Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hilarious e-Bay Listing by Busy Mom

Not sure how long e-Bay will leave this out there, but here is the listing of Pokemon cards we were laughing about last night! :)

Her is her item description:

I'm selling a bunch of Pokemon cards. Why? Because my kids sneaked them into my shopping cart while at the grocery store and I ended up buying them because I didn't notice they were there until we got home. How could I have possibly not noticed they were in my cart, you ask? Let me explain.
You haven’t lived until you’ve gone grocery shopping with six kids in tow. I would rather swim, covered in bait, through the English Channel, be a contestant on Fear Factor when they’re having pig brains for lunch, or do fourth grade math than to take my six kids to the grocery store. Because I absolutely detest grocery shopping, I tend to put it off as long as possible. There comes a time, however, when you’re peering into your fridge and thinking, ‘Hmmm, what can I make with ketchup, Italian dressing, and half an onion,’ that you decide you cannot avoid going to the grocery store any longer. Before beginning this most treacherous mission, I gather all the kids together and give them “The Lecture“.
“The Lecture“ goes like this…
MOM: “We have to go to the grocery store.”
KIDS: “Whine whine whine whine whine.“

MOM: “Hey, I don’t want to go either, but it’s either that or we’re eating cream of onion-ketchup soup and drinking Italian dressing for dinner tonight.”

KIDS: “Whine whine whine whine whine.“

MOM: “Now here are the rules: do not ask me for anything, do not poke the packages of meat in the butcher section, do not test the laws of physics and try to take out the bottom can in the pyramid shaped display, do not play baseball with oranges in the produce section, and most importantly, do not try to leave your brother at the store. Again.”

OK, the kids have been briefed. Time to go.

Once at the store, we grab not one, but two shopping carts. I wear the baby in a sling and the two little children sit in the carts while I push one cart and my oldest son pushes the other one. My oldest daughter is not allowed to push a cart. Ever. Why? Because the last time I let her push the cart, she smashed into my ankles so many times, my feet had to be amputated by the end of our shopping trip. This is not a good thing. You try running after a toddler with no feet sometime.

At this point, a woman looks at our two carts and asks me, “Are they all yours?” I answer good naturedly, “Yep!

“Oh my, you have your hands full.”

“Yes, I do, but it‘s fun!” I say smiling. I’ve heard all this before. In fact, I hear it every time I go anywhere with my brood.

We begin in the produce section where all these wonderfully, artistically arranged pyramids of fruit stand. There is something so irresistibly appealing about the apple on the bottom of the pile, that a child cannot help but try to touch it. Much like a bug to a zapper, the child is drawn to this piece of fruit. I turn around to the sounds of apples cascading down the display and onto the floor. Like Indiana Jones, there stands my son holding the all-consuming treasure that he just HAD to get and gazing at me with this dumbfounded look as if to say, “Did you see that??? Wow! I never thought that would happen!”

I give the offending child an exasperated sigh and say, “Didn’t I tell you, before we left, that I didn’t want you taking stuff from the bottom of the pile???”

“No. You said that you didn’t want us to take a can from the bottom of the pile. You didn’t say anything about apples.”

With superhuman effort, I resist the urge to send my child to the moon and instead focus on the positive - my child actually listened to me and remembered what I said!!! I make a mental note to be a little more specific the next time I give the kids The Grocery Store Lecture.

A little old man looks at all of us and says, “Are all of those your kids?”

Thinking about the apple incident, I reply, “Nope. They just started following me. I’ve never seen them before in my life.”

OK, now onto the bakery section where everything smells so good, I’m tempted to fill my cart with cookies and call it a day. Being on a perpetual diet, I try to hurry past the assortment of pies, cakes, breads, and pastries that have my children drooling. At this point the chorus of “Can we gets” begins.

“Can we get donuts?”


“Can we get cupcakes?”


“Can we get muffins?”


“Can we get pie?”


You’d think they’d catch on by this point, but no, they’re just getting started.

In the bakery, they’re giving away free samples of coffee cake and of course, my kids all take one. The toddler decides he doesn’t like it and proceeds to spit it out in my hand. (That’s what moms do. We put our hands in front of our children’s mouths so they can spit stuff into them. We’d rather carry around a handful of chewed up coffee cake, than to have the child spit it out onto the floor. I’m not sure why this is, but ask any mom and she’ll tell you the same.) Of course, there’s no garbage can around, so I continue shopping one-handed while searching for someplace to dispose of the regurgitated mess in my hand.

In the meat department, a mother with one small baby asks me, “Wow! Are all six yours?”

I answer her, “Yes, but I’m thinking of selling a couple of them.”

(Still searching for a garbage can at this point.)

Ok, after the meat department, my kids’ attention spans are spent. They’re done shopping at this point, but we aren’t even halfway through the store. This is about the time they like to start having shopping cart races. And who may I thank for teaching them this fun pastime? My seventh “child”, also known as my husband. While I’m picking out loaves of bread, the kids are running down the aisle behind the carts in an effort to get us kicked out of the store. I put to stop to that just as my son is about to crash head on into a giant cardboard cut-out of a Keebler elf stacked with packages of cookies.
Ah! Yes! I find a small trash can by the coffee machine in the cereal aisle and finally dump out the squishy contents of my hand. After standing in the cereal aisle for an hour and a half while the kids perused the various cereals, comparing the marshmallow and cheap, plastic toy content of each box, I broke down and let them each pick out a box. At any given time, we have twenty open boxes of cereal in my house.

As this is going on, my toddler is playing Houdini and maneuvering his little body out of the seat belt in an attempt to stand up in the cart. I’m amazed the kid made it to his second birthday without suffering a brain damaging head injury. In between trying to flip himself out of the cart, he sucks on the metal bars of the shopping cart. Mmmm, can you say “influenza”?

The shopping trip continues much like this. I break up fights between the kids now and then and stoop down to pick up items that the toddler has flung out of the cart. I desperately try to get everything on my list without adding too many other goodies to the carts.

Somehow I manage to complete my shopping in under four hours and head for the check-outs where my kids start in on a chorus of, “Can we have candy?” What evil minded person decided it would be a good idea to put a display of candy in the check-out lanes, right at a child’s eye level? Obviously someone who has never been shopping with children.

As I unload the carts, I notice many extra items that my kids have sneaked in the carts unbeknownst to me. I remove a box of Twinkies, a package of cupcakes, a bag of candy, and a can of cat food (we don’t even have a cat!). I somehow missed the box of Pokemon cards however and ended up purchasing them unbeknownst to me. As I pay for my purchases, the clerk looks at me, indicates my kids, and asks, “Are they all yours?”
Frustrated, exhausted from my trip, sick to my stomach from writing out a check for $289.53, dreading unloading all the groceries and putting them away and tired of hearing that question, I look at the clerk and answer her in my most sarcastic voice, “No. They’re not mine. I just go around the neighborhood gathering up kids to take to the grocery store because it’s so much more fun that way.”

So, up for auction is an opened (they ripped open the box on the way home from the store) package of Pokemon cards. There are 44 cards total. They're in perfect condition, as I took them away from the kiddos as soon as we got home from the store. Many of them say "Energy". I tried carrying them around with me, but they didn't work. I definitely didn't have any more energy than usual. One of them is shiny. There are a few creature-like things on many of them. One is called Pupitar. Hee hee hee Pupitar! (Oh no! My kids' sense of humor is rubbing off on me!) Anyway, I don't there's anything special about any of these cards, but I'm very much not an authority on Pokemon cards. I just know that I'm not letting my kids keep these as a reward for their sneakiness.

Shipping is FREE on this item. Insurance is optional, but once I drop the package at the post office, it is no longer my responsibility. For example, if my son decides to pour a bottle of glue into the envelope, or my daughter spills a glass of juice on the package, that’s my responsibility and I will fully refund your money. If, however, I take the envelope to the post office and a disgruntled mail carrier sets fire to it, a pack of wild dogs rip into it, or a mail sorting machine shreds it, it’s out of my hands, so you may want to add insurance. I will leave feedback for you as soon as I’ve received your payment. I will be happy to combine shipping on multiple items won within three days. This comes from a smoke-free, pet-free, child-filled home. Please ask me any questions before placing your bid. Happy bidding! :)

Check out her blog.

The Farley Family

Hi ladies! I just wanted to share the link to Boothe & Conor Farley's blog. This is the amazing family that we prayed for in class tonight. Many of you either know the Farley's from the pre-school or have been following their journey with baby Copeland via the blog, but for those who don't know their story, I encourage you to take the time to read their story from the beginning.

The Farley's lost Copeland, their one week old daughter earlier today, so please remember them in your prayers in the days and weeks to come.

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Your favorite place to go or thing to do to treat yourself

Last post from me tonight, I promise. Please share some of your favorite places to go to treat yourself or share your favorite thing to do whenever you carve out some "alone" time.
My favorite things - when the boys were really little and I needed a sanity break I went to a movie by myself a couple of times. I actually enjoyed it a lot and came home refreshed. I also loved our women's retreats at our church in TX. We had one in the spring and one in the fall. I miss those. Now I love to sit on our back deck alone, read, or watch a chick flick late at night when Pat is out of town (and I always fix myself popcorn and coke). Walks are also great! Dinner or lunch with a girlfriend is wonderful. On special occasions Pat has given me gift certificates to Blue River Canyon in Brentwood and that is an extra special treat for me. Please share. I'd love to hear from you.

Okay, I debated on whether or not to post this because this spring I bought some jeans that look quite a bit like the ones in this skit. Oh well, I can laugh at myself. I also thought this one was appropriate since we will be discussing Chapter 3 this Wednesday night titled Take Care of the Caregiver. Hope it has been a great week. See you Wednesday!

We must laugh at ourselves, right? This is funny!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

So this isn't some deep post about our book or anything, BUT does anyone have or know someone that might have two things we are looking for Halloween: an adult Captain Hook costume and a kids Peter Pan? We thought it'd be fun to do the whole family thing, but don't want to spend $80 for Jeff to dress up!! Thanks for checking

By the way I really am enjoying getting to know those of you I didn't already know. This book is just good info and I can't think of a better way to spend my Wednesday night than listening to the fact that we are not alone. We all struggle with this whole MOM/WIFE thing and need the encouragement.

See you on Wednesday...Christy

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Infamous Proverbs 31 Woman

The book Cynthia asked me to mention is "Mom PhD(Positive Home Director)" by Teresa Bell Kindred, which I cannot completely recommend b/c I am still at the beginning. The book is based on the Proverbs 31 woman. I bought it b/c I am intrigued and challenged (and yes - overwhelmed) by this woman and wanted to study her further.

However! The book I mentioned last night in class is actually a different book. I wanted to share a little of it with you. . . (I have picked out my favorite parts and so this is not a complete quote.)

"We're all busy, and this is not only a characteristic of a woman of the 21st century. The Old Testament reveals a woman in Proverbs 31 who was quite busy as well. Below you will find the passage. Each verse is also paraphrased **{which I have omitted}**, and a modern-day comment is offered as well:

10-A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
(Character is the main issue.)

13-She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
(She takes classes to learn how to make things from scratch.)

14-She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
(She goes to the farmer's market for the best vegetables instead of the grocery store.)

16-She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
(She is good at Internet trading or has her own Mary Kay business.) :-)

17-She sets about her work vigorously, her arms are strong for her tasks.
(She stays fit and pumps iron so she can physically do all that she needs to do.)

18-She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
(Her Internet trading is going well, but she makes sure she has a nest egg.)

21-When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
(She buys quality clothes off-season and is always prepared.)

24-She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
(She makes things to sell at the Christmas bazaar.)

25-She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
(She has strong faith that waves off worry.)

26-She speaks with wisdom. She gives faithful instruction.
(She can be counted on to speak with wisdom, and she teaches those in her charge well.)

27-She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
(She is aware of all that goes on under her roof and is sensitives to the needs of all those who live there. She doesn't sit and watch the afternoon talk shows.) **{even Dr. Phil?}**

28-Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
(Her children think they have the "best mom in the world" and they tell her so.)

30-Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
(She is the real thing. Her faith is her strength and is worthy of praise.)

31-Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
(God will say in the final day, "Well done, good and faithful servant!)"

**{SO - here is the point that I liked}**

"I realize that the woman of Proverbs 31 is intimidating to say the least, but so is Jesus. We know that we cannot reach perfection here on earth. The call is to become aware of what God praises and to aspire to do those same good things. Elisa Morgan, president of MOPS International commented, 'Whether or not the Proverbs 31 woman is one spectacular woman or a composite of several women, we can take heart from the truth that few of us can ever exhibit all of these qualities at once. And God does not expect us to. What he desires is that our attitudes and actions are yielded to him whether we are sitting at the city's gates or by the home fires.'

Look to this list of qualities and see which ones you can work on today. Are you yielded to God?"

--Vicki Caruana "The Organized Home Schooler"

To me that's a positive spin on the Proverbs 31 woman. I'm sure we can all see ourselves somewhere in that passage along with things we need to work on. Thanks for this class!

Go Moms!!

Because God Sees

This is the email Kathryn Roberson mentioned on Wednesday. Be blessed!

I sure needed to read this message. To all my "invisible" sisters out there, enjoy!

I'm invisible! It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?"

I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?"

I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in.

I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean.

My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic,when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte,with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals- we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become." At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Momma is okay!

A couple of years ago, a fellow "harried old stranger" shared this with me. It has lived near my computer to remind me often of my priorities and remind me why I do the things I do and make the sacrifices I do as a mom. Despite the absence of raises, bonuses, paychecks and sometimes just adult conversation, my calling is my three boys.

The house is a mess; the dishes are dirty.
I'm too old for this stuff; I'm well over thirty!
The car is not clean; my house is a wreck.
And I've already spent next Friday's paycheck.

The laundry needs washing; the kids are too rowdy.
And I never have time for a leisurely "Howdy!"
With all that I do, it's never enough.
It's never quite finished; it always looks rough.

I looked in the mirror and what did I see?
A harried old stranger where I used to be.
The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.
Today is tomorrow, and I'm not caught up yet!

My kids are growing at such a fast pace,
That I'm missing their childhood for the sake of this race!
I work and I clean and I cook, and I say
"Hit the books!" "Clean your room!" There's no time for play.

Well, the Lord, for some reason, chose ME with the care
Of three of His children, but I'm rarely there!
I've GOT to slow down, lest there's nothing to show
For my role as their mom when they pack up and go!

I'm only one person, but look through my door.
What appears to be one divides into more!
I'm a chauffeur, a cook, a planter of trees,
A teacher, an umpire, a mender of knees.

Sometimes, I forget that deep down inside,
There's a lady with feelings, and last night, she cried.
She gets tired and lonely, feels taken for granted.
She wants to see blooms from the seeds that she's planted.

Then, amidst all the turmoil in this mind-bending pace,
My little ones look at me square in the face...
And just when I need it, they all in one day
Say "Momma, I love you" and then I'm okay!