Friday, September 25, 2015

A Little Debbie Moment

I looked across the room and saw this box of “Little Debbie” snack cakes, purchased for Cookie#2’s scout camp out. But something was different about Little Debbie; she was wearing a mustache.  “Wow, Little Debbie Company, you’re really going out on a limb with a marketing stunt like that. That’s a very interesting strategy,” I thought. I honestly didn’t think too much about it (which is weird in and of itself.)
It wasn’t until hours later that I got up close to the box and realized that this facial hair was the creative addition of one of my kids (no doubt for even a moment who it was; the same one who draws faces on all of the eggs in the carton and defaces most of my magazines). What a turkey! I won’t show the other box that made sweet, Little Debbie into more of a devil child.
So, my lesson for the day is: Enjoy the Little Debbie Moments. Pretty soon the moments will be gone and life won’t be nearly so entertaining. Gotta love those kids!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Bon Voyage or NOT!

Will life ever calm down? Well, I kinda sorta thought this would be my weekend. I'm on a plane headed for LA to set sail on a weekend cruise with my husband and the adults in his family. Such fun, right? I had grand plans to get my hair done and toes painted but that didn't happen on accounting of fighting a cold (and my nerves, which always get in the way when leaving my children). Of course I had a few other things to catch up on before leaving: laundry, grocery shopping, church assignments, school know, all of that busy work.


So all that's done...will I be able to find the calm I'm desperately seeking? Apparently NOT. Aside from still fighting my nerves (darn nerves), I just heard somebody talking about a Tsunami advisory off the coast of California! Okay, that has to be a joke! Nope, sure enough; there was an 8.3 earthquake somewhere in the ocean and now a threat of a tsunami on the California coast. Can this really be happening? That is so NOT calming!


Is it coincidence, you tell me, that as I sit here in the smooth air over Oklahoma (I think), and read this timely quote in a book about one of my favorite females ever, Abigail Adams. This quote is in reference to Abigail's sea voyage from America to Europe to see her husband after four long years of separation, "Far worse than the storm was the dead calm they encountered several days later, during which the ship idled motionless with not a breath of wind to fill the sails. The enforced stillness made Abigail philosophical. 'I begin to think that a calm is not desirable in any situation in life. Every object is most beautiful in motion, a ship under sail, trees gently agitated with the wind,  and a fine woman was made for action.'" 


What a profound statement and I believe it's true. When do I feel most beautiful? When do I feel of greatest worth? When do I feel the most satisfied and contented? When I am doing! When I am serving; whether in my home, at church, or otherwise. Abigail is right, the calm is not desirable. It actually seems pretty boring, now that I think about it. "In motion" is where I want to be. 


A cruise would have been nice. And maybe a few days of peace, quiet, and adult-time would have been enjoyable. But I am convinced that the storms of life are what keeps life interesting and reveal true beauty. Who wants to read a book (uninterrupted), poolside on the Lido deck, sipping frozen lemonade anyway? Not me...well, on second thought, DARN!




Friday, September 11, 2015

Think of the Masterpieces!

It's probably been 20+ years since I've done nested fractions. Well, I did it today. Just for fun?, not really. It was to help a child, but it was actually pretty fun. I was thinking hard; using a part of my brain that I haven't used in a long time. I had a friend say the other day that she was jealous that I have the opportunity to learn alongside my kids. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes I feel stressed, but I do totally love it and it is a marvelous reward.  

This week, as required by our literature curriculum, my son and I finished a book called Freckles. It’s a beautiful story about a boy who knows almost nothing about who he is and where he comes from. It’s Freckles’ journey to find himself and to find love, of all kinds. Along the way his strength of character is revealed in both brave and tender ways. Freckles earns the trust and love of all those around him, most importantly that of his special “Swamp Angel.” The story takes place in the Limberlost Swamp of IndianaGene Stratton-Porter made the Limberlost come to life for me. She described the outdoor "study" that Freckles created for himself using Wild Rose, Dogwood TreesWillow, St. John’s Wort, Goldenrod, and Ferns. Her impeccable description of the various flowers and shrubbery made it almost life like. Ilonged to step foot into that outdoor sanctuary. I could image the cool, moist air and the earthy smells. I could almost hear the chirps of the birds and the murmuring of the insects. I want a space like that of my own.

It was no surprise to later learn that Stratton-Porter was in actuality a naturalist and a bird photographer. This was her first passion. In fact, she only ever wrote her fictional work in order to compensate her publishers for the money lost on the non-fictional records, which she loved best. She weaved her life's passion into her work. And, wow, is it inspiring!  

Do we weave our passion into our lives’ work? It may not be possible to walk away from the full time job when we have a family to support and a house payment to make, but how can we make our lives’ work reflect our passion? Is that possible? I wonder if we were to encourage our children to pursue their God given interests and talents when they are young, would they be able to spend their lives realizing their dreams and passions? I wonder. What a happy, inspired place this world would be? Think of the masterpieces!

I write about “living your passions” a lot. Perhaps I’m trying to convince myself that I’m not crazy for going after one of mine.  That I’m not crazy for selling my home, leaving my comfortable, traditional life style, and aspiring to create my own little magical, outdoor sanctuary for children to enjoy. Well, if I am, it’s too late. I’m already on the way.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Trailers or Hats, Anyone?

My adorable, dreamer of a mother
Have you ever known a dreamer? Not a daydreamer…but somebody who dreams about big ideas? My mom is a dreamer. She thinks up an idea and then goes for it. Who else’s mom do you know that goes around town, spying old, broken-down trailers in somebody else’s yard so she can approach them and ask to buy it off of them; just to take it home and rip out of the floor, replace the electrical, reupholster the seat, to either turn around and sell it or enjoy it herself? I would venture to say that you know very few people like that. Well, I live with another one of them. He happens to be a 13 years old boy, who is full of dreams and tenacity. He’s extraordinarily passionate. He will do nothing unless he absolutely believes in it. Everything must have meaning, answers, explanations, and purpose. He will not accept the answer, “just because.” He also doesn’t really accept a “no” answer unless there is a pretty great reason why. So, he is absolutely obsessed right now with the idea of creating hats. What?!? Hats? Yes, he wants to recreate hats from different eras and different countries. Hats that are no longer in production. Oh, and vintage camping gear like leather backpacks (no big deal). He has spent hours and hours sketching some really beautiful things. Doesn’t this sound like a great idea? Totally realistic, right? A perfect way for a 13 year old boy to pick up some extra cash. What do you do as a parent? He thinks that he is actually capable of building hats that people would actually want to buy. He has never sewed anything in his life yet he refuses to believe that he can’t make it happen! My husband and I have listened (Rand has been much more supportive than I have). We have talked through the finances, still no easing up. So, what to do next…

Anybody know a good seamstress???