Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Promised Pictures

My sister, Chelsea, and I recently went to Aldridge Botanical Gardens and took the kids. It's only a couple of miles from the huge shopping area of Birmingham, and was so relaxing to escape to after a day of crowded stores and noisy places in general.

Me and kids (note the big spit up/drool? mark and how Alex's foot is conveniently trapped in the hem of my shirt. Oh yeah! Have I got it all together or what?!

Another picture of my lovely sister and very good friend holding my munchkin.

Kathryn sitting in the middle of a beautiful walking trail. A little farther down you can see tons of ivy covering the tree. Ah, this place was so relaxing!

The simple pleasures of a fallen leaf. She took these and floated them on the little lake nearby.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Top Five Ways to Panic While Driving

Kathryn found the top ONE out today. While en route to the pediatrician's office for Alex's four month appt. (yes, pictures coming shortly), she calmly says, "What's that?" I say, "What's what?" "What's that?" "What's what?" "On my blankey." "I don't know, what is it?" "A spider." I missed the nearest paved driveway and settled for the ditch (thankfully, it wasn't much of one!), whipped around trying to think about how in the world to kill the backseat monster in spite of my phobia, only to see a wad a thread on her blanket. Relief, oh blessed relief. Then, "I will definitely hang you up by your toenails if you EVER do that again!"

Number TWO: Hand Kathryn McDonald's Happy Meal box back to her booster seat. Turn curve. Hear "I need a new one!"

Number THREE: Sound of "hot mustard explosion" from OTHER carseat. Thoughts of dismantling the insanely difficult thing (and wash it and drip dry it) command immediate attention.

Number FOUR: Wonder where I placed wallet at last stop. Begin searching wildly and blindly through diaper bag filled to brim with diapers of two sizes, extra wet wipes, and sticks of gum with bits broken off the ends for Kathryn's pleasure. Picture ID-theft maniac withdrawing, withdrawing, withdrawing to buy a Hummer. Find wallet in lap.

Number FIVE: Come around the curve of the interstate near home and see brake lights making a beautiful line off into the horizon. A lovely traffic jam on I-20. Cue baby- time to nurse...

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Day My Mom Didn't Like Me
by: Kathryn

On the day my mom didn't like me, she sighed a lot. Her face had funny crinkles on top, and she seemed sad. She told me to be quiet a lot, and got sad when I came in the room. I did color on the wall and undecorate the Christmas tree. Mommy talked really loud at me then. She kept saying something quietly, but I couldn't hear what it was. When I have a bad attitude, I get in trouble. Wonder what happens to mommies? She didn't snuggle with me at bedtime- I wonder if she'll still be upset at breakfast tomorrow.

The Day I Didn't Like My Child
by: Charity

The above is a not-so-far from the truth record of the recent days with my 2 1/2 year old. I'd love to say that I've never allowed my child's behavior to affect the way I've treated her, but we all know that's not true. So we love our children. But do we like them? I've spent a lot of time thinking about how I respond to her lately. The truth is there is a strong-willed little sinner living in my house, whose main goal is satisfying self. How about in yours?
And my expectations? I guess "winning the war of the will" is a little different than I thought. I don't think you can anymore (don't panic, fellow parents). I think we as parents are responsible for consistent, unconditionally loving, responses to them. We must win the "battles" and pray for our children's salvation. I think the Holy Spirit must win the war- drawing them by God's grace into a relationship with him and then maturing them over time.

OK, that's REALLY incoherent and rambling in places, but I'm too tired to edit it at the moment. Thank God that His grace and forgiveness is extended for my loser-mom days, as well as for my child. As Kathryn said the other day, "Mommy, are you sick? (no) Well, are you tired? (no) Well, then, are you just having a bad attitude? (ouch!)" Praying that on these don't-like-my-child days, Christ living in me will love her the way she needs to be loved.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Disappearing Heroes: A Tribute to the Veterans I Once Knew

Once upon a time, there were great story-tellers in my family. That's how I thought of them, anyhow. Truth was, they were veterans- the closest thing to a world traveler one ever met in the boondocks of Nixon Chapel, Alabama. This is a little story about their little stories.

My mother's dad, Dwight L. Moman. (The L. stood for nothing- a perfectly acceptable convention in the 20's South- like my Uncle Billy D. and J.D., etc.) Papa was a hard-to-please person, but he grew a little soft around the edges if he could interest you in a story. He spent WWII as a cook in the Pacific arena, feeding the hungry men fortunate enough to return for the next meal. The impression I got is that he didn't see a lot of first-hand action. Too bad, since he created some of his own from time to time. Like the time he fixed the latrine with chemicals that blew up under the behind of an unsuspecting and ornery superior officer. That was the closest he came to being sent to the front line, or so we hear.

My mother's uncle, Tommy L. Mitchell (his L stood for Lee). I was blessed to grow up around many great-aunts and uncles, and we were super close to Uncle Tommy. Oh, but his stories were amazing. A slight, mild-mannered man who in his post-war days became a professional watchmaker, he defined the word "genteel." So hard to believe he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, spent frigid weeks bundled in foxholes with suicidal comrades, and took Germany a house at a time. He told of an invisible hand that pulled him back onto a transport when he fell off in enemy territory. Of crawling under machine gun fire across snowy fields, of the grenade that finally took him out of the service. He would practically whisper these tales over a watch he was fixing. We tried to record the stories, but he didn't talk loud enough to get it all on tape.

Then there was Mr. Johnny, the one-legged man who kept the community cemetery mowed and weedeeded (I KNOW that can't be correct, but that's how it sounds) for donations left in a little metal box. And how my mom, looking under her bed to check for boogie-men as a child, saw his leg dressed and ready to go and nearly had a heart-attack. My grandmother had 'borrowed'? his leg for some weird reason- like show and tell for her kindergartner class or something. Sick.

And the family member, who shall remain unnamed, who survived years in a Japanese POW camp. He tells no stories, which is perhaps the most interesting story of all.

This Veteran's Day, I want to say thank you to all the veterans and active members of the service. Your sacrifice is... well, beyond words. I exercise the freedom of speech you've protected to say THANK YOU. All the people I've mentioned above are now gone, except for the POW survivor. If you have a WWII veteran left alive in your family, make sure to sit and hear their story one more time. I wish I could.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Apologies Gone Awry

(As a follow-up to my last post) Kathryn ran smack-dab into me yesterday, bumping me pretty hard. Once again, she gave me a blank stare as she was thinking of what she was to say. What came out this time was, "I forgive you, Mommy!" ;o) Aren't kids hilarious?!

P.S. Shameless Promotion of My Man: If anyone is interested, you may hear Nathan's sermon from this morning (he filled in for the pastor) at under the Audio Archives. God really blessed his words today- to God be the Glory!