New Site

Hi friends!

Well, I have developed a website that will house my blog from here on…  this should be the last site change for my blogs for a while. 🙂  I appreciate your following my writing and the encouragement you send through emails and comments.  Please continue!  You will need to subscribe to the new blog page if you want to continue to receive post updates.

Just go to http://www.forthesakeofjoy.com and click on BLOG.  You can subscribe in the top right column of the list via RSS feed.

Thanks – bless you all!

Kim

The itchy and scratchy show

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Like most parents, I am sleep deprived.  I’m not saying this to start a pity-party blog post, I have a problem and I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions.

Each night around midnight our little Cooper sneaks his way into our bed.  He’s gotten stealthy at creeping between us and we wouldn’t know he was there except that within minutes he starts scratching his arms.  “ch-ch-ch-ch-ch” I wake up to the sound of nails on skin – and it gives me the creeps!  He has eczema.  I’ve tried a viariety of lotions, oils and creams of varying levels of cost and oatmeal baths.  Doesn’t seem to help.  I’m wondering if anyone has found a topical treatment that seems to work?  We aren’t getting much sleep and his poor skin looks awful.  You can see how red his face is and a bit of what’s on his shoulders.

I’m trying to avoid a trip to doctor and drugs if possible, but if in the end that’s what we have to do then so be it.

Thanks.  *yawn*

Peace.

Great Expectations

Expectations

Tuesday was my birthday.  It was generally uneventful, and when I tell people this many reply, “Awwww” as if it was a bad thing.  For me, uneventful days are actually quite lovely.  Most days are filled with drama and excitement.  I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I do relish the occasional uneventfulness of a lazy day.

Today is a working day for me.  Which means I am mostly sitting at the computer working on any number of projects.  The kids have eaten lunch and Bennie just asked for a piece of leftover birthday cake for dessert.  When I replied, “Sure.” he went to get a plate.  I took a picture of what he came back with.  Yes, it is one of my larger sized tupperware containers. (see picture)  His comment was, “I sure hope my piece of cake fits in this container.”

Expectations.

Ben has big ones.  He expects everything we do to be the “greatest ever” and “most fun”.  You know what?  He is rarely disappointed.  I think that is a lesson we all need to learn.  To expect great things in our days, and be satisfied with what we get.  Therein lies the secret to contentment.  Therein lies the secret to acceptance-with-joy.

Peace.

Puppet Show

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Cooper did a cool thing tonight.  He called us into the living room to watch a puppet show.  He has done them before but has always re-enacted something from a cartoon or story that we’ve read.  In his puppet show tonight it appears that he made up the plot himself.  It was great.  He had a sign up for the title “Merry Christmas” and another sign at the end that said “The End”.  The plot was about a penguin and a snowman that had a pet dog named Mopie.  They asked Mopie to watch their hamburger while they went away.  Mopie sat watching the burger very nicely, then a dinosaur came along and ate it.  When the other guys came back they blamed Mopie for eating the hamburger.  While Mopie shook his head “No” the dinosaur came back and picked up the penguin and the snowman in his big dinosaur mouth to carry them away.  Mopie fought the dinosaur and won.  The penguin and snowman apologized and said “Good Mopie.”  That was it!  I was so proud of him.

Then of course Bennie wanted to do one too.  Cooper watched Ben’s very nicely then said “Bravo Ben.  Good Job!”  It was sweet.  Ben had no plot other than the dinosaur to be eating all of the other puppets.  Funny dude.

Peace.

Mopie

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My mom was here for a visit over Christmas / New Year’s. She has a beautiful golden retriever named Opie, who did not come for a visit, but of course we talked about Opie with the kids while she was here. Sometime during the last two weeks Cooper decided he no longer wants to be called Cooper. He said “No Cooper. My name is Mopie.”
He was then very excited to show us that his name contained the words “Mop” and “pie.”
He has gone so far as to ask that we change the name on his Mii character (in our Wii system) to Mopie. When we went bowling this week he wanted his name logged into the score keeping program as Mopie. When we called my 82 year old Aunt for Christmas he got on the phone and said “Hi, it’s me, Mopie” (thoroughly confusing the poor woman). And he crossed out the name on his school photo calendar and wrote (in black Sharpie) his new name. (see photo)
Not sure how long this Mopie-thing will last, or if he’ll carry the change to school with him when he goes back Monday, but I guess there are a lot worse things he could call himself.
As we head into a new year, I want to ask you ~ do you have “old names” that you call yourself that you need to get rid of?  If you are in the habit of calling yourself names like “unworthy” or “unloved” or you find yourself saying things like “There I go again” when you backslide in a bad habit – you need to know that God does not see you that way! What are you going to call yourself this year?
I’d love to hear your comments. For me, I am going to call myself “Daughter of Thunder.” Okay, so it’s a spin off of John the Apostle’s “Son of Thunder” but no matter, that’s who I am deciding today to be!
Peace.

Happy New Year!

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January 1.  A whole new year is stretched out before us.  I started the day at 5:00 am by taking my momma to the airport after a great two-week visit.  I returned from the snowy drive home to be greeted at the door by my Cooper.  He was smiling big and wanted me to set him up with a pillow, blanket, milk and a movie.  So here we sit while the rest of the house sleeps.  And as I was logging onto my laptop Cooper glanced over and winked at me.  He got up and came over and said, “Give me a hug, Mom.”  You know, no matter how the night before ended, the kids always seem to wake up with a fresh new happiness.  Glad to see me, glad to be awake and excited about the day.

As I sit here thinking about all of the New Year’s Resolutiony type things I want to do in 2009…you know, “eat better, exercise more, be less grumpy, read my bible more, paint the house, save the dolphins”… as I sit here thinking about them knowing that some of them I will do better at than others, one thing I know is that I will take advantage of as many opportunities as possible to let my kids know I love them and enjoy being in their presence.   That I too am glad to see them and glad we have another day together.

Last night Cooper wanted to make a snowman.  It was dark outside and the last thing I felt like doing was going out in the cold and dark.  But he was so very excited and had it all planned out, a carrot, a happy face, two eyes, arms and 20 buttons.  At first I said, “No. I don’t feel like going outside.”  Then I saw the look in his eyes.  The disappointment.  His shoulders drooped a bit and he said, “Okay, Mom.”  There was no good reason for me not to suit up and go out, so I went to get my snowpants.  He didn’t care that it looked more like Jabba-the-Hut than a snowman, he was thrilled we did it.  That’s the kind of stuff I need to be more aware of.  The opportunities I need to take. Often I don’t do something because my agenda doesn’t include painting or play dough.  I probably miss out on a lot of smiles because of that.  My agenda in 2009 and beyond will not be so packed that a romp in the snow would throw off the schedule.

It’s easy to be feeling all warm and fuzzy as I sit on the couch and Coop is happily watching Curious George and the others are peacefully sleeping.  I know things will get hairy and tempers go out of control and frustration sometimes will set in.  But for now, I am counting my blessings and thanking God for the gift of every person He’s given me to share my days with.  And I will make sure they know it.

Peace.

Cooper’s Birthday

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I do want to say that Cooper’s birthday was by far the best we’ve had yet.   Cooper had ideas in his head about how things should go (don’t we all?) and he had his party outlined in his mind.  His words were:  “Friends.  Cooper’s House.  Balloons.  Cake.  Presents.”  As long as I covered those bases we were all set.  At his last 3 or 4 birthdays there has usually been a point at his party where something sets him off to crying or a bit of a melt down.  I am sure the overstimulation, cake, crowded spaces have something to do with it!  Heck, my husband goes through that at every party we have.  But not this time!  He had fun the whole time and did not once get upset, or cry or lock himself in his bedroom and want everyone to leave!  I was so proud of him!

What did I learn?  My top three things…

1. Keep the party short.  Between 1 – 3 pm is a good time… no expectation of a meal to be served.

2. Brainwash all of the children there that they are at the best party E-V-E-R!  Take any kids aside who say that your party is lame and threaten them with no goodie bag if they repeat their comment to anyone else.

3. Send home a really cool goodie bag so if there were any doubts that your party was lame, it may be forgotten by a cool take-away.

Peace.

2 1/2 months?!

Wall_E Cake!

I am shocked and discouraged as I notice that I have not written a post in over 2 months.  Shocked because I can’t believe how very quickly the fall season flew by and now we are trudging through snow in below freezing temps.  Wow.  And we didn’t even do a fall hayride, hike through fallen leaves, decorate a pumpkin or even appreciate the changing of the leaves.  It isn’t that those things weren’t going on in the world around me, but that I didn’t take time to appreciate them.  So here we are and it is mid-December.

Cooper turned 7 last week.  We had a terrific b-day party, complete with home-made Wall-E cake.  A couple of parents of children with autism that I have talked to have said their kids too are hooked on Wall-E.  Not sure if it is indeed something about Wall-E that is attractive to kids with autism or if they are just among the millions of little ones who love that little yellow dude.

So why am I discouraged that I haven’t posted in so long?  Not because I think I am failing the masses of public just awaiting with baited breath for my next post.  But because I love writing.  It helps me work out the thoughts and feelings going on inside my head. And if I think that there is a chance that someone else would read what I write, then I am forced to work it out that much more clearly.  (I know I have said this before, so I am reminding myself)  My resolutions never work however.  I could totally say that with my writing I will try to do better, I’ll write a blog every single day, I’ll be witty and funny and try and articulate well the JOY that I find in doing life with the people around me… but I know that isn’t realistic.  But I will do my best.

Peace.

God’s Smile

As I cleaned the kitchen yesterday, doing mundane tasks I do every day, I suddenly heard my kids calling me from the back yard.  I went out to join them and Kacey points to the sky and says, “Look Mom, a rainbow!”
Sure enough, there was a rainbow directly above our house.  Funny thing is, it wasn’t shaped like a typical rainbow – it was upside down and looked like a smile in the sky.
A sweet reminder that God is watching what I am doing and smiling down on me, even in the mundane, day-to-day stuff I do!
~kp

“Sssh! She’s coming!”

Cooper and Ben are all about hiding these days.  They love to hide then jump out to “scare me.” Rarely is it ever a real scare, because they just aren’t too good at hiding!  They giggle… Body parts can always be seen sticking out from whatever they are hiding behind… And inevitably they talk to each other loudly while waiting for their unsuspecting victim (me!) to come strolling down the hallway.

This morning as I was finishing my shower and about to exit the bathroom, I could hear much laughing from the other side of the door. “Sssh, she’s coming! Hide! Hide!” And they hid. When I opened the door, my two boys jumped out and yelled “surprise!” and I feigned extreme surprise and laughed along with them.

“Are we good hiders Mommie?” My Bennie asked.

I smiled and assured him that yes, he was a good hider.

It made me think – they really do think they are “hiding” from me, even though they are completely exposed most of the time. I know there are times I don’t want to admit the truth of a matter and actually try and “hide” a feeling, a thought, a bad attitude from God. I forget that just as I can so easily spot my little ones trying to hide out in the open; my heart, mind and soul are exposed to Him. He sees through the denial, the lies, the hurt and wants me to come out and run to Him.

Peace.

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