Another "old stuff" confession.
Thursday, January 28, 2010

I have wanted a car like this since I was ten years old.

A 1964 Mustang.  I saw a beautiful red one for sale yesterday.  I'm not gonna lie.  If it was at all feasible for me to own a car like this, I would still want one. 

As a preteen, I cared not that the boys scoffed that I would dream of such a car...cared not that they said it was a "dude car."  I loved it regardless and made my love known to all.  I may or may not have displayed a poster in my bedroom with this car on it.  Right next to my poster of Chad Allen.

I owned a 1964 Mustang for all of about five minutes. (Ok, technically, my parents did.)  My then step-dad bought one in need of a paint job when I was 15 years old. I tried to back it out of the driveway, and RAN INTO A PONTOON BOAT that was sitting on a trailer.  Oh yes I did. How does one hit something so large as a pontoon boat?  It takes a great deal of ineptitude behind the wheel.  There was no damage to the boat beyond a scratch, and little damage to the car.  (I don't even know if my mom or grandparents - owners of said pontoon boat - knows this story?  I seem to have a memory of talking my then step-dad into keeping my little fender bender just between us.  If so, sorry mom!)

Regardless, my parents decided I needed something with less engine and more safety features, and by the time I turned 16 it had been sold.

I was destined to drive a Chevy Corsica for most of high school and college.  So not cool.

Did you have a dream car growing up?  What did you drive in High School?

UPDATED TO ADD:  Did you see the comment my mom left?   

"...this was a HUGE boat, people. Not easily missed in the water so it had to have looked three times the size on the trailer on dry land...."

Thus the reason I was not quick to share the news of my fender bender.  I think the love language in my family is teasing.  I had only weeks earlier backed into a light pole.  I couldn't bear to add the pontoon incident to their teasing arsenal. 

Why do I like old stuff?
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

If "really old" is among an item's attributes, then I'm strangely drawn too it.

When I'm given something that has some history behind it, it makes me feel happily nostalgic.  I've mentioned before that nostalgia is a feeling I enjoy.

When I told my grandmother I was interested in sewing, she went into high gear looking through all her old sewing notions to see what she could give me.

My grandma is interesting when it comes to "stuff."  She calls her house full of stuff "her treasures."  She seems to have a lot of it. Not only is she very sloooooow to throw away anything (you know it's true Earlene - don't deny it or I'll take pictures of your storage shed and post them on the internet), she also becomes kind of a dumping zone for the rest of the family.  My old jr high yearbooks?  Didn't want them.  Didn't wanna throw them away.  So I gave them to grandma knowing she would find a place for them.  I don't think I'm the only family member to do this to her, but it's possible I do it the most.  Sorry Grandma.  You're too good me to.   

All that to say, that there's really no telling who was the original owner of these sewing notions.  Could be grandma.  Or, they could have once belonged to my great-grandma Allie.  They could have been my Great-Aunt Rita's.  Or, most likely, they could have belonged to some dearly departed woman named Lucy May, whose identity or relationship to my family I really don't fully understand - I just hear "Oh...that was Lucy May's..." quite a bit when digging thru the "treasures" at my Grandma's house.

Do these make anyone but me happy?

I couldn't find a date on these needles anywhere.
But I know in 2010 I can't purchase 25 needles for $.15 cents.

When you open the delicate little paper packages, the needles are stuck through pieces of burlap!
This too, makes me strangely happy.

The end.

He knows what he likes. And it ain't alt rock.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Had this song playing driving to dinner. Singing along. Feeling good.

Suddenly my 6 yr old, Dylan, sighs dramatically and asks, "Can't you play some Jesus music?" Hmph. Party pooper. (I kid, I kid!! Of course I'm glad he likes Jesus music!)

So here are the current kid approved and mom approved Kids Praise and Worship albums around here. I can't tolerate typical "kids music" - little squeaky voices combined with really cheesy songs make me irritable. But the choices below are great. Really! I promise! Click the image for purchasing information.

Because that's what people in love do?
Monday, January 18, 2010

Driving home from dinner tonight, out of the complete blue Dylan says,

"Hey Mom, when you and Dad go on a date, and we have a babysitter, do you go watch the sunset?"

He asked it so sweetly and with such innocence that I so wanted to say that "Yes, that's exactly what we do!" But alas, there has been no sunset gazing recently. Maybe next time.


New Family Photos (and a great deal for Lubbock readers!)
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We recently had a Family Photo Session by Jubilee Photography.

Family photos are generally feared and dreaded by kids and adults alike around here, but I can truly say it was a great experience. The session was low stress and fun, and I'm very pleased with the results.

Danielle, owner of Jubilee Photography, is running a "Birthday Party Special", just for Lost in Laundry readers! For a flat fee of $45, she will attend your wee one's birthday party (Lubbock locations only please!), and document his or her special day. Shots of the birthday girl/boy as well as group shots of party attendees are included. You will receive a CD with edited images from the photo shoot. The high-quality images will then be yours to upload, share, and print as you wish! What a deal, right? (Her regular prices are great too - you can check them out by clicking here.)

So check out a few of my favorite shots below, (or watch the video below the pics if you care to see all of them! Go on - you know you want to!) and then give my friend Danielle a call at 480-688-9535 (located in Lubbock), or email her at Tell her you want the "Lost in Laundry" special. Because that will make me feel very cool.

Hey Moms - Should we quit volunteering at our kids' schools?
Monday, January 11, 2010

I just read an interesting article called "Why I'm Sick of Volunteering at my Kids' Wealthy School." If you are a parent of an elementary school student, I encourage you to click on over and give it a read.

The author describes the seemingly endless requests for her time at her childrens' school in the following manner:

"Most of these unpaid volunteer activities, while seemingly well-intentioned, are, in fact, unnecessary make-work, designed to make us feel good about ourselves even as they allow us to ignore more significant social problems, like overcrowded and underfunded schools nearby but not in our neighborhood."
She goes on to say that the volunteer time of mothers and fathers with children in wealthier districts would be better spent in neighboring school districts with less money, less resources, and less parental involvement. She argues that those less funded schools are in true need of volunteers (volunteers who could, perhaps, read books to struggling readers whose parents don't speak English), whereas volunteer time in the wealthy schools is frivolous (decorating the teacher's break room is one example).

WOW. So much to process in her thoughts. I didn't agree with every sentiment in her article, but I love that she gave me so much to think about.

So, full disclosure: I volunteer twice a week at the boys school. It's a brand new K - 5th grade school in a well performing district; very nice, with lots of resources. Most of the children there are from solid middle to upper middle class families.

As compelling as I found this article, after giving it much thought I plan to keep volunteering there for a few more years.

I spend a couple hours at the school in Ryan's class on Tuesdays, and Dylan's class on Thursdays. Kids read aloud to me...I help kids finish up assignments...I help groups finish projects...and sometimes I spend the entire two hours running the copy machine or laminator. It's very glamorous. I concede the authors point that the "work" I do at the boys' elementary school is not changing the course of anyone's life. These are good kids, with parents and teachers looking out for their educational well-being. I do pray that I could be an encourager to a kid who might need it, but for the most part these kids are thriving well-adjusted little bundles of joy. The attention and time I give them is just a small, small minuscule drop in the bucket among lots of other people giving them lots time and lots of attention.

But...even though I know I'm not acting as a shining beacon of hope and encouragement for a struggling kid who needs help...I do find real value in my time there beyond "patting myself as the back" - the motivation the author assumes. I'm can be as guilty as self-pride as the next person, but seriously? I never expected any accolades for hanging out with my boys and their friends a couple afternoons a week. The "patting on the back" thing is a poor assumption.

As I think back to why I started...I just wanted to be around the boys. I missed them. I wanted to know their friends. I wanted to experience their classrooms and know what kind of teacher they were spending 7 hours with each day. But it has evolved into providing significant parenting moments. My time there has provided chances for great discourse. "You know, you're right. So-and-so is kind of mean sometimes! I see why you complain that he's not nice to you. But how do you think we should treat him? It'll be pretty tough to be kind to him on your own - you'll really have to rely on Jesus! How can you consider him over yourself? How can you show him God's love?" I can ask if they noticed that a child seemed lonely during center time. And if they did notice, how can they be a friend to them? I can see those traces of unhealthy pride that sneak up when they excel above their friends at a given activity, or those hints of hurt when they drop a few rungs on the social ladder. And even if I never talk to them about those little glimpses (in fact, most times I don't), I can talk to God about those things in my prayer time for them.

So for now I have to say "No" to an idea that inspires me - spending time with kids in struggling schools, kids who may be sorely lacking in attention and time (there is an active group in Lubbock, doing just that) - so that I can say "Yes" to parenting my kids in the best way I know how. The insight I get spending those couple hours a week with them has real value as I travel this sometimes scary road of bringing up boys; and Lauryn will be navigating school in a few short years.

In the meantime, I will continue to build relationships with kids at church who have real need. Kids who are weathering the storm of divorced and embittered parents....Kids who are brought to church by their grandmothers who rescue them from bad situations for a few hours each Sunday morning...Kids who talk to me about their ill loved ones, because it makes their mom too sad if they talk about it at home....Kids who mourn the Dad that never calls them, and the Mom who is always to tired to play. I know that by God's grace I'm providing a small amount of encouragement to those kids, and that God hears my prayers for them.

But in my heart, I'm left wondering about those kids who will never walk through the doors of my church. Kids who are out of my reach. Out of reach of anyone who might have an encouraging word or belief in them. To reach them, someone is going to have to move. It's not going to be them. It's going to have to be me.

Someday,when this monumental task of raising my small children is past, you will find me moving to reach those kids who need something that maybe, just maybe, I can give them.

Listen - I'm not naive. I work with high need/low income families in their homes in the course of my work a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist. For every family I pour my time and energy into, guiding them toward better interaction with their kids and more effective parenting, it's a small percentage that radically change their course. I know I don't have a magical influence over people just because my intentions are good. But even if the difference I could make in kids' lives on my own might be small and even insignificant - what if other moms, maybe lots of other moms, could be encouraged and empowered to give an hour of their week at an at-risk school? Hmm...if you know me in real life, you could be getting a phone call in a few years to come join me. We'll see how the Lord grows this dream over the next few years as I work for now in the season He's placed me in.

So moms, do you feel time spent at your child's school has value? Do you feel you could make a greater difference elsewhere? I'd love to hear your thoughts via comments, email, or over a cup of coffee!

(Sorry, but a few of you don't have a choice regarding chatting with me over a cup of coffee. You know who you are. [insert evil laugh here])

ht: kctipton


Interesting reads:

Middle School Key to Prevent Dropouts

Dropouts Cost Texas Billions of Dollars

Prevent Dropouts

Program Helps Stop Dropouts

Study Casts Doubt on Texas Dropout Rates

She'll wear it out of love for me. Moms are good that way.
Friday, January 8, 2010

My mother-in-law (who seriously has the patience of Job, by the way) agreed to teach me to crochet while she was here visiting for Christmas. I posted this as a twitter update last month:

So far, I've continued my trend, and can now "sorta" crochet.

I am not a visual learner. Whatever is the opposite of being good at following visual directions...I'm that. The opposite. So needless to say, I was a difficult student. In addition to chronically forgetting the steps for each stitch, I also just have difficulty coordinating delicate fine motor skills. Why did I wanna learn to crochet again?

Anyhoo - I present to you my first completed project.

It's a scarf! It took me approximately 8,700 hours to finish. It's lopsided. The stitches are uneven. It starts out with three chains....around the middle it widens to six or seven...then I whittle my way back down to four-ish as I finish it out.

I'm sending it to my mom, because as my mother I think she will feel compelled - obligated even! - to wrap this lopsided piece of wearable art right around her lovely neck. Mom's all over the world wear weird stuff their kids make them, right? Generally it's macaroni necklaces made by preschoolers, but I feel this is in that same category.

(I'll send my crochet-mentor-extraordinaire a scarf when my technique is a little improved! Probably around Christmas of 2017. And, YES, I'll send my mom a better one too of course!)

shattered! (and so melancholy this evening!)
Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Christmas ornament. It shattered.

It was a big, clear glass bulb, with a tiny red hand print. Ryan's four-year-old hand print from 2006.

I dropped it tonight when I was putting up the Christmas tree ornaments
, and it just shattered. (Yes, it's January 5th and I'm just getting around to taking down decorations- don't judge me all you December 26th put-er-uppers)

That shattered ornament made me so, so sad. Like....unreasonably sad.

Then you wanna know what happened about, oh, 2 minutes later? Right as I finished wiping the melancholy tears from my eyes to continue taking down ornaments? The bulb that Ryan's little three year old self painted in 2005 ----- had hairline cracks ALL through it!!!! As I was holding it delicately in disbelief, it just crumbled in on itself. Ugh.

I could have taken pictures, but instead opted for throwing them in the trashcan dramatically and mournfully.

I share this with you here, dear readers, because I know surely I am not alone in lamenting such things, right? I am generally not a sentimental person, but occasionally something just strikes a sad nerve.

Rabbit trail regarding the sad nerve: I remember when I was pregnant with Ryan, Jonathan had bought me a cheap $25 dollar wedding band from Wal-Mart, to replace my real wedding ring that would no longer fit over my chubby finger. One day in the shower, just days before Ryan was born, it fell off and went down the drain. I wept and cried as though I had lost a dear friend. Imagine a crazed pregnant women, pleading with her husband to take apart a drain to retrieve a $25 dollar ring. Jonathan just looked at me in disbelief, wondering what had happened to his normally sane wife. (As it turned out, I would have these kind of emotional breakdowns mere days before delivering my other two children as well. I seemed to have my postpartum breakdowns a wee bit early. What a fun pattern!)

I don't know why it seems so tragic tonight that I no longer have documentation of the size of Ryan's hand at age 4 on that pretty little ornament. I expect I'll feel sad next Christmas too, when we get out the ornaments, and he can't hold his big 8 year old hand up to the 4 year old version and see how much he's grown.

Or maybe next year I'll just wonder why I was acting like a sappy weirdee tonight.

That seems more likely.


Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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