Thursday, September 27, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

Celebrating Your Birthday...Mommy Style

A noise jolts you awake in the early hours of the morning. You struggle to listen and then remember the child that you put to bed with a fever. In a fog you stumble down the hall to the bathroom where you find your child, looking drawn and drained. You get the thermometer and sit down to wait. 102.9 degrees. Too high. Way too high. The tub won't fill fast enough as you frantically begin pouring warmish water on the child.

"Are you cold? Is it making you shiver?", you ask.

"No," the child mumbles, giving you a sad, but grateful look.

In a bit you return to your bed. The fever had spiked higher, but with some medicine and rest you're hopeful it has turned around. As you climb under the covers your husband turns and sleepily says, "Happy Birthday".

You sigh. You'd planned to spend the morning eating pastries and drinking coffee with the neighbor ladies while your youngest was at preschool. Then maybe you'd sit and read the novel you've been yearning to finish. And certainly it would be a day of no chores. Or few chores at the least. But plans change. And oddly, you're okay with it. 'God has something else in store for my day', you think. That thought comforts you.

Later as your sick child rests on the couch, you stand and stroke her hair.

"Hey, you get to spend all day with me on my birthday," you say. "If you weren't sick you'd have been at school instead. How lucky am I!"

Your child turns and gives you a weak smile.

"It's a good birthday," you say. And you mean it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What's Missing in Our Microwave Society

Craver brought this up the other day, and then I encountered it in my reading this morning: as a society we have become all about the end result. Forget waiting! I want (fill in the blank) now. It drives our technology. We can get our emails (just think of that alone:instant communication, no waiting for postal service) wherever, whenever we want thanks to technology. We can see who's calling us on the phone without even answering it - no need to wait to hear their voice. Dinner in an instant. Get cash now.

And unfortunately this sometimes spills over into non-material areas of our lives. We want that tough relationship resolved NOW. We look for the fastest route to the top of our careers. We long to have our kids potty-trained in a day.

The problem is in valuing the end result we've gypped ourselves of seeing the worth of the process. We long for the finish line of the marathon without feeling the bone-crushing agony of mile 17 or hearing the encouraging words of spectators at mile 20. Waiting is hard. But what happens during the wait and our response to the wait can change us, for better or ill, and for eternity.

Here's what I read this morning that prompted this:
"It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way." (Proverbs 19:2).

Don't forget: tomorrow (September 20th) is the day. Place an order for Pampering Gifts and get a free beaded bookmark. And check out their website. They've got project photos, sample chapters, even downloadable templates.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Placemat Purse Pampering

Here's a fun idea that I got from a friend at church. It's a placemat purse (ie. a placemat turned into a purse/bag). We used it as a conference goody bag for guest speakers this summer and plan to use it again for our moms' group soon. It makes a great, inexpensive gift. And it's a lot of fun hunting the clearance racks to find cute placemats. After all, buying the orphaned ones is a public service, isn't it? And so many of them are ones I'd never put on my table but gladly sling on my shoulder.

I found the best instructions for this at Amy's Favorites. She shows the ribbons tied into a knot, but I've also just sewn the ribbon on straight (takes less ribbon if you're on a really tight budget). Also, there is no width specified on the ribbon, but I've found 7/8" to be ideal. Play around with patterned ribbons or different ribbon colors. They're super fun!

Wordcrafter Communications has announced a special promotion they're running on the book Pampering Gifts this Thursday. Every order placed online ( Thursday, September 20th, will receive a free beaded bookmark (retail value $6). They're pretty cool looking bookmarks. If I can get a photo of one I'll try to post it here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September Birthdays Can Be a Bummer...or not

Yesterday was the uber-princess's birthday. She'd been looking forward to it for...a year! At least that's what it felt like to her, I'm sure. The whole week prior everything paled in comparison to her approaching birthday.

"Are you excited to start preschool?", we'd ask.

"I'm excited for my birthday", she'd answer.

And each day that passed that no one left the house to shop for her she'd get more anxious. "You need to buy my presents," she sternly told her sisters. They laughed and meanly told her she'd get none, when in reality the presents were already wrapped and waiting.

So we celebrated heartily yesterday. Presents in the morning, presents and a balloon at Grandma's later, cake and more presents in the evening. But no kid party. She's only just started preschool and I wanted her to have time to make some friends that she could invite (little did I consider that she had a guest list already planned). And today she eagerly went to school remembering birthdays when her sisters were in preschool.

"I'll get a birthday crown," she said.

But there will be no birthday crown. They're slowly settling into their schedule and rituals. No parent helpers for another week. No birthday celebrating until then either. Hers is considered a "summer birthday". Bummer for her.

I know what it's like. In September you're still getting to know the other kids, the schedule, all that stuff. So when your birthday falls in September, it gets only sort of celebrated outside your home. When you have a party for school friends you can only invite the old ones, the new ones are too new. And if you're involved in an outside group, chances are it's too soon for doing birthday stuff at all. It's like a summer birthday, except you don't get the half-birthday celebration to make up for it.

I feel bad for the uber-princess: having to wait for her kid party, getting no crown today at preschool. But then again, I think September is one of the best months in the year. And so what if it September birthdays sometimes get overlooked in the transition. Having a birthday in September just makes all the excitement of a new school year that much more exciting. And not having to be publicly recognized for your birthday gets to be a better deal as you get older, especially if you don't want to discuss how much older that is.

All said, the uber-princess had a great birthday and since it's in September she's going to keep stretching it out for a bit. Tonight we'll be going to Famous Dave's in her honor.

Post Script: the uber-princess did get a crown at preschool after all. And she got a sticker and a card and the class sang to her. So okay, no bummer for her other than her mom not planning the kid party yet.