Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Does Money Solve ALL Problems?

My conversations with Nolan have gotten very philosophical lately.  He told me in the car this morning that if he had more money he would be happier. I've really tried lately to help him become more aware in this department.  If we go to Target, toys there aren't free, so now if he wants a toy he has to use money that he has saved in his piggy bank ($5 max).  If he could spend all of his money in his piggy bank on one big cool toy he would do it in a hot minute, but I know that toy will be broken/forgotten about in a week and his piggy bank will be empty.  I point out that food costs money and the reason Greg goes to work is to provide for, food, bills, etc.
  So, this money comment bothered me.  I know in his 5 year old mind he made the connection:  more money=more toys, which would equal more happiness in his life (or so he thinks).  I explained to him that more money wouldn't make us happier, but people in our lives should make us happier.  Great concept, but do I really believe it myself??
I have caught myself numerous times thinking, "If I only had: new shoes/ extra bathroom/new countertops/a new haircut, I would be so much happier."  Well, all of those things are THINGS, and they all cost money.  So, maybe Nolan wasn't too far off the path of my own selfish thinking...more money might equal more happiness.
But I know deep down that isn't the right answer.  Just like our first instinct in Sunday School is to answer all questions with, "Jesus!" because we always think that is the right answer; I catch myself answering the question, "What would make you more happy?"  "More money!"  I definitely think that it would get me more things, but I know human nature.  After you get those things, you'll just want more things.  I see this in mini-form in Nolan and Mallory.  They aren't just happy with one Power Ranger/My Little Pony, they have to have them ALL!  And if they ever got them all, they  would go to a new set of toys they just had to HAVE!
So, my solution to this problem?  To be happy for what I have.  Easy answer, hard to put in effect.  But I am reminded every day.  Take for example, I saw an article on a sick baby.  I have two healthy children that I probably don't deserve, but have been graciously blessed with by God.  Every time I use the internet/air conditioning/refrigeratory I remember that we are probably more well-off than 70% of the entire world.  When I open my fridge and pantry I should be grateful that I don't have to worry about where my next meal comes from.  I need to just look up to see the roof over my head (newly fixed and not leaking by the way).
In the next few days I will be making a list with Nolan to post on the fridge of the things that make us happy that are free, and a few things that make us happy that do cost money.  I don't want to be unrealistic, there will always be things that cost money in Nolan's and mine lives that make us happy.  Does this make me a selfish person? No, it just makes me human.
What do you think?  Is money the answer to all problems?

Friday, June 15, 2012

29 Things

In celebration of my 29th Birthday (I know I look way younger), I'd like to list 29 things that make me smile, make my heart lighter and make me laugh out loud. 
1.  Rain on a sunny day where it sizzles on the street and creates steam.  A much needed reprieve from the Texas heat.
2.  My kids...the funny moments definitely out-way the tough ones, or atleast I choose to remember the funny ones.  :)
3.  Hugs from a 2 year old.  Especially when I say,"squeeze tighter!" and her little arms try so hard to squeeze me.
4.  Kisses from a 5 year old.  I feel the "oh, mom!" and eye rolls coming on.  So, as many kisses as I can get from Nolan while he allows it, the better.
5.  Blue Bell Ice Cream:  need I say more??
6.  Seeing my vegetables ACTUALLY grow in the vegetable garden.  I don't have a green thumb, more light green or teal.
7.  Little kid's birthday parties.  I've never seen kids get so excited over every little thing.  Their amazement always brightens my day.
8.  Seeing completed crochet/sewing projects.  Watching it come together and make something out of basic materials is still pretty cool to me.
9.  Swimming, preferably Barton Springs
10.  Germany
11.  Haribo
12.  Nutella w/ bananas, or nutella right out of the jar.  Doesn't matter, still delicious.
13.  Nolan and Mallory playing tea party...LOVE this one
14.  Reading a good book
15.  A large fountain drink on a hot day.  I wouldn' call myself addicted, but I am much nicer if I have one in my hand.
16.  Having food in my fridge/a car to drive/a job to go to/a church to worship at/etc....
17.  AC!!!  Eventhough it never goes below 78 degrees, I would not make it through summer without it.
18.  A good baseball game
19.  Mallory walking around in her high heels clickity-clacking through the house
20.  Working out at the gym.  I force myself to go, but at the end I always feel as though it is worth it.
21.  Climbing in to bed with clean sheets, clean blanket and clean pillowcases before the dog has left hair on them/ Greg has wrinkled them/ Kids have drooled on them.  Best feeling ever.
22.  When me and Nolan play the "I love you more than..." game.  My favorite is "I love you more than Power Rangers" which is pretty big in a 5 year old's world.  I tell him "I love you more than tater tots" :)
23.  Being able to stay connected to friends via the internet
24.  Baking for others.
25.  Playing board games with the kids.  Sometimes completely frustrating, but they love it.
26.  Getting letters in the mail, it always seems so very thoughtful
27.  Going on a water slide.  We did this at Nolan's birthday.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.
28.  A nice cold glass of water or sweet tea
29.  Being blessed with another year!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Great Sandal Scandal

If you live anywhere where temperatures creep above 80 degrees, you might own a pair of sandals.  Since we live in Texas, where most of the year it's boiling outside, I have a little collection of flip flops...well I USED to anyways.
I am quite attached to my sandals, each pair has a story behind them: where they are from and where they have gone.  Take my Reef sandals for example:  Greg got me my first pair of Reef sandals as a present for getting my Aggie Ring.  I even wore them to pick up my ring, very excited to start breaking them in.  Eight years later (I know, I'm getting old), my sandals have been to different states, on the beach during our honeymoon and even went international for our mission trip to Germany last year.  I'm even known to wear sandals during the winter time (with a sweater, of course) to Greg's large disapproval of this fashion statement.
Sadly, I am down three, yes THREE, pairs of sandals in the past week.  I don't know what has gotten in to our dog, but she is chewing them up left and right.  I hear the little "squeak, squeak" of teeth on leather/rubber soles and I go running through the house to find Olive (our dog) hanging out on our bed with a little graveyard of shoes surrounding her.  I saw her go through a phase of destroying the kid's shoes, and even Greg's shoes (Greg has lost a pair of Clarks and numerous pairs of sandals as well), but I thought she liked me better than that...I guess not.
I walk in to her on our bed, I'm guessing that's a great location for shoe chewing; and I find her surrounded by three pairs of my favorite sandals.  She actually ate the leather off one pair: non-salvageable, the other pair she chewed through a strap, and lastly my beloved Reefs.  She chewed a few holes in the fabric straps.  They are not completely ruined, but they just aren't fitting correctly.
I suppose there is a lesson to be learned:  keep my sandals not only off the floor, but way high up on a shelf in my closet.  I wish I would have learned this lesson three pairs of shoes ago.
 The culprit
The damage (1 of 3)
The bright side to all this sandal carnage is that it is the perfect reason to go get a new pair :)