August 15, 2011

Why is running a bad thing????

We are lucky enough that our local zoo offers classes for kiddos Jameson's age a couple Saturdays a month. Jameson loves them. Most of their class consists of walking around the zoo looking at different animals and learning around a certain theme of the week. This week in class, Jameson was wanting to run a lot. Personally, I didn't mind. He was in a wide open space, he wasn't running that fast, and he was OUTSIDE. I had absolutely no problem with him running. But, one of the teachers told him to stop. That was totally fine. I figured she probably had good reason. (He might get the other kids wound up or get ahead of the group, etc). No biggie. A little while later, Jameson (being Jameson) started running again. As we were telling him to stop, he fell down. I ran over to him, picked him up, and dusted off his knees. I don't think he was even on his feet yet before he had stopped crying. Right before he fell, one of the little girls in the group started running. While I am helping him up, I hear the teacher say "See, Jameson fell. That is why we don't run". Do I care that she told Jameson to stop running? Absolutely not. There are many good reasons for why this was not a particularly appropriate place to run (even if I didn't think it was a big deal). But when I heard her say that we don't run because we might fall, it got me thinking... (watch out- getting deep)

Why is "you might fall" a good reason to not run? Aren't these just the kind of situations we are supposed to encourage our children to get in to, not warn them against? Situations where they are going to have to take a little risk to have the experience? Don't get me wrong- I hate hate HATE to see my kids get hurt. Even a skinned knee and my heart breaks. In fact, I have to make a conscious effort at times to not be overprotective. But should I never let my kids run because they might fall? Sure, I could carry my kids everywhere, never taking the "risk" to run like a little kid should. They may never get an owie on their knee that requires a racecar bandaid. But is that really what I want to teach my child? That we shouldn't take on a new experience because there is a chance it might not go well? No! I want my kids to come upon a situation and take on a little risk for a big reward, even if it is scary. Yes, I want my children to learn that not every risk is worth it (for example, I want my children to be able to distinguish the difference between the worthwhile risk of running at the zoo and the dangerous risk of running into the road). But I also want them to know that they can run, even if it means they might fall. Especially when mom is going to be there to dust them off and help them start running again :)

August 11, 2011

A God thing

What is a "God thing?" Typically, these are situations where it would be really easy to think "Why the heck did God let this happen?" But, instead, I try to see where God WAS in that situation. Basically what could have made it a whole lot worse but was somehow prevented. God things were actually one of the main things that made me want to blog. Normally, when these happen, I will tell my mom about them and maybe a few other people, but I don't really get to share them the way I would like to. So, for my first real post, it is only natural that I start with one of these. But, because I can't anticipate when I will have a God thing come up, I will just share one of my favorite recent ones!

Days that I close at work, I don't have to be there until around 11:30 am. On this particular day that I was closing, I had decided to take the kiddos to the sitter's and come home to clean for an hour or so. On my way back from dropping them off, I decided to stop by the post office to pick up the mail from our PO box. I left my car running because I live in a very small town, so I park right in front of the building and I can see the car from my PO Box. I ran in, excited that I had a whole hour to clean. I went back to the car, grabbed the handle AND...

Yes, that's right it is locked. A quick check of all the doors tells me that, yup, I just locked myself out of my car while the engine is running. Awesome. Trying to stay positive, I run inside to use the post office phone to call a locksmith (I didn't have my phone because I had forgotten it at home). Yes, we do have a spare key, but I was pretty certain that it was IN the car (very helpful). And, since the locksmith is covered on my insurance, I decided I wasn't going to mess with it. Like I mentioned, I live in a small town, so the nearest locksmith that I knew of was about 30 minutes away. I figured I would probably have to pay extra to get them to come down, but what else was I going to do? So, I call the first one... they don't service our area. Well, that stinks. On to the next one... nope, we don't go that far. Really?

Both the post office worker and I only knew of the two locksmiths in the town near us, so I decided I would just have to get online at home to find another one to try (our house is about a 3 minute walk from the post office). I get home and start looking online. After I try several more, I discover that I am apparently the first person in the history of my town to call a locksmith. They all think I am nuts for asking if they will come that far, even when I make it clear that I understand I will have to pay more. So, at this point, panic starts. What am I going to do? I can't get my one spare key, nobody will help me out here, and I was pretty sure the hanger trick wouldn't work on my car. I even try the police department- by the way, they don't provide that service, but they can provide me the number of several locksmiths who do... in the town 30 minutes away from us. By this point, I am pretty much bawling (yes, I know, overreaction- give me a break!) I call Shaun searching for any idea that he might have and he is in the same boat. I am searching the house top to bottom just in case I am wrong about it being in the car.

I had given up. About 40 minutes had passed at this point, and it finally occurred to me the one thing I hadn't tried- prayer. What I really needed was to CALM DOWN. There had to be a reasonable solution, even if it wasn't an ideal solution. I prayed that God would help me to calm down and see my options. I said Amen and... nothing. But at least I had calmed down. The only idea I had was to walk back to the post office and tell the lady that my car would be sitting out there for awhile until I could find out which window would be cheapest to replace after I broke it out (yep, that is where I was at). I decided to make a potty break first, which took me by the closet... holding my winter coat... the ONE place I hadn't looked. I reach inside, just in case... yeah, there it is. That darn key was in my winter coat pocket the whole time. I has walked by it at least 20 times trying to find my key. I booked it down to the post office and brought my car back to my house. I had lost all my cleaning time and now had barely enough time to just get ready for work. What a waste!


I can see where God not only kept things from being even worse, but actually made some GOOD things happen in all this mess. First, does it stink that I left my car running at the post office for 45 minutes when gas is $3.65 a gallon? Yes. But, remember the stop I made before this one? The one where I dropped my kids off at the sitters? Had this had happened at this stop, it would have meant that my kids would have been locked in my car, which is pretty much my greatest mom fear. And, since I don't leave my car running when I drop them off, they would have been locked in a hot car. (FYI- had this happened, I would have been able to tell you what it costs to replace my window).

Next, my phone. I never leave it at home. It is always in my purse in the car, or, if I don't have my purse, it is sitting in this little cubby on my dash. This would have been so much more of a nightmare if I would have had to run to the post office for every failed locksmith attempt. And those locksmiths? Although it makes me crazy that we can't get a locksmith to us, if I would have found someone who wanted to take advantage, they could have charged me a ridiculous amount that may or may not have been covered by my road side assistance.

Does it stink that I wasted that cleaning time? Yes. But, because I had been planning to clean, I was able to get to work on time.

Finally, it gave me a reminder that I am CONSTANTLY needing. If there is one thing I struggle with as a Christian, it is turning things to God when they are out of my control. I know that I can and should, I just always put my silly worries to the front of my mind and don't leave any room for God! It is not an embellishment for the story that I found the key right after I prayed- that is actually how it happened. Do I think God placed that key in that pocket? Of course not. That key had been sitting there since the last time I had misplaced my keys and had to grab that spare to get to work on time. But, if I hadn't been able to compose myself and allow myself to just THINK, I wouldn't have realized that it was an obvious place to look. God helped me do this. Through that prayer, God calmed my nerves and helped me to see what was (literally) right in from of me.

So, that is the first God thing I am sharing with you! I know this is lengthy, but I hope it was worth your time. I know I will have many more to share!

August 9, 2011

Oh my. So I am really going to put it all out there?

After admiring the blogging of others for years now, I have decided to try my hand at it. I love sharing my opinions (to those unfortunate enough to be listening) but am a little nervous about putting myself out there. After all, I think my thoughts and opinions are interesting, but I don't know if anyone else does... oh well! 

In general, I am a person who keeps my opinions to myself. However, give me a topic that I am truly passionate about, and you won't hear the end of it!

My favorite passions:
-First and foremost, I am a Christian. I make it my goal to glorify God in everything I do, but it is definitely something I struggle with on a daily basis.

-My family!!!!!! There is absolutely nothing more important to me on this planet than my family. Basically every decision I make is based around them. Which leads me to the next...

-Becoming a stay at home mom! I currently have a full time job and I am grateful to even have a job in this economy, but it is not where I truly want to be. In April, my husband was promoted to a new position that pays enough to support us. However, we are wanting to do this the "responsible" way (blah!), so we are paying off a few debts and building some savings before I quit my job. We don't really know yet how long this will be, we are just taking it one day at a time.

-Breastfeeding! I don't think there is anyone who has spoken to me in the past few years who doesn't know that both of my children have breastfed. I am a huge advocate for it and hope that some day I can find a way to make a job (even if it is just volunteer) out of helping women achieve their breastfeeding goals.

-My most recent passion is becoming more frugal! I have used coupons here and there for awhile, but never really saw huge savings. Then, after watching an a documentary about extreme couponing (yes, the documentary that lead to the series) I discovered how I was totally not using them to their full potential! I found a few blogs that really helped me understand what to do and I went on my first true couponing shopping trip- three sticks of free deodorant and I was HOOKED!!!! The more I read the blogs, the more I see all the ways that I could be saving so much money! I love to brag about my deals and share deal ideas with others!

So, how the heck am I supposed to make all of that mess in to a blog?? Well, I don't know yet... I guess we'll find out!