Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Generation Abyss

Welcome me to the 21st century! I finally got a touch-screen phone. My "old fashioned" Walmart Trac-Fone was an embarrassment to my children. While I am really happy now to have something that doesn't make a beep every time I touch a key and can supposedly text photos (so far it doesn't), I do find myself in yet another steep learning curve. Is any other human being mocked, as a mother is, for her technological ignorance?

Daughter #3: "Mom, you hold your phone like an old person. Teens hold it like THIS."
(Mother meekly adopts more youthful phone handling technique.)

Daughter #2: "Mom are you seriously texting me from the bathroom?? You act just like a teen!" (Yes, I was texting her from the bathroom. I'm finding that sending my kid a text is a really good way to get her attention.)

Hey. Am I supposed to text like a teen or not??

*   *   *

I find myself behaving just like I did when we first got an email account, checking for mail every three minutes. The phone is with me at all times, and if it hasn't notified me in a while, I turn the screen on just to be sure I haven't missed a text or anything.

*   *   *

I'd very much like to go back to the day when all you had to do to contact someone was pick the telephone receiver up from the wall phone and dial. Now you have to remember which of your friends still answer the phone, which ones only text, which friends can only be contacted via Facebook, which ones still actually read email, and which of them are likely to have lost their phone entirely.

*   *   *

Via Google, I did come across a helpful list of texting shortcuts for old people:  
ATD - At the Doctor's
BFF - Best Friends Funeral
DWI - Driving While Incontinent
FWIW - Forgot Where I Was
LOL - Living on Lipitor
OMSG - Oh My! Sorry, Gas
WAITT - Who Am I Talking To?  

Google is awesome. Google knows everything, even how to find the elusive emoticons on my particular phone. Google plus daughter #3, that is. Me having a new techie gizmo and expecting to make sense of it by myself is a lot like moving to a new planet and trying to communicate vital info to aliens. I'm totally helpless--totally and insufferably helpless. **Feels steam building...**

*   *   *

Yes, I must admit my fault, this new phone does gives me "moments" (ref. Moms' Night Out).  That is why I bought that cute and happy protective case. I hope it will be strong enough to keep my phone from being damaged in the event I should throw it against the wall. Because I've been really tempted to do just that.

*   *   *

The attitude here will probably improve a little bit when the sun comes out or when I am surprised by a clean kitchen or someone takes the trash out without being asked. ...Now that I found my emoticons, because I need at least the happy and sad smileys and one heart, I am feeling a little bit better. Still can't text a photo, though... and would I care if the phone wasn't supposed to text photos? No. But it is. I think you should get what you pay for. ...Which is probably exactly what I got!

First world problems...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Signs of Spring

EVEN THOUGH it is only about 42 degrees out this morning, my heart is happy.

The sun is shining, there are birds singing, there is a soft strong breeze in the air. The pollywogs have become frogs hopping across the roads at night. A little haze of green is beginning to appear over the top of the lawn. And we had our first thunderstorm yesterday, complete with pouring rain, shocking lightning, and BOOMING thunder.

Big smile.

Spring is good for many reasons, but today it's good because of what it does to my soul. I've been set free from the prison of winter!


Thank you, God.

One of these spring days my Fair One is going to call me away...

*     *     *     *     *

My beloved spake, and said unto me, 
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; 
the time of the singing of birds is come, 
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, 
and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. 
Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
Song of Solomon 2:10-13

Saturday, March 21, 2015

My Amazing Mom

After living in this home for nearly four years, I am finally putting stuff on the walls. My mom's stuff. Someday she is going to be famous, and I don't want to be one of those people who has had famous people's stuff stashed in the attic for decades and it goes to Goodwill by accident, and some smart thrift shopper recognizes it as a masterpiece and buys it for $5.

(Thanks, Mom! It's starting to look like a home in here!)

If you're in the SoCal area, see her work at the huge South Bay Lexus Service Center,
or visit Tustin in April to see her work in the Chemers Gallery/TAFCA 8th Annual Juried Exhibit. :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Can I Just Say...


Other than a pair of white go-go boots that I had in 6th grade, 2014 winter was the first time I ever wore boots as shoes. I mean real boots, boots that are not clunky Sorrel snow boots.Yes, despite my having lived for more than twenty years in northern climes, this is true. I just always put off buying them. Last fall I bought a second pair of real boots, combining all my Kohls coupons and deals, for $6 and no guilt.

About this time last year I lamented the return of warm weather for this reason only: I had to find something else to wear on my feet. I must have managed, but I don't remember how I solved my dilemma.

This year, what shall I do, what shall I do? I'm beyond wearing tennies with everything, as I did when I was a young (and not-so-young) mom, too tired and frumpy to care about fashion sense. Now that I'm one of the older women who are supposed to be teaching younger women "good things" a la Titus 2, I'm trying not to be quite so frumpy.

To go from boots to sandals means wearing boots until at least June, or wearing flip flops while the temperature is still only 45. Is there something in between? Something that looks okay with a skirt? And that is comfortable but not frumpy? And that can be worn with bare legs?

Speaking of bare legs, there's another reason I love boots.



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Most Awesome Kid Award

This is my Amy, whom I've neglected on this blog ever since she graduated from high school and deserved her own personal blog post about all her awesome accomplishments in her short life. I am going to fix that right here.

This kid is the one who sees something around here needing to be done, and she does it. That is, in between doing things for OTHER people, when she is home long enough. I know it looks like she is doing some serious spelunking in this photo, and she kind of is. She is actually under the stairs, which, she says, is slightly less exciting than a cave, but almost as messy. I reluctantly gave her permission to clean out under there and throw away anything I haven't looked at in four years. It was hard to let her do that. I might need something, like a nutcracker or a roll of heavy brown paper. Anyway, a couple hours later she emerged with two rotten bed pillows, three large empty totes, a box of forgotten stuffed animals, the decorative pillows that came with our comforter set and were carefully arranged on our bed for about three days, and seven ancient, mostly empty buckets of latex paint, which all went out to the garage for the trash pickup. I can actually see to the back of the stairwell now.

This is the kid who has a waiting list of mom employers who want her services. She cleans, cooks, changes diapers, herds large groups of children, cleans up vomit and poop and spilled milk, and loves on babies. She treats moms to good coffee and adult conversation. She teaches 'tween girls how to be a blessing to others and makes everyone feel special. She gives weary moms a rest from screaming babies, laundry, climbing stairs, mopping floors, and needy toddlers. Her vehicle of choice, when she has the money to buy her own, is a 12- or 15-passenger van. She will taxi small people to the park, the skating rink, to Culvers, or to the lake with a trailer full of kayaks. Maybe she will even bring a bunch of kids to church. :)

This is the kid everybody loves, the one whose absence her sisters mourn and whose company is sought out by kids all over town, as well as by her real and virtual adult friends.  

This is the kid who does dishes mostly without being asked. I did ask her to do them last night because I was feeling rotten, and because she is the one I can always count on to answer, "Sure, Mom!" with a happy heart. This is a kid I can trust to make good choices about her companions and her entertainment. 

This kid is a BLESSING.

This is not the kid I raised.

The kid I raised made me pull my hair out in frustration! How many times I cried to the Lord, "WHAT WILL I DO WITH THIS CHILD?!?!?!" If I had only known that Jesus had her in his hands and that he was actively ordering her life, I might have been able to relax. (More likely I would have asked the Lord if he was sure he knew what he was doing.) The kid I raised was boldly rebellious. Immediately after telling her to sit still in church, she would stand up backwards in the pew with a big grin, and wave at all the people. The kid I raised screamed about her school work and raised fits over what was on her dinner plate. The kid I raised put a big hole in her bedroom door. (She just now admitted it.) Her rebellion was all right out in front. At least a parent couldn't be fooled. The hard part was consistently doing something about it.

No, this isn't the kid I raised.

This kid I have now is the kid Jesus raised.

Amy trusted Jesus Christ as her Saviour. At the end of that summer, I had a different child. God took the child I raised and made her a new creature with a new heart. I didn't deserve to get her back like this, but here she is, a kid who loves God and his word. A kid who gives generously of her treasure and her time, her talents and passions. A kid who daily blesses her family and everyone else in town.

I love you, Amy. Today you are my favorite kid. ♥ (Well, one of them.)

And thank you, Jesus.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Annual Blogger

Welcome back!

What can I say? I'm guilty of keeping you all in high suspense for more than a year now. Oh wait, it's only been four months or so. Well, call me the Annual Blogger anyway.

That doesn't mean nothing's happening or that I am totally unable to think any more. Lots of things are happening, and I am still able to do sixth grade math, so all is not lost.

I have actually kept a short list of blog fodder, things like:

My review of ACE (admittedly not applied according to the instructions.)

One great benefit of testing (hindsight from someone who does as little testing as possible.)

Piano lessons by coercion. (Long-ago but not too long ago quote from coerced child, "​​Making kids pay for piano lessons they don't want to take is like making people pay for Obamacare." Ouch. She had a point! The child's appeal was approved.)

The fact that sometimes when your kid feels tortured because you are making her do the "hard thing", she has no idea that you are being tortured right along with her.

And the fact tha​t it can be difficult to discern whether your children are growing up or growing out.

And how forcing my kids (and myself) to fulfill a commitment to a public speaking co-op many years ago was one of the best mom decisions I ever made.

And what, exactly, are the fine lines between "dating" and "courtship" and "friendship". (Somebody tell me, does that period belong inside the quote mark or outside?)

And how being in the ministry is making me an introvert. (I don't think that's what's supposed to happen.)

And how much I love my husband. You're a very good man, Mr. Diamonds-in-the-Rough.

And how, at the moment, I am really fighting the fleshly discontented-with-winter-and-really-looking-forward-to-spring bug, even though winter really hasn't been too bad this year.

How did this get in here? Having a flashback.

And how much I still appreciate this blog post right HERE, even though we've been doing this for years and years.

So you see I do still think about things. I just don't write everything down any more.

Aren't we all growing up?!

I'll be back, maybe even before 2015 comes to a close...
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Father of lights,
with whom is no variableness,
neither shadow of turning.
James 1:17

For I am the LORD, I change not.
Malachi 3:6
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