Sunday, December 21, 2008
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 12:37 PM
Sunday, November 30, 2008
I found this in my "Drafts." I guess I never got around to publishing it.
Micah, Kenzie and I went to the Arboretum on a perfect fall day last October and I shot these pictures of them. Aren't they just precious? The next day, every leaf on this tree was on the ground. It was just one of those moments when God pours out a blessing.
These two have so much fun together. Kenzie calls, "Maw-kuh!" and Micah answers, "Yes, Kenzie?" He adores her and I think she knows it! But she's pretty crazy about him too.
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 5:18 PM
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Couple funny/sweet things that happened this morning.
Of course, the morning after Halloween, the first words out of Micah's mouth, "Can I have candy?"
Mom: "No, you need to eat breakfast."
Micah: "After breakfast can I have candy?"
Mom: "No, maybe after lunch."
Dad: "Micah, what do you want for breakfast?"
Micah: "I don't want breakfast, I want lunch!"
It is GORGEOUS out today. As I was cutting Grant's hair I said, "I don't know if it would be possible to have a prettier day than this one!"
He thought then said, "Perhaps Christmas morning before the sun comes up with newly fallen snow that hasn't been disturbed and full moon shining on the snow."
Oh, okay. I stand corrected! Grant does not think like a typical 10 year old boy. What fun to be his mom!
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 10:41 AM
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 12:44 PM
Saturday, October 11, 2008
"I thought this was a very positive sign(as you know I am 1/100th Native American). There were two eagles soaring over your house today. No better word than soaring. They just stayed there. I have never seen eagles in this area before. They just were hanging out, making tons of noise and enjoying the nice sky. I could not figure out what the noise was until I noticed them over your house. As I said, that is a very positive sign to me( and I am a weird guy, but I took it as a sign!)
"Wow! This is incredible! You know it seems when you are in a crisis or trial you see God's hand in an amazing way. I remember in my depression, although I felt a deep sense of emptiness it was like God gave me signs along the way that He had not forsaken me. He knows how to show you in very personal ways that He is with you."
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king's command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, "Weren't there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?" They replied, "Certainly, O king."
25 He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."
26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!" So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 6:09 AM
Monday, September 22, 2008
For those of you who didn't immediately understand TMI, it stands for Too Much Information! That could be my life's theme. Or as Emily said, "too many rabbits on the trail." If I could only program my brain to think about and ponder one thing at a time, perhaps I might absorb something.
What, you might ask, is prompting this raving? I went to a class tonight and learned the difference between beliefs and feelings from a chemical point of view. The mind and the autonomic nervous system (the source of feelings) often clash. The mind thinks and reasons. The autonomic system "thinks" but does not reason, it merely responds to stimuli and is then programmed to respond that way to similar stimuli. Hence the ache in your gut when you think about a conflict that you feel you handled appropriately but still feel sick about it. Your mind tells you you did the best you could but your stomach still hurts. Perhaps in the past you have learned that your best efforts may still result in broken relationships and even though your mind learned how to handle conflict from this, your gut is now programmed to expect the worst and grieve the broken relationship or fear it will happen again.
We learned that if your autonomic system gets "stuck" there, irregardless of what your mind says, you cannot move forward into the "peace that passes understanding" or victorious living unless you reboot or reprogram the autonomic system. This reprogramming can happen through the use of accupuncture points (no needles) and through scripture and prayer.
The thing that is really wowing me though is the understanding that when we are born, our autonomic system and mind are one in the same. The mind is not yet capable of thinking differently than the autonomic system. We just react to stimuli and feeling. (Think terrible twos and my sister's phrase "never try to reason with a 2 year old) Not until children are about five years old does this separation occur at a functional level (and sometimes not even then.) So the things our chilren take in from 0 to 5 are so crucial because they are programming the autonomic system. But the other thing that occured to me, is that if we are not developing the mind, we will delay this development and the autonomic system will run rough shod over them throughout their lives. This can also happen if a particular trauma which brought strong emotions never is "reprogrammed." It can control a person's life because they are "stuck" or, chemically speaking, blocked.
This explains to me why children who are placed in front of television where stimulation and feelings and wants are fed to them day after day are so damaged. They are rarely asked to think critically about anything they see and so often they are surrounded by the teenage angst of Hannah Montana or Zach and Cody where every feeling is followed without regard to rationale thought. Then between scenes, they are taught to be anxious about how they look, how much stuff they have (or don't have) or fed a jingle that will program them to respond to a product in a certain way. Their autonomic system is bulked up while their minds and rational thought are either withering or conforming to the programming of their feelings. 99 times out of 100 this programming will not match with the Truth and will lead to chaos, confusion and pain. Just as the enemy intends it.
Micah demonstrated perfectly this brain development today. I found a Superman costume on sale and he was very excited to try it on. After getting all decked out, he said he needed to go outside. I asked him what he was going to do but he said, "I just need to go." I followed him and watched from the front door. He just stood there looking at the street. Pretty soon he turned around and looked at me with such a sad, puzzled look and said, "I can't fly mom." He had the saddest look on his face. His mind just learned something he had not known before and it did not match with his feeling that it was Superman's costume that would make him fly. Of course this realization had to come at some point. It's part of how this separation of mind and gut occurs. But how painful to watch. And if this realization is painful, how about when children are told by their parents they are loved, but experience the pain of divorce and separation. The mind and gut split.
He also addressed how powerful music is in this area as well. How often do we hear kids say, "I don't listen to the words, I just like the music." This is because it glides past the mind and straight to the autonomic system, creating powerful feelings and emotion in us. If this emotion matches with Truth, not a big problem. But if it does not, you set yourself up for internal conflict which causes stress, which causes disease.
When we constantly feed our autonomic system (medicate it so we feel better) with television, music, distraction, people who affirm our feelings, we are turning down the volume to the Holy Spirit and Truth. The speaker said it takes weeks of "turning off the noise" to regain the ability to hear God's voice again. And we must be careful to weigh that voice against the Word of God to understand where the autonomic system (our feelings) have led us astray.
How important to build silence into our lives and the lives of our children. If I let them, my children would fall asleep every night with their iPod in their ears. I have always thought this was wrong but I did not fully understand why. Tonight I have a much better understanding. It also explains to me why our culture is so bent on selfish pursuit rather than sacrificial good. If what you know to be right does not match with what you have programmed to "feel good", you will be in conflict and folllow the feeling rather than the belief. Eventually your belief will change to match your feeling unless your autonomic is reprogrammed with the truth. And if we constantly feed our feelings without training our mind in the truth, we will live in conflict, chaos and pain.
Like I said, TMI. And this was only the tip of the iceberg of the discussion tonight. If I bored you, so sorry. But in order to keep other rabbits from invading the trail, I wanted to write some things down to help solidify in my own mind what I learned and you have the "priviledge" of coming along for the ride.
PS A completely unrelated Micah funny: Since the weather was cooler for awhile, Micah had been wearing jeans. I asked if he needed help unbuttoning to go to the bathroom the other day. He said, "No, but I will maybe need help onbuttoning."
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 8:33 PM
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Drew has also been a huge help this summer. He always has such a great attitude when I ask him to babysit. He's pretty content to be home. He really goes in spurts. He might spend all day and evening with friends and then spend a couple days at home just hangin, playing music and playing with Micah. Then he'll plan a campout or movie night with friends again. He certainly is not one who has to be on the go all the time and seems to innately understand how to balance activity and rest. I am actually a bit worried about him this year because I'm not sure he's going to be able to maintain this balance if he stays as involved as he is planning. This is his list of responsibilities for the year:
I keep telling him to evaluate whether he's in over his head and we can figure out a way for him to back off of something. Of course the year is just starting and he says he's okay. He had three meetings the first week and has 7:30am Singers Practice every morning but sports practice doesn't start until Monday so we'll see. Part of me knows how much this helps with scholarships but I also don't want him to overdo. Pray that we can find a balance.
Mark has seemed more stressed for a first week of school, more tired, especially considering tennis practice hasn't started yet. So I'm not sure what that is about. I guess I need to ask him, huh!
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 2:08 PM
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I actually started this post a couple weeks ago and when I was almost done, I hit some BAD key and poof, the whole thing was gone. I've was so discouraged I haven't been able to blog since. So here I am, back on the horse again.
I just wanted to share a few pictures from our trip. It was not our typical Colorado vacation. Not nearly enough isolation (overdeveloped Avon) wooded trails (covered in snow still) and streams (roaring rivers) and hiking (3 year old) for me. So we ended up paying for fun instead of just exploring. Not good for the vacation budget but still created some good memories.
This is our condo. We did end up listening to a time share presentation to get the 4 nights free in a future Sheraton stay. I would definitely not go back here unless I was skiing. It would be a great location for that.
Since we were not nestled into the side of a mountain but instead located on a busy street, the boys did way too much of this.
We went up to Beaver Creek Village where they had Blue, Brews and BBQ going on as well as the normal fair of bungee trampoline, wall climbing and putt putt which seems to be the standard fair for summer fun at a ski resort. No alpine slide though. The three oldest did the wall climb. It was actually a pretty challenging climb on the right side.
Grant stuck with the left side. They made it to the top!All four took a stab at bungee trampoline, even Micah. You can see video at the bottom of this post. Micah thought it was great. Drew had a great time while he was doing it but got very motion/altitude sick when he got off. He missed putt putt in favor of the men's room. He felt better when he got some brisket in him!
Keeping score is not even worth it when Micah is on the course. See the snow in the background!
Micah found this friend in a general store.
Grant had to conquer this river. Micah desperately wanted to try but we all knew how that would end up.
They had a tent set up with crafts for kids. Micah and Grant enjoyed that.
Micah made a mask...
...and a guitar (with which he became inseparable! Picture stepping onto an elevator and seeing a paper guitar rockin' three year old in a mask!)
Grant made a hat.
There was a great park nearby with a fishing lake and a playground. We spent quite a bit of time here, especially Micah and I.
We went to Eagle and went bowling one night. We found a coupon in one of the flyers they have around. It was a GREAT place. Drew was so wishing we had something like it in Hesston. I told him he needs to take the Entrepreneurship class before he graduates and make it his project to find out what it takes to build and run a place like this.
Micah's first bowl stopped just shy of the pins. This meant the manager had to climb down and get it. He enthusiastically offered this ramp for Micah's use! Micah loved it! And we loved it because it meant the rest of us got a turn! You can watch the other video below of his strike!
They serve our pizza on this table so we eat while we bowl. They had a great menu of pastas and salads as well. If you're curious, check out their web site.The next day Drew, Mark and Grant went to Hanging Lake. This time it was Dean who didn't feel well. It was a forty-five minute drive to get there but there really were no trails open around us. But it was worth it!
When they got back we celebrated Micah's 3rd Birthday!
Tuesday was Glenwood. Notice how few people there were. The weather was perfect. I was so sorry I didn't get a picture of Micah's tent. We set a small tent up on this hill above the pool under a tree for Micah to take his nap. Of course I had to lay down with him. It was so great. The temperature, sleeping on the side of a mountain under a tree, cuddling and reading books. A great memory.
Remember the bubble chairs? They are still there and still only 25 cents!This might be the only picture with me in it! And how lovely I look, NOT!
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 5:25 AM
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 7:03 AM
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Micah and I spent quite a bit of time outside planting flowers and putting in the last of the garden. I finally got my floor mopped and a couple phone calls made. If you looked at my house, you would wonder what I did all day because it definitely looks unattended. But it seems that even when I give it attention, it still look as though I didn't 15 minutes later, so might as well leave it as is and enjoy the sunshine, right?
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 8:21 PM
Friday, April 18, 2008
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 12:20 PM
Monday, March 3, 2008
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 7:14 PM
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
When I got home, there was not one ounce of electricity besides things that run on batteries. Ever nook and cranny and everywhere in the house was cold. Specifically upstairs. For example, I almost got frost bites up there. However my big brother lit a blazing fire that illuminated the whole basement, and in addition to the fire we lit candles to help ward off the darkness.
When I saw that blazing fire I all of a sudden felt lazy and popped into a chair faster than you can say “sweet mashed potaters.” I didn’t do anything but read until my mom came home with Braum’s, and believe it not, I scarfed that stuff so fast I rivaled a pig.
The day wound down and we played Apples to Apples by firelight. But around 7:40pm we got power. The power eliminated our need for candles. So that’s the whole story about a tiny ice storm.
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 8:16 AM
Saturday, February 23, 2008
We were eating pancakes this week and the boys were trying to get Micah to say syrup. Micah says surabup.
Drew: Micah, say syrup.
Drew: Say Sur Up.
Drew: Say sur
Drew (refusing to give up): Sur
Drew: Sur Up
Micah: Sur Up
We're finally all healthy again. Drew had his last game last night, a heartbreaker against a rival private (think recruiting) school. I said, "Don't you want to have one more game to end on a good note?" He said, "Nah, it'm ready to be done." Well he's not quite done because he's practicing with the varsity as long as they continue through sub-state/state. Tennis starts Monday (yes in the middle of winter) so he'll have no break between seasons unless the weather stays terrible or the team doesn't play like we all think they should.
Dean has been taking his bass lessons and he and some friends are trying to put their musical efforts together. Since we don't own the trap set, I haven't heard them much but the family who does own the trap set invited us over to listen so we'll have to take them up on that.
Grant has had his nose in a book continuously for the past two weeks. He's either doing that or shooting baskets, inside or out.
Micah is feeling much better and back to his old self. You start to think they are just going through terrible two-dom and they are just going to be like that for awhile. Then when they snap out of it, you realize they just probably still weren't feeling well.
Micah's new word is "darnit." I have told Dean to cut it out of his vocabulary because it sounds terrible coming out of a 2 year old's mouth. Then I caught (okay, actually Micah caught) me saying it the other day. I had to immediately say, "Oh mommy was so naughty" and apologize to Micah. Yesterday Micah was trying to do something (can't remember what) and it was difficult for him. He said, "Oh, dr... Uhhhh. Mommy, I want to say darnit! Please can I say darnit?"
Today, he was trying to get out of his carseat after returning with groceries. He got frustrated with his seat belt and said, "Oh goodness. Mommy I want to say oh goodness."
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 12:35 PM
Friday, February 8, 2008
Drew drove himself to the doctor this week. Somehow that felt like the equivalent of a first word or first step, like we crossed a giant milestone somehow. He just looks older now. He's back into the swing of basketball although he's had to miss two games with strep. It's very fun to watch he and his team play. He's having a great year on the court and off.
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 6:40 PM
Monday, January 21, 2008
Carmen: You know how there are those people who just have a way about them. They have the ability to visualize something and then create it into being with their hands; When you have a decision to make you seek their wise council; When you need something organized and planned that is who you go to to get it done right. Well, that is my sister. Man, in my eyes, she never got in trouble and was always on the side of right. I was the extreme teenager, too happy, too sad, too funny, too sensitive, too cute, too dramatic…too much! I knew me in all my “too muchness” made her feel over-shadowed and I felt judgment and disappointment from her. So I wondered, “She knows me better than anyone and she hates me. So no one could possibly really like me for who I am. They will only like me if I tone it down a notch.” In the shadow of my strengths, she felt overlooked. In the shadow of her strengths I felt misunderstood.
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 4:29 PM
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 3:56 PM
Friday, January 11, 2008
I was just challenged in a blog my sister recommended to write about a favorite Christmas tradition. I actually had already thought about doing this so that encouragement was just what I needed to finally pick up my blogging "pen" again after a too long hyatus.
Every year we do a scavenger hunt on Christmas Eve. Mark writes these clues that are so corny (terrible). Half the giggles come from us making fun of his complete inability to rhyme using real words which leads to his desperate attempts to make up words to force a rhyme. (For example, “Who knows, maybe you should look in the tub. It might be in there bub.”) Dr. Suess he ain't. Anyway, these clues send the boys all over the house and doing different tasks.
This year they had to build a miniature snowman and bring it in for hot cocoa. We always stop and play a game (our new annual favorite is Whoo-Nu). Sometimes they have to clean the house or set the table along the way depending on how much we got done in preparation for family the next day. We read or tell the Christmas story. This year, each person said one sentence. After Dean's turn, the next person would have to say, "But way before that..." and go back and fill in major parts of the story he skipped hoping he could get to his gift faster. We sing songs. This year Drew accompanied on guitar and Grant on piano. That was Micah's favorite part. We also open a special gift box (thanks Des) with different items that represent the gifts we have in Christ. We try to guess the gift. For example a toy telephone represents prayer, and then you look up the scripture to see if you’re right. Depending on when we start the hunt (which depends on what all is going on with family Christmas Eve) we may watch a movie together. (The hunt can take hours or minutes depending on the clues.) A favorite has been "A Muppet Christmas Carol" but we couldn't find it this year. So this year we watched "The Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey" on DVD. This has been a favorite Christmas story book for several years so it was great fun to watch it. At the end of the hunt, their gift is always pajamas. Then the boys open their gifts to each other. (The part Dean couldn't wait for.)
At 15, I wasn’t sure how Drew would be with the hunt this year. But much to my delight he was just as enthusiastic as always and trying to teach 2 1/2 year old Micah what the whole thing was about. Micah was pretty clueless about where everyone was running off to next. Dean, at 12, was actually the one who was acting a bit too cool for the whole thing. It made me so glad we had started this tradition when they were all young and made me wonder if the future might involve a grand scavenger hunt with grandkids! How fun!
In my blog reading leading to blog reading leading to blog reading (hmm, is there a cool cyberword for that I'm not up on? "Bleading" sounds kind of gruesome but sure fits) I found some other great traditions. One was a "Jesse Tree" which I have always been intrigued by but they looked like so much work. This one looked more doable and so meaningful.
The other idea was an envelope for each day of December hung like a garland and inside each envelope is an idea of how the family will spend some time together. I'm thinking I should do that for a year of Sundays instead of December since December is so hectic with school concerts, games, Christmas parties, etc. Or start it on the first day of Christmas break.
I also loved the idea of wrapping all the Christmas story books and having them in a basket and unwrapping one each day of December to read.
What a blessing to have a 2 year old who gives us the excuse to create some new traditions like these. Now all I have to do is remember them for the next 300 days!
Posted by Testosterone Mom at 6:04 PM