Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Near 40

I am hours away from that very special birthday. I am cresting the hill. I am ramping up for my midlife crisis. Forty.

I remember when my dad turned 40. We got him a cake that said, "40 isn't old . . . If you're a tree.". Sooooo funny.

Now I'm there. And some of what they say may be true. Parts of me are stiffening up. Need oil. Parts of me are stretched beyond recognition, never to be firm again. My hair could be colored, but I'm lucky to shower. Far be it from me to add something to my to do list for vanity's sake alone.

At any rate, 40 is a milestone. How far I've come, how far to go, what can I do better, what have I learned?

Here's one thing:

When it comes to a lot of things, I'm not right. And I'm not wrong. I'm me. And that's ok. For example, housekeeping. My way is on the messy side. Not because I have kids in bulk quantity. Just because I'm like that. I am a flexible chic. Many of my closest friends are what I call neat freaks, but really, they're no more freaky than I am. Truth be told, there are bonuses and drawbacks for each bent. And I'm sure there are a few people out there who are perfectly balanced in this way, but they probably need improvement in other areas.

I remember in grade school, early grades, we didn't receive letter grades. Instead there were these descriptive classifications: Excellant, Satisfactory, Needs improvement. At my house "Needs improvement" was equivalent to "sucks really bad" or "don't count on any privileges this month". Somehow it was unacceptable to "need improvement".

But now, rounding the bend of the big four-oh, I'm thinking my grade thus far is Needs Improvement, and I'm okay with that. Not only is it honest, it is also hopeful. I'm not 20 anymore, but I can still grow and change.

So I need improvement. So does everyone else. Let me give another example: as a worship leader, my focus is on the heart more than skill. Not that I don't care about skill. But the act of worship is more important than the sound made during worship. That sounds noble, right? I would never pick a song solely based on the music of it. But my friend who is focused on musicality, excellence, and variety is also right.

It reminds me of a scene in The Fiddler on the Roof when Tevye is witnessing an argument between two men. The first one speaks, Tevye says, "He's right." The second one speaks, Tevye says, "He's right." Another says, "He's right, he's right, they can't both be right." Tevye responds, "You know, you are also right."

Not about everything. Not about some things. Not about Jesus. We can't all be right about Jesus. He can't be a great prophet or teacher or philosopher if He said things like, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but through Me," or, "Abide in Me. Apart from Me you can do nothing." Prophets and teachers and philosophers who are any good are not that egocentric. Either He was (is) God, or the sum of what He said was pretty wack.

I'm not talking about what's come to be called tolerance, here. That idea that there are no absolute rights and wrongs. I'm just saying my neatnik friends could stand to loosen up a bit, and I could stand to clean better and with more frequency. The fashionistas and the frumps could both learn a bit from each other. The excellent musicians and the heartfelt purists could each improve.

I hope to be more firm and consistent with my children, to have more fun and yell and complain less. I hope to honor and bless my husband more and be more of a joy to him, not another burden to shoulder. I still hope to be a more fit companion for the husband of my youth. I desire to become more a woman of prayer, to read my Bible more than I am on Facebook, and to spend more time in the relatively secret place, worshipping, communing, and writing.

I would love to write a book. I'd like to re-register with C.C.L.I., in hopes of maybe a buck or two finding it's way home for my songs.

But while I have these and other hopes for improvement, I am largely content to be turning forty. I don't know if there will be more children. Either way is fine with me. I don't know a lot of things. Reminds me of a song: But I know whom I am believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Things I re-learn with each baby

So I've brought 12 babies home from the hospital in the last 15 years, all but one within 18 months of the last one, and yet, there are things I forget and learn with each child.

They eat, they play, they sleep. You do not feed a baby to sleep. You feed them until their "full" light comes on, and then enjoy the happy awake time that follows, even if it happens at 3:30 a.m., for as long as it lasts. Then, when they get sad again after the happy time is over, that's 'tired' and that's when they need to sleep, preferably without nursing again.

Wait for it: the critical need to burp. A crying baby doesn't know why he is crying. He doesn't know why he's sad. He just knows something doesn't feel good. If you offer to nurse him, the good feeling that nursing brings will override whatever was sad, for a while. And a baby that needs to burp will keep eating until he hits *TILT* and then you will wear the top-offs all over your shirt. But I forget this everytime and keep feeding and feeding and feeding.

The hindmilk/foremilk balance. Especially in the above scenario, I have a habit of switching, er, sides everytime a baby nurses again. So I wind up giving a baby lots of foremilk, never get to hindmilk, and that makes for a fussy baby, and sometimes a thrush-y baby.

Thrush=nightmare. It goes like this. I have a baby. People bring food. Lots of food, and lots of desserts. Enough dessert for all 14 people to have 2. Or for all 11 eaters to have one and mom to sneak the other 16 or so servings throughout the day. And my sugar tooth takes over. I am back to my pre-delivery weight and the yeast in my body starts to increase at epic rates. The baby has a yeast infection in the diaper, thrush in his mouth, and I'm in pain. Then I have to (or should) cut out all sugar, white flour and dairy, get a prescription for diflucan, take probiotics, wash with a vinegar/water solution after I nurse, put on the magical motherlove diaper rash thrush cream, and usually wind up painting baby's mouth and my, as sk8 calls it, "nursers, with gentian violet.

Change the diaper, for crying out loud. I have a theory, that God made our poop and pee to stink so we would know to get rid of it and not eat it or keep it on hand. Unfortunately (or sometimes fortunately) my nose doesn't always work. So sometimes my poor baby is crying and I'm nursing and burping and pacifying like I'm getting paid for it and finally it dawns on me to check the diaper and he/she's been sitting in a yucky diaper for a while and my brain just forgot that option.

Too hot to handle? Some of my kids don't like heat. Nuff said.

Babies need sleep, and they need to go to sleep in their beds. If you teach the baby to fall asleep nursing in your arms, they will think that's the only way to get there. You have to put them in bed awake. Exhausted, burped, full of tum and clean of bum, eyes barely open, and let them take it the other 1/10th of the way there. And as soon as they are big enough to sleep longer, somewhere past 11 or 12 lbs, having them a little farther away from my bed means we all sleep better, as they get practice falling back asleep . . . but that only works if they learn to fall asleep on their own.

Anyway. As I'm going through this for the 12th time, and kicking myself in the head remembering these things, I thought I'd write them down. Maybe if I get to have another baby someday, I'll come back and read it and not screw up so bad with the next one.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Was it a morning like this?

I have to admit that when it comes to holidays, especially Easter, I tend to revert back to my musical roots. Don't stone me, but the first Christian concert I ever attended was when Sandy Patti OPENED for the Imperials.

And the song I sing every Easter sunday morning is a Sandy Patti song. Was it a morning like this when the sun still hid from Jerusalem . . . (I can't type it right now because my husband just put on Third Day.)

At any rate, it was even more in my spirit today because there were some marked similarities this morning between me and the ladies attending Jesus. They were getting up to anoint the dead body of the Lamb of God; I also was getting up to anoint a dead lamb. Well, to be more accurate, it was only part of a dead lamb. It's been in my freezer for longer than is customary because it's been waiting for an Easter when I had time to tend it, one where I had no responsibilities for the community Easter celebration. That'd be today.

And really, she was just as surprised to see her Lamb risen as I would have been had mine grown a body and been lying asleep in my fridge (and without being sacrilegious, I think I can say that would have been even more miraculous, since it had been dead, well, a long time, and had no body)(and everybody knows you can't breathe in a refrigerator).

But I love that song. I cannot sing it without weeping.

Did the grass shout? Did the earth rejoice to feel You again? The longing and groaning of creation for the Son of God to come in His glory. On no other day is the word Hallelujah more appropriate.

I know, He doesn't die again and rise again every Easter. But I am not born again every year on my birthday, and I still like to party.

My Lord was dead. He died for me. He shed real blood, wept real tears, His flesh was torn on my behalf. He was publicly humiliated on my behalf, became of no reputation, was mocked, beaten, naked. For me. It is real. It really happened.

And then he was gone. Unreachable. For a whole horrible awful no good very bad Sabbath day He was somewhere they couldn't get to. And it seemed to be forever. All their hope was gone. All their lives had been laid down, and for what. He was made a fool, even to those who loved Him. And they were the fools who followed Him. How stupid they must have felt. And betrayed by a false hope of redemption and freedom.

But their perspective was limited. He could have given them what they wanted. Limited political freedom. He could have set them free. Instead, He set me free. Them and me and you and all who would say yes to that freedom.

Does the grass seem to sing beneath your feet today? Can you hear the wind calling out? The stars were talking about Him last night, though clouds hid them from us. Planets at the other end of the universe proclaim Him. All of creation sings, shouts, declares the glory of God.

Do you know why? It can't help it. It cannot contain it.

Nor can I. My joy is full. My redeemer lives. He shed His blood for me, He died, He conquered death, hell, the grave and MY sin. I am free, I am loved, I am forgiven, I am His.

Hallelujah, Jesus is alive!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Veni, vidi, vici

(Disclaimer: the point of this blog, despite the title, is never, ever to be impressed with me. I am 5'1" and weigh 245 lbs, have acne all over my face, have been horrible to my husband and children all week and my house is just, well, dirty - do not be impressed with me. The point is to give glory to God for working in and through a disaster zone like myself - if He can do good things here, He can do good things there.)

I am in that camp of weird Christians who believe in the entire Bible, including the part that talks about wrestling not with flesh and blood but with the powers and principalities, about demons and a real devil, about an unseen battle and an unseen Kingdom. And we have been at war lately.

Any time we, as Christians, try to do anything besides sit, we face warfare. Because we have a real actual enemy. Now the Bible says that if we resist that enemy, he will flee from us. But, at least for me, sometimes it takes me a little to figure out what the enemy is. And I am often convinced that I'm married to it.

I'm getting my tippee toes wet at pursuing a life of prayer and fasting again, of being who I want to be but haven't been, and have met resistance. My little mini-set is Tuesday afternoon. The fight begins on Sunday, or so. I feel discouraged, hopeless, and like a complete failure. I am certain my husband cares nothing about me, appreciates nothing I do, and would rather be alone on an island with power and a good internet connection with all his devices than with me. I also am led to believe that I am a horrible mother and worthless example to my children.

And then sometimes I remember that I have an enemy and that I also have a King Who fights for me, and the pressure lifts.

But this week it never let up. It just got worse and worse. My little set was terrible. My attitude sank lower and lower. Until last night, my husband and I dared an attempt at communication. I'm not going to lie to you. It wasn't pretty. Snippy and short, we both misunderstood and were offended by everything the other said. We went to sleep unhappy, having said many unkind words.

This morning was much the same. It seemed for all our attempts at reconciliation, we could not get to each other. I had no hope.

All the while I was aware that there may well be a battle raging. Because, you see, our plan for today was to go, as a family, to Planned Parenthood to pray as part of our church's committment to the 40 days for life campaign. We have gone several times over the years, but never with dad, never with 12. We don't stay very long, so we don't sign up for a whole time slot. We just show up, pray for a bit and then leave. I don't want to stay longer than my children are engaged in what we're doing, don't want them to just be there waiting while mom does her thing. That was today.

Today we took our dozen children, including one grown in another's womb and given to us rather than aborted, and stood in the wet cold, some with signs, some with red tape with the word LIFE written on it covering their mouths, all praying. It was simple and yet profound.

I don't know if we made much of a difference in the natural realm. As far as I know, none of us talked to anyone except others there praying. We didn't change any lives that we are aware of. But this is what I told the kids on the way home:

"You know how you guys set up pretend battles with your armies on the dining room table all the time? Well today, there was a real battle, and the army was you. You fought a battle that no one sees when you prayed and asked God to protect the babies, to help the mommies and save the doctors and workers. What you did today was maybe the most important thing you have ever done."

We came home, Dad took several to the library, some stayed and played, and I sat on the big purple couch, nursing two and feeding a bottle to a third, reflecting with great peace and mountains of hope on the goodness of God, the gift of my husband and children, and all the grace that had seemed lacking for the week.

We came, we saw, we kicked demonic butt.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Road Goes Ever On . . .

And I'm looking down it this week, and it has occurred to me that some of my children are no longer children. Without going into detail, it has begun to leak into my consciousness that for better or for worse, at some point, at least some of them will not live in my house. They won't come into my room and hand me a baby, won't ask me what is for breakfast (to which I say, 'I don't know, what are you fixing?'), won't need me to remind them to do their responsibilities or check their fingernails or bring their shoes in from the van.

And (quoting Steve Martin from Father of the Bride) something inside starts to hurt. I really like them. I like being with them. I love their senses of humor. I like to play with them. The older they get, the less burdensome they are, and the more they help carry my burdens. The older they get, the more pleasant they become, the more joy they bring to my day. The older they get, the more wise they become, and they give me good counsel when I need it. The older they get, the more they know God, and the more they point me to Him.

I am grateful for this world of ridiculous interconnectedness, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and his friends, thanks to Al Gore, thanks to the Sprint Now Network. I am glad that texting will keep my children feeling close even when they are not.

And I'm glad that there is great joy intermingled with the sadness. In the same way I am pleased and relieved that my newborn son is packing on the pounds and getting rolls and sleeping longer, even though I love that tiny new fresh-hatched baby look, I know he is healthy and strong and that I am doing a good (enough) job as a mother because he is growing. In that way, even though I love the baby tooth smile, and the first grade lost my teeth smile, and the goofy my-first-grownup-teeth-are-too-big-for-my-mouth-so-I-look-like-a-beaver smile, that lovely adult smile is too beautiful for words.

It has dawned on me that my children very possibly might attract the attention of would-be suitors at some point, and that we are going to need to figure out what to do with that. And for the first time in my life, I am praying in earnest for their future mates. I am sure I lifted up a token thought before, but the other night I really hit the knees hard, asking God for purity of mind and body, for a heart after God, for diligence to accompany faith, for favor with future in-laws.

I am not afraid of the road as it goes on. It is good. But I am treasuring my moments. The days when those freckles and dimples and curls and blue and hazel and brown eyes are easily accessible are numbered. I must kiss them more. I must make sure they hear the kindness in my voice, the patience in my tone, the passion in my prayer, the firmness in my instruction. They need to know how precious the Word of God is, and that every request is perfect to talk to God about, and that all of life is in and through and to Him. They each need to know that I love to be with them and hear what they want to say and care what they think.

Because someday, the little ones won't be little at all. And someday, the big ones will be across town, or across the country, or on the other side of the world, and I want them to know and never wonder about the things that really matter.

So I must make my moments count. The road goes ever on and on . . .

Things I love

Recommendations of stuff I wouldn't want to be without.

(By the way, this site is not monetized - I am not making any money off anybody, so these are genuinely the things I love.)

In no particular order . . .

Baby Carriers: I have a Moby D, an Ergo (Sport or Performance or something), and a Baby Bjorn. All of these were either gifts or hand-me-downs, by the way. I love them all.

Baby Bjorn is really only good for newborns, for me, because I'm really short. The reason I love it is because it is easy (SO easy) and cool.

The Ergo is easy but not as easy, and cool but not as cool, especially for the newborn, who is down in it. The best part of the Ergo is the back packing part. Not only can I put a 1 or 2 year old on my back and feel pretty comfy and have my hands free to make dinner or whatever, I can also have my you-know-whats free and nurse the smaller baby. I'm always looking for ways to take care of more than one baby.

The Moby D (which is only a little different than the Moby) is the most versatile. It takes a little to put on, and it is pretty warm in the summer - to the point that I would just wear a tank-bra under it, but it is mama-love in a carrier. I can wear a newborn on my front 3 different ways, or have a toddler on my hip in a way that is still comfortable for my back.

I have even put a newbie on my front in the Ergo and a bigger baby on my hip in the Moby and been relatively comfortable, enough to push bigger kids on swings. (Needed help getting the 3 yr old out of the baby swing, though, but the 8 yr old hero saved the day: took little guy's shoes off and said, okay, mom, now LIFT! Cool.)


I had the kind of stroller that you pop your carseat into with my first kid, but because my children are closely spaced, that hasn't been used since my second child was born.

I have had two kinds of double strollers (I've owned a total of 4, only the first one was new, a Graco floor model), one that both seats lay back to make a long flat space, great for napping a child, changing a diaper, or for piling 6 or 7 hot youngin's into and making a beeline for the exit after a long day at the zoo, and the other kind, with two separate seats that also lean back but not into each other. I suppose the second kind is good for sun, since it has two visors, but I'm not that good of a mother, and I like the first kind better. Actually, I usually put sunblock on them anyway, so the visor isn't my first concern.

These days I usually use the umbrella stroller, even though it's a piece of crap, because I normally have big kids with me, and use the aforementioned carriers and like the flexibility.

Books I have loved

The Portable Pediatrician for Parents by Dr. Laura Walther Nathanson - gives good advice about developmental expectations and how freaked out to be about things. It is dated, so children's ibuprofen was not available w/o a prescription when it was published. Also, I do not agree with her about everything, for example, discipline or spacing of children, but I have used her reasons to do a better job of what I do.

Shepherding your Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp - I love this book, regarding the how and why of discipline, more than any other philosophy I've been exposed to. Although, I have not read the book "Train up a child" and have heard good things about it.

A Mom Just Like You by Vickie and Jayme Farris - Vickie Farris is the wife of HSLDA guy Michael Farris, a normal everyday homeschooling mom of 10 (which, when I first read it, sounded like a lot of kids).

(If you can get through chapters 3 and 4 of that book) A Full Quiver by Rick and Jan Hess - challenging, dogmatic, humorous except if you disagree with it then potentially downright offensive book about trusting God, or not with your fertility.

No Ordinary Home, the Uncommon Art of Christian Homemaking, can't remember who by.

Love Lord of the Rings and everything I've read so far by C.S. Lewis.

Love my Bible, NASB.

I use cloth diapers. Mostly, it's a money thing. It also feels good, maybe because it helps me answer the critics of big families, maybe because there probably are chemicals in that magical gel contained in disposable diapers that explodes all over the bathroom if you hypothetically wait a half hour too long to take it off.

I have used Bummi's Super Whisper wraps and Dappies (the modern version of those nasty plastic pants we grew up with) with regular cotton pre-folds and Snappies (the modern answer to diaper pins, a little Y shaped gadget that works like the operating part of an Ace bandage), and I have a couple Flips on hand (a rectangular prefold that can be folded widthwise or lengthwise and fit into an adjustable open shell, not a pocket, cheaper than the pocket diapers; theoretically the open shell stays dry and clean and you can just switch out the absorbant rectangle and slip another in and re-use the shell . . . yeah, right).

But what I love are the BumGenius diapers, and here is why - my husband and older children will use them. They work just like "regular" diapers. They make them with snaps or velcro now, and I can argue both ways. The snaps are less likely to be pulled off by meddling toddlers, but have to be put on with two hands and cannot be as easily balled when soiled like a disposable or velcro, but the velcros wear out a little quicker maybe, and do get taken off by the self-changers. They make them to fit one size at a time, or to be adjusted, which will fit anybody but a tiny newborn. A friend loaned me some teeny terry-cloth "kissaluvs" for the newby stage this time, and they were great. My BGs were all either on extreme discount or gifts. Grateful.

I also prefer to use cloth wipes - any washcloth will do, especially the baby kind. I wipe the poop off with toilet paper first, then wipe with a wet little washcloth. The toilet paper comes off with the poop when I dump (or spray off with the BumGenius sprayer) it in the toilet; the wipe gets washed with the diapers. But I have not convinced anyone else to do this, so there are still many wipes used in my house.

Other things that help the amazing supermom be super: I have 2 dishwashers and 2 refridgerators and a deep freeze. I only have one washer and dryer. Now that I have a front loader, I don't need another dryer. I love my pampered chef apple slicer and chopper thing. I would not make pancakes without a big griddle. I drive a 15 passenger van. I think it's pretty safe, because it is pretty much all I drive, so I'm used to going slow on the curves.

I guess that will do. I promise I didn't get anything for saying I like any of these things.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

How you do it . . . the hills we die on

Win this hill or die trying . . . I have no idea who said that, maybe nobody, maybe everybody in a war, but the idea is that this is a cause worth giving everything for. Other things are worth pursuing, but not at all costs. These are things worth great sacrifice.

My younger sister goes to a really cool church. It's so big and cool it has an IT department that she is part of. And they're so big and cool they give their sermon cds (and coffee) away for free, so she gives them to me sometimes. One of them was a series called "The Hills We Die On" and it was about the 7 or so things that were most important to them as a church. It was cool. Of course.

When people ask me, "How do you do it?", and they do, for whatever reason, my standard answer is, "Not very well." What I really mean by that is that we have chosen some hills that are worth dying on, and we let some others go.

There is little value in describing all the things we are not focused on, but there might be some value, at least for me, in naming what those hills are for us. What are your priorities? What are your values? What do you want to be when you grow up?

So, in no particular order, here are the things we think are worth fighting for, sacrificing for, dying for. This is who we want to be when we grow up.

Kindness. I want my children to be kind to each other. I want them to be each other's cheerleaders, biggest fans. I want them to keep a short list, to forgive each other, to not play the part of the accuser. I tell them to let me be the bad guy, that we only need one ogre, that they get to have fun together and laugh and love each other. I tell my boys to protect the girls, and everybody to look after everyone smaller.

Choosing friends wisely, even if that means not having very close friends at times. People are known by the company they keep, and they are shaped by the fellowship they choose. We are influenced by those we spend time with. So I encourage my children to be with the friends who respect us and their own parents, who have a similar value system (similar hills they die on), not just now, but looking down the road at where they are headed.

Modesty and purity in sexuality, guarding our minds, hearts, eyes, ears, spirits against the values of the world. If an outfit is questionable, we pitch it. Choosing not to focus on romance and girlfriends and boyfriends, not desiring to awaken love before it is time, but instead to belong to God and to save our hearts and affections and imaginations for the one God has for them, including being ready to belong to Him alone.

Reading lots of good books, and especially the Bible.

Doing things like school, chores, and even brushing teeth, not just so you can check it off, but to learn and become responsible and have clean teeth. Doing all things unto the glory of God. Learning character, hard work, discipline through the tasks we have, not as much for the sake of the task getting done, but for the sake of training the character.

Taking care of the bodies God gave us, being healthy, eating good food, stopping when we are full. For us, this does not include sacrificing time, money, and youth to lots of individual sports activities, but rather doing things as a family that build our bodies.

Keeping the family and not the peer group as the center of our kids' lives. Being the primary influence in their lives and not passing the responsibility for their discipleship to anyone else.

But honestly, there is one hill we die on. All those other things are valuable, but there is one thing, one desire, one thing I'd like to be really good at, one thing that when people look at me, I'd like them to be able to say, she excelled at that thing. I would like to be great at loving Jesus. I'd like them to say that I know Him. That when I sing, they can feel Him or hear Him or trust Him like they couldn't before. I want to be better at being His than I am at anything else.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Confessions of a recovering perfectionist

I used to be an all or nothing kind of girl. A perfectionist. If I couldn't do it perfectly, I wouldn't do it. I remember getting really irritated when someone helped match my children's socks and didn't do it exactly right. But my sock matching standards have eased up quite a bit. And while I'd prefer to have all the coffee mugs on the right and all the drinking glasses on the left, I've stopped correcting them (I do still put my favorites on the next shelf up).

Today I took a baby step. I had no sugar. I had an orange, 2 glasses of milk, 2 pieces bread and 2 large helpings of white pasta (among other things) - so I did have sugars, but I ate no sweets. I did nothing else. At this rate I'm sure to reach my ideal weight by the time I've been dead for 50 years. But it was a tiny step.

My perfectionist self conscious is not impressed. Neither should you be. I'm not. But exercising a teeny tiny amount of self control felt, well, better. I suspect it might grow on me.

It is better to do a little thing than to do no thing. It is better to get a little done than to wait for the opportune moment to do it all. Sometimes it is better to do a job poorly now than to insist on doing it well and never finding the time to do it well enough.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Things I say a lot

In no particular order:

Don't wipe your booger on your shirt.
Change your shirt.
How long have you been wearing that?
No you may NOT change your shirt.
Is the family closet unlocked?
Where is your shirt?
Where are your pants?
Where is your diaper?
Where is the baby's diaper?
I'll give 25 chocolate chips to the one who finds me the diaper she took off!
Did someone fart or do I need to change a diaper?
Did you make a smell?
Can someone bring me the baby wipes?
We've got a situation here.
Zip up your pants.
Did you wash?
Did you flush?
Did you wipe?
Can someone bring me the fingernail clippers?
Bring me your fingernails.
Go wash your hands with soap.
When is the last time you took a shower?
What are you supposed to be doing?
Are you finished with school and chores?
Do the next thing and then come and tell me.
No we just ate.
Do you know how to peel it?
You may have an apple, in the kitchen, show me when you're finished.
You're a great apple eater!
Clean up your mess.
Has anyone seen my keys?
We can't go without my keys.
Has anyone seen my phone?
Everybody quiet, I'm calling my phone.
Can you hold this kid while I go pee?
TV is for people who are too boring to do anything else.
No we are not playing on the computer or wii or iPad or my phone.
My phone is not a toy.
Did you set a timer?
Your timer's going off.
You are a great boy.
You are a wonderful daughter.
Do you know what I love? You.
What is that sound you're making?
You have two parents in this room (house) go talk to the other one.
This is a phone.
I am not smart enough to talk to more than three people at one time.
Where's your buddy?
Close your mouth and don't say any more words unless they are kind.
Your job is to love her.
You are her big brother. She will learn how important she is from the way you treat her.
You are his biggest fan.
Being mean is my job.
Your happiness is not my responsibility. My job is to train you, love you, keep you safe and teach you about God. Your happiness is between you and Him.
Nobody likes that sound you're making.
Nothing that concerns you spacemen, just us toys.
I've got one job on this ship. It's stupid, but I'm gonna do it.
Don't talk to me while I have my head in the oven (or while I'm cleaning up broken glass).
How many humans do we have here?
Roll call!
Where is everybody?
D and E are missing, does that bother anybody?
Somebody go see what horrible thing they're up to.
Put that down.
Give that to mommy.
Give that to mommy NOW.
Hey, Big Kid, take tha machete (or chainsaw or vat of olive oil or lipstick or syrup or sharpie or book or paper or bag of chocolate chips or peanut butter sandwich) away from her!