Monday, January 24, 2011

Not Winning Any Awards...


Here is how I know I won't be winning any "Mom of the Year" awards:

  • Joshua's Legos have completely taken over our dining room. You can't even eat at the table, there are so many Legos. We are now calling the dining room "Joshua's office."
  • It really doesn't matter that we can't eat at the dining room table. We don't eat any meals together, and we rarely eat at a table.
  • We almost never eat the same thing for dinner. Darrell generally fixes his first dinner around 3:00pm when he gets home from work and his second dinner around 7:00. I usually fix myself something to eat around 5:30. Caleb eats his baby stuff, and Joshua usually requests a PB&J at some point in the evening. The weekends are even more disjointed.
  • We leave the TV on so long that the auto-shut-off turns it off.
  • We allow our 5-year-old to watch YouTube (ok, so it's only Lego stuff, but still).
  • We almost never make Joshua pick up any of his toys, and we routinely let him build complex train tracks in the foyer and down the hall upstairs. And then we leave them there for days. And we expect any guests to just step over them like we do.
  • There is no set bedtime at our house.
  • I do not ascribe to any laissez-faire, nature-loving, free-spirited philosophy of parenting. I am just lazy.
The real kicker is that Joshua is a well-adjusted, happy, well-behaved kid (for the most part). He talks to adults and kids alike, and he's very easy-going. He's a delight to spend time with (unless he's grumpy). So, I guess I'm not messing him up too badly! And as much as I'd like to resolve to be more organized, disciplined, etc., I think it's safe to say that won't be happening anytime soon. I would probably feel less overwhelmed if I had more of a schedule, but the thought of making the schedule wears me out. So I guess that won't be happening either. Oh, well. Here's to motherhood!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Great Strides - Walking for a Cure

I just registered "The Sprinkle Family - Caleb's Crew" for the 2011 Atlanta - The Burger Bowl at Georgia Tech Great Strides walk on May 21st at 8:30am. I am so excited to have an opportunity to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - an amazing organization that works diligently to support research for much-needed, life-saving drugs and treatments.

The CF Foundation receives no federal funding and relies solely on donations to fund drug development and clinical trials. Only 30,000 people in the US have cystic fibrosis so it is considered an "orphan disease" meaning the pharmaceutical industry will not invest in new medications on its own because because there is little financial incentive. Though there is still no cure for cystic fibrosis, the money raised for the CF Foundation has funded aggressive drug treatments and therapies that have increased the life expectancy for people with CF to 38 years. That is amazing progress, but if you know and love someone with CF, you know its not enough. Like all parents, we want more for Caleb and all the families that deal with CF every day.

You can help! Your generous gift will be used efficiently and effectively, as nearly 90 cents of every dollar of revenue raised is available for investment in vital CF programs to support research, care and education. If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause, please follow this link to my Great Strides page and find the "Click to Donate" button at the bottom of the page.

If you would like to walk with us and have a Great Strides page of your own, please click the "Join My Team" button at the bottom of my page. We'd love to add you to "Caleb's Crew"!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winter Holidays 2010

To say that our winter holidays were great this year would be a vast understatement. I enjoyed this year's Christmas and New Year more than I have any in recent memory. The Winter Break from school began with a three-day pajama-wearing-chick-flick-watching-book-reading love fest while Darrell and Joshua visited the in-laws. I don't think I showered the entire time they were gone. I slept when Caleb slept (at least 12-15 hours each day) and I ate junk the whole time. It was wonderful.

My parents and my sister spent the night with us on Christmas Eve. What is it about having your whole family under one roof that brings a feeling of contentment and "all-is-right-with-the-world"? After an inspiring Christmas Eve at 12 Stone, we opened presents (as is our family tradition).



Joshua was "into" Christmas this year in a way that made his excitement in past years pale in comparison. He not only enjoyed tearing into his presents, he got to "help" Caleb with his, too. Of course, Caleb was not in the least bit interested in the contents of his gifts; he was perfectly content to play with the wrapping paper and crawl into the boxes.

After everyone was asleep, I got to "play Santa" and put out the Santa gifts. This was our first year actually being in our house on Christmas Eve (I know, sad, isn't it?), so we haven't really done the whole Santa thing before. On Christmas morning, I heard Joshua's feet hit the floor and as he rounded the corner to come down the stairs he yelled, "C'mon Aunt Amanda! Santa's been here, Santa's been here!" And then he saw the Lego Rescue Fire station, the item he had asked for literally for months, sitting in front of the fire place. I never really understood the joy of watching your kids on Christmas morning... until this year. Joshua was thrilled beyond words and I was all choked up with the joy of the season.

As a side note, this was my first year buying items for our stockings. I'm afraid frugality won out over creativity, and "Santa" provided everyone with an assortment of personal hygiene products. I know, pretty lame.

Grandpa made his famous pancakes for breakfast and then sacrificially set to work building Joshua's fire station (unfortunately, Darrell had to work on Christmas morning and missed the "building" portion of the Christmas holiday). After lunch, Joshua went home with Grandma and Grandpa, leaving Mommy and Daddy a relatively quiet house for the evening.

The day after Christmas, Amanda and I drove to Gatlinburg to meet up with our parents and extended family. Darrell stayed home with Caleb and had his manly version of "pajama love fest." (I was very sorry to miss three days of HGTV, SpeedVision, and Star Wars.... not). Driving was a little dicey thanks to the Christmas Day snow, but it made for a beautiful trip to the Smokies.
We spent three days talking, laughing, shopping, lounging, and eating. A great time was had by all.

After returning home, we still had several days before going back to work, which were spent washing clothes, cleaning house, and generally laying around being bums. And by the time my neighbors were ringing in the new year (we have small children, we don't "ring in the new year"), I was rested, relaxed, and ready to face the challenges of 2011.

All in all, this holiday season might be one of my all-time favorites. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us next year. 2010 was hard and I can't say I'm sad to see it go. But the trials of this year have served to bring me to a greater awareness of God's provision, grace, and mercy. And for that, I am grateful beyond measure.

Wishing you and yours all the best in 2011!