Trashman blessings

Recently we were asked during a faculty development exercise to think of the worst customer service we’ve ever received. I’m betting that this comes pretty easy for you. It’s not hard to think of the worst customer service…The guy who wipes his nose and then hands you your money, the customer service rep who is rude or smack their gum. Or the waitress who rolls her eyes when you ask for a refill on water and then never brings it.ever.
What about the best customer service? It usually takes a bit more time to come up with good customer service experiences. I can hear the crickets chirping in the background…
While we’re not all in the customer service business we all have the opportunity to serve others and either heap stress and hurt on someone or bless them with kind words and actions. Think about the last time that you were blessed by someone or hurt. I am going to devote my Thursday posts (at least for the time being) to Thoughtful Thursday. Highlighting how I’ve been blessed or have found ways I can bless others. This is not a “toot my own horn” kind of post, but a post to encourage you to look for ways you can bless others.
I am blessed every Thursday by my trash company. Yes it’s true. Every Thursday the guys for our local trash service bless me and I smile every time I think of them. I have called their office and made them Christmas cookies last year thanking them, but it doesn’t seem quite enough.
Now most people wouldn’t think that trash guys can be a blessing to anyone, but they are to our family. When they pick up our trash, they empty the dumpster like every other trash company. But when they’re done…they bring my dumpster back up to my house and put it next to my garage. Every week. And on those weeks when we’ve forgotten to put it out by the road, they stop, and run up to the house to pull the dumpster down to the road, empty it and return it back to the house.
Some would say they’re just doing their job, but it really is a blessing. Let me remind you that the wind blows all the time in Pueblo. I mean really. All.the.time. So if we have an empty dumpster sitting at the end of our drive in this wind, it takes no time for it to end up in our neighbor’s yard. I would have to walk over there humbly apologizing for my runaway trash can, probably with a baby on my hip and a toddler in tow. But I don’t. My trash guys bring my trash can safely up to my house where it is blocked from the horrible wind.
They keep me from having to run down the street chasing the trash truck like a mad woman trying to get them to come back because we forgot to put it by the road the night before. They come and check it. As a result I don’t have an overflowing can the next week because it didn’t get emptied.
The guy who work on the trash truck always take the time to wave at whichever little boy is standing at the window watching the “big truck” come by. You can’t miss the sound of the trash truck, it’s big, it’s loud and it has a really cool lifter thing on the back. Big loud trucks attract little boys. On Thursdays I have at least one little one who climbs up on the couch, looks out the window and waves at the trash truck. The trash guys always wave back. Always. Let me tell you that makes a kiddo’s day. And seeing a happy excited kid warms a mom’s heart.
So yes, every Thursday my trash guys are a blessing to me. It’s the little stuff that makes a big difference. And they pay attention to the little stuff.
So let me ask you…What about the last time that you were blessed by someone in your life? How can you bless others this week?

Rosfelds by the numbers

I haven’t taken any pictures lately for my wordless Wednesday post, (so much for my plan of taking pictures of the kids each week) so I’m going to give you Rosfelds by the numbers…

Number of family members : 6 (so far) The next question that usually follows is “How many are you going to have” …As many as we’re blessed with. We believe in Jesus-full thinking. (Oh yeah…we’re one of *those* families. I’ll share more about our personal convictions on another post).

Number of times we’ve moved since Kerry and I got married in 2001 : 10

Number of pets : 1 dog and 2 birds currently.

Number of loads of laundry we do per day : at least 3

Loads of dishes : 2 per day

Vehicles owned : 2

Vehicles currently sitting in driveway : 4 (plus 2 at the shop…not all ours).

Gallons of milk per week : 7-8 (half 2% and half skim)

Monthly grocery budget : $375.00

Meals eaten out : 3-4 per month always fast food. 🙂

Legos : too numerous to count, but lots of sets and at least one large rubbermaid tub full.

Instruments played : 4 (flute, drums, trombone, piano — Otto is currently taking lessons).

Jobs held currently : 6 combined. Not including parenting…

Diapers changed : 18-24 per day depending on bowel habits.

Outfits : 8 per day. We have at least two kids make one change of clothes each day which is why we do 3 loads of laundry each day. 🙂

Computers : 2. One desktop and one laptop.

Cookbooks : 40 at least. I like them for recreational reading.

Floors swept : 4 times per day. That’s our goal anyway…

Vacuuming : 2 times a week. If I can feel dirt on my feet when I walk I know it’s time to vacuum.

Pairs of shoes : 35-40. The range is because we can’t always find both shoes at the same time.

Hours of sleep : Kids : 11-12, those napping get 14, Grown ups 6-7

Hugs and Kisses : More than we can count, but never enough.

Cool Running

It’s been a week since I laid it out there and committed to running a 5K on my birthday this year. I promised a check in so here it is…
It didn’t start off well this week. Right after I posted about starting the couch to 5K, things got busy and I didn’t make running a priority. I had a week full of meetings and sitting on my bum…which should have been even more motivation to run. But I never made it a priority and I made excuses…I was too tired, I didn’t have the right shoes, I didn’t have the right shorts, I’d just eaten, I was hungry. You name it I made the excuse not to get off my behind and do it.
I didn’t start running until Saturday night this week. But I’ve done my couch to 5K workout every night since then. I have new running shoes and have found a time during the day that works the best for me to workout. I feel much better than I thought I would. I full expected to die, but I survived. I’m nowhere close to the point where I can say I enjoy it yet, but I’m hopeful that I will.
I’ve burned over 500 calories and ran 7 miles. It certainly makes me view food differently. I know just how hard I have to work to burn off that candy bar, soda, handful of crackers or late evening snack. I have to tell you that most of the time I decide it’s just not worth it to eat.
In searching for some tips and tools to help me get started and keep me going,  I came across this video. It’s great motivation…
There’s something to that NIKE slogan…Just do it…no excuses.

Oatmeal Kisses

A friend shared this with me today. It made me cry a bit while holding a baby on my hip and a toddler in my lap.

OATMEAL KISSES

A young mother writes: “I know you’ve written before about the empty-nest syndrome — that lonely period after the children are grown and gone. Right now, I’m up to my eyeballs in laundry and muddy boots. The baby is teething; the boys are fighting. My husband just called and said to eat without him, and I fell off my diet. Lay it on me again, will you.”

OK. One of these days you’ll explode and shout to the kids, “Why don’t you grow up and act your age?”
…and they will.

OR:

“You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do. And don’t slam the door!”
…and they don’t.

You’ll straighten up the boys’ bedroom neat and tidy — bumper stickers discarded, bedspread tucked and smooth, toys displayed on the shelves. Hangers in the closet. Animals caged. And you’ll say out loud, “Now I want it to stay this way.”
…and it will.

You’ll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn’t been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in the icing, and you’ll say, “Now, there’s a meal for company.”
…and you’ll eat it alone.

You’ll say: “I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around. No demolition crews. Silence! Do your hear?”
…and you’ll have it.

No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghtetti.
No more bedspreads to protect the sofa from damp bottoms.
No more gates to stumble over at the top of the basement steps.
No more clothespins under the sofa.
No more playpens to arrange a room around.

No more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent
No more sand on the sheets or Popeye movies in the bathrooms.
No more iron-on-patches, wet, knotted shoestrings, tight boots, or rubber bands for ponytails.
Imagine. A lipstick with a point on it.
No baby sitter for New Year’s Eve.
Washing only once a week.
Seeing a steak that isn’t ground.

Having your teeth cleaned without a baby on your lap.
No PTA meetings.
No car pools.
No blaring radios.
No one washing her hair at 11 o’clock at night.
Having your own roll of Scotch tape.

Think about it. No more Christmas presents out of toothpicks and library paste.
No more sloppy oatmeal kisses.
No more tooth fairy.
No giggles in the dark.
No knees to heal, no responsibility.

Only a voice crying, “Why don’t you grow up?” and the silence echoing,
“I did.”

…Erma Bombeck

Feet to the fire

Just after the first of the year I posted about wanting to lose weight this year. Well…I’ve lost about 8 pounds or so. Not near enough if I want to be at my goal weight by the end of year.
One of the things I struggle with the most in regards to health and weight loss is my exercise. I can portion control pretty well, working on the emotional/stress eating, but I am the most undisciplined person when it comes to exercise.
I’ve decided to set a goal…a serious one…and take Kerry with me.

I am going to run a 5K by my birthday (August 13). That’s about 13 1/2 weeks from today. I don’t have a time goal, my goal at this point is to 1. run and 2. finish. There’s a race in Colorado Springs that day. This is the one I plan on running.

So here’s where you come in…each week on Tuesday I’m going to post my exercise log, weight lost and my overall “how I did”. I also plan on posting some health recipes and other gems I find along the way.
Ask me how I did, make sure I’m doing it, make sure I’m posting and if I don’t…ask. Hold my feet to the fire.
Of course, you’re welcome to join this challenge with me too. I plan on working the C25K plan to get me there.
In the mean time…I think I should start looking for some new running tunes for my ipod…Happy Running.

Stick Em Up!

While the title of this post sounds loaded with fun…it’s not…well…it’s just loaded I guess. It’s about surrender. Whoa! Come back! I lost you there for a second didn’t I? Surrender is a tough thing. For me at least.

I’ve been reading Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray lately. First let me tell you that it’s one of those books that I have to read each sentence twice to make sure I understood what I read. And second I should probably confess that I’m only in the second chapter, but it has me doing some serious thinking. I was so blessed this weekend to have some time for a mini retreat. I told Kerry that I felt like God wanted me to get alone with him, and well…that’s tough to do with 4 little boys. (The post about mommies getting up early for “alone time with God” comes later). So he kept an eye on the kiddos while I went for a cup of coffee and took my Bible and journal to a little coffee shop that was almost deserted. Yes!

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. While we’re not in a place where I can be home full time yet, I find myself balancing work and life at home. It’s something I know lots of moms struggle with. Some by choice and some by necessity. We are continually praying that God will make a way for me to stay home full time soon. It’s where my heart is. Which brings me back to surrender. I’m going to be totally transparent here…I struggle to fully embrace what God has called me to be as a wife and mother. I want to, but my human-ness pulls me in another direction.

First of all…I like praise. I like to be told job well done, I like to feel useful and know that people rely on me to get the job done. I like to feel invaluable. I like to blame it on the fact that I’m a first born and I got praised for just about everything I did when I was a kid…but in reality it’s my sinful nature. Ouch. When I go back and read that last paragraph it sure sounds self serving doesn’t it? Well guess what? It is. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing with being told you’ve done a good job or wanting to do a good job. But when that praise becomes your motivation for doing something…you’ve got a problem. (I should say I’ve got a problem).

As I sat there sipping my coffee and thinking about my need for praise it hit me…I can’t rely on me, I can’t worship myself or expect others to. Call me a slow learner. I will fail to live up to mine (and other’s) expectations every single time. If I judge myself by human standards when will I be good enough, smart enough or giving enough? The world doesn’t value me like God does. In fact, they’ll keep taking what I can give without regard to me as a person. But how do I let that go? Wanna hear something really convicting? Galations 1:10…10For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

Surrender.

Serve God not man (and not myself). My actions, thoughts, and words should point to God and not to me. Embrace what God has called me to be as a wife and mother. So I’ve begun studying just what that is. What  I’m to do scripturally. I’ve heard it all before, but have never really taken the time to study it for myself.

I plan to share my thoughts here and with you in the hopes that we can be on this journey together and that I can learn from you and you from me…both of us learning from God. I will be brutally honest and transparent (something else I struggle with) so be gentle. 🙂

Hug a nurse

How many of you knew it was nurses week this week? How about that Friday is nurses day? Not many, I’ll bet.

I was in the store the other day picking up a few cards (for another big day on Sunday). I thought I’d pick up a nurses day card or two to send to some special nurses in my life. Guess what…I found 2. A whole 2 to choose from and they were dumb. Really? I’m just gonna say it…nurses are more important than that and I don’t just say it because I am one and because I educate them. Nurses are important to everyone.

It sounds so cliche’ to say that nurses “care” and nurses have “heart” and all that other mushy stuff. You know what though…it’s true. When I started going to college I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to help people. I got in school and completed 2 years of pre-med and was working as a CNA on our peds floor. (Because I heard med schools liked people who worked from the “ground, up”). What I discoverd though is that the doctor I aspired to be really only spent 5-10 minutes with the patient and it was the nurse who made the connection. That’s what I wanted to do, the CARE part of healthcare. So that summer I got married and changed my major to nursing. I’ve never been sorry since. While in nursing school I worked as a nurse tech on the maternal child floor. I’ll never forget the first birth I saw…I was hooked. I saw that warm, wriggly baby brought into this world by his mother and I KNEW that was it for me. I have never lost my awe at the birth of a baby. It is just as miraculous the 1000th time as it was that first time. Nursing is IT for me.

There are so many opportunities in nursing. I am currently working in education because I wanted to make a difference in the future of nursing. I wanted to influence students, but there are times (more often than not) that I miss my patients. I miss the bedside…where the caring takes place. I think I’ll go back there someday (probably sooner rather than later). I miss the awe of it all…the intensity of labor, the work that is done, the reward of that first cry, the joy on the faces of new parents. Even on my worst days in nursing I feel like I made an impact, I CARED.

When you talk to someone who has been ill or had a family member who has been ill they’ll tell you about their nursing care. They’ll tell you about that nurse who made the difference to them when they were feeling their worst. Nurses make a difference. Nurses are up at night working, nurses miss holidays and parties and family stuff to care for someone else’s family. We do it because we CARE.

One of my students was quoted in the paper this last Sunday…She says ““My contributions to health care will be simple. I don’t believe I will ever discover the cure for cancer or create a new life-saving pharmaceutical drug.  But, I will listen to, care for, offer words of encouragement to, and hold the hands of dying and sick patients and their families. I will be a patient’s first line of defense when they experience a change in their physical or mental status. I will be their advocate and push for whatever it is they may need to feel better, get better, and help them through their plight. My contributions may be small but may make a world of difference in the life of a sick person.” That’s it exactly. And that’s why I love nursing. (You can read the full article here it was written by her dad).

So this nurses week, hug a nurse. Tell them you’re glad they CARE. Because we really do. 

It's been a long week

I think the title says it all. It’s been a long long week at our house. We’ve had one or two sick kids everyday and I don’t think I’ve slept in my bed in 3 or 4 nights. Otto started it last Sunday. I hosted a bridal shower at our house last week. The boys were kicked out to the church for a little while. Otto came home with a fever. It’s all kind of a blur from there. Fevers…snot…coughing…more fevers…not sleeping well…fevers…more snot…more not sleeping well…You get the idea.
Zeke got it (still has it), Titus got it (still has it) and now Gabe is coming down with the same blooming thing.
Kerry and I have been alternating holding Titus in the recliner each night so that he can sleep. He’s been sleeping in 20-30 min spurts and squirms the whole time. He can’t seem to get comfortable. We’ve been trying the whole tylenol/motrin thing, but it doesn’t seem to help very much. His nose is stuffy, he runs a fever and in general just feels rotten.
Zeke tries to feel good. He runs a fever then plays, then sits or naps.
Both Gabe and Otto have taken naps almost every day this week, which is highly unusual. And they’ve been voluntary. I didn’t have to suggest it to them. I’d just go upstairs and find them sleeping. Poor guys.
So it’s been a long week. I hate having sick kids. I’m so thankful that it hasn’t been the stomach flu, but golly. I don’t think I’ve heard a laugh out of Titus since Wednesday and my normally happy smiling baby has been reduced to a pile of sniffles wanting to be held all day long.
It’s been frustrating and hard to deal with this whole mess. We’ve been through enough tylenol and motrin to stock a pharmacy and Kleenex to stuff a bra.
It’s been a long week. We’re praying that this week is filled with healthy kids, happy news and is much shorter that this last week. Oh and sleep…lots of restful sleep.

The skin I'm in

I thought that it would end when I got out of highschool, or at least college. This uncomfortableness in my own skin. I’ve grown accustomed to it, but not comfortable. I can tolerate it, but it still just doesn’t seem to fit right sometimes.
I thought that someday it would seem like I just kind of grew into it, that it would fit me and I would embrace it. I’m still waiting for that “moment”. I feel so much of the time that I still have a lot of growing and changing to do. Like I’m stuck in this whole pre-pubescent state of personhood development.
I wonder sometimes if it comes from my desire to “master” everything I do and be good at it. Like cinnamon rolls, it doesn’t matter how many times I mess those suckers up I’m going to keep making them till I figure them out. But this whole “me” thing…shouldn’t I already have it down by now? I mean gee whiz, I’ve been at this for 31 years and I still don’t feel like a master of myself. I’m afraid though that I will spend my entire time here on earth figuring out who I am that I will get to the end and miss who I was (or was supposed to be).
I know I’m the person God made me to be and that He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it. But…I always have this feeling of a turbulent undercurrent just beneath the surface. This unsettled feeling with who I am.
I could blame it on the “never being good enough” from when I was growing up. I could blame it on moving in to and growing up in a small town where I never quite fit because even though I was only 8, I was still an outsider.
Then there is the fear. The fear that what if the proverbial “they” doesn’t like it. What if I don’t like it? Worse yet…what if this is it? What if this uncomfortable me is the state I’m supposed to be in. This constant state of question and attempt at improvement and wondering.
And then other times I hit that sweet spot and know…yup…this is it. But it never seems to last long. There is always something more, something pushing, driving the change that is to come. There is always change, rarely a map and never a lull. I saw a quote this week…”Change is inevitable, growth is intentional”. True that. True that.