Our Sidewalk Dance Party Tribute to Michael Jackson

Last night we drove to Walmart to let Bray spend his Gigi money, and after 20 minutes of indecisiveness, Ricky & Bray meet us girls at the self-check with … Michael Jackson’s #1’s cd (hmmm, could this be a gift for Daddy too? I think so).

With each song on the way home, we get more into the music and keep driving… past our street…just to keep listening. Finally, for the sake of reading time before bed, we turned around on 79 & headed home.

As we do, we approach our friends’ (whose kids LOVE Michael Jackson) and per Ricky’s (half-joking) idea, we stopped, hopped out and cranked it up loud! Bray knocked on their door and ran back to the sidewalk to join Angel & me for the street party.

The 3 Bosserman kids in jammies opened their front door & hesitantly came out into the chilly air, saw us bustin’ moves left and right, & before you could say a high-pitched, “Heee-Hee”, smiles spread & they all started dancin’ on the sidewalk, too.

We were 5 kids & a few grown up kids… just-a moon-walkin’, hat-tiltin’, crotch-grabbin’, and shoulder-shruggin’ to Billie Jean and Thriller. I think we all need random moments of silliness & reckless abandon.

well, hello bello

this mornin’, i thought i’d take a moment to shamelessly promote some photos recently posted by my hubs on braylon.com. (i needed to go ‘meet the teacher’ at his school, but ricky & braylon were able to experience their 1st real circus with gramma janis while in town for his birthday) …what a special memory it turned out to be. bray earned his ticket from the library by participating in their summer reading program. he was sittin’ on the edge of his seat the whole time & kept yelling, “awesome!!”.

he had the best timeexcept for when he got so excited about eating the cotton candy off his hand, that he chomped on his thumb (ricky was right there with the camera to capture the cry-face). click this pic for more snapshots of bello and the greatest show on earth!

all for a Christian rock concert tee shirt

the “kutless” concert was a few hours away. the boys were gettin’ excited. my hubs, ricky & his best friend, jason were biding their time watchin’ tv in our apartment. ricky was clipping his toenails, neatly placing them aside after each clip so they wouldn’t land on the carpet. after a good 10 minutes, there was a nice-sized pile sittin’ on the table. as they were chattin’, he stares at the pile with a twinkle of innovation in his eye, pauses & asks jason, “if i ate this whole pile of toenails, would you buy me a tee shirt of my choice tonight?” jason craked up…but wasn’t surprised. he knew ricky well. the same ricky that made up a church small-group game & called it ‘fellowship factor’, complete w/dares to eat mayonnaise, anchovies, jalapeños & dog bones…& shave entire limbs. the same ricky that surprised 20 church folk at a 4th of july party by casually stepping out onto the back porch in my 2-piece swimsuit, askin’, ‘anyone for a swim?’

well, the dare was on. he couldn’t spit them out. he had to crunch them up in his mouth at one time.

and crunch…

he

did.

thank God for that orange juice chaser. thirty seconds later, those pointy things were all swimmin’ around in his belly on their way to digestion city. and three years later, the two of them still text & ricky’s still wearin’ that faded black tee he so proudly earned.

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all these memories came a-floodin’ when i was biting off my little angel’s toenails & fingernails yesterday. see, i’ve discovered how to distract her & make it fun! my secret? gently biting one off, keeping it on the tip of my tongue & sticking it way out for her to quickly grab. she then ever-so-methodically places each nail on the top of her hand. instead of a battle of wills with a squirmy whiny wee one, it’s now a game we play ~ me & my smiley, engaged & yes, almost as goofy as her daddy, little girl.

eye to eye ~ the importance of showing love with your eyes

a cheerful look brings joy to the heart – Proverbs 13:30

braylon (5) was walking around a corner & decided he’d belly-push angel to the ground. ricky & i both just looked at him for 6 sec.s as angel cried. we were shocked he’d try this stunt after so many reminders. but i suppose we also did it as a way of showing our disappointment. what followed was interesting:

braylon’s look turned from satisfied to almost angry, ‘what. why are you staring at me? why is everybody staring at me?!’ he inquired. his lip started quivering. we looked a couple seconds longer & he exclaimed w/a tear dropping down his cheek, “why did you yell at me?!”

ricky & i exchanged a glance of revelation. we never said a word to him. it got me thinkin’.

an area in which i think i harbor a ton of pride, is my parenting. i think moms want to believe deep down that they’re the best. to be complimented as such by another mom is the ultimate up-lifter. conversely, to be called a bad mom or even if someone criticizes our discipling, this seems like the lowest, most degrading insult!

i had to face a weakness. i’m not the ‘bestest mom in the whole earth’ as bray would have me believe. there are things i can & should take more time to work on, but don’t. each day presents with it a new way to improve. it’s discouraging and challenging. i pray for the determination & the strength & the wisdom to become the best mom i can. like the wisdom my brain has soaked up from reading “how to really love your child’. dr. campbell wrote a whole chapter explaining ‘how to show love through eye contact’. with statements that seem so simple, i wonder why i need reminding. just take a look at a few excerpts:

The more a parent makes eye contact with his/her child as a means of expressing love, the more a child is nourished with love and the fuller is his emotional tank.

It is easy for parents to develop the terrible habit of using eye contact primarily when they want to make a strong point to a child, especially a negative one. We find that a child is most attentive when we look at him straight in the eye. We may do this mainly to give instructions or for reprimanding or criticizing. This is a disastrous mistake.

Remember that eye contact is one of the main sources of a child’s emotional nurturing. When a parent uses this powerful means of control at his disposal in a primarily negative way, a child cannot but see his parent in a primarily negative way. And though this may seem to have good results when a child is young, this child is obedient & docile because of fear. As he grows older, the fear gives way to anger, resentment, and depression.

An even worse habit parents may fall into is actually using the avoidance of eye contact as a punishment device. Consciously refusing to make eye contact with a child is usually more painful than corporal punishment. It can be devastating.

What we must understand at this point is that parents must use eye contact as a continuous love-giving route, and not merely as a means of discipline.

the Lord has gently shown me this week that I may not be the ‘most’ beautiful woman or the ‘bestest’ mom on the whole earth, but in me ~ is God’s image. in me ~ is the power to do all things. in me ~ resides beauty & strength (insert my girl, christina‘s song, ‘beautiful’ here).

seriously…i want God to help me use my eyes to communicate love, not disappointment! even yesterday, i started a new phrase to be a better example ~ i get up in my son’s face when i want to say something in love & i start with, ‘eye to eye’.

Lord, look at me in the eye & work out the kinks (psalm 139:23). forgive me. i need grace; new opportunities. show me how to show them that my love, too, is unconditional.

sweet surprises from daddy

my husband is a wonderful father…really. i could go on for days, but it’s like 1am, so i’ll just give one recent example. he loves to give surprises:

below is a recording that my handsome, & charming hubby made w/’adobe sound booth’ for my son – well, he took an old recording of me & tweeked it. braylon was sooo excited when rick blurted out how alvin the chipmunk called for him while we were out & got him to record a song over the phone…but not just any song, the lullaby i wrote for him when he was a baby – with bray’s name in it & all.

braylon was seriously ear-to-ear the entire song thru. ricky even printed out a picture of alvin from the internet for the kids to look at while they listened. toward the end, braylon couldn’t contain himself any longer & asked us with a nod, “do u dare me to dance?” & started break-dancing to this lullab, while angel was nearby twirling in circles. i love my family!

my chipmunk lullaby