September 30, 2008

I'm letting it go...

Trying to let it go on Tuesday!
I'm letting go of my need to have my daughter's clothes match when she walks out the door! I want her to know it is more important who she is than what she wears. It is hard to keep to this, so I am letting it go today!

(click the widget to see what another mommy is trying to let go of today!)

Why don't you take a little time out.

How many times do we say this to our kids?? Maybe we should follow our own advice and take a little time out, especially when things get stressful. A daily time out would be best. For moms, this is a difficult task when it seems like every waking moment is spent in motion. So how about working it into your motion in some way? One thing I have discovered since my daughter started Kindergarten is the joy of carpool. I get 25-30 minutes to read, write, do whatever I want within the confines of my car. The 3 year old in the back seat usually falls asleep in that time, if not, she draws quietly. This gives me a little time out, in motion.

If you've been able to work out a "time out" in your daily schedule, how have you made it work?

September 29, 2008

Counting My Blessings

It's always good to reflect on the good things in life, especially on a day like today! Thanks for that reminder from a post from www.journey2learn.com.
1) My Lord, who's in control!
2) My children who make my day interesting, to say the least.
3) My husband who is sweet everyday.
4) Our parents who I can rely on at any time, for anything.
5) My friends (including my sister!) who love me despite my failings.

Monday Morning Inspiration

With all of the bad news over the last few weeks I thought it would be good to remember that we should not worry about the future.
Deuteronomy 31:8 "God is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you. Don't be intimidated. Don't worry." (Message)
It seems like everyone is talking gloom and doom these days. Most everyone is starting to feel the economic crunch. In the last couple of weeks we've had our insurance company bailed out and our bank fail. If you watch the news for any amount of time, your anxiety about the future can grow quickly. But we need to keep in mind the big picture. Who's in control? That doesn't mean that bad things don't happen. But we know and can rest in the fact that God will be with us in any situation we find ourselves in. And even though we don't know the outcome, God is already on the other end of it, he knows what will or will not happen. What is the point of worrying? It does not give us more control.

Let me know if you have anymore thoughts on this! Have a great week.

September 26, 2008

Twitter in Plain English

In case you need more convincing:

September 24, 2008

I Do Not Believe in Coincidence!

I was just really convicted to share this personal story. Forgive me, cause its long.

Recently we went through something that just really showed me how God cares for every detail. Sometimes we can really see it and sometimes we don't but its always there. For about 6 months our very best friends, Nichole and John, were making plans to visit us all the way from Washington. This was their first visit. There were days when we were not sure that the trip would happen. Life happens and wants sometimes get shelved for needs. But God made it work. We talked about when would be best and decided on Labor day weekend. They bought their tickets and it was settled. We were so excited. Since they were going to be here over several weekdays Lance decided to take one of those work days off giving him a 4 day weekend. The trip became even more exciting for me when 2 weeks before they were coming, we found out we were pregnant with our third child and my first appointment would be the day that they arrived.
I went to my appointment and found that the appointments were backed up so I did not get to have my initial pregnancy appointment. I had to leave to go get John, Nichole and baby Lily so I could not wait around. They made me an appointment for first thing in the morning. So I left a little disappointed but happy that I was on my way to pick up our dear friends.
That night, when I was preparing for bed I noticed something that caused some concern. I decided not to worry about it and was very thankful that I had an appointment in the morning so I could ask some questions and hopefully ease my concerns. By the time I was on my way to the appointment, I was really worried that I was losing the baby. When I got there I told the nurse my concern and because it was "sono" day, she was able to get me in for a sonogram. They didn't see a baby in the sonogram. They said it was not unusual for 5 weeks but they began counseling me about miscarriages and the Doctor himself (who I was not going to see at all) came in to talk to me. They took blood work and said they would get back to me when they new the results of the blood work the next day.
I came home from that appointment and was able to cry in my friend's arms. I did not have to face the day alone with my 3 year old (my 5 year old was at school). I had someone there to endure a wet shoulder while I sobbed. Having our friends there that day helped me keep my mind off of what might be. I was carried through what would have been an excruciating long day waiting for results.
The next morning (Friday) I woke up and there was no more question about "if" I was having a miscarriage. I just had to wait for official word from the Doctor's office. Since it was the Friday Lance had planned to take off, I didn't have to get out of bed. I was able to lay there while Lance got Lindsay ready for school. I cried myself to sleep and only woke up later when Lance came home. He collapsed on the bed and cried with me (it had been a rough morning for our new Kindergartener on top of the reality that was setting in). We decided to spend the day with our friends showing them our favorite places around our little town. We were getting coffee at a favorite coffee shop when I got the call from the Doctor confirming what we already knew was true. The rest of the day was relaxing and very pleasant, considering the circumstances. Our friends were a great distraction and comfort in a difficult time. I think it also helped our parents to know that we were not alone.
When I look back only a few weeks later I can see that God really blanketed us with His love through our friends. It also turned out that a week later my mother was also able to come and visit and to give me a "hug." Something that we felt we had planned months earlier turned out to be completely orchestrated to bring us comfort in a time of need. From the moved appointment to Lance's Friday off to having a good shoulder to cry on. God knew that we would be walking through a difficult time and He did not make us go through it alone.

I am thankful that there are no coincidences, only God's plan.

September 23, 2008

Kaboom! Playspace finder

I found this from a tweet that my husband received (yes, I stalk his tweets). Its a GREAT idea. I know when we moved to Texas I was desperate to get out and find new places to take the girls that were free and fun. The Kaboom! Playspace finder is a place where parents have entered info about parks and play areas that they know about and frequent. The more people add, the more it will become a great resource for parents. You don't have to be a member to search but you do need to log in to add a playplace. They don't add it until they verify the information. So click in and help build this wonderful resource for parents in your area. And take a look around, you may find a place you didn't know about!!
playspacefinder.kaboom.org

September 18, 2008

Twitter tips

Twitter had taken the world by storm! Early adopters have known for a while how much fun twitter can be. It has connected us to each other in real-time. For those who are asking "What's Twitter?" It's kind of like a Facebook status update or texting. It's called microblogging. Meaning you have 140 characters to express your thoughts or insights. You can read an earlier post about Twitter here: Why moms should tweet on Twitter. Now more people are joining and needing to learn a few things about Twitter etiquette. Here are a few things to keep in mind when tweeting to your tweeps:

1) Your tweets are broadcast to all of your followers. Don't type something about you or one of your tweeps that you wouldn't say loudly in a crowded room. This means that asking someone about her rash is not really tweetable. You can be personal, just not TOO personal. Think also about not putting too many details so that your private information stays private.

2) You can direct message someone. If you just have to ask Joy about that disgusting rash then you might want to direct message her. It goes only to the person you select. Remember also that when you get a direct message, you should direct message the response. I've seen random tweets from people who are obviously responding to a direct message but they forgot and responded in the public tweet.

3) You can respond to someone by clicking on the reply icon next to the message. This starts your tweet with @personsname but can be seen by all your followers.

4) You can make your Twitter account private or public. If it is private, then you will not be searchable. If it is public you can get random people following you and you should keep an eye on your followers to make sure you don't get people following you that you don't want. You can block them. My account is public because I wanted to be able to post it to this site. I have some followers that have their own parenting and/or mom blogs and have found my through some sort of search. I follow them if they seem interesting to me.

5) You can follow some of your favorite news organizations or companies. One of my favorites is Starbucks. Beware though that some people out there have set up fake accounts claiming to be something they are not so you have to weed through the fakes sometimes to make sure you are following the real deal. When Sarah Palin became the VP nominee there were several twitter accounts claiming to be her but they were not.

6) Do look around on the Internet for fun applications that support Twitter. Tweetdeck, Twitterfox (firefox add on), twhirl, twitpic, etc are fun things that can add to your twitter experience. There are also applications for the iPhone and iPod touch.

7) Have fun updating the silly and sometimes mundane events of your day. Your followers will enjoy being connected to you and having a little insight into your day. I recently tweeted a series of tweets about my first experience in the carpool line. I got more comments on how funny it was, I thought I was just keeping myself busy!

8) you can also follow current topics of interest by going to the search page: search.twitter.com (no www). The top trends are listed on the page and you can search key words. For example: John McCain, will come up with tweets people are posting about the presidential candidate.

I'm sure there is more, I'm still learning. Enjoy Twitter, keep these things in mind, it might help!

Other resources:
Twitter Fan Etiquette On Wiki
Blog entry on Global Geek News
Google Search

September 12, 2008

Culture Shock: Small Town Texas on a Fall Friday

This is the 3rd Friday in Kindergarten for my 5 year old. Each Friday the high school cheerleaders and a few football players are there to help kids get from their cars to the building, and to spread a little spirit. As we were walking toward the school, I noticed the mascot, a giant cardinal, was also part of the welcoming committee. Fun! Then my daughter revealed to me that she was supposed to wear red or gold to school on Fridays but she was ok because pink is like red. (I hope she doesn't try to make that argument to friends at school, my heart cringes for her.) OK, I guess I should support spirit day and make sure that next Friday, she is in red. As we get closer to the school I noticed SEVERAL little girls in cardinal cheer outfits and little boys in football jerseys! Isn't that a little overboard? Suddenly I feel awful that my little girl is going to be in a minority of girls that not only aren't wearing red, but are without the mini-cheerleader outfit!
So I decided to get a grip. Do I really want my 5 year old dressed as a 17 year old cheerleader? No thanks! She's going to have to be "different" and that is ok. I just never thought I would feel so "different" after living in Texas now for nearly 3 years. I love it, the people, the values (I could use a mountain or two, just sayin) but sometimes I grow tired of the keeping up with the Jones' attitude. But then, maybe that is everywhere, not just Texas.

September 11, 2008

Teaching kids about money

I found this great product on Parent Hacks, I'm going to purchase it. I thought it would be a good thing to pass on.

Parent Hacks: Introducing Money Management to Preschoolers

http://www.parenthacks.com/2008/09/introducing-mon.html

First 3 weeks of school

I was so not prepared for our first school experience. I knew that it would be "hard." Because that is what people told me. But I really didn't KNOW how hard it would actually be. I haven't been able to even blog the last few weeks because I really didn't feel like I had any wisdom on the subject. I still don't really feel like I do. Since dropping my daughter off at Kindergarten I have fought the urge to take her out and home school her every day. I want her back! My mind and heart are in complete disagreement.
On the one hand, I feel like our time together has been shrunken so drastically. All of the sudden she is gone, ripped from my arms! It is truly heartbreaking when I think of how much we miss of her day.
On the other hand, though sometimes she wants to stay home (when she knows lil sis and I are doing something fun that day) she really seems to enjoy school. She has learned so much already in the last 3 weeks. Every waking moment at home she is practicing her letter writing and pretending school with her sister. I know that it is important for her to be in school at this time, at this age because she is truly ready. If I had waited, I am fully confident she would be bored next year and then we'd be setting her off on the wrong foot. She's getting what she needs, when she needs it. She also has a wonderful Christian teacher.

So, as I am the adult and have to learn to let my children go, I must endure the school year missing my child and trying not to get hurt over the fact that she only mildly misses me. This process of letting go started with childbirth and I guess will continue until she is married and moving thousands of miles away from me. (sorry mom) I think I now truly understand the heartache that we cause our moms. Heartache that I just have to get over, as our moms did.