Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Nice To Know That He Thinks So Highly Of Us

Yesterday, there came a moment in time where Ben was off doing something somewhere in the house, Josie was taking a nap, Grace and Alex were outside playing and I, let's just say that I was "indisposed". I thought that Owen was with Ben, so I was puzzled when I heard him frantically calling for me. I called back, but he did not hear me and only grew more upset. I rushed out and found him running down the stairs near tears, so I swept him up into my arms and hugged him. "Did you think we had all gone off and left you?" I asked him, smiling.

"No!" he replied, obviously relieved. "I just figured that the police had come and taken you all to jail!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Way Back When-esday

This picture was taken when Alex was three years old. He was watching SpongeBob. Make of that what you will.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No one listens to me anymore.

I don't know when it happened, exactly, but somewhere along the line I became like an annoying fly, buzzing away in the background. My children hear me (I think) but they don't have a clue what I am talking about.

For example, if I have to use the restroom or take a shower, I will announce it to the masses. (I even do this with adults now...everybody knows when I have to go potty.) "I'm going to the bathroom!" I will proclaim, loudly enough to be heard over the TV/Video Game/screaming toddlers. The children will nod. Sometimes, they will even look up and connect eyes with me, as if to assure me that they have it covered. "You can go to the bathroom," they seem to say, "and we, as a collective group of well-behaved children, will be just fine." I will leave the room confident they are completely aware of the situation and that there is at least a chance that peace will continue for the next five minutes.

Apparently, I am a very gullible woman.

By the time I make it to the bathroom and lock the door, the Mama radar will have gone of in someone's head. It will occur to them that I am no longer in the room, and they will begin to panic. WHERE DID SHE GO? "I saw her move her mouth" they will think, "and some kind of noise came out of it, and then all of the sudden she was GONE!" Within seconds, they will have worked themselves into a frenzy that, in my house, can only result in two actions. The first possibility is that they will run screaming through the house, frantically calling my name and foaming at the mouth because, athough I am in the bathroom screaming my head off that I am...well, in the bathroom, they can't hear me because they are running screaming through the house. They will check every room in the house except my bathroom, and will conclude that I have disappeared off the face of the earth. Chaos will ensue. The second option is that they will note that I am not in the vicinity, and they will decide that this is a sign from above that they can begin trying to kill each other, because who can know how long this lack of maternal influence will last? They would be fools not to take advantage of the lack of supervision. Again, chaos will ensue.

When I emerge from the bathroom a mere few minutes later but with several more gray hairs, they will look at me in accusation. "Where were you?" They will demand, having seen me walk out of the bathroom. "Siberia" I will tell them. They will blink at me in bafflement.

Another example that proves my point is the "What are we having for dinner?" saga that is repeated daily in my house, over and over again. No matter how many times I tell them exactly what we are having, they will ask me again a million times until the food is actually in front of them, whereupon they will oftentimes frown at their plates and ask, "Do I have to eat this? You know that I don't like spaghetti." I will then tell them what I tell someone in my household EVERY SINGLE NIGHT "I am not a short-order cook. Sometimes I will make things that you don't like, but you are going to have to eat them anyway or be hungry. Hopefully tomorrow night there will be something that you like better." And EVERY SINGLE NIGHT I will be met with horrified eyes that cannot believe that I seriously will not run over and whip them up some chicken nuggets because clearly to not do so is tanamount to child abuse. "Imagine, expecting me to eat spaghetti!" they seem to think. "I wish she had stayed in Siberia!"

I have been wondering for quite some time now how it has come to this point. I have tried to think of something that I had said or done that had made my children tune me out so completely, and I was coming up empty until this weekend. On Sunday night, while visiting my brother, I had a major revelation. We were about to leave, and Owen had decided that he was starving to death and could not possibly stand to wait the twenty minutes that it would take us to get home to eat something, so he asked his cousin Faith (also four years old) for some yogurt. She happily ran into the kitchen and got him one (without asking her parents) and Owen came running over to me asking me to open it. I knew that my nieces eat the yogurt for breakfast, so I told Owen no, and that we would get something as soon as we got home. He looked at me, flabergasted that I would not allow him to eat when he was clearly wasting away before my eyes. "Yogert!" I said firmly, "Put the Owen back in the refrigerator now and lets go home!"

And that's when it hit me. After sixteen years of parenting, I have lost so many brain cells that I no longer make any sense. No wonder they don't listen to me. Would you pay attention to a woman that called you Yogurt? I have to say that I'm not sure that I would.

There is a certain freedom that comes with this knowledge, however. If they are not listening to me, then I can say pretty much anything that I want and it will be okay. I can tell the kids that I am making lizard brains for dinner and they will not even notice. Then, when I present them with spaghetti, I can say "Hey, at least it's not lizard brains!" and they will be too confused to argue. Why did I not think of this before?

Okay. Now that I have that all worked out, I've got to go pay a visit to Siberia. I hope the house is still standing when I get back.

Friday, November 14, 2008

This post is what happens when I have not left the house all week and no one has brought me any chocolate.

Obama hates beets. I know this because AOL just told me.

This pleases me to no end because you know how, as Christians, we are supposed to pray for our leaders? Well, that was hard for me. I was making myself do it, but because I find him morally distateful, I didn't have any joy in doing it. But now? That I know that we share a passionate hatred of beets? We have a certain kinship. I feel a connection. So even though I still think that the American people made a very grievous error and perhaps lost their collective minds when they elected him, I can pray for him more easily. Because really, he CAN'T possibly be completely evil and hate beets at the same time, can he? It's so clear to me now...there MUST be good in him somewhere.

May his good judgement when it comes to vegetation bloom into good judement in all things. Amen.

In other news, Owen tells me that there is a giant blood-sucking squid attatched to my television. Since I am used to his special brand of randomness by now, I didn't even blink at this statement, but I wonder....does this have some spiritual significance, perhaps? Maybe he is seeing visions. If we were still attending that Pentecostal church, I bet they could tell me. I would rather think that there was some deep meaning to his ramblings than to think that he is just really, really weird, but I am bracing myself for the latter. Bless his heart. He freaks me out.

But he did just tell me that I am the best mama in the deep blue sea, so I guess I'll keep him anyway.

Edited to add~To all of you lovely ladies who have given me awards and tagged me...I am not ignoring you! I'm just trying to figure out how to post the awards on my blog, and I keep forgetting the tags until after I have posted, and then I tell myself I will definitely remember next time...

Until then, thank you so much for thinking of me! I'm sorry that I'm a lame blogging buddy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My little daycare boy is...leaky. Mucousy. Wheezy. If he were not so adorable (and I were not getting paid) I would be backing away from him while brandishing a crucifix and wailing "UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!". That is, if I owned a crucifix. Which I don't. But anyway. You get the picture.

The problem is, he is ALWAYS like this, and he has been here since August. I have mentioned the possibility of allergies to his mother, but she just looks at me and blinks. Maybe he has been this way so long that she can't comprehend a non-phlemy child? I can only assume that she is pondering what to do to stop the flow of...ick...but until then I'm swimming in Kleenex. I thought about teaching him to wipe his own nose, and then strapping a box of tissues to one side of him and a small trash can to the other, but he has only been walking for a few months and I figured that was asking a bit much. Plus he'd probably eat the tissues. Or take them all out of the box and decorate my couch. Either way I think I'm stuck chasing him around the house all day chanting "Ew...Ew...Ew", and that is time-consuming, not to mention hard on the vocal chords. Do you think I could collect disability if I lost my voice? Or my nose-wiping capabilities?

Childcare is fraught with danger, y'all. Remember that.

Anyway, the other day Alex was sitting on the floor playing with Mucous Boy, and he looked up at me and smiled. "I just love babies!" He said, and I agreed that babies were quite wonderful. Mucous Boy wheezed his approval. "When I grow up, I am going to pray that God gives me a baby like this." Alex continued. I paused a moment to wonder what qualities he admired so in this particular child. Was it the big brown eyes? The chubby cheeks? The adorable way that he babbles, sounding exactly as if he is speaking Mandarin Chinese with a southern accent? I did not have to wait long for my answer.

He leaned in toward the baby's head and listened. Mucous Boy took in a rattly breath and grinned. Alex smiled back. "I want God to give me a baby that purrs JUST LIKE THIS ONE!"

Great. Just what I always wanted. Purring grandchildren.

Do you think I could keep him from praying that prayer if I buy him an asthmatic cat?

Monday, November 3, 2008

I was going to go all political and serious on you today, this day before our country makes such a monumental decision. But then I found this article, and it said pretty much exactly what I wanted to say. So once again laziness trumps effort, and I am going to post an article writen by Jack Kelly. The title is "How Would Jesus Vote?", and I am in total agreement.

"But as for you who forsake the LORD and forget my holy mountain, who spread a table for Fortune and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny, I will destine you for the sword, and you will all bend down for the slaughter; for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me." (Isaiah 65:11-12)

For most of America's history there's been a direct connection between patriotism and faith, probably because the US was founded as a Christian nation. We've always believed that God has watched over us, made us prosperous, and been on our side in the wars we've fought.

That connection began to unravel in the 1960's, but it's surprising the number of people who still believe that if seems to be good for the country, it must be right. This is true even among believers. According to recent Barna polls, 48% of those likely to vote in the coming election are born again Christians. That means they claim to have made a personal commitment to Jesus and believe they will go to heaven because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. These same polls show that nearly half of them will vote for the candidate they think has the best plan for restoring America's reputation in the world and managing the economic battles that lie ahead, rather than the one who they think will best uphold the Biblical principles they believe.

So if only half the voters are believers, and half of them plan to use worldly standards in making their choice rather than Biblical ones, it follows that only 1 in every 4 voters will be exercising any spiritual discernment at all in casting their vote.

The other 3 are using standards like peace, financial security, tolerance, choice, and so on as their guidelines. They don't realize that only God can restore peace and security to their lives, and tolerance and choice are just nice sounding words that really stand for rebellion against Him. By not considering His standards in casting their vote, they're guaranteeing that He won't be helping them get what they want.

What's At Stake Here?

In the opinion of expert observers, this election could bring about fundamental change in America. Depending on the victor, we could see the last traces of the Judeo-Christian principles that have guided us in the past disappear. Restraints on behavior that God is clearly against could be removed, and prohibitions against behavior that God desires could be imposed . Parents may no longer have the ultimate say in raising or educating their children. The relationship between effort and reward could become unrecognizable. Those with the greatest ability could wind up supporting those with the greatest need. In the name of peace we could make self defense impossible. The list goes on.

If all this comes to pass, believers will be forgiven for their lack of discernment and whisked away in the rapture before things get too bad. After all, obedience to God's word isn't the basis for our inclusion in the Church, it's our belief that the Lord died to save us from our sins. But the unbelieving majority will come to understand the meaning of the Isaiah passage above more clearly than they ever dreamed possible. Everyone in the Great Tribulation will have it rough, but I think that those who rebel as blatantly as people are being called to do in this election will have it especially bad. After all, look at the blessings they've enjoyed by being part of a Christian nation, and the light they've been shown because of our religious heritage. The Lord called but they didn't answer. He spoke but they didn't listen. They will have done evil in his sight by choosing what displeases them, and He will destine them for the sword.

We know that all these things will eventually come to pass, that it's only a matter of time. There's no Scripture anywhere to persuade us otherwise. But it's quite possible that in this election America will choose a course of action that will accelerate our downfall. We will have forsaken the Lord and His Holy Mountain.

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. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Over the past few weeks, I've been encouraging us all to accept a giant paradigm shift, to realize that this is not our home. I've been saying that we need to start thinking more about our real home and getting ready to go there. We need to distinguish between our love for our county and our love for God. As good as this country has been, it's no where near as good as where we're going. Like Abraham we're looking forward to the city with foundations whose architect and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:10) And the bottom line is that regardless of who wins this election, America will soon be a far different country than it has been.

So this could very well be the last presidential election we'll ever vote in. It's time to realize that we really don't belong in any political party. No matter how we've thought of ourselves in the past, the reality is that as Christians we're monarchists and we await our coming King. Since our fondest desire is to please Him, we should vote the way we think He would want us to. And remember, we're not voting for someone, and we're not voting against something, we're voting in a way that pleases our Lord.
So, how would Jesus vote? He would vote for life, He would vote to uphold His Father's Word, and He would make His vote count. Can we do anything less? Selah 11-01-08

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Well, we survived Halloween. This is the crazy bunch that we took out last night in a quest for more candy than anyone has a right to eat. From left to right: Owen and my niece Faith (they are four days apart in age and they adore each other. I would totally take Faith to live at my house and raise them as twins, but my brother won't let me. He's always been mean like that.) Then there is Grace, whose very short costume would have required pants even if the temperatures did not, Alex looking like he is trying to catch flies with his mouth, and my other niece Rose, doing...I have no idea what. But she is cute doing it. And in the front is my little nephew who was the most adorable puppy ever even if he was grumpy from getting vaccinated yesterday. Here is a better picture of the grumpy puppy, just so that you can fully comprehend the adorableness. Don't you just want to chew on his cheeks?

No pictures were taken of the actual trick-or-treating because my camera died and I had to rely on my sister-in-law for pictures. For some reason, she did not want to chase my children from house to house snapping pictures of them for my blog. I think it was rather heartless of her, but whatever. It's not like she was tired from taking care of three children and my post-surgery brother or anything.

This is Grace after the candy was harvested, and she is appropriately slap-happy. Somewhere along the Halloween trail, she lost her bracelet, so this smile was wonderful to see after all of the lost-bracelet tears had been shed.

Alex is wondering why he has to be subjected to such foolishness.

And here again are Owen and Faith, after the costumes had been shed and Faith finished peeing on Josie's lap. We can only assume that the excitement was too overwhelming to make it to the bathroom, but I found it completely hilarious that she picked my oldest daughter to have an accident on. Josie is the biggest germiphobe that I know. All the way home from my brother's house, she kept chanting, "I am cold, wet, and unsanitary!" As usual, she would not let anyone get a picture of her, but just trust was funny.