II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I've had issues with my kids being ungrateful and "spoiled" for a while now...but yesterday was another one of those eye-opening moments--this time coming from Grant. Let me just show you what his (and our) weekend consisted of:

On Friday night after Grant's baseball game, he got to go home with one of his friends for a sleepover. This little boy has a 12 foot inflatable water slide at his house that they got to play on. The next day (Saturday) they got up and went to the "Taste of Summer" at BlueBell where he got to try as much ice cream and popsicles as he wanted and play on all kinds of jupiter jumps, etc. Then they went home and relaxed for a bit before going out to eat and then to the play area in the mall. After that, they went to church for an hour and then came to our town's Freedom Festival to watch the fireworks.
He asked if his friend could spend the night with us now, and I said yes. We came home after the fireworks and played in the game room for a couple of hours before we all crashed in bed around midnight.
Sunday morning, I woke the boys (and Brooklyn) up at around 8:30 so they could swim for a couple of hours before we went to late service at church. After church, we went out to eat and then went to a birthday party at the bowling ally where they got to run around, bowl and play lots of games in the arcade. Straight from there we went back to our church where they were having their Freedom Celebration complete with inflatables, car show, games, food, ice cream, etc.
Basically we spent every waking moment of the entire weekend having FUN centered around the kids.
So on the way home last night, I asked him what his favorite part of it all was.
And he answered, "none of it. It was all boring."
I probed and poked, reminding him of all the good times we had, but still...he remained certain that he "did NOT have fun and that it was all boring."
On top of this, he'd had a bad attitude several times throughout the weekend, walking around with his arms all folded and a "Humph!" look on his face. I actually had to spank him (after many, many warnings) to get him to play with his friend who slept over!
I am obviously doing something wrong....but what? Do I do too much for/with them? Do we have TOO much fun? Do TOO many activities? I admit, we do something pretty exciting at least 2-3 days a week. Things that were very special and occasional when I was a kid...are regular parts of our lives. (going to the park, ice cream, bowling, movies, sleep overs, parties, etc.) We pretty much do all of that stuff every single week...and then on Friday is when we do something special (like the zoo, waterpark, aquarium, etc.) Maybe I am spoiling them..!?!?

I certainly feel as though I have to do something bigger and better every time in order to get them excited anymore. The stuff that would have had me jumping up and down with THRILL and excitement as a kid is totally NO BIG DEAL to them. If I say, "hey guys! Wanna go out for lunch and then go bowling!!??" They say, "whatever...it doesn't matter."

I've gone on strike before...where we don't do anything "fun" for a couple of weeks and it didn't help at ALL. The only thing that did was nearly drive us all NUTS by being stuck in the house with each other 24/7. They honestly didn't give a rip that we weren't doing any "fun stuff". If I threaten to take away something like a privilege or toy or something they just say "whatever, fine." They don't value anything! Neither of them has a possession that they would cry over. I've tried taking away things that I THOUGHT would matter to them...I'll put them up in the top of a closet and then we ALL forget about it and no one even notices or cares!

I don't want to stop having fun and doing activities...but I want them to be excited and grateful.
Anyone have any suggestions?

wow, I just went back and read this before I posted it. I feel completely ashamed....! :-(

I feel like it is important to say this, to be honest and fair:
Last night at our church's Freedom Celebration, we had a father and his children come up to us and said he just HAD to "tell on" Grant and how very sweet and kind and giving he was. The father told us that Grant was playing with a little plastic airplane that a lot of the kids had been given and he overheard this man's little boy say that he "wished he had one". Grant walked right over to him and bent down to his level and said, "Would you like to have this one?" and gave him the one he was playing with. Things like that make us so proud!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"M" is for Mom, NOT Maid!!!

What is it about having a sleepover that somehow makes me the maid or the kid-slave? My 9 year old daughter suddenly starts ordering me around saying "make this" and "get us that" and "we need this" when she has friends over.
After having stayed up half the night, I had hoped that they would sleep in a bit this morning so that I could get my work for the doctors office early completed before the "real day" began. But no such luck. I forget that other peoples kids don't sleep till nearly-noon like my kids do. So...when we have company, oftentimes they are up at the crack of dawn before I can even begin my work. Right now it is 7:47 and they have been up for almost an hour. And I'm actually sitting at my desk trying to work..but what prompted this post was this comment/question that was just SHOUTED AT me from my daughter: "MOM! WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE BREAKFAST? WE ARE HUNGRY!! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT THAT???"

Excuse me?!...seriously? Maybe other mothers wait on their children for every little wish and whim? I don't know...but I honestly think that is doing them a disservice. It ain't gonna happen like that in the real world baby. And furthermore, I have overcome the desire or the need to be "better than or as good as all the other moms". Brooklyn has one friend who she stays the night with sometimes whose mother always makes them this AMAZING GOURMET breakfast. I'm talking from scratch pancakes, eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, sausage ....anything they want, she just whips it right up. (and no, it's none of you who read this blog :o) I think that is awesome and wonderful that she can do that for them....who wouldn't love that? BUT..I am not her. I have several part time jobs to do each day and that doesn't always give me the opportunity to be Betty Crocker. Does that make me mean or un-caring? My daughter thinks so.

Entitlement. I hate it. It's never a good attitude or personality to have. A person who thinks they are entitled to everything is full of PRIDE and lacking humility. I will not tolerate it in my children either. So even if I get the "mean mom" title for this, my children are going to learn that it takes WORK to get your needs met. I personally think that the only thing parents need to do for their kids all the time is things that they cannot physically or mentally do. If my child is capable of picking up their room, putting away their laundry, brushing their teeth, making their bed, setting the table, feeding the dogs, fixing their hair, putting in a movie, etc....then they can be expected to DO IT. Not to say that I won't "baby" them from time to time...hold them and rock them and let them lay in bed while I do the work for them...of course I will...but I won't DARE allow them to think that THAT is the way it should be and is supposed to be. No, I will TEACH (TRAIN) them HOW to do it and then I will pat their little tush off on its way to complete the task themselves.

Think of the gift some young man is going to receive one day when he asks for my daughters hand in marriage and she is completely capable of running a home beautifully!? By the time she is of age to be married, I expect her to be able to balance a checkbook, develop and use a budget, pay bills online, cook healthy and delicious dinners, wash clothes, mow the lawn, organize drawers/closets, etc. If I love her, I will set her up for success in marriage and life. Also (and some of you may want to close your eyes for this part) but I GUARAN-DANG-TEE ya I will not let her get married before she understands her body and how it works and what sex is all about. I know too many girls ( and I was one) who get married with NO EARTHLY IDEA what they are supposed to do or feel. It took seven very long and hard, frustrating and tear-filled years of marriage before I finally was given a book by my dear friend Amy, that actually described in detail a woman's body and what things were/where they were and why they were there. Believe me when I say....that discovery changed my LIFE. God intended sex to be an important part of marriage and it's just IGNORANT to send your child (esp. a girl) into a marriage where she's just suddenly supposed to figure it all out. It may happen for some...but just like breastfeeding...even though it's "natural" it doesn't always COME natural. There are things that are better off taught at the beginning so you can skip gobs of "lost time" trying to figure it out. My marriage nearly ENDED because of this.
Whew...Sorry! I got off on a little bunny trail there...but I am SO passionate about that subject. It pretty much ruined my marriage for many years and I refuse to let my children go through that. I love my parents and I think the world of them, but I seriously grew up thinking sex was dirty and bad and gross and nasty and something girls just have to "endure". I especially thought (and this was one of the biggest hurdles for me to overcome) that if you were a woman who LIKED sex...well, then, Ahh! you must be a slut. How nasty that you might LIKE it!
WOW....was I ever WRONG! If liking it makes you a slut, then go ahead and call me one with a capital "S".. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! :-)
Okay...I'm blushing so maybe I better move on with this conversation.
I was just going to add that this stuff also applies to my son. While I won't be the one teaching him much about sex...his daddy can explain that to him...I will expect him to be capable of doing all those things I will expect his sister to know too. What a PRIZE some girl who is just like his mama is going to get one day when she takes his last name and becomes his wife! :o)
Imagine that ladies...a man who does dishes, cooks, cleans, mows, budgets, organizes and plans dates for his bride! Yessiree....that's what I'm talkin' about!

Whew...I got a bit carried away there with this whole post...but there you have it--me spilling my un-edited, un-thought-out guts for you in a matter of minutes. I hope I didn't offend anyone....but if I did, e-mail me and I'll explain myself more.

Now...for breakfast...hope they like cereal and pop tarts! :o)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(sinful) Yummy Recipes

As requested...here are the recipes for the dinner/dessert I made last night:

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup

1 c. (spicy) ground sausage (I use turkey sausage)
2 medium potatoes-cut lengthwise and cut into 1/4" slices (not peeled)
3/4 c. onions, diced
6 slices bacon crumbled (turkey bacon does NOT work well in this recipe)
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
2 cups kale leaves, cut in half and then sliced
1 cup chicken base/broth
1 quart water
1/3 c. heavy whipping cream

Brown sausage and drain. Cook bacon until crispy in stock pot. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Saute onions in bacon drippings until soft and add garlic, cooking an additional minute. Add chicken broth, water and potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add crumbled bacon, sausage, kale and cream. Simmer another 10 minutes. Serve with warm garlic bread-sticks and fresh salad!

Banana Cream Cheesecake

1 3/4 c. Crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar (or less...I think 1/8 c. is plenty)
1/2 c. butter (melted)

Combine 1 1/2 c. of the graham crumbs and sugar-mix well. (you'll save the remaining 1/2 c. of graham crumbs for topping) Stir in butter. Press into 9 x 13 greased pan. Bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes. Then let cool completely.

1st layer of filling:
1/2 c. sugar
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened (I used light)
1/2 carton cool whip (again, I used light)

In a bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in cool whip and set aside.

2nd layer of filling:
1 1/2 c. cold milk (I use skim)
1 (3.4 oz) pkg Banana Cream Instant Pudding
Remaining 1/2 carton of cool whip

Whip until thickens and fold in remaining 1/2 carton of cool whip.

3-4 firm bananas sliced

Arrange bananas on crust. Spread cream cheese mixture onto bananas (sometimes spreads better if slightly warm). Arrange another layer of bananas and top with pudding mixture. Sprinkle with graham cracker crust and refrigerate 1-2 hours.

Enjoy Peeps!!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

This past weekend Brooklyn and I went with my mom and dad and aunt to Dallas, TX for my sister's outdoor wedding. It was a great time and the wedding was beautiful. Here are some pics:

So happy together...

I couldn't resist putting this one up of my sister looking as happy as I've ever seen here as she gazes up at her new groom!
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The Foundation...

My mom and dad....the foundation on which my life has been built. Anything good that I am...was given, taught, nurtured and cultivated by these two amazing people.
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mmm...LOVE her!

Alexis...isn't she just the cutest thing you've ever seen? What's even better is that her little personality is just as cute! She's a stranger to no one, she giggles and smiles and hugs and kisses constantly. She is pure JOY!
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The 3 of us

Me, Brook and Mom....xoxoxoxoxo!
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Dearest to my heart...

These 2 girls are the dearest and nearest to my heart in the entire world. Mom mom and my daughter. Both 100% beautiful inside and out. I love them more than life itself. Just thinking about how much I love them...and what I want to put as the caption of this post...has tears forming in my eyes. Really...this is a picture of my past, present and future. There's nothing I would change and nothing else I could ever want...than these 2.
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Toni & Me

This is my neice, Toni (Alexis' mom) and me. I can't believe I am TEN YEARS OLDER than her! Eeek!
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The Love Birds

My sister Stephanie (Steffy) and her new hubby, Mike reciting their vows. ahhh....:o)
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The girlies!

Alexis (my great-niece) and Brooklyn. 2 of the prettiest, sweetest little girls I know!
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Brooklyn & Mommy

A pic of Brooklyn and I at the hotel before we left for the wedding.
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