Monday, December 6, 2010

Fun Family Stuff

I was going to start this story with the phrase...."A few years ago...", then I realized that it's been waaaay more than a few years ago, so I will begin in another manner.

My nephew, Skyler, is so much fun.  When he was younger - before he was able to drive - we would hang out and do things together.  One of the things that we did was explore the woods.  I don't remember how old he was, but probably middle school age.  The woods consist of 25 acres with a creek running through it.  That September afternoon, it was warm in the sunshine, but chilly in the shade.  As we walked through the woods, we talked about everything; school, family, friends, etc.  I was hoping to see some real cool wildlife while we trudged through the tall grass that bordered the creek.  And to our surprise, we came upon a large snake.  He was taking advantage of the warm sun on that cool day.  We surprised him as much as he did us.  I was the leader through the tall grass.  I nearly stepped on the poor snake.  He was big for a snake in Indiana.  Although I'm sure he wasn't as big as I remember him being.  I DO know that his mouth was open wide and he was making a sound, not quite a hiss though.  As I stood frozen in my step, I realized that Skyler is nearly on my back but yet didn't want to miss this snake, so he was leaning over my shoulder.  A whisper escaped my lips, "Sky, go get a stick so that I can pick him up."  Sky didn't want me to pick up the snake, so he refused to get a stick for me.  We then gave the snake a wide berth and headed on to more wildlife.

We encountered many aquatic species that day too.  As we waded through the half mile of creek that runs through the woods, we saw many fish of different sizes, crayfish, muskrat & LEECHES.  To this farm girl, leeches aren't a big deal as long as I stopped every once in a while to scrape them off.  But to my nephew, they elicited screams like I'd never heard from any of my nieces.  It was so funny, that I would stop more often to remove the leeches from my feet and legs just to hear him scream about the ones that were attached to him.  As we walked we talked about "stuff".  Nothing too important or too serious.  It was a day I'll never forget.

We encountered a small deer that was drinking from the creek and a blue heron.  But, for me, the ultimate was finding a soft-shelled turtle sunning itself on the bank of the creek.  It was big - about 14 inches from nose to tail - and really irritated that we were invading its space.  As we headed back to the truck we were exiting the, previously mentioned, tall grass when we saw (not smelled) a skunk.  It was about 50 feet away and walking toward us.  From my short time working at a wildlife rehab center, I knew that skunks have terrible eyesight, but really good noses.  I hollered, SKUNK!!  We ran and didn't look back.  Thank goodness we didn't go home with anything but great memories.

Hand Sanitizer and Antibacterial wipes

I am a germaphobe!  Lets get that out of the way from the beginning.

My little boy is 4 and  is still trying to perfect standing up to pee.  When we are doing errands and he needs to use a public restroom, I almost gag because I know how disgusting the restrooms are.  So as we are walking toward the handicapped stall, I review what he can and cannot touch.  Within the past 2 weeks, we've been shopping several times for Christmas.  During one visit to the ladies restroom, Lucas was moving so fast (he REALLY had to go) that I didn't have time to remind him how gross the bathrooms were.  He decided to stand up to pee and was standing with his legs up against the toilet but didn't have his pants down yet.  As I looked over at him, he's dropping his drawers and HIS MOUTH NEARLY TOUCHES THE SEAT OF THE TOILET!!! OMG!!!  I grabbed him before it actually touched the toilet rim, but it was so close that I wanted to pour hand sanitizer all over his mouth.  Even now, while I type this, I'm grossed out.

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon shopping.  In this public restroom, he did well and didn't completely gross me out until he touched the seat of the toilet.  He raised his hand and it was all wet.   YUCK!!  He even said yuck.  I had to hold his arm so that he wouldn't put his hand in his hair or decide to bite his fingernails.  We washed his hands AND used hand sanitizer after that trip to the restroom.

Do you have any gross public restroom stories?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Santa Claus

Over the last few days, I've heard friends and strangers talking about Santa Claus and whether they share the tradition with their young children or not.  I was raised in a family that celebrated the tradition of Santa Claus.  We also celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ.  The story of Santa Claus is just fun.  I love seeing the look of pure joy on my son's face when he sits on Santa's lap and shares what he would like to see in his stocking on Christmas morning.  Christmastime gives all of us a reason or "excuse" to give - to our children, to our extended families, to friends, to strangers and if Santa Claus is the reason, then so be it.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I've been a Mom now for just a few years.  My husband and I have a wonderful little boy who is extremely bright, happy, bossy, a pokey-butt and sometimes, downright frustrating.  We raise our son to be respectful of others, to have good manners and to understand that his actions will have consequences, good or bad.  We have rules in our house and we expect him to know AND follow them.  The "Rules Lessons" that we are teaching now will spill over into the rest of his life.  We are not perfect parents and we make mistakes.  We also admit those mistakes to our son so that he can see that adults make mistakes too.  I see so many parents get lost in trying to be great friends with their children that they lose track of the really important lessons that a PARENT, not friend, should be teaching. 

Some of our lessons are:  
  • Table Manners - no burping, no farting, chew with your mouth shut, don't feed the dog from your plate, finish your milk, ask for permission to leave the table & if you don't want to eat what is on your plate, you don't have to eat it, but I'm not making a separate meal for you.
  • Television - turned off during meals (unless it's movie night and then we get to eat in the living room while watching a movie), no "kid" TV during the week, I (as parent) CAN turn the TV off even if you are watching it.
  • Respect - no sassing (I sometimes lack when it comes to enforcing this one), be careful of the "tone" you're using when speaking to others (our 4-year-old knows exactly what this means), and "shut up" is a bad word in our house so don't use it unless you want your dinner to consist of Dial soap.
I'm not a complete hag, even though some of you will think I am after reading this.  Because of the lessons, our son knows how to order his own meal at a restaurant, he has NEVER had a meltdown when out in public and he acts this way no matter who he is with (it may be grandparents, babysitters, or friends).

Maybe over the next 20 or so years, I will continue to update our list of lessons for everyone to read.

Facebook - the Good, the Bad, the Unexplained

I'm very new to Facebook.  I started using it early in 2010.  I've enjoyed reconnecting with people that I haven't seen for years.  I've also enjoyed being able to read about friends and family updates.  But I have a quesiton.  Why does Facebook make it easier for people to post their religious views?  There are people that I've been friends with for years and have never heard them speak of God but now that I'm on Facebook, those same people are posting their love of God and asking others to post the same.  I'm not offended by any of it.  I am curious about it.  Is it the "anonymity" of Facebook that makes it easier for people to post about God?  I don't know.  What about you?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nov 12, 2010

Today, my thoughts are focused on the family whose son died a few days ago.  I can't seem to get them out of my mind.  I'm hoping that the days ahead are healing days.  That the darkness they are feeling now will someday be bright and wonderful again.

"There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go."

RIP Seth Jacob Bullington

Thursday, November 11, 2010


November 11, 2010

On November 9, 2010, a young man from my community was killed in a vehicle crash.  He had a fiance and a new daughter who is 5 weeks old.

The entire community stepped up.  There were offers of assistance and shoulders to cry on.  Neighbors and friends carried in food to the grieving family's home.  My small town has few amenities.  Sometimes I wish for more activities like a movie theater or a large grocery store, but during times of need I see, oh so clearly, why I continue to live here and raise my children here. 

The unselfishness of every member of the community shines through during times of need, sorrow and grief.

Safely Home
I am home in Heaven, dear ones;
Oh, so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light.

All the pain and suffering is over
Every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in Heaven at last.

Did you wonder I so calmly
Trod the valley of the shade?
Oh! but Jesus' love illumined
Every dark and fearful glade.

And he came Himself to meet me
In that way so hard to tread
And with Jesus' arm to lean on
Could I have one doubt or dread?

Then you must not grieve so sorely,
For I love you dearly still:
Try to look beyond earth's shadows,
Pray to trust our Father's will.

There is still work waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand;
Do it now, while life remaineth-
You shall rest in Jesus' land.

When that work is completed,
He will gently call you home;
Oh, the rapture of that meeting,
Oh, the joy to see you come!
- Unknown author