This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Friday, November 16, 2007

Restarting? Did I Ever Finish?

January 1st, the next birthday, the start of the new school year, after tax season, next payday, Monday, the beginning of next month, tomorrow…what do they all have in common? They are the days that procrastinators are most fond of. They are the day that I am always talking about. They are the days when all things will be fresh, when I will be motivated to tackle the hard stuff and move upward, onward and to that Nirvana of perfection.

I’ve always taken pride in the fact that I was a “spur of the moment” type gal. I could be flexible and adaptable. Whatever life was dishing out would not faze me because I was a seat of the pants type person. I rolled with the punches.

Well this punching bag is just a bit weary. It’s not December 31st yet and I am already tired from the hassle, razzle dazzle frazzle, jingle jangle, food laden, guilt laden holidays. And I haven’t even started decorating. Or shopping. I am already looking at resolutions for my “new year.” I am evaluating my old year. Already. And I’m not terribly impressed with what I see.

Aren’t I just full of the joy of the LORD today?

Actually... I am.

I’m trying to look back and see what I have accomplished.

Well maybe it’s not all that bad. Even though I have failed miserably at some things—and I do mean failed, as in I didn’t even make a start, let alone a dent in a couple of my goals, I guess, if I am honest, there are a few things I am actually proud of. And if I look at the boys it is obvious that they haven’t suffered too much under my mismanagement. In fact, there are areas where they’ve downright flourished. If I am particularly careful I can check back to see there are some areas of spiritual growth, which I’m pretty sure go in the positive column. And I am going to allow myself a little room for some particularly rough patches that have come this year. Like then and that.

But that doesn’t mean that I am satisfied. Because if I were satisfied I would not be in the mood for changes.

But who makes big changes this time of year?? Ahhhhhhh…that is what I keep arguing with myself about. “Self,” I say, “Self, don’t you think we (not because I’m royal, but because there’s enough of me for two) don’t you think we should wait until January 1st, the next birthday, the start of the new school year, after tax season, next payday, Monday, the beginning of next month, tomorrow…to start implementing the new stuff, the hard stuff, the out of our comfort zone stuff? Change is frustrating, change is painful, change is…well change is HARD.”

Ahhh-hah!! There is the root of it. So I say, “But self, look what good things came this year when we did make changes. When we left our comfort zone, tried new things, met new people, did the thing we least wanted to do. Look at some of the fun we had. Look how much more we learned about God. Look at the memories we are happy we did not miss.

Just look.

So I think I am going to start making some changes today, and tomorrow and hopefully, maybe, I will get over myself and my self-consciousness and my fear of offending. Hopefully, maybe, I will start stepping out physically, emotionally, mentally and stop being so lazy and wait for life to change me. Hopefully, maybe, you will join me on this journey to a better place and while we’re waiting around down here we can make this place just a little more comfy and welcoming. Because I think I have a lot of room to grow. And a lot more joy to find.

So that is my plan. To keep working on joy. To make the days more joy filled. What better time of the year to start?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things I Love About Roo


Roo turned 10!! I walked out of the room for thirty seconds & came back to find a pre-(gulp)-teen. Who actually mentioned how his hair looked last week. As in, “Did you notice I tried something different with my hair, Mom?” What IS UP WITH THAT?

Last week we left religion class and a young ummm…lady crawled halfway out of her father’s vehicle and literally shouted, “Bye, Roooooooo!! See you next week!”

“Who was that?” I nervously asked.

“Oh that was______(insert adorable Southern influenced name). She’s really nice.”

SIGH. SIGH…HEAVIER SIGH…

But I love my Roo. Yes I do and let me move on to my Thursday Thirteen and tell you why:

1. He has a tender heart. He cried, nay almost sobbed when Harry died in Spiderman. He cried while reading the Sarah, Plain and Tall series. He actually read the Sarah, Plain and Tall series, for goodness sake and didn’t argue that it was too sissy. He cares about our pets and our friends. And he is often the one to notice my moods. Some girl (in the far, far distant future) is going to love this about him. But she’s going to have to kill her own spiders.

2. He is truthful, even when it will put him in a bad light. I don’t know how often he’s come to me and said, “Mom, you are not going to like this, but I have to tell you…” George Washington & his cherry tree need to make room. It’s that serious.

3. He is always wanting to know more about things. Especially God. He has challenged me to dig deeper and really know what I believe. I love to hear his questions after church. They are wise and insightful. What a gift children are!

4. He is focused. I have heard that from so many people who have worked with him in class and on stage. He’s been know to make a mistake, but he is pretty sure to know how to fix it.

5. He is polite, especially out of our home. But not in an Eddy Haskell way. He can be a typical child at home. But I am proud to take him out in public.

6. He could care less about what he wears. Well…at least he didn’t. The hair last week is making me sweat this one. His brother (three years his junior) already cares about what is on his back. Roo has so far been grateful just for fresh and clean.

7. He is a very serious boy under the layer of silliness. He’s a deep thought thinker. He considers the options and knows that there is more to life than his video games. But he’ll set the serious aside for a good split-screen match with his brother. Still a kid!

8. He cannot be quiet for longer than five minutes unless asleep, and has been known to talk in his sleep occasionally.

9. He is asking for the chance to help around the house. (He may think it will get him some cash). I am planning to take advantage of this really soon!

10. He is not boastful about his talents. And even though I am prejudiced, he really does have a few.

11. He can be brave. He was the grandchild that went up to ICU to say “goodbye” to his grandma. He didn’t want to. He didn’t have to. He didn’t like what he knew. But it was his choice to go and kiss his grandma goodbye. He drew himself up, took a deep breath and was determined. I think that was the bravest thing he’s ever done. Although I am pretty sure there will be more things he will face.

12. That said, he’s brave but not full of bravado. He’s not too ready to go traipsing off into the world yet. He’s very aware that he will at some point want to be shed of his Mommy, but that day (thankfully) isn’t here yet. .

13. He’s a good friend. He looks for the best in people. He’s been picked on before and tries to make sure that none of his friends are bullied. He stands up for what he knows is right and in the end, tries to make sure everyone ends up friends.

My Roo. I’m off to find a brick to put on that handsome head!

Happy TT everyone. Find other TT'ers at the Hub!

THE PURPOSE BEHIND THE THURSDAY THIRTEEN:The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. What do you do? Write Thirteen things about yourself, summarize your week in one entry, make it easy for other bloggers to get to know you on a weekly basis. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Shhhhh...

Looking over your shoulder






Visit other Wordless Wednesday participants!

That's Just the Way It Is...

A Day’s Dazed Reality
Alternately Titled:

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
The Van Driving of the Sugar Plump Fairy

Cue the Tchaikovsky. Taste the bon bons, smell the Arabian Coffee and Chinese Tea and feel the pink tulle floating by…well no, not really. Except maybe the bon-bon part. And I do like coffee. Yes, I really do. Tea is nice. Well Tchaikovsky does get played a lot, come to think of it, both on the CD player and the piano.

Just skip the tulle. No one, really no one, around this house of testosterone will touch tulle. Even the Lone Lady (me) who owns very little pink and absolutely NO tulle.

The Sugar Plump Fairy—yep, 's'pose that’s me. Sugar is our friend and more so when combined with chocolate and Plump?? Egads!! Times two or three, but the Sugar Fat Fairy just didn’t have the same ring. So I’ll stick with plump.

So the reality of many days…?

My cell phone rings. It is my sister. We are trying to coordinate calendars so we can actually, you know, see each other. She is working (she is always working). She says, “What are you doing?” and then already knows the answer. Because it is what I am always doing (so it seems).

“I am in the car, driving to dance.”

I got that line from a dance forum I visit—obviously another parent. How is it that the mother of two sons is embroiled in the Nutcracker season (oh yes, it starts this early!! In fact it started mid-October!)? If anyone was concerned about me when they learned we homeschool they were even more terribly confused when they find that our main extra-curricular activity involves…dance. Specifically ballet. Cue the confused and speculative looks.

If they were going to ask the, “What about socialization?” question, they are now really curious as to the answer. Yes there is a social life for young gentlemen who pursue the actually challenging, tough, athletic and artistic life of a dancer. We are grateful our studio is home to at least eleven young men, ages six to sixteen, who know the difference between a tendu and a touchdown. And can talk about both. The boys’ dressing room is a zone of chaos and hi-jinx. Somewhat quieter than a hurricane and no pink allowed.

And the boys’ moms are a bit of a different breed. We worry about whether or not tights are opaque and the other necessary accoutrements for boys. We are grateful for the knowledge we will not have to be buying pointe shoes, ever, at no less than $50 a pair (often higher). And endure dirty looks from a minority of girls’ mothers who believe our children are shown favoritism and their darlings are discriminated against. But that is another story. Which I choose to totally ignore.

For better or worse, my days are filled with young men using my furniture for springboards. They may be channeling Spiderman or Drosselmeyer. They might be asking to play Sonic the Hedgehog or if they can show me their latest soubresaut. Our school day has been enlarged to include study for a spelling and vocabulary test which one child needs to advance to the next level (of dance, not grade). But the benefit of that is now he knows the difference from an accent grave and an accent aigu. And he is acquiring a passable French accent. Sadly it is most used to imitate Inspector Clouseau saying, “I would like to buy an ‘amberger!!”

Ooops sorry!! Must run! It’s time to pack up the bon-bons…we’re getting in the car…and driving to dance.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Grains of Gratitude

Belated posting on "Grains" today. My cup has seemed to runneth over with busyness, although my house certainly doesn't show any evidence of that. But again, and as always there is so much to be grateful for.

Without doubt I am grateful to the men and women who have served our country. Veterans's Day seemed a little more special this year because I feel that this is the year my sons have gained appreciation for what the many in military do for our country. When we were at church this morning I was humbled with gratitude at the number of veterans and active military members my church is home to. I have to tell you there were a few tears. Thank you to all that have and all that continue to serve.

A little less emotional, but still awesome, I was grateful for the majesty of this gorgeous fall day. Again sharing with my boys makes it even sweeter. The vibrant colors and just the leafy smell really helped my heart. Fall is my favorite time of year.

Yesterday I was blessed to be a guest at a babyshower for a good friend. She is having a baby in Decemeber and it was a wonderful occasion to see friends I hadn't seen for a long time. It was so fun to see all the tiny baby clothes and cute little baby toys. I am looking forward to this baby. Her mommy is so dear to me. It is wonderful to see my young friend grow & mature.

We are grateful for safe travel, both for my family who visited and for us personally. The boys and I are on the road a lot more with rehearsals and I am aware of how much we take safety for granted sometimes.

I am grateful for all the wonderful people I have met via this blog. Two who remind me to keep the focus on the wonderful gifts in life are Leah at South Breeze Farm is hosting 30 days of thankfulness which has blessed me. And of course always Christine at Brady's Bunch who began Grains of Gratitude.

What are you grateful for?