Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What I Learned from the Organic Meat Salesmen

Remember last week when I took the kids to the fair by myself? On the way out of the fair I was stopped by a guy at a booth who asked,

"Would you like a chance to win a years supply of organic meat?"

What I should have said,
"No thanks."

What I did say,
"Sure, why not?"
 I mean who doesn't want to win free food right?

Well, they called. Not because I had won the food, but because they want to set up an in home appointment with me.

What I should have said,
"No thanks."

What I did say,
"Sure, next Wednesday would be fine."

He came to my house and talked me into buying 3 years worth of organic meat people, 3 YEARS! And because we have no where to store all this meat, he conveniently sells a sub zero, best-on-the-market, indoor or outdoor freezer. For only $3,000.

At this point he had been in my house for 2 hours, my kids were tired of sitting quietly and it was dinner time. I wanted him out of the house! So, sure sign me up for that amazing deal! Anything to make you go away.

Later I told my husband what I had done. He didn't think it was such a great idea, but since I do the food shopping he trusted me.

I knew it was a bad idea and I felt sick all weekend. I called Monday morning and tried to cancel the ridiculous order. The sales man wouldn't let me! I called my hubby and asked him to call. He said 'nope, you do it.' Ugh. I called back and he still wouldn't let me cancel. Then, I talked to the owner of the company. I was crying on the phone because I didn't want all this stupid meat, but the owner said he couldn't let me out of the deal, but he would pay the first month bill for me. Double Ugh. I called my hubby in tears! So, thankfully he called the owner and took care of it. I am pleased to tell you that we are not getting 3 years of frozen organic meat and a stupid freezer to go with it.

So here is what I learned from the organic meat salesman.

#1 Just say no! 
No to trying to win free food.
No to letting you come talk to me about you product.
And, no to your product!

#2 Don't buy anything without your husband!  
My new rule: I don't spend money with out my husbands approval. I usually don't anyway, but I think that because I wanted him gone, I just said yes. This is where I should have reverted to rule #1 and just said no! My girlfriend said that her family has a rule that if they are going to spend more then $100 they have to consult the other one first. Love this idea! From now on I can say, "Sorry, I can not agree to anything until I speak with my husband."

#3 Just say no! (are you sensing a theme?)

If someone says, 'I need your answer right away.' Then the answer is NO! If you can not take a day or two to think about it, then it is not worth it.

#4 My husband rocks!
I am so thankful that he took time out of his day to call the company for me. I am even more thankful that he didn't get mad at me. I mean really, I just bought 3 years worth of frozen food and he just laughed at how silly I am!

My mom told me that when she and my dad were first married and had no disposable income, they got talked into buying an expensive set of encyclopedias. So I guess it runs in the family?!

So, please share. Have you ever been talked into buying something crazy that you shouldn't have? Tell me I am not the only one who got duped by the meat sales man!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Glow Sticks

"Do you want me to tell you the story about the fourth of July?"

"Sure baby, I would love to hear that story." 

I have only heard it 1.7 million times since the holiday 6 weeks ago.
It always starts the same,

"We were at a place and...."

The details change a bit here and there, but it is basically the same every time. I have heard it so many times I know just when to say, "oh wow!" or "no way!" 

Then she says something new and it catches my ear and my heart off guard:

"We were playing with glow sticks 
and you have to break them so that they will glow. 
And you have to do it in the dark, 
because you know mom, 
glow sticks wont glow the same in the light."

So much insight for such a young girl.   
"You have to break them so that they will glow." 

So that's it Lord.
That's why we bend and break.
That's why we are given more then we think we can handle. 
So that we can glow brighter for You. 

The mom with the infant in the NICU. She needs to bend a little, break a little, so that she can glow for You. When the mom next to her can not take one.more.single.second. She can glow a bit brighter for You.

The couple who is struggling in their marriage;
They need to bend a little, break a little,
so that they can glow brighter for you.
Because in 20 years, after all the fights and tears and counseling sessions.
When some young bride asks, "Whats the secrete?"
They will glow brighter for You.

The women who envisioned a home and life full of kids;
Who has none.
Whose womb and heart is broken.
She needs to bend a little, break a little to glow bright for You.

The mom who has more kids then she ever envisioned.
Whose heart is more full then she ever could have imagined.
But whose time is limited and sleep is seldom and patience is thin.
She needs to bend a little, break a little so that she can glow a bit brighter for You.

Why pay checks are few and bills are many.
Why words get said and feelings get hurt and friendships need mending.
Why tragic loss and grieve goes hand in hand.
Why he needs You as much as he needs the chemo.

So that we can glow brighter for You.
Because in the end it's all about You. 

"Glow sticks wont glow the same in the light."

We have to bend a little, brake a little, 
in the dark places,
so that we can glow a bit brighter for You.

Why dark places are so unwanted and so scary.
Because the most bending and breaking occurs there.
In the dark places.

But so does the brightest glowing.
In the darkest places there is the brightest glowing.

Why the dark places are as unwanted as they are necessary.

So that we know how bright we can glow, for You.
So that others can see how bright they could glow, for You.

Because in the end,
It's all about You.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why I Say No To "Me Time"

"How do you ever get a brake?"

"Don't you want some 'me time'?"

"You are crazy!"

"I would drink heavily if I had that many kids."

These are all things that people have said to me in the recent past. All in front of my kids by the way. The fact of the matter is that I don't want any 'me time.' I get the primes behind it. I have heard over and over- "you will be a better mom if you get some time away." But the truth is, I just don't agree. Well, I kinda don't agree. OK, hear me out- don't stop reading just yet. 

I have taken 'me time' and it just doesn't seem to work out that well. I get away and half the time I don't know what to do with my self. Then, when I do come back to my kids- I am more easily angered by them.  Even though I had a 'break' my heart is not in the right place!  I yell quicker and react harsher. If 'me time' is so great, why doesn't it feel that way? Sure, it feels fine while I am out and about, but then why don't I feel refreshed when I get home. Here is what I have come up with. 

Have Christ Time not Me Time.  
The trouble with 'me time' is that it's all about me. Really ladies, when is life ever really all about us? It isn't, nor should it be! We live in a society that says "do what feels good for you." But that's not what God says. Do you think it felt good to Jesus to hang and die on the cross? No way! Where would we all be if He had decided to do what felt good to Him? A hot, HOT mess; that's were we all would be! If we can steal a few moments away from our kids, we should use that time to make it about Jesus, not about us. I am involved in a group call, Run for God. It's two hours every week away from my 'wife/mom duty', but its not about me it's about God. I am with other Christians and we are talking about and running together for God. I feel so refreshed after this time. 

I could take that same two hours and do something solely for me. I grantee that I would not have the same refreshed feeling as when I use my time for Christ. God is the one who gives us our strength and renews our spirit. No pedicure or night out with the girls can do that. Now, I am not saying that these things are bad, what I am saying is that if you are a busy mom who only has a few minutes or hours a week for you then you are better off making it about Him instead.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How DO You Do It?!

Every where I go I get some form of this question. To me it seems like a non- issue. I mean, you do what you have to right? God entrusted 4 little people to my care all with in 3 years. I have two choices; I can lay down and cry because it's just too hard, or I can have fun and enjoy it! I choose the enjoy it one.

Because I get this question so much it got me thinking that maybe people really do want to know how I do it. So here we go....

My hubby works a lot. He runs his own company (*insert shameless plug* anyone need an house built or kitchen remodeled?). He leaves early and gets home late. He always works 5, but usually 6 days a week. Because he's gone most of the time, that leaves me with the kids on my own the majority of the week. It is my job to run our home while he provides for us. If I wanted to get anything done or have any fun, then I had to learn to live life with my kids. Here are a few of the things I do to make our lives function and have fun at the same time.


Lots and lots of prayer. I believe in a mighty God. One who cares about the big picture as well as the small details. He can help if you are in a bad mood or in a funk that you can not seem to break. He knows it's hard. Ask him for help and guidance. But the key is to have a willing heart. Ask him to change your mood and then get your heart in the right place so he can!

Be Grateful

Do I wish my hubby was home more- sure! Do I wish I could get a pedicure or go for a run- of course! But I realize what an important job I have in manging our home and training our kids. I am grateful that my husband realizes what I do is important as well. I get to stay home with my kids. No rushing to get everyone ready to drop them off at daycare just so I can rush to work. No rushing to pick them up just so I can rush home to make dinner. I get to do life with them. I get to stay home and create a schedule that works for us! I will be honest, there are mornings when I think 'I just don't want to do it today!' Those are the days that I remind myself of how very grateful I am to be doing what I am doing, and I also make sure I pray, a lot!

Recognize the Importance of a Schedule /Sleep

Little bodies need sleep and rest. Mommies of little bodies need rest and down time. Life runs so much smother if the kids are rested and mommy gets a little break too. We nap/ have quiet time every day and the same time. Because it is part of their everyday schedule they come to expect it. The only reason my kids miss nap time is for church on Sundays (this is only because we recognize that we need Jesus even more then we need rest!). The younger 3 sleep and the older one has 'quiet time'. This gives me 30 minutes to rest- no answering why for 30 minuets gets me back in the game for the rest of the day!! Our kids also go to bed everyday at about the same time. This means we miss out on stuff. We haven't watched fireworks on the 4th of July in 3 years. But, I am OK with that. When they are older they will be able to handle a later bed time, for right now, they need sleep!

When in Doubt, Feed the Mouth

I take snacks with me every where I go. They get to munch on crackers or a banana in the car, in the store, at grandmas house. Little ones are not good at being able to recognize hunger. When they get hungry it is expressed as a temper tantrum. If your little one starts to throw a fit- feed them- it almost always helps!

Plan for the Melt Down

Where kids are, meltdowns will fallow. Don't leave your home thinking everything will go smoothly. Some days it will, but most days one or all of your kids will melt down while your out. Plan for it, expect it but don't let it frustrate you. See the disobedience or fit for what it is- a chance to help them learn. Correct the disobedience and move on. Also, do not let it embarrass you. I use to get so upset when my kids acted up when we were out. Now I realize that it does not matter what the other moms think of me or my kids, what matters is that my kids are getting real life experiences and learning from them. (Plus the other moms are probably not judging me, but more thinking that shes has been there!)

The Pep Talk

I give the pep talk where ever we go. If we are headed into the store it looks like this,

"We are going to go shopping for food. This means mommy needs everyone to behave. That means Madison needs to walk right with mommy and not wander off. For the twins it means you two need to sit in the cart and not throw a fit. If you can not listen and obey then you will be disciplined. Does everyone understand?"
Que and course of "Yes ma'am"s.

I recently took all 4 kids to our local fair by myself. This pep talk looked a bit different.

"We are headed to the fair! It is going to be so fun! But, everyone needs to stay right with mommy. Do not wander off or you might get lost! If you do get lost then you need to find a police officer or another mommy with kids and tell her you are lost. Remember listen and obey mommy at all times. Does everyone understand?
Que "Yes ma'am."

The key is to give the pep talk as you are walking into the store (or fair) so that it is fresh in their minds.

 Have a Support Person

I have a good friend that I talk to almost every morning. It is usually only 30 minutes and while I am washing the morning dishes. She gets me. She understands me and I understand her. She is the one I go to with the big issues that I need help with. On the days we don't talk, I miss it! I have a better day knowing I have another mommy on my ledge who can talk me down if I need it!

Regular Play Dates

This same mommy is the one I have regular play dates with. Our kids love to play together, but it is more for us. We get to have adult conversation and spend a little time face to face. Find one other mom with kids about the same age as your kids and get to know each other. As moms we are super busy and can not invest in every ones life, but we can make time for a few spacial people other then our family! It is worth it.

Dress Alike

This is something I just started doing. I have 3 small ones that can go in 3 different directions- and fast! When I am out on my own in a crowded place (like the fair) I dress them in the same color. It really helps. Then, if someone got away, you can scan the crowd and look for the color, not the kid. I don't dress them alike for regular trips like the grocery store- although when the 4th starts walking I might need to! 

For the trip to the fair I also added a "If lost please call" sign to the back of their shirts. I though that I might catch a little flack from some of the other moms at the fair for it, but most everyone laughed! 

Cleaning Schedule

I have a regular cleaning schedule for our house. This is one extra thing on top of the everyday things I do. Monday is bathroom day. That means every Monday the bathroom gets cleaned. If I miss a Monday, then I do not stress about it and just do it next week. It works great because I am not spending the whole day cleaning plus I don't have to question when the last time I cleaned it was! 

Hope these little tips can help your family!