Monday, April 27, 2009

Easter Pics

I've been a little distracted this year and realized I just posted about my son's birthday, which was AFTER Easter, and I forgot to share pictures from Easter! I was just reminded because my daughter just came to me telling me that she wants to get baptized on Sunday. We had a long talk about Jesus and of course Easter came up. She informed me that she wants to pray to ask Jesus into her heart on Saturday, and then get baptized on Sunday. Sounds like a girl with a plan! We'll see if she comes back to me Saturday or not

Anyway, here are the kids coloring Easter eggs and the finished eggs. They had so much fun!

My son is 8!

I still can't believe it. I remember his birth like it was yesterday. Even more so, I remember the labor, and that he will NEVER live down! My son is just an awesome kid. He works hard, plays hard, and still loves his Mommy more than anyone on earth. I feel very priviledged to be his mom and to see those light bulb moments daily as he pieces together this thing we call "life." I have seen him go from a 5 year old too timid to get in the soccer game, to a fearless player that really understands the game. I have seen him learn how to put his face in the water (finally!!) and take off at the pool. I have seen him go from a beginning t-ball player to hitting every pitch from the pitching machine. I have seen him become a wonderful Christian young man, who loves to help people whenever he can. I am truly blessed! Here is the smile that greeted me on his 8th birthday, April 22, 2009:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Life Before DVR

I try to, but just can't imagine life before we had DVR. HOW did we suffer through all those drawn out shows with all those PAINFUL commercials?! I guess we had to go pee, fix our popcorn, or check our email in 3 minute spurts of time. How crazy was that?!
The other day I was doing the dishes and for some reason started thinking about DVR (digital video recorders) and how they have changed our lives. And I got to wondering, when are the ad campaigns going to catch up with this technology? Ever since I've had a DVR, (which has been about a year or so) I've wondered when it was going to "hit the fan" so to speak. I mean, do people realize that nobody's watching those commercials anymore? Well, I know some people are, because plenty of people haven't caught on to the NEED for their own DVR, but eventually, it's going to happen. Advertisers will know that they are wasting money on television ads that no one is watching. And here's my thought. Why not just create a simply "billboard" style ad where the screen says exactly what you want the viewer to get from the ad, and if the viewers fast forward through it, they can still read the ad! I'm such a genius!
Many of my friends say that DVRs are too expensive. I say, they are crazy! As a matter of fact, they are wrong. If I were to sit down and calculate the amount of time I have saved by fast forwarding through commercials, I would come out way ahead. After all, time is money, especially when you are self-employed. And the convenience of being able to record your favorite shows and watch them when you can't put a price on that. I don't even know when most of my shows come on. I check my "list" to see what's recorded and watch them- or not. Sometimes I save shows until the weekend or for a time when I know I won't be as busy.
And if you are a fan of American Idol you HAVE to have a DVR. I don't listen to half of what Ryan says, and the day that someone gets booted...YOU can wait until "after the break" but many times I fast forward all the way to the end. (Though last night I did watch Jennifer Hudson and Miley Cyrus perform. Is it just me or did it look like Miley was just starting out in the biz? She looked so nervous and unsure of herself, I couldn't believe it. And her annunciation...HORRIBLE.) Anyway...if you are one of those who thinks paying extra for DVR with your dish service is "too expensive" I beg to differ. It is well worth it and before long, you will be wondering how you went so long without it!
P.S. I finally got an Mp3 player for Christmas and don't know how I put it off so long. I can carry my music with my anywhere I go!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Susan Boyle sings "I Dreamed a Dream"

47 year old Susan Boyle wowed the audience and the judges from the get go when she belted out "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables on tevelevision show Britain's Got Talent. It's amazing how such talent can be hidden in the most surprising places. If you don't watch this video now, you will hear others talk about it and wish you had seen it...

Giving Everything Your ALL

I write about sports a lot, mainly because it's a big part of our lives. Currently we are playing soccer. It's funny to me how many life lessons can be learned through sports alone, and parents who don't sign their kids up for sports- they are missing out!
Recently I started rock climbing again at the YMCA. I haven't climbed in over a decade, so it's as if I'm doing it for the first time. On a couple of difficult climbs, I got a really good picture of "mind over matter." It's amazing how much our thinking affects our ability to do things. About halfway up, I started telling myself, "I don't think I can do this..." And had I let myself continue that way of thinking, of course, I wouldn't have been able to make it.
I decided to take it one handhold at a time, and not give up until I fell. And guess what...I made it. I realized that the worst that could happen is I would fall. As I said, "Of course you can do this...not much further...grab onto the next handhold, and if you fall you fall..." I kept moving upward. And eventually I was there.
How often do we see kids give up before they get "there"?
I am coaching my daughter's U6 soccer team. I am not coaching because no one else wanted to, which is often what happens. I am coaching because I love teaching, I love kids, and I love seeing those little victories every time a kid gets something. We practice three times per week, but the kids only have to come to two practices if they want. Most kids have come to every practice. It's amazing how much kids learn when you teach them. I give coaching my all, because if I didn't I'd be wasting their time and mine. And I expect them to give me their all as well.
This partnership pays off! Unfortunately, the opposite is true. If coaches don't put their all into coaching, the kids won't either. They won't know what they're doing, and they won't pursue excellence in what they do because they don't know what excellence is. We tell kids to try their best all the time, yet the examples we show are often far short of our best. How can kids say, "I can do it!" when they don't know what "it" is?
If you find yourself in the, "I'm coaching because no one else would..." spot, don't give it less than your best. The kids deserve better, and all it takes is learning about the sport and sharing what you've learned. You never know, you might love the sport in the end!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Today is Easter...

Today is Easter and it is one of the strangest Easters ever. Already today I have experienced a number of different and new things that show me why today is so important to me, and how the peace that Jesus brings me because of this day is so important in my daily life.
Today was the first Easter in 7 years that I have woken up without my kids. They spent the night at their father's house and I won't see them until tonight. I saw them at the community Easter egg hunt yesterday, and of course at the soccer games my son had, but as I got ready for church this morning, it was really quiet. No egg hunts, no "look what I got in MY basket!", and no arguing. (That part was kinda nice!) It occurred to me that raising the best children possible is not about pouting because I can't have things the way I would prefer, but about doing daily what needs to be done so that they KNOW what they need to know when they leave my house for college, or for whatever is ahead on their paths.
And speaking of church, today I attended Life180, a start up church in my friend's home, which I've attended for a few weeks now. It was SO chaotic! There was a technical problem with the music, which is played via a computer and projector. So we decided to do the sermon first (which is through a video feed that is recorded the night before). There were more kids present than adults, and the kids had no interest in being quiet. (When it's not your kid, it's easy to tune them out!) When we finally got to the music, I could not sing because I have a cold and my voice is hoarse. Could it GET worse?!
I say all that to point out how imperfect church was this morning. Because as I stood there (not singing) and listening to the voices during worship, I realized that the realness of that room brought more to my heart than the perfection of "church service" that is more about who will do what, how everything sounds, and getting out in time to eat lunch before everyone else.
I forgot to mention that it's raining today. And that I sat in pee at church. But what I hope you get in all of this is that when the little things pile on top of one another, they still cannot pierce the love Jesus Christ has for each and every one of us, or the peace that His love can bring to each of our lives. Knowing that peace is the best thing that you could ever imagine, and it carries over to the rest of your days.
If you attend church every Sunday and you lose that peace, perhaps the perfection is getting in the way of the Holy Spirit, who often speaks to us through chaos. Listen in the quiet. Listen in the chaos. No matter where you are, He speaks to you there. God bless you all!

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Lesson in "Mothering"

I received this story in an email, and was able to confirm its authenticity from the source. As I read it, I realized that many parents could learn a lot from this dog. If only we could all love unconditionally as this...

In 2003, police in Warwickshire, England, opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog. It had been locked in the shed and abandoned. It was dirty and malnourished, and had clearly been abused. In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a Greyhound female, to the nearby Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, run by a man named Geoff Grewcock and known as a willing haven for Animals abandoned, orphaned or otherwise in need. Geoff and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims: to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust. It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved. They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.
But Jasmine had other ideas. No one remembers now how it began, but she started welcoming all Animal arrivals at the sanctuary. It wouldn't matter if it was a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting Animal, Jasmine would peer into the box or cage and, where possible, deliver a welcoming lick.

Geoff relates one of the early incidents. "We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line. One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross. They were tiny when they arrived at the centre and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee. Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them."
"But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits. She takes all the stress out of them and it helps them to not only feel close to her but to settle into their new surroundings."

"She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose."

Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary's resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born. The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, 15 chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and 15 rabbits.

And one roe deer fawn. Tiny Bramble, 11 weeks old, was found semi-conscious in a field. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster mum role. Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the Roe deer with affection and makes sure nothing is matted.

"They are inseparable," says Geoff . "Bramble walks between her legs and they keep kissing each other. They walk together round the sanctuary. It's a real treat to see them."

Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life. When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely. She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next Orphan or victim of abuse.

From left, Toby, a stray Lakeland dog; Bramble, orphaned Roe deer; Buster, a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; Sky, an injured barn owl; and Jasmine with a Mothers heart doing best what a caring Mother would do... Such is the order of God's Creation.