Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Boy Who Knows What He Wants

Conversation with Steven::

Steven:: "When I have kids, I'm going to buy them lots of toys." (I think there is a suggestion for me buried in there...)

Me:: "You are? But won't they get spoiled?"

Steven:: "Maybe, but if they are bad, I will spank them. Except I will have to work, but that's okay 'cause Ellie will stay home with them."

Ellie is Steven's best friend from church and school. She is completely and totally scrumptious. Gorgeous and blonde and smart. Steven is convinced he is going to marry her. It will be a lucky boy who wins her heart.

I'm pullin' for you, son.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

First Day of Spring

Ken has a fancy camera that he uses for business and ministry. Yesterday, the weather was GORGEOUS, so Megan and I went on a photo shoot. I'm happy with the photos, but I wish I knew a little bit more about the technical side of photography and photo editing. At least I had the most beautiful model in Eagle! (Click on the pic below to link to the web album.)

Megan - First Day of Spring

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Am In Serious Trouble...

I am head-over-heels in love with this boy.
A total goner...
You know you are over the edge when you start trading marshmallow Peeps for kisses...
I have no shame.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rock The Budget

Hey Peeps! Check out Rock the Budget. For $5 you can go get a vente vanilla chai latte with whip from Starbucks, or you can help my niece Lauren, and other kids with developmental disabilities, receive important life-changing therapies. Do you even have to think about it?

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Do Not Like Them...Sam I Am

It was Who-ville Hair Day at school, to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday. Here is our interpretation.

We also attempted green eggs and ham for dinner, but SOMEBODY forgot to put the food coloring in until after the eggs started cooking. Adding food coloring to partially cooked eggs is not a pretty sight.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Bowl Runneth Over

Today, I was sitting in the studio at church watching the service...okay, so maybe I was hiding. There are only so many missing teachers, puking kids, and “concerned” parents that I can handle in a weekend. Occasionally, by the 3rd service, I just need a little break and I can always count on an empty seat in the studio. The guys that work in there are still nice to me, even though my husband isn’t their boss anymore.

Of course, if I’m really honest, it’s not much of a hiding place. In fact, if someone is looking for me, it’s one of the first places they’ll look. If I really want to get away, I just go to the prayer room, put my head down and close my eyes. It’s a major Christian faux-pas to interrupt someone when they are obviously praying. So I know I’m good to go for at least 10 minutes.

Well, today I hadn’t reached the breaking point and so the studio it was. Sitting on the table was a book. The title read Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic. Ah-ha! I had heard of this book. And since I had been sitting there all of 5 minutes and the children’s ministry seemed to be plugging along just fine without me, I picked it up and began to read.

The author had suffered major burnout both as a pastor’s kid and as a ministry leader herself. She has lots of advice on how to recognize, avoid, and heal from ministry burnout. I only read a few pages, but I think I might buy a copy for myself.

See, I’m pretty sure I am on the edge of burnout. And it’s not because of sick kids, long hours, mean people, or my own imperfections interfering with my ministry. My inevitable burnout boils down to one nemesis...the source of my weekly headache. It is...the preschool toilets.

See, when I first started at Capital, I thought, “Good! All of the preschool classrooms have bathrooms. Perfect!” After all, those toilets were cute. Low to the ground and sparkling white, with seats just the right size for little hineys, they seemed so harmless.

Little did I know what those cute little porcelain vessels had in store for me. See, I think the shortness of these toilets must have had some effect on their gravitational pull, and that coupled with every preschoolers’ tendency to use half a roll of toilet paper for every swipe, leads to constant clogs and the dreaded overflow. I am sooo over you, toilets.

Rarely does a week go by, where at least one of those toilets doesn’t fight back against the flush. And the worst is when it overflows ONTO a child. Imagine having to explain to the mother of a 3 year old, that their recently potty-trained child is wearing Jimmy’s old pants and outgrown t-shirt because the Juicy-Couture dress she sent her to class in, is soaked through with pee-pee water. Yea, they’ll be back next week for sure...

And then there is the clean-up. Last January, during our annual Catalyst conference, after working for 4 services straight, I was finally IN a service, worshiping my heart out, when I got the dreaded text. “5s toilet just overflowed.” Stink! I looked around...Seth’s at the sound board...Bob’s got Ethan...Phil, I don’t know where Phil is...okay, I’ll go. But at least I was wearing heels and designer jeans. If you are going to spend an evening mopping up toilet water, you should probably look your best. At least that’s what Emily Post says.

I told my assistant the other day that I was pretty sure I had a lot of job security. She agreed and then handed me a plunger.

I think I may have left it in the prayer room.

UPDATE: Since the author of "Mad Church Disease", Anne Jackson, was kind enough to leave a comment on this post, (I feel like I just met a celebrity!) I'll go ahead and pimp her book. You can find out more about it here. I know, I tend to be a little lazy with my link love, but I'll try to do better. And now off to order the book with my handy-dandy one-click over at Amazon!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mother Love

So...don’t you just love it when people start a blog post with the word “So”? It’s like they think they’ve been having a conversation with you but you really just joined in mid-sentence...I was sitting in front of the TV yesterday, in my post-church Sunday stupor (Don’t bug me kids, Momma is watching “Tori and Dean”, go ask Daddy what’s for dinner and yes, you can have 6 girl scout cookies as long as you go eat them in the bonus room and don’t ask me about dinner again) and I flipped over to a documentary called “Freebirthing.”

Freebirthing is essentially a home birth on crack. Pregnant women decide that they are going to give birth the old-fashioned way, completely without medical intervention, and apparently on dirt floors in between butchering chickens and churning butter.

Now, the women who were featured in this documentary had all had bad experiences in their previous hospital births, and have decided logically, that must mean that all medical professionals are evil and out to turn their perfectly beautiful birth experience into a nightmare complete with pain-killers, stitches, and infant resuscitation equipment...I know, the HORROR.

These women actually allowed cameras to follow them to their prenatal appointment at the blood pressure machine in Walmart, the medical supply store to buy surgical scissors and other equipment compiled from a list they found on the internet, and to an infant CPR class “just in case something should go wrong.” I am totally serious...who could make this up?

Now, I am not knocking alternative birthing as a whole. If you want to go the whole all-natural, home birth, midwife route, all the more granola power to you girlfriends. I, on the other hand, loved my hospital births. My doctor asked me if I wanted to stay another day after Steven was born, to which I replied “Uh, yes...I push a button and a nurse shows up to bring me meals served on trays, drugs, change my sheets, help me to the bathroom, AND take the baby if I want a nap. It’s like having my own personal maid. Not to mention, that shower rocks! I can sit and wash my hair all at the same time. What do I have to do to stay until next month?”

But apparently, the freebirthers don’t view the world with the same desire for pampering as I do, and so they give birth in their homes with only their husbands present to help them. One guess on who came up with that idea. I’ll give you a hint...not the husband.

Can you imagine how that conversation started? “So honey, despite the fact that they spend 8+ years and the equivalent cost of our first home on their education, I believe that all the doctors and midwives in the world are really trying to hurt me and our baby, and so we’re gonna’ have this baby here in our living room. But that’s not the best part! You get to catch the baby and be responsible for it’s survival and the ensuing clean up that giving birth entails. Doesn’t that sound delightful?”

Except for one of the poor women in the documentary. Her baby-Daddy left her when she got pregnant with their 3rd child and then 6 months later she “discovered” that she was a lesbian. Of course, she was totally born that way, and it has nothing to do with the absent father in her life and the mistreatment and rejection by every man she has loved. It’s just who she is, right Oprah?

Of course I can’t really do a blog post about weird parenting documentaries, without also bringing up my new favorite reality show “Toddlers & Tiaras”. I just love me some pageant moms. They are a bowl full of crazy. Nothing says “I’ve got a screw loose” like shelling out thousands of dollars to have someone judge your child on facial beauty and swimwear, so you can go home with a $10 crown and sash.

Did you know the average pageant dress costs $1200? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of clothes, make-up, tanning, nails, and lessons. I have a nice little rule when it comes to my daughter’s grooming choices...if it costs more than my clothes, or if it makes her look better than me, it’s a no. That’s just the kind of sacrificial, loving mom I am. The day when she overtakes my looks and figure is coming QUICKLY (have you seen her lately?) and I have no desire to speed up the process.

But that doesn’t stop me from tuning in, in mock horror at the delusional moms who proclaim how much their daughters LOVE pageants and are gaining so much self-confidence and poise. Right...step away from the hairspray and the teasing comb. You’ve seriously lost your grip on reality AND your child, who is throwing the mother-of-all-tantrums because she didn’t get to put on her own lipstick.

The reality is that I secretly would love to lock a freebirther and a pageant mom in a room together. Can you imagine the hysteria that would ensue from those two parenting philosophies colliding? Let’s totally schedule that...just not on a Sunday afternoon, k?