Wednesday, May 30, 2012

For a Laugh and a Giggle

11:20 AM 6
     Oh the joys of being a Mom!  Yes our kids are our pride and joy, flashing there little smiles around and leaving every place a little happier than it was before, but lets face it there are times when being a Mom puts you in…well…some awkward positions.  This post is for all of us Moms who have ever been peed on, pooped on, a landing pad for throw-up, embarrassed, worn down, tested and tried by our ever so precious and adoring children.  I have compiled a “Mommy Moment” list that is sure to spike a laugh or a giggle from you Mom’s out there.  Note: Now I’m not saying that every one of these events happened to me personally, but I’m not saying that they didn’t either)

“LAAWWD HAVE MERCY, GOOD GRACIOUS!!!”  I am not even joking, no this is not for effect, although pretty good timing.  Just as I finished up that last sentence with a smile I hear…drip…drip…. drip, coming from the bathroom.  What did I find??? Fred’s little chubby hand playing splash in the toilet.  The toilet was not empty my friendsL  “Mommy Moment #1 for this day, oh the joy!” (I spoke those words in an ever so angelic voice in an effort to convey my full and complete patience and control with every situation thrown at me by my oh so delectable children, HA!)

MOMMY MOMENTS
(Note: if you do not smile, laugh, or giggle at some point during this post you must crawl back in your bed, throw the covers over you, scoot your little self over to the OTHER SIDE, and attempt to get out over there.  Works every time.)


The Potty Culprit:-)
           


  THE MOM SWEAT.  If you are a mom, you might possibly be able to understand what I am talking about without even elaborating.  THE MOM SWEAT can creep upon you at any time, without a moment’s hesitation.  The on-set for this condition can be any of the following: your baby has hit a wall in Target and WILL NOT stop crying and the worst part is everyone is watching just to see how you are going to react, the words NO coming from your toddler in a public setting, the smell that continues to follow your buggy do to an “unidentifiable mass” in your sweet loves diaper, or simply you forgot to put on your deodorant and just realized it.  The “Mom Sweat” leaves you red in the face with the feeling of warmth all over your body, kinda like a Hot Flash.  Outwardly you want to scream and run for the hills, but inwardly you are going through an array of thoughts like, “I will never do this again,” “just wait till we get to the car,” “Give me a break!,” “Are you kidding me???!!!” “That’s it, we’re going home!!”  All the while with a smile on your face, well actually it’s more like “the constipated smile face, but either way a smile, I guess.


           THE PLAGUE OF THE BOWELS.  Did I just type the word bowels?  Well it seems as though there is a plague out there, involving ones bowels, particular those of the mother, that loves to strike us Mom’s at the most inopportune times and places.  I mean this has never really happened to me, but I will never forget, I mean “my friend” told me about this one time when she was at Wal-Mart.  Yeah, I’m thinking that was her first problem to start with, “Wal-Mart,” but the “bowel fairy” paid a visit and what was she to do?  What anyone would do I suppose with four kids and a buggy full of groceries, take her pregnant self to the lovely Wal-Mart bathroom with three kids in tote.  Oh and luck would have it, the handicap stall was “out of order.”  So there she was, all four in a stall, one standing, and one sitting on each leg with what was left of her lap, due to her protruding belly, all the while shouting, “please don’t touch anything, please don’t touch anything, please don’t touch anything!!!”  The MOM SWEAT had for sure kicked in by this point as well.  I, SHE, still has nightmares about this event!
brother love


THE GODDESS OF THE GROCERY LINE.  This particular “Mommy Moment” is a little different from the rest, because it is the only one in which the little sweet peas are not present.  It is that ever so rare moment when I have the opportunity to grocery shop without my kids, this would be my version of “mom’s gone wild,” woohoo!!!! It is amazing how different the grocery store looks without four children in tote.  The freedom of being able to roam each aisle, to choose your own favorite cereal, to even make a visit to the hair and beauty section, makes me smile.  Yes my make-up is from Wal-Mart, but I’m not complaining, it’s cheap and let’s face it, I’m 31, it’s all down hill from this point, right.  Now back to the grocery line.  After taking my time, checking out all the latest organic items and gimmicks I head to the CHECKOUT.  Normally this would be the point in my trip when the MOM SWEAT is looming in the air ready to take over, but not today.  Today I am the GODDESS OF THE GROCERY LINE.  Today, instead of looking for the shortest line possible and assessing every buggy that is ahead of me and in my head thinking, really, they need all of that.  I mean doesn’t the world know I am here with four kids.  Shouldn’t there be some kind of special line for Mom’s like me?  I don’t really think that, I mean, I try real hard not to have thoughts like that, but sometimes, well, the worst comes out in the grocery line.  BUT NOT TODAY, I’m THE GODDESS OF THE GROCERY LINE.  Instead, I search for the longest line, plop my organized buggy, already separated according to temperature and find a couple of my most favorite magazines and get lost in a world of “shabby cottage décor” or “latest in kitchen designs,” and then, sometimes, although I hate to admit it, flipping to the back of the Life and Style magazine to check out the "Fashion Police" pictures.  It's a habit I can't kick.  On these rare occasions you may even find me letting the Mom who is not the goddess today, trudging her children up to the checkout line, who is about to break out in the MOM SWEAT ahead of me.  THE GODDESS OF THE GROCERY LINE.

      DIAPER DILEMA.  It seams like quite a bit of content from this post revolves around bodily functions, hmmm, interesting, but there is no way I can leave this one out.  The DIAPER DILEMA.  We have all experienced a time when we have been out an about running the errands of the day when upon loading up the kids in “the minivan” we notice a smell.  This smell can permeate its surroundings faster than the speed of light and sometimes even remain long after it has been disposed of.  The parking lot and the seat of your car now becomes your changing station.  So here is the dilemma…what to do with the diaper once it has been removed from the explosion sight and wound up as tight as a tick.  There are four options to choose from. 
A.     Look for the nearest trashcan and dispose of “the bomb” like any responsible parent would do.
B.     Leave “the bomb” on the ground next to your car. YUCK!! I’ve seen it done.
C.     ACCIDENTALLY leave it on the hood of your car, so that when you drive off, so does “the bomb”
D.     GRIN AND BEAR IT, all the way home, as it continues to let off steam from the explosion.

I could answer YES to A, C (oops), and D at different times in my life. 

       CHURCH PEW EXIT.  I honestly love going to church, I love having my kids sitting with me on the pew, hearing them sing, and watching them giggle with their friends when the song leader might get a little fired up, but there are those times when the picture you might see from the pew behind me doesn’t quite look like a “Norman Rockwell” painting.  In fact there are all sorts of things you might witness if you sat on the pew behind The Dashers.  Lets see, you are bound to see a juggling act going on between Zach, Bear, Fred, and Me, it’s like the second they get in the arms of one of us, they want the other.  This cycle plays out over and over until we hear those faithful words “It is now time to dismiss the kids to Bible Hour and King’s Playground.”  Can I get an AMEN!  You might also witness arms reaching from every direction as they pass the juice and crackers.  Never do we let them have it, but still every time they attempt.  I will say that Bear has been successful a time or two.  But the worst is when it is necessary to make a CHURCH PEW EXIT.  This exit happens when all else has failed and there are no more tricks left, except the dreaded trip to the bathroom.  The “Mommy Moment” is now about to take place; actually I really would prefer to slough this one off on Daddy.  The second you stand up and make the steps toward that aisle, child in hand; it begins…”DOOON’T SPANK ME!!!! DOOOON’T SPANK ME!!!!!! DOOOON’T SPANK ME DADDY!!!! DADDY PLLLLEASE!!!  All the way down the aisle.  All eyes are on you my friends. Yep, there it comes, THE MOM SWEAT or DAD SWEAT if your lucky.    


     I feel very blessed that God considered me ok enough to be the mother to four amazing kids.  There are days, however, when I do feel like someone is playing a joke on me.  I think, does this stuff only happen to me, surely not!  I have an arsenal full of “Mommy Moments” but I wont share them all with you today.  In fact, I would love to hear some of your own “Mommy Moments” to make me feel better about myself, haha.  Enjoy a laugh with your kids today!

BLESSINGS AND LOVE TO YOU ALL!  



Some of our Memorial Day Catches
Boys beat us 15-12
We'll get em next year!!!
















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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I AM the Woman at the Well...

8:15 PM 2
I had to repost this blog I wrote several months ago because I was once again reading one of my most favorite stories in the Good Book about the woman at the well.  Every time I read it I am completely drawn to this woman and what it must have been like to sit and chat with Jesus.  I can only imagine!!


   
      If you happen to pass by me on the road in my beloved minivan you may happen to also notice arms flying, hands raised, or kids shouting at the top of their lungs.  If you see any of these things you could be possibly witnessing my attempt to swat a leg while driving due to an unnecessary smart mouth comment or the kids yelling over each other to see who might win the award of my attention and therefore the answer to their oh so very important question, but hopefully you are witnessing the all out praise session going on as we sing along with one of our favorite bands "Casting Crowns." Praise music is an outlet for me and so therefore I have also made it one for my kids.  This post revolves around my most favorite song on Casting Crowns latest CD, which also happens to be the title of that CD, "The Well."  There have been so many mornings that I start my day with this song and it brings me to a place where I know that I am free and I know that I am loved, no matter what mistakes the day may bring.  Today I will share with you what this song means to me.  I hope this song can bring joy to your life as well.  My interpretation of "The Well," by Casting Crowns.

Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
Leave it all behind,
(leave the mess of what this day or life has brought you, drop your worries, release your fears)

I have what you need,
But you keep on searchin,
(we try so hard to fill the void in our life, we search and search through various means, yet somehow we come up empty.)

I've done all the work,
But you keep on workin,
(maybe if I'm good enough, important enough, wealthy enough, pretty enough, kind enough, strong enough, powerful enough, skinny enough, ........I will feel worthy)

When your running on empty,
And you can't find the remedy,
Just come to the well.
(when all your efforts seem futile, when the race is to much to bear, and you can't make it another day, come to me. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest Matt 11:28)

You can spend your whole life,
Chasin what's missing,
But that empty inside,
It just ain't gonna listen.
(So many of us do, myself included.  Sometimes I get caught up in searching my life's purpose or finding that "one thing" that will make my life or your life complete, (the perfect husband, wife, that child we've always wanted, the dream house, a car better than a minivan:-), your dream job, or that feeling of significance (what I do matters), this list could go on and on and on and on.  Ask yourself this, have any of you found that "one thing" that will sustain you? What I have found, instead, is that no matter what we may accomplish or the moment we finally get that "one thing" that we have wanted so badly eventually what always happens? We want more!

When nothing can satisfy,
And the world leaves you high and dry,
Just come to the well.
(So at the end of it all, when we still end up wanting more, where do we go?  We go to the one who can truly satisfy our thirst.  JESUS. 

Chorus:
And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well.

So bring me your heart
No matter how broken,
Just come as you are,
Jesus did not come for those who claim to "have it all together."  He came for people like you and me who are sinners, broken, and at times have no idea what are place is in this life.  He came for those of us who are hurting and lost, sick and alone.  We are imperfect parents, imperfect wives and husbands, imperfect people that he loved enough to die for, even in our state of imperfection.  "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6  This verse is a powerful demonstration of God's love for us, even when at times we feel so unloveable.

When your last prayer is spoken,
Just rest in my arms a while,
You'll feel the change my child,
When you come to the well
(When I made the choice to be a follower of Jesus, when I confessed that he LIVED, DIED, and ROSE again for me and I buried the old "Jil" in the water of baptism and came up a new creation my life did not instantly become perfect and in no way is perfect now, but I was changed forever.  I will forever be changed by the realization that I do not have to be perfect, that I can't even begin to earn the gift that was given to me through the cross and that realization is a peace that I cannot put into words.  Days when motherhood is a little overwhelming or when I am in a "valley" in life I can remember that God will forever fill my thirst and more importantly my hope is not in anything that this world can provide.  It is the hope of being raised one day to a life that far exceeds any earthly pleasure.    

Chorus:
And all who thirst will thirst no more, 
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well.

Yeah
Leave it all behind

The world will try, but it can never fill...leave it all behind

And now that you're full,
of love beyond measure,
Your joy's gonna flow,
Like a stream in the desert,
Soon all the world will see that living water is found in me,
Cuz you came to the well.
(I can only imagine what the woman at the well must have been feeling when she met Jesus in John chapter 4.  Every time I read that story I picture myself at that well listening to the savior of the world.  My favorite part of that story is when the woman leaves behind her jar of water to run back to town to tell the people about who she met.  The very thing that she thought she needed was no longer important once she met Jesus.  Once I met Jesus it completely changed what I viewed to be important, but everyday since and probably until the day I die satan wants me to believe otherwise.  He wants me to base my importance on what this world deems important, he wants me to carry that jug of water everyday of my life and to be consumed by it, but I refuse. LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND.     

Chorus:
And all who thirst will thirst no more,
And all who search will find what their souls long for,
The world will try, but it can never fill,
So leave it all behind, and come to the well.
(The world will try to fill your voids, the world will tell you that you are not good enough, the world will throw at you many things, the world will thrive on your addictions (drugs, sex, alcohol, etc.)  But the world will never give you PEACE.  The world will never keep it's promises and the world can offer you nothing when it has reached it's end.  COME TO THE WELL!
"Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."John 4:13
I'll have some of that please:-)

Leave it all behind, leave it all behind,...repeat

Listen and Enjoy!! Love and Joy to you this day!!
Jil



My Laela Beth:-)




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Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Mommy Who Was There

4:21 PM 1

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
Prov 31:28-31
Bear Louie Dasher born in 2008

            I truly believe that “motherhood” is one of the greatest blessings a woman can receive on this earth.  On so many levels it calls you to a standard you never knew existed inside of you.  Once that precious child all wrapped in blankets of white, blue, and pink is placed in your arms, smelling of that sweet scent of a child, with eyes that still have a watery glaze and hands curled into tight fists unsure of his new home is placed in your arms you are instantly overwhelmed by a feeling that no one can put into words.  This feeling is one that will stick with you the rest of your life.  This feeling is what causes you to burst into tears moments after you leave the hospital with that newness of life, so sure that you somehow are going to mess this little one up.  This feeling is the same one that will also keep you pacing the floor when you allow them to pull out of the driveway for the very first time by themselves and will keep you up all night whenever they are on their first date.  You will forever be this child’s MOM. 

I also am aware that we do not live in a perfect world where everyone lives cookie cutter lives and wakes up everyday to a mother that has made it her life’s goal to raise her children up in the Lord.  I know there are many of you, some reading this post today, who have terrible memories of your mother and live with the scars of your past.  You live with the fear of repeating the cycle that has been laid out before you.  For those of you whom I just described, I have no words to ease the pain that you may have felt or are feeling, but I do know that you can overcome those fears and hurts through the power and healing of a life devoted to Jesus Christ.  Not that all those memories can be erased, but that you can find a way to heal and forgive and be the mother for your children that you were intended to be. 

For all of you today who may be feeling the void of an absent mother, I share with you one of my greatest blessings, my mother, Julie Galloway.   Throughout the rest of this post you are going to hear about a woman that was and still is devoted to God first and her family second.  Perfect, no, not a one of us is, but perfectly devoted with God as her lead.

Julie Galloway
My Mom and I at my bridal shower

My mom was and is PRESENT.  She was always there.  Every track meet, cheerleading competition, softball game, recital, you name it she was there.  This always meant a lot to me, but what meant even more, although I am just realizing it now that I have my own kids were the ordinary times in life that she was present.   She was there when I came home from school, usually with an afternoon snack.  When I got sick at school, she was there, and oh how great it was to be sick in our house.  I have such fun memories of being at home “sick” where momma would first make us a comfy pallet on the couch, then she would bring in the holly hobbie tv tray that was sure to have crushed ice with ginger-ale and homemade egg drop soup.  I’ll never forget when I got my wisdom teeth out.  We were in the middle of moving, with moving workers loading up trucks and packing up dishes and there I sat in the recliner, the only piece of furniture left in the house.  Swollen cheeks and all, but Momma made sure I was taken care of.  I was 18 at that time, so maybe I was a little spoiled, but it’s a great memory.  I smile every time my kids are sick and they ask for the “cars” or “princess” tv tray.  It’s so fun to pass down those traditions.  I have a theory, call it what you want, I’m no child specialist, but I believe “quality time” is for the birds and “quantity time” is the ticket.  We can spend large amounts of money on extravagant vacations or buy their affection through material possessions, but money can never buy your time.  My mom was always around, a comfort that cannot be replaced. 
My Gorgeous Mother and niece Ruby Julia (named after my Mom)

My mom is FUN.  She was the queen of the trampoline and it would always amaze me to see her flip and flop all over the place.  My friends would come over just to see her do tricks on the trampoline, ha.  She made the most of every opportunity.  If it was snowing, we were going to be out in it, and she would usually stay out longer than any of us.  If there was snow, there was a snowman at the Galloway house.  Not just your average snowman, no, that’s not Julie’s style, it would be the best snowman on the block.  Once she even made a snow “Winnie the pooh” with the grandkids and used food coloring to make him orange and red.  When we went to the beach you wouldn’t find my mom laying out soaking in the rays, nope, she would be building a sand sculpture extravaganza!  Some of her most memorable sand sculptures would be the “Alabama Elephant,” “the Little Mermaid,” and of coarse, her favorite, “Mickey Mouse.”  The best part is we were all allowed to help. Never was she too concerned with a little imperfection here or there, it was about the memories.  Some of my most favorite memories of my mother involve “Alabama Football,” a staple in our home.  Every Saturday during football season our house was a sea of red and white.  We had a tradition that we had to put on our Alabama shirts first thing in the morning and wear them all day.  It wouldn’t matter if we were down by 20 and my Dad and sisters and I were pacing the floor talking about how terrible they were, she was the voice in the corner “think positive guys, they can do it! Don’t be so negative, good grief,” she would say. 
Can you say Awkward stage.  Yes I look like a boy, but this was game day at our house!!:-)


and that would be how Julie Galloway makes a snowman...Roll Tide!!
and there she goes again:-)
My mom is a submissive and loving Wife.  Having a mother that supports her husband and allows him to lead their household proved to be a tremendous gift to me once I became a wife myself.  I never, not even one time, have heard my mother belittle my Dad in front of anyone or myself.  We moved around quite a lot growing up due to my Dad’s job and every time the words came up “I’ve been transferred” there she stood, sometimes fighting back tears, but ready and willing to do what needed to be done.  Her and my Dad have a love that is unwavering.  Having parents that truly love each other is a very precious gift that I do not take lightly. 
David and Julie Galloway in Love
 My mom is a GOD FEARING woman and a SERVANT.  My mother was not a fan of Jesus, casually claiming to be a Christian, when it was convenient.   She was a FOLLOWER through and through.  I never realized growing up how this would impact my life, but it did in a tremendous way.  I never saw my mother make compromises when it came to her faith, even though at times as a child I so desperately wished she would have.  My mother was never the mom that followed the crowd or did things because everyone else was doing them.  Even with her meek and quiet spirit she was a leader.  This was not always a popular thing and at times was maybe “left out” because of her faith, but that is just who she was.  I admire that so much in her now that I am a mother, because standing for truth is not always the most popular choice and at times when I might be tempted to “follow the crowd” I am reminded of her and the respect that she now holds in my eyes for living a holy life.  The way in which I was able to see my Mother serve others on countless occasions also impacted me in my adult life.  Never did she grumble or expect something in return, she served with her whole heart.  I cannot count how many times I watched her prepare a meal for someone sick or to care for a family in need.  Her selflessness quite frequently reminded me of my need to be less self focused. 
Sharing a laugh before my big moment:-)

Mom looking at Dad with adoring eyes even still:-)
 My mother was not perfect even though I might tend to think she was, but she did and still today does keep “THE MAIN THING,” “THE MAIN THING.” That “MAIN THING” was that God is the most important! More important than success, more important than her own accomplishments, more important than money or things, more important than the quest for beauty and “image,” more important than popularity or being the “cool mom.”  She stood for TRUTH, FAITH, and LOVE and lived her life everyday to glorify God.  This I know to be true and this is why I am honoring her today and thanking her for teaching me what it means to be a Godly mother.   I love you MOM!  Happy Mother's Day!

Please share a story about your Mom or thoughts on the kind of Mother that you hope to be someday.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Snow Cones and Fireflies!

10:46 PM 2

“Tag-your it!”   

“1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10…ready or not hear I come”    

“Mom!!! Can I have a lemonade stand?”    

“miss Mary mack…mack…mack…all dressed…” 

“ring around the rosy, pocket full of posies…

“red rover, red rover, …”

     
     Even as I am typing these phrases that are so familiar to my childhood I am flooded with visual memories that do my heart a whole lot of good.  Being a kid in a loving home is truly an amazing experience, one that you so often do not appreciate until you are older, but nonetheless a cherished time in life when the world is in the palm of your hands. 

It saddens me to think that kids growing up in our day and age are missing out on this cherished time.  Instead they are being thrown head first into a society where “Peaches-n-cream Barbie” is out and “I’m dressed like I should be working on a corner” Barbie is in.  There is really no need to actually play out childhood fantasies like building a fort and then spending hours with guns in hand as you enact a full fledged war. No, instead, just sit in front of the television and play out these fantasies with the movement of a few fingers.  Or why should little girls play dress up in their mommies closets anymore when now with a simple app they can run there own boutiques carrying all the latest styles with as much money imaginable to spend in there store. 

This is not a post about why video games and TV are the downfall of our kids, even though I might be inclined to believe that, it is more about the childhood that our kids are missing out on.  Our kids are becoming so bombarded with virtual reality, that actual “reality” is no longer satisfying to them.

     I want more for my kids! I want them to chase fireflies and eat homemade snow cones.  There is nothing like staring at a jar of fireflies in the dark night; it’s a childhood must.  I want them to know what true hard work feels like and then how good it feels to get paid for it.  I want them to appreciate the clearness of a starry night and to giggle at the idea that they can cover up the moon with their thumb.  The feeling you get when your playing hide-n-seek with a group of friends and your just about to be found out; I want my kids to experience that.  I want my little girl to look at herself in the mirror and smile as she sees the creation that God has made in her, not to wonder what she could do to be prettier or more sufficient, like God’s handy work is not enough.  I want my three boys to hold the door open for that sweet little girl; all dressed in ribbons and bows and appreciate her beauty with redness in their cheeks, not to say “what a hottie.”

     I am peddling up stream here I know, against the grain and flow of our society, but I do not believe I am the only one who desires to travel up stream.  The culture will only continue to flow in a certain direction if we allow it to.  I propose let’s BRING BACK CHILDHOOD!!  Lets give our kids the opportunity to be little, to act little, to dress little, and to see God through there innocent eyes.  Lets not become so focused on giving our kids the very best that money can buy that we forget to give them what they need the most, our TIME.    
                         

“let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Mark 10:14-1

Fun Family Idea:  Play hide-n-seek as a family in your home.  You’d be surprised how fun it is.  There is a kid inside us all!!  I’m still the best hider in my family!!!!
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