Friday, August 26, 2011

The Truth and Nothing But The Truth

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  John 8:32

So my husband and I are trying our darndest (by the grace of God) to teach our boys about telling the truth - always.  We've studied about what it means to lie, praised them for being truthful and disciplined them for being untruthful.  When you combine a spirit of truthfulness with the inherited trait of candor, this is what you get:

"I know why you eat fast, Mom.  It's because your mouth is big."

Not entirely untrue.  Having 4 sons leaves me a few milliseconds to stuff my face with whatever to appease my hunger so, yes, I eat quickly.  13 years ago I had 8 more teeth than I do now because I had braces put on so apparently I can fit a lot in there.  And I tend to blurt things out before thinking so... fine.  I wonder what would have been said had they known my mouth was even bigger before braces.

"Mom, I like it better when Dad is home with us because he doesn't scold us as much and he says 'yes' to most of our requests."

This I can't deny.  In fact, I often encourage more "daddy time" to spare my kids of my wrath and give them more opportunities to get what they want.  Did I mention that "daddy time" would also give me the opportunity to go to Target or get some coffee by myself or hide in the bathroom so I could hear myself think?  But this is really about what's best for the children...

So, yes, I know sometimes the truth hurts.  But how can I feel slighted if my boys are just exercising obedience from the lessons they're learning?  I can't and I don't - especially when they also speak truthful words like "I love you, Mom."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

The last time I went on a real-life road trip was back in the late 70s. My dad, mom, and brothers drove our yellow Ford wagon and made a round trip to Kansas from California to visit my aunts and their families. Back then, there were no car seats, no DVD players, and definitely no air conditioning - at least in our car. The only entertainment we had was each other, and the novelty in that lasted about a millisecond. I hated having to wake up in the middle of the night so my dad could "beat traffic", hated that the radio was always set to "oldies", and hated the feel of green vinyl seats in the middle of summer driving through the desert. Why, then, would I ever make a similar trip with my husband and kids? Simply because some things don't change.

14 days - We left on a Sunday and returned two weeks later. While the DVD player and iPads (true gifts from God) entertained the kids most of the time, we were still physically together 24 hours a day. Technically, they slept in a separate room at Papa's house and my brother's house, but the frequency with which we had to check on them might as well count as being with them all the time. Have you ever been with someone nonstop? For two weeks? I'm talking all.the.time. "Spending time with the kids" has a whole new meaning now. So does "migraine".

3850 miles - That's a whole lot of driving. But it's also a whole lot of scenery to experience. The boys were amazed at the tiny dust storms along the roads in Arizona. We were in awe at the red mesas of New Mexico. Texas was like driving through one big grey storm cloud. Oklahoma was green with trees and brown with dormant pastures, spotted with the browns and blacks of horses and cows. Kansas was, well, flat Kansas. But seeing it all in person was more amazing and memorable than looking at pictures on Wikipedia.

6 states - How the culture differs outside of California! We heard more "ma'ms" and "sirs" and not so many "dudes", and really got a kick out of the "y'alls". The speed limit is still 55mph in some places. "Traffic" consisted of slowing to 30mph and the major highways had only three lanes on each side. And what the heck is "pop"? It's called a SODA! But the best culture shock of all? Two words: frozen custard.

So with 3850 miles and 6 states under our belt, we're pretty confident we can do it again. We've started looking at the calendar for upcoming holidays and considering friends we can visit. With so much to see and so much more family time to be enjoyed, my next road trip blog will probably be titled "How I Spent My Weekend".