The Godly Legacy of a Simple Man

There are people that we know or people that we have heard of that have had an impact so profound on the lives of those around them that their absence leaves behind a legacy. One such person was my grandfather.

I was 11-years-old when he passed away on a cold winter’s day almost 18 years ago. I miss him just as much as I did then. What is amazing to me is the fact that every few weeks, someone still comes up to me and tells me a story about my grandfather and what a blessing he was to them. Nearly two decades after he went home to be with his Savior, the work he did for Christ while on this earth remains.

Growing up, my grandfather was painfully shy. He was 1 of 15 kids and I’ve heard stories of him getting his sisters to talk to people for him just so he wouldn’t have to. After serving his country in the Korean War, he came back to the states and married my grandmother and they began their family. While raising my aunts, uncle, and father, my grandfather worked for a local oil company. They never had much, but my father speaks fondly of his childhood and the way he was raised. During this time, my grandfather began to feel that God wanted his life to go in a different direction. He could not shake the fact that the Holy Spirit was leading him into the ministry. He loved the Lord and wanted to serve Him, but wasn’t sure how someone so shy could become a preacher. Finally, after years of prayer, my grandfather surrendered to God’s call on his life and went into the ministry full-time.

He began a church and, with no shortage of prayer and hard work, watched it grow. When I was younger, I knew my grandfather was a pastor, but to me he was just my Pap. Now that I look back on the things that I observed in his life, I have come to greatly appreciate him so much more.jessandpap

I remember staying the night at my grandparents’ house and waking up to find him reading his Bible in his worn out recliner in the living room. He diligently studied God’s Word and he applied it to every area of his life. I remember my grandparents kept kids at their house for a few weeks when they were going through a rough family situation. Their dinner table was always open and my grandfather would go anytime day or night to meet with a hurting family. Now, you could say that this was part of his job as a pastor, but I honestly believe he would have done these things regardless of his job title.

A new family came to our church and while introducing ourselves, we asked how they found out about the church and where they were from. It turns out that they had just moved to town and while my grandfather was driving home one day he saw them unloading their moving truck and pulled over to help. Of course, he began to talk to them while helping them unpack and they decided to check out the church on Sunday. They became an active and an integral part of our church family. That’s just the way my grandfather was – he didn’t hesitate to meet people exactly where they were at in life and that’s how he was able to have such an incredible impact on the lives of others.

Another day that sticks out was a Sunday that was entitled, “Friends Day.” My grandfather challenged our congregation to invite our friends and to make new friends. When Friends Day rolled around, many people had invited others to join us on this Sunday, but my grandfather had invited more people than I can count, and many of them showed up. In a day and age when so many are put off by the concept of faith and church, my grandfather had a way about him that was so genuine that you couldn’t help but consider him a friend. His faith and relationship with Christ was central to everything he did. He often would cry while preaching because he cared so much about others and wanted so badly for people to come to the saving knowledge of Christ. I love the quote that says “Let my heart break with the things that break the heart of God” – that was my Pap.

Shortly after Friends Day, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. His battle was short and difficult. People came in droves to pay their respects. As we all stood and sang his favorite song – Victory in Jesus – even I could tell that the eternal impact of this man would not be fully known this side of heaven. I’m sure his Savior greeted him with the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

memories

There are times when I feel sad and bitter that I only had 11 years with him. I am sad that he didn’t get to watch me play basketball. I am sad that he didn’t hear my speech at graduation. I am sad that he never knew I graduated from college. I am sad that he was not celebrating with me on my wedding day. I am sad that he has never held my children.

He has missed out on so many important things in my life, but he was there for the biggest moment – the moment that changed all of eternity for me. My family and many others were decorating our church for our upcoming Vacation Bible School one evening and suddenly I just knew. I just knew that I needed to ask Christ into my heart and to be my Savior. I knew that I was a sinner who could only be saved through what Jesus did on the cross – He died for my sins so that I could have eternal life in heaven. I went to my Pap and told him that we needed to talk. He took me to his office and I told him that I knew I wanted to accept Jesus as my Savior. We prayed together and my life was forever changed in that moment. I was only 5-years-old, but I knew exactly what I was doing and I remember that day vividly. Our VBS theme that year was ‘Camp Can Do’ and it was based off of Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.’ It was my Pap’s favorite verse and it is mine as well.

Just a few weeks ago, I was visiting a woman in the hospital and she me told me how my Pap led her to her own faith in Christ. She said he was like a brother to her and she can’t wait to see him again in heaven. It made me think about the impact a single person can have. When we surrender our lives to Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit, anything is possible. A shy man can reach the souls of many with the gospel.

There is a song by Ray Boltz entitled “Thank You” that makes me cry every time I hear it. The song is about a man who makes such a difference while on earth, that people come up to him in heaven to say thank you. One line in the chorus states, “Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am a life that was changed.” My Pap changed my life and so many others. Who knows how long his legacy on earth will last, but the work he did for Christ will last for eternity.

If we all lived our lives surrendered to Christ and focused on eternity, what kind of an impact would we have on this world? What kind of legacy would we leave behind? It is the godly legacy of a simple man that challenges me to get to work, for there is much to be done for the cause of Christ.

Chicken Nuggets vs. Sushi

Every now and then I have a quiet moment that lets my mind wander and leaves me feeling a little nostalgic. It’s been ten years since I transferred to Penn State University to focus on my education and ultimately my career. I’ve been thinking back to that time a lot lately and have been remembering the dreams I had during those years.

As a dreamer and a doer – or as I prefer to call myself, goal-oriented and focused – I had big plans. Upon graduation, I would move to a city (New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. were the ones I had my eye on) and begin to write health policy for a major firm or company. I would put in long hours but those long hours would translate to promotions which would lead to the opportunity to run board meetings and call the shots. After a long day at the office, I would meet friends at an upscale restaurant that required reservations and I would wear one of my many designer dresses. We would sip white wine and laugh over sushi and make plans to rent a beach house for the summer. Then I would go home to my pristine apartment with a killer view where everything was neat and clean. I would get to read the latest literary sensation before calling it a day and I would wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

None of this happened.

It’s laughable now, but that is actually what I thought would happen – what I thought my life would be like.  I believed my plans were the gold standard or the ideal for success, but the goal for my identity was all based on material things. I knew I wanted to get married and have a family, but I wasn’t dating anyone at the time and just assumed that I would focus on my career first and those things would come later for me.

This is what actually happened.

I met my husband at the beginning of our senior year of college. A year after graduation, we got married.   I was frustrated that my career plans weren’t working and after several years of waitressing and millions of resumes later, I finally let go and gave my frustrations to God.  Some time later, I landed a job at the local hospital; I was also pregnant with our first child. This was followed up by a promotion and another kid.

chicken nuggets vs. sushi

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be identified as a working mother, but God had a different plan for me. Now, I push myself at work to be the best for my family. Sure, I want those promotions, but they aren’t nearly as important as those I have waiting for me at home. I’ve never been to a restaurant that requires a reservation. In fact, the only time I’ve given my name in advance is when we were short on time and had to call ahead to the Olive Garden to put our name on the list. There is nothing designer about my life and the nicest dress I own was on sale at the Dress Barn. When I leave the office I go home to my kids where we sip from juice boxes and laugh over chicken nuggets while discussing the events of the day. As for renting a beach house, we piggy-back with my parents to the beach so we can afford to go and it’s probably going to be that way for a while longer. I get to read the latest adventures of Clifford the Big Red Dog before calling it a day and I can’t remember the last time I woke up feeling rested and refreshed.

And my life is so much better than I dreamed it would be.

Ten years ago, I couldn’t conceive of a life as full as mine is today. I look back on those dreams that I once thought were so glamorous and they feel empty. It would have been great to experience some of those things, but my actual life experiences have given me a drive like no other and have taught me that I am capable of more than I know – we all are.

Beyond that, the biggest realization has been that my identity isn’t found in my career or material things, just like my identity isn’t found in my family or how well I raise my children. My identity is found in Christ, in striving to be the woman he created me to be. By this definition, my identity would remain the same if I were that city-living, single, career woman as opposed to the working wife and mother I am today. I love that my identity is in Christ. You know why? I might lose my job, my kids are going to grow up, my financial situation won’t always be the same and if I hang my hat on these things, I’m going to be in for a rude awakening one day.  I can plan and dream all I want, but Christ is the one constant in my life. My husband, children, and job just give me a purpose with which to live out my identity in Christ and having a clearly defined purpose is incredibly fulfilling.

But when it comes down to chicken nuggets vs. sushi, I would choose chicken nuggets every time.

 

Linking up with Kelly Balarie & Friends, Equipping Godly Women

 

Just Your Typical Thursday Night

By the time Thursday night rolls around, I’m just done. Thursday night means I have already put in four full days of work and am a stones throw away from the weekend. Thursday night means I’m running low on groceries as well as the motivation to cook the food I do have. Thursday night means keeping it simple.

Except tonight was anything but simple.

As I was walking into the house, my bedroom window opened and both of my kids were yelling out of it. My oldest was loudly adding another item to his ever-growing birthday wish list. It should be noted that his birthday is two months away. My youngest was pressing his face against the screen to make funny faces at me. Welcome home, Mom!

Just as my husband was leaving for work, my oldest comes down the stairs and shares that he has had an accident. Thankfully, he changed himself and put the dirty clothes in the hamper for me. Usually I am handed the mess before I am aware that it’s urine-soaked pants I am holding.

I decided to make something easy and the boys and I agree that having breakfast for dinner sounds good. I break out the griddle and start to cook some bacon. Unfortunately, I didn’t change out of my work clothes – a decision I immediately came to regret. The bacon was really sizzling and when it was done I went to dump the large amount of grease that was produced at the same time my youngest rounded the corner and scared me. I flinched and spilled all of the bacon grease on the floor.

As I tried to stiff-arm my son to protect him from running through the grease, I got caught up in the mess, wiped out, and took a trip straight to Splitsville. While struggling to get up, I fell not once, not twice, but three more times in the grease. I made it to my cleaning cupboard where I grabbed a cloth and some cleaner. After making my way back to the mess, I rotated between bending over to scrub the floor and jumping back up to make sure that the eggs didn’t burn. It was as if I was completing the most awkward set of burpees as I scrubbed the floor and checked on dinner. But that’s how my burpees look anyway – nice and awkward.

At this point, I am kicking myself for not having any cameras installed in our house to capture this madness. Between the boys and I, we are sure to win a prize on ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos.’ That $10,000 prize would pay off my student loan! At least I can laugh at myself.

The boys are thrilled that we are eating bacon. My oldest declares that it is delicious and he wishes our house always smelled like this. My clothes will likely never get the smell of bacon grease out of them, but that’s neither here nor there.

After dinner, the boys request to watch a movie in our room just to shake things up a bit. They choose ‘Tangled’ – a rendition of Rapunzel. We have watched this so much this winter that I believe I am developing a crush on Flynn Rider, the handsome hero. Regardless, the movie was short-lived because the boys started fighting and my youngest was pushed off the bed and missed hitting his head on my dresser by the smallest of margins (he was fine). Now that my heart was racing we went downstairs so the boys could color and I could workout.

I have every intention of working out in the morning, but I hate getting up when it’s cold and dark. This morning, I heard the wind howl when I was to get up and exercise so I just rolled over and fell back to sleep. As I’m on the floor doing some Pilates, I notice that there are crumbs everywhere which is disheartening considering how often I vacuum. I didn’t have long to dwell on it because my youngest fell off of his chair while coloring. What is going on tonight!? Again, he is okay, but I only got to exercise half of my body.

I take a deep breath and go to my happy place.

happyplace

After giving the kids a bath that involved too much of the water landing on the outside of the tub, we grabbed a snack, watch some Octonauts, and called it a night.  I managed to work out the other half of my body before allowing myself to sit down.  Once the boys were in bed, I turned on The Biggest Loser and realized that burpees are awkward for everyone.

Yep, just your typical Thursday night.

I Don’t Have a Baby Anymore

I watch you as you play and I can’t believe what I’m seeing. You are able to build train tracks and know what pieces go where when you work with puzzles. Your vocabulary is expanding by leaps and bounds. You now describe things as ‘cute’ or ‘so funny.’ You are quick to remember your manners as I often hear you say ‘thank you,’ ‘please,’ ‘you’re welcome,’ and ‘bless you’ unprompted.  You’re goofy and you love to make people laugh.

Suddenly, it hits me – I don’t have a baby anymore.

The change from baby to toddler comes so swiftly. It happened quickly with your brother, too, but I was pregnant with you so it didn’t bother me as much. Now as I watch you run and jump and play, I wonder where the time has gone.

baby

I had heard and read all the advice to savor the moments for they pass in the blink of an eye. I knew all of that and I tried to take it to heart. I had also heard that parents don’t pay as much attention to the small stuff with the second child, but that just isn’t true. I wrote all your milestones down and took pictures of every little thing. We celebrated your baby achievements just as much as your older brother’s. Yet, here we are getting rid of your onesies and preparing for your 2nd birthday. Your ‘babyhood’ is gone and I can’t get it back.

You are beginning to talk in full sentences and you amaze me every day with your intelligence. Out-of-nowhere you will come up to me, give me a hug, and say, “Love you so much, Mommy!” It feels as if my heart will actually explode when this happens. You are a sensitive soul and a snuggler. You are also a Mama’s Boy – my right-hand man, my shadow. You follow me into the bathroom just to be next to me. I kindly usher you out, but you still try.

While there is so much to look forward to as you grow – new things we can try and new places we can go – I can’t help but feel this pang of loss. In a few months, your crib will be packed up and you will get a big boy bed. Part of me wonders if we will ever use that crib again or if it will just collect dust for several years in the attic before we decide to sell it at a yard sale. Each time I pack up clothes that are now too small for you, tears form in my eyes because I wonder if there will ever be another baby to wear these again. I remember that you took your first steps in that shirt and wore that outfit home from the hospital.  I have the cutest picture of you and your gummy grin dressed up for church in these clothes.  That was the blanket that you spent the first months of your life wrapped up in and snuggled in my arms. It still holds your little baby smell.

I wonder if I will ever buy another pack of pacifiers or bibs. Will there ever be a bottle rack beside our sink again? How much longer will we keep the high chair beside our table? Am I ready to live in a world that doesn’t involve me pulling footie pajamas out of the dryer and getting my little one all cuddled for bed at night?

So much of motherhood is marked by firsts, but as you grow, I’m starting to notice the lasts. Is this the last box of diapers I will buy? Is this the last night you will want to sleep with your favorite blanket? That show that you love and want to watch over and over, the one that I think I can’t possibly watch one more time – is this the last time we will watch it together? The problem is we often don’t know a moment falls into the ‘last’ category until it’s just gone.

The firsts are thrilling and the lasts are heartbreaking. Motherhood is this big thing defined by all of these little moments that find me in a state of near-constant transition. I often don’t realize that I have moved on to the next stage of motherhood until I am knee-deep into it.  It is a struggle being content with where we are at rather than longing for where we have been or will be.

This time, I feel as if I am not ready to move to the next stage. But you are ready, so I must be ready for you. I see your desire to keep up with the big kids and how excited you are when you learn something new. I see your tender heart and the love you have for others, especially babies. Watching you has made me realize that I am open to the possibility that God might not be done growing our family. As I pray for wisdom and guidance in that area, I also thank God for you and your brother.

I love being your mother more than you will ever know. I am so proud of you, my sweet boy. It is the privilege of a lifetime to raise you and call you my own.

An Apology to My Kids for Our Sexualized Culture

The three of us were all snuggled on the couch.  I had one of you tucked under each arm and we were watching some Duke Blue Devils basketball before bedtime.  This almost never happens: a) you never sit still this long, b) I never get to watch my team play.  I was more than enjoying this moment, and then there was a commercial break.

Suddenly there was before our eyes a man and a woman kissing quite passionately.  Things were taken further and the man took the woman’s shirt off and we could see her naked back.  They were (and I hate this term) heavily petting.  I searched frantically for the remote and could not find it anywhere.  I considered doing jumping jacks in front of the TV to distract you, but it didn’t matter – you were both locked in and had seen all of it.  Why is it that you never pay attention when I want you to, but the exact moment I would like you to be otherwise occupied, you are zoned in?

The questions started.  “What were they doing? Why did he take her shirt off? Why were they doing that?”  The fact that the commercial was for cologne was lost on all of us.  I really didn’t know what to say and so I found myself saying this: “I’m sorry, boys.  I’m so sorry that you saw that.”

The fact of the matter is, I am sorry.  We were enjoying a basketball game – at 7:15 in the evening – and sex was right in our faces.  You boys are not quite 2 and 4-years-old.  I have read the statistics, I have seen the reports – the number of sexual images you are projected to see before you reach adulthood is staggering and scary.

God made you, as boys and one day men, to be very visual beings and that’s a good thing.  I am sorry that Satan takes the fact that you are visual and uses it against you every chance he gets.  I am sorry that sex sells and it will be sold everywhere.  I am sorry that you will experience more peer pressure when it comes to sex than any other issue.  I am so sorry that holding on to your purity will be one of the biggest fights of your life.

As your mother, I am committed to do everything I can to help you grow from boys to men.  I want you to be men after God’s own heart.  The Bible talks repeatedly about fleeing from sexual immorality and lust.  There is a reason for this.  When I tell you not to touch the stove while I’m cooking, I do so because I know that you will be burnt if you do.  Likewise, when you are lost in lust aconsequencesnd sexual immorality (sex outside of marriage, pornography, etc.) you will get burned.  But beware, the world will tell you that there is nothing wrong with lust, they will encourage sexual immorality.  Our culture will tell you that you are not a man until you have lost your virginity and will applaud you when you do.  I am here to say that the world is wrong.  God does not warn us over and over again about the dangers of sexual immorality just because He doesn’t want us to have fun.  He mentions it throughout the Bible because He wants what is best for us and he wants to protect us.  I would be a horrible mother if I let you lay your hand down on a hot stove burner.  Would you trust God if He didn’t warn you about things that could have major consequences your life?

While I am sorry that this is a battle that you will have to fight over and over again, I am not sorry for doing all that I can to shelter you and protect you while you are being raised in my home.  I am not sorry that devices will be password protected and certain shows will not be watched on our TV.  I am not sorry that we will have uncomfortable conversations about sex because I always want you to feel that we can talk about these things.  I am not sorry that I will not let you off the hook when it comes to pornography and I refuse to succumb to the ‘boys will be boys’ mentality in this regard.  I am not sorry that you will be angry with me at times for not being as lenient as other parents.  I know that I will receive flak for having unrealistic expectations and being ‘out-of-touch’ or old-fashioned, but I am willing to handle all of that.  I love you and it is my job as your parent to build the strongest foundation that I can for you so that you will one day be able to make positive decisions on your own behalf.

I don’t want to be all doom and gloom here, guys.  There are two big things that I want you to know.  First, this is not a new phenomenon.  I’ve already said that these issues were mentioned many times in the Bible.  That means that people have been dealing with lust from the beginning.  While technology has made things much more accessible, the issues remain the same.  Not only that, but Christ came to help us overcome all of this.  You can win this battle, but it is not going to be easy.

Secondly, this is not just an issue that affects boys and men.  It may not affect girls in quite the same way, but our sexualized culture absolutely damages them as well.  You see, I am a girl.  I have been and continue to go through this.  Girls are faced with feelings of inadequacy and lack of self-worth.  They ask themselves why they can’t look like that woman, why they can’t measure up to that level of sexuality.  The fact is, it is all a myth.  These advertisements are a myth, pornography is a myth.  No one will ever measure up to those standards because they themselves don’t exist.

Those girls that are dealing with this issue, they have Moms and Dads that are just as concerned about them as we are of you.  They have parents who are bound and determined to raise them and shelter them from our sexualized culture, who work night and day to make sure that their daughters do not buy in to the fake ideals the world projects.  Their parents are praying that there will be good men left in this world to one day marry their daughters – be those menworthit

This is good news, boys!  I know many of these parents. Like me, they pray constantly that their children will grow up and cling to God’s Word. Their commitment to raising godly sons and daughters is unwavering. You will find friends who are committed to leading a life of faith and you will one day find a girl who will make you realize why it was all worth it.  I promise you when this day comes, you will be thankful that God warned you not to put your hand on the hot stove.

Let me leave you with this: you will not be fighting our sexualized culture on your own.  No matter what happens, your father and I love you very much.  If you stumble and fall, we will be right here to pick you up.  More importantly, your Heavenly Father is always ready and willing to wrap you up in His grace and forgiveness.

Stay strong, boys.  Stay strong.

Linking up with Holly Gerth, Serving Joyfully, and Equipping Godly Women

Work Hard, Play Harder

My favorite accessories

 

Balance is the key to so many things in my life.  As a working mother, I have to be away from my kids for approximately 45-50 hours each week.  I work hard.  When I am home, I want that time to count more than anything.  So, I play harder.
 
As the result of juggling work and motherhood for several years, I’ve come up with some ways to help achieve a sense of balance in each area.  I would love to be a stay-at-home-mom, but that is simply not an option for me.  In order to stay on top of my responsibilities and enjoy every moment I can with my kids, I work to incorporate these things into my daily life.
I am thrilled to be guest posting at Chelsea’s blog The Play Lady today!  Chelsea and I have known each other for years and have recently reconnected over our love of blogging and motherhood.  Be sure to check out Chelsea’s work – you won’t be disappointed!

You can read the rest of my post here.

Tim Tebow is Hiding in My House

“Mommy, Mommy – come quick, I’m scared!”

I heard the tone in my son’s voice and turned the water off to the kitchen sink, dried my hands, and threw the dish towel over my shoulder.  As I rushed to see what was going on, I heard my youngest son chase after me.
“What’s going on!?  Is everything okay?” I asked.

“There’s something in my room.  It’s Tebow.”

What did he say?  “Did you just say Tebow?  As in ‘Tim Tebow’?”

“Yessss!  Tim Tebow is hiding in my room!  He’s so big and so scary!  First he was under my bed and now he is hiding in my closet.  Check, Mommy, check!”

Tim Tebow
Tebow’s been lying low since my beloved New York Jets botched his NFL career, but if he wanted to get away from it all, our humble home in the sticks would be the last place I would expect to find him.  I bit my lip to try to conceal my laughter and walked up the stairs to his room to assure him that there was nothing to be scared of; the boys followed closely behind.  Once in his room, I checked under my son’s bed and behind his curtains.  Nothing.  I went over to the closet and just as I was about to open the door my son said, “Watch out, Mom!  You’re in for a surprise – Tebow’s gonna get ya!”

I wanted to say, “If that happened, I would not be more surprised than if I woke up tomorrow morning with my head sewn to my pillow.”  I was channeling Clark Griswold, but my kids would not have been able to appreciate the reference.

I opened the closet door and, lo and behold, no one was in there.  Shocker.

I want my children to face their fears, but I don’t want them to be scared of things that are unnecessary – like Tim Tebow.  My son has certainly heard of Tebow.  We are an athletic family and ESPN is on heavy rotation in our house.  As an example, one other time my son saw an image of Tebow, pointed to it, and said “Daddy!”  His actual Dad accused me of laughing a little bit too hard at that one.  Plus as Christian athletes, it’s a borderline requirement that we are Tebow fans.  I have been following Tebow’s career since I saw the documentary ESPN did on him while he was playing football for Nease in Florida.  I remember thinking that I would have to see what would become of him.  Our beliefs seemed to line up and I wanted him to be successful; now he is a household name.

A few years ago, my husband and I were able to go and hear Tim speak at a local convention center.  He is an excellent speaker and can effortlessly weave his testimony into the conversation without it being forced or condescending.  Prior to this my husband was a Tebow skeptic, but even he admitted that he seemed genuine and did a wonderful job presenting the gospel.

After talking to my son, it came to light that he was afraid of the Silly Gilly Gumbo – a fictional character on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Gumbo/Tebow…kind of a stretch there, buddy.  We talked about the fact that the Gumbo doesn’t exist, but his father and I are always there for him if he is afraid.  We also discussed that God is bigger than all of our fears and that whenever we are afraid, we can pray.

So, we ended our night with one last Tebow-check through the house and a mother and son prayer.  We prayed for strength to face our fears and that Tim Tebow – wherever he may be – would continue to be a great testimony and share God’s love with those he meets.

Stuff My Kid Says

When your kids start talking, it can be both exciting and terrifying.  You quickly realize that you can’t control what might come out of their mouth.  The following are actual conversations with my sons.

The one just starting to talk

On my way to get him out of the crib in the morning:

Jett: “Hi.  I tooted.”

Me: “Well, good morning to you, too!”

Jett: “Morning!  I tooted again!”

Me: “This is going to be a long day, isn’t it?”

Jett: “Yep.”

After hearing his Dad use his favorite term of endearment for me:

Jett: “Honey!  Honey, where are you?”

Me: “Are you talking to me?”

Jett: “Yep.  Where are you, honey?”

Me: “Downstairs.”

Jett: (comes downstairs) “Hi, honey!  Miss you so much!”

On humility

I had been told on several occasions from people at church that JJ was going around telling everyone that he was a genius.  Nice.  Then my dad said this happened after JJ built a train track by himself:

Pap: “JJ, that track is amazing!  Did you do that yourself?”

JJ: “Yep!  You know I’m a genius.”

So, I decided to ask JJ what the word ‘genius’ means.  He gave me a look that told me he couldn’t believe I would ask such a thing and said, “It means I’m very smart.”  A few days later, we passed the school he might possibly attend in a few years.

Me: “Are you excited to go to school?”

JJ: “I don’t think I’m going to have to go to school.  There won’t be anything left for me to learn by the time I’m old enough to go. ”

Me: “I think your teachers will have plenty of things for you to do.”

JJ: “Will they have balls there?  I’ll go if I can throw balls around.”

Me: “I’m sure they will have them in gym class and at recess.”

JJ: “Ok, I’ll go.”

This is why I pray for his future teachers all the time.

On work

While we were having dinner, JJ put his head in his hands and heaved a heavy sigh.  Jeff and I asked what was the matter.

JJ: “I just hate my job so much.”

Me: “What’s your job? Why do you hate it?”

JJ: “I work at the office over the mountain.  I hate it because the guys at work give me a hard time.”

Me: “You could try to get a new job.”

JJ: “That won’t work.  I have to pay the bills.”

Me: “What bills?”

JJ: “I have to get groceries for us to eat and pay for the house and electricity.”

Me: “Here’s a thought – why don’t you let Dad and I work and pay the bills.  You are only three, you can relax for a few more years.”

We got a good chuckle out of that, but still haven’t figured out where he would have heard someone say that they hated their job.  Jeff and I don’t hate our jobs, and even if we needed to vent, we wouldn’t do it in front of the kids.  I know why he said he had to work to pay bills.  He is always asking me to stay home (heartbreaking) and wonders why I have to go to work.  I am honest and say that I work to pay bills like the house payment, electric bill, and groceries.  A week or so later, he randomly said this:

JJ: “I still hate my job.”

Me: “I thought we talked about the fact that Mom and Dad take care of you and the house so you don’t have to worry about it.”

JJ: “The guys are still giving me a hard time.”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

JJ: “They make me work all the way until the fall season!  That is really such a bummer.”

I appreciate his dedication to work, but I feel like he’s taking it a little too far.  Still funny, though!

On marriage

JJ: “When I get married, am I going to have to move out and get my own house?”

Me: “Well, I think your wife would appreciate that.”

JJ: “Who will my wife be?”

Me: “I don’t know.  When you are older, you will meet a nice girl and fall in love.”

JJ: “A girl!?  Ewwww!”

Me: “Haha, it’s ok.  Dad married a girl – me.”

JJ: “You’re not a girl – you’re my mother. I am already an adult so I should probably get married soon, but I don’t think I’m ready for that.”

Me: “You’re three – you aren’t getting married any time soon. Go play!”

On bunk beds

Me: “JJ, would you like a bunk bed in your room to share with Jett?”

JJ: “What’s a bunk bed?”

I explained.

JJ: “Is the ladder metal or wooden?  Because Jett can’t handle a metal ladder.”

Me: “It would be wooden.”

JJ: “I’m afraid that Dad wouldn’t use screws that were strong enough to hold a bed up in the air.  Then I would have to rush down the ladder and hold out my tiny, little arms to catch the bed before it crushed my brother.  My father would be very unhappy if my brother were squished.”

Me: “So, is that a ‘no’ on the bunk beds?”

He can take the simplest question and run with it.  You truly never know what kind of answer you might get.

On bathroom etiquette

JJ has a habit of taking all of his clothes off if he has to go #2.  One day, I was unaware that he was using the bathroom and I just walked right in.  He was less than thrilled.

JJ: “Hey!  Why didn’t you knock?  Don’t you know that a man needs his privacy!?”

Me: “My apologies.”

My sister recently kept the boys for a few hours to help us out and also questioned the reason why he stripped down to go.  She tried to get him to keep his shirt on, but of course he had an explanation for the reason his shirt had to come off.

JJ: “I have to take my shirt off because my chin will run out of energy from trying to hold it up for so long.”

There you have it!

There are no words

Jeff and the boys often come to visit me at work.  A few weeks ago they paid me a lunchtime visit.  As they were leaving, I gave them all hugs and kisses and said my goodbyes.

Me: “Bye, JJ!  I love you and I’ll be home soon.”

JJ: “Bye, Mom!  I like your nipples!”

I’m sorry – whaaaat!?  It took a moment to register what was said.  Then I thought, “So this is how it ends.”  Not a horrible car accident, not a terminal disease – I’m going to die from embarrassment from the words of a preschooler.  At least I was surrounded by family and friends.

When I came to, I looked down and confirmed that there had been no wardrobe malfunction.  Not even close.  My coworker was enjoying a salad when this was said, and she almost shot lettuce out of her nose.  Why, why would he say that?  Well, JJ knows that he is not allowed to say that word, because he thinks it’s hysterical and he takes it too far.  And that was exactly why he did and said what he did.  He was laughing and laughing and I was the deepest shade of red possible.  He certainly got a reaction…and some discipline.

Oh, the stuff my kid says.