Beautiful Things

Now a slight departure from my usual tone...however, so related.

I joke about motherhood alot. Mostly about how it really drives us all darn near nuts. It's just so hard. I don't care if you have one kid or twenty, it's all relative and it's all hard. Everyone has their own struggles. We have good days and horrible ones. Some days we know we are the absolute BEST mother in the entire world--without a doubt. But most days we feel so mediocre.

So I just had the priviledge of scoring a free download from KLOVE. "Beautiful Things" by a band called Gungor. The primary lyrics say: You make beautiful things out of dust. You make beautiful things out of us.

Does it just nearly make you want to explode at the truth in that? God can make anything beautiful. Most of us have dark corners in our past. Just stop a minute and think about how God has shined the brightest light into that corner. How now, it is your favorite corner, because you gained so much wisdom, or strength, or love, or just something more beautiful than you had before. If you can think about what this is for you--what God took of yours that was scary, or sad, or tramatic, or shameful, or just lonely,and turned it into something amazing--and not shed a tear, I will find it so hard to believe. Let yourself ponder it, and reflect, and cry, and be thankful to God. That in itself is so beautiful.

This blog is dedicated to how crazy life is with children. I joke about all things gone wirey, or out of control, or how easy it would be to just give up. This song just reminds me that even all of that is beautiful.

We all get caught up in our daily lives, forgetting that all around us, God has made beautiful things out of dust. If you haven't heard the song, I highly recommend it. It is sure to help you stay thoughtful about how we are made beautiful.

A Toast to 10

As I sit with a chilled glass of chardonnay on a hot summer Saturday, I feel quite happy about the number 10. Right now in my life, I feel extraordinarily good about this number.

For one, Andrew, who was born in the 10th month of 2010,is going on 10 months old, and he is 10 times sweeter than any other little man in the world!

I have only 10 plants that I have to keep alive this summer. And as I peer through my dusty, rain-spotted windows, I can see they aren't going to make it if I don't get out and water them as soon as I finish this post.

Yesterday, I had to get my phone replaced, because one of our canines mistook my old one for a hamburger. I paid about 10 times more for my new one than I did for my old one, but I got an iPhone (woot woot) on my husband's upgrade, and Clare seems to be really enjoying it. I'd enjoy it too if I ever got to hold it. Of course, my previous phone was cheaper than dirt--you got it; $10. No, really, if you have to buy dirt, it costs more than that!

I love that everything is the 'Top 10 of this' and the 'Top 10 of that'. That is enough reason to love the number 10.

As I approach 40 years old, I realize that I feel about 10 years younger than I really am, which I've heard just thinking this way can add years to your life, and decrease maturity. We all need some of that, right?

I went to garage sales today with my mom, and my two oldest daughters, and I think there were quite a few items that we didn't pay over 10% of what they were asking. Or what is might be worth. Score!

Nearly 10 months of the year is winter or like quasi-winter in Montana, so , well, maybe that's where 10 kinda fails us.

My hubby and I are coming up on our 10 year anniversary. Big kuddos to the number 10 there!

But, I am ready to let you in on my little secret; why the number 10 is so nastalgic for me today. BECAUSE THERE ARE ONLY 10 DAYS UNTIL SCHOOL STARTS! HOORAY--with a cherry on top.

Now, I know all you home-schoolers are shaking your heads and planning your curriculums and buying 10 times(there it is again) the number of school supplies as I am, but I can only say that I am very glad that I am not you. I WILL say that I admire you, I nearly worship the ground you walk on and pray to inherit at least 10% of the patience that you must have. You are many of my friends and I love you dearly, but I'll continue to leave it up to you. My kids, I like to think they THRIVE in school, with teachers and stuff, and who cares what else, because they aren't home! Ha! Just kidding, I do care. My kids are smarty pants, but they adjust well to whatever activity and are very socially well-rounded. I LOVE their teachers at Cayuse Prairie, and feel tremendously blessed that I will have two kids in school (finally, at least half) with fabulous teachers, and they will be having a great time. So I am a lucky one. My kids love school. When I ask a lot of kids if they are ready for school to start as summer is winding down, they all seem to say "no way!" You ask my kids that and you'll get an enthusiastic "yes!" I don't know if that means they are just bored out of their wits at home, but I do believe that even if there is a little bit of that, it's probably only about 10%. :)

My kids love school. And I love it when they are there. Mommy gets to have a life again, like exercise, and cook, and do my art and writing and reading. Mommy is a person too. But I only get about 10% of mommy time in summer.

We've had a great summer, but today, I love the number 10. Everyone loves to be number one--and number one, I love you too, but I'm gonna love you the most in nine days!

Pulling the Plug

There are just those days when you feel like a terrible mom. These days seem to quadrouple in the summer, when the kids are tired and whiney, the house looks like a national disaster declaration, and when you're even more tired than they are so you just throw them a bag of cheetoh for dinner. Usually, I wake up the next morning, and it's a new day, and I can make up for it somehow; you know, like put milk in the cereal today.

But these are the little things. The things that are just day to day, you know some days will be better than others, and you know you can tweak them just by adding a little more love to a certain area, whether it's preparing a healthier meal, or doing an extra load of laundry.

So what about those big steps we have to handle? Their first step. Potty training. Off to school. What if we don't nail these on the first try? Again, for the most part, we can wait awhile and then try again. They are gonna get it eventually.

However, I'm in the midst of a new struggle. The binky.

Our three year old is over-the-top addicted to the thing. It's her comfort, her blankey, her teddy bear.

When my second daughter knew the binky monster was coming, she gladly placed all of her binkys into an envelope and put it gently under her pillow, as if not to disturb all the precious binkys that would now be going to the babies in the world that really needed them.

Not my three year old. She wanted nothing to do with that envelope. She hoarded her binkys and started hiding them. The binky monster even came during the day when she was gone, and left her a toy. That lasted 10 minutes. She was begging for binky.

Now she just steals her baby brother's binky. She's ruthless. He could be wailing, but she won't give it back.

When she starts pre-school, she won't be able to have it. That's on our side. But will she forever be sneaking binkys? Will she be 13 and stealing them from the kids she is watching? Or worse, will she use the money she earns to buy more?

Okay, okay. I know, it's just like the potty training. All in their own time. It will happen. It is time to pull the plug, but sometimes when you pull it, it doesn't's just all blocked with guk and slime. You need a plumber, outside assistance. I think that will be the key. Outside assistance. The places she wants to go this fall that won't allow class, pre-school, a day at the park.

We think we are terrible parents when our kids will do things for others that they will not do for us, but that's where we have to let go, realize it's a blessing. It shows they do understand, and they do know right and wrong. They'll get there, some kids just gotta pull the plug themselves.

Santa In Summer

We as parents know how hard summer can be. Kids home, fighting, wanting stuff to do, leaving the house a mess, forgetting to brush their teeth without me hounding them, going to bed late, sleeping in, waking up the baby, crawling in my lap when I'm on the computer, slaming doors,and if only we could just get out of the house more-- they want to go places and it can be just too hard to take them there due to the baby.

Therefore, I am grateful to Santa. He has showed up in our lives twice this summer. The first time was at the St. Mary's campground. He was a bus driver for a youth camp. He hung out with us a bit, and was sweet to the girls. Clare just knew he was the real one. She even checked his cell phone when he wasn't looking, and sure enough, the name on it was 'Santa.'

A few weeks later we were driving to Bigfork, and a Santa was red hot on our tail, driving his red Mustang convertible. He was following us super close and finally passed.

That sealed the deal. The kids knew that Santa really was watching them. "Do you think it's because we've been fighting so much this summer?" They asked.

"I don't know, but I would say that's a very good guess."

The fighting has actually been better since. Not gone completely. Not perfect. Not even great, but better.

Thanks, Santa. Clearly, you were in my summer survival kit.