Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blessed - by Linz

I started my morning with this Facebook status:

Some mornings just feel like one giant struggle to get out the door.

It was a rough morning. By the time Brad kissed me goodbye and headed off to work, Elliott was moping about not getting to play DS, Spencer was on his bed, naked and screaming about not wanting to get dressed and Wesley was crying because he got a stray hand to the cheek. I thought for sure, the day could only get better. And it did...but not before it got worse.

Not thirty seconds after Elliott and Wesley got in the car after school there was yelling, tears and arms and legs flying with the intent of injury. My bad morning had in fact turned into a bad afternoon.

Once Brad got home things started to improve. He has some sort of calming effect on the boys...something I secretly envy. Unfortunately, Brad had a meeting this evening and the positive influence of his presence quickly faded. Relaxing TV time quickly turned into fighting and an early bedtime for the boys.

But here's where the day got better. Oddly enough it happened after they were all asleep! When I went into their rooms to tuck them in and put away their books and turn off lights, it hit me. It happens even on the worst days. After the long hours of broken rules and unkind words and enforcing discipline, they win me over. After a day of feeling like an inadequate, overwhelmed and frustrated mom, I look at them sleeping and all I feel is blessed. And then I pray that I can remember this feeling even in the chaos that morning is sure to bring!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Linz & Trophy - by Brad

It is Elliott's 8th birthday today and so far the most excitement has been driving to get donuts and Elliott realizing that he doesn't  have to use his booster seat. I would post more about Elliott and that mushy stuff of how good of kid he is, but I had this post all ready to go...

With the older two boys at school, Spencer has only one person to entertain during the day. Lindsey. She is the audience for his entertaining as well as the brunt of his disobeying. While I am at work, I miss out on many of these moments. I would probably forget most of these if it weren't for Lindsey's documentation process... texting.

For historical documentation purposes, here are a few of Lindsey's text messages to me...

- Someone peed into our bathtub!

- I think I need a vacation from Spencer.

- Spencer's being super funny.

- Spencer came up with a bra and squeezed it and said, "honk honk... can I wear this today?"

- Spencer just asked me if God is dead or alive. Then he said well who is died? So I said great grandpa. Then he said how did he died? Now is he in heaven? Where is heaven? Is it at grandpa's church? It is at the bowling alley? Hey, can we go bowling?

- I tried to tell Spencer in a very serious voice, "stop touching things". He just stared at me and said, "Woah. You talked like a robot." I can't stop laughing.

- Spencer's latest creation. Cellophane flip flop!

- (unrelated to Spencer) I smashed a HUGE fly in the kitchen... and maggots came out. I almost threw up!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Trophy - by Brad

About a month ago, Spencer and I were relaxing on the floor of my bedroom talking. I asked him if I could call him "Spee" for a nickname. He said no, so I asked if I could call "Bradley" since that is his middle name. Again, he said no. Then he looked at me with a half smile and said, "You can call me Wes."

I explained that since his brother's name is Wes, it would be very difficult to know which one we were talking about. So he proceeded to say, "Then you can call me Elliott."

Again I jokingly explained the same story with Elliott's name. So Spencer looked around the room for a few minutes and finally said, "You can call me... Bookcase!" He so cleverly came up with that nickname because we have a bookcase in our bedroom. So I declared to his brothers that from now on we would refer to Spencer as "Bookcase". They all got a good laugh out of that, and after using the name Bookcase for a few minutes, he decided on a new name.

The object of his new nickname came from what is sitting on top of the bookcase. Once again, Spencer (or, Bookcase), looked at me and said, "No, now you can call me... Trophy!"

This nickname sounded a little more promising than Bookcase, so I again declared that his name officially be changed to "Trophy".

Since then, Trophy has enjoyed his new name. Several times when I would call him "Spencer", he would stop and say, "No, my name is Trophy." At first, he told Lindsey that only I was allowed to call him by his new name. Then he decided that he wanted her to call him Trophy as well.

When Lindsey asked him to clean up some toys, he didn't do it (typical). When she asked him again, he said, "I didn't hear you 'cause you didn't call me Trophy."

Lately he has been telling everyone to call him Trophy. It's not a bad nickname, I guess. He seems pretty adamant about the name, so I guess we'll see how long it sticks.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Hungry - by Linz

As I was driving back from a morning run with a friend we saw a man on the street corner holding a sign that read: JUST TRYING TO SURVIVE. HUNGRY. GOD BLESS YOU. The hungry part of the sign was in big, bold letters.

We were stopped at the red light and my friend dug through her purse to scrounge up seventy-five cents. As we drove away she commented that she felt bad that she only had seventy-five cents. And then we talked a bit about how hard it must be to have to humble yourself to asking for change just to get a meal.

Later that morning, I was running errands and I saw that the man was still there. I decided to run in to Safeway and pick up a few groceries and take them over to him. I took the boys into the store and we got bagels, bananas bottled water and a candy bar. So I pulled around the parking lot to where he was standing and carried the groceries over to him. Before I could make it all the way, he put up his hands and said, "NO". Ummm. I was kind of surprised so I just stood there for a second. He then said, "I am not accepting any food today." So I commented that his sign said he was hungry. "A lot of people have tried to offer me food, but I am not taking food today." ...Umm, Ok... Then as I am walking away he asks me, "But can you spare any change." I said NO, and walked away...probably not the most gracious move, but I wasn't in the mood to try to help him anymore.

When I got home and told Brad my story, he was not the least bit surprised. I just don't want to have to be so cynical about who really needs help...but the guy that I tried to help, didn't really need help. I saw him the next day jogging to his corner while listening to an Mp3 player.

Now I don't know what to think!