When My Time Comes…

In light of the loss of my cherished loved one, my uncle, our family rock, I have come to the resolution that I do not want to leave this world in a sheath of black and “gag” carnations or lilies! I know some will find this morbid or say I am a control freak, (I am), but that’s beside the point.  I really do not want my husband or kids to wonder if mom wants this or would I have liked that at my funeral.

First off, the funeral is for those who are left here on earth.  Please know my plan is to be dancing in heaven with those that have gone before me and haunting those that aren’t doing my bidding here on earth (wink, wink).  In all seriousness, here are a few of the things I would like to take place at my funeral in no specific order.

Music – Play Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland at the end of the services you choose to have.  Like a wedding song, it’s always been one that comes to my mind when I think of this day.  You know I have a fondness for the Wizard of Oz.  The playlist should include “When I get where I’m going” by Brad Paisley for certain! Know my grandfather was my first love, he loved well and died when I was 5.. probably the start of my daddy issues.  He will be the first person I want to see, my mama second, Uncle, Grandmother, the babies I never got to meet.. there were 2.. And WHM better be there with his stupid grin.  Izzy and I have a song that we both love and it expresses my love for each of you kids and grandkids- Christina Perrys – 1000 Years.

Flowers – Do not spend a ton of money on flowers… if you feel the need, I would love Gerber daisies and English Ivy… something Secret Gardenish… whimsical and fun.  NO CARNATIONS, I don’t care that they are cheap! Carnations piss me off.. probably because it is all I could afford for my mother’s funeral when I was 25, thankfully aforementioned uncle would not let me bury her in a pine box…

Words Spoken– Please do not have a pastor who doesn’t know me from Adam speak too much… a few words and some thoughtful prayers are fine, I don’t want anyone to struggle to say words about me.  I want the real people who were in my life to speak.. I want you to talk about how I am an awful driver, or how I love to sing country music at the top of my lungs!! I want you to talk about how I play contemporary Christian music to keep my anxiety-ridden mind calm. Talk about how I worry constantly about my beautiful babies and drive them nuts checking on them! You are the best accomplishments I have ever or will ever make! Tell stories about how I wait until the last minute to clean like a crazy person before any event in my home! Don’t forget that I love you and couldn’t ever hug those I loved enough, and I am hugging you now.

Food– Have carbs! Lots and lots of carbs.. macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, cheesy potatoes, and bread! Drink wine, cocktails, and toast me… and curse me but get it all out!

Don’t forget to have a pizza with pepperoni and green olives! I can’t wait to get to Heaven and eat gluten!! Tacos!! Have tacos…and queso made with Velveeta. Frank and Morgan—Mexican food!

Gathering-Please gather however you see fit and welcome whoever comes to join you.  Have a venue where you can go outside if it is nice weather… let the kids go out and play.. take chairs outside and know that my happiest times were outside with family and friends talking and being together, put your phones down! Please do not use this time to air family issues, I know you may be struggling and miss me but so are others who deal with it in their way.  If you decide to show your crazy (you know who you are) don’t let it cause a family rift… I birthed three very different types of children and married two more, and you will all need each other, my greatest wish is that you all stay close.  Hold hands and pray together before it’s all over.. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TAKE ANY PICTURES OF ME IN A CASKET! Show plenty of pictures of us, but don’t you dare take a picture of me after I’m cold and dead.. Eat, drink, and be merry…. Play my favorite songs and dance!

Apparel- Please don’t wear black unless it is what you wear all the time (Pamela Wendy), wear kelly green, bright yellow, and beautiful colors that are alive!! Be beautiful and handsome!! Know I was proudest when you looked nice, yes, appearances do make a difference.. also wear something that sparkles or glitters!

My Earthly Vessel Disposal – Take all my jewelry off, if I wore it all the time, it meant something to me. Do not bury me with it, share it with my daughters, nieces, or granddaughters if I have them but don’t bury me with it.  Put me in something classy, that makes me look thin! I want my hair done in a chic do for my viewing and don’t forget lipstick and lashes.  I want to be barefoot though.. I hated shoes in life… so never put another pair on me!

I think there should be a viewing but I want to be cremated.  Don’t waste money on a piece of earth that you may or may not visit.  I don’t like being cooped up and alone alive.. don’t do that to me after I’m gone.  Divide my ashes between whoever wants them and please, please sprinkle some at a beach.. let part of me exist on a beach for eternity.

Obituary- As I love writing and I’m writing this blog, please write something and list all my kids, bonus kids, and perfect, perfect grandbabies!!

Pallbearers – I don’t need them as I am being cremated but if I had them… I would want my brothers because we carried each other through some hell growing up, any of my ex-husbands or my current hubby.. because we made vows to each other, I’m sorry I wasn’t a great wife, but none of you carried me over a threshold, you can carry me out! My kids if they want but I know it’s hard.  They can do whatever they want.. because mama said.

Please know that I love and serve our amazing GOD.  He and I talk all the time! I’m, not a great Christian, I cuss and I’m way too real but I love our God!  Talk to him, pray to him! Read the bible! Teach our babies about him! Pray before every big dinner.  Have lots of family dinners!  Stop and pray with your friends when they need it! Don’t care what others think.  A prayer can go a long way with someone.

I love you all so much! You made my life a heaven on earth! Momma

#glitteredwithgrace #funeralinstructions #controlfreak #lovedeeply

 

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Cheap or Free Summer Kids Activities – Fort Worth/Keller, Texas

In my 27 years of parenting, this is my first summer to be a SAHM. We are two days into the summer, yes only two days, and I feel the need for some alone time!! Obviously not for the weak minded, which is where I fear I am falling tonight.

I have been researching some tools and routines to keep my nine year old from disowning me and locking me in a closet… the social media sensation Scary Mommy blog that I read about a month ago, convinced me our ideal summer would be lazing around, kids playing outside, Ya Ya Sisterhood type of summer … 10 Ways to Give Your Kid a 1970’s Kind of Summer by Melissa Fenton.

I think it was a great idea, but my mini and I need more structure and a plan to keep away from the electronic mind suckers – TV, Cartoon Network, Minecraft, and the iPad.

Last night we found and printed off a loose weekly schedule template by Kayse Pratt at Intentional Moms.

Lazy Mondays – Where we clean up for the weekend and create something at home.
Tuesday Trip – Go to the park, zoo, or swimming.
Bookworm Wednesday – Trip to the library, then veg at home and read.
Thursday Kitchen – Make one new dish with mom or dad.
Fun Friday – Go do something fun – we will be drawing a surprise trip out of our mason jar of the ideas below.

The template started a great conversation and we (my 9 year-old and I) talked about a loose schedule, and how changes will occur. We’ve already had to move our Wednesday plan – a trip to the library to Tuesday because my twice yearly hair appointment is on Wednesday this week… thankfully I will be able to quit wearing head bands and scarfs to cover my gray hair, but I digress.

Before I get too excited about my hair appointment, I will keep talking about our new summer routine. We also discussed several options for inexpensive or free field trips each week. I already mentioned the public library, reading always a great, free activity, right! Of our options, we will be writing each different idea on a small piece of paper and putting them all in a jar and drawing one out each week to have a little surprise and variety.

1. Free Roller skating – Our local rink is part of kidsskatefree.com. We are signed up and have our free passes.
2. Free Bowling – A little farther drive for us but only about 20 minutes to our participating bowling alley. Cowtown Bowling in River Oaks participates in kidsbowlfree.com. Passes are printed for us! You can also add on a budget friendly adult pass.
3. Local parks and trails – We are located near several great parks and to add some adventure to this we participate in several “treasure hunting” internet groups. We geocache and rock hunt!
– Geocaching is using the app or a GPS to locate caches or treasures hidden by others. We have found virtual caches, large ammo boxes, small film containers, etc. filled with different items and a log. It is proper etiquette to leave something before you take something and sign the log. We used to carry a bag or army men or special coins to leave in caches and the kids enjoyed collecting the different items. We use geocaching.com and have for about 20 years. We hid our first cache for others to find this week too! We have enjoyed watching the logs as others find it.
– Painted rock hunting – We have recently discovered this fun activity. People in our communities paint rocks and hide them in parks, shopping centers, etc for others to find and enjoy. We have started painting rocks to hide this week as well. Search Facebook for rock painting/hiding groups in your neighborhood/town. I just search Fort Worth Rocks and found several great ones near me!
4. For fourth graders only – Free admission to National State Parks at Every Kid in A Park. Your child will have to do a few, fun online learning exercises, then print out the form to receive a free national park pass.
5. Ever wonder how money is made? Take a tour of the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth for FREE! I’ve taken my older kids several times and looking forward to taking our 9 year-old again this year. Tour Info.

The Fort Worth area is a family and cultural mecca for families! These are just a few of the ideas we will utilize this summer.

Share your budget friendly ideas in the comments! I look forward to connecting with you, keep spreading grace and glitter!

When Your Child Doesn’t Receive Awards

It’s that time of year. We have completed the dreaded third grade STAAR testing, we have made it through school projects, end-of-year school parties are on the calendar, those lovely packed lunches are looking skimpy, parents and teachers alike are done… only a couple of days left. Today my youngest received her school yearbook and the end of period award ceremony took place. I knew she would not receive an award and had not received one in her 4 years at this mid-sized, Texas school, so one of my older daughters and I made a point to eat lunch with her to give her a different focus.

I was anxiously awaiting her entrance after school – today had all the appearances of a normal day, backpack unpacking, I asked about her day and then she says – “it was the worst day, another year of no awards!” My heart breaks but as a hold it together, be a better person mom that I am, I reply, “not everyone gets an award honey, you are an amazing, smart young lady, you don’t need a piece of paper to tell you that”. In her tween gaze, I see the that is what you are supposed to say, you are my mother tone as she picks up her iPad to loose herself in a cartoon or Minecraft game.

So as a parent, what do you do? She’s made exceptional grades all year and has had a few blips with friendships and will be the first to come to someone’s aid. She will give you her whole stack of Pokemon cards if it will make you happy. While I know her teachers see her great traits, I cannot make them give her an award for them. My husband and I tell her and all of our kids how amazing and smart they are. How they can do anything their heart’s desire, but we cannot teach her to not care about these damn awards!!

I thank our sweet Jesus (no blasphemy intended), that she doesn’t use social media yet and see all of her friends that received awards. She’s already mentioned multiple names of friends who won something today. I want my baby girl to know it’s okay to do your job well, do the right thing, and just be a good person, I think that is reward enough – I’m damn proud of her.

My mommy senses are going crazy right now though. I am fighting the why isn’t my kid good enough feeling. I know it doesn’t matter to her right now that I think she is flippin amazing. My prayer today is that she comes into her own self-assured nature and can just continue growing in her sweet spirit. We do not all receive awards or recognition for being “average” or just good people and that’s okay.

My youngest is an offbeat kid. She is the youngest of five, her older siblings are a good 11 to 18 years older than she is. She was our bonus baby. She’s a classic only child but she has 4 siblings. She has grown 4 inches and 20 pounds this year. I cross my fingers every morning hoping the outfit I put out will fit her. She’s hit the tall, gawky teen stage at the age of nine years old.

She gets the majority of our attention. My husband works from home and I am a SAHM. Our older kids barely received one-on-one mom or dad time every few months, as we both worked crazy schedules. They remind us frequently how “lucky” she is all the time. She is a very lucky little girl but she is lonely and craves siblings, where our older kids couldn’t wait to get away from each other. The old saying, be careful what you wish for is a double edge sword in my house.

She gets to travel more than her siblings did.. it’s cheaper to take one kid vs. five kids. This past January we got to go to New York City and spend a long weekend. We walked the city, saw Lady Liberty, Times Square, and our first Broadway show – Wicked! We were so excited and she was wrapped up in the story line. At the end of the show, she looked at me and said “Im Elphaba”. I was a little taken aback. She said “I’m the weird kid”. My heart broke.. I told her she was a beautiful child from the highest God and was a unique, beautiful human being.

I pray that my average, self-proclaimed weird kid finds her place is this crazy world. Her older sister has currently taken her and a friend off to the movies, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”. Sooo we are onto a slow, summer and then fourth grade – May all of our extraordinary yet “average” kids have a perfect summer.

Until next time continue to spread grace and glitter.

UPDATE: About two days after this blog was written, I proceeded to unpack my daughter’s backpack to put it away for the summer. As I pulled out the pieces of trash, Pokemon cards, and discarded spirals, I found a large manilla envelope. Inside this very official envelope were certificates for A Honor Roll for the whole year and Good Citizenship for the whole year! I called my little one and asked her if these weren’t awards? As I proceeded to make a big deal of these very substantial accomplishments, she said but I didn’t get an award in the assembly!!! I have work to do this summer obviously!

Why Glittered With Grace?

Why is my blog named Glittered With Grace? I wanted something that reflected who I am.  Writing is my escape, what heals me, and brings me peace and helps me find grace.  I have a depressive personality, charming I know.  It is a daily battle of bible reading, praying, and knowing that God meant more for my life than the heavy feelings I carry.

In comes the glitter, which by definition means – to shine with a bright, shimmering, reflected light – the light of our heavenly savior is how I envision it.  I am also a proud Texas woman and southern, where glitter is like face powder and macaroni and cheese at a potluck on Sunday.  I believe all women shine with strong feelings – happiness, sadness, excitement, grief, etc – all the emotions glitter off of us and we emanate them to our surroundings and family.  I want to emanate to my family and surroundings the feelings of hope, joy, and grace.  Don’t get me wrong all the other feelings – sadness, anger, grief – I do not want those hidden, I teach my family that we need to feel our feelings and express them to run the full gamut of the emotion for any given situation but with grace.

My family is in a season of grief right now.  We lost a great man last October and every holiday, gardening season, special event (we had a beautiful baby boy born to my son this year), we hurt from the sting of him being gone.  We talk about how happy he would be or what his advice would and also about how it just sucks, that he isn’t here.  We cry and let the tears fall…. and as I tell my beautiful oldest daughter.. fix your makeup and keep on moving.  That is what he taught us!

The first thing I ever wrote personally outside of high school was this great man’s obituary last year, it poured out of me like I was bleeding tears and God told me to start writing, he has been leading me here to this Glitteredwithgrace. My last words to the greatest man I ever knew Uncle, Father, Husband, Provided, Godly Man

I have shared a couple of definitions of glitter and grace below, looking up words is always eye opening to me… take a peek.. and come read more of my crazy, blessed adventures.  Happy Sunday!

Glitter

 1. shine with a bright, shimmering, reflected light.
  1. “trees and grass glittered with dew”
    synonyms: shine, sparkle, twinkle, glint, gleam, shimmer, glimmer, wink, flash, catch the light;

    • shine as a result of strong feeling.
      “her eyes were glittering with excitement”

noun

noun: glitter
  1. bright, shimmering, reflected light.
    “the blue glitter of the sea”
    synonyms: sparkle, twinkle, glint, gleam, shimmer, glimmer, flicker, flash; More

    “the glitter of light on the water”
a glint in a person’s eye indicating a particular emotion.
“the scathing glitter in his eyes”
 ************************************************************************************

grace

noun
  1. simple elegance or refinement of movement.
    “she moved through the water with effortless grace”
    synonyms: elegance, poise, gracefulness, finesse; More

    suppleness, agility, nimbleness, light-footedness
    “the grace of a ballerina”
    • courteous goodwill.
      “at least he has the grace to admit his debt to her”
      synonyms: courtesy, decency, (good) manners, politeness, decorum, respect, tact

      “he at least had the grace to look sheepish”
      antonyms: effrontery
    • an attractively polite manner of behaving.
      plural noun: graces
      “she has all the social graces
  2. 2
    (in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
  3. a short prayer of thanks said before or after a meal.
    “before dinner the Reverend Newman said grace”
    synonyms: blessing, prayer of thanks, thanksgiving, benediction

    “who would like to say this evening’s grace?”