Thursday, April 28, 2011

The email Everyone should get at least once

I received an email today that everyone should be blessed enough to receive once in their lifetime. Someone I haven't heard from in a REALLY long time.... sent me an email telling me that they wouldn't be alive today had it not been for me. That when this person had lost the will to go on.... my daily willingness to listen had made the difference. All I can say... still... is a very stunned "wow".

 We just never know the impact we're having when we are just doing what we do. I'm a listener and an encourager and that's just what I do. The girls at work joke that I should hang a shingle. There's something about me that just says... "Hey. Pull up a chair and tell me about it". I feel really blessed that I put people at ease. The down side to that "gift" is this. When I have a problem, people tend to look at me like the 8th horse of the Apocalypse. It's like if I have a problem, the world must be coming to an end. It makes me think Dear Abby and Ann Landers must have been very lonely people.  :) So as a gentle reminder.... if there is someone in your life that just seems to have answers for you... always willing to listen, sees the best in you or just flat out tells you you're being a screw up (friends don't lie to you) do a wellness check on them every once in awhile. Maybe, just maybe ...they need someone to talk to as well.  At the very least, drop them the email that I got this week. I can't begin to tell you how humbling that was and how appreciated I felt for having received it.

45 Life Lessons

This is not new, but always a good read and reminder
Friends are the family that we choose......


 Worth taking the time to read!!!!!!!

Written by a 90 year old
This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!!  Make sure you read to the end!!!!!! Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.  It is the most requested column I've ever written.  My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to be the PERFECT Ex Wife.

A cute joke I heard awhile back....

Jennifer's wedding day was fast approaching. Nothing could dampen her excitement. Not even her parent's nasty divorce.

Her mother had found the PERFECT dress to wear and would be the best dressed mother-of-the-bride ever! A week later, Jennifer was horrified to learn that her father's new young wife had bought the exact same dress. Jennifer asked her to exchange it but she refused. "Absolutely not, I look like a million bucks in this dress and I'm wearing it," she replied.

Jennifer told her mother who graciously said, 'Never mind sweetheart. I'll get another dress. After all, it's your special day.' A few days later, they went shopping and did find another gorgeous dress. When they stopped for lunch, Jennifer asked her mother, "Aren't you going to return the other dress? You really don't have another occasion where you could wear it." Her mother just smiled and relied, " Of course I do, dear. I'm wearing it to the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding." 

My Fav Madea Speech... so true.

If somebody wants to walk out of your life, let - them - go!"

"Some people are meant to come into your life for a lifetime, some for only a season and you got to know which is which. And you're always messing up when you mix those seasonal people up with lifetime expectations.

I put everybody that comes into my life in the category of a tree. Some people are like leaves on a tree. When the wind blows, they're over there... wind blow that way they over here... they're unstable. When the seasons change they wither and die, they're gone. That's alright. Most people are like that, they're not there to do anything but take from the tree and give shade every now and then. That's all they can do. But don't get mad at people like that, that's who they are. That's all they were put on this earth to be. A leaf.

Some people are like a branch on that tree. You have to be careful with those branches too, cause they'll fool you. They'll make you think they're a good friend and they're real strong but the minute you step out there on them, they'll break and leave you high and dry.

But if you find 2 or 3 people in your life that's like the roots at the bottom of that tree you are blessed. Those are the kind of people that aren't going nowhere. They aren't worried about being seen, nobody has to know that they know you, they don't have to know what they're doing for you but if those roots weren't there, that tree couldn't live.

A tree could have a hundred million branches but it only takes a few roots down at the bottom to make sure that tree gets everything it needs. When you get some roots, hold on to them but the rest of it... just let it go. Let folks go."


The Dangers of Perception

A man was on a flight that had a layover. He was next to last off the plane. The only other person there was a blind woman. He knew she was blind because her seeing eye dog was lying at her feet. The pilot came back, called her by name and asked her if she would like to get off the plane and stretch her legs. She replied that she did not but her dog would probably like to stretch a bit. Imagine the horror of the other passengers when the pilot walked off the plane with the seeing eye dog, wearing dark glasses to boot. They began to scramble and trying to change flights. ~ Charles Swindoll

When Jesus was a GHOST

I teach k-2 grade Sunday school and they really are JUST the best.  We were learning about Satan tempting Jesus and how God had sent angels to minister to him since he had been fasting.  And we were discussing angels.  One little girl said "Sometimes....when it's nighttime, and it's dark and scary. God can't come take care of me cause he's a ghost so He sends the angels."

This bothered me. I quickly explained that even though Jesus was crucified and died... He rose from the dead and He is VERY much alive. I was very proud of my answer..... until... another little girl piped up and said "No Ms. Lisa.... you know... The Father, The Son and the Holy Ghost."

It was just TOO precious.

kids kids and more kids per Nancy's request

My friend Matt, says I have a whole sack full of kids. Which for some reason, strikes me as hilarious. I feel like the old woman that lives in a shoe! Anyway, I don't really think of myself as someone thats necessarily good with kids. I love babies. I like little ones pretty well. Pre-teen? Not so much. And then teenagers are cool. When I say 'like' them... meaning like to deal with them. Preteens are just really getting the hang of sarcasm and testing the boundaries of disrespect. Not good when dealing with a control freak adult such as myself. lol Anyway... somehow I have found myself teaching a sunday school class. k-2. I've been told I need to share some of the great stuff they say.

Upon arrival on my first day, it was discovered by a boy in my class that I did NOT bring snacks like the old teacher did. He looked at me, clearly distraught and disappointed and said "This is the WORST Sunday of my ENTIRE life." Really? You're SIX! You haven't had that many Sundays. Don't you think it's a little early to judge!??!?

Then last week... we were discussing how Jesus shows us he loves us and how we can show others that we love them too. One little girl said "When we tell our Mommy and Daddy that we love them, they say "We love you too." The same little boy piped up and said "And when you tell them they're mean. They say "YOU'RE GROUNDED".

Last but not least was a little boy that is SO CUTE. I called him sweetie. He informed me quick, fast and in a hurry that he did NOT want to be called sweetie. I said "oh yeah... what do you want me to call you." He looked at me... cocked his head... winked and said "You can call me.... cooowwwbbbooy."

I have one little girl in my class that is just precious. Until this year, she had been too shy to come to class by herself. Every Sunday she walks up to me with the biggest brown eyes I have ever seen and says "You look very beautiful this morning." While I question her eyesight.... I love her heart. I know as shy as she is... it's not easy for her to walk up to me and say that.

Anyway... hopefully I won't scar these kids too badly because they absolutely MAKE my weeks. Anyone that knows me very well will be MOST surprised to hear that but it's true. They are so open, so honest and so willing to just PUT IT OUT THERE. Something we lose so much of when we "grow up". And that is a shame.

When did I become the village idiot?

This one is a couple of years old... also from the myspace blog days.

I know I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but when did I become the village idiot a.k.a. Mom?  I think the thing that amazes me the most about raising kids is how fast you go from being the “go to gal” for any and all information to “THAT lady” standing in the kitchen looking confused. I used to think myself a very capable woman and now I wonder how I get to work most days.

Let me explain.  Last night I was rushing around trying to get everyone ready for the prospective trips. My husband is heading to Nashville, TN this next week and my three oldest children are going on a mission trip in Birmingham, AL. Now granted, they are all old enough to pack for themselves but somehow, as moms, we still feel responsible for everyone having a toothbrush and clean underwear.  While I understand why I am that way about my children, I don’t yet understand how it transferred to my husband but there ya go.  I had spent the day cleaning, ironing, folding underwear, handing out tiny shampoo bottles, handing out money for the trips and making sure everyone had the clothes washed that they wanted washed. Around midnight I wander past the computer and want to know who my son is chatting with.  He quickly closes the window but not before I catch a glimpse of a phone number. Now you have to understand my position on children and privacy.  If you want privacy, you have to get a job and move out. None of my children have wanted their privacy bad enough to do that so… they put up with mom being nosey.  And boy am I. I’ve probably watched one or ten too many episodes of “To catch a predator” and “Forensic Files”. Anyway, back to the story.

I told him to open the chat window, instead, he hovers over it for just a moment and then clicks on the x.  I was stunned. My kids RARELY openly defy me and I am sure that either this child has a brain tumor or he has forgotten WHERE HE LIVES!!!!  So…. I’m trying to maintain and not snatch him and I quietly tell him to sign off the computer and “Come go with me.” My kids know this means we are about to have what my husband calls “A come to Jesus” meeting.  And just so you know, that’s bad.

We sit down on the couch and I take a really deep breath.

I ask the obvious. “ So, why did you do that?”
Blank stare.
“I don’t know.”
“Well when you do know, you can get back on the computer.”
Lip quivers
I know that he’s been talking to a cute girl from school and I’m a little aggravated because I don’t tease him about his girlfriends. That’s dad’s job.  So WHY?

Come to find out… his grandmother had given him and his brother a prepaid cell phone for emergency use only. My theory is that she is determined to undermine my authority because I have a strict rule about no cell phones before fourteen. (I actually wanted sixteen but the hubby over ruled me). I think it’s ridiculous to see six year old children (or 12 year olds) that are never out of sight of their parents with iphones.  It’s a different story if they go home alone after school or something like that but mine don’t. But that’s just my opinion. They don’t go anywhere that they will be out of contact with an adult and when they are, I provide a phone. Past that, they don’t need one.  Anyway, come to find out, the reason he had closed the window, he had been giving said cute girl his number so that she could text him or call him.  

Of course, me being stupid, I’m wondering how he plans to explain to me OR his grandmother for that matter that he doesn’t have any minutes on his phone. He has no means by which to purchase more. And here is the kicker, he claims to have told her that it wouldn’t do any good to give her the number because clearly THAT phone is for emergency use only but what the heck… he gave it to her anyway. Yeah BUDDY.

Exactly how stupid do I need to be to raise teenagers? Can someone give me an IQ number? Something. Because I’m thinking either he is the worlds WORST liar EVER OR he’s got to think it doesn’t have to be much to fool me because I’m an idiot.

Either way… I should have come down on him harder but it was late and I was tired. I figured going to bed and leaving that cute little girl to wonder where on earth he went was punishment enough.

The Pen is mightier than the sword...

This is from a blog I used to have on myspace... I deleted my myspace account when it became Now I facebook and.... obviously blog elsewhere.

This happened about three years ago...

 So yesterday I'm at work and the phone rings. It's my daughter. 
 Once the pleasantries are all out of the way she asks me where do I go to look for the puppies when they run away? She asks this really nonchalant, sort of like "where did you put the milk?" Like it's really no big deal.  After a lot of wrangling about exactly how the puppies get outside, it is finally determined that my niece and her friend came over and so the kids got to go swimming. The dogs followed the kids outside. Of course, this is not in any way, shape, form or fashion due to any wrong doing on the part of my highly intelligent and competent children. No. The dogs are just "stupid".
So finally, I name off every possible location that the puppies might be hiding and hang up the phone leaving my poor unsuspecting niece and her friend to help them find the dogs. I am feeling a mixture of emotions.  I have to make the boys play with these pitiful dogs yet they can't get enough of the lab puppy, Roscoe that my oldest son brought home.  I think maybe these dogs realize that there is life out there somewhere with little boys who will want them and they have decided to make a break for it.   I am ashamed to admit that I'm secretly glad that if they are going to run away they didn't wait until they had been groomed the following day at thirty bucks a pop. 
About a half hour later, after they all loaded up, went to Sonic (I can only assume to brainstorm and coordinate the search effort) they call me back to let me know they found the dogs. I strongly suspect that the dogs got hungry and came home though the kids will never admit it. I'm more relieved than I thought I would be. 
So I finish up my day. I've changed my shift a bit so that I can have some "pool" time with the kids. I go in at 6:00 a.m. and get off at 2:30 p.m. I had to run home to pick up the library books and return them and then get home and get supper started and all that good jazz. As I'm driving up my street, I see my old Shitzu ,Daphne wandering down the road. My blood begins to boil.  I open my car door and she jumps in. I pull in the driveway and get out to tell the kids that they have messed up again. They think this is funny. Apparently the sun was in their eyes or I don't think they would have been so amused. Mama wasn't happy. So I come in with my poor neglected dog only to find Roscoe the wonder pup running rampant through my house. Now Roscoe is part black lab and part beagle and you don't have to know much about much to know that it's a REAL bad idea for this puppy to have access to electrical cords without human supervision. Visions of my husband’s blown forehead blood vessels dance through my mind as I picture the puppy chewing the cord on his big screen TV. Puppy stew anyone? 
 The excuse. He was asleep when they got ready to go swimming and apparently once puppies are woke up... they can't go back to sleep.
Thank God I needed to go to the library. It gave me time to brood... I MEAN COOL DOWN.... and I was able to come up with a plan of discipline.
I got back in my car after spending thirty minutes at the library, feeling pretty good in a sadistic kind of way when my daughter calls. She has decided to throw herself upon the sword of justice and spare her brothers by taking complete responsibility for them and any an all mistakes, oversights, neglects and possible puppy harm. I inform her that this is not necessary, as I have no intentions of grounding anyone.  I did ask while I had them on the phone to please finish the dishes from the night before when we had the youth group over.
I walked in the door, feeling positive. Like maybe... just maybe I had a handle on this thing. Not so fast.  I walk in to the house to the sound of my daughter's voice informing me that the dishwasher didn't "run properly" and it was necessary to run it again. Oh yeah... and there was LITERALLY a three foot teetering TOWER of dirty dishes in the sink balanced on a juice glass in the bottom of the sink. Had I not been so angry, I would have been impressed.  After an entire ten seconds of investigation I discover that it wasn't that it didn't run properly.... it wasn't run at all. 
I sat all of the kids down at the kitchen table with a pen and a piece of paper and told them that I wanted a two page letter explaining to me what had gone wrong, what they intended to do to fix it and an apology. I also explained that for the remainder of the evening they would be in their rooms where they were welcome to read a book or watch CNN.
watch re-runs of Three’s Company.
 What did we learn yesterday? The pen is in fact mightier than the sword or at least the belt or grounding for a week. Mainly because I have discovered that my kids HATE to write and that they have a really hard time finding enough things to say to fill up two pages of notebook paper. 

So yeah... I'm a mom.....

I'm a mother and a step mother. It all gets to be a little much sometimes if you can't lean back and laugh about it. I know that in a few short years, I will have to re-define who I am but for today.... this is me and this is what I do. I try to have a sense of humor about it and am hoping that by sharing some of my funny stories... you can draw a deeper breath and learn to enjoy it too.