‘Tiz the season.

Just wanted to give a little shout out to all the parents doing the running around. I always think fall (football season) is the busiest season but really when it comes to time away from home and nights that we aren’t able to eat dinner around our table spring is so incredibly overwhelming. So I am tipping my lopsided hat at all you people making the practices to all the places, games in different towns, track meets 🙀(need I say more), meets, matches, tournaments, jobs, dance, gymnastics, try outs, church meetings and an even tippier of hats to those that do it with toddlers or baby’s in tow! It’s a wonder that our cars don’t fall apart or our diets don’t go down the drain (really, who diets in the spring 🤷🏽‍♀️)?!

Also, if you aren’t in this busy season of life because your kids aren’t there yet or have out grown it…remember to be kind. If you can, lend a hand. If you’re a seasoned pro, give advice! I know I’m always wanting advice from people doing life a step ahead of me.

Friends, if you are down and out and just in survival mode remember that chicken nuggets, no naps, no baths and no patience works fine too. You can be the Pinterest mom tomorrow.

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Parenting blogs are for the birds. Here’s another.

You’ve seen them all right? There is a parenting blog for every topic under the sun: Spank, don’t spank, yell, don’t yell, make your kid do chores, drink wine, don’t drink wine, read a book, don’t play on tablets or phones. It’s almost mind numbing how much “advice” there is on the web. So I would like to throw my hat out there…here are a few guiding principles and hopefully some links (that’ll hopefully work) that we use. Let me preface all of this by saying:

“If you are doing it in love, it is probably right.”

We are not our parents or grandparents generation. If you’re like me we are some weird hybrid of knowing life before it got all tech-y yet we can still learn new things when they come out every week. Our parents made us play outside constantly and didn’t worry about anything yet now we KNOW we can’t really do a lot of free-range parenting because let’s be honest. People suck.

So even though this is kind of like a list of things to do, I want you to read it more like: “here is how we do life, lets use what works and think they’re crazy on the ones that don’t.”

Chandler Principles:

  1. Use the bible as your guidebook. For discipline, for love, for everything. Read bible stories to your kids. We do this every night. Ben reads three bible stories then I put them to sleep with an extremely long prayer. It’s strategic but I think of it like this, do you mind when the kids fall asleep on you? Then I bet God doesn’t mind them falling asleep when I pray. YouVersion has an amazing bible app when plenty of “plans” for kids. Bible App
  2. We listen to a guy named Kirk Martin. He’s called the calm guy. It’s pretty straight forward, you have to be calm to be a good parent. If you are doing ANYTHING out of anger or stress then you aren’t doing it well. Let’s be honest, kids can suck too. So this guy lays it out on how to manage yourselves before you manage those pesky cutie pies. I’m linking to his podcasts because I listen to a lot of podcasts. Calm Guy Podcast.
  3. Don’t drink…I get all the fun memes about mom’s needing to have time to sit back and drink wine because they’re stressed but when does that become a problem? For me, it came when I was a wee-bit mean to Ben (who I adore) after a couple of glasses. Didn’t take much and all the emotions I had that day came spilling out. Booze + Hormones = a big ole mess that I had to apologize for. And that’s not my favorite. Listen, it’s like everything else in life…it’s a fine line. If you can do it and it’s not a thing and you aren’t using it as a crutch for your life then by all means I’m not going to judge anyone (really I don’t) because we all have our things. All I’m saying is give it a try, the whole not depending on a substance thing. And it’s zero calories.
  4. If you did number two and listened to Kirk you’ll already know that you have to work on yourself first. Second, make sure your marriage is golden. We have communication issues so we have to do a lot of backtracking when it comes to stuff, maybe since we know we have communication issues that will eventually correct itself…one can dream. Anyway I really value what the bible says about marriage and a good one to listen to is Marriage Today
  5. We don’t say, I can’t. Unless it’s I can’t get up today because I’m so tired…but only I can use that one.
  6. Our kids do chores. They don’t get paid to do those chores. There is no negotiating, bartering or trading off. Everyone has a job and a part of being a team is doing your assigned task.
  7. We don’t do games on week days regardless of anything. It’s raining? So what, read a book. You’re sick and at home, hope you like the VHS tapes in your quarantine time. You made all A’s? You’re welcome, I made that brain in my tummy.
  8. I don’t treat my kids the same. Yep, I said it. I’m not going to even pretend that I even like them the same. My eleven year old boy talking about smells and hairs is not going to get the same awws that my two year old gets when he says a word funny. You know what? I love them both so much, just not the same. And I tell them that. I also tell them that Ben will always be tops in my book, then them. My job as a parent is to raise them up and send them off to be good wives and husbands and all the amazing things they’ll be but living in my home forever, they won’t. But Ben will. And I’m excited about that day. I’m also excited about being a grandparent and more of a friend to my kids than I am now.
  9. BECAUSE You are the parent, not a friend. You’ll never convince me that that’s a good thing to be to your truly immature kid or teenager. Because even if they’re “mature” by some standards they’re still kids, and that’s okay. Be the mean parent until you can be the nice one 🙂
  10. We go to bed early. For us, not them. Our nighttime routine starts around 7:30 with baths…usually we are done with everything by 8 or 8:30. They get all the sleep we get time to finish the stuffs and then talk or zone out. It’s really nice.

Anyway, this list is not definitive or even comprehensive but it is a lot of what we do…and sometimes we do fine. Sometimes we do not. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things and different techniques with your kids. If you are reading a parenting blog or listening to a podcast about it then you’re probably doing better than 80% of parents out there, let’s be honest. So pat yourself on the back when no one is looking.

We have a strong-willed one who sometimes requires a whole lesson on childhood development and you need a doctorate to get through to her/him (I’m not naming names, but I bet you know already). If you have some ideas that we could implement comment me down there somewhere.

 

Side note: Today is my last baby’s second birthday. He’s really the cutest thing.

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For my Yoga lovers.

New house, Farmhouse?

This past weekend my lovely friends Amy & Sandy along with my beautiful sister, mom, aunt and cousin threw us a House Warming Party. I’ve never been to a housewarming so I wasn’t sure what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of love and gifts that we received. I couldn’t believe how much sweet stuff we got! Most of the items came from our local stores: The Farmhouse Downtown and Hardman Interiors. You should check them out if you’re ever in Arkadelphia.

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My friend Sandy made the Chandler pic.

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My friend Ashley got us the “Where two or three Gather” and Ben bought the paper reminder roll, super cute!

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My sister got us the mirror and maybe the pic too, I can’t remember

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Some of the loot!

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Wrapped gifts for the win!

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All Farmhouse stuff 🙂

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I just love the colors of the kitchen towels.

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Swan Creek Candles are the bizness

The best part about all of this is that we OWN (well the bank does for 30 years) our home. We have spent the better part of three years praying for a new home! After several failed attempts we were able to purchase this house with help from Southern Bancorp. If you are tired of paying rent you need to look into your options of buying a home. This sucker was made for a family with a ton of kids. I’ll do a tour of the house another day 🙂

 

Check out this link (I hope it works) They have yoga mats, which I have to use since we don’t have carpet downstairs! Gaiam Yoga Mats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing a blog.

Today I took a big step…I connected my blog to my facebook.

I’ve had people tell me for years that I needed to have my own blog, not that I’m some kind of amazing writer but mostly because when I do FB posts they seem like blog post. Funnily enough I’ve had this blog page for a while and post here and there but now I’m turning away from posting to FB and posting here. It can be my open and honest journal entry and scrapbook maker 🙂

Let me know if you like this site and if you have any recommendations on how to make it easier to access or view.

For funsies here is a picture of something:

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Because a baby with a Tupperware on his head never gets old.

Thinking backwards.

Last night I was having a deep conversation with my oldest son about love languages and how as a mom I have to parent my kids differently because they feel love differently. If you don’t know about love languages here is a link for more info: Love Languages  As we are talking I had a thought that I have never thought about before. It may be old hat to you, but it was/IS new to me. I know that my love language is Acts of Service but I have only ever thought about it in the positive…my self-realization is: What about the negative?

As I put the kids to bed with prayer I go downstairs and clean the kitchen, make lunches, clean up the living room, finish up any laundry, pick up whatever toy has made its way downstairs, wipe off SOMETHING BECAUSE SOMETHING IS ALWAYS STICKY and then I can finish up my hot tea, shower, eat a nutty buddy, watch Roseanne and go to bed. But all that stuff up there at the top of this paragraph makes me bitter. I don’t want to do any of it. So that’s where the negative of the ‘acts of service’ love language comes in.

Where I feel love when someone is helping me or doing it without me telling them too…I also feel unloved when those things don’t happen. Sure it’s an annoyance that I have to do it (again) all by myself but for some reason I take it as a personal hit. I’m not certain that I like that about myself, actually I’m pretty certain that I don’t like that about myself.

So to negate these feelings I’ve been reading the Bible, doing bible plans and praying. I’ve come to realize that I’m allowing others to have control over my emotions. <–This is a big deal. I’m reacting. Ugh…it’s so unreal that I have to run through these things about once or fifteen times a year.

The thinking backwards was just my way of expressing that it is great to know your love language…it’s also good to know that when that language hasn’t been spoken to you that it can hurt, and that’s okay…but you can’t let it define you or dampen your spirit. Image-1

 

Life Right Now.

There are times when I wonder about myself. I can see the growth in our family and I can see the growth in me. Several years ago I started doing a “word of the year” instead of New Year’s Resolutions. Growth was one and this year it is More. Since I had a miscarriage in 2015 it has felt like every year has been the hardest year. I’m thankful for my growth from 2015 to where I am now.

That miscarriage sat me down and said, you are not alone. It brought my husband and I closer after we had a huge fight when I actually said the words, “this is harder for me then it is for you!” It was ugly. I realized how small my worldview was. We were both hurting but I was focusing on me. I was able to grow from that moment on. I got pregnant again in that year.

In 2016 we had our baby boy. Then he got sick. Twice. The big sicks where you end up in the NICU or Isolation or PICU. When the NYE bell rang I cried because I was so thankful it was over. My husband helps me more than I realize at the moment…it’s always looking back that I realize how he is more than a husband, he’s my team captain (this works in our sports-centered world) or my partner, or sometimes co-conspirator. Where I just saw the “sicks” he saw the blessings of him being healed. I think as mother’s we see those things, eventually, but in the moment it is so easy to focus on those negatives. 2016 was also a terrible football season, for those that may laugh that that’s important, it’s important when your husband’s livelihood ($$) is dependent on a bunch of teenage boys being focused on a Friday night.  It makes me laugh too. Looking back, it really wasn’t the season or the games or the players…it was the parents. It was a life lesson that I will take with me on how not to act. But those parent’s “graduated” too.

Now 2017 was a different beast. I’ll say that I dealt a little better with the coaches being gone a lot. Maybe I got used to it, maybe my growth helped me. By the way, growth was my word in 2015, ’16 and ’17. I’m a creature of habit I guess. The Badgers did really well, as well as they could really, they won State. The parents were awesome. Our family though, was a little bit different. In November Ben’s older brother was in a plane crash. He tore up his foot bad enough they weren’t sure if it would ever be the same, Ben’s younger brother (who is autistic) had an incident with his heart that landed him in the hospital and then home with a heart monitor but we were able to go out there around Christmas so we could see everyone and it was alright.

2018 word is More. I changed it up…let’s see how it holds. I want to be more this year. More Jesus-filled, more of a wife, more a mother, more of a friend, more of a sister, more of a reader, writer, exerciser, all of it. Right now life seems to be more valley-ish because Ben’s dad was in a car accident that broke his back, we are looking to buy a house (which is not a fun process), we are dealing with family legal stuff, our friends are dealing with legal stuff, people are sick, people have cancer.  But through it all my help comes from The Lord and I am so thankful I have that hope.

My daughter and I have been talking about diamonds a lot lately…how they aren’t pretty when they come out of the earth. It’s not until they have been pressured, refined, torched, sanded and then finally polished are they as beautiful as the stars in the sky and fit to line the walls of Heaven. So we are understanding that to be a diamond you have to go through all those things too.

Thoughts from a Coach’s wife after a State Championship.

A few thoughts from our winning weekend:
1. I feel like I’m giving away a state secret but here goes…. This year I never once prayed that God would allow the Badgers to win. I prayed for good health, safe travels (Ben drives one of the buses), confidence and for them always to play ‘their’ best and with integrity. The last three minutes of Saturday’s game I also prayed for supernatural strength….I’ll let you ponder on that one.
2. My brother-in-law Josiah or (Uncle Joe Joe) flew in on Friday night with Ben’s dad Robert. He had just been in North Dakota two weeks earlier because Ben’s older brother had been in a plane crash (he’s doing okay). So he’s been a jet-setter and he did so wonderful Saturday. Joe is better than us because he deals with life a little differently and he is doing just fine.
3. I’m thankful for the head coach we have. I don’t know if, before this weekend, most of the town knew how Godly JR is, but not only is he a man of God he is also well read. One of the things he reads is called the AAA rule book.
4. My husband is the linebackers position coach & special teams coordinator. Need I say more? Those kids are the bizness.
5. Not only did this game bring back old Badgers from ages ago it also brought in new Badger fans…including family we have in California, Texas and North Dakota. I think that is so neat that we had people cheering us on from all over the country. I have a feeling if Randle Thomasson had internet wherever he is in the world he’d have watched it too. Also, Ben’s mom watched the game in the airport in Denver!!
6. I’m thankful for Mark Burnham letting Joe Joe hang out with him Saturday during the game. He didn’t have to do that but that family has been incredibly supportive to our family the last three years.
7. My mom and sister have never been into sports but you know what…they’re super supportive and have been here to help me since the playoffs started. They carried my “side of beef” son all around that stadium and press-box Saturday. I couldn’t have gotten in nearly as many prayers if I was watching him!
8. I’m thankful for Robert Chandler’s coat. I sobbed on that sucker and it absorbed all my tears and makeup.
9. I’m thankful for every text, call or FB message I’ve gotten since Saturday. I literally had no bearing on the game but it’s still cool that people say nice things 🙂
10. We went to church on Sunday and our youth led the worship and I cried like a baby, again. There is something so special about kids worshiping The Lord.
11. I’m thankful for The Carozza’s spaghetti dinners. No cooking for us after church.
12. I’m thankful for Ginger and her family. Bobby Turner was loved, you could tell.
13. I know I’ve said it plenty but this group of Badger kids will always go down as one of the most talented group of players…Well one night earlier in the season I asked the kids what their grades were and how they were doing and one of them sheepishly told me his GPA was the lowest…it was a 3.6 or something crazy. So they have to be one of the smartest too!
14. I’m proud to call Arkadelphia home. The Badger fans really stepped up. I’m sure the attendance level was high but so was the energy. Such an exciting day! #Badgerfam is a thing for a reason.
15. I’m thankful for THE COACHES WIVES! We get our husbands (and the kids get their dad’s) back (for like a week)!
Okay I think I’ve rambled enough. Also, I could probably have a list this long of people we should thank who have supported us this year especially while I had surgery THE WEEK OF PLAYOFFS (whoops)! I also want to thank everyone for words of encouragement when the Badgers hadn’t won the State Championship…sometimes being close to it can be tough, but not as bad when you know you have people in your corner.

Side note: I do these little spiels mainly because my memory is terrible and I like seeing these pop up year after year.

Covered in Grace.

First I would like to say that I am so blessed to be married to Ben. Sometimes I feel like our marriage has been doubly blessed because of all the stuff that we went through early (and even before) in our marriage. Then things like last night happened:

We literally got in a fight over a word.

How does that even happen? I’m still kind of wrapping my head around it, we are fine today of course, no hard feelings. But thinking back on it, how does a couple fight over a word? Well, it is because that word is not a nice word, to me. Yet, it isn’t to him. As much as I don’t like to fight over anything, let alone small things, it was an interesting way to get things out there and allow us to communicate about it. Now he knows where I stand on it and I know why he does what he does.

So my point, it’s okay to fight over words or whatever is ridiculous in your marriage because it can open a line of communication that wasn’t there before. You just have to learn what being angry without sinning means (Ephesians 4:26).

 

My #MeToo

Well let me start with this: I was sexually abused as a child. There I said it or at least wrote it. I’ve only said it a few times and I’m (very) old (feeling).

When this hashtag movement started it gave me, what I would consider, a PTSD kind of feeling. I don’t mean to downplay PTSD and I don’t pretend to “have” it like a Veteran does, but I started having flashbacks to things that I have consciously tried to not think about for about 28 years and I was having physiological responses. My stomach hurt, I was sweating, my head hurt etc. I didn’t and still do not want to talk about it or think about it. This movement kind of sucks, right? Have you seen all of the #MeToo’s? I have.

But let’s get to the point of this post. I had to write about it and I have to talk about it. I have kids. I have to tell them that no one can touch them or hurt them. And if someone did, then they have an open door to tell me about it and that there is no shame. That if something like that ever happened to them it is not their fault. The actions of the aggressor was/were/is plain evil. They know about evil, they see it. I had this talk with my daughter and her eyes welled up with tears thinking about me being a little four year old girl getting hurt, it was sad and it hurt me to have to say it out loud, but now she knows that it can happen but it doesn’t have to be a secret for 28 years and it doesn’t have to happen to her because we talked about keeping ourselves safe.

Back to #Metoo, I don’t know why this one guy in Hollyweird (H.W.) was allowed to hurt so many people. Then again, I never told anyone and I was four. When my kids were four they talked so much I couldn’t get them to stop to eat or sleep….and I kept my little innocent mouth shut. I just recently even told my mom. I think The Lord knew it was time, that I was ready. I am thankful that I am ready, it only took about three decades…some of use mature faster than others.

When I told my mom who it was she knew him. I don’t know his name and I would like to keep it that way. I think I am blessed (in several ways) because he wasn’t a family member, he was a neighbor of my grandma. My mom also told me that he was a “junkie” and that he died a few years ago. Again, I feel like that is a blessing because I have this weird thing with integrity and character I would have needed to confront him and pray with him and then probably kick him. Or worse, let’s be honest. I pray that he didn’t hurt anyone else all those years ago. My mind thinks, maybe he died young wouldn’t that be great…but that just seems wrong too.

So to wrap it up, when you see the #MeToo posts don’t do what I did, don’t dismiss them, think they should’ve named their attacker, or think they’re out for attention. Because if this garners any attention it isn’t the kind that I want. Also, have the talk with your kids, girls and boys. My friend Christa runs a child safety center in my hometown and she has some resources available to have this hard talk with kids (click on talk and it will take you to their site). And if you are like me and started having PTSD-like feelings, it really does help to talk (or write) about it. Now is the time, I think.

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Getting It.

What do you know about people “getting it?” And when I say “people” here I’m even talking about the folks right around you, who know you well. Sometimes it feels like I am in a well of despair but instead of concrete walls going up it’s lined with kids, footballs, flags, black & white shirts, bills, money (floating away), places I am supposed to be, stinky laundry, clean (laying on a couch) laundry, fast food, gas stations, dirty cars…

I have had it today. I need to get FIVE kids picked up. I’m totally great with adding kids to our brood, especially this one because he is an awesome mannered fella, but I’ll tell ya, the thought of driving forEVER to get everyone before the places close is giving me anxiety. The real kind, where you feel it in your fingertips. It is making me frustrated, also, that I have to do it. Every day. Where in the world does it say the mom is the only person responsible for all the things?

Okay, rant over. FOR NOW. *insert maniacal cackle*