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Showing posts from May, 2017

Say Please, Say Thank You: The Respect We Owe One Another

I picked up this book by Donald McCullough, hoping it might list some of the rules of etiquette that have often puzzled me. Things like: do I hug or shake hands with older ladies that I haven't seen in a long time? Am I supposed to walk visitors out to their cars or wave from the porch? How bad is it to forget my sisters' birthdays? And must I always offer people something to drink when they come over?

This book did much more than answer those questions. It changed the questions that I ask.

When I was about halfway through the book, I took my car to the carwash. My 3-year-old Rose and I stood behind the big panels of glass to watch my CRV slowly drive through the gantlet of spinning wheels and power sprayers. An older man was watching his car go through as well. We chatted for a bit and then I asked him, "Do you usually tip the men who dry your car?"

"Yes," he replied.

"How much do you tip? I never know what I should give."

"Oh, I give $5 or…

5-Year-Old Car Racing Birthday Party

After scouring Pinterest for activities to use for Lee's birthday and finding little more than food table ideas, I decided to add our pictures to the melting pot.

Opening Activity: Painting Cars
Supplies: smocks, brushes, paint, wooden cars, bucket of water for washing hands at the end, rags to dry hands, covered table, two or three parents to supervise.


















Transition Activity: Car Racing
Supplies: Match box cars, Vinyl gutter or carpet tube or board of wood.
Directions: Have kids race match box cars down a ramp. We used this activity to keep the children busy while we cleaned up the painting table. If you wanted to make this more of a game, you could have the children pick a car and see which one goes the farthest.

Featured Activity: Children's Race
Supplies: Side walk chalk and spray paint to outline the course on the cement and grass, starting and finishing line, cardboard boxes of various sizes, one large refrigerator box for the car wash. We had all the children bring their own veh…

Inept Mothers

Sometimes I feel like the imposter mom. Like I just walked into a fashion designer’s expo wearing my saggy-bottomed khakis. Or like I’m the one team player that keeps dropping the ball. 
I don’t think I belong here. I don’t think they chose the right person to mother these children. I hate telling people what to do. I’m terribly impatient. I have a hard time making decisions. I jumble my words. And I like being by myself and having all my ducks in a row. Besides, I don’t even like babies.
I’m surprised they haven’t developed a test to weed-out inept moms like me. It would be like that Jury Duty questionnaire that they send you in the mail with red boxes around all the right answers, except these questions would be like: Do you keep a clear head in stressful situations? Do you enjoy resolving conflicts in public? Do you have back, knee, or foot problems? Do you like to throw birthday parties? Is service one of your spiritual gifts?
Sure, I have strengths in other areas. I can teach my chi…

Equal Pay

The parable at the beginning of Matthew 20 is about a landowner hiring workers for his vineyard. It's a parable about how the landowner treats workers who come late in the day. The late comers are at a disadvantage because they get to the vineyard after everyone else, and thus they can't possibly earn what the early workers earn. It is impossible, but the landowner gives them a full day's pay anyway.

The point of the parable is not that the ones who worked the longest didn't get what they deserved. The point of the parable is that those who worked for a short time got more than what they deserved.

I've read this parable a dozen times and thought, "That's not fair! Those poor men who worked all day must feel cheated!" But that's only because I believed that those who worked all day earned their wages and those who worked for only one hour didn't.

But the kingdom of heaven isn't like that. God gives everlasting life to all: those who believe…

And Now For Some Funny Bits

"Lee, we're in love," Rose told Lee, to which he replied, "No. I'm not!"

Rose slipping her shoulder through her shirt's neck hole: "You know ladies get married they have nakedness."

Lee to Rose who was decorating herself with fake beads: "You need a lot of jewelry to marry me, Rose."

Rose: "I'm a girl and I know how to do things."


Rose to Lee in their make-believe play: "It's so late, Honey. We missed all our friends."

I was surfing the radio channels trying to find a station and the children asked me to stop on a station with mariachi music. Lee asked: "You don't like this music, Mommy?" I replied with an emphatic no. "But it's so silly!" he replied.

Lee rifling through the Tupperware drawer: "Rosie has some spit in her mouth, so she needs a cup."

Lee likes to ask me simple math questions such as what is one plus five and what is two plus ten. So Rose joined in one d…