Friday, November 27, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: driving home from church on a Sunday morning, past the new Humane Society.

Nate: Animals are treated better than some kids now.
Me: Sometimes
Nate: They have more rights
Me: At least they aren't allowed in restaurants.
Whitney: Dogs aren't allowed in McDonalds, not pets.
Nate: Yeah, you could say, but this is my cat.
Whitney: Or my Cockatoo
Nate: (holding up a finger) rrraw number 12, rrraw number 12
Whitney: (at the same time) Polly wanna cheeseburger?
Whitney: they will need a sign with a picture of a ferret in a circle with a line through it.
Nate: One of the teachers at Heights has a ferret. She lets the kids take it for walks in the hall on a leash. It can't get any traction in the hallway so it's like a sock on leash. Totally pointless.

Thursday, November 26, 2009



The tangible item in my life that I am most thankful for is my Bible. Through all the rough times in my life I have always found comfort in it. Just holding it is comforting. Opening it and reading it is better, but having it in my hands makes a difference. It's what it represents, it's what it is. It is the Word of God, written for me and to me. Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path". (NLT)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's NOT okay

We were watching TV the other night and it was a show about teenagers. A couple of high school students had gotten themselves into trouble and when they told her parents she was pregnant, the parents were not happy. The dad told the daughter he was disappointed in her. At this point, the daughter got all righteous with her “YOU are disappointed in ME? Why, because I made a misTAKE? Why can’t you just tell me you love me and hold me and tell me everything is going to be okay?” Definition of okay: 1 all right; proceeding normally; satisfactory or under control: 2 adequate but unexceptional or unremarkable: 3 tolerable.
When did it become a parents job to just hold you and tell you everything will be okay when you mess up? Life hands out beatings on a regular basis. And the ones you earn by “making mistakes” can be particularly harsh. Want to make adult decisions? Suffer adult consequences.
My response to this situation is this: "It is going to be okay, eventually. But I wanted better than "okay" for you. From the first time I saw you I knew you could do great things. Maybe not be president of the USA or an astronaut on the moon, but I watched you. I saw you. You got prettier and more confident as you grew. You had a vivacious and fun personality that drew people to you. You had a knack for trying out for athletic teams and vocal auditions and earning spots that you weren’t good enough for going in, but you rose to the challenge. You became as good as or better than your competition just by being in the same room with them. You earned playing time on teams you weren’t good enough to make because you worked hard and wouldn’t take no for an answer. I watched you get a solo in big concert, very selective of who got the solos, and you earned it. So I don’t want to tell you everything is going to be okay, because that's what you want to hear and need to believe, but it's not enough. I’m looking at what life could’ve been. And while that baby is going to change your life and bring you lots of joy, sex and childbirth and parenting are experiences that only get better if you wait later in life for them. You can have sex and a baby after high school. You can’t go back to prom and homecoming and senior skip day and a myriad of other rites of passage. While those things may not sound important to you, they are. They are a part of growing up, maturing, experiencing the last year of your youth before you get thrown into the adult world. I remember the dreams you had for after high school, what you wanted to do with your life. And you had the same dreams for 3 years, until you got pregnant. And now, when others your age are going out to movies and planning college visits, you will be home changing diapers and holding a colicky baby. Those dreams you had are still possible, but at great sacrifice to you and greater sacrifice to the baby. And while that baby will be a wonderful addition to your life, it is an experience that is better left till after high school. And within a year you will understand the sadness and hurt that comes along with being a parent. The hurt of a sick baby. You can’t tell them it’s going to be "okay", they don’t understand. You can’t give them Aleve and put them to bed, because it would kill them. You can’t take the pain and sickness and hurts from them, because moms don’t get that magic power, as much as we want it. It won’t take long before you feel disappointment for the first time. The paper in elementary school that isn’t their best. The fight with a kid on the playground. The “look you in the eyes and lie to you”.
So yes, it will be okay, but you should’ve had better, could’ve had better than "okay". And I know this can't be reversed, but fight for your baby to have every opportunity like we did for you. Teach her to do right. Let her learn from her mistakes, and don’t ever let her accept that it’s going to be “okay”. Teach her to strive for better than that. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Try to follow his plan; it is so much better than ours. I know from experience, as does every other parent, that when we do things outside of the guidance of the Word of God, it is not his plan. Teach your child to walk in the Lord’s plans. Future and a hope. That’s what we want. Not okay."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Whitney, holding up my race shirt from the Turkey Trot

Whitney: Mom, how come you always get such big shirts?
Me: Ouch! I get shirts in my size so they will fit me.
Whitney: But I can’t wear it!
Me: If you want a shirt you will have run and get your own.
Whitney: Well, let’s go register.

She is running the two mile tomorrow, already wore her shirt to school.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for all the things that have caused me frustration and discouragement recently.

1. Thankful for rebellious, making poor choices, living BAD lives kids. Because I have hope that they will turn it around and come back to what they know is right. I DID!
2. Thankful for a car defroster that takes forever to warm up. I had to scrape the inside of the car window this morning. But I have a car, with a defroster. And a scraper, and mittens.
3. Thankful for friends who have really great weeks on their diets when I have a bad one. And can outrun me and kick my tail in raquetball. I have friends. That are on the same diet plan and run with me and play raquetball with me. And text me and facebook me and email me to see how I'm doing on all these things. And will even sympathize with me and chastize me when necessary.
4. Thankful for my gray hair that I have to cover with Clairol. I have great hair, it's still thick and wavy (or straight if I want to use the flat iron) and the wiry gray that I have to cover is just a sign of life. I wouldn't get younger even if it was possible.
5. The nights that I can't sleep because it's extra time I read my Bible and pray and catch up on old episodes of the Beverly Hillbillies. (I tried to watch I Dream of Jeannie, but she was so pitifully jealous I couldn't stand her).
6. Pulling myself out of bed in the morning and struggling to wake up and get moving. Because I am still employed.
7. The new Star Trek movie is available on DVD. Because I’m a closet Trekkie.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I think my perfect job would be as a researcher. I love to dig for information. I love to read. Digging through the library or the web for information is like a treasure hunt for me. I love to read all the information I can find about a subject and then decide what part of it I can use and what I don’t need to use. I did (still do) this with running; training plans, methods, tips, running the races, I looked at the course maps and elevation and where the aid stops and bathroom stops are. After I read and looked at all this information, I was able to plan better and feel better about what I was attempting. I google everything. The biggest challenge is knowing what to believe. I look for people who have done what I want to do and listen to them.
So imagine my surprise this week (with myself) when I realized I wasn’t utilizing this same trait in one of the most important areas of my life. (You guys are probably tired of hearing how great my husband is, but he really is great). He said that “we” would do something this week. The actual translation was, “Patsy will spend 12-14 hours this week making this happen, without letting this affect the myriad of other duties she completes every week because she is the most amazing woman on the planet and she can do anything. I will live my normal life and show up for this event.” So our “we” was an actual commitment for “me”.
Through the course of discussion with a friend, not complaining or whining or anything like that, we were actually talking about Weight Watchers because she attends also. (Unlike me, she has having great results, I run the 6 miles to my meetings, in the dark and I’m still seeing very slow progress). Somehow I commented that this event would be hard for me as I’m making the dinner and dessert. I was told I should fix what I want, not what my husband volunteered me for. I was talking to another lady about a situation and she asked how we would handle it. I said “at our house that wouldn’t even be a question. Steve would do X and I would do Y and that would be that.” I got the whole lecture of what do you do for you and that’s not right and make sure you take time for yourself and (normally here I would say “yada yada yada”, but after Mark told us what that means in the Love Songs sermon series) blah blah blah. In another totally unrelated conversation I got the “I wouldn’t do that”, and I began to wonder what I have done or said to give the impression that Steve walks all over me.
These three women planted little seeds in a fertile heart and they grew. One day in particular I had a busy day. Not my fault, someone else decided my schedule. So I had asked for help, but no one had time to help me. Then “no one” who couldn’t help me run my errands because his day was full left his phone and other necessities for his busy day at home and needed me to bring them to him at work. Add more errands/chores. I was frustrated that not only did I not get help, I had to do more and in a week where I already had too much to do. Self pity is so ugly, thank goodness it only lasted for 15 minutes and I was alone in the car the whole time. On my way from running my errands and dropping off the stuff, I had a revelation (I had a happy meal too, wonder if that helped?) The women who gave me advice, or just offered their opinions, are Christian ladies. I love them, love to talk to them. Do not want my marriage to be anything like theirs. I REPEAT - NOTHING LIKE THEIRS. I want to suck it up on weeks like this and do these things because I know when the shoe is on the other foot I can count on Steve to pick me up. I’m no Pollyanna, (or should I say Patsyanna, because my middle name is Ann) but I do think life is pretty good. I try to live my life doing good things for others, serving and trying to meet needs. Not that I’m naturally a giving person, I work at it. It’s on purpose. Certainly nothing to brag or be proud of, but I try, and I know I could do so much more. I found myself thinking that the Bible says we should “give and it shall be given to you”, and “love others as you love yourself”. But this is not just lived in religious and Christian circles. I know many people who aren’t Christians or religious that are giving people. They give their time and money. They support charities. They raise money. I quoted some scripture above, but even Hollywood did a whole movie about this subject with “Pay it Forward”. Thinking about Hollywood, I saw in the check out line last night where Brad and Angelina are in trouble. Ya think? Tom and Katie are in trouble. SHOCKING ! These people all do great things for charities. Give money. More money than I will make in a lifetime. All have adopted kids from poverty and given them a chance at life. Travel and raise awareness of issues. And yet they miss the concept of serving each other, putting each others needs ahead of their own. Between these two couples they have 9 failed marriages and a couple failed engagements. Not saying it’s a magic formula and will fix all relationship problems, but if I am living to put Steve and his needs and wants first and he is living to put me and my needs and wants first, than we both are treating each other pretty special and it’s hard to be mad at somebody who is putting you ahead of themselves. It becomes easier to do good to them, and then, you become one of “those” couples. You know the ones that still love each other “blissfully after 23 years” and they have 4 kids. (This is a quote taken from one of my favorite bloggers, can you see why she’s a favorite of mine?) You do things to lift each other up.
So I ignored the advice to serve health conscious food and haven’t tried to figure out what I want to do for “me” time. I did exactly what Steve said “we” would do, and I finished the week feeling pretty happy about everything I got done, big smile on my face (that maybe just the dessert.)

Feel free to call me Patsyanna.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

A picture is worth a thousand words…

Whitney went to a Christian school for a couple of years in elementary. They had “green” day. For you environmentalists, it was not anything ecologically friendly, but I can’t remember exactly why they did it. This is Whitney on green day in second grade. She won for being the “greenest”. She won something green.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

1. Magic erasers and Swiffers. Both have added greatly to my life.
2. Starbucks Cinnamon Dulce Latte which is low cal and delicious.
3. Chap stick
4. Some of the best friends a person could ever hope to have.
5. Meat wrapped in cellophane. Vegetables I didn’t grow. Clothes I didn’t make. Bread I didn’t grow the wheat, crush the grain or bake in my oven.
6. Pretty shoes. Ridiculously high heels, strappy sandals, ankle straps, platforms, love them all.
7. Today
8. Dental floss and mouthwash

Monday, November 9, 2009

If wishes were horses...

My mom always said this. If wishes were horses beggars would ride. My family had quite a few odd ball sayings, most morphed from misunderstandings. My dad always said something was “as useless as faucets on a sow pig”. My sister thought he said fosters on a sow pig. What that even means is anyone’s guess. Another family gem, you’d complain if someone gave you a million dollars cause you had to take it to the bank. There were also the jokes that at one time probably were real jokes, but through miss-telling became funnier to us, and then funnier when we told them because no one else understood, which was the whole point of the joke.
What sits on a wall and laughs? Lemon meringue pie.
What’s the difference between an orange?
Two penguins were sitting in a hot tub. One says to the other, pass me a bar of soap. The other one replies, what do you think I am? A typewriter?
How many ADD kids does it take to change a light bulb? Hey, wanna go ride our bikes?
And family sayings…
Grandma’s funny!
Can’t we all just get along?
Ann Margaret! (Always used in trivial pursuit when we don’t know the answer.)
What prompted this trip down memory lane? Listening to my kids talk to each other and not understanding what they were saying. Sometimes they use lines from movies or TV shows that I haven’t seen, which leaves me in the dark, like “Anarchy, Anarchy!” But they have their jokes that I don’t get and their conversations I’m not a part of, and I like that. I remember how close I was to my brothers and sister growing up, and even now my brothers can make me laugh harder than anyone else I know. Except my son and my nephews. Chips off the old block, I tell you.
A life without laughter is just not as much fun. The people I enjoy most are the ones that make me laugh and laugh with me. (I can be serious, and know when I should be, although that doesn’t always work out). Life is hard, I feel like I have had more than my share of hard knocks (if I had my way I wouldn’t have any) but laughing sure helps. So this week, I’m “putting on a happy face” and I’m going to enjoy life.**

**this is directed at me, as I had discouraging news twice today already and once over the weekend and I’m choosing to be happy!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Conversations with Whitney

Setting: My house in the evening, Steve is watching the history channel, I'm doing paperwork. Whitney comes out of her room in sweats, tee shirt, tennis shoes with her back pack over her shoulder.

Me: Going somewhere?
Whitney: blank look
Me: It's 9:32 in the evening
Whitney: blank look
Steve: laughter
Whitney: I'm so stupid. (and she goes back to bed)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Weekend in Review

It was so crazy, I just now realized it's over. Volleyball tournament was Saturday, Whitney's middle school team broke all kinds of school records this season. They were undefeated, won all city title by winning the tournament Saturday, first year ever the students beat the faculty in volleyball, and the faculty didn't give it to them, and best of all, all ten volleyball players were on honor roll so they had a special recognition of them at the honor roll breakfast. It was really cool. Two things I didn't like about the breakfast, the food wasn't great, and since I've gone back to weight watchers eating unhealthy food that is not good, not gonna do it, and I didn't have enough time to visit with the other moms.
Judgment House is over, so Steve is home a little more (YAY) I really missed him. Nate went to Manhattan for a base ball camp (Manhattan, Ks) his baseball fundraiser is over and his part time job is over for end of season, so he will have a little extra time until he finds another job, if he so decides.
I have realized that the holidays are looming right around the corner. I love some aspects of the holidays while others not so much. Unfortunately I have some relationships that will never be right this side of heaven, and while we all manage to get along and sweep junk under the rug, the junks there, and it does diminish the enjoyment of the season. My kids are all old enough Christmas shopping is hard (and expensive). Also have 6 close family birthdays to celebrate between now and the end of the year. Me and cake, now we get along waaaaaay to well.
Anyway, enough rambling, I have dishes and laundry to do before I try to get to church tonight. Everyone have a great week!