Friday, May 30, 2008

This post is dedicated to the Wal-Mart associate who is having her third child by her third husband.

Summer break is finally here and I am so glad to have all of the kids at home (check with me in a week, I may feel differently?) I have lots planned and I have a "skeleton" schedule of how my day should go, just so I don't waste my summer days being lazy. I'm going to go over the schedule with the kids today so that Monday morning we will all be on track. Good Luck to me!

I hope you all got my email with the MSN video attachment, and I hope that you learned something about yourself and others as you watched it. I don't feel the need to discuss this much but, on a more personal note, I want you to know that my family is like any other. We have "issues" that we deal with that others don't, but likewise, you probably have something in your household that you deal with that your neighbors don't have to. It's not necessarily bad, it's just an "issue". Some families, may have a grandparent that lives with them, some families may only see their extended family once a year. Some may have a child with a disability, some may have a child who sleeps in the bed with mom and dad, some moms are raising their children without a father in the home, etc., etc. None of these are horrible scenarios, they are just issues that others deal with that I don't have to. Jeff and I are raising 4 children, two of them are bi-racial and two of them are white, that's our of them anyways! Our goal for all our children is to raise them to be educated, confident, independent, God-fearing, humble, successful, happy people. I tell Summer and JD all the time how special they are, I will tell Colton and Sydney the same things as they get older. The color of their skin is not the deciding factor of whether they have happy, successful lives. That happiness depends on how they feel about themselves and how resilient they are.

I would like to pose these questions to those of you who have children...Are you raising your children to feel good about who they are? Are you teaching your children to listen to their own inner voice, or do you encourage them to listen to others voices, to let others decide who they are, to let other people's words have power over their lives? So what if your child only has one parent who is active in their life, so what if your child has a learning disability, so what if they look different from the "norm", so what if they are not enrolled in every activity they want to be in and you don't buy them everything their classmates have, so what if they are adopted. Why should those factors, and many others, cripple your children emotionally? Why do we give the circumstances in our lives power to define who we are?

On the same note, but a little lighter...Wal-Mart is ALWAYS an adventure for me when I take my children in. Usually it's just the chaos of keeping up with everyone, but yesterday as I was going through the check-out, the lovely Wal-Mart associate made a comment that I hear a lot..."Boy, you've got your hands full!" I just politely nodded and then she asked me if I was a foster mom. What? I told her (again politely...against my initial reaction) that they were all mine. As if that explanation wasn't enough, she then makes a really inappropriate facial expression and asks, "Well, how'd that happen?" I simply said..."The oldest 2 are from my first marriage and the youngest 2 are from my second marriage."

I guess because of the uniqueness of my family, I NEVER raise my eyebrows when I see children who don't look like their parents. There are lots of scenarios and I really don't think twice about the hows and whys of blended or multi-racial families, so it shocks me when people ask me questions like that. I really wanted to say, "What do you think happened?"

Please, the next time you see a blended family, think of me and my children before you open your mouth and ask a stupid question. Just think about it silently and see if you can figure it out...if still you can't figure it out just leave it really isn't any of your business to begin with.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why did the chicken cross the road?

I copied and pasted this from another blog, so feel free to do the same if you want to send this to someone. I have no idea who the author is. My favorites are Dr. Suess and Ernest Hemingway. Have a good laugh!

Why did the chicken cross the road?

BARACK OBAMA:The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!

JOHN MC CAIN:My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON:When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure -- right from Day One! -- that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn't about me.......

DR. PHIL:The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.

OPRAH:Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

GEORGE W. BUSH:We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

COLIN POWELL:Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road...

ANDERSON COOPER - CNN:We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

JOHN KERRY:Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

NANCY GRACE:That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN:To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART:No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS:Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY:To die in the rain. Alone.

GRANDPA:In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS:Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE:It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON:Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES:I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of the Chicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^(C% .......... reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN:Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

BILL CLINTON:I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE:I invented the chicken!


DICK CHENEY:Where's my gun?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

He should have made me put my nose in the corner

I told my sister, Dede, I was going to write about this. I hope it's entertaining, but if not, read it anyway. There is something to be learned by someone else's mistakes.

Last Thursday was JD's preschool graduation. For the sake of convenience I decided that we should all get dressed at my mother's house...probably not real convenient for her...but never-the-less, that's what we did. So, me and my four children ate dinner and changed clothes AND miraculously, were fed, dressed, and ready to go by 5:45pm. I had decided that, in order to get good seats, have the camera and video recorder set up, and have JD in his classroom on time, we would need to leave my mother's house (that means pulling out of the driveway) by 6:05 for the 7pm program.

Now watch and see how my evening begins to unravel...

*Promptly at 6pm Summer comes to me and says that she wants to change her pants because they were wet from the rain. "Fine, just move fast." *6:o1, JD decides that he needs to use the bathroom. "OK, but go fast, we need to leave immediately, if not before."
*All of a sudden, Sydney starts screaming. "Alright little one, I will feed you but hurry it up or we're going to be late" Like she really know what I'm talking about!
*All the while, Colton is destroying my mother's living room as I begin to yell at the top of my lungs, "Quit, put it back, leave it alone, get away from there, stop it now, No no Colton, NO...NO!

Remember, at this point I have been confined to a chair by my nursing baby who will now only nurse from the right side during day light hours (odd!), even though I am engorged beyond belief and leaking from my left side (with no nursing pads within reach). At this point, and out of pure necessity, I have pushed our departure time back to 6:15. " We are leaving in 10 minutes, everybody move toward the vehicle!"

*Next, Summer tromps thru the living room in turquois capris,which match nothing she has on. "What are you wearing? No! Go change back into your other pants. I don't care if they are wet, suck it up!" She starts to cry, but goes to change.
*Then JD walks in the room with not only are his pants down and shirt untucked, but also his tie off and his shirt unbuttoned! "Why are you undressed? Was all this necessary just to use the bathroom?! Get over here now!" He starts to cry, but walks over and allows me to re-dress him as I continue to rant like a mad woman.
*All the while I am still redirecting Colton by telling him everything that he is NOT allowed to touch. Out of frustration, he starts crying.
*Then Sydney fills her pants. So I begin to ramble under my breath about how inconvenient a time it is for my 2 month old to take a poo. It would be nice if she could have waited until another time! Can't she see how irritated I am at the moment?

So, Summer changes, I get JD redressed, change Sydney's diaper, and quickly pick up mom's living room. We all get in the van and arrive at the church in plenty of time to get JD to his class and sit down...with time to spare.

As I sat watching my little boy graduate from preschool, I thought about my evening. I thought about what I jerk I was to my children, I thought about how God was so faithful to me and how very unfaithful I am to him. All I wanted were good seats...but I lost my cool and made my kids feel like it would be all their fault if I didn't get to sit where I wanted to. How stupid is that? And despite the way that I behaved, God provided my good seats anyways. He should have made me go sit in the corner...that's what I deserved.

Motherhood is HARD. I am not perfect. I did not read a book or take a class on how to raise children. I'm wingin' it just like everyone else. I want so badly to be the mom that my children need me to be. I want to be the kind of parent to them that God is to me...Gentle, loving, forgiving, slow to anger. The truth is I can't do this alone. I need His example and His forgivness everyday.

I apoligized to the kids later that night for the way that I had behaved. I want to be transparent to my children, I want them to know that I make mistakes...big ones and little ones, and that I will apoligize to them when I am wrong. I want them to know that I am not perfect, and if they are looking for perfection it's not in me, nor them, nor any person on this earth. They need to keep their eyes on Christ. As good a mommy as I try to be and as good a person as I try to be, there is one thing that I can guarantee my children, friends, and family...I will let you down.

That's why as parents we need to offer Christ to our children from an early age so that when parents, friends, future spouses, or just the world in general let's them down, they have someone to hold on to that will never let them down.

I am so blessed to be a child of God...He is a good Daddy.

Lord, help me to be a better Mommy, I want to be like you.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Chickens have lice, Goats stink

Summer came home from school on Friday and wanted to know if she could bring home some baby chics. Apparently, one of the teachers at school let her students incubate some eggs and not all of the children were allowed to take their chics home ( I don't have a clue why!), so the teacher was asking for volunteers to give the chics suitable homes.

That very same afternoon on our way home, we passed a small farm with goats and JD had the wonderful idea that we should get a goat. A farmer had brought some goats and lhamas to their school to learn about a few interesting farm animals. JD shared with me that the farmer had told his class that some goats were like pets and they were very sweet.

What a splendid idea! Chickens and goats! Yes, yes, and yes...actually we should get two chickens and two goats because everyone needs friends, right? I will inform Jeff immediately that we will be aquiring some new pets and that he should make the appropriate housing arrangements......whatever they may be... - sayeth the non-country girl.

Done, it was that easy...only in my head of course! When I oh-so-casually explained this to Jeff, just as I had rehearsed in my mind, he quickly squashed all my plans!

Jeff- Gina, we don't have a place to put chickens and goats!
Gina- I thought you could build something.
Jeff- When do you expect me to do that?
Gina- Well, can't they just stay outside?
Jeff- Gina, we don't have a farm!
Gina- 3/4 of an acre is big enough for two chickens and two goats, isn't it?
Jeff- ...and 4 kids and a dog too!!?! NO! IT'S NOT ENOUGH ROOM! I grew up on a farm, I know about this kind of stuff.
Gina-I thought it would be good for the kids to have something to take care of.
Jeff- YEH RIGHT! You said that when you brought the dog home. You know good and well
who will be taking take of them. ME!
Jeff-Look.... chickens have lice (proceeded by some story that horrified me and made me itch),
and goats stink (he knows that I hate smelly animals- I can deal with smelly children but
NOT smelly animals).

Gina-.....could we get a cat?
Jeff-...(pause)...(pause)...(then hesitently)...we can get a cat .

Gina-Can we get two?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Quiet Blessings

It's 10 pm and all is quiet. I do love these moments, but it always feels like something isn't right, I am so use to hearing noise all the time, even just the breath of a baby lying next to me. It's moments like this that I have time to clear my head and remember all that I have to be thankful for. I told someone the other day how "blessed" I was . And as I walked away I thought about the meaning the word blessing. Now, I haven't looked it up but here is what *I* think it means..."a gift which I do not deserve and could never earn, a valuable present which I could not ever afford, luck beyond understanding."

Sunday was my little sister's birthday. She turned 26 and most everyone in my family turned out for the occasion. I love being with them, we tell jokes, talk about stories from our childhood, and catch up on everyone's life. I am so proud of my heritage. I am, blessed... to be part of a family that loves each other so much. We are a family that celebrates each other's victories, shields one another from hurt, and comforts each other during hard times. Why do I deserve to have such wounderful people in my life? Well, I don't. They are a blessing.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Learning to post pictures...bare with me!

Who knows how this will end up!

I am trying to move to the next stage of blogging...posting pictures.

This first pic is left justifies, small image (I am talking to myself, by the way! I am making notes so that I can decide what I like.) I meant for this picture of JD to be UNDER the above first two sentences...didn't work out for me, I'll have to play around some more.

This next picture of Summer is centered, small image. Somehow it ended up at the top of the page when I meant for it to be between this paragraph and the above paragraph. What does a girl have to do! Let's try again!

The last picture which is a TROPHY WINNING S-10 drag racing truck (that should be displaying a "For Sale" sign) is right justifies, small image. Clearly, it ended up in the right hand corner of the page...which is not where I intended on it being. Again, it was suppose to be between this and the previous paragraph. I am flopping at this! Did I mention the afore mentioned truck is for sale? I think I will try once more to sell the truck...I mean post a picture (ooops!).

The picture on the VERY TOP of the page, is medium image. Maybe I need to try to manually move them...nope, didn't work! Anywho, I feel that I have been successful in my quest to post pictures, however, failed miserably at getting the pictures to post where I want them to be...I shall make this my mission for next time!

Did I mention that the truck was for sale?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Chunky Monkey

I don't believe in skinny babies! There is nothing cuter than a little fat baby, and my little Sydney is fat and I love it! She has little pillows for cheeks and she sleeps with her hands under her face like a little's so adorable. I am so in love with her, I am such a lucky mommy to have four awesome and amazing children.

Well, I ventured into Wal-Mart with my youngest three today, Summer was still at school so she didn't have the pleasure of attending (I say that with much sarcasim). It's always interesting to try to grocery shop quickly and efficiently, all the while doing a head count every few seconds (I HAVE momentarily left one in the grocery before so I do head counts constantly when we are in public!) It's much like herding cats.

Also, my husband is going away this weekend on his annual weekend with the "boys". A group of him and his good buddies go to Bowling Green, KY for some big fancy shmancy drag race. They basicly spend all day drooling over fast cars and expensive engines and then retire to the local Hooters-wanna-be-restaurant where they act like a bunch of middle school boys. What A Waste! Iwould much rather be shoe shopping or having a root canal!

Well, I must much to do, so little time to do it in.