Friday, May 30, 2014


Our summer started a bit early this year upon completion of our curriculum. Although their free time has been lengthened, learning won't stop ;) I would like to make it a habit to blog more throughout the summertime. It makes me reflect and be thankful.

A few years back, I was having a pity party because I would love to take my children on fun trips around the country- or the world for that matter, but never seem to have the funds or time. So we determined to explore our own backyard instead- Kansas, that is (or Missouri since it is closer than most of Kansas to us). Day trips.

Yeah, that was a good move on our part. I see at as preparation for exploration of the world. I would like to note that I would love to see the Eiffel Tower someday (soon!), the Northern Lights, and some rainforest where I am in little danger of being eaten by a large snake (worst way to die). I plan to. But until then, there's Kansas- because it is a true spirit of an explorer to find the wonder of Podunk. It takes character to value the insignificant. It is true happiness to wonder at small treasures, whether it be in nature, history, people, or accomplishments. If we can do this, how much more exciting will it be in Paris?

I read recently that Kansas is the least desirable state to tour. That's okay with me because I happen to like fantastic finds with little crowds. However, I won't feel sorry for Kansans that complain of boredom. Seriously? Bleeding Kansas? Air Capitol? The Wizard of Oz? Brown vs. Board? Amelia Earhart, George Washington Carver, and Dwight D. Eisenhower?

Okay, rant over. I plan to have a fantastic summer. Here's to a blessed May.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pick One

To my children-

You are young, and sometimes feel as though you lack independence because of me, your mother. I tell you what to do a lot. I tell you when to get up, I give you a limited menu for breakfast (cereal or the other cereal), I tell you to get along, to do your school, do your chores, get your shoes on, say "I'm sorry", and put a smile on your face. You may think you should have more choices, and you may be right, but don't worry too much, you'll have plenty of choices soon enough.

I have countless choices to make each day. Some are very minor, even though they may seem like life and death issues to you, in comparison, they are minor. For example: What is for lunch? Minor. Complex, yet minor. I do need to know what is in the fridge and if nothing is there, how much I want to spend on lunch. I often ask myself, "do I really want to actually cook?" I have to determine how much color will be on your plate and give myself a list of questions like, "will I be comfortable admitting that I am a dietitian after this meal?" Complex, yet minor, because in 12 hours we will have already forgotten about this decision.

Others, however, have been a little more life-altering. Like marrying your dad. I can't exactly remember why I made that choice- I'm sure there was very little logic involved- it did make a pretty big impact on me. And for you too, for that matter. All I can say is, good thing he looks good bald. None-the-less, that decision is made. I dare not change my mind because I'd hate to go through the first 10 years of marriage over. And I love him to pieces. As you know, he's my most favorite.

Another biggie was about priorities. Where would mine be? Did you know I didn't even plan for you in my life? The doctors said it would be difficult for me to have children, so I didn't get my hopes up. Now, there are four of you. I know I could have had a fantastic career. I have a great job when I'm not around you. It's my paid vacation from you, because when I'm there, I sit in a quiet office with scheduled breaks. And I have intelligent conversations with adults. And I get paid. Did you know I don't get paid for waiting on you 24/7? But when I leave, I get a paycheck? Did you know I had the choice to do that five days a week, but I chose once-in-a-while?

I could have chose homemaking. I could have made cleanliness, wardrobe, and manicured lawns my priority. If you weren't around so much, I might just get around to finding a home for everything we own and de-clutter effectively. However, four little people can pull out more stuff than this tired mama can put away, especially when you add cooking, laundry, vacuuming, and a cheery disposition. Your presence makes my life nearly impossible.

Or appearance. Did you know, I have not had an actual hairstyle in years?

Did you know most people in Target are richer than us?

Did you know that sometimes I act crazy just to cover up the fact that I probably am?

Ya know why? Because I cannot, with clear conscience, choose anything but the life I now have. I had to choose one priority. I chose you. I chose the pleasure of building this relationship over dry clean only clothing and non-greasy hair. I chose to settle for McDonald's once in a while over RD approved meals. I chose this gross carpet and those dandelions over the magazine cover house.

Other families- good families- may do it differently. That's okay. I'm not the one to decide what is best for anyone but us. But I wish for you to know that often times, we won't have it all. We can't have perfection. In fact, perfection is boring. My decision, which I firmly believe is actually God's decision for us, has made me weak. I am in over my head, and I'm positive a few marbles were lost in the process.

Yet, in spite of my half-missing mind, (your dad's is not much better), I feel like the luckiest person alive. Tonight, I sat in a book corner with an old and worn blanket serving as a canopy reading, "Catalina Magdalena Hoopensteiner Wallendiner Hogan Logan Bogan Was Her Name", and then listening to made up names like, "Catalina Magdalena Pillow Blanket in a Taco with Dirty Blonde Rockets into Space", followed by the beautiful harmony of laughter.

I learned that Dr. Doolittle was a playwright for many animals, serious plays for penguins and comedies for monkeys. And Jason of Iolcus may be a hero, but also incredibly foolish. I've listened to countless Boxcar stories that have burned fantasies in your minds. I know, when we bowl together, which "coaching" techniques would work best for which of you. I know when to challenge you and when to take it easy. I don't get it perfect every time, but I know better than anyone else.

I know I drive you crazy sometimes. I know that still you are crazy about me. Its pretty obvious when I was ready for peace and quiet twenty minutes ago, yet you still want another hug. You are my treasure. I pick you, and I will do whatever I can to start you off well.

I choose to do this because someday you will have to make millions of choices, and a few will be life altering. I don't want those made for the wrong reasons. I want them made from true conviction, which may look like insanity to the world around you. Well, that plus the fact you are a whole lot of fun to be around.

Love, Mom