Monday, December 29, 2008

Height Proclamations. For the Record.

This post is simply to go on the record, and my oldest son will be ecstatic. YES, the Oldest is now taller than me. He is only in sixth grade, for crying out loud. To be fair, we measured everyone last night just to see exactly how his height compares to the rest of us:

The Youngest - 4'2"
Me - 5'3"
The Oldest - 5'6-1/4"
The Hubs - 5'7"

Personally, I was relieved to see that I haven't started shrinking yet, but the Hubs was feeling shorter than usual after our measurement activity.  I can still say confidently that my driver's license is truthful. (Except for maybe that "weight" number.) The Oldest wanted to make sure I got that extra 1/4" included. Everything counts at his age!

The Oldest appears to have grown more than 2 inches since school started in August. We had to shop for a long-sleeved dress shirt for choir, and it was the first time for shopping in the Men's Department for one long enough in the sleeve and torso  The short-sleeved t-shirts I purchased new for school are sure looking smaller and we won't even begin to discuss how his shoe size has grown this year!

Height proclamations. Now on the record for anyone to see. Required by Oldest. But also because I hate seeing him grow up so fast.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

An Accidental Tradition

Update: Seven years later, we are still following this Accidental Tradition. While the boys are now a lot older, the picnic spread much larger (for teen appetites!) and the movie choices quite different, it continues to be an evening that we all look forward to as a family.
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Have you ever wondered how some holiday traditions have started?  While I have often wondered this myself, I have learned that some traditions are accidental.

My "accidental" tradition is now held every year on December 23rd. We enjoy a picnic on the floor of the living room, complete with a red and white gingham tablecloth. I put together a spread of Hickory Farms sausage, cheeses, crackers, fruits, veggies with dip and popcorn chicken. The "fancy" Christmas crystal goblets are also retrieved from the cabinet so we can all enjoy sparkling juice like royalty.

When the Youngest was 3 years old, I surprised both boys with the first indoor picnic. I had them wait in the other room with Dad while I prepared the dinner then turn off all the lights but the Christmas lights and candles. We watched a Christmas movie (I think this first year it was "Annabelle's Wish") and enjoyed being together alone as a family before we started the busy Christmas Eve day schedule.

The following year, the Oldest, then 9 years old, reminded me of this "tradition"and stated all the details from the previous year that I was not to forget. It is amazing how you discover what things are important to your kids.

So now, every year on December 23rd, we have our traditional Christmas picnic feast. I'm not sure what movie we'll watch this year, (it may be two!) but whatever it is, it will be another precious memory to savor.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Love Note

You just never know what to expect from tweenagers. My Oldest, who is now 11 and in the 6th grade, seems to have more hormonal ups and downs than I do. But even so, that kid surprises me.

Before school started in August, we were at the Round-Up (to get his books, schedule, etc.) and he looked absolutely mortified when I teased that I was going to visit the school and put little heart notes in his locker so he would know just how much I loved him.  Even so, the night before school I tacked a post-it note inside of his binder that simply said, "Have a great day! Love, Mom". I didn't expect a response, but I did assume that once he saw the bright yellow note, he would quickly throw it away.

Three weeks later after secretly leaving that note, Matt wanted to show me how organized he was keeping his school binder. He made a point of showing me the side pocket, stating: "And here is where I keep the note that you gave me on the first day of school."

Such a little gesture - like a note on a post-it - was a blessing to him and especially to me! Thank goodness God blesses me with those sweet little moments so that I can get through these tween-age hormonal times!

"But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger,
abounding in love and faithfulness."
- Psalms 86: 15

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Don't Miss the "Out of the Routine" Moments

My Youngest is very routine oriented and always has been. We have developed a routine when we get home from school: remove socks, wash hands, have a snack. After a snack, he watches a video and hangs out until his older brother gets home.

Yesterday, he unexpectedly broke from his routine. When it was time for his video, instead he came to the couch where I was taking a break from a very hectic and tiring day. He asked for a hug. Now he does this quite often -- asking for a hug unexpectedly -- but on this afternoon, he crawled up on my lap, laid his head on my chest and gave me a sweet hug. When I asked if he was going to watch his video, he replied, "Momma, I just want to spend time with you." And we relaxed together, doing nothing else, for quite a few minutes.

How precious that time was -- how out of the routine. How much I would have missed if I would have just sent him on his way so I could have quiet moments to myself. I would have even missed the peacefulness of the moment if we had used the time to talk or watch TV instead of "just spend time" with each other.

It won't be long and those moments will be fewer and farther between. But for now, I will hang on to that memory for as long as I need to until the other one comes. It was a special way to learn that while I try to do all the things that I feel are necessary for myself and my family, allowing something "away from the routine" to happen is a way that God can surprise you with blessing. 



Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me. Psalms 103:2 (NLT) 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

When Does School Start?

It's been a LONG, HOT summer. Believe it or not, I think even my kids are ready for summer to end. We are all running out of creative ideas, and all the boys want to do is play video games (No, I don't think so!). There seems to be more bickering, more sassing, and with the 100 degrees days here in Texas, there is only so much we can do in the house without being all over each other.

So when does school start? For us it's August 25th. I know my Youngest boy (who is 5) is excited about school, since he is starting Kindergarten. We'll find out next week who his teacher will be, and I've been praying so hard for the right teacher! I want his first year of school to be a good experience for him. And it's going to be a rough week - for me - since he has been my little buddy here at home for so long!

The Oldest son is starting middle school. A scary prospect for me -- I worry about his organizational skills, whether he'll remember to bring home what he needs for homework each day, and if he gets good teachers. I worry that he'll pick up bad habits from the other kids, if he'll still apply his best like in 5th grade, and if he finds a good crowd of friends to run with. (Not to mention all the other things that happen with peer pressure!)

I know I am worrying myself silly and not looking to the Lord for reassurance and help. I went to the Word and found this in Psalms 121 about how He takes care of his own:
"I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let our foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you - the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."

That last verse will be a comfort for me as my kids enter school this fall. He will keep them from all harm. He will watch over their lives. I have done the best I can do as their mom; I need to entrust the Lord with my children and allow him to do what he does best.