Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Memoirs of a Mommy

Patsy has been thinking of writing down some of the funny things that happen to her as a mom and sharing them somehow with others. I am encouraging her to do her own blog on motherhood journeys. She wrote this today. What do you think?

These short anecdotes are not for ladies who have chosen a hectic career instead of the tranquility of becoming a mother and spending long blissful hours rocking your babies to sleep, or softly brushing a curl back from their forehead as they rest their little heads on your knee. Mostly these are just to remind me of the gifts that God has given us when He chose to bless us with children. I have been blessed 5 times with boys and have yet to decide whether this is God’s sense of humor at work, or whether He thought I was especially suited for the role of mothering sons. However, I do have 5 boys to whom I am known simply as Mommy. Their ages are now 10; 8; 3; 2 ½ and 2. (Needless to say, they are not all my biological children.)

Last night was one of the nights that make you proud to be a Mommy. My husband was away at a conference and I had taken over all the household chores rather well in his absence. The boys had all been fed a nutritious supper, the three little ones were in the bathtub and had been scrubbed to a squeaky clean brilliance. My adoring older sons were standing by the tub busy blowing bubbles for the little ones to try to catch with their little wrinkled fingers. I was reflecting on the joys of motherhood as I laid out pajamas and diapers for the end of bath time. It was one of those moments when everything is working like a well-oiled machine and I should have known it wouldn’t last.
Suddenly, I heard sounds of water splashing, choking and confusion from the bathroom. Fearing the worse, I rushed toward the bathroom door, only to be met by my two oldest sons rushing to get out of said doorway. As we collided, I heard one of them say, “That’s ssoooo gross!” In that instant I had a terrible premonition of what I would find when I entered the bathroom, and it wouldn’t be a drowning child. Standing up in the middle of the tub was my 2 ½ year old proclaiming, loud and proud, “That’s my pooh-pooh!” over and over again. Our three year old had the good sense to realize that this was not a situation in which he wanted to be involved. He simply looked at the offending article and pronounced, “I didn’t do it, Mommy. I didn’t do it.” As I grabbed towels and pulled children from the tub with more speed than care, I realized our youngest was in the dark as to the nature of this turmoil. He was watching me wrench his brothers from the tub when suddenly “IT” floated by him. He promptly pointed and started yelling (in his high squeaky voice), “Ucky-ucky” until I was able to remove him. He continued his squeals alternating between “ucky” and “pooh-pooh” while I attempted to clean the boys once again and get them into their pajamas. Still our 3 year old shook his head and softly chanted to himself, “I didn’t do it.” In the meantime, our little showman has to be barred from the bathroom as he kept wanting to “see my pooh-pooh again”.Later that night, as I lay in bed reading and waiting for my husband to come home, I am struck by the quiet of the house. It seems that no matter what gets thrown at us during a “normal” day, there is always a time when everything settles back down and we can laugh at the “unlaughable”. To me, the quiet at the end of each day is kind of like God’s little good night kiss. Just letting me know that He is still in control and He loves me even during the “bathtub pooh-pooh” incidences in life.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring Thing

Spring is here in full bloom! We took sometime today to capture the mood with our camera.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Toothpaste millionaire

Our family has a tradition since Blake was a wee little lad of reading together most evenings before bed. Of course it doesn't work out every night! We have read some great books including classics like Gentle Ben and Charlotte's' Web to Christan fiction, historical fiction and current kid friendly series. We currently have two reading times, one with the little boys and then later a time for just the older ones. Anyway we talked as a family about sharing our experiences with anyone interested and rate books we read for you (whoever you are!) So the latest book we just finished is The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill. Here is our review

Marty 3 1/2 stars - It was a fun and clever way to encourage kids to have an entrepreneurial spirit

Patsy 4 stars - I liked how it taught kids the ins and outs of business in a way they could get into.

Blake 3 stars - I liked how they showed the ways you can make paste and add flavors to it.

Tanner 3 stars - I liked how he made lots of money by only charging a little bit for toothpaste

The reviews are simple and are based on a 5 star rating system!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dirty Jobs fish market

This is video is from a new series we are doing in the Kove called Dirty Jobs. This is one of the best we have done so far. Thanks Richard and Chris for helping out!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kids in sports myths

First of all let me say that the views I express here are in no way the views of my employer PWC! Secondly as I write this I want to be clear that I am not an anti-youth sports guy. My kids have been and continue to be involved on a certain level in youth sports. I am also a big Cubs and Bears fan and played some as a kid, teen and young adult.
I write this for two major reasons. I think we as parents are getting our priorities mixed up in this area and have placed way too much value on youth sports. We even complain about it, but we as parents are the ones with the power to stop it. We can put limits on it and choose leagues that go along with those limits. It might be better to start a league with good limits. Secondly, too many of our kids are losing their childhood. Do they ever have time to just play or imagine or read for pleasure? Are we killing a generation of young poets, artists, writers, etc. because everybody has to fit into this peg of the athlete?
So in saying this let’s at least examine our motives for getting kids involved in sports. It is my opinion that if one of the seven myths I have listed is motivating us maybe we should re-examine our priorities.

Myth 1 – My kid will get a college scholarship
The San Jose Mercury News reported that there are about 41 million kids who play organized sports. A fraction of those--6.9 million--are varsity high school athletes. Compare that to the 360,000 student-athletes who play in one of the three divisions of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Among those elite athletes, 126,000 earn a share of the $1 billion in scholarships available.
And while $1 billion sounds like a lot of money, it works out to less than $8,000 per athlete, which wouldn't cover even half a year of tuition at a private college. By comparison, there is $22 billion available in academic scholarships, making the brain the body part most likely to earn a kid a college education.
In other words spend the money on a tutor and you would get more bang for your supposed buck!

Myth 2 – This is good for my kid’s self esteem
Unfortunately, compelling evidence suggests that, for many children, the pressures associated with sports produce low self-esteem, excessive anxiety, and aggressive behavior. Children may eventually experience "sports burnout" and develop a lifelong avoidance of physical activity (Hellstedt, p. 60, 62).
In Hellstedt's opinion (p. 62), these negative outcomes of sports involvement are caused by adults, particularly parents and coaches. Lip-service is paid to sportsmanship and having fun, but rewards are reserved for winning. Often, encouragement to pursue victory is accompanied by direct and indirect signals that aggressive behavior is acceptable to achieve it. Hellstedt also suggests that anxiety about winning impedes performance and makes players more susceptible to injury. Hellstedt, Jon C. (1988, April) Kids, Parents and Sport: Some Questions and Answers. The Physician and Sportsmedicine, 16 (4) 59-71. EJ 376 620.

Myth 3 – My kid will learn a sense of teamwork
“Most adults believe that by participating in athletics, a child automatically procures such benefits as character development and sportsmanship. Sports participation is not inherently good nor inherently bad for children. The critical factor in determining whether the youth sports experience has positive or negative effects on children is the quality of adult leadership. And the first step in providing quality leadership for young athletes is to realize that coaches and parents play an important role in their psychological development. In essence, we have a responsibility to structure our programs so that the participants have the opportunity to develop not only physically, but morally as well”. – Youth Sports Institute

Myth 4 – My kid will stay away from substance abuse
OK this should be self explanatory. While I don’t have the stats I think society itself should teach that athletes abuse their bodies at just as high of a rate, if not higher, than the rest of society. I wouldn’t be surprised if the chess club had a low rate of substance abuse so where are all the parents clamoring to get their kids on that team? (A little jab sorry).

Myth 5 – My kid will hang with the right crowd
So now it’s become an issue of popularity? The right crowd could be found in the band, at church or any number of other places. When I got into trouble as a teen and was influenced into some stupid decisions it was almost always the athlete crowd who was doing the influencing. Are all athletes bad influences? Of course not! But you are not going to get any better of a crowd there than anywhere else. How about the video gamer crowd? I found this on the net:
“Some who've studied the subject say, surprisingly, video games, played in moderation, can actually help young people develop mental skills that will serve them well in adult life."It's not the button pushing that's important," says Mitch Wade, an information consultant for firms like Google and Rand Corp., who co-wrote a recent book called “Got Game.” "It's the problem-solving. And we saw that when we surveyed professionals who grew up playing video games. What's a surprise is that they're better at things you need in business — like team play and careful risk-taking." - George Lewis Correspondent NBC News - May. 19, 2005

Myth 6 – My kid will have a healthier lifestyle
Sports injuries are on the rise in U.S. children and teen-agers. Each year more than 3.5 million sports-related injuries requiring medical treatment occur in children under age 15.
Today, as more and more children and adolescents participate in the same sport year-round, many young athletes are developing overuse injuries. In fact, overuse is responsible for about half of the sports injuries that happen to middle school and high school students. Overuse injuries usually occur over time with prolonged, repeated motion or impact. They range from chronic muscle strains and tendinitis to stress fractures (tiny cracks in the bone). - October 20, 2002 – USA Today

Myth 7 - My kids will have good role models in sports
There are some, just like in every walk of life. But there are also hundreds of negative examples. On a local level we have had about an 80% good experience with coaches for our kids, but we have chosen our leagues very closely. I would prefer my sons see good role models in people who live a real life and are dedicating their lives to Christ. You might find that in a local kids sports league but don’t count on it. And then you always play another team whose coach is an idiot and your kids look at you like who is that?
Soon I want to write the 10 commandments (or maybe the 10 strong suggestions) For Soccer Moms and Dads! To sum up my thoughts for this a time I will use an article I found:

How Adults Can Make Kids' Sports a Nightmare
By Martha Brockenbrough
As baseball great Cal Ripken, Jr., wrote in his book Parenting Young Athletes the Ripken Way, "A very small percentage of kids who participate in youth sports will ever go on to play their sport professionally, but they can all love sports their entire lives."
How can parents make this happen? Ripken has a number of recommendations:
• Make sure your kids are having fun;
• Don't project your dreams onto your child;
• Be realistic, remembering the goals are fun and fitness first; and
• Don't push your kids too early, and don't push them to do sports that interest you.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Huddle Highlights

PWC hosted a regional Wesleyan Children's ministry training event on Saturday and I felt very happy when it was all done. It was everything we hoped it would be. A few highlights:

  • Pastor Karl was tremendous. His messages on relating to kids and the basics of children's ministry were so timely. He really inspired and challenged so many of us!
  • Teamwork. I was so proud of our staff. they all pulled together and made this event happen. It was so nice to have a team backing me up.
  • Great workshops. I heard lots of good buzz about all our break-out speakers.
  • Excellent lunch. Great job to Greg Beecher and Memories!
  • Good district response. When all was said and done there were 22 churches represented and 135 attendees.
  • The vendor area was tremendous for a conference of this size.
  • Personally it was really cool for our family to hang out with Pastor Karl. He consulted for us on Sunday morning and gave us some good feedback. We were a little upset he ate Tanner's snake Slidey though! :(

First mow

Blake is now assuming the responsibility of mowing a seciotn of our yard! 10 years old and he is growing up so fast.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


No we did not travel the world! These are Lego miniatures. Our last day in California was spent at Legoland. Blake and Tanner have always dreamed of going there and we never thought it was going to happened, but God opened a way. We are such a Lego family! It started with Blake and has just trickled out to the rest of us.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Playing around the farm

As I mentioned earlier Grandma Bonnie's parents live on farm (or ranch?) in northern California. It is a very pretty area and we enjoyed one day just playing around the farm. Jumping on the tramp, feeding the cows, catching snakes, picking kumquats, meeting new family and a campfire to end the day. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Tractor Man

I loved driving the tractor at the farm while the kids fed the cows. I felt in my element!

Friday, April 04, 2008

The wedding

We had such a great time in California and did so many things I need to break them up as I think of them and write about them. First of the wedding. We all love Bonnie my dad's new wife. All the kids think she's great too. They were supposed to get married in her parent's yard. They live on a farm and have very nice gazebo ( we all like her parents a lot too). Anyway it was raining so we moved the wedding into their barn. It was too cool. The kids loved it. Family sang all the songs. Bonnie's daughter Samantha and her niece Kim sang worship songs to open it up. Then several grand kids sang Amazing Grace as Bonnie came down the "aisle". Patsy sang Be Exalted during the Salt ceremony and and my sisters Becky and Rachel and brother-in-law Joe sang a song I can't remember and then Forever Grateful during communion. Bonnie's daughter is ordained and did the Salt ceremony and my brother-in-law Matt who is a chaplain officiated the communion. I was privledged to do the ceremony and then mess up the wedding license! Also -my dad was quick to the draw and said I do a little early. I guess he was anxious.
We didn't get too many good pictures from the wedding due to Patsy signing and little hay particles shining off the flash. We will wait for the official ones from Joe and post some later. Anyway we have a couple of pics to post.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Giant Redwoods

From our recent trip to California - this video was taken in a Giant Reedwoods park in California. All these kids are cousins and are homeschooled! What a fun way to learn science!