Last year, Richmond Civic Theatre announced that it was one of a handful of community theatres that did not miss the opportunity to nab performance rights to oh, I can’t stand it….Les Miserables. Ever since, I have been trying to contain my “estaticness” and resist the temptation to act as crazy as some of my theatre friends who have Instagrammed, Twittered & Facebooked all manner of fanaticism since before the movie was released in December. Y’all are ridiculous. And I love it! I have been preparing myself mentally to audition for Madam Thenardier. I know I can sing the part (I sound fantastic in the van) and the character would be a blast to play! People who know me know I would have fun with it. I purchased my soundtrack CD, picked up audition materials, YouTubed the piece to rehearse and wrote audition dates on the calendar. This was going to be a once in a lifetime thang, ya know?
As the audition dates have approached, I began to feel conflicted and wasn’t sure why. I’m not afraid of auditioning. I’ve done it before, had fun, got a part, had a blast with Pirates of Penzance! I’m ready to do it again. Recently, I was listening to my Les Mis soundtrack and the youngsters were around so I skipped “Master of the House” because it has “bad words.” It hit me that, even if I were to get the part of Madam Thenardier, my little kids would not be able to see me in the play because of language and heaviness of subject matter and, if they were to see it, I would have to justify to them why it’s okay for mommy to use “bad words” simply because they are being sung and fit the character. Wow. What was I thinking? True, the language suits the character but it doesn’t suit mine. Another time last week, little 3 year old Seth was sitting on my lap in the evening, as he usually does, and the thought hit me that I would be missing several months of our evening routine of cuddling. No biggie to the theatre or the rest of the world but it means everything to Seth in the evening. Especially since we started our catering business, I have to be gone sometimes during the day. Then it was time for lullabies. Seth likes to hear the one I wrote for him, “Teach Me Lord” or “Deep, Deep” then his lullaby is followed by Isaiah’s regular, “Amazing Grace.” That, too, would not be happening for awhile as I know a rigorous rehearsal schedule is in store for those who get parts. Then there’s the hilarity that emanates from the kitchen when the kids are doing dishes in the evening or my huge homeschooling, business-owning, catering to-do list. BUT, I’ve been telling myself, this is a once in a lifetime chance!
It was from the deep recesses of my mind that that phrase re-emerged from the past. I heard it on TV. It was Regis and Kathy Lee. Yes, I used to watch the show on occasion. On one particular show, Kathy Lee was talking about how she was going to be hosting the Miss America or some other Pageant and, in order to fit the dress she wanted to wear, she was weaning her baby. Say wha? She was weaning her baby to fit a dress. Why? Her words still ring in my ear; “It’s a once in a lifetime chance.” I remember thinking, “Isn’t being your baby’s mommy a once in a lifetime chance?” So here I am, struggling with my once in a lifetimes, looking at each of them and, while I think working with the people at the theatre is fabulous, my little ones are precious and I have to be away from them enough as it is when we cater. I was able to do a play before because we didn’t own a business…that changes things quite a bit!
SO, I will be excited for my friends who get parts and I will continue to wear out my soundtrack. I will help with costumes and come see the play in August (as should everyone else) and I KNOW it will be fantastic! But I will be passing this round. I was feeling a tad miserable over missing out, but then I remembered what I would be missing out on if I didn’t miss out on Les Miserables and then some of us would really be miserable. Did you get all that? BUT, theatre peeps, please hold off on Fiddler on the Roof for a few years because I have sworn to my family that I WILL BE GOLDE!!! Well, I want to at least try. )
What’s not shared is lost,
UPDATE: If I sound over-confident about getting the part of Mdm. Thenardier, it’s only because I’m not auditioning. IF I were, in fact, auditioning, I know good and well that the odds of getting a major role are slim (I not that cocky). I believe in shooting for the stars so as hit the moon. In this case the moon being the probable role of a whore (as listed in the audition materials) and then I’m back to my little kids asking, “Mommy, what role did you get?” “I’m a whore.” “Mommy, what’s a whore?” Sigh…Sound of Music is next..maybe I could be a Nazi…that would fun to try to explain, too…
NOBODY else loves our kids the way we do. Of course, God loves them more but I’m talking in the human realm. NOBODY knows our kids like we do and in many cases, we know them better than they know themselves (especially when they’re young). NOBODY can or will pray for our children the way we can. It’s easy to get busy and forget but our children need us praying for them from the time we know they’re there to pray for. I have a morning routine that includes pulling out my prayer journal that’s only purpose is to jot down my prayers for my children (I do have another one for general prayers but this is just for my kids). I do this to help hold me accountable. I know one day, at least one of my kids is going to get a hold of these journals (if you start this, you’ll go through several) and I don’t want them finding skipped dates. They will, though. I get into funks like everyone else. If I have a breakfast catering gig and have to get up at 4:30 am, I don’t sit down with coffee and my Bible – I run out the door inhaling coffee through my nose and putting mascara on at stoplights. SO, there are MANY times I fail to pray deliberately.
I’ve taught myself, since I know those days are going to happen, to give myself visual cues to remind me-self to pray for my kids throughout the day: The Speed Limit 70 sign reminds me to pray for their safety, the bars remind me to pray they will stay from temptation and for their choice of future spouse! You can pick your own but you get the idea.
When I am able to sit with my journal, I pray either according to what’s going on in their lives, what’s going on in the world or I use a prayer guide I picked up from a church some time ago but it’s hard to come by. It’s called the Holy Spirit Helps Us Pray for our Children by Charlotte Parker. I found some newer versions on Amazon and Abe Books. It’s 31 days of prayers and some are kind of wordy. I break it down and either pray one of the Scriptures over my kids and/or just one of the areas listed. You can get a book like that OR Tom Harmon has a simple list for praying over your children. You can get a WHOLE bunch of other stuff at his website and I highly recommend you add him to your favorites, GO hear him speak and read anything he has written.
Anyhoo, here’s his list:
I have conveniently linked the above image of his list to his website so you can cruise on over there after you’re done here with very little effort. You’re welcome.
Pray for your kids. Pray for your grandchildren. Pray for your children-in-law. Pray for the family you will never meet.
What’s not shared is lost,
I just wanted to take a minute and share this challenge with the ladies. It’s from the Women Living Well Blog and I’m going to take a breath once a week to do this. I thought maybe someone else out there would like to as well. Just click on the button and you’ll be magically transported to the challenge.
What’s not shared is lost,
Being in a big family has its privileges. For example, with enough people, say 3, you can start your own cult. We don’t need TV. We needs just to sit…..and wait…..
Twenty-four years ago today, I walked down the aisle and said “I do” to Craig and it has been the adventure of a lifetime.
Twelve kids, several pets, 2 apartments, 3 houses, 5 church families, 20 years of homeschooling, five or six jobs (lost track), trips to Florida, Kentucky, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Alaska, and one family-owned catering business later….we are still together.
I’m just glad we still have our sanity.
Thanks for enduring my psychotic tendencies.
And thank you, God, for such a wonderful man.
What’s not shared is lost,
One thing that is consistent in this blog is its randomness. We now jump from spiritual truths that convict me to our trip to Spring Creek, Pennsylvania. We left Friday to meet up with friends in Springfield, Ohio then caravaned (is that a word?) to Miracle Mountain Ranch for our 3rd Family Camp. I just wanted to share a few pics before I crash ‘n’ burn.
First, we have the seating chart. This is necessary as personalities and small-fry needs all have to be taken into consideration for a 7-9 hour road trip. We have a regular seating arrangement for every day (which changes as the kids grow…and new kids are added….) but a long trip becomes even longer if we don’t think this through!
OH, how I wish we could have decked out the Great White Beast to look like our guys’ dream van. (I later noticed our seating chart had items added to the empty seats like “Ammo.”)
Isaiah, the 5 y.o., asked every day, “How many more days til we leave?” So, Nat put this little countdown on our wipe-off board. X marks the spot and the arrow showed him how close we were getting. He took me to the board each day to inform me of “how many more days.” We learned a long time ago, anticipation is part of the adventure! Play it up!
This is our catering trailer. Guess what it used to be used for. Three guesses, first two don’t count. The plan is to paint it some day with our logo, etc. Natalie said we should just change our name to “Harley Davidson Catering” because the trailer is so cool.
Do-over – some people like to ham it up.
Lunchtime! Does anybody else remember how nasty and rundown rest areas used to be? We’re talking outhouse smells. Most are so nice, now! Anyhoo, our three families took over this picnic area.
And does anyone else just chuck sanitation standards out the door when having a picnic? Clean the table first? Why? No need – it’s a picnic. Wash hands? What? And ruin the experience? I think there’s a chance I have a slight case of germaphobia. I once thought I had O.C.D. but I actually have C.D.O because O.C.D. isn’t in alphabetical order.
SO, this only brings us to lunchtime on Friday. I will stop here and leave you wondering, “What did they eat for dinner? Did they get to the ranch before sundown? Did they, in a 15-passenger van hauling a trailer, pass a Black 2012 Ferrari ? No pics were taken so I’ll just answer that – yes…yes, we did. As did our friends, also driving a 15-passenger. (We’re pretty sure the driver of said Ferrari was shamed and decided to speed up and pass us. Ferraris should never be driven in the right lane. Just sayin’.)
I’ll try to get back with more of Fecher Family Adventures after this “short” break for sleeping, eating, laundry, phone calling, menu-planning, lesson-planning, finishing unpacking, etc.
What’s not shared is lost,
Not too long ago, I posted about how Love Is Not Blind and it’s been on mind again how we are to love unconditionally (agape). It’s on my mind because, being honest, sometimes I don’t want to love unconditionally…which isn’t very unconditional. When I’ve been hurt or someone is simply a jerk, my inclination is to furrow my brow and ask, “What is wrong with you, you moron?!”
“Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Sigh. This passage has become a thermometer as well as a thermostat for me. As a thermometer I can use these “measurements,” if you will, to “stretch” to each day. I long to be patient, kind, content and humble.I have good intentions of being all of the above but the agape muscle gets a daily workout. Workouts can be exhausting. Especially if you have kids….and a spouse….and a Basset Hound. And then there’s “those” friends and customers and people with different political opinions, and, and…people are dorks, let’s face it. We’re all dorks. Dorks require agape. Everyone is capable of being awesome, adorable and lovable but deep down (okay, maybe not so deep), we are all selfish, stupid dingbats in need of a Savior.
It’s when I go back to the thermometer I can get a reading. For example, I am pretty darn good at keeping records. I can also justify the record-keeping and convince myself the record-keeping is necessary then BAM, this passage sticks in my face and tells me I’m sick. The agape muscle is weak, I have a fever and I’m sick in the head and heart – I’m not loving. I am NOT loving. If I have been impatient, it’s not because “he’s really trying my patience.” If he’s “trying” me and I’m being patient, he’s the one being tested, not me. (That smarted, didn’t it? Yea, me, too.) The realization that there are times EVERY day that I am not loving my kids pierces me. These verses lay out before me the times I am not expressing love. When I am putting my interests ahead of someone else, am easily angered, am thinking more highly of myself than I ought, I am not exercising my agape muscle; I am not loving.
You know what else smarts? This:
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15
It would be A LOT easier if everyone were loving and obeying what Jesus commands every hour of the day but we can’t grow stronger and grow to be more like Jesus unless we’re loving unconditionally. Seriously, look at the idiots Jesus ran around with. If we’re honest, most of us wouldn’t put up with the nonsense He did and we’d pat each other on the back saying, “I don’t blame ya, man. Who needs that in their life?”
Love is not a warm, fuzzy feeling. Love is something you do. The warm, fuzzy feeling comes when I adore the person I am loving. I adore my cutie-pie 2-year-old. He’s two. It’s easier when they’re cute. But if I lose my temper when he’s acting like a terrible two, I have, for the moment, stopped loving him. This is convicting for me because I do lose it at times! A lot. Mostly with the older ones, though! When I am training my agape muscle through the Word and practice, I can instinctively remember that the training and discipline of my 2-year-old, Seth, is my service to him. I am loving him through the trial and I’m a much better mommy.
If my husband is acting….like a guy (men can be such <fill in the blank>), and I huff and puff and justify my anger and, um, lack of kindness, I have decided he is not worthy of my love (pride) and I am being bitter and conditional. Here’s another thing: people who “fall out of love” don’t fall out of love; they have chosen to not love. They have decided this person they are with is no longer worthy. Period. There – I said it. Shoot me. I have “fallen out of love” with my husband before but seeing how it affected my kids convicted me. I know how it works. I have seen couples separate for nothing more than petty selfishness. I have also seen and read about men and woman who loved their spouses despite circumstances that would have sent me running. Some have had to separate. Some never saw that spouse overcome their addictions. Some divorced but kept on loving and serving. That being said, the outcomes have not always been the love story “happy ending.” Sometimes, the overcoming isn’t overcoming the obstacles but overcoming ourselves. If we can love in the midst of unbearable circumstances, we may not be “living the dream” but we will become more like Jesus. “That doesn’t make sense,” people will say. If you’re not happy, you should leave. Folks, the cross doesn’t make sense and I’m pretty sure Jesus WAS NOT happy hanging there on the cross. It’s just a hunch. He wasn’t happy but he was loving.
If He can do that for me, by golly, I can love my kids, I can love my husband, I can love people at the theatre we work with (You’re all crazy. You know that, right?), our neighbors, my mom and in-laws. I can love my customers (some of you procrastinate worse than me, you know that right?), I can love those turn-coat Republicans and Democratics ;o), I can even love Obama. Yep, there I said it. Some people force you to look at them through the eyes of God because left to my own devices, there’s NO WAY I could bring myself to loving them. But I love our President by praying for him not only because I love our country (also unconditional – it’s a mess but still blessed) but because God sent His Son to die for Him just as He did for me.
We’re all dirty, rotten sinners. I didn’t set out in this rant to bring myself to a Third Day song but here I am. God told Hosea to love Gomer. Gomer was a prostitute and was repeatedly unfaithful. God told Hosea to take her back and love her. He wasn’t given the option of “feeling” love for Gomer. He was obedient and unconditional. (To get the whole story, read the book of Hosea). Third Day’s song, Gomer’s Theme, is precious to me as it reminds me that I am loved no matter how far I stray but it also reminds to me to love others even though they don’t deserve it. It’s a beautiful song – do take a listen. (And this is why Third Day psycho fans are called Gomers - so we can tell you that you are loved no matter where you’ve come from or what you’ve done. )
When I am having a hard time with another because they’re being…human….I flex my bicep (what there is of one) and say, “It’s time to exercise (imaginary kiss of the bicep) the Agape Muscle.” It ain’t easy but if you don’t use it, i.e. get comfortable being bitter, discontent, unforgiving, prideful and selfish, you will develop Love Atrophy and, while you may feel very justified for being so, you will end up in a spiritual wheelchair. Good luck with that.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Thanks for hanging in there with me for such a long one. That was very unconditional of you.
Time to excercise :* the Agape Muscle!
What’s not shared is lost,
It’s not just Lenae Michelle’s 24th birthday, it’s the 24th anniversary of our lives being turned upside down. Just like anyone else who becomes a parent, everything changed overnight. Literally. She was born just after midnight (12:22 to be exact). From March 29, 1988 on, things that didn’t matter that much before took on a whole new meaning. Politics mattered, who was on the school board was of most importance, nutrition, child training, making a home, being a better person, the list goes on. Most importantly, things eternal trump all things because of the life-changing event of becoming a parent. Thank you, Lenae, for being the catalyst for all the changes that matter. Yes, I know this was God’s idea – I thank and praise Him first and foremost for each and every life-change known as a baby He has given us. I love being a mom.
I was told throughout high school that “these are the best days of your life.”
1. Thank God that’s not true because my teen years were tumultuous at best. (I often wondered, “If these are the best days then what is there to look forward to?”)
2. The years I’m in right now are the best days of my life. They lied. “They” just wanted to sell lots of memory books, yearbooks, and class rings.
I am the mom of toddlers, youngers, middlers, olders, and young adults. It’s a new season having young adults and I’m still a little nervous as a mom as how to “mom” at this stage but it is such a privilege to see all the years we’ve muddled through together come to fruition. Lenae is a blessing and I am so thankful as I watch God work in her life. I am grateful God placed her in our family.
Happy Birthday Lenae!
What’s not shared is lost,
We had a wedding cake consultation this evening so today was making cupcakes: Chocolatetown Special with Chocolate Buttercream, Sour Cream White with Buttercream and Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. Noah was my assistant the first part of the day and after making the cream cheese icing, worked on his school. After closing, we went home, I took a power nap, then swapped Noah for Ben and went back to the kitchen to prep for the consultation. I printed out a consultation form, piped icing on the cupcakes, and worked on Cake Terms & Conditions. We’ve had Terms & Conditions for catering since the start but I haven’t had anything in print for cakes and it’s been long overdue so I’ve been researching that.
Consultations are one of the funnest parts of my job. Especially weddings. When a bride-to-be starts sharing her vision for her wedding, you get to know her very quickly in a very unique way. A wedding brings out so much of a person’s personality! I love it! Sometimes you meet a mom or future mother-in-law that’s a stick-in-the mud or a bridezilla. That wasn’t the case today. I think it’s sweet when the mom is alongside and helping her daughter enjoy the process of planning for the big day. And this gal today is! She had a 3″ binder with divider tabs just for planning her wedding complete with pic of her and fiancée on front. She should be a bridal coordinator. Very organized.
I’m looking forward to designing this particular cake. First of all, we’re tickled that these folks chose us from the last bridal expo we participated in because they decided that our cake tasted the best. Yay us! They were humming over their samples today, as well. This gal wants an “old,” simple reception and cake. Colors we are working with are gray, eggplant and silver. The cake itself is to be gray with eggplant ribbon around the bottom and a brooch on it. The plan is to make one with edible diamonds. The cake topper is to be a simple, silver “S.” There’s a definite Victorian flair with old-fashioned simplicity threading through her style. I don’t know if she realizes it, but this wedding could very easily go steampunk but I don’t think that’s what she wants. Ah, well, one can dream….
After the consultation, we packed up and headed home where I was greeted by meatloaf, scalloped potatoes & vegetable medley. My kids rock! (When proof-reading this I realized it almost sounded like I was greeted by the rockstar meatloaf – good thing I added the sides or I’m sure that’s what you would have thought). Right after dinner, Isaiah asked if I would give him his reading lesson. Night school? Bring it. So I reclined on the couch and he buzzed through his lesson. How many preschool teachers get to recline when giving their lessons? Ha! This evening also included my A.D.D kicking in and I shared my distraction with Lenae and Natalie as we perused websites with photos of steampunk houses, clothes and weddings. Very cool stuff.
That’s February 16, 2012 for me.
What’s not shared is lost,
Why is it so much fun to root for a team and go crazy when they win and go crazy when they lose? Why do some of us enjoy the Twitter and/or Facebook banter while watching the game? Why have people traveled from around the country to converge on Indianapolis? Why did we make a gazillion Football Cake Pops this week?
I enjoyed this Super Bowl. It was a nail-biter! I got a kick out of going to Indy to take in the “once-in-a-lifetime” chance to see a city completely converted into Super Bowl City. And it was cool, I might add. I know that the camaraderie that fans share is a part of the energy. I know anticipation is half the fun of any special event and getting ready for The Big Game whether it’s hosting a gathering or just going to a friend’s to hang out and watch is something to look forward to. But why is so much stinkin’ money sunk into a sport? I read this article on how this “game” adds up and about choked! The bottom line is “$11 billion: Amount consumers are expected to spend on the Super Bowl (hey, those chicken wings aren’t free, people) each year.” This article doesn’t even touch on how much these athletes make each year. It wouldn’t seem so unreasonable if there were balance i.e. if firefighters, police officers, teachers, our military, etc. made as much or more. I’m not saying these players don’t have skill and they certainly brought it to the Super Bowl and gave us a game to remember! (I was on the edge of my seat!) But, I confess, I feel sad that this game has become bigger that our holidays and it’s players put on such high pedestals! I love football but it’s FOOTBALL! I’m pretty sure we could have purchased world peace, Madonna, with the amount you were paid to perform tonight. Just sayin’.
I guess I’m done venting. For now. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good football game, am a Colts fan (rooted for the Giants this game), and get a jolt from all the Super Bowl hype. This year’s game was worth watching, that’s for sure! And there were some pretty good commercials (writing in Clint Eastwood as President. I’d write in Matthew Broderick as V.P. but I’m not sure that he wouldn’t call in sick). I. Hate. The. Go-Daddy Commercials. Just wanted to put that out there.
All that being said, we gathered at my Father-In-Law’s to watch the game on his big screen, a few of the kids’ friends came over, and we had nachos, chili, pizza and, of course, cake pops.
The kids spent most of their time in the basement playing play station. Losers. Go over to watch the game and…oh well, at least my young men were spared some of those risqué commercials. The small fries kept themselves busy with the fun stuff stashed in Grandpa’s hutch like the ever popular Playdough and wipe-off board. We had fun. Football with family & friends. How could we not?
Status updates from the day:
- 6 y.o. Just now-”Since today is #SuperBowl , can I wear something pretty?” LOL!
- Some of these commercials make me glad my teenage sons have decided to play PlayStation instead of watching the game.
- Funniest thing tweeted tonight: “If Madonna tebows at the end of this, the world might explode.” -Mo Thieman
- I was kinda hoping Madonna would do Express Yourself just to remind Ms. Gaga & everyone else where the song originated. #bornthisway
- Visualize Whirled Peas! Stop the Violins!
- Just asked, “Whose voice is that?” for the Ford commercial. The 6 y.o. chimed in with “Diego’s!” #IceAge
- GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GAaaaaahhhhh!!! I’m so stressed out!! I need chocolate!!
- “Great Giant win. First Tush Down I’ve ever seen.” Billy Crystal
What’s not shared is lost,