Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Day Has Come

So, I knew this day was coming. The day that my son would "discover" his bike.

He's been riding a bike all summer (with training wheels of course). Then a couple of days before his 3rd birthday a neighbor of ours gave him a hand-me-down bike that was a bigger bike. This bike was a 16" bike and needed a little TLC. But having a handsomely-handy-dandy dad it was not going to be a problem getting this bike into shape. Dad replaced grippers, added training wheels, fixed the handle brake and TA DA! a new bike.

Joe's been on his "new" bike for the past 3-4 weeks. But it wasn't until today that he had the comfort level to begin to "discover" the biking world that belongs mostly to little boys.

On the way to take sister to school he began to go faster than he has before. Then, by the time we were at the school....yes...his first "bike trick". He leaned forward and shot his little legs straight out behind as the bike moved forward. I like to call this trick "The Dead Man's Flight".

But, it didn't stop there. He discovered the "Brake Skid" trick. Where you begin to accelerate then slam the brakes in for a fun skid.

It continued.

The last and final discovery for the morning: "The Handle Bar Brake Gun"
Apparently I've been miseducated all of these years. Those squeezy metal bars on the handles aren't a brake at all. They are guns that come complete with vibration motors for rumbling action.

Ah, they joys of boyhood.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Boys Are Gross

I grew up in a house full of women, and a family full of girls. My father was outnumbered 3 to 1 in my house. In my family, I have 7 female cousins to the 1 male. And I was a teenager before my boy cousin entered the picture. So needless to say I didn't grow up around boys.

Now that I'm a mother to a boy I am astounded at how gross they really are. Boys are filthy little creatures. They naturally seek out mud puddles to jump in, love squishing bugs, and get giddy anytime a person seems remotely disgusted by any of their actions.

You would think I would have accepted this by now, but somehow Joe continues to keep grossing me out and leaving me nauseous.

So what's the latest story? Tonight I heard him walk to the bathroom to take care of business. His aim is usually good so I don't worry about him going solo. He's learned to flush then wash his hands when he is done. He has been known to play in the bathroom sink with the water when washing his hands so an extended visit in the bathroom isn't too alarming.

BUT...(there's always a but) tonight I heard some unusual sounds. The sounds I heard were not of hands "splash" splashing water in the sink. No, what I heard was "splosh" and "splat." As a mom, that's when I get nervous and run.

Picture this: My son facing the toilet, diaper around his knees, wet toilet paper in the bowl, and my sons arms shoved in the toiled to his elbows. EEEWW!!!!

My spine quivers at the remembrance of the moment. My tummy is still queasy. Yuck!

I can't even explain how disgusted I was. Lord, I hope this doesn't get worse as he gets older.

Please, anybody out there with boys...please tell me they don't get more gross as they grow up. Please tell me that they gain sense at some point. Give me a little hope here, people.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

If you're looking to buy me something...


Wow...the all-American breakfast (sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit) made in 4 minutes or less.

I'm in heaven.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My child actually picked up a good habit from me!

If you're a parent, you can really appreciate this story.

How many times have you seen your child portray an attribute of yours that made you cringe? Not the fact that they copied you but the fact they copied one of your worst habits or attributes.

The other day I was unloading the dishwasher. I have a silverware drawer that has a slot for our children's plastic spoons and forks. As I threw the silverware into the drawer (not caring if it fell in the appropriate slot) my daughter walked by and was appalled by my actions. She spoke in her best scolding voice, "Mom, the spoons belong in this slot and the forks belong in that one."

While I was slightly bothered by the correction of my 5-year-old, I soon was thrilled. Wow!!! She's organized! I used to pride myself in being a very organized person (I hate to admitted that my skills have become very rusty since having children...I can only keep up so much). I have tried very hard to teach her the old saying, "A place for everything, and everything in its place" and I think it has worked.

Ah, it's nice to have a good trait emulated.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Communication Builds a Team

Have you ever been part of a team that really "clicked"? A team that really got along, stayed focused, and accomplished great tasks? If so, what do you think was the reason for the success?

I've been involved in the weekend services at Grace Church for a couple of years now. Mainly involved in dramas, directing, and stage management. I'm a bit of a catch-all you could say. I've seen our Weekend Service Team (WST) evolve from 3 individual teams (including lights, audio, media) to one (1) team made of several units. Those units now go beyond Lights, Audio, and Media. It now also includes Stage Crew, Usher Team, Parent Room Team, Break-down Team, and, Lord, I hope I haven't left any one out!

When I first started helping with the weekend services at Grace every team worked independently of each other. However, the team has grown and evolved. Do you know what the turning point for our team was? COMMUNICATION! Here are a few steps that our team took that has led to its growth through communication.

  1. Walkie-Talkies: This will probably sound crazy to a lot of people but we purchased a few sets of walkie-talkies. We began to work as a "team" by constant communication during the services. Cues would be given for turning mics on and off, for stating issues that needed to be resolved, cuing ushers to stand-by for offering...basically anything that needed to be communicated. Now, I know for those of you who are at established churches this may seem trivial. But for us little churches, that are building teams, this was a huge win. We've tried to establish "lingo" and protocol to make our comments quick and to the point...but I am known as the Queen of Monologuing. Try as I may - I just can't get my point across in simple words. Monologue, monologue, monologue. I just can't help it!
  2. Hands-On Meeting: We also instated a team meeting prior to the services to have a run down of the services' events and prayer time. This has been awesome. It gives our team and time of stillness before the service (short as it may be) and a time of prayer to keep us focused.
  3. Weekly E-mails: Our Worship Director, Ben Abu Saada, sends out a weekly e-mail with our Order Of Worship. He gives each team a heads up on their tasks for the weekend and any other necessary information. Usually the same info given at the Hands-On meeting but repetition is key.
  4. Monthly Team Meetings: The last Tuesday of each month we have a team meeting to review the worship services, discuss ways to improve, and celebrate our accomplishments. It is yet another opportunity to communicate and work as a team.

So - this is my take on our Weekend Service Team and why I think it has grown to be such an awesome team. Please let me know what you think helps to build team growth and what actions you would recommend for continued growth.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Quotable: Calvin and Hobbes

By not watching TV, you had more fun and now you'll have memories of something you DID instead of something fake you just WATCHED.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Happy Birthday, Joe!

Man, I love this little guy. He's three today and has given me snuggles and laughter every day of his life.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

It's been almost 3 years since I was in this state

And I pray to God I won't be again...ever! Now, I didn't choose to post this picture because of the radiant beauty I was dawning at the time. To the contrary...nobody believes me when I tell them how huge I was with my son. At 6 months I had people trying to convince me I had twins in my belly, stranger's eyes popping when told I still had three more months to go, and people stunned that a belly button could totally disappear (really, there was barely a shadow of my belly button because my tummy was so stretched!). So, here's my proof. Look, laugh and enjoy my pain.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Tattling or Helping?

Have you ever heard, “I’m telling!” followed by stomps and punctuated with a child at your feet with arms crossed? I have, more than once. I always struggled because there are times when the so called “tattling” actually helped another child from getting hurt. The tattler was truly concerned. But how do we teach the difference to our children, the difference of tattling vs. helping?

Recently I read an article and it was a huge help.

1. Help the child to understand what his motivation is. Tell the child to ask himself whether he’ll be getting his sibling out of trouble or into it.

2. Each time he tattles, ask him if he’s being helpful.

3. When he tattles, ask him to think of one thing he could have done besides tattling. As he gets better at this, ask him for 2, then 3 alternative solutions.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Book Gleanings: Velvet Elvis

Now, I'm not a big reader. But the past couple of months I've been enjoying dabbling in the realm of reading. I would title these posts "Book Reviews" but I don't think that would accurately reflect my post - it's more just what it says: gleanings. So - here are a few gleanings from my most recent read by Rob Bell: Velvet Elvis

1. Christian is a great noun and a poor adjective. To be a Christian is to do whatever it is that you do with great passion and devotion. We should throw ourselves into our work because everything is sacred. Paul tells us in Colossians whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. The goal isn't to bring everyone's work into the church; the goal is for the church to be these unique kinds of people who are transforming the places they live and work and play because they understand the whole earth is filled with the glory of God.

2. Missions is less about the transportation of God from one place to another and more about the identification of a God who is already there. We are like tour guides to our community. We are to teach people to use their eye to see things that have always been there; they just didn't realize it. You see God where others don't. And then you point him out.

3. You have to kill your "superwhatever". Rob talks about striving to be superpastor. He says what happens is our lives become so heavily oriented around the expectations of others that we became more and more like them and less and less like ourselves. People have this person they are convinced they are supposed to be, and their superwhatever is killing them. He realized he had all of this guilt and shame because he wasn't measuring up to the image of the perfect person he had in his head. I tend to try and be supermom, which just kills me. He suggests stop living in reaction and start letting a vision for what lies ahead pull you forward.

4. God chose me! I've been familiar with the passage in John 15 where Jesus says these words. But the way the Rob expounds on this verse is awesome. He explains the process in which a rabbi picks/chooses a disciple. A rabbi would only pick a disciple who he thought could actually do what he was doing. So when Jesus says this, in his frustration with his disciples, it is not because he thinks they are incapable. No, because of how capable they are. He sees what they could be and could do, and when they fall short, it angers him. It isn't their failure that's their problem; it's their greatness. They don't realize what they are capable of.

5. Tagging on to the previous learning. Jesus also trusts his disciples (you and me included) to fulfill his great commission. Wow! He leaves the future of the movement in our hands. And he doesn’t stick around to make sure they don’t screw it up. He’s gone. He trusts that we can actually do it. A rabbi thinks we can be like him.

Well, that’s a peak into the book. My personal highlights and lessons learned. I highly recommend you read it. And I pray it moves your life like it has mine.