Monday, June 25, 2007

No, She's Not Coming

Today we begin a new phase in our journey. For a number of reasons, I made the decision to no longer babysit the little girl that I have kept for seven months. She is such a sweet little girl and she and BK have become best friends, so this will be a difficult transition for all of us. Although I believe it was the right decision for my family at this time, I am saddened as I hear BK ask over and over if her friend is coming today. It seems that toddlers lack the ability to understand or accept news that they do not want to believe. Please pray for my baby's tender heart as she misses her friend...and for me as I attempt to fill the void of a two-year-old playmate.


I am a member of an online mother’s group. The forum offers a sense of community and an opportunity to share ideas about a broad variety of subjects. Recently, someone asked advice about whether they should go back to work, leaving their small child in daycare. Of course, I had to offer my opinion, and I thought I might as well post my response here as well….

“I am very biased on this subject, so expect me to be supportive of you staying home with your daughter. I will also preface this by saying that while I encourage women to stay home with their children if there is any possible way, I do not judge those who do not. These are just my personal beliefs...and some of the many things I had to consider when making the decision to quit my job last year to be a stay-at-home mom.

First, I realize that the extra money that you would make while working would be nice. However, unless you and your husband are very, very disciplined, what usually happens is the more we make, the more we spend. When a family goes from one to two incomes, it is almost impossible to resist the urge to raise the standard of living. So instead of using the new source of income to pay previous bills, it is often used to upgrade in some way...a new vehicle, a bigger house in a better neighborhood, longer vacations, more stuff and things...the list goes on and on.

There are also "hidden costs" involved when both parents work...such as eating out/going through the drive-thru more often because you are too tired to cook...and more doctor's bills because kids are probably going to get sick more often when exposed to a large number of children...just to name a few. Another cost is not exactly financial, but emotionally and psychologically...being away from your child...wondering if you are doing the right thing...feeling guilty when you hand your child over to someone else day after day...not to mention the stress of trying to do it all...trying to give 100% at work and 100% at home can leave us stretched to the max. We are not "super-women" who have 200% to give, so one side or the other will end up being slighted...that's just the way it is.

While I know the importance of becoming debt-free, I'm just saying that there may be other ways of meeting that goal which do not involve leaving your child in the care of others. Just a few options may be: working from home, babysitting another child to be a playmate for your daughter, working an evening shift so that your husband could be there for your daughter, and my favorite...using your creative energy to research and implement ways to spend less of the money that your husband works so hard to provide for his family. There is a great book I recommend written by Carey Keavy, Raising Your Own Children. It contains many great ideas on staying home and making it work for your family.

I am a big believer in 'living below your means' in order to follow the convictions of your heart. That doesn't mean giving up all the things in life that make us happy....but rather developing an attitude of seeing just how little you can spend and still have the things you need. It is about setting priorities and making the hard choices that have to be made to make those priorities a reality."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Check It Out

My hubby Mike has entered the world of blogging and he has a lot to say. Check it out:

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hug Your Baby Today

When my son Jeremy (who will be 29 next month) was about 3 or 4 years old, we lived in an upstairs apartment. He was good about holding on to the rail going up and down by himself. One day we were heading out to go somewhere and he went on down ahead of me. I was still inside when I heard him fall....down a couple of the wooden stairs...then he fell off the stairs and plummeted to a concrete sidewalk below...just inches away from a chain link fence. We scooped him up and headed for the ER. Fortunately, he was not injured seriously, just a few bruises on his back from the stairs (I still believe that an angel caught him and put him down gently on the sidewalk).

Kids are resilient and he bounced back quickly. However, I was not so fortunate. It was such a traumatic event for me...I would close my eyes at night and hear him yell as he fell. I had terrible nightmares…in fact, over twenty years later, I still wake up in a cold sweat occasionally thinking about what could have happened.

In an instant your whole world can change.

We should not take even one day for granted.

Friday, June 15, 2007

He Will Make A Difference

My great-nephew Josh is taking off a semester of college at USM to go halfway across the world to follow his convictions. He will be leaving in August with the Word Made Flesh organization to spend four months in Calcutta, India (or Kolkata as it is now spelled), working in a hospice, ministering to the poor, hurting and dying. From his own words: "As patients come in, we will basically care for and love them as best we can. We have such jobs as bathing, feeding, massaging, and making them smile, just so when their time comes to leave this earth, they will do so feeling loved and taken care of; something we all deserve." The team will also work with those involved in human trafficking.

In the last few weeks, I have been privileged to catch a glimpse of the depth of this young man's love of God and for those that others consider "untouchable." I am so proud of him for following his heart and taking this leap of faith.

This trip will cost over $5000 and he has to raise the money himself. I am asking for prayer for Josh and the team with whom he will be traveling...for their safety and the many lives they will touch...and also for his mom, sister and grandmother (my sister) to give them peace while Josh is gone. If you are interested in blessing Josh financially and being a part of this life-changing adventure, email me and I'll give you the mailing info.

Thanks in advance for your prayers and support.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


A friend's father has a blueberry patch and they have generously supplied us with some wonderfully plump, sweet and pesticide-free blueberries...gallons and gallons of blueberries. As I sat and sorted them at my kitchen table today, with the air conditioner blowing and the ceiling fan whirling, quite comfy even though it was almost 100 degrees outside, my heart was thankful for the blessing of the blueberries. I so admire those who work the land to grow good things...and for those who share the fruit of their labor with others. One day I want to be one of those growers and sharers.

In the meantime, I'll share my recipe for blueberry syrup. It is so yummy and I made almost a gallon and a half this week to put in the freezer.


1 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 c. water
2 c. blueberries (put in food processor to crush)
1 tsp. lemon juice

Mix sugar and cornstarch in 2 quart saucepan. Gradually add water. Stir in blueberries and lemon juice. Heat to boiling over high heat. Stir constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Makes 3 cups. Serve warm and then refrigerate.


Our Outing Today

Northpark Movie Theatre is offering free morning movies for kids this summer. Today we took BK and the little girl I babysit, along with three of my grandsons, to see Doogal. It was rated G and a really cute movie. This was BK's first experience with the big screen and she enjoyed it...well, until she tried to climb in a seat and it closed on her, trapping her leg. She screamed at the top of her lungs, "MOMMY I'M ABOUT TO FALLLLLL!" She wasn't hurt, just scared...and it scared me too.

There were several daycare centers there with lots of little guys filling whole rows. Mike and I sat there with the five children we brought and we kind of felt like a daycare too. : ) We all had a lot of was a good day. I am so thankful for the laughter of the children in my life...thankful for fun places to take them that won't put a dent in my wallet...and thankful for a husband who likes to hang out with us.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Be Prepared

I enter a lot of book give-away contests and I've been fortunate enough to win several this year. The latest one is called Desperate Ransom by Minton Sparks. It is such a cool little book...written about her rural Southern sort of poems, but not typical poetry by any means. Each little story is only one or two pages, so it's a quick read.

The author tells a story about her Mee Maw, who thought that "Thou Shalt Be Prepared" should be the 11th commandment and always warned of the danger of not having clean, presentable underwear in case calamity struck. One day a storm blew through and when it was all over, a neighbor woman was stuck in a tree. As they all stood around the tree looking up, "...the worst of what we saw wasn't the bloody cuts or bruising poor Sadie bore. No, what shocked us most was the tattered and holey underwear she wore." Her Mee Maw flew into a cleaning frenzy, then she dashed to town and came home with a pair of cobalt blue, silk panties. "And to this very day, anytime the sky looks threatening or the winds get high, Mee Maw steals off to her bedroom dresser and steps into what are now affectionately referred to by all of us as 'Mee Maw's Tornado Drawers'."

OMG...I laughed so hard when I read that! It sounds like something my mother would have done! She always warned us girls of the dangers of not wearing presentable underwear. Now that I think about it, maybe all mothers give their daughters the same speech. Is that a chapter in the mother's instruction handbook? Since I have a daughter of my own now, I guess I should start fine tuning my own speech, huh? Okay BK, we need to talk...