Friday, February 27, 2009

Feeling Blessed by God

Yesterday started out as any ordinary day. I got up, got a shower & dressed, fixed Christopher's lunch & got him ready for another school day. Other than the fact I was getting dressed earlier than usual so I could attend a Way-FM networking breakfast, it was pretty much the same as any other day. I waved good-by to David & Christopher as they drove off to work & school and then started my day. What I didn't know is that God had some pretty cool blessings tucked into this day that I didn't expect!

After the Way-FM breakfast, I went to Best Buy to purchase a USB hub (I've outgrown my current USB outlets) and a replacement power cord for my MP3 player since my original one got lost & the battery is running low. Isn't it amazing how God can use such a routine non-exciting event to bless us? Here's how it happened:

I found the power cord for my MP3 player & then went in search of my USB hub. I found one that would meet my needs, but the price was a little high. I decided to walk down to Costco, since it's not that far away, & see what they had to offer. They had NO USB hubs, so I headed back to Best Buy. On my way back, I passed Staples & decided on a whim to go in & see what they had to offer. I was certain they would be more expensive than Best Buy, but decided at least it would make me feel better about my Best Buy purchase! :) Well...not only was it less expensive (by a dollar), but I suddenly remembered that I had a rewards check from Staples that I could apply to the purchase. I was thinking it was about $30 or so, which wouldn't cover the cost of the hub, but would certainly help the ole' pocketbook! ;) So, I went out to my car to retreive the rewards check (it was in my Daytimer) and to my surprise, it was $54!!! This would completely cover the cost of the hub! I also picked up a pack of mechanical pencils for David because a certain almost-5-year-old child continues to take them off David's desk & they seem to disappear after that. It's tax time, so David NEEDS his pencils!!! ;) I got the hub and 24 mechanical pencils for LESS than it would have cost me to buy the pencils alone ($5.28, tax included)!!!

BUT...God wasn't finished blessing me yet! As I was getting back in my car, my Blackberry buzzed to let me know I had a new email. Since I wasn't driving yet, I took a moment to read the message...and I was blown away! It was a message letting me know that I had been chosen as a winner in the SWFLmoms.com Beautiful Loser contest!!!! I'm so excited! As some of you who have been reading my blog awhile know, I've thought many times about signing up to be on NBC's Biggest Loser...but the thought of leaving my sweet hubby & precious son behind for so long (especially with little or no contact) kept me from turning in any of those completed applications! Now, I don't have to! I can be a Beautiful Loser and stay at home! :) I don't have all the details yet, but here's what I know:
  • Training will begin on Monday.
  • I'll have 8 weeks with a personal trainer in a group training session.
  • I'll work out for an hour a day, 5 days a week with the personal trainer
  • I'll receive an eating plan from a nutritionist (I think)
  • I'll be blogging at least twice a week about the experience on swflmoms.com

So far, that's all I know. I'm supposed to receive another email sometime soon to let me know what time on Monday I'll meet with the trainer & the other winners of the contest. As I know more, I'll let you know more. Please be praying for me during this journey. I have struggled with my weight my whole life & would love to finally find that healthy weight for me. The exercise is a big thing because I've never been an exercise girl...so I'm hoping after this "boot camp" of exercising 5 days a week for 8 weeks, I'll develop a habit of exercise that will become a part of who I am for the rest of my life! :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

I just love being a mommy!

Even with all that we've had to deal with at school, I still love being mommy to this precious gift from God! I especially love it when we have moments that remind me just how much I love it!

On Wednesday, David had a meeting after work to attend, so Christopher & I had dinner with my friend Denise at Chick-fil-A before church. Usually, Christopher's only attraction to Chick-fil-A is their playground & has refused to eat their food - but on this day, Christopher announced that he was going to eat chicken nuggets there...and HE DID! WOW! Perhaps we're reaching a turning point in our picky-eating struggle!

We lost track of time at dinner & were late leaving for church. On the way, Christopher asked from the backseat if we were still going to Cubbies (the preschool part of AWANA). When I told him we were, he said, "Thank you, Mommy! I really appreciate that!" I was blown away...I'd never heard him use the word "appreciate" before!

Today was a lazy day for us. I did some work for my Avon business at home (in my jammies, no less!) while Christopher played quietly in the house. We enjoyed lunch together at home. It was just an odinary day - nothing of any exception to share, just that I'm thankful that I'm able to have this experience with him. If God had not closed & dead-bolted the door on teaching for me, we might have gone back to the "guaranteed paycheck" option that we thought teaching was and Christopher would have spent this day with a babysitter, rather than at home with his Mommy!

Every time he wraps his arms around me and hugs me tight or gives me one of his sweet kisses, I'm just so thankful for the opportunity to be his Mommy! He is such a blessing in my life! :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I've been busted!

Like so many of my friends, I've been cheating on my blog with Facebook! I've become addicted to the immediacy & vastness of it! I've connected with people I went to high school with & haven't seen in more years than I care to reveal! ;) I also love that I can update my status...and read the status updates of all my friends & family members (who are also considered "friends" in the Facebook world - not that they aren't friends in the real world, but anyway...) - all in the moment! But alas, like all addicts, I was busted! My friend Amanda reminded me Saturday night that my blog was in serious need of an update! So, Amanda...this blog's for you! ;)

When I'm not on Facebook, I'm either working my Avon business or being Mommy to my precious 4-almost-5-year-old son, Christopher! I can't believe how fast he is growing! It pains me to realize that my precious baby will be 5-years-old in just a matter of weeks! Whoa...where did the time go?!? Amanda, if you're still reading...make sure you give that precious baby an extra squeeze & breathe in her sweet baby scent while you can! Because before long, she'll be an independant toddler & preschooler...and it seems to happen in the blink of an eye! :0)

My Avon business is really starting to take off! I've had several new people sign up with me and I'm working to encourage & develop those under me so that their businesses can grow, too! I had the opportunity last month to attend a Career Seminar in Tampa, put on by Avon & it was WONDERFUL! We spent the morning listening to a lady who grew her Avon business to $4+ million in under two years! I'd read her book & was excited to hear more from her. Just before lunch, we had a question & answer session with her. The afternoon session included information from our District manager and some tips from other successful Avon representatives. If you're interested, you can view my notes & hear the audio on my Facebook page or you can click the links above. ;)

Christopher hasn't given me any new antics to report lately...and that's a good thing! :0) If you have any doubts, just see my last post! ;) He's been pretty good this weekend...hopefully, the trend will continue!

Tax season is among us...so David spends a lot of his at home time working on taxes for other people. He manages to find some time to spend with us, too...so that's a good thing! :)

My aunt & uncle from Tallahassee (my dad's sister & her hubby) came down this weekend to stay with my cousin's 3 boys while she & her hubby are in Daytona for the races. Christopher & I went over this afternoon after my last Avon delivery of the day to visit for awhile. Christopher had a blast playing with Jonathan while I visited with Aunt Gail & Uncle Jack. :) David was home doing taxes & watching the 20-month-old little boy we keep on the weekends.

And now, you pretty much know what's going on in our lives...maybe a little more than you wanted to know! ;) Until next time...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Raising Boys is TOUGH!


Yeah, sure...he LOOKS cute & innocent! But underneath that "good little boy" exterior lurks a sneaky, rebellious little so&so that creeps out every now and again! And this was the week...maybe it's the full moon...maybe it's because I've been subbing in Aftercare a lot (which means longer days for him)...maybe it's just his sinful nature. But whatever it is, I don't like it ONE BIT! ;)

Don't get me wrong, I love the little squirt with every fiber of my being! I wouldn't trade him for anything this world has to offer! It's just that I've been charged with the responsibility of raising him...and though I'm doing my dead-level best, some days it's just not so easy! I'll think things are trucking along just fine, and then out of nowhere comes this child who can't possibly be the one I've been raising. He looks very much the same, but MY CHILD would NEVER act that way! ;) Don't be smug...if you're a parent, you KNOW you've at least thought that!

Anyway, the last couple of weeks have been a challenge. Last week I was working in Aftercare for Christopher's school. Across the playground, I see this child who looks very much like the one I've raised for the last almost-five year, standing on the slide & pulling up his pants. Praying that I did NOT see what I just thought I saw, I went over to check on the situation. Inside the slide, I find two of said child's classmates. When I inquire as to what was happening, Christopher informs me they were "checking our privates." Sheer horror rushes through my body as the realization of those words register in my brain. The leader of the bunch proudly announces that he started it (thankfully this was NOT Christopher!) as his daddy was standing there (he had arrived to pick up his son at just that most-appropriate moment). Thinking that the father had control of his son, I took Christopher and the other child to the picnic tables near the playground to have a chat about appropriate behavior. After I finished my mini-lecture on why that certain region of the body is called private and how only their parents and doctor should see such region, I turned to see the leader playing on the playground with his dad! Christopher and the other little boy I still had charge of remained in time-out until the father took his little ring leader home (don't worry, it was only a few more minutes).

Then this week, I learn that the same trio has been causing other problems in the classroom...well, to be more exact, the bathroom adjacent to the classroom. Apparently said ring leader from early excerpt has been relieving himself on the floor rather than in the toilet bowl for quite some time now! Recently, however, two other children have joined in...and Christopher was suspected as one of them. I told David about it, who promptly had a conversaton with his son. Christopher was insistant that it wasn't him. I also had a conversation with him at bedtime, and he gave me the same response. Now, Christopher is USUALLY pretty good about fessing up when he does something wrong, so I decided to seek out additional information before pursuing it further. When I arrived to pick Christopher up yesterday, the Preschool Director asked to speak with me. She said that Christopher had confessed to his substitute teacher that he had done it. I was working in Aftercare again yesterday, so I took Christopher with me instead of letting him play with his friends in the Preschool/Kindergarten room (I had the big kids). I talked with him and he again denied it. When I told him that I knew he'd told Mrs. Evans (or Mrs. Heavens, as Christopher calls her), he confessed that he had done a little, but that it was an accident. I'm just so confused. I am not at all one of those parents who will say, "Not MY child!" when a teacher tells me of a behavior issue (or at least I don't want to be), but at the same time, I want to make sure that I have the whole story. As his Mommy, I don't want him to be wrongly accused...but then again, as the mother who was entrusted by God with raising him, I want to make sure he understands the consequences for his actions. Hmmm....I'm still working on that one! ;)

Then today, I pick Christopher up from school and he quickly confesses that he earned a yellow ticket today. Apparently, he decided to be the "class clown" today and was in time-out twice! He even had to sit out at P.E. because he wouldn't listen to the coach! Needless to say, it is NOT a happy afternoon at our house!

We have instituted a 2-for-1 rule at our house, which basically means that if you get in trouble at school, you also get in trouble at home! So, as a consequence of earning yellow ticket, Christopher could not watch TV (including his beloved Word Girl) or play on the computer today. We also have positive consequences...on the days he gets a green ticket, he gets to play for a few minutes on the playground after school. So, hopefully, he will see a connection between his behavior & consequences! :)

Last weekend, I got a glimpse into what life would be like with three boys! My cousin & her husband went out of town for the weekend, so their 10-year-old son stayed with us. Jonathan and I go way back...he was 8-months-old when I moved to Naples & I lived with them for a year, then lived in the guest house in the back yard for a year. He also went with David & me on our first summer vacation together...all the way to Ohio & back! Ok...just a little side trip there...I'm back! ;) Anyway, as most of you know, I also keep a little 20-month-old boy on the weekends while his daddy works (usually 2:30ish-midnight-ish). So, during the hours that Cobh was with us, we had LOTS of testosterone in the house! ;) What I found was that when Cobh wasn't here, Christopher & Jonathan got along great. When Jonathan's not here, Christopher & Cobh get along great. But, put the three together, and SOMEONE is going to get upset! Jonathan also discovered that he did NOT like being the oldest of three (he's actually the youngest - he has two teenage brothers)! It was quite a weekend of discovery! While I haven't completely given up my dream of a large family...it certainly did put it into perspective for me!

Ok...so I guess what I'm trying to say here is please pray for us! Pray for wisdom to know how God wants me to "train up" this little boy he's placed in my life so that "when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6). I think I'm gonna need lots of prayer support over the next 14 or so years! :0)