Monday, February 27, 2012

Kairos Time

It's Great Lent. Time to slow down and focus more on God.

I did something hard. Something big. Something scary. I vowed to sign off of FB for Lent. Whooo! I think I'm addicted (I know I am) to the Internet. I LOVE my iPhone. Love. It has made my life easier. But, it also gives me 24/7 instant Internet contact. I love FB. I think it fun. I enjoy keeping up with family and friends. The sharing of ideas and triumphs and woes and laughs. And the photos. Love the sharing of photos. But, I've been spending too much time on FB. I get worried that I'll miss something in somebody's life. I check it a bunch of times a day. I walk around the house all day with my phone. Yikes, that's a scary confession. Sad but true. I don't want my kids to remember me with my face and attention away from them and focused on FB. Nope.

Breathe. I need to breathe and get my face out of a computer screen (or iPhone). How ironic that I'm typing all of this while staring at a screen. Ha! But, writing is good for me. It lets some of the swirly crowded thoughts in my head out....helps me breathe. So for Lent I'll be off FB but I will be writing on my blog. So, if you have BIG news or a HUGE catastrophe...please call me, email or just drop by for an old fashion cup of coffee and company. Please do. I'll miss all the FB updates.

I wrote in my last post about Kairos. I want to notice more Kairos moments. It helps to get through the Chronos time. Here's the wikipedia definition:

Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time in between, a moment of indeterminate time in which something special happens. What the special something is depends on who is using the word. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative nature.

See what I mean? Kairos. I have another way of describing Kairos moments. It's like seeing God. There is a great country song I heard on the radio. I don't know the name...sorry. Anyway the guy sings about how he saw God today. For example when he sees his newborn daughter. Seeing God. This is what I'm aiming for in Lent. I have a gratitude journal that I've used off and on for about a decade. I'm going to record some of the Kairos moments each day. I'll post some Kairos moments on here too.

I'm looking up and out and not at my screen so I can notice God's beauty and love.

Kairos moments today

1. Holding Baby George on my lap after he just woke up. He was all warm and snugly. I was looking at the strawberry blond hairs along his hairline and the way the sunlight lit them up. Beautiful.

2. While driving through town I saw two eagles soaring together above the trees. Majestic.

3. My sweet dog Kali "smiling" and the kids giggling at her. Tickled

These are the tiny snippets in my day that fill me with joy and God's love. What were your Kairos moments today?

Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm a Monkee!

I stumbled upon a blog recently that I love SO much. The gal that writes is amazingly funny and smart and I just can't stop reading!! There are so many of her posts that make me wonder how she got into my head and found out exactly what I've been thinking! Incredible. The blog is Momastery. Check it out!! If I have to pick my favorite essay it would be Don't Carpe Diem. Read it, read it, read it! Do it NOW. I cried, I laughed and it left me feeling not so lonely. Read it. I sang the alleluia chorus. Seriously.
Being a mom is hard. And wonderful. And hard. And beautiful. And challenging. And the best. And hard. Yep. After reading many of G's posts I realized that women needs to tell the truth more about being a mom. It's okay to say how hard it doesn't mean you don't enjoy your job!

Here's my example of the good/bad/fun/hard part of being a mom.

The other day Tuba had an appointment at Children's Hospital for a check-up. I booked it for a non-school day during mid-winter break. I thought about getting a sitter but in the end I figured I could handle it. So, I took all the kids with me to the appt. Are you shaking your head side to side and saying, What?? Yeah, me too. Only it's too late now.

Why, oh, why did I think I could pull that off? I have too much faith in myself...or my kids for that matter. Did I not remember THIS? My memories of that day are so strong. So terrible. I did not put many details in but it was awful. The kids were 3 mos., 9 mos., 2, 5 and Tuba was 11. What was I thinking?

So this time around I planned ahead. Snack bags for all 5. I also got this brilliant idea that while we were at the hospital we could do ROAK! Yes, Random Acts of Kindness would be a great lesson for the kids. Something fun and educational. I put heart stickers, candy, and a spice gift box in my bag.On the way to the appointment I told the kids all about the plan for our RAOK. They were excited! It was going to be a great day!

Once at the hospital we checked in, gave out our first candy treat and headed off to the clinic. I could feel myself getting worried as I watched Sis run, climb and jump repeatedly off the couches on our way to the wait room. Once inside the clinic exam room I gave each kid their snack bag and showed them EXACTLY where to sit....and stay.

Soon after the NP arrived and began talking with me all hell broke loose. The wee ones were standing on the exam table and then jumping off onto the floor, repeat. The middle boys were getting up and fighting over the spinning stool. Every kid was asking me questions, and whining, and yelling, and had to go potty! Okay, not Tuba. He was good! The others. NOT! Nobody was listening to me. At one point Baby George stuck his tongue out at me and then asked why I was making "that" face at him!! The NP actually said back to him, "Your mom is making that face because you aren't listening to her". So embarrassing! So frustrating. If we had been home I would have put everyone in time-out.....or hollered in that bigscarymymomisgoingtokillmevoice! Surely that would make them stop. By the end my eye was twitching and I was hating myself for being so stupid! Stupid woman!!

I wanted to march them all to the van and peel out of the parking lot for home. But, I had promised Tuba lunch in the cafeteria...and he had been good. I contemplated making the trouble makers sit and watch Tuba eat. But, I wimped out knowing it would only cause me more misery.

After lunch and a cool down (for me) I gave the kids the red heart stickers to hand out. They were nervous at first. Then suddenly Mr. P got brave, stood up and handed a sticker to a little girl with Down Syndrome. She was thrilled. Her mom and dad each got one too. Busy Guy gave out some too. One little boy made us laugh when he yelled NO and threw the sticker on the ground. Sis and Baby George gave all theirs to adults. It was so fun to watch them. Sis would just go right up and plant the sticker on someone's hand. It was fun.

The ride home was loud. Chaotic. Nobody was listening...again...the eye twitch. Good feeling gone. I was cranky and tired and defeated. Later that night as I thought about the day I wondered if the kids would remember me hollering at them or would they remember the ROAK we did. I don't know?

The next day Sis was telling G. Sue all about our RAOK. She told her that we "Spwed Wuv". So precious. I got all teared up. It was a Kairos moment. Don't know what that is? Then ya didn't read the Carpe Diem essay. Read it!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Love this holiday

Valentine's Day. My FAVORITE!!! I love it!
We have a tradition of having Valentine Dinner our pj's. This year I noticed that the kids pj's were getting worn out. I decided I'd get us all new ones for our special dinner.
The kids and Cam bought me the beautiful yellow plant. Love that!
I often hear people complain and say how they don't like Valentine's Day. Huh? What's not to love? I've heard some say it's the Hallmark Holiday or they don't need a special day to show love. Hmpf! Of course we show our love all year through but Valentine's Day is a fun day to turn it up a notch. It's not about expensive gifts. Cam and I get each other a few small things and we get the kids a small bit of candy...and their new pj's.
Here's what I got Cam. Wine, chocolate, a new hat and of course pj's! A handmade card too! So, it's not a Hallmark Holiday for me. :)
Dinner was Asian Flank Steak, Ceasar salad, and oven roasted potatoes. Yummo! Sparkling cider too. Wine for us big people. Sis loves to wear this grass skirt as a wig. Cheers!
The whole gang in our new duds! The boys were sure to tell me they wanted Valentine pj's...but no hearts please.
And don't forget dessert. Chocolate Crazy Cake!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Kitchen Paint

Okay, this is major change!! From the moment we first looked at our new house I hated really disliked the deep red paint. It's just not me. Too dark. Plus, the ceiling was also red! Horrible!! The thought of priming and painting the kitchen had me trembling with fear. It would be so much work.

Then something wonderful happened. My friend Lynnette sent me a lovely card and a gift certificate worth 4 hours of painting. She had won it at an auction and felt led to give it to me. She had just seen the red room! Thanks Lynnette!!

So finally I called the painting gal and got going! It is an amazing transformation. It took her 16 hours to do the job. So thankful it wasn't me....which would have been more like 60 hours.

We also got new windows in the kitchen just before the painting was done. From this first pic you can see a shelf and cabinet on the wall. I took them all down. Did. Not. Like. Them.

 It is amazing!! Such a difference!! Light, bright and the room is somehow bigger! I love it beyond all comprehension! There is a little strip at top of door trim that I have to touch up today...and...then....I'm going to pick a color for the dining room! You can see a bit of the dining room color in one of these photos. It's goldy brightness that has to go. I'll be painting that room soon. So fun.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Since I'm posting about the Family Room I really can't miss the opportunity to tell you all about our sectional. This one here.
We went out shopping looking for a cabinet to house all of our DVDs and CDs. Ya know, one with a lock to keep the kids from ruining them, scratching them, spreading them all over the house and using them as Frisbees. Seriously. Anyway, as we were looking Cam calls me on my cell (the store is huge and I had lost Cam). So I answer and he starts ranting about this great sectional he found. Huh? We were there to get a cabinet.
So, I meander over the where he is to see the sectional. Cam was SO enthusiastic. He loved it! He wanted it! He told the saleslady to write it up! Huh??? Whoa!!!!! I do NOT operate under such conditions. EVER!

I took a huge deep breath and started trying to convince Mr. Impulsive to put the brakes go home and think it measure it out on the really make sure he wanted it. This store is a Warehouse clearance and all sales are final.

Oh, no. He wasn't going for it at all. He LOVED it. He wanted it. By now the kids were all lounging on it, jumping on it, and Cam was checking to make sure we would all fit. Okay, even I laid down on it too. We fit.

My pulse was rushing, my head was spinning. But, something strange happened. I started telling myself to chill. I told myself not to be such a control freak. I told myself that Cam has never been excited about any piece of furniture....EVER....not even a little bit. So, I told myself to let that husband of mine buy that couch.

So he did. I went to the car to calm my nerves and plot the future ways my giving in would benefit me.

Cam paid and planned to pick it up the next day. Great

Cam got a delivery Cam took the seats out of our minivan. It took two trips to bring the new sectional home. Cam had the neighbor guy help he and I unload it. Next we needed to bring it from the garage into the family room. No problem. We have moved lots of furniture. We've never hired movers. We are tough, strong and determined people.

Our neighbor is very mathematical and he began measuring the door, measuring the sectional, each piece of it to figure the best was to bring it in.

We started with the smaller of the two pieces. Who wouldn't? It was tight, it was tough, we turned it, we rotated it, we finally figured out that the only was to get it in was to stand it on it's end and then wedge it back side first through the door and then rotate the rest in. Sweaty and tired we finally got it in place. Now, time for piece two. looks much bigger. Hmmmm....we measured, we calculated, we called in a second neighbor, we labored, we turned, rotated, lifted, twisted, cursed, and repeated.

After a sweaty hour of geometry gone bad we realized it was NOT going to fit through the door. And, actually there are two doors. It wouldn't fit either door. At that point I was REALLY regretting Mr. Impulsive's new non-refundable sectional. We stood looking at our new sectional that would not fit in our new house. Great! I suggested the neighbors might want to go home. I could feel a divorce big fight coming on.

Actually very little was said. About an hour later at dinner Cam had a brilliant idea! He had solved the problem. He said we could just take the livingroom furniture and put it in the family room and the new sectional could go in the livingroom. He was so proud of himself. Me? Not so much! I shopped for months, measured, laid out a plan, agonized over the color, shape, size and feel of the livingroom set. I would NOT be putting it downstairs. Ummmmm.....NO. Of course Cam thought this was completely unreasonable of me. Completely. NOT!

But Cam did have a genius idea. Even better than my idea of selling the sectional on Craigslist or returning to the Warehouse and crying and telling them he was facing divorce over a couch. He measured the windows in the family room. Yep. It would about an inch. The good news it that we did need new windows. The bad news. This was not a planned expense. Oh well, what in life is planned? I know, stupid saying but I had to use it to make myself feel better.

So in the end we got an awesome sectional for $700.00 AND new windows for......get ready....I'm sure you can guess.......$700.00!!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Family Room

It's high time I post the before and after pics of our family room makeover.
When we came to tour our house I was frightened of the basement. The family room was awful! Old nasty carpet, long skinny room, old tile ceiling, weird built-in cabinets, and a BIG red wall. Icky! I couldn't imagine a warm cozy room for our family. It was a stretch. Cam had great vision. I trusted in his vision. Okay, actually I had my own ideas...which ebbed and flowed along the way. First I decided I'd never go down there. Problem solved. Fine, I do have to occasionally go down and check on the kids so it might as well be pleasing to my sight. Then I got on board and decided the room could be made over. Then I REALLY got going. I wanted one HUGE room....not the L-shaped room of Cam's vision. I was hard to budge from my vision (by budge I mean Cam just went ahead with his plan and ignored me standing in the corner with my hands on my hips). Then something magical happened. I "got" Cam's vision. Turns out he was right! The L-shaped room works really well. Plus, it leaves me a big room for sewing/crafts/laundry (I'll share that project soon).
I didn't take any photos before the demo began. Darn it! The door you can see in the wall wasn't a door. It was boarded up and behind the built in cabinets. You can see all the dismantled pieces of these. They ran the length of the wall and were where the white paint is on the red wall.
The room also had these funky interior windows. Not my favorite. Good bye.
The room does have nice big windows and a good view of the front garden.

This is the room on the other side of the red wall. The office. It had concrete floor and the same old tile ceiling.
Cam and our friend Vern took the wall down to the studs. They needed to see if we would need a support beam put in. The best news of the project was that the wall contained a big steel pole. No beam required. Savings in the bank form of carpet and paint!

Okay, now the after pics. The best part!
Here's the view standing in the doorway looking into the room. We took the door and door frame down and finished it. Much better. We don't need (or want) a door on our family room. 5 kids behind a closed door. NOT!
Now the view looking back at the entryway. The hutch is a very special piece of furniture. It was my mom's. I grew up with it and it reminds me of my childhood. I love it, thanks Mom!
From this pic you can see a good view of the fireplace. We are installing a new gas insert soon, ie: when we get our tax refund. :)
Here is the new office. It's a work in progress. Mostly it's unused. The computer is broken, and I haven't filed any paperwork since we moved. Yikes!
Standing in front of TV looking into office. The blue door leads to my sewing/craft/laundry area.

So what's next? Color!! I haven't decorated yet. Right now it's the Beige Palace. I'm going to add blue accents. The theme will be ocean. I'm framing a bunch of our favorite beach photos for the walls. But overall it's an amazing difference! Love our family room...which also doubles as a guest come on over and spend the night! Seriously, we'd love to have you!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

More Inner Child

More on my Inner Child. I loved my SIL Cinn's comment. She says, I think that the caring part of you may be part of your inner child, but I also think that the part of you that revels in silliness is part of your inner child. For example, I have seen you make all kinds of funny faces and sounds while laughing with and enjoying your children. You can be very uninhibited in that way, and I think that is also part of your inner child. :). This went straight to my heart. I had to pause and let it sink in. How wonderful that she noticed this and that she told me. After thinking about it I agree with her I do make funny faces and sounds while laughing with my kids. It's hard sometimes to see these things. I think it's is so much part of me....a easy natural part of me. One that I don't worry about or wonder if I do it wrong. I don't notice it because it's just seamlessly me. Ahhhh.....the Inner Child, me.

I also had a great conversation with Cam about this topic. He reads my blog religiously but doesn't comment. So, here is what he had to say. He said the Inner Child is the sense of wonder, sense of adventure in me. Huh? I'm not adventurous I said. He turned and looked at me. Becky, you have 5 kids, you've adopted twice from around the world and you've been to Africa. Oh, okay. He's right! I am adventurous. Of course a ton of research, planning, prepping, and a whole lot of prayer help me to be adventurous. :) And...he's right about my sense of wonder. I thirst for knowledge and I wonder about people and what make them tick, and how they got to where they are, and how things work, and why things happen......and on and on and on....

The other thing Cam said is a child does not temper themselves around others. As adults we stop being carefree and start to guard against what we say and do because of what others will think. Case in point: We were out to dinner and Sis passed gas. She then loudly announced, "I farted". I was DYING! The tables all around us were laughing and Sis just carried on with her dinner. Okay, I am glad that as adults we temper farting in public and announcing it but it makes my point.

When I was a kid I loved Solid Gold the TV show and I REALLY loved the Solid Gold dancers! My sister and I along with the neighbour girl would put on our own Solid Gold dance shows in the living room. At my Dad and Stepmom's house there was a wrought iron spiral staircase. Just the perfect thing to perform as a Solid Gold dancer (if you do not know what a Solid Gold dancer is go here). We also loved to put on our Grease album and belt out all the tunes. Today I love to sing with and to my kids. I love to dance with them too. It makes me feel happy and carefree. Now, I do NOT have a good singing voice but with my kids I don't care....just like when I was a kid. My inner child loves to boogey and sing out home where I don't have to temper it for fear of other adults seeing and hearing me.

Now to my favorite comment. Anonymous left a comment saying: CAM is a hottie. Yep! Anonymous I completely agree with you!! My first thought was that Cam had posted it himself. Just the kind of thing he'd write....well, maybe he'd say...."Cam is a total stallion!". I would love to know who anonymous is...please tell me! Then my friend Gary made me crack up laughing because he added to the comments I agree with Anonymous. But Becky ain't bad either! Hilarious!! I think that's Gary's inner child having fun!

So I'll leave you with a picture of Mr. Hottie himself and my cutie pie baby George...who really is not so much a baby anymore.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Inner Child

I haven't written about books for awhile. This last month my book club read The Grace to Race. The Wisdom and Inspiration of the 80 Year Old World Champion Triathlete known as the IRON NUN. Sister Madonna has competed in over 45 Ironman races plus many other triathlons and marathons. She began running and competing at the age of 48. This 80 yr old nun is an amazing athlete but also has such a wonderful outlook on life. It was a fun read!

My favorite quote from Sister Madonna is, "Don't ever grow up! Never lose sight of your inner child. It is the purest, most unadulterated authentic part of you". Love it! I read it outloud at book club. Then I wondered aloud what this part of me is. Hmmmm. I feel like even as a child I was adult like. One of my friends piped up with, "That's why you married Cam". Exactly! Cam embraces his inner child.....actually it's not really all that inner. :) But seriously Cam is silly and wild and childlike in all the fun ways.

Back to the childlike part of me. I'm serious when I say I wonder what it is. I do like to have fun and be silly and laugh. When I think of what I really enjoyed doing as a kid it was a lot of adult like play. I loved playing house and dolls and know I was the teacher and the mom and the boss! I loved riding bikes and playing jump rope. I loved school (until high school) and loved spelling. I loved to cook and sew. I loved to organize and clean. I would ask my friends if I could help them clean their rooms.

So what part of those things is childlike in my life now? Did I become a mom of 5 kids with a teaching degree who loves to read, sew, clean and cook to hold onto my inner child? the boss. Is that how I express my inner child? I don't know. I'm really stumped. I don't really like to play. I'll play games with the kids (not Candy Land) and read to them but really I don't like to play imaginary games. Painful. I like to work. I really do. I happen to enjoy my work which is good.

Maybe the inner child in me doesn't look like play. Maybe it's the deeply caring part of me. As I child I always felt deeply for others, for those less fortunate or mistreated. I was so distraught when I first saw starving children on TV. As an adult I still feel deeply for others. If that is part of my inner child I am happy to nurture it and not ever lose sight of that child.

So, people who know me well, those that knew me as a child. Please tell me, what does my inner child look like so that I can hold tight to it. Thank you.


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