Thursday, March 20, 2014

The [Super Long] Saturday 7

1. I filled out two March Madness brackets this year. In one of them, I'm tied for first (go Villanova!). In the other, I'm in 6th out of 7. Haha. (Go Louisville!) I predicted the Dayton upset, but none of the others. (Seriously, Duke??) I don't follow basketball the rest of the year, and I only pick Villanova because they have a cool name. (Gonzaga also makes it far in my brackets. Haha.) I mostly just like competing against my friends and siblings in the bracket challenges. :-) (Especially when I'm winning!) 

2. I bought Lucy the movie Frozen as a pre-release from Amazon. It came on Tuesday and I hid it away to save for her Easter basket. That same day we went to Niki's house just as she was getting home from Meijer. She pulled out the Frozen movie she had just bought and said, "Lucy, look what I bought! It came with two discs. Do you want to borrow one?" Haha. So we've been watching Frozen practically on repeat. Lucy can literally quote most of it already. And we found the soundtrack on Spotify, so we've been listening to the songs when we're not watching the movie. Frozen overload! She better still be excited to get her own copy in a month! 

3. Lena has perfected the word "no" this week. She's known it for a while, but suddenly understands how to use it in context. She says it loudly and emphatically. Lovely.

4. At the beginning of this year Justin and I committed to having a monthly date night. I'm done breastfeeding, my parents are always willing to babysit (for free!), and we got a great deal on an Entertainment Book, so we don't really have an excuse not to make time for each other. Yesterday was his day off, so we decided to have a date "day." We went to the very exciting Ultimate Sport Show in downtown Grand Rapids. (Using our buy one admission get one free coupon from the Entertainment book.) We saw some lovely taxidermy, some live fish in a huge pool, about a million fishing poles and lures, and more old men in overalls and camo than I've ever seen in one place before. Haha. The highlight for me was the free samples of jerky. I liked them all - beef, turkey, chicken, elk, pheasant. Yum. We were there for almost three hours. 

5. After the sport show, we picked the girls up and went back to GR to see the butterflies at the Meijer Gardens. 
Lucy ran through the greenhouse, pointed out a couple butterflies and said, "Ok, let's go!" Lena started sweating immediately and seemed confused and unsure. Haha. Once she got used to it though, I think she enjoyed watching the butterflies flit around. 

We went outside for a couple minutes to let Lena cool down and to take a picture in front of this sign.

Afterward, we went across the street to Justin's grandparents' house for dinner. I love them so much. They love our girls so much and are just the sweetest, most generous people ever. Grandma is also an amazing cook and stuffed us full of food. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

6. Here are a few of the articles I read this week:

Stay at Home Moms Need Hired Help - sign me up!

Are Visits to Heaven For Real?- I've always been skeptical of people claiming to have died and gone to Heaven. The author of this article says that most people's accounts of heaven are completely narcissistic - focusing on how they felt, the good things they saw, the people they were reunited with - not the overwhelming, powerful, all-consuming glory of God. He goes on to point out that the Bible does not have a single account of someone going to Heaven and returning to earth. There are a handful of men who had visions of Heaven, but "All of them focused properly on God’s glory. They also mentioned their own fear and shame in the presence of such glory." Interesting.

9 Things We Should Get Rid of to Help our Kids - This one went viral on facebook this week. I loved it. Here are some of my favorite parts:

"Overspending: I think it’s good for our kids to hear us say, “We can’t afford that” Or “We will have to save for it.” Because that’s real life." -- I just read an article in Parents magazine that says we should never say this to our kids. I disagree. I think it's good for them to realize Mom and Dad aren't money trees and we have to work hard to make money to buy things.

"Making our day-week-month, our world about our kids" -- Interesting, considering the discussions on my facebook page about my thoughts on the Mission of Motherhood. (More on that later.)

"The desire to make our children happy (all the time). If you visited my house, you’d find out pretty quickly that someone’s always unhappy. It’s not our job to keep our kids happy. Don’t carry that impossible burden." -- Amen!

Say Yes - another interesting one considering my recent reading.

7. I really appreciated the response to my recent blog post about The Mission of Motherhood. I wrote a lot about being selfless, but confessed that my day of selflessness (and letting Lucy direct our play all day) made me feel a little crazy. Haha. My friends had so much to say about finding the balance between giving of ourselves to our kids and not letting them think they're the center of the universe. 

Laura said, "When I'm not paying attention to my kids because I want to mindlessly browse fb, I'm probably doing something wrong, and the accompanying guilt confirms that. When I tell my kids I can't play right now because I'm making dinner or something similar-for the good of the whole family-that's different." 

Cara added, "There is SO much value in teaching our kids to be independent and not need constant reinforcement and also in seeing that we have other interests and things we need to do but also things we want to do! I guess I don't fall into the whole selfless camp -- I don't actually want my girl especially to see my role as mom as all about her and [her brother]. I want her to see that I love to do other things as well and enjoy spending time with my friends and need (and love) to talk to [my husband] without her interrupting . . ."

I do think it's important to model selflessness for our kids (although they probably won't even recognize it as that until they're much older). Selflessness isn't important just because we're moms, but because we're Christians following in Jesus' footsteps. Selflessness is a huge building block of active faith. But it's also healthy and important for our kids to be told no or "not right now" and to be able to entertain themselves. 

Whew! That was wicked long! Thanks for hanging on to the end!! 

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