Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We're Seeing Red Around Here!

Arizona Cardinals Red that is!

It is a miracle that the Cardinals have made it to the Super Bowl
for the first time EVER!

Growing up with five Brothers, and now having two sons of my own,
I have spent a lot of my life watching sporting events.
And the Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting event's there is.
It even gets it's own Party!

Being the Big City Girl that I am, I don't really get to experience that small town feeling, that I imagine growing up in a small town (maybe somewhere in Texas) would feel like. Where everyone knows everyone. And the entire town turns out to the local High school football games, cheering their team on to Victory, together. But, this I imagine has to be pretty close.

Every where you go there are people wearing their Cardinal shirts, even decorating their car. Having their baby's pictures taken with Cardinal paraphernalia. Our UPS guy delivers packages to the Church that I need to sign for, and he greets me with a "Go Cards!" The entire community has come together in celebration. And it's fun!

I've experienced this before, when we lived in the Detroit area. It is after all Hockey Town. And the Red Wings not only went to the Stanly Cup, they won it! Several times! Sports can and do bring a community together.

So, come this Sunday (unless your from Pittsburgh, of course) between all the commercials you love to watch, Let's cheer for the Underdogs! The team no one thought could do it. But did. The Arizona Cardinals!

Go Team!
We Believe!

Friday, January 23, 2009

What, Are You Chicken?!

Once school started back up after the holidays, I got a note from the school nurse. Informing me that my girls needed three immunizations each. They had to get them right away, or they wouldn't be allowed to stay in school! (very high drama!) Now, we've known for years that they have had ALL their shots due, up until the age of 14. But, what's happened is (at least in Arizona) new laws have past for additional shots at the age of 11. My girls are now 11.

As I'm going over this, I notice one of shots they need is the Chicken Pox vaccination. And I immediately flash back to one of the worst weeks of my life! I called the school nurse to explain. My boys both got the chicken pox when it was going around their elementary school, and brought it home . . . where I had 6 month old twins!

I remember it well. Because we were living in Michigan, and planning a trip home to Arizona to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We were having a whole big wedding to renew their vows. And many of my family would get to see my Beautiful baby girls for the very first time.

But of course they both got the Chicken Pox! Hence the worst week of my life! Taking care of two 6 month old babies, who don't know why they are itching, or how to scratch (which is a good thing.) All they know is they are miserable! And believe me, they let me know it too!

And all this while planning a big family trip, with four children, across the country. And trying to help plan "the wedding" as well. The school nurse was surprised that I knew exactly how old the girls were when they had chicken pox, down to the very month! But the girls were very happy it got them out of one of the shots!

They were over being contagious before we left for our trip (the other passengers on our plane were thrilled to hear that as well!) But they did have "Polka Dots" still all over them to meet the family members that hadn't yet been to Michigan to see them. And in all of this, I left my dress for the wedding at home. Our church secretary had to go in my house, get the dress and overnight it to Phoenix. That cost more than the dress itself did!

I thought I'd share a picture of the girls on the day of my parents 50th wedding anniversary. All dressed up in their pink dresses. At least the dots matched!

And here is a picture of my sister and I, in our matching dresses,
with my parents at their wedding.
It turned out to be a Great Day!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change Has Come To America

History was made today, and It was exciting to watch it!

Change has come to America!
(Change: noun, a transformation, the process of becoming different)

"Blessed be the name of God,
forever and ever.
He knows all, does all:
He changes the seasons and guides history,
He raises up kings and also brings them down,
He provides both intelligence and discernment,
He opens up the depths, tells secrets,
sees in the dark-light spills out of Him!
God of all my ancestors, all thanks! all praise!"
(Daniel 2:19-23)

I'm proud to be an American, Today and Everyday!
And am so thankful I'm able to raise my children here.
Let's continue to Pray for our President, and for this great country.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Oh No, We Ain't Going There

Okay, so Lexi comes home from Church with this:

Remember she is only 11 years old!

Now, I must say, having my Blog featured this past week by two separate Blog Groups was very exciting for me, and a bit overwhelming. And many new readers commented on my post When Your Kids Start Dating and said how cool of a mom they thought I was. Well, I'm sorry I have to burst that bubble so soon. You are about to see just how Uncool I am. And in my defense, there is a huge difference between a 16 or 18 year old, and an 11 year old.

I remember when Kyle was in about the forth grade, and little girls started calling our house saying "I think your cute!" I was uncool then too. And said when my girls are in the forth grade they will not be calling boys saying I think your cute. Well, they are in the fifth grade, and now I've got written proof! (evil laugh)

And what happened to the sweet, innocent notes we used to pass as kids: Do you like me? Check Yes or No. And sometimes there would be a Maybe box too. (I'd always check the maybe box, so I wouldn't hurt any one's feelings.) What's up with the "will you date me?" Does this boy even know what dating is?

Erica also got a note that said: Do you mind if I go out with your sister? So, okay, I guess he gets some points for caring enough to ask her twin sister if it's okay with her. But why didn't he ask her mom?! They don't even know yet who Mike's friend is. But, I'd like to hand him a note that says: Dear Mike's Friend, NOT! or Come back in about 5 years or so.

As a girl, I used to think the story of Rapunzel was so cruel. But, I got to tell you, as a mom, I'm rethinking that. It's actually starting to look pretty good to me. Does anyone have a tower for rent? It would have to be large enough to house twins for a few years. And with my girls and their curly hair, I don't think I'd have to worry about it growing long enough for Prince Charming (or Mikes friend) to climb up. It would just get bushier and bushier! Even better. Let me know on the rental.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Okay, Enough About These Kids Of Mine, Today Is All About Me!

And in the infinitely wise words of London Tipton from the Disney Channel; "Yeah Me!"

I am so honored to be the featured Blogger today for The Secret Is In The Sauce. It's a Blog group that showers Love (and Comments!) on each other. And today it's Me! I have found so many great Blogs I read through them. And have made some great friends out in the Blogosphere. Thank you all so much for visiting my Blog today.

Let me introduce myself: My name is Star* (and yes, that is my real name.) I was named Star because I was born on Christmas Day. I am a Wife of a Wonderful man who is a Pastor and musician, and a Mom of Four great Kids. Two Teenage sons, ages 18 & 17. One is graduating this year and one next year. And I have 11 year old twin daughters, who are in the Fifth grade.

The title of my Blog is Laughing Through Parenting. I love to Laugh and do it often, ESPECIALLY AT MYSELF! And since no kids come with instruction manuals, and each one is unique, we learn as we go, and do the best we can.

Please feel free to look around. My VIP's (very important post's) are listed on the sidebar. They are some of my favorite, and most read posts. I just try to share from my heart. And my goal for this blog is that it would be a place where we moms could get ideas and encouragement from each other.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

There Is No Arizona

Now I am a Pop Music girl married to a hard core Rock-N-Roller. But you don't grow up in Arizona (or anywhere in the west I suppose) and not learn to like some country music. There I said it, I like some of the new country music out there. (Don't tell anyone I said that!)

There is a country song by Jamie O'Neal called "There is no Arizona" and the story line is about a young woman who's guy promises her a better life, out in Arizona. And when the promises are empty, she comes to the conclusion . . .

"There is no Arizona
No painted desert, no Sedona
If there was a Grand Canyon
She could fill it up with the lies he's told her
But they don't exist, those dreams he sold her
she'll wake up and find
There is no Arizona"

Well, I'm here to tell you "Yes Virginia, There is an Arizona!" I want to welcome Blog Around The World to my little corner of the world. I am so excited to be the featured Blog today, and for the opportunity to introduce you all to one of the most Beautiful places God ever created. I know many of you live where it is cold. So, come on in and enjoy the warmth and the sunshine.

Born & raised here, I am an Arizona native, which is unusual, because so many people move here from elsewhere. I live in a suburb of Phoenix, the capitol of Arizona. The Phoenix metropolitan area is the fifth largest city in the United States. And is one of the fastest growing cities as well. It is a desert, but, Phoenix is surrounded by mountains, and is called the Valley of the Sun.

One of the great things about living here is that you can drive two hours and you would be out of the desert, in the beautiful mountains, surrounded by Pine trees & snow. Yes snow. You can play in it all day, drive back home and NEVER have to shovel it! I love the sunshine. And the sun shines here more than 300 days every year! And yes it does get hot. Very hot. There is very little humidity, so it's a dry heat. And temperatures can rise up over 120 degrees fahrenheit.

The Grand Canyon

Arizona boasts many natural wonders. The biggest being of course The Grand Canyon. We are also home to Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Sunset Crater, The Painted Desert, and The Petrified Forest, just to name a few. Also, did you know the London Bridge you sang about as a child was given to the United States from England, and is in Lake Havasu City, Arizona? Well, hopefully you learned something new from your visit here today.

The London Bridge

Red Rocks of Sedona

The Painted Desert

Arizona also has some great professional sports teams. The Phoenix Suns. And this year for the first time, the Arizona Cardinals have a shot at going to the Superbowl! Yeah! A lot of the MLB teams come to Arizona for spring training, and you can see some great games pretty inexpensively. And we even have a Hockey team right in the middle of the desert! Go figure.

Well, I hope you enjoyed your visit to Arizona. Thank you so much for visiting me. I feel so honored. Come back anytime. The people here are laid back and casual. And are as diverse as our state is. And I leave you with an Arizona sunset. The sunsets here are absolutely Breathtaking!

Friday, January 9, 2009

"But That's Not Fair!"

Tonight my girls had planned to spend the night at their favorite cousins house. But, then Erica got sick and stayed home from school today. So, she can't go spend the night. So, the age old dilemma runs through my mind. . . do I keep them both home, or let her sister go without her? It's a sticky situation when your dealing with twins. Their whole life is shared with each other.

And I remember the first year I separated them in school, I warned them that being in separate classes & having separate friends now meant that their sister would probably be invited someplace without them, as well as the other way around. And even though you know it's coming, and prepare them ahead of time, when it happens, your still bound to hear the dreaded "But, that's not fair!" "Why does she get to go & I don't?"

So, I had a plan. And of course like we knew it was bound to, it happened. Lexi was invited to a friends Birthday party from school and Erica wasn't since she wasn't in that class. So, to prevent the tears, and one twin sitting home alone knowing her sister is at a party having a good time, we had planned for Daddy to take Erica out to see a movie while I took Lexi to the party. It worked out great! Everyone was happy. Then the very next week, Erica happened to be invited to a Birthday party with out Lexi, so I took Lexi to see the same movie Erica had seen the week before. (I love it when a plan comes together!)

But, now that the girls are older, they do more things without the other one, and it's fine. But, I still feel bad when one is sick and doesn't get to do something special, like tonight. But as we were talking about it, we realized another time when they were going to spend the night with Rachel, (their cousin) Lexi was sick and Erica got to go by herself. So, I guess it all works itself out, fair or not!

Lexi, Erica & Rachel a few years ago, ages 5 & 7
(Rachel's now 13, and the girls are 11!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Shack

Every Sunday in January our church is doing a series based on the New York Times Best Seller "The Shack", so needless to say, I along with many others, am reading the book. So many people have read this book it's astounding. John got to hear the writer speak at a conference he was at this year. We also downloaded the book on itunes (for only $5.99) so Kyle would "read it", since he is my non reader!

And I have to say it's not an easy book to read. As a mother of two daughters, with what happens in the book to a little girl . . . let's just say, after I read that chapter I didn't sleep very well at all.

But it's getting very interesting now. It really causes you to think about God in a different way than you probably ever have before. And I was thinking (dangerous I know) how awesome it would be to actually go to a place like the shack, where you could literally be alone with God.

What would I ask Him?

What would you ask Him?

Would it be "Why?" Why do things happen in life?, Why do we have to face certain things?

Or would it be "Who?" Who was I created to be?

Or maybe "What?" What was I created to do?

The list could go on and on. Or would you ask for something you needed? Or for someone else?

How would we talk to God about our husbands and kids? Our friends & families, and even our enemy's? Because you know, He hears us, even now. Even if He isn't physically visible to us, like He is in the book.

Something to think about. The author William P. Young quotes A.W. Tozer in the book with saying:

An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children.
He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part.
but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if
there were no others.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

And A Bloggy New Year!

Okay, I do not like surprises much. I almost always pick-out my own Christmas Presents. I'll show them to my husband with "wanna see what you bought me?" Then I let him wrap them. Now, I am a very good actress, but on Christmas morning I don't have to act, I'm always genuinely elated to see my gifts. My kids don't usually even know that I knew what all my gifts were when I opened them. I know some people can't imagine this. They want to be surprised by their gifts. And when they've peeked before, it actually ruined Christmas for them to know what they were getting ahead of time. That's not me.

But, this year with me working a second job and not being home all the time. John had some extra time without me around, and he got creative with my gifts. He really put a lot of thought into gifts for me this year. He even surprised me. And I must say, I loved it! And being the Talker/Blogger that I am I now have to tell you about it. . .

He designed for me, and had made, business cards for my Blog. How cool is that?! And he actually went to the Brighton Store (by himself, and he's not a shopper!) and bought me a silver card case that has a Star inside a heart on it, and engraved on it is "Laugh often, Dream big, Reach for the Stars!" Perfect. And on top of that, he purchased my Domain name. (I didn't even know what that meant at first) He printed out and put in a frame "I thought you deserved a better web presence so I purchased the following web address for you: www.laughingthroughparenting.com" So now, instead of telling people how to find my Blog by star4laughs.blogspot.com, (hard to remember unless you write it down) it's just, laughing through parenting.com. (easy!)

Wasn't that thoughtful of him? He knows how much I'm loving the whole blogging thing. And I was surprised! So, I guess now I'm a REAL Blogger! (And I have business Cards to prove it!) ;)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day One

The First day of the New Year, and I learned something new today.
We're off to a good start!

I learned how to drive a Quad! And it was so much fun!
Then I got serious about it . . .

Watch out!

And John taught the girls to drive one too.

John and the boys shot a Potato gun.
(now I can think of a lot of ways I like potato's,
but shooting one out of a gun is not one of them. But they loved it!)

Zach taking aim.
We had a really good time today, hanging out with friends, riding Quads, and Dirt Bikes.

My friend Shelly & I in the Rhino! (Girls Gone Wild! literally)

So, I'd say I'm off to a good start in the New Year.
1 Day down, 364 more to go.