Friday, October 29, 2010

Coffee Talk 10.29.10

Another week gone? Really? Where is the time going? It is C-O-L-D, COLD here this grab something warm and let's chat a minute. Tiger teen has promised to whip me up a cup of hot chocolate this morning after my really cold run but I can' t let myself drink it until I drink my first round of water, ugh!

I took almost a week off from running due to rainy weather and Tigerfan being out of town. I know it sounds ridiculous because he is always at work when I run anyway, but it was so dark this week and all I could think was IF a car didn't see me and IF the unthinkable happened, Tigerfan was out of town and the kids would be home alone...maybe I was just needing an excuse. Anyway, I went this morning which felt good...but it was cold! I mean cold! I find myself dreading the next run because I know how cold it is going to be. Runners, any advice for staying motivated when you just want to crawl back into bed and pull the nice, warm covers over your cold little body would be appreciated.

Anyway...last week, I shared, okay vented, about Tigerteen. When I first started blogging, mostly to keep my family up to date, I took a blog and told about each kiddo. Tigertot wasn't even in the world yet and so much has changed. So, I thought I would dedicate this post to Baseball Boy, who desperately needs a new nickname but I can't come up with one I like, so for now, it remains.

B.B. has always been my strong willed one. He is precious and loving and stubborn as a mule! When I first began blogging, he loved to watch television and would immediately memorize half of the lines in whatever he was watching (including the commercials) and pretty much every conversation with him went something like, "On ______(insert show name here)____, this happened." followed by a complete retelling of the entire show or commercial. It was both endearing and completely irritating. At ten, he doesn't care as much about we get sports recaps. Over and over and over. They usually involve a lot of sound effects, a lot of jumping around in the retelling and a lot of spit. They are usually accompanied by speech that is so incredibly fast and slurred that, at least three times a day he hears, "B.B., I have absolutely no idea what you just said." And that is from his momma. I can only imagine what strangers think, I wonder if they ever question what language he is speaking.

When young, he had the most kissable cheeks. So plump and soft and begging to have lips just sink into them. At ten, he is still cuddly and loving...although he doesn't appreciate the kisses nearly as much as he used to. Now, I like to rub his little Velcro head (he has the coarsest, curliest head of hair I have ever seen) and hug him close...and he will let me. For a moment. Then he decides to wrestle. He thinks he will be able to take me down. And someday soon, he probably will...but for now, I can still take him!

He is full of joy and fun and laughter. He loves to joke, loves to play with his friends, loves to play practical jokes. He is also the most maddening child I have yet endured. He loves to aggravate and gets complete joy out of making his sister and little brother scream, cry, or tattle. I have yet to figure out why it is so much fun to know you have made everyone in the house mad at you...but that seems to be a daily goal. He then cries because everyone is getting on to him and hurting HIS feelings!

He still loves to eat. A lot. I dread the teenage years just a little because I am not sure how we will afford to feed him. However, he will totally be ready for his college years because he thinks Ramen noodles are a food group (and yes, I am totally aware that they have absolutely not one ounce of nutritional value but sometimes, friends, you just have to pick your battles).

I cannot believe that in just the blink of an eye, he will be a teenager...and I will have two in the house (shudder). I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed. In just a few moments, we will begin the school day cuddling...and in a few more, we will be fighting over the fact that he is once again distracted and not doing his school work. At lunch, we will have the daily discussion that he cannot eat until he has completed AT LEAST workbox six and then accompany it with the daily list of all the people whose fault it is that he is only on workbox 2. We will have the daily fight, um...discussion, over the fact that no, he cannot drink a soda at lunch, just like he couldn't yesterday, or the day before, or the day before. Before lunch is over...I will probably be discussing (okay screaming) the fact that he is aggravating someone else at the table. And by the time school is over...we will be laughing hysterically over the "treasures" he finds as he dissects owl pellets for his Science Fair project.

I think this "self portrait" of him this summer says it all. Isn't he cute! And can't you just see the mischief waiting to come out. That smile is just a preview of antics to come! Those eyes...trouble is lurking, friends, trouble is lurking!

Thanks for letting me capture this moment in time!

For more Coffee Talk go to Home Sanctuary.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Coffee Talk 10.22.10

I thought I would hate it. I looked upon it with dread. I expected weeping and gnashing of teeth. And then, I became the mother of a teenager.

Ya really isn't that bad! I thought little ones would be easier, I mean the worst that happens is you forget to tie the refrigerator up and you find a two year old scaling the shelves. Don't get me wrong, mothering toddlers and early elementary ages can be tough and totally exhausting...but they are little and cute and they say the greatest stuff!

Teenagers on the other hand...ugh. I thought of hormone changes and "the talk". I pictured the fights and power struggles. I prayed and hoped and researched military school (okay...maybe I didn't research military school...but the thought crossed my mind). Anyway. I now have a teenager. We have been traversing this path for about 6 months now...and I have enjoyed it! All of the sudden, the little boy who stayed little just a bit longer than most of his friends has blossomed into a young man. We can have talks that don't involve super heroes, shows from Nickelodeon, or weapons. He will sit and watch House Hunters with me and is genuinely interested in what that house will look like in the end.

I love that he came home from youth the other night and told me how amazing their speaker was and I love that he realizes FINALLY that if he gets done with school a little early, he can do an extra assignment or two and then Friday, he has an easy day! I have a little adult on my hands...and I LIKE it! Oh, we are still early in the game. I know there will be battles ahead, but I find myself really enjoying this stage of parenting and I didn't expect that.

Except for one thing. GIRLS! Don't get me wrong...I am fond of them. I am one, after all! Up until a month ago, they weren't even much of a consideration. Life has been hunting and school and hanging out with buddies. And then, a sweet girl entered the picture. Tigerteen (I am renaming F.B to something more appropriate) has been a little later developing an interest in girls and that has been fine by me. I have always known all his friends and had a few picked out for good first interests. I was FLOORED one day when a different girl came on the scene. They ran Cross Country together and became buddies. They like some of the same teams. She loves sports...all of a sudden, Sports Center is on constantly. She plays basketball, all of the sudden, he considers restarting his basketball career. She is a sweet girl from a sweet family...but I am NOT ready for this.

I am blessed, Tigerteen still talks to me. So far. And I feel I am balancing on this tiny rope between wanting to keep the lines of communication open and wanting to stick my fingers in my ears, sing, "La,la,la" and hand him an action figure! I don't want to start boy/girl stuff. I don't! I REALLY don't.

And yet, here we are. We have explained that they can be friends...but at thirteen, that is all they are...friends. We have explained that they can hang out with one another...with other friends or parents. We have met her parents and really like them...but thirteen? This is too young. It is too soon. I want to enjoy enjoying my teen a little longer.

We recently added texting to our cell plan. In 20 days, Tigerteen had almost 10,000 texts. No, that is NOT a misprint. We told him he had no his parents, we had the right to all his passwords and to look at anything he does online or on his phone. So, the other night, we got out the phone and started going through. Just silly, teenage stuff. Kidding with buddies, kidding with his dad. And then...we got to the texts with "her". They had all been deleted. Every. single. one. What happened to talking to mom? I am sure the messages were innocent. I am sure he knew we would look and was afraid of Daddy giving him a hard time...but they were deleted. It was tricky, sneaky...and my trust has faltered just a bit.

So yesterday...we had to have a new kind of talk. One that involved rules about deleting messages, being friends and appropriate things to discuss with your thirteen year old FRIEND! I know there are heartbreaks on the horizon. I know that at thirteen, this will probably be only the first of many interests (although how amazing would it be if it was just a friendship that stood the test of time). I know that we have many other rites of passage before my young man becomes a young adult. But somehow, this one seems the hardest, at least so far. I foresee many hours on my knees and many tears yet to be shed...mostly mine.

Whatever happened to arranged marriages? Just asking?

Anyway, my sweet Coffee Talk friends, thank you for letting me vent...every week! I totally meant to rant about this earlier this week and just have a "normal" post...but I can't seem to get myself on this blog any other day. Also thank you to my precious friend from CiCi's corner. Do you know that she sent me the book, "Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad"? I have DEVOURED it and discovered that I have pretty much never done anything right. I have A LOT of work to do...someday I'll post before and after pictures and let y'all decide if it was worth it! For now, I have little ones who are expecting breakfast this morning so I must go. Hope everyone has an amazing weekend, look forward to visiting all the Company Girls. Don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary to visit everyone!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coffee Talk...Fashion Challenge Edition

AAAAAGH! Why is this thing typing like this? I do NOT know...I cannot make it stop! Anyway, last week I mentioned popcorn cake. We made it and it turned out really cute so I am including a picture. It was really sweet and fun for this time of year. I wish I could offer you a piece but I was forced to get it OUT OF THIS HOUSE! This post has the potential of becoming scary long, not to mention being typed entirely in blue and grab a drink and visit a minute!

Okay, now down to business. As some of you know...I am fashion challenged and had a bit of a rant about it last week. I decided to do what I could (from Shari's advice) that didn't cost money. That meant cleaning my closet. I am a little embarrassed, but in the interest of full disclosure...this is what I encountered:

Hubby's side:

My side: I have no idea why this is typing this way but I am also computer challenged, so we are going with it!

After purging all things that were worn out, the wrong size or totally out of style, I began to attempt to purge based on color. I had, at one time, taken the color test on Shari's site and was a "clear" which totally excited me because it meant I could wear black and bright colors...Yay! So, I went back to check out the colors I should be using, decided to take the test again...and it said soft! Ugh, no black? I took it again...still soft! At that point, I threw in the towel in frustration because I can't even figure out what colors I should own much less what I need to buy.

Okay, so fast forward to Wednesday when Shari did her new post. She sent us to a new site by Amy Bayliss for a little challenge. So the challenge was put together three new outfits without spending any money. You could trade with a friend, shop in your closet, remake old pieces, etc. I decided to take on the challenge. I learned that a)I have pretty much no fashion sense whatsoever b) I am probably the most uncreative person on the face of the earth and c)that if I am determined enough...I can do it. Did I mention how fashion challenged I am?

So here are my "new" outfits and a little dialogue...because I cannot post without nonstop dialogue.

Outfit number one is casual. Not much dialogue except I would totally like for you to notice the BROWN, not black you will probably be seeing in all other outfits. The pitiful little earrings are my attempt at accessorizing. And yes...I am photographically challenged as well so you may have to turn your head into unnatural positions and squint your eyes to get past the least I can make popcorn cake!

I feel the need to add that the t-shirt has some cute little bling, my picture totally doesn't do it justice. I wore this to church Wednesday one told me how cute I was...on the other hand, no one told me I looked sick, pale or washed out so I guess it isn't too awful.
Outfit two is work wear for tutorial days. I am totally aware that this is totally black which breaks the breaking up with black rule. But the challenge was no money...these were in my closet...I'll have to break up with black at a later juncture. My niece "passed down" the printed shirt and I was trying to make it wearable into fall.

Outfit three is church wear. I must took a LONG time to come up with this one. I'm not totally in love with it...but it met the challenge. And, while the jewelry is black...there are also non black elements as well which is a total bonus in my book.

Okay, so I am totally open to constructive criticism, computer advice or photography tips. Let me know how I could improve or accessorize or just get rid of all together. I must admit that Dancer and I did have fun even if I am not runway ready. Maybe we will shop in her closet next!

I look forward to visiting with all my Coffee Talk friends this weekend. Be sure to stop by Home Sanctuary for more fellowship. And, by the way, I got NO small things accomplished this week. I was too busy redesigning my wardrobe! :)

Oh--I forgot! Tigerfan started a blog, if you get a chance go visit him and leave him a comment, he would really appreciate it! Thanks!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Coffee Talk 10.8.10

Another week has flown can it be? Grab some water or bring your own coffee and we can chat a minute! My two year old has decided to join us this morning. Instead of getting up for my morning run...I am bribing him with a donut (AKA Honeybun) so I can at least get a quick post in. We have already played a game and read three books and it is only 6:30 could be a long day!

It has been COLD here this week. At least in the mornings. I must was hard to get out and run Monday in 34 degree weather...but I did it and it was actually a really pleasant run, you know, once the icicles fell off my nose!

We had a nice week. Schools were on fall break around here so lots of activities were cancelled which meant a low stress, stay at home kind of week. I LOVE stay at home weeks! We had friends over, got school done, went easy on was divine. Tonight will be a wonderful end because my Bible Study group is having a movie night. Tigerfan will take the kiddos to eat and I get to go hang out with some lovely ladies. I am going to try a new recipe and bring popcorn cake...I'll let ya know how it turns out. it is advice time at the Tigerden. I love to read a blog called A Beautiful Place. It is written by a beautiful lady named Shari Braendel who is a christian image consultant. Every week she writes an article giving tips or advice on women's beauty, etc. I love to read it and I love seeing all the trends, etc. 'Cause I really wanna be a put together momma...ya know. However, I have a hard time spending the money on fashion, accessories, etc. I know, in my mind, that we present a better image when we look nice. However, I also know that we have a bathroom in shambles, windows that need replacing and four children to put through activities, clothe and feed.

I struggle with this. I want to look nice and be put together, but I cannot seem to wrap my mind around that being more than just a want. I'm a mess, really. Our society says take care of deserve it. But I remember once doing a Bible Study by Beth Moore where she said what we deserve is death and Hell...everything else we have is just a blessing by God. I really think I have probably taken that a little too literally...but every time I get the "wants", that comes back to mind and I think, I have so much more than most of the people in the world. Yes, my shoes may be wearing out...but I have many pairs of shoes. Yes, my clothes may be outdated and they might not even fit really well...but I have more than one outfit. My makeup may not be quite perfect...but what a luxury to be able to wear makeup!

This was really bothering me, so I sent an email to Shari Braendel and she addressed it in her blog this week. Her advice made a lot of sense. But I still struggle with this. Especially since reading "Radical", which has rocked my world. I just wonder, is my desire to look put together a product of "the American Dream", or is it a desire put in us by God? Would the Proverbs 31 woman spend a little hard to come by money to look put together or would she minister to her family and then give what excess there was to the widows and orphans? I know this might seem like a very shallow struggle...but it is where I am at and I would love to know what my sweet Company Girls have to say on this.

To that end, I have decided to do what I can that doesn't cost anything. So, if you went to the blog and read the post...I am going to start by cleaning my closet and getting rid of the stuff that doesn't look good, doesn't fit good or that I no longer wear and I am going to download the wardrobe planner to see what I "need". After that, I guess I will decide if I am going to go any further...but along the way, I am going to take pictures and maybe next week, I can show you the before and after.

So, what do think? I need some guidance! HELP!

I look forward to visiting with you all this weekend! Don't forget to check out more Coffee Talk at Home Sanctuary.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Coffee Talk~September Recap

Wow...I cannot believe it is October! How did that happen? That means another month of starting strong on Small Things and fizzling out as life got in the way. However, I can't really complain...'cause overall, September was a pretty good month!

We had homemade Poptarts, which by the way, I appreciated far more than my children!
I am not giving up though, we will be trying new flavors soon...I'll keep ya' posted on the response.

We had a great Cross Country season. F.B. runs with a local private school and they took first place in the championship last night. One of his best friends took the individual first place with a time last night for two miles of 12 min. 12 seconds...I was impressed.
F.B. had a great time, met lots of good friends and wants to keep running. He had his personal best time last night...not sure he cares, but I'm a proud momma. He also ran with me in last weekend's 5k.

We ran in the Bluebird Dash which raises money for Camp Bluebird. If you have been around here long, you have probably heard me mention it. It is a camp for adult cancer patients and Tigerfan serves as a counselor there twice a year and LOVES it! I was kidding with F.B before the race started and told him to get ready to go without stopping 'cause I wasn't gonna wait for him! Let me tell ya...he wasn't gonna be beat by his momma! He took off when that race started and never looked back. He came in at about 27 minutes which isn't bad for his first race! I came in about 3 minutes behind him at 30 minutes and some seconds (I forgot to actually look at the clock when I passed the finish line). My husband would like me to tell you that I came in first place in my division...brought home a trophy and everything! However, I feel compelled to confess that that is only because I was the only one running in my division. Tigerfan says I should keep that part a secret, but I just can't do it! We have no pictures of this illustrious event...Tigerfan forgot to take any, but I must admit that that is totally fine with me. I cannot really imagine a flattering picture of me as I try to lug this ole body of mine down that road. But I did it and I am proud of myself. This week, I am trying to figure out where to go from here. I still don't run because I like it is hard to motivate myself without a goal. However, as I was reading this weekend, I found an article saying that you really shouldn't sign up for a race until you have been running for at least 6 months....oops! Now I feel I should be just developing that strength and endurance but am having trouble really pushing myself, especially since it is COLD in the mornings now and I dread going out there. So how do you all motivate yourselves?

Okay, we have a busy weekend ahead. F.B. has a kick off bonfire tonight for the Student Leadership Association and we are sending B.B. off on a choir trip...but next week, NO apartment ministry, NO Cross Country, NO dance because of Fall Break. I am practically giddy with excitement over the prospect of being home and low stress. So, what about you? Any big plans for the weekend ahead? I look forward to visiting each one of you. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Go to Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.