Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Preston!

In honor of Preston's 6th birthday I thought I would share six things I love about him:

1. His love for donuts. Even the kind you buy in the package at the gas station.

2. His crazy obsession for marble runs.

3. He's not afraid to just be himself and that includes his obsession for purple.

4. How easily he adapts to change and yet deeply longs for order.

5. He's always willing to give extra snuggles.

6. The way he loves everyone and isn't afraid to tell them so.

Happy 6th Birthday to my sweet, silly, and lovable Preston!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Friendship for Grown-ups by Lisa Whelchel - A Review

Friendship for Grown-ups - What I Missed & Learned Along the Way by Lisa Whelchel

It may be an old cliché but it was the cover of the book that I judged. It was the cover that got me all excited to read this book. First of all I’m a huge fan of the TV show Facts of Life. What’s that got to do with anything? Well Lisa Whelchel just happens to be ‘Blair’ from Facts of Life. Remember? She was the beautiful blonde but somewhat snobby rich girl who roomed with Tootie, Jo and Natalie at Eastland Academy for girls, along with Mrs. Garrett as their counselor. Classic 80’s TV. I was even a fan when they all graduated and opened up ‘Edna’s Edibles’ later to become a quirky boutique called ‘Over Our Heads’. Or when Beverly Ann took over for Mrs. Garrett, or when when George and Andy are included in the cast... I could go on and on. See, told you I was a fan. A huge fan.

Secondly I was drawn to the actual title. Friendship for Grown-ups. Grown-up is a word we typically use when talking about adults with our kids. We don’t usually say, ‘Watch out for that grown-up crossing the street!’ when we’re around other adults. As children grown-ups are something to admire; they’re independent, they’ve got it all together, they make their own decisions, they drive, they’re cool. Then once we’re one of those grown-ups we realize it’s not cool after all. It’s hard being a grown-up. It’s even harder making friends as a grown-up.

Suddenly other grown-ups aren’t instantly your best friend if you share an ice cream sandwich with them. They don’t flock around you if you happen to show up at the playground with a soccer ball. Grown-up friends are a lot more finicky and the selection process turns out to be as challenging as winning Survivor – sometimes we're just left standing holding a smoking torch.

In this book, Lisa shares her struggles with gaining friendships in the grown-up world. Although this isn’t a boo-hoo-woe-is-me-I’m-a-celebrity kind of book, Lisa gets real honest about her inabilities to trust, to open up, or to go deep in any kind of friendship. To my surprise it turns out that Lisa and I had much more in common than just our blonde hair. Like Lisa, I also married a pastor, moved to Texas, and became a mom. During this process for each of us our longing for genuine friendship grew and we both found ourselves on our knees asking the Lord to bring us that friend that would fulfill that desire.

Throughout this book, Lisa assures us that she hasn’t “arrived”, but she’s willing to share her experiences and the lessons she’s learned with her readers to help us along in our grown-up friendship journey. She shares practical tips like taking the time to nurture the friendships we have by sending an email, texts or a quick phone call just to check in with a friend. She explains the “classification” of friends not to discriminate but to really take a heart check and see where we stand with our friends. Is a casual friend the kind we really want to bear our soul to? What about our really close friend? Is she the one we just keep casually on the side to go shopping for shoes with? Lisa tells us that it’s ok to have friends that serve different purposes in our lives. Most importantly we need to be real with our friends. It’s hard to overcome walls that have been built up by dishonesty or feigned feelings when it comes to friends.

Lisa’s down-to-earth approach is refreshing. Reading her book was like sitting down with a good friend who is willing to guide and accompany you on your grown-up friendship journey. Probably the best part of the book is the appendices found at the end which include even more practical advice and tips. Everything from prayer to conversation is included here.

I really enjoyed Lisa Whelchel’s Friendship for Grown-ups. This is a book I plan to keep right in the front of my bookshelf so that I can turn to it when I'm feeling all alone on the playground. I may be all grown-up but I’ll never be too old to play with my friends. So anybody want to be my friend? I'll bring my Strawberry Shortcake doll and some ice cream.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chip Off the 'Ole Block

Preston and I were playing "Grocery Store". With a bag in hand he goes around the house finding things to purchase. I'm the cashier and upon checkout I add up his total and he says, "Wait! I think I have a coupon. It's here in the bottom of my purse somewhere!"

Gotta love that kid!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Today was an emotional day for me (first of many I am sure). For the past four years - minus a little time off when I had Connor - Preston and I had been attending Bible Study Fellowship on Wednesday mornings. When we first moved to Dallas I didn't have any mommy friends and I was eager to find my place in this big metropolis. Fortunately my mother-in-law suggested that I find a local BSF chapter and join. Preston was only sixteen months old, and discovering that they didn't offer childcare until the age of two I was forced to wait patiently (or not so patiently) until September. Preston had been two for exactly one whole day when we started BSF together in 2006. And even though I was a bit nervous leaving him for those couple of hours, Preston walked right into the classroom and never looked back.

The great thing about BSF is that the little ones learn exactly what the mommy's are learning - age appropriately, of course. They don't just babysit or "watch" your child; they teach, interact, and love on your child. That first year we were blessed with two of the best teachers - Mrs. D and Mrs. S. These were two of the most loving and generous people I have ever met. They not only instilled the word of God into Preston's life, but supported and encouraged me as well. When Preston went through his biting phase, they reassured me that he was normal and that he would grow out of it. As we approached potty training they offered advice and reassured me that he'd get it eventually. And he did. On both accounts.

As the next three years passed Preston had different teachers at BSF, and each one of them was special in their own way. But it was that first year with Mrs. D and Mrs. S that made all the difference. Even though he was no longer in their class, Preston always stopped to give them a hug on his way to his own class. I never had to prompt him, it was as if he realized just how special they were as well.

Today was Preston's last day with Bible Study Fellowship. Of course Connor (they now offer classes for under two) and I will continue in the fall, but Preston will be starting kindergarten. In honor of this last day, we made a small token for each of the teachers who had touched his life along the way.

And yes, I'm going to miss seeing Preston run down the sidewalk to enter the church and praying he doesn't fall and skin his knee. I'll also miss watching him search for his name badge outside the classroom door. I'll especially miss the coaxing necessary to convince him it was time to go. Despite the bittersweet emotions, I can rest assured that the lessons and love poured into him will one day spill out onto others.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Finished Product

Remember this?

That's right. The weird box looking thing that I planned to give my mom for Mothers Day (or is it Mother's Day, whatever). Well with my box of misfit tools in hand my boys and I headed to the garage for a little makeover magic. Or at least a little demolition which is always good for the soul.

With just a little bit of effort and a hammer I was able to remove the sides. I used the saw for the bits that just wouldn't come off - that was some kind of special glue they used there! The sandpaper was for the even smaller bits that refused to budge. And voila! All that's left is the bottom and a few scraps. You'll see what I did with those scraps in a minute.

Preston helped me paint the edges and those mysterious scraps white and the flat part a pale blue. Connor supervised. He's not really good at that though - too many coffee breaks, sheesh!

With the paint I had on hand (no pun intended) the boys left their mark. Just FYI, five year olds are better at this than one year olds. How Connor didn't end up rainbow colored, I'll never know. Then Preston helped me paint the grass.

I used the left over pieces to fashion a little fence and then added a few artistic details. And there you have it. A little sign for my mom's garden from two cute grandkids and one kind of crafty daughter.

Happy Mothers Day, Mom. Hope you enjoyed it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In Progress...

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Seriously, Mom. It's all yours. Do you like it?

Ok, ok it won't exactly look like this when you get it.
Preston, Connor and I have been working hard to transform it into something else.
Unfortunately, one of them had to go take a nap so hopefully we can get it finished in time.

And for all my other readers - if there are any - I'll be sure and post
a photo of the completed project. After Mother's Day.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What You Lookin' At?

A certain person I know woke up the other day from his nap. He had funny hair. I had to document it. This is proof that even with very little hair, one can have a bad hair day.

Just look at it. It defies logic, I tell ya.

What was he doing in his sleep anyway?

"Aww Mom, you're not going to put this on your blog are you?"
Why yes, yes I am.