Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hospitality vs. Entertaining

I've been wondering lately, what is true hospitality? Can you be hospitable with dust on your furniture and cobwebs in your corners? When you take in someone for the night and all you have to offer them is a freshly made bed with wrinkled sheets is that hospitality? What about making a dinner go from 4 servings to 8 servings just so you can share a meal? Is that hospitality? Or must hospitality be full blown six course meal, dust free house, designer fabrics, model home furniture, clean wood floors and no fingerprints on pictures or windows? I can't tell you how many times I do not listen to my instinct and invite someone over because my house isn't clean enough, pretty enough or I only have leftovers to offer. Hospitality is about the other person not about me. Hospitality should be about their needs while entertaining is all about how I want others to think of me. Mary and Martha. Without Martha the house may have been dirtier and the food not as plentiful. Somehow though I think God would have worked through that mess and those less than perfect meal servings.

Martha practiced entertaining. Mary practiced hospitality. Do I practice hospitality or only entertaining?

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Dr. Seuss said, "Don't cry because it's over-smile because it happened". I am loving that man. Green Eggs and Ham and Horton Hears a Who are two of our favorite children's book ever written.

It is about perspective when something happen in life. There are people who fall over dead when they miss their favorite TV show. Other people face what seems like insurmountable difficulties (a child's illness or death, bad news a the doctor's, a loss of a job, a house fire, etc,) and seem to be pillars of strength and resolve. It's not the level of difficulty or tragedy we face that determines what our reaction should be- that is all subjective. It's our perspective in the middle of the storm that determines our reaction. I wonder, are we born with perspective, can we learn a new perspective, can we train our minds and hearts to perceive things differently?

Friday, February 20, 2009

All things Graham Crackers

Icing on graham crackers, graham cracker cereal, graham cracker crust with cheesecake topping and the creme del e creme (if that's how you spell it) SMORES. These are the things I love. I really thought graham cracker's were a staple in the American home until today when it became clear that not all American families eat graham crackers. Not understanding how this is even possible. It's like saying, we've never been inside a Wal-mart, we haven't had a taco, we have never eaten chocolate cake with vanilla icing. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE????

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Helping Emily Succeed

As I type this, Emily is across the table tackling 3 math worksheets. She refuses to let me help her. I get the feeling she's done with needing extra help. Done as in- fed up with. I have to constantly remind myself that every day Emily faces a new day of challenges. Sure, I think some days are easier than others for her. She has great days. Even just taking her medication is a reminder that her brain is different. Her brain doesn't work the way the rest of our brains do and she is especially reminded of that when we start school. My poor girl. I wish I could make learning easy for her all the time. I wish I could take away the frustrations she experiences with school.

How much is too much?

If time is money why do I feel less concerned about the time I spend than the money I spend? I have had months where I am running all the time to one activity, event or obligation. I have had months where it seems like I don't have as many places to be but still lack time. I will never figure out how people are involved in activities and still manage to keep their houses clean. Do these people not sleep?

If time was actually money would I be better at spending it?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's Valentine's Day

How do I love you? Let me count the ways...1. You rinse the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. 2. You spoil the girls in little ways everyday. 3. You work hard so I can stay home. 4. You put up with my craziness. 5. You leave the cabinets open in the kitchen. 6. You believe I can do things I'm not sure I can do. 7. When I'm depressed you let me be depressed and wait for me to get out of my funk. 8. You always let me choose where we eat out. 9. You eat my spaghetti even though you hate spaghetti. 10. You see things from a funny perspective and make me laugh. 11. You can laugh at yourself and help me laugh at myself. 12. You defer to me on all matters of house decorating. 13. You see the big picture and aren't willing to give it up for the little crazy things that come our way. 14. The kids know they are loved by you. 15. You help with the laundry. 15. You write the sweetest thing in birthday cards and valentine cards.

Almost 16 years ago it was love at first sight and even though there have been days that have been difficult and it hasn't always felt like love we have made it through together. Here's to 16 more Valentine Days. Love you!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A really stupid commercial on the radio....

It's official. I just heard the stupidest commercial on the radio while picking lunch up for the kids. It went something like this, "Don't make your sweetheart cook on Valentine's day, order a pizza". Helllllllllllooooooooooooooo! I appreciate the sentiment of not making your sweetheart cook on the day of love but, pizza? The commercial SHOULD have said, "Don't make your sweetheart cook, get a babysitter, order a pizza for the kids and TAKE HER OUT FOR THE NIGHT OF HER LIFE". I'm telling you marketing people this would get people (at least wives and moms) to order pizza from them for the REST OF THEIR LIVES. Do you understand what I'm saying? Mom's all over the city would show their loyalty for putting this thought in their man's head. "Order pizza" is NOT the thought we want our men to have on V-day.

Along this same line I read an article on MSN the women are taking on more of the workload in this down economic time. Again, HELLLLLLLoooooooooooooooooooo! Of course! What are the first things to go in a bad economy? The extras! Like, eating out, housecleaning services, dry cleaning, need I go on? I don't think I've ever said, "Let's go out to eat so that my honey doesn't have to cook". It's always, let's go out to eat so that I do not have to cook. Please do not get me wrong. Les cooks and cleans more than I think most men cook and clean.

My theory is that men buy extras for play. Women buy extras to decrease work load...I'm just saying down economy-more work.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Letting Emily Try

My daughter is 10 and is still struggling to read well. She has dyslexia which makes it difficult for her to recall language patterns and she has Epilepsy which adds a whole other dimension to her struggles. Lately, she has been insistent that she wants to work by herself on her school work. She's upstairs working on her math. I'm not sure how many problems she has finished but I'm sure it's only one or two.

How do you let your daughter that struggles everyday fail over and over? At what point do you stop hovering over her because you know one day she'll be an adult and you will not be there every minute? I'm not sure I know how to parent a child with special needs. It was easier when she was little. I had more control and it was normal for a parent to have that much control.

Emily came downstairs with a question just now. She's done almost all her problems and missed only one. Thankfully only one.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Squirrel In My Tree

Every morning while I lay (or is it lie) in bed deciding whether or not to get out of bed a little brown squirrel plays just outside my window. I can see him in the tree busily doing whatever squirrels do in the middle of winter. This morning I actually started feeling a little guilty just laying there while he was being so industrious. I started thinking about the myriad of chores I could be completing before the children got up. I also thought about my treadmill in the other room waiting for me to use it. The longer I watched this squirrel and stayed in bed the guiltier I felt. With guilt always comes rationalization. It must be that the squirrel did not have a warm comfy bed to tempt him. Of course, I'd get up too if I slept outside in a bush or in a hole (where do squirrels sleep?). For now I will be thankful for the squirrel who is busy outside my window. Tomorrow the squirrel will look in my window at me and see me sleeping in my warm comfy bed. I'm sure he will feel guilty that he is not resting and restoring his soul.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Insomnia is Interesting

Here I sit- 11:00 at night unable to sleep. I can not even tell you the last time I slept a full 8 hours. I'm catching up on blogs I follow and even found a new one to follow about a dad on paternity leave. What a gift to the baby to have dad home and around. Should be interesting reading.

I also found another blog that is only pictures- no words. Chronicling the day to day life of their family. I'm going to try this one day- To take pictures from sun up to sun down. Just to get our wonderful life documented. A typical day with the mess and chaos for all to see. I'll have to pick a fun day. Maybe Valentine's day. Start another tradition.

Monday Melodies

This week I'm picking new colors for my house. This month we're starting about 10 projects. Yes, 10-we go from 0 to mach 500 around here. (How do you spell mach?). The list of projects include painting the interior of the house, finishing painting Jackson's room, dressing up curtains, re-finishing an old coffee table and desk, covering 4 chairs, clearing out the basement and garage. All by the end of the month.

I'll take before and after pictures and post them. It will keep me motivated to finish. I'm now in-love with the Nesting Place blog. She has so many ideas that are so easy and just as cute as can be! Now we just need some funds.

I love the color Tobacco Road. Painting the walls this color will be a good backdrop for this house I think. Thankfully, a friend of mine is helping me pick out colors for my wall. She has a knack for decorating. Sometimes you just need someone to come along side of you and say- Do this!

Updated: Okay, so after walking around aimlessly around my home I decided to switch the curtains in our kitchen and the curtains in the living room. I think this will make each of those rooms look so different. I also think I'll dress them up according to the colors in those separate rooms. Sometimes you just have to step back and say- how can I use this differently?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I just made the best appetizers for the Superbowl!

It's Super Bowl Sunday. I have to think really hard to come up with the teams that are playing. I really could care less about the game this year but I am super excited to spend the afternoon with friends.

There are 4 families coming- 8 adults and 18 children... No, it isn't the Duggars! I'm making the "adult" appetizers. You know- the appetizers that are just too pretty and yummy to be wasted on little undeveloped taste buds. Besides, none of my children will eat mushrooms and very few children will eat olives. The Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets are so easy and so yummy to use. The little puff pastry cups are just the cutest and can be filled with just about anything. The seafood deli at our grocery store had crab jalappeno spread that I'm going to put in the little cups and bake for about 10 minutes. This dip is so good it will change your life. Or as we say in the South, "it will make you want to slap your momma!" Although I have never known anyone to actually slap their momma.... no matter how good the food tasted.

I messed up the mushroom appetizers. Not something you can make in advance:( The seafood deli appetizers was the best. I highly recommend them!