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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cancer sucks

In the past 16 months there have been 4 cases of cancer diagnosis in my neighborhood alone. One of which was my precious child. In ONE year!! The bad news keeps coming. It keeps getting worse. It feels like our whole community is under cancer attack. I hate cancer. I hate everything that it does and everything that it means. I hate that people have to fight this hateful disease.
The feeling you feel when you hear the words, "your wife, your husband your son has cancer", is unexplainable. I can't even relate to you the sick feeling it brings up. Even just thinking back for me makes me cry and feel that wave of panic mixed with terror.  To know it keeps happening in our community is heartbreaking. It's so unfair. If you know me for 5 seconds you know I don't believe in fair. To me fair is where a pig wins a prize. When dealing with cancer however I'm all about this sucks and it isn't fair!! Another sweet family has to walk this road of chemo and surgeries. Another set of children have to wonder, wonder about who knows what, but still wonder.
Before Zion was diagnosed I was the ultimate PollyAnna in the face of cancers and illnesses. "Everything will be just fine!", "God's got this!". He does. However looking back that was the crappiest thing I could have said to anyone in this situation. I knew God was in control of our situation. But I was afraid. I didn't want to hear "all things work together for good". Really? I couldn't hear another encouraging word. Words are so meaningless when your heart hurts so much you literally think it'll break.
As I have heard  of more  illness, not just in our community but in the circle of people I know, I am at a loss of what to say. I know my God is in control. I know He is walking with each family who is suffering. He is the only thing that can ease the suffering.  No amount of cards, happy's, and for goodness sakes casseroles is going to take away the cancer.
 When people would drop off gifts or meals or little happy's to us while we walked the cancer road with Zion it was so sweet of them to think of us. Yet when they drove away I would always be just a little bit angry that they got to go home and hug their healthy child and live a carefree life. I would walk back in the house and hug my baby who had this ugly mean tumor on him. It wasn't fair. As I have encountered others now going through a similar experience I've become acutely aware that they be irritated at times because I can walk away healthy. So for now instead of a meal or a gift I'll pray.
 When you don't know what to do or say, just pray. That's it? Yes, that's it friends.  NOTHING in this world can calm your heart like God can. NOTHING can bring peace like the power of God. And NOTHING can heal someone miraculously with cancer like God can. I can not make enough meals to take away cancer. But I know the One who can work miracles in my friends. The doctors can tell you the diagnosis but only God knows the prognosis. I don't understand why prayer works I just know it does.
Tonight as I sit here feeling helpless I'll be on my knees. Unfortunately I have a list of folks I know suffering through cancer and crappy illnesses. Many of you know someone who has cancer now or has had it in the past. I would encourage you to stop and pray for them, right now.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Glad you were there for me on a Sunday

As we drove to church this past Sunday I was wondering to myself why people have to work on Sundays. Even if you're not a church goer Sunday should be a day of rest, for everyone. A day to just be with family whether it's church family or immediate family. I wondered that particularly as I drove down the Tollway and saw these poor workers slaving away on yet another road project. Texas used to look so pretty until they started jacking up the roads because of all those California people moved here. :-) Oh well, we live in an age where things get done or purchased no matter what day it is, without regard for resting or family time. 
I was thinking maybe I'll just stop shopping on Sunday all together. Really rarely do I need to anyway so just make it a blanket never again! That's it, no more supporting those heathen's who keeps stores and other businesses open on Sundays!
We roll into the parking lot, freakishly early I might add, which is a miracle in itself. Have you ever tried to wrangle 6 people to church by 8:30a.m.? It's a feat! We turn off the car start out when we hear," I DON"T HAVE ANY SHOES!". No she didn't. Our little bohemian who is hard pressed to throw shoes on in the first place is at church in a pretty dress, sans shoes. The crazy part is, it's not the first time she has gone somewhere and forgotten shoes. I have told her in the past to keep a spare in the car! I can't even get mad at this point because it's so ridiculous. It's so our life! Back on the seat belts go and we're off to find any place open this early to by her flip flops. Now had we been in Los Angeles, we could have bought some off of a homeless guy. But here in Fancy Pants Texas you are not likely to find that kind of luck.
First Marck thinks we should head to a gas station and just get the summer flip flops they sell. You know the kind, maybe with a Budweiser simple on it. Here's me, um let's try Target first. We pull our minivan into the parking lots and well what do you know, it's open! I can't believe I doubted it would be. After all up the road there are a bunch of guys working on the highway Target better be open. 
I can't believe after only 10 minutes of my resolution to send a message and not shop on Sundays here I am buying my hippie a pair of shoes so I don't die of shame at church! Damn the luck. 
I wish I could wrap this up with some clever moral, some word from the Lord that I got while standing in line. I wish I could say I won't shop on Sundays. I can't because we all know where that got me. I got nothin'. Nope, just a $10 pair of summer shoes and a funny Sunday story. So glad Target has no regard for the Sabbath.

Friday, April 8, 2011

These days don't last forever

I absolutely love Dave Ramsey! Love the show, love the advice and I especially love Debt Free Fridays! In case you aren't a listener, this is where people can call in and scream,"WE"RE DEBT FREE!!" for all the nation to hear. It's one of my simple joys listening to the show on the way to track Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The older kids are usually chatting and I take the opportunity to tune them out and tune in. This week has been frustratingly different. Zion has been more than chatty. Reading me random facts, talking on and on about Lord only knows what. the boys a talker!! I'm sure I don't know where he got it from. Must be the father's side of the family cuz you know my family is quiet. I couldn't even type that with a straight face!! Buhahaha!! 
Today I really wanted to listen, really really wanted to hear the victories people have won in the name of credit slashing. He kept on with the random facts from a National Geographic book. "Hey mom, did you know Alaska and Russia are only 2 miles apart? Hey mom did you know a frog glows when it eats a lightening bug? Hey mom, hey mom, HEY MOM!!!!". He wasn't shouting, it just felt like it. 
I gently raised the volume on the radio trying to give him a hint. At 9 he doesn't use the sense God gave him. Then it hit me... This moment is fleeting. This boy will be grown and out of my house in less than 9 years. This funny, chatty, mirror image of myself is not going to be with me forever. God says that children are a blessing from Him. A blessing, not an annoyance, not a bother but a blessing.  As we drove home listening to the facts I thought of how so much of parenting is a die to yourself kind of deal. I love listening to the radio because it gives me a chance to not think about what's going on around me for just a few minutes. I had been thinking I just need a moment for myself. Me me me. Not kids chattering. Me and Dave. There will be a day when I long for random facts to be thrown at me. If Zion has his way he will be in the Army far away from Texas. I'm quite sure then I will wish I had another moment of chatter. 
I listened to his facts and trivia the rest of the way home, trying not to cry at the thought of him being a grown man someday. I thought of how few the years were that we had left with our 4 people. Even Jonah, 15 years til college. That's a blip on the screen of life. The moments will still come that I wish for some quiet. My hope and prayer is that I will remind myself that the moment will come too quick that I wish for some loud chatter in my quiet and clean car. Yes, I long for a clean car too. :-) 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Welcome to military school folks!

Awe yes, Wednesday in Weir, Tx. the sun was shining, the birds were singing and I had on my drill sergeant hat and was ready for action!!! Last night I went to bed feeling defeated. These kiddos have run me into the ground. Truly. 
Last night while at the gym I witnessed a disturbing sight. Too many out of shape kids. Which got me thinking.. number 1 glad they are here making a change. number 2, I am raising my people in a soft society. My own kids are soft! Here's where I get on my soap box so feel free to check out. :-) Remember when we would run and ride bikes all day and into the evening? As a kid I never sat down. Never watched tv. Well, maybe Love Boat with my gramma.  We live in instant everything. No waiting. God forbid we have to wait to check our e-mail til we get home, oh hell no! We have to check it in the middle of bible study!! Oh crud, I just told on myself. Remember when we had to wait to get home? Remember when we didn't have email and had to send a, *gasp* letter?!?! Now everything is right at our finger tips. Food, email, info, and thank you Jesus coffee. 
With so much available to us I can not figure out why we are raising a generation of softies. I'm not just talking about weight. I'm talking about a generation that isn't used to doing hard work. Getting the satisfaction of a job well done. Feeling dirt in there nails. Getting sweaty.  I am speaking as a mom who has 4 soft kids under her own roof. Many times I've heard my husband yell at them running up the stairs, " move PRIVATE! MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!". Kinda funny with a naked 2 year old. I would gasp and tell him, "they are not troops". I should have let him continue on the path of basic training. It's not too late. :-)
So we have generation X, generation Y and now generation soft. Super. Anyone seen Wall-E? 
So back to my own mess. Thing 1 through thing 4 don't like hard work, including writing papers, doing more chores than previously discussed and so on. Muhahaha, that all was about to change my friends. 
This morning at o'dark thirty I started barking orders. " No we will not watch tv today! Move! Get your chores done! School starts at 8:00 sharp!". I think they thought a crazy person had switch places last night. Or maybe my coffee had not kicked in. Thing 2 was not ready at 8 and know that a consequence was delivered. She got the message ,I meant business. After a brief lecture of there will be zero complaints about food, chores, or other members of the family, we started the day. Off I went to bible study leaving the students at home with dad to work... in silence. He texted me after an hour to say that it was spooky quiet. Hee hee. My plan was working. By 1pm they were finished with school and ready to play and run track. School had been taking as long as 3, maybe even 4 for some people. Come folks! We home school! Supposed to be done long before the public school! 
After a lovely evening of playing and no fussing about dinner everyone went off to bed with nary a whimper. 
When I went in to kiss my sleeping children, the joy I had in parenting was back. Seeing them sleeping I realized they were lovely people, when disciplined properly.  I had given them way too much say so in how things go around here. I'm a pleaser, and good or bad I want everyone to be happy. Here's what I learned from that, it sucks for the mom. No one is happy because someone is always having an injustice heaped on them and mom is miserable because she's trying to keep the peace. If I take away their "entitlement" everyone wins. 
Last night it hit me, my kids and most of America is soft because we think we are entitled to anything we want. Bad enough when an adult feels this way, but let a kid who is foolish ( all kids are, don't be offended), eek, all bad. 
So my kids had a wonderful day. When someone got out of line discipline followed quickly. When they listened the first time, had good attitudes and behavior, blessings and rewards were showered on them.
It's just like the Army, do what you're told and everybody wins. Don't do what you're told and life is stinks only for you. 
In Weir,Tx we are not raising softies. For a moment I lost sight of who was in charge. When I remembered I was the parent and  my sweet peeps don't get much say til they pay the bills, life was set right again. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

If you like coffee and you know it clap your hands..*clap, clap*

I can't believe I've made several entries and not one of them has been about coffee!! I feel so ashamed. Here's why. I love coffee more than life it's self. A day with out coffee, well, just could not even be possible. Before there was Starbucks's on every corner I loved coffee. Love love love it!! My standard order was a 'skinny why bother'. My cousin coined that term for me after many orders of my decaf, not fat latte. He lived in Seattle for awhile and I believe he was irritated with my pretentious order. Ha! He's never been to Frisco at 9 am when all the moms have just dropped off their cherubs!  
The smell just makes me giddy. I love walking into a restaurant and getting a whiff of the sweet ground bean. My all time favorite smell is walking into a Jewish deli and smelling bagels and fresh coffee. I swear I might start singing the Hallelujah chorus! Oh sweet fancy Moses that is a great aroma. Or walking into a diner/coffee shop somewhere in Hollywood after working a long day, dealing with high maintenance clients and just getting hit with that smell would revive me again like a blast of cold air. Oh coffee, it's a beautiful thing. As I type, I've got a fresh cup sitting next to me, compliments of hubby. 
My love for this beverage might have something more to do with memories rather than taste or need of caffeine. When I was a kid we never went to any relatives house that didn't have a pot brewing. At my aunt's I swear it was a constant drip. "A little cup of fudgie", that's what we called it. One thing I remember if you didn't have it one or at least brewing when everyone got there, someone would yell, " Damn it! Why isn't there any coffee?!?!" To which some other profanity would be yelled back and the coffee miraculously started brewing. I grew up in a colorful family. Of course on holidays you might get asked, " want a little something in it?". You might guess the "little something" was a bit of booz. :-) It's the best memory I have of growing up. The world's problems can be solved with a pot of coffee. 
Oh and the road trips we'd take! Always had a pot with us! My cousin and I never needed coffee because we were asleep in the bed of the pick up truck. :-) You heard me, in the back with no seatbelts! Rolling around with every turn. You want to have a kid not whine on a car trip, throw them in the back of a truck. Who needs an 'i' anything? Shoot, let 'em play dodge ball and get their feelings hurt too. Sorry, digressing again. :-)
Yep, coffee is the answer to the world's problems. Ok, not THE answer. Jesus is THE answer to every problem. However, a little cup of fudgie can sure help get the talking moving in the right direction. I have a friend, several actually who think it's a sin to drink coffee in church. You know who you are. But I have to say coffee is what gets people together. Come on, when Jesus walked this earth, folks drank wine. Drinking something when you're spending time together seems totally biblical to me. If I drank wine all the time, well, I'd be in AA. :-) I choose coffee instead.  
My cup's empty.... blog is over.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Momma said there'd be days like this!

     Oh my gosh!! Parenting is sooooo hard!!! Ok, not actually parenting like feeding, washing and making sure everyone survives another day. I mean like making sure they don't grow up to be crazy people. Or at the very least productive members of society.
    I haven't blogged for over a week because the past 8 days have been crap crap crap. I'm not being dramatic I swear!  Currently we have a child who is very into her own thing, going her way and following her own rules. She isn't doing anything that would alarm any of you I'm sure. Especially because I know many of you think I'm too hard on my kiddos. Here's what I say to that, try herding cats then you'll get a glimpse of my day.
   Parenting certain personalities is proving harder than others.We often joke that our house is divided, the sunny side and the cloudy side. The cloudy isn't grumpy, it's just sort of, well cloudy. A bit darker, a bit harder to rouse in the morning, a bit melancholy. The sunny side isn't always happy either, it's just bubbly and louder. Which as you might have guessed has it's own qualities that are less desirable.
   I reside on the sunny side. I know, shocking. The child I am struggling with resides on the cloudy side. Oh and plus, I'm a rule follower, the child in question not so much. She is every bit her daddy in that respect. I say that not as a put down to Marck. He will admit wholeheartedly that he lacks in rule following. It's just part of his character. It's a fantastic trait actually. Marck is able to get things done in a better way because doesn't consider what rule might be broken. For example, Sunday at the Ranger game we parked in the season ticket holder section paying only $10. Not because we were being defiant, we just drove in, paid the lady and found our spot. We figured if there was an issue she'd let us know. See Marck always says, " just walk in like you own the place!". So fantastic!
At 44 years old he can determine whether or not the rules need to be followed. At 7 our daughter can not. This is where the hard part comes in. You can not make a child follow the house rules. You can encourage and discipline but unless their heart is in it, you will likely be unsuccessful. That silly girl had no more toys left, and no more privileges left by Friday. One more move and we were taking away Toy Story on Ice Friday night. Which would have sucked since we would need to scare up a sitter. Mercifully she was able to maintain for 24 hours. Phew.
   When  I say I prayed over that child, I mean I prayed! I prayed as if her very life depended on it. Because it  it does. The only way I am ever going to make it through child rearing is prayer. Left to my own devices these little critters would be locked up somewhere and I'd be watching Oprah. Sometimes I get lazy in my prayer life when it comes to the kids. I forget to get specific and to plead that God Himself would grip her heart for Him and His ways. Only God can change my children. Only He can give me wisdom how to handle them.
    At some points last week I wanted to give up. I wanted to send her off to military school or at the very least public school. She of course didn't want to be shipped off. Deep down I didn't want to either.
As I prayed more specifically I realized that her disobedience was a mirror. Ugh, I hate that. I'm not going into all that because after all, that's another blog for another day.
The bible says," Let us not grow tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don't give up." Galations 6:9
 I started this saying," parenting is hard". It's not. Doing it well, and persevering in it is hard. But we have Someone who knows, and can help us in every circumstance with these little people.