Modesty Schmodesty

Let me just start off by spouting some current myths:  guys will only go after what is easy to catch, guys are only attracted to what they can see, a girl’s greatest asset is her body, skimpier equals sexier.  Wow, where do I begin?!?  Can we please start giving guys a little more credit?  Men will rise to whatever standard we hold them to… Are you wanting a Guy or a Gentleman?  Don’t sell yourself as easy, make yourself worth the effort it will cost him to win you over. Ladies, men have extraordinary imaginations. Just think about the toys little boys prefer… They are mostly imagination driven. They actually like a little mystery when it comes to a lady… Why take all of their fun by dressing with all of your business hanging out for the world to see?  We have so much more to offer than just a body or a pretty face. Make the world take you seriously and notice all that you are and have to offer. Stop selling yourself short. Skimpy is not always sexy. For instance, a 12 year old girl wearing Bootie shorts and a half shirt in public is not sexy, it’s criminal. As the mother of two daughters I fear for their sense of self and decorum. Growing up in this world of skewed propriety, I want them to understand modesty and why it is important, not old fashioned. As the mother of a teenaged son, I fear for his soul and his heart as he has to guard himself against daily temptations thrust upon him by the girls who don’t think twice about putting themselves in his path inappropriately. Young girls only like the attention but lack the knowledge of the bigger picture concerning what their actions do to men all around them… Not just teenage boys but married men also who are lured into impure thoughts by their outfits and cries for male attention. Moms need to think about these things. Some of these same women complain about the young secretaries at their husband’s offices strutting around in tight, short skirts and open blouses. Funny how their teenage daughters are leaving the house in far worse things to go to school or to the mall. What about the men they are tempting?  We need to all pause and think about the images we are putting out there… Are we hurting anyone by dressing this way?  Could this outfit cause anyone to stumble?  If there is any possibility of a yes, just change and wear something else. Protect your image and don’t ever let your clothing be the center of any man’s lust (unless that man is your husband). Even if he is your husband, save the racier outfits for his eyes only. Can we make modest the new trend?  I hope we can try. 

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Our first build was almost a demo, now what?

So I’m not sure exactly what it is that attracts my husband and I to the game. I can however tell you when it all began… It started with a simple shed. We desperately needed a storage shed shortly after we moved into our first home together. Having a shared love for cars did not help with our space issues. We were overflowing the two car garage and determined a storage shed out back would at least provide a place to keep yard equipment and some garage overflow. Now remember I said it started with a simple shed… It did not move forward as such. There we are at the home improvement store deciding which shed kit to purchase… Both of us are bred from a handy, DIY gene pool. As the options were so attractively displayed, the designs seemed so easy (first mistake) and our ambitions and confidence grew exponentially. We purchased a fairly impressive shed kit for two twenty-somethings that had never built a shed from the ground up. Let me next mention that we were living in Minnesota at the time where my husband was born and raised. I am 100%  Texas girl… So I determined that no shed in my backyard would have anything other than a concrete slab as a foundation. I didn’t want any critters in my shed. Here is where our relationship almost ended. My husband is a money guy… Finance major and money is his language and he wanted to hold onto his. Honestly, every decision he makes probably has a quick cost analysis factored in somewhere along the line. He does love me though so he conceded to the concrete slab… Sort of. After clearing (by hand) the most densely covered area of our lot that was full of stinging nettle, mice nests, huge rocks, and firewood, we had to level the area (also by hand). I would personally count these as mistakes two through about five as we had no idea what stinging nettle was until that day.  If you have never had the pleasure, this is a thistle like milkweed that literally makes you think your flesh is being burned off with searing acid and leaves blisters as a nice keepsake. Oh and adding water actually makes it worse. So now we have the perfect spot picked out, cleared and leveled. Guess what?  My husband decides that we will save money by mixing the concrete ourselves (by hand) in a paint bucket and wheelbarrow with a long screwdriver and a drill. Um, concrete is not cake batter folks… My knuckles had no more flesh on them. (Mistake). Oh and he’ll pour the concrete into the forms that we built while I spread it on my hands and knees. Make sure it’s level before it sets up!  (HUGE MISTAKE) so now my knees are swollen, bruised, and also lacking flesh. Please realize that as this is all happening, we are still trying to be kind to one another and not let this shed get the better of us. Every step is taking us closer and closer to a disaster that we can see coming but aren’t sure we can avoid. As the actual construction of the shed begins, there are instructions to follow for the kit. As with most couples, this too gets sticky. So there we are “politely” arguing through gritted teeth when his parents arrive to “help”. Now it gets really fun. Now there are 4 people “politely” arguing about instructions and pieces and everything in-between. Mistakes were made up until the last step when we messed up the shingles… But finally, we were able to step back and look at the most awesome shed that we had built together. By no means was it easy. I’m sure we did many things the hard way. The best part of that shed has been all of the times since then that we have laughed about how building that silly shed tested our relationship and proved that we could do anything together. We have countless examples of calling on that shed to prove a point…”We can do this, we built that shed together and we’re stronger now than we were back then”. I hope smarter too. Since then we have charged headfirst into so many interesting and challenging projects. We remodeled that home in St. Paul and bought a foreclosure in a suburb. The changes we were able to accomplish in that house were amazing. Most recently, we have spent the past 8 months renovating our home here in Texas after everyone said it was too awkward to be anything great. We saw something in the crazy house that sat empty for so long and the change is unbelievable. 

I guess we just enjoy hunting for deals and challenges… Now I think we enjoy finding that diamond in the rough, the one that everyone says is a long shot. You know the kind of house that everyone says needs lots of love or imagination in order to make it great. The one all others pass by because it just seems like too much work. Mope, not us! So now we’ve found our next adventure… Lake House here we come!

Whistle While You Whine

In an attempt to rid our home of kids with overwhelming entitlement disease, I have recently turned to the advice of parenting books, scriptures, white hairs… You name it! My husband and I realize that we have ruined our kids somewhere along the road. Most likely between the Xbox and the iPhone5 but right before the car. In a quest to raise them to be proper, upstanding, intelligent, Godly individuals, we missed the turn that would’ve instilled the deep seeded work ethic. Don’t get me wrong – you put my son on a football field or in a classroom and you will see work ethic defined. You ask him to unload the dishwasher later that same evening and you will know the definition of disdain and repulsion. Our kids genuinely don’t believe they should be required to contribute to the workings of our household one iota.
When we were kids we had Saturday morning chores, everyone did. Cartoons didn’t even come on until later in the morning because no one was there to watch them… We were all busy working BEFORE we could earn TV privileges. Not to mention, you had better do your jobs right the first time or else!
How did we end up here? Asking our children if they would pretty please do us a favor and maybe when they have time take the trash out?? And if they refuse or forget? We just do it ourselves and move on with no consequences. So where do we go from here? Life would be much easier if we just continued on the same path we’ve been traveling. The trouble with that is the price society would have to pay when my kids are unleashed on the world. In a few years they will be out on their own completely unprepared to deal with the realities of a world that doesn’t respect their entitlement “issues”. I don’t want my kids to only look out for themselves or worse, expect others to always be looking out for them. So I am taking up the fight even when I’m tired… I will let them think I’m the bad guy. My daughter actually told me a while back that when she’s a mom she’s going to be a good mom because she’ll pick up for her kids and do all the work. We’ll see about that!! She’s seven years old, I still have a chance to show her where we went wrong (I pray). I want to be a better mom than I have been because I want to prepare them for their futures in a world that doesn’t really care about their needs. Can I teach my kids that hard work and dedication pays off? I’m going to do my best…