You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Random’ category.

Dear Benjamin,

HOLY COW SON. YOU ARE SEVEN YEARS OLD!

IMG_20161113_140121

When did this happen!?  I blinked – you were a baby and now you’re this amazing articulate loving bouncy boy who makes me so proud and happy every single day.

20160731_144311

This has been A YEAR.  Like, life changing and crazy year.  A month and a half after you turned 6, your older cousin Lilly came to live with us.  It wasn’t something we had planned – but it was something that, for lots of reasons, needed to happen.  It wasn’t an easy adjustment – well, it was at first, but then, after the newness wore off, we really had to work hard to keep things good.  You learned a lot about stuff that may have been a little advanced for you – but ultimately, a lot of stuff that made you stronger and better.

20161009_094014

You were in 1st grade this year. 20160817_065653

Your teacher was Ms. Bissanti, and you had A LOT of trouble concentrating in her class.  Some of it was because you knew a lot of the material already – but a lot of it was just you, being a normal, 6 year old boy.  We tried to let you get out and be free to run around as much as possible, and luckily your teacher believed in the importance of playtime once you got home.  So a lot of your homework was stuff we could do in “batches” instead of daily.  It was pretty awesome!

One of my favorite things about you at 6 years old was how this was when you really started to get an opinion about things.  You really love science – asking questions and understanding the way the world works. We have a local science museum, which you’re a big fan of.

20160709_135303

You are adamant about becoming an astronaut or pilot, preferably an astronaut because, well, “I want to do experiments in space.”   20170128_095740

Your project in GT this year was about the universe and Dad and I let you do almost all the work by yourself.

20170516_174413

Just so you know, Benjamin, I would love for you to be an astronaut, but I don’t care what you do as long as you’re doing something that makes you happy and makes the world a better place. If you are a mechanic, be the best mechanic you can be. If you’re an astronaut, be the best astronaut you can be. Whatever you do, do it with love, and don’t work so much you forget to live. That’s what I wish for you.

20161215_182042

Anyways – you learned how to ride your bike – on the 4th of July! – and had a blast going on adventures. We took a lot of bike rides in the summer.

You loved the helmet you got for your birthday!

20160706_181649 20170511_172423

In spite of the neutral facial expression, you actually had a good Halloween!

20161031_181805 IMG_20160912_201439

20160724_102319 You’re still doing piano – we actually decided to take a few weeks off for the next 3 weeks so you could have a bit of a break, and then hit it hard when you start back up. We want to use piano to teach you to stick with something, to work hard, to find joy in the hard work it takes. Your favorite part about piano is doing the recitals and getting all of the attention – but we’re hoping to help you understand that the recital is the result of all the hard work you put in during the everyday moments. It’s a tough lesson but an important one, and I hope we’re doing OK.

20170307_162239

We did a lot of camping and swimming and getting out into nature as often as we could.

20161124_082839 20170401_131106

20160827_143657 20160722_064606

You’re eating better now than ever before. This is a project you and Dad dreamed up that you and Mommy worked on together. Pancakes with peanut butter, ice cream and chocolate syrup. YUM!

20170304_085356

You also learned how to make pancakes this year. EXCITING!

20170430_183005

There’s always a lot of chaos at the house and in most of our activities. Mostly good chaos, but still. You’ve definitely got more extroverted tendencies than introverted, so you don’t usually mind. Even when it’s not chaotic, there’s always lots of people around.

20160809_160507 20170108_195850

20160809_063042 20170113_183049

20160803_192648 CYMERA_20170315_191808

20170317_115131 When I think back about you being 6, there was a lot of growth for you. One of the things that your Dad and I realized this year, was that we were awfully hard on you. We didn’t mean to be – but we were. You’d come downstairs in the morning for breakfast, and instead of saying something like “Hey Benjamin good morning!” we would say things like, “Hey, you need to tuck your shirt in, and comb your hair, and hurry because it’s almost time to go so you need to make your lunch.” All things that were true, but also, things that didn’t have a lot of grace and love – just critical comments. We realized it while reading parenting books that would help us with parenting Lilly for the year, but through learning about how teenagers and adults deal with things like shame and anger, we realized we were unintentionally shaming you. Making you feel like a bad kid. It was something that puzzled us for quite a while – why, when you did something wrong, you would immediately get super upset, lots of tears, and telling us that you were a bad kid who didn’t deserve love. When we correct you we would always try to address the behavior, not your value as a person, so we were super confused why you felt like that. Turns out, it was because of all of those little criticisms we were sending to you in the everyday moments. I’m happy to say that since Dad and I were made aware of it, we’ve cut back a lot. Or, we say those things that are true that need to be said (tuck your shirt in, we only have 5 minutes before it’s time to leave, etc) but only AFTER we reaffirm how loved you are.

20170322_181650

And you really are so, so, so loved. It’s so exciting watching you grow into a person. You’re still inquisitive and you love to correct people and counsel them and tell them what they’re doing wrong (I don’t know where you get it from, except from both of your parents) (sorry about that). You love Jesus and love going to church and learning. You’re silly and crazy and pretty self-aware for a now-7-year-old.

I hope when you read these you remember the good, happy times from this year. Your Dad and I constantly struggle with how to do the things God calls us to do but also protect you and help you see why we do the things we do. Sometimes God calls us to love those who desperately need it, but who don’t know how to love back. Sometimes we ask a lot of you – constant forgiveness, even when it’s not easy. I hope us loving people helps you to grow into a strong, compassionate man capable of great love. I hope you’re better than your Dad and I – better at boundaries and taking care of yourself and loving others the way Jesus does. Those are all important things that are hard to teach, because you’ve got to model it.

Parenting is hard – it’s this crazy balance of trying desperately to teach the things you know are true and good, but also recognizing that you don’t have stuff figured out yourself. You and your brother and the others we’re charged with the care of – you’re all worth the hard work. Watching you grow up has been such a blessing and joy.

20170422_124738

I can’t wait to see what year 7 brings us. I love you to the moon and back, then back out to the stars. You’re an amazing, wonderful, adventurous, kind child, and I thank God every day for you.
Love,
Momma

Advertisements

These are just some things on my radar, things that I have starred in my google reader, things that make my heart burst and make me cry in the middle of the day when no one is looking (I hope).  Enjoy.

Guest Post at A Deeper Story: On Sending my Husband into Brothels.
A bold reality for some people.  Such bravery, such sacrifice.  Not necessarily easy reading, but the truth that is written here is beautiful.

In which he wouldn’t do anything different (and neither would I)
I love this because of the last few paragraphs, it speaks to me and my life right now.  

Sarah – A Woman of Valor
Tears. 

This picture. 
I don’t know if it’s kosher for me to post it here, or hyperlink, or what, so just click and look.

A Mom’s Back to School Blues
I really like this, even though I don’t have school aged children yet.  It’s a good reminder of what the future holds.

I haven’t done a “Miscellaneous Monday” in a while, and there’s all sorts of tasty goodness on my blogroll and out in the world today so I am going to share! 

The problem with “Homosexuality” – Justin Lee writes openly and honestly and I really enjoy his thoughts.  He raises some good questions here and I think they merit further consideration.

Counting the cost – Scott discusses the importance of thinking about the “real” cost of self-defense, and the link provided is, in my opinion, essential reading for anyone who thinks they have an opinion on what the media reports on the Martin-Zimmerman case.

Bicycle clutch – You don’t have to read this, you just have to admire the beauty. I am currently using a lunch tote tied up, but this would double as a purse once I’d arrived at my destination! Brilliant!

Old & New Project – A collaborative project for graphic artists to display artwork themed around bible stories.  Some of them are incredible, all of them are interesting.  So far my favorites are Judah&Tamar and Deborah’s Song of Jael. If you want more amazing visual scripture, be sure to check out Jim LePage’s solo project Word.  Don’t ask me to pick a favorite, I can’t, I mean, 2 Corinthians is amazing, Hebrews makes me smile and I can’t forget Titus, 1 Timothy, Habakkuk, Job, ok really, I have to stop, just go. Look. Learn.

Peace like a River – Breathtakingly beautiful honesty. I can relate to this post in a lot of ways and I think a lot us can.

So, did any of these pique your curiosity? Which ones? I’d love to see if anyone else enjoys these as much as I did!

Dedicated to my lovely Comm Manager who inspired this project, with special thanks to my coworkers for assisting.

“Our Favorite Things”
{Dispatch Version}

Cops that are helpful and friendly to dispatch
Sun on our days off and radios that aren’t patched
Bosses that love us with halos like rings
These are a few of our favorite things

Getting the scoop when they come in from Show-up
Creatures that Animal Officers bring up
Spider, snake, dog and an owl that sings
These are a few of our favorite things

Christmas when citizens offer us cookies
Knowing a tiny bit more than the rookies
Finding a suspect with 3 cell phone pings
These are a few of our favorite things

When the phones ring
When the guys scream
When we’re feeling mad
We simply remember our favorite things
And then we don’t feel so bad

© 2011 Jennet Sullivan

Neighbors who let me throw my extra bag of trash that won’t fit in my trash can into their trash can the night before trash day, the grace that I don’t deserve, staying up till 11:30pm on a worknight to hang out and laugh with my husband, free couches!, playing in the pool in the backyard with my husband and son, dancing barefoot, my son’s giggle, sore muscles, birthday parties to go to!, the feeling of accomplishment after working outdoors, a house to call my own, a family to love, a deep breath to take.

800px-Guinness_Storehouse_St._Patrick%27s_Day_sign.jpg

My husband and his brothers are Irish. Every year since I’ve known them we have celebrated St. Patrick’s day in some form or another. It is always a great day filled with much fun. We can usually expect some good Irish music, corned beef and cabbage, drinking, laughing, joking, story telling and a usually a little bit of fighting. They’re the kind of Irish that are proud to be Irish for various different reasons – and it shows. They’re tough, independent, fierce individuals who care deeply and are passionate about the things important to them.

So today’s Miscellaneous Monday is in honor of Brian, who will give you the shirt off your back and work tirelessly alongside you if you need him to. And Cory, who is passionate about integrity and honor and strength of character. And Justin, who is my favorite of them all (after all, he IS my husband) who consistently shows me a dedication to the things that are important to him and integrity when it counts – when (he thinks) no one else notices.

Today is about all things Irish in preparation of March 17th. Enjoy!

Traditions!
Beauty and Bedlam – St. Patricks day tradition ideas – Some cute ideas, LOVE the penny idea. We’ll be doing that as soon as Benjamin is old enough to know not to eat them 😉

Food!
Guinness Corned Beef and Cabbage – A basic idea of dinner in our house on St. Patrick’s day.
Soda Bread – If you know me, you probably know how much I adore a good bread. Here you can learn way more than you ever wanted to about soda bread. And for the record, I lean towards the pure soda bread without any fruits or sweeteners.

Drink!
Tullamore Dew Irish Wiskey – If you’re drinking, this is a good choice.

Music!
– Great Big Sea! A live version, so I apologize in advance, but this is pretty much a classic Irish song. Period.
– by a band called Gaelic Storm. This song makes me giggle every time I hear it.
– This song makes me tear up and I loves it.
– My favorite Dropkick Murphy’s song, period.

I could do this for hours, so let me just name off a few more: Rocky Road to Dublin by Gaelic Storm, Star of the County Down by Mackeel, Fields of Anthenry by Dropkick Murphys, Mountain Dew by The Clancy Brothers… ok. That’s enough to get you started. Enjoy!!

Source for picture: Wikipedia

I’ve been busy busy busy but didn’t forget about Miscellaneous Monday. So, you get the Thursday Edition!

Up for your enjoyment today: Ken Jenning’s AMA (Ask me Anything) on Reddit. If you don’t know who Ken Jennings is, then, well, you’re a bit odd. And where were you in 2004? And Wikipedia is your friend. I pretty much cried with laughter when I read his limerick for Reddit, and while he’s insanely intelligent and fact-oriented he also seems to be a pretty hilarious, normal, down-to-earth kind of guy. Very much enjoyed reading it.

And for those of you interested in something a little more religious in nature, I share with you a link to an amazing quote on contentment that stirred my soul.

Today is our next installment of Miscellaneous Monday, the day where I share with you my interesting finds from the week.  Sometimes it’s a website, sometimes it’s something else entirely! It mostly depends on if I can find something or not! I like exclamation points!

Today I’m sharing one of my new favorite websites! It’s called Instructables

Instructables is kind of amazing.  Want to learn step by step instructions on how to make a super awesome dragon cake? DONE

 What about a Lightning McQueen cake? Ba-Dow!

Oh… I’m sorry, cake isn’t your thing? You crazy bird, you.  How about learning how to turn a shoe organizer into a beautiful garden? Ka-Ching!

And finally, one more, a personal favorite (and one I’m going to make my hubby make me as soon as we buy tools!): A beautiful antiqued media stand made out of 1 sheet of plywood! Of course, I want one for me, and one for Benjamin’s room, and maybe one in the hall closet….

So Instructables has two levels; a free version and paid version.  A paid account is 2 dollars a month, or 40 per year.  Paying means you get to view pdf files of the instructions or view all the steps on one page.  It’s completely usable at the free level, which I love, and slightly more convenient for those willing to pay, which I also love.  I’m pretty much in love with this site and can’t wait to start learning how to do other unique things.  Although I don’t know if I have enough gumption to try this Reversible Coffee/Activity table.  I mean, really, wow.  How do they find the time?

Anyways! Tune in next week for more miscellaneous finds!

I’m going to try to start a new tradition: Miscellaneous Monday. On any given Miscellaneous Monday I will share something (or two) I’ve found on the Internet that might pique your interest. Today we’ve got two things!

The first: The Simple Wife ( http://www.thesimplewife.typepad.com )

Let me tell you, don’t click this link without grabbing some tissues first. The Simple Wife is the blog of Joanne Heim, a woman living in Denver who recently suffered from a massive stroke. I don’t really have appropriate words to convey what has happened in this blog since her stroke on January 11th… you’ll have to read it for yourself. Suffice it to say that the love that is expressed on the pages of her blog have literally made me weep. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big crybaby anyways, and anyone who knows me very well knows that nothing makes me cry more than the triumph of the human spirit. Seeing people be strong in the face of adversity – in real life, not in the imaginary world of books and movies – has warmed my heart. Go, follow her husband as he provides updates and speaks lovingly about his 19 year companion. Cry. Pray for her and their family. Take a minute to thank God for your own family.

Also, they have a separate blog that isn’t updated as often that deals with their marriage, specifically dealing with a marriage in which the husband is bipolar (it’s linked on the main page). Can I just tell you how much I am loving reading these archives? Man. What an amazing couple.

Ok, that one’s done, now for the fun one.

Rosewell, Texas ( http://www.bigheadpress.com/roswell?page=1 )

A graphic story by L. Neil Smith and Rex F. May detailing a alternate universe where Davy Crockett survives the Alamo and Santa Anna dies, resulting in Texas being its own country. The story surrounds the UFO landings in Roswell and while it took a bit for me to get into it, I absolutely fell in love with it about a third of the way through it. It paints a picture of Texas that any libertarian would love to see, as unrealistic as it might be. And if you’re a fan of history you’ll love the characters the pop up randomly throughout the story – my favorite was Gene Roddenberry, but then, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Go, read, enjoy.

“But this is terrible!” cried Frodo. “Far worse than the worst that I imagined from your hints and warnings. O Gandalf, best of friends, what am I to do? For now I really am afraid. What am I to do? What a pity that Bilbo did not stab that vile creature, when he had a chance!”
“Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy; not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded, Frodo. Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity.”
“I am sorry,” said Frodo. “But I am frightenened; and I do not feel any pity for Gollum.”
“You have not seen him,” Gandalf broke in.
“No, and I don’t want to,” said Frodo. “I can’t understand you. Do you mean to say that you, and the Elves, have let him live on after all those horrible deeds? Now at any rate he is as bad as an Orc, and just an enemy. He deserves death.”
“Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it. And he is bound up with the fate of the Ring. My heart tells me that he has some part to play yet, for good or ill, before the end; and when that comes, the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many – yours not least. In any case we did not kill him; he is very old and very wretched. The Wood-elves have him in prision, but they treat him with such kindness as they can find in their wise hearts.”