Where is my grace?

Something I've struggled with in my life is grace.

I never know who deserves it, who I should give it freely to and who to hold back on. (If such a person exists.)

Instead of saying "I don't have grace for _____," I've decided to say/think/do "I want to have grace for _____." Because right now, there are a few people in my life who could use my grace and I want to have grace for them, but it feels like I don't.

I have miles upon miles of grace for Emersen, yet not nearly as much for Cooper or Paul.

I have almost no grace for people who speed down my street, but when I'm in a hurry I hope someone (namely police officers) have grace for me.

I have marginal grace for parents who don't teach their children right from wrong, as evidenced in the previous entry.

Should I have grace for the parents who don't stop their child(ren) from terrorizing the playground?

This is where I am conflicted. I don't understand Grace. I want to, but I don't. Up until I became a Christian, grace meant poise and balance. Now it's a whole other ball game.

Did someone cut in the grocery line? Give them grace. They must be in a bigger hurry than I.
Did someone cut me off in traffic? Give them grace, they may not have seen me.
Is someone consistently taking from me? Give them grace, they need it.

The list could go on forever.

Now I'll ask the forbidden question.

Who gives ME grace? Well, the simple answer is, God. He should be providing all the grace I can handle. Some days I wish it were enough and some days it is.

http://picasaweb.google.com/thenavywife21 for new pictures of Emersen.



Motherhood Diatribe Number One

Mall Playgrounds.

Now, I will be the first to admit it. I take Emersen to the mall playground because it's the only indoor play area and it rains here a lot! It is also a wonderful place to let the kiddies get their energy out before having to sit still in their strollers while the mommies do their shopping!


There are quite a few drawbacks to the mall playground. And of course, since you all know me, I know you know I'm going to list them:

1. Cooties. Lots of cooties all over the place, especially during the winter/flu season. Runny noses, coughing and sneezing. Not enough hand sanitizer in the free world.
2. Psychotic children. I've only been there a handful of times, but I can tell you with some authority that the kids can run amok. Especially all hopped up on candy from the Sweet Factory or an Orange Julius.
3. Lazy parents. ("Ashawanda! Git over here...don't make me git up!") *die*
4. Unobservant parents. I had this experience today. A little blue shirt wearing boy was running around terrorizing the whole place. Now, typically you know which kid belongs to which parent but I was looking around and couldn't find this kid's mom for the life of me. Until he tried to escape the playground and his mom stopped him. No reprimand for terrorizing all the other kids, just "Don't leave the play ground." After the second time I personally told him not to push (In my mommy voice "Do Not Push Him") someone else's child I looked over at one mom and said "If I have to tell him not to push one more time, his mom's going to get an earful from my mouth and it's probably not going to be censored."
5. Parents who bring their sick kids. At one outing, Nicole and I were playing around with Emersen when a little girl started spanking a bunch of other kids. Not only did her mom perform number 3 on this list, but she committed the cardinal sin of bringing her daughter to a playground with a full blown rash all over her body! Now, I might have excused the incident if the little girl wasn't running and scratching at the same time. This gives me a serious case of the heebie jeebies! I informed the security guard of the situation, and he was shocked. He had to get on the walkie talkie to find out what the protocol was. They'd never had this situation before!
6. The Bribing Parent. "If you play nice, you can have a smoothie!" UGH! Shouldn't the reward be the act of playing in the mall to begin with? It's not a right, it's a priviledge. One that can and should be taken away at a moments notice. THE MOMENT the behavior becomes unacceptable, the child should be removed and reprimanded.

Those are just the basics. I could get in to the "Toughen up" dad or the "Cell phone" mom not to mention the mom who brings all her kids, despite the fact that three of the four are six inches too tall to play there anyhow.

Of course, these things demand a certain level of manners and courteousness out of the parent. Notice each type of downfall is really the action or inaction of the parent which causes the problem.

Parents I see around town simply don't pay enough attention. These kids grow up thinking it's definitely okay to push boundaries and limits.

It is definitely okay to allow your child to push their limits and boundaries when it comes to success in life or achieving a goal.

It is NEVER okay to let your child push the limits of socially acceptable behavior.

Here are my rules for Emersen: (None of which she has ever attempted, but once she does she'll know where I stand)

1. Never ever touch another child without their permission. (This regards tag, hugs goodbye and what not)
2. No bodily fluids will leave your body in the playground. (This is in regards to spitting and peeing your pants!)
3. If you hurt someone by accident, you must apologize and ask if they are okay without whining or an attitude.
4. Absolutely no crazy screaming in the playground. It's rude and no one appreciates it.
5. When it is time to leave, you will put your shoes on and walk out yourself without crying, whining or screaming (see number 4). I say how long you will be allowed to play, you determine whether or not you will be allowed to play for that time.

Kids need to know where they stand, and what to expect. If you can't predict the outcome of your actions, how will you know what is appropriate and what is not?

This concludes Motherhood Diatribe Number One!

Questions, comments and constructive critisism will be generously accepted!


We're so busy!

The past few days have been so incredibly busy! Flying home from Texas on the 4th, we got home and went to bed immediately since Paul was not granted an extra day off to recuperate from traveling. He went to work the next day. Friday was the 6th, and our tax money was deposited in to our bank account. (WHOO HOO!) I went to work researching and pricing out a new washer and dryer, since ours are just not good. The washer will only wash clothes in water a polar bear would shiver in, and the dryer's sole heat setting is "The Sun." Seriously, it melts buttons. (Sorry Nicole!)

So, now we are the proud owners of a matching set of Kenmore appliances that I will be recieving a whopping thirty percent off of, due in part to good timing and well applied research. (And some sage advice from a man on his lunch break in the middle of a hectic work day and who has been buying appliances for a good thirty years. You may know him as Ben but I call him Dad! Thank you Dad!)

While in Texas, we had a total blast. Emersen had a second 1st birthday and it was wonderful! Tons of family came, and we were very excited for Emmie to meet all the relatives who could make it! I know I had fun seeing how much growing my neices and nephew have done in the last few years. Emersen also met her first first cousins! Paul's brother Jamie had come to town, and his daughters stayed the weekend. Seeing him with his girls makes me want to have a few more of my own! We also got to go out to dinner with our friends, Jeni and Chris! They are so much fun! Jeni used to be Emersen's teacher at MyGym here in Silverdale. Since they moved to Texas, we decided it would be fun to hook up with them. The night went by way to quickly!

Okay, I got off track! Friday was the big purchase, plus our Secret Santa gift exchange between Paul and I and two other couples our very best friends. Ben, Nicole, Valerie and Mick came over for pizza and the gift exchange. Since everyone had pretty much figured out who had whom, we just handed each other the gifts and went about opening. My gift was the game Mad Gab. It was hysterically funny. Any game that can simultaneously make six different people laugh has got to be a good time, and it was! Paul got a movie and a t-shirt with a skull and crossbones on it that read "The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves" just in time for him to be assigned to the USS Emory S. Land! He can't wait to see the guys' reaction to that one!

Saturday was spent low key, and at home. We needed some rest from all the busy! Last night, Paul left here at six o'clock to get to the airport. His flight left so early in the morning, he made the decision to spent the night in the USO so he wouldn't have to get up at 2 a.m.! He slept well last night, and is officially headed to Jackson, MS where he'll drive the two hours to Meridian, MS and attend his school for three weeks. I can't tell you how happy I'll be to have him back home!

The pictures in the entry were taken by Paul's family friend Brandy. She was responsible for our wedding pictures, and now she's done Emersen's 1 year portraits. They are fantastic, I love them and I'm so glad she could capture my sweet baby's personality in just a short time! Thank you to Brandy for my wonderful keepsakes!
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