Search results for ‘16 ways to keep my 16 year old’
55 Little Things That 2012 Taught Me
Who knew that a speedy little year could teach big and little lessons along the way? Actually, I did… and I learned a lot. Some lessons were new, some just reminders, some I’m glad I learned, some not so glad, some were so bad that I still can taste it (That’d be number 1 on the list), some were bittersweet and some just plain fun…55 things… That is more than one a week for all of you non-math people. Here we go….
6. We are never guaranteed our next breath.
15. Having no car payments…. nice ….having to start the car by lifting the hood and plugging up the battery…. not so nice..
18. Not everyone will reciprocate or maybe even acknowledge your kindness, generosity, care, concern, friendship or love….. it’s okay… just love ’em anyway.
21. Low carb food, like my low carb pancakes, can really taste good…..and that’s not even comparing it to out of date crackers.
24. Finding wild baby animals makes you want to keep them, but they have more chance of survival if you leave them alone….Okay, we didn’t find the monkey but he was just too cute to not include.
28. Grace exemplified is amazing to see, be a part of, experience, receive and feel. It is also amazing to see a loved ones life changed because of it.
37. Surprising co-workers with their favorite something, going to support them away from work, laughing together, praying together and liking each other is not necessarily the norm, even in churches. I love and am proud of my co-workers…They may as well be family… Actually, they pretty much are.
38. Not all American Flags are made in America…
46. I do NOT like politics, political commercials or political party talk… ever… but especially not during election year. I research on a my own and yes, I voted.
47. It becomes overwhelming when I think about children and how many of them, the same ages as my daughters, that are being lured, captured,s old into the Human Trafficking industry… It is a huge worldwide problem and there are ways to help just as we did by purchasing pumpkins where proceeds go to help girls at risk right here in our own state.
48. Traditions change, people change, plans change, scenery changes…nothing lasts forever, not even Hostess but Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
53. Bacon is the new Salsa… or maybe the new Chocolate… it’s everywhere.
Conversations… The Epiphany Factor
I’m not sure if it is my age, my stress level or just the way I’m wired, but I’ve taken notice of something lately that shoots my conversations to a whole new level. One might call it the lack of common sense, but I just call it the “epiphany factor” which is triggered by the “oh” gene. You know what I’m talking about; a time during a conversation, when you begin to see things differently or when someone explains something to you and you finally “get it” ….even if it is a conversation of useless knowledge or trivial chat… that moment is the “epiphany factor”. You tend to see them on sitcoms quite a bit, but at our house in 2011, I have been keeping notes of them for a time such as this.
As far as the reasoning for why these conversations are happening and since I seem to be claiming this “oh” gene (which, by the way, lies dormant in my parents), I’m beginning to believe that I’m wired that way. I’m not just thinking this because my husband has been trying to tell me this for years, but because I am seeing it in my children more and more and that helps establish the theory that it may just be a wiring issue with me… yep, born that way.
Here are a few of many examples of what I mean…. these conversations include my 16-year-old (Allison), my 18-year-old (Catie) sometimes my 9-year-old, my husband (Chris) and me….
Allison: So are Vera Bradley and Vera Wang related?
Me: How does that even make sense? They just have the same first name.
Allison: I know… Are they related?
Me: ?? (silence)
Catie: So, are they related?
Chris: Yes girls, they are sisters!
Allison and Catie: Oh…
Conversation in the car in the dark:
Allison: Mom, are my contacts in?
Me: Allison, how on earth am I supposed to know?
Allison: What?? I thought you said the eye place called you and said they were in.
Me: (short pause) Ohhh, I thought you meant in your eyes.
Chris: Oh, brother
Conversation in the car-
Allison:(who was sitting behind me) Mom, I just sent you a picture.
Me: Okay, text or email?
Allison: Text. Did you get it?
Allison: I sent it. Now did you get it?
Me: No, Allison.
A few minutes later…
Allison: Did you get it, mom?
After a few more minutes of the same dialogue….
Chris: Wouldn’t it have been easier for you to just hand your phone to mom and let her see the picture?
Me and Allison: Oh…
Conversation after taking photos of my daughter who was climbing out of a tree….
Allison: Mom, help me
Me: You’ve got it… Come on down
Allison: I’m scared. I’m afraid I’m going to break something.
Me: You’re not going to break anything. This tree is strong and sturdy …. You couldn’t break it even if you wanted to
Allison: I’m talking about me, Mom! I’m afraid I’ll break my arm or leg!
Regarding a glitch in our van’s brake lights, to stop concern about the battery dying, Chris and I decided to trade cars for the day. Our phone call:
Chris: Hey, I’m not going to trade cars now. I put a band aid on it so it is temporarily fixed… at least until I can get home tonight.
Me: Wow, that is hilarious
Chris: What is?
Me: That is so funny, kind of ironic, that you used a band-aid to fix it.
Chris:(with laughter) I didn’t use a real band-aid. It was a figure of speech
This genetic flaw seems to have been passed down to my poor children and unfortunately, the “voice of reason” gene that their father so perfectly owns, lies dormant or at least will be a late blooming gene. I hope they are late bloomers because I will have to say that the wisdom of the “Oh” gene is about a 1 on a scale 1-10 while the “voice of reason” ranks way up there with a 9.9-10…. It just comes in so handy… and it has saved our family embarrassment over and over. (Well, not counting that I’ve just now posted our conversations for the world to read.)
But you know, so often my conversations with God are also laced with the Epiphany Factor. Common sense can’t always play a role in conversations with God because he is so much bigger than that, but I do tend to forget so much when I talk to him. I forget to be quiet. I forget to get rid of barriers between us. I forget that when he makes a promise he keeps it. I forget that he loves me., etc. Many times God has to jump in and, either through his word or his people, stop me and be a voice of reason.
In the Book of Job, Elihu, to a certain degree, was like that; the voice of reason. After listening to Job and his friends, Elihu spoke some things that he felt needed to be said. Job was wondering why God wasn’t filling him in on the reasoning of why he had to endure his suffering and wondered why God was being to quiet. Elihu piped in and stated that God was indeed speaking ….. he was pretty much always speaking but Job wasn’t prepared to listen.
Now, we know that Job had been listening and that God doesn’t always answer our prayers in a way we can understand. He is not always going to tell us why we have to deal with things certain things or go through certain experiences, so Elihu wasn’t completely correct there. He did say, however, that God does speak to us in many ways, we just have to not try to put words in his mouth. He uses things to get our attention and sometimes we don’t understand what he’s trying to get from us because of our pride…. we can’t make out what God wants because we are caught up in our suffering.
I find myself in that same situation so many more times than I like to admit… even though what I experience may not be as great of a suffering as what Job went through, I will often find myself so caught up in my own suffering or uncomfortableness that I can’t hear why God is allowing me to go through it. When I finally let go of myself and allow God to be there, he may not show me exactly why I have to experience what I do, but he at least is there to be a compassionate, protecting, listening and mighty friend who comforts me and provides a peace that I can only get through him. Job’s epiphany factor came a few chapters later when he realized that God’s ways are best…. when I remind myself of that I so often will be given the “voice of reason” and a brand new outlook.
I’m not sure what you may be dealing with today but should you be in a place where God seems quiet or distant, a great start may be not asking why but by asking for his help in taking the focus off of your suffering and allowing him to consume it. I may provide a peace like you’ve never known.
13 So why are you bringing a charge against him?
Why say he does not respond to people’s complaints?
14 For God speaks again and again,
though people do not recognize it.
Four Hundred Children and a Crop of Oatmeal… and Other Misunderstandings
It is amazing how little misunderstandings can cause such an uproar…
You know, things like-
- Saying the word “Crab!” as innocent verbiage for frustration and your mother thinks that you said, “Crap!” and because that is a bad word in your house you get punished (apparently I am still struggling with that one from my younger years and am still very thankful I didn’t say “Ship”)
- Not realizing that staying in the yard meant you couldn’t include the whole 200+ acres of farm it was connected to…
- Being in a room that was being vandalized by a food fight and you watched but didn’t participate and the teacher walked in only to take names and report everyone to the principal… (sweaty palms, heart racing fast, stomach in throat… are you feeling it with me here?)
- Racing to get a sick child for a single mom friend who has you as an emergency pick up person on the school list only to run a yellow light which turned red before your back tires left the white line and a policeman just happens to be right there waiting …
- Hearing your 4-year-old singing a song, “Satan Love….. whoa, whoa….Satan Love”… and only after freaking out and tracing your steps to find out where you were failing as a parent, finding out that she was only singing “Tainted Love”
Or maybe little misunderstandings like-
- Your dog barking at night and you think he needs to go out and you get angry only to find out the next morning that he was barking at the bad guys who broke into your car
- (Before the wonderful invention of iTunes and the internet) staying up for 24 hours straight playing cards and listening to the radio so you can share a song that you love with a friend because she has never heard it …giving up and exhausted … heading for bed and hearing your friend sing the song in the hallway…. just singing the wrong lyrics …and thought it was a totally different title..I’ve been known to sing a few wrong lyrics myself (four hundred children and a crop of oatmeal… you picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille) so that one ended with a good laugh.
Or maybe those misunderstandings that are better left to be misunderstood, like…..
- Hearing your 4-year-old sing, “Life is good… Tie it like a sweater (eternal life is better)” and letting her continue because it is so cute…
- Going ahead and eating the profits for the fundraiser sales and just giving the candy bar to that senior adult who thanked you for the nice gift
- After the third time trying to pronounce your last name, finally just letting the other person spell it Paul instead of Hall (it happens so much more than you know)
Being misunderstood stinks… oh, I guess there are times that you might be thankful that you were misunderstood, but for the most part, it stinks. Jumping to conclusions, making rash judgment calls, thinking that someone feels a certain way when you really don’t know what they are feeling at all…….When I do the misunderstanding, I usually end up eating crow (I really never say this little eating crow idiom but talking about ravens… I felt it was totally appropriate) When others misunderstand me, I usually end up hurt…
I taught the kids this morning about Elijah.. God told him to tell the king there would be no rain and after that he was to go hang out by a brook and the ravens would feed him and the water would keep him from being thirsty. Elijah did what he was told. Something that I had never really given thought to before was the fact that the water dried up, but yet it was where God had sent him. So did Elijah misunderstand God? Was he really not supposed to go there? Would God just let him go hungry and thirsty if he was doing what God had told him to do? Did God not care about him any more? Though the Bible doesn’t say it, as he watched the waters evaporate daily during the drought, I would imagine that Elijah may have wrestled with a few of these questions.
But here is the part that struck me…. again the Bible doesn’t say what Elijah was thinking but it does say what he did… he did still obey God… He didn’t misunderstand God’s intentions… He never blamed God for his situation. How easy it would have been to misunderstand God’s hand in the situation… there was more to the story and though Elijah didn’t know what it was at the time, he trusted that God meant what he said when he said that he loved us and he would provide. ..
Elijah got a much needed vacation during that time….. plenty of food, water and time with God but as the water dried up and the ravens stopped grocery shopping…God eventually told Elijah where to go… it was during that trip that others got to see some miracles… If Elijah had misunderstood God’s intentions and given up then other lives would have been lost…
We may not be sitting at a creek waiting for ravens to bring us food. We may not be at a dried up creek wondering where to go, but we may be misunderstanding God’s love for us in the situation that we are in….maybe someone is thinking that he can’t be worthy of a new path… that the water dried up for a reason and that reason is because God doesn’t care… listen carefully, you may just hear God telling you the direction to home where you will see miracles… I believe God hurts when we misunderstand and give up… didn’t say it was easy… hang in there.
1 Kings 17
2 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3 “Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook, near where it enters the Jordan River. 4 Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.”
5 So Elijah did as the Lord told him and camped beside Kerith Brook, east of the Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 But after a while the brook dried up, for there was no rainfall anywhere in the land.
The Widow at Zarephath
8 Then the Lord said to Elijah, 9 “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have instructed a widow there to feed you.”
10 So he went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the gates of the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks, and he asked her, “Would you please bring me a little water in a cup?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, “Bring me a bite of bread, too.”
12 But she said, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”
13 But Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!”
15 So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her son continued to eat for many days. 16 There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.
He ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother… okay, he is heavy afterall.. Oh, the Sibling relationship
I once said that I would do whatever I needed to do to keep my sixteen-year-old daughter off of the road… Well, I’m all bark and no bite. We’ve been doing the whole practicing driving thing for a couple of months now and as her confidence is growing so is the amount of time she is in the driver’s seat. That doesn’t mean she has it all figured out… it took some time for me to convince her that the yellow light wasn’t orange and that the blinker is not called the clicker. I have even found myself confused when trying to tell her which way to turn the wheel to get out of the driveway. I will admit that with each time behind the wheel she is improving.
The other day my fourteen-year-old asked if she could go along for the ride and, against my better judgment, I let her. She was given the condition that she must be quiet as we drive so as not to be a distraction. I was very pleased at her ability to say very little as we made our way to pick up my youngest daughter from a friend’s house, but when we stopped she gave her critique of the ride with these words, ” Hey, that wasn’t so bad!”
Our pick up occurred and we headed to the grocery store. The fourteen-year-old was still nice and quiet but for some reason the seven-year-old became the driving critic. She complained about Catie’s driving so much that we had to ask her to be silent until we reached the store. Now, how she became a driving expert I do not know, but slowing down for children crossing the street was a good call. Regardless, she just wasn’t quite sure that her sister, though nine years older than her, was capable of being a good enough driver… at least for the time being.
I am an only child and totally cannot relate to sibling relationships. I have no true idea what it means to love a brother or a sister. I have close friends and family but I would imagine that it is still not like a good healthy sibling relationship. I would think that there is something that can’t be explained… a closeness that comes from shared experiences and memories, a protection and a bond that is like no other.
I find it interesting as I read about Christ that he was not immune to the sibling bickering. Again, it is one of those wonderful things that is written that helps me relate to a God that lived a life so normally. His brothers were quite the smart alecs toward Jesus at one point. They didn’t believe that he was anything more than their brother. He seemed to be seen by them as a show off or possibly a big talker. During the time of the Feast of Tabernacles they seem to tease him a bit and tell him to show his miracles to his disciples.. after all, if he wants to be public then why is keeping his abilities a secret?… They didn’t have faith in him… at that point.
History shows us that later his family becomes some of his biggest fans and help build his church. That is so real… Siblings who argue, bicker and even duke it out at times tend to be the biggest fans of each other once they get past the maturity issues.
About 80% of the time my girls are together they still bicker but that is better than the 90% it used to be. On occasion I will hear them laughing together without me asking them to get along… I think they are growing up and growing into fans of each other. At least that is a prayer of mine.
Jesus Goes to the Feast of Tabernacles
1After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. 2But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, 3Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. 4No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
6Therefore Jesus told them, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. 8You go to the Feast. I am not yet[a] going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.” 9Having said this, he stayed in Galilee.
10However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him and asking, “Where is that man?”
12Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”
Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews.
16 Ways to Keep My 16 year-old Off of the Road
My daughter recently turned 16. I’m pretty laid back about things but the other day when she said she was ready to get her driving permit it hit me that she was really at that stage in her life. She needed several things to take with her to the DMV; her birth certificate, her social security card and a paper stating she is enrolled in school. Well, she did her part to get her school info but I kept dragging my feet getting her other documents. My mind started racing… What would she do if those documents just happened to be “lost.” Now I am not the type of mother to manipulate my daughter but it did run through my mind. What if the document thing didn’t pan out though….. what would be next? What would I stoop to?
I’ve made my list-16 ways to keep my daughter off of the road…
- Tell her that all licensed drivers must spend a two year stint of public service driving daycare vans – and then top it off with horror stories of vomit and stinky diapers
- Give her the keys to the car- a set from the lost and found at Wal-mart that belong to someone else and then look at her like she is crazy when she says they don’t work
- Tell her when she loses the next tooth the tooth fairy will give her a key under her pillow… sometimes vanity is beautiful
- Sell the cars- I can do without
- Tell her that I fibbed about her actual birthdate and she is still only 14.
- When she asks to take the car, I will respond, “No hablo ingles”
- Paint her bedroom windows black… she’ll sleep for months
- Duct tape pool noodles all over the car … for safety… again, sometimes vanity is beautiful
- Tell her that there is a warrant for her arrest and going to get her license might land her in jail
- Everytime she mentions driving I will scream a B movie horror scream….I’m thinking Pavlov’s Dog, you know.. conditioning will kick in eventually
- Have a group of actors storm the house and tell her she won the teen publishers house sweepstakes… she is so rich she can afford a limo with driver
- Super glue the car doors shut
- Explain the new family tradition where the youngest qualified driver now purchases all gas for all family vehicles as well as washes all cars on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and buys dinner on Friday nights…
- Everytime she mentions the words drive, I will respond with “Dive? You want to dive?”
- Tell her she must learn to drive a stick shift before she can take her driving test
- And the one that I know will work for sure…. give her the minivan
4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Okay, I’m not going to lie to my daughter… and I will take her this week to get her permit….I don’t want to exasperate her….. but I can stock up on pool noodles and get an enormous bow for the minivan
Sometimes we parents have to be creative.