Tag Archives: Family

The (not always so) Sweet Life

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mlhs/305645556/in/photolist-t1vLY-fDf9eU-714j4-hogF8e-pDacPS-cYWRiL-6hmNJe-qA25P2-pDaaoE-gx91ZY-pDaaHC-caQXDA-6GnoZi-5rBcuZ-7FLo5B-5bcqjp-eTF47A-8y7CYZ-2sJrv-2sJru-4ZNnBz-7LBNyx-4LrK2n-neVn6Z-8vRGbg-8ggPU9-6z25H9-8vRDCF-dfgaBL-qKBbJf-fgktPk-51ZtBt-3t8oh-8yJdJr-FbdMM-2soz6A-63Uz9B-2Tzst-cwxQeA-42GExe-ee4DQz-gdRip2-6vXE9B-4yKaq-6KAkAE-4cXx6a-cHneB3-b4ha62-b4h9u2-qzZ2it

Took the kids to the Lego store last night for the monthly build. We haven’t gone to one in forever (who am I kidding? I’ve never been to one. My sweet husband, who took them last time, hasn’t been in months and probably only went last time because I suggested it). Surprise! The builds are not on Monday nights, they’re on Tuesday.

Tried again this evening (the mall, twice in one week. That was probably my first mistake). My kids were concerned about missing it tonight after missing it yesterday, but they also 1) didn’t get their school work done very quickly and 2) didn’t want to forego playing with friends this evening if they didn’t have to. So, after telling the kids multiple times this afternoon that the build starts at 5:00 and goes until they run out of supplies or the mall closes, we arrive about 7:45. Wrong. The Lego build, which is on the first Tuesday of the month, has very specific hours: 5:00-7:00. Kids cope with having missed it. Not too big a deal.

(Side note: Lego store rocks. Even though the kids were handling the disappointment both times REALLY well, the Lego employees seemed to realize what a loser mom my kids are stuck with. So, they gave us last month’s Lego build set when we arrived yesterday and discovered we were off by a day. Tonight, a totally different employee snuck back and secretly bagged up this month’s build set, tracked my kids down in the store separately and handed them each a bag on the down low. Bless them. They can’t make up for a life time of living with me, but they sure did try).

The kids brought their own money to the mall to buy Sweet CeCe’s frozen yogurt, since I wasn’t willing to spring for it when we were at the mall yesterday. We head there. We debate cup sizes – the “Sweet” size for a flat price or the “Sweeter” size for a price per ounce. My daughter chooses the flat rate and heads off. My son (who thinks ice cream and frozen yogurt are a food group unto themselves) chooses the per ounce cup. This is not surprising. I’m expecting him to gorge himself. It’s his money, so I leave it up to him. I help my daughter get her yogurt and she goes off to add toppings. My son tells me “not too much” as I start filling his. I am shocked. Apparently, he’s really watching his spending.

The problem is, he isn’t actually tall enough to SEE the yogurt being dispensed. So he’s jumping up and down trying to keep tabs on it. During one of his jumps, he reaches out and attempts to give himself a little boost using the tray of the yogurt machine. 10 seconds later, I am COVERED from hip to toe in some combination of Cheerful Chocolate and Vanilla Bean. The trays from the machine are on the ground. I am not cheerful. I have frozen yogurt in my sandals. I am standing in pond of frozen melted yogurt. My daughter has discovered that the toppings bar has exactly her favorite topping and is excitedly trying to tell me about it from across the way. I am dripping and trying to apologize to the sweet girl running the store. Bless her heart. I nearly beg her to let me help her clean it up. I mean, it is a disaster. And 1 hour before closing time. I’d have hated us. Instead, she is incredibly sweet. My son finishes putting the toppings on his yogurt. He is much more selective than usual. His frugal side is showing. He’s trying to keep the cost low since he knows he’s got to pay for it. Just a few things, and one single piece of cookie dough. We check out. His is actually cheaper than hers. We make a run for it before they kick us out of the mall.

We needed to go by the grocery store on our way home.I’d have skipped it, but we really did need just a couple of things. So, we make our way through Publix, me with one pants leg soaked through-and-through from top-to-bottom with chocolate yogurt and yogurt squishing in the bottom of my sandals, the kids carrying their Sweet CeCe’s so they can finish it up (and head straight to bed when we get home, it’s getting late). We’re nearly done shopping, and rounding the corner to head to a register when my son somehow manages to flip his yogurt cup, with remaining yogurt and toppings, upside down and into the middle of the aisle. Seriously, two chocolate puddles in one evening? My son looks sheepish, but torn. He doesn’t really want to write-off the yogurt and toppings. Head in hands, I send the kids together to the restroom, which is within sight, to clean themselves up and bring me back some paper towels. While they’re gone, I remember there are some wipes in my purse and manage to get it cleaned up. I go to meet the kids at the restroom, holding a chocolate puddle and a mess in my hands, where my daughter is emerging with a handful of paper towels. I explain that I got it cleaned up. She is relieved. He begins to slowly, quietly melt. He glues himself to my side and buries his face. He is quietly crying. Then, not so quietly. Then, full on sobbing. “You’re tired,” I say, “we need to get you home.”

“I’m not tired,” he says, “I’m sad.”  “I really wanted that piece of cookie dough.”

We check out, sandals still squishing, and head home.

 

Photo Credit: Flickr 

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. for kids

About two weeks ago, our family went to the local art museum. We were there primarily to see an exhibit of Norman Rockwell’s work, but also on display was an exhibit that highlighted art by some of our country’s African American artists.

We wandered through this exhibit first, and as we went along, we came to this piece.

Duck Duck Noose by Gary Simmons (1992)

Neither of my children (5 and 7) understood the piece at all. And so, I found myself in the middle of a museum trying to explain to my children how people can choose to judge each other entirely by the outside appearance rather than by looking at the heart. Truth be told, I started explaining, but started tearing up about it (somehow having children has turned me into a really easy crier). I was EXTREMELY thankful that my husband was with us on this particular day because he took one look at me trying to breathe deeply (lest I become a true weepy mess, which NONE of us wanted. Trust me.) and just picked up where I had trailed of. So, between the two of us, we talked about racism and the Klu Klux Klan and how horribly wrong it is to make assumptions about people based on what they look like.

My 5 year old looked up at us and asked “What color are WE?”

It was one of those rare FANTASTIC parenting moments where I thought we’d done something right. That’s EXACTLY what I would have chosen for him to have asked.

He looked down at his arm and thought for a second and said “Are we white . . . you know, white-ish?”

So, I explained to him that if we had to check a box on a form, we’d probably check the “white” box. I was in the middle of following that up with something deep and meaningful when he said:

“Yay! We’re white!”

(and for about a second I wanted to die)

And then he said:

“They [meaning the KKK] couldn’t do anything like that to us, right?”

And then, I just REALLY wanted to cry.

Obviously, more discussion was required. It’s a hard thing to explain to a 5 year old that “couldn’t” and “probably wouldn’t” are not the same thing and that just choosing to disagree with people who use violence as their means of settling arguments might make you a target regardless of your skin color. And of course, just because someone might not treat us as badly as someone else, it’s still just wrong in the first place, and not something we want to celebrate having been spared. That kind of violence just shouldn’t happen in the first place.

It was one of those days when you know that your children’s view of the world has expanded and changed . . . a lot. And it makes you sad on some levels, because you know that the world the way they knew it before that experience was much more innocent and straight-forward (and color-blind). And yet, it’s important to develop empathy and to begin to understand that life continues to be about choices and about how we choose to treat one another. That’s not something reserved just for childhood.

So, even though we watched Martin Luther King Jr’s speech during the 1963 March on Washington last year on this day, this year it meant even more to me and more to my children, and my husband joined us on the couch as we watched. And we talked about how ordinary people can choose to make a difference. And about how no human being (save one, and He died on a cross 2000 years ago) is perfect, but there ARE such things as heroes, and the people who deserve that title are the ones who do the hard stuff and make the world a better place.

And now, since I’m all about a good book, here’s the one we read today. Do read the reviews. There’s a shadowy drawing of a man who has been lynched. If you have very young children or aren’t ready to get into that kind of detail, this may not be the right book for you. It is a very informative book about the Civil Rights movement in general and written in a very straight-forward style.

 

 

 

 

Crazy Kids Bible Devotional: Jesse Tree Day 23

Children's Bible Study

Welcome to Day 23 of the Crazy Kids Bible Devotional Jesse Tree series! Our LAST in the Jesse Tree series. We hope that you have enjoyed them as much as we have enjoyed doing them!

The podcast will be up on this post later today, but I wanted to go ahead and get the devotional guide and ornament out there for anyone that wanted it. I’m sure the next 24+ hours will be very busy for everyone!

You can download the devotional guide and printable ornament for Day 23 by clicking the image below (or here: Day-22-Here.pdf (421 downloads) )

Kids Bible Devotion

 

Today’s Kids’ Daily Devotional Jesse Tree, Day 23 Podcast:

Crazy Kids Bible Devotional: Jesse Tree Day 22

Children's Bible Study

Welcome to Day 22 of the Crazy Kids Bible Devotional Jesse Tree series!

Children's Bible StudyWe seem to have hit the perfect storm of craziness around here over the last day or two. Sunday was our church Christmas program, in which (somehow) our entire family had a role to play (or two). As we were leaving for the program Sunday afternoon, we discovered that one of our computers (the one we use to edit the Jesse Tree podcasts) wouldn’t come up. It was hand delivered on Monday morning to the IT guy, who will hopefully be able to work his magic with it, but it wasn’t a quick fix. Shortly after my husband left to drop off the computer, our internet went down and stayed down for most of the day. A service tech had to come out and it took him over two hours (and two new modems) to get it back up and running again. And of course, there’s actual business-related work and the normal pre-holiday cleaning, shopping, baking, etc. to be done! Whew!

Please forgive us for being tardy in posting our Jesse Tree updates! If you’ve been joining us, we’re so glad you have! This devotional series has been a blessing to my children and we hope it’s been a blessing to you and yours, as well!

Today’s podcast is available at the bottom of this post and on iTunes. If you’d like access to all the podcasts, devotional guides, and ornaments from the beginning, you can click on the “Podcasts” heading up on the menu. That’s also where you’ll find the link to subscribe directly to the podcast via iTunes, if you’d like to do that.

You can download the devotional guide and printable ornament for Day 22 by clicking the image below (or here: Day-22-Righteous.pdf (355 downloads) )

Jesse Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Kids’ Daily Devotional Jesse Tree, Day 22 Podcast:

Crazy Kids Bible Devotional: Jesse Tree Day 21

Children's Bible Study

Welcome to Day 21 of the Crazy Kids Bible Devotional Jesse Tree series!

Today’s podcast is available at the bottom of this post and on iTunes. If you’d like access to all the podcasts, devotional guides, and ornaments from the beginning, you can click on the “Podcasts” heading up on the menu. That’s also where you’ll find the link to subscribe directly to the podcast via iTunes, if you’d like to do that.

You can download the devotional guide and printable ornament for Day 21 by clicking the image below (or here: Day-21-Humble.pdf (357 downloads) )

Jesse Tree

Today’s Kids’ Daily Devotional Jesse Tree, Day 21 Podcast:

 

Crazy Kids Bible Devotional: Jesse Tree Day 20

Children's Bible Study

Welcome to Day 20 of the Crazy Kids Bible Devotional Jesse Tree series!

Today’s podcast is available at the bottom of this post and on iTunes. If you’d like access to all the podcasts, devotional guides, and ornaments from the beginning, you can click on the “Podcasts” heading up on the menu. That’s also where you’ll find the link to subscribe directly to the podcast via iTunes, if you’d like to do that.

You can download the devotional guide and printable ornament for Day 20 by clicking the image below (or here: Day-20-Imminent.pdf (374 downloads) )

Kids Bible Devotional Zechariah Elizabeth

Today’s Kids’ Daily Devotional Jesse Tree, Day 20 Podcast:

 

Crazy Kids Bible Devotional: Jesse Tree Day 19

Children's Bible Study

Welcome to Day 19 of the Crazy Kids Bible Devotional Jesse Tree series!

Today’s podcast is available at the bottom of this post and on iTunes. If you’d like access to all the podcasts, devotional guides, and ornaments from the beginning, you can click on the “Podcasts” heading up on the menu. That’s also where you’ll find the link to subscribe directly to the podcast via iTunes, if you’d like to do that.

Today is our last day in the Old Testament and we’re reading from the book of Habakkuk. Well . . . reading and and little bit of singing. My daughter thought the verses that she was reading sounded more like a song, and when she got to the end of the chapter she discovered that Habakkuk actually added a note that seems to indicate it was indeed a song! So . . . you’ll get a little free form singing if you listen to this podcast! Of course, you’re welcome to just read (and sing) it for yourself!

You can download the devotional guide and printable ornament for Day 19 by clicking the image below (or here: Day-19-Watching.pdf (345 downloads) )

Jesse Tree

Today’s Kids’ Daily Devotional Jesse Tree, Day 19 Podcast:

 

Crazy Kids Bible Devotional: Jesse Tree Day 18

Children's Bible Study

Welcome to Day 18 of the Crazy Kids Bible Devotional Jesse Tree series!

Today’s podcast is available at the bottom of this post and on iTunes. If you’d like access to all the podcasts, devotional guides, and ornaments from the beginning, you can click on the “Podcasts” heading up on the menu. That’s also where you’ll find the link to subscribe directly to the podcast via iTunes, if you’d like to do that.

You can download the devotional guide and printable ornament for Day 18 by clicking the image below (or here: Day-18-Opportunity.pdf (334 downloads) )
Kids Bible Devotional Jesse Tree Bible Stories

Today’s Kids’ Daily Devotional Jesse Tree, Day 18 Podcast:

 

Crazy Kids Bible Devotional: Jesse Tree Day 17

Children's Bible Study

Welcome to Day 17 of the Crazy Kids Bible Devotional Jesse Tree series!

Today’s podcast is available at the bottom of this post and on iTunes. If you’d like access to all the podcasts, devotional guides, and ornaments from the beginning, you can click on the “Podcasts” heading up on the menu. That’s also where you’ll find the link to subscribe directly to the podcast via iTunes, if you’d like to do that.

You can download the devotional guide and printable ornament for Day 17 by clicking the image below (or here: Day-17-Rescue.pdf (394 downloads) )

Bible Study for Children

Today’s Kids’ Daily Devotional Jesse Tree, Day 17 Podcast:

 

Crazy Kids Bible Devotional: Jesse Tree Day 16

Children's Bible Study

Welcome to Day 16 of the Crazy Kids Bible Devotional Jesse Tree series!

Today’s podcast is available at the bottom of this post and on iTunes. If you’d like access to all the podcasts, devotional guides, and ornaments from the beginning, you can click on the “Podcasts” heading up on the menu. That’s also where you’ll find the link to subscribe directly to the podcast via iTunes, if you’d like to do that.

You can download the devotional guide and printable ornament for Day 16 by clicking the image below (or here: Day-16-Praise.pdf (397 downloads) )

Kids Jesse Tree

Today’s Kids’ Daily Devotional Jesse Tree, Day 16 Podcast:

 

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