Thursday, December 30, 2010

The rest of my joys

It is time to finish my joys.  Here I go...

80.  Our tree after Santa Claus had visited...

81.  Baby's first Christmas...

82.  The mess afterword...

83.  A white Christmas...

84.  My sister had to work on Christmas day this year, so for the last two years we've gone to Daniel's family for Christmas.  We dropped off some goodies at one of the local hospitals.  Perhaps we will make it a new tradition.  I have never seen the hospital so empty, which is a good thing for Christmas, but it was interesting to see people who were spending their day there as well.

85.  Princess catching snowflakes on her tongue...

86.  Speed Racer transforming into Optimus Prime and watching the snow...

87.  Re-watching Princess's and Speed Racer's choir performances...

88.  Playing with cousins...

89.  My sister had a miscarriage this week.  A friend shared this at just the right time on facebook.  All the words were gone, but this song adequately expressed how I felt and all that I wanted to say to my sister about her wrestling with God.

90.  We went to the McWane Center.  The kids got to carpet skate, catch fish in the ice, and slide down the ice slide (I did too - it was fun).  Then we went to Grump's Great Grill - a treat for my husband.

91.  A date with my daughter to the grocery store and the Christian book store.  I found a neat little prayer book that I hope to follow this year, as well as a few things that seemed to call out to me.  Princess and I had fun together.

92.  Basil pecan grouper and a family dinner out together.

93.  A spend the night in our bedroom with the kids.

94.  A trip to the library and new library books.  Reading them out loud.

95.  A haircut and a discussion with the stylist.  I was wishing I could have her hair.  She has beautiful long hair, and I do NOT have the texture of hair to pull it off.  Mine is very fine.  I've always wanted long luxurious hair, but alas, I can never have it.  Then she opened up to me reminding me that I am able to have good uneventful pregnancies, and thus three children.  She said she always wanted a 3rd child, but she had horrific pregnancies, having to be on bedrest and being blessed to make it alive through them.  Count it all joy was the message I received.  Who cares if I have fine hair or if date nights are rare?

96.  Sharing old things to us as new things to others.

97.  Leisure time - having my husband at home as resulted in leisure time.  When could I take this much time to write a post in real life?

98.  Making biscuits from scratch.  This morning as I made biscuits I did it like granny did.  I was probably 8 or so the last time I made biscuits with her yet my memory still served me to do it like hers.  This gave me hope in my parenting of my sweet ones, that perhaps something would keep with them.  Jesus and biscuits - my biggest memories of my granny.  Baking = Granny = Jesus.  How I miss her, but there is joy knowing she lives on through what she taught me to teach my kids.

99.  Knowing that a past pain may provide hope for someone else in pain.

100.  Christmas will finish up for us this weekend with my mom and sister.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Joys 76 - 79

76.  New photos, learning to edit photos (I don't have any fancy software - just used a free site online), ornaments - old and new, and baby's first Christmas.

77.  Sweet little baby Jesus

78.  Going to a new restaurant - the Olive Branch in Cahaba Heights.  The food was delicious.  The restaurant was small and not really kid friendly, even though they do have a kid's menu.  Daniel and I went with Doodle Bug, and with a high chair at the table it was a little cramped.  It is definitely not the place to go if you want privacy - not enough space, but the overall atmosphere and taste of the food made up for the lack of space.  The light coming into the restaurant made me want to take pictures galore, but I couldn't feed the baby and take the photos I wanted.  Here are a few from our trip:

79.  I've been asked to knit a blanket for use as a photography prop in a manger for use in next year's Christmas pictures.  I'm SO excited!

Joys 56 - 75

56. Yesterday my son got up as my hubby was leaving for work, and I got up and went into the living room with him. He made a special effort to clean off a spot for me on the couch (toy and blanket free) and said "sit here with me mommy."

57. Princess had her school performance last Thursday. I literally started crying because she was SO good in it. Her voice was clear. Her motions to the songs were on time and big. She was smiling, happy, and confident. I've never seen anything like it. Any mother thinks of her kid as the star of the show, but Princess was so good, I think she really was the star of the show.

58. My mom found a pearl in her oyster dinner at Jefferson's. Though I didn't find it, it was fun to see a real pearl from a real oyster.

59. Baking cookies for the annual girls cookie swap with the women in our Life Connection class at church. I made them just for you, Shelley, so I hope you got the plate Jennifer fixed and enjoyed them. I tried a new recipe and thought it turned out well and was easier.

60. Going to the girl's cookie swap. Eating bad for you appetizers and hanging out with godly women. Fun conversations. Old friends. New cookies.

61. I got a new camera for Christmas. It was a really pricey item for us, but my husband let me get it anyhow at the spur of the moment. I've enjoyed playing with it.

62.  I completed my order for my pictures that my friend, Sarah Cook, took of us.  After I felt like I bugged her most of the day on Friday, I was grateful for her kindness to me.

63.  Chuy's is a fairly new restaurant at the Summit.  I've been once with my hubby (and Doodle Bug), once with my mom and sister, and once with my mom and Speed Racer and Doodle Bug.  I had been craving it (mainly the salsa), so we got to go together as a family for the first time on Friday at lunch.  Boy was it a lot of food.  Every waitress there treated Doodle Bug as if she was the most special baby they had ever seen.  I love that about babyhood.  I wish people loved kids as much as they love babies.  A waitress gave each of the children including Doodle Bug some tortilla dough (the tortillas are hand-made there), and I enjoyed watching them squish it between their fingers, especially Doodle Bug, who actually played with it and did not attempt to eat it until it was time to go.

64.  My older children went to spend the night at their grandparent's house.  They haven't spent the night away in 6 months or more.  Daniel and I literally did not know what to do with ourselves.  We didn't go out since we had already done so at lunch.

65.  So we went to breakfast instead.  It was peaceful with Doodle Bug.  Daniel took this picture of her.  I love it.

65.  Seeing my kids again after they'd been gone.  Princess had made Daniel and I each an "I love you" card.  I loved the excitement in which she gave them to each of us.

66.  Christmas musical at church.

67.  I have gotten spoiled having Daniel at home so much this month.  I was wishing he did not have to work on Monday, but we played in our playroom and had fun.  Although I listed playing in our playroom as one of my joys already, I played around with my new camera.  Here's some photos I took with it:

68.  A friend of mine got to be the daily guest on the (in)courage web site.  I was happy for her, and it inspired me to write something to submit.  Right now, it is an unwritten idea, and even if they don't choose me, and I am excited to pursue something I enjoy doing.

69.  One of the things I wanted to do over Christmas break was clean up and declutter.  I got to clean out my fridge and that made me happy.  Yes, I should do it every week before I go grocery shopping like Tara does, but I do not.

70.  We haven't been eating so healthy lately, so we made a family trip to the grocery store and got many fruits and veggies.  All 3 of the children got to ride in the buggy we chose (a race car attached to a regular buggy).  Usually I go by myself, but it was a fun trip with all 5 of us.

71.  Christmas cards and the Christmas card tree - yes, some of the faces are hidden, but I love the beauty that this little tree represents.

72.  My Princess has gotten her first permanent tooth.  She hasn't lost her first baby tooth yet though.  It is very loose.  The dentist says not to worry unless she doesn't loose it by the end of January.

73.  Although, it isn't time to bake it yet, I received the starter for some friendship bread from a long time friend.

74.  I've been reading "Boundaries" by Henry Cloud.  I take joy in knowing how God has protected me and guided me all along my journey despite the fact that there have been crazy things in my life.

75.  This morning Daniel brought me back a treat from McDonald's since I didn't get to take my sweet Princess to the dentist.  He seriously wanted to take one of his children to visit a doctor or dentist, so I let that joy be his this morning.  Here's what the bag said:

Instead of drinking coffee with magic beans for joy, it made think of the following verses:

"Taste and see that the Lord is good."  Psalm 34:8

"So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun."  Ecclesiastes 8:15

"So whether you or eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."  1 Corinthians 10:31

I know that God is in every moment, and that's what I set out to do in this blog - prove His presence with me in everything, and there He was hidden on my McDonald's bag.  There is absolutely no greater delight than in Him.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas blues?

This morning I read a beautiful post about how we are sometimes not ready for Christmas. The holidays can be so sad and depressing and hard for so many people in so many ways. Sometimes the sadness is so overwhelming that like a blanket it covers and envelops me, almost suffocating me, even though the sadness is not my own. I cannot fully grasp how debilitating it can be for the one whose sad floats off and falls onto me. Yet in Christ there is hope. For the sad at Christmas, I hope this post encourages you as it did me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Joys 52 - 55

52. The time I spent with my sweet friend, Levi's Mom, on Saturday. Yes, I'm forgetful and should write these down as soon as they happen.

53.  Spending time talking to a friend about God and the way He is working in her life through her voice disorder.

54 - 55.  Daniel, Princess, and I were talking in the living room before she was to go to bed.  I had asked her what she wanted to do on her Christmas break.  She loves school and would rather be at school, so I was trying to get her excited about being home with me, since I am very excited about it.  Daniel asked her if she knew who else was going to be home for Christmas break.  The answer was him because he will be off for about 2 weeks {54}.  She then proceeded to say, "Daddy doesn't go to school."  I said no, but where does he go?  She then said, "He goes to stinky work."  I said, "Why is it stinky?"  Her own answer and idea, "Because there are lots and lots of stinky boys there" {55}.  (Daniel works in engineering office with mostly men, and when asked about them he often tells stories of men passing gas because of the lack of women in the office, so there you go.  My daughter is smart and observant.  We had fun laughing over the irony of her answer.

Joys 42 through 51

42. I forgot to add this to my last list - a play date with a neighbor. I had a lot of fun getting to know her better.

43. My organizing friend, Tara, came over to my house for the first time this past week, even though I've known her for a couple of years now. Her house is beautiful and nice and neat and organized. After leaving her home the first time I visited her, I was so inspired to remove a lot of my clutter. She came and helped me get some ideas and be creative about organizing toys and kid clutter.  Even though I have removed a lot of toy clutter already, she helped me get rid of a bag full of toys.  I also had literally 20+ coloring books.  Coloring books are cheap and easy to give away (as most of them were received as a gift) and I felt guilty and wasteful to chunk them with only one or two pages colored.  Princess is our artist, but she prefers to draw.  Anyhow we removed almost a whole drawer-full and pared them down to only 6 (3 for each child).  Based on those small changes, I was able to move a kid book shelf into our playroom as well as the arts and crafts supplies.  I really think doing more of this will help me be a more efficient homemaker being able to focus more on the details of cleaning instead of getting hung up on shuffling big items back to their place.  Our time together and the effects brought me great joy.  An organized home is a peaceful home, right?

44.  Baking oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to give as gifts.  I love to bake and the children helped me, and we all had a good time together, so it was baking at its best.  Joy!

45.  Every time one of my children goes to the bathroom all by themselves, I experience great joy!  You all know potty training was a little traumatic for me.  And believe it or not, I find joy in accidents, not that I have to clean up an accident, but that I accept them.  (God granted me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.)

46.  Spending time in our new improved playroom playing and enjoying the children.

47.  Today started off a little stressful.  I was disappointed that Daniel and I were the only ones able to see Speed Racer perform at school.  I guess one responsibility of a mom is to organize grandparents too, and I haven't quite accepted or caught on to this idea yet.  I used to have to help keep co-workers on task for our mutual goal, so I should be able to do the same at home with grandparents.  I guess it seems hard enough to corral kids, not to mention grandparents too.  That disappointment combined with a whiny Speed Racer and a clingy baby equaled stress.  Then I left my camera at home and didn't get his picture after his performance.  But there was joy at getting to see him sing.  Joy in his sweet little face as he scanned the audience and looked for a familiar face and then found mine and Daniel's.  Joy when he saw us walk into his classroom for his party.  Joy as he told me about his new book he received.  Joy was there, but I definitely had to diligently look for it.

48.  To add to the stress of the day, Princess got angry with herself in the car on the way home from school because a sticker would not peel of the page.  I made her go to her room to cool off, and then we enjoyed decorating a bag she had made at school with the stickers she had received.

49.  The benefit to cold, wet, rainy days is time to chill out, refocus and let the stress melt away, snuggle up together, watch Christmas movies, and play with our nativity set.

50.  Tonight, weather permitting, dinner will be cooked for me at church, and it will be a steak and baked potato.  I am already anticipating the joy I will receive at the great service of dinner being already prepared and the yumminess of steak which we rarely enjoy at home.

hmmm, will I make it to 100 before Christmas.  Gotta blog my joys more often.

51.  oh, yes, yesterday, I received a sweet joy.  I went to Target to purchase some storage boxes.  The cashier loved talking to my baby.  Speed Racer takes his sweet time in stores, and he had been testing my patience but had obeyed when it came time to leave.  I was rather quiet as a result, but the cashier smiled, talked to DoodleBug, and wished me a Happy Holidays.  I hesitated and then wished her a Merry Christmas.  Her face lit up.  What seemed like something simple - a few kind words, blessed her.  I could tell because she said, "THANK YOU! Merry Christmas to you as well!"  Joy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

100 joys - 18 through 41

18.  Since Monday I have seen 8 cars dressed up like Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.  This is not necessarily a "joy" except that when I saw the first one, I was with my children and they loved it.  Then I stopped to notice each subsequent one.  Normally I wouldn't.

19 - 28.  Friendships.  I am not a great friend, but I have some good friends in spite of that.  I don't want to list names here, because I don't want to leave anymore out, and I thought that this deserved more than one number on the list because I spent most of Monday thinking about the joy I receive from my friends.  Although I'm the kind of person that likes to have close deep friendships and friendships that I get to spend time with often, that is not the case for me currently.  I have some great close friends that I don't get to talk to often, but they build me up when we do meet together.  I can't help but wonder if several good friends from different circles are not what the body of Christ is all about anyhow.

29.  Monday evenings - this is sometimes the only time in the week when I get to have time just for me.  I have learned to appreciate it, though at first I did not.  I like to use my 2 hours or so that I have to do whatever I want to do to chill out - play on the computer, watch a movie, read a book, catch up on blogging.  It helps my sanity since my older two kids do not nap anymore, and there is always noise in the house.

30.  Daniel has every Friday in December off of work - does this need any explanation?

31.  Princess and I got to go shopping for another little girl today, and although, we were busy in our endeavors to find the things on her list, I enjoyed watching my daughter get excited about giving to someone else.

32.  Speaking of giving to others, we went to Chick-Fil-A and saw Santa Cow this week.  Princess had a "sharing" birthday party and asked her friends to bring gifts that she could share with needy children for Christmas instead of keeping them for herself, so at CFA we gave her gifts to the Salvation Army Angel Tree.  She was truly excited about that, and that blessed my heart.

33.  Balloons - seeing the delight in the kids eyes and watching Doodle Bug see one floating in the air for the first time.  Speed Racer's favorite part of a balloon is popping it the next day.

34.  Surprise phone calls from long time friends.

35.  Baking - I love to bake, so I find joy in doing so.  I find delight in people's expressions and exclamations as they eat the goodies.

36.  Christmas parties with church friends and Parent's Night Out at church.  Food, laughter, and friends is always a good combination.

37.  Photos - Sarah Cook took some pictures of us this week, and of course, we've had fun looking at them to see how they turned out.

38.  Christmas performances at church - the three year old choir was quite a riot.  Mass chaos describes it well.  Joyful that my two stayed mostly focused on the task at hand, though Speed Racer looked a little like he would rather be doing something else at times.  Princess sang her heart out to Jesus.

39.  Breakfast at Cracker Barrell

40.  5 year old checkups in spites of vaccinations.

41.  Oatmeal pancakes.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Joyful Day

4.  Though it was in the wee hours of the morning when I wrote my first 100 joys post, I climbed back into bed.  I find joy in my husband's warmth beside me and the hand that he places on my side every night until I go to sleep.

5.  Joy in the thunder of little feet on the floor as they came down the stairs this morning, Daniel and I still asleep in the bed.

6.  My baby who snuggles close to me to nurse - warm Christmas pajamas and blankets and the boppy too.

7.  Joy in my children's faces as they run through the cold windy air into the church building.

8.  Riding in the car and listening to the children sing Christmas songs and praises to the One who matters most.

9.  My sister who struggles but makes an effort to be involved in my children's lives despite her own desire and pain of struggling with infertility. She drove at least an hour and a half here and then back just to celebrate my daughter's 5 year old birthday party.  Her ability to always join me in whatever I'm doing to get the job done quicker.  She will be a great mommy one day.  I wish she could know how much I love her and pray for her and the joy that God desires for her.

10.  Nanas and grandmaws and aunts and friends who visit Princess for her birthday.

11.  Talking to mommies about mommy things and wondering together how best to assist our kids in knowing about Christ through choices we make about movies and TV and things like that.

12.  Tacos and Captain D's and birthday cake and Chex muddy buddies.

13.  And laughter from Princess as she watches the Harlem Globe Trotters lose their pants just now and her wanting me to write about it.

14.  For friends and email responses that make me smile.

15.  For baby smiles and scooting around on blankets.

16.  For baptisms of friend's children, for God's unique creation in the children.  For the baptism of a friend and for the friend who lead her to Christ.  These things bring me great joy.  Their story brings me happiness and hope.

17.  For advent calendars and celebrating Christ whose birth was amazing.  For pastors and teachers who help me to see the story anew.  For the word of God dwelling among us.  For that tiny baby boy - the King of KINGS yet who came in the most humblest of ways - no royal throne, no robes, no crown jewels, no place to call home, born to an engaged couple.  He was the only One who has ever deserved any fanfare.  Though he was visited by the Magi as a child, ultimately, He would be mocked, tortured, and crucified for ME.  Joy?  What greater joy could I have but for this?

Yes, today was a fun day, a happy joyful day, a day that joy was easy to find.  May each day approaching Christmas find even more joy in it.  Please join me in finding your joys in your days.  Join Sarah in blogging or tweeting or leave me a comment here on your joys.


The Christmas season is supposed to be a joyful season, but many times, I find it a stressful difficult season.  Sarah Markley has decided to count her 100 joys during this season to find in the corners of every day what makes her joyful.  She's opened it up to the twitter and blogging community, so I've decided to join her.

It's in the middle of the night, and I was not especially joyful yesterday, so I am looking intently at my yesterday for joys.

1.  I am joyful for my husband who cooks special breakfasts on weekend mornings.  And crunchy bacon, and little hands to eat it and beg for more please.

2.  I am joyful for cakes and cupcakes.  My daughter turned 5 on Thursday, and time seems to move faster and faster with each passing day.  I must slow down and enjoy her now before now is tomorrow and I am old and gray.  She is getting more mature and more used to herself and the ease at which she is becoming makes me smile.

3.  I am joyful at watching my sweet ones stare intently at the big screen at the movie theatre.  Today we went to see Tangled, and the children were moved by the magic on the screen.  I am joyful that though God was not intended to be in the movie, I found him there anyhow.  I find joy finding Him hiding in little places like that, as though we are playing hide and seek; I am counting and He is running and giggling as I seek and find Him, and then we reverse roles, and He finds me as I hide.

Tomorrow, I will be more intentional; forget about the worries and choose to not worry about the important things I haven't done and do them instead.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Biblical Submission and Worship in the Bedroom

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Ephesians 5:21

I have these really great Christian women friends who I get to see once every 3 or 4 months.  They are godly women who sharpen me in my spiritual walk.  Every time I see them, they make me want to go home and have sex with my husband, so I am sure he loves them.  Sound odd?  Let me explain.

I came from a family with a history of sexual sin, from adultery to premarital sex to pornography to lust.  It colored my family so much so that I got a wrong view of sex and men.  Family member's often discouraged marriage, and a lot of that came from the idea that men could not be tamed in the area of sexual temptations.  Even my dad would say, "He is just an old boy."  In my mind's eye, sex was a bad thing.  Yet I know that in God's perspective, it is good.  However, it is created to be shared within the context of marriage.  God is a good God - He has given us rules and procedures for our own good, not because He wants to punish us or enslave us to the rules, but because He wants to set us free.  The church does not regularly talk about sex, and even though my mother attempted to teach me about the beauty of sex, I got most of my thoughts on sex from the world.

Mentally here's what sex looked like (and if I think worldly thoughts, it still does):
  • vile
  • gross
  • objectifying
  • dirty
  • driven by animal instinct and desire
  • perverted
  • corrupt
  • about the man's fulfillment
In my mind none of these things made it a physical expression of love.  I had been exposed to things that made me feel that way about sex.  And the people in my life only seemed to prove it to be true.

So back to my women friends.  When I saw them one of them was talking about wearing her boots.  She said currently she has changed from the pursued to the pursuer in the bedroom, so sometimes she puts her boots on to set the mood for her husband.  She mentioned that she thought it was kind of mean of God to make men and women have different desires at different stages of life.  Sex has always been one of those things that I could not mentally grasp and had grappled with on the God front, so I agreed with her.  One of the other women there beautifully answered her that no it wasn't - it was about God teaching us about submitting to one another.  I don't know that I had given submission much thought in regards to sex.  When my man comes calling and I'm too tired, I'm too tired.  I began to think about Romans 12:1 and what it means in regard to sex.

"Therefore, I urge you, brethren, in view of God's mercy, offer yourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship."  Romans 12:1

Unlike many women, I do not have a regular "need" for sex.  In my own selfish world I could go on without it, but I am a wife - I cannot go on without it.  I decided that the next time I was too tired I was going to offer myself as a sacrifice, not just try to fulfill an obligation as a wife, but be prepared to love my husband physically even though I may have already given all of myself throughout the course of a day doing motherly things.  I would give what I didn't think I could give because that alone would be a picture of Christ and a true form of worship.  And that I think is what makes sex pure and good.

In the mean time, the enemy came to steal, kill, and destroy my mindset and keep me enslaved to the world's thoughts about sex.  I began to believe the lies again.  But the women friends and I were talking sex on facebook and truth started slipping back in.  

My husband and I had become separated, sad, mad, and angry with one another.  We were totally separated and not one.  Sex was the last thing I wanted to do, but I wanted to bring us back together and make us one.  I prayed.  I asked a friend to pray although she had no idea what for (maybe now she does?).  I knew I was to be Abraham offering my Isaac (myself) on the altar, and I wanted to be willing.  I knew that God would not promise me a sacrifice to offer in the thicket - I would be the sacrifice, so I knew I must be willing, or all my attempts to physically love my husband would go sour.  In that moment, sex was a beautiful expression of love and worship both of my man and my God.  

I can see why Satan uses it so often to corrupt.  It is intended to portray a beautiful picture between God and man, as is marriage.  If you struggle with sex, with thoughts about sex, with not wanting to be with your husband, the following websites give good resources about the biblical purpose of sex and practical tips for you and your husband (these sites are only intended for married couples):

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Fridge

I've never been known for having anything other than homework and hopefully a few blog posts now and then in decent order.  My fridge is no different.  You can check out my indecent fridge over at Tara's blog, In Decent Order.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Six years ago, my dad had a massive heartache and passed away suddenly. He was in New Orleans on a business trip at the time, and I was the first person from our family to find out what had happened to him. I was the one who talked to the doctor and then had to tell the rest of my family members. I don't really talk about my dad much on this blog out of respect for him and for others who are still grieving him. My college English teacher once told me that you cannot write about your parents until they have passed from this life into the next life because not until then can you fully be free to explore your thoughts and put them on paper.  I would suggest that you are never fully free to write about those closest to you unless you are ready to deal with the potential consequences.  I am not completely there.  But I wanted to try, so this is my attempt. Please if you are a family member, and it causes you pain, do not read this.

Before my dad passed on, I had never had someone close to me die. At the time, all of my grandparents were alive. Since then, my granny has passed. Death can be mysterious. Being a spiritual person, I had many questions for God - most of which could not be answered. Or they could be answered but God left them unanswered for me then and now. Whatever the answers are or were, they are no longer relevant because daddy is no longer here.  Because I had been hoping to see change in my dad's life, I spent more time grieving while my daddy was alive than after he died.  Through his death and in spite of the unanswered questions, I made peace with God.  His presence or the presence of angels were unmistakable during my dad's death.  God is faithful to those who love him, and that time was no different.

I miss my dad.  I wish my dad could see my sweet children.  I wonder what he would think about my mischievous son, my dreamy daughter, and my baby who looks so much like him.  Would he laugh at the crazy things they say?  Or would they drive him completely crazy?  My dad was well known for his temper - that would be no surprise to anyone that knew him, and little kids in restaurants were not his favorite things.  I wonder if my monsters would have been different.  Would he love that Speed Racer can be just as passionate with his emotions as he was?  Would he think that I was teaching him well?  Would he be proud of me as a mom?  I wish that I could hear his voice again, especially to sit next to him in church and hear him singing.  Perhaps, he sings in heaven.  He had a great voice.  I miss his hugs.  He had the most giant of all the hugs in the world.  And a laugh to swallow you whole.  He was an intelligent man.  I think he was mostly misunderstood and probably bored sometimes at what life had to offer.  But I loved to talk "smart talk" with him about the Bible and math.  I would like to think that I could give him plenty to think about were he still here now.  One of his passions was studying Revelations and trying to figure out the puzzle of it all - while we are still wondering, perhaps, he's seen the answer of what is to come.  As much as I miss my daddy, I no longer grieve my daddy.  I do not understand why he died so early.  And I get sad when I miss him, but I no  longer hold onto him.  I have let him pass from my hand here to God's hand in eternity.  His memory lives on in my heart and in the hearts of those who loved him.  I love you, dad.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Our neighborhood stinks for trick or treating so we headed over to my friend Lindy's house. See a pic of our kids here.  The kids got two giant bag-fulls of candy.  I don't know what we will do with it all. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I can't live without him

I had to write this one down before I forgot it:

The kids wanted to watch a pumpkin show this morning, so I let them watch the first half of the "The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" again.

When we moved to the kitchen for breakfast these are the things I heard:

Princess: Momma, am I going to school today?
Me: Yes, sweetie.
Princess: Good, because I have to tell Collin I can't live without him.
Me: Oh, really.
Me wondering aloud: Did you just hear that on Charlie Brown?
Princess: No, but I have to tell him, it's gonna be great for my life.

A few minutes later, I am busting at the seams to tell Daniel, so I call him.

Me: Guess what your daughter just told me?
Daniel: I don't know what?
Me: She said she cannot live without Collin.
Princess (who was listening): I knew you guys were going to be laughing your heads off at me, but I had to tell you.
Daniel: Did she just say I knew you guys were going to be laughing your heads off?
Me, laughing my head off: Yes
Princess: I had to tell you anyway so you could understand me.
Daniel: That's great, she's trying to talk to you.

These are the things I love about my life. And this was huge as I have repeatedly told Princess she has to explain things to me so I can understand her. She hates anyone laughing at her, and she loves to hide in her shell (she's so much like me as a child), but she told us anyway.  She must have been listening somewhere along the way. Oh, how I love her - crush and all.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

R. E. S. P. E. C. T.

Here is the rub with being a parent. You cannot be friends with your child. And when I was a babysitter back in the day, I got to play and play and play all day, but as a mom, I have so many more responsibilities that playing is not what I spend the majority of my time doing, not to mention all the unexpected interruptions that happen in the day as well.

Currently, Speed Racer is in a whiny phase. He asks for something, and as if I have not heard him at all, he begins whining, sometimes screaming for his request to be fulfilled at the very moment he has asked for it.  And then, he gets mad, throws a fit, possibly hits anyone in his rampage path.  The last thing in that moment I want to do is give him what he has requested, not because I did not want to give it to him.  No, usually, I do intend to fulfill his request, although, I can rarely do what he desires immediately.  When he begins flailing around, he shows a lack of respect and a lack of trust.  Oddly, I have given him no reason to distrust me in this area.  I have repeatedly told him that he will not get what he wants if he whines, screams, or anything similar.  For the parent / child relationship to be at its best, the child has to give proper respect to the parent or authority.  When he asks sweetly and waits patiently, I want to give him what he asks.

Speed Racer and I are not equals, and he has to place me in my rightful position, and I have to place him in his.  I could give him what he wants, but I would never gain the respect that I deserve as his mom.  Instead, he would continually come to me repeatedly behaving in the same way never learning to submit his requests to me and wait and to trust in whatever I decide.

I have been studying prayer and my relationship to God is very similar.  The first and last aspect of the Lord's prayer are coming to the Father and "hallowing his name."  If I am just coming to God and whining and not respecting Him for who He is and realizing my position before Him, why in the world would He turn his ear toward me?   I am just a mom, and He is God.  If I deserve an inkling of respect as a mother, then He deserves an infinite more amount of respect as we approach Him.

Monday, November 1, 2010

How Do You Like Your Eggs?

How do you like your eggs?  Scrambled, boiled, fried?  Well done or runny?  Hard boiled or soft boiled?  Benedict?  Poached?  In the movie Runaway Bride, one of the things that Richard Gere's character, Ike, finds out about Julia Robert's character, Maggie, is that with every fiance, Maggie decides that she likes her eggs to be cooked the same way as her fiance.  In essence, she and each of her fiances do not really know who she is.  By the end of the movie, she cooks an assortment of eggs and figures out what kind of eggs she likes and begins to grasp a better understanding of who she is. 

When I was a child, fried eggs, sunny side up, over easy, were the type of eggs that my parents frequently cooked for breakfast.  Rarely did we have them any other way, because that was their favorite way to cook and eat eggs.  Occasionally, they boiled them.  Sometimes, they scrambled them.  For a special treat, they scrambled them with cheese.  As a child, I did not really like eggs.  Sometimes, if mom or dad put enough cheese in them or if they were boiled, I might eat them, but my preference was to have no egg.  When I got older, I realized that you could have a well done fried egg, and I couldn't believe that my parent's had not taught me about this.   My parent's tried their best to get me to like the same kind of eggs as them, but a runny egg was then and still is in my opinion a gross egg. 

Sometimes, Daniel and I do this with our kids.  We want our kids to fit into the little mold we've already determined for them - from the type of eggs and foods they like to the kinds of toys we want them to play with.  Yes, as a parent, it is our job to get our kids to try new things, but it is also our job to get them to be the best they can be.  Most of the time that means accepting them for who they are and guiding them to be God's best while still being themselves.

When I was just starting out as a new mom, I thought that parenting was more about getting my child to do as I say.  Only 5 years later, and I have found getting my kids to do as I say is a very minor part of parenting.  (I'm sure I'll have to eat my words as I am still a new mom.)  When I had Princess, I followed the BabyWise books, and if she cried and I didn't know why she was crying, I just dealt with it and let her cry.  I did not try to figure it out, and this made becoming a new mom stressful.  I was trying to bond with Princess and so many people wanted to see and hold her.  She could be in the same room with me, and I would miss her because so many people wanted to hold her.  I had no idea how I was to react to any of it.  Being a people pleaser, it was hard for me to set up boundaries.  I found it baffling when other moms would expect me to know my baby and why she was crying because I did not always know why.  I was very green and clueless at first.  Though I had babysat, I never babysat babies, so I had little experience with them.  With each subsequent baby, I got better at baby communication and at understanding each one's needs.  DoodleBug has been supremely easy and pleasant, but I learned early on the way she liked to be held, to sleep, to lay in her bed.  When others held her and she fussed, I knew why.  She has rarely had to cry it out and has very little reason to distrust us (from a baby's point of view) because I have known her better as a baby.  She looks at me, grabs and kisses me, and trusts me completely.  Only time will tell if I can keep it going.

The big kids both frustrate me and please me because they each have their own identity, and though they want to please Daniel and I both, they are strong in voicing their identity and what they like.  As the mom, it is my job to investigate like a detective what makes each one tick.  The more I have attempted to get to know my children, the more my relationship with each of them has grown better.  Sometimes, this has meant that I have had to change my approach in disciplining them.

When it comes to God, He knows everything about us.  He created us and He does not have to work at figuring us out.  He knows how I like my eggs, what makes me happy or sad, and what my deepest and darkest thoughts are.  There is a freedom in that.  You can come to God and simply be, and He accepts you and understands you as you are.  As Anne of Green Gables says, "There's such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I'm such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn't be half so interesting." I don't have to be frustrated because He doesn't "get" me or because I have to be one of the many Jamie's - no, He gets all of me.  He knows I like my eggs occasionally scrambled, always well done, and sometimes poached.

God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
   I'm an open book to you;
      even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.
   You know when I leave and when I get back;
      I'm never out of your sight.
   You know everything I'm going to say
      before I start the first sentence.
   I look behind me and you're there,
      then up ahead and you're there, too—
      your reassuring presence, coming and going.
   This is too much, too wonderful—
      I can't take it all in! 
Psalm 139:1-6 (the Message)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Maybe tetanus would be better

Just a snapshot of a moment in time for you today.

This morning I cut my finger on my washing machine.  I've had my machine a little over 10 years and the paint on the lid has peeled off the inside rim and the metal has rusted.

My two big kids were in school today, but while they were there, I proceeded to do more laundry, and I forgot about my finger until about 40 minutes before I was to go pick them up.

So I called my nurse:

Me:  I cut my finger on some rusty metal - do I need a tetanus shot?
Nurse: yes, and the doctor will need to examine your finger too.
Me:  ummmm, okay, can he see me like right now?
Nurse:  How about 2:10?

Me (mentally) - okay, but it'll be me and my whole family.  Are you sure I really need the shot?
Me (actually):  okay.

I go pick up my kids.  They are hungry, so I get some juice and apples at the McDonald's down the street from the doctor's office.  I tell them that they are taking me to the doctor because I cut my finger.

Princess:  So we are not going right home?
Me:  No, we are going to the doctor.

We get to the office, exit the car, and enter the office.  Here's what goes down:

I fill out the "I'm here" form, then some other papers, and my kids look at a book.  Then they want me to read it, and that's when I begin to smell the all too familiar odor, coming from my supposedly potty trained children, not from the diapered baby, but from one of them with underpants on.  Great!  I suspect the odor is coming from Princess.

Me (whispering):  Do you need to go poo-poo?  (I am hoping it is not actually poop at this point.)
Princess:  No
Me (whispering):  Do you have poop in your pants?
Princess:  No, but giving me that "I'm guilty" look.
Me (thinking): Let's read the book.

I read the book. 

Me (whispering):  If I look in your pants, what will I find?
Princess:  poop
Me (thinking fast):  Let's go to the car everyone.

To the receptionist:  I'm going to the car, so in case you were going to call me back, you'll know where I've gone.

Luckily for me, I don't trust my Princess not to have accidents and have placed extra clothes in her backpack.  I clean her up and change her and back in we go straight to the bathroom.  At the same time, the nurse is calling me back.  She lets me take the kids into the bathroom first.

Speed Racer:  good - I've gotta go potttttyyyyyyyyyyyy!
I lift him up, but he is already peeing and it is not going into the potty.  Now, although he's tried to tinkle in the potty, he's successfully tinkled on his underpants and pants.  To the exam room we go with wet pants.

Nurse:  Okay, even though you cut your finger on your own washing machine, I'm going to have him look at your finger because sometimes you have to take antibiotics.

She goes out and back in with my shot and gives me the shot.

The doctor comes in:

Doctor:  Did you want me to look at your finger?
Me:  No, but she (the nurse) did.
Me:  But she didn't look at it.
Doctor:  Well, it's good to look at it.
Me:  Okay, here it is.
Doctor:  Here's a band-aid for you.  You can go.

Oh, joyous me, I paid $35 and got a shot for this. 

I call Daniel on the way home.
Me:  You wouldn't even believe our trip to the doctor's office.
Daniel:  Oh yeah, it would've been better to get tetanus!
Me:  Laughing monstrously, why yes, maybe it would have.

BTW, I came home and did the same thing all over again with Speed Racer with an almost poopy pants situation.  I keep a poop chart because the children get constipated easily, and yet, this still happens sometimes.  Despite my best efforts to prevent it, it's especially worse after school starts and I don't know if, when, and where they are going and how they are drinking.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cleaning the Cabinets

If you've been reading this blog for very long, you know God seems to speak to me while I'm cleaning.  Ha Ha.

Actually, I know I haven't been blogging very much lately.  I think Daniel has given up on the idea that I write blogs, but I digress.  I guess having a baby, two "big kids," dieting, exercising, and all that entails has kept me busy lately.  I'm just not one of those gals who can do it all and eat her cake too.  So I hope you'll come back and visit because in time, hopefully, I will be back to blogging more regularly.

When do you clean the outside of your cabinets?  When do you clean the inside of your cabinets?

Earlier today I was cleaning the outside of my cabinets.  I've been noticing for quite a while how dirty they were, but I had not gotten around to cleaning them, and I don't have a schedule for cleaning them.  I just knew they were dirty.  So after I cleaned the sink, I looked around and found my next job.  As I was cleaning, God began whispering.  Have you ever noticed a sink, a house, a cabinet that stays perfectly clean after the cleaning is complete? 

In my mind I was conversing with myself about how I often take care of the inside before I take of the outside.  I began to hope that I could say the same thing about ME.  I hope that I have a clean heart before I have a clean outward appearance.  "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)  I'm not a real girly girl in the sense that I do not look outwardly pretty and well kept all of the time.  And when I do, I can get it done in a matter of a few minutes.  I like to dress and look nice, but that doesn't mean that I do it often.  My hair is not always fixed and make up is not usually worn.  And it's not because I'm lazy, though I'm sure laziness is a factor sometimes.  It is just because I don't care as much about my outward appearance.  Lately, though I've given it more thought.  Dieting and exercising have caused changes in my outward appearance.  And I'm getting older and I really need to put on make up regularly.  I guess you could say that I am learning to take care of the whole me, which includes making new things part of my regular routine - things like walking and wearing make up.

Anyhow, in the midst of all this silliness, I was cleaning the cabinets...
God spoke and He said,

"You are like this cabinet or a house or a sink. You get dirty on the outside and you have to be cleaned out on the inside."  Even a house that sits empty gets dirty both on the outside and the inside.  And to be really clean, my cabinets need to be replaced with new ones.  (We plan to paint them instead.) 

Again God said,

"I make all things new."  (Rev 21:4)

He has made me new both inside and out, but as much as I have to clean, he continues to make me new, cleaning me daily, hourly, minute by minute, and second by second, into a new creation.

My part?

Offering myself as a living sacrifice.  Surrendering every aspect of me to him for His control and desires.  Not confirming to the world.  (Rom 12:1-2) I've gotta be still and let Him clean me outwardly and rearrange inwardly and throw the old things away.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Biggest Loser

To give you a running update:  it is hard.  It is not easy.  Sometimes, I just plain do not want to do it.  I already bled all over my first pair of shoes, which I suppose I will have to throw away.  I got another pair of shoes and kept on walking/running.  In a week, I logged 5 hours 45 minutes of work out time, most of which was walking.  If you don't know me, this is like amazing.  I've never worked out much in my entire life.  In the process, I managed to hurt my knee, then my other knee began hurting.  And my toes go numb when I walk/run, so I've gotta it going on.  *sigh*  No pain, no gain, or in this case, no pain, no loss.

I joined the faithfully fit bible study on Wed nights at church, and this week, I was the biggest loser, losing 4.7 pounds.  I also lost an inch.  Yay me!  My workout buddy lost 4.5 pounds too. Yay, friend!  My scales at home said I'd lost only 3.5 lbs, which I think is more accurate.

My first pair of running shoes


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