Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kids Say The Darndest Things

So my youngest son Sammy graduated to big boy pants last week and is fully potty trained! WOOO WHOOO! If you're a parent, you'll understand what an amazing feat this is. It's strange not to change diapers anymore. Weird. Like we've moved onto a new chapter in life. Who knows how long it will stay that way but we are enjoying it while it lasts.

The interesting thing about potty training boys though is that once they get there, it's like they've discovered they have a we we for the first time...and they want every one to know about it! So they start doing things like exposing themselves in public and peeing outdoors. Yes, its a lovely new life we are embarking on.

Anyway, so this morning we are getting ready for church and Matt is getting the kids ready. When he goes to get Sam, he finds him sitting on the floor in his room butt naked focusing intently on his pee pee. Then, when he notices Dad is standing by him he looks up and says

"Look at my pee pee dad.... it's awesome!"

I just about died.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Back to the Basics

So after sitting down with Matt to take a look at our finances this month I couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated, as I’m sure everyone is. After months of hearing all this talk about the economy, I finally feel like it’s trickled down far enough to actually effect us on a larger scale and it’s a little scary! Don’t get me wrong, we are still able to make ends meet but it’s not without a little rearranging and adjusting to say the least. We are just starting to make a lot of the changes most families across America are. Eating out less, making repairs instead of buying new, Matt also forbids me to carry my Costco card around. Haha. All this scaling down and cutting back really reminds me of the good ol’ days when I was a kid, growing up poor.
Do you know what I mean when I say poor? I don’t mean no food in the house kinda poor. That’s more in the category of destitute I would say. I mean paycheck-to-paycheck kinda poor. I mean buy most your clothes at the thrift store kinda poor (which I consider more of a hobby rather than a circumstance). Happy cause at least you have each other kinda poor.

Let me put it to you this way. If your first car was more than 10 years old then, you know what I mean. If you don’t feel at home at the dinner table until someone brings out a bag of plain white bread and a tub of butter as a side dish, then you know what I mean. If your reward for raking leaves was never money but permission to jump in them after, then you know what I mean. If you ever got hand peeled carrots in your lunch as a kid instead of a HoHo, then you know what I mean.
But being poor isn’t necessarily bad. I’d even go as far to say that it has its good sides. I mean perfect case in point with the carrots versus HoHos! Most of the bare essential foods in the supermarket these days are healthier than any of the other supped up, over processed, more expensive foods. Besides that, it builds character and imagination! I mean, how many rich kids do you know that have ever played the game “wilderness” or “shipwrecked” in their own backyard? How many rich kids do you know that even play in their backyard? The world is too saturated with technology these days that entice kids to be indoors.

I use the term “poor” quite loosely, as you can see, because there really are families and individuals out there suffering from true poverty. In truth, a lot of the things I had growing up were way less than some…but much more than others.
IF I were venting to my father over dinner about all the cutbacks Matt and I have had to make, this would be the part where he stops eating and starts to slowly shake his fork at me across the dinner table with a pensive look on his face. Then after a minute or two he’d say something like, “…have you ever stopped to think that maybe it’s a blessing in disguise?” and then go right back to eating like he hadn’t just crashed my pity party. Then of course it makes me think….like it always does. It IS a blessing after all. Its a way for us to get back to the basics of life. It makes me want to yell to myself, “don’t you remember? We can do this! YOU know how!”

When I don’t have the money to buy my kids new toys or I have to find cheaper substitutes when shopping for meals, in all honesty, it makes a part of me smile! Smile because it makes me remember how much fun we had making a game out of these challenges. Then, I start to teach my kids like my parents taught me and we find it’s one eternal round. It makes me feel like if I can help my family survive on a smaller budget… I am smart! Which is a statement that ironically makes me feel stupid when I say it out loud cause it’s so simple! Simple yet true.

In my church (which most of my readers belong to) we do this thing called fasting where you go without food for a certain period of time. We do this for many reasons but one is so that our bodies become subject to our spirit. In doing so, we have the chance to reevaluate where we are spiritually and how we can improve. Maybe in abstaining from most luxuries in life, we give ourselves a better opportunity to evaluate the kind of people we’ve become. We give ourselves a fighting chance to reintroduce the child within. That same creative, happy child. Full of energy and life (cause we eat the hand peeled carrots!!!)
So in honor of all this economic turmoil I propose everyone take a moment to share their favorite story about being poor. And I don’t mean sob stories that are gonna make us want to take you in like a starving stray puppy. I mean character shaping stories or stories you can laugh at that wouldn’t have happened had your uncle been Daddy Warbucks. A memory, a lesson learned, an old game, whatever!

In the mean time, feel free to send any donations to the Post Family Fund. A nonprofit organization. We accept birthday money, Christmas money, and buy you’re your kids a HoHo money. Have your credit cards ready and call this toll free number: 1-800- 763-6557. That’s 1-800-POFOLKS.