Friday, September 28, 2007

MOPS Review - Part 2

Okay, this one should be more practical...

John Ortberg: Spoke about Ps 90:12, "Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom." We all suffer from hurry sickness and need to "ruthlessly eliminate hurry from our lives." There is a difference between busy and hurry. Busy is a physical, but hurry is spiritual. It's when you are not able to be fully present. Focus on the important. Be rich in being, like joy, love, and friendship rather than rich in having.

Liz Selzer: Liz is the Director of Leadership Development for MOPS. She has some major degree in counseling and education. Her workshop was on coaching. the focus was on helping other get where they desire to be. Not counseling, but help others set goals. This should be different from giving advice - you're helping them find their own answers, drawing out what God gave them. Eph. 2:10, "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." The talk was based on Priscilla and Aquila in Act 18. So, to be a good coach you need to:
1. Assess Attributes. Where are they? How have their experiences shaped them? Actively engage them. Listen. She challenged us to listen for 15 minutes with only saying things like, "tell me more", or "how did that change things" - standard counselor question. It has been amazing to see how much I have learned about people - deep things, just from listening for that long. People learn that you value and accept them and they begin to trust you more with the things that they guard tightly. Find out what the person knows and loves - their values and passions. What would they do if there were no limitations (responsibilities, money, time). Then highlight the positives, their resources and strengths. Enhance their strengths don't try and fix their weaknesses. This was a difficult one for me to absorb. I feel like I am constantly trying to fix my weaknesses.
2. Create a Compulsion. That sounds bad, but the person needs motivation. Motivation is 40% of why people change. Create that motivation by a.) stimulating God's passion & vision - this includes a lot of prayer; b.) help hone the direction of that passion; c.) model enthusiasm - this is critical - the person needs to know that you think they can do it!; d.) hold them accountable.
3. Strategize Steps. a.) clarify the overall target & expectations; b.) help develop a structure and support THEIR solutions; c.) discuss a time frame and decide on clear criteria for evaluating the success; d.) fuel energy into the process; e.)help them create goals & take the first step. Part of this included how to make SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, & Timebound.
4. Obliterate Obstacles. External barriers (distracting events, changing schedules, criticism from others, difficult people, energy drainers, clutter) and Internal barriers (boredom, insecurity, lack of commitment)
5. Evaluate Excellence. How are we doing? What needs to stop? What needs to continue? What needs to change? Set regular times to evaluate.
Remember you are not a counselor! Direct them to a counselor when necessary.

I really enjoyed this session. I was thinking about the coaching aspect for my kids - the SMART goals and helping them to come up with their goals instead of just Mommy and Daddy determining what they should do. And I took the challenge of listening and that was a lot of fun! Now I just have to try really listening to my kids!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

MOPS Review - Part 1

I've been home for four days now and I keep putting off giving you a recap of my trip. Why? Well, it was so exciting, it's hard to put into words. Everything I try doesn't sound as exciting as it really was. And, I came home to a house and kids that I had been away from for five days. That's a lot of laundry, papers from school, and dishes to attend to. My children are all alive and healthy and my husband is still sane. Those are the important things!

So today is the first day that I feel like I am finally on top of the Iverson household. It feels amazing to get away and have some peace and quiet, but it is a lot of work when you get home!

My flight left last Wednesday @ 6am - or it was suppose to. I got to the airport @ 5am only to discover that the flight was delayed until 8am!!! I could have slept some more, but I walked around the Billings International Airport to kill some time. That took about 30 seconds, so the rest of the time I sat in the restaurant and organized my calendar, purse, and carry-on bag. When I went through security, I was pulled aside for a complete check, including a pat down. Because if I was a terrorist, a little plane from here to Sheridan would be my target! Thankfully, I had lots of time.

I have said "never" before, but thought that was a lesson, God had taught me. "I will never drive a 15-passenger van." "I will never live in Montana." I do recall saying would never fly in a little airplane again, but that was almost 11 years ago. Well, there was my little turbo prop to Sheridan, WY and then on to Denver. Now we discover that our flight was delayed because they had to wait on crew members to be available to fly with us for extra weight. There were three of us on the flight plus the pilot and co-pilot and the two extra crew for weight. And it was windy!! Well, I can say I survived and I'd rather not do that again!!!!

Skip ahead and say that the rest of the flight was uneventful (thankfully). I met up with my most wonderful friend, Shannon. She had meetings all day on Thursday, so I enjoyed the spa and the pool (I know, hard life!).

Okay, now the actual conference!!! Matt Redman was our worship leader! Can you believe it? It was amazing!!! God has given him an amazing gift of taking music and leading people into a worshipful spirit. I think I was in tears almost every time we had worship. It was incredible to think of everything God has done for us and how little we usually appreciate it. there were several time that I was also overcome with thoughts of my sister, Joy. Her joy is now complete! Her life is full and she is dancing with Jesus.

Then the Go Fish Guys sang for us. They have anew CD Snazzy coming out on Oct. 9th! If you have kids this is a must! Their mission is to make great kids' music that won't drive parents bonkers! And they do an amazing job at it! They have a special "mom" song on this new one and I love it! Mike & I have been listening to the CD almost constantly for the last four days! Okay, the kids too! We were able to buy the CD before it was released, but go and get it on the 9th to help their sales!!! I know I'll be there to get a few more!

And then the night ended with Salvador! What a kick-off! A bunch of screaming moms, most of whom were thankful for a break. You could tell the ones that missed their kids. They were the ones who couldn't turn their cell phones off. Okay, now my soap box, and I know I'll end up being humbled at some point, but I was really perturbed at the amount of cell phones ringing during each session. As far as I know all cell phones have a vibrate feature. Please learn how to use it!

Okay, my quiet time is gone and I'm trying to keep kids at bay, so I'll tell you about John Ortberg, Sara Groves, Liz Selzer, Veggie Tales Pirates, Laurie Smith (of Trading Spaces), Steven James, Julie Barnhill, and the Mouse. Whew, I may need part three to get all that in!

The gators that were inside the hotel. (Or my children waiting for a snack!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Yesterday, my baby girl turned 11! Somehow that seems so old to me. In some ways she's still a little girl, but in more ways she is growing into a lady. She is so beautiful and thoughtful. I love her so much more now than the day she was born!

Hopefully I'll still say that in four years!

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Love-Hate Relationship with Gap

I am forever grateful to my dear friend Chris. Several years ago she took me by the hand and lead me into the Gap. I was afraid. Only trendy people shopped there. I was a mom of many children. They played music I didn't know and the people dressed so cute in their size two pants! I just did not belong. Like the Sesame Street song, "One of these things is not like the other..." But Chris helped me buy a pair of jeans and a purple t-shirt that quickly became favorites. I'd always loved the kids department and especially their sale rack, but now I could shop there too! But then styles changed. They didn't carry my favorite jeans anymore. And I became the scared little girl that couldn't ask for help again. Then I got mad. How dare they change their styles! I want my favorite jeans again! Jump forward a year or two and I got brave again and found this pair of jeans!

This is their Long & Lean. I loved how "long & lean" they made my legs look. And for this 5'3.75" girl, that was exciting. Oh how I loved Gap again. Today I went to buy another pair for my upcoming trip. The first pair I bought I ripped a hole in the knee while we were at the ranch back in August. What should I discover? They changed, again. Why oh why? Must we endure more torture. Must we search for the perfect jean again? Oh they still carry the Long & Lean, but in a light wash (who really looks good in a light wash jean?) or in their vintage wash. That's another name for looks really dirty! I don't like dirt and messes, so why should I wear something that looks dirty!!! What brilliant person thought, "I know, let's add dye and rip up these jeans so they look like they should be thrown out. Then everybody will want them!" I understand the lived in look. Not everybody likes the cowboy, brand-new, crisp, dark denim look. But boy do those cowboys look handsome! But must they be destroyed? And dirty? Why dirty? What must their mother think. She is hiding her face in shame!

But Gap redeemed itself with a new style...

This one is called "essentials". I love the way they fit; I love the way they feel; & I love the way they look! They are dark and CLEAN. They don't come up to my belly button, but they aren't too low either. There is really nothing "fancy" to them. They are just a good fit with a classy line. They should do great with a heal or a flat. They do not fall into the cheap category, but a great pair of jeans is worth it! (At least they're not $200, Pam!) I also found a pair at TJMaxx that are very similar by DKNY. They don't fit the same, but they are a good second pair, and they were only $29.99. Worth the compromise.

I know how hard a good pair of jeans can be to find. So after trying on 30 pairs of jeans today, I'm glad Gap is still my friend!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Where Have I Been?

Mike & I managed to sneak away for a few days and leave these precious kiddos at home with Miss Carrie, Grandma Iverson, Miss Terri and Jessica!
And while the good mom would have missed her kids, I did not! We spent three days in Columbia Falls, MT ALL BY OURSELVES! We went to bed when we wanted to, got up when we wanted to, ate when we wanted to, and did hear a whine, Dora song, or any begging the whole time!We stayed at a golf course, thanks to a timeshare company that wanted our businees. We listened to 90 minutes of what a great vacation program they had for us if we would just sign our money over to them and pay yearly maintanence fees and transfer fees, and we could have luxerious vacations whenever we wanted.
Above is the Inn that we stayed at and below is the view from our balcony.

My very own Tiger!

Even if you weren't a golfer - the view is gorgeous!
The mountains too! :)

Since we've been back life has been a whirlwind. Now I'm preparing to head to Orlando for the MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) Convention. I get to meet up with my awesome friend Shannon and spend four days together. I don't expect a whole lot of sympathy, but I do feel a bit over-whelmed with everything I need to do before I leave.
This is where I'll be staying!!!!
I know you are just full of sympathy for me! I'd take you with me if I could! But since I can't I'll enjoy the peace and quiet and warm sunny weather for you!
Fun umbrella drinks by the pool.........

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Picture Day!

"Look what I learned to do Mommy! Aren't I cute!"
Morgan discovered that she can climb up and sit on the dining room chairs. From there it's only a step away from reaching the world!

I thought I'd give you a glimpse of Fantasy Football draft. Notice how stressed I look! Today is the day we find out how I did. (Carrie and her Dad who helped her are next to me. They look like they are having fun!)

This is what happens when you leave your camera on the dining room table for your children to touch. Well, I didn't leave it for them to touch, but if it is not hidden they will find it and they will touch!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

You Can Have It Both Ways

I've noticed in several blogs, people cheering the coming of Fall. Others lament the passing of Summer. My household is divided. Fall means cute new jeans, boots, leaves to rake, tearing down the pool, crisp walks in the evening, football, bushes to trim, sweaters to pull out, etc. I have an almost 11 year old daughter, hence to emphasis on fashion!

I personally love Summer - the heat, the sun, the fact that you can spend hours sitting by the pool (in those wonderful dreams I have). Fall means putting shoes on kids instead of flops and searching for a jacket. It's just more work. However, Fall means campfires, and cute sweaters and jeans, and not having to cool the van down before loading kids. It also means a change in the menu to soups and yummy smells simmering on the stove all afternoon. And kids returning to school. So I want it to still be Summer, but I want Fall to come. Well, I got my wish. While it is still officially Summer (according to the calendar), and it was 102 last Tuesday. This morning it is 48 degrees (yes ,you read that right) with a high of 63 today and tomorrow's high is only supposed to be 58! I guess you can have it both ways...sort of.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Let the Football Begin!

Football, Floss, & Faith

Fantasy Football has begun! Our live draft for the church league was on Monday and I think the knots are beginning to work their way out of my shoulders. It was fun, but now I have a sliver of understanding at to why the real thing is so intense! I think I'm happy with my team, but I'll let you know in a couple of weeks after they have played a bit. Tonight is game one: Colts vs. Saints and we actually get to watch the game. We don't get a lot of Colts games out here - just mostly the "donkeys"!

I know a lot of you think I'm a little crazy, but really I have always liked football. I remember the Jim McMahon days of the Bears and Mike Singletary. I lived in Tamp Bay when the Super Bowl was played there and remember watching the fireworks from my back yard. When I was younger, I would sit with a spiral notebook writing down each players name and number and position. See, even when I was 10 I was longing for fantasy football! Only now I care more about their career stats than how cute they are...really!

But fantasy football is not the only thing consuming my life right now, flossing my teeth is as well. Not what you expected me to say, huh? I hate when you go to the dentist and they ask if you have been flossing. Who really ever answers "yes, everyday!" That's really reserved for the chronic OCD me. I have recently observed that even after I brush my teeth, there is still a bunch of food between my teeth! Okay, I know that's gross, but I deal with gross everyday. I'm becoming immune. I'm thinking I should try a new toothbrush, but really the multi-pack at Costco just makes sense. Especially since I change my toothbrush every other month.

Before you are amazed at my incredible dental hygiene, let me tell you I replace my toothbrush because I brush so hard and chew on my toothbrush while I do my make-up, brush a child's hair, pick up dirty towels, that the brush is destroyed in 8 weeks. My husband however, could use the same toothbrush from the dentist until the dentist gives him a new one for free.

But back to the flossing...I am one of those weirdos that actually like going to the dentist. However, I have not been pleased with our current dentist. And for some reason here in the laid back world of Montana, I can not make an appointment for six months later, so I'm suppose to remember to call 30 days before I want the appointment. Now they nicely remind me with a post card - one for each member of the family. That's a lot of postage! So I have not made new appointments and our last cleanings were in December. In some odd way I think if I floss every morning and every evening I can prolong going back. (You'd be amazed what gets between your teeth while you sleep. I don't know how, but it does!)

Meredith has taken it upon herself to daily remind me to make a dentist appointment for her, and Jarrett loves to floss his teeth as well. And with Mikalah in braces, she brushes like five times a day! I know my kids are "covered", but really I need to find a new dentist.


In other news, the building we were about to lease for our church has fallen through. The city has said that there are $250,000 worth of improvements that need to be made before it can be classified as "a place of assembly" (meaning it can hold over 200 people). That's just not something the landlord is willing to consider doing even if we are paying the full bill. And paying the full bill doesn't appear to be an option. So we are looking elsewhere.

My question is at what point do we say, "God wants us to look at something else." or "God has something better for us." instead of saying, "We don't have the funds, but God does." or "The church is God's so it's His job to fund the improvements." How do you know which one is the right attitude? Faith that there will be something better in the right timing or faith that God will orchestrate a miracle. We want to patient, but not complacent; proactive but not reckless.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ya think?

Yesterday Judson came home saying he had taken a reading test on Harry Potter #5.

"I only got 70% and you need 80% to pass. I guess I should have finished reading the book."

Ya think!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Overheard Today

Meredith to Mommy:

"Do I have to be God's servant?
Will I get in trouble if I'm not?"

75th Post...75 Things

This is the next 25 in my goal to reach 100.
You can read the previous 50 here.

  1. Mike and I lived in "Married Student Housing"
  2. They were a quad-plex.
  3. Almost all of the couples were newly married.
  4. The air vents connected the apartments.
  5. You do the math.
  6. We would all get together for dinner and games.
  7. Or just some good Friends, Sienfeld, and ER watchin'
  8. Mike and I had a pet fish.
  9. I think we actually had four fish.
  10. Not at the same time.
  11. We could just never keep one alive.
  12. In Dec. '95 we thought we'd try having children.
  13. In Jan. '96, I was pregnant.
  14. Elaine and I bought pregnancy tests on the way home from Ohio (Christmas vacation trip).
  15. We thought we'd surprise the guys.
  16. I can't keep surprises.
  17. Mike knew right away!
  18. I was working as the Administrative Assistant to the VP of Admissions at LeTourneau while his current AA was home on maternity leave.
  19. My boss bought bottled water for all of us to drink from then on.
  20. I spent the summer of '96 in Longivew Texas pregnant.
  21. I used to start the car in the morning at our apartment, eat breakfast, drive the car across campus to the Admissions office, park in the handicapped parking spot, and go to work.
  22. The drive took less than two minutes, but was worth it!
  23. Mikalah was born in September - two weeks late.
  24. After 16 hours of labor - she was born by c-section.
  25. My mom and all my siblings were there, as were Seth and Elaine, and Greg Scobee!