Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Mama


I want everyone to know exactly how I feel about my mama and how much I love her, respect her, and hope to one day be like her! I have often said, especially in recent years that I am my father's child, and honestly there really is no denying it but my mama is truly the one who has taught me most of the things that have shaped me into who I am which is my father's child!

My mama has taught me...

...how to be a housekeeper. She was the one who showed me how to clean house when I was very young and cleaning the bathroom was my weekly duty since I was around 7! I remember on Saturdays we would dust, vaccum, do laundry, and more often than not, most every Saturday (cleaning day) I was in my bedroom "cleaning" and my "cleaning" was not what a normal child would do...it was getting rid of things and organizing (my "junk" drawer in my night stand always frustrated me and it was organized pretty much every week.) I learned this from her. She was the one who instilled in me the need for cleanliness and order. I never remember our living room being cluttered (except from toys but you better believe they were out of there before Daddy got home and I understand that now!) Yes, her kitchen table and dining room table piled up mail during the week (and mine does too but there are some things that just don't have a place) but every Saturday the tables were completely cleaned off and beautiful (just like mine is today!)

...how to cook. I can't remember when I wasn't in the kitchen helping mama with her cooking. I am sure it took patience letting a child cook but she knew I needed to learn and I started young! We have pictures of me helping bake cookies when I was 2 or 3 and that was something I just absolutely loved...even now I love baking cookies and it is even more special when I get to share my baking with John David so I know I will love teaching my little ones how to bake cookies! I didn't learn how to just bake cookies, around the age of 10 I began cooking for the family at least once a week and as we got older Rebekah and I often cooked a couple times a week! If it wasn't for that my poor husband would be poorly fed and we would probably be eating out a lot more! But she equipped me how to function in the kitchen, I can make biscuits, homemade pizza, a pie crust from scratch, fried chicken and pork chops, homemade scalloped potatoes (mama's always beat Betty Crocker!), homemade bread, and just about anything but if I hadn't been taught how to cook I would be struggling to do many of these simple tasks!

...how to live on a little. Now I don't think my mom and dad would be embarrassed by this and there is no denying it, they were very poor when they were married. But they didn't let that stop them from achieving their financial goals! They lived within their income and have always done that. By the time I was born they were no longer poor but they were saving to built a house at that point in their lives. I have seen them work their way from pretty much nothing when they were married to being homeowners and debt free! This is an awesome thing to teach a child! I remember when John David and I were thinking about getting married, we didn't have any money. Mom and Dad wanted to make sure we had enough to cover our bills before we were married but they knew if we were smart we could make it just fine and we have! I don't think we have ever gone without anything we need, not once. I know I have looked to my parents as an example of what smart spending can do even on a limited income.

...how to bargain shop! Now this really goes along with "how to live on a little" but my mama has taught me how to be a bargain shopper! The rule...never pay retail price on clothing or linens and Kroger brand food is just as good as "name brand"...just to name a few! Now I know my mama has been called cheap and I have too, which is not true! We don't sacrifice quality to get something that is "cheaper". We are frugal, we live within our incomes and don't believe in being wasteful with our spending! And when you are frugal with the small things (clothes, shoes, foods) then you can make larger purchases (which makes my husband happy...thanks mom!)

...the importance of simplicity. My mom has never been an extravagant woman and for that I am thankful! Growing up, we had a relatively simple life! Mama sewed a lot of our dresses when we were little, she has always canned fresh summer produce, and never agreed with the American way of life "busy, busy, busy." I think that is awesome, my childhood was not a whirlwind of being taken to ballet, dance, softball, piano, soccer. Now none of these things are bad, but I remember as a child how much I enjoyed my free time. It was amazing to be able to come home after school and play dolls with my sister or ride my bike around the farm, these are memories I will never forget! I had a stress free childhood, I think too often adults are causing their young children's lives to be stressful and I am thankful my mama let me live a simple life! I remember (and miss) picking tomatoes, beans, strawberries,blackberries (just to name a few) when I was a child and watching mama can the tomatoes and beans, and make yummy strawberry and blackberry jam! I can't wait to have my own place where I can do this and I am thankful that I was exposed to this way of life! She also sewed and I cannot say she taught me to read a pattern (I did that myself...with John David's help) but she did teach me how to use a sewing machine and make stitches and sew things together. I remember when I was 10 I made a small "quilt" for my American Girl doll Kirsten (it was scraps sewn together to make a quilt top) but if she didn't trust me to use her machine then I sure wouldn't know what I know now!

...that it is okay to marry young. Mama was 18 when she married and I was 19. She was supportive of me through this because she knew it is possible to love and to find "the one" so young! I think in our society marrying young is often looked down upon and I am glad I have my mom as an example that it can work out! They have been married almost 25 years and I love to see them now that they are empty nesters...they are always doing something together and have not lost their love they had when they were young!

...that being a wife and mom is a wonderful career! My mom never went to college and she values that I get my education ( I am almost done thank the Lord) but she knows that being a wife and mom is the greatest job a woman can have. She stayed at home with Rebekah and I until Rebekah went to school and I am so thankful for that time. Because of her I have seen the importance of staying home with your children and for me it is not an option not to. Thankfully because I valued staying at home at such a young age, John David and I have been able to look towards the future knowing that we will live frugally on one income for many years because we both value me staying home. I thank my mama for making this so clear to me.


...and many more things, I honestly don't think that I could write everything that I have learned from her. I would be sitting at my desk for hours and this would take forever to read.

As different as Rebekah and I are, I know she would agree with every one of these statements. Rebekah also values and appreciates each of these things which is proof of how awesome our mom is! I just hope when I am a mom, I will be able to teach my daughters all of the things that my mom has taught me!

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