Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Land, Ho!

My Mom has been, over the years, been paying on the opening and closing of her cemetery lot so that her children will not be burdened with the expense. She finally made her last payment and she is good to go :-)

I, then, got a phone call from that cemetery informing me that I needed to come by and pick up the deed. I was under the assumption that, as her beneficiary, that is what I needed to do so that when that time came for my mother to use her new digs, everything would be in order.

When I arrived to pick up the deed, I was ushered back into one of their offices. He wanted to get me some coffee or tea and wanted me to sit down. I let him know that my mother was waiting in the car with my children so we needed to make this a rather quick meeting.

Much to my surprise, it was revealed to me that the deed I was picking up was not for my mother but for me and was part of the promotion they were running when she signed the contract for her purchase. However, wouldn't it be a shame, God forbid, if something were to happen to you and you didn't own a double crypt in the space right next to your parents. And wouldn't it be a shame, if, God forbid, something should happen, if you were laid to rest in the opposite end of the cemetery with so much distance between your loved one currently and you, God forbid.

I thought to myself, is this guy for real? Am I really going to care at the point of my death whether I am right next to people I know. For that matter, why don't people buy all the lots up around them so that they will feel more comfortable when they pass on, knowing that they have familiar neighbors.

To top this off, I can have all this just for the mere asking price of $4995.00. But wait! There is more...since we, Michigander's are struggling financially right now, I could purchase at almost 11 percent interest for the next 60 months the double crypt by only paying for one of them. He informs me that nobody is going to want to buy the other since people don't usually mix with other people for only $2500.00 and then when I finish paying for that, I could purchase the other for another $2500.00.

But what if someone decided to go ahead and purchase my upper bunk? What if some strange person were to be in there with me, what would we ever talk about? What if he was a smoker. I don't know if I could live with that. And what if he had smelly habits? How would that work out? I thought about asking him if he had people fill out personality profiles before placing them together but I thought maybe he would think me odd.

I thanked him for his time, but told him that this was definitely not a decision I could make on my own. My husband would really like some say in the matter. Besides I really didn't have the down payment that he was requiring anyway. He suggested I talk to my Mom about lending me the money...you just never know what could happen. I laughed as he mentioned that as my mother state of affairs doesn't allow for gifts of this kind.

In the end, he thanked me for stopping by, handed me my deed...the land that I now own in the Garden of Flags, far, far, far away from the Garden of Creation and off I went realizing I just had managed to escape a salespersons claws and that alone put a spring in my step and a song in my heart.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Anger Management: Part II

By the influx of comments, emails and phone calls that I received today, I see that you all are on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happened next. The long awaited moment has arrived....brew some coffee, grab a snack and let's begin:

As we began to drive home, the realization of what happened sunk deeper into our thoughts. I looked over at my husband and what do you think I saw there? It wasn't that stressed, wrinkled spot between his eyebrows that our little Kara has just like her Father, it was anger seething in his cheeks and in the atmosphere circling around him. Have you ever been around someone who is about ready to explode with anger? You don't even have to look at them, you can just feel it. That is what I found there, in the seat next to me.

All of the sudden, I realized that he had whipped the car around and headed back to church. All I could think was..oh, gosh, oh, gosh...and as a anti-conflict type person that I am, began to feel a bit queasy. As he parked the car, and stomped angrily inside, I knew that he wasn't going to listen to my advice and not yell. People were waving at me as I sat in the parking lot with my family and as I waved back with a stressed smile on my face, all I could think was, I am glad you are currently not inside. And then it occurred to me that there were indeed people inside. Who was hearing all the commotion and what were they thinking? As I slid down deeper in my seat and refused to continue making eye contact with people, I thought for sure, people would find our family's name on the blacklisted forum momentarily.

After he returned to the car, he informed me that he did, in fact, yell. He informed the parents that this had been going on long enough and that in no way, shape or form was it acceptable for our son to come home with teeth marks on his arm from their eight year old nor was it acceptable for their oldest son, who was suppose to be in the kids class as a teen helper, to be verbally tormenting our son every week. He also informed them that they needed to get their kids under control. That this kind of behavior needed to stop now.

What do you suppose was their response? Well here it is: We are sorry you feel that way. (Things not to say to an irate father.) Obviously, they were not getting it. I am sure they thought we were over-reacting. But what would you do if this had been going on for three years and it kept continuing? Would you just let it go, if speaking nicely to them didn't work? My main goal for the past years, was to address issues in a kind manner, one that I thought would honor God but as one of my dear friends brought to my attention and reminded me, Jesus was a bold speaker. He wasn't one to beat around the bush. He also had the maturity to be able to turn the other cheek because He knew that he had the power to take them out right then and there. But He was there for a higher purpose....to die so that we could live.

Later that afternoon, my husband received a phone call from the father of the biter. The conversation went nowhere. But what was revealed was that he had interviewed other children to find out if anyone saw anything which now means more people are involved and also the question was asked of my husband... would you be willing to accept the fact that your son might be lying? Now let me ask you this, if your son came home with a bite mark on his arm, would that be evidence enough to believe him? Or would you assume that he had bit himself just for the fun of it?

When it comes to our children being physically and verbally abused to the point that they feel helpless to do anything about except to just take it, us as parents, especially the father needs to step in to defend their boys.

On a positive note, later that day, I noticed a definite difference in our sons attitude. He was smiling and was acting like we all do when our love tanks are filled up. I think by standing up and defending our son, in some way spoke beyond what any hug between my husband and my son could have ever said. For that, I am thankful.

As far as the rest of the drama, it surely will be interesting to see what plays out as I am involved in several different ministries at church....the same ones the other families are. It could be a bit awkward for a while. If you think about it, I wouldn't mind if you prayed that I would have the grace to face each situation as it comes.

Thank you all for your advice and for your prayers, we are thinking on many options and are going to pray that God directs our footsteps as we move forward. Hopefully, our son will be bully-free for a long time to come.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Anger Management

Have any of you seen this movie? I hate to even admit that I saw it but there it is....for all of you to know now. I'm not recommending it :-) I say all this to say....it is a good thing to get things out in the open and it even has benefits you don't even realize. What am I talking about, you may ask? Have I lost you yet? Well first of all, let me give you a bit of background, then I would like to get your opinion, if you will share it with me and then I will give you the conclusion....so pull up a chair, grab some popcorn and let's roll 'em...

For quite a few years, we have been dealing with some bullying. My oldest has been dealing with this at church. Now, let me say this, I know..I know...I KNOW that my son is not innocent but he does know that as my husband would say, it would be a life changing event for him if he was to treat someone like that.

I've addressed issues as they've come but I am realizing more and more that women can be a bit catty when it comes to conflict. I am not negating that protective instinct that overwhelms you when someone threatens your young but let's get real here.....when it becomes physical, something needs to be done.

I won't go into all the dramatic details but I will say this.....after trying to address the ongoing issues, it is always turned back around and implied that either my son is lying or they were just playing around. Never is their an admittance, that maybe just maybe, there is a problem that needs to be addressed within their own families....at least, it's not said to my face.

On many Sunday's, after we've all gotten in the car to go home from church, I find out how very upset my oldest is and then I get to hear all the things that went on in his class. Sometimes there are lots of tears, sometimes it's anger and other times he just doesn't want to talk about it. Then there are the times when he makes himself physically ill from fretting about it. Well today, he informs me he doesn't want to go to church. He begs me to stay home. That right there has me infuriated to no end. When is it ever right for your child who has loved to go and never ever wants to miss a Sunday, change his mind and decide he doesn't want to go.

We all managed to get there today...making some options available to our oldest to counteract another episode but he still chose to go to his class. Only this time, he came home with teeth marks in arm leaving a bruise.

I'm tired of addressing issues with these same families. I must admit, I've let much of it go as the past history of how it's handled has wearied me to infinity and beyond and then there is the..why bother, it doesn't ever change anything. One of the families that I had to address for a pretty severe incident, turned up in an explosion of drama which then was shared with several other families leaving the remnants of friction still to this day...two years later.

I could really use some advice here. Obviously, everything I've tried isn't working and I really want my child to want to go back to church....what are your thoughts?

Does anyone have some input here? Check back in a bit for the rest of the story.

Friday, January 26, 2007

It's Java Time

If you are interested in reading yet again another blog, I've started another one. It involves coffee and my passion for it.

Come check it out:


Looking forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Hackles Are Up Again...

I recently had to take a couple of my children to the doctor because of illness. I'm always leary of running there too quickly as I feel that they may get cured of one virus but they often come home with another.

On this particular trip, we were called back by what I call the Nazi Nurse. There is always the routine of getting on the scale and getting your height. I've had this nurse in the past and although, she seems a bit rough around the edges, she has been pretty patient with my kids. I always appreciate that in a Higgleytown Hero. (Some of you...have no idea what that is. Ask me sometime and I'll sing you the song that goes along with one of many favorite shows of my kids).

Upon getting weighed, the Nazi Nurse made a disapproving comment to one of my children and decided to take it upon her not-so-thin self, to get an attitude which she took out on my kids who are now traumatized even more so by a strep throat test that was done so roughly. Now in the medical field, I would assume the medical staff would come into contact with people of all shapes and sizes. I ask this....why in the world, if you are big yourself, would you get an attitude of disrespect and feel it necessary to treat someone, especially a child, in that manner. I don't get it. If I was the mayor, she most certainly would have lost her Higgleytown hero badge and most certainly would have been boo'd off the show.

I chose not to address the issue as it happened because I didn't want to draw attention to the matter while little ears were with me. Well, today I had to go back and I began dreading it because I knew she was there. It occurred to me that I should not have to feel that way. If there were not families who had their own personal parking space at the doctors office from being their one millionth customer or were know by their first name, such badgeless nazi nurses would be tormenting some other poor creature in a different profession.

After the examination, I decided to address the situation with the doctor while I was there. He listened very intently and his response was this....I'm so sorry, Mrs. Peanut Butter Kisses. We will take care of that right away and he whisked out the door most promptly. Upon his return, he profusely apologized again and again. Let it be known that I've told people in the past, that I would certainly fall on the floor from the shock of it all if someone actually did the right thing and said that very thing. Now it has happened. Now I know that it can happen. There is hope.

For those of you who I told that too, please forgive me...I didn't fall on the floor as I was holding my baby at the time. I will, at a future date, when I have some help to get back up...do so in your honor.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Time Out!

As many of you know, I hate poop. It is the bane of my very existence and has been since the day that my oldest son had his first blow out on my mother's white couch.

For some reason or another it seems to be my 'thorn in my flesh' as Paul says in Corinthians. Let me just share with you what he says in that verse in the New Living Translation: ...But to keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness."

I have been known to have 'poop' meltdown moments in the past. Like sitting down on the stairs and having a good cry in the middle of running up the stairs to take care of one child and then running down the stairs to take care of another and then running back up the stairs...you get the point.

This morning began a bit crazy as usual. Upon one of my many trips up the stairs to check on the little ones, I took a moment to shut the door of my bedroom and pray that God would help me today because it is already appearing to be way out of control and I am feeling overwhelmed. Little did I know that a 'messenger from Satan' would soon be making an appearance.

As we were sitting around the table schooling this morning, we came to a point where I instructed the older kids to continue working on what was before them so that I could take a quick shower. Only a few minutes into my shower, I hear Grace yelling urgently on the other side of the door that my five year old had poop up his back and it was everywhere. Oh, and that my three year old was poopy also. A major groan escaped my lips along with the words, why, oh, why must I be tortured. I have begged the Lord way, way more than three times to take this agony away but yet it seems to continue from one child to the next.

It took every ounce of will power to get out of the shower and face what laid beyond door number one. As I opened the door, what did I find but the evidence of leaking poop everywhere. It was on the sheets of many beds, on the floor, down the stairs, on the kitchen chairs, on the kitchen floor, in the living room and on the blankets. All that I could say is...Lord, help me NOW, please! As I was shaking my fist in the air, yelling...I will NOT be beat down, I will overcome this, I felt God's peace for the moment.

Never in my wildest dream, did I ever anticipate that my prayer would be answered so quickly. Under normal circumstances, I tend to yell, scream, fight the urge to beat something and run screaming from the room. But today, Brad and Grace had already begun to clean up the mess that had hit the floor, sheets, etc without me asking. This never happens so I believe that God was behind their motivation. He does say that when you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains.

Another evidence of my prayer was the fact that I didn't have a meltdown poop moment. God was there making me strong in my weakness. I was able to get it all cleaned up including two children and still my sanity remains in tact. If anyone should ask me about my day today, my answer will be: Go to the blog. I cannot talk about it but you can read about it. The line between sanity and insanity is still hanging in the balance.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Secret Life....

Guess where I found myself at 11:20 p.m. last night?


At Gamestop. Is this where you were thinking I'd be?

I admit it; I am addicted to a certain online game and the expansion to it came out and was able to be picked up at 12:01 a.m. So my husband and I stood in line with so many other people of like-addiction. I must interject here, that it was an interesting crowd of people. Young and older; hip and no so hip; and the conversation was all centered around the game and what people were going to do when they loaded up the game when they got home.....me included.

I played some video games when I was a kid when my brother would allow us a few moments to actually touch the controller but I wasn't really drawn to it a whole lot. It wasn't until my dear husband introduced me to Command and Conquer which is a military type game where you build up your troops and your tanks and attack the bad guys that I found how very much I enjoyed playing. Then there was Halo for the Xbox. Are you noticing a theme here?

Then I found myself playing laser tag with some friends for a Mom's Night Out and loved it. Running around all stealthy like and shooting my targets was a thrill beyond belief. I can't wait until the laser tag night for us parents. Can you even imagine the thrill of that?

I've discovered something about myself. This fiesty, no-nonsense, spirited gal loves to get her big bad glowing daggers out and get in there and kick some gluteus maximus. It's a great way to relieve stress!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Fight With The Vacuum...

I hate my vacuum cleaner. There I said it. I really do hate it. Who ever invented it didn't ever use one. The extensions on it barely reach where you need it to go.

If you have to lift the entire vacuum cleaner with the extensions already added to reach the ceiling, in my opinion, that is a BIG problem. Seriously, who can single handedly hold a vacuum cleaner up in the air while whisking all those cobwebs from corner to corner while dancing around the livingroom all in one swoop because your arm is going to fall off from the weight of that machine....being expected to actually get the job done sufficiently.

Today, stuff fell behind the dryer. Have you ever looked behind your dryer? It's a very scary place...unless of course, you are one of those fanatical people who have it on the calendar TO clean behind your dryer. I, of course, can't do that. My vacuum won't allow me to....nor my desire but that is material for another blog.

After looking behind the dryer, I decided to clean up all the dust and since I can't actually reach down there because of where my dryer is, the solution was to add the extensions to the hose and suck it up with the vacuum. Brilliance in the making.

Upon hooking up the vacuum and proceeding to let it work it's magic, I banged my head on the rack above the dryer sending me into a fit. A fit, you ask. Yes, a fit. A fit that was brought on not only by banging my head on the stinkin' rack but in the process the extensions falling off and the hose coming loose from the vacuum. I hate that thing.

After many attempts to keep the extensions on and the hose in place without banging my head one more time, the final straw broke my last nerve. As the extensions hit the floor behind the dryer and I was left standing there holding the hose that WAS not attached to the vacuum, I decided to do a smack down on that vile thing.

I was so done with that! I even yelled at the top of my lungs which echoed through the house that I, indeed, hated that thing. The fight was on. Me against the evil devil of a vacuum cleaner. Upon trying to wrap up the cord and put all the accessories back in their places ready for some other sucker to come and use her, the cord fell off the wrapping hooks and the extensons fell out on the floor.

Did you know that vacuum cleaners can fly?