Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

True Confessions of a Mother

January 18, 2013

When my children were 7, 4 and 2-years-old (back when I only had three kids!) I read a book that stated, “A seven-year-old is capable of running a household.”  It shocked me.  But I bit into it…. with my jaws wide open… similar to my first bite of a Krispy Kreme donut.  That night, as I laid in bed with my eyes wide open, I dreamed of training my 7-year-old to take over all the menial tasks that I dreaded as a mother and keeper of the home.  I envisioned my next two offspring also reaching the ripe old age of seven…. and helping their older sister do EVERYTHING!  Oh, sweet baby Jesus, this was the answer I needed … my ticket to sanity… the train bound for the hot bubbly bath surrounded by candles …. and TIME to read a good book without interruptions.

The chore chart was born that night and materialized the next day.  It worked like a gem.  I taught each kid a single chore, one at a time, year by year, that they could master at my cleaning expectations.  Oh, would my future daughters-in-law sing praises to my name!

You may be asking yourself what I would do with all my new-found free time…. well, I’m a homeschool mom.  BAM!  (Homeschool mom = no free time.)

Reflecting back, after 12 long years in the saddle (and 9 to go, but who’s counting?), I have come to see the harm the chore chart did to my children.  Yes, it’s true.  And I am admitting it here for all the world to read.  (Well, that is…. the 80% of those in the world over the age 15 who are literate… according to a 2002 statistic.)  (Homeschool moms are experts at finding statistics to prove their point.)

As the teen years encompassed our home, I realized that my sweet chillin’s wouldn’t lift a finger for any chore that did not have their name next to it on that particular day. “WHAAAAT?  Is that how we brought you up???  To be selfish and petty?”  Made my blood boil.  (That only happens at 212 degrees F…. and I was THERE, baby!)

Discussions revolving around teens and the spirit of helping, a willingness to serve, desiring to be like Jesus, etc. etc. etc. were had by yours truly and many others in my life.  Since then, we have regrouped and are trying something new and improved… it’s called being nice.  Being thankful.  Not feeling entitled.  An announcement was made at the dinner table not long ago…. it went something like this:  “We are a family.  We help each other.  We serve each other.  If someone cared enough to plan your meals, go grocery shopping, cook for you and set the table….. then you need to stick around until the whole kitchen is cleaned up and the food is put away.”  BAM!  It has worked beautifully for three nights now.  I will keep you posted on the success of trying to teach my children to be helpful without their name written on a chart.  Pray for me.

Now, those who have great faith in my chore chart abilities, do not fear.  Only the kitchen tasks have been removed.  Their names are still next to chores that include wiping toilets, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning windows, collecting trash, etc. etc. etc.  Some things just need routine.  Ok, I just need routine…. and a long bubbly bath surrounded by candles.


HELLO! and come in for some hot cocoa!

December 29, 2011

Many disturbances in the force have contributed to my blogging absence… including, but not limited to, Christmas, my sister and her family visiting from Washington, Christmas Eve service, an Elvis Dinner Theater double date, Jesus’ Birthday party, cookie decorating, shopping, wrapping, Chelsea (Larisa’s friend) visiting for a week, and an Amazon gift wrapping experience that made me appreciate my life. (That warranted a blog all by itself!) Oh, and I almost forgot the most important reason I have not been on MSJ…. my laptop got a virus and wouldn’t let me get online.  It’s all better now, thanks to Howard.

Many Christmas blessings transpired which I have been eager to share.  #1 (and most important) I got a text from my friend Jill on Dec. 22nd near midnight that read “A friend has two free baby wiener dogs. Did you get Larisa a gift yet?”  That was it.  I was ruined.  Have you seen dachshund puppies?  They are irresistible… even if you have sworn by the Virgin Mother and the baby Jesus child that you will never go through puppy-raising a second time in your entire life.  My 18-year-old daughter has wanted a wiener dog for years.  She has a dog.  But she wanted a wiener dog.  I’ve said NO for years.  She has taped pictures of wiener dogs on my bedroom door.  She has posted wiener dog pictures on my facebook page.  She even doggy-sits wiener dogs… and brings them over to show me how adorable they are.  I finally broke down and told her I would buy a wiener dog for her as a wedding gift.  (She doesn’t even have a love interest at the moment… and as I said previously, she’s only 18.)  I thought it was a great compromise.  Then came the text.  I didn’t say anything, I simply showed the text to my husband.  We both raised our eyebrows and shook our heads.  We were thinking the same thing….. FREE…. and our little Colombian princess would love to have a puppy to play with.  It could be a doggy for both of our girls to share.  Then when Larisa goes to college, Nora is still here to clean up the back yard of doggy doodoo.  Perfect.

I called another friend who received a baby wiener dog for Christmas last year…. and didn’t keep it.  I wanted to know why.  Her answer didn’t help me.  She didn’t have time to train him.  Well, I’m home all the time… with nothing to do.  Perfect.  I started to list off all the things we would need to purchase for the puppy…. doggy door, crate, gate, etc.  She piped in with a FREE doggy door and crate.  Perfect.

Christmas Eve at approximately 11:59 and 1/2 Rick gave his blessing for the acquisition of the baby wiener dog.  Oh, were our girls going to be thrilled.  A few glitches have occurred.  It took us so long to decide, the puppy missed ride #1 from California to Phoenix.  Ride #2 is on Jan. 3rd.  At least that gives us a week before we start school again!  Here are the girls when they heard the new puppy news:

Shocked and amazed.  It was priceless.  We only have a few blurry pictures from which to choose a new family pet… and they are from a cell phone.  We don’t have a name chosen yet, and Larisa is leaning toward the bigger brown puppy not the smaller black puppy.  I’ll keep you posted and hopefully get some blog-worthy photos.

I’ll save #2 and #3 Christmas blessings for other blogs.  Needless to say… not much else could beat a Christmas puppy… and it isn’t even home yet.  (I’m seeing this as my ticket to new carpet… in a year!)

Road Trip Trivia

October 12, 2010

So in the past four days, we drove 24 hours… including stops.  It was all well worth it and we needed a break from the reality of sitting in our cozy house waiting for the phone to ring… giving us the information that will change our lives forever.  No, not Ed McMahon calling…. our adoption referral call.  Yes, I’ve mentioned it in every blog for the past month because I’M OBSESSED

Back to the road trip.  No Crosby family trip would be complete without original sayings that get repeated for all eternity and instantly take us back to the trip where the saying was first quoted.  This trip’s quote is a passionate, “WOW!”  It was voiced by both my husband and I simultaneously after a pause that followed a Snapple Trivia Fact from the inside of a cap of juice.  Larisa read it from the back of the van, “Everyone ready for a Snapple Trivia Fact?”  Silence commenced preparing our hearts for a truth from a juice cap.  “A three-day-old Caribou can outrun its mother.”  A quiet space was followed by dual “WOW’s!” from both of the front seat passengers.  Think about it… at three days…. it can run faster than its mama!  Wow!

Then we played Name That Tune, which is normally undertaken with humming, but humming is too quiet to effectively play Name That Tune in a running vehicle.  So we sing… without words.  There were some clever songs sung with no words.  There were some stupid songs sung with no words.  There were also some unknown songs sung with no words.  After about three Michael Jackson songs sung with no words, Larisa leaned over the back seat of the van and rummaged through her suitcase until she presented the new MJ cd This Is It!  So Name That Tune was ended by two go-arounds with MJ singing his little heart out.  Larisa commented during the second run-through that it’s ironic that MJ was singing the song This Is It…. and it was.  He never got to perform for an audience.  I added the fact that he also sang the words, “I’m the light of the world” in that song.  Those words should be reserved for the true light of the world, Jesus.  Yes, ironic.  Wow!

Honor Bound

March 8, 2010

I’ve been called a lot of things through the years, but SLOW is hardly ever mentioned.  I’m usually a quick study and even quicker with my one-liner comebacks that regrettably needed to be censored before spewing.  However, the past three weeks have been my mentally slowest three of all eternity.  I usually catch on to clue words that the Lord brings to my attention over and over.  But not this time.  Nope.  Tonight finally, the lightbulb went on and I put the puzzle pieces together in my own ritardando way.

I’m currently doing a Bible study with a group of women on Wednesdays and the book we are using is called The
Strength of Womanhood.  Believe it or not, I’m actually a few weeks ahead of schedule and I’m diligently trying to keep it that way.  Regardless, the study I did three weeks ago was titled “Clothed with Honor” about how a virtuous woman is clothed with strength and honor.  It discussed honor being given and received.  It listed many scriptures about giving honor to God. 

I realized that I didn’t fully understand how the word honor is used in the Bible, so I did a word study and discovered several synonyms: reverence, a feeling of deep respect, regard highly, admiration, respectful thought and to regard with pleasure.  I soaked in the new meaning in my mind and moved on.

I’m also working my way through a book called Becoming a Woman of Excellence and last week it spoke of Boaz honoring Ruth when he told her, “All my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.”  Wow!  Again, I pondered and moved on.

Then my dad showed up at our house with a book in his hand and a bookmark on chapter four.  It is John Bevere’s book Honor’s Reward.  Coincidence?  I think not.  But did I catch on yet?  Of course not.  Dad was reading his way through the book but after completing chapter four, he brought it over for Rick and I to read.  It was about honoring authority.  It was excellent in showing how to attract God’s favor and blessing by honoring those who are and have been in authority over you.  It helped my thinking to be shaped more like Christ’s in this area.  But the honor lightbulb didn’t even flicker yet.

Tonight I went to a women’s dinner meeting with two of my friends at another church.  I haven’t been to it in several months, but tonight the topic was Honor in Marriage.  The examples given were excellent and the practical advice was fabulous and practical.  The best way for practical advice to be.  I STILL didn’t catch on…..  I’m usually not like this.

On my way home tonight, I was reviewing in my mind our school work for tomorrow…. cathedral visits, library stop, and then it dawned on me.  The unit we are studying for two weeks is Church Architecture…. in the character trait of Honor.  Daily I have been going over the definition of honor with my boys for over a week…. Honor: giving respect where it is due.  We chose our unit in June last year…. and God knew that I would be working on Honor in every area of my life in March 2010!  Wow!

SIX…. it took S-I-X different events where the word honor was brought before my eyes to realize that this needed some attention in my life.  Good grief!  God is so patient with us, as slow as we are sometimes.  Anyway, I’m working on giving respect where it is due.  Amen.

Neighborhood Group

January 31, 2010

We have recently joined a neighborhood group that meets every Sunday night… and it is so refreshing!  We have never been involved in a discussion/fellowship/party group before with people who live so close to us… in our neighborhood!  Imagine! (hence, the name!)  There are seven families who attend regularly ranging in age from 3 months to 80s.  I LOVE the cross generational mixing for our kids.  With our homeschool groups we tend to stick with people who have kids the same ages as ours, obviously so they can be taught together.  All the more reason I’m loving this group… a brand new little baby girl was there tonight.  So sweet.  Takes me back.

The stories that have come from the neighborhood groups at our church are truly remarkable.  We’ve met so many people at church who are there because a neighborhood group reached out to them when they had a need.  One couple was out of work and had a newborn.  The neighborhood group in their area didn’t know them, but heard about their plight.  They supplied the couple with diapers for six months straight.  It doesn’t seem like a huge deal… but diapers are expensive, even when you have a job.  They folks had never gone to church before… now they do… because of the neighborhood group.

Before we joined this group there was a family in our neighborhood whose child fell into a campfire and was being treated at a burn center in town.  They also had two other small children at home.  So the neighborhood group sent out an email and for twenty-one days straight, dinners were delivered to their house.  What a blessing!  To the giver and the receiver!

We’ve never really made it a point to meet the neighbors that live more than two doors away.  We are in a cocooning society, where everyone drives up to the their house, into the garage, the door goes down and you don’t even know what anyone really looks like!   Sad!  I’m not pointing fingers…. I have never seen the woman who lives next door.  They moved in over a year ago.  What a great neighbor I am!  My goal this week is to go over and knock on the door and introduce myself.  I’m usually home, so if she ever needed help for some reason, I’m here…. but she doesn’t know what I look like either.  ENOUGH!

It’s time to be neighborly.  Join me, if you will.

It’s the Holiday Season

December 7, 2009

After all the pictures of my messy house in pre-home visit haphazardness, I decided to let you see a glimpse of our Christmas house decor now that things are put straight and purty.

Jesus and his posse are on the piano this year.  There is far more room in the stable now, because there was no room in the inn.

My favorite part of getting ready for Jesus’ birthday is getting out all of our ornaments and reminiscing of those who gave them to us, or where we purchased them.  When we go on vacations, we try to remember to buy and ornament for the tree.  This is our first year where we’ll have two trees, but the real one that will inevitably drop pine needles in my shag carpet is not being purchased until Dec. 19th, the day after Rick and I get home.  So the fake Jenny Craig blue and silver tree is up and shining, but the remainder of the not blue and silver ornaments are still in their boxes.

My second favorite part of getting ready is finding the on-sale decorations that I bought last year.  I never remember them!  It’s like opening surprise Christmas presents to myself.  This year was no exception.  I found these silver balls and pinecones in their packages… all ready for the silver snowman basket.  So cute… and there’s mirrored disco balls too.  Perfect for the Crosby Christmas Dance-Off.

Because the Nativity scene took over the piano top, the Christmas village moved to the entry table… and of course, any pilot’s Christmas village has a hangar and an airplane or two.  Duh!

Here’s the love birds that are sitting behind the lit archway… it’s so cute.  He’s playing his accordion and singing to her…. probably “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

All we need is a roaring fireplace, some hot cocoa with marshmallows and some snow outside.  Well, one out of three ain’t bad.

Coupon Sense Testimony Time

August 26, 2009

Ok, just had to share.  You know how it is when you save hundreds of dollars for your husband.  I dropped Austin off at hockey practice and lo and behold, there is a Fry’s and Safeway conveniently located by the arena.  Sweet Jesus!  I am currently grounded from spending money… but that’s for another blog on a depressing day… not today.  So, I went to both stores for just the freebies and got:

5 boxes of Kellogg’s corn flakes

2 avocados

6 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (4 in a pkg)  No, I don’t plan to eat all those tonight or even this week.  That is a three month supply!  Hidden of course.

(They were out of the free zip lock baggies and the free salad dressing!  BAH!)

And spent….. $.19.   Yes, that’s cents, not dollars.  NINETEEN cents.  That doesn’t even count as spending money.

Then I went to Barnes & Noble to casually browse adoption books, which is what us adoptive parents do in our WAITING time.  I found three and then a comfy chair.  Half way through the second book I figured out that I was pretty tired when I did a church nod!  (That’s when your head falls to the side in an uncontrolled, but quickly rectified fashion.)  So I put the books back and wandered TJ Maxx.  Remembering fervently that I’m grounded from spending money.

One of the adoption books, or should I say anti-adoption books, was just more than I could take.  It was so generalized on the negative side I felt like ripping out pages and wadding them up.  But then I’d have to explain the the B&N people that I can’t pay for it because I’m grounded from spending money.  So I just put it back on the shelf and truly questioned the benefits of books full of negative smack.  Who reads those?  Oh, negative people.  Right.

Anyway, Rick is away tonight on a trip, so I will have a full night of blissful rest without having to tell him to turn over and stop snoring.  Yes, I’d rather have him here.  Yes, my tired body is happy he’s gone for just one night.  I can’t imagine being a real pilot’s wife when they are gone so much.  Thankfulness has again filled my heart, even though I’m grounded from spending money.  Sweet Dreams!

Merry CHRISTmas!

December 25, 2008


What a blessed day to celebrate the King of Kings!  I pray His love and peace will fill your homes with blessings today and all through 2009!  Happy Birthday, Jesus!

We’re off to my parent’s home for an afternoon of Settlers of Catan and a wonderful Christmas dinner.  I love relaxing family time!  Spread the Joy around!

On the Second Day of Christmas

December 14, 2008

What could be better than chocolate TURTLES and DOVE bars?  I can’t imagine anything better either.  In the Bob and Doug McKenzie-warped-Canadian version of the 12 Days song, on day number two Mr. Truelove brings two turtlenecks, which is really quite feasible and practical in the Great White North.


Without donning a turtleneck today, I braved the bitter 68* and hit JC Penney for a hot-commodity Christmas gift for a child of mine.  The special ended at 1:00 p.m.  I hit the parking lot running at 12:45.  I didn’t want to scan the store on my own, so I parked by customer service and went straight and asked where the gold was located.  With a phone call and a three-way conversation on walkie-talkies, I was sent to THE RED BOX for the desired item.  THE RED BOX is an area in JC Penney near the mall entrance that was wrapped in red paper before all the merchandise was put on the shelves.  The red walls made me want to buy.  Not really, but I’m sure that’s what corporate office hoped for. 

I grabbed said gift and immediately got in line…. 12:54.  With only one lady in front of me and four tellers serving the line, I was assured of my pre-1:00 p.m. success.  As lady #1 moved to a till, my cell phone rang.  NO ONE was going to interrupt my RED BOX deal…. well, unless it was my husband, which it was. 

Seems he locked his keys in his car and was currently stranded by said locked car with three youngsters in his watchful care.  He didn’t seem concerned of my whereabouts.  At all.  “HI!  I locked my keys in the car at Walgreens.  Can you please drive up here right now?”  Walgreens is 5 miles north of our house.  If I was at home, it would’ve been an 8 minute trip.  I was not at home.  I was in the RED BOX line with now four minutes to spare to purchase my 60% off desired item at JC Penney which is 18.56 miles southeast of our home.  Sweet Jesus, Cashier #3 was waving me over… 12:57. “I’m at PV Mall,” was all I said.  Then I hung up.  It was a rational decision on my part.  I could do nothing to aid my key-less husband at the moment and my pre-1:00 purchase pre-empted his situation.

Christmas shopping really brings out the best in people.  Thinking of others.  Saving money.  Holiday cheer.  Love for all mankind.  I was back in the van by 1:04 p.m. with my prized box and Rick was safely home when I arrived.  Another successful day of Christmas shopping and all is well.

NOW it feels like Christmas… fa la la la la!

December 12, 2008

The goal upon eyes opening this morning was to get the Christmas decor set straight and the boxes thrown in the garage.  With three children instructed to complete the task given and report back for the next task, all was done in only two hours.  Marvelous!  Here is a peak at winter in Arizona… holding the prominent location at the entry table, Mary, Jo and the baby Jesus…. along with various animals, angels and others.  Precious Moments nativity pieces are the only thing I really collect… and with the entry table full and some angels still hiding in their boxes, I don’t know if I really need the lighted inn, the palm trees or the wisemen on camels.


The table is set and the snowmen are smiling.  So am I.  The cheesy plastic snowmen placemats are for every day use to protect the table cloth.  All was lovely and bright and in place for approximately 13 minutes before four blobs of Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper missed the cheesy plastic snowman and hit the bright and clean table cloth. {{{sigh}}}  (Yes, votive candles are on my shopping list for the little snowflakes… and nuts and candy for the empty squares.)


With no snow in sight, we do what we can.


Without warning, I was overcome with emotion when I pulled three Precious Moments Baby’s First Christmas ornaments from the box, knowing that one is missing from the tree.  The minute I discover Zaza’s birth year, I’m on eBay finding her ornament to complete the set.


Yes, my Christmas tree is blue.  I love blue.  It makes me feel cool under our clear blue skies of December.  Merry Christmas!