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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sam, Sam the PJ Man

Do you ever look over your shoulder to see if there is a camera recording the whims of your family?  Sometimes I am quite certain that some producer, somewhere out there is directing the absurdity that goes on in my home.  This morning, I sincerely questioned if I was living life in a sitcom.

Sam absolutely, positively, no way in this world was getting dressed today.  He was adamant that he was wearing pajamas to kindergarten today.  Often, this isn't a battle I won't fight.  Whatever, wear your pajamas.  But when I looked at this choice of pajamas, I knew we needed to find some middle ground.  His white pj pants with construction trucks were too thin and too small to be seen in public.  His blue fleece snowman print top fit better, but wasn't exactly coordinating with the bottoms and screamed "This kid's mom let's him wear pajamas! TO SCHOOL!"

So we compromised.  I agreed he could wear pajamas, but agreed to put on a clean set.  Mom, take #1.  A pair of black fleece pants and a tshirt.  "Mom, those are not even pajamas!  I am NOT wearing that to school."

Mom, take #2, a honest to goodness pair of pajamas in the form of a pair of blue wind pant type pants with a spiderman longsleeve shirt.  "Mom, you know I don't like spiderman."  Well, no I didn't know, but thanks for the update.

Mom, take #3, 4, 5 pajama sets that have coordinating tops and bottoms.  "Too small, too itchy, those are for babies."

Sam, take #1, footed monkey pajamas.  "Sam, I really don't think footed pajamas are going to work well for school."

Sam, take #2 and 3, footed Christmas pj's.  "Sam.  No footed pajamas for school.  Save it for pajama day."

Mom, take #6, pirate pajama set.  "All those skulls might scare someone."

Mom, take #7, pajama set with the snow monster, aka Bumble, on them.  "That's just what I was looking for!"

"Great.  Get dressed already."  By this time, I don't even care if they are a little snug and a lot short in length.  He made it to school fully (okay, kind of) clothed.  And I really appreciated that the helper in the carpool line laughed, shrugged and said, "At least you got him here!"

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Art of a Deep Breath

Hi. My name is Billie Jo.  And I may have some OCD tendencies.  (I can hear my mom snort and say "May?" as she reads this.)

Pre-kids, I had it.  I had it bad.  Of course I denied it to myself as I wiped the bathroom counter down every morning.  As child after child has been born, I have had to learn to let more and more things go.  And as those babies grew into toddlers.  I let more.  My bathrooms does not sparkle the same way it use to.  There are dirty dishes in my kitchen sink more than there aren't.  Try as I may, my floors have a little sticky spot or grit more than I care to admit.  And the laundry.  Don't even get me started on the laundry...

Those toddlers have grown into boys and with boys come dirt.  After all, the definition of a boy is a noise with dirt on it.  Part of me knows those boys are old enough to help.  But let's be honest, what 5, 7 or 10 year old boy can clean as well as mom?  They won't do it as well as me.  They might make a bigger mess in the process.  I don't want to fight with them about it.  I could make a laundry list of excuses to not let or make them help, but as I mentioned, I already have PLENTY of laundry to do.

But by not letting them help, who am I serving?  Who am I allowing them to serve?  The list is pretty short and my name seems to be the only one on the list.  When I take the patience, the time, the patience, the energy and the patience to help them help me, I get to serve them now, and in the future. I am serving their future roommates, families and co-workers.  I am serving God by helping shape men who will know how to serve others.  And don't forget, I am serving me in the future!

If I allow it, I can find the me of today being served.  If I can learn to get past the fact that that's not the way I would do it or accept that even if it isn't spotless, it's cleaner than it was, I can find myself being served by my children.

That's why today when Ray was vacuuming the entry way and flipping rugs over to get their undersides and I could hear the dirt skitter across then entry way, I resisted the urge to snatch the hose from him and do it myself.  Instead, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes for a minute before I turned to him and smiled.  "Thanks for helping Ray."

And in that choice, in that deep breath, I found not only did future me get served, but so did present me.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Just Another Chapter...

First morning home after a busy week in South Dakota which was punctuated by a family mission trip in Yankton, which was a very cool experience. We spent 3 days of keeping Theo from falling off or through church basement folding chairs to have him topple a wooden kitchen chair over this morning breaking a spindle and cut his bottom lip from the front and back, but thankfully, not all the way through. After a trip to the laceration room at the ER, I seriously think there should be a plaque with our family name, and a little surgical glue, we are home again. Hardest part of it all? Keeping the little monkey from climbing EVERYTHING in the hospital and getting hurt more!

Here is a picture of Thii's fat lip.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


"Mom, why don't you ever hum-itate?"
"Hum-itate? Um, I'm not sure. What is hum-itate?"
"You know, where you close your eyes, hold your hands like this and say, hmmmmmm."
I look over my shoulder to the backseat and see this:
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"You should try it. Sometimes, when you're not looking, I float. But only when you're not looking. Ninjas float all the time when they hum-itate but I'm not a real ninja. (big pause) Yet."

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Getting into the pool  the other day, Sam requested a raft be pushed his way.

"Which one would you like?"

"I want the raft with the stable eyes," pointing to a long, grey raft with lots of little pockets in it.

"Stable eyes, huh? What do they do?"

"Yea, stable eyes.  They keep it from tipping over."

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Going for a Ride

The other day we were driving past East Side Lake and a bus of tourists was unloading in the parking lot as someone was getting the Spam Belle ready to launch.  I gestured out the window and commented, "Looks like they are going to take the boat for a ride."

"I don't understand," was Sam's reply.

"There are lots of people in the parking lot and they are getting the boat ready to take it out on the lake for a ride." I said, not really understanding what he didn't understand.

"I see the people and I see the boat, but you don't  take a boat for a ride.  The people are going to ride on the boat."

"Oooooh!" I smiled and had a little laugh. "Yes, Sam, you're right.  They aren't taking the boat for a ride, they are riding ON it.  The boat is taking them for a ride."

"I don't understand why people say ride wrong all the time."

Laughing, I had to agree and give Sam  a point for grammar.  "I guess about the only way you can really take a boat for a ride is if you are pulling it on a trailer."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dream Song

Per Sam's request.

There are no piranhas in Sam's dream, in Sam's dream.
There are no piranhas in Sam's dream, in Sam's dream.
There's a sun and moon and coconut cream pie,
but there are no piranhas in Sam's dream, in Sam's dream.