Thursday, August 25, 2016

Even More Moving Day #2 for #4: The Toilet Brush

Clark packed all of his own stuff for college this year.

Honestly, I've seen him pack more for a week of camp, than he did for this second year of college.

(I guess I shouldn't be surprised, since this is the kid who packed a small duffel bag and a backpack for his 3 week trip to China...and all I'm saying is that I'm praying for mild weather, because the child packed very few clothes)

He had most of his things loaded in his own car, but he had a few things in my vehicle. One thing in particular.

I picked it up and said, "what about this?" He said, "what about it?" I said, "well, I bought one for you last year, but it didn't make it back home in May...which is FINE. I just bought you a new one."

He looked at me, and said, "what is it?"

And, ya know, I wish I was making this up...I really do. But I'm not.

It was a toilet brush.

I think it explains so much about my life. And boys. And why a sense of humor is something God gave me to keep me from losing my mind.

"...wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

On Being a Mom

So, yesterday was the first day of classes for my college bowie, and today...I sent the first care package of treats.

Spoiling him?

Maybe.

But Moms, listen. Learn from me, because I've made a ton of parenting mistakes over the years.

What you've been called by God to do as a Mom...do it well.

Whether you want to, or not; whether you feel like it, or not; whether they deserve it, or not; whether they appreciate it, or not.

"And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17

We cannot base our actions (or our REactions) on what our kids do or say...because our kids? They will rarely deserve the lengths we go to for them. Just like we will never deserve the lengths God went to for us. 

"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8

Our kids have no idea of the sacrifices we make for them, in order to better and enhance their lives. Honestly, how could they? They don't know how many sleepless nights we've spent storming the gates of Heaven on their behalf. They would never understand it anyway...because they don't know love like that yet. They don't know how much you are missing them...how much you are longing for them to share even a little bit of this exciting time with you.

Some of y'all are waiting to hear from your kids, and it's been several days. Or a week. And it's ODD, because you thought you were so close. If they use social media, you've likely seen pictures of them having a big, ol' time...so OBVIOUSLY they are alive, right? I mean, how hard is it to call? Or text? Is that really too much to ask?

It's like they don't miss you at all.

Hey...I've been there, at one time or another, with every one of my kids, and they are all great kids. I know how it is when you feel frustrated, disregarded, unnecessary, pushed-aside, and unappreciated; when the LAST THING you want to do is pour more of yourself into them right now...because they obviously don't appreciate it.

Hear me: DO IT ANYWAY.

Give. Love. Bake. Hug. Call. Serve. Pray.

"...whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.’" Matthew 25:40

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

More of Moving Day #2 for #4

I had a little bit more to say about Clark's moving day. Like, how his dorm is a boy's dorm, but it's named after a woman. And, like, how NICE this dorm is, compared to the rat-trap he stayed in last year.

Seriously, the dorm he was in last year, has been around since BEFORE I WENT TO COLLEGE THERE. And it looks exactly the same on the inside as it did 38 years ago. It would take a whole TEAM of Joanna Gaines' to make that dorm look good on the inside.

Anyway, Clark's dorm this year is nice. On his floor, there are about 4 rooms on either side of this large "common room." His room is right off the common room. I think this can be good OR bad.

Clark thinks this can be good OR bad.

Clark said that his room last year was always a "happenin' spot." When I brought that up in front of his roommate, Houston, he let this little jewel slip out, "yep...even when Clark and I were both asleep in our beds...PEOPLE WOULD STILL BE HANGING OUT IN OUR ROOM.

The whole thing makes me happy/tired/stressed just thinking about it.

Clark's room has two bedrooms, with two boys in each room. Clark is rooming with Houston, again. Same as last year. And they kept their same suite-mates as last year, too. They have a bathroom that all 4 boys will share.

We got our first look at his room on Sunday. One of his suite-mates had moved in early, and he had brought some bathroom items: a Sponge Bob bath mat, shower curtain, SPONGE BOB SHOWER RINGS, soap dispenser, and a tooth-brush holder (which Clark called a "bacteria trap"). I'm guessing his suite-mate really likes Sponge Bob?

We were the only ones there for about an hour, which gave us PLENTY of time to unload all of Clark's stuff, bunk the beds, and move some of the furniture around. When Houston got there, we stepped out to give their family plenty of room. We decided to sit in the common room for a while, and it didn't take Aaron-the-son-in-law but about 7 seconds to engage Clark...and then Jim...in a rousing game of ping-pong.

That boy is all about playing games.

We decided to walk around the campus, and get pictures of Rhodie in all of the places our family loves.

The mascot at Clark's college is a tiger. Over the years, it has taken a beating from the fans of rival schools...as well as some good-natured fun from our own students. So, they...the powers that be...have put a fence around it. On Sunday, MOVE-IN DAY for upperclassmen, the gate was LOCKED.

What the what?

So, we took pictures out in front of the gate. Wasn't really the same as the ones we took last year, but I guess they unlock it for the Freshmen and their families to get pictures on their move-in day, and then lock it back up.

I was a little aggravated, but I guess I understand why they do it. I mean, I may or may not have a picture of someone very close to me, riding on the back of that Tiger.

Also? The campus bookstore was closed. Which, it is a private, Christian university, so OF COURSE it's not open on Sunday...but being that it was MOVE-IN day, I thought it might be open. Holly was just really wanting some cute baby items for Rhodes.

Next time.

We were all hungry when we left the school. I had been all up in my feels over Clark's moving day, so I barely ate breakfast, and I didn't eat any lunch. Bad decision. My tummy was feeling ever-which-a-way. We decided to stop at a pizza place in a town about half-way home. I texted Holly to see if they wanted to stop and eat with us. I knew it was going to be around Rhodie's eating time. I told her that we would order the pizza, and they could sit in the car and nurse Rhodes until we got the pizza.

Which is what they did.

I texted her when we got our food, and they came in shortly after that. We were able to all eat together...Jim, Joshua, me, Holly, Aaron, and Rhodes...and then we got in our cars and headed home to our town.

I am tired, weary, emotional, happy...and, even tho people say we shouldn't say we feel "blessed," I feel blessed...thankful.

I see God's hand in Clark's life. It is a blessing to see him living out God's will for his life. And it is comforting to know that Clark is exactly where he is supposed to be.

"But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your name may be filled with joy. For You bless the godly, O LORD; You surround them with Your shield of love." Psalm 5: 11-12

Monday, August 22, 2016

Moving Day #2 for #4

Sunday was the day...the day our baby boy moved back to college for his sophomore year.

We had already planned to have a breakfast potluck in our small group, so we kinda HAD to be there...and I had already RSVP'd to choir.

I sang for the early service, and then joined Jim and Joshua in our small group for our breakfast. Then, he and Joshua went home, and I stayed and sang for the second service...and then came home.

Speaking of choir, our music minister tells us that our role, as members of the worship team, is to "set the table" for the preaching of the Word. We are to be the appetizer...and the pastor is to deliver the meat of the Gospel. We sang a song called, "This Blood." The girl who sang the solo part SLAYED IT. It was soooo moving, and I believe God was glorified.

As soon as I got home from church, I changed my clothes and we headed out.

It was a pretty different moving experience this time. Clark packed all of his own stuff, and I don't know...I've seen him pack more for a week at camp. Eeek! I guess I shouldn't be surprised. This is the kid who went to East Asia for 3 weeks, and packed a small duffel bag and a backpack.

But we arrived at his college at 2 p.m. We had everything unloaded and put away by about 2:18 p.m.

I kid you not.

All you "girl moms" out there, just close your eyes and breathe into a bag. I know you can't imagine it, but it's true. Keep in mind that there were no curtains to put up. I asked about bringing the ones he used last year, and he said, AND I QUOTE, "we don't need no stinkin' curtains." We also came to a compromise on the bedding. I wanted him to take the sheets and comforter we bought him last year. He wanted to bring a sleeping bag.

HE WANTED TO BRING HIS SLEEPING BAG TO COLLEGE INSTEAD OF SHEETS AND A BLANKET.

There aren't many mountains I'm willing to die on, but this might've been one of them. And it's so silly, I realize this. But also? It's not. Because, like I told him, he is not gonna roll up to his college with a backpack and a duffel bag, like he's been on a 3 year trek in the woods. #justsaynotobeingahillbilly No, ma'am.

Also, there's no "art-work," or decorative items anywhere. No pictures or plants...nothing put on a shelf "just because it's cute."

Not even the inflatable Santa Claus he just HAD to have from Goodwill...the one that took up the majority of the floor space in his dorm last year...made the cut. Neither did the two large candy canes, OR the strands of Christmas lights they kept up from October til May.

We also had a little "convo" about THE RUG before we left the house. THE RUG was used by Logan for several years, and then Clark used it last year. I said, "what about taking THE RUG that's in the garage?" He said, "I'm not taking that rug."

Me: "why not?"
Him: "It's all sandy."
Me: "I vacuumed it."
Him: "It's still all sandy."
Me: Well, vacuum it again."
Him: "That rug has more sand in it THAN THE OCEAN. Did you take it to the beach or something?"
Me: "Yes, son...as we were loading our beach bags and swim suits into the back of the Burb, we also loaded up the rug from your dorm room, just so we could throw sand all over it. Also? YOU WERE WITH US AT THE BEACH. Did you see us unload a rug?"

So he didn't bring The Rug. I begged him to let me buy a NEW sand-free rug, and he said, AND I QUOTE, "we don't need no stinkin' rug."

(sigh)

He said he didn't want his room to look all "Pinterest-y." Well, no worries there. I said I didn't want it to look "prison-y." It does.

I think they DO need a stinkin' rug, but he's moved in...and we are back at home.

Peace out.

"Sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD! Sing to the LORD; Praise His name. Each day proclaim the good news that He saves." Psalm 96:1-2

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Last Supper (Before College)

We had a quiet Saturday morning around here. Jim got up and ran, and then came in to make breakfast. I was intending to stay in bed for a long time, even tho I was awake. I like to have my quiet time in my bed on Saturday mornings...and then I like to watch our Saturday morning news show. IN BED.

But, after his shower, he came in our bedroom, and said, "are you going to make pancakes?"

"No, no I am not. Yes...just give me a minute."

I don't like sweets all that much, and I especially don't care for sweet things for breakfast. I'd much rather have biscuits and gravy, bacon, and eggs...which is what I had planned on making. I'm not a big fan of pancakes. Really, I'm not a big fan of syrup, but I got up and made pancakes, and Jim cooked eggs, and breakfast ham.

It was all yummy.

I rolled up a plain pancake (no syrup) like an enchilada, and ate it dry.

Jim and Clark wanted to mow, but we've had so much rain lately...the ground is too soaked to mow. Instead, Jim got out and worked on his broken weed-eater, and went to the store for some parts he needed. After he got home, Holly and I went to Hobby Lobby, and Aaron-the-son-in-law stayed home with Rhodes.

Logan called, and wanted to know if we wanted to meet him and Morgan at the half-way place for dinner. It's a Mexican restaurant that's half-way between our house and theirs. About an hour and 15-20 minutes each way.

We said, "YES!"

He wanted us to all be together as a family, on the last night before we move Clark back to college.

So we had 4 in our car, and Holly and Aaron took their car...in case they had to leave early, or stop more often, with Rhodie.

We had a great time at dinner. I love it when all 4 of my babies are together. And then we attempted to get a quick picture before everyone went their separate ways. If you've read here long...or if you have more than one child...you already know this did not go well.

Oh, I got a picture.

A picture of about 6 loons holding a baby.

"See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony!" Psalm 133:1