Thursday, February 24, 2011

That Volkswagen Rabbit

It has been a really, really long time since I've done a Five Question Friday with Mama M. But alas, I desperately need a writing prompt, so here goes!



1. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes. I sure can. And actually, my parents made me learn how to drive on a 1984 Volkswagon Rabbit. That's right. So stylish. My mom was known for this car (which, in real life was a silver color, not a green one...but you needed a mental image of some sort)!











How mean, huh? It was not as easy as the newer stick shift cars, and I remember being in tears more than a few times when I couldn't get the car to move forward in first gear in our driveway! After I got my licence, I gave up on the idea of driving anywhere because I just did not feel comfortable enough to drive my mom's car - dad had a truck, and it was a stick shift, too! Thankfully, I ended up getting my own car six months after I got my license. And it was far more stylish :)









2. What are two foods you just can't eat? Oh, my word...I cannot stand sauerkraut. Even the smell makes me want to gag! I am also not a fan of ham and beans. If I were to be stranded on a desert island and these were my only options, I would probably die.

3. Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies? What is your favorite kind? Did you by chance see this story I wrote two years ago? You should. I was traumatized for life and haven't really been able to buy Girl Scout cookies ever since. But before that, I did. And my favorite is Carmel Delights, formerly known as Samoas.












How could someone not love this cookie?

4. How do you pamper yourself? There are some really simple things I do that I consider pampering myself. For one, I treat myself to a Cafe Mocha from Panera at least once a week. It's not much, but it's a tiny piece of heaven to me when I get one! I also love taking afternoon naps on a Saturday afternoon, or having "me" time on a random evening. Every 8 weeks (or longer if I can stretch it) I get my hair highlighted by Ashley's sister, and I most definitely consider that pampering myself...and I love it.

5. What is your nickname and how did you get it? Well, Christina is my legal name, so technically Chrissy is a nickname of sorts. I started going by Chrissy the first week of college at SBU. My roommate and I had the same name, and my dad's side of the family had called me Chrissy anyway, so I told her I'd just go by that so we could ease the confusion. The truth is, I sort of wanted to change my name. Call it a "fresh start" sort of thing. No one knew me there, so I could be someone new. It's funny when I hear someone call me Christina now. It lets me know that they must have met me before the fall of 1998. I've also written about this nickname - which means a lot to me.



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Great Weight Update

The title has a nice ring, doesn't it?

Actually, I have nothing new to report except that I have not included any before and after pictures within the previous weight loss posts. In December I put together this picture and posted on my facebook:















The Chrissy on the left was in July. The Chrissy on the right was in December. She is 25 pounds lighter on the right.

I am still stalled at that weight. I can't say that I'm unhappy with where I am, but I just know I need to keep going to be in a healthy range.

Have any of my weight loss journeyers (is that a word?) ever stalled for this long? What keeps you going once you've hit the mid-way point?



Monday, February 21, 2011

Brothers and Sisters

Lately, I've been thinking.
































Do you suppose that a boy who has a sister has a different perspective on women when he becomes an adult? Is there anything to be said for the fact that he watched her grow, interacted with her on a daily basis, had to understand how to respect her and how to treat her, knew what made her tick, etc.

Do the men you know or have known...have you ever noticed a difference in them if they had a sister or not?

It's just something I've been thinking of...lately...


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Frustrated About Potty

It was the end of May in 2007, and Caleb was 2 years, 9 months old to be exact. We finally decided to just put him in underwear and stick with it, no turning back. It was tough at first, but he eventually got it, and I would say in a few weeks, by some point in June, he was officially potty trained. And even though some have trouble with "the other" side of it - that is, the poopy training - he actually picked up on that just fine as well.

Then came the night-time battle.

I knew it was normal for children not to get it right away, so we had Pull-Ups on hand only for bed time. Each night, I'd have him go potty and then put on his Pull-Up so that we did not have to continually wash sheets night after night. Eventually, or so I thought, he would not have to wear them at night time. He would go before bed, and he would learn/know to wake up if he had to go in the middle of the night.

Six months passed.

A year passed.

Along came my second child in the potty training realm, and surprisingly to me, she was night-time potty trained pretty much right when she was day-time potty trained.

But not Caleb.

And here we are, years later, and at 6 1/2 years old, he still cannot go a full night without wetting his Pull-Up. Since he is so much bigger now, we have actually converted to Goodnites since those are for big kids.

















Last night Caleb came to me and said, "Mommy, I'm out of Pull-Ups." I looked at Josh, and he looked at me. "Do you want me to go get some?" he asked. "No, let's just have him go a few times, and even wake him up a little later. It should be ok."

At 7:30 pm, Caleb put on his pj's and went to the bathroom.

At 9:00 pm, he had already been asleep for a bit, but Josh woke him, and he went again.

At 10:30 pm, I thought we'd better try one more time, so Josh woke him, and he went again.

Yes, he pottied all three times. A lot. Yes, I limit his liquid intake, pretty much nothing after dinner, and he still goes like this!

By 12:45 am, Caleb came into our room, tapped on my arm, and said, "Mommy, my pants are wet." I was so frustrated, but of course, I wasn't upset with him. He evidently can't help it.

I am at a loss with this. I know he is obviously not the only child his age - or even older - who does this considering there is an entire line of products for it. But it's still frustrating for me. Especially after last night, when he went to the bathroom THREE TIMES and still had an accident by 12:45.

And for some reason, I am really sensitive about this issue. I can't believe I wrote about it to be honest. But I'm hoping for tips or ideas. I'd LOVE to not have to buy Goodnites anymore, especially considering I'm about to potty train my third child. I'd like to be free of all things that resemble a diaper!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Signs That I'm Old

Written July 11, 2009.

I have come to realize over the last year or two that I can no longer hide the fact that I am approaching oldness. The following habits or happenings are evidence that could be held against me.

1. I love to watch Wheel of Fortune every night at 6:30. We finish dinner and I turn on Channel 5 with excitement.

2. I usually have coffee after dinner. This is what my parents do.

3. I am always THRILLED to plan a trip to Branson (Branson? Really? Branson?), especially during the Christmas season.













4. I was telling my mom how much I like the new Ford Taurus, and as we were sitting together eating breakfast at a restaurant, I saw one pull up. "Look, there it is," I said to her. And an 80-year-old man got out of it.

5. And (one of the most embarrassing moments of my life I think) when we went to Splash Zone a couple weeks ago, I looked over and noticed that a 60-year-old woman had the exact same swimming suit as I did.

Oh, for shame. It is possible that I am no longer cool.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

John 3:16

Much like many of my mommy friends and fellow mommy bloggers, I work with my kids on scripture memorization. It's something I did as a child, and I think it truly developed my love for God and His word. It has formed who I am, and my understanding of scripture and basics on where a concept is located in the Bible (especially the New Testament) are directly linked to the time I spent learning verses as a child and a youth.

I remember learning Psalm 23 as a seven or eight-year-old, and that was a really big deal to me at the time. It is quite a long passage for a young child.

And I knew the day would come when Caleb finally would learn John 3:16. It's like the cornerstone of the Christian faith - the one passage that all believers know. The one that people write on poster board and take with them to professional sporting events.

This past Monday, Caleb had to recite it for his Upward basketball practice. I recorded it before we left.

video

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (Notice he said "sent His only son" rather than "gave His only son"...maybe that's the CRV...Caleb Revised Version?) :)

I love the inflection in his voice when he says, "...should not perish..." It makes me smile. And if you ask him to say it, he will recite it exactly the same way every time.

This is probably the longest scripture he's learned so far, and he learned it rather quickly. The fact that kids can memorize so easily makes me realize that this really is the perfect time to incorporate God's word in their lives. They just soak it up like a sponge!


"My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart." Proverbs 7:1-3


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

About Albert

Being a Missouri native and one who has lived here her entire life, I can't help but be a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan. It's just in my blood. For as long as I can remember, I've been watching the games, whether on TV or with my mom and dad at Busch Stadium - the old one and now the new one! Phrases like, "And that's a winner!" or "Go crazy, folks, go crazy!" are like a part of a person who is a true fan. A Cardinals fan remembers where they were when they saw Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run on September 8, 1998 - I was sitting in a dorm lobby, on a couch, next to the window with a few friends. We literally jumped out of our seats screaming with excitement.

Yes, I love the Cardinals.














Recently the big news about the Cardinals is whether or not they will keep Albert Pujols. You've probably heard about it. Or maybe not. Maybe it's just plastered all over the St. Louis news like it's the only event happening in the world today. I guess it sort of feels like that to us who are fans. We love the guy. It's hard not to, especially since he's been called the greatest player to have ever stepped on the field.

But here is the problem: he rejected the first offer by the Cardinals, and news reports are saying he wants 30 million over 10 years. Now I'm not an expert on professional sports, but I have watched professional baseball my entire life, and I know enough to say that injuries happen. Signing anyone for that length of time seems crazy to me.

That's not really the issue for me, though.

The issue is this: I am a fan of all the St. Louis news stations on Facebook, and I keep reading people's opinions on the matter. They range from simplistic to complex. Some can say, in just two words, "SIGN HIM!" Others say in three words, "SEND HIM PACKING!"

But then there are those who put his character and belief system into question. "I thought he was different. I thought he was a Christian. What kind of person would expect that kind of money?" Or "I have grandchildren who really look up to him, but all I see from him right now is greed."

I guess I'm not sure what I think. Does this change your view of an individual? I would think that if anyone could make more money somewhere else doing the same job that they love, they would go. But at what cost? Albert has said he loves St. Louis. Is he just thinking dollar signs? What if he goes and hates it?

And the bottom line: does this hurt his integrity? Obviously it has changed how some people see him. Is that worth it?


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Golden Years

He was an older man, in his late seventies, and I knew he was frustrated about all the medical procedures he was having to endure. He looked at me, sincerity in his eyes, and said, "You know, I'm not sure why they call these the golden years. When I look at you, I realize that you are the one in the golden years."

I let it sink in.

I wonder if he knew how much those two sentences would impact me. I'm sure he didn't think that I would think about it all day, tell others, and write about it on my blog. But I am. And I have thought about it ever since he said it.

You are the one in the golden years.

Do we realize this? Those of you reading who are my age, going through similar life happenings - do you realize that someone in their late 70's wants us to know how great this time in our life is?

Do I know that these moments...















...are probably the best days of my life?

I wish he knew how much I will remember him. His face, his movements, his words. He impacted me with just a simple phrase.

You are the one in the golden years.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Birds of the Air

Written March 12, 2010

Yesterday morning while Caleb was at preschool, I was cuddling on the couch with Sarah and Gabriel, watching Word World, and spelling the words along with them (occasionally giggling along with them, too).

The window that displays our front yard distracted me frequently, however. I found myself looking at our Bradford Pear trees, realizing that any day now they are going to bloom and look like this. The sky was just the perfect shade of blue, and the clouds were the fluffy white kind - "Simpson's clouds" as Mrs. Haid once described a sky - which perfectly accented the view I was having.

I am often mesmerized by the birds that fancy our yard. My favorite, of course, are the bright red Cardinals. They are so gorgeous in the winter, and since spring hasn't quite arrived yet, they still add some beautiful color to an otherwise dull landscape.

And there he was...












...perched on one of our trees was the prettiest Cardinal. I couldn't help but stare. As I got up to look closer, Sarah asked me what I saw outside. I explained and pointed in the direction of the bird, and she became excited, too!

Every time I watch the birds in our yard, I can't help but recall a scripture that means so much to me...and should mean a lot to anyone who has worried about...well...just about anything! It's a part of the "do not worry" passage in Matthew...

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:26

Yes, I really do think of that scripture. Every time. I think it's the Lord's way of reminding me EACH TIME I watch those sweet, beautiful creatures that He loves me and I am even more valuable to Him than they are.

He takes care of them.

He will take care of me.

I love when the weather breaks and I'm able to play outside with my kiddos. I am then even closer to the birds of the air, and in those moments, I often feel closer to Him as well.



Photo credit CrabAppleLane Wildlife


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Life in a Book

You may have noticed that I've posted some of my old entries within the last week. It's my attempt at getting back to posting more frequently, and I'll probably do it again this month. Especially some of the ones from 2009 when I only had about 40 followers or so, hopefully if I have "re-runs" from that year, you've not read it yet!

My favorite part about looking through old entries is that it's made me get out my Traveling Light book. That's right. I have it in book form.



















You see, my sweet sister had my blog turned into a book for my 30th birthday. So all of my writings from 2009 are in hard copy form. It is like reliving moments I had already forgotten about. It really makes me smile since I did a pretty good job of writing down silly moments - like this one - or frustrating moments - like this one or this one - throughout the year.

I need to turn my 2010 writings into book form as well. It's something I want to do every year. I sincerly wish I had started writing A LONG TIME AGO. How fun would it be to flip through the pages of a book from 10 years ago? Or 15 years ago? Boy, that would be a good laugh, wouldn't it - reading the drama from the teen-aged me?

And I wonder what I will think when I look back at what I've written. When I'm 50 and I read about potty training, will I just smile and think, "Oh, Chrissy...don't you miss those days?"

I guessing that's exactly what I'll say.

I would strongly encourage you, if you have a blog, to turn it into printed form. My sister used blurb.com to do mine, and I'm very happy with how it turned out. I would also encourage you, if you don't have a blog, to either start one or find a way to write down the day-to-day happenings in your life. In the olden days, it was called a journal! You'll be glad you did. Really.

"Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten."


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Eyelashes

Today's theme for Shutter Love Tuesday over at the Trendy Treehouse is eyelashes.

The Trendy Treehouse

I thought about it a lot, looked through some of my pictures, and really couldn't come up with anything that I thought would fit just right.

Then one of my sweet friends posted a picture on Facebook. She is an AMAZING artist and also AMAZING at graphic design. I am in awe of all of her work.

Thank you for letting me share this, Anna Brady! God has truly given you a gift! And of course you are beautiful considering this is your eye! :)




















Monday, February 7, 2011

Sharing Joy

Written September 17, 2009

Yesterday, I called one of my best friends just to chat, and right after she said, "Hey, you!" and I said, "Hi, there!" I could hear excitement in her voice as she continued, "Did you read on facebook what my husband purchased online for us yesterday...for our six-year anniversary?" I hadn't been on facebook, so I told her I didn't know yet!

"Tickets to see Phantom of the Opera in October at the Fox! I can't believe it! He doesn't even like musicals, so it means so much to me that he would go with me and see it!"

My heart felt joy for her. "Wow, that's awesome! I am genuinely happy for you!"

I interjected the word genuinely in that sentence for a specific purpose. She understands me, so I went on to discuss the fact that I added that word. "You know, sometimes it's been hard for me to be genuinely happy for others. This summer I've been struggling to feel that way when someone tells me something good in their lives."

She had been there, too. She knew where I was coming from.

It is when I am struggling with my own heart issues that feeling joy for others in their time of excitement over their husband, their child, their job, their vacation, etc. becomes difficult. If I find myself reading about someone else's joy, and I cannot bring myself to share in their joy with them, I know I need to take a step back and evaluate myself.

Luke 6:45 says, "For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."

I believe you could even change that verse to say, "For out of the overflow of his heart, his mind thinks." My attitude towards others is directly linked to my heart issues.

So if you ever read about someone's child getting an A on the test, or someone's husband who bought a dozen roses, or someone's boss who gave them a raise or promotion...and you can't share in their joy and you perhaps feel like saying, "WELL, SO?" It might be time to evaluate your heart.

And believe me, it's so much nicer to share in that joy.



Saturday, February 5, 2011

It Takes Me Back

My sister writes the winter guard shows for her high school and middle school groups. I always love when she shares her song choices and uniform choices with me because I love her taste and love being asked, "So, what do you think?!" She knows far more than I do about it, but it's still sweet that she asks!

This year her song selection for her middle school group is Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something. At first she was going to do the original version, but since the first time we talked it's been changed to an instrumental version - which I love, too!

The funny thing is, that song really takes me back to my freshman and sophomore years of high school! I can just close my eyes and see myself in the hallways. I can see who I was with and what I looked like. I can see myself sitting in my classes, going to after school practices, and hanging out with friends.





But the sad thing is, when Sonja played the song for the girls, none of them knew it! Can you believe that?! :) When she told me, I realized that all of them hadn't even been born yet when that song came out. Which, of course, makes me feel OLD!

And that's ok. I still love that song. It feels like a part of my history.

Which song takes you back?


Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Cool Shoes

Written on August 14, 2009.

It was the Sunday evening of tax-free weekend, and somehow I managed to get out of the house on my own and travel to Wal-Mart to see if I could pick up Caleb's preschool supplies and perhaps a clothing item or two (if the price was right). I did have a pair of shoes in mind for Caleb after seeing them at the Wal-Mart in Kalamazoo (yes, I went to Wal-Mart several times on my vacation)!

As I walked through the kids shoe aisle, I noticed a young mom with her son, trying on a pair or two. I looked to see which ones they were looking at, and I'm pretty sure they were the same kind that I wanted to buy for Caleb. Since the aisle was full, I pushed my cart to the next one where the girl shoes were located. But I was close enough to overhear what the mom said to the boy.

"Now we're going to keep these shoes in a box in your closet, and if I hear you complaining about [such and such...I don't remember what she specifically said] we are going to take your COOL PUMA SHOES away and you will have to wear these not-so-cool shoes."














For a moment, I think my heart skipped a beat. I'm not sure if I was mad, frustrated, embarrassed, who knows. I do know that I felt something.

I thought to myself, "So if my children were around her children, they would know for sure that my kids had not-so-cool shoes on. Not because THEY would have thought it on their own, but they were TOLD so."

Ugh.

I did not buy those shoes that night. That comment did not keep me from buying them, but I have to admit, it was really hard to hear for some reason. It was upsetting that a child was already being taught that something was cool or not as determined by the name brand or where it was purchased. As I've shared before, my kids have lived in hand-me-downs their entire lives. When I do find something new, it's like these shoes I'm writing about for only $10.

So I'm still trying to digest that experience. It makes school uniforms all that much more appealing.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday















The other really nice thing I received for Christmas. Thanks, Mom.
December 22, 2010.




Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shadows

This week's theme for Shutter Love Tuesday over at Trendy Treehouse is shadows. It's fun to be participating again, but I sure picked a hard theme to try and get back into the swing of things!

The Trendy Treehouse

I started going through some old albums on facebook, and this picture made me smile. It's by far my favorite "shadow" picture, and I'll tell you why.












When I've shared it in another entry, I actually cropped the shadow. If you look just at Caleb, he looks like he has perfect putting form! Just like the pros! But as you let your eyes glance over to the shadow, you can see that his hands are not where they are supposed to be at all!

And that's ok. There's still time to correct his form and teach him how to be a spectacular golfer, right?! :)