Today three delightful, hard-working ladies from the moving company are here packing up everything that we own. They have gone about their work pleasantly and with a sense of pride. While they were busy packing-away, a dear friend stopped by to chat and we stepped into one of the rooms that they were not working in for a lovely hour or so to catch up without getting in their way. When I bid my friend farewell, I walked through each room that they had completed and sighed... "This is real!" I thought. I joked with them that I guess there was no going back now and one of them insisted, "Nope, you are moving!"
I went upstairs to, ahem, use the facilities, and only after I'd committed to that act did I realize - THEY HAD PACKED THE TOILET PAPER. Wow. Talk about total commitment to the job. "You ARE moving!" Well, no kidding. We sure can't stay here without toilet paper!
As I reflect on that moment of shocking realization that the T.P. was in a box somewhere and not on the roll, I'm now laughing at myself... how often do I get ahead of myself in life... planning for what is coming a few steps down the road and inadvertently missing what is obviously important in the here and now? Answer: Too often.
Life lesson for the day - Don't neglect the needs of today while planning for the future... or if you prefer: pack the toilet paper last for Pete's sake!
He walked in the door on Monday afternoon, fresh from a ride home on the school bus, dropped his things on the floor and started into his rant before he even had his jacket off... "They're on to me, Mom!" Well, that sure got my attention. He proceeded to tell us a story about a missing Agenda (aka: important middle school notebook that is a required tool for keeping track of assignments and info from teachers). The tale was lengthy and harrowing and passionately delivered and at its conclusion Tim stated emphatically that he was 99% certain it was not missing at all, but rather had been STOLEN. He then seemed perplexed that his father and I were not in a total state of outrage over this shocking revelation.
Meanwhile, Jason and I were trying to figure out what in the world he meant by the statement, "They're on to me." Jason was the first to sort through it. "Son, I think what you meant to say is that 'They have it out for you,' or 'They're out to get you.'" "Oh," he said. We went on to talk about how middle school is middle school and no one escapes unscathed, and how it also isn't wise to make accusations or get emotionally caught up in things that you can't control, but the real lesson that came out of that moment was, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SAY TO MOM AND DAD - THEY WILL USE IT TO MOCK YOU MERCILESSLY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Ever since Monday, "They're on to me," has become Jason and I's mantra. We use it frequently and with great delight on any given occasion, much to Timmy's chagrin. Give it a try sometime, it's fun! :)
On a serious note: The comparison of the two phrases is a great lesson for all of us. Are we tempted to assume the world is out to get us when things go wrong? Are we hiding anything that would cause us to be devastated to find out if someone was, in fact, on to us? Neither of these is any way to live! Honesty, integrity and perspective! May we all have them in abundance and strive to keep them all the days of our lives.
P.S. The agenda was located the next morning. All is well.
Every so often, things get a little too serious. Am I right? In those moments, I go back to Facebook and Twitter and look over the last several weeks and find the funniest things my friends, and family, (and strangers for that matter) have posted that made me laugh and I compile a top ten list here on the blog to share with this serious world. You never know when something YOU've posted might show up here! As always, names have been removed to protect the hilarious.
1. "When having a smackerel of something with a friend, don't eat so much that you get stuck in the doorway trying to get out." Winnie the Pooh
2. My 2nd grader just told me, "Mom, don't bother looking at my homework. You won't be able to understand it."
3. "Some folks don't deserve thumbs."
4. "If you ever got sick from playing a kazoo, it would be a humbug."
5. "You know you have issues when you don't want to use a GPS because you HATE being told what to do."
6. "History will someday explain how, early in the 21st century, all the pastors' wives suddenly became smokin' hot."
7. "I believe the children are our future" -Hopeful song lyric now made depressing because of that Honey Boo Boo show.
8. Mom to 4 of 5 kids: "What r u doing downstairs?" Kids: "Reading where it's quiet & there are no moms yelling at the football game."
9. "Teacher, you look like Britney Spears. But the good version, like before she went crazy and shaved her hair and stuff."
10. A first grader telling her Dad about her soccer game: "A grandma for the other team was yelling, "kick it in the goal!" And I was yelling, "DON'T LISTEN TO GRANDMA!!"
I just finished the first week of a training program that is supposed to get me off the couch and running a 5K (3.1 miles) in nine short weeks. The first week involves a 25 minute workout that alternates 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking, three times per week. As the program progresses, walking time will decrease and jogging time will increase. Yikes!
In the spirit of not taking myself or this very minor accomplishment too seriously, here are the top five things I learned prior to 7am today during my 25 minutes of jog/walking:
1. Ants, apparently, get up earlier than I do and are tougher than I am. As I was stretching at the track before my workout, I noticed little bits of "stuff" moving slowly on the ground beneath my feet. I realized they were hundreds of tiny ants carrying food-stuffs many times their body weight to an unknown location. They reminded me that I have a hard enough time carrying my own body weight. Show offs.
2. An idea of blogging about a Taylor Swift song and relating it to a deep spiritual truth, is probably the runner's high talking. Mid-way through my jog/walk, I actually had this "brilliant" idea to somehow relate Taylor's single "Our Song" to my relationship with God. Those endorphins can create CRAZY TALK in your brain, I tell ya. Beware!
3. The only place it is acceptable for me to wear spandex shorts is at the track at 6:00am when no one else is around. I think I burned more calories constantly adjusting those crazy shorts to keep them from sliding down or riding up than I did while actually jogging/walking. Thank God for long, baggy t-shirts.
4. Getting spiritual while exercising is for the advanced, not the amateur. Toward the end of my workout, as I finally realized this was going to end (eventually) and wasn't, in fact, going to kill me, I had the bright idea to pray for my friends and family during each of the 90 seconds of walking (praying for myself was all I could manage during the 60 seconds of jogging... more specifically, praying that I'd suck it up and not be a wuss and quit). Sounds reasonable enough, right, except that when I would pray while I walked I would lose track of time and the 90 seconds of blessed walking would go by too fast or I'd feel gipped somehow or I'd go longer than 90 seconds and mess up the rules of the workout plan (I'm nothing if not a rule follower). Bah! #AmateurProblems
5. Having something poking you in your shoe while jogging can make you look insane. If you were hiding behind a tree or sitting in a car somewhere, or were flying overhead in an airplane, or had concealed yourself in some other way this morning, and you had the misfortune of watching my workout while I thought I was all alone - I apologize and I feel I must explain. I HAD SOMETHING IN MY SHOE! All those crazy moves, random kicks and shakes, and the stomping, and toe tapping all while trying to continue moving in a forward direction without falling down, must have made me look a bit off my rocker. Perhaps I am...
Starting on Friday, I will be jogging for 90 seconds and walking for 2 minutes for a total of 25 minutes a day, three times per week. Heaven help me! I'll keep ya posted on the hilarity that ensues and the poignant lessons learned. I know you're on the edge of your seat.
PS - I love the little girl in the picture above. I don't know her, but I love her. I found her on Pinterest. I am not making fun of her, I am making fun of myself... she is, quite obviously, trying to dodge the bubbles that are about to land on her head and that is serious business indeed.
Today I took Timmy and three of his buddies (ages 9-11) to an amusement park and water park for the day to celebrate Timmy's 11th birthday. We met up with another family (including 2 more of Tim's friends) when we arrived.
Someone at some point commented that I am brave. Someone may have been right, however, I am also BLESSED. I laughed so hard today... I had to have burned some serious calories, right? Preteen boys are nothing if not funny. I got a kick out of listening to all of their silly conversations and joining in, when it was cool to do so, and I vowed to remember as many funny moments as I could and write them down when I got home... here's what I can recall:
- Cameron (after going on a ride called the Crazy Mouse): "Miss Carla, My stomach feels turned over." I hear ya buddy!
- When it was time to sing Happy Birthday to Tim at lunch, somehow, they broke out into the hallelujah chorus instead. We put two candles in a watermelon and he blew them out. Nontraditional is kind of our thing. (pictures below)
At one point the boys were pretending to predict what each others' futures would be like. Here are some of their predictions:
1. Timmy will marry a very short woman and move to Europe where he will tend to Alpacas for a living. He will have seven children and all will be well until one of the Alpacas decides he doesn't care for him and he will kick him so hard he'll be sent into orbit. (What a way to become an astronaut!)
2. Daniel will join the circus and be a clown. He will not make people happy. He will make them anxious and sad. (I can't remember the rest of this one, but for whatever reason it made us laugh like the dickens, even Daniel.)
3. Cameron will be a lion tamer with a whip until the lion one day gets hungry and eats him. (So sad...Imagine the funeral! I think his little brother came up with this one.)
4. Morgan requested that his future include some sort of athletic prowess, so the boys decided that Morgan would be playing professional football one day and that during a game he will go up to catch a pass and somehow instead of catching the ball he would catch his sister and spike her in the endzone for a touchdown. He would do a jig to celebrate.
OVERHEARD ON THE WAY HOME:
Tim: "Can Morgan sleep over tonight?"
Me: "Nope. We already have company. Aaron Batdorf is staying over, remember?"
Morgan: "Aaron Bad Elf???"
Tim: "No! Aaron Bad-Orf. He's not an elf, he's like really really tall."
Morgan: "Maybe he is an elf, he just has a height impairment."
Cameron: "Let's sing a song! You guys start with 'Wimoweh, wimoweh' and I'll come in."
All the Guys: "Wimoweh, Wimoweh, Wimoweh, Wimoweh"
Cameron: "In the jungle, the quiet jungle, the lion sleeps tonight, In the jungle the quiet jungle the lion sleeps tonight."
Me (really loudly, out of no where, and high pitched): "Ahh Weeeeeeeee Weee Oh Mamba Weh"
Morgan: "What was THAT?!?!" (laughter all around)
Daniel: "Wait, let's do it again and I'll sing and then we can all come in on that part."
All the guys: "Wimoweh, Wimoweh, Wimoweh, Wimoweh"
Daniel: "In the bathroom, the quiet bathroom, the lion goes tonight. In the bathroom, the quiet bathroom, the lion goes tonight."
All the boys (through giggles): "Ahh Weeeeeeeee Weee Oh Mamba Weh"
If you are ever in need of a good laugh and enough activity to make you sleep through the night - I highly recommend you round up a bunch of 9, 10 and 11 year old boys and take them out for a day of fun. These days are flying by. I am glad today was one for the memory books!
My idea of fun as a married, 37 year old mother of one:
- Playing board games with my family and/or friends and laughing out loud together
- Being taken by surprise by God's goodness, love, justice, power, creation, etc.
- Being surprised (in good ways) by my husband
- Planning a trip to a new place (I sometimes enjoy the planning more than the actual trip...classic introvert, I suppose)
- Going to the movies by myself (am I weird?)
- Double dates with great friends
- Watching Big Bang Theory with my husband (when it isn't totally inappropriate)
- Reading a fantastic book
- Researching something that interests me
- Hearing my son giggle uncontrollably
I decided to sit down and make this list today because of a particularly interesting encounter we had last night... It went something like this:
Last night at around 8:40pm, my husband and I were settled into the living room in our home, just wrapping up a conversation with a friend who had come over. We'd been sitting and talking with him for about an hour. He got up to leave and we said our goodbyes and not two minutes later there was a loud knock at the door. I assumed that it was our friend who had forgotten something or needed something. I went to the door and was shocked to open it and not see anyone there. I stood there for a second, perplexed, then I leaned my head out the door to see if someone was hiding, playing a trick. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness of the night, I noticed that SOMEONE WAS LYING FACE DOWN ON OUR LAWN. At first I thought, "Oh no, our friend fell on his way out to his car!" Then I remembered, someone KNOCKED on our door. How could he have fallen down and then knocked???? Then I realized that whoever was lying on the lawn was dressed differently than our friend had been.... "What are you doing?" I asked tentatively. From the opposite side of the front yard I heard the matter-of-fact reply, "Planking." I turned and looked in the direction of the reply and noticed three other people lying face down in the yard!!! What in the world?!?! Then the laughing began and they all got up and came in the house. Five college students, who we know and love. They came in, completely drenched and muddy... did I fail to mention it was cold and raining outside?!?!?! They took off their shoes and muddy, wet outer layers and we made hot chocolate and pulled out folding chairs for them to sit on and a hair dryer for them to attempt to dry off with. Then we sat and chatted for an hour about what in the world they were up to... They had been outside our house for about an hour "planking" (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=planking) and taking pictures of themselves. They planked on our stairs, against our bushes, on top of our bushes, against the walls, behind the car, on top of the car, YOU NAME IT, they planked on it. Jason and I recalled how at one point in our chat with our friend, the dogs had started barking, Jason assumed it was because of the "lightning" outside (which we realized was actually their camera flash going off). The dogs knew something was up, even if we were oblivious! Anyway, after they dried off and warmed up a bit, they headed off for the night, on to other pursuits.
After they left, Jason and I laughed and remembered back to our college days when we would have answered the question - "What's your idea of fun?" much differently than we do now. :) Although, now I need to add something new to my list:
- Being surprised by the zany antics of students who we LOVE to minister to and share life with. :)
Carla Ritz. Proof positive that God uses cracked pots!