Posts by ramaha

Moments with Madi: 100 Day of School Projects

Posted by on Feb 18, 2012 in moments with madi | 0 comments

Hi! If you are stumped on hundredth day of school projects,I’m giving you some ideas.

1.Flowers.

If you want flowers,punch or cut out 10 of 9 colors but on different  pieces of paper.Cut out 10 green flowers  for the stem.Then glue them in a flower shape.

2.Pennies. If you  have a hundred pennies, glue them in a circle.If you have some leftover, use them to make 100 inside it.

3.Paper clips. Get 100 paper clips.Clip them in a chain.

Well, this is all! Goodbye!

on my attempts at sabbath…

Posted by on Feb 17, 2012 in faith | 0 comments

Last Sunday’s sermon was all about commitments to “sabbath living”, which I usually inwardly scoff at as something idealistic and impossible. I even wrote on my sermon notes…

I know…pretty pessimistic. But that was halfway through the sermon, and by the end, I was coming around a little bit. He talked about the challenges of family situations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t carve out little chunks of time where you say, “I’m done”. That’s so hard for me to do…I feel like my task list is this bottomless abyss and if I don’t constantly do something, I will be smothered by it.

I know…overly dramatic and entirely untrue. So, Sunday afternoon, Ben took the two older kids sledding, Fiona was napping, and I was…alone. So I decided to practice. I picked up my new book, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and sat down in the recliner to read. The sun was shining through the window, the chair was comfy, I had my highlighter in my hand, and the first thing I did was look at the clock and say to myself,  “Okay, I can read for 30 minutes.”

I then proceeded to look at the clock every five minutes to see if I had read too long…if my break was over yet. And I kept getting distracted by things that would pop into my head, like “oh yeah, I need to re-enroll the kids before Friday” and “when are we going to celebrate the kid’s birthdays?” and so it went. When it ended with Fiona waking up from her nap, I stood up and immediately started worrying about all the things I “should” have done during that time instead of just sitting there.

Needless to say, it didn’t go so well.

But this afternoon, with Parker away for the afternoon, Madi at school, and Fiona napping, I found myself in a similar situation. Determined not to make the same mistakes again, I thought about what else I could do to find a “place of rest”. And I realized that I don’t have to sit and stare out the window to be at rest. For me, something restful is writing here…on my personal little chunk of the internet. I don’t have any expectations or schedules for myself here, but I try to use my time to “try out” on digital paper what has been spinning around in my head. It is freeing…relaxing…especially when I don’t let myself get distracted by piles of e-mail messages to dig through and laundry to be folded and dishwashers to be unloaded. (which I effectively ignored, by the way)

Jeff said, “Sabbath is not a reward…it is a break in the middle of your work”. I love that. A break. A reprieve. And while I’m far far from perfect at taking those breaks…I’m trying to figure it out.

One Thousand Gifts…working through the stress of daily life…

Posted by on Feb 15, 2012 in One Thousand Gifts | 2 comments

I feel like there is a lot I could be stressed out about right now.

Let me rephrase.

I am stressed out right now, and it is the kind of stress that shows up in stiff necks, sore jaws after nights of grinding my teeth, and extra snappiness towards the people I love. It is the kind of stress that deems extra prayer, a few more visits to the local yoga hothouse, and lots of extra chocolate. It is also the kind of stress that could use a little mental check of my gifts from the past week, which of course is delayed, because I was too stressed and busy to do it on Monday. And that is exactly part of the problem. There should never be a time where I am too busy to be thankful…too busy to take the time to reflect and pray…too busy to deal with my stress.

So, here I am…with jaws that clench without thinking…and a mind that is too jumpy to settle down…to count a few more gifts…

#340: The homemade valentines that the kids made

#341: Over-the-top thrill over a new Jake and the Neverland Pirates special…Peter Pan is back, kids!

#342: Bright pink roses for valentines day…with a water bottle for a vase (couldn’t find the box of vases)

#343: Walking the perimeter of our lot…and feeling a tiny shred of ownership…

#344: Finding a cabinet color combination that Ben and I could agree on…

#345: The Twisted Rooster House Salad…just love those raisin bread croutons…

#346: Random opportunities to talk about MCG on the local news…

#347: Being able to talk about something I am passionate about…helping people with their career journey

#348: My new Adele Pandora station…

#349: Reading a Boxcar Children story with Parker, all snuggled on the couch

#350: Fiona enjoying running errands with me…even when it means waiting at the Secretary of State office

#351: Play dates at the mall play area

#352: An uninterrupted dinner with Ben

#353: Watching Madi be so excited about her “book report” on The Magician’s Nephew

#354: Warm blankets on cold nights

#355: Successfully completing one wheel pose at yoga this week, along with a shoulder stand…

I could probably keep going…I can tell my jaw is already relaxing. So many things to be thankful for…so many reasons to be joyful…

 

on my job as a mom…

Posted by on Feb 9, 2012 in motherhood | 2 comments

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…” Colossians 3: 23

I have heard plenty of sermons about “working for the Lord”…and I have listened to many speakers talk about the “profession” of being a mom. But never before have I been so challenged about putting the two together as I was this past Sunday. When our pastor bluntly stated that “sloppy workmanship with a bad attitude is an insult to God” using including example after example of being a mom, I couldn’t help but mentally squirm.

Put me in a workplace – office, classroom, ice cream shop, whatever – and I will work my hardest. I will go above and beyond the call of duty and rarely complain. Extra work? No problem. Tight deadlines? Sure thing. It has always been a big deal to me to give 110% to my work, especially when I remember that there is a distinct “end” to it, whether it is the end of the semester or when I clock out for the day, mentally or physically.

But where it all starts to unravel is with my “real” job…my job as a mom. I consider it my primary role at this point in my life, and even though I jam in plenty of other responsibilities, it is still the predominant way I spend my time. But take a busy life, sprinkle in occasionally cantankerous children, seemingly unending chores, and lots of fatigue, and what comes out is not always my “best work”.

It is a tough gig, and there are plenty of times where there are things “I just don’t want to do”. I always have to chuckle at the women (kids or no kids) that say to me, “I just don’t know how you stay home with your kids all day” like I should win some award for being so long-suffering or that my brain must be mush because I enjoy smushing play-dough into balls or doing the same puzzle over and over. Do  you think that it is always things I “like” to do? Heavens, no. And unfortunately, I am pretty sure that my kids know when I don’t like doing something. I can be plenty irritable and cranky when Parker asks if he can do a “project” that I know is going to turn into a huge paint and glitter mess…or when Fiona wants to play a game when I know her attention span may not last through the set-up.

I think that somewhere along the way, my focus has shifted slightly away from doing my best work as a mom because I am called to “work at it with all my heart” to doing my work as a mom because “someone has to do it”. Don’t get me wrong – I love my kids with all my heart and would do anything for them – but when I put them at the center of the work, it is little surprise that frustration follows. They are cranky. They don’t listen. They let me down. They are human.

But when I put God at the center of my work, it takes it to another level. I am not just getting one more snack because the kids asked me…I am getting their snack with a good attitude because I am commanded…compelled…that not doing so makes God look bad. It may seem like an imperceptible difference, and in most situations, probably no one notices. But this week? It has made a difference…in me. It has given me a fresh look at my responsibility to be the best mom that I can, and to approach my work differently. Because yes, it can be tough and monotonous and frustrating…but yes, it is my work, and I need to “work at it with all my heart”.

Parker is asking to play with clay…the goopy, sticky kind that gets white film on everything…I guess it’s time to put this into action…

One Thousand Gifts…my Madi girl…

Posted by on Feb 8, 2012 in One Thousand Gifts | 0 comments

I’m finally back to adding to my gift list…and finally rounding out my focus on the kiddos with my homage to Madi, my beautiful six-year-old. It amazes me every day how the tiny baby I brought home from the hospital has somehow turned into a mini grown-up. She has her moments, but I love that she is in that sweet spot between the chaos of toddlerdom and the crankiness of the preteen world. It’s a good place to be.

I’m thankful for…

#327: Her beautiful smile…

#328: When she says, “We are just the same, Mama.”

#329: Her love of reading…

#330: How she loves to run and leap up onto the couch…over and over…

#331: That she doesn’t even want to wear her “Girls Rule” shirt, because the boys at school might feel bad…

#332: Her deep well of compassion…always looking out for someone else…

#333: That she will stop everything to say “I love you”…

#334: Her unbelievable intelligence…

#335: The attention she pays…to everything…even when I don’t want her to notice 🙂

#336: Her willingness to step up to a challenge…just recently she jumped into 3rd grade math without hardly a hesitation…

#337: When we are walking along and she slips her hand into mine…

#338: How she eats dinner without complaining…let me tell you, this is a gift…

#339: When we just talk…

I love this girl.

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