Monday, November 23, 2009

The Invisible Woman

A couple of years ago, I received an email titled "The Invisible Woman". I was very moved by it because I can have some of "those" days and I certainly knew many individuals, men and women, who have had "those" days. I have since read the book that Nicole Johnson wrote, given away copies of it and named this blog in its honor. Today, I received an email with this video...I had no idea a video existed! So I share it with you here (A big thank you to my BFF for sending it along to me!).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Family Portrait?

I was recently inspired by another blog I visit periodically to build a family portrait using the kids toys. But, I was going to let the kids each build one. I really couldn't wait to see their perspective. I first tried to get the four-year-old to do was the wrong time of day (late afternoon) and she was not in the mood to play along with anyone else's idea (if you get my drift). So, I moved on to the nine-year-old. I told her that she could use any toy they had to represent each member of the family...could a mixture of stuffed animals and action figures...whatever...just go pick a toy that represents each of us.

She really wasn't gone for very long. I don't know if it was just that easy or if she was just grabbing the first thing that she came across to satisfy her mom's request. She provided the following portrait.

I asked her to explain who was who. Well, the lion was her dad because he is king of the house and family. The pretty kitty was her mom (that would be me!). She chose an elephant for her big sister because elephants are one of her favorite animals. She chose a cheetah for herself because they are lean and she likes them. And then...for the four-year-old...she chose an ugly dinosaur. Hmmm...interesting...

Next, I give the same assignment to the eleven-year-old. She returns with five Pokemon cards (she's a huge fan). As she described why she picked particular Pokemon to represent her dad, myself, herself and her nine-year-old sister, I could really tell she considered how each one looked or their particular strengths. But then we go to the one she chose for the four-year-old. When she showed it to me, I asked why she had chosen that one to represent the youngest in our family. Her reply..."Just look at it."

And given my exchange with the youngest daughter over this particular project, I really struggled to make a compelling case as to why representing her with ugly dinosaurs and Pokemon with "Scary Face" powers wasn't appropriate.

So, this exercise did not turn out as cute as I thought it would. But, due to a recurring perception, I think I have a client for my PR work.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kid Art

I love a child's perspective. When my daughter created this piece, she asked me if I knew what it was. I did not. But when she told me that it was the neighbor's all became so clear.

Created by the nine-year-old in November 2009 using paint.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Favorite Invention Friday!!!

I know...I know...they are not the most attractive piece of furniture ever created. But this week, I had one of those moments where I was thankful for our...recliner. You see, when we were expecting our first child and building a new home twelve years ago, I placed the request for something big and comfy...that rocks and reclines. Well, there is not a lot of trendy furniture that does those things...and I was already lulled into accepting unattractive things after wearing maternity clothing for several we bought a recliner. And I loved it!! I can't count the number of evenings that I rocked one of my baby girls, humming that one song that was special between her and I (there was a different song for each one). Or the afternoons, napping with an infant, the best blanket in the world according to my husband, laying on top of my chest. I remember watching the Canadian Olympic team from that chair quite a bit during the 1998 Olympics because only a Canadian channel, in our basic cable package, was carrying the winter Olympics in the middle of the night. And I have numerous pictures of the girls sitting together in that chair with their dad (they were usually sleeping).

I was reminded this week of all these special memories when my four-year-old joined me in the chair for some morning storytime. I loved the big armrests that could hold us both cozily. I loved kicking our feet up on the foot thingie and covering up together with a blanket. If I had gone with an old fashioned rocking chair or one of those gliders twelve years ago...we would not still be sharing that chair and those moments. It dawned on me while I was sitting there, that it won't be long before I won't be able to enjoy that chair with her anymore. My firstborn is way too big to join me...the nine-year-old might but would have to pull all of her limbs in tight, insuring she won't last long. So, I will savor it while it lasts.

And if you are an expectant mom, I encourage you to duck the allure of style and flair when looking for that special chair to rock in with your baby...instead go with the ol' recliner because I bet it will allow for a lot more memorable moments that go beyond those first few months.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Favorite Invention Friday!!!

With a vote on Nancy Pelosi's healthcare bill tomorrow, I must reach back into the archive to celebrate my cell phone, it's QWERTY kepboard and texting technology. In a matter of 15 minutes I was able to send out dozens of messages encouraging friends, family and acquaintances to call their elected representatives in DC to express their opinion on the legislation. Love it! For the previous celebration of this convenience in my life, click here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

If God Is In It

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. While it may not sound sexy to the modern world, I realize it is the single most important thing that I could and should be doing right now. After an engineering career in the automotive and service industries, I can assure you that I know that when I approach the end of my life I will not be wishing I had achieved a higher level of reliability on an assembly machine or reduced turnover in a client's plant by 10%. I will be thankful for the time with my kids and for the opportunity to make my home a haven for my husband.

That being said...there are moments in the day-to-day life of a person where you can wonder if what you are doing is really important. Your feelings can be hurt because of appreciation not shown in the manner you prefer. Now, I realize that these thoughts are not confined to home duties...plenty of people feel this way at their desk, machine and cash register today. Sometimes its easier to hide those thoughts, though, behind a title and the perceived status it imparts.

This morning, at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), we sang a hymn that was new to me. The title is "Little Is Much If God Is In It". I loved it! It made me think of so many people that may feel like they are not doing anything important...that may get dragged down by the minutia...including me. But...if you put God into it...praying that He uses your hands and feet for His glory...whether it's wiping little runny noses...driving teenagers to the Hamburger Helper again...going to a job that you don't care will find that the little does mean much. It means much to others and it means much to God. Remember...real JOY comes from serving Jesus, others and yourself in that order. When you don't want to do something for it for the Son of God who fulfilled your biggest obligation.

I also recommend that you notice and show appreciation for those in your life that do the "little". Let them know that you are grateful for what they do for you at home. Thank your waitress who is struggling to get to the end of the long day. Thank your spouse who leaves the home to provide for the family. Be nice to the cashier and the bank teller. Anybody can be grumpy and difficult to deal with...but anybody can be pleasant and easy to work with too.

To listen to the hymn "Little Is Much If God Is In It" by Kittie L. Suffield, go here.