Tuesday, February 24, 2009
"How so?" I asked. "Well I knew it was from Santa because it costs like $1000 and I know you wouldn't spend that much on Christmas."
So she and I may go in search of the gold at the end of the rainbow.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The problem is My Little Man. That's the thing I call him as a term of endearment. Ashley is "The girl I always wanted." Grace is "My special girl." Jordan is "My little man." And I so desire for him to be a man instead of the stage he is in right now. It's this place of being 13 in a body that's more like 11 and a mindset that goes from 7 to 13 to 10 to 12 to 9 all within the course of a day.
Jordan has always been able to make us laugh. He's always been funny. He's always been silly. He's always been a goof. If he harnesses those qualities he will be a fine comedic actor. Right now they seem to be used too often at the wrong times.
Jordan has also been our most sensitive child. And I worry that I have mis-parented the sensitivity right out of him. But I won't use this blog to bash myself too much.
At 13 we are really struggling with his lack of responsibility and his poor choices. He seems to be processing things so literally that it makes me crazy. Here is one example: After church I told him to stop running and jumping in the church. Moments later I watched him jump off the platform stairs. I called him over and said "What did I just tell you to do?" "Stop running and jumping." "What were you just doing?" "Jumping." "Why did you do that when I told you to stop?" "You said to stop running and jumping. I was just jumping." UUUUUUUUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So often we give him instructions that aren't followed. So often we ask him to do things only to find out that he didn't do them.
Before I get you thinking too poorly of him I am SO proud of how he has improved his studies this year. Every year we have struggled with school and homework. This year he is finally doing well and getting his homework done and turned in. Jordan is creative. He loves to draw and continues to get better at it. He has the musical genes. He is going to All State Honor Choir next weekend and has auditioned for the Wizard of Oz at his school. He's interested in how things work and interesting facts about people, places and things.
We have him playing Recreational Basketball, which he seems to like. Outside of that and school he doesn't really interact with kids his age. I worry about My little man, who would rather play with his 7 year old sister and cousin than with the older kids.
So, if you can give me any encouragement I'm open. I really lost it with him tonight. I just couldn't take his arguing, excuses, lack of responsibility and attitude that I worry I have fostered. Again, I'm not blogging about my lacking parenting skills right now.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Every choir director has to do this. Nearly every choir I know of starts singing Christmas music before summer is officially over. “…walkin’ in a winter wonderland…”, “Joy to the world…”, “…pa rum pum pum pum…”, “I’m dreaming of a…” can be heard bouncing off the walls of music rooms around the country. Every choir and every director is working towards the climax of a holiday performance to rival the one before and honestly gives no thought to the very next Christmas just 12 short months away.
This year was no different. Everything was moving along as usual. Extra rehearsals, cramming lyrics, pounding out tenor parts. Everything was in order for the concert. No, not just one concert. Many concerts. Many singers. Many accompanists. Many audience members. Many moments and memories. None of them happened this year. I know it sounds dramatic, but have you worked for months on something that at the very last minute is cancelled?
On Sunday at noon it was announced that our church choir concert had been cancelled. On Tuesday at 9 am the e-mail went out that informed everyone that the Voices of Hope Choir benefit concert was cancelled. On Tuesday night the ticker at the bottom of the TV screen notified us that school was cancelled which meant the 1st grade Holiday Concert would be cancelled as well. Wednesday night the same news told us the High School Concert was cancelled and Friday at 5:30 am a text message let us know the concert would not happen tonight either.
Though choirs have been singing Christmas songs since the end of summer they don’t really want to sing them after Christmas. Rescheduling a Christmas concert seems kind of silly. The church is going to try it. Voices of Hope Choir will not. Your guess is as good as mine as to what the schools will do. But right now we are just a bit sad that this was the year without a Christmas concert.
The widespread reason for the cancellations…the beautiful winter white snow fall and the below freezing temperatures. Not since 1979 has it been so cold for so long. Rarely does Portland see snowfall before the biggest holiday of the year. It’s not too often that a snowman can be made on the lawn of Tualatin home. But it happened the year without a Christmas concert.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
We have decided that our shopping will be limited to The Dollar Tree this Christmas. The kids have short lists and if they are blessed with some Christmas money they might use it for things on their lists. However, each of us will spend some time at the store and buy gifts for everyone on our list.
Today I took Grace and Jordan separately. It was amazing as they thought about each person on their list and took time to think about what they like. As we walked the isles it was fun to discover the treasures that they believe will be appreciated as a gift. Sure, I guided them a bit. But they were full of ideas as they saw things in a new light.
Not everyone in my family is convinced that this is a great idea. No names, but the 16 year old apparently hasn’t bought in yet. I think it will be different once we get there and get going.
So there will be not big debt from Christmas. There will be no worries in late January or early February about how we will pay the bill. And we won’t be filling orders this year. We are thinking about what each person might appreciate. Hopefully that is part of some lesson we need to learn this holiday time.
In the spirit of “Advent Conspiracy” (http://www.adventconspiracy.org/) we are assisting my colleague at work by giving to a family in need. This mother and her 4 kids had to flee an abusive situation and need lots of clothes and could use other things. Each of us has found things that may not be meeting our needs currently but will be a blessing to someone else. In addition to some nice clothes that aren’t being worn any longer, Grace gave a brand new doll. Jordan gave one of his bikes. Ashley had some clothes she never wore for whatever reason. There are books and toys and much more. It feels really good to all of us to give to this family.
We hope that as you celebrate the season in whatever way you choose this Christmas that you keep in mind the Child born to save our souls. God thought of us and gave the ultimate Gift we never expected. In fact, our list included lots of other priorities, yet he knew what was perfect for mankind. For that, we adore Him!
Friday, November 28, 2008
"Three rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadow lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring the all in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadow lie."
(from The Lord of the Rings)
It is stated on the site, “This is My Father's World…is hymn 111 (Eleventy-one) in the United Methodist Hymnal. He writes, "If you think about it, he is quite clever really. Bilbo's is at the heart of the Shire. It is through Bilbo that we are first introduced to the Shire. And he is about to celebrate his 111th birthday." I don't know if this is deliberate on Shore's part, but it makes for great serendipity if not.”
Here are the lyrics to the hymn by Maltbie D. Babcock.
This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;His hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father's world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker's praise.
This is my Father's world: He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;He speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Father's world. O let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!God reigns; let the earth be glad!
This is my Father's world, dreaming, I see His face.
I open my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, "The Lord is in this place."
This is my Father's world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son, Came - a pledge of deathless love.
This is my Father's world, should my heart be ever sad?
The Lord is King - let the heavens ring. God reigns - let the earth be glad.
This is my Father's world. Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.No place but is holy ground.
This is my Father's world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.
This is my Father's world, a wanderer I may roam
Whate'er my lot, it matters not,My heart is still at home.