I just read this article via a friend’s facebook page and thought it was really worthwhile. Oh the comparison game…sigh. Anyway, it’s well worth your while to click on and read. The blog is titled Loving My Lot and she has some other really good posts too!
I’ve found it! What, you ask? The secret to building up your savings account? The cure for cancer? The gumption to train and complete a marathon? Oh no my dear friends that’s all cupcakes and fluff. I’m talking about THE most difficult self-imposed discipline outside of diet and exercise…No Sarcasm Saturday. I know, I know this raises many more questions like “what on earth would motivate you to do such a thing?” or “Why?” or even “How long did you make it?” All in good time my dear friends. First let me give you a little background. It all started way backlast week sometime. I was trying to watch one of my favorite HGTV shows called “ Love it or List it”. However, during the show one of my children (who shall remain nameless for her, his, ahem it’s protection) was just deriding these poor people on the show. I found myself getting more irritated by the moment. This child sounded so mean, so hateful, so judgmental and uh…so much like me! Sarcasm is one of our main sources of humor in this family. 2nd man and I love watching Food Network, HGTV or even ESPN shows and totally deriding the logic behind which most of the decisions are made. Truly, this is just a coping strategy for our own lusty jealousy. Hmmm do I want the brand new house with five bathrooms and all new appliances that is $100,000 over budget or do I want to stay in my mid-century “bungalow” with it’s outdated electrical system, bowing floors and cracked foundation without a dishwasher? Ah the decisions people must face. It’s sad really. We watch and shoot out scathing remarks about how materialistic our society is and how there are people starving in other countries living on floating shacks along rivers (funny though, they still have smartphones and reception –true story I saw it on TV too). Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the degradation of our American society. Like I said, I’m basically just jealous and get a kick out of the whole process. However, listening to my own kid doing the same thing sounded so harsh and critical. I went from being irritated to being strongly convicted. She/he sounded like a bully on a playground. If I had caught him/her doing this to someone face-to-face I would be mortified and then I’d lay into him or her about apologizing and how we don’t treat others this way. I’d probably go into how that person is one of God’s creations and therefore we have no right to be so critical. All of this is true. However, somehow people don’t seem as real to us if they’re on TV so a freedom of expression gets exercised regularly. We’re sarcastic with each other as well. I’d say 95% of it is truly meant in good fun and humor. However, there are those days when someone gets their feelings hurt. But, mostly it’s how we relate to each other in a humor filled way. 2nd man and I often find ourselves even having the same sarcastic thoughts about different situations. But, as a friend of mine explained to me, it can all be taken and given in different spirits depending on the people involved, so sarcasm must be handled delicately. For instance she is a choleric personality and tends to go from humorous to critical in a quickly falling landslide; whereas her husband, who is very sanguine, keeps it on the light and humorous quite easily. This made a lot of sense to me. I know there’s a lot of debate about the validity of the whole personality thing, but I’m a believer in how it plays out in people’s lives. My choleric child sounded scathing and harsh, but my own sanguine/melancholy personality keeps it on the humorous or sometimes overly-sensitive side. So, with all of that said, I approached 2nd Man and told him I thought we should have a “no sarcasm day.” He thought it was a good idea, but didn’t do anything about it immediately. Then, Friday evening at the dinner table I made some kind of sarcastic remark and he pounced. “Your mother and I have been talking about something lately, kids.” He said. To which thy replied, “are we in trouble?” “No,” he said, “but we’re going to try to have a No Sarcasm Saturday tomorrow.” Our oldest was instantly worried. “But it’s outreach day at church and, well, we teens speak in sarcasm.” “I understand that.” Replied 2nd Man, “but we’ll have to make do the best we can.” We determined that everyone would start out with 100 points and the person with the most points left will get a dessert treat of their choice at a special place on our vacation in a month. I have to be honest here. It was hard. I woke up with much trepidation, scared to enter public with my family, wondering how ashamed I might be. But, overall it was a good experience. I caught myself having sarcastic thoughts all day long. The hardest part of the day was going to Wal-Mart (did I mention we did this on a Saturday?) I was never so thankful to go to the grocery store ALONE. Even in the parking lot where Honey Boo boo’s mother’s look-alike about rammed my car to get a space she thought I was going to get to first. (You must understand how hard it was to even write that last sentence. I had to wait a day so as not to get docked points.) We had one daughter who tried hard, but was honest when caught. Daughter number two kept docking herself and was about out of points when we confirmed that you had to be caught by someone else, and then our youngest son didn’t quite ever get the concept of what sarcasm even is. However, it was a good exercise in discipline and learning to be kind. We really didn’t have a winner at the end of the day. We’ve actually decided to do it again perhaps next week. I’ll confess I’m not willing to give up this form of humor for a lifetime – I don’t think that’s possible. However, temperance is never a bad thing, so I’ll take it one challenging Saturday at a time for now.
|Jarod Reece in all of his glory|
Today’s post is primarily for the sake of the grandparents, so please bear with the adorableness of these pictures. I don’t really have anything very profound to say today except….LOVE THAT BOY! Does anyone else’s boy ever do this kind of thing? I mean, we gave him the talk about not wasting the time of the Olan Mills guy or our money, and how these aren’t pictures on our camera, and how we really want some good pictures of our kids and this is what we get.
It’s like he oozes personality and can’t keep it in. It’s some kind of third child comedian thing going on.
In his defense the photographer was being rather silly and probably instigated it, but really? Seriously?
Thankfully, we got some good shots as well. Again…LOVE THAT BOY!
|You break this heart -I break your thumbs. Love, Momma|
Jarod was impressed…
Next, Daddy poured some salt into his fist
Then he worked it…
Ok, I shamelessly must admit that I’ve become cheap. After the hilariously horrible financial year we’ve had, I’ve become more creative in my modes frugality. So that is why the 2nd man and I have become blood donors, (oh and because we want to help save lives too, of course). I’ve now learned to tag that last line onto my own sentences about this whole thing.
It really all started while we were doing the fireworks stand this past summer and we saw an advertisement for a blood drive. They were giving away free tickets to baseball games, the zoo, free ice-cream cones and a t-shirt to boot! Well, my head started working and in the middle of the most stressful week of 2nd mans year, I dragged him down to the blood drive and made him do it. “Honey it’s free field trips right here!” I urged him. He just laughed at me and mocked the fact that I left out the part about saving lives too.
So, we did our part, stepped up to the poke and got our freebies. So, last week we decided to use the zoo tickets for a field trip day. (and to let others know we helped save a life of course). We packed into the car with 2nd mans Mom and the kids and all headed to Tulsa for the day. Overall, we had a good time. One of the advantages of home schooling is that we get to go places on weekdays and avoid the crowds. One of the disadvantages was that there were so many zoo exhibits shut down or animals that couldn’t be found. I think we finally spotted an animal after being there about 15 minutes or so. As usual our kids ended up being more excited about a squirrel running across their path than the rare watch-a-macallit in the cage. The real highlight of the day was when we were nearly finished, but still far from the entrance and found an abandoned wagon near the giraffes. The kids rejoiced at the fact that they could ride out of the zoo instead of having to keep up the endless walk. Here are some of the highlight pictures of the day:
The playing bear was very fun and cute.
Everyone loves a giraffe.
The petting zoo was nice.
I think this is some sort of pelvic bone…I chose to avoid explanations and just humor him with a picture…, which leads me to this question, “I gave my blood for this?” Oh right it was to save a life, of course.
|Gracia Burnahm and me after I’d been crying most of the day .|
On a lighter note I have to give you my impression of meeting Gracia Burnham and her daughter too. Can you say gracious? Just like her name suggests. I found myself just melting into her arms at first. Here was my big chance to say all these wonderful thoughts about her and I was like a blubbering idiot. Really, I’m so embarrassed by it. I wanted to explain how I’d heard about her book from a missionary’s wife that was going into a persecuted nation and how it had touched me so deeply. How I had left off all that I was supposed to do that day and just read through the entire book in one sitting etc. But, there I stood feeling so overwhelmed by inadequacy that thankfully 2nd man stepped in and saved the day. He started talking with her and they were like old friends. She was so engaging and didn’t act like she was in a hurry to get away or anything. She signed both of my books and hugged me again. Wow!! Sometimes you meet people like this and they want to be that way, but they’re just time constrained and too many people are around all wanting a piece of them so they are almost forced to act standoffish. But she didn’t I was so honored to have bent her ear and to have my children meet her too! Oh, I pray the impression will be burnt in their minds and memories.