Monday, November 18, 2013

A Reminder

Little reminders
A few weeks ago, I was randomly thinking about if and how I make a difference in my children's lives. My husband thinks I do. I wanted to stay home to raise our kids and he fully supported my decision.  But there are days that go by and I wonder if I have made a difference. Do my kids know that I love them? Will they appreciate that I chose to stay home and raise them?  And hello, pity party, is there more to me than washing laundry, washing the dishes, putting things away, and making meals?  Have I lost myself in the process of the redundancy of being home to 3 smallish children?  I don't write as much as I would like, however, I make up for my lack of writing by running more often. Not that running as replaced my passion for writing, but the endorphin rush makes me a less frustrated mama.  And time. Seriously, where does the time go? I have so much I would like to accomplish and I'm hoping I'm accomplishing the most important thing...loving my husband and children and raising a family of responsible, kind, loving people who learn to help others, share the light of Jesus, and become independent adults.

I guess God knows when you need a little reminder that you do matter.  Mine came in the form of a letter a couple of weeks ago. I was in the midst of putting away laundry waiting for dinner to come out of the oven when we received a surprise knock on the door. It was one of our Flipper coaches who stopped by to give me a thank you letter for my help in looking over his college essays.  He could have easily sent me an email, a text, or a Facebook message. But instead he took the time to drive to my house and hand deliver it.  It wasn't long, nor did it need to be.  He had given me a little reminder that I make a difference. It came at a good time for me and I am grateful. I think it's very easy to get lost in the everyday tasks and to forget about one's dreams and aspirations while helping your children attain theirs.  I think it's very easy to get lost helping everyone else that you forget to help yourself or remind yourself that you make a difference.  

I really enjoyed looking over the college essays and writing my notes on the side. I enjoyed taking the time to get to know this coach a little better through his writing and to be once again be reminded that my children are surrounded by good people.  I didn't help him because I was looking for any kind of recognition and in reality I was hoping that I was indeed helping. It's been awhile since I've had to look over someone's writing and make suggestions and edits. I was afraid I was a little rusty and that it wouldn't be college worthy. But as he just received his first acceptance letter, I think, "Heck, well maybe I did a better job than I thought."  But as I turned in my last edits I continued with my everyday tasks of being carpooling, cooking, volunteering, and just being mama to my beautiful kids.

And then, then when I needed that reminder, it came. It's nice to know that I still make a difference and to be reminded to do everything I do with a cheerful heart. The reward is not in the recognition, but in doing something with a joyful heart.  

I decided the letter was a keeper and it sits on my bookshelf next to the thank you card that I received from my Flipper coaches this past summer.  Little reminders that somewhere along the line, I make a difference.  Mother Teresa reminds us to continue to good no matter the outcome. I love her quote "Do it Anyway."

Friday, November 8, 2013

One on One Time

The day after Halloween was quiet, drizzly, dreary day. A perfect day for sleeping in. Boogie did not have school that day, but Buggy did. I debated whether or not to wake the children and bring her to school. They were all sleeping so soundly I did not have the heart to wake them.  However, I did need to go to Mass that day and the question was do I bring 2 or do I bring all 3?  I posted on Facebook about whether or not to wake the kids to bring Buggy to school. The consensus was to let everyone sleep.  Of course, right after I posted, Buggy woke up.

I still debated and she and I talked about the benefits of staying home.  We chatted about the benefits of going to school.  She and I enjoyed a leisurely morning. I made her a nice hot breakfast and told her she could have anything she wanted. We made omelets and tea and enjoyed an hour together before the boys woke up.

After the boys woke up I fed them and made everyone get dressed. I drove Buggy to school an hour late and took the boys to Mass.

I reveled in the quiet morning with my girl. We spent some nice one on one time, which is becoming rare because she attends school 4 days a week now.  We chatted, made breakfast together, and enjoyed have a "girls" morning. Just us.

As each of my kids become older and attend school I find that I covet these rare days that I get to spend with any of them one on one.  I know I say it all the time, but time flies and it goes way too quickly.  There will be a time that they won't want me to kiss them in front of their peers, volunteer at their school, or just be around.  I hope that's not true, but it may be. So I treasure this time. To sit, to talk, to sip tea, and to just be. May I never forget my time with them and may they always look back remember that I love them and that I treasure my time with them. Even if I am a little grumpy when I'm trying to get them all out the door on time ;)

Just the Girls

My Sweet Buggy

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

May the Force Be With You (Halloween 2013)

Leia, Yoda, and Luke
After a couple of years of having a theme for Halloween, I think it might be this way a while longer. Especially since my oldest began plotting next year's costumes soon after he came in from trick or treating.

My parents came over to see the kids in their costumes
This year my kids were Star Wars characters. The theme was kicked off when a friend gave Buggy a Princess Leia costume. After that, the boys had to be Star Wars characters as well!  I ordered costumes for the boys and Bananas was Yoda and Boogie was Luke Skywalker. We procured light sabers from our next door neighbors and the costumes were complete.

Halloween started with a Halloween parade and party at Boogie's school. I dressed the younger kids and Buggy jumped right into the parade before the kids left the classroom.  Boogie was stuck holding his brother's hand and it made him very grumpy.  Bananas is little so it takes him more effort to keep up with the group and it made Boogie frustrated that he couldn't keep up with the group.  However, all was forgiven after the parade and once the sugar rush kicked in from the party.

We came home and I rushed to finish up straightening the house before our neighbors came over for dinner. I invited several families over to our house and I ordered pizza for the group. We ended up with 12 kids and 8 adults at our house enjoying pizza, salad, and juice boxes before we put on glow bracelets and necklaces and went out trick or treating. Along the way a few more neighborhood kids joined our group and we ended up with a large group of 15 walking around the neighborhood. I know from running in our neighborhood that the complete loop is a mile.

Getting ready to go to Boogie's party and parade with our neighbor Spider Man
The younger kids were getting tired halfway through, but the big kids hit just about every house.  I think Boogie led the way most of the time and had a blast.  Halfway through the neighborhood, Bananas began rubbing his eyes and he and Hubby headed home. I continued with the big kids. We were blessed with 70 degree weather and only a light rain.  Hubby and I truly enjoyed our trip around the neighborhood with our neighbors.  It was so nice to watch the kids have fun and chat with our neighbors.  Our schedule is so busy and jam packed that we rarely get a chance to see our neighbors and spend time with them.  Our night was so much fun and most importantly the kids enjoyed themselves.  By the time we came home, the rain came down harder and we didn't have a lot of trick or treaters. I'm glad the rain held out while we were trick or treating.

He's make a pretty good lookin' Luke Skywalker
We've done a theme for the last few years.  Two years ago the big kids were characters from the movie "How to Train Your Dragon." Last year all three kids were characters from the Narnia series:  King Peter, Queen Susan, and the Dragon. This year was Star Wars. Boogie is already thinking ahead for another theme...I'm thinking Firefly...Can't you see Bananas as the Hero of Canton?

Class picture

A Grumpy Luke with an oblivious Yoda and Princess Leia.
Fortunately, he lightened up once the party started :)