Category Archives: Philosophy

Even Supermom

I don’t quite know the reason why, but lately I have been thinking alot about our impressions of people and how we percieve them and they percieve us. Maybe it was that a good blog friend called me SuperMom. 😉 Maybe it was the fact that I ran into a gal who attends church with me and she mentioned that I made it look so “easy”. Easy? She must sit WAY in the back where she does not have a clear view of me as I struggle with my 2-year old trying to keep him from running off, let alone quiet.

It seems interesting that from a small window at church people gain their perspectives of our lives. So, where is this going? Well I was thinking of the dangers of impressions and pedastals. See, there are so many families that seem so “perfect”. I mean at church the kids never seem to fight – and even their toddlers seem to sit so quietly through sacrament meeting. Surely I must be doing something wrong if I have constant issues with behaviour in all my kids. Logically I know that they are not perfect, which is a huge relief to me. Then I realize that people think some of those perfect thoughts about my family which becomes quite scary. After all if we are expected to “have it together” than it makes it scarier on the many moments when we are hanging by a thread – if they find out have imperfect we really are, will we fall off that pedestal that we’ve been placed on and will they hate us?

So, a lot of these thoughts and other similar once were rambling through my head as I drove to a nearby town to run some errands. Jacob and James were in the car with me and I plopped in a Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band CD to listen too. All of a sudden we got to one of my favorite songs. With the thoughts that had been knocking about my head I listened to it completely differently and found it very reassuring.

The song is called “Even Superman” and the chorus goes as follows:

‘Cause even Superman has kryptonite
And though he tries with all his might
Even Superman falls to his knees
Begging please, please, please, please
Begging please, please, please, please

As I listened to the song I felt relief that even as “Supermom” 😉 I can have moments where everything is falling apart. I thought of those rough moments in life where the wind has been knocked out of me and I have had no choice but to fall to my knees begging for help from my Heavenly Father. And I was greatful that even the best of the best of us still has weaknesses.

Then after all that I had a thought that I should blog about it. Mainly because nearly all of my blog friends are women, and as women we often feel like we need to live up to certain expectations. Our kids need to be well behaved, good in school, sweet, loving, caring and nearly perfect, our homes needs to be spic and span, our gardens pristine, dinner made on time – and a healthy nutritional one at that, be stellar wives, supermoms, and look good on top of that – oh, and not to mention any moms who work need to do everything twice as good because they are gone part of the day. 😉 So, I wanted to share this with all of the moms and women who are trying so hard to be it all and to remember to cut themselves some slack

‘Cause even Superman has kryptonite
And though he tries with all his might
Even Superman falls to his knees
Begging please, please, please, please
Begging please, please, please, please

*if you want to listen to this very cool song, go to the website linked above and go to the Jukebox. The song, “Even Superman”, is the second song on the Album, “Dream Big”. These guys are AWESOME!!

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Filed under Opinion, Philosophy

Scrambled Eggs

I love scrambled eggs – they are my favorite.  Fast, easy, and great to whip up when you are in a pinch to get kids out the door in a hurry. So, you guessed it, this morning we had delectable scrambled eggs.  Sometimes I throw in hashbrowns, cheese, ham, sausage, bacon or other delectable items.  This morning however it was plain eggs.  Eggs and toast. Which noone minds and they were devoured quickly and three little girls stampeded out the door.

Just as the door shut Jacob woke and James began crying for his breakfast.  So I quickly plopped Jacob at the table for his breakfast and sat down to nurse the starving James.  There was one important thing I forgot to do in the chaos of the morning.

TO PUT AWAY THE EGGS

Often we will by the big flats of 5 dozen eggs because with the size of our family we go through them rather quickly.  Thankfully there were only 8 eggs left of the five dozen.  I had finished nursing James and he was snuggled nicely on my chest.  I must admit that I was contentedly ignoring the piles of laundry and scads of housework that needed to be done to steel a snuggle with the little tyke.  Jacob had finished eating and I was watching him play.  At one point I saw him go into the kitchen and I called for him to come back out.  The next moment I saw him emerge holding the large flat with the 8 eggs balanced precariously upon them.  I watched him go to the counter and proceed to lift the flat up to place it on the counter.

I knew what would happen, but knew there was no way I could move James fast enough to stop it, so I sat and laughed as I watched as the flat flipped upside down and eggs cascaded around Jacob – bouncing off his head (thankfully none broke on his head) and body to land with a resounding crack on the floor.

Poor Jacob stood there rather ‘shell’ shocked for a moment before turning to look at me. I raised my eyebrows at him, to which he responed quite simply. “Uh-oh” He then got his hand into some of the egg goop now running down his shirt.

“Ewww!”  he said and scampered off down the hall to change his clothes while I cleaned up the mess on the floor, chuckling the whole time as I pictured Jacob and his scrambled eggs.

My favorite comic comes to mind, (and life philosophy which I may have posted eons ago at some point):

juggle-eggs-ch-comic.gif

I guess Jacob is getting an early start 😀

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Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob, Philosophy

Today’s Life Lesson and Three Beautiful Things

First I wanted to list my three beautiful things, as it is Wednesday and I actually remembered to do it. 🙂

1. The carpet in the girls’ room is looking very beautiful, and since we have the bunk beds all torn apart we are going to paint them white (they are the metal bunk beds – single on top, double on bottom, and they are ugly black).

2. Dorothy got her cast off last Thursday – that is a very beautiful thing as we don’t have to go through the tantrum bit every time we go swimming, etc.

3. I gave a lesson to my kids on Monday evening about controling your anger (I called it Temper Your Temper), and we have been working very hard at having more love in our home. While it’s not perfect it is helping, and that is very beautiful to see. 🙂

Ok, now for Today’s Life Lesson:

I was at the grocery store today and by the time I got done finding what I needed, got checked out and everything into the car I was feeling rather tired.  Usually I’ll return my cart to one of the designated spaces, especially when I am by myself as I was today.  I figure it is just a nice thing to do. Well, today I was tired and feeling lazy and even though the cart return was only 10 – 20 feet away I decided that I was just going to leave the cart and go.  I hopped into the van and started the engine.  When I looked forward I saw a bent elderly gentleman, at least in his 80’s, shuffling towards my cart.  He had  come some distance from his car.  Feeling a tad bit guilty now, and curious, I busied myself with something in my car and observed the gentlemen. He stood by my cart a moment and then looked down the row of empty spaces (I park at the end, in the boonies, as I would rather walk than wait for an open space).  There was another empty cart a number of spaces down.  He shuffled toward that cart, took it, and then wheeled it up to my cart (at this point I was pulling away, and yes I feel rather ashamed that I didn’t stop to help the man), picked up that cart and proceeded to walk towards the return, or maybe even the store. 

I thought about that as I left. I felt guilty I hadn’t helped him, but more guilty that he had been thoughtful and considerate while I had been selfish. I’m not saying that people who don’t return their carts are mean, bad people, but it does make the store employee’s job easier. And who doesn’t appreciate having their load lightened.  I felt like I had been shown a dent in my character, and I hope that I can pound out that dent and make it smooth.  Not just by returning carts (which I probably will do without fail now), but by being more considerate and kind in general.

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Filed under Philosophy

Things I Think About

I got to thinking (yes, that is the smoke you smell) – since I was awarded the thinking blogger award – what are some things that occupy the empty space in my mind. 

 So I decided to make a list of 10 things I think about – maybe it will become a meme, heh, and come back to haunt me.

1. I think a lot about my role as a mother (and wife).  Sometimes I think about how things are going pretty well, but mostly I think about what I need to do better.  Sometimes I think about all the wonderful aspects, and sometimes I feel so overwhelmed I can’t believe that God has sent me four of his precious spirits to care for, watch over, and teach.  I think a lot about how to have fun with the kids to give them an enjoyable childhood and I think about how to discipline with love, so that even when I am spitting nails they have no doubt of my love.  I think about keeping up with the house, and also about how the kids, Jacob especially, taught me that it is ok to let things go once in a while because they aren’t young forever.  I think about trying to have a harmonious home for my husband to come home to after long hours away at work – and I think about what on earth I am ever going to make for dinner. 🙂

2.  I daydream alot – make up stories in my head when I am driving someplace and the kids are being kinda quiet.  I especially enjoy hanging out with my two favorite characters, Will and Belinda, and imaging their next escapades.

3. I think a lot about miracles and blessings, and about God and Jesus Christ.  They occupy a good portion of my deeper thoughts as I contemplate all the marvelous miracles I have witnessed.  I could never deny Their existance, not after all the things I have seen Their work in.

4. I think about things that I haven’t done yet that I need to do – those thoughts are like needles poking around in my brain – pestering and pestering until I finally get them done – things like gardening (it has been so rainy lately) and washing the dog.

5. I like to think about stories I remember while Iwas growing up – memories.  I think sometimes I am afraid I will lose them, so I like to think about them often. 

6.  I think a lot about Congenital Heart Defects and the different groups I belong too, and about how I can become more involved (without it overwhelming the rest of my life, again that 4 kids factor).  I think about wanting to make a difference in someone’s life – maybe just by being there.  The knowledge that I can somehow make someone’s life a little better means a lot to me.  I think about all the people who have had an impact on my life, people who may not even know it, and it forges in me a desire to be there for others.  I think about all the heart mom’s and kid’s and others going through hard times, I think and I pray.

7. I think about my family – all the extended family, neices  and nephews, sisters, brothers, and aunts and uncles.

8.  Oh, and I think about chocolate….yummm! 🙂 – and of course pie too!

9.  I think a lot about my HHH, and if I am showing my appreciation enough, cause he really is an amazing wonderful guy.

10.  I think about music.  I think about my piano students and what they need to learn and work on.  I think about my own music and how it makes me feel.  I think about what kind of music fits my mood on a particular day.  Sometimes I don’t neccesarily think about music – I just think music. 🙂

What do you think about in the corners of your mind?

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Filed under Parenting, Philosophy

De-frumping

A week or so ago I realized, much to my horror and dismay, that I had become that frumpy housewife that we all try so hard to avoid. It all started with the hair thing. I wasn’t aloud to do my hair, well, at least not put any product in it at all. If I couldn’t do my hair, there was no point in doing my make up – I’d look like some backwards alien with a made up face and disheveled hair. And since I wasn’t going to do any of that, then why bother dressing up, or even looking nice. For someone who can’t style hair, etc. the reasonable answer is to hang out in comfy clothes, you know sweats, pajamas, you get the idea.

The first day was rather freeing actually, I had so much more time after my shower, and I got to feel comfy ALL day. But after a while, and with out realizing it, I began to hide inside, and be embarrased if I got caught running errands at the store because I truly looked frumpy. But worse than looked it, I FELT it, and it drove me nuts. My house even began to get away from me a bit, funny how that happens.

Then I woke up one morning and thought to myself, “This is silly. There has to be some way you can do your hair and look nice without lathering it with moose.” (I had tried using moose again at one point and it worked fine for a few days, but then my scalp began to rebell again). So, I showered, cut down the Amazon growing on my legs (heh), lathered my self in yummy smelling lotion and blow dried my hair. All the time previous I hadn’t bothered, I had just let it air dry, ending up looking like a limp mop hanging about my head. After I was done drying it I was amazed to see that it settled very nicely, with some body and wasn’t limp or sticking out everywhere. I brushed it and tucked the short strands behind my ears. I had a stylish short layered cut that if I didn’t flip it out, it turned in and looked rather sophisticated. Then, I did my make-up and I looked even better (if I don’t I tend to look like I just rolled out of bed a few minutes ago, heh).

Suddenly I wasn’t feeling so frumpy anymore and I put on a pair of jeans and a nice blouse, and jewlery even. I felt GOOD! And, I got a lot more done that day too, not to mention I began to feel better, and when I stepped out to the store I stepped out with confidence.

I have even dressed up on days for NO good reason… heh. 🙂 (I do still relax and get comfortable from time to time, but I avoid the dumps of the frumps.)

So, I guess my point is, is that instead of giving up (like I did momentarily on my hair and all that) there is always a solution. We just have to find it. 🙂

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Filed under Every Day Life, Philosophy

My New Year Post (a little late)

Often I have sat down with the hoardes at the beginning of the New Year and have jotted down resolutions that I knew would never be completed. This year I just let the year slip in quietly. I didn’t write resolutions, and tell myself that this year I was going to do such and such every day. Goal setting is not a bad thing, it is a very good thing, but sometimes my goals are unrealistic, call for perfection and throw me into guilt when I fail to perform them without fault. I did however make one resolution: a concious decision to improve and make this year better than the last. Shake out the rugs of routine, and through open the windows to let the sunshine in and freshen up my spirits, maybe even dust off a few forgotten dreams. A fresh new start on a fresh new year….

Awake
(written in sapphic stanza; a poem for the new year and many other things)

Sunshine come and romp with me, chase the storm clouds
from my face that shroud me in shadow. Wake my
heart and spur my dreams from among the grave of
negligence. Silent

too long, I have wandered in circles waiting
for your warmth to enter my shuttered soul and
stoke the fires of passion and aspiration.
Why have I wandered,

silent, waiting? Can I not open windows
to my soul and chase away gloom that festers
there? Awake my soul and renew the dreams that
once were dead. Awake!

-J.H. Schmidt

(I’ve been playing with creating headers to fit the mood I am in, or my blog is in. Thus the reason for a bit of change today…) 🙂

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Filed under Every Day Life, Philosophy, Poetry, Writing

Stress Comes in 1/2 Pints this Year

I never thought I would get to be on a first name basis with my children’s principal, let alone be called in for a conference with Dot’s teacher, and principal. As Paul and I went to the school, I felt like I was being sent to the guillotine.

Obviously we are working through some very stressful things lately. I don’t know what I expected as a mom, I knew that my children wouldn’t always make the right decisions, but I didn’t expect it to be this hard somehow. I want so badly for them to get a good start in life and learn now to make good choices that it kills me to be having such a hard time with my little 6-year-old. Situations like this really make you evaluate how you are as a parent and if there is something you have failed to do.

It is a challenge to remain positive, but I caught myself thinking as Dorothy wrote her 7th or 8th apology note in one week’s time, “Gee, if nothing else, her handwriting (and reading) will get really good!” I must say too that her teacher and principal are great and they realize that Dorothy isn’t a malicious or difficult child, but that she has just been making some poor choices lately, mainly out of curiosity.

Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, it just gives moms lots and lots of gray hair . . .

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Filed under Dot, Parenting, Philosophy

What Kind of Mark Will You Leave?

“Over here is where we put finished homework! And this is a graph of who has brother and sisters, who only has sisters, and who only has brothers! This is a picture I drew of myself, and this book is all about me!” Dorothy raced from one side of the classroom to the other, eager to share with us all she could about what she was doing and learning at school. I watched her teacher smile and laugh. The pleasure shone in her eyes, I could see how much she loved teaching. We have had her for three years in a row now. Elizabeth had her for kindergarten and first grade, and now Dorothy has her for first grade. What a difference I noted from my first grade horror.

*****

My teacher was older, crotchety, rather plump and seldom smiled. Looking back now, I think she had lost the love of teaching. Her name was Mrs. Falbo, and she had suffered years of abuse as insensitive students had called her Mrs. Fatbo. I’m sure they never called her that to her face, but I am also sure she had heard talk in the halls and cafeteria. The assignment was to color a picture of pink pigs. I was so careful to be sure to use realistic colors, as this teach would never approve of something like Technicolor pigs in a world of green sky and blue grass. I tried so hard to stay in the lines; my fingers ached with tension as I controlled the small crayon. When I had finished, it was practically perfect, I had only crossed the boundaries once or twice in my efforts to color the perfect picture.

Always excited to please I brought my picture to my teacher with all the fervor of a 6-year-old seeking the encouragement only an adult could give. I sucked in as she took the picture from my hand, her frown deepening into the furrows of her face. “You colored outside the lines.” Her voice was matter-of-fact; an essence of ‘I don’t care’ hung around her words as she crumpled up my paper in front of my eyes and tossed it in the trash can. “Do it again.”

I bit back tears as I heard the snickers from other kids in the class. I wouldn’t let her see me cry, not ever. Crying was for sissies and wimps. I didn’t tell my mom about it for a long time. And she began to wonder why I hated school, and why over the next two years my grades continued to plummet.

*****

At one point I switched schools and stepped back a grade. That is when I found the teacher that would change my life forever. Her name was Mrs. Trinch and she taught 3rd grade. My mom spent hours working with me and catching me up to where I needed to be, tutoring me after school, but Mrs. Trinch was the one that taught me learning could be fun. She taught us to spell e-n-c-y-c-l-o-p-e-d-i-a to the song in “Pinocchio” because it was such a long word, it would impress everyone with how smart we were. I still remember her placing her hands down on the chalkboard with her back to us and wiggling her bum to the rhythm as she chanted, “You change the ‘y’ to and ‘i’ and you add ‘es’!” I remember getting the first ‘A’ in math ever, as my poorest subject turned to one of my strongest. I had hated reading until her class when she opened my eyes to the wonders contained in the most exciting books. It was then I realized that I wanted to be a teacher.

*****

When I reached middle school we had moved across the country to Oregon. In 7th and 8th grade I discovered another teacher that would open a new love in my life. She taught us language arts and focused a lot on creative writing. I never knew much about writing stories, though I often had them rolling around in my head. She discovered my writing and encouraged me to write stories, and inspired in me a love to write. Her name was Ms. Mac and she is still teaching, though this year she is taking a break working in the district office. I saw her at the beginning of the year, and told her that because of her, I still write.

*****
Over the years I have encountered many good, and a few more bad, but there are only a few that have left a mark on me that will last through the years.
I once heard a parent say that most children are resilient and can survive even the worst teachers. I thought about that, I survived, but only with my mom’s help, and because she took an active role in changing my atmosphere. Last night as I talked with the girls teachers and watched their excitement in their classrooms, showing me every little thing they could. I smiled inside. Seeing them so happy makes me happy that they are enjoying a far better start than I did. It makes me grateful for the teachers that made a difference in my life, and for the teachers that are making, and will make, a difference in my children’s lives.

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Filed under Children, Memory, Philosophy

Counting

Ok, so after that last post I had to post something positive. 🙂 Yes the day was tough, but we had some fun moments too, and I got to go on a fun date with my hubby. I think the kids and I just needed a break from each other. 🙂 I am extra excited for tomorrow. We are going to the Lion Heart Festival in Portland. It is a fundraiser put on by the Children’s Heart Foundation, all the funds the raise fun research for congenital heart defects. It is an amazing group and we are lucky to have a chapter here in Oregon. (If you would like a chapter in your state there are ways to form one, and it talks about how on their website, see the link in my sidebar.) The festival is for the whole family and includes a special parade lead by CHD survivors and their families. We were able to attend last year, and this year I get to volunteer.

So, even though there are tough days, where I get to feeling pretty rotten, I am so richly blessed I am amazed. A long time ago when I was going through a bit of a rough patch I started to make a list of all the blessings I could think of. My list is well over 200 items long now. I thought about that today after I blogged earlier and began to review that list. I was grinning from ear to ear in less than 10 minutes.

“When upon lifes billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done . . .” (from the LDS hymn book)

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Filed under Heart, Philosophy, Religion

“Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”

I attended my little writing group last night and the topic of the evening was Fear. Yup, Fear with a capitol “F”. Fear of writing, fear of spiders, fear of anything. Though of course being a writing class it was mainly focused around the penmenship fear. We have an assignment, and I will do it eventually but in pursuing the assignment, my mind has been consumed with Fear. Not being afraid mind you, thinking about fear. My fears, their fears, just different kinds of fear.

I have come to the realization that the reason why I like to blog so much is that I get to hide behind my computer. I can’t see you, you can’t see me. I don’t have to face you after something I have written is read and watch the shuffle of toes while you try to find a way to tactfully tell me it was terrible and try to hide my dissapointment. Or I don’t have to try to hide my pleasure and surprise if you genuinely love it and think it is the best thing ever since sliced strawberry pie, because I wouldn’t want to seem arrogant or egotistical. My heart still pounds though every time I hit that “publish post” button and I silently curse myself for subjecting my blog friends to further torture, and it pounds when I read the comments, no matter if it is loved or hated. But if I had to be in the same room as you read it or I read it to you my heart would likely beat itself out of my body in a frenzy waiting for the starving wolves to pounce.

Logically I know that you, my friends, and my family are not starving wolves. But convincing my heart of that is an entirely different matter. I still don’t know if I will hit the publish button on this post or not. Because this would be displaying not just to strangers how I quake in the recesses of my mind, but to my acquaintances and friends. I don’t know why it is so hard to showcase one’s fears and imperfections. Maybe it is a fear of falling from grace. Launching one’s self off a pedestal with such fervor it leaves a crator in the floor below. That fear is tangible, real, I can almost taste it. That feeling of one wrong move and the world could crash around me in a pile of rubble up to my ears. I know it(most likely) won’t happen, but the fear (of the possiblilty) is there.

But, nothing is ever learned and accomplished unless you push that button, read that poem, write that book. So, I adopt the quote shared with us last night:

“Feel the fear and do it anyway.” – Susan Jeffers, PhD

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Filed under Opinion, Philosophy, Writing