Saturday, November 29, 2008

Game Day

This morning, bright and early, Frank and I left to go to the GA-GT game with our friends, Patrick and Elizabeth. 6:30am early to be exact. The day was dreary. It rained on us just about the entire trip. And the closer we got to Athens, the colder it got. So, raining AND cold. Fortunately, P & E had box seats (I had never sat in box seats before!! It was awesome!) so the weather was not a factor for us. The game was TERRIBLE!! Terrible in the fact that we just did everything we could to give that game away! I really think the reason that Georgia lost was my fault.

I think I jinxed the team. See, we played an awesome first half. And close the the end of the first half I mentioned that I have never been to a GA game where they lost. I KNOW!! I should have waited until the game was over to mention that piece of information!! But, I didn't. And the minute I said it I wished I could take it back. The second half of the game was when we gave it away. Several times.

But, even though it was a sad day for the Dawgs... we still had a blast anyway. It was fun just hanging out with P & E. They are a trip. There were several times in the truck that I laughed until I cried. I'm just glad I contained the kind of laugh where you snort. Because a few times I could have. I was laughing that hard. It was a great day. Frank and I are so lucky to have friends like them.

And, of course, things happend here at home while we were gone. Aunt Jan kept the kids for most of the day and they took advantage of the situation. They LOVE her to death. But they like to use that time to do things that I wouldn't normally let them do. Like Jackson and Wyatt both "took a nap" in my bed. First of all, Jackson doesn't take a nap anymore and Wyatt is not allowed to take a nap in my bed. I just got new bedding for one thing and he won't sleep if he is downstairs either. Mallory didn't wear a pullup for her nap, so she peed and pooped in her pants and bed and all over her favorite blanket. They played in my jewlery (also not ever allowed), they took ornaments off my tree, and the best thing was that Wyatt flushed both of the socks he had on today down the commode. Great. I am sure I will be calling the plumber next week.

Anyway, I am off to bed now.

Patrick, don't forget your, um, kitty cat...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Thankfuls

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!  I hope that everyone enjoys their day with family and friends and lots and lots of turkey!!!  Here are just a few things that I am thankful for in my life.  I am thankful for...

MY HUSBAND
MY CHILDREN
MY SALVATION
MY FAMILY
RYAN AND STEPHANIE :)
SCOTT AND JULIE
PATRICK AND ELIZABETH
THAT MY HUSBAND PINS HIS DRESS SOCKS TOGETHER BEFORE THEY GO IN THE WASH
LOOSING ALMOST 60LBS (NOT COUNTING TODAY)
COOL WEATHER
MY HORSES
MY HEALTH
MY FIREPLACE IN THE WINTER
A WARM COAT
CINNAMON BUN CREAMER FOR MY COFFEE
THAT HUSBAND PULLED OUT 10 BOXES FROM ATTIC FULL OF CHRISTMAS        
DECORATIONS
MY CHRISTMAS TREE IS UP AND DECORATED
IN SPITE OF MY MANY FAILURES EVERYDAY, GOD NEVER GIVES UP ON ME
A PANTRY FULL OF GOOD FOOD
WE ALL HAVE CLOSETS FULL OF CLOTHES
MY CHURCH
THAT MY HUSBAND IS A FABULOUS SINGER AND PIANO PLAYER (MAKES ME SWOON :)
CARAMEL CAKE
HOT SOUP ON A COLD DAY
THAT MY HUSBAND IS THE IRONER IN THE FAMILY
AND FOR THE MANY FRIENDSHIPS THAT I HAVE IN ALL OF YOU.  I CAN NOT TELL YOU HOW IT BLESSES ME TO READ SOME OF THE THINGS THAT YOU POST.  I LAUGH, CRY, AND LEARN SO MUCH FROM YOU GUYS.  AND I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU TOO.
HAPPY TO KNOW WE ARE ALL IN THIS THING CALLED LIFE... TOGETHER

SIT DOWN AND TELL GOD WHAT YOU ARE THANKFUL HE HAS BLESSED YOU WITH...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Love Dare Day 37

Matthew 18:19 If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father.

Today's dare: ASK YOUR SPOUSE IF YOU CAN BEGIN PRAYING TOGETHER.  TALK ABOUT THE BEST TIME TO DO THIS.  USE THIS TIME TO COMMIT YOUR CONCERNS, DISAGREEMENTS, AND NEEDS BEFORE THE LORD.  DON'T FORGET TO THANK HIM FOR HIS PROVISION AND BLESSING.

Okay, honestly, I think this is where Frank and I fail the most.  We do NOT pray together on a regular basis.  We each have our own individual prayer time, but not together.  Every so often, we will start to and we will do it for a little while.  But for some reason we stop.  The mornings are too crowded with kids and noise.  And at night, we are so tired, we forget.  Pitiful, I know.

Within marriage, praying together can work wonders on every level of your relationship.  The unity that grows between husband and wife who regularly pray together forms a bond like no other.  It's hard to stay mad at the one you are praying with... and for.

Praying FOR your spouse leads your heart to care on a deeper level for them.  And God is pleased when He sees us humbling ourselves before Him... together.

I am sure that you all have heard the phrase "agree to disagree"?  Well, that doesn't always work at my house (usually on my part.  Frank doesn't really have a problem with this).  But when we agree together in prayer, even in the middle of a disagreement, it puts us back on common ground and helps us to remember what really matters.

I don't know why we have such a hard time doing this.  Really I don't.  I DO feel that it is extremely important to pray as individuals AND as a couple.  I want God to bless every nook and cranny of my marriage.  No stone left unturned.  So, no more lame excuses... well, no more excuses period...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Love Dare Day 36

Today's dare is: COMMIT TO READING THE BIBLE EVERYDAY. FIND A DEVOTIONAL BOOK OR OTHER RESOURCE THAT WILL GIVE YOU SOME GUIDANCE. IF YOUR SPOUSE IS OPEN TO IT, SEE IF THEY WILL COMMIT TO DAILY BIBLE READING WITH YOU.

Well, this dare was easy. I already have a quiet time daily in which I read my Bible. When I am not doing a Bible study at church, I do Bible studies by Max Lucado on different books of the Bible. Right now I am in the book of James. But I will be starting the Esther study in January!!! (I am SUPER excited about that!!!) And I always have my handy dandy commentaries nearby. Those have helped me tremendously.

If you don't have a regular quiet time, let me encourage you to do so. I always thought that I didn't have time. My kids are very early risers and once everyone is up it would be kinda hard to do it. I always had an excuse during their nap times. I mean, after all, that was the ONLY real time I had to get any housework done. So, I settled on bedtime, or after the kids went to bed. But, after the kids went to bed, I still had things to do... kitchen to clean, lunches to make, bags to get ready for the morning... And once I got into the bed... FORGET IT!!! All I want to do is veg out when I get in the bed. Too tired.

So, I wasn't having a consistent time with the Lord. And I wondered all the time why I constantly felt overwhelmed, tired, and out of control. Pretty dumb, huh? And then one day it just kinda hit me. I always would say, and I hear many others say, "I need to make my quiet time more of a priority". But what we don't get is that He is not just "A" priority... He is THE priority!!!

We make everything else sooo important. We put so many things above Him. And He gives us all of those things that we make so important. He can just as easily take them away to help us re-prioritize... I don't want that to happen. Do you?

Jackson has to be up at 6am to get ready for school. The bus comes at 7:05... So, I am up early (okay, well, it's early to me!!). I am already struggling to get up that early, so trying to get up even earlier is an attempt at futility for me. After I get the boys up and dressed and get them their breakfast, I sit down and begin my Bible study. Then, usually, Frank takes both of the boys outside to wait for the bus about 10 minutes or so before the bus comes. (remember that Wyatt likes to ride his bike in the mornings) During that time I use the quiet to my advantage. That is when I go over my prayer list.

Now, it doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes, I don't get as long to do my Bible study for whatever the reason. Sometimes (occasionally) I get longer. The point is not to get so legalistic about what your quiet time/Bible study has to look like. The point is to get started. Today. It will make a difference in your day!

A Sneak Peek

Kim just called me and told me that she has posted some of our pictures!!!! So go HERE and take a sneak peak!!!!  She did a fabulous job and she had some extreme conditions to work in!!!  She never complained!!  We love you Kim!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Blog Frog

If you haven't noticed this cool little gadget over on my sidebar, go take a look. I love it. I can't always tell on my traffic feed WHO it is from a particular place that has stopped by. But, I can look over at my cool blogfrog and see all my peeps that stop by all the time. I am not sure how to get everybody on there yet, but I love seeing all the faces on there when you come by. Head on over HERE and check out all the cool things that the Frog offers!!!

Love Dare Day 35

Dare for today says: FIND A MARRIAGE MENTOR-SOMEONE WHO IS A STRONG CHRISTIAN AND WHO WILL BE HONEST AND LOVING WITH YOU.

Before Frank and I came to our current church about 4 1/2 yrs ago, things on the home front were not great. I'm not saying we were headed for divorce at that point, but if things had kept going much longer the way they were, it certainly could have ended up there. The friends that I had surrounded myself with, although they were good and kind, did not give me the kind of advice that I really needed. But I turned to them often because they supported my poor way of thinking. Everything was Frank's fault. He was the one that needed to change, not me. He was the problem.

One of the things that I prayed desperately about was for the Lord to send me some really good Christian friends. Friends that desired to go deep with the Lord. Not surface dwelling Christians like I had been. But those that truly applied the Word to their life and would challenge me to do the same. When Frank and I started attending our church that we are part of now, the Lord more than answered that prayer.

He surrounded me with the dearest friends that I have ever had. And I mean that. These friends will not hold back on the truth. They don't just tell me what I want to hear very often. They will not allow me to continue in wrong ways of thought. They call me on the carpet when necessary.

It is important to surround ourselves with these kinds of friendships. Although I have a handful of people that I consider to be my nearest and dearest, I have one in particular that I go directly to whenever I am having issues in my marriage. Because I know that she will point me to what the Word says is my responsibility in the situation. Even when I don't like what she has to say. And that has been often. Don't we oftentimes just want someone to support our bad way of thinking. We will just keep on singling people out, bending their ears UNTIL we find the one that agrees with us? THEN that is the person whose counsel that we choose to seek out.

This is not what the Word tells us is right. Proverbs 12:15 says The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. Wise people are those that seek counsel AND receive it. Foolish people never seek it and then ignore it when it's given. So what do we need to look for in someone to take marital advice from? Well, first of all you look for someone who has the kind of marriage that you want to have. Someone who has a heart for the Lord and always puts him first. You seek out someone who doesn't live by the way they "feel", but by the Word of God.

If you don't have someone like this in your life, start praying NOW for God to send you the person you need. I can honestly say that these friendships that I have made a world of difference to my marriage.

Hebrews 3:13 Encourage one another day after day... so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Not Me! Monday Edition 10

It's time for our weekly therapy session!!!  Head on over to MCK and check out the head therapist!!

*I did NOT go to town in the same shirt I had slept in the night before (and the night before that!)  Not Me!!!  I also did not smell said shirt to make sure it was okay.

*I did NOT allow my oldest to wear mismatched socks to school.  But, if I had, they would have been the same color, just not the same style.  All of our socks are ALWAYS clean, matched and in the drawers where they belong.

*I did NOT have a moment of sadness when I realized one of my followers had dropped off and I couldn't figure out who it was!  Not Me!  I have too much to do to care about stuff like that!

*I did NOT in any way wear the same sports bra to the gym twice this week... without washing it.  If I had, my reasoning would have been that it was only gonna get sweaty AGAIN anyway!

*I did NOT want to hide when I saw my 4 yr old pee on the playground during our Sunday school picnic!!!  I have raised my children better than that.  They ALL have perfect manners!!

Don't forget to head on over to My Charming Kids for some more fun and laughs!!!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

Two things to share with you today. One is that we had a picnic after church for our "care group" in Sunday school. (our class is pretty big so we have it broken down into groups so we can get to know each other better) We had the picnic at the church on our lovely playground. I was afraid after this weekend that it would be too cold to have anything outside, but the weather couldn't have been any better. It was about 63 degrees outside and we had a great time. After the kids had finished eating, my beloved Wyatt asked if he could go play. I told him sure and wiped his face and his hands (not really sure why I did that seeing as how I didn't bother to wipe them BEFORE he ate!!! Oh well!) A very few minutes later, Stephanie told me and Frank to look. Never a good sign by the way. Wyatt had gone into the little playhouse (which is open on 2 sides so you have a really clear view) and decided that was as good a place as any to pee. Yes, my son. Makes a mother proud. (see, this is what happens when you let little boys pee outside) I will confess that this is NOT the first time that one of my boys has peed at a Sunday school function... Gotta love Wyatt!

The other thing is of course I DVR-d 24 tonight!!!! That way I can just fast forward through the commercials!! IT WAS AWESOME!!!! The only thing that makes me sad is that I have to wait until January 11th for it to come back on again. And that Tony is playing a bad guy this time! Can I just say that Jack rocked the house tonight??! He is the man!! Anyway, I can't wait for the regular season to start. If you aren't a 24 fan, it isn't too late for you. Go rent the seasons that are out on dvd. Or better yet, buy them!!!! It is definitely a worth while investment. And the best part about that is NO COMMERCIALS!!

WOO HOO... Jack's back!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Love Dare Day 34

The world is all around us. In everything that we see and everyplace we go. And it does it's very best to influence our decisions and our thoughts. Television, radio, newspapers... they all try to tell us to have it our own way (wait... I think that's Burger King...), that whatever we feel is okay, look out for yourself first. All of these statements are contrary to the Word of God.

What do we do to influence our world, our communities for the Truth? How about our marriages? What makes you the proudest of your spouse? Is it when they get that promotion at work? Maybe when they win that trophy. Or is it when they lead that family devotion? You and I are the most influential people in the life of our spouse. How do we use that influence? Do we use it to influence them to honor God or themselves?

I hadn't really ever thought about that very much. I mean, after all, I know that Frank is a Christian and we go to church just about every time the doors are open. We are active in many areas of our church and openly talk about our love of Jesus to anyone that will listen. So I never really considered my influence over my husband. Unless you're talking about how to get some new clothes or shoes. And then I can NOT reveal my methods of influence! *wink wink*

I never thought that my influence could cause my husband to sin. What do I mean by that? When Frank sings a solo in church, does my praise of his abilities cause him to think too highly of himself or cause him to be prideful? Or when he really succeeds at work, does my praise feed his vanity?

Love rejoices MOST in the things that please the Lord. Growing in Christian character, being the spiritual leader in the home, standing firm in our faith, staying pure before the Lord... those are the things that should be praised.

Today's dare says FIND A SPECIFIC RECENT EXAMPLE WHEN YOUR SPOUSE DEMONSTRATED CHRISTIAN CHARACTER IN A NOTICEABLE WAY. VERBALLY COMMEND THEM AT SOME POINT TODAY FOR THIS.

I have to say that this was hard for me. Not to think of anything. But because there are sooo many things. I am truly so blessed. I can really see that Frank is making a very big effort to make some changes in our marriage. Not to change me, but to himself. But, I thought that I would share something else with you that might give you a better picture.

Remember way back at the beginning of the dare on day 7 when we were asked to make a list of all the positive things we love about our spouse? Well, many of the things I wrote down demonstrate Christian character and the love of Christ. So, I thought I would share my list with you. (and give Frank a chance to see it too!) Not everything on the list is "spiritual" or falls into this category specifically. But I thought it would give you a better picture of what a wonderful man God gave me. I am thankful for him everyday (even when he does leave his underwear or socks on the floor!!)

*I love the way Frank loves his children
*Godly man
*hard worker
*good provider
*honest
*HOT!!!!
*well respected and gives respect
*loves his family
*loves MY family
*quick to forgive
*not easily angered
*not afraid to show emotions
*great singer
*great piano player
*loyal friend
*super smart
*excels at EVERYTHING he does
*contagious laughter
*always trying to be a better man
*lets me have horses even though they aren't his thing
*good snuggler
*always helps me w/the kids (he is the bath giver, remember)
*great dresser
*helps without always having to be asked

These are just a few things... I love you, Frank!!!

Small Fryday Contest

Head on over to MckMama's and see the adorable pictures of Small Fry!!! And if you have time, enter her contest! Should be some great prizes including, but not limited to a newly designed blogheader! Which I would love... seeing that we just took new pictures and all!!!

Family Picture Day

Today was the day. Family pictures. I have been half dreading it and half longing for it. I love getting updated pictures once a year of ALL of us. It is so rare that we all are in a picture together. Most of the time either Frank or I are taking the picture. Well, I'm sure you all understand.

To start off, my boys got up about 5:40am. They had quit doing this for a while. Sadly, they have been doing this for the past week all over again. We promptly sent them back upstairs to watch TV in the playroom (see, it IS good for something!!) and went back to sleep. Until the dogs started whining to go out. Which was only about 10 minutes later... Thank goodness Frank got up and let them out. I don't know how much longer I got to sleep, but someone came downstairs saying they were hungry. For a brief moment, I thought about telling them to take the candy bowl upstairs and help themselves... it was only a fleeting thought I said.

Of course they wanted something that I was gonna have to cook. Pancakes. Their fave. So I poured the biggest bowl of mix you have ever seen and got to work. I like to make a whooooole bunch of them and freeze what they don't eat so if they want some for breakfast during the week, I already have them. Just take them out and pop them into the microwave!!

Frank decided that he wanted some too. I think he ate 5, Jackson ate SIX, Wyatt ate 3 and Mallory ate 2. I had none... and I still had about 30 left over!!

Off to the showers the boys went... all of them. It's always interesting to hear the conversations that happen from inside the shower!! Mallory played in the tub while I got dressed. Okay. Everyone is dressed now. Frank thinks Mallory is overdressed. The rest of us don't. I mean, she is a girl afterall. It is okay for her to be in a dress!!!

Have I mentioned that last night was one of the coldest we have had here?? I think it was about 25 degrees last night. Brrrrr!!!! *shiver* So, by the time Kim got there to take the picture I think it was a warm... 35 degrees!! Very cold. We were all freeeeezing!! So, needless to say, we did not even try to get the dogs and the horses into the picture. It was too cold. We just wanted to get the best pictures we could as FAST as we could.

The kids did good considering how cold it was. And as a result of their good behavior, they got to pick where they wanted to go for lunch. Guess where it was? Ugh. Chuck E. Cheese. AGAIN. Not only was I there on Thursday for playgroup, we were at the mall last night to see Santa's grand entrance into the mall and to see him light the center court Christmas tree. So, I have gone out to the mall 3 days in a row... yay... I at least was thoughtfull enough to call my friend Emily and make her bring the girls and suffer with us!

Anyway, Kim showed me the pictures that she took on her camera and they are soooo good! I can't wait to get them back. As soon as I do I will post some and she will probably put some on her website. I will let you know.

On to dinner...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Crazy Eights Tag!

My bloggy buddy, Keli, tagged me and because I do wuv her I will play along!!!  Here goes...

8 TV shows I like to watch
1.Greys Anatomy (I know it's trash... don't scorn me)
2.Smallville  (love me some Tom Welling)
3.Criminal Minds
4.Numbers
5.Jon and Kate plus 8
6.House Hunters
7.Brothers & Sisters (comes on Sunday nights)
8.  24!!!!! (can't wait for Jack to be back!!!!)

8 places I like to eat
1.Olive Garden
2.Mikata's
3. Prime (in Atlanta)
4. El Vaquero
5. House of China
6. Elizabeth's (in Savannah)
7. my parents (for a great steak)
8. my in-laws (everything MIL cooks is goooood)

8 things that happened yesterday
1. did mass quantities of laundry
2. had to suffer through Chuck E Cheese for playgroup
3. delivered 2 chocolate chip pecan (thats PEE CAN) pies to the bank
4. blogged waaay to long
5. walked the pond with Kim to find good spot for pictures
6. broke up 1,384 fights between the kids
7. cleaned up an entire container of dog food that the dogs turned over (Grrrrr)
8. enjoyed some quiet conversation with the hubby (while he ironed hehehe)

8 things I look forward to
1. NO MORE PULLUPS!!!!
2. getting to see Ang in a couple of weeks (I know.  Be jealous.  Be verrrry jealous)
3. family coming for Thanksgiving
4. seeing Jay and Emily's little girl Ashley in a few weeks
5. going to Maine in January for 10 yr anniversary
6. becoming a caring home (for babies waiting to be placed in adopted homes)
7. decorating my house for Christmas
8. mailing out Christmas cards and GETTING cards from others

8 things I love about Fall
1. crisp, cool mornings
2. horseback rides through the changing leaves... and cooler weather
3. hot apple cider
4. sweaters and jackets
5. skull caps on my boys
6. having big bon fires outside and making smores
7. wearing tights with hot boots (yes, Frank's personal favorite too)
8. did I mention horseback rides...

8 things on my wish list
1. to be foster parents one day
2. to have a new laptop
3. to build a barn
4. to have more time to ride (horses)
5. to see ALL of my kids come to know Jesus
6. to still feel like Frank and I are "dating" in 20 years
7. to have a blog party and see all of you!!!!
8. to have a diamond/sapphire wrap for my ring (it's nice to have a dream :)

8 people to tag
1. Mimi
5. Rae

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Love Dare Day 33

Well, I didn't post last night because my hubby asked me for a "afterthekidsgotobed" date.  Which meant I had to get a shower AND shave both legs in the same day!  Whew!!!  Dinner and a movie in front of the fire.  Sweet!!!

You remember that I said before that Frank and I are very different?  And I talked about the water issues?  Well, there's more.  He likes golf.  I don't.  I love all things horsey.  He does not!  He doesn't see the point in riding a horse when he has a perfectly good vehicle.  I would prefer that to be my primary source of transportation... if I just didn't have those kids!!

I love concerts, big concerts.  And I love being right smack dab in the middle of ALL the people.  Frank loathes being in big crowds like that.  I also love  going to football games.  And I don't want box seats either.  I want to be in with the crowd where I don't have to be civilized!  Frank would prefer the box seats.  There are many things that we differ on.  But there are also a lot of things that we have in common.

We both like to shop.  Although Frank usually likes to shop with a purpose, but we both enjoy it.  We both like the theater.  Both being in it and just watching.  We both like to sing.  Frank does it MUCH better though.  Music is a big deal to both of us.

Remember that line in Jerry McGuire where Tom Cruise said "You complete me!"  Well, while there is so much wrong with that line, there is also some truth to it.  We were meant as husband and wife to complete each other in a way.  Consider this verse from Ecclesiastes 4:9,10  "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.  For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.  But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up".  We are supposed to HELP one another.  Not to just co-exist, but to multiply the effectiveness of one another.

Hmm... I am supposed to help Frank to be a more effective person.  Do I do that?  I would have to say a lot of times I don't.  My complaining or nagging or just bad attitude in general probably does not help him be very effective in a good way.

When we learn to accept the differences in one another, we can scoot right on by criticism  and go directly to helping and appreciating each other.  But some of us can't get past the differences.  We loose a lot of opportunities this way.  How effective our marriages are is based largely on how we work together.  How we complete each other.

Do we include each other in big decisions or do we make them on our own and inform our spouse?  Do we ask for their opinion and give it full weight?  Even if we disagree, we should respect each other enough to ask for their perspective and point of view.

Dare: RECOGNIZE THAT YOUR SPOUSE IS INTEGRAL TO YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS.  LET THEM KNOW TODAY THAT YOU DESIRE TO INCLUDE THEM IN YOUR UPCOMING DECISIONS, AND THAT YOU NEED THEIR PERSPECTIVE AND COUNSEL.

I know that Frank is vital to my future success.  I can't do it without him.  I must include him in all decisions because I want him to be a part of what I am involved in.  I want him to care enough about me and what I feel led to be a part of to be a helper and an encourager.

I guess what I'm saying, Frank, is "You complete me..." (hehehe)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Is Just Around The Corner

Everyday, I have that Christmas countdown staring at me.  It makes me think of all the things I have to do and what little time I have to do it in.  A lot of my gifts are monogrammed.  And seeing as how I am the monogrammer... Lots to do!!!  Why I do this to myself every year, I don't know.  And every year I tell myself that I am going to start earlier.  Yeah... whatever!!!

Another big "to-do" is the Christmas cards.  For some reason they are very important to me to do.  I don't know why.  I guess I just need to add one more big thing on my list.  Big thing?  you shyly ask...  Yes, because first you have to take the pictures.  You ever try to get ONE good shot with 3 kids, 2 adults and 2 dogs??  And this year we are gonna try to get the horses in the background/foreground somehow!  Good luck, Kim!!!  And then there is the list itself!!!  Good Grief!!!  There are friends, family, business associates and contacts, people that send you a card and now you have to send them one...  Every year the list grows.  And every year Frank and I argue about who stays on the list and who goes.

And the gift list...  trying to think of something for everyone on there.  Sometimes I think I would just like to skip it!!  Alas, I can not.  Because it is my favorite time of year.  Seeing family and friends, having a chance to spend some time together and be mindful of what the season is really about!

So this week, I am getting our picture clothes all put together (nothing fancy, don't get too excited) and working on the card list!  What are you doing to get ready for the holidays??

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Love Dare Day 32

Okay, I am just going to go ahead and let you know that this post will get waaay personal.  Sorry, it is just the nature of the topic at hand.  And Frank, it would do you well just NOT to read this one.  I know you will die a thousand deaths by the end.  Know that I love you :)

I don't know many women that don't like a little romance.  In fact, one of my favorite things to do before Frank and I got married was watch romantic movies.  Or read romantic books (not trashy, I said romantic).  Or get totally wrapped up in some characters relationship on TV.  So I had all of these "visions" in my head of what it was going to be like once we got married.

And then reality hit.

And then the kids came.

Life happened.

Do you see where I am going?  Romance is important in our marriages.  And sex (yes, I said it) is one part of it.  God talks about it extensively in Song of Solomon.  Over time, usually it will become more important to one than the other.

After we had Jackson, things started changing.  Well, specifically, my focus (and lack of sleep) started changing.  And just like many of you, when the "girls" would get together we would all laugh and joke about our lack of sex and our "poor" husbands.  Sex was a tool we could use to get things that we wanted and we could withhold it when we were upset or hurt.

Sex is NOT designed to be used as a bargaining tool.  God does not allow us to withhold it without consequences.  I Corinthians 7:5 says  Stop depriving one another except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.  If we withhold sex from one another, over time it can cause a lack of self-control or may cause us to stray.

Obviously, that is not what God intends for any of us.  In fact, what is intended is that we meet our spouses sexual needs. (come on, quit snickering)  I Corinthians 7:4 tells us that The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.  Frank loves this verse, by the way...

I can remember not long after we had changed churches, I was having a conversation on the phone with one of my new friends.  We were talking about our men and laughing at their quirks.  I made some comment about "withholding", and K just let me have it.  I was holding the phone out looking at it, thinking "Who are you? And why am I talking to you again??"  But, she just spoke the Word to me.  And I needed to hear it.

Things really changed after that.  The biggest change was that I stopped rejecting his advances.  The "window of opportunity" that we had all joked about never closed.  It went a long way in making a difference in our marriage.  There was no more "headache" or being too tired-even if I was. Because I realized that it wasn't about ME.  It was about him.  And my giving to him.

The dare for today says IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, TRY TO INITIATE SEX WITH YOUR SPOUSE TODAY.  DO THIS IN A WAY THAT HONORS WHAT YOUR SPOUSE HAS TOLD YOU (OR IMPLIED) ABOUT WHAT THEY NEED FROM YOU SEXUALLY.

Okay, truthfully, I have been snickering through most of this... Sorry.  I am really a 4th grader sitting in class...   I think I have given you enough information on my part of this and I am certainly NOT going to share details of this.  All I will say is, we don't have this problem *wink*


Monday, November 17, 2008

Not Me! Monday Edition 9

Here it is already time for our Not Me! Monday post.  So much cheaper than therapy!  Here is what I did not do this week!

I did not get totally busted on my Love Dare's!  I am a super sleuth and am always great at covering my tracks!

I did not secretly snicker to myself when the husband had to go clean up "his" dog's poop.  And it was a doozy!!!   

I did not jump for joy learning that I was going to go get to meet one of my best bloggy friends in a couple of weeks!!!

I did not scream until I was hoarse at the GA-AUB game this weekend!  I have more self-control than that!

I have not ignored the laundry at my house.  I am always on top of it.  I never have piles of clothes to catch up on.  I am the ultimate domestic diva!

I did not pick up my sons jeans and give them a big sniff to see if they were too stinky for him to wear.  His other jeans were also not in the non-existent pile of unclean laundry!!

Hope there wasn't anything you didn't do this week!  To find out what others have not been up to, head on over to MckMama's and check it out.  Make sure you read her story if you haven't.  Get comfy and grab the tissue!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's Game Day!!!

Today, Frank and I went to Auburn to watch the GA-AUB game with our good friends Ryan and Stephanie and Scott and Julie.  We loaded up this morning and set out.  Once we got there we had been invited to go "tailgating" with the guy that gave us these lovely tickets.  Well, lets just say that it was not like any tailgate that I had been to before.  It was a huge tent (more like the ones you would see at a wedding-completely enclosed) with heaters going and a nice food spread.  We hung out there for a while and then headed into the stadium.  Can I tell you  that it. was.so.cooooold!!!  The wind was terrible!  So, we all had on sweaters and jackets and wished we had hats and gloves.  Anyway, we had fabulous seats on about the 30 yrd line 21 rows up from the field!!  The game was close, just in case you weren't watching, and we stood just about the whole time cheering our DAWGS on!!  It came down to the very last seconds and I was literally biting my nails.  VICTORY!!!!  Georgia pulled it off with a score of 17-13!!  We all went to dinner after that and then played a game on the way home of "How many big hair rock bands can you name from the 80's and early 90's?"  We laughed thinking about all of those bands we listened too! (for example, Poison, Great White, Whitesnake, Winger-which is Frank's personal favorite :) Cinderella just to name a few!!)

**On a side note, Ang won my little contest with guessing that Mallory was in the purple tutu and laying down in the white dress!  I think there were about 4 pics to choose from!!  She will be receiving a special Christmas present very soon!  I will let her give you the details once she gets it!!!

Okay, the love dare posts will be back on Monday!  Enjoy the game pictures!

Cucucachoo everyone :)






More Game Pictures





Friday, November 14, 2008

Must Be My Lucky Day

I just received this award from bloggy friend Mistee!!!  (Hey, I heart your blog too :)  If you're not a reader, you should be.  So go check her out!!!

Also, just so you know, my sweet friend Kim has her blog on her photography website now.  I have added it to my sidebar. GO.CHECK.IT.OUT!!!  Seriously.  I really think she is one of the very best photographers I have ever seen.  And if you log into the "site" side, you can find some pictures of my little girl in there.  If you go over and look, let me know which one you think is her... there could be a prize involved...

Love Dare Day 31

I'm just gonna be honest with you here.  I am going to reveal something to you about my husband.  He already knows it, has admitted to it, and is perfectly fine with it.  He... is a mama's boy.  Yes, that's right.  A mama's boy.  And quite frankly, it used to bother me a lot.  There have been many times that I felt like he was choosing her over me or something that she wanted him to do over something I  didn't want him to do.  Fortunately, neither of our parents are meddlers.  They will often offer advice or give their opinions, but they are not pushy or all up in our business, unless we want them to be.

Over time, I have grown to see that being a mama's boy isn't really as bad as I thought it would be.  There are some real benefits.  Like... she will fix him his favorite dinner instead of me having to do it.  She will offer to help with the kids.  She will hem his pants or basically lovingly do most anything he asks.  And, now that I have boys of my own, I hope that they will see the way that Frank loves his mom... and show me the same kind of love and respect that he gives her.  I won't mind a bit if they are mama's boys. :)

The Word does give us some very clear direction on this though.  Most of us heard it in our own weddings or at the very least in someone else's.  Genesis 2:24 says  A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.  Some of us don't take this to heart and it can cause a real problem in many marriages.

"Leaving" just simply indicates breaking a natural tie.  It's not talking about walking away from your parents.  Just they their roles change.  Now they are there to give advice, but they can not tell you what to do anymore.  This can be hard for some on both sides!

"Cleaving" has the notion of catching someone by pursuit and holding on tight for safety.

We don't know more than God.  Really.  I'm not just saying that.  This was His design for our marriages.  And even though it may be difficult, we have to put this verse into practice.  If we keep oneness on the forefront of our minds over time our marriages will begin to reflect it.  

Dare: IF THERE IS A "LEAVING" ISSUE CONFESS IT TO YOUR SPOUSE TODAY AND RESOLVE TO MAKE IT RIGHT.  MAKE YOUR MARRIAGE A PRIORITY OVER EVERY OTHER HUMAN RELATIONSHIP.

As I said earlier, this is not something we struggle with concerning our parents.  We are so fortunate in this area.  But we are still supposed to put our marriage relationship over "every other human relationship".  Ladies, this includes our kids.  *ouch*  As moms I know this can be very hard.  I promise you that I live it too.  However, your marriage depends on it.  I did not practice this when I had my first.  But over time, I came to see how damaging this was to my marriage.  And, when I got surrounded by some good, Bible-believing friends, they were quick to point that out.  If your marriage is not strong, your family won't be either!

Hot Blog Award!!!

Wow!!!! Thanks so much!!   I have never gotten this before and I must say that anyone giving me anything with the word HOT in it makes me feel gooooood!!!  My bloggy buddy over at tollesons4him gave this to me and it is very much appreciated! If you haven't checked her blog out head on over!!  The only rule is that I must pass it on.  So... here are the recipients (even though I really would like to just choose you all! :)

Amy over at Chapters
Jennifer at Everyday Blessings

These are some new bloggy friends of mine so head on over and check them out.  You won't be disappointed!




Thursday, November 13, 2008

Love Dare Day 30

Well, first of all let me say that I have been busted!  Frank knows about the dare.  In fact, he has been on to me for a while.  Apparently, since about day 3.  He didn't say anything because he was just "enjoying the ride".  So, at least I don't have to hide it anymore when I am trying to post these and Frank can read my blog again!

On to day 30!  Only 10 days left!

Frank and I are pretty different.  In fact, looking back, I'm not sure how we ever got together in the first place.  When we met, we were about as opposite as night and day.  I was the bad one, Frank was the good one.  I like water skiing, knee boarding, fishing, horseback riding, football games and generally just being outside.  Frank does not like to get in any body of water that he can't see the bottom of!  So, that knocked out a lot of my outdoor activities.  And, even though he grew up on this farm with horses, sadly, he does not share my passion for them.  But, he does let me have them and he pays for my "hobby".

But even though there are many things that make us different, there are many things we share in common.  And those are the things that keep us together.  Keep us united and make us one.  Even though we have different interests and responsibilities, we are still a team.

I am reminded of the Trinity.  Now, I am not going to even begin to pretend like I know all there is to know about the Trinity.  But, what I do understand is this.  That even though it has 3 parts that function in different ways and have different responsibilities, they are still united.  They are still one!  Each part is different, distinctive.  Yet, they are one!  Each one loving the other.  Each one being an encouragement to the other.  Wow!  What a great example of what our marriages should look like.

We should view our spouse as just an extension of ourselves.  Truly, a part of who we are.  We did become one, after all, on our wedding day.  We should rush to meet their needs.  Because when we do that we are meeting our own needs.  Their needs can't be separated from ours.

The dare for today says ISOLATE ONE AREA OF DIVISION IN YOUR MARRIAGE, AND LOOK ON TODAY AS AS FRESH OPPORTUNITY TO PRAY ABOUT IT.  ASK THE LORD TO REVEAL ANYTHING IN YOUR OWN HEART THAT IS THREATENING ONENESS WITH YOUR SPOUSE.

I couldn't think of anything that was divisive to or in our marriage.  So, since Frank was obviously aware of what I was doing, I asked him.  Although he did say that he didn't know of anything that was divisive, he did mention something that is a point of disagreement.  And even though I want him to be the one to see it my way, it's not worth it.  I don't want it to become divisive.  I don't want there to be any division between us.  Nothing, NOTHING is worth that.  So, I will do what Day 12 said and give in to this area of disagreement.  Bring on the duct tape! 

Ashley's On The Way!!!

I am so excited to share with you all that Jay and Emily got the long awaited phone call today that said they have been approved to adopt Ashley!!!  It has been a very long time coming and they are thrilled beyond words!  Please be in prayer for them as they prepare themselves and their 3 girls for this momentous day!  You can check out their journey here!

Hold on Ashley Mei... not much longer now!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Love Dare Day 29

There are days... days when Frank says or does something that just rubs me wrong.  Or makes me angry.  There are days when, even though I love him, I don't like him very much.  And I know that there are many days when I am not so lovable either.  Probably several times in one day.  Some days, it can even be hard to love, if I am honest.

Our moods, feelings, and emotions are always changing, going up and down.  Aren't you glad that we have a constant in our lives... God.  When God is at the center of my heart, when He is my reason for showing love, my ability to love is guaranteed.  That's because God IS love.  Not just that He HAS it, He IS it.

I never really knew what all love entailed until I got married.  This kind of love is not determined by my spouse's attitude or how well we are getting along (although... his attitude usually determines that!)  My focus in my marriage should be to honor the Lord.  The fact that my honoring the Lord reaps some benefit for Frank.. well, that's just the cherry on top.

Loving out of a sense of obligation will not last long.  And loving ONLY when things are good will not have the assurance of surviving.  Only a love that is from God will be able to sustain itself when there don't seem to be any reasons left to keep going.

BEFORE YOU SEE YOUR SPOUSE AGAIN TODAY, PRAY FOR THEM BY NAME AND FOR THEIR NEEDS.  WHETHER IT COMES EASY FOR YOU OR NOT, SAY I LOVE YOU, THEN SHOW LOVE TO THEM IN SOME TANGIBLE WAY.  THANK GOD FOR THE PRIVILEGE OF LOVING YOUR SPOUSE.

I pray for Frank everyday in my quiet time.  And sometimes several times throughout the day as he comes to mind... which is often.  I promise you that since I started doing this REGULARLY, I have seen a tremendous difference in my marriage.  Things are not the same.  They are not like they used to be-in a good way.  And I do attribute it to a lot of prayer.  Not for God to change him, but for God to be with him and help him be all that HE wants for Frank.  
I don't know about you guys, but mediocre is NOT a word I want to describe my marriage....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You Know You're Getting Old When...

You know you're getting old when you stop asking for jewelry at Christmas.  Or for cool books, clothes, new saddles, a puppy, a new car.  And you start asking for things like new towels, or a "little green machine", a cool vacuum cleaner or steam mop.  Or in Frank's case... a new iron.  Yes, he even ordered it off the internet because he couldn't find one in the stores that would meet his needs.  And it wasn't cheap either.

Did I say anything? Noooooo I did not.  Why?  Because I am not the iron er in this house.  Tried it.  At one point we gave up the cleaners and I said I would do it.  But I never did it good enough and it took me waaaay to long.  He would come home and look them over and re-iron a lot of what I had already done.  So that nipped that in the bud!!  It was back to the cleaners we went.

Then, not too long ago, we really took a look at how much we were spending at the cleaners and Frank decided HE would iron his stuff. (He also irons the rest of our stuff if it needs it btw.  Especially on Sunday mornings...)  So, I keep his shirts washed and hung up and he irons them!  Not something his mother particularly likes, I might add. :) (love you mom!!)  Anyway, it is a  painstakingly long process to iron the shirts.  It was taking about 40 minutes to iron ONE shirt along with half a can of starch.  He likes his shirts to REALLY stand up.  He likes them sooo starched that when he puts his pen into his shirt pocket, the pocket just kind of wraps the pen up WITHOUT opening the pocket!!

So, for those of you that asked... there's your answer.  That, friends, is why I don't do the ironing in this house.  Pictures are included for your viewing pleasure :)


The Kids Have A Sleepover

Tonight, the kids are having a sleepover.  Well, the 4-legged kids that is.  Ry and Steph went to the Coldplay concert tonight so we get to keep their baby.  He and Notch are only 2 weeks apart in age.  They LOVE to play with each other.  Although, Zoey isn't really all that thrilled about them on her bed!  Phineas (we call him Phinny for short) looks a lot like Zoey.  But he is a Viszla.  They are all so cute together!

Love Dare Day 28

I believe that I have one of the hardest jobs in the world. Anyone that is a SAHM knows exactly what I am talking about. And if you have more than one (not that only being a SAHM of one isn't hard either...) well, it's doubly hard. Now, I know that my husband has a hard job, too with a ton of responsibilities. He started a bank from the ground up, from scratch for crying out loud!!! However, on many days you could not convince me that his job was harder. If Frank came home complaining, I had little sympathy. Some, but not a lot.

(I know. I sound horrible. But I'm just trying to keep it real here for ya'll.) I mean, life never stops for me. Even if I am sick. Even when I am tired. Even when I just.want.to.be.ALONE! And I would like to take my "customers" somewhere other than Burger King for our business lunches! And I would like to retreat to my bathroom without people always following me. At least when he deals with difficult "customers", they are adults. And he can reason with them to some degree. And they are going to leave at some point.

Whew! Life can be tough!! But what we really mean most of the time when we say that is life can be tough for us. We can easily see when life is difficult for us. We are quick to notice when we are mistreated or unappreciated. When our spouse starts telling us how hard life is for them, we just chalk it up to complaining or having a bad attitude a lot of the time. After all, life is harder for us than it is for them, right?

But love wants us to be sensitive to our spouse. Before they are overwhelmed, love steps in. Love sees the stress and worries building up and rushes to help. Love makes us respond without having to be asked. And if we do have to be asked, love makes us take a look at the heart of the problem, even if the words our spouse uses are harsh and cutting. Love causes us to respond with compassion rather than defensively. It says "no" to what we want and "yes" to what their needs are.

Instead of sitting around upset that they are not treating you the way you think they should, let love pick you up out of your SELF PITY and turn your attention to their needs. Man, that hit me like a ton of bricks when I read that. Did you know that even having a pity party is sin? It is just another form of pride. Whether you are thinking too highly of yourself or too lowly of yourself... you are still thinking of yourself. And what we are supposed to be doing is thinking of others.

Dare: WHAT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST NEEDS IN YOUR SPOUSES LIFE RIGHT NOW? IS THERE A NEED YOU COULD TAKE FROM THEM BY AN ACT OF SACRIFICE ON YOUR PART? PURPOSE TO DO WHAT YOU CAN TO MEET THAT NEED.

Again, I had to ask him. (I'm thinking that pretty soon with all the questions I have been asking that he is going to catch on.) He thought for a few minutes and said that honestly he couldn't think of anything. Except maybe someone to do the ironing for him (more on that in the next post!!) And that's not gonna happen! Over the past 2 or 3 months, we have had some discussions similar to this one. He told me some things that were causing him stress or irritation around here that added to his stress from work. Although those conversations usually did not go over too well at first, I did my very best to accommodate all of his wishes. And some of them do require sacrifice. And I am not always happy to do them, but I do them. Because I love him and want to do whatever possible to meet his needs.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not Me! Monday Edition 8

Well, it's time for some free therapy again thanks to MckMama!!  So head on over to her place when you're finished here to find out what others are in therapy for!!

I did NOT let my kids eat halloween candy for breakfast 2x this week!  Not me!  I know that stuff has no nutritional value whatsoever and I always get up and cook them a healthy breakfast to start their day.

I did NOT run and scream like a little girl when taking the puppy out at 3am and I heard a deer snort at me from in my yard.  I also did not leave the puppy while running.  I care about him more than that!

I did NOT break out the granny panties while Frank was out of town all week! Not me! (hey don't scorn me.  You know you all have them!)

I did NOT thank the good Lord that Saturday was Wyatt's last soccer game!  Not me!  I am always glad when my kids are involved in sports!

I did NOT go to the fair with some of the college kids this week.  I also did not ride every ride or feel like I was a kid again!  Not me!  I know that I am old and I acted like their mother the whole time, making sure they didn't overeat and they were safe!

Don't forget to head over and see what MckMama and all the MSC are doing!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Love Dare Day 27

I have said in a previous post that when Frank and I were dating we spent A LOT of time together. And we did. I, like many of you, also had on my "love blinders". There wasn't really a whole lot that Frank did in the beginning that I didn't like. Or that got on my nerves. Everything was wonderful. He was kind, thoughtful, and made me feel like I was his only priority. And I listened and didn't nag or argue with him. I laughed at all of his jokes. We just loved to be around each other.

It's funny how things change after many years of being together. Our spouses have done such a good job of meeting our needs and making us happy. But having that kind of expectation will only lead to disappointment and frustration. The more expectations that I have on my spouse, the more likely they are to fail.

Remember how I said before that for a long time I looked to Frank to determine my attitude and my happiness? Can I just tell you that made for some miserable times. That is not the way that God intended marriage to work. Did I forget to mention that I also expected him to read my mind the majority of the time? I thought all men were capable of doing that! I quickly learned that they couldn't. And when he did not, I ended up being very hurt.

We have to decide to let encouragement overrule our expectations. Love focuses on personal responsibility and self-improvement, not what someone else can do for us.

Maybe you think that all (or most) of your expectations are reasonable and legitimate. This is not really your problem but your spouse's problem. You don't think that you are perfect by any means, but you should still be able to speak your mind. The problem with this is that not very many of us can respond to criticism and be objective at the same time. Rather than causing you to want to change, criticism only makes you (ME) want to put my foot down, stand my ground.

I Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to Encourage one another and build up one another...

Don't you want your marriage to be a place where when you fail there is someone there to help you up and not make you feel worse for failing? I do. And so does your spouse. When we make a committment to be encouragers to our spouse, we are helping them to reach their full potential in Christ!

My challenge today is to THINK OF AN AREA WHERE YOUR SPOUSE HAS TOLD YOU YOU'RE EXPECTING TOO MUCH AND TELL THEM YOU ARE SORRY FOR BEING SO HARD ON THEM ABOUT IT. PROMISE THEM YOU WILL SEEK TO UNDERSTAND AND ASSURE THEM OF YOUR UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

Well, I had to ask him because I think that we have really turned a corner in this department. We have had many many discussions about this very thing. Usually it is coming from the other direction (me telling him his expectations are too high) but I have given him a list of things that I would like to see change too. Thank goodness his answer was that he didn't feel like I had unrealistic expectations of him. Although, I do think that from time to time we all do. Maybe not consistently, but sometimes. We just need to remember that we are all human and make mistakes. And we need to be there for each other. Help each other up. Not add more guilt or shame for falling.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Day In The Life

It's 6am. On the dot. Which means they have been awake for at least 10 minutes. (Jack likes to "take care of business" first thing in the morning!) I can hear one of them coming and they haven't even crossed the threshold of my room yet. I pretend I am not awake yet. The oldest one leans down close to my face and with the worst possible morning breath says "Mom"... "Mommy"... "MOM"!! Finally, with my eyes still closed, I answered the child. He wants to know if they can turn on the TV in the playroom. Not wanting to get up yet I told him they could.

Later, though at this time I don't know how much later, I hear more footsteps coming. This time it's the middle child. He comes close to me also and says "Mom... we're hungry. Can you feed us now?" Still with eyes closed I said okay. He walks around to hubby's side of the bed and climbs in. We all have a quick snuggle and then I proceed to the kitchen.

Great! No coffee. Both of us forgot to make the pot last night. Okay. Coffee first, kids second. I know. Great parenting. The kids ask for waffles and I can do that since all I need to do is stick them in oven. It's now 7:10am and I call Jack downstairs to eat. One set of waffles with butter only, the other no butter and syrup in a bowl for dipping.

Ahhh, coffee is now ready. And in goes the new flavor-Caramel Apple!! Nice... I can feel myself waking up now. Realizing that the husband is still in the bed watching news I go and remind him if he needs a shower he better go get it now. Middle child overhears that husband is getting in shower and comes running to get in too. Even though he got a bath last night.

Littlest child is now awake and calling for me to come and get her. I go in her room and sing the goodmorning song to her. I find her something to wear and put on her glasses and send her into the kitchen for her breakfast too. Monkey needs a banana? Okay, you can have one I say.

Now I go to make the bed. I can NOT leave the house feeling good without all the beds being made. I know. I curse my mother every time I have to make it. Get myself dressed quickly, brush my teeth. Holler to the kids to come and brush theirs too.

Frank begins to gather the kids to put them into the car. It's now 8am and we have to be at the Sports Park at 815am. Not gonna happen. It's an almost 30 minute drive from our house. I gather everything and make 2 trips to the car to get it all in. Okay, coffee in hand and off we go.

Ten minutes into the drive, Frank says he forgot to put the chairs in the truck. "How many chairs did you forget?" I ask. He replies, "All of them". Snap!! I don't make a big deal about it because I am remembering my Love Dares! And I now conveniently keep the HDT in my pocket at all times.

We finally make it to the Sports Park. It's now 845 am. Only missed 30 minutes of practice. Game starts at 9:00. I am grateful that it is Wyatt's last game. Having to be out there at 815 every Saturday morning kind of puts a damper on things, you know? Thankfully, our field this time is right by the bleachers. Chairs not necessary after all. Glad I kept my mouth shut. Jackson finds his friends and they have brought light sabers to the game so they all begin to sword fight. Typical.

Mallory is now going up and down the bleachers. Frank has abandoned me to go talk about his trip to the guys. "Okay" I tell Mallory. "You must stop running on the bleachers". So she opts for a snack instead and comes and sits down next to me. Game on. We begin to cheer for Wyatt. Really my cheering is just instructions for him to follow. Sometimes he gets sidetracked and instead of chasing the soccer ball, he just chases his friends.

We are 2 potty breaks into the game and I am still wondering when Frank is coming back over here. Oh, wait. I see him. Yep. Still talking away. Oh, well. Game is over now and Frank comes over to take the snacks to the team. It was our turn. Coach C passes out their stars and we can finally go.

Back into the car we go. Five minutes into the ride I ask Frank if he remembered to grab Wyatt's other shoes. He didn't know he was supposed to and ran down our conversation about who was supposed to grab them. Apparently it was me. Fabulous. Now Wyatt has no shoes. After a quick stop to get the dogs some food we head to my mom's house.

I get Wyatt's clothes changed and the birthday gift wrapped and we load up into the car again. We go to 3 places before I find Wyatt some shoes I am willing to pay for. And he didn't even need any! I drop Frank and Wyatt off at the party and take the other 2 with me to go find them some shoes. They are both down to about 1 pair a piece that either need to be replaced or are going to be outgrown in about... now.

First stop. Everybody out. We look in the store for shoes. Jackpot. I found the kind of shoes I have been looking for. Sadly, her size is gone. Jackson is now complaining because I say NO to every pair so shoes he picks up and insists he must have. More complaining when I tell him we have to go to another store.

Next store, same story. Ugh. Now we'll try the mall. Children are now begging for food so I decide maybe we should do that first. We eat and then I drag them to the 3rd store. Certain that they would have what I was looking for I made them go up the escalator and all the way to the other end of the store. Good grief. Nothing. Back downstairs and on to try another store.

Fourth store. Nothing. Glance down at my watch and realize that we really have to go. Frank mentioned that they didn't have to stay at the party the whole time so I wanted to get there early. Besides, the kids need to get down for a nap early and the Ga. game starts at 1230. So, we load up in the car again.

Make it back to the party and I call Franks cell to let him know we are waiting outside. No answer. Wait a few minutes and call him again. Still no answer. I send him a text. Still no answer. My aggravation level is beginning to rise. Now I am doing the repeat calling. Almost 30 minutes has gone by and now I tell Jackson to lock the doors and I am going to get his father (note I said father and not daddy) and his brother. I walk in and look in the arcade. Not there. I walk to the party rooms. Hmmm. Not there either. I finally find a competent employee and ask where that particular party has gone. To the race track.

I get in the car and drive over there. I see Frank and Wyatt going around in the "race car" and wait some more. It has now been 40 minutes since I pulled in the parking lot and the natives are getting restless. I get Franks attention and have to drive back to the entrance. Frank brings out a screaming Wyatt. He wasn't ready to go. Frank informs me that the screaming child would not eat his hotdog for lunch and instead... ate cake. Lovely, I said.

Back over to my parents house to put the little kids down for a nap. The game has already started, by the way. So far, we are ahead by 1 touchdown. Get the kids in their beds and settle in to watch the game. The game is going well and my mom asks if I found the shoes I was looking for. I told her no so she suggested that we go look while we have a little time. Since I am not one to turn shopping down, she and I headed out.

First store we go to we did find some that I liked for Mallory, but not loved. So we kept looking. At the next store, my mom points out some cute shirts. I start looking through the racks too. Pulling out several things I go try them on. Liked a lot of them. Reminded mom this is not what we came for. Begin looking for shoes again. Nothing. On the way back to the other store, I spotted some ultra cute Christmas pillows for my rocking chairs on the front porch. Mom says to grab all 4 of them. Never argue with your mother.

Go up to the register. Lady gives me a total. Mom buys it all. Sweet!! Go back to the original store. Get the shoes and head to the bank. Hit the ATM machine for husband. Mom breaks a nail and is not happy. I notice that there is a strange noise coming from the car. We get out at her house and I look under it. Seems as though some cover from the bottom of the car has fallen down. She is not happy. Just glad it wasn't due to something I did. Better yet, that the kids didn't do it.

I check the game quickly. Dadgum. Behind by 3. Run upstairs and get Mallory up. Get her dressed again and put carseat in dad's car. Frank, Jackson, and Wyatt leave to go see Madagascar2. I put Mallory in car to go to another birthday party. On the way I am listening to the game and we rushed for about 72 yards. My screaming scared Mallory.

Get out of car and calm child down. Go into the playground for the party. Yes, friend is there with headphones on listening to the game. She willingly shares one with me. Both of us are hollering at the same time and not paying attention to the kids. I know. Another example of great parenting. Now, C and I are jumping up and down screaming. VICTORY!!! Go DAWGS!!

The party was nice. And short. By 440pm I am back in car AGAIN and headed back to my parents. Mallory and I play for a while and the boys came back. Movie was great they said. Kids head outside to play while we start watching the Alabama/LSU game. Go in kitchen to help mom with dinner. Dad fires up the grill and throws on the steaks.

No one can cook a steak like my dad. Yummy! Dinner over and we head back into the den to finish up the game. It's good too. Overtime. We are cheering. So are the kids and they don't even really know why. ROLL TIDE! Sorry if you are LSU fan. I just can't make myself cheer for them. My BIL loves LSU. I think that's why I.just.can't.do.it.

Game over. Time to load up again. Ahhh... kids in bed. Dishes put away. PJ's on and climb into bed. Time to go to Bloggyland....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Adoption Story

Sorry, another post already I know...

I love the Georgia Bulldogs.  I love Mark Richt too.  Well, I thought I did until I saw this.  Now, I REALLY love and respect him!!!


I Love Kids

Kids... You gotta love their honesty sometimes.  Watch this!


Love Dare Day 26

Today, by far, is the hardest day for me.  It has caused me to have to take a really long and hard look at myself.  So, because I don't like to feel bad alone...

Have you noticed that in today's society that fewer and fewer people are willing to take responsibility for their actions?  It's not hard to see.  Everyone always has an excuse for everything or why it is someone elses fault.  Personal responsibility.  We all agree that it's important and that others should have it.  But we have a hard time accepting it for ourselves.

It's not just those around us that I'm talking about.  To find these kinds of people all we have to do is look at ourselves.  We quickly justify our motives, point out the flaws in our spouse, and reject any criticism.

We always believe that our views and opinions are correct or at least more right than our spouse's.  And we have a hard time believing that anyone else, given our situation, would behave or react any differently.

But true love doesn't pass the buck.  OR try to justify selfishness.  It is more concerned with our spouse's needs rather than itself.  When love takes responsibility for its actions, it is not to prove how noble you've been but rather to admit how much further you have to go!!!  

When Frank and I are in an argument, most of the time I am not really listening to him.  I am thinking about what I am going to say the moment he shuts his mouth.  And sometimes I don't even wait that long.  Love should cause me to FIRST admit my own wrongs instead of pointing the finger.

I John 1:8 tells us If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  I can't tell you the number of times I have focused on what Frank is or is not doing instead of myself.  Not willing to admit that I was at as much fault or more fault than he was.

Can your spouse say that you have wronged them or hurt them and never made it right?  Part of taking personal responsibility is asking forgiveness.  The problem is that our pride is bigger than our hearts a lot of the time.  We need to ask forgiveness regardless of the response we receive.  Admit your mistakes to them without bringing up the ways that they have wronged you.

Here is what we do today.  TAKE TIME TO PRAY  THROUGH YOUR AREAS OF WRONGDOING.  ASK GOD'S FORGIVENESS, THEN HUMBLE YOURSELF ENOUGH TO ADMIT THEM TO YOUR SPOUSE.  NO MATTER HOW THEY RESPOND, MAKE SURE YOU COVER YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IN LOVE.

Okay, praying I did.  And as much as I would like to say otherwise, it was not easy.  I don't like to think of myself as being wrong.  Especially where Frank is concerned.  I like to be right.  This is where we clash a lot because he does too and usually neither one of us will budge one little bit.  So, the Lord pointed out some areas to me that I have failed miserably in.  Obviously, I can't talk to him about it face to face today and I would rather it not be a phone or text conversation (we all know that without seeing facial expression or hearing tone we can easily misunderstand things!  Right, Kate?? *grin*)  So, I will be talking to him tomorrow.

I better start looking for that HDT right now....

FIREPROOF and the Pentagon

Please join me in praying this week for 2 of the staff at our church.  They have gone to the Pentagon (yes, I said the Pentagon) for FIREPROOF screenings and to lead some Bible studies.  How blessed we are right now that we have an administration that would allow this to take place!  Let's also pray that God would soften the hearts of the following administration so that things just like this could continue!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Can You Help Me Find My Car??

So, the other day I went to our local Sam's to do my every other week shopping. I got lucky and found a parking space relatively close to the front. I hopped out and went inside. Now, I love Sam's. I love going there (without kids mind you) and taking my time and looking around. But, this particular day I was in a hurry. So I ONLY looked for the things that were on my list and headed to the checkout. As I was walking out the door into the parking lot I spotted my car and hit the remote to unlock it. I then proceeded to hit the liftgate button so that it would already be open for me when I got to it. Hmmm... it didn't open. So I hit it again. Still nothing. Must not have unlocked. I pushed the unlock button again and then the liftgate button. Nada. I am now hitting the liftgate button over and over when a lady came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and she said (pointing a little further down the aisle and on the other side) "I think your car is over there" I looked at where she was pointing and sure enough, the liftgate on my car had been going up and down, up and down. I just been pointing the remote at the wrong car. I guess it's just a sign of early aging...

Love Dare Day 25

Have you ever read or said the Lord's Prayer? Have you ever really thought about the words? One part in particular really stands out to me. "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors..." Do you get that? We are asking the Lord to forgive us in the same way that we forgive each other. Good grief!!! Do I really want him to extend the same measure of forgiveness? Or would I rather him show me more?

I can remember a time in my life when I was not the most forgiving person there was. And truth be told, even though I have come a long way in this area, when it comes to Frank, I still can hold a good old grudge. I have a hard time letting things go. And I would find good ways to punish him for whatever too. Like the silent treatment (which probably wasn't all that much punishment but more of a relief!) or fixing something he didn't like for supper. And there was always the "NotnowIhaveaheadache" routine (don't act like you haven't done it either). Or I particularly excelled at bringing things up that were supposedly over.

Do I want the Lord to take these things into account when he starts passing out forgiveness to me? I beg for mercy instead of what I really deserve.

Matthew 18:35 says My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.

Sometimes, when people hurt us, especially when it is someone that we love, we try to punish them with unforgiveness. We think if we forgive them then we are letting them win or excusing the wrong that they did to us. When in reality the only one we are truly punishing is ourselves.

But, forgiveness doesn't remove the blame. It doesn't wipe the slate clean with God, either. It just keeps you from having to worry about how to punish them. You are just turning them over to God. And isn't He the ultimate Judge and Jury anyway?

How do we do this? Sometimes it starts just by saying it out loud, whether you mean it or not. And you may have to say it over and over to yourself just as a reminder that you have already done it.

Take the story of the ungrateful servant. After he was forgiven by the king, back then a document would have been given to the servant and one would have been kept for the king. So that if the king needed money for something else and decided to bring that man in again to get his payment they would be able to go back and pull out that document and show that debt had been forgiven. This may happen with the same servant several times. And each time that document would be shown to the king. Sooner or later the king would begin to remember that particular debt had been forgiven and he would quit trying to "retry" that servant.

The same thing happens to us. Just because you have forgiven someone doesn't mean that Satan won't try to make you "retry" that person in the court of your mind. But you can pull out that document and say "Nope, I have already forgiven them for that". That's how we really let go. And you will know that you have truly forgiven someone when the thought of them or the sight of them no longer causes you to get angry or you to start plotting what you should say or do. Instead, you begin to feel sorry for them, to pity them, and hope that things turn around for them.

WHATEVER YOU HAVEN'T FORGIVEN IN YOUR MATE, FORGIVE IT TODAY. SAY FROM YOUR HEART "I CHOOSE TO FORGIVE" This is the dare for today. I don't have any BIG thing or things that I haven't forgiven Frank for. For me, it's more of the little things. Sometimes I say that I have forgiven or let them go and I really haven't. I am just saving them as ammunition for later.

The Lord has really been working on me over the past year about true forgiveness. And even though it has not been easy, it has been freeing. Not spending my time thinking about those that wrong me. Not playing out situations in my mind and what I would say. It instead makes me seek to understand more of their position. Why it happened in the first place. What was my part in it and how can I change it?

Great marriages are not made by people who never hurt each other. Only by people who choose to "keep no record of wrongs" Wow!