplish anything you dream.

Sometimes you may have to sacrifice one dream to obtain another. This is okay.

You’ll never be more beautiful than when you are at your most natural – but makeup is a great and fun way to enhance that natural beauty. Just use it sparingly.

There is nothing more noble than a woman who guards her heart.

Modesty is a beautiful thing.
Believe in yourself and in the gifts and abilities that God has given you. Use them to glorify Him.

Your daddy loves you more than you will ever know. You can rest assured in that.

New clothes are always fun, no matter how old you get.

It’s okay to be girly, but don’t be prissy.

A girl who has a healthy knowledge of sports will have a lot of options in life.

You have two wonderful, godly grandmothers. Get to know them. Soak up their wisdom. You’re blessed with a godly heritage.

I love you today and I will love you into eternity.

Happy Birthday, Katya Rose.