Sunday, May 1, 2016

I Wish…

I wish I worried less.
And thought less.
I wish I could sing.
And maybe even draw.
I wish I cared less.
But more.
I wish I hadn’t hurt my knee.
Or my ankles when I played ball.
I wish I had finished college.
But at home instead.
I wish today was sunny.
I wish tomorrow was rainy.
I wish I could live elsewhere.
But still here.
I wish I could spend more time with Hubs.
And definitely my kiddos.
I wish I had puppies.
Dalmatian Puppies.
I wish I was skinny.
But not too skinny.
I wish I was taller.
And girlier.
I wish I had lower expectations.
And higher self esteem.
I wish I could let things go.
But hold tight, too.
I wish I was more understood.
And appreciated.
I wish I could make a difference.
I wish I was less like me.
But still me, I think.

Why Must You Act Like A Dick? And Other Burning Questions

If you arrive to a business (store, hotel, restaurant) already pissed off, why are you surprised when things don’t go your way?

If you snarl at the person trying to help you, why then should we continue to help you?

Why can you not live by the honey bee philosophy?

How is it that you believe everyone is out to get you? Does everyone know you? What do we know?

Is this the worst thing to happen to you?

Do you get out much?

Do you treat your family the way you treat strangers?

Is there anything I can say that you actually WANT to hear right now? Or is it just the sound of your own voice you want to hear?

Do you feel better staring at me with a look that could kill? Does that make you feel superior?

Do you believe the words you throw at others?

Who do you think you are?

Can I walk away from you?

Can you walk back out that door and come back when you can be a decent human being?

Are you ever happy?

Is it all women that intimidate you and thus you act like a pig, or is it just me?

Why must you act like a dick?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

JP Won First Place

This is the kid that didn’t want to do Wee Warriors way back then. 

He would have actually been a part of the very first group of wee ones at our Dojo. It was a new program Sensei was starting. It was 2012. It was running and jumping and obstacles and stripe promotions for attendance and fun. The very basic of Karate skills but more so the listening, following instructions, respect, and teamwork skills. Yet, JP wouldn’t leave my side. Glued to me at the hip. He was about to turn 4.

This is the kid that didn’t want to start Karate class like his big sister. 

We asked all the time. When are you signing up? When do you want to get your belt? When do you want to learn kicks and blocks and punches and skills like Sissy? First he said when he turned 5, then he said 6. Then he tried to tell us when he’s 8. Oh, no, buddy, we’re not waiting until then. So, we tricked him.
Spring Break Camp was announced and JP wanted to attend. He asked to and was real excited. I dropped him off that Monday and told Sensei, “it’s all up to you.” By the end of day two JP was officially a Karate student. He even had earned a stripe. He was showing us the kicks and the blocks and the punches we had begged him to try. He knew the first set by heart and was so proud of himself.

This is the kid that didn’t want to compete. 

He’s been a karate student for two years now. In which time, Sissy has been a member of the BullSharks Competition Karate Team. We’ve been to Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia, New Jersey, and even Canada. It’s been the joke that JP is the team mascot as he refuses to compete with the team. He’s too shy, he’s too young, he’s too scared, he will lose. These are just some of his excuses. We’ve tried bribing with toys, ice cream, money, nerf guns. We’ve tried pushing and telling him he has no choice. We have tried Sensei talks, teacher talks, other parents, and team member pep talks. Nothing worked.
Until the King George Tournament last weekend. It came time for me to register Big Sissy for the tournament when I got an idea. JP just turned 8 at the end of March. So, I crossed my fingers behind my back and said, “JP, I’m signing you up for the tournament.”
                “No, Mom, I’m too shy. I don’t want to.”
                “But, Buddy, you told me when you turned 8 you would join the BullSharks Team and compete.”
                With his nose scrunched up and his head cocked to the side, “I diiiiiiiiiid???”
                “Yes, you did, Buddy. I’m signing you up.”
                “Practice is Saturday. Sensei will tell you what you need to know.”
                “Ok. I guess if I told you that.”
                I ran with that! So, I fibbed a little. As a Mom, haven’t you?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hot Buttons

Hot buttons. We've all got them. Those few (or more) things that AS SOON AS they happen/are discovered you. go. off. 

Off: like really upset, hard to explain, it's just, well, because you hate it. 

A few of mine: 
My clean clothes being squished into a laundry basket because someone needed the dryer. 
Food left in the sink. Or worse, dirty napkins left on a dirty plate in the sink. YUCK. 
No trash bag in the can. 

I try not to let them get to me. But they're the type of things that just don't have an excuse or explanation in my mind. I just can't help it. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016


I began something new with the kiddos. I kept seeing different chore ideas: hanging a dollar bill by a clip, rolling the dice, choosing a task from a jar. I wanted something in which the kiddos had to make some decisions. 

So I made a Bingo Chart. 

A five by five blocked sheet with 25 chores. Chores that are involved. Chores that are easy. Some quick and painless. Others icky and less than a favorite. Some I even duplicated so they could choose to do all or just one (toilets, for example). I even threw in a Parent's Choice for tasks we may ask for help with through out the week. 

Each week each kiddo gets a new Bingo Chart. They are not identical and they do not match last week's. Tasks are shaken up into a different location on the chart. My elder kiddo has some more involved tasks where my younger has some appropriate for him. Then they have duplicates. 

This is where it gets tricky. They need to add in some skill and planning in order to get a five in a row bingo. I only want a task done once in the week. For example, back to the toilets. You don't get to clean the toilet the day after your sister did and get credit for it. Too easy. 

Each five in a row bingo earns $4. They can earn up to five bingos in a week, or $20. I thought that was pretty high at first but a. I'd pay a housekeeper more if I hired one. And b. neither of the kiddos has earned over $8 for a week so far. 

The cutest thing is my eldest usually has tons of squares marked off but not in a row. If she learned to work smarter she could earn a living at 11.5. 

I'm happy that things are getting done each week and they seem to be enjoying it. 

Now on to Hubs' Bingo Chart. ;) 

Amazing Grace

Yesterday we attended a Memorial Service for my friend’s Dad. It was a small, sweet gathering of some of his closest friends and the family held in the front yard of his home. The home he helped raise my friend in and the home his wife had been raised in. 

When I told the kiddos that they were headed to Grandma’s before I went to the service I got flack from both of them. Unbeknownst to me, they had already decided they would be going for their friend, my friend’s son. Just about broke my heart hearing my kiddos make that kind of a grown up decision. Proud that they think that way and saddened that they had a situation that called for it.

We traveled through the local Amish country to arrive at the house nestled in trees and set back off the road. Chairs were set in rows in the side driveway that leads to his garage. I’m told he spent many a nights working with his hands in that garage. He was a skilled concrete worker and, I think, a carpenter, and made many things for around the house.

As my kids helped their friend direct cars to park in the neighbor’s driveway, I watched in awe as her Amish neighbors brought container after container of food into the house. The Dad of the Family had noticed we may need more seating and returned with homemade benches from his home for mourners to sit on. I envied the selflessness of this family and know their communities are raised this way. I wished we all would take a lesson.

As the service began it was an overcast afternoon, a chilly 50 degrees. I sat with my kiddos, one on my lap one holding my hand, and listened to scripture readings and poems and notes read by Family. Both my friend and his son spoke and they showed such courage. We were proud of them.

What took my breath away, though, was my Friend’s cousin. She hosted the service and in her closing she read his widow’s letter to him and then…

She belted out Amazing Grace with the voice of angels. The echo among the trees, the soft start of her singing, increasing as she endured, the silence of the family and friends listening with their hearts. When I thought I couldn’t possibly have any more goosebumps on my arms, it began to drizzle. Ever so softly raindrop after raindrop slowly fell on us. No one spoke. No one moved. Except…

the Bald Eagle gliding quietly above us.