Monday, February 28, 2011

Music Therapy... Monday Edition

After searching You-Tube for a completely different song altogether, I stumbled upon this one. It's raining over here. Literally and figuratively. It's a good thing I like thunderstorms. "So I pray..." Enjoy today's music therapy and enjoy the cleansing power of the rain.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's...

SUPER GIRL! And what a super girl she is. This picture was taken at The Miracle League softball game last October when the players dressed in their Halloween costume. Chuck and I joked that the "S" on her costume actually stood for "Seizure Girl." C'mon. It's kinda funny, right? No? Perhaps others need a sense of humor like we have. If you can't beat it, joke about it. That's our motto!

There hasn't been a lot to joke about lately. Increased seizure activity and manic behavior has kept a smile from that precious little face...and ours too. We will be spending our spring break at Children's Hospital for a 96 hour EEG where Anna will be taken off all her meds and then we will start over with new ones. The neurologist has told us to prepare for a roller coaster ride, as it will be all trial and error as to what medications (or combos, thereof) will work best for her. And that, friends, takes time. Doesn't Dr. McGrath know that I gave up roller coasters 10 years ago? Apparently he and Anna did not get the memo. Pardon me while I get a ticket to ride...

So my little super hero is the reason I've been a little absent from the blog world lately and the reason I may be sporadic in the near future. Blogging is like therapy for me, so I'll definitely be making an appearance and keeping everyone posted on her progress that I'm claiming in advance. When you pray, say a few words for my sweet Anna. Cuz that would be, well... super.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Everything, actually. As this is Valentines Day, I'm reminded of a conversation that Jamie and I had not too long ago. She was asking me about "friends," and how she could make more of them. Apparently, at school, the subject came up about who among them had more friends. Never one to be outdone, my little red-head set out to be numero uno in the friend department. I saw this as a great opportunity to impart a little biblical wisdom. ;)

I asked her, "Do you know the best way to make a friend? It's to be a friend." She looked at me like I had four heads (it's a look I'm used to getting). I could see the wheels turning. Could it BE that simple? Really? "How do I do that?" she pondered. "Easy," I said. "Smile. Be nice. Play fair. Share your stuff. Be lovable. Treat other people the way you would like them to treat you."

Matthew 7:12 (The Message) says, "Here is a simple, rule of thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God's Law and Prophets and this is what you get." Many people dread Valentine's Day because either they don't have a special someone, or the special someone that they do have will not lavish them with the type of gifts that they feel they deserve. As a mom to a special needs kid, I understand all too well this focus on "what's lacking." But the best way I have found to take my mind off of my situation, is to focus on others.

How about you? Do you need a hug? Have you given one today? Do you need to hear that you are appreciated? Have you told your husband just how much he's appreciated? Do you feel like your husband is withholding affection? When is the last time you took the initiative with some romantic, physical contact? "Smile. Be nice. Play fair. Share your stuff. Be lovable. Treat other people the way you would like them to treat you." That's good advice for children AND grown-ups, alike.

And as for the red-head, she was happier than a tornado in a trailer park with all her new "friend-making" wisdom. I can only hope that she puts her competitive nature on the back burner and takes my advice to heart. Pun DEFINITELY intended. Happy Valentine's Day, friends!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thrift Store Clock

So last week I told you about the picture I made for the girls' bathroom here. This week I'm going to show you how I found a hideous clock at the thrift store and turned it into something fabulous.

I'd been looking around for a clock to use in the new "rock star" bathroom, but just wasn't finding anything suitable. I thought I wanted an orbit clock like this one, but I didn't want to fork over the thirty bucks for it. So there I was, aimlessly searching for the perfect clock, when I found this little gem hiding on the bottom shelf of the thrift store in town:

This picture was taken after I had begun to spray paint the top. Isn't she ridiculous? In all her tacky, gold and plastic-y glory? I prayed that she worked, but for $2.99, I figured , what the hay.

Yep. $2.99. (Sorry about the upside down picture. "Professional photographer" I am NOT! LOL!) And with a AA battery, she was good to go. Score!

And here is the final product! So glam! So fab! So cheap! I am SO in love with it!

And here she is in her new new home and I think she's fabulous. Quite sophisticated with a coat of glossy black, eh? The only thing laborious about this project was taping off the actual clock mechanism, but TOTALLY worth it in the end. Blue tape is your friend, folks. I use it for all kinds of stuff. So anyway, whaddaya think? The bathroom is still in progress, but coming along. I was thinking about adding a third color as an accent, maybe purple? Just in little doses, but where and how is still undetermined...

I'm linking up here:


Monday, February 7, 2011

Good News From The Good Book

Have you ever had one of those "ah-ha" moments (as I call them) where you feel like God is seriously trying to speak to you? I mean , not audibly, of course, but through the written word? Specifically scripture? I'm always extremely humbled that the Alpha and Omega of the universe would even want to have anything to do with me, much less try to tell me something. Especially when that something is going to benefit me in some way. I feel like such a wretch, sometimes, and yet God is so faithful to forgive me, to love me, and willing to make me a better human being. It's far better than I deserve, really.

It's easy to jump on the bandwagon with that "mob mentality" when the media decides to publicly crucify the celebrity of the month when they step out of line. Suddenly, Tiger Woods and Jesse James are the most hated men in America and water coolers everywhere are a-buzz with what has sent Kate Gosling over the edge this time. I've been there. I've judged. I've added MY two-cents worth, thinking in some way I had some authority to do so. Hmmph. And then the proverbial light goes on.

Who am I to judge? I was certainly not the poster child for decent living in my younger years. I'm so thankful that my private life was not and IS not on display on every magazine cover or news cast for all to see. And I'm not even going to discuss what you'd think of me if I had a camera crew following me and the kids around on any given Monday afternoon. There have been times I would have made Kate Gosling look like Mother Teresa. And I don't bring up my past (or my, at times, volatile present) to keep myself under some yoke of shame or unforgiveness, but to simply say that God has forgiven me of MUCH. And still does. Daily. :) I'm a work in progress. We ALL are. The family member who made a remark about my weight. The friend who let me down. The church member that hurt my feelings. Tiger Woods. ALL works in progress. ALL going to flub it up. ALL in need of forgiveness. And at the very least, to not be judged.

Two pieces of scripture stood out to me from another blog that I read. They were:
"He who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.'" Revelation 21:5 a. and
"I will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts have eaten." Joel 2:25
With a convicted heart, I can come to the throne of God and ask for His forgiveness. Renewing a right spirit within me, He allows me to grow into more of the type of person He wants me to be and less of the person that I was/ am on my own. Thank you, God, for making me new. Cuz let's face it, there were MANY years that I let the locusts devour all they wanted of my life. It was a choice. I knew better, but chose the wrong path. But God says He will restore those years to me. And I SO don't deserve it. But that's just how God is. Merciful. Compassionate. Full of grace. Completely and totally awesome. Can I get an amen? :D

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Organize Your Life Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of the "Organize Your Life" par-tay hosted by Bonnie at House of Grace, where we are working our way through the bestest book on organization EVAH: "Organize Now," by Jennifer Ford Berry. I have to say I am IN LOVE with this book and all those around me know it. So much so, that as I was explaining to my husband about some new schedule changes, he replies, "Is that in your book?" LOL! And I quickly quip, "Why YES! Yes it is..." :D And THIS week just happens to be about organizing your schedule. How apropos...

I bought a new planner a month or so back at Target and I like it okay.
It's spiral-bound and I honestly prefer one that I can add my own pages to, but I thought this one would fit nicely in my purse. And it does. Maybe I just need to give it more of a chance, so I will. :) Plus, it has stickers. What's more fun than using cute little stickers to flag the days I'll be volunteering at the school, getting my hair "did," or planning date night? I know. The next entry into my planner will read: "GET A LIFE!" LOL! But I digress...

So for this weeks goals:

* I've gotten a planner (Check.).

*Sat down and planned for the week ahead (And check.).

*Made a "to-do" list to keep in my planner. ( I found one over at Simple Mom under downloads.)

*And sorted "to-do" list by
A: Tasks for today (like pick up prescriptions, for instance)
B: Tasks to be done this week (mail present)
C: Tasks to be completed in the future (cards for Tammy)
(Check, check, and check! Yay! I feel organized already!)

I'm still in the process of
*Scheduling dentist and doctor appointments for me for the rest of the year (The kids are taken care of. I'm not going to tell you the last time I was at the dentist or the eye doctor. The sheer embarrassment would surely kill me! But that's what this is for, right? Getting momma back on track..) and
*Purchasing a new little notebook to keep by my bed to jot down things that I think about before drifting off to sleepy-town. I don't know why, but my mind just spins when my head hits the pillow and Jennifer Berry suggests that by writing them down when you think of them (knowing you can add them to your to-do list in the A.M.) will help you free your mind to get to sleep. As for
* Keeping a long-term "to-do" list in the back of my planner (BIG FAT CHECK!), that's an ongoing thing for me, so I'm ahead of the game there. Who woulda thunk it?! LOL!

So there it is... my schedule for the week. Is anyone else feeling rusty getting back to this schedule thing? ((blush)) Just being honest! But I know it's going to pay off big time. :D Next week involves organizing your cleaning schedule. The hubs is going to be THRILLED...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Infamous Chore Chart

I'm a "list person." Always have been. Always will be. There's just something about checking off a "to-do" list that gives me a sense of accomplishment. And as a bonus, stuff ACTUALLY gets done around here!

I have attempted to get a chore chart implemented for Jamie Ruth for some time. I've made my own, copied others online, and even forked over cash for some at Target and Hobby Lobby. Realizing lately that I'm the determining factor in whether a chore chart/system is going to be successful, NOT the fancy-schmancy chart itself, I'm backing up and punting (as the hubs would say!).

So I Google-searched "free chore charts," and good gravy, there are more to choose from than I could have ever imagined. I resisted the urge to make one with her name on it specifically (because I was in a hurry and I wanted to get this DONE and checked off my "to-do" list! Ha!) so I chose a simple template with all blanks spaces so I could fill in the particular chores myself. Next I sat down and decided on some age-appropriate tasks that she could do to help me out around the house. I narrowed the list to seven because that's how many blanks there were to fill in. See, this isn't brain surgery, people! I decided we'd start with these:
1. Make bed
2. Clean room
3. Set table
4. Put clothes away (these are her own clothes that I have [hopefully] already washed and dried and put in her own little laundry basket!)
5. Dirty clothes to hamper (after bath time, these are usually just left in the floor for me. Sigh...)
6. Pick out clothes for tomorrow (she wants to ague with MY choices anyway... might as well let her pick from an appropriate selection that I've chosen earlier. Insert evil laugh here. Momma is SO sneaky! Plus it makes the morning routine a breeze.)
7. Living room pick-up (EVERYONE is included in this little chore right before we hit the sack: parents and kids, alike. It doesn't matter who made the mess. We all work together to clean it up. And the bonus is, no one has to take their life in their hands if they have to make a trek across the living room in the middle of the night for a drink or to go to the potty. Safety first, right?! ;)

This list was met with zero opposition, surprisingly. I think she's a list person deep down, too. ((Sniff.)) Pardon me while I wipe the tears from my eyes. Seriously tho, it HAD to be the quarter I told her she would get for every task completed! The red-head responds to cash. Plain and simple.

To save you from doing the math, that's a potential to make a whopping $12.50 each week! For those of you that think this is too much moolah for a six year old, bear in mind that I had the forethought to know that (at least in the beginning) ALL of these tasks would not be completed each day. I've also thought ahead and decided that once we get the hang of the chore chart, I'll give her a quarter for each job completed, and then she'll give ME a quarter for each job undone. Genius, no?!

Well, before I go breaking my arm patting myself on the back, let's just hope I have enough follow-through to keep this plan in effect. I'll be checking back in here on the blog to keep myself accountable and let you know of the progress. How about the rest of you? Any chore charts/ systems that work for YOUR family?