Saturday, November 27, 2010

Let It Be

We're on day eight since we've had school. Me thinks Christmas Break is going to be looonnnggg..... I adore my children. I do. I just wish~ Okay, so I was thinking about it earlier today, and here's the thing: Being all cooped up & restless has made me feel so needy. I feel like I NEED more square feet for starters. But I also feel like I need more stuff, which is ridiculous considering that we've already established that I'm feeling cramped in our current space. Why on earth would I want to further crowd it?! Admittedly, it makes no sense.

The kids are bored though. So bored that we've actually been playing an exceptional amount of board games. So bored that they say they miss school. We don't have cable anymore. I believe that they're actually just about sick of video games. All of our books have been read. So, I find myself wishing we had "more" of something. Some nameless thing that magically makes life more entertaining. And then I realize, I kind of think that maybe we're so restless because we already have too much. We're so spoiled. We're so accustomed to having unlimited entertainment that we don't remember or maybe even know how to just BE.

There's something so magical about the times that we get away from it all. I think that's why I love camping so much. Well, more specifically, backpacking type camping trips. (I'm sorry, but "roughing it" in an RV does NOT count, people!) I love being unplugged from the Internet, the television, the XBOX, the phone. Having no distractions so that I can just take in the blue of the sky and the green of the trees. Notice the slight sound of a frog croaking. The way that a bird swoops down over the water.

I think maybe that's what I'm feeling needy for. I'm craving simplicity & peace. I know that it's not necessarily a reality to have that on a daily basis (especially at this time of the year, sadly) but I think that I'm going to make an effort to try to be entertained a little less and be present a little more. Just what the Dr. ordered?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Of Life And Things...

Since I stink at driving in this icy weather & I haven't blogged for a while, here's my melodramatic post to my children (in case I die tomorrow.)

There are so many things that I want you to know. The reality is that you will hopefully find these things out for yourself through life experience and that when I tell you this it will probably just go in one ear & out the other. But I'm telling you anyway...

#1. No one can make you unhappy. They can sure try, but you have choices. Choose to find the good in every situation and please be self-aware enough to know when it's time to say "Enough" and stand up for what you need. It's your life.

#2. The healthiest way to cure depression is to give. There is always someone out there who has it worse than you. Help them. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, a hospital, or wherever else you know that there is a need. You'll feel better. I promise.

#3. And when you get married... The best person to talk about your marital problems with? Your spouse. Venting is great (and necessary) but you need to go to the person that you have the issue with so that you can fix the problem. Ultimately, sharing all of your private life with your friends will mean that things will end up awkward for everyone involved. Not to mention, do you really want your spouse talking to their buddies about you?

#4. Don't protect those you love from the pain that will heal them. As a mom, I want to protect you from everything, but I know that I can't do that without cheating you in the long run. I don't want you to do that either. Even if it's me that the truth will hurt. No denial. No kid gloves. Just being real & facing whatever comes. Rip that band-aid off, please.

#5. Your life is more than a resume. You can use whatever words you like to describe yourself, but what speaks the loudest is your actions. People will forget a lot of things, but they don't forget the way that you make them feel. Strive to be a person that you would like to be around. Be the best you possible & own it when you fall short of the goal. That's what counts.

#6. Never criticize without working toward a solution. It's easy to point fingers and find fault. Be strong enough to be accepting & forgiving and ditch the negative. Save the criticism for the days that you can positively say, "I have a way to help things get better!"

#7. Find something that you're passionate about and surround yourself with it. You all have your own individual strengths and talents. Pursue your interests and your dreams. Whether that's drawing, or music, or writing, or taking care of animals... Whatever. Do what you love & love what you do.

#8. But... make time for things that are outside of your comfort zone. Your brain (and your body) need to be challenged. Try a new class that a friend is excited about or enter a competition that you're nervous about. Paint a wall a new color that you like but aren't sure about. It's okay to be silly, to make mistakes, and to learn on the fly.

#9. Never forget abuse nor tolerate it again, but do forgive. Holding a grudge is like taking poison and then waiting for the other person to die. So let go & let God. Forgiveness doesn't mean being a door mat. It can be as simple as praying for the other person and hoping that they'll choose a better path for themselves. Forgiveness is NOT having amnesia and enabling people. My wish for you is that you'll be strong enough to recognize when a relationship isn't healthy & that you'll have the courage and wisdom to do what needs to be done in whatever situation that you find yourself in.

#10. I've raised you with the thought in the back of my mind that I'm going to have to let you go someday. You are not my clone, not my only fulfillment, and I am not living vicariously through you. So, go out into the world and be YOURSELF knowing that I am proud of you, that I love you unconditionally, and that you are amazing just the way you are.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Week Hensley Update

I love Safeway. The other day Brooke & I went grocery shopping together & she had the BEST trip thanks to Safeway's stellar customer service. Brooke was already on cloud nine just from simply getting to come along to the store with me sans brothers. Then, the bakery guy asked if she could have a cookie. When she said "thank you" with a twinkle in her eye, he handed her a 2nd cookie with a wink saying, "Don't tell anyone you got two, okay?" In the produce section, she was offered a handful of juicy red grapes & some apple slices. And the checker gave her 4 Hannah Montana stickers. Not to mention the fact that I saved a TON on the bill since they let you load coupons on to your club card online. Love it!

While we were at Safeway, Brooke chose a Valentine's gift for her teacher as well as her brothers' teachers. She was SO proud of her choices & excited to give them to everyone. When we got home & were unloading the groceries, she excitedly thrust the box of chocolates at each boy telling them to put them in their backpacks and "Tell your teacher that they're from BOTH of us." Lane & Russell just shrugged an "okay" and tucked the little heart shaped boxes into said backpacks. Tatton wasn't as agreeable though. He exclaimed, "Chocolates?! Did you forget that my teacher does Weight Watchers? I don't even want to guess the points value for these!"

I'm guessing that Brooke took that to mean that Tatton would not be needing those chocolates after all, because she disappeared in to her room & emerged a little while later with an empty box of chocolates. Which prompted Tatton to shriek, "BROOKE! Why did you eat my teacher's candy?! Just because she is on Weight Watchers doesn't mean she doesn't have cheat days or something! I mean, it's the thought that counts- not the calorie count! Geez-" Poor Brooke ran to her room again.

This time when she came out she had stuffed a handful of Valentine's jolly rancher suckers into the chocolates box & duct taped it up (and wrote Sorry on the duct tape in red sharpie.) She told Tatton very firmly that he had better give those to his teacher (or else.) Tatton told her that she had better watch it because Mrs. H was going to be her teacher in a couple of years & Brooke would never outlive the title of the girl who ate the teacher's chocolate.

Russell had the chance to have some one on one time with me this week too. We had our first annual Surf's Up Mother Son Dance. When I first came home from a PTA meeting with the news that we would be having a dance, the boys weren't too excited. I got the impression that Russell wasn't entirely too old & cool for it like his big brothers seemed to think they were though. So, one afternoon, I took the flyer from his backpack & handed it to him saying, "Russ, I was wondering if you wanted to go on a date with me?" His face got red, he looked at his shoes, and he said, "Umm... Can I get back to you on this?" A few days later, he silently walked up to me, handed me the flyer back and nodded his head yes. Russell does this funny thing when he's super happy. He sucks on his bottom lip to try to control himself from smiling. I don't know why he gets so shy about showing happiness, but he seems to think that emotions are embarassing. So, anyway, I could tell that he was WAY excited and happy because he was doing everything he could to try to hide that smile and the corners of his mouth kept tugging up, threatening to show his teeth no matter how hard he tried to suck on that bottom lip.

As the dance got closer & closer, he started asking and reasking, "What time does it start again?" And on Friday, he was watching the clock like a hawk & anxiously counting down. At 6:45 I was done decorating for the dance & I ran home to pick him up. He stayed right by my side for the first few minutes, but when he saw some friends from his class he said, "Uh- Mom? It's okay if you want to talk to the other moms & stuff." Which I thought was a pretty cute way of asking if he could leave me alone to hang out with his friends. I gave him permission & he went over to try to break dance & do hand stands with Wade & Jacob. He was doing pretty great at spinning around in circles on the floor too until his knees started to get a rug burn & then he was all about going over to get in the snow cone line. It was a terrific evening with my little guy.

All of the kids are growing up so fast! I just love being able to be a part of all of these stages in their lives. Earlier today I had to take Lane shopping because he had outgrown all of his clothes (again.) Watching my "baby" go into the dressing room with his arms loaded up with size 16's is still somewhat shocking. His feet are now officially bigger than mine & his favorite t-shirt that we bought today is black with white Fender guitars all over it because that's the kind of bass guitar that he plays.

Well, that's a view into our world this week... I could actually type a ton more come to think of it, but this has already gotten pretty long. Valentine's week gets busy with this houseful! Have a good one!