Our Travel Adventures

Click on the link below to read about all of our travel adventures here in New England. There were so many I decided to create a separate blog for them!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Creative Parenting Solutions

You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you're driving and you pass a police car? Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you still feel it. What about when one pulls up behind you with its lights on? You know that one?

Well, I had one pull up behind me with its lights on last night and I did not have that feeling. Because I just figured he wanted to pass me. Nope. He wanted to pull me over. I was shocked. But still didn't have that feeling.

He came up, told me I hadn't stopped completely at the stop sign (four way stop at night, no other cars anywhere). I apologized to him, was very respectful. I did not argue or claim that I was sure I had stopped because I always stop. I did not make excuses. Basically, I was just generally very submissive to his authority.

About two thirds of the way through the traffic stop (when he was going back to write me my ticket), I realized this was a quite possibly one of my greatest parenting opportunities. And, by golly, I was not going to miss it.

I had a chance to show my kids what showing respect to someone in authority actually looked like. And best of all, I had already done it!

When the officer came back to the car, I apologized to him again for my offense and thanked him for stopping me. He said the fine for running a stop sign is $100, but that he was going to let me off with a warning. I thanked him again and I thanked him for treating me with respect instead of being rude and mean like I have experienced in the past from other officers.

As we drove away, I began praying for God to give me the right words to share with the kids. I want them to learn how to accept responsibility for their mistakes without arguing and throwing fits-something we are really struggling with right now. God provided me with a tailor made opportunity to model this desired behavior for them. Just when I needed it. I could never have thought of something like that.

God truly is a creative Creator.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reality Bites

Right. So. In case you hadn't noticed, I have been away from the blogging world for a bit. And let's just leave it at that.

Vacation life in a place different from where you live is great. For a time.

You get to set up house. You get to organize a new kitchen. Buy new organiz-y things to help you get everything arranged just so. And then you get to go off on little adventures. You come back, unpack, do some laundry, reorganize, let the kids play, plan the next adventure, repack, and off you go again. Really, it's quite exciting.

And then Reality sets in.

You are not really on vacation.

You actually live here.

The little trips you're taking are getting shorter and further between until they stop altogether because you're not really on vacation. This is your life now. And all you really want is to go home to your real life.

Where your friends are taking their kids to the first day of school and are actually allowed, gasp, inside the actual school building. They don't just have to leave them at a side door of the building with people they have never met before telling them they are not permitted inside for the "safety" of the children.

Where you know that after said first day drop-off, there will be the get together at ________ and meet with other first time kindergarten parents so you can all commiserate with each other about how hard this is on you.

Hanging out at Starbucks after MDO drop off, or maybe meeting for lunch and shopping before picking the kids up from preschool.

There is a Wednesday morning Bible class just full of women after God's own heart that would love to offer a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, gentle words of encouragement, or even a kind smile to help a sister in need.

A LifeGroup that means so much. Full of men and women and children that share their hearts and lives openly and freely. This is not something to be taken for granted. This is a rare and precious treasure.

I thought I was missing Texas. And I do miss some things. Mexican food. Dr. Pepper. Calico County. And, I miss my house. Oh boy, do I miss my house.

But once peeled away the layers, and got to the actual heart of the matter, that's not what I've been so sad about lately. What I am really longing for.

Why I've been snappy with my kids, haven't been terribly motivated, didn't send out Christmas cards, haven't blogged in a while, haven't gotten to the gym. All kinds of normal activities for me have just kind of slowed down, or just stopped.

I miss my friends. A lot.