Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This is life with young children

Twas the week after Christmas, the snow's softly falling;
all the boys are resting, for once no one's calling.

-I was about to write a poem. As soon as I got that line down I hear:

"Momma... Momma..." -It's Ty.

He's calling.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

There are:

3 in the kitchen,
5 in the dining room,
4 around the game table working a puzzle,
3 wandering around looking for something to do,
2 upstairs taking naps,
and dad is at church borrowing the projector.

It is a typical Christmas afternoon.

Everyone is home this year.

So far it has been a success.

The tree is still standing and coffee is constantly being brewed.

The fire has refused to successfully light but Hannah isn't quitting.

Dad's home now. He walked in with a plate of goodies (thanks Carolyn S!).

The roof on the gingerbread house has split and is sliding down toward the table.

Last night Jack was asked what he wanted for Christmas he said: A sled and a hippopotamus. I told him he wasn't getting a sled for Christmas. He very contently said, "OK."

I then informed him that we couldn't have another pet in base housing. He tried to come up with a solution. I just told him to take it up with the hard-to-get-along with housing lady.

I suggested that he hope for a couple of toys.

He did.

My seat here at the table is getting a little warm and I'm getting tired of sitting up I think I'll go look for an empty couch.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jack's first Christmas program vs. AWANA caroling night

Which should win?

Should I go see Jack sing "Away in a Manger" with all his fellow MDOers


Should I drive the AWANA girls over to an assisted living home to carol and deliver handmade beaded bracelets to the elderly?

Support my child or teach the next generation how to minister to the widows?


Let me add that Jack's daddy could not be at the program, so no one would be there to see him.

Let me also add that I am the director for the AWANA girls and that I planned this whole thing a couple months ago.

Both events were tonight.

Want to know what I did?

At 5:00 I took the boys to First United Methodist Church to eat the meal that was provided before the Christmas program.

They started serving at 5:15. And it was the most delicious baked ziti I have EVER had. It was so good that my boys ate all that was on their plate and asked for mine.... They also asked for my ice tea.

I cleaned them up real good (red sauce) and after a little discipline session Jack was good to go.

Jack went to his class, I ran to the van with Ty, we made it to church 5 minutes late.

My friend Sarah kindly became responsible for Jack after I left.

Jack sang beautifully --I'm told. He actually SANG! I was thinking there would be a "deer in the headlights" look on his face the whole time.

He got delivered to our church after the program.

Back to Ty and me.... Ty to his class and I jumped in the driver's seat of the running church van and headed to Royal Estates with the girls.

The girls (AWANA students at church) have been working the previous two weeks on bracelets. They came out beautifully. Our talented leaders wrapped them in Christmas boxes with ribbons. It was a wonderful gift.

We wanted to take these women presents. They don't get a lot of visitors and they sure don't get many Christmas gifts. Our girls also made homemade cookies for the men.

We made small, medium and large bracelets. Some were red and green, some different shades of blue, some amber colored and some were all colored.

We looked at the women's wrist before we gave each one the bracelet. We wanted them to fit.

God blessed these ladies tonight, he blessed me by being able to witness something that I'm sure He was responsible for.

It was this:

Every bracelet fit the recipient, all 25 that we gave out --with one exception (and we swapped hers).

Not only that, but the bracelets matched what the ladies were wearing! And two of the ladies commented on how those were "their colors." our boxes were wrapped. We did not know what the bracelet inside looked like, only the approximate size. What a God we have, that He matched up the gifts with each little old lady.

He cares.

He loves us.

He let my girls see the delight and appreciation on the ladies face when they heard the singing. He let my girls see the surprise on the ladies faces when they saw that we had a gift for them.

Some put the gift aside so they could focus on the ones who came to bless them.

Some let the girls help them open the presents.

It was so fun.

I feel like I'm rambling on here, that this post is not smooth.

Now that the evening is over, I think Jack doesn't mind too much that both his parents missed his program. I'm pretty sure he knows we love him.

I think that if we constantly demonstrate (and verbalize) our love for him that he will not be bothered if we sometimes miss his programs. I want him to learn from us how to serve. I don't want him to think our world revolves around him. I want him to learn that our world revolves around loving God by serving people. I want him to join us in serving.

I think he'll get it.

Chris and Sarah, I'll be over SOON to watch the video of Jack and Noelle's program.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shoe update

Well, I thought I'd struck gold with my "buy Stride Rite on ebay plan."

Here is the update.

Ty's shoes came in. Turns out, I hadn't bought Stride Rite... In a moment of humility I decided to purchase cheaper shoes. No, I'll call it a "moment of pregnancy brain" cause I consider it an investment in my children's feet when I buy them shoes that fit them correctly and don't hurt their feet.

No don't everyone get all upset with me and think that I'm looking down on you for buying your kids affordable shoes. I'm not. You do what you want to do. What I'm saying is, my children don't communicate well enough with me to convey that the shoes they are wearing are rubbing them or too small or hurt or whatever. And I'm not sharp enough to look at their feet and the shoes and figure out if they are wearing the right size.

I want to be sure I'm not crushing their toes so I usually take them to a shoe store with a clerk who is paid to know whether or not the shoes hurt my children's feet... I'd say their job is not unlike that of a veterinarian. They've got to figure out the problem without the patient giving them any verbal clues as to what's wrong.


I ordered Jack a pair of Stride Rite 9.5 wide leather Velcro shoes.

Jack's shoes came in. They WERE Stride Rite. Just like I ordered. They WERE size 9.5, just like I'd ordered. They were NOT wide....

Just like I'd ordered.

That will be credited to pregnancy brain for sure!

So, the kid has been wearing thin socks, and he says they don't hurt (not that I really trust him).

He wore the shoes, which had a few little scuff marks on the toe (as advertised) for about three days.

End of day three, the leather on the toe of the right shoe was torn open. It has a whiteish line across it where he tore it open. Another week goes by, the left shoe is matching.


Either that last child was gentle on the shoes and didn't break the leather or wore them to the border of the breaking point or... Stride Rite has disappointed me by their "un Jack proof" shoe.

Right now I'm not in the market for new shoes.

Ty is toughing it out and Jack will be getting thin socks for Christmas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Photo cards anyone?

Who knew?

HEB is your source for photo cards this year.

They have the cutest / coolest designs.

And you can edit them an unlimited number of ways.


Enter the code: NewCustomer

and get $5 off your first order.

So if you buy 20 photo cards at $7, enter the code when you check out, you will end up with a total of $2.

I bought 40 for less than $10.

I haven't seen a better price anywhere, and

you can pick them up in an hour!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Mike and I have lived oh... 8 or 9 different places in the past 7 years. It seems that most places we live, the people geographically closest are the neighbors we know the least.

Did that make since? I am experiencing brain loss so if you don't understand what I'm saying it's not you, it's me. In the last post I spelled the word "wear" (as in you wear clothes) "ware". And I knew that was wrong. I thought and I thought and couldn't come up with the right way to spell it. I tried "wair" and that looked even worse so I just stuck with "ware." whatever. Ya'll are sharp. I thought you'd figure it out.

So anyway, about my neighbors.

It's possible they think I'm crazy.

More than likely they think I'm crazy.

I'd think I was crazy.

Take our current duplex mates for example, every now and then when the kids are asleep and we are resting on the couch (next to the stairs) we hear their footsteps. That's all, their footsteps. They are a little younger than Mike and me, have no kids and a couple of dogs. They are pretty quiet.


...are not quiet.

I've asked "J" (neighbor) if he can hear us, he told me no. I can't imagine that being correct.

He probably just didn't want to have to ever admit that he thought there might be child abuse in the house and failed to report it.

I'd go into all the ways we make noise, but if you have ever been around preschoolers, you can imagine. It's loud. I discipline. Children cry. I sometimes use an "outside voice" when trying to get through to the kids. Jack jumps. Ty falls down stairs. Mike plays guitar hero. Dogs bark.

I'm just always too embarrassed about what our neighbors might think of us already to invite them over. "Oh, no... we're not going over there. We'll stay on our safer side of the building." Is probably what they'd say.

Here, I'll give you a story from this week:

Our yard needs mowing. It's got dry grass that is a little scraggly looking and needs to be trimmed for the winter. I decide I'll let the boys ride their vehicles across the street on the sidewalk while I mow. I can watch them just fine and it will only take me about 5 minutes to be done. The street is not busy.

So, Jack gets on his helmet and then his tricycle and heads across the street. He turns left and starts to ride. I stay back and help Ty get his Cozy Coupe across. By the time Ty and I make it to the sidewalk, Jack is at the next to last house on our street.

I holler for him to turn around now.

He doesn't hear.

I watch to see if he will turn around on the driveway of the last house.

He doesn't.

The only thing I can do now is run his direction till I'm in shooting (I mean shouting) range.

So I do. Remember I'm pregnant? Just checking.

I jog/sprint down to the end of the street. Jack's turned the corner and is heading around the block.

I yell again.

He hears this time.

"Jack, come back!"

He says something back to me that was not able to make out. Then he turns his head away from me and...

keeps riding.

I look back down the street toward my house. I see Ty.

He's in the middle of the street --bawling.

I've run off and left him. Ty's worst nightmare (he's a bit of a mama's boy).

So here's our status:

Jack's speeding toward the second busiest street on base, Ty is in the middle of our street, crying. I'm standing halfway between both of them, and "J", my neighbor is on his roof putting up Christmas decorations.

I'm sure he saw it all.


You be the judge.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


"Hi, My name is Rebecca. I'm a middle class shoe snob.

I've been a shoe snob for about 8 years now. I'm not exactly sure how it all started, but one day I found myself at Payless Shoe stores. I needed a pair of dress shoes. I walked out empty handed and with my nose a little too high in the air.

I had reached a point where I couldn't buy cheap shoes any more.

After that found myself buying Clarks, Born, Asics, Sanuks...

And hasn't just affected me.

It has affected my family as well.

My sons in particular.

They have never worn a pair of shoes purchased at Walmart, Kmart, Payless, any grocery store.

They ware brands like: Crocs, Stride Rite, Buster Brown.

If I haven't heard of the brand, it doesn't go over their socks.

I'm not proud of this.

It's something about myself that I'd like to change.

I see how it has hurt my family... financially.

I'd like to tell everyone that even though I turn my head to affordable footwear, I am not a germophobe. I didn't freak out yesterday when I saw my sons putting their mouth on the cart at Walmart. I was ok when the cute old lady kissed Jack on the mouth in the beginning of flu season. I didn't pass out when Ty ate a skittle off of the floor at Old Navy.

And. I am ok with used shoes.

I've started my recovery process by buying the boys shoes off of ebay.

Yes, they are still $50 Stride Rite shoes. But I'm paying way less then that for them. It's been a pretty good place to buy Jack's wide shoes and just fun to find Ty some cute leather shoes.

Ty isn't able to wear Jack's shoes. Otherwise I probably would not see any problem in spending $55 on a pair of shoes that would be worn by both kids. That's only $27.50 each!

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

And thanks to all of you who have supported me through this process.