This and That

Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

They call my son the worship leader. He sings the loudest, knows all the words, and beams when he is asked to help lead the rest of the class in the songs. Hearing these words from the children’s teacher at our church filled my heart with so much joy and love for my son. To know he is not only growing in his faith at church but is thriving is an amazing feeling as a parent. I love that he is helping to bring joy to his classmates as well.

Maybe he’ll even end up with a talent neither hubby or I have, the ability to carry a tune.

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The past few days I have been both flabbergasted and amazed at my son’s conviction. I knew he was stubborn, I knew he was determined but his conviction to stick to his guns has been quite remarkable.

Hubby and I have been trying a new tactic with my son to get him to eat his dinner. He never eats his dinner…never. Even if it’s burgers or pizza, some kind of fight always ends up happening to get him to eat the whole thing. Hubby figures the fight is just about getting attention and we shouldn’t play into it, so the past three days we have stopped fighting him. We told him if he wants to eat fine and if not that is fine too, but he couldn’t get dessert or extra food later if he didn’t eat. The first night he didn’t eat and though he whined later that night about wanting a graham cracker didn’t seem too bothered with not eating and fortunately for us he didn’t get up any earlier. The second night I tried the dessert tactic. I told him I was making cookies after dinner and he could only help and get a cookie if he ate dinner. Do you know what he did? He stuck to his guns. He wasn’t eating dinner and no amount of cookie making or eating was going to stop him. I was floored. Throughout the night hubby and I talked up how yummy the cookies smelled, how good they tasted, and even asked my other son multiple times how good his cookie was. The result? Nothing. He didn’t flinch. The same thing happened the third night. We all ate cookies and he just sat there wanting to know when we were done so we could start playing.

I am simply amazed. He won’t eat dinner, even when a cookie is waved in his face. This kid has the will of a giant and nerves of steel. Truly, my son is my hero for this and I feel very confident that as he is faced with peer pressure as he grows up he will be able to stand firm to his convictions.

I never thought I would be so proud of my son for not eating dinner.

Last week I wrote about an epiphany I had about God while reading the book of Acts and Paul’s mission trips. To read the post in it’s entirety please go here, but here’s a quick summary. God has a plan, a huge plan, that involves you and me and all of creation. Though we might not see the plan unfolding or understand our part in it, the plan is working itself out everyday with God’s direction. Which means everything that happens is suppose to happen, I am where God wants me to be right now for His purposes. So if bad things happen to me or in my life then I should not get upset or wonder why because it was in God’s plan for this negative thing to happen. I should take it in stride knowing God loves me and will be there with me. Yep, it was a big epiphany and one that I fear will be easier to agree with in theory then to actually follow through with in actions.

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I needed a laugh today so I started thinking of all the funny things my boys say. Such as:

  • During the 5K race last Saturday at one point my oldest son looked up at hubby and said, “Daddy, can I get out now and run? Because I am the bestest runner on this street.”
  • When my youngest son looks at me with his sweet, innocent face and says “Mommy, stinky” and then proceeds to get down in a squat position, grunting, and pushing out his stinky.
  • While playing basketball with hubby in the backyard, my son threw up a shot that actually went in and after we all cheered he said, “I am a rock star!”

By the end of writing these quotes I had a side ache from laughing so hard. So if you too need a good laugh today I encourage you to listen to your kid’s phrases, they are always hysterical!

Happy Wednesday!

I had the sweetest afternoon with my boys yesterday and it was so sweet because we did nothing. The Christmas season brings so much activity and so many events. Always something to do and someplace to go. But in all the busyness the simple  joy and peace of just going to the local park and playing can get lost.

I had nothing planned so we walked leisurely to the park discussing the important topics of Christmas lights, the buried treasure we would find in the sand, and the friends that might be there. There was nobody to meet and no agenda once we got there. It was perfect.

The boys slide down slides, climbed the jungle gyms, which we of course pretended were pirate ships, and they flew in the sky like Buzz Light Year on the swings. Then we moved to the grass and played baseball with a small red ball and an oversize shovel. It here with my boys playing in the sun that the sweetness of the moment really hit me. I felt so blessed, so fortunate, and so gratful for the life God has given me.

So today, tomorrow, or Saturday I challenge you to do nothing. Stay home and just play with your kids. Or go to the park with no plans to meet anyone and no agenda except to just enjoy playing. Don’t take pictures, or tweet, or updated your FaceBook status. Just be present in the moment and I promise you will have the sweetest, most memorable time.

He was gone.  He was gone in an instant. One minute he was right behind me as I was reviewing a possible Christmas gift option for a friend and the next minute (no, second) he was gone.

I walked to the next aisle assured I would find him playing with something he shouldn’t be, but he wasn’t there. My eyes darted both directions…he wasn’t there. I walked a little quicker to the next aisle…no.

I started calling his name and listening intently for his little voice or his laugh but I heard nothing, only the sounds of the other customers. That’s when it started to set in. The fear started to creep into my heart.

I was now darting from aisle to aisle, frankly turning my head this way and that. My voice was getting much louder as I cried out for his name. I stopped a store clerk to help me and he thankful ran over to the loud speaker and issued a “code Adam” -missing child. Another store clerk moved right in front of the door and was not allowing people in or out. I was now completely crying and could hear the cracking and trembling in my own voice as I screamed his name. Oh my gosh, I just lost my child, I thought. My baby was gone.

He didn’t respond or come running around the corner. He was gone. I don’t think I have ever felt that kind of panic,  pain, emptiness, and loss in my entire life. In fact there are no words to describe it. None.

An eternity had passed when finally I heard a call, “I got him!” ring through the store. I ran towards the voice and saw that beautiful store clerk holding my baby in his arms. In one minute my boy had walked to the complete opposite side of the store from where I was, to the far back corner, and was playing with some toys he had found. I couldn’t even speak as I grabbed my son and hugged him. I hugged the store clerk and just nodded at him as he consoled me, “Everything is alright now.” Red faced, tears rushing down my face I picked up my boy and walked us out of the store. A sweet lady ran up and handed me a cup of water as I left, again I just nodded a thank you because I literally couldn’t form words in my mouth.

When we got to the car I just held him and cried. That sweet little boy just cuddled right in and laid his head on my shoulder. He had no idea he was lost or why I was crying, but he knew to just hang on and let me get it all out. I had never know what my worst fear was until that day. For five maybe ten minutes my whole world came crashing down on me and I don’t think I will ever be the same.


Most parents will agree with me on the aggravation of the empty box. We spend all this money on toys and games for our kids and yet when an empty box comes into the house it becomes the favorite, best, greatest toy in the world. All those other expensive toys now mean nothing. I always feel I throw my money down the drain at these moments.

One such empty box found it’s way into our house the other day and within seconds it became a boat for scurvy pirates, a cave for secret treasures, and then a car driving with Lighten McQueen. It was in the car game that the boys discovered that my youngest fit in the box perfectly and the oldest was just strong enough to push him around.

Sometimes I don’t think my boys can get any cuter and then they do things like this that make my heart melt!