Monday, May 20, 2013

To Young Moms

To all young mothers...I remember!

I remember several years back standing in our kitchen at Teen Challenge. I had four children and the oldest was 2 1/2 years old. Two of the children had special needs. It was probably about 8:00 in the morning and I was tired and hungry. Of course, there was food in the house. I had eggs in our refrigerator, but I was too tired to make them. I distinctly remember looking out the window and wishing there was something like a food truck for mothers that would drive up and deliver scrambled eggs, bacon and a glass of orange juice to me. (By the way, I still think that is a million dollar idea. My sales pitch would be..."Up all night? Let Kathy deliver your breakfast this morning." ha ha)

I also remember wishing I could just grab my purse and the kids and go to Walmart. There was no such thing as a simple, spontaneous shopping trip. To take both of the kids who had special needs on my own, just wasn't possible.

Overwhelmed, exhausted...those were normal feelings during those years.

My husband was a hero because oftentimes, he would come home right after work, take one look at his frazzled wife and say these magic words, "Let's load up!" We would load all the kids into our van and head off to Des Moines for McDonalds, a walk around a mall, or go to Sam's Club to buy lots of cereal! Just getting out for a couple of hours was such a lifesaver for me in those days.

As the kids got a little bigger, we bought a side by side umbrella stroller. That made taking a walk a little easier. (Our twins had CP and weren't able to walk.) Whenever we would  take the kids to Mississippi to visit my parents, my dad would put our very fussy twins in the stroller and walk them up and down the driveway. They were magically quiet during those outings and would come back inside with suntanned faces. My mom would then stuff them with pudding and for an hour or so, all would be quiet. That was quite a gift to me!

I remember how hard those days were. I remember being very sick with intense morning sickness and trying to take care of the kids I already had. There would always come a point where I couldn't do it anymore and Dave's mom would come and stay a few weeks until I could get back on my feet again.

I just wanted to say to all of you young mothers that I remember. It will get easier. Things will get better. It won't always be this hard.

Ask a friend to come and play with the kids while you take a shower. My friend, Nancy, would walk over from the ministry building where we lived, and sit in the livingroom with all the kids just so I could have 5 or 10 minutes to take a shower. She also gave up her lunch hour to sit with the kids once a week so that I could drive to Newton and go to Walmart. Sometimes I would take a couple of the kids with me and sometimes I would go alone.

We started putting the kids to bed early. That way we were able to have 1 or 2 hours to watch a movie or just talk.

One of our kids had severe health issues, so taking a trip away wasn't an option for us, but little things like taking a walk or having my husband take the kids for a walk so I could be alone in the house (!) meant so much. When I did feel comfortable leaving for awhile, I left a long list for the babysitter. I was and am very OCD, so I actually left detailed steps on how to do CPR. I laugh about that now, but I wasn't taking any chances! It's a wonder that I didn't demand references.

It won't always be this hard and believe it or not, you will look back on these days with fondness. You are doing a great job at something that isn't easy. You are investing your time and love into little ones that will remember that you read books to them, made them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and watched them splash in kiddy pools.

I remember and I want you to know that it will all be worth it!

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

15 Random Things About Me

Here is a list in no particular order that you might like to know about me (or not). Here we go!

1. I watch Arthur, Good Luck Charlie, and Austin and Ally even when there are no kids in the room or I happen to be alone in the house.

2. I love fried okra. It is my all time favorite food. I will even eat it boiled. But fried okra is one of my heart's true loves.

3. Sonic is another love. Do you have a Sonic drive- in where you live? You have to try a cherry coke there or a cherry limeade. I love pulling in and ordering food. It's kind of a miracle. You sit in your car and they bring you food.

4. I had my first child at age 28 and my last child at age 42. I actually had my first three kids in one year. My first was born in February of 1991 and 9 months later our twins were born prematurely in November. I don't recommend doing it that way.

5. My favorite comedy movie is Father of the Bride with Steve Martin. . My favorite dramatic movie is Slumdog Millionaire. God spoke to me during that movie. It changed my life. I will blog about that again soon.

6.I have shaken hands with two Presidents - President Clinton and President Bush. Well, actually, I think President Clinton shook my little boy's hand who I was holding at the time. He may or may not have shaken mine. I was a little flustered.  I have a family photo taken with President Bush sitting in my husband's office.

7. I grew up in church, but sincerely gave my heart to the Lord when I was 19 years old.

8. I met my husband at a Bible college in Louisiana. We have been married for 24 years and he has been a pastor for 11 years. God spoke to my heart when I was 21 years old that I would meet my husband at Bible college and that is exactly what happened.

9. We lived and worked at Teen Challenge for 14 years.It is a ministry that helps people with addictions such as drugs and alcohol. My husband graduated from the Teen Challenge program when he was 19.

10. I really miss Jon and Kate Plus 8. I still watch their old dvd episodes. Wouldn't it be great if they could forgive one another and get back together? I always pray for happy endings. It could happen.

11. I also watch 19 Kids and Counting. Michelle Duggar fascinates me. I love to watch how she takes care of her family. I love their message that each child is valuable, no matter how many you have.

12. I started out as an English major in college but switched to Elementary Education. I taught 2nd grade.

13. My brother is a police officer.

14. I have never parachuted from a plane and have no plans to do so.

15.I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday. I don't even know exactly why. But I truly love it!

Well, there you go. I have probably left out many interesting tidbits that I will remember at 3 am tomorrow morning. Maybe another time and another blog:) Have a blessed and happy day!

Grace at Home
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