Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I know you've been wondering...

I know you've been wondering what the "hot topic" is that I hinted in my past blog. I'm sure most of my friends think that they know what it is already...but surprisingly it's not politics. Well, not entirely. Although I am passionate about politics, this blog is generally about our lives with our kids.

The "hot topic" that I am getting prepared for is talking to your kids (da da dum). A few Sundays ago, our pastor pointed out that people really don't like it when you give them advice about parenting. He is right. But since some of my friends asked me to share my experiences, it's not really unsolicited advice is it? Besides you don't have to read it, do you? ;)

Actually, it made me laugh that my friends started asking me about how to survive life with teenagers. But God has a strange sense of humor. I guess if I can learn something from my mistakes and you can learn something from my mistakes, then it all is somehow worth it. In any case, writing as I am making mistakes is a cheaper form of therapy than the one the world subscribes to. Unfortunately, Super and Tutone read this blog I have to be careful not to give away all my secrets. Otherwise, Tutone will find a way to use my tactics against me.

There are two big reasons that I am changing the direction of this blog. First, many of the things that I wanted to talk about were interfering with my ability to write anything else. It was overwhelming. Second, Coach Mom has hung up her cleaning whistle. Ok, I haven't hung it up entirely. But as I pointed out in my blog on goals, I evaluate how things are working seasonally. I needed a break from being the "bad guy" all day long. I could no longer be the educator all day and then the choremaster all afternoon. It was getting to me. I needed some time with the kids where I felt like I wasn't "on them". Unfortunately, I didn't pass the whistle on to anybody else. I just stopped checking up on them. This resulted in a situation which will now require us to replace Tutone's bathroom floor. Sigh. Remember, to quote Tim Lambert, of the Texas Home School Coalition Association, "You get what you inspect, not what you expect."

So Dad will be the new inspector, so that Coach Mom can take a break. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have that opportunity. But if you do, I suggest that once in a while, you switch roles that way. Shaking up the kids that way is never a bad thing. It keeps them on their toes. The boys were hopping to keep those bathrooms clean this week. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Back to Resolutions...

So what, if anything, does being a Renaissance Woman have to do with creating resolutions?

Remember, a couple of weeks ago, when we discussed that creating a resolution was nothing more than a fancy term for setting a goal? No? Then, you might want to make one of your resolutions to start taking ginkgo biloba. Every year, actually seasonally, when I go through the process of goal setting, I choose goals based on the triangle principle - healthy soul, healthy mind, healthy body.

First, look at the three sides of the triangle and think of each part. What are some general things you would like to improve in each category? This is also a great exercise to work on with your kids. Let me tell you what the kids came up with when I worked with them on this exercise.




After you have come up with general categories for each side of your triangle, then start thinking about specific actions you could set for each of the goals you chose. For example, the child who chose "fellowship" under Soul, said that he felt like he needed to participate more in Youth Group activities. The child who chose "service", indicated that he wanted to participate more in homeless missions work. Both children chose "chores" under Body, because they felt like either their room (Tutone) or their bathroom (Super) could be full of germs that could affect their health. ( makes a Coach Mom proud.)

Finally, after you have assigned at least one, but no more than three, specific actions in which you could improve yourself under these goal categories for each triangle side, choose one from each side of the triangle to do this month. What?!? Are you as bad at Math as I am? So if you have 5 general goals under the Body side of your triangle and you assigned 3 actions to each, you would have 15 actions from which to choose. Either way, you should only have 3 actions that you are attempting this month, and they should not be from the same side of the triangle! Remember these are new things, not things you are already doing! No cheating!

Let's play pretend for a minute...

Abigail would like to start going to prayer meetings on Wednesday nights (Soul - prayer); she would like to participate in a Bible study (Soul - scripture knowledge); and she wants to start volunteering at the pregnancy center (Soul - service). She wants to read a book on the Revolutionary War (Mind - historical knowledge); she wants to compile her family history on the computer (Mind - historical knowledge); and she would like to volunteer at the local historical society(Mind - historical knowledge). She needs to get into a regular workout routine (Body - exercise); she needs to drink less coffee and drink more water (Body - food/water); and she needs to start counting her Weight Watcher points again (Body - food/water).

Oh wait! Shoot! I am Abigail. You know what's funny? I didn't even realize that this was my list until half way through making it up. :) Sharpest knife in the drawer that Coach Mom is! Anyway, I digress as usual, but you know that already. So, what would happen if Abigail made all these changes at once? That's right! We would have to call the ambulance or Bellevue (blatant Barney Miller reference for those under age 35 or who didn't grow up in NYC). So we only choose one from each side of the triangle at a time. We do this for one month straight.

You know, they say it takes 21 days to make a habit. I don't know about you, but I am more stubborn than most people. So let's make it a month. Then come back to your list, and add something else. If you keep going for three months, and then reevaluate next season, you will keep up this improvement process. You may not become a Renaissance woman. You may find yourself more of a generalist, someone who knows a little about many different things. But I still say you will find that it is well worth it! If nothing else, it will make you the talk of the town! You could tell them...Coach Mom said!

You can be a Renaissance Woman!

What exactly does it mean to be a Renaissance Woman?

Please bear with me while I go off into a very long drawn out boring sports story in which only I am interested. It is my blog after all. Mike Leach is the current head coach (yes, football!) of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. (Congratulations Coach on your new contract extension!) He has a J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law. Emory Bellard, creator of the Wishbone formation, described Coach Leach as performing the best offensive coordination effort in the country. After his big win against University of Texas in November, while the whole country (ok, college football fans) were talking about Michael Crabtree's last second catch what was he doing? He was quoting an exchange between Winston Churchill and Nancy Astor, the first woman to sit in the English House of Commons, from a book he was reading, "The Wicket Wit of Winston Churchill".

Coach Leach has been described as either a Renaissance Man or a flake, maybe both. But what exactly does this term mean? Well, we get a clue from the context of this story. Unless, of course, you tuned my story out, that's been known to happen from time to time. (Don't think I don't notice!) A renaissance man is defined as someone who is skilled in multiple disciplines. This is based on the artists and scholars of the Renaissance Era in history. There is also another term that people like to apply to this level of skill and knowledge called a polymath, which comes from the Greeks.

Why is a becoming a Renaissance Man (at this point we will start changing the title to Renaissance Woman) so important? The greatest of all Renaissance Men was Leonardo da Vinci, and he gave us a great guide for this behavior. See if it sounds familiar to you. Leonardo da Vinci was a brilliant man who excelled in all areas of his life. He realized that it was important to build up every part of you. This means not just your mind, but your body, and your soul. In a way, it's like a triangle. If one part of your triangle collapses, so too then do the other two sides.

Ask yourself, how many times you have neglected sleep only to have it affect your ability to think? How many times has a headache affected your mood? The answers to these questions are so obvious that the questions seem almost rhetorical, however I ask them for a reason. Da Vinci said "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

We know these things, but we do not do them. It is so frustrating. Fortunately, God loves us. He gives us grace. The ability to get up and try again tomorrow, and not just tomorrow, but later today. Don't wait until tomorrow!

Also, you are not alone! Paul wrote, in his letter to the Romans, "So the trouble is not with the law...the trouble is with me...I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate...Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." Don't let someone tell you that you cannot do it! You can do it! You just have to figure out what "it" is...don't worry we will talk about that some later today or tomorrow. (You knew we would, right?)

There are many philosophies in existence that discuss the balance of the human being with these parts - mind, body, and soul. All I know is that when I filled the hole in middle of my triangle with God, everything else began to make sense. Somebody greater than Leonardo da Vinci once said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." (Mark 12:30)

Long overdue...

I have been taking a break from blogging. Not because I wanted to or needed to, mostly because I have been reflecting on the topics of this blog. After consulting with the people who coach Coach Mom, I have decided to take their advice. Please be advised that some of the topics of this blog may be different than those you have read in the past. I hope that you will still enjoy them. It may be after I get some of these topics written, I will find myself right back to the same old thing...or maybe not. It could be I will find myself blocked by some of my friends on Facebook, but I would hope not. Either way, not blogging about these topics is interfering with my ability to blog about anything else! Now that I have built up the drama...on with the show!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Haven't you learned anything yet?

Ask me...before I ask you...

Hey Central! I'm coming for you! VBS 2009 will be here before you know it!

We have lots of spots available mate! You know you had fun last year!

Actually, apparently I'm too nice. ;) Shelly's in charge of recruiting. So hurry up and call her quick!

Hmmm...what should you do. There are lots of spots to choose from...

You could be the Outback Guide for the Bible Study, or help in Crafts Crossing; and I know we have many talented people that can help in the Opera House! How about some guys to help on Recreation Rock or in the G'day Cafe? We always need help in Missions Harbor! And we will need a ton of Shepherds to lead these Kidaroos around the Outback!

Have an age preference? Hey, we've got kids of all ages! I'm sure we can find a group that you would like.

You know, every VBS I think of this lady I used to work with named Mabel. She used to take a week off from work every year to work VBS. I didn't know what VBS was. She said, "Baby, when God's ready for you, you'll know what it is." Well, isn't that the truth.

But you know what? If Mabel was willing to spend one of her two weeks of vacation a year on serving God...well, do I really need to say it? Tom has arranged for us to have VBS in the evening so that we will not need to do that. And if you put it on your work or home calendar now, I'm sure you can let your "boss" whoever that is know that you will be leaving a little earlier that week so that you can make it to church to serve by 5:45 pm.

After all...if you look at the bottom of this webpage you will see that you have given 132 days, 4 hours, 58 minutes and 30 no 29 no 28 no 27 no well you get the picture...that's a lot of notice!

Now, get in the game!

Time to Revisit Resolutions

For the next couple of weeks, I am going to be revisiting New Year's Resolutions? What! Why? Well, you probably fit into one of the following three categories: you made a resolution and you already broke it; you didn't make a resolution for one of various excuses, I mean reasons; or you need to be teaching this lesson on resolutions.

What are resolutions anyway and why are they really important? Hey, you there in the back! Sit up and pay attention! Resolutions are really just another packaging of goal setting. Goal setting is important. And sorry, not just for Type A personalities like me. It's been proven that people who set goals get things accomplished. Why do you think corporations spend so much money on those time management conferences, because they like feeding you sandwiches and cookies with your diet Coke?

Think of the things in your life that you wanted to do when you grew up. Did you ever do them? Wait, see. You really did set a goal at some point. So obviously, there is something to this whole thing. But maybe there's a little more to it than just a wish that something would happen, right?

So are you ready to get in the game? I have my whistle. I have my play book. What do you need? Start thinking about what position you want to play! Couch potato? Or potato masher?