Saturday, February 28, 2009


frustration comes for many reasons. as i age, i am finally getting the reality that while you cannot control every situation, you can choose how you react to it. then that choice can affects what happens next.
this evening lacee and i had that very talk. she has been good all week, has done her chores without fuss, cleaned her room without reminders, and was looking forward to inviting a friend over for the night tonight.
but mark anthony has the stomach virus today. noone in their right mind would send their child over her today. and probably dont want to risk bringing her into their house, just in case she brought his germs with her.
it is not fair. she hasnt done anything to cause her to not be able to have company, or be stuck at home with only family. (yano, cuz at 10 years old, being stuck at home with only your family is absolutely tragic). but yet she is, stuck, at home. no fun for her tonight.
she forgets that she has a library of movies to watch, a computer to play on, a room full of toys, a wii, a ds, etc etc. she HAD a cellphone to talk on as well, until she decided to have a meltdown over her stuck at home tragedy.
i seen it coming. she and i were in my bedroom, hanging 5 loads of laundry. i invited her to come back there and help me with it, so that we could hang out together. so when she said she was upset that her friend couldnt come over, i explained calmly and lovingly to her that i totally understood her frustration, agreed that it wasnt fair, even apologized about it, and reminded her there was nothing i could do about it.
i really try hard to see things from my kids point of view. to not use the "because i said so" line and definately not the "do as i say, not as i do" lines from my childhood. i try that with all children, to let them know i understand where they are coming from and explain the situation to them and the reasons for the way things are the way they are. i think that helps them to understand and make better choices in their lives as well.
but that wasnt good enough for her today.
she proceeded to raise her voice at me. to protest and fuss and tell me just how unfair it was, how she didnt want to be at home she wanted to have fun! now, i want her to talk to me, to share her feelings with me, to explain her frustrations. i encourage that. but i will not tolerate the raising of her voice at me, the arguing the same mute point, etc. she did not yell, i didnt give her that chance.
i took her phone. told her she could do without it for awhile. i dont know how long. i reminded her of her classmates who had uninvolved parents, drug addicted parents, deceased parents, etc. i reminded her of all the activities she gets to be involved in, the places she gets to do, etc. i admitted that we arent perfect parents, not the best in the world probably, but certainly not the worst. definately better than some. that she is blessed with what she has and does not have. this is definately not a situation that warranted such behavior.
she calmed down. she continued to help me with the clothes. she then put the sheets on the top bunk. she has been in a much better mood since then. she is now on the other computer. but she is still without cell phone. i am usually bad to give the phone back when the situation passes when it isnt a major blow out or disobedience. she is a great child and we are very proud of her. her teachers constantly brag on her. but i dont want to let all her good influence me to let her off too easy when she needs a punishment. so i am keeping the phone.
i am hoping that she realizes that while this stuck at home horror is not her fault and is out of our control, the fact that she chose to act out, raise her voice and rudely protest was her choice. her decision. and by that she caused herself to be without her most prized posession.


a few weeks ago, my friend kasey called me. she had been given free tickets to the circus in memphis and invited me and my kiddos. i decided not to take tommy, as i knew he would never sit remotely still long enough for that.
so mark anthony, lacee, me, kasey, noah, and carli (one of lacee's bffs) headed out. we got there about 5 minutes after the start time, but that was ok b/c apparantly there was a misprint in the paper about the start time, so we were earlier than alot of people that came!
we stayed for the first half and thru the intermisson. the kids enjoyed it, the only bad part was there were too many human acts and not enough animal acts to keep my wild child interested. he did ride an elephant, which totally blew my mind because he did it all by himself, no one he knew rode it with him!!
after the circus we went to chucky cheese to eat and give the boys a chance to run off energy before the ride home. it was super packed, but a really nice chucky cheese. not just games, but tons of rides. mark anthony loved that part. lacee and carli and noah loved the games part the best. everyone but carli and the adults slept on the way back home. it was a great day with friends!!


today is saturday. lacee is at donnies for last night and most of today.
mark anthony woke his daddy up at 530 am, sick with a stomach virus. he has thrown up around 10 times by now, at 930am. mark is still down in his back, he is back in bed, and i am up with the boys. thankfully, so far mark anthony is the only one sick. my current job is keeping tommy from playing in the pukey garbage can right beside mark anthony at all times. lovely saturday, huh?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

cost vs value

our childrens minister at church has begun forwarding us these neat parenting help emails. i love that. below is one that he sent this week.
i hope and pray that i always see the value of my children, rather than the cost. and that when the moments come that i am caught up in the cost (of course its gonna happen....we all get caught up in it from time to time. the lack of time to do this, to do that, the lack of money for this or that, the lack of sleep, the excess of gray hairs and stretch marks,...) that i am quick to remember that the value is greater and longer lasting than any cost.

• • • • •
Parenting Tip

February 23, 2009

Cost vs. Value

Do you focus on the "value" of your children, or do you spend most of your time considering how much they "cost?"

One woman had a table worth $600. She valued the table but decided to sell it and set the price at $400. A man came to purchase the table and liked it very much. He offered her $300. The woman explained to the man that the table was worth $600 and that she couldn't reduce the price any more. The woman felt as if she had reduced the price too much already.

The man thought about it and said, "Lady, we would both be happy if you would just change the price." The woman knew the man was right. She went back to the price tag and crossed out $400 and wrote $600. The man was shocked. The woman said, "The table is worth $600."

"But it costs so much."

The woman was focusing on the table's value; the man was looking at the cost.

Parents often do this with their children. Raising children has a high price tag that includes loss of sleep and fewer choices for your free time and money. You transport them from here to there and back here again. Children cost much more than parents ever imagined. If you focus too much on the cost, you miss the value. Parents who realize the value of their children conduct themselves differently and closeness is the result.

The man valued the table so he bought it. He took it home and put it in a special place. If anyone put a drink down on it, he quickly offered a coaster, wanting to protect that table. Why? He knew its value. It was worth a lot to him.

Children aren't possessions, they're treasures. Most parents don't realize what they're getting into when they bring that little bundle of cuteness home from the hospital. They may get irritated or lose some of the joy of parenting over the years. Part of the solution is to get your mind off the cost and onto the value of your children. They won't be around too long. When you recognize a child's value it's easier to show honor.

This parenting tip is taken from the book, Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN. This book is about practical ways that parents can teach honor and model it in relationships.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

whats the deal?

i am subbing today. they are watching a video. after watching it a couple times already, i am now here to blog.
in my first period class we got into the discussion of "why can a white guy call a black guy the N word and he gets mad, but if another black guy says it then its OK?" this is a discussion i imagine will carry on forever. it is one i gladly step into. i want to help people think more openmindedly. my ancestors werent so open minded. but that doesnt mean i dont get the chance to be.
i tell them that it is the same principal as this. let a fat girl say to her fat friend, "we cant fit thru this door together" and thats ok. but let a skinny girl say "you two cant fit thru that door together" and it on!
i dont find many people who will admit to understanding this concept. that its whats inside that counts, no matter whats on the outside. no matter the color of your skin, the color of your hair or eyes, the size of your body, the country you or your grandparents were born in.
i read this blog very often. i was so glad to see someone else displaying the same line of thinking. this post here made me happy. finally someone else who lives in savannah tn and gets it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

catching up

it has been so long since my last blog post. i am not really sure where to begin to catch up. we have just been playing and living and relaxing and working. very busy at all those things.
back in january our church hosted its 10th annual EU, or evangilism university. teens from all over the country come for the weekend. its more like a training convention than a youth rally. training them to share Gods word. we had 6 girls stay in our home friday night, 4 on saturday as 2 of them went back to freed that night. it was a wonderful weekend, and a big step for mark to let complete strangers stay in our home.
january also brought marks 39th birthday, my 31st, and his mothers. i am embarrassed to admit i am not sure which birthday she celebrated. she is still in the nursing home, which she now calls her home. we brought her to our house for thanksgiving and christmas. she seemed to enjoy it, but wasnt much on hanging around long.
february has brought valentines day, with mark anthony telling me, "mommy, you make my heart happy". it doesnt get any better than that! lacee and sam, are still calling each other boy and girl friend, and they exchanged gifts. she got him an under armour hat and a huge chocolate covered apple, he got her a heart shaped box of chocolates and a huge stuffed puppy dog which tommy tries to steal from her but she has somehow managed to sleep with it every night.
mark anthony isnt near as sick as he was last year. tommy is taking his turn at being the sick one. he has an appt in april and an appt in june at vanderbilt. one is with an ent and one is with an allergist. i am not sure which appt is which, lol. so long as we go to the right one on the right day i will be proud.
lacee is preparing to try out for a newly forming competative cheer squad at a local gymnastics facility. she is extrememly excited about that.
i have signed up to be a consultant for chezami childrens wear. i will have a busy 2 weeks in march conducting home shows. i wanted a way to earn a little extra income, and i enjoy the rush of direct sales companies. yet our busy schedule doesnt allow for much of that. chez ami only has 2 selling seasons, spring and fall. so i will have a wild 2 weeks in those 2 seasons, but i am looking forward to it.
tball is only available to 4 yr olds in savannah, but in neighboring crump, 3yr olds can play. mark anthony doesnt know it yet, but will be so thrilled to be able to play this summer!
mark anthony stayed the night a couple weeks ago with a friend, just down the road, his first ever sleep over. he has spent the night with his grandmother before, and with the smothermans last summer when lacee had surgery, but this was his first time spending the night with a friend just for the fun of it.
i have tons of pictures to go with these events, but i am at hchs subbing today. therefore my pictures are not with me. (its my break class...i'm not ignoring any students right now..haha)
i am subbing alot. as much as possible. i enjoy it, and we need the income.
mark has hurt his back. he has 4 buldging discs. 2 are above and 2 are below the place he had surgery on back in the early 90's. medication, shots, rest, heating pad.....nothing is providing much relief at all for him. he goes to see his back surgeon, but not until march 17. he is off work indefinately. he does have a small disability insurance policy at work, we arent sure yet what it pays. bless his heart, he is not one to stay at home, not one to sit around. i would be lieing if i said that i am not enjoying him doing the cooking and cleaning while i am at work...but i do hate that he is in pain. and no, i dont ask him to do the cooking and cleaning, but those are about the only things he is able to do. it keeps him busy and as much as i tell him he doesnt have to, he doesnt listen.
we are praying for a speedy recovery. for him to heal quickly. for his pain to be gone. for our finances to be ok. for us to still be able to take our children on the first beach trip in 6 years as we have planned. for mark to be able to play ball with the kids this summer. for him to be able to sleep in the bed and not in the recliner.
God is good. We know that he is in control. what a peace that brings. while i am scared and worried and concerned, i can honestly say that i do not have that huge weight on my shoulders i would have had previously. i am not going to let myself stress over this. i am gonna, as they say, "let go and let God". He will take care of us.