Wednesday, November 28, 2012
My religion allows me to feel blessed with each pregnancy and revel in my ability as a woman to be a part of bringing another child into the world. My religion puts woman on an insanely high platform, actually speaking of females in sacred tones and connatations. Speaking of our ability to birth children as a blessing, not a disease that needs a drug. Children who, by the way, bring immeasurable love and spirit into our home.
Our children are the lights of our lives. They literally change the world on a daily basis by their honesty, unending love and kindness not touched by the cynicism of age. Without my children i would never know miracles. Without my children i would be at a loss of hope. Without my children i would be a negative, wrinkled old man writing for the Herald Leader passing judgement on a loving family who makes it their mission to make the world a better place.
Unlike the many liberal parenting styles of my crazy tree hugging friends, my children know that respecting ALL people regardless of their beliefs, attitudes or world views is a must. My children work everyday to find someone who is in trouble and have been taught by us to help them out. My children have taught others how to be courageous and true to themselves.
Most crazy population controlling extremists believe in karma and legalizing marijuana. In that spirit I say...Because of my childrens goodness their karmic output is substantially greater than the population controlling facists who seek to stifle birthrate in this country. Stick that in your peace pipe and smoke it hippies!
Lastly, my carbon footprint might be larger than yours but as lil red riding hood's grandma said, "all the bigger to easily kick your ass back to your lonely house with your nation of carbon free, agreeable cats". I will pack up my hooligans in my carbon emitting SUV laughing, singing and continuing to spread good karma and who knows? Maybe have another kid to piss you off!
Friday, November 9, 2012
My huge, obnoxious and loving gang of nieces and nephews. Thank God my siblings and I have decided to break the record for biggest clan in the United states. Because of that I have been blessed with 17 nieces and nephews! I will name and describe each precious amazing gift.
Lets start with my brother Regis and Paulette. After years of patiently waiting and praying for the gift of children, these crazy cats gave pur family 6. Trey is the oldest and my dads namesake (Regis III-hence Trey). The kid is so funny and one of the most fiercely determined kids I know. He is Shawnies best buddy. Faith is my 2nd Godchild. She is the little peanut princess. To be so little it is amazing that she manages to get all her siblings in line like a lil mama. Faith and Moldy are besties. Brendo is the gentle giant. He has the biggest heart and is sweet as a ten gallons of ice cream. Jack has the name I always wanted (Shawn thought Jack Reynolds sounded like a drink you order at a sleazy bar...oh well). He is adventurous and keeps up with the big boys. Bailey is precious. As I get to know her I can tell she will have an easygoing nature. New baby is yet to be known but with the examples all around I will only be able to say the same kind things. My Minnesota babies make me feel happy.
Brian and Jen have 4 with 1 on the way. Addie is the lil scholar. She is mature beyond her years and was the first to come up and call me Auntie KK. Ralph is the more reserved of the 2 boys. He is quiet as he assesses the situation. But, once he likes you...you are in, for life. Warren is quiet but outgoing in his affection. He is independent yet sticks close to his family. He has got a good protective feeling about him. Ellie is the lil baby. She reminds me so much of my lil brother. Addie is the mini mama and I can't wait to see how this will mold her.
Mary and Aaron have the 2 peanuts. Aaron is a spazzo who loves crazy spazzos. Hence, why we get along. He has a look on his face that says,"Really? You again?" This cracks me up. Joseph is the little brother. He is calm and totally digs new faces. Both of these boys have laughter that comes from the tips of their toes. I am getting to know these boys on every trip and by constantly keeping them supplied in m&'s I am ensuring their unwavering love of me. Emma is their babysitter and watching her give them this natural love makes me proud!
Theresa and Matt have Rocky, Kolbe and soon Molly and zoe. Rocky is truly the rock star. I think he likes me the best. He does not like me the best when I correct him and has to give me the big lower lip. Kolbe is the fat Chinese lady who quietly observes the craziness contemplating his imminent escape. He is calm and observant. The boys are besties with Keegan and Dylan. One day they will all form a band. I will manage them and escort them around the world. Molly and Zoe remain to be seen but no doubt they too will adore me.
I am Auntie KK, auntie junk food or auntie m&m. I adore everyone of these kids like they were my own and I celebrate each new addition like the first. Our family continues to grow in love and I can't wait to see what our family will look like in 10 years. Big families are awesome!
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Teaching my kids how to vote. I think it is vitally important to take your kids to the voting booth. It is equally important to have conversations about why you are voting for the candidates in a child friendly, age appropriate way
In the last few weeks I have done the following things to teach my children the importance of being politically informed. My oldest 2 have watched the debates with my husband and I. We have talked openly and honestly throughout the debates about the issues. I think we have fairly represented the issues and allowed our children to give their opinions to us. I have listened more than I have spouted rhetoric. This has been very difficult especially during Joe Biden's fiasco and disrespectful showing.
Kiley has come home spouting the teachers politics, which is so frustrating. She was so fearful of her mom voting for Romney when "everyone" at school was voting for Obama. Perfect time for a lesson on individual thought and bring a leader.Perfect time to make my lil democrat think about the issues. We talked about abortion (dont freak...it was age appropriate and matter of fact), coal mining, healthcare, war and taxes. It is possible to discuss these things and get your kids to think...THINK. What a foreign concept for our spoon fed lil sponges who get their information from unionized teachers
My boys were so excited to vote that they even stayed quiet and respectful.When we finished voting they asked loudly for all to hear, "why can't we vote?" They were so inundated with voting lingo while driving home and listening to talk radio, Keegan says, "is this about Obama again?!" They got to vote on their favorite cookie, drink and superhero. They learned how to vote today.
I grew up in a home where political conversations were par for the course. Heated arguments permeated every family gathering. My family had varying thoughts but was never shying expressing them.Our faith was a huge building block to how we voted. Today as I voted I thought about how lucky I was to be brought up in a house that valued voting and were passionate about their beliefs. Today as I voted with my kids, I knew I was teaching them the same thing.
Monday, November 5, 2012
My Dads rock history lessons (aided by a few other family members)! I am very well versed in music and I have my dad to thank for that.
One of my greatest memories of times with my dad was being told "shhhh ...be quiet! This is my favorite song" As a kid we knew we were being invited into a special club where only the coolest kids got invited. If we were lucky we would get a rock history lesson about the band, the song, the album and/or the lyrics.
I learned the most when my dad worked around our house. He would rock the sweat band and knee socks and blast BA classic rock all day. Edgar Winter (whose album cover always freaked me out. Lesson #1: Edgar Winter is an albino), Sly and the Family Stone and the crazy Steely Dan. These were the sounds of my weekends.
Michigan football games and tailgating would always bring a rock history lesson. Here I met Jimi Hendrix and Jethro Tull. Occassionally, Janis Joplin would stop by to promote female equality. Bob Dylan would come out to play and preach political amazingness. In fact, it was at one of these games that my dad taught me what Jim Morrison was talking about in LA woman (definition of mojo bag was eye opener) and Peter Frampton could make his guitar talk...for real, talk.
My dad was not my only teacher. My mommy taught me all about this little place called Motown. Waking up to the Supremes meant it was ironing day. If I caught a little Marvin Gaye it meant there was dome cooking happening in the kitchen. Daddy and Mommy would go old school with Bing Crosby and Andy Williams. Elvis Presley made my mom smile in much the same way I did with Harry Connick Jr.
Then there were my uncles. Thanksgiving at Uncle Dans meant someone was getting a brand new bag from James Brown. The rolling stones were in the background as Uncle Danny carved the Turkey and did some shots of Jack with Uncle Kenny.
Uncle Mark was in a category all his own. Visiting his house was like going for a private tour of Abbey Road Studios. He is the reason I love the Beatles and have taught my kids this is where music begins and ends. Uncle Mark is still teaching me. Introducing me to Muse and Theatre of Tragedy. He still plays Beatles trivia, which I can never quite ace.
My brother, my best friend and yes...prom date (not once, but twice!) was also instrumental in opening my music horizons. With Regis I found and discovered AC/DC. Cypress Hill and Run DMC were the soundtrack to my high school mornings. I rebelled in every way possible while listening to Rage Against The Machine. NIN were my Zoloft on my dark days. I experienced the joy of college while jamming to Bob Marley. Life was exceptionally good.
Then, I was lucky to find my husband who taught me the ridiculous awesomeness of Metallica. We rediscovered grunge and can now dig the jam bands. We even are fans of gypsy punk (don't knick it yill you try it...gogol bordello) and saudi arabian rapper souleyman (you have not lived until you have seen him dance). He made me remember my early rock lessons and allowed me to search out new artists. It keeps me current. It keeps me valid. It gives me soul.
This obsession with music has enhanced my life to amazing levels. For every varied mood, I can revisit my history books and pull out a song to fit it. From a very young age, music knowledge was the key to that secret grown up world that my dad first unlocked the door to. Now I have a lifelong subscription to this group. I only hope that I will teach my children the same lessons my dad taught me. If only to keep Justin Bieber at bay...rock history is his kryptonite.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Sweet face, Keegan. All of our children are my blessings but today I choose Keegan.
I am one of those Jesus freaks that believe without a shadow of a doubt that God guides you in your life. If you listen closely and soulfully you can hear the direction your life needs to go. This is how I have felt on our journey to Keegan. My belief was tested throughout this journey but, each time I doubted, lost faith, was discouraged...I listened.
The day I met Keegan I knew he was different. My heart was called to him and his family in a much more significant way. I would find myself thinking of him, praying for him and finding moments to bond with him. I kept my heart open and when I felt God calling, I listened. Shawn was my rock and listened to this calling. Hesitantly and fearfully we followed this path being shown time and again, we were going in the right direction. It was like following a trail through a pitch dark trail with only small glimpses of light to guide the way. We were terrified and had our hearts broken. But, still we listened and believed.
Throughout this time Keegan has taught me so many things. He has taught me how to love unconditionally and how, when times are tough, you need to love harder, stronger and without fail. He has held my heart even in the toughest times. We cling to each other as the world whips us around. We never let go. We love without fail.
He has taught me to not give up. To believe in the impossible. To believe in the crazy pull of fate. He is one of the most determined children I have ever met. He teaches me by his example.
Keegan is truly a miracle in our lives and I love him to the moon and back. He has brought me so much joy. His smile lights up my rooms. His laugh is contagious and huge. His secrets whispered in my ear, fill my heart with gladness. His lil treasures that to anyone else, would be meaningless junk, to me they are the riches that fill my home.
Keegan has changed our family in countless ways. He has given Dylan a best friend and a partner in crime. He is Kileys most diligent student who hangs on her every word. Keegan is Emmas buddy that teaches her empathy and guidance. Keegan has given Shawn a fan for life that follows him on his journeys and gives him confidence. He has given his Daddy a whole new level of playfulness. He has given me everything.
The day I met Keegan, he had my heart but, I had no idea that he was going to change my world. I am thankful that I listened. I am thankful that Keegan is ours. I am thankful that God brought him to us and I pray everyday that He continues to guide us to be good enough for him. I pray that God will continue to guide us and we will continue to listen faithfully, hopefully and humbly.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
My sisters! I have been so lucky that I had parents who believed in big families. Mostly because I reaped the rewards of having not one, not two but 5 sisters.
Let me be real honest, my thankfulness was not always present due to the fact that sisters can be very annoying. A sister relationship is similar to a storm on the high seas. Sweeping rain and high nasty winds but then a steady, quiet, calm and peace. My sisters raise me up and cheer me on. They are my honest anchors and my most confidential therapists. They are the only ones that can pull me off a rooftop ledge just as I am about to take a flying leap. Best of all, our similar beliefs and support helps me to live a life of black and white...no gray in sight.
My sisters by blood know every part of me. They know my fears, my insecurities, my joys and heartaches. They have laughed with me and fought with me (i got the scars to prove it.).
Mary is my rock. I go to her when I need solid advice. I think we all do. She tells you the right way, gently. She has taught me how to be more faithful and a better wife/mother. She is our old fashioned sissy who taught me it is ok to embrace traditional roles and even learn to love them
Theresa is my best friend and cheerleader. I say this because she is that friend I can call up and bitch to, knowing she has got my back and will pack heat if need be. She is my Opie. She has taught me to be more loyal and put my family first without caring what others think. She has taught me to drop the drama ( I struggle, I confess) and focus on our little circle of love..
Annie is my beloved. Scary and stalkerish but true. She was my first baby. She taught me to love selflessly and put others first. She taught me what true unconditional love is. She currently is teaching me to aim high and keep dreaming. Plus, she keeps me young by reminding me how old and creepy I am.
Then, there are the outlaws. I have been humbled in the past few years by how much I could love sistas from another motha. For those that know me, you know I don't like outsiders. I abhor intruders into our family circle. Nobody knows this more than my sister-in-laws because they had to love me through that.
Paulette has been my journey sister.My sister, who even in tough times, doesn't give up and keeps trying. I am not one that is easy to try with. Paulette has taught me how to be a go with the flow mom...and that has made all the difference. She has taught me a lot about acceptance and determination. She has taught me that real family love transcends all issues, no matter how tough. She is an exceptional mom who has taught me more about healthy eating and living.
Jen is our newbie outlaw. Luckily, Paulette paved the way by loosening up this wicked witch. I was a lot more supportive and loving to our newbie. Jen has taught me to be open to others opinions and listen wholly to what others say. She has taught me to be a faithful wife and not be scared of that. She also taught me how to gracefully come into new situations fearlessly by her example.
You see? Having these sisters makes me such a better person. I am so blessed to have them in my life. This is why they are my number one...they are the root of everything I am growing into. As I get older, and hopefully, wiser their examples of love, support and encouragement make me a stronger wife, mother and friend. Love u sissies!