Friday, October 17, 2008

Further Evidence of Cute Little Bugger

My mom made this birthday card for luke, and it arrived in the mail yesterday after my post....

The inside reads, "And now you're 10 Cause it's your birthday again!"
I can't think of any more words to add.... I mean, you know, he's too much!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Luke!

Ten years ago today, Luke came screaming his way into this world. Now today he is a bright, determined, young man who goes after the things he wants. We're proud of him and so happy to celebrate who he is growing up to be!

This morning, Luke and I were looking at a photo album of his first year and I marveled again at what a cute little bugger he was. He still is, but he doesn't really like me saying that.... A favorite memory from when Luke was little, he always wanted more of everything. More food, more to drink, more time to play, more stuff. Scott and I would often say, "oh no, that's too much!" and Luke's reply would be, "but Mommy, I want too much!"

Sometimes Luke (and Lars and Lily) is too much, we are so blessed, I am overwhelmed when I really think about what a gift it is to be his mom.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mysterious Squash Plant Update

Whaddya know? We might actually be producing some fruit here in our pot! Remember my questions about the rogue plant growing in my pot in the back yard? Karen helpfully offered advice on how to keep this thing healthy and happy, and I took some of it. (Actually, all I did was move it to a spot with more sun and dirt, and buried some of the vine. Her other suggestions required more effort than I was willing to make. I meant to, but just never got around to it....)

So, despite my neglect, and the fact that this thing was probably planted by a squirrel, or maybe unintentionally by me in my compost, it is still working hard to grow something significant. There are two little squashes or whatever they are. They're each about the size of my thumb.

Amazing! And what does this say about the ways we might be fruitful--spiritually speaking--in our lives? I guess it doesn't always have to happen the way we map it out, and we may not always be the one who plants the seed, 'eh?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Bailout

Well, I did it. While it didn't come with a $700 billion price tag, there may be cost involved, and I'm watching closely to see.

I bailed out my seven year-old daughter and cleaned her room for her. I warned her for weeks that there was a problem, sometimes rationally, sometimes not so much. I gave her suggestions on how to tackle the job, and sometimes even ordered her to pick up all of one thing, or to pick one area and just clean that. I told her it was really getting bad, and threatened to go in there one day myself with a big garbage bag. Her room was declared off-limits for friends, even some privileges were lost, until she could make some headway. No matter what tack I took, she could not handle the enormity of the nightmare her room had become.

Lily's room could only be described as a disaster area. It was mess on top of mess: accumulated works of art in progress; paintings left to dry, little itty bits of paper, home-made board games, and "worksheets" for Lily's students to complete, or waiting to be graded; clothes--clean, dirty, and in between; just plain old garbage; discarded toys; crayons, pencils, glittery make-up; books, and countless containers of all shapes and sizes with the hope of purpose and usefulness ahead of them.... It took me two solid hours, and one filled-to-the-rim 13-gallon trash bag to get to the bottom of it all.

There's a lot that could be said about how different little girls are from little boys, and how the parenting techniques have to be tweaked in order to be most effective. And there's a lot to be said about how I may have become lax with my youngest, and I need to be more engaged, and get focused here.

Generally speaking, I am opposed to bailouts. I'm a big believer in real life consequences. But Lily was facing a crisis, I mean, the place was a fire hazard! Some of the blame could be mine, letting her have too much stuff in there to begin with. What was the real point in all of it? Did I want her to learn how to clean a room, or how to take care of her stuff? In the end, to me the important part is to help her grow a healthy attitude about stuff. What we acquire, keep, care for, let go of, etc. She couldn't possibly get that with the mountain of mess before her. If it took me two hours, how long would it take her (even with my help!)? I didn't want the lessons I spoke to her about stewardship to get lost in the action and huge amount of time spent cleaning. I decided that I needed to step in and give her a clean slate, and clear boundaries, so that she could start over and learn the lessons about being a good steward of her belongings and blessings.

I wasn't sure what her reaction would be when she came home to find her rug visible. (and lots of things just plain gone!) To my surprise, she was totally relieved and grateful. So far, it has stayed clean for over a week. And I've spent time with Lily, showing her how little effort is required to put things away properly, and she is buying into to joy of having a clean room, everything in its place.

Is there a tie-in to our government and that financial mess/bailout/rescue? Maybe. Maybe the terrible thing isn't the bailout itself, but would be in missing the opportunities to follow it up with a watchful eye, and capturing teachable moments.