Smile for the Joy of Others

Smile for the Joy of Others

Monday, November 24, 2008

2 Little Indians

Last Thursday evening, the boys participated in their Thanksgiving Program at school. I was so excited as this marked their 1st of many school programs I look forward to watching. They sang a few songs and then the 3 year olds each told what they were thankful for before walking off stage.
BB was Ten Bears and CB was Red River. However, they each had the other's head band and t-shirts on. So I think BB was supposed to be Red River while CB was supposed to be Ten Bears. Their regular teacher was out of town so I don't think the other workers could remember or tell them apart.

The only regret of the program for me is that they didn't have the boys standing next to each other. In fact, BB, was kinda hard to see as he was placed on the side while CB was placed in the front. I may sound like a picky, hard to please mother, but I think next time I am gonna request that stand together. It was hard dividing my attention as they were both performing. I was afraid I would miss what one did while watching the other.
As I predicted, BB didn't perform much. In fact, he held his hands over his ears for one of the songs and decided to sit during another. CB was just as lively as the rest, jumping and clapping to parts of the songs. At the close for the 3 year olds, again, they did what I would have predicted. CB announced that he was thankful for "Mamma" while BB just by-passed the microphone wanting nothing to do with it and came straight to me. (Can't blame him...he is his mother's child). Regardless of whether they perform or say the "right things", I am just as proud of them.

I am so thankful for these 2 blessings that bring me joy every day. Regardless of the hardships that come with raising multiples, I am indeed doubly blessed beyond words.

Until next time, HB

Almost Forgot...

I realized that I never posted a pic of the boys dressed for Halloween. The uniforms were a last minute save by JB. I had other ideas of what I wanted the boys to be...1 a cowboy and the other an Indian. However, the boys had their own ideas. When I would mention to them about dressing up as a cowboy and Indian, neither were thrilled about the opportunity. I refused to buy a costume due to their consistent reaction of not wanting to be a cowboy and Indian. I had flash backs from last year of me forcing on the scarecrow outfits my mom and I had made. And threatening to take their candy away when we got home. I don't think that's what Halloween should consist of...crying scarecrows and a mad momma.

So this year, I was just gonna let them wear a t-shirt that I had appliqued and jeans. However, JB had a trip to Georgia and on his way back he stopped in Alabama and found the "Roll Tide" football uniforms. Although a little pricey, he bought them for trick or treating and to wear on game days. They cooperated with all parts of the uniform with the exception of the shoulder pads. I didn't complain and was thrilled that got to dress up and actually enjoyed it.

Our church didn't host their annual Fall Festival, so we got to trick or treat with friends. It was great experience and the boys had a great time. I loved making this memory as I recalled the years I went trick or treating with neighborhood friends.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I posted "Cluttered vs Straightened" on a sewing forum that I am a member of. I thought it could help some of the moms and wives that are also members who struggle with this same circumstances and issues. The following post was a response I got from another member. With her permission, I posted this because I thought it to be so encouraging in hopes that it might help others. I am grateful for her willingness to open up and furthermore to let me share her heart with my readers:

Wow, what an eye opener. I am one of those "Clean freaks, a little OCD I must admit. I am guessing it is cuz of my childhood. And I now have unfortunatly passed it on to my kids. (16yr old boy and 25yr old stepdaughter)

I am such a freak, that when i have my kids or DH hang clothes on the line, I want them to be in order by item, size, and color. (I know, I need help) but I say to them, "People are going to see these clothes on the line, and if they are not in order, what will they think".

I am constantly re-arranging furniture almost every time I clean. If I clean the kitchen, I move the coffee pot to another counter, if I clean the bathroom, I re-arrange the towels, if I clean the living room, ALL the furniture (including pics on the wall) get changed. Even when my son is in school, on my way to taking him there, all I can think about is "Wow, now I can REALLY clean his room". When I get home, the gloves go on, and the radio goes up and I have at it, and of course it is rearranged. He comes home, and says "God, mom why cant you just leave my room alone?" even though he secretly wont admit that he likes the change.

The sad part is I have burdened my kids so bad with my "cleaning disorder" that now my 25yr old stepdaughter lives like a slob, and when I say slob, I mean SLOB. Dishes in the sink that have been there longer than she has, a bathroom I wont dare to go in. I tell her I will help her, and she says "This is my house not yours, and I like the lived in look." When I leave her house, I often say, "What have I done to her?" she is a beautiful girl, but her house is a mess.

And my son, same way, he is a slob, I overlook a bit, cuz he is a boy and younger. If I could go back even 5 years, I would just let them be kids. Let them have fun, without thinking (is this the way mom would do it, is this ok to mom, I better not leave this out, I better make my bed) and all of the other things I have heard them ramble about.

So my message is: life is too short to live it with a vacuum in one hand and windex in the other. Exchange those items for a hug from your kids, and relaxation.

Oh and one of my favorite quotes of all time is "Cleaning you house while your kids are still growing, is like shoveling the walk while its still snowing".

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cluttered vs Straightened

The other morning as I was pulling into my garage after dropping the boys off at school, I heard a "devotion" type segment on KLOVE. (I have since tried to find it to no avail). It was just what I needed to hear. I was dreading to walk into my house that was messy, cluttered and in much need of straightening up. All of this while I needed to fulfill monogramming orders. Reality of it is, if I monogram, my house gets neglected but if I clean my house...the monogramming orders get neglected. I would rather monogram if the truth be known.

Regardless, I've been busy fulfilling orders so the house has been somewhat neglected. The speaker was discussing this very issue. The issue of neglected housework for both working and stay-at-home moms.

She went on to say that her house, too, typically stays cluttered with dishes in the sink, laundry that gets washed but rarely gets folded and put up. Ironing that piles on the floor, clothes that rarely make it to the laundry hamper. She described my house in the most detail.

However, she went on to say that what makes a happy home is not necessarily how clean it is. Instead, what makes a happy home is Mom's attitude. There is truth in the saying that "Mom is the heart of the home". She has the power to make a home comfortable filled with joy. Or she can make the home one of constant tension, discomfort and lack joy.

For some reason, moms and wives can feel measured by the cleanliness of their home. We want to show an outward facade of our family by priding ourselves of a clean home. And why not...a clean home can appear to others that your family has it all together. A mom/wife can make her home an unpleasant place to live and visit if she is obsessed with keeping it clean to the point that no one can measure up to her standards of cleanliness. If her house is not clean as she measures it, then no one will be happy until it is. She can constantly nag their children and husbands to keep a clean house. Furthermore, she is hurting herself with the constant worry and obsession that bleeds into the family atmosphere. The children are afraid of playing with toys or the mother refuses to let their friends come play in fear of her domain getting messed up. "I just cleaned up, no Susie is not coming over". "When your friends get here, do not drag out every toy". "You play only in your room." What kind of welcoming home can you have with this type of attitude?

Please don't accuse me of judging, because I can feel the same way. I know what it's like to have just cleaned the kitchen or den only to have toys and dishes messed up again. It can feel like a never ending cycle. It can be frustrating. But here is where we as moms and wives make a choice to have a home of joy and peace or we one of constant tension and strife. What good is a straightened home if it's filled with strife?

The speaker went on to say that if she had to choose, she would choose a Cluttered but comfortable home rather than a Straightened home filled with strife.

I choose cluttered but comfortable, too. This devotion is what I needed to make me feel better as a mom and wife. It affirmed to me that it doesn't matter if my house is cluttered and messy. What matters most is that my husband and children are happy, that my home is one of peace and joy. It matters to me that when friends visit, they feel comfortable and welcomed. I want my children's friends to enjoy being at my house. I want them to play without fear of upsetting me because they messed up the den.

One of the greatest compliments I have receiverd was from a from a friend that was over, "I like coming to your house, it feels lived in."

Blessed are those who can do both...keeping a constant clean home without obsession while also keeping a home of peace. Some are fortunate to have your house cleaned by hired help. While this can be a blessing, these moms/wives, too, can cause strife if someone dares to mess up their house that she just paid to have cleaned.

So those who come to my house, it may not always be clutter free and cleaned but I will do my best to make it a comfortable and welcoming experience. I want to be a mom who keeps a happy home even if it's not always clean.

Until next time, HB

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reactions from the Middle East

As I sat last night on my couch anxiously awaiting the outcome of the election, I failed to realize that citizens from other countries were doing the same thing. They watched with the same anticipation because they, too, will be effected by this election. Can you imagine being affected by a country and it's political elections that you are not even a citizen of. Citizens of these other countries will be affected by an election they couldn't even participate in.

You must first understand that is election wasn't just about America's economical crisis all though it was this issue that seemed the biggest here in the last weeks of campaigning, rightly so because it effects us citizens directly.
You see, this election was just as importantly if not more about foreign policy. This issue seemed to get pushed to the side due to the economic crisis.

Not only were most Americans voting with hope of change, but the world was hoping their 'vote' for change would be resonated vicariously through us. Only their meaning of change is most different than ours. The Muslim world praises the hopes of change in America for their own interests, not for ours. They hate America due to our 'no change' political views when it comes to radical Islamics and handling terrorists. We Americans don't want to acknowledge that our so called 'no change' policy has kept us attack free for the past 8 years.

Well congratulations, America. We voted for change and we will get it...unfortunately in more ways than we fail to acknowledge or believe the reality of. Not only will there be change within our own borders, there will be change in other countries due to America's vote. I believe some of this change can be positive but even more so, it can be very detrimental to America, her citizens and the countries of the rest of this world.

I've linked a few sites that I believe to be legit regarding the world's reaction to this election. First, let me say that I am not an Obama hater nor am I a McCain lover. I have issues with both candidates regarding their personal and political views. These links are posted for you to view in order to gain your own perspective and opinion.

I am reminded that no matter who is President, we serve God, not our elected officials. God was not sitting on his couch anxiously awaiting the results like I and most of the world. He already knew who would be elected and none of this outcome was a surprise to him as will nothing that happens within the next 4 years. He allowed this election to be and he allows Kings, Presidents, and other government officials to rule.

I found these versus on another site that can serve as a reminder of just how in control God is:
* Daniel 2:21 — "It is He [the God of heaven]…who removes kings and establishes kings."
* Job 42:2 — "I know that You [the God of Israel] can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted."

My God, he was, my God he is, my God he's always gonna matter what an election outcome is today or tomorrow.

Until next time, HB

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall Happenings

I am quite behind when it comes to posting some of the fall events we have experienced these past few months. For that reason, I'm just posting all details in one post along with the pics.

We spent A Day in the Country. It was this event that assured us we are not ready for Disney World. Not that we were contemplating but know now not even go as for as contemplating. If we can't make it in the country we certainly can't make it at Disney. BB didn't want to participate in most of the children's games and almost had a melt down if you even tried to encourage him. On the other hand, CB loved it. He was all about fishing, throwing bean bags, and all other small activities they had. They both did enjoy petting the few animals they had. It was fun while it lasted but I was glad to be gone. It was actually hot and with BB not really into it made it a little difficult to entertain both children.

We also participated in Friends Day hosted by FBC Madison, where my parents are now members. BB did better partaking in the the children's events. And as usual CB loved it. Cousins, Alex and Abbey also came to the event which made it even more fun. My boys didn't yet have a costume while Alex was a Georgia Bulldog football player and her sister Abbey was a Georgia Bulldog cheerleader.
They even brought UGA, their bulldog, along as their mascot. He was well received by fellow participants until he began to snipe the food off people's plates as they were eating on the ground. Needless to say, he had to leave the eating areas.

Another fun fall activity the boys got to do for their 2nd time was going to the pumpkin patch. We didn't go as a family this year, but I got to go with the boys as a field trip with their school. Pappaw also went with us. I enjoyed spending the day with my boys and their school friends who also happen to be their friends at church. Regardless, it was a joy to see them interact with their friends in a different environment. I also got to see just how smitten CB is with his "girlfriend" Rileigh.
Ms Rileigh and CB

We loaded a trailer for a hay ride around the field where we saw animals and then soon stopped to pick out our pumpkins. The kids also got to play in the hay maze and on the rope swings. We then all gathered for a picnic lunch under the trees. I enjoyed meeting other moms and their children.

Until next time, Happy Fall Y'all!, HB