Thursday, April 28, 2011

Famous Last Words

Because I know you're all just dying to's a little recounting of our Easter weekend.

It was fun and busy. We spent all day Friday with Steve's family attending Good Friday service and then spending the day at the grandparents' for Mexican Train dominoes and an amazing feast. It was a great time. Steve studied all day Saturday and my little brother and his girlfriend came over for our Shabbat dinner. The boys requested apple pie so I was busy in the kitchen all day making Challah, pie and dinner. Dinner was tons of fun and once the boys were in bed, I set to work on cinnamon rolls to pop in the oven come Easter morning. I laid everyone's clothes out, ironed and realized that I probably should do this every week as it made the morning much more smooth the next day!

But the next morning things didn't quite get off to the start I thought they might. I should've been suspicious from the get-go. I can't tell you how many times I've made these cinnamon rolls but, I made a cardinal mistake the next morning as I pre-heated the oven in my sleep (I guess if I do that, I should have seen it coming). I accidentally set the oven to 450 instead of 350 and then just about burned them to a crisp. Luckily I got them out when I did or they would've been inedible. But Christ is risen and we ate them anyway. Better luck next time. The rest of the hockey pucks were thrown away later.

We got off to church and even took some pictures beforehand. Wow. It seemed like a miracle. Church was great celebrating the resurrection and we had plans to meet my parents afterward for more Easter festivities. Before we left church, I was chatting with a friend in the snack line. She has five children. And we were doing our usual drive-by conversing while trying to still tend to our childrens' needs. Sometimes this is the only way to talk to catch up with anyone. She mentioned that they were finally all well after weeks of being sick.

And then she asked, "Have all of you been well? Is everyone healthy?"

And I responded, "Yes, we haven't had too many illnesses to speak of, just a few colds. Yes, all are least for now."

And then we chatted a bit more about life and once we had gathered all our food (for it was a lot), we bid each other adieu to go run after someone's hurt knee or something like that.

Famous Last Words. Little did I know where I would be just eight hours from that innocent conversation.

Once we got to my parent's house I realized I felt a little weird. But as the snacks started getting pulled out, I realized I wasn't hungry at all-not even for a Diet Coke. For those of you who know me well, Red Flag #1 just came out. After a bit of time I began to feel the need to lay down, quickly, and knew that if I didn't I was about to be sick. Red Flag #2-I don't ever just want to go lay down in the middle of the day!! So I discreetly as possible vacated to upstairs and tried to rest and sleep off whatever was germinating in my belly.

But stomach flus don't rest-they stew and the more they do, the worse it gets. Before long, I was totally sick and Steve said we'd have to go straight home. I felt horrible. The Easter festivities came to a grinding halt just because I was sick. My parents offered to keep the kids so that we could go home and I could get some sleep. That proved to be a very strategic move.

I barely made it home and from then on was sick non-stop for many hours. When I wasn't sick, I was in immense intestinal pain so I was getting in and out of the bath tub trying to get relief. But that also caused me chills so, I really couldn't win. I began thinking that the night stretching ahead of me would be long and arduous and I didn't know how I would make it. Our neighbors were having an Easter party and I could hear people laughing, children playing and tons of merriment. All around was evidence of the risen Christ...yet I felt like I was stuck in the tomb.

My running buddy, who is a Nurse Practitioner, happened to call and see if I wanted to go for a run and Steve told her I was pretty sick. She came right over to check me out and told me I didn't look very well and that it seemed I was getting dehydrated. After checking my pulse, she told me it should be around 60-70 at rest (since I run regularly) and that it was 90. When I checked into the ER later it was at 120 which is a major sign of dehydration. She gave me some anti-nausea pills and told me that if I was still super sick in a few hours, I might need to be seen. I made it two more hours or so and then I practically begged Steve to do something.

But it's Easter and the only place open on Easter is the ER. So, in a blur, Steve passed off Elliana to our neighbors, gave them a bottle and her jammies, and we hit the road. When I got into the passenger seat, he handed me a bowl. When we arrived we joked about how the last time we showed up in the ER, I was in labor with Josh and how the time before that, I was in labor with Caleb so at least this time, I wasn't in labor. Although, I think I felt worse this time. Seriously.
I'll never forget him handing me the bowl as we got out and me saying, "Really! That's so embarrassing!" To which he responded, "We're past that now." And then he handed me back the bowl. Okay.

Lucky for me it wasn't a long wait. The funniest part about the ER though was that the doctor walked in, got all the info and then asked very discretely if I could be pregnant. Then after getting my response of "Well, yes it's possible (it's always possible I guess)..." she said, "Now you're 18 right?" Ummmm...what?!!!! I quickly responded no that I was 30 with four little children. Then she laughed and said, "They all told me out there that you were the 18 year old with the major dehydration." Awkward times. So if they really thought I was 18, who did they think my husband was? A boyfriend? Oh dear....I guess I must've looked pretty bad. She then ordered some tests to rule out some more serious ailments and then gave me some medicine.

I cannot even tell you how amazing it felt to get that IV fluid. It was as if someone was pouring my very soul back into my body. The anti-nausea medicine helped quite a bit too. I started to feel like dawn was on the horizon and that I wouldn't be stuck in this death forever...the resurrection was coming.

While we were there, we got a call from my mom that Joshy was sick too. We promised to come by as soon as we could to pick him up. So we finally made it home around midnight, tucked Joshy in close by, sent our neighbor home who was asleep on the couch, and tried to rest.

It had been a long day.

I'm not sure why the stomach flu hit me so hard. It has now gone through half of our family and I definitely had it the worst of everyone. I think it was a combination of being really busy, nursing and being a bit run-down in the first place. My reserves just must have been low.

But all in all, it was a good day. For even in my misery, I was reminded that all of my pain, all of my suffering was taken upon Christ's shoulders on the cross and it was defeated!! Victory!

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed.

And for those of you who are wondering no...I'm not pregnant. I know that now for sure:).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Outtakes

Because it's fun and I'm still recovering.

I love this picture of Caleb and Elliana. I wish Josh wasn't so grumpy and that Isaac was looking at the camera...but it's candid, cute and hilarious in its own way. Caleb kissed his baby sister all on his own (as we didn't stage it or anything).

Aaaahhh....can't get through a photo shoot without someone screaming their head off can we? I love how everyone else is unaffected.

But when it was Joshua's turn to hold Elle, he was happy as a clam.

This is the perpetual "lean in" pose. We all look like we're on the edge of our seats. Although still very cute, Joshy reminds me of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Ha ha ha!

Hope you're having a great week. We're just doing a whole bunch of nothing and my brain is still mush. Hopefully I will be back with something more thought-provoking in a few days.

Ta ta for now.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

Well, it's a little late but...Happy Easter from our family to yours. I've been down and out with a bout of the stomach flu (pictures can be deceiving huh?! This was just hours before I got sick!). I'll write more about that later. But for now, hope everyone's Easter was full of what matters most-Christ!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!
And for my Greek heritage..."Christos Anesti! Aleithos Anesti!"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Should've Done this Sooner...

It's true what they say..."Many hands make light work." Now my many hands can do lots more things...all by themselves.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Fun

Recently I was talking with a good friend about Easter and why it's so hard to get into it. I mean Christmas is easy. The whole world is celebrating it (in their own ways) and it's so incredibly simple to get caught up in the hype. Christmas does have Santa but the Christ Child is still pretty prevalent. Also, we pull out all the stops for Christmas as we wait for weeks (Advent) for it to come. But Easter, is harder. The Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs pretty much take precedent. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with hunting for Easter Eggs at all! But there is so much more to Easter that gets lost...I think this happens more with Easter than even at Christmastime.

Part of the reason, I think, is that in an effort to drop some traditionalism, the church ousted Lent which gave a nice lead up to Easter. And regardless of whether or not you think it's well and good to observe Lent, its absence leaves the Easter Season with much to be desired. But this should not be!! Easter is THE cornerstone of our faith...and I might even be so bold as to say more important than Christmas! For as my friend reminded me of Paul's admonition in 1 Corinthians 15 that if Christ didn't rise from the dead, if there was no resurrection, then we Christians are fools and greatly to be pitied! "For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins...If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied." vs. 16-19

Last year we didn't do much for Easter because I was just too pregnant with Elliana and I was tired. Some years, in this little years period, it just happens that way. But this year, we were hoping to get a little more on track. So out came my favorite book on traditions written by, Noel Piper-Treasuring God in our Traditions. Okay, just hear me. I am NOT crafty. I am NOT creative. At least not in the crafty way. So, when it comes to trying to teach things about God to my children in tangible ways, I need some major help. In walks Noel and spells it all out for me.

Thanks Noel.

She's already raised five children (four boys, one girl) and has an incredible gift for making these holidays come alive. She is the one with the genius behind the Advent Calendar and Bethlehem Tree we do every year at Christmas and she is the one who came up with the two ideas we do at Easter.

This year we decided to take some of the items from our Bethlehem Tree and then turn it into a Jerusalem Tree with more items that pertain to the Easter story. So we took the hammer, the empty tomb and the cross (among a few others from Christmas) and then we added a bunch more like nails, a silver money bag, a spear and a picture of the Bread and Wine of the Last Supper. We made sure we had enough items to last us for five nights with one for each child a night (15 total). So we started Sunday and will continue to read about the Passion Story all week until Good Friday, putting up items that pertain to the story. Like any children, the boys loved making things for the tree. That big weird red thingy is Jesus' blood by the way.

The other idea we decided to do from the book is the playdough mountain. We had done this activity one other year and it was fun but the kids were still too little to really get it. This year, it's been perfect, especially for the two older ones. We made our own playdough on Sunday and then formed it in the shape of a mountain hollowing out a hole in the back for the tomb. We then baked it. Monday we colored it and the surrounding areas. Today we started gathering people and made our cross. Tomorrow we'll make some more people out of popsicle sticks and by Friday we'll get Jesus on the the cross. Friday night, after the kids go to bed, we'll put Jesus in the tomb and then wait for Sunday.

Such a simple idea yet, such a powerful image. It's almost like an Easter Nativity scene.

So this year we're trying to make it more real, more tangible. Because this is a story our children need to hear, see, touch and experience year after year after year.

It doesn't really matter what you do. And don't let this post be a downer because you don't have anything planned. It was meant to spark ideas to get you going to create something of your OWN. It's your family. Do what you want. Or copy Noel. That's what I like to do!

Just get the story out there this week-somehow.

For even though it's been two thousand years, it's still the greatest story ever told...the Gospel, our salvation...the Good News.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Own Little Mighty Mouse

He's just like his Dad.

Earlier in the week Steve entered a Lip Sync contest at the high school where he teaches and he did Andy Kaufman's rendition of Mighty Mouse. I got it on film which I will post at the end for anyone who is interested but, I must say I couldn't figure out how to zoom in closer with my camera. I'm still figuring it out so, it's from far away. Bummer. Anyhow, the boys saw Steve practice a few times on Monday night and so they learned the song. He did great the next day. I thought it was hilarious and so did a lot of the students. And just an aside, what made it even funnier is that a few of Steve's coworkers didn't get it and came up to him afterward to encourage him and tell him, "Don't time, you'll remember the words." Did they even watch it?! He has this going for him though, he was the only one who got a standing ovation at the end. Of course, it was only by one student but, there were others screaming, "Encore! Encore!" like a bunch of groupies. I keep making fun of him for that. Classic.

Anyhow, back to my original story. So today, I got myself into quite a pickle you might say. Yes, it was a definite quandary and Caleb was my little Mighty Mouse. I'm sure you've heard horror stories of moms locking their kids in the car, sometimes with the engine running. I've had four kids in five years and I've never done this. I don't know how I've been spared the absolute panic of this situation but somehow I have. I've done a lot of other things but, not that.

So today, I had my nephew over for a little play time. He literally lives across the street and so I told his mom I'd drop him off on my way out to the local corner market. I needed to pick up some chips for tonight's dinner because sadly enough, the bag I'd originally gotten for tonight had been eaten already! It doesn't hurt to pick up a Diet Coke while I'm out either. I was feeling smug and never fails that when these two feelings are sandwiched together into one time period, something is bound to happen to smack me back to reality.

I walked him up to the door and then went to climb back into my car and found all of the doors locked. What?! I quickly glanced inside and saw everyone seated where they were supposed to be and then I checked all the doors again. Yep, every single one of them was locked. Panic welled up inside of me but I squashed it down and reminded myself that at least I was at my sister-in-law's house if I needed to use the phone (I was also fairly close to my own abode as well where we do have a spare key the last day or two, I hadn't been able to find it-great timing).

But then as all of these thoughts are swirling through my head I remember Caleb. Of course, Caleby!! He is able to unstrap himself. So I quickly coached him through the window and he obeyed like a champ. What a guy. He quickly got out of his seat, found the lock and pushed it up as hard as he could (they're a bit hard to do). At first he couldn't figure it out but, like a true hero, he didn't give up and kept trying until he got it.

As I opened the door, I praised him immensely and kept telling him he was our hero-that he'd saved the day. And then, he started singing...."Here I come to save the day!!"

I'm just doesn't get much better or funnier than that.

And as I climbed into the car, still totally dumbfounded as to how the car got locked in the first place, it finally dawned on me what happened. My precious little nephew, in an effort to get out of the front seat (it was a 15 second car ride people and I did strap him in, don't judge) accidentally pushed the "lock doors" button located right next to the door handle. I burst out laughing when I saw how close they are together. It's the only thing that makes sense. I didn't lock them and the car engine was still running so my keys didn't do it either. Never would I have dreamed it could happen!! It was just a rare occurrence and I didn't hear them lock because I was already out of the car coming around to get him.

Seriously so funny. And it did have a happy ending. It only took five minutes to get back in the car and I didn't even have to bug my sister-in-law. Not bad. And I got to hear Caleb sing the Mighty Mouse song in response.

All in all, I think it actually worked out pretty well and made for a good story. Which is always fun. But I did learn my lesson though...those buttons are pretty it if someone, other than an adult, is in that front seat for any length of time. If you don't, you could end up getting locked out, with the engine running while all of your children are tucked safely into their carseats.

Steve's Rendition of Mighty Mouse

And if you want to see Andy Kaufman's version here it is.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Girl and Her Daddy

A week or so ago I went on a walk in the morning and Elliana woke up while I was gone. Steve and I have this stone-age "system" that consists of him turning the porch light on if he needs me to come home since we don't have texting on our cell phone and don't ever want to get it (maybe someday I'll write a post on the "evils" of texting and how it makes you least that's what my husband tells his students who have their cell phones permanently affixed-ha ha ha). I know, I know, just call us the Flintstones. Anyhow, I forgot to look the first time and on the second time around, lo and behold, the porch light was on meaning the baby was up and wanting to be fed. Daddy can do a lot of things, but he can't do that! So I bailed to go nurse Elle.

After she got her breakfast, Steve showed me a new trick he taught her in an effort to keep her distracted from her hunger while I was gone. I thought it was so cute, we got it on video (of course, she hasn't done it since that morning-ha ha!). So for your viewing's the littlest having her first heart to heart conversation with her Da Da.

Elliana and Daddy

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday is for Showering

Such a fun week it has been here at our home! We've done all sorts of busy things but one of the main ones was to plan for a shower today. In our community there are always LOTS of babies being in once a few come along, another three or four announce a pregnancy. So we have baby showers a lot. It's really fun because even though most of the babies born aren't first babies, we still go all out to celebrate because life is life. A blessing is a blessing whether it is first or not. And frankly, we love to celebrate.

So today was a day to honor two moms at our church. One already had her baby girl a few weeks ago (number five for that family and second girl) and the other is due anytime with a baby girl as well (number 3 and the only girl). For both families it is extremely special that they are having girls. So in true TCC fashion, we all put our talents together to celebrate these two families.

My friend Allison is just the best at throwing a party. So she was the brain child behind the event. She's amazing. I wish I had her eye. She knows how to take anything and make it beautiful. And that's what she did. She went with a butterfly theme and hung butterflies all over her house. It was gorgeous.

I was in charge of food but really, I had the easiest job of them all because everyone at our church is gourmet and makes the best food. I hardly had to lift a finger. I simply organized everyone and they did the rest. The one thing Allison wanted at this brunchy shower was waffle sticks...homemade waffles cut into strips and then dips like maple syrup, strawberries and whipped cream. Amazing and so cute.

This is a picture sans waffles...they were crisping in the oven but it's a better shot of the adorable little cups of maple syrup. Such a fun idea.

It was a delectable feast with enough food to feed an army--seriously. There were some happy husbands after the party let me tell you.

My little Elliana had the best time crawling all over the place and "talking" to anyone who would listen. I have to just tell you, once I got her all dressed up for the party, we went outside to say goodbye to the boys who were working in the yard readying things for our soon-to-be-planted garden. It was the most wonderful feeling taking her with me to the party. We said "Bye boys!! Girls together!" And I couldn't stop grinning.

I love having a daughter. I love that we can go to showers together even when she's still so little. There were a lot of other babies there too. This precious mom and friend just had her first girl out of five! We're kindred spirits I tell you. Little Betty is a doll. She also supplied us with the yummy waffles.

And isn't this the most beautiful girl ever? This little one is her mom's first and I just can't get over how pretty she is!!

I got to make a favorite little treat...Mousse Bites. My sister-in-law gave me the recipe awhile back and they're just so pretty and yummy for a shower.

There were amazing scones, egg dishes, muffins, fruit, a flourless torte that looked like it came from a bakery. Yeah, our pastor's wife made that. I'm surrounded by such amazing talent! Seriously, we were spoiled!

But there was good reason. Every Saturday night we speak Psalm 127-128 around our table...our boys know them by heart.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." Psalm 127:3

"Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD." Psalm 128:3

Baby Zoey and baby Gretl...we love you. Your life is a blessing.

So Saturday is for showering...children are a blessing, a blessing indeed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Sometimes I feel schizophrenic. On the one hand, I'm daily in the practice of merely dealing with the emergent in my little cosmos here. Eh...that scraped knee isn't so bad. Heck those hives can be taken care of with a couple of days of Benadryl. And the list drones on. Everyday hundreds of little situations are passing through my filter and I have to learn to deal with that overload and not get too emotionally worked up about every single circumstance. This is motherhood. How tough can I be? But with that state of being can also come the ability to shut out everything that is scary and emotional-to become calloused, for fear of being overcome.

A few months ago we watched a documentary on 9-11 titled, 9/11. To be honest, I put off watching it for days because I knew I couldn't handle it. I just knew it. This documentary was done by mere amateurs, Jules and Gedeon Naudet (brothers), who were trying to make a documentary on a rookie fireman in New York City. They happened to be filming that fateful day and were the only ones who were inside the Twin Towers getting raw footage. And that's what it was-raw footage. It hurt-bad and I have no connection with that horrific event. I simply am an American and I'm human. As I watched, it disturbed my soul to hear bodies literally dropping and hitting the ground from 80 floors up. Bang! Bang! It was almost too much for me to bear. Bang! When we finally did watch it, I snuggled close to Steve and braced myself to deal with the reality of this horrific event in our history. For I can't simply hide from all that is real. These stories are there and must told. They also must be heard. And when I do hear these stories, it's inevitable...I am human, so I will be overcome.

Today I ran across a blog written by a mother who just recently lost her firstborn due to meningitis brought on by the common flu. Her Dad is our dentist and my sister-in-law's family is friends of their family from church. I've never met this mother. I've only heard about her from her Dad as he would update me on his many children and grandchildren while cleaning my teeth. But her daughter who passed away is the same age as Isaac. And I've often thought about her. How she must be reeling. How she must still be in shock. How missing her daughter must make it hard to breathe-to live. I've avoided the dentist even though we're due for a simple cleaning because I don't know what to say. I don't want to say empty words. But if I do more than that, I'll be overcome.


I feel like despair is all around sometimes. Japan, Haiti, Lebanon, the global economic crisis, cancer, hunger...fill in the blank. Life poses much difficulty and there is always sorrow. Yet, if I allow myself to be swallowed up by such sorrow then I succumb to defeat. But if I don't allow myself to imagine the pain, to take on others' burdens, to be overcome by sorrow at times for others or for myself even, then I'm denying the beauty that God brings amidst death and suffering.

Literal schizophrenia. How do I delineate the emotions?

Recently our pastor gave a sermon on how death opens the way for life. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." John 12:24 He preached hope to all of us fallen that death is not the end. I repeat-death is NOT the end. Death brings life. And in that there is hope. This hope breathes life and is the catalyst for all that we believe.

" 'Death is swallowed up in victory.' O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" 1 Corinthians 15:55

This reminds me of Christ. In a few weeks we will celebrate Easter which, in my opinion, is the most important holiday on the church calendar. Christ was overcome. But His death was the single, most victorious event in all of human history. It's a story begging to be told. It's a story that must be heard. When I put myself into that story and share in all that The Passion entails, I am overcome. Overcome by the emotions, the sorrow, the utter difficulties and the shame. But when I allow myself to feel, to really feel those emotions, I get to better understand the triumph, the victory-the hope.

Endings produce new beginnings.

Death brings new life.

Sin has been overcome by Christ on the cross and there is freedom from the despair that encircles us.

I don't have to face it alone. I must be real and I must allow myself to face despair. But I don't have to be afraid that the despair will consume me. For Christ has already defeated it.

It's a new beginning.

And instead I can be overcome by hope. Not a hope that is conjured up inside of me for I am ephemeral--a mere mist, and have a well that will run dry. But hope that is found in the heart of Christ and his victory. Loving others involves risk. Mothering requires being tough and tender. I'm thankful for Christ. His life, his death, simply who He is, give me hope to face all the sorrow and joy around.

If I am overcome by Christ then I can wade through this life with my eyes heavenward.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..." 1 Peter 1:3

Monday, April 4, 2011

No Excuses

One of the things that always baffled me about my husband in our early years was his absolute inability to give an excuse about anything. In fact, often we would have literal disagreements about it. Sometimes it would be good that he didn't offer an excuse because he simply dropped the ball. But other times, it would be totally legitimate to offer an excuse for something he was responsible for that he didn't get being sick or something. I'd seriously get mad at him in disbelief for this!! As those first few years ticked by, I began to realize that not only was he totally opposed to pretty much ever giving an excuse about anything but, it also now applied to me. When I messed up, he would take the fall.

What?! It would drive me crazy. One time, I forgot to pack him some shoes for his fraternity meeting (he always had to dress up) and I forgot his dress shoes. So, he had to pay the penalty (not sure what it was because it's a big secret, ha ha) and he told them he forgot them. I remember chiding him and saying, "Why didn't you just tell them it was me?! I'm sure they would've understood." His only response was, "I'm responsible for you now. When you mess up, it falls on me and I'm okay with that." What?! This sort of attitude seriously befuddled me and frustrated me at times for many years. Why did he have such a difficult time saying the dog ate his homework? Everyone else did. Especially when I felt like he was justified in doing so? Instead, he'd just say he didn't do it and that'd be it. He'd try and make it right and do better the next time. I wanted him to slide his way out of it to make it better. What I didn't understand was that he was just being a man.

Now fast forward some years. We start having boys...lots of them. And over time, I began to see (and maybe also just get more used to the idea) that when it comes to responsibility, there really isn't room for excuses. Sometimes there might need to be explanations (and he could work on that end a bit) but ultimately, the buck stopped with him and when it came up short, he'd tell people who to look for-him. It was hard for me to see him fail sometimes because he did. It was even harder for me to watch him pay when it was my fault. I shudder when I think about some of the bigger things he's shouldered and protected me from giving the guise that it was him and not me.

But over time, I slowly began to get it. Boys have to learn that they can't make excuses for themselves. They either did it or they didn't. Recently we've been working on that with my oldest. We've noticed that when asked to give an explanation for his actions, often he'll say "he did it first" or "I was tired" or something silly like that. I've been totally amazed at how easily my little boys are ready to give an excuse!

Last night I was skimming through Doug Wilson's book, Future Men and came across this section on giving excuses. It was as if a light bulb went off in my head and I was brought back through all of those early years when I didn't understand Steve in this area.

He says, "A refusal to make excuses is right at the heart of a scriptural masculinity. Boys need so much practice at this that they should be taught to accept responsibility even when the sun was in their eyes [reason they couldn't catch the fly ball]. Unfortunately, many boys are schooled in the techniques of avoiding masculinity by their parents. When a boy does not make excuses it is frequently because he does not need to--mom or dad do it for him...Boys must learn to say, regularly--to God, to others and to themselves--that they were wrong when they were wrong, and that they were responsible when they were responsible. When they do this, they will discover that authority naturally flows to those who take responsibility. That same authority naturally flees from those who seek to shift the responsibility or the blame. When boys learn to do this, they are learning what it means to be a young man." pg. 22-23, Doug Wilson, Future Men

It was as if it finally clicked for me. I've been seeing it in practice for some time. I know that we want our boys to get this. I pray that we can pass this on for it's very important! But what I hadn't done yet was connect it to our early years and my absolute inability to understand the principle at the time.

Nearly nine years later, I think the first thing I'll do when my hubby comes home is thank him for being a man who doesn't make excuses.

And then, I must say that when I see my in-laws next...I'll thank them too.