Category Archives: Mommy Corner

Parents Do Not Take Sick Days

Vicks Vaporizer became my best friend for the past couple weeks!  (Well Vicks, hot peppermint tea, and my pillow!)  Maybe the bad cold would have not morphed into bronchitis with sufficient bed rest, however like the current running Vicks commercials confirms, “Parents do not take sick days”.  Those same little angels, who introduced the germs and viruses to the home, needed my attention and care-giving!

Since this all started during Christmas vacation, I will admit there was a brief moment of “It’s A Wonderful Life” without children, but those few short seconds within my imagination turned into real tears.  Real tears because bronchitis, dueling siblings, toddler temper tantrums, pre-teen rebellion and all, they are my precious gifts blessed by God.

So instead I donned the Wonder Mom Cape (all moms own one naturally) with an artillery of throat lozenges, tissue, and orange juice and managed to tend to their every need. Oh there were moments I wished I could just fold my arms and nod my head like “I Dream of Jeannie” to complete the tasks, but with God’s good grace……many prayers for strength helped.

While wearing the ‘cape’, I used what little steam I could muster to also plan ahead for mommy rest time.  Ice chest – check, snacks – check, juice – check, art and craft supplies – check, basket of toys – check, crockpot of chicken noodle soup – check, Disney films – check, children’s books and games – check….mom’s bedroom basically turned into a kitchen-entertainment-family-medical care room!  Because once I plopped into bed, I would be down for the count!  The usual 16 hour mom day was drastically reduced to just 8 hours and then the cape came off!  Thankfully my children were in recovery mode and more sleepy than normal.  (Lord forgive me for being grateful they were not back to 100% health.)

Fever, coughs, and cranky children actually ended up being a blessing after all.  Perhaps none of us were at our best, yet it was still very bonding…laughing at silly commercials, building empires with legos, giving random hugs, and even just resting confirmed that in either sickness or health, we love each other very deeply!

Maybe God allowed us to all to be ill just to stop for awhile – no working, no writing, no errands, no school and instead just be still.  We all need to take more ‘still’ moments and just enjoy the blessings bestowed upon us.  Sickness should not be the moment of revelation that our lives are too busy, unfortunately sometimes these are the times which bring us back to reality.

Vicks commercials are correct, we parents do not take sick days, however we should all remember to take “children dedication days” – shut all else down and just spend with them!  The time is really all the ‘medicine’ we need to get us through the hectic ‘cape’ days!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

In our world today, we may not have “peace on earth” however we have the GOOD NEWS!!!  Merry Christmas to one and all!!  One day indeed there will be Peace on Earth!!  Sing Halleluiah!

Nativity

Visions of a Not-So-Silent Christmas

Moving heavy furniture and boxes (see blog below) begs one to take a break!  With a tube of Tiger Balm, a reclining chair, and a television remote the one hour break commenced.  Channel surfing discovered a one-hour documentary on PBS titled “The First Silent Night” telling the origins of one of the most enduring Christmas hymns of all time – “Silent Night”.

http://thefirstsilentnight.com/

The German carol’s lyrics were written by Father Joseph Mohr in 1816 and then two years later the music was composed for “Stille Nacht” by schoolmaster Franz Xaver Gruber in the Salzburg, Austria region.  The film mesmerized with history, emotion, faith, and the beauty of Austria which helped diminish any muscle pain!

The one hour program connected with my faith, love for Jesus and adoration of my favorite Christmas song that it immediately motivated me to set a one year goal of visiting Salzburg for Christmas 2015!  In fact, I have the entire itinerary already planned which includes a few days in Wagrain, day trips to Hallein, Vienna, Munich (Germany) and Bolzano (Italy) with several days in Salzburg for all the Noel Festivities!

Visions of a 20 hour flight with children, transportation hassles, bustling crowds, and freezing-below- zero temperatures does not dampen my motivation to achieve this vacation dream!  In fact I can already taste the mulled wine and roasted chestnuts with the scent of fresh pine trees in the air!  No more “Dreaming” of a White Christmas, because the blanket of pure, white crystal snow will be all around requiring a cup of warm-spiced-nog at the end of a cold, but joyous day!

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Although it is still yet Christmas Day, the image of Christmas in Europe next year dances in my head – authentic Tafelspitz, Schnitzel, sweet Apfelstrudel, warm Jägertee, bright artisan Christmas ornaments, festive music, the grand Cathedral, local Advent activities, and even the visit by the Krampusses and Perchten beckons vividly!

However with just one year to reach the goal, this means focus and dedication to earn the funds required for such a jubilant holiday.  Now it makes perfect sense why God lead me to WakeUpNow!  It will take earning 5-6 figures per month to establish the healthy finances needed to even begin planning the trip.  Once the appropriate amount of income is earned, then I can book the entire merry sabbatical utilizing the WUN Vacation Club!  Plus I can use WUN Speak to learn German and refresh my Italian, because when in Rome – or this case Salzburg – speak the local language.

http://www.thewakeupmission.com

The past 7 years has literally been one of the most financially challenging.  In addition, the political involvement and watching the removal of “Christ” from America has dampened my spirit to some degree.  However “The First Silent Night” reminded me that God is always in control no matter how bleak the circumstances may appear.  Plus for the first time in years, I am motivated by a dream – a dream which began with faith and adoration of a hymn which stirs love and peace everywhere!

Perhaps Salzburg is not the location of Christ’s birth, however it is the location of the ‘birth’ of a moving Christmas song describing the most holy night of the year!  And the origins of the lyrics and musical composition inspire faith and enhance the beauty of the region.

Now back to reality and my still sore muscles!!  Merry Christmas!

Dreams Do Come True!

Today I must take the “easy path” – true to my blog yesterday, helping the neighbor to move in here for now just to prevent him from being homeless.  My family’s Christmas gift to our community.  So with limited time, today I post a recording from two months ago which really applies today.  How do people end up in their dire financial circumstances?  Sometimes perhaps it is a series of unfortunate events, but most the time we have more control than we believe – so with faith and hard work, we can indeed achieve what we dream!  Enjoy!

Reality or Illusion?

Good cheer, forgiveness, love, joy, and charity abounds during the Christmas season!!  Reality or illusion?

A few days ago a neighbor shared with me that his landlord had served him notice to vacate the home he had been renting from him for the past several years.  Why?  Because he was short a mere $90 for the rent.  Unfortunately this neighbor had been late for the past few months due to the economy, however by the end of the month, he always paid in full.  The landlord outright owns the property in addition to several other properties in the area including commercial property.  The landlord is not hurting financially.

Earlier this year, this neighbor lost his wife – she sadly lost her battle with cancer on Valentine’s Day.  Naturally our neighbor mourned and fell into a deep depression.  Dealing with the loss, his own business faltered and his meager savings dwindled to a zero balance.  Although he resumed his business and masked his pain with hard work, he fell behind on paying rent in his traditional timely manner.

Many in the neighborhood pitched in to assist him with every day life necessities bringing him home-cooked meals, gifts, and business, however the Scrooge-landlord started harassing him on a monthly basis.  And then of all times of the year, served him a notice to leave for just a mere $90 – a balance which certainly could have been wiped out due to all the maintenance this poor gentlemen did on the property regularly.  The property is well-maintained and inviting.

Christmas season (or anytime of year) no one should face the indignity of hunger, homelessness, or poverty.  This poor man lost his wife less than one year ago!  Of course there are shelters, but this time of year, most shelters are full, so my family has invited this neighbor to stay here for shelter until he can declare some financial independence.

This act is nothing heroic, it is just human-decency especially during a season which is supposed to be about love and caring.  But do we as a whole truly care about others?

Scripture does not state that money is the root of all evil, but that it is the “love” of money that is the root problem.  When $90 is more important to a person than someone’s well-being, we as a society have a very dark issue.

Many believe government is the solution, however there is a price to pay when government is involved.  At the heart of the matter is society and even more specifically the church body.

Deuteronomy 15:11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

Matthew 5:42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

The above Bible verses are instructions to believers on what we are to do to help others.  Are churches doing enough in the community to outreach to others and help those in need?  The Christmas season is the perfect time as believers in Christ to help those in need within our own neighborhoods.
Instead of relying on government for financial well-being, we should instead rely on God and follow HIS commands on helping others.  If we stopped rebelling, we could reduce poverty, hunger, and homelessness simply through faith, love, and charity.  Until this happens, the Christmas season of good cheer is simply an illusion.

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you…”

Chocolate is a Girl’s Best Friend

Mmmmmm….chocolate chip cookies, double chocolate brownies, no – chocolate cream pie with tons of whipped cream, but first get me the extra strength – this headache, these cramps – ouch!!

Women, you can relate and men, you know exactly what this means – stay away!!

Every month like a bad holiday – (okay a bad holiday does not exist, unless of course your favorite saying is “bah humbug”! ) – I feel bad for my family – all boys of course – not one female who can at least empathize with my ‘condition’….however they are trained well – they bring me a stash of chocolate, a box of Kleenex, and my stack of favorite movies which includes at least one Sandra Bullock film. Then suddenly for some odd reason they go into the Barney ‘clean up-cleanup, everyone do their share’ mode and suddenly, their rooms are clean and all the dishes neatly stacked in the cupboard.

Occasionally one at a time, they dare to come near and give me big hugs and tell me how much they love me, delicately ask if I need anything and then poof – just like that – alone again….well alone with the tissue, a movie, and my thoughts and emotions which take me on a very bumpy roller-coaster ride for which I cannot wait to end.

All the jokes I heard as a little girl forewarned of these days, but I was determined not to be like the majority of the female population.  No, not me, I am a peppy, happy go-lucky woman…well I have my moments, but mostly just ‘miss congeniality’.  I vowed to just be happy 365 days of the year! – Ahhhhhh..bah humbug!  Darn you Eve!

Well before the hot flashes and sleepless nights set in – might as well enjoy the extra hugs, Kleenex, and chocolates!

Santa is Coming to Town!

Last night had a fun dilemma – either watch the 50th Special Anniversary of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or the telecast of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”.  The winner – “Santa”!  Now before the tears come about the cuteness of “Rudolph” and yes like Clarice declares – he is cute!!  But see I own a VHS copy (yes this is how long ago it was purchased) of “Rudolph” but not of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”.  Plus I missed the “Santa” telecast last year for which, although I have watched it every other year practically my entire life, I was disappointed!  Well watching all these classics are tradition!!  Part of the family Christmas memories, so a year without “Santa” is like a year without the holiday!

santa

I still smell the homemade -by-Mom- Christmas sugar cookies in the oven —-mmmmmm!!  The sparkling colorful lights on the tree and with tinsel (we all survived this dangerous tree decoration – ahh the joys of freedom), the handcrafted-by-Mom Mr. & Mrs, Santa in the corner, and of course the Nativity scene brightly on display. In our family home, Christmas was the most festive time of the year with joyful traditions which included watching all the season’s holiday classics!

Honestly I thought everyone in the world celebrated the December 24th/25th festivities until one day I was scolded by a retail customer for saying the apparent offensive greeting: “Merry Christmas”.  If looks could kill, I would have suddenly been six feet under.

Not so many years after the “grinch” experience, I was once again scolded by a fellow Christian for including “Santa” in my holiday decorations.  Oh the wrath!!  “If you rearrange the letters it spells s-a-t-a-n”…..apparently I needed an exorcism.

nativity

But watching the classic stop-motion animation last night simply is affirmation that although “Jesus is the reason for the season”  (for which is mentioned in this Rankin-Bass special), but Santa plays an important role during the Advent season as well!

Imagine if the main character in “It’s A Wonderful Life” was Santa instead of George Bailey.  Well less children would be enthused about the holiday…no St. Nick – well then no animation classics like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, no baking of cookies to leave out for Santa, no Mr. Claus at the mall (then retailers have less reason for MERRY CHRISTMAS commercials – okay perhaps less commercialism would be lovely, however the “excitement” of Christmas would not be filling the air!

We believers in Christ should not be blaming jolly ol’ St, Nick for the diminishing message of “Christ is Born”, but our own-selves.  It is our calling to be fishers of men (and women) and to share the “good news”.  It is our responsibility to be good neighbors!  We all should be on our repentant knees praying for the world to know the truth and forgiveness of our own transgressions.  The church has allowed the commercialism, allowed the removal of nativity scenes, and allowed Jesus to merely be an accessory of the season.  (Written with love!  I include myself in the blame!)

Jesus said to “go out into the world”!  (Not be the judge of the world.).  And the world loves Santa Claus!!  He is loved for good reason – he bears gifts, he has a joyful laugh, works all year just to bring smiles and good cheer to the people, and makes children happy!!

Every day we are bombarded with bad news!  The periods between Thanksgiving and New Years Day is the one time of the year that we can put aside all the bad news and just enjoy watching our children light up with excitement!  To enjoy the traditions of the season and rejoice in our own fond Christmas memories which also include Santa!

Plus the origins of Santa is indeed based on Christianity: http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/

St-Nicholas-6

Perhaps the “seeds” of church attendance would have still sprouted into a fully-planted believer as an adult, however the images of Santa Claus, the animated holiday classics, the fun activity of helping mom bake cookies for the jolly-round-man-in-red, and the excitement of Christmas morning to see what he had placed under the tree certainly instilled solid traditions and a stronger desire to learn the true meaning of the season!  Plus remember he chose the night we honor as Jesus’ birthday to bestow us with good cheer!

So I enjoyed the fun tradition of eating sugar cookies while watching “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” last night!  Tonight I think I will put in my VHS copy of “Rudolph”!  Merry Christmas!!