Thursday, August 30, 2007
BUT, suffice it to say I got GREAT advice from two girlfriends at the pool yesterday. (THANK YOU E & K) I start wondering, do I expect too much out of my kids? And I was reassured that NO, I am not expecting too much.
So come home we did and we implemented new rules and a new plan. I'm GIVING US A BRAND NEW DEAL. (Thought I'd throw in some FDR for ya.)
We wrote on the fride a list of 3 rules.
1. DO NOT scare your sister
2. USE kind words
3. NO whining
Then I outlined some clear consequences for each of these rules. And already we've started the implementation of the NEW DEAL.
Ah, you know, it just feels good to have a PLAN. A new manipulation! A new system at my fingertips so that I am not reactive, but that I know what my response will be when it comes, because it will come.
And I think my kids are delightful, don't get me wrong. I am entering new territory, that's all, where I'm needing to learn new techniques for these preschool years.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
OK, happenings from the past week:
1). planet week! this was a very fun week in terms of craft/learning. last week we talked about rockets, stars, the sun & moon, and outerspace. This week we talked about the planets, and Earth, and the number 9, and circles. This craft we took 9 styrofoam balls (just like we have 9 planets), painted them however we wanted, used skewers snipped to different lengths and stuck them into a larger ball that was our sun. The kids very much understood the concept of different distances away from the sun, different sizes of the planets, revolving around the sun, and now know that the earth is special because it has so much water. I kept at bay some interesting facts about each planet just in case I was asked, which I was, although i didn't get too into the names of planets. (but for example, they already knew about Jupiter and Mars and Pluto, so they did ask some questions about those ones). He was quite proud of his solar system. Next week (like starting tomorrow) we will talk about the sky and clouds and rainbows. I have some great preschool websites that I use to get info. in no random order:
2. moths and maggots. our pantry is full of moths. anyone else ever had this gnarly problem. i found their larve, and trying not to hurl, threw out nearly half of my pantry, as moths were swarming inside pancake mix, granola, cereal, and pistachios. If you've had moths before, Can you tell me how to prevent this? i keep a clean pantry, so i'm quite baffled.
the maggots are at least outside, covering our trash cans on the inside and out, met with many mature maggots now turned flies. lovely. we have decided that we will request new cans from the city. after all, its free, right??
3. some fall schedule shifting. as the fall is rearing its head, i'm trying to figure out how to do preschool at home, have some social things for the kids, get mommy needs met, and work a little less. so far i think it will do fine, but i do like predictability, and i'd like to get it sketched out so I can anticipate.
4. rain. this morning C led our new sunday school class, and i was very proud of him. he is so thoughtful and well-intentioned. he talked about how in the psalms, David is crying out to God, not with the 'right' words, but with openness and honesty and pain. Then used an analogy from C's life. Then showed the nooma "Rain" (which ironically, it was raining when we left church, in AUGUST, in southern CA). If you haven't seen a nooma, they're so great for starting spiritual discussion in a group where you are just getting to know eachother. Its exciting to see where this new class is going.
OK, here's another photo of the week:
R is getting so big. She looks longer to me, taller, and is talking sooo much, and is quite her own person.
I'm finding that in addition to the kids loving eachother and being GREAT playmates, the banter and whining is a constant (right now), and I have to work really hard to keep us positive, to ignore when I should ignore, to step in when necessary, to intervene and punish, to help eachother understand, to ascertain all the facts. Like today, Z bonked his knee, and he asked R to 'go upstairs and tell mommy that i hurt my knee.' well, she comes upstairs and tells me, "Z hit my knee." can you say miscommunication??
Thursday, August 23, 2007
We met in Santa Barbara at Westmont College. C was elected VP of WCSA (student government) and I was interviewing for a position on the activities council.
I remember seeing him when he gave his 'elect me' speech in front of the school, and i remember thinking, "I haven't seen him before. He's a good lookin', articulate kid."
(keep in mind that westmont has 1235 students, and over 90% of them live ON CAMPUS, so it is pretty common that you know most of the student body, at least by face).
so after a few interviews with the committe, i was hired to the WAC (westmont activities council) (there were 4 of us on the WAC, one of them was Josh Caruana) and C was the supervisor of the WAC, so he was the boss of all of us.
Anyhoo, at the start of the school year, beginning from the WCSA retreat at Lake Tahoe before school even started, I was not a huge fan of C. He was cute and polite, but he took his job too seriously. He wasn't having enough fun, and jeez, weren't we all here to enjoy ourselves?
C thought I was super sexy from the beginning. (AH-hem). But thought my desire to 'have fun' was a bit too chatty and silly for the 'responsibility' of the WAC. We weren't bitter enemies by any means, but I certainly did not think at that time that C would be my love.
Which leads us to one infamous night when a group of us found ourselves at a luau. playing red rover, red rover, we send Curtis right over. (because what else do Christian college students do?) He runs through my arm, I get a little agressive, there's some hairpulling when he attempts to pull my arm from my neighbor, we are quite peeved at eachother.
Looking to 'mend' our quarrel, because after all, we work together, we stay up talking after the luau till about 3:00 in the morning. the most amazing conversation. it was so easy to talk to this seriously intentional person who was great at asking questions. and i liked that he chose his words carefully, was open but not sappy, and had great discretion. i recall telling a suitemate the next morning that it may have been the best 'talk' of my life.
the day after i was scanning the campus for him. we'd find unreasonable excuses to both be in the WCSA office at the same time. And every night around 11:00 there would be a tap on my window from C, coming by to chat about the day and life. We'd stay up until the wee hours talking. We talked and talked for the entire first semester, every night until the middle of the night, surviving on a few hours sleep each day.
Shortly into our talking I learned C was somewhat anti-traditional dating. I *thought* he liked me, but it was so unlike all my other boy experiences I wasn't positive. Long story short, right before Christmas break was when he told me, for the first time that he liked me as a girlfriend.
We dated 3 years before getting engaged (while he was in law school). Then we were engaged for 1 year before our August 19, 2000 wedding, 7 years ago.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
One in four read no books last year
By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer 1 minute ago
There it sits on your night stand, that book you've meant to read for who knows how long but haven't yet cracked open. Tonight, as you feel its stare from beneath that teetering pile of magazines, know one thing — you are not alone.
One in four adults read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. Of those who did read, women and older people were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.
The survey reveals a nation whose book readers, on the whole, can hardly be called ravenous. The typical person claimed to have read four books in the last year — half read more and half read fewer. Excluding those who hadn't read any, the usual number read was seven.
"I just get sleepy when I read," said Richard Bustos of Dallas, a habit with which millions of Americans can doubtless identify. Bustos, a 34-year-old project manager for a telecommunications company, said he had not read any books in the last year and would rather spend time in his backyard pool.
That choice by Bustos and others is reflected in book sales, which have been flat in recent years and are expected to stay that way indefinitely. Analysts attribute the listlessness to competition from the Internet and other media, the unsteady economy and a well-established industry with limited opportunities for expansion.
When the Gallup Poll asked in 2005 how many books people had at least started — a similar but not directly comparable question — the typical answer was five. That was down from 10 in 1999, but close to the 1990 response of six.
In 2004, a National Endowment for the Arts report titled "Reading at Risk" found only 57 percent of American adults had read a book in 2002, a four percentage point drop in a decade. The study faulted television, movies and the Internet.
Who are the 27 percent of people the AP-Ipsos poll found hadn't read a single book this year? Nearly a third of men and a quarter of women fit that category. They tend to be older, less educated, lower income, minorities, from rural areas and less religious.
At the same time, book enthusiasts abound. Many in the survey reported reading dozens of books and said they couldn't do without them.
"I go into another world when I read," said Charlotte Fuller, 64, a retired nurse from Seminole, Fla., who said she read 70 books in the last year. "I read so many sometimes I get the stories mixed up."
Among those who said they had read books, the median figure — with half reading more, half fewer — was nine books for women and five for men. The figures also indicated that those with college degrees read the most, and people aged 50 and up read more than those who are younger.
Pollyann Baird, 84, a retired school librarian in Loveland, Colo., says J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter fantasy series is her favorite. But she has forced herself to not read the latest and final installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," because she has yet to file her income taxes this year due to an illness and worries that once she started the book, "I know I'd have to finish it."
People from the West and Midwest are more likely to have read at least one book in the past year. Southerners who do read, however, tend to read more books, mostly religious books and romance novels, than people from other regions. Whites read more than blacks and Hispanics, and those who said they never attend religious services read nearly twice as many as those who attend frequently.
There was even some political variety evident, with Democrats and liberals typically reading slightly more books than Republicans and conservatives.
The Bible and religious works were read by two-thirds in the survey, more than all other categories. Popular fiction, histories, biographies and mysteries were all cited by about half, while one in five read romance novels. Every other genre — including politics, poetry and classical literature — were named by fewer than five percent of readers.
More women than men read every major category of books except for history and biography. Industry experts said that confirms their observation that men tend to prefer nonfiction.
"Fiction just doesn't interest me," said Bob Ryan, 41, who works for a construction company in Guntersville, Ala. "If I'm going to get a story, I'll get a movie."
Those likeliest to read religious books included older and married women, lower earners, minorities, lesser educated people, Southerners, rural residents, Republicans and conservatives.
The publishing business totaled $35.7 billion in global sales last year, 3 percent more than the previous year, according to the Book Industry Study Group, a trade association. About 3.1 billion books were sold, an increase of less than 1 percent.
The AP-Ipsos poll was conducted from August 6 to 8 and involved telephone interviews with 1,003 adults. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Monday, August 20, 2007
We started out by going to the beach as a family. FUN! The kids are just a blast at the beach now, especially Zach, who is SO good at throwing the frisbee and football. C & Z have so much fun being boys together, while R & i scoop and scoop and scoop sand. Then the gang came home and we got ready and C & I went to Laguna to look at the art at the Pageant of the Masters. We love strolling about looking at so many gifted photographers & paintings. We left to go see the Bourne Ultimatum, which was a nice treat, and a super entertaining movie. (I seriously think Jason Bourne is far better than 007). Finished the night with a YUMMY, and I mean YUMMY, meal at the Melting Pot, 3 fondue courses to my heart's delight. (and boy did C enjoy the chocolate & rasberry pot for dessert!)
It was a fantastic day, and I am so thankful for my husband! love you C. (even though you will never see this because you never read my blog). (don't worry, it doesn't hurt my feelings.)
Some day I'll tell you, oh my many blog readers, the story of how it all started. We'll save that for the next installment! (maybe by then I'll have bribed my neighbor to scan some photos for me.) :)
Thursday, August 16, 2007
R thought the rocket was a little loud!
A fun time was had by all!!
brew a great cup. fill my cup with traditional 2 tsp splenda and 2 tsp non-dairy creamer, when out of the creamer is a dead, powdered fly. i looked at him with much distain.
sorrow. there goes my creamer. :(
repeat great cup. 2 new splenda and 2 tsp milk, but it is not the same. how i love my creamer.
BUT, determined to have a chipper attitude, I give you (thanks to Sarah) a list of 10 things for which i'm grateful:
1. that both hubby and i have strong christian families as our heritage to our children
2. that i can talk with the Living God freely, whenever I want about whatever I want
3. that my husband is so hands-on with our children
4. that my husband seeks to be a growing person
5. that i am under construction and God forgives when i mess up
6. that we have great, fun neighbors
7. that my children are healthy and happy
8. for my mother
9. that i have a small group of close friends
10. for some of the ways God is challenging us as a family in terms of comfort and being available and willing to take risks.
now we shall venture to the gym and the pet store (for viewing only).
Monday, August 13, 2007
eghads, it is not that i am offended. it is that i am UNCOMFORTABLE. i don't like to be asked it, and i don't like to witness it. :)
how about asking:
What fun things are you doing right now with your kids?
How is motherhood?
Are you reading any good books?
Did you enjoy any vacations this summer?
What are you learning right now?
What are you looking forward to?
How is your husband?
What is your best time of the day?
PULEEZ don't ask us if we are 'done' having children. i cannot handle it anymore. (if you are my close friend, you already know the answer). if you are not my close bud, it is none of your BUSINESS. (and i wouldn't ask you!) (unless you are my really, really good friend, unless you've earned some credibility, unless you've seen me looking horrible after a crying session, unless we've chatted over e-mail for the last 5 years (that's for you my sweet Susan).
ok, and i realize that most of you that read my blog, (you beloved 5 readers) probably know the answer. we are EXCITED to consider adoption. this is not default. this is choice and excitement and enthusiasm and calling. and yes we are freaked. :) puleez dont tell me your horrible adoption story. that sucks too.
now that we got that straight, PULEEZ don't be mad at me. :)
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
makes me think:
a. he's watching me. he watches me, how i react, what i say, my body language and expressions matter to him A LOT.
b. is he worried? is he looking to me for something . . . for approval maybe . . . or to see if i notice him . . . to get attention?
c. aren't i entitled to a little zone?
d. how do i respond to him? "honey, i can't smile all the time." "well, i was just spacin' out." "goodness, i don't know why i'm not smiling." ". . . because I'm concentrating on cooking, not on smiling."
what do YOU think? how should i respond? why do you think this is on his mind?
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Special thanks to Jason who taught our new sunday school class on Sunday. He spoke on the psalms, and the words that we speak to God. And what I liked most was when he touched on parts of his spiritual journey, and how different psalms spoke to him at different times of his life. I related a lot to this. That the psalms have been given to us as a tool to use as we speak to God. David, a man after God's heart, writes with vulnerability, openness, honesty during all sorts of emotions. His prayers show us how we might approach our Father during all phases of our spiritual journey.
So I meditated today on Psalm 1, and I chewed the first 3 verses a lot. Particularly the part about not walking in the counsel of the wicked. I wondered why i feel i need to seek counsel and the approval of so many people for certain choices that I make. (not always, but sometimes). I invited the criteria that 1). to value counsel and seek their approval they need to be people that know me, that speak into my life, that have journeyed with me and proven loyal and 2). to value counsel and seek their approval they need to be more than just "Christians"--they need to be believers pursuing growth, delighting in the Law of the Lord.
Is there any particular psalm that speaks to your life right now?
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Idleness. I've been working on being more productive with my days. i've turned off the TV and picked up oodles of books (I've really enjoyed this!). I hung some family pictures (finally!) in our hall closet! I've completed Z's photo book, with pictures from the first 2 years of his life. (Still need to do R). I've been proactive about playing with the kids, engaging them, taking them on fun outings and doing fun crafts. I've set the goal of going to the gym 3 times a week (so far so good). I've been having great prayer time with God. Work is going well, and I've had good progress on some projects. Altogether things are movin' along! YAY me! I'm getting it all done . . . right now at least.