Friday, July 29, 2011

{It's a bug's life - Friday's funny stuff}

No, that's not a barette. Yes, that IS a real praying mantis. 
India's always been such a trendsetter . . . bows just weren't enough that day.  
She needed a Chinese water dragon.
Five little speckled tree frogs, sat on a speckled log Landon's head . . .
Yep, it's a bug's life.  And a lizard's life.  And an amphibian's life.

I don't know how the little creapy crawlies feel about it but I'm glad it's my life!
Raising my kids has been and still is so much fun!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

{Things I learned when I had seven kids}

Seven kids!  That was one of the happiest, craziest and best times of my life!  It was also SUPER hard.
I might have mentioned before that I wanted a BIG family.  I'm forever grateful for that little taste of sweet insanity.

A quick Moore family review: We had just survived Hurricane Rita when we jumped into a tornado of a good time . . . we were blessed with the opportunity to add three little brothers {ages 1, 2, and 3 years!} to our family of four biological kids.  We were willing to sign up for FOREVER . . . adoption hopeful. 
The yard was still a disaster zone but we were excited . . .
My heart still breaks when I think about the day they left.  I don't want to place my children up for adoption so I understand why their biological mother wouldn't want to either.  But my heart still breaks.  
For a little while, they were mine . . .
Today is "Tyson's" birthday.  I've really been thinking about him . . . missing him . . . and trying to remember the lessons I learned.
{Celebrating "Tyson's" 3rd birthday a few years ago} 

We wouldn't be the family we are today without these little guys.  I wouldn't be the mother I am.  So, today, I just wanted to remember the good times . . . even though it made me cry.

I'm still so grateful for the journey!  I'm also happy.  Happy I took the chance.  Happy I got to love seven kids.  Happy that I survived . . . because it was HARD.  But I think happy and grateful - that's what I am!  They are so beautiful.

He was just a little sad that his brother wasn't willing to share.  Happily, two phones solved his problem!

So, what did I learn?

* This life is so much shorter than we think it is.  Live with intention.

I live each day totally differently than I did before. It was fun but it was also really hard.  In the end, I knew I would have done so much better if I'd realized how little time I would have.  At the end of my life I can imagine me saying, "Please, give me one more chance!  I think I've got it now. I promise I'll do so much better!  I didn't know it would go so fast."

* Enjoy the moment.

I still idolize a clean house a little too much.  I don't care that there are so many toys and so much clutter in those pictures now.  Some things - most things - can wait.  

* People are more important than things.

 I knew this before but I live it more now.  Broken table?  I think tables are highly over-rated anyway.  

* It's the "hard" that makes it great.

I have a lot of sayings.  This is one of them.  Look back over your life. What moments stand out?  My brightest moments are brighter because I did something hard to get there.

Today has been enlightening.  Wow! I wouldn't be me without some hard things . . . like losing three children one day.  

This journey of "becoming me" is a little easier because I've done hard things.  But mostly because I already learned a thing or two about love from seven kids and one fabulous Sir Thomas.

{P.S.  The little boys are living with their great-grandmother and we still have contact with them!}

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

{What to be is up to me and I choose . . .}

When my kids were little there were actually times that they were unhappy.  So sad, I know.  They've actually been in some really bad moods before as well.  Time is a great cure and they would be smiling again . . .

I did discover one thing.  I could not change their feelings for them.  

I could offer comfort.  I could choose to be cheerful myself.  I could not change them.

I started playing a game with them.
"What to be is up to me and I choose . . ." I would often say, " . . . to be happy!"
Then, I would have them reply, "What to be is up to me and I choose . . . . . to be in a bad mood."
Great response.  My game wasn't over.

"I'm sorry you've chosen to be in a bad mood. Since I chose to be happy, I'm going to sing a song.  What would you like to choose?"  They often chose to be in a bad mood again.

You have no idea how many times I've played this game.

They are actually really happy kids but we all have our moments.

I would continue the game and help them realize the consequences of their choices.  It was so important to me to help them realize that they could control their emotions.  They could choose to be happy!  There are so many other emotions and actions to choose as well - I wanted them to choose or "live" with intention.

Sometimes life makes it easier to choose happiness . . .

 . . . sometimes, it doesn't.

Trying new things isn't always easy either!

{They HAD to try Green Eggs & Ham}

When they were happy, I would let them know that I noticed they were happy.
"Great choice!  I'm glad you're choosing to be happy."

Going to a foreign country. By yourself.  At sixteen.
(Well, without a family member.  This was the airport farewll . . .Dominican Republic humanitarian trip)

That might be a case for nerves but not when you choose to be brave . . .

I wanted them to learn that they could choose to be anything!

I was thinking about our little "choosing game" today.
I discovered a few things.

* We don't always have to choose over and over . . . there are some things we can choose once and stick
   with it.
* We aren't confined to one category . . . smart, pretty, clever, or funny.
   We're a lot more interesting than that!

So, why didn't I like this girl?

I started this process SOOOO many years ago.  This process of "becoming me" . . . this isn't really new.  The new thing is that I said it out loud! I've been carrying this battle from year to year.

I just finally realized that it doesn't have to be a forever kind of project.  These insecure feelings can end.
Who knew?  So, what to be is up to me and I choose . . . so many wonderful things!

My sweet friend, Melanie, shared this lovely quote . . .
"I've always liked the time before dawn because there's no one around to remind me who I'm supposed to be, so it's easier to remember who I am."

Thanks, Melanie!  I love it.  Tomorrow's plan is to wake up early and enjoy the time before dawn.  I think it will make it easier to remember who I am all day.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

{How does a chameleon change her spots?}

Chameleon syndrome.  That's what I've had.  Self-diagnosed but I'm right.

I always wanted to be YOU!  Whoever you are, I always saw your strengths and thought . . . "She's the perfect girl.  If I could just be like her."

If I've never met you, I would have done the same thing to you on acquaintance!  {I really hope we meet someday.}

The sweet & shy personality, the bold & out-going gal, bubbly, confident, feminine, crafty, sporty, or glitzy - I saw the positive in all.  If I was around a brainiac, I would try to mimic her and leave hoping I could continue to pull it off.

I never could.  That's not what chameleons do.  They soon see someone else and begin the color-change process all over.  That's what I would do.

So, how does a chameleon change her spots?  {I know the "leopard-can't-change-their-spots" thing but this is working for me!}

Chameleon's change their spots by deciding to!  That wasn't even rocket science.

I've done a lot of thinking and praying and that was my earth-shattering answer.  Rather brilliant.

So, Step 1 in my journey is to change what I decide.  I just decided to stop.  Stop being a chameleon.  For some reason, just deciding has already made a difference.

Today was different.  I didn't worry about me.  I wasn't feeling well yesterday or even when I woke up but thank goodness for the old adage, "Fake it till you make it."

Today I was happy being the me that likes to wear dresses - even if I'm staying at home.  High heels are a staple.  I even wore the red lipstick.  I didn't worry what people thought when I had to take my Landon to the orthodontist office.  I didn't even wonder if I should've worn a lipstick color like someone else.  

I only own one MAC lipstick.  Ruby Woo.  If I'm gonna own red lipstick, I should love it.

"To become a butterfly, you must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."

Butterflies have always been my favorite . . . maybe that's why I'm finally ready to fly.  I want it that much.  Good-bye, caterpillar.  Good bye, chameleon.  Hello, me.

I've been overwhelmed as I realized the wonderful friends I have.  Thank you for your kind words.  Thank you for loving me until I can truly love myself.  It's coming.  I can feel it!

Monday, July 25, 2011

{Becoming Me}

I am beginning a new journey.  It is a journey of becoming.  Becoming me.
I know I've been me for 40 years but it has been a struggle.
I've never liked me.  I was actually more in the hate department.
I have improved over the last few years.  I no longer hate myself but I haven't fallen in love with me either . . . yet.

I've always struggled with self-esteem - a serious lack of it.
It may seem surprising but it is oh, so true.
My poor Sir Thomas.  He hasn't known what to do with me. 

Today begins a new day!  Today, I begin to choose who I will be and I will love the person I choose to be.  That even sounds Dr. Seuss-ish!  I'm off to a great start!

My blog will soon have a new look.  (Thank you, Cari) And I will continue to share my journey down the path to happily ever after . . .  Happiness is not my destination.  Happiness is the journey.  My family has always made me happy!  Now, I will learn to be happy being me.

* I will no longer stare at my thighs every time I walk past a mirror.
* I will no longer cringe at the sound of my voice or my laugh.
* I will say "Thank You!" when Sir Thomas tells me I'm beautiful.  I think I'll even give him a kiss.
   (I'll be working on not discounting his compliments in my head!)
* I'm going to learn to stop comparing myself to the perfect people I know and start liking me.

I don't know exactly what this journey will look like.  I just know it's time that I begin.  Welcome self to a new world! 
I think I'll wear red lipstick tomorrow with my high heels.

Friday, July 22, 2011

{You dirty dog! - Friday's Funny Stuff}

Welcome to Friday's Funny Stuff!

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." - e.e. cummings

I start laughing just when I think about the fact that we own 5 dogs!  That is funny.  Especially for a girl who NEVER wanted to get her hands stinky and dirty by petting one.  Maybe owning 5 dogs should just be embarrassing but I'll risk admitting it and laugh at myself.

Growing up, Nolan thought he would die if he didn't get to own his own dog.  February 14th - many years ago - he got a chance to live!  He bought "Lady" for $20 with his own money.   
{I'm guessing you're surprised that he's wearing a Harry Potter hat??}

Our kids have almost always bought their own pets if they wanted something other than free.  It helped them prove they were responisble enough to take care of them.  It's worked for us.

Lady grew a bit and so did Nolan.  {Cats envy this dog.  She has outlived far more than 9 lives.}
This dog and her boy were separated in September of 2009 when Nolan left to serve a mission in the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission.

If my memory is correct . . . his outdoor-living dog has not had a bath since he left!  Until yesterday . . .

Isn't India wonderful?  It was SO hot and that dog was SOOOO stinky!  Kinda wish she wasn't bathing her next to the pool . . . oh, well.

I didn't grab the camera in time to get the soapy, lathered up look but I still got the action shots . . .
Oh, Lady, you dirty dog!

India even brushed out her fur!  Lady looks like she's in heaven.

My kids have lots of experience bathing dogs . . .
. . . one of Bear's many baths . . .

 . . . but my all time favorite was when I found Keaton and Landon bathing "Duke"

The background: Keaton saved his money for months to buy a Golden Retriever.  Duke was another outside-living stinky dog and Keaton and Landon wanted to bring him in the house.  They knew I would NEVER go for that but they were so clever and handsome and they had a plan.

"Mom, if we bathe Duke can we bring him in the house for a little bit?"
With a plan like that, I was a push-over and I agreed.  I got what I deserved.

A bit later, I walked in the house and smelled REEKING WET DOG!

I followed my nose and found them in all their dog bathing glory!

Somehow they failed to mention their intentions to bathe him in the house.

How could I get upset at that?  Yep, my favorite stinky dog-bathing moment.

It's a good thing my kids are hard workers and willing to bathe these stinky dogs.
They've now bathed ALL 5 dogs this week.  Hurray!

 {Sadly, Duke was stolen a few years ago and an eye witness tried to stop the dognappers without success.  So sad but we have 5 dogs yet again.}

I can't end my "Friday's Funny Stuff" on a sad note nor do I want to forget about my kid's cat-loving moments . . .

See you next Friday with Moore funny stuff!

Now, I double-dog-dare you to go bathe 5 dogs.