A Spoonful of Sugar

Making every day life as a mom just a little bit sweeter.

My Big Fat Plans March 3, 2011

Filed under: Homeschooling,Juicy Little Mommy Tidbits,Oh My!,Parenting 101,Teenagers! — Janine Chance @ 6:09 pm

Ok, so I won’t go on and on about how I haven’t blogged….

life changed….things were hard…blah, blah, blah…love me or hate me, I’m here now. Enough said.

Anyway………………………..

During my ‘absence’ a new development took place in the Chance household.

My oldest daughter, (now 13…holy toledo ‘I’m feeling old-ER’) is going to a local Christian school.

Yes, me, the die-hard home school mom actually agreed to this preposterous plan. Hmm.

Sometimes I wonder about myself.

Actually…it’s been the best thing for her.

Not necessarily the best thing for ME, but like I’ve always told you guys….

IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT ME.

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

I so wish it was!

However, I started noticing that she was losing her ‘joy’……

not good for a 13 yr. old girl whose middle name should’ve been Joy.

Here’s the story.

She came to me in mid October and stated that she’d been praying for months about going to school.

She said she was praying about whether it was just because she wanted to be there,

or if God wanted her to go.

She also talked about being ‘bored’ and that is practically a cuss word for a home school mom.

How do you argue with that? Not very successfully, obviously.

After many talks, including one where I told her she needed to ‘do her homework’.

She needed to talk to a panel of her peers and find out the good, the bad, and the ugly about both sides.

Home schooling verses Christian school.

I also told her she needed to obtain wise council from adults that she knew and trusted

and that knew her….her pick.

I thought that was fair..to her and to me.

(No, I didn’t sabotage the process…although I was tempted!)

She had already talked to her dad who of course stayed ‘kinda’ neutral.

He was ‘for’ her going, but understands the purpose behind home schooling.

Alot of help he was…kidding.

So, my incredibly motivated, determined, smart, sweet,

and absolutely integrious 13 year old first born girl did what she does best.

Exactly what I told her to do.

I was impressed with who she chose to draw her guidance from….not biased…very honest and fair.

Within 2 days, she had made all of her phone calls, made all of her lists, and presented me with her case.

Of course, all the while I was praying…..after all, what’s a mom to do?

Ok, I admit it, I prayed WHILE doing the laundry, and the dishes, and the…..well, you get the point.

The result? I had more peace about her going to school than I care to say.

After all, MY plan…my BIG FAT PLAN was to ‘home school my kids all the way through school….

to go on amazing field trips and make school so absolutely incredible

that my kids would never want it any other way………….’

Ahem.

Needless to say, Kaitlyn started Christian school in November, uniform and all.

She made the A honor roll, and a 4.0 GPA her first semester there, cheering,

all the while still keeping up with her ministerial obligations at church.

Oh, and not short of that, my girlie made

Homecoming Queen for the 7th grade only 2 months into it.

Go figure.

Snot.

Totally kidding.

So, who was I to get in the way? The mom who says it’s ‘my way or the highway’?

I always promised God, my husband and my children that

I would have an open spirit to what God wants for them….including school.

The result? A much happier 13 year old girl….much happier….which makes me happy….

even though I still cry about it every day.

Well, almost every day.

I miss her. Terribly.

But, like I’ve been told…it’s a part of life.

I still feel peace through my tears, though, and that’s what’s important.

Life takes turns, mama.

That’s why you should always wear your seat belt and have your hands at 10 and 2.

You never know when that curve is gonna come.

So, my ‘big fat plans’ changed……what else is new?

Here’s my girl as ‘Homecoming Queen for 7the Grade’ 2010.

Think she needs a paci?

……maybe not so much, mama.

Thanks for listening.


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Yellow Light Testimony July 14, 2010

Filed under: Jesus rocks!,Juicy Little Mommy Tidbits,Speaking a Thousand Words... — Janine Chance @ 9:44 am

We all remember that game, right?! Red light! Everyone stops….and thennnn…Green light! Everyone run, run, run…run for your life! Then…Red light! Remember how hard it was to go from green to red in an instant? Someone always fell over or tripped up trying to come to a dead stop after flying across the yard in the hopes of being the first one across the finish line. There was no yellow light in that game…no slowing down to give you time to think. Hmmm. Sounds so familiar. Oh! that would be because that pretty much describes my life right now! Well, last night, I slowed down. Finally got the yellow light, and it wasn’t because I got smart, or used wisdom. No, it took an injury.

Here’s my story.

I absolutely love, love, love having people at my house and entertaining.

This describes our home:


We love it, but it’s all fun and games until…

We had friends over for dinner, and I decided to make my homemade zeppoles

(a delectable Italian donut~recipe to be posted on a later date) for dessert.

I borrowed their fryer (they live right next door) to make it easier and move the process along. I was once again going a hundred miles an hour flying around my kitchen, cleaning up, getting ready to make coffee..you know, movin‘ and groovin‘. I went to move the fryer over to get to the coffee pot, (the important stuff) when the rubber feet on the fryer got caught up and studdered on the glass cook top stove and hot oil came flying out. A large splash on the inside of my wrist immediately began to burn, along with the splashes of oil that hit my neck and chest. I paused, trying to collect myself, and to see how bad it was. Was I on fire? Was my entire neck and arm melting away? My husband came over immediately and looked at my neck. His alarmed face was sign enough that it was bad. In my mind, I immediately began to pray.

I mean, what else should I do? Screaming certainly wouldn’t have been beneficial, so I decided to go with prayer. Good choice.

Now, you may not believe that God can heal, but I myself have experienced it. Not just once, so, I knew He could, and wanted to heal me.

Even though I’ve experienced it, I still hear myself say,

‘God, help me in my unbelief’…after all, I’m just human you know.

My friends immediately sprung into action, getting all of the items needed for first aid for burns….ice packs, vitamin E, Aloe, you name it…My wrist was swollen and blistering and the blister on my neck had broken open. The pain was intense. My husband and friends gathered around me and prayed, while I placed the ice pack on my neck and chest. I was most concerned about my wrist because it was the one closest to the fryer and got the biggest splash of oil, and I couldn’t bend it. As they prayed, I felt the pain begin to subside. By the time they were done praying, the blister had gone down, there was only some shading left where the blister was, and I was able to move it all around.

I went to bed, exhausted, but feeling pretty good. The big test for me and my unbelief was getting through the night…

once the ibuprofen wore off, and time went by without putting ice on it…

“I know He can do it, but would He do it for me? Now?”

I fell asleep at 11 last night, and slept through until 6:30 this a.m.

When I woke up, my once burned wrist was underneath my pillow,

tucked up under my head without a care.

I pulled it out and looked.


That’s it….that’s all that was left, without an ounce of pain.

I immediately reached up and grabbed my chest, and felt the blister, but no pain.

Slightly disappointed, I looked into the mirror in the bathroom and saw it there.


“That is what your arm should have looked like..” is all I heard.

That one little spot at the bottom of my neck is a small example of what I escaped everywhere else.

(Don’t mind the freckles…= )

Looking at my clothing, I should be covered with blisters.

The oil went straight through my clothes, but never burned my skin.

What did I learn from this, besides the fact that God is awesome and miracles do happen?

Add a yellow light.

SLOW DOWN!

I tell my girls that all the time, so I need to do as I say. Lesson learned.

I am thankful to God, and to those who prayed, but I leave you with this:

Let your testimony be your balanced life, not your lack of burned skin.

P.S…I did turn to my girls when it happened and said to them, “This is why Mommy tells you to slow down.” The mom in me just couldn’t help myself. It was important for them to learn the lesson along with me. I took advantage of the whole ‘I say things for a reason’ moment. Moi importante, Mommies.

This post was linked to:

Wordful Wednesday @


 

May Moving Madness~I’m Always Hiring May 27, 2010


Because of this:

I re-posted this short but sweet little tidbit of mommy 411 for your arsenal. It’s a goodie for sure… I myself appreciated the reminder!

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************

When my girls seem to have nothing better to do than to instigate problems, or start trouble with one another, I give them a job. My oldest daughter, as smart, kind, and wonderful as she is, just can’t help herself sometimes. She gets to feeling feisty, and messes around with her younger sisters. It happened about five minutes ago.

She’s giggly today, with lots of energy. Not always a good combination. I heard her go to the back of the house and stir up something with her youngest sister. “Stop it Kaitlyn!” is all I heard. I called Kaitlyn into the room, and calmly said, “It’s obvious to me that you need an occupation…clear the table from lunch, please.” “Yes ma’am…” was her reply.

Now, that didn’t stop her from laughing and being silly, but, it gave her an outlet for some of that energy, it intercepted what was going on between her and her sister, and I got the table cleaned off. Bonus! I tell my girls that I’m always hiring…if you need a job, I’ll give you one. For me, it’s multi-tasking without lifting a finger!

Sometimes they just need some re-direction. If I disciplined my kids for every little thing, they’d be in trouble 24/7. As I’ve said before, pick your battles. Re-direct when you can. It keeps things more sane for you, and less dramatic for them, and everyone goes to bed happier.

 

Scooby Snack~Tip of the Day~Tidbit of Money Saving 411… May 26, 2010


I actually had a few minutes hours this morning to catch up on some of my blog reading and came across this post from

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. (Yes that means I’m 99.9% done packing and I got up at the crack of dawn!)

Anyway, It’s great ‘how-to’ 411 about Drug Store shopping and savings.

I know, I know…who has time for that? Well, honey, time is money!

I’m willing to invest some time if I know I can save some sweet moolah!

It’s like anything else, once you know how it works, it ain’t nothin’ but a thang to put it into action!

I signed up for Rite Aid’s Wellness + card today online and got a $5 off $25 coupon, plus more coupons sent to me via e-mail.

It literally took me four minutes.

Click the link below if you want in:

Click on the link below for the ‘rest of the money-saving story’!

 

May Moving Madness~The Boomerang Theory May 22, 2010


As you can see by this:


things are getting pretty stressful around here.

I don’t want to bore you with the details…you know, the tape, the boxes, the permanent markers, the packing lists, the, the….

oh, sorry… I said I wouldn’t bore you…my bad!

Although this journey has been a definite faith builder as I described in this post, it’s still stressful, tiring and well…

let’s just say that I wouldn’t go straight to fun.

We’re at a point where most of our stuff is in boxes, so it’s difficult to look around and see home, and for me, that’s hard.

I said yesterday that I was going to post about the two awards I received, and pass them on to other bloggers today,

but I’m going to need a little more time in order to do it well. I don’t want to just throw it together.

That wouldn’t be fair to the recipients.

They deserve more than that, so I will be honoring them in a future post.

Besides, I need to share with you a Mommy tidbit that I had to chew on yesterday and it got stuck in my teeth.

Here’s my story:

As a SAHM, this is my home, my office, my retreat, my workplace, and, well, my domain.

It’s hard to feel put together when everything around me is pulled apart.

Yes, I know that God is in charge, and I only have ten days to go.

That’s what keeps the little bit of sanity left in my brain from jumping out the window.

Well, that and my amazing husband and three incredible daughters.

Yesterday, I gave my 12 year old a plastic bin and told her to put all of their DVD’s in it so that they were packed, but accessible.

Well, she took them out of cardboard box #38, and put them in the bin as I had requested.

Great, right? Well, when I walked in her room 20 minutes later, I looked at the lid of that white bin that I had given her,

and saw that she had ‘labeled’ the lid of the bin in huge black permanent marker, canceling out any further plans I had for it.

It now looked like one of her journals, with flowers, smiley faces, exclamation points adorning it from corner to corner,

and a big #38 circled in the center and her name in block letters underneath.

Now, you would think that maybe I should look at that and say, “Aww! How cute! Look how creative she is!

She even labeled and numbered it appropriately keeping up with her psycho mommy’s packing list!”

No. I didn’t. My OCD took over and I flipped out.

“What were you thinking?!” I believe is the first thing I said. Then I think I followed it with:

“Now I can’t use that bin for anything else! I can’t get that marker off of there!

It’s not a cardboard box we’re just going to throw away!”

Brilliant. Great job, Mom. Way to go.

“I’m sorry, Mom! But I took some of those DVD’s out of Box #38, and it’s already listed on the packing list!

So I thought I had to label that too, or we’d be looking for box #38 and it wouldn’t be here!”

*SIGH*

Why was I so mad? Why couldn’t I seem to quickly get past this one? What the big deal!? It’s a stupid plastic bin!

WHAT’S MY PROBLEM!!!

I knew I was totally overreacting! IT’S JUST A BIN, PEOPLE!!! I wanted to scream!

I wanted to scream because I was really mad, but knew I was being really ridiculous!!

So, I turned, walked out of her room, into mine, closed slammed the door, and finished getting ready.

We were leaving to go to the graduation that my Home Economics class catered last night.

The whole “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”

principle that our moms drilled into our heads as kids?

Yeah, well, Moms? That applies to us, too. Walk away. Storm away if you have to!

Trust me, it’s far less damaging than spitting fiery hurtful words out at our kids and

expecting them to come out on the other side of our emotional explosion unscathed.

Ten minutes later, she walked in my room, sheepishly. “I’m sorry Mom.” she said.

Still upset, (for no reason that I can give that’s worth a flip) I looked at her and said,

“I know you are. I also know that I shouldn’t be as angry as I am and I can’t explain it. I am angry.

Furious! But I shouldn’t be and I don’t know what to say.”

Sometimes being completely honest with your kids, especially at that age, is the most beneficial.

They’re not stupid, and they have the memory of an elephant.

I’d rather my girls remember my crazy moments as times where they were able to have compassion for me,

instead of them causing wounds that will scar over and be a constant reminder of the hurt I put them through.

“As angry as I feel,” I said, “I know you did what you thought was right,

and I appreciate you trying to keep up with my lists and my crazy rules. I can’t explain my attitude,

but you need to know that it’s not about you, and I need to get over myself. Just bear with me.”

Just then, my ten-year-old walked in. Her middle name is Grace. Her first name also means Grace.

God knew what He was doing with that one.

She looked at me in my sorry attitudinal state and said, “We have Grace Tickets for you too, Mom.”

*SIGH AGAIN*

Well, I wouldn’t say that yesterday was the greatest Mommy day for me,

and I certainly wouldn’t say that I’m proud of my attitude,or my lack of ability to show self-control,

but I can definitely say that I experienced the Grace of God through my girls.

They hugged me, loved me, and softened my hard attitude in a matter of minutes.

No matter what that silly bin represented in my warped scattered mind, when it comes down to it, it’s only a bin.

A silly plastic bin that can be replaced in a matter of minutes with less money than I spent at the Dollar Store last week.

Weigh it moms. Pick your battles. Don’t allow your narrow-minded plans to dictate your attitude or reactions.

It may be permissible, but it’s certainly not beneficial.

You will definitely experience yourself through your children…good or bad, as a mirrored image.

So, allow me to give you a friendly woman to woman, mommy to mommy reminder.

What you put in those kids will inevitably come back to either haunt you, or bless you.

It’s what I call the Boomerang Theory.

You know, the whole ‘reaping what you sow’ thing?

It’s really true, and it really works….for you, or against you. Good or bad.

We are all going to have days that don’t exactly put us in the running for Mom of the Year.

It’s a good thing that kids don’t expect perfection, and neither does God.

They are not glaring down at us when we show our ugly sides and imperfections, but it’s our reactions to,

and whether or not we are ruled by those imperfections that dictates the outcome and ultimately our reputation.

Although I was irrational in my behavior and wasn’t proud of my attitude,

by stepping back, being honest and allowing room for Grace to be spilled, there was success in the end.

What emotional boomerang are you throwing out there that will inevitably come right to you?

 

May Moving Madness~Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy! May 12, 2010


You remember that, don’t you?  C’mon….admit it!  Whether you were a fan or not, everyone remembers the Wren and Stimpy Happy Happy Joy Joy song!  I hear you!!!  You’re singing it now, aren’t you?  Hee hee!  Well, I was never a huge fan, but I certainly remember that song.  That was it!  The WHOLE song!  Just Happy Happy, Joy Joy!  Simple, huh?  Here is a list of my simple Happy Happy Joy Joy thoughts:

Happy – Having a God who knows and loves me enough to put up with me..forever.

If I thought it would help, I’d pray for Him.

Happy – Having a husband who has loved me enough over the past 14 years to really find out what makes me smile, and doing it…with a smile.

Joy – Watching my three daughters laugh and joke around like the best of friends…

even after a full day of home-schooling together, doing chores, packing boxes, and going to the dentist.

Joy – Knowing that no matter what, we can live with the glass full, not just half-full.  That’s something to celebrate…that’s living a life of total happiness…total Grace.

 

This is the particular glass that I have full this morning.

Well, paper cup, anyway…

Life is good…life is happy. 

What’s your Happy Happy Joy Joy this morning?

This post is part of the Five for Ten blog carnival at:

and

Wordless Wednesday with:

seniledomentia.com,

Five Minutes For Mom.com

Baby Making Machine.com

and Wordful Wednesday with:

 

 

Beautiful… May 9, 2010


This is my beautiful mom.

I love her more than she could ever imagine.

She is patient, and kind.  She is loving, and strong.

She is my hero.

I got this off of her Facebook page:

“For the essence of motherhood is the acceptance of God’s offer to share
in the creation and development of another human being.
Motherhood is the toughest, most demanding, yet most important job in
the world. With the many choices for women today, let’s not forget that
there is no calling of God more important than being a mom.”

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom…you rock!