Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Redemption!

Do you remember the witchy note I received from my little cowgirl? I figured I should let you see her other side, too. She redeemed herself with my favorite valentine this year:


Add this note to the one in the last post and I'm feeling pretty good!

Whew.

It's All Worth It

Some days I think I am pretty stinky when it comes to mothering. Especially when I am pregnant and feisty (not a good combination). These are the days that my evening prayers include tearful pleas that my kids will all turn out fine and not need years of counseling when they are grown.

I seem to have been having many of those days lately. Sending myself to my room seems to help some, as do rewards for good behavior (like cream puffs and chocolate) but I still feel terrible that they have to endure me.

Today I received confirmation that I may not be as bad as I often think:


This little unexpected love note was just what I needed today. It's things like this that make motherhood all worth it.

P.S. Is it bad that I was so excited about the "You look good" ?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Love You, Too

Every day, at least 3 times a day, my little 3-year-old towhead says these words to me:

"I love you, too, Mom".

I do not have to tell him that I love him first, that is just the way it always comes out. He always loves me, too. He knows that I love him and he's just letting me know that the feeling is mutual.

This morning as he shared those same sweet words with me, it reminded me of a particular Valentine's Day from many years ago. It was a difficult time for me as a teenager. All of my friends were looking forward to the occasion in anticipation of the gifts of love they would receive from that 'special someone' in their life. I, however, was dreading the day. It served as a constant reminder to me that I had no 'special someone', no 'significant other', no one who would be thinking of the perfect gift to show their love for me.

When the day came, I had worked myself into a state of depression. As was my custom, I knelt beside my bed and said a prayer to begin the day. I am ashamed to admit that my heart was not in this prayer. I was feeling sorry for myself and was selfishly asking things like, "Will I ever meet someone who will love me?" "What is wrong with me?" and "Is it wrong to just want a Valentine's gift? Just a little box of candy or a flower?" When I finished my prayer, I opened my bedroom curtain and turned to leave. And then I stopped and looked back out the window. There, near the curb of the busy street outside, was a flowerbed. It had always been there, but on this particular day it brought a thought to my mind: My Heavenly Father gives me flowers everyday. He gives me a sunrise each morning, and a sunset at the close of each day. He gives me the sounds and the feel of the ocean, the sun to warm me, and birds to sing me a cheerful song. There is always someone there who loves me, and He is constant. He always has been there and always will be. I decided to make that day one of sharing love with others instead of feeling miserable. I stopped at the store and bought some kiddie valentines and a couple of bags of heart-shaped chocolates, signed my name to the cards, and passed them out - mostly to people I didn't know. People on the city bus, in my college classes, even random people in the campus cafeteria got a valentine from me that day. It was one of the best Valentine's days I can remember.

I hope that today, on Valentine's Day, you can all say, "I love you, too" to someone. Because remember, there is always someone who loves you. Just take a look out your window.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mitt Quit...

When I pulled up an article on the internet with this accompanying photo, my 5-year-old said, "Whoa, Mom - that is SCARY!"

I know, sweetheart.

I know.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Book Worth Reading!

I will be the first to admit that I am not a big fan of most non-fiction books. However, this one came highly recommended, and I am now on my second reading of it. The author, Oliver DeMille, brings to light so many truths about the way kids (and adults) are educated today and how it needs to change. It explains the differences between teaching someone what to learn, when to learn and how to learn. He also talks of exceptional teachers and their styles of teaching and mentoring in the classroom - how administrators need to back off and let teachers run their classrooms to fit the needs of individual students and allow for an atmosphere which fosters a love for learning. I wanted to purchase a copy for the principal of our elementary school, but I don't think she would read it and I wouldn't want to waste the gift of a wonderful book on someone who wouldn't appreciate it.

Wow...I didn't make it sound too exciting, did I? Well, just this once, you'll have to just trust me. I don't buy books until I have read them once and know they are worth it. This is a book I would buy in bulk and give as gifts to everyone I know!

If you have any interest in educating your children and/or the children around you to become future leaders, in helping them learn how to learn and not just what to learn (the bare minimum) in order to move up each grade level at school - this is the book for you!

Words are not something I am good with - I tend to turn my thoughts into muck at times when trying to express them in written/spoken language. Just know that this book has made me even more passionate about my children's education. Give it a read and see what you think!

P.S. If you live near me and want to borrow the City Library's copy, it will be back in 2 weeks. I just renewed it so I can continue to read while waiting for my own copy to arrive. After that, I would love to loan the book out if anyone is interested!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Guys and Dolls: Flashback!

WHS production of Guys and Dolls, 1991.
(Havana dancers in Rainbow Brite dresses, myself, and Nicely-Nicely)

When I graduated from high school, I didn't know what to do with myself. My problem was this: all of my closest friends were a year behind me in school. So, I became "Bob". The movie, "What About Bob?" was popular at the time, and I just wouldn't go away, so some people started calling me "Bob", or just saying, "What about Gerb?" My high school drama teacher, however, saw that he could use this to his advantage. Since I was showing up to all of the rehearsals for the school musical "Guys and Dolls" anyway (all my friends were in it!) he asked me to help with costumes. I have never had so much fun in my life! Guys and Dolls is still one of my favorite musicals to this day.
WHS production, 1991
(Crap shooters, Hot Box Dancers, etc. - and an amazing set!)

So, you can imagine the excitement that surged within me when my oldest daughter asked if she could audition for her Middle School's production of Guys and Dolls. She and all of her friends tried out and all were accepted for various parts. One friend got a lead role (Adelaide), some girls were Dolls, some were Crap Shooters (not enough boys auditioned - I love Middle School!) and some got to play cowbell in the Mission Band - namely my own EM.

Middle School production of Guys and Dolls - 2008
(Look at that gorgeous Mission Band member, 2nd performer from the left!)

Miss Adelaide and Mission Band Cowbell Ringer, 2008

I can not express how much I love watching my kids experience some of the things that I enjoyed at their age. I must admit, though - I am a little jealous.

I have never had the opportunity to ring a cowbell.