Thursday, May 28, 2009


(Completely random comment - "Superstaaa": Why is it I can't say that word without thinking of Saturday Night Live and Mary Catherine with her hands stuck up her armpits?? )

So after a full season of easy outs and easy wins, Seth had to play a real team tonight. By all counts, it WAS the Little League World Series. A little background - his biggest rival was also the team that he wasn't 'good enough' to be picked preseason 2 years ago after playing with them the previous season. Mama didn't like the fact he was chosen last in the draft and had him switched to another team. Why yes, that would be a Mama Bear roaring...

It also is the team that his best friend and neighbor plays for. So there was a little trash talking going on and the kids in the third grade class were all calling their bookies to place their bets. By Seth's count, his team was down 30-1. Trash talking, drafts, this is third grade!! What's next, reminding the boys to spit their tobacco outside the dugout??

Anyway, this was the first nail biter game we have had in Seth's career of oh, 4 years. At the end of the sixth, and final inning, they were tied 5-5. Seth had already caught a couple pop ups, one of which was his best friend's. Well, there goes the neighborhood pick-up games.

So, into the seventh inning, they are starting out with the bottom of their batting line-up, both kids get on base. Woo-Hoo! Lead off hitters go up and get singles, or get out. So, (are you sweating yet, I sure was!?!??) Two outs, bases loaded, last chance at bat, entire baseball career riding on this one (maybe that was an exaggeration..) and my man comes up to bat.

Now I know that God probably doesn't have little league high on his priority list - but this mama was a' prayin "please Lord, just let him hit it...." Seth smacks the ball far into the outfield, driving two runs in! I am seriously screaming my lungs out, stretching my vocal cords as far as they will go, and jumping up and down like a little girl. That's my baaaaaby!! Now I am the one who loves to brag on his art skills and his natural talent at drawing. But somehow, him winning a Christmas card contest just didn't compare to the feeling of seeing him round first as his buddies were running into home. And besides, me jumping up and down and screaming may have been a little awkward at the art museum...

The other team is only able to get one more run in the bottom of the inning and Seth's team wins 7-6. We take him and his best friend to Sonic for burgers and ice cream to celebrate. We might as well have taken the whole team as the boys' celebration dinner cost us the price of a small car.

$7 plopped down on bottled water and bags of chips (to keep little ones quiet during the game)..
$28 on burgers and chili fries...
$14 on Sonic blasts...

Salvaging a childhood friendship and seeing my son feel truly like he was a success. For once, not the shy, timid little boy who is afraid to ask a waitress for extra napkins - Priceless...

Finding Everybody

Yesterday, as I was escorting a friend out our front door I spy an empty banana peel basking in the sun on our porch railing. Now, little baby girl is still at preschool so this one is all boy (as if it is not always anyways...) Apparently, throwing snack trash up on the front porch seems to be acceptable when you are 2 runs down in the front yard World Series. But I'll have to beat that dead horse another day... So I ask - "who left the banana peel outside?" and then heard a chorus of "not meeeee"s.

To which my friend says, "Oh... Notmee lives at your house too??" Clever.

As I told my mom this, she said "And if you ever find Everybody, he's in trouble too". Truth be told, I think my aunt has made the statement, "If she ever finds Everybody, she's gonna kill 'em".

My mom was apparently a foe of Everybody back in the 90s. When Everybody gets to shave their legs, Everybody is wearing these jeans, and Everybody gets to say out until midnight.

My aunt Donna is now battling Everybody as a friend of my elderly grandmother. Everybody says she is paying too much for insurance. Everybody thinks her long, unkempt hair looks beautiful. Everybody can't believe the Drs. treat her like they do. Yeah, Donna would like to strangle Everybody cause Everybody just wont shut up.

Thank goodness, I have a few more years before the tween years, so I'm not answering the door to Everybody. Now if anybody wants to take Ididn't or Inaminute, I'll gladly pay the bus fair to kick those lazy jokers out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Das Not Funny Friday - Mom on the Fly

In an effort to encourage all you other moms (make you feel sorry for me), I wanted to briefly describe a day in the life of the Wages. Mind you, my major stresser was getting Addison to her first school "program" tonight. With camcorder in toe to record that beautiful memory...

8:00 am - Tony leaves for his Memorial weekend boy's trip. Plans to come back unshaven and stinky. Swell. I wrap my arms around his legs and cry "Don't leave me!" as he walks out the door.

3:10 pm - work all day, then pick up the boys from school. Race them to Book of Daniel Bible Study at a friend's house. 10 min. late as always.

3:45 pm - Rush to get Addison from daycare. Her teacher says, "did I mention you are suppose to bring a finger food for her play tonight? Uhhh, no." Go home wondering what I can throw together in a pinch. Box of graham crackers, anyone?? I have to confess the time difference may be attributed to a 15 min. nap I may have taken. (Which may have just ruined your feeling sorry for me. But I was up until 1 am painting again. Yeah, not so smart in retrospect.)

4:30 pm - and back to pick up the boys from study. They aren't done so I wait until

5:00 pm - race to Taco Bell to grab (cough, cough) nutritious dinner.

5:18 pm - run into the house to make them drinks (so they can eat in the car) while they change into ball practice clothes and grab their bats and gloves

5:40 pm - both to ball practice. 10 min. late as always. Do not stop to think about the effects of inhaling spicy beef and processed cheese 2 minutes before athletic activity. Thank goodness I got away lucky on that one.

5:50 pm - home to make batch of mini-muffins. Martha Stewart, I am. Throw nutritious Nacho Supreme in front of baby girl with instructions to "hurry up and eat". Cause not only am I Martha Stewart, but I'm June Cleaver as well. Hurry and change her dirty clothes into school T-shirt, Gymboree jeans that are just tooo adorable, and side braided pig-tails. This is her stage debut!! I skip bringing the bouquet of roses as that may just be a bit much for a 3 year old.

6:35 pm - Race back to ball field to pick up dirty, smelly boys from practice. Have flinting thought that I should have brought clothes for them to change into. But hey, they ARE boys.

6:55 pm - Fly to church fellowship hall and dump Seth with Addison out at front door so I can find parking spot. 10 min. late as always. (hmmmm, pattern??)

7:00 pm - Stand at the back of the seated crowd (as there are no seats left), camcorder in hand to capture this momentous moment. (And to use to make Tony feel guilty later for his choosing campfire hot dogs and mountain sunsets over 20 min of watching other people's children sing.)

7:03 pm - Addison comes out on stage. Cute as a button. Thumb in her mouth. Finds me in the crowd of flashing cameras and camcorders. Cue the music.... I start recording.......

7:04 pm - Tears start to fall, face begins to crumple. Her teacher takes her off the stage and sits her on the floor beside her up in front, out of all our view. I crumple to the floor in exhaustion and laugh at the irony of it all.

Addison with her pig lollipop with the tag "You did a great job!!" June Cleaver let her have it anyway..... Addison with her BFF Berkley...... Addison with her scene stealing bro. Bet he would have sang "Three Little Ducks" proudly ....

And my Das Not Funny Moment:

This morning on the way to school we are listening to XM kids on the radio and a high pitched little girl's voice does the standard "Looooook who's on the phoooooooooone." All is quiet for a second or so before my little angel in the back says with a sigh -

"I hate dat li'el gul"

This isn't her first time using that naughty word. Last week, while being dragged from ball game to ball game - she proclaimed out of the blue, dashing all hopes of a college softball scholarship -

"I hate baseball"

** We ARE trying to teach her 'hate' is not a nice word to say. So the above was replaced with,
"Well, I weally don't like dat gul"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Perfect people, or not....

Just a quick one (I KNOW, didn't think it would ever happen, did you??)

I was on one of my completely neurotic trips yesterday before church and was trying to get the kids to clean up their messes/ do their chores before they watched more of that idiot tube thingy we have in our living room. (they are suppose to finish them on Sat. morning before cartoons can start. Uh... it was Sunday. So follow-thru may not be my strong point).

They put forth a minimal amount of effort and popped back on the couch with the remote. Hey, at least it was Boomerang. I shouldn't flip out over the Snorks, I know....

To which the top of my head flies off and I start slinging the "I'm tired of cleaning up after you all the time! Does this look like you have put your stuff away? Does this look like you finished your job? Just look around!"

So they clean up and I take a sec. to look around. My shoes are on the floor. My bed isn't made yet. Bills are fanned around on our desk. Dirty dishes from last night still on the counter. Out of the Heavens comes what seemed to me to be a completely audible voice saying - "So you're expecting them to try to be perfect while you will never be???" Ouch.

Lesson learned. Thanks Dad.

Friday, May 15, 2009

what's a girl to do??

yeah, since I have nothing else to do, right?? A small business, 3 kids, and a home to run really don't count much in the scheme of things I guess....

So on our date of the month, T and I were sitting outside of Starbucks solving the problems of the world and I told him that I just have this feeling that I am suppose to be doing something bigger. Don't know what that is though. And therein lies the problem. It just seems like SO many things are flying in my face and through my mind. Touching my heart. Pulling at my heart. So many blogs have hit home, so many news articles have gripped me. But where do you even start?

I have cried over a description of an African hospital's conditions; dirty bed sheets, unwashed instruments, babies brought in wrapped in dirty blankets that would be in the NICU in the U.S. Unresponsive and lifeless 6 year old brought in by her father to wait in the waiting room.

I have been upset over 'houses' or shanties bull-dozed in the slums of India, with children left to sleep under bridges or on the street. The father is sad that in the little shanty, they didn't get bit by the rats "as much". I have been worried about the rising food costs and increased rate of hunger all over the world, with children starving as I am seated comfortably outside a hamburger joint with a fridge full of food.

But where do you even start? And Compassion. I LOVE Compassion International's work and saw the amazing results that they are able to achieve, with God's help. But what if my trip to Africa with Compassion was just a springboard? Just to learn to open my mind up to the bigger picture - beyond ballgames and American Idol?? It just seems that something bigger is on the horizon that I can't see yet.

And remember how God seems to send me perfectly timed emails (and this one too)? Well, this morning I get this devotional:

"When God calls us into service, often the timeliness of our response is a measure of our faith. Procrastination is a sign that we are not trusting that God will lead the way and guide our paths. Procrastination leads to confusion and indecision, giving the enemy an opportunity to work at convincing us that we are unworthy, unqualified and incapable of carrying out God's will. As a result, we become paralyzed with fear, doubts and insecurities.

Stepping out in faith requires us to fully rely on God, and not on our own assessments of our abilities. Philippians 4:13 reads "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Do you believe it? Is God calling you to a task that is beyond what you think you are capable of; one that may require you to make sacrifices and choose God's plans over your own? Are you willing to say, "Pick me!" and then depend on His strength and sovereignty to carry out His will?

Dear Lord, give me ears to hear Your voice and to know when You are calling me to serve. Help me to put my faith in You, and not in my own abilities. Fill me with a desire to serve in whatever way You have ordained for my life, and bless me with the opportunity to use the spiritual gifts that You have equipped me with. Help me to have confidence to move forward in faith because of who You are, not because of who I am. Pick me Lord! In Jesus' Name, Amen." (Tracie Miles, Encouragement for Today)

So now I am convinced I am suppose to DO something, just waiting on another email to clear that something up (which I guess would be the definition of procrastination - 'waiting'). Any helpful suggestions would be great!!

In the meantime - step out in faith yourself by starting small. Under the age of 18 to be exact. Start by letting God 'pick you' to be part of the bigger picture and touch the heart of a little child. Help to make that one less baby to die before the age of 5. One less child to grow up without an education. One less mouth for a struggling family to have to feed. Sponsor now.

Even in this economy, Compassion's sponsorships have still increased when compared to last year. That IS the hand of God at work. He loves these children - be the hands of Jesus and help to show that love, one child at a time. Don't procrastinate...... that's my job.


This time 2008 = 6,924

Current 2009 = 8,706

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lucky thirteen

Thirteen is suppose to be unlucky, right? Thirteen years ago, before I had even graduated college, I married my husband of thirteen years. Wow. That seems like a reeeeeally long time.

In those years, we've been through me finishing college and going to grad. school. Seeing my research partner more than my husband. Him going to night school, some more night school, yet more night school - and finally graduating with his Bachelor's degree. The first one in his family to even have gone to college.

We've been through 3 pregnancies and births, two of those pregnancies unexpected and ill-timed but looking back, perfectly timed in God's grace. Although, I wasn't thinking of that while crying in the bathroom and staring at a little stick saying "I can't do this!!" (he was still in night school and I had a toddler at home) or "WHO has THREE kids???" (I was in denial about my parenting abilities). But today, I couldn't imagine it any other way and would give nothing for the closeness my children share. (By the way, after #3 came along, for about two months I had the completely unfounded fear of, "we can't keep all these. I can't do this... We are going to have to send one of these back.." Go ahead, bring on that mother-of-the-year award.)

We've been through job changes where we chase money, layoffs, terminations, more than I could count. We've been through God transplanting us to Florida (I still think because I had prayed about how comfortable and happy I was a couple weeks earlier), sending me into an emotional break-down, and then picking us back up to move us again 6 months later.

We've been through the deaths of two of our closest friends. Trials that shook our marriage to the core. Family difficulties and ghosts that haunt us still.

And still - our foundation stood. Is it because we are two great people? No - both of us are severely flawed. My patience is lacking most days. His quest for "bigger" and "better" is always present. Is it because we are just alike? No - he loves music and sports. Didn't even take the SAT and has never met a stranger. I am artsy, love to read, and was originally suppose to be a doctor. I could go for weeks without reaching out to someone who wasn't related. Is it because we have been blessed with a silver spoon in our mouth and have been living on easy street? No - he grew up in Children's Homes and we started out in a small apartment, working our way through college.

So in a day and age when even 10 years of marriage is rare, when infidelity, pornography, addictions, money, and lies often put a premature end to many unions - we're still here. And I'm bragging about that. But just like all other things in our life - I stand on Ephesians 2:9-10
"it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

God designed this marriage and prepared it in advance for me to live. He has built our relationship, He has watered it and made it grow, even in the midst of the storms. We are His children and so thirteen, this year, is a very lucky year. As we are lucky enough to have a master designer to guide our paths, this year and every other year. Happy Anniversary to the man who is my gift from God... I love you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


So here's the facts:
*On Sunday, our church family got together at a Christian camp / lake to celebrate it's annual baptism ceremony and fellowship.
*When Seth was 2 years old, we had him baptized (sprinkled) at the church we attended. At the time, and still now, we felt we were being in obedience to what God would have us to do as his parents.
*Over a year ago, Seth felt it was time to officially ask Jesus into his heart. To quit just saying "come in my heart" every night but to really repent of the sins he had committed and recognize his understanding that he needs Christ.
*We haven't pressured Seth to be baptized, but did want to explain immersion and baptism to him so in case it was something he felt he needed to do to be in obedience.
*Addison says you need to go to a lake to be "bab-a-pa-tized"....

He thought not... shyness won over in a big way, for the past year. Seth HATES to be up in front of people. His little brother, on the other hand, was BEGGING to be baptized. But really, it's just because he "wanted a new body". Understanding still not quite there, I think....

But ON Sunday, he first told Chris, the youth pastor, that he was only going to be baptized cause Daddy wanted him to be. Uhhhh, wrong answer. Then on the way home, he says, "no, I think I should, because I think it's the right thing for me to do."

So the pastors talk to him at the picnic, I race back to the car for the cameras, and then watch as T is the one to officially 'deliver' my big boy into God's family.

**the really cool thing is - T also delivered Braeden. The Dr. handed him the gloves, "put this hand here, this hand here, and catch". A couple months back, when Braeden was acting up, T said "hey, I brought you into this world... I can take you out!" To which Braeden says, "no you didn't!! Mommy did!!" To which I said, "Uh, do you REALLY want to get into this now at the age of 6??"

So, T has been able to bring both our boys into a new life, how unbelievably awesome is that!!


So Abbie from All in His design was so sweet to feature me on her "Whoo's Day is Tuesday?" feature where she interviews her blogger friends. So now I feel obligated to break out of this writer's blocked shell I have been hiding in and write something note-worthy. Just in case one of her loyal readers happens to wander over, I wouldn't want to embarrass my new friend before we've ever even had a chance to share a cup of coffee. (Guess this means I can't just steal off Compassion India's blog for this one??)

So on to the pressure... funny post?? enlightening?? fall back on Compassion?? Can't you just see my fingers hovering over the keyboard in dead air??

So, under the pressure, I started thinking about pressure. Why do we do it to ourselves? I really can't say that it's a sin like worrying, cause I've never found "nervous wreck" in the KJV. Maybe I should search in "The Message"??

  • The pressure we have to keep a clean house. Why?? Why is it that when friends are coming we do the 'dash and hide' trick to make it look like we keep our house that clean all the time? Why is it that once we feel comfortable with someone, we are o.k. with letting the trash fill the can and the stacks of clean laundry litter the chair and not bat an eyelash? Shouldn't we just come out with that to begin with? "Hey, this is ME and MY house. Like it or leave it." (Unless it's your mom visiting, then it's the obligatory clean house - cause we would all hate to be written off as the black sheep prematurely.)

  • The pressure to look good. Again, why?? Why do we eat salads in front of people we want to impress but then gorge on the double cheeseburger on our lunch hour, in the safety of our personal vehicle (with the Diet Coke, I might add!!). Why do we really worry about whether or not these shoes go with this dress, or these shoes?? Our husbands could care less, and who else do we really think is looking at our feet?? And make-up?? If Goldie Hawn and Pamela Anderson can venture out to the 7-Eleven al'naturel, why do I have to get eyeliner on to run to Wal-Mart?? Do I really think Mable behind the register cares that much??

  • The pressure to be the perfect mom. Why do we smile at our misbehaving child in the grocery, bend over eye to eye and say, in a demented/demonic sort of voice, "if you don't stop that right now.... I will severely have your hind when we get home..." Why the smiles? Do we really think that Floyd the grocer is happy to see the tantruming toddler's mother sweetly smile and just keep on pushing? Don't you think the public deserves to see us just lay into the screaming banshee right then and there?

  • And what about the PTO mom??? Do I really need to be at every book fair, cook out, and secretary appreciation day to show I care about the little angel that threw himself down in the middle of the fruit aisle?? If I only show up for one event, do I still get a "Thanks for Participating" ribbon, but "sorry you don't value your child's education enough to volunteer like we all do" look?? Honestly, I have to say - I was only able to go to ONE of Braeden's field trips this year. And feel like a total failure. I'm not a stay-at-home mom... I'm not a home-school mom... I MUST not love my kids. Can't find that in the KJV either, but I'm sure the thought is there somewhere.
  • The pressure to be the perfect Christian. Wow. Do I pray enough?? I don't get to read my Bible every day, I'm sure God is shaking His head over me now. Have I invited anyone to church lately? Any random acts of kindness? I haven't booked any more Compassion presentations, I'm just sure that He's regretting His decision to send a lazy daughter like me all the way to Africa. What a waste!!
"Pressure" - didn't find it in the KJV... but I did find these......
  • Clean house - "Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD. " Proverbs 19:14 (so my being a good wife is a gift to my husband. Not my being a good maid...)
  • Looking good - "The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." Psalm 45:11. (so even with no eye-liner - the LORD is enthralled by MY beauty. Not pleased, but enthralled... puts a whole new spin on my need to loose 10 pounds....)
  • The Perfect Mom - "The Lord tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." Isaiah 40:11 (so even when I screw up, even when I loose my patience - God still leads me gently toward the mother he would have me to be...)
  • The Perfect Christian - "By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect." 1 Corinthians 15:10. AND.. "God mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble." Proverbs 3:34.
And since grace can't be earned, but is a free gift of love - nothing I do will make me better or worse in His eyes. He would rather me fall down on my face under pressure and beg for His help than to stand up and try to do it all by myself anyway. Which is what I try so often to do. Don't know about you - but just to remember that is a load off my back... my kids don't need a perfect mom, my husband doesn't need a perfect wife, "I am what I am" and that sounds pretty close to perfect to me.