Thursday, December 25, 2008

One More Treat

We think he's the smartest baby in the world. And no, it's not up for debate. ;-)


video

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Wishes

My gift to you is to finally update the header photo to include all of my kiddos. I know this was bugging some of you. ;-) Thank you so much for tracking with us through another year. We can't wait to see what 2009 will hold.




A Very Merry Christmas to all of you!


from the Sexton Crew

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lessons from the Little Ones

Yesterday, I handed Bella her sippy cup. She made her way through the kitchen and stopped abruptly at the oven door. With a keen eye she sized up the small girl staring back at her. Then gripping her cup with both arms and turning her body slightly she said, "Mine. Mine! MINE!!" Apparently satisfied that the other curly haired girl was no real threat, she moseyed away. I shook my head and thought "What a silly girl standing there screaming selfishly at her own image." And then the Holy Spirit whispered into my conscience "oh yeah, she's the silly one." The Holy Spirit is very sarcastic when he speaks to me.

So, I was forced to evaluate myself. How many times have I, having been made in God's image (some days it's a more accurate reflection than others) clamped my hands (or heart) around some object or desire then stared up at Him saying, "Mine. Mine! MINE!!!"? Too often. Much too often. And even here in the season of giving, how many of us will cling to the things we somehow think we are entitled to: our family traditions, finding the perfect gift, the money that we could give to Lottie Moon OR we could buy another Santa sweater for Aunt Gertrude. Never mind that she has one for every year since 1982.

If God is the giver of every good and perfect gift, and He is; and if it all belongs to Him to begin with, and it does; and if we are supposed to be the reflection of His image, and we are...then maybe this Christmas we can relax our grip, open our hands (and hearts) and say, "Yours. Yours. Yours!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Filler

I decided that since I am having trouble with new literary creations I would offer you something old for me but maybe new to you. This is my own version of "The Night Before Christmas." It's been done a million different ways and I couldn't resist giving it the Sexton twist. Hope you enjoy it! (may not be suitable for children)

Twas the night before Christmas and the kids were all down,
A small dose of Benedryl would help them sleep sound.
And I in my “draws” and Ma in sexy lingerie
Were about to get busy by the old Christmas tree.

When out on the porch there arose such a racket,
I sprang to my feet and I threw on my jacket.
Away to the door I ran like no other
And opened to find standing there…my mother?!

“Merry Christmas” she said with a voice full of cheer.
My wife grabbed her robe quickly covering her rear.
Then marching in like a nightmarish parade,
Next my dad and my sister with a fruitcake –home made.

There were aunts and uncles and cousins galore.
They just kept on streaming right into the door.
My wife and I stood there in helpless dismay.
We were sure they weren’t coming until Christmas Day.

Soon the house was a-buzz, nearly bursting it’s seems
And our children were roused from their drug-induced dreams.
My wife gave a sigh and a sympathetic pat;
But I thought to myself, “I ain’t goin’ out like that!”

I knew what must be done to get over this slump.
There were pallets to make and air mattresses to pump.
I took off like a flash, whizzing by their heads
And before they knew it, all were snug in their beds;

Which stretched wall to wall, covering the floor.
And then right on cue, Grandpa started to snore.
I jumped into my shoes; took my wife by the hand;
Grabbed the keys to the car and out the front door we ran.

And I yelled through the window as we drove out of sight
"Merry Christmas to all, and a hotel room for the night!"
Disclaimer: Any resemblance to our actual family members is purely coincidental. To my knowledge, my sister-in-law does not make homemade fruit cakes. No offense intended toward anyone. Just meant for fun.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mind Mush

I feel like I spend as much time apologizing to all of you for my failure to blog as I spend actually blogging. It's becoming a habit. Slackerness, that is. But please understand, it isn't because I don't want to blog. I'm just dealing with inner turmoil over what to blog. I have all of these really heavy issues that seem to be plaguing me lately (well, more so than usual) -poverty, racial reconciliation, justice, etc. I start to write about any one of them and they become so big and so multi-faceted that I get overwhelmed and give up. I consider writing something light hearted and funny but the deep and overwhelming stuff keeps popping up in my brain. And for some inexplicable reason, the kids haven't even done anything goofy enough to write about. shrug. I got nothing!

So, here it is. A pathetic post to offer pathetic excuses for the lack of posts and to warn you that this pathetic streak may be far from over. You could say a prayer that I'll be able to collect my swarming thoughts and maybe even organize them into something of value.

Thanks!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

After spending a whopping 15 minutes on the elliptical this morning I sat down on the couch beside Nathan. He hugged me and said, "Mom, it's been a loooonnnnggg time since I felt you and you were sweaty. Like a year or something."

Me: (glaring at him) I suppose it's been a while since I've exercised enough to be sweaty. (which inadvertently explains why I capped off at the impressive 15 minute mark.)

Nathan: Yeah. That's what I was trying to say.



Another quick one -

I asked Bella who has suddenly taken a notion to wearing underwear on the outside of her clothes ??? (I'll try to get a picture of that soon) to take off her shoes and put them away in her room. She took them off and laid them on the chair beside me.

Me: I don't want your shoes, Bella. Go put them in your room.

Bella: No. I'm fine.

Right. If only it were that easy. "Amie, the baby needs his diaper changed." No. I'm fine. Maybe you can try it with your boss and let me know how it works out for you.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Are you kidding me?

Friday was a day of "are you kidding me?" moments. Allow me to demonstrate exactly why.

I went to WalMart to do my grocery shopping. That's an experience in and of itself week after week but usually it's neither here nor there. I caught up with a friend from our old neighborhood in the shampoo aisle and then met a woman with a daughter adopted from China and talked at length about our common struggles with older child adoptions in the baking goods aisle. Both were the kind of encouraging conversations that help remind you you're not alone in this world. Then, I went to check out. And here we begin the real story.

I consider myself to be congenial. Purposefully friendly. Normally, this trait is reciprocated. But. Not. Always. I separated my purchases with a small space so that the items which were Christmas related would end up in one bag together and could be easily hidden from the children. As the cashier began scanning my products, I stepped forward to explain why I had formed the gap. I didn't want her to think that I was paying for the items apart from the rest of the groceries. I couldn't get the sentence completed when she interrupted with...

"yeah, fine. I got it. They're all in there."

"Okay, thanks. That just makes it easier for me to keep the kids from..."

"Uh-huh. They're in one bag. Right there. It's fine."

"Uh, ooookaaaay." Are you kidding me?

She seemed completely put off by my very existence. I struggled inwardly with nasty thoughts and feelings toward her. Then decided not to let her get the better of me and to give her the benefit of the doubt instead. I began loading the full bags back into my cart but paused first.

"So, how are you doing today?" (Yes, I think technically this should have been her line but whatever.)

With no eye contact nor inflection, she responded. "Just fine. How are you?"

Are you kidding me? "I'm great. Thanks."

We each continued our duties in silence. She, feverishly scanning and I unloading and reloading my items. As the last bags were being placed in the cart and I awaited my receipt, the gentlemen behind me points to a soda bottle at the front of his stack and says to her, "Ring this up first, will ya?" Well, I found myself subconsciously taking a step back and thinking whoa, he's a dead man.

Smiling she says, "No problem. I know sometimes you just got have that drink before you even get out of the store." Hahaha they both chuckled.

Are you kidding me? Astonished, I took my receipt and headed to the van. It was while packing in the bags I noticed that she had put my grapes and four bananas in the bottom of a bag and then topped them with two heads of broccoli and a cauliflower. Are you kidding me?!

I know everyone has a bad day now and then so, I'm willing to forgive and...well...vent about it to you guys before actually forgetting.


Oh, and just when I thought my day of "heh?" was coming to a close. I walk into the living room to find that Bella has pooped in her diaper and proceeded to paint the end table and the front of her shirt with her own excrement. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Saturday was much better...hopefully more on that soon.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Two Thumbs Up!

This past Friday, thanks to my parents offering free childcare during their Thanksgiving visit (thank you!), Tim and I went out with a couple of friends from church. This particular family has seven children and us with our five -well, you can imagine how much uninterrupted conversation we have with kids in tow.

We met at the mall to take care of some Christmas shopping before heading out for coffee. While in the mall, Tim and Lans waited patiently for Kelly and I to peruse a women's clothing store. As we exited the store, we found our husbands at one of the many shopping kiosks which line the mall area. Tim motioned me over. Rule #1 -When your spouse is engaged in conversation with a sales person, avoid eye contact at all costs. I didn't know this rule until after the fact. I meandered on over and joined them. He wanted me to explain to the young lady why he would not purchase her product for me. Rule # 2 -When your spouse is engaged in conversation with a sales person, do not ask questions; simply appear aloof and walk away. Again, I didn't know the rule. "What exactly is it?" I asked.

(I should point out at this time that my friend Kelly apparently knew the rules. In fact, I think she wrote them and yet she offered no assistance whatsoever. She was long gone. No love. Thanks, Kel.)

Having broken rule 1 & 2, the young woman grabbed my hand and held my thumb up in the air and proceeded to tell me how the ridges in my fingernails are bad. Apparently they indicate some horrible condition. I'm not good with medical terms but I believe the common name for it is "fiftydollarsdownthedrain-itis." Next, she buffs my thumbnail with this special little stone and says, "Are you prepared to be amazed?" Is she kidding? I'm at the mall on a Friday night with no children. Does she really think anything could be more amazing than that?

She now reveals my freshly buffed and I must admit unnaturally shiny thumbnail. "Amazing!" she declares. I was still trying to figure out why my fingernail ridges were so offensive. Working to close the deal, she asked me what I do for a living. Stay at home mom, yada, yada. Ah, she thought she'd found her hook.

Sales person: So, you never get to pamper yourself. What do you do to pamper yourself?

Me: Um, I occasionally shave my legs.

One would think that such an admission on my part would be more than enough to convince this girl that there was no way in heck I was going to drop 50 bucks to sit at home and buff my nails. She was undeterred and before long Tim and his partner in coercion, Lans, were dropping comments behind my back. "We really need to get going Amie." Rule #3 -If your spouse (and his friend) are engaged in conversation with a salesperson and you mistakenly break rules 1 & 2, and they begin speaking to you as though you are in fact to blame for the hold up...punch them both in the eye and walk away. No, I didn't know this rule at the time either.

So, all in all, I have to give my husband two thumbs down for abusing my submissive nature to sucker me into a sales pitch. ;-) I give my friend Kelly one thumb up for being smart enough to avoid the whole thing and one thumb down for abandonment. And I give the sales woman two thumbs up for persistence. One with a very shiny, smooth, buffed thumbnail and one dull, dingy thumbnail full of ridges which I suddenly cannot help but notice. Cursed ridges!